Cinderella’s Sister Episode 1 Recap

Cinderella's Sister banner신데렐라 언니

Romanized title: Sindeorella Eonni
English title: Cinderella’s Sister
Broadcast station: KBS2
Broadcast dates: 31 March – 3 June 2010
Episodes: 20
Cast: Moon Geun Young, Seo Woo, Taecyeon, Chung Jung Myung, Lee Mi Sook, Kim Gab Soo
Watch with English subtitles on DramaFever
Synopsis: Song Eun Jo lives a life of poverty with her mother until her mother decides to make a play for a rich man who owns a traditional Korean wine business, thus the prickly and unfriendly Eun Jo moves in with the warm and loving Goo family and all hell breaks loose.


Moon Geun Young

Song Eun Jo

The series opens with Song Eun Jo (Moon Geun Young) making kimchi for breakfast while her mom fights with her drunken lover in the next room. A plump young boy (who turns out to be an abandoned kid of the man’s previous lover) asks why Eun Jo isn’t feeding him and just herself. She says that judging by the fighting, she and her mom might not be there for much longer. In that case, she would have no idea when her next meal will be. Jung Woo becomes worried as Eun Jo does all of the cooking. He jumps up and grabs a bowl of rice and together they begin shoveling food down.

Cinderella's Sister Young Han Jung Wool

Young Han Jung Woo

Next thing they know, Eun Jo’s mom screams and there is a loud crash. Eun Jo rushes into the room and stops Kang ahjussi from hitting her mom with a baseball bat. Jung Woo manages to get the bat and throws it down the hill away from reach (the bat reads Eun Jo is Han Jung Woo’s woman, how cute is that? :P). Eun Jo and her mom begin running, chased by Kang. As they finally manage  to get away, Song Kang Sook complains that she isn’t dressed right for running away. Eun Jo tells her to never mind that as Kang had caught sight of them again. To help his beloved “noona” escape, Jung Woo jumps off the hill and tackles Kang, holding them until the girls got away.

Lee Mi Sook

Lee Mi Sook as Song Kang Sook

On the run, Eun Jo and her mom argue in the taxi. Kang Sook says to go back as they have no money and no place to go. Eun Jo screams that they have to leave unless her mom wants to be beaten every day. The yelling and screaming gets worse until the taxi driver pulls over and threatens to kick them out for being too noisy. It is then that Eun Jo tells her mom that she has stolen the ring that Kang was going to give to her mother. Her mom perks right up and tells the cabbie to take them to the train station after all.

Seo Woo

Seo Woo as Goo Hyo Sun

Meanwhile, Kang finds out the ring is missing and has Jung Woo go call in the thugs to chase down Eun Jo and Kang Sook to get it back. Jung Woo doesn’t want to, but Kang threatens him so he runs off like a good little boy (can’t say I blame him as the poor kid doesn’t have anywhere else left to go); however, he does call Eun Jo to let her know. At the next station, Eun Jo sees the hired thugs and decides to abandon her mom to her fate, but she just can’t. She comes back and wakes up her mom and they go running through the train to make good their escape. When Eun Jo runs into a bathroom to hide (her mom hides in the opposite one), she runs into Goo Hyo Sun and their fates become forever entangled after that.

Chun Jung Myung

Chun Jung Myung as Hong Ki Hoon

From the blackout on the train, we then see Hyo Sun running to find her “oppa” Hong Ki Hoon for advice. Apparently Eun Jo and her mom gave Hyo Sun the ring and she misplaced it. Eun Jo scared the living daylights out of Hyo Sun, so she is worried that she’ll have to transfer schools to run away from Eun Jo’s wrath as she can’t find the ring. Ki Hoon listens to her, but tells her that all the things she has ever lost in the past have never been permanently lost, so she should be able to find the ring. She brightens up after that and Ki Hoon drives her back to school.

When they reach the school, Hyo Sun tells Ki Hoon that no matter what he says, she will always believe him. If he says the ring isn’t lost, then it isn’t lost. If he said the moon was a rectangle, she’d believe him because whatever he says is true. She also says that Ki Hoon is hers and no one else’s. Ki Hoon replies that he will not make any promises to the young Hyo Sun. She tries to sneak into her class but gets caught and sent out in the hall for punishment. Enter in Song Kang Sook to get the ring back.

Kim Gab Soo

Kim Gab Soo as Goo Dae Sung

Hyo Sun is surprised that it isn’t Eun Jo, but she is happy that it isn’t the scary younger girl. She takes Kang Sook home to look for the ring. On their way, Hyo Sun is greeted by two cafeteria workers of her father’s who say that he was angry and making the workers kneel for hours, not even letting them have lunch. Hyo Sun rushes off to find her father. He is yelling about workers improperly looking after the rice wine, thus making it undrinkable. He is smashing the pots of wine with an axe. Hyo Sun rushes over and stops him. Ki Hoon takes the chance to grab the axe away.

Kang Sook witnesses all of this and finds out that Goo Dae Sung is a widower. A plot begins hatching. Hyo Sun comes to get her afterward and takes Kang Sook to her house (which is a huge traditional-style house). This makes Kang Sook decide that she will try to get into this house for a better life for herself and Eun Jo (who is currently being held hostage for the ring by Kang). Hyo Sun leaves Kang Sook outside and runs all over looking for the ring. She hears a scream and finds Kang Sook covered in smelly fish water (by trying to “help” the servants she created an opportunity for Hyo Sun to take pity on her). Hyo Sun invites her in and gives Kang Sook her mom’s clothes to wear. Kang Sook vaguely resembles Hyo Sun’s deceased mother so Hyo Sun decides that she will do whatever it takes to get Kang Sook as her mother. Ah, the irrationality of children.

Seo Woo, Lee Mi Sook

She takes Kang Sook to see her father and tells her uncle to hide the bag that had the ring in it so that Kang Sook has to stay there longer. Kang Sook asks Dae Sung to be a worker at the house/factory until Hyo Sun manages to find the ring. He agrees (I think she reminds him a bit of his dead wife as well). And thus their tangled relationship begins. Kang Sook tries to inveigle her way into his life as she has his daughter’s; however, Hyo Sun’s uncle does not like this and gives Kang Sook the ring back telling her to leave. She does, causing Ki Hoon and Hyo Sun to go chasing after her. Dae Sung does as well after some cajoling from Ki Hoon saying that Hyo Sun hasn’t been this happy since her mom died when she was six.

Dae Sung finds Kang Sook at the bus stop and asks her back. Kang Sook says that she will not go back if it is only for Hyo Sun’s sake. Dae Sung says that he wants her back as well. She then says that she has a daughter being held hostage by her previous lover. Dae Sung tells her to bring her daughter as well and they will become one family. Kang Sook has gotten her wish.

Meanwhile, Eun Jo has been suffering along with Kang ahjussi and Jung Woo. Kang says that her mom has abandoned her. Eun Jo says that no matter what, her mom will never abandon her. The fact that Eun Jo is with him is proof that her mom will come back. Kang obviously doesn’t really believe this, but says it’s okay as long as she does. He then passes out causing Eun Jo to freak out and she immediately screams for Jung Woo who drags Kang out of the room. The next day, Jung Woo says that Eun Jo’s mom won’t be coming back because his own mother didn’t. Eun Jo asks if she has really been abandoned. Jung Woo reiterates that she has. Eun Jo smiles and thinks “victory.” All of this time she couldn’t abandon the mother who never abandoned her, but she could now if her mom abandoned her first. Well…there is some very twisted logic to that.

Chun Jung Myung, Moon Geun Young

Ki Hoon flips Eun Jo

Eun Jo stocks the fridge and tells Kang that she owes him nothing and would be leaving to live somewhere else on her own. This makes Jung Woo unhappy as he was hoping Eun Jo would stay with him despite the drunken Kang. After she has packed her things and was about to leave, Ki Hoon and Hyo Sun’s uncle appear to take her to the Goo house. In the car to the Goo house, Ki Hoon tells Eun Jo to relax, that everything is okay. Eun Jo replies that she has to use the bathroom. Of course she uses that excuse to run and Ki Hoon chases after her. He just misses her and grabs the pencil she uses to hold up her hair. Not giving up, he takes after her again. This time he manages to grab her but she pulls his hair causing him to let go. Having had enough, he grabs her and flips her over his shoulder onto the ground. He then tells her to wait until she is twenty to run away. As she is a minor right now, there will be no one who’ll help her and she’ll have nowhere to go. Eun Jo reluctantly returns with him. She doesn’t know why, but if he told her the moon was a rectangle, she would believe him. There is something about him that makes her believe him.

Kang Sook is furious at Eun Jo’s attitude and temperament. Eun Jo doesn’t believe her mother has managed to land a good catch and thinks that all men are bad. Kang Sook says that this one is different and this time will be the last time. Eun Jo wants to believe her mother as her mother has never said that before. She meets Dae Sung who is trying to be good to her right off the bat, but she is having none of it. He says he promises to give her whatever she would like and she tells him no promises. Eun Jo doesn’t believe in them. She just wants to go to school. And then Hyo Sun shows up.

My thoughts: Loving it so far. Moon does a great job portraying the prickly Eun Jo who wants to keep everyone at a distance (probably partially due to a certain ex-boyfriend of her mother’s). I was surprised by how warm Ki Hoon’s character is (at least to Hyo Sun). All the previews and summaries tote him as a cold individual, but a person who is truly cold wouldn’t care about the devastated Hyo Sun who was bawling like a baby when she though Kang Sook has left.

Right now, I am not too fond of the Goo family. The character of Hyo Sun is too babyish and ditzy at time, which can definitely make it hard to watch her. And her father isn’t much better. When he is angry and yelling, he seems more natural than when he is with Kang Sook and Eun Jo. Hopefully the portrayal and acting of these two will get better or it just might be painful to watch the show progress.

I am looking forward to Taecyeon’s introduction, but I am not sure how far in that will be as it will require a bit of a time jump as he is just a fat little boy right now. Probably around middle school age, maybe a little older.


  • The baseball bat that reads “Song Eun Jo is Han Jung Woo’s woman”
  • Jung Woo tackling Kang in order for his noona to escape safely with her mom
  • Ki Hoon and Eun Jo’s “fight” ending with Eun Jo getting flung over Ki Hoon’s shoulder onto the ground

Oh No! Moments:

  • Kang Sook using a vulnerable Hyo Sun (though at first it looks like Kang Sook was just being a nice person, but she then uses it to her advantage)
  • The mention of Eun Jo being afraid of being left along with Kang because she was afraid he would do something like another boyfriend of her mom’s had in the past

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