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What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim Episode 12 Recap

It seems like we have reached the climax of this show and for that, I like this episode for having all sorts of elements – the romance, a hot kiss, a big revelation, some form of reconciliation and some fun. I’m just wondering what’s there to watch for the next 4 episodes? Their married life?

The door bell rings and Mi So anxiously asks, “Who’s there?” All I can think of is girl, there’s a peep hole. Literally right there just a bit above your eyes. Anyway, turns out it’s Young Joon who is here to keep her company because he’s too worried about her spending the night alone. Despite Mi So spluttering about him moving in with her, he brings his luggage right in. Haha.

He unpacks his shoes, vanity products and clothes easily because Mi So doesn’t have many things. He hilariously asks if it’s because Mi So likes the minimalist lifestyle and she retorts that she was too busy paying off the debt. I also like how he motions to the closet, “I know this space well.”

He realises Mi So is nervous about him staying over, and assures her that his only aim is to make sure that she sleeps comfortably and to protect her by her side. He prepares a foot bath for her but it turns out a littleee different from expected – because Mi So doesn’t have a bath tub. He says sweet things like how it’s okay but then accidentally flushes the toilet because he is too big for this small space.

After the foot bath, Mi So climbs into bed but so does Young Joon, who offers his arm as her pillow. Mi So turns on the TV because she finds it too awkward but the drama on the TV has a couple having a hot kiss haha. They end up on the rooftop to try and calm down with some wine, but Mi So doesn’t have a wine key so she exhibits a new trick she learned from the TV the other time – using the shoe to pop the cork out. Young Joon’s shoe at that.

Young Joon watches anxiously as she thumps the shoe against the wall and subsequently drops the shoe. He calls out to her, “That wine…costs $20,000.” Mi So sheepishly returns the wine but the landlord lady starts yelling for the car owner of plate number 1757…who is Young Joon. Haha.

The landlady picks on Young Joon for driving such an expensive car and parking in a reserved space when he’s living in a studio. She wants him to learn from her son, who works hard and finally snags a job at Yumyung Company (is it Mr Ko?). When Young Joon grits out that he’s the person in charge at Yumyung, the landlady asks if he’s drunk. Said son happens to call at that moment and she complains that the company is working him too hard.

After this much fiasco, Mi So finally relents and returns to Young Joon’s house with him, understanding that Young Joon just has good intentions to protect her. She sleeps in the guest room but inevitably finds it a little scary to be alone. She turns and screams at the sight of a man, but it turns out to be Young Joon, who is determined to keep her company through the night. He awkwardly offers to sing her a lullaby and she awkwardly accepts, if only to fill the silence, but that does the trick. A few bars of Park Seo Joon’s voice and multiple flashbacks of this couple’s coming together later, Mi So falls into a deep sleep. I didn’t know Park Seo Joon can sing? Is that him?

Young Joon gently pats her hair and kisses her tenderly on the forehead (I LIVE for forehead kisses), “This is good enough for today.” Unfortunately/fortunately, Mi So cuddles up to him. Aww. Mi So wakes up the next morning, very well-rested, only to find a grumpy Young Joon who didn’t sleep the entire night. He clutches his hair in frustration and climbs out of bed, “I cannot guarantee you tonight.” As he leaves the room, a devil cartoon trails after him making suggestive noises, and he shooes it to Mi So. Mi So wonders about Young Joon’s statement and the devil cartoon appears, making Mi So blush and telling the devil to go away.

As a gesture of appreciation, Mi So attempts to cook an omelette for Young Joon. I had no idea she was trying to cook an omelette looking at the way things were going. I genuinely thought she was going for scrambled eggs. Nonetheless, Young Joon happily takes the omelette but discovers a chip in his mug. It’s his jinx that things will go wrong if there’s a chip in his cup. As they leave for work, Mi So accidentally scratches her heel and that’s her jinx.

In the car, Yoo Shik wonders about jinxes and how reliable they are. He saw a crow, he broke his cup after going home and that morning, he scratched his shoe, but nothing bad has happened. It’s all superstition. Young Joon tells Mi So to cancel his dinner appointment because Sung Ki, his junior from abroad, is hospitalised due to lung cancer.

Yoo Shik rambles that that dude smokes too much and that people should take care of their health more. Young Joon quips that he takes care of his health TOO much, and Yoo Shik points out that people tend to notice the absence more than the presence. This leads him to think about his ex-wife and he starts tearing. Mi So turns back quizzically and Young Joon explains, “He talks about his ex-wife almost everyday.” Hahaha.

Said ex-wife suddenly calls to say that she feels apologetic for lashing out at Yoo Shik and wonders if he was at the restaurant because of her. He shyly admits that he thought he’d be able to see her if he went there and she’s visibly touched. She asks him out that evening, much to Yoo Shik’s delight, but he has to turn it down because he has to go to the hospital since “Sung Ki’s” in a critical condition. Everyone looks up at how weird that sounds, and ex-wife hangs up thinking that Yoo Shik now has a problem with his penis (because it sounds similar to Sung Ki). He hangs up, defeated, and asks which of the -crow, cup and scratched heel- was the jinx. The couple unanimously replies, “All of them.”

Yoo Shik dramatically declares, “You should be good to each other while you all are still together. Don’t regret like me.”

Mi So briefs Young Joon on his schedule for the day and he says that he has many thoughts after hearing what Yoo Shik said. What if Mi So leaves him? Mi So looks touched but he continues, “You will regret so much.” HAHA. He wants to go for a nice lunch with her so that he can treat her well while they are together.

In the meantime, Ji Ah goes for a meeting and accidentally shreds her handwritten minutes after the meeting instead of the intended classified document. She doesn’t have a copy on her laptop either because the manager didn’t like the noise of keyboards. Ko walks past and sees her in distress. He deftly handles the situation by picking out the shredded pieces that have handwriting on it. They put the pieces together and Ko even saves the day by remembering details of the meeting despite smudges on her minutes. Ji Ah confesses to being stressed working under Mi So who is so perfect and thanks Ko for helping her. Ko goes back to work and Ji Ah looks at his back, murmuring that no wonder he’s the most wanted man in the company. Other than hinting at their impending romance, I also like this interlude because it shows us that Ko is truly capable.

At lunch, Mi So reveals that eating caramel reminds her of the time when young Young Joon gave her his last caramel candy. His kindness was such a comfort to her. Reminded of this incident, she asks why Young Joon changed his name from Sung Hyun and his brother had the twisted memory. Young Joon doesn’t reply and Mi So stops pushing, patient for Young Joon to open up to her on his own accord.

Se Ra returns to work, envious of a newly-formed couple, and frustrated with Yang who hasn’t made any advances. She pretends that someone from her neighbourhood keeps asking her out, “If someone confesses to me, and I’m no longer single, then guys like him won’t bother me anymore.” Yang guzzles down his coke and Se Ra lashes out, “Are you drinking your coke right??”

She stalks out of the office and later, Yang appears with a bottle of coke, “Don’t share it with anyone.” Yang’s appearance with the dramatic music does always make me chuckle a little. Se Ra drinks a little of the coke, and realises that Yang has written a note on the coke. The more she drinks, the more she sees –  Ms Bong, you’re cute. Would you be my girlfriend? – She laughs in delight at the last sentence, or more like, she burps in delight hahahaha due to drinking too much coke at one go. Yang grins happily from behind a pillar.

Mi So brings Young Joon to a (rival) departmental store so that she can buy a pretty mug for him. The lady asks if they are interested in a new set of dinnerware that is suitable for newlyweds. Young Joon immediately wants to buy it since they are kinda living together but Mi So stops him with firmness. Young Joon’s eyes light up as he mutters, “Newlyweds? Dinnerware?” but Mi So stalks off already hahaha. He murmurs to himself that he just got scolded but it doesn’t feel so bad.

He also offers three solutions for Mi So’s jinx – one, he can instruct all employees to wear running shoes; two, he can provide a personal car and driver; three, he can buy her a pair of shoes. Mi So likes the third option obviously and he sweetly tells her that they shouldn’t let jinxes bog them down. Now that they’re together, everything will be okay. After this sweet declaration, he then pronounces his desire to buy her every shoe she likes. Mi So immediately puts on her stern face again, “It’s not wise to buy stuff that is unnecessary. I’m only going to get one pair. Are we clear?”

I quite like this brief interlude of a hint of how their married life will look like – Young Joon will be silly and slightly wasteful, but always with good intentions; Mi So will keep him in check and be the practical one. I like it because Mi So is such a pleasant girl, and despite dating probably one of the most eligible people, she doesn’t let that get to her head.

The couple returns to work and we finally hit the serious stuff of this episode – Young Joon’s parents are in his office right now. They ask about his memories and want to know the truth of what actually happened. With a flashback, we finally get to see the entire full picture – young Sung Hyun and Sung Yeon gave their driver the slip and Sung Yeon tricked Sung Hyun to a run-down estate. He went off to buy water for Sung Hyun but did not come back. Meanwhile, Sung Hyun wandered a little and ran into the red lady who pretended that she had an injured leg and a daughter waiting at home for her. Although Sung Hyun was pretty cautious, he was kind and agreed to help her with her luggage. He even drank the yogurt drink the lady offered (and I think that was spiked?).

We then cut to the adult Sung Yeon at home, asking the butler to move everything from his room back to Young Joon’s room. Young Joon’s room was initially Sung Yeon’s, and the one Sung Yeon’s living in now was Sung Hyun’s. From what I think are Sung Yeon’s now-regained memories, his younger self only cried and couldn’t tell the dad where he left Sung Hyun. When he saw how Sung Hyun went through so much from the ordeal, he started going through immense guilt.

Young Joon continues the story for us – when Sung Hyun returned home from the hospital, Sung Yeon was in his room and yelled that because of Sung Hyun, he was kidnapped for three days. He had now completely adopted Sung Hyun’s memories. Sung Yeon turned increasingly physical and aggressive whilst Sung Hyun also became angry and bitter. I was the one who experienced the whole thing. How dare he play a victim and accuse me? The two brothers started hurting each other. One night, Sung Hyun’s dad suggested sending Sung Yeon to a psychiatric hospital after he swung a baseball bat around and Sung Hyun’s mother broke down, saying that she wanted to die. The young Sung Hyun, who just saw a woman hang herself, was scared. He thus pretended to faint one day, and when he woke up, he told the ultimate lie, “I really don’t remember anything. I’m sorry, Sung Yeon.”

Back then, Young Joon thought that was the only way for the family to survive. The mum cries apologetically. They only decided to let the lie perpetuate because they thought that Young Joon had forgotten everything, and Sung Hyun who did not actually go through the ordeal would not suffer more than Young Joon. The parents cry as they feel guilt for letting Young Joon carry the burden for so long. “Don’t try to understand us, Young Joon. You should blame us and resent us. Say it’s been hard. Say you have been lonely. You are allowed to do that, Young Joon.” Mi So cries, as she overhears everything from outside.

As the parents later leave, Mum smiles at Mi So, “Please take care of our Young Joon.” I also like how this drama doesn’t have any of those mean mother-in-law tropes. It’s so pleasant watching how the mother likes Mi So and constantly wants her as a daughter-in-law.

While on the way home, Young Joon sounds defeated and dejected. Mi So tries to cheer him up but Young Joon recalls how his mother said that Sung Hyun would be returning to France, “I don’t think he will be back for a very long time.” Young Joon turns the car around and drives back to the family home.

He bursts into Sung Yeon’s room. Sung Yeon starts crying, saying that Young Joon should have believed in Sung Yeon and fought with him, rather than covering up the truth. “Because of your arrogant decision, I spent half my life hating you and pitying me, do you know?!”

Young Joon tears up, “I’m sorry.” He thought the decision was for the best; he thought that living as Young Joon, rather than Sung Hyun which confused Sung Yeon, would be make things okay. “But today, when I heard that mom lived her whole life feeling guilty, I suddenly thought of this – perhaps if we had gotten through it together, even if it was tough… that’s family.” He admits to being arrogant and is truly sorry for taking away Sung Yeon’s chance to make things right. He hopes that Sung Yeon will let the agony go and be free; from the start, there was nothing to forgive Sung Yeon because he wasn’t the one who did those things to him. “Do it for yourself.” Sung Yeon looks down as his tears well up, “I’m sorry. At that time, I had to be someone else. That was the only way I could live.” He breaks down in tears and after a moment, Young Joon leaves.

I suppose that’s the last we will see of Lee Tae Hwan? Anyway, good job! I think he really nailed the scene.

At night, the couple winds down with some wine, and Young Joon confesses that it actually feels good now that the truth is out. Mi So points out that there’s nothing better than being honest. Young Joon turns to her, “Then, can I honestly tell you how I feel right now?” He leans in and deeply kisses her, before the couple slides down naturally onto the sofa. He pulls back, “I don’t want to waste tonight.” The music starts playing, as he continues kissing her, while moving downwards to release her ribbon and unbutton her shirt.

-the end-

I must confess to not being the biggest fan of this drama because I wasn’t tooo engaged with half the plot. However that being said, I shed so much more tears than expected when Young Joon was having that moment with his parents, when the truth which has been hidden for 24 years finally get revealed. I think as the main premise of the show, the truth was pretty legitimate and had good value. It wasn’t anti-climatic and it had a lot of impact. For a young boy who had seen a woman die in front of him and had to crawl under her to escape, I cannot imagine how much pain Sung Hyun must have gone through. It truly made his 24 years of trauma of cable ties and nightmares very well-justified. I’m also very impressed with the child actor, Moon Woo Jin, who must be destined for great shows after he grows up.

I also like the little nuances in the couple’s relationship that we get to see throughout this episode – how Mi So is so firm on Young Joon and how Young Joon is considerate of Mi So yet still consistent and true to his narcissistic self. I’m just wondering what else is left in store for us for the last 4 episodes, when it seems that the main conflict has already resolved by Episode 12?

Are our two cute innocent ones going to sleep together in the next episode? Park Seo Joon and Park Min Young are really bringing the kisses to life man. That untying of ribbon and unbuttoning of the shirt, omg, who taught you, Young Joon? Hehe. Also, talk about having heightened feelings – seems like our Kdramas are starting to love inserting such scenes when the lead/leads just go through some sort of ordeal!

See you guys next week!


P.S screenshots in the works, check back in a while for updated recap!


  1. The coke confession was too cute. It makes me want to buy a coke and leave my hubby a secret message. Lol

    This episode impressed me so much. I love the way Asian dramas can make every character dimensional and sympathetic. We finally got the full story behind what had happened but the only real villain is the off-screen lover. The woman who kidnapped the kids dies, and even though she put the kids through a lot and traumatized them more with her death, you can’t help but feel sad for her brokenness. The parents took advantage of the fake amnesia because they were so worn out from all the stress but lived in guilt for 20 years over it. Young Joon faked the amnesia and lived in pain by himself for those 20 years. And Sung Yeon may have had a weird, selfish motivation to his guilt-ridden psychological episode but Young Joon took away his chance to eventually work through the guilt. It might have taken awhile but it would have saved them 20 years of misunderstandings, anger and loneliness. Every single one of them is someone to sympathize.

    I also love when a story has a good character reversal – Young Joon spent 20 years never apologizing. It was his one point of no compromise – he took the blame for the kidnapping but wouldn’t apologize over it. But he was the first to apologize when confronted over the mistake of the amnesia. Once again he probably rubbed salt in Sung Yeon’s wound by being the bigger man first. And then, finally, Young Joon got an apology from his brother. After so long it obviously was a huge release for him.


    • Thanks for your comment!! I realised that you pointed out many things which were in my head but I forgot to write it into the recap so I would be editing it a bit later. Yes definitely to the coke! It was such a cute idea!

      I like your analysis of the family dynamics and how each of them isn’t really blameworthy. They did something ‘wrong’ and they were punished for it, in their own ways respectively. Even Young Joon took the chance away from Sung Yeon to make up for his error; Sung Yeon must feel so pathetic after knowing the truth. Just imagine the horror and embarrassment knowing that you victimised yourself in front of the person you owed the most debt to.

      Liked by 1 person

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