I Live in Cheongdamdong Episode 52 Recap

Episode 52 opens with Jieun admiring a wooden sculpture Sangyeob gifted her the previous night. She says to herself, “This is someone’s sincere heart. Lee Sang Yeob, your heart is mine.” She then writes “This is Oh Jieun’s” across the top in marker. I‘m already imagining her coming back the next day to see the entire sculpture defaced by random scrawlings. 


Jieun sighs happily and wonders if this is a dream. She slaps herself and is shocked by the pain but continues smiling throughout it. Even when she gets hit in the face by a door, she tells her uncle dreamily that, “Everything is just fine.” Her other uncle sneezes and spits rice all over her face. When he apologizes profusely, Jieun says, “There’s no need to be like that for such a small thing. We’re family, after all.” Her words are overlaid constantly with dreamy piano notes.


Jieun skips, smiles, and laughs her way through everything. When customers call her over, she sings out, “COMINGGGGG,” like she’s Snow White prancing through the forest to the tune of birds. Her uncles are all unnerved by her behavior and Moosung guesses accurately that she must be dating for her mood to be this good.

Sangyeob picks her up from work. I’m not sure what their actual relationship is, but it doesn’t look like he’s on the same page of love as Jieun, based on the querulous face he gives her when she acts a touch more intimate than usual.

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She takes him to a noodle shop and tells him that, ever since she was a child, she’s loved noodles. No matter if she was already full or sad, if she saw noodles, she would always be able to finish the bowl. (That sounds pretty fearsome to me, lol. Like a recipe for obesity.) She finishes by saying that, when she eats these noodles, she is most herself. All the while, Sangyeob looks at her with this uncomprehending face and I get the feeling that these words, which would be treasured by someone who loves her back, are lost on Sangyeob. She clarifies with the ending statement, “What I’m saying is, these noodles are my sincere heart.” Ouch. I’m already nervous for what he’s going to say.

We don’t see what happens, but Jieun is much more subdued on the ride back home. She asks him if he’s free tomorrow and Sangyeob starts babbling that he’s going to be very busy from tomorrow on. Also, the area where his new project is located doesn’t really have restaurants, so he won’t be able to go out to eat with her easily.

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I thought that was clear enough, but apparently not. The next day, it strikes Jieun that Sangyeob would be touched if she made him food, since he had said there were no places to eat. Oh, Jieun.

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She cooks some rice but then thinks that’s too plain. She adds some kimbap, but worries he might get thirsty. In goes some soup. But these all seem to be side dishes! She fries up something for the main course. All the while, she wears a snazzy pearl collar and a dress, lol, like presentation even in clothes will affect the taste.

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Hahaha. And in a throw back to Hana Yori Dango, she gives Tsukushi a run for her money and creates a bento box with Sangyeob’s face. A for effort, girl.

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Her mother walks in as she’s about to close the lids and looks at everything with a stone face. Welp, there’s just no denying anything when the man’s face is on the rice. She puts everything into a big bag that reads “Happiness” across the side.

She texts him, then calls him. Finally, she just arrives right at the construction site, bag in hand. Sangyeob doesn’t look thrilled to see her and his employees come in seconds later with takeout. When they see the massive spread Jieun laid out, they immediately excuse themselves, saying they didn’t know Sangyeob had a girlfriend. Sangyeob stops them, telling them he’ll be right out and that Jieun is NOT his girlfriend. Jieun’s face, which had already been on a downward decline, falls completely.

“This all looks great, but I should really eat with my employees. You really should have called beforehand,” Sangyeob says.

He leaves, and to his credit, he does look a little conflicted as he closes the door. I guess his reaction was better than leading her on… but, ouch.

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Jieun’s mom is a tour guide and she’s in the middle of her tour when she’s shocked to see Sangyeob enter a restaurant and start eating lunch with his employees. Even though it was clear that she didn’t approve of Jieun’s actions in the morning, as a mother, she can’t help but feel pain for her daughter, who went through so much effort cooking that lunch.

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Jieun gets back home at night in tears, still clutching the Happiness bag and when her mom says that she’ll take the bag, Jieun yells at her not to bother her or ask her questions. Her mom watches her rush away sympathetically, thinking that in matters of love, all she can do is let Jieun pass on some anger to her.

Jieun goes to the rooftop and begins eating the meal herself, which is when Hyunwoo comes in and ascertains the situation immediately

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“Did you pack this and go looking for Sangyeob?” He asks. “Was he surprised?”

Jieun asks, “What?”

(I always saw this scene in MVs and I assumed that it came after Jieun found out about Hyunwoo’s true background, so I’m surprised that he’s actually getting angry for this reason. Also, am I being ridiculous for thinking that Hyunwoo yelling is rather hot?)

“Aren’t you treating him like a lover? Please, I’m asking you not to act like a fool. Rein in your heart. If a man really likes a woman, he won’t hesitate and he won’t give her trouble. He’ll only go towards her. But is he coming to you? No, it’s only you, acting like a fool.”

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Jieun sniffles and says, “Me? Act like a fool? When did I?”

Hyunwoo kicks the chair, on top of which is placed her five decker lunch box. “You made so much and you still have a leg to argue on?”

Jieun looks away and just takes another bite to eat. Hyunwoo looks at her in disbelief, fed up. “You want to eat this?” He asks angrily, before kicking the entire lunch to the ground and leaving.

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Jieun is left alone, thinking to herself that yesterday and today are so different in endings.

Ending Thoughts: ILICDD is my very first monster daily kdrama. Prior to ILICDD, I had only seen dramas that aired twice a week and averaged 16 episodes, which meant that if the leading couple enjoyed two episodes of happiness, you could be sure of emotional doom in the next episode. The angst and misunderstandings often continued until the penultimate episode, or beyond, whereupon the audience was given a five minute block of happiness before the ending credits rolled. For this reason, I loved ILICDD for letting me wallow in the sweetness of Hyunwoo and Jieun episode after episode…. until my senses got numb from all of the giddy love and I realized that I needed a palate cleanser of unhappiness.

So, I went scrolling back to look for angst, and, man, they really are happy together for a LONG TIME. I finally found Episode 52, in which we see Hyunwoo uncharacteristically mad and Jieun still crushing on Sangyeob. I think that Hyunwoo’s words are really true and that, if women would only heed them, they would be a lot happier. It’s like that book He’s Just Not That Into You. We’re always coming up with these ideas that this one action or one word spells something more deep or is a subtle hint that he likes us. However, simply the fact that we’re conjecturing usually means trouble. If a guy likes you, it shouldn’t be too much of a question. (Although I’m already chortling at how much Sangyeob must want to kick himself in later episodes.)


One thought on “I Live in Cheongdamdong Episode 52 Recap

  1. thanks for this recap! now after a year i understand what Ji Eun and Hyun Woo’s dialogue on this particularl scene. thank you very much from the bottom of my heart! i hope you recap all the important episodes between Hyun Woo and Ji Eun! I love them very much!

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