This first episode jumps back and forth between flashbacks, super flashbacks, and present scenes often, which was a bit confusing at first but then, when I realized what they were doing, it all made sense with every flashback thereafter. They basically take you through the day of each woman, but they do it in pieces while the women are with each other. At some point, they stop doing the tiny flashbacks and start giving us even longer flashbacks.
Characters – Shorthand Character Chart
MISTRESSES RECAP EPISODE 1
A light ignites and the camera follows it until it pans to a candle. A woman ignites another match until more and more candles are lit. In the scenery are expensive Greek paintings and a close-up view of
We have one apple box, a few rotten ones. Which one are you going to take out first? Of course the good ones….I don’t like sweet fruit like apples because I am getting fat….the rotten ones before they all get rotten….it is just like you to remove what you hate first…..yeah, I was like that before.
SY – That is why I am telling you all, according to my personality, should we just take that thing out first before it gets rotten?
They all turn and look at something. Then we cut to the women holding a candle each as they walk down steps. They go into a very open warehouse room and there is a dead body in a coffin. All the women look at the leg hanging out of the coffin as they hold their candles.
Because of this candle….
She drops it and it rolls to the coffin. A ripple emanates from it.
TITLE: SCENTED CANDLE
2 MONTHS AGO
SY relaxes and thinks about a conversation between her and a man.
Did you really make it?….Yeah….you have to use them all, don’t throw them away…..I am going to use it, you made it, it is so precious.
But then she pulls herself out of her reverie and gets her shop in order for the day. A woman comes up to her as she opens her door and tells her that their shop is opening, please come to it. SY looks at her as she continues handing out flyers.
Her friend comes to the cafe in a huff about a pervert. She drinks water and starts talking to SY at a cafe table about Hwa-young.
Cut to ES talking to one of her patients, Sun-ho (SH). They talk about his father yelling at him and giving him a lot of money, but ES thinks he is lying about that. She asks him why he shakes his leg. He says it is because he is nervous, what about you? When you are nervous? Insecure? She says that everyone has different ways of coping with it.
What about you?
She thinks back to someone caressing her all over her body.
She tells SH, she breathes and does physical exercise. He tells her that she is lying. She questions him, what? he tells her that she always writes that he is lying, but everything he says isn’t a lie, there is one truth, do you know what it is? It relates to you also, you should be very interested in it.
JW hits her arms on the table with SY and yells about that pervert. How can they raise kids in this world? It was so embarrassing!
Cut to a flashback with JW in the bathroom, she texts her husband in the bathroom. He asks her if she is wearing that underwear she gave him. How is it? She says it isn’t her style, it is too sexy. He tells her to take a photo and send it to him. She calls him a pervert and puts the phone down. But then it looks like she might do it. She looks around and then starts to unbutton her blouse. She opens up her blouse just enough to show her sexy black bra. But someone comes in at that moment so she covers up and leaves quickly.
But then a boy is pulled out of the bathroom. He was watching a sexy movie in the bathroom. Another woman pulled him out of it. JW talks to the kid afterward in the teacher’s offices. The kid doesn’t look like he is too concerned about it. Another teacher says where he was watching it isn’t important, getting caught or not is important. JW tries to look over her cubicle at the other teacher, but she decides to just continue talking to the student. The teacher might be Min-gyu (MG). Whatever JW says, MG just picks on her about it.
The student also has a cigaret that is used to quit smoking. But JW dint’ know that. MG tells her which basically undermines her authority to this student. She pulls MG out and talks to him about butting into her disciplinary actions. MG thinks students smoking and watching sexy movies isn’t a big deal. JW thinks it is. She is angry that MG calls her teach instead of teacher. MG tells her that all the kids say that now. JW starts breathing hard, she has a problem with anger management and is getting treatment for it now. She holds her chest as she breathes and tells him not to call her teach.
Cut to JW riding with her husband, Dong-suk (DS). They are at a motel. JW is so concerned about being caught at a hotel, she even covers her face when someone asks them if they are going inside or not. She grows flush and has to fan herself.
Cut to a student fight in the hallway. MG has to break it up. It looks like this is the same kid from earlier, he tells MG that they are just playing, it is nothing But then another kid hits him from the back.
Cut to two people making love in a bed. It is good to have a thing in a hotel like we are dating, that is why you talked about my underwear? She wants to flip him over, but he wants to stay in that one pose. She likes the other pose better. But he wants to stay in that pose, she has a better chance of getting pregnant in that pose. She asks him if it is because she is ovulating? The phone rings, she wants to pick it up but he tells her to get it later, later, later. JW runs out and goes to the hospital. MG sees her.
JW runs to the hospital to see about the student, but her clothing is in disarray. MG fills her in and chuckles when he sees that she obviously went to a motel. MG chuckles. He gives her a ride and laughs as he says she had business at a hotel. Her student is bleeding and the VP looked for the teacher, but you were in a motel. You were busy at a motel. JW asks how he knows, does the VP know? Don’t tell her, she hates me. This is not like you are imagining. MG says he won’t tell the VP about it.
They get to their location. MG says that she should show him, that one. She tells him that he is crazy. He says, if you do this then I will have a hobby I don’t have. She says this is sexual harassment, he says this is threatening. he wants her to show him the one from before. JW does not and gets out in a huff.
Cut to JW talking to SY about that pervert! SY asks what she did? She said she did something to it, she didn’t let it go.
Cut to DS calling JW and asking her if she took a shower, she shouldn’t’ take a shower so the sperm will go to the egg. She tells him to hang up, disgusted. Then she goes back to the teacher’s offices. MG talks to someone about wrapping things up quietly (maybe the VP?). JW sneaks to her desk. MG goes to her and says that he didn’t tell her yet, just in case she worried. She says she didn’t worry. He tells her it wasn’t a joke. She mentions that she will report him as sexual harassment if he keeps doing this.
MG stands up and tells the VP that teacher Han wants to tell her something. JW is shocked. She says that she is sorry about lunchtime, she won’t let it happen again. The P tells her that 3 strikes aren’t only for baseball games. JW leaves, but she is enraged. She quickly drives back to the garage, cuts in front of MG, pulls her shirt open in front of his car and yells, is that okay!
SY tells her that she is crazy. You took off your clothing in the school garage? Hwa-young comes in and says that she should have shown her underpants also. SY says not to tell her that, she already has problems with her anger management. HY tells her that the only way to defeat guys like that is to be more shameless than them. JW says she did it because she was angry, but how can she see him at work tomorrow! HY thinks he won’t have eye contact with her because he will only look at her breast. Be careful with your breasts, don’t let them sag and support them well. SY tells them both to stop. they text ES and tell her that they are on their way.
Cut to ES with her patient. ES knows he didn’t come here for psychology consultant, why are you here? SH says his father died two years ago, police couldn’t find the criminal even though the criminal was right in front of them. Aren’t you interested in who the criminal was? My father’s secret affair woman? I am going to catch that person. That person is in this city.
SY and HY walk outside and talk about a hairdresser person opening a shop in the shop in the candle shop burnt down two years ago making scented candles. they think, finally someone is opening a business there. Does she even know that someone died there? Let’s go.
The friends hop into one car and start to talk about HY’s new babysitter that she met at a park. HY tells her friend to move her seat up a little bit more so she can lay back.
Cut to SY trying to catch the bus with her kid. Another parent is there with his child. This man might be SH. His kid and her kid go to the same kindergarten. Her child says she will be late for Kindergarten, SY tries to run after the bus, but the other parent says he will drive them both.
Afterward, he also gives SY a ride home. He says that he is divorced and wonders if SY’s husband is busy, she never sees him. But SY is uncomfortable with the conversation, she thinks it is better to drive quietly. After getting to her shop, SH asks her it may sound strange, but can he have a coffee with her later? Oh, you own a cafe, how about we eat dinner later? I don’t want to order a pizza for my daughter all the time. Samgyupsal? I want to feed my daughter meat, but restaurants don’t like it when one adult and one kid eat meat. Our kids are friends so we can be friends also, it is good for our kids.
Cut back to the car ride. SY recounts that story to her friends. Her friends say that she was starved for two years. Did she only eat dinner? You are not in your twenties. SY says it is not like that.
SY looks at her kid drawing something in the cafe she owns. Then she gets a call from a restricted number. But they hang up when she answers. Cut to SY going to the bathroom and coming back out. Her child isn’t there anymore. She asks the worker where she is, but the worker doesn’t know. SY runs outside looking for her daughter. She asks all the people nearby if they saw a little girl and become more and more frantic as time passes. Then she gets a phone call. Ah-yeon’s appa tells her that he is almost at the cafe with his daughter. SY tells him that she is busy, sorry. But then she sees her daughter at the playground.
She asks her daughter why she came out without her. Her daughter says that she wanted to play at the park. A woman comes out and says that she called SY because her daughter was playing by herself. This woman has a North Korea accent. the two women sit and talk. The other woman says that kids disappear so quickly, your cell phone disappears so quickly even though it doesn’t have feet. SY wants to spend a lot more time with her kids even though she is busy. The woman says a lot of working moms are the same. Her child is bright and nice though, so if she has a nanny then she would be okay. SY says she feels insecure giving her daughter to someone else. the woman says she is a nanny, the kids like it because she can come out all the time and play.
SY asks this woman where she is from, her accent is strange. The woman looks a bit uncomfortable and says her accent is hard to change, she is from China. then she hops up and looks after her charge.
SY and her daughter get home. She tells her to clean her hands first (after playing rock paper scissors). She has 3 missed phone calls from SH. her phone rings again, but no one talks to her when she answers.
Cut to SY with her friend JW. JW thinks this phone call is suspicious. She thinks this has to do with that insurance money. Maybe that guy SH is also suspicious. SY says he doesn’t know her daughter got that money. HY says it was a million dollars, someone knows. SY mentions that she will not use that money until her daughter goes to college. JW thinks her husband will be super proud of her in Heaven.
HY: We bought the flowers and navigation says 10 minutes…
ES is still with Sun-ho (SH). SH says that he knew his father’s illness was terminal. He wanted to tell him his secret…just go to hell. But appa’s affair girl just blew up the only chance he had in his life (to tell him that). Should I endure it? ES says he should be angry, but why does he think that the affair woman killed him? SH says they have a witness.
Flashback to a night where ES looks suspicious.
ES says it shouldn’t…if you have a witness then the police should have caught the criminal. They stare at each other. ES looks confident and ES looks nervous.
In the car, a Comrades: A Love Story song plays. It is YD’s favorite song. HY tells her to change it, so they change it. JW wants HY to settle down with one man, isn’t she tired of changing men all the time? HY isn’t, she says that the more difficult thing is having sex to just have a baby. Changing men all the time is a pretty fun thing. But then she apologizes to JW and says it is her mistake. JW says it is okay, that is actually what is going on.
HY’s screen broke on her phone. She says it happened yesterday.
Flashback to HY’s life. A woman is talking about her husband having an affair while meeting with a lawyer. He says that most marriages break up due to affairs. All other things are excuses. The woman wonders what she should do. He tells her to collect evidence, like pictures. She thinks she will have to follow them then, she once searched her husband’s cell phone and with only just that, she felt so humiliated. She starts crying.
HY goes into the room and tells her that it was a good choice to come here. Their lawyer is a professional in divorce. He doesn’t take all the divorce cases, he actually had a lot of divorces. You have had a hard time. All the tears you cry, we will make sure you get compensated for them. he asks, what about letting someone else follow him? We have a lot of people that can do that, I can introduce one to you.
Cut to two people at a motel getting it on and playing under the covers. An R&B song plays in the background (D’Angelo – How does it feel). He starts to massage her back and we see who it is. It is the lawyer from her law firm?!? So her boss basically. they take a shower together and there are a lot of sexy scenes. Afterward, the lawyer tells HY that the client liked her because she was honest. the client wants them to investigate her husband.
He takes the drink from HY, playfully. HY was studying for the bar exam. The lawyer asks why she gave up. HY says that she didn’t think she would be an admin for someone like him. What should they do? It is the same woman and the man is having an affair. She looks at the photo and is shocked. JG asks if he should sleep there? But then he fades away. HY looks at the photo, it is of Tae-oh (TO). She sighs as if she knows her.
HY follows TO. She goes to a nice looking hotel and takes a lot of photos of him with her cell phone. She follows him to a cafe, then a conference room. It looks like he is just working very hard and he also looks like a nice man. Nigh falls, HY is still following him and taking photos. Finally, TO gets out of a car and goes to a hotel room with a bouquet. HY sneaks in and tries to disguise herself as she follows him to the hotel room. She sees him hugging someone, a woman. they look very happy and chatty. But she accidentally drops her phone when someone else gets off the elevator.
When she picks it up, TO is gone. HY goes to the room and listens in on the door. She rings the door, but it is the wrong door because TO comes out of another door with several people, it looks like a business meeting. He recognizes her but she quickly tries to hide her face and leaves. She is able to sneak away because a sports team comes out of their room at the same time.
In the car, HY says this guy looks like a good guy. But JW thinks he is having an affair so he is a bad guy. HY says there is no evidence so they can’t accuse him yet. ES hops in the car looking nervous. SH watches her as the car drives off.
The four women walk to a pier and look out over the ocean. SY throws a flower into the water as the other women look at her. Everyone is quiet as they stand at the moment. Time passes and they are still on the pier. they say that time passes quickly. Teacher Min-jae also died. After YD died, MJ also disappeared. ES looks at them. they wonder if they caught the criminal? Whoever that criminal is, they got away well.
ES is nervous and has a flashback. She removes all her phone records from that guy’s phone and takes all her things out of his place. She walks past a body on the floor with its head bashed in. Blood is everywhere.
One of the ladies asks ES if she heard about anything because MJ was her patient. She says he didn’t. there is nothing. SY looks at ES with interest.
Cut to ES meeting with MJ. She says she hadn’t seen him in a long time since graduation. He says he aged a lot but she looks the same. She asks him why he is there, what is the problem? It is okay, tell me comfortably. he stands and says that because of her, he got a lot better. She tells him that he followed her orders well. He tells her that he will see her sometime. ES tells him to be healthy sometime. Even though he doesn’t’ have an appetite, please eat regularly and don’t give up if you have drug treatment. You will get better. He says, you already knew? She says she was glad that she could be helpful for him. She looks at him earnestly. He sighs as if he failed at hiding his illness. She walks to him and turns him toward her. She hesitates, but then she caresses his face. he looks at her for a long moment. They slowly move closer and start kissing.
ES sits with SY, she asks her if she is okay. Did she get burned? ES says she is okay. You never expected it? It was such a big thing. It is a big deal. ES says she is sorry she couldn’t tell them. But why did you do that?
ES – The teacher was having a divorce, I couldn’t leave him alone.
SY – That is why you had the police investigations because they knew?
ES – Well, I had a dinner appointment that night, but he didn’t show up, so I went to his place.
Flashback of ES seeing MJ on the ground, presumably dead. She tries to touch his neck to see his pulse. She starts shivering and crying in shock.
ES – Just in case teacher is blamed by his family and his family is hurt, I removed all of the phone records of me. I was stupid. I didn’t know the company would provide the phone list. So if I was not suspected, then that is a strange thing because my list is all erased.
SY – You were released right away.
ES – Because I had an alibi, I was at the hospital at that time. But teachers son came to visit me. He knew my relationship and suspected me as the killer.
SY – Why? What is the evidence?
ES – I don’t know.
SY holds ES’s hand in comfort.
Later, SY sits on her daughter’s bed as she watches her sleep. then she sits on the floor in the living room as she looks at old photos of her and her husband. She is packing them away in decorative boxes and puts them in her daughter’s bookshelf.
DS is a star chef and is on TV. JW is home with him, and thinks back to her flashing of that teacher. She thinks she was so crazy. DS wants to know what is wrong, have a drink, I put in all the things that are good to get a woman pregnant. She says that her ovulation ended. He says that he didn’t say anything. He just wanted her to try it.
She says her VP is upset at her so she should go to work right now. He wants to prepare something for her VP as well. However, people don’t know that he is her husband. He wonders why she didn’t tell them.
Cut to HY telling the lawyer that the man saw her face. So she can’t follow him around anymore.
Cut to ES’s office. SH wants to meet her but the secretary says that his appointments are canceled.
Then we see SY talking to SH. She apologizes for not keeping the appointment. He understands. She tells him that Ye-rin was missing that day, she was worried and couldn’t think. He understands her and says it feels bad when you lose your kid. He tells her that they have a lot of common ground, they can help each other. She jokes that his second reason is a bigger reason. Let’s regard this as having dinner together, would you like to drink some coffee as my apology, after 1 pm anytime? They agree and hang up.
But SH looks suspicious after hanging up.
JW is across town talking to her VP. She wants to invite her VP to dinner at her house. Her husband is a chef (like Bobby Flay or something like that). The VP didn’t want to eat with her, but after JW says she has a meal ticket to his shop, she changes her mind.
At ES’s office, she calls the secretary and tells her that she will see the patient if he is still waiting.
Cut back to JW and the VP. The VP doesn’t see the chef, she wants to see him. JW contacts the waitress and the waitress calls her owners wife (samonin). The chef comes out and talks to her. He tells her to please take care of his wife. She never talks about him so maybe she is ashamed of him. The VP is shocked and tries to make it seem like she can eat there a lot. The VP actually called another person to the meeting, SH, the guy that JW flashed.
Back at ES’s office, SH wants to know if ES knew that woman since she was his father’s psychologist. ES wants to know why he wants to find her so much. He asks her what she thinks he will do He will kill her and leave nothing behind but char.
SY is at her cafe and gets a restricted call again. She answers but no one responds. However, the song from Comrades: Almost a Love story plays (I am still loving you), it is her husband’s favorite song. SY says, Ye-rin appa? She starts breathing heavier.
A man gets out of the car. It is SH, he is walking closer to the cafe.
Flashback of someone throwing up in the bathroom. SY holds her hair. All her friends are with them and yelling at each other about gloves. JW brought kitchen gloves, she said she couldn’t’ buy bigger things because people would suspect it. SY comes up to them and tells them that they came there to make kimchi and clean the napa cabbage and put salt and make kimchi and put it in the bag and bury it in the ground well.
JW asks, but we never came here to make Kimchi. SY tells them to just think that way. Let’s buy all the necessary things and get back together. ES and I will buy it, you two clean up. But a phone goes off. The woman freeze and look back at the coffin. The phone keeps going off.
SY says she will get it out.
She walks determinedly to the coffin where the leg is sticking out. The other women follow her. SY close her eyes as she reaches for the phone. She grans it, but a note drops on the floor. She shows it to the friends, the wife is calling.
JW wonders what they are doing there. SY tells them to think about what they did to them, he lied to them and tried to trick them and tried to kill them also. She looks back at the coffin.
SY – He paid for what he did.
Wow, just wow. This first episode was really intriguing. In fact, it was so intriguing that we are watching the second one right away.