Mystic Pop Up Bar · Recaps

Mystic Pop Up Bar Ep 3 Recap (and rich asshole CEOs)

Not sure whether I’ll go on to recap the whole show or alternate between recapping and reviewing, but I’ll definitely be covering this show regardless! So without further ado, I’ll jump right into the show.

We start in the past. Weol-ju pulls glowing liquid (the magic alcohol) from a well and fills numerous jars with it. The grim reaper (Manager Yeom, whom we’ve seen as a grim reaper in the past couple episodes) stops by to help her and ask why she’s taking so much of the magic alcohol from the Afterlife. Weol-ju says that those who drink of this alcohol temporarily enter the Dream World, a place between the living and the beyond, where she can resolve their problems. Manager Yeom wonders if she’ll be okay, given the magnitude of her task. Weol-ju, however, is determined to pull it off even if she has to lie, trick and use others to do it.

Back to the present, our trio (especially the two men) are bonding fast, but Weol-ju quickly puts Kangbae to work. She uses his present job at the Customer Service Center to do so. While resolving their concerns with the supermarket, Kangbae has to touch them to get them to spill out their worries with life and slip them a card to Weol-ju’s bar hooking them with the pitch that she’s a famous problem-solver. His coworkers hilariously misunderstand him to be working at a host bar and taking advantage of depressed people by asking them to come, but the strategy works. The issue is…that Weol-ju turns down her nose at the customer’s concerns.

To be fair, they’re hilarious. One girl wants to lose weight, but stuffs herself and insists she didn’t eat a thing. Another woman complains that her husband used to sleep with her (re: have sex with her) every day but now only does it 5x a week. Weol-ju growls that she’s blessed not short-charged in the stamina department. She’s at her wits end as the only customers that count are the ones with grudges. Kangbae’s depressed over not being able to being any proper customers.

While sulking, he inquires as to whether Weol-ju really killed 100,000 people. Manager Gui brushes it off and tell him to stand up to Weol-ju but cowers the moment she yells at him. She explains what a grudge is.


That’s why weight loss doesn’t count, it’s something that can only be done oneself.

That’s why sex 7 times a week doesn’t count because it’s unrealistic.

The stakes have to be real real high.

And that’s when we get introduced to our case of the week, PARK BYEONG-JAE, who was rejected from a job at Sangil Hotel without being told why. He asks for feedback from the company and then from the CEO in person but is thrown to the ground for his efforts. The CEO of Sangil Hotel smirks and calls him everything int he book as rich people do. This female bodyguard pauses but makes no effort to help Byeongjae. Rather she apologizes for not being of help. Ewwwww. I dislike her already. The CEO leers at her saying she’s worth the fat paycheck he pays her and not to worry about her.

Weolju and Manager Gui run into Miran again at the market who calls Manager Gui her husband. Weolju gets pissed that anyone would dare to call her Manager Gui’s wife. He calms her down and sets Miran straight. She’s the boss and he’s the employee. Miran gives Weolju some good news though. Sales at the supermarket have been going well because companies have been announcing their recruits. Manager Gui makes a crack about how those who weren’t accepted must be depressed and Weolju happily runs off to open the bar to welcome the depressed jobless and meet her quota. Manager Gui and Kangbae shake their heads at her attitude but Weolju cheerfully announces that it’s strategy, not that they would ever be able to see the big picture. I really love her lol.

And true enough, here comes our recruit from earlier, depressed as hell. Byeongjae declines a call from his girlfriend. He goes into the tent, starts crying and Weolju immediately sends Kangbae. Out comes his story. He studied for years while working part time, but between rent and tuition, he barely had any money to live. His girlfriend of 7 years, Yumi wanted to have fun dates with him. But dates involve spending money and he had none so he’d had to lie his way out of situations. Restaurant? He can’t eat spicy food. Motel? He had to study so he didn’t have time to pay for a room to have sex (Korean goshiwons are notoriously tiny with super thin walls so bringing girlfriends home for sex is not an options but sex in cheap motels sure is). She never pushed him despite all this and understood where he was coming from. Byeongjae applied for jobs for years and years but kept getting rejected from Sangil Hotel. He could have applied to lesser jobs but that wouldn’t sustain him forever. He needed a full-time permanent position. He thought he’d nailed the interview for Sangil Hotel this time, but was abruptly cut from the list of candidates. Yumi’s mother then approached Byeongjae upon hearing the results and told him to stay away from her doctor given that he has no future. He told Yumi the truth, thanked her for dating him and asked her to date other guys because he isn’t good enough. Byeongjae came home in a depressed funk only to find that Yumi paid all the rent he owed and his rent for the next month. Byeongjae cries saying that she was such a kind sweet girlfriend and that she didn’t deserve someone like him. Manager Gui sobs as well. Kangbae notes that it seems like Manager Gui was also hurt by love. Weolju stares at that so there may be something to what Kangbae said.

But the focus is on our case of the day. All Byeongjae wants to know is what he was disqualified and what to do to make himself a better applicant this time around. Weolju smiles that it’s a piece of cake and happily pours him a magic drink.


We’re at his job interview, with Kangbae in the room as well as an applicant and Weolju + Manager Gui as interviewers. He gets flustered when asked to introduce himself in English, stammer his way through an elementary greeting and is awed by how difficult the interview process is and just how much you’re grilled and quizzed on every aspect of your life and how much you’re willing to sacrifice for the company. Byeongjae performs outstandingly in the dream interview demonstrated how well he must’ve done in the real one. However, the final candidate some asshole frat boy lookalike utters one sentence – his name BYUN SANGHO. Yet, the interviews fawn over him going on and one about how ‘simple is best’. The favouritism is clear and Sangho smirks his way through the entire interview doing the bare minimum, knowing that he’ll get the job. Our trio is impressed with Byeongjae’s skill, not so much with Kangbae’s attempt to get through his dream interview and disgusted with Sangho’s attitude. It’s pretty obvious that something isn’t adding up. Kangbae overhears in the bathroom from other candidates that the interview’s just a formality and that everyone used their connections to get a job. Weolju rewinds back to the moment when Byeongjae begged the CEO for a reason as to why he failed the interview. They pretend to be staff at Sangil and talk with the staff who happily gossip away that only the kids of the rich get hired here and it’s Byeongjae’s own fault for not having rich parents and not knowing his place. Our trio watches the same scene play out with the CEO mocking Byeongjae who gets slammed to the ground. The CEO smirks that he shouldn’t have been born poor. That irks Weolju who flashes back to the past and remembers appealing to the magistrate that her mother had been murdered. The magistrate (played by the same actor who plays the Sangil CEO) sneered at her that it’s her own fault for being of low-birth and why should he get his sleep interrupted because of a mere shaman. He slapped her and threw her out. Weolju grows furious in the present.

She wakes Byeongjae up and shows him a picture of Sangho, the asshole at the interview. He recognizes him and sees that Sangho was given a job as in the marketing department. Weolju and the others explain to him that it wasn’t because he did something wrong but rather that because the system is rigged against him. Byeongjae sobs that he blamed himself and suffered for so many years for nothing when the jobs were already given out to the already-rich. He says he might as well die and be reborn rich so he can finally have a chance in this world. He leaves, and everyone looks downcast. Weolju snaps at them to get ready to go to Sangil the next day to avenge Byeongjae. Manager Gui cautions her.

He reminds her that politicians and businessmen are involved in this and it’s not like she can turn the country inside out herself. Weolju says she doesn’t give a shit and she’ll be giving CEO Choi a lesson he won’t forget.

We cut to the female bodyguard KANG YEORIN who actually has a heart! She’s complaining to her boss at the bodyguard agency that she wants to be transferred because CEO Choi’s a criminal and the people who really need to be protected are the victims of his double dealings and job fraud. The boss tells her that she’s paid well and shut up and deal with it. He orders her to finish her contract and that’s that. Yeorin’s guarding the door of the restaurant CEO Choi’s eating at when a dolled up Weolju comes in with alcohol. He’s annoyed at the interrupt but bowled over by her beauty. Weolju serves him up the special alcohol and the pervy lech chugs it all the way down.

Next, we see CEO Choi on the way to a meeting with Byun Sangho’s daddy, Assemblyman Byun. Kangbae cosplays as CEO Choi’s new bodyguard. In the elevator, CEO Choi has a suspiciously wide smile and grins away at everyone, including a female staff worker who wonders why he smells like onions. CEO Choi looks sheepish at that because, IT’S NOT CEO CHOI, it’s Manager Gui taking his appearance. GUYS THIS IS THE REAL WORLD NOT THE DREAM WORLD.

However, in CEO Choir’s DREAM WORLD, CEO Choi is quickly alerted to the fact that there’s an intruder in the hotel who may be after the list of VIPs that he’s had secret job fraud (and other) dealings with. With Kang Yeorin in tow, he races over and pries a USB hidden within a book (how old school). He tells Yeorin that the USB’s safe, only it’s not Yeorin, it’s Weolju! He doesn’t notice until he’s plugged the USB into his tablet. Weolju’s about to get all the details out of him when the real Kang Yeorin wakes CEO Choi up before Weolju can complete her info hunt. Weolju tries to fight her but she wakes up the CEO and Weolju runs lest her identity be uncovered.

The real CEO Choi and Yeorin run over to the hotel where they hear that someone who looks just like him just went to his office. Meanwhile, Manager Gui and Kangbae are trying to find this USB in a book and turning the room upsidedown. They find it but the security guards confront them immediately before they have anywhere to hide. Manager Gui fights them off and runs, for his life. Kangbae is oddly not present during the fight, because he’s been hiding behind the door. Yeorin sees his reflection and pretends to leave. Kangbae comes out of his hiding place only to be caught by her. He has the USB, which she demands from him. He tries to run but she has him cornered in a matter of seconds. He pulls her on top of him using his power to distract her to get her to start talking. Only…his power doesn’t work on her????

She takes the USB from him despite his pleas that this was all for a good cause. Yeorin doesn’t care because she gets paid to protect her client. She’s about to tell the CEO that she has it when he calls her out.

He asks whether he’s going to just let CEO Choi continue to ruin people’s lives. She hesitates and stops pinning him to the ground, giving him the USB. Kangbae is surprised and earnestly thanks him. She gives him her security pass and tells her to use the employee exit.

Weolju and Manager Gui roll up in a snazzy red car and grab Kangbae as he races out. The next thing we see is CEO Choi being investigated for fraud. Assemblyman Byun is ready to cover it up though the other politicians are furious at their illegal deeds being exposed. He makes a couple calls to get things covered up. Only Manager Gui dressed as a girl placed a spycam within their super secret conference room. Weolju and Kangbae stream the video and send it to news outlets. Just a few minutes later, the rich schemers watch in horror as their conversation is played on TV. Byeongjae watches the news as all parties involved are arrested.

The Sangil Hotel Audit Team calls him to apologize for the unfair treatment he received and note that he got the highest interview score and hire him. He happily reunites with his girlfriend and buys her a good meal. Weolju grouses that he worked so hard to get him a job and he’s eating at a fancy restaurant instead of her bar, but everyone’s pretty happy about what’s happened. Kangbae’s still curious about how Yeorin was resistant to his ability.

As Kangbae and Manager Gui bicker about the importance of holding hands, Weolju muses that “when you run a race, you either come in first, second, etc, or last. But it’s important to have a fair start.” She notes that Byeongjae suffered because of those who use money and power to get a head start. She thinks to herself that he might think it’s the end but it’s only the beginning but he should get ready to fight to survive this jungle. She grouses when Byeongjae and Yumi make up that they’re having too much fun, but leaves with a wry smile.

The trio celebrate the fact that they only need 7 more people. Kangbae still has Yeorin’s security pass but can’t return to the hotel because they’ll recognize him. He tells Weolju and Manager Gui but they wonder if she just had no worries or concerns to give him. Meanwhile Yeorin’s been fired. She’s having a beer with Miran! They’re apparently old friends. Sangil had security footage of her giving Kangbae the USB so she was fired immediately and the fact that her client went to jail because of it got her on the blackest of blacklists.

Miran teases her for falling for a guy and losing her job but Yeorin stoutly insists that she has no interest, none whatsoever. We’ll see about that. Yeorin wonders what to do with her life now given that all she did was sports and security her entire life.

We cut to Kangbae getting harrassed by an irate customer at work. The customer raises his hand to strike Kangbae when another hand stops him. What do you know, it’s Yeorin! Who now appears to be doing supermarket security!

I sense romance budding!!

And with that we’re done Ep 3!


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