Backstreet Rookie · Convenience Store Saetbyul · Recaps

Backstreet Rookie Ep 3 Recap (and I’m getting disappointed)

We start off with what has to be a dream. I mean WHAT IS THAT HAIR?

Saetbyul and Daehyun face off in a dance-off. She marvels at how good he is at dancing and he tells her that that’s how he became manager of the store (Pfftt). One the dancing comes to an end, he grabs her in a classic seductive ending pose, and she promptly plants a kiss on him. (Wow, there are almost as bad as my dreams that all involve Ji Sung. I know people are going to say this is more proof that Saetbyul is oversexualized, but has anyone met a 22 year old girl? I had never dated anyone my entire life at 22, but my dreams were definitely…out there. It’s normal!)

Saetbyul wakes up quite pleased with the dream. That good humour falters when a trio of schoolboys walk in and make fun of her, having seen her dancing in the window. They laugh that Daehyun’s probably gone off and died because he’s so old. She tries to keep her temper but they just toss money at her face and she as to control herself because, saying Daehyun wouldn’t want them.

That’s when her next customer comes in and woooowww (the it’s hot king from Tale of Nokdu!!! and Professor Kang from Sky Castle!) 

Saetbyul freaks out as well and begs for an autograph. He literally pulls out a picture of him from his suit and signs it for her, and even takes a picture with her. Asking for a packing of cigarettes, he tells her to keep the change. Saetbyul’s in heaven.

Daehyun wakes up, having set his alarm too early and wonders if Saetbyul’s doing okay. It’s 5am and that’s a pretty hard point to stay awake at.

Saetbyul’s doing…about as well as she can. The three iljin schoolboys eat on the patio and refuse to clean up after themselves. Saetbyul still holds it in. Another man (cameo by some actor I don’t recognize lol) who’s been jogging heavily tries to get a free bottle of water telling Saetbyul that’s he’s an employee of the company that owns this store and is close with Daehyun. Saetbyul refuses to let him take it and sends him off empty handed. Only the man wasn’t lying. 

The next day at work, he tells Seungjoon of what occured and laughs that Daehyun sure is lucky getting to spend so much time with such a pretty girl. Yeonjoo’s at the meeting and the man blatantly makes fun of her, asking if she knows of the part-timer and how pretty she is. He says Yeonjoo shouldn’t just be sitting her, she could be in real trouble, and he’s just ‘looking out for her’. (EW. I hate that he’s right and Saetbyul really is out to steal Yeonjoo’s man though.). Yeonjoo calmly tells him she doesn’t care and to just start the meeting. Seungjoon watches her carefully.

Meanwhile, Saetbyul checks her horoscope which tells her to seize the day and that it’ll be a good day for her, so off she goes to flirt away with him.

She’s expecting romance but Daehyun just tells her that an importance package is coming and to make sure it gets her safely. He asks if she can beat her record of 188 customers a night and make it 200. She readily agrees and SNIFFS HIM. WHAT.

She’s checking for cologne to see if he’s going to see Yeonjoo, and is pretty happy to see he isn’t. She reads out his horoscope. Libra, lots of dangerrrr apparently, meaning she needs to stick next to a Leo aka her. He asks her how she even knows all this and rolls her eyes when he hears about the ‘Daily Guru’ app she uses. Saetbyul even tries to walk him home and it doesn’t work. He only gets more freaked out.

Geumbi (her frizzy-haired rich friend drops by) and Saetbyul worries about whether Eunbyul is hanging out with iljins when she isn’t home. Geumbi looks worried but insists that’s not happening at alllll (okay, that’s a bad friend, that’s a really really bad friend). She even insists that she would never lie to Saetbyul, despite knowing how concerned Saetbyul is about her sister’s future.

Okay, this scene is about to get a lot worse. Saetbyul’s next customers are yesterdsay’s group of iljins. Two of them steal from the store, while the other attempts to distract Saetbyul. She doesn’t get distracted at all and chases after the boys, leaving Geumbi to watch the store. This is a terrible idea because Dalshik comes in and get understandably scared to see the woman who literally hit him for no reason. He tries to run away but Geumbi comes after him and starts hitting him again calling him ‘ugly. (Okay, so you’re hitting him just because you think he’s ugly. In that case, I should be beating the crap out of you, girl, you look like an old fish. I hate this so much. Beating up someone because of how they look is NOT comedy. Idgaf if they’re going to try and force these two to fall in love. If you reversed the gender roles here, we’d all way the guy to go to JAIL. UGH I’m so pissed)

Saetbyul catches up to the boys who laugh, saying they don’t hit girls. They say they do it all the time and Daehyun lets it go. But Saetbyul isn’t going to do so. She gives a chance to return the stuff but they don’t after which she beats the crap out of them. Poor Dalshik comes upon the scene as well and runs away some more.

She tells them not to throw money at her anymore as well. Dalshik films the entire thing. Saetbyul notices that Dalshik’s filming, and follows him sweetly threaten him regarding whether or not he saw anything. Dalshik insists that he’s partially blind and can’t see anything. She grabs his hand and twists it painfully saying it sure was good seeing him (I’m so confused. Why does she have to treat Dalshik so badly? Why does she only want Daehyun to see her cute side, instead of who she really is?)

Meanwhile, Yeonjoo drops by the store to see whether this pretty part-timer’s as pretty as the man said. She convinces herself that she’s not here because she’s jealous not at all. Only Geumbi’s wearing Saetbyul’s vest and Yeonjoo’s grossed out by how terrible Geumbi is and laughs that she had nothing to worry about. She even calls Daehyun to say that she was pretty presumptuous and to be nice to the part-timer girl from now on. (She ‘s definitely going to regret that).

On the other hand, Daehyun’s having dinner with his former colleagues. One tells him to watch out because Seungjoon’s interested in Yeonjoo but isn’t acting out of respect to him. Daehyun dismisses it, but when he gets back to the store and picks up his package, it’s an expensive sweater for Yeonjoo’s dad’s birthday. He calls Yeonjoo to ask if he can bring him the gift but Yeonjoo looks visibly worried that fakes that her dad is ill and only wants a small family gathering. Daehyun cheerfully accepts that he can’t meet Yeonjoo’s family this year either, but Saetbyul grouses and rips of the sweater’s tag. 

Daehyun panics upon seeing that and makes her put it back together because he needs a refund LOL. He makes plans to go to a school reunion the next day and runs into his dad (Yeongpil). The two get drunk and Daehyun has to carry his dad home. His mother (Boonhee) sighs at the sight, which is when his dad starts to get really…verbally abusive. 

He yells at her telling her to stop looking down on his because she makes money and to hurry up and fetch some honey water. He cusses her and even tries to hit her. He kicks her when she tries to remove his socks, and even mutters a singer’s name saing ‘Jangmi, I love you’. Yeongpil flashes back to a pretty singer in the 80s, singing at an army base and a young Yeongpil looking besotted by her. Daehyun tries to make excuses for his father

But nothing can cover the fact that this man seems to REALLY HATE his hardworking wife. (Yikes, what a great example to set for your son). Said wife isn’t much better an beats the crap out of Yeongpil (what a family). 

The next day, Daehyun leaves for his class reunion, and Geumbi and Eunbyul have jajangmyun. Geumbi tells her that Saetbyul’s asking about her and to clean up her act.

Geumbi tells her to hurry up and stop, but Eunbyul definitely isn’t going to listen. Eunbyul asks Geumbi why she stopped coming to school when Saetbyul was expelled. Geumbi tries to pretend that it was out of loyalty but Eunbyul calls her out, saying Saetbyul mentioned that Geumbi used as an excuse to get out of going to school. The conversation ends there, but there’s something there, given by how worried Geumbi looks and how eager she is to change the subject.

At the store, Saetbyul swoons over how good Daehyun looks and asks if he dressed up for her.

She smells him again to see if he’s going to see Yeonjoo and is delighted when he says he isn’t. She pulls out her Daily Guru app again to tell him that his love life’s going to be terrible today (uh oh, is this when he finds out about Yeonjoo and Seungjoon?) and says that her horoscope looks pretty bad tomorrow too (Hmmm….). He dismissed her concerns and tries to leave when he runs into Dalshik who desperately tries to get Daehyun about what Saetbyul’s been up to.

Only Daehyun leaves, and Dalshik didn’t realize that Saetbyul was in the store and flees once more, fearing for his life.

At the university class reunion, everyone discusses Daehyun’s beautiful, educated, and wealthy girlfriend. Daehyun tries to play it down but smiles when they say the next time they see him might be at his wedding. But that won’t be the case.

As he heads to the washroom, he catches a glimpse of the party in the next room. It’s Yeonjoo’s dad’s birthday party and Seungjoon’s there, looking very chummy with Yeonjoo. He even gives Yeongjoo’s dad a sweater from the same brand that Daehyun had bought. He sees Yeonjoo laughs and joking with Seunjoon and her family and looks devastated.

Daehyun finds it really hard to focus on the reunion after that. Especially when his friends ask why he still hasn’t met Yeonjoo’s parents after 2 years. They joke that rich people like to date poor people for fun to see how easy their lives are.  Daehyun deflates even further.

At home, Yeonjoo looks through a photo album with Seungjoon who points out all the picture he took. So they’re not dating but they’re long-time childhood friends. So much so that she feels comfortable bringing him to her snooty dad’s birthday party but not Daehyun.

Daehyun somberly returns to the store, where Saetbyul’s brainstorming a new menu. She wonders why he looks so down. Like he was just taken for a ride by someone and found out.

Daehyun morosely asks her for the horoscope app she uses again and to download it for her. Saetbyul laughs that he really did have a disappointing day (I’m just disappointed by how happy she is that his life is miserable right now). Saetbyul tries to point out that he’s the 204th customer today but Daehyun’s too caught up to even notice that Saetbyul met her 200 customer quota as proposed.

Daehyun buys more beer to drink himself into oblivion. He checks the Daily Guru which tells him his day will be happy and miserable and chucks his phone away.

The next day, Saetbyul takes the day off to go with Saetbyul to the charnel house where her father’s (JUNG CHEOLMIN) remains are housed. Saetbyul flashes back to her father training her in taekwondo, which was what made her such a good fighter. Her father runs a night academy to train ex-felons to be better. He left Saetbyul in charge of the house when he was home. Saetbyul says her and Eunbyul are still trying to make him proud (I don’t know about that one. Saetbyul tries in her own way, but we’re not seeing much from Eunbyul). 

Meanwhile Daehyun royally messes up by talking a phone call from Yeonjoo while his adoring female highschool fans are at the store. Disappointed, they all leave and the store loses business because, as usual, Daehyun puts Yeonjoo before everything in hsi life. She asks him to go to a restaurant with her and he runs off immediately leaving the store to his mother and to Dalshik. At the dinner, Yeonjoo’s surprisingly straight with him and tells him about Seungjoon attending her dad’s birthday party and how they’ve known each other since they were kids. She insists that she got her job through her own efforts (yeah sure, rich people always say that) and that she didn’t want to imagine how betrayed Daehyun would feel if he saw Seungjoon at the party when he wasn’t invited.

Daehyun’s unable to tell her that he was there that night and saw it all. He hides how he feels as usual (WHYYYYYY)

Daehyun and Yeonjoo walk by the restaurant where they’d had their first date. The place has been remodeled, and Daehyun wants to take a look but Yeonjoo’s reluctant. She looks down on the menu, and how cheap everything is and looks down on the food, telling Daehyun to order whatever and looking grossed up by pretty much everything (Yikes, what does he see in her?).

And of course, Saetbyul, Eunjo and Geumbi come to the same restaurant. Geumbi’s smitten by the handsome server and flirts really grossly with him, using her money and asking if he wants to eat anything and that she’ll buy it for him. She goes on and on and Saetbyul and Eunjo are embarrassed for her. Eunjo finally calls her out and tells her to stop. Geumbi says she’s just having fun.

Saetbyul and friends order the same thing Daehyun did. Eunjo asks how Eunbyul’s doing and Saetbyul assures that Eunbyul’s cleaned up her act and is home asleep. Only she isn’t. Eunbyul’s singing at a karaoke. If she get a 100, the rival iljin girl gang hold her friends releases them. She gets a 100 and the girls are released, but one of them makes the mistake of saying that Eunbyul plans to auditon for a girl group. The rival gang immediately forces Eunbyul to take a picture with her foot on top of another girl then blackmails her with the picture. If Eunbyul gives her 50% of her income after becoming an idol, then they won’t release the picture. If not, they’ll ruin her career. Yikes. 

At the same time, Daehyun’s trying to propose to Yeonjoo. He tells her he withdrew his savings and has the deposit on his house, but Yeonjoo doesn’t seem interested. She goes into the bathroom but runs into the girls from the rival gang who’re trying to get into the bar but don’t have ID. They tell Yeonjoo to walk under them, but Yeonjoo just shoves past. Unwilling to let that go, they corner her in the bathroom to beat her up. Yeonjoo looks frightened as they start to raise their fists.

At the same time, Saetbyul and friends have a pretty gross discussion regarding Daehyun. Saetbyul says he’d be crazy not to fall for someone as pretty as here. They argue over who the ugliest in their friend group is. Saetbyul heads to the bathroom and finds it blocked by the rival gang. She beats the crap out of them, which is when she finds Yeonjoo cornered. Saetbyul doesn’t care though, she just wants to use the bathroom. That’s until the girl who’s cornering her starts to irritate Saetbyul. She shoves Yeonjoo into a stall and tells her to wait there, it’s safest there.  Yeonjoo hurriedly calls Daehyun.

Daehyun runs to the bathroom and finds the rival gang pretty much unconscious. Saetbyul’s trying to pull Yeonjoo out of the bathroom stall because she has to use it but Yeonjoo protests loudly. Not knowing that it’s Saetbyul, Daehyun knocks her to the ground to save Yeonjoo.

Saetbyul gets up and is about to yell until she realizes who it is. Daehyun asks what she’s doing here, which is when Yeonjoo realizes that this is the actual part-timer.

Both women finally know who the other is and face off in a staring contest with Daehyun stuck in the middle. Dun-dun-dun!


Good gravy, this couple has communications problems. Yeonjoo’s 95% honest but can’t seem to put aside her pride to tell Daehyun how she feels about him drinking with younger women. On the other hand, Daehyun feels insecure about his position in a wealthier woman’s life and doesn’t tell her how he truly feels. Yikes. I know the point is to show that the two of them wouldn’t have worked out anyway and that’s why Saetbyul’s better for Daehyun, but that’s not how relationships work. We’re supposed to believe that Daehyun is crazy enough for Yeonjoo to always, always value her over the store, but they’re going to break up and he’s going to fall in love with Saetbyul in 2 episodes. Right. The issue with this set-up is that, regardless of how the show tries to play it, Saetbyul speeds up the end of their relationship. And that makes her a factor in its demise. It would have ended, but perhaps not as badly, or painfully, or in a manner that stinks of emotional cheating, without her. It’s a very hard-to-swallow premise, and I’m not sure the show can add any nuance to it.

Because just look at what they’re doing with Dalshik. You can’t just explain or rationalize that away. It would help if we had super awesome supporting characters (which saved Hwarang) but nope. Geumbi’s terrible. We barely see anything of Eunjo. Dalshik’s written and treated terribly. Yeonjoo’s a rich snob. Saetbyul is literally out to break up a relationship and beat up anyone who tries to reveal her true character, but she seems to think she’s some sort of avenging angel. Daehyun’s parents are mess. Eunbyul’s a disaster. Daehyun’s the only decent character and even then he’s really passive and not honest in the slightest.

I’m honestly not sure how to go about recapping this show in the future. I’ll keep doing it for as long as I can, but one thing’s for sure. I was hoping for a cute romcom on defying societal expectations, but this show is not delivering and makes me quite uncomfortable at times. It’s heartbreaking 😦

Am I overreacting? Do you think things will get better? Let me know in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Backstreet Rookie Ep 3 Recap (and I’m getting disappointed)

  1. I actually really enjoy the show and hopefully it gets better.I hope we see more good supporting characters.

  2. Saying Saetbyul is “speeding up” the process of Daehyun/Yeonjoo break-up is glossing over the fact that Saetbyul is blatantly trying to steal a fellow woman’s boyfriend. There’s absolutely no justifucation for what she’s doing. She shows up at the store for the job with the objective to get closer to Daehyun and soon after finds out he has a girlfriend who he loves. She sees that and yet didn’t back off one bit. In fact she actually became more aggressive in trying to get him.If this shit happens irl, u know what kind of names people like u, me, our friends and their mothers would be calling her. But I suppose Saetbyul is played by everyone’s sweetheart actress Kim Yoojung so therefore criticizing Saetbyul’s character too much is a no no…… sigh

    1. I agree! You’re right, I just wasn’t sure at how to word this because I didn’t want anyone to get upset. I wonder if these two were blackmailed into their roles because I don’t understand the appeal at all right now. I’m sticking with it to see if it’ll prove me wrong, (I mean Kill Me Heal Me, my favourite show of all time was a fun disaster in the first few episodes) but so far I’m getting pretty disappointed!

      1. I’m sticking with it too. I just find it strange that people conveniently ignore what’s Saetbyul is doing for some reason. It’s not like she doing it subtly lol

        Also, can u delete my other redundant post about this. I got confused during registration so I posted twice, Thanks )

  3. Btw Daehyun’s hair in the first scene is John Travolta’s hair in Pulp FIction. That scene is the director’s attempt at some kind of a “parody” from the hugely popular movie

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