My Perfect Stranger: Episode 3 Recap

Now that Yoon-young has a chance to go on her mission to achieve her goal, there’s no one or nothing that can stop her. She slowly acclimates herself into the new world she’s been thrusted into and she doesn’t hesitate to protect her mother. But as determined as Yoon-young is, she quickly learns that there are dangers and enemies out there. Even Hae-joon – the person she entered this world with and the only person she can rely on – isn’t so trusting of her just yet.

My Perfect Stranger Episode 3: The Secret You Have

Yoon-young joins Hae-joon in the garage where Hae-joon is fixing the red time-traveling car. She informs him that she can’t go back home just yet because there’s something she needs to do and accomplish. In response, Hae-joon suggests that they get out of the garage and talk back inside the house. He places a cardigan around Yoon-young to protect her from the cold temperature inside the garage and when the car begins to act funny for a second, he protects her by blocking her with his body (AHHH I’M SCREAMING! The way this escalated from 0 to 100!). It seems like they won’t be able to travel back in time anytime soon anyways.

Hae-joon hands Yoon-young some new clothes to change into so she heads to the bathroom to change. But all she can think about is her mother and she reflects on how lonely her mother must have felt to the point where she wanted to commit suicide. There was so much about her mother that Yoon-young didn’t know about or pay attention to and she comes close to crying while thinking about it. But she reassures herself that she has the potential to change things now that she’s in the 1987 world. While Yoon-young reflects on her mother in the bathroom, Hae-joon reflects on the conversation he had with Min-soo on the day that they met in 2021. Hae-joon had asked Min-soo to provide him with any memories or information he had about the three victims who died or went missing and the two suspects who were identified by the police in the investigation. Evidence for this case is scarce so Min-soo is one of the only resources left who can help out. It’s been three decades so Min-soo can’t recall much but Hae-joon answers that any information or memory is helpful. He’ll verify those details when he travels back in time to 1987. So with that, Min-soo mentions about the school that half of the people involved in the case went to.

And sure enough, Yoon-young also wants to go to school. She needs to go to school. This throws Hae-joon off and he burns himself as he’s pouring a cup of tea for Yoon-young. Police put up posters promoting rewards for those with information about communist criminals and spies. The same employee at the club who met Yoon-young when she first arrived has a conversation with one of the police officers about the poster. Did he see anyone who seemed strange or as if they came from a different world or didn’t know what date or year it was or mentioned something about carrying a weird machine? With the police’s description, the club employee is reminded of Yoon-young and he outs Yoon-young to Detective Baek and his police partner.

While putting medicine on Hae-joon’s hands, Yoon-young shares her plan of wanting to go to school. But Hae-joon’s curious as to why she’s adamant on going to school and role playing as a high school student. There must be a reason and he wants to know. But their conversation is abruptly interrupted when they receive a surprise visit from Detective Baek. He makes his way inside the house to arrest Yoon-young after she fails to show him her I.D. and just like in their first interaction back at the club, he assumes that she must be a spy. Hae-joon swoops in to rescue Yoon-young and he proves that he has proof of her I.D. She’s a senior at Woojung High School and with Hae-joon being a teacher, he has credibility to his statement. So Detective Baek stays put and he doesn’t argue or fight back. Yoon-young is saved and she smiles at the thought of her identity now being a student. She got what she wanted.

So the next day, Yoon-young goes to school as a high school senior with teacher Hae-joon. But she’s worried about her I.D. number because she doesn’t want to get caught so Hae-joon pulls her aside to give her a warning. She can’t do or say anything that might give her identity away for it’ll put the both of them in an awkward and uncomfortable spot. And also, why is Yoon-young going to school again when this is her first time time-traveling? But just like Yoon-young, Hae-joon must have his own backstory and reasons for traveling as well. The two agree to mind their own business for now and to not interfere with each other’s plans. Yoon-young will try her best not to cause any trouble.

Hae-joon and Yoon-young end up finding themselves sitting in Principal Yoon’s office. But they’re not as pleased and thrilled because the people they’re sitting across from are their favorites, Detective Baek and Hee-seob! Hahaha. Principal Yoon greets Yoon-young and Hee-seob – the two new transfer students at the school – and he also introduces Hae-joon to Detective Baek as Hee-seob’s homeroom teacher. Yoon-young learns that Detective Baek is Hee-seob’s uncle so she’s related to him. All Hee-seob can think about is how he had already bumped into both Yoon-young and Hae-joon before so this isn’t their first time meeting. Haha. The room is full of family kins and relationships: Detective Baek with his nephew Hee-seob, Yoon-young with her dad, and Principal Yoon with his grandson Hae-joon.

Yoon-young and Hee-seob wait outside in the hallway for Hae-joon who’s still in the teacher’s office. Hee-seob assumes Yoon-young must not have a father since she transferred to the school with her distant relative’s uncle (AKA Hae-joon). Yoon-young then goes on to describe her father as someone irresponsible and cruel who was always out drinking, causing trouble, and fighting people. Hee-seob isn’t so sure why Yoon-young seems so aggressive but there’s also something else he’s curious about. Given that Yoon-young is at the school, that also must mean that Soon-ae attends the same school. Yoon-young won’t let her dad anywhere near her mom so she pulls his sideburns while warning him. Hee-seob’s sideburns are saved when Hae-joon and another teacher exit the teacher’s office to show them to their classroom.

Yoon-young enters her classroom and is introduced to her classmates which includes Hae-kyung, Eun-ha, and Yu-ri as well as Mi-sook. Soon-ae is also present and she sits at her desk in the back of the classroom. The teacher has to warn Hae-kyung, Eun-ha, and Yu-ri to not bully Yoon-young and it’s clear that Mi-sook is the only student in the classroom who the teacher admires and has hope in. Yoon-young seats herself at the empty spot next to her mom. Meanwhile, Hee-seob is introduced to his classmates in his classroom but he’s a man with few words. When asked to introduce himself, all he states is his name because according to him, giving a long introduction goes against the spirit of rock and roll (his favorite type of music). I am literally laughing out loud at this scene. It is so funny! So Hae-joon lets it go and he lets Hee-seob pick his desk as he leaves the classroom.

Hee-seob’s experience with his classmate is quite different from Yoon-young’s experience in her classroom. Yoon-young enjoys sitting next to her mom and they chat a bit about English writer Virginia Woolf. But the fun is cut short because it doesn’t take long for Hae-kyung, Eun-ha, and Yu-ri to approach Yoon-young in an effort to bully her. But Yoon-young stands up for herself (literally) and she uses a trick that Hee-seob taught her just a few minutes before their class introductions to teach Hae-kyung a lesson. She pretends as if there’s something on the ground and then crouches down to pick the nonexistent item up. With Hae-kyung’s head pointed down, Yoon-young stands back up and bumps into Hae-kyung’s face with her head. Hae-kyung’s nose starts to bleed and chaos almost ensues in the classroom until Mi-sook asks for them to stop. 

Meanwhile, Hee-seob gets along rather pretty quickly with his seating partner, Beom-ryong, and the two bond over their love for music. Hee-seob also grows curious about whether Yoon-young used the special trick that he taught her and he recalls that moment when they escaped to the rooftop for a few minutes. Hee-seob explained to Yoon-young that he learned the trick from his late father who wanted to teach him a few things as his father. He further elaborates that all fathers are different and that a father would want to be there for their child if they could. If they weren’t, there must have been a reason for it. Yoon-young tries the intimidation technique on Hee-seob himself and sure enough, his nose begins to bleed.

We learn that Hae-joon is quite the popular teacher and all the female students have a nickname for him: “Five-second Prince.” Hahaha. The moment he enters the classroom, they admire his looks for five seconds. But once the five seconds is over, he nags at the students to head home straight after school and to just study there. He warns them of the dangers of staying outside and that it’s safer to just go home right after school. The students are tired of hearing the same old nagging from Hae-joon and they even have a second nickname for Hae-joon: the ‘Don’t-do-it-Prince.’ Haha. So after the usual nagging for the day, Hae-joon proceeds with his teaching lesson. Yoon-young pays extra attention to her teacher and stares him down.

After class, Hae-joon has to quickly give Yoon-young another talk. To avoid any suspicion, Yoon-young shouldn’t stare at him for too long in the classroom. He also notifies her that he’ll pick her up in the classroom after school ends so she shouldn’t go anywhere. When Yoon-young walks away, Hae-joon speaks with Mi-sook afterwards and she asks him about her writing assignment. Hae-joon acknowledges her talent in writing and is confident that she’ll eventually become a successful author. But Mi-sook’s writing is only as good as it is because she receives help with it – in particular from Soon-ae. Mi-sook and Soon-ae privately meet and Soon-ae hands over Mi-sook’s writing assignment over to her after she edited and fixed it. Mi-sook notices that most of her sentences were taken out but she learns to accept it. As long as Soon-ae is editing it, it’ll work. When Mi-sook leaves the room, she steps outside to find Yoon-young standing outside in the hallway. Yoon-young is reminded of her interaction with 2021 Mi-sook who also said the same exact thing to her. So Yoon-young confronts Mi-sook in front of Soon-ae back inside the room and she’s baffled by how fake Mi-sook is. She had been doing this for so long and was good at pretending like her content was all original. She threatens to report Mi-sook to the teachers but Soon-ae stops her and sides with Mi-sook instead. Soon-ae claims that she chose to help Mi-sook with her writing assignment and they walk away together. Yoon-young assumes that there must be a reason as to why her mom gave in to Mi-sook.

From Mi-sook to Beom-ryong, Yoon-young just can’t catch a break. She’s really meeting everyone on her first day of school. He catches her in the hallway and asks her to give a small folded letter to Soon-ae. Just as he hands her the letter that’s located inside of a small box of matches, Hae-joon enters the hallway and he reprimands Beom-ryong for his actions. School finally ends and Yoon-young is still suspicious about Mi-sook. She assumes that Mi-sook’s action of taking advantage of Soon-ae must have started from high school. Before leaving, Mi-sook warns Yoon-young to be careful. But she doesn’t expand any further and she leaves Yoon-young behind in the classroom.

Hae-joon declines the team dinner with the rest of his co-workers and searches for Yoon-young to head back home. But Yoon-young isn’t in the classroom because she’s out chasing after Mi-sook instead. She vows to stop Mi-sook from all that she plans to do both now and in the future but Mi-sook isn’t scared. Instead, she seems as if she’s quite familiar with Yoon-young and that they’ve met before (hmm, this makes me wonder.. Is Hae-joon and Yoon-young not the only ones who can travel back and forth in time?!). But their conversation is interrupted by Mi-sook’s brother, Min-soo, who arrives to pick her up. Mi-sook grabs a taxi to go somewhere else so Yoon-young and Min-soo end up talking to each other. He advises her that she doesn’t know his sister all that well and that one should learn more about their opponent before they fight them, inferring that there’s more to Mi-sook than she lets on. Hmm.

Hee-seob waits in the school restroom while Beom-ryong takes care of some business. Beom-ryong seems quite interested in Yoon-young and he shares how he’ll make a move on her the next time they meet. Just as Beom-ryong rambles on, Hae-joon enters the restroom and he makes his presence known to Beom-ryong. Beom-ryong panics and he stops talking. His mouth is going to get him into trouble. Yoon-young grabs a ride with Min-soo back home and the two chat about Mi-sook. Mi-sook’s scary in how meticulous and detailed she is. She won’t attack her opponent first until she knows as much as she can about that person: their flaws, their triggers, anything else. Yoon-young learns the consequences of what happens when she attacks first and it isn’t so good. Min-soo ends up banging Yoon-young’s head in the car and she knocks out unconscious.

When Yoon-young awakens, she discovers herself inside of Min-soo’s house. Min-soo joins her a few seconds later with some alcohol but Yoon-young remains cautious and wary of him. She assumes he must have done this before and that it’s not his first time that he’s brought girls into his home unconscious. Just when Min-soo approaches Yoon-young and comes close to touching her, a knock at the door interrupts them and Yoon-young smashes one of the alcohol bottles into the back of Min-soo’s head. The person at the door barges into the house and it’s none other than Hae-joon. He immediately beats Min-soo up and pulls him to the bedroom to have a talk. He lashes out at Min-soo and gets angry and upset at his behavior. Hae-joon trusted him and thought he would be better. He sees a mark on Min-soo’s wrist that was still visible during their meeting 34 years later. Hae-joon warns Min-soo that he’ll keep a close eye on him before turning him into the police.

Hae-joon and Yoon-young watch as Min-soo is taken away by Detective Baek. They return back home where it’s Hae-joon’s turn to take care of Yoon-young and treat her wounded forehead. How exactly did Hae-joon find Yoon-young and know where she was? Hae-joon hesitates to answer Yoon-young truthfully right away. Hae-joon shares details with the viewers about his investigation in the serial murder case and lists out the three suspects involved in the case: Hee-seob, Beom-ryong, and Min-soo. All three met with Yoon-young that day and all three of them possessed the same small box of matches found at the murder scene. Yoon-young had met with Hee-seob and Beom-ryong at school earlier already so there was only one suspect left who Yoon-young could have been with. So Hae-joon takes out the same box of matches that he found by the couch area where Yoon-young slept the night before and hands it back to her. Just who exactly is Yoon-young and why did she come here? 


We return to the day when Yoon-young lost her mother and tied her mother’s scarf onto her neck. After getting back up to walk, she passes by Min-soo who turns around to glance at her. He later on arrives at his destination and enters his old empty home. A family photo of him, Mi-sook, and his mom lay on the couch and he smiles while staring at it.

My Thoughts:

Hmm hmm hmm, this episode was quite an interesting one and I’m not too entirely sure how I felt about it. There were some good things in this episode and then there were also some things that stood out to me in a not-so-good way. I wouldn’t say I’m completely worried just yet because this was the first time where those signs and hints appeared and I don’t want to worry so early into the drama. But also I hope the drama continues to deliver in the way that it did with episodes 1 and 2 instead of repeating what it did in this episode.

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