Thirty-Nine (서른 아홉) is a Korean drama TV series directed by Kim Sang-ho and stars Son Ye-jin, Jeon Mi-do and Kim Ji-hyun, alongside other cast members. The series has 12 episodes and Thirty Nine episode 10 is titled He Who Dances Must Pay the Piper and has a runtime of 66 minutes.
Netflix describes the series as:
LEANING ON EACH OTHER THROUGH THICK AND THIN, A TRIO OF BEST FRIENDS STAND TOGETHER AS THEY EXPERIENCE LIFE, LOVE AND LOSS ON THE BRINK OF TURNING 40.
– Thirty Nine episode 10 recap contains major spoilers –
The trio’s daring cake rescue from last episode reaches the internet in Thirty Nine episode 10. Shockingly, the comments are very positive, with most people giving bravos to the three’s friendship and one even wanting Mi-jo as her girlfriend. All three girls are having tons of fun, except Chan-young who is frustrated out of her mind for having the entire thing on the internet forever.
Either way, later on, an excited Mi-jo comes across a man who seems to be looking for her. However, that meeting doesn’t go through when she rushes past him. However, the man looks impressed or happy (or both?) it seems after having found her. Anyway, Mi-jo’s happiness seems to stem from giving a weird hoarding in front her shoot location. Mi-jo and Joo-hee just look so incredibly happy, it’s honestly hard to feel anger towards them. Chan-young has had enough of her friends’ teasing, but all that stops when the lead of the movie arrives.
Yim Si-wan fans, get ready for an eye full of the celebrated singer! After the shoot, he hugs Chan-young for the opportunity to work with her and it’s a sweet moment for them all. Back to their respective lives, Mi-jo gushes about Si-wan, much to Seon-u’s chagrin while at Chan-young’s place things get a bit awkward when her father asks her when the movie will release and Jin-seok says that it might release next summer.
As Mi-jo and Seon-u go to the orphanage, Jin-seok has a conversation with his soon-to-be ex-wife wherein she tells him that she is moving to England with Ju-won. The couple seems to have reached a conclusion, with Seon-ju accepting the fact that the divorce is an inevitability. At the orphanage, Mi-jo tries to convince So-won that she was born with the gift of playing the piano and thus shouldn’t throw away a gift that her biological parents gave her. The sentiment makes So-won think, while Mi-jo goes off to help Seon-u.
Meanwhile, Jin-seok informs Chan-young about Seon-ju’s decision. She comforts him, even asks him to convince her to stay. However, as I said, it’s an inevitability and after a while, they both accept it. The next day, the strange man again comes to meet Mi-jo and immediately makes her uncomfortable, saying that she looks like her biological mother and asks her whether she knows her. Of course, he asks her to pay her mother’s debts and the entire clinic gets dragged into the whole scene.
Anyway, he finally leaves but not before promising to see her again. I am again, confused as to why she didn’t tell her almost-fiance and sister about this thug who is here to collect an almost-unknown person’s debts. It’s always good to discuss these things with those you love, especially your partner. Mi-jo is usually a very level-headed person and her making this decision seems a bit off, considering Seon-u already knows about her bio-mom.
That night, Mi-hyeon ambushes Chan-young and Joo-hee regarding the strange man in Mi-jo’s office. She asks them whether anything had happened recently and Mi-hyeon’s scary personality opens the two up quick and they divulge that they had gone to meet Mi-jo’s bio mom. When she gets to know everything, an exasperated Mi-hyeon silently leaves the restaurant. Meanwhile, a confused Mi-jo calls her mother to ask her about the debt collector.
They meet up for ice cream and she opens up to her mother about everything. Her mother, in turn, also tells her that she knows where her bio mother was as well. However, Mi-jo isn’t angry and doesn’t scream at her. She tells her that she understands why her parents didn’t tell her – that she hasn’t lived a good life and doesn’t give good vibes. Mi-jo asks for her mother’s guidance about the strange man and her mother is heartbroken to learn this. She volunteers to talk to him, however, Mi-jo tells her that she doesn’t want her to go through that.
It is also during this time that Mi-jo gets to know that her bio mom has been blackmailing her parents to get money out of them. When Mi-jo asks her whether she reminded her of her mother, her mother tells her that she grew up to be someone she is proud of and is nothing like her mother. This mother-daughter bonding is absolutely wonderful to watch, more so because Son Ye-jin and Lee Kan-hee are such natural actors. Again, it feels like we’re watching a very personal moment in someone’s real life.
Mi-jo meets up with Seon-u afterwards and opens up to him finally about what happened that afternoon and with her mother. He takes her out to eat noodles and Mi-jo tells him that the only reason she could confide in him is because he stood by her, smiling. It comforted her. Everyone else would either throw a fit or feel guilty and Chan-young is sick so that’s a no go. Either way, they spend the night giggling together like school children in love and is a sweet break in all the heartbreak of the episode.
Meanwhile, Joo-hee overhears her mother screaming at Mi-jo’s bio mom (or someone) over the phone. When she asks her, her mother blows it off, much to her concern. On the other hand, Chan-young takes Jin-seok to a columbarium to reserve a spot. Although Jin-seok throws a fit at first, he gives in when Chan-young tells him that she had no one else to do this with.
A concerned Joo-hee meets with Mi-jo later on and tells her that she might have overheard her mother speaking to her bio mom that morning. She also tells her about Mi-hyeon meeting them and asks her what’s going on and that she’s worried about her. However, this time, Joo-hee seems extremely annoyed and hurt that they don’t share the news with her. She tells Mi-jo that it’s not fair and that she tells them everything. However, it’s not the same the other way around and she’s scared that once Chan-young isn’t around, things won’t be the same between them anymore.
Before leaving, Joo-hee tearfully tells Mi-jo that she feels helpless and apologises for her outburst. A shocked Mi-jo, after having a crying session at the clinic, goes to meet Joo-hee and her mother. The surprise starts off with a little bit of awkwardness before Mi-jo tells Joo-hee’s mother that she went to meet her Gyeong-suk. Exasperated, Joo-hee’s mother apologises for making the meeting happen, especially because she heard creditors coming to her.
Weirdly, Joo-hee mentions that her mother didn’t know that this would happen, implying that Mi-jo is probably faulting her for making them meet. However, her mother shuts that down before Mi-jo asks her whether she has asked her for money. Joo-hee’s mother tells Mi-jo why she couldn’t tell her the truth for all these years and Mi-jo thanks her for all she did for them. It definitely wasn’t easy to bear such a burden alone and hearing these things from Mi-jo makes her bawl her eyes out. After her mother leaves, Joo-hee tearfully thanks Mi-jo for everything that she told her.
As they’re going home, Chan-young opens up that she was scared that the two of them were hurting so badly that thought that they might fall apart after she’s gone. But she’s glad that they could solve their differences – she did a good job.
The next day, a determined Mi-jo goes to meet her mother, ready to clean up the mess that her meeting her mother created.
Final Thoughts: Thirty Nine Episode 10
I am not ready for Thirty Nine coming to an end. Although extremely heavy on emotions, this series has been a breath of fresh air. This episode, just like every other one, is quite the watch, with some highs and lows throughout. I am glad that with the ending of the series fast approaching, we are also tying up the different loose ends successfully. I am still quite heartbroken that Joo-hee’s plot is just so thin, with her romantic angle not being fully developed either. Either way, it’s been quite the watch and every episode put a smile on my face by the end of it.
I, however, will comment that I find the unnecessary addition of Seon-u’s father and Mi-jo’s mother (the second addition in a K-drama currently airing, same plot in Forecasting Love and Weather) seems a bit forced, especially considering there’s so much emotional turmoil anyway. Had they cut down on these unnecessary additions, and added some more of Joo-hee’s story, I think I really would’ve liked it better. Now that the series is almost coming to an end, with Chan-young probably dying in the next episode, I am certain we aren’t getting much about her. It’s a shame. I really wanted to see more about her and the trio’s camaraderie.
I don’t hate this show, in fact, I give it points for the moments between the trio – they are so good. Fun, flirty, dramatic and totally relatable. But with Chan-young’s death looming, it doesn’t need Mi-jo’s bio mom’s interference. Plus, what’s with the debt collector? With only two more episodes more, I wonder whether there was any need to add more drama to the already dramatic tale.
Thirty-Nine is streaming on Netflix.
Liked the Thirty-Nine episode 10 recap? Check out our other Thirty-Nine recaps here.Follow us on Instagram & Facebook to keep yourself updated with the latest news and reviews.