Legend of the Blue Sea Episode 3 Recap

He forgets. She remembers. She keeps her promise.

 Legend of the Blue Sea Episode 3 Recap 

In the past, 1850 something…

Sim Chung (Gianna Jun) sees all the wish lanterns illuminating the sky. Sim Chung sees Dam Ryung (Lee Min Ho) floating towards her on a boat. She asks if he wants to know how she got her name. Twenty years ago, she saved a young boy from drowning. His name was Dam Ryung. Wow, talk about fate hitting them in the head. Interesting that she was young, I wasn’t sure if she was immortal. That must mean that present day Sim Chung is a descendant not the actual Sim Chung we are seeing in the past. Their friendship continued over the years. Dam Ryung told Sim Chung that he was getting married. After explaining what marriage was, living with another and being true to her (good definition), Sim Chung wonders if he’ll be able to come to the beach again. He wonders if she can live on land. Sim Chung says when she’s an adult that’s an option, but not as a teenager. Sweetly Dam Ryung declares “I don’t want to leave you. I don’t want to protect and like another girl.” Sim Chung crying says there aren’t other options, he can’t live in the water and she can’t live on the land. She jumps into the sea and swims away. Her tear turns into a pearl. Nice visual on that scene. On his wedding night, Dam Ryung can’t cope with his bride who has nodded off and rides to Sim Chung. He rushes to the sea, and allows himself to drown knowing the Sim Chung will come to save him. What he doesn’t know is that a mermaid erases memories of themselves with a kiss. Sim Chung kisses him. Dam Ryung wakes on the shore, not knowing how he got there, not remembering Sim Chung.

Back to boat with adult Sim Chung and Dam Ryung…
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Dam Ryung shares his wife died from lung disease. She never forgave him for running away on their wedding night. He says he can’t remember what happened that night. Then the realization hits him. Dam Ryung asks Sim Chung if he is the boy from her story. She swims closer and they stare into each other’s eyes.

Present day…
Joon Jae falls into the sea (recall they jumped to avoid their pursuers). As he drifts down into the blue depths, Sim Chung swims to him. She puts her hands around his waist, he opens his eyes and stares at her. She kisses him. Now we know she’s also erasing herself from his memories. We see his memories are altered. When he goes to find her at the store with the umbrella, she slips away unseen and he believes she’s gone. At the maze, when he yells at her for not sticking close, she hands him a flower and dissolves. It’s simply done, but it’s heartfelt, her pain at walking away from Joon Jae.

lbs_ep3_3blbs_ep3_3aWhen Joon Jae wakes on the sandy beach, we hear the voiceover of Sim Chung saying “I love you”. And we know that she does. We know that she’s given him up again, putting his needs before their love. Joon Jae remembers everything that happened, but believes he was alone while being pursued. He can’t believe he jumped from the cliff. That would surprise me, if I did that! He sees the jade bracelet around his wrist and wonders where it came from. There’s also a pearl next to him, so we know she cried when she placed him on the beach. Lovely visuals of a poignant love story that has been short circuited twice by Sim Chung.

Joon Jae flies away from her in first class. He spots something in the sea below. Little does he know it’s Sim Chung watching the man she loves literally fly away from her.

As Joon Jae walks through the Seoul airport a news report cites the escape of Ma Dae Young (Sung Dong Il), a murderer, from police custody. Little does Joon Jae know the valet parking (or it is stealing) the car in front of him is Dae Young.

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When Joon Jae returns home, he finds his friend Jo Nam Doo, there without his permission. Tae O is there too. Jo Nam Doo tells Joon Jae that they have to stay in this house because their addresses were known by the men pursuing them. Jo Nam Doo takes Joon Jae to the porch and asks to see the object (the bracelet Joon Jae told him about). Joon Jae doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But when Jo Nam Doo describes the bracelet, Joon Jae stops and listens. Joon Jae is surprised to learn he told Jo Nam Doo that he swiped the bracelet from a girl in Spain. Joon Jae doesn’t remember. Jo Nam Doo tells him that he described the girl as not too bright and weird. Jo Nam Doo even shows him the picture Joon Jae texted of the bracelet (recall he took the picture when he had Sim Chung waiting for the police to arrive). Joon Jae claims he didn’t send the text and he didn’t meet a girl. But he realizes, he does have the bracelet. He has a flashback of using his lighter to get the bracelet but doesn’t remember about who he took the bracelet from. Joon Jae refuses to hand over the bracelet. He needs to look into the situation much to the frustration of Jo Nam Doo.

Sim Chung remembers the car ride when Joon Jae asked her to come to Seoul too. I love it when more to a scene is revealed later in a series. Joon Jae assures her he’s not inviting to Seoul to seduce her. He describes the food, the river, and offers to hang with her. Sim Chung stares at the sea, which literally calls to her, and then at Joon Jae. She smiles and nods her acceptance of his offer. Joon Jae is pleased, exclaiming that she promised to come to Seoul and she’ll have to keep her promise. Just like a little kid, he’s happy and demands that she keep her word. Sim Chung agrees to keep the promise. Joon Jae tussles her hair. I’m not overly fond of that gesture, sometimes it comes across like the man is petting the girl like she is a pet. Present day Sim Chung starts swimming to Seoul.

Joon Jae wakes from a dream where he is sliding deep into the sea and hears Sim Chung tell him she loves him. He wakes to a pounding heart and confusion as to what the dream means.

The next day he ponders what it all means. He sees a man on the TV. He stares. Who is it?

Kang Seo Hee is on the golf course with her husband, a real estate developer (the guy Joon Jae saw on TV), and two friends. As they take a break, the friend reminds her husband that the Kang Seo Hee’s husband is not taking care of his own son. She explains that Kang Seo Hee is wife number two. The husband’s first son ran away and the Kang Seo Hee’s son is part of the family now. They wonder where the first son is. Is it Joon Jae?

Joon Jae complains about having housemates for three months. Jo Nam Doo tells him that the men after them don’t think they are dead like they think Joon Jae is.

Sim Chung startles three fishermen when she swims up to their boat. She asks for directions to Seoul. They give the directions. They offer, since this is Jeju island, to give her a lift. She declines and swims away.

Sim Chung startles ladies cleaning the beach when she walks down a sandbar from an uninhabited island. Sim Chung can’t believe it when she learns she isn’t to Seoul yet. She complains about the exhausting journey. LOL, I love a whiny mermaid! The ladies offer to take her back to Seoul with them. Sim Chung gets off the bus in Seoul with only a clam shell in her hand. She can’t believe how crowded it is. She wonders how she’ll find Joon Jae. Good question!

Joon Jae goes to his secret costume closet. I love that even the lighters are arranged for his selection! He picks a pilot outfit, sunglasses, hat, and lighter. With Jo Nam Doo and Tae O in tow, Joon Jae prepares to engage lady. He warns his unwanted roommates, if this works out, they have to move out.

Sim Chung has no luck as she asks strangers if they know Joon Jae.

Joon Jae tells Jo Nam Doo that Seoul is like a small town, you run into people you know all the time.

As Sim Chung finds out she can’t get food with a flyer, she stares at the street, not seeing Joon Jae in the car that passes in front of her. He doesn’t see her either (not that it would matter at this point). That’s near miss number one!

Tired, hungry, Sim Chung watches with interest as a group of girls get another girl to hand over money. Sim Chung thinks to herself, so that’s how it’s done (getting money). A cute little girl strolls down the street. Sim Chung takes her rolling case and asks if she has money. The little girl can’t believe she’s being mugged by an adult. Sim Chung asks what mugging is. The little girl takes pity on Sim Chung and buys her ramen. The little girl tells Sim Chung not to mug again. Sim Chung agrees. The little girl explains that her mother works hard working night and day for money. Sim Chung doesn’t understand why. The girl states money means happiness. Sim Chung asks the astute question, if you work day and night, when do you have time to be happy? As the little girl leaves Sim Chung, she gives her money and tells her to use it well and not give it to others. Sweet!

The little girl walks right into Joon Jae! She tells him to watch where he’s going. Ha! Joon Jae doesn’t like being called old but Jo Nam Doo leads him away from the retreating little girl. Of course, when Joon Jae, Jo Nam Doo and Tae O walk down the street, Sim Chung has veered away and they don’t see each other. That’s near miss number 2.

Sim Chung interrupts a group of girls mugging another girl. She dispatches two of the girls and warns another not to mug again. The girls run away.

Jin Ok, the lady that Joon Jae swindled by transferring money from the Virgin Islands to the Mediterranean island calls her daughter, one of the muggers, who lies that she’s at cram school. Jin Ok warns her daughter to work hard like her brother. Jin Ok still doesn’t understand why her son is guilty by association because a boy that committed suicide and named her son in his suicide note.

As Jin Ok gets on the elevator, Joon Jae gets on the elevator too. In his costume, she doesn’t recognize him. Tae O stops the elevator as he sits on the roof’s edge. Sitting on the edge seems to be his thing. Yikes! When the elevator stop, Joon Jae reveals himself. Jin Ok recognizes Joon Jae as the guy that conned her. She thought he was dead. He says he’s invincible. He spins the lighter. The lights go out. He opens the lighter in front of her mesmerizing her. He suggests the elevator doors are open behind her. He suggests her son is hanging on the edge. Jin Ok sees her son and bends down to try and pull him into the elevator. But she isn’t strong enough and she loses the grip on her son’s hands and he falls. Jin Ok cries. Joon Jae tells her to remember the pain she’s feeling. That’s the pain the mother of the child that fell to his death felt. Joon Jae bends down and tells the Jin Ok that she’ll forget everyone that has wronged her. To those she’s wronged, she’ll only feel sorry. As the elevator doors open, Jin Ok staggers out. The doors close leaving Joon Jae alone in the elevator. That was an effective illusion and certainly drove home the loss the other mother was feeling. Once again we see that Joon Jae is more than a charming con man, he has a heart. Love it!

Jin Ok tells her man to cancel the lawsuit against the mother that lost her son. The lady says she needs to see the mother so she can apologize to her. He can’t believe what he is hearing.

Joon Jae, Jo Nam Doo, and Tae O strolls with perky trumpet music in the background. Jo Nam Doo is impressed that Joon Jae pulled off the hypnosis. He only regrets that Joon Jae can’t reveal his talents to the world. Tae O surprises them by speaking. He asks how Joon Jae does hypnosis. Jo Nam Doo can’t believe that Tae O opened his “iron clad lips” to ask. Joon Jae looks into Tae O’s eyes and explains how it was done. The lighter is the opportunity to put the person into his fantasy world. The rest is easy by suggesting whatever he wants. He stares at Tae O who breaks eye contact. Joon Jae laughs. Jo Nam Doo laughs. They get into the car not seeing Sim Chung pulling clothes out of a donation bin. Seoul really is a small world! That’s near miss number 3!

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Sim Chung pulls out a coat and socks amazed she can take these items. A homeless woman comments that this is a rich neighborhood, so the pickings are good. She likes what Sim Chung has selected and asks where Sim Chung is from. Sim Chung says she’s from across the sea, which the homeless woman believes to mean overseas. Sim Chung says she’s in Seoul to find Joon Jae. No, she doesn’t know where in Seoul he lives. No, she doesn’t know his phone number. The homeless woman says without those things; Sim Chung will need to go to places Joon Jae described and wait for him to appear. She recalls him mentioning watching fireworks from building 63. She gets on a bus and the kindly driver allows her to ride even though she only has a partial fare. She watches the night scenes of Seoul.

Joon Jae stares at the jade bracelet. He looks at the tower and the night sky.

At building 63, Sim Chung stares up the building and wonders if she goes to the top, if Joon Jae will be there.

Sim Chung walks in the building and ends up at the aquarium. Unbeknownst to her, the door close for the night. She stares at the large tank filled with fish. She’s relieved. She thought she would starve. Ha! In no time, she’s swimming in the tank. Ha! Suspend your brain for that, but it’s so cute, you don’t care.

The older woman makes seaweed soup with sea urchin. Cha Si A tells her to box up the soup and sides for her. Kang Seo Hee asks if she’s still trying to catch the eye of that good-looking guy. She recommends Cha Si A spend money of facial treatments. Cha Si A tells Kang Seo Hee the soup is for a boy in her class to celebrate his birthday.

Cha Si A presents the soup and sides to Joon Jae. He tastes the soup. It takes him back to his childhood. He recalls his mother serving seaweed soup to him and his father. He and his mother were planning to go “there”. Jo Nam Doo is impressed at the array of food Cha Si A brought. He suggests they party to celebrate Joon Jae’s birthday. Cha Si A suggests a wine bar. Joon Jae tells Jo Nam Doo to go the wine bar with Cha Si A, he has other plans. He leaves.

Jo Nam Doo gives Cha Si A money. She asks if Joon Jae is meeting a girl. Jo Nam Doo denies this saying it’s hard for Joon Jae to meet women with his light and casual requirements. Jo Nam Doo asks if Cha Si A made the soup. She scoffs and says the maid made the soup. That answers why she talks to Joon Jae’s mother like she’s a servant.

Joon Jae’s mother sits outside staring at a picture of herself and Joon Jae. She flashes back to taking him to the aquarium.

Joon Jae stand at the aquarium entrance. He enters.

Sim Chung wakes in the tank. She swims around. A little girl and her mother spot her. The little girl is upset when she eats a fish. Sim Chung swims near the mother who smiles and waves.

The man in charge doesn’t understand why the mermaid show started early. When he sees the mermaid diver outside the tank, he wonders who is the woman in the tank.

lbs_ep3_11albs_ep3_11b People snap pictures of Sim Chung. Joon Jae walks by not noticing. Sim Chung spots him and starts to follow him. She taps on the glass but he’s oblivious. He stops, he turns, he stares at Sim Chung. But he doesn’t recognize her. He walks away. Sim Chung stares after him. She found him, but he doesn’t know her. She swims to exit the tank. As she exits she’s spotted. They ask how she got inside for the mermaid show.

lbs_ep3_12albs_ep3_12b Joon Jae gets a text and photo from Jo Nam Doo showing a mutual friend, Tomas, he met when he went out. Ah, it’s the con artist from the church in Spain. Jo Nam Doo texts another photo Tomas took of himself, Joon Jae and Sim Chung! Yes, you can clearly see Sim Chung! Joon Jae stares at the photo. He sees the jade bracelet. He realizes the girl in the tank was the girl in the photo. He turns and runs back to where he saw her last.

Meanwhile Sim Chung is running away from those angry that she went into the tank.

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Joon Jae searches the tanks for Sim Chung.  She runs up behind him. He turns. He stares. She stares. He walks towards her. He stares. She stares. Tears fill her eyes. The music swells. I’m loving it!!

Flashback to Sim Chung leaving memory wiped Joon Jae on the beach. She apologizes and puts the bracelet on his wrist. She holds his hand to her face and tells him that even though he won’t remember her, she’ll keep her promise and come to him. A tear spills from her eye as she promises to endure whatever she must to find him again. She tells him “I love you”. She walks away. He wakes and coughs. The camera pans the beach but no one is there. The camera pans to his hand with the bracelet and the pearl on the sand next to him.

My thoughts

I am completely charmed by this couple. I’m almost irritated by the other characters that impede their time together. She is delightful. He is charming. I’m swept up in this fantasy relationship. I don’t need realism. Who cares how she got into the tank? This couple is a winner. Initially her chemistry was dominating but Joon Jae is right there now. The past flashbacks strengthens the present story. In the past, she wiped his memory so he could live with his new wife and life. In the present, she wiped his memory so he could return to his life. The past Dam Ryung clearly loved Sim Chung. She clearly loved him. This show is working for me and tapping into my love of fairy tales, romance, and couples that click. What they accomplish by staring at each other…the depth of feelings…I am loving this!

Dam Ryung/Joon Jae (Lee Min Ho) returned to Seoul but he couldn’t shake the bracelet and memories of his past. I am a sucker for wounded heart. Joon Jae is wounded by the loss of his father and mother. His line of work put his cool vibe and sleight of hand coupled with hypnosis in the forefront. I was impressed that he hypnotized the bully’s mother into feeling empathy for the suicide boy’s mother. How cool was that? That reflects the sensitive nature of Joon Jae. Sure, he was focused on erasing himself from her memory but HOW he did it spoke volumes about who he is as a person. Cha Si A doesn’t do much for me or Joon Jae either. Even though she is pursuing him, but he isn’t giving her romantic vibes. She is two faced, warm to Joon Jae, cold otherwise. This doesn’t help her cause with me. How will the escaped murder Ma Dae Young play into this? I like the writer putting this character on the outskirts of multiple episodes but not letting us forget him either. His story and tie to our couple is coming.

Sim Chung (Gianna Jun) kept her promise and came to Seoul. I simply adore this character and Gianna Jun’s portrayal of her. She’s got heart, spunk, charm, she’s the real deal for a fantasy character. I loved that she kept her promise to go to Seoul knowing he would not remember her. That speaks volumes about who she is as a person. The scene on the beach when she confesses her love and leaves him, was lovely. The music swelled, her tears fell, and I was captivated. I can’t imagine not liking this character. She has me hook, line, and sinker.

The second song of the OST is released. Check out “A World That Is You” by Yoon Mirae.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on https://kjtamusings.wordpress.com/.

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Posted in Legend of the Blue Sea, Recaps
5 comments on “Legend of the Blue Sea Episode 3 Recap
  1. Jane Tilly says:

    The Joseon backstory shed light on the effect of a mermaid’s kiss💋. I wonder if it is any kiss that will wipe the memory of the receiver or if the mermaid can control when memories are wiped. If the mermaid cannot control whether her kiss erases memory or not, any romance will be short lived.

    I’m glad we got clarification of Si A’s maid being Joon Jae’s mom. Now we need to find out why they were separated. I’ve contemplated if Joon Jae’s mom is a mermaid as they separated at Hercule’s lighthouse.

    It was great to see our OTP reunite this episode. I was cracking up over Sim Chung’s shell clutch “bag”. I 💖 Sim Chung still has the childlike wonderment. @KJT how apropos saying Sim Chung won you over “hook, line, and sinker”. I 💗 when the writing, acting and direction make it easy to become invested in the characters.


    • kjtamuser says:

      This is a breezy fun series that has substance. The story is thoughtful. The actors are well matched. Not much to do but enjoy the ride.


      • Jane Tilly says:

        Beez, I had not heard any merman rumors. Would a half merperson be able to get a tail? We have seen both Joon Jae and his Joseon incarnation in the water without getting a tail. It will be interesting to find out if Joon Jae has a merperson heritage.

        As for Joon Jae’s memory, he has had deja vu moments asleep and awake, his memory doesn’t seemed to be completely wiped.

        While you are right Beez, “How many K dramas (especially saeguks) have we made it through with nary a kiss? Lol”, kissing can enhance a romance. Maybe kissing on land won’t wipe his memory and give them an even better chance for romance.


    • Beez says:

      quoting JT: “I’ve contemplated if Joon Jae’s mom is a mermaid as they separated at Hercule’s lighthouse.”

      Oooooo. You may be onto something there. Something in the first episode made me think they were hinting that he had mermaid ancestry. And, when this show was first reported in the news, it said LMH would be a merman. I’ve seen some cute photoshopped pics if him sporting a mer-tail. lol

      As to the kiss, I don’t think she meant to purposely erase his memories. I took it as the “kiss” was a necessity of breathing for him and the erased memory was the result. So maybe she erased them on purpose in Joseon times to help him deal with their separation, but I definitely don’t think she purposely erased them current day because she wouldn’t have gone looking for him if her goal was permanent separation. My subs had her saying “you probably won’t remember me”, which sounds like she held out some small hope that he would.

      Plus, JT, no kissing didn’t necessarily mean a “short-lived romance”. How many K dramas (especially saeguks) have we made it through with nary a kiss? lol


    • Beez says:

      @Jane Tilly

      Your post about the LMO merman rumor didn’t come through my email. I wonder why?

      I just happened to see it as I came back to this episode’s recap to look for something else.

      Anyway, I know Dramabeans first reported it that way too, but I can’t find that post. Here is a different one, complete with photoshopped LMO. lol


      If only he did have arms like that…I’d line up with all the other LMO fans.


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November 2016

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