Mine episode 3 recap – “The Gray Area”

By Daniel Hart
Published: May 15, 2021
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Netflix k-drama series Mine season 1, episode 3


Episode 3 flames the mystery with more secrets coming to fruition — this dysfunctional family is addictive to watch!

This recap of the Netflix k-drama series Mine season 1, episode 3 contains significant spoilers.

The first weekend of Mine proved to be a good start, but let’s see if the k-drama series can keep up with the intrigue. So far, so good. Let’s recap episode 3.

At the start of episode 3, Han Jin-ho is made temporary president of the company, and there’s some shock amongst the family. Even Jin-ho himself looks surprised. When it was announced, Kang Ja-kyeong received a call. The tutor asks Hi-soo if she’s disappointed that her husband Han Ji-yong did not get the temporary position. Kang Ja-kyeong then raises that there’s “more than meets the eye” regarding Hi-soo’s husband.

Damn, what is she up to? Mine episode 3 provides some hints.

Kim Yu-hyeon, the spy

Jung Seo-hyun gives Kim Yu-hyeon a substantial amount of money and states that if she sees anything while cleaning in “the chairman’s study, Jin-ho’s study, and Mother’s bedroom,” then she needs to report to her. There will be incentive payments if she does a good job.

While she acts as an insider of the family, Jung Seo-hyun is as much an outsider as Hi-soo — she makes it less obvious.

Illegitimate child

And the presidency announcement reaches dinner, providing bitterness in one of the marriages.

Hi-soo asks her husband Ji-yong why he gave the temporary presidency away, and she queries if he loves his son (this is a question often asked in this chapter). Ji-yong raises how their son is an illegitimate child, and if he became the heir, and their son was next, then there would be too many eyes on him. Hi-soo is upset, and Ji-yong wonders if she wants the crown for herself. This is a contentious issue in their marriage — the limits to hierarchy in the family. And then, in an important scene, Kang Ja-kyeong tells Mother that she made sure Jin-ho is president.

What has she got over Mother? So many questions!

The Jin-hee scandal doesn’t go away

Mother is annoyed that Jin-hee’s bad treatment of the employees at the bakery is still in the news. She speaks to Hi-soo, and she’s furious she never handled the scandal for Jin-hee. Hi-soo raises how the reporter wanted something bigger than the scandal. Mother scolds her repeatedly — Hi-soo will do anything to protect her son Ha-joon.

Jin-hee is hounded by the press wherever she goes. When she returns home, Jin-hee tells Mother her anger comes from her, and that’s why she is unlikable — Jin-hee is also angry at Hi-soo. Jung Seo-hyun does not take any side after intervening in the conversation and walks off.

It feels like Jung Seo-hyun has many grievances in this family, personally and professionally — there’s plenty of narrative in episode 3 that the characters in the family are getting “grayer” — it’s more metaphorical of how relationships are falling apart between them.

Ha-joon is funny with his mother

Mine episode 3 brings strong motherhood issues, with Hi-soo having to battle with the tutor crossing many lines and also her distant son.

When Ha-joon returns from school, he will not hug Hi-soo. Kang Ja-kyeong tells her to give her son space. Later on, Hi-soo tells her husband that Ha-joon is strange. Ji-yong tells her she should trust Kang Ja-kyeong’s judgment and that she seems sincere. Hi-soo has doubts, but her husband is persistent and tells her to think of Ha-joon’s wellbeing.

In the middle of the night, Hi-soo sees Kang Ja-kyeong giving Ha-joon a foot massage while he sleeps. Ji-yong tells her they’ve found a great tutor.

But with context, there’s clearly something strange between Ji-yong and Kang Ja-kyeong. So it won’t be surprising if Ji-yong fights to keep Kang Ja-kyeong in future episodes when Hi-soo tries to get rid of her.

Bullied at school

The next morning, Ha-joon tells his mother that he wants to eat on his own at breakfast time. He walks off with Kang Ja-kyeong; Hi-soo offers to take Ha-joon to school instead. On the way to school, Ha-joon remains distant. She sees her son getting bullied when he arrives; he’s been mocked because Hi-soo isn’t his biological mother, and they want her autograph as she’s an actress. Ha-joon tells Hi-soo that he’s afraid that she might be fake, but Hi-soo tells him that isn’t the case.

Hi-soo takes it into her own hands and confronts the mother of the bully (Jin-won) that spread the rumors about Ha-joon and her. She threatens the mother and demands that her son gives Ha-joon an apology. Hi-soo has also spoken to the other mothers to make sure no one attends Jin-won’s birthday party.

Hi-soo is such a sweet character, but you wouldn’t cross her.

Crossing boundaries

There is a potential romance in Mine episode 3, but it’s a forbidden one — it’s almost Disney-like; the prince and the maid.

In the middle of the night, Soo-hyuk visits Kim Yu-yeon’s room and tells her he couldn’t sleep. He asks if they can take a walk. They hear someone around the corner, so Soo-hyuk hurries into her room. Kim Yu-yeon tells him she cannot afford to lose her job. Kim Yu-yeon has to leave her room for a short while to help in the kitchen. When she returns, Soo-hyuk is asleep in her bed. After deliberating on what to do, she heads into her room, smiles at a sleeping Soo-hyuk, and crouches next to her bed to sleep.

The next day, one of the maids reports to Jung Seo-hyun that they suspect Soo-hyuk and Kim Yu-yeon have gotten close. Jung Seo-hyun is worried about how the head maid Joo knew about all this — she learns she’s planted video cameras and wonders if she has been spied on as well in regards to seeing her secret lover. Afterward, Jung Seo-hyun asks Kim Yu-yeon if she has anything to tell her, but the maid holds her ground.

Hi-soo and Kang Ja-kyeong have a “chat”

Kang Ja-kyeong watches Ha-joon ride a horse, but suddenly the horse decides to run its own course, and a panicked Ha-joon has no control. Kang Ja-kyeong has to jump on a house herself to save him. When he gets home, Ha-joon lies to Hi-soo and says that the horse riding session was good. The tension between Hi-soo and Kang Ja-kyeong increases, so they have a “talk,” which is more like a war of words.

Hi-soo wants to know why Kang Ja-kyeong keeps crossing the line. Kang Ja-kyeong tells Hi-soo that her son is in pain and that no matter how much she cherishes him, it won’t make her his real mother. The conversation gets emotional, and Kang Ja-kyeong raises the possibility that the birth mother could be alive before withdrawing the statement. Hi-soo insists she is his mother and that she truly loves him. Kang Ja-kyeong appears moved by her words.

Why did Kang Ja-kyeong suggest that the mother could be alive? This will nag in Hi-soo’s head even if it was a fleeting comment.

Kim Yu-yeon cannot accept the spy assignment

Kim Yu-yeon tells Jung Seo-hyun that she cannot accept the money to spy for her and tries to return the cash receipt. Jung Seo-hyun tells her to keep it as she will need it soon. Jung Seo-hyun goes to the maid who suspects something is going on between Soo-hyuk and Kim Yu-yeon and tells her to report it to Mother.

The ending

Kang Ja-kyeong gives Ha-joon an emotional hug and then offers him a necklace that will give him good luck. The young boy accepts it. Kang Ja-kyeong also wants to know the name of the boy (Jin-won) who bullied him. He meets the boy’s mother and slaps her.

Soo-hyuk tells Kim Yu-yeon that he will not be home, and if she wants to use his bedroom, she can. Kim Yu-yeon tells him that they aren’t friends, and Soo-hyuk replies that he never said they were. As he walks off, she smiles.

Hi-soo asks Kang Ja-kyeong if she visited Jin-won’s mother and states that she crossed the line again. Kang Ja-kyeong raises how Hi-soo took care of the situation rationally because she doesn’t truly love him. She believes a real mother doesn’t react rationally. Hi-soo asks her if she has a child and tells her that she’s “just an employee.” She’s going to consider her position.

Kang Ja-kyeong apologizes, but Hi-soo states she’s going to think about it. It’s becoming fiery between these two!

Mine episode 3 flames the mystery with more secrets coming to fruition — this dysfunctional family is addictive to watch!

Additional points
  • Jung Seo-hyun reads an article about Suzy Choi and remembers her romantic times with her.
  • Flashback scenes show Ha-joon asking Kang Ja-kyeong why she acts like his mother. Kang Ja-kyeong tells Ha-joon to keep the horse riding a secret.
  • Jin-ho asks Ji-yong why he wielded his position for president. Ji-yong raises how the family needs peace, and that it’s his position “for now.” However, it’s obvious that Ji-yong intends to have his position one day.
  • Mother Emma pays Hi-soo a visit. She introduces Emma to Kang Ja-kyeong. Mother Emma recognizes Kang Ja-kyeong’s voice; flashbacks show the nun receiving a donation to the Single Mothers foundation on the phone but this donor (Kang Ja-kyeong) didn’t want to attend the foundation meetings.

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