Little Women season 1, episode 11 recap – a busy instalment

By Nathan Sartain
Published: October 9, 2022 (Last updated: October 10, 2022)
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Little Women season 1, episode 11 recap - a busy instalment


A busy installment that begins to wrap up this exciting series.

This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Little Women season 1, episode 11 contains spoilers.

With plenty to sink your teeth into, the penultimate episode of Little Women is certainly one that packs in excitement. With plenty of unexpected twists and a truly shocking cliffhanger, all is set up for a phenomenal end to the series tomorrow. If it delivers, this will undoubtedly be one of the best K-Dramas of the year.

Little Women season 1, episode 11 recap

After watching Jae-sang head out to commit suicide when receiving the call to action from his wife (a blue orchid), we see Sang-a receive a package from In-hye. Inside is the painting she had previously requested, artwork that brings the manipulative widow to unfiltered tears. Then, we flick back to see the prospective mayor jump from the abandoned building, leaving the now apparently safe Sang-a behind.

Reminding Su-im that she is her father’s daughter, Sang-a is quick to point out she is also now the General’s sole heir, before the conversation shifts toward Jae-sang’s death. “He gave up rising to the top to save everyone else,” the stone-faced assistant says, explaining her feelings on the attorney’s death. This paves the way for Su-im to be given “wings,” meaning she has the agency to eventually kill In-joo and In-kyung once they’ve been aptly toyed with.

Next, In-joo is arrested, unable to effectively lean on In-kyung (who herself is shocked upon hearing of the situation, as well as Do-il’s alleged taking of the 70 billion won) for help. Elsewhere, Do-il finds himself chased by a car, leading to a collision that harms him and his mother.

Later on, In-joo tells her sister she has no idea what’s happening, confused over the fact she could still take the fall for the 70 billion won despite it no longer being in her possession. However, the mood changes when In-kyung brings news of Do-il’s car accident, something which ignites hope in the outcast that she wasn’t betrayed. So much so, In-joo glosses over Sang-a’s potentially firm retaliation in favor of finding out whether her ally survived the aforementioned collision.

Following on from watching Sang-a’s near-blank expression at Jae-sang’s burial, we see parts of the show’s ensemble watch the skewed media coverage of In-joo’s arrest. Featuring interviews from former colleagues which claim the prisoner seemed like she was scheming with Hwa-young, the outcast is shed in a “heartless” way, the fixation on her apparent obsession with money, and the benefit she received from her friend’s passing away. Yet despite suspicions being aroused through the report that In-joo was involved in Hwa-young’s death, Su-im is unhappy, wanting more. Still, Ma-ri claims this is just the beginning, and that when the outcast’s trial is over, she will be seen as the “devil incarnate.”

At that point, Sang-a says the story she wants telling is one showing that Jae-sang’s death was planned out, with In-kyung and In-joo behind it. “They used my brother to set their trap because they were after our money,” she continues, willing to offer Ma-ri a promotion to news anchor in exchange for this false narrative to be pushed out. Elsewhere, In-joo is told by a public defender she will be sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for embezzlement. Unable to plead her case, the outcast seems at a complete loss, encouraged only to admit to her crimes, and aim to get her sentence reduced.

In court, In-joo finds herself confessing to her wrongdoings (from bank withdrawals to contract signings), cut off whenever attempting to offer full context. Bad things soon become worse too, as the outcast is told Do-il will be testifying on the prosecution’s side in the next trial. Outside there is a media frenzy, while elsewhere In-kyung notifies Jong-ho that she had met Hwa-young at a Bobae Savings Bank Victims Meeting. There, we’re told the deceased woman had labeled her lost 200 million won “evil,” causing speculation she may not have been pursuing the 70 billion she stole.

Interestingly, Hwa-young was the person who introduced In-kyung to Cheol-seong and, based on the words of a Bobae Savings Bank controversy survivor, was motivated by revenge. When In-joo is told this, she claims to have been the one who set up the first meeting between her journalist sibling and former colleague, as it was triggered by a glowing recommendation on the reporter’s sense of justice. All of this does deflate the outcast, though, who realizes she was brought into two people’s plots, winding up in prison “as if I’m some money-hungry centipede being controlled by 70 billion won.” Thus, In-joo vows to do what she can to fight, wanting Sang-a put behind bars too for the alleged murder of Hwa-young, ready to use the eerie “Closed Room” as a starting point.

As In-kyung manages to find the fur coat Hwa-young died wearing, in spite of the deceased woman’s father’s reluctance, Ma-ri comes to the news with the full footage of Sang-woo’s death (plus some biased facts about the CEO’s life), using it to spin a narrative that Jae-sang acted in self-defense when killing his in-law. Additionally, the shady journalist throws In-kyung under the bus, with it discussed that Hwa-young paid off the Oh family’s middle child to report on the Bobae Savings Bank case. Elsewhere, Sang-a receives a visit from Sa-pyeong, who is being tasked with handling the Park Jae-sang Foundation (Jeongran Society’s most important project, which focuses on child scholarships). Abruptly, another request is given when Sang-a ponders how long she will have to suffer as the General’s daughter, this one being for Sa-pyeong to “handle” In-kyung, due to his past experience in torture.

After an initially concerned Sa-pyeong gets his blue orchid moved higher up the Father Tree, In-kyung confronts Ma-ri over her lies. What follows is a discussion on admiration, dislike, and class status (it’s confirmed here Ma-ri received a scholarship from Wonryeong School and was previously poor), culminating in the Oh family’s middle child being told she is greedy for money because she didn’t report on In-joo’s embezzled 70 billion won before the two establish they have their own completely different versions of the truth behind the hefty sum. Then, suddenly, In-kyung is thrown into a van. Elsewhere, Jong-ho, fur coat in hand, wonders where his close friend could be when unable to get hold of her.

When Sang-a visits In-joo, the outcast ends up heavily taunted. At first, it’s by lip gloss, but then by In-kyung’s notes on Jeongran Society. Smugly praising the middle child’s instincts, Sang-a vocally questions if the reporter knew “she’d die by my hands.” Then, when vaguely threatened, the General’s heir lists why she believes In-joo’s entire family deserves to die, sparking the outcast to hysterically swing her chair at the perspex screen blocking her and her enemy. While screaming, In-joo is restrained, leaving Sang-a to calmly add one more comment on how her former employee overlooked how much pain the 70 billion won would bring with it. “You’ll keep hearing bad news while you’re in prison,” she adds, wanting her adversary to stay alive through 20 years of torment to emotionally pay back the hefty sum.

Following on from In-joo’s agonizing isolated breakdown, and Jong-ho’s fruitless visit to the police station, we cut to In-kyung. Tied up by Sa-pyeong, the journalist listens to the CIA-trained elder talk about the thoughts that crossed his mind when unable to see the blue orchid on Gardening TV, and how he cannot tolerate insults to the General. For now, though, we do not see what looks to be the imminent torture of In-kyung.

In court, Do-il begins his testimony, explaining his role within Wonryeong Group. Lying about In-joo’s part in the alleged embezzlement, the outcast is stunned, particularly as his words could spell disaster for her. But there is a twist. When Do-il describes where the money in In-joo’s paper company went, the testifying man produces evidence of Sang-a’s slush funds under HS Holdings, the place the missing 70 billion won was sent. As such, it is instead said that In-joo was targeted for her naivety, and she wanted to withdraw the large sum of money to return it. Embracing potential punishment, Do-il confirms what he is saying is true. Subsequently, In-joo’s own prospects look a lot brighter.

After a confused Sang-a heads back home, unaware she was sent the 70 billion won and frustrated by Su-im’s suggestions Do-il gave up the cash for the sake of In-joo, the outcast is met alone by her ally. Here, the two try to talk about what’s happened, though run out of time (it is still made clear Do-il did try and stay in touch with his ally through his physical disappearance, however), before the money laundering expert is arrested. Concurrently, Ma-ri tries to assure Sang-a everything will be ok, offering a donation-based solution to the 70 billion won controversy which would showcase the director’s “sincerity.”

Shockingly, an unscathed In-kyung appears on HTN News, along with footage (and the coveted fur coat) to speculate on Sang-a’s potential involvement in Hwa-young’s, and another bookkeeper’s deaths. The ‘Closed Room’ project is then used to show the similarities in all three discussed scenes, leading to the presenter admitting there is room for concern amidst a query for definitive evidence. Surprisingly, Sa-pyeong is on hand to possibly seal the deal, contextualizing the rare blue orchids found in all three scenes (the two deaths, and the art project) that he reveals to the public are kept alive in Sang-a’s house secretively.

During a flashback, Sa-pyeong admits to In-kyung that General Gi-seon only recruited low-ranking people, described as “rice grains”, to “secretly infiltrate Korean society like ghosts” in a bid to claim everything. However, he was different given he was a teacher, setting up the revelation that the current school principal provided children to Jeongran Society from impoverished areas, people who now “lead this society in their respective fields.” Nevertheless, Sa-pyeong believes it’s unforgivable that Jae-sang and Sang-a caused the death of Sang-woo, which is why he is now happy to set the record straight on television as the “only remaining successor of the General’s spirit.” There is one more thing too, Sa-pyeong was left the memoir of Gi-seon, and had the job to “correct” the fostered children “in the name of Jeongran Society.”

The ending

Back at the studio, Sa-pyeong shares a photo of Sang-a’s orchid tree, along with a comment that if blue orchids were found at murder scenes, they must have come from there. As the presenter responds to this by calling for a police investigation, we see Sang-a watch on, frustrated. Later on, In-kyung embraces Jong-ho outside the studio, happy with his vow to never lose her again.

Ignoring press questions, In-joo heads to her final trial, where it is to be determined if she was actively involved in any embezzlement. In court, the outcast admits the two billion won she originally received seemed to be “shining,” detailing her inability to ignore it based on who she is. Confessing that she too initially wondered why she received it, In-joo expresses the fact it soon dawned on her that she viewed it as “compensation for the poverty I had experienced all my life.” Believing Hwa-young would have felt the same thrill and greed counting the cash as she did, the outcast wants to be punished for her indulgence, knowing it was wrong.

When In-joo explains she almost lost her life, almost lost people she loves, and did lose people she loved to this money, understanding it did not make up for her poverty, a declaration is made that the outcast values her life more than 70 billion won. However, when pleading to be punished alongside those who created the laundered money, wanting her enemies brought to justice, In-joo faces one final twist. Turning up unannounced is Hwa-young, much to the shock of everyone in the room. With an unreadable look in the woman once said to be dead’s eyes, the episode ends.

What did you think of Little Women season 1, episode 11? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

Further reading:

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