Frankly Speaking Improves A Lot In Episodes 3 & 4

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: May 11, 2024
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Frankly Speaking Episodes 3 & 4 Recap
Frankly Speaking | Image via Netflix


Frankly Speaking dials back the slapstick for a more serious – and improved – pair of episodes that kick the promised love triangle into gear.

After the premiere of Frankly Speaking, things aren’t looking great for Ki-baek and Woo-joo. Both of them have suffered serious and sudden career decline, with the former also having to grapple with a brain injury that compromises his most essential character trait. Episodes 3 and 4 are about the pair of them figuring out what to do next.

And Episode 3 is illuminating since it cracks a wider window into Ki-baek’s psyche. This is a guy to whom dishonesty is essential. After a difficult childhood, he learned to embrace small, seemingly harmless mistruths to get by. His mother perhaps didn’t intend for him to build his entire professional and personal life on dishonesty, but that’s pretty much what he did.

Ki-baek Shatters A Dream

You don’t need me to tell you why losing the ability to lie is crippling for him then. All of his relationships were built on fibs. Being suspended from work and removed from consideration for the lead anchor position hasn’t just stripped him of his dream, but of the means by which he hoped to achieve it.

A lot of Frankly Speaking Episode 3 is about Ki-baek realizing that perhaps this was never his dream in the first place. In typical K-Drama fashion, he’s helped to this realization by Woo-joo. His audition for an announcer position at JBC, where he’s now a bit of a joke, tips him over the edge. With someone with a bigger following guaranteed to take the position regardless of how the tokenistic auditions go, Ki-baek takes the opportunity to lay into the whole place.

This is an earned moment of catharsis after the first two episodes showed how much Ki-baek was taken advantage of when he was trying to keep his true feelings quiet. But it doesn’t do much for his career prospects.

Woo-joo Compromises

Woo-joo’s career has also taken a downturn. She’s trying to pen a new variety show and needs a real talent to build it around (I think we can all see where this is going), and she immediately has her nose put out of joint by a junior colleague, Ha-young, who’s more successful than she is.

Woo-joo experiences a lot of the same professional alienation that Ki-baek did. She’s doubted and derided and discouraged, which only knocks her ambition further.

A small consolation is Jeong-heon, the nation’s beloved son-in-law who is desperate to rekindle an old spark between the two of them. Woo-joo isn’t keen on the idea of reconciliation, but she isn’t above using Jeong-heon’s popularity to get her show off the ground.

Ki-baek and Woo-joo Are Intertwined

It’s obvious all throughout Frankly Speaking Episode 3 and 4 that Ki-baek and Woo-joo’s stories are inexorably intertwined. And, as I alluded to above, it’s only a matter of time before the former becomes a part of the latter’s variety show.

This happens after another chance encounter when Ki-baek, disillusioned by the fate of his idol who has been reduced to hosting festivals for senior citizens, moves back into the house his family rents. As it happens, the house is owned by Woo-joo’s mother, and he runs into Woo-joo herself on the rooftop.

Episode 4 ends with the beginnings of the promised love triangle showing themselves, with Jeong-jeon visibly unhappy to see Ki-baek and Woo-joo together.

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