Madam Cutie on Duty episode 3 recap

Side dish: Even in the midst of a physical altercation with Apple, Tai Shu thinks of braised tofu with roast pork. Skip the fight, and follow the recipe courtesy of Christine’s Recipes.

Episode Recap

Housewife, Dan Dan (Mandy Wong) answers the door when undercover cop, Apple (Priscilla Wong) comes looking for her suitcase. Dan Dan acts all surprised, but back in her bedroom, she hides the dress she ripped in her closet, and hurriedly stuffs everything else back in Apple’s suitcase. Little does she know that her daughter has decided to keep Apple’s precious Hello Mimi pillow.

Madam Cutie on Duty 3.1

Apple becomes grumpy after realizing that Dan Dan has gone through her belongings, then alarmed when she fails to find her pillow. She and her undercover partner, Tai Shu (Edwin Siu) return to Dan Dan’s door. The women get into a shouting match that brings the neighbours out. Tai Shu drags Apple away before they attract any more unwanted attention.

While arguing back in their apartment, Apple and Tai Shu notice smoke seeping in under their front door. Their neighbour, Lin Heung (Rachel Kan) is burning incense outside in the hallway to ward off spirits. That is when they find out that the previous occupant of their unit killed herself and her daughter.

Madam Cutie on Duty 3.2

Apple and Tai Shu meet their boss, Wu Sir (Anderson Junior) wearing another ludicrous disguise, on the rooftop. They complain about being placed in a haunted apartment, then Tai Shu reports that Apple has already clashed with one of their neighbours. Wu Sir calls them to order, then bestows each of them with tablets containing information about the apartment residents.

Back in the apartment, Apple and Tai Shu engage in another standoff to see who can stay awake the longest while reading the intel from their boss. They both end up passing out, though Apple wakes up at one point to grudgingly admit that Tai Shu can be attractive. She pretends to be asleep when Tai Shu stirs, and it is his turn to admire her. Tai Shu speaks his mind aloud so when he calls her face fake, Apple instantly objects. Later, they argue about pee on the toilet seat, and then, there are choice words exchanged the next morning when Apple wakes up looking and smelling like a wreck.

Madam Cutie on Duty 3.3

Tai Shu arrives at the “dream job” that Wu Sir had arranged for him at the estate office, and it turns out to be resident plumber, playing into the HK drama scenario the boss originally proposed as their cover story. Tai Shu objects to the blue collar job, but the boss points out that it is a good cover for interacting with housewives. Sure enough, the women Tai Shu encounters as the new plumber instantly become more cordial on sight.

Meanwhile, Apple discovers that her reputation precedes her; she is ostracized because of her altercation with Dan Dan. Fung Nei (Kaki Leung), a fellow resident on her floor, takes pity on her, and invites her to join her at her table during lunch.

Madam Cutie on Duty 3.4

Lin Heung comes across Dan Dan trying to break into the apartment of comatose criminal, Wan. Dan Dan is trying to steal loan receipts so that there is no record of her debt to Wan. She and Lin Heung are called away from breaking and entering by Fung Nei, requesting help before the grand opening of her beauty shop. When the women arrive, Fung Nei reveals that news of the squabble between Dan Dan and Apple was spread by her mother-in-law.

Apple betrays her pampered rich girl ways when she goes grocery shopping, and eschews bargains, then buys expensive ingredients without knowing how to prepare them. While eating one of Tai Shu’s instant cup noodles, she lists off Dan Dan and Lin Heung as possible suspects. Tai Shu is unconvinced since the women also happen to be the ones who have rubbed Apple the wrong way.

Madam Cutie on Duty 3.5

The next day, Tai Shu is tailing a group of middle aged women who spoke of borrowing money. It turns out that the women are borrowing figurative wealth from the Goddess of Mercy. Tai Shu realizes this just as he is spotted by one of the women, and is dragged along to lunchtime karaoke. Hilariously, the women are familiar with K-pop, expressing enthusiasm for Gorgeous Generation, Super Senior, Big Pan, and 3AM and 3PM.

Meanwhile, Apple is tailing Dan Dan and gets taken on a tour of the market, before losing sight of her. She realizes in horror that she has no idea where she is, and finds solace at a spa.

Madam Cutie on Duty 3.6

After a fruitless afternoon at karaoke, Tai Shu realizes he is being followed. He gives chase, and discovers that it is his gassy partner, Ga Lun. Apple also finds out that she is being tracked by her butch female colleague, Man. They listen as Ga Lun and Man give unflattering reports to their boss of work time spent at a karaoke and a spa.

After getting reamed out by their boss, Tai Shu and Apple argue then scuffle outside their apartment. Their brawl is mistaken for dancing by Lin Heung and Fung Nei, who applaud enthusiastically. The petty shots continue before a receptive and misguided audience. Estate security is doing its rounds, and the fight pauses when Tai Shu recognizes his father among them.

Madam Cutie on Duty 3.7

Comments 

The episode was a little less enjoyable for me, because of the cold shoulder that Apple is met with. One could argue she had it coming for not being more professional in her conduct with the very people that she is supposed to be investigating. However, this kind of communal nastiness is a frequently used plot device in Chinese dramas that I find unpleasant and unnecessary.

However, I am happy to see that while Apple is taken aback, she remains tenacious in the face of such ill treatment. She is no shrinking violet when the grocery store employee comes on to her, and she is ready to engage Tai Shu in a physical fight. As ridiculous as Apple is, I wish there were more resilient female characters like her in Korean dramas.

It appears that Tai Shu and Apple are already becoming aware of each other’s charms, though this realization was as frantic as all of their interactions. Hopefully, their story does not take a turn for the sentimental, but if it does, let’s hope it bounces back to farcical as soon as possible.


Madam Cutie on Duty (師奶MADAM)

師奶MADAM2015
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