Madame Antoine episode 4 recap

Side dish: Hye Rim chose spicy chicken feet over French cuisine like flamiche. You can choose to make Flamiche Aux Poireaux (Leek Tart) by following this recipe from the New York Times.

Episode Recap

Lying in the fMRI, Hye Rim (Han Ye Seul) is shown a photo of ex-baseball player, Seung Chan (Jinwoon). This prompts 43% brain activity. Robotic genius, Ji Ho (Lee Joo Hyung) elicits a mere 18%. Finally, Soo Hyun (Sung Joon) confidently displays a passport photo to Hye Rim, and gets 6% brain response. Seung Chan and Ji Ho snicker as Soo Hyun’s face twitches. Unbeknownst to the men, Soo Hyun closed her eyes when Soo Hyun’s photo came up so as not to expose her feelings towards him. 

Madame Antoine 4.4

Soo Hyun rethinks his strategy and invites Hye Rim to a pricey boutique, and testily directs her to choose a gift. Hye Rim is sorely tempted, but fears being mocked by Soo Hyun. She accuses him of trying to take a shortcut to winning her over by using designer products, in order to save his pride, and place her at a disadvantage. Soo Hyun responds by buying the most expensive bag in the store, returning it immediately, then asking that the store to donate the money to charity in her name. However, Hye Rim decides to push Soo Hyun’s buttons by demanding that he buy the luxury items that she carelessly points at. Soo Hyun’s pride forces him to acquiesce.

In the car, Soo Hyun asks if his brain activity score has increased. Hye Rim teases him about raising his score by a mere 4%. Later, she admits that she did not actually want the four purses and one dress that he bought her. What she would really like is for Soo Hyun to teach her about psychology. Soo Hyun reluctantly agrees.

Madame Antoine 4.5

The next morning, Ji Ho goes looking for Hye Rim and walks in on her trying on the designer dress that Soo Hyun left hanging on her door knob. After ogling her, Ji Ho gives up on his plan to gift Hye Rim with a box of chocolates.

Obnoxious K-pop singer, Ju Ni arrives for her counselling session. Her attempts to engage Ji Ho and Seung Chan with flirting fail miserably, causing her to declare to Soo Hyun that all the men at the clinic are no fun. She tries confessing her love for Soo Hyun, but he nonchalantly rejects her, and Ju Ni angrily notes that everyone loves Hye Rim.

Madame Antoine 4.6

Soo Hyun notes that Ju Ni experienced a high number of car accidents in the past year. Her road manager died, but her resonse was to go on holiday. Yet, Ju Ni appears obsessed with being liked by everyone. Soo Hyun asks why she tries to find her self worth in other people. It turns out that she has extremely low self-esteem. Later, Soo Hyun discusses Ju Ni’s case with his mentor, Mi Ran (Jang Mi Hee), but neither can figure out the root of Ju Ni’s issues. 

Hye Rim goes shopping for a Christmas tree with Seung Chan, and she notices that he is increasingly casual in his speech towards her. His confidence comes from his high score in Hye Rim’s brain activity, which he thanks Hye Rim for. Hye Rim discovers Soo Hyun’s actual score and can’t help but laugh when she sees Soo Hyun.

Madame Antoine 4.7

After Hye Rim sends Soo Hyun and Seung Chan out to have dinner together, she decides to take advantage of having the center to herself. She snoops on behalf of the Chairman (Byun Hee Bong) who has promised to pay her daughter’s tuition if she finds anything. However, Soo Hyun and Seung Chan return while Hye Rim is exploring Soo Hyun’s laptop. She manages to copy the “Cuckoo Bird” folder onto a USB memory stick, as the brothers struggle with the locked door. When they finally break in, Hye Rim pretends to be vacuuming while listening to her earphones.

Hye Rim watches the video that she copied, and sees Soo Hyun’s first female subject making a fool of herself for love, in a tree. Hye Rim does not know what to make of this experiment.

After playfully sneaking up on her, Seung Chan reveals to Hye Rim that he has scored a job interview to become a baseball coach at at a local elementary school. However, he has no intention of taking a job that he believes is beneath his skill set. When Hye Rim pressures him to take the job, Seung Chan accuses her of acting like his older sister. Hye Rim orders him to use formal speech with her from now on, and Seung Chan agrees then leaves in a huff. Soo Hyun overhears everything and is pleased by their falling out.

Madame Antoine 4.8

Hye Rim is directed by Soo Hyun to meet him at the library for her psychology lesson. When she finds him, his appearance takes her breath away. Little does she know that Soo Hyun dressed strategically to impress. They compliment each other on their figures, then Soo Hyun suggests that they sit on the floor to demonstrate how casual he is capable of being. Hye Rim is impressed when he covers her legs with his jacket so that she does not expose herself while sitting down.

Soo Hyun begins the lesson with a biological  rundown of attraction while holding Hye Rim’s hand. He claims to have felt all of these symptoms when he first saw her, and Hye Rim removes her hand in embarrassment. He tries to get her to reveal her feelings for him, and just as she is about to decline, he stops her short and gets up to quickly walk away.

Madame Antoine 4.9

Back home, Hye Rim is kicking herself for hesitating in declaring her feelings for Soo Hyun. However, upon second thought, she realizes that Soo Hyun is not trustworthy.

Soo Hyun is wracking his brain to figure out what else he needs to do to win Hye Rim over. Sensing an opportunity, Ji Ho runs off with a smirk on his face. He approaches Hye Rim and asks if she likes smart men, then offers up his IQ score and demonstrates his prowess with a Rubik’s Cube. This only provokes Hye Rim to treat Ji Ho like a child looking for approval. However, after Ji Ho asks when she will change into a sexier outfit, an outraged Hye Rim chases him away.

Madame Antoine 4.2

After reviewing his photos of Hye Rim, and wishing he had video of her, Ji Ho starts shopping for a drone. Hye Rim’s sister, Yoo Rim (Hwang Seung Eon) comes into the café dressed up, but fails to elicit any compliment from Ji Ho. While she is setting up for her interview with Ji Ho, Yoo Rim notices that he is interested in drones. Ji Ho freely admits that he is hoping to mount a video camera on one, and Yoo Rim looks annoyed by his lack of interest in her. 

Mi Ran’s doctor advises her to get surgery, and Mi Ran laughs, unable to believe that this is happening to her. When the doctor warns that she could die, Mi Ran acts cavalier, and decides to forgo surgery in order to enjoy what little time she has left. She puts up a brave front before the doctor, but crumbles once she is by herself. Then, Mi Ran is reminded of her scooter ride with Seung Chan, and calms down. Mi Ran writes her bucket list and it includes getting close to Seung Chan.

Madame Antoine 4.10

Meanwhile, Seung Chan is acting courteous yet cold towards Hye Rim. Remembering their spat, Hye Rim calls Seung Chan as he is watching baseball to ask who he is rooting for. Then, she reveals that she is rooting for him to win, and Seung Chan’s face lights up. When Soo Hyun shows up, Seung Chan hugs him, because he is over the moon about his special relationship with Hye Rim.

Ju Ni purposely arrives at her counselling appointment early, and forces her way into the staff brunch. After witnessing all three of the men dote on Hye Rim, Ju Ni pretends to pass out in order to get attention. At the hospital, Soo Hyun warns Hye Rim not to approach Ju Ni, because she is extremely jealous of her, and will not listen to reason.

Madame Antoine 4.11

Ju Ni wakes up at the hospital and after getting Hye Rim’s number off sleeping Ji Ho’s phone, she sends a text to Hye Rim pretending to be Soo Hyun. She directs Hye Rim to bring Ju Ni’s consultation log to the hospital car park.

Hye Rim arrives at the car park as directed and is confronted by Ju Ni. Ju Ni advances threateningly on Hye Rim who attempts to placate her, and gets slapped in the face for her efforts. Finally at her breaking point, Hye Rim slaps Ju Ni in return, then shoves the K-pop star back repeatedly while mercilessly listing all of Ju Ni’s wild misbehaviour.

Madame Antoine 4.12

Hye Rim grills Ju Ni about going on vacation after the death of her manager, until Ju Ni breaks and confesses that she loved her manager. He did not return her feelings, and she harassed him to make herself feel better. Then, he died in a car accident before she could confess her feelings. Thanks to Hye Rim, the pieces all come together, and Ju Ni is able to connect every one of her symptoms with the death of her manager during her session with Soo Hyun.

Hye Rim watches the session with tears in her eyes. She admits that she is jealous of Ju Ni for feeling so passionately about someone. Hye Rim wonders if she is capable of falling in love so freely.

Madame Antoine 4.13

After another psychology tutorial with Soo Hyun, Hye Rim receives an email from her daughter, Do Kyung. Attached is a happy family photo of Do Kyung with her father and stepmother. Do Kyung confesses that she worries about her mother being lonely. Soo Hyun reads over her shoulder until Hye Rim notices, and he leaves, feigning indifference. Do Kyung goes on to ask about the man who accompanied Hye Rim to see Do Kyung’s father off. She asks, hopefully, what the nature of their relationship is. Hye Rim is curious, too.

Soo Hyun receives a bouquet of flowers, and it comes with a ticket to a play – it is practically a replication of what he sent to Hye Rim. Soo Hyun goes to the theatre and just as he has given up on Hye Rim arriving, she does. She smugly states that she would never leave someone to watch a play alone, and both she and Soo Hyun chuckle.

Madame Antoine 4.14

After the play, Hye Rim reveals that the star of the play was a junior classmate of hers. In college, Hye Rim played Marie Antoinette, hence the name of her café. Soo Hyun presents her with French cuisine options for dinner. Hye Rim chooses to go for spicy chicken feet instead.

Soo Hyun refuses to join Hye Rim in eating chicken feet, but would rather sit and watch as she gorges through a few servings of chicken feet. Hye Rim has sauce on her mouth, and when Soo Hyun reaches over to wipe it off, fireworks erupt in his head on contact.  

Madame Antoine 4.3


I was pleasantly surprised to see the beginning of a believable relationship in the final scenes of this episode. Once Hye Rim decided to take charge by returning Soo Hyun’s gesture of flowers and a ticket, and Soo Hyun allowed himself to be vulnerable by going to the theatre, it was the first time the lead couple has appeared as equal partners. Hence, when Soo Hyun does the Kdrama trope of attempting to wipe something off of Hye Rim’s face, the couple generates sexual tension that I could actually understand.

This development comes as a relief, because I don’t know how much more of Soo Hyun’s callous manipulation of Hye Rim I could take. I feared that the writers were going for the Beauty and the Beast dynamic of Soo Hyun winning Hye Rim over as a boar then becoming a better person due to the sincerity of her love. Fortunately, it appears that they are going with a story line in which Hye Rim is becoming proactive, and Soo Hyun takes a leap of faith.

Despite not really finding any of the tit for tat antics of the lead couple funny, I did laugh out loud a few times during this episode. This was thanks solely to Kim Jae Kyung’s broad depiction of over-the-top K-pop star, Ju Ni. She was super entertaining both in the comedic moments and as the major bitch overdue for a slap in the face. Sadly, now that the source of Ju Ni’s issues has been identified, her character will probably make way for a new patient for Soo Hyun.

Which reminds me: how good of a psychologist is Soo Hyun, if he is constantly missing the key to his clients’ problems, and relying on Hye Rim’s unorthodox methods to solve them? Maybe, his competence will increase as he grows a heart.

Madame Antoine 4.15

Madame Antoine (마담 앙트완)

Madame Antoine

 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 || series review


  1. Juni’s story broke my heart. I accused her as a bitch, but after seeing her side of it all I feel so bad and I actually cried with her. It was super touching seeing her hand reach out to the dying (handsome) manager as she wailed and wailed for him to not go. Definitely very touching.


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