Café Minamdang Episode 3 Recap (2022 Korean Drama)
** This recap of Café Minamdang Episode 3 contains spoilers **
Trigger Warning: Topics of suicide, murder, rape are a ongoing theme of this show. Please look after yourselves.
After using the key left under the flower pot, Jae-Hui enters Café Minamdang and eventually makes her way into Han-Joon’s working and living area.
Meanwhile the team has set up a meeting between Shin’s wife Lee and Inspector Jung Cheong-Gi. Under the pretense of locking both their phones in a case to ensure no recording is made of the meeting, Hye-Joon is able to access and download all data from Jung’s mobile.
Lee demands that Jung hand her all the evidence he held unto in her husbands murder case, as she knows he was the one who tampered with it. Jung agrees to hand her everything he has on the case in exchange for a hefty sum.
Unbeknownst to Ha-Joon’s team, Shin’s secretary is watching the meeting and takes pictures of it as proof for his boss.
After the meeting, Ha-Joon and his team head back home. While changing clothes inside his walk-in closet, he hears the sound of a buzzing phone. He goes to open one of the cabinet doors and Jae-Hui jumps out while covering his face with one of his own shirts. Blinded due to this, Nam is defenseless and easily subdued by Jae-Hui with a head butt. However, before falling unconscious, he manages to rip off part of a keychain on her backpack. The keychain consists of a pair of little kangaroos and he has ripped off one while the other remains intact. Nam is found lying on the floor of his closet by Hye-Joon and Su-Cheol.
Café Minamdang Episode 3
Once back home, Jae-Hui ponders the investigation board for Shin’s case she saw earlier with her brother’s picture on it. She is unable to figure out how Jae-Jeong is involved in all of this.
Worried she may have hit Han-Joon too severely, Jae-Hui goes to Café Minamdang the following morning to secretly make sure he is alright. There she comes across Detective Na, who fails to hide his presence from her. He explains that he made an appointment with the famous Shaman Han months ago. Jae-Hui tells Na Gwang-Tae a sob story to convince him to let her join the meeting with Nam.
While seated inside the café and waiting their turn, they witness Han-Joon descending the stairs in grand fashion. Walking right past them, he goes to check his appearance in a nearby mirror. Believing Jae-Hui’s earlier sob story of a possibly romantic past between her and Han-Joon, Detective Na proceeds to push her towards the shaman. Although Han-Joon instinctively catches her, he drops her to the floor the moment realization hits him.
Jae-Hui’s subsequent reaction and mannerism cause Han-Joon to finally remember her. Calling her “Ms. Little Police” he helps her off the ground.
The three of them proceed to Shaman Nam’s consultation room. Nam starts giving advise to Detective Na with words clearly meant for Jae-Hui. A fact not lost on her as she stands by and scoffs at him. She then calls him out for being a fraudster since he is a profiler but no shaman and certainly without any divine powers. At his rebuttal she mentions his stint in jail 3 years ago for evidence tampering and asks if that is where he learned how to con people.
<<Flashback: 2 years ago>>
Nam Han-Joon leaves the prison after serving his sentence. Hye-Joon, recently fired from her job as a NIS Agent comes to give him a ride and takes him to his friend Kong Su-Cheol. Su-Cheol was a police sergeant and the two became close during Han-Joon’s time as a profiler.
A while later they pull up to this derelict looking building with a sign reading “Yongho Detective Agency”. One of the windows also features a sign offering fortune telling. Going inside they find Su-Cheol looking very disheveled and obviously down on his luck. After a emotional greeting the private detective shares that he is now also trying his hand at being a shaman/fortune teller.
At this moment, a middle-aged woman enters the room looking for the services of a fortune teller advertised outside the building. Han-Joon recalls having seen her outside as Hye-Joon and him entered. He also overheard part of a phone conversation she was having at that time. Intent on helping out his friend, he uses the information overheard earlier and invites her in.
However, instead of establishing Su-Cheol as a shaman, the woman quickly becomes convinced that Han-Joon is the one with powerful divine powers. She offers to pay a fee in exchange for him helping to locate her teenaged son Jo Na-Dan (Baek Seo-Hoo) who has absconded with her money.
With the help of Hye-Joon and Su-Cheol, Han-Joon is able to locate and bring back Na-Dan shortly after. His fellow high school classmates cyberbullied him into paying off the money they borrowed from a loan shark. Han-Joon and Su-Cheol resolve the issue with the perpetrators, making sure Na-Dan gets his Mom’s money back and the bullying stops.
Café Minamdang Episode 3
The incident makes Han-Joon realize that this could be an excellent business opportunity. Combining making money with helping people, while under the guise of being a powerful shaman. It will also provide him the necessary means and cover to find “Goburi”. “Goburi” is the name they gave to the individual behind the events that cost both him and Su-Cheol their careers.
Han-Joon promptly convinces Su-Cheol and Hye-Joon to join him and thus “Minamdang” comes into existence. There is only one problem. The Nam siblings mother, a deaconess in her church, would never allow her children’s involvement in shamanism.
So they quickly come up with a solution: Opening a coffee shop as a front to their actual purpose: “Café Minamdang”. Na-Dan, who looks up to his rescuers and immediately attaches himself to the three of them, will work as server. Su-Cheol will be the barista while also helping out Han-Joon with outside missions when needed. A room above the coffee shop equipped with all the tech gadgets necessary for surveillance and collecting information about their clients becomes Hye-Joon’s little kingdom.
Café Minamdang quickly becomes a favourite with the ladies as a result of its handsome employees. In short order, its resident fortune teller, Shaman Nam, also makes a name for himself within the community. His clientele ranges from your average middle class person all the way to members of South Korea’s elite.
<<End of Flashback>>
Jae-Hui continues accusing Han-Joon of evidence tampering. He tells her to read the reports about the incident and not to assume anything. As a detective she should keep an open mind to be able to gather the truth.
When Jae-Hui accuses him of causing the death of Prosecutor Han Jae-Jeong, Han-Joon shows definite signs of anger. He replies that he does feel guilty for what happened to the prosecutor but is not to blame.
Before angrily walking away, Jae-Hui warns him that she will keep an eye on him and his team. She will make sure to catch them for any tricks they play going forward. Han-Joon is in a pensive state after their exchange.
Back home and while looking at her brother’s picture, she vows to catch his killer at all cost. Unbeknownst to Jae-Hui, Han-Joon is at that moment also making the same promise to Jae-Jeong.
Café Minamdang Episode 3
The following day Jae-Hui contacts Prosecutor Cha to let him know that she has located Nam Han-Joon. Cha has been in charge of her brother’s since day one and has been looking to speak to Nam. She takes Cha to Café Minamdang and also tells him about Nam’s recent involvement in the Vice Chairman Shin matter. Although confused about Han-Joon’s recent actions, Jae-Hui feels certain it’s somehow all related to her brother’s death.
Shin Gyeong-Ho finds out about the meeting between his wife and Inspector Jung and what his wife is planning. He threatens Inspector Jung into immediately bringing him all the evidence instead.
Through their surveillance on Shin, Han-Joon’s team finds out about this and decide to trail Inspector Jung. Opposite to Su-Cheol and Han-Joon’s original plan, Hye-Joon and Na-Dan insist on joining them.
Jae-Hui, watching the café from her car with Cha asleep in the passenger seat, decides to follow the team to see what they are up to. She only remembers that Cha is in the car with her once he awakes but he insists they keep following the team.
Hours later, it is now dark, Han-Joon’s team sees Inspector Jung stopping at a rural villa and going inside. They discover the residence is one of Shin’s and prepare to go take a closer look.
Chaos ensues when they discover that Na-Dan brought along the shaman tool kit instead of their weapons bag. Amidst their loud bickering inside the car, they realize that Shin’s security detail has them surrounded.
Su-Cheol, tricked into leaving the safety of the car by himself, starts fighting against all of the guards. The other three at first only cheer him on from inside the car but then decide to give him a hand. An iconic and hilariously chaotic scene ensues, ultimately ending in victory for Han-Joon and his team.
Café Minamdang Episode 3
Meanwhile Inspector Jung hands the evidence over to Shin and who then tells his underlings to beat the man up. Shin’s men, lead by his secretary, then take Jung out into the forest to do away with him.
Han-Joon and Su-Cheol follow them. Hye-Joon and Na-Dan remain behind to keep an eye on Shin.
All the while Jae-Hui and Prosecutor Cha are sitting in her car out of sight and therefor do not witness anything that has happened. They surmise that the team was following someone but do not have a clue who.
An incoming call from Detective Jang at the police station informs her that actress Min Yu-Seon (Song Ju-Hee) wants to relay some important information to her. Yu-Seon was in the car with Shin on the night of the Hit-and-Run and has come in to give witness testimony. After giving her side of the story, she also provides them a location where Shin is right now and doing drugs. As Jae-Hui receives the location, she realizes that it is the villa her and Cha are currently parked in front of.
She tells her team to come meet her there to arrest Shin. With Yu-Seon’s witness testimony and allegations of drug use they have sufficient cause for another arrest warrant.
Waiting outside the car for the other detectives to arrive, Jae-Hui and Cha start hearing a weird sound coming from the nearby forest. Following the sounds origin, they come upon a clearing in the woods. At its centre are Han-Joon and Su-Cheol performing a shamanistic praying ritual.
Epilogue [3 years ago]
It is nighttime and someone unidentified places a bag inside a desk drawer.
In the morning Han-Joon and Su-Cheol encounter members of the Internal Investigations department onsite when they arrive for their shift. There has been a report of potential evidence tampering and they are performing a search and seizure. Just then one of the investigators finds a bag containing important evidence from a recent case in Han-Joon’s office desk. Inspector Jung subsequently arrests and takes him away for interrogation.
Café Minamdang Episode 3 – END