10 Unforgettable Moments From “The Penthouse” That Left Us Shook
“The Penthouse” is a makjang drama that left all its viewers on the edge of their seats. The cutthroat and savage ways in which the characters claimed their position in society is horrific yet oddly addicting to watch; you want vengeance on behalf of those who are wronged and are willing to watch all 21 episodes to make sure justice is served. Now that the series is over, we can reflect back on all the moments that left us utterly shocked and speechless. Here are 10 of those many moments.
Note: Spoilers for the drama ahead!
1. Yoo Je Ni faking getting poisoned
Yoo Je Ni (Jin Ji Hee) discovers that her rival Bae Ro na (Kim Hyun Soo) has some pretty killer vocals, which intimidates her. In an effort to sabotage Ro Na’s chances at getting accepted into Cheong Ah Arts School, she pretends that Ro Na tried to poison her. She even goes to the extent of dyeing water and pretending that she is coughing up blood.
The distress on poor Ro Na’s face says it all:
This event happens at the beginning of the series, and it is so incredibly shocking for this high school student go to this extent in bringing her classmate down. If you haven’t been exposed to this type of savage-ry in K-dramas, this particular event will come as a shock. It really set the tone for the series and showed the brutal ways in which these students are willing to compete with each other. It also instigated a desire to want to see the outcome in hopes that justice would prevail at the end.
2. Seeing how Joo Dan Tae so easily kills Shim Soo Ryeon’s lover
We find out that Shim Soo Ryeon (Lee Ji Ah) had someone else she wanted to marry, but because Joo Dan Tae (Uhm Ki Joon) was so in love with her, he hired people to kill her fiancé. Shim Soo Ryeon was pregnant at the time, but this still doesn’t stop Dan Tae from murdering the father of her baby.
Shim Soo Ryeon with her lover right before he got killed:
This was really the moment that showed just how evil Joo Dan Tae really is and how nothing could ever stop him from getting what he wants. The fact that he was able to kill someone because he couldn’t get his way was really shocking and enraged us all. It made viewers sympathize with Soo Ryeon’s innocence and unawareness of how lethal her husband is and evoked feelings of anger, wanting Shim Soo Ryeon to discover Dan Tae’s evil ways sooner than later.
3. How Cheon Seo Jin attacks Oh Yoon Hee in the neck
The wealthy, spoiled, and evil Cheon Seo Jin (Kim So Yeon) really stopped at nothing to win the prestigious award at Cheong Ah Arts School when she was a student. During the flashbacks, Oh Yoon Hee (Eugene) confronts Cheon Seo Jin, trying to get her to admit to unfairly getting the award. In a rage, Seo Jin uses her award to slice Yoon Hee’s neck. Just when the parents and teachers enter into the room, Seo Jin faints and pretends that Yoon Hee had harmed herself.
Cheon Seo Jin really never failed to show us just how far she was willing to go to get her way. She was willing to do just about anything to make sure her image wasn’t tarnished. So when there was a chance that Yoon Hee could expose her for her lack of singing skills, Seo Jin took advantage and made everyone think that Yoon Hee was the crazy one. This was one of the very first moments where viewers were shocked at how crazy Seo Jin really was. It pretty much went downhill from this point on.
4. The mistreatment of Min Seol Ah
Min Seol Ah (Jo Soo Min) is a student who is at the top of her class as well as an exceptional singer. In order to make ends meet, she disguises herself as an older student in order to tutor other high school students. Once it’s discovered that she’s a high school student and an orphan, the Hera Palace kids won’t leave her alone. They harass and bully her to no end and even go to the extent of kidnapping and torturing her.
It was hard to stomach this particular part and the unfairness of the whole situation would put anyone in a rage. It literally shook people to their core seeing this poor orphan being bullied and constantly harassed by the Hera Palace students. This fueled the storyline and encouraged the revenge plot of the series, which was so exciting to watch. Although it was at the expense of Seol Ah’s life, viewers really wanted to see those students who bullied her get what they deserve.
5. Min Seol Ah’s death
Min Seol Ah suffers until the very end of her death. Not only is she kidnapped and tortured for hours while Dan Tae and Seo Jin are partying, but she gets pushed off the balcony and falls to her death. Even after the death of Min Seol Ah, the parents are shocked but hardly upset that she died. They decide that the best solution would be to remove her body from their property and to dump it back in her neighborhood.
This part was truly gut-wrenching, mainly because this poor girl had lived such a difficult life and her death was truly tragic. To top it off, not only did she die in vain, but the Hera Palace parents decided to dispose her body in another location, worrying that the value of their apartment complex would decrease. Talk about rage! There was no remorse for any of these family members at this point and viewers longed to see them suffer.
6. Finding out that Shim Soo Ryeon is Min Seol Ah’s mom
After the death of Seol Ah, Shim Soo Ryeon gets hints about her real daughter. These hints lead to a very shocking secret. When Shim Soo Ryeon was lying in her hospital bed after giving birth to the daughter of her deceased lover, Dan Tae exchanged her baby with another one. It is discovered that Min Seol Ah is her real daughter.
This was a total shock. Who would have thought that Soo Ryeon’s bed-ridden daughter was not actually her daughter and that Min Seol Ah was her biological daughter? It was all very confusing, but we were just happy that there was someone to avenge the death of Seol Ah. Soo Ryeon takes it upon herself to gather evidence and facts to make sure that her daughter’s death is avenged. It was only a matter of time before all the secrets were leaked and the villains were exposed.
7. The appearance of Park Eun Suk’s character
Park Eun Suk appears as Goo Ho Dong, an athletic teacher at the music school. He flies in like a knight in shining armor and saves Bae Ro Na who is getting bullied and cornered by her peers. He continues to provoke the teachers at the school and challenges the students who are getting special treatment. It was the relief needed in such an intense storyline.
The appearance of Park Eun Suk and his character Goo Ho Dong was truly the silver lining in this series and everyone thought so as he was at the top rankings for most buzzworthy actor. How cool was it when he appeared as the hot shot American billionaire Logan Lee? His actions and words that defended those who were being oppressed left viewers with a sense of hope that justice could finally be served. Furthermore, his willingness to get revenge for the death of his little sister Seol Ah was the heroic part of the story we really needed.
8. Discovering that it was actually Oh Yoon Hee who killed Seol Ah
It was a mystery as to which character was responsible for Seol Ah’s death, but there was a lot of suspicion geared towards Joo Dan Tae and Cheon Seo Jin for most of the series. They seemed like the most plausible culprits considering their history. Despite this speculation, the series took viewers on another twist of events and revealed that it was actually Oh Yoon Hee who had killed Seol Ah in hopes that her daughter Ro Na would be accepted into the music school.
This was very unexpected and it only showed how the series could completely change your expectations of a character. It was a shame as Oh Yoon Hee was the underdog that viewers wanted to succeed, but because of this shocking revelation, viewers were quick to turn on her. It didn’t necessarily take away the anger for Dan Tae or Seo Jin, but it sparked an even greater anger for all the characters – at this point, we were angry at just about everyone in the series.
9. The tragic death of Shim Soo Ryeon
Shim Soo Ryeon is given a chance by Logan to go to the U.S. with him and leave everything behind. He senses that her life is in danger and this is obviously the case as Yoon Hee and Dan Tae are planning to take her down. They devise a plan to lure her to the penthouse and Dan Tae ends up stabbing her with a knife. However, Yoon Hee is framed and Dan Tae has made it so that all arrows point to Yoon Hee being the culprit who killed his wife.
Just when things couldn’t get any worse, it did. The death of Shim Soo Ryeon was very distressing as she was the one who had all the evidence for all who were involved in her daughter’s death. Her death extinguished all hope for a righteous ending. It didn’t exactly come as a surprise that Dan Tae had killed her, but even so, how could a husband kill his own wife? It was at this point that viewers were able to see the true evil of Dan Tae and that he is indeed an unstoppable monster.
10. The cliffhanger ending
The appearance of Logan Lee and Yoon Hee’s supposed death left a lot of room for the storyline to develop more for the next two seasons. Having Logan Lee ride in on his motorcycle gave viewers hope that revenge is in the horizon and will hopefully be achieved in the season to come.
The ending undoubtedly left viewers wanting more and it’s a good thing that a second season has been announced. There were many loose ends in the story and a lot of characters who got away with some awful things. It didn’t give the satisfying end that viewers were craving. The fact that Yoon Hee was left on the floor and not quite dead sparks some assumptions that she’ll be in the second season. There is also Logan who is enraged at the death of Soo Ryeon. It’s a given that he will want to avenge her death. Without any closure, viewers were left dying for some answers and getting antsy for season two. Now the hardest part is for us to wait!
You can watch or re-watch “The Penthouse” while you wait here:
Hey Soompiers, how did you like the first season of “The Penthouse”? Let me know in the comments below!
binahearts is a Soompi writer whose ultimate biases are Song Joong Ki and BIGBANG. She is also the author of “K-POP A To Z: The Definitive K-Pop Encyclopedia.” Make sure you follow binahearts on Instagram as she journeys through her latest Korean crazes!
Currently watching: “The Uncanny Counter,” “Lovestruck In The City,” and “True Beauty”
All-time favorite dramas: “Secret Garden,” “Goblin,” “Because This Is My First Life,” “Star In My Heart”
Looking forward to: Won Bin‘s return to the small screen