The Penthouse: War in Life is a Korean drama series that has captivated viewers with its thrilling plot, captivating characters, and shocking twists. Revealing the lives and secrets of Gangnam’s Hera Palace’s wealthy and influential residents, the show unfolds. The series has three seasons, each with 12 episodes that aired from October 2020 to September 2021. Critics have praised the series for its top-notch production, outstanding cast, and gripping storyline. However, not everyone was satisfied with the final season of the series, as it failed to live up to the expectations of the fans and critics alike. In this article, we will review the third season of Penthouse and discuss why it was a disappointing end to a thrilling saga. We’ll speculate on Penthouse season 4’s potential if it’s released.
The Penthouse: War in Life (2020-2021) Cast
Penthouse: War in Life, a K-drama, features a skilled ensemble cast portraying main and supporting roles. Here is a detailed cast list of the K-drama:
- Lee Ji-Ah as Shim Su-Ryeon / Na Ae-Gyo: She is the elegant and wealthy wife of Joo Dan-Tae, who has a tragic past. She later learns that Joo Dan-Tae killed her biological daughter, Seol-Ah, who was born out of rape. Additionally, she discovers that her adopted daughter, Seok-Kyung, is the biological child of Joo Dan-Tae with another woman. She fakes her death and returns with a new identity as Na Ae-Gyo, Joo Dan-Tae’s first wife, who was presumed dead. Teaming up with Logan Lee, she aims to expose and dismantle Joo Dan-Tae and Cheon Seo-Jin.
- Uhm Ki-Joon as Joo Dan-Tae / Joo Dong-Pil: He is a successful businessman and the owner of Hera Palace. He is a ruthless and greedy man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He is responsible for many crimes and tragedies, such as killing Shim Su-Ryeon’s daughter, Seol-Ah, and his first wife, Na Ae-Gyo. He also killed his twin brother, Joo Dong-Pil, and took his identity. He marries Cheon Seo-Jin and becomes the king of Hera Palace. He tries to cover up his crimes and silence anyone who gets in his way.
- Kim So-Yeon as Cheon Seo-Jin: She is a famous soprano and the director of Cheong-Ah Arts School. She is married to Ha Yoon-Cheol, a surgeon, and they have a daughter, Eun-Byeol. She is having an affair with Joo Dan-Tae and schemes to get rid of her husband and Shim Su-Ryeon. Her actions include framing Oh Yoon-Hee for murder and physical harm during their university days. She marries Joo Dan-Tae and becomes the queen of Hera Palace.
- Eugene as Oh Yoon-Hee: She is a poor single mother who works as a tutor for rich kids. She has a daughter, Ro-Na, who dreams of becoming a singer. She is determined to make Ro-Na succeed and get into Cheong-Ah Arts School, even if it means sacrificing her morals and dignity. Manipulated by Joo Dan-Tae and Cheon Seo-Jin, she fatally stabs Shim Su-Ryeon. She is arrested for murder and spends a year in prison. She is released with the help of Logan Lee and tries to redeem herself and protect her daughter.
- Park Eun-Seok as Logan Lee / Alex Lee: He is a mysterious businessman who is Seol-Ah’s biological brother and Ro-Na’s love interest. Investigating his sister’s death, he arrives in Korea and encounters Shim Su-Ryeon. He falls in love with her and helps her to expose and destroy Joo Dan-Tae and Cheon Seo-Jin. He also helps Oh Yoon-Hee to clear her name and reunite with her daughter. He has a twin brother named Alex Lee, who is a rapper.
- Yoon Jong-Hoon as Ha Yoon-Cheol: He is a surgeon and the husband of Cheon Seo-Jin. He is unhappy with his marriage and falls in love with Oh Yoon-Hee. He divorces Cheon Seo-Jin and tries to help Oh Yoon-Hee and Ro-Na. He later learns that he is the biological father of Bae Ro-Na, who was born out of his affair with Min Seol-Ah when they were university students. He marries Na Ae-Gyo, who is Shim Su-Ryeon’s look alike.
- Shin Eun-Kyung as Kang Ma-Ri: She is a former actress and the wife of Lee Gyu-Jin, a lawyer. With a son named Seok-Hoon, Joo Dan-Tae’s biological child with another woman, she is motivated by greed and ambition. She befriends Shim Su-Ryeon and Cheon Seo-Jin in her quest for social advancement. She later betrays them and joins forces with Joo Dan-Tae. She also betrays her husband and son by revealing their secrets to Joo Dan-Tae.
- Bong Tae-Gyu as Lee Gyu-Jin: He is a lawyer and the husband of Kang Ma-Ri. Their son, Seok-Hoon, is Joo Dan-Tae’s biological child with another woman. He displays cowardice and incompetence, frequently finding himself in predicaments due to his errors. Despite his affection for his wife and son, he engages in infidelity with other women. He later divorces Kang Ma-Ri and becomes a monk.
- Kim Young-Dae as Joo Seok-Hoon: He is the son of Joo Dan-Tae and Kang Ma-Ri. He is Joo Dan-Tae’s biological son with another woman. Combining intelligence and looks, he maintains a cold and distant persona. His heart, however, is drawn to Bae Ro-Na, his paternal half-sister, sparking a romantic connection. He later learns the truth about his birth and his father’s crimes. He graduated from Harvard Law School and became a lawyer.
- Han Ji-Hyun as Joo Seok-Kyung: She is the daughter of Joo Dan-Tae and Shim Su-Ryeon. She is Shim Su-Ryeon’s adopted daughter and Joo Dan-Tae’s biological daughter with another woman. Spoiled and arrogant, she frequently intimidates and torments fellow students, particularly harboring disdain for Bae Ro-Na—her paternal half-sister. She later learns the truth about her birth and her father’s crimes. She repents for her sins and becomes a social worker.
- Choi Ye-Bin as Ha Eun-Byeol: She is the daughter of Cheon Seo-Jin and Ha Yoon-Cheol. Talented in piano and singing, she wields her skills with selfish manipulation. Her affections lean toward Joo Seok-Hoon, her maternal step-brother. She hates Bae Ro-Na, who is her rival in music and love. She later learns the truth about her mother’s crimes and slits her own throat in court. She survives but loses her memory and voice.
- Kim Hyun-Soo as Bae Ro-Na: She is the daughter of Oh Yoon-Hee and Ha Yoon-Cheol. She is Ha Yoon-Cheol’s biological daughter, Min Seol-Ah, who was born out of their affair when they were university students. Gifted in singing and dancing, she radiates kindness and humility. She dreams of becoming a singer and getting into Cheong-Ah Arts School. Her affection grows for Joo Seok-Hoon, her paternal half-brother, but tragedy strikes as Ha Eun-Byeol pushes her down the stairs, ending her life. After a year in a coma, she miraculously revives.
- Jo Soo-Min as Min Seol-Ah: She is the biological daughter of Shim Su-Ryeon and Joo Dan-Tae, who was born out of rape. She’s the birth sister of Logan Lee and Bae Ro-Na’s biological mother. She was abandoned by Joo Dan-Tae when she was a baby and grew up in an orphanage. She later becomes a tutor for the rich kids at Hera Palace and tries to find her biological parents. Joo Dan-Tae kills her by hurling her off the penthouse.
- Jin Ji-Hee as Yoo Je-Ni: She is the daughter of Yoo Dong-Pil, who is Joo Dan-Tae’s twin brother, and Jenny Jang, who is a former maid at Hera Palace. Bright and lively, she grapples with low self-esteem due to her family background. She likes Lee Min-Hyuk, who is a student at Cheong-Ah Arts School. She later learns that she is Joo Dan-Tae’s niece and inherits his fortune.
- Lee Tae-Vin as Lee Min-Hyuk: He is a student at Cheong-Ah Arts School and a friend of Bae Ro-Na. He likes Yoo Je-Ni, who is his classmate. He helps Bae Ro-Na to get into Cheong-Ah Arts School and supports her career.
- Ha Do-Kwon as Ma Du-Ki: The younger brother of Kang Ma-Ri and uncle to Seok-Hoon, he works as a detective, aiding Shim Su-Ryeon in exposing Joo Dan-Tae’s crimes.
- Ahn Yun-Ho as Joo Hye-In: He is Joo Dan-Tae’s son with another woman. He helps Cheon Seo-Jin to escape from prison and takes revenge on Shim Su-Ryeon’s allies.
Here are a few key cast members from the Penthouse K-drama series, both main and supporting. They’ve excellently embodied their roles, breathing life into the story.
The Penthouse: War in Life Season 1 Summary
Penthouse Season 1 tells the story of wealthy families living in Hera Palace and their children at Cheong-ah Arts School. Lee Ji-Ah portrays Shim Su-Ryeon, an affluent and graceful woman with a haunting history. Her husband is Joo Dan-Tae (Uhm Ki-Joon), a successful businessman. She later learns that he is hiding a secret from her: he is the biological father of her adopted daughter, Seok-Kyung (Han Ji-Hyun), and he also killed her biological daughter, Seol-Ah (Jo Soo-Min), who was born out of rape. Cheon Seo-jin (Kim So-Yeon) is a famous soprano and the director of Cheong-ah Arts School. She is married to Ha Yoon-cheol (Yoon Jong-Hoon), a surgeon, and they have a daughter, Eun-Byeol (Choi Ye-Bin). She is having an affair with Joo Dan-Tae and schemes to get rid of her husband and Shim Su-ryeon. Oh Yoon-Hee (Eugene) is a poor single mother who works as a tutor for rich kids. She has a daughter, Ro-Na (Kim Hyun-Soo), who dreams of becoming a singer. She is determined to make Ro-Na succeed and get into Cheong-ah Arts School, even if it means sacrificing her morals and dignity.
The first season follows the conflicts and secrets among these characters as they compete for power, money, and prestige. The season ends with a shocking twist: Shim Su-Ryeon is stabbed to death by Oh Yoon-Hee, who was manipulated by Joo Dan-tae and Cheon Seo-Jin.
The Penthouse: War in Life Season 2 Summary
In Penthouse Season 2, the remaining characters confront fresh challenges and adversaries. Joo Dan-Tae and Cheon Seo-Jin marry, ascending as the rulers of Hera Palace. They try to cover up their crimes and silence anyone who gets in their way. However, they are unaware that Shim Su-Ryeon is still alive and has returned with a new identity: Na Ae-Gyo (Lee Ji-Ah), Joo Dan-Tae’s first wife, who was presumed dead. She teams up with Logan Lee (Park Eun-Seok), a mysterious businessman who is Seol-Ah’s biological brother and Ro-Na’s love interest. They plot to expose and destroy Joo Dan-Tae and Cheon Seo-Jin. In the meantime, authorities arrested Oh Yoon-Hee for Shim Su-Ryeon’s murder, resulting in a one-year prison term. She is released with the help of Logan Lee and tries to redeem herself and protect her daughter. The children of Hera Palace also face their problems and relationships as they deal with the consequences of their actions and choices.
The second season follows the revenge and redemption of these characters as they fight for justice, love, and happiness. The season ends with another shocking twist: On his wedding day to Shim Su-Ryeon, Logan Lee falls victim to a car bomb orchestrated by Joo Dan-Tae.
The Penthouse: War in Life Season 3 Synopsis
Closing the celebrated Korean drama series, Penthouse Season 3 continues unraveling the lives and secrets within the luxurious Hera Palace. Its riveting plot, captivating characters, and unexpected twists have earned acclaim, keeping viewers on edge.
The third season continues where the second season left off, with Shim Su-Ryeon (Lee Ji-Ah) and Logan Lee (Park Eun-Seok) returning from the dead to seek revenge on Joo Dan-Tae (Uhm Ki-Joon) and Cheon Seo-Jin (Kim So-Yeon), who are responsible for many crimes and tragedies. Meanwhile, Oh Yoon-Hee (Kim Yoo-Jin) tries to redeem herself after being framed for murder, while Kang Ma-Ri (Shin Eun-Kyung) and Lee Gyu-Jin (Bong Tae-Gyu) face the consequences of their greed and betrayal. The children of Hera Palace, such as Joo Seok-Hoon (Kim Young-Dae), Ha Eun-Byeol (Choi Ye-Bin), and Bae Ro-Na (Kim Hyun-Soo), also struggle with their issues and relationships.
While the series soared in its earlier seasons, some viewers noted a decline in the later episodes. A scattering of illogical twists and an overuse of shock tactics drew mixed reactions from the audience. Some characters’ developments seemed to stall, leaving arcs unfinished or unfulfilling.
Despite these shortcomings, Penthouse: War in Life Season 3 remained a riveting spectacle, filled with melodrama and tension. It explored themes of ambition, revenge, and the complexities of human relationships. With each episode, it showcased the lengths people would go to protect their status and the emotional toll such choices exacted.
As the series marched toward its finale, it sparked discussions about redemption, justice, and the lengths one would go for their loved ones. The anticipation for a possible fourth season lingered, leaving fans speculating about what might come next.
Is Penthouse: War in Life Season 4 On The Way?
Penthouse Season 3 was a dissatisfying end to a thrilling saga, as it failed to maintain its original charm and quality. The series became a shadow of its former self, as it relied on cheap tricks and clichés to keep the viewers hooked. Penthouse Season 3 underutilized potential and talent by neglecting character development for some. The series also offended some of its viewers, as it portrayed some of its characters and scenes in an insensitive and inappropriate way. The series could have been a masterpiece, but it became a mess.
Although SBS has denied any fourth installment of the series, some fans are still hoping for a fourth season of Penthouse, as the final episode left some loose ends and hinted at a possible continuation. Should Penthouse Season 4 be released, what might its likely plot entail? Here are our speculations:
– Teaming up with Joo Dan-Tae’s son, Cheon Seo-Jin, seeks vengeance on Shim Su-Ryeon’s allies and aims to reclaim her throne as the queen of Hera Palace. With her charm, she will manipulate and entice Joo Dan-Tae’s son. Joo Dan-Tae’s son, on the other hand, remains unaware of her true identity and motives. She will also use her influence and connections to regain her power and status in society and the music industry. She will target Shim Su-Ryeon’s allies, such as Ma-Ri, Yoon-Cheol, Oh Yoon-Hee, and the children of Hera Palace, and try to ruin their lives and careers. She will also try to find and kill Shim Su-ryeon, who she believes is still alive.
– Shim Su-Ryeon will survive her suicide attempt and return with a new identity to expose Cheon Seo-Jin’s escape and Joo Dan-Tae’s son’s existence. She intends to fake her death again and take on a new identity as an investigative reporter delving into Hera Palace’s corruption and scandals. She will use her intelligence and resources to gather evidence and information about Cheon Seo-Jin’s escape and Joo Dan-Tae’s son’s existence. She will also try to protect her loved ones and allies from Cheon Seo-Jin’s attacks. She will also try to find and reunite with Logan Lee, who she believes is still alive.
– Logan Lee will also survive his death by the car bomb and reunite with Shim Su-Ryeon. He will escape from the explosion with the help of a mysterious ally, who turns out to be his long-lost father. Logan Lee will recover from his injuries and learn more about his family background and history. He will also try to contact and reunite with Shim Su-Ryeon, who he believes is still alive. He will also try to help her expose and destroy Cheon Seo-Jin and Joo Dan-Tae’s son.
– Oh Yoon-Hee will regain her memory and voice and join forces with Shim Su-Ryeon and Logan Lee. She’ll emerge from her coma, restoring her memory and voice, aided by a new doctor who is, in fact, a disguised Shim Su-Ryeon. She will learn the truth about what happened to her and her daughter, Ro-Na. She’ll also discover that Logan Lee remains alive and played a part in clearing her name. She will join forces with Shim Su-Ryeon and Logan Lee to expose and destroy Cheon Seo-Jin and Joo Dan-Tae’s son. She will also reconcile with her daughter Ro-Na and support her career.
– Ro-Na will face new challenges and rivals in the music industry as she tries to achieve her dreams. She will become a famous singer after recovering from her coma, thanks to the support of Seok-Hoon, Min-Hyuk, Je-Ni, and Oh Yoon-Hee. Additionally, an eminent US music agency will extend an offer to her. She will remain unaware of its ownership by Logan Lee. New challenges and rivals will confront her in the music industry. Among them is a new girl group supported by Cheon Seo-Jin, who aims to sabotage Ro-Na’s career. She will feel guilt and remorse for loving Seok-Hoon, her half-brother from her father’s side.
– Seok-Hoon will continue his relationship with Ro-Na and his career as a lawyer. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he will become a human rights lawyer. He will continue his relationship with Ro-Na, even though they are half-siblings. He will also try to mend his relationship with his sister, Seok-Kyung, who has changed for the better. He will also try to protect his loved ones and allies from Cheon Seo-Jin and Joo Dan-Tae’s son.
– Seok-Kyung will face the wrath of Cheon Seo-Jin’s fans and enemies as she tries to redeem herself and help her brother. She will repent for her sins and become a social worker who helps the underprivileged and abused children. She will also face the wrath of Cheon Seo-Jin’s fans and enemies, who blame her for her mother’s downfall and imprisonment. Joo Dan-Tae’s son will also try to kill her because she is his half-sister from his father’s side.
– With the help of a new therapist, who is Cheon Seo-Jin in disguise, Eun-Byeol will recover her memory and voice and realize the truth about her mother’s crimes. She will learn the truth about her mother’s crimes and how her actions hurt Bae Ro-Na. She will also realize that she loves Seok-Hoon, her step-brother from her mother’s side. She will face a dilemma between her love and guilt as she tries to make amends with Ro-Na and Seok-Hoon.
– Ma-Ri will face new threats and challenges from Joo Dan-Tae’s son, who will try to take over her business empire. She will become wealthy and successful after exposing Joo Dan-Tae’s crimes with Su-ryeon’s help. She will also divorce Gyu-Jin and start a new relationship with a younger man. She will face new threats and challenges from Joo Dan-Tae’s son, who will try to take over her business empire and ruin her reputation. Her ex-husband and son will resent and be jealous of her because they feel betrayed by her.
– Yoon-cheol will face a dilemma between his love for Na Ae-Gyo and his loyalty to Shim Su-Ryeon. He will marry Na Ae-Gyo, who is Su-Ryeon’s doppelgänger, and become a doctor again. He will be happy with his new wife yet will still love Shim Su-Ryeon. He will also face a dilemma between his love for Na Ae-Gyo and his loyalty to Shim Su-Ryeon, when he learns that Shim Su-Ryeon is still alive and needs his help.
– Gyu-Jin will return from his monkhood and try to win back Ma-Ri’s love and trust. He will also try to make amends with his son Seok-Hoon, whom he neglected and hurt. He will return from his monkhood and try to win back Ma-Ri’s love and trust as he realizes that he still loves her. He will also try to help his son Seok-Hoon, who is in danger from Joo Dan-Tae’s son.
These are just some of our guesses for Penthouse season 4, based on our imagination and knowledge. Naturally, the certainty of Penthouse Season 4 and its actual plot remains unknown. However, we hope that if Penthouse Season 4 does get released, it will be better than Penthouse Season 3 in terms of quality, consistency, and creativity. We wait to see if Season 4 will recapture the series’ glory and provide us the satisfying ending we deserve.