Shark: Episode 4
The case grows more complicated by the second, especially with so many secrets and so many interconnecting threads all leading to a truth that becomes more frightening the closer it gets. We’re starting to see the pieces fall into place, especially concerning what Yi-soo might want from Hae-woo, but seeing the big picture doesn’t always make the painting easier. Or cheerier, for that matter.
Ratings inched up a bit this episode at 7.3%, but I think it’s safe to say we won’t see a dramatic shift until at least one of the competitors is out of the game, so Shark just needs to hold on for a couple more weeks.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
In the cold open, we see
Dr. Jin someone in a hospital gown standing on the edge of a building. His face is wrapped in bandages. Could this be Yi-soo?
He takes a step, ready to throw himself off the ledge… but a hand shoots out and pulls him back.
In the present, Yi-soo drives away from the Warehouse of Terror as Hae-woo and Joon-young drive toward it. Their cars pass and she turns around as if she might have seen Yi-soo behind the wheel.
It’s daytime by the time Hae-woo reaches the warehouse, and she has to reassure Joon-young that she can handle herself if there’s a problem—she’s a prosecutor, after all.
She enters to find a lone figure sitting with his back turned at the other end of the warehouse, and approaches him with caution. But there’s a reason he didn’t answer her calls—he’s dead.
Ah, now that there’s some light, we can see that the dead man is (well, was) the corrupt Detective Jung. Hae-woo gasps at the sight, not just because she recognizes him for who he is, but because his bared chest has a circle painted on it. In blood.
Yi-soo doesn’t seem too torn up about what he’s done as he smiles to himself in the bath, but his back is a map of long, deep scars.
The murder scene is now abuzz with crime scene detectives, including Detective Byun. The cause of murder seems to be poison from a needle inserted into the former detective’s neck, and Hae-woo knows that she’s got a big case on her hands.
She approaches the topic of her honeymoon with Joon-young, cautiously wondering if they can postpone it. He knows her well enough to have already cancelled the reservation: “The husband of a prosecutor should be able to endure this much.” Gah. No wonder why she married him.
Her tall and dark Section Chief KIM SOO-HYUN (Lee Soo-hyuk) is also on the case, but he urges Hae-woo, out of affectionate concern, to still go on her honeymoon. She’s too absorbed in the case, so it’s a no-go.
Yi-soo broods in his hotel room, first thinking of how he comforted Hae-woo on the balcony, and then to his phone booth accident. As he lied on the ground afterward, barely conscious, he’d seen the blurry outline of Junichiro. So that’s who saved him.
We jump back twelve years to the hospital rooftop in Tokyo, where a heavily-bandaged Yi-soo almost committed suicide. It was Junichiro who saved him then, too.
Yi-soo asked him why he saved his life, to which Junichiro simply replied, “Because you were dying.” Yi-soo fought back that he never asked to be saved, but Junichiro had countered with a subtle promise that only though living could Yi-soo find a chance to regain what he had lost.
“It was my duty as a human being to save you from death,” Junichiro told him. “But from now on, it’s up to you whether you want to live or not.” Obviously, we know Yi-soo picked the latter, even though it meant living with a new identity. (Hence the face bandages.)
Back in the present, Yi-soo exits the hotel elevator as Daddy Jo gets in while talking over the phone with Joon-young. He turns around and gives Daddy Jo a deadly smirk. Oh, how I love Revenge Mode Yi-soo.
Joon-young and Soo-hyun know each other as friends, and Soo-hyun marvels at Hae-woo’s tenacity, noting that she’s the second most stubborn prosecutor in Seoul.
When Joon-young asks about the first, Soo-hyun replies that it’s his dad, the Chief Prosecutor. Wait… Joon-young’s dad is the corrupt Prosecutor Oh? Grandpa Jo’s chief legal lackey? That sure complicates things.
Hae-woo discusses the case with Detective Byun, sure that the murder has to do with Yi-soo’s death and his father’s hit-and-run, considering that the former detective used to be the head investigator on that case.
She’s ready to tackle the case head on, but Detective Byun puts a stop to her out of fatherly concern. Whoever orchestrated the killing wanted Hae-woo to take the case, which makes him wary that it’s a trap. He won’t put her in danger.
In an effort to change his mind, Hae-woo reminds him, “You know why I became a prosecutor.” Everyone knows that it was because of Yi-soo, and that’s why Detective Byun won’t let her do it.
Yi-hyun stops at a storefront to look at a telescope, unaware that Yi-soo is watching her from across the street. For a moment, he remembers her as he last saw her, and how she’d promised she would buy him a telescope when she was rich. So she’s thinking of him, even now.
He realizes that, and his eyes fill with tears even as a small smile crosses his face. He continues to walk alongside her, and the sadness of the moment kind of catches you by surprise—you can see the yearning written all over him as he tries to see as much of his little sister as he can, for as long as he can. How badly he must want to go to her. How painful this must be for him, too.
She disappears into the coffee shop where she works, and Yi-soo stays outside long enough to see Hae-woo go in while Joon-young stays outside, having to placate Daddy Jo over the phone.
Hae-woo is cautious to let Yi-hyun in on the fact that her new honeymoon-delaying case may have something to do with her father’s case twelve years ago. More importantly, she’s there to ask Yi-hyun to remember any details from the day Yi-soo disappeared, no matter how trivial.
Yi-hyun tells her about the locker key she gave to her brother, and how the key was found at the crime scene by Detective Byun.
This sends Hae-woo over to his office to look through the crime scene photos, which doesn’t make him happy. She placates him by going out for a drink, though she’s ready to argue her point.
She knows how he feels about the case, but counters that if there’s one thing she MUST do, it’s to find out why Yi-soo was killed and who was responsible. That’s how she earned her attractive nickname as “Molar Tooth,” because of how she bites into a case and never lets go.
She does admit that she is scared, but she won’t let herself run away out of fear because she’ll regret it for the rest of her life. Yi-soo and his father may have been forgotten by everyone, and their cases left unsolved, but she sees in this new case an opportunity to find justice for Yi-soo. Because of that, she needs Detective Byun’s blessing to proceed.
Later, Hae-woo asks him about the locker key found at the scene, only to be told that they mysteriously disappeared from the evidence storage room via an inside job.
She finds Joon-young waiting for her at the hotel, and he hints at the sexy times they’ll have in their room. Yi-soo arrives in time to overhear the talk, and the speed with which Hae-woo’s smile disappears once she sees him is a little startling—almost as if she felt guilty.
Yi-soo’s secretary, Jang Young-hee, joins them for the elevator ride. I might be reading too much into this, but it almost seems like retaliation against Hae-woo’s coupledom that Yi-soo asks Secretary Jang to dinner, since it doesn’t seem like a normal thing with them.
But Hae-woo overhears Yi-soo say “In your dreams,” which he’d said to her long ago when she asked for a piggyback ride. She can’t get over the similarities between this stranger and Yi-soo, and it’s taking a toll on her emotions.
The dinner plans don’t hold up, but it doesn’t bother Secretary Jang, who just reminds Yi-soo of some upcoming meetings—one of them with Grandpa Jo. (As the CEO of his hotel, of course.) Before she leaves, Yi-soo tells her he needs a driver and hands her the phone number for his old friend Dong-soo.
And just like that, Dong-soo gets a call for a job interview he doesn’t remember applying for at Yi-soo’s hotel.
In a frightening dream sequence, Hae-woo runs through a forest like something is chasing her, and ends up at her secret lake, where Young Yi-soo stands up to his chest in water.
But when she lunges forward to save him, a hand pulls her back… and it’s Yi-soo again. Yikes.
She awakens from her nightmare to find a text that sends her rushing off to her old school library, and Yi-soo seems to have some hand in it. She finds a book of Chagall’s paintings (her favorite), and inside, a polaroid of a corner store.
We don’t see who it is, but someone snatches the photo from behind her.
Yi-soo goes to the lake where his parents’ ashes were spread only to find flowers already there, which means that Yi-hyun still faithfully pays her respects every year.
He smiles at that thought, until he gets an unexpected interruption—it’s Mrs. Park, also bearing flowers.
The photo-snatcher turns out to be Detective Byun, who received the same text as Hae-woo directing him to the library. She can’t figure out who would do this and why, since only Yi-soo knew that Chagall was her favorite painter.
Detective Byun edges her off the conspiracy ledge by assuring her that most secrets don’t remain that way, but that doesn’t change the fact that the suspect wants them to find the shop in the polaroid. But there’s another piece of the puzzle, in that today is the anniversary of Yi-soo’s father’s death, meaning that the killer planned Detective Jung’s murder to coincide with that date.
At the lake, Yi-soo explains his presence as being coincidental, since he only came for the scenery and had no idea who died. Mrs. Park feels comfortable enough in this stranger’s presence to reveal a secret she never told anyone—she was in love with his father.
(I realize this could get confusing, but when I say things like “his father,” it doesn’t mean that Mrs. Park knows that he’s THE Yi-soo and that she’s talking about his father. As of now, no one but Junichiro knows who Yi-soo really is.)
They feel comfortable with one another, so Yi-soo proves himself to be a gentleman by offering Mrs. Park a ride. Aww.
Hae-woo finds out more about the disappearing locker key from Detective Byun—namely, the fact that the only train station employee who could have seen Yi-soo that day mysteriously disappeared. The plot thickens.
Her father-in-law, Chief Prosecutor Oh, calls to tell her to take a week off from the case if only for Joon-young’s sake, and assures her that the case won’t go anywhere while she’s gone.
But when he asks her what Detective Jung said when he called, Hae-woo makes a very wise decision to withhold the truth from him. Does she suspect Prosecutor Oh’s corruption, perhaps?
So it turns out that Detective Jung was murdered with the same poison that killed Yi-soo’s father, which firmly ties this case to the past. Hae-woo interprets the blood circle on his chest to mean that they should start from the beginning with the hit-and-run.
The case is growing more complicated before their eyes, so Detective Byun tries to warn her away while he has the chance. When he’s sure she won’t, he mentions the tiny witness to the crime who never appeared on any official records.
That puts him in high school now, and it’s Soo-hyun who finds him. Hopefully he’s there with Hae-woo’s blessing, because we don’t need any more turncoats/double agents up in here.
Yi-soo drives Mrs. Park to Grandpa Jo’s house, where his home used to be. Good excuse to get inside.
Prosecutor Oh gives the case details to Grandpa Jo, and he seems to be asking whether Daddy Jo had a hand in the detective’s murder since he was the victim of his blackmail. Grandpa Jo scoffs at this concept, because his son isn’t capable… but doesn’t everyone in this room know what Grandpa Jo is capable of? Why even ask?
Either way, Grandpa Jo is dismayed to hear that his granddaughter is on the case, and orders Prosecutor Oh to take her off of it using any means necessary.
Hae-woo and Detective Byun question the hit-and-run witness, who’s oddly reticent to discuss the case: “You wouldn’t believe me anyway.” With any of the other questions, especially about the watch dropped at the scene, he insists he doesn’t know.
Only later does Hae-woo remember how Yi-soo had asked her about her father’s missing watch. At this rate, she’ll figure out it was her dad in no time.
Yi-soo meets with a CEO whose hotel he’s trying to buy, but the chairman has already promised to sell to the Jo family hotel, and won’t go back on his word. (Ah, so that’s what Joon-young’s job is—he runs Grandpa Jo’s hotel now that he’s married to Hae-woo.)
But Yi-soo has something that will make him change his mind—an incredibly chilling recording of the chairman molesting a young girl. Sicker still is the fact that the chairman’s walls are decorated with pictures of him with needy children he sponsored over the years. Gives me goosebumps.
The chairman destroys the recording, and dares to call his sexual deviance a tragic mistake, even though the girl he molested multiple times has now ended up in a mental institution. Though he says he’s a new man now, Yi-soo calmly replies that people don’t change for the better, and that evil people only go on to commit more evil deeds.
So he gives the chairman the option to publicly confess (thus making his blackmail moot), or break his agreement with Joon-young.
Hae-woo asks her father directly if he had anything to do with the hit-and-run case twelve years ago, but he swears his innocence up and down. She seems disappointed that he isn’t being truthful even though she claims to trust his words, yet she still feels the need to tell him that she’ll be reinvestigating the case. Yunno, in case she finds out the truth.
Daddy Jo grows nervous at this news, but still doesn’t confess. When he asks why she’s looking into such an old case, she tells him that it’s because Detective Jung was murdered—and judging by the complete shock on Daddy Jo’s face, he really did have nothing to do with it.
Meanwhile, Grandpa Jo gets Joon-young to agree to move in with him, so that he and Hae-woo will live under Grandpa Jo’s roof. This comes as news to Hae-woo, also because Grandpa Jo all but forces her to take the weekend off from work. He may delay her a few days, but how is he going to get her to stop poking around completely?
Secretary Jang finds Yi-soo sleeping like a model in a photoshoot, and picks up the shark amulet he drops. This takes her back four years (and to Tokyo), where Yi-soo stood transfixed in front of a shark aquarium. I’m very much over sharks at this point.
Secretary Jang was there too, and she’d watched as he did nothing as a woman was robbed, while she was the one to jump in and stop the robber. She mentions this all to him in Korean as a sort of insult (not expecting him to understand) and is subsequently mortified when he’s not Japanese. Whoops.
He doesn’t say much when she tries to apologize/still scold him, but he does seem to find her amusing. And because there are no accidents in the drama world, it turned out that she was an employee of his hotel, but something strange was going on between her and Junichiro. We just don’t know what.
Back in the present, Yi-soo calls out Hae-woo’s name while he sleeps. Secretary Jang isn’t jumping for joy to hear it.
At her family’s country home, Hae-woo wakes up to a huge breakfast made by Joon-young, who’s amazingly sweet as he steals kisses at the table. They’re a-dorable together. It’s almost too perfect.
Especially when Joon-young gets a suspicious call once he’s alone, but still watching Hae-woo from afar. Is it too perfect?
Hae-woo walks through the forest familiar to her and Yi-soo as teenagers, looking specifically the spot where they’d hidden in the rain and shared their first kiss. She remembers every moment of it.
And unexpectedly, Yi-soo is in that same forest, watching her. He follows her from not-too-far-away, the kind of distance where she should be able to hear him behind her considering they’re the only ones in that forest.
Meanwhile, we find that the contents of Joon-young’s call had to do with Yi-soo, since his secretary sends pictures that were snapped of him in secret. Ah, this might just be about hotel infighting and nothing more sinister, at least on Joon-young’s part.
She arrives at her secret lake, but is taken aback to find that Yi-soo—that oddly familiar stranger—is already there.
There were a lot of good things this episode, but there’s just one thing this show hasn’t managed to sell me on: That sharks are important to this story.
Honestly, it wouldn’t be such a Thing if the drama eased up on all the shark symbolism for a hot second, but I feel like we could all take a page from how Steven Spielberg handled sharks in Jaws—as in, less of them. The eagerness of this production to make sure we see a shark every half hour and to understand how much Yi-soo likes sharks is enough to make you wonder if sharks were a product this show was paid to endorse, when sharks as an object aren’t supposed to be what matters as much as what they mean to Yi-soo and to his journey. And even then, they’re still pushing it.
At this point, it’s safe to say that we get it: Yi-soo can’t stop on his path to vengeance the same way a shark can’t stop swimming, because they’ll both die. The problem is that sharks are a very one-note metaphor, and their meaning won’t become any deeper as time goes on. The Orpheus allegory, on the other hand, was mentioned once, yet that’s the sort of metaphor/symbolism that you can carry through a drama, and one I hope they DO carry through this drama, because it’s interesting to draw parallels between both stories—i.e, some of the theories that Yi-soo would actually be the Eurydice to Hae-woo’s Orpheus. These are things worthy of a dialogue, Show. You know what isn’t? Sharks.
That aside, I do like where we’re going with Hae-woo’s story the most currently, probably because she’s the most emotionally available out of the lot and because she knows nothing of the truth, but she’s eager to learn. The scene where she confronted her father was nicely layered—you could see that she wanted to believe him, but that desire wasn’t going to change how she went forward with the case. In a way, she prepared herself by giving him that one chance to tell the truth, and if there’s one thing as consistent as sharks in this story, it’s that liars pay. Leaving the circle of blood on Detective Jung’s chest was Yi-soo’s warning that everything will come full circle, and he’s only just begun.
We’re at a good place with him at this point in the story, since he’s got just the right amount of secrecy about him. We know plenty about his past but next to nothing about what goes through his mind in the present, aside from the fact that he still thinks of Hae-woo. It’s not like we’ve had clear-cut moments of dialogue from him where he swore revenge, which I’m really liking here—the revenge, and his going about it, is actually very subtle. But when there are big moments, like Detective Jung’s murder, there’s more impact.
At the same time, there are so many questions about him fueling my interest in the story—namely, what does he want with Hae-woo? He doesn’t strike me as the type to waste words considering that he speaks so few of them, so the words or phrases he drops to stir Hae-woo’s memories of him seem intentional. Because these hints he drops coincide with the chase he’s leading her on as a prosecutor, I’m starting to lean toward the idea that Yi-soo is using her to reveal the truth about what happened. Who better to do it, really? He’ll sound like a lunatic if he just runs to the media, but in Hae-woo he not only has someone with intimate knowledge of his past (not to mention her very questionable family ties), he also has the only honest prosecutor around who happens to be very tenacious. I think he deliberately gave the case to her because he knew that she wouldn’t give up until the bitter end.
The only problem is that if this is Yi-soo’s plan, he’ll ruin every aspect of Hae-woo’s life (family, husband) as she knows it. And Yi-soo must know that better than anyone. Is there any scenario where all these events won’t lead to death and damnation?