Shark: Episode 8
More clues, a bit of globe-trotting, and some questionable feelings lead our heroine to some shattering revelations this episode that leave her shaken but no less determined to get to the bottom of her case. She’s not the only person who wants to know of course, and as everyone and their mom joins in on the truth-seeking mission behind Yi-soo’s rise from the grave, you wonder if we might actually see him get thrown for a loop. Y’know, just to shake things up a bit for the guy who claims to never make mistakes. Now if only the Shark universe would reply in kind: “Oh, is that so? Challenge accepted.”
Ratings have been inching downward lately, with this episode bringing in a meager 6.9%. It’s sad because this is a quality show, but understandable because we’re not dealing with the most fast-paced of shows, but one that likes to take the time it needs to tell its story correctly. It’s both a blessing and a curse for this production, I’d say.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Cold open: Hae-woo approaches Yi-soo with a purposeful stride, keeping her sharp gaze locked with his. “Who are you?” she asks. “Who in the world are you?”
Hae-woo calls out Yi-soo’s name and notices our Yi-soo (for lack of a better term) belatedly. She looks him square in the eye and cries out again, “Yi-soo-ya.” Does she recognize him at last?
They start walking toward each other, but all Hae-woo sees with a heartbroken gaze is the Yi-soo she knew walking toward her, forever stuck in time.
She cries harder when she stops in front of him, and reaches out a trembling hand to touch his face. He clasps her hand as if to help guide it, but before she can touch him, she faints.
Joon-young is worried when he can’t reach Hae-woo, especially because he knows that Yi-soo drove her. At least he has his suspicions about them.
Hae-woo regains consciousness exactly where she fell, with Yi-soo loaning his leg as a pillow. So it wasn’t as though she suspected our Yi-soo of being her Yi-soo (I’ll give him back when she takes him, don’t worry), she was just suffering from post dramatic stress disorder. She’s back to her senses now.
But she catches him slightly off guard when she asks, “Do sharks live in the ocean here?” [Insert Pope/Catholic joke.]
So Yi-soo takes her to the beach, where she wonders aloud if Yi-soo would look out at the sea from where he stood, and what he was thinking of. When he reminds her that she can run away at any time and leave this case behind, she stands her ground. She’s not crying because she’s scared.
Instead, she wipes away tears as she explains that she’s overjoyed and thankful to know that Yi-soo survived, even though she can’t understand why he didn’t try to find her.
“I feel bitter, but I also feel sorry for him at the same time. I feel so sorry for Yi-soo,” she says. She realizes that her silent companion keeps seeing her at her weakest moments, and apologizes for that as well. If only she knew the truth about him.
Joon-young is not happy when Hae-woo returns to the hotel much later than planned, and with Yi-soo, no less. But he’s still nothing but kind to her as he inquires about the house from the Photo Clue.
She tells him now what she hadn’t before—that Yi-soo called her right before his accident. Back then she hadn’t understood why he was so anxious and paranoid, but she’s beginning to now. Joon-young comforts her by pointing out that she’s helping by taking on Yi-soo’s case now, and that Yi-soo (in the afterlife) recognizes her effort.
“I’m sure he does,” Hae-woo all but whispers. “Because he’s watching. Because he’s been watching the whole time. Yi-soo… is alive.”
Cut to: Yi-soo getting up out of bed to do some more plotting. C’mon guys, it’s not like we’re going to forget about Yi-soo if we see one scene without him. We get it. STAHP.
Hae-woo wants to fly back to Seoul, since that’s where she thinks Yi-soo is. Ironically, she’s convinced that she could easily recognize him if she saw him, but Joon-young draws the line: She can’t continue with this case.
She claims to know what he’s worried about (which seems to be her former relationship with Yi-soo), but insists, “I need to find out what happened to Yi-soo. If I give up, then I’ll never get to meet Yi-soo again.”
Joon-young: “If Yi-soo is responsible for the acts connected to this case, then the Yi-soo we know is as good as dead.” Ouch. No matter how much Hae-woo wants to understand Yi-soo’s pain, Joon-young remains the voice of reason—namely, that he knows Yi-soo was up to something by dragging her into this mess.
Even though she’s well aware of that, she can’t stop now. “I need to find the truth. That’s the only way I can rescue Yi-soo from the darkness.” They go back and forth, but in the end, Hae-woo doesn’t listen to her husband. (Also, this makes her seem more like the Orpheus in this myth, having to save Eurydice from the depths of hell.)
We find out a little more about the deal going on between Junichiro and Secretary Jang dating back to seven years prior when they met in Japan. He chose her because of her character and circumstances, the latter of which he could manipulate—her family was too poor for her to continue studying, ergo, he became her benefactor to gain her loyalty in return. Win/win.
Hae-woo can’t sleep that night, and stares up at the North Star while holding her shark pendant…
…While Yi-soo also stares mournfully at the same star, holding his shark pendant. Deep thoughts ensue.
Yi-hyun is still considered Grandpa Jo’s adopted granddaughter, so he invites her over to his palace for a friendly chat. It takes only a few seconds for Yi-hyun to boast that she’s a better detective than her dad, because she was the one who discovered the locker keys were switched.
It’s a really odd thing to say, and oddly specific, too. This kind of blurted line would only make sense if she’d been keeping Grandpa Jo abreast of the case, so that her comment wouldn’t feel like it was pulled from someone’s bottom. (Granted, Grandpa Jo knows about the case. But how does she know that?)
Grandpa gently digs for specifics, so Yi-hyun naively explains that the case her dad is working on might be linked to her brother’s accident, and that the locker key found at the crime scene wasn’t the one Yi-soo took. Mrs. Park finds an excuse to usher Yi-hyun away so that she stops talking, since she’s on Team Yi-soo and knows what Grandpa Jo is capable of.
Mrs. Park demands more details from Yi-hyun, but she doesn’t know any more than she told. For more, Mrs. Park should go to Hae-woo.
Hae-woo and Joon-young share a moment in the car where she holds his hand, and it’s as if they come to understand each other in that simple moment.
Meanwhile, Grandpa Jo reveals that he still has the Incriminating Documents Yi-soo dropped at the accident scene. But can someone explain to me why he’d keep them in the same blood-splattered envelope?
He flips to a page that’s missing. With Yi-hyun’s information, he now knows that Yi-soo tore out the page and hid it in a separate locker as a ruse. (Which we saw him do way back when.) That’s why the keys were switched. So that means Yi-soo has the missing page.
At the police station, Detective Byun is approached by a hesitant hoobae who seems to know that Byun won’t stand for what he’s about to say, so he tries to say very gently that the police chief would basically like very much if they could come up with a bogus story to close Detective Jung’s murder case.
What surprises him is that Detective Byun agrees to the plan without complaint. Our good detective is up to something.
Daddy Jo celebrates the closing of the case with a reluctant Prosector Oh, who later admits that he’s done all he can to try and stop Hae-woo and nothing’s worked. Joon-young arrives as his dad is leaving, since he came back from Japan a day early.
Detective Byun tells Hae-woo that the order to close the case must have come from a higher power, and that their best course of action is to act innocent to throw their superiors while they investigate the case in secret.
When he asks her about whether she found out who sent the photo clue, she tells the truth: “It was Yi-soo.”
Three scenes happen in unison: Yi-soo makes a call where he refers to himself by his real name (Han Yi-soo, not his two others) and asks a mystery person to find the missing page before Grandpa Jo gets it, while Grandpa Jo makes a call to ask a mystery person to do the same and find the missing page.
Meanwhile, we’ve still got our investigative duo trying to work through the possibility that Yi-soo could be alive. Hae-woo is sure of it, but Detective Byun can’t see how Yi-soo could’ve gone from a fatal car accident all the way to Okinawa. And even if he did, then there’s a good chance that Yi-soo killed Detective Jung, something that Hae-woo disagrees with if only because she doesn’t want to believe it.
“Yi-soo wants us to find the truth from twelve years ago,” Hae-woo says, but Detective Byun counters that what Yi-soo wants even more is for her to personally find that truth.
After another round of “I’ll never drop this case!” with Hae-woo, Detective Byun sets a course of action: Assuming Yi-soo is alive, Hae-woo will be in charge of locating him while he tracks down the missing page in secret.
They both agree to not tell Yi-hyun about her brother being alive, but it’s probable that Yi-soo visited her—which brings Detective Byun back to the mysterious telescope she got as a gift.
Speaking of the siblings, Yi-soo visits Yi-hyun at the coffee shop under the guise of a customer again, and it’s so cute that he’s devised a way to see her regularly. She’s unable to finish his order when she gets a sudden nosebleed, and as concerned as he is, he can’t ask after her.
He passes Soo-hyun on the way out, but neither notice each other. Could Soo-hyun be Yi-soo’s informant?
Yi-soo’s unable to just walk away from his sick sister and turns on his heel to go back only to come face-to-face with her outside, since he forgot his juice. He asks if she’s all right and advises her to go to a hospital, but she brushes it off as just a nosebleed.
There’s a moment where their hands touch over the juice, and it’s as sweet as it is sad, with Yi-soo trying to hold back all his brotherly concern. He’s supposed to be only a kind stranger to her.
Yi-hyun returns to her post to find Soo-hyun waiting to buy juice *just* from her, and she totally calls him out on speaking in banmal to her. Aww. Does Soo-hyun have a wittle cwush?
Hae-woo tasks Soo-hyun with finding all hospitals and/or doctors that were near the scene of Yi-soo’s accident at the time, even if they’re no longer around. She doesn’t give him details, but she does remind him that they’re investigating Detective Jung’s murder case in secret now, so they have to be extra careful.
She gets an unexpected call from Yi-soo (as CEO Kim Jun, of course) to check up on her. “Will you be home tomorrow?” he asks her, seeming kind of nervous on his end. She’s not sure. He replies that he’ll be at her house tomorrow to deliver a message to her grandpa, only he’s so nervous about it.
And then you understand why—he’s almost kind of sort of asking to see her, so he’s putting himself out there like a teen asking his crush to go to prom. It’s adorable on his end, but she realizes what he’s getting at and changes her mind: “I think I’ll have to work tomorrow.” Rejected.
Joon-young can’t work properly when he remembers what Hae-woo told him about how the case would be covered up again if she weren’t on it. She vaguely referenced why (in that he doesn’t know who’s involved), but the fact that he instantly flashes back to finding his father and Daddy Jo together means he’s on the right track.
Detective Byun tracks down the company that gifted Yi-hyun with a telescope worth over ten grand and makes them give up the contact info of the mysterious person who paid them to give her the telescope. Aka Yi-soo.
The info takes them to an office for the Society for the Rectification of Korean History, which was exactly the sort of stuff Envelope Professor was into. But someone is there to watch them go in—the Pen Assassin. (Pen Killer? I don’t like either, so I’m open to suggestions for what to call him in the future.)
Inside, they find Envelope Professor’s protege, who remembers Detective Byun questioning him about the murder. He’s immune to Detective Byun’s threats to investigate because he didn’t do anything wrong—he was the one to set up the deal with the telescope company, but he did it as a favor to a complete stranger. So, it’s Yi-soo > This Guy > Telescope Company.
He doesn’t know anything about the man though, and when Hae-woo asks him to at least roughly describe his appearance, he just says that he looked like a “nice guy.” Mention the ‘stache. Mention the ‘stache!
But we find out through a call the historian makes to Yi-soo that he lied to Detective Byun on purpose. He knows who Yi-soo is, or at least he knows more than he let on.
Our investigative duo is at something of a dead end, but at least they’re sure that Yi-soo sent the telescope, and that the incriminating documents are the reason why Yi-soo’s dad and Envelope Professor were killed.
And on top of that, Detective Byun has to keep reminding Hae-woo not to get her hopes up about Yi-soo, since it’s very likely that he’s a murderer.
But she visits their old high school to reminisce about Yi-soo, without seeing that Yi-soo came to the same place to do the same thing about her. All this goes to show that even now, they’re still on the same wavelength.
We see Yi-soo hiding just out of her sight in the library, watching her. He has to restrain the urge to go to her, knowing that she feels the way he does. (About their past, anyway. I’m definitely not saying that she’s emotionally cheating on her husband by refusing to let go of her first love or anything like that.)
Hae-woo rushes home to find a picture she kept of Yi-soo, but Grandpa Jo knows something’s up. At least Mrs. Park is there to keep an eye on him.
She calls the old man who housed Yi-soo in Japan, and arranges to send the picture through a neighbor’s cell phone to see if he recognizes Yi-soo from it.
Detective Byun has the best little family going with his wife and Yi-hyun, and it’s clear that father and daughter love each other beyond measure even without being blood related. But Mom does bring up Yi-hyun’s frequent nosebleeds, which are becoming a problem.
Joon-young gets to have a drive-by moment with his dad where he meanders around (all we need to know is that Dad didn’t love the idea of him working at the Jo Family Hotel) before he asks, “You know how much I really respect you, right, Dad?”
Ah, is he worried that the truth might be bad for his dad, even though he doesn’t even know what it is yet? For all Prosecutor Oh’s passive compliance with Grandpa Jo’s orders, we see that he’s still a frail man when it comes to talk of Joon-young’s late brother and his late son.
Hae-woo returns to the office to send Yi-soo’s picture to the old man, but she’s still dodgy about revealing crucial information to Soo-hyun. (Which is fair, he needs to earn her trust again.)
She declines an invite from Joon-young to join him and Dong-soo for a drink, but rethinks the decision once Soo-hyun points out that she’s being awfully cold to her brand new husband.
After the old friends reunite, Dong-soo happily chirps away about his fancy new job as CEO Kim Jun’s personal driver. Joon-young furrows his brow at this odd coincidence, even though Dong-soo claims that he went through all the usual channels for corporate employment.
Even if Joon-young buys that, he doesn’t know where Dong-soo would be driving his employer—Junichiro’s group doesn’t have a resort in Seoul yet. (So this might explain why we never see Yi-soo at work.) Dong-soo shrugs that he’ll be driving Kim Jun/Yi-soo to work since they’re opening a local resort soon, though this is foreign news to Joon-young—and I’m guessing that this all ties back to Yi-soo blackmailing that pervert CEO into selling his hotel in secret.
While Hae-woo texts the picture to the man in Japan, Yi-soo gets off the phone with someone who he has to say “It’s okay” to. His informant, maybe?
Dong-soo deflates when Joon-young tells him that he invited Yi-soo (as Kim Jun) out with them, even though Joon-young tells him he’ll have a good opportunity to get closer to his boss.
“I can’t be too close to him,” Dong-soo explains. “I think he likes men.” HA. First laugh of the show.
And he’s so serious about it, too, all worried that he’ll be put in an uncomfortable situation because he thinks Yi-soo likes him. I have no idea why this is so funny, or why Yi-soo purposefully planted that idea in his head. Joon-young just breathes a sigh of relief—now he doesn’t have to worry about Hae-woo.
The old man calls Hae-woo back with the sobering news that the face in the photo is different from that of the boy who stayed with him. She’s clearly confused by the conflicting news that it wasn’t Yi-soo, while the shark pendant tells her that it was.
She spots Yi-soo from behind on her way to meet the other boys, and it’s the sight of him nursing an aching shoulder that sets the wheels turning.
She remembers the old man saying that the boy suffered shoulder and leg pain, and how “Kim Jun” talked to her about the North Star just like Yi-soo, how he appeared at her secret lake just like Yi-soo, the kiss, and every other strange coincidence he’s been a part of. Gasp! Does she finally suspect him?
It’s then that he turns around, and she marches straight toward him ala the cold open to ask, “Who are you? Who in the world are you?”
“I think you already know who I am,” Yi-soo replies.
As awesome as it would be for his identity to be aired out in the open and dealt with, this show likes to end most of its episodes by teasing at whether Hae-woo will recognize him. This time is different, of course, but I doubt Yi-soo will just shrug his shoulders and say “Shucks, you got me!” by the next episode. Even if he doesn’t fess up right away, Hae-woo won’t ever be able to erase the suspicion now that she’s had it. It’ll be interesting to see where these two go from here.
At the same, Shark has made it plenty clear that Yi-soo hasn’t gotten over Hae-woo, and that she hasn’t gotten over him. It’s not clear whether she still has romantic feelings (she could just have really deep, guilty feelings), but Yi-soo seems to still be very much in love with her.
That’s cute in theory, but I think the normal pity I tend to instantly feel for characters with unrequited love doesn’t apply like I wish it would to Yi-soo. I’d guess that’s because of the mystery still surrounding the “why” of everything he does, because it’s not like he hopped a plane days or even years late and missed Hae-woo’s wedding. He was literally there before it even started.
While I can buy that he (maybe) had no idea that he’d be such a slave to his feelings, I wish I could feel worse for him when he gets so tortured over her, but I’d need to know why he chose that specific moment to re-enter her life in order to do that. Right now it feels more like he had his chance, and pursuing the path he’s on will only hurt the woman he loves. And for what? We’re constantly told that he’s out for revenge, Hae-woo is constantly following the clues we think he leaves, but there’s no way to get a feel for Yi-soo’s personal stake in the revenge aspect of all of this—which is a little funny when the show hits you over the head with every other point it wants to make without uttering a peep about how Yi-soo feels about this whole thing.
That leaves his scenes with Hae-woo without a ton of spark (though when he turns it on, he turns it *on*), mitigated by the fact that his scenes with his sister are consistently great and something I’d like to see more of. They’ve had so little interaction yet each second has counted, so much so that it makes Yi-soo’s feelings for Hae-woo look like the amateur hour next to the eyes he makes at Yi-hyun. Is it better chemistry? More freedom to act with his face? I’m not sure. (But isn’t it nice when Yi-soo has stuff to do?)
I don’t want to keep beating up on the poor guy when he has so much potential, but Shark needs to learn the art of giving. You just can’t withhold essential information about our hero and then expect us to be completely on board with his vague emotional journey. If you want me to go down with the ship, turns out you have to let me on board first.