Suspicious Partner: Episodes 7-8
You see that face? That is the face of a very, very happy girl. I won’t spoil the fun by telling you why… suffice it to say that Bong-hee’s personal life is taking a definite upswing. But she’s still got a killer to catch, and he’s drawing closer in response to her invitation to come and find her. Bong-hee is brave, but she may come to regret that invitation before this is all over.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
A man wearing a mask slips into Bong-hee’s office while she’s out, leaving a shoe box on her desk. He stays to read her day planner as well as her notebook full of thoughts on Hee-joon’s murder.
Bong-hee arrives at her office after catching own client stalking, and she cries to herself, feeling guilty for having exhibited stalking behavior towards Ji-wook. She finds the shoe box on her desk with a note saying, “If you keep looking for me, I’ll find you first.”
As he drives home, Ji-wook can’t stop thinking about Bong-hee’s anti-confession, when she’d said that she absolutely doesn’t like him. Then he notices that she left her compact in his car seat the same way she did when they first met, and he calls her.
Bong-hee whispers that she thinks Hee-joon’s killer may still be in her office. She’s right — he was hiding behind the door, and now he slips out. Bong-hee fearlessly chases him out the building, but he gets away.
Ji-wook whips his car around to speed back to Bong-hee’s office. He finds Bong-hee frantically searching for the killer in the street, disappointed that she lost him. They call Section Chief Bang, who offers to send a forensic team to Bong-hee’s office.
Ji-wook sits on Bong-hee’s desk, and she gets all grabby while pushing him off. He cringes like she’s molesting him, then seems almost disappointed that she wasn’t when she says she didn’t want him disturbing any evidence, ha.
Hyped up on adrenaline, Bong-hee does a dramatic re-enactment of what happened in her office. Ji-wook takes in her performance and dryly quips that she seems to be enjoying this. He warns her that this is a dangerous situation as he walks up to her slowly, eventually backing her into a filing cabinet.
Distracted by his closeness, Bong-hee asks if he’s worried about her. He quickly answers, “Of course,” but then adds that he’d be worried even if she were a stranger. Bong-hee realizes that she’s already forgotten her promise to stop liking Ji-wook and smacks herself in the head.
She admits that she is excited to have seen the killer, because it’s a chance to finally clear her name. Ji-wook says that she could have died, but Bong-hee retorts that she’ll die anyway, probably from hunger.
She gestures around at her dingy office, saying that she’s desperate for a job because she has to earn a living, but nobody will hire her because of her past. She tells Ji-wook that she’s determined to solve Hee-joon’s murder for herself, her mother, and even for Ji-wook, who lost his job because of her.
Ji-wook takes this all in, then says in a soft voice, “Okay, we’ll solve the case… together.” Awww. He offers to give Bong-hee a ride home, but she says that she actually lives here, in her office. The next thing you know, they’re both standing at Ji-wook’s front gate, with Bong-hee sighing that she only came because he begged her.
Ha, Ji-wook is all “When did I beg you?!” He tells Bong-hee that she’s embellishing things just a bit when she describes how he refused to leave her in her dangerous office and practically dragged her here. But she’s committed to this version of the story and says that she won’t be responsible for anything that happens while she’s in his house. Rawr?
Inside, Bong-hee exclaims that nothing has changed in over two years since she’s been here, while Ji-wook gives her that exasperated stare. She shuts up when she catches his eye and remembers how they probably kissed (and maybe more), then he stalks off without a word.
They have ramyun for dinner, and Ji-wook says that they should talk. Bong-hee agrees that they need to set things straight and clarify the situation, and they do a spontaneous little fistbump that’s somehow utterly adorable.
Bong-hee blurts out, “Did we sleep together?” Ji-wook stares at her, then snaps that he was talking about something else. Whoops. Bong-hee mutters that she thought that was a pretty important thing they needed to clarify, and they go back to eating in silence.
Ji-wook is late to work the next morning, and both CEO Byun and Eun-hyuk are thrilled to hear that he overslept. Ji-wook says that he just got so exhausted that he dropped off to sleep, and he shoves Eun-hyuk off his desk when he sits on the edge.
CEO Byun perches on the other side and also gets pushed off. He says that he actually came to fuss at Ji-wook for all of his client complaints, and that even his coworkers think he looks down on them. (Ji-wook: “I guess they’re not completely dumb.”)
CEO Byun and Eun-hyuk both sit on Ji-wook’s desk again, which gives him anxiety, and they warn that he’ll get fired at this rate. Ji-wook barely hears them, his mind occupied with Bong-hee as he wonders when she started watching him.
Earlier that morning Bong-hee had knocked on Ji-wook’s door, worried that he’d be late for work. She’d peeked in to see him sleeping like an angel, then crept inside to watch him, smiling dreamily at the pretty. Then his eyes had popped open, and Bong-hee had fled the room, tripping dramatically over the threshold. So much for a graceful exit.
Bong-hee is still cringing over it at work while the forensic examiner dusts her desk for prints. He tells her that it will be hard to get anything on the killer since so many people come through this office before he asks about the CCTV recordings. Bong-hee says that the killer wore a hat and mask, so the camera didn’t capture his face.
The examiner tells her to do a composite sketch in that case, but Bong-hee confesses that she’s never seen his face, either. Wait… why is he smiling? Why is he smiling?! I have a bad feeling all of a sudden.
The examiner notices something under Bong-hee’s desk, and he asks for a glass of water. He grabs it while her back is turned, and we see that it’s part of a keychain that the killer dropped while he was in Bong-hee’s office last night. Oh no, this is the killer, isn’t it?
Bong-hee notices something in his hand, so he deliberately fumbles his glass of water to distract her again. He smiles at Bong-hee when she looks at him, but the smile disappears when she looks away, which is creepy as hell.
After he leaves, Bong-hee goes over her notes, wondering why the killer would show himself now. Hoping for Ji-wook when she hears a knock, Bong-hee can’t hide her disappointment at seeing Section Chief Bang, and he’s not fooled by her perky attempt to recover. He says dryly that Ji-wook sent him, then informs her that her landlord told him that she’s being evicted.
He takes Bong-hee to pick up a copy of the CCTV tapes from the shoe store, though Bong-hee doesn’t think it will help, since she’s never seen his face. She notices that Section Chief Bang is snippy today, and he quips that he’s punishing her for being disappointed to see him. Bong-hee says that’s her fault, because she’s having a difficult time with her feelings for a certain someone.
Section Chief Bang gets a sly look on his face and says that he thinks she likes Ji-wook, because he’s seen her stalking him. Bong-hee doesn’t believe him when he assures her that Ji-wook has no idea, so he tells her that Ji-wook is clueless about women’s feelings. Bong-hee whines that she thought he hated her for stalking him, but Section Chief Bang is convinced that Ji-wook never noticed.
District Attorney Jang meets with an underling, who reports seeing Ji-wook and Bong-hee together. Ji-wook arrives to meet with District Attorney Jang, and on the way, he seems to recognize the spy.
Ji-wook tells District Attorney Jang that he saw a certain car in front of Bong-hee’s office several times yesterday. The license plate marked it as an official state car, and Ji-wook deduced that District Attorney Jang is having Bong-hee watched.
Jang doesn’t deny checking in on Bong-hee, since she killed his son. Ji-wook requests to see the car’s black box video from last night, hoping that it caught the killer’s face. District Attorney Jang sneers that his car doesn’t have a black box, and Ji-wook mutters that he’s not surprised.
District Attorney Jang stops him on his way out to ask if he’s helping Bong-hee try to prove her innocence. Ji-wook says that he is, and District Attorney Jang demands to know how Ji-wook can believe her claims. Ji-wook says that it’s not Bong-hee he believes, but the circumstantial evidence.
He admits that he’s letting a killer go free if he’s wrong, but he asks District Attorney Jang what he’ll do if Bong-hee is innocent. Jang spits that Bong-hee is free anyway, but Ji-wook recalls how she’s broke and can’t get work because of her reputation, and he says that she’s not really very free.
After Ji-wook leaves, the district attorney orders two minions to spread a rumor that Ji-wook came here and caused a scene. His intent is to ruin Ji-wook’s reputation among his fellow attorneys, which will spread discontent and cause the others to resent him.
Bong-hee’s mom retires from her masseuse job, and she tells her daughter that she’s going to find a new career that doesn’t ruin her wrists. Ji-wook’s mom shows up at the massage parlor soon after with a gift, assuming that she hasn’t booked her because of their fight. She whines that Bong-hee’s mom never told her she was retiring before calling Ji-wook about her first-world problem, but he just tells her not to get so upset.
Section Chief Bang meets Ji-wook for dinner, having already heard about his fight with District Attorney Jang. Ji-wook steers the conversation back to Bong-hee, and Section Chief Bang tells him that the shoe store CCTV showed no male customers on the day the shoes were purchased.
Section Chief Bang is confused about Ji-wook’s change of heart towards Bong-hee. Ji-wook explains that he just has this feeling that he should protect her, calling it annoying. But Section Chief Bang peers at him and says that he doesn’t look all that annoyed. Ha.
Ji-wook narrates that he felt safe and calm during the two years when he didn’t see Bong-hee, because the days all blurred together and nothing was important. But now that he’s seen her again, he says that everything is all shaken up. He’s met a stalker, the real killer has resurfaced, and even his home has been invaded.
He goes home after his dinner with Section Chief Bang to find Bong-hee at his front gate, suitcases in tow, bouncing in frustration that she can’t get inside. He watches her for a minute, even smiling a little, as he admits to himself that his life is dangerous and exhausting now, but at least it’s not boring.
He listens to her argue with herself about whether it’s a good idea to take him up on his offer to stay with him. He sneaks up behind her as she concocts an excuse to sell to him, and when she finally sees him there, she shrieks and falls off her heel. Ji-wook feels bad for making her twist her ankle and informs her for no reason at all that he’s drunk.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Inside, Ji-wook insists on holding ice on Bong-hee’s sore ankle himself, which makes her heart pound. Eventually he falls asleep like that, which Bong-hee finds adorable, though she warns herself not to fall for him again. Honey, that ship has sailed.
She gently eases Ji-wook back onto the couch and covers him with a blanket. He looks peaceful, but in his dreams he relives the district attorney’s parting words that day. He’d said that Ji-wook thinks that he upheld justice, but he actually made a huge mistake, just like his father.
Ji-wook is thrown back to his childhood, and we see his father reaching out to him through a wall of fire. His father collapses, and a shadowy man approaches little Ji-wook as he cries in fear.
In the morning, Bong-hee despairs over rent costs as she searches for an apartment, wishing she were brave enough to stay at Ji-wook’s. She recalls running into him after his morning run, and how sexy he’d looked just drinking a glass of water. Down, girl.
In the restaurant behind Bong-hee, a familiar-looking young woman reads as a trio of thugs attempt to steal a customer’s laptop. The woman stops them, and when one raises his hand to her, she swiftly and efficiently kicks their asses.
Bong-hee hears the commotion and runs inside just as one of the men is about to crack a chair over the woman’s head. Bong-hee delivers a huge kick, which effectively neutralizes the thug, though it re-injures her ankle.
Impressed, the familiar woman, who we’ll eventually get to know as CHA YOO-JUNG (Nara) tells Bong-hee that she’s a prosecutor. Yoo-jung takes Bong-hee to have her ankle treated, then they exchange business cards, agreeing that they like each other quite a lot.
Ji-wook worries when he sees Bong-hee’s ankle in a huge bandage, and she tries to tell him that it’s not from him scaring her last night. But his guilty face is so cute that she lets him keep thinking that it’s his fault.
He leans over to pick up Bong-hee in a princess carry, and she lights up when she realizes what’s happening. But then he stops when he feels her weight and offers a piggyback instead. PWAHAHA. It’s not quite as swoony, but Bong-hee takes what she can get.
Ji-wook deposits Bong-hee in the guest room and brings her some water, and Bong-hee decides to take full advantage of his guilty conscience. She spends the next few days letting him wait on her hand and foot, enjoying having such a handsome butler on call.
Bong-hee’s old classmate and rival Ji-hae approaches Yoo-jung, a bit awed by her high school and college sunbae. Ji-hae babbles that she’s wanted to meet with Yoo-jung since she became a prosecutor, but Yoo-jung was away studying in the U.S.
Yoo-jung blurts that she didn’t go to the States to study; she went because she cheated on her boyfriend and wanted to escape. We see why she looks so familiar — she’s the ex-girlfriend that Ji-wook caught with another man.
Ji-hae says that she did the same thing, and as we suspected, she’s the woman that Hee-joon met at the hotel on the night that Bong-hee discovered him cheating. She confesses to Yoo-jung that she slept with her friend’s boyfriend, but she avoids answering when Yoo-jung asks about the guy she cheated with.
She asks about Yoo-jung’s man on the side, but Yoo-jung says she forgot. She explains that forgetting the guy is the only way she can get back with her ex-boyfriend.
District Attorney Jang’s plan to sow resentment for Ji-wook seems to be working. An attorney bursts into his office, furious that he was discriminated against in court because he works for the same law firm as Ji-wook. Eun-hyuk has to drag the guy out, but Ji-wook can still hear the attorney saying that it’s Ji-wook’s fault that they’re all struggling in court.
CEO Byun stops the argument and yanks Eun-hyuk and Ji-wook into his office. Ji-wook gripes that the other attorneys will blame him for all of their problems, because it’s easier than taking responsibility. CEO Byun orders them both to spend some time with their coworkers and hopefully avoid future problems.
That evening, Ji-wook and Eun-hyuk go out with coworkers as instructed, though none of them look happy to be there. Eun-hyuk elbows the pouting Ji-wook when Bong-hee walks in with her old school buddy Hee-kyu and two of his colleagues. She spots him too, but motions for him not to approach.
Her presence here turns out to be a “preliminary interview,” and Ji-wook tries not to watch. Their table gets loud and raucous as Ji-wook looks on incredulously, and Eun-hyuk seems a little jealous to be stuck at the boring table, hee.
Eun-hyuk asks Ji-wook if Bong-hee is trying to get a job, and Ji-wook goes all eye-rolly and high-pitched as he says he doesn’t care. Eun-hyuk mutters that something scandalous happened at that law firm last year, then catches Ji-wook leaning closer to hear about it. Eun-hyuk says that he doesn’t know anything either and laughs that weird laugh. Pfft, I think I love him.
Ji-wook can’t help himself, so he intercepts Bong-hee on her way out of the ladies’ room to ask why she’s drinking with those guys. He says there’s no such thing as a job interview at a bar, but Bong-hee says that she has to take her chances where they present themselves. Ji-wook counters that other opportunities will come, but Bong-hee tells him that she’s out of time.
Serious for once, Bong-hee says that she’s trying to act like she’s okay, but she’s not. She tells Ji-wook that she feels bad for inconveniencing him, and she can’t be this shameless for much longer.
Bong-hee heads back to her table, where the lawyers tell her that she’s hired. Bong-hee is thrilled, until they tell her to wear sexier clothing, because their clients like women in skimpy outfits. Hee-kyu explains that she’s going to be a “visitation lawyer” — in essence, it’s her job to visit clients in prison and cheer them up. Gross.
Bong-hee asks why they didn’t tell her she was being considered for this type of job, and over at his table, Ji-wook has heard enough. He stalks over just in time to stop Bong-hee from throwing her beer in the lawyers’ faces, and he tells her not to waste her energy or her drink.
Bong-hee storms out with Ji-wook right on her heels. She tells him not to say a word about this, but Ji-wook stops her and says that she’s not inconveniencing him. Awww. He asks her to come work for him, then leans in very close. Bong-hee braces herself for a possible kiss, but instead, Ji-wook passes out on her shoulder.
Eun-hyuk smiles as Ji-wook and Bong-hee leave together, then regards the table of jerks with a shrewd eye. He follows them to the bathroom, and while they’re lined up at the urinals, Eun-hyuk pretends to drunkenly stagger into all three of them. It makes a huge mess, and Eun-hyuk leaves with a smirk and a swagger. Best wingman ever.
Ji-wook wakes the next morning in his own bed, and it takes him a minute to realize that under the covers, he’s completely naked. He naturally assumes that something happened with Bong-hee, since all he remembers is her carrying him into his room, and him falling on top of her.
He slinks downstairs to find Bong-hee grinning at him knowingly, and he struggles to ask her what happened last night. All Bong-hee does is simper at him and coo, “I don’t knooow…” which just confirms Ji-wook’s worst fears.
Bong-hee heads back to her room to gloat at how easy it was to scare Ji-wook into thinking they slept together. She tells herself that it serves him right for not telling her what happened between them two years ago. She does wonder what he meant when he asked her to work with him, then figures that he probably doesn’t remember.
The creepy possible-killer calls Bong-hee’s number, but she doesn’t answer. He approaches a door and takes out the keychain he dropped in her office, which has the letters “NFC” on it and contains a chip that opens the door.
Ji-wook tries to sneak out alone, and he actually screams when Bong-hee asks where he’s going, HA. He notices that she’s all dressed up, but before she can say why, she sees the missed call from the creepy guy and gets excited, thinking the forensic tests on her office are out.
She calls back with Ji-wook latched onto her, listening in like their heads are glued together. She waves him off and he goes out the gate ahead of her, but he screeches to a halt when he sees Yoo-jung standing there.
Bong-hee is excited to see her new friend, but then she notices Ji-wook standing stock-still, staring at Yoo-jung in shock.
Well shoot, I was all prepared to dislike Yoo-jung on sight for what she did to Ji-wook, but then she turned out to be a straight-up badass. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like her, but now I have to confess that I find her intriguing. It was an interesting choice to have Bong-hee meet Yoo-jung before knowing who she is to Ji-wook, and to have the two ladies hit it off so well. It’s going to make things a lot more complicated if Bong-hee is torn between liking the woman on a personal level, and disliking her for hurting Ji-wook. I have a feeling that Yoo-jung isn’t going to be your usual kdrama second lead who just exists to make things difficult for the main couple.
I really appreciate a drama where the characters are honest about their thoughts and feelings, and Suspicious Partner is proving to be an excellent example of this in action. Honesty between characters keeps the plot moving and the story line fresh, not to mention how it gives everyone a chance to interact in ways that are way more interesting to watch than when they decide not to speak the truth. Bong-hee is incapable of keeping a single solitary thought to herself, and Eun-hyuk seems to enjoy letting Ji-wook know everything he’s thinking at all times. Even smaller characters like Section Chief Bang get to deliver choice bits of information like how clueless Ji-wook is with women, plus he got to call out Bong-hee’s crush on him. It’s so much more fun when you never know who is going to say what, and when!
Ji-wook is the only closed-off character, but that really only manifested when he lost his job as a prosecutor. Before that, he was outspoken and sassy, and he even seemed to enjoy antagonizing Bong-hee just so they could fight about it. It’s sad to see him so quiet and subdued now, but I’m looking forward to seeing Bong-hee tease that spirit back out of him as he loses his battle with his feelings. It’s already happening, though Ji-wook doesn’t realize it, as proven by the way he confronted District Attorney Jang for having Bong-hee followed the very day after he discovered it. His unacknowledged feelings for Bong-hee are already drawing him out of his shell and causing him to get a bit of life back in his eyes, and I’m so glad, because seeing Ji-wook looking so despondent wasn’t fun. Now if Eun-hyuk can just manage to effect Ji-wook the same way, everything would be perfect.
I fear that I’ve wronged Eun-hyuk terribly by assuming bad things about him in the beginning. I think I still wasn’t over Choi Tae-joon’s portrayal of charming serial killer Tae-ho in Missing 9, but now I think Eun-hyuk really is just a big squishy-bear who probably made a huge mistake and hurt Ji-wook, but who truly regrets it and still loves his friend. He’s done too many things for Ji-wook when Ji-wook wasn’t even aware of it, like getting revenge against the disgusting lawyers in the bar. And that wasn’t even for Ji-wook so much as it was for Bong-hee, but Eun-hyuk can see that his friend likes her. And with a guy like Eun-hyuk, that automatically makes Bong-hee a friend. Something about Eun-hyuk just makes me want to hug him, and though at first I thought it was an act hiding something possibly darker on the inside, now I just think that Eun-hyuk is exactly what he seems to be.
With Hee-joon’s killer making himself known (and I’m surprised we’ve seen his face so soon, but it makes me excited to get to know his character better), Ji-wook, Bong-hee, and Eun-hyuk won’t be able to afford to be at odds for much longer. They’re going to need Ji-wook’s doggedness, Bong-hee’s courage, and Eun-hyuk’s formidable intellect and willingness to do anything for his friends in order to outsmart the murderer and clear Bong-hee’s name. I hope that the three of them can put aside their conflicts, form an adorable little team, and take down the bad guy together.
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