Suspicious Partner: Episodes 9-10
This show knows exactly how to yank at my heartstrings. It blends humor and pain together so well that I’m constantly kept on my toes, unsure of what to expect next. The past finally rears its ugly head for Ji-wook and Eun-hyuk, who have very different ideas of whether their situation can be fixed. Too bad they’re both stubborn as mules, but I have faith that the love between them can still mend their lingering hurts. Eventually.
EPISODE 9 RECAP
Ji-wook is caught trying to sneak out by Bong-hee, who calls back the forensic examiner who investigated her office (and who turned out to be the killer himself) after having missed his call. We see their conversation from his point of view — he tells Bong-hee that nothing of interest was found while standing over a grisly murder scene. (Shudder)
Ji-wook heads out of his gate ahead of Bong-hee, then stops short when he finds himself face-to-face with his ex-girlfriend, Yoo-jung. Bong-hee sees the way he looks at Yoo-jung and knows immediately that this is the woman who betrayed him. She stealthily sneaks past them without their noticing.
After a few moments of silence, Yoo-jung asks Ji-wook if he’s curious why she’s here. He says that he’s not, nor is he interested in yelling or blaming her, only in hearing what she wants so he can go. Yoo-jung calls him cold, but Ji-wook just says that there’s nothing left between them to discuss.
He starts to walk away, but Yoo-jung stops him with a hand on his arm. She says they can’t just forget each other so easily, but Ji-wook counters that she means nothing to him. Their words begin to grow heated, but before it goes very far, Bong-hee trills a loud, “Jagi-yaaah!” at Ji-wook and bounces up to them.
The incredulous look Ji-wook aims at Bong-hee is priceless, as she aegyos outrageously and introduces herself to Yoo-jung as his girlfriend. Ji-wook attempts to drag Bong-hee away, but Yoo-jung asks if Bong-hee really is his girlfriend. Bong-hee latches onto his arm and lays her head on his shoulder, pouting that she’s dizzy after their wild night last night. PFFT.
They finally escape Yoo-jung and head to Ji-wook’s car, where Bong-hee quickly drops Ji-wook’s arm. He fusses at her for her insane behavior then opens his car door into her stomach (ha), leaving her to trot around to the passenger seat on her own.
She says she was just trying to help, especially since he did the same thing for her once. Ji-wook suddenly remembers patting her head and calling her pretty for Hee-joon’s benefit, and he demands a wet wipe for his hands, which suddenly feel dirty.
Ji-wook tells Bong-hee to forget that day, deadpanning that he doesn’t want to be in her memories. He tells her never to repay him like this again because he’s scared she’ll say—… Which is when Bong-hee cuts in: “Your wife?” Enjoying his discomfort, she muses that she could just say he’s the father of her children, ha.
Meanwhile, the killer dispassionately looks around his victim’s home, then leaves the premises. At the house next door, someone peeks out the window and witnesses him walking away.
Stunned at Ji-wook’s reaction to seeing her again, Yoo-jung thinks back on their time together in school. They had been adorable together, flirting during study time, drawing hearts in each other’s books, and kissing in the quad.
Ji-wook is also preoccupied as he drives, missing Bong-hee’s drop-off and accidentally taking her to his appointment. He asks distractedly if she followed him here, then wanders off, leaving her to find her way alone.
Eun-hyuk drives up and smiles to see Bong-hee, asking cheerfully if she came to see him before getting his head bitten off for his trouble. Eun-hyuk says he’s just glad he’s not the one she’s angry with, and he offers to let her take her anger out on him any time, since he’s got so much experience with that.
Inside, Ji-wook listens disinterestedly as CEO Byun complains of being left out of meetings at his own law firm. Eun-hyuk joins them and reaches to refill Ji-wook’s wine glass, but Ji-wook snatches the bottle to pour his own glass.
It’s CEO Byun’s birthday, and Eun-hyuk presents him with a bottle of his favorite wine. Ji-wook also brought a gift and a letter, which tickles CEO Byun pink until he sees that it’s a resignation letter. HA.
After sending CEO Byun home in a taxi, Eun-hyuk asks Ji-wook why he’s resigning. Ji-wook snaps that he doesn’t owe Eun-hyuk any explanations and leaves. Eun-hyuk’s phone rings with a call from Yoo-jung, and he declines the call, muttering to himself, “So, you’re back.”
Frustrated and dying of curiosity, Yoo-jung visits Ji-hae at her office to get some inside info on Bong-hee. Ji-hae informs her that Bong-hee was the primary suspect in the DA’s son’s murder, showing Yoo-jung the news reports from back then. Yoo-jung sighs that she liked Bong-hee when they first met, but since then, she’s only met her under unfavorable conditions.
Bong-hee watches Ji-wook trudge upstairs after work, then follows to peer at him worriedly as he listens to the saddest music she’s ever heard. He senses her there and she cringes guiltily, but he just asks if she’s hungry.
He makes them a small snack of sautéed dumplings as Bong-hee sets the table. While Bong-hee eats, Ji-wook tells her not to ask the question she’s asking him with her eyes. She asks anyway: “Why did you two break up?”
Downing his beer, Ji-wook says that he found Yoo-jung with another man. Bong-hee bursts into a string of curse words, which makes Ji-wook laugh and joke that this must be why people vent to others — to have someone take their side.
The killer’s latest victim is discovered, and the forensic investigation team is called out. The killer himself is part of the team — ah, so he really is in forensics.
Bong-hee sees the news on television as she eats dinner, coincidentally with the killer, who she’s meeting with to get the results from her office break-in. His name is GO CHAN-HO (Kim Jin-tae), and he confirms that he investigated this recent murder when she asks.
Bong-hee wonders why anyone would kill another person, and Chan-ho says that each murderer probably has their own reasons. Bong-hee asks what Hee-joon’s killer’s reasons could possibly have been, but Chan-ho says with a smile that he has no way of knowing that.
After dinner, Chan-ho asks what Bong-hee plans to do now. She says confidently that Hee-joon’s killer will show himself eventually. When Chan-ho asks if that will put her in more danger, Bong-hee vows never to give up. Chan-ho says admiringly that she’s fearless, but Bong-hee corrects him and says that she’s just more afraid of living as a suspect for the rest of her life.
Chan-ho offers Bong-hee a ride home, and something about his manner seems to make her wary of accepting. She reluctantly agrees, then when she turns to walk to his car, Chan-ho’s expression turns frighteningly menacing.
A hand clamps down on Bong-hee’s arm, making her whirl around in alarm, but whew, it’s only Ji-wook. He says that Section Chief Bang told him where to find her, then settles in to discuss the lack of evidence in Bong-hee’s office with Chan-ho. Bong-hee watches him in a bit of a daze, remembering his promise to help her catch Hee-joon’s real killer and clear her name.
As they walk home, Bong-hee chirps that Ji-wook is being subtly nice to her, but he disagrees and says he’s being explicitly nice. She asks why, hoping he’ll say he’s worried about her, but he puts a hand on her head and says it’s just a general love of humanity. Ha, Bong-hee actually looks up the word “humanity” to see what he means.
Ji-wook’s coworkers happily celebrate his impending resignation, but he just rolls his eyes. They find themselves suddenly facing Eun-hyuk, who cheerfully informs them that they’re not long for this firm themselves and warns them to worry about their own jobs. Did I mention he’s the best wingman ever?
Ji-wook cooks dinner again that night, and as Bong-hee sets the table, she thinks about how he’s not respected at his firm because he deliberately let a murder suspect go free. She’s heard that he submitted a letter of resignation, but she knows that he only did it because he thinks he’s going to be fired soon anyway.
While Ji-wook’s mom looks through applications for a job opening at her Papa John’s franchise, CEO Byun sits with her. He’s worried that Ji-wook will fail if he starts his own firm, so he urges Mom to stop him from resigning. Instead, she urges CEO Byun to use his money to help Ji-wook. HA, the poor guy is no match for her.
She gasps excitedly when Bong-hee’s mother’s resume pops up on her tablet. She sees this as her chance for revenge against the woman she thinks looks down on her, and she makes certain that Bong-hee’s mom is hired.
Bong-hee’s closing of her office is a series of disappointments, as she learns that she’s used up all of her deposit and is forced to sell the furniture for a fraction of what she paid. She takes her name plate off the door last with tears welling in her eyes.
She’s excited to run into Ji-wook at the grocery store, though he’s just annoyed as usual. She offers to pay for his groceries in appreciation of his kindness to her, so he hilariously loads up his cart to the brim, ha.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Not long after that, Ji-wook comes home after work one day to find Bong-hee gone, having left behind only a note thanking him for everything he’s done for her. She says that she has nothing now, but someday she’ll find a way to return his kindness.
She’s left him a little care package of snacks, teas, and healthy foods. Ji-wook imagines her setting everything out, grumbling that he doesn’t like any of it. He goes to her room to see it empty of everything but her memory, and he even complains about how clean she left it.
He finds Bong-hee’s compact on the table, the same compact she leaves behind whenever she’s hoping he’ll find her to return it. This time, Ji-wook opens it and discovers that the makeup inside has long since been used up.
The next morning, Ji-wook presents CEO Byun with his official resignation. CEO Byun offers to be an investor in Ji-wook’s new practice, which Ji-wook instantly rejects. When Ji-wook leaves the office, he nearly bowls over his nasty coworkers, and for the first time ever, he addresses them.
He says that he’s been working here much longer than he wanted to, just because he knew it irritated them. He leaves them gaping, a giant smile plastered all over his face.
He goes to find Section Chief Bang and drags him to a secluded corner, whispering that he’s opening his own firm like it’s highly classified information. He says that he needs someone like Section Chief Bang to be his office manager — someone like him, not actually him. HA.
Ji-wook rearranges the lower floor of his house, converting it into an office. CEO Byun adorably sneaks in to check things out while Ji-wook isn’t looking, then goes back to his firm to tell Eun-hyuk that he’s quitting to manage Ji-wook’s new firm (this will be quite the shock to Ji-wook).
In the meantime, Bong-hee gives up on the law altogether. She goes back to her roots, teaching taekwondo to kids in a studio owned by a friend. But the thought of Ji-wook causes her to get lost in memories of the times he was sweet to her, and her distraction gets her clocked in the face by a tiny fist.
Out of contacts and unable to afford more, she’s wearing her glasses when it happens, and they get cracked. She takes them off and spots someone entering the room, assuming he’s a parent here for a consult. But when she hears the man’s familiar voice, she realizes that it’s not a parent but Ji-wook, who allows himself a small smile to see her in those dorky glasses.
Taking her outside to talk, he asks if she’s giving up on the law too easily. Bong-hee says that actually, it wasn’t easy at all. With a heavy sigh, Ji-wook asks if Bong-hee is dumping him, reminding her that he once asked her to work for him.
She’d assumed he was drunk and didn’t mean it, but now he assures her that he meant every word. Bong-hee leans in veeery close, saying that she needs to see his face clearly to determine if he’s pulling her leg. Flustered, Ji-wook struggles to hold eye contact with Bong-hee so near, but his expression convinces her that he’s serious.
Bong-hee asks if Ji-wook remembers what happened after she got him home that night, referring to how they’d landed on his bed with Ji-wook on top of her. He says he doesn’t recall, then snaps at her not to act shy about it. Sure, you don’t remember, okay buddy.
She thanks Ji-wook for the offer but turns it down, saying that it would be too difficult to give it up again if this plan fails. She adds that living in his guest room would be a hassle for him and would make her look shameless.
She heads back to work, but Ji-wook calls out to her. He says that her shamelessness is what makes her unique, and that if she decides not to be shameless, then she’ll just be like everyone else. He makes his exit, congratulating himself on how cool he was just then.
Bong-hee agonizes over Ji-wook’s offer, wanting to accept but fearing the possibility of giving up both her career and Ji-wook a second time. She looks at her friend with pleading eyes, and her friend nods and gives her the thumbs-up.
She quickly packs and runs outside — where Ji-wook is waiting. Awww, he knew she’d come! He teases that she took seven whole minutes, a lot longer than he expected, and she grumps that it was a long seven minutes.
On the drive back to his place, Ji-wook tells Bong-hee that she is kind of a hassle sometimes, but that she’s also going to be his hostage. He clarifies that he needs her close in order to catch Hee-joon’s killer, and she grins at the idea of being his hostage.
They arrive at the house to find it taken over by CEO Byun, Eun-hyuk, and Section Chief Bang, who have all decided to work for Ji-wook. CEO Byun recognizes Bong-hee as that DA’s son’s murderer, making her bristle that she’s presumed innocent.
They bicker loudly until Ji-wook explodes, yelling that he’s changed his mind and wants to work alone. He actually kicks Eun-hyuk out of the house, literally.
Bong-hee settles back into her old room, swooning over how romantic it is to be Ji-wook’s “hostage.” She jumps around excitedly, thrilled to have been upgraded from generic humanity, hee.
She goes to the kitchen later and finds Ji-wook there. She asks if Section Chief Bang and CEO Byun are really going to work here, and Ji-wook says they are. Tentatively, Bong-hee inquires about Eun-hyuk, but Ji-wook just mutters something about ice cream and leaves the house.
He finds Eun-hyuk still waiting outside to talk to him. He says it’s too late when Eun-hyuk wants to explain himself, but Eun-hyuk asks him earnestly to just listen.
On a bench in the park, Eun-hyuk mentions a time capsule that they buried as children and suggests they open it now. Ji-wook snaps at him to get to the point, because this is the only chance he’s going to get. But as Eun-hyuk launches into his explanation, a lit cigarette lands on his foot.
Eun-hyuk chastises the passing trio of high school boys for smoking, then Ji-wook surprises him by angrily saying the cigarette could have hit Eun-hyuk in the face. One of the boys recognizes Ji-wook — it’s the bully that Ji-wook yelled at for being a rich spoiled brat.
The teen calls Ji-wook a stuck-up lawyer, causing him and Eun-hyuk to surge to their feet. They’re spoiling for a fight until they realize how much bigger the boy’s two friends are, and Eun-hyuk is suddenly all smiles as he says that they don’t want any trouble.
He and Ji-wook turn to go, but they find two more boys behind them, blocking their path. They have a quick, quiet conversation about how they need to get hit first to avoid charges, but then Eun-hyuk realizes that there are no CCTV cameras around.
Suddenly, it’s on. Ji-wook shoves Eun-hyuk into the boys and runs, but they’re quickly cut off by even more thugs. One boy throws a punch, and Ji-wook and Eun-hyuk fight back like a well-oiled machine, assisting each other with wild kicks and wrestling moves.
It works, at least until the high schoolers manage to get them apart, but they fight back as best they can with feet and teeth. But they’re badly outnumbered and lose spectacularly.
Later, as they lay gasping on the sidewalk, Eun-hyuk looks over at Ji-wook. He remembers the day back in college when he’d planned to confess to Yoo-jung, having liked her first. But instead, he’d witnessed Yoo-jung’s confession to Ji-wook and Ji-wook’s hesitant acceptance.
We’re shown all of the same cute couple moments between Ji-wook and Yoo-jung, only this time, we see that Eun-hyuk was always there with them, and always the third wheel. He narrates that he tried to give up his feelings for Yoo-jung, but he failed. We revisit the night that Ji-wook found Yoo-jung cheating on him, and as we feared, it was Eun-hyuk she’d cheated with.
Back in the present, Eun-hyuk tells Ji-wook that he has no excuse for what he did. Ji-wook says that he’ll never forgive Eun-hyuk and walks away. As he goes, Eun-hyuk whispers, resigned: “I know.”
Ji-wook hears him and turns back for a moment, narrating that despite everything, he can’t cut ties with Eun-hyuk or Yoo-jung because they’re his only friends. They’ve been there his whole life, comforting him when his father died, growing up together, always inseparable.
Ji-wook pulls up his hoodie and dodges Bong-hee when he gets home, but she’s determined to get a look at his face. She finally grabs his head and holds him still, frowning at his injuries, while he mumbles that it wasn’t an even match.
Bong-hee doctors up his wounds, reminding him that she’s a taekwondo master and that he should call her next time he’s in a fight. He falls asleep while Bong-hee watches over him, whispering that he doesn’t seem to have insomnia after all.
The next morning, CEO Byun and Section Chief Bang arrive at Ji-wook’s house with a master plan to force him to hire Eun-hyuk. CEO Byun lies on the floor in protest while Section Chief tries to flip a table, but Ji-wook only steps past them, unconcerned.
Bong-hee watches a news story about the murdered man, who was a celebrity chef, and Bong-hee sighs that she was a fan of his because he was so handsome. Eun-hyuk and Ji-wook both grumble that she has low standards, hee.
Chan-ho also sees the news story in a store window and stops, smiling a tiny, smug smile when he learns that a suspect has been identified. We see a man named JUNG HYUN-SOO (Dongha) being handcuffed, looking terrified as he realizes he’s being arrested for murder. Ji-wook’s voice informs us that Hyun-soo is his new firm’s first client.
I’m so happy to finally see Dongha’s character enter the story! I know that he got a lot of praise for his role in Chief Kim, which I haven’t seen yet (I will, I promise), but he caught my eye two years ago with his chilling, yet ultimately heartbreaking, role as Praying Mantis in Last. I’m excited to see how his arrest impacts the story. I already like how his problem mirrors Bong-hee’s past, which I’m guessing is the reason he hires her and Ji-wook to defend him. If anyone can get an innocent man cleared of charges, it’s these two, having done it once before.
I’m very curious about the killer, Chan-ho, now that we know a bit more about him. We haven’t seen any evidence of the amnesia his character is supposed to suffer from, but one very disturbing thing about him is that he had a keychain containing a chip that let him into his most recent victim’s home. Is it possible he’s a killer-for-hire, and that his amnesia makes him a perfect assassin since he won’t even recall his own hit jobs? But then, he does seem to remember Bong-hee from years ago, when he thought she witnessed him carrying a body before killing Hee-joon in her apartment.
It’s so hard to decide which character I like the most in this show, so I’ve pretty much decided that whoever is on screen at the moment is my favorite. Ji-wook is so deliciously vulnerable, and his admission that Eun-hyuk and Yoo-jung have been his only friends for his entire life explains a lot about why he’s having a difficult time letting Bong-hee in. Lucky for him, Bong-hee is a veritable cannonball of determination, offering to fight his fights with him and refusing to be ignored. And Eun-hyuk is somewhere in the middle: He’s guilt-ridden from what he’s done to his best, lifelong friend, yet he refuses to give up on mending those wounds. They’re all such wonderful, fully-realized characters, and I just want them to all love each other and be happy. It will be a long time before they get to that, but watching it play out is going to be a beautiful thing to witness.
It was no surprise to learn that the rift between Ji-wook and Eun-hyuk was because Eun-hyuk is the man who slept with Yoo-jung — I think most of us guessed that from the first episode. But at first, I thought that Ji-wook’s anger and hurt were because he loved Yoo-jung so much and it hurt to lose her. But his reaction to seeing her again was so cold and unemotional, yet he’s still simmering with anger towards Eun-hyuk. I think that it’s Eun-hyuk’s betrayal that was so painful to Ji-wook, not because it caused his breakup with Yoo-jung, but because it shattered the deep friendship between the two men. Ji-wook’s heartbreak feels to me to be more about losing Eun-hyuk than losing a girlfriend.
To Eun-hyuk’s credit, he seems more than aware of the enormity of what he did to Ji-wook. He’s normally so breezy and easygoing that it’s easy to assume that what happened didn’t affect him as deeply as it did Ji-wook, but this episode proved that he’s every bit as hurt and in pain over losing his best friend. On top of that, he has to carry around the crushing guilt of knowing that it’s all his fault. Now I believe that Eun-hyuk’s easygoing nature isn’t because he’s not as hurt as Ji-wook over their rift, but that it’s just his way of coping, the same way that Ji-wook’s shutting down is his way of protecting himself. At least when it counted, Eun-hyuk was able to admit his wrongdoing without making excuses, which I hope will eventually go a long way toward healing the wounds in their friendship.
- Premiere Watch: Individualist Ji-young, Ruler, Suspicious Partner
- Subway misunderstandings and drunken frustrations in Suspicious Partner
- Shockingly suspicious and insanely lovable Suspicious Partners
- The Lonely Shining Suspicious Partner
- Rock the vote with Suspicious Partner
- Snuggly hugs on the set of poster shoots for SBS’s Suspicious Partner
- Stranger danger and high kicks on the set of Suspicious Partner
- Buoyant atmosphere at Suspicious Partner script read
- SBS’s Suspicious Partner gets a new client in Dongha