Suspicious Partner: Episodes 13-14
I love this picture — it just so perfectly illustrates Bong-hee and Ji-wook’s relationship right now. There’s a lot of denial floating around, particularly in Ji-wook’s case as he does his best to ignore both his feelings and his instincts. His mixed-up emotions could lead him into some very bad decisions if he’s not careful, so he’s going to have to get his head on straight if he wants to catch a killer and protect the woman he cares about.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Bong-hee frets outside Ji-wook’s house, worried when he’s late returning from taking Yoo-jung home. When he finally arrives, she flings herself into his arms, saying that she was scared he wouldn’t come home. Overcome with emotion, she unintentionally confesses: “I like you.”
Ji-wook almost hugs her back, but he lets his arm fall as tells her not to like him. Bong-hee backs up and asks why not, but he only stares at her sadly. Bong-hee breathes that she had so many things she wanted to ask, but she knows that he won’t answer them.
As Ji-wook looks into her tear-filled eyes, he wonders if he’ll regret this decision later. Bong-hee admits that she already regrets her confession, though she clarifies that she doesn’t regret her feelings for him.
She asks Ji-wook for a favor — to let her hug him one more time before she ends her one-sided love. He pulls her close before she even finishes her sentence, and they stand in each other’s arms for a long time.
In the morning, Ji-wook is startled half to death to find Bong-hee sitting on the kitchen floor holding spoons over her eyes. HAHA. She explains that the cold spoons are for her swollen eyes, since she slept sooo much.
Ji-wook starts to get her a cold towel, but Bong-hee says that if he’s going to ask her not to like him, then he should stop being nice. Ji-wook obeys, though he looks disappointed when she tells him that she’ll “reset” back to when she was just his intern.
Ji-wook takes a shaky breath and says that he’ll do as she says. When she shuffles off, he looks like he wants to kick himself, as if he’s already regretting his decision to stop things with her.
The rest of the guys show up to work to find that Ji-wook has laid out a huge breakfast. They wonder what’s up with him, and CEO Byun accuses those two of being up to something last night. Turns out, he’d fallen asleep while working, and when he’d tried to leave, he’d witnessed Ji-wook and Bong-hee hugging outside.
Bong-hee says that his eyes must be getting old, because nothing happened. Ji-wook backs her up, and though they convince CEO Byun that he saw it wrong, neither Eun-hyuk nor Chief Bang look the least bit fooled.
After breakfast, they go over the evidence from the theft and murder case. Evidence includes Hyun-soo’s shoe print inside the house, a lost button, and a neighbor’s eyewitness testimony that she saw Hyun-soo leaving the house near the time of the murder.
Hyun-soo’s criminal record is pretty bland, just a minor assault incident in which he was trying to save a woman from an attacker. The team’s biggest concern is the missing murder weapon, a knife around thirteen centimeters in length. That seems familiar to Ji-wook, since it sounds just like the knife that killed Hee-joon years ago, but he keeps it to himself.
Bong-hee says that there’s nothing proving that Hyun-soo is the murderer, though Ji-wook says there’s also no evidence that he’s not. Bong-hee is bent on confirming Hyun-soo’s alibi, deciding to find the couple who were having a party at the bar where Hyun-soo says he went on the day of the murder.
The bar has a wall where patrons can post pictures, notes, and other things of interest. She’d been there and found a photo of the couple in question, and had stuck a note to their picture asking them to call her or Ji-wook.
Yoo-jung and Ji-hae also discuss the case, having determined that Hyun-soo’s motive was money. Yoo-jung is particularly convinced that Hyun-soo is the killer, having caught him cracking a smile after her interrogation when he thought she wasn’t looking.
Ji-hae doesn’t really care — all she cares about is winning her first case against Bong-hee. They stop to nod respectfully to District Attorney Jang when he passes them in the hall, and he turns to watch them leave, looking thoughtful.
Eun-hyuk finds Bong-hee crouching outside looking miserable, and he asks if she wants to talk. She asks him to speak gently, saying that she feels like she’s filled with water and will burst with the slightest poke. (Poor thing, that feeling sucks.) She says she’ll be okay as long as she doesn’t cry in front of Ji-wook, and Eun-hyuk crouches next to her companionably, understanding how she feels.
Meanwhile Chief Bang asks Ji-wook what happened between him and Bong-hee, but Ji-wook just gives him that thousand-yard stare, then assigns him a long list of evidence-gathering tasks. HA, that’ll teach him to pry.
Ji-wook steps outside to find Bong-hee and Eun-hyuk still talking, and he kicks Eun-hyuk aside jealously. Bong-hee offers to go with him to investigate the house, making Eun-hyuk’s eyes bug out at her, but she tells herself to be strong and follows Ji-wook.
Eun-hyuk says quietly that doing your best to stop your feelings doesn’t do anything to change the other person, thinking about Yoo-jung. He smacks his own head like Bong-hee always does, telling himself to wake up.
Near the chef’s house, Ji-wook and Bong-hee discover that all of the security cameras are out of service. They find a working one down the street and decide to get a copy of its footage.
Bong-hee is impressed by how hard Ji-wook is working to clear Hyun-soo, but he makes it clear that he’s doing it for himself, so that he can defend Hyun-soo fairly. He sends Bong-hee to climb into the chef’s house through a window and let him in.
The house is ransacked, as you’d expect for a robbery, but Ji-wook notices several valuables that were left behind. He also sees the wires left behind from the framed picture, wondering why a thief would take a huge photo but leave behind an expensive watch.
They scramble for cover when they hear someone entering the house, since they’re here illegally. They hide behind the kitchen island, but a hand grabs Ji-wook’s collar and yanks him up. He fights back, slamming his assailant against the wall, then he realizes that it’s Yoo-jung.
Flustered, Ji-wook claims to be here legitimately and tries to make a cool exit. But Yoo-jung stops him and asks to speak to him alone for a few minutes, threatening to press charges against Bong-hee unless he complies. He agrees to five minutes, and the puppy-dog eyes he turns on Bong-hee are more than she can resist.
Yoo-jung reminds Ji-wook of Hyun-soo’s previous assault conviction as she hands him a packet of photos of the victim, who was beaten viciously. Yoo-jung says that if onlookers hadn’t stopped him, Hyun-soo would have killed the man. She asks why Ji-wook is defending the exact type of person he’d previously have prosecuted.
Ji-wook goes to see Hyun-soo, showing him the pictures of his assault victim. He says that he’s starting to think that Hyun-soo killed the chef, which puts Hyun-soo on his guard. Ji-wook continues that the assault case looks premeditated, almost as if he wanted to kill that person, too.
Hyun-soo admits that he wanted to kill the guy, because once he had to watch someone being hurt when he should have been protecting them. He says that he vowed that when he was older and stronger, he wouldn’t let anyone else be a victim like that. So when he saw this man assaulting a woman, he did what he had to do.
While he’s telling Ji-wook all this, Hyun-soo loses his composure entirely, slamming his fist into the photos as if he wants to pummel the man all over again. He rages, eyes rolling as he spits in fury, an entirely different person from the mild-mannered guy he usually appears to be.
Ji-wook says that he believes Hyun-soo, but adds that he doesn’t think Hyun-soo beat the man to stop him from hurting that woman. In Ji-wook’s opinion, this was a punishment. Brushing away a tear, Hyun-soo asks, “What’s wrong with that?” (Shudder.)
Collecting himself and acting like the innocent do-gooder again, Hyun-soo says that he was just trying to help someone when he beat that guy. He apologizes sweetly for losing his temper, and he repeats that no matter what happened before, he didn’t kill that chef because he doesn’t hurt people without a reason.
Back at the house, CEO Byun finds Ji-wook looking downcast. Ji-wook confesses that he hates guilty clients, but he hates innocent clients even more because he’s scared he won’t be able to prove their innocence. CEO Byun says that Ji-wook’s father used to worry about the same things.
Bong-hee, Eun-hyuk, and Chief Bang go out together and get totally sloshed. Bong-hee and Eun-hyuk agree that things would be easier if they were each other’s type, then they wouldn’t both be suffering from one-sided love right now. Okay, these two drunk fools are officially my new favorite thing.
Ji-wook shows up, annoyed with their behavior, but they’re too drunk to do anything but shoot cross-eyed finger-hearts at him. Ji-wook gives up on fussing at them since they’re too inebriated to notice anyway and sends Eun-hyuk home with a designated driver before walking home with Bong-hee happily clinging to him like a monkey.
She’s passed out cold by the time he flops her onto her bed, and Ji-wook takes a minute to put a pillow under her head. He notices how pretty she looks and sits on the edge of her mattress, then he reaches out a hand to touch her face. She turns over in her sleep, evading his touch, which makes him feel strangely rejected.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Eun-hyuk’s driver wakes him, and he realizes that he provided the wrong address. He apologizes, telling the driver where he actually lives, and as they pull away, he sees Yoo-jung walking home. Awww, he gave her address, didn’t he?
Ji-wook is super cranky with the three drunken idiots the next morning, yelling and slamming things as he issues orders. He sets Chief Bang to find out about the missing portrait and sends Eun-hyuk to the murdered chef’s restaurant, then he fixes his frightening gaze on Bong-hee. Uh-oh.
He screams at her to check every frame of the CCTV footage, and not to come back until she finds something. He tells her that this is her case and to take more responsibility, then he stomps off in a glorious snit.
The trio get on with their tasks, Eun-hyuk having the hardest time as he tries to convince a restaurant employee to talk to him. His persistence (and gorgeous smile) eventually pays off, and he discovers that the deceased chef was a real scumbag. He also learns that the chef’s sister used to clean up all of his messes, and Bong-hee remembers that she’s the one who found his body.
Bong-hee eventually finds something on the CCTV footage, and she and Ji-wook forget their awkwardness as they watch the video, heads bent close together. Ji-wook starts to pat her head, which reminds them both of other times he’s done that, so instead, he just gives her a weird poke in the shoulder.
On the second day of the trial, Ji-hae presents the evidence found at the murder scene, which does seem to point to Hyun-soo. Ji-wook argues that the button and shoe print were left at the scene the day before the murder, when Hyun-soo made a delivery to the house and helped the chef move some furniture. Ji-hae objects that this is conjecture, but Ji-wook fires back that so is their claim that he murdered the chef.
The neighbor is brought in, and she testifies that she saw Hyun-soo leaving the chef’s house near the time of the murder. As charming as can be, Ji-wook asks her to describe Hyun-soo’s clothing on that day, and she particularly notes that he looked slim like he does now, and that he wasn’t carrying a bag. Ji-wook then asks how he managed to steal any valuables.
Several things were reported stolen, including a laptop, gold bars, a camera, and a large portrait. Bong-hee pulls out a bag large enough to carry everything minus the portrait, which seems to prove that Hyun-soo can’t have been the thief. Plus, Ji-wook adds that none of the missing items have been found.
Ji-hae argues desperately that Hyun-soo could have returned later for the valuables, but Ji-wook debunks that theory too, since there was only one set of shoe prints. Bong-hee looks triumphant, and even Hyun-soo grins.
Next, Ji-wook questions the victim’s sister, who found the chef the day after the murder at about 1:00 p.m. She testifies that she called the police immediately after finding the body, but Ji-wook shows CCTV footage of her car leaving the area at 11:13 a.m., two hours before she reported the murder.
Ji-wook asks again what time she discovered the body, and the sister now says that she doesn’t remember. Ji-wook accuses her of killing her brother because she was tired of covering up his messy love life, which he’d told Bong-hee earlier would be a trick to get her to tell the truth.
It works — to avoid being branded a murderer, the sister confesses that she tampered with the murder scene to cover up her brother’s “monstrous acts.” She says that she found him already dead, and that videos of the horrible things he’d done to multiple women were playing on the television. So she set it up to look like a robbery to save her brother’s reputation.
Coldly, Ji-wook asks who saves the reputations of the women her brother violated. Hyun-soo looks up at that, his expression chilling.
Ji-wook is distracted as he and Bong-hee arrive home, and he shuffles upstairs to his office absently. Bong-hee goes up later to ask him something, and she finds him fast asleep sitting up. She decides to loosen his tie to make him more comfortable, so she leans close to carefully untie it.
Just as Bong-hee loosens his tie, Ji-wook’s eyes open, and he stares at her intensely. Bong-hee nervously explains that she was just trying to make him comfortable, but his gaze doesn’t waver in the slightest.
She stands to leave, but he grabs her by the wrist to stop her. Looking up at her with those sad, dark eyes, he apologizes, then asks her to stay for just a few minutes. She nods and sits at his feet, and Ji-wook closes his eyes and goes back to sleep.
Chief Bang comes upstairs in the morning, and he immediately goose-steps right back downstairs when he sees Bong-hee asleep with her head in Ji-wook’s lap. Awww. He even guards the stairs from Eun-hyuk and CEO Byun, growling at them to keep them from disturbing the sleeping beauties.
In light of the tainted evidence, the judge declares Hyun-soo not guilty of murder. Everyone on his team (except Ji-wook) is thrilled, and in the back of the courtroom, we see forensics investigator Chan-ho watching the proceedings.
The team and Hyun-soo go out for drinks to celebrate their new firm’s first victory, though Ji-wook keeps a suspicious eye on Hyun-soo. Chief Bang follows him outside, where Ji-wook says that he just feels uneasy because the real murderer is still out there. Chief Bang reminds him that that’s the prosecution’s job, and they head back inside.
The couple who had the party at Hyun-soo’s regular bar find the note that Bong-hee left, but when they call Bong-hee’s number, she’s singing for the team (horrifically, and against Ji-wook’s advice), and doesn’t hear her phone ring. They call Ji-wook next, so he steps out to meet with them at the bar.
The couple remember a guy drinking alone that night, but when they show Ji-wook a video they took with the boyfriend’s phone, the man behind them isn’t Hyun-soo. Confused, Ji-wook takes a look around the bar, and he notices something on the wall that chills him to the bone.
Among the things that customers have left there, he sees a picture of little girls with balloons, which is exactly what Hyun-soo said that he saw in the park on the day of the murder. There’s also a poster of the movie The Usual Suspects, which Hyun-soo claimed to have almost seen that day, along with the couple’s birthday party pictures.
With growing horror, Ji-wook realizes that Hyun-soo’s entire alibi is right here on the bar wall. He did come here on the day of the murder, but not until later, and he’d seen the items on the wall. So when he was arrested and Yoo-jung asked him what he was doing that day, Hyun-soo had concocted a detailed alibi from the pictures and notes he saw at the bar.
Drunker now, the team discuss Bong-hee’s tone-deafness, and she mentions the song she heard Hee-joon’s killer whistling on the night of his murder. She performs her Whee whee wheeeee song again, and we hear the killer whistling the tune on the day Bong-hee was acquitted. This time we see him there, leaving the courtroom as Bong-hee was surrounded by reporters.
It was Hyun-soo.
He was there when Bong-hee admired the shoes in the store window, and he was also there when Chan-ho was standing over the dead chef’s body and holding the murder weapon. It was Hyun-soo who left the shoes in Bong-hee’s office, and she’d chased out of the building and into the street. And it was Hyun-soo who’d biked past Bong-hee right before she found Hee-joon’s murdered body, whistling that mysterious tune.
He smiles placidly as Bong-hee attempts to whistle the song, confident that nobody will ever recognize it. He even teases Bong-hee, and she tells him that she’ll find the murderer, no matter what.
Stunned by his discovery, Ji-wook walks back to the bar, thinking that those who let a guilty criminal go free are guilty themselves. In a deserted underground walkway, he looks up to see Hyun-soo standing in front of him, smirking triumphantly. He thinks to himself that he’s helped a criminal get acquitted: Jung Hyun-soo.
Well, damn. Damn damn damn. I was so hoping that Hyun-soo was innocent, but I guess my theory last week was close — he and Chan-ho are a team, working together to commit and get away with murder. Strangely, last week Hyun-soo seemed to be the innocent one and Chan-ho came across as very menacing, but their personalities seem to have flipped. Now it’s Hyun-soo who scares me, while Chan-ho seemed very sad in the few seconds we saw him. It’s eating me up inside — I’m dying to know what these two are up to.
Although I’d guessed that Hyun-soo wasn’t really the soft-spoken guy he seemed to be, witnessing his rage when Ji-wook asked him about the man he assaulted was terrifying. His mention of punishment seems to fit with the Bible verse about rapists deserving to die that was written on the chef’s portrait, and I’m getting an idea of what Hyun-soo and Chan-ho are trying to do. I think that possibly they see themselves as some sort of anti-heroes, protecting the weak from those who harm them by making sure their attackers never hurt anyone ever again. It would explain why Hyun-soo has been following Bong-hee all this time without ever attacking her — maybe in his mind she was the victim, and the person who hurt her by cheating on her, Hee-joon, was righteously punished.
But then Bong-hee began to aggressively seek out Hee-joon’s killer, so Hyun-soo sent her those shoes in an attempt to scare her off his trail (I was right that it was him and not Chan-ho in her office that night). But I don’t think that he has any intention of hurting her, not at this point, because in his mind she’s not deserving of punishment. Let’s hope that she doesn’t do anything to change his mind. I’m also wondering where Chan-ho fits into all this, because he’s definitely involved, but at times he doesn’t look very happy about it. It makes me wonder if he’s the one that Hyun-soo mentioned failing to protect, and why he helps Hyun-soo… are they friends? Brothers? Heck, maybe Chan-ho is the killer and Hyun-soo is the one who cleans up after him. I don’t know, I’m grasping at straws here. But it’s obvious that their relationship is complex and codependent, and that it’s definitely not healthy.
I wasn’t expecting Ji-wook to figure out Hyun-soo’s secret so quickly, but once again, Suspicious Partner carries us speedily from plot point to plot point, giving us plenty of great story to absorb yet never feeling rushed or unfinished. It has to be killing Ji-wook to know he got Hyun-soo off the hook only to discover that his entire alibi was a lie, and I wonder what he’s going to do now that he knows for sure. A person can’t be tried for the same crime a second time after having been found not guilty, not unless definitive proof is found, so it’s very unlikely that Hyun-soo will face charges again for this murder. He’s either going to have to kill again and be found guilty, or Ji-wook is going to have to take the law into his own hands. Neither option seems ideal.
I’m also scared that Ji-wook could do something dangerous if Hyun-soo threatens Bong-hee. He’s so obviously head over heels for her that he’s even admitting it to himself, but he’s scared to start something with her for fear of being hurt again. He’s so wounded that it’s difficult to even look at him when he looks at Bong-hee that way, as if it’s the last time he’ll ever see her. He can refuse to act on his feelings, but he can’t deny them anymore, and I’m scared of what he’ll do if he thinks Bong-hee is in danger. I have no idea what’s going to happen, and I’m both terrified and excited to see where Ji-wook’s horrific discovery will take us next.
- Premiere Watch: Individualist Ji-young, Ruler, Suspicious Partner
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