Suspicious Partner: Episodes 17-18
Oh, the angst! I should have known that one intimate moment wouldn’t fix the chasm between Bong-hee and Ji-wook, keeping them from acting freely on their feelings. But lucky for us, the green-eyed monster lurks nearby, providing some of the most hilarious and swoon-worthy moments we’ve seen so far. So hold on tight as we dive in, and don’t forget to breathe.
EPISODE 17 RECAP
As Ji-wook rushes to intercept Bong-hee’s meeting with Chan-ho, memories of his father’s death and Eun-hyuk and Yoo-jung’s betrayal flash through his mind. He thinks about a poet who said, “We can generally predict the start of things, but we can’t generally predict the end of them.” But he knows that for him it’s the opposite—he’s experienced many endings in his life, so he hesitates to start something with Bong-hee out of fear of it ending.
He narrates that he pushed her away in the very moment that he realized his feelings for her. He knows that he’s failed to avoid developing feelings for her, and that he recognized them so late that he doesn’t know when they began.
He finds Bong-hee and takes her home, apologizing for yelling at her. She steps close to see if he’s sincere, having lost a contact, but when she moves to back away he grabs her and hugs her. Ji-wook leans back to look into Bong-hee’s eyes, then he kisses her.
The kiss goes on for quite a while as they savor the moment. Ji-wook narrates that he doesn’t understand it, he just knows that a new relationship with Bong-hee has begun.
When they finally break apart, Ji-wook realizes that Bong-hee seems pretty shocked. She backs away from him and walks to her room in a daze, leaving Ji-wook feeling conflicted.
After following Chan-ho to the park where he planned to meet Bong-hee, Hyun-soo rests in the back of Chan-ho’s car casually brandishing a large, cruel-looking knife. Chan-ho waits until it looks like Hyun-soo isn’t paying attention, then he slams on the brakes and tries to jump out of the car. Hyun-soo leaps at him, trying to stab him with the knife, but Chan-ho fends him off and eventually tumbles out onto the road.
Hyun-soo kicks the door into Chan-ho, knocking him across the bridge where they’ve stopped. He grabs Chan-ho by the throat and reminds him that he has to pay for his mistake. Chan-ho screams, “I can’t do this anymore!” and throws a few punches, but Hyun-soo is clearly the stronger fighter, pummeling Chan-ho back to the ground.
Chan-ho gets to his feet and charges, but again Hyun-soo gains the upper hand and shoves him away. But Chan-ho lands a lucky kick as he’s thrown to the side, slamming Hyun-soo into the car and earning himself a few precious seconds.
He stands at the bridge railing between the dual threats of Hyun-soo and the dark river, then as Hyun-soo stares in horror, Chan-ho leaps into the water and disappears. Hyun-soo is genuinely shaken as he looks down at the river, but he gets himself together and whispers that now, four people have disappeared, and three still need to disappear.
Bong-hee realizes that she can’t hide in her room all evening, and when she works up the nerve to open her door, she finds Ji-wook standing right there about to knock. HA. They’re both nervous but they agree that they need to talk.
Ji-wook starts to bring up the kiss, but Bong-hee interrupts to say that they don’t even know how many times they’ve done that, so they shouldn’t be awkward over something so meaningless. Shaking his head, Ji-wook says that he can’t just let it go, but Bong-hee misinterprets his words.
She assures him that she doesn’t like him anymore, and that she won’t be swayed by a small incident. Ji-wook blinks at her, not having expected her to stick to her guns about stopping her feelings for him. Bong-hee continues that she’s happy with her life right now, and she thanks him for turning her down, while Ji-wook hangs his head.
He holds in the words that he was planning to say out loud: that he regrets pushing her away and wants to turn back time. Bong-hee goes back to her room, telling herself that she did well, but Ji-wook is left heartbroken.
At a riverbank near where Hyun-soo and Chan-ho fought, a soaked figure drags himself from the water. It’s Chan-ho—he survived the fall, but now he’s in a whole lot of trouble.
After an evening at the bar, CEO Byun gets into his car and starts to call a designated driving service. A man parks his salvage cart nearby, and it starts to roll downhill towards a woman, who’s too distracted by her phone to notice.
Thinking fast, CEO Byun throws his car into gear and drives about ten feet to put his car between the woman and the cart, saving her from being crushed. He’s feeling pretty proud of his heroic act by the time the police arrive, but a breathalyzer test results in him being arrested for driving drunk.
After a sleepless night, Bong-hee and Ji-wook run into each other in the kitchen the following morning. This time Ji-wook doesn’t let Bong-hee side-step him, saying that it’s his turn to speak. He apologizes for taking so long to realize how he feels about her because he was afraid, as Bong-hee stands frozen in surprise and confusion.
Ji-wook takes her cup and drinks from it, then leans a bit closer than necessary to set it on the table. He seems unaware of the way he’s scrambling Bong-hee’s wits, and he continues that he respects that she’s given up on her feelings for him. He says that he’s not asking her to like him again, he just wants her to allow him to like her now.
And then the most beautiful thing happens: Ji-wook smiles a real, genuine, happy smile. He promises not to bother Bong-hee with his feelings, but says that he hopes that one day she’ll reconsider liking him again. He’s still smiling as he says that he’ll be waiting for her, then he reminds her to breathe. HA.
He walks past Bong-hee into the kitchen, then he doubles back to grab her empty cup. As he does, he leans his face veeery close to hers, seeming to enjoy making her jump. He’s adorably confident, though after Bong-hee leaves, he reminds himself to breathe. So. Cute.
He shoots Bong-hee an unfair amount of puppy eyes during the meeting that morning, which Eun-hyuk and Chief Bang notice right away. They talk about what might have happened between “those two” right in front of their faces, but they don’t even notice.
CEO Byun tells everyone about his drunk driving charges, and they exchange identical side-eyes at his unlikely excuse that he was totally going to call a designated driver. They all advise him to take his punishment like a man, but he insists on going to trial and arguing his innocence.
On the roof later, Ji-wook tells Chief Bang that Chan-ho never showed up last night. Bong-hee did get a text from him saying that something came up, but when Ji-wook tried to call him just seconds later, his phone was turned off. Feeling like something isn’t right, Ji-wook asks Chief Bang to track down Hyun-soo’s whereabouts last night.
He adds that he genuinely hopes that Hyun-soo was falsely accused of murder, if only for Bong-hee’s sake. They’re looking down at Bong-hee sitting at her usual picnic table as they talk, and Ji-wook frowns when Eun-hyuk joins her.
Eun-hyuk quips that he’s here for Bong-hee’s counseling session, causing Bong-hee to snap at him crankily and mock his laugh. But she confesses that Ji-wook caught her by surprise, and that it makes her very happy and very angry all at once.
Ji-wook wanders past them and mentions that he’s going to see Chan-ho, oh-so-casually wondering if Bong-hee is interested in coming along. She just sniffs at him, but Eun-hyuk urges her to go, fully aware of the change in the atmosphere between them.
So Bong-hee joins Ji-wook, though she grows angry when she can’t stop thinking about the kiss and Ji-wook’s confession (and I love how Bong-hee’s overactive imagination lets us see that kiss over and over again). She takes her frustration out on poor Ji-wook, who has no clue what he did wrong.
Bong-hee huffs angrily at Ji-wook for saying that he likes her now, and she tells him that he can wait forever because she’s not changing her mind. She whines that he realized his feelings too late and it’s not fair, so she plans to make him suffer as much as she did.
Ji-wook nods in agreement to everything she says, but Bong-hee tells him not to talk, and when he stops talking, she doesn’t like that either. He dares to ask what she wants him to do and tries a bright smile which just ends up looking manic, and he even does a bit of awkward aegyo for her (OMG I’m dying).
Bong-hee says that she wants him to suffer, and for a very long time. He agrees to grow old and die while waiting for her, but then he grows stern and tells her that they’re working now, which means he’s the boss. Oh sweetie, I don’t think you’re going to be the boss ever again.
They learn from Chan-ho’s colleague that he’s gone on leave, only saying that something came up suddenly. He’s not at home either, but the landlady sees them and assumes they’re newlyweds here to see the apartment for rent, which just happens to be Chan-ho’s. They play along, and they find out that Chan-ho gave his move-out notice just before the chef’s murder.
They pretend they need to speak privately, Ji-wook throwing a stiff arm around Bong-hee to sell the whole newlywed angle. Once the landlady leaves, they jump apart and start looking around for anything of interest. Bong-hee is curious about where Chan-ho could be, and Ji-wook idly wonders if he’s “disappeared,” which was Hyun-soo’s word for what happened to his family.
Bong-hee finds something very interesting tucked between the pages of a book—a photo of Chan-ho standing with two other men, all of them smiling.
EPISODE 18 RECAP
Later Ji-wook tells Chief Bang that they didn’t find much at Chan-ho’s place. He shows him the photo, and Chief Bang says he’ll do what he can to find out who the other two young men are. Ji-wook goes all melty when Bong-hee walks past the room, which Chief Bang notes with a grin. He asks if Ji-wook plans to tell Bong-hee about his suspicions regarding Hyun-soo, and Ji-wook says that he’ll tell her once he knows more.
District Attorney Jang calls Yoo-jung and Ji-hae to his office to give them the case file he’s compiled on Hee-joon’s murder case. He asks them to re-investigate, admitting that he’s never been able to accept Bong-hee’s acquittal. He says that he’s spent years wondering if his son’s murder was for revenge, but the more he thinks about it, the more certain he is that Bong-hee killed him.
He admits that he fabricated evidence by planting the knife in Bong-hee’s apartment. Ji-hae correctly guesses that he suspects Ji-wook of planting the second knife, the one that was found in the field, in order to get Bong-hee freed due to evidence tampering. Yoo-jung argues that Ji-wook wouldn’t do such a thing, but District Attorney Jang just orders them to find new evidence either way, hoping that he can bring new charges against Bong-hee.
Taking pity on CEO Byun, Bong-hee offers to represent him in his drunk driving case. She then uses this to blackmail him into doing all the chores for the week when she loses the ladder game, hee.
All day long, Ji-wook watches as the other guys fawn over Bong-hee, bringing her coffee and chocolates and treating her like a queen. Jealous, he goes to Bong-hee’s desk to help her with something, making a point to lean incredibly close to her and speak in a low, rumbling voice, leaving Bong-hee all hot and bothered.
She’s still in a daze when she meets her mom for lunch, and she confesses that she’s very happy at her new job, particularly the fact that all of her coworkers like her, so she gets scared that she’ll lose that happiness. Her mother says that Bong-hee never had much growing up, but that she’s never let anyone take away something that belonged to her.
Hyun-soo has to do a quick dodge when he nearly runs right into Chief Bang, looking around his neighborhood for information about him. He goes to his favorite bar, where the owner tells him that the lawyers have been here several times asking questions. Hyun-soo remembers how Ji-wook followed him and Bong-hee and wonders if they suspect him.
That night, Ji-wook has a nightmare about Hyun-soo, though it’s hard to tell if Hyun-soo is stabbing someone or being stabbed. Drawn upstairs by his cries, Bong-hee checks on Ji-wook, and he wakes in a blind panic.
Seeing her, Ji-wook pulls Bong-hee into his arms, asking over and over if she’s okay. He eventually calms a bit and lets her go, apologizing. Bong-hee stands to leave, but she turns back to see Ji-wook looking lost and traumatized, so she offers to stay for just five minutes until he falls asleep.
He lies back down, scooting to the very edge of the couch to be as close to her as possible. Though he’s reluctant to take his eyes off her, he soon falls back to sleep. As she watches him, Bong-hee says that she won’t fall for him no matter how cute he is when he’s sleeping.
When it’s time for CEO Byun’s trial, Eun-hyuk sneaks into the courtroom to sit with Ji-wook. Ji-wook slides away until he’s practically sitting in a stranger’s lap, ha. Eun-hyuk earns himself a snarl when he says that he’s here to watch Bong-hee, who seems to be presenting CEO Byun’s case well.
CEO Byun makes his statement, asking for leniency since he only drove a few feet to save that woman’s life. But the judge is tough and finds him guilty, ordering him to pay the hefty fine or work it off in a workhouse. CEO Byun chases Bong-he out of the courtroom, furious that she used him like a slave, then lost his case.
That night while out for drinks, Yoo-jung informs Ji-hae that she knows she’s pretty (Ji-hae: “I thought so too, before I saw you up close.” HAHA). Yoo-jung says that since Ji-wook and Eun-hyuk are also beautiful, they always turned heads when the three of them were together, and that made her proud. Yoo-jung admits that she hurt and abandoned them, and Ji-hae agrees that that happens when you don’t appreciate what you have.
Spotting Bong-hee walking past with the men in question, Ji-hae sighs that it’s Bong-hee who has everything now. She warns Yoo-jung that she’ll regret confronting them, but Yoo-jung shakes her off and runs outside. She calls out to them, ordering Bong-hee to shut her mouth when she starts to say something. To the guys, Yoo-jung can only eke out, “You’re so…” before she falters. Eun-hyuk and Ji-wook turn to go, not bothering to hear the rest, with Bong-hee following after them.
Later Yoo-jung sets out for home, walking slowly and unsteadily. Across the street, Eun-hyuk keeps pace with her, but he carefully stays out of sight.
The police find Chan-ho’s abandoned car, with a bloody knife lying in the back seat. A flashback shows that it was Hyun-soo who left the knife there, no doubt thinking that it’s convenient to frame Chan-ho for the murders since he believes him dead.
Chief Bang reports to Ji-wook that he had no luck discovering where Chan-ho went on the day he disappeared, and that he’s looking into the other guys in the picture. Ji-wook thinks about Chan-ho telling Bong-hee that he knows who bought her the shoes, and he wonders if it was someone in the photo, or Hyun-soo.
Eun-hyuk calls them over to watch the breaking news story that Chan-ho’s car was found, along with the knife that was used to kill the chef. Hyun-soo also watches the report with a small grin, as he waits to meet with Bong-hee.
Hyun-soo tells Bong-hee that he lied to her about his alibi. He confesses that he doesn’t really remember what he was doing the day of the chef’s murder, but that he worried she wouldn’t believe his innocence if he didn’t give her a detailed accounting of his day.
Bong-hee asks why he’s telling her this, and he says that it’s because she was the only person who believed in him, so he wants to be honest now. Bong-hee remembers Ji-wook mentioning that there’s something strange about Hyun-soo, but she doesn’t let on and just thanks him.
As they walk back to Bong-hee’s car, they run into the man who hung Bong-hee’s sign asking for witnesses to Hee-joon’s murder. Hyun-soo’s eyes go wide and he whirls around to hide his face. In flashback we see that it was Hyun-soo who helped hang the sign and asked questions about it, and he’s worried the man will recognize him.
The man had seen Hyun-soo taking down Bong-hee’s number and assumed he knew something, and now he asks if she ever got a report from a young man. She asks if he remembers what the guy looked like, but he says that he only saw him once.
Hyun-soo decides to test him and goes over to say hello, but the man doesn’t react to seeing Hyun-soo’s face. Bong-hee gets a call from Ji-wook, who tries to stay calm when she says she’s with Hyun-soo now. He tells her to bring Hyun-soo over for dinner and not to stop anywhere on the way. Hyun-soo accepts the invitation, so they head to the house.
Ji-hae tells Yoo-jung that she thinks District Attorney Jang’s theory about Ji-wook planting the other knife is plausible, since there seemed to be something between him and Bong-hee even before Hee-joon’s murder. Yoo-jung thinks about this for a while, then rushes out of her office.
When Bong-hee and Hyun-soo arrive at the house, Ji-wook hilariously greets Hyun-soo with a giant knife in his hand, heh. Bong-hee drags Ji-wook upstairs to ask why he didn’t tell her about Hyun-soo’s fake alibi, but he has no ready excuse. She takes issue with him keeping this from her, and he readily apologizes.
Eun-hyuk also comes upstairs, and he listens in as Bong-hee says Hyun-soo confessed to her that he lied about the alibi. Ji-wook asks how she feels about Hyun-soo, and she says that she’s not sure, but what worries her is Ji-wook’s suspicion, since she knows he wouldn’t suspect someone without reason. They turn to see Eun-hyuk, and Bong-hee goes downstairs as Eun-hyuk stays to ask Ji-wook how he can help.
The guys go down to find that Yoo-jung is here, and they invite her to stay to eat. Ji-wook is oddly friendly with everyone (except Eun-hyuk, who pouts like a baby when Ji-wook snaps at him). He brings up the fact that Chan-ho is suspected of having killed the chef, watching Hyun-soo carefully for any reaction.
Hyun-soo just says that he’s surprised that a forensic investigator is a murder suspect, but that he doesn’t know the guy personally. Yoo-jung congratulates Hyun-soo on his acquittal and on someone else popping up as a suspect, and adds a barbed comment that those who are set free for lack of evidence are often considered guilty by the general public if another suspect isn’t found, clearly meant for Bong-hee’s ears.
But Bong-hee can give as good as she gets, firing back that the killer is still loose because the prosecution isn’t doing its job. Meow. Yoo-jung says that she came here to say that she’ll be re-investigating Hee-joon’s murder case. She says that she plans to look at everything from the crime scene to those involved, adding, “The killer may be in this house right now.”
Little does she know how true that is, though Hyun-soo only betrays a tiny flicker in his eyes before turning his attention back to his meal. The atmosphere is suddenly very tense, with everyone knowing something that they’re not saying out loud.
My very favorite thing about this writer is how the villains are so human; evil yet somehow still relatable. This is used to particular effect with Hyun-soo and Chan-ho, who seem to have a dangerously symbiotic relationship in which Hyun-soo murders for as-yet-unknown reasons, and Chan-ho uses his forensic skills to erase the evidence. We’re barely halfway through the drama and our emotions have already been flip-flopped several times when it comes to the murderous duo. This was one of my favorite things about I Remember You, when the killer was at times cold and ruthless, but at other times he made us love him only to wrench our beating hearts right out of our chests. At first it seemed as though Chan-ho was the killer and Hyun-soo the innocent one, but now it appears that the reverse is true. I’ve gone from being terrified of Chan-ho to terrified for him, and I’m scared that he’s not just one of the homicidal team, but now a target as well.
Chan-ho seems to owe Hyun-soo for a mistake he made in the past, one that he’s making up for by helping Hyun-soo commit a series of revenge murders. And though Hyun-soo clearly has a lot of anger and resentment towards Chan-ho, the horror on his face when he thought Chan-ho had drowned was real. Whatever happened, at one point in time these two must have been close, enough for Chan-ho to be a willing accomplice to murder and for Hyun-soo to grieve his apparent death. But then when Hyun-soo counts Chan-ho as one of the seven who “needs to disappear,” I got a delicious chill—was Chan-ho always on his hit list? They’re a fantastic example of a close relationship gone wrong in the deadliest of ways.
I’m impressed with how mature Bong-hee is being about The Kiss, the way she keeps reminding herself that it probably means nothing. It can’t be easy to keep your head on even partially straight after being kissed silly by a man like Ji-wook. But then Ji-wook offered Bong-hee that utterly perfect confession, and I don’t know how she didn’t melt right there on the spot. He was so honest, and so respectful of her wishes and feelings, I swooned with every word. It took a lot of self-awareness for Ji-wook to say that he feels like he screwed up by taking too long, and that he would respect her wishes to leave her alone the same as she did for him (again with the respect—how is he so perfect??). What I didn’t expect was for the man who so recently was afraid to admit his feelings to ask for permission to keep liking Bong-hee, and to even request that she be open to caring about him again in the future. How Bong-hee didn’t leap on him right then is beyond me.
I loved seeing the open, almost impish look on Ji-wook’s face when he said he’d be waiting, and how he kept getting all up in Bong-hee’s personal space, knowing full well what it was doing to her. He knows her feelings haven’t changed no matter what she says, and now he’s a man on a mission (even if his mission looks like it’s shaking him up as much as it’s shaking up Bong-hee!). It’s going to be so much fun watching him slowly torture Bong-hee with his presence—he can’t help but smolder when he looks at her by accident, so having him purposely turn the full force of those intense eyes on her is probably going to kill Bong-hee dead. I admire the lady for having the force of will to resist him for even one day, because goodness knows nobody would blame her for crumbling.
But it’s the way he’s letting her see his vulnerability that really goes right to my heart. Ji-wook is normally so closed off that I’m surprised to see him showing Bong-hee his deepest fears so soon. When she stayed with him after his nightmare, the way he looked so afraid to close his eyes and lose sight of her was just so raw and honest that I don’t know how she didn’t just cave in right then and there. I do understand Bong-hee’s fear of being hurt yet again, especially since Ji-wook’s change of heart feels so sudden to her, but I can’t help hoping that she softens towards him sooner rather than later. I think that he needs her love even more than she needs his, and as fun as it is to watch him squirm trying to make her happy, I want to see them happy together even more.
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