Misty: Episodes 9-10 (Open Thread)
mary: Did you hear? The Misty team held a press conference last week, where Kim Nam-joo, who plays Go Hye-ran, mentioned that the final episode’s script is out, and the ending is totally unexpected — which just messes with my mind. Because now I’m gonna expect the unexpected! Like maybe Kevin Lee is alive after all.
odilettante: I’m still so scarred by the ending of Black that I don’t even want to think about what “unexpected” could mean. Maybe it’s all just a drunken dream of Tae-wook’s after he binged two bottles of whiskey in one evening. Or everyone is killed by a meteor and Tae-wook and Hye-ran have to repopulate the world (and we finally get another rated-19 episode, dammit). Or all the Gold Door Club members are secretly aliens!
mary: “Unexpected” endings scare me. I want my suffering to have closure, not end in shock and possible rage. Why did they have to tease us with that description?
odilettante: Well, at least one good thing came out of that press conference — a gorgeous and elegant pantsuit!
EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP
Detective Kang takes Hye-ran into custody. However, she can only be held for 48 hours unless the police can find actual evidence that she’s involved in Kevin Lee’s death. Everyone works overtime to destroy Hye-ran, especially the corporate fat-cats behind Hwanil Steel and the shoddy workmanship of their Kanghae Construction that caused buildings to collapse. Who cares if Hye-ran really killed Kevin or not provided Hwanil Steel can use this situation to seize her research and bury evidence of their corruption? Ji-won and Reporter Kwak work together and manage to hide the files from the prosecutors who barge in and box up all of Hye-ran’s documents, but Director Jang confiscates it from Ji-won anyway.
Prosecutor Byun gets busy interrogating Hye-ran, using his personal knowledge of her estranged marriage to bait her. (He fails.) Meanwhile, Tae-wook wakes up from his drunk, heartbroken state to discover that Hye-ran is in detention. He immediately springs into action, petitioning Kang Yool Law Firm for help. They tell him not to worry, they sent Hye-ran a lawyer and things will quiet down. But the lawyer wastes the consultation time giving Hye-ran useless advice like, “Stop stirring up trouble with your news, just retire to a quiet married life.”
Things play out exactly the way Hye-ran’s friend predicted to Tae-wook: Tonight’s news will be filler stuff with no mention of the Hwanil Steel case. It’s what happened to her when she tried to expose them in 2013. Hye-ran also learns of the news blackout and figures out that Hwanil is behind her arrest. Her baseless arrest suddenly makes sense and she answers the police’s questions with a promise to give them hell once she’s released.
When Eun-joo finds out that her unsubstantiated claims of a Kevin/Hye-ran affair aren’t enough to get an indictment, she decides to release the black box videos, only to discover the files deleted and unrecoverable. She confronts Tae-wook, who insists there was nothing on that chip, nothing happened between their spouses, and he loves Hye-ran very very much. Despite being unaware of Tae-wook’s inner turmoil, when Hye-ran finds him waiting to escort her out of the station, she starts to fully appreciate how steadfast he is in contrast to her lifelong isolation.
Detective Kang gets reprimanded about rushing to arrest Hye-ran and is implicitly told to let the case go, but he starts again by throwing away his Hye-ran prejudice in favor of solid evidence: Ji-won calling Kevin Lee the night he died.
At JBC, Director Jang “demotes” Hye-ran to a back office, giving her more freedom to work on the Hwanil case in secret. She shows Ji-won and Reporter Kwak the files they rescued from the prosecutors. Unfortunately, they can’t use it until they attack Congressman Jung with something that the Gold Door Club can’t cover up. Hye-ran’s friend warns her against fighting Congressman Jung, pointing to herself as the cautionary tale. But Hye-ran regrets not helping her years ago. Now they team up to discredit Congressman Jung using evidence of underage prostitution.
Reporter Kwak fails to get secret footage when the hotel staff delays him and moves the congressman elsewhere, so Hye-ran triggers the fire alarm, forcing the congressman to scurry out of the room he’s hiding in. Ignoring threats from her JBC news-weasel coworker Dae-woong, as well as the head of the prosecutor’s office, Ji-won captures the congressman escaping on live broadcast. Public sentiment turns overwhelmingly against the congressman, so much so that Kang Yool and Hwanil Steel give him up for lost. Ji-won’s elation at her success is short-lived since she’s now Detective Kang’s focus in the murder case.
Tae-wook watches the news and rushes to meet Hye-ran after recognizing her handiwork. Eun-joo also sees the news from the hospital while recovering from a miscarriage brought upon by the stress of Kevin’s death and Hye-ran’s betrayal. She catches the couple about to leave the JBC building and attempts to stab Hye-ran with a fork. (Yes, a fork.) But as Tae-wook pulls Hye-ran to safety, Myung-woo appears and grabs Eun-joo’s hand, asking her to stop.
The next morning, Tae-wook gives Eun-joo a plane ticket, asking her to leave the country or be charged with attempted murder of his wife. She scoffs at his loyalty to a murderess and tells him to look up the Nagwon-dong murder case two decades ago. The suspect is Ha Myung-woo — the same guy he’s been employing to help save Hye-ran.
Elsewhere, Hye-ran and Myung-woo finally meet and greet each other properly.
mary: Don’t listen to Eun-joo, Tae-wook! She’s just using the truth to hurt you! This is why Hye-ran keeps you blissfully ignorant. And please don’t begrudge Hye-ran her Myung-woo reunion. They deserve some happiness too! Just not the R-19 kind.
odilettante: I don’t know what I’m more curious to find out: why he decided to take the blame for whatever happened at the jewelry store, or why he kept putting off his release from prison until now, or if he learned his ways of stalking by watching Healer.
mary: Heh~ Imagine him taking vigilante how-to notes from Bong-soo while locked up in his cell. Maybe Hye-ran would’ve picked up some tips too, but I’m glad she was released by the end of Episode 9, because I was so angry, most of my notes for that part was in shouty caps with lots of cursing. Remember that smug prosecutor’s face? And the useless Kang Yool lawyer who managed to insult both careerwomen and housewives with his “advice” for Hye-ran? *grabs a dinner fork*
odilettante: Yeah, Hye-ran’s battle isn’t just against a corrupt corporation that literally kills people, but also against the patriarchy. It’s not enough that she hasn’t been promoted or given the recognition that a man with her skills would have had already, but now they want to give her the “just be the good little woman and stay in your happy homemaker lane” speech. Which is why it was so satisfying to see them panic when she took down Congressman Jung.
mary: No one was more satisfied than Reporter Yoon. It was great to find out her backstory. I used to think she’s just Hye-ran’s sycophant because when Hye-ran gave her a brand new car, she immediately assumed her friend is trying to silence her. Plus, she gives evil and effective advice like “use your husband’s connections to grab more power.” But apparently, her ruthlessness and bitterness come from a heavy place. She’s the Ghost of Future Hye-ran — the one who tried and failed to fight Hwanil.
odilettante: It might be a few years too late, but now that Hye-ran has nothing to lose, she’s going to make it right. And within mere hours of her being released from police custody. Have I mentioned what a badass Hye-ran is? Because: badass.
mary: Speaking of badass, Ji-won had a couple of great moments this week. She’s turning out to be a mini-Hye-ran: quick thinker, knows when to hold hands and drop those in power, and has a desire to expose the corruption at the top. *wipes proud tears*
odilettante: I love that these driven, accomplished, intelligent, talented women aren’t holding grudges as they strive to be the best in their field. The show could have dragged out this feud between Ji-won and Hye-ran but instead Hye-ran realized her time as a news anchor was coming to an end, anyway, and Ji-won realized that maybe she still needs to step up her ruthless game of revealing the truth in corruption if she wants to fill Hye-ran’s (gorgeous) shoes.
mary: She just needs more journalistic experience. And maybe a super loyal and principled (and good-looking) mini-Tae-wook of her own. Gee, I wonder where we can find a guy like that? Totally unrelated, but, it’s time to declare our undying love for Reporter Kwak. Isn’t it a bit silly that we’re holding off on liking his
cuteness loyalty to Hye-ran just because we’re worried of the teeny-tiny chance he’ll cause trouble? Even if it IS possible the Kevin/Hye-ran footage he took is now in the hands of Hwanil St– err… the prosecutors.
odilettante: I’m not worried because Tae-wook will find a way to destroy that film, anyway.
mary: You mean like how he reformatted the black box chip five times? He’s surprisingly good at doing shady stuff. I’m always shocked at what he’s willing to do for Hye-ran. It’s like you think he’s reached his limit, but then he pushes it some more.
odilettante: Then again, we can’t forget about Jail Oppa, he who lurks in the shadows and only appears at the right moment, like Hye-ran’s personal vigilante superhero. Did you also feel like Eun-joo was shocked to see him when he stopped her from stabbing Hye-ran? She had to have recognized him from high school.
mary: It seemed like he was super important to Eun-joo with the way he said “You should stop now,” like he expected her to listen to him. Do you think they’re siblings?
odilettante: I was actually thinking Eun-joo had a crush on him in high school, but of course he was in love with Hye-ran (because who isn’t). Is it wrong that I’m still not a fan of Eun-joo, even though I realize how crappy her life has been? She’s lost her husband and her unborn child in such a short period of time, it’s no wonder she’s gotten a little stabby.
mary: It’s okay to just acknowledge her pain. Like Tae-wook said, putting someone in jail just because you’re jealous isn’t correct, so it’s no wonder Eun-joo gets sympathy for her plight, but not admiration for her methods. Or maybe we just have very similar tastes with Tae-wook.
odilettante: You mean loving a beautiful, accomplished, talented, driven woman with great taste in fashion, even if it wrecks our souls? Yeah, probably.