My Secret Terrius: Episodes 23-24
A slow episode takes our female protagonist back to basics, but maybe that’s exactly what she needed after the turbulent times she has been through lately. It’s a wonder what simple living, family time, and a surprise guest can do for your mood—but beware the return to your “normal” life because it can be a bumpy one.
Rocked by watching Bon’s van explode, knowing there was no way he could have escaped, Ji-yeon blames herself for agreeing to the plan knowing it was so dangerous. Ji-yeon isn’t comforted by Director Shim’s words, as she remembers Chief Kwon’s suspicious text, and swears to make her pay.
At the same time, the Joon-Joon twins are upset by the fish “Uncle’s” death. After they go to sleep, Ae-rin frets about Bon’s fate. The next day, the three bury Uncle and the Joon-Joon twins sweetly leave their mark on the grave—a sticker and a gummy bear.
Ji-yeon breaks the news of Bon’s death to a horrified Yong-tae. He doesn’t seem totally reassured by Ji-yeon’s insistence that Director Shim is trustworthy, or her vow to bring down Cornerstone in Bon’s honor, but Bon’s words that he must choose what kind of man to be play through his head.
Ae-rin thanks the neighborhood trio for all their hard work with a homemade meal, and tells them that Bon will be coming back soon, so they won’t need to help her so much any more. They all agree to go get their kids vaccinated with the Cors vaccine, and Sang-ryul laments not buying any stocks, since their shares are now skyrocketing.
Which The Voice gleefully crows over, as he watches his plan came to fruition. He takes a call, and is delighted to hear that Terrius has been taken care of.
At work, Ji-yeon gently tells Ae-rin that Bon has died. In shock, Ae-rin returns to Bon’s apartment, where happy memories of Bon with the Joon-Joon twins haunt her. To make matters even worse, Ji-yeon was thankful to Ae-rin for her work—but regretfully told her that Director Shim didn’t want a civilian on the team. Dignified, Ae-rin offered to quit.
But the tears fall that night, as an overwhelmed Ae-rin whispers to herself, “This is so hard. I pushed myself every day to get here. In the end, it turned out like this again.” Ae-rin thanks Bon for making her happy for a while.
Ae-rin puts a brave face on the next day, and jovially asks the Joon-Joon twins if they want to go live on Jeju Island with Grandma and Grandpa for a while. When the twins ask what that means for school and their friends, Ae-rin admits that she misses her mom very much, and a tear escapes down her face. Joon-hee wipes it away, but Ae-rin fibs that it’s just her eyes sweating.
Some time later
Ae-rin looks happier as she gets ready for the day at her parents house. Her mom and dad have been helping out with the Joon-Joon twins, and Ae-rin rushes outside to say goodbye before going to work. Mom fondly wonders how she’s the same as she was in middle school, and Dad cheerily herds the twins to kindergarten.
Ae-rin has gotten a job at a cafe, where business seems slow, and she is eager to think of ways to get more customers for her boss. The boss isn’t interested though because the cafe is just a hobby for her, and Ae-rin visibly deflates.
Director Shim is aghast to learn that Yong-tae has done a runner, and without him or his bags as evidence, he orders Ji-yeon to abort the King’s Bag operation. Ji-yeon objects, but Director Shim questions whether Yong-tae was ever even telling the truth since he used to be a famous con-man, and Ji-yeon has to admit that all the proof has disappeared with him.
On Jeju, a customer comes in to the coffee shop, who orders and then dashes out with the instruction that someone asked for the two coffees to be delivered to the bench outside. Peeved, Ae-rin nevertheless carries the coffees outside… and sees a person that looks a lot like Bon waiting for her.
Ae-rin stops dead, unable to believe what she’s seeing. Bon turns to face her, and her eyes well up to see him alive and well. Tears fall fast as he wraps her in his arms. A small smile on his face, Bon asks how she has been and notes that she moved further than he thought.
Inside, Ae-rin makes sure that Bon really hasn’t hurt himself before she asks what happened. In flashback, we see that all of the agents had exited the van apart from one, who threw a pair of handcuff keys at Bon and ordered him to find a way to survive. Bon made it out of the van in time, and although he could see Ji-yeon’s grief, he couldn’t do anything to console her and ran away.
Ae-rin warmly thanks Bon for being alive, and asks if he’s seen Ji-yeon yet. Bon answers not yet, and continues, “Actually, I came to see you before anyone else. I wanted to let you know I was alive first.”
Ae-rin and Bon happily drive along the coast of Jeju Island. Bon jokingly asks if she’s gotten any better at driving yet, and wonders when she’s going back to Seoul. Ae-rin still isn’t sure, because it has been a long time since she has seen her parents, and her parents love having the twins around.
Which is clear, as the twins have fun with bubbles while Ae-rin’s Mom and Dad bicker familiarly. Into the midst of this family scene walks Bon (looking handsome again in a suit) surprising Mom and Dad and delighting Joon-hee and Joon-soo.
The twins run over to hug Bon, and he smiles to hear that they have been well. When Ae-rin explains to Mom and Dad that Bon used to be their sitter in Seoul, the two almost can’t believe it (and I don’t blame them) but Dad recovers enough to tell Bon he reminds him of himself when he was younger, ha.
Over Bon’s protests, Mom plans a feast for dinner that night, and heads off to catch the octopus with Ae-rin. Ae-rin tells Mom that Bon actually has a different, very important job that isn’t childcare. Mom smiles knowingly when Ae-rin tells her that Bon is a very good man.
Dad teaches the Joon-Joon twins and Bon how to shell snails—which Bon throws himself into with typical perfectionism and effusive compliments for the children.
Back in Seoul, The Voice meets with the Health Minister and Chief Kwon for dinner to congratulate them on thwarting the bomb and reassuring the country against the health scare… and in the next room Director Shim is hidden by a curtain, listening to the exchange.
At a very different dinner, Ae-rin’s family gather round to enjoy the delicious feast laid out by Ae-rin and her family—which Bon enjoys a bit too much, as he wolfs it down. Dad laughs that he must have been starving, and encourages him to eat up.
After dinner, Mom tells Bon that she will make seaweed soup for him in the morning. Bon tries to politely decline staying the night, but the Joon-Joon twins jump in and plead with him to stay. Making Bon feel even worse, Dad agrees that their place is probably too shabby for Bon. Bon quickly agrees to stay over, and whispers to Ae-rin that he can just remain awake all night since he’s used to doing so during stakeouts.
Except that night, Bon’s raucous snoring keeps everyone but the Joon-Joon twins awake (and Joon-soo is adorably cuddled up against Bon). Dad admits that Bon might be so tired because he worked hard all day playing with the twins—and because an unending stream of their neighbors wanted him to help out with work.
Dad happily let Bon go off to help (in increasingly outlandish ahjumma clothes, ha) while he stayed behind snoozing. Dad is unrepentant even though Ae-rin and Mom are horrified that he put their guest to so much trouble, and Dad adds that Bon is really good at everything. Mom proudly says that he works for the government—but with no wage, and Dad exclaims he must be jobless since he doesn’t get paid.
A nervous Yong-tae waits for someone, but The Voice’s henchman who shows up isn’t who he was expecting. The man tells him that The Voice isn’t ready to meet Yong-tae yet, even after the information he passed on, until he has proved himself more. Yong-tae vows that he will really do things properly from now.
Bon and the twins get ready for their day at the beach, and Ae-rin grins at Bon when he says that he didn’t sleep much last night, knowing full well that he did. In another thoughtful move, Bon pulls out a pair of warm coats for Joon-hee and Joon-soo and zips them up.
While the twins frolic in the sand, Ae-rin tells Bon that her dad wasn’t from Jeju, but he fell in love with her mother at first sight and married her. Mom was happy, because she wanted to move to the mainland, but they had to move back around the time Ae-rin was born due to Dad’s failing health.
Ae-rin explains that’s why her mom was more excited than she was when she got into a Seoul university, because Ae-rin would get to live a different life. Reflective, Ae-rin admits that she’s not sad she returned to Jeju now, but would have liked to do so after succeeding.
Bon corrects her—that she has succeeded, because she came back with Joon-hee and Joon-soo. Grateful, Ae-rin confesses that she has been living a hard life until now, but she couldn’t show it because she needed to stay strong for the twins. She continues, “There was no time for me to be sad. I just gave it my everything.”
Bon nods in understanding and tells Ae-rin that he saw her struggling. He adds that he used to hide from people, which was tiring and lonely—but then Ae-rin shared her energy with him. Bon thanks her for making him feel better. Bon tells Ae-rin that he really will catch the bad guys this time, but while he’s doing that, she should stay on Jeju with her parents and focus on healing.
Back in Seoul, the neighborhood trio worry about how Ae-rin is doing, and finally Sang-ryul can’t keep his mouth shut any longer. He spills the “secret” that Bon was dating THREE women—his baby’s mother, Ji-yeon, and Ae-rin- all at once.
Eun-ha and Sun-mi are quick to point out that someone who looks like Bon would be able to date three women. Poor Sang-ryul goes fishing for a compliment but Sun-mi just tells him he looks like a preying mantis, ha.
Walking down the street, Do-woo feels eyes on his back and ducks into a shop to lose his tail… and comes out face-to-face with Bon. Ji-yeon is even more overjoyed to see Bon, and she wraps him in a teary hug after she confirms this isn’t a dream.
Ji-yeon cries that everything was a mess since he died and Yong-tae disappeared, while Do-woo watches her reaction with faint regret. Bon tells Ji-yeon that someone helped him, but he doesn’t know who—and promises that he’s going to find out who tried to kill him, and who wanted him alive.
At the news that her apartment has sold, Ae-rin heads back to Seoul to arrange its transfer. Meanwhile, Eun-ha finds the last, missing listening device in her house, the one that the assassin K gave to Joon-hee.
Unsuspecting, Eun-ha pulls it out of the fridge and puts it on the table, before she goes in to her son’s bedroom… and finds the USB from Yong-tae’s hourglass on the floor. She curiously plays the videos, and isn’t prepared for what she finds—footage of K killing a man. Horrified, Eun-ha recognizes him as the man in the photos who tried to take Joon-hee and Joon-soo.
Frightened, Eun-ha immediately rings Ae-rin and tells her what she has found. She asks why Joon-hee would even have something so horrible, but she’s too shaken to really question it. Even worse, Eun-ha continues—there are files on Ae-rin’s dead husband and her whole family on there.
Chilled to the bone, Ae-rin tells Eun-ha she is close by and asks Eun-ha to come over to her house to talk in person. Ae-rin calls off the sale of the house.
Unfortunately, they weren’t the only two people on the call, as the killer K was listening to everything Eun-ha just said. He snaps a picture of her personal details, including where she lives.
Bon makes his way back to his underground storage, and gets a fright when he finds his car missing—but breathes a huge sigh of relief when he discovers his weapons are all still inside the locked garage. Bon mutters, “Yong-tae, that jerk.”
As he is preparing a gun, Bon hears the sound of feet advancing inside the storage unit. He quietly moves into a defensive position and readies his gun to shoot at whoever it is—but as the person rounds the corner, Bon’s eyes widen in shock.
Her mind in tumult, Ae-rin wonders why her husband’s information was on the USB, and how Joon-hee got hold of it. Head spinning, Ae-rin realizes that the USB must have been inside the hourglass Joon-hee was playing with, from Yong-tae’s office—and the pieces all start to click together.
Ae-rin figures out that her husband must not have died because of a heart attack. Instead, he witnessed Chief Moon’s assassination—and was murdered because of it.
Eun-ha nervously hurries along to meet with Ae-rin, while the killer K stalks the streets to find her. Filled with purpose and blind to the danger, Ae-rin makes her way up to her apartment.
I’m so glad that Ae-rin finally knows that her husband was murdered. It’s the last major secret that Bon has been hiding, and the most important one. Bon might not want to tell Ae-rin because it would be too dangerous for her to know—but at this point, she’s so involved anyway that it doesn’t make much difference. And Ae-rin has already proven herself more than capable, so I wish Bon had been the one to trust her with the information. Especially because I’ve had the odd misgiving about this wedge between them as the pair have grown closer together. Ae-rin’s feelings for Bon have grown so slowly that it was only a small inkling, but now was the right time for her to find out.
I’ll admit that I was a bit disappointed by Bon’s “death” and reappearance. We all knew Bon hadn’t really died, but his escape from the van was super anticlimactic—he literally just ran out! I suspect that the helpful driver was actually the one that Chief Kwon texted, but it felt like a twist on a twist that we didn’t need, or at least wasn’t as smart as it wanted to be.
Even knowing all that though, I was still gushing when Bon showed up on the beach and gave Ae-rin a big hug. These two really make my heart melt, and their later conversation on the beach was the perfect example of why. Bon might be the most hilariously stoic hero, but he does open up to Ae-rin and recognizes the good she has done for him, which is so gratifying. And in turn, he’s been there as a sexy, steady rock for Ae-rin in her time of need. It’s clear that their relationship comes from a place of maturity and mutual understanding, not just a heady rush of lust (though I never thought I’d find a nose kiss sexy, so they have that too). Their little family feels very natural, but at the same time, Bon understands that Ae-rin needs to take time away for herself to work on the grief she has been suppressing. Now that’s what’s really attractive in a man—someone who sees what you need and wants to give it to you, even if that means hard work or separating.
On the other hand, one of the major criticisms I have of this show (and it starkly stands out in this episode) is how quickly it has dealt with Ae-rin and the twins’ loss. To address some of the comments first: I believe that the Joon-Joon twins do know their father has died, from a comment Joon-hee made about him going to heaven, but I don’t think they know how to process death yet. This isn’t as big an issue for me, but Ae-rin’s non-reaction is. We got the lovely moment between Bon and Ae-rin on the beach, but it just wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to actually see Ae-rin grieve for her husband, for the loss of her dreams, and even for the loss of Bon. Instead, she bounced back very quickly and time was spent on seeing her thwarted professionally again. As a running joke, I do enjoy that Ae-rin somehow finds the worst, unreal jobs—but not at the expense of actual character insight!
At this point, I’m choosing to believe that Ae-rin and her husband’s marriage was only for the sake of the twins, but the show hasn’t given me much to go on. And it doesn’t look like Ae-rin will have any more time to deal with her emotions, with the killer K on the hunt for her now that she knows the truth. On that note, I hope the show knows that it wouldn’t be the right move to kill off Eun-ha—so she had better survive the elite assassin! Thankfully, he doesn’t actually seem all that good at his job.
Honestly, this episode mostly felt like filler, even though a few important things did happen right at the end. Yes, it was fun filler, and we even got to see Mom and Dad on Jeju, but there wasn’t much heft to it. This may have been inevitable when all the action is back in Seoul, but I don’t think it had to be. All the characters we have come to love—the neighborhood trio, Yong-tae (he’s definitely faking being a bad guy again, right?), and even the King’s Bag team—were largely disconnected from the plot and didn’t bring any of the humor or whimsy this show needs. Instead, we were given a weighty dose of the spy side, which has always been Terrius’ weak point. The Voice has been introduced far too late for me to care about him, and they have strung out the mystery of the mole past its breaking point. Signs are pointing to Director Shim, but the show hasn’t put in the work to make it a shocking revelation. In fact, the only thing that would shock me right now is if Ji-yeon was the mole all along, and there hasn’t been enough (or any?) reason for that to make sense.