Class of Lies: Episodes 11-12 Open Thread
This week’s episodes offer a whole lot of developments, and all roads lead to our student mastermind and his dark glower. I admit the Dark Glower™ is getting to me a little—glowers do not replace character growth! But that said, we’re seeing the rapid unravelling of his hold on things, and though this week’s episodes are a little bit uneven, they certainly don’t let up on the pace.
Bonus: Watch out for Won-seok’s unattainable crush and adorable team fist-bumps!
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP
Last week left off with Moo-hyuk in a hairy situation with the student who tore off her shirt, acting like Moo-hyuk was trying to assault her. Despite the onlooking students, he doesn’t lose his head, and So-hyun is also quickly on the scene. They manage the situation between them, and Ye-ri’s transparent attempts to stir the pot backfire on her when So-hyun reveals her as the architect of the secret student portal. Honestly, Ye-ri is kinda dumb: For someone who has so much to lose, she sure does gamble a lot.
The student crisis really highlights how unequipped Moo-hyuk is to deal with kids in a pastoral context. He might be highly effective at cross-examining a witness, but earning a young person’s trust, and understanding their fears? Not so much–his surgical ability to extract information comes with a social cost he never has to think about in a courtroom.
So-hyun’s really leveled up this week, which is such a great development for her character. Although there’s still a great deal about the secret lives of the students that she doesn’t know, she’s now awake to the reality that some of them are toxic, and indeed, dangerous. This makes her a much more interesting, much more active player, and it’s about time she shed her naïveté for some serious digging.
Under the guise of student counselling, she’s shocked to learn the extent of Beom-jin’s hold over the students (and she doesn’t even know that he has vile Teacher Jeon eating out of his hand). He’s universally liked and respected—practically perfect in every way, and humble to boot.
But So-hyun can see the bigger picture now: She knows he talked shuttle Byung-ho into standing up to Joon-jae, but contradictorily, also promised to help Joon-jae come back to school, not to mention the fracas with the female student, which he orchestrated in an attempt to remove Moo-hyuk. Another teacher also tells her about overhearing a private argument between Beom-jin and Soo-ah last semester, where he’d demanded she transfer schools and she’d refused.
Won-seok manages to restore the data they mined from Beom-jin’s phone, and confirm once and for all that “0” is indeed his dad, Congressman Yoo, which changes the scope of things completely. Moo-hyuk tells Ki-hoon the good news that his dad wasn’t the one buying Soo-ah’s services, and pushes him to figure out for himself who it really is. The boy’s relief that it’s not his dad is palpable, and I kind of love him for being ready to burn down the house if it were.
Moo-hyuk shares his conviction that Beom-jin is hiding something. Ki-hoon plays it smart approaching the other boy, professing worry that one of their fathers is behind things. Good boy! Of course Beom-jin decisively shuts it down.
It’s interesting that for all his apparent perfection and heroism, Beom-jin doesn’t have any of the emotional courage that Ki-hoon showed last week. If you compare each boy’s confrontation with their respective fathers, they show such a different type of personality beneath it all. Ki-hoon burns hot and fast, while Beom-jin is the slow, icy fury of a glacier. Both of them (wisely) spy on their fathers, but they have such different ends. You could argue that Beom-jin’s playing a long game, but it’s pretty clear the game’s got away from him.
I’m really enjoying this marriage of convenience between Ki-hoon and Moo-hyuk. For all of his unsavory past behavior, there’s something about Ki-hoon that feels sincere. He wants the truth, and he’s willing to break some eggs (or all of them) to get at it. On the other hand, Beom-jin wants those eggs on ice, and to preserve the prevailing status quo that keeps him in control—of the students, of his image, of his future. But we can see that control wearing thin, most notably in how this week he is really forced to emerge from the shadows and take on his enemies and problems face to face.
Prosecutor Cha starts digging into the corrupt congressman, and returns to Soo-ah’s murder investigation. Weirdly, the scene had surrendered just one set of fingerprints: Han-soo’s. She learns that the same unpleasant detective who closed Lee Tae-seok’s death as suicide had also accessed Soo-ah’s murder scene before the official investigation. A little more digging reveals that Congressman Yoo bought the detective’s loyalty with a heart transplant for his daughter.
Of course, it’s all going too well for Team Moo-hyuk. They’re dealt a blow when Congressman Yoo orders an attack on Prosecutor Cha. Luckily, she’s not dead, but she’s definitely out of the picture for a while. Gah! I just KNEW that was coming when she started getting all that soft camera attention!
At a disadvantage now, Team Moo-hyuk decides to go public to the media, and enlist the help of the investigative journalist Ye-ri nearly spoke to last week, who’d always doubted the official story on Soo-ah’s death anyway. Disappointingly, this whole part happens of-screen, which I find a kind of weird choice. The character was interesting, and would’ve added something to the team dynamic, especially after losing Prosecutor Cha.
They go all out in revealing all about the murders and whatnot, but it’s not until they do an exposé on the college admissions fudging that they really catch the public’s interest, which is bizarre yet entirely unsurprising. That’s not the only attention they’re getting. Moo-hyuk gets a call from his old boss Attorney Lee Do-jin, who says he’ll restore him to his former status if he stops everything now.
Tae-ra is implicated as a chief beneficiary in the school specs scandal, and the whole school turns against her. Naturally, Ye-ri leads the charge (again, unsurprisingly), but Beom-jin comes to her rescue.
Tae-ra’s in an uncertain place with Beom-jin, especially after failing to catch him out about where he’d gone during their cinema date the night Soo-ah was murdered. Moo-hyuk senses her doubts and takes her to the place near Soo-ah’s house where Beom-jin was caught on CCTV. He tells her what they found out, and warns her not to trust Beom-jin.
Meanwhile, Han-soo finally wakes up. So-hyun and Moo-hyuk race to get to him first, but they’re beaten to it by the bent detective, who plans to bump him off for good. But by the time Moo-hyuk bursts onto the rooftop, there’s no sign of the detective—only Beom-jin triumphant. Beom-jin who’s turned Han-soo against him.
I’m not convinced though. I find his hold tenuous at best, even if Han-soo is irritatingly dumb. The more Beom-jin shows his hand, the more it is evident to me that he’s losing his grip and scrabbling for a hold. I’m also beginning to think it would be too easy for him to be Soo-ah’s murderer, which leaves the question: Who else could it be? I kind of want it to be Ye-ri, just because, but you know what? I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be Byung-ho in the end. Isn’t it always the quiet ones?
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