Class of Lies: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread
What a week in the Class of Liars, huh? These relationships get twistier by the day, and there really is nothing quite like the pressure-cooker of high school to bring out people at their very worst, or reduce them to their weakest. At this point, throwing an unscrupulous disgraced lawyer into the mix might be our only hope of getting to the bottom of one teenage murder, one attempted suicide, two evil school administrators, and one really horrible high school.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
Moo-hyuk confronts idol wannabe Ye-ri about the secret portal site and how she used it to spread the rumors Jung Soo-ah. He extracts a promise from her to shut it down, otherwise threatening to disclose her activities to her agent, which would end her idol career before it could ever begin.
It’s an interesting contest that is a repeating motif in this show, of adults going head to head with powerful teens. The kids have money, influence and backing, but they don’t have the legal independence that would allow them to wield those resources to their full extent, so it forces different methods. Ye-ri tries to manipulate Moo-hyuk by showing him every face she can, from sweet to threatening, before she reveals her petty, pitiful real one.
Teacher So-hyun learns from another student, SEO YOO-NA (Kwon So-hyun), that Ye-ri’s group used to bully Soo-ah. She also finds out about Moo-hyuk’s real identity and his role in Han-soo’s trial. Though he might not have been off the mark about Soo-ah’s secret life, that does nothing to allay her anger about his deception and the real danger she believes he poses to the students.
Both she and Moo-hyuk close in on different lines of investigation which draw an unexpected picture of Soo-ah. Soo-ah grew up in an orphanage with Kim Han-soo, where they were very close, but was adopted out at the age of ten at her own insistence, using her top marks as leverage. But the orphanage director describes how she turned up there again a few years ago, covered in injuries, to say goodbye to Han-soo “before everything changed.” When they met again at school, she refused to acknowledge him.
All of the kids have some kind of complicated connection to Soo-ah, including Beom-jin, much to Tae-ra’s enraged jealousy. We learn that Soo-ah’s real stalker, Lee Ki-hoon (the son of Lee Do-jin, Moo-hyuk’s former boss), tried to sexually assault her, but Han-soo had seen, and beat the crap out of him. Ki-hoon is a nasty piece of work, with no compunction in using people and then abusing them, a tactic that earns him neither loyalty nor goodwill, especially from his chief minion, bully Joon-jae.
It makes him one of the stupider members of the Hallowed Quartet at the top of the foodchain at Cheonmyung—unlike Beom-jin, who is the complete opposite. There’s a very taut moment when Beom-jin advises Ki-hoon to hide his ugly side from the other kids, which Ki-hoon sees as a challenge for dominance. Beom-jin doesn’t back off because he’s cowed, but because he’s smart. It’s obvious to anyone with half a brain that Beom-jin could crush Ki-hoon but chooses not to.
Of course, humiliation can only beget further humiliation, and Joon-jae takes his anger out on poor shuttle Byung-ho, even threatening to go after his little sister. That’s the last straw for Byung-ho, who finally fights back, and it ends with him pinning Joon-jae to the floor with a knife at his throat. He’s talked out of doing real damage by both Moo-hyuk and So-hyun, but both students are suspended and told to drop out, or else face expulsion.
Moo-hyuk is still on the trail of Han-soo’s last visitor before his attempted suicide, whose shoes match Joon-jae’s. By tracking Joon-jae, he learns that he’s living in pretty reduced circumstances with loan sharks on the family’s tail after the father went bankrupt and fled abroad. Huh. It explains a lot, though it doesn’t excuse it. Cornered, Joon-jae finally admits he stole the shoes from shuttle Byung-ho. But where did penniless Byung-ho get them?
And that’s answered pretty quickly as an angry and desperate Byung-ho confronts General Manager Lee Tae-seok about being forced to leave school, especially when Lee had promised to end the bullying if he passed on his message to Han-soo. Well well.
But the plot gets even thicker in the search for the identity of Soo-ah’s sponsor, the man who frequented her house, when it becomes clear that it’s not Lee Tae-seok, but the person who is “zero” on his speed-dial, who just might be Moo-hyuk’s old boss, Lee Do-jin.
Prosecutor Cha is also on Lee’s tail, determined to uncover whatever it is he’s hiding, after he bought and stripped the house where Soo-ah was murdered. She finds out that he’s been trying to buy his way into succeeding the chairman of another private university after being cut out of the succession for Cheonmyung, his family’s foundation. Prosecutor Cha realizes that the school parents are the source of his significant funds, because the school doesn’t select for students so much as it does parents.
It should have been obvious, really, the moment you realize why the Hallowed Quartet refer to Manager Lee as “Butler Lee”. As far as they are concerned, he’s the help, and his purpose is to facilitate and provide maximum support for their passage through school into the world beyond. I find the whole commentary on the hierarchy of power so interesting, and the characters caught between the millstones of greater and lesser players are the ones that prove to be the most volatile, and show the most malice (like evil Teacher Jeon).
But despite all the evident cruelties and injustices at Cheonmyung, I’m most disturbed by Beom-jin. Man, I would like to know what he’s thinking, but he is so difficult to read. His concern and kindness seem genuine, for example to Byung-ho, but then he goes and joins hands with Ye-ri to lure Moo-hyuk into a fiery deathtrap. What’s his game? And what’s the nature of his connection to Soo-ah? Could he be her killer?
- Class of Lies: Episodes 1-2 (Review)
- Premiere Watch: Justice, Rookie Historian Gu Hae-ryung, Doctor Detective, Class of Lies, Doctor John, Golden Garden
- Yoon Kyun-sang goes undercover among the children of Korea’s elite in Class of Lies
- Class of Lies begins with a student’s funeral
- Yoon Kyun-sang, Geum Sae-rok in teacher mode for OCN’s Class of Lies
- Disguised Yoon Kyun-sang to discover truth in school murder for Class of Lies
- Yoon Kyun-sang confirmed for new OCN mystery thriller