Shark: Episode 10
Our hero finally gets to feel what it’s like to be out-maneuvered, and not a moment too soon. All the plots and plans and corporate machinations of the previous episodes are starting to come together in a way that feels surprisingly earned, and the future feels just this side of uncertain. All good things in a show that needed a little bit of surprise and gave a good amount of it this hour. Let’s just hope it keeps up.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Cold open: The late Detective Jung’s partner wanders down a dark alley, trying to find some building. As he texts whoever he’s supposed to meet that he’s going to be late, Clicky approaches from behind, poison pen in hand. Ruh roh.
Hae-woo seems hesitant to talk, though she’s kindly brought Yi-soo a beer. It’s a little gesture from her, and he silently opens hers for her before handing it back. I always think it’s sweet when guys do that.
She finally tells him about the friend she lost in a car accident, though he already knows his name: Yi-soo. While looking at the beer in her hand she claims that she couldn’t smile anymore after he disappeared, and it’s only after she learned to drink that she could smile for others. (Was this why she drank so much at her wedding?)
She goes on about her trip to Japan, and how the man didn’t recognize the photo of Yi-soo. She knows Yi-soo must now go by a different name, so either the old man lied, or… “Is Kim Jun your real name?” she asks. He lies that he has two other bogus “real” names, but neither of them are Yi-soo.
So she’s basically trying to figure out whether he’s Yi-soo, and he knows it. When she doesn’t believe his circular words, he tells her that she’s got to work on her poker face, because she’s only ever around people who have lots to hide. Hae-woo: “Are you one of them?”
She sighs that she thought she would be able to recognize Yi-soo no matter his face, and wonders whether she’s the one who’s changed instead of him. Yi-soo notes that while most people want to believe what they can see, she wants to see what she believes. Hae-woo goes one step further to say that she’s seeking a truth she doesn’t want to believe—because by doing so, she can find Yi-soo.
When he asks why, which is sort of all he does during his conversation, she replies, “Because I have to stop him. I know that Yi-soo wants me to find him, and to stop him when I find him.”
Yi-soo is emotionally affected and holds it back as always, resisting the urge to follow after her. He stares at his shark pendant for strength instead, until he gets a call from his “Friend.”
Meanwhile, Detective Oh (Detective Jung’s partner) leaves his partner’s widow with the picture of Grandpa Jo. Clicky watches ominously.
Grandpa Jo seems to get the skinny from Clicky over the phone later, but he wants to know how the picture ended up in Envelope Professor’s hands. (Is he talking about a different picture? Because the picture we just saw was from Detective Jung’s house.) He asks again how Detective Jung died.
Detective Oh calls Detective Byun to ask if there’s a connection between Grandpa Jo and his dead partner (because of the picture he found), as if he’s on the cusp of figuring something out. But he can’t match Grandpa Jo’s face to the boy’s in the picture.
Soo-hyun runs into Detective Byun at The Only Juice Bar in Seoul, and tells him that he’s there on Hae-woo’s orders to watch over Yi-hyun. She refers to Soo-hyun as “ajusshi” at the table, to which he replies that he should be called the more informal, more intimate “oppa” instead.
And the stink eye Detective Byun gives him from across the table is priceless. Ha. Yi-soo decides against visiting Yi-hyun once he sees she has company, but she sees him walking away and tells her dad that he’s a customer with a beautiful voice “like Yi-soo oppa.”
Detective Byun latches onto that and starts chasing after Yi-soo (taking Yi-hyun’s clue that he might be the real Yi-soo), but he stops himself since he thinks it’s foolish. Soo-hyun follows after and locks eyes with Yi-soo for a second. They SO know each other.
Joon-young goes out for a drink with his dad to discuss the rumors circulating in the press, since dad’s name is involved. Prosecutor Oh waves away the rumors and dispels his son’s unease, but Joon-young keeps the faith: “Father, I believe in you. I’ve always believed in you.”
Somehow, this makes Prosecutor Oh feel guiltier. Maybe because his conscience isn’t half as clear as Joon-young thinks it is.
Yi-soo and Secretary Jang pass up the anchorwoman who had an affair with Daddy Jo in the lobby, which she knows all about because she’s a TV addict. Before parting, Yi-soo almost gets his hand crushed in an elevator to thank her for the juice she gave him, because the show’s gotta pay the bills.
Joon-young catches up to Hae-woo outside the house, and she lies about where she was and who she was meeting with. She lies again when he asks her plainly if the rumors about his father are true, even though he noticed how sensitive his father was. He also remembers what she said about many people being involved, which seemed to hint at his father.
So it’s nice to know that he’s not blind, but he can’t realize the truth when Hae-woo’s not being honest. That’s all the reassurance he needs to trust his father—and while you can tell she’s conflicted about lying, she’s kind of stuck at this point.
Grandpa Jo offers the two some advice on dealing with the media circus calmly, when he really should be telling it to his high-strung son.
Daddy Jo calls a reluctant Hae-woo out to ask her if she told Grandpa that he’s still seeing the anchorwoman, worried about that more than anything. He swears that he’s done no wrong, so his daughter tells him to think back to twelve years ago to see if he changes his mind.
“I did as much as I could!” he claims. He talks hypothetically even though everyone knows it’s the truth—say he did have a hit-and-run accident, and say Yi-soo’s dad confessed in his stead. It’s not like he forced Yi-soo’s dad to do it.
Hae-woo’s disgusted that her dad thinks he’s done nothing wrong, even though she tells him that he not only killed a man in the hit-and-run, but Yi-soo and his father died because of it. “So even then, you say you’ve done nothing wrong?”
Daddy Jo gets defensive, since he thinks she’s putting all the blame on him. (She is.) He curses that Yi-soo’s dad had to die at such an inconvenient time, which just solidifies Hae-woo’s complete shock at how terrible of a person he is. “Even I won’t be able to forgive you, Dad.”
Later, Joon-young sees the state she’s in and offers her a warm embrace to help her get some much-needed rest, while Daddy Jo meets secretly with the anchorwoman… only it’s not that secret, since someone’s taking pictures.
Hae-woo studies her crime board with a picture of adult Yi-soo (as Kim Jun) and a picture of young Yi-soo, wondering how this all fits if they have different faces. She even studies the video of him and a picture of Kim Jun side by side, trying to find similarities. C’mon, you’re so close!
Meanwhile, Yi-soo wakes with a start, and does his praying/thinking pose with his metal shark. Hae-woo holds the wooden one while she does some actual work. (For the love of all that is holy, give that man something to do.)
Something in the crime scene files sends her rushing off, but Joon-young sees her crime board with the words: “A different face – why?”
Hae-woo ends up outside Yi-soo’s door with him inside studying his “Orpheus” painting. Dear Lord. Really, guys? He really doesn’t have anything else to do but stare at his fish or this painting? Auugh.
She runs away at the last minute, but Yi-soo seems to hear her (or telepathically realize she’s there) and runs for the door, only to find the hallway empty.
At work, she asks Soo-hyun for the list of any doctors or hospitals anywhere near Yi-soo’s accident site, and resolves to do the questioning herself. But they’ve got a problem, in that Yi-soo released the photos of Daddy Jo and the anchorwoman to the media.
So Yi-soo finally gets a little something to do in that he gets to look at a computer and watch his handiwork, but it is like a cosmic joke from this show to me that he feeds his fish and stares at them at the end of the scene. He just can’t resist, can he.
Grandpa Jo tears into Daddy Jo like never before with the article’s release, because he can’t seem to drill it through his son’s head that honor and integrity matter when it comes to their hotel brand and he’s singlehandedly destroyed the public’s trust.
Joon-young is frank with his father-in-law, advising him to come clean to the media about his relationship with the anchorwoman, since there’s no use denying it now. He’s got to show a different side to the media, and he’ll have a good opportunity with the hotel anniversary gala.
Detective Byun’s sidekick at the office informs him that he can’t delay the investigation into the apartment smart key anymore, especially because he thinks it’s the key to the case—it’s the anchorwoman’s key, Daddy Jo is seeing her, and the last person Detective Jung talked to just so happened to be Daddy Jo.
So, he’s trying to peg the murder on Daddy Jo, but Detective Byun proves to him that he has been doing his job since he already questioned the anchorwoman—and since she proved that she was together with Daddy Jo on the night in question, that means he wasn’t around for the murder.
The media storm puts Hae-woo in a tough spot with one of her bosses, who tells her to be prepared for “some changes in personnel” once a disciplinary committee forms to discuss the truthfulness of the allegations posed against her family.
It sounds like she’s this close to being sacked, but her boss makes it a point to remind her not to allow any of her issues to affect her father-in-law, the chief prosecutor.
Detective Oh goes to the library with the old-timey photo to see if he can find the likes of it in various photo books on the Korean independence movement. Yi-soo is also there, under cover, to keep an eye on him.
Yi-soo fails at that job by arbitrarily moving to a different part of the library, right as Detective Oh finds a picture of the old man in the photo in one of the books.
But Yi-soo hears a strange sound—click, click, click—that causes him to look back, only to find Detective Oh gone, with the book open to what’s supposedly the only picture of a man named Jo In-seok. (Grandpa Jo’s father, probably?)
Detective Oh calls Detective Byun to set up a time when he can reveal all he’s discovered. He’s starting to put together a connection, but here are the basics that I can grasp: (1) Envelope Professor was obsessed with rectifying Korean history, specifically regarding the Korean independence movement, and said something before he died about Goliath falling and David triumphing. Considering how Grandpa Jo has killed people over the information he knew, it seems like Grandpa is Goliath here.
(2) Detective Oh claims that the Mystery Locker’s contents weren’t documents, but a photo of independence activists. He’s only matched the one man in the photo to the history books, so he’s not sure. And (3) he promises to explain the rest when he meets Detective Byun, but we all know he’s never going to make it to that meeting.
Detective Byun and his partner meet with Joon-young and Daddy Jo, so he can clarify that he was with the anchorwoman the night of the murder and that he lied to prevent a scandal. He’ll need some corroborating evidence to clear him though, so Joon-young is the one to tell the detectives to check the black box from Daddy Jo’s car to prove his story.
Daddy Jo has no idea where he lost the smart key found at the crime scene, and grows nervous when Detective Byun starts to ask him about why he’d still be accepting Detective Jung’s calls when he claims there’s no connection between them.
But when Detective Byun asks if they can search Daddy Jo’s call logs and bank accounts, Joon-young coolly steps in to deny them permission because the rumors about them hiring an assassin are groundless. Daddy Jo swells with pride behind the protection of his son-in-law.
Hae-woo has a somber meeting with Prosecutor Oh as he tells her that he was powerless to stop the formation of the disciplinary committee. She hands him a resignation letter, which he seems more than ready to accept, except she’s… not resigning?
Hae-woo: “I thought that if I couldn’t continue investigating, there would be no reason for me to stay in this position. But when I thought it over, I realized that maybe I was running away. If the time comes where being a prosecutor becomes meaningless for me, I’ll leave my position of my own free will, without any pressure from others. Until then, I’m going to continue doing what I need to do as a prosecutor.”
Prosecutor Oh calls Grandpa Jo about Hae-woo’s not-a-resignation, and Grandpa just sighs—if that’s what Hae-woo wants, they can’t stop her. He just doesn’t want her to get hurt.
We return to the scene from the cold open, with Detective Oh getting lost on his way to meet Detective Byun, only to come face to face with Clicky.
Yi-soo gets a call from his “friend” that Secretary Jang gets to half-listen in on, and the cal seems to tell him about Detective Oh’s fate. Yi-soo just hopes that “it” (the picture?) isn’t already in Grandpa Jo’s hands.
As for something else we’re not privy to, he tells his friend he’s changed his mind, and instructs him to “Send it to Prosecutor Jo personally.” I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
Detective Oh wakes up tied to a chair in an abandoned warehouse with Clicky, who asks him if anyone else saw the picture. Detective Oh is trying to save his life when he stutters that no one else saw it—in fact, he doesn’t even know who’s in the picture or what it’s about, nor does he care.
The constant click click click proves maddening, so he screams for the sound to stop. Clicky offers to do that for him, in an if-you’re-dead-you-won’t-hear-it sort of way.
Joon-young notices how distant Hae-woo is the next morning, and is doubly surprised when she hands him her resignation letter for safekeeping. She admits that she was going to resign, but instead decided to endure until the bitter end. “And when I can’t endure it any longer, I’ll come looking for you.”
Daddy Jo squawks pettily at Hae-woo for her choice in outfit, which doesn’t seem suitable for the anniversary gala. She’s not on speaking terms with him, so at least she seems to realize that her dad sucks.
Detective Byun still hasn’t been able to get ahold of Detective Oh, and you’d think he’d be more concerned since people in this case have been dropping like flies. But if that means we get more of daddy/daughter cuteness, I can’t really say no. (Seriously. He and Yi-hyun are freakin’ adorable together. Maybe Yi-hyun makes everything better.)
On the way to the gala, Secretary Jang tells Yi-soo that Junichiro will be in attendance. Dong-soo purposefully mentions that he was invited by Joon-young but declined since he’ll be working just so Yi-soo will give him permission to go, but he can’t help but notice that his boss seems more dour than usual. How can he even tell?
It’s only when Detective Byun arrives at the office does he hear that Detective Oh was murdered.
The anniversary gala commences, which Joon-young has planned to use in order to announce their acquisition of that pervert CEO’s hotel. But Yi-soo timed a news release to coincide with the gala, and Joon-young is in shock when he reads that the pervert’s hotel is going to Junichiro/Yi-soo, and not him.
Yi-hyun races ahead of Junichiro to make it to the party, and he smiles knowingly as he recognizes her. What does he know, exactly? We don’t know.
Hae-woo shows up on Grandpa Jo’s arm, just as the news of the failed acquisition starts spreading amongst the guests. Joon-young levels Yi-soo with a positively menacing look and calls him outside.
But Yi-soo gets a call from his friend right as Detective Byun arrives at the new murder scene, where he finds Detective Oh’s body just as he found Detective Jung’s—with a circle painted on his torso in blood.
This is presumably the news that Yi-soo hears, and he stares across the room to catch Grandpa Jo’s gaze. They seem to be sizing each other up, even though Yi-soo must know that Grandpa Jo is behind the newest murder.
That means… gasp! Something happened that Yi-soo *didn’t* plan.
Hae-woo notices the stareathon going on between Yi-soo, her grandpa, and Joon-young, and she keeps a sharp (no lie, I accidentally typed “shark”) eye on Yi-soo when he bumps into his sister on the way out. She’s looking for a sign that it’s him.
And of course, when Daddy Jo hears the news of the failed acquisition going to Yi-soo’s hotel instead, he loses it and chases down our fish-loving hero for a very public argument. See, this is why he can’t go to nice places.
Yi-soo keeps his cool even when Joon-young has to hold Daddy Jo back from hitting him, and levels Daddy Jo with a menacing gaze: “There are a lot of eyes watching. You should live up to the status of a descendent of an independence fighter.” Needless to say, Daddy Jo doesn’t and has to be dragged away.
Hae-woo asks Yi-hyun if she knows the man she bumped into, her suspicions only escalating when Yi-hyun admits that he’s a regular at her shop. The package Yi-soo wanted her to receive personally arrives just then—it’s a USB drive.
Joon-young finally gets the chance to ask Yi-soo if he knowingly sniped their hotel, to which he says yes. For Yi-soo, it doesn’t really matter whether his underhanded business dealings lose him the trust of others, because he claims he doesn’t trust anybody.
“When you don’t trust people, you lose them,” Joon-young sighs. “When you lose people, you lose everything.”
Yi-soo’s eyes fill with tears as he grits out, “I have nothing left to lose.” But at least he expresses a teensy bit of remorse for screwing Joon-young over, since they can’t exactly be friends after this.
While Hae-woo is given one of the security room’s computers to check the drive, the gala experiences a starting-time hiccup. Haha, I love that Dong-soo is just chilling there, chowing down on an entire loaf of bread and a very full glass of wine. That’s how you attend a fancy pants party.
Suddenly, a recording is heard over the crowd… Ohhh. The recording Hae-woo is playing off the drive is playing for the whole crowd, and she has no idea. Yi-soo must’ve planned this.
The recording itself is of Daddy Jo threatening Detective Jung after receiving yet another blackmail request: “Do you want to die?” Detective Jung shrugs that he can just tell Hae-woo that her father killed someone in a hit-and-run accident…
When Daddy Jo threatened to retaliate, Detective Jung asked him if that’s why he killed Yi-soo’s dad. And everyone hears, even though Daddy Jo practically screams in the recording, “Do you have any proof? Do you have any proof that I killed him?”
Yi-soo watches Daddy and Grandpa Jo from the crowd, while Hae-woo watches the scene unfold on her screen. Yikes.
So it only took until the halfway mark, but at last, things are happening. Three cheers for Shark!
It feels silly to say that of a medium that by its very nature must have moving colors and shapes on a screen for two hours each week, but I don’t think there’s a strong argument to be made that Shark has been an experience in unadulterated and relentless entertainment thus far. It’s not the kind of buzz show to get everyone talking, and I’d love to meet the person who—if they can claim to have loved the show enough to write home about it—had their home write back: “Forget hearing about you, tell us more about that show!”
I say that with a light heart because I’m still wrestling with my feelings for this show, even though at the end of the day I can’t discount it wholesale. It’s been a bit of a mixed bag in that there are setups and characters that I like, but an emotional connection that’s just plain missing—it’s like head vs. heart more than ever with this show. We’ve been told and shown why Yi-soo’s had it rough, but we (the royal we) don’t feel that knee-jerk reaction to give an honest shit about him, even though we theoretically should.
That’s the show’s intention, and that’s the aspect of this experience that’s hard to get a read on—I want to like Yi-soo, and I wish I could understand why I don’t. Other heroes have emoted less in their lifetimes, right? I’ve loved heroes that have been ten times more unlikable, or far more irredeemable. A great example was brought up that actually comes straight from this writer/director duo’s repertoire in the character Joo Ji-hoon played in The Devil—and he pretty much spent the series setting up Saw-esque scenarios to kill his enemies without getting his hands dirty, and he STILL won the girl. (And a lot of love from me.)
So it’s like Shark took the essence of his character and plopped him in here as an anti-hero, only Yi-soo’s not going dark enough to really embody that role, nor is he doing much to embody the usual hero role. I don’t know where to shelve him, but I do think this episode took some positive steps in giving him objectives that he could play in front of the camera and by having him be out-planned for once. He’s alienated some friends and made a solid enemy in Grandpa Jo, and this is still without Gramps knowing that he’s Yi-soo. The conflict is finally amping up to give that reveal some stakes beyond Hae-woo feeling betrayed, in that the reveal might endanger Yi-soo’s very existence all over again. And something tells me you can only miraculously survive getting run over by a truck only once in your drama life, since we all know how a character can just brush a bumper and end up six feet under in practically every other show.
The secrets surrounding Grandpa Jo and the way everything ties to the Korean independence movement are still secrets to me, even though this episode had plenty of clues to get us guessing. I’d like to know what kind of secret is so massive that Gramps feels like he has to kill everyone and their mother to protect, but it was kind of ingenious to model this murder after Yi-soo’s to lead investigators astray. Otherwise, adding another murder to the people-who-knew-too-much list would have been akin to using the guy’s blood to draw a map leading straight to Casa Jo.