Suspicious Partner: Episodes 3-4
The story gets well underway in the next installment of Suspicious Partner, setting Bong-hee and Ji-wook on opposite sides of a conflict that carries dire consequences for the loser. Bong-hee is in a pretty bad position, made even worse by the fact that the one person she can count on is actively working against her. And Ji-wook will have to face down a lot of his own fears, torn between his personal demons and doing what’s right.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Nearing the end of her internship with Ji-wook, Bong-hee sits to write him a letter, but everything nice that she writes sounds like lies. She flips through her diary, which is full of notes like, “Noh Ji-wook was annoying today.” But she remembers how he helped her save face in front of Hee-joon, so she adds, “…but he was cool, too.”
She realizes what she wrote and laughs herself out of her chair, which jostles a memory loose from the night they drank together. Bong-hee had pushed him down on the couch and climbed on top of him, and Ji-wook had taken her face in his hands to pull her closer…
The memory ends there, and Bong-hee can’t remember more no matter how she tries. She goes to the balcony for some fresh air, and with her glasses off, she doesn’t see the man on the roof of the building across from hers dragging something large and bulky. But he definitely sees Bong-hee. He quickly lifts his burden and tosses it into a water reservoir.
While Bong-hee goes out for some beer, her ex-boyfriend Hee-joon lets himself into her apartment, assuming that her oversight in changing her passcode means that she subconsciously wants him back. But a gloved hand stops the door from closing behind him, and he turns around in surprise.
As Bong-hee skips home, a masked man on a bike passes by her, whistling an eerie tune. They both stop, and the biker turns back to look at Bong-hee, but when she turns around, he’s on his way again.
Bong-hee goes home and trips over Hee-joon’s body, and when she reaches out to him, her hands come back covered in his blood. The power is back on by the time the paramedics arrive, revealing Hee-joon dead on Bong-hee’s floor and Bong-hee nearly catatonic with shock.
Bong-hee is taken to the police station where she sits transfixed by Hee-joon’s blood still on her hands. She tells herself that her behavior makes an impression, so she slaps herself, alarming the detectives. When she’s coherent again, she clarifies that she’s just a witness, not a suspect.
Bong-hee nervously says that of course she looks like a suspect, since Hee-joon was killed in her home and the murderer is often the person who found the body. The detectives think that sounds like a confession, but Bong-hee warns them not to accuse an innocent person or it will make a mess of the investigation and give the real killer time to cover his tracks.
Hee-joon’s new girlfriend, Ji-hae, bursts into the station to confront Bong-hee, accusing her of killing Hee-joon because he dumped her. Bong-hee denies it, even when Ji-hae reminds her that she kept singing that curse and saying she’d kill him.
Ji-hae grabs Bong-hee and shakes her, demanding she bring Hee-joon back, and she has to be dragged out. As she’s being removed, she screams that she’ll kill Bong-hee for this. Ji-hae’s accusations give the detectives reason to arrest Bong-hee and charge her with murder. She narrates from the future that if she could give her past self any advice, she’d tell her to be careful of men, who bring nothing but trouble.
A trip to prosecutor Ji-wook’s past shows him getting the same advice in reverse from a monk, who tells him that the wrong woman can ruin a man’s life. The monk had predicted that there would be one woman like that in Ji-wook’s life.
In the present, Ji-wook opens his eyes in his office, and his coworker, Section Chief BANG GYE-JANG, quips that his war isn’t against the clients, but against his insomnia. Ji-wook mutters that he’d give his body and soul to the person who can get him a good night’s sleep.
He tells Section Chief Bang about the fake monk he knew as a child, and that he just remembered something the monk once told him about a woman he shouldn’t meet. With perfect timing, he gets a call from Bong-hee, who tells him hesitantly that she’s been arrested for murder.
Ji-wook laughs like this is the funniest thing he’s ever heard, then nearly bursts into tears. He goes to the station to yell at Bong-hee, furiously snatching at her through the bars of her cell then escaping the detective’s grip to rush inside and scream wordlessly at her.
He regains a bit of his composure when she cringes and says that she knows something went horribly wrong, but she didn’t do anything. Ji-wook orders her to look at him, and though she’s terrified, she meets his eyes. She says that it’s her fault somehow that they’re here right now, but that she didn’t kill Hee-joon.
In a shaky voice, she tells Ji-wook that she’s terrified, but he’s the only person she can count on. He snaps at her not to count on him, but Bong-hee says firmly that she will, because he’s the only person she knows who has power under the law. Ji-wook tells her to get cleaned up and that he’ll send Section Chief Bang with more clothes for her.
Bong-hee finally gets a chance to take a shower and wash Hee-joon’s blood off her hands. As she washes herself clean, the finality of Hee-joon’s death hits her, and she cries in huge, wracking sobs. She writes from the future that even though he hurt and betrayed her, she did care for him and never wished him harm.
Then her narration turns indignant, asking why on earth he had to die in her home. She wonders what she ever did to deserve this, and wonders if he was trying to ruin her life, ha.
In a further stroke of bad luck for Bong-hee, Ji-wook’s boss, District Attorney JANG MOO-YOUNG, also happens to be Hee-joon’s father. Ji-wook watches the news with growing trepidation, listening to the rumors that Bong-hee killed Hee-joon out of jealousy. He’s called to the DA’s office, where he’s assigned to Bong-hee’s case based on his reputation of being the “worst” prosecutor.
When Bong-hee is transferred for questioning, she’s met by an army of reporters, all calling for a statement. Someone knocks her glasses off, then another person rips off her mask, revealing her face to their cameras. In the confusion, someone steps on Bong-hee’s glasses and crushes them.
Ji-wook can’t imagine a worse situation, but he’s been threatened with being fired if Bong-hee isn’t convicted of murder. He reads her rights and tells her that due to the blackouts that night, there’s no evidence proving that she was out when Hee-joon was killed.
Bong-hee complains that her glasses were broken so she can’t see, and when she can’t see, she can’t seem to hear well, either. She continues that when she can’t see his expressions, she can’t tell what he’s feeling.
Ji-wook sits just inches from Bong-hee so she can see him properly, and he goes into “smarmy prosecutor” mode, sympathizing with her and saying that he understands why she felt betrayed by Hee-joon. But Bong-hee says this won’t work on her, since she’s already seen him interrogate people and knows his tactics.
Next he tries the “angry scary prosecutor” tactic, but that doesn’t work, either. He’s forced to be honest, telling Bong-hee that her innocence doesn’t matter when all the evidence points to her. Internally he thinks that the only way he can save his career is by getting her the maximum sentence.
Bong-hee confuses him by saying that she trusts that he’s on her side, and that he’s her only hope. He thinks about that fake monk who’d told him to avoid the troublesome woman at all costs or his life will be destroyed. He’d said Ji-wook would recognize her when he met her, and now he says ruefully that it’s Bong-hee.
CEO Byun — who is actually trying to hire Ji-wook for his law firm — and Eun-hyuk discuss Bong-hee, sure that no lawyer has taken her case since the victim was the DA’s son. Eun-hyuk suddenly stares at his phone, shocked and thrilled to see that Ji-wook is calling him (HA, he’s saved on Eun-hyuk’s phone as “My Ji-wookie”).
On his end, Ji-wook calmly asks for a favor, but when he hangs up, he does this hilarious full-body flail, grossed out by having had to talk to Eun-hyuk. He gathers his composure as Section Chief Bang looks on sympathetically, then they head out.
Bong-hee’s mom brings her an old pair of glasses so she can see, and she tells her daughter not to worry about her since this isn’t her first time doing this. She starts to mention Bong-hee’s father but stops herself, and it looks like it’s getting harder for her to keep smiling.
She asks if Bong-hee’s being bullied, but Bong-hee says that as the only murder suspect, she’s automatically the cell jjang (leader). Their time is up, and Mom does a cute little cheer-up dance for Bong-hee. But once the door closes between them, she breaks down.
Eun-hyuk waits for Bong-hee in the interrogation room — aww, Ji-wook’s request must have been for him to represent her. Eun-hyuk puts his ear to the door and gets another thwack to the head when Bong-hee enters. He laughs affably and says that he’s smart enough to spare a few brain cells.
Eun-hyuk tries to explain that he’s going to be Bong-hee’s lawyer, but he keeps giggling at her horrendous glasses. He thanks her for being the catalyst to Ji-wook’s calling him and asks what kind of relationship she has with him beyond the professional.
Bong-hee redirects him to her actual case, and his eyes sharpen as he asks bluntly if she killed Hee-joon. She says no, and he says that’s all he needs to know, laughing that weird laugh again. (Seriously, what is up with that laugh?)
Ji-wook and Section Chief Bang go to look at the murder scene and discuss the fact that the murder weapon hasn’t been found. They both agree that it would be great if Bong-hee is as innocent as she claims.
There’s nothing outwardly remarkable about Bong-hee’s apartment, and Ji-wook recalls her testimony that she wasn’t wearing her glasses and couldn’t see much when she stood on her balcony. He thinks that she may have witnessed something, but she’s unaware of it because she couldn’t see.
Section Chief Bang complaints that it feels intrusive to inspect the house of someone they know, even as he’s flipping through Bong-hee’s diary, ha. He sees all of her notes about Ji-wook and hides the diary behind his back, reluctant to show Ji-wook.
Ji-wook takes the diary anyway and flips through it, his face carefully neutral. They get a call that the murder weapon was found not far from here, and at the same time, Ji-wook finds a bloody knife underneath Bong-hee’s fridge.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Remembering that District Attorney Jang had been strangely sure of the fact that the murder weapon would turn up soon, Ji-wook thinks it’s odd that he’s finding this knife now, after the apartment has already been searched several times. He takes both knives to have the blood on them forensically tested.
Bong-hee asks Eun-hyuk his IQ, which he says proudly is 143, but he doesn’t ask hers until prompted. She tells him that she passed the bar exam with an IQ of only 101, because she worked as hard as she could so that she could get a good job and give her mother a better life. She asks him not to treat her defense as a joke, because her whole life depends on this.
Eun-hyuk calls Ji-wook to talk, but Ji-wook will only meet with him in a restaurant, sitting at separate tables, with his back to Eun-hyuk. Eun-hyuk says that he’s only helping Bong-hee because Ji-wook asked, and he promises to do his best to beat Ji-wook.
Ji-wook gets up to leave with Eun-hyuk right on his heels asking him to stay for a drink, but Ji-wook reminds him that he can’t stand him. Eun-hyuk says that he’ll just keep begging for forgiveness until Ji-wook grants it, saying that Ji-wook is the most precious person in his life and calling a cheerful, “I love you!” at Ji-wook’s back.
Ji-wook bursts into Bong-hee’s interrogation room bellowing that he had to see someone he hates because of her, which startles and confuses her. She asks if she did something wrong or made a mistake, and he yells that everything she does is wrong and a mistake. She turns the saddest puppy-dog eyes on him, and he makes an effort to tamp down on his fury.
Ji-wook watches Bong-hee eat her jjajangmyun like she’s starving, thinking that if the blood on both knives belongs to Hee-joon, then it means she’s innocent. He tells her that this is the last time he’ll interrogate her, tipping her off that she’ll soon be on trial for Hee-joon’s murder.
Bong-hee says again that she trusts him, and she trusts that he believes her. She thinks to herself that she has to, because she has no other choice.
Bong-hee’s trial begins, and Ji-wook only looks at her once before starting his arguments. His official theory is that she lured Hee-joon to her apartment in order to kill him, jealous that he’d cheated on her (and we also learn that this all happened two years ago).
Ji-hae is called to the stand where she testifies that she heard Bong-hee threaten to kill Hee-joon many times. Eun-hyuk argues that saying “I’ll kill you” is just a figure of speech, and he reminds Ji-hae that she even said it to Bong-hee at the police station. Point to Eun-hyuk.
Bong-hee’s classmate Hee-kyu testifies about the curse song she used to sing to Hee-joon, which ended with a death threat. Eun-hyuk asks if it’s true that after Bong-hee and Hee-joon broke up, Hee-kyu asked Bong-hee out and was turned down several times. He points out that Hee-kyu must not have really believed Bong-hee was homicidal, since he wanted to date her. Another point to Eun-hyuk.
When Bong-hee takes the stand, she confesses that she did say she would kill Hee-joon, but she clarifies that if she really intended to kill him, she wouldn’t have been so vocal about it. Growing emotional, she says that a lot of women have probably wanted to kill their boyfriends or husbands at times, and the whole room cringes.
Reporters interpret that statement as Bong-hee saying that killing Hee-joon wasn’t such a bad thing. Things look pretty bad for Bong-hee, though her cellmates give her a round of applause, heh.
Ji-wook gets the forensic reports back on the two bloody knives. On the second day of Bong-hee’s trial, he asks to submit one knife as extra evidence, stating that it was found at Bong-hee’s home several days after the murder.
Eun-hyuk objects on the grounds that the apartment was searched several times and no knife was found, making this “evidence” suspect. The knife is accepted into evidence on the condition that a forensic expert is brought in to testify.
Ji-wook confirms with the expert that the knife matches the wound on Hee-joon’s body. Eun-hyuk still thinks it’s strange that the knife showed up after several searches found nothing, and he asks if it could have been planted there by someone with access to Hee-joon’s blood. The expert can’t say if it’s possible, but he can’t say it’s impossible, either.
When it comes time for his closing arguments, Ji-wook looks as though he’s really struggling. He thinks about his father, who had lost his only sister to a murderer. He’d been a prosecutor who only took criminal cases, and who always held himself apart from corrupt prosecutors.
Little Ji-wook had idolized his father, who was also murdered when Ji-wook was still very young. Ji-wook devoted his life to the same causes his father fought for, wanting nothing more than to be like his hero.
Ji-wook makes his planned closing statements, accusing Bong-hee of murder and asking for the maximum penalty of fifteen years in prison. He can barely look Bong-hee in the eye, and when he does, she looks back at him with an expression of disappointment and utter betrayal.
In the space of a few seconds, his boss’s threat to have him fired and blackballed if he loses this case wars with Bong-hee’s statement of complete trust in him. Suddenly, right in the middle of Eun-hyuk’s closing arguments, Ji-wook stands and says that he has more evidence.
He tells the court that a second knife was found, and that Hee-joon’s blood was on both weapons. Revealing the second knife was found several miles from Bong-hee’s apartment, Ji-wook says that it’s impossible for her to have taken the knife and dropped it there, then gotten back to her place in time to meet the paramedics.
The judge asks why Ji-wook is presenting this evidence when the trial is almost over, and Ji-wook confesses that he excluded this evidence on purpose, because winning the trial was more important than the truth. But he adds that two weapons with the victim’s blood on them means that one is a fake, rendering them both inadmissible as evidence.
With that, he officially dismisses all charges against Bong-hee.
Bong-hee’s confused mother turns to CEO Byun for answers. He says, a bit proudly, that Ji-wook just torpedoed his own case and that Bong-hee is free. Ji-wook doesn’t look at Bong-hee in the courtroom, and as she leaves the building, she sees him walking away without a backward glance.
Then a sound catches her attention, and she freezes — it’s the sound of someone whistling, sounding very much like the whistle she heard from the man on the bike on the night of Hee-joon’s murder. She looks around but all she sees are clamoring reporters.
Ji-wook stands still as District Attorney Jang punches him viciously over and over. He goes out for drinks with CEO Byun, still a bit stunned at the way he destroyed his entire career. CEO Byun asks why Ji-wook did that for Bong-hee, but all Ji-wook will say is, “It’s fate.”
Bong-hee’s mom stays the night at Bong-hee’s place. They lie in bed holding hands, with Bong-hee reassuring her mom that the prosecution can’t come after her again unless they find another piece of evidence. She says with awe that the prosecutor made a big sacrifice for her today.
Unable to sleep, Bong-hee gets up and flips through her diary. She finds that on the days where she made negative notes about Ji-wook, he’d gone in and written “likewise” on each one. Awww.
Ji-wook is fired and packs up his office. Section Chief Bang pouts that he’s disappointed that Ji-wook let his conscience get in the way of doing his job, and Ji-wook agrees that he let himself down, too. He takes one last look around the office, then he goes.
Bong-hee resumes her life, happy to have found someone who restores her trust in people — Ji-wook. She spots him leaving his building and her face lights up, but he doesn’t look at all glad to see her.
Bong-hee approaches Ji-wook, and he says that he thinks they met because of fate. Bong-hee smiles and starts to say that she thinks he’s her destiny, but Ji-wook interrupts that it was an ill-fated encounter. Bong-hee’s face falls as he adds, “So let’s never cross paths again.”
These episodes were much more clear and cohesive than the premiere, and I now have a much better grasp of the show and what it wants to be. I actually like the juxtaposition of dark drama and light humor, and I feel that the funny moments compliment the more serious parts of the show very well. The writer’s past drama, I Remember You, did this very well too, and it’s one of my favorite dramas of all time. So I have a lot of faith that the humor will never overshadow the more serious primary story of the search for a serial killer, and that it will always be in good taste.
I expected Bong-hee’s murder trial to go on a bit longer, though I’m glad it’s over so soon so that we can move on to the “partner” part of Suspicious Partner. I really felt for Ji-wook, torn between his lifelong goal to be like his father, but also believing that Bong-hee is innocent and wanting to do the right thing for her. Until now his life has always been black and white — criminals go to jail, end of story, and if evidence has to be hidden in order to make that happen, then it’s just the price of justice. But Bong-hee taught him that not everyone accused of a crime is guilty, and it’s caused him to have a crisis of spirit. I don’t even blame him for not wanting to see her again, because it would only remind him of how he’s been doing the wrong things for the right reasons all of his life.
I’m very curious about Ji-wook’s angry outbursts, because it sometimes looks like it’s a struggle for him to keep from becoming violent. It’s very shocking every time it happens, because it’s so opposite to his regular mild personality, which makes me suspect that what we see isn’t the real Ji-wook. His outbursts are always triggered by some danger to Bong-hee, and the romantic in me wants to explain them by saying that he’s just that worried about her. But I don’t actually think their feelings run quite so deep at this point in their relationship, so I think there must be another reason why he lashes out that way.
I’m starting to think that I misjudged Eun-hyuk, who seemed a lot more friendly and personable in this episode. I think that some of that is an act, mostly by the way his whole demeanor changed for just a second when he asked Bong-hee if she was guilty. I think he’s a lot smarter than he likes to let on, because being underestimated can be useful to a defense lawyer. I also believe now that his affection for Ji-wook is genuine, and that he regrets whatever he did to upset Ji-wook so badly (my theory is still that he’s the one who slept with Ji-wook’s girlfriend). I confess that I want Eun-hyuk to be a good guy just so we can get some awesome bromance between him and Ji-wook later.
Bong-hee didn’t have much to do in this episode, but I love that she took away from the experience a renewed trust in others. It’s going to be sad to watch as her gratitude is rebuffed by Ji-wook, but it’s also going to be fun to see them forced to work together against this murderer and struggle to find a balance between their different viewpoints. Ji-wook and Bong-hee’s complicated relationship is definitely the best part of this show, and I’m very eager to see a lot more of them.
- Premiere Watch: Individualist Ji-young, Ruler, Suspicious Partner
- Subway misunderstandings and drunken frustrations in Suspicious Partner
- Shockingly suspicious and insanely lovable Suspicious Partners
- The Lonely Shining Suspicious Partner
- Rock the vote with Suspicious Partner
- Snuggly hugs on the set of poster shoots for SBS’s Suspicious Partner
- Stranger danger and high kicks on the set of Suspicious Partner
- Buoyant atmosphere at Suspicious Partner script read
- SBS’s Suspicious Partner gets a new client in Dongha