Suspicious Partner: Episodes 33-34
Personal issues get put on the back-burner as a familiar threat returns to menace Ji-wook and Bong-hee. As Ji-wook deals with the knowledge that his own memories may not be as reliable as he once believed them to be, he’ll be forced to consider what happens when a person’s memories actively lie. What is the truth, when even the person who owns the memories doesn’t know what really happened?
EPISODE 33 RECAP
Bong-hee finds herself alone in a hospital room with a suddenly very awake Hyun-soo. He stares at her for a long moment, then he shakes his head and steps toward Bong-hee. She says his name to warn him off, and he looks at her with innocent surprise, asking, “You know who I am?” (I knew it.)
After recalling some confusing new memories of his parents’ deaths that seem to contradict his older ones, Ji-wook heads home, but a call from Chief Bang has him rushing to the hospital. In a hallway, he sees Yoo-jung with Hyun-soo, who walks right by Ji-wook with just a mildly curious glance, not a hint of recognition in his eyes.
Ji-wook finds Bong-hee, who tells him that Hyun-soo was taken for testing. She asks how Hyun-soo looked to Ji-wook, saying that he seemed strange to her.
As they wait for Hyun-soo’s test results, Yoo-jung tells them that they won’t be allowed to talk to Hyun-soo today. Ji-wook asks her to call him when they can see him, and he and Bong-hee leave together. He offers her a ride, but she declines.
Ji-wook seems about to tell Bong-hee that he suspects his memories of the fire that killed his parents may not be reliable. But instead, he just makes awkward small talk about which bus she should take, then cringes at himself for chickening out. He drives past her at the bus stop a few minutes later, noting her downcast expression.
Eun-hyuk, Chief Bang, and CEO Byun have an impromptu meeting, including adorable little Jae-hong, who’s still at Ji-wook’s place. They discuss Hyun-soo, and Chief Bang vows to see him locked up, though Eun-hyuk assures him that Hyun-soo is already in custody and that Yoo-jung will take care of everything.
CEO Byun suddenly asks Jae-hong why he’s still here, getting an irritated eye-roll in response (ha, he’s such a little Ji-wook clone). Jae-hong stubbornly refuses to speak to CEO Byun, but when Ji-wook arrives home, he throws himself at his new friend for a hug. Is it me, or does Ji-wook look a little smug that the kid loves him?
Ji-hae nearly has a heart attack when she finds Bong-hee lurking in her dark apartment, but Bong-hee says in a flat voice that she no longer has a heart. She asks Ji-hae if amnesia is common, but Ji-hae has no idea.
When the stew Bong-hee made is declared horrible by Ji-hae, Bong-hee tucks an envelope into her hand, saying that it’s for her living expenses. Ji-hae frowns at the tiny amount of money, ha. Bong-hee starts to say something else in a depressed voice, and Ji-hae interrupts dryly, “Are you sad? You’re sad again? You’re not the only one who’s sad. I’m sad too.” HAHA, she’s hilarious.
But Bong-hee sighs that she really is sad, and she’s not the only one. Ji-wook stays up late that night, thinking about his new memories. They seem to indicate that District Attorney Jang brainwashed him into believing that Bong-hee’s father killed his parents.
He heads downstairs to find CEO Byun still there, wanting to talk about a reinstatement application that he found. He asks if Ji-wook is trying to become a prosecutor again, wondering if he’s unhappy as a lawyer. Ji-wook admits that it’s frustrating that he can’t do anything about criminals like Hyun-soo, especially when he’s the one that got Hyun-soo freed.
CEO Byun confesses that he didn’t like it when Ji-wook was a prosecutor because he was always exhausted and overworked, and that he always worried he’d end up like his father. Ji-wook smiles at his fatherly concern, saying that District Attorney Jang may not even allow him to be rehired.
Ji-wook approaches Chief Bang to ask his help in learning more about his parents’ deaths so that he can confront District Attorney Jang. Chief Bang interrupts Ji-wook to gloat that he’s thankful for his help, and Ji-wook snarls reluctantly that he’s a little grateful. At Chief Bang’s disappointed sigh, he snaps, “A lot, a lot!”
He finally gets his chance to talk to Hyun-soo, stopping to check in with Yoo-jung first. She reports that the tests showed no damage to Hyun-soo’s brain, but Ji-wook feels certain that Hyun-soo didn’t recognize him when they passed each other in that hallway.
He says this means that either Hyun-soo is suffering from dissociative amnesia (which is caused by extreme stress or emotional trauma), or he’s faking it. Yoo-jung says that the amnesia may have been triggered by guilt, but Ji-wook doesn’t believe that Hyun-soo is capable of feeling guilt.
When he’s finally allowed in the room, Hyun-soo seems eager to speak to him. Ji-wook watches Hyun-soo closely, and he certainly seems to have lost his memory, what with his expression open and his eyes wide and anxious. He pleads with Ji-wook to tell him what he did, but Ji-wook says that it won’t be easy to hear.
Frustrated, Hyun-soo turns to lean on the cabinet next to his bed. As Ji-wook watches him carefully, Hyun-soo slams his hand into the cabinet in an unsettling echo of the temper tantrum he had the time Ji-wook showed him the photo of his past assault victim.
But this time, Hyun-soo apologizes, saying that he’s just upset because nobody will tell him anything. He tells Ji-wook that everybody just asks him what he remembers, but everyone refuses to answer his questions.
He really does seem very worried and upset as he asks Ji-wook again to tell him who he is and what he did. Smiling at his outburst, Ji-wook says that even without his memory, he still seems to be the same Hyun-soo.
He tells Hyun-soo that he used to be his lawyer, and Hyun-soo is relieved, assuming that Ji-wook was on his side, and Ji-wook lets him think that for now. Just as Ji-wook is about to give Hyun-soo some answers, Yoo-jung comes in to say that his time is up.
Once they’re alone, Ji-wook tells Yoo-jung that he’s not sure yet if Hyun-soo really has amnesia. He does say that his personality hasn’t changed, even if the amnesia is real.
When Bong-hee arrives at Ji-wook’s house, little Jae-hong tries to run from her. She fusses at him for coming here instead of going to his aunt’s house, and Jae-hong says that he’s scared there because he keeps having nightmares like Ji-wook. CEO Byun tells Bong-hee to let Jae-hong come here if he wants.
They watch Jae-hong cleaning up after his snack, and CEO Byun says fondly that he reminds him of Ji-wook at that age, fiercely independent and self-reliant. Jae-hong sasses CEO Byun for calling him mature (“You’re mature and old!”), and CEO Byun growls that he’s impudent like Ji-wook, too.
Ji-wook is happy to get another tackle-hug from Jae-hong when he arrives home, though he complains that it’s too hot for hugging. Bong-hee offers to take Jae-hong home, but Ji-wook asks to speak to her privately first.
Once alone, Ji-wook nervously tells Bong-hee that it’s time for her to come back to work, though he says that he thinks they should stay apart a while longer because he has things to work out as well. Bong-hee says she’ll think about it, but Ji-wook orders her to come to the meeting now.
As usual, CEO Byun interrupts their discussion about a case by asking if Hyun-soo has Alzheimer’s disease. HAHA. Ji-wook clarifies that he has amnesia, but CEO Byun insists that he’s lying. Bong-hee agrees that Hyun-soo may be pretending in order to get his sentence reduced, but in her opinion, he seems to have genuinely lost his memory.
CEO Byun calls her gullible and the two bicker like always, until Ji-wook has his usual blowup and tells them to knock it off. CEO Byun says they should look into an old case that’s similar to this one, then swans off to make coffee. Some things never change.
Yoo-jung’s boss is hesitant to issue a warrant for Hyun-soo’s arrest considering that he’s still suffering memory loss. He tells Yoo-jung to wait, and to pay attention to what’s happening around her in the meantime.
Later, Eun-hyuk sees Yoo-jung having lunch in the park and he brings her a drink, then joins her and peeks to see that she’s studying Hyun-soo’s condition. He tells her to eat proper meals, but Yoo-jung says this is easier, since she has nobody to eat with.
Eun-hyuk asks if she’s being ostracized at work because of his arson appeal case, but Yoo-jung says that she’s always been an outcast. That upsets Eun-hyuk, who tells her to either eat or work but not both, then takes her laptop away.
He offers magnanimously to summarize the paper she’s reading, and Yoo-jung grins as she tells him the paper is a hundred pages long. HA, he tries to escape, but she pulls him back down. She thanks him for his help, calling him “friend.”
Bong-hee stays at work until late that night, and eventually Ji-wook tells her to go home and rest. He offers her a ride, not taking no for an answer this time.
EPISODE 34 RECAP
Ji-wook and Bong-hee run into Ji-hae outside her building, and she makes an awkward moment even worse by saying that she thought they broke up. Ji-wook starts to go, but they’re joined by Eun-hyuk walking Yoo-jung home, and the awkward factor increases by about a thousand.
Bong-hee explains that she’s living with Ji-hae, who beams when Eun-hyuk praises her generosity. Confused, Yoo-jung asks if Ji-wook and Bong-hee broke up, but nobody says a word. With her usual lack of tact, Yoo-jung asks why Ji-hae is letting Bong-hee live with her when she hates her guts.
Ji-hae mutters that Bong-hee forced her to let her stay, then immediately takes it back when she realizes that it makes her look bad in front of Eun-hyuk, hee. Bong-hee asks why Ji-hae is acting coy, and Yoo-jung asks who she’s acting coy for. LOL, Ji-wook looks glad not to be the one in the hot seat for once and leaves, and Eun-hyuk sees his chance to flee and follows him.
The guys go get drunk, which makes Ji-wook morose and Eun-hyuk giggly. Eun-hyuk is thrilled to be drinking alone together like the old days, though Ji-wook insists he remembers no such thing. Eun-hyuk pours Ji-wook a shot then tentatively holds out the bottle, and Ji-wook relents and pours one for him.
Eun-hyuk risks Ji-wook’s ire by asking what’s up between him and Bong-hee, and naturally, Ji-wook tells him to mind his own business. Eun-hyuk advises Ji-wook not to break up with Bong-hee, because he won’t be okay if they do. Ji-wook insists that they didn’t break up, yet.
When Eun-hyuk urges him to talk about it, Ji-wook snaps that it won’t make him feel better. Eun-hyuk just nods, knowing what’s coming, and sure enough, Ji-wook starts talking. He says that he’s had nightmares since he was a kid, in which he saw the man who killed his parents in the fire: Bong-hee’s father.
Reeling, Eun-hyuk asks if he’s sure, but Ji-wook says it’s been a long time and memory isn’t accurate, so he’s not sure. Eun-hyuk asks if Bong-hee knows, and Ji-wook just says, “She wants to break up.” Eun-hyuk asks what Ji-wook wants, but Ji-wook says that Eun-hyuk was right, he doesn’t feel better, and he calls for the check.
Again, Ji-wook tells Eun-hyuk to mind his own business, then after downing one last shot, he adds, “And I don’t care about you and Yoo-jung.”
The doctor declares Hyun-soo recovered enough to be questioned, and he braces himself as Yoo-jung tells him that he’s being investigated for the murder of Chan-ho’s classmate, and the attempted murder of Chief Bang. Hyun-soo seems devastated at the thought that he killed someone, but he says that if it’s true, then he should be punished.
At the end of another meeting, Ji-wook tells the others that he has a plan to make Hyun-soo recover his memories. CEO Byun thinks it’s better if he doesn’t remember, but Ji-wook says that there are other people he’s suspected of killing — plus, they need to clear Bong-hee’s name.
Touched, Bong-hee offers to help look into Hyun-soo’s past. But Ji-wook objects, starting to say that she could get hurt like Chief Bang, but he stops himself. Bong-hee says that she’ll be safe since Hyun-soo is being detained at the hospital, and Eun-hyuk offers to help protect Bong-hee (ha, she teases that she’s stronger than him). Ji-wook tells them gruffly to be careful, and when Bong-hee says the same to him, he smiles the tiniest of smiles.
Ji-wook goes back to see Hyun-soo, who admits softly that he supposedly killed a person. He admits that he was shocked, but then he says that he wonders if there was a reason that he killed him, and something frightening crosses his face for just an instant. But he’s all innocence again as he eagerly agrees to let Ji-wook help him regain his memory.
A while later, Yoo-jung brings Hyun-soo a box of his personal items, including an old middle school yearbook, but nothing seems familiar. Another time, Ji-wook shows Hyun-soo photos of his victims, but try as he might, none of the faces stir Hyun-soo’s memory.
At the office, Eun-hyuk goes over the case, thinking that something is off but unable to put his finger on it. Bong-hee brings him a huge stack of papers, all reports on murders that happened in the area where Hyun-soo grew up. He tries to get out of helping to read through them, but Bong-hee is having none of his shenanigans.
They head to the law library, and after hours of research, Bong-hee turns up an article about a string of high school girls who were sexually assaulted. Bong-hee makes a bunch of phone calls and eventually find a teacher who recognizes both Hyun-soo and the picture of Chan-ho with his two friends.
Their search leads them to a small restaurant, where they sit to eat. Eun-hyuk warns Bong-hee not to get her hopes up, but she perks up when she recognizes the song playing on the restaurant’s radio, the same song that Hyun-soo whistled on the street after killing Hee-joon. She looks around, and on the walls are pictures of the restaurant ajumma with a pretty teenage girl.
Ji-wook steps out to take a call, leaving Hyun-soo looking through an old yearbook. He looks almost bored, nothing jogging his memory, but suddenly, he stops cold. He stares at a picture of a girl named Park So-young — his lost girl.
As memories of her rush back to him, Hyun-soo’s face crumples, and he starts to sob. He reaches out to So-young’s picture as if he would do anything to touch her one more time, and he collapses under the weight of his grief.
Ji-wook gets the news from Yoo-jung that she’s secured a warrant for Hyun-soo’s arrest. He goes back into the hospital room to find Hyun-soo, once again composed and waiting for him. Hyun-soo’s face is dark, but he smiles and says that he’d like to go outside.
Blowing off Hyun-soo’s request, Ji-wook packs up the yearbooks. Hyun-soo asks if it’s true that he has no friends or family. When Ji-wook confirms it, Hyun-soo asks if he didn’t even have a person that he liked.
Ji-wook says that he’s been meaning to ask that himself. Hyun-soo grins affably and Ji-wook leaves, and after the door closes, Hyun-soo rolls his eyes in a way that’s all too familiar.
He sits to think, and memories start to rush back into his mind. We can see Hyun-soo practically transforming with each recollection of a murder he’s committed, and he looks disgusted at himself for forgetting who he is. His eyes go dark and flat again as he remembers who he is and why he’s been killing.
A few minutes later, the guard at the door hears a thump and goes in to find Hyun-soo collapsed on the bathroom floor. He helps him up, then Hyun-soo knocks him out with a few lightning-fast blows. He puts on the guard’s clothing, takes off his head bandage, and rushes out of the room.
He nearly runs straight into Yoo-jung on her way to arrest him, but he narrowly manages to avoid her and keeps going. She gets a bad feeling and follows it to a stairwell, where Hyun-soo attacks her before she can defend herself. She throws a few punches, but Hyun-soo evades them and kicks her into the wall, knocking her unconscious.
Ji-wook gets all the way to his car before he realizes that something feels off. He remembers Hyun-soo asking if he liked anyone, recalling that the last thing he’d looked at was his yearbook. Ji-wook pulls out that yearbook, and inside he discovers that one photo has been ripped out.
He barely has a moment to process what this must mean before Bong-hee calls to tell him that she thinks she’s discovered why Hyun-soo kills people. We don’t hear what she says, but what he hears has Ji-wook running back inside the hospital at top speed.
He takes the escalator, but he stops near the top and turns back to look at the descending escalator. One man in the crowd turns to look back at him — Hyun-soo. Ji-wook calls his name, and Hyun-soo breaks and runs with Ji-wook hot on his heels.
He follows Hyun-soo out the doors and into the street, but Hyun-soo seems to have vanished. It never occurs to Ji-wook that Hyun-soo escaped inside the ambulance that’s speeding away from the hospital.
Both Ji-wook and Bong-hee lie awake late into the night, unable to sleep. Bong-hee sighs, “I miss you, Ji-wook,” and at almost the exact same time, Ji-wook whispers, “I miss you, Bong-hee.”
He’s back! This seems so strange to say, but I’m ridiculously excited that our charismatic killer is back in business so quickly. Hyun-soo’s absence definitely caused a lag in my enjoyment of the show — just a small one, but the lack of Hyun-soo was really noticeable. He brings a certain fascinating menace to the story that can’t be replaced with dead-daddy issues or even adorable elfin orphans, as much fun as those are. Nobody’s background interests me more than Hyun-soo’s tragic lost girl and his one-man revenge plan.
While I’m a bit disappointed that we won’t be exploring the legal and moral issues of punishing a man who doesn’t remember his misdeeds, I have to admit that when Hyun-soo gave that distinctive irritated eye-roll of his and we knew that he was remembering, I felt like cheering to know that he’s back. Dong-ha certainly didn’t lose any of the intensity or detail with which he portrays Hyun-soo on his little break. I thought it was nothing short of brilliant the way Hyun-soo-with-amnesia was very different from his old self, so wide-eyed and scared and lost.
I do believe he truly had amnesia, yet we could see those flashes of the original Hyun-soo peeking through at times, particularly when he slammed his hand against the wall, and when he asked if he had a good reason for killing those people. This is only the second drama I’ve seen Dong-ha (the first being 2015’s Last), and it’s the second time he’s taken a role and made the character not only terrifying, but also somehow sympathetic to the point that you can’t help but want to see him come out on top.
Speaking of surprisingly compelling characters, I love that Ji-wook’s little shadow, Jae-hong, keeps showing up at Ji-wook’s house long after the cop he accused of murder has been arrested and the need for Jae-hong to be protected is gone. He’s so adorable and sassy, and he reminds me so much of Ji-wook that I hope he sticks around to the end of the show. He’s not happy living with his aunt anyway, and it would be so sweet to see Ji-wook and Bong-hee take him in, giving another little boy the same gift of a happy family life that Ji-wook himself was given as a child. Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but Jae-hong just fits so perfectly into the odd little family of lawyers, and they all seem to be more than fond of him.
I’m so happy to see Ji-wook and Eun-hyuk finally taking the first small steps to reconciling, even though Ji-wook is being dragged into it kicking and screaming. I actually think it’s understandable, and true to character, that it’s taken this long for Ji-wook to come around. As far as he knows, he was betrayed in the worst possible way by the person he loved most in the whole world.
And as we saw with Bong-hee on a smaller scale, once Ji-wook makes up his mind about a person, it can take years to change his perception. It’s only Eun-hyuk’s relentless refusal to give up that’s finally wearing Ji-wook down, though they still have a lot to resolve before they can truly be friends again. More than anything else, they need to sit down and have a long talk about Yoo-jung and what really did and didn’t happen between her and Eun-hyuk. If they don’t, then it’s going to remain as a painful wound for both of them, and they’ll never be able to truly be friends again.
- 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