Misty: Episodes 7-8 (Open Thread)
mary: How is the pantsuit screenshot collection going?
odilettante: I still love Hye-ran’s pantsuits almost as much as life itself (that baby blue one was especially lovely), but I’m now falling in love with her coat collection. Is that cheating on my pantsuit love? Honestly, I think I just want to live in Hye-ran’s closet.
mary: Let’s wait until we can confirm if she’ll still have a closet after this week’s events.
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP
Eun-joo kicks off her revenge plan by hiring Tae-wook as her lawyer in the Hwanil Steel breach of contract case. Her endgame seems to be breaking Hye-ran’s marriage by exposing Tae-wook to the possibility that his wife cheated on him, which is what the “breach of contract” is about: Kevin Lee’s rumored affair with Go Hye-ran.
Eun-joo also keeps Tae-wook away at odd hours, running all sorts of non-lawyer-y errands like driving her to the OB/GYN and back. Even Hye-ran starts to feel lonely at home, imagining her friend and husband having fun together.
Meanwhile, Myung-woo beats the cops to the punch (literally) and catches Kevin Lee’s blackmailing manager before his rendezvous with Hye-ran. No one is more surprised than her when Myung-woo shows up instead of the manager, stealthily passes her the original pictures with Kevin, and vanishes right under the cops’ noses — like he’s Hye-ran’s personal ninja, or something.
Hye-ran also starts to warm up a lot to her ex-enemy-now-cherished hoobae Ji-won. She encourages her to dig into a construction-related corruption case which involves subsidiaries of Hwanil Steel. This gets Hye-ran in trouble with her boss who wants her to live a long, healthy life as an ignored careerwoman and stop doing risky things. Like blackmailing her rival anchor for the Press Secretary role into declining the Blue House’s offer.
As Hye-ran’s life becomes easier, Eun-joo becomes nastier, using her knowledge of Hye-ran’s past to trick Tae-wook into playing a song that triggers Hye-ran’s PTSD and memories of the murder (and attempted sexual assault?) from twenty years ago. But Eun-joo finds it hard to stir actual trouble between the couple because Tae-wook refuses to be affected by the gossip that Eun-joo exposes him to. His loyalty annoys Eun-joo so much that she wipes her fake tears and makes barbed comments about his ignorance of his wife’s past.
Since Eun-joo can’t get to Tae-wook, she confronts Hye-ran directly about the contents of the black box chip. It’s scandalous, but it shows where she’s been and proves that she didn’t kill Kevin Lee. Eun-joo is holding on to it and deciding which one Hye-ran would hate more: losing her husband due to the affair, or having her past dug up by the pending investigation? Hye-ran is floored for a moment but refuses to beg. She tells Eun-joo the truth: she has no feelings for Kevin, but she sold her soul that night to stop him from ruining her career. She then leaves Eun-joo to choose whatever she wants to do.
Tae-wook initially shakes off his doubts, but the break in Eun-joo’s sweet act finally makes him curious. So he takes a detour from congratulating his wife on getting the Press Secretary role and sneaks into Eun-joo’s house, where he finds the video of Hye-ran and Kevin playing on a laptop.
Meanwhile, Eun-joo meets up with the detective in charge of Kevin’s case to tell him that Hye-ran was the last person to meet with Kevin the night he died. The meeting coincides with Hye-ran’s broadcast on Hwanil Steel conspiring with a corrupt congressman, and we see her defenses fall one by one: from Tae-wook looking devastated after watching the black box video, to her main backer for the Press Secretary role talking to the enraged corrupt congressman, to the jealous prosecutor being assigned to Kevin Lee’s case.
Just when Hye-ran is at her happiest, enjoying the farewell party with her news team, the cops walk in to arrest her for the murder of Kevin Lee.
mary: What a bleak ending to this week. But in the interest of being fair and impartial, how about we highlight some disappointing things Hye-ran has done lately? Like when she used the CCTV footage from the tall hoobae to blackmail her rival for the Press Secretary role. Even when tall hoobae begged her with puppy eyes not to use the footage for weird things.
odilettante: Well, yes, she’s admittedly ruthless (as she’s said so herself), but she’s also doing it because she knows her rival won’t be the best person for the job. He’s easily bought by the highest bidder, which goes against every journalistic bone in her body. “News is facts!”
mary: B-but… we’re supposed to be listing her faults. Not defending them! How about when she suddenly mentors Ji-won and inspires her to chase after Hwanil Steel? Doesn’t it seem convenient that she’s acting like a good sunbae now that Ji-won is digging up dirt on a corporation Hye-ran wants to attack?
odilettante: While we can discuss all the manipulative things Hye-ran does, she sincerely believes in revealing the truth. Which is, admittedly, ironic considering her half-truths to Tae-wook. But she refuses to be bullied into submission and stands up for herself and her journalistic integrity. She’ll even sell out her own boss if it proves that he’s involved with corruption.
mary: So you’re saying she’s Machiavellian, but not hateful?
odilettante: I guess I just struggle with fully accepting Hye-ran’s actions as truly horrible when I compare them to, say, Eun-joo, who is not only the fakiest faker that ever faked, but also ruining people’s lives just for revenge — not in order to make society better. I’m still furious at the way she’s trying to sidle up to Tae-wook like she’s the perfect housewife he’s always wanted, but could never have with Hye-ran.
mary: Oh, I’m not scared she’ll steal Tae-wook’s affection. The guy is a master at denying impulses, abstaining from his beloved wife for years. Eun-joo can keep throwing home-cooked meals and baby pictures at him and he’ll just zap them with his Laser Eyes of Angst. I’m more worried that Eun-joo will use Hye-ran’s half-truths as a wedge to pry our power couple apart. That black box chip recording of sekshi Kevin Lee times? A very strong wedge, that.
odilettante: That whole “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” thing was beyond cruel, especially if she knew that Hye-ran has PTSD from those events.
mary: That song thing was genius. I know I keep saying this, but Eun-joo is the perfect enemy for our girl. On the surface, she’s plain and innocent and has nothing to gain from bringing Hye-ran down, so no one questions her motives at all. She’s very shrewd too. Look at how she holds on to the chip until she figures out which will hurt Hye-ran more. I love a good enemy. *tips my hat to Eun-joo*
odilettante: To be fair, I don’t know if Eun-joo is aware that Hye-ran actually killed a man (or had a hand in killing a man), but based on the clues, she knows that Hye-ran hated that song. Which makes it interesting because she’s now the main suspect for Kevin’s murder. I’m still of the belief that Hye-ran didn’t kill Kevin, but I wonder if there will be some guilt from sending her high school boyfriend to jail for taking the blame for the murder she did commit.
mary: Look, guilt is not transferable! That logic leads to Noble Idiocy! She can make it up to Jail Oppa somehow without taking the blame for Kevin’s murder. That shocked and longing look she had when they were suddenly face to face has got to be enough proof that Hye-ran never forgot Jail Oppa’s sacrifice. Isn’t that why she’s working hard to reach the top? To make sure people like them don’t suffer injustices anymore? It’s just that it’s super hard to reach the top.
odilettante: Hye-ran’s rant about how she hasn’t been promoted despite all her male colleagues who easily move up ranks was excellent. She knows where that glass ceiling is, but she’s determined to break through, no matter what.
mary: She did break the ceiling for like, 10 seconds. But now she’s on a free fall because Ahn Nae-sang is a bad cop who arrests people based on circumstantial evidence and hearsay, and then teams up with prosecutors who have a grudge against his murder suspect just to get a warrant. As a viewer, it sucked all my enjoyment from that farewell party, because you just know they’re going to arrest her in front of the whole team.
odilettante: Oh yeah. But I’m also oddly excited because Tae-wook will have to step it up with his “defend my wife at all costs” code of honor, especially now that Hye-ran is close to losing everything she’s fought so hard for all her life. I can’t wait for them to break down the barriers of the past few years and grow closer as they fight side-by-side against the world.
mary: Are you sure he’s gonna help her? He saw the video! It’s so unfair that Eun-joo chose to destroy Hye-ran’s career and spare her marriage, but Tae-wook watches the video anyway. Now Hye-ran has nothing and no one, except Jail Oppa. Will it be enough? Should I get the Prison Fashion folder ready?
odilettante: Are pantsuits allowed in prison? Doesn’t matter. Hye-ran will make any outfit stunning. I mean, she even makes handcuffs look good.
mary: *whispers* You can collect pretty Tae-wook screenshots in the meantime. Here’s one with flowers, to thank the Misty beanies for the energetic discussion last week. ♥