Misty: Episodes 13-14 (Open Thread)
odilettante: Misty broke its rating record this week by reaching 8%. It’s now officially one of the highest rated JTBC dramas, and the finale weekend will let us know if it’ll manage to pick up enough viewers to beat the current highest rated JTBC drama, Women of Dignity, which is sitting pretty at just over 12%.
mary: A 4% jump in a week seems huge for cable. I want it to happen but I’m doubtful, so I’ll try to channel my inner Reporter Kwak and trust Hye-ran blindly. Or be like Ji-won and trust that Hye-ran always wins.
EPISODES 13-14 (WEECAP)
The witness for Hye-ran’s trial shocks everyone, declaring it’s a man who fought with Kevin Lee the night he died. But the witness adds that he saw Hye-ran paying off Kevin’s attacker.
Tae-wook questions Detective Kang, whose evidence is all circumstantial. There’s still a good chance Kevin’s death was suicide or an accident — not murder. Detective Kang’s suspicions of Hye-ran are just based on his previous knowledge about the jewelry store incident, where Myung-woo was willing to kill for her. Which is far from proof of anything, as Tae-wook again points out.
Next on the stand is Hye-ran, and Prosecutor Byun needles her about fearing how a scandal would prevent her from becoming the new Blue House spokesperson. He offers as evidence the recording Reporter Kwak secretly took of Kevin getting reaaaaalllly close to Hye-ran, and she’s forced to admit that she did have a relationship with him years ago but they never restarted it. Aw, Reporter Kwak looks like he wishes the ground would swallow him up as he watches his own footage be used against his beloved sunbae. Hye-ran denies Prosecutor Byun’s attempts to paint an affair, while Tae-wook objects to this line of questioning. Byun points out that Tae-wook’s role as Hye-ran’s loyal husband is blinding him to the facts. When it’s Tae-wook’s turn to question Hye-ran, he hesitates for a long moment as he stares like a wounded puppy at her, then says he has no questions.
Eun-joo spots Myung-woo leaving as court is dismissed. She tries following him, but is accosted by reporters for a statement. She does her demure Eun-joo act as she says she merely wants her husband’s murderer to be caught.
Tae-wook is mailed a traffic citation that shocks him to his very core. He hides it when Detective Kang shows up at the office to question him about Kevin’s missing manager, Dong-hyun. The last time Tae-wook saw Dong-hyun was when the latter tried to beat him to death, only to be knocked out by Myung-woo. But Tae-wook plays innocent and says he doesn’t know anything.
Detective Kang also reveals that they’re investigating the reports of a man who took the first bus from the nearby area where the eyewitness claims a man fought Kevin. There’s a good chance that this mysterious man could be the person responsible for Kevin’s death, and we see Tae-wook leaving the same area by bus that morning.
The next day, Hye-ran asks Ji-won if she’ll help investigate the people who were responsible for bringing the eyewitness forward. Ji-won hesitates over the documents, but Reporter Kwak immediately declares that he’s in. Aw, he feels guilty that his footage that was found and used against Hye-ran.
Hye-ran says they need to bring everyone down — including Prosecutor Byun. His wife overhears this and drags Ji-won into an empty studio to question her. Ji-won leaves after confessing that Hye-ran is angry at being falsely accused for murder to stop her from reporting on Hwanil’s and Kang Yool’s corruption. Panicking, Yeon-jung calls her husband to warn him, revealing that Prosecutor Byun is in cahoots with Kang Yool. But the studio isn’t as empty as Yeon-jung thinks. Hye-ran is secretly recording Yeon-jung from a mic that picks up Yeon-jung’s side of the phone call.
Ji-won is still unsure about Hye-ran’s motives for their report — is it just to save herself, or is it for the greater good? But Reporter Kwak is devotedly loyal, and reveals that Hye-ran once told him it’s a reporter’s duty to never lose. Even if Hye-ran’s methods might sometimes be questionable, her intentions have always been pure. Ji-won decides to respect Hye-ran, too, and agrees to be on Hye-ran’s side. Team Hoobae, assemble!
The trial once again resumes, and Tae-wook reveals that there was no way the eyewitness could identify anyone the night Kevin died. There was no visibility, due to the time of night and snow falling. Tae-wook accuses the eyewitness of perjuring himself out of revenge. A piece Hye-ran did on high school admissions corruption caused him to lose his job as a principal.
Tae-wook surprises everyone as he asks Director Jang to take the stand, since he previously gave a statement that supports the possibility of a Hye-ran/Kevin Lee affair. But this time, Jang supports the defense by proving that the eyewitness had a vendetta against Hye-ran. He sued JBC after his dismissal and sent hate mail when his lawsuit didn’t work out. Surprise, surprise, the eyewitness’ legal representatives were Kang Yool. Director Jang also points out how this trial suddenly came about when Hye-ran reported on Hwanil steel, and it smells like a power play by the rich and powerful to suppress the media.
Prosecutor Byun is caught between a rock (Director Jang revealing how he used a questionable witness) and a hard place (Kang Yool’s clout), and declines to cross-examine Jang. The news director’s statements turn the public tide and now everyone is for Hye-ran and against the corrupt prosecution.
Tae-wook makes an impassioned speech that pretty much sums up Hye-ran and her lonely fight to be the amazing reporter she is today. He also reminds everyone that there is absolutely no evidence that Hye-ran killed Kevin, but that there’s evidence Kang Yool has reason to prevent her from continuing to investigate on Hwanil Steel. The judge rules Hye-ran not guilty, and everyone is relieved and delighted. Well, nearly everyone, as Eun-joo looks deflated and the lying eyewitness realizes that Kang Yool is cutting off contact with him. Even worse for Eun-joo is finding out that Kevin’s manager, Dong-hyun, is dead — his body washed up in the river.
Meanwhile, Detective Kang discovers that a cab driver picked up someone who sounds an awful lot like Tae-wook the night Kevin died. Tae-wook ignores Detective Kang’s phone call, choosing to celebrate with Hye-ran. He suggests forgetting everything that happened before today and starting fresh in the morning, as though tomorrow is their first day together. Hye-ran can’t understand why Tae-wook has been so good to her after everything that’s happened, and he simply reiterates she’s the one he wants. Hye-ran confesses that she’s scared because she’s so happy now.
The prosecutor’s office takes a beating from the netizens and an investigation by the bar association. The Chief orders Prosecutor Byun to take the fall for everything, and the latter is shocked to learn that Kang Yool won’t help — they’re actually the ones leading the protest.
Hye-ran, looking more gorgeous than ever, wakes up to find Tae-wook left her breakfast and a note to enjoy their new start. Adorable. Tae-wook, on the other hand, has an early morning meeting with Detective Kang, who thinks Tae-wook (and Myung-woo) are involved in Dong-hyun’s death. Stone-faced Tae-wook refuses to play not Detective Kang’s pitiful cat-and-mouse game, and instead warns the detective to leave him and Hye-ran alone now that they’ve received the “not guilty” verdict. But Detective Kang does his best Columbo impression when he asks why, during his questioning of the lying eyewitness, Tae-wook used the word “body.” Tae-wook slips even further by calling it an unconscious terminology, and dismisses Kang with excuse of his busy-ness.
Hye-ran returns to work, much to the delight of her co-workers, even the resident news-weasel. Director Jang warns her that Kang Yool and Hwanil will do their best to continue to destroy them, but Hye-ran idly wonders if perhaps she’s spent too much of her life focused on a singular goal and missed out on other aspects of life. Doesn’t matter, because it’s back to the business of destroying the corrupt companies that try to silence the media. Aw, a smiling Hye-ran tells Director Jang she hopes he’ll stay in his position forever.
Yeon-jung begs Hye-ran to help save her husband from being ruined by the backlash from the trial, offering to give her anything she needs. Hye-ran tells Prosecutor Byun to go down in dignity by taking Kang Yool with him. She requests proof that Kang Yool bought the lying eyewitness in exchange for proof of Kang Yool orchestrating a corrupt government bidding with Hwanil’s subsidiary. Byun accepts the chance to do good and asks the Chief Prosecutor for one more chance to investigate Kang Yool and bring justice and honor to the prosecutor’s office. Then he’ll submit his resignation.
With Prosecutor Byun’s assistance, News Nine gets ready to run a story on the corrupt construction company. Director Jang gives a rousing speech to his team that Kang Yool messed with the wrong people: the media and law. Now Kang Yool is about to be destroyed.
Hye-ran gives the story to Ji-won, surprising everyone on the News Nine team. She points out that Ji-won worked hard to get where she is now, so it’ll be Ji-won’s News Nine from now on. Ji-won apologizes for her previous rudeness, but Hye-ran just warns her that she’s breaking ground by being the first anchor to report on the “above the law” Kang Yool.
The JBC vice-president is furious that News Nine is going to run with the Kang Yool expose and threatens to send everyone on the team to a remote office. Director Jang goes full-on papa-bear mode as he defends his News Nine family and essentially blackmails the VP into letting his team stay and continue their reporting. It’s not a good day to be a corrupt businessman in charge of a news station, law firm, or construction company.
After News Nine airs their report on Kang Yool buying the witness for Hye-ran’s trial, a tearfully proud Hye-ran tells Director Jang that she’s thinking of finally, for the first time in seven years, taking some vacation time. After all this time of passionately and relentlessly moving forward, she tells herself that she’s finally done her job. Then she faints from exhaustion.
Meanwhile, Tae-wook confronts Myung-woo for killing Dong-hyun and asks him to leave them alone now. But Myung-woo finds it interesting that Tae-wook dragged out Hye-ran’s trial even though Tae-wook knew she was innocent. He notes that Tae-wook was hurt and angry by Hye-ran’s involvement with Kevin. Myung-soo warns Tae-wook that he’ll be sticking around until he’s sure Tae-wook will be able to protect Hye-ran, ominously adding that if Tae-wook had been patient, none of this would have happened.
Dong-hyun’s death is officially ruled as a suicide, and Eun-joo pleads with Detective Kang to give her some peace, but Detective Kang still believes both her husband and his manager were murdered. Eun-joo stages a one-woman protest outside JBC, declaring that Hye-ran is guilty of killing Kevin. The ever-watchful Myung-woo approaches her as we’re reminded that he’ll do whatever it takes to protect Hye-ran.
Hye-ran is surprised by a visit and awkward meal from her in-laws. She apologizes for the hassle brought by the trial, but her father-in-law just wants to know just how far she’s planning to go in destroying the corrupt elite. She spins it around and asks how far she must go in order to please him. He asks if she’s confident that she can go all the way. Hye-ran says she is. Aw, he actually looks proud of her.
Tae-wook heads back to work after they see his parents off. Hye-ran sweetly sees him off too, making him oddly unsettled. Myung-woo’s warning that none of this would have happened if he’d had more patience rings through his ears as a quick flashback shows Tae-wook speeding after Kevin and fighting with someone.
Hye-ran relaxes at home while sorting through their mail. She looks through Tae-wook’s desk for a letter opener and finds the traffic citation, and her eyes grow wide in horror when she realizes that Tae-wook was caught on a traffic camera near Kevin’s accident that night.
mary: Is it bad if I want Tae-wook to be the killer? I feel like that would make a good finale week conflict. Let’s take this all the way, Writer-nim, see how far you can make us sympathize with a twisted person.
odilettante: Wait, so you’re saying there’s a chance he isn’t the killer and I’ve fallen for all the red-herrings over the past couple of episodes? Because I’m pretty sure he did it. Or all those flashbacks to the “mysterious, well-dressed man” are lying to us. It does make me wonder how Hye-ran keeps finding men who would literally kill for her.
mary: Some of them more than once. I’m now officially terrified of Myung-woo and how he took care of the Dong-hyun problem. Which prison did he come from and why didn’t they air re-runs of Smart Prison Living instead? I know it’s more realistic that spending all of his adult years in prison taught him to solve things outside the law, but I was hoping he’d be limited to threatening those who hurt Hye-ran and stealing evidence from the conspiracy theorist cops.
odilettante: At least the show didn’t try to drag out the stupid “brooch as evidence” because it… wasn’t. I cheered when Tae-wook mocked Detective Kang for trying to use all these circumstantial and biased assumptions to pin Hye-ran for the murder. Like, c’mon, you’re not even trying. Which gives me hope that Tae-wook will literally get away with murder (if, y’know, he did it, which I think he did, or at least played a major part), because even though Detective Kang now suspects Tae-wook, his ability to find actual concrete evidence is a joke.
mary: But his detective’s “aim” is so bad, I’m afraid he’ll keep targeting the people around Tae-wook instead, which means Tae-wook’s office manager is next. That poor guy should have the Best Office Manager award — not undeserved jail time! (And while on the subject of awards, let’s give a Best Puppy Fan award to Reporter Kwak. He kept a bottlecap from his first office party with Hye-ran. He probably keeps a larger pantsuit picture collection than you.)
odilettante: I feel like I should be offended but honestly the more the merrier in the Pantsuit Fandom. Although I was mildly disappointed that this week Hye-ran wore pantsuits we’d already seen. I refuse to believe her closet actually has a limit! But I did fall in love with her gorgeous sleep attire. So Hye-ran definitely gets the award for being the best-dressed even while sleeping.
mary: I’m glad you’re feeling generous, cos Hye-ran’s other “fans” have a tendency of killing each other for jealous reasons.
odilettante: We should also give Hye-ran “best line of the week” award for shutting down news-weasel’s lame attempt to welcome her back to the station by telling him that “Women aren’t born to be liked by men.” Which is, I think, a reason why Hye-ran evokes such a love-hate reaction. She doesn’t care what people think about her — she wants to get stuff done and see that they’re done well, which goes against the unspoken “code” that involves ingratiating yourself to those in power in order to succeed.
mary: But how good is that soymilk PPL and how cute was Hye-ran wrapping up another successful Big Risky Plans with Director Jang while sipping on that soymilk? They’re two peas in a ruthless pod. I’m glad they’re sorta on the good side.
odilettante: I was worried about Director Jang selling Hye-ran out but I love that instead he put it all out there for her. Of course, he’s still worried about what will get ratings, but it was such a relief to see him go all-out and use his own Hye-ran-approved sneaky ways to get to the heart of the matter, which is about the powerful corrupt elite (because seriously, do we really care about Kevin at all anymore?).
mary: Nope. Even if we cared as long as two episodes ago, this week’s annoying courtroom drama totally killed it for me. This writer’s strength lies not in the legal stuff. It’s in intrigue and layered characters and witty lines against patriarchy.
odilettante: So true. I’m just relieved that no one took that brooch thing seriously, because I would have torn my hair out. (I still need to know how it ended up in Kevin’s car, though!)
mary: You know who to ask.
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