My Secret Terrius: Episodes 15-16
We are still on fire this week, as the action is propelled along by a weaselly villain, a shadowy operation and a meddlesome spy organization. Our spy Bon does his best to teach Ae-rin how to protect herself, but it’s tough when he’s battling against colleagues that want to use her for their benefit, and her own curious nature. We’re pretty much at cohabitation hijinks anyway, and the whole neighborhood already thinks Bon and Ae-rin live together so maybe they should just move in with each other. For protection. Just a thought.
Bon sweeps Ae-rin up into a hug… and quickly spins her round so she can’t see the incriminating spy-board with her husband on it. Bon gestures at Ji-yeon and Do-woo to remove the evidence, and hurries a protesting Ae-rin back upstairs for an explanation.
Do-woo is (rightly) impressed that Ae-rin caught them using her ingenuity, and happily complies when Bon asks for privacy. Ji-yeon is less happy about leaving, and gripes to Do-woo that she was going to fire Ae-rin anyway, before she made a fuss.
Relieved to learn that Bon has a secret that doesn’t involve theft, Ae-rin smugly tells him that she knew she was right that he was a good person. With a small smile, Bon points out that she fired him just 14 hours ago. Growing serious, he tells her that King’s Bag is an NIS operation that she can’t tell anyone about it.
Ae-rin guesses that Bon was watching her because she was hired by J International, and Bon doesn’t correct her. Downstairs, Ji-yeon and Do-woo snoop on the conversation upstairs, just in time to hear Bon tell Ae-rin that it’s too dangerous to keep her job at King’s Bag now that she has this knowledge.
Ae-rin thoughtfully asks if that’s why Bon told her to keep quiet about seeing Chief Moon at J International—and downstairs, Ji-yeon and Do-woo gasp that Bon kept this from them. Bon rushes Ae-rin out of the shop and warns her not to tell the two spies she was a witness, for her own protection.
Coming clean, Bon explains that he has an alias because he’s on the run—and although Ae-rin assures him that he doesn’t have to tell her why, Bon promises that he will when the time comes.
Aww, it’s all back to normal the next morning, as Bon greets the Joon-Joon twins and Ae-rin, and Ae-rin points proudly to the bag that Bon bought her.
Seeking to confirm his suspicions about the thief at J International, Yong-tae shows up at King’s Bag again to check out Do-woo—and seems satisfied that Do-woo is the culprit. Do-woo, for some reason, gives Yong-tae his real name when he asks, and Yong-tae orders a background check on him (because of course he does).
To sweeten Ae-rin up, Ji-yeon takes her to coffee the next day and promises she still has her job—before she drops the bomb and asks Ae-rin to testify to Chief Moon’s appearance in court. Ji-yeon even asks Ae-rin to befriend Yong-tae to get closer to his secrets, and run errands for her. Ae-rin pretends to hesitate, but quickly agrees when Ji-yeon offers a 30% raise.
Ae-rin sighs that she’s going to have to learn to drive again to run Ji-yeon’s errands, and turns the cute emoticons on Bon “because he’s such a great driver.” Sure Ae-rin, that’s the reason. Bon gamely shows up, and even offers his car to practice in when Ae-rin’s gets towed for repairs.
Which he might regret, as Ae-rin boasts that her parents were car racers on Jeju—and that she doesn’t need to use the side mirrors (lol). And then she forgets to put the car in drive. Oh no.
This car ride might just be the longest of Bon’s life, as it turns out that Ae-rin doesn’t need a refresher course, but driving lessons for beginners. She drives slowly, stalls, asks Bon to look in the mirrors for her—and then ends up on the highway and doesn’t have the courage to turn off. Bon loses his cool at last, and grips the roof handle for safety.
Eventually, Ae-rin manages to get off the highway, where she congratulates herself on her parking, ha! Bon’s eyebrows disappear into his forehead, but he goes back to eating his ice-cream and wonders why she needs the lessons anyway. Ae-rin hesitates to tell him it’s because of Ji-yeon.
One angry phone call to Ji-yeon later, and Bon is no closer to getting her to let go of Ae-rin. Overhearing Bon saying that she’s going through a hard time, Ae-rin gently points out that it’s Bon who’s having a hard time—he’s on the run from Chief Kwon, doesn’t have health insurance and can’t even use his own name. Bon pauses at the truth in her words.
Earnestly, Ae-rin promises, “Don’t worry. I will protect you no matter what.” The unassuming mom declaring to protect the veteran spy brings a smile to Bon’s face, and he thanks Ae-rin for the offer.
Director Shim and Chief Kwon take their beef to the shootout range, where Chief Kwon bitterly notes that she’s still better at shooting than him—and more intelligent, and better at missions—but he was the one who was praised and promoted all these years. Director Shim doesn’t take offence and says that she was never very good at the political side.
He adds, as a friend, that it’s sad to see she still hasn’t gotten over Operation Candy. Chief Kwon brushes Shim’s concern aside and warns that she will catch Terrius, and find out about King’s Bag on her own.
Just as Bon and Ae-rin are leaving, Bon spots Sun-mi in this out-of-the-way cafe, and she’s sliding a suspicious-looking man an envelope. Bon hurries Ae-rin out when she asks what’s wrong. Hmm.
Back at work, Ae-rin impresses Ji-yeon and Do-woo with her sleuthing skills already, as she recites which of Kwon’s agents were keeping watch on the store that morning.
Eun-ha is overjoyed to see Bon back in the parent brigade (as he slow-mos into the shot, I can see why) but the Joon-Joon twins are even happier to have their babysitter back on duty. Ha, Sang-ryul grumbles that Bon’s too handsome and spoils the kids too much.
Except Bon manages to get the kids to clean up their toys, while he does chores (swoon)—right before playtime, TV time and ice cream. Aww, when the twins feed the fish, Bon tells them not to give them too much and fibs, “When fish eat too much, they get fat and have to do push-ups.”
Meanwhile, Ae-rin walks home… and realizes that someone is following her.
Ae-rin breaks into a run, and takes refuge in a convenience store where she calls Bon to ask for help. She hears, “Good job.”
And whirls round to find Bon grinning at her, the devil. He congratulates her on being smart, and she huffily finishes his lecture for him on not getting involved in trouble, because she has to think of Joon-soo and Joon-hee.
Bon is so pleased he tells Ae-rin he’ll treat her, and the two enjoy a sweet cup of coffee together. Ae-rin smiles broadly and tells Bon it tastes so good because he bought it for her. Bon slides her a look.
Yong-tae has been busy—he sighs as he sees that Do-woo and Ji-yeon are NIS agents after all.
Bon’s hunch about Yong-tae pans out as well, as the NIS team discover his real identity is Jung In-soo—who is a dead man with a different face. Bon decides to surveil J International, but Ji-yeon disagrees, and thinks that Ae-rin would be better in this case.
Taking advantage of Sang-ryul again, Bon wriggles more information from him about King Castle Apartments—namely, that a power struggle went down between Eun-ha and Min-joon’s mom that Eun-ha ended up winning.
Bon lays a gentle hand on top of Sang-ryul’s, romanic music plays, and Bon says, “I knew it. You’re a role model.” Sang-ryul beams. As do I.
Cranky that Bon left for the “housewives” Ji-yeon is less than pleased when Do-woo explains (i.e. stirs the pot) that men get older and they change—and points out how Bon is even good with kids now. Ji-yeon sighs, “These days, Bon seems like a stranger.”
True enough, as Bon takes on the role of fortune teller and presents KIS with theirs. Not one of them is pleased—Eun-ha is to be nice to her in-laws if she wants to inherit their estate, Sun-mi won’t get another child, and Sang-ryul will. Interestingly, Bon also intones that he “saw” Sun-mi’s husband is childless, and demands to know who her child’s biological father is. She spluttered a denial and is backed up by the rest of the KIS gang (but maybe this ties into that mysterious stranger Bon say her with earlier?).
Ha, although all of them decry Bon as a quack, they surreptitiously slide their fortunes into their pockets, and Bon leaves with a smirk.
When Sang-ryul gets home that evening, he kicks his shoes off… and beside them, are a pair of red heels like those worn by Yong-tae’s mysterious woman. What?!
A shadowy man receives the news that J International has been exposed, and rings someone to order, “Start cleaning.” The next day, assassin K shows up at J International, shreds all the information… and readies his gun. Unaware, Yong-tae makes his way up to his office.
He registers the mess a split second before K appears, and drops to the floor. It’s the only thing that saves him from a bullet to the head. Panicked, but with a head start and desperation on his side, Yong-tae manages to escape out of the building.
K resolves to find him later, and goes back for the bags—only to find that they have been swapped.
At the bank, Yong-tae realizes something is wrong when there’s a problem accessing his credit, and rushes out of there—and he chucks his phone away after a call from his very scared secretary, Mr. Park, who is being held at gunpoint, comes through. Aww, no.
As he’s driving past, Yong-tae spots Ae-rin on the street and asks her to spare him some time. Obviously terrified, he waits on tenterhooks until she says yes, Ji-yeon’s request to get close to him running through her head. Don’t go with him!
As I feared, Yong-tae kidnaps Ae-rin again. He calls Ji-yeon, and she offers NIS’ help, but his face contorts as he faces his reality and screams, “I was being generous to Ae-rin, and now I’m about to be killed!”
Yong-tae doesn’t want NIS protection though, since “the Voice” has moles there. He just wants Ji-yeon to obtain the hourglass from his office for him within the hour.
On hearing the news Bon vows to find the hourglass, his face foreboding, while Ji-yeon tries to locate Ae-rin.
Bon changes into his spy suit, and storms into Star Tower to find the hourglass—while Chief Kwon’s men kick into overdrive at the sight of him, and Kwon runs out of her office. Director Shim stops her, guessing that she’s off to find Terrius, and asks that she be gentle with him. Chief Kwon coldy just says, “I’ll do what I see fit.”
At J International, Bon realizes the bags aren’t the ones that Ae-rin saw, and when he picks up the hourglass, spots a secret compartment cut into the bottom of it. At Do-woo’s warning, Bon races out of the office to get away from Kwon’s men, and only just escapes from J International in time.
He almost gets trapped on the stairs, but a quick vault and roll over the rails gives him some breathing space…until he does get caught in one of the narrow corridors. The four men surrounding Bon are no match for his combat skills though, and he reaches his blue car.
But Chief Kwon has brought out the big guns, and there are more men waiting for Bon in the parking lot, blocking him in with their cars. Through some swift manoeuvring, Bon reaches the streets, where Chief Kwon spots him and gives chase.
Bon speeds across the city, tailed closely by Chief Kwon and her agents, with a little help from her spy network digitally tracking the hunt. Bon never really stood a chance on the open road, and finally gets cornered on a bridge.
It’s a clash of wills, as Bon coolly gets out to meet Chief Kwon, closed in on all sides by her agents. Kwon greets Bon acerbically and asks, “Aren’t you sick of being on the run?”
Without batting an eye, Bon returns, “There’s something I still need to do. Wait. I’ll come to you when the time is right.” Kwon orders her men to move in and arrest Bon—and in the distance, Bon spots K.
K smirks at the trapped Bon, and raises his gun to shoot. Knowing he must escape at all costs, Bon turns and leaps from the bridge. But not before K fires his gun—and hits.
Bon plummets into the river below, still clutching the hourglass, his eyes closed. Blood colors the water.
I was waiting all week for these episodes, so I think I can officially say that I have found my new crack, crazy adorable show. It knows exactly what we want, and it is so so happy to give us those shots of Bon with the Joon-Joon twins, in a suit, or gently laying his hand on Sang-ryul. Don’t ever change, show.
In the same vein, that break was a blink and you’ll miss it, pain-free blip between Ae-rin and Bon which I am very grateful for. I’m not here for the angst, when I can have Ae-rin folded into the spy operation, and the opportunity for Bon and Ae-rin to get closer instead. The romance is still at a very quiet simmer, and only from Bon’s side—but sometimes he’ll give this look to Ae-rin after she has said something compassionate, or when she’s smiling and my heart is just gone. And can we talk about the car ride, guys? It was my favorite scene, and not just because I was falling over laughing the whole time it was happening. It turns out that Ae-rin has a hilariously huge ego, but what’s not to love about a heroine who is so smart she can crack through two secret organizations and unashamedly congratulates herself on a job not well done? What I really loved about their very funny interlude was that Bon was comfortable enough (…or scared enough) to actually get exasperated with Ae-rin, when he has been so outwardly in control of his emotions until this point. It’s little wonder that Ji-yeon doesn’t recognize him any more, because he’s actually happy now, and has something to live for again.
Ae-rin and the Joon-Joon twins have cracked through that shell simply by being the lovable forces of nature they are and blowing past all his defences. Ae-rin might not be feeling anything yet, but she has already begun to depend on Bon for help (like aforementioned driving lesson) and was genuinely relieved to learn she was right to trust him. The seeds are there for a beautiful relationship if Ae-rin wants it. Good thing it didn’t come from the hug though, which ended up being a fake-out, because it works so much better as comedy than a reason to kickstart feelings.
If I was looking to nitpick (and why would I, when I could just enjoy shots of Bon watching TV with the twins?) I would say that the plot of this show is so paper thin, it’s in danger of tearing. For example, this is the second time that Ae-rin has been kidnapped by Yong-tae in as many weeks and that’s just too many. I’m hoping that the show will undercut this—maybe it’s also a fake-out?— because I don’t want our heroine to get reckless and stupid just so she can be rescued by Bon. In fact, it’s Bon’s turn to get rescued since he just fell, wounded and unconscious, into the River of Doom. If that’s not a damsel in distress move, I don’t know what is. And I’m not saying I want Ae-rin to save him, because that would stretch believability (or would it?), but I do want to see her save herself.
On the other hand, I’m excited about Yong-tae’s trajectory from campy villain to loopy villain on the run. I know he doesn’t want to join team NIS (who does?) but I’m sure team KIS could manage to make some room. Yong-tae really needs to re-evaluate his life at this point, because he doesn’t seem the right fit for the criminal life when he hasn’t even kept any secret funds somewhere besides a very ordinary, easy to find bank. And he needs to go back and save Mr. Park! We always knew there was an eeeeevil force behind Yong-tae, and with the J International operation gone, we can really start to dig into the mysteries behind it and how to stop the shadowy cabal pulling all the strings. Those strings reach worryingly far though, since it looks like Sang-ryul’s as-yet-unseen wife is part of it too. It’s unclear what Yong-tae paid the Red-Heeled Lady for yet, but King’s Castle Apartment is turning out to be such a hotbed of spy shenanigans that NIS should just consider moving in permanently.