Hyena: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread
All’s fair in love and war? Not really, especially since our leads are operating on two totally different planes. Last week’s premiere episodes gave us a pretty solid setup of our unlikable-yet-oh-so-likeable characters, and this week it’s time for us to see what happens when they start butting heads for real. Like hyenas, right?
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
This is not the sort of drama I would normally seek out, but we’re only in week two and already Hyena has proven itself to be so much more than just dirty fights and unscrupulous courtroom victories. We might have those in spades thanks to our rather ruthless Geum-ja, but we also have a truckload of pathos. This drama is characters-first, and that’s what makes it so strong. And so good!
When we left off last week, Geum-ja and Hee-jae were facing off over the Issume heirs Ha Chan-ho (crazy substance abuser who’s madly in love with his mistress) and his sister Ha Hye-won (cold, icy, and desperate to inherit the business). The two choose sides, Geum-ja representing Chan-ho, and Hee-jae representing Hye-won. Hee-jae risks it all to secretly represent a client that opposes his firm, but he’s convinced he can win, what with Chan-ho’s mistress on his side.
I couldn’t help but root for Hee-jae here — after getting played so badly by Geum-ja, he needs a victory to heal his damaged heart, and his damaged ego. His confidence is shaken, but not enough to keep him from enjoying beating Geum-ja in an early round of their battle.
Geum-ja’s assistant LEE JI-EUN (Oh Kyung-hwa) says he’s clearly declared war against her. Geum-ja agrees, yet also adds, “But it was sexy.” And indeed it was. Hee-jae treats Geum-ja with an interesting mix of taunt, tease, heartbreak, and hurt, and it’s all so layered and fun that I can’t get enough of their scenes together.
Even though Hee-jae is the cream of the crop at Song & Kim, it doesn’t keep him from getting pwned by Geum-ja yet again. At Chairman Ha’s birthday party, it looks like Hee-jae has his victory, with Hye-won at his side and the mistress filing a suit against Chan-ho. But when the mistress appears at the party on Chan-ho’s arm (Geum-ja’s doing/blackmailing at work), all is seriously lost for Hee-jae.
I did not expect to lean so far on the Hee-jae side of this battle, but boy is he easy to sympathize with (and I have a thing for an underdog). He’s caught in the humiliation of loss again, and what makes it worse is that Geum-ja always sweeps in to gloat. “It hurts to see that look of despair on your face,” she tells him at the birthday party event. Rather than fight, get emotional, or even talk to her, he simply walks away.
Have I mentioned enough how much I love this pairing? Romance and chemistry aside, on a broader level, Kim Hye-soo and Joo Ji-hoon are just so interesting on screen together. They’re unpredictable and atypical as costars, and it works so, so well. I didn’t realize how bored I’ve been of costar pairings that I could invent in my sleep — then Hyena came along and gave me something new, in so many ways.
For all their head-to-head battles, there’s still something between Hee-jae and Geum-ja. Probably my favorite scene this week was when they get drunk with the friend they had in common, both trying to tell her they broke up, and each trying to save face. Besides the humor and bickering that’s become common whenever they interact, this scene also shows our leads with their weapons down for a few minutes.
Hee-jae has a chance to ask her the question that’s been eating away at him. While he wants to find out about her heart (aww), Geum-ja stays completely superficial and tells him, “You’re sexy — I’ll give you that.” Then she really nails the coffin shut saying, “I was never sincere towards you even for a moment.” I think you could hear Hee-jae’s heart crack just a little bit more.
The next phase of their battle is around a renowned violinist that Hee-jae is a huge fan of — and that Geum-ja is representing in his upcoming lawsuit. Hee-jae gets the better of her here, and even does another of his little victory dances, but like so many of his wins, it is far too short-lived.
This week’s episodes conclude at Song & Kim, with the head attorney announcing a new partner, saying he scouted a real talent. And who sashays in with a cheeky smirk and tacky outfit? Geum-ja. Hee-jae’s utter bewilderment says it all. The battle just reached his home turf.
- Premiere Watch: Hyena, Hi Bye, Mama!
- Fighting kicks into high gear in new promos for SBS’s Hyena
- Kim Hye-soo, Joo Ji-hoon are on the prowl in new character teasers for SBS Hyena
- First script reading for SBS Hyena with Kim Hye-soo, Joo Ji-hoon
- Kim Hye-soo, Joo Ji-hoon confirm high-powered elite lawyer roles in SBS legal drama