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United Effort to Accomplish One Thing: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread

Let the games continue! This week we learn more about the circumstances around the murder, and each new kernel of information leads to a whole new set of clues — and suspicions. As if following a trail of breadcrumbs, one secret leads to another, and the more twists and reveals we get, the more the mystery is heightened.

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

Bit-na is the closest we are getting to a reliable narrator in this drama, and this week we follow the story primarily from her perspective as she tries to piece together what happened the night of her father’s death.

She uses the secret she discovered as leverage, carefully playing her cards to try to find out who had a motive — but the mystery is ever so much deeper than that. Even when we get confessions from our characters, it only leads to more questions. The plot points move super fast, so by the time we’ve latched on to a clue, it’s already served its purpose and led us to the next piece of the puzzle.

It goes without saying that the greed that drove our “family” to the house in the first place also has them at each other’s throats once the lawyer arrives and reads the contents of the will. If the actual will remains missing, Bit-na, as the de facto heir, gets it all. If the will is located, however, each person gets an equal 10%. This sets a fire under everyone to figure out who stole the will, and adds a hefty dose of suspicion around Bit-na and her mother.

But there’s more than the will at stake — first, our housekeeper, known as MRS. PARK (Nam Mi-jung), finds a hidden syringe in the bathroom, and later plants it on Bit-na, following the bidding of Hae-joon, her cousin of questionable morals. Bit-na is arrested and interrogated, but it turns out the syringe of nicotine wasn’t the cause of her father’s death. Instead, it was the fact that he was highly allergic to a compound in sleeping pills, of which he was given a large (read: fatal) dose.

Bit-na is freed of suspicion and released, but she strikes up an important alliance with the lead detective, and this week we see her gathering and passing intelligence to him, which I completely enjoyed. But there’s another surprise alliance this week, and that’s with Bit-na and her other cousin DOKKO SUN (Kim Shi-eun).

Last week when we met Sun she couldn’t be bothered to do more than take selfies and videos of herself around the house… but this week we learn that this was actually quite an intentional bit of storytelling: she has various pieces of footage from the night of In-ho’s death that holds some major clues.

The girls start their own investigation, with the help an social media account Sun has set up. She’s uploaded all of the footage and information around the night of the murder, basically opening up the mystery to everyone with an internet connection. And lo and behold, the netizens are pretty darn quick — they pull out a lot of clues, and then our cousins act on them, trying to suss out who else in the house is responsible for feeding In-ho a sleeping pill.

We knew last week that Bit-na’s mother was responsible for one pill — but there were five in his system, and it turns out that five separate people snuck him a pill with the hopes of getting access to the will.

Thanks to Sun’s footage and the netizens sleuthing powers, we learn that In-ho’s friend crushed a pill into his burdock tea, that Sun’s father DOKKO CHUL (Han Soo-hyun) gave him one, that Mrs. Park blended one into his birthday soup — and finally, that Hae-joon added one to the chocolate that he gifted to his uncle. Geez, people!

United Effort to Accomplish One Thing does a brilliant job unfolding each layer of our story. With each new clue or breadcrumb left behind, we travel back to the night of the murder and see it from a different perspective, follow a different character around, and get more pieces of the story. Presumably they will all add up at the end, but right now, one question only leads to another.

Everybody is suspicious at this point, but we learn a truckload about Hae-joon and his secrets this week, making him extra suspicious. Not only did he attempt to drug his uncle, leave Bit-na for dead after she was hit in the head with a golf club (!), but he’s even more deeply invested than we thought: he was secretly adopted as In-ho’s son, making him a joint heir with Bit-na. Oh, and those headphones he’s been chilling to the whole time he’s been at the house? He actually has the whole house wire-tapped, and he’s basically recorded everyone’s secret confessions.

Each character seems guilty of something so far, but who is the mastermind behind it all? It seems like a crazy tangle as we watch, but it is all very clearly planned, with each scene of the play acted out just as the mastermind intended. Our detectives are trying to figure it all out (I love them), and so are our newly friendly girl cousins (I love them more!).

We move through each layer of this mystery quite fast, and the speed adds to the suspense. The drama’s short episode count is really working to its benefit, because it can bear the speed since it’s more like a sprint than a long-haul run. I have a few working theories on what the truth might be, and a few characters I find more suspicious than the others, but really, the fun of this drama is not knowing, and going along for the ride.

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Thank you for the recap, I've been having a lot of fun watching this! It can get surprisingly dark in spots but it never seems to take itself too seriously. Speaking of which, I probably shouldn't find it as funny as I do that five (5!) separate people accidentally murdered In-ho the same way but it's so ridiculous. Although I was wondering if the seperate nicotine injection was intended to be lethal? It wasn't cause of death, but that doesn't seem a friendly gesture either.

Obviously everyone in this house is messed up but after these two episodes, Hae-joon wins some kind of trophy because WOW. A lot to unpack there. And I'm not sure what to make of Sul-young. She seems like the most keen of the bunch but she's acting a little creepy? In-ho has obviously been playing games with people as well but I'm still not sure to what extent. Secretly adopting Hae-joon is a weird move when he didn't seem to like him (or anyone really)

I'm laughing a little at Bit-na walking off a golf club to the head like she wasn't left bleed and unconscious for several hours. I'll have to presume it was just a really good nap. I really enjoyed that she didn't back down on her inheritance though, especially not for such an obvious power play

It was a little suprising when Sun and Bit-na teamed up (since they seemed on bad terms) but it was super cute and I really loved how they actually got along really well once they decided to work together. Bonding over their terrible family and setting traps for murder suspects just like real cousins do!

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Sul-young definitely ping on my radar as the one with actual murderous intention:
1. Bit-na's childhood memories
2. Since everybody else has confirmed taking their jabs at In-ho (a la Christie's Orient Express), she could be the one responsible for the nicotine injection. She openly admitted to knowing In-ho's allergy to sleeping pills, hence she will definitely avoid sleeping pills. (But then again, who else knows?)
3. She could be the one sending the letters as a sort of "human study" to base her scenario writing on.
But then again maybe show is giving us a red herring...

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Ooo, the human study idea is messed up, I love it. I've been wondering what she's been writing...and there also seems to be some plotting going on with Mr. Moon too?

I think Sul-young is the biggest suspect for Bit-na's childhood memories but the silhouette didn't seem quite right so I'm not sure? I'd have to go back and check in which case it might just be quicker to wait for the next episode lol

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Show has been paying attention to her script for a few occasions, made me wonder too...
On Mr. Moon, I thought both she & him might be involved in either embezzlement, or fake painting incident mentioned by In-ho, since we now know he used to be a painter too. Or is that too obvious for this show..?

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What's missing from this series is British accents, tweed jackets and country manor houses. This is an oldschool drawing room whodunnit. Its very un-Kdrama-like to not have a OTP to root for.

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dang, maybe I should pick it up again? I dropped it after the first week just because I actually felt like it was dragging, but if the pace picks up? (It could also just not be my type of drama, I tend to like plots that roam around a bit more than staying central to one location, and more action scenes)

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It did feel faster paced this week, maybe because they were done with the set-up. It's staying pretty central to the house though

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Truly, the embodiment of "there's too much to unpack, let's just throw out the entire suitcase"

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That man really prepared a full pack of surprises for them.

The ex wife is very creepy and has some weird connection or conversation (that we haven’t seen yet) with the friend turned manager and her hovering around Bit Na’s room😦

I agree that the cousin bond time is really cute which just makes me suspect her the more. The next culprit to search for is the one injected nicotine
It won’t be surprising if painter Yoo sent the letters to them himself 😃!

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I'm concerned we're going to have a cop-out conclusion, where it turns out no one had murderous intent. For example, maybe In-ho wrote that letter himself? If the plan was to trick them all and eliminate the greediest heirs, then it makes total sense. He probably didn't suspect they would all feed him sleeping pills, or just wasn't concerned by the prospect. This idea is my main theory, but it's also my most boring one!

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I'm 99% sure In-ho wrote the letters and made the keys as a trap to write people out of his will but then it almost seems too obvious and I'm wondering if there's a twist somewhere

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Quite likely, but I'd believe almost anything -- even if the dead person is a clone/twin/doppelganger and the real In-ho is laughing his *ss off in his secret basement. Hey, I'ts a kdrama, so they have to fill their trope-quota and a few hidden basements & long-lost (dead) twins would just about do it.

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lmao now I'm wondering. There's got to be at least one birth secret too, right?

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I love this little thrill! It’s like watching Poirot!

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This week was fun. I loved the cousin's teaming up but it makes me more suspicious of Sun.

The five giving In Ho sleeping pills was so ridiculous and funny to me. Since this is a black comedy, I think In Ho probably sent the letter himself, setting off the whole chain of events.

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For the first time I can remember, someone in a kdrama broke a cup, and someone actually went and got a broom and pan instead of going at it with bare fingers and getting the required finger cut.

Yay!

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I'm enjoying this drama well. :) A well thought out drama full of twists and turns. It reminds me a bit of Agatha Christie's works. I wonder why it isn't rating higher? If this were airing in tvn or jtbc the ratings would skyrocket! Ep 3 (5-6) was sooo good. I'm currently on ep 4 (7-8).

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Sometimes I feel like the show is losing its marbles. The mystery is the only thing keeping me here.

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Oh... I kept watching until the eighth and a final episode. So I really loved this show so much. Absolutely nothing to do but just a fun scenes for me in this dramedy. I kept crazy and cool on every characters because I knew it was fast fictional mystery show.

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Binged all available episodes in one go, it's quite a gem of a whodunnit and managed to be quite comedic too. That last screenshot is a hoot!

Up until now, still confused as to why Dokko Chul hid the will, has he been planning to murder Bit-na all along as he is the next nearest relative? Don't really peg him as a murderer but I guess everybody still have secrets to unearth.

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Oh good point, Dokko Chul doesn't seem like the brightest of the bunch so maybe he didn't think that far? And all his crimes have been nonviolent so maybe not murder but he probably isn't above finding a loophole to write Bit-na out (like Hae-joon tried to do by framing Bit-na with the syringe)

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