Cheat on Me, If You Can: Episode 2
As the unfaithful husband attempts to untangle his complicated life in pursuit of his dreams, he finds that it may be more difficult than he ever anticipated. Old habits die hard, after all. Our novelist finds herself working with a familiar face and is eager to perfect her craft. What she doesn’t know is that she may be wrapped up in a crime story herself.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Five years ago, Woo-sung planned to propose at a restaurant. When the dessert came out, Yeo-joo set her fork down after one bite. With her keen tastebuds, she accurately deduced that there was a ring in her cake. Yeo-joo dumped Woo-sung then and there, telling him to propose to the woman who gave him his new shoes instead.
Based purely on the style, Yeo-joo could tell that she was young and practical – a good fit for Woo-sung. Flustered, he’d lied that they were an old gift from a friend, but our novelist already did her research. The shoemaker confirmed they were handmade a month ago. Busted.
His behavior showed a crack in their relationship and Yeo-joo wasn’t one to sit around waiting for the day that everything falls apart. She dug into the cake to pull out the ring, then nonchalantly flicked it to the ground. Before leaving, Yeo-joo told a frozen Woo-sung that she can’t return any of his gifts…she already destroyed them all.
Jin-ho and his pregnant bride MIN YOON-HEE (Lee Se-na) got married three months after Woo-sung’s failed proposal. Jin-ho found his friend slinging back shots of soju at the reception, moping because Yeo-joo cut off all contact and he’d expected to see her here. He later spotted Yeo-joo in a corner and beelined to her, apologizing profusely.
Yeo-joo refused to entertain him until Woo-sung pulled out a notarized document signing his life away to her. He got down on one knee and desperately asked her to marry him. She was intrigued by the document which Woo-sung finds copies of now in the present, flying out of their printer.
Hidden in the dark, Yeo-joo watches her unsuspecting husband with a smile before charging at him, driving a knife into his tailbone. Turns out, it’s a retractable prop and she’s bummed that he wasn’t surprised by her attack. Woo-sung good-naturedly figures that she must be working on refining a scene that readers were criticizing.
Yeo-joo earnestly asks if he needs to get rid of anyone (his mind flickers to Soo-jung), offering to kill them to gain some experience. She flashes a smile at him at the mention of their agreement. She’s been inspired to title her next novel Cheat on Me, If You Can (which literally translates to: “If you cheat, you’ll die.”)
Chuckling nervously, Woo-sung thinks that the readers won’t relate to it because nobody would actually kill their significant other for cheating. “I would,” she claims without skipping a beat. “This waiver is still effective. You’d better be careful,” she warns.
During dinner, Yeo-joo brings up the day she rejected his proposal and admits that she’d bought tetrodotoxin that day to kill him. Woo-sung chokes on his pufferfish soup. (Pfft, this poison is typically found in marine animals like pufferfish…she’s totally toying with him, isn’t she?) Yeo-joo tsks that she knows better now and would never use a toxin that leaves a trace.
He’s still alive because Yeo-joo didn’t love him enough to get revenge. She only dated him because he kept following her around. Woo-sung grins goofily when Yeo-joo assures him that she loves him now, until she blinks and adds, “…enough to kill you.” He can’t bring himself to take another sip of the soup, ha.
On Woo-sung’s next morning jog, he passes Soo-jung’s place and momentarily considers checking up on her. He decides against it and later catches the morning show that she usually hosts. Someone else is filling in for her, and PD Oh is livid that Soo-jung ditched a live broadcast.
Jin-ho’s wife Yoon-hee notices that their credit card bill is unusually high. She confronts her hungover husband about it and nags him to stop drinking. He claims it’s impossible due to the work culture, but she retorts that Woo-sung is able to be a doting husband and get groceries. Jin-ho bites his tongue although he wants to correct her, and flees without acknowledging the excess spending.
Detective JANG SEUNG-CHUL (Lee Shi-un) argues with his wife on the phone, practically broadcasting to the world that he’s on a stakeout. His partner AHN SE-NA (Kim Ye-won) smacks him despite his seniority and sighs that he should’ve gone home.
They bicker about his stinky feet when their target suddenly appears. Se-na bursts into action and rings the doorbell, pretending to be a gas inspector. The target climbs out of the window thinking that he outsmarted the police, only to see Seung-chul waiting for him below. Se-na picks the lock and looks out the window of the apartment. The criminal is stuck.
While Seung-chul recites his Miranda rights, Se-na begins to toss things out of the window to “encourage” him to climb down the pipe he’s holding onto. When he swears at her, she grabs a microwave, effectively scaring him. Seung-chul yells at Se-na for her antics after capturing the criminal, but she just flips him off.
After the broadcast, PD Oh gives Soo-jung’s manager an earful – does she still think she’s a star? PD Oh is determined to make it so that Soo-jung can never return to the industry. Manager Kim apologizes and offers to take responsibility, which angers her further. Woo-sung witnesses the entire exchange and hesitantly approaches the PD, who greets him with a smile. She wants him to join her new program.
When Woo-sung gets to the office, Consultant Nam is already there. He instructs the attorney to redecorate his office and connect with the younger folks by joining golfing tournaments. He’s up against someone who has already served five terms so while the opponent is competent, he’ll also look old compared to Woo-sung. Before leaving, Consultant Nam tells Woo-sung that he’s to begin lecturing at a university starting this afternoon.
Manager Kim approaches Seung-chul at the police station and introduces himself as the actress’s manager. He’s worried that she has gone missing, as he hasn’t been able to reach her since last night. She showed up for work even on the day her sibling died, so it’s odd that she skipped the broadcast this morning.
A while back, Soo-jung could feel that she was being followed. She had brought Manager Kim out for drinks to congratulate him on being her full-time manager. Without diving into details, she’d just told him to look for Seung-chul if anything ever happened to her.
The men arrive at her place and Manager Kim punches in the code, explaining that this is just her studio. Soo-jung has an apartment elsewhere, but was too afraid to live there alone and rented this place.
Soo-ho visits the publishing house to apply for the position of Yeo-joo’s assistant. Editor Yang is excited at first, but then decides that he’s too old and has the kind of face that Yeo-joo would hate. She whispers to her team member NA YURI that the author hates good looking guys.
Yuri counters that Soo-ho gave them intel on the day of the book talk. It’d be good to plant him there to keep an eye on Yeo-joo and report back to the company. That’s good enough reason, so Editor Yang gives him the job. Yuri tells Soo-ho that nobody has ever lasted over a month.
Woo-sung arrives at the university and almost runs over a student crossing the street. Although he was telling Jin-ho over the phone that the students are practically children, he can’t help but gape at her beauty. Ew.
He takes a look at the university’s bulletin board, where students speak out against sexual offenders and embrace the Me Too movement. The female that was nearly hit earlier, GO MI-RAE (Yeonwoo), finds Woo-sung looking lost. She offers to bring him to the lecture hall and he admires her from behind as he follows.
Soo-ho reports for duty at Yeo-joo’s place. Ms. Yeom shows him to the office and mutters to herself, “Why did they get a young man who looks like that?” Pfft, Soo-ho actually pulls out his phone to check why there are so many comments about his looks today. He enters the study to find Yeo-joo in the middle of doing yoga.
While she rarely looks people in the eye because it’s tiring to read others so easily, Yeo-joo begins to question who he is. Why does he work part-time and claim that he needs money when his luxurious-smelling shampoo and limited edition watch say otherwise? Yeo-joo even notices scars on his hands that show that he didn’t live a sheltered life.
Soo-ho claims that he’d be helpful to her, but she’s over their conversation. His expression darkens and she’s alert when he grabs one of her many knives, handling it with familiarity. Soo-ho approaches the novelist and points the knife at her, saying that he saw “something” yesterday.
Ms. Yeom comes running when she hears Yeo-joo scream, but upon entering the office, she finds the author stabbing Soo-ho with her prop. He teaches her the proper angles to hit vital points, and she genuinely smiles when he compliments her for learning quickly. The housekeeper chuckles that he’ll be around for a while – he doesn’t seem normal, either.
The “something” Soo-ho saw was the comment criticizing Yeo-joo’s writing. She is glad that she can fix it for her next printing now, but he just muses that it’s not like other authors get it right anyway. Not many would have experience killing someone, he says pointedly.
Soo-ho’s expertise comes from his time spent in the special forces and working at a private investigation firm. He cryptically says that he can’t reveal whether he has killed before.
Woo-sung looks uncomfortable throughout his entire lecture, actively trying to avoid looking in Mi-rae’s direction. When she’s the only person who raises their hand to ask a question, he ignores it and takes off in a hurry.
He stops in his tracks when she calls his name, then imagines how the media would react upon finding out that he was in a relationship with a student. He shakes off the thought and runs away. All she wanted to do was return the ballpoint pen that he dropped.
Yeo-joo accepts Soo-ho as an assistant, although that it doesn’t mean she trusts him. She belatedly realizes that she’s been in her workout attire this entire time and he gets offended when she suggests that he was enjoying the view. Yeo-joo smacks him for that, hee.
After a hectic first day at work, Soo-ho heads back to his own place across the city. He reports to someone on the phone that he was successful, and the man on the other line warns him to be careful – she’s dangerous. Upstairs, Soo-ho has two large telescopes aimed directly at Yeo-joo’s yard. He sees her sunbathing in a tutu and wonders what could be so dangerous about this woman.
Yoon-hee calls the bank and learns that there was a charge to a hotel made on their credit card. She desperately asks the hotel’s receptionist for information about who stayed in the room but due to privacy reasons, she’s unable to get an answer nor access to the security footage.
Her husband is out drinking with Woo-sung, calling him out for lying to get out of teaching next week. He teases that it must be because there aren’t any pretty students. Woo-sung acts super defensive and claims that they’re too old to be drooling over university kids.
Jin-ho says he could be interested in them the way an uncle likes his niece but the attorney defensively states that it’s impossible for platonic friendships to form between men and women. He knows he’s trash when it comes to women, but he claims to be a sexy piece of trash, lol.
He catches his friend’s gaze wandering towards a woman and says that they’re no different. Jin-ho cheats with his eyes while he “slightly” acts on his impulses. Woo-sung treats his wife better because he feels guilty, creating a warm, happy family.
He complains about Soo-jung being weird for getting hung up over the breakup, but Jin-ho wisely says that nobody is ever nonchalant about separating. After sending Jin-ho home first, Woo-sung runs into Attorney Park. She fishes for information regarding which reporter caught wind of their relationship, but Woo-sung quite obviously lied.
She scoffs at his audacity for dumping her, when he’s a married man who’s less competent than her. Attorney Park warns that she’s going to be working for his opponent in the upcoming election, so his dreams of being a congressman will remain a dream.
Yoon-hee gets home and searches through Jin-ho’s suits for evidence of him cheating. Her son Dong-ho asks to be fed, breaking her out of her fervor. On the way home from the bar, Jin-ho recalls a time five years prior, when Yoon-hee visited him at the goshiwon.
She had looked very serious, and Woo-sung thought it seemed obvious that a breakup was on the horizons for them. When Yoon-hee began to tell Jin-ho what was going on, he cut her off and coolly said, “Sure, let’s break up.” When she started bawling, he urged her to live a good life with a better man. Yoon-hee angrily splashed him with water and cried, “How can I, when I’m four months pregnant?” He totally read the situation wrong.
When he exits his taxi, Jin-ho buys some grapes because Yoon-hee likes them. However, he tells her later that he bought them for Dong-ho. Before Yoon-hee can ask about it, Jin-ho passes her an envelope of cash and explains that he paid for the room of a client recently. (In reality, it was used for one of Woo-sung’s dates.) Yoon-hee happily thinks that she shouldn’t have suspected him. Jin-ho shuffles away when she makes an advance on him, pfft.
Seung-chul and Se-na investigate Soo-jung’s disappearance and get a lead from a convenience store. The worker there had overheard Soo-jung fighting with a woman on the phone last night. She’d yelled, “Don’t you know who’s fault this is? While I was rotting in the States, you lived happily with your young husband so why are you lecturing me?”
She belatedly realized that someone was listening to her and told the other person to meet up with her to talk. Se-na deduces that Soo-jung would’ve walked somewhere close, to one of the few stores that open late. She claims that this’ll be easy and offers to pay for drinks once they wrap things up.
Ms. Yeom nags Yeo-joo for spending money on a tutu instead of purchasing a new kimchi refrigerator like she’d suggested. Yeo-joo just smiles and says that one is already on its way. Ms. Yeom gets excited about making fermented kimchi dumplings, and Yeo-joo finds it fascinating that she doesn’t get sick of them despite eating the dumplings since she was six years old.
The warm atmosphere gets cut short when Ms. Yeom accidentally mentions Yeo-joo’s mother. She quickly excuses herself while Yeo-joo gets lost in thought. Ms. Yeom does a wipedown of their old refrigerator and notices that there are red stains on the floor. Yeo-joo calls out to her just as she’s about to open the fridge door and alerts her to her boiling broth upstairs. Yeo-joo goes over to open the door and stares blankly inside.
The detectives search all over the neighborhood and finally end up at a café that Soo-jung visited the previous night with the person she was fighting with. The barista had distinctly heard the actress mention divorce, though she doesn’t recall much else. The other woman managed to avoid the cameras completely, although Seung-chul sees that she spun a shiny object in her right hand. At home right now, Yeo-joo spins a silver pen.
Because the night guard confirmed that Se-na returned home late last night but nobody ever saw her come out, Seung-chul listens to his gut feeling and decides to conduct a luminol test in her apartment to search for traces of blood.
As they tape up the room to prepare, the installers set up the new kimchi fridge in Yeo-joo’s basement under Ms. Yeom’s supervision. Curiously, the old fridge is too heavy for the two strong men to lift even though it is supposed to be empty.
Once everything is set up at Soo-jung’s apartment, Seung-chul turns off the lights. Immediately, a huge blood splatter that covers an entire wall is illuminated. There’s no way Soo-jung is still alive if she lost this much blood. In the basement, Ms. Yeom opens the door of the old fridge and is about to look inside as Yeo-joo continues to spin her pen.
I’m almost certain that Yeo-joo has nothing to do with Soo-jung’s disappearance and that all these clues pointing to her are just a red herring. We know that Soo-jung was being followed months ago. Plus, if they make Yeo-joo an actual murderer, I don’t think there would be anything redeemable about the show’s main characters. I’m currently quite conflicted because I’m actually enjoying the strange quirkiness of our heroine and the general tone of the first 1.5 episodes. Sure, Woo-sung is a scumbag for being a serial cheater, but I was still interested in knowing why he acts the way he does. However, the moment he stepped foot onto campus and ogled at the young Mi-rae, the show lost me. The man literally called the university students children, yet his attraction to Mi-rae affected his lecture and he had to physically run away in order to keep it in his pants. They’ll likely use his character to make a statement about society in general (or so I hope) but so far, his actions just make me uncomfortable.
At first, I wondered if it was Yeo-joo’s lack of emotional expression that prompted Woo-sung to become lonely and unfaithful. (Of course, it’s not anyone’s fault if their significant other cheats. The decision to cheat lies solely with that person.) As we saw in this episode though, Woo-sung has been like this even before marriage. Even when it came to Yeo-joo, he was merely obsessed with her looks. I’m not really sure what else he likes about her, if I’m being totally honest. I think her shroud of mystery intrigued him, and when things didn’t go his way, he wanted her even more. He even signed his life away to get her. He lives life on the edge balancing all these secrets, knowing that his wife’s keen senses will catch on. It’s like he’s doing it on purpose, just for the thrill of it. He’s beginning to learn that not everything is within his control though, with Soo-jung showing up at his place and with Attorney Park firmly on his opponent’s side.
A character I’m very interested in is Soo-ho. The last (and only) project I’ve seen of Kim Young-dae’s was Extraordinary You. He wasn’t given that much to work with for his role there, so it’s really nice to see him flex his acting chops. He has an intense gaze that really changes the tone of the scene. It worked especially well in the office when he pulled out that knife! I wasn’t sure whether to root for him or be scared of him, but for now, I think I’m rooting for him. It’s ironic that Yeo-joo calls him a spy, yet isn’t aware of how truthful that statement really is. For now, it doesn’t seem like he’s biased against our novelist and is just gathering information. I really enjoy his interactions with Yeo-joo – there have been more genuine moments between them than Yeo-joo has had with anyone else besides Ms. Yeom. I think she can be really adorable (like how happy she was to get the angles right) so I’m excited to see how this unusual story will pan out. I’d love it if Yeo-joo randomly joined forces with the detective duo to solve some real crimes!
- Premiere Watch: Awaken, Cheat on Me If You Can
- Go Joon and Jo Yeo-jung play a happily married couple in new promos for Cheat on Me, if You Can
- First look at Jo Yeo-jung, Go Joon in new stills for If You Have an Affair, You’ll Die
- Script reading for KBS rom-com drama If You Have an Affair, You’ll Die
- Jo Yeo-jung, Go Joon courted for emotional mystery-comedy drama