Cheat on Me, If You Can: Episode 3
Our eccentric crime author’s interest is piqued by the disappearance of an acquaintance, but her curiosity does not go over well with the authorities or her husband who fears what this case could reveal about his misdeeds. As our stoic lead carries out her own little investigation – in between bouts of inspiration for her next novel – her mysterious assistant continues to follow orders to surveil her, although even he is baffled by what makes this bizarre writer worth all this effort.
In the basement, Ms. Yeom slams the freezer door shut in alarm. We cut to a crowded bus where a woman bumps into Soo-ho, leaving a lipstick stain on his bag. As he steps off the bus, a voice reports the target is on the move and describes Soo-ho’s clothing.
Several men stealthily tail him, and the one on the roof reports to the surveillance team that they’ve lost him. Soo-ho does some impressive on-the-go clothes swapping, but it’s of little use – that lipstick stain turns out to be some sort of tracker.
They chase Soo-ho through alleys until he’s cornered. Soo-ho quickly and efficiently takes out two of them, but there’s plenty more left. Not that it’s a problem for Soo-ho who incapacitates them with ease. He even swipes the leader’s gun. The man begs him not shoot and cringes as Soo-ho pulls the trigger … and the man is splattered with paint.
Soo-ho playfully tells his colleague to train the newbies again. He does acknowledge lipstick lady’s skill, though. Ah, it looks like they’re NIS (National Intelligence Service) agents. That … is not what I expected of him.
In the sauna, Soo-ho laments that he’s stuck with these petty assignments, although his colleague calls him the best in his class. Soo-ho knows there’s more to this special assignment – he was even required to write a will. He doesn’t get why Yeo-joo is considered “dangerous.”
He wears his colleague down into finally admitting it’s because of “The Secret Prayer Room.” We flash back to that religious group that attacked her. If Soo-ho wants more info, he tells him to go to the higher ups. They spot their intimidating boss nearby, and Soo-ho watches him thoughtfully.
Woo-sung comes home to a distracted Ms. Yeom. She starts to mention something about the basement but stops, saying it’s nothing.
At Soo-jung’s, forensics is sweeping the place after discovering the blood spatter. Seung-cheol and Se-jin theorize that she could’ve been kidnapped, although moving her would’ve been difficult. Cue Seung-cheol wheeling his partner around in a large duffel bag as a test. Pfft.
She insists he get in the body bag when they decide the culprit would’ve had to use the stairway. Ha. He staggers outside after bouncing down the stairs in that bag. Their next stop is the security room for the CCTV footage, but MANAGER BAE takes his clock-out time very seriously and refuses to give them access until the next day.
That night, Soo-ho cringes through his telescope as he watches Woo-sung being all lovey-dovey with Yeo-joo. But her rare genuine smile puts a small grin on Soo-ho’s face.
Inside, Woo-sung recalls Consultant Nam’s statement that his wife serves the most important role for him as an aspiring politician. Yeo-joo is onto Woo-sung’s flattery right away, so he cuts to the chase. How would she feel about him being a politician? Wait, he hasn’t told her yet?!
She bluntly responds that having to parade around with a plastered smile would be the worst, and she’d divorce him. He starts acting really affectionate which weirds her out. He tries another tactic: celebrities can cheat easily, but a politician would be ousted the second he does. Yeo-joo acknowledges the point.
Before entering Yeo-joo’s the next day, Soo-ho recalls with frustration his conversation with DIRECTOR MA (Oh Min-seok). When he’d asked why Yeo-joo was being surveilled, Director Ma reminded Soo-ho that agents are the “arms and feet” of the nation, not the head – leave the thinking to the higher ups.
Inside, Soo-ho is stunned silent at the sight of Yeo-joo in full regal Joseon garb. She shares her newest inspiration, but Soo-ho thinks a murder in the court story is commonplace. Ah, but her queen would be a serial killer. Pfft. Soo-ho wonders how he got here as he pretends to listen while she describes (and demonstrates) how a queen could hide various weapons in her getup.
At work, Woo-sung scours his office for the fountain pen Yeo-joo gave him, the one that’s currently in Mi-rae’s possession. She doesn’t want to toss it since it seems like a special pen.
After painstakingly obtaining materials for Yeo-joo, Soo-ho looks like he’s about to have a nervous breakdown when she nonchalantly announces she’s no longer using the Joseon idea. She throws out a few more ideas that he shoots down, and he even yells in outrage when she suggests having an independence fighter as a serial killer.
He can put with anything except her disparaging the independence fighters (and Moon Geun-young since her ancestors were independence fighters, ha). Yeo-joo admires his consistency and heads out for lunch.
Mi-rae decides to take the pen to Woo-sung’s office and for some reason boxes it like a gift with a bow and everything. Woo-sung isn’t in when she arrives, so she leaves the box with Jin-ho who is awed by her beauty. Once she leaves, he sighs that his friend is at it again.
Yeo-joo takes note of Mi-rae as they pass on the stairs and recognizes the trace of the girl’s perfume in Woo-sung’s office. She zeros in on the gift box which Jin-ho whisks away too late. She profiles the woman as young, not showy, yet wearing expensive perfume. Examining Jin-ho intently, she wonders skeptically if women like his type these days.
When Woo-sung comes in, Jin-ho hurriedly pulls him aside to ask if he met the girl, but Woo-sung has no idea what he’s talking about. A young woman, a gift, and acting secretive – Yeo-joo smirks that it’s obvious what’s going on here, although she didn’t see Jin-ho as the cheating type. She and Woo-sung head out for lunch.
Soo-ho observes Yeo-joo and Woo-sung as they dine out. He’s again angered by the cringe as he’s forced to witness Woo-sung feeding Yeo-joo and kissing her on the cheek. Ha. Woo-sung is still trying to sell the politician idea by oh-so-casually mentioning potential perks of assembly members. Yeo-joo looks at him askance but doesn’t push him.
When Yeo-joo gets home, Ms. Yeom cautiously mentions the old fridge, asking if Yeo-joo will get rid of it. Yeo-joo acts shifty as she suggests they could just keep it. Ms. Yeom asks if she left something important in it, but Yeo-joo ignores the question as her attention turns to the news. She listens raptly as they report that Soo-jung is missing.
Woo-sung gets the same news in his office, but he doesn’t look at all concerned. That is, until Jin-ho brings up the possibility of their affair being revealed during the investigation. Woo-sung first thinks he’s in the clear since they broke up over a week ago, and CCTV footage is usually only stored for a week.
Then, he remembers he went to Soo-jung’s place a few mornings ago. Jin-ho notes that adultery is no longer a crime, but that doesn’t comfort Woo-sung – it’s his wife he’s afraid of.
Soo-ho gets a call from Director Ma and goes to find Yeo-joo. She’s in the basement, staring inside the old fridge. He asks if something’s wrong. Yeo-joo replies she’s come up with a new story wherein the main character will be a journalist. She’s consumed in thought and lets him leave for the day.
Meanwhile, the detectives talk to a security guard who remembers seeing a man in a sweatsuit going into Soo-jung’s apartment. Unfortunately for Woo-sung, he got a good look at his face. Well, it may not be so problematic after all since all the detail the security guard can muster is how veeery good looking he was. Ha.
Jin-ho tries and fails to stop his veeery good looking friend from foolishly going to Soo-jung’s apartment to try to obtain the CCTV footage. Woo-sung arrives at the building and stops with his hand on the security room door when he hears voices. Manager Bae refuses to give the detectives the CCTV footage without a warrant.
Woo-sung runs around the corner to the elevators when Manager Bae exits. He freezes and pretends not to hear when Manager Bae calls out to him. “You’re that lawyer on TV, right?” he asks eagerly and excitedly asks for Woo-sung’s autograph. Woo-sung doesn’t correct his mistaken assumption that he lives in the building.
He breathes a sigh of relief as he enters the elevator only to have Seung-cheol and Se-jin slide into the elevator behind him. He overhears them discussing the possible lover who surreptitiously visited Soo-jung’s apartment. Woo-sung winces as they speculate that the lover is likely a married man.
Woo-sung is now more determined than ever to get that footage. He sneaks into the empty security room, but he has no idea how to find his footage. He takes a call from Consultant Nam who informs him everyone is waiting for him at the charity event.
Woo-sung has no choice but to leave since he has no clue how to erase his footage. He whines to Jin-ho that it’s not like in the movies. If the police get the footage, his entire reputation as “national husband” is ruined, not to mention his fledgling political career. Jin-ho unwisely suggests getting Yeo-joo’s help given her expertise in crime.
Throughout the event at the orphanage, Woo-sung is distracted which doesn’t escape Consultant Nam’s notice. And of course, who else but Mi-rae happens to be volunteering there too. She catches sight of Woo-sung across the yard.
Elsewhere, Soo-ho reports to Director Ma that Yeo-joo met with Soo-jung three days ago; he followed her to the café that night. Director Ma orders Soo-ho to figure out how much Yeo-joo knows about Soo-jung’s disappearance.
Yeo-joo is currently talking to her contacts who update her on Soo-jung’s case. She even learns that there was a witness and gets a cop to let her into Soo-jung’s apartment. In the hallway, they’re interrupted by Seung-cheol and Se-jin running up to ask TEAM LEADER HONG (Lee Tae-hyung) for a warrant. They both recognize Yeo-joo with surprise.
Apparently, she’s been very publicly critical of the police throughout her career. Team Leader Hong argues to Seung-cheol that she’s less likely to criticize them if they give her access. Se-jin is skeptical that an “amateur” could help solving their case, but Team Leader Hong argues she’s identified culprits before.
More importantly, Yeo-joo threatens to go on a well-known program and diss the police again if they turn her away. Team Leader Hong desperately tries to keep her from answering her phone when she claims the producer is calling.
That evening, Yeo-joo still isn’t home when Soo-ho returns. After Ms. Yeom leaves, he snoops around the basement and takes photos. He makes his way to the old fridge and spots a small bloodstain. Soo-ho takes a sample.
Yeo-joo gets her way and is let into Soo-jung’s apartment. Seung-cheol and Se-jin aren’t happy about it, and they’re even less happy when she asks them to leave. But once again, Yeo-joo wins. In the dark, she examines the illuminated blood spatter. Disturbed, she closes her eyes. “I’m sorry,” she says to Soo-jung’s picture.
In the basement, Soo-ho opens the fridge to find … copies of a book titled “The Secret Prayer Room.” Huh. Soo-ho’s eyes widen as he recognizes the name and is surprised this is all related to a book.
The detectives return, and Se-jin grits out answers to Yeo-joo’s questions about the blood. They’ve matched it to Soo-jung’s blood type, but they’re waiting on DNA results. Yeo-joo asks after Manager Kim – he should be a suspect.
Manager Kim never showed up to the scheduled shoot that day, and Seung-cheol can’t reach him. To the detectives’ annoyance, Yeo-joo offers them the useful intel that Manager Kim was a Soo-jung superfan in her fan club.
Knowing Manager Kim was the last person to see Soo-jung, Yeo-joo questions why he wasn’t on their suspects list. As a former journalist, Yeo-joo has lots of reporter friends and learned that the police couldn’t even secure the CCTV footage.
When Seung-cheol blusters that they’re heading to get the footage now, Yeo-joo invites herself to go with them. Startled, Se-jin notices Yeo-jung’s eyes and asks, “Did you cry?” Yeo-joo blows past that and leads the way out.
Woo-sung arrives home and grows nervous as he smells a telltale sign of his wife’s poor mood: her cooking. She smiles and uses formal speech with him, and now he’s terrified. As he sets the table, she mentions that she met with detectives.
He gapes and drops the silverware when she states she’s participating in the investigation of Soo-jung’s disappearance. It bothers her that someone she just had over for dinner is now missing. She drops the bomb that she went to Soo-jung’s apartment and even viewed the CCTV footage with the detectives.
Woo-sung tries to cover his petrified expression by saying he’s worried she’ll get in legal trouble. He haltingly asks what she saw. She saunters over to him carrying a sharp implement and points it at his face. “What do you think I saw?”
He relaxes as she admits she saw nothing. Woo-sung gingerly pushes the pointy end aside, and she explains that a virus corrupted the hard disk. He ignores a call from an unknown number, but his eyes go wide when he sees the image texted to him. It shows him entering Soo-jung’s apartment.
Woo-sung steps aside and calls back the number. The man on the other line reveals that they’ve met and even shook hands. Woo-sung puts the pieces together: it’s Manager Bae. I knew that’d come back to bite Woo-sung. Screens behind Manager Bae play various videos of Woo-sung visiting Soo-jung. He laughs while Woo-sung stands frozen in fear.
It’s amazing that Woo-sung has managed to hide his affairs thus far since he doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb in the pack. He’s kind of bumbling, wimpy, and not very sneaky. It’s entirely thanks to his meticulousness that he hasn’t been caught. But between Soo-jung’s disappearance and his running for office, his infidelity is unlikely to stay hidden for long. Manager Bae’s stealing the CCTV footage may have kept it from the police for now, but if he wants money to stay quiet, keeping it secret from Yeo-joo might be another matter. Based on Woo-sung’s own failed attempts to get the footage, he’s not exactly good at subterfuge. I think it’ll be up to Consultant Nam to keep his image squeaky clean and work the situation. Of course, I’m hoping Woo-sung’s infidelity will leak and he’ll have to deal with the consequences. I’m curious where we’re going with Woo-sung’s character. While he isn’t portrayed in a sympathetic light with his flagrant cheating, he’s also not given the villain treatment either. Unlike a lot of dramas that portray cheating, this one isn’t a serious melo or slice-of-life style narrative. Its tone is playful and mysterious, which makes it less clear where this all is headed. My guess is that we’re going the cautionary tale route, but who knows?
When you have a lead character like Yeo-joo, you expect things to be unpredictable. I’m loving how unabashedly weird she is. The way she goes all out and gets into character without any self-consciousness is fantastic. But she’s still opaque, and there’s so much about her we don’t know. Like @selena, I think the suggestions she killed or kidnapped Soo-jung are red herrings. It was surprising that she apologized and cried in her apartment, but maybe that had something to do with their complicated history we’re not yet privy to. I have a feeling Yeo-joo has a complicated history with lots of people. From the tension when Ms. Yeom mentioned her mother, there’s obviously some family troubles too. Yeo-joo seems like the type who sees things in black and white and doesn’t give second chances. That’s what makes her marriage to Woo-sung so confusing. She knew he was the cheating type, and I can’t imagine she’s naïve enough to believe a waiver would stop him from ever cheating. There must be more to why she decided to marry him. Perhaps she has a bit of a blind spot for him now, though. It was interesting how she immediately assumed Jin-ho was the one having an affair with Mi-rae and didn’t even consider her husband could be the culprit. I’m not sure if she just thinks his fear will keep Woo-sung in line or if it’s because she loves him – the way she smiled and laughed genuinely when he was goofing off was telling.
What most surprised me this hour was discovering that the NIS is investigating Yeo-joo. I thought it’d take a little longer to reveal Soo-ho’s identity, and I did not expect that he would turn out to be an agent. I assumed he was a mercenary or something more freelance. This makes things much more mysterious and interesting. Even stranger is that it’s linked to some book and possibly that religious organization. What is this “The Secret Prayer Room,” and why is it important enough to alert the government? They keep insisting that Yeo-joo is dangerous which is odd. She’s morbid for sure, but that’s not at all the same thing. Maybe there’s a crime we’re unaware of in her past. Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to more of Soo-ho as the beleaguered assistant who is forced to put up with all of Yeo-joo’s antics. Despite his understandable frustration at his new position, he does seem intrigued by her. How could you not be, really? Although, one more negative comment about independence fighters or Moon Geun-young and he might just walk.
- 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