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Cheat on Me, If You Can: Episode 8

Our married couple does a bit of spy versus spy this hour as they investigate their suspicions and try to feel each other out for clues. To complicate matters, an acquaintance with dirt on our heroine’s husband appears and threatens to make trouble. Meanwhile, the murder investigation continues, and new clues further convince our actual spy that something is off about this mission.

 
EPISODE 8

Woo-sung goes looking through the house for his briefcase, unaware that Yeo-joo is secretly rifling through it. He finds Yeo-joo at her dressing table and his briefcase setting by the bedroom door. Yeo-joo scrutinizes him through the mirror as he rummages inside his briefcase.

Soo-ho eats with his colleague at their work cafeteria and asks about the agent who previously tailed Yeo-joo. Suspiciously, he was demoted and sent abroad, but he’s now back. Soo-ho’s colleague’s talk about party politics and power shifts due to the upcoming presidential election go over his head.

He doesn’t see what Director Ma’s connections to a particular political party have to do with their work. His colleague’s frustration vanishes when he notices a mercenary known as “the Grim Reaper” walk in. Apparently, he’s called in as a hit man of sorts.

When the Grim Reaper enters Director Ma’s office, he’s met with a punch to the face. Director Ma is tired of cleaning up his messes and orders him to retrieve “it” from the Philippines, dead or alive. “Go to the Philippines before that woman does anything else,” he commands.

At home, Woo-sung nervously tries to make conversation. Yeo-joo is paying more attention to his shirt and hops up when he begins changing. He’s startled when she starts yanking his clothes off, saying she needs to do laundry.

Woo-sung knows her radar has been pinged and he needs to tread carefully. His phone rings, but he asks her to answer for him. He makes sure to note his phone isn’t password protected since he has nothing to hide.

Yeo-joo says with a smile that even married couples should respect each other’s privacy and hands him the phone. It’s Mi-rae calling about the event. Aware Yeo-joo is watching him, Woo-sung pastes on a smile and is carefully formal.

The moment Yeo-joo leaves the room, he drops the formality. While he’s on the phone, Yeo-joo beelines for her office and whips out a microscope and forensic kit. She holds up a long hair taken from his shirt.

Secretary Choi enters to find Mi-rae smiling after the call. Mi-rae explains that she was talking to the man she saved from drowning. She finds it amazing that someone who wasn’t breathing is now doing perfectly fine. If she’d known how saving a life felt, she’d have studied medicine. “You can’t buy your way into that,” Secretary Choi mutters. Well, that’s direct.

Yeo-joo analyzes the hair under the microscope, determining that it belongs to someone not young and the cuticles are “a mess.” It’s a coppery brown, medium length … she snips a piece of her own hair and puts it under the microscope. “It’s mine,” she observes.

From his telescope, Soo-ho sees Yeo-joo going into the garage and rushes over to spy. She does a thorough forensic sweep of Woo-sung’s car, picking up hair fibers and spraying the seats. Soo-ho is so intent that he doesn’t notice Mrs. Yeom as she approaches and asks what he’s doing. Behold the nation’s most promising spy.

Soo-ho lies that he just wanted to observe Yeo-joo’s process; he hopes to become a writer like her. Mrs. Yeom doesn’t push the issue, but she doesn’t look fully convinced.

Woo-sung snoops in Yeo-joo’s office, trying to figure out if she’s onto him. He finds the hair under the microscope and realizes she suspects an affair. He’s confident she won’t find anything in the car since he erased the GPS history and dashcam footage.

That’s when she pulls a gift box containing a woman’s scarf out of the glove compartment. She reads the note: “Honey, I love you.” He’s put a picture of her above the visor too. Yeo-joo finds it all too clean.

She goes inside wearing the scarf and tells Woo-sung she was cleaning out the car. They both smile and dance around their suspicions. Woo-sung praises himself for his perfect crime, not knowing that Yeo-joo is finding his meticulousness suspect.

Yeo-joo plans to write more before going to bed. He playfully asks who she’s killing tonight, but Yeo-joo plans to wait for just the right moment before killing someone off. Yeo-joo says the novel is about someone mistakenly believing they’ve committed the perfect crime and facilitating their own downfall.

The next day, Soo-ho reports to Director Ma about Manager Kim and about Soo-jung’s autopsy. Elsewhere, Seung-cheol and Se-jin puzzle over the murder weapon since only Manager Kim’s blood is on the trophy. The NFS examiner thinks the abrasion on her head is from striking it as she fell. The stab wound on her neck is the one that likely killed her.

Director Ma looks at the same forensic photos and observes that someone stabbed her several times from the back – that signals rage. But the inefficiency suggests it was an amateur. Soo-ho saves the most disgusting nugget for last: they found termites in her stomach and throat.

The examiner explains to the detectives that termites stay underground, which implies Soo-jung must’ve been buried before being moved to the river. That’s exactly the conclusion Soo-ho reaches, but Director Ma has had enough. He warns him to focus exclusively on his assignment. Soo-ho barely controls his anger and apologizes.

After learning about the termites, Se-jin and Seung-cheol consider that Manager Bae might’ve been telling the truth about seeing Soo-jung’s body in the mountains. Since Manager Bae isn’t conscious, they start by visiting the first hospital he was admitted to.

Mrs. Yeom fusses over Yeo-joo who’s exhausted from sleuthing half of the night. Soo-ho is once again “getting materials,” which Mrs. Yeom points out is odd given you can find things online. Yeo-joo assumes he’s slacking off and isn’t concerned.

Mrs. Yeom cautions her against trusting him and shares that she caught him spying. Yeo-joo laughs at the ridiculous idea of her trusting someone and assures her things are under control.

At work, Woo-sung meets with a distraught client who caught his wife cheating. The whole thing was even captured on security footage. Woo-sung and Jin-ho are perplexed when the man not only doesn’t want a divorce but begs for help stopping his wife from divorcing him. Jin-ho rails against the audacity of the wife.

Secretary Choi goes to pick up Mi-rae and notices how she walks with her head down. She can’t fathom why the lack of confidence since she has everything she could want. In the car, Mi-rae does an internet search on Woo-sung.

Jin-ho is baffled that the man would want to stay with his cheating wife, but Woo-sung argues it’s not that easy to divorce. Jin-ho, on the other hand, claims he’d divorce his wife for cheating without hesitation.

He starts to rethink when Woo-sung brings up all the financial and custody issues that come with divorce. Jin-ho finds it a moot point anyway since he’s in the clear – he doesn’t gamble, cheat, or abuse his wife. Woo-sung thinks Jin-ho’s problems lie elsewhere.

Mi-rae reads about how Woo-sung’s happiest moment is breakfast with his wife and that he cleans and cooks for her. Secretary Choi believes interview responses like that are all lies. When Mi-rae says it’s about the “National Husband,” Secretary Choi concedes he’s the only man like that. Mi-rae wonders what kind of woman his wife is to have managed to catch a guy like that.

Meanwhile, Yeo-joo looks up “Saemirae” and discovers it’s a department store. When she adds the room number from the note in the gift box, she finds there’s a “Saemirae Hall” at Seoyeon University. After reading up on Yeo-joo, Mi-rae pities Woo-sung for being married to such a woman.

Elsewhere, Woo-sung and Jin-ho prepare to meet the cheating wife’s lawyer, sure that this is an easy win. Their smiles disappear when they find Attorney Park waiting. She gleefully admits she took on the case just to spite Woo-sung.

She argues the husband was violent and overly jealous, turning the cheating wife into the victim. Despite the video evidence, they don’t plan on backing down until the divorce papers are signed.

Soo-ho meets with agents previously assigned to surveil Yeo-joo and learns that no one took the assignment all that seriously. No special orders were given, so it was an easy job. They’ve been watching Yeo-joo for years, even dating back to her wedding (where no friends or family of hers attended).

Once again, Soo-ho is encouraged by one of the agents to stop asking questions if he wants to keep his job. Soo-ho disregards that advice and asks another question: has he heard of “The Secret Prayer Room?” The agent has and calls it a “mythological book” that no one has seen.

Soo-ho all but groans when the agent suggests Director Ma might know more since he was in charge of Yeo-joo back in her reporter days. We see Director Ma reading a copy of “The Secret Prayer Room” and then placing it in a safe. A man, who I’m assuming is one of Director Ma’s people, watches Soo-ho leave.

Director Ma, meanwhile, reports to his superior. The man sits in a fancy room and expresses displeasure at Soo-ho’s poking around. He wants to switch him out, but Director Ma worries they won’t get someone into Yeo-joo’s circle again so easily. The man reminds him, in that vaguely threatening way of the powerful, that there’s an election soon.

In the middle of setting up for the event, Mi-rae is pulled aside by a reporter. When Woo-sung arrives, he’s still feeling unsure about participating. He feels even worse when Attorney Park plops down next to him. She’s filling in for her colleague.

She laments that he didn’t comment on her new hairstyle and informs him she spotted him with Mi-rae as she was leaving the salon. Attorney Park remarks that Mi-rae is pretty, young, and not all that smart – must be his type. Woo-sung nervously gulps water.

When Mi-rae asks to talk to him, Attorney Park rolls her eyes. Outside, Mi-rae asks why he lied. The reporter had wanted to interview her as the student that Woo-sung saved from drowning. Woo-sung clearly has no idea what’s going on. Mi-rae isn’t happy about having to ask him not to let the press report this false story that could, she claims, get her fired.

The detectives drive out to the mountains to visit the hospital and the place where Manager Bae was found. The local cop informs them there’s a cemetery past the woods. Ah, so that must be the one Yeo-joo visited.

Back at the event, Woo-sung discovers Consultant Nam was behind the article. He thinks it’s a win-win since Mi-rae gets attention and Woo-sung gets a PR boost. Before he can respond, Woo-sung is called on stage. He starts talking about the power of expressing gratitude and how failure to do so is often at the heart of divorce cases.

Consultant Nam raises his eyebrows at the odd direction this is taking, especially since Woo-sung looks straight at Mi-rae when he talks about saying “thank you.” Then, Woo-sung ignores Consultant Nam’s furious head shaking to directly thank Mi-rae for saving his life.

Ah, but instead, he grabs Consultant Nam – who was standing right beside Mi-rae – and introduces him as his savior at the river. Attorney Park gives some good eyeroll as she watches this play out. Consultant Nam smiles for the cameras while tersely whispering that this public exposure will complicate his job. Behind the stage, Mi-rae smiles.

Se-jin and Seung-cheol talk to the security guard who recalls patrolling that night. Someone threw a rock through his office window, so he went to investigate and caught a glimpse of a man running away. Is that the Grim Reaper?

After the event, Attorney Park approaches Consultant Nam. She points out that Seoyeong University determines the winner in district elections and reveals her own desire to run for office. He laughs at her attempts to persuade him she’s a better candidate than Woo-sung because of her scores. Politics is all about narratives.

Attorney Park warns him that Woo-sung is dirty and vows to ensure their demise. Consultant Nam looks thoughtful, and when they leave, he shakes her hand.

Mi-rae texts Woo-sung an apology for the misunderstanding about the article. Woo-sung feels bad, but he deletes the message without responding. He’s not messing around now that Yeo-joo is suspicious. He about jumps out of his skin when he gets out of the car and turns to find Yeo-joo standing right there.

She’s smiling, speaking formally, and even cooked dinner. She returns his car key and tells him she “fixed it up.” Woo-sung nervously peeks inside at the new infrared dashcam she installed to make sure eeeverything is recorded. Yeo-joo also removed the tint on the windows – for his safety, of course. We see that she even installed a secret camera and a tracker.

He pretends to be happy and reluctantly returns her car key. He’d better hope Mi-rae’s perfume has worn off. Woo-sung tries to persuade Yeo-joo to let him get the car cleaned, but Yeo-joo insists she’ll do it.

Woo-sung gets nervous when Yeo-joo slides into the car and sniffs. Lucky for him, the air fresheners he placed seem to have overridden the perfume scent. Although, they don’t help with the strand of long hair Yeo-joo plucks from behind the seat.

Outside of his apartment, Soo-ho notices something off with the door handle. He enters cautiously and grabs his gun in a cubby by the door (so much for gun safety). Soo-ho creeps forward but stops when a gun is pushed against the back of his head.


 
COMMENTS

I’m glad Yeo-joo is going all in and not letting this go. I was afraid she wouldn’t push the issue after nothing came of that gift box, but she seems determined to unearth anything and everything. Woo-sung may be meticulous, but there’s always some clue left behind. Yeo-joo is relentless and detailed enough to find it. Of course, she’s only aware of Mi-rae’s existence, but it’s not too much of a stretch from there to figure out about his actual affairs.

If the Queen of Eyeroll Attorney Park has anything to do with it, it’ll all be spilled before too long. I can’t tell how willing she’d be to implicate herself, but she’s so set on taking Woo-sung down that I wouldn’t be shocked if she risks it. I knew she’d spell trouble for him at some point, so it’s no surprise she wants to steal Consultant Nam away and beat Woo-sung before he even starts. I don’t know if her political ambitions are real or if this is just revenge or competition, but she’s tough enough to make it work. I don’t think Consultant Nam will defect that easily since he seems eager to have Woo-sung as a candidate, but I can see some backdoor deals being made.

Everyone in this drama is so shady and dishonest. Woo-sung is the most obvious offender, but Jin-ho is actually the one who bugs me the most. He’s a bad husband who seems to mostly ignore his wife and instead prioritizes helping his friend cheat. Then, he acts like he’s this model husband because he doesn’t cheat himself or actively harm his wife. Bleh. Despite how he covers for Woo-sung, he got super upset over that woman cheating on her husband. I can’t tell if he’s just hypocritical and sexist or if he truly finds cheating awful in general but gives Woo-sung a pass. Either way, it’s unpleasant and makes me dislike him. I think he’s supposed to be amusing, but his character really doesn’t work for me.

I’m not sure what the NIS’s objective is with Yeo-joo. They’ve been keeping tabs on her for years – even before her marriage – but they’re only just now approaching her through Soo-ho. Even when she causes trouble, like her being in contact with Manager Kim, they don’t do anything to her directly. There’s a strange level of secrecy surrounding her. I know they expect agents to do their jobs with no questions asked, but it seems strange that none of the agents who have been assigned to her have any idea why she’s being watched. And now, Director Ma is fighting to keep the disobedient Soo-ho in place because he successfully integrated into Yeo-joo’s life. Why do they need someone with direct access to her now?

We’ve reached the halfway point, but we know way less than I would’ve expected. I don’t mind a slow-moving mystery, although I wouldn’t mind if we moved a biiit faster. There are so many things we still don’t know: Yeo-joo’s past, the secret book, Soo-jung’s murder, Woo-sung’s fate, the NIS’s involvement, and why the heck Mi-rae is such a big part of the story. With all that to cover in the latter half, I hope nothing gets shortchanged.

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I feel like Director Ma is either a past lover or a family member. Even at her wedding she had no one, the only person from her past is her housekeeper, who I maintain is the murderer. I also don't think consultant Nam will defect, I think this is his way of doing opposition research.

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You can't buy your way into a career in medicine??? But how many medical dramas have we seen where there was a bad doctor son of rich hospital executive/owner.

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Haha I don't think those examples were realistic. Not only in Korea, but everywhere around the world, you need incredibly high grades to even be considered as a serious medical school applicant. Rich parents definitely do employ private tutors to help their kids to get into medical school, but ultimately the kids themselves have to put in the work to pass all the standardized tests. Without a good work ethic, it's impossible to graduate from medical school and get through residency.

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I guess Yeo-joo has dirt on a powerful politician/candidate and it is written up in the "mythical" book (?). Powerful people want her evidence suppressed but don't know where she has it all hidden so they don't dare mess with her. Her suspiciousness is not only because of her husband, and her detective skills are partly how she dug up the dirt and partly her response to the people who want her evidence gone(??). The almost-perfect crimes in her books may be examples of what she found out the baddies have done, and might even be warnings to them not to mess with her. Or not, it's a kdrama.

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This may certainly be the case regarding Yeo-joo.

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I love this drama...

I've suspect yeo joo father is a politician or higher up/boss of director ma. I guest her mother has died and for some reason she hate her father and make distance from him and their family. Based on her distrust with everyone i think it caused by something from her past/family problem. Maybe that link to the secret she write in "secret prayer book". And thats the reason why his father try to approach her using his power with NIS. Maybe to keep her from releasing this secret and also because he have concern about her safety or live. I guess his father has try to secure her by getting rid of her enemy/everything that make her not happy (because director ma ask soo ho to remove all the connection of soo jung death from yeo joo)

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As much as I wanted to complain, (in jest) that criminals or people hiding from the law in dramas run to always the Philippines, news sometimes pops up of arrests here.

Sorry to be a bit of a downer but I've seen it a few times I can't help but comment on it.

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After this episode, I think Director Ma reports to Yeo-joo's father, who is the head of a political party (thus her hatred for politics.) And the fact her family did not show up to her wedding shows a deep divide caused probably by her cult book dirty secrets which would have destroyed her own family. Thus her family kept her under constant watch. Housekeeper Yeom also seems like a spy, probably for the family as well.

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I also think Mirae or her family is affiliated with the opposition party so she is spying on Yoo-joo's family by getting close to her husband (or to taint that political family with a scandal). There was the Nam statement that all elections run through the university in which her department conglomerate is a big sponsor.
I would disappointed if this plot turns into a political tug of war by characters we do not know as of yet.

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Does anyone remember all that drama about a cult and politicians or something along those lines in Korean news not long ago? I don’t know why but this feels similar. I feel like Yeo-joo and her family, although rich and powerful, belong or belonged to some secret cult thing that did awful things and also influenced politics. Maybe the “secret prayer room” is where all the dirty deals went down. Am I making that cult/politics thing up?

I also wish I knew what the point of Mi-rae is other than looking meek and being as bland as uncooked oatmeal.

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You might well be right... Check out Choi Tae-min, a cult leader dubbed "the Korean Rasputin" and the Park family. Then president Park was impeached and later tried. Samsung's Lee Jae-yong was also caught in the net and tried. Is this where the writers got their inspiration I wonder.

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Your comment caught my eye. If these real life events are inspiration for this drama, I'll have to watch it. I'm finding the events you refer to in Korea more engrossing at the moment that any drama I can watch. As I've become more aware of them, I've also seen how many dramas are loosely modelled (and sometimes even less loosely modelled) on the extraordinary situation the country finds itself in. Central to that are Lee Jae-yong's ongoing experiences. It seems that such a powerful chaebol has to be kept in check by constantly "discipling" it, but at the same time giving it enough freedom to continue to generate the wealth that the country so depends on.

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Yes! I tried to look up info but I couldn’t find the names or what to search for exactly as I didn’t remember the details clearly enough but that’s exactly what I was talking about! And the president being impeached, too. I’m glad I wasn’t crazy lol. Thank you! It would make a great story for a drama. If this isn’t inspired by it I hope something will be. I’d watch that.

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You'll find it all in the newspapers, if you search "Korean news in English" and their names. There was recently a call for the President to pardon both ex-Presidents, but he says it's not the right time and they are showing no remorse. Sadly LJY has just been sent back to prison for 2.5 years. His company, admittedly the largest in SK, were not the only chaebol caught up in the bribery scandal, and yet they were ones made example of. I suspect that every drama we watch is inspired from an ongoing fascination with these families. Now the newspapers are saying two things: 1. imprisonment of the heads of these companies holds back the economic growth of the country; 2. it's good finally to see that they are not above the law. It's a sort of impasse. Rl is more dramatic than any drama, I'm discovering.

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