The Veil: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread
So many twists! The more our agent uncovers, the deeper the conspiracy gets. Though all his leads seem unrelated, each are slowly being woven together to create the bigger picture. While the pieces are filling in, we still don’t know how much our agent really holds in his forgotten memory, and as the stakes get higher, we see the ultimate cost of trust and emotional attachment.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
Just like last week, the plot moves faster than light, and every step Ji-hyuk takes forward is another one into chaos. Last week our cliffhanger ended on Seo Soo-yeon confirmed as being involved in the leak that botched the mission in Shenyang, and we pick up there this week with a very Soo-yeon-focused bit of story.
Ji-hyuk is losing his touch with reality, and he thinks that he attacked Soo-yeon more harshly and revealed more than he actually did — in reality she’s only badly bruised, but something has changed between them, possibly because Ji-hyuk is getting closer to the core of the mystery.
Soo-yeon, despite not being in the drama that much, is a central hinge pin for a lot of the characters — not only the agent that died in Shenyang, but a new figure that emerges: CHANG CHUN-WOO (Jung Moon-sung).
While Ji-hyuk and Ye-ji are digging into the case, Ji-hyuk gets played, and it’s not the last time that happens this week. He goes on a huge car chase after Ye-ji, who’s been grabbed presumably by Chang Chun-woo, only to learn that she’s been in the trunk of the car he was driving the entire time.
She recovers quite quickly, and meanwhile, Ji-hyuk reaches out to Soo-yeon about Chang Chun-woo. She finally seems ready to talk to him. The two meet and just when Soo-yeon is about to share some intel, we hear a loud crack. It was a gunshot. Soo-yeon collapses to the ground, and Ji-hyuk runs over to catch her. It doesn’t seem like she’s going to make it, and her last words before she loses consciousness are a warning for Ji-hyuk not to trust anyone.
To make this one step worse, Ji-hyuk gives his statement only to find himself being actually interrogated as the prime suspect. The CCTV footage clearly shows Ji-hyuk himself drawing the gun and shooting Soo-yeon point blank.
Ji-hyuk is already in a compromised psychological state, and apparently has been since childhood (the knowledge of which basically all his NIS bosses already have). Throw in this bomb of him “shooting” Soo-yeon and he almost cracks. Did he do it? It’s almost as if he can’t trust himself anymore.
He escapes NIS custody in true Ji-hyuk fashion, causing a massive car wreck and mayhem, eventually escaping the scene badly wounded. He and Director Kang have always had an interesting relationship, and in this escape scene, we see how very layered it is. Director Kang all but lets Ji-hyuk escape while (ostensibly) shooting himself in the shoulder to make it look like he had no choice. Loyalties and history sure complicate things, and we see that in basically every relationship in this week’s episodes.
Ye-ji secretly tends to Ji-hyuk’s wounds (she seems well-trained in emergency first aid — can we thank her NIS training for this?), and the two seem to trust each other very much at this point. I’m not saying there was definitely chemistry, but Ji-hyuk looks strangely appealing while bloodied, sweaty, and feverish, recovering on her couch. *Clears throat*
But Ji-hyuk is nobody’s fool, and he sees her secret investigation wall, confronts her, and learns that her father (also an NIS agent) disappeared similarly to Ji-hyuk. This seems to build the trust between them even more, and I’m glad Ji-hyuk knows this about her now.
Ji-hyuk makes a swift recovery, and the two are soon neck-deep in their next lead. All these various leads start spilling together and are so quickly investigated that it can give you whiplash.
Ye-ji’s left a lead on her desk which reveals a Deep Fake program that’s able to alter CCTV footage live. It’s crazy! Ji-hyuk talks to the programmer that built the system, and learns how it works (and how it’s been abused). Simultaneously, the two are still investigating the case of a reporter named JUNG KI-SUN (Kim Ji-sung) — it’s seemed fishy from the start, and then when the NIS decides to make it “disappear” it only gets more so.
The real culprit behind Soo-yeon’s shooting is tied to the Deep Fake program, which is in turn tied to Chang Chun-woo, which is then tied to Jung Ki-sun, who was primed to release an article that (ostensibly) confirmed his role in a new layer of NIS corruption. Additionally, Ji-hyuk learns about a powerful organization of ex-NIS agents called Sangmuhoe and susses out that Chang Chun-woo was basically the dog doing their bidding.
It seems like Chun-woo was the one that released the agent list that got so many people killed in Shenyang, and Ji-hyuk fearlessly confronts him. He is truly a hero who has nothing to lose, but this devil-may-care attitude (mixed with the black hole in his memory) is starting to make him vulnerable.
Outside of this mountain of plot movement and cases this week, the most interesting thing that the story explored was loyalty and trust and even love, and how it can so easily be used against people. First we saw how whatever was between Soo-yeon and Chang Chun-woo caused a lot of vulnerabilities to be revealed.
Then we saw, again with Soo-yeon, that she and Director Kang also had some kind of understanding. Ji-hyuk is the first to use this “weakness” against Director Kang — which he does in his very own sting operation. Ji-hyuk bets that Director Kang won’t be able to order agents to shoot Soo-yeon (even if it’s just a Deep Fake of her on the screen), and sure enough he bet correctly.
Ji-hyuk wins that round, and is able to get the intel from Jung Ki-sun that he needs, but the episode ends with his turn to get played. And it hurts. He gets a call from Ye-ji that Soo-yeon’s woken up (indeed we saw the ever-telling finger twitch earlier) and heads to the hospital to rescue her.
Granted, he needs the intel she was going to share with him — and Director Kang knows it. The hospital room is empty of Soo-yeon, but full of operatives that take Ji-hyuk into custody. He’s told the Soo-yeon died a few hours ago. He’s been played.
And if all that didn’t hurt enough, what hurts more is the fact that Ye-ji was behind it. She not only fed him the false intel, but we see her deleting the real CCTV footage that shows the actual shooter of Soo-yeon.
What’s up with Ye-ji?! We’ve seen her join forces with Ji-hyuk quite well, and hide that fact from Director Kang… but now she’s a turn-coat? I don’t know what she’s really after, but I’m impressed she’s smart enough to play all sides like this. She still looks like more of a barista than a spy to me, but maybe that’s her strength. Either way, it was an excellent set of episodes, and this exploration of abusing people’s affections and trust really hits you where it hurts.