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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.

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My mind went down two different paths, since they've played unreliable narrator before: is it a setup or did Ye-ji play Hi-jyuk (because hurray for betrayal if she did)? If she did play him, is her inability to shoot staged or is she really bad with a firearm? Why stitch him up if you were going to throw him out?

Its not-funny but funny that the entire episode is about trusting people and the plan literally required them to trust some guy yo run this fake program. Though I seriously hated the show making Hi-jyuk look like Soo-yeon... because assaulting her, getting her shot, and then killing her wasn't enough for the writer they needed to use her image as well as the reason Ji-hyuk survives through this improbable scenario. Egh. Though, is there perhaps a 50/50 chance she's alive (finger twitch and all) and Director Kang was only saying she's dead to protect her?

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No body not dead" and anyway it would be un-kdrama-ish to kill off a major character this early in the show, especially off-screen with no drama.

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Good point. Fingers crossed they don't fridge her again.

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Well either they proceeded to do exactly just that, or she's still not actually dead lmao

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How disappointing, giving her some depth and then fridging her. What was the point? Sigh, this drama is not the best for plot and how the women are written. Ye-Ji still bores me to tears. I will finish this out for NGM, but this ain't it.

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The actress playing the role of Ye Ji is so bland.
Yeah watching this for NGM.
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I have the feeling (or I want to have the feeling) that Soo Yeon is alive. I mean, she's hysterical (I really hate the fact of making her this insecure when she's a capable agent otherwise she wouldn't be where she is), but I always liked her.

And I have to agree with you on how deeply boring is JeYi. I never bought her, she has her own agenda and I wasn't even surprised she deleted the file. She's using JiHyuk to her own purposes, whatever they are.

I didn't understand that JiHyuk trusted her, when he's heard so many times "Don't trust anyone": not only from SooYeon, but also from himself!! Why is he trusting JeYi? She's not reliable.

Anyway, I'm watching because NGM is mesmerizing and I'm willing to loos aside all those plot holes like: all the multiple car crashes he's caused and not a single explanation to police or to anyone, JeYi going back to work the same day she's involved in a violent car crash while being in the trunk and not a single bone aches (hahahahahahahahahaahhaah), people shooting guns in South Korea and not a single person has leaked a video... etc..

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Lmao, I ignore the car crashes too. By kdrama rules at least 15 people should be dead, but NGM, so we persevere. I hope SY is alive, at least the actress imbues the character with some life.

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And the next day, her car is perfectly repaired. Magic.

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I'm a bit surprised at the Ye-ji dislikes here. I think she's a smart/level headed character. Perhaps, I thought she would be more incompetent or annoying, but thus far, she does her job well. As for Park Ha Sun, man, I was hoping for something stronger for her. But to die so early here, just makes me feel meh. She's a good actress, but they really gave her nothing to do. I do like Jang Young Nam's role here though, she always has strong boss vibes to me. So many dramas are so male heavy, w/ little to no prominent female roles. Snoozes...

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It isn't so much the character as the way the actress is playing the character. She is just so bland to me. The actress leaves me cold.

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I thought it was great that Ji Hyuk a.) figured out the relationship between Su Yeon and Director Kang and b.) exploited that relationship with the deepfake of her. It made sense and it gave Director Kang more humanity. I'm also intrigued by Ye Jii's ambiguity. She's that onion that still has a lot of layers to be peeled back until we find out her true (er) self. And watching NGM's acting, especially in Ep. 6, is as always a delight. The way he adds meaning to a line reading by cocking his head or shifting his gaze--so masterful

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Urghhh the chemistry between Ji Hyuk and Soo Yeon is so intense!
She can't die so fast. There's more between these two...

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The moral of these episodes is that every piece of information can be manipulated to avoid the truth. You cannot believe what you see with your own eyes because it can be fake or false memories.

It is still mindboggling that the amount of violent crimes and deaths have no accountability or responsibility. This bleak world is set up with no justice.

We are left with Ye Ji possibly being a rogue agent, a plant of Sangmuhoe, or a pawn of NIS Chief Bang Young-Chan (which would be a refreshing twist) since the project file number had to come from a senior official. I like the idea of the Chief watching his division heads fight each other while he manipulates the strings behind the curtain.

We are also left with the possibility Chang Chun Woo is a double agent. He was in China when HJH's team was wiped out. He could have captured HJH to implant false memories into him to wreck havoc inside the NIS. My reasoning is based on the fact he let HJH go with the destructive information when he had killed people for less knowledge.

Soo-Yeon is alive because she is the pivot point in the original China mission message. Did she receive it or was the record faked to throw HJH off? It seems like the latter. She must know she was the bait for the HJH trap, but she did so willingly because of her debt to an NIS superior.

There are a lot of tangled story lines and alliances to unravel.

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I have 2 theories. I don't think they are spoilers because nothing has been proven so like I said, just theories. But I'll put my theories waaaay at the bottom so don't scroll/read further if you don't like theories.
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1.) I think that Chang Chun-woo is Soo-yeon's ex-boyfriend; the one she went on vacation with years ago. That would explain her reaction to hearing his name and his emotional reaction to her getting shot.

2.) A few episodes ago, during the penthouse-drug-factory storyline, we saw a window reflection of what looked like actor Yu Oh-seong. My theory is he is Ye-ji's father. When I saw the younger picture of her dad and then saw Yu Oh-seong's reflection, I immediately thought the man in the picture could be a younger Yu Oh-seong. Her dad disappeared like Ji-hyuk, but Ji-hyuk is still alive, so maybe her dad is too.

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I keep having all this Total Recall vibes. What if JiHyuk is the real traitor? Just another idea.

Also, I love how the drama explores the very Philip K. Dick idea of fake reality. JiHyuk is at this position right now: he can't trust himself anymore, what he sees, what he hears... is it even happening? He really can't trust anyone, not even himself.

I still think he's getting help from someone we already know. The one who left the flyer of his door, sent him the flash signals, and the post it on JeYi's laptop. I have the least idea who this is, but it has to be someone from the inside. It would be fun if it is Director Do or Ha Dong Kyun.

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Honestly, my assumption from the beginning was that he is the one who killed the two agents with him. Either he is the traitor or they were traitors. One or the other.

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As I said: Total Recall all over again.

You and I are twins for a reason. Same thought here about him killing the agents (his memories of them being in front of him, the fact that un the report it was stated that they didn’t try to defend themselves implying they trusted the person who shot them…).

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My 2 cents for the ending of ep6 is that Ye Ji is doing what Ji Hyuk has advised her. JiHyuk has a plan B to get out of this i believe, I don't believe she is playing double agent or trapping JiHyuk to achieve her mission. I wish that that his new partner doesn't stab his back, because the guy has been through hell and he not being in his right mind requires a bit of support from his partner and not another betrayal. My gut feeling says she is following Ji Hyuk's words. Let us see and wait for ep 7 to unravel the mystery.

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Can we take a moment to also appreciate Jung Moon-sung???? That was a total "daebek" moment for me, especially since the last show I saw him in just a few days ago was in Hospital Playlist! And what a transformation!!! That hot body was hiding under those scrubs! Almost makes me want to go back to HP and try to see his ripped arms at least! But truly, that was a 180 degree transformation and you believed him as a ruthless killer double agent here, just as much as you believed him to be cuddly teddy bear in Hospital Playlist!!! As for the rest of the episode, OMG - I almost need to create my own spy board with red thread connecting people, because the plot twists are hard to keep up with. I especially struggled understanding the motivations of Director Kang's character. One minute he is the mentor looking out for Ji-hyuk, even going to the extent of shooting himself, but then the very next moment he is leading a SWAT team with Kill On Sight order! My money is on him to be the bad guy, but I have a feeling that almost everyone in this story is a 'bad guy" of some sort!!!

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Love that this comment was here! Yes! Jung Moon-sung is low-key been hiding his hot toned body underneath scrubs!! I was like "Wow!" He's ripped, I didn't expect to see a 6 pack!! Nice lol.

It was nice seeing him here since he and Namgoong Min have become good friends since Stove League or so. Its always the supporting actors that end up surprising you, I would love to see him get a lead role in the future!

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