The Veil: Episodes 7-8 Open Thread
With internal pressures mounting, forced transfers, and new risks at every turn, our agent is running out of time to complete his mission. But as his own memories start to push back into his consciousness, a whole new layer of complication is added to the puzzle.
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP
Soo-yeon has died, and Ji-hyuk is in prison for supposedly being the shooter. He stays there for the first 49 days after her passing, unwilling to speak to anyone, and going into Sarah Connor mode, working out around the clock and trying to piece together the story of Sangmuhoe and the operation that went bad. Everyone theorizes that Ji-hyuk is staying there for a reason, and has a plan.
Although we know Ye-ji wasn’t the one to release the uncorrupted CCTV footage, the NIS gets their hands on it and Ji-hyuk is released. He confronts Ye-ji on her betrayal, but says he doesn’t need to trust her to work with her. The two resume their investigation; Ji-hyuk seems satisfied after tapping her phone and learning her limits when she’s pressed by Director Kang.
The next sad casualty is Chang Chun-woo, who’s brutally tortured and then hung from a billboard. But is he a victim of Sangmuhoe, or something (or someone) else? Ji-hyuk and Ye-ji continue to follow leads, all of which unfold extremely quickly, and almost too easily. They’re led by the messages from an outdated PDA, which is a system that Sangmuhoe seems to use to communicate.
Ye-ji discovers the secret floor of a hospital that seems designed for keeping political prisoners. She’s super brave for someone who hasn’t even been trained to work in the field. In fact, I don’t even know how she’s able to pull off what she does, stealing ID cards, roaming around, sneaking a drugged up patient out of the hospital and into an ambulance.
If it felt like it was too easy, it’s because it was all a setup. The ambulance takes off with Ji-hyuk and Ye-ji in close pursuit, and ends in yet more bloodshed and explosions. The patient is murdered in cold blood, a bomb is thrown under Ji-hyuk’s car, and Ji-hyuk and Ye-ji barely escape the blast in time. Ji-hyuk is unconscious, but Ye-ji wakes to see a man in front of her. Before he shoots her point blank (hooray for her bulletproof vest), she stares at him in recognition. She doesn’t have to say, “Appa!?” for us to hear it ringing through her head.
The plot thickens (again), because the man who is likely her father (though no one can confirm or deny it) now goes by the name BAEK MO-SA (Yoo Oh-sung). He’s known as the most dangerous criminal at the Chinese border, and he’s the third person in the photograph that Ji-hyuk has been trying to identify. He also seems to be at odds with Sangmuhoe.
As the pieces fill in, it’s as if they trigger something in Ji-hyuk’s brain, and slowly flashes of his chemically-repressed memories start to return. We don’t know exactly what they add up to yet, but we do get an interesting reveal at the Foreign section of the NIS: Chief Ha was the one that had Ji-hyuk given the ZIP, and set up that whole reveal that we saw unfold during our first few episodes. Chief Ha says eerily: I’m doing just what you asked me to.
The internal shake-up at the NIS continues, and Deputy Director Do steps down (and has her own side op and connections that we don’t know about yet), with Director Kang taking her place. He’s now suspicious person number one — I don’t trust him one bit, but at the same time my heart really feels for him. We see the happy, smiling photo he took with Soo-yeon at the tropical resort (presumably he’s Lover #1), and we see the utter anguish on his face when Ji-hyuk confronts him over Soo-yeon and the path she had been pressured to take.
The political environment is shifting in the country and the NIS, and Domestic has some quick solutions in place: placating the powerful, deactivating the field team where Ji-hyuk et al are assigned, and transferring Ji-hyuk to a random field office.
Knowing that their time is running out, Ji-hyuk and Ye-ji work even more tirelessly, and are soon in the crosshairs of a company called Planet run by a wacky CEO (cameo by Lee Joon-hyuk). Planet is in league with Sangmuhoe, and pretty soon the clues (especially “when not what”) start to come together: the two organizations were working together to manipulate the South Korean elections.
All the dots begin to connect. Each time an election is near, there’s new (purposeful) upset between North and South Korea. Ji-hyuk realizes that their Shenyang mission also lines up to this timeline. He remembers the key political figure Ri Dong-chul (the second man from the photograph) shot dead.
As if all this craziness wasn’t enough, we end with two really big reveals. The first, that Ye-ji’s father wasn’t MIA, but was inserted into North Korea by Deputy Commissioner Do. This leads to Ye-ji confronting her at gunpoint in the rain.
Simultaneously, Ji-hyuk hears from Chief Ha that another timed email has been delivered: it’s a second video he sent himself from the past. As Ji-hyuk watches the video and receives the next piece of intel, his mind is searing with pain as the memories return. He remembers seeing Ri Dong-chul shot dead on the ground again, but this time his partner Kim Dong-wook is standing over him with a gun.
Though Ji-hyuk’s been warned not to turn into a monster to catch a monster, it’s clear that nothing will stand in his way. The closer we get to all these dots connecting, the more convoluted everything becomes. I was half ready for Ji-hyuk to be the rogue agent, and for us to see him peering in on himself. That might not be the case with this scenario, but I’m still waiting for (more) twists to come. We still need to know why Ji-hyuk needed to unlearn everything that happened — only to relearn it a second time. What can the reason be? What’s waiting for him when all those memories are restored?