Revenge of Others: Episodes 3-4
It’s only the second week, and there are already more twists and reveals than I can fathom. Each one adds color to our cast of characters, layers either motive or advantage, and complicates what we thought we knew about our story. The more our heroine digs in, the more dangerous it gets.
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP
This drama is so plotty and suspenseful — there isn’t a moment where I’m not on the edge of my seat trying to anticipate what comes next. We have our fill of reveals this week, but like every piece of information this drama doles out, there’s always another layer or something to make it untrustworthy.
We pick up with our alleyway scene, and Chan-mi notices Su-heon’s harried manner… and the blood on his sneakers. She’s suspicious of him, and that only grows when they wind up at the columbarium together. Chan-mi is asking Won-seok if it’s true he was such an awful person, while Su-heon is visiting his own deceased sibling: his hyung died three years ago. Chan-mi tries to covertly figure out Su-heon’s story, but when he catches her, it turns into an important moment of trust between them.
Indeed, one of our major themes this week is about trust — we see trust built, broken, and questioned. Even if Chan-mi isn’t sure about Su-heon, she winds up telling him about her own brother. I love how the drama handles this. Instead of having her explain everything via dialogue, she shows Su-heon the spot where she was standing. And conversely, we hear about Su-heon’s hyung’s brutal bullying and subsequent suicide. Gosh, what is up with this high school.
This interaction might build a bond between Chan-mi and Su-heon (or start to), but when Jung-kyung returns to school and the police launch an investigation, Chan-mi suspects that his attacker was Su-heon. Now, it’s important to note that the entire school cheered when Jung-kyung left the school permanently, and his return leaves them universally upset. Jung-kyung is hated as a bully; the person who beat him and destroyed his foot is known as their “hero.” It’s also speculated if the same “hero” is the one that “punished” Won-seok. Chan-mi’s radar goes up.
Chan-mi is so suspicious of Su-heon at this point that she learns where he lives (epic rooftop apartment possible only in K-dramas), sneaks in, and steals his blood-spattered sneakers. But, when she sees him have an episode and a nosebleed that spatters on another pair of sneakers, she eventually writes it off. Su-heon thinks he’s about to turn him (and his sneakers) into the detectives, but she actually sides with him, apologizes, and returns the sneakers. This turns into an important moment of trust built between the two.
While all this is going on, Chan-mi has other problems as well. Due to her chumminess with Su-heon, high school mean girl GOOK JI-HYUN (Lee Soo-min) has her sights on her, having a major crush on Su-heon. Ji-hyun is also at odds with GI OH-SEONG (Chae Sang-woo) who is next on Chan-mi’s investigation list, since it was Oh-seong who was in the middle of the pregnancy scandal that she learned about.
After a meeting with Oh-seong (made possible by our all-around well-connected nice guy Jae-bum), Chan-mi gets even more confused. Oh-seong is visibly upset to learn she’s trying to find out about Won-seok’s death. He says Won-seok was always good to him, and helped him out of a hard situation. Chan-mi doesn’t know what to make of this, and neither do I.
When she follows him to return the cell phone he left behind, Chan-mi accidentally learns a big secret: he and Ji-hyun are actually step-siblings! The two keep their secret carefully, and while Oh-seong pretends to be nice to get Chan-mi to keep their secret, Ji-hyun does the opposite and is more antagonistic than ever.
More than her own investigations, it’s the secret notes that Chan-mi keeps receiving that are pushing her forward at this point. First was a note to meet in the back of the auditorium where she’s knocked unconscious with a brick and her phone is unlocked.
She’s saved by Jae-bum and wakes up in a hospital VIP room. He’s adorably concerned for her, and we later learn (he admits it sheepishly) that his parents own the hospital, and that her bill has already been paid. She doesn’t fully trust him yet, though, because she doesn’t tell him she was attacked until later, when the cellphone thing becomes an issue.
Turns out, whoever unlocked her phone used it to send a racy (and sorry but hilariously photoshopped) photo of Ji-hyun around the school. While Chan-mi deals with the aftermath of this (which is a disaster and awakens Ji-hyun’s hate even more), we see Jae-bum investigating the attack. The second he learns about it from Chan-mi, he uses all his connections and power to his advantage, watches CCTV footage, and seems to catch the auditorium brick culprit: Oh-seong.
Chan-mi is getting deeper and deeper into a mess, and as the mysterious notes keep appearing in her locker, she’s adding up enemies like crazy. And all of them want her out of the school — and will do anything to terrorize her all the way back to Busan.
It’s about this point in the story we realize that Ji-hyun is more than a spoiled brat — she’s actually got a squad of delinquents that are at her beck and call. She compels them into a beatdown of Chan-mi (ugh, brutal), which Su-heon sees from his rooftop after a brooding shower at the gym (I mean, he has reasons to brood).
Chan-mi goes back to her goshiwon, but she’s been reported (thanks to Oh-seong again) and is kicked out. It’s here that Su-heon swoops in again, and with all the trust he now has in her, he lets her stay in his apartment. This is where we get a whole bunch of squee we really needed, but as these two get closer, it only makes me more worried for Su-heon’s fate.
The next anonymous locker note leads Chan-mi to the school during a senior presentation by a monk — quickly hijacked by we-don’t-know-who-yet, who streams literal footage of Won-seok’s murder and death. OMG. The school is now upside-down, and rightly so, with DETECTIVE JIN (Kim Ju-ryung) put in charge of the investigation. (Before we move on, important bits of interconnectedness to remember: we have learned that Detective Jin is married to Su-heon’s neurologist, and that Detective Jin’s police chief boss is Oh-seong and Ji-hyun’s father.)
Poor Chan-mi is more distraught than ever after seeing this footage, and the drama gives her time to grieve. But not that long, because there’s another note in her locker (perhaps importantly, in a different style than the others), and she follows its instructions, desperate to find the truth. She waits in the dark shooting range for the person to arrive — they claimed they have information she needs, and she’s ready to risk it all (really, she’s fearless!). And who turns up? Jae-bum. Noooooooooo!
Okay, I totally have a soft spot for Jae-bum’s character, but he’s got a serious question mark hanging over him — as does, well, everyone. The more we learn about a character or a bit of action in the past, the deeper we get. More information, more questions. No answers.
One of those interesting reveals, though, was around Oh-seong and Jae-bum, which is what makes this cliffhanger Jae-bum reveal even more crazy. We see Jae-bum confronting Oh-seong on being the one to assault Chan-mi in the auditorium. He shows him the CCTV footage, and and proves it’s him by the limited edition sneakers that were a gift to Oh-seong from Jae-bum. (Not sure how he remembers this if he has amnesia, but… does he really have amnesia? Nothing is certain right now.)
What’s weird is that although Oh-seong is visibly disturbed, the next day at school he turns the tables on Jae-bum. He’s wearing the limited edition sneakers, but there’s also another pair strung up in a tree. This was such a creepy moment of reversal, and yet I’m not really sure what we reversed to? Some of these scenes are just delightfully opaque, and my takeaway is that every time we’re given a reason to trust a character, we’re give two reasons not to.
In fact, that’s how I feel about this entire drama, and why this plotty suspenseful setup is just so good. I don’t know who to trust, every time I form a new hypothesis I’m forced to throw it out by the following scene, and everything is hanging deliciously in the air. Fantastic writing. More, please!
- Premiere Watch: Behind Every Star, Revenge of Others, The First Responders
- News bites: October 26, 2022
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- News bites: September 7, 2022
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