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Connection: Episodes 7-8

Cooperation and collaboration are the name of the game, drawing our protagonists closer as their paths of pursuit converge. A new variable enters the fray, shedding light on a wrongful death and casting even more doubt on our scheming villains.

 
EPISODES 7-8

It seems Jae-kyung can rest easy, because it turns out Chang-soo is indeed covering for him after all. Having found Jae-kyung right after he’d swallowed the pill from his junior officer’s drawer, Chang-soo erased his tracks to help him avoid suspicion. The reason Chang-soo hasn’t reported Jae-kyung is his intuition that none of this is Jae-kyung’s fault, and that he’s still firmly on the path of justice. Hm, unwavering loyalty, or blind faith?

In any case, there’s no time to look a gift horse in the mouth, and it’s back to business for our leads. Having obtained a name card from the medical malpractice plaintiff that lists Joon-seo as a sales team manager at Keumhyung Pharmaceutical, Yoon-jin follows up on the lead by heading straight to Woonjong Medical Center to ask about Joon-seo being their sales contact.

There’s clearly something afoot, since Joon-seo worked in real estate, not medicine. Even if he was helping Jong-soo out, why would he have a name card under a company he’s barely even affiliated with? Still, that’s the excuse Chi-hyun gives when he drags Yoon-jin away in broad daylight, ripping pages out of her notebook and smashing her laptop. Um, way to overreact.

Thankfully, Yoon-jin’s abduction is witnessed by Hyun-woo, who’d been keeping an eye on Chi-hyun after receiving a suspiciously silent call from the number Joon-seo used to contact him through. It turns out Joon-seo once asked Hyun-woo to make a medicine delivery in his stead, on the day his daughter’s condition had suddenly taken a turn for the worse. Unfortunately, a rainy day accident mixes up the pill box Joon-seo specifically set aside with the rest of the regular ones. The drugs that were supposed to go to Chi-hyun — and thus the drug-addicted Jong-soo — ended up being mistakenly prescribed to a patient, thereby leading to the medical malpractice suit.

By the time Joo-song receives Hyun-woo’s call and rushes over, Yoon-jin walks out safe and sound — truncating Joo-song’s heroics, aww — having been released by Chi-hyun after both a bribe and a(n ineffective) threat. After a pity party of beef and beer with Joo-song and Jae-kyung, the three wind up sitting on the curb, where Yoon-jin opens up about Joon-seo’s visit on the night of his death. He’d sat in silence with her, as if ruminating upon the words he couldn’t quite get out.

After hearing the full story from Hyun-woo, Jae-kyung and Yoon-jin visit the freezer storage facility that Joon-seo had kept his medicine — and presumably drugs — in. Since they don’t have a warrant, the security officer only allows them a brief look inside, but Jae-kyung soon realizes its location is a huge clue in itself. The mystery of the disappearing taxi on the day of the store owner’s murder would be explained by the taxi driving against the one-way road right outside the storage facility, and with that, Jae-kyung finally locates the taxi in CCTV footage.

Talking about taxi driver Yoon-ho, he’s kept himself busy snooping around. First, he tracks down Hyun-woo and sneaks into his house while he’s at school. Then he spots Tae-jin leaving Ji-yeon’s apartment building late at night, and his derisive smirk suggests he knows exactly what that implies.

When Jae-kyung tracks down the black SUV captured on the CCTV near Joon-seo’s death site, its dashcam footage reveals another person there that night. It’s yet another high school mate, JUNG SANG-EUI (Park Geun-rok), who claims Joon-seo called the Tae-jin trio to the construction site and asked that he be there too. Joon-seo had referred to the plan as their “last chance,” though he hadn’t specified what he meant.

That night, Sang-eui had been ten minutes early, but he’d found Tae-jin already there. After Tae-jin asked Sang-eui to turn on the light switch (so suspicious!), Chi-hyun and Jong-soo arrived next, and then the ninth floor suddenly lit up. Assuming Joon-seo was already there, the quartet took the elevator up, only for something to fall past them on the way. Then they found Joon-seo’s dead body down below.

None of them had witnessed the actual moment of Joon-seo’s plunge, but Sang-eui reveals one crucial detail. Joon-seo had been wearing his shoes when he fell, but those very same shoes were discovered on the ninth floor the following morning.

The unexpected reunion with Sang-eui spurs a flashback to their high school days. Kyung-tae had been suspended for violence and extortion, though we aren’t privy to why. After class, Joon-seo turned down Jong-soo’s offer to study together, in favor of studying with the Audiophile members. Needless to say, the rejection got on Jong-soo’s nerves. When Jong-soo later learns that Joon-seo has been hanging out with the Audiophile club while ignoring his calls, the mounting irritation has him coercing a bruised Sang-eui into agreeing that Kyung-tae beat him up.

Our insufferable villain Jong-soo is currently in dire straits — Keumhyung Pharmaceutical’s recurring financial losses only serve to detract potential investors, and Jong-soo’s father is about to cut him loose if he doesn’t get his act together and revive the company. Jong-soo doesn’t take defeat well, to say the least, and I have a sinking feeling he’s going to resort to something drastic soon.

On the point of our detective’s addiction, the suppressant drugs Jae-kyung’s taking as a substitute don’t seem like they’ll sustain him for long. Now that we’ve learnt Chang-soo has ties to CEO Yoon — he’d apprehended her rival gang in exchange for her agreeing not to create drug issues in the city of Anhyun — perhaps he might play a more active role in Jae-kyung’s addiction, for better or for worse.

Although the intrigue has been ramping up week after week, I’m glad for the brief moments of levity sprinkled throughout. Joo-song’s slack-jawed shock while Jae-kyung and Yoon-jin decried Tae-jin and Ji-yeon’s affair over his head had me absolutely cracking up, and I loved how Yoon-jin assertively handed Chi-hyun’s envelope of money back to him, but not without first taking some out to replace the items he damaged, heh. Not only do these scenes keep the show from becoming overly weighed down by all its details, but they also give our characters more dimension. I was already invested in their trajectories, but I’m growing to like them as people, too.

 
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Whenever the three friends are together, be it eating or sitting by the roadside, I can breathe a little easier. And of course I noticed that even when drunk, OYJ was mainly interested in whether JJK had eaten or not. I really hope the three of them don't end up going their separate ways again, but continue to see and support each other.

I had suspected that Chang-soo was a snitch and not just a righteous cop, but I didn't think he'd protect JJK in the process anyway. So a bit of a sigh of relief on that front.

Last week I already had the suspicion that the painkiller and the drug are closely related, the reactions after taking it seem to be similar. This seems to have been confirmed, as the painkiller was accidentally replaced with another substance.

After these two episodes, I was really relieved not to have to see JJK taking or being injected with one of the yellow pills. That's always my biggest stress factor.

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I agree with your last para. We got a breather with this etaphen.

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Another set of solid episodes. I am surprised at how tight the pacing is. We get to see the investigation reveal more each episode.
I love how the high school flashbacks continue to cement and add new depth to the friends from both teams.
I love our trio. And when they are together it makes me smile. Joo Song is such a sweet friend. And I can see Jae Kyung warm up to them and actually loosen up a bit. His effort to comfort Hyun Soo was great growth. I laughed at the sausage hand wave scene and also how she acted as a druggie to get pills.
lol. I don’t have any weight to lose. Finally one kdrama FL who speaks the truth.

Who is this doctor?!! Someone connected to high school definitely. What is the high school teacher doing these days?? I hope this reveal is good.

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I enjoyed the interactions between the three friends. They ground the story and do make them very likeable. I also wish that Jae Kyung, Yoon Jin and Joo Song survive and keep in touch once they solve Jun Seo's case and punish who killed him.
Chang Soo has been acting suspicious and I am glad to know he is on his Captain's side. I hope that he will stay loyal to Jae Kyung until the end.
After all this, I still dont understand why JK was drugged by the doctor. What has JK done to deserve the drugging and subsequent suffering?
Yoon Jin is amazing for standing up to Chi Hyun and returning the remainder of the bribe. I do hope she get her daughter back soon.

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The KH gang’s plans continue to fray the edges of their friendship and the tension is causing them to make mistakes. Kidnapping Yoon-Jin made no sense since they know she is a relentless pit bull. Threatening the Taxi Driver just makes him want to betray in order to live. We did learn that the patient who died at the hospital was given the wrong drug (the lemon meth) by accident, a screw up by the Delivery Kid, who tipped off Joo-Song to help Yoon Jin while she was being kidnapped. We also learn from KH employee, the White Coat, that Joon-Seo was the key for the success of the profitability of the KH company. But it was Joon-Seo that called everyone to the construction site and they heard him fall to his death. It leads one to believe that it was still not suicide, but the suspects have been narrowed. It was also learned that Chang-Soo is a dirty cop, on the take from CEO Yoon. He helped get rid of Yoon’s drug competition gang so he was played as a patsy.

Suddenly, we have a week of both Jae-Kyeong and Yoon-Jin acting as professional investigators. More secrets are slowly being uncovered especially how powerful Tae-In was within the high school group. A new theme is bubbling to the surface: addiction. Tae-In is addicted to power, control and money. Jong-Soo has the chabeol family but not its respect so he is addicted to pills to overcome his inadequacies. Likewise, the late Jae-Seo seems to have led this own secret life intertwined with Tae-In’s group, including releasing an illegal drug on innocent patients with deadly consequences. The drug deal does give Jae-Kyeong the golden opportunity to get medical withdrawal treatment since he was injected with the weakened form of the drug. Will he take that opportunity or continue to be a rogue? I predict the latter. I am really interested in the former thug, Straw, and the information he will turn up for Jae Kyeong.

Episode 8 begins to twist the leash around the high school gang members. Jong-Soo’s father made his fortune 20 years ago with the first development project. Now, the latest project is a last gasp to avoid company bankruptcy but the Mayor and bankers are not giving them any help. Tae-In tries to crack the Joon-Seo’s $10 million crypto account but fails on the sixth try (his daughter’s birthdate). I wonder if the password is the date Jae-Kyeong’s classmate was killed. We also get a better understanding of Joon-Seo’s death with the high schoolers, including White Coat, were at the scene. White Coat observed Joon-Seo fell with his shoes on so there was a cover-up. (We suspect taxi driver murderer Yoon-Ho pushed him). And Yoon-Ho suspects Tae-In is about to betray him. Paranoia runs high as Jae-Kyeong walks the mill neighborhood to find the hidden way in and out of the site and thus finding Yoon-Ho’s taxi video.

We learn that Joon-Seo seemed to be a desperate man at the time . . . his daughter was gravely ill and he needed money for the hope to keep her alive. He was a salesman...

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who got himself into business circles to make money for KH Pharma and drug dealers. It appears guilt of innocent blood on his hands got him to make amends with his old high school friends Jae Kyeong and Yoon-Jin. CEO Yoon lied to Chang Soo about drugging Jae-Kyeong (who has the bridge drug through Yoon-Jin faking a diet pill prescription). She must want to eliminate the pit bull narcotic detective from her territory. It now seems all the main characters are not clean in their personal or professional lives.

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Ahh, it's cool that Chang Soo's character has a different layer than expected. Another morally grey character. He's not a mole in the police department. He's not a minion of Jong Soo and Tae Jin. He has his own murky side that he hides. It makes the relationship between him and Jae Kyung more complicated and interesting. Is he really trying to help his sunbae? And for how long? If it comes to a point where it's either him or Jae Kyung getting caught, would he push Jae Kyung out to save his own skin?

And now Sang Eui seems different than before. I was wary of him. But it could be beneficial if he was a neutral guy hanging around Jong Soo and the Keumhyung lab and is able to secretly help the good guys. The indifferent way he acted in front of Jae Kyung makes me uncertain about him. He did give out some info, but also tried to protect himself when he didn't immediately report as a witness?

Gosh, I forgot to mention about Joon Seo and his pharm business card in the last recap. I had thought he was in the real estate business. I guess he made a fake card... But I don't know what Chi Hyun knows. I don't know if he made up a lie on the spot when Yoon Jin grilled him or he did use Joon Seo at that time and provided the card.

So Joon Seo had a hand in causing a huge accident for Keumhyung and the patient. So he has suffered guilt due to multiple events. Sheesh.

Omfg. Tae Jin coldly telling the guys to kill Yoon Ho was the scariest, most intense scene. I think I was holding my breath. He scoffed and played it off as a joke then, but it wouldn't be a surprise if he turned around and killed him.

I like Yoon Jin's determination and resilience. She has to be a tough and feisty character to get past all these jerks!

I liked the lighter moments too and the time with the trio. Joo Song's character is not as prominent as the other two, but I hope he doesn't have a hidden bad side. His shocked face cracked me up. I was chuckling when the poor guy started vomiting after seeing Yoon Jin vomit and Jae Kyung was passively passing out tissues to both of them. XD And Yoon Jin's acting at the clinic when Jae Kyung wanted her to get him appetite suppressants.... "I don't have any weight to lose!"

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I enjoyed seeing the infographics and seeing Jae Kyung deciphers the clues. It's satisfying when he figures them out.

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I binged watch up to episode 8 this weekend, and I'm so glad I did. It was the high quality show in another genre I needed after Lovely Runner, as the other rom-coms coming out aren't quite hitting the spot.
I'm really impressed by the acting in that I keep forgetting they are A-listers I've seen elsewhere, and instead they just seem to be their characters embedded in this world. The production team is also helping to create this sense. I have often had availability problems for Ji Sung's dramas when they come out, so I'm glad to get to see one live.
These two episodes made me feel a surprising amount of sympathy for Jong-soo, in how badly he was treated by his father. I think this is partly because we've only gotten hints of his cruelty, and haven't yet seen or gotten the true details of all the horrible things he's done. It's a rare show that can make you feel something for the villains.

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This is the drama I’m most eager to watch when new episodes are released - but it’s not available in our region. Those of us in ANZ are once again let down by Viki. Dark side is what I resort to.

Like everyone else, the three amigos are satisfying to watch. I continue to like Yoo-jin as a ‘real’ female character who’s true to herself despite the family hardship.

Take-jin will never crack that passcode as I reckon it’s the SOS code only known between Jun-seo and Jae-kyung.

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I sure hope Tae Jin never cracks that passcode. I doubt the wife knows either.

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Really appreciate the recap, solstices. There are so many things happening in this drama! What caught my attention were the photos Chi Hyun used to blackmail YJ and cause her to pause a bit. She, too, has her secrets to hide it seems.

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