Suspicious Partner: Episodes 21-22

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Suspicious Partner: Episodes 21-22

Nobody can know the future — or can they? Their latest case will test the firm’s belief in the unknown, and make them think long and hard about their own mortality and the mortality of those they love. But there’s plenty of cuteness to go around as well, as Ji-wook and Bong-hee begin to lose the battle to ignore their feelings for each other.

 
EPISODE 21 RECAP

Eun-hyuk runs into Ji-wook while they’re both out on their morning jog, and he bounces over to join him. Ji-wook speeds up and tells Eun-hyuk to get lost, so Eun-hyuk stops, looking hurt. But then he remembers when they were little and Ji-wook’s father died. Knowing that the anniversary of that day is approaching, Eun-hyuk determinedly rejoins Ji-wook whether he wants him there or not.

Bong-hee circles a day in her calendar marked “Day to see Dad.” She hears the guys coming in from their run and goes out to greet them happily, saying that it’s every woman’s fantasy to have two handsome, sweaty men in the house.

Ji-wook insists that all she needs is one man, and he tries to shove Eun-hyuk out of the house, pfft. Bong-hee invites Eun-hyuk to stay for breakfast, so Ji-wook grabs her and makes her come to the kitchen to watch him cook, glaring daggers at Eun-hyuk the entire time. Bong-hee and Eun-hyuk exchange gleeful grins — HA, they’re doing this on purpose.

Later, Ji-wook asks Chief Bang to put a hold on his investigation on Hyun-soo, telling him that Hyun-soo knows. Chief Bang promises to stop, but when he gets back to his desk, he looks at the picture of Chan-ho with two other young men with a thoughtful expression.

We see that Hyun-soo has a copy of that same photo, though the man on Chan-ho’s right has been violently scratched out of the picture. He has several more photos, all of young men with their faces obliterated. Hyun-soo takes a pen and starts to scratch out Chan-ho, but he hesitates, looking conflicted.

Bong-hee and her mother visit the vaults where her father’s ashes rest and tell her father that Bong-hee is a lawyer who represents the wrongly accused, just like Dad was. Bong-hee promises to become a good lawyer someday.

They narrowly miss Ji-wook and his family, visiting his parents’ ashes in a different room. Ji-wook’s mom cries that if “that jerk” hadn’t done what he did, they could have seen their son grow up.

As they leave, CEO Byun thinks he sees Bong-hee, but Chief Bang has him so convinced that his eyesight is declining that he questions himself.

A man sits in a coffee shop preparing to meet someone, but when another man walks in, he runs over, shoves him, and says, “Don’t do what you’re planning to do.” The second man has no idea who he is, but the first man persists, and soon they’re throwing punches and wrecking the place.

The first man, Seo Jung-ha, is charged with assault and property damage. He hires Ji-wook and Bong-hee to represent him, and they learn that he’s already on probation for similar charges in a different incident.

Oddly, Jung-ha seems very gentle, and he only offers vague answers when they ask why he’s attacking people. Frustrated, Ji-wook explains that he can’t defend him without knowing why he did it, so Jung-ha says that he can see the future. Oookay then.

He’s met with blank stares, then he suddenly says, “It’s pizza.” Not five seconds later, CEO Byun walks in with pizza for the office’s lunch. Okay, that’s freaky. As they eat, the lawyers discuss Jung-ha’s claim that when the other man walked into that coffee shop, Jung-ha foresaw him taking out a knife and stabbing one of the shop employees.

None of the CCTV footage shows the man with a weapon, so they wonder if Jung-ha is mentally ill. Ji-wook thinks he just smelled their pizza before they did and says he’s dropping the case, but Chief Bang and CEO Byun forbid it — the firm needs the money.

At the police station, CEO Bang looks over the CCTV footage of the fight, and the detective tells him that the second man did have a knife on him. It was in his jacket pocket, but nobody could have seen it in the cafe, including Jung-ha. Chief Bang reports back to the office, convinced now that Jung-ha really can see the future.

Ji-wook scoffs at him for being gullible, until CEO Bang reminds him that he believed that monk when he was a child. He starts to repeat Ji-wook’s statement that Bong-hee is the woman who was foretold to ruin his life, but Ji-wook slaps a hand over his mouth, ha.

Eun-hyuk arrives with Jung-ha, and out of nowhere, Jung-ha says to be careful with the cup. CEO Byun wanders in from the kitchen, and on the way he drops his coffee mug, which shatters. Everyone stares at Jung-ha, who just smiles and says he was too late to prevent that.

But then a strange look comes over Jung-ha’s face, and his eyes go blank and distant. In an emotionless voice, he says, “Two of the people here may die soon.” (Shiver.)

Later, Bong-hee wonders at the empty office, and Eun-hyuk says that CEO Byun is convinced he’s one of the ones who will die and went for a checkup, and Chief Bang left to get a talisman. As for Ji-wook, Eun-hyuk explains that Ji-wook’s family had been planning a picnic for the day after his parents died, so Ji-wook goes on a picnic by himself on this day every year.

Bong-hee says that she does something similar, and that to be honest, it’s very lonely. She wonders if Ji-wook secretly wants someone to join him, so she finds him having his picnic in the park and tentatively approaches.

She says that she just saw him here coincidentally, and Ji-wook invites her to join him, which makes her happy. Then he gives her literature on mental illnesses and tells her to read them for any clues as to Jung-ha’s possible issue, which makes her grimace, and he asks if she just came here to slack off, ha.

As they research, Bong-hee watches a father teaching his son to ride a bike and says that one of the few memories she has of her late father is of him promising to teach her to ride a bike just before he died. Ji-wook jumps up and offers to teach her, grabbing her wrist and pulling her along.

The rent a bike, and Bong-hee does pretty well, but she screeches to a stop when she sees a man snapping pictures of the pretty women in the park. Bong-hee recognizes him as the pervert who grabbed her butt on the subway, and the pervert sees her and tries to run.

Bong-hee gives chase and hilariously, she rides the bike just fine, making Ji-wook realize that he got duped. Bong-hee cuts off the pervert’s escape route and stops him with a jump-kick to the face and yells that he deserves to be locked up a good long while.

The pervert recalls that she’s undergone a lot of trials since their last meeting and says sympathetically that he saw all her news reports. He shudders at the memory of that apartment building, remembering that a few people were killed there before he moved out of fear.

The pervert is arrested while Ji-wook whines at Bong-hee for lying about not being able to ride a bike. She says that she taught herself after her father died, but she forgot. (Ji-wook’s angry-kitten-snarl is so cute.)

Bong-hee remembers that the pervert once said that he witnessed a murder at the apartment. At the same time, Ji-wook recalls his previous thought that perhaps Bong-hee witnessed something without knowing she witnessed it. They decide to visit her old apartment building and check out the roof.

On the way, Bong-hee recalls that the tenants of the apartment were relocated for redevelopment shortly after Hee-joon’s murder. They run into Yoo-jung and Ji-hae, and when Ji-hae snarks that she and Ji-wook are always together, Bong-hee goes at her. She backs Ji-hae into a wall, growling at her to mind her own business then crowing that Ji-hae looks scared.

Yoo-jung is annoyed by their childish antics, but Ji-wook watches Bong-hee with affection and says that it’s never boring with her around. Yoo-jung says that she thinks Ji-wook is trying to get back at her, but he just tells her to think whatever she wants and goes to collect Bong-hee.

On the roof, Ji-wook notices a horrible stench, then he sees water leaking from a rip in the water reservoir. The water has an ominous red-brown tint to it, and when the police arrive, several bodies are found in the tank.

As they watch the bodies being taken away, Bong-hee wonders out loud if she really did see something without realizing it, resulting in Hee-joon’s death and her false accusation. She says sadly that she and Hee-joon have suffered unfairly, and Ji-wook takes her hand in support.

Hyun-soo lurks nearby, and he sees the two lawyers and two prosecutors watching the ambulances. He assures himself that things will be fine, because he took care of it perfectly.

Bong-hee goes to her room as soon as they get home, but a few minutes later, Ji-wook asks if he can talk to her. He apologizes for failing to carry out his duties as prosecutor when she was on trial, feeling guilty for not having found the bodies back then.

Bong-hee stops him, teasing him for being unable to keep his personal feelings from his work. She jokes that he’s trying to seduce her by bringing up the past, but he indignantly denies any such thing. Bong-hee says that they can’t help but let their personal feelings get involved, so she’s decided to give him an answer to his confession.

Ji-wook is suddenly all bouncy smiles, bounding over to hug Bong-hee and thank her. She pushes him away and says that she hasn’t answered yet, and he actually aegyo-wiggles at her, begging for his answer now. She says she wants to pick a day that they can be alone and she can answer him properly, suggesting the day after tomorrow.

His adorably eager face falls, and he bargains her down to tomorrow, anxious to hear her answer. He smiles like the happiest little boy ever, making Bong-hee promise repeatedly that she’ll tell him tomorrow and agreeing that they’re failing utterly at keeping their personal feelings separate. So freaking cute.

EPISODE 22 RECAP

CEO Byun sees Ji-wook leaving Bong-hee’s room, so at the next office meeting he asks if they’re dating. Bong-hee says they’re not (aww, Ji-wook looks disappointed), and CEO Byun says that he wishes they were… but only so he can oppose it. He even threatens to throw water at Bong-hee and give her money to leave, heh.

Ji-wook asks how it’s any of CEO Byun’s business, then bans him from future office meetings, blaming him for the fact that they never get any work done. They’re all so childish, I love it.

The first thought in Ji-wook’s mind the next morning is that today is the day he finally hears Bong-hee’s answer. He leaps out of bed with a giant grin, primping and posing in the mirror, wanting to look perfect for the big day. Bong-hee also spends a long time getting ready, anticipating their long-awaited happy moment.

On her way to the courthouse before meeting with Ji-wook, Bong-hee runs into Hyun-soo making a delivery. They barely have time to say hello before a scooter nearly runs Bong-hee over. Hyun-soo grabs her out of the way, scattering their belongings across the pavement.

The crouch to pick up their things, and as Bong-hee reaches for Hyun-soo’s earbuds, she recognizes the song she can hear playing from them. It’s the song the killer was whistling on the night Hee-joon was murdered, the song she’s been trying to place ever since. Hyun-soo snatches up his things, and Bong-hee somehow manages to smile and pretend that her horrified expression was just concern that his earbuds would be ruined.

As she walks away, Bong-hee thinks to her recent visit to the man who made the sign asking for information relating to Hee-joon’s murder. He hadn’t recognized a picture of Hyun-soo, but when she’d shown him a photo of Chan-ho, he’d said that this was the guy who took down her number when they put up the sign.

Bong-hee calls the sign-maker to press him for the truth, asking if the man he’d seen was actually the guy he’d seen her with recently. He just hangs up on her. In flashback, we see that Hyun-soo had visited the sign-maker before Bong-hee, threatened the man’s children, and told him to indicate Chan-ho rather than him.

Grasping at straws, Bong-hee tells herself that this doesn’t make Hyun-soo the killer, nor does listening to the same song the killer was whistling. But she can’t convince herself that it’s a coincidence as she remembers all the times that Hyun-soo behaved strangely, seeing them now in a sinister light. She tells herself to use her brain, and the truth becomes clear — Hyun-soo approached her on purpose, testing whether she recognized him from the night of Hee-joon’s murder.

Horror washes over her as she realizes that it’s her fault that a murderer went free, and that Ji-wook defended him. Nearby, Hyun-soo is still watching Bong-hee, and he sighs to himself that if she recognizes him then he’ll have to get rid of her. Interestingly, he seems pretty unhappy about it.

Ji-wook waits nervously for Bong-hee at a cafe, but it’s Yoo-jung who approaches him, having come there with Ji-hae. He’s disappointed that she’s not Bong-hee and forbids her to sit, saying that he has an important appointment.

He glances out the window to see Bong-hee standing outside, watching them. Bong-hee thinks to herself that she can use Yoo-jung as an excuse then turns away. Ji-wook runs after her, asking her not to misunderstand.

Bong-hee says that it feels bad to keep seeing him with Yoo-jung. Ji-wook promises to be more careful, but Bong-hee says that won’t be necessary because she’s changed her mind about giving him an answer today, and will continue to play hard to get.

Ji-wook is more concerned about how upset Bong-hee looks right now. He asks what happened, so she fibs that she feels pressured by his feelings and asks him to respect her decision. Ji-wook does, because he always does, though he looks miserable as he watches her walking away.

Needing to talk to someone, Bong-hee calls Eun-hyuk, who’s more than willing to listen. She tells him that she’s more scared now than she was when she was accused of Hee-joon’s murder. Back then, she only had herself to worry about, but now there are people she cares about to consider. Eun-hyuk correctly guesses that this is about Hyun-soo.

CEO Byun and Chief Bang are obsessed with Jung-ha’s predictions that two people will die, but Ji-wook just mopes at his desk, sighing heavily. He tells Chief Bang that he can’t think of a reason why Bong-hee would change her mind just because of a misunderstanding.

Bong-hee is still in her car outside the house when it begins to rain, so she decides to make a run for it. But as soon as she steps out of the car, Ji-wook is there, holding an umbrella over her head. He asks her not to reject his kindness like she rejected his feelings, so she allows him to walk her to the house.

He stops halfway to ask if she’d be interested in spending some time alone to say everything they haven’t been able to say. Bong-hee says that there’s too much on her mind right now, so they’ll talk later when her head is clearer, so Ji-wook promises to give her the time she needs.

They both stay up late, unable to sleep, and Bong-hee makes a list of the clues pointing to Hyun-soo’s guilt to distract herself. She decides to speak to the sign-maker again and rushes out, but she skids to a halt when she sees Hyun-soo standing outside the gate.

Again she manages to smile and pretend that he just startled her, and he says that he was in the area and hoped to see her. His smile turns shark-like as he steps towards her, but a voice calls out Bong-hee’s name and they turn to see Eun-hyuk approaching. Ohthankgoodness.

Eun-hyuk greets Hyun-soo cheerfully, then he tells Bong-hee not to work so late and ushers her back inside. He invites Hyun-soo in, saying that their clients are like family, but of course it’s all an act.

Once they’re safely behind the gate, Eun-hyuk agrees that Hyun-soo probably came to test what Bong-hee knows. He asks Bong-hee if she’s going to tell Ji-wook of her discovery about Hyun-soo, but she says she can’t bring herself to tell him that they probably got a killer set free.

During trial, defendant Jung-ha sits texting instead of paying attention, sending loving messages about seeing someone soon. Ji-wook states that Jung-ha partially admits to the charges against him and that everything has been settled except for the assault charges, because the man Jung-ha attacked can’t be located.

Back at the office, Chief Bang calls everyone to watch a news report about the man Jung-ha assaulted, who went back to the cafe and attacked an employee with a knife, exactly as Jung-ha said he intended to do. The whole office is shaken, thinking of his prediction of two deaths.

At the airport, a man disembarks from a flight, and he looks very much like the third man in the picture with Chan-ho. Hyun-soo lurks in a hallway, waiting until the man passes, then follows him.

In light of new information, Jung-ha is given a fine and allowed to leave. Curious, Ji-wook asks who he kept texting during the trial, and Jung-ha says that it’s his girlfriend, whom he hasn’t seen in a long time. Ji-wook asks if he can really see the future, and Jung-ha says that he sometimes he gets hunches that come true. Ji-wook asks about his prediction that two people will die, and Jung-ha says that’s true, too.

Ji-wook shakes it off doubtfully, and as they part ways at the street corner, Ji-wook hears a terrible noise behind him. As Jung-ha crosses the street, sending another text, he’s hit by a car going full speed. Time seems to slow as he flies into the air then falls to the ground, and he thinks that when he predicted two deaths, he didn’t know that his own death would be one of them.

Ji-wook rushes to Jung-ha’s broken body, then he accompanies him to the hospital. Ji-wook calls the girlfriend on Jung-ha’s phone to say that Jung-ha is refusing to get surgery before she gets there, asking her to hurry. Then he begs Jung-ha to get the surgery now, but Jung-ha knows that his chances of waking up are slim and he wants to see the person he’s been missing so badly.

He closes his eyes and sees a vision of Ji-wook, screaming and crying like his heart is breaking. Growing weaker, Jung-ha whispers to Ji-wook not to cry so much, because everything will be okay.

Jung-ha’s girlfriend finally arrives, and he whispers, “You came…” then he flatlines. As he watches Jung-ha’s life end, Ji-wook thinks that in life, everyone loses someone they care about. We see Ji-hae crying for Hee-joon, Ji-wook’s adoptive mother crying for her best friend, Bong-hee greeting her father, District Attorney buying a birthday cake for his son. We even see Hyun-soo, walking past his ghost-girl in the park as she floats away.

Ji-wook calls Bong-hee to ask where she is, telling her to stay put until he gets there, then he runs all the way, searching frantically. When he finally sees her, he thinks that if life is this cruel, then during the short time he has, the only thing he can do is…

He runs to Bong-hee, pulling her into his arms and holding her tightly. Throwing his inhibitions away, he asks her, “Bong-hee-ya, please like me back now. I’m sorry I didn’t keep my promise to wait for you. Like me back now, please, Bong-hee-ya.”

COMMENTS

I’m so proud of Ji-wook! He’s spent years of his life wallowing in the past, so it’s long past time for him to realize that the present is what matters, and that being with those we love is more important than hanging onto old hurts. And while I love that he’s always respectful of Bong-hee’s wishes and gives her the space she needs, in some way he’s doing it because it’s easier to let her make all the first moves, while he gets to keep his heart safe because he’s only risking a tiny bit of it. Until I saw him drop every wall he’s built around his heart to beg her to love him back, I didn’t know how much I needed to see that to be convinced that his feelings for her are real. Hopefully, Bong-hee is convinced, too.

I had a feeling that Bong-hee would back away from Ji-wook again when she found out he’d been keeping a secret from her, that she may have helped a murderer go free. What I didn’t expect was for her to find out on her own, then take steps to distance herself from Ji-wook in an attempt to protect him. Bong-hee loves Ji-wook, but she’s not the kind of woman who will let her emotions seduce her into a situation where she has no autonomy, and she won’t get involved with Ji-wook until she’s one hundred percent sure that he’ll be safe. She’s a strong woman, so I’d expect no less from her than to walk away, even though it hurts. But it creates an interesting situation in which they’re both withholding the truth in order to protect the other, and the only way they’ll work their way past it is to sit down and talk about everything they’ve been hiding, as Ji-wook suggested.

This episode made me appreciate again what a good friend Eun-hyuk is, despite his one mistake years ago. He’s willing to set aside his own pride because he loves Ji-wook, and he’s offering that same friendship to Bong-hee, which is amazing. I’m really enjoying a second lead who isn’t after the girl, but who just wants to be her friend and help her be happy. Bong-hee may not realize it yet, but Eun-hyuk is always there whenever she could use a good supportive “fighting,” or a sympathetic ear. He may act like a goofball, but he’s the best, most loyal friend anyone could ever hope for. And I’m happy that Bong-hee thought to tell him of her fears, because Eun-hyuk wants Bong-hee and Ji-wook to be happy, and he’ll do whatever he can to help them find their way to each other.

But on a more serious note, I really need to know if Chan-ho is okay, and soon. It’s amazing how quickly he went from “probably a serial killer” to “victim in danger,” but it’s a testament to the excellent characterizations (and relative newcomer Jin Joo-young’s performance) that he became so sympathetic, so fast. Chan-ho was definitely involved in something horrific where people got hurt and killed, but somehow I can’t help but fear for him, and I hope that Hyun-soo’s hesitation to scratch him out of the picture means that he’s not dead. Speaking of Hyun-soo, I wasn’t expecting to feel my heart tug the way it did when we saw him with his ghost-girl — this writer is so brilliant at making even the villains sympathetic. If Hyun-soo is doing all of this for the sake of a lost love, then just stick a fork in me, I’m done.

But mostly, I’m scared of Jung-ha’s prediction that someone will die soon. Even if one of the deaths he predicted was his own, that still leaves one person who could fall victim to Hyun-soo. Even his final vision is less than comforting – he didn’t say that whoever Ji-wook was crying over wouldn’t die, only that everything would be okay. Every one of Jung-ha’s other predictions came true, and I don’t blame Ji-wook for panicking when he thinks that he could lose Bong-hee before he even gets the chance to love her.

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