In episode 14, the pain eases up, but not the tension.
This is a “four heart-attack” episode. The plot managed to surprise me not once, not twice, but four times. The upstairs neighbors are probably worried about my health because of my cries of “What? You’re kidding me!”
We’re accustomed to twists and turns in “Pride and Prejudice.” In that sense, this episode stuck to the formula that has worked so far. A little humor crept back into the office, with Prosecutor Lee and Detective Yoo having a few cute moments together. But the focus of episode 14 was the ongoing investigation into Han Byul’s death–and Chief Moon’s baffling machinations.
Five important developments:
1. Koo Dong-Chi swallows his pride and asks Chief Moon to cancel his transfer. Moon Hee-Man doesn’t like the idea and asks Prosecutor Koo if he brought a “gift” for him. Dong-Chi is ready and he pulls something out of his jacket pocket and hands it to Chief Moon. It’s a resignation letter.
Just then Director Oh comes into the office and smiles at Dong-Chi. It’s great that he hasn’t left for Daegu, she says, since his transfer has been cancelled. As Dong-Chi looks astonished, Chief Moon puts the resignation letter in his drawer to save for a rainy day.
2. Koo Dong-Chi and Kang Soo do the investigative legwork to track down Han Byul’s kidnapper. But when they locate the GPS signal in his phone and try to track him, it turns out that he’s in the car behind them, tailing them. Dong-Chi pulls over, and in a tense, wordless confrontation, the hatchet-faced kidnapper throws down a bank account book at Dong-Chi’s feet.
This turns out to be a valuable piece of evidence: the kidnapper’s records of who paid him to do the dirty work in 1999. But when Dong-Chi tells Yeol-Moo about this discovery, he voices out loud what many of us have long suspected. He’s thinks someone’s using them. Someone fed him this piece of information for a purpose.
3. Kang Soo gets in Dong-Chi’s car to drive back to the office, but the accelerator revs and the brakes fail, causing an immediate crash. Kang Soo hits his head. He checks out okay at the hospital, but wears an attractive bandage on his forehead for the rest of the episode.
It’s now clear to Dong-Chi that someone is trying to injure or kill him because of his investigation. Kang Soo sensibly raises the question, does that mean Yeol-Moo is also in danger?
A few minutes later, a large ominous basket of flowers arrives at the office for Yeol-Moo from Park Soon-Bae. Dong-Chi concludes that this, too, is a threat. Given what we know about Park Soon-Bae, it sure isn’t a Valentine’s Day present.
When Dong-Chi tells Chief Moon about these threats, Moon calmly says that that’s how it is. If you investigate the higher-ups, they’ll kill you or make you suffer. Moon is as discouraging as he can be. He does not, however, stop Dong-Chi by pulling out the resignation letter. So is he still using Dong-Chi?
4. Everyone investigates like crazy during this episode. Yeol-Moo figures out on her own that Chief Moon knows the man who kidnapped her brother. She even confronts him about it, in one of those scenes where Moon is scarier because he isn’t yelling. (He already yelled at her a lot earlier in the day.)
And Kang Soo is working hard, too. In the last minutes of the episode, while looking for something else in Dong-Chi’s cabinet, he comes across the thumb drive with Chief Moon’s 1999 emergency call. He realizes that the Chief is involved. When he asks Dong-Chi if Chief Moon killed his mother and Dong-Chi says No, Kang Soo is smart enough to read the writing on the wall. Jang Chang-Gi must have killed his mother.
These developments mean that Yeol-Moo and Kang Soo finally know just about everything that Dong-Chi knows. He told them about the special prosecution unit in 1999, too. It’s a relief that all three of them know the outline of the case. Maybe they can get somewhere with it now?
5. Dong-Chi knows from Moon that it’s dangerous to continue the investigation. But he has found evidence against the mysterious Park Man-Geun (one of those charming gentlemen involved in the sex trafficking ring), and Dong-Chi decides to ask the powerful Chairman Park about his involvement in Han Byul’s death. He calls Park’s office.
As soon as Dong-Chi starts going after Park, Director Oh visits with half-a-dozen ominous investigators, who are there to review Dong-Chi’s handling of Song Ah-Reum’s death in his custody. And if that’s not enough to throw a wrench in the works, in the final moment of the episode, Jang Chang-Gi enters the prosecutors’ office wearing a suit and announces that he’s the attorney for Chairman Park.
This episode was tense. Very tense. Even when the boarding house gang are hanging out in the living room playing cards, a sense of approaching tragedy hangs over the whole affair. Yeol-Moo, Dong-Chi and Kang Soo want so hard to be decent people and good friends to each other. But their nerves are stretched thin after recent events, and their friendly teasing sometimes veers perilously close to turning ugly. Dong-Chi acts like an obnoxious big brother to Kang Soo. Kang Soo finds it annoying and warns him off repeatedly.
Yeol-Moo is at her best here. She says that “what happened to Han Byul was ridiculous” and that she can’t blame Kang Soo. She doesn’t want him to blame himself for it either. They agree to be friends and not to feel bad about the tragedy in 1999.
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