“Pride and Prejudice” Ep 15: Shifting Allegiances

The surprises are fewer in episode 15, but more poignant. The story keeps winding the tension tighter without giving any breaks in the case—no answers, no hint that any of these conflicts can end well. It’s enough to make me nostalgic for the early episodes when each week our heroes solved a small, everyday, undramatic case. We got answers back then. Will we ever understand what’s going on again?

None of Moon’s maneuvering this episode gets us any closer to what matters most: finding out who is responsible—really, truly morally culpable—for the 1999 murder of one six-year old and the attempted murder of a second. Because yesterday and today’s episodes focus almost exclusively on Han Byul’s case, it’s frustrating that we don’t get any closer to a solution.

But this episode pulls us into the characters’ emotions deeply, as usual. And the big surprises this episode come from the characters doing things we didn’t expect.

pride and prejudice episode 15 son chang min choi jin hyuk

Surprise #1: Jung Chang-Gi enters the office in the first scene, wearing a suit and looking professional. He introduces himself formally as Park Man-Geun’s attorney, as if he’s a stranger. Kang Soo, Dong-Chi and Yeol-Moo are astonished.

Kang Soo finishes the question about his mother’s death that he began at the end of episode 14. Is it Jung Chang-Gi? he asks Dong-Chi. Dong-Chi hesitates, but Jung speaks immediately. It was me, he says firmly, without further explanation. When Dong-Chi starts to speak to him, calling him “ahjushi” of course, Jung says to him, “Don’t call me that anymore.” Then he looks at Kang Soo and says, “You too.”

Kang Soo leaves the office, with Yeol-Moo following. And it gets weirder, if that’s possible, because Jung Chang-Gi then introduces himself to Dong-Chi again, with a small bow, offering his business card with a formal gesture. He’s here to answer questions for his client, he says.

Dong-Chi is surprised and sad. But he slowly picks up his prosecutor’s badge. With it hanging around his neck again, they talk as prosecutor and attorney. Jung’s polished responses are the standard double-talk of a lawyer protecting his rich client, and it’s hard to believe this is the same man who just last week was talking about his plan to get rich by importing iguanas.

Later in the episode, Dong-Chi does confront Jung Chang-Gi briefly. There’s a hint that Jung is working for Park Man-Geun in order to search for evidence. It was Park Man-Geun who provided the funds for the kidnapper in 1999. Jung may be looking for the killer. The suggestion that he’s also looking for answers makes it doubly ironic that he appears to be betraying Dong-Chi and Kang Soo. Ironic, too, that he and Chief Moon hate each other deeply.

Surprise #2: Director Oh’s inspectors interrogate Dong-Chi, who doesn’t deny responsibility for the Song Ah-Reum affair. But then the inspectors tell him that they aren’t there simply to investigate him. They are there to look into Chief Moon and shut down the whole team.

By the end of the day, everyone in the team has heard the rumor that they are being placed on suspension and the team is shutting down. Hilariously, the people most openly upset about the rumor may be Prosecutor Lee and Yoo Gwang-Mi, who argue about their relationship in front of everyone.

pride and prejudice episode 15 choi jin hyuk and yoo

Surprise #3: Inspector Yoo (père, not daughter) starts getting involved, by giving Dong-Chi advice and by talking to an old police buddy about the 1999 case. He advises Dong-Chi that it’s important for a prosecutor to trust his boss. Mr. Yoo doesn’t think Chief Moon is truly bad. I wish Mr. Yoo had said this a few episodes ago. But it’s in keeping with his low-key, mild-mannered personality that he has been minding his own business until now.

Yoo suggests that Dong-Chi make a move to thaw relations with his boss by taking Moon the piece of evidence he requested earlier, the Song Ah-Reum sex tape. And how can you say no to kindly old Mr. Yoo?

Surprise #4: It isn’t a total surprise that Dong-Chi is capable of swallowing his pride in front of Chief Moon. But he takes Mr. Yoo’s advice with surprisingly good grace, considering that he was royally pissed off when Chief Moon tricked him into handing over a resignation letter.

Dong-Chi gives Moon the sex tape, which is an important piece of evidence and potential blackmail—a new MacGuffin for the higher-ups to scheme over. At the end of the scene, Chief Moon almost has a kindly expression towards Dong-Chi. Or is it just the absence of his normal murderous expression?

Incidentally, Dong-Chi’s act of humility and respect in front of Chief Moon is reminiscent of Moon’s submissive act in front of Board Game Guy. Neither of these guys likes having to take orders.

Surprise #5: Moon visits Board Game Guy with the sex tape in hand, but Board Game Guy says he isn’t working with Moon any more. Because Moon approved Dong-Chi’s investigation into Han Byul’s death, Board Game Guy has concluded that Moon is either incompetent, or betraying him. It was Board Game Guy who sent the inspectors to shut down Moon’s team.

Elsewhere in this episode, we learn that Moon was Board Game Guy’s right-hand man 15 years ago. They have a long history, but Board Game Guy ends things unceremoniously. Before Moon leaves, Board Game Guy says that all he did was order the kidnapping of a child in 1999. It had to be done, he says, “but then it got complicated.” Moon appears to be learning parts of the story for the first time. He leaves, hiding his anger, with the sex tape still in his pocket.

Surprise #6: From every direction, people are spontaneously giving Dong-Chi convincing circumstantial evidence that Chief Moon ordered the 1999 kidnapping. Chief Moon learns he’s a suspect from Director Oh, who is reveling in his potential disgrace. Chief Moon is furious. He goes to Dong-Chi’s office and does something so unexpected that I must tip my hat to the writer in great respect.

What does he do? He goes to Dong-Chi’s office and he knocks on the door before entering.

pride and prejudice episode 15 choi jin hyuk and gang

Knocks on the door! Chief Moon really likes to mess with people’s heads. It’s an unexpected, out-of-character entrance, as is his next move. He sits down in front of Dong-Chi’s desk and says he’s here to answer questions. He heard he’s under suspicion.

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8 thoughts on ““Pride and Prejudice” Ep 15: Shifting Allegiances

  1. Thank you for your recaps OdessaJones! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your chart btw. I refer to it every episode ^_^

    True, Dong Chi is stubborn, to a fault, but I’d argue that regarding Han Byul’s case, Dong Chi is just as much of a victim as Yeol Moo, Yeol Moo’s family, and Kang soo are. If you put into perspective who Dong Chi is now (I mentioned in your previous recap about this), it’s obvious that Dong Chi has been consumed with this case all his life. This case has shaped a good half of his life. Even if it seems like a romantic gesture on his part, this case is a HUGE reason why he become a prosecutor and gave up his dream to be a doctor. He changed his entire life for this case. You can say he was an “innocent” before the incident at the factory, but after he beat himself up for not saving Han Byul, he devoted his entire life to defending the weak.

    But YES. Any scene with Chief Moon and Dong Chi, I just love. I have so much praise for that ending scene where Dong Chi is listing out all of the charges against Chief Moon. The lighting, the directing, the super close ups, the acting! Perfection. I can’t stop re-watching it because it gives me chills. For once, we know that Moon is not the “bad guy” here, at least, he’s not responsible for ANY of the charges Dong Chi is listing out. On the other hand, the directing has made it seem like Dong Chi has fallen to the “dark” side. He’s fully become the corrupt’s pawn without knowing it and taking out Chief Moon for them.

    so is Dong Chi blinded by his prejudice against Chief Moon, or is he just pretending because he has no choice but to play along since the real kidnapper has turned himself in? Can’t wait for episode 16! If the episode count is right, there’s only 4 more episodes left! HOW in the world are they going to wrap this up in FOUR episodes?!

  2. Thanks for your awesome comments, PBS! Your perspective on DC helps a lot. He’s stubborn because he entered the Prosecutors’ Office knowing full well that he would find corruption–though maybe not realizing how far it would go. Now that he’s close to the truth, he’s not going to hesitate, because this has been his goal for over a decade. He’s dangerous because he was never idealistic about the Prosecutors. He started out disillusioned by the kidnapping.

    I love the ending of this episode because it makes you realize that this week’s plot has subtly shifted your perspective on Moon. Suddenly, for the first time, you worry that maybe DC will make a mistake! And make a mistake because of his prejudice (that word occurred to me too). My suspicion or hope is that this is a clever ruse to throw the real bad guys off guard. Charging Moon may give the bad guys a sense of safety. Or it may give Moon a reason to give DC more information than he has now.

    In fact, I think there are five more episodes, because of the one-night preemption in November. The info I can find says there will be a twentieth episode Jan. 5. I hope that’s right. It will only take 5 minutes for them to tell us what happened in 1999, IF THEY CAN. I hope the writer has some kind of end point in mind. No previews at the end of ep 15, and it would make sense for them to be in live shoots now. Sleep-deprived writer, please don’t fail us now!

    There’s still one piece of the puzzle that DC and YM know, but Moon and the higher ups don’t know. And that’s the fact that DC is an eyewitness and can identify the kidnapper. They know DC has identified the kidnapper, but they feel confident the evidence is circumstantial. I wonder if the kidnapper ever told anyone about that teenager?

  3. I dunno man, I think Choi Min Shik is perfectly capable of acting anything but I think he overacts sometimes,and it bothers me .He’s brilliant in those scenes with DC,just tone it down would be perfect for me.

    DC looks like a fledgling when faces off against Moon ,wasnt he?But man ,how does the writer resolves the issue of the team being dismantled?It seems like it will happen in 16 or latest 17.Oh sides seems like wanting DC to arrest Moon, and wont want him to go further.And how will they resolve it if they dont have power themselves.And does C informant Choi is trustworthy.

    I read someone states that DC doesn’t have ambition or goal.Well he does, and a long term one at that.I think that’s why he didnt let it go,even when YM asks him to.

    Now I do not know criminal law,but was being a witness exempt someone from being a prosecutor?

  4. Oh man, Neovd, you’ve put your finger on things that are bothering me. I can’t decide if CMS is overacting, or if Chief Moon is kind of a ham himself. Maybe it’s both. In my mind, Moon kinda fancies himself a larger than life character.

    You’re right, the writer has made major problems for everyone and I don’t know how to fix it without some illogical leaps. I really don’t want logic to go out the window. But maybe it already has. Because yeah, you’d think since DC is a witness, he technically can’t pursue the case. But then, since no one was pursuing the case, he was the only one who would. But if he keeps the case, he can’t exactly call himself to the witness stand, can he? I think he’s almost more ambitious than anyone, because he wants to take charge of the whole system and change it. It’s hard to believe that security won’t soon escort him out of the building and take away his badge, though. How much longer will they let him stay in the building?

  5. You are right,it is hard to believe that someone wont kick DC out.He reminds me of Roy Mustang from FMA.

    But does his witness evidence enough to put those baddies to jail?I dont think so ,there’s no hard evidence he’s there right?The kidnapper apparently cant remember him.Not unless the writer pull out some evidence he’s there – and if that’s the case none of them can investigate (exclude Prosecutor Lee)

    That’s So Ji Sub in that pic below?Is it the one with Goong Hyo Jin or Ghost (I am planning to watch that one)

    • Hiya! The Roy Mustang comparison is making me laugh. Very different personalities, but you’re right, they have the same relationship with authority! And DC is already in exile, so there’s nothing else to do except fire him. The evidence isn’t great, so I’m really hoping the writer has something good planned for this week.

      Yes, that’s So Ji Sub with his golden telescope in the Master’s Sun. One of my favorites! SJS plays a character who should be 100% unlikable, but somehow he’s adorable. A couple plot things at the end of the series didn’t make sense, but the OTP is great and there’s this Tim Burton Gothic feeling to it. A good one.

  6. “It gives me chills.” EXACTLY what happened to me at the end, both between DC and Moon and then, DC’s father and the pin.

    Yikes! I’m wondering how Moon’s going to survive all the “evidence” that’s accumulating against him. AND I was completely floored and mistified by Jung Chang Ki representing the kidnapper’s source of funds!! What is UP?

    I thoroughly trust the writer(s) despite the rigors of the live shoot. Because something this convoluted HAD to have been amply thought out beforehand.

    Yep. I’ve heard comments about CMS’s acting being OTT. But I truly believe that his character IS a “character”. Frustrated, cynical bureaucrat who can only pretend to exert “control” by throwing things and screaming. I’ve actually had to work with some.

    • I know! That final scene where DC accuses Moon! Wow. I’m with you when it comes to CMS’s acting in this role. I think Moon is a guy who lives a kind of performance. Towards the end of the series, it grows more obvious that he’s been putting on an act for years, because what would have been the point of being a “good guy”? Of course, maybe it’s an accident that CMS is bringing out these aspects of the character, but I don’t think the OTT stuff makes Moon feel any less real. And it even makes him a little pitiful.

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