“Pride and Prejudice” Ep. 17

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Back at the office, the young folks pull together some evidence for Director Lee’s case, but even these people get tired eventually. The whole team gathers for a meeting looking like they’re in the final stages of terminal exhaustion.

Chief Moon is in fine form. He predicts a dire future for the team as “outcasts” of the Justice Department, whose undereye circles will keep growing darker and darker. Finally, Yeol-Moo says her dream for the team is to go home and sleep—and everyone gets up and leaves without waiting for permission from Chief Moon.

pride and prejudice episode 17 gwang mi and kang soo large webMoon Hee-Man doesn’t go home, of course. (Does he have a home?) Jung Chang-Gi stops by with a message from the big guy at Hwa Young, whom I’ll call Park Man Geun, though they don’t name him aloud often. The big guy decided to let Director Lee fall, because he was becoming difficult, “too greedy.” And he’s going to allow Chief Moon’s team to continue working.

Chief Moon quickly negotiates something for himself too. Jung agrees Moon will get a promotion. He’s finding it hard to believe that Moon wasn’t involved in Kang-Soo’s kidnapping in any way, and he predicts that Moon will soon be as dirty as Lee was. Moon scoffs and reminds Jung that he’s now the chief dirty-work lawyer for Hwa Young. Jung has already destroyed the sex trafficking evidence on Hwa Young’s behalf.

Finally, Moon asks Jung who will be Park Man Geun’s next target. Jung implies that one person is in a lot of trouble for his stubbornness. They both know who he’s talking about: Koo Dong-Chi.

Back at home, our boarding house trio fight their way past grandmother, who insists that “you need energy, even to sleep. You have to eat!” Luckily, they make it to their beds. Even since they started going 24 hours a day (was that two days ago?), I’ve been expecting someone to get in an accident like Jung Chang-Gi did 15 years ago. Thank goodness Dong-Chi hasn’t run over anyone yet.

When Yeol-Moo wakes up, she finds her mom is asleep next to her in bed. Her mom wakes up, and Yeol-Moo tells her they apprehended the culprits in Han Byul’s murder. Yeol-Moo also apologizes for her impatience with her mother all these years. She understands better why her mom has so much grief.

Everyone gathers in the kitchen to eat. Except for a sad moment when Kang-Soo finds himself setting a place for Jung Chang-Gi, the occasion is happy. Afterwards, we get a lovely scene on the terrace between Dong-Chi and Yeol-Moo. He’s already working on the next part of the case, and she teases him about being a workaholic. Their rapport together hints at what a great romantic comedy these two could make. Yeol-Moo off-handedly says they should date, leading to a moment of fangirl squeeing around the world:

But in this dark story, nothing is ever as it seems. I can’t be the only viewer feeling homicidal rage towards the writer when we learn this is all in Dong-Chi’s imagination. The only part that’s real is that he’s a workaholic and he’s fallen asleep while reading the files for the next part of the case. Writer, I hate you. But the next sequence is sad, so in retrospect I’m glad the writer at least gave us a happy scene first.

Major correction: Readers have convinced me that despite the odd editing, this scene really did take place. The camera moves as if it isn’t real: the kiss scene ends with the camera panning right and fading out, then fading in again—still panning right—on the image of DC asleep. But despite this “fake-out” transition, the narrative suggests the scene really happened. I hereby officially transfer my rage from the writer to the director. I also hereby love this show anyway. The kiss scene was what scholarly types would technically describe as Made of Pure Awesome.

Dong-Chi is puzzled by something in the files and calls the office. In the final scene of the episode, he’s in the interview room with the kidnapper again. We’re back in the scene that concluded episode 16—Dong-Chi is asking the kidnapper why he doesn’t remember the details of the murder correctly. And then, Chief Moon comes in and drops a bombshell. A big one. One so absurd I’d love to gloss over it quickly and pretend it didn’t happen. Here it is: the kidnapper actually went missing 15 years ago. Dong-Chi is talking to his twin brother.

Back to that digging machine at the old factory site. It turns up a human skull. The kidnapper’s, Moon informs Dong-Chi and Surprise Twin Brother. His remains have been found and Twin Brother is free to go.

Chief Moon, on his way out, tells Dong-Chi that he’s the last person known to have seen the kidnapper alive. Dong-Chi asks him about the body: what was the cause of death? Blunt force trauma to the skull, Moon says. Dong-Chi is stunned. He remembers striking the kidnapper with a pipe that day and concludes that he must have in fact killed the kidnapper himself.

pride and prejudice episode 17 choi jin hyuk closing surprise large webWow. One thing “Pride and Prejudice” does not screw around with is cliffhangers. This director lures us right to the edge and then, ten seconds before the credits roll, gives us a little nudge. It’s unbelievable to me that a police department could find a 15-year old skeleton and figure out who it is within minutes. But the director moves us along quickly past this implausibility to the scary “what if.” What if Dong-Chi actually killed the kidnapper? What if Dong-Chi wasn’t just an eyewitness but affected events, maybe made them more complicated? What if this is the lever that Park Man-Geun can use to destroy Dong-Chi?

For a few minutes this episode, we got to think of Director Lee as a clear villain. But now we’re back to the stormy waters of moral ambiguity.

And on the topic of moral ambiguity, we have more insight into Chief Moon this episode. Newly freed from suspicion, he talks to Director Lee, who has just been arrested. Moon acts as if he expected this ending all along, though we know even if he predicted Yeol-Moo’s reaction, he couldn’t bank on it. Moon takes credit, though, when Lee congratulates him on steering his horses well.

“She was my weakest horse.” Moon says, “Because the strongest one wouldn’t be able to beat you.”

Sweet! Moments like this, the show’s at its strongest. A little Taoist perspective on interoffice politics, a little dig at the fact that we all tend to underestimate Yeol-Moo because she looks so young and fragile, a sense that Chief Moon likes to root for the underdog. Brilliant.

In fact, the last scene hints that maybe Moon did set up his own arrest. He had some kind of arrangement with the kidnapper’s twin. Is it possible Moon decided his best hope for defeating Lee was to get arrested? If he didn’t want to be under suspicion, he could have accepted Dong-Chi’s resignation letter, as Dong-Chi points out. So was Moon taking a gamble on Yeol-Moo’s stubbornness? He knows her personality well, having received a lot of her criticism himself. Who else would storm into Director Lee’s office?

“Pride and Prejudice” falters when it springs twin brothers on us, but it succeeds when it focuses on these strategic maneuvers. The show also sticks to its principles. It was satisfying to see the self-righteous Director Lee brought down by his own pride and ambition. And yet the show doesn’t give up on its basic premise that you can’t prosecute the powerful without support from someone even more powerful. Dong-Chi indirectly had Park Man-Geun’s permission to go after Director Lee. Now that Park Man-Geun is turning his eye towards discrediting Dong-Chi, it’s hard to see a way out of it for Dong-Chi.

Did Dong-Chi kill the kidnapper?

10 thoughts on ““Pride and Prejudice” Ep. 17

    • Was it really not? If it wasn’t a dream, I’m happy. But the fade out at the end of the kiss sequence and then panning into a shot of Dong-
      Chi asleep makes it look like it is. I really hope I’m wrong!

  1. It’s not a dream. MBC would have said anything on their article ,something like “Dong Chi dreamed a wet dream and YM unusually confesses”.Blame the PD!Besides I doubt we wouldn’t have grandmama comment on how YM should do what a young person should do (hence the confession) if it’s a dream sequence.But the shot and kiss is really good so I am satisfied.

    I found the weak horse comment are chilling,You would have thought Dong Chi & co are chess pieces of a complicated chess set,with Lee as the bishop sacrificed.

    And to reply @PBS comment – yes we should fear for Dong Chi,now they use Dong Chi and co to get rid of Lee they will turn now to Dong Chi.But YM move for handling out the chip is smart.She didnt hand it to Oh but to Hwa Young executor,Chang Gi,who technically is directly under Hwa Young’s , while Oh is an “affiliate” only.

    Hmm , Moon knew YM,and he knew Director Lee too. Didnt Lee pretty much confesses in the scene he ditches Moon?

  2. Thanks, pranx and neovd! The bad editing threw me onto totally the wrong track. Note to PD-nim: If you want me to believe something really happened, the next scene should start with ANYTHING other than the main character sleeping! This scene has annoyed me for days, because the conversation between YM and the grandmother really did seem to be setting up a confession. Everything makes more sense if it really happened. (And I’ll go write a correction.)

    It must be a symptom of watching too many K-dramas that I’m paranoid about directors trying to fake me out! 🙂

    And @ neovd, yes, I think Moon knew Lee was the culprit but didn’t have any evidence. So he took a chance on someone else getting evidence. I’m wondering if he actually set up his own arrest? Was he the one who fed evidence to DC? That might be too far-fetched. But Moon does think of people as chess pieces. That might be one reason Jung Chang-Gi dislikes him so much.

    Isn’t it great that YM has made some smart, important moves lately? I’m really loving her character now. No one else could have gotten Lee’s confession. Lee totally underestimated her.

  3. Thank you for giving us insights and comments about this drama. it is really a difficult drama that boggles your mind.. Continue to help us decipher mysteries and be withmusn as we are trying our best completing the pieces of puzzles to the end. Kudos to you!

  4. Pride and Prejudice really awesome. It’s really different whit others Kdrama. Love CJH. He is so talented. He is awesome in every character which he had played. God joob. Hopefully he always success in the future. Can’t wait for his next acting.

  5. The expression of happy serenity on DC’s sleeping face after that kiss was the setup for the torment that came after. Because, despite his bliss, something about the case would not allow him that luxury, making him sit up and review the statement again, make a call and set up yet another interrogation of, now, Panda’s Twin Brother. And the great thing about P&P’s that the questions were ones DC had had already asked the first time – “What about me? Why didn’t you kill me?” Twin couldn’t answer either time.

    With several episodes to go, I have an inkling the drama will remain true to its central message about the “system” and the imperfect individuals that compose it. And with the twists and turns it’s taken so far, I’m looking forward to the finale. Even if I cry me a river.

    • Isn’t it totally amazing?!? With episode 16, I was getting worried the writer couldn’t pull it off, but this ep was totally amazing. And, oh my gosh, that twist at the end. How insane is that?!?

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