The truth is a presence in three of our leads’ lives in this episode, as Min Hyuk hunts for it and Do Hoon seeks to obscure it (helped along by Yoo Jung and her ever-present martyr complex). Even so, they find it isn’t an easy thing to hide – especially not in a country where cameras are attached to every little thing… including cars.
Recap: Episode 8
Having just come to the conclusion that Min Hyuk was responsible for the death of her child, his sudden appearance outside her house is quite poorly timed and when he demands to know where she’s been, Yoo Jung declines to answer.
She’s still grieving and guilt-ridden over San’s sad fate as her son; Dan Bal’s no-nonsense words (“He’s San because he came out of your stomach; if he had been born to someone else he’d be a stranger.”) offer little comfort, but they do result in me liking her more, so there’s that.
After Min Hyuk’s photographic gift, Do Hoon does a little digging into Ji Hee’s case and is stunned to find that Min Hyuk has been involved with the investigation from the beginning. So, wait: did he not know of Min Hyuk’s connection to Ji Hee? Or is he merely concerned that Min Hyuk now suspects his involvement in the hit-and-run?
It must be the latter, as he then reviews the evidence and realises that the black box of an oncoming car may have photographed the real driver (i.e. him). He returns to his office to find Min Hyuk sitting behind his desk. He’s there to warn Do Hoon off of both K Group and Se Yeon, as both ‘belong’ to Min Hyuk. Poor Do Hoon; it’s just not your day, is it?
On his way out, Min Hyuk bumps into Se Yeon and complains that she didn’t bother to contact him after their dinner. She’s all, Uh, phones work both ways, yunno and as he can’t refute that, he follows her in silence. At least until he spots Yoo Jung at the front desk and goes haring after her. She’s there to drop off money in payment of her debt and Se Yeon can only watch helplessly as her fiancé chases after another woman… right in front of her. Yeesh.
She disappears before he can find her, so he calls her up and orders her to come into his office the following day to discuss the terms of her repayment – but Yoo Jung has her sassy pants on and refuses before hanging up on him.
Naturally, he decides to find out what could possibly be more important and follows her… to Ji Hee’s mother’s shop. She’s been trying to make amends ever since her release from prison and Ji Hee’s mother, although she grumbles about the unwanted help, shows signs of softening towards Yoo Jung.
He confronts her, scoffing at her brazenness in visiting Ji Hee’s family and she explains (pointedly) that having, and then losing, her own child made her feel even more remorseful. Outwardly, Min Hyuk remains unmoved and merely slaps down a new – and impossibly to achieve, given her earnings – payment plan. Once she’s out of sight, however, he wonders why knowing she’s in pain actually hurts him. Gee, I wonder.
As he’s going through the video footage at K Group, Do Hoon finds something that implicates him as the driver. He promptly deletes it and then, after a brief bitchfest with Min Hyuk in the parking lot, he’s off to see Se Yeon, under the pretext of it being a working visit. He falls asleep (clearly a hard worker, then) and as she covers him with a blanket, wakes to tell her that he’ll protect her. She pulls away, unsettled but also moved by his words.
Someone else who’s moved by Do Hoon’s words – though in a less positive way – is Min Hyuk, who stews over being called nothing but a powerless figurehead. This, along with his growing disbelief that Yoo Jung could have hit Ji Hee with her car and then left her to die, lead him to meet with the prosecutor (Do Hoon’s sunbae) again. He confirms that the person in question definitely saw Ji Hee and then left – but aside from her confession, there’s no evidence that that person is Yoo Jung. His ears prick up to hear that Do Hoon, too, seems to be re-investigating the case.
Speaking of, Do Hoon is currently with the Chairman, sowing seeds of doubt as to whether or not Min Hyuk can actually become his successor. The Chairman – whose illness is apparently quite severe – agrees and asks Do Hoon to have a word with Min Hyuk. Ha, ’cause that’ll go down well.
He’s left alone in Min Hyuk’s bedroom and can’t resist snooping a little, only to be shocked when he finds photographic evidence of his own relationship with Yoo Jung over the years. Min Hyuk catches him and though Do Hoon covers it well and even brings up his past with Yoo Jung himself, he’s rattled, especially when Min Hyuk questions his sudden re-investigation into Ji Hee’s hit-and-run.
Min Hyuk is now almost certain that something isn’t right; he recalls that Yoo Jung misspoke when she first turned herself in and implied that she wasn’t alone in the car that night. So he confronts her and she tearily replies that, yes, she saw Ji Hee’s body and left anyway. He clearly doesn’t want to believe her, but doesn’t have much choice in the matter, so he asks how she’ll manage to pay off her debt whilst working as a janitor and then… drags her off to a dress shop?
It turns out he’s told her that if she does what he says that night, he’ll cut her debt in half, which… actually sounds like he’s asking her to whore herself out. Whatever the terms, she doesn’t seem to be objecting and allows herself to be dressed up like a Barbie doll. He soon finds (thanks to the shrieks of the store attendants) that she can’t wear a strapless dress due to the scarring on her shoulder; without pause or pity, he covers her embarrassment by proclaiming the red dress as too cheap, anyway.
Too cheap for what, you ask? Why, the party all four of our leads are set to attend. Se Yeon has invited Do Hoon as her partner in an attempt to make Min Hyuk jealous, but the tables are quickly turned when she sees Min Hyuk arrive with Yoo Jung.
They de-couple and when Se Yeon storms off, Min Hyuk follows. He’d assumed she wouldn’t attend and, hurt (not to mention humiliated, given their public engagement), she slaps him. And speaking of humiliation, in another corner of the room, Do Hoon takes this opportunity to ask Yoo Jung just how far she’s willing to go to pay off her debt – would she sleep with Min Hyuk if he asked her to?
Disgusted, Yoo Jung leaves in tears and on her way to the bathroom, bumps into Min Hyuk’s slimy friend. Do Hoon had previously intimated to the man that she prostituted herself to Min Hyuk, so he figures, hey, why not see what the going price is? When she refuses his ‘offer’, he tries to the force the issue and she runs back to the party, clutching her torn dress.
She falls and exposes her scar, which is apparently enough of a reason to subject her to further ridicule from Slimy, who wonders why Min Hyuk would want damaged goods. He replies by covering Yoo Jung with his jacket and then punching out his former friend.
But lest this seems too romantic a moment, Min Hyuk then replies that yes, she does do everything she’s told to do – but only for him. Someone hold my arm; I’m about to swoon.
Watching the events unfold before him, Do Hoon laughs hysterically… and as he does, Min Hyuk takes a phone call from his valet, Kwang Soo, who confirms that Do Hoon and Yoo Jung left the restaurant together the night of Ji Hee’s accident. Ooh.
On the boring, business side of things, the Board of K Group lobby for Min Hyuk’s dismissal, citing negligence and incompetence. Se Yeon bursts into the meeting, stating that as a majority shareholder, she should certainly have a say. Which might have been a relief, had she not witnessed Min Hyuk’s behaviour towards Yoo Jung earlier. Sure enough, when it comes time to vote for his dismissal, she raises one perfectly manicured hand…
Back at the bar – which just so happens to be the very same one Yoo Jung now works at – Do Hoon tries to drag her off, only to be blocked by an angry Min Hyuk, who shakes Yoo Jung like a rag doll and demands that she tell him exactly what she did…
Now, he could be asking if she was the driver, or if she really did see Ji Hee, but my take is that he’s asking who she’s covering for – and more importantly, why.
Min Hyuk already clearly knows that Do Hoon was in the car with Yoo Jung that day. He’s not sure of the extent to which Do Hoon is involved, but he knows he is and he’s coming around to the fact that Yoo Jung isn’t the sort of person who’d leave a person to die alone on the roadside. He’s one short step away from adding 1+1 and getting 2, though I kind of feel that Yoo Jung – in full on martyr-mode – will simply deny any accusations of wrongdoing directed towards Do Hoon.
But the fact that she’s still be so blind to the weakness and selfishness inherent in his character is something I find to be incredibly frustrating. I have to keep reminding myself that we as an audience are privy to all of the horrible things he’s done (both great and small), whereas Yoo Jung is not. That helps mollify me and makes me look forward to the day when (if?) she rains down vengeance on his sorry ass.
As for Do Hoon himself, he still exhibits no sign of remorse for killing a woman – he’s more upset about the possibility of people finding out and possibly losing his status. This fear of a loss of status is also the reason why he would never have stayed with Yoo Jung, even if San had not mysteriously ‘died’; his own image is simply too important to him.
I wonder if that’s one of the reasons why he’s so contemptuous towards Yoo Jung; she’s like a mirror, showing him the person he once was and reminding him that much as he might like to see himself as someone different, he is not a good person. It’s to Bae Soo Bin’s credit that I still find Do Hoon an interesting (if utterly repellent) character; in the hands of a different actor, he could’ve become a mere caricature of a villain rather than the more… nuanced creature we seen on our screens every week.
And when it comes to Se Yeon’s turn to the dark side… all I can say is, we all knew it was coming; it was simply a matter of when and a question of degrees. I can’t even say Min Hyuk doesn’t deserve it, because for the most part, he does. She’s made her feelings for him quite clear and when she discovered that he couldn’t give her the love she wanted from him, all she asked for was his respect. When he couldn’t – wouldn’t – give her even that? She snapped, and I can’t say I blame her.