TL;DR: Good riddance to you, sir.
Look, I’ll be honest, there are some villains that I really just want to watch suffer. If they don’t come to a proper bloody/humiliating/ruinous end, I feel cheated. I’m feeling rather cheated right now, especially since we got more of that I had a terrible childhood framing interspersed with Seol-ak’s ending. And it’s entirely unsatisfying that he got to escape accountability for the many monstrous things he did. I don’t care~ And I super don’t care that he texted an apology to Ja-young~ I’m just glad you’re not on my screen anymore.
That said, kudos for Jin-hong trusting Soo-jin’s plan and following her lead. It is ridiculously refreshing how consistently he has been on her side and how much he trusts her (even if part of me still feels like his faith in her is unearned, but hey, I’ll take a convenient, loyal ally when I can get it). Also, A+ job on selecting a thematically appropriate bit of statuary to brain Seol-ak with. That was immensely satisfying.
I’m getting very worried about Soo-jin. Now that her identity is out to the public, her options are narrowing fast. I can’t imagine that she has another friendly monk to drop in on after this. (As much as I enjoyed him as a distraction for the cops, that really felt like it came out of nowhere—and it also used the driver-as-decoy trick twice in the same episode. That’s worrisome from a writing perspective, especially when paired with what was essentially an eight-minute flashback montage.)
Hong-hee is even on Chang-geun’s radar now, and undoubtedly Yeong-sin and her household are being watched like hawks. The only possible allies Soo-jin could have left are her research coworker whose name I don’t remember and Ye-eun, who hasn’t been in an episode in ages. Could they swoop in to help? Perhaps, but I don’t think either of them are in the area, and I don’t think Soo-jin would reach out to them at this point anyway. Her best bet is fleeing the country before the net around her cuts off all escape.
Still, I’m glad Soo-jin and Hye-na got a night to sleep in a warm, safe place. Their conversation after Hye-na’s nightmare was heartbreaking. Poor Hye-na has been raised thinking basically everything is her fault and that she’s the cause of adults’ misfortune and unhappiness. I’m grateful that Soo-jin told her to go ahead and cry and comforted her while she did.
(Whatever happens, can we get Hye-na some quality time with a therapist? Please?)
I feel a little sorry for Chang-geun. He’s doing practically everything right, but he’s nearing a turning point in the investigation. If he doesn’t get public-friendly results, he’s going to take the blame (even though his superior acknowledged that wasn’t his fault) for not being able to catch Soo-jin. Though I’ll admit that I’ll never not be amused by his frustrated expression whenever someone declares their faith in Soo-jin and/or he realizes he’s been outmaneuvered and can’t do anything about it.
Ja-young’s arrest makes me hopeful that she will be held accountable for the abuse she inflicted (and maybe even blackmail). It was awful but telling that she only asked about Seol-ak in the interrogation room and had to be prompted to remember Hye-na. Her outing Soo-jin to the press is an attempt to get the spotlight off of her, and I’m hoping we get to see her reaction when she realizes that Hyun-jin didn’t write a biased article for her.
As for Hyun-jin, I’m glad she was able to swoop in with a story. Whether or not it is any good remains to be seen, and I’m worried about whether her connection to Soo-jin will get outed at work. I’m also worried about Yi-jin and am a little disappointed that I gave her too much credit for calling the police in the last episode. Turns out she was more motivated by anger than by actual concern for Hye-na. That’s unfortunate.
By the Numbers
- Decoy drivers: 2
- Flashback montages: 2
- Hats of suspicious activity: 1
- Thematically appropriate applications of a statue: 1
- Bechdel Test: 12 episodes passed