Suspicious Partner Episode 1 Recap “Hope for the Future”
No Ji Wook (Ji Chang Wook) gets on a crowded subway. Eun Bong Hee (Nam Ji Hyun) gets on the same crowded subway. She stands holding the hand pull. Ji Wook stands next to her holding the hand pull. The man on the other side of Bong Hee inappropriate touches her bottom but touches the side near Ji Wook making Bong Hee believe Ji Wook is touching her. She calls Ji Wook a pervert for touching her bottom. Ji Wook denies it. But Bong Hee doesn’t believe him. She informs him that under article 13 sexual harassment, he could be severely fined. He corrects her, stating it is article 11. Bong Hee declares his knowledge of this means he’s a repeat offender. Their voices raise. Bong Hee asks the man who touched her to report Ji Wook to security. She gets off the subway leaving Ji Wook falsely accused and without recourse. When he realizes he needs to exit the subway, Bong Hee blocks him. He stares at her as the subway pulls away. She smirks.
That was silly that Ji Wook did not exit the subway.
Bong Hee receives an anonymous text and goes to a fancy hotel as directed. In the lobby, she spies her boyfriend, Hee Joon, there with another woman. Jang Hee Joon (Hwang Chan Sung) directs the other woman to wait outside. He approaches Bong Hee. He’s eyes say it all…he’s busted.
At that moment, Ji Wook glides into the hotel’s lobby and meets Byeon Young Hee (Lee Deok Hwa). He complains about the crazy woman on the subway that falsely accused him of sexual harassment.
Meanwhile, across the lobby…Bong Hee demands Hee Joon explain himself. He states even though he’s strayed, he still loves her. Bong Hee recalls all the clues to his infidelity that she ignored. Hee Joon declares he won’t stray again. When she doesn’t believe him, Hee Joon admits that resisting the attention of attractive women is next to impossible. She yells at him and strides away from the table. He catches her. In a nifty move, she twists his arm and declares she’ll break up with him once she’s strayed too. He doesn’t believe her. She is adamant that she will sleep with a next man she bumps into. She has to duck to avoid an old man. She walks away crying. Her contact pops out. A man bumps into her. She asks the man if he’d like to sleep with her. It’s Ji Wook! He agrees to sleep with her. She’s relieved that he’s good looking and handsome. When she hears his voice, she squints and stares at him. She realizes it’s the man from the subway. She pulls away. Ji Wook grabs her wrist and pulls her though the lobby. Young Hee stares. Hee Joon declares that if Bong Hee does this, their relationship is terminated. Bong Hee puts Ji Wook’s arm around her and suggests they leave. He pulls her towards the lobby entrance. Young Hee watches amused.
Outside the hotel, Bong Hee tells him that was all for show. Ji Wook declares her false accusation on the subway was humiliating. He wants to make her pay, but won’t because he’s a gentleman. He warns her not be make false accusations. He strides away. He comes back and warns her not to offer to sleep with just anyone. He says many men would just use her. He strides away pleased his cool factor.
Bong Hee sees Hee Joon striding her way. Ji Wook gets into a taxi. Bong Hee muscles her way next to him. Ji Wook can’t believe it. Bong Hee asks him to pretend just one more time. Ji Wook spies Hee Joon. Bong Hee tells the taxi driver to go. Hee Joon watches the taxi pull away. He can’t believe it.
In the taxi, Bong Hee is thankful to Ji Wook. She admits asking a stranger to sleep with her is not her normal behavior. Ji Wook already knows this. Bong Hee invites Ji Wook to have a drink. He declines. Bong Hee has the taxi driver drop her off. Ji Wook and Bong Hee don’t say goodbye as she exits the cab and walks to a bar. He does stare after her as the taxi pulls away.
Bong Hee drinks alone. She checks but Hee Joon hasn’t called or texted her. A man sits down and joins her. She wishes it was Ji Wook, but it’s not. She tells the man to get lost. The next man who appears is Ji Wook! He returns a compact he believes she deliberately left behind. She admits that her boyfriend hasn’t contacted her and she feels alone. She admits to leaving the compact behind. She offers him a drink. He declines. In a nifty move, she puts the glass in his hand and fills it before he can react. She pours herself a drink. She offers cheers. He smiles and they drink together. Ji Wook sits down.
The next morning, Ji Wook wakes with Bong Hee’s suit coat draped on her. She recalls drinking with Ji Wook until she got drunk. She recalls drunkenly flirting with Ji Wook, who wasn’t interested. She holds her head mortified at the memory. She recalls Ji Wook piggybacking her to his home (she wouldn’t reveal where she lived). She recalls pushing Ji Wook to the couch and draping herself over him, lips pursed for a kiss. She is horrified that she threw herself at him.
Gratuitous shower scene is appreciated…
Ji Wook showers the night away. Bong Hee creeps around Ji Wook’s place trying to get her bearings. She hears him in the shower. She wonders what to do. When Ji Wook exits the bathroom, Bong Hee is fleeing down the street. Ji Wook spies a note from her that simply states “I’m sorry”. He sighs.
On the bus home, Bong Hee finds Hee Joon still hasn’t called or texted. She considers texting him but realizes it’s hopeless. She sighs that she’s hit rock bottom.
As Ji Wook drives to work he speaks with Young Hee who is avidly interested if Ji Wook slept with Bong Hee. Ever the gentleman, Ji Wook declines to answer. Young Hee reminds Ji Wook that since Yoo Jung, he hasn’t dated. Ji Wook hangs up.
Flashback…Ji Wook recalls coming home with a bouquet of flowers and finding a strange pair of men’s shoes. Then he finds a trail of clothes that lead to the bedroom. He approaches the door and Cha Yoo Jung (Nara) exits, the man clearly visible in the bedroom. He stares at Yoo Jung in pain and disbelief.
Flashback…Now we see Bong Hee’s confrontation with Hee Joon from Ji Wook’s perspective. He hears Bong Hee declare she’ll sleep with another. He’s compelled to help knowing the pain she’s feeling. He deliberately bumps into her.
Back in the car, Ji Wook shakes his head at his willingness aide Bong Hee.
At work, Lawyer Ji Eun Hyuk (Choi Tae Joon) tells Young Hee that Ji Wook won’t give up his prosecutor position. Young Hee asks Eun Hyuk if he’s thinking about politics.
Ji Wook is surprised to find his boss and coworkers in his office. He’s won the dubious distinction of worst prosecutor. Unfazed, Ji Wook declares it a complement to have other lawyers dislike. This means he’s doing his job. His superiors don’t agree informing him that title is deserved because he’s rude. Ji Wook is unapologetic about wanting to put criminals in prison and disliking lawyers who whine about the rights of their clients. Ji Wook reiterates the title is a complement. Once again, his superior disagrees. They cite that he doesn’t have a single thank you letter from a client. Ji Wook stares at his assistants. Ji Wook’s assistants struggle to write credible fake thank you letters to Ji Wook.
Ji Wook’s mother calls. Good grief, is this actress (Nam Ki Ae) everyone’s mother? She’s also female lead’s mother in the currently airing My Secret Romance. Ji Wook answers the phone. While getting a massage Ji Wook’s mother congratulates him on his dubious distinction. Ji Wook hangs up. Ji Wook’s mother tells the masseuse, Manager Park, that her son is righteous. Manager Park says her daughter is a judge in training at the Judicial Research and Training Institute. Ji Wook’s mother disses that anyone can become a judge. Manager Park applies additional force. Ji Wook’s mother declares her son was smart from birth.
Bong Hee walks through the hallway irked that Hee Joon didn’t call or text.
Suspicious Partner episodes are 30 minutes each, therefore we’ll see 2 episodes each Wednesday and Thursday. That being said, I’m pressed for time and will only recap Episode 1 today.
Episode 1 was consumed by our leads’ first interactions. I found myself drawn to the polite Ji Wook (Ji Chang Wook) and was neutral on cliché Bong Hee (Nam Ji Hyun).
I liked her willingness to point out the harassment on the subway. I didn’t like that she didn’t realize that Ji Wook was one of two men that could have harassed her. Bong Hee established herself as a woman that didn’t consider all the possibilities before reacting.
I liked Bong Hee’s willingness to confront Hee Joon about his infidelity. Bong Hee didn’t fall for his cajoling. I didn’t like that she declared that she’d sleep with the next man that crossed her path then fell avoiding the older man. I did like that Ji Wook came to her rescue. I didn’t like that Bong Hee declared him handsome but then had to squint to see him having lost one contact.
I liked that Ji Wook pulled Bong Hee away from Hee Joon, proving she was willing to act on her threat. I liked that Ji Wook called Bong Hee on falsely accusing him of sexual harassment. I was not overly excited when Bong Hee joined him in the cab, drank to excess, and ended up at his house. That is patently cliched.
I liked that Ji Wook saved Bong Hee from her embarrassing situation with Hee Joon because he too knew the first-hand pain of discovering a partner’s betrayal.
All in all, I like Ji Wook but Bong Hee appears to be more of a cookie cutter kdrama leading lady.
Isn’t Ji Chang Wook looking yummy? Doesn’t Nam Ji Hyun have pretty hair?