Suspicious Partner Episodes 19-20

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As mentioned in my previous review, the writer is really using the mid-point episodes to set things up for the second half, as evident from what we learn about Ji Wook and Bong Hee’s dads in this episode. As a result of that, the episodes themselves feel rather slow in terms of plot development, unlike many of the previous episodes. The court case involving the mum who took the fall for her son was rather weak too – zipped through and closed with not much fanfare. Nonetheless, we have plenty of juicy, delicious character moments in these two episode, so I’m not really complaining.

While we spent most of the earlier episodes with awkward, bumbling Ji Wook, his charisma is slowly emerging in recent episodes after he admits to his feelings for Bong Hee. The Ji Wook we are seeing now seems liberated, confident and emotionally forthright, giving us hints of the man he was before Yoo Jung and Eun Hyuk’s betrayal happened. He’s persistent in his pursuit of Bong Hee, teasing her and endlessly trying to charm her. Bong Hee is no longer pushing him away, but neither is she fully embracing his affection either. They’re both taking small steps forward, opening up to each other gradually and that gives us plenty of sweet, humorous and heartfelt moments within this episode, like the dish-washing scene, Bong Hee’s confession in the carpark, and their almost-kiss that was hindered by their mugs! Nonetheless, I’m disappointed that he made the choice in this episode to hide the truth yet again from Bong Hee, especially since he knows she’s in such a vulnerable position in relation to Hyun Soo. Hyun Soo’s fascination with Bong Hee is evident, hence I really wish Ji Wook would stop protecting her unnecessarily and let her in on the truth, so they can investigate this together.

Moving on to Hyun Soo, he hasn’t really done much recently but he’s certainly proving himself to be more capable and sharp than your typical cold-blooded murderer. He has a certain method about his madness that’s fascinating and intriguing. More so than his evil actions, I’m truly keen to find out more about what’s going on in his mind and what his bigger game plan is. The exchange between him and Ji Wook was extremely well-played and I loved watching them pit against each other mentally. Hyun Soo never goes as far as to threaten Ji Wook – he’s wiser than that – whatever information he gains, he uses it to his advantage and plays the victim card, so that nothing he says can ever entrap him. Ji Wook also plays his cards close and never unveils his deeper suspicions of Hyun Soo. He’s continually apologetic during the conversation, also playing the unknowing, innocent card, saying that he’s just doing what he feels needs to be done as a prosecutor. The verbal sparring between them is intense and fun to watch and leaves me wondering what Hyun Soo’s next move will be. For a moment, I did wonder if the husband in the court case was killed by Hyun Soo, but I guess not. I foresee he might be taking a pause in his murder spree for the time-being so as to get Bong Hee and Ji Wook to stop pestering him. He might even try to get himself a job in Ji Wook’s firm.

And finally, the big reveal in this episode about their fathers. I’m still waiting to see how this pans out, but at the moment, it feels like way too much of a coincidence for me that their fathers are connected, which I’m certain will become a source of angst subsequently. I’m not sure that we really needed this complication in their relation or in the show as we do have several other storylines and characters I feel have been sorely neglected, like Eun Hyuk and Yoo Jung. However, more importantly, I feel that we really didn’t need yet another source of tension between Bong Hee and Ji Wook, which feels tangential from what’s been developing lately. Nonetheless, I place my trust in the writers who have thus far been competent.

Now that we’ve set up some key pieces for the next half of the series, I’m looking forward to returning to the tightness of writing and quick-footed pace that’s made this show so enjoyable for the first half. There’s indeed lots of material still left for the show to explore, so I’m hopeful for an enjoyable second half of this show.

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