Big Mouth – K-Drama Episode 5 Recap & Review

Turning Tables

Last episode, we left off Big Mouth just as Chang-ho was on his way to meet Gong Ji-hoon, cheered on by the other inmates. Now, he is met by Mayor Choi who wants to urgently tell him that the list of drug dealer names given to him was fake. But thanks to the warden’s interruption, he is unable to convey his message.

In the VIP room, Chang-ho meets with Gong Ji-hoon and the three VIPs. Mayor Choi enters but can only watch. The warden gives Chang-ho and Ji-hoon each write the names of Big Mouse’s top 5 clients on a piece of paper. The warden reveals that the names are the same. Everyone is shocked as Chang-ho smirks on.

Ji-hoon tells him to return the 100 billion won he stole from Lala Capital. Chang-ho asks for proof. Ji-hoon says the fund manager, Peter Hong, accused Big Mouse of taking the money. The warden gets a call — the prosecutor wants to see Chang-ho since Peter Hong has been caught.

Cut to the prosecutor interviewing Peter Hong. Peter describes how he got caught in financial fraud and was about to end his life when he got a phone call from someone who wanted to invest. Peter invested increasingly large amounts of money for this person, got his life on track and soon became the manager of the NR Forum’s private fund. But he blinked and the money was gone, stolen by Big Mouse.

Peter did meet Big Mouse once but he never saw his face. The prosecutor tells him to lie, say that he did and identify him as Chang-ho. He is scared but agrees to do so.

As Ji-hoon and Mayor Choi watch, Chang-ho is brought to the interrogation room. Peter Hong is asked if Chang-ho is Big Mouse but an alarm rings, signalling it is time for his insulin shot. He takes it but suddenly collapses and dies.

As his body is taken out, Ji-hoon wonders about Chang-ho’s wife and if she really has Professor Seo’s paper.

Meanwhile, at Gucheon University Hospital the nurses discuss the volunteering program at Gucheon Penitentiary on the coming Sunday. As Mi-ho leaves, she spots the woman related to the patient in 701, Kim Kyung-sook. She is watching something on the lobby’s TV, featuring Hyun Joo-hee. She remembers the late Professor Seo asking her to design a necklace pendant that could fit in a small data card, preferably a cross. On TV, Joo-hee is seen wearing a cross necklace. Mi-ho approaches her but she rushes away.

Mi-ho then gets a call from Ji-hoon. They meet at a restaurant where Ji-hoon says he wants to buy Professor Seo’s paper. Mi-ho says it’s more useful if she keeps it. He tries rattling her but it doesn’t work. Afterwards, Mi-ho calls Mayor Choi and thanks him for giving Chang-ho the names. He doesn’t tell her the truth.

At home, Mi-ho’s father and Soon-tae dig into Professor Seo’s life. Turns out he was on bad terms with his wife, who is in the US, and is a loner in general. But Mi-ho’s father finds photos of him on a fishing trip taken by someone else. They inquire and find out he was having an affair with a woman.

At the prison, Jerry is handing out the wins of the bet.  It is revealed that Yang Chun-sik, the gang leader and the VIP’s henchman, placed a bet of 50 cards on Big Mouse.

In the warden’s office, Jung Chae-bong, one of the VIPs, hands Chang-ho suitcases full of cash. As per the bet they made, he owes Chang-ho 300 million won. The warden takes his cut and Chang-ho gives him some more for extra privileges and a party for the penitentiary. As Big Mouse enters a cafeteria full of enjoying inmates, they cheer for him. Even Chairman Yang gives him his approval.

In the VIP room, the three men are panicking. Chang-ho enters and tells them to confess at the trial or be killed in prison.

Later, in the courtyard, Chang-ho takes his seat and a huge sheet is hung up behind him. It has the words ‘confessional bible’ as well as Big Mouse’s symbol. He later enters the Church and seems to pray.

In the VIP room, Lee Doo-geun drinks wine and seems to fall unconscious. He wakes up (still in a daze) to see Chang-ho holding his beating heart, which in reality is a scrap of cloth from his t-shirt. Jung Chae-bong receives similar treatment and is given an electric shock in the bathroom.

Mayor Choi visits Chang-ho and asks for the truth. Chang-ho keeps up his persona of Big Mouse and tells him to choose — will he help Chang-ho or not? Mayor Choi asks about Mi-ho and Chang-ho tells him that he will deal with his wife. Chang-ho’s behaviour is explained as we see the warden is watching and listening to everything.

At the hospital, Mi-ho sees the head nurse suspiciously taking blood samples from patients. She follows her all the way to the hospital’s technology innovation centre. She enters the supply room there but gets caught by Joo-hee and a security guard, who claims the head nurse was never there. Joo-hee threatens Mi-ho and she leaves. Then she reminds the security guard to not “go inside”, referring to a hidden door in the supply room.

The three VIPs meet with Ji-hoon and ask him to get them out of there. As Ji-hoon leaves, he comes across Chang-ho, who asks if he met with Mi-ho. Chang-ho says that threatening family is cheating. Ji-hoon claims there’s no cheating in war. He gets a phone call from his wife who has received a bouquet of white carnations — funeral flowers. Chang-ho warns him to play by the rules.

Chang-ho then approaches Chairman Yang, with a proposition and seems to gain his support. With the help of Chairman Yang’s people, he captures Han Jae-ho (the third VIP) and has him hung up where he was during the first days of his arrest. He tells him to confess to Professor Seo’s murder since he was only driving. In the end, Han Jae-ho agrees.

Mayor Choi calls Mi-ho and asks to meet her. When they do, he tells her the story of how his father ran a dye factory and was falsely accused of dumping toxic waste. He became a lawyer to help people like his father but later realised that the accusations were true all along. He then reveals what happened with the drug dealer names to Mi-ho and says that Chang-ho really is Big Mouse.

Mi-ho is shaken but says she trusts her husband. On the way back home, her father calls and tells her Chang-ho has paid 100 million won to the loan shark and settled those debts. She thinks of her life with Chang-ho and breaks down.

The Episode Review

What a good episode! The entire run of Episode 5 shows us Chang-ho’s flip side. From beginning to end, he takes on the role of Big Mouse so effortlessly that a seed of doubt begins to grow, just as it does with Mi-ho. Could he really be Big Mouse? If not, how did he get the real names of Big Mouse’s clients?

It’s nice to see Chang-ho take a position of power where he was once at his lowest. The way the tables turn on the three VIPs is also a satisfying direction for the story to take, it’s nice to have them grovelling in fear for once.

That said, Chang-ho does a good job of leaning into the character. The way his voice drops an octave while speaking to the mayor and the way he threatens the three VIPs, it’s all done with a swagger worthy of a genius con man. Kudos to Lee Jong-suk’s amazing talent for making us all believe it!

Im Yoon-ah too does a fantastic job as Mi-ho, as she runs around doing her best to get her husband out while being forced to doubt his intentions. Her persistence and bravery never seem over the top and her strong moral ground seems genuine.

The show really belongs to these two characters. Their strong affection and dedication for each other is what makes you root for them. Being catapulted from pure ordinary lives into this messy world of crime is another factor that makes you want to see them succeed.

At the end of this episode, we see a blip in that relationship as Mi-ho starts to have doubts. But hopefully, that won’t last too long and our favourite couple will keep having each other’s backs as they have been so far.

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You can read our full season review for Big Mouth Season 1 here!

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