Chang-ho Sets A Trap
Episode 6 of Big Mouth begins with Mi-ho drinking at home while her father asks her if she really believes what Mayor Choi told her. Since four people have died, she isn’t sure and says she will go see Chang-ho the next day.
In the morning, everyone at the prison gets ready to receive the medical volunteers from Gucheon University Hospital. Jerry explains to Chang-ho that the medical volunteer’s visit is like Christmas for the inmates. At the hospital, Mi-ho and the rest of the staff prepare for the same.
Headed by Hyun Joo-hee and Ashley Kim (Gong Ji-hoon’s wife), the staff are welcomed at the prison by the warden.
Chang-ho is reading a book on tarot cards when a guard tells him that his wife is here. Thanks to his new privileges, Chang-ho takes a hot bath and gets freshly pressed clothes. Chang-ho also gets the VIPs thrown out of their room so he can use it to visit Mi-ho. He says allows Han Jae-ho to meet his wife since she is also here.
The inmates enter the room where the medical staff is set up and in a moment that puts Mi-ho on the spot, they all bow down to her. A guard then escorts her to the VIP room.
She takes in all the luxuries and doesn’t receive Chang-ho’s warm welcome. Instead, she asks him if he really is Big Mouse. Chang-ho immediately looks a little hurt but looks around the room and then takes her out to the open courtyard. The warden had been hoping to overhear but can’t now. Chang-ho says that everything he is going to tell her will sound like a lie, but asks her to promise that she will believe him. She agrees.
We get a flashback to when Chang-ho had just gotten the list of drug dealer names from Mayor Choi. Suddenly, someone chloroforms him. When he wakes up, he finds a tarot card in his pocket with another list of names, presumably sent by the real Big Mouse. It is the Tower card, which the room leader explains could be symbolic of a blessing in disguise or a new beginning.
At present, Mi-ho asks how he knew which list was real. Chang-ho describes Big Mouse’s symbol behind the tarot card and how a similar card was found when the man who tried to stab him committed suicide. Later, when he saw how urgent Mayor Choi looked before the big meeting, Chang-ho realised the tarot card list was the right one.
He further explains how the real Big Mouse kept sending him tarot cards to convey what he was planning, including the deaths of the other inmates and Peter Hong. He then sent Chang-ho the Judgement card, indicating that Chang-ho’s job is to expose the truth about Professor Seo.
Mi-ho asks him to just tell everybody the truth, but Chang-ho says that the moment he becomes useless to Big Mouse, he will die. But that’s not all, Chang-ho says he is using Big Mouse too.
Another flashback takes us back to the scene where Chang-ho had a massive sheet with the words “confessional bible” hung by the courtyard. That was how he started sending messages to Big Mouse through the bible in the church. He told Big Mouse he would fight if he was provided with the weapons he needed. The response to this was the Magician tarot card, meaning Big Mouse acknowledged Chang-ho’s skills.
Chang-ho tells Mi-ho he dragged Big Mouse into the fight to uncover his identity. He wants to catch both rabbits. Mi-ho vows to catch one of the rabbits by finding Professor Seo’s paper.
Back at her volunteering post, Mi-ho notices that the head nurse is collecting blood and separating them into blue and red boxes.
Meanwhile, Han Jae-ho’s wife Hye-jin is also volunteering at the prison. A guard escorts her to meet her husband in the hospital wing. He is happy to see her but tries to get intimate with her and when she refuses, gets violent. He suspects her of having an affair and nearly throttles her until she gives an explanation.
Chang-ho makes a grand entrance into the mess hall where the hospital staff is lined up to serve food. As he moves along the line, he reveals personal details of each staff member, hinting that they should be good to Mi-ho. When it comes to Joo-hee’s turn, he simply asks her to take care of Mi-ho.
Later, Mi-ho is with Hye-jin when she doubles over in pain. Mi-ho notices the bruises on her. She tells her to call a hotline for domestic abuse, but Hye-jin refuses.
In the bus on the way back, Ashley Kim calls the hospital staff to her gallery for a party. When Joo-hee asks her why she did so, Ashley says she needs a photo with everyone to show the Elder. Mi-ho gets off near a subway station. She calls her father and Soon-tae and tells them that Chang-ho is Chang-ho and not Big Mouse.
Ji-hoon and Mayor Choi are out shooting but Ji-hoon keeps missing his shots while Choi Do-ha gets all his. An old man on a wheelchair arrives and berates Ji-hoon for losing. He seems to favour Mayor Choi. When Ji-hoon asks if the three VIPs can be got out on sick leave, the old man says it’s not easy. Mayor Choi promises to help out, irking Ji-hoon further.
Mi-ho is just reaching the hospital when she gets a call from Kim Kyung-sook, the relative of the patient in room 701. Kyung-sook tells her she knows where Professor Seo’s paper is but needs money in return. Standing on the hospital terrace, she tells Mi-ho on the phone that the paper is in a cross necklace belonging to a woman. Before she can finish, she notices someone behind her. The next moment she falls to her death right in front of Mi-ho.
Her father comes to the scene. Mi-ho tells him to download an episode of the show ‘Hundred Year Health’, which is what Mi-ho had seen Kyung-sook watching on the hospital TV. She takes his car and rushes to the staff party at Ashley Kim’s gallery. She has remembered that Joo-hee wears a cross necklace and confronts her in the bathroom. But there’s nothing in the necklace and Mi-ho is forced to apologise. As they leave, we see a pair of shoes in one of the bathroom cubicles.
Meanwhile, Chang-ho asks Big Mouse to get the three VIPs’ bail dismissed but he receives an upside down Chariot tarot card in return. Indicating that he must do it himself. Chang-ho figures Big Mouse is testing him. He has Han Jae-ho brought to him again and warns him to confess and not betray him. He threatens him with death by fire.
Mayor Choi is visiting Mi-ho, while her father and Soon-tae try and download the TV episode. She tells the mayor she trusts Chang-ho and apologises for her behaviour towards Joo-hee. The other two download the episode and together they all see that Hye-jin is also wearing a cross necklace. They find a drawing of the same in Kyung-sook’s design book.
Hye-jin herself is cooking in her kitchen, looking very agitated. We find out that she was the one overhearing Mi-ho and Joo-hee in the bathroom. And she did indeed find the data card in her necklace.
We get a flashback to Hye-jin running away from her abusive husband in the rain. Professor Seo comes across her and gives her a ride. A short montage shows how they eventually began having an affair. He was the one who gifted her the necklace.
The three VIPs get ready to leave the prison but Jae-ho looks anxious. The warden congratulates them. They are on their way out when they come by Chang-ho and his people. As they exchange words, the truth about Han Jae-ho comes out. Turn out, Chairman Yang was never on Chang-ho’s side as he never betrays those he chooses to stand by.
Han Jae-ho’s sick bail was never requested and so he is dragged back to a cell, as Chang-ho looks on and the other two VIPs smirk. Once everybody leaves, Chang-ho bursts out laughing, saying that they all got fooled.
The Episode Review
A truly satisfying watch, we got a lot of questions answered this episode. From an explanation for all of Chang-ho’s behaviour since the previous episode to the reveal of Professor Seo and Hye-jin’s affair. The VIPs and Chairman Yang too offered their fair share of twists and turns to the story. Overall, a very exciting episode.
What’s more so, is that this is the first time we’ve seen some direct action from the real Big Mouse. The tarot cards are a physical symbol of this incredibly powerful criminal, who has only been talked about so far. It makes him seem larger than life while also shrouding him in further mystery. I only hope the payoff for his identity is as good as the build-up.
Chang-ho seems to be playing a dangerous game, trying to catch both Professor Seo’s killers and Big Mouse himself. While he holds a strong position at the prison now, which is delightful to watch, I can’t help but wonder how long it will last.
Lee Jong-suk, as usual, hits the nail on the head with his acting — whether he is menacing during his scenes at the prison or earnest during his scenes with Mi-ho. A special shout out to Hong Ji-hee, who skilfully plays the conflicted Hye-jin, making her easy to sympathise with.