The Man Who Knelt
Graceful Friends returns for episode 14, which wastes absolutely no time revealing exactly who killed Kang-San. While it’s not exactly a surprise, it still leaves just enough of a hook surrounding the person responsible for clearing up the crime scene.
We return to that fateful night of Kang-San’s death. Right now, there’s three possible suspects – maybe even four. Jung-Hae hurries away and Jae-Hoon grabs his phone. Only, Kang-San snatches it back, just as Jae-Hoon tells him he has a death wish.
Jae-Hoon grabs the trophy and smacks Kang-San across the head with it. It seems Jae-Hoon is our killer after all.
Baxk home, Jae-Hoon finds Mo-Ran’s things all packed up and ready to go. He pours himself some wine and reminisces over what happened in the past. As he gulps it down thirstily, he tells himself he’s unable to forgive what happened.
While Goon-Cheol continues to cook with Yu-Bin, Choon-Bok attends his dance class. On his way home though, he sees Eun-Sil working at Hae-Sook’s bar and kicks off. As he hurries out, Choon-Bok starts crying as a poignant montage shows all the issues our characters are going through at the moment.
No one else seems to be going through more than Goong-Cheol though. After losing his best friend and wife, he heads to the 1000th chicken store and speaks to the owner. He immediately senses that Goong-Cheol isn’t okay.
When he returns home, Goong-Cheol speaks to Jung-Hae and admits that he’s found a new apartment to stay in. However, Yu-Bin definitely senses what’s going on between them (kids always do) and they agree to tell their son in the morning.
Yu-Bin actually blames himself and believes his bad grades are the sole reason his parents are breaking up. That evening, as he steps out into the road, he’s hit by a car.
Meanwhile, Hyung-Woo is begrudgingly forced to head back to work again and face Ae-Ra. Given what’s going on with Ji-Wook at the moment, Hyung-Woo has a hard time focusing. He takes Ae-Ra aside and tells her he’ll do his best to make the relationship a success. Unfortunately Ae-Ra decides to sever ties as a way of making things easier.
Hae-Sook and Jung-Hae both pay their respects to Man-Sik. Given he killed Professor Han, the pair sit together and discuss what’s happened in the past. In particular, their conversation turns to the incidents in college involving Goong-Cheol.
Jung-Hae admits that they’re getting a divorce as he loves someone else. Only, Hae-Sook reveals the truth about what happened and how he only loved one person – that one person being Jung-Hae of course.
Jae-Hoon finds Yoo-Bin lying unconscious in the road and immediately phones emergency services. Driving up in the ambulance, Jae-Hoon phones Goong-Cheol and tells him to head to the hospital. When Jung-Hae and Goong-Cheol get there, they learn Yu-Bin is in a bad way and in surgery.
Meanwhile, Ae-Ra and Ji-Wook end up at a bar with the latter spilling home truths and revealing how much his heart aches. As she takes a very drunk Ji-Wook back to hers, she receives a call from Kyung-Ja asking to meet the following day.
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring a couple closer together and both Jung-Hae and Goong-Cheol decide to focus on their son from now on. As the rest of the gang arrive (notably not Jae-Hoon though of course), everyone starts weeping for Yoo-Bin.
At the police station, Goong-Cheol is called in by the detectives who inform him that this was no accident. Stunned, Goong-Cheol heads back to the crime scene and kneels over the spot his son was hit.
Meanwhile, Hyung-Woo sits with Choon-Bok and they discuss Yu-Bin’s accident. Together, they decide to phone Jae-Hoon (who’s hilariously listed as “cyborg” in his phone). Only, obviously Jae-Hoon already knows and he hangs up.
Back at the hospital, Jung-Hae admits some home truths to Yoo-Bin, calling him a good son from the start. Remembering times from the past, she thanks him for everything as Goong-Cheol arrives in the room.
He eventually has time alone with Yu-Bin and apologises for teaching him something so trivial as crossing the road at green lights. He weeps and begs his son to wake up. Only, Jae-Hoon arrives in the room silently looking at Yoo-Bin.
Goong-Cheol blames himself for what happened and struggles to hold back his tears. As he drops to his knees, Goong-Cheol begs Jae-Hoon to help save his child.
As the episode closes out, Jae-Hoon heads back to the police station and admits he was the one who killed Kang-San.
The Episode Review
With Jae-Hoon now admitting the truth to the police, it appears his character arc is almost over. He’s single-handedly destroyed a marriage and lost almost everyone in the process.
The big question here though surrounds quite who ran over Yoo-Bin. I have a hard time believing this was an accident and it may well be the same accomplice to Jae-Hoon during the Kang-San murder.
Then again, it may also be Jae-Hoon himself. In a twisted bid to try and win back brownie points with Jung-Hae, he may have struck the child down, circled the block and doubled back to save him. It’s definitely a despicable act but it’s also well within Jae-Hoon’s arsenal to do this.
It’s been several weeks now and I still can’t shake the fact Hyung-Woo and Choon-Bok are involved somehow. This may just be my own paranoia but there’s been a few telling moments this season that have given them away. Choon-Bok’s dementia is bad but also could be a deflection to something dark hidden inside.
Then again, what about Hyung-Woo? We’ve seen him erratic and torn up in the past, along with a few violent outbursts too. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of these comic reliefs are responsible.
On the same note though, there’s some great acting in this show and it’s exemplified by Goong-Cheol’s cries at the end. You really feel the pain and helplessness this man feels at the end and it’s beautifully portrayed by Yu Jun-Sang.
With three episodes to go, things are really starting to get interesting now and quite where this one will go next, remains to be seen.
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