Corruption At Ahseong
Episode 9 of Melancholia begins with Yoon-soo’s ex-fiancée, Seong-jae, confronting her. When Seung-yoo approaches them, Seong-jae says it’s shameful that they would still spend time together.
When Seong-jae leaves, Seung-yoo assures Yoon-soo that he will make sure Si-an is not hurt by Ji-na’s actions. But Yoon-soo apparently has plans of her own.
Through another director at the Sammu Academy, Yoon-soo plans a meeting with Ms. Noh at a restaurant. Whenever Ms. Noh arrives, however, she meets only the director. Yoon-soo is in another room, listening in on their conversation.
The director tells Ms. Noh that the clinic instructor (Yoon-soo) heard of the incident between Ji-na and Si-an. He says that if Ms. Noh takes care of Si-an, they can find a place for Ji-na in their clinic.
Ms. Noh reveals her plan to establish a nonprofit foundation to help poor students. In reality, the foundation will be a farce for laundering bribe money. Parents will “donate,” and the money will be sent to admissions counselors at Ivy League schools, so that their children can get into these schools.
At their next chance meeting, Yoon-soo again urges Seung-yoo to leave her alone. He pushes back. She once got him out of a difficult situation, and he wants to do the same for her.
At Ahseong, Ms. Noh apologizes to Seung-yoo for how Ji-na stole from Si-an. Seung-yoo says Ji-na will be kicked off his project.
Ji-na instigates a fight with Si-an. Si-an feels triumphant about the way things are turning out. She warns Ji-na and her friends to watch out for her from now on.
Ms. Noh’s troubles don’t end with her daughter. The reporter who collaborated with Seung-yoo published another article. This time, she implicates Ahseong for allegedly allowing children into the school because of their families’ status. As a result of the article, there is going to be an audit on the school.
When Yoon-soo sees the article, she asks Seung-yoo if he is trying to be a whistleblower. He believes that if auditors and reporters begin digging into the school’s corruption, they’ll find out about what happened four years ago.
Yoon-soo says she doesn’t care about exposing what happened in the past. Her plan is to reveal ongoing corruption at Ahseong. Seung-yoo offers to help, but she refuses to have anything to do with him.
Yoon-soo experiences an emotional moment when she visits her father at his care facility. She opens up to him that she doesn’t connect with mathematics any more; she doesn’t feel like a mathematician. Her father assures her that all mathematicians feel that way at some point, and tears stream down her face.
Ji-na meets with Yoon-soo at the Sammu Academy after promising to keep her identity a secret. Yoon-soo shows her a video of Ji-na stealing a watch from the meditation centre. She says Ji-na must be completely honest with her, and she will keep the video private.
Seung-yoo meets Ms. Noh for dinner. When he arrives at the restaurant, he realizes Yoon-soo is in the building as well. He rushes Yoon-soo out of the building to attempt to keep her presence a secret, but Ms. Noh senses that something is off and follows them.
The episode ends with Ms. Noh approaching Seung-yoo, who has his back turned to her as he attempts to hide Yoon-soo in front of his body.
The Episode Review
This installment of Melancholia finally delivers some action and intrigue that have been missing from the past few episodes. This improvement largely has to do with Yoon-soo featuring prominently for the first time since the time jump.
It seems life has hardened Yoon-soo, which Im Soo-jung portrays beautifully. While Seung-yoo seeks revenge for her in his newfound (and obnoxious) happy-go-lucky way, Yoon-soo has a more intricate plan to expose the ongoing corruption at Ahseong.
This episode still struggles to regain the show’s early charm due to its strained plot points, comically forced situations, and the decline of Seung-yoo’s likability. But it promises more and better things to come.
How do you feel about Seung-yoo’s persistent pursuit of Yoon-soo? And do you think Yoon-soo will be able to use Ji-na in her revenge-plan without compromising her secret identity?