Private Lives – K-Drama Episode 4 Recap & Review

A Masterclass In Confusing Editing

Episode 4 of Private Lives picks up right where we left off, Joo-Eun is taken to the mortuary to check on the status of Jeong-Hwan’s body. Or, at least what she believes to be him. The resulting corpse is burnt to a crisp and difficult to fully examine. However, she outright declares that it’s not him and walks away.

Heading back home, she looks upon the picture of her and Jeong-wan again. Eventually, her Mother Mi-Sook arrives – which is just what Joo-Eun doesn’t want as she asks her to leave. Instead, Mi-Sook heads up to see Hyun-Tae in prison, breaking the news that their daughter’s wedding was over and worse, she ended up in prison.

On the back of this visit, Mi-Sook puts Hansom to work and asks him to try and find Jeong-Hwan as a gift to Joo-Eun. While they do, the detective back at the station is suspicious over Joo-Eun’s reaction (or lack thereof) to the possibility of her husband’s death.

However, they’re distracted by him receiving DNA test results back. With that in hand, the detective personally hands it over to Joo-Eun. This seemingly confirms that it is Jeong-Hwan’s corpse that she spotted but we don’t really get a resolution to this so it’s assumed that’s what happened.

Joo-Eun’s woes continue as she finds herself in debt, not just with her rent but also with Mi-Sook too. She asks for 3 months, to which her Mother eventually agrees but promises to chase her up on in the future. Min-Jeong tries to help her out with planning finances too but it’s no good, she’s stuck in a nasty place and bills are piling up.

In the morning, Joo-Eun receives a call and heads in to see Jeong-Hwan’s parents. Or at least those playing up those roles several episodes back. He questions them over the wedding presents but it turns out Jeong-Hwan took them with him. Furious, Joo-Eun storms off before meeting the detective.

There, he outright questions Joo-Eun over what’s happened in the past. Specifically, how on earth Jeong-Hwan ended up dead in his car after their marriage not long after. She doesn’t have the answers though and instead tells the detective to ease up.

That evening, Joo-Eun runs into problems when three men enter the elevator. They look like the same thugs that chased Jeong-Hwan away from the wedding and they show up at Joo-Eun’s door. Given Joo-Eun got off at a different floor, they spy her creeping upstairs and chase her down.

Unfortunately, this sees Joo-Eun collected up and forced back into her apartment with this man. There, we learn exactly who he is.

His name is Park Tae-Joo and he’s been friends with Jeong-Hwan since his days in the orphanage. Well “friend” might be a bit of a stretch. Apparently he paid Jeong-Hwan’s insurance but it turns out he changed the name of the beneficiary to her rather than him, which may explain why he’s after Joo-Eun’s husband.

At the Community Service Centre, Joo-Eun hands over the forms to register Jeong-Hwan’s death properly. It turns out Jeong-Hwan had a business license and this inevitably brings her to the actual spy detective agency he was working at.

Lo and behold, none other than Bok-Gi happens to be sitting at the table. She’s convinced that Bok-Gi is responsible for everything that’s happening with Jeong-Hwan. She promises to con the woman at some point though and watches her walk away, eventually getting in a car and driving away.

It’s here Joo-Eun learns that Jeong-Hwan is in charge of this Spy Agency. Before they can divulge further though, the detective from earlier shows up to investigate the area. He’s certainly suspicious of how Joo-Eun knew about this place and invites her out for a drink to learn more.

There, she eventually opens up and admits that she was embarrassed about being lied to and scammed. With the façade dropped, the detective speaks to her plainly about what happened, including mysterious circumstances surrounding the car.

He decides to look into the case further, partly thanks to Joo-Eun’s request.

We then cut to a flurry of different scenes, all of which revolving around trying to find out the truth about Jeong-Hwan. Bok-Gi contemplates whether he killed Edward, throwing her phone out the window in order for it to be crushed.

We then cut to Joo-Eun returning to the spy detective agency and breaking in. She manages to crack the computer password and falls asleep at his desk.

Hye-Won arrives in the morning though and finds her, where it turns out Joo-Eun’s inherited everything – including the detective agency. It’s here she admits to having a crush on Jeong-Hwan.

As Joo-Eun leaves, she hacks his computer and manages to find numerous files linking Edward Kim to Jeong-Hwan.

Intending to try and find some answers, Joo-Eun heads out in a rather inappropriate dress for trekking through the woods. Only this scene suddenly switches to show Joo-Eun arriving at Bok-Gi’s apartment where she brings up the subject of Edward Kim.

It turns out Yoon-Kyung is Bok-Gi’s real name and with her Father released next month, Joo-Eun promises – in no uncertain terms – that she’ll get her retribution soon.

Then we cut back to the woods – a different time period this time – as Joo-Eun breaks into the garden of Edward Kim (or at least that’s who she thinks he is) and tries to evade security.

She does a pretty bad job of it though and she’s forced to flee from a fluffy white dog – followed shortly afterwards by a security guard.

However, a strange man in a mask arrives and helps Joo-Eun get away. As Joo-Eun slips in her car and drives off, the masked figure reveals himself to be none other than Jeong-Hwan. Surprise, surprise, he’s still alive!

The Episode Review

After a bright opening, Private Lives is quickly slipping into mediocrity. The editing in this show is so confusing at times and the rapid way this cuts the past, present and future together is incredibly disjointed.

We’ve had flashbacks within flashbacks, future glimpses intermingled with time jumps back (and forward?) and even here – right at the end – there’s three or four scenes completely out of context that ruin the pacing completely.

That’s before evening mentioning the humour. Now, the first episode balanced humour and drama nicely, lending itself into the con within a con story of episode 2.

Episode 3 is a different kettle of fish, diving into Jeong-Hwan’s back-story with a touch of melodrama but episode 4 tries to blend that together into a cacophonic symphony of espionage action, humour and drama.

Of course, it’s still early days and hopefully this one will settle down soon into a more consistent rhythm. Four episodes in though and Private Lives is just starting to slip compared to the other heavy hitting Wednesday/Thursday dramas.

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