Uncovering The Truth
We begin episode 8 of Private Lives with Han Son looking over the CCTV footage for Jeong-Hwan. Obviously he doesn’t know it’s him thanks to the mysterious motorcycle helmet. He comments how the guy knows numerous different martial art disciplines and wonders who it is.
Mi-Sook suddenly arrives though and tells him not to fall in love before asking where the detective agency is.
With Mi-Sook by his side, Han Son arrives at the spy agency as she looks around disapprovingly at the run-down place. She settles in and asks for a coffee while finding out that Bok-Gi and Joo-Eun are working together.
As we cut across to this pair, we learn Bok-Gi used to be in love with Jae-Wook. Now, that love has turned to hate and she wants to kill him. As she and Joo-Eun drink alcohol together, they discuss whether there’s any regret in their past business ventures.
As they continue on, Joo-Eun turns the attention to the mystery motorcyclist as they wonder just who is behind the mask.
Back at the agency, Joo-Eun learns there’s still no word on Yoon-Seok and worse, her Mother’s come by recently. This brings an awkward family reunion at In-Sook’s restaurant as they talk about Jae-Wook and their next steps. She convinces her daughter to make sure Bok-Gi fully trusts her in order to film another documentary.
Following his ordeal, Yoon-Seok greets Jeong-Hwan, who heads back in and tells him he can’t do this any longer. As we soon see, he snuck into the detective agency while Joo-Eun was out.
Only, when she returns later that evening he’s spotted and Joo-Eun appears to recognize him, asking him to stop. As Jeong-Hwan races away, Joo-Eun disguises herself to check the CCTV footage. Unfortunately this fails to bring up many clues.
When Joo-Eun returns home she finds an ominous note on the mirror “Don’t you ever show up in front of me I’ll really kill you next time”. This appears to be left from Jae-Wook but Bok-Gi is not so sure. This isn’t his handiwork.
It’s clear someone is watching her though but Bok-Gi is certain it’s nothing to be concerned about. As they get talking, Bok-Gi believes there’s more to this Jeong-Hwan story, specifically how his detective agency and GK are tied together. That can’t be a coincidence.
Joo-Eun heads back to see the detective and echoes this same information to him. He’s clearly confused, leading Joo-Eun to ask incredulously just whether they were even investigating properly or not.
Meanwhile, Soo-Jin starts looking into Joo-Eun while Jeong-Hwan contemplates with Yoon-Seok whether they can work together and get inside UI. That – as we soon find out – is an emphatic yes.
Jeong-hwan dons a disguise and manages to bag an ID card to break in. He heads straight to the server room and plugs in a USB, taking crucial data but causing the entire building to go into lockdown.
Jeong-Hwan is chased through the building, forced to twist and turn through the various floors and hallways. Using the fire hose, he manages to rappel down to the ground and hurry away.
He scrambles back into the PC Graveyard van and watches as the system is close to being infiltrated. As they look through all the data together, Jeong-Hwan contemplates whether Joo-Eun is a spy for UI. He believes that the woman is clean and isn’t part of the company. Instead, their attention turns to GK.
This leads Jeong-Hwan to call Mr Kim and question him over his involvement. He tells Jeong-Hwan that UI were hired as a contractor and promises to find out the rest. Unbeknownst to him, he’s being Seok-Ho. Only, given it’s an older model of phone then it doesn’t work leaving him empty handed.
On the back of this he realizes that Yoon-Seok is still alive. Specifically, that it was his twin brother they killed beforehand. Kim tasks his right-hand man to diligently find the pair, leading him into a Chinese restaurant with Han Son – but not before a stiff roundhouse kick to the jaw.
This man warns Hanson and tells him he shouldn’t ask any more questions going forward. Only, Han Son has questions of his own. With a skewer in hand, he threatens the man and plants his head against the table. He wants to know about Jeong-Hwan.
Meanwhile, Seok-Ho sweet-talks Joo-Eun and hands over a bouquet of flowers. She agrees to go for food with him but clearly isn’t falling for his gig. Watching from afar happen to be Myung-Hyun and Soo-Jin who follow them to a lavish, expensive hotel. Myung-hyun heads into the bathroom to wash his hands, eventually calling out Seok-Ho and blowing his cover.
Realizing that his cover is blown, Seok-Ho heads into the private room with Joo-Eun, where she puts drops of tranquilizer in the wine bottle and manages to coerce him into drinking the whole bottle.
He’s clearly drunk and encourages her to head out with him. He’s pretty sleazy, offering room service for the room above. Unfortunately Seok-Ho is pretty strong and manages to withstand most of the effects. Eventually he passes out on the floor- followed swiftly by Joo-Eun who slumps down next to him.
When she awakens, the GK employee is still on the floor luckily and she manages to take his phone. There, she scrolls through his calendar and finds evidence linking Seok-Ho to Jeong-Hwan. Posing as a hotel worker, she manages to head out as the security head into the room, in the dark that she was there previously.
Back at the rooftop, Han Son confirms to Joo-Eun that Jeong-Hwan was one of their shadow agents. On the back of this, she confronts Mi-Sook and bemoans their family set-up, specifically her involvement in what’s happened and how theirt family has broken down over the years.
Afterward, Joo-Eun heads to the prison and speaks to her soft-hearted Father about the same predicament The pair start weeping while he apologizes for what happened.
Meanwhile, Yoon-Seok feeds back the truth about Joo-Eun to Jeong-Hwan. He learns that Joo-Eun has a family and most certainly was not an orphan. Even worse, Yoon confirms that she has a criminal record for fraud. Believing he should find out the truth himself, he takes the bike and races over to confront Joo-Eun as the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review
As Joo-Eun and Jeong-Hwan get closer to the truth, this episode essentially splits the run-time between the two protagonists as they continue their investigation.
Given Jeong-Hwan’s ties to General Manager Kim, he’s obviously flying close to the sun, although Joo-Eun’s dinner date with the slimy Seok-Ho sees her running parallel to Jeong-Hwan too.
So far this show has done an okay job with its espionage plot line but it’s hard not to think Joo-Eun’s efforts are a little amateurish. From running headfirst into a booby trapped building last episode to a touch-and-go situation with the tranquilizer here (knocking herself out in the process), it’s hard to believe she’s come this far.
I do appreciate the writers haven’t made her a Mary Sue but her inner conflict and issues with Jeong-Hwan are enough to make her a flawed character without the added bumbling moves to go with it.
Despite that though, Private Lives does okay with its story but it’s hard not to think this one lost a lot of viewers with its confusing flashbacks early on.
Tonally, the show is a bit all over the place too with pockets of humor drowned out by political and melodramatic plot lines. That’s to say nothing of Jae-Wook either who’s disappointingly missing from the entirety of this episode.
Still, the door is left wide open for next week’s double bill and quite what will happen next, remains to be seen!