We begin episode 9 of Private Lives with Bok-Gi breaking into the funeral parlor and stealing the President’s ledger which is hidden inside her own urn.
This intriguing opener then sees us cut back 14 years ago as a young Bok-Gi heads outside and is treated like a princess, complete with a throne on the back of a trailer.
In the present, Bok-Gi returns to this childhood home and contemplates whether to tear it all down and start again. Eventually she decides not to. As she opens the ledger, a further flashback reveals that President Choi handed over it over willingly to her.
Jae-Wook meets Hyun-Kyeong and shows the picture of Seok-Ho face-down and passed out on the table. It turns out his picture was taken at the hotel by his men too. It was also forwarded on to Dae-Sang whom Seok-Ho rings, warning him and making sure they’re on the same page.
As he hangs up, General Manager Kim overhears his conversation and brings Seok-Ho to his office. Taking his familiar steps forward, Kim suddenly roundhouse kicks the man in the head, forcing him to reveal all.
Seok-Ho admits that the Violent Crimes Division have taken an interest in him. Kim is wise though, knowing that he went to the hotel with Joo-Eun. Kim questions whether it was just alcohol he ingested, especially given he passed out, and asks what the police are up to.
Back at the station, the two detectives are pulled into the office with Dae-Sang where they ask him outright whether he’s been compromised. Detective Kim asks just what’s going on, prompting Dae-Sang to surprisingly answer honestly and tell him that GK are in charge. For fear of losing their badges, he implores them to comply.
Jae-Wook shows up at GK as he learns he’s been promoted to Deputy Chief. Seok-Ho – who happens to be punished by kneeling down with his arms up – is incredulous to this but stays in line without too much of a fuss. Jae-Wook gives them a new set of instructions and plans to take forward with them, including using Joo-Eun.
Jae-Wook recruits a woman named Mi-Young, whom he pays to enter the Spy Detective Agency and steal Joo-Eun’s details on the computer. Putting a USB drive in the tower, Industrial Technology suddenly show up and put Mi-Young and Joo-Eun in handcuffs.
Outside though, a rogue car driven by Han Son smashes into the side, stopping them in their tracks. With everyone groggy, Jeong-Hwan appears on his bike and picks up Joo-Eun, taking her away while she’s still stuck in handcuffs. At a safe spot, he lets her go but she slaps him across the face upon learning the truth.
Soon after the duo finally admit the truth to each other. Both have been lying to each other all this time an they trade verbal blows, with Jeong-Hwan calling her an ex-con. She tells him that things are finally over between them, walking away while sobbing outside.
Jeong-Hwan follows though and eventually apologizes to her. The pair eventually do kiss but Jeong-Hwan awakens alone in the morning while Joo-Eun walks away.
Back at GK, the team learn that Joo-Eun got away and their plan was a bust. Surveying the CCTV footage, they notice the unidentified motorcyclist taking off with Joo-Eun. Jae-Wook is convinced that it’s Jeong-Hwan though and they’re not alone. Detective Kim also reviews that same footage and believes that it’s a romantic gesture “Has she got a new boyfriend?” Kim however, is deep in thought. Has he figured it out?
With Jeong-Hwan’s location gained, GK show up with Jae-Wook watching from afar. There, they learn that the pair have switched up their clothes and motorcycle with some youths to get away and stick to the shadows. On the back of this, Jae-Wook decides to fight fire with fire and stays in the shadows too, deciding to start this cat and mouse game properly.
Meanwhile, Han Son turns himself in at the police station as the one who crashed the car. Complete with a neck brace and a new “scaredy-cat” attitude, he pleads with them to drop the case.
It seems to work too and on the way back to his car, Min-Jung seems to take a fancy to him and watches the man leave. Detective Kim is also watching too, eventually heading back in the office to ask about Joo-Eun and whether all of this was one big set-up.
This asking soon turns aggressive though, prompting Dae-Sang to bring Kim into his office where he contemplates Kim’s idea that Joo-Eun is an industrial spy.
The guys at GK have done their homework and learn all about the members of this detective spy agency. Having learned all this, Joo-Eun rings her Mother who asks to meet her at the agency. Only…Jae-Wook and his goons are already waiting for her there. Just before she heads in, guards surround her either side of the hallway.
The Episode Review
Three words spoken in this episode perfectly capture the mood, tone and pace of this drama – what a mess. The story is all over the place with flashbacks inside flashbacks, history lessons and twists all rolled into one.
While this may seem stylish and work on occasion, we’re now 9 episodes into this one and there’s still a lot of choppy editing that disrupts the flow and it’s bound to cause a lot of confusion with viewers.
The light bites of comedy are handled quite well too but the main conflict between GK and the spy detective agency is perhaps more convoluted than it should be.
As we cross the halfway point of this drama, the ending seems to hint that we’ll be switching things up again and moving into a more straight forward narrative. Let’s hope that’s the case in this topsy turvy espionage thriller.