We begin episode 17 of The Penthouse with flashes back to the night Seol-A died. Now we see Yoon-Hee’s true version of events play out. She was helped by Yoon-Cheol who took her down the stairs as she promises to ruin anyone who gets in her daughter’s way.
After smashing up Seo-Jin’s study, she breaks the glass door and heads upstairs by herself. This is around the time Eun-Byeol confronted Seol-A and watched as she fell down the stairs.
Yoon-Hee promised to help her but first Seol-A needed to go and get her phone. Just as she hurried off, Joo grabbed Seol-A and the sight of blood on his face caused him to double over and go crazy. He chased Seol-A and took her up to the roof. A drunken Yoon-Hee followed and subsequently threw the girl over the roof.
Heading back down again, Yoon-Hee left Hera Palace and continued to drink outside on the steps, shaking and beside herself with grief. This of course leads to her finding out Ro-Na got into school the following day.
Back in the present, Su-Ryeon confirms that she killed Congressman Jo. In exchange for keeping quiet about the death, Su-Ryeon confirms she used her to do her bidding. Yoon-Hee is shocked but Su-Ryeon is determined to catch those responsible for killing her daughter. Su-Ryeon confirms she was certain she saw who threw Seol-A over the top and mentions the ruby ring.
Logan phones Su-Ryeon, giving Yoon-Hee a chance to get away and head back home. Of course the ruby ring Su-Ryeon mentioned is a telling point and in her apartment it’s clear Yoon-Hee has a few screws loose after finding out the truth. She questions her own motives and whether she could have done this.
As thunder rumbles outside, Logan speaks to Su-Ryeon on the phone and confirms that Yoon-Hee is definitely one of the suspects in Seol-A’s murder. Given she was at Hera Palace that night, he tells her to be careful and keep cool.
Joo gives Seok-Kyung the test results and tells her to memorize the answers. When he heads back into the study, he suspects something is up and checks his secret room. Everything seems to be in order but it’s clear he knows Su-Ryeon is up to something.
The police call Yoon-Hee down to the station as it turns out Ro-Na was caught stealing beers from a convenience store. Yon-Hee is irate at her daughter and begins striking the girl as officers finally break them both up.
Yoon-Hee eventually walks Ro-Na home and talks to her down by the shore as they overlook the twinkling skyline of Seoul. As Ro-Na looks to walk away, Yoon-Hee decides she might as well kill herself as she has nothing else to live for. Eventually Yoon-Hee hugs Ro-Na and apologizes to her daughter for causing so much trouble.
On the back of this, Ro-Na decides to try and protect her Mother but Yoon-Hee is obviously distraught and not in a sane mind. “How can I raise a daughter to a murderer?” She despairs.
When Seok-Hoon finds out that Ro-Na is going back to school, he’s overjoyed to see her. Only, she has a favour for him first.
When Su-Ryeon shows at Yoon-Hee’s door and asks to spend some time together, Yoon-Hee is standoffish and more than a little shifty. Eventually she snaps and confronts Su-Ryeon about her lies. When Su-Ryeon mentions Seol-A however, Yoon-Hee gasps and hurries into the elevator. There, she eventually heads out to a secluded spot outside where she burns all the evidence she has that may link to her Seol-A’s death.
Ro-Na returns to school as all the students can only watch on in shock. Seok-Hoon is super nice to her and reveals to the class that he’s going out with Ro-Na.
Doo-Ki heads in to see Seo-Jin and breaks the news that Ro-Na is back in school. She’s currently doing exams and Seo-Jin shows up to watch from the doorway. She’s not alone though. Ho-Dang too shows his face and promises to take extra care of Ro-Na to make sure she’s not bullied out the school.
On the back of the exam, it turns out Eun-Byeol got the lowest scores at 58 after marking the wrong answers. On the back of this, she immediately heads over to Ro-Na who promises that this is just the start and continues to try and beat Ro-Na.
Seok-Hoon shows though and defends her, telling Eun-Byeol that her Mother isn’t much better and confirms that Joo and Seo-Jin are actually having an affair too so she doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
While Yoon-Hee continues to help Joo at work (receiving a car as a promotional gift no less!) Logan Lee and Joo discuss their plans to build right over Su-Ryeon’s lot. Only, Su-Ryeon comes out and speaks to Logan, confirming that Hye-In owns the land and she’s not actually dead, despite what Joo would want to believe.
And just like that, she wheels Hye-In out of the car who’s now speaking and almost walking. With egg on his face, Joo is beside himself with anger as Logan tells him he’s disappointed he tried to lie and sell the property as collateral.
Secretary Jo takes the brunt of abuse here as Joo beats the man down for not keeping an eye on Hye-In. At the same time, Yoon-Hee starts to realize that Su-Ryeon and Logan are working together.
Down in the lobby, Seo-Jin confronts Joo about her hanging around with Yoon-Hee. She demands Yoon-Hee be fired but he simply tells her to be careful given many eyes are on them. Seo-Jin turns around and tells him that she dictates their relationship and he should listen to her.
Afterwards, Seo-Jin heads home and finds Yoon-Cheol there ready to talk. He tells her he’s been appointed Director of the Medical Center which happens to be in her Father’s will. He flamboyantly bows which only angers Se0-Jin further, phoning her lawyer and demanding he show up to try and talk her through what’s happened. When she gets into her car, she receives a video message showing what she did to her Father.
Back home, Seok-Hoon confronts his sister and tries to convince her that what Joo has been doing is abuse. Seok-Ryeon has nasty cuts up her arms from her Father as “encouragement”. As Joo heads home, both kids cower as he heads up to confront his wife.
Su-Ryeon tells him he won’t be able to find Hye-In no matter what he does. Joo grabs her round the throat and begins choking her out until she smacks a vase over his head and leaves the Chairman knocked out on the ground.
The Episode Review
Phew, what a dramatic episode! There’s a lot to unpack here so let’s get straight to it.
It seems likely now that Yoon-Hee was the one who killed Seol-A, backed up by her timeline of events played out alongside the fragments of other clips we’ve seen across the previous 16 episodes. However, there could be another twist in the tale, especially with Yoon-Hee doubting herself back home.
Seo-Jin barely features in this episode but the scenes she is in helps to show the balance of power swinging away from her once more. This pendulum has constantly shifted for and against her across the season and now it seems likely that her time is up. Someone knows what she did to her Father and Yoon-Cheol being given the Director role as part of her Father’s will is a deliciously sweet dose of irony.
And what of Yoon-Hee and Joo? Could we see a shift in power with Yoon-Hee eventually teaming up with Joo? I hope not but there seems to be hints that the show is moving in that direction.
Ro-Na’s redemptive arc is probably one of the highlights though and while it’s hard to buy her “wild-child” demeanour, there’s just about enough with her transformation to make for a satisfying transformation nonetheless.
Still, with this week’s cliffhanger ending it leaving things wide open for the final 3 episodes, which look set to finish this one off at the start of 2021 with a bang!