Trolley – K-Drama Episode 15 Recap & Review

The Truth

Episode 15 of Trolley starts with Hye-joo on TV deciding to speak her truth. Before she does, we cut back to the moments before broadcast where Hye-joo calls out her husband for being a liar, asking him to reveal everything he’s hiding. Joong-do refuses, but instead entices his wife to agree to follow his lead and propose that Ji-hoon did commit sexual assault. That way he can push through his Sexual Crime Bill. Hye-joo agrees and says as much live on-air, promising never to run away again.

Hye-joo makes a big decision and decides they should get divorced. Joong-do implores her to hold off. After all, the Bill has only just been declared and with Hye-joo in the public spotlight, it’s not the best time for him. The Bill needs to pass election, but once it does then he’ll agree to her terms for divorce.

It’s pretty shameless but it’s nothing compared to what happens to Yeo-jin. She’s rushed to hospital after she’s overdosed on sleeping tablets. She needs to stay hospitalized in the emergency room until she wakes up but thankfully Yeo-jin has been brought in before things got really bad. While Hye-joo stays with her, she tells Joong-do not to let Yoon-seo know anything about what’s been going on.

At work the next day, Joong-do apologizes to Woo-jae for doubting him. He’s watched the dashcam footage and bemoans himself for being a bad leader. While he’s busy with work stuff, Yoon-seo rings and apologizes for doubting her mum, telling Hye-joo that everyone thinks of her as a hero and brave now.

Seung-hee is not one to take this lying down though and decides to retaliate. Before she does, Joong-do’s campaign receives a healthy bump, with the public sentiment swinging in favour of the Bill now. Woo-jae finds Hye-joo outside and admits he’s known for a while about Joong-do and Yeo-jin’s affair.

When Yeo-jin wakes up, Hye-joo confronts the person she thought was her friend. Yeo-jin took the pills because she was ashamed but admits there’s a bigger lie here. It turns out Joong-do raped her, it wasn’t an affair after all! Remember Ji-jhoon’s graduation? Well, it seems to have happened then. This much is true when Joong-do shows up some time later and apologizes, dropping to his knees and using Hye-joo as an excuse for wanting to “do better” now.

Yeo-jin has been in a depressed state for a long time, having been prescribed sleeping pills and going to therapy. However, she really was raped. So what of the conversation in the hallway? Apparently this was a misunderstanding. Seeing the door ajar to Joong-do’s office suffocated her and midway through talking, Joong-do asked about letters in his office. Yeo-jin lashed out, telling him she can’t bear to go in there and calling out his nonchalance. When Joong-do called it a “mistake”, Yeo-jin continued on, challenging him over how Hye-joo may have felt about this.

After their chat, Hye-joo thinks back over how Yeo-jin has reacted to Joong-do’s study and realizes that she’s been telling the truth. Hye0joo believes they should go to the police together and challenge Joong-do, making him ay for what he’s done. Yeo-jin refuses, deciding she’ll just live as she has been instead.

Outside the room, Seung-hee is lurking about like a bad smell and admits she’s heard everything about Joong-do. She wants Hye-joo to do another interview, admit that she framed Seung-ho. If niot, then she’s going to go public about Joong-do and his rape. Hye-joo is stuck in the middle, and Joong-do even brings their daughter into it, gaslighting his wife and forcing her to make a horrible choice.

That night, Hye-joo meets with Chairwoman Woo Jin-seok and reveals the truth about Joong-do’s rape. She wants help in trying to work out what to do with Yeo-jin and how best to handle this. Woo believes Hye-joo should stay quiet about this. The real Trolley problem comes to the foreground here. On the one hand, Hye-joo can protect her family and oust her husband as a rapist and get justice for her loved ones, hoping that by doing so people may see the light and try to enact public support to push through a bill to help other victims.

On the other hand, she stays quiet and although allowing her husband to get away with a heinous crime, the public support for this bill will mean it’ll pass and bring about meaningful changes on a societal level.

One wildcard here that Hye-joo was not expecting to see though is Soo-bin. She hides out at the hospital and watches as Joong-do shows up and pleads with Yeo-jin to stay quiet about the rape. However, Soo-bin happens to be recording the entire ordeal. Unfortunately, Woo-jae spots her and takes the phone, deleting the video so she can’t do any harm. “This is your final warning.” Woo-jae says.

Soo-bin refuses to let this go and confronts Yeo-jin. However, Hye-joo shows up and talks her out of it. She brings up how awful it is that Ji-hoon has been branded a sex offender but overall, it’s the better solution for the entire world to let Joong-do get away with this, for the good of the Bill passing.

We then skip forward in time to Hye-joo speaking to her daughter before doing another press conference. The contents of her chat with Yoon-seo are unclear but as Hye-joo talks to the cameras, she ousts Joong-do for the rapist that he is.

The Episode Review

It now becomes clear exactly what Joong-do is doing. He’s trying to repent for his despicable past actions and believes in passing this sexual assault bill it will somehow absolve him of his own crimes to do good for the whole community. After passing the bill, he’s then going to give up and retire, apparently.

This really helps to reframe the entire season and seeing Joong-do’s descent and the little glimmers over the series of his true self, is telling and now makes more sense in retrospect. This also explains why he’s been so dead-set to pass this bill and twist the truth surrounding Ji-hoon to his own advantage. Given what we do know, the situation with Ji-hoon just seems way too convenient to see him “slip” into the river.

Hye-joo ‘s Trolley problem is compounded further by both Soo-bin and Seung-hee, who are ultimately polar opposite variables in this equation. On the one hand you have Seung-hee, who represents the “mob mentality” of believing everything in the media and through hearsay, regardless of fact checking. Soo-bin though, almost represents a younger version of Hye-joo, believing in doing what’s right but getting herself wrapped up in pretty shady dealings in the process.

This show hasn’t always fired on all cylinders but I have to say, this penultimate episode was great. With all the cards laid out on the table, it’s anyone’s guess over quite how this is going to end!

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You can read our full season review for Trolley here!

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1 thought on “Trolley – K-Drama Episode 15 Recap & Review”

  1. Overall I am an ardent lover of K-Drama film & TV, this one has lost me. As it’s pretty clear what’s going on. At least overall, my main criticism of Trolley is that it’s way too slow. In general the Koreans use this slow burn to build intrigue and plot also character development. Trolley doesn’t always get this balance right. I gave up around episode 8. Deciding to just read the synopsis online. I’ve not done this before, but hey, my time is valuable.

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