Episode 2 of Trolley starts with the bombshell reveal that Ji-Hoon has got a young woman – Soo-Bin – pregnant. Hye-Joo invites her in, where she reveals that she’s about 5 weeks pregnant. Apparently she and Ji-Hoon were dating for a while and met through a mutual friend, staying at Ji-Hoon’s place. This checks out, given Hye-Joo found disposable cups there with lipstick stains on.
Soo-Bin was also at the funeral hall too, but didn’t sign the guestbook as she didn’t feel it was right. Suddenly, she reveals that she wants to stay with them too, given she has nowhere else to stay.
Hye-Joo brings Yeo-Jin over to question the girl. Now, given she doesn’t have a phone and no pictures of them together, along with not having any next of kin either, there are definitely flaws in Soo-Bin’s story. She’s also unsure whether to have the baby or not.
Meanwhile, Assemblyman Kang checks the news and notices the details about Ji-Hoon. He scoffs at how Joong-Do has let this leak believing he’s not fit to run for office. In fact, there are calls for him to resign, pointing out the abuse of resources, including plenty of malicious comments online. Of course, all of this stems from Ji-Hoon’s alleged drug use.
Joong-Do does his research and learns through his sources that Ji-Hoon’s blood tested negative for illegal drugs. Furthermore, his blood alcohol level was at a level for acute intoxication. Nowhere near enough for him to just tumble over the edge and fall in the river it seems. Maybe Joong-Do isn’t connected after all, as he genuinely seems concerned when he learns Ji-Hoon was caught on camera nearby leaving a restroom after picking up drugs and using his burner phone.
Joong-Do throws himself into his work, keeping up appearances with the other advisors, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and putting on a brave face. Deep inside though you can tell he’s hurting – and even more so upon seeing the comments online.
After drinking way too much, Joong-Do is driven back home, where an even bigger headache comes from Ji-Hoon’s pregnancy. Hye-Joo tries to convince her husband to let the girl stay, empathizing with Soo-Bin’s story given she herself went through the same thing. She knows what it’s like to be alone and with nowhere else to go. She was also her age when she had Yoon-Seo.
Inside the house, Joong-Do questions Soo-Bin but unfortunately things take a turn for the worst. Soo-Bin decides that if she gets an abortion, she’ll head to the news and tell everyone about the big scandal involving the Assemblyman’s son. When Yoon-Seo arrives, she immediately questions Soo-Bin’s motives, although the latter is adamant that she didn’t get Ji-Hoon onto drugs.
The whole ordeal blows the family up, with Yoon-Seo hurrying off while Soo-Bin is allowed to stay for now. In Ji-Hoon’s room no less! Whilst there, Hye-Joo speaks to Soo-Bin confidentially and finds out that this was consensual and Ji-Hoon didn’t force himself on her.
As for Woo-Jae (Joong-Do’s Chief Advisor), he’s all ready for the upcoming election and has a number of theories around how they can spin this Soo-Bin situation to their own liking. Back inside the house, Joong-Do tasks his wife with getting Soo-Bin checked out for drugs and alcohol to make sure she’s not shifty or there’s any way this can be used against them.
In the morning, Joong-Do gets up and prepares for work. Unfortunately, he’s cornered by several journalists who show up with cameras, questioning him about the drugs and the police. Hye-Joo immediately comes out and starts hysterically mentioning how it was her who got involved and convinced Joong-Do to do the investigation. Joong-Do ushers his wife back inside though, promising the reporters he’ll given an official statement later on.
Unfortunately this footage ends up on the news, but Jo Gwi-Soon – the old lady whom Hye-Jin visited at the funeral home – seeing this first-hand. She hears the reporters speaking ill of her granddaughter and of Hye-Joo, jumping in herself. Gwi-Soon points out that Assemblyman Nam and his wife both came by to pay their respects, even before news of Ji-Hoon’s death was known.
That night, Joong-Do heads on the news and gives an exclusive interview abut what happened with Ji-Hoon and Yoon-Seo. He points out that he couldn’t find her and after 12 hours he made the wrong choice as an emotional parent. Not just an apology, Joong-Do also, tearily, reveals the truth about Gwi-Seol’s granddaughter’s death and how the prosecution on the case failed to actually investigate it properly.
He points out the damning stats around digital sexual violence and as a result, promises to reorganize and strengthen the legislation around this.
Joong-Do speaks directly to citizens at home, telling them all that the last present his son gave is an opportunity to help the under-privileged and do what he feels is right. He’s going to resolve this and reinforce legislation to make it so those responsible receive a harsh sentence. Joong-Do has decided to use his personal tragedy as a drive to step forward and do what’s right.
As a result, public sentiment rapidly shifts in their favour. It turns out Joong-Do had no idea that his wife attended the same funeral, given he showed up later on after attending another funeral next door. These crazy coincidences see lady luck shining on them both.
Following this, police show up to arrest Seung-Kye, the kid responsible for blackmailing that poor girl who died. The thing is, he ended up subjected to horrific abuse himself online, with many calling for him to die. As a result, when the police show up, he jumps out the window of his high rise apartment and commits suicide. However, he leaves behind a message reading: “Murderer: Nam Joong-Do.”
The Episode Review
Every action has a consequence and in this case, the pendulum swings in favour of Joong-Do and Hye-Joo…but only temporarily. That ending seems to hint there are going to be big ramifications for Joong-Do’s pleas to crack down on crime.
There’s definitely fishy with this whole Ji-Hoon situation though. Originally it seemed like Joong-Do planted the drugs on his estranged son to better his own political campaign – given he didn’t even meet him when he left prison – but now it seems it runs much deeper than that.
If those shady players at the National Assembly are anything to go by, it could be either Assemblyman Kang or even Woo Jin-Seok that planted the drugs to debunk and discredit Joong-Do’s campaign.
These sort of political changes – radical ones – are often met with scrutiny and in some cases violence. Whilst I’m not suggesting Joong-Do is going to face a JFK-esque assassination, the parallels between the two are certainly here to see, given Joong-Do is dead-set on getting tough on crime and ruffling the feathers of plenty of officials along the way.
The situation with Soo-Bin is also intriguing as well, and it’ll be interesting to see what part she has to play in all this. There’s an air of Sky Castle in the way she’s been planted in a family and looks set to implode the dynamic, but we’ll have to wait and see. For now though, another strong episode rounds things out nicely, leaving a tantalizing prospect for next week’s double-bill.
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