Trolley – K-Drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Blame

Episode 3 of Trolley starts at Jicheon High School where we learn about the trolley problem. This comes from an old psychology question about what you’d do in an instance of saving the few VS the many. Interestingly, Yoon-seo is actually in the classroom during this discussion.

This paves way for the present, where we cut back to Seung-kyun committing suicide and jumping out his apartment. The post-it note for “Murderer Joong-do” standing out in black letters. News of this quickly reaches Joong-do’s office. If he didn’t have enough to deal with, given he also has the paternity test situation to deal with Soo-bin.

Woo-jae believes they should keep her staying with them for the time being, and that they should be grateful she didn’t go to an opposing party and plaster this all over the news. It could have been an awful blow for Joong-do’s campaign. Still, it’s not easy for Hye-joo who tries her best to appease the girl, but has to break it to her that she’s to go to the hospital to get checked for drugs. She agrees to go.

Before that, the pair stop by Hye-joo’s book repair shop. Soo-bin is fascinated by this and mentions how Ji-hoon used to talk about the place with her. As a result, she ends up watching Hye-joo as she works. She points out what got her into working, along with all the tricks she’s picked up along the way.

Joong-do tries to prep a statement off the back of the suicide, intent on plying damage control, while reporters wait hungrily for all the details. The thing is, the opposition intend to use this story as a weapon, with Assemblyman Kang pointing out how Joong-do attacked a poor student live on-air. Kang immediately tries to find out where the wake is being held, wanting to send flowers. Of course, this is all a political ploy to try and drive public sentiment to his cause.

After their time at the book recovery shop, Hye-joo drops off Soo-bin at Yeo-jin’s restaurant. The latter points out that a family is more than blood and that explains why she’s so close to the family. However, they’re all interrupted by news breaking about the suicide with reporters giving coverage for Seung-Kyun’s death. Our grieving grandmother sees it as a blessing and even hands over a whole bunch of gifts to Hye-joo to thank her for this. “I don’t have much to give you on such a happy day.” She says.

As for Joong-do, he heads off for the upcoming debate, with a statement all prepped and ready to go. He checks it on his phone and it seems online opinions are actually in his favour. Woo-jae warns Joong-do not to show remorse here, given it could turn people away from him.

While Soo-bin heads off to get her drug test, all roads seem to lead to Yongsam for something that occurred with Hye-joo in the past. That much is especially evident as we catch a glimpse of another subplot interwoven through this, as a woman called Ki-young catches up with Seung-hee, and the pair head for Yongsam. They’re on their way back to see their mother.

Joong-do arrives for the conference but as soon as he steps out the car, he ends up getting an egg thrown at him. It’s Seung-kyun’s parents, screaming that he’s a murderer. After wiping himself down, he composes himself and shows up at his debate, wearing Woo-jae’s jacket. It seems to go well too and he eventually decides to cancel the rest of his schedule and head home. The death of Seung-Kyun hangs heavy over him.

Soo-bin ends up spooked in the street upon seeing someone and shows up at Hye-joo’s to watch her work. She also mentions Hye-joo not going to university, which apparently Ji-hoon told her. It seems Ji-hoon has spoken a lot about her, including how she’s not his birth mother.

Of course, that last part hits sharply like a knife, given the relationship they had together. She sends Soo-bin out to get a bottle of water as she composes herself. However, Joong-do immediately loses control, pointing out that a child died and he feels directly responsible for this. Hye-Joo reflects on how kind Joong-Do has always been, with flashbacks fleshing out more of his history, involving how he cared for his mother. Hye-Joo used to show up and the pair ended up acquainted that way.

Over in Yongsam, the kids show up to see their mum but she’s not exactly happy to see Ki-young. This works in direct contrast to the past, where Hye-joo’s flashbacks involve a grieving woman saying “My child died because of you.” This appears to be referencing Hye-joo.

If that wasn’t a big enough shocker, Woo-jae speaks to Soo-bin in confidence, where we find out that her child might not actually be Ji-hoon’s after all.

The Episode Review

Most of this episode works to divide the political and character drama evenly, with Soo-bin learning more about Hye-joo’s work while the latter continues to wrestle with issues affecting her past. Those problems seem to be directly tied to the kids and the mum in Yongsam, which explains what those seemingly disparate threads actually are.

It’s a nice way of contextualizing just how significant they might end up becoming later on down the line too. Did Hye-joo really kill her child? Or is this metaphorical for something else?

Elsewhere, we have the drama involving Soo-bin, who seems to constantly use this “according to Ji-hoon” for much of her conversations with Hye-jin. I’m calling it now – it’s Joong-do who’s the father. I know that sounds absolutely mad but given there’s been so much emphasis on him being the “good guy”, it would be quite the curveball to throw into this.

This might have been a slower episode but it’s certainly not without incident and if that ending is anything to go by, tomorrow’s chapter should be quite the intriguing watch!

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You can read our full season review for Trolley here!


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