Trolley – K-Drama Episode 16 Recap, Review & Review


Episode 16 of Trolley starts with Hye-joo deciding not to suffer any more from someone else’s choices or to run away from them. With the strobed lights of cameras joined by a cacophony of camera clicks, Hye-joo eventually composes herself and speaks her truth.

It turns out Yoon-seo tried to talk her mother out of exposing Joong-do, but despite Yoon-seo’s cries, pleas and attempts at manipulation, Hye-joo decides to follow through all the same. As a result of this bombshell reveal, there are a number of different reactions to this.

Assemblyman Kang obviously jumps straight on this and goes on the offensive, while Seung-hee is shocked that Hye-joo has put herself on the line to admit the truth about her husband, even though she was the one blackmailing and pushing her to this level.

Yeo-jin apologizes to Hye-joo that afternoon, believing she put all the burden on her friend. Hye-joo shrugs it off though and admits it has taken her 20 years to do the right thing. As for Joong-do, he’s not sure what to do but Woo-jae demands he not hand himself in and admit the truth. “Promise me that you’ll never turn yourself in,” He says, going on to hold the Assemblyman up and telling him to get the Bill passed whatever the cost.

Does Seung-hee learn the truth?

Soo-bin ends up in the firing line when she notices Yeo-jin’s troublemaking ex staff member (the one stealing money from the register earlier in the season) telling police that Yeo-jin is an opportunist and clearly this rape allegation is false. Soo-bin puts herself right in the firing line of the reporters, eventually leading to a cascade of questions over who she is.

Meanwhile, Kang’s announcement of selling up the plot of land has a recently-discharged Lee Yoo-shin in quite the pickle. She tells Ki-young to get in touch with Joong-do and force him to hand over the evidence and work with them. Seung-hee sees her mother acting irrationally, and even nonchalantly claims she doesn’t care that she lied about Seung-ho. Seung-hee is shocked when she learns what her mother has done, as the truth about Seung-ho’s rape and how she’s lied all this time comes to light. Seung-hee is shocked and disgusted.

Joong-do goes AWOL and drives off in Woo-jae’s car. Hye-joo is informed of this and hurries out to rush after her husband. It turns out he’s down by the beach. Hye-joo heads down to see him, where he looks set to wander into the water and commit suicide. Hye-joo notices him from afar and scrambles into the water to track the guy down.

What really happened with Ji-hoon?

She forces Joong-do to own up to his mistakes and he does just that, apologizing to the cameras and turning himself in. Woo-jae though watches from afar and now we see exactly why. Remember that scene with Ji-hoon? The one in the pouring rain? It turns out Ji-hoon actually infiltrated the drug drop as he wanted to get arrested and screw Joong-do over, ending his political campaign by getting arrested. He didn’t take drugs after all.

Woo-jae refused to allow that and drove off. Only, on the way down the coast, he looked over and saw Ji-hoon struggling while in the water. He saw the kid go under and decided to leave him to die. He also destroyed the memory card from the dashboard in the car, hiding evidence of Ji-hoon’s blackmail. All of that, of course, was for nothing given Joong-do has handed himself in.

Meanwhile, JD messages Soo-bin and tries to wind her up. However, she bites back and points out the baby she aborted was actually his. She’s not scared of him and she’s going to make him pay for what he’s done.

Does Soo-bin get revenge on JD?

Knowing what courage really is, given what she witnessed with Hye-jin, she shows up at the police station and reveals all, including how Assemblyman Kang is involved in the prostitution and her account was being used by JD. After, she visits Hye-joo and hands over a whole bunch of photos of Ji-hoon, something she’d actually kept for a while.

Ki-young and Seung-hee decide to part ways, with the latter intent on sticking around and repenting for her actions. Ki-young promises to wait for her. Seung-hee shows up to see Hye-joo and tells her to sue her and Yoo-shin after what’s happened with Seung-ho. As for Woo-jae, he hangs up his political badge, realizing that this whole ordeal has been for nothing.

How does Trolley end?

We then skip forward 5 months in time. Joong-do is behind bars and Hye-joo is going ahead with their divorce. Joong-do’s trial is coming up in less than 24 hours and he’s about to suffer the wrath of the law. As for the Sexual Crimes Act, that’s likely to be discharged completely as these sexual crimes continue across the nation.

Soo-bin manages to get rid of JD, with her bank account misuse being handled alongside his case. It’s likely that she’ll be charged with a fine but will avoid time behind bars, as well as knowing that her tormenting ex, Jung-dae, has being caught. As a result, Soo-bin finally feels free. Yoon-seo also manages to find the courage to forgive her mother, realizing that what she’s done is hugely courageous. Yoon-seo apologizes for being so mean and attempts to rekindle their relationship.

As for Hye-joo, she gets back on with work and leans into becoming the best mother she can be. Yeo-jin and Soo-bin also join her and become an unstoppable force of women who have been through the wars.

The Episode Review

So Trolley ends with a pretty perfunctory ending, wrapping everything up with a rather predictable conclusion that doesn’t really have too many fireworks. Assemblyman Kang doesn’t even get a conclusion, after learning of his involvement with JD, while Soo-bin learns through a text what’s happening with JD, which was such a big part of her storyline and we don’t even see him arrested or caught behind bars!

Meanwhile, we have the truth with Ji-hoon revealed but it’s still nowhere near as satisfying as it could be. It turns out Ji-hoon did drown but this time Woo-jae watched. I think a better ending here would have been Woo-jae forcibly drowning the kid, doing so for the “greater good”.

This could then have been increased tenfold with Woo-jae and Joong-do’s scene together, with the former promising to reveal the truth but only after Joong-do continues with his campaign, giving him a “Trolley problem” of his own. Instead, his character just slips off into the night with absolutely no ramifications.

The attempted suicide scene with Joong-do is another questionable element, given it looks like he actually stepped out into the water when its low tide. A much more dramatic addition surely would have been a gun and seeing Joong-do slowly loading it while Hye-joo races to his location. Instead, the whole scene with the water felt super contrived and lacked the intensity it was so obviously going for.

While Trolley doesn’t bungle its ending completely, it does wrap things up in a way that leaves a lot of question marks and frustratingly contrived scenarios. Ji-hoon drowning so close to shore given he’s less than a meter from the edge is hard to swallow, while Yeo-jin sticking around in the house after being raped is another inclusion that needed longer to actually examine and dissect.

Ultimately, Trolley could have been a great drama. All the elements were certainly here for a cracking political drama, but in the end this one feels half-baked and frustrating blasé.

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You can read our full season review for Trolley here!

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2 thoughts on “Trolley – K-Drama Episode 16 Recap, Review & Review”

  1. I thought the wife loves his husband when she tried to save him from drowning and ends this series with happy ending. To my surprise, she asked for a divorce. So, what’s the purpose for saving him? She put him in a situation to admit the crime he had done, put him behind bars and divorced. Might as well ,let him to be drown in the sea.

  2. Yes I agree, I am so frustrated by the fact that Yeo jin stayed in that house after she was raped. And I also can’t understand that there’s a scene her kissing assemblyman seeing off for work, and what did Ji-hoon saw that made him puked to the bowl?

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