From the writer that brought us the most likeable serial killer in dramaland, and the most awkward tea parties ever. We now have Suspicious Partner. A drama that really has everything. Crackling OTP (One True Pairing) chemistry, witty and fast paced dialogue. A murder mystery worth solving. And most of all PLOT. Welcome to KMUSE and Drama Geek’s co recapping of Suspicious Partner. If you aren’t familiar with our blog, we don’t do step-by-step recaps, but instead highlight our favorite parts and just have fun fangirling with you. I’ll be doing the first set of episodes each week and KMUSE will take care of the second. With that I’ll add a quick note about the new broadcasting schedule. It seems that to accommodate a new block of commercials the big three networks have decided to air two thirty minute episodes while adding commercials in the middle. So each week we’ll get the same amount of drama minutes, but split into four sections instead of two. It’s a bit annoying having to stop in the middle and go to the next episode, but as long as I can still get my drama fix, I’m a happy camper.
We start the episode and get our meet cute right off the bat. Except for our hero it’s not exactly cute. No Ji Wook (Ji Chang Wook) is minding his own business on the subway (he already gets a personality point from me because he’s using public transit and not a flashy car) and the girl next to him accuses him of groping her butt. She yells for everyone to hear that he’s a pervert and says she runs into the likes of him all the time.
She asks the guy next to her to report him to the authorities and then gets off at the next stop, making sure that Ji Wook can’t get off and is made to ride away surrounded by people who think he’s a total perv.
The girl is of course our heroine Eun Bong Hee (Nam Ji Hyun) and she hilariously had it all wrong. Not only was Ji Wook not the one feeling her up, it turns out the guy who was actually assaulting her is the same guy she asked to call the authorities. Yeah, I’m thinking he didn’t make that call.
The night doesn’t get any better for her. It turns out she was headed to a hotel because she received a mysterious text letting her know her boyfriend would be there with another woman. She arrives just in time to catch him in the act. Except the smarmy twit doesn’t really seem that worried about being caught.
They sit down and talk about it. She’s furious of course, and he blames it all the other girl. Saying she seduced him and what man in his right mind can say no, when it’s so readily offered. And if she ever found herself in that type of situation she’d understand his choice. Yeah, he’s a douche and a half.
Our girl does what any sane person would. She says then she’ll have a fling too. She’ll sleep with the first guy she bumps into. Um… look around the room before you say something like that. She gets up in a huff and stomps off, only to narrowly miss an old guy who would probably take her up on her offer in a second.
That sends her flying to the ground. She stands again, trying to look as dignified as possible, but wipes away a tear and dislodges her contact.
Without it she doesn’t realize that the next person she bumps into is non other than the Subway Pervert. Or our dashing man in a suit, No Ji Wook.
She spits out. “Want to sleep with me?” And he doesn’t skip a beat and replies. “Fine. Let’s sleep together.” She totally can’t see it’s him, but is relieved that he at least appears to be attractive and young.
The boyfriend watches this and starts yelling at her. Being condescending and just plain awful. This fuels Bong Hee’s determination so even when she realizes it the same guy from the subway she flings Ji Wook’s arm around her shoulder and manhandles him all the way out of the hotel. I want to point out that this OTP has three things I love. They sizzle when they are close to each other. They are both great at physical comedy. And they are amazing at rapid fire banter.
Ji Wook gets in a taxi thinking he’s finally free of the crazy girl, but isn’t so lucky. Smarmy Ex Boyfriend follows her outside so she hops in the taxi and tells the driver to leave. They only drive a little before she asks to be let out. She does thank him for helping her and asks if he wants to have drinks.
He declines and she goes in to drink by herself. But it’s not too long before she drunkenly looks up and he’s standing in front of her. She accidently-on-purpose left behind a makeup compact in the taxi. She’s super cute with him and actually gets him to drink with her.
Cut to her waking up in a strange place. Her hair is a mess, and she can only remember bits and pieces of what happened. She does remember throwing Ji Wook on the couch and going in for a kiss… HOT.
Ji Wook is taking his obligatory shower. For Chang Wook’s sake I hope he has a lot less topless scenes in this drama. He said he had to keep an extremely strict diet during K2 and I want the poor guy to eat. I’ll sacrifice for Oppa (I’m using Yo Na’s definition of Oppa here). He comes out and only finds a note she left him saying she’s sorry.
When she gets to school the next day (she’s already passed the bar exam so I’m not sure what the school they name is) everyone knows about her breakup. But of course Smarmy Ex has told everyone that she cheated on him by having a one night stand, and he broke up with her. So now she’s the campus slut. And he gets to walk away with a new girlfriend.
We hilariously catch up with No Ji Wook on the day where they release who lawyers say is the best and worst prosecutors and Ji Wook is deemed THE WORST. But when they further explain it, I’m thinking I might want the worst prosecutor on my side if someone in power killed my family member. He’s not easily swayed and works very hard to convict as many criminals as possible. Translate that to mean people can’t buy him off easily and he doesn’t brown nose those in power.
Everyone hates Ji Wook except one guy who seems desperate for his attention. This is our second lead Ji Eun Hyuk (Choi Tae Joon).
Did anyone else take a moment to adjust to the fact that this guy was not going to go on a rampage and kill most of our cast? Knowing this writer, he could totally still be our killer, but for the actor’s sake I hope he’s not. Even if he is, the writer might make us like him in end. Or even root for his escape so he can one day reunite with his brother… Oh sorry. I Remember You flashbacks.
Three months later and Bong Hee gets assigned to her internship with a prosecutor. We all know who she’ll be assigned to. But it doesn’t make it less funny when she realizes who her knew boss is and proceeds to yell ask him if they slept together that night. He retains power by not divulging the details of what transpired that night. And it kicks off a montage of her working really hard, while he piles on the work.
She even ends up interviewing the guy that assaulted her on the subway the night she met Ji Wook. When she recognizes him she finally realizes that she really did falsely accuse Ji Wook. The pervert tells her that he saw a murder happen, but she doesn’t believe him. Why would she? He’s a criminal and would probably say anything to get out of jail time. The panty sniffing in the pervs flashback is just so EEEW.
Being a lawyer is a small world when all your classmates are also assigned to intern with prosecutors. So Bong Hee has to see Smarmy Ex and his annoying girlfriend all the time. She’s taken to singing hilarious songs about keeping her eye on him and killing him.
She has a particularly bad day. As you can see by plug up her nose. And they happen by and start being nasty toward her. Ji Wook overhears and becomes the most knight in shining armor ever. He’s stammering and touching her hair, trying to sound like they’re a couple. But it just comes off strange. “She’s dirty, but pretty.” And unfortunately Bong Hee doesn’t catch on soon enough to be any help.
When they leave Ji Wook offers her advice to stop singing the song and just ignore them. She flashes back to her drunken night and remembers that he confessed he was cheated on too, so he understands how she feels.
Kmuse (as you’ll see from her recap) thinks that Puppy Lawyer Eun Hyuk is the one that slept with his girlfriend and is trying to get back in his good graces. I’m down with that theory. They probably went to law school at the same time and were really good friends. But if it is this guy, I’m not positive he actually slept with her. My guess would be the girlfriend was being a noble idiot and asked for Eun Hyuk’s help. He just seems too enamored with Ji Wook to sleep with his girlfriend.
That night she gets ready for bed, but decides to go out. There’s a sudden blackout on her way to the store and when she returns home she trips over the dead body of her Smarmy Ex. Dun dun duuuun.
Oh, Ji Chang Wook, you are spectacular in comedic roles. Yes, I love to see him in action, but what he does best is make his characters feel sooo human. It’s the look in his eyes that pulls you in and makes you care for him deeply. His character isn’t completely fleshed out in this first episode but he still manages to, in those brief moments, let you know that there is a huge heart inside those snazzy suits.
Nam Ji Hyun is such a breath of fresh air. This is only the second drama I’ve seen her in, and I can see flashes of the sweet Bong Sil she played in King Louie, but she’s no innocent country girl in this. She’s sharper, snarkier, and manages to pull off this strong and sensual air whenever she’s close to Chang Wook.
As for the plot, I’m comfortable with placing my trust in this writer. The murder mystery will hopefully have weight to it, and not get bogged down by stupid cop syndrome. I’m sure they’ll focus more on the prosecutor’s office and lawyer part of it, instead of the police force so that’s a relief. And if there is one thing I know about this writer, is that the characters will have lots of dimensions and even if they’re evil, we’ll probably still end up liking them.
The bonus: This couple has OOODLES of chemistry and they get a plot to go along with it. YAY!!
Until the next snazzy Wook suit,