Episode 4 Open Thread » Dramabeans Korean drama recaps




Grid: Episode 4 Open Thread

The mysteries are slowly beginning to converge, though most motivations remain murky. Our characters strive to make sense of what they know, and while some may inch a few steps forward, others remain running in circles.

EPISODE 4 WEECAP

This week’s episode takes a bit of a lull, in which our characters play catch up to the disparate threads of information that we already know. I wish it’d drop more than a few breadcrumbs at a time, but alas.

At the noodle restaurant, there’s an ambulance parked outside. Sae-byuk attempts to gain entry by claiming she’s the owner’s daughter and turning up the waterworks, but the major of the Special Investigation Bureau, LIM JI-YOO (Heo Joon-seok), arrives on scene. He isn’t tricked by Sae-byuk’s theatrics; he points out the police insignia on her car window, oops.

She’s detained, and Ji-yoo asks her how she knew to come here. Sae-byuk retorts that she got a call from the owner, and that he can go ask her himself — ha, I love that she speaks back to him in banmal too. She astutely realizes that the suspect must be a big fish if the government is stepping in like this.

Sun-wool orders Ji-yoo to hand Sae-byuk over to her, and at the Administrative Bureau, Eo-jin and Sae-ha enter Sae-byuk’s detention cell to interrogate her about her involvement in the case. Sae-byuk points out that it only took 15 minutes for her to get to the restaurant after receiving the owner’s call, yet agents were already swarming the scene.

That would only be possible if they’d been staking out the scene, yet they stood by while a civilian was being attacked. Angrily, she accuses them of using the restaurant owner as bait to draw out the accomplice. Sae-ha merely replies that Sun-wool had threatened to make Sae-byuk lose her job if she interferes again.

Sun-wool makes good on her threat, because later on, Sae-byuk is informed that she’s being transferred to another branch in the countryside. Of course, that won’t stop her, and she takes a leave of absence instead.

Sae-byuk and Sae-ha run into each other at the hospital that the agent was taken to, having each done their respective sleuthing. He stops her from questioning the doctor any further to avoid raising suspicion, then takes over. Recalling the state of his father’s corpse, he asks the doctor if the agent suffered from electrocution and damaged organs, and the doctor’s startled response confirms it.

As they leave, Sae-ha wonders why the Ghost only injured the agent, when she killed the janitor (ie his father). Sae-byuk counters that he should be asking the opposite — why did the Ghost go to the extent of killing the janitor, when she had the ability to only incapacitate him?

Again, all clues seem to be pointing to the possibility that the Ghost only murdered (or in the case of Ma-nok, abetted murder) out of necessity. It remains to be seen whether the show frames this as a justification, an excuse, or something in between.

Ooh, turns out Eo-jin and Sae-byuk were once married. Eo-jin remains firm that it’s all in the past, but Sun-wool isn’t having it, and she removes him from Sae-byuk’s case.

Clearly it isn’t all in the past, because Eo-jin visits Sae-byuk at the station to awkwardly ask if she’s going through with the transfer to the countryside. She acts nonplussed about it, then asks him why he transferred out of the Grid Control Team when he’d been so happy to join. He deflects, and she calls him out for never talking about himself and never responding to her concerns.

It’s a pretty loaded conversation, and I think it’s interesting that their dynamic seems to have been reversed. While Sae-byuk used to pour her energy into what must have felt like an unfillable cup, Eo-jin is now the one that’s trying to show concern for her despite her obvious indifference. It seems like it’s too little, too late, but something tells me she’s snubbing him more out of her past hurt and less out of genuine apathy.

While the Ghost is out, Ma-nok finds a sharp piece of metal and manages to saw through the bars of the grate keeping him in. (That’s some serious dedication — the metal piece is tiny!) He escapes, but the Ghost uses one of her discs to turn back time, and Ma-nok is back in his cell.

Again, we see that the time manipulation takes a toll on the Ghost. She’s looking paler and even more like a ghost (ha!) than ever, and she’s clearly pushing the limits of what her body can take.

I wonder why she’s making the decisions that she is — has she lived through an alternative, less desirable future, and is back in the present to change it? But if that’s the case, how does she know that her current actions will shape a better outcome? For that matter, what criteria is she using to determine that? So many questions, and not enough answers.

Over a video conference, Sun-wool entreats the director to share the intel on the noodle restaurant incident. She points out that the strict confidentiality they keep actually hinders the different bureaus from working in tandem. He agrees to consider it.

Sun-wool may come off as cold and rigid, but it’s clear she does care in her own way. To this day, she’s still affected by the death of the janitor that she’d witness, and she attempts to track his son down to see how he’s doing now. She finds out that his name was Lee Si-won, he was adopted by the janitor, and he’s also dead. What?

It turns out he was reported dead after failing to respond to his draft notice, because that’s what they did for men without registered addresses back in the day. Sun-wool realizes that means the boy may not actually be deceased after all.

With both Sae-ha’s biological parents and adoptive father dead, I hope we aren’t adding another parental figure to that list. The caretaker that Sae-ha hired for his mother can’t accommodate his hours anymore, so she suggests a home nursing service instead. Sae-ha takes up that offer, but the new caretaker turns out to be the Ghost in disguise. Uh oh…

That’s where we end off this week, with Sae-ha crossing paths with the Ghost as she leaves his house. He seems to sense something amiss about her, but we’ll have to wait till the next episode to find out whether he acts on it.

Actually, I think that’s my one gripe with the show — it keeps building up to exciting developments, only to deflate and defuse the tension. One example is the Ghost’s imprisonment of Ma-nok; I expected her rationale and motivations to be revealed this week, but instead the pair were offscreen for the majority of the episode.

There’s still an undercurrent of suspense running through the show, and my faith in writer Lee Soo-yeon’s ability to weave an intricate web and connect all the threads later is keeping me watching. Still, there’s only so much meaningdering a viewer can take before interest wanes, and the show’s once-a-week format isn’t doing it any favors.

Anyway, to wrap up this week’s weecap on a brighter note: I love that the Administrative Bureau trio has such a supportive rapport, even if a certain bespectacled someone may act like a grumpy hedgehog. Not only does Jong-yi pretend to stretch so that Sae-ha has an excuse to look in her direction and continue reading Sun-wool’s lips, but she also covers for Eo-jin’s momentary absence with a breakfast excuse. I don’t know if this camaraderie will last when push comes to shove, but I sure hope it does.

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