By Bryan Tan
This recap contains spoilers and covers episodes 5-6 of Private Lives, which is currently available on Netflix.
In the latest episodes of Private Lives (PL), Lee Jeong Hwan (Go Kyung Pyo) is revealed to be still alive, to the surprise of absolutely no one. In my opinion, PL over-explained itself too much as the web of intrigue is slowly unfurled, and why Jeong Hwan had to fake his death is apparently entangled in a bigger story, which begins with President Choi of UI Construction. This is where things get rather complicated.
The president apparently holds a secret ledger, which contains the names of many prominent individuals who have taken bribes from him; from politicians to high ranking prosecution members and government agents. The story of infamous swindler Jeong Bok Gi (Kim Hyo Jin) is also played out; she is the daughter of President Choi, and even witnessed the coldblooded murder of her father in an attempt to steal the damning ledger to prevent its contents from leaking.
The murder was also where Bok Gi met her partner Lee Jae Wook (Kim Young Min), also known as arsonist Kim, who worked for the GK conglomerate and was dispatched to retrieve the ledger as well. He was unfortunately too late to the scene, and although he managed to get his hands on the ledger and put down the killer, was unable to save the president’s life. There is even a super cool action sequence scene where Jae Wook brutally garrottes the killer with a long wire, and jumps from a second storey to the first, lifting the fellow up to dangle in the air.
Bok Gi is pursued by the killer’s organisation for having been suspected of possessing the ledger. Jeong Hwan comes to her valiant rescue, even though it was a conflict of interest; GK, his employer, wants the ledger as well. Jae Wook eventually decides that he will keep the ledger for leverage and goes rogue, betraying Bok Gi and GK.
How Lee Jeong Hwan faked his death in order to escape his pursuers is also revealed; he finds the dead body of his employee’s brother in his office, killed by those who knew he was helping Bok Gi. He places the corpse in a car, douses it in petrol and runs it off the rail guards on a cliff. There is a major plot hole though – the police do a DNA test on the charred corpse and it turns out to be Jeong Hwan’s DNA; how is that possible?
Private Lives does do stealthy, Mission Impossible-esque infiltrations very fabulously, I must say. While helping Bok Gi escape from a hotel room staked out by thugs out to get her, they make a very convincing clothes swap with Jeong Hwan’s employees who pretend to be vapid tourists and get out by faking an argument. In another scene, Jeong Hwan does a Tom Cruise in a full ninja suit and rappels into Lee Jae Wook’s villa to take pictures of the ledger by using a wire and magnets to open the window.
There are many questions left unanswered. Are companies UI and GK rivals or partners? Why are Seoul’s police so bad at doing DNA tests? Will Cha Joo Eun (Seohyun) team up with her arch-enemy Jeong Bok Gi to catch Lee Jae Wook and retrieve the ledger, at the same time finding out that Jeong Hwan is alive? Is Joo Eun going to kill her fake husband for faking his own death when she eventually finds out?
Hopefully our questions will be answered in the next episodes, released weekly every Wednesday and Thursday.
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