Private Lives episode 5 recap – Did Lee Jeong-hwan genuinely love Cha Joo-eun? This Netflix series is getting too convoluted.

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Summary

Privates Lives episode 5 is trying way too hard to tell a story — rather than tell it, the Netflix series decides to throw plenty of rabbit holes to the audience and expects them to piece it all together — the K-Drama is slipping into mediocrity.

This recap of Netflix K-drama series Privates Lives episode 5 contains significant spoilers.

We will be recapping this weekly — check out the archive.


The opening

The more this story progresses, the more convoluted and smart it seems to be, and we are not sure yet if it is a clever story. Private Lives relies on plenty of flashbacks, and episode 5 is guilty of confusing the exposition. Apologies if parts of this recap are confusing — the editing of this series so far does not help sell the story well.

Episode 5 begins with the news, which is running a scandalous story; President Choi of the company is insisting “Not guilty” to embezzlement. GK Technology wants the prosecution to stay quiet.

A reminder by Cha Joo-eun’s mother

Cha Joo-eun’s mother visits the father in prison again and reminds him how awful their daughter’s life is because of him. She’s trying to torture him by repeating the reality.

The mother is not a nice character if we are honest; she seems to take satisfaction in making people’s lives miserable.

Cha Joo-eun asks Bok-gi important questions

Cha Joo-eun returns to the office and Bok-gi is there. The women trade insults. Cha Joo-eun asks Bok-gi if she knew that Edward Kim/Kim Jae-wook had a dog, which irks her; she asks what relationship she had with him. A flashback shows Kim Jae-wook heading to President Choi’s house, killing one of the security guards with ease. When Kim Jae-wook gets inside, President Choi is hanging from the ceiling. He handcuffs Bok-gi and tells her he has saved her life.

New identity

Bok-gi ends up pointing a gun at him and asks what he wants. Kim Jae-wook holds a book from a secure safe that belongs to President Choi — she seems concerned as she knows what’s inside. Bok-gi does not know how to use a gun so he helps her point her gun in his chest and tells her she should join him and help. Kim Jae-wook tells her to leave and come back with a new name — Sophia Chung.

Bok-gi and Edward Kim had a brief romance

Further flashbacks show she had a certain romance with Kim Jae-wook, but on one occasion, he left her in a hotel, and he jetted off on a plane. In the present day, Bok-gi questions how Lee Jeong-hwan died on his wedding day to change the conversation — she thinks Kim Jae-wook may have been involved.

Back to the start

A different flashback occurs; when Lee Jeong-hwan escapes Kim Jae-wook’s estate, he suits up and heads into a bar — this is when he first met Cha Joo-eun. The next day, one of the executives Seok-ho tells Lee Jeong-hwan that he is his shadow — he’s trying to intimidate Lee Jeong-hwan, but it is not working. When Lee Jeong-hwan tells his boss about the President Choi situation, his boss stands him from the case as he wants to be safe.

He randomly meets Cha Joo-eun again at lunchtime, and he’s smitten by her straight away. It doesn’t feel like Lee Jeong-hwan wanted to scam her at all — episode 5 reveals it to be quite the opposite.

9 months before the wedding

Lee Jeong-hwan tells Bok-gi that her information has been sold, including Kim Jae-wook’s, and that her life is in danger and she must depart her hotel room immediately. Lee Jeong-hwan helps her escape. He asks her why she’s so important for UI, and she states that she’s a witness; he then asks if she or Kim Jae-wook has President Choi’s ledger. Lee Jeong-hwan wants her to leave the country, but they need to escape the hotel first, which they do, by creating a diversion.

Lee Jeong-hwan had feelings, but he was tied up in a grander scheme 

The story restarts where Lee Jeong-hwan is planning on getting married. It seems like Cha Joo-eun was the only part of his life that was real. Late into the night, Lee Jeong-hwan carries out one of his missions at Kim Jae-wook’s house, and he’s nearly caught. He manages to make it home in time for dinner.

The ending

Before the wedding, he is attacked by a group of men, and he has to escape. He ends up back at the spy agency and sees Yoon-seok has hung himself. He’s absolutely devastated and tries to save him. Following on from this, Lee Jeong-hwan fakes his own death. As the episode ends, Lee Jeong-hwan looks up at GK Technology towers. Kim Jae-wook finds that his dog has been killed in the forest and wails.

Privates Lives episode 5 is trying way too hard to tell a story — rather than tell it, the Netflix series decides to throw plenty of rabbit holes to the audience and expects them to piece it all together — the K-Drama is slipping into mediocrity.

Data Protection Files
  • Seok-ho asks Lee Jeong-hwan if Cha Joo-eun knew about his agency and threatens how he will put himself in a dangerous position if she finds out.

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Daniel Hart

Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.

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