Private Lives episode 14 recap – [spoiler] is alive in a shock twist! The truth about Jeong Hyeon-cheol.

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Summary

While there’s plenty of stories to chew on, Private Lives episode 14 peels away layer after layer to the point where the characters are spelling out intricate subplots.

This recap of Netflix K-drama series Privates Lives episode 14 contains significant spoilers.

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


The opening

A panicked Lee Jeong-hwan finds Cha Joo-eun, who is disoriented. She asks him for the truth — “Did you kill Jeong Hyeon-cheol?”. The entire story is centred on this man now, but episode 14 decides to make it ultra convoluted for good measure.

Flashback time

Episode 14 then flits to the year 2012; Lee Jeong-hwan is briefing director Kim Sang-man about Jeong Hyeon-cheol; he reports how he changed his name and how he’s laundering money through a mega-church. In the past, Jeong Hyeon-cheol provided testimony in support of President Choi in court. Yoo Byung-jun was the prosecutor. Due to the lack of evidence, President Choi was found not guilty — the judge was Assemblyman Kwon; days later Choi was found dead. It’s conspiracy layered on a conspiracy.

Cha Joo-eun requires medical help

In the present day, Cha Joo-eun asks the question again, but then she falls unconscious. Lee Jeong-hwan asks Ms Ko and others to ring an ambulance; his voice is panicked. She has minor injuries. Kim Jun-beom asks Lee Jeong-hwan how far he will take it and pushes him against the wall and tells him to pull the project. Lee Jeong-hwan pushes Kim Jun-beom against the wall; the pair seem to be able to match each other’s strength. A full-on fight between them both would be explosive.

Meeting the parents

In the hospital, Cha Joo-eun’s father is angry and upset at Lee Jeong-hwan, but Jeong-hwan vows to find the culprit before greeting them as the son-in-law. He apologises for what has happened. Afterwards, Lee Jeong-hwan sits by Cha Joo-eun’s bed, and he’s scared. She opens her eyes, and he is relieved.

The reopening of Jeong Hyeon-cheol’s case

In 2012, director Kim Sang-man told Lee Jeong-hwan to scrap Jeong Hyeon-cheol and everything to do with the church immediately. He agrees. In the present, Kim Sang-man asks Kim Jae-wook why the police are looking into the Jeong Hyeon-cheol case again; Kim Jae-wook knows it is Lee Jeong-hwan’s doing. Kim Sang-man gives Kim Jae-wook the full report on Jeong Hyeon-cheol. There’s nervousness on this side that everything they’ve worked for will be undone.

Corporal Kang Soo-jin is now involved

It turns out the person who manipulated the CCTV at the spy agency is Detective Kim Myung-hyun’s colleague Corporal Kang Soo-jin. When the detective confronts her about it, she tells him she is dismayed that he works from criminals now and tells him to pick a side. Kang Soo-jin introduces herself to Lee Jeong-hwan for the first time. Meanwhile, Kim Jae-wook tells the police chief that detective Kim Myung-hyun has teamed up with Lee Jeong-hwan.

Approval ratings

With politics heating up, episode 14 dives into approval ratings.

Bok-gi meets Assemblyman Yoo Byung-jun, and they pick up his daughter from dance class. This gets him loads of attention and his daughter appears to approve of the all the cameras snapping at her. It’s helping his approval rating; Bok-gi is engineering all of this, and Kim Jae-wook is getting irritated while watching the news. Bok-gi tells Yoo Byung-jun to give his daughter an hour a day; the pair then dance together, and Bok-gi rests her head on Yoo Byung-jun’s chest. Is Bok-gi being manipulative or us their genuine feelings there? Flashbacks show Bok-gi’s fractured past with Kim Jae-wook. She isn’t over the man.

Asking the father important questions

Cha Joo-eun asks her father if Jeong Hyeon-cheol and Bok-gi worked together at the mega-church foundation. He doesn’t remember much as he claims he was too focused on Jesus Christ. Her father then gives his approval on Lee Jeong-hwan, stating it was like looking in the mirror of his younger self. Episode 14 is desperately trying to merge a romantic subplot, but it doesn’t feel effective in this chapter. There’s too much going on.

Are you trying to get revenge?

Kim Jae-wook confronts Bok-gi and asks if she’s trying to get revenge. She reminds him that revenge is only for people who have become wronged, and her objective is to be happy. As Bok-gi walks away, she doesn’t embody happiness, but she’s left a wound for Kim Jae-wook.

Confronting Bok-gi

Cha Joo-eun speaks to Bok-gi about Jeong Hyeon-cheol. Bok-gi calls her a terrible detective and claims Jeong Hyeon-cheol never sexually assaulted anyone and that he didn’t have the guts to commit suicide — she believes the story was concocted. Cha Joo-eun believes Bok-gi and Kim Jae-wook was the mastermind behind it, not her. Bok-gi then mentions Director Oh Yeong-ju of GK Construction and that he took everything from President Choi Kyung-hwan. She then remembers her conversation with lawyer Oh Hyun-kyung, the daughter of the director and how Lee Jeong-hwan worked for her.

Lee Jeong-hwan wanted to be successful

Cha Joo-eun asks Lee Jeong-hwan when he got involved with Director Oh. He admits he wanted to be successful initially as he couldn’t find a way with GK. He seems regretful about his past. Lee Jeong-hwan and Cha Joo-eun enjoy a romantic evening after this difficult conversation. Meanwhile, Kim Jae-wook is running over Bok-gi’s words over and over again. It’s torturing him. She has him where she wants him, which makes for an intriguing remaining two episodes.

The ledger is now public knowledge

Despite the poor direction of episode 14, it does provide a landmark moment with the ledger…

Assemblyman Yoo Byung-jun partakes in a press conference about President Choi. He reveals a record written by the former President, that proves illegal transactions with other powerful politicians. The ledger is now public knowledge. It puts Assemblyman Kwon in a bad light as the ledger reveals that he accepted a bribe from Choi; Yoo Byung-jun’s approval rating shoots up while Kwon’s dives.

Finding hope

Cha Joo-eun offers words of encouragement to Lee Jeong-hwan — she believes they have a way out of this. Lee Jeong-hwan talks about how she’s a precious person after meeting her parents.

The ending

Chief Jeong Dae-sang then takes part in a conference and tells the public he’s reopening the case of Jeong Hyeon-cheol. Meanwhile, Kim Jae-wook meets journalist Kim Gi-cheol.

As the episode ends, Lee Jeong-hwan introduces Cha Joo-eun to Jeong Hyeon-cheol; she’s in complete shock. Flashbacks show Lee Jeong-hwan helping Jeong Hyeon-cheol fake his own death. Suddenly, a group of men head their way — has their cover been blown?

While there’s plenty of stories to chew on, Private Lives episode 14 peels away layer after layer to the point where the characters are spelling out intricate subplots.


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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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