There’s a pervasive sense of dread in the penultimate episode as the body count mounts and personal salvation seems less likely than ever.
This recap of A Model Family season 1, episode 9 contains spoilers. You can check out all of our coverage of this show by clicking these words.
Well, it certainly feels like we’re approaching the end, doesn’t it?
In this penultimate episode, the word of the day is “fear”. Everyone is terrified. Yong-soo wants to get out of the way. Ordinary citizens are frightened of cars plowing into them. The police are petrified of their botched undercover operation being exposed, Dong-ha is terrified that Hyun-woo will die and that Kwang-chul will never let him out of their arrangement, a stapled-together Kang-jun is scared of giving away his final trump card, and Joo-hyun is scared of letting the truth of the matter get away from her. It’s a mess, to put things mildly.
A Model Family season 1, episode 9 recap
Joo-hyun knows Dong-ha is involved, and Eun-ju now is too, but still doesn’t know the exact circumstances of the arrangement. How does she try and find out? Yes, through fear. She tells Dong-ha that Kwang-chul’s crimes will be investigated — and so will he, as a willing accomplice. All he has to do is tell the truth, but I think we’re a little past that point now.
There’s an ominous tone here. At one point Dong-ha reading aloud forms on-the-nose narration before he flips out in front of all his students and starts furiously braying the book he’s reading from against the lectern. Yong-soo’s self-imposed exile lasts less than half the episode before he’s tracked down and shot dead in a shallow grave. Kang-jun isn’t far behind, caught in basically a triple-cross situation after believing that Dong-ha had sold out Kwang-chul to him. A bloody, desperate, tearful Kang-jun blames Dong-ha for everything. If only he hadn’t taken that money in the first place.
It’s a fair point, and Dong-ha hears it loud and clear. He made a mistake, and he’s had to view the consequences of it up close and personal. No matter what he does or where he turns, he can’t get out of his predicament now. At one point in the episode, Deuk-soo vouches for his son to Joo-hyun, but she lays out his options pretty frankly — he either confesses or he dies. With the body count mounting here, it’s looking increasingly likely that those really are his only options.
But who is Joo-hyun to judge? With the revelation — and proof — that Jung-kook is the mole who supplied the information about Han-cheol’s identity, is she about to take the law into her own hands? In conducting an off-the-books investigation in the first place, hasn’t she already been doing that? As ideas of blame and right and wrong and personal culpability swirl around the swelling pile of bodies that this show is wracking up, there are still no easy answers to any of its essential questions.