A slow-burning episode that methodically ramps up the drama.
We recap the Netflix K-Drama series Trolley Season 1 Episode 9, which contains spoilers.
A far more subtle installment, Trolley episode nine gives us plenty of revelations yet places them strategically throughout the episode, instead of throwing in a major cliffhanger at the end. It’s obvious now where the show is heading, but it’ll be intriguing to see what part Gwi-soon (Won Mi-won) could play in proceedings, given she may be more likely to feel sympathy for Seung-hee (Ryu Hyun-kyung) going forward.
Trolley Season 1 Episode 9 Recap
With Hye-joo realizing Ji-hoon’s suicide was no accident, she rushes to confront Soo-bin, only to find that her house guest has departed without a word. This all leaves the book conservator distraught, and she finally becomes overcome with her strife when Yeo-jin enters the house. “I really need to find her,” Hye-joo tells her friend, desperate to know the context behind Ji-hoon’s ominous texts.
When Yeo-jin floats around the idea of Soo-bin being an unreliable witness, pointing to the “rocky relationship” between her and Ji-hoon, Hye-joo still insists on finding the youngster. Suddenly though, the close friends are interrupted by a call from one of the book conservator’s clients. Concurrently, Soo-bin pays a visit to her mother, who appears more concerned with what is happening with her daughter’s unborn baby, as opposed to her health.
As Soo-bin challenges her mother, evidently pained by the fact she didn’t even call when hearing about her pregnancy, things don’t go to plan. For her parent only warns her to stay away from Yun-seo (her other daughter), and questions whether she is being “forced to do things you don’t want for money,” leaving things between the pair entirely unresolved. Outside, tears flood down Soo-bin’s face.
While Hye-joo struggles to maintain her composure when watching a client gush over a restored baby book alongside their son, Yeo-jin sits in reflection, knowing she’s holding onto a secret for Soo-bin. Then, when the book conservator sees off her customer, she calls Joong-do in a blind panic, before collapsing to the floor.
In the hospital, Joong-do tends to his wife and requests that Yeo-jin keeps everything a secret from Yoon-seo. “I’m sorry. I didn’t want you to know,” the assemblyman tearily states to Hye-joo, accepting responsibility for the fact he hid the truth regarding Ji-hoon’s suicide, even if his intentions were good. As an aside, we do see here that at one point, Woo-jae had suggested the hidden phone could be used to “pin” the death of Joong-do’s son on Soo-bin.
After watching Seung-hee suggest an alliance between herself and Seung-kyu’s parents, with the objective being they can tackle Joong-do and his wife “together as victims,” we cut to Soo-bin. Contemplating alone, she seems affected by the fact she has fled from Hye-joo’s house and kept her miscarriage private from the woman so kind to her. Meanwhile, Hyeong-tae meets with the person who had been keeping tabs on Soo-bin, with this shady duo trying to definitively find out her connection to Joong-do.
Next, Joong-do tries to reassure his wife by telling her they shouldn’t “torture themselves” by thinking Ji-hoon’s suicide was in the same vein as Seung-ho’s, or Seung-kyu’s. Following that, Hye-joo is given full access to her late son’s mobile, where she can now find pictures of him. Elsewhere, Ki-young is subjected to more of Yoo-sin’s moaning because he hasn’t yet solved her land speculation issues.
In a flashback, we see Seung-kyu’s parents actually rejected the chance to join hands with Seung-hee. This is due to the fact they wish to just be done with their ordeal, on account of their late son’s former partner being a “call girl.” Presently though, Seung-hee is cynically suggesting to her husband that if a sex worker was filmed illegally, some people would think “she brought it upon herself.” So perhaps this situation isn’t quite finished with.
Upon returning home, an emotional Hye-joo embraces Yoon-seo. Concurrently, Joong-do tries to coldly claim he was being generous towards Soo-bin by not showing her an unsent text from Ji-hoon, but admits he might’ve one day used the messages against the youngster.
Moving forward, Soo-bin’s mother picks up a call on the phone her daughter left behind, and hears it’s from someone professing himself as the youngster’s boyfriend. As such, the store owner is inquisitive as to whether this is the father of her child’s baby. Elsewhere, Hye-joo visits Ji-hoon’s memorial alongside a downcast, sorrowful Joong-do.
As Seung-hee prepares to take matters into her own hands, penning a draft about the illegally-filmed sex worker, Hye-joo drops by to see the eternally grateful Gwi-soon at the mill. Here, the book conservator attentively listens to the elder’s worries, providing consolation to her distress over people being unable to understand that she is working to support herself, and take her mind away from her granddaughter’s suicide.
Abruptly, Woo-jae receives a call from reporter Yeong-su, and it’s made clear that the post about Seung-kyu’s partner being a sex worker has been made public. Thus, Joong-do is called into work, where he finds public opinion has swayed against him online. “Nothing is going as planned,” the assemblyman shouts, furious that his proposed amendment is now unlikely to pass, and that his aides didn’t pick up on Namgoong Sol having this background. Then, in pain, Joong-do apologizes, wanting some time alone to think.
While Hye-joo plucks up the courage to look at Ji-hoon’s phone, scrolling through the pictures of her son and his partner looking happy, Soo-bin confronts her mother over her mobile being given away to a girl linked to this alleged boyfriend of hers. Clearly, there’s a deeper issue here though, as the youngster panics that this person might’ve been told about her pregnancy. As an aside, in the subsequent scene Hye-joo comes to realize Soo-bin didn’t cancel her old phone after all, so she contacts her departed house guest.
When dining with Ki-young, Seung-hee is interrupted by a call from Seung-kyu’s father, who is seething that the news of his son’s partner being a sex worker has been leaked online. “I’m going to sue you,” he bitterly says, despite the daughter of Yoo-sin denying her involvement in surfacing the story that has resulted in the renewed “bad-mouthing” of the late medical student.
As it turns out, it was actually Hyeong-tae, a former client of Namgoong Sol, who had divulged this private information. Soon-hong is ecstatic at his right-hand man’s work, and now believes it’s the opportune time to “blackmail Joong-do with his wife’s past and tell him to stop digging around the real estate speculation,” should public opinion remain consistent over the next couple of days. However, Woo-jae has already responded to the online discourse, by leaking the video he filmed of Seung-kyu’s father getting physical with Joong-do at a hospital.
In an elevator, Woo-jae and Hyeong-tae bicker. The former throws a subtle dig that his adversary could be the chief advisor being accused of soliciting sex, while the latter lets it slip that he’s aware of Soo-bin’s presence in Joong-do’s home. In this scene, we do see Soo-bin has history with Hyeong-tae, as he recalls her direct link to a scammer who rips off dishonorable politicians for cash.
Next, Woo-jae delivers items from Hye-joo’s crashed car to the house, before an unexpected visit from Gwi-soon disrupts proceedings. The elder is really upset, convinced the assemblyman is using her, feeling “betrayed” at his visit to Seung-kyu’s mother. “If you were using Sol to your advantage, I will not let you get away with this,” Gwi-soon harshly states, prior to cutting ties completely with Joong-do.
Reflecting on his poor luck, Joong-do hears from Woo-jae that he had been advised not to visit Seung-kyu’s mother. “Everything a politician does sends out a message. Please do not try to explain your intentions ever again,” the advisor says, knowing the assemblyman is technically at fault. Concurrently, Hye-joo watches the footage of her husband being physically attacked, then apologizes to him for not realizing his struggles when he returns to the house.
In the midst of her embrace, Hye-joo sees the large bruise made on Joong-do’s body, causing her to remain apologetic until the two get intimately wrapped up in their emotions. Meanwhile, Soo-bin uses a payphone to contact the man she was once linked with, hoping to get back her mobile. Yet as we see, the shady character has already been tapped up by Hyeong-tae. Following this, the episode ends with Joong-do proclaiming his love for his wife, and a flashback showing how the assemblyman underhandedly worked alongside Woo-jae to get footage of his now-viral hospital altercation.
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