Trolley Season 1 Episode 10 Recap – what happens when Hye-joo’s story breaks?

By Nathan Sartain
Published: January 17, 2023 (Last updated: February 7, 2023)
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A fast-paced installment that accelerates a number of plot points.

We recap the Netflix K-Drama series Trolley Season 1 Episode 10, which contains spoilers.

With a massively impactful finish, Trolley episode 10 did an excellent job of building to its climax. There aren’t many questions left lingering, unlike in other installments, but seeing what happens as Hye-joo (Kim Hyun-joo) tries to navigate the media minefield promises to be exciting, especially when it could draw divisions between her and Joong-do (Park Hee-soon).

Trolley Season 1 Episode 10 Recap

At the mill, both Joong-do and Woo-jae are invited in to eat breakfast with Gwi-soon. The elder has softened in her animosity towards the assemblyman, actively saying she’s happy to be used in return for the law being changed to help victims of sexual assault get justice, even if the assailants pass away. Later, Joong-do’s aides feed back that criticism of Seung-kyu is “rising online,” but it’s “not enough to overshadow the news of Namgoong Sol’s history as a sex worker.” Thus, another similar criminal case to help the politician’s proposed amendment pass will need to be found.

When Woo-jae begins to suggest Joong-do already has something he can use, Soon-hong abruptly arrives, halting the meeting. Elsewhere, Yeo-jin emotionally confronts her former partner outside Chae-eun’s memorial, with the restauranteur telling him: “You need to die too. You killed your own child.” Fortunately, Hye-joo is on hand to shield the friend she refers to as family from a response, sending away Chae-eun’s father to prevent to any further confrontation.

While Soon-hong smugly suggests doing a deal with Joong-do over Yoo-sin’s land speculation issues and Hye-joo’s guarded past, Yeo-jin reflects on the kindness her longtime friend has always shown her. Concurrently, Soo-bin heads to the restaurant run by the people she fled from, thinking about the money she needs to somehow find to buy her phone back.

However, Soo-bin only comes across Yeong-seon, who fills the youngster in on Yeo-jin’s tragic life, detailing how her child was killed by her husband, then how he moved on to targeting the restaurant owner herself. Meanwhile, Hye-joo tells her distressed friend not to apologise for anything, and to “just stay by my side for a long time.”

At her restaurant, Yeo-jin pays Soo-bin two million won without hesitation, perhaps just wanting the troubled youth out of her life. Elsewhere, Yoon-seo swears her friend to secrecy regarding the departure of her family’s pregnant house guest, before facing backlash from fellow students for how Joong-do basically “defended prostitution” by bringing the Namgoong Sol suicide case to light. As an aside, Yoon-seo’s insistence that “adultery is worse” than illegal sex work may hurt the ally she had confided in about her own private life.

Upon her departure, Soo-bin gives Yeo-jin a couple of messages. First, the youngster wonders if the seaweed soup she was fed was so she would “turn a blind eye” to whatever it is the restauranteur did. Then, Soo-bin reveals Yeong-seon pockets cash for herself when Yeo-jin is away. Concurrently, Hye-joo hears Gwi-soon is now willing to “do anything” if it means Joong-do can get his proposed amendment that would see people like Seung-kyu posthumously punished, passed.

After Seung-hee pleads her innocence with Seung-kyu’s family, explaining that she initially intended to post something about Namgoong Sol, but refrained when realising it would backfire on their son, she gets ready to visit Hye-joo. Ki-young isn’t happy with this plan – he already struggles to trust his wife anyway, and seems upset that she wishes to further play with the book conservator’s life – so blurts out that he and Seung-hee should move to Australia. “I’m sorry. I can’t leave my mother here alone,” is the blunt answer.

Next, Hye-joo nervously meets with the man in possession of Soo-bin’s phone, who is claiming to be a friend of Ji-hoon’s. It’s a strange encounter, mostly centred around how the book conservator’s former house guest has “sticky fingers” and isn’t a good person, as well as how she went “off the grid.” That, and the shady man wanted to have it subtly confirmed to him that Soo-bin’s pregnancy was caused by Ji-hoon.

As Yeo-jin gets ready to sell her restaurant and relocate “far away” from where she is now, Woo-jae warns Joong-do that Soo-bin may return to blackmail him for money using her pregnancy. The advisor is prepared, however, ready to “package” any leak of Ji-hoon’s child as a “heartwarming story.” “So there’s nothing to worry about, unless something else gets out,” Woo-jae ominously adds, panicking Joong-do, who doesn’t initially see his right-hand man is referring to his late son’s drug use.

Suddenly, Joong-do is interrupted by a call from Ki-young. But it’s no negative, as the husband of Seung-hee has decided he’ll part with evidence of both Yoo-sin and Soon-hong’s land speculation. Putting things together, this could be so Ki-young can get his wish of moving to Australia alongside his wife.

While Joong-do convenes with Soon-hong in his car, seemingly putting forward a new deal that involves Mr. Park of Youngsan, Soo-bin makes arrangements to retrieve her phone from her shady acquaintance. In this scene, we see this nameless man appears to be extremely jealous of the fact Ji-hoon got Soo-bin pregnant.

Next, Joong-do warns his wife against meeting with any more of Ji-hoon’s friends, and asks that she “forgets” about Soo-bin, who he still believes provided drugs to his son, and is responsible for his death. Hye-joo respects what her husband is saying, yet does make certain she adds how she hopes the troubled youth never sees the unsent text meant for her. “I don’t want her to live her life thinking it (Ji-hoon’s suicide) was her fault, just as I did,” the book conservator states.

Continuing, Joong-do admits to his wife that Soon-hong knows her identity. Thus, the assemblyman suggests they report on Hye-joo’s history first, not trusting that the evidence Ki-young gave isn’t part of a scheme. “You don’t know how painful it is to be blamed for someone’s death,” the book conservator tells her husband, unwilling to “get ahead” of the publicising of her story. Nevertheless, Hye-joo does waver when told by Joong-do that he can relate, given Seong-kyu’s death has been somewhat pinned on him, and that this could help the assemblyman’s proposed amendment pass.

On a visit to Yeo-jin’s restaurant, Hye-joo bumps into Woo-jae. So the three all begin to talk together, at first about how the former journalist played a big part in breaking the story about Chae-eun’s death, then about the trust he has in Joong-do. This, Woo-jae explains, was born out of the two sharing “the same vision for the world,” which then eventually led to their family-like bond.

With Hye-joo outside, Yeo-jin openly confronts Woo-jae, believing he has come to tell her something. However, the advisor smilingly claims he is simply at the restaurant for Chae-eun’s death anniversary. Elsewhere, Yoon-seo is warmly told by Joong-do not to worry about Soo-bin telling everyone about her pregnancy.

As Soo-bin gets changed, staring in mild disgust at her ‘JD’ tattoo, Yoon-seo reflects on the resentment she had towards Ji-hoon upon his death. Meanwhile, Hye-joo seeks Yeo-jin’s advice, and hears she should trust Joong-do in sharing her story. But the book conservator is worried about other things too, like how Yoo-sin’s family could still suffer as a result, and if any of it will be worth it should the assemblyman’s proposed amendment pass. Eventually though, it’s shown that Hye-joo decides Joong-do can publicise the case involving her and Seung-ho, so long as she doesn’t have to publicly appear.

Ending Explained

After Joong-do emotionally embraces his wife, apologizing for what he put her through, and asking for her trust in how he’ll protect her, we move to the next day. Here, an overwhelmed Hye-joo is swarmed by the media, who all want to know if she killed someone 20 years ago. Then, with the panicked book conservator replaying Joong-do’s promise of protection in her head, the episode ends.

What did you think of the K-Drama Trolley Season 1 Episode 10? Comment below.

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