Trolley Season 1 Episode 12 recap – why does Joong-do hold a press conference?

January 31, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
Nathan Sartain 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
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A good episode which, although feeling slightly disjointed, moves the plot in a dramatic direction.

We recap the Netflix K-Drama series Trolley Season 1 Episode 12, which contains spoilers.

There was a slightly uneven feel to this episode of Trolley, with its frantic nature coming across quite jarring at times, no matter how natural it was. However, it was still a more than serviceable instalment, and the twist that Ji-hoon may have met his demise in part thanks to his father is a fascinating direction for the show to take.

Trolley Season 1 Episode 12 Recap

The Press Conference

Picking up where we left off, Joong-do tells his wife Soo-bin “blackmailed” him by threatening to go public with the story of Ji-hoon’s sexual assault. Hye-joo is shocked, but asks for some time before her husband’s press conference, presumably so she can attempt to sort things out herself. Joong-do, however, refuses this request.

As Joong-do’s aides gossip about how it’s “one sex crime after another” with the assemblyman, Hye-joo desperately tries to get in touch with Soo-bin. When she can’t, the book conservator dashes to her husband’s workplace in a bid to at least temporarily stop him from holding the aforementioned press conference, only to find she is too late, and he is already giving his speech.

After apologizing for his son’s misdemeanors, Joong-do goes on to explain the bill amendment (dubbed Namgoong Sol’s law) he wishes to pass, the one which would see assailants of sex crimes able to be investigated even if they pass away. Elsewhere, Soon-hong looks shocked at what his adversary is proposing.

The Aftermath

When Joong-do returns to work, he is confronted by an upset Hye-joo, who tells him she needed time because Soo-bin had previously told her Ji-hoon had committed no wrongdoing towards her. “She was here this morning and threatened to disclose it,” the assemblyman says, responding to his wife’s questioning of when the troubled youngster went back on her initial word. Concurrently, Woo-jae starts preparing his team for how to respond to the situation and fields a call from reporter Yeong-su.

Despite Hye-joo’s initial reluctance to believe Soo-bin’s story that Ji-hoon got her pregnant through sexual assault, Joong-do explains he saw proof the young woman was referred to a support center, as well as her counseling records. “And think of everything Ji-hoon had done. This isn’t too far-fetched,” the assemblyman adds. Nevertheless, Hye-joo is still distraught, not quite on board with the idea no secret can remain, and stressing she could’ve found more than the 50 million won Soo-bin requested, to satisfy her blackmailing.

Unfortunately for Joong-do, he realizes his wife doesn’t trust him currently, given she accuses him of potentially using Ji-hoon’s crimes for the sake of his bill and doesn’t fully believe he was taking the “preemptive measure” of publicly apologizing just for the sake of forgiveness. “This is too much for me to handle,” Hye-joo states, disappointed the amendment proposition was used as a media “diversion” tactic, dejected at the idea of this being “how politics works.”

Following Hye-joo’s admission she now regrets marrying a politician, Yeo-jin arrives to take the book conservator home. Elsewhere, Jin-seok listens to a heated debate regarding Joong-do’s actions, with some party members wanting the assemblyman to leave, while others note the public are supporting his candidness.

Luckily, when Hye-joo is grilled by a journalist over everything from Joong-do’s bill proposition, to whether her late son is a “political tool,” Jin-seok intervenes, reminding the reporter to show humility. Then, the book conservator quietly opens up to her friend, admitting she’s torn with the situation involving Soo-bin, as she doesn’t want to believe the youngster is right but understands how damaging skepticism can be given nobody believed her when she was sexually assaulted by Seung-ho.

While a stunned Seung-hee sees the news coverage of Joong-do’s proposed bill amendment, Ki-young listens to the groggy Yoo-sin mistake him for Seung-ho, and unintentionally reveal she has been keeping the secret of his assault on Hye-joo. When the injured elder properly adjusts, she can only stare at the in-law she just disclosed this guarded information to.

As Yoon-seo fights with Da-som over the latter’s loud declaration “sex offenders should drop dead,” with the former aching to plead her late brother’s innocence, Yeo-jin ignores calls from Woo-jae. That, and the restauranteur breaks down over the request she looks after Hye-joo, beating her heart as she weeps.

When dropped off at the women’s clinic, Hye-joo bumps into Soo-bin, and frantically starts quizzing her for answers on what Ji-hoon allegedly did. The youngster admits her ex committed no wrongdoing, causing the book conservator to hysterically express her relief, though a curveball soon comes. Soo-bin insists she didn’t blackmail Joong-do, bluntly telling Hye-joo she wouldn’t “stoop that low.”

At home, Joong-do tells Hye-joo that Soo-bin is “playing” them with her conflicting statements, standing firm he wouldn’t have lied to his wife, or the public, through the press conference he held. “I never imagined you would trust somebody else more than me,” the assemblyman says, highly upset his wife mightn’t be able to believe him.

Before Hye-joo can say anything else to Joong-do, the assemblyman is confronted by Ji-hoon’s grandfather, who partly blames the book conservator for how the troubled boy turned out. It’s a tense exchange, with the elder spiteful that his former son-in-law held a press conference to admonish his late son.

With things at their boiling point, Joong-do stops his apologetic wife from taking any blame (he knows how much she cared for Ji-hoon), getting on his knees to accept responsibility for his very public actions. In the background, Yoon-seo watches on in a flood of tears. Concurrently, Woo-jae apologizes to Yeo-jin.

After Hye-joo expresses her remorse towards Joong-do, we watch the struggles all the ensemble are facing, then move on. Here, Soo-bin is greeted by someone currently unrevealed at her residence, Yoo-sin avoids talking to Ki-young, and Seung-hee remains fixated at the news of the potential sex crime bill amendment.

Risk, and planning

While Hye-joo becomes intrigued at where her husband could be going without his National Assembly badge, Joong-do hears that his calculated risk of talking about Ji-hoon before Soon-hong, who was actually the blackmailer regarding the sexual assault case, could, appears to have been successful.

In a flashback, we see what really happened between Joong-do and Soo-bin. The young woman was not assaulted (she’d lied on her records so she could have an abortion, not knowing the law had changed), and Ji-hoon wasn’t the father of the child anyway. What’s made clear is that Joong-do actually made a deal regarding his press conference, allowing himself to discuss the false crime of his late son in exchange for affording Soo-bin a place to stay. Additionally, the assemblyman maintained his stance of looking into Soon-hong’s illegal land speculation.

Back in the present, Joong-do explains he’ll feel “guilty towards Hye-joo and Ji-hoon for the rest of my life,” though believes he made the right move for the “greater good.” Following that, we see Woo-jae was the person who showed up at Soo-bin’s residence, to threaten her to stick with the agreed plan, or else she’ll “lose everything.” As an aside, the importance of Hye-joo never finding out about this arrangement is emphasized here.

With Hye-joo poking around for information on what her husband could be up to, Joong-do asks Woo-jae to be prepared, as “Seung-hee won’t sit idle” once Seung-ho’s case becomes public knowledge. “There’s no way to prove the truth anyway. Which means whoever wins the public’s support will be the one telling the truth,” the assemblyman ominously adds.

Trolley Season 1 Episode 12 Ending Explained

Now, with Hye-joo realizing Joong-do isn’t always truthful with her, she thinks back to what Soo-bin told her. This, it’s revealed, is that the assemblyman is the last person Ji-hoon met with prior to his passing, and the episode ends with the potential tease that the troubled boy ended up dead because he threatened to take his dad away from politics.

What did you think of Trolley Season 1 Episode 12? Comment below.

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