By Bryan Tan
This recap contains spoilers and covers episodes 11-12 of Private Lives, which is currently available on Netflix.
The latest episodes shift Private Lives into high gear, as infamous swindler Jeong Bok Gi, or Jeon Yoon Kyung (Kim Hyo Jin) finally tracks down her former partner Kim Jae Wook (Kim Young Min) to his hideout. Surprisingly, she doesn’t immediately confront him about her stolen money, which he keeps in a secret underground vault, but scribbles a cryptic message on his gate instead.
Cha Joo Eun (Seohyun) is threatened with jail time by her new police detective partner Kim Myung Hyun (Lee Hak Joo) if he finds out that she’s been hiding the fact that her presumably dead ex-fiance Lee Jeong Hwan (Go Kyung Pyo) is still alive. Meanwhile, Jeong Hwan arm-twists President of One Line Park Chung Seop (Lee Ji Hyeok) for a meeting with Assemblyman Kwon Kyuk Jang (Jang Eui Don), whom President Park sponsors.
A ray of hope shines on our con artist couple, as Jeong Hwan tells Joo Eun that their relationship is not completely over; even as Joo Eun laments the loss of her previous life, and the fact that she still wants to show him off in public space, even when she can’t. The couple make up for lost time, as Jeong Hwan reveals a part of him by bringing her to the orphanage he was raised in, to show her that he does trust her.
Team Joo Eun and Jeong Hwan also manage to thwart the schemes of GK group yet again, as the shadowy conglomerate plots to pin President Park as an industrial tech spy colluding with China. Disguised as police officers, Joo Eun and her ‘uncle’ Han Son (Tae Won Seok) manage to nab the fake whistle-blower sent by Kim Jae Wook to reveal GK’s plot in a police press conference.
Unfortunately, the ultimate motive of the GK group is still not clear up to this point. Why are they trying to back politician Yoo Byung Jun (who murdered Jae Wook’s family) over Assemblyman Kwon? Is Kim Jae Wook still planning to run as a politician? If you want to make a comparison with Ocean’s 11, the plot is clear; steal the money, humiliate the owner, and get out safely. Everything planned revolved around those factors. With Private Lives, we have yet to get some clarity of plot despite a lot of scheming and politicking.
Jeong Hwan meets with Assemblyman Kwon and they come to an agreement. In exchange for Jeong Hwan’s service to get Kwon elected, Joo Eun’s name will be cleared. Jeong Hwan also secretly meets up with his former boss (Kim Min Sang), the manager of GK’s Innovative Vision Room. This was a completely unnecessary scene in my opinion, as the two exchanged strange spice metaphors, ending with GK’s men pursuing Jeong Hwan as he runs away.
Joo Eun’s family is also unhappy with the stakes of the fight with GK. Her very narcissistic mother (Song Seon Mi) argues that there is no money to be earned from this fight, and that this is all about Joo Eun fighting for her own selfish love. Even her staunchest ally, Han Son, is not convinced that they will survive in this political war, one which is unfamiliar to them in both scale and resources.
Jeong Hwan officially allies himself with Assemblyman Kwon, and tries to figure out if his name is in the infamous President Choi’s ledger of powerful people who have taken bribes. Also, we finally see the face of the director behind GK’s Innovative Vision Room. Manager Kim, who is usually the one yelling and kicking the asses of his subordinates, is on his knees with arms raised in punishment and even takes a note from the director using his mouth.
Jeong Bok Gi discovers that politician Yoo Byung Jun killed Jae Wook’s entire family, and contacts him directly in an attempt to blackmail him with the infamous ledger. But before her plan comes to fruition, she comes face to face with Kim Jae Wook, her former partner who stole her money and ran away. Will she finally get her revenge, or will the stunning revelations from their meeting change her mind?
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