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Episodes 3-4 » Dramabeans Korean drama recaps





Connection: Episodes 3-4

In the wake of a dear friend’s death, our protagonists don their investigative hats to uncover the motive behind his mysterious will. All the while, our detective’s drug dependence worsens, pushing him towards desperate measures that will likely come back to bite him.

 
EPISODES 3-4

Yoon-jin coaxes Joon-seo’s widow CHOI JI-YEON (Jung Yoo-min) into permitting an autopsy, and Ji-yeon eventually acquiesces to it, wanting peace of mind. To the curious Joo-song, Yoon-jin claims it’s for the insurance money, but methinks it’s also part investigative instinct, part loyalty to an old friend.

It turns out there’s a third name on the will — LEE MYUNG-GUK, whose name doesn’t ring a bell to Jae-kyung, but certainly does to both the suspicious trio and Yoon-jin. Myung-guk is a pharmacist at KH Pharmaceuticals, the company Jong-soo runs, and he’d contacted Yoon-jin as a whistleblowing informant seven months ago. However, he’d stood her up, and gone missing the very next day.

When both our leads coincidentally visit Myung-guk’s daughter on the same day, Yoon-jin catches Jae-kyung in the middle of a withdrawal episode. He insists upon being taken home, but there’s a delivery at his front door addressed to Joon-seo. Ever the curious cat, Yoon-jin tears it open — and inside lies a single yellow pill, which she immediately recognizes. Escaping Jae-kyung’s frantic clamoring, a shocked Yoon-jin flushes the pill down the toilet.

After Jae-kyung’s calmed down, he opens up about Joon-seo’s visits, regretting how he’d snubbed him each time. Exhausted and forlorn, Jae-kyung recounts how he found himself addicted to the yellow pills, but despite Yoon-jin’s urgings, he refuses to seek help. He can’t get himself taken off the case, not when no one else cares enough to seek justice for Joon-seo. Yoon-jin can’t shake her concern, but if he insists on prioritizing the case, then she’s in it with him.

Together, Jae-kyung and Yoon-jin break into Myung-guk’s house, where they discover his rotting corpse. Next to it is a framed photo of the music club “Audiophile” (not Audio File, oops) — the same name as Joon-seo’s company, and the high school club that he’d been in with Jae-kyung, Yoon-jin, and Joo-song. Seems like Myung-guk had been their club senior. Examining the state of the corpse, Jae-kyung realizes Myung-guk had been frozen and buried after death; someone dug him back out very recently.

Before they can investigate further, they’re interrupted by someone throwing Molotov cocktails into the house, and they barely manage to escape the ensuing blaze. When a withdrawal-induced dizzy spell washes over Jae-kyung, he powers through to return to the station. He needs a pill, and there just so happens to be one that they’d confiscated earlier, which he steals right out of his junior officer’s desk drawer.

As for our villains, Jong-soo is particularly testy about Joon-seo’s autopsy, acting belligerent to Tae-jin and talking down to him. Tae-jin and Jong-soo have been collaborating on a redevelopment project, and it’s surely no coincidence that Joon-seo died in that exact area.

Tae-jin’s character starts to take an interesting slant here, because for all that he claims to support Jong-soo rising to the position of KH’s chairman, it’s clear he’s disdainful of Jong-soo’s repugnant arrogance. Tae-jin seems to have his own agenda, all while maintaining appearances with Jong-soo and Chi-hyun through plausible deniability; from permitting Joon-seo’s autopsy to brushing over the risk that Myung-guk’s reappearance could pose, Tae-jin doesn’t appear particularly worried about the trio’s secrets.

In case you start considering that Tae-jin might be somewhat redeemable, though, think again. Barging into Ji-yeon’s home, Tae-jin strangles her mercilessly, demanding for “the password.” They’ve been in cahoots, and it seems Tae-jin is trying to save both of them from the sinking boat that is their current situation. Ji-yeon isn’t nearly as desperate, and she demands hush money for the affair they’ve been having, earning a derisive scoff from Tae-jin. It doesn’t help that Yoon-jin later witnesses them driving into a hotel, though they remain unaware they’ve been seen.

Meanwhile, Jae-kyung circles back to the construction site, where he discovers a hidden staff entrance that Joon-seo had slipped through. CCTV footage from a nearby store shows Joon-seo arriving just before 11pm that night, and the owner mentions that Joon-seo had come by about half a year ago and asked to watch CCTV footage too.

Jae-kyung pops out briefly, but unfortunately, he’s been spotted by fellow schoolmate JUNG YOON-HO (Lee Kang-wook). An ominous flashback shows that two hours after Joon-seo’s death, Yoon-ho had driven Chi-hyun to the site in his taxi, and the flame from Chi-hyun’s lighter had illuminated his face. By the time Jae-kyung returns, the store owner is bleeding out from stab wounds. Though the CCTV tapes have all been set on fire, the store owner presses a USB — containing a few clips of footage — into Jae-kyung’s palm before fading out.

With even more clues surfacing this week, Connection certainly doesn’t let up on its relentless barrage of plot threads. Not only do we find out that Joon-seo has ties to KH Pharmaceuticals, but we also learn more about the drugs in Jae-kyung’s system. Nicknamed “lemon meth,” the yellow pills are highly addictive — with every pill consumed, the downtime in between grows shorter, encouraging dosage increases that will eventually damage the body’s central nerves.

Interestingly, the lemon meth supply has been scarce since a fortnight ago, and when middleman Jin-wook phones the Doctor in desperation, he realizes there’s a second person behind the pseudonym. Not only does this new Doctor not admonish him for breaking a rule that’s been in place all along, but his speech patterns are also markedly different.

Suspicion is also brewing in our protagonists’ midst; stifled by his secret, Jae-kyung’s paranoia has him growing wary of Chang-soo. They’ve been working so closely, and Chang-soo’s caught him in one too many precarious situations already — surely Chang-soo has caught onto his drug addiction, and is simply covering up for him? Or has he been bought out, harboring this weakness of Jae-kyung’s for future leverage? It’s difficult to tell where Jae-kyung’s reason ends and where the drug’s effects begin, and perhaps it’s this atmosphere of disoriented doubt that’s keeping me intrigued in this show’s mystery.

 
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