While I do enjoy Suspicious, I find myself scratching my head initially at its title and blurb. On hindsight, the “partner” may be a pun which refers to Bong-hee as a law firm associate or as Ji-wook’s romantic partner. The “suspicious” portion is cos she was previously a suspect for a murder. Then again, I am not sure if it is the translation that made the title clumsy or it is awkward in the first place. Likewise, the blurb for Suspicious says Hyun-soo goes after Bong-hee/ Ji-wook cos he has amnesia, which can mean he doesn’t remember why he needs to kill them or he forgets why he needs to kill them. Turns out, his amnesia is unrelated to the OTP, but his own mental defence mechanism against a horrendous crime which he was part of.
Odd title and blurb aside, I love Suspicious for its frank OTP, who speak their minds and are not afraid of owning up to their fears and insecurities. Bong-hee, despite being clumsily tactless at times, has a rather sharp radar when it comes to sussing out the emotive undercurrents. She doesn’t need to be TOLD specifically to sense something is off with Hyun-soo, and that Ji-wook has already caught on. Also, Ji-wook doesn’t need to spell it out for her about her dad being the prime suspect (or accused) arsonist for his parents’ death, she immediately links up Ji-wook’s recent distant behaviours, his need to take on the arson case, and the arson case itself to come to the realisation that Ji-wook’s parents are the victims of the fire which her dad supposedly set.
Although Ji-wook can be quite dense when it comes to admitting his own attraction to Bong-hee, once he is aware he doesn’t mince words or play hard to get around her. I find Ji Chang-wook‘s slightly dorky portrayal of Ji-wook a nice contrast to the otherwise sharp, no nonsense prosecutor. Eun-hyuk and Yoo-jung as the supporting alternative OTP are also a delight to watch. Like Ji-wook, Eun-hyuk may have a silver tongue and is suave about nearly everything…except when it comes to Yoo-jung. Then he gets hilariously tongue tied and more often than not, experiences episodes of foot-in-mouth.
While the foursome steal the show, much credit also goes to the villain Hyun-soo and Dong-ha who portrays him. I find Hyun-soo as a character both terrifying and yet, at the same time, sympathetic. I condemn him for being a coward who stood by to let a girl he liked being gang raped by his so-called “friends”, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel sorry for him at his look of horror when he realised that he had re-programmed the event in his mind. Deep down, he must have felt so helpless and useless that he actually suffered from some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder that resulted in the cognitive dissonance.
Ironically, his mind so successfully blocked out the event that he never questioned how and why he was able to know in such details who did what to his crush. Also, the perpetual image of seeing his crush running away from him didn’t serve to trigger any memories of being a participant to the sexual assault, but only cemented his belief that he needs to “punish the wrongdoers”.