Final Review: Undercover (JTBC, 2021)

Personally, I find the story progress of this drama very slow even when watching at 2x, as the story background seemed a bit thin for a 16-episode drama, resulting the story to be much overstretched.  I was initially quite excited about this drama due to the cast, became disappointed after a couple of episodes, partly due to the fact that the pairs Jin Ji-hee/Kim Hyun-joo and Yeon Woo-jin/Han Sun-hwa were mutually exclusive.

The story was about Han Jeong-hyun (Ji Jin-hee) happily married to Choi Yeon-soo (Kim Hyun-joo) with 2 children. Jeong-hyun was willing to be a house-husband so that his wife Yeon-soo could focus on being a human right lawyer. Jeong-hyun’s eldest son Han Seung-goo (Yoo Seon-ho) was autistic, so Jeong-hyun also opened a bicycle shop for Seung-goo to take care of himself. The youngest daughter Han Seung-mi (Lee Jae-in) was smart and mature for her age, and took good care of her brother. Yeon-soo had been trying to get a retrial for her client and friend of 30 years, Hwang Jung-ho (Choi Kwang-il) who had been wronged for a murder he did not commit, when she was given the chance to be appointed as the director of the Corruption Investigation Office. She would need to drop Jung-ho’s case if she were to take up the position. At the same time, a lady also requested her to help to investigate the bizarre death of her husband, who was concluded to have committed suicide but his death was questionable. Jeong-hyun was also approached by a NIS agent Do Yeong-geol (Jung Man-sik) who threatened him to stop Yeon-soo from accepting the director position at Corruption Investigation Office, otherwise he would let Jeong-hyun’s real identity be known to Yeon-soo.

Jeong-hyun’s real name was actually Lee Suk-kyu, who joined the Agency for National Security Planning (former National Intelligence Agency(NIS)) in the 1980s. Back then, Suk-kyu (Yeon Woo-jin) was assigned to investigate on the student leader of mass protest Kim Tae-yeol (Kim Young-dae) using the name Han Jeong-hyun, and befriended Tae-yeol’s close friend and supporter Yeon-soo (Han Sun-hwa). Jeong-hyun fell in love with Yeon-soo, ad decided to leave NIS to marry Yeon-soo. Jeong-hyun could not even take care of his father using the identity of Suk-kyu. Jeong-hyun found that the man with questionable death that Yeon-so was investigating was actually his ex-colleague at NIS. He then proceeded with his own investigations, as well as to protect his family and to prevent Yeon-soo from knowing his real identity.

Jeong-hyun found that his ex-colleague’s death was related to director of NIS Im Hyeong-rak (Heo Joon-ho) who had been siphoning public funds for private investments, and thus accumulating large amount of wealth. Hyeong-rak was also the one who instructed Yeong-geol to stop Yeon-soo from assuming the director position, which Yeon-soo ultimately did become the director with Jeong-hyun’s support. However, Yeon-soo soon learnt about Jeong-hyun’s real identity as Lee suk-kyu. Though feeling betrayed by Jeong-hyun’s lie for 20 years, she decided to accept Jeong-hyun and worked together with him to put the corrupted NIS director behind the bars. As mentioned earlier, I am not a fan of this drama, as I feel the drama could have been much shorter with the familiar and expected plot. Nevertheless, I feel the cast still had performed well, especially Yoo Seon-ho who had portrayed an autistic character realistically.

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