K-Drama Premiere: “The Penthouse 2” Drives Momentum Of Thrill As Wronged Heroine Redeems Her Lost Place
The Penthouse 2‘s premiere week did not disappoint with its emotionally-triggering highlights about characters seeking for retribution.
Cheon Seo Jin (Kim Seo Yeon) is about to be twice as powerful as she is with her forthcoming marriage with real estate magnate, Joo Dan Tae (Uhm Ki Joon). Everything works in her favor until Oh Yoon Hee (Eugene) reappears, who defiantly stands in the way to claim what rightfully belongs to her.
As if Yoon Hee’s presence isn’t enough to bring Seo Jin into a state of paranoia, the latter’s ex-husband shows up add fuel to the fire. And he is up to something Seo Jin has never imagined.
Premiere Week Recap
Another Mysterious Crime
Two years after the bloody murder of Shim Su Ryeon (Lee Ji Ah), things are back to normal as if nothing has happened. A prestigious contest takes place where classical music students get to showcase their talents. Bae Ro Na (Kim Hyun Soo), Ha Eun Byul (Choi Ye Bin), Joo Seok Kyung (Han Ji Hyun), Yoo Jenny (Jin Jin Hee) perform with their individual pieces.
The scene, however, cuts off just when the grand prize winner is about to be announced. It then shifts to a gruesome scene where one of the students falls down from the steep stone steps, bloodied and unconscious.
A Dark Obsession
For days, Seo Jin has been receiving threatening packages from a stalker. A vandalized poster of her tainted with blood and filled with curses creeps her out. Seo Jin can only think of Oh Yoon Hee as the mind behind these schemes.
However, someone who is just under her nose sneaks out to perpetrate such eerie ploy. Yang Mi Ok (Kim Ro Sa), the Joo family’s longtime butler turns out to be the culprit.
Ms. Yang, who harbors obsession towards Chairman Joo, despises Seo Jin and wishes for her death. Unfortunately, Seo Jin catches her stabbing what seems to be a voodoo doll with her picture plastered on it. Caught off guard, she pleads to be forgiven but both Seo Jin and Chairman Joo want her to banish from the household.
With Chairman Joo’s wrath on her, Ms. Yang wants to take it on Bae Ro Na, Yoon Hee’s daughter, and plots to kill her. Ms. Yang duped the poor girl by anonymously pretending that she is seeking some household help. Ro Na, desperately in need of money, accepts the offer and goes to the given address.
Upon entering the apartment, Ms. Yang violently attacks her and strangulates her until someone, whose face is concealed, comes to her rescue. Ro Na immediately flees without realizing that it was her mother, who has been following her, who saved her. Just then, Logan Lee (Park Eun Seok) arrives at the scene. Ms. Yang, then, poisons herself and dies instantly.
Oh Yoon Hee Clears Her Name
Logan Lee forges a suicide note of Ms. Yang which details her deep obsession towards Chairman Joo. The note also states her confession about the chairman’s killing of his wife, Shim Su Ryeon. Because of her unconditional devotion to him, she agreed to frame Yoon Hee as the murderer.
The detectives take the suicide note as an admissible evidence to acquit Oh Yoon Hee. However, Chairman Joo successfully circumvents the law to evade prosecution.
The Unwanted Guests
The engagement ceremony between Chairman Joo and Cheon Seo Jin finally takes place at a luxurious venue. The lavish event seems to be a gathering of the most elite people.
Everything is perfect until the unwanted guests arrive in the most infuriating fashion. The unknown trespassers show up coming down from a helicopter ride ruining the sophisticated mood of the celebration.
Initially enraged with the seemingly arrogance of the intruders, everyone is flabbergasted after seeing some familiar faces. Dr. Ha Yoon Cheol (Yoon Jong Hoon), Seo Jin’ ex-husband, confidently appears in front of the couple. To make things even more overwhelming, he introduces his new wife who, to everyone’s surprise, happens to be Yoon Hee. The new pair perfectly steals the spotlight from the newly-engaged couple who seems provoked by their presence.
As it turns out, Yoon Cheol is now a hotshot in the pharmaceutical industry. His start-up company, JohnBIO, became a thriving business with the value of its stocks skyrocketing in a short span of time.
The new pair will be Hera Palace’s new addition to its list of elite residents. However, it was later revealed that the two aren’t really a married couple, but they agreed to connive against their common enemies.
The Start Of Cheon Seo Jin’s Downfall
Seo Jin has a grueling schedule ahead with a grand concert to celebrate her 20th anniversary as a soprano singer. But too bad, all her distress takes a toll on her body that her voice begins to crack. A visit to a physician reveals that she has a swollen nodule on her throat which makes it impossible for her to hit high notes.
Going against the doctor’s advice about cancelling her concert, Seo Jin can’t afford to put all her undertakings into a halt fearing that she will become a subject of mockery. Out of desperation, she orders to look for a soprano singer who has an uncanny resemblance with her singing. She plans to secretly lip sync her performance using a ghost singer’s voice. After almost running out of choices, a lady named Park Yu Ran was chosen to be Seo Jin’s ghost singer.
On the day of the concert, Yu Ran sings in a hidden area while Seo Jin impeccably delivers a deceiving performance. Everything goes well as planned, save for the finale part where Yu Ran intentionally goes for the “high F” note, something that catches Seo Jin off guard. Nonetheless, everyone is in awe of her fake performance.
The furious Seo Jin confronts Yu Ran as soon as the concert ends. But she could never be prepared enough to learn that her ghost singer was, in fact, Oh Yoon Hee.
Premiere Week Afterthoughts
The Penthouse 2‘s premiere week strongly picked up where it left off last season. It already treated its viewers to an emotional roller coaster ride- from the outrageous powerplay of the villains to the satisfyingly cathartic vengeance of the wronged characters. The pilot week was just so engrossing that it promises more fiery encounters to unfold between the protagonists and villains.
With a fast-paced plot flow, devoid of any dragging moments so far, I couldn’t ask for a better prelude for yet another celebrated makjang drama this year. While the series is grimly melodramatic, the storyline isn’t entirely gloomy. The first two episodes were injected with the right amount of dark humor which blended well into the narrative.
Watching Yoon Hee boldly going head to head with her rival, Seo Jin, was indeed satisfying. But I hope that Season 2 wouldn’t go astray with the first season’s central question, which is about the identity of Min Seol A’s murderer. And that’s where Logan Lee’s character would come into play.
Logan Lee, Seol A’s adoptive brother, seeks to avenge his sister’s death. By the end of the first season, speculations are pointed at Yoon Hee as Seol A’s murderer. But current season’s second episode revealed that Logan had helped Yoon Hee during the time she became a fugitive of the law.
That’s despite the fact that Shim Su Ryeon straightforwardly told him that Yoon Hee is allegedly Seol A’s killer. Logan’s benevolence towards Yoon Hee now raises doubts about the latter’s guilt in the crime. I look forward to an elaborate backstory about their relationship.
It’s impossible to not miss Lee Ji Ah’s character here. Somehow, I’d love to see her appearing in Season 2 in whatever form – be it a ghost, a twin sister or a character that has an uncanny resemblance with Shim Su Ryeon.
I am also rooting for a positive character development of the second-generation characters. The looming romance between Bae Ro Na and Joo Seok Hoon is a breath of fresh air in this conflict-laden drama.
Cliché as it may sound, I’d love to see Seok Hoon break the barriers of social classes, and go after someone whom his heart desires. Hopefully, his twin sister, Joo Seok Kyung, would follow suit.
You would never want to miss out on the gripping progression of the series. Catch The Penthouse 2 at SBS channel every Fridays and Saturdays, 10pm (KST). International fans can stream it through Viu.
Watch Premiere Week Highlights:
Images & Video: SBS
Streaming Platform: Viu