K-Drama Couch Recap: “The Penthouse: War In Life 2” Episodes 5 & 6

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Halfway through the season, The Penthouse 2 had viewers obsessively fixated on it with its fiery confrontations between foes, old and new.

Tables indeed have turned as Cheon Seo Jin (Kim So Yeon) starts to lose her leverage in the power game. With a growing number of enemies turning up one by one, she finds herself in a war zone she herself has started. And it will just be a matter of time before the persona she has built will burn down into ashes.

The penthouseEpisode Recaps: 01 & 02 | 03 & 04 | 05 & 06 | 07 & 08 | 09 & 10 | 11 & 12

The Penthouse 2 continues to roll with its too consuming storyline. This week’s episodes seemed to have challenged the barometer of emotions with twists that are both heartbreaking and hopeful.

Episodes 5 & 6 Recap

Unexpected Threat Against Cheon Seo Jin

Episode 5 starts off with a scene when Joo Seok Kyung (Han Ji Hyun) comes to Seo Jin’s room uninvited. Knowing that her chances to participate in the Cheong A Arts Festival is jeopardized, Seok Kyung doesn’t hold herself off in laying out his final card against Seo Jin.

She frankly tells the school directress that she knows what happened to her father with an evidence to back her up. Seo Jin is stunned with what the girl uttered.

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Just right after Seok Kyung left, Kang Ma ri (Shin Eun Kyung) storms inside Seo Jin’s apartment. The furious mother demands that Seo Jin’s daughter, Ha Eun Byeol (Choi Ye Bin), apologize to Jenny (Jin Ji Hee). As the parents of the students who are involved in the bullying scandal refuse to yield to Ma Ri’s insistence, she vows for retribution.

The next day, Seok Kyung is on her knees before Oh Yoon Hee (Eugene) and Ma Ri as she begs for forgiveness. She uses her mother’s death as an excuse for her demeaning behavior. For all her arrogance, Seok kyung’s attempt to veer the two mothers from their firm stance against her despicable actions seems too sham to be taken as genuine. But Yoon Hee appears to pity her somehow with the thought of Shim Su Ryeon (Lee Ji Ah).

Seo Jin’s New Enemies

In an attempt to provoke Chairman Joo (Uhm Ki Joon), Yoon Hee speaks with him about his company’s unfortunate situation. To salvage his business, the chairman looks forward to the merging of his and Seo Jin’s assets. Yoon Hee is aware that the couple’s relationship is currently on the rocks. She further taunts him about the possibility of Seo Jin withdrawing from the merger.

But Chairman Joo has obtained a copy of the Non-Disclosure Agreement between Yoon Hee and Seo Jin. The document contains the deal that pertains to the latter’s secret hiring of a ghost singer. He believes that the NDA, which will be his weapon to hold Seo Jin in the palm of his hand, will seal the deal in their merger.

Meanwhile, Ok Gyo and Seo Young, Seo Jin’s mother and sister, respectively, stomp off her office to confront her about the NDA document they received. Ok Gyo orders her to step down from her position as the directress of the Cheong A Foundation. Her younger sister plans to take over the post. They even want to put a stop on the Cheong A Arts Center project. But Seo Jin firmly refuses to yield.

Seo Jin can’t think of anyone who would have orchestrated this scheme but Yoon Hee. And so, she heads straight to Yoon Hee’s apartment and grabs her by the throat. Ha Yoon Cheol immediately rescues Yoon Hee from his ex-wife’s wrath and drives her out of their home.

Ma Ri’s Secret Revealed

Assemblyman Lee Kyu Jin (Bong Tae Gyu) isn’t happy about Ma Ri’s provocation as she drags the politician’s son in the bullying scandal involving her daughter. Kyu Jin orders someone to dig into Ma Ri’s secret life.

After finding out that she works in a high-end bathhouse, Kyu Jin and his wife confront and ridicule her. They then inform her that they have mailed photos of her at home for Jenny to see.

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Ma Ri races back home to get the package containing stolen shots of her before it reaches Jenny’s hands. Fortunately, Yoon Hee, who arrived with Jenny and Ro Na, takes possession of the envelope. She then hands it over to Ma Ri.

Later that night, Ma Ri receives a call from the penitentiary about her husband’s possible delay in his discharge. Her husband was said to be involved in a prison fight. But Ma Ri believes that Joo Dan Tae is the mind behind this.

Meanwhile, Seo Jin is surprised to see Chairman Joo at her apartment. He tells her that someone informed him about her plan to step down as the Cheong A Foundation’s directress. Seo Jin discards this rumor and insists on expediting the merging of their assets. She has no idea that this is Chairman Joo’s trap on her.

Ha Yoon Cheol’s Other Side

The night of the prestigious Cheong A Arts Festival has come. Bae Ro Na (Kim Hyun Soo) comes to sing first. But as her voice teacher starts to play the piano, Ro Na is startled when she hears the key is higher than what they have originally rehearsed. Nevertheless, she delivers an impeccable performance, to the displeasure of Eun Byeol and Seo Jin. Eun Byeol comes next, but her performance has a minor flaw.

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As Ro Na comes out from the backstage, she witnesses how Yoon Cheol (Yoon Jong Hoon) hands in an envelope of money to Ro Na’s voice teacher. It turns out that Yoon Cheol was forced by his daughter, Eun Byeol, to sabotage Ro Na’s performance.

The Festival’s Bloody Turnout

While the judges deliberate on the result of the competition, Seok Kyung once again confronts Seo Jin and reveals to her a video from Eun Byeol’s phone. The video shows Seo Jin’s father falling from the staircase, while Seo Jin is seen fleeing the scene.

Clearly a blackmail towards Seo Jin, Seok Kyung commands her to announce her name as the grand prize winner regardless of whose name is written on the envelope.

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Outside the theater, Ro Na and Eun Byeol engage in a heated confrontation. Eun Byeol, who is psychologically unstable, sees an image of Ro Na spiting her with the idea that she will take everything she wants- her father, Joo Seok Hoon (Kim Young Dae) and the festival grand prize. Delirious, she takes the trophy and runs after Ro Na.

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Eun Byeol pushes Ro Na who instantly falls down the stairs. Stains of blood covers Ro Na’s white dress as she lays unconscious on the ground.

Meanwhile, Seo Jin, in an almost inaudible sound, announces Ro Na’s name as the grand prize winner. This infuriates Seok Kyung, who despite her effort to threaten Seo Jin, loses her chance of getting a free pass to Seoul National University’s Music Department.

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But the festive mood inside the theater comes to a halt when the school janitor shouts about the bloody person he saw outside. Everyone immediately goes out to check the scene. Yoon Hee hysterically cries upon realizing that the victim is Ro Na.

The crowd panic at the shocking sight, but Ma Ri shouts that the gates must be closed as the culprit may still be within the vicinity of the school. Just then, the alarm rings and everyone quickly flees the area.

Finding The Identity Of The Culprit

The ambulance arrives and takes Ro Na to the hospital. Ma Ri finds a necklace on the crime scene, but Seo Jin instantly grabs it from her stating that it could serve as an evidence to the crime.

Eun Byeol, who seems to have come to her senses, hides the trophy inside her locker and escapes the school.

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As everyone gets anxious about going home, Yoon Cheol is determined to find out the identity of criminal. However, he begins to feel uncomfortable after his daughter becomes the object of suspicion. Jenny shows them a photo of all the participants in the festival just right before the announcement of the winner. The only ones missing in the picture are Ro Na and Eun Byeol.

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At home, Seok Hoon confronts his father to confirm his involvement in the crime. To clear his name from the crime, Chairman Joo shows him the necklace which he stole from Seo Jin’s jacket. That reveals Eun Byeol as the culprit.

Protecting Eun Byeol

At home, Seo Jin talks to her daughter about the incident and pressures her to tell the truth. Scared Eun Byeol confesses to the crime and thinks about coming clean. But Seo Jin prefers to protect her no matter what.

Seo Jin disposes the blood-stained white gown Eun Byeol wore at the festival. She also makes an excuse about her daughter being sick. Hence, she can’t be interrogated by the investigators.

Eun Byeol also admits to her mother where she hid the trophy. However, when Seo Jin attempts to take it from her locker, it’s surprisingly gone.

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Parental instinct had Yoon Cheol framing Seok Kyung as the possible suspect to the crime. He stealthily transferred the trophy from Eun Byeol’s locker to Seok Kyung’s. Thus, Eun Byeol will be freed from suspicions.

The detectives immediately apprehend Seok Kyung. But the lack of more incriminating material evidence, such as her fingerprints on the trophy, makes it difficult to build a strong case against her. Thus, the investigators release her shortly after questioning.

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Meanwhile, Logan Lee (Park Eun Seok) has a mysterious  connection with Jin Bong Hoon, Seo Jin’s household butler. The latter reports to Logan that something is up between the mother and daughter. She hands him a photo of Eun Byeol secretly leaving their house at 5am carrying a heavy baggage, but returned home empty-handed.

The following morning, the news report states that the school janitor, Mr. Park, confesses to the crime as the murderer. The arrest of Mr. Park brings heartbreak to Eun Byeol as the old man has always been kind to her.

Is Ro Na Dead?

Yoon Cheol finds Seo Jin drinking heavily alone. She implores him to protect their daughter at all costs. She even pushes him to kill Ro Na for Eun Byeol’s sake knowing that the tiniest chance of Ro Na waking up would mean that their daughter’s future is over.

The next day, an anonymous identity furtively enters Ro Na’s hospital room and turns off  the life-support machine attached to her.

The story jumps forward in time with a scene that shows Yoon Hee paying respects to her daughter’s grave. Unable to hold herself together, she attempts to end her life by swallowing pills. Logan, who comes out of nowhere, grabs her hand and scolds her for losing grip of herself. He then reveals that the fight is not yet over and she must go after Eun Byeol, the real perpetrator.

The Woman Who Comes Back From The Dead

It seems that everyone has settled peacefully with their respective lives. The closing scene shows the wedding photo of Chairman Joo and Seo Jin hanging on the wall of their penthouse apartment.

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But a mysterious lady walks confidently inside the penthouse showing off an air of familiarity with the place. She checks on every detail of the house until Chairman Joo appears behind her, asking who she is.

The chairman couldn’t believe his eyes after seeing that the woman is Shim Su Ryeon, or at least someone with an uncanny resemblance to his late wife. She makes advances by kissing him and whispering that it’s been a long time.

Episodes 5 & 6 Afterthoughts

I think this is, by far, the most explosive week yet in the entire Penthouse franchise! All hell is about to break loose as karma starts running after the wicked characters in the story.

Seo Jin is now in a warzone with, not just one enemy, but a handful of them. And everyone won’t seem to back off especially with each of them having a piece of evidence that will surely blow up her status and character.

But Seo Jin takes a backseat as the most hated character this time. Yoon Cheol easily takes her place. Since Season 1, I have been rooting for his revenge against his ex-wife and Chairman Joo. But this week, we saw another side of him, and that is betraying Yoon Hee and Ro Na. Even worse, he plotted on affixing the crime to someone else just to spare his daughter, Eun Byeol, from criminal liability.

As a father, rooting for his daughter’s success is instinctive and inherently human. But to give in to her unreasonable whims is something else. A father must never consent to injustice just to satiate his child’s irrational desires. There is never an excuse for such repulsive actions as he fails to teach his daughter the concept of playing fair.

Yoon Hee came in full circle at the tragedy of her daughter. I was lost for words at the thought of Ro Na dying. Yoon Hee’s laborious attempt to avenge her fate would be meaningless without her daughter by her side. It broke my heart to think that Ro Na died not knowing that she made it fairly.

I somehow feel that there is a big twist in this arc since the series did not present the girl’s dead body. Fingers crossed, I hope to see Ro Na reappearing at the latter part of the series.

Sparingly shown in the series so far, Logan Lee is always at the right place, at the right time to save Yoon Hee. Given that he is following her every move, I’m still curious at how his character would impact the looming downfall of the villains.

I couldn’t ask for a better cliffhanger as the supposed Shim Su Ryeon returns! But we are not sure yet whether it was really her or perhaps a twin sister. After all, a makjang drama is all about speculative fiction in which nothing seems impossible in the storyline.

Catch The Penthouse: War In Life 2 at SBS every Fridays and Saturday. It is also available for streaming worldwide through Viu app.

Watch Episode 7 Preview:

Images & Video: SBS

Streaming Platform: Viu