The Mysterious Wife – Trolley Episode 1 – 2 Kdrama Recap 

Assemblyman Nam Joong Do has led a very quiet life alongside his secretive wife Hye Ju. Will the unexpected death of his son Ji Hoon threaten their peace?

Trolley is off to a great start and appears to be another Netflix kdrama brimming with potential! 

Trolley Episode 1 Recap and Review 

I don’t know what it is that I find so intriguing about political kdrama, but I love examining the relationship between the (potential) politician and his family. 

Does he love his family? 

Is he cold to his wife? 

Does the politician love his daughter but pressure his son? 

It’s always fascinated me for some reason. 

Is Trolley Breaking the Kdrama Marriage Mold? 

Trolley seems to be taking a different route from the usual political Kdrama where one (or both) spouses in the relationship cheat on each other and harbor dark secrets that when exposed – ruin any chance at power the couple had together. 

Assemblyman Nam Joong Do seems to adore his wife. Joong Do appears to be a great husband who isn’t just putting on a complete act in public. (Given his later admission however that he only trusts his wife – I’d say his public face is worn out of necessity than malice.)  

Contrasted to the humble Assemblyman, we have his shady wife, Kim Hye Joo. 

What is Wrong with Kim Hye Joo? 

From the outside looking in, you would think Kim Hye Joo is the perfect wife and a model citizen. She is overly generous and kind to those she meets. Hye Joo did contract social work, visits the Women’s clinic to help out, and aids women and children on welfare in finding meals when they are hungry. 

Model citizen and perfect wife Kim Hye Ju is secretive to everybody but a select few
Model citizen and perfect wife Kim Hye Ju is secretive to everybody but a select few

The good assemblyman Nam’s wife also gives back all funds earned from her part-time work to various organizations and charities. Which is admittedly very…odd. 

Others find Hye Joo’s charitable inclinations strange, as well.  

It was heavily implied that Hye Joo is continually donating food and goods anonymously to the social work organization she did contract work at. While passing by (to maybe keep tabs to see if the shipment was delivered) the women working there almost seemed annoyed at continually having to lug heavy goods into the building. 

After Hye Joo’s offer at help is denied, she slinks off down the road where another worker whispers to an older lady that Hye Joo’s husband is an assemblyman. Which leads me to believe Hye Joo quit working there once her personal background was exposed. 

Despite this projected heart of gold (or extended tax write-off for her assemblyman husband who has his ambitions set on the Blue House) Kim Hye Joo seems to really hate her stepson, Nam Ji Hoon. 

Nam Ji Hoon Dies 

Assemblyman Nam’s ‘problem’ son Ji Hoon dies unexpectedly while 30 violent crime officers are out looking for his brat of a daughter, Nam Yoon Seo at his wife Hye Joo’s request. 

Nam Ji Hoon hears his step-mother Hye Joo wish death upon him
Nam Ji Hoon hears his step-mother Hye Joo wish death upon him

Assemblyman Nam doesn’t seem to have much of a relationship with his biological firstborn son. To be quite frank, Joong Do doesn’t seem to care much for his daughter, Yoon Seo, either. The good assemblyman only seems to care for his wife – deciding to look for their missing child only after Hye Joo’s tantrum at the police station. 

Why did I abruptly stop talking about Ji Hoon to focus on Yoon Seo?  Because nobody cares about him. 

We are not even introduced to Ji Hoon before finding him dead in the Han River – to the clear relief of Hye Joo that it wasn’t her precious daughter harmed. At Ji Hoon’s funeral, even the politicians who came to pay respects gossiped that maybe it was for the best that Ji Hoon died before further damaging his father’s promising political career. 

This leads me to wonder if Hye Joo taking in a girl who is obviously lying about being pregnant with the recently released from incarceration Ji Hoon’s child is out of guilt.  

I know Hye Joo found a cup with lipstick around the rim at Ji Hoon’s apartment while cleaning up, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he had a girlfriend – just that Ji Hoon had a woman over for at least one night. 

(Why do you think Ji Hoo was portrayed as such a problem child off-screen? Might this be the central conflict of the drama, along with Hye Joo’s secretive past coming to light?) 

Either way, it should be interesting to see where this is going. On to the next! 

Trolley Episode 2 Recap and Review 

Wow, doesn’t Kim Hye Joo get tired of acting? 

Hye Joo claims she hadn’t spoken to Ji Hoon since his release from prison when being interrogated by the cops, but through her flashback we see her admitting to Ji Hoon’s face that she wished him dead.  

Hye Joo asks Soo Bin if Ji Hoon raped her and that resulted in her pregnancy, but then pretends Ji Hoon would be incapable of buying and using drugs while alone with Joong Do. 

Then, we have Hye Joo’s little press performance where she calls Ji Hoon their “precious son” when reporters showed up at their home to investigate the “special favor” Assemblyman Nam received while trying to locate his ungrateful daughter, Yoon Seo. 

Is Hye Joo’s Concern for Soo Bin An Act? 

I truly believe that Soo Bin might actually be pregnant, but it is doubtful if the unborn child is of Ji Hoon’s blood. 

Soo Bin and Hye Joo meet for the first time
Soo Bin and Hye Joo meet for the first time

I believed Soo Bin’s sincerity when she stated that Ji Hoon wasn’t a scumbag, and that she truly had no clue about the drugs found on his body. However, Soo Bin is clearly lying about more than a few things. 

Soo Bin claims it was her first time at Ji Hoon’s home but was already walking toward his room when Hye Joo was trying to show her around. The mysterious pregnant girl also claims she has no proof that she even knew Ji Hoon and that her phone died, yet appears to possibly have Ji Hoon’s real phone that lost signal a few kilometers down the Han River before his accident. 

Another red flag is that Soo Bin had no clue who Yoon Seo was. Then again, since Yoon Seo admitted that she secretly wished Ji Hoon dead, maybe her half-brother secretly felt the same way about her. 

What Actually Happened to Ji Hoon? 

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Ji Hoon was framed, and the drugs were placed on his person after death. 

Assemblyman Kang clearly has it out for Assemblyman Nam, and the Chairwoman of their party Woo Jin Seok is not to be trusted, either. I’m sure despite Ji Hoon supposedly acting out, things stayed so calm in Joong Do’s personal life because his wife stayed out of politics and kept an extremely low profile. 

Now, that has all gone to hell. 

(Did Hye Joon even have time to wake up and make her husband that vegetable drink that ended up being crushed while Joong Do fled from reporters?) 

Assemblyman Nam Exploits a Situation 

Although it may appear manipulative, the girl who committed suicide’s grandmother Jo Gwi Soon benefitted from the media attention to their case. So while I don’t fault Assemblyman Nam for using the dating case to his advantage, I have to wonder why the grandma never mentioned the assemblyman attended the funeral when Hye Joo visited later on. 

Assemblyman Nam uses the death of Jo Gwi Soon's granddaughter to his political advantage
Assemblyman Nam uses the death of Jo Gwi Soon’s granddaughter to his political advantage

If Assemblyman Nam did go early in the morning to Jo Gwi Soon’s granddaughter’s funeral after attending his business associates’ mother-in-law’s wake, why did Grandma Jo act like Hye Joo was the only person who visited? I’m sure Assemblyman Nam didn’t swear the old woman to secrecy for witnessing his presence, and the camera clearly panned to an empty guest book, along with only one bowl of food that was used by Hye Joo. 

So how did Assemblyman Nam sign the book, when his wife refused, and the grandma clearly claimed that she wasn’t senile in front of reporters? Was this situation “fixed” by Assemblyman Nam’s aide Jang Woo Jae to change public perception and take heat off Nam’s “special favor” case? 

Although, it doesn’t seem like Chairwoman Woo was thrilled to hear public sentiment shifting back to Assemblyman Nam’s side based on Grandma Jo’s news story. 

Either way, Trolley is shaping up to be a very interesting show. 

Someone is watching Assemblyman Nam’s family through their windows unbeknownst to them, and after 2 campaigns and 8 years of marriage, it seems Assemblyman Nam is finally being tested politically. 

But, tell me your thoughts. 

Who is spying on Joong Do and Hye Joo through their blinds?
Who is spying on Joong Do and Hye Joo through their blinds?

Is Soo Bin a spy sent by Assemblyman Kang to destroy Assemblyman Nam? 

What case was Yeo Jin and Woo Jae referring to that made her want to live a very long life? 

Why does Hye Joo keep lying about her past? 

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to follow us for more Trolley Kdrama Episode Recaps and Reviews!       

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Author: In Asian Spaces

I write in my personal time and I haven't published much at all. I don't know if that qualifies me as a writer or not, but I'd like to change that. I have a deep passion for travel, cinema and (mainly) East Asian things, but I plan on writing various things to keep it spicy. Let's prosper together ~ よろしくおねがいします。

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