The screenplay of Lies Hidden In My Garden tends to hide the characters’ faces often in favor of the back of their heads or obscure parts of their surroundings. This has been a habit of the series since the first episode, and we have struggled to understand why that could be. Maybe by hiding the characters’ faces and expressions, the audience is purposefully left in the dark regarding what they are thinking. That seems like an odd choice since most of the time, the characters are simply confused anyway. However, when we cannot see their faces, we feel as if there is a literal wall between us and them.
In other series, there is an effort on the writer’s part to help the characters connect with the audience. Lies Hidden In My Garden avoids that connection. Maybe it is to help us get into Joo Ran’s shoes, who is feeling disconnected from her family and reality due to the mountain of manipulated self-doubt she is surrounded by. Or it could be to reflect Sang Eun’s isolation, where we simply never know what she is thinking or what she even wants to do going forward. It could also reflect Jae Ho’s way of keeping people at a distance with his aloofness, lies, and manipulation because if they get too close, they might just know the truth. It is difficult to understand this choice of the screenplay, and since the secrets have finally started coming out in episode 5, maybe we will get more clarity going forward. Until then, let’s try to decode this episode through this recap.
Do Sang Eun And Joo Ran Find Lee Soo Min?
Episode 4 ended with what looked like Joo Ran wanting to give up the search for Lee Soo Min in favor of trusting her husband. This episode of Lies Hidden In My Garden starts with Joo Ran and Sang Eun going to meet Grasshopper, the man who keeps calling Soo Min’s phone. It is here that we realized that we missed something in translation. Our deduction is that the man’s name, Joo Tae Gyung, sounds similar to the Korean word for grasshopper, which is why Lee Soo Min named him that in her phone. Or maybe she was just being mean. Either way, both women want to know where Lee Soo Min is and how Jae Ho is connected to the man. Joo Tae Gyung is one hell of a leech, and he cannot stop making passes at both women, prompting Joo Ran to call Hae Soo and tell her to hand over the phone to the police if she doesn’t receive a call back from her in ten minutes. Hae Soo has no clue what is going on, and she is left confused by the call, which, strangely, works on Tae Gyung, and they are not under immediate threat. But he only starts talking once Joo Ran hands him money. He tells her that Lee Soo Min ran away with someone and has ghosted them since, so he doesn’t know where she is.
When Sang Eun brings out Soo Min’s phone and tells Tae Gyung that she has copied its data and will hand it over to the police if he doesn’t tell them everything he knows, that is when Tae Gyung reveals what he knows about Park Jae Ho. The women want an explanation for the photo where Jae Ho is leaning over Soo Min in the parking lot. Tae Gyung implies that he wanted to take revenge on Jae Ho. He doesn’t say why, but our guess is that since Kioomai is a pediatric hospital and Tae Gyung deals in child prostitution, maybe Jae Ho came to know something while treating someone and took action. This is assuming that Jae Ho is innocent, but another scenario would be that Kioomai and Tae Gyung were somehow running the racket together, which would also explain the ledger that Yoon Beom had kept with the names of the higher-ups in the hospital. Regardless, according to Tae Gyung, that photo was a set-up. Soo Min had purposefully come in front of Jae Ho’s car, and he had to get out to check on her, which was when Tae Gyung took that picture. But what he did not know was that Jae Ho had said something to Soo Min that she had not told him about.
Tae Gyung never explains the connection he has with Jae Ho or how Soo Min was a part of things. He clearly deflects because the fact that he knows Jae Ho is itself suspicious. But for now, Joo Ran and Sang Eun think that Jae Ho is innocent, and the latter is angry with Sang Eun for making her doubt her husband. Sang Eun tells her that she accompanied her because she doubted herself, and Sang Eun has nothing to do with it. This statement earns her a slap from Joo Ran.
Sang Eun goes to a nursing home to check on her baby. The other day, Sang Eun had a dream where she was next to the car with her dead husband in it, and he turned into Jae Ho and started taunting her for killing Yoon Beom. Today, she remembers how she had given her husband some medicine, which had presumably knocked him out, and then Sang Eun had driven that car around, probably to the reservoir, and pushed it into the water. This means that she was indeed the murderer of her husband, and Jae Ho was innocent. But Jae Ho had still left to go somewhere that day. We see that he is at his father’s house with the bag that Yoon Beom had left at his place. Jae Ho burns that bag, and the only reason could be to erase evidence. At the same time, Soo Min’s body was found in the mountains by a hitchhiker, not far from the reservoir where Yoon Beom had drowned. Considering the proximity of the areas, maybe that is how Jae Ho knew that Sang Eun had killed her husband: because he had seen her push him into the water when he went to meet Yoon Beom, for whatever reason.
In the present day, Sang Eun has to take care of her mother, whose dementia is getting worse, but in her moments of clarity, she tells her that she knows that Sang Eun killed her husband. Sang Eun’s mother is of the belief that she should have continued living with Yoon Beom no matter what the situation. This is an explanation of the lack of support that Sang Eun had and why she was unable to leave her marriage.
Does Joo Ran Find The Truth About Soo Min?
Joo Ran decides to trust her husband, against her better judgment, and simply shows him the video of him leaving the house and what led her down her trail of suspicions. Jae Ho tells her that he had left to meet his parents since his mother was not well, and he had kept it from Joo Ran because she was sensitive around this time due to it being the time of her sister’s death anniversary. It is really classic how he continues to make it her fault, and that is probably what tests Joo Ran. If he had just apologized for his behavior and admitted that he should have been more honest, Joo Ran would have felt validated, and she wouldn’t have probed further. But he really tested her. It did not help that Seung Jae was also feeling guilty.
When Joo Ran tried to brush off her suspicions, he told her to be more confident and not just believe everything they told her. The fact that he called her “weak” must have triggered her, and she starts cleaning the house rather aggressively. But the rage and the anxiety just don’t go away, which means that at the end of episode 5 of Lies Hidden In My Garden, she starts digging up the spot in the garden again. She had never been convinced that what she saw there was a stuffed latex glove, and when she confronts her husband, he admits that it was a human, as she thought, and it was Lee Soo Min. Joo Ran is furious, thinking that Jae Ho has killed that girl, but just then, Seung Jae comes there and tells her that it was him who killed Lee Soo Min, and he knew about the body buried in their garden the whole time. Joo Ran is speechless as she finally understands how much she has been lied to and how her mental health was literally taken for a joke by the people she trusted most. There is a reason we said that this series was about violence against women, because even after Seung Jae’s confession, Jae Ho says that this happened because of Joo Ran, continuing his mental abuse of her. We will know in the next episode why he said that.
We really believe that there has been enough of the eerie backdrop and set-up. Things need to start unraveling now. We believe that this series consists of eight episodes in total, which means that there are only three of them left, so the secrets need to start spilling. As we had predicted in episode 4, it was indeed Seung Jae who killed Soo Min, and for the exact reasons that we thought, just with a tiny difference. However, we don’t think that Joo Ran will be told that Soo Min was pregnant, and if she is, that would explain why Jae Ho is blaming her for this debacle: he is acting like a typical man who blames his partner for his infidelity. We just need to know how she stands up to the situation and how Sang Eun finds her own answers through it.