‘Snowdrop’ episodes three, four and five recap: Tense confrontations reveal a larger conspiracy at play
Written by ABR on 29/12/2021
Editor’s note: Since Snowdrop’s beginning, the show has not been without controversy. The most notable of which is the backlash over what many claim to be the drama’s alleged revisionist approach to South Korea’s democratic uprising in the 1980s, a movement against dictatorship marked by blood and loss. Following its premiere on December 18, a petition to stop the broadcast of the drama has gathered upwards of 300,000 signatures. Anyone going into Snowdrop should, therefore, watch it with a grain of salt.
Episode three of Snowdrop picks up from the tense cliffhanger in episode two, where Yeong-ro (BLACKPINK’s Jisoo) and Soo-ho (Jung Hae-in) find themselves trapped inside the attic as the dorm mother orders Man-dong (Kim Jong-soo) to open the door to inspect. To her surprise, she finds the attic completely empty – thanks to both Yeong-ro and Soo-ho having escaped through a window and balancing on a ledge in an impressive display of desperate acrobatics.
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Unsatisfied with the outcome of her search, however, the dorm mother locks the attic door and confiscates the key from Man-dong, only allowing him limited access to repair the roof (which is really code for letting Yeong-ro out, but she doesn’t know that). As Soo-ho calms down a panicked Yeong-ro by making paper plans, Man-dong comes back along with Yeong-ro’s friend Jeong-min (Kim Me-soo) and lets her out. All of them concur that Soo-ho’s days of hiding in the dorm have come to an end, but their plans to sneak him out fail when they spot ANSP agents outside the dorm’s emergency exit. They decide to use the dorm’s upcoming open house – the one day where men are allowed to enter the building – as a cover to sneak him out.
Elsewhere, ANSP agents interrogate Soo-ho’s friend Oh Kwang-tae (Heo Nam-joon), scaring him into keeping tabs on both Soo-ho and Professor Han (Kim Jung-ho). Gang-mu’s relentless pursuit of Soo-ho, however, lands him in hot water with his boss, one of the key instigators of Operation Phoenix.
To get Soo-ho to look the part on the day of the open house, Yeong-ro calls back home, which, in a twist of perhaps cruel irony, turns out to be the house of Eun Chang-soo (Heo Joon-ho), the chairman of ANSP. There are two tense encounters here – one, between Yeong-ro and her stepmother Ae-ra (Kim Jung-nan), and the other between Tae-il (Park Sung-woong) and Chang-soo himself, who are revealed to have been conspiring with the North to make Operation Phoenix a success.
After a number of hits and misses on the day of the open house, Yeong-ro finally manages to sneak Soo-ho out of the dorm, but not before catching the attention of Kye Boon-ok (Kim Hye-yoon), the dorm’s two-faced phone operator known for her jealousy of the student body and for stealing their things. Boon-ok also happens to know Soo-ho by face, since she was part of the group date where Yeong-ro and Soo-ho met.
To temper the suspicions of the ANSP agents stationed outside the dorm, Yeong-ro and Soo-ho leave the dorm pretending to be a couple out for a romantic bike-ride, but are spotted by Kwang-tae, who immediately informs Kang-moo (Jang Seung-jo) and his agents. Luckily, Oh Gwang-tae’s date is Seol-hee (Choi Hee-jin), one-fourth of the occupants of Room 207 and a friend to Yeong-ro – once she realizes that Kwang-tae ratted Soo-ho out to ANSP, she runs down and informs the two, interrupting their moment.
Despite Soo-ho having gotten away, all is not well – Soo-ho’s allegiances are now being suspected by his partners, and Yeong-ro becomes the recipient of the ire of Boon-ok, who is ticked off about having lost her chance with Soo-ho. Boon-ok’s vendetta leads to her ratting out Yeong-ro and the occupants of Room 207, costing Man-dong his job and Yeong-ro to lose her position in the dorm.
Elsewhere, Soo-ho’s team finally manage to get their hands on Professor Han, luring him under the pretext of his son – missing for six months – who they claim is hiding in the North. They offer him one chance to get his son out safely: by coming to the North with them, which he takes.
On the day their plan commences, Soo-ho returns to Mount Ogong – situated behind the Hosu Women’s Dorm – to retrieve supplies. There, littered along the way, he finds paper planes containing messages from Yeong-ro, a callback to their time in the attic. Unbeknownst to him, Kang-moo and Han-na are hot on his heels, having picked up information from a bug they planted earlier. To save himself, Soo-ho sneaks into the dormitory once again – only this time, he finds himself cornered by ANSP agents.
It’s at that moment Yeong-ro finds him, on her way out of Hosu Dorm for the last time. She doesn’t, however, get to react, since Soo-ho holds her hostage as the ANSP agents close in on him. When Soo-ho’s allies join him, a shoot-out results in Kang-moo getting injured. Soo-ho and his allies put the dorm on lockdown, taking the residents, as well as Kang-moo hostage.
News of the hostage situation reaches the ears of Chang-soo and Tae-il, who were under the impression that Taedong River 1 (aka Soo-ho) and his team left South Korea with Professor Han. With Chang-soo’s daughter Yeong-ro being one of the hostages, the ANSP now must retrieve her safely while also preventing news of the situation from breaking out and causing mass panic. Moreover, to safeguard the deal with North Korea – and securing their position in the upcoming election – Chang-soo must also ensure the safe passage of Soo-ho, who is revealed to be the son of the Head Of The United Front Department, DPRK.
In the negotiations that follow, Chang-soo leverages his knowledge of Operation Phoenix and his familiarity with Soo-ho’s father to personally assure Soo-ho and his team members safe passage to North Korea. After much discussion, Soo-ho takes the deal.
Chang-soo’s precarious plan, however, inadvertently fails due to the South Korean Coast Guard, who happen upon the ferry which the rest of Soo-ho’s team was using to transport Professor Han to the North. After a tense shootout, word reaches Chang-soo and Tae-il that the South Korean forces shot at and sunk the ferry, thus unknowingly sabotaging Operation Phoenix and potentially claiming the ruling party their guaranteed victory in the upcoming elections. As revenge, they turn on Soo-ho and his team – opening fire on them as soon as they come out of the dorm’s emergency exit.
- Yeong-ro and her stepmother Ae-ra, whose relationship seems to go from tense encounters to outright animosity – as proven by Ae-ra’s glee at finding out that Yeong-ro was among the hostages in Hosu Women’s Dorm.
- There is more than meets the eye to the dorm mother after all – and it seems Boon-ok is somehow involved. Chewing Boon-ok out for trying to sell out Room 207 to the ANSP, the dorm mother alludes to Boon-ok “destroying” a family because of her snitching – is the family in question related to the dorm mother?
- Both Soo-ho and Yeong-ro seem to be as incompatible as can be – with Yeong-ro being the daughter of the Director of the ANSP, and Soo-ho being heir to the Head Of The United Front Department, DPRK.
- We also have some updates on Kang-moo and Han-na’s dynamic, and it seems to be that of estranged lovers, or it seems from Han-na’s tirade about Kang-moo going back on his promise of marrying her.
‘Snowdrop’ airs every Saturday and Sunday on JTBC at 10:30pm in South Korean, and is also available in the APAC region on Disney+
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