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 EPISODE 15 RECAP

West Side Hotel & Casino

It’s the Grand Opening of the West Side Hotel and Casino and Yoon Hye-rin attends the event with Baek Jae-hee and Laywer Min. When the trio arrives at the casino, they greet President Park Seung-chol, who asks if he can speak with Lawyer Min in private about a matter.

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Hye-rin and Jae-hee explore the new casino on their own as Lawyer Min and President Park go into another room to talk. As they’re walking around, Jae-hee spots Park Tae-soo.   Hye-rin notices him a moment later, and she purposely looks the other way and heads in the opposite direction to avoid him.

President Park takes Lawyer Min to the poker room and makes small talk until Lawyer Min asks him what he wanted to speak with him about. Then he gets to the point: he wants to buy Chairman Yoon’s land around Mt. Chili. He tells Lawyer Min the Chairman will never get the permit to develop the land as he plans and he offers to pay over market value for the land if he agrees to sell.

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By this time, Hye-rin has gone outside and is sitting by the pool. When she sees Tae-soo approaching, she stands up and starts heading back to the casino. She drops the glass of wine she’s carrying when she gets near him, and they both stand still staring at each other for a moment. When she tries to keep walking, Tae-soo stops her and finally breaks the silence. He says he believes they met three years ago, and he puts his hand on her cheek. Tae-soo sees Jae-hee behind her and notes she still has a bodyguard, then he walks away.

Jae-hee steps forward and asks if she’s okay. She says she’s not okay, and buries her face in Jae-hee’s chest and cries before she pulls herself together to return to the casino.

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Confidant that he will get Chairman Yoon to sell the land he needs to complete his project, President Park moves forward with building a new hotel and casino near Mt. Chili. He pays a visit to the site, where construction is already underway, and on his way back to town we see men block off the road when he passes by. Up ahead, a big truck drives toward the car he’s in and suddenly cuts him off. With another truck directly behind him, President Park’s car goes careening over the side of the rail and violently crashes into the ravine below.

Seoul Prosecutor’s Office

A few days later, a man approaches Kang Woo-suk as he leaves his office. The guy doesn’t identify himself, but he tells Woo-suk about President Park’s death. He says even though the death was reported as a simple car accident, President Park was actually murdered. He points to Chairman Yoon Jae-young as the likely culprit due to a recent falling out with President Park. Then he walks away and gets into a car waiting nearby. Tae-soo is in the car already and obviously sent him to make contact with Woo-suk.

As expected, Woo-suk starts looking into the accident and gets a break in the case right away. President Park was in a foreign luxury car and would likely have had foreign tires on the vehicle. However, the tread marks on the road, which indicate the President’s car crossed the center lane into oncoming traffic before crashing into the guardrail, are from Korean tires. Woo-suk has an expert examine the car again, and the expert concludes that the tread marks on the road weren’t made by President Park’s car. Someone made fake tread marks to make the crash look like an accident, he says. 

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Woo-suk presents his suspicions to President Park’s son and asks the family to file a formal petition so he can conduct a full investigation. President Park’s son asks whether Woo-suk can follow through to the end if he files the petition. Woo-suk pauses and we don’t get to hear his answer.

When the son leaves Woo-suk’s office, a woman is walking down the hallway. President Park’s son catches her eye, and she stops and stares at him as he passes by. Then she takes note of Woo-suk’s name above his office door too.

With the petition from President Park’s family, Woo-suk starts with Kang Dae-young, the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident. Woo-suk questions him about the timing of his employment. Apparently the company hired him one week before the accident, and he quit immediately after the accident. The driver insists he only quit because the company forced him to do so, and he sticks to his story that there were no other vehicles at the accident scene.

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He takes two pencils and demonstrates how the accident happened, which Woo-suk notes is exactly what he said when he was questioned initially. Woo-suk asks him how many times has he practiced his lines, but the driver refuses to budge on his version of events.

During a break in the interrogation, Woo-suk tells his clerk, Mr. Oh, to research Dae-young’s bank accounts. He suspects they’ll find a large deposit around the time of the accident. Mr. Oh agrees to look into it, but he says it’s unlikely the money was placed in his own name.

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Chairman Yoon sends his armed muscle to the casino to pick up Oh Jong-do. They barge into his office and grab him and slam him onto his desk. Lawyer Min walks in behind them and tells Jong-do he’s fired and to get his passport because he’ll be going overseas for a while. Jong-do starts protesting, and Lawyer Min reminds him of the promise he made when Chairman Yoon hired him: no unnecessary violence. Jong-do pretends he has no idea what Lawyer Min is talking about, but then one of Chairman Yoon’s men brings Dae-young into the office and Jong-do realizes they know what he’s done.

The men take Jong-do to Chairman Yoon who’s livid he carried out a contract murder without his knowledge or consent. Jong-do acts as though it tore him up inside to do something of this magnitude behind the Chairman’s back, but he assures Chairman Yoon that he has it under control. Chairman Yoon isn’t buying it and asks Jong-do who ordered him to do it. Jong-do acts confused by the question, so Chairman Yoon asks him if he carried the murder out on his own just to shut down Tae-soo. Jong-do says he did and the Chairman points out that it’s unlikely Tae-soo will just stand still and do nothing now that he’s murdered his boss.

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Chairman Yoon also brings up the fact that Jong-do publicized his secret list of operations. Jong-do has no defense to this so he drops to his knees and puts his head to the floor. Chairman Yoon glares at him, then he turns to Lawyer Min who confirms that Dae-young admitted Jong-do paid him to kill President Park. Chairman Yoon tells Lawyer Min to find out who’s heading up the investigation, but Lawyer Min’s already on it. He tells him it’s a new prosecutor working under Chief Prosecutor Seo Yong-ho. Lawyer Min says the prosecutor is still new so he probably doesn’t know what to do yet (but I’d say you’re underestimating the wrong one).

Jong-do goes down to Busan to leave the country aboard one of the ships. Unfortunately for him, Tae-soo has his men guarding the ports and they go after him as soon as he tries to board. Jong-do runs away and a chase ensues.

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The scene then cuts to Woo-suk’s office where a woman walks in and starts talking to Mr. Oh. It’s the same woman who noticed President Park’s son leaving the officer before Woo-suk started the murder investigation. Her name is Shin Young-jin (Lee Seung-yeon), and she’s a reporter at the Korea Daily News. She introduces herself to Woo-suk then starts prying into the murder investigation. Woo-suk ignores her until she picks up something from his desk and starts reading it. Then he asks her if she’ll leave on her own or if he should have her thrown out.

She keeps talking though, telling him her beat is organized crime and she can give him a run down on criminal organizations dating back to the 1920s. Woo-suk finally gathers her things and opens the door for her to leave. She leaves, but she sticks her head right back in to ask Woo-suk if he knows that Dae-young worked for Jong-do and Jong-do worked for Chairman Yoon. She asks if he’s familiar with the name Chairman Yoon Jae-young.

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That little tidbit gains her entrance, and she uses a blackboard to give Woo-suk a rundown on Jong-do’s relationship with Chairman Yoon and the recent happenings in the underworld. She explains that Jong-do has been working for Chairman Yoon for about three years since the gang crackdown back in 1980. Before that, Jong-do worked under Lee Sung-bom, who came to Seoul from the Jeolla Province and shut down No Joo-myung’s gang. She tells Woo-suk there’s one point of special interest and that is the late President Park recently hired a man named Park Tae-soo to manage his men. Tae-soo used to be Sung-bom’s right hand man so it would appear that Tae-soo and Jong-do are on the same side. However, from what she can gather, that’s not the case. She thinks the two actually have been arch rivals since 1980, but she admits she doesn’t have clear details as to why.

Just then Mr. Oh comes back into the office with good news. He found a $10,000 deposit to Dae-young made under a false name a few weeks back. He’s already traced the source of the money to one of the casinos Jong-do manages as well. Woo-suk doesn’t respond right away. Between Reporter Shin’s lesson and this new discovery, he takes a moment to let it all sink in and think about what to do next.

Eventually Woo-suk has Dae-young arrested, and even though Jong-do is in hiding, he has his men watching Dae-young so they convey news of the arrest to him as soon as they can.  

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Woo-suk meets with Tae-soo one evening to question him off the record. He’s put two and two together and suspects Chairman Yoon was responsible for Tae-soo being imprisoned. He’s also figured out that Tae-soo partnered up with President Park to take down Jong-do. Tae-soo refuses to confirm or deny anything. He tells Woo-suk he’s the prosecutor and it’s up to him to figure out the answers to these questions.

When he stands up to leave, a bunch of men start coming his way. Tae-soo knows they’re after him and he whispers to Woo-suk to pretend he doesn’t know him. But Woo-suk, not one to back down, follows Tae-soo and tells the men he’s a prosecutor at the Seoul District Attorney’s Office. One of the men shines a flash light in Woo-suk’s face and they back away and leave, unwilling to incite the man hunt that will ensue if they kill a prosecutor.

After the men leave, Woo-suk asks Tae-soo if he thinks Jong-do sent the men. Tae-soo nods and Woo-suk nods too, as if he suddenly understands everything. He starts walking away and Tae-soo calls out after him asking if he suspected him of murdering President Park. Woo-suk admits he doesn’t know. But he says he wanted to find out if he was powerful enough to put Tae-soo away if he was implicated in the murder.

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Woo-suk’s supervisor, Chief Prosecutor Seo, gets a call from Kang Tong-hwan. We don’t get to hear what Mr. Kang wants, but when they hang up Chang To-shik asks Mr. Kang if he’s sure he wants to anger Chairman Yoon this way. Mr. Kang tells Chang that Chairman Yoon has already called a secret meeting to deal with the situation. Prosecutor Seo was at the meeting and if he decides to side with Chairman Yoon things could get sticky for them. He tells Chang to find someone who can run a casino. The person has to be as smart as Chairman Yoon, but more cooperative with his superiors, he says.

With Dae-young in custody, Woo-suk begins questioning him on what really happened to President Park. Dae-young truthfully describes the accident, but he insists he doesn’t know the names of any of his accomplices and won’t implicate Jong-do in the crime. His story makes no sense so Woo-suk presses him to stop lying, and eventually Dae-young points to Chairman Yoon as the culprit. (Don’t fall for it Woo-suk!)

With all the evidence pointing to Chairman Yoon, Woo-suk doubts his supervisor will approve the subpoena necessary to question him. But he’s shocked when he asks for it anyway and Prosecutor Seo gives him the go-ahead. (I guess we know what Mr. Kang said when he called Prosecutor Seo earlier in the episode.)

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That night Woo-suk gets an unexpected visitor at his house. It’s Reporter Shin (and his landlady Chung Sun-young shoots daggers at her when she arrives, lol). Reporter Shin tells Woo-suk she’s there to make a deal with him because she has information he may find helpful.

She has information on the land in Mt. Chili that Chairman Yoon and President Park own. Notably, the land is adjacent to each other and the size of the plots indicate it won’t merely be a golf course. She speculates that they must be trying to build some sort of large scale amusement center. (And I think it’s really reaching for her to guess that, but the PDnims had to find a way to get the info out so let’s just roll with it.) She asks what Woo-suk is willing to give her for the information and tells him if he holds a press conference he needs to give her two items of information he doesn’t share with the other news organizations.

While Prosecutor Seo holds a press conference, Woo-suk visits the head DA, whom he met in the last episode, and admits he thought it was way too easy to subpoena Chairman Yoon. He wonders if someone is using him to get to Chairman Yoon and the head DA says he’s more curious about what Woo-suk is going to do if that’s the case.

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At the casino, Hyun-sook is still curious about Jae-hee so during a lunch break she questions Hye-rin about their relationship. Hyun-sook tells her to start from the beginning so Hye-rin says they met when she was thirteen. Hyun-sook hilariously interrupts her and tells her the beginning sounds boring so she should skip ahead somewhat. Hye-rin ignores her and says Jae-hee has been by her side since they met. She describes their relationship as the distanced and uncomfortable feeling you get when one person always gives and the other person always receives.

Hyun-sook keeps pressing for more info, but Hye-rin just smiles and gets up from their table. As she’s about to leave, a newspaper catches her eye. She picks it up and becomes absorbed in the headline, which reads: Yoon Jae-yong Subpoenaed by Prosecutor.

Jong-do has a newspaper too. He reads the article and chuckles. He tells his right hand man (who I will call Sideburns Guy because the show doesn’t identify him) he’d never have dreamed things would turn out this way. He thinks Chairman Yoon will end up confessing, but he says they need to be more concerned with Chairman Yoon’s daughter than Chairman Yoon. After all, the Chairman has groomed her as his successor and is teaching her all of his tricks, he says.

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The next thing we know, Sideburns Guy and some other men go to the casino and confront Hye-rin. They claim Chairman Yoon wants to see her, but she’s not fooled. She tries to walk away and Mr. Chae comes to her defense. Jong-do’s men restrain Mr. Chae and force Hye-rin out of the casino and into an awaiting car.

Jae-hee is sitting outside on a nearby bench. Does he wait outside throughout all of her shifts? Either way, it’s a good thing he’s there because when he sees Hye-rin being kidnapped he springs into action. He jumps into his car and follows them, then he rams their car until it eventually crashes. Hye-rin sits in the back seat as calm as can be throughout the ordeal knowing Jae-hee-oppa has her back.

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When the car finally stops, Jae-hee grabs his stick and gets right down to business—fighting Jong-do’s men. He has the upperhand at first, but eventually he gets hit. (Oh no, don’t tell me something is going to happen to him. Warning: if uri Jae-hee-sshi doesn’t make it, I can’t guarantee I’ll finish these recaps.) There’s just too many of them compared to him and they start getting the better of him. He’s bloody and beaten, and even though he does manage to get in a few hits here and there it looks like he’s going to lose this one. I can hardly watch . . . or type for that matter.

Hye-rin finally gets out of the thugs’ car and runs to Jae-hee’s car to try to escape. She starts the engine and begins driving away. Is she leaving Jae-hee!? Luckily, he runs after the car and jumps into the window, then he practically collapses in the backseat. (Whew. My heart is pounding. Show, you’ve been warned. You can carry every single cast member to the bottom of the ocean if you want to, but you better leave Jae-hee alive and well at the end, do you hear me?)

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He sits up looking as though he can barely hold it together, and he groans in pain. Instead of asking to go to the hospital, he apologizes for not paying better attention. He says he guesses he was looking the other way. Hye-rin has tears streaming from her eyes and she slams on the breaks. The car stops and she turns around and glares at Jae-hee out of the corner of her eyes, and the episode ends.

MY THOUGHTS

Sorry about my excessive comments intermixed with the recap at the end. I couldn’t help it. I was genuinely anxious for my boy. Jong-do almost killed my favorite character and I was not going to be able to handle it if he died. So Jong-do, for whom I have already developed a deep-seated loathing, is now firmly entrenched on my list of characters that need to die asap.

Maybe I’ve been watching dramas for too long, but the antics surrounding Jong-do and his continued survival is starting to get on my last nerve. To me it never made any sense for these people, who are hardened underworld figures, to let him continue to wreak havoc in their lives with absolutely no consequences. It started with Sung-bom who admitted way back when that he didn’t trust Jong-do and would have gotten rid of him long ago if it weren’t for Tae-soo. I can understand him keeping Jong-do around to appease Tae-soo for a while, but at the point where he knew keeping Jong-do around meant his downfall, then it became completely nonsensical for him not to get rid of him.

Then it moved on to Chairman Yoon, where it was equally nonsensical for him to bring Jong-do into his organization and give him so much power and access to key information when he knew it was only a matter of time before Jong-do betrayed him. Chairman Yoon is portrayed as a razor sharp, ruthless businessman so it is wholly illogical, at least to me, for him to bring someone he clearly could not trust and take no action when that person stole from him and leaked his secrets to outsiders. Even Chairman Yoon’s response to Jong-do’s murder-for-hire plot can’t be described as an objectively reasonable reaction. He basically did nothing and then let him go. I’m not (usually) one for violence, but couldn’t he have arranged for Jong-do to disappear at the bottom of a deep lake or go on a permanent vacation over the Arctic or something? If peaceful nonviolent me can justify offing him, why couldn’t anyone else do it too?

As for Woo-suk, I’m glad he’s at least skeptical about the motives of his superiors, but I wonder where his dogged pursuit of truth will really lead him? So far, he’s so sure that Chairman Yoon is behind President Park’s murder and I can’t see any set of circumstances that will point him in the right direction with the current state of events. So at this point we’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out I guess.

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