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EPISODE 9 RECAP

Having captured and arrested Yoon Hye-rin, the police subject her to extreme torture methods to get her to talk. The scene opens with her in an interrogation room. When she falls asleep, they play loud music to scare her awake. Her eyes take on a vacant look and we can see her lips moving but we can’t hear what she is saying. She’s bruised and bloody though, and after a brief reprieve in her cell she’s taken back to the interrogation room for more.

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This time they want her to confirm the information she’s given and give her a stack of papers to fill out and stamp. When she’s done, we see a dirty and bloody hand appear on the table. Another prisoner is in the room with her. The prisoner tries to lean on the table to stand up, but he’s so weak he only manages to lift his head. It’s Jung Un-gyong. The officer grabs Un-gyong’s face and asks Hye-rin who he is. She looks at him and the officer asks if Un-gyong was the leader of her club in college and an anti-government, North Korean sympathizer. Hye-rin says yes and tears fall from her eyes as another officer drags Un-gyong from the room.

Apparently, Yoon Young-jae is working tirelessly to secure Hye-rin’s release. He meets Chang To-shik at a bar and over drinks he asks for Chang’s help. Chang guesses that Chairman Yoon doesn’t know he’s there. He tells Young-jae it’s not Chairman Yoon’s style to approach him like this when he wants something. He thinks Young-jae would be wise to learn from his father.

In the next scene, Chairman Yoon shows us how it’s done. He invites Chang to breakfast and makes small talk during the meal. Afterwards, they go to the living room and Chairman Yoon casually mentions he’s taken up golf. Golf is only interesting when you have friends to play with though, and with the recent change in government, he’s sure Chang can introduce him to some new golfing buddies. Chang remarks that there are probably some golfers where Hye-rin is being kept, and he says he’ll see if he can find a few. Chairman Yoon nods nonchalantly and walks away.

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That conversation is enough to set the wheels in motion. Lawyer Min prepares the paperwork and Chairman Yoon charms his new golfing buddies on the green. After the game, Chairman Yoon presents his golfing partner with an expensive watch. Lawyer Min walks the golfing partner to his car and gives him an envelope he says is the warranty for the watch. As his car pulls away, the guy looks inside and it’s the paperwork Lawyer Min prepared for Hye-rin to be released.

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Baek Jae-hee and Young-jae are there to meet her when an officer brings a battered and zombie-like Hye-rin out of custody. Her eyes are out of focus and she can barely walk. In fact, she collapses as soon as the officer lets her go and Jae-hee has to catch her before she falls. He’s shocked at the state she’s in and picks her up to hurry her to the car as her brother calls her name over and over. Jae-hee wants to take her to straight to the hospital, but Young-jae wants to take her home first. He says his father needs to see this. Jae-hee has no time for the power play between the men though (especially when it comes to his boo) and says he’s going to the hospital first.

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It’s evening time and Park Tae-soo arrives at one of the gang’s nightclubs. As he hands his motorcycle over to a staff member, he sees a car pull up. It’s Chang and he’s dropping off Oh Jong-do. Tae-soo steps forward to show Jong-do he saw him with Chang. Jong-do is visibly surprised to be caught, but he quickly hides the look and tries to appear relaxed.

Inside, we learn Jong-do has called the meeting with the leaders in the gang. Besides Tae-soo, Lee Sung-bom, Chang Il-do, and Baek Min-jae are there as well. As the head of their organization, Sung-bom doesn’t like being summoned by a junior member, and he’s even more displeased when he learns Jong-do wants them to become traitors. Apparently, Chang wants the gang’s help in getting rid of the president of the casino they run. If they don’t support the change, they won’t be protected anymore.

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Jong-do tries to explain himself, but Sung-bom cuts him off and tells Il-do to rip his face off if he opens his mouth one more time. Jong-do wisely decides to shut up. Sung-bom stands up and says he’s confident of one thing and that’s loyalty. “Loyalty is the one thing I have treasured throughout my life. That’s the one thing I’ve been true to,” he says and he demands that Tae-soo get “that pest” out of his sight once and for all.

After Tae-soo escorts Jong-do out, Min-jae asks Sung-bom if he’s sure he wants to break ties with Jong-do.   Jong-do has connections in high places, he says, and it’d be unwise to underestimate him. Sung-bom knows cutting ties with Jong-do means it’s likely the end for them, but he points out they don’t have a choice. It’s not like they have anything to fall back on or any marketable skills. They may be dirty, but even in their profession the only thing they have is their name. If they lose that, they’re finished so aligning with Jong-do would be the end of their gang too.

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Kang Woo-suk is on a train headed to Seoul. When the train arrives at the station, he changes into civilian clothes and goes to Tae-soo’s club. They both grin ear to ear as Tae-soo runs into the bar when he learns Woo-suk is there. Over drinks and grilled meat, Tae-soo is curious as to why Woo-suk took leave just to visit him. Woo-suk admits he missed Tae-soo and wanted to see him (aww, he was really worried about his friend after seeing him in Kwangju).

Woo-suk is so relieved to see Tae-soo (and probably still reeling from the things he saw in Kwangju) that he gets drunk. Even Tae-soo is surprised to see him down shot after shot of soju. When they leave the restaurant, Tae-soo can barely keep Woo-suk in check as they walk down the street. Woo-suk is loud and unruly, and Tae-soo has to keep him from falling over and running into oncoming traffic. They end up at the riverside where Woo-suk throws up and Tae-soo remarks that he looks much more human when he’s drunk.

As they sit and stare out at the river, Tae-soo asks Woo-suk where he’s stationed. He wants to visit. Woo-suk says he’s stationed at the DMZ, but he tells Tae-soo not to bother coming to see him because he’ll be discharged soon. They both lie awake on the riverbank throughout the night and it seems Kwangju is on both of their minds. Tae-soo tells Woo-suk he was in Kwangju in the spring, and he asks if the military told the soldiers what happened there. Woo-suk says they didn’t, but he heard about it later. Tae-soo thinks Woo-suk was in Seoul at the time and says being in Kwangju seems like a dream. In fact, that’s what he wonders to himself sometimes—was it all a dream?

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Jae-hee walks down the hallway at the Yoon house and stops outside of Hye-rin’s door. She’s sitting on the floor beside her bed curled up in a ball with her head resting on her arms. Young-jae is sitting next to her trying to coax her to leave the room and go for a walk, but she doesn’t respond. She’s been home for fifteen days and she won’t talk to anyone or leave her room. Her doctor tells Chairman Yoon she needs to be hospitalized, but Chairman Yoon refuses to listen. She’s strong and he knows his daughter, he says. She’ll bounce back. He curtly dismisses the doctor, who leaves without further protest, but Young-jae walks past and glares at his father for not taking the doctor’s advice.

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Jae-hee silently watches over Hye-rin as she continues in her depressive state. She moves from the floor to the bed at times, but she doesn’t eat or talk and continues to be almost catatonic. Sometimes Jae-hee sits in a chair in the hall outsider her door. His back is straight as a board as he waits outside through the night. (See, this is why I love this man.) Other times he sits on the floor or he just stands in the hall deep in thought as he waits. But he’s steadfast in staying by her side even though Hye-rin doesn’t even notice when he’s in the room with her.

As Hye-rin tries to pull herself together, we see that Chang makes his move on Sung-bom’s gang. Sung-bom is fishing on a lake when police arrive to arrest him. Then they storm the casino and capture Min-jae. Someone calls Tae-soo and warns him to hide out because everyone is being arrested. But Tae-soo has no need to worry though. Jong-do meets with Chang to make sure Tae-soo is not captured. He tells Chang they need Tae-soo because it won’t take long for the boys to get out of hand with Tae-soo gone, and then they won’t be of any use to them.

It looks like the gang won’t be faring well in police custody. Sung-bom is in an interrogation room when an office enters and asks him if he was the ring leader. He slaps Sung-bom before sitting down at his typewriter to begin the interview. Min-jae is worse. He is strung up by his feet. As he hangs upside down, one of the interrogators assures him their superiors won’t hold them responsible if he dies during questioning. Il-do has it the worse out of the three though. The officers have stripped him down to his underwear and tied his arms behind his back in a chair. They douse him with water and cover his face with a cloth. As the officer leaves the room, he tells Il-do to wiggle his toes when he’s ready to talk.

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As his former gang members are being tortured, Jong-do is at a spa getting a massage. Tae-soo has tracked him down though and barges into the room and grabs him by the neck. He asks Jong-do how he could turn on the gang like this and Jong-do starts groveling (and I start to get pissed). Jong-do claims he tried to stop Chang and even got on his knees begging Chang to take him instead, but it did no good. Jong-do’s lies seem to appease Tae-soo, and Tae-soo lets him go and sits next to him on the massage table. (And I’m getting mad at him now. He’s so blind when it comes to Jong-do. UGH.)

Tae-soo and Jong-do leave the spa together and Jong-do claims he didn’t know the boys were arrested until the day after it happened. He went to Chang when he found out, but Chang couldn’t intervene because the government is cracking down on gangs. The boys were arrested because their names were on the government’s list. Jong-do says his name wasn’t on the list. He thinks he’s too small time for the government to be interested in him. Tae-soo’s name wasn’t on the list either, Jong-do tells him. They can’t get the boys released. It’s already been decided they’ll be court-martialed and severely punished. The best they can hope to do is get their sentences reduced.

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Meanwhile, the powers-that-be in government push forward with their plan. Chang takes Chairman Yoon to see a high ranking government official. We don’t learn his name in this scene, but he’s later identified as Kang Tong-hwan (Kim Byung-gi). Apparently, Kang asked Chairman Yoon to meet in secret to ask for a favor, but we don’t get to hear what he wants.

As Chang walks Chairman Yoon and Lawyer Min back downstairs after the meeting, Chairman Yoon questions Chang on what the government is really after. He asks if Kang wants him to sell one of his casinos in exchange for keeping his gambling license. Chang says there must be another way to give them what they want and Chairman Yoon asks if he’s supposed to sell his house then? Chang says Kang is trying to stabilize the government. After that is taken care of, then they can promise Chairman Yoon more stability in his businesses. (I’m still not sure what Chang and the powers-that-be are up to or what they are asking Chairman Yoon to do.  My best guess is that they asked for an extremely large sum of money.)

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Back at the Yoon house, Jae-hee is delivering that day’s newspaper to Hye-rin when an article in the paper catches his attention. Whatever is in the paper makes him hesitate for a moment, but he takes it to Hye-rin anyway. She’s sitting on the floor next to her bed with her knees to her chest and her head on her arms again.

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Jae-hee goes outside and stands in front of her old swing staring at it. He touches the rope and pushes the swing back and forth before he goes back inside. Hye-rin is still in the same spot where he left her and she hasn’t read the paper either. He starts to leave, but he stops at the door, throws the paper down and turns around. He’s finally had enough and tells her to come out from the corner because she doesn’t belong in a corner.

He picks her up and puts her in her chair. Then he opens the curtains to let some light into the room. She cowers away from the light and covers her face, but he grabs her hands and pulls them away. They start to tussle as he tries to force her out of her shell. He tells her if she wants him to let her go, she’ll have to say so.

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She doesn’t speak, but eventually she opens her eyes and starts to fight back with some vigor. She screams, then she slaps him and breaks down crying. Jae-hee tells her that’s better as she starts hitting him on his chest. She finally hugs him as she continues to sob. Jae-hee pats her back and they slide to the floor with him still holding her as she cries. He looks as if he wants to cry too as he gently pats her head, and the episode ends.

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