EPISODE 17 RECAP
Kang Woo-suk goes to Chief Prosecutor Seo Yong-ho’s office. He’s there because he just heard Prosecutor Seo transferred President Park’s murder case to a special investigation unit. Woo-suk accuses him of using him to go after Chairman Yoon and discarding him now that Chairman Yoon is dead.
Prosectuor Seo is prepared for Woo-suk’s anger though, and he tells him he knows of his connection to Oh Jong-do, who is a suspect in the murder, as well as his relationship with Park Tae-soo. He brings up the fact that Woo-suk met Tae-soo several times after President Park’s death, and he points out that Woo-suk failed to put those meetings in any of his reports.
With his hands tied, all Woo-suk can do is go back to his office and watch as the investigation unit removes the files from his office.
He’s still determined to get to the bottom of things though, so he visits Kang Dae-young in jail and asks whether Chairman Yoon was the one who ordered the murder. Dae-young insists on having his lawyer present during questioning and refuses to answer him. Dae-young’s mention of his lawyer causes Woo-suk to remark on Dae-young being able to retain such an excellent attorney. Woo-suk says not only did Dae-young hire an expensive lawyer, but his wife and children are doing well in spite of the fact that the family breadwinner is locked up.
Unable to get anything from Dae-young, Woo-suk decides to turn in his letter of resignation. The head district attorney is disappointed when he receives it and asks what’s the true reason behind him wanting to resign. He asks Woo-suk if he’s going to give up just because he wasn’t able to discharge his duties the way he wanted.
Woo-suk tells him he was unqualified from the beginning and admits he only took the bar exam because it was his dying father’s last wish. He also explains how he felt unworthy to serve after serving in the military during the Kwangju Uprising. The head DA says everyone carries around scars from Kwangju and he doesn’t want Woo-suk to use that as an excuse to resign, but Woo-suk is underterred, and he bows and leaves the office.
That evening, he goes out for drinks with his clerk, Mr. Oh. Shin Young-jin walks into the restaurant and sits down with them. She’s heard that he resigned and asks if he’s going to be a defense attorney and make some money now that he’s no longer a prosecutor. As usual Woo-suk ignores her question. He offers her a drink instead. She turns him down, claiming she developed stomach problems from drinking and is still trying to recover. He guesses that it’s more likely she never drank, just like she likely never smoked either. She asks how he knew and he says it was just a hunch. She says he would have made a good prosecutor, then she asks why he quit so easily. He assures her it wasn’t easy. “I never thought of a prosecutor’s job as a game,” he tells her.
They’re interrupted when a phone call comes through for him. He gets up to take it, and Mr. Oh, who has been asleep on the bench the whole time, suddenly sits up. He admits he’s been awake ever since he heard her voice and tries to play matchmaker for them. He tells her Woo-suk is a good guy who’s uninterested in personal gain and will make a loyal and faithful husband. (Little does he know Reporter Shin has fallen for Woo-suk long ago.)
Woo-suk comes back to the table, but it’s just to grab his things. He has to go. Mr. Oh guesses it must have been his landlady on the phone because Woo-suk called her when they arrived and told her he was there. He’s right. She was calling from the hospital, and Reporter Shin hurries after him to give him a ride.
When he gets there, Chung Sun-young tells him her father collapsed. She hasn’t been able to do the admission paperwork or pay for his treatment because she rushed him to the hospital without any money. Woo-suk comforts her when she starts crying, and Reporter Shin looks at them from the end of the hallway. She smiles to herself and then sadly walks away.
At the Yoon residence, it’s time for Yoon Young-jae to return to Paris. His wife is pregnant, and she’s due any day now so he has to head home. He apologizes to Yoon Hye-rin for leaving her alone to handle everything on her own. She assures him she’s fine and walks him outside to an awaiting car when he leaves for the airport.
When she gets back inside, she asks Lawyer Min about the upcoming shareholders’ meeting. He tells her the date is set and asks if she will be able to handle it. All of the shareholders are old men set in their ways, he tells her. She doesn’t respond, but we see that she starts studying and diligently preparing for the meeting. Good old Baek Jae-hee is by her side as she studies. When she works late into the night, he replaces her cup of coffee with a glass of milk so she stays well fed (see, this is why I luuurve him!).
On the day of the meeting, he walks behind her and Lawyer Min as they walk up the stairs leading to the boardroom. She enters the room and slowly the shareholders stand to their feet. When everyone is standing, she bows and introduces herself again.
Tae-soo is with Chang To-shik as the meeting begins. Chang looks at his watch and remarks that it must be underway already. He asks Tae-soo if he’s met Hye-rin since the funeral. Tae-soo says that he hasn’t. Chang recalls them being close at one time and tells Tae-soo a number of people want Chairman Yoon’s position. They thought matching him with Hye-rin would ensure he gets it. Tae-soo says he has no desire to talk women with Chang, and Chang tells him he’s not talking women, he’s talking business. Tae-soo asks if Chang is saying he can’t take Chairman Yoon’s place unless he wins Hye-rin’s heart. Chang laughs and tells him that Hye-rin made a deal with Chairman Yoon to get him out of rehab camp. He’s implying Hye-rin really cared for Tae-soo, but Tae-soo has no time to respond because it’s time for them to go.
Apparently, they were waiting to make an entrance at the shareholder’s meeting. Inside, the shareholders make it clear to Hye-rin they have no intention of letting her run the casino. They think she’s too young and, even though her father trained her before he died, they have no patience to let her learn the ropes when it means putting their money at risk. They’ve already selected a new chairman, they tell her, and Tae-soo knocks on the door at that moment and enters the boardroom.
Hye-rin stares daggers at Tae-soo as one of the board members introduces him as the chairman they’ve unanimously elected. They try to move on with the meeting, but Hye-rin interrupts and points out that Tae-soo may be well versed in diplomacy, but there’s clearly someone behind him pulling the strings. She asks who that person is, and Lawyer Min presses her arm trying to signal to her to stop.
She apologizes for being out of line but reminds the shareholders of the rules of order that require all important matters to be decided by vote. She announces she will call another meeting in two weeks to vote on a new chairman, then she adjourns the meeting and leaves before anyone can protest.
In the car, she tells Lawyer Min to get her information on all of the stockholders. She wants to find a large enough block of votes to defeat the shareholders who were at the meeting.
Chang returns to his office, where he gets a visit from an investigator he’s hired to follow the Yoons. The investigator tells him that one week before Chairman Yoon died, he rented a safe deposit box at the bank—a box he only used one time. Chang stands up and starts pacing, deep in thought about what to do with this new information.
He has one of his men call the Yoon household and one of the employees comes into the living room where Hye-rin is sitting with Jae-hee. The employee tells her Chang asked to meet. Jae-hee goes with her to meet him, and when they arrive at the restaurant, Tae-soo is there as well. Chang tries to make small talk, but Hye-rin cuts to the chase. She asks if Tae-soo promised to give them more support than her father did. Chang remains unperturbed by her bluntness and tells her he’s going to offer her some advice. “Anyone who’s going to run a business must know which things may be spoken, and which must not be said,” he tells her. But she continues in the same vein and asks how much money he makes and wonders if she should recruit him to her side. He laughs and says he’ll think it over.
Then he turns to Tae-soo and suggests he talk to Hye-rin about the old days since they’re already acquainted. Tae-soo agrees that they thought they knew each other a long time ago. She had a great distaste for money then, he says, and Chang says he doesn’t think she’s changed all that much. Tae-soo says either way, running a casino is filthy business. He tells her it doesn’t suit her and it’d be better for her not to try. She asks exactly what is it he thinks she can’t do. She reminds him that he was once in the same gang as Jong-do. She accuses them of colluding to steal her father’s assets and implicating him in President Park’s murder. Then she admits there’s no doubt she wouldn’t be able to do those kind of things.
She’s had enough of them by then and stands up to excuse herself and leave. When she drops her purse, Jae-hee picks it up for her and he escorts her out, telling her to be sure to hold her head high in front of them.
Back at home, Lawyer Min gives her the key to the safe deposit box with Chairman Yoon’s ledger in it. He tells her Chairman Yoon would have only used it as a last resort, and Hye-rin assures him she won’t use it just yet. She doesn’t think they’re at the point where they need it, but she wants to confirm what’s in it, she says. She asks Lawyer Min just how detailed are the entries, and he tells her they documented everything: the amount given and received, locations and dates of the transactions, and names too.
As Lawyer Min and Hye-rin prepare to combat Chang and his backers, Chang goes to meet with Jong-do. Jong-do is jealous that Chang is supporting Tae-soo now, but Chang drops a subtle hint that Jong-do may be able to redeem himself with the powers-that-be. He suggests Jong-do return to his hometown and says he may be able to build a new power base there. Jong-do bows (signaling that he is agreeing to leave) and tells Chang he’ll do whatever he wants him to do as long as Chang gets him off the wanted posters. Chang smiles to himself, but we don’t get to hear what he says in response.
However, we get a pretty good idea of what he asked Jong-do to do in the next scene. Lawyer Min and Hye-rin are at the bank to get Chairman Yoon’s ledger from the safe deposit box. They haven’t been inside long when cars pull up outside the building and men jump out to get to the pair. Jae-hee and the other men are there to fight them off, but there are way more of Jong-do’s men than there are on Hye-rin’s side.
When Lawyer Min and Hye-rin leave the bank, Jong-do’s men have Jae-hee and the other body guards occupied. That leaves a few of Jong-do’s men left over to separate Lawyer Min from Hye-rin and grab Hye-rin’s bag to get away with the ledger. Once they get what they want, they all leave, and Jae-hee comes running up as the cars are pulling off. Lawyer Min yells at him, asking where the hell was he when they needed him. Jae-hee is about to go after the men, but Hye-rin stops him and says it was her fault they lost the ledger. She underestimated her enemies.
With the ledger in hand, Jong-do meets Chang down in Kwangju and hand delivers it to him. Chang checks to make sure everything is there, then he tells Jong-do he looks like a returning hero now that he’s back in his hometown.
Jong-do remarks that Kwangju is definitely different from Seoul. It’s all about initiative in Kwangju, he says, and Chang tells him that’s a fine thought. Chang is ready to head back to Seoul though, and he stands up and Jong-do signals for his men to head out.
This was quite a packed episode. I guess I will follow the show’s lead and start with Woo-suk. It’s very easy to discount Woo-suk as the less interesting of the three main characters because he’s so serious and lowkey. But he’s the one I admire the most perhaps because I can identify with him the most. I’m a lot like Woo-suk in that I tend to be serious and almost fatally idealistic at times. But unlike Woo-suk I’m not prone to despair and giving in, and that’s the thing that I dislike about him. He’s stubbornly determined to do right until he runs into a roadblock. Then instead of trying to figure out a way over, around or under the roadblock, he just gives up. That’s sad to watch because it’s a criminal waste of his talent. I want to shake him and yell at him to focus on winning the war and not worry about the small battles he’s losing along the way.
Hye-rin is a whole other matter. She could use a little less chutzpah and a lot more finesse. However, she’s so spirited that I feel comfortable depending on her to pull through in the end. She’s not as bright as Woo-suk, but she has a whole lot more energy and often times I find that’s even more important than aptitude. But I can’t mention Hye-rin without talking about Jae-hee, who continues to be the star of each episode in spite of his small amount of screen time.
Tae-soo didn’t have a whole lot to do this episode, but I look forward to how the show will present his impending showdown with Hye-rin. I find it almost comical that he transformed (seemingly overnight) into a seasoned and polished businessman. I imagine we are supposed to believe this current version was always underneath the scruffy old Tae-soo we’ve seen all along, but I think that’s a bit of a stretch. Tae-soo and Hye-rin are about the same age and it wasn’t lost on me that the shareholders didn’t like the fact that she’s so young but had no problem entrusting the casino to one of her contemporaries. I guess the fact that he’s a male (and has ties to some unknown governmental power base) is enough for them. But this is one of those plot holes I’ve noticed the show doesn’t adequately address and probably never will so I’ll let it go and see how it all plays out.
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