Drama Recaps
IRIS: Episode 18
by | February 11, 2010 | 10 Comments

Just when you thought things could only get better, it only drastically goes wrong. Why, you ask?

Well, of course! – We have two more episodes! (I promise – two-episode recap next time!) Therefore – we need a few more problems and obstacles before we bring the series to an end.

And so, let’s get back into the swing of things…just after Vic snaps the neck of our poor sweet Mi Jung…

Episode 18

Sang Hyun meets with Hyun Joon, who informs him that he does not want to return to NSS. And it’s not because he doesn’t have the time, considering he has duties to fulfill for the President in finding all IRIS members and bringing the organization down. It’s because he’s finally had the best sleep he’s ever had in two years. Sang Hyun returns to the office, and isn’t too happy to find that Mi Jung hasn’t arrived at the office yet.

Seung Hee and Hyun Joon go off on their vacation to Jeju Island, where they do fun, couple activities such as playing foosball at the resort, drinking at an empty bar, bike riding, and staring out at the sea. Hyun Joon is grateful that he no longer has much to fear about or has to constantly look over his shoulder.

Later that night, Seung Hee returns to the hotel room and tells Hyun Joon that she met with a college friend. She snuggles up next to him and tells him that she will be his medicine – a “pain reliever” for any future headaches he may have. Of course…we all know where THAT leads to!

The next morning, Seung Hee wakes up beside a half-naked Hyun Joon and her ringing phone. (I’m not really complaining about this – but OF COURSE Hyun Joon had to be half naked so that Lee Byeong Hun could show off those sculpted abs he worked so hard at getting, while Seung Hee can remain “innocent” because she’s all covered up in pajamas.)

So “innocent” Seung Hee answers her phone to a withheld number. She leaves the bed and answers. She’s not too happy about what she’s hearing over the phone, and after the cryptic conversation, she leaves the hotel without telling Hyun Joon. (ehm, did I say “innocent”?)

Back in Seoul, Baek San, Sa Woo, and their two henchmen are being transported in an armored truck with security detail. At the end of a tunnel, the security detail is met with gunfire coming from numerous assassins from all over the world. The assassins pick off every single guard, while inside the truck Sa Woo and the two henchmen take care of the guards inside. Sung Shik is shot by one of the guards in the gut, but Sa Woo takes care of him. Before they leave the truck, Sung Shik apologizes to Baek San. He forgives Sung Shik and then shoots him in the head.

The assassins from IRIS then free Baek San, Sa Woo, and Sa Woo’s henchman.

Hyun Joon waits for Seung Hee, but gets a call from Sang Hyun first recalling him back to his position in NSS. They need him to help catch Baek San and Sa Woo. Everyone has died, so there is no way they can find out who initiated the attack. On top of that, no one was supposed to know about the transit except for Director Yoo Kwang Ho and Hyun Joon’s interrogator Kang Cheol Hwan. Based on satellite tracking, it will be near impossible to find out where they went because of the mountainous region.

Well for one thing, there’s no need to worry about whether they’ll have food or shelter. The escapees are brought to a huge mansion where security is tighter inside and outside the premises than the Blue House. Even Baek San is surprised that the lengths IRIS has gone to prepare them their new headquarters. He announces to everyone that from now on, Sa Woo will be giving out the orders.

The moment he has time for himself, Sa Woo looks at his surroundings and swallows – he knows that he has just dug a deeper hole for himself just by being at the IRIS headquarters, and there is no Hyun Joon offering him a ladder to get out.

Meanwhile, in North Korea, Sun Hwa reunites with Chul Young. He offers her old position back, but Sun Hwa does not want it. She’d rather return to her hometown and become a farmer or local teacher – anything that would let her lead a simple life. Chul Young respects that, but he wants her to return to South Korea with him for one last time during the summit. Sun Hwa painfully tells him that she’d rather not.

Chul Young: Is it because of Kim Hyun Joon?
Sun Hwa: I just…wish it were something like a cold. Even if it hurts a lot, I just – I wish I could just sleep a night and shake it off.

Chul Young gently touches her shoulder (WHEEEE!!!!!! CONTACT!!!!) and then says that he only wishes for her happiness. Similar to Sang Hyun’s offer to Hyun Joon, he tells her that they’ll both give it some time before the revisit the South Korea proposition.

Hyun Joon arrives at NSS, and Sang Hyun tells him that professionals attacked the transport vehicles – and, that Mi Jung is dead.

Hyun Kyu is grieving in his lab. He uncovers Mi Jung from under the white sheet for Hyun Joon to see. All he knows is that she was killed in a single blow and that her killer was a professional. Tae Sung and Jung In report that her cell phone was missing and they did some recovery on her damaged computer. Information about Baek San’s transport time and location came up, and they were hacked into from the servers. Jung In says the hacker was Hyun Kyu. Hyun Kyu vehemently denies any involvement, and they realize that because he asked Mi Jung to give him access to his stocks online, she used his card and took the opportunity to steal the information.

Hyun Joon calls Seung Hee again – but no one is answering.

Sa Woo checks up on the IRIS mercenaries, and asks Baek San what the plan is. Since IRIS does not want a summit between the north and south to happen, but the President is stubbornly pushing for one, they have to get rid of the root of all “evil”: the President.

Tae Sung manages to hack into Mi Jung’s private blog, and they find several private photos of her with her mysterious boyfriend. Vic’s face is carefully blurred out in every photo, but Jung In manages to clear it up a bit. It’s enough for Hyun Joon to recognize that it’s the same man who killed Yuki in Japan and Yeon Gi Hoon.

At the Blue House, Secretary Jung tries to persuade the President to put off the summit – someone is leaking information and preventing them from investigating any further into IRIS. It’s unsuccessful once again.

Back at IRIS headquarters, they discuss plans for how to infiltrate their target building through biochemical weapons that will enter via ventilation system. Everyone speaks with the authority of an experienced professional, but the new-kid-on-the-block Sa Woo says that their plan won’t work. The location does not have many escape routes, and their current plan won’t allow for easy escape. They need more time during the infiltration – enough to set up booby traps and ensure their ability to escape even if a SWAT team comes in.

Sa Woo’s henchman comes to him after the meeting and informs him that a mysterious prisoner is being held at the second basement level, but he has no idea who it is. Only Baek San is meeting this person. Sa Woo makes his way down, but he encounters Baek San on the phone saying, “I will do as ordered for the Choi Seung Hee issue.”

That night, Sa Woo meets with Baek San. He wants to know simply what he is to the organization – what position he holds and what the true identity of the organization is. And, most importantly, he wants to know what Baek San’s relationship to Seung Hee is, because it’s clear that he gives preferential treatment towards Seung Hee. Baek San dismisses his questions by saying that he does not need to know the answers, and that he should throw all questions away about Seung Hee. “If you have Choi Seung Hee within your heart,” he warns, “then that is the most dangerous thing of all.”

Back in North Korea, Sun Hwa enters Chul Young’s office. He apologizes for calling her during her rest, and asks her to look through information that he acquired from a suspect. He’s sure that IRIS is planning another conspiracy that can stop the summit. Chul Young wants her to analyze the information, because if there is another threat then he has an obligation to tell Leader Kim and prevent him from attending the summit.

Sun Hwa goes through the files, all of which contain profiles of IRIS agents from around the world. None of the names surprise her – except for one: Choi Seung Hee.

She returns to Chul Young’s office and says, “I will also go to South Korea.”

NSS continues their simultaneous investigation into Mi Jung’s death and the attack on the transport convoy. Tae Sung finds a picture on Mi Jung’s blog that shows her drinking wine. However, she never drank wine. They zoom into the picture of the bottle, and it’s a rare enough wine that they can track down who bought that particular bottle. Just then, Seung Hee returns to NSS.

She can’t look into Hyun Joon’s eyes when he drags her for a private chat. She asks that he not ask her anything about her disappearance. When he visits her later in the middle of her analysis, she acts all businesslike and deflects his questions. Hyun Joon says it’s fine if she doesn’t want to tell, but he has one question. Why did Kang Do Chul free her after he received a phone call?

Seung Hee admits that she wondered about that too, but offers no answer. Hyun Joon tells her he’s only worried that she may be a target for IRIS, and then he walks away. Seung Hee is concerned, but not because she’s a potential target. She seems more concerned that Hyun Joon may be on to a secret she’s hiding.

Sa Woo has a rendezvous with Advisor Hong at a gallery. After she asks after the well-being of Baek San, she discreetly hands over a USB that contains all the information Baek San requested. He later goes out for a drink to wallow in misery and thinks back to his previous conversations with Baek San and Seung Hee.

Chul Young meets with Secretary Jung and Advisor Hong. Secretary Jung says that he has not made any headway in his investigations of Baek San and Sa Woo. Chul Young reports that based on his interrogations and findings, IRIS could be plotting another scheme to stop the summit. However, Jung interrupts him and then awkwardly asks Advisor Hong to leave the room. (FINALLY! You are placing your suspicions on the right person! And Hong is equally worried about being found out so she places a call.)

Meanwhile, Sun Hwa, who tagged along with Chul Young, calls up Hyun Joon and tells him that she found a file on Seung Hee. It looks to her that IRIS may want to eliminate Seung Hee.

After the meeting, Secretary Jung and Advisor Hong leave together. However, Hong stops midway to the car and pulls out her phone, pretending to answer a call. Jung goes into the car first with his bodyguards.

Behind a pillar, Vic watches the scene.

Sun Hwa and Hyun Joon walk across the plaza to meet with the Secretary.

The driver starts the car – and it blows up.

Hyun Joon spots Vic leaving the scene, and he and Sun Hwa chase after him. Vic manages to get away in a car, and Sun Hwa prepares to shoot him to prevent him from getting away. However, Hyun Joon stops her – they have to chase him, because he’s their only lead on where Baek San and Sa Woo are.

And so, they hijack a car and drive off together after Vic.


Well first of all, boy am I mighty glad to see my A-team back together: Hyun Joon and Sun Hwa. The action just isn’t right when he’s with Seung Hee – any action, for that matter. Such as when Seung Hee is in the car with Hyun Joon on their way to Jeju Island, it’s so weird to see her leaning on his shoulder as he drives. He’s driving for goodness sakes! Don’t impede his arm!

I kind of felt bad for Sa Woo when he saw what he was getting himself into. He just realized that IRIS is bigger than he thought, and more dangerous than he thought. His world used to just consist of Baek San; the Director was his sun, moon, earth. And now he realizes that there are a whole bunch of others that he has to answer to and give orders to, and honestly, Baek San does not look like he’s the top dog anymore. But I stopped feeling bad for him when he went for a drink. Getting drunk does not elicit any pity from me, and on top of that, after all that he had done he was still getting hung up over a girl who would never forgive him. He lost his chance with Seung Hee two years ago – it’s about time he moved on.

Now, for the REAL scandal of the episode: Choi Seung Hee now definitely seems to be the “forbidden fruit” that Baek San was talking about in the last episode. At first, I thought she was off-limits because she represented love, and love can’t exist in IRIS members’ hearts because it makes them weak. But THEN – it looks like now she’s an IRIS member!

Of course I can’t be too sure – they didn’t show the full screen of her profile so I couldn’t see if her file stated explicitly that she was a member of IRIS (all other profiles stated that fact). And, if I am to trust Sun Hwa, Seung Hee could easily be a target as well. But I don’t trust Sun Hwa – and I think Seung Hee is definitely an IRIS member. Or perhaps she’s Baek San’s secret daughter. Or perhaps she’s the secret daughter of the head of IRIS. Or perhaps…ok I’ll stop now.

Either way – this is one twist I did not see coming. Was the twist necessary? Perhaps – it does add tension for the last two episodes, and they really need it if they’re going to go all the way to 20 episodes. But I can’t say I really like it – it honestly came from nowhere and I did not see any clues from previous episodes that could have lead up to this. I feel its more as if the writers decided to just throw it in for the heck of it.

Save for Seung Hee, when I look back on this episode it was mostly forgettable, and it moved quickly without advancing any storyline that we have not heard before (i.e. the President STILL wants to go through with the summit and Baek San STILL does not want the summit to happen). This even feels like the shortest recap I have ever written for one episode.


10 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. milo

    Kim So-Yeon is an incredible actress! I enjoyed IRIS and am looking forwar to the next *two-episode* recap.

  2. langdon813

    Great recap, kaedejun!

    I absolutely agree about the complete 180 with Seung-hee. It’s a spy thriller, so of course there should be a Big Twist To Reveal Someone Is Not Who They Appear To Be, but…I’m not really buying it. I mean, wouldn’t it have been MORE shocking if they’d revealed Sun-hwa was really a South Korean agent all along? Especially after the tragic story about her family. I would have been a lot more impressed with the writers if that had been the case, if she’d told Hyun-joon “Dude, my family’s alive and well and living in the ‘burbs. Sorry.” I don’t have a problem with the is she/isn’t she an IRIS agent scenario, it just doesn’t feel right without some sort of hint at her motivation. The only plausible excuse I would accept without hesitation is if Seung-hee is being forced to do something to protect Hyun-joon. And that remains to be seen.

    Can’t wait to read your 19 and 20 recaps!

  3. Molly

    Thanks for the recap! Seung-hee being a part of IRIS is just too sudden and out-of-place, and I certainly didn’t see that coming either.

    Only two more episodes to go!

  4. Emeldy

    ‘Or perhaps she’s Baek San’s secret daughter’

    I think so too…… Seung Hee definitely knows something about Iris. But i don’t think she is involved in it. I have not watch the last two episode so……. I am going to stick with you and will wait for your recap.

    And Thanks for your recap…..

  5. b020

    I really wanted to love this show, but, and this is just speaking from having watched all of it, this show wasted so much potential, it was a huge let down. I can see why it got high ratings, but not huge ratings.

  6. Startulle

    I just fell in love with HJ….thanks for ur amazing work as always!

  7. saf

    hey i jus wantd to know if anybody has any idea abowt wat fone hyun jun and seung hee use?

  8. Tzpawdjx

    i say your board unapproachable gm, http://cmzobygcgcbn.100webspace.net/pohudet-s-pomoschyu-razgruzochnyh-dnej.html , 47995,

  9. Chad

    In the first 4 minutes of this episode there is a classical song played at the house of the assassin…what’s the name of that song?

  10. 10 LiteratiTempo

    I was suspicious of SeungHee for a while. She has just a lil too much power. She was released with one call, she gets to investigate whomever she wants whenever she wants. How at a top security place like NSS is she the only one who can track Sun Hwa down. Plus she could just quit for 2 years and get her old top dog position back w/o suspicion at all…. smells IRIS-y to me.

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