This episode is pretty intense, so I’m going to try and keep my fangirliness to a minimum. So, just to get it out of my system, let me pay a fangirly tribute to the hotties of Hero.
And now, without further adieu…
Hero: Episode 8
Do Hyuk wraps up his phone call with Choi Il Doo, telling him that if the rat bastard doesn’t bring Park Su Jeong and her child to him by the next day, he will release the tape to the media. Choi Il Doo is absolutely flabbergasted that Jo Yong Deok recorded their conversation. (Um, hello, crazy, Yong Deok isn’t an idiot!) Yong Deok is with Do Hyuk, and while Do Hyuk wonders if his friend and her child are dead, Yong Deok wonders if the police have figured out Choi Il Doo’s connection with the missing night club owner. As for Do Hyuk’s well founded worries, all Yong Deok can tell him is, “We’ve already shown our card. Now we just have to wait and see.”
Meanwhile, the other YDI reporters are still trying to acquire their back wages from their former president. The man is not being very forth coming, so they force him to hand over his car and sign a promissory note. Ha! There’s no screwing around with this scrappy bunch, that’s for sure!
Do Hyuk comes out of Yong Deok’s office during this foray, and Joon Hyung asks him if he really intends to hand the tape over to Choi Il Doo. The young reporter cannot believe that his hyung, who used to only care about getting a big, exclusive story, would give up such a juicy lead.
While the reporters of YDI are hard at work, Jae In is also working, doing a little investigating of her own. She confronts Hae Seong, confirming the relationship between Choi Il Doo and Park Su Jeong. Even though the slimy reporter doesn’t give her any straight answers, it’s easy to infer that she has guessed correctly that the night club owner was the rat bastard’s mistress. Jae In, having realized she was only enamored of Hae Seong’s image, tells him how she really feels now.
I really liked you. Because you were Korea’s most trusted reporter and everyone believed you, you were one of the most successful reporters. But now I see your work was to hide the dishonest things done by Choi Il Doo. I thought you were a bad human being, but I was wrong. You’re not a bad human being…You’re not human.
At the police station, Detective Jang Heung Gi is back and dragging in some perpetrator of some crime he must have been investigating for the past few episodes! (Guess he’s the only one protecting the rest of Kangsan while everyone else on the Criminal Investigations 2 Squad is tied up with Do Hyuk’s mystery.)
Jae In returns to her unit, followed closely by Do Hyuk. They go into the interview room (where Detective Na attempts to eavesdrop) and compare notes. Jae In starts to tell him about Choi Il Doo’s involvement, but Do Hyuk already knows. She congratulates him on finally getting an exclusive story, even though they both know that is the furthest thing from his mind. Jae In explains her intention to confront the rat bastard at his office and demand to know where Park Su Jeong is. Do Hyuk begs her not to do that. He believes police involvement would only put her and the child in more danger. Jae In asks if he thinks they would kill her, and that’s when he plays the tape for her.
Cut too Manager Gong’s office, where Choi Il Doo is playing the same tape for Gong and Hae Seong. (I love how this show handles cuts between locations, like using the flashback in the last episode and the tape recorder in this one. It’s done very well.) Choi Il Doo worries that, “There are now two of them baring their teeth at me.” Hae Seong points out that the tape cannot be used to take any legal measures; however, if it got out to the media, the fallout could be disastrous. Choi Il Doo then reveals to the others what Do Hyuk wants is Su Jeong and the child in exchange for the tape.
Back in the interrogation room, Jae In almost can’t believe what she’s hearing, that Choi Il Doo killed Do Hyuk’s parents. She encourages him to write an article insulting Choi Il Doo while she works on having him arrested for the kidnapping. She can’t do anything about the statute of limitations on the murder, but thinks there might be enough to get him for kidnapping. Do Hyuk protests.
The most important thing is to bring Noona back safely. Revenge is not what’s important here, nor an exclusive story. People are more important. Because I have this, he’ll contact me for sure.
Jae In insists that once he discovers Park Su Jeong’s whereabouts, he should report it to the police, who can protect her. Not surprisingly, he refuses, saying he will protect them himself. Considering how much success the police have had locating her so far, his skepticism is understood.
Manager Gong and Hae Seong have a show down. Hae Seong wants to know where the mother and child are. The former is “in a hospital.” As for the latter, Manager Gong said “to get rid of” him. He doesn’t know if the child is dead or alive, so he says. Gong insists that Park Su Jeong must not be turned over to Do Hyuk, and that he will find a way to get the original tape. Hae Seong responds, “Is there anything you were responsible for that’s worked out for us?” (Score one for Kang Hae Seong! Seriously, has there ever been a more incompetent lackey than Manager Gong?) Hae Seong tells the Chairman that he will take care of things, and Choi Il Doo tells Gong to “let the Director handle it.” Hae Seong had recently been promoted to a Director’s position at DAESE.
Hae Seong meets with Do Hyuk to discuss the terms of a deal. (The place where they meet is playing some really cool Spanish guitar music, which I find appropriate for this reporter vs. reporter showdown, as it reminds me of the background music used in Westerns when the two gunslingers meet at high noon.) Hae Seong promises to bring the night club owner to Do Hyuk by tomorrow, but insists he doesn’t know where the child is. He knows Do Hyuk doesn’t have any proof that the boy is Choi Il Doo’s son, and he insists that the man who kidnapped Park Su Jeong acted on his own when taking the child, and he knows nothing about it. Do Hyuk is skeptical, and Hae Seong points out that, “If you don’t believe me, I guess we can’t make a deal, right? Actually, it’s not easy for me to trust you, either. You can simply make another tape.” Do Hyuk states, “I don’t do such things. You should know that.” Hae Seong is curious. He wants to know what is so special about Park Su Jeong that Do Hyuk would give up the tape for her. He believes it could be an opportunity for Do Hyuk to take revenge for his parents’ death. Do Hyuk responds, “I don’t feel that way. Saving a person’s life is more important right now.” This is clearly something Hae Seong just cannot understand, as he says:
That’s why you’ll never make it. You act too kind, too innocent, too righteous. That’s why you’re still only what you are.
Do Hyuk insists this isn’t the end. He knows there are others Choi Il Doo has stepped on to get to where he is now. Hae Seong believes that Do Hyuk won’t be able to uncover anything. The clever reporter has just given something up to Do Hyuk, who says, “Then there must be something to be uncovered. It seems quite a concern to you. Hmmm?” Hae Seong realizes he’s said too much, and he leaves.
The reporters’ conversation had been overheard. By Jae In, who insisted on coming along with Do Hyuk. As they leave the bistro, Do Hyuk wonders if the detective is alright. She answers that she had no idea Hae Seong was that kind of person. She’s not surprised that he is, just she’s more shocked that she didn’t see it. Do Hyuk quickly changes the subject, asking if she believes that Hae Seong doesn’t know where the child is. She isn’t sure what to think, but she still wants to find the boy. Since the rat bastard’s entourage had the last search warrant blocked, Jae In knows that somehow they are well informed on whatever the police do. So, she decides to officially close the case and start a secret investigation. This shocks Do Hyuk, who can’t believe the detective who is so rigid about following police procedures would be interested in doing such a thing. Jae In claims that her motivation is that she might get a promotion out of it. I’m thinking there might be a bit more to it than that! Do Hyuk mentions how he is always saying “thank you” to Jae In, who in turn says, “Then we’re even.” She feels bad that at first she only listened to Hae Seong and completely misjudged Do Hyuk. He replies, “Aigoo! Are you just now opening your eyes to the truth?” (Heheh…those two really are too cute!) As they walk home, Jae In asks if Do Hyuk is planning to meet Hae Seong by himself tomorrow. He tells her that he should, and wonders if she’s worried about him. She admits that she is “a little bit.” He says that she should then teach him kickboxing. She counters that he already has great talent at running for his life.
At home later that evening, Do Hee brings her brother some milk, and tries to get him to talk about what’s going on. She knows that there is something bothering Do Hyuk, but she doesn’t know what. I know this tactic. It’s sisterly concern coupled with female nosiness. She thinks it’s woman troubles that are plaguing her little brother. (As a real big sister to my own brother, and surrogate big sister to the young cashiers and baggers I work with, I’m well familiar with this ploy!) Do Hyuk must be familiar with this as well, as he doesn’t give Do Hee even an inkling as to what is going on. And this is the little brother’s way of protecting his sister. She doesn’t need to know that their parents’ death was an intentional murder and not a traffic accident.
The next morning, Jae In comes out of her room to find her mother transfixed by the television set. She is enamored of the charismatic rat bastard running for president. She tells Jae In that she’ll vote for him because he is so handsome. She goes on to praise how he “is family oriented” and how “his personal life is free from scandal.” Oh yeah, and he also works for various charities. What a giving rat bastard! As mother and daughter part ways for the day, Jae In says something a bit cryptic about her mother’s current celebrity crush. “I read the newspaper articles, listened to the radio, and believed it all to be true. It seems we live our lives being fooled.”
Meanwhile, the YDI staff is busily working to get their second “real” issue out. Having finally recovered their back wages from the former president of Monday Seoul, they invested in Yong Deok Ilbo. As they buzz around the office working on various stories, interviewing victims of various wrongs, they suddenly notice a very quiet Do Hyuk staring at his cell phone. Hae Seong has not yet called to bring Park Su Jeong to him. The other reporters try to encourage Do Hyuk, telling him that he’s sure to hear from Hae Seong soon.
Hae Seong does go to the creepy hospital where Park Su Jeong is being held. On his way to the predetermined meeting place, he calls Do Hyuk to inform him he is on his way.
Do Hyuk pockets the tape and starts to head out. (Joon Hyung once again laments what a waste it is.) On his way out, he instructs Eun Sik to remove Park Su Jeong and her child from the missing persons list. That is when they get a tip about her whereabouts. Someone tells them that she looks just like a patient in their hospital! Do Hyuk quickly comes up with a plan. He will still meet with Hae Seong while the rest of the team tries to track down the night club owner. He informs them that the last place her cell phone was used was near her home town, so Ga Yeon, Man Soo, and Joon Hyung are to investigate nearby hospitals, while Eun Sik (clearly the resident computer geek) continues to track the IP address of the tipster.
Yong Deok stops Do Hyuk on his way to the meeting. It is not yet revealed what Yong Deok told the young reporter, but it will become important later.
Man Soo, Ga Yeon, and Joon Hyung search for the hospital, while Do Hyuk (in a very attractive fisherman’s outfit) waits for Hae Seong. The three reporters eventually find the right hospital and spot the missing night club owner through a window just as Hae Seong arrives for his meeting with Do Hyuk. Trying to remain incognito, Do Hyuk tries to get a better look at the woman he sees in the back of Hae Seong’s car. Luckily, before the sneaky reporter spots him, Do Hyuk gets the call that his friends have found Park Su Jeong!
The YDI reporters reunite to form a plan and don the necessary costumes needed to rescue Park Su Jeong. Do Hyuk and Man Soo as doctors, Ga Yeon as a crazy person needing admittance to the hospital, and Joon Hyung as her frazzled “husband.” The latter two create a disturbance in the female ward while the former, acting like doctors trying to quell the disturbance, pick the pocket of the nurse in charge and relieving her of her keys. Joon Hyung and Ga Yeon work so well together, you almost believe he is a frazzled husband needing to admit his wife to a mental hospital.
Moving unnoticed through the hospital, Do Hyuk eventually finds Su Jeong’s room. She’s been pumped so full of whatever drugs they were giving her that she is in a trance-like state. She doesn’t even recognize Do Hyuk, whom she used to look on as a younger brother. Do Hyuk somehow manages to get her out of the hospital. While on his way home, he receives a call from Hae Seong questioning why he has yet to arrive for their meeting.
Do Hyuk does meet with Hae Seong, and hands over a tape. Hae Seong asks if it is the original, to which Do Hyuk answers, “Have you ever seen me lie?” He tosses the tape into the Han River as Do Hyuk looks into the back seat of the car and discovers what he already knows. It’s not Park Su Jeong. I’m not sure if Do Hyuk is simply acting enraged to throw Hae Seong off of the fact that he already has Su Jeong, or if everything that has happened has finally come bubbling to the surface, but Do Hyuk attacks the rat bastard in the making.
Do Hyuk: I trusted you.
Hae Seong: I knew you would trust me.
Do Hyuk: What do you get out of doing this? *Grabs Hae Seong* Answer me, you bastard! What do you get out of it?
Hae Seong: See? You always act emotionally and impulsively. That’s why you’ll never beat me.
Do Hyuk: You bastard…there are things you can and things you absolutely cannot do to another human being.
Hae Seong: There is no such thing.
Do Hyuk: What?
Hae Seong: There is no such thing as something you cannot do.
Do Hyuk: *Hits Hae Seong*
Do Hyuk finishes his speech by saying, “Someone once said the worst kind of people in the world are those that hurt others for their own benefit!” He walks away, and as he does so, he remembers what Yong Deok had told him just before he left the YDI office earlier in the day. Yong Deok warns him that just as most people carry umbrellas in case it rains and buy insurance in case of an accident, he always keeps a sharp blade up his sleeve for protection. We then see the “sharp blade” Do Hyuk carries up his sleeve is another copy of the tape.
Do Hyuk takes Su Jeong back to his place and leaves the dazed woman in his sister’s care. She has the kids helping her and when Sol brings back a clean cloth, she asks her mother, “Mom, where is she hurt?” Do Hee replies, “Her heart probably hurts the most.” This drives little Jung to take the woman’s hand, and in her stupor, she mistakes him for her own son, Han Kyul. She embraces the boy and just keeps calling for her own son over and over again. The sweet, but confused little boy just lets her hold him.
Do Hyuk and Yong Deok meet to discuss the reporter’s next move. He wants to write an article and distribute it to the major media outlets. Yong Deok cautions him against this. He asks about the child and Do Hyuk tells him that they didn’t know anything about him. Yong Deok warns him, “You do know you can’t trust anything they say? People aren’t all like you. Before we find out where the child is, let’s not push too hard.” Some very good fatherly advice that I’m sure Do Hyuk takes to heart.
Do Hyuk meets with Jae In, who is curious to know what happened. He informs her that Su Jeong is safe and he has the tape. I think Jae In is rather shocked at the sneaky move pulled by Do Hyuk. He also gives her the unfortunate news that they still don’t know where the child is. Jae In then asks Do Hyuk how he is doing. He tells her, “I’m so angry, I think might go mad. I want to go and beat him up.” Jae In replies, “Beat him. By your methods.”
Do Hyuk takes Jae In’s advice and heads over to the YDI office and begins to compile a series of articles about the evil that is Choi Il Doo.
The next morning, the YDI reporters arrive to find that once again Do Hyuk has spent all night at the office working. He informs them of his intention to release his articles about Choi Il Doo once they find the child.
Meanwhile, at the police station, Jae In informs Detectives Na and Oh of her own intentions…to start a secret investigation to find Han Kyul. Detective Oh is very supportive of this idea. Detective Na…not so much.
Jae In goes to Do Hyuk’s place to check in on Su Jeong. The woman is still in a daze, unable to let go of Jung’s hand for long. There is slight improvement, as she will eat what Do Hee feeds her, but she is still unable to recognize her surroundings.
Having done all she can do for Su Jeong, Do Hee goes into the other room to handle some household chores. She asks Jae In what she is doing there, assuming she is there for Do Hyuk. (Do Hee does not seem pleased by the idea that this police detective might be interested in her baby brother.) Sol, who is sitting nearby, assures her mother, “Don’t worry. She’s not uncle’s type.” Do Hee instructs Jae In, “Instead of thinking about other things, please just focus on finding the child.” Jae In assures her that the police are doing everything that they can. Once again, Sol speaks up, “How can you call yourself a police officer? Frankly, didn’t my uncle do all the work? Just what do the police do anyway?” It’s amusing how Sol can always get a rise out of this grown woman, who responds, “Hey, kid, I just wish you’d stay out of it when adults are talking.” To which Sol replies, “I can’t use my own mouth to talk?” Jae In responds with, “Do you know you take after your uncle a lot?” Sol, sensing this is not a compliment, still chooses to take it as one, asking, “What’s wrong with my uncle?” Do Hee just watches the exchange between Jae In and Sol. I wonder what is going through her head…is she aware that this is similar to how Do Hyuk and Jae In talk with each other?
Meanwhile, as part of his ongoing research into Choi Il Doo and DAESE Group, Do Hyuk meets with the head of one of the rival construction groups that bid on a redevelopment project against DAESE. The man has brought copies of his bid sheet, and when comparing his bid with that of DAESE, it becomes clear that the outcome was fixed, as the man’s much lower bid was rejected. He asks for Do Hyuk’s promise that his identity won’t be revealed, and Do Hyuk gives him his word. Do Hyuk should have been more careful, however, as he and the man are seen leaving together after their meeting.
Manager Gong is having Do Hyuk followed, after another head of a rival construction group came to him, informing him that Do Hyuk keeps asking to see his bid sheet, and asking if he received anything from DAESE Group. Gong warns him that he should never let Do Hyuk know of his bid and shouldn’t answer any of his questions. This is when the man tells Gong that Do Hyuk has been asking other people the same things.
As Do Hyuk continues his investigation (this time following Congressman Park) Team Rat Bastard finally gets the news that Park Su Jeong is missing from her creepy hospital prison. Do Hyuk has followed Congressman Park right to the DAESE offices, and decides to pay Hae Seong a visit while he is there. He comes into Hae Seong’s office just as he is getting the “good” news.
Hae Seong: Was it you?
Do Hyuk: What? Ah…You mean did I take Park Su Jeong out of there? I don’t know anything.
Hae Seong: What about the original? That tape wasn’t the original?
Do Hyuk: The one that you threw into the Han River? That one was the original tape. The one I have…*reaches into pocket* oh…is a copy. Since I was here, I thought I’d drop by.
He offers Hae Seong another game. He wants to know where Han Kyul is. Hae Seong continues to insist he doesn’t know. Of course, Do Hyuk does not believe him, but can get no more out of him at this time, and follows him out.
Do Hyuk follows Hae Seong out to the car he has waiting, and gives Jae In and her secret detective team the signal to follow. As he watches the police officers drive off, he receives a phone call from the YDI office. The man who abducted Su Jeong has come, claiming to be in need of their help. In exchange, he will tell them where Han Kyul is. The YDI staff wants to bring in the police, but the man refuses to tell them anything if they bring in the police. He wants them to guarantee his safety. Not sure if he can trust this man who abducted his friend, Do Hyuk turns to one person he knows he can trust. Yong Deok gives him the nod, and they get the information they are so desperately looking for.
This is one time Yong Deok should have been more careful. As Jae In is following Hae Seong, she gets a call that the body of a young boy has been found. The woman they spoke to before, the one who had raised Han Kyul, identified the body, and he had been wearing the necklace Park Su Jeong had put on him. Do Hyuk gets the call from Jae In as he is questioning a woman at an orphanage where the abductor said the boy had been taken.
Realizing they had been fooled, Do Hyuk and Joon Hyung race to Do Hyuk’s apartment, filled with relief to see that nothing has happened there. They then hurry to the YDI office, arriving at the same time Ga Yeon and Man Soo return from following their stories. Two agitated reporters rush into the building, followed by two confused reporters. When they go in, they find the place tossed, Eun Sik knocked unconscious, and the only thing missing…..Yong Deok.
Just as the realization of what happened starts to sink in, Do Hyuk gets a call from Hae Seong. All he says, “You know what’s missing, right?”
I had a really hard time recapping this episode, especially the last couple of scenes, in case you couldn’t tell by the way I rushed through that part of the recap. The death of Han Kyul completely caught me by surprise, even though in the back of my mind, I always knew it was a possibility.
I do appreciate the way the director handled it, though. We never see the corpse, only the reaction of the ahjumma who raised the boy, and then Jae In’s reaction as she clutches the necklace the boy’s mother had given him. It is a very powerful scene. If you are only reading my recaps and not actually watching this series, you are missing out on this and the other amazing visual artistry used by the director.
There is one thing I can’t quite figure out, though. Choi Il Doo is a well known rat bastard, right? So why only kill the child and not the mother? He’s had people killed before, so I really don’t get it. What is his motivation for keeping Park Su Jeong alive? Once she regains her senses, it’s going to be really bad for him.
Another thing I’m trying to wrap my brain around is what is going on with Hae Seong? He is clearly up to something, but what? At first it seemed like he was working his way into DAESE Group and Choi Il Doo’s family with some ulterior motive, but now, he’s doing everything he can to help the rat bastard. I really don’t think he’s a rat bastard in training, but what else can I think, especially when he is not only protecting Choi Il Doo, but has now also been put in charge of DAESE Group. Was this his goal all along? Is that why he’s going along with the rat bastard’s evil deeds?
On a lighter note, I think there may be a bit of a flirtation between Do Hee and Sang Chul. I didn’t include the scene in my recap, because, as we all know, these things are long winded enough, but there was this really cute scene where he came over to the apartment as extra protection for Su Jeong, and he’s assuring Do Hee that nothing will happen while he’s there because he once killed a cow with his bare hands. Do Hee is not impressed, saying she could do that, but the bickering seems to have something behind it. Sang Chul may be a big lug, but he’s a loyal lug with a good heart. He would be a good guy for Do Hee to be with, for once.
After the way this episode ended, I’m not sure I want to watch episode nine. But if I don’t watch it, Yong Deok may never get rescued, right?