I know I’ve said all kinds of things about Athena. Mostly bad things. Okay, all of them were bad.
Let me tell you, though, that this episode is full of win. Maybe it’s some kind of Stockholm Syndrome, or maybe it really was the most entertaining episode since it begun. Either way, Athena found its way out of the dark woods of “No Development”, and entered the “Insane but Fun” territory which can never be a bad thing in my books.
Episode 12 recap
So, thanks to Hye In, Son Hyuk is finally arrested and taken to the NTS. When asked how she got there so quickly, she explains that she was already on her way to the hospital when she received NTS’ text. Therefore, she got there first. Her story seems legit, so they let her off the hook. For now.
With Son Hyuk on the verge of death, Kwon’s position is higher and more powerful – more so considering that they sure have some shared history on their backs. Once Son Hyuk is out of danger, it’ll be his time to be questioned not by USA’s agents, but by the NTS. After hearing this news, Jung Woo is shocked – why should they lead the investigations? Easy, that’s their only way to continue their ongoing inquiry on Athena and those pesky double agents.
In conclusion, Jung Woo will be the leader alongside Jae Hee and Joon Ho as his partners, while Kwon buys some time for them. No one else should know about this. Well, good thing you emphasized this, or else he would’ve ran to Hye In and tell her these details. Hmph.
The fact that they’re doing this without the DIS’ authorization makes some noise in Joon Ho’s head – they’ll eventually find out, and they’ll be in a difficult situation. His concerns only underline their need to be efficient and fast in their mission.
Hye In’s absence is also noticed by Joon Ho. He claims it to be weird that, since she was the one responsible for Son Hyuk’s arrest, she’s not part of the special team. Jung Woo only tells him that these were his direct orders, but looks a teensy bit conflicted. Either way, he instructs Joon Ho to do his job.
It’s clear that Jung Woo is conflicted over Hye In’s participation in the whole thing. From afar, he looks at her and remembers her words when she dumped him. Meanwhile, she’s not so focused on him as she’s on Son Hyuk’s last words before being arrested.
Son Hyuk: I was planning to cut my ties to Athena when this project was over. The headquarters agreed. They gave me their word that I would live the rest of my life as I please. But it’s no use. It’s all over for me. But as for you, you must live.
Now that her tutor-boss is biting some bitter dust, her future doesn’t seem so smooth as before.
At the Blue House, Kwon’s maneuver isn’t so well received – a potential diplomatic conflict is something they should avoid. It only takes him to mention the obstacle Athena would represent to their nuclear power exportation to make the Secretary agree (albeit doubtfully). He’s urged to be as quiet and fast as possible.
The Special Team is at full speed in order to complete their job. Jae Hee and Jung Woo spend some time at their Special Team Room, where he wonders whether she found something useful while controlling Son Hyuk. She gives some roundabouts and file information (studies, etc) – being a bright man, it’s puzzling how he went to the dark side so imprudently.
It’s the power of money that rots even the best of men, Jung Woo affirms.
Well, DUH. Are they trying to give us some IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT LIFE here?
It’s time for Jae Hee to rub some salt into Jung Woo’s wound. She’s the first person to mention Hye In’s suspicious behavior, and how she supposedly entered that shack not caring about the protocol. That would be pretty dumb of her, right? Unless–
“She was a Black Agent, they work alone”, Jung Woo explains.
All of us know he’s trying to auto-convince himself of her innocence, but it should be about time for him to stand up and investigate her. At least, google her, dammit. Jae Hee rolls her eyes in disbelief and shuts up – what’s the point, right? If he’s a damn secret agent who doesn’t find the need to check someone’s past, life will eventually teach him that lesson.
Kwon, on his visit to the Blue House, runs into Director Han, who’s still ignorant on recent events regarding Son Hyuk. He’s not given as much information as he would’ve wanted to, but senses something in the air. Maybe he’s being left out of some big developments?
Meanwhile, the Special Team is finding it tricky to find anything useful. The doctor’s kidnapper was a professional camera avoider, so her face isn’t clear either.
Facing a serious dead-end, Jung Woo visits Son Hyuk. It’s a shame Jung Woo has his typical loser posture and Son Hyuk is drugged (?) or weak, because it would’ve been a great moment to give us watchers the intense eyefucking and hottie face to face we deserve.
SO. Jung Woo goes to Son Hyuk and instead of being a bit dense on the “TELL ME SOMETHING THAT’S USEFUL” part, he tells him about his mission to find that Athena agent that’s working within the NTS. Oh, sorry peeps, I forgot to say that his mission was secret.
Wait, Jung Woo forgot it too.
Is he some kind of homo sapiens with the brain of a chimpanzee? I mean, seriously, tell me how that’s smart of him. His only intention is to brag in front of a handcuffed enemy? Whatever.
The relationship with the North ain’t going well, either. The Blue House Secretary is cancelling all of their meetings, detonating a furious rage in the envoy. They feel they’re not being taken seriously, and that this is a declaration of war.
The clock’s ticking for Ki Soo too. He has to wrap up his special task sooner than soon in order to keep the Lt. General happy. Another ingredient is added when Ji Young (the special envoy who warned him of the Lt. General’s arrival in episode 11) mentions that he hasn’t forgiven him and that, if he wants his mother to be safe, he must do what he’s ordered.
It’s time for him to betray Jung Woo’s trust, then (not that he doesn’t deserve it). Alongside Mr. Chang, they go directly to the bank where that security box was, posing as NTS agents, and ask the manager to give them full access to the CCTV.
Hye In takes her phone, using a second chip, and sends cryptic messages to an agent. Everything would be fine IF Joon Ho hadn’t detected that the same chip Andy used to contact someone while on the run is now in motion. Busted.
2 plus 2, hands in blue, and we have a clear path to Hye In!! Finally!! They don’t know it yet, but I’m crossing my fingers.
The suspect is in the NIS, so Jung Woo and Jae Hee rush there aided by Joon Ho, who’s left checking the map to give the exact location. They chase the car to a parking lot, where the person who received Hye In’s text (let’s call him X) is headed (she’s on her way there, too – exciting!).
Jae Hee takes the same elevator as X, takes note of the floor he’ll go to (B4) and informs Jung Woo, who’s waiting in a second elevator. Hye In, meanwhile, takes a third elevator to B4 too.
Everyone is about to be reunited in a lovely robbers and cops fashion until Jae Hee’s reflection on a car is noticed by X! GAHHHHH!!! Hye In quickly hides, before anyone could see her while X tries to run. Jung Woo follows him, but he catches him too late – he’s taken a suicide pill.
That’s it, time out. I was genuinely excited for the possibility of Hye In being captured, only to be disappointed by Jae Hee’s lack of hiding abilities. They burst my pretty bubble, booo.
The Special Team’s plan was completely ruined – not only they lost X, Hye In is now aware of their mission and has got ridden of the chip. Apparently, she (or someone close) informs Director Han of X’s death, and he instructs her to ask for a plan B from the headquarters. He gets rid of his special chip too.
In an elaborate attempt to get the final information on the security box, Ki Soo fakes an internal audit by the NIS. He asks Sang Chul (he must have seen him in the CCTV record) to go to his mahjong place, where he is all worried and handcuffed. After a brief chat, they’re separated in order to be questioned. Sung Chul is accused of hiding slush funds in the safety box so they can find out the real contents of it. He’s reticent at first, but eventually gives in.
My heart weeps for your soul, Ki Soo.
At the NTS, per Kwon’s orders, Son Hyuk receives one nasty injection. There are two things that must be clear when talking about them: Son Hyuk is planning not to say a word, and that he deeply regrets not having killed Kwon in the past. Today, Kwon will give him the chance to set things right and confess.
Time’s running short, he’ll have to decide.
After his visit, Kwon summons Jung Woo and asks him about X. His name and affiliation are finally revealed – Han Sang Jin from the NIS – but there’s not so much more information. They both think that Son Hyuk won’t talk even under torture, but Kwon wonders why he gave up without fighting or committing suicide. He wonders and leaves it there, as a string for Jung Woo to grasp.
Tragedy keeps falling on the Special Team’s head, as a folder from Han Sang Jin that was supposed to be their great breakthrough, is protected with an auto-delete algorithm. They found only one clue: the IP address to which he sent information was the Presidential Secretariat in the Blue House. That’s really a big deal, since a lot of people work there, and all of them are potential Athena members.
Jae Hee visits Son Hyuk too (at this point, he’s like the celebrity of the NTS), and asks why he approached her. WELL, DUH. Did she think there was something there that wasn’t “I need to control you because you’re my potential enemy”? He represses a laugh and dismisses her reproaches.
Director Han is more nervous by the minute. He goes to the NTS to check if they’ve found Son Hyuk. Kwon quickly denies having caught him, but his unusual serenity and confidence are noticed by Director Han. Something’s fishy around here.
And suddenly, unexpectedly… Jung Woo starts to gather other people’s doubts over Hye In and Son Hyuk and the strange bond that might exist between them.
Let us all sing alleluia!!!
Adding to his puzzle, Joon Ho gives him an old photo he found while looking through Son Hyuk’s belongings – there’s a younger Son Hyuk with a little girl. On the back, it’s written “Yu Jin’s first birthday”. He immediately goes to Son Hyuk to ask about this Yu Jin. The latter is shocked but doesn’t utter a sound.
Therefore, their next task is to find out who this girl is. With an old photo and a name? Good luck with that.
Hye In, who hasn’t had an important role in all this but feels that there’s something developing under her ignorant nose, finally breaks into the Special Team’s room (using her magical phone that has the “NTS passwords cracker” app installed). He finds a lot of papers and the surveillance computer that transmits Son Hyuk’s state live.
Have you stopped singing alleluia? Please, resume the singing, because Jung Woo has finally had the guts to formulate a theory of his own. After being told that the photo is insufficient, he visits Son Hyuk again.
Jung Woo: That person in the photo… We both know her, right?
Me: *throws confetti*
Too bad their time is up, USA has found out where Son Hyuk is, so they’ll have to deliver their evidence wrapped up in shiny paper. Joon Ho, as always defending his country’s pride, protests – will they give up so easily? So it seems, kid. Kwon ain’t happy either, but they’ll have to let go.
One that is particularly unhappy is Hye In, whose concerned eyes don’t go unnoticed by Jung Woo. Mmm, sizzling! His newly found instinct tells him he has to double check those CCTV records from the hospital. He captures a partial image (from nose up) of the kidnapper and puts it through a face recognition software.
(Didn’t they do this before?)
Anyway, on his way to the airport, Son Hyuk is retaken by his guys, as half of the supposedly good spies were Athena boys in fact. This was bound to happen, and Son Hyuk has his lovely first killings after being captured too! He must have had withdrawal symptoms.
Bring it on.
Good news is, Andy’s back too! Yay. Now, the universe is balanced again – the good guys are following strong clues, and our baddies are back in place, contemplating the world and how to destroy it.
After reviewing all of Hye In’s past interventions within the NTS, Jung Woo is ready to face his final challenge. He waits for her, by her car and calls her name. The real one.
Jung Woo: Yu Jin.
OMGOMGOMG!! I feel like I’ve been waiting for this episode for ages!
One can’t say that Athena is good in any objective way (it isn’t), but we’ve finally reached a point in which the game is ON (YEAHS!). This is what we wanted when the drama started, a ridiculously packed action drama that was fun and intriguing; with intelligent hot spies who know how to do their jobs and have crazy thingies that allow them to enter top secret places. The plot is shaky, the acting goes randomly from so-so to awful, there are lots of wasted opportunities for hilarity or development of some of the supporting casts; but may I go to hell if I say that this episode wasn’t full of excitement.
Jung Woo graduated from Spying School at last! I’m so proud of him, all of our suffering, our pains seeing him fail constantly, enduring that biatch’s betrayal, have led us to this final showdown. His stare is strong in contrast with hers, that seems like a scared kitty. HAH! Let’s see where this goes in the next episode, and whether he continues to grow into a useful agent.
What about Hye In, then? Now she’s as good as a dead person, found out by the NTS and insecure regarding her affiliation with Athena. She’s in despair, her cover blown out, her real name out in the open! Her reaction could be both interesting and unexpected, always keeping her prime objective – her own survival.
And, as a final observation, my favorite from this episode is Kwon. Oh, Kwon, he who seems like the omnipresent puppet master. From day one, he’s been that fairy godmother for Jung Woo, always trying to send him through the right path; and in general, the only sane person there but surrounded by idiots. He gives clues, cryptic glances and waits, he always waits for his team to do something right. He behaves as if he was only hoping for them to discover what he has already discovered. I like that, even when he’s not omnipresent and this is all my personal fabrication. His almost mystic presence fills me with joy because he talks as if he knew the ending to all this.
If things go as planned, Athena should pick up pretty quickly from now on, splattering its insanity all over the place.
Let the bloodbath begin!
- ATHENA: Episode 11
- ATHENA: Episode 10
- Kim So-yeon makes her appearance in Athena
- Athena accident puts broadcast at risk
- ATHENA: Episode 9
- ATHENA: Episode 8
- ATHENA: Episode 7
- ATHENA: Episode 6
- Behind the scenes on the set of Athena
- ATHENA: Episode 5
- ATHENA: Episode 4
- ATHENA: Episode 3
- ATHENA: Episode 2
- ATHENA: Episode 1