Drama Recaps
ATHENA: Episode 14
by | March 19, 2011 | 28 Comments

Hi all! Many apologies – but let’s get right on with the story, eh?

It’s kinda funny how I just started watching 9 End 2 Outs (thanks to girlfriday’s review, and on dramafever no less), so I think I can better appreciate Su Ae as an actress now… not that I ever thought she was terrible to begin with. It’s definitely fun to see her all girly and then all badass at once.

Hye In is escorted back to headquarters before Son Hyuk, who can’t help but show just how desperately he needs Hye In’s love: he absolutely abhors the fact that she’s willing to betray Athena for Jung Woo, and refuses to acknowledge aloud that she loves the good guy.

One more compassionate, traitorous move, and it’s over for her. Hye In calls out, “Oppa,” which freezes him in his tracks. She wants him to let her go, and we get that flashback of the two of them in Hawaii, with her asking Son Hyuk to take her in to Athena. Even though it’s dangerous, she wants to be with him. He had initially refused, but she had pleaded, and gotten her way.

Now she’s pleading again – but this time, for the two of them to leave Athena. They have too much blood on their hands and they can’t live with such guilt forever. But Son Hyuk is all, “I gotta make this worth it!” and rejects her offer.

Director Kwon reports the death of Han Jeong Pil to the President, and I laugh at the fact that the President can’t seem to pick a Cabinet clear of traitors. Kwon must investigate, but all they know so far is that there were two snipers at two different locations. He then goes to visit Jae Hee to comfort her, and to tell her that in the old days, her father wanted to be a field agent to protect his young daughter.

Those sentimental words don’t really work on Jae Hee – she just wants to know why the hell her dad joined Athena. She goes to the examination room, where his body is being prepped for autopsy, with the intent of “asking” her father what his excuse is, but instead she cries.

Round two of comforting: this time, it’s by Jung Woo. He’s terribly sorry for her father’s death – more out of guilt than sympathy – because the sniper was none other than Hye In. He feels responsible for not having arrested her in the first place. Yeah – that doesn’t make her feel much better.

Son Hyuk is already on to the next plan of attack: they will target the President as he heads to a meeting with the Saudi Arabians over nuclear technology. They will split up into four teams and have five minutes in total to get the President. Meanwhile, NTS is a few steps behind, having only concluded that Son Hyuk must still be in the country and with armed support.

Kim Ho Gyun meets with Secretary Choi to agree on working together with the nuclear technology. While Choi expresses her gratefulness, she calls up the President and informs him that Kim Ho Gyun is acting quite suspiciously. True that, sista! ‘Cause Kim is also calling Son Hyuk to tell him where his troops will be at during the day of the operation.

Chul Young is doing his own thing too, meeting with Ki Soo. He promises to take care of his mother, but in return, Ki Soo must do something very risky…

With his sniper rifle, Ki Soo murders Kim Ho Gyun as the general exits a building and heads for his car.

Though Ki Soo completes the task, he does need a few drinks to settle his nerves. Chul Young’s reasoning had been that Kim Ho Gyun was becoming more power-hungry, and that would not be good for North Korea. Good to know that Chul Young is still patriotic…despite his seeming lack of loyalty. When Son Hyuk receives word, he’s surprised but chooses to proceed with his operation as planned. It’s more grim when the President hears of the death, because now a North Korean official has died on South Korean soil.

OK – honestly, Sean Richard and Son Hyuk are the oddest coupling in this drama; they’re perfect for each other and in some ways I wonder if Sean Richard is in love with Son Hyuk. The character, not the actor.

Sean Richard sees that Son Hyuk is all broody and moody, and he knows that it’s all because of Hye In. So he visits her to report to her about Son Hyuk’s mood status. He says: “I’ve served with you two for so long but never encountered something like this. So I don’t know what to do.” (AHA! He’s the mediator in the relationship, the child going back and forth between his bickering parents.) He tells her that their last operation will soon be done. Hye In: “What last operation?”

Oooh – someone forgot to tell Mommy that Daddy was going to plan a murder without her.

Son Hyuk sends Cheol Gi on an urgent mission: as Jung Woo parks his car in an underground garage, Cheol Gi and another Athenian assault him with bullets. Hiding behind cars, Jung Woo waits for one of them to approach, and then he pins the guy against the car and steals his gun. He kills the Athenian and then fires after Cheol Gi, who makes his escape in his van. Yeah…Son Hyuk’s not gonna be pleased to find out that Jung Woo hasn’t died. Again.

Jung Woo brings the dead Athenian in to Sook Kyung for her autopsy, and then gives Joon Ho a phone memory card that belonged to the dead guy. It had a map on it, and he wants it analyzed. The map is of a part of a building, but it still needs to be narrowed down as to which building it is. Joon Ho also found an app on the phone that was last accessed at Incheon port, so he and Jung Woo head over.

Meanwhile the President must head out for his meeting with the Saudis. Since their cooperation with the North Koreans is now on precarious ground, he needs to make sure that his meeting with the Saudis goes well – even if it means going in with minimal security to instill trust. (God this President is ridiculously stubborn!) This is good news for Son Hyuk, and he commences the operation.

Jae Hee goes through her father’s belongings and finds in his planner GPS coordinates. She and another agent head over to the location.

Son Hyuk’s four teams arrive separately and meet up at Incheon Bridge. Guards? Son Hyuk shoots them down. Chief operator of the bridge? He’s shot too. The Athenians take over – the ambush team takes its place under the bridge, and the communications team sets up in the control center to jam any satellites. They all watch as the presidential convoy approaches the bridge.

At Incheon port, Joon Ho and Jung Woo wander around the rows of cargo. They have a clear view of Incheon Bridge, which sparks an idea within Jung Woo. He calls up NTS and asks for the tech lackeys to cross-reference the map with buildings in the Incheon Bridge area. It’s a match – and so the two J’s head to the bridge. That’s when they notice that the opposite lane has been blocked off (cleared for the president’s convoy). Now they have a clear idea of what Athena might be planning…

Back at headquarters, Hye In is literally in room arrest, as another agent brings her a meal. She attacks him, knocks him out, grabs her phone, and then does a running kick right into another agent heading her way. All the while barefoot, by the way.

Using the stolen phone, she sends a text (as “Yu Jin”) to Jung Woo about the planned assassination of President Jo. That’s enough of a confirmation, and he quickly informs NTS, who then informs the President’s secret service. But just as Hye In makes her way out of the headquarters, Jae Hee and her partner also arrive – and they arrest her.

The secret service agents want to get off the bridge, so they inform the cars up ahead to change track. However, it’s a bit too late, and Son Hyuk has all communication lines jammed. With no way of communicating with the people on the bridge, NTS and Secretary Choi send out all the troops.

The ambush team prepares to attack when Joon Ho speeds the car right onto the opposite lane, heading right for the president. Imagine Son Hyuk’s shock when he sees that it’s Jung Woo! again! thwarting his plan! (He really shouldn’t be surprised anymore…) Son Hyuk puts another agent in charge and chooses to go after Jung Woo himself.

A missile flies over and past Jung Woo’s car, and then hits the first black presidential car. The explosion creates a pile-up of all the cars behind it. Back at NTS, everyone’s eyes are glued onto the screen and they gasp at the sight.

The path blocked, the secret service agents rush out of their cars to protect the President as the ambush team approaches from behind and guns each one down. The ambush team slowly advance, checking each car for the President.

That’s when Jung Woo and Joon Ho finally arrive, and they start shooting at the Athenians. Son Hyuk and his men are also fast approaching the scene, and he orders for the command center to fire a missile into vehicle 1 – where the President is.

Jung Woo and Joon Ho spot the second missile launcher fly past them. Jung Woo advances to one of the cars and grabs a machine gun from an open trunk. He starts firing at the rocket in the distance, and though it’s not entirely accurate, his random bullets have managed to destroy the missile launcher’s controller and make the missile go off-track. Another car explodes instead. Jung Woo fires more bullets into the launcher, and it crashes into the dark waters.

Unfortunately, as this was all unfolding, the ambush team finally made it to vehicle 1. They set up a bomb on the window of the car and prepare to detonate. Jung Woo and Joon Ho catch up and shoot those Athenians down. But just when they think they’re good – Son Hyuk and his men arrive. More fighting!

It becomes personal though, with Son Hyuk and Jung Woo primarily shooting at each other (and missing). Then the Presidential helicopter arrives right next to the bridge and guns all of Son Hyuk’s men down. (I really had to laugh in awe at the grandiose and cheesiness of it all.)

Son Hyuk and Jung Woo shoot until they run out of bullets. They then reload while running towards each other, and get to each other at the same time, guns pointing at the other’s chest.

Son Hyuk: I can’t help but think we’ll hate each other for the rest of our lives. We have the worst fate possible.
Jung Woo: I don’t even care enough to hate you. It just hurts me to see that you ruined Yoon Hye In and her life.
Son Hyuk: Shut up. You’re not even worthy enough to pity her. She’s my responsibility. She’s my everything – and my heart.
Kaedejun: Ooh, so is this how tragic badass agents confess their deep love?
Jung Woo: Your heart…without a soul!
Kaedejun: What kind of comeback is that?!

BAM! They shoot each other in the chest. Both stumble at the impact, but they now have a choice on what to do next. Instead of shooting Jung Woo, Son Hyuk chooses to throw himself over the bridge. He falls a gazillion stories into the dark waters as Jung Woo futilely shoots into the water.

And Son Hyuk is unconscious and underwater.


For an episode that was delayed due to Jung Woo Sung and Jung Chan Woo’s (Cheol Gi) injuries, it sure as hell was action packed. And worth the wait. In fact, it moved kind of quickly. I’m disappointed that NTS spends so much time not knowing what to look for when hunting down Athena. Usually they seem to need a physical clue or an encounter with an Athenian to figure out what the organization is planning next. Boo, NTS, boo. What would you do if you didn’t have phones? Hye In would never be able to text you, and you’d never find out what apps the baddies were using.

Otherwise, I’m really happy with the action (’cause if you don’t know it already, I’m an action-thriller-junkie). I wish there were more Ki Soo though – and a better reason to kill Kim Ho Gyun. That plot line came out of left field, and Chul Young hasn’t been developed well enough on ATHENA to be able to use such a flimsy excuse of, “Oh, he was greedy so I decided to off him” and make it work.

What a cutie…


28 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. stars4u

    I loved Su Ae in 9 Ends 2 Outs which is the reason that had me anticipating for Athena and Jung Woo-sung was also on board!

  2. ginnie

    Thanks much. Glad to see the continuation.

  3. mrskimchee

    thanks for your cont to recap…
    it’s been a while since i watched this episode……i still felt that they could have done much more for this drama..it’s getting intense towards the end..but i guess too little too late….

  4. Birdie

    I guess you will want to finish recapping this drama. To be honest, Athena is such a waste of talent and time and money.

  5. BellaMafia

    I need people’s opinion. My friend and I had an argument. She said Jung Woo Sung can’t act in this drama. However, I (as a big fan of JWS) thought he did a good job. Althought I think Cha Seung Won’s acting overshadowed JWS, still he did a good job.
    What do you think?

    • 5.1 luraaa

      I’m shocked. I haven’t started watching Athena yet, so I can’t really measure how good Jung Woo Sung is in this drama.

      Here’s what I ask myself though to gauge my fave actors: Are their characters believable enough? Let’s say with Su Ae, for example. I’ve seen her in 9ends 2 outs way before Athena and I loved her in it. While in Athena, she completely changed to a cold-blooded, apathetic but vulnerable agent. And she still amazes me. What about Cha Seung Won? Saw him in City Hall; not the best character I’ve met, but good enough for Shin Mi Rae (I’m not bashing Jo Guk; I’m just saying that his character didn’t appeal to me much although he was more multi-faceted than Mi Rae). As an actor in that drama? He embodied Jo Guk.

      Now on to my ahjusshi. Saw him years ago in A Moment to Remember, LOVED him. That rough but sweet carpenter who loved Son Ye Jin’s character? Rawr. Saw him in Daisy, meh. I guess I expected too much from the movie because of Jeon Ji Hyun and him, but it was below my expectations. So here in Athena he plays a lovesick agent. Seen a few clips of episodes, and yes, I did find him annoying at times. BUT! That doesn’t mean that he IS annoying. It just means that he’s convincing enough to play that role because he makes me want to pull my hair out. So again, as a Jung Woo Sung fan since 2005, yes, he is a good actor. And no, it’s not his fault if his character annoys your friend. All I can say is: Blame it on the writer. And director even. Or the editor. But not the actors. Because really? Athena’s cast is not your average group of actors (Well, except for Lee Jia and Choi Si Won, but they’re doing well too I think.).

      All I can say is: make her watch another Jung Woo Sung movie or drama. Try A Moment to Remember. Seen it five times, and it still brings tears to my eyes. It’s that good. The actors are that good. Damn.

    • 5.2 belleza

      CSW is one of the most versatile actors in Chungmuro (so much so, that he hasn’t really featured his REAL talent — pure, wacky comedy.) The Hong Sisters have been gifted a true asset. The villain role in thrillers is always meatier, and he plays it full tilt as a Johnny Depp-style rogue.

      His chemistry with Soo Ae is awesome. It’s a completely different vibe than the charmed playfullness opposite Kim Sun Ah. Opposite Soo Ae, he flirts with a regard whose intensity is scary, and Soo Ae instinctively plays off it. There’s a compelling intimacy there, but it flirts with a possessive, passive aggressive energy that threatens to erupt into domestic violence.

      JWS has been solid (though not great), but his character seems to have fell victim to live shoot syndrome. At times, he seems not sure whether to play the character as an intense superhero type, or a cool regular guy. His early scenes with Soo Ae were charming in all of his flirtatious glory, but the more dramatic turn reveals so-so chemistry between them. They seem at times off in their own little emotional spaces when they act opposite each other.

      That said, JWS has a kind of balletic elegance in the action scenes. It’s really beautiful to watch him play with his gun. Hee hee.

      Part of the problem is that, though Soo Ae is known as a Queen of Tears melodrama type, she’s actually a lot like Lee Yo Won in her slightly cold-duck chemistry with guys. Her chemistry with Song Il Guk (Emperor of the Sea) worked because SiG himself can be fabulously emotive from a reserved, repressed stance. Her chemistry with Lee Jung Jin worked because they built so much good will from 9 End 2 Out’s comedic repartee. JWS’s character projects a solid, serious but rather generic longing for Soo Ae’s character, whereas CSW and Soo Ae do something similar to SiG/Soo Ae pairing in conveying so many things unsaid.

      • 5.2.1 Pat

        I agree with the vibe comments 100%

    • 5.3 girlfriday

      I think Su Ae ROCKED the badass assassin thing, and that she was the standout actor in the bunch. Jung Woo-sung was a little understated (or sleepy), and Cha Seung-won was a little overstated (or drunk on fake power), so take your pick with those two.

      But they’re both just the right amount of hot. And that’s what matters. 😉

      • 5.3.1 alex

        I totally agree with you for the actors . Athena was just a pleasant out of reality drama with so much eye candy – and such a bad writer : inconsistant dialogues !

    • 5.4 BellaMafia

      JWS is definitely a good actor. But the writer (and the director).. gahhh.. When I watched Athena, sometimes I got confused, who is the main lead? JWS’s screen time is so little compare to CSW. Even director Kwon shows up more than him! (and he’s not even on the poster!). I remember IRIS, Lee Byun Hun was like on every scene.. you can feel that he’s definitely the main lead. But Athena.. what a waste of actors’ talents. Well.. at least, JWS got something out of this drama… (or more like ‘someone’).. lol.

    • 5.5 elle loves kdrama

      I thought JWS did really good too. Until ep 13- 14, it was hard to believe he was the main lead, but CSW seemed to take over that role (not that I am complaining… CSW = HOT). But he picked up from there, and really brought it.

    • 5.6 Biscuit

      I don’t think it’s that either are poor actors, but the characters themselves are written very badly with so many flaws that it seem JWS doesn’t really know what to do with JW.

      It’s not that he’s not a good actor, but you can’t blame him when Jung Woo is the most flawed and ridiculous agent in the entire history of agents in a drama. He doesn’t even belong in Runaway.

      CSW seems to be more skilled and can make Son Hyuk more compelling despite the fact that Son Hyuk is becoming crazier and a complete madman.

      It’s like CSW is going with the flow. “If Son Hyuk is becoming more insane, then I’ll just be more insane.”

      At least Son Hyuk is going in one direction while Jung Woo is like a bipolar bunny, whose hopping in every direction from idiot to expert agent, then back to the man with cheesy comebacks that ruined that supposedly climatic action scene with his enemy. GAH.

      It’s like the situation with MFL. Yeah, some could have done better. But you have to pity their souls for dealing with all the chaos and not able to back out.

  6. slovly

    Good drama!

  7. mrskimchee

    at least one good thing came out from this!!
    love is on the air for the athena couple! ^_^


  8. mary

    I was going to post an articulate reply until I got to the last screencap.


    Now I forgot everything.

    • 8.1 Denali

      Same here.

      Still, thanks, Kaedejun! 😀

  9. Rachel

    Something random (or not): Congrats on JWS + LJA couple. Another JDG + GSY?

  10. 10 Sojuboy

    You guys really need to see Emperor of the Sea, National moment highlight. What made Su Ae really famous.


  11. 11 Dreamer

    It’s really too bad that Athena turned out as a disappointment. I can’t be sure if it’s the story that makes the cast look bad or the cast that ruin the story. But Athena definitly doesn’t work for me. The free-falling ratings is the obvious evidence. I’d like to see Su Ae in another sageuk as she’s awesome in Emperor of the Sea.

    • 11.1 Pat

      It was definitely the where are we? writing that made no logical sence that an actor could find by himself. Director?
      editor? not good either. But this is the least capable “caper”
      drama ever. Feel bad for the actors slogging thru cheese on their own:(

  12. 12 elle loves kdrama

    Thanks for the recap! I love your commentary. A couple of my favorite ones:

    -“I wonder if Sean Richard is in love with Son Hyuk”

    Here I thought I was the only feeling that way! HA!

    -“Kaedejun: Ooh, so is this how tragic badass agents confess their deep love?”

    BWAAAAHAAA! That’s priceless! I love it.

  13. 13 myweithisway

    How funny, I’m watching 9 Ends 2 Outs on Dramafever too after reading girlfriday’s recommendation! I love it, so many things about it hit the right notes <3

  14. 14 jojo

    Kaedejun…enjoying the recaps even tho’ I’ve already finished the series. (was a bit disappointed) However, agree that Choi Siwon IS a cutie and he can sing.

  15. 15 dramafan88

    🙂 Love your last pic. of the cutie Siwon. He fires the gun with good intensity… 😀 hawt!

  16. 16 Jennifer

    I was all serious reading your recap and at the last part Siwon’s pic showed up and I TOTALLY AGREE that he’s such a cutie in this series. I just wished they gave him more action though..so far Siwon’s action scenes were at epi 8 and this one.

    I also wished there was more of KIM KISOO.

  17. 17 antonia

    I’m really behind on athena because Best Love.
    anyway i love episode 14, so much action!!!! i love all CSW scenes (sigh)
    i also think sean richard loves Son Hyuk, but why he told Hye In about the plan?
    Kaedejun: Ooh, so is this how tragic badass agents confess their deep love?
    Jung Woo: Your heart…without a soul!
    Kaedejun: What kind of comeback is that?!


    • 17.1 antonia

      btw i don’t blame sean richard for loving SH. who wouldn’t love him??? man or woman???
      totally understand him

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