ATHENA: Episode 16
I have nothing to preface this episode, save for this song:
What Should Be Son Hyuk’s Anthem:
“Let Go” by Frou Frou [download]
Son Hyuk is becoming obsessed – he’s doing so much for one gal. Really, it’s the grand gesture. Unfortunately, Director Kwon can’t help him complete it – Hye In is no longer under NTS control, and therefore he can’t just hand her over like that. Son Hyuk is all, “So what? Find a way to get her then.”
The female Athenian goes around NTS to search for Hye In (by herself) and forces everyone out of their respective offices with only her gun. Sook Kyung takes the opportunity to grab her tiny “bug” bug as she walks out. The Athenian continues her search but can’t locate Hye In thanks to Jae Hee’s quick maneuvering. She calls up Jung Woo while in hiding and informs him that NTS is under attack by Sean Richard and his bombs.
Jung Woo rushes over from his meeting with Chul Young and calls for backup. He’s only got ten minutes; after that, Son Hyuk is either expecting Hye In or NTS will be blown up. Director Kwon is trying to say that he will never negotiate with terrorists, but unfortunately, he’s got a lot of lives in his hands. Son Hyuk even plays to everyone’s fears, saying that they’re all secretly hoping that Director Kwon die alone if someone must die.
Hye In wants to turn herself in but Jae Hee refuses to let her go. (Another one who “refuses to negotiate with terrorists.”) Time is being wasted, as everyone only has three minutes left. Seeing everyone’s fearful faces, Kwon gives in – but he will need more time since she’s not in NTS location. Son Hyuk’s response: “You have 2 minutes and 30 seconds (left).”
As Jae Hee works on overriding the system shutdown, Hye In sneakily turns on the feed of the Situation Room on one of the monitors. She sees Son Hyuk’s looming face over everyone else and makes a run for it. With ten seconds left, she arrives at the Situation Room. Ah well – totally blew Kwon’s lie. With a pointed stare at Sean Richard, Hye In approaches the big screen and willingly gives herself up to Son Hyuk – as long as he stops it.
But Son Hyuk isn’t that generous. Sean Richard will give his bomb vest to one of the NTS employees to wear – a form of insurance until Hye In is in his hands. Jae Hee volunteers, but Son Hyuk says no, perhaps as a form of kindness considering they did have a nice night together… He suggests Sook Kyung, but Jae Hee is adamant that she wear it. Son Hyuk: “Well, if you want it that badly…” She can wear it, but if she moves a muscle, the motion-activated bomb will go off.
Son Hyuk will continue to watch them through the monitors, so none of them better try to do something stupid. Sean Richard and the female Athenian take Hye In away, and Sook Kyung discreetly pats her shoulder as she passes, planting the bug on her shoulder. (Umm, it’s a bronze bug, and her coat is beige…obvious much?)
Sean Richard enlists Sung Chul at gunpoint to be their getaway driver. (I love how despite his evil loyalties, he’s always so respectful to Hye In.) The lockdown is temporarily disabled to let the car out, and they are greeted by a bunch of SWAT team members, headed by Joon Ho, who are stationed outside the iron gate. Kwon orders him to let them through.
Kwon turns on an app on his phone that’s sort of like a travel guide around Seoul. Except, it’s really a coded message to one of his black agents – the awesome Chu Sang Hoon, who didn’t exactly die from the poisoned dart. One of his eyes has turned milky white instead. Wooh! Rematch time?!
Son Hyuk gleefully announces that he’s won this round, and then shuts off the big screen. Though he says he’s still watching them, in reality he leaves it all to his underling to keep tabs on the NTS.
Ki Soo meets with Chul Young again, and is surprised to hear that the mastermind of the assassination is investigating his own crime. Chul Young knew South Korea would blame it all on Athena, but what he didn’t expect was that Kim Ho Gyun really was working with Athena. They can’t let it be known that Kim was part of the plan to assassinate the president, because that will just put North Korea in a bad spot.
Jung Woo finally arrives on scene and has Joon Ho help him get in touch with Director Kwon. He’s on speaker phone, so Jae Hee yells at him to go after Hye In. Kwon has Jung Woo work with other agencies to resolve the problem, orders the Situation Room team to work on bringing the system back on line, and sends everyone else (who aren’t agents) to the fallout shelter. The agents are reluctant to gather the employees (leaving the important people defenseless) but they go anyways.
When Son Hyuk receives word that NTS is planning on something, he’s pretty chill about it. He thinks they can’t do anything as long as the lock down is in effect. (Don’t count your chickens before they hatch!)
Jung Woo manages to track the getaway car to right outside a train station. Sean Richard sends the female Athenian and Hye In ahead so that he can deal with Sung Chul. He’s about to kill Sung Chul when Hye In stops him. OK – change of plans; since he can’t disobey his Mistress, he dumps Sung Chul in the trunk along with the second bomb vest.
Sook Kyung contacts Joon Ho and Jung Woo about the bug that she activated. The bug provides a live video feed and Jung Woo recognizes the subway station that Hye In is being brought to. He heads right on over, but Sean Richard belatedly realizes that Hye In is bugged and removes it off her back as they board the train. Jung Woo misses the train by seconds.
He notices the car outside and hears banging from the trunk. It’s Sung Chul: “I never thought I’d be this happy to see you! I don’t think this [bomb] has a motion sensor – I’ve been moving around here quite a bit.” Hehe – rely on Sung Chul for some comic relief.
Joon Ho figures out a way to restore the NTS servers by using a few old connections that weren’t upgraded to the latest system. He heads over to the basements to reconnect the lines.
Meanwhile, agents stationed at the next train stop try to search for Hye In and company, but they’re not on the train. They learn that the train was stopped in transit; through the tunnels, Hye In is led to the rest of the Athenian “welcome crew.” As they bring her up to meet Son Hyuk, they are greeted by someone else – Chu Sang Hoon, who’s found their secret underground route first. The team splits up, half fighting Chu (who’s beating their asses 1-against-5) and half leading Hye In to safety. Three Athenians take him on, but Chu easily knocks them all out.
In a form of trying to get viewer sympathy (and realizing that Athena is a brotherhood as well), one of the Athenians running away goes back to help his dongsaeng, Yong Woo. Yong Woo is the only one left who’s fighting Chu, and thankfully Jung Woo arrives on time to shoot down a revived agent. Jung Woo aims to shoot Yong Woo, but Chu spots the other Athenian behind him first. He throws Yong Woo away and using himself as a shield, Chu protects himself from the Athenian’s numerous bullets. Sean Richard had to drag the other agent away.
Jung Woo has no idea who Chu is, other than the fact that he saved his life, and calls for paramedics. He chases after Sean Richard, telling Chu to hang tight. Yeah – after the guy’s been riddled with bullets all over his back? I think not. Chu spends his dying last breath to call Kwon, apologizing for not being completely successful, but also thanking him for everything.
Sung Chul picks up Jung Woo to go after Hye In, having seen where they were all headed to in a van. In the car, Hye In discreetly dials Jung Woo’s number and leaves it on so that he can hear what the others in the car are saying. It’s the only way Jung Woo knows to head over to Masan.
Joon Ho successfully restores the servers so Kwon has the IT geniuses loop the video to trick the Athenian watching them. Once done, they lift the lock down and Kwon orders for all the employees to be brought out while the bomb squad comes in to defuse Jae Hee’s vest. Joon Ho finally comes into the situation room and sees the bomb; of course he kinda freaks out that she put herself in such danger.
The bomb squad and Sook Kyung are trying to figure out how to defuse the bomb, which is far more intricate and complicated than it seems. And guess who joins the team late in the game!? It’s none other than Changmin as Choi Tae Hyun, an NIS agent specializing in bombs and a fellow trainee with Joon Ho.
Kwon then orders everyone left to be evacuated and has Chul Ho go with them (even though Chul Ho plays the Loyal Dog card and refuses to leave without Kwon). Of course, Joon Ho won’t go – he needs to be with his unrequited love. Tae Hyun figures that if they can freeze the sync signal with the remote, they can also cool down the motion sensor. Once done, they can clip the necessary wires to defuse it. It’ll be difficult because everything must be timed perfectly, and they are also running out of time because Hye In just arrived at the distribution warehouse where Son Hyuk is waiting.
Jung Woo and Sung Chul arrive at the warehouse a little later, and are greeted by Ki Soo. (Sung Chul had informed Ki Soo of the day’s events while waiting around for Jung Woo at the subway.) Jung Woo pairs the two of them together, but Ki Soo wants a gun too. He ain’t goin’ in there unarmed!
Hye In pleads with Son Hyuk to once again stop. This causes Son Hyuk to wonder if he kidnapped her, or saved her. Hye In says she no longer wants to kill for her “dreams,” which have become nightmares. Son Hyuk threatens her: if she doesn’t go with him now, two bombs will go kaboom!
Clippers at the ready, the agents in NTS prepare to freeze the sync signal. Back at the train station where the other bomb vest is, the SWAT and Bomb Disposal teams are trying to push bystanders far from the scene. (Look, I know it’s interesting and all that, but if a bomb is about to go off, shouldn’t you be running the other way instead of craning your necks to watch!?)
Ki Soo and Jung Woo take down a couple of agents quietly by snapping their necks, but one of them catches Jung Woo and he is forced to shoot the man down. The shot echoes throughout the building, alerting Son Hyuk, and Sean Richard leaps into action, looking for the intruders. As another agent runs past Hye In, she twists his arm, knocks him down, takes his gun, and aims it at Son Hyuk.
She asks for the remote control. He steps closer to her until the nozzle is right up against his chest, and tells her to shoot. Hye In can’t do that. Jung Woo witnesses this and takes this moment to slam Son Hyuk down. The remote flies out of his hands and they stare; Son Hyuk grabs it first.
Tae Hyun counts down… Sook Kyung sprays a freezing gas at the signal… Son Hyuk and Jung Woo are at a standstill… Son Hyuk laughs and presses the remote button… Tae Hyun cuts the cord just before the signal goes through… and the bomb at the train station goes off.
While Joon Ho, Kwon, and Sook Kyung are admiring Tae Hyun for being their savior, Jung Woo leaps and grabs Hye In out as Son Hyuk takes out his gun. Sung Chul acts as backup, shooting at Son Hyuk while Jung Woo gets away. He orders for Sung Chul and Ki Soo to take Hye In out, and he follows as their backup.
Jae Hee is completely shaken from the experience, and it’s even worse when they hear that just as they had defused the bomb, Son Hyuk had pressed the remote button. The casualty is high.
As they’re getting away, Ki Soo wants Sung Chul to go ahead and clear the way while he guards Hye In. Sung Chul is mad nervous about that, but he goes ahead. Just as he rounds a corner, he is stabbed in the guts by Son Hyuk – right in front of Hye In and Ki Soo. Son Hyuk raises his gun to shoot Ki Soo, but Hye In is in the way. She approaches him slowly, shocked at the murder, and says, “I’d rather have you shoot me.” Sean Richard appears from behind and drags Son Hyuk away, letting Sung Chul fall.
Finally, the other field agents arrive and ambush the Athenian guards. Sean Richard and a few agents left manage to get Son Hyuk in a car and out of the warehouse.
Sung Chul sputters out blood in Ki Soo’s arms, and with his dying breath he asks for Ki Soo to keep his promise: to take care of his children back in Canada. He then addresses Jung Woo, thanking him for putting up with an oldie like him and advising him to be less reckless as an agent. And with that, he dies.
I think what made this episode entirely interesting for me were all the improbabilities and ridiculousness that occurred. I found it ridiculous that an Athena agent could not recognize a looped video as if he had never seen one; that Joon Ho solely restored the servers of NTS; that no one noticed the bright orange bug on Hye In’s shoulder; that no one realized she was fiddling on her phone to keep her connected with Jung Woo (shouldn’t you have confiscated it first!?); or that the audience would totally believe Changmin is a bomb expert because he doesn’t look baby-faced enough. I mean really – Choi Siwon had more episodes to prove to me that he was kick-ass; Changmin shows up and all of a sudden says: “That bomb is multi-layered and hard to dismantle.” And is deemed a genius. Well, no shit, Sherlock!
But I’ve cut a lot of slack for the drama already. After all, since we no longer have that nuclear scientist to throw around (kidnapping left and right by the good and bad guys), we need another person – which is now Hye In. One nice surprise was the reappearance of Chu Sang Hoon (though I’m sorely disappointed he didn’t get to face off Cha Seung Won; perhaps Cha was tired?), and the death of Sung Chul. It’s about time someone somewhat important died.
By the way – the episode doesn’t really end with Sung Chul’s death. It’s got a little more, but like I said – Athena has immensely long recaps at the beginning of the next episode that covers the last five minutes of the previous one. I’m just trying to give the series a better episode cliffhanger than it really offers. It’s a shame – it’s a spy series that doesn’t know how to keep the suspense.
- ATHENA: Episode 15
- ATHENA: Episode 14
- ATHENA: Episode 13
- ATHENA: Episode 12
- 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