Hero: Episode 8
This episode is epic! Since it’s near the end of the series, episodes 7-9 are all connected in that things accelerate to the final showdown. What may have been passed off as “Just another job for vigilante Heuk Chul!” in episode 7 ended up pushing the plot forward to a thrilling end – or what I hope will be a thrilling end. Time to wrap up some loose ends with “Endgame Part 1: Encounter with the Enemy.”
Yi On’s gun is aimed at Heuk Chul’s neck as she accuses him of killing the Chief Director of the TX Group lab. She has him put his hands up, and then reaches over to cuff him. Like Heuk Chul’s gonna let that happen. He twists her arm away, pushes her on the sofa, and slides down the stairs. Yi On chases him outside the building while Jae In watches the scene unfold.
She catches Heuk Chul a little ways away and orders him to freeze. Heuk Chul maintains his innocence, but then ducks off before she can shoot. He hides behind a truck, and then sneaks a peek. Yi On is gone. Well yeah – ’cause she’s right behind you!
He grabs the gun and throws it away: “Uh oh.” She fires back with spinning kicks and punches, but Heuk Chul is too fast for her. Literally – since he does have supernatural speed. I’m just gleeing over the fact that it’s a Heuk Chul versus Yi On showdown right now! She finally manages to lock him down on the floor and gets on top of him, wrestling with his arms to handcuff him. Had they been lovers, I could have written the exact same line, but with a different connotation.
Out of the corner of his eye, Heuk Chul spies Jae In striding forth, gun aimed at Yi On. He knocks her to the side to protect her from getting hit, and then goes after Jae In. Oh my God – this scene just went crazy with spinning kicks flying at each other and Heuk Chul running all around him to confuse him. Since Jae In has powers too, he times his strike to when Heuk Chul aims for him, and manages to knock Heuk Chul down.
Yi On sees Heuk Chul gasping. Jae In sees Yi On. Jae In sees Heuk Chul. Heuk Chul sees Jae In. Yi On sees Jae In heading for Heuk Chul… and cuts in between. He’s mine! she’s practically telling Jae In.
Jae In pauses. Yi On and Heuk Chul look at each other. Yep – guess you’re on the same side. And they start attacking Jae In, 2-to-1. Oh my God – now THIS is a fight! Together they manage to land a few blows on Jae In, so he pulls out a knife. Aw – that’s cheating. Heuk Chul attacks and blocks Jae In’s knife from stabbing him. But then Jae In drops the knife to his other, free hand, and stabs Heuk Chul right in the abdomen. Ooh – that’s bad.
Heuk Chul falls, and Yi On looks nervously at Jae In. Now she has to face him by herself. Jae In slashes her in the arm, and so she backs up until she’s closer to her gun. She dives for the gun, then fires several shots into Jae In. He falls…. for now.
Yi On goes over to check on Heuk Chul, who’s completely keeled over in pain. She unmasks him, because she can, and gasps at the shock of seeing that it is Heuk Chul.
But the threat isn’t over yet. Jae In gets up and picks up his gun. I swear, he must have the most advanced super powers out of everyone because he heals faster and doesn’t get the black veins on his face. Heuk Chul tries to warn Yi On to be careful, but it’s too late – Jae In’s gun is already on him.
A black van comes charging up towards Jae In, and the assassin catapults into the air. The mercenaries exit from the car, and in the second shocker of the night for Yi On, she finds herself face to face with her brother, Oh Tu. Without much time to explain, Oh Tu drags Heuk Chul into the car and they all drive off.
The coroner and police arrive at the Chief Director’s apartment to pick up the body. Myung Chul goes to the scene of the crime and smiles – this vigilante has officially screwed himself over with this murder. Dong Min desperately tries to reach Heuk Chul on the phone, worried sick, but Heuk Chul’s in safe hands. Oh Tu brings him back to their safe house and grabs a vaccine. One of his team members try to stop him, as they only have 5 vials left – enough for one for each team member. But Oh Tu isn’t going to sacrifice one man’s life this way.
Yi On freaks out at watching black veins cover Heuk Chul’s entire body and him writhing in pain. Oh Tu stabs him with the needle and injects the vaccine. It doesn’t look like it’s making anything better though, as Heuk Chul bolts upright like Frankenstein and then screams in pain. Yi On is absolutely horrified at the turn of events, but then suddenly, Heuk Chul’s wound starts to heal. The veins slowly disappear, and Heuk Chul calms down.
Yi On: What is this?
Oh Tu: It maximizes the proliferation of regenerative cells. It’s a nano-shot.
Young Joon accompanies Myung Chul to the scene of the fight between Jae In and Heuk Chul and Yi On. No one is there anymore, but Myung Chul finds the mask lying in a pool of blood.
That evening, Oh Tu gets some fresh air while rubbing the soreness in his arm. Black veins have begun creeping up his arm, but he’s been hiding it the entire time. He flashes back to when he was still part of the military as a soldier. The Chief Director had been present, making notes as Oh Tu was injected with the nano-shot serum. He and some of his other team members were the guinea pigs, and they tested it out by getting into life or death battles. No matter how many times Oh Tu was slashed or cut, he managed to regenerate enough cells to heal. His sparring partner on the other hand? He lost and had his neck sliced through.
While the Chief Director was pleased by such results, there were dangerous side effects too. Oh Tu woke up one morning to find one of his mates lying still on the bed, black veins covering his entire body, dead.
The same fate may befall on Oh Tu, but for now, he’s keeping it under wraps. Meanwhile another team member comes out of the safe house, and discreetly plants a GPS device. It connects to Jae In, who now knows where they’re all hiding. Traitor! Jae In has a team be assembled at short notice to take them all out once and for all.
Yi On comes out for a little private chat with her brother. She’s angry at him for never having kept in touch, but Oh Tu explains that he was under a really secret operation. He had to pretend he was dead to ensure the secrecy of the program. But since everything is coming to an end, hopefully he’ll be able to come back to Yi On, and be a good older brother to her.
Myung Chul reminds his father that it’s time to act, as they’re running out of time. He presses his father to “do the right thing” for the city of Muyeong, and I finally see that Mayor Kim could very possibly be afraid of his own son’s ambitions.
Heuk Chul wakes up in sweat, recovered fully from his wounds, but still reeling from the shock of his weird dream. He was in darkness when a light flashed before his eyes, and his father appeared from the light. As his father approached ever closer, Heuk Chul found himself in greater pain, and the black veins covered his face again. Well if that weren’t a literal interpretation of “Your father’s bad for you,” I don’t know what is.
He finds himself in the hideout, and Oh Tu’s right hand man demands for the storage device that has the files Heuk Chul stole. Heuk Chul observes them rigging up bombs around the place, and calmly says he destroyed the device. Well that doesn’t make the right-hand man very happy, and he draws his gun on Heuk Chul.
Meanwhile, one of the team members goes outside to find Jae In and his men already there, ready for assault.
Oh Tu and Yi On return to find Heuk Chul staring down the barrel of a gun. He stops their argument and orders for plan B, since the files are lost. Suddenly the lights turn off and gas canisters are thrown into the room. Oh Tu orders all of them to get out through their escape hatch; he knows it’s Jae In, who also goes by the alias Ryohei. Jae In and his men start firing inside, but they miss them escaping. Then the bombs start beeping, and the countdown begins from five seconds.
The entire hideout blows up.
By morning, Yi On and Heuk Chul are driving off into the distance, just the two of them. Oh Tu had given his little sister the key to one of the cars and made her run. He would stay with his men and leave separately – and hopefully, both parties would be safe. Of course, Yi On is still concerned over her brother’s well-being, and she eventually pulls over for some fresh air and thinking.
Heuk Chul joins her, and she remembers that he’s still a suspect for the death of the Chief Director of TX Labs. Of course it’s not him, but Heuk Chul is more interested in how Jae In and Oh Tu are connected, since both appeared in the same place. He also recognizes Jae In as the man who killed Kyung Ho. Yi On calls her brother a hero, while Heuk Chul is just a vigilante having fun to her. She clamps a handcuff on one of his wrists, and he stops her – doesn’t she realize that the man who killed Kyung Ho and so many other people is now after her brother? He wants to get to the bottom of it all, so she can’t arrest him yet.
If she really wants to, she can arrest him after they get Jae In. After all, doesn’t she want to nab him too?
Heuk Chul returns to his bat cave, where his “nagging mom” Dong Min berates him for not calling and for coming home so late. And then, Yi On follows right after. Dong Min is shell-shocked – how much did she overhear? And why is a cop in their secret headquarters? Yi On comments on how well-equipped they are, and Heuk Chul adds that Dong Min is a genius hacker. Dong Min laughs it off, trying not to appear criminal in front of a cop of all people. Heh. But Heuk Chul says that Yi On knows everything, and she’s working with them for now.
Myung Chul gives the rest of the police team direct orders to kill their masked vigilante on sight, especially since he’s wanted for the murder of Chief Director, and perhaps more people. Yikes. Knowing that Yi On is out searching for their “Idiot” vigilante, he desperately tries to contact her, but to no avail. When Myung Chul asks where she is, he lies that she’s out sick, as her job is on the line too.
Dong Min manages to dig up Jae In’s past. He’s got several aliases and was active all throughout Asia as an assassin. He was caught and shot down by Interpol in Muyeong, so he’s actually dead. Well – Heuk Chul and Yi On would beg to differ on that point. They don’t have leads on who hired Jae In, but Yi On does have a guess on who might have. Heuk Chul would have to face a very harsh truth if he wants to know who’s giving Jae In orders though.
Yi On contacts Young Joon to let him know that she’s OK. She wants his help in going after their “Idiot” and says that she’s near him. (Yeah – he’s sitting on the sofa beside her.) When she calls him again, she’ll be requesting back up so they can nab him. Young Joon will help her, right? Before Young Joon can protest, she hangs up.
Apparently, the plan is to give Young Joon a false location to then leak to Myung Chul. If Jae In shows up at the particular location instead of backup cops, then they know that Myung Chul is the man ordering Jae In around. Heuk Chul is confident their plan can work because Young Joon is weak, and he’ll always end up following his superiors.
Heuk Chul is right! Young Joon heads over to Myung Chul’s office and admits that Yi On is on her own chasing after the vigilante. He says that she’ll have the location of where the vigilante is soon, and speak of the devil, she texts him. The location is the District 13 junkyard. Myung Chul digests the information, and then dismisses Young Joon, saying he’ll take care of it. Trusting Young Joon leaves it at that. He does try to beg leniency towards Yi On, since she isn’t trying to do anything wrong by acting solo, but Myung Chul just glares at him. Dismissed is dismissed!
Yi On and Heuk Chul are quietly waiting at District 13’s junkyard. She wonders why Heuk Chul is troubling himself with the matters of the poor citizens when he comes from a place of power and wealth. For Heuk Chul, he was just bored, and he never fit in with his family. When he got his second chance at life, he saw the world with greater clarity and he decided that he could no longer ignore the injustice. Though his actions may eventually hurt his own family, that’s the risk he’s willing to take.
I don’t think he’s fully processed the impact it would have, but at least he knows it exists.
Jae In arrives at the junkyard – in one piece since the hideout’s explosion – and immediately searches for Yi On and Heuk Chul. He notices shadows inside a junk car, but they’re just mannequins.
A forklift rumbles behind him, manned by Heuk Chul. It carries a large sedan and drives straight for Jae In. Yi On is hiding behind the lift, shooting at Jae In as well. Heuk Chul then drops the entire car right on top of Jae In: “That must hurt.” Haha!
Yi On and Heuk Chul drag Jae In out from under the car and begin questioning him on why he killed all those innocent people. Of course, Jae In won’t tell, so Heuk Chul drags a piece of carrot – isn’t Jae In curious to know who he is? Jae In scoffs, so Heuk Chul slowly removes his mask. Jae In’s eyes widen when he realizes that his enemy is the mayor’s son.
Dong Min gets a surprise guest in Hyuk Kyu, who not only knew where the bat cave was, but he also wanted to know where Heuk Chul is. Meanwhile, Oh Tu and his men are in the process of plan B. As Mayor Kim prepares for an evening news conference to announce what his future plans for the city are, Oh Tu and his men enter the press conference disguised as a journalist crew and security guards. They plant bombs throughout the building before making their way into the press conference.
Jae In asks if Heuk Chul can handle the truth: the one behind all the murders is really Mayor Kim Hoon. Heuk Chul reels from shock; I thought Heuk Chul already knew his father was the enemy, but I guess nothing is the same as hearing it so baldly as fact.
Oh Tu and his men set up their cameras and wait for Mayor Kim to arrive. His speech is televised throughout all of Muyeong, and he announces that he will transform the Special District into an international business district. It’s a redevelopment project, but one that probably also razes the entire district to the ground with no care for the residents there.
Heuk Chul and Yi On watch this speech on the big screen from the distance, but Jae In also points out something to both of them: If Mayor Kim wants this redevelopment project, what could possibly be his brother’s side game? The enemy isn’t just Mayor Kim; it’s also his brother Myung Chul.
Just then, Oh Tu interrupts the speech and announces his presence. Yi On gasps at the sight of her brother at the press conference – clearly things aren’t going to end well. Oh Tu calls Mayor Kim a liar and explains that there are bombs throughout the building – including the one strapped to his chest. If Mayor Kim utters one more lie, Jae In will blow up the bombs one by one to reveal the truth.
Well – as if this couldn’t get any more complicated!
It’s as though Myung Chul and Mayor Kim switched places on the evil scale, where Myung Chul is pulling the strings to get what he wants. In the beginning, I thought that Myung Chul was simply acting to help further his father’s agenda. But in recent episodes, it seems that Myung Chul is also driving his father forward towards darkness so that his own plans can come to fruition. It’s still valid to say that Mayor Kim is the one who’s causing all the bloodshed to remain in power. However, in recent episodes it appears that Mayor Kim is also still trying to do right by the people. Even the look he gave his son earlier seemed tinged with uncertainty and fear. That made me wonder if he could possibly be going along with Myung Chul’s plan now, and what Myung Chul’s plan is.
Perhaps Myung Chul wants to be mayor himself.
And perhaps Mayor Kim is starting to realize that in a city where there is light, there doesn’t have to be a huge shadow of corruption.
I have a bad feeling Oh Tu is going to die from this mission, and Yi On will not have her happy family. But since Heuk Chul’s equally lost his happy family, at least the two of them have now banded together..?