Incarnation of Money: Episode 4
He’s back and uproariously hilarious. Cha-don is faced with a prosecutor who won’t take him, a section chief who won’t help him, and a girl who won’t let go of him. Becoming a full-fledged prosecutor turns out to be harder than it looks, but he’s determined to show everyone else and himself that he’s got what it takes.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
At the courthouse, the news outlets are abuzz about the former mayor of Seoul who currently faces lobbying charges. The prosecutor in this case is none other than Se-kwang, who is in the middle of his cross-examination.
Things aren’t going well for the prosecution at present: Insufficient evidence coupled with the witness’s testimony aren’t enough to incriminate the ailing mayor. And who else should be the mayor’s defense lawyer than Lawyer Hwang.
We see that time has certainly altered the relationship between the once co-conspirators when they meet in the hall. The taste of money has turned Lawyer Hwang, who gives an evil grin when asked if he once again bribed the witness.
But Lawyer Hwang has another bone to pick with Se-kwang and mocks the “righteous Robin Hood prosecutor” public image Se-kwang has made for himself. How ironic that a murderer is now so dearly loved by the public.
He fully accepts his own image as a lawyer who mooches on the powerful: “I was a villain in the past and I’m still one in the present.” At least he doesn’t try to mask his past with self-righteous acts like his fellow Traitagon members. Smiling devilishly, he says, “The one who sold their conscience isn’t me, but you all.” Evil Lawyer has a point there.
Lawyer Hwang leans in and says that though Se-kwang may have a steady paycheck, things are different for him – he’ll be out in the streets if he loses this case. His high-pitched laughter echoes down the hallway.
Looks like the former Mayor Jung isn’t sick after all as he throws off his mask. Not only that, he’s apparently chummy with Chief Prosecutor Jo and gives him an earful about keeping his subordinates in line.
Which explains why Chief Prosecutor Jo assigns the new trainee, Cha-don, to work in Se-kwang’s branch. When Se-kwang politely refuses to take him on, the chief prosecutor jabs, “How many times have you briefed me on this current case?”
Chief Prosecutor Jo doesn’t hide that he’s putting a tail on Se-kwang – he’ll do it if it’s the only way to obtain consistent reports on the case. His threat that it’s a direct order falls on deaf ears and Se-kwang walks out.
Poor Cha-don stands there discombobulated for a moment but mention of a possible failing grade is enough for Cha-don to dart after Se-kwang. He catches his possible training instructor outside the elevator but Se-kwang remains steadfast in his decision.
So he has no choice but to let Se-kwang get on the elevator. As soon as the doors close, Cha-don curses his bad luck… and the doors open again. LOL.
Cha-don twirls his gold coin between his fingers and recalls when the orphanage director told him that he’d get to meet the mysterious Gentleman of Jingogae once he became a lawyer. Thus Cha-don vowed that he’d make his benefactor proud.
He lets out a distressed sigh about the kinks to his plan. How will he graduate at the top of his class and become a prosecutor now? He musters the resolve to combat his obstacles head-on.
Cha-don gains entry to the team office and Section Chief Yang asks who he is. Cha-don immediately introduces himself and doles out the endless compliments. Chief Yang smiles – he’s already heard about the new trainee… from Se-kwang. He has Cha-don dragged out of the office. HA.
Se-kwang’s team debriefs him about the shady relationship between President Park (Jae-in’s boss) and Mayor Jung’s assistant. Se-kwang paints a larger picture for us: President Park runs the Yellow Sea Savings Bank and receives the slush funds that are later delivered to Mayor Jang in secret.
Their way in is through President Park, and to determine whether the act is embezzlement or willful neglect. He assigns his men to various tasks to investigate the bank president. But when he gets to Chief Yang, he tells him to watch what he says.
That’s something to keep in mind when Chief Yang gets in his car at the end of the workday and Cha-don unexpectedly pops his head out from the backseat. He’ll always surprise you, that’s for sure. I kinda love how blunt he is about what an awful boss Se-kwang must be.
They end up at Boss Bok’s restaurant and Boss Bok is surprised that Cha-don is here, knowing full well that he doesn’t have the money to pay for the food, let alone the room.
She and Assistant Kim watch on a screen as Cha-don lays it on thick about how only the cream of the crop gets to eat here. He even feigns humility with a richly fabricated tale that despite his humble origins at the orphanage, his late father left him a HUGE fortune. Then he does the perfect Oh have I said too much? look.
Assistant Kim laughs that Cha-don is a natural con artist and Boss Bok looks on with amusement. She remarks, “You call it scamming if an uneducated person does it, but you call it strategy when it’s a prosecutor.”
Suddenly, Jae-in marches into her mother’s study, threatening that she’s going to quit her job at the bank. Their relationship hasn’t changed one bit – Boss Bok tells her daughter to stay put and Jae-in bites back that she’ll pick up a man and party all night or whatever. Boss Bok: “What kind of crazy bastard will take you?!”
We cut back to Cha-don who says to himself while preparing a wad of cash, “Nothing is impossible with money, except when you don’t have enough.” Then he stops, asking himself the obvious question: “Where did I learn this saying? A book?” HA.
Chief Yang gawks at the money and hilariously, Cha-don’s like, Is this not enough? It’s enough for the chief to sing a different tune now but Cha-don doesn’t let it slip out of his fingers that easily – information first, money second. Smart man.
So Chief Yang blabs that the prosecutor is working on a big investigation so he’ll find something for the trainee to do. Boss Bok lets out a little laugh from the other side of the screen, impressed.
The prosecution targets the Yellow Sea Savings Bank next and, as expected, Mayor Jang flips his lid at the news. But while the prosecution team sets their eyes on former employees to get them to testify against the bank president, Cha-don has someone else in mind: Jae-in.
His reasoning make sense – why not use a current employee instead? He knows it’s difficult – but the riskier it is, the better his chances are that Se-kwang will acknowledge him.
And then he starts to psychoanalyze her: an outcast at work, suffers from depression, a binge eater. She has no experience with men and is likely to be dirt poor and supports her entire family on her own. Chief Yang seems relatively impressed and Cha-don fans his own vanity, saying his incredible insight even scares him sometimes. Pffft.
Cha-don’s confident that he can win Jae-in over to their side in the time that it takes to consume a cup of coffee. Chief Yang finds that hard to believe – humans are so complex – and Cha-don’s like, Wanna bet? Oh, I can’t wait to see how wrong you’ll be.
He walks up to Jae-in (who works at the bank under a different last name) and flashes his charming smile. But it has the opposite effect of what he’s going for and she calls out, “Next!” Rejected.
Cha-don tries again (with fresh coffee in hand) but by now, Jae-in is thoroughly annoyed, taking him to be another person with bad credit trying to apply for a loan. Before he can explain himself, she barks that she’s seen plenty of people like him before and has him thrown out.
Still yet, Cha-don waits outside and offers her a ride home in Chief Yang’s beat-up car. Or would she like to go to dinner instead? Then Jae-in grabs his jacket and hoists him in the air – what kind of scammer is he and what is he trying to sell her this time?
Struggling for breath, he squeaks at her to calm down but Jae-in is in Rage Mode and she chucks Cha-don into a trash pile before kicking the car door loose. Damn, girl can take care of herself.
The prosecution team continues to search for a witness to testify against Mayor Jang and President Park. Problem is, all of the former employees report that they were unaware of any money laundering between the men. (It should be no surprise that they’ve been bought off by Lawyer Hwang.)
With two weeks until the next court date, the team is running out of options but Se-kwang remains determined.
Lawyer Hwang laughs over dinner with Chief Prosecutor Jo about planting the new trainee as his mole to infiltrate Se-kwang’s team. Chief Prosecutor confirms that there is a traitor in that well-oiled machine of a team, but it isn’t Cha-don. The chief prosecutor brightens to hear that there may be a job promotion in the works if they win this case.
Se-kwang, on the other hand, trusts his team members and doesn’t believe that there’s a traitor among them. Hm, interesting that Hyuk, his right-hand man and Prosecutor Kwon’s son, shifts a little uncomfortably.
Meanwhile, Cha-don remains fixated on Jae-in since he’ll be regarded as a hero in Se-kwang’s eyes if he brings her to the witness stand. He’ll need money to persuade her and he silently puts out his hand, asking that Chief Yang return the money he gave him.
Then Cha-don struts inside the bank with a spiffy new scarf and shades, plops a gift on Jae-in’s counter, and walks out without a word. Inside is an expensive designer handbag and a note. The other ladies gape but Jae-in rolls her eyes and scoffs in annoyance.
Back at the coffeehouse, Cha-don furtively whispers that Jae-in will definitely come to return the handbag. What he’s worried about is that she could also slap him. Jae-in arrives just then and he scrambles to compose himself.
Jae-in angrily sets the bag on the table before taking it back (to Cha-don’s surprise) and tearfully admits that she was suspicious that he was another scammer. But as soon as she saw his eyes when she came in, “I knew you were being genuine.”
That takes Cha-don by surprise and Jae-in continues, holding back tears, that she’s grateful “that you like a pathetic girl like me who only holds a pessimistic view of the world!”
A mixed look of shock and confusion washes over Cha-don’s face and he can barely stutter a response. Jae-in runs to the bathroom in tears, moved by his sweet gesture.
Cha-don panics to Chief Yang, who tells him that he’ll just have to keep up the misunderstanding until they can convince her to cooperate with them. Cha-don: “Are you telling me to date her?!” Chief Yang darts.
Jae-in returns to her seat and tells him that she’ll be honest with him. Cha-don braces himself for the answer and she replies, “You’re not my type.” He spits up his coffee.
She does, however, appreciate his earnestness and agrees to a few dates. Completely shocked and possibly relieved, Cha-don utters in English: “Wow.”
Cha-don takes her out to a buffet and remarks that he likes girls who eat heartily when he notices the salad on her plate. She politely says it’s fine, but when he momentarily steps out to take a call, she madly piles food onto her plate.
Jae-in hides the food underneath the table when Cha-don returns. She bucks up the courage to ask what about her made him like her. He chokes on his food.
Jae-in waits patiently with expectant eyes and after a long moment, he asks, “What do you think?” She answers that people have complimented her on her eyes or nice personality. Cha-don gathers himself for a moment and answers, “Your hands.”
Taking her hand, he tells her that they’re soft like “a baby angel.” She eagerly sits up when he mentions that there’s one thing he worries about: that she’s not eating enough. If she were to faint from lack of eating…
And the waiter interrupts them to clear the stacks of empty plates from below their table. HAHAHA.
Boss Bok finds her daughter awake in the middle of the night, gloating about how her new handsome admirer adores her hands. But Boss Bok quickly kicks her off Cloud 9 and remarks that he’s likely a gold digger who knows that she’s rich.
Jae-in gets up in a huff muttering, “So annoying!” and sits down at her diary where she’s written “Things to Do When I Get a Boyfriend.” Then we see her check them off as she goes on dates with Cha-don including wearing couple tees, seeing a horror movie together (and it’s Cha-don’s who’s the scaredy cat, heh), and dancing at a club.
It’s at the club where Jae-in has a run-in with a man who maliciously calls her a “hippo” and a “dump truck.” Cha-don initially tries to stealthily sneak away, but steps in when the man raises a hand to her. He asks Jae-in to step aside and hold his jacket, presumably to take the guys on.
Cha-don blocks a punch and bends it back before poking the guy in the eyes. Then he engages in the most ridiculous fight ever as he kicks and punches the other guys while crying out classic martial arts cries. Jae-in watches from the sidelines, starstruck.
Afterward, Jae-in leads him down an alleyway. As the snow falls she tells him that she’s decided to accept his feelings. Then Jae-in closes her eyes and says, “You can kiss me.” And leans in. Oh honey.
Cha-don has this panicked look on his face as he checks his surroundings. He thinks back to how he’ll become a hero if he persuades Jae-in to work with them. Scrunching up his face, he gives her a quick peck.
Jae-in’s eyes flicker open and her voice breaks, “You really cherish me!” She whirls him around for a proper kiss. He initially struggles but Jae-in is too strong and he eventually gives up, digging his nails into the wall.
Se-kwang hears news that President Park wants to arrange a meeting tomorrow with the prosecution team. He belatedly realizes that the date conflicts with Mom’s early release hearing, so he calls in to reschedule.
As for Mom, she rocks back and forth, calling out Kang-seok’s name and occasionally screaming out to “Bi-ryung,” demanding to see her son. Of course, no one is there and she immediately shrinks in front of the female officer, calling her “Bi-ryung” as well.
We check in with the real Bi-ryung, who has just arrived back in Korea. She goes by the name “Angelina” now and the mayor’s assistant vaguely recognizes her as a former actress…
She meets with Mayor Jung over drinks, and it’s too early to tell whether she’s coaxing him about becoming mistress like she did with Chairman Lee. He reminds her that she once mentioned taking revenge on a certain someone when she returns to Korea. Angelina laughs it off and tells the former mayor that there’s no need for him to avenge her. “If I take my revenge, I should do it myself.”
Mayor Jang receives word about President Park and calmly sends off his assistant to handle it.
President Park walks down the empty corridor after a long workday when he bends down to pick up a card on the ground. It reads “Traitor” and suddenly, someone strangles him from behind with a wire and drags him back up the hallway.
President Park thinks fast and stabs the masked man a few times with his pen but it’s no use. The pen clatters to the ground and he’s dragged away.
The next day, the prosecution team reports to Se-kwang that President Park is nowhere to be found and wonder if he’s gone off the grid.
Elsewhere, a young woman drives her red motorcycle to a crime scene and she’s stopped at the police tape. Whipping out her badge, she introduces herself as Prosecutor JEON JI-HOO (Choi Yeo-jin).
She cuts to the chase as the officers on site brief her on the corpse, which is virtually unidentifiable with no hair or fingerprints or ID. She demands to see the corpse and the guys gag while she pokes and prods for clues.
Rolling the security tapes at the bank to check President Park’s movements reveals someone awfully familiar: Cha-don. Se-kwang wonders what that new trainee is doing there.
Jae-in takes a deep breath, nervous about meeting Cha-don’s older cousin (he’d mentioned it in the car, covered in lipstick stains). She give herself a pep talk before emerging outside and hears Cha-don’s voice.
He’s with Chief Yang (who’s here to act as his cousin) and complains how most women usually have pretty hands but Jae-in’s resemble pig’s feet. When the camera finally pans back to her, we see her sobbing.
Her eyes puffy from crying and her hair unkempt, she finally walks into the hotel restaurant where Cha-don is waiting. He gets up and waves… and she charges at him with a cake.
Let him eat cake. I for one, hope that she does more than just wallop him with that cake. ‘Cause then it’d be a waste of cake.
Now that we’ve been properly introduced to Jae-in in her adult persona, it’s apparent that she’s very much the same naive and idealistic fourteen-year-old girl we met earlier in the series. Though Cha-don was mostly wrong in his analysis, he does pinpoint some deeper issues that can attribute to her emotionally stunted state. Her primary coping mechanism is gluttony through food and drink, and it seems that she hasn’t had many friends, if any in her life. How saddening is it when you have a mother telling you to trust no one because they’re all after your money?
That leads to her extreme swing in emotions, latching on to anyone with whom she feels a connection with and utterly heartbroken when faced with the bitter truth. I appreciate that we didn’t drag the lie and addressed it right away. I’m more excited to see how she’ll take her revenge on the “good looking dummy” than anyone else. And we already know that she can take him… and win.
I’m curious to know about Prosecutor Jeon and how she’ll fold into the mix of this wacky world. Her hardass personality is bound to clash with Se-kwang who already has his hands full with an overeager trainee. The dynamics between these three should prove to be an interesting one. Say, how do you train the boy you once tried to kill to become a righteous prosecutor?