Incarnation of Money: Episode 6
Tracking down a murderer proves to be a tough case when you’ve got a suspect who can easily slip through any bars you put in place. We finally gain some traction in this series as our prosecution teams try to solve two different cases that both point to one man. Working together brings some prosecutors closer together, showing us that two heads can be better than one. This episode suffered a dip in ratings with a 13.1%, though I still found it pretty enjoyable throughout.
It’s a bummer when real life gets in the way of recapping life. Thanks for being so patient everyone!
EPISODE 6 RECAP
The two men face off and Cha-don throws the first punch in the dark alleyway. He misses and gets thrown into a pile of trash as the masked man runs for it. Cha-don gives chase into an empty building.
Cha-don calls out warnings into the dark and his attacker strikes him from behind. They fight in the shadows until the masked man flips over the edge, barely hanging on.
After he freaks out at the sight of his own blood, Cha-don unmasks the man. Let’s give him an official name now – Secretary Lee.
There’s a hint of recognition on Cha-don’s face and he uses this opportunity to interrogate the dangling man, asking if he’s the murderer. Secretary Lee ekes out, “Save me.”
One hand slips and Cha-don starts to panic. He repeats the question but time is of the essence as each finger starts to lose its grip.
Then at the very last moment, Cha-don grabs the secretary’s hand and pulls him back up. Secretary Lee kicks Cha-don in the family jewels in thanks and is about to crush his skull with a brick when the sound of sirens stops him, leaving Cha-don writhing in pain.
On his way to the Chungrok Literary Society meeting, Se-kwang feeds false information to the mole, who readily eats it up. At the same time, Angelina overhears the mayor’s plan to entrap Se-kwang and she vows to get revenge in the bathroom.
Se-kwang gets called away to meet Mayor Jung alone and rings the door… only to be greeted at the door by Angelina. That’s a helluva way to make your reappearance.
The men sit down to talk and Se-kwang carries out his plan, asking the former mayor if he can become great if he serves him. The mayor is initially taken aback by Se-kwang’s straightforwardness, so he calls him on his bluff – will Se-kwang take a bullet for him?
The answer puzzles him: “Is that all you want from me?” Se-kwang explains that his name is more important than his life. The mayor gives a satisfied laugh at this; countless men have offered up their lives for him. “What would I do with a life? But honor… what a grand word.” He accepts Se-kwang’s allegiance with a hearty laugh.
The mayor wastes no time introducing Se-kwang to some big names, including Boss Bok, who asks: “Aren’t you two fighting each other in court?” But yesterday’s enemies are today’s allies and Mayor Jung asks her to put in a good word for Se-kwang with the Gentleman of Jingogae.
The peanut gallery watches this exchange from a distance, amused that Se-kwang’s plan has worked like a charm. Will the mayor believe that his right hand man, Secretary Lee has betrayed him?
Just a few feet away, Angelina has this expectant look when Se-kwang approaches, only to be rebuffed coldly. I don’t think your revenge plan is off to a good start.
They meet at the buffet table and she scoffs that his greeting is too cold between two people who were once lovers. Se-kwang cuts in: “I never loved you. Not once.”
Those words still affect her and she bites that she’ll have her revenge. Se-kwang invites her to but he warns her that not everyone can do so. Angelina swears that she’s not the same old Bi-ryung: “I have enough power to ruin you. I’ll make you shed tears of blood.”
Se-kwang steps forward as if daring her and smirks.
The mayor falls for the Secretary Lee bait hook, line, and sinker and he blows his gasket that his right hand man would betray him. At the same time, Se-kwang and his men celebrate at the grand success of their plan.
Boss Bok watches this exchange from her study and she instructs Assistant Kim to dump their stocks in Yellow Sea Savings Bank. According to Jae-in’s former intel, the mayor is linked with the savings back. They’ll buy the stocks up again when the prices hit rock bottom.
Back at the office, Cha-don rolls the gold coin in his hand, trying to remember where he’s seen the murderer before. Ji-hoo bursts in, demanding to know who it is and Cha-don answers: “Am I a toothpaste tube that you can squeeze information out of me?”
But Ji-hoo shakes him back and forth which causes Cha-don to fall out of the chair and on his head. But the repeat head injury triggers the memory and he asks to see the list of possible witnesses again. He stops at the picture of Secretary Lee.
Elsewhere, Secretary Lee tends to his stab wounds and he wonders where Jae-in is if she’s not with Cha-don…
Speaking of whom, she sits nervously with the doctor who rambles on about his numerous successes with his “magic hands.” He even refers to another patient who became a pop singer. This really is a repeat of 200 lb Beauty.
It’s finally time for the big reveal and the doctor unravels her bandages. The doctor warns her not to get too excited and hands her a mirror. Jae-in marvels at her new beauty and she exclaims: “I’m pretty!” …and her new jaw pops out of place.
The mayor calmly waits by the fire when Secretary Lee arrives. He reminds his man of Caesar’s famous last words (“Et tu, Brute?”), wonders why he’s been hearing such odd rumors lately. Like how Secretary Lee has betrayed him.
Secretary Lee is understandably confused and the mayor acknowledges that even he knows that it’s a divide-and-conquer ploy by Se-kwang. He knows that Se-kwang is trying to bring his right hand man to his side to replace the dead bank president.
But Secretary Lee insists that he wouldn’t dream of betraying the mayor. Exasperated, Mayor Jung sighs, “It isn’t the person who betrays you, but the situation!” He instructs Secretary Lee to go overseas for the time being. When it pours, the best thing to do is to wait it out. He notices his man hesitate and the mayor pointedly asks, “Do you not trust me?”
Once he leaves, the mayor calls up Chief Prosecutor Jo to immediately cremate President Park’s corpse.
Cha-don presents his suspect to the rest of Team 1 at the prosecution office. He’s so confident about his conclusion that Secretary Lee murdered President Park “that I’ll bet my trainee’s salary on it.”
He starts barking orders to the team and Ji-hoo just gives him this look. But they run into bad news right away when the coroner tells them that the corpse has just been rolled out to be cremated.
They manage to stop the ambulance and return the corpse but Cha-don can’t help but notice that something’s fishy. It doesn’t take rocket science for them to point the finger at Mayor Jung.
Ji-ho orders Cha-don to stay in the morgue while she confirms the DNA sample and Cha-don flips out. Stay here? With the dead bodies?
Just then he gets a call from Chief Yang just as Se-kwang receives word that Secretary Lee is headed for the airport. Both prosecutors dart out the door.
They arrive at the airport just minutes after Secretary Lee’s arrival, but it’s Hyuk who finds him first. Se-kwang approaches moments later and warns the man not to leave. He should know better than anyone else what Mayor Jung is capable of.
Se-kwang suggests that they pretend the secretary left overseas – that way, they’ll be able to protect him. Naturally, Secretary Lee refuses and a voice calls out his name.
It’s Cha-don, who’s come to join the party and Secretary Lee immediately bolts. Cha-don chases him through the terminal and with a little help from Chief Yang, pins him to the ground.
Once they cuff him, Cha-don lets out a gleeful laugh, caught up in his first capture, just as Se-kwang arrives. “This is the suspect for President Park’s murder!”
That earns him both praise and acceptance in Se-kwang’s eyes, though once he leaves, we see that the seasoned prosecutor didn’t expect this kink in his plans.
Prosecutor Kwon joins him at the bar and asks what Se-kwang plans to do next. When he doesn’t get an answer, he suggests they relocate to the pool hall.
Once there, Prosecutor Kwon recounts a time where he played against a mafia boss whom he had to bring into the station. The problem was that his men were willing to take a hit for him so he proposed a bet: if he lost, he’d let the boss go; but if he won, then they’d hand over someone higher on the food chain.
Se-kwang: “Did you win!” Prosecutor Kwon: “I lost!” Ha. But he went for another round against the minion and won. But instead of arresting him, he offered another bet – this time the minion would testify against his boss. And he won.
Se-kwang lifts his head, impressed by this tactic. “So to bring them both in, you…” Prosecutor Kwon: “I struck a deal, not an investigation. Because a bet is also a deal.”
All it takes is one look for Cha-don to figure out that Secretary Lee isn’t a serial killer. Psychopaths always love looking at crime scene photos, traces of their misdeeds. As for the interrogation, they’ve already started – Secretary Lee is only putting up a strong front.
Se-kwang reads up on the murder case late into the night and arrives at the interrogation room where Secretary Lee still sits motionless. It’s been hours now and Ji-hoo gives Cha-don the go-ahead to officially start the interrogation.
Ecstatic at the chance to finally prove himself as a worthy prosecutor, he gives himself a pep talk before heading inside.
Cha-don isn’t that surprised that Secretary Lee remains tight-lipped about the murder. Then the man starts spouting off some powerful names, which grabs his attention. They’re all people who can confirm his alibi that he was at a literary society meeting far away.
Panic washes over Cha-don’s face and he looks at the two way mirror for help. Ji-hoo calls the order to check the alibi, but then Se-kwang asks if he can ask the suspect a few questions.
Cha-don rejoins the Team 1 members and barks if it’s okay if Se-kwang swoops in and takes the credit for this case. But the possibility of the mayor’s involvement links the murder and money laundering cases together. Plus, Se-kwang is the best when it comes to interrogation.
On the other side of the glass, Secretary Lee sticks to his statement that he’s done nothing wrong. So Se-kwang gets up and warns the team that he’ll continue the interrogation with the mics turned off, leaving the other prosecutors’ perplexed.
Se-kwang grits through his teeth that he’ll break through that so-called solid alibi. Secretary Lee smiles, confident, and pours himself a cup of water when Se-kwang calls him out as a former special ops soldier. He drops his glass.
The prosecutors scratch their heads over this reaction and Cha-don grabs another camera angle to get a better look. He zeroes in on Se-kwang’s mouth and starts to mouth out the words, just like when he first learned how to speak as a teen.
Now Se-kwang has his leverage and Secretary Lee asks what he wants. Will he testify against Mayor Jung?
Ji-hoo approaches Se-kwang when he steps outside. He simply pats her on the shoulder, assuring her that he didn’t intrude on her murder case. Ji-hoo tells Cha-don that they have to break the secretary’s alibi and Cha-don pipes: “What if he already did?”
He repeats the words that he saw come tumbling out of Se-kwang’s mouth and asks if Se-kwang is keeping something from them. But Ji-hoo puts her trainee in line and warns him not to talk about her respected sunbae so carelessly.
She turns to leave and Cha-don wonders to himself what kind of relationship the two prosecutors had. Did they date?
They head to the bank hallway where the bank president disappeared from the cameras’ views. She orders Cha-don to walk from the end of the hall and they reenact the possible scenario (which happens to be exactly what happened) play-by-play as she strangles him and drags him to the stairwell.
Turns out Ji-hoo is pretty strong and Cha-don gasps for air when she finally remember herself and lets go. But that triggers a thought and Cha-don asks her to chokehold him once more.
As she tightens her grip, his hand slowly works up her leg and she barks, “You’re not thinking about something weird, right?!” Rather, at the last moment Cha-don flails and hits her left arm with his right hand. He has a moment of insight and realizes that the coroner mentioned the victim’s right hand looked unusual.
A flashback teaches us that the victim’s right hand was forced open after he died and was then rid of fingerprints. That means in the bank president’s struggle for his life, he hit his attacker’s left arm.
Cha-don wraps himself in Ji-hoo’s hands again and shows her, bringing their faces in close proximity. She throws him off of her. HA.
Cha-don insists that the bank president must have clutched an object in his hand and thinks of an example: a fountain pen. Thought it wasn’t found at the scene, he recalls that the bank president always carried one around… and Jae-in had one just like it that didn’t work. Bingo!
An urgent call that Secretary Lee’s alibi has checked out has them rush back in the station in time to catch the suspect in the lobby. Cha-don scoffs that the murderer could be walking free at this very moment and he eyes the secretary’s left arm.
Cha-don lifts it and notices the man grimace when he checks a few spots and he remarks that it appears there’s something there. “Were you injured?” He leans in and whispers in Secretary Lee’s ears that he’ll see that the secretary is sent to prison.
Secretary Lee walks out and beams when he sees the mayor waiting for him outside. But this is no happy reunion has he’s swiftly taken by Se-kwang’s men and Se-kwang himself stands in front of the mayor’s car, stalling him.
The mayor flips his lid when he hears that his right hand man is nowhere to be found. He throws an object over Chief Prosecutor Jo’s head and warns that they’re all in danger if Secretary Lee breaks.
Elsewhere, Secretary Lee asks if an innocent citizen like himself can be detained like this but Se-kwang replies that he’s held here on charges of an attempted murder on Cha-don’s life. He’s sure that the secretary will cooperate if he wants to avoid a life sentence for someone else’s murder.
Secretary Lee notes that it’s impossible: disproving someone’s alibi doesn’t make them a murderer and there’s no decisive evidence to say otherwise. Once he’s alone, he searches for a way out.
Cha-don’s calls to Jae-in go unanswered (“Just thinking about him makes my jaw pop!”) and he announces that they have to find her because she has the pen.
As Jae-in beautifies herself, Cha-don distributes flyers with Jae-in’s picture among the team. Ji-hoo finds it strange that the name “Gong Jae-in” doesn’t come up with any identification records but Cha-don assures her that they can see her from a mile away. Then Chief Yang reminds her that Mom’s parole review is today and she sends Cha-don to take care of it.
Meanwhile, Se-kwang busts down the door outside Secretary Lee’s room and naturally find him gone.
We know that he’s gone to find Jae-in, who squeals that because of her new beauty, she can’t even recognize herself. Secretary Lee comes asking for her just moments after she leaves and he curses his luck.
He doubles back to get her number and when he calls it, he notices a young woman pick up the phone. His eyes grow wide – this isn’t the same Jae-in he saw earlier and stands there stunned as Jae-in climbs into a taxi.
Jae-in struts down the mall, flipping her hair, leaving a line of men falling to the ground at her wake. Thanks drama; we geddit – she’s pretty.
But just because she has a new face doesn’t mean she’s any more confident when she catches a glimpse of her mother and scurries behind a mannequin. She turns around and runs into Assistant Kim who doesn’t recognize her. She breathes a sigh of relief.
So Jae-in flips her hair as she walks past Assistant Kim who is struck by her beauty. Uh, didn’t you see this girl grow up? That’s just uncomfortable.
And just a few feet away is Secretary Lee.
Cha-don reviews Mom’s case in the car and muses whether a woman who killed her husband for money should be let back into society. He learns about her late rich husband and that Se-kwang was her defense lawyer.
But Cha-don notes something strange: all the assets, including the family’s share, went to Eun Bi-ryung. Why didn’t she make an appeal instead? And why did Se-kwang sit back and do nothing about it?
Things aren’t looking good for Mom, as she wields a piece of broken glass, threatening the security guards. They apologize to the prosecution team but Cha-don offers to go visit her himself.
Noticing her bloody hands, he grabs a bandage and walks in, ignoring their protests that it’s dangerous. He approaches her with caution, and ever so slowly, he bends down and removes the glass from her bloody hands.
Cha-don offers to treat them and she accepts his extended hand. She watches his face as he wraps it in a bandage. Cha-don smiles, and so does she.
What a great episode overall. Interesting, intriguing, and sometimes even pretty cool, the series feels like it finally found its footing in the story. The series gave us an odd introduction by shelling out a boatload of information and threw the viewers into confusion by trying to strike a balance between its dramatic and humorous notes. This made the show feel more like a kaleidoscope of emotions than broad brushstrokes that pulled us along and in hindsight, did the show a disservice. The elements were all there for the making but it’s the difference between holding a palmful of unorganized jigsaw pieces versus when it’s complete.
But now that some pieces are finally coming together, I’m seeing the potential of a better second act. That last scene killed me because I’m a sucker for long lost parent and child reunions, especially when they don’t recognize each other. A part of me wants to say that their bond is greater than loss of sanity and amnesia, and the other speaks of something more fundamental: that a genuine smile can warm the coldest and broken of hearts. And that’s where it gets me.
This is really where Cha-don’s journey should start: at square one with Mom’s case. Don’t get me wrong – the murder case and money laundering is an enjoyable arc so far, but for Cha-don to realize what a war over money can do to someone trying to protect him… that’s character gold right there.
I really enjoy Cha-don’s interactions with Ji-hoo far more than his scenes with Jae-in. There’s something about their banter and his motivation to prove to her that he’s a competent prosecutor. It irks her that he can possibly be right, though his logic seems so far-fetched to her (and everyone) at the time. If solving cases together as a team brings them that much closer in more ways than one, I’m all for it. At this point, she strikes me as someone I want to get to know more than Jae-in, who seems busy avoiding Mom than anything else at the moment.
As we go forward, I’m still left with a question mark over the moral compass of our past Traitagon members. A few of them are hell-bent on revenge, while others are trying to do their best to mask their wrongs with a veil of justification and righteousness. The largest question mark remains with Se-kwang who on the outside seems like a competent and respectable prosecutor who goes by the book. But we’ve seen the lengths to which he’ll go to exact revenge; how cold he can be to a woman he once loved. How long can he maintain that image before something else will trigger that vengeful alarm? And when that happens, what will Ji-hoo think of her respectable sunbae then?