The K2: Episode 8
Loyalties will be put to the test when more dangers are thrown in Je-ha’s path which require him to stay alert at all times. He won’t be the only one in harm’s way though, since a series of unexpected events will threaten to tip the political scales against Yoo-jin’s favor. Everyone has something to lose, but if a few of them play their cards right, they’ll have everything to gain.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
In the morning, Je-ha relieves a dozing Mi-ran and housekeeper of sitting by Anna’s bedside all night. He asks if Anna needs anything before he returns to the safe house later that day, and takes her silence as a no.
“Why… did you bring my dad?” she asks. He answers, “So you wouldn’t die.” She doesn’t see why it would matter to anyone whether she lives or dies, which is when Je-ha tersely returns that a lot of people were worried about her.
She apologizes for making all the “baddies” like him worry, a term Je-ha takes in stride. He counters that she could at least appreciate how everyone is breaking their backs to protect her. “Making me ramyun, giving me ice cream, and pretending to be like my dad… is that what you call protecting me?” She fires back.
She tells him to leave, and Je-ha mutters that he made a worthless promise to her father before storming out. “Promise?” Anna muses.
Yoo-jin lashes out at Chief Joo and his superior, CEO Gook, when they arrive at her office regarding the latest attempt on Se-joon’s life. She scoffs at Chief Joo’s declaration to step down from his position in show of taking responsibility for the mess: “Don’t you know what the ways of stepping down are like here?”
She moves on for now and learns that the police are pretending to investigate the case. She decides to deal with the woman accusing Se-joon of sexual assault at a later time, but right now they must hunt down the agent who betrayed them.
Meanwhile, the prosecutor’s office follow up on Se-joon’s call for investigating major international finance corporations for corruption. While one company is presented with an arrest warrant, another undergoes a search and seizure.
As promised, Se-joon arrives at the prosecutor’s office for his own investigation. Not only does the press bombard him with questions there, they’re also waiting outside Se-joon’s home.
Yoo-jin graciously invites the prosecutors inside, showing them the boxes of documents she already organized for them to take. She’s also prepared lunch, and the others are led away while she speaks alone with the lead prosecutor.
She asks how the ongoing investigation is going, and when the prosecutor says he’s unable to show much leniency to her relatives caught up in the case, she instructs him to be strict and impartial with her relatives.
Speaking of whom, Sung-won’s father-in-law is still unable to get in touch with the Presidential Chief of Staff. He chuckles at how Yoo-jin may have the chief of staff wrapped around her finger, but Yoo-jin wouldn’t dare to strike his conglomerate Jinhan Group nor JB Group since she couldn’t finance Se-joon’s campaign otherwise.
But Sung-won’s mother believes that Yoo-jin will stop at nothing to get what she wants, and Sung-won’s father-in-law adds that they must find an ally before Se-joon is sworn in as president.
Representative Park is filled in on the ongoing investigation through the radio while he gets another shave. His secretary cites that all the companies currently involved are their sponsors, and get the green light to name in front of the politician’s barber the few assemblymen left who still support him.
Representative Park sends his barber away, then asks his secretary if Se-joon has a lucky streak or if they’re cursed with bad luck. His secretary believes that Se-joon has someone special on his side, namely the one who tried to attack the politician with the remote and revolving door.
Following an angry conversation regarding the investigation of the other politicians, Representative Park fumes to hear that Se-joon is unlikely to be indicted.
Remember that photo of Anna floating around social media? Yoo-jin finally gets wind of the photo’s existence, and Secretary Kim nudges the idea that Yoo-jin should make a decision about what to do with Anna.
During the ride back to the safe house, Anna thinks back to when Je-ha gave her mouth-to-mouth. She purses her lips, then softly asks what sort of promise Je-ha was referring to. When he doesn’t readily answer, she yells the question at him.
He tells her that he isn’t deaf and to sit back down. He explains that he promised her father that he’d protect her no matter what. He won’t let anyone touch her, even if that person is Yoo-jin.
She says no one asked him to, a statement Je-ha agrees with. Despite her father’s request, he’ll respect Anna’s wishes since she’s an adult. He asks if she understands, and she returns a soft “yes”.
Anna thanks Je-ha for agreeing to her father’s request and bringing him so she could find out for herself that her father abandoned her. Je-ha tells her to stop whining because her father didn’t abandon her. She gets worked up at that statement, and Je-ha cuts her off and agrees that her father is a terrible man and politician.
But if her father had truly abandoned her, she wouldn’t even be alive to this day. Yoo-jin doesn’t gamble with uncertainty either, so Anna needs to grow up quickly if she wants to enter a battle against Yoo-jin.
An entertainment news writer is one step behind another writer when it comes to writing a piece about the fashion designer’s Korean muse. Elsewhere, one young man’s speculation that he’s seen Anna in his neighborhood is quickly shot down, but then he spots Anna riding in the car and trails behind in his scooter.
He drives up to the safe house and gets caught snapping a photo of Anna. He doesn’t get far because his scooter won’t start, then shows Je-ha the photo of Anna circulating the internet.
Je-ha sends the guy away and collects Anna from the car. He makes a fist, gesturing for her to “freeze” in place, then opens his hand to signal at her to “go”. She isn’t familiar with the concept, so he quickly explains the rules. She catches on when he signals at her to “go” and she walks forward.
He then instructs her to sit, and he smiles and pats her head when she obediently complies. Dude, she’s not a puppy. He keeps using the Freeze-Go tactic on her as they head upstairs, but he doesn’t respond when she tries it on him.
Per Je-ha’s request, Master Song makes an anonymous call to an entertainment news department telling them that the “Barcelona Angel” is a girl named Anna, who is also the daughter to the late movie star Um Hye-jin.
At the same time, Scooter Boy uploads Anna’s photo to support his claim that he saw Anna. He even leaks the address to safe house, which we learn were also part of Je-ha’s instructions.
This mean Yoo-jin’s no-good-very-bad day is about to get even worse, because by the time Yoo-jin hears about the leak, she’s told that the safe house is already surrounded with reporters and fans.
Yoo-jin calls CEO Gook, who is heading over to Anna with a team as they speak. He asks if it’s possible to make a call without Yoo-jin’s prior authorization depending on how severe the situation is at the safe house.
He pretty much expects Yoo-jin’s answer that it’s easier dealing with a corpse (Anna’s) than silencing a crowd, but he doesn’t think her husband will agree.
So Yoo-jin instructs Secretary Kim to make a call. The strike squad leader (Jo Dong-hyuk) picks up and receives his instructions. Yoo-jin tells the man that he should be scared of her right now, as the squad leader rests a gun on the car seat.
While the news reporter who wrote the article on Anna inquires into who the true owner of the house is and Anna’s relationship to Um Hye-rin, Chief Joo barks at Mi-ran to stay put inside the house.
Je-ha is busy scanning the neighboring buildings when Chief Joo calls to inform him that CEO Gook and the strike squad is headed their way. He’s told that Anna’s fate rests in his hands now.
In the car, CEO Gook instructs the squad to take Anna out if she’s about to spill the beans about her father. The squad leader instructs one of his men to keep close to the target, and then the CEO jumps back in to tell the squad that if they get caught, they don’t know one another. Way to step on the squad leader’s toes there.
Je-ha heads upstairs to collect Anna, who sits nervously on her bed. He reassures her that she can do it, and that makes her smile. Just as CEO Gook and the strike squad arrive, the housekeeper ventures outside to ask the crowd to refrain from using flash photography when Anna appears.
She heads back inside to get Anna, who peers outside to see Je-ha. Anna doesn’t know that Je-ha has already taken out a sniper, and recognizes his raised fist as “freeze”. He gives her a thumbs-up in approval.
Her eyes scan across the buildings to see Je-ha—who has taken down another sniper—in another spot. He shows her his open palm. “Go,” she utters and nods. Anna says a prayer to herself and her eyes fill with determination.
Je-ha heads downstairs and spots the squad leader descending the neighboring staircase. They meet at the bottom, and the squad leader chucks his gun into the grass. He then charges at Je-ha with a scissor kick, then spins around to throw a punch.
Je-ha catches his arm and responds with a flying kick, but the squad leader avoids the attack and tries to catch Je-ha with a low swooping kick. Both men are evenly-matched blow for blow.
Meanwhile, Anna steps outside to an enthusiastic crowd who quiets down to hear her speak. She takes a deep breath and introduces herself. It’s at that moment Yoo-jin arrives and she gapes upon seeing the crowd.
Time to check back in on the fight, which has now moved to the grass. A flying kick sends the squad leader down, and Je-ha takes a punch before spinning on the ground and pull the squad leader down with him.
He grabs him in a leglock, but the squad leader wrenches himself free, leaving a cut on Je-ha’s cheek. The squad leader removes his blazer, and soon both of them are sporting some cuts as they simultaneously kick the other in the chest.
Je-ha grabs the squad leader’s legs again, but the latter frees himself once more and pins Je-ha to the ground. He gets a few jabs in until Je-ha grabs his head in a leglock. When he spins out again, Je-ha locks his arm in a different position.
But yet again the squad leader breaks free and he hits Je-ha’s head with his knee. That breaks the hold, and while Je-ha suffers from a dizzy spell, the squad leader pops his dislocated shoulder back in.
Back to Anna’s press conference, where she explains that she was in Barcelona, but she’s not an angel. Desperate, Yoo-jin pushes through the crowd just in time to hear the reporter ask Anna who her father is. CEO Gook instructs his snipers to shoot, but they’re both unconscious.
Everyone waits with bated breath for her answer, and CEO Gook signals a squad member to make his move. The man bears a pocket knife and draws near, which is when Mi-ran spins around and takes down the man.
Anna explains that she is a Korean citizen, and adds. “And my father is…” She pauses and scans her surroundings to meet Yoo-jin tensely shaking her head no.
“My father…” Anna starts, her eyes still fixed on Yoo-jin. “… is the late director Go Jun-ho.” She and Yoo-jin share a telepathic conversation where Yoo-jin thinks, “What are you trying to play at?” Anna: “Hard to say. I’m sure you’ll find out soon enough.”
But then Secretary Kim uses the flash on her phone and the other photographers quickly follow suit. Anna collapses to the ground, and Yoo-jin rushes to her side acting like a concerned mother.
Je-ha stands victorious from the long fight, albeit bloody and bruised. He checks in on Anna later that night, and seeing her tears brings tears to his eyes too. He heads downstairs and takes full responsibility for today’s events, much to Yoo-jin’s displeasure.
When Yoo-jin asks why he did it, Je-ha candidly replies that this outcome was better than having Anna killed in the public eye. Secretary Kim wonders why he didn’t report his plan ahead of time, but Yoo-jin concedes to the idea that Je-ha acted in a swift manner.
She gives him an airy “good work”, adding that she isn’t disheartened because she could easily have Anna killed tomorrow. Je-ha says nothing.
She dismisses the ladies so she and Je-ha can speak alone. He takes a seat, and Yoo-jin remarks on how hard Je-ha has been working—he saved Se-joon from Representative Park’s clutches and he saved Anna from her.
Yoo-jin asks if he’ll keep up this immature act and give up on his personal revenge. Now that their enemies have drawn their swords, she’d very much like to pull the trigger.
Secretary Kim argues in the car that Je-ha was lying, to which Yoo-jin barks back that she knew he was. She berates her for butting in, saying that Secretary Kim should be able to discern the difference when she is pretending to be duped versus when she’s actually fooled. Her greater concern is that Anna now wields the power in her hands. Is that… a pout I see?
Sung-won’s mother watches the news story covering Anna, the “Barcelona Angel”, and her guardian, Yoo-jin. Smiling, she makes a call.
Back at the safe house, Je-ha resumes his nightly duties monitoring the cameras. He notices Anna head for the attic and gets up, knowing that she’s headed for the roof.
He sits at a distance, watching her and thinking back to their entire history together. He jumps to action when Anna wobbles on the tiles, sliding toward her and sprawling out on the roof when she turns back. He’s in a not-so-casual mid-crawl when she points him out. Heh.
He awkwardly gets to his feet and insists that he’s unhurt. He then berates her for coming up to a dangerous roof, and when he turns to leave, she asks him to stay. She encourages him to sit because it’s more dangerous to stand, and Je-ha takes a seat as he says it’s not at all dangerous for him.
They sit next to each other as Anna thanks him for everything, from Barcelona to the ramyun to the ice cream to bringing her father to earlier, and even to this very moment.
Je-ha cocks his head and puffs up in agreement that Anna should be grateful. She laughs, and he tells her to keep going. The mood turns solemn again when he tells her that her life will be much different now—she’s now free to travel wherever she’d like and no one will bother her if she wishes to be alone.
“But… you can’t be alone,” he says. Anna will die the moment she’s out of the public eye, and the reason is because Yoo-jin didn’t have to be on guard when it came to Anna. But the tables have turned, and now Anna could destroy Yoo-jin in one fell swoop.
So while Yoo-jin may appear to act nice to her now, she’s waiting for the moment the public loses interest in Anna. “What if I first tell the world that Jang Se-joon is my father?”
“Then you’ll become the child who destroyed her father,” Je-ha replies.
Anna realizes that this perfect storm is what caused her mother’s death. Her mother must’ve also feared ruining her father’s career, but all she wanted even on the day of her death was for her father to come.
She recalls how her father was supposed to visit them that night, but he never showed up, so Mom drank her sorrows away as she was wont to do on the nights he broke his promise. In her drunken ramblings, Mom concluded Se-joon had no intention of leaving with them to the States, and vowed to tell the world.
Anna hated it whenever her mother was drinking because the smell of alcohol, sweat, and tears disgusted her. Whenever Mom came into her room and embraced her afterward, Anna thought to herself that this must be why her father doesn’t come to see them.
That night, Mom had stretched out her arms for a hug, but young Anna stepped back holding the pills behind her back. Mom had apologized for reeking of alcohol, but she’d told her daughter that she was so sad.
Even though her mother had pleaded once more for a hug, Anna didn’t embrace her. Crying now, Anna says she thought those words were simply a drunken rant. “Mom, I was in the wrong!” she cries.
Je-ha wraps an arm around her and pulls her to his chest. He tells her that it’s okay; she was still very young then. Anna shakes her head, saying that she was horrible to her mother, and it’s what happens next that still haunts her.
She had offered her mother the sleeping pills, and Mom had said Anna mustn’t like seeing her cry. Asked if Anna would like to see her mother live for a long time, young Anna had nodded to herself, hoping that her mother would stay asleep without waking up.
Mom had said she’d like to sleep for a long time, and young Anna had told her to take this and sleep. She’d promised to wake up Mom when her father comes by. “When your father comes?” her mother repeated. “Then I must sleep for a long, long time.”
With that, Mom had looked back at Anna one last time before closing the door to her room.
In the present, Anna cries that she killed her mother. “If I’d known that would be the last time I would see her…” she utters before sobbing all over again. Je-ha holds her, softly patting her shoulder comfortingly until she falls asleep.
Representative Park sits down with the police commissioner, whom he says has been enjoying cushy pocket money from him and Se-joon. He’s willing to move on from that topic for now and asks for the documents he requested.
He’s given a full breakdown on Je-ha from his alias to his mercenary days, and how Je-ha is a wanted man. But then Representative Park’s eyes fall upon an interesting fact and bursts laughing: “Iraq? Blackstone?”
If there ever was a character whose trajectory has turned on its head since his introduction in this show, it would be Representative Park. The once threatening foe could’ve given Yoo-jin a run for her money when both initially showed off a polished public image yet would engage in some shady dealings. The barbed remarks he and Yoo-jin exchanged were an absolute thrill, and it saddens me to see him devolved into a victim of villain decay.
Having two intimidating characters made for an interesting corner in the storyline, especially when Yoo-jin and Representative Park were on parallel narrative tracks. But this week shows that the supposedly cruel and ruthless politician only has the same few tricks up his sleeves by plotting the same sneaky tactic to take down Se-joon. To rub salt in the wound, despite the numerous threats Yoo-jin faces, she’s still making key political alliances. This is all to say that I’m not nervous for Je-ha when it comes to Representative Park finding out about their past mutual connection in Blackstone. I still want to know what the politician will do with this information, but from what we’ve seen of the man’s revenge tactics so far, I would be hard-pressed to keep my hopes up for something clever and well thought-out.
So as much as I’m relieved to see that the show has picked up on parts of Je-ha’s past and his personal vendetta again, it’s a peculiar choice to have Representative Park focus on this plot point over Anna’s exposure to the public. One would think that after Yoo-jin flaunted his loose end (Se-joon’s lover) in the form of her new staffer, the man would think of a scheme of how to use Yoo-jin’s greatest vulnerability (Anna) to his advantage. Choosing this course would be ripe with possibilities and pump in some much-needed villainous acts, but again, I fear we’ll get bogged down with political subplots that pad the hour instead.
But at least there is forward movement in the areas that count, namely the developing relationship between Anna and Je-ha. Anna’s declaration and desire to be treated like an adult is a giant step for her, since so many people in this world were treating her with delicate hands. Given all the people who supposedly cared for her in the past, it makes sense she would be skeptical about anyone who claimed to genuinely want to protect her. So it’s great to see that Je-ha is willing to respond to that call and test her on what it actually takes to be viewed and treated like a grown-up. He won’t take her whining, tells it like it is, and he challenges her to become a formidable enemy against Yoo-jin. He has his heroic moments, but he’s also a figure of encouragement and a pillar of support in Anna’s life. He may beat himself up for having a sense of compassion for others, but if you ask me, that’s where Je-ha truly shines. That, and an adorkable side we can’t help but love.