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Lookout: Episodes 31-32 (Final)

For anyone hoping for a nice calm jog to the finish line, I’m afraid you’ll be sadly disappointed, as Lookout ends not with a bang, but a sucker punch. The time has come to say goodbye to our ragtag team of vigilantes, but the question of what waits for everyone after their revenge is completed still looms. They say that when one sets on a course of revenge, they must first dig two graves: one for their enemy, and one for themselves. A hefty price for sure, but for some, it’s worth the cost.

 
EPISODE 31 RECAP

We rewind to see Shi-wan enter the building some time before Soon-ae and Suji arrive. Soon-ae tells her friend to follow her without asking any questions, and as Soon-ae literally pulls Suji up the stairs, we see Shi-wan place a hidden camera on the stairwell.

Do-han soon reaches the building as well, and Shi-wan watches through the camera as the prosecutor races up the stairs. He murmurs, “The players have entered.”

Upstairs, Suji cries for Soon-ae to only worry about her daughter and just shoot her, saying that if it could have saved Yoo-na, she would have shot Soon-ae herself. As Suji yells that she should only think of her daughter, we see Se-won barely conscious in the utility room, whimpering that she misses her mom.

Do-han continues to race up the stairs, and Soon-ae slowly picks up the fallen gun and phone. She tells her friend that she hasn’t been a good mother to Se-won, but this is the only thing she can do for her daughter, begging Suji to understand. Suji nods bravely, and Shi-wan smirks, telling the detective not to let him down again.

While Do-han is still doing some serious stair-master drills (seriously, how much time does it take to run up a few flights when you’ve got legs that long? Sprint, man!), Bomi and Kyung-soo both urge their leader to hurry. Kyung-soo offers to head over, but Do-han instructs him to stay at the school, promising that he will save Suji himself.

Soon-ae tries yet again to shoot her friend, but with a tortured scream, she drops the gun. This time, Suji makes a grab for the gun, and Shi-wan laughs as the two women fight over the weapon.

The two wrestle for a moment until there’s a bang, and Soon-ae gapes to see that Suji’s been shot in the abdomen. Do-han arrives just in time to make eye contact with Suji before she collapses. He rushes forward and cradles her to his body, begging her to wake up.

Both Bomi and Kyung-soo freeze to hear the sound of the gunshot. Thankfully, Suji quickly regains consciousness and it looks like the shot missed anything vital, but Shi-wan fumes that she survived and restarts the three minute countdown on his utility room bomb.

Shi-wan’s mom hurries into her son’s room and starts looking through his drawings. Suddenly freezing, she remembers Shi-wan’s protectiveness regarding the giant picture frame, and flashes through all the clues that point to Shi-wan having hurt/abducted another girl.

Trembling, Mom walks over and yanks the cover off the giant frame to reveal a huge landscape of their town. Horrified, she stares to see that on the top of the high school is a depiction of Shi-wan locking someone in the utility room.

This proves to be too much for even her conscience to cover up, and she calls the police, shouting that there’s someone locked on the rooftop of the high school.

Do-han puts pressure on Suji’s wound, and she flashes back to the last time he had saved her when she was shot. She gasps that it really was him that time, but Do-han just fusses at her not to move. Soon-ae also hugs Suji to her, admitting that she could never shoot her.

Shi-wan interrupts the moment to observe that Soon-ae really does care more about her colleague than her own daughter, and mocks that Se-won truly is pitiful.

Do-han has had about enough and grabs the phone. He calls Shi-wan a coward, but the boy just turns it back on the prosecutor, calling him a coward for merely watching when he killed Yoo-na. He invites the prosecutor to just watch again this time, and Do-han snarls back that things won’t go his way. Shi-wan just smiles and asks if he’s sure.

As Kyung-soo exits the high school, he sees a line of police and a bomb squad barrel up to the school, sirens blaring. He tunes into the radio frequency and hears the report that a student is locked on the rooftop with a bomb. Kyung-soo mutters that there wasn’t anyone up there, then glances at a nearby rooftop.

In the building, Soon-ae tells Shi-wan that she won’t kill anyone and tells him to do what he wants, sure that her daughter would understand. Suji instead grabs the phone and yells at Shi-wan to stop harassing innocents when all he really wants is her.

Shi-wan snickers, prompting Suji to sneer that a kid like him couldn’t have made a bomb. Except at that moment, Jin-ki calls Do-han to inform him of the bomb threat and Se-won’s location on the rooftop, confirming that Shi-wan really is that crazy.

Kyung-soo watches the police from the nearby rooftop and muses that if Shi-wan’s mother reported him, then she can’t be all bad. (Yeah, no. That ship hasn’t sailed — it’s fallen off the edge of the Earth.)

Said (possibly redeemable) mom is currently in shock after informing on her own son. She picks up one of Shi-wan’s baby pictures and thinks back to all the times she and her husband encouraged their son to hide his true nature while they covered up for him. Clutching the picture, she sobs, apologizing.

Shi-wan taunts the team that they don’t have much time left, so Do-han snatches the phone, walks to the edge of the building and proposes, “I’ll die.” Suji and Soon-ae gape as Do-han argues that everything that happened was is some way his fault, so it should all end with his death.

Shi-wan calls it too boring, so he instructs Do-han to first write a suicide note recanting all his accusations against Shi-wan’s father, Chief Prosecutor Yoon. Suji protests, but Do-han wordlessly takes out a pen and starts writing.

Eun-joong arrives at his office to learn about the bomb and hostage threat at the high school. Meanwhile, the police comb over the utility room while Kyung-soo still watches from afar. Bomi urges him to get out of there, but there’s a sudden static break into their communication. It’s enough to raise Kyung-soo’s suspicions, and he starts running around the rooftop.

The cops break into the room above the school and the heavily armored bomb squad enters to find nothing but a pile of fireworks. Next door, Kyung-soo finds the padlocked entrance to the boiler room, sees the signal jammer above the door, and realizes that they found Se-won.

We flash back to see that when Se-won had run up to the school’s roof, she had seen Shi-wan standing on the nearby rooftop. Se-won followed him up there, then he’d locked her in the room and put the signal jammer above the door.

Afterward, Shi-wan went back to the school’s rooftop and placed the fireworks and sign as a diversion. He’d then looked at the adjacent rooftop where Se-won was entombed and grinned.

Back in the present, Kyung-soo pounds on the locked door while Se-won lies unconscious inside, the bomb timer ticking down to under a minute.

In the building, Do-han continues to write his suicide note but stops when he gets the call from Jin-ki that they didn’t find Se-won. Shi-wan laughs that Do-han’s plan to stall didn’t work. Do-han demands to know what Shi-won gets out of this, and the little psycho offhandedly answers, “I don’t know. The thrill?” It’s too much for Soon-ae, and she screams into the phone that whether or not her daughter dies, she’ll kill him.

Shi-wan isn’t worried since Soon-ae couldn’t even kill to save her own daughter, and he reminds Do-han that time is running out, adding that he’ll tell them where Se-won is – if Do-han jumps. Do-han listlessly turns towards the edge, but Suji grabs him before he can jump and yells that it’s really her that Shi-wan wants.

Soon-ae’s phone begins to run out of battery, and Soon-ae starts making desperate, whimpering noises when Shi-wan warns that when the phone dies, her daughter dies. As the phone beeps, Suji whips Do-han away from the edge… and throws herself off it.

By some miracle (or just a lot of drama magic), Do-han manages to catch Suji before she plummets, resulting in him struggling to hold on as she dangles from the building.

Suji calls up at him to let go, but Do-han grits out that he can’t. She tells him that they’ve recorded this video of Shi-wan so they can catch him after Se-won is safe, and begs him not to let Yoo-na have died in vain. Do-han instead urges, “Let’s live and catch them… If you die like this, Yoo-na will be so sad.”

In spite of Do-han’s best efforts, Suji’s hand starts to slip. Soon-ae runs forward to help her friend, but she’s halted by the arrival of Shi-wan, who has deigned to come join his “players.” Soon-ae immediately grabs her gun and aims it at him, but the little creep holds up his phone to show that the bomb timer is paused at one second, and his thumb hovers right above the start button.

As the detective and psycho have a standoff, Do-han slowly hauls Suji back onto solid ground.

Over at the school, Kyung-soo struggles to pick the lock on the adjacent rooftop while Bomi pesters him to hurry up. Heh, Kyung-soo growls back that it isn’t as easy as it looks in the movies. He does manage to open the door and runs in when he sees the collapsed Se-won.

Se-won rouses just enough to mummer a weak, “I’m scared,” then passes out again. Frantic, Kyung-soo looks around and spots the bomb with one second left on the timer.

In the building, Shi-wan nonchalantly gives Soon-ae till the count of three to shoot Suji, then slowly starts counting down as Bomi chimes into Do-han’s earpiece that Kyung-soo found Se-won. Do-han quickly asks if Se-won is all right, but by then, Shi-wan has finished his countdown and starts the one second timer.

There’s an immediate resulting explosion that Do-han can hear over the phone, and Soon-ae listens as Do-han asks if that was the bomb. She collapses in shock and Shi-wan happily chides, “That’s why I told you to shoot her.”

Bomi watches through her monitors as an unconscious – but alive – Se-won is loaded into an ambulance. She has a minor freak-out when Kyung-soo doesn’t respond to her, but then he pops up in front of one of her CCTVs and assures her that he managed to get them clear just before the blast.

Night has fallen at the building and Suji, Do-han, and Soon-ae all stare blank-faced and defeated while Shi-wan laughs at them. But then Bomi calls Do-han to report that Se-won was safely recovered. Do-han relates the message, and as the others breathe a sigh of relief, Shi-wan’s triumphant smirk fades. Oh man, I didn’t like the smiling, but the frowning is even scarier.

As Suji slowly stumbles over to her friend, she doesn’t notice Shi-wan start to run straight at her. Do-han does though. He shoves Suji out of the way, but it leaves him directly in the boy’s path. Shi-wan barrels into Do-han, and they both stumble to the building’s edge.

As the two slowly tip over the precipice, Do-han looks at Suji and flashes back to her oath to never forgive him, and her accusations that he used her daughter’s death for his own revenge. His final thought is of Suji’s thanks for helping her visit her mother.

With that last memory, Do-han falls, taking Yoo-na’s murderer with him.

 
EPISODE 32 RECAP

After Do-han’s tragic dive, ambulances and police rush to the building, and Kyung-soo repeatedly asks Bomi what happened. He gets increasingly nervous when she doesn’t answer, but poor Bomi can only stare mutely at her monitor, tears tracking down her face at their leader’s sacrifice.

At the hospital, the priest is keeping watch over Do-han’s sleeping father when he accidentally knocks over a candle. The shattered glass fills him with foreboding, and immediately after, Eun-joong calls to tell him that Do-han “was hurt.” Well, at least he’s not dead?

Shi-wan’s mother also gets a dreaded call, standing in shock to hear that her son is in the ICU. Drat, he lived, too.

Cut to: The hospital room, where both Do-han and Shi-wan lie unconscious, bandaged, and in critical condition. The priest arrives and finds Eun-joong, Kyung-soo, and Bomi waiting outside and looking lost. Poor Kyung-soo looks like he’s about to break down at any moment.

Shi-wan’s mom arrives right behind the priest and comes face to face with the friends and family of the man her son pushed off a building. Eun-joong doesn’t even look at her, and she rushes past to go find her monster of an offspring.

Se-won wakes up in her own hospital room to see her mother by her side. Both mother and daughter cling to one another, sobbing and blaming themselves for what happened. Suji eases into the room as well, and Se-won thanks her mother’s friend for helping her.

Suji and Soon-ae exit into the corridor and Soon-ae asks after Do-han, but Suji looks defeated to admit that he’s still unconscious. She asks Soon-ae for her phone and proceeds to erase the video record they took of Shi-wan’s “game.” (What! But why?)

Soon-ae stares, and Suji says that if they turned in that video, then Soon-ae would get into trouble for kidnapping a fugitive and discharging her weapon illegally. Smiling, Suji urges Soon-ae to forget about what happened today and focus on being a mother to her daughter.

Soon-ae cries in thanks, and when Suji walks away, she calls after, almost pleading, “[Do-han] will be okay. Right?” Suji turns back and nods slightly. It doesn’t really look convincing.

Shi-wan’s mom visits her husband in jail to tell him about their son. She asks if they were good parents, and reveals, “I knew about everything that you had done. I saw how you blamed the innocent, and put them behind bars.” She says that when she was pregnant, she thought about aborting it, fearing that their child would be like his father.

Yoon looks a little teary eyed as his wife starts to sob that she’s being punished for having bad thoughts towards the unborn Shi-wan, believing that this is all her fault. Good grief. Worst family ever.

Suji visits Do-han in the ICU. The priest is standing vigil for his brother, but when she asks how Do-han is doing, he haltingly tells her, “It looks like he won’t make it through this night.” (Noooo!)

The news hits Suji hard. The priest leaves her alone with him, and she takes a seat next to Do-han’s still form. She wonders at how it could end like this when he lived such a difficult life, and tears pool in her eyes when she whispers that maybe now he can find some peace.

Gazing down at him, Suji says that she hated him so much, yet now she’s just as thankful to him. With a final thanks for being their leader, Suji slowly reaches out and holds Do-han’s hand, giving final comfort to the man who was once her enemy.

One year later.

In an underground parking lot, Suji collects a USB from a shady character. Unfortunately, as soon as she grips the drive, an unknown man whizzes by on a motorcycle and snatches it from her hand. She rushes to her own bike and chases after the guy deeper into the garage, only to find him smugly waiting for her behind a wall of hulking bodyguards. The men spread out and encircle Suji, but she strides forward confidently and bashes her helmet into one of the men.

Cue a slo-mo fight scene as Suji dodges between all the men, doing an impressive display of acrobatics as she elbows, punches, and kicks her way through the wannabe men in black. Suji makes it to the man who stole the USB, and in a mighty showdown, she knocks him out with one punch. Yup, she still be badass.

Suji pockets the USB and drives off, not noticing a man emerging from behind a car to take her picture.

After retrieving the USB, Suji calls Kyung-soo and Bomi, who report that they’re currently tailing their mark. (Aw! They all still work together.) Bomi gets in a nice phone PPL by texting their location to Suji, and she and Kyung-soo giggle over how wonderful the phone that he bought her is.

Bomi and Kyung-soo follow their mark into an clothing store, and next thing we see, the guy is firmly stuck between the two of them as they demand his opinion on the men’s underwear they’re buying.

As the two bicker around the man, Kyung-soo uses his light fingers to snag his cell phone and start a hack. Bomi keeps the man distracted by nearly shoving the underwear in his face, insisting he take a closer look since he clearly has terrible taste. Hah!

Kyung-soo finishes hacking and sneaks the phone back into the pocket, and our dynamic duo storms off still “arguing,” leaving the their mark utterly confused.

The two scurry off, and Bomi presents Kyung-soo with a present she bought in the store: a whole pack of his favorite boxers. Bomi coyly grins at her man and tells him to wear them… tonight. (Rawr!) Looking slightly weak-kneed, Kyung-soo beams dazedly. Bomi runs away laughing, and Kyung-soo happily gives chase, neither of them seeing the same man from the garage taking their pictures as well.

It looks like Eun-joong is still fighting the good fight as we catch up to him in a courtroom, where he’s acting as the prosecutor on a drunk driving case. The defendant is a rich punk who smirks as his smarmy lawyer (cameo by Ahn Suk-hwan) uses false evidence and twisted truths to argue that his client had been driving safely at the time of the accident.

Eun-joong appeals to the court that the victim (who is now in a vegetative state) was an experienced driver and hardworking father of two, but things aren’t looking good. Just as the Smarmy Lawyer looks like he’s ready for his victory lap, a messenger brings Eun-joong a USB drive that looks a whole lot like the one that Suji just retrieved.

Triumphant, Eun-joong presents evidence that the punk had been drinking at a club before driving, and they have restored dashboard camera footage of him crashing into the victim’s car. Smarmy Lawyer sits in shock, and the punk petulantly yells at a man in the audience for not erasing the video. The man is none other than Kyung-soo and Bomi’s mark.

Suji calls Bomi and Kyung-soo to report that the trial ended well, and Bomi tuts at the Smarmy Lawyer for his history of defending anyone for the right price.

Kyung-soo chimes in, “That’s why we’re here to teach people like him a lesson.” Bomi nags as him to be more serious since they could get caught, but Kyung-soo just plays cute in response. Suji smiles contentedly to listen to their banter, then tells them she has to stop somewhere before coming home. They both look at the calendar date and tell her to give “that person” their regards.

Back in the courtroom, Smarmy Lawyer is muttering, unsure how Eun-joong outmaneuvered him. The the man who had been photographing our Lookout team enters, and the lawyer greets him as Detective Kang. Kang shows the lawyer his pictures and reveals that these three had helped take down Chief Prosecutor Yoon a year ago, and just now worked with Eun-joong on this trial.

Detective Kang tells the lawyer to call if he’s curious, and leaves with the parting comment that someone else is interested, and “he needs someone who isn’t a civil servant.”

Eun-joong is working when someone comes in and drops a plastic bag on his desk. He looks up and sees… Do-han! (He’s alive?!) Do-han is in full prosecutor persona mode, and he clucks at Eun-joong for getting transferred to some tiny corner of the country after taking the fall for him. Eun-joong insists that he didn’t do it for him, but he stops short when Do-han calls him “hyung.”

Heh, it’s touching until Do-han tries to say it again, but just can’t, and reverts back to calling Eun-joong his trademark “friend.” He then upends the plastic bag and showers Eun-joong’s desk with triangle kimbaps. Do-han calls them a token of his affection, though Eun-joong points out that Do-han usually buys much nicer food for himself.

Do-han grins and cheekily agrees, “Because this is for you, not me.” Eun-joong looks caught between grinning and glaring, but then a voice asks if he doesn’t like the food. Eun-joong snaps back to reality and sees his assistant standing where he imagined Do-han to be. Now that is just cruel.

The assistant asks what Eun-joong was thinking about, and Eun-joong sadly replies, “A friend.” (*Sniff. Whimper*)

Suji’s destination turns out to be the church. The priest soon joins her and thanks her for remembering even after a year. Suji smiles slightly as she asks if she’ll ever be able to forget Do-han. She says that now that she’s fulfilled her promise to Yoo-na, she can just miss her daughter in peace. Except now, when she thinks about Yoo-na, she also remembers someone else.

The priest sighs that he had once hoped that Do-han’s fight would free him from his memories of childhood, except now he knows that there is no need to forget. “When memories of your loved ones are wiped away and you stop missing them, you also lose the reason to live.”

Suji asks what Do-han was like as a child and the priest jokes that because of the chip on his shoulder from his father’s imprisonment, Do-han gave a bad first impression. Suji smiles and adds her first impression of him wasn’t that great either.

Suji flashes back to the first time she met Do-han in that interrogation room and he had ranted about the wonderful meal she had pulled him away from. Suji remembers how he had crouched down beside her and teased, “We’ll have to see each other often then. What if we end up growing on each other?”

In the present, both Suji and the priest smile. He start to tell stories of when his brother was little, and Suji listens, thinking about the man who gave her revenge, and helped her find a life after vengeance.

 
COMMENTS

Well. I suppose that’s one way you could end, Lookout.

I have to admit, I’m not sure how I feel about this ending. I really want to like it, and on some levels, I do. I’m so happy to see that Suji has found a way to move on with her life, never forgetting her daughter, but no longer living for revenge with no regard for tomorrow. The fact that Bomi and Kyung-soo stayed with her makes it even better since they all make such a great team, and an even better family. The icing on the cake is that they’re working with/for Eun-joong – Mr. The Law Is Absolute is teaming up with vigilantes to catch the bad guys. It’s all great, a wonderful way to tie up our Lookout family, except… I still have so many questions!

Did any of them ever end up serving time, or are they all still fugitives? Who the heck was the guy behind the stalker dude? What happened to Assemblywoman Chae? Is Soon-ae still a detective? Has Se-won picked up some common sense? Is Do-han’s father ok? Where’s Suji’s mom? And — most importantly — what the heck happened to Shi-wan?! Is he dead? Did he wake up? Will he be a psychotic vegetable forever more? Gah! It seems like the show was lobbying hard for a second season, and while I would welcome one, second seasons are very rare for K-dramas and it don’t feel like Lookout was popular enough to warrant one. So now, I’m just left with questions and vaguely disgruntled.

I hate to poke holes since I do love this show. It truly was filled with some superb acting, directing, composing, plot lines, and visuals, and I would much rather spend my last recap praising rather than critiquing. However, there was a noticeable decline in the last two or three weeks, and it felt like the story switched from being character driven, to being plot driven. After all the action and character development, I was surprised and a bit disappointed that the final showdown mostly consisted of everyone screaming into a phone while Shi-wan cackled. I agree that Suji and Soon-are are both mothers that were desperate to save the life of a little girl, but let’s not forget that they’re also seasoned detectives. There should be panic and desperation, yes, but these woman have enough experience to use their brains rather than meekly following orders and uselessly raging at a phone screen.

I honestly believed right up until Kyung-soo found Se-won that they all had some kind of grand master plan and they were just acting helpless, then we’d get another one of Lookout’s patented flashbacks to reveal that they’d already saved Se-won, and this was just an elaborate trap for Shi-wan. Instead, Soon-ae broke down, and Suji shot herself then leapt off a building in an attempt at martyrdom. A harsh assessment, I know, but I’m annoyed. Especially since Do-han actually DID turn into a martyr.

Words really cannot express how unhappy I am with Do-han’s demise. If I try, then I suppose I could understand that the show may have been leaning toward this with all his talk of wanting to pay for his crimes and not speaking about the future; but that is what prison is for – reflections and payment! It just hurts that the team was so close to accomplishing everything and living happily ever after, then Do-han gets needlessly chucked off a building. Instead of Do-han gaining Suji’s forgiveness through time, it was forced on us, because you can’t hate someone who saved your life. You just can’t. It’s a rule. The show literally pushed him into his redemption, rather than let him earn it while finding a reason to live again.

All in all, this was a solid show with a great cast, stellar directing, and (mostly) excellent plot development. I very rarely think a show could benefit from being longer, but in this case, I wish it could have gone on to eighteen/thirty-six episodes so we could get those pesky hanging questions answered. Still, this all started because of family and the lengths we will go for the ones we love. I hope that Do-han has found the peace that he was always denied, and Suji can start her life anew with her vigilante family. And evildoers beware, Team Lookout lives on!

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