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Mad Dog: Episode 3

The Mad Dog team is caught up in a mystery that’s bigger than they ever imagined, and they have no idea where their investigation will ultimately lead them. When it comes to insurance settlements, Kang-woo is prejudiced against the beneficiaries, but some policies may be designed to resolve cases and end further investigation. Min-joon wants Kang-woo to dig deeper, but what exactly does he want him to discover?

 
EPISODE 3: “1 vs 4”

The entire Mad Dog team reacts with shock when Kim Min-joon reveals that he’s the younger brother of Kim Beom-joon, the pilot who crashed Flight 801. Min-joon lists the times that he and Kang-woo almost crossed paths, which included a trip to Germany to meet his foster parents. Kang-woo didn’t know that the Gebauers had abandoned Min-joon years earlier and didn’t even save a photo of him.

Kang-woo grabs Min-joon by the neck and shoves him against a pillar just as video clips of the Mad Dog team appear on Noo-ri’s monitors, proof of their illegal activities. When Kang-woo scoffs, clips of Soon-jung’s nurse friend, Detective Jo and the retired professor, fill the screens.

With Kang-woo’s hand still grasped around his neck, Min-joon asks, “Should we all fall into a bottomless pit?” Kang-woo tightens his grip and then suddenly releases Min-joon, who compliments his decision to spare the jobs and reputations of Nurse Oh, Detective Jo, and Professor Byeon.

Min-joon confesses that he wants Mad Dog to bring him what he wants. Kang-woo wonders why Min-joon thinks that they’ll cooperate with him just as he gets a call from Manager Park asking, “Kang-woo, are you insane? Why would you send me a cake?”

Ha-ri is about to run out when Min-joon clarifies that he sent three cakes: one to Manger Park at Taeyang Insurance, one to the police station, and one to the hospital’s offices.

Kang-woo heads for Taeyang Insurance while Ha-ri readies a fake ID on her way to the police station. Noo-ri yells for Soon-jung to roll up his sleeves as they ride his motorcycle to the hospital.

Ha-ri arrives at the station at the same time as the cake, and Detective Jo is surprised when she walks past him. With her fake ID, Ha-ri easily recovers the cake.

The cake at the hospital has a card that reads, “Greetings, there is a gift in the cake.” Soon-jung barges into the offices with Noo-ri, who has blisters all over his arms and neck. When Soon-jung sees the cake, he feigns an attack and knocks the cake to the floor before falling on top of it so that Noo-ri can recover the hidden USB stick.

The third cake is delivered to the lobby of Taeyang Insurance just as Kang-woo saunters in. He’s about to take it to Manager Park, just as he walks into the lobby and demands to know, “What are you doing?”

Manager Park carries the cake to his office, surprised that Kang-woo didn’t go straight to see Chairman Cha. He calls Kang-woo brazen for his recent visit with the chairman and repeats his promise to find proof that will send him and the Mad Dog team to jail.

Kang-woo steps closer to Manager Park (and the cake) and offers to turn himself in. Kang-woo then pulls out the cake and grabs a huge chunk, prompting Manager Park to call him insane.

When Kang-woo encounters Min-joon in the lobby with the USB from the cake, he’s promised the original video files if he does as he’s told, “That’s what dogs do. They smell something and follow the smell. Their owner is the one who does the hunting.” Kang-woo asks for the reason behind Min-joon’s actions, but he responds, “Tick-tock, tick-tock. Time is ticking.”

It’s nighttime by the time the team finds all of the bugs that Min-joon planted in the Mad Dog offices, and Ha-ri looks out of a window just as Kang-woo returns. He looks at the floor above Mad Dog and wonders why Min-joon revealed himself to them now. When he sees Ha-ri, Kang-woo motions that he needs to eat, and she joins him at the neighborhood eatery. When she asks what they should do, Kang-woo tells Ha-ri, “We’ll continue as usual.”

The next morning, Ha-ri follows Min-joon to a church and eventually follows him inside. When she moves to leave, the pastor asks her to introduce herself, and it gives Ha-ri a chance to notice the young woman seated next to an amused Min-joon.

Min-joon follows Ha-ri outside and is particularly interested in the brooch on her jacket. He stares at the camera hidden in the brooch and addresses Kang-woo, “Go ahead and follow me. But you know you’re only allowed to sniff.”

Soon-jung hears the message and shuts his laptop in frustration just as Kang-woo inquires, “How long will it take?” Soon-jung’s associate finally succeeds at picking a lock, and Kang-woo and Soon-jung enter Min-joon’s well decorated apartment.

Soon-jung checks on Min-joon’s computer, which triggers an alarm on Min-joon’s phone and allows him to watch real-time feed of the activity in his apartment. Min-joon tells the images on his phone, “There’s nothing in there,” which Noo-ri confirms when he discovers that the computer is empty.

Ha-ri tails Min-joon when he drives away from the church. Something about the apartment is suspicious, so Kang-woo suggests, “Let’s stop for a minute.” Ha-ri maneuvers her car in front of Min-joon’s and slams on her brakes, which forces him to come to an abrupt stop and sends his phone flying. Ha-ri exits her car to ask if Min-joon is hurt, but he ignores her attempts to detain him and drives away.

Noo-ri interrupts the video feed from the apartment with some previously recorded footage to give Kang-woo and Soon-jung a few minutes to explore in secret. Kang-woo discovers a bookcase that opens into a hallway and follows it to a secret room where the walls are covered with articles about Flight 801.

Noo-ri warns the men to leave, and Soon-jung shouts at Kang-woo to come out, but he’s overwhelmed by memories of the tragedy and can’t respond. Noo-ri’s panicked voice tries to break into his thoughts, “Get out of there!”

Min-joon enters his apartment, only to be greeted by a toy dog with a relentless bark. Min-joon is startled to find Kang-woo in the secret room and warns, “You dug in too much.”

Kang-woo wonders how far he managed to get and surprises Min-joon further when he produces a photo of the young woman from church named Kang Eun-joo.

Soon-jung visits the hospital disguised as a deliveryman and discovers that Kang Eun-joo is eight months pregnant and attends her appointments alone because her husband, Lee Soo-oh, died in an accident. Equipped with a Bible that holds a hidden camera, Ha-ri captures the church gossip that the husband’s death was a suicide.

At Mad Dog, Kang-woo is puzzled by Min-joon’s association with the young widow, but when he remembers Min-joon’s brother’s life insurance policy, he asks Ha-ri to search for insurance documents for Lee Soo-oh.

Hong-joo sits in a private dining room with her father as he reads a document, even though it’s her birthday. Hong-joo notices an incoming party that includes the Juhan Airlines Vice President, Joo Hyun-gi, and asks Chairman Cha if he has a meeting. He explains that he just needs to say hello to some people and discourages Hong-joo from leaving.

Hyun-gi meets with businessmen from Busan, and shares that he heard that someone is about to receive a huge promotion as he learns about the politics involved in such a move. Hyun-gi adds, “It’s said that people from their party will be appointed as a chief of anti-corruption, a chief of public peace, a director of public prosecutions, and a chief of Seoul Prosecutors’ Office.”

Hyun-gi promises the senior-ranking member in the room, “I’m working my very best to help you come back to Seoul.” The man asks after the chairman’s health, and his associate reminds him that the chairman became ill after the crash of Flight 801. Hyun-gi claims that the chairman has improved and might wake up soon.

Chairman Cha stops to say hello and surprises everyone when he greets the senior guest, “Congratulations on your appointment, Chief Ohn.” Phones suddenly vibrate with a text that announces that Ohn Joo-shik has just been promoted to chief.

Chief Ohn Joo-shik announces that the dinner is over and asks Chairman Cha to provide him with a return ticket to Busan. The entire party follows him out, and Hyun-gi suddenly finds himself alone in the private dining room.

Chief Ohn sits in Chairman Cha’s car and promises, “I won’t forget about what you did for me this time.” Chief Ohn asks if Chairman Joo Jung-pil will wake up, and Chairman Cha answers that he’s heard nothing to suggest that he will. Chief Ohn sees Hyun-gi and notes, “He sees no further than his nose. Chairman Joo must be worried so much, even after he dies.”

When the car pulls away, Hyun-gi can’t contain his laughter and tells Hong-joo, “Gosh, he just ruined my party. Chairman Cha’s impressive… I don’t know what a mere chairman of an insurance company lured the chief with.” Offended, Hong-joo announces her departure, but Hyun-gi grabs her hand and begs her to stay, “You know I’ll lose my dad soon. I’m going to be very depressed.”

Hong-joo jerks her hand away and chastises Hyun-gi for his lack of concern for his father, but he protests that his father is alive thanks to him. A call from Kang-woo interrupts them and gives Hong-joo an opportunity to part with Hyun-gi.

Kang-woo meets Hong-joo at Taeyang to ask if Kang Eun-joo took out an insurance policy on her husband. Kang-woo walks out without a word when Hong-joo shows him a document for Lee Soo-oh’s insurance policy, with his wife listed as the beneficiary.

In the Mad Dog offices, Ha-ri reports on the policy’s details: It provides $100,000 for a normal death versus $400,000 for an accidental death. Because the policy was just over two years old, it pays out even in the case of a suicide. Soon-jung glances at Min-joon as he points out, “There’s a high possibility he committed suicide for the insurance money, like someone I know.”

Soon-jung reports on the details of the accident — Lee Soo-oh met his friend, Han Seong-jin, who helped him to his car after lunch because he was very drunk. An hour later, the car burst into flames.

Soon-jung investigates the spot where the car burned, and at the same time, Min-joon interviews the restaurant owner. She remembers that Lee Soo-oh was knocked out by one glass of soju and that she didn’t see the accident because the air conditioning forced her to keep the doors and windows shut.

The woman admits that she hasn’t been able to sleep well since the accident, and Min-joon urges her to see a doctor. She’s touched by his concern, while Soon-jung watches from afar and calls him a con artist.

Back at Mad Dog, Noo-ri and Soon-jung talk about the way that Min-joon was able to charm the restaurant owner, even though he’s right there. He looks interested when Noo-ri mentions that Detective Jo can get them a copy of the security footage, but Soon-jung warns Min-joon to stay out of their business. Min-joon asks about Kang-woo, and Ha-ri will only say that he went to meet a teacher.

Kang-woo sits in Kang Eun-joo’s apartment and notices a number of chemistry books. He figures that since Min-joon sent him, they’ve known each other for a long time, but Kang Eun-joo claims that she just met him a few months ago. Calling him a good person, she grabs his hand and begs Kang-woo to help her prove that her husband didn’t commit suicide.

Detective Jo meets Kang-woo for lunch and hands over the video file of the accident. Kang-woo asks him to run a background check on the widow and find all of her previous addresses. When asked if she’s a killer, Kang-woo admits, “I have no idea. Why can’t I see anything clearly?”

Ha-ri interviews the friend who met Lee Soo-oh for lunch, Han Seong-jin. He tells her that he regrets that he didn’t take Lee Soo-oh home that day, but he had to return to work and expected his friend to wake up soon.

Professor Byeon is at the cafe where Kang-woo and Noo-ri meet with a retired fire chief to review the video of the accident. Noo-ri suggests that the fire was started remotely, so they review photos of the items found in the car to locate the source of the blaze.

When Kang-woo asks if Lee Soo-oh killed himself, the fire chief calls on Professor Byeon, a former medical examiner, for his opinion. Professor Byeon doubts that Lee Soo-oh set himself on fire because it would mean that he was conscious, and the intense pain would have driven him from the car.

The former fire chief points to a photo of a melted cigarette lighter and identifies it as the cause of the explosion. Kang-woo reviews the footage of the exploding lighter over and over and determines that Lee Soo-oh suffered a seizure.

Kang-woo asks Professor Byeon if there’s an illness where a bright flash triggers a seizure and learns about Lafora disease, a genetic disorder that first presents itself during the teenage years. The disorder would make Lee Soo-oh ineligible for life insurance.

Kang-woo pays another visit to Kang Eun-joo and discovers dark googles and blackout curtains in the office where Lee Soo-oh’s laptop sits. Kang-woo confronts the widow about Lafora disease and assures her that even though her husband’s disorder made him ineligible for insurance, she will get the money because the disease didn’t cause his death.

Kang Eun-joo blurts out that Han Seong-jin killed her husband for his research on new Lafora drugs. She believes that he was after the work that her husband devoted his life to.

Kang-woo demands to know her connection to Min-joon, and Kang Eun-joo explains that Min-joon offered to listen to her story and help her. He urged her to meet with Choi Kang-woo if he visited, and told her that he would take care of everything.

The desperate woman begs Kang-woo to help her, but he pulls his hand away and explains, “I don’t work with scammers.” He urges her not to file a claim and gives her money from his wallet instead. Kang Eun-joo tells Kang-woo that she won’t accept the insurance money until she clears her husband’s name and returns his money with the explanation, “My baby and I are not beggars.”

Min-joon studies the articles about Flight 801 that cover the walls of his secret room. He pulls open a desk drawer and stares at a photo of him with his brother as children, but shuts it when he hears Kang-woo approach. Kang-woo demands to know why Mad Dog was dragged into Lee Soo-oh’s case and is told, “If you want to know, solve the problem.”

The rest of the team is at the neighborhood hangout where Ha-ri admits that they probably won’t pursue the case since it was a scam. Noo-ri is worried about the incriminating evidence, but Ha-ri reminds him that they can’t be killed because of it.

Kang-woo watches the team as Soon-jung and Noo-ri register their approval over Ha-ri’s tough talk before joining them. After many bottles of soju, Soon-jung launches into his love story from 2008. In a flashback, we see a woman questioned by the violent crimes unit about a scam that involved multiple auto insurance policies and staged accidents that added up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims.

Soon-jung appeared and named the real culprit, but the woman confused him when she had insisted that her boyfriend, Na Jong-gu, wasn’t involved. The detective called the woman Oh Mi-ja, even though Soon-jung knew her as Set-byul, and showed her photographic evidence of her speeding with Na Jong-gu in her car.

The detective reminded Oh Mi-ja that someone died and that she could be sentenced to ten years for murder. Oh Mi-ja blurted out that Soon-jung was to blame for everything, “It’s this man. This man is a gangster. He’s an ex-convict. I was too scared of him. So I just did what he told me to.”

Soon-jung reminded Set-byul that he quit his criminal life so that they could be together, but she cruelly answered, “I’d rather die than live with you.” Heartbroken, Soon-jung confirmed his criminal record and tearfully confessed to all of the crimes that Oh Mi-ja was guilty of.

Later, Soon-jung was released from his cell, and the detective explained that if it wasn’t for Kang-woo of Taeyang Insurance, he would have spent ten years in prison. Soon-jung met Kang-woo and learned that Oh Mi-ja fled the country with Na Jong-gu. Soon-jung wondered why Kang-woo set a criminal free and wept when he was told that he was a very good man.

In the present, Soon-jung explains that was the first time in his life that someone called him a good man. Soon-jung brings up Lee Soo-oh’s case and reminds Kang-woo that they can’t know what happened just from appearances.

A drunken Kang-woo enters his apartment and momentarily forgets that his family is gone as he announces, “I’m home.” In spite of the late hour, his phone rings with a call from Detective Jo who tells him that Kang Eun-joo was just arrested for assault.

At the police station, Han Seong-jin insists that he wants to press charges against Kang Eun-joo. Later, he washes his hands in the bathroom and smiles as he mutters, “Crazy witch,” before he notices Kang-woo.

Kang Eun-joo is released when Kang-woo presents himself as her guardian, but he ignores her attempt to talk to him. She returns to her apartment alone while someone watches from across the street.

Kang-woo is awakened by a call from an ambulance attendant who found his business card and learns that Kang Eun-joo called for an ambulance. He finds Kang Eun-joo on a ventilator after an emergency delivery and remembers how he called her a scammer.

Nurse Oh speaks with an obstetrics nurse and reports to Soon-jung that Kang Eun-joo is in a coma after enduring a cardiac arrest during surgery. Soon-jung insists that his team didn’t do anything to cause trouble, but when Nurse Oh wonders why Kang-woo is by Kang Eun-joo’s side, he confesses, “It’s because we didn’t do anything.”

Ha-ri reports to Kang-woo that she called all the numbers on Kang Eun-joo’s phone and discovered that she has no family because she was an orphan. She informs Kang-woo that Kang Eun-joo called him at dawn but he didn’t answer, and a check of his phone shows that he has a voicemail.

Kang-woo listens to the message as he leaves the hospital, and Kang Eun-joo confesses that she considered the possibility that her husband killed himself, but believes that he didn’t. She tells Kang-woo, “It’s all in his laptop. The research about Lafora disease and his diary too. Please read it. I only have you. Please help me.”

Kang-woo returns to Kang Eun-joo’s apartment and finds Min-joon in the office. Min-Join claims that he’s there to look for evidence, but when Kang-woo asks about the laptop, he says that he hasn’t seen it. Min-joon tosses a book, Mother’s Note, onto the desk and claims that there’s nothing there that’s useful.

Kang-woo takes a swing at Min-joon before grabbing him by the collar and insisting that his reason for being there has something to do with his brother, Beom-joon. Min-joon looks away as Kang-woo reasons that he wants to determine if his brother is really responsible for the crash that killed sixty-seven of the one hundred and ninety passengers on Flight 801.

Kang-woo turns Min-joon to face him and asks, “Do you want me to tell you what Beom-joon really did?” He tells Min-joon about a twenty-three year old passenger, Kim Yong-joo, who missed her high school trip to Jeju Island because she didn’t want to burden her mother who cleaned bathrooms for a living.

When her mother found out that her best friends had planned a trip to Jeju Island, she saved enough money to buy her daughter a plane ticket and a new dress. That dress was found in her luggage and became her shroud and then her mother followed her in death two months later.

Kang-woo tells Min-joon that the only reason that he didn’t follow his family after their deaths is because of jerks like him, who deserve to be locked up for benefiting from the deaths of others. Kang-woo warns, “Beom-joon’s brother. Jan Gebauer. Kim Min-joon. Breathe and do nothing all your life. Don’t do anything… otherwise, you’ll die.”

Kang-woo meets with Detective Jo and learns that Kang Eun-joo grew up as an orphan in Gimpo before she moved to Donam-dong. Kang-woo calls Noo-ri and asks him if Min-joon ever visited either place and they’re both surprised to learn that he’s in Gimpo right now.

Min-joon visits the orphanage in Gimpo and an old photo of Beom-joon triggers a memory of Min-joon as a child. He begged, “Beom-joon, I’ll be a good boy. Please take me with you to aunt’s place.” But Beom-joon told him, “Go. I’m not your brother anymore.”

Min-joon takes note of the other children in the group photo from 1997 and compares it to a reunion photo taken in 2015, where the adult Beom-joon stands next to Kang Eun-joon and the insurance planner who sold him his life insurance policy, Ms. Lee.

Two hours later, Kang-woo visits the orphanage and stops in surprise when he sees the photo from 2015 that proves that Beom-joon, Kang Eun-joon, and Ms. Lee grew up together.

 
COMMENTS

Just what in the world did orphans become involved with that they are disappearing one by one? Are Beom-joon, Kang Eun-joo and Ms. Lee the only ones who will be victimized, or are there others? Mad Dog just took a sharp turn as it revealed that there is more to this story than the mystery of Flight 801. Mad Dog reminds me of one of those jigsaw puzzles with thousands of tiny, interlocking pieces that all work together to create the entire picture. I think that’s what we have here, and why seemingly insignificant details may end up being very important down the road. The trick will be to sort out the red herrings from the facts that are key to solving the larger mystery.

Kang-woo nailed the mood at this point in the story when he complained that he can’t see anything clearly. Who exactly are the bad guys that are behind such a sophisticated and well hidden scheme? The soft-spoken and kind Chairman Cha wields more power that one would expect for the CEO of an insurance company, as Hyun-gi has already figured out. Hyun-gi himself is pretty suspicious as he lies that his father may awaken from his coma and make Hong-joo uncomfortable with his unwanted attention. There’s also the main suspect in the death of Kang Eun-joo’s husband, a scientist who probably used that parabolic structure in the building that borders the parking lot to ignite the lighter and kill his friend.

Not only did we learn that there is a bigger mystery at play, we got some backstory on Soon-jung, which was significant for many reasons. It’s hard to imagine that an ex-convict as tough as Soon-jung can be victimized in an insurance scam, but love will do that to you. Oh Mi-ja entrapped Soon-jung just so she could frame him for her crimes if she was ever caught, and it worked, but mostly because he was willing to sacrifice himself for the woman that he loved. It was so sad to see Soon-jung realize that he was used. But just when he was at his lowest, his life was turned around by an insurance investigator who dug deeper and discovered the truth, an insurance investigator who recognized that Soon-jung was a very good person underneath his tough exterior. Soon-jung’s life was never the same after that, and it explains why he’s so devoted to Kang-woo and is willing to do anything for him.

Kang-woo’s assessment of Soon-jung is the very same conclusion that Kang Eun-joo came to regarding Min-joon and Kang-woo: that they’re good people. But something in Kang-woo died when he lost his family, and he doesn’t respond when others reach out to him, which is the reason that he can’t see things clearly. Instead of recognizing that the young widow is desperate and alone, Kang-woo dismissed her as a scammer because of that insurance policy. He looks at Min-joon the same way—because he was awarded so much money, Min-joon can’t be a victim. No, in Kang-woo’s mind, the only victims are the passengers who died on Flight 801 and their families. But Soon-jung is the voice who reminds Kang-woo that you can’t trust appearances (he just needs to remember that when he sees Min-joon). Oh Mi-ja wasn’t who she seemed to be either, and Lee Soo-oh’s case may not be as simple as Kang-woo thinks. That truth is becoming painfully obvious now that Kang Eun-joo’s past links her with Min-joon’s brother and the late Taeyang Insurance planner who is connected to so many troubling cases.

 
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@teriyaki thanks for the recap! :)

A number of beanies seem to dislike Min Joon, but I don't get it. The Show seems to be telling us that he's a victim as well. For example, at the end of episode 2, it is shown that his brother says "Next time, call me hyung" as he fastens his watch - just before that fateful flight, the last time Min Joon saw him. Not only does he say, "Next time", he also seems quite cheerful, and not at all like he's about to commit suicide and mass murder.

Thus - with hints like this - I really feel for Min Joon, and think he has no choice but to come on so aggressively onto the Mad Dog team. Or they'd devour him.

Or is it simply Woo Do Hwan's magic working on me? ^^;

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I don't get it either. Min Joon seems intent on finding out what happened to the flight.

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I totally agree with you. I think he new that Kang-woo must still have hated him - he was on the other side of the door when Kang-woo tried to talk to him two years before. So there was no chance that Mad Dog would have become his ally. He had to come strong and to force the team into cooperation.
I am sure he is a victim, too, and he wants to investigate his brother's death as much as Kang-woo and they will become willing allies shortly.

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I had a hard time wrapping my head around Kang-woo's instant assumption that Min-joon was a scammer. The way he went after him at the morgue was horrible. Yes, I understand that he was grief-stricken over his wife and son. But he himself could have been accused of benefitting from his wife and son's deaths in exactly the same way. It goes to show how rationality and professional detachment fly out the window in the face of emotional upheaval.

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So many virtual identities dislikes Min Joon? I'm surprised. Even pathetic Hyun-Gi seeks sympathy from the audience.
A guy who scammed the Builder, put him behind bars, gave money back to victims is bad because he is in the face of Mad Dog Team( who break laws all the time, use illegal measures to find out illegal acts).
Being Selfish and a bit harsh doesn't make you a bad person. The show follows Deliveryman's logic of every wrong-is-right because uttered by Hero-Team.

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It's the way he showed up. It was dishonest, deceptive, and manipulative. And those are characteristics of a bad person. Forcing a family member of a victim to prove that the person they are convinced killed their loved one is innocent isn't just an incredibly sh*** thing to do; it's so egregiously selfish, it should be considered evil.

I'm also calling bulls*** on the notion that he had to force himself on the Mad Dog team. He has the financial means and the intellect to figure out why his brother committed mass murder without blackmailing and threatening the team and their friends.

Even if it turns out that Min-joon's brother was a victim, Min-joon still deserves to get choked out for the way he's imposed himself in the Mad Dog team's lives.

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I do think Woo Do Hwan nails it in this character. A smug, almost-genius-level smart and with his dark side, to unravel what really happened to the plane. Hell, I am glad that the plot didn't drag too long on why Min Joon approaches Mad Dog in the first place. Glad to know that he's on their side too.
Although I hope there will be other fraud case to investigate, instead of just focusing on the conspiracy behind the aircrash.

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I love Woo Do Hwan to bits. He is an actor with a great future ahead and apparently he is good with his choices too. However in the confrontational scene from the end of this episode there was something that was missing from his emoting. Especially near Yoo Ji Tae it was obvious that WDH is still really young.
All in all I had all over again Healer vibes. I cannot wait for the next episode when each episode ends.

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@Adam,

I could buy Min-joon's hermetically-sealed emotions as Kang-woo was throttling him at the beginning of the episode. He baited Mad Dog in his own den. Min-joon took a calculated risk, and backed it up with footage from their own surveillance that incriminated third-party collaborators -- which was enough to force Kang-woo to unhand him.

In the later showdown in Eun-soo's apartment, I got a "deer in the headlights" vibe. I don't think he expected to encounter Mad Dog there. Or maybe he had become aware that Kang-woo could go off the deep end in an unpredictable way, especially since they were alone. In the first showdown, he calmly looked Kang-woo in the eye, whereas this time he broke eye contact repeatedly. After being choked the first time, I could understand Min-joon's standing stock still and devoid of antagonistic wise-guy bravado in the later confrontation. It's what I would do in the presence of an emotionally-volatile person.

With the increasing body count, maybe Min-joon had realized that parties as yet unknown might well have it in for him, too. Although he'd assumed protective coloration as a dorky wuss to throw Mad Dog off his true intentions during the building collapse case, he may have been thinking that he'd drawn the attention of other parties with bad intent towards him.

Mad Dog's pleading with Min-joon to live a quiet, obscure life of luxury confused me a bit at first. I think it signaled a shift away from his assumption that the beneficiaries of the life insurance policies were somehow guilty for receiving the payouts, and the realization that both his and Min-joon's investigations had ultimately endangered the lives of innocent payees, including his frenemy.

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The actor who plays Chairman Cha almost always plays a villain. Therefore Chairman Cha is guilty! The mystery is solved! ha,ha.

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I, too, feel like he’s the one benefitting from the scam so yeah, he’s the baddy. Lol

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My sense that it's not only Chairman Cha that's benefitting from a scam, but that he's maybe cut some big movers and shakers in on the deal as well.

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@atz,

I've got whiplash because, aside from his recent outing as the paranoid and conjugally cantankerous King Chungnyeol in THE KING LOVES, I've only seen Jung Bo-suk in a couple of dramas. His cameo as Eun-oh's martial arts master (the King of Heaven on incognito walkabout) in ARANG AND THE MAGISTRATE was the role that put him on my radar.

His turn in CAN YOU HEAR MY HEART? was a memorably warm, sympathetic portrayal of Woo-ri's mentally impaired father, Bong Young-gyu, the kind-hearted gardener.

In HIGH KICK! 2 / HIGH KICK THROUGH THE ROOF, he plays the downtrodden father of the family who is scorned at work by his obnoxious father-in-law. He's a much nicer person than his aggressive wife and daughter, although he's not a very good businessman.

Seeing him as a conniving chaebol kingmaker in MAD DOG simply doesn't compute, and is giving me the creeps. ;-)

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I couldn't find the words as to how I saw this show, and Teriyaki you described it perfectly, in order to understand this drama , you need to be able to connect the parts together which in the end create the whole, and i find it interesting.

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This show confuses me most of the time and I have to rewatch some scenes to fully undertand it, sometimes I still don’t. I still don’t get what Min-joon needs the Mad Dog team for. Is it to help him discover the mystery behind the death of the insurance plan holders? Because he is capable enough & even smarter than the team and he is doing find doing the task himself, he’s even always one step ahead of the team.

Thank you for the recap Teriyaki. :)

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I think Min-joon is looking for corroboration of the leads he himself has been tracking down. He has privy knowledge that Mad Dog lacks, and setting them on the scent is the acid test of the reliability of his evidence as well as where it leads. He's looking for collaborators in his investigation.

He also knows that he is persona non grata by virtue of having received a huge insurance payout for his brother's death. But he also cannot believe that his brother was suicidal. (Maybe we'll find out that Bum-joon had searched for his little brother for years and had finally managed to reconnect with him. Maybe he became a pilot so he could look for him overseas? -- I'm hoping we get some insight into their reunion.)

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I feel exactly the same way as you, giegie! Like you, I don't get what he needs Mad Dog for corroboration since he is smart and capable enough to do it on his own as you have pointed out. Currently I'm still not convinced by PakalanaPikake's argument below about his motivation. I understand her argument rationally but not emotionally and that could be the crux of the matter. However, I will still give this show a few more episodes since I love the cast and hopefully by then my heart will catch up to my brain.

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Lol that church scene reminds me of Dong Chul in Save Me. 😆

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IKR, I think it must be because it hasn't been too long since SM ended, or maybe because of the dorky smile plastered on Do Hwan's face. He is a chameleon and I look forward to see more types of characters he could play.

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Yeah, I had to re-watch that scene twice, because I kept getting too wrapped up in my head thinking about Save Me.

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it would be nice if this show gave a little back story on minjoon. it will help me understand better what he is trying to achieve. right now he's too mysterious.

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This is only episode 3. I'm sure that there's a lot more to be revealed. Just the tidbits we got in this episode made me sit up and take notice.

My sense is that Min-joon is looking potential collaborators among anyone else who does not automatically assume that his long-lost brother was suicidal.

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Holy hell, Woo Dowhan is doing some kind of magic, because there are instances where I just wanna grab him, smother him in a hug even if he's an infuriating brat sometimes! There are these tiny instances where he just seems so freaking desperate before it all gets wiped clean.
That confrontation scene was just plain painful. Kangwoo just seemed so damn desperate and in pain, like he wasn't lashing out at Minjoon out of loss. In fact, it almost looked like he was pleading with Minjoon not to do anything because somewhat acutely he didn't want to do anything to Minjoon, like a small (very, /very/ small) part of him believed he was a (somewhat) victim too. (Or I might be projecting because their chemistry on screen was just that debilitating lol)
With Kang Eunjoo as well, there's that perpetual air of wanting to help that seemed to clash with his principles.
Also, I swear to god, Hyungi is a sociopath. The guy gives me the creeps whenever he has a scene.. (Also that goddamn tie, why is one side over the shirt collar, I spent 5 mins pawing at my screen cuz that bothered me so much -_-)

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I think more that Kang Woo is still deep in pain,not like something that horrible can ever completly heal but the way Minjoon entered and layed out all the stuff and being so arogant and playing those games really teared open that already existing hole inside him,Kang Woo is living yet he's not alive inside and just tries to forget,so he told him to just stay put and just breath as he as well has his own limit before he can take it and do something stupid...Even if his Bro might have killed his family and he got the money more likely deep down knows he is innocent one yet his sole presence and actions cause pain to him and it's understandable...

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I join you in your Hyun-gi necktie rant. It is an abomination against innocent cravats everywhere. A fashion crime of the highest order. -- Or might it be a subtle clue that this guy deserves a "necktie party" (in cowboy movies, execution by hanging)?

As for Kang-woo, his calling "I'm home" when he stumbled in his front door three sheets to the wind was so damned sad. The guy has been existing, not living, for two years. Min-joon's bombastic arrival has ripped open the scabs, as has every other questionable case ever since.

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Thanks for your recap and comments, TeriYaki!

I completely missed the parabolic structure on the building adjoining the site of the car fire. No radio-controlled remote detonation was needed to set the car ablaze, just a long-range twist on the old-school magnifying glass method of starting a fire. This had a built-in time delay as the sun had to move to the location of the lighter before igniting it. Diabolical. That single glass of soju that knocked out the victim obviously contained a Mickey Finn. Poor soul.

It was only after watching for the third time that I heard the name the police detective used for Cheetah's insurance-scammer girlfriend "Set Byul": Mi-ja -- the same name as Min-joon's stepmother in Germany who was married to Hans Gebauer. -- Which raises the question: If the Gebauers had abandoned him 12 years earlier, ca. 2005, where has he been all this time, and what has he been up to?

The revelation that three of the kids who grew up in the orphanage had died in cases related in some way to insurance fraud makes me fear that all the rest of the orphans are at risk as well, and that includes Min-joon. They are probably being used because they have no family to miss them, much as spies are reputedly recruited from the same pool of candidates.

Did the Gebauers really abandon their adopted son, or did he run away from home when his spider sense started tingling? Or did he merely reach the age of majority? He still has a German passport, IIRC.

In the first picture of the orphans taken in 1997, there were three girls to the left of Bum-joon, while the 2015 photo shows only two and then a gap between them and the next man. A young boy in a black baseball cap stood in front of Bum-joon in 1997, and is presumably Min-joon, who is not in the 2015 photo (because he was supposedly still in Germany).

Another smoldering question: How did the brothers come to be orphaned in the first place? Is there some long-running ploy to "farm" orphans as fodder for future insurance fraud?

Airline Vice President Joo Hyun-ki creeps me out (as do almost all of the corporate/bureaucratic bigwigs). And what the heck gives with his bizarrely asymmetrical tie? (I pay as little attention to fashion as possible. If this is the latest look, I'll just crawl back under my rock.)

This episode is jam-packed with clues. As TeriYaki states, the challenge lies in successfully differentiating the red herrings. Alas, we are inundated with shoal after shoal of data, and they just keep coming.

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I also wondered about that span of time since 2005 regarding Min-joon. Then again, this may be false info.

I suddenly feel I missed something and may need to rewatch!

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I think we'll get to know more about Min-joon's missing years in the future episodes. Well, at least I hope so.

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Well this is certainly turning into a mystery behind another mystery. It's seemingly a complicated puzzle involving people with who knows how many secrets. I kind of like it.

And oh my gosh, the actor playing Hyun-gi ..... he always does well in roles where something's "a little off". No different here. You kind of laugh with the whole shirt collar thing ..... but the minute he says anything or looks at anyone, the creepy factor hits you.

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I agree. I recall actor Choi Won-young (Hyung-gi) in Hello Monster/I Remember You. He played the very creepy adult Lee Joon-young. It is one of my favorite series.
On the other hand in Hwarang he played the good Doctor Ahn Ji.

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@korfan,

This is my first time seeing Choi Won-young in a show of any kind. He emits a thoroughly creeptastic vibe, with a dollop of deranged on the side. He's so skeevy when he's around Cha Hong-joo that my skin crawls. Ick!

He's doing a fine job as a putative baddy. Or is he faking it for the same reason that Min-joon masquerades as a wussy dork (i.e., survival while swimming with the sharks)?

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Paying off insurance policies for suicides if they signed up at least two years before seems unwise, especially in a country with a high suicide rate. "Sure, we'll pay you to kill yourself, just give the ink on the contract two years to dry".

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@Lord Cobol,

I agree about the dubiousness of selling policies that pay out in the event of suicide. If that isn't aiding and abetting, I don't know what is. But it's even worse that a third party (other than an employer) is allowed to take out a life insurance policy on a total stranger. You just know that someone somewhere is going to stay awake late at night thinking up ways to make a literal killing by exploiting this loophole.

It almost makes me wonder if all the policies have some kind of hidden clause built-in that triggers a payout to whomever is in on the bigger scam that is being implied.

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Well, what happens if a breadwinner made a bad decision while in the grasp of a suicide? What if it was something else masked as suicide? What's going to happen to the ones left behind then? Insurance is supposed to help as best as it can, not try to rip off miserable people. The two years waiting period was meant to hold off scammers because the stats show that people who commit suicide because they want the pay out generally do so in a year. Add another year for "safety" and after that, no one really knows - that's no excuse to keep miserable families in misery just because of a very few idiots.

And I don't know how they can still buy an insurance plan on someone unrelated's life - most countries now demand "insurable interest", aka proof that you stand to lose (financially) in the case of someone dying... so I dunno why First World South Korea is allowing this kind of things to happen. Or maybe it's just dramaland.

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Error: 'while in the grasp of a suicide depression '

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As far as I understand, they are essentially life policies which pay upon death (no matter the manner of it). There is a “waiting period” to deter people from defrauding (by profiting from suicide should they need money urgently), because in general, most people do not harbour suicidal thoughts without seeking help in the long term and the “urgent” need may not be a problem anymore, after the “waiting period” or the person may change his/her mind about death being a solution to financial problems along the way.
In some countries, it’s a one year wait, so perhaps two years is already a consideration of their high suicidal rates?

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okay but is it just me or did the instrumental in the scene where Kang Woo finds Min Joon's secret lair remind you of the music from Circle???

The chairman scares me... he clearly seems to be the mastermind in all of this

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I think Kim Min-Joon wants emotional results out of the Mad Dog team as much or more than help. I think some part of him wants to be recognized and forgiven. He also may be driven by a desire of restitution as well. (Although the idea that he is also acting out of a desire to help the passengers was tested somewhat in episode 4.) Regardless, I think there is some part of him that wants the loyalty and camaraderie of the team. I'm really curious to see if Mad Dag and Min-Joon will just be allies until the big baddies come down, or if they will stay close. Whether relationships develop between the team and Min-Joon is what keeps me watching.

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@abalyn,

You make a persuasive case for Min-joon's seeking emotional connection as well as justice for his estranged brother. After Bum-joon was adopted without him, he must have had a lonely time in the orphanage. (Did a female relative referred to as "aunt" really adopt the older boy without the younger one?) Then he was adopted overseas, and that must have been even lonelier since he would not have been able to speak the language when he arrived. We don't know his age at the time of adoption. His adoptive parents abandoned him in 2005 when he was 17-18. He was in the process of reconnecting with Bum-joon when hyung was killed. All in all, a pretty tragic and emotionally-deprived childhood.

I think you're right about his wanting to make restitution, which may spring from survivor's guilt -- even though he was blameless in the situation. He was as much a victim as any of the other surviving kinfolk.

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I loathe adoptive parents who abandon their adoptive kids. What are they, dogs?? It's not even right to do that to dogs!

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But it sounds more like hyung was trying to cut MJ off so that he will go with adoptive parents, thinking that was the best arrangement for MJ. Or maybe I have watched too many dramas with such a plot...

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It was Minjoon who was adopted while his brother Bumjoon was growing up in the orphanage together with EJ and LM, the planner.

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Min-joon begged his brother to take him with him to "aunt's," which sounds to me as if Bum-joon were being adopted himself. He could have been in his mid to late teens. Even if he were adopted in his late teens, he could have spent a lot of his growing-up years at the orphanage with the two girls.

When he brusquely told Min-joon that he was no longer his hyung, I interpreted it to mean that Bum-joon was trying to break the family tie to make it easier for his kid brother to be adopted.

It's not clear to me how much older hyung is. Was he 34 when he crashed the plane? Min-joon would have been 27 in 2015. A 7-year age gap might be about right.

Maybe we'll get clarification in an upcoming flashback.

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Looking at the chart Min-joon had on his wall, his brother year of birth is 1981.

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Minjoon may have approached Mad Dog because he thinks that Kangwoo, despite being a long-time employee of Taeyang Insurance and loyal to the Chairman, may have also been wronged by the company, as a result of the Juhan air crash. (Kangwoo appears to be very close to Chairman Cha. Hongjoo, as we saw in ep2, was also very much at ease with Kangwoo and his late wife.) Maybe Minjoon is trying to tell Kangwoo that the conspiracy behind the air crash could potentially involve people higher up, such as Chairman Cha? KW is currently blinded by his hate for Beumjoon, the suicidal pilot, which unfortunately extends to MJ, being the brother and recipient of a huge payout.

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There's some kind of insurance scam being run by Chairman Cha and other parties. I don't understand how it works, but I suspect that money laundering might be one aspect of it. I've tossed the spaghetti at the wall and will wait to see what sticks. ;-)

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Thanks TeriYaki. And yes to PakalanaPikake, I'm thinking this too. I'm wondering how the Insurance Co making endless payouts is supposed to benefit the Chairman. His schemes seem to be unknown to his daughter, Hong Joo, though.

A lot of things are obscure now. Like the motives of every suspicious mover in this show... what are Hyun Gi, Cha, Min Joon and Han Seong Jin up to. There is so much to unravel, and I hope we get down to some unravelling in the next episode or 2.

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Thanks TeriYaki for the great recap !

I love the ensemble cast. Everyone is good. Choi Won-young really goes all out in the crazy creep aspect.

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Can someone explain me on why Kang Eun-joo was called a scammer?I don't understand her case.

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