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Mad Dog: Episode 4

We’re getting to the bottom of the mysterious car fire case by doing what the Mad Dog team does best: an elaborate caper. However, they’ll need Min-joon’s help to pull off this job regardless of his trustworthiness if they want to know for sure whether it was really suicide, or if something more menacing is afoot.

 
EPISODE 4 RECAP

At the orphanage, suave conman Min-joon finds the photo of his brother standing alongside Mad Dog’s new client Kang Eun-joo and former Taeyang broker Ms. Lee, the woman responsible for Min-joon’s brother’s insurance policy and the policies of murderer Go Jin-chul’s earlier victims.

Not long afterward, Mad Dog leader Kang-woo arrives and spots the same photo. His eyes flare as he recognizes Ms. Lee.

He inquires about the photo with an orphanage worker, who says that Min-joon also asked about the picture earlier, and that the woman Min-joon asked about hasn’t been back since it was taken two years ago.

Kang-woo asks if Min-joon was looking for Kang Eun-joo, but the orphanage worker says he was looking for Ms. Lee instead, and Kang-woo wonders why Min-joon is trying to find a dead person.

Back in his lair, Min-joon remembers his last encounter with his brother, and we see Ms. Lee meeting with the brother right before Min-joon arrives. Min-joon handed over his watch and coldly walked away, refusing to acknowledge his relation to his own brother.

When he stops reminiscing, Min-joon reveals a hidden panel with a timeline detailing the pasts of the three members of the orphanage photo and starts to draw connections between them.

Kang-woo heads back home, but as he enters, he hears a hallucination of his wife and son calling for him, temporarily distracting him.

He digs out a box of files on his investigation into the plane crash and notices that the date the copilot received his insurance policy was the same day as the photo from the orphanage.

He brings this info back to the Mad Dog office, and they notice that Kang Eun-joo’s husband, Lee Soo-oh, also got insurance from Ms. Lee that day.

Meanwhile, Min-joon looks after Kang Eun-joo in the hospital, and urges her to wake up so that they can help each other as promised. Nurse Oh suddenly inquires about Min-joon’s relation to the patient, and kicks him out when she catches him lying that the patient is his sister.

But as he leaves, he asks how Nurse Oh knew that the patient had no brother, and guesses that Mad Dog’s aspiring nurse, Sung-joon, must have told her. Min-joon hints that he knows all about her connection to Sung-joon, and saunters out of the room pleased with himself.

Out in the streets, Sung-joon joins fellow Mad Dog employee Ha-ri to track down CCTV footage of the night Kang Eun-joo was attacked. As they search, a man comes out to yell at them for parking in his spot.

After the man gets his car parked, Ha-ri, now only wearing a revealing t-shirt, flirts with him to get his black box footage. The footage shows Lee Soo-oh’s friend, Han Seong-jin, leaving the scene with Lee Soo-oh’s laptop.

The Mad Dog crew begin their surveillance of Han Seong-jin, tracking him down to his pharmaceutical company, and Sung-joon takes a job as a cleaner to infiltrate the company. He gossips with the other cleaners to get more details about Han Seong-jin’s work, and finds out that his research started to take off right after Lee Soo-oh died.

The team speculates that the laptop is the key to Han Seong-jin’s success, and realize that if they can prove the research matches the laptop’s contents, then the police would investigate the case again.

The problem is, though, that the laptop will be hidden and under tight security, so they need a way to find it first. Kang-woo decides to call in Min-joon and use him to infiltrate the research team, but the rest of the Mad Dog team seems reluctant.

Kang-woo explains that by using Min-joon, they can wait patiently to see what Min-joon is up to while he is locked inside pretending to be a part of the company.

When Min-joon arrives, hacker Noo-ri explains that Min-joon will take on the identity of Jonas Kim, a German researcher. Min-joon complains that someone else should do it, but when Ha-ri volunteers, Min-joon tells her that she would stand out too much.

Ha-ri tries to coyly refute this, but Min-joon responds by questioning whether Ha-ri is flirting with him, and everyone except Kang-woo jumps up to hit him for the remark. Ha.

Min-joon changes into his suit and dorky glasses, and Noo-ri creates a fake passport for Min-joon’s doctor persona. When the passport easily gets Min-joon through company security, he says that he and Noo-ri should start a fake passport business, but Noo-ri says he’ll only do it if he gets 100% of the profit.

Min-joon, confused, wonders why he’d even be a part of the business then, and Ha-ri and Sung-joon reveal that Noo-ri means he wouldn’t work with Min-joon (and they quip that “Dr. Kim” isn’t that bright). Min-joon responds by going over a speed bump too fast, and Ha-ri, who is apparently hiding in the trunk, yelps from the impact. Ha.

Min-joon arrives at his quarters in the company building and changes clothes before leaving, though he leaves Ha-ri in the room to set up her camera so that she can capture photos of the research lab from Min-joon’s window.

We flash back to Ha-ri and Kang-woo chatting prior to setting the plan in motion, and Kang-woo affirms that he must find out how this case is tied to Ms. Lee.

In the research lab, Min-joon introduces himself to Han Seong-jin, who questions Min-joon in German to confirm Min-joon’s made-up background. Fortunately, Min-joon is fluent in German, and his response seems satisfactory enough to avoid suspicion.

Meanwhile, airline executive Hyun-gi glances through an old Taeyang insurance policy as he shares a meal with Taeyang’s Chairman Cha, and he growls about having to bother with such trivial matters.

Chairman Cha patiently sits through Hyun-gi’s complaints, and when Hyun-gi finally addresses him directly, Chairman Cha spits back, “Your dad once said this: His only son is the dumbest person in the JH family.” He then continues with some advice for Hyun-gi, “Don’t try to use your brain. Don’t try to think. Don’t try to judge. Just do as you’re told.”

Hyun-gi gives a menacing glare as he hears it, but he takes the browbeating in stride and hostilely reminds Chairman Cha that Hyun-gi will soon take over JH Group. But Chairman Cha doesn’t relent, and kicks Hyun-gi out so he can eat his dinner in peace.

Hyun-gi stumbles upon Chairman Cha’s daughter Hong-joo as he leaves, and he interrupts her squash game to command her to follow him.

When Hong-joo leaves the facility, Hyun-gi pulls up and tells her to get into his car. She ignores him and walks away, but his driver keeps pace as Hyun-gi rants about Chairman Cha. She finally gives in and follows him into the car.

Once inside, Hyun-gi lectures her for playing around with other guys, but Hong-joo is quickly distracted when she sees the insurance policy Hyun-gi was reading during dinner, and notices that it belongs to Kang Eun-joo.

Hyun-gi takes Hong-joo to a street vendor for a drink, and while they discuss their relationship, Hyun-gi insists that he is only pretending to like Hong-joo.

Afterward, Hyun-gi is completely plastered, so Hong-joo sends him back home with his driver and uses the opportunity to swipe the insurance policy from the car unnoticed.

Back in Min-joon’s new quarters, Ha-ri digs through Min-joon’s possessions and snaps photos of them for Mad Dog, including a Juhan Airlines pen that sparks curiosity about Min-joon’s real motive.

Kang-woo, in his own place, looks over his materials on the plane crash again, but a phone call interrupts him. He doesn’t recognize the number, and when he silently picks up, whoever is on the other end hangs up immediately.

At the Taeyang office, Chairman Cha meets with a Juhan Airlines official, and they vaguely discuss plans to secretly transfer money for something before Hong-joo interrupts, and the official hastily leaves.

Hong-joo confronts her father about handing over the Kang Eun-joo file to Hyun-gi, but he replies that she is the one who gave out the file. After all, she leaked the same file to Kang-woo.

Chairman Cha tells her to take a closer look at the file to see exactly what she just leaked. In her office, Hong-joo looks up the file again, and she quivers when she notices that Ms. Lee issued the policy.

Meanwhile, Min-joon spies on Han Seong-jin, who holes himself in his office late into the night. Min-joon decides to call it a day, and returns to find Ha-ri still at her post snapping photos.

He offers to take Ha-ri’s place so she can rest, but she rebuffs him and tells him that they’re not on the same team, and she doesn’t trust people like him who use people for their own goals. Min-joon reasons that she must have been conned by a man previously and teases her about it playfully.

Annoyed, Ha-ri pushes Min-joon up against a wall and threatens to uncover whatever he is hiding and expose it. Min-joon, though, just chuckles and leans in closer to whisper that he looks forward to her doing so.

In the shower, Min-joon checks his phone, and it turns out that he was secretly recording Ha-ri all day with his own hidden camera. He sighs that there’s nothing too revealing in his possessions anyway, so her prying is all for naught.

Meanwhile, Kang-woo checks out Kang Eun-joo’s home for more clues, but only discovers a newly opened parcel containing a baby blanket. Elsewhere, Noo-ri digs through Kang Eun-joo’s phone records and finds several calls from public phones, which puzzles him.

At the lab, Min-joon flirts with the female lab workers to get more information on Han Seong-jin. At the same time, Taeyang’s Manager Park meets with Han Seong-jin to see if he noticed any of the Mad Dog crew sniffing around him recently.

Han Seong-jin thinks he recognizes Sung-joon from somewhere, but he can’t quite place it. Manager Park assures him that they will come after him and warns him to be vigilant about suspicious situations.

Just then, Sung-joon covertly drives by their meeting on a floor buffer, and quickly informs the rest of Mad Dog about it. They worry that Han Seong-jin found out about them, so they forge a plan to take the laptop the next day by clearing the researchers out of the room using a lab rat.

Min-joon, back in his room, offers to let Ha-ri sleep on the bed tonight (which she mistakes for him wanting her to share the bed with him). Even after he clarifies his intentions, Ha-ri still refuses.

But Min-joon persists, and sadly reveals, “Cars that are about to be scrapped, train stations, public bathrooms. As long as the floor isn’t wet, I’m good. Compared to them, this place is a hotel.”

Taken aback, Ha-ri coldly turns him down, but Min-joon just laughs to himself and says that he was tricking her into feeling bad for him, and snickers that she even believed him. As soon as he turns away from her, though, the smile fades, and I suspect there might be some truth to his story.

Elsewhere, Hong-joo heads to the parking garage and spots Hyun-gi’s car blocking her in. When the driver gets out to greet her, she sees his face covered in bruises. Hyun-gi casually leans out the window to take credit for the beating, which he gave because the driver lost Kang Eun-joo’s insurance file.

Hyun-gi is here to ask Hong-joo if she is the one who stole the file, and she readily admits it. Hyun-gi warns her not to touch his belongings again.

Hong-joo heads straight to the Mad Dog headquarters and sits down with Kang-woo as Noo-ri and Sung-joon spy on them through their monitor, but Kang-woo knows what they’re up to and tells them to shut it off.

Kang-woo guesses that Hong-joo must know now that Ms. Lee was the broker on Kang Eun-joo’s policy, and tries to assure her that it’s not a big deal.

But Hong-joo reveals that she is worried that Kang-woo will go right back to investigating the plane crash, and she doesn’t want that to consume his life again.

“You should stop it and live your life,” she tells them. Kang-woo, though, is steadfast, and somberly answers, “Hong-joo, I have no such thing.”

Afterward, Noo-ri and Sung-joon cover Kang-woo with a blanket as he feigns sleep, and he immediately questions whether they heard his conversation with Hong-joo, even though he told them to turn off the monitor.

They admit that they were listening since Kang-woo didn’t tell them to turn off the sound as well, which elicits an amused grin from Kang-woo. Ha.

The next day, Mad Dog prepares to set their plan in motion, and they wait for Han Seong-jin to vacate the premises so they can begin.

Once Han Seong-jin leaves the lab, Sung-joon delivers the concealed lab rat to Min-joon, and he brings it into the lab and releases it. Almost immediately, the lab is in complete chaos, and the researchers flee in fear of the rodent.

They run right past Sung-joon and Ha-ri, now disguised in full hazmat suits as they enter the now empty lab. Ha-ri climbs into the vents to make her way into Han Seong-jin’s locked office while Sung-joon searches for the escaped rat.

Meanwhile, Han Seong-jin receives word about the rat getting loose in the lab and recalls Manager Park’s warning about strange situations, so he bolts back toward the office to investigate.

While Ha-ri waits for the computer’s hard drive to copy, she searches through the rest of the office and uncovers a hidden textbook behind an award on the bookshelf. She finds a hard drive concealed within the book, and Noo-ri surmises that it must be from Lee Soo-oh’s stolen laptop.

Min-joon clocks Han Seong-jin returning to the building, and realizes that he will need to stall for time so the rest of the team can get out with everything they need.

Min-joon hurries to catch Han Seong-jin in the hall, and the doctor stops in his tracks when Min-joon mentions Lee Soo-oh’s name. Min-joon explains that someone from Mad Dog came to the lab inquiring about the name, and Min-joon flashes Ha-ri’s business card to sell his story.

His story is convincing enough for Han Seong-jin, but the team still needs more time, so Min-joon distracts him with a new lie that Manager Park also stopped by to ask about Han Seong-jin’s research, and he pulls out Manager Park’s business card to verify.

Min-joon’s distractions buy enough time for Ha-ri and Sung-joon to escape, and he too exits the scene, but Han Seong-jin notices something is off, so he secretly films Min-joon’s retreat.

Back in the Mad Dog office, Noo-ri discovers the matching research data on each hard drive. He also finds an additional locked file, but when he tries to open it, a virus infects their computer, forcing them to shut everything down.

The team heads to their go-to restaurant so Noo-ri can fix everything remotely, and Kang-woo invites Min-joon to join them for dinner. He compliments Min-joon’s work in pulling off the heist.

But Min-joon responds by recreating Kang-woo’s stated goal of locking Min-joon in so that they can observe him, and the rest of the table eyes him suspiciously for somehow hearing that.

Kang-woo asks why Min-joon is looking for Ms. Lee, but Min-joon answers with a bit of advice for Kang-woo: “Change your way of thinking. You might have to look for the ‘what’ instead of the ‘why.'”

When Kang-woo looks puzzled in response, Min-joon explains that he should look for “something very odd, something so strange that you can’t understand.”

Sung-joon looks ready to pummel Min-joon for his evasiveness, but just then, Noo-ri cracks the locked file. Inside is a record of the amount of sunshine per day for the entire year.

The team struggles to figure out what the purpose of the file is, but Min-joon thinks back to what the witnesses said about the day Lee Soo-oh died, and realizes it was excessively sunny that day.

Kang-woo puts the puzzle together when he realizes the award that hid the book in Han Seong-jin’s office was too old to belong to the researcher’s child. They find the exact trophy in a nearby trophy store.

Kang-woo uses the trophy to redirect the sunlight in a more concentrated area, which he surmises is how the fire started in the first place. Min-joon spots a similarly shaped, much larger, reflective surface on the building near the fire site, and it concentrates the sunlight right on the spot where Lee Soo-oh’s parked car sat.

They visualize how Han Seong-jin orchestrated the scene, placing the unconscious victim in the car and setting the lighter up so that it would explode in a flash that ensured that Lee Soo-oh couldn’t escape due to his seizure condition.

Min-joon cheerily notes that their discovery of the murder method proves his point perfectly: The “what” is more important than the “why.” He offers another bet with Kang-woo as to who will find the “what” of Ms. Lee’s case first.

Meanwhile, Han Seong-jin is arrested for the murder, but in prison, he calls in Manager Park to ask if he knows who Jonas Kim is. He sends Min-joon’s picture to Manager Park, who does remember Min-joon from somewhere, but he doesn’t remember the specifics.

At the hospital, Kang Eun-joo wakes up, and Min-joon reveals that Han Seong-jin got caught for the murder. The news unleashes a flood of bittersweet tears from the woman, which Min-joon wipes away for her.

Min-joon requests that she fulfill her end of the bargain and reveals that he is the brother of pilot Kim Beom-joon before launching into his question, “Ms. Lee, is she really dead?”

Kang-woo investigates Kang Eun-joo’s house again and considers Min-joon’s advice, trying to understand his meaning. He registers the baby blanket he found earlier, and realizes it must be a gift from someone.

Kang-woo tracks down the store where the blanket was purchased, and the employee recognizes the product immediately since its expensiveness makes it a rare product to sell.

Kang-woo pulls out a picture of Ms. Lee and asks if she is the person who bought it, and the employee instantly confirms it. Kang-woo can’t believe it and reels from shock.

Back at the hospital, Kang Eun-joo finally reveals the truth: Ms. Lee is alive. This time it’s Min-joon’s turn to be overcome with disbelief.

Meanwhile, Kang-woo checks the store’s CCTV footage to confirm what the employee said, and sure enough, a definitely alive Ms. Lee is on screen buying the blanket.

Elsewhere, Hyun-gi watches the same footage on his phone and forwards it to Chairman Cha, who seems angry to learn that she was alive all along.

Manager Park, returning from the prison, finally recognizes Min-joon as the younger brother of Kim Beom-joon, and they met several years ago when Min-joon came to claim the insurance payout. That’s where Min-joon got Manager Park’s business card for Min-joon’s distracting ruse on Han Seong-jin.

In the hospital, Min-joon snaps in rage at Kang Eun-joo, demanding to know where Ms. Lee is now.

As Kang-woo leaves the baby store, his phone rings again, and it’s the same unknown number who called him previously. Kang-woo picks up this time and answers with the names of his wife and son, and asks the caller, “Are you happy that you’re alive, Ms. Lee?”

She only musters a muffled sob before she hangs up, and a single tear falls down Kang-woo’s face to know that the insurance planner is still alive.

 
COMMENTS

The enigma that is Min-joon fascinates me more than anything else in this show. All we really know is that Min-joon is a smooth-talking trickster, but that surface-level analysis is about as far as our understanding of his character runs at the moment. There’s no real sense of why he created his conniving persona to begin with, nor why he specifically needs to involve Mad Dog to accomplish his goals, whatever they may be.

He clearly suspects something is fishy about the plane crash, but we don’t have a great idea of what exactly that could be, or even how deep it might go. There are hints, certainly, that Chairman Cha and Hyun-gi are somehow involved in something dubious, but the “what” (as Min-joon would want us to look for) is currently unclear.

I wonder if Min-joon really needs to force Kang-woo to jump through hoops to figure out what Min-joon is after. If, after all, Min-joon believes there’s a larger conspiracy at play in the crash of Flight 801, does he really think Kang-woo needs an extra push to motivate him into investigating more deeply?

Kang-woo strikes me as someone who, if he had even the slightest inclination there was foul play involved, would be ruthlessly digging as much as he could to get to the bottom of it. So why does Min-joon bother with all the evasive riddles when simply opening up about his suspicions would not only lead to his desired result, but would also probably ease a lot of the tension the Mad Dog team feel toward him?

Because, as we saw today, when Min-joon is actively working together with everyone else, they absolutely kill it. Their infiltration of the pharmaceutical company was practically flawless, and even when trouble did arise, Min-joon’s quick thinking ensured their success. Imagine how cohesive they could be if they actually trusted Min-joon!

I think, though, that they’re gradually warming up to him. I’m not exactly sure if Kang-woo is actually starting to trust him, or if he’s just pretending so he can see how Min-joon responds (and I wouldn’t put it past this show to do that), but I’m taking his willingness to let Min-joon improvise during their operation and later invite him to join the team for dinner as a positive step.

But it does all come down to trust in the end, and Min-joon is a hard man to trust. Even when he shows vulnerability, like he did when he talked about sleeping on the floor in a variety of less-than-desirable locations, he can just as easily turn around and claim that he was making it all up for sympathy. Was he actually revealing something about his past? I don’t know! And that’s precisely the problem he created for himself by constructing this persona. It’s impossible to trust his words because everyone knows he’ll lie about anything and everything.

However, there are more pressing questions now that we know Ms. Lee didn’t actually commit suicide, and I suspect Kang-woo will put aside his goal of figuring out Min-joon while he dives back into Ms. Lee’s transgressions. We never really saw Kang-woo obsess over the Flight 801 investigation, though Hong-joo certainly implies that he let it consume him, so now that a seemingly major player suddenly resurfaces, it’ll be interesting to see how far he’ll go to uncover the truth. I suspect, though, that whatever he finds is only going to be the tip of the iceberg, and there’s something much darker lurking beneath the surface.

 
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Wow shower scenes I have no complaints LOL

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I like that the line right above the shower scene pic in Regal's comments is "something much darker lurking beneath the surface."

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I noticed that too...my co-workers were all wondering why I was laughing.

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I am simply loving this show. I think that Min Joon himself has trust issues and he wants someone to prove their figurative 'worthiness' if he has to work with them. That's why he's putting the MD team through all those hoops.

I love the mystery right now (which I almost never do). I do hope the payoff is big, or I'll be so disappointed.

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If Min Joon really did leave his adoptive parents at a very young age (and no one in Korea seems to have been aware of that/helping him), then his trust issues are likely immense. He doesn't seem to have had anyone in his corner for years. He might not know of another way to be with people than as someone with a usefulness, whether that's as someone providing a service or withholding a clue.

Min Joon wasn't actively conning his brother as far as we know, but he clearly hadn't opened up to him either and they hadn't known each other long when his brother died. Ongoing exposure to the Mad Dog team might chip away at his shell but he's had a VERY long time to build it up.

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My thoughts exactly! MinJoon hadn't even opened up to his brother before the crash, of course he will be just as closed off, if not more so, to people who actively perceive him as the enemy. Only now his walls are polished and deceptive instead of spiky and aggressive like he was with his brother before the crash. I'm sure he thinks that unless he traps Mad Dog with both the carrot and the whip, they won't work with him or straight out kill him. We've seen KangWoo come pretty close already!

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Do you think Min joon was abused or is that too much of a stretch? I've noticed when Mad Dog members get hostile he just stands there. He makes no attempt to dodge or even flinch when they get physical. Why doesn't he try to fight back at least?

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Ep 1 and 2 didn't do much for me. I wasn't really impressed by YJT's acting and didn't feel moved by his anguish. I was slightly pulled in by ep 3. When Ep 4 aired, it had my full attention and now I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of the show.

I loved WDH in this episode especially when he put on those glasses and changed his mannerism. The abs are always welcome and the brief moments he had with Player Jang were sizzling hot. I easily fall for romantic tropes in non-romantic dramas if the characters have a great chemistry like this so I'm kind of hoping that they'll continue 'flirting' with each other.

I think overall, I enjoyed the tone and pacing but I have to do so without thinking much about the characters and the plot. This way I hope to keep being surprised but in a good way of course.

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[I easily fall for romantic tropes in non-romantic dramas if the characters have a great chemistry like this so I'm kind of hoping that they'll continue 'flirting' with each other.]

This is me. I'm always looking for romance in thrillers and I'm always heartbroken. I don't even enjoy romcom much.

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Yes please! Let Ha-ri and Min-joon continue flirting with each and eventually fall in love. ^_^

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Episode 3 & 4 got slightly more engaging but the story still isn't captivating. I still don't see any reason to feel for these characters. This episode was okay but I think Ryu-Hwayoung needs to emote better, I know she's supposed to be the cool female character but during that scene with Min-Joon, she was just saying her lines, she had no expression on her face. There was supposed to be chemistry but I didn't feel anything.

Female characters can be cool and quiet but they should also have personality too.

A+ for that shower scene though...

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Player Jang is actually Kang Unnie in disguise lol

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I think she did better in age of youth lol

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I think their chemistry is sizzling. One of the highlights in ep 4.

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Meh, different strokes for different folks

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You know what I'm finding kind of interesting about Jang? I think we're used to seeing a hard-as-nails, femme-fatale type in this role and then she gradually warms up and shows a slightly softer side.

But Jang comes across differently to me - she seems like someone whose emotions are much, much closer to the surface and she's burying them with some effort under this Player persona. She's not naturally hard as nails, it's something she WANTS to be and so she tries very hard to act that way. But she's shaken far more easily and she gets emotionally riled up in ways that wouldn't genuinely affect a cold-hearted player.

I think it's promising. I frequently get disappointed by a cold-hearted female character who develops a slight romance with a much more expressive guy, it feels forced and unbalanced much of the time. But if Jang's natural instincts are warmer and she's fighting to suppress them to come across as a certain persona, that's interesting. And as Min Joon seems to have already realized, it makes her persona much easier to crack and get underneath.

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+1

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I think that's a good observation/interpretation but I don't think the show is trying to go for that. From the get-go, the characters feel caricatures rather than actual people. The plot and dialogue doesn't help breathe life into them either, I would be more inclined to believe that your interpretation is right had they toned down the cheesiness and ridiculousness from the beginning. If she was trying to suppress her personality I'm sure she would've been called out by her teammates and they would've encouraged her to be herself (we'll probably have to wait a couple more episodes until we get her arc). It doesn't seem like the writer or director is trying to present them as flawed people with their own insecurities. It's trying to be a slick drama with badass people taking down the bad guys.

Even if her character is supposed to be like that. I wouldn't want her growth to come from romance, I'd rather it come from her learning to be self-aware and understand that being yourself doesn't harm how you do your job. I'd rather it come from the encouragement of her teammates.

Lol, I hope this doesn't come off mean. I honestly really like your interpretation but I don't think that the drama is going for that and I just think it's bad acting coming from Hwa-young.

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I did consider that the show might not be going for that... except that the director IS going for that. He's zooming in on her when she's reacting to something emotionally. If he wanted her to be an ice queen, there's no need for a reaction shot. I honestly thought it might be an actor/character mismatch too, but if the character was supposed to be a through-and-through badass I'd expect him to shoot AROUND those kind of pensive reaction shots, not highlight them. I think it's possible the writer wrote a badass and the director and actor are going for something different.

As for character growth, I'm okay with a woman who puts up a cold front to have that thawed by working with a particular guy. I'm not getting any feeling that she's acting this way to fit in - more that it's something aspirational that she wants to be, so she's trying to act that way. I think she's doing it because she LIKES that self-image. In that case, your team should let you model whatever behavior you'd like, as long as it's not disruptive. And she's not disruptive, she's just remote. I don't think she's broken in any way, basically.

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I think we'll have to wait and see how she got recruited into Mad dog and what her story is. I don't see how that kind of character would fit in this type of story and it's hard for me to believe that's the case due to how over the top the plot is. Also due to how the show is carrying itself, it's hard to believe that's what the show is going for. If it's the set-up for the romance between Min-joon and Ha-ri then I see how it works but eh I don't feel their chemistry.

On the directing and the shots, I'll have to look back on the episodes and see. I don't think we'll see eye to eye but eh, different strokes for different folks.

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@Dani,

We've really only seen how Cheetah became a Mad Dog. But the reasons for the rest of them becoming insurance fraud busters have not yet been revealed. I don't think we've actually learned what made Kang-woo go into that line of work in the first place. I expect that we'll be getting recruitment back stories a la LOOKOUT.

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It was the most generic plan and response. Another Infiltration crap and load of nonsense thrown here and there. I right away deducted 1 point from the rating.
I don't think writer is going anywhere with the characters. Surely secrecy of Min-Joon is attractive but i'm not enamoured by all these cheap Pin-Pong Tricks. Character personalities are typical of a drama and it yield not much confidence in the viewer. Same cliche characters/personalities coated with Insurance fraud schemes. So little to provide on table. Entertaining. yes. Good. A big no.

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This ep was the best so far. But I don't have much hope in the writer and director... I just hope that this was not a one-off and the rest of the episodes will continue to be this good.

Also, please don't bait me with a romance that'll go nowhere. I don't think my heart can survive it not happening.

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I am enjoying this show well enough but I forget all about it as soon as an episode is over. By this point, I'm watching it solely for Woo Do Hwan's compelling and intriguing performance as Min Joon.

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1. It must've been fun to film that shower scene. Such a nice camera angle.

2. Yessss for team work!!! Seeing them effortlessly infilitrate the company, work together and come up with back up plans on the fly warmed my heart. It reminded me so much of lookout.

3. Lowkey shipping Hyun-gi and Hong-joo but he's an asshole so...

4. Was it ever stated why Manager Park and Mad Dog are no longer on good terms????

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Thank you for your recap and commentary, Regals. ;-)

I got good and trolled when I saw the phone numbers come up on the cellphone. They looked like the international dialing codes for Austria 43 and Germany 49, LOL!

This week's sneaky underhanded murder is just begging for referral to MYTHBUSTERS for proof of concept. The claim that reflected sunlight focused on the disposable cigarette lighter caused it to burst into flames strikes me as bogus. Mr. PakalanaPikake's BS detector also went off, and he's a much bigger science nerd than I.

My beef: None of the mirrors are parabolic. Instead of being concave to focus and concentrate light/heat/energy/etc., they are convex, which disperses the energy reflecting off it. The only way I can see this possibly working is with a laser, because its light is coherent by definition. (But then someone would have to aim the laser, so there goes the “Look, Ma, no hands” appeal of having the sun do the dirty work. Plus it might show up on surveillance cameras.)

While the sunlight that day was later verified to have been unusually bright, the only other option that I can imagine is the temperature inside the car with rolled-up windows becoming hot enough to cook the unconscious victim. But in that case, his “friend” who left him without opening the windows would clearly be on the hook for negligent homicide or some such.

Nice try, but no cigar.

What did work well in this episode was the Mad Dog team with its special guests. I enjoyed the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE infiltration and spookery. Min-joon's resourcefulness ensured a clean exit for the entire team. Special kudos to knockout rat Laura for her hysteria-inducing cameo in the lab. ;-)

The conversation between Chairman Cha and his daughter turned ominous when he mentioned an ornamental tree. (Aha, Jung Bo-suk is channeling his gardener character from CAN YOU HEAR MY HEART? after all.) Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is a North American understory tree with gorgeous deep pink flowers that bud directly on the branches. Dad has to be referring to Cercis siliquastrum from Southern Europe and Western Asia. Judas Iscariot is reputed to have hanged himself from one of these, hence the nickname “Judas Tree.” Dad is nothing if not botanical. And creepy as heck with that warning shot across the bow.

Hooray that Eun-joo managed to survive cardiac arrest and regain consciousness. It's about time that at least one family victimized by insurance shenanigans caught a break.

For some reason it never occurred to me that one of the insurance victims might fake their own death. Ms. Lee is turning out to be a sharp cookie. I'm looking forward to finding out how she managed to hide successfully for two years.

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This show must be to engineers/engineering majors what medical dramas are ususally like for those in the medical field, heheh.

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And what legal dramas are to lawyers.

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@PeepsLeAwesomePotato, @greenfields,

Neener, neener! English literature & German major here who grew up reading Sherlock Holmes. To a former technical writer & translator, if the logic doesn't work, it sticks out like a sore thumb. ;-)

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Yup I recall your background ^^; But it's an astute analysis nonetheless.

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What I enjoy most about this show - apart from Woo Do Han - is coming to the DB recap page and seeing the science of the show be debunked. 😂
I hope no students are watching and learning from this.

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A Venusian death ray would have been far more efficient -- and indetectable. ;-)

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Undetectable. Sheesh!

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Wow I'm not so good at science so I had to google some stuff to understand your point. Great analysis!

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Aw, shucks, TM. Glad to be of assistance. And now you've learned about optics thanks to watching a Kdrama. If only Kdramas had been available when I was in high school, chemistry and biology would have been a lot more fun. ;-)

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I learned so many english vocabulary thanks to dramas. But it's always nice to learn new practical stuff. I think I learned about optics in high school too but that's so long ago I completely forgot about it. It's impressive how you still remember this kind of things

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Thank you for doing the fact-checking for us. I found the science dubious as well but was just too lazy to research on my own. Glad we have you. ;-)

Re. Ms Lee. I'm now very much curious as to her connection to Ko Jinchul and the two other orphans. She also appeared to be close to Kang Woo's deceased wife.

While I do like Woo Do-hwan, I find myself looking forward to the next episodes because of Yoo Ji-tae. I'm immensely impressed by how well he is able to convey his character's soul-crushing pain.

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You're most welcome, DoubleFault. ;-)

Mr. PakalanaPikake, PhD is a computer science nerd, so I asked him for a sanity check before I shot off my mouth. BTW, he's glad our mythbusting was helpful to fellow Beanies. ;-) -- Last night he watched the first episode of BLACK, and I just now put a bug in his ear about watching MAD DOG. Maybe he'll be joining us in live-watching. ;-)

FYI for aspiring nerds and techno-geeks: A couple of websites you might find interesting are SlashDot dot org, Ars Technica, and StartsWithABang astrophysics blog. For many years, my better half had a subscription to the excellent biweekly magazine Science News, https://www.sciencenews.org/ , which publishes very interesting and well-written articles on the latest research findings and discoveries spanning the gamut of science and technology. The often humorous editorial tone (and punny headlines) make for a delightful and informative read.

Back to the show: You raise some excellent queries regarding Ms. Lee's various relationships, in particular with Kang-woo's wife. Was she herself also an orphan?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

-- Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

In MAD DOG, identity is fluid, nuanced and layered. So far, besides the Mad Dogs, we've had two examples of people using more than one name: Kim Min-joon aka Jan Gebauer, and Cheetah's cheatin' girlfriend Set-byul, alias Mi-ja. Min-joon's adoptive mother, Mi-ja Gebauer, aka "aunt." Is she really his aunt? Is she the same person as Set-byul? If so, on which side of the family? (Is it a red herring that two Korean women in two different countries appear to have the same given name?)

I don't think we've seen Hans Gebauer yet. Might he actually be of Korean heritage himself? (I recall from MISS GRANNY that Korean coal miners went to Germany for work. Could some of them have stayed behind and taken German citizenship -- and German names?)

If his adoptive mother is really the scammer Set-byul ("three star?" -- Is that Orion's Belt or some other constellation?!), why did she take Min-joon to Germany?

Who are/were Bum-joon's and Min-joon's birth parents? Do I detect illegitimate chaebol heirs? Perhaps the boys are really half-siblings, which is why only one of them was taken to Germany.

PS -- I totally agree with you about Yoo Ji-tae's depiction of emotional devastation. He's knocking it out of the ballpark.

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You raised very good questions, some of which I either haven't noticed from the show or just ignored. Glad that we're live watching another drama together.

Hyun-gi's dad also seemed to have taken the Juhan air crash hard, which probably caused him to be hospitalized. Hyun-gi, on the other hand, seemed not too surprised when the crash happened and acted like a jerk. Did he have a hand in it? If yes, who was he in collusion with?

Re. Hong-joo, being the only (?) daughter of Chairman Cha and also a Director of Taeyang Insurance, also seems to be not too privy with her dad's dealings, considering that she could very well inherit the company eventually. I really find it strange.

Thanks for the websites. Will definitely check out those.

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I really like this show. I do agree that Min Joon is the most interesting character due to all the secrets he keeps. Chairman Cha and Hyun Gi are really dubious. and quite scared for Hong Joo in being too close Hyun Gi.

I do not think Min Joon has it in him to be vulnerable. He does have trust issues. He would lie and pretend just to avoid the Mad Dog team to get close to knowing more about him. Looks like he is still scarred from what his brother said in thr past. And knowing his character description, looks like more happened when he grew up with his foster family.

So it does look like it would take a lot of "tests" before he really opens up to the Mad Dog team.

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So this not-dead-after-all character, Ms. Lee, why call Kang-woo now? And by the looks of the video of her shopping for the blanket, she doesn't seem overly concerned to be seen out and public, living and breathing as they say. Interesting.

And who sent the video of her alive and shopping to the chairman and Hyun-gi? It's either Ms. Lee herself, perhaps to set another part of a grand plan in motion, or someone we have yet to see make an appearance, or someone we've already seen and are familiar with.

So many questions! ❔ ❓ ❔ ❓

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It's not mentioned in this recap but that phone was (most likely) Kang Eun Joo's, not Kang Woo's. Lee Mi Ran was calling Kang Eun Joo and Kang Woo picked up. That's why he had Noori check the history of the phone and found that Kang Eun Joo was getting many calls from a public phone

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@its_myobsession,

Thank you for clarifying whose phone Kang-woo was answering. I thought it was Ms. Lee's, also.

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Oops. I thought it was Eun-joo's phone as well.

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Oh that's right! It all makes better sense now. ..... I do recall the detail of Noori checking the phone, it obviously slipped from my mind. Oops!

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I'm wondering if Bum-joon were blackmailed into crashing the plane. Perhaps someone threatened Min-joon. All I could think as I watched his face just before the impact was that he did not want to do what he was doing. If anything, the tranquilizer might have been intended to take the edge off his final flight. He may not have been suicidally depressed, just framed to make it look as if he were. Someone could have faked years of prescriptions for antidepressants in his medical records. That doesn't mean he would have actually taken them.

Man, I'm sounding paranoid. ;-)

I'm also beginning to suspect that Ms. Lee was framed for writing the secret third-party life insurance policies right after customers bought their own. Someone higher up the food chain is probably directing it and leaving an incriminating paper trail. Here's hoping Kang-woo gets to speak with Ms. Lee pronto, before her cover is blown.

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Hyun-gi sent the video to chairman Cha right after he watched it. It was not mentioned who sent it to him though.

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Now I'm really losing it. Cheetah just showed up as a Joseon-era Reaper on BLACK. He's a badass in that profession, too.

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I feel that Min-joon is manipulating Mad Dog because he knows that he has no other choice. At the start if Min-joon asked for help and told them that the plane crash was a "conspiracy", Kang Woo would just disregard his claims as excuses (just like Kang Woo's reaction at Kang Eun-Joo and her husband.)
I think that's why Min-joon made this manipulative persona and is making them go through hoops so they can come to realise themselves that the plane crash is a conspiracy. And Mad Dog would investigate not because of blackmail but because of realisation. The manipulation was just a little push from Min-joon.

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Just a few details missing from this recap that I found interesting:

1) that phone was not Kang Woo's but Kang Eun Joo's, that's why he had Noori check the history and found that Kang Eun Joo had many calls from a public line. So Lee Mi Ran was calling Kang Eun Joo and Kang Woo picked up. (If you go back you can see that he checks his phone when he hears the ring, but notices the ringtone is not from his phone)

2) When Hari was going through Min Joon's things and found the Juhan Airlines pen, I think it was a mere observation, wondering why he had the pen rather than questioning his motive. The real catch here was Hari turning the pen over so that the "Juhan Airlines" would not appear in the photos she would send Kang Woo. This is confirmed when Min Joon mentions it in the shower, he says "seeing that won't ruin him. your manager isn't like that". Meaning as much as Hari was trying to protect Kang Woo by not letting him see anything Juhan related, Min Joon acknowledges that she doesn't have to protect him in this fashion because Kang Woo isn't the type of person that would be heavily affected just by seeing the words "Juhan Airlines".

So in my opinion THAT was the take away from the scene. Hari trying her best to protect Kang Woo, in any way possible, from his past traumas, and Min Joon witnessing this and declaring that Kang Woo is stronger than that. Which is super interesting for me because it gives insight into the Mad Dog team's relationship with each other and with Kang Woo.

Just my 2 cents :) Also LOVE the chemistry between Min Joon and Hari! Love the characters and I think Dohwan and Hwayoung play them beautifully. Their scenes today were too good.

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There's so much I end up missing in each episode. I have to watch every episode more than once.

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I'm the same! need to rewatch scenes to make sure I understand correctly hahaha that's why i love this drama, it really tests you as a viewer which makes it fun to watch. I appreciate when stories are so detailed and intricately woven

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@its_myobsession,

Thanks for explaining the significance of the pen. I didn't realize that Ha-ri had turned it over to hide the logo. Between my peepers and lower-resolution images, I miss details more than I care to admit. Now it makes sense. I'd noticed Ha-ri's protectiveness towards Kang-woo in other ways. But the interesting aspect is that Min-joon is aware of it, too.

Re: answering Kang Eun-joo's phone, I did notice that Kang-woo suddenly crossed the room to retrieve a phone from a jacket pocket, and that it seemed to look different from his usual phone. It was confusing.

Dang, this show is subtle. Normally I first watch raw episodes so I can spot these kinds of details in addition to focusing on facial expressions, eyes, body language, tone of voice, etc. -- without the distraction of reading subtitles. Alas, the timing hasn't been working out well for me of late and I haven't been able to catch the new episodes before the subtitles appear. I really miss that pre-processing. For me, it makes a huge difference in comprehension. (Then again, I'm back to live-watching 7 shows, with 3 on Mon/Tues, so keeping plots and characters straight is a big challenge anyway.)

Anyway, we are blessed to have detail-oriented recappers TeriYaki and Regals, and so many eagle-eyed Beanies such as yourself. "The devil is in the details." We would miss out on a lot of useful, even vital, visual data without everyone watching like hawks. Thanks again! ;-)

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Like you, I've noticed Ha-ri being protective of Kang-woo more than a couple of times. I have the feeling that Min-joon is aware of this also, not because he's kind of part of the team now, but because he's observed the team from afar for a while now, without them knowing, of course.

Loving all the seemingly little details here and there. Sure, we may miss them initially, but it certainly keeps things interesting!

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This show is so much fun to analyse, oh man especially with Woo Do Hwan playing Kim Min Joon, he is TREAT to analyse, a gift that keeps on giving. Every subtle change of facial expression, change of tone in his voice, eye movements, small smiles, dialogues are just so much fun to catch. The thing about Min Joon is that most of the time he has a mask on, so I really appreciate the rare moments we get to see a glimpse of the real Kim Min Joon and Woo Do Hwan does such an incredible job of transitioning from these personas. He is able to embody a complex character like Kim Min Joon so well, really a treat to watch.

Watching the raw to focus on the details is such a good idea!! I will try this too :D

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I really missed that detail with the pen. So I didn't understand that Ha Ri was protecting Min Joon. Such an interesting development

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Ah, thank you for sharing the observation. I missed them, and yes, they're interesting and kinda important.

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Min Joon was an orphan adopted to a family in Germany and then abandoned by them at a very young age. Somehow, KangWoo had some connection to this- we know that he went to Germany and visited Min Joon's adoptive family, but somehow, did not discover that Min Joon had long been abandoned by them. So of course he has to wonder about Kang Woo's ethics and involvement. He has good reason to be distrustful of everybody.
He also has good reason to believe his brother didn't commit suicide. You don't say, "Call me hyung next time" when you know perfectly well there is not ever going to be a next time. I expect he knows something really fishy is up with the insurance company altogether, so of course, he has to wonder if Kang Woo was involved at some level.

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I'll add one more picky tidbit, and that is that the German pronunciation by both actors sounded far from fluent, despite the dialogue's statement to the contrary.

Where is Kim Ji-suk when we need him?! -- Back in the 20th Century. ;-)

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This is turning into a wonderful series. I am about to watch episode 5 but for me this is a series where I have to read the recaps and comments for each episode before moving on. I missed the bits about the phone and the pen. Thanks to those who pointed them out.
Yoo Ji-tae is nailing his role. What a terrific ensemble cast is forming here. I know it is still early days but wow!

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