Mad Dog: Episode 7
A breakthrough in the investigation on the crash of Flight 801 more closely aligns Min-joon and Kang-woo, but neither one knows what it means to collaborate. As a result, Ha-ri finds herself caught between two very determined men who can’t seem to trust each other. However, it’s their shared tragedy that will eventually bring Kang-woo and Min-joon together, if they want to discover the truth.
EPISODE 7: “Dogs who bite never bark”
After the pilot of Juhan Air Flight 801 confesses that Kim Beom-joon actually pulled the plane’s control wheel up, a flashback fills in details of what happened that day.
Beom-joon approached the airport on Jeju Island, unaware of trouble with the plane’s wiring, which caused the control wheel to malfunction. Beom-joon tried to wake a sleeping Pilot Shin as alarms sounded and all of the cockpit’s gauges went berserk. When a fire broke out in the wiring, the plane’s flaps went crazy, causing the dangerous drop as Beom-joon contacted the control tower and shouted, “Mayday!”
Unfortunately, Beom-joon’s transmission was never received by the tower, whose operators feverishly attempted to contact Flight 801, unaware that the cockpit couldn’t hear them either. Beom-joon yelled out as he used the last of his strength to pull up the plane and the control tower watched in horror as the plane broke apart on impact.
In Pilot Shin’s hospital room, Min-joon sobs while Kang-woo is stunned by the confirmation that Beom-joon wasn’t responsible for the death of his wife and son.
Manager Park braves Kang-woo’s wrath and refuses to let him drive home. Kang-woo slumps to the ground where Manager Park offers him a cigarette, which triggers a memory for Kang-woo of his wife.
Kang-woo’s wife had confronted him when she noticed that his clothes smelled like cigarette smoke. Kang-woo gave an elaborate explanation as to why he had to smoke while he was undercover on a case, but his wife confessed how important it was to her that he stop smoking. Kang-woo promised that he would quit and in the present, he crushes the cigarette in his hand.
Ha-ri lets Manager Park know that she and Soon-jung are on their way to the hospital and after she hangs up, Soon-jung clarifies what he overheard, that Beom-joon didn’t deliberately crash the plane. Ha-ri points out that the news makes sense of Beom-joon’s final text to Min-joon, since planning a vacation isn’t a thing you do before committing suicide.
When Ha-ri and Soon-jung reach the hospital, they immediately see how shaken Kang-woo is and wait in the dark to give him some privacy.
In Pilot Shin’s room, Min-joon remembers the last time that he saw his brother alive, when he had handed over the watch on the day of the crash. Beom-joon wanted Min-joon to call him “hyung” but Min-joon told him, “I don’t have a hyung. I don’t have anyone like that.” Beom-joon had sincerely apologized to Min-joon and asked good-naturedly, “Next time, call me hyung, okay?”
Min-joon questions Pilot Shin about who forced him to give a false testimony and vows, “Whoever it was… I’ll… I’ll,” but he can’t finish the sentence.
When Min-joon opens his car door, Ha-ri slips behind him into the driver’s seat and holds out her hand for the keys. On the drive back to Mad Dog, Min-joon compliments her driving and learns that Ha-ri’s father ran an auto repair shop.
When he tries to learn more about her, Ha-ri says that Min-joon’s past is more important and asks if his investigation into the crash was based on Beom-joon’s final text. Min-joon realizes that his discarded SIM card was recovered, while Ha-ri confides that she also knows about Beom-joon’s innocence. Even though Min-joon insists that he’s not shaken by the revelation, Ha-ri senses that he’s not as calm as he looks.
Kang-woo and Manager Park meet at the neighborhood restaurant and update each other on their investigations. Kang-woo reveals that Ms. Lee was alive and that Go Jin-chul killed her, while Manager Park produces documents that reflect 5.1 billion won in settlements to Han Dong-yoon, the director of the hospital where Pilot Shin was admitted. The man filed a 2-billion-won claim with Taeyang and Manager Park was ordered by Hong-joo to pay it out, something that Chairman Cha normally handles.
Manager Park explains that as a claims examiner, an insurance settlement to a repeat offender like Han Dong-yoon makes no sense. Manager Park discovered Pilot Shin during his investigation and learned that he retired after the crash and left for the United States. Pilot Shin’s family placed him in the hospital after he developed alcoholic dementia, even though there was no mention of the condition anywhere in his files.
When a subdued Manager Park apologizes, Kang-woo tells him that the ones who should be sorry are those who deliberately buried the truth. Just then, a broadcast announces that Juhan Air received a prestigious award as the best airline of the year.
Hyun-gi poses for photographers in his office and then sits for an interview with a reporter who notes that the award is quite an accomplishment after the crash of Flight 801. Hyun-gi deftly notes that Juhan Air now requires employee health clearances in the aftermath of the tragedy.
The reporter recalls that Hyuun-gi’s father, Chairman Joo Jung-pil, suffered a stroke after the crash and brings up a rumor that he actually died. Reporter Bang is aware that since succession wasn’t established, Hyun-gi would be required to sell his company shares to pay 150 billion won in inheritance taxes and lose control of the company. But Hyun-gi argues that it would be immoral to deny his father a funeral because of money and insists that his father will recover.
Outside, Reporter Bang is scolded by his colleague for the unapproved question but then is asked if he knows something. Reporter Bang admits that he was just curious and gazes up at Juhan Air as he muses, “The king has to be alive in order for the crown prince to take his place.”
An annoyed Hyun-gi asks his assistant about the interview and is reminded that he arranged it himself. When Hyun-gi remembers, his assistant looks relieved, until he’s asked about the lunch menu in the cafeteria.
Hyun-gi points out that he missed lunch because of the interview, yet his secretary ate instead of reviewing the list of questions. Secretary Han bows in terror while Hyun-gi hits him with that list, and then demands to know the whereabouts of the Legal Affairs Team manager, LEE YOUNG-HO.
Lawyer Lee is with Chairman Cha to report on Juhan Air’s major stockholders. Chairman Cha declares the 10 billion won wisely spent and suggests that it’s time for Chairman Joo’s funeral.
When Chairman Cha inquires about Hyun-gi, Lawyer Lee plays the incriminating recording from Go Jin-chul, of Hyun-gi ordering Kim Min-joon’s death. Chairman Cha is angry over Hyun-gi’s sloppiness but reminds Lawyer Lee that he works for Hyun-gi and should handle the matter with him.
Kang-woo wakes up with a serious hangover and sits in front of his apartment’s large window where he announces, “I’m sorry.” At the same time, Min-joon takes down all of the newspaper articles about Beom-joon from the walls of his secret room.
Kang-woo spreads out the evidence that he has on the crash and wonders, “If it wasn’t Beom-joon’s suicidal crash, then why? For what? Who caused it?” Kang-woo scans Beom-joon’s insurance policies, which Min-joon also studies along with articles about Hong-joo, Hyun-gi, and Chairman Cha.
While parked outside of the police station, Noo-ri warns Soon-jung that they should tell Kang-woo about their plan. Soon-jung reminds him that Kang-woo just experienced a huge shock and that the operation is just between the two of them.
Detective Jo walks outside and looks around, surprised to see Soon-jung and Noo-ri instead of Kang-woo. Soon-jung confesses that he texted Detective Jo and then blurts out the reason that they needed to meet—Go Jin-chul was murdered.
Detective Jo is relieved when Noo-ri confirms that Kang-woo wasn’t responsible and asks, “Then who killed him, when and where?” Noo-ri only knows that he was killed in the station and Soon-jung explains that they need to find the killer.
Ha-ri arrives at Kang-woo’s apartment building just as he walks out and he knows that she was worried about him. He’s surprisingly composed as he explains, “We don’t have much time. We wasted two years already. Let’s go.”
Kang-woo and Ha-ri start at Min-joon’s apartment and when they find the front door unlocked, they head straight for the hidden room. Kang-woo examines Beom-joon’s insurance documents and asks, “Why are you after the insurance company, Kim Min-joon?”
Manger Park enters his office and finds Min-joon waiting there for him, where he asks Manager Park to provide him with all of the documentation that Taeyang Insurance has on the crash of Flight 801.
Hong-joo gets a call from the hospital’s Director Kwon and learns that the 2-billion-won settlement was never deposited. He informs Hong-joo that Manager Park visited the hospital and says, “You’re not as good as your father.”
Hong-joo barges into Manager Park’s office, not at all happy to see Min-joon there. He explains that he wants to take out a life insurance policy but Hong-joo sends him to find an agent. Min-joon worries about finding someone good, unlike Ms. Lee, who lived in hiding for two years.
Hong-joo doesn’t know what Min-joon is talking about and after he leaves, she questions Manager Park, but he pretends that he knows nothing. She chides him for his secrets and then mentions his visit to the hospital, which she considers unnecessary because she approved the payout and ordered him to process it.
Soon-jung and Noo-ri sit nearby while Detective Jo questions the detective who was on duty when Go Jin-chul was arrested. The detective explains that the top murder suspects, the former police officer who became a claims examiner and the young German citizen, were in the middle of the station when Go Jin-chul died. Soon-jung texts Detective Jo about the CCTV camera and they learn that it was offline and that no footage of the hallways exists.
Soon-jung and Noo-ri search the street outside of the station for security cameras as Detective Jo follows them. When Soon-jung sees a hangover soup restaurant open 24 hours a day, he excuses himself so that he and Noo-ri can eat.
Inside the restaurant, Noo-ri notes that the only camera has no view of the police stations’s entrance. When Soon-jung and Noo-ri overhear the owner report that an item was missing from her delivery the night before, they get an idea. Soon-jung calls her over with the pretense that he wants to open a similar restaurant and learns that her delivery comes before one in the morning.
When Min-joon walks by the neighborhood restaurant and sees Ha-ri inside, he joins her and asks to be treated to a meal since he let her drive his car. Even though she has no appetite, Min-joon encourages Ha-ri to eat so that she won’t get sick and she appears affected by his concern.
Min-joon returns to his apartment to find the bookcase open and Kang-woo waiting for him in the hidden room. Aware that Min-joon visited Manager Park to ask for a copy of the investigation report, Kang-woo asks if he plans to continue his investigation alone. Min-joon wonders what choice he has, “Do you trust me? Because I can’t trust you.”
Kang-woo proposes that they share information as he drops the investigation report on the desk. In return, he wants to know why Min-joon wants Beom-joon’s original insurance policy. Min-joon reveals what Ms. Lee said before she died and in flashback we hear her final words to him in the car: “Taeyang Insurance. Insurance policy. Originals. Find it.” Kang-woo wonders what she meant but Min-joon has no idea.
Kang-woo gets a call as he leaves Min-joon’s apartment and meets Manager Park outside of Pilot Shin’s hospital room. They find Pilot Shin in restraints while a nurse reports that he experienced a violent attack while he was watching television. When Kang-woo checks what aired at the time of his attack, he shows Manager Park a report on an additional settlement awarded to some of the passengers of Flight 801, announced by Lawyer Lee of Juhan Air.
Outside, Manager Park theorizes that the news report caused Pilot Shin to panic, but Kang-woo doesn’t look convinced.
Ha-ri surprises Soon-jung and Noo-ri during their investigation. Under her stern gaze, the two men stammer until Ha-ri announces, “Let’s go with a hit-and-run.” Ha-ri changes her clothes and then enters the restaurant to tearfully claim that her brother was hit by a car in the intersection. Amid fake sobs, Ha-ri bemoans the lack of surveillance cameras on the street, so the deliveryman predictably offers to let her check his dash camera.
The dash cam footage shows that one car entered the police station and another left around the time that Go Jin-chul was killed. Ha-ri recognizes the car that entered as Manager Park’s and he gets a call from her just as he arrives at the Mad Dog offices.
Manager Park finds Kang-woo with Detective Jo, who wants to get Pilot Shin’s revised testimony. When Manager Park explains that there’s no point because Pilot Shin has permanent brain damage, Detective Jo guesses that’s why Soon-jung and Noo-ri have been searching for Go Jin-chul’s killer.
Detective Jo warns Kang-woo that the police want Go Jin-chul’s case to be resolved quietly and promises to look into the case for him. After he leaves, Kang-woo confirms that he’s known Detective Jo since his policeman days, over twenty years. On the street, Detective Jo answers a call on his phone.
Manager Park confirms that he went to the police station after he heard that Go Jin-chul had been caught and he saw the other car leave. His dash cam footage enables the team to identify that Lawyer Lee of Juhan Air was the driver of the second car.
Lawyer Lee reports to Hyun-gi that the 10 billion won from Taeyang secured more stocks for the company and suggests the next weekend for his father’s funeral. When asked about Go Jin-chul, all Lawyer Lee will admit is, “It’s taken care of… It’s better that you didn’t know.”
Lawyer Lee turns down the generous offer of a bonus from a delighted Hyun-gi with the explanation that he’s already being compensated enough. Immediately suspicious, Hyun-gi asks, “From whom? I’ve never given you anything.”
Hyun-gi recalls that Lawyer Lee was recommended for his position by Chairman Cha, but is corrected that it was actually his father. Hyun-gi wants to know if Lawyer Lee plans to return to Taeyang Insurance after the funeral and is told, “I belong to Juhan Air.” Hyun-gi pats Lawyer Lee’s back and pushes him into a very deep bow as he cautions, “I hope you never change.”
Ha-ri questions Lawyer Lee’s personal involvement in Go Jin-chul’s death and Kang-woo reminds her that he’s a lawyer. Realization spreads across her face as Kang-woo points out that because of his position, Lawyer Lee had access to Go Jin-chul and was able to eliminate him without suspicion.
Min-joon walks in and recognizes Lawyer Lee as a Juhan Air executive. He wonders why Kang-woo’s attention isn’t on Taeyang Insurance and when he’s told that it’s not the right time, Min-joon demands, “Is it not time yet or will it never be time?”
Min-joon informs Kang-woo that a Taeyang affiliate renewed Juhan Air’s insurance a month before the crash and soon after, Hong-joo became an executive director. Kang-woo claims that the renewal means nothing because Taeyang was Juhan’s insurance provider for years. When Min-joon accuses Kang-woo of being too attached to Taeyang to be objective, Kang-woo tells him to get out.
Ha-ri can’t understand why Kang-woo didn’t tell Min-joon that Lawyer Lee killed Go Jin-chul. Kang-woo reminds her that Min-joon was Go Jin-chul’s target and argues that it’s safest to keep Min-joon away from Lawyer Lee.
Back in his apartment, Min-joon stares at the announcement of Hong-joo’s promotion and a photo of Lawyer Lee. At home, Kang-woo studies his own photo of Lawyer Lee as he recalls Min-joon’s news about the insurance renewal.
Min-joon is parked outside of Hong-joo’s house when she leaves the next morning, while Kang-woo and Ha-ri follow Lawyer Lee to a hotel. Min-joon watches Hong-joo get on an elevator and notes that she stopped on the floor with the restaurant. Ha-ri arrives at the same hotel just as Min-joon boards the elevator and asks Kang-woo what Min-joon is doing there.
Hong-joo meets with Lawyer Lee and acknowledges that he’s the only one who knows everything. She wants to know if Ms. Lee was alive and reminds Lawyer Lee that she’ll soon be in charge of Taeyang Insurance.
Hong-joo’s hand trembles when Lawyer Lee admits, “She was alive, but not anymore.” At another table, Ha-ri finds Min-joon and urges, “Let’s get out… now.”
Min-joon makes his way out of the restaurant but suddenly refuses to go further until Ha-ri tells him what’s going on. When Hong-joo and Lawyer Lee approach, Ha-ri pushes Min-joon out of sight, shoving him up against the wall. She realizes that she’s holding his hand and awkwardly pulls away, and nods to the departing pair to explain her move.
Min-joon comments that Juhan Air and Taeyang Insurance look close and tries to leave, but Ha-ri stops him. She cautions, “Don’t get involved with that man… He might’ve killed Go Jin-chul. You could get killed too.”
From Ha-ri’s car, Kang-woo watches as Hong-joo and Lawyer Lee exit the hotel together. After they part, Kang-woo calls Hong-joo to ask, “By any chance, do you have something to tell me?” She asks him the same question and they both deny that they have anything to say and hang up.
When Ha-ri rejoins Kang-woo, he already knows that Lawyer Lee met with Hong-joo. When Kang-woo assures her that they will do what they always do, Ha-ri wants to know what the bait will be this time around. Kang-woo suggests, “Maybe a shark,” and then calls Manager Park to ask for a favor.
At Taeyang Insurance, Manager Park asks Hong-joo for more time to examine the hospital’s insurance claim, which prompts her to suggest that he no longer deserves his position.
Manager Park returns to his office and calls Kang-woo to report that everything is ready. He then apologizes for not doing a better job two years ago but Kang-woo insists, “It’s not your fault. Don’t ever apologize to me from now on.”
Chairman Cha is surprised during kendo practice by a visit from Kang-woo. Over tea, Kang-woo presents Chairman Cha with proof that Go Jin-chul is dead and apologizes for causing so much worry.
When Chairman Cha asks if that’s the only reason for the visit, Kang-woo admits that he wants to return to Taeyang Insurance. With Go Jin-chul dead, Kang-woo explains that he’s anxious to repay the chairman’s patience and improve Taeyang’s low fraud-detection rate.
As Kang-woo exits the kendo studio, he asks, “What will you do now, Chairman Cha?” Inside, Chairman Cha resumes his practice with determined focus.
Min-joon sets an open beer bottle next to the photo of him and Beom-joon and smiles sadly. He clinks his bottle with his brother’s and admits, “I should’ve had a drink with you when you asked.” Min-joon stares at the photo and wonders, “What should I do now, Hyung?”
Kang-woo grabs a bottle of soju from his refrigerator and promises to the photo of his family, “This is the last day I’ll drink.” Just then, a text from Chairman Cha’s secretary comes through.
In the morning, Hong-joo is surprised by a company announcement that Manager Park was demoted to assistant manager.
In his hidden room, Min-joon reviews the photos of Chairman Cha, Hong-joo, Hyun-gi and especially Lawyer Lee. He enters the Mad Dog offices to find Kang-woo’s desk empty and the team relaxing.
At the same time, Hyun-gi enters one of Taeyang’s elevators where he’s joined by an employee.
Min-joon soon arrives at Taeyang and finds Kang-woo in Manager Park’s former office. Kang-woo explains that he’s returned to his rightful place. At Min-joon’s confusion, Kang-woo formally introduces himself, “Hello, Kim Min-joon. I’m the manager of the claims examination team, Choi Kang-woo,” and extends his hand in welcome.
I find it interesting how Kang-woo and Min-joon cross paths often during their investigations, which proves that they are both very talented and driven to follow the evidence wherever it leads them. Where they differ has a lot to do with who they are as individuals. As an orphan, Min-joon trusts no one and doubts everyone and everything. His investigation into the crash of Flight 801 started with a blank slate and he’s meticulously worked his way through the people and companies that are connected to that tragedy. On the other hand there’s the trusting Kang-woo, who never once thought to question the narrative that blamed Kim Beom-joon for the crash.
As much as Min-joon has tried to get Kang-woo to see how his personal attachments have clouded his judgment regarding the crash, I never thought that Manager Park would be the one to open his eyes. Manager Park has had a change of heart since he discovered the truth about the crash from Pilot Shin, and he can’t do enough to compensate for the part that he played in the coverup. I’m still not used to seeing Manager Park be so cooperative, but I’m thankful that he’s squarely on Kang-woo’s side, because I’ve had an uneasy feeling about Detective Jo ever since he got that phone call outside of the Mad Dog offices.
We learned that Detective Jo has known Kang-woo since they were policemen together, which means that Kang-woo trusts him completely. This is exactly what Min-joon has cautioned Kang-woo about and I suspect that because of Detective Jo’s sick daughter, he may be vulnerable for the right price. If that should be true, it would be a devastating blow to Kang-woo, but it would prove Min-joon’s point, not to trust anyone or anything in order to get to the truth. Some lessons are really hard to learn.
Kang-woo and Min-joon have been circling each other long enough and I’m past ready to see them on the same side. They’ve had great chemistry as antagonists and I’m sure it will be even better when they team up. They’re not the only ones who have good chemistry. I have to admit that the nonverbal communication between Noo-ri and Soon-jung is so much fun that I rewind their scenes to get a second look.
Of course, the chemistry between Ha-ri and Min-joon is undeniable, but I can’t decide what kind of relationship I prefer for those two. Romantic? Not necessarily, at least not right away. Min-joon is such a lonely character that I just want him to have someone who understands him. He needs a friend more than a girlfriend, and in spite of her detached demeanor, Ha-ri is actually very attuned to Min-joon’s true feelings. I think that has to do with the fact that she’s been close to Kang-woo since he lost his family and she recognizes what suppressed pain looks like. I’m not against a romantic connection, I just don’t need to see Min-joon and Ha-ri progress that far. Either way, it can’t be denied that Ha-ri finds herself less concerned about Kang-woo these days and more concerned with the lonely Min-joon.
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