Mad Dog: Episode 9
Things are about to get very complicated as the team goes to the top to find out what really happened on Flight 801. Some very major players risk being toppled if an investigation is reopened, which means that they have to tame a mad dog to protect what they have.
EPISODE 9: “Traitor”
Confronted about his break-in by Kang-woo and Min-joon, Detective Jo stammers until Min-joon calls him a traitor and demands to know who he works for.
The Mad Dog team watches Kang-woo and Detective Jo from Min-joon’s apartment on the surveillance video, but Ha-ri shuts it off so that the long-time friends can have some privacy. Min-joon calls it the perfect time for everyone to leave so that he can get some sleep, but once he’s alone he turns the video back on to witness their exchange.
Detective Jo confesses that he first met his contact at the funeral for Kang-woo’s wife and son. In a flashback, we learn that Detective Jo was threatened by some thugs to repay a loan shark and the confrontation was witnessed by Chairman Cha.
Detective Jo reminds Kang-woo about his daughter’s high medical expenses before he admits that he was the one who told Chairman Cha about Go Jin-chul’s DNA evidence, not Manager Park. Alarmed, Kang-woo demands to know if Chairman Cha knows about Pilot Shin.
Detective Jo confesses that Chairman Cha did call for information on Kang-woo’s investigation but he hid the truth about Pilot Shin and lied that Mad Dog had hit a dead-end. Detective Jo worries, “The leaker was Go Jin-chul. What if you end up like him?” but Kang-woo angrily dismisses his concern.
Detective Jo begs Kang-woo to keep quiet until his daughter, Hwan-hee, has her surgery, and then promises to confess to everything. Kang-woo points out that there must be other detectives on Chairman Cha’s payroll since Go Jin-chul’s murder happened in a police station.
When Kang-woo vows to take care of things himself, Detective Jo appeals to him that his wife and son are dead and won’t come back no matter what he does, but his daughter will die without this surgery.
Min-joon watches Kang-woo and wonders if he’ll be shaken by Detective Jo. Kang-woo agrees to keep quiet until after Hwan-hee’s surgery as Min-joon sighs that he’s hopeless.
In the morning, Ha-ri arrives at Min-joon’s apartment and learns that he left for a jog… over two hours ago. Ha-ri calls Min-joon and learns that he’s about to visit a hospital for a supposed injury. Suspicious, she has Noo-ri check the computer’s files and they discover that Min-joon not only watched Kang-woo’s meeting with Detective Jo, he copied the video they took of Beom-joon’s original insurance policy.
At the hospital, Min-joon finds Hwan-hee’s room just as Detective Jo’s wife exits. When she sits at a table in the cafeteria, Min-joon sits down close by posing as a family member of a long-term patient, and gets Detective Jo’s wife to share that her daughter has been in the hospital for four years. Detective Jo’s wife rushes off when Nurse Oh interrupts with news that Hwan-hee is awake.
Nurse Oh examines Min-joon because she heard that he was injured but when he admits that me made up that story, he gets scolded for planning to exploit Detective Jo’s wife. Min-joon guesses that Nurse Oh heard about him from Soon-jung and asks if they’re dating.
Soon-jung walks in and when he gets jealous to see them close together, Nurse Oh announces that Min-joon isn’t her type as she breezes out. Min-joon is amused when Soon-jung chases after her, until Ha-ri shows up. (Is Min-joon afraid of her too?)
Detective Jo and his wife interrupt Ha-ri as she tries to recover the copied file of the insurance policy from Min-joon. Min-joon acts surprised that the woman from the cafeteria is Detective Jo’s wife.
The trio moves to the basement where Detective Jo demands to know if Min-joon is threatening him. Min-joon shows Detective Jo a USB drive and suggests that the best way to guarantee Chairman Cha’s support is to make him believe that Detective Jo successfully spied on Mad Dog.
Ha-ri wants to ask Kang-woo about the plan first, but Min-joon tersely demands, “Until when will you just follow what he tells you to do?” Min-joon explains that Kang-woo always takes on all the risk himself and then asks Detective Jo, “Do you think you’ll be happy if you betray your friend and save your daughter?” Detective Jo grabs the USB and promises to deliver it to Chairman Cha.
When Ha-ri looks at Detective Jo’s retreating figure sadly, Min-joon calls the Mad Dog members soft and urges her to come to her senses. Ha-ri swings at Min-joon but he avoids her punch now that he’s figured out that she clenches her other fist before hitting someone. Frustrated that Min-joon knows her that well, Ha-ri yells after him but is interrupted by a call from Kang-woo.
Ha-ri meets Kang-woo for lunch at a convenience store and informs him about Min-joon’s plan. Kang-woo worries about the risk to Hwan-hee’s surgery and insists that he’ll abort the plan himself.
Ha-ri confronts her boss, “Do you know that you and Min-joon are similar? You never listen to others and try to do everything by yourself. He’s like that because he can’t trust people. But why are you like that? Can’t you trust me?” When Kang-woo insists that he trusts her, Ha-ri concludes that she must not be reliable enough and storms off to her car.
Min-joon joins her to ask if Kang-woo approved their plan but Ha-ri suggests that he should ask Kang-woo himself. Min-joon protests that Kang-woo doesn’t trust others and is surprised when Ha-ri doesn’t argue.
Min-joon senses that Kang-woo doesn’t trust Ha-ri and wonders if she’s hurt because she likes Kang-woo as a man. Ha-ri’s answer is a threat to kill Min-joon, who admits that he knew she didn’t like Kang-woo because they act more like father and daughter.
Min-joon guesses that maybe Kang-woo caught a con artist who targeted her in the past, but she confides that he caught the man who caused her father’s death. Her father struggled to raise her as a single parent and car mechanic, and was fooled by an insurance scam because he wanted to help her become a gymnast. He was falsely accused of the entire scheme and died in prison of cancer.
Min-joon looks hurt when Ha-ri adds, “You know, they target those with weaknesses. Con artists like you.” She recalls Min-joon’s observation that the members of Mad Dog are soft and says that con artists like him aren’t even human to her.
Min-joon gets out of the car when Ha-ri starts to cry, but he leaves a handkerchief behind. Ha-ri ignores the handkerchief and pointedly wipes her face with her hand before she drives away and leaves Min-joon behind.
Chairman Cha waits in his parked car for Detective Jo, who shows up to hand over the USB that Mad Dog gave him. He thanks Chairman Cha for Hwan-hee’s scheduled surgery before he walks away.
Detective Jo eats lunch while Kang-woo sits stiffly across from him in a restaurant. Detective Jo asks why Kang-woo wanted to meet but is only reminded not to skip meals. When Kang-woo stands to leave, Detective Jo promises to call but is told, “Don’t, you punk.” Out on the street an angry Kang-woo asks himself, “Shall I go see Chairman Cha Joon-gyu now?”
Chairman Cha reviews the video of Kim Beom-joon’s original insurance policy with Lawyer Lee as they discuss how to handle the breach. Chairman Cha suggests that they do nothing until after next week’s events.
Chairman Cha pockets the USB as he wonders if he should bring Kang-woo to his senses. When his secretary announces that Kang-woo is outside, Chairman Cha decides to meet in his greenhouse so that Kang-woo doesn’t see Lawyer Lee. As Kang-woo leaves he hears the office door close and sees Lawyer Lee on his way out.
Kang-woo reports to the greenhouse and updates Chairman Cha on the special forces case that was successfully turned over for prosecution. Kang-woo asks about the presence of JH Group employees at Taeyang but is told it’s because Chairman Cha offered to help Hyun-gi after his father’s collapse.
When Kang-woo offers to fetch another bag of soil for Chairman Cha, he orders, “No, don’t touch it.” Chairman Cha pretends that he doesn’t want him to get dirty, but Kang-woo is understandably suspicious. Once he’s alone, Chairman Cha moves the bags of soil to access a hidden safe, where he stashes the USB.
Min-joon meets with Reporter Bang and learns about a rumor that Hyun-gi’s father’s funeral is expected soon, even though he actually died two years ago. His death wasn’t reported at that time because Hyun-gi’s succession hadn’t been arranged.
Min-joon stands outside of JH Group as he recalls the rest of Reporter Bang’s explanation—Hyun-gi obtained the shares that he needed to secure his succession in the past week, so there’s no longer a reason to pretend that his father is alive. Min-joon recalls the voice recording of Flight 801 with no audio of Beom-joon and asks, “Did you fabricate the voice recorder to take JH for yourself, Joo Hyun-gi?”
Lawyer Lee and Hyun-gi agree to announce his father’s death the following morning, just as Lawyer Lee is alerted that Min-joon is protesting in front of JH Group.
Hyun-gi finds Min-joon outside with a sign that claims JH Group is responsible for his brother’s depression. Hyun-gi orders Lawyer Lee to remove him but before anything can be done, Kang-woo shows up and knocks Min-joon down to the ground with a punch.
Kang-woo continues to hit Min-joon and as much as Hyun-gi enjoys the confrontation, he orders his men to stop it. When Kang-woo sees Hyun-gi, the two men exchange bows.
In Hyun-gi’s office, Kang-woo applies ice to his hand while he apologizes for his outburst. Hyun-gi acknowledges Kang-woo’s personal grudge against Min-joon and then volunteers that he knows that Kang-woo and Hong-joo went to school together. Aware that they also worked together, Hyun-gi asks if there was something more between them, and then laughs that it was a joke when Kang-woo stares at him stonily.
Hyun-gi finally asks the reason for Kang-woo’s visit and is told that the black box evidence is missing from the Flight 801 files. Kang-woo explains that it could pose a serious problem in the event of an inspection and asks for a copy of the black box. Hyun-gi responds that it’s strange that the evidence is missing and promises to send a copy.
Min-joon picks up Kang-woo in his car and complains that he promised to be gentle. Kang-woo admits that he put his heart into their fight and Min-joon asks him to save it to look after Ha-ri. Min-joon confides that he’s clueless about how to comfort people and may have hurt Ha-ri’s feelings because of his incompetence.
When Kang-woo warns Min-joon to leave Ha-ri alone, he protests that he didn’t do anything and adds, “You people at Mad Dog are all very weird.” Min-joon then asks Kang-woo about the black box and is assured that Hyun-gi will talk to Chairman Cha.
Chairman Cha sees Reporter Bang’s report on the fight between Kang-woo and Min-joon just before Hyun-gi calls about the request for the black box. Chairman Cha is surprised that Kang-woo wants a copy and Hyun-gi checks that Chairman Cha still has the original file, while Mad Dog’s listening device picks up Hyun-gi’s end of the conversation.
Min-joon’s car screeches to a halt as he listens in and hears that Chairman Cha has the original black box recording. Chairman Cha reminds Hyun-gi that their exchange will take place after the meeting.
The Mad Dog team listens to the recording of Hyun-gi’s half of the conversation while Kang-woo joins in by phone. Ha-ri explains that once an investigation is concluded, a black box is returned to the airline. Min-joon and Kang-woo both explain that in the case of Flight 801, Chairman Cha kept the black box as insurance against Hyun-gi, who has Kim Beom-joon’s original insurance policy—each has insurance against the other, so that they can’t be betrayed.
Soon-jung figures that there was a problem with the airplane but Noo-ri wonders why Taeyang would risk paying out so much money on a faulty plane. Ha-ri explains that large polices are re-insured through foreign companies and that the 200-billion-won payout only cost Taeyang 5 billion won. Min-joon points out that most of that money went to him after Taeyang altered Beom-joon’s policy.
Soon-jung wonders about the location of the black box and when Kang-woo recalls Chairman Cha’s earlier order not to touch the bags of soil, he tells them it’s in the greenhouse. Min-joon has to confess that he “borrowed” one of Noo-ri’s tracking devices and attached it to the USB that he gave to Detective Jo.
Noo-ri confirms that the USB is somewhere at Taeyang Insurance. Kang-woo promises to check Chairman Cha’s schedule to find a time when they can break into the greenhouse. After they hang up, Min-joon suggests grabbing a beer but Ha-ri overrules him and calls for soju.
Hong-joo sits at a bar but when she sees that Hyun-gi is there, she gets up to leave. Hyun-gi asks if she’s off to eat chicken feet and guesses that her love of the dish has something to do with Kang-woo. Hyun-gi asks Hong-joo if she liked Kang-woo even though he was married and had a child.
Hyun-gi informs Hong-joo about Kang-woo’s investigation into the crash and gets her attention when he mentions the insurance policy and the black box. Over drinks, Hong-joo remembers when Kang-woo told her that Beom-joon’s original insurance policy was missing from the depository.
Hyun-gi admits that he altered Beom-joon’s insurance policy and asks in disbelief, “Hong-joo, you didn’t actually believe that pilot Kim Beom-joon was depressed and crashed the plane with one hundred and ninety people on it, did you? Your father and I made that up.”
Hong-joo numbly walks out as she thinks back to all of the questionable evidence—the missing original policy, Lawyer Lee’s confirmation that Ms. Lee had been alive and her father’s belief, “If it’s not in our memories, then it isn’t true. We just have to make it not true.” Hyun-gi follows her out and drops another bombshell before he leaves: His father will pass away in the morning.
Min-joon joins the Mad Dog team at their neighborhood restaurant and when Soon-jung explains that Kang-woo wants him fed, Ha-ri stands to leave. Min-joon accuses her of overreacting and Ha-ri dramatically protests that she doesn’t overreact. When she allows Min-joon to pour her some soju, Soon-jung announces a sudden craving for sausage and motions to Min-joon to apologize as he and Noo-ri leave.
Ha-ri offers to pour Min-joon a drink and at first he explains that he doesn’t drink soju, but then dutifully holds up a glass when she glares. After he manages to drink it, Ha-ri apologizes, “I shouldn’t have gotten angry at you. I’m sorry.”
Min-joon reminds Ha-ri that he provoked her and calls her clueless as he adds, “That’s why men…” He thinks better of his comment and leaves the sentence unfinished while he tries to change the subject. Min-joon asks Ha-ri if she’s only dated one guy and is told that it’s none of his business, but she smiles to herself when he turns away.
Min-joon’s face darkens when some nearby customers see a broadcast about Juhan Air and recall the crazy co-pilot who crashed a plane. Ha-ri turns his attention to the televised report about Hyun-gi’s father’s death.
They join Soon-jung and Noo-ri in Min-joon’s apartment and watch as Hyun-gi makes his way to his father’s hospital room. Min-joon recalls Hyun-gi’s words, “Nothing has to happen until next week,” and guesses that he must have meant his father’s funeral.
Hyun-gi sits next to an empty hospital bed and after an acceptable amount of time, orders Lawyer Lee to announce his father’s death. Hyun-gi finishes dressing for the funeral and chants into a mirror, “Father,” over and over until he manages to cry, just as the news hits the airwaves.
His suit ready, Chairman Cha listens to Chairman Joo’s impressive resume while he sits in a massage chair and acknowledges, “It must’ve been hard to stay alive for the last two years, my friend.”
Equipped with a tie clip that hides a camera and a microphone, Kang-woo records the path to Chairman Cha’s office as the team plans how to break into the greenhouse.
Hong-joo intercepts Kang-woo and asks him to have Ha-ri return the company’s data on Go Jin-chul to avoid any problems. Kang-woo makes sure that Ha-ri heard the request as he walks away.
As the team brainstorms how to get into Chairman Cha’s greenhouse, Soon-jung admits that he wants to play the intellectual this time and wear a white coat. Min-joon explains he can make that happen and suggests that they pose as plant doctors.
Min-joon is happy to see that Soon-jung is satisfied with his disguise as they drive to Taeyang. We learn about Min-joon’s plan with a short rewind as we see him answer a call from an orchid specialist.
Min-joon explained to the team that the doctor who called him needed a specialist to treat a rare orchid and shot a knowing look to Soon-jung. Ha-ri noted the perfect timing and Min-joon pointed to the plant next to Soon-jung, a rare orchid worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Min-joon explained that he bought an additional plant and delivered it to Taeyang as a gift for Chairman Cha. When Min-joon admitted that he treated it with a chemical that should have it drooping by now, the team complimented his plan.
Kang-woo and Manager Park are summoned to Chairman Cha’s office and ordered to join him for the funeral, saying that Chairman Joo should have many visitors to show that he lived a good life. Chairman Cha sends them home to change first.
On the way out, Manager Park asks a distracted Kang-woo what’s bothering him but is told that it’s nothing. Ha-ri arrives at Taeyang and when she sees Kang-woo on his way out with Manager Park, she calls and learns of the change in plans.
Ha-ri confirms that she’ll leave the files in Kang-woo’s office as planned and calls the team to inform them that they’ll be on their own. They’re all puzzled why someone of Kang-woo’s level would attend Chairman Joo’s funeral and Min-joon calls it suspicious.
Ha-ri enters Taeyang while Soon-jung and Min-joon pose as the plant doctor and his clumsy assistant. Noo-ri reminds the team that Chairman Cha’s office is equipped with radio jamming and that Soon-jung and Min-joon won’t be able to communicate with anyone once they’re in the greenhouse.
Min-joon reminds Noo-ri that they have Ha-ri and cheekily suggests that she can shout, “Help me,” if something happens. Min-joon and Soon-jung suddenly look nervous when she reminds them, “Both of your lives are in my hands.”
Ha-ri shows up with the secretary’s favorite tea and gives Min-joon an encouraging nod as he and Soon-jung are escorted into Chairman Cha’s office. The secretary is horrified when Soon-jung diagnoses the orchid with a virus, so they promise to check the entire greenhouse for her.
Chairman Cha’s secretary returns to her desk and explains to Ha-ri about the sick orchid. The secretary notes that because of Chairman Joo’s funeral, the orchid should be fine by the time Chairman Cha returns.
As Manager Park drives to the funeral, Kang-woo mentions how weird it is for them to be asked to attend. After Kang-woo takes a call from Detective Jo, he anxiously shouts for Manager Park to turn the car around.
Soon-jung and Min-joon search the area of the greenhouse with all of Chairman Cha’s supplies, unaware of an alarm mounted on a shelf.
Hyun-gi opens the car door for Chairman Cha when he arrives at the funeral and explains that he wanted to greet his father’s best friend. Chairman Cha believes that Hyun-gi actually wants to see his reaction with he hears about the robbery at his greenhouse.
Hyun-gi recalls his meeting with Kang-woo and we see that after he left, Hyun-gi had decided, “Do you want to find the black box? Then you need find the real thing.” After he confirmed that there was a listening device in his conference room, Hyun-gi had called Chairman Cha, aware that his part of the conversation was recorded, and Chairman Cha had scoffed when he said the original black box was with him.
In the present, Chairman Cha warns Hyun-gi, “Stop trying to play a game… You aren’t the owner of JH yet.” As Hong-joo walks inside, Hyun-gi asks what would happen if Kang-woo discovered that she made his family take the doomed flight.
Hong-joo protests that she didn’t know it would crash, but Hyun-gi points out that she did know that the planes were unsound and wrote the insurance contracts anyway. When Hyun-gi suggests that Kang-woo will find out the truth, Hong-joo answers, “I’ll catch the dog before he finds out.”
Hong-joo joins her father inside where she’s complimented, “Great job on setting up a trap.” We see that her request to have Ha-ri return Go Jin-chul’s documents was part of Chairman Cha’s plan. When she asks why he summoned Kang-woo to the funeral, Chairman Cha explains, “Kang-woo will die for his children. He’ll lower his tail and lie down to save them… and he’ll fetch Hyun-gi’s stuff just as I say.”
Detective Jo shows up with a team at Taeyang and explains that they received a report about a break-in on the twentieth floor. After Chairman Cha’s secretary steps out to visit the bathroom, Ha-ri is surprised when someone arrives.
Inside the greenhouse, Min-joon admits that something seems weird just when Soon-jung accidentally sets off the alarm. They grab their things just as Kang-woo appears and yells at them, “Get out of here!”
As tough as it was to watch Kang-woo suffer from the betrayal by Detective Jo, it was extremely satisfying to see Hyun-gi betray Chairman Cha, who was one step ahead of the almost president of JH Group. This is exactly how Min-joon and Kang-woo can hope to reveal the truth about the crash of Flight 801, by driving a wedge between the enemies who have been forced to become allies in the aftermath of an all too preventable tragedy.
As compelling as it’s been to know what caused the crash, it was oddly anticlimactic to finally learn the truth. There was no sabotage or ulterior motive, just planes that had no business being in the air and an insurance company who added to the illusion that they were safe by writing insurance contracts for them. It was only a matter of time until one of those planes crashed and bad luck that Min-joon’s brother was in the cockpit and Kang-woo’s wife and son on the flight, along with all of the other passengers. But isn’t that what makes most tragedies so hard to comprehend, the sheer randomness and senselessness of the whole event? The reality turned out to be that it was cheaper to lose 5 billion won than it was to repair the planes. How will Kang-woo react when he finally learns that he worked for a man who valued human life so little?
Once Hong-joo got over the shock of what really happened to Flight 801, she oddly accepted her situation and joined her father’s cause, seemingly with no regrets. It’s jarring, just like when Manager Park suddenly abandoned his vendetta against Mad Dog and became an ally. Somehow, it seems to have made her more attractive to Hyun-gi, who views Hong-joo as a partner. They’re both meant to inherit their father’s companies and have to get their hands dirty to do so. We know that Chairman Cha has his sights set on JH Group, but Hyun-gi likewise has designs on Taeyang and I think that Hong-joo is part of his plan to get that company. I keep waiting for him to suggest a marriage between him and Hong-joo, and once the succession at JH Group is handled, I’m sure he’ll move in that direction.
The team is more accepting of Min-joon these days, which I’m really enjoying. It was enlightening to see Min-joon struggle with how to comfort Ha-ri or apologize to her because he’s terrible at personal exchanges and he knows it. When Ha-ri confronted Kang-woo about how similar he and Min-joon are, she realized that Min-joon doesn’t trust people because he can’t, so it’s hard to blame him when he doesn’t. Ha-ri and Min-joon definitely care about each other and find themselves getting closer the more that they work together. In fact, Min-joon is getting closer to everyone, little by little. As the team faces off with Chairman Cha and Hyun-gi in their quest for the truth, they will make very big enemies and they’ll need very good friends to survive. The acceptance of Min-joon as a full-fledged member of Mad Dog can’t come a moment too soon.
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