Mad Dog: Episode 15
The tension doesn’t let up as Mad Dog scrambles to bring those responsible for the tragedy of Flight 801 to justice. Their investigation suffers one setback after another, but help from an unexpected source gives the team hope. Until the truth can be revealed, the ever vigilant Kang-woo has his hands full making sure that his team stays safe.
EPISODE 15: “There is no subject”
The episode begins with a flashback to Hyun-gi’s meeting with Chairman Cha in the hospital. Hyun-gi offered a deal—if Chairman Cha accepted the blame for Hong-joo’s actions, he would hold a press conference to call for a new investigation into the crash of Flight 801.
Hyun-gi explained that he wanted the public to see him as a prosecutor rather than a suspect. When Chairman Cha realized that Hyun-gi planned to influence the investigation, he admitted that it was the best way to alter evidence and successfully shift blame to President Joo and Chairman Cha.
An anxious woman is among the throng of reporters outside of Taeyang Insurance when Hong-joo makes an appearance in the lobby. Surrounded by cameras, the woman shoves a photo of her son, who was a victim of Flight 801, into Hong-joo’s hand and begs her to tell the truth. Hong-joo just drops the photo and retreats, looking numb and terrified.
Hyun-gi reads about Hong-joo’s confrontation as Chief Prosecutor Ohn proposes a friend of his to head the reinvestigation committee. Hyun-gi wants a drawn out investigation to turn the public’s opinion in his favor but Chief Prosecutor Ohn urges him to resolve the investigation quickly.
Hyun-gi uses the online report about Hong-hoo to argue the need to overcome the negative press. Hyun-gi figures that the longer the investigation drags on, people will grow tired of hearing about it and the public’s sympathy will shift.
Hyun-gi predicts that if he insists, “Let’s investigate the truth until the end,” eventually the public will think, “‘Stop it already… How much more should they pay out? Poor JH Group!’” Only when that happens will Hyun-gi close the investigation.
But Chief Prosecutor Ohn informs Hyun-gi about the illegal recording that Kang-woo made of their conversation in Noo-ri’s hospital room. Chief Prosecutor Ohn warns that if it’s released, all of them are finished.
At Mad Dog, the team watches a news report that Chairman Cha confessed to the coverup of Flight 801. Min-joon realizes that Chairman Cha sacrificed both himself and President Joo to save Hong-joo.
Ha-ri and Kang-woo guess that Hyun-gi was behind Chairman Cha’s confession but Noo-ri reminds the team that his father must be involved as well. Noo-ri proposes, “Let’s get them and make them pay. People who committed a crime must be punished.”
Watch the scene
Everyone tries to protect Min-joon from the swarm of reporters
Soon-jung runs in with news that a swarm of reporters is outside. The team glances out the window as Soon-jung guesses that they want to interview Min-joon, but when Min-joon tries to get a peek, Ha-ri pushes him away. He asks if he’s being protected right now.
Min-joon surprises everyone when he suggests that an interview would be the perfect platform to release the recording of Hyun-gi’s conversation with Chief Prosecutor Ohn. Suddenly, there’s a commotion on the street as Hyun-gi enjoys the reporters’ attention on his way to personally apologize to Min-joon.
Inside, the team surrounds Hyun-gi, who notes, “You’re staring at me as if I killed someone.” Kang-woo lunges at him but Min-joon grabs Hyun-gi first. While Secretary Han records video of the confrontation, Hyun-gi apologizes to Min-joon and promises, “Through a thorough reinvestigation, I will clear your brother’s name.”
Secretary Han continues to record as Min-joon reverts to German and promises, “You jerk. I’m going to kill you.” Min-joon doesn’t release Hyun-gi until Kang-woo shouts at him to let go. Satisfied, Hyun-gi compliments Secretary Han’s efforts and dismisses him.
Kang-woo is surprised when Hyun-gi inquires about the team’s plans for his recorded conversation with Chief Prosecutor Ohn. Hyun-gi scoffs when Min-joon guesses that he’s scared and explains that all he said was that he was really busy.
A flashback supports Hyun-gi’s recollection: In the recorded hospital conversation, he had told Chief Prosecutor Ohn that he was busy when the new route was approved and an additional plane was needed to fly a short route for a short time.
Hyun-gi coolly observes that he never said that he bought that plane. As the team gapes, Hyun-gi discusses the beauty of the Korean language where sentences can have no subject.
Hyun-gi points out that JH Group’s founding documents intentionally have no subject, so ownership can’t be definitively determined. The same can be said about the plane that crashed—its ownership can’t be traced to him.
Hyun-gi presents a plausible interpretation of the recording, “The ministry suddenly passed a new route. Juhan Air needed an aircraft. My late father bought it himself. And I didn’t know because I was busy.”
Min-joon urges Kang-woo to turn all of their files over to the reporters but pauses when Hyun-gi points out that someone illegally placed a bug in Noo-ri’s hospital room. Hyun-gi stares at Soon-jung as he explains that a fingerprint on it belonged to Nurse Oh.
At the same time, detectives present Nurse Oh with a warrant and arrest her for illegal surveillance.
Soon-jung raises a fist to hit Hyun-gi but Noo-ri holds him back. Kang-woo insists that Nurse Oh wasn’t involved but Hyun-gi warns that it’s up to Min-joon to settle that matter.
Hyun-gi points to the reporters below and explains, “Mr. Kim. The world wants you. You just need to say this—that you’ll quietly wait for the result of the special reinvestigation.”
When Min-joon refuses, Hyun-gi reminds the team of those who have broken the law to help them, such as Professor Byeon and Detective Jo. Kang-woo punches Hyun-gi in the mouth but Min-joon grabs him and begs him to stop.
Over a game of baduk, Lawyer Lee apologizes to Chairman Cha for his failure to kill Kang-woo. Lawyer Lee offers to try again but Chairman Cha worries about how Kang-woo’s death could affect Hong-joo and settles on Min-joon as their new target. Chairman Cha wants Lawyer Lee to kill Min-joon and frame Hyun-gi for the murder.
Min-joon watches Hyun-gi’s exit interview. A reporter noticed Hyun-gi’s split lip and was told that Min-joon was understandably furious. Hyun-gi magnanimously claimed that his pain didn’t compare to what Min-joon endured for two years.
Hyun-gi used the opportunity to emphasize that JH Group would earnestly participate in the new investigation and apologized yet again to the families of the victims of Flight 801.
Burdened by the decision before him, Min-joon closes his laptop with a heavy sigh. Min-joon recalls the friends of Mad Dog that Hyun-gi threatened and realizes, “He’s just like me.”
Ha-ri approaches Min-joon, aware that he’s been shaken. Min-joon smiles as he wonders how Ha-ri could know that: “Have you come inside my heart?” Min-joon’s smile disappears when Ha-ri accurately voices his thoughts, “You were thinking that he’s the same as you.”
Watch the scene
*pet pet*… *lean in*
Ha-ri agrees that both Min-joon and Hyun-gi threatened Mad Dog exactly the same way, but she insists that they are also very different. Ha-ri leans closer as she points out that Min-joon was driven to discover the truth about his brother’s death while Hyun-gi wants to hide the truth.
Ha-ri gently urges Min-joon to stop regretting his past and strokes his hair as she assures him that it’s okay. Min-joon inches closer to Ha-ri as if to kiss her, but rests his head on her shoulder instead.
The intimate moment is ruined when Min-joon asks, “Did you take a shower?” Min-joon pulls back and adds, “I know you don’t wash up often. Did you wash up today?”
Angry, Ha-ri shoves Min-joon and asks if he wants to die. Min-joon teases that she always gets her expectations up and as she strides out of the room, Min-joon softly expresses his gratitude: “Thank you.”
Kang-woo has Taeyang’s original renewal contract with JH Group thanks to Manager Park. Kang-woo mentions how much his law-abiding friend has changed but Manager Park cites the lawlessness at Taeyang and argues that he’s trying to protect the company.
Manager Park wants Hyun-gi and Lawyer Lee caught but Kang-woo worries that his friend could get caught as well. Manager Park argues that it wouldn’t compare to what Kang-woo has suffered.
Manager Park knows that Kang-woo was responsible for Hyun-gi’s split lip and is thankful that he held back even though he wanted to beat him to death. Kang-woo admits that when he heard Min-joon’s voice and looked at him, he saw the faces of his wife and son.
Kang-woo explains how much Min-joon regrets the things that he’ll never be able to do with his brother and admits to his own regrets. When Min-joon yelled for him to stop, Kang-woo realized that he was about to let his wife and son down.
When Manager Park asks what more he can do, Kang-woo sends him home to hug his wife and son. Before he leaves, Manager Park tells his friend, “Kang-woo, you were a good dad and a good husband. And you still are.”
On the way to his car, Manager Park is troubled when he notices Lawyer Lee lurking nearby, disguised by a hat and mask.
Nurse Oh is alone in a cell at the police station when Soon-jung appears and silently passes her some snacks. Nurse Oh reminds him that she didn’t want a visit but Soon-jung argues that he couldn’t ignore her situation.
Soon-jung is sure that it’s Nurse Oh’s first time in jail and that she must be scared. Nurse Oh surprises him with an admission that she’s been arrested several times over confrontations with the abusive family members of her patients.
Nurse Oh thinks that Soon-jung must be disappointed in her but he admits that she just captured his heart. He calls her a fighter but Nurse Oh disagrees, “You and the members of Mad Dog are the real fighters.” Nurse Oh sends Soon-jung away and warns, “Don’t come back to see me until you catch all of them.”
Soon-jung promises to return with confidence and hints at a plan to confess his feelings, but Nurse Oh waves him off. Soon-jung passes over a bundle before he leaves, and she laughs to find a cheetah-patterned blanket inside.
Lawyer Lee meets with Hong-joo and promises that she can visit her father once her charges are dropped. Lawyer Lee confides that not only will Chairman Cha take the blame for her wrongdoings, he has a plan to remove Hyun-gi from her life. He points to Chairman Cha’s chair and urges Hong-joo to take it until her father returns.
Once Hong-joo agrees, she’s told to cooperate with Hyun-gi and allow Lawyer Lee and Chairman Cha to handle things. When Hong-joo insists on knowing their plan, Lawyer Lee confides that he’s to kill Min-joon and frame Hyun-gi for the crime. Hong-joo can’t understand how Lawyer Lee could agree to kill for her father.
Lawyer Lee confides that he became a murderer as a teenager when he killed the man who ruined his father’s company. His father committed suicide and later, his mother died.
Lawyer Lee went to Chairman Cha after the crime and was told that he did well because men like that deserved to die. Lawyer Lee knows that he should have gone to prison then and warns Hong-joo that he’ll be gone for a while.
Chairman Cha’s secretary buzzes to announce that Hyun-gi is on his way up and Hong-joo instructs her to send him to the greenhouse. Lawyer Lee protests that she shouldn’t provoke Hyun-gi but Hong-joo argues that if she acts differently, he’ll become suspicious.
Hyun-gi admits how hurt he is to find Hong-joo standing in the spot where his father collapsed and she admits that it’s her way of getting back at him. Hyun-gi is impressed that Hong-joo never changes and then explains the reason for his visit.
Hyun-gi is there to alter the insurance renewal contract and place their fathers’ names on the document. Once Hyun-gi shreds the original documents, Hong-joo tells him to leave. But he announces that he’s there for something else—the original safety reports that Hong-joo took two years ago.
When Hyun-gi promises to take care of those documents, Hong-joo reminds him that the whole world knows that she kept them in case the plane crashed. Hyun-gi suggests that Hong-joo should contend that she gave those reports to her father after the plane crashed so that he could admit to his crimes.
Hyun-gi advises Hong-joo to claim that she didn’t see those reports again until after her father’s arrest. Hyun-gi insists that the one thing Hong-joo did wrong was threaten the ministry employees to save her father. He promised her father to get Hong-joo out of trouble because she had nothing to do with the crash or the coverup and believes his plan will do that.
Kang-woo scolds Min-joon for walking around alone when they meet outside of a restaurant. They join the team inside and Noo-ri tries to cheer up Soon-jung when the pig’s feet remind him of Nurse Oh. Ha-ri wonders if Kang-woo has business in the neighborhood, but he denies it.
Suddenly, the place is abuzz over some breaking news and the television broadcasts a report that Hyun-gi released the insurance renewal policy between JH Group and Taeyang plus the blackbox recording of Flight 801. The reporter confirms that the crash was caused by mechanical failure and adds that the information was released as Hyun-gi’s apology for his father’s mistakes.
The blackbox audio airs and Beom-joon can be heard desperately trying to contact the control tower just before the plane crashed. The team has to listen to the customers praise Hyun-gi, now convinced of his dedication to uncover the truth about the crash. Kang-woo tells a distraught Min-joon that there’s something he needs to see.
Back at Mad Dog, the team compares the original renewal contract with the altered one that was released to the public. Min-joon worries that Manager Park will get caught but Kang-woo assures the team that he replaced it with a perfect copy.
The team considers releasing the original document but Min-joon is certain that the world will side with Hyun-gi because he gained so much goodwill from the release of the blackbox. Kang-woo asks for Min-joon’s opinion and learns that he doesn’t want to put Manager Park at risk for a move that may have no effect.
Min-joon surprises the team when he suggests that he should go along with Hyun-gi’s demand. Min-joon proposes that he can follow that up with a joint press conference with Hyun-gi on the day that the final report is released. Kang-woo agrees to his plan and the team gets to work on getting Min-joon some different ammunition that he can reveal that day.
Min-joon remembers Hyun-gi’s point that the ownership of the plane can’t be traced, but he’s sure there must be something listed in the renewal’s appendix. Sure enough, the purchase contract was part of the original document.
Soon-jung points out that the purchase contract would bear the signature of whoever purchased the faulty plane. Kang-woo wonders where that contract can be and Min-joon suggests that they ask the man who would know, Secretary Han.
After Secretary Han carries some packages into Hyun-gi’s house, he’s asked if Lawyer Lee has approached him again. He denies any further contact and is spared more questions when Min-joon calls to inform Hyun-gi that he’ll agree to his demands.
Min-joon confirms that Hyun-gi will have Nurse Oh released and asks to have the bug with her fingerprint returned. When Hyun-gi agrees, Min-joon offers to arrange an interview with Reporter Bang.
Secretary Han has to remind Hyun-gi that Reporter Bang was the one who brought up the rumor about President Joo’s death. Hyun-gi reasons that if a reporter who isn’t on good terms with JH Group produces a positive story, it could have especially good results.
Min-joon invites Hyun-gi to the interview so that he can see for himself that he fulfilled his end of the bargain and to hand over the bug. Once they hang up, Min-joon informs the team that Secretary Han will accompany Hyun-gi to the interview and Ha-ri suggests that they ask about the purchase contract then.
Soon-jung is relieved that Nurse Oh will be released soon. Kang-woo warns Min-joon to stay home until the interview and motions for Soon-jung and Noo-ri to stay with him. Min-joon resists the idea because he doesn’t want to share his place, especially with Soon-jung, but they stay with him in the end.
Alone with Kang-woo, Ha-ri asks if something is going on and learns that Manager Park saw Lawyer Lee near their building. Manager Park guessed that Lawyer Lee was after Min-joon and Kang-woo adds that he saw Lawyer Lee earlier, outside of the restaurant.
Kang-woo believes that Chairman Cha is responsible for Lawyer Lee’s activity and shows Ha-ri surveillance footage that proves that Lawyer Lee was there to kill him a few days earlier. Kang-woo is puzzled because for some reason, he’s changed his target to Min-joon.
Up in Min-joon’s apartment, the reason Soon-jung wasn’t welcome becomes clear as he snores loudly. Noo-ri decides to have a man-to-man chat with Min-joon and warns him with the shake of a fist, “If you make Jang sunbae cry, you will die by my hand.” Noo-ri doesn’t consider him good dating material, calling him too good-looking and smooth-talking to be trusted not to be a playboy, but he accepts that Ha-ri likes him.
Noo-ri reminds Min-joon that Ha-ri has the three men of Mad Dog behind her at all times to protect her, and warns him again that they’ll come after him if he makes her cry. Min-joon confides that he and Ha-ri don’t have that kind of relationship but adds that he can’t stand to see her cry either.
Min-joon thinks that Ha-ri is lucky to have three oppas to protect her, and Noo-ri says Min-joon has them too: “Two dependable hyungs and one dongsaeng. If anyone makes you cry, we won’t leave them alone.” Then when Noo-ri wishes Min-joon goodnight, he calls him “Hyung.”
Before the interview, Reporter Bang warns Min-joon that the reinvestigation committee does whatever JH Group tells them, but Min-joon reasons that he’s no match for a company.
Hyun-gi is greeted by the rest of the team when he shows up at the interview. He asks Secretary Han to check the team one at a time for any bugs before allowing them inside.
Kang-woo tries first to engage Secretary Han during his search but is warned to be quiet. When Soon-jung asks if Hyun-gi bought the plane, Secretary Han insists that it was purchased by President Joo.
Ha-ri strikes out as well and then Secretary Han warns Min-joon that he doesn’t want him to get into trouble. Hyun-gi listens in on the recording device hidden in Secretary Han’s tie clip and learns that the team is after the purchase contract.
When the interview begins, Min-joon claims that he’s grateful that Hyun-gi demanded the reinvestigation and pledges to wait for the committee’s results.
Kang-woo puts out his hand expectantly and Hyun-gi returns the bug that was found in Noo-ri’s hospital room. Kang-woo reminds Hyun-gi to call the police station and once Nurse Oh’s release is underway, Soon-jung leaves to pick her up.
Min-joon concludes his interview with an appeal to Reporter Bang’s viewers not to forget about Flight 801.
Once Soon-jung exits the studio, Noo-ri kills the power and Kang-woo grabs Hyun-gi’s briefcase in the darkness. But Hyun-gi calls out to Kang-woo, having expected this, and uses a lighter to burn the purchase contract right in front of their eyes as they watch in horror.
Soon-jung pulls up alongside Nurse Oh and runs out to meet her. She asks if all of the culprits have been caught and Soon-jung has to admit that they’re not quite there yet.
A giddy Hyun-gi admits how much Secretary Han’s loyalty means to him and offers to buy him any dish that he wants. Secretary Han suggests that Hyun-gi can treat him another time.
As Secretary Han drives, he recalls contacting Min-joon the night before. Secretary Han delivered the original purchase contract to the team and explained that after the crash, Hyun-gi kept it in his safe. When Ha-ri and Min-joon broke into it, Secretary Han made a copy and switched it with the original. Since the prosecutors’ seizure, the copy has been in Hyun-gi’s briefcase at all times.
When Min-joon questioned why he gave the contract to them, Secretary Han looked from Kang-woo to Min-joon and explained, “I am also someone’s son and someone’s brother.” In a flashback, we see how angered Secretary Han was when Hyun-gi had him record the confrontation with Min-joon.
Ha-ri warned Secretary Han about the danger his betrayal posed. The team plotted to get Hyun-gi to destroy the contract before he realized that it was a copy. Aware that Hyun-gi would destroy the contract just to spite them, the team staged the attempt to get Secretary Han to reveal information about its whereabouts.
Back in the present, Kang-woo hangs up after Soon-jung calls to verify that Nurse Oh was released from jail. Min-joon is puzzled when Kang-woo tells him that he has to do well at something that he’s bad at. Ha-ri guesses that he’s talking about the joint press conference and teases Min-joon about how nervous he was at his last one.
Upstairs, Lawyer Lee walks through Min-joon’s apartment while the team continues to tease Min-joon. When Min-joon announces that he’s going home to change, Kang-woo is suddenly on alert.
Lawyer Lee is studying the photo of Min-joon and Beom-joon when the keypad to the front door beeps. Lawyer Lee hides in the shadows when someone enters the apartment and locks the door with the safety chain.
Kang-woo stands in Min-joon’s apartment and calls out to Lawyer Lee, who steps out of his hiding place. Kang-woo faces him and gloats, “Finally, the mouse is in the mousetrap… I’ve been expecting you, Lawyer Lee.”
Kang-woo just locked himself in with a very determined, experienced murderer and all I can think is that this would be the perfect time to make use of that secret room. If only there had been time to sneak some backup in there. I’d be more worried about Kang-woo’s chances in a face to face confrontation with Lawyer Lee, but he’s nicknamed Mad Dog for a good reason. My money is on Kang-woo.
There were some very heartfelt sentiments peppered throughout the episode that made it more touching than I expected at this point in the drama. Soon-jung’s conversation with the jailed Nurse Oh had me wondering how his warm heart didn’t manage to melt those bars away. When I imagined pillow talk, I expected something between Ha-ri and Min-joon so it was hilarious that the two characters who shared a bed were Min-joon and Noo-ri. And Kang-woo’s scene with Manager Park was unexpectedly moving too. When Manager Park assured Kang-woo that he was still a good husband and father, my heart just shattered. Such unexpected emotions for a suspenseful drama, but it just made me love the characters even more.
Even Ha-ri and Min-joon had their moment, but that was a frustrating almost-kiss if ever there was one. It makes sense when I think about Min-joon’s inexperience with close relationships—he kept Beom-joon at arm’s length too. What Min-joon needs is time to learn how to trust people and I appreciate that the drama didn’t ignore that and accelerate the relationship with Ha-ri.
Once his brother’s name is cleared, Min-joon may feel more comfortable about pursuing Ha-ri, but for now Noo-ri is right, Min-joon is terrible boyfriend material. He’s the brother of a murderer, a con-man, a flirt. Ha-ri isn’t just a casual flirtation, and Min-joon cares about her way more than that. For her part, Ha-ri has been amazingly understanding and my hope is that we’re rewarded with the promise of a real connection between her and Min-joon before we say goodbye.
As heartwarming as the episode was, the Mad Dog team still has to deal with some very serious threats. Not only is the team in danger, but so is everyone who’s ever helped them. No one can relax for a second as they look over their shoulders for the next threat. What Mad Dog has going for them is that they have each other’s backs, while the bad guys continue to stab each other in the back. Because if their enemies actually worked together like them, the Mad Dog team might not have a chance at success. But that’s their biggest strength, and before I say goodbye to the Mad Dog family, I want to see them use their teamwork to successfully reveal the truth about Flight 801 to the world.
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