My Secret Terrius: Episodes 29-30
Bon’s been searching for Candy’s killer for so long, and now is finally the time for answers. Some, we may have guessed all along, but there’s room for a few surprises along the way. Uncovering the truth is never an easy task, and where there are unknowns, there is also danger. The local hospital has been a revolving door of King’s Bag agents lately, and it doesn’t look like that will be stopping anytime soon. But those still standing are willing to fight for the fallen and finally put a stop to Cornerstone.
EPISODE 29 RECAP
Bon and Ae-rin’s quick get-away with the USB and documents from the safe is thwarted by K, who arrives with a gun aimed at Ae-rin. Bon jumps from the balcony and in front of Ae-rin, taking the bullet in his shoulder.
Bon sends Ae-rin to safety with the documents, while he remains behind to face off with K. The two battle it out, but K uses Bon’s wound to his advantage and Bon hits the ground. The sound of a gunshot stops Ae-rin mid-flight, but Bon asked her to get the documents out of there no matter what, so she eventually turns and keeps running.
Back in the garden, K scrambles up from the ground and flees. The gunshot was for him, and the shooter is Chief Kwon, who arrives with her squad. Bon lifts his fuzzy head to see his savior, and Chief Kwon scowls, but then tells her agents to call an ambulance.
Unaware of what exactly has gone down at his home, Chun-sang tells Yong-tae that they’ll reschedule their flight and drops him off at the curb. Yong-tae tries to call Bon, but no one picks up.
At King’s Bag, Director Shim is upset with Ji-yeon for keeping the news of Bon’s fake death to herself, as well as their plan to break into the presidential secretary’s home. When he mentions this, there’s something about it that gives Ji-yeon pause. But before she can think it through, Director Shim receives a call about Bon’s arrival at the hospital.
Ji-yeon charges at Chief Kwon when she arrives at the hospital, full of accusations. When Ji-yeon asks how Chief Kwon knew to show up at Chun-sang’s compound, the chief hints that she has an informant. Director Shim’s eyes widen at that, and the chief saunters away. Around the corner, the chief tells her agent to keep checking hospitals and vets for K. Then she makes a call to that informant she mentioned, and asks to meet at last.
The doctor confirms to Ji-yeon and Director Shim that Bon will recover, and the director tells Ji-yeon to keep him posted on Bon’s recovery, leaving her alone to check in on Bon.
Once Ji-yeon is able to see Bon safe in his hospital bed (though handcuffed), she remembers to check in on Ae-rin. Ae-rin answers the call, safe at her apartment, and Ji-yeon reassures her that Bon is at the hospital. Ji-yeon wants Ae-rin to lay low for a bit, but Ae-rin insists that she’s got to see Bon right away. Ji-yeon looks to the door first, and then tells Ae-rin how they’ll manage this.
Meanwhile, Chun-sang returns to his safe and discovers that his files and the USB are missing. He’s on the phone in a heartbeat, growling that his list is missing and he wants it recovered immediately.
It doesn’t appear to be K who receives this directive, since he’s busy at the safe house pulling the bullet out of his own leg. He does get a phone call from Chun-sang shortly after though, with instructions to get out of the country and lay low while Agent X retrieves the list.
Yong-tae meets by the river with Driver Park, and he hands a bag full of cash to his former driver. It’s a gift, for helping Yong-tae trick Cornerstone, and Yong-tae tells him to use it to return to his hometown and fulfill his dream of being a farmer. Yong-tae’s uncharacteristic kindness brings Driver Park to tears. As Driver Park cries in gratitude, Yong-tae makes a cool exit. But never fear, the old Yong-tae is still with us, as he returns to ask to borrow some cash for taxi fare, ha.
Over in the King Castle neighborhood, the neighborhood parents drink beer and plan their upcoming rummage sale. Eun-ha tries to lead the group in discussion, though it’s clear no one else is taking the task very seriously.
K tries to make his way through the neighborhood and to the airport, but his wound is still bleeding and he limps in pain. He stumbles into a pharmacy to pick up some painkillers, and that’s where he’s spotted by the very same neighborhood ajumma who spotted him when he kidnapped Joon-Joon.
The woman even still has the photo from the kidnapping incident for confirmation, so she sends an email blast to the KIS group text. The discussion is promptly adjourned as the group raises their forks in a battle cry and run to find K.
K heads for the subway, but he’s headed off by the KIS. He turns back, but the rest of the KIS has split off to corner him. He reaches for a weapon at his hip, but a pair of neighborhood police officers see the commotion, and Chun-sang’s order to lay low rings in K’s ears.
Left with no other choices, K lets the police take him in to the station, where he waits, squashed between the drunk and the homeless, to be processed. But once the KIS crowd has left and the police officers are distracted by some other rowdy arrests, K slips away.
Meanwhile, newly-minted master of disguise Ae-rin walks the halls of the hospital dressed as a nurse. She silently flashes her badge at the security detail outside Bon’s room and is admitted. Bon warily looks up, and Ae-rin takes down her face mask and flashes a smile at him.
Ji-yeon joins them, glad to see Ae-rin didn’t get caught. Ae-rin hands over the USB and documents to Bon as well. Ji-yeon ducks out to take a call from Director Shim, leaving the two alone.
Ae-rin offers Bon some water and holds onto the cup while he drinks, and he admits that being injured has some benefits. He recalls his jealousy when Yong-tae received a dry shampoo scrub from Ae-rin, and she just smiles at his petty reaction and helps Bon with more water.
Outside the hospital room, Ji-yeon takes her call with the director. Director Shim asks Ji-yeon if Bon is okay, and more importantly, whether the information they went in for is with him. Ji-yeon confirms that it’s safe, and the director suggests that she should turn it over to him, for her own safety. Ji-yeon says that is what she was planning to do, but there’s a glint in her eye as she hangs up. I suspect Ji-yeon is finally as suspicious as I am.
Meanwhile, Chief Kwon meets in her car with her informant, revealed to be… Yong-tae! It turns out that his last-minute text in the car with Chun-sang was to Chief Kwon. The chief says that at first she thought he meant to protect Chun-sang, but she thinks now that Yong-tae meant to protect Bon. Yong-tae smiles to himself.
Chief Kwon asks why he contacted her of all people, and Yong-tae says it’s because he’s certain that she’s not Cornerstone.
Flashback to Chief Kwon’s lunch meeting with Chun-sang a few days previously. After Chun-sang departs, Driver Park springs up from nearby to give Chief Kwon a tarot card. Yong-tae watches from the street nearby, and notes her confusion. She’s definitely not familiar with the Magician card or what it means to Cornerstone.
As Yong-tae explains, Chief Kwon asks what Cornerstone is, and Yong-tae gives her the run down. The chief recommends that Yong-tae head to Bon’s place, since it will be safer than the safe house at this point.
After Yong-tae leaves, Chief Kwon mulls the new information over in the car, and then asks her agent to check a passport from three years ago, for a Max Hoffman.
At the hospital, Ae-rin has left and Ji-yeon readies to depart as well to meet with Director Shim. She warns Bon that Chief Kwon is on her way to speak with him, and he tells Ji-yeon to take care of herself.
In Director Shim’s office, he praises Ji-yeon for her great work on the operation and asks for the documents. Ji-yeon reaches into her bag, but as he asks what they took from Chun-sang, she pauses.
Chief Kwon arrives at the hospital and doesn’t waste a moment before she blasts Bon with accusations. She says that it has to be Bon who took Candy’s USB, because if it wasn’t him… it had to be Director Shim.
Chief Kwon throws a print-out of Max Hoffman’s passport, i.e. Director Shim, on Bon’s bed. And on one page there’s an admittance to Poland, the exact day of Candy’s death.
Cut back to Director Shim’s office, and Ji-yeon recalls when Director Shim found Chun-sang’s address at King’s Bag. Director Shim knew who their target was just with the address, indicating that he knew Chun-sang somehow. She asks him if perhaps he went to college with Chun-sang, but Director Shim laughs that he went to a college in the U.S., and that he definitely has no connection to the man she’s linked to Cornerstone.
This answer doesn’t satisfy Ji-yeon, so she pretends to have forgotten the documents and leaves to retrieve them. Once outside the director’s office, Ji-yeon realizes that each time she made a report to the director, something would go wrong with the plan, and her suspicions of him are heightened as she leaves. From around the corner, Director Shim has been watching Ji-yeon, and he makes a call.
Bon is still wary of Chief Kwon, and he asks why she tried to have him killed in the van. In response she calls in another agent. Not just any agent, but the one who slipped Bon the key to his handcuffs just before the transport van exploded. Chief Kwon was the one who gave him the keys.
It turns out that Chief Kwon overheard Director Shim speaking on the phone at headquarters about blowing something up right before the van departed. She’d had her doubts, but then the van had blown up exactly as she’d heard.
And now we travel back to that fateful moment in Poland, when Bon fought with K, and was shot in the leg and shoulder. But this time, as Bon lies on the ground, the man walks forward into view, and it is indeed Director Shim. The director grabs Candy’s USB from Bon’s pocket, and then walks off. Bon just barely manages to lift his head to watch the man walk away, but all he can see is a silhouette.
Later, Director Shim passed off the USB to another Cornerstone agent. And now that they’ve put all the pieces together, Bon recalls that Ji-yeon is with Director Shim now. He yanks violently at his handcuffs and demands to be released.
Uncuffed and dressed in his suit, Bon calls Ji-yeon. She picks up and reassures him that she’s headed to him. She stops in the crosswalk as she nearly steps into an oncoming car, and then she steps forward, only to be hit by a black van.
A figure steps out of the van, and takes her bag before leaving Ji-yeon lying unconscious and bleeding in the road. Bon hears the sounds of the accident through the phone, and gets no answer as he calls out to Ji-yeon.
Bon has one final question for Chief Kwon before he goes to confront Director Shim. He asks her where she got her shirt with the golden clover button, and she says that it was a gift from Director Shim. Finally sure that he can trust her, he turns over the document with Cornerstone’s list of codenames. It, of course, wasn’t with Ji-yeon at all. In return, Chief Kwon gives Bon her ID card to get him inside the NIS headquarters.
The guards outside the hospital room try to detain Bon, but Chief Kwon waves them all aside as he marches out. He calls Do-woo and tells him to trace Ji-yeon’s phone immediately.
Director Shim receives Ji-yeon’s stolen bag, because of course he was the one who put a hit out on her, but he throws the bag in frustration when he realizes there’s nothing important inside. He calls Chun-sang, who is not happy at all that they haven’t recovered the files. The agree to head to their safe house, and Chun-sang hops in his car.
Ji-yeon is rushed to the hospital by ambulance. Do-woo arrives shortly after, but the doctors won’t let him follow as she’s taken into surgery.
At the NIS, Director Shim is packing up and cleaning his computer before making his getaway when Bon arrives to confront him. The director tries to draw a gun from his desk, but Bon disarms him and turns the gun back on the director in one easy maneuver.
Bon asks why the director did everything, killed Candy, even hurt Ji-yeon, and Director Shim’s response is that they were all pawns that needed to be sacrificed when they got in the way. Bon’s whole body shudders with rage, but as his finger dances on the trigger, Chief Kwon and crew arrive to arrest the director.
The chief orders Bon to lower his gun, and to not throw everything away for personal revenge. They need Director Shim, she says, now that Chun-sang has disappeared.
After some hesitation, Bon finally lowers the gun and Chief Kwon slaps some handcuffs on Director Shim. She squeezes Bon’s hand lightly as she takes the gun away from him, and then gives him an awkward but meaningful squeeze on the shoulder before she turns away. Once he’s alone, Bon’s mind turns to Ji-yeon as his eyes linger on her overturned handbag on the floor.
At the hospital, Do-woo weeps in the waiting room as he waits for news. Bon arrives and places a hand on his friend’s shoulder, and even Ae-rin has heard the news and arrives distraught. While Ji-yeon has made it out of surgery, she hasn’t regained consciousness yet, and Do-woo continues to cry.
Bon checks in next with Yong-tae at his apartment. Yong-tae is surprised to hear that Chun-sang has fled, and Bon tells him to remain here so that he can be his witness later on. Bon retreats to his bedroom, ignoring Yong-tae’s suggestion of dinner (and Yong-tae’s got a plate of bread and a bottle of milk set out for his “Brother,” aww). Bon pulls the bracelet from Ji-yeon out of the drawer, his thoughts on Ji-yeon.
At the hospital, Do-woo asks Ae-rin to watch over Ji-yeon for him. He’s got a lot of work to do now that the case has picked up. Ae-rin promises to guard Ji-yeon with her life.
Chief Kwon has officially reinstated Bon to active duty, and puts him in charge of the King’s Bag operation. She’s also prepared to transport Director Shim to R3 for questioning, and assigns Bon as lead interrogator. Bon asks who is overseeing the transport, and it’s the bomb squad leader from the bomb scare incident. Hmmm…
Do-woo reports to Bon at King’s Bag and asks to be a field agent. Bon wants him to stay safe, but Do-woo wants to do this for Ji-yeon.
Chief Kwon and Director Shim exchange un-pleasantries before he’s loaded into his transport van. The bomb squad leader salutes the chief before he gets inside along with Director Shim, and there’s something about his demeanor that suggests that something is up.
Bon and Do-woo start their investigation by reviewing CCTV footage of Ji-yeon’s hit and run, and they zoom in on the driver of the van. Bon thinks the man looks familiar, and Do-woo’s facial recognition has a match for them. It’s the bomb squad leader in charge of Director Shim’s transport.
Bon calls Chief Kwon to warn her immediately, but the transport van has already left. As the van drives through the hills, Director Shim smiles to himself.
Bon finally got his man. Or at least, he had him, until Director Shim gathered his allies and launched that last escape attempt. But never fear, Bon and Do-woo are on the case, and I have a feeling that Ae-rin might just get called in for one final operation.
This is the episode I’ve been waiting for since we began. It has always been easy to guess each twist of plot, but I think it was no less satisfying to have the truth finally revealed. I love moments in mysteries and thrillers when the final clue falls into place, when someone finally slips up. They know something they shouldn’t, they’ve got evidence on them there’s no way they would have, and the good guys finally catch on. I love when you see the realization in a person’s eyes, and Ji-yeon’s slow realization was perfect.
It was pretty easy to see that Director Shim was the bad guy and Chief Kwon was actually good (just hardened and persistent) right from the beginning, but that doesn’t make the final moment when it’s actually revealed any less rewarding. And poor Ji-yeon, it will likely be feelings of betrayal that will really hang on her when she wakes up and finds that her mentor really is as bad as she suspected.
There’s a lot of action, but the show also takes time to balance successful showdowns with the costs of their efforts. Capturing Director Shim is no easy task, and Ji-yeon’s injuries are exactly the reason that Bon tried to finish this case all by himself for so long. He’s seen so many around him die or get hurt, and this guy has never had the stomach for it. I’m telling you, this man is no spy. He is a babysitter. This had better be his last mission. But for all that, he hasn’t pushed anyone away ever since he got involved with Ae-rin. He knows when to trust and when to be suspicious. And that’s made Bon vulnerable without turning him into a noble idiot.
I’m interested in Chief Kwon’s feelings at the end of the day. She’s solved the mystery, but nothing was as she expected it to be. Everything she has thought to be true has been wrong, but she’s a good cop, a good spy, and a good person in the end. She recognized when she was wrong, and did the right thing. There was so much hidden in that pat on the shoulder she gave Bon. It was her acceptance, and her apology, and her own pain and guilt for having ruined this man’s life for years.
I did not expect Yong-tae to be the informant! I don’t think I’ve given this show enough credit for managing to surprise me with the little things. And they managed this twist without betraying our trust in Yong-tae’s character arc. Yong-tae isn’t a traitor, but rather doubles down on his transformation to brave new hero trying to make up for past sins.
Sadly, there’s not a lot of Ae-rin in this penultimate episode. On the one hand, I could see how this is a task too dangerous for a civilian. On the other hand, when has this show ever been committed to realism? I’m still confident that she’ll play a big role in this final operation, danger be damned. The only thing I could see holding her back is her promise to Do-woo to watch over Ji-yeon. Perhaps Ji-yeon will wake up at just the right moment, or maybe Ae-rin will employ the help of her KIS friends one last time.
The mission is not just about Candy anymore; it’s also about justice for someone who everyone on the team can rally behind. Cornerstone hurt Ji-yeon, and the King’s Bag agents won’t let them get away with it.