Player: Episode 10
Our team of con artists set their sights on a brand new target, this time one with a much more personal connection to them. But with their focus diverted, an old foe returns to wreak havoc, and if the team isn’t careful, they just might fall into his trap.
EPISODE 10: “Where is Jo Won-ki?”
In their darkened office, the shadowy broker announces to the collection of politicians present that Candidate Kim will keep campaigning — but only so enough votes are diverted from other candidates, allowing their other nominee to steal the election.
At the same time, Ha-ri contemplates who to target next, and eventually singles out a man by the name of Jo Won-ki as the target.
Later, with no active case, the con team lounge around the office. Ha-ri asks the team what kind of case they want to tackle next, and claims to know of a case that perfectly fits their requests. But before he can tell them, Doctor Jo calls and he rushes out to meet her.
Jin-woong wonders if Ha-ri is dating Doctor Jo since he always seems to run around after her, but Byung-min claims that Doctor Jo actually likes him. “We had coffee yesterday,” he argues, and when Ah-ryung and Jin-woong won’t buy it, he clarifies, “we each had coffee in our own homes.” Pfft.
Ha-ri finds Doctor Jo alone in her house, and she confides that she believes her father is back in Korea. She returned home earlier to find that her place had been searched by someone, but only a key was missing.
That key, she says, was given to her 15 years ago when her father left the country. Ha-ri surmises that the key is to access secret funds that her father stashed prior to leaving Korea.
According to Doctor Jo, her father called a few days ago to ask for the key, but she instead urged him to turn himself in for his crimes, so he decided to steal it instead.
Ha-ri tells Doctor Jo to hide out for a few days while he takes care of her father, and he promises to bring her father back safely.
At the prosecutor’s office, Prosecutor Jang’s team celebrate his new star prosecutor status. However, Prosecutor Jang is more interested in praising the work of his juniors instead. Chief Maeng in particular gets a lot of love and Prosecutor Jang gives him a week-long vacation to be with his newborn child.
Back at con team headquarters, Prosecutor Jang drops by to hear about Ha-ri’s new plan. CEO Jo Won-ki, the target, scammed investors out of 180 million dollars with a stock fraud case; then fled the country.
The rumor was that the money was directed to a top political candidate for their campaign. However, the politician denied the allegation, so the special investigation team (headed by Ha-ri’s father) took on the case.
But allegedly, Ha-ri’s father was corrupt, and took bribes from the politician to let CEO Jo walk free. Despite the scandal swirling, the politician was elected, and Ha-ri’s father committed suicide.
Prosecutor Jang bristles at Ha-ri suggesting it was suicide, and demands to know why Ha-ri is digging up the past, unaware that his prosecutor sunbae is Ha-ri’s dad. Ha-ri reveals that CEO Jo is back in Korea now.
Prosecutor Jang pulls Ha-ri aside to question Ha-ri’s connection to this case, and Ha-ri reveals that Doctor Jo is CEO Jo’s daughter. Ha-ri leads Prosecutor Jang to believe that his goal is strictly to take all the money CEO Jo locked away.
Prosecutor Jang seems to buy Ha-ri’s story, and Ha-ri leaves with a warning not to tell anyone about this case except for Prosecutor Jang’s own team.
Downstairs, the rest of Ha-ri’s team are less than enthused about the case, but when Ha-ri announces that CEO Jo left about 50 million in cash in Korea they all jump out of their seats to get started.
Meanwhile, in prison Chairman Cheon receives a visit from the shadowy broker’s assistant, who presents a file on CEO Jo – and crucially, Ha-ri – to entice Chairman Cheon into working with them again even though they’d abandoned him previously.
Chairman Cheon quickly agrees when he sees the chance to get back at Ha-ri, and the broker’s assistant ensures Chairman Cheon is paroled immediately in order to get back to work.
Back at the prosecutor’s office, Prosecutor Jang informs his team that they’ll be spending all their efforts on the secret pursuit of CEO Jo. As he announces this, the white-haired deputy chief overhears, and calls Prosecutor Jang aside to explain.
Prosecutor Jang is reluctant to reveal anything since the deputy chief isn’t a team member, but caves when the deputy chief reminds him that they were both in Deputy Chief Choi’s team 15 years ago.
Prosecutor Jang reveals that CEO Jo returned to Korea recently, and that his daughter held the key to the secret funds. Prosecutor Jang worries that if this information leaks then CEO Jo might be killed before the prosecutors can find him.
Ha-ri, in the interim, brings the team to Doctor Jo’s, and sends Byung-min in to check her computer while the rest scour the neighborhood for CCTV footage. They figure out that CEO Jo was using a burner phone, and get Prosecutor Jang to track down the number for them.
In the house, Byung-min finds out that CEO Jo set up a meeting with a contact later that day in a parking garage. As Byung-min exits, he sees a van full of thugs arrive outside the house, and escapes before he is seen.
The team manage to leave without issue, as the thugs, accompanied by Chairman Cheon himself, tear apart Doctor Jo’s apartment for clues about CEO Jo’s whereabouts.
Back at headquarters, Byung-min tracks the burner phone’s call history down to a money launderer. He surmises that CEO Jo will be meeting with the man later that day, and easily deciphers the location of the parking garage where they will meet.
The team look into the launderer’s background, and decide to infiltrate the man’s golf game later so they can record his voice. Their plan is to use his voice to hijack the meeting with CEO Jo so it will be on their own schedule instead.
At the golf course, Ha-ri takes the place of a pro golfer to become the money launderer’s teammate for the golf game. Since Ha-ri isn’t a pro golfer, he uses a ball with a GPS tracker so the boys can track down the ball and re-position it when Ha-ri makes a bad shot.
On his first shot, Ha-ri completely whiffs, and his second swing isn’t that much better, but Jin-woong throws it into the middle of the fairway to make it look like a good shot. As they play on, Ah-ryung plants a bug on the launderer’s collar to record his voice.
Jin-woong and Byung-min end up doing most of the work thanks to Ha-ri’s inaccuracy, but the launderer never suspects anything, and even gets in on the cheating himself. Ha-ri manages to win the match, and they steal the man’s phone on the way out so they can intercept CEO Jo’s call.
After the match, Chairman Cheon catches up to the launderer’s car, and viciously tortures the man into squealing about the location where he and CEO Jo were supposed to meet later.
Meanwhile, Byung-min uses the voice recordings to schedule the meeting with CEO Jo for later that evening at the aforementioned meeting place, unaware that Chairman Cheon is aware of the location.
Back at the prosecutor’s office, Chief Maeng returns early from his vacation to help out, but as he does so, Prosecutor Jang finds out that the internal audit team seized all of their files for the CEO Jo investigation.
As the con team arrive at the meeting place, Ha-ri decides he’ll go into the meeting on his own, and leaves the rest of them to wait for him to return.
As Ha-ri enters the building, he recalls all the news stories when his father was implicated for bribery, and how Doctor Jo asked Ha-ri to bring her father back to her safely. He steels himself as he thinks of how high the stakes are on a personal level.
Prosecutor Jang, meanwhile, barges in to the audit team office and demands to know why he is being investigated. To his shock, the white-haired deputy chief reveals himself to be the one who ordered the seizure, betraying Prosecutor Jang.
In the garage, Ha-ri fishes CEO Jo out of hiding. In the car outside, Byung-min sees that news of CEO Jo’s return to Korea was leaked to the media, which they feared would put CEO Jo in immediate danger.
As Ha-ri and CEO Jo finally meet, Chairman Cheon arrives and his weapon-wielding lackeys encircle the pair, trapping them. Ha-ri shoves CEO Jo out of the way to protect him, and Chairman Cheon orders his henchmen to attack.
I talked a bit last time about how I feel the writing is a little too heavy-handed at times in this show, and that is on display again in this episode. I mean Ha-ri tells Prosecutor Jang to keep the information about CEO Jo close to his vest and literally the next time Prosecutor Jang is on screen he is blabbing it all to an outsider. It certainly made it obvious then that the deputy chief was going to betray him, and sure enough, that’s what happened. I just want a little bit more finesse to make things less predictable.
But I feel like I’ve been a little too negative recently so I don’t want to dwell on that too much. Instead I’ll move on to the good, because there’s still a lot of fun stuff going on to keep us happy most of the time. This is mostly, I think, down to the pacing, which continues at a pretty brisk clip with a whole lot of action. And when it slows down on the action, it’s generally to give us some fun shenanigans like the boys darting around the golf course to cheat for Ha-ri, all while bickering with each other in the lovable team dynamic we’ve come to expect.
Couple that with the main story finally starting to take shape as those more directly involved in Ha-ri’s father’s demise, like CEO Jo and the shadowy broker, are now in the limelight and there’s suddenly a more cohesive picture for us to look at as an audience. It’s a lot better than a largely indecipherable whiteboard in Ha-ri’s room that diagrams the conspiratorial web and a bunch of otherwise barely connected targets who the team scams one-by-one.
I’ll be interested to see what will happen between Ha-ri and Doctor Jo after this, regardless of the fate of her father. Ha-ri obviously approached her due to her father’s connection to the case, but I get the sense that he actually does care for her on a personal level, and not as simply another disposable person he can use to right the injustice of his father’s death. No matter what happens, their relationship will feature some interesting development in the aftermath of their parents’ complicated ties to each other, and I’m excited to explore that continuing narrative as it evolves.