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Player: Episode 12

It’s finally time to set our sights on the head of the operation, and it turns out that even our own team members may be hiding their involvement in the events of fifteen years ago. But how far are they willing to go to right the wrongs of their past?

 
EPISODE 12: “We’re doing this my way”

As everyone reels over CEO Jo’s murder, news breaks that Candidate Kim won the election to become the official candidate for his party, and the shadowy broker looks pleased with his work.

Later, Prosecutor Jang leads a team through an old factory, and finds Chief Maeng’s wife and child bound inside, victims of kidnapping by the shadowy broker’s henchman. Back at the prosecutor’s office, Prosecutor Jang informs Chief Maeng that his wife and child were found safe.

Ha-ri, meanwhile, comforts Doctor Jo at her home, and reveals that her father genuinely wanted to live with her again after atoning for his crimes.

When Ha-ri hands over the watch that she bought for her father 15 years ago, she breaks down in grief, and all Ha-ri can do is apologize for not being able to keep his promise to bring her father home safe.

In the interrogation room, Chief Maeng struggles to remember who propositioned him to kill CEO Jo, and only recalls that the man had a tattoo on his neck. Chief Maeng can only muster tearful apologies for what he did, and Prosecutor Jang can’t even stand to look at his former chief.

Prosecutor Jang visits the deputy chief, and vows to catch the man who blackmailed Chief Maeng and bring him to justice. The deputy chief agrees to watch over and support Prosecutor Jang’s investigation.

Back in the con team office, Byung-min wonders why Ha-ri is so obsessed with this case in particular, and digs into Ha-ri’s father, Chief Prosecutor Choi. Meanwhile, Ah-ryung leaves to investigate the man from the house she recognized while they were helping CEO Jo.

Ha-ri arrives just as Byung-min discovers something that completely shocks him, and he hides the findings from Ha-ri. Ha-ri tells the boys about the investigation into Chief Maeng, and into the people responsible for the blackmail.

Byung-min asks Ha-ri if he suspects anyone in particular of being responsible, and Ha-ri confirms that he believes the shadowy broker is behind it. He shows the boys the accumulated evidence referencing the shadowy broker across their cases, and confirms that all of those cases connect back to him.

Ha-ri announces that the broker will be his next target. But although Jin-woong immediately jumps on board, Byung-min is visibly shaken.

He asks Ha-ri if he’ll go after the broker no matter how hard Byung-min tries to stop him. Ha-ri re-affirms his commitment, and even Jin-woong can sense the odd tension in the room — as if there’s more to the story than either Ha-ri or Byung-min are letting on.

Meanwhile, Ah-ryung tracks down the woman who was outside the familiar house from the village, and she leads Ah-ryung to find Cha Dong-soo’s old friend who went to jail for killing Dong-soo 15 years ago, though he now claims innocence.

Ha-ri can’t get a hold of Byung-min, who is intentionally ignoring his calls, so he checks the laptop Byung-min was using earlier and sees the research into Chief Prosecutor Choi’s case. There’s a picture of Choi’s son, clearly a young Ha-ri, and Ha-ri realizes Byung-min knows his true identity.

15 years ago, we see Byung-min apply for a job working as a “civil servant” under Chairman Cheon, who gives him the job after he shows off his hacking skills. Byung-min worked directly for the shadowy broker’s team on the night of Chief Prosecutor Choi’s death, and destroyed the evidence after they finished.

Back in the present, Byung-min finds an old coworker, and asks for help trying to find the identity of the shadowy broker. Meanwhile, Ha-ri calls Prosecutor Jang to pinpoint Byung-min’s location, and the prosecutor offers to send real-time updates so Ha-ri can track Byung-min down.

Byung-min blackmails the ex-coworker into handing over an ID Badge to infiltrate the facility where the current illegal campaign is being run by Chairman Cheon on behalf of the shadowy broker.

In the village, Ah-ryung meets the drunkard who killed Cha Dong-soo, and he immediately recognizes Ah-ryung as Dong-soo’s daughter. Ah-ryung demands to know what happened to her father on that day 15 years ago.

The drunkard explains that he was offered a large sum of money to smuggle CEO Jo out of the country, and roped Dong-soo into helping. Even though they called the police when the drunkard realized who they were smuggling, the police were in on it and never came.

Eventually, Dong-soo was killed by CEO Jo’s accomplices, and the drunkard was framed as the murderer. The drunkard also reveals that Chief Prosecutor Choi wasn’t involved at all, he was actually trying to go after CEO Jo.

Ah-ryung deduces that Chief Prosecutor Choi was actually killed as part of the scheme. The drunkard reveals that the person behind the scheme was actually the shadowy broker, though he doesn’t know the broker’s name (and this is the first time Ah-ryung is hearing about the broker).

Meanwhile, Jin-woong returns to the empty office, and stumbles upon the hidden room where Ha-ri’s secret investigation is laid out in full.

Jin-woong, it turns out, was also involved on the night the four opponents of the broker were killed 15 years ago, handing one of the men over to the broker’s thugs for a cash payment, unaware of the larger scheme.

Elsewhere, Byung-min sneaks into the illegal campaign facility and hacks into the system. The shadowy broker immediately learns of the intrusion and sends Chairman Cheon to find the source.

Byung-min hurriedly copies all the files he can find on the murder of CEO Jo while Chairman Cheon searches the room for the hacker. Byung-min scampers off once the copy finishes, but gets spotted while escaping and Chairman Cheon’s men stay hot on his trail.

Byung-min hides his computer outside while it uploads the files he stole, and runs away as fast as he can, but Chairman Cheon trips him up and captures him.

Chairman Cheon brutally beats Byung-min to a pulp, but the data is nowhere to be seen. Byung-min refuses to cave, and tells Chairman Cheon to just kill him instead. Instead of showing any mercy, Chairman Cheon opts to continue with the beat-down.

Ha-ri, elsewhere, gets an email from Byung-min with all the data. The email includes a message addressed to Ha-ri’s real name, “I’m sorry, Soo-hyuk.”

Chairman Cheon’s men find the laptop but the message is already sent, so Chairman Cheon vows to kill Byung-min in retaliation. As he goes to swing again, though, Chairman Cheon is blinded by the headlights of a screeching car.

Out steps Ha-ri, and though Byung-min pleads for Ha-ri to leave, he resolutely continues to approach the men with fury in his eyes. As Byung-min watches on helplessly, Ha-ri angrily dismantles the thugs.

Flashback to several months ago when Chairman Cheon left Byung-min for dead after beating him, and Ha-ri confidently offers Byung-min a job in exchange for getting him out of Chairman Cheon’s grasp.

Byung-min recalls Ha-ri’s promise to never let Chairman Cheon get his hands on Byung-min again, and musters his strength to grab Chairman Cheon before he can sneak up behind Ha-ri with a knife.

Ha-ri notices Chairman Cheon standing over Byung-min now, and charges him, taking him out with a swift blow and pulling Byung-min to safety.

As Ha-ri drives them away, Byung-min asks why Ha-ri came, and Ha-ri simply answers, “How could I just watch when my friend is getting beaten up?”

Byung-min starts to tell Ha-ri about his work 15 years ago, but Ha-ri stops him, knowing what he is going to say, and tells Byung-min, “you didn’t do that on purpose anyway, so don’t tell me.” When Ha-ri adds, “friends don’t need to do that,” Byung-min bursts into tears.

The shadowy broker receives word of Byung-min’s escape, and orders his lackey to proceed with the new plan, while ominously holding what looks like a clone of the flip-phones Ha-ri and Prosecutor Jang use to communicate.

At the prosecutor’s office, Prosecutor Jang gets a call from the deputy chief, and rushes out to meet with him at another building. The deputy chief insists on the other building as the location since their building might be bugged.

Back in the car, Ha-ri finally reads through the files Byung-min sent him, and sees that the new plan is to frame Prosecutor Jang and make it appear he committed suicide in the same way they offed Chief Prosecutor Choi 15 years ago.

When Ha-ri tries to call Prosecutor Jang, he can only get a staff member, and he realizes that Prosecutor Jang is in immediate danger. Ha-ri calls Jin-woong and Ah-ryung to rush over to the location of Prosecutor Jang’s meeting.

Prosecutor Jang arrives at the same building Chief Prosecutor Choi fell from 15 years prior. When he boards the elevator, he finally checks his phone to see Ha-ri desperately trying to reach him.

Ha-ri finally gets through and warns Prosecutor Jang to get out of the building as soon as possible as it’s a trap. But it’s too late, as the man standing in the elevator with him shuts the elevator off, and Prosecutor Jang finally sees the tattoo on the man’s neck — it’s the shadowy broker’s lackey.

Prosecutor Jang preemptively strikes at the man, but is quickly overpowered. The henchman strangles Prosecutor Jang, but is distracted by a loud banging on the elevator’s doors, and before he can finish the job, Jin-woong pries open the door and throws the man to the outside.

Prosecutor Jang breathlessly attempts to flee while Jin-woong battles the lackey one-on-one. A group of other thugs eventually corner Prosecutor Jang, but Ah-ryung manages to pull him into a stairwell and lock the thugs out so they can’t pursue.

Jin-woong and the lackey trade blows back and forth, but the lackey eventually takes the upper hand, knocking Jin-woong out with a fire extinguisher.

Ha-ri finally arrives on the scene just as Ah-ryung is pulling Prosecutor Jang out the front door, but as the pair cross into the roadway, a car speeds forward at them.

Prosecutor Jang instinctively throws Ah-ryung out of the car’s path, and takes the full brunt of the impact himself, flying up into the air and being driven several yards forward. Everyone watches on stunned as Prosecutor Jang collapses in a heap and gasps a final breath.

 
COMMENTS

I really hope that’s not the end of Prosecutor Jang, and I struggle to believe it will be, simply because he’s the only person in the prosecution who seems willing to actually take on the shadowy broker. If he’s out of the picture, I’m not sure how it’s even possible to bring the broker to justice with nobody on the side of the law to actually try him.

But seriously, what was Prosecutor Jang thinking by trusting the deputy chief? He already went behind Prosecutor Jang’s back once, and I for one was shocked when their relationship didn’t seem to change at all after that. Prosecutor Jang continued to trust and believe in the deputy chief to a fault, and that ultimately might be what kills him in the end. He should have seen it coming!

It’s especially silly when you consider that Chief Maeng just betrayed him as well, and he seemed a lot more trustworthy than the deputy chief just based on his interactions with Prosecutor Jang beforehand. Prosecutor Jang even brought Chief Maeng over to the con team office, so clearly he felt he was the most trustworthy ally in the prosecution. Yet you’d think that seeing his most trusted ally betray him would lead to Prosecutor Jang being careful not to trust others so easily. It baffles me that he would trust the deputy chief so unquestioningly.

Meanwhile, the true star of the episode was Byung-min, who, despite an obvious fear of Chairman Cheon, completely owned up to his past mistakes by bravely charging into the campaign office on his own to steal the data. It was practically a suicide mission, as there was no way he’d ever be able to get out with the security systems in place. Were it not for Ha-ri coming to the aid of his friend again, that surely would have been the end of Byung-min.

I’m less optimistic for Jin-woong, not because I think he wouldn’t repent for what he did in the past (and admittedly, he’s far less complicit than Byung-min was), but because he’s currently knocked out on top of the building where they were already planning to stage Prosecutor Jang’s suicide. Now, sure, they probably need a forklift to actually dump Jin-woong’s limp body, but I would argue that he is in more immediate danger than Prosecutor Jang, who is surrounded by allies who can quickly get him the medical attention he needs.

Going forward though, Ha-ri might have the smoking gun he needs to actually take down the broker now that he has the data from Byung-min. That is if he can actually manage to track down the man’s identity first. This still seems like a tall task given that even we, the audience, don’t know anything about him at this point. He seems pretty insulated from everything too, officially, given that none of his associates even seem to know his name, so I wonder what Ha-ri can even do to decipher it. There’s only a week left, though, so the team is going to need to figure it out soon or it’ll all be for naught.

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Prosecutor Jang!!! No!!!

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One thing I don't understand in dramas is why they just push the other person out of the way? Surely they can move out of the way too?

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Don't even get me started. This makes me bananas. I actually stood up and cheered back when that lawyer was trying to mow Hari down with his car and Hari actually MOVED OUT OF THE WAY.

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It's the old Truck O' Doom Two-step with the selflessly heroic rescue of another person.

The deer-in-the-headlights freeze always drives me nuts, too.

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This 100% and it happens all the time, it is so baffling., more so because they can move out of the way.

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Yes, I'm sure the person could move out of the way, but I guess that it's now been done this way for so long it's become a drama rule to become incapable of movement all of a sudden ..... at this point it's like, they assume having a character move out of the way would give the viewer too much of a shock. Why risk it. Heh!

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How did ha ri find byung min? He lost the signal from his phone midway through. Anyway, I'm glad that he survived. Whatever happened in the past is not completely his fault. He just didn't realise the implications and when he did, he went all out to correct it. I'm so happy that ha ri feels the same way.

The revelation about ah ryung's father came out of left field. Was it necessary to link all 4 to the past incident? Atleast BM's and JW's connection made sense.

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I suspect that if Ah-ryung's father had not been involved, Ha-ri would have had to settle for a lesser getaway driver. ;-)

Seriously, though, I think it may also be to point up how the machinations of the higher-ups have entrapped many innocent people and destroyed them and their families. She would not have ended up in that hideous orphanage were it not for her father's death. He was only a two-bit smuggler, but his client was desperate and on the run from a pursuer who was even worse.

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That's a silver lining i suppose.

But his father wasn't a bad guy I think. It was his partner who got greedy. Also 'that person' helped CEO Jo to escape. That's why ah ryung's father's murder was pinned on his partner, which seems to be his MO.

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You're right about framing being one of the signature moves of That Person. He really has a fetish for misdirection of perpetrators.

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Thank you for the recap! Byungmin was being exceptionally brave trying to redeem himself after what he did 15 years back.

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Thanks @regals
I'm going to try to marathon the previous 4 or so episodes and catch up... but not sure if I'll make it.

I just wanted to say that this recap finally explains why (and I asked and grumbled about this before) we never had any info on how Ha Ri got the group together at the beginning. We only ever saw him recruit Ah Ryung, but not the guys. I did wonder if there was some backstory and a connection between them ... and I'm reading that there is. Maybe Ha Ri knew enough to choose these guys for his team and was offering them a chance at redemption? 😃

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Ah, the friendship between Hari and Byungmin, so beautiful.

I rolled my eyes a little at Jang keeping on trusting the deputy chief also. After Maeng turned, he should know that he can't trust anyone, no matter how good their character, as they could be bought or blackmailed.

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Thank you so much for your recap, @regals. There really was a method to Ha-ri's madness when it came to his choices of team members. It wasn't just a matter of skills, although those have been crucial to the success of his cons. The less-obvious factor has been everyone's earlier connections with the overarching case of Ha-ri's father's frame-up and murder disguised as suicide. LOL at six degrees of separation. Jin-woong's involvement as muscle and Byung-min's past association as a wrangler of data don't come as a total surprise. The fact that they had no idea that they were ultimately working for the shadowy broker is where it gets interesting.

In Ah-ryung's case, she is once-removed, as it were, as she was only a child back then. Now we know that it was actually her father who had been unwillingly involved. If she hadn't grown up to become a noteworthy wheelwoman, I'm sure that Ha-ri would have gotten her on the team somehow. Luckily, she wasn't a hairdresser or something, although she could have kept them all looking spiffy as they did their thing. I've enjoyed her exploits on motorbikes as well as roaring up in the van to whisk the team to safety. And she's also "handy" when it comes to pickpocketing and defeating locks. She can put up her dukes, too, which is always a useful skill. ;-)

I found Chief Maeng's character arc really sad. He is not unlike homicide detective Sim Dae-sik in VOICE. I really hate it when villains manipulate people into compliance by taking their vulnerable relatives hostage.

Truth to tell, I wondered if one reason why Prosecutor Jang had shooed Chief Maeng off on paternity leave was because he was suspicious that he was a mole, and he was watching to see if information continued to leak while his subordinate was away. Hmmm. It really is a head-scratcher as to why Prosecutor Jang isn't more alert to the ways in which his investigations have been undercut. I, too, find it hard to understand Jang's blind loyalty to his white-haired boss, Yoo Ki-hoon. Please don't turn our gutsy Prosecutor into a simpleton.

ROFLMAO at @regals's needing a forklift to move knocked-out Jin-woong. ;-)

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Ahryung as hairdresser 😂

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