The Fiery Priest: Episodes 11-12
The priest with fists of steel finds an unexpected ally in his fight to avenge his mentor and bring the killers to justice. Unfortunately, their enemies are soon onto them, and it doesn’t help that his so-called partner deliberately blocks him at every turn. A new threat rears its ugly head, and to an angry but devout priest, this one gets a little personal.
Despite being told that they were in France, Seung-ah finds the church director and the woman, both of whom lied about Father Lee, hiding out in Korea. Their bodyguards jump her, and just when it looks like she’s in big trouble, Hae-il shows up to singlehandedly beat them into submission and catch the dishonest witnesses.
Chul-beom checks on this month’s monetary collections, which Jang-ryong and his men are busy counting, and he hits Jang-ryong for every little infraction, like chewing gum and existing in his presence. He gets a call that Hae-il has the witnesses, and he yells at his people to catch them.
Dae-young reports to Chief Nam and promises him that everything is under control, nothing to worry about. Chief Nam is excited until Chul-beom calls him, then his eye starts twitching as he glares up at Dae-young and starts screaming.
On the drive back to Seoul, Seung-ah tells Hae-il that she’s seen those bodyguards before, back on Russian Street. The fake witnesses whine about being handcuffed and treated like criminals, but Hae-il just tells them that they can kiss their kickbacks goodbye.
Hae-il gets a call to stop by the archdiocese, where he’s told that the church has been officially requested to withdraw from managing both the orphanage and the nursing home. It’s because of the drop in membership and attendance since Father Lee’s death, and they’re informed that it hasn’t been decided who will take over.
Sung-kyu refuses to accept it, and Hae-il quietly tears up the paperwork. The bishop says that he won’t be responsible for what happens to them, and awww, Sister Kim tears up the papers even more in an adorable fit of impotent rage.
Meanwhile, Seung-ah continues to the police station with the two false witnesses, but on the way a car cuts her off. She recognizes the men who step out as Chul-beom’s thugs, so she jumps out and starts throwing kicks right and left. But while she’s distracted, the witnesses are freed, and the thugs drive away with them.
Sister Kim insists on accompanying Hae-il to Dong-ja’s office to discuss the facilities management. Dong-ja tells them that Father Lee has badly tarnished Gudam’s reputation, but Hae-il argues that they’re still investigating the case. Sister Kim says that the people at the welfare facilities want the church to be in charge, but Dong-ja refuses to allow a scandalous religious institution to manage a facility for children.
Sister Kim entirely loses her cool, screaming her objection to the word “scandalous.” Ha, she’s so upset that even Hae-il is all, Whoa, hey, calm down. He asks Dong-ja if Chul-beom will be taking over, and she scoffs that he’s not a candidate, but refuses to tell them who is.
While Sister Kim and Dong-ja bicker, Hae-il checks his phone then tells Sister Kim that he needs to go somewhere. She refuses to leave until she gets some answers, so he leaves the ladies glaring daggers at each other.
Chief Nam calls Chief Prosecutor Kang to ask why Kyung-seon allowed Hae-il out of jail, upset that Hae-il is getting all up in their business. Chief Prosecutor Kang stiffens up, but he apologizes pleasantly. At the same time, Chul-beom is angry with Kozayev for not hiding the false witnesses well enough, so Kozayev promises that this time he’ll send them where nobody will find them — the bottom of the sea.
Chul-beom tells him to hurry before the cops or the priest show up. Hoon-seok, Chul-beom’s man, asks how the cops found out where to find the witnesses, wondering out loud of Hae-il figured it out, but Chul-beom mutters that he’s not smart enough.
A call summons Chul-beom to a Fearsome Foursome meeting, where he’s chastised for allowing Hae-il to find the witnesses. Chief Prosecutor Kang pokes Chul-beom in the head, grabs his face, and tells him not to think he’s a part of their group, not when he keeps messing things up.
Chul-beom valiantly plasters on a smile, and when Chief Prosecutor Kang asks if he upset him, he says he’s fine. But Representative Park calls out Chul-beom for glaring disrespectfully, so Chul-beom gets on his knees to offer them all a more formal apology. Chief Prosecutor Kang warns him to remember where he came from and do his job properly.
When Seung-ah gets back to the police station, she’s furious and ranting about Kozayev’s men stealing the witnesses from her. Dae-young says they might not have been Kozayev’s people, but she says she recognized them from the Russian district.
She accuses Dae-young of being on the bad guys’ side, and says they need to go get the witnesses back. Hae-il shows up and the rest of the cops realize they urgently need to be elsewhere, so Seung-ah explains what happened. Hae-il takes Dae-young out back to ask if he interfered or leaked information, but Dae-young swears he didn’t.
Hae-il snarls that a cop was transporting witnesses and a Russian gang took them, and the police are doing nothing. Dae-young says that they need to find out exactly what happened, and Hae-il bursts out laughing then nearly brains him with his own nightstick.
He goes back to check in with Seung-ah and apologize for dragging her into this. She asks how he knew where to find the witnesses, but he just says he’ll tell her later. Dae-young tries to stop them from leaving together, but he wisely decides to join them rather than get run over.
Kyung-seon is mobbed by reporters on her way out of the office, but she tries to ignore their questions about the jailed idol. Finally she stops and asks if trying to kill himself makes him innocent, or the investigation false. One reporter says there have been suspicions from the beginning, but Kyung-seon says she never had such suspicions, and that she feels sorry, but that’s not the same as feeling responsible.
Hae-il leads Seung-ah and Dae-young into Pentagon club to look for Kozayev, who asks why he’s here meddling instead of in his church. Hae-il says that a priest’s job is to catch Satan, like him, and Seung-ah demands that he tell them where the witnesses are. Dae-young fusses at Seung-ah for speaking banmal to someone older, but he says it with a pouty lip in Hae-il’s direction, ha.
Kozayev says that the witnesses requested his personal protection, but when Hae-il asks where they are again, he plays like he has no idea who that is. Hae-il guesses confidently that Kozayev “sent them away by boat,” and Kozayev has a harder time pretending innocence. (The best part of this scene is the three gangsters looking back and forth between the two like they’re watching a tennis match, LOL.)
The truth is that the witnesses were tossed into a storage crate on a dock somewhere, but Hae-il says it takes too long to find Russian “stowing away” gangs, so they may need to shelve this search. Dae-young asks Seung-ah how she found the witnesses, and she tells him she can’t reveal her source as Hae-il tries to act casual.
Hae-il has them let him out, and he happens to spot Kyung-seon on his walk home, trying and failing to win a toy from a claw machine. He quips that she’s so bad at this when she’s so good at catching innocent people, referring to the idol. Kyung-seon doesn’t want to discuss it, but Hae-il says that chances given by people are meaningless, because the only chances that matter are the ones given by God.
He says that Kyung-seon keeps missing that chance, but she continues to ignore him and celebrates when she finally wins a stuffie. She notes that he wasn’t nearly so eloquent yesterday when he was sloppy drunk at the convenience store, and Hae-il coughs that he doesn’t recall, HA.
She says God gave him the same chance to live without anger, and that he can lecture her when he takes his chance himself. She gives him the stuffie and leaves, sarcastically thanking him for the late-night lecture.
At the convenience store, Kyung-seon is still short-tempered with Yo-han, though he notices that she’s speaking jondae to him for the first time so she grumbles that he’s not a kid and they’re not close. He says she can speak casually if she wants, but she just snaps at him and stomps out.
When Hae-il gets back to the church, Sung-kyu and Sister Kim wonder about the cute stuffie he’s clutching. They’re upset about the witnesses disappearing on top of the welfare facilities being taken away, sure that this wouldn’t be happening if Father Lee were still alive.
Kyung-seon gets home and turns on the TV, where the news is showing her picture and accusing her of being lenient to the chaebol who was involved in the drug trafficking scandal. She remembers a day when Father Lee said he saw her on television, and had told her to live as God, because what she does is similar to what God does, but she tells a picture of him, “It’s very different.”
Outside the church, Sung-kyu admits to Hae-il that today, he threw a fit at God for the first time ever as a priest. Hae-il says he throws a fit once per minute, ha. Hae-il sighs that he must be exhausting to be around, but Sung-kyu says he likes Hae-il, and that Father Lee said that love and mercy are about accepting a person for who they are.
Alone at home, Dae-young looks at a cross necklace that his partner, Young-chul, gave him once while on a stakeout. Young-chul had one too, saying that they would protect them, but his cross hadn’t saved him the day he’d been beaten by the Russian mobsters.
He visits Young-chul’s ashes the next morning, and tells his friend that at least he’s alive and healthy, but his voice wobbles as he says that everything else sucks. He tells Young-chul not to worry about his wife or child, but he’s inte4rrupted by a text from Chul-beom.
He goes to Chul-beom’s office, where he’s taken to task for not keeping better control over Seung-ah. Chul-beom still thinks that Hae-il couldn’t have known where to find the witnesses, but Dae-young says that Seung-ah won’t tell him her source. Chul-beom offers to ask her himself, which makes Dae-young nervous, but Chul-beom says he’ll do it if Dae-young can’t find out her source.
He tosses Dae-young an envelope and mentions that it’s the anniversary of his partner’s death. The envelope is for the widow, but Dae-young declines and leaves without it.
Chief Prosecutor Kang pulls Kyung-seon into his office again and says that he’s never been disappointed in her so often as he is lately. He wants her to take herself off the meth case and give it to Prosecutor Nam, the colleague she faced off with over dinner. She says she wants to stay on the case, but Prosecutor Nam walks into the office and Chief Prosecutor Kang tells him that it’s his case now.
Chief Prosecutor Kang grumbles that they still need to do something about that annoying priest, so Kyung-seon promises to personally find out how he knew where to find the witnesses. She leaves his office cursing up a storm.
Seung-ah calls Hae-il to ask him to come to the station, where she confronts Chief Nam about doing more to find the missing witnesses. Dae-young refuses to back her up, muttering that all the evidence is circumstantial. Chief Nam says that the witnesses were in the witness protection program and Seung-ah blew their cover, but she says that the Russians attacking her was a terrorist move.
Suddenly Hae-il bursts into hysterical laughter, then he says this is all nothing and starts to stomp out. Dae-young throws himself in front of the poor abused water cooler and is relieved when Hae-il just walks past. Then he realizes that that was too easy and follows Hae-il, who is predictably tearing apart the cardboard mascot with his bare hands.
Cult leader Young-moon arrives at the orphanage, walks into a classroom uninvited, and tells the kids that he’ll be looking after them beginning a month from now. One little peanut asks what will happen to the head nun, and Young-moon’s assistant says she’ll be looking after them, but the kids all yell that she looks mean.
Young-moon hands out gifts, ignoring the head nun’s insistence that it’s inappropriate while the church still manages them. She yells at him to leave, and Young-moon tells her to lighten up while his assistant starts singing a song to the kids about him, but they do eventually go.
Dae-young insists on following Hae-il around, saying that it’s his job to stick with Hae-il until dusk, making Hae-il so desperate that he even tries to exorcise Dae-young, lol. The head nun comes to the church to tell them about Young-moon’s distressing visit to the orphanage and his claim that he’ll be the next manager.
Having heard of Daegakgyo, Sung-kyu says that they absolutely can’t lose the orphanage and nursing home to a cult. Dae-young says he’s being religiously narrow-minded, but Sister Kim shrieks that they tell people that prayer can do anything, even win the lottery. Hae-il says he’ll look into whether they’re capable of running the orphanage, but Sister Kim maintains that they aren’t simply because they’re a cult.
Kyung-seon invites Seung-ah to her office and asks her how she found the witnesses. Seung-ah says vaguely that she had a source, and Kyung-seon accuses her of lying, but Seung-ah doesn’t change her answer.
Young-moon tells Chul-beom gleefully that he bought the kids’ affection at the orphanage, and Chul-beom asks dryly if he buys adults’ affection the same way. He tells Young-moon that the announcement will be made soon, and to simply say thank you, then choose a few people to maintain the foundation they’re planning to make.
Young-moon is planning something big for tonight’s “sermon,” which is already in progress when Hae-il and Dae-young arrive at the Daegakgyo church. Young-moon talks about how many people are sick in body and spirit, and Hae-il watches skeptically as Young-moon whacks followers on the head until they claim to be healed. Dae-young snaps at Hae-il for criticizing another religion, but he looks a bit deer-in-the-headlights when he spots Chul-beom skulking in the wings.
Hae-il turns to leave, but someone recognizes him and starts yelling that he’s renounced God and come to accept their savior. Young-moon isn’t pleased at no longer being the center of attention, but Hae-il and Dae-young quickly leave to avoid the grabby crowd.
They run into Chul-beom in the parking garage and Dae-young futilely begs Hae-il not to confront him. Hae-il flings a rice cake at Chul-beom and asks with a grin if he can hit Chul-beom in advance of their bet, and Chul-beom asks why Hae-il wants to beat up people so badly. Hae-il says it’s because of the management of the welfare facilities being given to the cult, and Chul-beom himself.
Dae-young tries to pull Hae-il away, but he just invites Chul-beom outside to avoid being beaten up on the CCTV cameras. Chul-beom chuckles that that won’t happen and tells Dae-young to be their referee, and Dae-young politely takes their coat and collar while begging them not to do this, then starts the fight.
Chul-beom throws the first punches, but Hae-il neatly blocks them all. He and Chul-beom land punches almost simultaneously, hitting each other in the jaw so hard that they both stagger. They stand and eye each other, as if the real fight is about to start.
First of all, that cult leader creeps me right out. Obviously because he’s a cult leader, but also because he’s got this air of smug confidence that just rubs me the wrong way, and it scares me to think of him in charge of the orphanage. Can we get rid of him soon Show, or if not soon, then later in a really creative and karmically satisfying way?
I find Chul-beom such a fascinating character, because while he’s clearly Bad News and violent, and willing to kill to satisfy his employers, you can also see him increasingly chafing under the Fearsome Foursome’s control. He definitely hates them all, and it gets harder for him to do their bidding cheerfully every time they gang up on him to blame him for every little thing that goes wrong. On the other hand, I’ve seen him actually look impressed by Hae-il’s fighting spirit and bravado more than once. I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that we might see Chul-beom switch sides before this is all over, or at least start surreptitiously helping Hae-il — not because he’ll magically become a good person, but just to stick it to the Foursome for the way they’ve disrespected him.
Speaking of a turnaround, I feel like Kyung-seon may be on the verge of a breakthrough. She still maintains her tough persona in front of others, but she seems deeply unhappy when she’s alone and lets herself think about things. She even lessened the length of punishment they were asking for the idol after meeting with him. I actually agree with what she said to the reporters, that feeling sorry for him isn’t the same as being responsible for his actions, and she did at least admit that she felt sorry. I don’t think Kyung-seon will be switching sides any time soon, as she’s still more concerned with her job than doing the right thing, but I can see the seeds of doubt beginning to grow, and I think she might even come around sooner than Dae-young.
I’m so conflicted about Dae-young, because I really do think he’s a good person who’s just too scared to fight the system. Because of his fear, he tells himself that what he’s doing is the right thing even when it’s clearly wrong, if only to keep more people from being hurt or killed. But the part that scares me is that he really does seem to have convinced himself that working with the bad guys is the best path, because aren’t the most dangerous people the ones who are confident that they’re doing nothing wrong? I want so badly for Dae-young to have a change of heart and start actually helping Hae-il, partly because I want him to be a good guy and partly because his constant explanations for why the bad guys’ actions are perfectly fine is getting incredibly annoying. But I also want it because I do think that Dae-young and Hae-il could make a good team if they were actually on the same side, because their personalities balance each other pretty well. I haven’t given up on him yet — he refused Chul-beom’s money for his partner’s widow, so there’s still a moral compass in there somewhere.
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