My Fellow Citizens: Episodes 7-8
Our conman’s already complicated life hits a new level of crazy when he almost crosses paths with his wife while in the middle of his latest con. He can hardly believe it when he realizes that it’s no coincidence. Distracted by his wife and the lady mob boss, an unexpected development catches our conman by surprise and he’s forced to rethink how he’s going get himself elected to the Assembly.
EPISODES 7 RECAP
Jung-gook comes clean with Kim Joo-myung and tells him everything — he’s a con artist who never attended Seoul University and he scammed Hoo-ja’s father. He became the Brave Citizen when the random person that he beat up, in order to escape Hoo-ja, turned out to be a serial killer. Jung-gook even admits why he’s entering politics, “If I don’t run for the National Assembly, my wife and I will be hurt.”
Amused, Joo-myung admits that he likes Jung-gook, just not as an assemblyman. When he explains that it would be inconsiderate to the nation, Jung-gook argues, “From what I see of assemblymen, they commit assault, bribery, abuse of power, and even adultery…The Assembly seems to be where inconsiderate people fight.”
Joo-myung can’t overlook Jung-gook’s dubious background, “You’re not good enough. A con artist? Come now. That’s degrading.” Jung-gook reminds Kim Joo-myung that his election was voided because of his lies, which proves that he’s in no position to judge anyone.
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Is an assemblyman better than a conman?
Joo-myung sends Hoo-ja home so that he can put Jung-gook to the test. Before he leaves, Hoo-ja reminds Jung-gook, “We need him, so don’t make any mistakes.”
Joo-myung shows Jung-gook a building that’s lost half of its value after all but one of the tenants fled the dying neighborhood. Joo-myung wants Jung-gook to sell the building for 1.5 times of its original purchase price to secure his help.
Jung-gook argues that a con is what put Mi-young in danger but Joo-myung points out that refusing this con will also put her in danger. With no choice, Jung-gook secures Joo-myung’s promise to get him elected to the Assembly once he sells the building.
Jung-gook needs a week to sell the building and assures Joo-myung, “It’s a piece of cake.” As they finalize their agreement, Hoo-ja watches the pair from her car and asks her little sister to keep an eye on things.
The leader of Team Two briefs Mi-young on Baek-kyung Capital. She recognizes Hoo-ja and Henchman Choi, but she can’t remember where she’s seen them. Mi-young suddenly recalls running into the pair at the fake real estate agency and explodes, “You moron. You even gave her your card.”
Mi-young takes the Baek-kyung file to Chief Seo (Mom) to inform her about the connection to the real estate fraud case. Chief Seo expects Violent Crimes to handle the case after the attempt on Mi-young’s life but Mi-young wants a chance to discover how Baek-kyung Capital is tied to the fraud case. With Team Two in the lead and Team Three as backup, Mi-young asks for two months to investigate.
Charles and Seung-yi visit Jung-gook’s new office space overlooking the Blue House and are brought up to date — Hoo-ja is forcing Jung-gook to run for the Assembly and he has to sell a worthless building in order to secure the help of Kim Joo-myung.
When Charles and Seung-yi don’t believe him, Jung-gook informs them of Hoo-ja’s threat, “She said she’ll kill everyone if I don’t run for the Assembly.” With the pair still unconvinced, Jung-gook argues that his election is sure to benefit them, but Charles and Seung-yi are not only politically illiterate, they don’t care.
Desperate, Jung-gook calls for help and Charles and Seung-yi can’t believe their eyes when Hoo-ja and Henchman Choi walk in. Henchman Choi kicks away Charles’ chair away and pins him to the floor while asking Seung-yi, “Remember me?”
Once Jung-gook helps Charles back to a chair, Hoo-ja demands, “So? Will you do it or not?” When Charles and Seung-yi quickly agree, Hoo-ja orders, “Then start immediately…You guys are experts at real estate fraud after all.”
Because they have so little time, the team agrees to sell the building for $4.5 million in order to offer a kickback to the local real estate agents. Seung-yi visits one local office and offers the agent $500,000 if he finds a buyer for the building.
With all of the referrals from the local agents, Charles is busy showing off the newly cleaned building that’s been made to look as if it’s fully occupied. One client after another asks Charles for a discount and he has to force himself to remember Jung-gook’s emphatic answer, “No way. No discounts. Definitely no discounts.”
When the actors that were hired to pose as customers are no longer available, Jung-gook calls in his sister, Mi-jin. Over the next few days, Mi-jin and her friends drink beer and eat for the benefit of every potential buyer, until they end up in the E.R.
A very drunk Mi-jin calls Jung-gook to report, “The doctor says if I drink more, I’ll die.” Jung-gook contacts Hoo-ja and soon Henchman Choi and his thugs are enjoying a rowdy lunch in the pop-up restaurant.
When Choi steps outside, he catches Seung-yi smoking and asks for a cigarette. Seung-yi reports that was her last one, so Choi orders her to buy more. After a brief argument, Seung-yi leaves on the errand just as a detective from Team Three snaps their photos.
Back at the station, the detective shows Mi-young the surveillance photos and reports that Choi is involved with the sale of an empty building for $4.5 million. Mi-young decides that it’s time to call in the rest of the team.
With photos of Hoo-ja, Pil-joo, Seung-yi and Charles on a white board, Mi-young launches into the details of the case. Detective Lee realizes that Mi-young is talking about Team Two’s case and complains that they’re busy enough with their own case load.
Detective Lee angrily accuses Mi-young of interfering in other cases. The photographer-detective blames Detective Lee’s outburst on the fact that he wasn’t made lieutenant and the men get into a fight until Mi-young announces, “They tried to kill me.”
Jung-gook finds Hoo-ja’s little sister overseeing the transformation of the office space. Needing to impersonate the building’s owner, Mr. Choi, Jung-gook learns that Hoo-ja used the name of a homeless man to purchase the building for Kim Joo-myung.
Jung-gook can’t keep from laughing when he realizes that Hoo-ja is responsible for the purchase of the worthless building. When Charles calls to report that he has a buyer, Jung-gook leaves right away.
Charles introduces Jung-gook to a sweet, older couple who fell in love with the building. Jung-gook can’t seem to look away when the husband, Han Min-chul, reaches for his wife’s hands.
When Jung-gook asks why they decided to buy a building, the wife, Yoo Jung-sook, whispers, “We won the lottery.” Charles quietly explains their situation to Jung-gook, “They’re street vendors in Incheon and they won the lottery. They’re totally stupid…We need to hook them.”
The couple plans to visit the graves of Han Min-Chul’s parents the following day and in three days they’ll fly for the first time when they take a trip abroad. Charles and Jung-rook arrange for the couple to sign the contract in two days, on April 4th.
Staked out in their van, Mi-young’s team watches the couple leave the building. Mi-young jumps out and follows them just as Jung-gook runs after the couple to return the husband’s hat.
Jung-rook sees the couple and yells out to them. Posing as an interested buyer, Mi-young approaches the couple to ask if they’ve already signed a contract. As Jung-gook moves closer, he’s stunned to discover Mi-young talking to his buyers.
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Look who’s got a new job
EPISODE 8 RECAP
The wife informs Mi-young that they’re scheduled to sign the contract in two days. Jung-gook hides behind a tree and overhears Mi-young confirm their plans to meet at the broker’s office. When she walks away, Jin-gook calls Mi-young’s phone and she lies that she’s at a cafe near her office.
Mi-young returns to the van and informs her team that they’ll arrest the fake real estate team at the contract signing in two days. Meanwhile, Jung-gook calls the police station and discovers that Mi-young now works for the Intellectual Crimes Unit.
When he gets home, Jung-gook mentions that he called Mi-young’s office and asks about Intellectual Crimes. His suspicions are confirmed when Mi-young explains, “We catch con artists and people like that.”
Mi-young pretends that she’s only there to help with paperwork, nothing dangerous. Jung-gook suggests taking a day trip on the 4th but when Mi-young answers, “I don’t think I can. Let’s go another time,” he knows with certainty that she’s after his team.
Jung-gook pays a visit to Hoo-ja and begs her to call off the sale of the building. When she refuses, Jung-gook explains, “The police are after us…If we get caught now…You can kiss the Assembly goodbye.”
Hoo-ja reminds Jung-gook what to expect if he loses the election but he won’t allow her to finish her sentence. Hoo-ja explains what she wants, “Sell the building to those people. And entrust the campaign to Kim Joo-myung. And join the National Assembly. That’s how we can all survive. You, Mi-young, and me.”
Late that night, Jung-gook stares at a framed photograph of him and Mi-young on their wedding day before making a call.
On the 4th, Jung-gook stares out of Kim Joo-myung’s building and sees Han Min-chul down on the street holding some papers and the police van parked near by. He calls Mi-young to invite her to lunch and watches as she tells him that she can’t make it.
When Mi-young returns to the van, Jung-gook turns to Charles and Seung-yi and announces, “Let’s begin.” Jung-gook calls the husband about a change in plans and directs him to a new location.
Mi-young and Detective Lee follow the old man, who snakes through the neighborhood thanks to Jung-gook’s complicated instructions. By now, Jung-gook is on the street as well but no matter what he tells Han Min-chul, Mi-young and Detective Lee manage to keep up.
When Han Min-chul ends up back where he started, Jung-gook instructs him to get into the car that just pulled up. His face hidden by a helmet, Charles races away with the police van close behind. Seung-yi picks up Jung-gook and they chase after the others.
Detective Na proves to be just at adept behind the wheel as Charles and the two cars weave through traffic. Charles can’t out maneuver Detective Na, but his moves do make his passenger sick. Seung-yi asks Jung-gook, “Is this necessary,” and he tells her, “Yes, this is necessary.”
When Charles makes a daring U-turn, Detective Na does the same thing. Charles reports to Jung-gook over the phone, “I don’t think I can lose them. The driver is pretty good.”
Jung-gook instructs Charles to drop Han Min-chul off at a subway station. Mi-young and Detective Lee exit the van and follow Han Min-chul into the subway while Detective Na and her partner follow Charles.
Seung-yi parks the car and gets out, leaving Jung-gook behind. With eyes on Mi-young and Detective Lee, Jung-gook calls Han Min-chul, who is as good natured as ever, and asks him to take the subway to a new meeting place.
Mi-young and Detective Lee manage to stay with Han Min-chul in spite of the crowds. They stop when he does and see him talking on the phone just as Seung-yi rejoins Jung-gook in the car.
Mi-young notices that the old man’s hands are empty and tells Detective Lee, “The papers are gone.” Detective Na stops Charles’ car and after a search, her partner informs Mi-young that the papers aren’t there. Detective Lee doesn’t think that the contract was signed but Mi-young decides to approach the Han Min-chul.
Mi-young pretends that she just happened to run into the old man again and asks, “So did you purchase the building?” She’s surprised when Han Min-chul admits, “Yes, we did. Yesterday.” It turns out that Jung-gook’s late night call was made to the couple and he arranged to sign the contract before the visit to their parents’ graves.
In flashback, we see that all of the documents were properly affixed with Han Min-Chul’s seal. In the subway, Han Min-chul explains to Mi-young that the documents need to be re-signed, so he arranged to meet with the owner a second time.
After the documents were signed the previous day, Jung-gook urged the couple to raise the rent. Han Min-chul insisted that they would never raise the rent and his wife explained why, “We know how it feels to be kicked out without getting the deposit because you can’t pay the rent.”
She added, “A wound suffered from money never heals no matter how many years pass.” The wife started to cry and her husband consoled her, “Why are you crying on a happy day like this?” The wife insisted that her tears were happy ones as a look of shame flickered across Jung-gook’s face. After the couple left, Jung-gook told Charles, “Let’s cancel the contract.”
Mi-young asks the old man about the contract and we see that just minutes earlier, Seung-yi snatched it and told the man to expect a call. When Seung-yi returned to the car, she handed Jung-gook the contract and he called Han Min-chul.
Jung-gook demanded more money for the building and when Han Min-chul admitted that he didn’t have it, Jung-gook scolded, “Then don’t try to buy a building!” As Jung-gook joins Hoo-ja and Joo-myung in their usual restaurant, we hear the rest of his well meaning advice, “If you have money, don’t buy a building…Save it in your bank account. That’s how you make money.”
Jung-gook explains to Hoo-ja and Joo-myung, “They say they’ll never raise the rent because they were scarred by that.” He then rips up the signed contract and tells Joo-myung, “Someone running for the Assembly shouldn’t scam people like that.” Jung-gook vows to make it on his own and walks out of the restaurant with a determined look on his face.
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How not to start your campaign
It turns out that Jung-gook is a conman with a heart after all! It’s one thing to swindle money from gamblers and other ne’er do wells, but a warm, kind and innocent older couple is another thing altogether. Their devotion to one another is definitely an attribute that Jung-gook respects and admires, in fact, it may be what he wants for his own marriage. If only he can find a way around the fact that he’s a conman married to a detective in the Intellectual Crimes Unit.
Jung-gook went to a lot of trouble and put himself at great risk to steal back that signed contract. As much as he wants to save Mi-young’s life, Jung-gook can’t pull off a con that heaps financial ruin on a sweet couple who were lucky enough to win the lottery. There has to be another way and Jung-gook is determined to find it, and he will. What is becoming increasingly apparent is that Jung-gook may just be the smartest man in the room and the clowns pulling his strings are quickly becoming liabilities.
Hoo-ja has guts and all the cash that she needs to accomplish just about anything. What she doesn’t have is the ability to adapt when the police get dangerously close to Jung-gook’s team. She refuses to call off the sale of the building because she’s determined to recruit Kim Joo-myung and she digs in her heels. But she’s not as smart as she thinks she is and Jung-gook discovers that by chance when he learns that it was Hoo-ja who bought that worthless building.
Kim Joo-myung turns out to be a giant hyprocrite. He can’t stomach Jung-gook as an assemblyman even though he lied his way into the Assembly, which is why the Supreme Court invalidated his election. Jung-gook knows very well that he’s dealing with a fellow conman when it comes to Kim Joo-myung, but the former assemblyman can’t seem to admit it. At least Jung-gook is honest with himself about who he is and what he does. Now if he can just be honest with his wife, who has honesty issues of her own.
Mi-young may be married to the one man who can admire how easily and well she lies. It was fascinating to watch Jung-gook watch Mi-young as she lied about why she couldn’t meet him while she was at work. Of course he was frustrated, but that was because Jung-gook realized that Mi-young’s goal was to arrest him and his team, not because he caught her lying to him again and again. Jung-gook and Mi-young are well matched, in a twisted sort of way.
Now that Jung-gook has decided to take back control of his future, the dynamic should start to shift between him, Hoo-ja and Kim Joo-myung. They may think that they have Jung-gook backed into a corner, but as he’s proved, he’s quick-witted and desperate enough to take some risky chances. He may just be able to get to the Assembly without their help but I don’t think that Jung-gook can shake off Hoo-ja and Kim Joo-myung that easily. At least not yet…