My Fellow Citizens: Episodes 19-20
Our conman candidate and his wife hit the campaign trail and for the first time in their marriage, they’re on the same side. As the election nears, our Lady Mob Boss’ real scheme comes to light and it throws Sang-jin’s campaign into turmoil. With the clock ticking, it’s time for everyone to decide how far they’re willing to go to get their candidate to the Assembly.
EPISODE 19 RECAP
During a jog by the river, Charles asks Jung-gook if Mi-young could be working undercover in the campaign to catch their con-team. Jung-gook insists that Mi-young’s only motivation is love.
Coincidentally Mi-young calls Jung-gook and soon he and Charles are at the campaign office with the rest of the team. Kim Joo-myung presents a blank whiteboard and announces, “This will be our strategy going forward.” When Charles asks on behalf of the befuddled team why the board is empty, Joo-myung calls it a clean slate.
Joo-myung wants their campaign to be a breath of fresh air and proposes giving people something to laugh about until the election. When Jung-gook takes Mi-young’s hand with a reassuring smile, she smiles back.
The campaign sends Mi-young to a marketplace where she’s expected to eat everything that’s offered to her, no matter how disgusting, thanks to the example of another candidate’s wife.
While Mi-young gets more comfortable on the campaign trail, Jung-gook addresses voters from the back of his campaign truck, “I voted for people with experience and age, but they did nothing.” Jung-gook argues that it’s time for a younger candidate with no experience and promises, “The Brave Citizen will bravely protect you from…all the deception fed to you by politicians.”
Charles’ campaign strategy involves giving away gifts, until Kim Joo-myung calls him to the office to explain that it’s illegal.
When Jung-gook gives Mi-young a back hug, she delivers a kick between his legs and flips him onto a mat. They’re giving a self-defense demonstration to a group of high school students and Mi-young gives Jung-gook an enthusiastic thumbs up as he tries to crawl to safety.
Seung-yi and Mi-jin man a campaign booth with a sign that reads, “Tell Yang Jung-gook Your Wish!” After an innocent-looking high school girl claims that she was mugged, three other girls get beaten up by Seung-yi and Mi-jin. Kim Joo-myung brings them to the office to let them know that the parents threatened to report them.
Jung-gook and Mi-young are together in the back of the campaign truck when a bump in the road throws her off balance. Jung-gook pulls her close and Mi-young’s heart pounds until someone shouts that Wang-go just fell off of the truck.
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Campaigning for love
Charles has learned his lesson and now makes the voters win their prizes by playing bingo. Kim Joo-myung has him back in the office to explain, “That’s gambling.”
Back at the “Wishes” booth, Seung-yi and Mi-jin are confronted by the girls that they beat up and get summoned back to the office after they beat them up again. Kim Joo-myung hits Mi-jin on the back of the head and when she does the same thing to Seung-yi, the women get into a fight.
Jung-gook and Mi-young are clearly having fun when they dance in the street with the campaign team. Henchman Choi can’t contain his enthusiasm and soon he’s dancing with Joo-myung.
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Perfect, perfect, Yang Jung-gook is perfect
In Hoo-ja’s office, a televised update explains the campaign’s current blackout, a ban on polling information meant to protect voters from inaccurate information. When Gwi-nam arrives, Hoo-ja explains that it’s time to put her plan into action and they end up at Sang-jin’s campaign office.
Sang-jin is on his way to a campaign event with Myung-im when her husband calls about Hoo-ja’s visit. Hoo-ja motions for the phone and Sang-jin agrees to speak with her.
Hoo-ja makes her intent clear, “Today, I’m here to threaten you.” When Myung-im cuts into their conversation, Hoo-ja warns, “The heads are talking. Have some manners.” Hoo-ja warns that her next stop is Kang Soo-il’s office if Sang-jin doesn’t agree to a meeting.
Hoo-ja explains Sang-jin’s dilemma to Gwi-nam, ” Kang Soo-il is stabbing him from above, and Jung-gook is waving his sword below…So he has to come if he doesn’t want to be slashed.”
In a flashback, Hoo-ja explained her strategy during a phone conversation with an unseen person, “I’ll send Yang Jung-gook to win over ratings and use that to make a deal with Han Sang-jin. I’ll negotiate not with money, but with votes.”
When Sang-jin returns to the office, Hoo-ja offers him Jung-gook’s votes. Sang-jin doesn’t understand how that’s possible, so Hoo-ja explains, “I’m the one who had Yang Jung-gook run. I created him in order to mess you up.”
Hoo-ja clarifies what she wants in exchange for Jung-gook’s votes, “Just help get the Interest Rate Regulation Act repealed. That’s all you need to do. Then I’ll have Jung-gook drop out of the race and give you all of his votes.”
When Sang-jin confesses that the proposal has him flustered, Hoo-ja calls him a coward and Myung-im jumps to his defense. Hoo-ja scolds her again, “The heads are talking right now.”
After Myung-im’s husband steers a fuming Myung-im from the room, Sang-jin asks, “What happens if Yang Jung-gook…doesn’t do as you say?” Hoo-ja confesses that she knows Jung-gook’s secrets and promises Sang-jin, “If you decide to work with me, I’ll tell you every piece of dirt on him.”
Sang-jin turns down Hoo-ja’s offer, “If I don’t win the election, so be it. I’m still young. I have plenty of time.” Hoo-ja points out if that was true, Sang-jin wouldn’t have changed his mind about the subway line. She adds that in her experience, “Good punks don’t meet loan sharks like me a second time.”
Hoo-ja reasons, “…you’ll get tainted, compromised, and all of that once you get into the Assembly. If you’re bound to change, might as well change now.” On her way out, Hoo-ja gives Sang-jin one day to think about her offer. During the drive back to the office, Hoo-ja tells her sister, “The more I see him, the more I think he’s one of us.”
Mi-young has lunch with the campaign volunteers until Mi-jin shows up to announce that her negotiations failed. After everyone files out of the restaurant, Mi-jin complains that Jung-gook didn’t raise their pay. Mi-young reminds her sister-in-law that her brother is following the law but Mi-jin mutters that he cons people. As Mi-jin races out of the restaurant, she tells Mi-young to expect someone else to help her with the campaign.
Mi-young looks miserable as Jung-gook’s father drives very slowly to her next appearance. Mi-young offers to drive since he has a bad back but her father-in-law stubbornly remains behind the wheel.
At her next destination, Mi-young addresses a crowd of voters from the back of the campaign truck. When a high school boy asks how she and Jung-gook met, Mi-young remembers the night at the nightclub but answers, “We met in the library.”
Mi-young notices a suspicious man in the back of the crowd and isn’t aware of how suggestive she sounds as she rambles, “We were alone all night on the first day we met…and went out for a year…doing things, you know…We kept doing it all night long and again when we woke up…”
Horrified, Jung-gook’s father yells out, “Mi-young,” just as the man that she’s been watching steals a wallet.
EPISODE 20 RECAP
A reporter and cameraman chase after Mi-young as she pursues the thief. Mi-young chases the pickpocket past Charles’ latest vote-winning scheme, up and down multiple flights of stairs and past the wishing booth, now manned by Seung-yi and Wang-go.
The pickpocket runs out of energy and points a knife at an innocent bystander with long, curly hair. The thief is surprised when his hostage turns out to be a man who shrieks, “Don’t kill me!”
The video camera rolls as Mi-young confronts the thief. The high school boys finally catch up, carrying Jung-gook’s father, and momentarily distract the pickpocket. Mi-young kicks off a shoe that hits the pickpocket between the legs which gives her the chance to arrest him.
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Jung-gook’s father runs to her side and he’s in the frame when Mi-young smiles into the video camera, “Candidate number five, Yang Jung-gook. The Brave Citizen will bravely protect you.”
Sang-jin’s mother meets him at a restaurant and during dinner she asks about the campaign. Sang-jin admits that, in spite of all his preparation, it’s not going as well as he’d hoped. Mom admits that while she’s usually happy that Sang-jin is so much like her, there are times when it troubles her, “When you have a goal, you look at nothing else.”
Mom offers her son some advice, “Don’t make the Assembly your goal…It’ll only make life hard for you.” She offers to support him if necessary, and Sang-jin laughs at the idea until a text signals that it’s time for him to leave.
On his way out, Sang-jin wishes his mother, “Happy birthday. I’ll be a good son by making it to the Assembly.” She assures him, “You were a good son by being born. Don’t try to do more.” Sang-jin calls his mother “cool” before heading out.
As Chief finishes her dinner, a report about the pickpocket’s arrest airs on the television. The man by Mi-young’s side catches her attention and she moves closer to the screen for a better look.
Chief calls Mi-young, who’s being driven home by Jung-gook’s father. Mi-young apologizes for not calling her mother on her birthday but Mom just wants to know that her daughter isn’t hurt.
Once Mi-young confirms that she’s fine, her mother asks about the man who was with her, “He’s short and funny looking.” Mi-young blurts out, “You must mean Jung-gook’s father. He’s short and funny looking,” and then she gasps because of course he heard everything.
After learning that the man is Jung-gook’s father, Mom pretends that there’s nothing to worry about. After she hangs up, Mi-young explains that her mother didn’t recognize her father-in-law since they’ve never met. Mi-young’s mother was training abroad at the time of her daughter’s wedding. Jung-gook’s father asks for her mother’s name and learns that it’s Kim Kyung-ae.
Back at her office, the Chief remembers her previous encounter with Jung-gook’s father. On the day that she met Mi-young, they ran into him at the police station where they went to spar. Just out of prison, Jung-gook’s father, Shi-chul, offered the then-Captain an energy drink, “I’m giving these out to detectives to celebrate my release.”
Shi-chul assumed that Mi-young was the Captain’s daughter but the girl rudely corrected him. The Captain ignored Mi-young to encourage Shi-chul to give up his life as a conman. When he joked that he even gave up con-tainers, Mi-young some in Pig Latin to openly insult him, “Atwhay theway eakfray. (What a freak.)”
As the Captain and Mi-young walked away, the delinquent teen gave Shi-chul the middle finger. Shi-chul called Jung-gook to warn, “I just met this bratty girl. If you marry someone like her, I’ll disown you.”
The Chief pulls out her phone to call Mi-young but something stops her.
Unable to reach Mi-young, Jung-gook paces in the campaign office until she walks in. Mi-young explains that she was forced to turn off her phone once the news of the pickpocket’s arrest hit the airwaves.
When Jung-gook asks if she’s hurt, Mi-young shows him a cut on her hand. While Jung-gook cleans it, Mi-young jokes that his poll numbers should improve thanks to her actions. Jung-gook confesses that none of that matters if she gets hurt and Mi-young teases that he just made her heart flutter.
Once Mi-young’s cut is cleaned, she shows Jung-gook a scratch on her arm and he scolds, “Don’t get hurt without my permission.” He apologizes that Mi-young has to use her leave to work on his campaign but she confesses that she’s on a month-long suspension thanks to Hoo-ja.
Jung-gook wants to confront Hoo-ja but Mi-young tries to talk him out of it, “Don’t go. Let’s stay together.” When Jung-gook insists that he’ll hurry back, Mi-young sighs, “I just want to enjoy our honeymoon phase.”
As Mi-young’s words sink in, she admits to Jung-gook that although she wasn’t enthusiastic about the campaign, she’s actually enjoying it. What she likes the most is the time that she spends with Jung-gook.
Mi-young knows that they still have problems to face and her face darkens when she mentions the $6 million that Jung-gook owes Hoo-ja. In spite of everything, Mi-young suggests that they should enjoy themselves for the duration of the campaign, just like when they were dating.
Jung-gook and Mi-young find themselves very close to each other when he reaches behind her for the ointment. Mi-young’s heart pounds and when Jung-gook pulls her towards him, she protests, “Here? Are you crazy?” Jung-gook confesses, “Yes, I’m crazy…My beautiful wife is right in front of me.”
Mi-young helps Jung-gook pull off his sweater until Charles wheels a cot out of a storage room. Charles explains that he skipped dinner for a nap and when Mi-young asks how much he heard, he repeats Jung-gook’s request, “Don’t get hurt without my permission.”
Charles explains that he was forced to reveal his presence when the couple started to get carried away. On his way out, Charles cautions, “Don’t go too crazy, okay?” When they’re alone, Mi-young suggests, “Should we go home,” and Jung-gook smiles at the realization that his exile is over.
At Sang-jin’s campaign office, Myung-im’s husband shares the latest “unofficial” poll results with Sang-jin and Myung-im. While Kang Soo-il held his lead, Jung-gook’s share jumped to 15% while Sang-jin’s dropped to 28%. Desperate, Myung-im suggests, “Let’s call that bratty witch Park Hoo-ja.”
Myung-im admits that even though she despises Hoo-ja, absorbing Jung-gook’s votes is the only way to win. She and Sang-jin argue until he shouts, “I don’t think I can create the world we wanted to create…if I become involved with Park Hoo-ja!”
Myung-im’s husband speaks up and reminds the pair that in all of the years that they’ve known each other, he’s never offered an opinion. He promises that this will be the only time and tells Sang-jin, “Just do as you’re told, you moron. Win the election while we’re being nice. Dreams? A world you want to create? They don’t exist.”
When Sang-jin arrives at Hoo-ja’s office, she admits, “You grew up sooner than I expected.” Now that they’re on the same side, Sang-jin demands to know how Hoo-ja controls Jung-gook. She doesn’t hesitate to answer, “Jung-gook is a con artist.”
At home, Mi-young and Jung-gook are in bed in each other’s arms. Mi-young sighs, “I’m so happy. I wish we could be like this forever,” and Jung-gook promises that nothing bad will ever happen again.
Hoo-ja tells Sang-jin that Jung-gook fooled not only Mi-young, but her entire family. Hoo-ja wonders, “Do you like my answer, our dear candidate?”
Mi-young’s presence had a positive effect not only on the campaign, but on her marriage as well. United by a common goal, Mi-young finds herself falling for Jung-gook all over again, and because he isn’t in the middle of a con, Jung-gook isn’t as distant as he usually is. Thanks to his candidacy, Jung-gook’s relationship with Mi-young is the best that it’s ever been since their wedding day, when he discovered that she was a detective. I can’t imagine that Jung-gook will welcome abandoning his campaign in favor of Sang-jin because once he’s no longer a candidate, the tension will return to his relationship with Mi-young. I don’t think that Jung-gook is quite ready for their second honeymoon to end. Speaking of that honeymoon atmosphere, Charles was forced to make a most uncomfortable reveal. His helpful gesture of wheeling out that cot had me in stitches.
Thanks to Hoo-ja’s real strategy, it looks as if San-jin has gone to the dark side, but I’m not convinced. Jung-gook and Sang-jin appear to be following different arcs as the campaign progresses. Jung-gook is shedding his conman persona and becoming refreshingly genuine, even if Mi-young still doesn’t know the truth about how he earns his money. On the other hand, Sang-jin appears to be getting corrupted by the campaign process, willing to compromise his ideals to get himself elected. There are too many unknown variables still floating around, plus a couple of new ones that were introduced in this hour, that have me doubting Sang-jin’s downfall.
Hoo-ja has an unseen partner who knows that Jung-gook was only meant to be a spoiler to get Sang-jin to join forces with her. Who is it and how highly placed is he/she? Now that Sang-jin’s mother is aware that Jung-gook’s father is a conman, it wouldn’t be a stretch to guess that Jung-gook is one too. What has she done with that knowledge? Sang-jin knows that Mi-young is being used to keep Jung-gook in line, but he has no idea how. Is it possible that Sang-jin and his mother have joined forces to protect Mi-young and to catch Hoo-ja? Even though it may be possible to get Sang-jin to ignore his ideals, Mi-young is another matter altogether, and as long is Hoo-ja is on the loose, she’s in danger. If Sang-jin can’t win the election on his own, perhaps he’s ready to take down a loan shark who’s made a mockery of the process that he holds dear. Now that’s a showdown that I’d love to see.