My Fellow Citizens: Episodes 25-26
With the election under his belt, our newly minted politician enters the National Assembly with hopes to fulfill his goal of being a useful person. But he still reports to the mob boss who supported his campaign, and his one mandate is the complete opposite of his goal. Still trying to be innocuously useful, Jung-gook gets involved in doing good for the people, which inevitably leads to hilarious hijinks and the violation of his one mandate.
EPISODE 25 RECAP
After the news confirms that Jung-gook has won the election, he looks numb from shock. Mi-young cries in happiness, and Joo-myung pats Jung-gook on the back for his hard work.
While Jung-gook’s camp celebrates their victory, Sang-jin shares a drink with Mom in acknowledgement of defeat. Mom asks what he’ll be doing with his time now, and Sang-jin says that he plans on taking a break. They both encourage each other to date, but they both reject those prospects, both agreeing that they only need family.
Mom asks why Sang-jin didn’t expose Jung-gook’s identity at the press conference. Sang-jin takes a shot of soju before her responds that he couldn’t disregard Mi-young. He couldn’t bear to hurt Mi-young, and Mom tearfully empathizes.
Before Jung-gook enters the National Assembly, he meets with Hoo-ja. She tells him to send her regards to Mi-young, who’s been reinstated to her position. After some thought about what Jung-gook should do before the Interest Regulation Act vote, she’s decided that he should do absolutely nothing. She reminds Jung-gook that he’s a conman who exploited innocent people, and if that truth becomes exposed, they’ll cause more problems.
Jung-gook insists that he’ll fulfill his duty to the people as an Assemblyman, but Hoo-ja warns him that the National Assembly is a vicious place. If he stands out for good or bad reasons, he’ll stir up undesirable commotion. As soon as Jung-gook fulfills his promise on voting for the repeal of the Interest Regulation Act, he can live freely, becoming the useful person he wants to become.
With this new mission, Jung-gook walks into the National Assembly with a sense of purpose, only that purpose is nothing. Jung-gook and his team end up sitting in his office doing nothing other than breathing, just as Hoo-ja instructed. Seung-yi complains that she didn’t realize how difficult it is to just breathe and do nothing else. Ha!
Wang-go suggests that Jung-gook draft up a public welfare bill instead of doing nothing, and Jung-gook worries that this will upset Hoo-ja. Wang-go ensures Jung-gook that drafting a bill can take anywhere from one to six months, so Hoo-ja won’t be immediately bothered by their innocuous activities. Jung-gook agrees that they might as well do something useful, if it’s under the guise of doing nothing.
Hoo-ja looks out the window in her office and tells herself that everything has just begun. Hmm, another scheme in action?
Another National Assemblyman (the one that tried to tempt Joo-myung) practices his argument for the repeal of the Interest Regulation Act. His chief of staff brings up the counterargument that no interest regulation would unfairly deteriorate economic instability for low-income people, and the Assemblyman Kim responds that low-income citizens still suffer, even with the existence of the Interest Regulation Act. He argues that the interest regulation stagnates the circulation of money to the low-income citizens. What a ridiculous argument.
Meanwhile, Jung-gook’s team sit in silence. Jung-gook looks up how the make a bill, but they have no discussions on the matter. The haughty Assemblyman Kim wrangles his team into a discussion while Jung-gook decides that his team should order lunch.
After their meal, Charles suggests that they take it easy on their first day and call it a day. Jung-gook scolds him because all they’ve done today is eat, ha. Full of ideas, Wang-go suggests that Jung-gook meet with the other Assemblyman colleagues to discuss ideas about bills. He overheard plans for a group dinner and encourages Jung-gook to attend.
In the locker room, other Assembly colleagues tell Assemblyman Kim that Jung-gook asked to join their dinner gathering. Assemblyman Kim disapproves of Jung-gook trying to wriggle his way into their exclusive party, and he steps aside to answer a call from Hoo-ja.
Hoo-ja impatiently asks why her request hasn’t been elevated to a formal meeting among the party, and Assemblyman Kim explains that he has internal party politics to manage before he can fulfill her request. Hoo-ja isn’t pleased with this excuse and demands that he execute his duty out of loyalty — that is, loyalty of the money she’s paid him. Assemblyman Kim hangs up on her as she continues to nag him, and Hoo-ja curses at the disrespect.
Back at work, Mi-young gets briefed on an apartment scam operation that potentially involves developers, gangs, and even politicians, but it’s not easy to find witnesses. Her meeting is interrupted by a call from Jung-gook, who asks her permission to stay out late for his “welcome dinner.” She encourages him to attend.
After Jung-gook hangs up, Wang-go compares Jung-gook to a loner at school coming home and bragging about all his friends. Jung-gook claims that he’s more like the transfer student making friends at his new school, and he confidently walks into the dinner.
But when Mi-young arrives home, she finds Jung-gook back already, drinking soju on his own. Mi-young suspects that something went wrong at the dinner, but Jung-gook insists he was welcomed with open arms. He’s lying, of course, and we see that he was excluded from all the fun.
As Jung-gook lies to Mi-young about his cordial colleagues, we see that Jung-gook’s friendly efforts were completely ignored and rejected. When Jung-gook tried to pour his sunbaes a glass of soju, they ignored him and waved him away. As Jung-gook left the dinner, Wang-go found Jung-gook excusing himself from the room, but the room was actually empty. Aw, sad.
Jung-gook claims that he refused the party members’ offer to join their party because he’s committed to fulfilling his duties as an independently elected official. Mi-young looks at her husband proudly and suggests that they celebrate by getting drunk that night. She seems a bit too excited, but that’s because she’s trying to cheer him up.
As Mi-young lays Jung-gook in bed, he mumbles curses at his rude colleagues. Mi-young picked up on Jung-gook covering up a lousy dinner, and she wishes that he would have admitted to the hardship. She tucks him in as Jung-gook sleeps off his disappointment.
EPISODE 26 RECAP
While doing nothing in his office, Jung-gook suddenly gets visitors who plead for his help. These citizens are the victims of the apartment scam that Mi-young is investigating, and they sought out Jung-gook because their representative, Assemblyman Kim, had done nothing for them for months.
Jung-gook seeks advice from Joo-myung and asks if this is something he can do without garnering attention. Joo-myung assures him that this is a standard task, so it wouldn’t bother Hoo-ja. He wonders why Jung-gook isn’t taking the easier route by following Hoo-ja’s orders to do nothing, and Jung-gook reminds him that he wants to be a useful person.
Jung-gook quickly realized that he’s too dumb to make a bill and wouldn’t be accepted by his colleagues. But this is something that he could feasibly achieve. Plus, this is in his area of expertise: fraud. Joo-myung seems intrigued by this prospect, and he wonders how Jung-gook will help these people. Jung-gook assures him that he knows an apartment scammer expert — someone that Joo-myung knows as well.
It’s none other than Mi-jin, who starts making calls to her scammer contacts with little Haru at her side crossing off the names one by one. Mi-jin suddenly begins speaking another language, and Jung-gook informs the team that Mi-jin is fluent in 15 languages to keep her cover. Wang-go looks enamored by Mi-jin, the language queen.
After a full night of calls and some petty fighting, Mi-jin emerges with the culprit’s identity. Jung-gook smiles at his sister with pride. He says that he’ll need to catch the culprit with his own hands because he couldn’t explain to the police how he got this intel. I’m not sure how catching the culprit with your own hands makes more sense, but sure, why not.
Mi-jin asks why Jung-gook is helping these fraud victims and suspects that he was bribed. But Jung-gook says that everything he does is for the people. He always puts people first. At those words, a light shines behind Jung-gook, blinding Mi-jin with his nobility. Haaa, what?! But the cheesy moment gets cut by Haru telling Jung-gook to make sure to pay them for their labor.
To scope out their competition, Charles first enters the scammer’s office disguised as a jjajangmyun deliveryman. He nervously delivers the free food and quickly reports back to the team that their target is alone. Jung-gook decides that they should go ahead and capture their scammer, since they’ll outnumber him, so he enters the office with Charles and Wang-go.
Jung-gook announces himself to the scammer and introduces himself as Assemblyman Yang Jung-gook. Then, a gang of henchman emerge from the back door, and Jung-gook looks at Charles accusingly. Now, they’re outnumbered!
Amidst this unexpected turnout, Wang-go remains surprisingly calm and assures the two that he’s never been hit in his life. Uh, that’s a lie because Joo-myung has consistently slapped his head, but let’s go with it. Wang-go confidently approaches the gang and tells them to attack.
Wang-go successfully avoids the first attacks and even manages to knock out a dude. But then, the scammer approaches Wang-go and pulls at his suspenders. When the elastic snaps back at Wang-go, he immediately freezes and falls like a log. LOL.
The gang ruthlessly attacks, and Jung-gook and Charles pathetically try to defend themselves. Jung-gook reaches for the fire extinguisher and tries to cloud the enemy’s vision, but they’re ultimately captured for a painful beating.
Then, the office doors open, and in comes Mi-young and her police team. Turns out, Mi-jin informed Mi-young about her brother’s rash decision to chase the scammer, so Mi-young immediately showed up to defend her husband. Jung-gook looks surprised to see his wife, but he smiles in relief when he recognizes her.
Mi-young lifts her bat over her shoulder and jumps into the fight with a battle cry. Jung-gook and his beaten team hide in the back, cheering on Mi-young and her skilled police team as they beat up the gang. The scammer nervously darts his eyes, and upon noticing his impending defeat, he makes a run for it.
Jung-gook runs after him, and Mi-young unsuccessfully tries to stop him mid-fight. As Jung-gook chases the scammer, he attempts to slide over a car hood but ends up catching the ornament between his legs. Ouch. He bends over in pain, and the scammer laughs at Jung-gook. But then, the scammer falls into a manhole. Ha!
When the scammer climbs out of the manhole, the chase turns into the two men limping in flight and pursuit. Jung-gook ultimately catches up to the scammer and yells in victory of the capture.
The scammer and gang are brought to the police station, and Jung-gook smiles as he watches his wife in action. Mi-young angrily scolds Jung-gook for attempting to catch the criminal without calling the police, but he pulls her close and says that everything turned out fine. The scammed citizens run into the police station and thank Jung-gook profusely, and Mi-young smiles proudly at her husband.
The next day, Hoo-ja invites Assemblyman Kim into her office and bribes him with more money to secure the repeal of the Interest Regulation Act. Assemblyman Kim assures her that the votes are nearly secure and that the official party meeting should commence within the next week. Hoo-ja expresses relief about the positive response.
Then, Assemblyman Kim asks about the rumors of Hoo-ja making Jung-gook an Assemblyman. She denies this, but Assemblyman Kim continues to pressure her to tell him the truth. Hoo-ja gets irritated by his nosiness and brings up his affair with a 24-year-old college student, for whom he bought an apartment for. Ew, you sleazy man.
Hoo-ja warns him to step back and not dig into each other’s privacy. Their tense conversation is interrupted by a call to Assemblyman Kim. He picks up and learns that about the apartment scammer capture, which has led to arrests up the pipeline to the apartment complex owner, the developer, bribed politicians, and even a police officer.
Assemblyman Kim learns that his colleague, Assemblyman Jo, is the developer’s brother-in-law and brought along 5 other politicians to accept bribes. Unfortunately for Hoo-ja, all of those politicians were voting for her repeal of the Interest Regulation Act, and now they’ve all announced their withdrawal from the Assembly.
The word of Jung-gook’s contribution to this investigation spreads through Wang-go telling the media and Charles and Seung-yi telling other politicians. When Jung-gook exits his office, he’s surrounded by the press, asking him about his heroic involvement in this investigation.
Jung-gook tells the media that he was simply addressing citizens’ concerns and speaks to the camera to clarify with Hoo-ja that he had no intention of prompting the withdrawal of his fellow Assemblymen. Joo-myung watches the news in shock, and Hoo-ja watches with utter frustration.
Hoo-ja can’t believe that all her efforts to put one person into the National Assembly led to the exit of six other allies. Unable to contain her anger, Hoo-ja throws a paper weight at the TV.
This episode felt like a personification of Jung-gook — innocuous intentions, a bit incompetent, and full of dumb and hilarious hijinks. I don’t necessarily mean that as a complete insult, since this was a fun and rambunctious episode. The charm of this show is the levity and silliness, and I think this episode fully embraced that freedom in the writing and acting. There was plenty of filler adlibbing going on, and it almost felt like improv or sketch comedy at some points.
That being said, I do sense this story falling flat. It’s clear to me that a story is running out of plot when there’s less content in the recap, and this show is definitely dwindling with the plot line. There’s a lot of filler humor that goes on for a bit too long, and that’s telling of the lack of direction in this story. It seems like the writers had a great idea to portray on screen, but they didn’t quite flesh out the full story from beginning to end. Now that Jung-gook got elected to the Assembly, it seems like we’re floating in an anticlimactic limbo of entertaining vignettes with no resolution.
I wish we got to see more of Mi-young’s story throughout this show because it would have added more depth to her character. All we know is that Sang-jin and Mom both care too much about her to let any more sadness creep into her life. She simply has a Sad Background — no elaboration. I loved seeing Mi-young in her element in this episode, and I think the show has tried to cover up its weaknesses by showing us badass Mi-young. It worked for most of the show, but now that the whole story is coasting in limbo, I’m starting to notice that we’ve been missing a crucial element of the story. We have absolutely no idea what Mom and Sang-jin’s motivations were to protect Mi-young from heartbreak, and that just leaves a big question mark for me.
But then, I see Mi-young swinging a bat and Jung-gook riding a random scooter, and I’m reminded that this show is mainly about fun. It’s for shits and giggles, and I’m frankly not opposed.