Vagabond: Episode 2
Get ready to breeze through another fast-paced hour of intrigue as our heroic stuntman desperately tries to convince everyone else that he’s not insane and that the crash of the B357 was more than a simple mechanical failure. But that’s not a simple task when all the evidence suggests he might actually just be crazy.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
After successfully escaping from Dal-geon’s intense pursuit, Scar, the lone survivor of the plane crash retreats to a hideout, and digs under the symbol tattooed on his chest to pull out some sort of tracking implant.
Meanwhile, Dynamic System’s chief negotiator EDWARD PARK (Lee Kyung-young) belatedly introduces himself to the rest of the family members of the crash victims. The mob furiously swarms the company representative, dumping trash on him and hurling insults, which he meekly accepts, encouraging them to vent their frustrations on him.
Chief Park’s tactic pacifies the crowd, and he explains that while Dynamic System urged him to get the cheapest possible settlement, he is actually on their side. He regales the audience with a story of how his own wife and daughter were killed in a plane crash too, and he wants to avenge their death by getting back at Dynamic System.
He soberly recounts the individual tales of the victims to their family members, and his seemingly earnest appreciation for the plights of the victims and their families quickly turns the room from angry to sorrowful as they reflect on their losses.
During the speech, supposed intern Hae-ri takes a call from her real boss and wanders out of the room for some privacy. Just then, Dal-geon drags himself past her into the meeting, visibly injured from his chase through the Moroccan streets.
Dal-geon stuns the room with his claim that he saw a survivor, and his suspicion that said survivor orchestrated the crash. His story comes off as lunacy at first, but he insists that Hae-ri also saw the man, and shows everyone the SNS video of the supposed terrorist to confirm.
Hae-ri, though, can’t remember for certain, so she suggests checking the airport CCTV to confirm it instead.
At the airport, the footage isn’t exactly conclusive, but it does seem the man Dal-geon chased did not have the obvious scar on his face. Dal-geon continues to insist the man he chased was the passenger, but the group of loved ones leave upset at Dal-geon for leading them on a wild tangent.
Meanwhile, Scar meets a contact who brings him intel on Dal-geon, surprised that his pursuer is a mere stuntman. Despite orders to leave the country, Scar refuses to embark until taking care of everything in Morocco.
Later that night, a hooded assailant breaks into Dal-geon’s hotel room to confiscate any evidence Dal-geon is keeping inside.
At the same time, Dal-geon tracks down Hae-ri’s address, and tries to break in himself, but she sneaks up behind him with a gun pointed at the back of his head. During a tense stand off, Dal-geon wonders if she might be working with the terrorists herself, but she scoffs at his crazy conclusion.
But Dal-geon seizes the opportunity and quickly disarms Hae-ri, turning the gun on her as he continues his interrogation of her. Hae-ri just seems annoyed with him, and tells him to just shoot her since he’s clearly crazy.
Turns out the gun is empty, so instead he restrains Hae-ri and brings her inside so he can dig through her apartment. He uncovers Hae-ri’s plethora of fake passports and her NIS badge.
But Dal-geon doesn’t buy her story, and it’s only after Chief Min, her boss in the NIS, calls and confirms her position that Dal-geon gives in and sets her free. And the first thing she does is give him a big slap across the face for his actions. Ha.
Afterwards, Dal-geon reveals his purpose for seeking out Hae-ri: he brought the video that his nephew Hoon shot on the plane, and asks Hae-ri to analyze it for him to see if there’s any additional clues.
She resists at first, but Dal-geon badgers her into complying by showing her name on the official invitation for the martial arts team, and argues that she is also somewhat responsible for what happened.
When Dal-geon finally leaves, he notices a suspicious car parked nearby, and Scar is waiting inside with a gun, there to tie up the loose ends left by Dal-geon. Before Dal-geon gets close enough to see him though, some locals saunter by and distract him, and Scar casually drives away without incident.
Hae-ri analyzes the video, clearly annoyed with Dal-geon blaming her for what happened. She notices Scar making a phone call in the video, so sends it back to her friend in the NIS to further look into it.
Back in Korea, President Jung and his top ministers discuss the offers from Dynamic System and John & Mark Asia for the national defense contract, and President Jung seems to be swaying toward John & Mark’s bid due to public sentiment after the crash.
In Morocco, Dal-geon and the families of the victims gather to honor those lost in the crash with a solemn vigil, and everyone breaks down into sorrowful tears as they say goodbye to their loved ones.
At a press conference, the companies bidding for the Korean national defense contract field questions about their suitability for the role, and Jessica directly attacks the quality of Dynamic System’s planes after what happened in Morocco.
A senior NIS official, CHIEF KANG (Lee Ki-young) watches on with interest. After the ceremony (and some chiding from chief Min), chief Kang gets a call from Hae-ri, who asks to see the black box data from the crashed plane.
Hae-ri reveals that one of the passengers possibly survived, and adds that she also went to Lisbon to investigate Michael’s death on behalf of chief Kang, who suspects foul play. He promises to see what he can do for Hae-ri in regards to the black box.
As he ends his call, chief Kang introduces himself to Jessica as she passes by, and she recognizes him as a friend of Michael. Chief Kang wonders why Michael would kill himself, and Jessica alludes to some lady problems as the reason, but refuses to go into details.
In the Moroccan airport, the group of loved ones prepares to depart, but Dal-geon is not with them, as he wants to stay behind to catch Scar instead. Nearby, Scar is eavesdropping on their conversation.
Meanwhile, Dal-geon tries to access Hoon’s video again, but finds it was deleted. He rushes back to his hotel room and the entire room is ransacked. He spots a man fleeing from the scene and dives off the balcony to chase after him, but the thief escapes easily on a motorcycle.
Dal-geon recalls seeing a suspicious janitor leaving his room as well, and when he heads back inside the janitor spots takes off running as well. Dal-geon catches up to him in the kitchen, and tries to get the janitor to talk by threatening to dunk his head in a vat of boiling water.
Just then, the police arrive on scene and, seeing the scene in front of them, immediately arrest Dal-geon.
Back in Korea, Hae-ri’s NIS buddy gets the audio analyzed from the video file, and the analyst realizes that Scar was speaking Spanish in the call. They forward their findings to Hae-ri.
Before Hae-ri can take a look, though, her colleague calls her out to help Dal-geon with his police situation. After she leaves, Scar breaks into her apartment and finds Hoon’s video file is still on her computer, much to his chagrin.
In prison, Dal-geon reminisces about his first time meeting Hoon, who was abandoned at an orphanage by his mother. Dal-geon reluctantly took Hoon in with him, but quickly bonded with the boy over a play fight.
Dal-geon gets pulled into an interrogation room with Hae-ri and her colleague to speak for him, as the police take accounts from him and the janitor.
The janitor insists that he only fled after he saw the room was tossed, but Dal-geon argues that the janitor and Scar must be working together. When the hotel confirms that the janitor is a regular member of their staff, Dal-geon adds that the hotel must be in on it too.
Dal-geon’s claims come across as mad ramblings, so the police let the janitor off with no further questions and attempt to escort Dal-geon back to his cell. Dal-geon snaps, however, and takes the janitor hostage instead, threatening to stab him in the neck if he doesn’t confess to working with Scar.
The police warn Dal-geon that they will shoot him on the count of three if he doesn’t release the janitor, but when the count finishes, Hae-ri jumps in front of him to protect him. The cops just agree to also shoot her too if Dal-geon persists, and this finally snaps him out of it, tossing the janitor aside.
Hae-ri returns to her apartment afterward, and Scar waits inside to ambush her, ready to garrote her. However, just before she heads inside, she gets a call from chief Kang, who tells her to meet a contact nearby who will let her access the black box for the flight, and she treks off to check that instead.
She meets the contact, Doctor Kim, who shows her the recordings from the cockpit during the flight. Hae-ri takes note of the co-pilot speaking Spanish over the phone prior to the flight, and compares the translated transcript to the call Scar made in Hoon’s video.
The two conversations line up perfectly, as Scar and the co-pilot sync their watches and prepare for a prearranged “meeting” later in the flight. The wheels are spinning inside Hae-ri’s head as she considers what it all means.
As Dal-geon finally gets released from prison, Hae-ri connects all the dots: The B357 crash was an act of terrorism.
In a post-credits scene we see Hae-ri applying for her position in the NIS, using her dad’s heroic military history (saving eight soldiers from a fire) to try to gain favor. It turns out, however, the interviewer was one of the eight saved, and he is unimpressed with her attempt to gain clout, cutting off her interview abruptly.
There was a little bit of doubt coming in to this episode as to whether Hae-ri was perhaps involved in the larger conspiracy at hand, but all of those doubts were cleared up here. Hae-ri seems to be positively on the non-evil side which if I’m being honest I’m a little disappointed in, though only because it would have been a bit more interesting if she was involved. Instead she seems set up to be the standard, somewhat ditsy, working woman who gets caught up in a giant mess thanks to our hero, and the lack of complexity would be a bit dissatisfying.
That said, she does have a bit of shrewdness to her in how she presents herself to others. We saw this in the previous episode where she played off her airheadedness to gather intel on the consul without arousing suspicion, and again in the post-credits scene where she tries to manipulate her way into the job. I wonder how she managed to get the job after that disaster of an interview. I think this is probably a good balance for Suzy, because as LollyPip argued previously, she’s probably not suited to match Lee Seung-gi’s intensity one-for-one, so if she can find that sweet spot between too silly and too intense then she might be able to avoid becoming too much of a distraction.
I’m curious what direction they’re planning to go here, plot-wise, to keep things interesting. As it stands right now we are looking at a pretty simple setup with some clear bad guys, and with Hae-ri’s alignment being cleared up already there’s not a whole lot of mystery as to what the driving force of the plot is going to be. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of opportunity for crazy twists as I kind of feel like we know where almost everyone stands in the conflict, even most of the background characters.
Which is fine if we’re just treating this as a breezy blockbuster action-flick type of show that you don’t really want to think critically about, but I’d like to hold out hope that there’s a bit more substance here to latch on to. Not that I’ll complain if it’s just 16 episodes of everyone’s favorite puppy beating up bad people. But, we still haven’t met Shin Sung-rok’s character yet, and for my money, he’s the best villainous actor you can find out there, so hopefully his introduction will bring some exciting complexity to the show that we haven’t necessarily seen thus far. One way or the other, I’m optimistic that we’re in for a good time along the way.
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