Vagabond: Episode 10
This show is such a roller coaster — every time I think our heroes have gotten themselves into a situation they can never survive, they manage to find the most implausible escape route. Then just when it seems they finally have the upper hand, a new traitor is discovered and it all goes wrong again. But it’s a roller coaster that’s still a lot of fun, and I can’t help enjoying the ride.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
President Jung delivers his speech to parliament, arguing his case for a budget increase to buy new fighter planes from John & Mark. Meanwhile, as Dal-geon and Hae-ri face the strike team with their leader and Kim Woo-gi as hostages, Tae-woong watches the standoff via the Embassy’s security cameras. He grits his teeth, determined to follow orders and not get involved, but it’s clear he’s struggling.
The strike team leader orders his men to shoot, and Woo-gi freaks out when a laser target centers on his chest. Suddenly someone throws the breakers, making the room slightly darker than it already was, and Dal-geon and Hae-ri run for cover when the strike team starts shooting.
Our guys run into Tae-woong in the hallway, and Tae-woong aims his gun at them… then shoots at the strike team as they start to catch up. Se-hoon turns the breakers back on, blinding the strike team in their night goggles, giving Dal-geon and Tae-woong a chance to take some of them out.
Hae-ri opens the armored door to the Embassy’s security room, and our team run inside to safety as the metal doors shut behind them. Tae-woong watches the CCTV feed while Hae-ri gets another call from Micki, Edward park’s assistant. All she hears is Micki saying, “You must… there’s no other way!” before the call is disconnected.
She tells Dal-geon, and he sees the timer that Hae-ri set on her phone on Micki’s orders, which has less than seven minutes left. Se-hoon and Tae-woong watch as the strike team lay some dynamite under the armored door to their room, and Tae-woong screams for Dal-geon and Hae-ri to get away from the door just in time for them to avoid being blown to bits.
Our guys take what cover they can, and bullets fly from both sides as the strike team force their way into the security room. Eventually our side runs out of ammo, and Tae-woong and Se-hoon pull out their knives, prepared to go out fighting.
Dal-geon still has Hae-ri’s phone with the running timer, and he gets an insane idea. He jumps out right in front of the strike team, waving the timer at them and bluffing that there’s a bomb in the room. He tells the team leader that they’ll all die if he doesn’t stop the timer, but the strike team leader calls his bluff and lets the timer run down to zero.
And then there’s a loud BOOM, and the entire strike team disappears, along with half of the floor. OMG there was a bomb!
Outside, Lily and Do-su hear the explosion, and Lily almost looks impressed that someone blew up the Embassy. Do-su is impressed that Lily could tell it was C4 just from the sound, and she says she had military training in the U.S. (Is anyone else shipping them like I am?)
Once our guys recover from the explosion, they get up to marvel at the giant hole in the floor, with the bodies of the strike team lying at the bottom. The leader is still alive, and he tries to reach his phone to answer a call from Director General Ahn, but Tae-woong kicks the phone away. He calmly shoots the strike team leader, then the rest of the strike team one at a time,just to make sure. Whoa, badass.
While the others gape at Tae-woong in surprise, Woo-gi makes a run for it. Dal-geon goes after him, but Tae-woong holds Hae-ri back and tells her that she has to get Woo-gi back to Korea alive. He explains that he received an order to kill them from Director General Ahn, and when Hae-ri asks why, Tae-woong says that there’s only one place in Korea with control over the NIS.
He recites a phone number for Hae-ri to memorize, along with the “vagabond” code word. She says that this is beyond her abilities if the government is involved, and Tae-woong agrees, but he says she’s the only one he trusts.
Dal-geon has Woo-gi again by the time Hae-ri catches up to him. They continue through the underground tunnel and eventually emerge in the middle of a street performance. Micki approaches and instructs them to discard their phones so they can’t be tracked, then they follow her away from the crowd.
Back home, President Jung’s speech is met by applause from his supporters. Prime Minister Hong assures him that they’ll get the budget increase, and President Jung brags that he’s the hardest-working president ever.
Tae-woong calls Director General Ahn to report his altered version of the night’s events. He sends pictures of the strike team, dead in the rubble from the explosion, but Chief Min asks why Tae-woong is alive and accuses him of letting Dal-geon, Hae-ri, and Woo-gi escape.
He demands the CCTV footage, but Tae-woong tells him that the strike team messed with the cameras so there’s no video. Director General Ahn yells at Chief Min and storms out, and Chief Min tells the NIS team to contact Interpol to put Tae-woong, Hae-ri, and the rest on their red notice list.
Chief Min calls Secretary Yoon to alert him that they lost Woo-gi, then he bursts into Chief Kang’s holding cell and punches him as hard as he can. Chief Kang plays dumb and fights back until Chief Min pulls a gun on him. Even them, Chief Kang taunts him that he’s never fired a gun or risked his life for a mission, and that he got to his position by kissing up to politicians.
Chief Min doesn’t shoot Chief Kang, but later he gives an agent a vial of poison to lace Chief Kang’s next meal, one that will mimic a heart attack so there’s no autopsy. He watches on the security feed while Chief Kang eats, and as expected, he collapses to the floor clutching his chest. He’s rushed to the hospital, but they’re unable to revive him.
Jessica is on the phone with the Moroccan police chief, who tells her that they’ve set up checkpoints to catch Woo-gi, and that he’ll be killed as soon as he’s found. But when their vehicle is stopped, Micki shows the policeman something on her wrist and he waves them through. Soon after, the corrupt police chief is shot dead by an unseen figure.
Our guys make it to Tangier Port, and while Hae-ri cleans up whiny Woo-gi’s gunshot wound, Dal-geon takes a call from Edward Park. Chief Park says that a cargo ship will arrive early in the morning to take them back to Korea. He explains that this situation goes all the way up to the Blue House, where he thankfully has a high-ranking contact, which is how he was able to save them.
He asks Dal-geon to stop now before his luck runs out, but Dal-geon growls that he wants to be there when Kim Woo-gi goes to court. Chief Park tells him about Oh Sang-mi lying at the press conference and says that they can’t trust the media or law enforcement, so it’s going to be a lonely, difficult battle.
Jessica paces nervously, waiting for the news that Kim Woo-gi is dead. Chief Min assures her that there’s no possible way they’ll make it out of Morocco, and seconds later, Lawyer Han reports that he thinks they made it out of Morocco because the police chief is dead. His guess is that Edward Park is involved, which means he’s more than just a lobbyist and has contacts all over the world.
Secretary Yoon tells Chief Min to order a search warrant for Dynamic, but Chief Min says he already did and it was refused on the grounds that Oh Sang-mi’s testimony isn’t enough evidence. Secretary Yoon says they’ll just need to manufacture some, sure he can outmaneuver Chief Park.
When Tae-woong and Se-hoon arrive at the airport, Chief Min immediately has them arrested. Tae-woong is taken to see Secretary Yoon at the shooting range, and Secretary Yoon points his pistol at Tae-woong’s head. He asks where Kim Woo-gi is, but Tae-woong only tells him to ask Director General Ahn. Secretary Yoon gives him until the count of three to tell him what he wants to know.
While Secretary Yoon counts down, Tae-woong recites the oath he took when he joined the NIS. Secretary Yoon fires… and the bullet grazes Tae-woong’s cheek, but he doesn’t even blink. Secretary Yoon orders Chief Min to have Tae-woong sign a non-disclosure agreement and prepare for a press conference tonight, for which he’ll write Tae-woong’s statement.
After Tae-woong is led out, Chief Min worries that they can’t trust him in front of the media when he’s not even afraid of a bullet. Ignoring Chief Min, Secretary Yoon says that they’ll get their warrant after the press conference, and to give Tae-woong his job back and keep a close eye on him for any clues that he’s a traitor.
On the cargo ship, a restrained Kim Woo-gi is going through withdrawals and screaming for drugs. Dal-geon wears headphones as he searches online for anything about the shoot-out at the embassy in Morocco. He finds nothing, which confirms what Edward Park said about the Korean government being involved.
Eventually he takes off the headphones and Woo-gi starts begging for drugs again. Dal-geon says he needs to get clean, since a junkie’s testimony might not be admissible as evidence. Woo-gi gasps that he won’t testify for Dal-geon, and he threatens to bite his tongue and bleed to death if they don’t give him drugs. So Dal-geon takes off his sock and stuffs it in Woo-gi’s mouth, growling that he’ll make Woo-gi testify.
In a room full of high-tech equipment, Micki reports to someone that everything is going according to plan as she loads her gun. Elsewhere, Hae-ri cries as she thinks about the betrayal of the NIS sending a team to kill them, the innocent children that died on the doomed flight, and the night she witnessed Dal-geon’s grief.
She goes to see Dal-geon and finds Woo-gi alone, so she takes out the sock and asks where Dal-geon is. Woo-gi offers her half the money he earned for crashing the plane to let him go, but Hae-ri just mutters that drugs are dangerous, ha. Woo-gi whines that John & Mark control everything from the media to the NIS, so his testimony won’t even matter.
Dal-geon returns and yells at Woo-gi to shut up, but Woo-gi keeps mouthing off. Dal-geon raises a fist to hit him, but it’s Hae-ri’s fist that lands first.
On the deck, Dal-geon tells Hae-ri that the Korean government is responsible for everything that’s happening to them. He pats her reassuringly, assuming that he’s shocked her, but she brags that she’s an NIS special agent so she’s already worked that out.
Dal-geon says he won’t blame her if she’s not willing to go up against the government, and Hae-ri agrees that she needs her paycheck to support her family. But she says that Hoon, his friends, and her father are watching them, so she wants to ensure this never happens again. She demands a high-five and Dal-geon protests, but just like he did in the jail, he eventually gives her a high-five and a tiny smile.
At Tae-woong’s press conference, he reads the speech written by Secretary Yoon, which accuses Edward Park of having a secret arrangement with Dal-geon and Hae-ri to defame John & Mark by blaming them for the crash. Kwang-deok is there, and he yells that the NIS is lying, and when Security try to remove him, he starts tossing them around the room like ragdolls. They finally gang up on Kwang-deok and drag him out, and Tae-woong continues with photos of the dead agents who attacked them at the embassy in Morocco.
After the press conference, Tae-woong leads a team to arrest Edward Park for colluding with Hae-ri and Dal-geon to kidnap Kim Woo-gi. Chief Park tells Tae-woong that he’s a good liar, but Tae-woong just says they’ll talk later.
When Dal-geon and Hae-ri hear about the press conference, Dal-geon is furious. Hae-ri assures him that Tae-woong wouldn’t turn on them or he’d have killed them at the embassy. She calls the number that Tae-woong made her memorize, and is surprised when it’s answered by the ajumma who runs Bullet Chicken.
Hae-ri says the “vagabond” password, and the chicken ajumma puts her on hold. The phone is picked up a few minutes later by Chief Kang (I knew he wasn’t really dead!), so Hae-ri gives him the information on their arrival. In the meantime, Chief Kang says they need to think of a diversion to keep Chief Min from finding them.
Secretary Yoon and Chief Min watch Edward Park chilling in the interrogation room, having been unable to get him to give anything away. They found nothing in the documents they seized, either, so Secretary Yoon brings in Jessica to put on the pressure.
She asks that the cameras be turned off, then says she doesn’t think Chief Park will be able to bring Kim Woo-gi back to Korea. She says that Dynamic will go bankrupt after his trial and be bought out by John & Mark, and Chief Park marvels that it was never about the F-X Plan, but about taking over Dynamic.
Jessica offers to let Chief Park keep his position as CEO after the takeover, but she says she wants Kim Woo-gi in exchange. In answer, Chief Park leans in to whisper in Jessica’s ear, “Go burn in hell.” He says he’ll let himself be ruined if it’s the right thing to do, and that he’ll never let her have the F-X Plan.
An agent notifies Chief Min and Secretary Yoon that Kim Woo-gi has been located at a port in the south of Spain, and is headed back to Morocco. Hwa-sook gets an alert that Kim Woo-gi is at an airport in France, then reports come in from Italy and Turkey.
Suddenly, a live feed of Dal-geon is hacked onto the main screen, and he notes Secretary Yoon’s presence before asking Tae-woong how he lives with himself. He says that he’s going to destroy them all, giving them a knowing, triumphant smirk.
This show is still bananapants in the some of the best, most ridiculous ways, and one of those is how you really never know what side some characters are on until they do something so incredibly nuts that you wonder how you ever doubted them. I’m pretty convinced of Tae-woong’s loyalty to the side of good, now that he’s given Hae-ri the information on how to find Bullet Chicken and Chief Kang. And I’m thankful now that he is so hard to read, because he can use his extreme poker face to make Secretary Yoon and Chief Min believe that he’s working for them, if not with them. Kudos to Shin Sung-rok, as well, for that press conference scene… you could see how it was killing Tae-woong to make those accusations against Hae-ri and Dal-geon, but he has to play along for now.
Edward Park has also proven his trustworthiness to me, and I’m so glad of that, because he’s obviously got contacts and influences all over the world. With his help, I finally feel confident that Dal-geon will be able to get the justice he needs for Hoon. I’m excited to see what happens next, now that Dal-geon and Hae-ri have gotten back in contact with Chief Min and have Chief Park backing them. I feel like they can finally get the upper hand now that they have access to money and power, since apparently, not even being in custody can stop Chief Park from pulling strings. And can’t wait to find out how Chief Kang was able to fake his death — I’m sure he had the help of the agent who was supposed to poison him, but that also required the cooperation of the hospital on short notice. I’m sure it all comes back around to Bullet Chicken, and I’m incredibly impressed already, even without knowing yet how they’ve managed to get it all done.
I’ll admit that, until this episode, I wasn’t really taking Tae-woong seriously. I saw him as a rigid, rule following paper-pusher with an inflated sense of his own importance, who frankly thought he was better than everyone else. He was helping Hae-ri and Dal-geon, but only so long as those were his orders and not because he actually cared. He’d acquitted himself well during Lily’s ambush, but he wasn’t asked to break any rules so it wasn’t surprising. But I was so happy when Tae-woong decided to go against direct orders and save Dal-geon and Hae-ri from the strike team, because it showed that he’s emotionally involved now, which ill make him a more reliable ally. Then when he coldly shot the entire strike force after the explosion, I finally saw him for the trained soldier that he is. Now I’m kind of terrified of him and I’m very glad he’s on Dal-geon and Hae-ri’s side. And I both agree and disagree with @Regals’ assessment of how Tae-woong feels towards Hae-ri — I do think that his ultimate goal is to toughen her up and make her a good agent, but I also see the petty jealousy whenever Hae-ri pays attention to Dal-geon. He may or may not want her for himself, but he’s used to being the object of her adoration and he’s certainly bothered to see her enjoying Dal-geon’s company.
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