Vagabond: Episode 11
It’s a battle to see who can outsmart their opposition as our band of heroes try to smuggle themselves back home undetected by the watchful eye of the NIS. But with a complicated plan of deception in play, one slip up could ruin all the work they’ve done to try to uncover the truth.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
Throughout Seoul, Chief Min’s lackeys surveil their troublesome opposition, including the bereaved families, Tae-woong, and Agent Hong. In private, Chief Min assures Secretary Yoon that Kim Woo-gi will never set foot in Korea.
Meanwhile, Tae-woong and Agent Hong meet in a secluded area away from their surveillance teams, and Tae-woong explains that Edward contacted him upon arrival in Morocco and provided access to a phone which could be used to tap Chief Min’s phone.
Using the phone, Tae-woong overheard the plan to poison Chief Kang, and called in to the chicken restaurant to slip a secret message into Chief Kang’s meal. Instead of eating Chief Min’s poison, Chief Kang ate a more easily counterable poison to induce his seizure.
Once in hospital, Micki, disguised as the nurse, administered the antidote after Chief Kang was officially declared dead, allowing him to successfully fake his death.
In the ship, Hae-ri calls the chicken restaurant and Chief Kang answers on the other end. She gives him all the details about their impending arrival, and he suggests they plot a distraction so they can be smuggled in safely.
At the NIS, multiple sightings of Kim Woo-gi in travel hubs all over the world at the same time confuse the agents, until a live feed of Dal-geon takes over one of the monitors and he starts berating the traitorous agents for their continued cover-up of the truth.
Secretary Yoon cuts off the live feed and starts tracing the location. He wonders what Dal-geon’s motivation must be for contacting them like this, and Tae-woong offers that Dal-geon must be trying to get them to slip up and reveal evidence about the conspiracy.
Meanwhile, Hae-ri and Dal-geon contact Chief Kang, who assures them that the NIS won’t be able to trace them thanks to the savant hacker working for them at the chicken restaurant. Chief Kang warns them to be careful, though, as Secretary Yoon is smart enough to figure out their plan just through their words.
Chief Kang gets the savant hacker to break into the NIS system, and once inside, gets the hacker to re-route Dal-geon and Hae-ri’s IP address all over the world so they can’t be traced.
Dal-geon and Hae-ri, together, reestablish their connection to the NIS war room. Tae-woong, feigning allegiance to the NIS, urges them to turn themselves in, but Dal-geon scoffs that they’re not the bad guys here.
Secretary Yoon steps in to reason with them, but Dal-geon turns the tables by questioning whether the President is the giving Secretary Yoon orders, which completely freezes him. The entire room full of NIS agents stops to give a sideways glance at Secretary Yoon’s answer, but he remains resolute.
Instead, Tae-woong intervenes again, asking them to turn themselves in, just as Hae-ri gets the signal from Chief Kang to end the call, so Dal-geon abruptly hangs up on the NIS agents. The agents are unable to trace the IP address down, so Chief Min orders them to analyze the video for clues.
Afterwards, with no evidence to keep holding Edward in custody, the NIS is forced to free him. As Edward collects his belongings, he monologues about Secretary Yoon, who is watching behind a two-way mirror, and the sheer evil behind this entire conspiracy, as Secretary Yoon just silently fumes.
On the ship, Kim Woo-gi escapes his bonds, and when Dal-geon, Hae-ri, and Micki find his empty room, Micki offers to search for him alone.
Despite this, minutes later, Dal-geon and Hae-ri are searching the lower decks together, and Kim Woo-gi manages to jump Hae-ri from behind with a knife, holding her hostage.
Kim Woo-gi asks for a boat so he can escape, and Hae-ri just tells Dal-geon to comply. But then Hae-ri starts yelling at Dal-geon, almost as if Kim Woo-gi isn’t even there, and she and Dal-geon bicker back and forth about what to do.
Befuddled, Kim Woo-gi finally questions what they’re doing, but Hae-ri uses the opportunity to regain control of the situation by judo throwing Kim Woo-gi and disarming him, and Dal-geon follows up with a quick kick to the head, knocking their captive back out.
Later, Dal-geon administers first aid to the small neck wound Hae-ri got from Kim Woo-gi’s knife. She complains that the medicine stings her wound, and gets Dal-geon to blow on it for her.
Dal-geon gets lost in the moment, and Hae-ri catches him staring at her. She notices his face turning red and wonders if he’s sick, grabbing his face to check for a fever, but he shakes her off claiming he’s just angry from facing Kim Woo-gi.
Meanwhile, Kim Woo-gi is alone with Micki, and wonders aloud why she looks familiar to him. She doesn’t want to hear it, though, so she just casually duct tapes his mouth shut to keep him quiet. Ha.
At the same time, the President and his trusted advisers watch with baited breath as parliament votes on the budget proposal. The budget passes with ease, and President Jung breathes a sigh of relief, congratulating his inner circle for their success.
President Jung orders the deal with John & Mark be signed immediately, and not long after, Minister Park and Jessica sit down for the formal signing of the deal.
Jessica brings Minister Park and a few other ministers over for a celebratory drink, and offers them all some fine artwork, essentially as a bribe, as compensation for their hard work in making the deal happen.
Secretary Yoon calls Jessica out of her gathering to meet with him elsewhere. He provides Jessica with an offshore bank account number, and she transfers a large sum of money to him as payment for pushing through the deal.
Meanwhile, on the ship, Dal-geon and Hae-ri learn from Chief Kang that the fighter jet contract is already official, and he urges the pair to find some concrete evidence for their case.
Micki arrives to find the door to Hae-ri and Dal-geon’s cabin locked, and the pair scramble to hide evidence of their contact with Chief Kang from her. Micki reveals that she’s getting off the ship at the next stop, as it would look bad for Dynamic if she arrived in Korea with the fugitives.
Afterwards, the trio head back to talk with Kim Woo-gi, who finally opens up about how he first met Michael, vaguely stating that they met through a woman. Kim Woo-gi spotted a woman in Michael’s hotel room, but only saw her back, though he did spot a distinct butterfly tattoo on her back shoulder.
He also admits that there’s a video file of himself and Michael making a deal to crash the plane. Dal-geon asks why Kim Woo-gi is suddenly being so helpful, and he just sighs that he’ll go back to being quiet if they don’t want his help.
Later, Chief Kang calls Hae-ri, who confirms their arrival tomorrow. Chief Kang gets his savant hacker to send a book-coded message to Tae-woong with the information about the arrival.
Under Chief Min’s watchful eye, Tae-woong sneaks out to decipher the code. Once he memorizes the message, Tae-woong destroys the decoded message and gets up to leave, but runs right into Chief Min.
Chief Min confronts Tae-woong about his suspicion that Tae-woong is on Hae-ri’s side, but Tae-woong just plays it cool. Just then, another agent barges in and says that Hae-ri is turning herself in.
Back in the NIS war room, Hae-ri is on screen, alone this time. She bargains with Chief Min to let her back in the NIS if she turns herself in, and even asks for a two-rank promotion when she comes back.
Chief Min scoffs but agrees, so she tells him that the fugitives are in India right now and asks him to meet her in the local airport the next morning to give herself up. Before Chief Min can get any more information, Hae-ri feigns that Dal-geon is about to catch her betraying them, and hastily ends the call.
Chief Min isn’t 100% convinced, though, and orders his henchman to analyze the video secretly without Tae-woong knowing. In the video, he spots the time on Hae-ri’s watch is wrong, and uses it to track down which country Hae-ri is really in.
That night, Dal-geon wakes up next to Hae-ri and tries to stop her shirt from riding up her body, but she wakes up and thinks he’s trying to take her shirt off and slaps him.
He just complains that she keeps tossing in her sleep and disturbing him and they bicker like a married couple over sharing the same sleeping space. Sure enough, when Hae-ri falls back asleep she ends up crawling all over Dal-geon despite his best efforts to stop her. Ha.
The next morning, Chief Min mobilizes his team to track down the ship he believes Hae-ri is on, having calculated where she was based on the time on her watch.
However, it’s the wrong ship, and it’s arriving in a completely different city than the actual ship the fugitives are on. Tae-woong watches from above, and once Chief Min is gone, he heads off to meet Hae-ri at the correct port.
Meanwhile, the assassin couple are still enjoying each other’s company, but Assassin Kim gets called in to help with Chief Min’s operation and leaves to follow Tae-woong with a GPS tracker in his phone.
Tae-woong still has Chief Min’s phone bugged, however, so he hears this plan and ditches his phone. Assassin Kim quickly catches on that the phone was ditched when he realizes he’s been driving in circles, and reports to Chief Min that Tae-woong caught on to them.
Chief Min realizes that his phone must be tapped, and quietly searches the phone for a trace of it. He finds the bug program and gets the NIS to reverse engineers it to track the phone that was bugging him which Tae-woong still holds.
They quickly learn that Tae-woong is at a different port, and Chief Min orders one agent to keep going to their original destination with the bugged phone while he and the rest of the team circle back to confront Tae-woong at the right port.
In the port, the fugitive container is unloaded and driven away from the docks, where Tae-woong opens the door and welcomes the fugitives home. Just then, a gunshot flies by Tae-woong’s head, as Chief Min and his team arrive and charge the container truck guns blazing.
Tae-woong and the fugitives take cover inside the container as Chief Min’s team riddles the container with bullets, stuck in place and under siege from all sides.
For all the talk about making sure to be careful when communicating with Chief Min so he doesn’t catch on to the real plan, it’s pretty ridiculous that Tae-woong manages to be the one responsible for exposing them in the end. My problem with this is twofold: one, Tae-woong is supposed to be smarter than this. How does he not realize that Chief Min would fail to catch on after he so obviously ditches his phone? Clearly once Chief Min sees that he’s going to suspect something is up, and yet Tae-woong just carries on with his burner phone being easily traceable given that Chief Min can use the NIS resources to find it.
But second, and more egregiously, why does Tae-woong even need to be at the port anyway? Why not just send Chief Kang, who is completely off the radar at this point since he’s supposed to be dead, or even just send the chicken restaurant ajumma who nobody suspects is tied to their operation in any way? I mean, Chief Kang is literally also there in the port, so it’s absurd that Tae-woong would show up too. He ends up completely blowing up their whole operation when he’s supposed to be this elite, infallible agent. It’s absurd. If Tae-woong just stays at the NIS war room then Chief Min’s team ends up on the other side of the country and it’s smooth sailing for our heroes.
Let’s distract ourselves from that mess instead and talk about Kim Woo-gi. It’s interesting that he hints at a female (which wouldn’t be Jessica since he would be able to recognize her right away) being an important cog in the setup for the terrorist plot. Since he also vaguely seemed to recall knowing Micki, I would argue she’s the most likely suspect at this point. At the same time, it seems a bit heavy-handed to introduce this wrinkle of Micki and Kim Woo-gi knowing each other and then almost immediately drop on us that there’s a mysterious woman who was with Michael while they plotted this. Doesn’t that sort of make her too obvious of a suspect.
At the same time, though, who else could it be? The only other female who seems to fit the bill is Lily, but it seems unlikely she’d be a romantic partner for Michael given her stance on most men other than Assassin Kim (which, I mean, just get married already). So I’m not really sure what to make of this whole revelation. The show is trying very hard to make Micki look untrustworthy and suspicious despite her not really doing anything to deserve it thus far. I’m more inclined to think the suspicion on her is a red herring, but again, I can’t think of anyone else who could possibly be involved. So until we get some more clarity, chalk Micki up as one giant question mark going forward.
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