Vagabond: Episode 13
All the cards are on the table as our heroes finally try to bring the truth of Flight B357 to light. But do they actually have all the facts, or is there someone else working in the shadows to keep all parties in the dark about which forces are really responsible for the tragedy?
EPISODE 13 RECAP
In the courthouse, Kim Woo-gi delivers his version of the events that led to the crash of Flight B357. He names John & Mark Vice President Michael as the architect of the plot.
He provides a video recording of his meeting with Michael which undoubtedly proves his claim. The entire gallery of spectators erupts in shock at John & Mark being proven to be behind the attack.
Chief Min and his lackeys slip out of the proceedings to warn Secretary Yoon about the fresh evidence against their side, but are shocked when Secretary Yoon reveals there’s nothing they can do and Chief Min should just quietly take whatever jail time he is given.
Just then, Tae-woong and his right-hand man Agent Kim begin to chase down Chief Min’s crew, so Chief Min tries to make a run for it. Except a car cuts off his path and out strolls Chief Kang, not dead, to Chief Min’s shock.
Chief Kang drops Chief Min with a swift punch to the face, then follows it up with several more shots to a defenseless Chief Min until Tae-woong steps in to stop his boss from killing him.
In court, the judge rules on the outcome of the case, and orders Dynamic to pay a large sum to the victims’ families for the crash. Dal-geon bursts out that Dynamic are innocent, and the other bereaved cry out that John & Mark should be held responsible.
But Edward calmly explains that Dynamic will fulfill the court’s decision, as they are also responsible for negligence in this case, and offers sincere condolences to all the families for what happened to their loved ones. The judge notes that criminal charges will be filed against John & Mark for their role in the crash.
Afterwards, the bereaved families thank Dal-geon for his efforts to bring light to the truth, even if they all doubted him for it. As they chat as a group, Hae-ri just now realizes she is bleeding from a gunshot wound, and nearly collapses. Dal-geon carries her out as Kwang-deok calls an ambulance.
They run into a group of reporters outside, but Dal-geon chastises them for failing to report on the truth all along. Meanwhile, President Jung watches the news reports live, and Dal-geon takes an opportunity to specifically call the President out for his potential involvement in the scheme on live TV.
In the ambulance, Hae-ri spots Dal-geon’s statement trending on the news, and she expresses pride at finally being able to do work for the country and its people.
Later, the Blue House Press Secretary fields questions from reporters on Dal-geon’s claims about the President, steadfastly denying the President’s involvement.
Meanwhile, President Jung laments the bind Dal-geon is putting him in, but Prime Minister Hong suggests pinning all the blame on Secretary Yoon. President Jung doesn’t want to be seen as incompetent, but Prime Minister Hong argues that’s better than being seen as guilty.
At the hospital, Hae-ri undergoes surgery to remove the bullet, and Dal-geon urges all the bereaved families to go home and rest in the meantime. Dal-geon heads to the hospital chapel to pray, while several bereaved follow him there to pray as well.
At the same time, President Jung calls Secretary Yoon into a meeting to discuss their plan moving forward, and Secretary Yoon seems to see the writing on the wall. He checks his secret recordings of his dealings regarding the military contract which implicate the President being a major player in the scheme.
Secretary Yoon meets with President Jung at a temple, where he agrees to take all the blame for the President and take full responsibility for the mess they’re currently in.
Afterwards, Director General Ahn privately questions whether he and Secretary Yoon should really be willing to take the fall, but Secretary Yoon argues that the President falling would doom them both to never be able to climb back up.
When Secretary Yoon returns to his car, he finds that his secret recordings are missing, and in its place someone left a charcoal brick for him, signaling that he should kill himself to tie up their loose ends. Secretary Yoon’s calm facade finally breaks, and he screams in anger at his impending fall from grace.
Back at the hospital, the doctor reveals that Hae-ri may suffer temporary paralysis while she recovers, but will ultimately be fine, much to everyone’s relief.
At the Blue House, President Jung addresses reporters for the first time, and denies Dal-geon’s claims that he is responsible. He names Director General Ahn and Secretary Yoon as the culprits, and promises justice will be brought upon them.
Later, Director General Ahn turns himself in to the Prosecutor’s Office for questioning. But Secretary Yoon does not turn himself in, and instead he lights the charcoal brick in his car in an attempt to kill himself, passing out as it burns next to him.
Prime Minister Hong reports the suicide attempt to the President, who seems happy that they will be able to easily pin everything on Secretary Yoon now.
In the hospital, Dal-geon takes care of Hae-ri overnight, and she doesn’t let him know that she’s awake so she can admire him while he cares for her.
In the morning, she finally calls for him, but Agent Hong is there instead. Agent Hong lets her know that Chief Kang is now in charge of the task force again now that Chief Min is exposed.
Jessica, meanwhile, prepares her own defense from the allegations against her, but Lawyer Hong reports that she’s banned from leaving the country, so she elects to hold a press conference to address the claims personally.
At the press conference, Jessica maintains her innocence, but her speech is derailed when Dal-geon leads the bereaved family members in attendance in a silent protest, holding up images of their loved ones who perished in the crash.
Jessica tries to continue, but all the reporters anonymously receive a video showing Jessica kissing Minster Park, the same images Jessica used to blackmail him into complying with John & Mark’s bid. Just then, a prosecutor walks up on stage and takes Jessica into custody for illegal lobbying.
At the NIS, Agent Kim questions Kim Woo-gi and Oh Sang-mi together to get their stories straight, but they just end up fighting with each other. Chief Kang decides there’s no point trying to get more from them and sends them back to prison.
Tae-woong then asks Chief Kang why he publicly released the video of Jessica so the Prosecution could take credit for the arrest, but Chief Kang says that Vagabond didn’t release the video, so there must be some third party involved as well.
On the bus to prison, Kim Woo-gi tosses some sort of note to Oh Sang-mi before she is dropped off at a women’s prison. When Sang-mi arrives in her group cell, there’s a new occupant: Jessica. Sang-mi commands the rest of her cellmates to beat Jessica up for her and they all jump right into action.
Sang-mi eventually orders them to stop so she can taunt Jessica, and threatens to make sure the beatings will continue until Sang-mi is released. Sang-mi slaps Jessica with all her might and then orders her cellmates to continue the beat-down.
Meanwhile, Kim Woo-gi’s transport bus stops randomly in the middle of nowhere and a new guard boards the bus. The guard takes off his mask to reveal that he is Scar (aka Jerome), Kim Woo-gi’s terrorist partner. Kim Woo-gi realizes he’s in danger and freaks out, only for the other guard to knock him out cold.
At the same time, Agent Hong wheels Hae-ri around the hospital, and they catch a news report on Secretary Yoon’s suicide attempt. He survived the attempt and is in critical condition in hospital (and we see Prime Minister Hong watching over him, his face unreadable).
Later, Dal-geon finds Hae-ri trying to walk on her own and offers to help her. He pulls Hae-ri’s arms around his neck and lifts her feet on top of his, slowly stepping backwards to help exercise Hae-ri’s legs.
It’s essentially a slow dance between the two, and Hae-ri smiles as she stares up at Dal-geon’s face while he sways her back and forth.
At the prison, Jessica and Lawyer Hong meet to discuss who leaked the video. Jessica says that she’ll investigate the source of the video when she gets out, and orders Lawyer Hong to head to the US to expedite the process of her extradition out of Korea.
Afterward, Jessica uses her connections to pull Oh Sang-mi into a private room to reason with her. By that, of course, I mean beat her into submission now that their cellmates aren’t there to back her up.
When they return to the cell, Sang-mi orders the cellmates to beat up Jessica again, but they don’t listen, as Jessica turns the tables on her and all of the cellmates comply with Jessica’s order to beat up Sang-mi instead.
Later, as the beatings continue, Jessica threatens that this will be Sang-mi’s daily life until Jessica goes back to the US, but Sang-mi bites back that it will actually be her who is released instead of Jessica.
At the hospital, Dal-geon leads Hae-ri through rehab, shouting encouragement at her every step of the way (despite the room being full of other patients). Whenever Hae-ri feels pain, she gets Dal-geon to massage her legs, though she’s clearly enjoying having him fawn over her.
In prison, Jessica contemplates what happened to Michael, implying that she was not responsible for his murder, and wonders who else could have been behind his death.
Just then, her cellmates reveal that Oh Sang-mi was just released. We see in a flashback the note that Kim Woo-gi tossed her on the bus, clearly aware of some other deal, which promised Sang-mi another large sum of money and warned to beware a tattooed killer.
Later, Lily visits Jessica and shares that Lawyer Hong never went back to the US like Jessica asked. Lily wonders if Lawyer Hong was behind the video leak himself, but Jessica doesn’t see why he would turn on her.
Jessica pays Lily to find out who is helping Oh Sang-mi, and also intriguingly plots to send Dal-geon “something more powerful than a bomb.”
Meanwhile, Dal-geon meets with the bereaved families when he receives a mysterious text message. His face turns to pure shock when he opens the link it’s Hoon’s video aboard Flight B357, presumed to be deleted forever by the NIS. The same sender calls Dal-geon, and he demands to know who is on the other end.
I guess I’m not too shocked that there’s some other mysterious figure who is apparently pulling the strings. Jessica’s demise did seem to come too easily, at least in terms of where we are in the plot, so we needed something to fill in the gap with three episodes left or else, well, there would be basically nothing interesting going on. So who is actually the true puppet-master? We don’t really have anything of substance to go on here. We can surmise that they’re in league with Lawyer Hong, and probably also with the assassin that killed Michael, but there’s not much to go on aside from that.
My only hunch is that Prime Minister Hong may be involved, if only because he just seems shady in every interaction he has with others, but realistically I don’t have anything concrete to point to and say “this is how I know something is up with him”. It’s essentially pure speculation. Which is kind of a kudos to the show, I guess? On one hand, I’m not exactly on board with them introducing this new power figure that we didn’t really get any inclination even existed until so late in the drama, but on the other hand, at least this means we get an extra level of intrigue moving forward to create some tension instead of the lay-up of a job that putting Jessica and her co-conspirators away would be. We might actually get some interesting developments instead of the simple tidying of loose ends we were on pace for.
Because, let’s face it, if they spent the next three episodes focusing as much on Hae-ri and Dal-geon’s relationship I might tear my hair out from boredom. There’s just no chemistry between these two for me and every time we get force-fed a supposedly romantic scene I find myself wanting to liberally fast-forward to get to something more interesting. I don’t know if it’s the actors themselves or if it’s because the writer keeps putting them in the least romantic settings possible and then shoehorning in a romance scene. Everything just feels so out of place with that whole story-line that I wish they’d just drop it and move on.
This show is such a weird chimera of good and bad parts intermingled that it’s kind of fascinating. When it’s going for the action-flick style presentation it really nails it, giving us breakneck pacing and well-choreographed (albeit sometimes nonsensical in terms of believability) action sequences that leave me on the edge of my seat. But then it bogs itself down when it hamfistedly tries to take us out of the action with its romance and politicking subplots that leave a lot to be desired. This hour was a particular slog, with almost nothing of substance happening between Kim Woo-gi’s evidence video and Dal-geon receiving the deleted flight video. I think a more focused direction would be a big help, but hopefully with a new player now making their move, we can ramp up the pace as we head toward the big crescendo.
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