9.9 Billion Won Woman: Episodes 17-20 Open Thread
It’s all about the reveals this week, and the more we learn about the 9.9 billion won, the more we learn about all of our main players. The money turns out to be the common denominator that connects them all, but as history converges, the real battle is only beginning.
EPISODES 17-20 WEECAP
Seo-yeon is running out of time — and money. In order to save Tae-woo (again), she goes head-on with Kim Do-hak and his posse. And boy is she amazing standing on the dock in the pitch dark threatening to throw all the money into the sea. She’s getting more and more brazen as her hope and freedom start to slip from her grasp.
We’re not only seeing a stronger Seo-yeon, but we’re hearing about her, too. First, from Seo-yeon herself, who says she’s returning to the woman she used to be before she was married. And second, through Baek Seung-jae, the mystery figure whose presence threatens to get in between our leads.
Seung-jae’s identity is one of the first mysteries to unravel this week. Like Tae-woo, I thought he might be an old flame, but Seung-jae is her HALF-BROTHER! Okay, I kind of suspected this too, but it was a glorious moment. We learn a metric ton from this man — not only about the strong and resilient Seo-yeon he knows from the past, but about the bigger picture around the car accident that started this whole drama off.
Even though Tae-woo still doubts Seung-jae and thinks he’s behind the death of his little brother, it’s clear these two are more alike than not. I particularly liked their exact same roar of rage about In-pyo. Separately, and only a few scenes apart, they both shout to whomever they’re in conversation with that In-pyo’s not a husband, “he’s a psychopath!” Both Seung-jae and Tae-woo want to protect Seo-yeon and get her safely away from all the people out to harm her, and though she might not need it (or want it), I am loving every minute of it.
Speaking of that psychopath husband, the next reveal is all around In-pyo. When Kim Do-hak locks up Seo-yeon after getting her third of the money back, In-pyo bangs into his office with some “killer” pesticide equipment, and plays the heroic husband role. The bad guys might not know better (yet!), but Seo-yeon sure does.
She’s openly horrified to not only see him again, but to learn that he’s been surveilling everything that’s been going on. And even though her aim is to escape from him forever, how marvelous is it for the story that they wind up converging once again, and forming a sort of strategic cease-fire? Seo-yeon gains some important intel from In-pyo’s bugs — not only a touching scene with Tae-woo, but more importantly, the fact that Hee-joo is more dangerous than Seo-yeon ever imagined.
It’s interesting that the other married couple of the drama also gets back together, because the next batch of reveals was all about Hee-joo and her so-called “mannequin” husband, Jae-hoon. They hack it out, and it is absolutely epic.
We learned Hee-joo knew more than she let on, but this week we see her wiles as she first torments, and then brings her husband back into the fold. She covers his tracks and asks him to stop being her mannequin husband and become a real one; so far, they make quite the power couple with their maneuvers to catch Leon.
The biggest reveal, though, is the history of the 9.9 billion won itself. And you can’t talk about the money without talking about every character we’ve met so far — that’s how many stories and lives are wrapped in it.
The op that went bad for Tae-woo and his partner three years ago turns out to be the dawn of the 10 billion won, and the saga that unfolds. Most importantly, we learn that the money is tainted and unable to be used.
It was part of some elaborate insurance fraud scheme of Leon’s — but some of the bills were secretly marked so the only recourse was to bury the money (literally, like we saw at the opening of the drama), or destroy it (which is where it was off to in the van with Tae-woo’s brother). And who marked the cash that destroyed so many people’s lives three years ago? None other than Hee-joo herself.
What’s most awesome here is the reversal this creates for Tae-woo. Now that he knows it’s Leon who’s responsible for the death of his brother the night the money was being transported, and that the very same 9.9 billion can be used to ensnare him… well, now Tae-woo wants to steal it back, too.
Frankly, both our hero and heroine are so far from having any leverage at this point, I have no idea how either of them are going to pull it off. For Tae-woo the money means justice; for Seo-yeon it means freedom, and by gosh I hope the two can be knitted together before this drama is over.
Roles and alliances might have shifted, but there’s tons more to resolve before our characters can find any peace. Tae-woo, though warned to choose whether to “avenge your brother or save someone’s sister,” is ready to cross the line to do both, all with a giant target on his back.
And then we’ve got Seo-yeon herself, committed to taking back “her money” (as she calls it to everyone) no matter what it takes. She tells Hee-joo that the money is “her heart and her life” — and gosh, I worry what’s going to happen when we learn what she’s truly willing to sacrifice for it.
PS: Hooray for Jo Yeo-jung’s KBS Top Excellence Award last week for her role in this drama! So deserved for such a marvelous performance.