Hero: Episode 7
Hey guys! Sorry about the delay on this recap! Recently, my body has been rebelling against me, so I haven’t really been doing much but working and sitting around the house! I’m starting to feel better now, so let me get right back into things….
…With a fan girl moment! It’s a shirtless YDI reporter!
Hero: Episode 7
Episode 7 picks up where episode 6 left off, with the conversation between Choi Il Doo and Jo Yong Deok. This time, we see it through the eyes of Do Hyuk, and see the reaction he has when he hears Choi admit to having his father killed.
After the confrontation, Choi Il Doo (the rat bastard) goes right back to his press conference and announces his intentions to run for president, as if he didn’t just admit to murder. This bold move is witnessed by Do Hyuk, Yong Deok, and Sang Chul.
Back at the YDI office, Sang Chul confirms for the worried reporters that yes, Choi Il Doo admitted to killing Do Hyuk’s parents, and yes, they got the confession on tape.
Meanwhile, Do Hyuk is at the seaside with Do Hee and the kids. The adults are remembering when they scattered their parents’ ashes at this beach. Do Hee regrets that they couldn’t afford to put them in a columbarium (a place that holds urns with ashes of the dead). She is sad that they don’t have a place to bow to their parents. The children suddenly come running to them, Sol going to her mother while Jung engulfs his uncle in a hug, and this reminds Do Hee of something else. “You were…Just like Jung. You never answered me. You never talked. You were like an angry person with his mouth shut tightly…just like you’re doing now.” Then, trying to lighten the mood, Do Hee suggests to the kids that they have a seashell hunt. Jung runs off with his mother, while Sol stays with her uncle for a bit.
Sol: Uncle, do you hurt somewhere?
Do Hyuk: *nods*
Sol: Where does it hurt?
Do Hyuk: *puts a hand over his heart*
Sol: I hurt there sometimes, too. But after a while, it goes away.
And back at the DAESE office, Hae Seong goes into the rat bastard’s office to inform him that despite the delayed start, the press conference was a success. The reporter then presses Choi Il Doo for information, asking him where he went and if it had anything to do with the YDI reporters he saw at the conference. The rat bastard avoids his questions, telling Hae Seong that since he is taking care of the company, the campaign, and the newspaper, “that’s plenty to worry about.”
Later that night, the rat bastard is having dinner with his favorite crony, Manager Gong. Gong informs him that the reporter working for Jo Yong Deok is the son of Jin Yeon, the reporter they killed 15 years ago. This leads to a rather heated conversation:
Choi Il Doo: What have you been doing while things were getting this bad?
Manager Gong: I’m very sorry.
Choi Il Doo: I told you to make sure he was under your control! To make sure he wasn’t able to do anything. How did you let him get this far?
Manager Gong: No matter what those two say, there is not a single person who will believe them. It will just be seen as people trying to mar your credibility.
Is it just me, or does it seem like Manager Gong is always wrong when it comes to Yong Deok and Do Hyuk? Seriously, Choi Il Doo, it might be time to hire a new crony! The rat bastard worries about them finding out the truth about President Park. Gong assures him “that won’t happen.” (Yeah, right!) Gong then goes on to question their decision to only incarcerate Yong Deok. He believes they should have gotten rid of him. Choi Il Doo says that “it’s not too late” because they need to come up with “a solution.”
At a very different dinner table, Yong Deok explains to Do Hyuk why Choi Il Doo had his father killed. It would appear that 15 years doesn’t change a rat bastard. Back then, DAESE Group was doing land redevelopment, he bribed officials and used violence against anyone who opposed him. (Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Remember the boy protesting in front of DAESE Ilbo?) Because he wanted to help the people who had been displaced by the redevelopment, Jin Yeon discovered Choi Il Doo’s illegal activities. Yong Deok then warns Do Hyuk that he could be in danger. The reporter doesn’t care; he just wants to bring Choi Il Doo down. Yong Deok doesn’t want Do Hyuk to take that kind of approach in dealing with the situation, explaining to Do Hyuk:
Your father didn’t do it to crush Choi Il Doo. He did it because he wanted to help those who were powerless. He wanted to tell people the truth and do his job as a reporter well. This is the work you must do.
The next day, a newly revitalized Do Hyuk takes the YDI team out for a jog, leaving them all in the dust as he jogs up some stairs, and then vents his frustration.
Later, at the YDI office, Do Hyuk is trying to enlist the help of his fellow reporters. He wants their help investigating DAESE Group’s illegal dealings. The response is less than enthusiastic. Do Hyuk does understand his friends’ hesitance, and gives them a way out. “I understand you guys being scared. Plus, I know it’s contrary to Yong Deok’s stated mission.” The reporters breathe a sigh of relief, and Reporter Park Joon Hyung actually has the audacity to ask, “So then, it’ll be okay for us to stay out of it?” (He receives a playful hit from Na Ga Yeon for his efforts.) Yong Deok then steps in with his own brand of persuasion. He tells the reporters, “It really isn’t contrary to our mission concept. Aren’t Reporter Jin and I wronged parties in this situation?” It seems to have the desired effect, because even though Do Hyuk continues to give them a way out, they suddenly start to come up with ideas, such as turning the tape into another publication. Of course this idea is shot down, as once again, they could just be accused of making stories up.
In Yong Deok’s office, Do Hyuk shows him a notebook his father had kept of Choi Il Doo’s illegal activities. He frets that the information may be irrelevant now, but hopes it can serve as a compass for the direction he needs to take. Yong Deok presents Do Hyuk with a notebook of his own. It contains things that Manager Gong may do under Choi Il Doo’s orders and also things that he, Yong Deok, did 15 years ago. Yong Deok tells Do Hyuk, “When you need to move forward, look at this [his father’s] notebook. When you need to look backwards, then look at this one [Yong Deok’s].” Yong Deok also warns Do Hyuk to be careful of Manager Gong, because, “You don’t know who he wants to get rid of next, and he’ll do it without blinking an eye.”
Meanwhile, Manager Gong has called Hae Seong into his office to warn him about the “lies” Do Hyuk and Yong Deok could be spreading about the
rat bastard er, I mean Chairman. Gong explains that Do Hyuk’s parents were killed in a car accident, nothing more, and that Yong Deok was imprisoned for crimes he had committed. Give Hae Seong some credit, he does look skeptical. Of course, this reporter is on his own quest for information. He asks Gong who, exactly, is President Park Su Jeong that the Kangsan Police and Yong Deok Ilbo are so interested in. Gong dismisses his question, accusing the reporter of not handling that situation well, and tells him just to “write good articles that will help the Chairman.”
Do Hyuk is out and about, trying to gather information on DAESE Group. He talks to other construction companies and government officials. The former is willing to talk (although one guy can’t believe Do Hyuk doesn’t already know) while the latter is less than cooperative.
Eventually, Do Hyuk’s investigation leads him back to the boy whose father was lead to suicide by DAESE’s development. The boy confirms that DAESE Group had used violent means to get the people of his small town to give in, but the police couldn’t help them because there was no proof of coercion. DAESE Ilbo keeps reporting that the people in the town are just “holding out for more compensation.”
That night, Hae Seong comes back to his office to find he has a visitor. Do Hyuk. He is there to offer his belated congratulations on Hae Seong’s engagement and promotion to DAESE director. Of course, with these two in the same room, it’s always a reporter-to-reporter show down!
Do Hyuk: I’m really here because I’m curious to find out how much you really know. And if you do know, what your actions are in spite of that knowledge.
Hae Seong: If you have something to say, say it. Don’t play word games.
Do Hyuk: I’ve been paying close attention to you since our president was released from prison.
Hae Seong: What do you mean by that?
Do Hyuk: You know the reason why Choi Il Doo is afraid of Jo Yong Deok, right?
Hae Seong: The chairman is afraid of the president of a 3rd rate publication?
Do Hyuk: What was it that you said? Oh, the truth is not always what you see. *flashes mini recorder* If you know the truth and still hide it you’re not worthy to be a reporter. I just want you to be on your toes. This is the last time I will look you up like this. We were, after all, high school mates. Giving you this warning is the least I can do. You see, I’m not like you, who’ll stab someone in the back.
Hae Seong: *attempting to turn the tables as Do Hyuk tries to leave* Hey, Jin Do Hyuk. As a former school mate, let me also give you some advice. I don’t know what you’re up to, but don’t do it. You’re not a match for our chairman.
They continue on a bit longer, with Hae Seong declaring Do Hyuk will never beat him, Do Hyuk declaring it’s not about beating him, etc., until Do Hyuk finally asks a question that has probably been on everyone’s mind: “Why did you come to Detective Joo Jae In when you already had a fiancee?” Hae Seong refused to answer the question, but Do Hyuk accurately guesses that it was to get information. He leaves Hae Seong’s office, and as he is about to leave the DAESE building, he crosses paths with the rat bastard, fresh in from the campaign trail. Choi Il Doo clearly notices Do Hyuk as he is leaving, but it’s unclear whether he recognizes the young reporter.
Meanwhile at the police station, Jae In comes in sporting the spiffy warm coat Do Hyuk had given her when they had their overnight trip. She and her team discuss the lack of progress they are making on the kidnapping case when Detective Na notices her coat. She almost tells him who gave it to her, then thinks better of it. She then wants to know if anyone has heard from Do Hyuk (yeah, nice save detective…not!). No one has heard from him, so she tells everyone she is “going home.” This leads Detective Na to wonder if Jae In likes Do Hyuk, and the prospect does not fill him with joy. (What? I thought you wanted her married off!)
Instead of going home, Jae In heads over to the YDI office where Do Hyuk is busily working trying to find out as much information on Choi Il Doo as he can. Standing just outside the front gate, Jae In texts him, “Guess where I am?” Do Hyuk responds, “Why would I care?” (I’m actually not sure if he’s trying to be annoyingly cute here, or if he’s so wrapped up in his case that he really doesn’t care.) Either way, he comes out of the office (I assume because he’s hungry) and seems genuinely surprised and happy to see her there. He asks her, “You came here because you missed me, right? I suppose I’m someone you miss when you’re with me, and even more so when you’re not, right?” Their banter is back, as Jae In responds, “You’re running off at the mouth, so you must be okay.” Do Hyuk wins this round, as he gets her to admit she was worried about him, even if it was just a “teeny bit.”
The two go out to eat, and discuss a number of things. She asks Do Hyuk what he’s decided to do regarding his parents’ death. Instead of answering her, he asks about Choi Il Doo. She says several glowing things about him, which shows how he is perceived in the community. Do Hyuk admits he used to think those things about him too. Do Hyuk then asks her about Hae Seong. She tells the story of how they met, and then admits that she realizes she was nothing more than his fan. Do Hyuk wonders how she can defend him after what he did to her, and Jae In says something that perhaps Do Hyuk needs to hear. “It doesn’t do me any good to hate him, right? Hating someone is far more painful than being hated.”
The next morning at the police station, Detective Na finally reveals to Detective
Cutie Oh and the female officer who is always behind the computer screen that the woman he fell in love with at first sight is Jae In’s mother. The police officers are highly amused by this. This also explains to them why Na has been following the team leader around like a puppy. Detective Na also admits to them that, “once I thought she could become my daughter, she seemed so adorable and pretty to me. And that Do Hyuk isn’t good enough for her!” (Ah! That explains it!) Of course, this is the moment Jae In chooses to walk in, just missing the end of the conversation. Detective Na is back into full-on suck up mode, and now that the others know what is going on, this serves to amuse them further. (BTW, doesn’t it seem like the Kangsan Police Department is down a man? Where is Detective Jang Heung Gi? He seems absent from the last couple of episodes. Guess Detectives Na and Oh can handle things without him?)
Meanwhile, at the YDI office, the reporters come in to find that Do Hyuk had been up all night working (again.) They have their meeting where all the reporters share ideas for stories they want to cover. They all have very good ideas this time, but must delay on covering those stories. Do Hyuk announces his intention to tail Choi Il Doo, 24 hrs a day, seven days a week. The reporters decide that they should help, though they don’t know how. Yong Deok and Sang Chul remind them of what they learned in training. “Reporters who use their legs (take action) are true reporters.”
And take action they do. By donning costumes that range from the slightly odd to the slightly ridiculous to even the slightly “not there” the YDI reporters tail the rat bastard and bring back a wealth of information to Do Hyuk.
Taking the information garnered by his faithful sidekicks, Do Hyuk decides to take action. He confronts Congressman Park. (You remember him, right? The scumbag who got caught in the hostess bar, and when Do Hyuk wrote about it in Monday Seoul, Park convinced Choi Il Doo to make it go away.) Do Hyuk has learned information that can be even more damaging to the congressman than just a night in a hostess bar. I believe he’s assumed correctly when he asks the congressman if he promised to make Choi Il Doo president if he made Park’s indiscretions “go away.” Congressman Park had been caught bragging to another congressman about how Choi’s campaign funding was the highest domestically. After needling the congressman, Do Hyuk leaves him with three pieces of advice: “Don’t spend so much time in the sauna, you’ll get dehydrated.” And, “Be careful on the road at night….and watch your back, okay?”
And wouldn’t you just know it, the congressman, who I’m starting to think is a bit of a whiner calls Hae Seong to tell him that he is being followed by Do Hyuk. (A congressman has a possible stalker and he calls a reporter? Doesn’t this seem a bit odd, because shouldn’t he, oh I don’t know, call the police?)
Hae Seong comes out of his office building to find Do Hyuk standing just outside his door. Motivated no doubt by the call from the whiny congressman, he approaches his rival and says, “I told you not to do anything.” To which Do Hyuk replies, “Since when have I ever listened to you?” This is most likely the beginning of one of their typical verbal sparring matches, but before they can get into it, Do Hyuk receives a phone call which he absolutely must take. It’s Jae In calling with the news that they have found someone who has seen Park Su Jeong’s child. Receiving the news, Do Hyuk immediately changes the plans he had. He tells Hae Seong (I absolutely love this line) “What can I do? I was going to follow you, but I was just told they found someone who has seen President Park’s child. Ah! Why am I so busy? I’m leaving.”
The person who has seen the child is an ahjumma who had been taking care of him for seven years. She informs Do Hyuk, Jae In, and Detective Na that the boy’s name is Choi Han Kyul. (Does anyone else see where this is going?) She further explains that the boy’s mother only came twice a month. While she was out buying milk one day, she came home to find the child missing. Before she could report it to the cops, the man who brought her the child (not the boy’s father) told her it was time for him to begin school, so he took the boy home.
Cut to Hae Seong once again trying to get information from Choi Il Doo so he can “help” him. The rat bastard finally spills his secret to his future son-in-law. Park Su Jeong was his mistress for ten years, and the boy is his son. (Totally saw that coming!) Clearly, the rat bastard cares more about his political career than his son or the woman he’s been sleeping with for ten years.
When Hae Seong wants to know why Su Jeong had to disappear, we then cut to a flashback of a phone conversation between her and the rat bastard. All she wants is for her son to be acknowledged by his father. She wants him listed in the family registry and for Choi Il Doo to see his son. She threatens that if it’s not taken care of by the end of the month, she will tell his wife, daughter, and company.
Back at the police station, the ahjumma reveals that she overheard that phone conversation, and assumed the man on the phone to be the child’s father. When Jae In asks who entrusted the boy to her, we find out it is the same person who was caught on the CCTV abducting Su Jeong.
Once again, there is a scene that is reminiscent of “Hon” when we see Park Su Jeong in the world’s creepiest hospital. I’m assuming it’s a mental institution, since the minute she starts begging to be released and asking for her child, she is immediately injected with some sort of sedative. (Seriously, though, what kind of hospital restrains patients with chains? And is it really possible to have an adult committed to that kind of an institution without good reason?)
Back at the police station, Jae In starts the investigation into who the child’s father might be. She has her subordinates look into who was paying the living expenses for the woman who was taking care of the child, and when Do Hyuk suggests that the man had to be a customer in the hostess club, Jae In then asks them to look over the phone records again and identify everyone.
After a moderately successful day, Do Hyuk walks Jae In home, only to find a drunken Hae Seong waiting by her front door. He is practically pleading with them to “Stop looking for the person you are trying to find. It’s dangerous.” (So, inebriated Hae Seong cares about the welfare of others…interesting.) Hae Seong is so drunk, in fact, that Jae In worries about him getting home by himself. The ever chivalrous Do Hyuk offers to take Hae Seong home so that Jae In can get home.
The next day, the YDI reporters are outside discussing the case when they practically get run over….by the missing president of Monday Seoul! He runs off, and the reporters chase (save for Na Ga Yeon, who can’t run well in her super high heels. Did I mention how much I love her clothes?)
At the police station, Detective Na and Detective Oh are reviewing Su Jeong’s phone records with Jae In when she recognizes the name of Congressman Park. The two detectives discuss the article Do Hyuk wrote about him, and they suddenly realize the article wasn’t photoshopped as was reported by DAESE Ilbo. Further discussion soon reveals how close Congressman Park and Choi Il Doo are. It’s not long before Jae In puts the pieces together and figures out what the rat bastard has been trying to hide. (And Manager Gong said no one would figure it out!)
Clearly the YDI chase was successful, as the reporters have managed to get their former president into their current office. After various threats from the group: Man Soo wants to turn him into the police, while Ga Yeon just wants to kill him (LOVE her!), the president finally admits that he ran off because he was threatened. He was instructed to stop the article Do Hyuk was determined to write about Yong Deok, but as everyone knows, “the words ‘give up’ do not exist in Do Hyuk’s dictionary.” The president felt he had no choice but to run. Do Hyuk wonders if Choi Il Doo was behind it, and while the president doesn’t know if Choi Il Doo was behind it, he points out the man who threatened him. He is pointing at the picture of the man who abducted Park Su Jeong. It doesn’t take long for these bright reporters to put the pieces together for themselves, and figure out Choi is the father of Su Jeong’s child. (And Manager Gong said no one would figure it out!) Do Hyuk goes to quickly leave when Yong Deok stops him, grabbing his forearm.
Once the revelations have been made, it is time for our heroes to get to the bottom of things. The confrontations all happen in or near the DAESE office. Jae In calls Hae Seong, eager to find out what the story is with Choi Il Doo, while Do Hyuk takes another route. He has reporter Park Joon Hyung don a delivery driver costumer (personally, I preferred the one he wore in the sauna…) and deliver a package to the rat bastard, who is shooting quite congenial photos for his new campaign posters. The package contains a mini tape recorder, and when Choi Il Doo plays the tape, he hears his own voice admitting to “getting rid of” Jin Yeon and threatening to do the same thing to Yong Deok. At that moment, he receives a call from Do Hyuk. Choi Il Doo wonders if Do Hyuk is thinking of revenge, but Do Hyuk admits that he’s “not that fearless.” What he wants, instead, is to exchange his original copy of the tape for Park Su Jeong and her son. Do Hyuk warns Choi, “Bring Park Su Jeong and your child, Choi Han Kyul in front of me before tomorrow. Otherwise, the recording where you admitted killing my parents will be broadcast on the radio or television.” *Cue dramatic use of theme song.* You go, Jin Do Hyuk! You get that rat bastard!
I feel a bit bad that I didn’t include any of the scenes with Choi Ho Kyung in my recap, but with over 4200 words, I think it might be a bit long already, and her scenes (mostly her being cute with Hae Seong or being sweet with her rat bastard father) seemed mostly superfluous. But, I really want to give props to Shin Joo Ah who plays her. The character of Choi Ho Kyung could easily be annoying or just “there,” but Shin adds some sweetness and a touch of innocence to what would be an otherwise vacuous character. (Let’s face it, Ho Kyung is an airhead, spoiled, and one of those girls who is pretty and she knows it. In the wrong hands, this character could have fallen by the wayside.)
That being said, I’ve discovered another thing that I truly love about this drama. There really aren’t many one dimensional characters. Even the side characters have some depth behind them. In fact, the only one dimensional characters I can think of at the moment are the rat bastard and his crony; evil, and evil’s crony.
I particularly want to take a look at the female characters in this drama. In most Kdramas I’ve seen, there is at least one woman I want to strangle/kick/punch in the face. This drama doesn’t seem to have one of those. At first, I had that reaction towards Do Hee, because she was just soooo the stereotypical “bad parent,” but as we learn more and more about her, we see there is a caring (but damaged) person inside. All of the women in this are strong at moments, fragile at others (you know, like real women!) I think I’ve already gushed at how much I like Jae In, Ga Yeon, and Myung Hee. Another female character that deserves some mention is Hae Seong’s mother. At first, I thought she was just going to be an obstacle for Hae Seong, but there is clearly something that motivates her to worry about what her son is up too. This is another character that could be just “there” but the actress brings her to life.
Speaking of Hae Seong, I have a feeling he is up to something. For some reason, I keep wondering if the reason he is trying to stop Do Hyuk is because, unlike his classmate, Hae Seong is out for revenge, and he’s worried about Do Hyuk ruining his plans as much as he’s worried about Jae In and Do Hyuk getting hurt. It will be interesting to see what he is up too.
Finally, let me wrap this up the way I started, with a fan girl moment. Lee Junki is just SO GOOD in this! Several times while watching, I had the urge to say “Ah! I just LOVE Lee Junki!” (Okay, so occasionally I gave into this urge…but only when there was no one home and only my cats could look at me like I’m crazy, but they do that anyway….) But seriously, I think this might be his best role to date. I absolutely adored him in Time Between Dog & Wolf, which was my favorite, but I think he tops that with his performance in Hero. It really is a shame this show didn’t garner the ratings it so clearly deserved.