ATHENA: Episode 8
Don’t worry – aberdeen_angus will be back soon! You’ll all just have to deal with me for a couple more recaps…
So let’s all find out how much more “useful” BoA will be, shall we?
SONG OF THE DAY
“Arrow” by Kangta from the Athena OST [download]
So BoA is knocked out by one of the goons. He goes after Jung Woo instead, and suddenly it becomes three against one. They kick Jung Woo down on the floor and immediately make their escape. Jung Woo doesn’t bother chasing after them, tending to BoA instead.
Back at the hotel, Jung Woo visits BoA in her room and she thanks him for saving her life. Of course, she’s now considerably warmer towards him, and smiles like a little girl with a crush. She says that she has the sixth sense of intuition and knows he must think she’s foolish. (What the hell?! It’s not that special a skill to be able to read people’s faces! But whatever BoA, I get you need some other talent other than singing and dancing…)
He’s about to leave her to rest when she mischievously asks for his car keys. She has exactly one hour, and Jung Woo accompanies her to a nearby ramen shop in the early early morning. His phone rings; it’s BoA’s manager. BoA confiscates his phone – commence date!
Maaan – Jung Woo can pick up any girl he likes. He just has to save her life.
In “one hour,” they manage to have ramen, go on a camel back ride on a beach (in Japan!), sand dune sledding, shopping, visiting museums (and getting spotted), running through the streets evading fans, and relaxing by a spring. BoA even tells him the story of Hakuto Beach, about a beloved princess and a prince who saved an injured rabbit. The rabbit was actually a deity and prophesied that the prince would marry the princess. Jung Woo scoffs at the story – love is not defined by fate but rather personal will. If the two really loved each other, then they would end up together. Nice insight on how he views Hye In; not so nice when it sounds like it happened in IRIS too…but I digress.
It’s already midday when finally they make their way back to the concert hall. The manager worriedly asks why he couldn’t reach either of them; BoA says her phone broke, and Jung Woo says his phone was on, but he never got any of the messages.
When Jung Woo returns to the hotel room, Joon Ho is already there. He informs them that their true mission is to locate the SNC that was stolen. They are to search for it but not attract any attention. Jung Woo finds out through a call with Director Kwon that Dr. Kim was also kidnapped, thus increasing the urgency in locating both missing pieces of the nuclear reactor puzzle.
The concert goes live – meaning lots of BoA singing – while backstage, Jung Woo and Jae Hee scour through the equipment and check on security. At the end of her performance, BoA looks backstage and sees Jung Woo. He gives her a smile, but at the end of the concert he is nowhere to be found. The manager tells her later that he was really an undercover agent and already left. BoA is silent, and somewhat disappointed that Prince Charming wasn’t whom she thought he was.
Son Hyuk presents the SNC to Dr. Kim, who is aghast that Son Hyuk actually got it. Now he has no choice but to finish up building the nuclear reactor.
Jung Woo, Jae Hee, and Joon Ho hold a video conference with NTS reporting back what they found about the SNC and how it was transported to Japan. Kwon decides to send over a task force to assist them, while Hye In reports to Son Hyuk that she will be part of the force sent over to investigate.
They set up temporary headquarters and track down the three goons’ van, which transported the SNC from the concert venue. Everyone in the conference room except Hye In was part of the team moving Kim Myung Guk – so in case Hye In “didn’t know” that Dr. Kim was alive, she does now.
The team all head out to where the van is parked and cautiously approach the car. There’s nobody inside, and an agent reaches to pull open the door. Belatedly, Jung Woo spots through a side view mirror that the door is rigged to a bomb. He yells for them to stop but it’s too late – the car explodes, killing one of the agents and injuring a few others. The bomb also destroys all evidence inside it, and all Joon Ho can manage to salvage is a burnt transportation card.
Sook Kyung investigates the card and shows that the suspects traveled around Tottori, near where they are located. Chul Hwan has the team split up and start searching for possible places where the suspects might be, while also increasing security on sea and air.
As Jae Hee searches the cargo bins in the port, Son Hyuk appears behind her and drags her to a private corner.
Son Hyuk: (explaining his presence) One of our main objectives at DIS is to keep tabs on the beautiful woman at NTS. Seeing what she does, and who she meets…
Jae Hee: (blushing with an “Aw, shucks” grin)
Kaedejun: You’re kidding me. These lines turn on agents?!
Jae Hee realizes that DIS knows everything even though NTS withheld information. They flirt a little more and then Son Hyuk reveals his true reason for being in Japan: if the intel is correct, then Jae Hee could get hurt. He came only to warn her to be careful. Jae Hee looks touched, and I feel sickened.
Jung Woo visits BoA at the airport to say final good bye. He’s also there to make sure security has increased, hitting two birds with one stone. BoA is not at all angry that Jung Woo lied to her (she probably thinks he’s super cool) and asks that he be part of her security at the next concert. Bye bye BoA! It’s about time you left!
Hye In calls Son Hyuk about how NTS is closing in on them. Dr. Kim is being purposely difficult by asking for more equipment, but since Son Hyuk has no time he can’t negotiate. True to Hye In’s report, Joon Ho locates the van’s last location. He stays behind at headquarters as point while the rest of the agents assemble and gather at the target location.
Son Hyuk is so frustrated that Dr. Kim refuses to move any faster that he misses a warning call from Hye In. The NTS team have all arrived and start infiltrating Son Hyuk’s temporary offices.
Back in his lab, Dr. Kim warily eyes his captors and then shuts down all electricity, causing a temporary blackout that alerts Joon Ho. Dr. Kim brushes the glitch to a system overload, while Joon Ho tries to call his fellow agents. They’re all too busy breaking in. Jae Hee spots a guard and shoots him down, causing him to fall on a glass ceiling right above… Sean Richard. (I’m going back to the actor’s name for now – just ’cause it sounds hotter.)
Sean Richard grimaces and for a sec I was afraid he was going to come face to face with Jae Hee. But he just goes to alert Son Hyuk that they’ve got a mini invasion in their hands.
Joon Ho only manages to reach Jung Woo, who’s still en route, and tells him that the blackout is coming from another area in Japan. He sent the team to the wrong place. (It’s OK Joon Ho, at least you sent them to where the masterminds are, but not where the SNC is.) Joon Ho gives the new location to Jung Woo, but is also a tad impatient himself. He decides to go as well.
Sean Richard and Son Hyuk leave through back doors, and are nearly taken down by an NTS agent when the agent is shot down first…by Hye In. Luckily none of the other NTS agents are there to see since they’re busy taking down the other guards. Jung Woo calls Hye In at that moment to tell her about the new location for SNC. She says she’ll relay the message, but when all the agents gather around the body of their dead colleague, Hye In keeps her mouth shut.
Hye In instead told her fellow Athenian/Dr. Kim’s head captor that some NTS agents are heading over. The head captor orders everyone to move out. But inside that same warehouse lies Joon Ho, waiting in the dark, watching them pack up. He starts trailing them, gun drawn.
Unfortunately, he is caught by a Japanese guard. He lowers his gun, draws the guard nearer, and WHAM! jabs him in the stomach, disarms him of his rifle, and swings a roundhouse kick right across the guy’s face. No one comes out after the ruckus.
Joon Ho finds another way into the warehouse as the terrorists drag Dr. Kim out. He watches them load the truck with the SNC, while the other terrorists see the Japanese guard’s unconscious body and withdraw their guns. Right as the truck is packed up, Joon Ho takes on three terrorists right out in the open. He uses one of them as a body shield and shoots down a few himself. He then traps himself inside the truck while the terrorists shoot a bunch of bullets into it.
The head captor calls his henchmen idiots for shooting into a truck filled with nuclear weapons. Haha. Joon Ho locates the SNC and packs it into his bag. The terrorists surround the truck and prepare to open the doors. Just as the latch unlocks, Joon Ho bursts out and ends up rolling out into a circle of enemies. Dummy.
They get Joon Ho to drop his gun and surrender, but all of a sudden Jung Woo enters and starts shooting the terrorists down, giving Joon Ho the chance to escape.
Cue running scene. Joon Ho races through the small town, chased by approximately three men, and tears through a parade. The parade at least slows down the terrorists a bit, and prevents the head captor from getting a good shot of Joon Ho. Jung Woo finishes off the rest of the guards in the warehouse and hijacks a car to catch up. He drives right through the parade, forcing them to part like the Red Sea. The head captor fires his gun in the air a couple of times and the crowd falls to their knees – giving him a clear shot of Joon Ho running away. He manages to hit Joon Ho – but don’t worry, kid’s got a bullet proof vest.
Jung Woo comes up from behind, uses the car as a shield to protect the fallen Joon Ho, and fires back at the terrorists. As soon as Joon Ho gets in the car, they drive off – bruised but happy. Yay for retaking SNC!
Director Kwon arrives in Japan; though it’s good they have the SNC, they still need to figure out who kidnapped Kim Myung Guk in the first place. He puts Jung Woo as head, and sends the former team leader Jin Seok back to Korea to escort the SNC. Kwon then gets a call, and he’s not too pleased to hear the voice on the other line. A knowing glance from Hye In affirms that it’s Son Hyuk.
Son Hyuk tries to get involved in the case but Kwon rejects his offer to help. Even though a lot of people in Washington DC may be watching his every move, Kwon tells him to mind his own business and advises Son Hyuk to never show up unexpectedly again – it makes people uncomfortable.
Son Hyuk: I’m wondering how long our fates are going to be intertwined with each other.
Kwon: You must be losing your Korean because you lived in America for so long. It’s not “fate we have intertwined with each other.” It’s “an ill-fate we suffer.”
Lest we forget about the other characters… Secretary Choi expresses her worry that the North will attack with the military when they find out Dr. Kim is working for the South. The President defends his position in granting Dr. Kim asylum – the technology will help improve people’s lives and it’s better than creating nuclear weapons. In the end he’s really trying to help the North too, and if they can’t see that then too bad.
Ki Soo contacts Sung Chul to ask after Jung Woo. He wants to know where in Japan Jung Woo is because he wants to say “hi” and catch up. What – you can’t call the guy yourself? Sung Chul is a big mouth and tells Ki Soo. If Hye In weren’t the mole, I’d say Sung Chul is the one.
Back in the hotel, Jung Woo receives a text from Hye In about meeting in a tea house. A waitress serves him tea, which he drinks right away, and Hye In arrives a few minutes later. She’s wondering why he texted her. Immediately, Jung Woo is suspicious and starts feeling funny. He stops Hye In from drinking her tea and then falls unconscious.
When Jung Woo awakens, he’s outside another expansive warehouse and facing the head captor. He is brought inside and sees Hye In, unconscious and tied up with her hands above her head, being lowered halfway into a column of water. He tries to fight back, but is quickly subdued. The head captor tells him that they want the SNC back, or else Hye In will be tortured.
She is submerged completely, and another baddie starts scraping the metal sides with charged wires, electrocuting her inside.
I actually have very little to say about this episode. Couple things I liked: the BoA storyline finished. Joon Ho got major action time (FINALLY!). And Hye In keeps having close calls between the two sides.
Like I said before, some parts of this drama feel disconnected because the first half hour finishes the story set up in the previous episode, and the second half hour feels like it’s starting a new story. They are very thinly connected. So for the first half it was all about BoA; in the second half was more about the real story of this drama – nuclear technology. I disliked the BoA storyline, because it really affirmed that she had no place in the drama except be some sort of live product placement. The “date” she had with Jung Woo – what is up with that? Why does Jung Woo have a date with every girl except Jae Hee (he got a bed scene with her)? It was an unnecessary and a flimsy excuse to have her in the drama. The only connection she had was the fact that her speakers were used as a means of transport. Why did it have to be her speakers? It would have been better if her manager was actually part of ATHENA and was a middle man. Perhaps he was doing it for some extra money on the side or whatever, but his involvement would have made the link between BoA and terrorism a little stronger. Otherwise, it seems like ATHENA terrorists just randomly chose her speakers, or were big BoA fans, or thought that she’s famous enough not to be given much scrutiny. (The last reason is most probable, but still dumb in my book.)
Jae Hee and Son Hyuk – your romance is killing me. Because it’s so cheeeeeeeeesy. It’s actually more funny than probably intended, because I can’t believe any of it for a second. It oozes of cheese – which is yummy but so inappropriate for the situation.
To the next episode!