Goodbye Mr. Black: Episode 8
Now that we’re in the thick of the revenge scheme, everyone’s got their hackles up and the tables get turned in hyper-speed—one day our hero is on top, the next day the baddie is on top, the next day the other baddie is on top. But the unexpected turns make Black break from his usual protocol, which means we get a little honesty from him. It’s a welcome reprieve from the cool and detached Mr. Black, and it’s a fun development.
SONG OF THE DAY
Guckkasten – “도둑” (Thief) [Download]
EPISODE 8 RECAP
With competitor Teacher Baek now shamed and out of the running for the big casino deal, Sun-jae convinces (er, threatens) his board to agree that Sunwoo Construction should make the deal. He struts into the meeting to meet their new investment partners at MRB…
And Black is sitting at the head of the table, wearing the best little smirk on his face. He introduces himself as the manager of the Asia Pacific branch of MRB, and begins the in-depth audit process of their new partner, Sunwoo Construction. He’s basically set himself up to get access to all the skeletons in their closet, or at least the paperwork designed to hide all their skeletons. Needless to say, Sun-jae looks pissed.
Black pointedly mentions all the records of travel to Thailand five years ago, and gets them to send over all the requested paperwork on their finances. His associates May and Sung-min are shown into the secure server room to access specific files, and they totally case it like they’re preparing for a heist.
They confer with Black over what Sun-jae’s next move will be, and Black guesses that in the face of a true enemy, Sun-jae will reach out to Teacher Baek instead of crushing him. Sure enough, Sun-jae makes a call to the prosecutor’s office on behalf of Teacher Baek, while Baek himself gets more information on Swan, the reporter who publicly brought him down.
Swan comes out of her house to find Editor Woo-jin crouching outside her front gate like a puppy that followed her home. He tries to bring up last night and Swan pretends to have had too much liquor to remember anything, but ends up yelling at him anyway: “Do you know what you did to me last night?! That was a precious memory—my first, and what might be my last!”
She’s referring to her kiss on the beach with Black, which she never says outright, but Woo-jin guesses it anyway and gets huffy that she might’ve kissed that other guy. Swan kicks him in the shins and stomps off, and Woo-jin cries after her: “Kim Swan! Bury your memories in your heart! Your reality is me!” He’s hilarious.
With Sun-jae’s help, Teacher Baek gets off scot-free, much to the horror of everyone at Panda News. Swan is upset to hear it, and then she sees on TV that Sun-jae signed a deal with MRB, whose representative looks a lot like conman Sung-min.
Black arrives for a private meeting with Sun-jae, who punches him and slams him up against a wall the second he arrives. Sun-jae seethes over being kept in the dark about Black being MRB, but Black just slams him up against a wall too and says that in order to fool your enemy, you have to fool your allies too. Black says his enemy isn’t Sun-jae, but Teacher Baek.
Speak of the devil, Teacher Baek saunters in and joins the meeting, where Black requests three times his investment returned to him, per Teacher Baek’s contract with MRB. Wow, that’s a lotta dough. Teacher Baek just smiles and asks Sun-jae to take care of it, knowing that he’s got more to lose if things go south with MRB. Black says he doesn’t care where the money comes from and makes his exit.
Teacher Baek fumes and tells Sun-jae that he has to kill Black, but Sun-jae just laughs and says that Black came back so as not to make him a murderer. You would think of it that way, wouldn’t you? Now Sun-jae gets to be the guy who failed to murder Black, while Teacher Baek is still the guy who murdered the chairman. Sun-jae suggests that Teacher Baek kill Black himself.
Swan tries to just saunter into Sunwoo Group claiming to be here for a follow-up interview, which of course doesn’t work. But Woo-jin shows up beside her, saying he got her telepathic message that their date today is at Sunwoo Group. He insists that he’s here to repay his hospital bills, and Dad’s secretary is forced to run down and deal with them.
Once they’re inside, Swan gets a convenient stomachache and they ditch the security guards and the secretary. They’re here looking for the MRB audit team, mainly to find Sung-min and find out why a conman is in business with Sunwoo, but Swan freezes when she sees Sung-min call out to Black down the hall.
She pulls Woo-jin down to hide before they’re seen, but he heard the name Black, and it makes him wonder. They’re chased off by security before he has a chance to look again, and then she slips away to find Sung-min on her own.
She corners Sung-min and asks what he’s doing with Black, and he ushers her away from the open before answering. From a distance, one of Teacher Baek’s henchmen snaps a photo of them.
Sun-jae comes down to visit the MRB team and notes that May is a good actor because she had him fooled. Black says that he’ll find evidence of Teacher Baek’s corruption among these files, and Sun-jae says he should’ve done so years ago instead of leaving it to Black now.
Black offers to buy drinks when Sun-jae repays them for the contract breach, but Sun-jae says he’ll buy the drinks since he’s about to become Sunwoo Group’s chairman thanks to Black.
Sun-jae seems rather pleased with himself as he walks out, because we see that he’s installed a little spy camera in the wall clock. C’mon, you think Black doesn’t know that’s there? Sun-jae tells his assistant to keep tabs on them as he watches the security feed.
Sun-jae knows that it’ll be hard to find investors elsewhere because of the gambling scandal, so his plan is to make the deal with MRB, get elected chairman, and then create a new company called Sunwoo Capital and make Sunwoo Construction worthless, leaving Black with nothing.
Black and his crew return home, where Swan is waiting by the door. Sung-min scolds her for coming here when he expressly told her not to, but she just takes in the familiar faces next to Black: Sung-min, the guy on the motorcycle at the gambling ring, and even May, whom she calls by a different name. May waves and calls her Kaya, so they must’ve been part of Sung-min’s network around the same time.
Black asks everyone else to go inside, and Swan says with a shaky voice that she knows he asked her not to come here, but she could’ve used a warning that he was MRB, because Woo-jin almost caught on today. She says she was terrified that he’d be discovered when she first saw Sung-min too, and that she’s still terrified that he’ll be discovered because of her somehow.
She walks away, ignoring his request for her to wait. So he runs after her and wraps his arms around her in a backhug, saying, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
Swan sits in Black’s kitchen awkwardly, while he makes dinner like nothing’s wrong. It confuses her, and she asks repeatedly why he’s being like this and if he’s going to cook for her and leave again. He makes her a fried egg like he used to and tells her to eat, and Swan says quietly that he needn’t be good to her all of a sudden because it makes her nervous.
She tells him not to lie to her anymore because she can keep a secret too, and he says that if you have a family, secrets can make your heart heavy. The mood finally lifts and they eat, and Sung-min sneaks a peek at them laughing together.
Black walks her out and Swan asks if she can see him again tomorrow, and if he’s going to disappear again all of a sudden. He promises to tell her before leaving, which makes her feel better, and she takes out his compass to say that she’ll always be able to find him with this. He congratulates her on the article she wrote and thanks her for it, and she beams proudly.
Things take a turn for the worse the next morning though, when Woo-jin busts into Swan’s room to show her an article featuring her with Sung-min, accusing MRB of paying off a reporter to falsify that story about Sunwoo Distribution. Sung-min is just as shocked and they wonder if it was Sun-jae’s doing, but Black knows he has too much to lose if MRB looks bad right now. It has to be Teacher Baek.
The MRB team is forced to halt their audit, and Sung-min worries that they haven’t even begun their work. Sun-jae calls an emergency meeting and argues that they can’t stop now, but his board members insist that it’s too dangerous to proceed with a company that may have set up Sunwoo Distribution’s scandal and profited from it. VP Seo suggests to Sun-jae that it might be time to oust Teacher Baek for good.
Teacher Baek is one step ahead and has already gotten the board members on his side, and wily VP Seo attends the secret meeting to play both sides. He tells Teacher Baek that Sun-jae plans to push him out of the company, clearly hoping that they get rid of each other, leaving him the last man standing.
Sun-jae, meanwhile, meets with the newspaper that wrote the story about Sung-min and Swan, and basically pulls enough power strings to get them to recant.
Swan tries to muscle her way into Sunwoo Group again and runs into Mari by the door. Mari apologizes for the world’s most awkward dinner the other night, and admits that she was jealous and curious about her relationship with Black.
Swan assures her that it’s not what she thinks, and that even when he was riddled with bullets and dying, Black thought only of Mari and said he had to go back to her because he promised he would. Swan admits that she was curious too, what kind of person Mari was. Mari thinks she must’ve been disappointed, but Swan says she’s the person Black likes.
Mari’s phone rings with a call from her doctor, who congratulates her on being pregnant. Wait, what? What about the part where she was already pregnant and getting an ultrasound? Was the first one a faux pregnancy, or does everyone have amnesia? I think I need wine…
Sun-jae’s dad shows up to visit Black, claiming to want to help him catch whoever did this to him. Likely story. Then Dad shows up at Sun-jae and Mari’s house with bags in hand and announces that he’s moving in as of today, and that he’ll be driving Mari and looking out for her and his grandchild on the way. Mari is surprised that Sun-jae agreed to let his father live here, and doesn’t look very enthused.
Dad catches Sun-jae on his way in, and he says that Black knows one thing about the man who tried to kill him—Black shot him in the arm, so he’ll have a scar. Sun-jae panics and asks Dad if he’s said any of this to Mari yet, and urges him not to. But the busybody housekeeper overhears the whole thing and files it away.
Sun-jae checks out the scar on his arm with a pensive look on his face, but Mari lifts his spirits a little when she hugs him affectionately and apologizes for the way she’s been acting lately. She agrees to a vacation so they can have some time alone, and Sun-jae looks relieved.
The Panda News office is bombarded with calls from other outlets, and Swan is surprised to see that she can’t even get to work past the crowd of reporters by the door. Someone suddenly pulls her aside so she isn’t seen, and she’s relieved to see that it’s Black. He asks how it feels to become famous overnight and suggests they leave.
Black’s team is frozen in shock when he brings Swan home with him, and Sung-min and May both pout jealously. Black leads Swan into his room and gives her the VIP list and security footage from the gambling ring, which he got from the man who was murdered in the woods. It’ll prove that her initial story was true, and Swan mutters happily that Teacher Baek is dead.
The team gets caught trying to eavesdrop on them, and Black just chuckles. Late at night, Swan comes out to find Black asleep on the couch. She reaches out to touch his face and notices that he’s clutching the compass she made for him, and it makes her smile.
Black wakes up to find a note from Swan, drawn out like in the old days, except this time she’s added words. She says she’s leaving to go work, and then we cut to her shooting a broadcast on her phone the next morning, announcing the first name on the Sunwoo Distribution gambling VVIP list. She says she’ll be announcing a new person on the list daily, and asks for people to report it if she goes missing. Ha.
So Teacher Baek is back in the doghouse, and Black’s team is amused at how the tables turn every day around here. You’re telling me. Black says they’re going ahead with their big plan for today, and prepares his team.
Mari invites Black over to the house and cooks him a meal like he asked her to, and apologizes for how she’s been. She says he’s to blame too though, and that he should’ve returned and gotten mad at her for getting married, not asked her to come with him.
Black says he meant it when he said that, and Mari finally tells him that she’s pregnant. She says she heard that the baby can hear everything and would know if she’s lying, and then she says, “Ji-won-ah, I still like you. This is what I really wanted to say. I have to tell you the truth so that I don’t have regrets. Cha Ji-won, my first love, I’ll keep that precious memory. Thank you, for loving me before I was born.”
She smiles sincerely and tears fall as she finally lets him go. Black remains stone-faced through her confession and can’t say a word.
Woo-jin tracks Swan down and tells her to return to the office instead of running around out here by herself, but she’s on a mission to clear her name. He says this all happened because she met some guy without him, and says she should get permission before meeting other men, which she’s decidedly against doing.
He tells her not to call him Editor either, pointing out his name. She scowls and walks away, and he shouts after her, “Then what, should I be Blue instead of Black? Dark Blue?” Pwahahaha. Okay, that made me laugh out loud.
The housekeeper is happy to see Mari in a great mood after Black’s visit, and she tells Mari that Black will probably be able to prove his innocence soon. She recounts what she overheard about the shooter having a bullet wound on his arm, and Mari’s blood runs cold as she thinks of the scar on Sun-jae’s arm.
Black keeps watch over Swan until it’s time for his team’s mission, and he starts to pull away when Sung-min calls. But just outside the Panda office, Swan gets cut off by a car full of henchmen and kidnapped. Black chases after them and tells Sung-min to start without him, and Woo-jin sees Black go by and recognizes his face.
Team Black begins their break-in mission to retrieve files from Sunwoo Group’s server room, and we see in flashback how they’d gathered security tags and fingerprints during the corporate audit.
Gye-dong makes his way into the server room dressed as a security guard and asks Black what he’s looking for, and Black tells him to get all the files on the Thailand gas merger from five years ago. Why on earth would you tell him this now in the middle of the heist, and not before when you were planning it? He doesn’t even know what he’s there to steal? Come on now.
Black asks them to copy the files off of Sun-jae’s computer too, but May’s already on top of it. The security around here is ridiculously lax if she can just saunter in and copy his files, though she almost gets caught when a security guard comes by to check on the office.
She crouches under the desk as he comes closer and closer to the open computer that’s in the middle of transferring files… But just in the nick of time Gye-dong comes in and calls the other guard away, saying the boss is looking for him. Close call.
Meanwhile, Black is still chasing the kidnapper car and asks Sung-min to look up the license plate. It’s a car that’s registered to Sunwoo Distribution (you’d use a company car to kidnap someone?) and Black panics.
Swan is led into a room where Teacher Baek is waiting for her, and he asks if she’s afraid of him. She tamps down her nerves and says no—he’s like a neighborhood grandpa. He laughs maniacally and says she must have no fear because she’s used to digging through trash, and that’s why she dared to write about him.
He wants his gambling VVIP list back, but Swan just pauses to take out her recorder and starts asking him questions, about whether he’s acknowledging that the list is his. I love her.
Black storms in and beats up all the security guards in his path, and then busts into the room and holds out his hand for Swan. Aw, like the good ol’ days. She takes his hand and rushes to his side, and Teacher Baek smiles and says the guest he was waiting for has finally arrived.
Black says through gritted teeth that their formal greetings will have to wait till next time, and leads Swan out… but not before she catches a glimpse of that elephant painting hanging on Teacher Baek’s wall.
Teacher Baek just smiles as he looks at the photograph in his hands, of Black and Swan together in Thailand. Uh-oh, he’s just confirmed that she’s his weakness, hasn’t he? His henchman gets a call and tells Teacher Baek that the present he’s been waiting for has arrived.
We don’t hear what that present is, but then we cut to a woman walking by a lake, and slowly reveal her face. It’s little sister Ji-soo!
Black and Swan both nag each other as they walk out, both more worried about each other. Swan says that Teacher Baek knows everything now, but Black says it doesn’t matter: “From now on, don’t ever leave my side. Do you know how scared I was coming here? I don’t want to lose you.”
Swan: “I won’t go. I’m not going anywhere.” She leans up and gives him a soft kiss, just like the first time. But this time he looks at her longingly and kisses her back.
Okay, but… you guys are still standing in Teacher Baek’s house! Safety first, romance later!
I seriously don’t understand why they couldn’t have relocated before smooches, because now you’ve not only proven that you’d endanger yourself to rescue Swan, but you’re locking lips in the baddie’s lair! Probably on his security cameras! I know it’s a romantic moment, but I couldn’t focus on the kissing because I was so vexed as to why they were still standing there. It might seem like a minor directorial choice, but I feel like that scene could’ve gone differently had they been in his car. It just bugs me, because the fix is so easy.
Despite the fact that I like the development in this episode, I do feel like the romance came on a little strong and a little fast. I know that Black cares for Swan and is fiercely protective of her, but he’s always been so distant and careful with her that the sudden burst of passionate romantic love feels jarring. Don’t get me wrong—I’m actually really happy to see him break his detached façade and just go with his feelings for once. Not to mention how nice it is to see him smiley again. I just think there wasn’t enough build-up to make that moment organic. It felt like the right move with the right characters, but mistimed. I’m also confused about Mari’s sudden decision to drop her jealousy and move on, even though I liked her farewell scene with Black and thought it was their best moment together yet. It just seemed like today was the day that things were over with Mari and beginning with Swan, with no breath in between for Black to have a reaction.
Today’s heist was pretty sloppy too, partly because Sunwoo Group was so easy to break into that it was laughable. It seemed like a bizarre thing to do to take a potential investor on a tour of your server room and point out where the top-secret section is. Couldn’t they have made it a little harder to break into? I just wish Goodbye Mr. Black weren’t so sloppy about the details, because I want to maintain the belief that Team Black is super competent and way ahead of everyone else in this game. But sometimes I’m honestly not sure about that. Half of their success seems to be based on the enemy having very loose security or little forethought.
I do enjoy the dynamics of having Black reveal himself as MRB and lording control over Sunwoo Group because of his position as an investor. It opened up a lot of potential in the story to have him take on a more active role and not skulk around in the shadows (even though he was totally just visiting people in broad daylight before, but whatever). Mostly I’m glad that Swan’s finally getting what she wants, because she’s the only character I really love. She’s resourceful and brave and always thinking of Black’s safety before her own, and I’m glad for her sake that he’s expressing something in return instead of coldly sending her away all the time. I was getting tired of that. Plus, now with little sis Ji-soo back (…somewhere), Swan doesn’t have to fulfill that little sister role anymore. Though now that you’ve kissed her, there’s really no going back, is there? Thank goodness for that.