Chief Kim: Episode 19
With a former opponent now firmly on his side, Sung-ryong’s ability to bring down Chairman Park has exponentially increased as the final fight between Team Sung-ryong and Team Chairman begins. Though the chairman may have seemed invincible before, many heads are better than one, and as the days go by, Sung-ryong continues to build his team while Chairman Park’s greed continues to isolate him.
EPISODE 19 RECAP
Sung-ryong and Yul stroll side by side into TQ to confront Chairman Park. They whip out envelopes and announce the indictments against him, which range from accounting fraud and tax evasion to instigating injury and murder to Sung-ryong, Yul, and Chief Lee.
Yul warns the chairman against arriving at the prosecutors’ office in an ambulance and wheelchair, and Sung-ryong cheekily advises him to get his hair and makeup done for all the press photos. Laughing, Chairman Park marches past them, and Sung-ryong vows to get the chairman as everyone joins him for his “D to the O” rock.
As they walk, Executive Director Jo promises to resolve everything, but Chairman Park calls “the gentleman” for help instead. In her office, Executive Director Jo yells at Director Go and Accountant Lee for being whistle-blowers, and they leave her office downtrodden. They reaffirm their loyalty to the company with each other, but their resolves crumble when Yul pops up behind them. He calls them his best supporters, and the two men feebly agree to help him.
Meanwhile, Sung-ryong informs Ha-kyung and Director Chu of the latest developments in their quest to bring down Chairman Park, and Director Chu informs the group that he’s getting the signatures of the recently fired employees. Ha-kyung tells Director Chu to hang in there, but he doesn’t care if he’s able to stay or not. All he wants is to get the chairman.
When the group returns to the Business Operations Department, they find Yul lounging at Sung-ryong’s desk, and Yul explains that he was afraid his office would be under surveillance. Sung-ryong tries to kick him out since he’s making everyone uncomfortable, but when Yul defiantly asks if he’s making them uncomfortable, no one is able to admit it to his face.
Satisfied, Yul declares his intentions to stay and wonders if they’re not eating ramyun, today. He ends up eating ramyun by himself, and Sung-ryong calls him rude while also feeding him kimchi and wiping his face, ha.
Chairman Park meets with the gentleman (who pats a female server’s butt as she leaves) and this time, the chairman apologizes for the problems he’s created. He brings out a “small” belated birthday gift for the gentleman: an ornate, golden statue.
Meeting covertly in a car, Manager Choi receives all of Chairman Park’s indictments, but before leaving, he asks the chairman if he’s keeping any secrets. Chairman Park assures him that he’s told him everything, but as soon as Manager Choi leaves, he calls Executive Director Jo to let her know that he kept the charge for murder a secret.
Ha-kyung visits Chief Lee in the hospital and learns that his condition is improving. Chief Lee’s wife thanks Ha-kyung for helping her husband, but Ha-kyung can’t accept her gratitude, since she believes Sung-ryong deserves it. Out in the hall, a man spies on them and reports to Executive Director Jo.
Manager Choi talks to the prosecutor in charge of the case, ordering him to disregard the evidence they’ve collected, and the prosecutor resists at first. However, a call from the chief prosecutor quickly changes his attitude, and Manager Choi smugly tells him to follow orders.
Madam Jang confronts Chairman Park as soon as he comes home, and she offers to drop the case about the board if he admits his crimes and resigns. Indignant, Chairman Park yells that he won’t because he hasn’t done anything wrong. Disgusted by his shamelessness, Madam Jang tells him that even if she could forgive him for living only for his own benefit by breaking the law and abusing his employees, she could never forgive him for taking someone’s life lightly.
Prosecutor Han argues with the prosecutor in charge for not passing a single indictment against the chairman, and bluntly asks if the higher-ups are pressuring him. The prosecutor admits that they’re being stopped, so he challenges Prosecutor Han to bring him evidence the higher-ups can’t cover up.
Once Yul hears the news about the indictments, he yells in frustration in the middle of the Business Operations Department and motions Sung-ryong to follow him outside. In the hallway, Sung-ryong mentions that they need a base camp to discuss their plan, and the perfect place is Director Chu’s apartment.
Ha-kyung calls Sung-ryong since she’s shopping for supplies before heading over to their new base camp, and he begins to rattle off a list of foods he wants. He then passes his phone to Yul who adds his own specific requests, and finally, Director Chu puts in his order.
In the end, Ha-kyung blows up and reminds them that they’re having a meeting, not a feast. Witnessing Ha-kyung’s temper for the first time, Yul notes that she has a strong personality, and Director Chu informs them that Ha-kyung might be the original TQ Psycho. She reminds them that they haven’t hung up, and the group hastily rectifies their mistake.
Back at TQ Group, Director Go and Accountant Lee bond over their shared fate and decide to go out for drinks. Unfortunately, two men step in front of them in the parking garage, and a van screeches to a stop right behind them.
Ha-kyung arrives with a box of groceries, and immediately, everyone starts complaining about things she forgot or incorrectly bought. She shouts at them, and instantly, they admit that they didn’t need those things after all.
Getting back to business, the group comes up with three objectives: (1) prove Chairman Park’s embezzlement, (2) find out who’s supporting the chairman from the shadows, and (3) redeem the chairman’s slush funds back to TQ. They all agree that the last goal is the most difficult, and Director Chu offers to look into it by searching for a paper company with Ha-kyung. While they do that, Sung-ryong and Yul will investigate Manager Choi in order to find out the identity of the person behind the chairman.
On the phone, Director Go nervously tells his wife that he’ll be away on a business trip, but in reality, he’s being detained by Manager Choi, along with Accountant Lee. Manager Choi assures them that he won’t harm them and only requests for them to stay here for a few weeks. Director Go and Accountant Lee immediately start spewing reasons they need to leave, but one threat from Manager Choi makes them meekly obey.
In Sung-ryong’s attic room, Yul has fallen asleep while working, so Sung-ryung tenderly puts a blanket around him. In the morning, Yul wakes up and finds Sung-ryong cuddled next to him, and screams in fright.
Groggily, Sung-ryong explains that he wanted some of Yul’s body heat because it gets cold in his room. Unconvinced, Yul accuses Sung-ryong of acting strange lately, and mentions how he’s kissed him three times already. Heh. Teasingly, Sung-ryong inches closer to Yul (while calling him “honey”), which causes him to scream and try to escape.
In his hurry, Yul yanks on the handle of the hatch and it pops off, to his horror. Sung-ryong nonchalantly tells him that the hatch doesn’t open from the inside, and, smiling deviously, he grabs Yul and rolls around the floor with him. Downstairs, Director Chu complains about their ruckus and mumbles that they’re in their “honeymoon” phase.
While imprisoned, Accountant Lee notices his phone in the other room and wakes up Director Go, since they’re tied together. They manage to drag their chairs to the other room by hopping in unison, and Accountant Lee uses his nose to unlock his phone. However, it doesn’t work, and Accountant Lee timidly informs the director that it’s not his phone. They then hop-drag their chairs back to their original room.
Walking to work together, Sung-ryong advises Yul to change his attitude in order to act as an undercover prosecutor. Yul complains, since he’s been like this since middle school, but Sung-ryong convinces him to pretend to be polite to people, which also includes himself. Watching from a nearby car, a man makes a call, but Yul’s white-haired minion slides into view and asks the man if he’s having fun.
Myung-suk continues to glue receipts and sighs as he watches Ha-kyung and Director Chu hold a secret meeting in the break room, where Director Chu shares his recent discoveries. He found the paper company by tracing it through TQ Cosmetic and knows that it’s located in Tanzania.
Just then, Myung-suk opens the curtains and tells the two of them to have their meeting outside without worrying about him. They lie that they’re comfortable in the break room, and after a mini-tantrum, Myung-suk announces that he’ll look into the paper company for them.
Ha-kyung approaches Myung-suk at his desk and gently tells him that he doesn’t have to help since the repercussions of his actions might be much greater than what he did last time. Myung-suk confesses that he already knows that this could corner his father, but he’s decided to help, not out of a sense of justice, but for his father.
He knows that if they don’t control him now, his father might never be controlled, which would mean that more people would get hurt. Moved by Myung-suk, Ha-kyung shares her newfound respect for him, and Myung-suk gets embarrassed by the compliments.
The spy caught by the minion calls an emergency meeting with Manager Choi, and when Manager Choi asks his spy what’s wrong, Sung-ryong and Yul come into view. They shove their way into his car, but Manager Choi is unfazed by their intrusion. Rather, he’s glad they’re here, since he was meaning to talk to them.
He wants to end their battle without having to draw blood and offers to give them what they want if they drop Chairman Park’s case. For Yul, he promises to reinstate him to the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, and as for Sung-ryong, he’ll give him three billion won so he can go to Denmark. Sung-ryong asks for ten minutes to deliberate, and the two of them exit the car.
Back at the Business Operations Department, Myung-suk calls the company in Tanzania as everyone in the office watches in awe. Once he hangs up, Sang-tae questions his linguistic abilities, and Myung-suk explains he learned Swahili from his Tanzanian roommate while living in the States. He then informs everyone that the company is fake, and that he has requested for their registration record.
Sung-ryong and Yul return to the car, and Manager Choi asks them if they made their decision. Smiling, Sung-ryong explains that they actually left to eat spicy rice cakes, and then he and Yul proceed to laugh when Manager Choi starts to get angry. While they continue to pester him, Sung-ryong discreetly places a tracking device underneath the seat.
It’s finally Ga-eun’s turn to act, and she follows Manager Choi everywhere he goes. Unfortunately, she’s only able to photograph him with his subordinate and his wife.
Chairman Park is informed that someone from the Business Operations Department contacted the company in Tanzania, and he orders his employee to make sure the Tanzanian branch doesn’t release any registration records. As a result, Myung-suk receives an email notifying him that the records he’s looking for don’t exist.
Sung-ryong and Yul learn about the recent setbacks, and seeing Yul sigh over their lack of development, Sung-ryong comments on how he seems like a prosecutor again. Yul just tells him to pour him a drink, but Sung-ryong guesses that Yul is feeling embarrassed, since that’s how he felt when he first became Mr. Righteous.
Telling Yul to be honest, Sung-ryong asks if he feels thankful towards him for giving him a second chance, but Yul turns the question back to him, asking him why he gave him a second chance. Sung-ryong explains that he fought with a strong opponent who would beat him up but never kill him, so he thought to himself that making this strong opponent his ally would make him fearless.
Yul then asks if Sung-ryong is thankful towards him for saving his life, and Sung-ryong childishly denies it, citing his awesome acting skills for tricking Yul into believing that he needed help. Yul argues that Sung-ryong’s acting skills aren’t that great, to which Sung-ryong retorts back (in a meta moment) that he’s expecting to win an acting award. Yul teases that it’s the early season for dramas, which would make winning difficult, ha.
Manager Choi finally meets with the gentleman, and Ga-eun eagerly snaps his photo. She sends them to Yul, who’s in another argument with Sung-ryong about the first time they met, but he stops their squabbling once he sees the photos.
With these, Prosecutor Han identifies the man as Cha Ki-ho, and Ga-eun explains that he’s a man of very, very powerful origins. He’s a master political manipulator, and Prosecutor Han notes that it won’t be easy to approach him. Undeterred, Sung-ryong matter-of-factly states that they’ll just come up with a plan, which he calls, “Operation Bonobono.”
The first part of the plan is finding out Mr. Cha’s schedule, which Ga-eun gets by going undercover at the spa where he gets massages. She relays the acquired information to Prosecutor Han, who then tells Yul.
Meanwhile, Myung-suk gets ready to leave for work, but stops on the stairs when he overhears Chairman Park talk about Tanzania and blocking the records. Then, while his father momentarily leaves to go to the bathroom, Myung-suk quickly redials the last number and tells the employee to release the records, doing a rather impressive impersonation of his father.
As soon as he hangs up, Chairman Park walks out and asks what Myung-suk is doing. Using what he practiced with Sung-ryong, Myung-suk winks and says he loves his dad, and Chairman Park watches him without blinking an eye.
Huddled in a circle, Sung-ryong tells the Business Operations Team that tonight’s D-day, and they all shout out a cheer together. Right then, Myung-suk barges in screaming and proudly brandishes the registration records from Tanzania. The whole team gives him a congratulatory smack on the back, but when Myung-suk falls to the floor from the force, they all return to their desks and leave him there. Ha.
Sung-ryong hands over the records to Prosecutor Han, and right as he asks about Ga-eun, she texts Prosecutor Han that Mr. Cha is on the move. Yul and Sung-ryong high five (ala Slam Dunk), and as they leave, Prosecutor Han shoots an imaginary basketball.
Ha-kyung rushes over to the hospital, and Chief Lee’s wife excitedly tells her that her husband is nearly awake. In the hallway, Jo’s spy reports to her, and she then informs the chairman. She asks what they should do, and Chairman Park orders her to get rid of Chief Lee.
Sung-ryong and Yul arrive at a club, and they meet with the madam to ask for her cooperation. She scoffs at their proposal, so Sung-ryong intervenes, asking about the club’s tax evasion. He saw an unlicensed company delivering alcohol on his way in and threatens to call the manager.
Yul plays along, addressing Sung-ryong as “Detective Kim” before telling him to investigate. Cornered, the madam relents, and the two exchange winks. Sung-ryong then sends Yul a kiss too, but Yul scowls in return.
At the club, Mr. Cha enjoys himself with girls on both sides, and Sung-ryong and Yul enter the room, dressed as servers. He notices that the servers have changed, and then picks Yul to sing for them because he looks like a singer (ha, another meta moment). Unable to back out, Yul sings “TT” by TWICE and makes Sung-ryong join him. All the while, Sung-ryong continues to film everything with his glasses.
At the hospital, Chief Lee’s wife steps out to take a call, and Jo’s spy uses this moment to strangle Chief Lee. The spy releases his hold once he sees the heart rate flatline, but all of a sudden, the body rises up from the bed. It’s Sang-tae!
Realizing his mistake, the spy tries to escape, but Manager Lee and Hee-jin appear in the doorway. He pushes past them, but is blocked by Ha-kyung, Director Chu, and Prosecutor Han. The last escape route is blocked by Ki-ok, and he tackles the spy to the ground. Impressed, everyone gives him a thumbs up.
The spy is brought in for interrogation, and when he won’t say anything, Ga-eun lets Yul enter as a witness. He asks the spy if he was the one trying to strangle Sung-ryong, and Sung-ryong interrupts, using the intercom to yell at the spy. Yul shouts at Sung-ryong to be quiet and asks the spy if he doesn’t recognize him as the man who beat him up that night.
Kicking the spy’s chair, Yul yells at him to confess, adding that he took a photo of him. While Yul swipes through his phone, Prosecutor Han tells the spy that Executive Director Jo abandoned him already and warns him that he’ll take the fall if he doesn’t confess. The spy finally cracks and admits that Jo ordered everything. When Yul asks how they could believe his word, the spy informs them that he kept insurance.
In the hallway, Sung-ryong asks Yul if he really had a photo, and Yul states that he was bluffing. Shaking his head, Sung-ryong calls Yul a fraud.
Back at the hospital, the Business Operations Team gathers around Chief Lee and expresses their wish to protect him this time, since they couldn’t before. Ha-kyung receives a call from Sung-ryong and shares with everyone that the spy confessed. As they celebrate their win, Chief Lee’s fingers twitch.
The next day, Yul confronts Executive Director Jo, accusing her of ordering the murder of Chief Lee. And when she denies everything, he plays the voice recording of her giving the command. Elsewhere, Sung-ryong stops Mr. Cha’s car and shows him the video of him at the club.
Mr. Cha calls Chairman Park and accuses him of keeping his murder charges a secret. He tells the chairman that he can’t help him, and breaks off their relationship. Beside Mr. Cha in the car, Sung-ryong does a little happy dance.
Growing concerned, the chairman orders his secretary to find the next flight to the United States, and in Prosecutor Han’s office, Ga-eun neatly organizes all the evidence into files. She hands them to Prosecutor Han, and he leaves to hand them in.
Sung-ryong and Yul nervously wait for Prosecutor Han, and when he finally arrives at his office, he slowly lifts up a sheet of paper: an arrest warrant for Chairman Park! Ready to capture the chairman, Sung-ryong struts together with Yul across TQ Group’s lobby, but they quickly dissolve into a race with each other to reach the chairman first.
Things definitely winded down this episode as Sung-ryong and his team finally cornered Chairman Park. It’s exciting to watch everyone work together, though for the most part, this episode felt like a rehashing of previous scenes and plots from earlier episodes. However, I think, for the most part, that was intentionally done by the writer and director. One of the more obvious rehashing moments was the morning freak-out with Yul and Sung-ryong, since the director seemed to deliberately frame them (up close and face to face) as he did when Sung-ryong first woke up with Director Chu.
In this case, though, Sung-ryong has become Director Chu, and Yul is Past Sung-ryong. This makes Director Chu’s throwaway comment about Sung-ryong and Yul being in their “honeymoon” phase even more hilarious since that was him and Sung-ryong not too long ago. Another small scene that was connected to a previous one was Myung-suk actually using the excuse he practiced with Sung-ryong for when he gets caught, as well as the meta-reference (within a meta-reference?) of the Slam Dunk high five, which was used as a comic at the end of Episode 18 and then actually mimicked here in this episode by the characters.
While reusing similar setups and frames can make an episode feel redundant and boring, I think the creators know how to insert enough differences to make the scenes interesting, or at to least convey a different message through the slight changes. For example, Prosecutor Han’s confrontation with the lead prosecutor this episode was very similar to their previous meetings (as in the one from Episode 17), but this time, the only thing that has changed is the lead prosecutor’s attitude. He gives a glimmer of hope to Prosecutor Han, and this minor change from the previous office-argument is the start of the team’s plan to bring the chairman down, once and for all.
In some ways, it almost feels like the show is a one-trick pony, but it has mastered this trick down perfectly and utilizes everything else in its arsenal to deliver the best trick it has. Thus, every time the audience sees it, it still feels like a different performance. Granted, I actually think Chief Kim has a bag of tricks, but the show is definitely capable of reusing the same plot or scenes without losing its sense of humor or entertainment, to a degree.
I really enjoyed the teamwork between Sung-ryong and Yul this episode, because they’re both quick on their feet and witty. Since the beginning, the similarities between the two were noted, and the show touched upon this idea again when Sung-ryong recognized Yul’s embarrassment about turning to the “good” side. In addition, the club scene where Yul picked up on Sung-ryong’s plan to force the madam to help them and acted accordingly really made me love their teamwork because it reminded me of the time when Sung-ryong was with Prosecutor Han (still such a fledgling) in the coffee shop, and Prosecutor Han couldn’t even pick up on Sung-ryong’s obvious hints and facial expressions. Besides that, they have a great banter, and even when they were enemies, their arguments and one-liners were awesome. But now that their building off each other and teasing a common target, their chemistry is explosive, and I love the way Sung-ryong casually throws out compliments and love towards Yul without shame or pause.
Also, another aspect of their dynamic that I enjoy is that neither of them likes to lose, so they constantly butt heads and try to one-up each other in arguments, which usually just end up turning into bouts of childish bickering. I would guess that these two work so well together because they’ve been enemies for a while, and due to that rivalry, they’ve come to know how the other operates. Before, they used that knowledge to sabotage each other, which detracted from both of their plans. But now that they’re on the same side, their knowledge of each other seems to increase their ability to see their plans through.
Now they have little moments of clashing egos rather than a constant ramming like before, as made apparent in the final scene where Sung-ryong and Yul entered together but ended up racing to reach the chairman first. (Side note: I thought it was adorable how they started the episode wearing similar suits and then ended the episode with their red and blue suits!) Despite their squabbles, you can see how their relationship has grown from hate to begrudging acknowledgement to reluctant partners, and now, to a budding bromance. While the show might have disappointed some in the romance department, it really excelled in the friendship and comradeship department, even beyond Sung-ryong and Yul’s relationship (though theirs has had the biggest change and development). Even Director Go and Accountant Lee had some relationship growth in the last hour, and I found their scenes this episode to be absolutely pathetic and hilarious.
- Chief Kim: Episode 18
- Chief Kim: Episode 17
- Chief Kim: Episode 16
- Chief Kim: Episode 15
- Chief Kim: Episode 14
- Chief Kim: Episode 13
- Chief Kim: Episode 12
- Chief Kim: Episode 11
- Chief Kim: Episode 10
- Chief Kim: Episode 9
- Chief Kim: Episode 8
- Chief Kim: Episode 7
- Chief Kim: Episode 6
- Chief Kim: Episode 5
- Chief Kim: Episode 4
- Chief Kim: Episode 3
- Chief Kim: Episode 2
- Chief Kim: Episode 1