Man to Man: Episode 14
Despite my wish for this show to mostly focus on the funny hijinks among our main trio, I suppose we must move forward with the mission at hand. This episode does just that, exposing alliances and Songsan’s secrets, but I’m worried what these developments will mean for Ghost Agent K’s future plans. Show, let’s do what we can to keep him smiling like this for a good long while, okay?
EPISODE 14 RECAP
When Mi-eun catches Seol-woo on Songsan’s 58th floor, Seol-woo calls her out on her true identity by referring to her as “Ghost Sunbaenim.” At that, Mi-eun coolly tells Seol-woo that he figured it out sooner than she expected. He hits on the various reasons why it made sense, but says he became certain when he learned about Mi-eun’s trips to Annam Cathedral.
Seol-woo asks if Agent Y was her handler and the one who scouted her to become an agent, and Mi-eun confirms it, calling him a good man. We flash back to the fateful day when Robert Yoon presented Mi-eun with the ghost agent offer, tasking her with getting information from Seung-jae by seducing him. Agent Yoon warned that she’d have to give up any semblance of a normal life, but Mi-eun, who seemed pretty dissatisfied with what a normal life would mean for her, had happily accepted the mission.
In the present, Seol-woo guesses that the mission she’s working on goes beyond taking down Assemblyman Baek—otherwise, he says, Mi-eun could have taken care of things on her own. Mi-eun explains that Agent Yoon was looking for something else that disappeared with Chairman Mo’s tapes: information on first-generation ghost agents. She says if the truth about those agents remains hidden, no one around her, and around Seol-woo, will be safe.
Seol-woo asks if Mi-eun knows who betrayed Agent Yoon, but she just says that they must find the tapes, since Department Head Jang’s Plan B won’t work. Seol-woo says he’ll need her help and asks her to find out what the late Chairman Mo might have left Seung-jae. Though he’s not sure what he’s looking for exactly, Seol-woo says it should lead to the missing tapes.
Over a meal, Dong-hyun asks Department Head Jang about Mi-eun’s ghost agent identity, including her mission targeting Seung-jae. Department Head Jang gives him (and us) the backstory: As she was on her mission, Mi-eun fell in love with Woon-kwang, causing problems not just for her work but also for Woon-kwang, who became a target for Seung-jae. Mi-eun’s solution to these problems was to resign from the NIS and marry Seung-jae.
Dong-hyun wonders if it’s okay to work with Mi-eun, given her history. Department Head Jang says that while they should be cautious, she should still be helpful, since she came forward on her own.
At Seol-woo’s hideout, Dong-hyun marvels at the way Mi-eun continued her mission even after resigning from the NIS. Seol-woo calls her a realist—she chose to marry Seung-jae because she saw it as the only way she could survive and protect those around her. With a faraway look in his eyes, Seol-woo quietly says, “There must have been something she had to protect. Something most precious to her.”
Mi-eun meets Sharon at her shop, and the two discuss Mi-eun’s new role as the chairman of Songsan’s scholarship foundation. Mi-eun truthfully tells Sharon that the foundation was set up to ensure her son’s future at Songsan, then says that Sharon’s the only friend she can open up to. On that note, Mi-eun asks for her help in meeting up with someone the next day.
Woon-kwang hosts Do-ha’s father for late-night drinks at his place, where Dad tells him about some “secret” work he’s doing with prosecutor Dong-hyun—you know, for the good of the country. Looking suspicious, Woon-kwang wonders if he should call Dong-hyun over, but Dad hurriedly asks him to keep quiet about the project.
When Dad notices Woon-kwang’s two wood carvings, he asks where the third one is. He tells Woon-kwang that together, the trio is worth more than double what the carvings would go for individually—more than 10 million dollars. This certainly gets Woon-kwang’s attention.
Cut to: Woon-kwang telling Seol-woo that instead of the 5 million dollars, he’d like the third wood carving instead, ha. Seol-woo tells him it could take some time, but Woon-kwang generously says he’ll wait. Woon-kwang then mentions Do-ha’ father’s supposed collaboration with Dong-hyun, but predictably, Seol-woo says there isn’t such a thing. Given Dad’s weird behavior, Woon-kwang asks Seol-woo to look into it.
Later that night, Seol-woo and Do-ha hang out. Do-ha looks super into whatever they’re watching on his laptop—haha, it turns out to be Chairman Mo’s videotapes. Seol-woo tells Do-ha that his new assignment is to note how much money was exchanged in these tapes, but Do-ha’s doesn’t look convinced at all. She scowls at him, but Seol-woo’s attention is on the screen, as he softly notes that he’s found the secret room that he’s been looking for.
Elsewhere, Dong-hyun secretly meets with Director Im of the NIS and tells him that the missing tapes have something to do with first-generation ghost agents. Director Im asks Dong-hyun to directly report to him on the mission from now on, telling him that it doesn’t make sense to bring in a replacement for Department Head Jang in the middle of the mission.
Back at Seol-woo’s, he shows Do-ha what he noticed in the tapes: Chairman Mo looked at one particular wall in his office whenever he turned off the camera. Seol-woo notes that there’s nothing on that wall, and concludes that the secret room must be behind it. Do-ha suspiciously asks him how he knows what’s on the wall, and Seol-woo teases her by pretending to have risked his life to get inside Songsan by scaling the building from the outside. After bantering back and forth, Do-ha seriously tells him not to do anything that will worry her, and he says he won’t.
Assemblyman Baek bows down to an older woman at a sauna, apologizing to her for falling short. The woman, who seems to be calling the shots for Assemblyman Baek, tells him that they didn’t create the ghost project for things to turn out this way. Clucking that it’s important for Assemblyman Baek to find the missing tapes, she offers him help, but only if he’s sure that he can get back the slush fund money and wrangle Seung-jae under their control.
Assemblyman Baek next heads to Songsan, where he tells Seung-jae that the slush fund doesn’t belong to Songsan, but to those “behind” Assemblyman Baek. He asks to be made the chairman of Songsan’s new foundation, then adds that since he’s retired from politics, they’ll be looking to replace him with someone young and smart. Seung-jae volunteers himself, and says that he doesn’t need those who supported Assemblyman Baek, since he doesn’t want to make any more dirty deals.
As Assemblyman Baek leaves the office, Do-ha’s dad peeks out from nearby, then follows him on his motorcycle.
At Sharon’s shop, Seol-woo shares his discovery of the secret room with Mi-eun and tells her to check the empty wall in Seung-jae’s office. He asks her if Seung-jae’s still a target for her, telling her that they won’t truly win without taking down Songsan. Mi-eun replies that now that she’s running the foundation, it won’t be business as usual for those running the company.
Later, Mi-eun heads to the office, where Seung-jae tells her he’s going into politics. In light of this news, Mi-eun suggests that Seung-jae relinquish management of the slush fund to someone he trusts, but Seung-jae points out that his grandfather ran the fund himself because there was no one to trust. When Mi-eun asks how Chairman Mo did it, Seung-jae clicks a button on his remote, revealing a TV screen hidden behind the wall. Well, that was easy.
The screen displays a live feed of the two of them in that very room, and Seung-jae quips that his videos will become useful for moving power their way. He then leads Mi-eun directly to the secret room where the recording equipment is housed, telling her proudly that he’s the only one who knows about this room. He says he’s sharing the secret with Mi-eun because the room now belongs to her.
At dinner, Seol-woo warns Do-ha’s dad about the dangers of tailing Assemblyman Baek. Dad swears he’ll stop, but surprisingly, Seol-woo tells him not to. To Dad’s delight, Seol-woo says that Dong-hyun has agreed to bring him on as an investigator and tells Dad to report directly to Dong-hyun for instructions. After Seol-woo asks Dad to keep this a secret from Do-ha, he checks his phone, and uh-oh, it looks like something’s up.
In his car, Seol-woo speeds toward Annam Cathedral, where Do-ha’s red tracker light blinks on Seol-woo’s phone. Once he arrives, he bursts through the cathedral doors looking panicked, but he calms down after spotting Do-ha sitting quietly by herself, deep in prayer. Surprised to see Seol-woo, Do-ha tells him she came to pray, and after getting a glimpse of his phone, she asks if he followed her there out of worry. Wordlessly, Seol-woo envelops her in a hug.
Do-ha mentions Father Michael’s absence, and Seol-woo says he disappeared while he still could. When she tells him that she never really liked the idea of couples tracking each other, he takes her hand in his, and says that it will be all over soon. The two look at each other and smile, but they both look sad.
At home, Do-ha examines her tracker coin and tells Song-yi in vague terms that her relationship with Seol-woo comes with lots of worries—though she wants to trust him, she can’t exactly. Song-yi scoffs and tells her to just be in love, but Do-ha sighs and says it’s not that simple for them.
Back in their hideout, Dong-hyun balks at the idea of using Do-ha’s father as an investigator, but Seol-woo manages to get him onboard. Dong-hyun then notices some new photos up on Seol-woo’s whiteboard, featuring a rifle with a dragon design on its handle. Seol-woo explains that the photos are part of the profile he’s building for Chairman Mo, and characterizes the dead chairman as a hunter who “doesn’t trust anyone and likes riddles.”
Seol-woo asks Dong-hyun if Songsan might own any land that could have served as the chairman’s personal hunting grounds. Luckily for them, Dong-hyun recalls that there is such a place, and Seol-woo asks for the location.
The next day, Seol-woo pulls up to the property disguised as an Environmental Protection Agency employee. When the groundskeeper grumbles about this being the second visit from the agency in three months, Seol-woo quickly pulls out a photo of Agent Yoon and asks the groundskeeper if this was the man who visited. Sure enough, it was.
As the groundskeeper talks about Agent Yoon’s three-day-long visit, Seol-woo notices a dragon etched onto his rifle—the same design that was on Chairman Mo’s gun. He asks the groundskeeper about it, but the man says all rifles have designs on them these days, and adds that Agent Yoon had asked him that same question, too.
At Songsan, a staffer tells Mi-eun that Seung-jae has decided to make all of Songsan’s documents publicly accessible, except for one: Chairman Mo’s will. Mi-eun notes the exception with interest, and the staffer says that the will is only available to Seung-jae, per the founding chairman’s orders.
Seol-woo calls Mi-eun to tell her that the tapes aren’t at Chairman Mo’s hunting grounds, and that Agent Yoon had checked already. But Mi-eun has another lead, as she tells Seol-woo that Chairman Mo left Seung-jae not one, but two things: the secret room and the will.
Having tailed Assemblyman Baek to a lounge, Do-ha’s dad makes a phone call. Meanwhile, the assemblyman sits by himself in a large room with lots of drinks, but no one to share them with. He tries his colleagues one by one, and what do you know, no one answers his calls.
Do-ha’s dad then enters the room, disguised as a server, and pours the assemblyman a drink. Assemblyman Baek looks at him suspiciously but can’t quite place him; Dad deflects his words and somehow manages to plant a bug underneath the table before escaping.
Assemblyman Baek hatches his next plan with the last Baek Infantryman standing, and it looks like Mi-eun and Seung-jae’s son Jae-young is their next target. As Seol-woo and Dong-hyun listen in on their conversation back at Seol-woo’s hideout, Dong-hyun suggests that they let Mi-eun know immediately about Assemblyman Baek’s plans. But Seol-woo nixes that idea, saying that he wants to use this opportunity to get rid of Assemblyman Baek and doesn’t want Mi-eun to interfere.
The next day, Assemblyman Baek’s men wait outside of Jae-young’s school and get ready to kidnap the child. It seems that they were successful, as we next see Seung-jae smack his assistant for bringing them the news that Jae-young is missing. As Seung-jae screams at his poor assistant to find his son by any means possible, Mi-eun sits on the couch, tears streaming down her face, and her eyes harden in anger.
The kidnappers don’t get very far, as they find themselves corned on a remote street, blocked on both sides of the road by two very aggressive cars. When the bad guys get out of the car, they’re met with a smiley Dong-hyun on one end, and then a less friendly-looking Seol-woo and Ki-chul on the other side. Nice.
Seung-jae receives word from Seol-woo that Jae-young is safe and that Assemblyman Baek was behind the kidnapping. Seol-woo tells Seung-jae that they’ll keep Jae-young in a safe place, but that Seung-jae should listen to his words carefully from now on.
Ha, Jae-young’s safe spot is at Woon-kwang’s house, where Woon-kwang, in full Dark Death garb, welcomes his little fan to Dark Death’s secret headquarters. So sweet. Meanwhile, Seung-jae and Mi-eun receive a photo proving that their son’s safe, along with a request for Mi-eun to come alone to pick up Jae-young.
As they wait for Seol-woo’s plan to unfold, Ki-chul notes to Seol-woo that catching Assemblyman Baek won’t resolve everything. Seol-woo says he’s looking for the missing tapes, then shows Ki-chul a photo of the dragon design, asking if he knows anything about it. Ki-chul says he’s never seen it, which leads Seol-woo to conclude that the design doesn’t have anything to do with the Baek Infantry.
Back at Woon-kwang’s, Do-ha walks in on Dark Death and Jae-young horsing around (har) and wonders if Woon-kwang kidnapped the boy. Woon-kwang protests that they actually saved him from kidnappers, but bumbles around when Do-ha asks for an explanation.
As Mi-eun’s heading out, she sees Seol-woo in the parking lot and stalks up to him to slap him hard across the face. He apologizes for not telling her in advance, but even as her eyes are still furious, she tells him he did the right thing.
When Seol-woo admits that they still have no leads on the missing tapes, Mi-eun produces Chairman Mo’s will inside a black envelope bearing the chairman’s trademark dragon design. (She’s so badass. I love it.) Seol-woo takes the will, then tells Mi-eun that Jae-young is with Woon-kwang, calling him the most trustworthy person they know.
Seung-jae meets with Assemblyman Baek, who appears not to realize that his men no longer have Jae-young. So the assemblyman continues his ill-conceived plot, demanding not only the chairman position at the foundation, but also 51 percent of Seung-jae’s shares of Songsan, telling Seung-jae that his son has to be worth this much.
At this, Seung-jae just laughs in the assemblyman’s face, then clicks his remote to reveal the TV screen, which shows that the cameras are rolling. Assemblyman Baek incredulously asks if Seung-jae doesn’t care about his son, but Seung-jae just says to him, “Get yourself some decent boys.”
After being led downstairs by Seung-jae’s men, Assemblyman Baek is greeted by Dong-hyun, who arrests him for kidnapping.
Mi-eun tearfully reunites with her son at Woon-kwang’s. It’s adorable how cheerful Jae-young is, as he excitedly tells his mom that Dark Death rescued him from the bad guys. Woon-kwang crouches down next to Jae-young to remind him to keep their meeting secret, and Mi-eun watches the two, her face full of emotion. She thanks Woon-kwang sincerely, and in return, Woon-kwang asks her to live well.
Back at Songsan, Seung-jae thanks Seol-woo for a job well done and asks him what he’d like in exchange. Seol-woo says he was just finishing up the terms of his last deal, but casually says that he’d take the wood carving as a token of appreciation. Oh, I can’t even imagine how excited Woon-kwang’s going to be.
Do-ha catches Mi-eun as she’s leaving Woon-kwang’s and expresses relief at the way things turned out. When Mi-eun credits Seol-woo for Jae-young’s safety, Do-ha asks Mi-eun which side she’s on. Noting the ring on Do-ha’s finger, Mi-eun tells her, “Believe only what you see. If you try to think beyond that, you’ll always end up hitting a brick wall.”
Woon-kwang and Mi-eun can’t help but think of one another that night—Woon-kwang stares down at his Dark Death costume sadly, and Mi-eun recalls his last words to her as she heads home. Meanwhile, Do-ha walks home in a haze, thinking about all the worries and dangers that she’s experienced in the short time she’s known Seol-woo. As she looks down at her ring and caresses it, she replays Mi-eun’s words of advice in her head.
Seol-woo eagerly digs into Chairman Mo’s will as soon as he gets home. The document turns out to be short and to the point, reading: “One with power desiring money will fail, and one with money desiring power will die. Everything, excluding myself, goes to my grandson Mo Seung-jae.”
After scanning the paper and finding nothing out of the ordinary, Seol-woo remembers Father Michael’s words about the path being in the Word, and something seems to click. He heads over to his whiteboard and zeroes in on the photo with Chairman Mo’s portrait on the wall. “The lonely hunter left behind a riddle in his will,” he thinks to himself. “I’ve solved it.”
Seol-woo suddenly hears his door open, and is pleasantly surprised to see Do-ha walking in. His smile fades though, when she tells him she was at Woon-kwang’s, then asks him to confirm what she already knows: that he’s working on another mission. Do-ha notices that he doesn’t have his ring on, but she’s understanding about it, assuming that he takes it off when he’s undercover—she is his weakness, after all.
Do-ha brightly tells Seol-woo that she’ll always cheer him on in his work. She says that though she wanted to believe in his promise and end up living a happy life with him, she knows that it would be too hard for both of them. Looking sad but resolute, she tells him that her fight ends here, and that she’s putting an end to the lovers tactic.
Do-ha reaches out to return his coin, but Seol-woo grabs her hand instead, telling her that the tactic is still in progress. He asks her to keep the coin for just one more day.
Later, Seol-woo calls Mi-eun and says that tonight, every mission will be completed. At the same time, Dong-hyun calls NIS Director Im as he’s leaving the office, telling him that the tapes have been found.
Back on the 58th floor of Songsan, Seol-woo tells Dong-hyun over his earpiece that the clue to the missing tapes was hidden in Chairman Mo’s will. Approaching Chairman Mo’s portrait on the wall, Seol-woo repeats the key words in the document, “excluding myself,” then comments that if Seung-jae had bothered to examine his grandfather’s will carefully, he would have easily inherited everything the chairman had.
Seol-woo takes down the portrait, revealing a safe behind it. When Dong-hyun asks how he’s going to open it, Seol-woo replies that he’s been curious about why the master key to the slush fund room was made from three separate keys. We see that the safe has three distinct key holes, and Seol-woo places each of the keys into it, answering Dong-hyun’s question.
Seol-woo opens the safe to find the missing videotapes, along with materials on the first-generation ghost agents. And as this is happening, Seung-jae receives a phone call; when he hangs up, he mutters that a mouse snuck in.
Seol-woo delivers the materials from the safe to Dong-hyun and asks him to look into the dragon design as a final favor—it’s killing Seol-woo that he can’t figure out what it represents. Nevertheless, the ghost agent looks giddy at having finished his mission and quickly peaces out, telling Dong-hyun he’s off to work on the one tactic that he’s not ending.
Dong-hyun calls Department Head Jang to ask for help in identifying the dragon design, then tells him that they’ve found the missing tapes. But Department Head Jang doesn’t look thrilled at the news, and I have a sinking feeling about all of this.
Outside Do-ha’s place, Seol-woo excitedly calls Do-ha and tells her he has something to say. At the same time, Department Head Jang tries to call Dong-hyun repeatedly, but his calls go unanswered.
When Do-ha comes outside, Seol-woo tells her with the biggest smile on his face that he’s completed his last and final mission. Do-ha just looks at him, not knowing what to make of his jubilance, and of course, that’s when Seol-woo gets a call. His face falls when he sees who it is, and when he answers, he looks downright horrified at what he hears.
Dong-hyun pulls over and tells someone on the phone that he’s arrived with the tapes. It turns out that he’s talking to Director Im, who advises him to drop them off at a car parked across the street, then thanks Dong-hyun for his work. After he hangs up, Director Im opens up a long case on his desk, revealing a rifle with a dragon carving on it. Gah!
As Seol-woo drives speedily, reeling from the news he’s gotten, Dong-hyun cheerfully makes his way across the street to deliver the goods. He’s interrupted by some bright headlights pointed his way, and his smile fades as he sees a truck barreling towards him with no intention of stopping. His body goes flying as he’s hit, leaving only his bag on the crosswalk.
NOOOOOOOOOO. Not Dong-hyun! Ugh, the show is really good at keeping me guessing up until the end—I swear I thought Dong-hyun was the traitor when he made that phone call to Department Head Jang. To find out that he was just doing what he thought was his job, and then to have him killed off—that just made my heart sink. I mean, I guess I’m glad that he was on the side of our good guys? Except he’s now dead. And by the truck of doom, no less! *cries*
I’ll miss Seol-woo and Dong-hyun’s interactions the most—I can’t even imagine how Seol-woo will react when he finds out the news. Dong-hyun was not only Seol-woo’s partner in crime during this mission, but he was also his only trusted friend, at least until Woon-kwang and Do-ha came along. One thing’s for sure, though—Seol-woo’s time as Ghost Agent K is most certainly not over, despite his hopes that it would be.
I’m not sure what this means for Seol-woo’s plans for an ordinary future. Though he still chose to keep Do-ha in the dark throughout his mission, it looks like Seol-woo made the decision to go all in on his relationship with her after everything was over. He seemed so earnest, so hopeful, and even a little bit nervous when he popped in on Do-ha to tell her about finishing up his last assignment. But Do-ha’s smart enough to know that despite Seol-woo’s best intentions, things won’t ever be “normal” for them—and that phone call just confirmed it. Based on the ghost agents we’ve met thus far, I’m not sure there’s a scenario where Seol-woo can completely walk away from his profession. I think Do-ha will have to ultimately make the call on whether or not she wants to see things through with Seol-woo, and whether or not the work, the worry, and the danger would be worth it.
In regards to the Songsan mission, we now have the setup for the ultimate showdown between the good guys and the bad guys, with both camps clearly delineated. I don’t really care about how Director Im came to be on Seung-jae’s side, though the reveal certainly came as a shock. I’m also slightly confused about this development, since I thought Seung-jae and Assemblyman Baek at one point wanted to take down the NIS leadership and install their “own” people—is Director Im not one of their people? But I’m not spending too much brainpower on this, because, eh, who cares.
What I’m more invested in though, is closing out Mi-eun’s story. I was kind of disappointed that her backstory with Woon-kwang and Seung-jae was given to us via a conversation between Dong-hyun and Department Head Jang, but there’s still plenty that I’m curious about: How far is Mi-eun willing to go to complete Agent Yoon’s mission, given that she’s not formally part of the NIS? What is her end game with Seung-jae, and is he really Jae-young’s father?
Even though Mi-eun’s interactions with her husband this hour weren’t noticeably different from what we’ve seen before, they sure did seem more interesting now that I’m aware of her ghost agent identity. I’m hoping we’ll see more of her badass nature as she (hopefully) steps up to partner with Seol-woo as he gets his revenge; in addition, I’m really hoping that we’ll get a satisfactory resolution to her story with Woon-kwang (who was criminally underutilized in this week’s episodes, by the way.) If Seung-jae’s taken down along with all the other bad guys, she won’t have to continue to sacrifice her life and her personal happiness in order to protect the ones she loves, right? Because I can’t think of anything sadder than having to make that sacrifice forever—both for her and for our favorite oppa.
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