Mad Dog: Episode 5
As Min-joon and the Mad Dog team begin to uncover the secrets that surround the crash of Flight 801, they find themselves faced with a number of cases that are inexplicably connected. Min-joon and Kang-woo haven’t joined forces yet, but their independent investigations take them down the same paths, and the fact that Kang-woo is usually one step behind Min-joon may just save some lives.
EPISODE 5: “The Real Cause”
Min-joon finally learns that Ms. Lee is alive and yells at Kang Eun-joo, “Where is she right now? Tell me!” When Kang Eun-joo doesn’t answer, Min-joon calmly asks if she remembers her call to him two years ago.
It was the day that Min-joon threw away Kim Beom-joon’s belongings, and Kang Eun-joo had called to ask for the location of his brother’s remains so that she could pay her respects. Min-joon thought it curious that Kang Eun-joo visited the remains of a criminal, but not those of her close friend, Ms. Lee.
When Min-joon guesses that that’s because Kang Eun-joo knew that Ms. Lee was alive, she confesses that all she did was falsely identify a body as Ms. Lee’s. She begs Min-joon not to search for Ms. Lee, but he explains that if he could pull Kang-woo into his investigation, even though his wife and son died in the crash of Flight 801, he won’t hesitate to search for Ms. Lee.
Min-joon grabs Kang Eun-joo’s shoulders and demands to know the whereabouts of Ms. Lee. Kang Eun-joo reveals that Ms. Lee contacted her after six years with a call from a public phone, and Min-joon wonders if she got that call on her cell phone.
Kang-woo stands outside of the baby store and identifies his caller as Ms. Lee, who’s so surprised that she forgets that she donned a glove to make the call and grips the phone with both hands. When she hangs up, Kang-woo has to steady himself before he bangs his fist on his car in rage.
Kang-woo then gets a call from Ha-ri with news that Kang Eun-joo regained consciousness. She’s confused when Kang-woo wants her to ask about Ms. Lee and gasps when she sees the video that proves that the former insurance planner is alive.
Min-joon is about to search Kang Eun-joo’s purse when an alarm sounds as she suddenly gasps for air. Min-joon pushes the button to summon a nurse and slips out of the room just before Ha-ri arrives, only to be told by Nurse Oh that Kang Eun-joo is in no condition for visitors.
Meanwhile, Hong-joo looks at her father curiously during a meeting when he angrily whispers, “She was alive.” Later, Hong-joo joins him in the elevator to ask if there’s something that she should know, and she promises not to share confidential information for the sake of the company.
Chairman Cha isn’t so sure that the company is what’s important to Hong-joo: “Isn’t your old affection more important to you? If he gets in your way, can you abandon him? Can you get rid of Kang-woo?”
When Hong-joo can’t answer, Chairman Cha chides her and says, “The dog that you raised became your master now.” He concludes, “You’ll leak it again,” and leaves his daughter alone in the elevator.
Elsewhere, Hyun-gi’s parks in a remote spot by the river and watches the video of Ms. Lee. He asks his companion, “Did you do this? She is the planner that committed fraud with you, isn’t she, Jin-chul?”
Go Jin-chul smiles and claims that he forgets things, and Hyun-gi hands him a fat envelope and suggests, “Let’s keep it that way until the end.”
Back at Mad Dog, the team watches the video of Ms. Lee, and Ha-ri blurts out that Go Jin-chul must have helped her. Kang-woo surprises them when he announces that he’s thankful that Ms. Lee is alive, but only so that they can catch her.
Noo-ri turns off his monitor when Moo-jin enters and asks, “How will you catch a dead person?” Kang-woo confronts him for not sharing the fact that Ms. Lee was alive, but Min-joon points to Noo-ri’s black screen and notes, “You don’t tell me anything.”
Kang-woo confesses that they can’t trust him because he’s a scammer, which leads Min-joon to wonder if he’s supposed to trust them because they aren’t scammers, or because Kang-woo is a victim. Kang-woo is about to take a swing at Min-joon, but Ha-ri hits him first and he falls against Soon-jung’s desk, his lip bloody.
Kang-woo tells Min-joon to get lost, and Ha-ri follows him out to ask if he has somewhere to go. Min-joon smiles after she rejects his invitation to visit him upstairs, but later, he sits alone in his apartment and admits, “I’m hungry.”
Noo-ri locates the phone booth that Ms. Lee used, and before Kang-woo leaves to check it out, he asks Noo-ri to find the other phone booths that were used to call him. He also sends Soon-jung to visit Kang Eun-joo.
On the road, Ha-ri proves to be a nervous passenger and explains to Kang-woo that it’s because she’s the better driver. She suddenly becomes serious and asks, “We’re starting now, aren’t we? Then we should get to the bottom of it. Let’s go to the end.”
Once they find the phone booth, Kang-woo imagines a shaken Ms. Lee and assumes that she left evidence, so he dusts the phone for fingerprints. He and Ha-ri drive away to continue their investigation, and while they’re stopped at a light, Kang-woo smiles at a boy in the car next to his. When the car turns, we see that the driver is Ms. Lee, and the boy is her son.
Nurse Oh catches Soon-jung outside of Kang Eun-joo’s room and warns that his team is banished until the patient is released. Nurse Oh explains that Kang Eun-joo experienced a seizure after a visit from Min-joon and promises, “If he comes back, I’ll kill him.”
Professor Byeon reports to Kang-woo that Manager Park met with him to ask for information on all of the cases that Mad Dog brought to him. We see in a flashback that Manager Park had explained that Kang-woo had changed and, as his friend, he wanted to put an end to his crazy behavior.
Professor Byeon shared the story of the first case that he and Kang-woo worked on together, a man who seemingly died from a chronic illness. Kang-woo visited Professor Byeon every day to argue that the man’s wife and son deserved to know the real cause of his death, which Kang-woo called the last right of the dead.
An autopsy revealed that the man was poisoned by his brother/business partner, and if it hadn’t been for Kang-woo, that man would have been treated like a family member instead of a murderer. Professor Byeon concluded, “Kang-woo has been that kind of guy. He hasn’t changed a bit. He just wants to know how his family died and why.” Manager Park vowed, as a friend, to convince Kang-woo that his family died in a suicide crash.
Back in the present, Kang-woo confides to Professor Byeon that Ms. Lee is alive and that he’s scared about how that changes the facts surrounding the crash. He then gives Professor Byeon the fingerprints that he recovered and asks to have them analyzed.
When he returns to his car, Kang-woo recalls that Manager Park took him to visit to Ms. Lee’s remains so that he would believe that she was dead.
Manager Park hands over the photo of Min-joon to Chairiman Cha and worries that Kim Beom-joon’s brother has teamed with Kang-woo to investigate Flight 801. When he warns that they need to be stopped, Chairman Cha points to the weeds in his atrium and offers a cryptic suggestion, “You mustn’t weed them out to remove them completely. You just need to burn them when they’re fully grown.”
Manager Park is surprised when he returns to his office and finds Kang-woo. He warns that he won’t ignore Kang-woo’s illegal deeds forever, but is reminded in return that he once broke the law when he took Kang-woo to visit Ms. Lee’s remains (it’s illegal to share an assailant’s information with a victim). Manager Park claims that he did that to help Kang-woo.
Manager Park recalls Chairman Cha’s warning (“Don’t show that we know about Beom-joon’s brother”) before he asks Kang-woo why he would search for a dead woman. When Kang-woo shares that he heard that Manager Park said that they were friends, Manager Park glares at him and replies, “I’m not friends with a criminal like you.”
Kang-woo leaves Manager Park’s office when Ha-ri texts that Min-joon is missing, and he ends up running into Hong-joo. She joins him in the elevator to ask if he started an investigation on Ms. Lee, and when Kang-woo doesn’t answer, Hong-joo reminds him that she’s not the newbie that he scolded on stakeouts.
Kang-woo explains that he can’t answer her because he isn’t sure of anything, and when Hong-joo claims that there isn’t anything he doesn’t know, he confides, “Apparently, there is.”
Kang-woo breaks into Min-joon’s apartment, where he and Ha-ri find all of the furniture covered and his tracker left on a table. When they return to the office, Noo-ri explains that Min-joon must have replaced the SIM card on his phone because he can’t locate it, and Soon-jung reports that he left his car behind.
Kang-woo asks about the data on Kang Eun-joo, and Noo-ri explains that her call history was only sent to their team. Soon-jung realizes that his smartphone is gone, and a check of the surveillance video shows that Min-joon took it when Ha-ri hit him.
Min-joon takes a call from Kang-woo and suggests that they make a bet to see who finds Ms. Lee first. Min-joon is sure that he’ll win and complains, “Mad Dog is nothing. You’re only dogs without teeth.” Kang-woo warns, “If you cause Mi-ran to disappear, I’ll kill you.”
After they hang up, Kang-woo vows that Mad Dog will find Ms. Lee first, while Min-joon tosses a phone and SIM card out of his car window and drives away.
Manager Park studies a report on the death of Kang Eun-joo’s husband and jumps to his feet when Hong-joo walks in. When she wants to know how he’s involved with her father, Kang-woo, and Ms. Lee, Manager Park tells Hong-joo that she should ask her father.
Tired of being in the dark, Hong-joo submits a letter of resignation and challenges her father to either answer her questions or throw her out. He argues that she wouldn’t be able to handle the truth and warns Hong-joo against trusting people, who are nothing more than beasts.
Hong-joo reminds her father that he helped Hyun-gi to obtain management rights and then drops the news that the Senior Prosecutor’s Office is about to begin a search and seizure of Juhan Air. She suggests that if Chairman Cha worked so hard to get Chief Ohn his position, he should pay more attention to him.
A prosecutor is late for dinner with Chief Ohn and scolds PROSECUTOR KIM for the simple meal. Chief Ohn rejects the suggestion of something more elaborate and when he’s promised a nicer place for a round of drinks, he recommends that everyone should go home early.
Chief Ohn gets a text from Chairman Cha and leaves by himself after the team meal. When the tardy prosecutor complains about Chief Ohn’s lack of interest in fancy meals, Prosecutor Kim explains that the new chief promised to, “…turn the prosecution into an honest place.”
Chief Ohn meets with Chairman Cha who confronts him about the investigation into Juhan Air, unhappy that the news didn’t come from him. Chief Ohn explains that the political climate has changed and that he can only halt the investigation temporarily and then advises, “Wrap up the process of the succession of management rights within Juhan Air.”
Hyun-gi walks in and tries to ask Chief Ohn to delay the process, but he’s ignored. Chief Prosecutor Ohn ends the meeting, and as he passes Hyun-gi, he suggests, “You should thank Chairman Cha.” Chairman Cha replies, “You had no idea that you were going to get in trouble. You should thank Hong-joo.”
Chairman Cha informs Hyun-gi that Hong-joo tipped him off about the investigation and expresses happiness that she’s his daughter, but Hyun-gi doubts that she shares the sentiment. Chairman Cha expects Hyun-gi to earn his keep and explains, “A small fry is clinging to us. Take him down too.” He retreats to his atrium but immediately texts Hyun-gi a photo of Min-joon.
Min-joon checks the area that surrounds a public phone booth and notes the closest security camera. Soon-jung and Kang-woo visit different public phones with broken cameras while Ha-ri searches the area where Min-joon was last detected and finds the discarded phone and SIM card.
The team agrees that the lack of foot traffic means that Ms. Lee must travel by car. Noo-ri sends Kang-woo a map that shows that the public phones that Ms. Lee used form a cluster, which leads Kang-woo to the conclusion that she lives in that area.
Professor Byeon’s fingerprint analysis takes longer than usual to find a match — because, as they find out, the fingerprints belong to a dead person. Detective Jo sees Professor Byeon in the fingerprint lab and learns that Kang-woo collected some fingerprints the previous day that belong to Ms. Lee.
Professor Byeon calls Kang-woo to confirm his suspicion that the fingerprints belong to Ms. Lee. He also tells Kang-woo that Detective Jo saw the fingerprints and knows of this latest development.
Detective Jo checks on Ms. Lee’s case file when Kang-woo calls, and he questions why Kang-woo didn’t approach him first with his suspicions. Kang-woo reminds Detective Jo that his daughter is scheduled for surgery and insists that he’ll handle the investigation on his own.
Detective Jo argues that the fingerprints could mean nothing, but Kang-woo points out that when a dead woman is alive, it’s definitely something. After they hang up, Detective Jo gives a detective Kang-woo’s number and asks him to find its location.
Ha-ri and Soon-jung show Ms. Lee’s photo to the local real estate agent, who assumes that they’re on the trail of a debtor. Kang-woo walks in to ask for a house with good views and a big window, and the agent comments that a young client asked for that same type of house a few days earlier.
Kang-woo, Soon-jung, and Ha-ri visit the apartment of that young client, finding the door open. All they find inside is a camera on a tripod, but no Min-joon. When Ha-ri checks the camera, the team realizes that Min-joon was the target of whoever rented that place.
In a flashback, we see that Min-joon was parked outside of a school when Ms. Lee picked up her son. She passed in front of his car, and Min-joon uttered her name, which Kang-woo detected when he reviewed the video.
When Min-joon followed after Ms. Lee, the person who was watching him ran into the street, and the camera caught his image. Ha-ri finds some footage of the man’s face and sends it to Noo-ri, and soon they all know that they’ve crossed paths with Go Jin-chul again—and they know that he’s after Min-joon.
Kang-woo stands in the spot where Min-joon and Go Jin-chul were recorded and notices a CCTV camera. Ha-ri studies the video and questions why Go Jin-chul would investigate Min-joon, leaving Soon-jung to suggest that it might be connected to the search for Ms. Lee.
Noo-ri remembers Go Jin-chul’s previous victims and wonders, “Isn’t Dr. Kim in danger right now?” Ha-ri tells the team not to worry about Min-joon, but Soon-jung notes, “Even prisoners are scared of serial killers.”
Soon-jung asks Ha-ri if she’s all right with the possibility that Min-joon could get hurt, and she answers coldly, “That’s none of my business.”
Detective Jo learns the location of Kang-woo’s phone just before he calls and asks, “What are you doing in Chungju?” Kang-woo asks for CCTV footage to identify three cars parked in front of the elementary school and wants the plates run.
Detective Jo doesn’t take the request seriously until Kang-woo reports that one of the cars belongs to Go Jin-chul, the serial killer who was responsible for Park Jae-soo’s death. Detective Jo calls him crazy, but a text of Go Jin-chul’s photo is proof that Kang-woo is telling the truth.
Ms. Lee’s car turns off the road at Gohang Farm, and she’s soon followed by Min-joon. At the same time, Go Jin-chul parks at the turnoff to scan the area and check on the strength of the guardrail.
Ms. Lee and her son, Han-song, enter their house. But when her son runs out to feed the animals, he ends up coming right back with Min-joon.
Noo-ri reports to Kang-woo that Ms. Lee’s phone is near Gohang Farm and warns him that the burner phone that probably belongs to Go Jin-chul is in the same area. Kang-woo speeds to the location as Ha-ri and Soon-jung drive out of town.
Go Jin-chul approaches the farm on foot, while inside, Min-joon suggests that Han-song leave so that he and Ms. Lee can talk. She sends Han-song to his aunt’s house next door, and when the boy exits the house, Go Jin-chul doesn’t see him.
Ms. Lee recognizes Min-joon from her visit to Kim Beom-joon on the day of the crash. She had delivered updated insurance documents because Kim Beom-joon had changed his beneficiary to his brother, Min-joon. Before she left, Min-joon had walked into the lobby, and he and Ms. Lee had seen each other.
Min-joon informs Ms. Lee that Kang Eun-joo is sick, and she asks, “What have you done?” That’s exactly what Min-joon wants to know: What forced Ms. Lee to fake her own death?
Min-joon thinks that it’s strange that the planner who handled Kim Beom-joon’s insurance policy now lives as someone else. Min-joon wants to know who died in her place… and if Ms. Lee killed her.
Min-joon guesses that Kim Beom-joon didn’t really kill himself, but Ms. Lee tells him that his brother suddenly called her to change his beneficiary. She figured that Kim Beom-joon killed himself so that Min-joon could have all of that money, and she asks Min-joon if he’s enjoying it.
Min-joon refuses to take the bait and wonders, “Why do I feel like you’re lying?” He circles Ms. Lee as he proposes that her hidden life is meant to protect her son, who may be in danger because of what she knows. Min-joon faces Ms. Lee as he offers to help her if she’ll tell him the truth, but he doesn’t see Go Jin-chul until it’s too late.
Go Jin-chul hits Min-joon over the head, and then greets Ms. Lee. Go Jin-chul explains that he broke their promise not to see each other again because he needs money, so Ms. Lee offers the same amount that he earned for helping her fake her death, about a hundred thousand dollars. As he advances on her menacingly, Go Jin-chul informs her that her life is worth a million dollars.
Meanwhile, Noo-ri reports that Go Jin-chul’s phone is on the move to a new location. Kang-woo asks for that location, and Ha-ri and Soon-jung both protest when they’re ordered to continue to the farm. They worry that Kang-woo might have to face Go Jin-chul alone and beg him to be careful.
Speaking of, Go Jin-chul splashes gasoline on Min-joon’s car with Ms. Lee and Min-joon locked inside, both bloody and unconscious. He drops a lighter into a puddle of gasoline that spreads toward the car as he drives away.
Min-joon opens his eyes and tries to open the car door, but it’s blocked by the guardrail. Ms. Lee also wakes up and tries to take Min-joon’s hand while the car continues to burn, at the same time that Kang-woo races in the darkness to the location that Noo-ri sent him.
Min-joon hears his name and turns to the window, where he sees his brother dressed in his pilot uniform. Min-joon drifts away but is brought back when Kang-woo pounds on the window and yells, “Kim Min-joon! Stay with me!”
However, Min-joon can’t keep his eyes open, and his head droops as he passes out.
Hopefully, the crisis that Min-joon found himself in at the end of the episode will force him and Kang-woo to work together, because whatever it is that they’re up against is huge, and they need to join forces if they want to discover the truth about the people and events connected to Flight 801. Right now, they’re following breadcrumbs, and each discovery made seems to get them no closer to the huge reveal lurking around the bend. For instance, Kang-woo would never imagine that the dead Ms. Lee was actually alive and that his search for the truth would lead him to the elusive Go Jin-chul, so no wonder Detective Jo thought his friend was crazy.
Min-joon continues to antagonize Kang-woo and the Mad Dog team, who remain openly hostile to their young landlord. I thought that they thawed ever so slightly when they realized that Min-joon was the target of known serial killer, Go Jin-chul. Why exactly has Min-joon provoked Kang-woo instead of just hiring him to take his case? First of all, Kang-woo would never give Min-joon the time of day only because he’s the brother of the pilot who crashed Flight 801 and killed his family. Add to that the fact that Kang-woo considers him a scammer because he accepted the money from his brother’s insurance policy, and Min-joon is smart enough to know that Kang-woo would never listen to him.
But I think the reason that Min-joon needles Kang-woo actually has a lot to do with Kang-woo and how the loss of his family affected him. Kang-woo no longer has any balance in his life, and the only pursuit that gives him purpose is to pursue scammers like Min-joon. Kang-woo lives in a perpetual state of anger, and that’s how Min-joon gets him to pay attention to him. Min-joon insults Kang-woo and turns investigations into competitions, doing anything to capitalize on the one emotion that Kang-woo responds to: anger. Now that Kang-woo can see that there’s more to the crash of Flight 801 than he thought, perhaps he’s ready to listen to Min-joon’s story. I know I am.
Ms. Lee’s story is sure to be interesting, but I find that I’m not at all sympathetic to her plight. She may have strong reasons for her actions, but the truth of the matter is that she’s alive and gets to see her son grow up, while Kang-woo’s own son is gone. Her childhood friends have suffered from their association with her — Kim Beom-joon is dead and will forever be remembered as a murderer (unless there is another explanation for the crash), and Kang Eun-joo is in danger because she knows the truth about Ms. Lee. But what’s even more sinister is that she worked with Go Jin-chul, a serial killer with connections to Hyun-gi and Juhan Air.
It’s starting to look like all roads lead to Juhan Air and Hyun-gi, who is not only connected to Go Jin-chul, but Chairman Cha. For some reason, Chairman Cha wields enormous power through his influence on the management rights at Juhan Air. Hyun-gi makes no secret of the fact that he doesn’t like Chairman Cha, but he obeys his orders and immediately arranged to have Min-joon eliminated. I’m curious about the story behind the power plays and how they set the tragedy of Flight 801 into motion. Kang-woo is right to be frightened about the shift in his reality, because he’s in the way of some very ruthless people.
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