Mad Dog: Episode 13
In spite of the machinations between the two companies responsible for the tragedy of Flight 801, Kang-woo’s focus is justice for his family and Min-joon’s brother. Their opponents may have high-level connections, but Kang-woo has connections of his own and is a threat in his own right. Mad Dog knows what they have to do to bring the misdeeds of two powerful companies to light, but it’s anyone’s guess who will be left standing in the end.
EPISODE 13: “Show”
As the press conference begins, Soon-jung and Ha-ri agree that Min-joon looks nervous.
In the hospital, Noo-ri feverishly texts Kang-woo to stop the press conference, and manages to send the text just before Chief Prosecutor Ohn discovers that he’s awake and Hong-joo snatches his phone away.
Min-joon introduces himself as the brother of Flight 801’s co-pilot just as Noo-ri’s text comes through. Kang-woo suddenly bellows at Min-joon as he makes his way to the podium.
Kang-woo grabs Min-joon in front of all the reporters, and with a slight shake of his head demands, “Don’t you dare say another word.”
Chairman Cha watches a news report on the interrupted press conference, amused by Kang-woo’s public display. Hong-joo is surprised to receive praise instead of criticism from her father, who says, “No matter how much they bark, no one will listen to them.”
Kang-woo and team are now at the police station and things look bad as a detective details the crimes that Lawyer Lee has leveled against Min-joon and Kang-woo. Min-joon has been accused of blackmail and faces a penalty of five years in prison plus deportation.
Lawyer Lee also claimed that Min-joon falsely accused him of stalking and murder in retaliation for ignoring his blackmail demands. The detective plays a recording of Min-joon that supports the charge and calls him mentally disturbed like his brother.
When Kang-woo warns the detective to watch his mouth, he learns that he’s been accused of illegally copying the blackbox, a crime punishable by ten years in prison. Soon-jung asks the detective if he’s listened to the recording but he answers that it can’t be trusted since it came from a bunch of criminals.
The detective asks for Soon-jung’s identification but Kang-woo interrupts and acknowledges that Hong-joo caught them. Min-joon disagrees and even though Kang-woo tries to stop him, he confesses that he forged the blackbox evidence and asks the detective to call the German embassy.
Kang-woo confronts Min-joon, now locked in a cell, to ask why he took all of the blame. Min-joon reminds Kang-woo that he’s done the same thing and argues that it’s his turn this time.
Min-joon acts unconcerned when Kang-woo points out that if he’s deported he can never return, until he’s reminded that Beom-joon’s remains will forever stay in Korea. Suddenly somber, Min-joon agrees, “You’re right. He’ll stay here forever. As the murderer who crashed the plane.”
Soon-jung tries to stop Ha-ri as she heads out of the police station to confront Hong-joo. Ha-ri insists that she has to as least try to reason with her but stops when Hyun-gi walks past them.
The detective reads Hyun-gi’s business card while Hyun-gi turns to Lawyer Lee to vouch for him. Hyun-gi acts pleased to see Kang-woo and proceeds to ask the detective to free him and Min-joon from custody.
Hyun-gi insists that Min-joon never blackmailed him, instead he brought up his concerns and they had a respectful conversation. Lawyer Lee had already left his position and wasn’t aware of the situation, which is why he made false charges against an innocent person.
As for Kang-woo, Hyun-gi points to the blackbox and explains that it was copied at his request. Hyun-gi asks for Min-joon and Kang-woo to be released immediately and the blackbox returned to its rightful owner… himself.
Lawyer Lee looks alarmed at Hyun-gi’s play to recover the blackbox and argues that it’s evidence in an ongoing case. Hyung-gi reminds the detective that he just denied all of the charges and asks him to close the case and return the blackbox. When the detective places the blackbox in his hand, Hyun-gi thanks Kang-woo and walks out.
Over a meal with Chief Prosecutor Ohn, Chairman Cha mentions that he knows that Noo-ri thwarted Hong-joo’s plan to discredit Kang-woo and Min-joon. Chief Prosecutor Ohn explains that since he gave Hong-joo what she wanted, he wants what she promised.
Chairman Cha agrees to erase the evidence that Chief Prosecutor Ohn pressured government agencies to increase the number of JH Group’s flights. Chief Prosecutor Ohn wants Flight 801 erased completely but Chairman Cha argues that it could help him become president someday.
When told that Hyun-gi is furious, Chairman Cha suggests that Chief Prosecutor Ohn should get rid of him to clear his way to the Blue House. Chief Prosecutor Ohn takes a call and informs Chairman Cha, “It looks like you’ll get sent away first,” just as Lawyer Lee calls.
At the team’s neighborhood restaurant, Soon-jung reports that Noo-ri was moved to another hospital. When he adds that Nurse Oh and his associates are trying to find out where he is, Min-joon apologizes that he’s to blame for everything.
Just then a broadcast of Min-joon’s interrupted press conference airs along with footage of his protest outside of JH Group. Some patrons behind them speculate that Min-joon’s protest was staged to get more money out of JH Group.
When the men claim that Min-joon and his brother are crazy, Soon-jung coughs to interrupt them, but the damage is already done. Kang-woo denies the men’s claims but Min-joon looks at Ha-ri and admits, “It’s true. I’m a con man. I conned you.” Min-joon can’t bear to stay and announces that he’ll leave first.
In his apartment, Min-joon drinks alone while he listens to the blackbox recording of his brother’s final seconds. Min-joon stares at the photo of Beom-joon and apologizes tearfully that he ruined everything.
Kang-woo sits alone in the Mad Dog offices to listen to a different recording—Hong-joo’s conversation with Chief Prosecutor Ohn.
Hong-joo finds Hyun-gi at his favorite bar where he’s been expecting her. Hyun-gi thinks it’s time for Hong-joo to call him by name but he backs off when she gets angry. When she tells him that it’s time he stopped playing the fool, he asks if he should stop pretending to like her as well.
Hyun-gi leans close and admits that when Hong-joo gave the blackbox to Kang-woo, he realized that he has genuine feelings for her, as crazy as it sounds. Hong-joo interrupts him but Hyun-gi insists that she needs to understand why he wants to give Chairman Cha a chance to confess. At Hong-joo’s puzzled look, Hyun-gi reveals that her father murdered his father.
Hong-joo finds her father spraying the trees in his greenhouse later that night. She stares at a spot on the ground and asks, “It was around here, right? Where Chairman Joo collapsed two years ago.” Chairman Cha stands motionless when Hong-joo confronts him about the death of Hyun-gi’s father.
Chairman Cha turns his daughter’s attention to the tree that her mother found on the street. Hong-joo reminds her father how much he hated that tree because her mother took someone else’s trash, surprised that he still has it.
Chairman Cha caresses the tree’s leaves as he recounts that his wife claimed she owned only two things in their grand house, Hong-joo and that tree. Chairman Cha hisses that Hyun-gi’s father kicked that tree with his foot and a flashback takes us back to that day.
President Joo Jung-pil had kicked the much smaller tree with his foot as he casually thanked Chairman Cha for a previous advance of 30 billion won and asked for 10 billion more. Chairman Cha insists that he tried to hold in his anger while President Joo kicked the tree and brought up Hyun-gi’s interest in marrying Hong-joo.
Chairman Cha explains to Hong-joo that President Joo was shameless, “That the daughter of a man from the shantytown dared seduce the man from a family that’d been rich for generations. He said I should consider the 10 billion as a dowry for him to accept you in his family.”
The flashback shows that an angry Chairman Cha aimed his sprayer at President Joo and released a mist of pesticide. It triggered President Joo’s asthma attack and when he dropped his inhaler, Chairman Cha crushed it under his shoe.
Chairman Cha explains to Hong-joo that whenever they met, President Joo brought up his poor origins. Her father wonders how President Joo would feel if the man from the shantytown takes over JH Group.
Hong-joo informs her father that Hyun-gi knows about everything and offered him a chance to confess. When Chairman Cha learns that Hong-joo came straight from a meeting with Hyun-gi, he concludes that Hyun-gi intends to drive a wedge between them.
Chairman Cha asks Hong-joo if she wants him to confess but she tells him, “Don’t even think about it.” As she leaves her father’s office, Hong-joo calls Chief Prosecutor Ohn with an urgent matter.
JH Group’s new legal affairs manager bursts into Hyun-gi’s office with news that a special investigative team is on the way with a search and seizure warrant. Hyun-gi barks at Secretary Han to keep them out while he and the legal manager destroy evidence.
The prosecutors interrupt Hyun-gi as he stomps on his hard drive to announce that he’s under investigation for embezzlement. Hyun-gi saunters out as the prosecutors descend on his office.
Hong-joo is surprised when Hyun-gi shows up at her office. He recognizes that she betrayed him in order to get back the blackbox and original insurance policy and claims that he’s hurt by her actions. Hong-joo tells him, “It’s about time that you got hurt. It can’t always be me.”
Hong-joo insists that Hyun-gi provoked her using Flight 801, Kang-woo, and her father but he insists that he only wanted to get her attention because he liked her. Hyun-gi looks legitimately hurt when Hong-joo harshly responds, “I detest you and your family to death.”
When Hong-joo explains her plan to hold a special stockholders’ meeting after Hyun-gi’s arrest, he compliments her cleverness. Hong-joo orders Hyun-gi to leave and a dangerous look clouds his face as he walks away.
Kang-woo has the rest of the team listen to Hong-joo’s recorded conversation with Chief Prosecutor Ohn. They also watch a news report about Hyun-gi’s investigation for embezzlement.
Ha-ri notes that the prosecution team responsible for the investigation is under Chief Prosecutor Ohn’s direction. Min-joon draws the conclusion that the purpose of the investigation is to recover the blackbox and insurance policy.
Soon-jung assumes that Chairman Cha instigated the investigation but Kang-woo announces that it was Hong-joo. She’s not only after the blackbox and policy but the management of JH Group as well, which means that her target is Hyun-gi.
When Kang-woo explains that Chairman Cha goes after the people close to his target, Soon-jung reasons that that’s why he attacked Min-joon, since Kang-woo pays more attention to him than anyone else. Kang-woo and Min-joon both deny the claim but Ha-ri cuts in to ask how they should proceed. Kang-woo surprises everyone when he announces that Mad Dog should disband.
A few days later, Lawyer Lee reports to Hong-joo that the stockholders’ meeting for JH Group will be held in six weeks and that Hyun-gi is busy with his legal woes. When asked about Mad Dog, Lawyer Lee reports that they’ve disbanded and shows Hong-joo a video on his phone.
The Mad Dog team meets at their hangout where a drunk Soon-jung argues against disbanding the team. Min-joon is also drunk and argues that they have no choice but to stop as he stands to leave.
Ha-ri reminds Min-joon that they got involved in the case because of him but he insists that it was because of Kang-woo. Soon-jung jumps to Kang-woo’s defense and punches Min-joon.
Ha-ri tries to intervene but Soon-jung warns her not to fall for Min-joon and calls her fickle, which earns him a kick him in the shin. When Soon-jung pushes Ha-ri aside, Min-joon knocks him down.
Soon-jung and Min-joon fight and thrash around the restaurant as Kang-woo sits quietly. One of the patrons records the fight with his phone until Kang-woo yells out, “Stop!” at the top of his lungs and tells the team to get lost.
The video recorded at the scene is what Lawyer Lee shows Hong-joo but she doubts its reliability. She wants to know the whereabouts of the team and learns that Kang-woo has gone fishing, literally.
Min-joon has been frequenting bars and picking up women with a new friend who knows the club scene. We see Min-joon escort a flashy date past Ha-ri on the way to his apartment one night, to her great annoyance.
As for Ha-ri, she now works at a friend’s garage and we see her work on a car owned by a man who’s more interested in her than the car. Soon-jung now works as a nurse at a hospital where a young patient makes fun of his appearance.
Suspicious, Hong-joo orders Lawyer Lee to have the team watched but their meeting is interrupted by a call from Chief Prosecutor Ohn. He reports that the blackbox and insurance policy are nowhere to be found and hangs up on Hong-joo. She updates Lawyer Lee that Hyun-gi still has the blackbox and insurance policy and he promises to find them.
Lawyer Lee approaches Hyun-gi’s secretary in the parking garage of JH Group and explains that he has something to ask him. Hyun-gi interrupts them and expresses his unhappiness that he keeps running into Lawyer Lee. When Lawyer Lee admits that he came to see Secretary Han, Hyun-gi notes his Taeyang pin and urges him to return to the troubled company.
Inside a fishing arena, Kang-woo checks his watch and we see in flashback what he had in mind when he called for Mad Dog to disband. Kang-woo wanted the team to distract Hong-joo’s people while he gathered bait.
When Min-joon wondered if their disbandment would be convincing, Kang-woo proposed that they start with a fight. Kang-woo was aware that the fight between Soon-jung and Min-joon was recorded and didn’t stop it until the spectator had enough footage.
As Soon-jung and Min-joon choreographed their fight in the office, Kang-woo passed out individual assignments. Soon-jung was sent to the hospital where Noo-ri was a patient and when the young patient teased him, Noo-ri was wheeled past him and covertly gestured his room number to Soon-jung as he passed by.
Ha-ri was told to work at a garage run by the vice president of her car club (Soon-jung explained to Min-joon that Ha-ri is the president). Kang-woo wanted her to get to know one of the regular customers and texted her the photo of the young man whose car she worked on.
Ha-ri wasn’t happy to hear about Min-joon’s assignment: “Drink and have fun with ladies.” Min-joon was told to have fun with one person in particular, the man who was his guide to the club scene.
Soon-jung wanted Min-joon’s assignment but Ha-ri argued that he wasn’t handsome enough. Min-joon wondered if that meant that Ha-ri thought he was handsome and she begrudgingly acknowledged that he looked interesting.
Kang-woo interrupted their teasing to ask Min-joon to run an errand—pick up a list of Taeyang’s insurance planners to send to his friend. Kang-woo explained that the relationship between Taeyang and JH Group was complicated by the corporate succession at JH Group. That triggered Min-joon’s recollection of Reporter Bang’s claim that the final stock needed to secure Hyun-gi’s succession was recently acquired.
Kang-woo believed that the final stock purchase cost 10 billion won and the team figured out that Taeyang laundered the money through its planners’ accounts. Min-joon was told that Manager Park would download a list of Taeyang’s insurance planners and leave it at Professor Byeon’s cafe.
Min-joon ordered a coffee from Professor Byeon, who called him the Mad Dog rookie. Professor Byeon explained there was a buy-one-get-one-free promotion and gave Min-joon an extra can of coffee. Based on his pale complexion and lack of muscle, Professor Byeon added a bottle of vitamin D so that Min-joon would be able to take good care of Kang-woo.
Once he was home, Min-joon found a USB in the second can and emailed its information to Kang-woo’s friend, Lee Kyung-sun.
At the fishing arena, Lee Kyung-sun makes contact with Kang-woo and they meet at a local restaurant. Lee Kyung-sun introduces three of Taeyang’s top insurance planners from different provinces and they share their findings with Kang-woo.
Lee Kyung-sun reports that based on the list he was sent, Taeyang used dozens of the planners’ names and bank accounts to move the money.
One of the planners notes that the shares bought in their colleagues’ names could be sold by them. When Kang-woo cautions that it would be illegal, the planners reveal that their colleagues are distressed by their vulnerable positions.
Lee Kyung-sun admits that the planners whose identities were stolen want to stage a protest and everyone is surprised when Kang-woo encourages it, but not against Taeyang. He suggests, “Do it against those who will actually listen.”
At the hospital, Soon-jung walks past Noo-ri, who suddenly doubles over and explains that he has an urgent need to use the bathroom. Noo-ri asks for privacy and once his bodyguards are gone, Soon-jung emerges from a stall with some extra scrubs. They exit the bathroom together but Noo-ri’s limp catches his bodyguards’ attention and they’re stopped.
Soon-jung asks the bodyguards to let them go but he’s pushed aside. When Noo-ri is ordered back to his room, Soon-jung calls on his crew of thugs, who are ready to take Noo-ri by force.
Hyun-gi dismisses his new legal manager after he reports that an arrest warrant will be issued in the morning. Alone, Hyun-gi expresses surprise that his arrest has been arranged even though he still has the blackbox and insurance policy.
Hyun-gi wonders, “Hong-joo. Do you really want me to go crazy and go down with you?” Hyun-gi calls Hong-joo but she doesn’t answer and expresses her hope that he’ll be arrested soon so that she won’t have to see his name on her phone again.
Hong-joo calls Chief Prosecutor Ohn, but this time it’s her turn to have her call declined. Chief Prosecutor Ohn meets with Kang-woo, who gives him proof that Taeyang used illegal funds to secure enough shares to direct the succession of JH Group.
Chief Prosecutor Ohn scans the evidence that proves that Chairman Cha created a slush fund to embezzle Taeyang’s money and wonders what would happen if he ignored it. Kang-woo explains that the real owners of those accounts are on their way to the banks to have the funds frozen.
When Chief Prosecutor Ohn realizes that the illegal activity will come to light even if he doesn’t cooperate, Kang-woo thanks him in advance and asks for one more favor.
Soon-jung’s men face off with Noo-ri’s bodyguards just as they get a call from his father to let Noo-ri go. Accompanied by his men, Soon-jung walks out with Noo-ri.
The next day, Hyun-gi is prepared for his arrest but his legal affairs manager has something to explain first.
Hong-joo runs into Chairman Cha’s office in alarm as prosecutors arrive to seize evidence for a litany of charges. Hong-joo protests that her father isn’t their target just as Chief Prosecutor Ohn makes an appearance. He explains that he’s there out of respect and offers Chairman Cha a choice between handcuffs or a wheelchair.
Hyun-gi enjoys his last-minute reprieve and watches a broadcast of a wheelchair-bound Chairman Cha taken in for questioning. Hyun-gi smirks that he looks very ill and comments, “Nice move.” He adds, “You took down Chairman Cha first, and now, who’s next?”
Kang-woo watches the same broadcast at Mad Dog and walks over to the newly returned Noo-ri with a smile. Noo-ri is happy when Soon-jung hands him a triangle kimbab but complains that Min-joon changed everything on his computer.
On a stakeout with Ha-ri, Min-joon insists that Noo-ri will find his system more convenient in time and laughs when he’s asked, “Do you want to bet?” Satisfied that they managed to hold back Chairman Cha, Kang-woo asks for an update on Hong-joo’s activities.
Ha-ri reports that Hong-joo just entered a restaurant and Min-joon adds that the contacts from the Department of Transport showed up earlier. Ha-ri verifies that they heard about the time and place of the meeting from the transportation employees that they were ordered to get close to.
Ha-ri is disgruntled because her mark is handsy, and Min-joon’s eyes bug out as he shouts, “Are you saying he touches you?!” She bites back that Min-joon looked like he was about to slow-dance in the street the other night, but he ignores her and plots how to break that guy’s hand off.
Hong-joo introduces herself to Jo Sung-ho, Min-joon’s nightclub friend from the International Air Transport Division, and Park Dong-chul, Ha-ri’s auto repair customer who works for the Air Industry Division.
Kang-woo explains to the team that these men permitted the increase of JH Group’s flights and signed off on the safety inspection of their planes, and that they’re Hong-joo’s final hope to pressure Chief Prosecutor Ohn.
As Hyun-gi sits in his office and stares at the blackbox, Kang-woo declares him responsible for the crash that killed his family. Min-joon looks out the car window as Kang-woo blames Hyun-gi for making Kim Beom-joon the scapegoat. Kang-woo vows, “I will catch you no matter what. You just wait.”
In spite of his moral shortcomings, I have to admit that my heart broke for Hyun-gi when he confessed his feelings to Hong-joo and was cruelly rejected. Hyun-gi is glib and irreverent but he’s not vindictive like Hong-joo and her father, at least not yet. It’s that vindictiveness that led to the entire tragedy that’s overtaken the lives of Kang-woo and Min-joon. At first, I thought that Chairman Cha was greedy, but in reality he wanted to crush the man who insulted his humble beginnings. Chairman Cha’s personal vendetta led to murder, not to mention unsound business decisions that could ultimately lead to his downfall, as well as his daughter’s.
I know that Kang-woo won’t rest until he brings Hyun-gi down but a part of me will be sorry to see him fall. Hyun-gi has been a fascinating character to follow because he’s so complex and has those split-second flashes of humanity that make him sympathetic. He’s been a great foil to Chairman Cha and Taeyang as well as the Mad Dog team. I’m really looking forward to watching Hyun-gi face off against Kang-woo as we head into the final episodes.
What I found most moving in this episode was the shift in dynamic between Kang-woo and Min-joon. Kang-woo and the Mad Dog team have been softening towards Min-joon for some time now and I’ve looked forward to seeing Min-joon fully accepted by each one of them. What I didn’t expect was to see Min-joon deflate so noticeably when faced with the possibility that he ruined the chance to restore Beom-joon’s good name. Will it be Min-joon’s melancholy that will prompt the team to embrace him? The team can’t bear to see Min-joon hurting and it was heartening to see them work so hard to hold him up when he was at his lowest. Kang-woo may not be conscious of it yet, but he now wants justice not only for his wife and son, but for Min-joon’s brother as well. These two have come so far.
As Ha-ri and Min-joon flirt and bicker, their bond continues to grow, and Soon-jung and Kang-woo are turning into the most obvious matchmakers. I’m enjoying every second of Min-joon’s and Ha-ri’s journey and I’m hoping that there will be time to see them enjoy a happy ending. In fact, it would be beyond satisfying to see Min-joon finally find love and acceptance from a family who understands him better than anyone.
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