Mad Dog: Episode 8
How can you tell who is worthy of your trust when everyone in this show is so openly duplicitous? Whether it’s Taeyang or JH Group at the forefront of the conspiracy, our heroes continue to uncover the secrets of Flight 801, but they’ll need to keep their wits about them if they want to keep themselves out of danger in the process.
EPISODE 8: “At a fishing spot”
In the Taeyang office, Kang-woo introduces himself as the firm’s claims examination team manager. Min-joon questions Kang-woo’s motive for returning to Taeyang, but Kang-woo assures Min-joon that his goal is to dig into Taeyang’s insurance policies more deeply.
Min-joon is skeptical that Taeyang trusts Kang-woo, and says they should do something so that he can earn their trust back. But Kang-woo warns him to stay under the radar, adding, “If you get caught again, no one can save you.” Min-joon just laughs off this warning.
In Chairman Cha’s office, Hyun-gi reveals the plan to hold his father’s funeral this week so he can finally officially take his father’s position as Chairman of JH Group.
Hyun-gi laments over how long it took for his father’s death to be made official, even though he actually collapsed in Chairman Cha’s office right after the Flight 801 crash two years ago and never regained consciousness.
Hyun-gi pivots to ask if Chairman Cha still has “that thing” regarding Flight 801, but Chairman Cha counters by asking Hyun-gi the same question. They’re both using whatever item they possess as leverage against the other, and they agree to finally exchange the items after Hyun-gi takes over JH Group.
Hyun-gi tells Chairman Cha to leave Hong-joo in the dark about their secret dealings, but jokes that he feels bad about the father and daughter having too many secrets.
Just then, Hong-joo arrives to interrupt, and Chairman Cha dismisses Hyun-gi so they can talk privately. Hong-joo wonders why her father would bring Kang-woo back, but he insists that Kang-woo came to him, and it’s good for business.
Hong-joo remains concerned though, since Kang-woo was digging in to Ms. Lee before coming back, but Chairman Cha questions whether Hong-joo’s concern about Kang-woo’s return is really because of the crash.
Chairman Cha explains his motivation for the re-hiring, “If you give Kang-woo what he wants and leave him alone, he’ll go fetch it.”
When Hong-joo asks what specifically Chairman Cha wants Kang-woo to fetch for him, he snaps that she doesn’t want to know, and tells her that she should “just get ready to capture the dog.”
As his daughter stammers in shock at the suggestion that she use Kang-woo and get rid of him, he reminds her that the chairman seat of Taeyang will soon belong to her, and she needs to stop acting like Kang-woo’s hoobae so she can take her rightful place. She in turn asks where her father will go after emptying his seat: “JH Group?”
Meanwhile in the lobby, Hyun-gi overhears some employees gossiping over Kang-woo’s return, and he realizes that Kang-woo is the person Hong-joo always goes out of her way to please. Hyun-gi clocks that Kang-woo left right after the Flight 801 incident, and he seems to realize the significance of the timing.
Kang-woo heads to Hong-joo’s office where she scolds him for keeping her out of the loop. Hong-joo asks Kang-woo to tell her why he came back, and he informs her that since Go Jin-chul is dead, he no longer needs to run Mad Dog.
The news seems to surprise Hong-joo, and Kang-woo insists that he came back because he belongs at Taeyang, promising to focus on bringing their fraud detection rate back up to par.
Back at Mad Dog HQ, the rest of the team arrive to find Min-joon waiting for them. Min-joon advises them that nobody will believe Kang-woo’s return to Taeyang is legit if Mad Dog continues to operate in the meantime, so they should close the office. Ha-ri gives a devilish smile in response.
They leave a notice on the front door announcing their closure, only to move all of their equipment upstairs into Min-joon’s apartment, much to his chagrin. Min-joon protests their intrusion, but they say he owes them their deposit for vacating the office, figuring they should charge him about 100 million won to set up a new office here.
They make themselves right at home, and Min-joon goes into a convulsive fit at the sight of Soon-jung riding his one-of-a-kind deer artwork like it’s a pony ride.
They refocus on work and discuss Hong-joo’s meeting with JH’s Lawyer Lee at the hotel. Min-joon complains about Ha-ri interfering with his attempts to eavesdrop on their targets, even if she insists it was for his safety.
Min-joon wonders if she likes him that much to be concerned about him, and she casually flirts back while Soon-jung and Noo-ri look on wide-eyed. He hands over a USB drive for the Mad Dog crew to investigate, which contains information on Reporter Bang, who was suspended after JH Group’s legal team, led by Lawyer Lee, filed a complaint.
Min-joon receives an email from Kang-woo with the files from the Flight 801 investigation, and Kang-woo reiterates his warning to Min-joon to stay under the radar.
When Min-joon listens to the recording from the cockpit during the crash, he realizes his brother’s voice is missing, and Ha-ri arrives to explain that someone deleted Beom-joon’s voice from the file to cover up his attempts to stop the crash.
Min-joon speculates that Hyun-gi would be in a position to benefit from the cover-up, and Ha-ri confirms that Hyun-gi was lauded for how he stepped in to handle the crisis in lieu of his father, earning a promotion in the immediate aftermath. It was Hyun-gi’s big reveal to the public as the group’s successor.
Ha-ri wants to know why Min-joon gave them the data on Reporter Bang, and Min-joon cryptically answers that he wants to make a big reveal for himself as well. He enjoys it when she worries about him again, but tells her to just go back to worrying about Kang-woo.
Back at Taeyang, Kang-woo searches the company’s files for Beom-joon’s insurance policies, and lets Manager Park know about Ms. Lee’s dying words to Min-joon to find the originals.
Manager Park informs Kang-woo that Ms. Lee usually kept the original files herself, but since her presumed death years ago, he retrieved them from her.
Kang-woo asks to see the files, and he scrutinizes them with Manager Park and Professor Byeon. Kang-woo notices that the paper used for some of the files is different, which is odd since Taeyang uses a single paper supplier to supply a specific type of paper.
They take the files to be analyzed by a professional, who notes that the paper used for these policies wasn’t sold until the middle of 2010, so the policies that were supposedly signed before then can’t possibly be originals.
Kang-woo and Manager Park realize that the company policy regarding suicidal deaths changed in 2010, so they would no longer be considered accidental deaths for the purposes of paying out the insurance.
They speculate that someone changed the dates of Beom-joon’s policies so they could pay out more in case of suicide, framing Beom-joon so the public would be more likely to believe he crashed the plane on purpose.
Kang-woo knows they need more concrete evidence, and Manager Park reveals that all of the files on Flight 801 are now in the company’s basement depository, where all the classified documents from important cases are now stored. In order to get access, they’ll need to settle a big case themselves.
Meanwhile, Min-joon and Mad Dog team up to collect intel on Hyun-gi. Ha-ri joins Min-joon at the JH Group building to scout Hyun-gi’s movements, and she makes sure to physically block Lawyer Lee from seeing Min-joon when he passes by.
Min-joon teases her over her concern, half-annoyed at her constant pestering, then tells Noo-ri to inform Reporter Bang to come to the JH building the next day to meet Ha-ri.
At home, Hyun-gi harasses his secretary, who looks miserable in Hyun-gi’s presence, and then leaves to deposit some important documents in a hidden safe in his study. The secretary sees exactly where the safe is located before walking out.
Outside, Min-joon speculates that Hyun-gi must have some kind of vault for important documents inside the house, and spies the secretary leaving looking dejected.
The secretary heads to a nearby restaurant, but the meat he wants is too expensive, so he settles with just soup. He curses out Hyun-gi and promises to hand in his resignation the next day.
As he downs a shot of soju, someone places a plate of meat on his table, and we see it’s Min-joon sitting at the table next to the secretary. Min-joon lies that he ordered too much for himself and tells the secretary to eat it, who gratefully accepts.
Afterwards, Min-joon warmly sees the secretary off, and Ha-ri catches up with Min-joon to see what he learned from the secretary by offering him food. But Min-joon says that he didn’t buy the meat for the secretary to get information—he simply did it out of kindness.
Min-joon jokes that it must seem out of character for him to do something like that since she only sees him as a con man, not a person, but Ha-ri commends him for it and strokes his hair, teasing that he might actually become human.
Min-joon playfully tells her he doesn’t want to become human, since he looks forward to the day Ha-ri exposes him as a con man. She jokes back, “You’ll never become human. Once a beast, always a beast.”
Min-joon snickers back that they should party like beasts then and saunters off, leaving Ha-ri to scold herself for flirting with him again.
The next day, Soon-jung and Ha-ri scout the JH Group building, and Reporter Bang arrives soon after. He spots Ha-ri and approaches her to see why she contacted him.
Just then, Min-joon walks by them and heads straight for Lawyer Lee, who is heading through the lobby as well. As everyone else in the lobby looks on, Min-joon introduces himself as the brother of Flight 801’s co-pilot Kim Beom-joon.
Reporter Bang springs into action, taking out his phone to record Min-joon’s dramatic scene. Min-joon loudly proclaims to Lawyer Lee that he plans to hold Juhan Air responsible for his brother’s apparent suicide.
He claims that the airline caused Beom-joon’s depression and, thus, calls the crash an industrial accident. Min-joon is led inside a conference room where he secretly plants a recording device.
Ha-ri calls Min-joon as he waits, and he reveals that his goal was for Reporter Bang to record the whole scene. He tells Ha-ri to let him know when Reporter Bang uploads the video on his blog.
Lawyer Lee arrives, and he informs Min-joon that he is not entitled to Beom-joon’s pension even if the crash was an industrial accident. Min-joon, though, makes it plain that he doesn’t want the pension, he just wants to report Juhan Air for their wrongdoing.
Lawyer Lee thinks he’s bluffing, and tells Min-joon that he doubts Juhan Air would have any trouble sweeping it under the rug.
Just then, Ha-ri texts Min-joon to tell him Reporter Bang’s video is up, and Min-joon proudly shows the video to Lawyer Lee, whose face falls as he watches. Min-joon smugly tells Lawyer Lee to call him when he’s ready.
At the same time, Hyun-gi angrily calls Lawyer Lee to yell at him to get rid of the video. Hyun-gi prepares to throw his phone in anger, but his secretary stops him, not wanting Hyun-gi to make a scene in the lobby of the building.
As Hyun-gi stands with his arm aloft, Min-joon bumps right into him and his secretary. And it turns out Min-joon overheard Hyun-gi telling Lawyer Lee to make sure nothing goes wrong before next week, curious as to what he could be talking about.
The secretary recognizes Min-joon from the restaurant the night before, and Hyun-gi also recognizes him as Beom-joon’s brother, not sure what to make of the sudden fuss Min-joon is kicking up.
Ha-ri and Soon-jung catch up to Min-joon outside, and Min-joon reveals that by making such a public spectacle, JH Group can’t just kill him off so easily.
Soon-jung shows Min-joon some of the horrible netizen comments in response to his brazen scheme, but Min-joon just chuckles at them. Ha-ri assesses that if JH Group killed Min-joon now then it would be all over the media, and Min-joon exclaims, “That’s right, isn’t that great?” Ha.
Back at Taeyang, Kang-woo and Manager Park retrieve documents on several cases of young men in special forces claiming stress disorders recently, and find that there are over 100 cases in the past few months.
Manager Park figures that there must be at least 5 billion won worth of fraudulent claims, and Kang-woo instructs his employees to dig deeper for similar cases.
Later, Kang-woo tells Manager Park that these new cases coincide with the release from prison of a scammer that Kang-woo caught a few years ago for a similar fraud charge. Kang-woo and Manager Park resolve to use this new case as an opportunity to gain access to the basement depository.
Just then, Kang-woo receives the video of Min-joon’s outburst at JH Group, and sighs over his refusal to lay low.
At a bar, Min-joon drinks alone, only for Kang-woo to join him. Kang-woo wonders if Min-joon can handle the backlash he is facing, and worries that Min-joon might actually get himself killed. Min-joon offers him some of his ice cream, but Kang-woo refuses, saying that his son liked it.
Min-joon opens up about his past, telling Kang-woo about how his adoptive parents kicked him out when he was 17 because they finally conceived their own child. Min-joon starved for a few days after, and resorted to begging for money because the ice cream in a shop window looked so good.
When he had enough money, he went straight to the ice cream shop to buy some, but dropped the ice cream on the ground to avoid getting hit by a car. Still starving though, Min-joon picked the ice cream up off the ground and ate it.
Min-joon confides, “After eating that, I cried for the first time. I realized then that I was abandoned and alone. A piece of ice as cold as that ice cream got lodged in my heart in that moment.” Oof.
Min-joon continues, “Do you know when that piece of ice started to melt? October 11, 2015. When my brother said, ‘Next time, call me hyung, okay?'” Min-joon says he actually did plan to accept his brother when he got back from his flight, but that never happened.
Now, Min-joon wants to put those responsible for his brother’s death in jail. Then, he says, he’d be okay with dying. But Kang-woo disagrees, “Why would you die? They are the ones that have to die.”
They share a toast to that, and Kang-woo implores Min-joon to tell him what the plan is so he can help. Min-joon reveals that he planted a bug at JH Group, and they listen to a recording from earlier.
In the recording, Hyun-gi yells at Lawyer Lee over Min-joon’s shenanigans. Hyun-gi says he still believes that Lawyer Lee is loyal to Chairman Cha instead of him, and threatens that if anything goes awry before next week, Chairman Cha will never get back the thing that he wants.
Kang-woo and Min-joon don’t know what Chairman Cha is after, but they surmise that it must be important.
Kang-woo also fills Min-joon in on the fact that Beom-joon’s insurance documents were fabricated to make the accident appear to be suicide. They guess that if the files aren’t in the Taeyang depository, then perhaps they may be the documents Chairman Cha wants from Hyun-gi.
Back at Mad Dog, the team wonders where Hyun-gi would hide his important documents, and Min-joon divulges his suspicions that Hyun-gi has some kind of vault in his house.
They formulate a plan to infiltrate Hyun-gi’s house by using his taste for art, and luckily Min-joon is an art collector himself, so they can use his collection as bait.
In the meantime, Min-joon calls Lawyer Lee to set up a meeting with Hyun-gi for the next day, lying that he wants to settle their matters quietly.
Min-joon agrees to invest a painting called “At a Fishing Spot” as their bait, and the team will work together to infiltrate Hyun-gi’s house tomorrow without Kang-woo, who says he misses them. Everyone tells him not to worry, but Min-joon tells him to hurry back so that his team will move out of his apartment.
Lawyer Lee reports to Chairman Cha that Min-joon is targeting Hyun-gi. Rather than intervene, Chairman Cha tells him to let Min-joon do what he wants and see what happens.
Meanwhile, Kang-woo visits with Detective Jo and asks him to look into the con man who was responsible for the stress disorder fraud a few years ago.
Kang-woo notices Detective Jo’s demeanor is a bit off, but Detective Jo says it’s because he’s worried about Kang-woo, unsure of why Kang-woo would want to go back to Taeyang.
Kang-woo deflects and tells Detective Jo that he doesn’t need to keep chasing after Kang-woo’s leads after this. Kang-woo will do it himself since he doesn’t want Detective Jo to get hurt because of him.
At the art gallery, Soon-jung poses as a buyer and Ha-ri pretends to be a curator trying to sell him the painting Min-joon owns. Soon-jung says he’ll buy it but Ha-ri asks what company he owns, since the artist won’t sell to “just anybody.”
Nearby, Hyun-gi is eavesdropping on their entire conversation, and when Soon-jung storms off furiously, Ha-ri quickly reels Hyun-gi in with flattery over his renown as an art collector.
Hyun-gi agrees to purchase the painting almost immediately, and Ha-ri promises the gallery will deliver the art to his home later this afternoon. After Hyun-gi leaves, Ha-ri confirms that he took the bait, and Min-joon asks the gallery to provide Min-joon with the painting so he can take it with him.
At Taeyang, Manager Park briefs the executives on the stress disorder fraud case, and Chairman Cha praises Kang-woo for detecting such a large fraud so quickly. Chairman Cha orders Hong-joo to give Kang-woo his own key to the depository since he’ll need to visit often in the future.
Meanwhile, Ha-ri and Min-joon take the bait painting to Hyun-gi’s house while Noo-ri tracks Hyun-gi’s location from Min-joon’s apartment, and Soon-jung tails Hyun-gi’s car to make sure everything is going according to plan.
Hyun-gi calls Lawyer Lee from his car, who informs him about the meeting with Min-joon that afternoon. Hyun-gi wonders why Min-joon chose to meet him now all of the sudden, and thinks back to Ha-ri’s promise to deliver the artwork specifically that afternoon.
Hyun-gi panics as he connects the two events, and orders his secretary to drive him back to his home instead, where Ha-ri is already frantically searching for the hidden safe while Min-joon distracts the housekeeper.
Soon-jung reports that Hyun-gi is no longer heading back to the JH building, and Noo-ri realizes Hyun-gi is on his way home instead. Ha-ri finds the safe behind a painting, but they’ll need to race against time to crack it.
At Taeyang, Kang-woo makes his way into the depository, and immediately finds the files on Flight 801. He searches through them, but can’t find Beom-joon’s original policies inside, and is startled when Hong-joo asks what he’s looking for.
Back at Hyun-gi’s house, Ha-ri notices that the only digits on the keypad that are worn down are 5, 1, and 0, and Min-joon quickly figures out that the passcode is the date of the Flight 801 crash, and the safe opens with ease.
In the depository, Kang-woo asks Hong-joo where Beom-joon’s original contract is, not the fabricated one. She looks confused, and asks what Kang-woo’s grounds are for thinking the contract is doctored.
But Kang-woo still doesn’t believe Hong-joo, and asks her point-blank why she covered up the originals. Hong-joo remains resolute, completely unaware that the policies were doctored, and Kang-woo registers that she really did not know about the cover-up.
Ha-ri and Min-joon furiously scrounge through the documents in the safe, but Beom-joon’s original contracts are nowhere to be found. Min-joon then detects a hidden area above the safe, and when he reaches up, he finds the dossier containing the originals.
Hyun-gi is almost back at the house, however, and Ha-ri tells Min-joon to hurry up and leave with the files while she stays behind to clean up. But he refuses to take them, saying that he can’t take that risk when Hyun-gi knows her face.
When he does return, Hyun-gi heads straight to the study, but everything is back in its normal location, and Ha-ri is alone in the room holding the bait painting. She tells Hyun-gi that the artist requested a photo of the painting hanging up on Hyun-gi’s wall, and he tells her to hang it in another room instead.
But before she can leave, he forces her to remain still while he checks that the documents are still in the hidden compartment, and when he confirms that they are, he relaxes and leads Ha-ri to the living room.
Meanwhile, Min-joon escapes without notice from anyone inside, but immediately runs into the secretary outside. The secretary just warns Min-joon to leave before Hyun-gi comes backs out, and he safely makes his retreat.
Lawyer Lee calls Chairman Cha and informs him of Hyun-gi’s sudden change of plans. They speculate that Mad Dog must have found something, but probably couldn’t take it due to Hyun-gi’s interference.
Chairman Cha literally digs another phone out of a flower pot and cryptically tells whoever is on the other end that there is something they need to take care of.
At Mad Dog HQ, the team combs over the video they captured from their raid of Hyun-gi’s home, and confirm that the years on the original policies were changed to appear as if they were signed before 2010.
Min-joon wonders who between Chairman Cha and Hong-joo could be responsible, but Kang-woo confesses that he believes Hong-joo actually didn’t know about the changes.
Just then, an alarm goes off signaling that someone just entered the former Mad Dog office downstairs. Inside, someone searches through the dark, and Kang-woo and Min-joon sneak up behind him as the intruder searches.
They switch on the lights, and the figure turns around to face them, which causes Kang-woo to flare in anger when he sees the intruder’s face. It’s Detective Jo.
Say it ain’t so, Detective Jo! I suppose it’s not surprising that Chairman Cha would find someone in Kang-woo’s circle of people to turn double agent given how much we learned about the power dynamic between him and Hyun-gi this hour. It seems Chairman Cha is the person who is most responsible for whatever nefarious plot is beneath the surface, and even the man responsible for cleaning up the messes in Hyun-gi’s way (Lawyer Lee) is loyal to Chairman Cha instead of Hyun-gi. Chairman Cha seems to have his finger on the pulse of everything right now, and even knew that Mad Dog was going after Hyun-gi’s documents while he got to sit back and enjoy the show.
The question, then, is will Mad Dog be able to find concrete evidence which points to Chairman Cha’s misdeeds? They already know Taeyang must be complicit in the Beom-joon cover-up, and Kang-woo’s interrogation of Hong-joo should make it clear that she doesn’t know anything about the conspiracy. It’s interesting, though, knowing that Kang-woo and Chairman Cha do not trust each other, that they choose to dance around under the pretense that they actually do. It sets up an interesting dynamic for the foreseeable future where each man will undoubtedly try to outfox the other while struggling to hide their true intentions.
Their previous relationship, as Chairman Cha noted himself, was like that of a father and son, but that seems irreparably fractured at this point. For Kang-woo in particular, I’m sure this comes as a tough pill to swallow. After all, he wanted to blame both Juhan Airlines and even Hong-joo before finally leaving Chairman Cha as his main suspect. I wonder if Kang-woo is even ready to accept Chairman Cha as the mastermind at this point given how reluctant he seems to be to point the finger at him thus far. Does he still foster some sort of lingering affection for the chairman?
That said, Min-joon is certainly going to be key to pushing Kang-woo in the right direction. He doesn’t share the same personal connections to anyone involved in the cover-up. He just wants to find the truth, whatever it may be, and expose it so he can clear his brother’s name. It’s heartbreaking that Min-joon doesn’t even care if he ends up dead as a result, as long as it means his brother is no longer considered a monster.
Maybe he just needs a little bit of love from anyone in his life, especially since his brother was the only person to ever show him any sort of affection. And Ha-ri seems poised to be the one who provides it for him. Hilariously, she can’t even stop herself from flirting with him whenever they’re together, even if her colleagues are right next to them, and Min-joon seems to be the only person who can break through her unflappable persona. It’s a cute little touch of romance (if you can even call it that) in a show that is otherwise brimming with intensity at all times, so it provides a much-needed break every once in a while from the rapid-fire action.
But now that Mad Dog is closing in on the truth, I doubt we can expect the pace to slow down for very long. It’s only a matter of time before they’re digging deep enough into what transpired two years ago that Hyun-gi and Chairman Cha will both want to intervene. Given how thin their loyalty to each other seems to be, though, will they manage to keep each other afloat, or will they race to sell each other out as soon as their business relationship starts to fall apart? I’d bet on the latter, and with Kang-woo barking at their doors, I’d bet it’s coming a lot sooner than either of them originally planned for.
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