My Secret Terrius: Episodes 21-22
There are bombs everywhere in this episode, both literal and figurative–like the ones waiting to destroy my heart with cuteness. Though the good guys score some wins, our master spy’s nemesis Chief Kwon may have finally come up with a plan that will capture Terrius at last.
EPISODE 21 RECAP
The King’s Bag NIS team converges on the elementary school, where the Minister of Health and Welfare continues his thorough lesson on proper hand-washing technique, oblivious to the biochemical bomb that has been planted beneath him by Sun-mi’s husband Chul-seung and V.
The noise in the auditorium obscures the ringing of the minister’s bodyguard’s phone at first, but he eventually picks up Ji-yeon’s call, and she warns him of the situation. While the bodyguard whispers the details to the minster, Eun-ha receives her own warning call from Ae-rin and orders Sang-ryul to hit the emergency alarm.
The minister orders the evacuation first before he’ll leave, while V hears the alarm and returns to the gymnasium.
Ae-rin arrives at the school just in time to see Joon-Joon outside fleeing with the rest of the parents and children, and she joins them as they move away from the building.
V approaches the minister, and after knocking his two guards out, she lunges for him with a syringe so she can take care of him herself. Except that she’s interrupted by Ji-yeon’s well-timed and always accurate high kick to the back, and it knocks V to the ground.
In the air vent maintenance room, Bon arrives to defuse the bomb. But before he can start, Chul-seung appears in the shadows and they begin their own fight.
Back in the gym, Ji-yeon and V are equally matched. They take turns throwing one another to the ground, and V throws a knife from her bag, narrowly missing the minister as he escapes into the hallway.
In the maintenance room, Bon knocks Chul-seung out and turns his attention to the bomb. There’s no obvious off switch, so Do-woo directs him via comm to use the bomb defusing toolkit.
Do-woo does his best to guide Bon through the wire cutting, but when it comes down to one wire, they pick the wrong one and the timer accelerates. After a few tense seconds, Bon cuts the green wire, and the timer stops. When Do-woo asks how he knew it was the green one, Bon says that he picked it because it’s Joon-hee’s favorite color.
Ji-yeon and V continue their hand-to-hand combat, but V slips away and manages to corner the minister. She has the syringe out and at the ready, but Ji-yeon catches up just in time and manages to disarm her and knock her out.
The bomb squad arrives, and Ji-yeon tells Bon to get out while she handles the rest. When the bomb squad checks in, she tells them that her partner, Do-woo was the one who disabled the bomb and knocked out Chul-seung. Ji-yeon asks if she can say goodbye to the minister before she goes, and she asks him why he was a target.
The minister says that he’s met V before, when she approached him on behalf of Case Pharmaceuticals. The company wanted to sell a new vaccine, and he declined.
Ae-rin and the twins have an unexpected encounter on the way home—Bon intercepts them to make sure they’re okay. He promises the twins that he’ll return home soon, and tells Ae-rin how impressive she was. As he turns to leave, the twins demand nose nuzzles, which he of course turns to give. And again, there’s a moment where he looks up at Ae-rin, and then he goes for it, and his gives her nose nuzzles as well. Awwww!
Ae-rin is mildly flustered, while Bon looks nearly giddy as he jaunts off. He touches base with Ji-yeon by phone, who tells him about their lead and confirms that they’ve got the two perpetrators in custody at the school.
But just as Ji-yeon says it, Chul-seung is shot from a distance and collapses on the ground. Somewhere out there, K sits with his sniper rifle. Ji-yeon turns towards the stairs, where K’s next shot lands in V’s chest.
Days later, the news is still covering the close call at the school, and suggests that the Minister of Health and Wellness was neglectful in refusing to approve the purchase of the new vaccine for a deadly virus threatening them all. Now with all the public scrutiny, the minister has announced that they will be importing the vaccine after all.
Bon and Yong-tae watch the news from their now shared hideout in Bon’s storage unit, complete with TV and tent. Yong-tae comments that even the media coverage is all part of Cornerstone’s plan.
Ji-yeon visits NIS headquarters to go through the new evidence with Director Shim, including their information about the vaccine, Case Pharmaceuticals, and its connection to Cornerstone. They also discuss Yong-tae, and the director confirms that they’ll have a safe house prepared for him soon.
While others watch the news, Ae-rin attempts to cover some of it up. Rather than tell the truth to Sun-mi about her husband, Ae-rin works with Do-woo to photoshop an image of Chul-seung catching a flight with V. Sun-mi sobs endlessly at the news, and Eun-ha comments that the least her husband could have done was get a divorce before running off with another woman. At this comment, Sun-mi’s eyes grow wide.
Chief Kwon is also reviewing new information, in particular, the fact that Chul-seung’s cell phone had NIS monitoring software on it, as well as all of the KIS members’ fingerprints on it (from their little stolen cell phone operation). As she reads through the profiles of each member, Chief Kwon learns that Sun-mi and her husband weren’t actually married.
Sun-mi cries harder as she confesses this very fact to her friends. She was reluctant to marry again after getting divorced. (Aha! Chul-seung was also not Yu-ra’s biological father.) In solidarity, Sang-ryul confesses his own lie: he was only a cook in the special forces. And after a few stern looks, Eun-ha admits that the S university she attended, wasn’t exactly the prestigious Seoul National University she had led them to believe.
Sang-ryul asks Ae-rin what her secret is, but Eun-ha waves off that they all know everything there is to know about Ae-rin. Sun-mi’s tears finally dry up. Eun-ha worries about whether Sun-mi will need to find work, but it turns out this isn’t a concern—Sun-mi’s father is really rich.
Ae-rin, Eun-ha, and Sang-ryul depart together, wondering at Sun-mi’s naïve yet optimistic outlook on life. Sang-ryul asks Ae-rin if she tracked down Bon at the gynecology clinic. Ae-rin gets a laugh at the thought of Bon’s “secret girlfriend,” Yong-tae in his pink gown still fresh in her mind. Sang-ryul also wonders aloud about Bon and Ji-yeon, but he tries to avoid any questions from the always vigilant KIS.
Back at the NIS offices, Director Shim has also learned about how Do-woo’s spy software got on Chul-seung’s phone, and he’s not pleased that civilians are involved in their business. Ji-yeon tries to defend their use of Ae-rin, since the KIS were the entire reason they got the tip for the school attack in the first place.
In her office, Chief Kwon hears the final report, that it was Do-woo who supposedly helped Ji-yeon take down Chul-seung, and she laughs at the thought. She knows it was Terrius who helped Ji-yeon, and she grins in determination.
Another day in the storage unit, as Yong-tae sits in the tent while Bon completes his daily push-ups. Yong-tae asks how Bon manages to fight so well, and Bon says that he’s a natural. Yong-tae calls Bon a show-off, but Bon’s hard stare makes him clutch his ribs and lie down in supposed pain.
Director Shim asks Ji-yeon about the missing bags from J International, and it turns out that Yong-tae is still holding onto that information until he can use it at an opportune time.
Back at the storage unit, Bon asks about the bags as well. Yong-tae refuses to give up their exact location, but he does recall how he took all the bags and parked them in a car trunk at a long-term parking lot.
Bon asks whether Yong-tae was being tracked by Cornerstone, and Yong-tae recalls K turning up at the jjimjilbang. He also remembers the very nice watch he received in the mail not too long ago. Suspicious of it, he’d left it behind at the sauna, hopefully ending Cornerstone’s tail on him.
Yong-tae laughs that the only one left to turn him in is Bon. Bon pulls out his phone just then, and Yong-tae grows panicky enough to suggest that he’ll talk about the bags. But it’s just a wrong number, and Yong-tae mumbles a bit before lying down.
Ae-rin is out of the loop and wondering how Bon is doing, so she gives him a call. He promises that he and Yong-tae are doing fine, and asks about the twins, and then about Ae-rin. Yong-tae scoffs as he listens to Bon’s half of the conversation, and then starts banging the tambourine around to ruin the moment.
After hanging up, Bon tosses a loaf of bread at Yong-tae, who of course complains and demands something else. But when Bon threatens to take the bread away, Yong-tae pleads for the opportunity to enjoy plain sliced bread.
The Voice meets with one of his minions, who confirms that they were able to make it look like V and Chul-seung worked alone at setting the bomb. When the Voice hears that Terrius likely interfered, he demands that Bon be taken care of soon.
Chief Kwon learns that Ji-yeon’s most frequent calls has been placed to someone named Wang Jeong-nam. But it’s the address where the phone is registered that tips her off—it’s the apartment across from Ae-rin. Chief Kwon and her team raid the empty apartment, and it’s Joon-Joon’s toys that provide the next clue. Chief Kwon recalls the KIS’s discussion of Ae-rin’s handsome sitter, and she knows she’s closing in on Terrius.
Ae-rin returns home then and notes Bon’s apartment door ajar. She wanders inside to face Chief Kwon and her team. The chief is pleased to see Ae-rin, and promptly has her arrested. They take Ae-rin to an interrogation room at NIS headquarters, in hopes that Terrius will take the bait and reveal himself.
Chief Kwon informs Ji-yeon of their latest arrest, and the news spreads quickly. Director Shim tries to convince Chief Kwon to release Ae-rin, an innocent civilian, but Chief Kwon holds firm. Ji-yeon calls Bon to let him know, Yong-tae doing his best to listen in.
Yong-tae adds that if Chief Kwon is working with Cornerstone, they’ll do anything to Ae-rin to get what they want. Bon takes a moment, walks away, and then calls Ji-yeon back to initiate a plan he calls Death Protocol. After hanging up, she approaches Director Shim and asks if he’s still willing to do anything to help Bon.
Dressed in his best spy suit, Bon walks out onto a tennis court, where Ji-yeon, Director Shim, and their team await to take him into custody. Tears well in Ji-yeon’s eyes as she slaps the handcuffs on Bon’s wrists. Director Shim asks Bon to be patient with them and not cause problems like the last time.
At the NIS, Chief Kwon is good for her word and walks Ae-rin out as Bon is walked in. Ae-rin’s eyes widen at the sight of the shackled Bon, but he shakes his head slowly at her, silently begging her not to say anything.
Once released, Ae-rin doesn’t go far and instead stalks the street outside. Ji-yeon runs over to attempt to reassure her, and encourages her to go take care of the twins while Ji-yeon and her team help Bon. She reminds Ae-rin that today is Bon’s birthday, so she should go home and get a present ready for him.
Meanwhile, Chief Kwon gloats in her office, and brags on the phone to someone that they’ve got Terrius finally, and that she’ll handle him.
In the hideout, Yong-tae blows out a candle that he’s placed in a loaf of bread. Yong-tae recalls that as Bon left, he let him know that Ji-yeon would be by soon to move him to a safe house. Bon’s been gone a while now, and Yong-tae notes that he’s got a bad feeling about things.
In an interrogation room, Ji-yeon stops to speak with Bon. She tells him that he needs to keep his promise, and he nods. He asks about Ae-rin, and Ji-yeon confirms that she got away.
Agents move Bon into a van for transport. Thankfully, it does seem that there’s more to Death Protocol than just Bon turning himself in. In flashback, Director Shim, Ji-yeon, and Bon go over the plan quietly together when Bon was originally apprehended.
While Bon is being transported to N3, the van carrying him will stop over a manhole on the street. Bon must drop down through a hole of the car’s undercarriage and through the manhole. As soon as he’s dropped, the van will explode, faking Bon’s death.
Back in the present, the van departs with Bon inside, while Ji-yeon and Chief Kwon ride together in a car behind it. Ji-yeon is notably nervous, and Chief Kwon reaches for her phone.
In the van, Bon closes his eyes and does his best to estimate the turns and the distance driven. The van stops, but Bon knows that it’s too soon and they aren’t over the manhole yet.
Ji-yeon realizes the same thing, and as she cranes her neck to see what’s going on, the van explodes.
In the King Castle Complex, Ae-rin and the twins enter Bon’s apartment to feed the fish. But Joon-hee begins to cry, as she spots the fish called Uncle, floating dead on the top of the water.
Back at the explosion, Ji-yeon cries out, the tall flames reflected on her face as the van burns.
What an unfortunate birthday surprise for Bon. But we all know that he’ll manage to get out of this mess too. I’m looking forward to watching the crazy scheme that allows Bon to escape the van just moments before it explodes.
I’m still pretty confident that Director Shim is actually the mole we should fear, but the show is doing a tremendous job of making me doubt myself. Chief Kwon on her phone just moments before the van explodes; it seems so obvious that she’s the one with the evil plan.
All the same, van explosion doesn’t seem her style. I feel like if Chief Kwon really is the baddie the show wants us to believe, she would want her moment to confront Bon before she killed him. He was being transferred to N3 for a reason, and that was so that she could interrogate him. She needs that closure, the feeling that she finally caught her white whale. Blowing him up halfway there just doesn’t feel right.
It also seems like it would be pretty easy for Director Shim to sabotage his own plan. If I’m right, Ji-yeon is going to be so disappointed in her mentor once he reveals himself for what he is.
On the lighter side, this show is great at granting wishes. I requested Bon and Yong-tae cohabitation last week, and this week I was rewarded with it. I thought that certainly we couldn’t manage both personalities in that tiny storage unit, and yet somehow, those two made it work.
If Director Shim is the mole though, Yong-tae is in danger again. If he’s fortunate enough for Ji-yeon to still pick him up for the safe house, that place will be anything but safe for him. Yong-tae’s first impulse is always to run, and I hope he’s still compelled to take that route. He can worry about some serious character growth later, when the NIS isn’t trying to kill him.
The way that Ae-rin handled Sun-mi’s husband’s “disappearance” was really the worst. How is this better for anyone? How could she possibly cover up this death? I was willing to overlook her lie to her children about their father’s death. She was still grieving herself, and I can understand parents feeling scared to tell their kid’s hard truths. But Sun-mi is a grown woman and they are still hurting her with this supposedly lesser betrayal. I suppose Ae-rin thinks she’s covering her tracks back to Bon and the NIS, but I think this was really unfair.
It seems Bon’s fortune-telling came true, at least in the case of Sun-mi’s husband not being the father to her child. It makes me wonder how his predictions for Eun-ha and Sang-ryul will manifest by the show’s end.
Despite the wish-granting, explosions, and nose nuzzles, I have to admit that I found this episode a little boring, especially when compared to the previous weeks. So much time was spent just watching the agents sit in their offices and exchange information that the audience already knows, and it feels like the reveal of the NIS mole has perhaps been stretched for just an episode too long.
I’m not sure we have that much more plot to deal with, so my hope is that we spend the last couple weeks of the show leaning in to the comedy and sweet moments to fill all the gaps in the plot. Reunite Bon and the twins!