The Fiery Priest: Episodes 15-16
Things are starting to change for our priest and his unwilling sidekick, though they fight the change tooth and nail. They can’t escape their pasts, but sometimes a dark, painful history can be more than a source of pain — it can be motivation to do the right thing in the present. With the help of some kind advice, even the most wounded can find a way to heal and move forward.
When he finds Young-moon at the orphanage teaching the children about his “religion,” Hae-il gets frustrated and picks up a bat. Young-moon deliberately bumps the bat so that it hits him in the head, and falls to the floor, moaning dramatically while his assistant films him with her phone.
Dae-young runs in, thinking that Hae-il is attacking Young-moon, and accidentally gets whacked in the face with the bat. At first he seems okay, but then his eyes roll back and he topples over on top of Young-moon. He’s taken to the hospital, where he’s diagnosed with “got hit on the head really hard.” He has a concussion, but the doctor says he can go home.
Young-moon is annoyed at being upstaged by Dae-young, but his assistant says she got enough on camera to sue Hae-il. She checks her purse but her phone is missing, and she searches but can’t find it anywhere.
Back at the church, Dae-young eats as he tells Sung-kyu and the nuns the story of what happened, making it sound way more dramatic than it actually was. Hae-il isn’t very concerned about having been recorded, but the others are freaking out… until the nun from the orphanage pulls the phone in question out of her pocket, stammering that the assistant dropped it so technically, she only stole it a little bit.
Dae-young tells her that she didn’t steal the phone, she found it, and he takes it from her and says that now she’s given it to the police. They’re all very relieved that the nun isn’t a sinner, except for Hae-il, who looks at them like they’ve all lost their tiny little minds.
Seung-ah calls Dae-young to tell him that Kyung-seon was transferred to the Yeongwol prosecutor’s office, though she doesn’t know why. Dae-young thinks it’s hilarious, and he giggles while he eats, making Sister Kim wonder just how hard he got hit in the head.
On her first day in Yeongwol, Kyung-seon gets a visit from a couple of her father’s buddies (she grew up in the area). She tries to explain that she’s working, but they don’t get the hint, and she starts to realize that this is going to suck worse than she originally thought.
She’s unaware that Chief Prosecutor Kang is doing this as a way to “tame his strongest fighting dog,” so that she’ll be more obedient when he brings her back and puts her to work for the Fearsome Foursome. He asks Dong-ja not to tell Chul-beom yet, because “fighting dogs” can be very territorial.
Dae-young joins Hae-il outside and tells him about Kyung-seon’s transfer. Hae-il dismisses him for the day, but Dae-young says that Hae-il should be careful because his church colleagues are worried about him. Hae-il snaps that what he’s doing requires risk and why should Dae-young care anyway.
He cuts Dae-young off when he tries to say that he does care. He says that Dae-young isn’t the type to care about others, and Dae-young snaps that that’s true, but he’s not a psychopath, either.
Annoyed that every case she’s given has to do with boring land development, Kyung-seon decides to knock off early even though it’s her first day on the job. She asks where she’s staying, and she’s told that the boiler is broken at the place that was arranged, so she’ll have to stay in a nasty motel for a few days.
While she’s trying to relax and eat dinner (after smashing a bug the size of a squirrel, lol), her dad’s friends pound on her door and insist on taking her out to eat. It takes a few minutes, but she yells at them to leave her alone, and eventually they go away.
Over dinner with Chul-beom and the Fearsome Foursome, Representative Park warns Chul-beom not to let the fact that the president of Wangmat Foods is Young-moon’s nephew become an issue. Chief Nam asks if they’re really going to bring Kyung-seon into their group, and Chief Prosecutor Kang acts like he has no idea what Chief Nam’s talking about, but Chul-beom is no idiot.
Hae-il stops at the convenience store for some soju and finds Yo-han asleep on the counter. He screams Yo-han awake, marvels at the absolutely massive cream bread Yo-han was eating when he nodded off, and asks if it’s true that his hearing is better when his belly is full.
Yo-han confirms it, so Hae-il asks if he wants to help him while he’s working his job at Wangmat Foods. He tells Yo-han that there’s something he needs him to listen to, and leans in to give him detailed instructions.
Kyung-seon is excited to see a claw machine, and she stops to play. She keeps playing until she wins a stuffed doll, same as the one she gave to Hae-il. She remembers casually joking that nobody could get information like what Hae-il passed to Seung-ah unless he was in the NIS, and it gives her an idea, so she calls a friend who works for the NIS and tells him she needs a detailed background check on someone.
At the same time, Hae-il examines CCTV footage until Sung-kyu brings up some ramyun to share. He mentions Dae-young, saying that he knows why he was assigned to Father Lee’s case and he knows he’s not on their side, but now that he’s spent some time with him, he thinks that Dae-young is weak, not evil. He believes that Dae-young might come over to their side if Hae-il is patient and kind to him.
Although Hae-il grumbles that he doesn’t need Dae-young on his side, he remembers Father Lee saying that he should bless wrongdoers and give it time to warm their hearts. Sung-kyu asks him not to say anything to hurt Dae-young, and Hae-il just sighs.
While Hae-il tosses and turns, unable to sleep, Dae-young sits outside the convenience store until he’s joined by Yo-han and Ssongsak. Dae-young asks grumpily why they think he’s so great — Yo-han says he seems like a good person and a strong detective, and Ssongsak adds that he’s seen enough bad people to know one when he sees one, and Dae-young is a good man.
At Pentagon, Chul-beom gets drunk and whines to Hoon-seok that they need to stop this new person from joining their group, otherwise she could get them kicked out if she does a better job than him. Kozayev shows Chul-beom a video that one of his men took of Hae-il and Dae-young walking together, and Chul-beom growls that Dae-young doesn’t do anything right.
Hae-il texts Dae-young and asks him to come to the church to talk. Dae-young is still pouting over Hae-il saying he’s not the type to care about others, but he goes, and Hae-il admits that he said something a priest shouldn’t say. Dae-young accuses him of sounding insincere, so Hae-il bites back a retort and just utters a teeny tiny, “Sorry.”
Dae-young makes him repeat it until he finally blows up, screaming, “I’m sorry! I’m really sorry!” He gets grumpy when Dae-young still doesn’t accept his apology, but he absolves Dae-young from needing to help him anymore. They end up yelling at each other, Hae-il taking back his apology and snapping at Dae-young, and Dae-young saying that he was leaving anyway because his butt got cold.
He calls Hae-il cheap, and when Hae-il yelps, Dae-young taunts him to hit a guy with a concussion if he dares. Hae-il grabs him by the collar and draws back a fist… but Sung-kyu arrives with chicken and beer and tells them to be nice to each other.
Hae-il slinks back into the church and Dae-young storms off, still ranting. He gets a call and goes very serious as he answers it.
The call was from Chul-beom, and when Dae-young obeys his demand to come to Pentagon, he’s greeted with a fist to the belly courtesy of Hoon-seok. Chul-beom sneers that his life is easy lately, since all he has to do is follow Hae-il around, and he didn’t even stop him when he attacked Daegakgyo and Wangmat Foods.
Smashing his glass over Dae-young’s head, Chul-beom reminds him that he ordered him to stop Hae-il at all costs. He tells Dae-young not to let Hae-il get anything on Wangmat Foods or he’ll make sure nobody ever finds the bodies of his dead partner’s widow and child. Dae-young glares up at Chul-beom, who tells him that people who look at him that way end up dead, and Dae-young lowers his eyes again.
As Dae-young walks home, he relives the night that he and his partner, Young-chul, chased a criminal into the Russian district. Their target had suddenly been joined by a whole gang, who had attacked Dae-young and Young-chul while their target ran away.
Dae-young had told Young-chul to follow the target, while he stayed back and fought the gang one by one. Young-chul had gone, but he’d soon been dragged back and dropped half-conscious on to the ground. Dae-young had struggled to get to his partner, and when he reached him, he’d looked up to see Chul-beom standing over him.
He’d vowed to put them all behind bars, and Chul-beom had told him to take Young-chul to the hospital first and get revenge later. Young-chul had still been alive when they arrived in the emergency room, and he’d weakly whispered to Dae-young, “Don’t die.” Dae-young had promised, then Young-chul had flatlined.
Dae-young had gone to the station in a daze, and his teammates had accused him of getting Young-chul killed by not waiting for backup. Chul-beom had also been there visiting Chief Nam, and Dae-young had lost it, and had to be held back from attacking Chul-beom. Back in the present, Dae-young says softly, “Okay, I won’t die, like you said. And I’ll protect the others.”
In the morning, Seung-ah finds Dae-young sleeping at his desk and complaining that his body and his heart both hurt. He leaves before Hae-il is due to arrive, telling Seung-ah that he’s boycotting Hae-il today and to go with him if he needs anything.
Over in Yeongwol, Kyung-seon hears back from her NIS contact regarding the background check on Hae-il. As expected, Hae-il’s profile is suspiciously blank, but what’s even more strange is that when he tried to search deeper, he was blocked. He tells Kyung-seon that this means Hae-il is either a North Korean under government protection, an ex-NIS agent, or someone whose real identity can’t be revealed.
The head nun from the orphanage calls Hae-il to tell him tearfully that if they don’t pay the little sick girl’s hospital bill, she’s being released today. He walks to the hospital, unknowingly passing Dae-young on the way, who complains that he was trying to avoid Hae-il then follows him.
Hae-il offers to pay the hospital every penny has has now and the rest in three days, but he’s told that the bill must be paid in full. He argues that this is for a very sick child, and Dae-young comes over from where he was lurking to chastise the hospital employee for having no compassion. The man refuses, so Dae-young whispers about the time he got caught with a prostitute, and suddenly he’s willing to help, HA.
As they look in on little Eun-ji, Dae-young asks Hae-il where he’ll get the rest of the money. Hae-il says he’ll get it from those responsible for this, and he tells Dae-young, “I don’t care if you try to block, ruin, or stop me, but wait until Eun-ji’s okay. Then I’ll take you on.” Dae-young says he’s done nothing to stop him, but Hae-il just says he will soon, because he’s going to raid Wangmat Foods.
Kyung-seon gets another visitor at her new office, this time from her estranged father. She tells him she has nothing to say to him, but he asks her for a favor — to help speed up a neighbor’s lawsuit.
She asks if he learned nothing from his time in prison. She says he abandoned his family and lives like trash, and she’s sick of it. She adds that she’s relieved she’s nothing like him and walks away, but he stops her to shamelessly ask if she has any money. She just scoffs in disgust and goes back inside.
Hae-il asks Seung-ah to come with him today, and he’s alarmed at her over-enthusiastic acceptance. He ignores Dae-young’s return to the station and tells Seung-ah to bring a camcorder and anti-riot gear, in case there’s another Choco at Wangmat Foods.
Pretending to have an urgent need for the bathroom, Dae-young hides in a stall and agonizes for several minutes before texting Chul-beom to say that Hae-il is on his way to Wangmat Foods, intending to take everyone down. Chul-beom sends Jang-ryong to stop Hae-il if he causes any trouble.
Kyung-seon shows up in Chief Prosecutor Kang’s office unexpectedly, and she gets on her knees to ask for her old job back. She promises to do anything he asks, and not to make any more mistakes.
At Wangmat Foods, Yo-han hides in storage to stuff himself with cream bread in preparation for whatever Hae-il told him to do. His hearing does indeed sharpen when he’s full, and he hears voices in the president’s office discussing where and when to hide “it.”
Hae-il waits on a roof across the street with Dae-young and Seung-ah, who records the Wangmat President greeting the jerk from the Gudam borough office who refused to listen to Hae-il, and slipping him a thick envelope. Dae-young says that everyone takes donations, and Hae-il growls that that’s not a donation, it’s a bribe.
Jang-ryong arrives with his men, and the trio duck for cover when he almost looks right at them. Hae-il signals to Yo-han over on the Wangmat roof, and when Dae-young sees them, he pretends to have a stomachache. Hae-il hisses that he can’t leave when everything is about to go down, and forcefully prevents him from going anywhere.
Seung-ah admires Hae-il’s investigative prowess as they watch Wangmat Foods being issued a citation, which the Gudam office representative says is just a formality to throw off suspicion. Hae-il says they’ll be closed for a month, pay the fine, then go right back to business as usual.
Yo-han runs to meet Ssongsak in the alley, and when the gate is locked from the outside, he makes Ssongsak help lift him over the wall (Ssongsak: “Are you trying to kill me??”). Ssongsak follows him over and into the building.
Hae-il, Seung-ah, and Dae-young head down to confront the Wangmat president now that they have proof of their illegal activity. Jang-ryong flips his hair at them, and Dae-young has to hold Seung-ah back from attacking him just for his stupid haircut. Jang-ryong even annoys Dae-young so much that he motions to Hae-il to go hit him or something, so Hae-il does a quick head count of how many people he’s sending to Hell today.
He and Seung-ah eagerly wade in, dispatching Jang-ryong’s men easily. Seung-ah knocks one thug into Dae-young, which shoves him into the middle of the fight, but he backs himself out again. One thug gets in a lucky punch, giving Hae-il a bloody nose, but he just rolls his eyes and goes back in even harder.
Jang-ryong hides until he sees an opening, then he darts out and whacks Seung-ah over the head with a board, knocking her to the ground. The sight of his partner lying at the feet of a thug gives Dae-young flashbacks to Young-chul, and he sees red. When Jang-ryong winds up to hit Seung-ah again, Dae-young roars and flies through the air to ram head-first into Jang-ryong’s forehead, and they both fall to the ground, dazed.
Kyung-seon surprised me in this episode by falling right into Chief Prosecutor Kang’s trap. I don’t quite understand why she’s so determined to prove herself to a man she knows is twisted and corrupt, but for now I’m writing her off as a lost cause. Maybe once she’s in with the Fearsome Foursome she’ll come around and serve as a spy on the inside for the good guys, but I’m not holding my breath for that to happen any time soon.
On the other hands, now that we’ve seen the details of what happened the night that Dae-young’s partner died, especially the fact that Chul-beom was involved, his whole passive attitude makes a lot more sense. He’d seemed to be a good fighter and a passionate cop, but his partner’s dying wish was for Dae-young not to die, and Dae-young had promised him. He likely acts so submissive because he’s trying to fulfill Young-chul’s dying request, and combined with what’s probably a hefty dose of fear for his own life, it’s no wonder he’s convinced himself that going along with the baddies is better than fighting them and getting killed himself.
But now he has Hae-il, who is the complete opposite — when he sees crime and injustice, he goes instantly into fight mode, uncaring what happens to himself so long as the bad guys get what’s coming to them. They’re both too extreme, Dae-young coming down too far on the side of keeping the peace at all costs, and Hae-il rushing headlong into danger at the slightest sign of wrongdoing. My hope is that Dae-young can teach Hae-il some restraint and patience, and how to wait for the right moment to make your move, while Hae-il reminds Dae-young that fighting is good when done at the right time and for the right reasons.
There are already signs that both men are starting to take steps towards that middle ground. Dae-young admitted that he does care about others, and worries about them, even Hae-il. And Hae-il actually felt bad for accusing Dae-young otherwise and apologized… okay so it was a very grumpy, reluctant apology, but it was an apology! Dae-young was triggered enough by seeing Seung-ah attacked that his old fighting spirit asserted itself, and I’m eager to see more of that. Him saying that he’ll keep his promise not to die and protect others felt like a decision to change the way he’s been going around ignoring his civic responsibilities, so I’m looking forward to seeing him become the great cop everyone else knows he can be.
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