The Fiery Priest: Episodes 9-10
Our poor pitiful priest is in a bad place emotionally, still torn up about the loss of his mentor and the campaign against his good name. He’s trying to do what he can to help his friend, even after death, but his poor life choices aren’t doing him any favors in the meantime.
With the help of the Pope, Hae-il gets Father Lee’s case re-opened, but he’s not exactly thrilled with the way it will be handled. Dae-young is assigned to the case, very clearly against his will, so Hae-il insists on being allowed to help. He challenges Dae-young to win the case and he’ll buy the beef, and suddenly, they have a partnership.
On their way out of the station, Dae-young points out that he’s a year older than Hae-il, but Hae-il says that you call a priest “father” so he doesn’t have to use honorifics. Their first stop is lunch, then Hae-il wants to talk to the church director who testified that Father Lee embezzled church funds and the woman who claimed that Father Lee sexually harassed her.
Dae-young says that pressuring them won’t change the truth, so Hae-il offers to beat him with the cow rib from his soup, ha. He even takes a couple of swipes at Dae-young when he says that the truth is the most important thing to him as a detective.
He warns Dae-young not to get in his way, but Dae-young says that he’s the detective here and Hae-il is just supposed to observe. Hae-il growls that Dae-young can observe and that he’d better not act up, making Dae-young whine that he’s not a child. Hae-il says he can hear him, so Dae-young switches to whispering about Hae-il’s temper, and Hae-il goes for the rib again. LOL.
At lunch with Chief Prosecutor Kang, Kyung-seon is alarmed by his rant about Hae-il getting the pope involved in Father Lee’s case. He believes that someone gave Hae-il the idea, and Kyung-seon knows that it was her, albeit accidentally when she was making fun of him. She wilts when Chief Prosecutor Kang tells her to indict whoever coached Hae-il.
She asks who was assigned to the case, but Chief Prosecutor Kang says it’s not important, and to focus her energy on getting rid of the priest. She goes back to the office to brainstorm ways to do that without getting in trouble with the pope, but her coworkers can’t think of anything that doesn’t sound like the plot of a bad action movie.
After tricking Dae-young into paying for his lunch, Hae-il leads the way to meet with the woman who falsely accused Father Lee, promising Dae-young to be on his best behavior. Nobody answers at her home, so Hae-il just picks the lock and lets himself in. But instead of the accuser, they find her family in the middle of a meal.
Hae-il asks the grouchy mother where her daughter is right now, but all she’ll say is that she’s on a trip to Europe, that she doesn’t know when she’ll return, and that she can’t contact her. Dae-young has to literally drag Hae-il outside to stop him from hitting a woman.
They have no better luck finding the church director, whose landlord says he unexpectedly moved out with only one bag, claiming to be going abroad. She says it seemed like he was running from something, and since he’s got a nasty gambling habit (Hae-il shoots a knowing “So that’s where the church money went” glare at Dae-young), she assumed he was being chased by loan sharks.
Chul-beom watches a weird self-help video about how there’s no such thing as good or evil, which makes him wonder how a person would know if they were born good or evil. Hae-il barges in and demands to know where the two witnesses are, but Chul-beom just makes jokes while Dae-young puts on a show of chastising Hae-il for making a scene.
Hae-il accuses Chul-beom of bribing the witnesses to lie, then hiding them. Chul-beom swears that he’s a law-abiding businessman, but he suggests they bet on whether Hae-il can find the witnesses and prove he’s responsible. They agree that whoever wins gets to hit the loser, just once.
Hae-il tells Dae-young to look for records of the witnesses leaving the country, and the CCTV footage near the church on the night Father Lee died. Dae-young complains that Hae-il is unfairly targeting Chul-beom, so Hae-il asks how much Chul-beom is paying him, but Dae-young says that he’s just using good manners.
Kyung-seon gets a call from the idol she prosecuted in the meth case, asking to meet with her. She goes to see him in jail, where he says he only tried the drugs once at the chairman’s son’s party and never distributed. Kyung-seon reminds him that he confessed to distribution, but now he says that his band members were threatened with arrest if he didn’t confess.
She says he’s lying, so he starts to beg, but she only applauds his performance skills. She tells him that the law doesn’t care how much he cries, so he’d do well to learn from this experience. I dunno, the poor kid seems sincere to me.
Kyung-seon is called to Chief Prosecutor Kang’s office regarding Hae-il’s request for travel records and CCTV footage. He says they can’t just ignore the request with the pope backing Hae-il, but he acts fishy as he gives her the number of a guy to call for the footage.
Dae-young is upset about having to watch all the CCTV footage, so Seung-ah says she’ll do it. Dae-young snaps that she already has a lot of work, so she offers to stay up a few nights, which impresses Hae-il.
Detective Lee tells Hae-il that according to the travel records, both of the witnesses have left Korea. Hae-il asks where they went and Detective Lee gets a hunted look in his eyes, then stammers that the woman went to Dubai. Hae-il is all, But you said she went to Europe, so Dae-young says she had a layover in Dubai before going to France. Riiight.
They claim that the church director also went to France, and Hae-il gives them both the hairy eyeball. He leaves, kicking the water dispenser on his way out, which is getting to be an ongoing thing. Dae-young follows him outside to tell him to stop yelling and breaking things every time he gets mad, but Hae-il says they deserve it, and that fake forgiveness is the source of evil.
He threatens to break the cardboard cutout of the police station’s mascot, so Dae-young stands in front of it to protect it… until Hae-il lashes out with a roundhouse jumpkick and Dae-young decides that hey, it’s only cardboard. LOL.
Later Dae-young finds Hae-il pounding soju shots at a nearby restaurant and joins him. They end up in a silent drink-off, matching each other shot for shot, though Hae-il’s shots are huge and Dae-young’s are dinky, hee.
Dong-ja takes Yong-moon, the leader of the cult Daegakgyo, to the Pentagon bar to meet the rest of the Fearsome Foursome. She puts in charge of the welfare facilities, and the others warn him that his main responsibility is to make sure no problems crop up. As a token of his appreciation, YM gives the Foursome each a solid gold toad, which practically makes them salivate with greed.
After getting pleasantly drunk, Dae-young offers Hae-il some advice. He launches into an incomprehensible baseball metaphor, but the basic gist of it is that Hae-il is causing trouble for too many people by getting the pope involved in the case.
Dae-young says that no matter how hard you try, there are some things you just can’t fix. Hae-il grabs his collar angrily (Dae-young: “Don’t hit my nose!” lol), but then he lets Dae-young go and stiffs him with the check again.
Detective Lee calls Dae-young to tell him that the CCTV footage has been “arranged” so he doesn’t need to bother with it, unaware that Seung-ah has already picked it up. She stays at the station watching the footage and struggling to stay awake.
Dae-young wanders in, and he tells Seung-ah not to work too hard because nobody will appreciate it. But a minute later, Seung-ah sees something on the footage that gets her attention.
Yo-han brings Ssongsak a kimbap snack again, and he notices that his friend is sporting a fat lip. He correctly guesses that Jang-ryong was picking on Ssongsak again, and Ssongsak vows angrily to beat up Jang-ryong one of these days. Yo-han has him think of yummy food scents to cheer him up, but he has to go help a customer and Ssongsak starts seething again.
Yo-han’s customer is Kyung-seon, and he tells her shyly that he thinks she’s beautiful. She complains that he’s judging her based solely on her looks, calling him a baozi (a Chinese dumpling). Cue Hae-il slapping a huge bag of frozen baozi on the counter, HAHA.
He asks Kyung-seon why she’s yelling at Yo-han, but she reels from the stench of alcohol wafting off of him. He trips and falls twice on his way out, so Kyung-seon helps him up, and he gives her the cutest little sheepish grin. He tries to lecture her for touching a priest without permission, but he gets shy just thinking about it happening again and tries to leave… through the convenience store window. Wow, he is really toasted.
He accuses Kyung-seon of being corrupt, and annoyed, Kyung-seon tells Hae-il that she can’t be corrupt because she has no power yet. He says it’s not that power corrupts people, but that corrupt people seek power, so in that sense, she’s on the right path. She snaps at him to go home and sober up, and he blinks at her owlishly then wobbles towards the church.
She can’t forget his words about power and corruption even after she gets home. She calls her colleague to ask how long they were planning to request the idol be jailed, then tells him to cut the time in half.
Hae-il wakes up Sister Kim and SK just to offer them microwaved frozen baozi, and they humor the obviously drunk-off-his-gourd dork until they can convince him to go to bed. He tells them sweetly that it makes him really happy to see them eating the baozi he bought, then he falls asleep on his feet while demonstrating how to cool them off, awww.
He sobers up a bit by the time he gets up to his room, and he despondently accuses the statue of the Virgin Mary in his room of scolding him. He falls asleep and dreams of the day he blew up a room full of children, and how he’d turned on his fellow soldier who had told him that the room was empty.
The soldier had just said that anyone not Korean was their enemy and could be killed. Hae-il had screamed that they were innocent children, but the soldier had said that children are no exception, pointing his gun at Hae-il and telling him to step down once they returned home.
Hae-il had punched the soldier over and over, until the soldier shot him in the belly. After his return and resignation from the NIS, he’d quickly declined until the day he got in a fight, collapsed in an alley, and Father Lee had found him. Now he lies in bed feeling like he couldn’t protect Father Lee, either, the one person he most wanted to protect.
Dae-young wakes in the morning to a message from Chul-beom to meet him at Pentagon. Chul-beom tells him to control Hae-il before the situation gets serious and offers him a reward if he does well, but Dae-young just looks nervous and asks if he can go.
As he’s leaving, Chul-beom mentions that the anniversary of Dae-young’s partner’s death is getting close. He laughs at Dae-young’s angry expression and tells him to remember the lesson his partner taught him.
Outside, Dae-young sees a group of thugs viciously beating a man, which brings back the memory of his partner Young-chul’s death. Both of them had been badly beaten by gang members, and only Dae-young had survived. But instead of intervening, Dae-young just turns his back on the beating going on right in front of him.
Seung-ah calls Dae-young and Hae-il to the station to show them what she found on the CCTV footage. No cars are shown near the church around the time that Father Lee left that night, but the feed skips a full two minutes. Dae-young says it probably just lagged, which is a fair point, but down a certain city street, all the cameras are missing a minute of footage — in sequential order.
Seung-ah tells Hae-il that the situation room claims this is all original, unedited footage, and that there was probably just an error due to old equipment. Dae-young starts talking about lag again, so Hae-il shoves all of the files off the desk and onto the floor, angry that evidence has obviously been tampered with and the police don’t seem to care.
He storms out yet again, and outside, he spots the cardboard mascots. He smashes them to pieces, upsetting a group of kids, then slinks off guiltily. He’s seen by therapist Bae Hee-jung, who’s at the station to offer counseling to the officers, and she looks worried about him.
Kyung-seon confirms with someone on the phone that the CCTV footage was properly cleaned up. A call comes in letting her know that the idol tried to hang himself in his jail cell, and when she speaks to Chief Prosecutor Kang about he, he blames her for the media attention this will draw and sends her home early.
Hee-jung tells the police officers about a new program to counsel them for trauma they experience on the job. Dae-young is grumpy about her presence, until she smiles at him and he falls instantly in love. He carefully puts away the information she hands him, grinning like a schoolboy with his first crush.
Hae-il looks up a hacker that he knows from his NIS days. The guy swears he doesn’t hack anymore, but he gets nervous when Hae-il mentions that the statute of limitations hasn’t expired on some of his crimes. Hae-il says he needs help finding two people, and when the hacker mentions his price, Hae-il is all innocence: “Price? I’m a priest…” HAHA.
He texts Seung-ah a map and instructions to go there and find the witnesses. We see the two enjoying their payoff money at a fancy French villa, but Seung-ah saunters in and sneers that they’re actually still in Korea. A pair of thugs advance on Seung-ah, but she takes them on, armed with her nightstick.
She does pretty well until one of them lands a kick to her belly, but as he raises his arm to really hurt her, a voice calls out, “Wait!” Hae-il flies at the thug, performing an impressive aerial jump-kick to the face. “You’ll go to the fiery pit if you hit women,” he drawls.
I’m glad that we finally got a chance to learn a little about Dae-young, and his past seems almost as dark and haunting as Hae-il’s. It’s no wonder he’s turned into such a yes-man for the bad guys despite seeming like a decent person himself – he’s afraid of ending up like his deceased partner. He probably feels responsible for Young-chul’s death just like Hae-il feels responsible for the deaths of those children, but where Hae-il reacted with fury and hatred and wants to lash out at the world, Dae-young just wants to turtle up, pretend everythign is fine, follow orders, and not bring any more attention to himself. He’s even willing to turn his back on a crime happening right in front of his face, for fear of bringing the wrong people down on him again and this time, ending up dead himself.
I was beginning to worry that Kyung-seon would never soften up, especially after she was so cold to the jailed idol, but then she went and halved his sentence and I breathed a sigh of relief. I think that Hae-il made a good point, that it’s not that power corrupts but that the corrupt crave power, and something about it got through to Kyung-seon. I also noticed that when Chief Prosecutor Kang mentioned contacting a particular person about the CCTV footage, Kyung-seon seemed to notice that he was acting strange and seemed very uncomfortable. I’m still confused by Kyung-seon, because in general she seems quick to judge, hard-hearted and unwilling to listen to the opposition once she’s made her mind up, but she does believe she’s in the right and plays “fair” according to her tough rules. But then I remember that she also took that bribe, and she knew about the CCTV footage being edited, so it makes me wonder just where, exactly, her morals lie, and what in her past made her the way she is. At least she’s showing that she can bend, it just takes a lot to make her do so.
Hae-il is worrying me more and more as time goes on, because he seems to grow more reckless and self-destructive as time passes. I had hoped that being allowed to participate in the re-investigation into Father Lee’s death would give him a positive direction in which to channel his anger, and in some ways that’s happening, but I’m scared that, as he turns over more and more corruption and manipulation, his fury will increase until he’s really putting himself in danger. I just hope that by the time that happens, Kyung-seon and Dae-young have come over to his side much more than they are now, and can support him, because he’s really going to need it.
- Premiere Watch: Haechi, Item, The Light in Your Eyes, The Fiery Priest
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- The Fiery Priest releases character posters for main players
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- The Hot-Blooded Priest fights his way through a sinful city in SBS comedy
- Go Joon joins cast of drama Hot-Blooded Priest
- Kim Nam-gil, Kim Sung-kyun, and Honey Lee cast in Hot-Blooded Priest