The Fiery Priest: Episodes 31-32
There’s nothing more important in life than having people you can rely on, especially when your problems get bigger than you can handle alone. It’s when things are at there worst that a person finds out who their real friends are, and Hae-il needs his friends more than ever as he finds himself under attack. But he’s not out, only down, and this is one priest who’s never down for long.
Sister Kim shows up to the gambling house with Hae-il and Sung-kyu in tow, all three of them dressed like gangsters from the Roaring Twenties. Kwang-doo places the item they’re playing for under a glass — a thumb drive with the Rising Moon ledgers on it. He says that the first person who wins three rounds gets the thumb cast.
He asks Sister Kim what she’s betting, so she asks what he wants. He says he wants her to quit being a nun and work for him, and Hae-il objects, but Sister Kim agrees.
As soon as Chul-beom’s gambler starts dealing the cards, Sister Kim stops him and says that she saw him dealing from the bottom of the deck and giving himself the good cards. He’s dragged out along with Jang-ryong and all of Chul-beom’s men, leaving Sister Kim to play against Kwang-doo.
Dae-young, Seung-ah, and the violent crimes unit monitor the game from a van outside as it begins. Sister Kim concedes the first game after a quick look at her cards, then does it again with her second hand. Hae-il and Sung-kyu are trying not to have twin heart attacks as Kwang-doo shuffles for a third and final time.
They both look at their hands, then throw their cards down… and Sister Kim wins. Hae-il and Sung-kyu do the cutest fist-bump, hee. She wins the next hand, evening the score. (Sung-kyu: “I need to pee.” Hae-il: “Hold it in, it will ruin the game.”)
In the vault, Chief Prosecutor Kang signals to Agent Lee, who aims his gun at Kyung-seon’s head. Chief Prosecutor Kang says that he’s going to follow his heart and trust her, but that if she disappoints him again, Agent Lee will fire the gun next time.
He says that everyone in this vault is a team — himself, Dong-ja, Chul-beom, Agent Lee, and Kyung-seon. He explains that Representative Park’s share of the money will be divided among Chul-beom, Agent Lee, and Kyung-seon, and all Kyung-seon can do is stare at all that money.
Sister Kim offers to let Kwang-doo deal the final hand, and as he’s shuffling, she closes her eyes and listens the sounds of the cards. She suggests that she do a pile shuffle just to be safe, then she hands the cards back, and Kwang-doo deals.
Sister Kim sees him deal from the bottom of the deck, but she doesn’t say a word. Hae-il and Sung-kyu look like they want to throw up, and everyone in the van outside hold their breath. Kwang-doo sees that he has a very high hand and internally sneers, then throws down his cards.
Sister Kim looks at her cards — and she has a losing hand. But when she shows her cards, it’s a royal pair. She won! Everyone in the van screams, and Hae-il and Sung-kyu are practically levitating with excitement, ha. In flashback, we see that Sister Kim palmed the top card during her pile shuffle, then switched it with the card Kwang-doo dealt from the bottom of the deck to give her the winning hand.
She reaches for the thumb drive, but Horse Head grabs her hand. Suddenly Hae-il is just a blur, using his fists, feet, and even his trenchcoat to fight Kwang-doo’s men. Just as he’s finished, Dae-young leads the violent crimes unit in to arrest them Kwang-doo and Horse Head for murder, illegal gambling, and whatever else they can make stick.
Sister Kim hangs back, recalling what the Head Nun said when she told her that she was going to do this and take her punishment, because she wanted to help make the world a just place. The Head Nun had told Sister Kim that she would be punished — if she lost.
Back at the church, Hae-il and Sung-kyu are dying to know how Sister Kim won the card game. She says it was just the Lord’s will, and Hae-il loudly calls her a liar. Sister Kim says that really, there were no tricks involved… then pulls cards from behind their ears, HA.
She watches the guys trying to figure out the trick, smiling as she sends internal thanks to Hae-il for helping her lift a burden she’s been carrying. “Today,” she thinks, “You were like Father Lee to me.”
Chul-beom isn’t surprised to hear that Sister Kim won the game and the gamblers were arrested. He asks Hoon-seok if he took care of everything regarding Rising Moon, and Hoon-seok confirms that he got rid of it all easily. Chul-beom chuckles to himself, “Goodbye, Chief Nam.”
Kyung-seon stops by the church to rant to Hae-il about getting a gun put to her head. She has to confess that she’s been trying to infiltrate the Former Fearsome Foursome, and Hae-il congratulates her on her creative methods.
Chul-beom informs Chief Prosecutor Kang and Dong-ja that the gamblers left town with the Rising Moon files, deliberately not mentioning Hae-il, and tells them to be prepared in case someone else got the files. Kozayev returns to the bar covered in dirt and carrying a pickaxe, and he says lamely that he was planting a tree.
Hae-il literally screams when he hears how much money Chief Prosecutor Kang offered Kyung-seon, then says it’s no wonder they need a money laundering foundation. He shows Kyung-seon the thumb drive and tells her to find someone trustworthy to examine it, since she needs to protect the vault. She pouts that he doesn’t think she can do it, reminding him that she even fought baddies with a sword, but he just thinks she’s cute.
Chief Nam doesn’t hear anything about the gambling arrests until he sees Detective Lee holding a press conference on TV, saying that he and the violent crimes unit arrested them for murder, extortion, and kidnapping. Before Chief Nam even has time to get mad, detectives from finance investigation arrest him for tax evasion and false accounting.
After the press conference, Detective Lee rounds up the entire team and tells them that arresting Chief Nam is just the tip of the iceberg. He volunteers to quit and take the punishment, but one by one, the rest of the team all offer to quit with him. Detective Lee insists that it be him alone, but not until after they’ve gotten Gudam cleaned up.
Hae-il watches them, unseen, and he prays:
Lord, I can wake those who are sleeping, but I can’t wake those who are pretending to sleep. Trying to wake those who kept their eyes closed when they knew the situation was so hard. But now they, on their own, begin to open their eyes. They won’t pretend to sleep anymore.
With Detective Lee in charge of the case, Chief Prosecutor Kang and Agent Lee brainstorm a way to get rid of Chief Nam. Agent Lee says it would be expensive to destroy the fake ledgers, and Chief Prosecutor Kang tells him to do it anyway but to leave the fake-name accounts alone.
Hae-il is waiting in Chief Prosecutor Kang’s car at the end of the day, and interestingly, it’s the first time they’ve met. Hae-il twists Chief Prosecutor Kang’s arm and orders him to listen, but Chief Prosecutor Kang growls to kill him now unless he wants to die himself. Hae-il says that he’d be happy to kill Chief Prosecutor Kang for Father Lee’s death, but instead he wants him to pay for it, and payment begins soon.
Later, Dae-young and Seung-ah nearly choke when they hear how much money Kyung-seon was offered — they calculate that on their salaries, it would take them over six thousand years to save that much. Hae-il suggests they steal the money in the vault, because with that money gone, the Former Foursome would collapse.
He doesn’t want to keep it, but to return it to its true owners. Dae-young says it’s too much, so Hae-il absolves them and says he’ll find someone else to help. They chase him, begging him to let them help, ha.
Jang-ryong is back at Ssongsak’s restaurant for lunch, though his voice wobbles as he demands Ssongsak bring pickled radish. Ssongsak says he’s busy, so Jang-ryong puffs up to bully him like usual, but Ssongsak squares up on him and he says he’ll get his own pickles, hee. But Ssongsak says he’s got homework for Jang-ryong to memorize before his next visit, then rattles off a tongue-twister in Thai. He slaps Jang-ryong when he gets it wrong, getting some payback for all the times Jang-ryong bullied him.
Agent Lee releases photos on the internet of Hae-il from his NIS days, and a letter exposing him for having killed civilian children. The story causes a nationwide stir, and Young-moon from the Daegakgyo cult organizes a protest outside Hae-il’s church.
Sung-kyu and Sister Kim confront the crowd and defend Hae-il, but when they ask Hae-il to tell them that he didn’t heartlessly kill those children, Hae-il is silent. Sister Kim runs into Young-moon and bites him, and the crowd swarm Hae-il, who just stands there and takes it.
In the chapel later, Sister Kim tells Hae-il that there are many people he can lean on, but he says his pain is too heavy to share. She agrees that pain can make you cry, but she says it can also show you a new path. She tells him that those children have already forgiven him from Heaven, but he cries as he says that it doesn’t change the fact that he killed them.
Sister Kim says there’s another unchangeable fact — that despite Hae-il’s temper, he’s the warmest person she knows. She says he likes burnt fried eggs, too-hot mandoo, oranges, and sitting on the kimchi refrigerator like a cat, and that he also takes everyone else’s pain and does whatever he can to fix injustice.
She says that his memories are painful, but that he doesn’t have to keep reopening the wound and suffering all over again. Hae-il looks at her with grateful tears welling in his eyes, then he puts his face in his hands and sobs.
After hearing about his past, the archdiocese orders Hae-il to go on a mission to Argentina for two years. He says he still has work to do regarding Father Lee’s case, on orders from the Pope, but he’s told that that’s over and no amount of pleading can convince them to reconsider.
He goes drinking and Kyung-seon joins him, having heard that he’s leaving. She tells him that she comes from a broken family with a dad who got conned, so she had to study hard and cared about nobody but herself to succeed. But then he showed up, and she started thinking that maybe she was letting her past ruin her future.
She sniffs back her tears and says that Hae-il’s past has not ruined his future, because instead of becoming a mess like she did, he had the courage to live a good life. She begs him not to live with guilt, and says that if they both live decent lives, they’ll meet again someday.
Those fake-name accounts Chief Prosecutor Kang said to leave alone come in handy — Dong-ja is arrested for breaking the Real-Name Transactions Act and creating a slush fund. Chul-beom immediately guesses that Chief Prosecutor Kang is responsible, and he tells Hoon-seok that now that Chief Prosecutor Kang has eliminated the rest of the Former Foursome, they need to prepare for war.
The news that Hae-il is going to Argentina makes Chief Prosecutor Kang very happy. That just leaves Chul-beom, but he tells Agent Lee that it’s easy to lure a dog with bait, then kill it.
While trying to think of something she can do to fix this situation, Kyung-seon gets a brilliant idea — the headbutt. When Hae-il tries to catch his flight to Argentina, he’s shocked to learn that he’s on the no-fly list. Dae-young and Seung-ah arrive to handcuff him and “take him into custody.” He jokingly threatens them when they make him perp-walk through the entire airport wearing the cuffs, enjoying the moment a little too much, hee.
Apparently there are warrants for Hae-il’s arrest for things like breaking the police station’s water cooler, attacking their mascot, threatening an officer (with a soup bone), and head-butting a prosecutor. LOL. The best part is that Kyung-seon blackmailed Prosecutor Nam into issuing the warrant by threatening to tell the press he has a sponsor.
Chief Prosecutor Kang asks why he did it when Hae-il has nothing to do with him, and Prosecutor Nam painfully declares that Kyung-seon is the love of his life, PWAHAHA. Chief Prosecutor Kang tells him to lift the travel ban (“Fall in love on your own time!”), but Prosecutor Nam whines that he can’t and runs away.
Team Tsunami celebrate at the church, and Seung-ah asks when they get to break into the vault, making Kyung-seon give Hae-il some major side-eye. Hae-il explains that this is their chance to destroy the cartel, and Sister Kim is the first to hop on board (Sister Kim: “I’ll win it all!” Sung-kyu: “We’re not doing that anymore…”), with the others not far behind.
Kozayev gets back to the Pentagon club after another day of digging — HA, he and Young-moon are trying to get into the vault the hard(er) way.
Agent Lee makes some arrangements to “end this,” and later he picks up three guys at the airport. One of the guys unsettles Hae-il when he finds him sitting in the dark chapel, and he follows the guy out of the church and into an alley. The man attacks Hae-il and finds him almost impossible to hit, but eventually he manages to pin Hae-il against the wall. A pair of cops wander past, so he lets go and says that’s enough for today, curiously calling Hae-il “sunbae.”
Seung-ah runs into Sister Kim on her way to a team dinner, and Sister Kim says that the huge bag of groceries she’s carrying is for Hae-il’s birthday tomorrow. Seung-ah tells the guys that she has an errand to run, leaving them to their drinking.
At the same time, Chul-beom has Kyung-seon meet him at the vault to tell her that he plans on taking all of the money. He offers to split it with her, guessing that the moment Chief Prosecutor Kang had Agent Lee aim that gun at her head, she lost all loyalty to him.
She asks Chul-beom why he wants to split the money with her, and he says he needs her help, because Chief Prosecutor Kang and Agent Lee plan to kill him. He makes it clear that her life is forfeit if she doesn’t agree to his plan, and he asks if she’s with him, but she says it depends on his plan.
Somehow, Hae-il ends up with Agent Lee, and he tells him about the attack today by the guy who called him “sunbae.” He says he could tell they have similar training, but unlike Hae-il, the other guy was obviously a murder weapon. Agent Lee admits that he trained up “those kids” just for Hae-il, and when Hae-il starts to warn him not to hurt any of his friends, Agent Lee sneers that he’s in no position to choose.
Worried, Hae-il calls Dae-young and tells him to sober up and stay with the others. But the detectives are so loud and rowdy that Dae-young can’t hear him, so he yells to Hae-il to join them and hangs up. Ik-gu goes outside, and he doesn’t see another of Agent Lee’s assassins watching him.
When Sister Kim gets to the church, she’s startled by the same man who attacked Hae-il sitting on a bench outside. She passes him, but he’s somehow inside waiting for her, OMG. He sits peeling an apple with a frighteningly sharp knife while Sister Kim’s phone buzzes with calls from Hae-il.
He calls Seung-ah next, but she drops her phone when the third assassin bumps into her. She tries to fight him but he has her on the ground in seconds. The assassin picks up her phone and tells Hae-il cheerfully, “Hurry and catch me, Sunbae.”
He continues hitting Seung-ah until she’s limp, but as he’s about to deliver the killing blow, a voice yells and Ssongsak flies at him. Yessss, Oppa to the rescue!! Unfortunately, Seung-ah’s attacker is slippery and Ssongsak can’t seem to get a grip on him, and soon he’s the one taking the blows.
The violent crimes team find Ik-gu being beaten to a bloody pulp in the alley. His attacker beckons and they run at him, but he somehow lays them all out flat.
Kyung-seon finds Seung-ah unconscious and Ssongsak about to be throttled to death. She screams at the assassin, distracting him just long enough for Hae-il bounce off the wall and kick him away from Ssongsak.
ARGH, just when we think that Team Tsunami is finally getting ahead, stupid Agent Lee gets involved and everything gets a thousand times worse. Agent Lee is terrifying because there’s literally nothing he won’t do — this is the guy who knowingly ordered Hae-il to throw a grenade into a roomful of children, so bringing in some assassins to dispatch Hae-il and his friends is nothing to him. Even though I enjoyed the addition of the assassins on a purely entertainment level, because it’s cool to see someone capable of actually matching Hae-il in a fight, it got really scary really fast when they didn’t go after him, but his friends. Thankfully, that was the one thing guaranteed to snap Hae-il out of his funk, which he really needed. The only thing I don’t understand is what Agent Lee has against Hae-il, but whatever it is, he scares me to pieces.
It’s no secret that I love this show to bits, and think that the characters are some of the most entertainingly flawed, engaging, lovable drama characters I’ve ever seen. But it also strikes me that most of what Team Tsunami has accomplished has been to just gather information, because even though they’ve worked hard to bring down the baddies who are responsible for killing Father Lee and making Gudam an unsafe place to live, they’ve mostly only managed to actually catch the small fish. Every time they corner one of the original Foursome, they wiggle out of it through their connections (though maybe the charges against Chief Nam will stick this time).
It’s really Chief Prosecutor Kang who’s been responsible for taking out the other members of his Foursome. He tried to have Representative Park killed, and even though Representative Park lived, he’s in a coma he may not wake from. Chief Prosecutor Kang manipulated evidence to frame Dong-ja, and now he’s planning to go after Chul-beom. He’s a very effective villain because he’s doing most of the hero’s job for him, so part of me wonders if Hae-il could have made less of a target of himself by sitting back and letting the Foursome destroy themselves from within, then just gone after whoever was left. I believe he’ll get a showdown with Chief Prosecutor Kang, but I just hope it has enough impact, since they never even met each other until today.
But it’s Agent Lee and Chul-beom that I really want to see Hae-il face off with, because they’re the ones Hae-il has the personal issues against… Agent Lee because of what happened back in the NIS, and Chul-beom for murdering Father Lee. I do love the plan to break into the vault and give the money back to the people where it belongs, because it gives Hae-il and Team Tsunami a chance to be modern-day Robin Hoods. So I think there’s a lot to look forward to in the remaining episodes as Hae-il’s story winds down, and I trust that no matter what happens, it will be a lot of fun to watch.
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