The Fiery Priest: Episodes 35-36
Hooray, I’ve been waiting for this since this show started! Our priest strikes up an awesome, unholy alliance in his quest to learn the truth of his old friend’s murder, and the odds seem to be in his favor. But once again, just when Team Tsunami claws its way to the top, tragedy strikes — and this time, the loss may be more than the team can bear.
Despite everyone’s carefully-laid plans, Agent Lee comes out on top, driving away with every dollar from the Foursome’s vault and leaving Team Tsunami, Chul-beom, Jang-ryong, and Hoon-seok locked inside the vault. The security system activates and begins pulling the oxygen from the air, giving them only a few minutes left before they suffocate to death. Kyung-seon asks Chul-beom if there’s any way out of this, but he prefers to pout rather than talk to her, lol.
Detective Lee and the violent crimes team follow Agent Lee’s van with the money, unaware of the danger Team Tsunami is in. They’re spotted, and the mercenaries pull over and come after them, so they just panic-reverse themselves to safety.
As the oxygen level in the vault falls, Hae-il suggests they all pray, but Chul-beom refuses. Kyung-seon collapses in Hae-il’s arms and gasps dramatically like a dying Shakespearean heroine, and Dae-young screams to God for rescue, but Chul-beom says that the vault won’t be opening any time soon. Seung-ah sinks to the floor, feeling strange, and Jang-ryong lets loose another blast of “flower petals.” Bad day to have worn white, my friend.
Dae-young is going a little loopy, Chul-beom beats up Jang-ryong for pooping, and all the while, Hoon-seok just sits huddled in the corner. Hae-il prays, saying that good people — Chul-beom glares, so he tacks on “and evil ones” — are all God’s children when facing death. He asks for help, and suddenly the entire vault shakes.
The shaking continues until the wall collapses, and they all gulp down the fresh air as Koyazev crawls in through the hole. They’re thrilled, but he gets a shock to see them instead of the pile of money he was expecting. He goes back to the other end of the tunnel, but Young-moon is there, angry that he lied about not being able to reach the vault.
Young-moon raises his hand to smack Koyazev, but the unexpected parade of cheerful people pouring from the tunnel stops him. Chul-beom emerges, and Koyazev and Young-moon start pointing fingers at each other for hatching their plan. Chul-beom just tells them to be where he can find them tomorrow or they’re dead.
Team Tsunami make their way to the front of the building, where the violent crimes team is looking for them. They tell Hae-il that they lost the van with the money, then Chul-beom joins them and says he heard from his people that Chief Prosecutor Kang got conned by Agent Lee.
Hae-il calls Agent Lee, who answers while his mercenaries are busy killing the two men who helped them steal the money. Hae-il tells Agent Lee that it won’t be easy keeping that much money in Korea and says he’ll take it away from him. He hangs up, leaving Agent Lee wondering how they got out of the vault.
Back at his office, Chul-beom can’t get a signal from his tracker because of the jammer Agent Lee put on the van. Jang-ryong apologizes for letting Chul-beom down, and Chul-beom kicks him out of his office for being an embarrassment.
Chief Prosecutor Kang tells his boss that there’s nothing more they can do in Gudam, but his boss complains that he’s made a lot of political deals. Chief Prosecutor Kang says they’ll need to take action against Chief Nam, who’s promised to tell reporters everything. He has Chief Nam committed to a mental hospital, and use threats against Dong-ja’s son to keep her quiet.
Hae-il reveals to the team that he managed to get a tracker on the money when he beat his way past the two guys taking it out in suitcases, and that so far it hasn’t left the van. Dae-young asks about the vault — it was supposed to be made of steel, but Koyazev blasted right through the wall. Kyung-seon says that Agent Lee cut corners and only had the front put on the vault, and pocketed the difference. LOL, typical.
Sister Kim calls Hae-il to tell him that Chul-beom is at the church looking for him. She hilariously serves Chul-beom tea with the expensive vase Dae-young stole from his villa, but he just laughs and tells her to take good care of it.
Hae-il returns and tries to physically drag Chul-beom out of the church, but Sung-kyu and Sister Kim remind him that Father Lee welcomed everyone, even sinners. Chul-beom tells Hae-il, “Let’s catch Agent Lee together,” because he needs Hae-il’s talent and they have a common goal to destroy Agent Lee.
Hae-il snaps that he can do it alone, but Chul-beom dangles the one thing only he can provide in Hae-il’s face — the truth about Father Lee’s death. Hae-il growls that Chul-beom has a lot of nerve after killing Father Lee, but Chul-beom says it wasn’t him, and Hae-il recalls Agent Lee saying that he’s an important witness to Father Lee’s murder.
Jang-ryong sits at Ssongsak’s restaurant, drinking away his upset at Chul-beom calling him useless. Ssongsak brings him another soju and asks what happened, but Jang-ryong whines that he wants to drink alone. Ssongsak tells him that if he continues being a bad guy, he’ll be a bad guy for the rest of his life. He wonders why he keeps smelling poop, and Jang-ryong hides the bag with his dirty pants under the table, but Ssongsak picks it up and touches the pants, then freaks right out.
Seung-ah and Dae-young eventually give in to Hae-il’s wishes to work with Chul-beom, so Hae-il calls to give Chul-beom the news. Chul-beom dresses in all black and leather to match Hae-il’s style (yesss, it’s gorgeous), then meets Hae-il and Dae-young to tell them that his men are gathering information. They agree to regroup when they have something to share, then split up again after exchanging good-natured barbs.
Speaking of barbs, the ones Kyung-seon and Chief Prosecutor Kang exchange at work are not so friendly. Chief Prosecutor Kang warns Kyung-seon that if he’s out, so is she, but she snaps that she’s not scared of being punished. She says that before they’re kicked out, they should settle the matter of Father Lee’s death between them.
Hae-il excitedly spreads the news that something or someone will be arriving tonight by plane, saying that they can recover Father Lee’s honor so long as things go well. Kyung-seon is surprised to learn that Dong-ja is refusing to hire a lawyer for herself, and she figures out why when she’s told that Chief Nam was forcibly committed to a mental hospital.
Seung-ah is following the money van by CCTV cameras, and she calls Hae-il to tell him it’s in Yangju. He calls Chul-beom, who just heard about it from his men, and they all head to Yangju. Dae-young asks if Hae-il is giving Chul-beom too much information, but Hae-il is adamant that they rise above the bully’s level.
Dong-ja is visited in prison by a young lawyer named Han Pan-seung… HAHA, it’s Sung-kyu, making use of his old acting skills again. Dong-ja assumes the lawyer was sent by Chul-beom, and in his earpiece, Kyung-seon tells Sung-kyu to go with it. Dong-ja tries to refuse representation, but Sung-kyu hits her where she’s vulnerable and mentions her son.
He plays on her worst fears by saying that his mother got a life sentence in prison, then launches into his tried and true performance of a little boy whose mother went away and left him. Hilariously, it gets Kyung-seon sobbing as usual, but Dong-ja just asks, “So what? What does that have to do with me?” Wow, she’s tough.
Kyung-seon tells Sung-kyu to switch to a documentary, so he thinks fast and asks Dong-ja if she intends to humiliate her son. He says that if she doesn’t fight, her son will learn the sordid truth about her, but if she fesses up and tells the truth, he won’t have to make excuses for her. It works, and Dong-ja agrees to make a statement if he can keep her son safe.
When they locate the money van at a warehouse, Chul-beom joins Hae-il and Dae-young for their Badass Strut to confront Agent Lee. Unfortunately, all they find is the two dead men and the tracker that Chul-beom planted, and I’m just saying, when Chul-beom calls a person trash, you know that person is trash. He leaves, and Hae-il and Dae-young discuss the fact that Agent Lee still hasn’t found their tracker.
Chief Prosecutor Kang hears that Dong-ja has supposedly hired a lawyer, but his informant says that he can’t confirm that the lawyer or his firm even exist. Meanwhile, Chul-beom talks to Dong-ja in prison, and she says that she told the lawyer he sent everything. She pleads with him to join her in paying for their crimes and living straight from now on, but Chul-beom has no idea what she’s talking about.
Kyung-seon gets the recording of Dong-ja’s confession and tells Hae-il that she confessed everything. According to Dong-ja, Chul-beom killed Father Lee and dumped his body, but Kyung-seon says that she was mostly making assumptions. She says that her intuition tells her there’s still something that they don’t know about.
Kyung-seon gets a warrant on Chief Prosecutor Kang, but he’s gone when she goes to his office to deliver it, so she tells Secretary Park to write up a travel ban. Ik-gu and Dae-gil arrest Young-moon and his assistant for a whole list of offenses including fraud, blackmail, and tax evasion, though he insists that his followers won’t let this happen.
Agent Lee pays his mercenaries, and it’s suspicious how carefully he asks them when they’re leaving. He keeps the rest of the money with him, including the bag containing Hae-il’s tracker.
Hae-il warns Chul-beom that there’s a warrant out for his arrest as well, and Chul-beom complains that Hae-il is making it difficult to work with him. Hae-il says that he gave Chul-beom a chance to repent, and Chul-beom complains that he thought Hae-il wanted to know how Father Lee died. Hae-il just tells him to run or turn himself in, and Chul-beom says that he’ll make this up to Hae-il one day.
Ha, the “someone” who arrives that night is the two fake witnesses who claimed that Father Lee embezzled and harassed them. They’re in terrible shape after their unplanned venture into Russian slavery, and they’re pathetically grateful to have been brought home.
Hae-il finally gets a signal from the tracker in the money bag. That night, two of Agent Lee’s mercenaries are woken by strange sounds. They go outside to investigate, and PWAHAHA, it’s Dae-young in his dog mask, barking at them. He stands on his car and motions for them to look behind them, and when they turn, Hae-il shoots them with the tasers he’s duel-wielding, hee.
Agent Lee is waiting when Hae-il goes inside — he tackles Hae-il, and the fists start flying. The third mercenary jumps in, but Hae-il tells him politely to wait as someone rides in on his motorcycle. He takes off his helmet and it’s Ssongsak, here for a rematch.
Hae-il and Agent Lee sit back while Ssongsak fights the mercenary. The mercenary gets in the first good punch, but it’s the only one he gets. Ssongsak calmly and efficiently beats the mercenary to a pulp, just as Hae-il drops the protesting Agent Lee on his butt, equally beaten.
Back at the station, the false witnesses tell Seung-ah how traumatic their days as slaves were. Once they’re fed and calm, Hae-il asks them to tell him the truth about Father Lee, and they both admit that they lied.
Hae-il meets Kyung-seon for dinner and tells her that he got the money safely moved. They still need to catch Chief Prosecutor Kang and Chul-beom, but at least now they have truthful witnesses. Kyung-seon has heard that Detective Lee intends to quit when this is all over, and Hae-il says it’s a secret, but Dae-young and Seung-ah and the rest of the team plan to quit, too.
He waits, and after a few seconds, Kyung-seon gets the message and says that she’ll also quit and pay for what she did. She says she might open a detective agency, and he asks if she’s got any other plans. Kyung-seon recalls that she let her past ruin her future, but says she doesn’t want to let her future ruin her further future.
While Seung-ah types up her reports, Dae-young turns on the TV and he sees a news report of a rare albino marten that was caught on CCTV in the forest where Father Lee’s body was dumped. Dae-young had seen the albino marten on the day when he and Hae-il investigated that forest, but all the CCTV cameras had supposedly been removed.
Dae-young realizes that the albino marten must have been filmed by an unmanned motion-sensitive camera. He runs out of the station, missing the next news story about four murder suspects who had been arrested that morning, but who assaulted the police officer and escaped.
Dae-young learns from a national park employee that they had been denied permission by Daebum Holdings (who own that part of the forest) to install cameras in the area, but when he heard about the albino marten, he put the cameras in anyway. Dae-young asks to review the video from a couple of months ago for a murder case.
While cleaning the church, Sister Kim teases Hae-il that he sits on the kimchi fridge so much, the kimchi inside is over-fermented, hee. Sung-kyu invites them out to eat, his treat, but Sister Kim says she already has plans with the local ajummas to play Go-Stop. Hae-il and Sung-kyu dress in civilian clothes and go for pork belly, then Sung-kyu talks Hae-il into taking sticker photos with him, hee.
Reviewing the CCTV footage, Dae-young and Seung-ah see what looks like a man approaching the camera. As the figure nears, their eyes widen as they recognize the person.
After rounding out their bro-date with a movie, Sung-kyu asks Hae-il if he can call Hae-il “hyung” just for an hour every week, even though it goes against priestly custom. Hae-il says that of course he can, and they both giggle like fools the first time Sung-kyu says “Hae-il-hyung.” They’re so cute, and now I’m scared.
Someone rides past them on a skateboard, whacking Hae-il in the shoulder with a metal pipe as he goes. It’s one of the mercenaries, so Hae-il leaves Sung-kyu to follow the him. The mercenary lures Hae-il to a certain section of the building, then abruptly lays on his skateboard and rolls under the gate that’s been slowly lowering behind Hae-il, trapping him in.
Hae-il can only watch, helpless, as a second mercenary appears and they attack Sung-kyu. Agent Lee joins the men looming over the injured Sung-kyu, and he demands to know where the money is. Hae-il screams that he’ll kill Agent Lee if he hurts Sung-kyu, but Agent Lee says that Hae-il is responsible for everything that’s about to happen.
Frantic, Hae-il promises to return the money, but the last mercenary appears and speeds towards Sung-kyu on a motorcycle. Hae-il begs desperately, but as the biker passes, he strikes Sung-kyu hard on the back of the head.
Sung-kyu falls, blood pouring from his head, and Hae-il screams with grief and fury. Agent Lee grins, but when Hae-il looks up at him, you can see Agent Lee’s death in Hae-il’s eyes.
Okay, if they’ve just killed off the sweetest cinnamon roll priest who ever held a rosary, I’m going to be Very Upset. Agent Lee is pure evil, and at this point, I hope Hae-il kills him and I hope he makes it very, very painful. I know he won’t, because he’s a priest and forgiveness and whatever, but let me just sit here with my fantasies for a while.
All this talk about “the truth of Father Lee’s death” has me really worried. I have long suspected that Chul-beom isn’t the one who killed Father Lee, even though all the evidence lines up – Father Lee was seen going into his villa, his blood was on the floor inside, and his body was dumped nearby. But it just never felt like something Chul-beom would do, for some reason. I’m not saying Chul-beom isn’t capable of the crime, but he’s never committed murder that we know of for sure. And somehow, I’ve always felt that killing his own priest (remember, Chul-beom was a member of the church and did seem to feel some fondness for Father Lee) is a line that Chul-beom wouldn’t cross.
But I don’t have any theories on who did kill Father Lee, either. Jang-ryong seemed to know enough about his death to tell his men not to carry Representative Park the same way up on the roof and leave the same kind of evidence, but that could be something he learned through hearsay. We hadn’t seen Agent Lee at that point in the story other than in Hae-il’s memories, so it could have been him, but then how did Father Lee get from Chul-beom’s villa into Agent Lee’s clutches? Judging by Dae-young and Seung-ah’s reaction to whatever they saw on that CCTV footage of the forest, I have a feeling that the real truth is much, much worse than we think.
I really appreciate that no matter what other issues and corruptions Hae-il and the team uncover, they never lose sight of their original goal – to uncover the truth of Father Lee’s death and avenge their friend. Even with all the sidetracking around the Foursome’s corrupt dealings, the Russians, and the cult, the focus always comes back to Father Lee. He was a warrior in his own right, and I love that Hae-il has been able to continue his fight while seeking justice for Father Lee’s murder. I have no doubt that Hae-il and the team will all find their justice and their redemption, though I’m afraid that things are going to get much more shocking and painful first.
(A quick note — I’m aware that at the time this recap is being published, the finale has already aired. Please remember the “no spoilers” rule and don’t discuss anything in the Comments beyond events from the this episode. Those last two recaps will be up quickly, I promise!)
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