Vagabond: Episode 9
Trapped in Morocco with nowhere to run, our team of heroes are stuck waiting for help that’s never going to arrive. With few allies left in Korea to bail them out, their only hope is that they can catch on to a nefarious plot that’s brewing before it’s too late.
EPISODE 9 RECAP
In his office, President Jung practices for an upcoming speech to parliament, written by Secretary Yoon, meant to sway the opposing party to join their side. Prime Minister Hong worries that the rhetoric isn’t strong enough, and convinces President Jung to change the wording, to Secretary Yoon’s dismay.
In the Korean embassy in Morocco, Co-pilot Kim starts to go into shock from the surgery, and Dal-geon volunteers to give blood so they can stabilize him after all the blood he lost from the gunshot wound.
Dal-geon donates a significant amount of blood, weakening himself greatly in the process. Hae-ri begs Dal-geon to stop before he himself dies from blood loss, but he argues that if Co-pilot Kim dies then they’ll never be able to find out why the plane was crashed.
Only after Co-pilot Kim is stable does Dal-geon finally stop, but he is completely drained, and Hae-ri has to help him get back to his room to recover.
Meanwhile, Jessica and Lawyer Hong meet with Chief Min, and they worry about how they’re going to control the controversy if news of Co-pilot Kim’s survival gets out.
Secretary Yoon, who Chief Min announces is the mysterious man known as Shadow, arrives to offer his own plan, cryptically talking about a hidden card that they have at their disposal.
His plan is to use Oh Sang-mi to swing the story back around on Dynamic, and Chief Min’s team will remove Dal-geon and Co-pilot Kim from the equation in the embassy in Morocco.
Afterwards, Jessica visits the captive Oh Sang-mi and threatens that if Sang-mi doesn’t cooperate with them, she’ll let the vicious beasts outside tear her into pieces. She takes Sang-mi to the police to turn herself in and lie about who was behind the attack.
In Morocco, Tae-woong gets a call from Director General Ahn and reports that Co-pilot Kim is going to be okay. Tae-woong worries that Chief Kang hasn’t contacted them recently, but Director General Ahn lies that it’s because they’re working to arrest Jessica.
After the call, Chief Min and Director General Ahn argue about whether to trust Secretary Yoon, and appears to be having serious doubts about joining forces with Chief Min’s side.
Later, Chief Min prepares his team to take out Dal-geon and Co-pilot Kim, and tells the team to get rid of Tae-woong and Hae-ri if they get in the way.
Meanwhile, Chief Kang overpowers two NIS agents in the bathroom and commandeers a cell phone. He calls a reporter at the Blue House and reports that the NIS found Co-pilot Kim alive, but that many people are now trying to assassinate the pilot.
Chief Min and his men break into the bathroom after the call and Chief Kang pretends to be trying to escape. Chief Min orders the phone’s history to be searched, and reports to Secretary Yoon that Chief Kang was talking to a reporter.
Secretary Yoon spots the reporter handing a note to a top Blue House aide, so he chases her down before she can inform President Jung. The aide refuses to hand over the note to him, but Prime Minister Hong interrupts their argument and takes the note himself.
Secretary Yoon warns Prime Minister Hong that the information in the note is dangerous, but Prime Minister Hong just casually reads the note, then tears it up and with a big smirk tells Secretary Yoon that they’re now sharing a secret together.
Now that Chief Kang is back in the interrogation room, he taunts Chief Min that everything will fall apart for their side once Co-pilot Kim is revealed to be alive. But Chief Min taunts back that his own backup team is on their way to Morocco to clean up the mess before it gets revealed.
Chief Min also brings Agent Hong into the room, and coerces her into signing an affidavit confirming Chief Kang’s alleged crimes, essentially sealing his fate. She chooses to comply, and Chief Min rewards her with a spot on his team at the NIS headquarters.
A flashback reveals that Chief Kang told Agent Hong to comply with whatever Chief Min asks, which is why she agreed so easily to turn on her old boss.
Elsewhere, Dal-geon recalls a time he visited Hoon’s school, and Hoon told his entire class that when he grows up he wants to be his uncle. Not a stuntman, Hoon clarifies, but the person who took in a nephew and raised him, because that’s the kind of person he aspires to be.
After class, Dal-geon calls out to Hoon in the halls, but Hoon just walks away, and we see that this is all a dream sequence as Dal-geon wakes up from his sad dream.
Dal-geon then finds Hae-ri in the kitchen, but she breaks down remembering how all her colleagues were nice to her right before they all met their horrific ends. Tae-woong stops Dal-geon from interrupting her, arguing that letting her deal with it alone will strengthen her.
At dinner, Hae-ri helps Dal-geon with his food, drawing a jealous glance from Tae-woong. Both guys fight over trying to give Hae-ri their portions of food, and Dal-geon wins that privilege when their other colleague steals Tae-woong’s portion from her.
In Korea, the bereaved families finish signing a settlement with Edward when Lawyer Hong bursts in to boast that the sentiment toward Dynamic is about to change. Sure enough, they turn on the TV to see Oh Sang-mi giving a press conference announcing that Dynamic were the ones who organized the attack.
We see that Jessica offered all of Kim Woo-gi’s share of the funds for crashing the plane in order to sway Oh Sang-mi into betraying him.
Edward storms back to his office, where Jessica is waiting to greet him. Edward angrily warns her that this means an all out war between them. She just laughs, wondering what cards he could have left up his sleeve at this point.
At the NIS, Agent Hong offers to buy lunch for her colleagues, and calls a chicken restaurant to order. However, she asks for “Vagabond” chicken and the owner knows this is a signal, and says her brother out with the order to collect further instructions from Agent Hong.
A flashback reveals that Chief Kang and Tae-woong set up the chicken restaurant as a secret base, and the codename Vagabond is what they used to activate it. Chief Kang instructed Agent Hong to call them once she got a chance so they could get a signal out to Tae-woong.
Meanwhile, in the embassy, Dal-geon is left alone with Kim Woo-gi, and he tries to interrogate the terrorist, but Kim Woo-gi just plays dumb. Dal-geon threatens that he’ll make Kim Woo-gi wish for death if he keeps up the act.
Just then, Chief Min’s team arrives at the embassy, but Dal-geon is confused why all the assassins staked out front would just let the apparent saviors slip in without a fight.
The team leader introduces himself to Dal-geon and the NIS agents, and asks to be led to Kim Woo-gi’s room, so Hae-ri and Dal-geon lead them there. Tae-woong notices that something is off, and just then he gets a call from the chicken restaurant warning him that the team are actually assassins.
Immediately after, Tae-woong gets a call from Director General Ahn, and he informs Tae-woong the true purpose of the team. He orders Tae-woong to stay out of the team’s way, and that this is an order from the country.
At the same time, the strike team leader attempts to settle his team in the same room as Kim Woo-gi, but Dal-geon protests, so they offer to let him stay with them, after all, Dal-geon is also their target.
Dal-geon refuses to let anyone other than Hae-ri protect him, and when the team leader tries to argue, Tae-woong arrives to support Dal-geon, offering the strike team a separate room instead.
Later, Dal-geon slips out to try to listen through the door as the strike team gears up for their assassination. Dal-geon knocks on the door but Hae-ri pulls him away before he can reveal himself and she pretends to offer them ramen so she can peek inside.
After the team leader declines, Hae-ri notes to Dal-geon that the strike team were preparing silenced weapons, an odd choice given the situation they’re supposed to be facing. Uneasy, Hae-ri leaves to take Kim Woo-gi to Tae-woong’s room for safety.
Dal-geon heads back to the strike team’s door, and this time he announces himself to them. The strike team leader immediately turns around and starts shooting at the door. The strike team come to survey the damages, but Dal-geon jumps them and gains the upper hand on the leader.
As Hae-ri grabs Kim Woo-gi, she answers Dal-geon’s phone, and it’s Edward’s secretary, warning her to set a timer on the phone and get to a safe zone or they’ll all die.
Meanwhile, Dal-geon holds the strike team leader at gunpoint, and none of the agents are willing to shoot Dal-geon despite the team leader ordering them to do so. Just then, Hae-ri arrives with Kim Woo-gi in her grasp and shoots one of the agents.
A standoff ensues with Dal-geon and Hae-ri on one side with the strike team leader and Kim Woo-gi held captive, while the agents slowly edge closer. Tae-woong watches the CCTV from another room, unwilling to intervene himself due to his orders.
Last time I wrote about Hae-ri and Tae-woong’s relationship being more compelling than the love-line with Dal-geon, but I’m starting to realize that romance isn’t really in the cards for the NIS pair. Rather, I think I see Tae-woong as more of a mentor figure for Hae-ri now, someone who is solely focused on turning her into an elite agent in his own mold. We saw this last week when he kept refusing to let her in on the mission to find Co-pilot Kim, instead pointing out why her emotional state and thinking-on-the-fly style would put their lives in danger, and now he leaves her to deal with the emotional trauma of her colleagues’ deaths on her own because it’ll help her with keeping her emotions in check.
I think he sees Hae-ri’s potential to be great if she can control herself more effectively, and is trying to get rid of her sloppier habits to truly unlock that potential. After all, all of the flaws that he continues to remind her about stem from her inability to control her emotions (like say, when she drinks any amount of alcohol, for instance), and thinks if he can teach her to control that side of herself then she can overcome all of those flaws. I mean, look at what happens to Dal-geon in the end here, where he just kind of decides to take on the entire strike team on his own for some reason. I won’t re-litigate the absurdity of this show at times, because Dal-geon will obviously find some way out of this even though he is just a stuntman. Suffice it to say, though, Tae-woong would have come up with a better plan.
One of the more interesting developments here, character-wise, is with Director General Ahn, who’s actually quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. He’s obviously conflicted between his sense of what’s best for the country (well, the twisted version of it that Secretary Yoon is peddling at least) and what the morally good thing to do. So unlike the unambiguous villains that Chief Min and Secretary Yoon provide, Director General Ahn is more in the middle, and we see that when he goes behind the backs of the villains he apparently sided with in order to tell Tae-woong about the impending double-cross.
Obviously he got forced into this alliance in the first place by Secretary Yoon, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes full double agent here and starts helping Chief Kang out secretly. It’s quite a change from the beginning of the series where he (and pretty much every one of the higher-ups) would barely even acknowledge Chief Kang. Now he seems to realize that Chief Kang is the only non-morally-bankrupt chief in the NIS, so he’s finally starting to come around to him. Albeit after turning on him and getting him arrested, but hey, it’s the thought that counts.
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