Vagabond: Episode 12
The race is on for our heroes to get the terrorist to the courthouse in time to testify about the real culprit behind flight B357’s crash, but danger looms around every turn, and their enemies will stop at nothing to silence the truth.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Outside a Seoul courthouse, members of the bereaved families gather for an official hearing on the B357 crash, but police barricade reporters from entering.
In the Blue House, Prime Minister Hong casually asks President Jung to share the slush fund money from the John & Mark deal, but President Jung sternly warns that money is for the administration and for the future of politics in the country, so Prime Minister Hong drops the subject.
Not long after, Jessica and Secretary Yoon arrive to meet the Prime Minister and President for an official breakfast to celebrate the deal. Jessica uses the opportunity to flirt shamelessly with President Jung.
At the port, Chief Min’s men track down Tae-woong and the storage container and open fire on it right away. Chief Kang and Agent Hong overhear the gunfire and sprint into a nearby building with a sniper rifle to get a better vantage point.
Chief Min’s men halt the container truck in its path, and a shootout erupts between them and the agents inside. Dal-geon spots a nearby car and fights with Tae-woong over which of them will heroically dash over to the car to rescue them all.
Outside, Assassin Kim preps a live grenade, which he offers to one of the other men to throw. But as soon as the pin is pulled, another shooter domes the man with a precise shot and the grenade falls in front of the assassins. Assassin Kim barely recovers in time to chuck the grenade at the container.
The shooter was Chief Kang, now in position atop the building, who takes aim at the rest of Chief Min’s crew. One of the crew members spots Chief Kang, but before he can vocalize who the sniper is, Chief Kang precisely snipes him down.
Meanwhile, Dal-geon breaks for the other car, and with the help of Chief Kang’s fire, brings the car back to the team trapped in the container truck. After collecting everyone on board, Dal-geon guns it out of the port, and Chief Min’s remaining men scramble to give chase.
Back at the Blue House, Jessica asks about a supposedly classified deal in Africa she heard was going poorly, and notes that she heard about it personally from the King of the country involved.
President Jung asks Prime Minister Hong to use Jessica to solve problems with the deal, but Prime Minister Hong seems annoyed at the suggestion.
Afterwards, Chief Min calls Secretary Yoon as he chases Dal-geon and company through Incheon. When Chief Min’s car finally catches up, he and his men waste no time firing bullets despite a ton of traffic around them.
Dal-geon weaves into oncoming traffic to create some space from Chief Min, and manages to swerve off the highway just as Chief Min’s car heads into a tunnel, effectively ending their pursuit.
Secretary Yoon overhears the whole chase, and when he learns Dal-geon escaped he rushes off to inform the President, while Jessica mobilizes her own counterattack as well with Lawyer Hong.
Secretary Yoon pulls the President and Prime Minister out of another meeting to break the news. President Jung appears unaware of the full details of who orchestrated the crash, and chastises Secretary Yoon for keeping him in the dark about John & Mark’s involvement.
Secretary Yoon suggests breaking the deal and returning the slush fund money, but President Jung is unwilling to give up the money, so he agrees to mobilize the police to stop Dal-geon from reaching the courthouse. Secretary Yoon tells the police there’s no need to capture any of the fugitives alive.
At the courthouse, Lawyer Hong meets Oh Sang-mi to discuss whether Kim Woo-gi holds any evidence about the true culprit behind the plot, but she insists he never told her about anything that could be used against them.
At the trial, Edward announces that Kim Woo-gi, Dal-geon, and Hae-ri will all be arriving shortly to testify. In the meantime, Lawyer Hong questions Oh Sang-mi, and she provides evidence of a secret bank account where Dynamic funded Kim Woo-gi’s involvement in the crash.
Kwang-deok bursts out that the evidence is fabricated, and he fights with the other bereaved families over which company is lying. The judge struggles to bring order to the court, and ends up breaking his gavel from smashing it so hard. Ha.
Meanwhile, Dal-geon tries to evade the police while Director General Ahn questions whether the order to kill the fugitives really came from the President. At the same time, Chief Kang employs his savant hacker to break into the NIS surveillance feeds and post the videos of the chase on social media.
During a recess in the trial, Kwang-deok confronts the other bereaved families about falling for John & Mark’s lies. Just then, the video of the chase is posted online, and Kwang-deok leaves to find Dal-geon since he wants to make sure the police don’t cover up the evidence again.
At the same time, in her office, Jessica urges Lawyer Hong to expedite the trial before Kim Woo-gi can get there, and asks Secretary Yoon to pressure the Chief Justice into wrapping up the trial early.
Lily, meanwhile, prepares a sniper rifle, and tells Jessica not to worry, since one shot to Kim Woo-gi will end everything anyway. Jessica tells her that the rifle is a last resort, and warns not to make any mistakes this time.
After the recess, the judge begins to deliver his ruling, but Edward interrupts to ask for more time for Kim Woo-gi to arrive. As this happens, the judge receives a memo from the Chief Justice to wrap up the trial, but the judge dissents and grants a thirty minute extension.
At the same time, a TV helicopter starts following the police chase in progress. Secretary Yoon orders the chief of the news station to pull the chopper out or he’ll expose all of the chief’s past misdeeds.
Dal-geon drives forward but runs into an intersection with a full police barricade. The chasing police cars block the return path, and the vehicle is effectively trapped with no escape, as police surround them on all sides with guns drawn.
Chief Min and his team arrive on scene, while Kwang-deok and another bereaved family member watch from a distance just as the TV chopper gets pulled out by the station chief. At the same time, Lily and a henchman setup their rifle outside the courthouse entrance.
Chief Min takes over the police team leader’s megaphone to order the fugitives out of their vehicle or they’ll be shot. He then privately tells the team leader to shoot them anyway once they’re out in the open.
After a tense countdown, Kim Woo-gi runs out of the car with his hands up, and the rest of the crew have no choice but to follow suit. The team leader then gives the order to open fire, but his officers are momentarily stunned by the unexpected order, until Assassin Kim takes the lead and rains bullets on the group.
Thanks to the temporary delay, the fugitives get enough time to quickly retreat behind the vehicle for cover as the rest of the police force begin firing with impunity.
Just then, a truck of doom rams through the barricade and blocks the view of the car. The driver yells for Dal-geon to escape, and the team climb back in the car and flee through the now open barricade.
Dal-geon manages to get near the courthouse before the car breaks down from all the gunfire, and they decide to run the rest of the way. But Chief Min’s team catch up to them and begin firing once more, until Kwang-deok barrels through the intersection and rams into Chief Min’s car, stalling the chase.
The group of fugitives start sprinting to the courthouse. Meanwhile, Chief Kang’s hacker continues to upload surveillance videos to social media, and a group of bereaved family members congregate outside the courthouse to see what’s going on.
But as Dal-geon and company arrive, the onlookers are mystified to see the police pointing their weapons instead of letting the group in to the court as they should be. The bereaved are infuriated, and they all charge at the police, opening the way for Dal-geon and Hae-ri to escort Kim Woo-gi inside.
In the ensuing chaos, a gunshot rings out from Lily, connecting with Kim Woo-gi’s arm. Tae-woong calls out the presence of the sniper just as another bullet is fired, and Hae-ri dives in front of Woo-gi to get him out of the way.
Before a third shot can be fired, Kwang-deok and a group of the bereaved surround Kim Woo-gi, blocking Lily’s view. Jessica orders her to take the shot anyway, but Lily backs down, unable to get a clear shot.
Lily orders her henchman to clear out, but an unknown counter-sniper domes him and pins Lily on the roof so she can’t get closer to the action to try another method of killing her target.
In court, Lawyer Hong argues that the time extension is up, but just then, Dal-geon and Hae-ri barge in with Kim Woo-gi, and the look of horror on Lawyer Hong’s face tells all: his case is screwed.
It might be a bit easier to take this show seriously if the villains possessed any semblance of competence at their jobs. But from what we’ve seen, especially from the assassins, everyone is completely incapable of doing what they’re supposed to. We spend this entire episode following not only Assassin Kim’s group of elite North Korean agents fail to hit a single shot on any of the fugitives despite shooting probably a thousand bullets (I lost count), but also watching Lily only manage a grazing arm shot on a wide-open Kim Woo-gi.
Contrast this with Chief Kang, who manages to blast two people right between the eyes on his only two shots from roughly the same distance, if not further. It’s kind of pathetic that this is the best help money can buy. I mean, at this point, even Kwang-deok is able to foil their attempts to take out Dal-geon and Kim Woo-gi, and that’s just insane. If a random judo teacher is more effective than a team of elite mercenaries I think you need new mercenaries.
We’re definitely starting to see the wheels fall off for Jessica, as she watches her enemies slip away every single time she supposedly has them cornered. You see this most when she’s screaming at Lily to murder civilians to guarantee they can take out Kim Woo-gi, but also when Secretary Yoon informs her about the ongoing police chase. You can really see the panic in her rising as more and more goes wrong for her plans. All the effort she’s put in to worming into the President’s favor is about to be wasted in one fell swoop and despite her seemingly endless funds she can’t even rely on the Chief Justice to be able to control one of his judges. It’s very satisfying to watch the facade crumble.
At the same time I’m slightly worried about the pacing here. We’ve got effectively a quarter of the drama left to go but we’re already set up for what should be Jessica’s demise in the relatively near future. Unless we’re going to spend a full couple of episodes also exposing Secretary Yoon and the top government officials, I don’t see how we’re going to fill all of that time. Especially with today’s revelation that President Jung is pretty much in the dark as far as orchestrating the terror plot in the first place, this seems like a pretty open-and-shut case once Kim Woo-gi spills the beans on them. Maybe there’s more to it and we’ll start to see the rest of this conspiracy unravel as the other major players start to fall, but I’m just concerned there’s not enough meat left here to sustain us for the rest of the series.
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