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9.9 Billion Won Woman: Episodes 29-32 Open Thread (Final)

I knew I needed to prepare myself for the finale week of 9.9 Billion Won Woman, but I don’t think I was ready for the full heart-pounding extent of these final episodes. Both our hero and our heroine are presented with the thing they desire most, be it wealth or revenge, and how they respond to this temptation truly determines each of their fates.

 
EPISODES 29-32 WEECAP

Leon’s been playing Jae-hoon, but the game is finally up when Jae-hoon discovers the Caza del Zorro wine — actually a terrifying signifier of Daniel Kim’s real identity (Leon), and his real motive (cruel revenge on Hee-joo). I know Jae-hoon was kind of a jerk, but the drama is not kind to him: he’s slaughtered on Leon’s command.

In a wonderful and moving bit of redemption, though, Jae-hoon is able to tell his wife how much he loves her — and he’s also able to tip off Seo-yeon to the fact that Daniel Kim = Leon. It’s a HUGE piece of intel that wraps all our plots and people together for the final act in our drama.

Tae-woo and Seo-yeon are united once again (YES!) with the knowledge of Leon’s true identity, and soon, Hee-joo is on board as well. It’s a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and I love how all our characters are joining forces to take down the megalith that is Leon, once and for all.

There’s a lot at stake, and a lot of history under the bridge — not to mention the fact that Leon is responsible for the deaths of many people that each of them loved (little brother, big brother, and husband).

Leon’s plan is to use his VIP investment club in the same way he did three years ago, and use fraudulent investment rounds to make a fortune at the price of everyone else’s ruin. Jae-hoon was his first pawn, and Hee-joo is his second.

Seo-yeon is amazingly brave and persistent here, playing the double agent and insisting to everyone that punishing Leon is the only way she can atone for her sins. But when she gets made, Leon confronts her over her theft of the 9.9 billion won, and it’s all in the open now. It’s a terrifying scene of realization for Seo-yeon (and me!).

You might think Leon would kill her on the spot, but he’s actually turned on by the whole situation — the fact that she both saved his life and stole his money, and the deep-seated greed that he recognizes in her. Leon tries to pull her to the dark side, luring her with money and power (and even Tae-woo’s life).

It’s a gorgeous scene that digs deep into the moral of this entire story — and it’s an even stronger moment when Seo-yeon turns away from the 9.9 billion won and says she will not turn into a monster consumed by greed.

In between the heart-pounding scenes of this finale week are some really lovely and quiet scenes between Seo-yeon and Tae-woo. I swear these two were made for each other, but even though they recognize what they have in common, they agree to go their separate ways. Tae-woo tells her that he doesn’t hold Tae-hyung’s death against her, and in a way, you can tell it makes her more precious to him, since she heard his last words. My heart can’t take much more of this.

The inaugural meeting of the VIP investment group is where it all goes down — it’s the final trap for Leon set by our crew. I was skeptical at first, since everyone has been outplayed by Leon thus far, but they use his own greed against him. It works like magic: Seo-yeon and Tae-woo gain access to his accounts which is the equivalent of cutting off his blood supply.

The scene is suspenseful to begin with, but once Leon knows he’s ruined, it turns into a shoot-out. Seo-yeon rushes to protect Tae-woo, then Tae-woo does the same for her, but finally, it’s In-pyo who turns up on the scene and has the final (and fatal, for both of them) struggle with Leon.

Seo-yeon was tested earlier, when she was presented with the 9.9 billion won again, and she passed the test; here, it’s Tae-woo’s turn, when he turns a gun on the man that murdered his brother and ruined his life. But Tae-woo is a good man, we know this already, and he passes his test too.

With the bad guy exposed and definitely dead, it’s time for everyone to put their lives back together. Tae-woo gets reinstated as a policeman, Hee-joo is secure with her daughter, and Seo-yeon gets a loving embrace from Grandma Jang before she leaves for Tahiti. But really, the loose strand I want to see tied the most is the relationship between Tae-woo and Seo-yeon. Happily, the drama focuses on their story at the end, and they share a lovely, hopeful, and open-ended goodbye at the airport.

Although I’m sorry to see this drama end, I have enjoyed every minute of it. From the very first episode, it invited us to skydive into a crazy story with a heroine whose motives were more than questionable. If you took the skydive, though, you’ve had a wonderful, adrenaline-driven plummet through the depths of human greed (and crazy plot reversals!) — and now we’ve come out on the other side.

We’ve seen our characters at their very worst — but we’ve also seen their humanity, morality, and love win out over the darkness. There’s nothing like a story that champions right and light over hate and greed, and with its wild ride, 9.9 Billion Won Woman followed through beautifully on its theme from start to finish.

 
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This show was filled with complex and realistic human characters that didn’t just paint them as good or evil which I think was the strongest point of the drama. Plot wise there were some questionable moves by some of the characters as well as some nonsensical situations which I was able to overlook as the strongest point of this drama was most definitely the cast, their acting and their chemistry. This was my first time with Jo Yeo Jeong and she was such a delightful actress to watch, her emotions felt raw and her pain very tangent. Mix that with Kim Kang Woo’s fierce character that softened around her, the chemistry was just insanely good. I wish there is a chance for them to act together one more time in a melodrama as I just wanted more scenes with them. All in all this was albeit frustrating at times, a fun ride.

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@missvictrix, thanks for recaps and reviews, but really, what was lovely and hopeful about that goodbye? He's never going to leave the job he loves to go live on an island, and straight-forwardly tells her not to come back, stay there to be happy! To me it sounded like both made their peace with their new separate lives and went on with it.

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I was really liking this drama in the first eps but I wasn't interested after episode 8 because the twists made me bored. I thought it was about characters and it became a game of cat and mouse and bags full of money. The lonely scared woman of the first eps actually had a dark past as some kind of thief? Doesn't fit her story. Her friend knew about the affair and didn't care? She didn't care about her husband anymore either? She didn't care they might have been involved in that woman's accident? Doesn't fit her story from first ep either. Abusive husband became a psycho super villain? And of course the real villain from the past had to come back so cop could get fixed and forgive the heroine.

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You are so right Lixie! So many dumb plot holes. "Ohhh we can't call the cops because he will get away"...Oh look he is the right there but I can't kill him because it is not our thing. But, Leon killed so many people and threatened to kill Hu Jee daughter. Don't watch! How the heck do Korean people like this drama?

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Can someone please te me what happened to Seo-yeon's husban? Sorry I didn't follow the drama consistently but wonder what happened to him and how Seo-yeon gets out of that relationship

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From the recap: “... but finally, it’s In-pyo who turns up on the scene and has the final (and fatal, for both of them) struggle with Leon.”

In-pyo is the husband.

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@riverj It was actually really cool (IMHO) -- Seo-yeon's husband In-pyo actually gets the suitcases of cash laundered and is about to hop a plane and disappear forever, but he literally can't leave without her! I'm not sure if that's touching or horrifying, but either way, he heads back to Leon's turf and actually walks in on the ending shootout and effectively saves Seo-yeon before dying himself. It's strangely moving. But I still think he was evil.

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Yes, totally agree. It's STRANGELY moving. For this character, I'd prefer him to just go on the plane and disappear from hey life for good instead of a last moment of redemption after being technically a psychopath. Anyway, thanks so much for the recap and for answering my question! Really appreciate it!

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I thought the Leon trap was too simple to have worked against an evil genius. But the series had to wrap up in two episodes so at least made some sense. Seo-yeon went through a wide range of highs and lows to change her character in the end (which is part of good story telling.) I thought Hee-joo was the best character in overall development. I agree the cast was very good in their roles, more so than some of story twists. I was fine with this type of ambiguous ending to a series because we were told about Seo-yeon's dream to go to Tahiti and Kang's desire to return to the police force could not be easily reconciled at the end.

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I enjoyed Seo Yeon as a character and hope to see more characters like her. As for the drama, it got silly at the end, but the drama stayed true to itself and gave us a proper ending.

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I watched the first few episodes as they came out week after week but decided it would be better to binge watch the remaining ones to not lose momentum. I finally caught up to the 2nd half yesterday and was surprisingly still pretty entertained and eager to find out how this story ends. Yes, there were a lot of questionable scenarios but overall I was pretty satisfied with the drama as a whole. I liked how none of the characters were painted out to be singularly good or bad. They were all morally gray characters and that was pretty refreshing. I also loved how Seoyeon ended up having a mother-daughter relationship with the old lady. I liked watching their scenes together and somehow enjoyed hearing her cursing, LOL. There was a lot of character development here, too, with Seoyeon, Heeju, the old lady, and others. That said, it was definitely the cast that made this drama work. Curious to see what projects Jo Yeo Jeong and Oh Na Ra pick next.

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"You might think Leon would kill her on the spot, but he’s actually turned on by the whole situation — the fact that she both saved his life and stole his money, and the deep-seated greed that he recognizes in her."
Honestly, while I loved the idea of the show and all, I only started watching it when Leon appeared and showed an interest in Seo-yeon, and this line you wrote in the recap says it all for me. I am and have always been weak for villains with an obsession or interest in the female lead, and though usually the female lead is a shiny, innocent girl, this time the lead is very morally gray and has done many questionable things for the sake of greed, or just a form for release like her affair. Thus, when he showed an interest knowing perfectly well who she was, I was hooked. Because I could see Leon being melodramatic about their connection, and her greed which is so much like his. (Although I agree with others saying he went down a bit too easily, I wish his basic greed was foreshadowed a bit more). I honestly thought he would try to sell her being broken/corrupt way more than he did.
The way Leon showed his interest/obsession with Seo-yeon was in some ways subtle but still so loud, like the way he looks at her whenever she acts defiant or talks back (like the recap says, he seems turned on. Every. Single. Time). And how he gave her a choice to join him or "disappoint him", in which the male lead would die either way, but Leon 1) never mentioned her dying and 2) saying "disappointing him" does not mean "leave/betray him", meaning he might have forced her to stay anyway.

Seo-yeon as a character was also fascinating, as a grey character whose actions I rarely see in Korean female leads, and her actor plays her perfectly with small windows of emotion and the physical effort it takes for her to reel those emotions in. And her choosing to reject the money at last was a big deal after all the crap she has done and been through to get that money.

I could care less about In Pyo, he should have died ages ago, not been semi-redeemed in the end just because he helped Seo-yeon at the end.

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Probably the worst Korean drama ever. I wasted all my hours on this. Stupid plot holes and Leon was running around and people could have easily killed him. Pathetic! Don't waste your time on which we did! Start out great but ending was idiotic that you had to laugh. Me and my roommates though Kdrama were better than this.

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