Good Casting: Episode 2
We see our ladies in action as they infiltrate Il Kwang Hitech and navigate workplace hijinks while trying to maintain their cover. Their team leader may have found himself in over his head as he struggles to corral his team amidst the chaos. Meanwhile, we get more glimpses into the events 3 years ago that seem to hide darker secrets.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
3 Years Ago – Following their failed mission, Chan-mi sat silently in an interrogation room as another agent accused her of shooting Min-seok letting the scarfed man escape. Shaking, she stares down at Min-seok’s ring, thinking of his lifeless body. The agent threatens to check her family’s accounts (for mysterious deposits) and tosses out the gun and some crime scene photos. Enraged, Chan-mi throws down her badge and storms out.
Chan-mi is snapped out of her reverie by the interview panel for Il Kwang Hitech. They ask what she did for the past 3 years and while she narrates internally she’d had a three-month suspension and then was shuffled among various teams, aloud she says she took time off to reflect and reassess her goals. Watching from the surveillance van, Gwan-soo rounds on rookie Moo-hyuk, demanding why he didn’t fudge Chan-mi’s resume.
Poor Moo-hyuk replies Chan-mi was confident she’d be hired immediately and Gwan-soo cries she’s a bulldozer. Back in the interview, the panel question whether Chan-mi is concerned about the gap and she launches into a spiel about the gender divide weighing unfairly on women. The panel is uncomfortable and Chan-mi beams, volunteering to be the example Il Kwang Hitech sets… but is rejected.
Next is Ye-eun, and despite her nerves (and a slip-up on her false name) the panel is pleased with the fabricated resume and easily passes her. Unfortunately, Mi-soon is nixed almost as quickly as Chan-mi when no one believes she’s 27. Luckily, Gwan-soo prepared a backup plan and sends Chan-mi back in for another interview. This time, she shows off her multi-lingual skills (with sly jabs at Gwan-soo).
Another man watches the interview footage and chuckles at Chan-mi’s sassy delivery. We’ll later learn his name is YOON SEOK-HO (Lee Sang-yeob) and his assistant wonders if he knows Chan-mi. Seok-ho says he only had his heart broken once and flashes back 15 years to a classroom. Realizing with a panic he’d forgotten a pen, Seok-ho begs one off the girl sitting in front of him.
It’s Chan-mi and without turning, she hands back one of hers. He blinks at the adorable character adorning it, but the pen doesn’t write. Seok-ho prods Chan-mi again, and this time she verifies the pen works before handing it back. Charmed, Seok-ho cheekily complains about the color and Chan-mi tosses him a note. He’s excited until he reads the irritated message: “Write!” Class ends and Chan-mi is gone before Seok-ho realizes he still has her pen.
Running out after her, he catches up just as she informs someone on the phone she’s decided to take private tutoring instead of the class. Seok-ho opens his mouth to speak, but Chan-mi boards a bus and he’s forced to run on after her. He tsks as she snoozes on a stranger until the stranger gets up in annoyance. Seok-ho dives for the seat and tries to stealthily return her pens to her bag as Chan-mi’s head lolls onto his shoulder and he’s entranced.
The memory fades and Seok-ho continues smiling at the video. Gwan-soo is less amused by Chan-mi’s presentation, aware her jabs are meant for him. Moo-hyuk innocently asks if he upset Chan-mi and then excitedly shows the text message he’d just received, accepting Chan-mi for the job. Mi-soon heads in for take two, but the panel doesn’t even entertain an interview and waves her away. Sighing, Gwan-soo tells Moo-hyuk to skip Plan C and to straight to D… and they call a cleaning service.
Their undercover positions secured, Gwan-soo briefs the team on their mission – stop the tech from leaking overseas and nab industrial spy, Michael. There were to be three transactions total, the first of which resulted in the explosion at sea. Their goal is to stop the second transaction which is likely to occur sometime before the technology is fully developed in a month’s time.
Chan-mi repeatedly interrupts with questions and says if she were in charge, they would’ve finished the briefing and been in the field by now. Swallowing his anger, Gwan-soo tells them there are three possible moles: Seok-ho, who just became CEO of Il Kwang Hitech a year ago after returning from abroad.
Gwan-soo says the real power lies with Director Myeong Gye-cheol, however, as he controls the board. Gwan-soo warns them to take special notice of Director Myeong’s right-hand, Chief Tak. Director Myeong is meticulous and leaves no traces, using burner phones and external flash drives for all his business, while Seok-ho is in constant touch with Taiwan, travelling there often in an unofficial capacity.
The third candidate is KANG WOO-WON (Jun from U-KISS) and only Ye-eun seems to recognize him as a celebrity. Woo-won is at the peak of the Hallyu wave and is especially popular in China and Taiwan, traveling to the latter regularly. Gwan-soo asserts one of these men is definitely connected to Michael and Chan-mi points out one of them could even be Michael. She’s assigned to Seok-ho while Ye-eun is charged with watching Woo-won.
Mi-soon, who couldn’t get a job at the company proper, is tasked as backup. In order to gain access to the CCTV footage, Chan-mi needs to get into Seok-ho’s office and change the code to the research lab so Mi-soon can get in. The pair protest only for all three women to balk when Gwan-soo cheekily wishes them luck tomorrow, happily sipping his drink even as Mi-soon curses him.
Taipei – Chief Tak, Director Myeong’s man, shares a meal with a Taiwanese mob boss in a shady backroom. The mob boss calls for a briefcase which is set in front of Chief Tak and opened to reveal money. As soon as he reaches for it, however, the mob boss pulls a rifle from under the table, cackling he’ll pay after the alpha test. He stands to leave with his lackeys, but his path is blocked by the woman with Chief Tak.
In the blink of an eye, she slams the mob boss’ head into the table and makes quick work of his men while her boss continues to eat calmly. In the chaos, the mob boss crawls to the briefcase, only to freeze when the woman embeds a fork in the top. Picking up the case, Chief Tak knocks the mob boss back and as he and his assistant leave, informs someone over the phone the job is done.
Director Myeong hangs up one of his burners and announces it’s time to enter phase 2. The head of research, Ok Cheol, argues they’re still working on testing the first round of development so starting the second is risky. Director Myeong agrees they’ll lose their jobs if they’re discovered, but his pointed remark about weeding out ungrateful fools gets the man to quickly agree to move ahead with round two of backing up classified material.
On his way out, Ok Cheol passes Chan-mi and watches her curiously. Mi-soon sets up as a cleaning lady in the lobby, winking at Ye-eun as she also arrives at work. Ye-eun braces herself with an anxiety pill while Chan-mi excitedly stretches in the elevator. Mi-soon, however, is harassed by a security guard for leaving her assigned area. She starts to argue with his gruff attitude but does an about-face when he threatens her job.
Fiddling with a listening device, Ye-eun drops it when she’s startled by her superior, Hyo-jin, who chides her for slacking off. Meanwhile, Chan-mi is cornered on the roof by the other secretaries, angry at having heard she was specially appointed to the president’s office. Chan-mi is amused by the hazing, and the women easily accept her lie that she’s 29, jumping on the excuse to talk down to her.
The leader, Son So-ri, snidely demands who’s backing her and in her earpiece, Gwan-soo warns Chan-mi to control her temper. Plucking the device from her ear, Chan-mi readies herself to teach the secretaries a lesson (with her fists) only to find herself suspended in the air as Mi-soon carts her away. Hee. Meanwhile, Ye-eun eyes the clock nervously before suffering the bane of all office workers’ existence – the dreaded printer jam – and is sprayed with ink when she tries to fix it.
Hallyu star, Woo-won poses for a beachy photoshoot and shivers in his scanty attire as a fan blows directly at him. Retreating to his dressing room, he huddles in a blanket and whines at his manager to do climate-appropriate shoots. Side-stepping the tirade, Woo-won’s manager says Hitech called again about renewing his advertising contract, but Woo-won snaps he’s now the most popular star in Korea. His manger worries Hitech will rescind the offer if he keeps playing hard to get, but Woo-won firmly demands three-times his previous pay.
At the same time, Hitech advertising balks at Woo-won’s gall to demand such a sum when his career was in the toilet until he was discovered after featuring in their rice cooker ad. Woo-won is unwilling to negotiate, but Ye-eun’s superior Ho-jin, insists everyone is clawing to get advertisement rights in his next drama. Ye-eun cautiously pipes up she needs to go home, but Ho-jin orders her to fetch coffee.
Forced to call he daughter’s daycare, Ye-eun’s apologies are cut short when her phone drops into the coffee she’s pouring. With no other option, Ye-eun pops her earpiece in and asks Gwan-soo for a favor. Ye-eun returns with the coffee and the head of the department asks her opinion. Ye-eun haltingly asks why they aren’t negotiating with Woo-won face-to-face. Her naïve response saddles her with the assignment and though Ye-eun tries to slink away, Gwan-soo pushes her to accept.
So-hui cries for her mother and Moo-hyuk anxiously reports her diaper needs changing. Taking full advantage of his privilege as boss, Gwan-soo delegates the task to Moo-hyuk and the men flounder over the stinky diaper only to discover there’s no spare in So-hui’s bag. She continues to wail as the flustered men barrel down the street, trying to call Mi-soon or Chan-mi but getting no response.
Mi-soon finally answers her phone, but under her husband’s watchful gaze, she plays it off like a call from the insurance company. Locking herself in the bathroom, Mi-soon snaps at Gwan-soo for calling her after hours. Before he can even ask about diaper duties, Mi-soon hangs up. Returning to the living room, Mi-soon bickers with her husband over his disgusting hygiene habits until their daughter, Joo-yeon, returns from school.
Joo-yeon disappears into her room without a second glance, shutting the door in Mi-soon’s face. As her mother bangs on the door, imploring her to eat, Joo-yeon flops on her bed revealing a vicious scratch mark on her shoulder. Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Byeon Woo-seok, asks why Chan-mi is still at work. Slapping on a smile, she says she wants to familiarize herself with the work before Seok-ho comes to work tomorrow.
It’s enough for Woo-seok and as soon as he’s gone, Chan-mi scours the office for the keycard to Seok-ho’s office. Realizing he forgot his ID badge, Woo-seok returns just as Chan-mi finds the keycard in his desk. Luckily, she covers by tossing him his forgotten badge, beaming innocence. At the same time, Gwan-soo and Moo-hyuk catch their breath from the diaper debacle, having solved it by using Gwan-soo’s shirt as a makeshift diaper.
Ye-eun arrives at Woo-won’s photoshoot and Mi-soon gives her a crash course on negotiation. Mi-soon recommends establishing a good first impression with something he likes. Searching the internet for snacks he likes, Ye-eun sees Woo-won is allergic to peanuts. She sets out an array of food and then in line with Mi-soon’s advice to “set the mood,” she organizes the room and sprits some air freshener.
Leaning in for the final step, Ye-eun is startled when Mi-soon sneezes and knocks over a vase, shattering glass all over the floor. She tries to scoop it up and accidentally bumps into the table, which in turn pulls down the sheet that had acted as a divider for Woo-won to change… and reveals a butt-naked Woo-won. Both scream and Woo-won shouts for Ye-eun to look away just as the walls themselves fall and expose him to the rest of the staff.
In shock, Mi-soon stares as Ye-eun’s phone continues to facetime the naked star and Gwan-soo and Moo-hyuk – privy to the chaos from the van – wonder what is even happening. When the screaming subsides, Woo-won angrily grills Ye-eun. She meekly starts to explain, but he repeatedly misunderstands her. Finally, Ye-eun shouts she’s there to renew his contract and Woo-won sneers he wants 4 times his previous fee, now.
Chan-mi leaves work immediately after Woo-seok and reports her success to Gwan-soo. Since the keycard needs to be back before it’s missed, they plan to infiltrate Seok-ho’s office before he gets to work tomorrow. Gwan-soo passes the news along to Kook-hwan, who orders a full scan of Seok-ho’s computer and when Gwan-soo tries to suggest more time for the team to adjust, Kook-hwan accuses him of allowing his personal feelings to affect the mission.
At the shooting range, Kook-hwan barks he wants the flashdrive tonight, ignoring Gwan-soo’s insistence the task requires more than a day. “What good will all my hard work do when my subordinates can’t get their jobs done?” Kook-hwan shouts, poking Gwan-soo’s gut with his gun. Gwan-soo promises to make it work and when Kook-hwan storms out, he empties the gun into the center of the target. Outside, Kook-hwan assures someone it’ll be done soon.
At home, Chan-mi she steps up to her conspiracy wall on Michael. Once again flashing back 3 years, Chan-mi tries accessing records in the NIS database and is repeatedly denied. She storms off to find Kook-hwan and demands why she no longer had access to the case files, despite being the Team Leader. Kook-hwan growls he’d told her to lay low during her suspension, but Chan-mi shouts a teammate died because of her.
She vows to keep digging until she finds the person responsible, and afterwards heads to records. An exasperated clerk says he’s already shown her everything, and Chan-mi slams down a photo from her interrogation. She questions why this phone wasn’t with the rest of the evidence.The clerk assumes it belongs to an agent, but Chan-mi points out it doesn’t have wi-fi (meaning it’s a burner) and the clerk insists he knows nothing.
The next morning, Gwan-soo sends Chan-mi in to infiltrate Seok-ho’s office so Mi-sun can get into the research lab and set up a camera. They only have a 20-minute window and things are going smoothly as both women successfully sneak in only for Seok-ho to arrive early. Chan-mi finds his computer to be password protected and Ye-eun tells the men to hold the elevator for 3 minutes while she runs up to Chan-mi.
The elevator restarts just as Ye-eun breaks the password. She scampers out and quickly redirects when she sees Seok-ho and Woo-seok at the end of the hall. Ye-eun worries about Chan-mi but Gwan-soo orders her back to her own office. Chan-mi announces success just as Seok-ho enters his office. She barely manages to sneak into a back room as Mi-soon saunters into the research facility, tutting at Chan-mi getting stuck.
“It makes sense though,” Mi-soon muses, “She wouldn’t be that smart since she got dumped by someone as wishy-washy as our team leader.” Gwan-soo is unamused by the jab, but Chan-mi lets out a laugh, catching herself too late. Seok-ho looks up at the noise and tries to enter the back room and finds the door jammed… by Chan-mi on the other side. Mi-soon manages to get the camera in place but struggles to find a wi-fi signal. Predictably, Ok Cheon arrives at work just then. Mi-soon jumps off his desk with a clatter while Seok-ho continues to fight with his door.
Epilogue – 10 years ago – Chan-mi runs to a date with Gwan-soo, (pausing to steal a hairpin off the pig-rabbit doll from You’re Beautiful). She pants that she’s in the middle of an operation and Gwan-soo warily eyes the gun she’d slammed on the table, asking her to remove it… as well as her knife and fork. Chan-mi notices his jumpy demeanor and after much sweating, Gwan-soo shakily suggests they break up.
He immediately winces and the table quakes as Chan-mi scrunches up her face as if unsure whether to be angry or sad. After a moment, she decides on angry and Gwan-soo lunges to keep her from flipping the table, reminding her she just paid a property damage fee and is currently working. She says that she tried to brush it off when he’d act cagey and ignore her and calls him a disloyal jerk.
Gwan-soo agrees that he sucks and takes full responsibility for the breakup. “You know how I treat those who’ve wronged me,” Chan-mi warns as Gwan-soo nods. She gives him three seconds to run and he bolts as she speeds through the countdown and sends the hairpin sailing. He ducks just in time for it to impale the doll instead, but he doesn’t have a chance to breathe before Chan-mi throws her second clip and as he sprints away, Chan-mi dissolves into tears.
That epilogue was fantastic and what I want this show to be all the time. I’m not particularly interested in the espionage and company politics, but I am all for the nutty hijinks these characters get themselves into. I had initially assumed the breakup had been recent and Chan-mi was the ex-wife… so I am flabbergasted to discover their relationship fell apart 10 years ago. It goes to show how Chan-mi can hold a grudge and I love that even Mi-soon chimes in on ruffling Gwan-soo’s feathers because what I had initially thought was a more balanced parting turned out to be completely one-sided.
The breakup was hilarious and heartbreaking because despite the crazy, Gwan-soo was pretty crappy about it. Perhaps there’s more to be seen, and while I’ll agree Chan-mi is a loose cannon, Gwan-soo was a weasel. I would argue Gwan-soo has no right to be bitter, but after a decade of Chan-mi’s hate-fire burning strong, I can see why he’s so childish with her. Despite the juvenile bickering, there is a level of trust there that will come in handy as Chan-mi continues to unravel the events of 3 years ago.
I feel this plot would’ve benefitted by nixing the extensive backstory, but we’re only 2 episodes in, and I’m open to being proven wrong. Right now, however, it’s all kinda messy and almost feels like trying to mash two shows together. I really like Lee Sang-yeob but I am very confused by the inclusion of his character so far. As if having one ex wasn’t enough, we’re throwing in some puppy love? I am interested to see more of why it matters because the interactions were cute but felt very out of place with everything else. This episode was much better than the last, but I remain on the fence about Good Casting so we’ll see how it goes.