Good Casting: Episode 3
The mission proves to have more hiccups than anyone anticipated as our ladies are thrown curve-balls left and right. Luckily, they have each other’s backs and when one falters, you can be sure the others will be there to catch her.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
CEO Seok-ho pumps himself up for a second go at opening the bookcase door Chan-mi dove behind in his office. As he shoves with all his might, Chan-mi strains to brace from the other side. Meanwhile, Mi-soon can’t get a Wi-Fi signal to complete the setup of the spy cam in Head of Research, Ok Cheol’s office. She panics when she sees him through the office window and accidentally knocks his nameplate off his desk, drawing attention. Luckily, no one is there when he steps inside, but Mi-soon is now trapped in the air vents.
Head secretary Woo-seok finds his boss fighting with the bookshelf and Seok-ho finally gives up. Chan-mi sinks to the floor in relief and a small gap by her face gives her the perfect view of Seok-ho. It triggers a flashback to a bar where Seok-ho sang a love song about her red backpack and Chan-mi squealed in the audience. Woo-seok reports Director Myeong had a special meeting with the executives this morning. With a sigh, Seok-ho suggests they ruin his plans and they head to the official meeting.
As soon as they’re gone, Chan-mi slips out, unaware she’d dropped the flash drive containing Seok-ho’s computer data. At the same time, Director Myeong meets with Chief Tak to plot against Seok-ho. He’s suspicious that Seok-ho never lets anyone near his office, yet has hired Chan-mi. Director Myeong says Ok Cheol will deliver the second round of material soon and warns Chief Tak to deliver it quickly and without incident.
In the surveillance van, Gwan-soo wonders why they haven’t heard from Mi-soon. She’s still searching for the elusive Wi-Fi signal in the vents, so no one sees Ok Cheol downloading the second batch of data. Chan-mi escapes to the bathroom and once more flashes back to her college days. A guy walks her home and once he’s gone, she turns to see Seok-ho grinning with a bouquet.
“Is that sea squirt your boyfriend?” Seok-ho pouts and Chan-mi snips he’s a med student. Seok-ho grumbles it hasn’t been long since she broke up with “the sea cucumber.” Chan-mi barks at him to stop nosing into her love life with his seafood comparisons but Seok-ho smiles he’s going to be her boyfriend soon. Rolling her eyes, Chan-mi tells him to focus on getting into college and if he feels the same when he turns 20, he can come find her.
She thinks he’ll have changed his mind by then, but Seok-ho swears he’ll still like her when he’s 40. Chan-mi gripes it’s depressing to think she’ll be single at 40, let alone date a guy she used to tutor. He chases after her and takes her backpack, handing her the bouquet. She softens and asks what he wants to heat. Brightening, Seok-ho cheerfully replies ramyeon with rice cakes. Chan-mi wonders why he insists on the same dish every time.
“Once I like something, I rarely change my mind about it,” Seok-ho grins. His attempt to slip an arm around her shoulder earns him a beating with the bouquet and they banter playfully as they walk on. Chan-mi is snapped back to the present by Gwan-soo’s voice in her earpiece. She snaps at him to leave her alone and he asks for the flash drive in exchange. Wincing, Chan-mi realizes she’d forgotten it in Seok-ho’s office.
In her own department, Ye-eun is berated by her superior, Hyo-jin for being late (because she was helping Chan-mi hack Seok-ho’s computer). Ye-eun whimpers she’s constipated but Hyo-jin snaps the issue is the contract with Woo-won Ye-eun was supposed to negotiate. Recalling the accidental strip show of the star and his demand for quadruple his original fees, Ye-eun hangs her head.
At the executives meeting, Seok-ho grills Director Myeong on his project which currently costs over 200 million, and yet all the reports are secret. Director Myeong says the late chairman gave him full authority over the research lab and Seok-ho. “It’s what the late chairman wanted,” Director Myeong insists, and Seok-ho bristles at repeated mention of his father.
Director Myeong continues the late chairman valued the research lab and that’s how the company grew. “That’s how you went from Head of Research to director, which is unprecedented,” Seok-ho spits. Director Myeong argues the company shares skyrocketed after his projects, demanding respect. Seok-ho simply orders all reports regarding the NAND Flash research now require the CEO’s approval.
Ok Cheol completes the backup of the research and slides the chip into his ID badge a split second before Mi-soon finally gets her signal and the spy cam feed reaches the surveillance van. Meanwhile, Chief Tak orders his own right-hand Secretary Goo to dig up info on Chan-mi while the person in question, sneaks back into Seok-ho’s office. Thankfully, it’s empty and she peeks into a drawer, finding the stuffed rabbit from her college backpack.
The doll chirps “I love you!” and Chan-mi quickly stuffs it back into the desk. Finding the flash drive on the floor, she starts to leave but drops to her knees when Seok-ho returns. Noticing the tea on his desk, Seok-ho turns to catch Chan-mi attempting to crawl out of his office. She avoids eye-contact as she introduces herself, fibbing she’d dropped a pill on the floor. Chan-mi tries to leave to get another, but Seok-ho waves off his vitamins and motions for her to take a seat.
Seok-ho asks if she knows why he hired her – revealing he’d been watching the interviews from his car – and Chan-mi realizes this is what the other secretaries had meant by connections. He notes she’d listed “throwing” as her specialty and Chan-mi nods while we see her throwing people and knives. He asks if she’s really 29 and named Baek Jang-mi (her codename).
Briefly suspicious he’d recognized her, Chan-mi is put out when Seok-ho merely sighs in relief. He questions her interview rant about subpar bosses, smiling she’s lucked out with him: “I don’t mind mistakes or poor working skills. We’re all human. But I don’t keep untrustworthy people close.” She says she’ll keep that in mind and Seok-ho reiterates that he’s always open to giving second chances.
Chan-mi hands the flash drive over to Gwan-soo and he suggests they go out to eat. “I’d make plans if I didn’t have any,” Chan-mi quips, “but I really do have plans.” Gwan-soo offers to have tea afterwards, but Chan-mi sniffs she might stay over with her date. Sighing, Gwan-soo asks if it isn’t time for them to bury the hatchet already. Leveling a glare at him, Chan-mi says her worst mistake was accepting dinner with a jerk after work.
Brandishing her ring-finger, she admits falling for him when he pricked it for indigestion. “I had just graduated college, so I was way too naïve,” Chan-mi snaps, and storms off. Looking down at the flash drive, Gwan-soo uncomfortably recalls Kook-hwan shoving the gun into his gut. As for Mi-soon, she’s still trapped in the vents. Her path is blocked by a gate with a much smaller opening, but she pushes through anyway… only for her butt to get stuck. Hee.
While attempting to use her earpiece, Mi-soon accidentally drops it. It falls to the hallway below and is crushed under an unsuspecting lab tech’s foot. Back in the van, Gwan-soo hands Moo-hyuk the flash drive to copy before he hands it over to Kook-hwan. They finally realize they haven’t heard from Mi-soon since she entered the vents. Her earpiece only transmits static and Gwan-soo calls Chan-mi and Ye-eun.
Huddled in a storage room, Ye-eun shows Chan-mi the schematic she’d hacked from the system. They trace where Mi-soon would’ve gone and Chan-mi giggles Mi-soon must’ve gotten stuck in the connecting vent. Unfortunately, once everyone leaves the lab for the evening, a sterilizing gas is released in the vents. Moo-hyuk quickly hacks into the lab and shuts it down, causing the lab security to call for assistance.
Gwan-soo intercepts the call and sends in Ye-un and Chan-mi. The head guard at the lab eyes them suspiciously – having thought only men worked in the digital security department – but backs down when Ye-eun suggests his team’s failure to check the system properly could result in thousands of dollars in damages. He lets them pass and Ye-eun enters the vents, warning Chan-mi to find and hit the red reboot button if they aren’t back before the gas is released.
Locating the control panel, Chan-mi groans to realize more than half the buttons are red. She selects one at random, and an alarm blares as smoke spews into the vents. She quickly presses it again, smiling nervously at the head guard. Ye-eun finds Mi-soon and starts pulling her from behind. While straining, Mi-soon passes some gas of her own… directly into Ye-eun’s face.
Mi-soon finally pulls free just in time for them to see the gas leaking into the vents. The women scurry as quickly as possible but are soon overwhelmed. Thankfully, Chan-mi finds the right button but is forced to immediately chase after the head guard to stop him from catching the women exiting the vents. He waves her off, so Chan-mi exhibits her excellent throwing skills by launching her shoe at his head.
The guard goes down just as Ye-eun and Mi-soon crawl out of the vent. They manage to escape as Chan-mi frantically apologizes for the errant shoe. Before the guard can yell at Chan-mi, the lab techs call to report the system back online. Seeing her team has made it out, Chan-mi salutes and takes her leave as well.
Reconvening at a bus stop, Gwan-soo distributes trackers to the haggard team. He says holding the button for 3 seconds initiates a Code Blue, and Mi-soon pouts her Code Blue was not getting home in time to make dinner. “Would you be able to stomach anything after breathing in all that gas?” Chan-mi teases. Mi-soon starts to retort but catches herself before revealing she’d farted in the vents. Ye-eun snickers and Mi-soon walks away while Chan-mi pesters her to finish what she was saying.
Gwan-soo finds Kook-hwan’s office empty and goes to leave the flash drive on the desk. Thinking better of it, he opens a drawer and drops it in. Moo-hyuk dozes in the van, missing Ok Cheol leave for work and meet with Chief Tak’s assistant, Secretary Goo. He hands her the chip he’d hidden in his ID badge and she hides it in a fancy watch. She calls and reports to Chief Tak and then calls someone else to say the delivery will happen soon.
At home, Mi-soon sighs to see her husband lazing on the couch and the recycling she’d asked him to take out still piled across the room. He waves her off, still engrossed in his baseball game. She throws the laundry at him, barking she warned him she’d be busy with work for a few months only to come home to a heap of chores. Her husband thinks she’s just an insurance saleswoman and can’t imagine she works very hard… earning himself a beating.
Gwan-soo had handed the copy of Seok-ho’s computer over to Ye-eun to look at, but she doesn’t see anything strange in his files. With a sigh, she pulls out a bloody handkerchief from her dresser and thinks of Min-seok’s promise to marry her after his mission (which resulted in his death).
Returning home, Woo-won worries Ye-eun took photos of him when he was exposed. His manager points out she would’ve already attempted blackmail if she had. Woo-won looks at him with disgust, tsking the world is filled with scumbags. Shaking it off, his manager asks for the day off tomorrow since Woo-won’s schedule is clear, only to get shot down in order to take care of Woo-won’s pets. Woo-won storms off and his manager answers a burner phone.
A female voice instructs him to retrieve a package and deliver to Wang Kai in Taiwan. He asks if this will be his last task to receive the money he was promised, but she hangs up. He follows the map sent and finds the watch in a locker at the subway station. Slipping it on his wrist, he leaves as Secretary Goo confirms the pickup and Chief Tak orders her to keep an eye on him.
The next day, Gwan-soo texts the spies it seems Ok Cheol already stashed the data. Mi-soon angrily texts back she suffered the vent ordeal for nothing while Ye-eun thinks he hasn’t had time to sell the data yet. Chan-mi suggests they keep looking into Chief Tak and Gwan-soo agrees they need to stop the transaction before it happens.
Returning from a meeting, Seok-ho catches Chan-mi trying to eat lunch. He hands her a cute keychain – saying it’s a “bribe” for her to stay with the company for a long time – and suggests they get lunch together. Meanwhile, Ye-eun meets with the team leader about her failed negotiation with Woo-won. She swears it’s fixable and is put in charge of securing the contract as Woo-won has declared he’ll only speak to Ye-eun.
In his office, Director Myeong congratulates Ok Cheol for successfully obtaining the second phase data. He declares Chief Tak in charge of the transaction and orders Ok Cheol to focus on phase three. Chief Tak reports the exchange will take place at a launching event attended by Woo-won. Pleased, Director Myeong tells Chief Tak to take a bonus from the money they receive.
Ok Cheol perks up when Director Myeong turns to him but deflates when no bonus is offered. He takes his leave, grumbling that he’s the one taking the biggest risk in transporting the data out of the lab. He jumps when Chief Tak appears, clapping a hand menacingly on his shoulder. Ok Cheol wilts, nervously conceding Chief Tak does the heavy lifting.
Seok-ho takes Chan-mi to the office cafeteria, smiling when the workers cheerfully greet him. They sit down to eat, and Seok-ho says he eats in the cafeteria twice a month and often drops by for late night snacks… particularly the ramyeon with rice cakes. Chan-mi looks up at him, but Seok-ho just wonders if she thinks he’s a fake. Shaking it off, Chan-mi praises his care for his employees but looks at him suspiciously.
They’re joined by Chief Tak and Chan-mi zeroes in on his blue scarf – the same one worn by the man they believe to be Michael. She texts Mi-soon to check his office while they’re in the cafeteria. Chief Tak turns his attention to Chan-mi and she chokes on her water. Seok-ho says he also feels uncomfortable and the pair take their leave.
Secretary Goo meets a junkie but he insists on getting his money before handing over the files and draws a knife. Secretary Goo quickly dispatches the junkie and his crew, snatching the files before tossing the money to him. He and his lackeys run away, and Secretary Goo opens the packet to see Chan-mi’s real identity. She calls to report Chan-mi as a former NIS agent to Chief Tak.
He eyes Chan-mi as she and Seok-ho head for the elevator. While they wait, Seok-ho comments on an abrasion on Chan-mi’s hand. Woo-seok runs up and hands over a package of bandages and ointment Seok-ho requested, looking betrayed when Seok-ho then hands them to Chan-mi. Dismissed, he leaves with his tail tucked between his legs as Seok-ho and Chan-mi board the elevator.
Chief Tak stops the door from closing and steps inside, as well. Chan-mi quickly texts Mi-soon to warn her they’re coming. Mi-soon finds the desk drawer locked and as she picks it, she doesn’t notice her phone buzzing. We now hear Secretary Goo’s report that Chan-mi used to work for NIS and is truly 38. She was dismissed after failing to catch Michael 3 years ago while Min-seok died during the operation.
Epilogue – The spy trio cleans up after their adventure in the vents and Mi-soon asks how things are going with Seok-ho. “So, it’s protocol…” Chan-mi starts awkwardly, “to report anyone we have a personal connection to.” Before she can finish, however, Mi-soon fawns over Seok-ho, snickering she would’ve charmed the pants off him, were he her mark.
Chan-mi asks if the gas has gone to her head, reminding Mi-soon she’s married. Mi-soon pouts she wants some eye candy, too. Ye-eun pipes up she would’ve rather been Seok-ho’s assistant too, sighing Woo-woon is incapable of planning an intricate crime. Growing defensive of Seok-ho, Chan-mi quips anyone can look suspicious if you look at them as a suspect.
Mi-soon chides them for complaining about handsome marks and finally remembers Chan-mi was trying to say something. Losing her nerve, Chan-mi says it’s nothing and though Mi-soon starts to question her about it further, she suddenly thinks to ask Ye-eun to get Woo-won’s autograph for her daughter. Ye-eun promises to try and they scurry off in search of paper.
The show is settling into a lighter tone, which I appreciate. Director Myeong and co. make me roll my eyes and I can’t wait for Seok-ho to kick them out. I was glad to see Chan-mi quickly recognize the scarf, but while it was similar, I’m not sure it was exactly the same… I’ll have to go back to check. I definitely feel Chief Tak was the one on the boat at the start of the show, but at the event 3 years ago, he was faking blindness and the person running seemed younger. I’m still unconvinced the person they were chasing was Michael — or if Michael is even just one person — but all I can hope is Seok-ho is a good guy because he’s so adorable.
It looks like despite his broken heart he’s still holding a candle for Chan-mi (if the doll in his desk or his desire to keep her “look-a-like” close is any indication). I can’t tell whether he knows or just can’t help but treat “Jang-mi” as he would’ve Chan-mi. He seems to be testing her with the keychain and pointed mention of his favorite snack, but his pleasant mask is hard to read. I’m dying to know how their romance went wrong since both seem deeply affected by meeting again. The flashes of the past this hour showed them to have a close relationship, but Chan-mi said she met Gwan-soo straight out of college (and joining the NIS).
I was surprised how quickly the show identified the guilty party in selling the tech to China, eliminating Woo-won almost immediately and showing that while his frequent travels have allowed for sneaky exchanges, the one doing the smuggling was his manager. I can’t fully blame the guy, Woo-won certainly revels in making his life miserable so the promise of enough money to quit as his manager would be tantalizing. I’m hoping Ye-eun uncovers Woo-won’s soft underbelly because I suspect his sass may simply be false bravado to cover up his own insecurities. Either way, I am excited for more hijinks, please and thank you!