Good Casting: Episode 7
Our ladies realize a spy’s job is never done as they roll from one hair-raising mission into the next. While they may be the ones doing the heavy lifting, the real struggle lies with their fearless leader who faces the most challenging mission of all: getting the women actually follow his lead.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Mi-soon and Ye-eun manage to disarm the bomb vest on Cheol-woong as Chan-mi continues to grapple with a man bearing an “M” tattoo. While Wang Kai confirms the data package and parts with Ok Cheol until the next delivery, the women despair to discover a second bomb has been triggered. Cackling, that tattooed man attempts to escape but Chan-mi is able to prevent him slamming the door – first with the keychain she’d received from Seok-ho, and then her arm (ouch!).
The tattooed man scampers away as Chan-mi cradles her arm but doesn’t get far as Ye-eun and Mi-soon have removed the vest from Cheol-woong and toss it out behind him, slamming the door and bracing for the explosion. Gwan-soo just has time to shout for the agents outside to duck as the bomb detonates. Ok Cheol attempts to call the tattooed man but only gets a voicemail message. On the other side of the door, the women collapse in relief and Chan-mi smiles gratefully at Seok-ho’s keychain.
At the hospital, Chan-mi rejoins Mi-soon and Gwan-soo, now sporting a cast on her arm. She wonders where Ye-eun has gone and Ye-eun appears, crying she was worried to death and begs Chan-mi not to get hurt. Chan-mi apologizes as Mi-soon signs her cast: “Congratulations on returning to the field!” Unfortunately, Cheol-woong didn’t fare as well as the rest and –following a seizure and mental breakdown – is being kept sedated in an NIS ward.
Reporting to Kook-hwan, Gwan-soo is berated for failing to catch “Michael” until he voices suspicions as to how Chief Tak could’ve already been on Cheol-woong’s flight when they’d barely discovered that information in time, themselves. He proposes they look into Chief Tak’s movements before boarding the flight. Thinking fast, Kook-hwan pegs Chan-mi for the mole, sneering she’s betrayed the NIS once already.
Gwan-soo balks, offering to take responsibility for the failed mission but Kook-hwan just waves him out. Meanwhile, the women wait outside and Chan-mi yanks Woo-won and Seok-ho’s pictures from their conspiracy board. Mi-soon points out Seok-ho could still be a culprit, growing suspicious when Chan-mi insists he would never: “Did you seduce him instead of keeping an eye on him?”
Their bickering is cut short by the reappearance of Gwan-soo and he announces that since Cheol-woong is in no shape to testify, they’ll need to keep digging. He asks for suggestions but Mi-soon pipes up she needs to get home and make dinner, scuttling out the door before anyone can stop her. Turning to the remaining agents, Gwan-soo sighs at their disheartened expressions and dismisses them as well.
Chan-mi, however, stays late watching the surveillance video of Ok Cheol. Moo-hyuk sighs he’s already watched the feed and found nothing off. Chan-mi thinks that’s even stranger but Moo-hyuk just grumbles she should get a boyfriend. “I’m popular,” Chan-mi sniffs, boasting she’s hounded to go on blind dates. In the video, Chan-mi notices Ok Cheol is listening to music and prints off a picture of the album.
At home, Mi-soon is frustrated to discover another week has gone by without her husband taking out the recycling. Organizing the mess, she discovers a soju pack, but her husband denies drinking it due to his sensitive stomach. She heads into her daughter’s room and finds cigarette ash on the windowsill as well as a failed report card and multiple photos of Woo-won hidden about the room. Finally, she finds a box containing bandages and ointments.
Her phone buzzes in the living room, but Mi-soon doesn’t hear her husband’s shouts. He checks the message himself, frowning at the announcement that her overseas roaming has been cancelled. He drops the phone when she exits their daughter’s room, nervously asking about her mother. Mi-soon says she complains of pain but immediately rejects his offer to call, instead asking if their daughter came home early. Her husband nods and Mi-soon looks contemplative.
The next day, Seok-ho stares at Chan-mi’s arm as she serves him tea. He asks what happened and Chan-mi says it’s a slight injury from personal business, promising not to let it affect her work. Seok-ho is more concerned with what she does on the weekends, asking if she is into dangerous hobbies or hangs out with dangerous people. Chan-mi laughs that her life is so ordinary it’s almost boring.
“Then I should’ve taken you with me,” Seok-ho muses, startling Chan-mi. He explains he’d opted not to bring her on his business trips yet so she could ease into the position and rest, sighing Chief Secretary Woo-seok pushes his staff too hard. He admits he worries she’ll resign and implores her not to get hurt again. Avoiding his earnest gaze, Chan-mi looks down at his desk and sees a date starred on his calendar.
It jars a memory and we flash back 15 years to Chan-mi running towards a funeral. She’s barred by a team of men and Chan-mi pleads to go in for just a moment. One of the men reminds her: “You signed a contract that states once it expires, you are no longer permitted to see him in private.” Chan-mi argues she’s here as a friend, not a former tutor, but the man says that’s exactly the problem.
Looking past the men, she can see Seok-ho sitting at his mother’s altar a few yards away. Her phone rings and it’s Seok-ho, desperately calling Chan-mi, unaware she’s so close. The memory fades and Chan-mi excuses herself as someone else enters the office. It’s the woman Kook-hwan keeps reporting to – Shim Hwa-ran – and she snidely remarks Seok-ho has hired a woman as she takes his tea.
Hwa-ran snidely comments on Seok-ho hiring a woman when he’s never allowed one in his office before and criticizes the tea. Seok-ho asks if Director Myeong’s tea is that much better and Hwa-ran sniffs she’s a shareholder so meeting with management isn’t strange. Outside the office, Chan-mi asks Woo-seok who the woman is and is shocked to learn she’s Seok-ho’s ex-wife, wondering why it hadn’t appeared in Seok-ho’s file.
Woo-seok tells her to put the flowers Hwa-ran brought in a vase for Seok-ho’s desk. Chan-mi argues Seok-ho doesn’t like lilies but is forced to bite her tongue when Woo-seok balks she can’t know better than the ex-wife or himself (who’s worked for Seok-ho for 8 years). Inside, Hwa-ran replaces the flowers in another vase with her lilies, reminding Seok-ho she’s always well-prepared. He agrees, saying she’d drafted a prenup for him before they’d even met.
His patience growing ever thinner, Seok-ho asks Hwa-ran to get to the point. “You’ll need to prepare a slush fund,” Hwa-ran says, “so I came to give you a heads up.” Seok-ho tsks that people should change in order to mature but Hwa-ran argues consistency is why she’s loved only him since they got married. Seok-ho agrees she loves money and she says she likes how honest he is.
Hwa-ran says she looks forward to hearing how much he can provide and sashays out of the office. Grimacing, Seok-ho removes the lilies and throws them on the floor. Chan-mi bows when Hwa-ran enters the office and Hwa-ran growls dissatisfaction at seeing a woman in Seok-ho’s office for the first time. She leaves in a huff and Chan-mi answers a text from her aunt to meet on Saturday.
Turning on his record, Seok-ho looks out his window at Chan-mi and flashes back to the night of the mittens and his mother’s death… and then to sitting despondently in a restaurant with Chan-mi. She orders the ramyeon he likes for them and asks about his mother’s condition. Seok-ho says she’s getting better and Chan-mi agrees she’d looked better last time they’d met. When the food is delivered, Seok-ho picks out the green onions.
Smiling, Chan-mi says she’ll take them and piles her rice cakes in his bowl. Seok-ho asks if she’ll grant his wish if he gets better grades. Chan-mi asks what his wish is, but we don’t hear his reply as Seok-ho returns to present day. Chan-mi looks up at him and they stare at each other briefly before Seok-ho returns to his desk.
Gwan-soo’s suspicion of a mole and desire to track Chief Tak’s motions has Kook-hwan feeling nervous as he recalls informing Chief Tak about Cheol-woong’s flight. He takes the burner phone out of his desk and Moo-hyuk sees Ok Cheol receive a text from “Michael.” It gives a time and a place and Gwan-soo orders Moo-hyuk to call the women.
Frustrated with her husband once more lazing on the couch while she cleans, Mi-soon attacks him with the vacuum. Luckily for him, her phone rings and while Mi-soon is initially resistant to working on the weekend, she softens at the promise of extra pay. Moo-hyuk can’t get ahold of Chan-mi and Gwan-soo guesses she’s hungover, ordering him to keep trying. Meanwhile, Chan-mi’s aunt has set her up on a blind date and she perks up when an attractive man walks in.
Ok Cheol arrives at the designated hotel… the same one Chan-mi is having her date. To Chan-mi’s glee, the date cuts her steak for her and promises to show off his cooking skills on their next date. Chan-mi tries to ignore a call from Gwan-soo, but he calls right back. Answering in Russian, she warns him not to call again or she’ll turn of her phone permanently. As Ok Cheol enters the hotel, Mi-soon steps out dressed as an employee.
Following Ok Cheol, Mi-soon freezes when she locks eyes with Chan-mi. Both women realize the situation and Chan-mi starts to excuse herself from her date when another woman stalks over and slaps her date hard. The date stops Chan-mi from fleeing, announcing to the slap-happy woman things are over. She barks they were together seven years and he’s already dating days after their breakup.
Chan-mi looks desperately to Mi-soon for help, but the man grips Chan-mi’s wrist tighter, declaring he’ll find another woman and live happily. Mi-soon shouts she sees Zo In-sung and as everyone turns, she and Chan-mi see Ok Cheol. Chan-mi knocks her date down, rolling them both under the table. She knocks him out in the process and Mi-soon scurries off as the ex looks back in bewilderment to find everyone missing.
Grumbling at her rotten luck with men, Chan-mi scoots out from under the table and joins Gwan-soo in the van. He gripes at her for ignoring his calls and Chan-mi laughs bitterly he must’ve enjoyed the show (as he could see everything via a spycam on Mi-soon). Gwan-soo deadpans it was like watching a makjang and Chan-mi sniffs they’re popular these days. Mi-soon reports Ok Cheol is in the café waiting for someone but is quickly distracted when asked to try the new menu.
A new text comes through from Michael: “NIS is on to you. Will be in touch.” Ok Cheol promptly leaves and Gwan-soo orders Mi-soon out. She turns in surprise to find Ok Cheol gone and bolts. Ok Cheol jumps into a taxi and the team is forced to follow as Mi-soon runs out behind the van. Chan-mi opens the door and reaches out, but Mi-soon can’t catch up. She watches them disappear… only to speed back to pick her up.
Gwan-soo rolls his eyes, but before they can drive away, Ye-eun comes running up as well. She leaps inside, carrying her daughter, and they give chase to Ok Cheol’s taxi. Gwan-soo orders Moo-hyuk to speed up but he’s anxious since there’s a child on board. The team wonders why Ok Cheol is headed towards the lab just as Ok Cheol spots the van in the rearview and, thinking of the warning text, urges the cabby to speed up.
The cab takes an exit too fast for the van to follow and Chan-mi guesses Ok Cheol realized they were on his tail. Everyone quickly passes the blame, eventually landing on Gwan-soo. Frustrated, he has Moo-hyuk pull over and storms out of the van. The women reluctantly follow him out and Gwan-soo barks he doesn’t expect stellar teamwork or even their best work, but they should at least manage the basics.
Chastened, the women promise to get Michael’s number from Ok Cheol to make up for the flubbed mission. Gwan-soo snorts, asking how they plan to swipe Ok Cheol’s phone when he never leaves the lab. Ye-eun agrees they can’t stage another security system error to infiltrate without raising suspicions but Gwan-soo smiles Mi-soon had discovered another route – the air ducts.
Traumatized by the experience, Mi-soon vehemently objects. Everyone looks expectantly at her and she asks why the others can’t go. Gwan-soo points out she’d suggested the heist and Ye-eun backs him up while Chan-mi just holds up her cast. Mi-soon whines, but despite the tantrum finds herself gearing up that night. Ye-eun offers her spandex (so that she won’t get stuck again) and Mi-soon mutters: “Either you take my place or get that out of my sight.”
Gwan-soo promises they’ll be right here, and she need only issue a Code Blue for help. Mi-soon warns he should take her place or shut up. She and Chan-mi head to the roof where Chan-mi tosses a grappling hook over to the research building’s roof and ties it off. She assesses this is a perfect blind spot and Mi-soon repeats Chan-mi should take her place or get lost. Mi-soon hooks herself to the cable and glides over… and bounces off.
She’s forced to pull herself the rest of the way and flashes Chan-mi an “OK” before disappearing inside. Mi-soon crawls through the ducts, complaining as she goes. At one point she sneezes, blowing a cloud of dust in her face. She wipes it away, smudging her warpaint. Meanwhile, Ok Cheol looks at a picture of the dead tattooed man from the bomb fiasco and sobs, blaming himself for his friend’s death.
Mi-soon makes it to Ok Cheol’s office and peers through the grate just as he leans back and looks up. He screams in terror and another tech rushes in to find him cowering under his desk. Ok Cheol points to the duct and the tech looks up… but sees nothing. Ok Cheol peeks up and Mi-soon’s face reappears, grinning menacingly. He screams again and she ducks out of sight once more.
Ok Cheol crawls around in terror, muttering “I killed him,” as the tech looks up and sees an empty duct. He drags Ok Cheol out for some fresh air and Mi-soon drops into the office. She plugs a device into Ok Cheol’s phone as the tech brings Ok Cheol a drink outside. Ok Cheol apologizes for the outburst but the tech waves it off – “I thought you’d seen the bouncing head!” – and says the research lab used to be a mental institution.
Looking nervously at the building, Ok Cheol says he didn’t know and the tech muses that many patients were incarcerated against their will. Mi-soon curses the device for loading slowly while the tech continues that eventually a fire broke out and most of the patients burned alive. Afterwards, they found one patient at the entrance who died with his head stuck through the bars of the window. “The bouncing head?” Ok Cheol intones, assuming what he’d seen wasn’t human.
When the men return, Mi-soon is gone. Ok Cheol reluctantly steps inside, growing more confident when there’s no face in the duct. The tech assures him there’s no such thing as ghosts and scurries away. Singing loudly about the Lord, Ok Cheol settles back at his desk and screams at the empty duct, chuckling when there’s no response. Mi-soon, pressing against the side to stay out of sight, rolls her eyes.
He returns to work and she tries to leave, but her sleeve is caught. As she reaches to unhook it, Ok Cheol sees her reflection on his phone screen. Screaming in terror, he passes out and the tech calls 911 as Mi-soon escapes. She returns to the van and Ye-eun hacks into the phone, quickly finding “Michael’s” number. Meanwhile, a doctor informs the tech Ok Cheol passed out from fatigue and not to worry.
Chan-mi dials the number and when it rings, Gwan-soo quickly orders a trace. The phone continues to go unanswered, locked away in Kook-hwan’s desk. It now shows him sending the meeting text to Ok Cheol and when he pulled up to the hotel, he’d seen Gwan-soo’s surveillance van and sent the abort text.
Epilogue Seok-ho returns to the office to find Chan-mi asleep at her desk. Freezing midsentence, he gently covers her with a blanket and starts to back away when he sees the keychain he’d given her hooked to her bag. She shifts and he darts out of sight but she’s still sleeping. He turns back just in time to see her head droop forward. Seok-ho manages to catch her and he finds himself cradling her face inches from his own.
The moment breaks when Woo-seok returns to the office and Seok-ho stares at him wide-eyed as Woo-seok fetches his forgotten ID badge. Struggling to contain his laughter, Woo-seok leaves a shaken Seok-ho behind. Breathing a sigh of relief, Seok-ho jumps out of his skin when he turns to see Chan-mi is awake. Seok-ho struggles to explain himself, finally shouting: “This is why you should call it a day and go home if you’re tired!” He leaves in a huff and Chan-mi smiles at the blanket wrapped around her shoulders.
We finally learn the mystery woman’s identity! I wish I could say it was worth the subterfuge, but while I admit I didn’t see the ex-wife twist coming, I still find her introduction in previous episodes awkward. I did, however, enjoy how Hwa-ran brings out such a prickly side to Seok-ho, who’s normally a bumbling sweetheart when not assuming his CEO persona. She’s nasty and I don’t like her as a person, but she’s making for an interesting character. Her animosity towards Chan-mi is incredibly petty but it leans towards the campier aspects of the drama which I maintain are the better parts.
Despite the introduction of a more complicated love tangle, this episode was very light on the romance and instead focused on spy hijinks. I guess we got a double-helping of Woo-won last week in exchange for his absence this episode, which is a shame because I’m dying to see what happens next with his budding crush on Ye-eun. I’m glad Mi-soon was able to snatch the spotlight this episode, because I quite like her, but I admit my interest lies mainly in the relationship between Seok-ho and Chan-mi.
While not much happened in the episode proper, we did learn a key piece of Chan-mi and Seok-ho’s story. I had imagined Chan-mi simply left to pursue her spy career but she signed a contract that said she couldn’t see him once tutoring ended? There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Seok-ho including his father’s death and his relationship with Hwa-ran. Like Chan-mi, I’m baffled he’d gotten married and the fact that it’s absent from his file is odd. Is it perhaps because Kook-hwan has made sure Hwa-ran doesn’t appear on NIS files? Maybe. But that doesn’t explain why she’s spying on Seok-ho now… or working with Kook-hwan at all. All I can say is if anything happens to Seok-ho, I’ll riot!