Good Casting: Episode 8
We’ve reached the halfway point and as the team seems to close in on one foe, another closes in on them. With so many players on the board, there’s bound to be blind spots and unfortunately, consequences could prove dire.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Following Mi-soon’s successful adventure into the vents, Ye-eun pulls Michael’s number from Ok Cheol’s phone. Chan-mi dials as Gwan-soo orders a trace. Hearing the phone, Kook-hwan runs into his office and unlocks the drawer hiding his burner. The number isn’t familiar, so he runs it and blanches when Chan-mi’s profile pops up. He immediately turns off the phone and Gwan-soo is notified the trace was unsuccessful.
Mi-soon tries comforting Chan-mi that at least they made the connection between Michael and Ok Cheol, but Chan-mi points out Michael will be watching them now. In his office, Kook-hwan chides himself for not eliminating Chan-mi three years ago. He calls someone and orders a report on Chan-mi’s movements – off record. Meanwhile, Ok Cheol returns to his own office from the hospital and warily eyes the vent.
The team worries Ok Cheol found the cameras when looking up at the vent and Mi-soon wonders why he’d screamed at her… only to scream when she sees her smudged face. When she recovers, Mi-soon proudly announces she swiped the spycam while she was in the vent, just in case. Good thing she did, as Ok Cheol pulls himself into the vent to check for the ghost. While it’s spook-free, his eyes land on something else that makes him smile.
Woo-seok informs Seok-ho they found the person he’s been searching for the past 3 years. Unfortunately, Seok-ho is unable to meet the man personally due to his schedule so Woo-seok decides to go alone. He pointedly adds Chan-mi will have to accompany Seok-ho on his “unofficial” schedule.
Digging further into Ok Cheol’s phone, Ye-eun is unable to find more information on Michael and Chan-mi thinks he must be hiding something big to be so cautious. Ok Cheol giggles as he watches the women through Ye-eun’s webcam. We see the lab tech had previously installed a countermeasure to Ok Cheol’s computer that triggers when anyone attempts to hack in, tracing the hacker’s IP address. Impressed, Ok Cheol had requested the same be done for his phone.
Through the feed, he sees Mi-soon suggest they contact Chief Tak for help, but Chan-mi points out Chief Tak knows her identity and it could easily backfire. Gwan-soo orders Moo-hyuk to trace the owner of Michael’s phone and for Ye-eun to continue digging into Ok Cheol’s. Repeating her name, Ok Cheol calls Ye-eun pretty and thinks if they took one (meaning his dead colleague) he should take two to make it “even.”
That night, Ye-eun cuddles in bed with her daughter as Woo-woon jolts awake, a vague memory of his kidnapping flashing through his subconscious. After So-hui falls asleep, Ye-eun gets back to work on Ok Cheol’s phone, unaware she’s being watched. Woo-won gets up and thinks over the psychiatrist’s advice he’d gotten when he’d mentioned his nightmares. She told him they stemmed from the trauma he experienced that blocked his memories in the first place.
She had suggested a creative outlet and Woo-won furiously sketches through the night, declaring his masterpiece “perfect” at daybreak as the camera pans to a hideous caricature of Chan-mi and Mi-soon. At the office, Woo-seok asks Chan-mi if she has a license and she answers vaguely. He says someone needs to drive Seok-ho today and Chan-mi jumps at the chance to find out about his mystery schedule.
Calling Gwan-soo, Chan-mi asks him to fabricate a driver’s license for her. He flatly asks when her license will be reinstated, ignoring Chan-mi’s pleas of urgency and declares they don’t break the law. He hangs up on her protests and Moo-hyuk balks at Chan-mi not having a license. Gwan-soo corrects she has the skills of a professional racer but lost it due to road rage.
Moo-hyuk nods sagely, but Gwan-soo explains Chan-mi witnessed a hit-and-run by a habitual DUI-driver. Enraged, Chan-mi chased the driver down and totaled his vehicle with her own. Moo-hyuk’s eyes widen but Gwan-soo’s face remains deadpan as he wonders about lunch. Chan-mi is forced to get a temporary license and as she leaves with the paperwork, a man in sunglasses watches from nearby.
Hwa-ran muses aloud she married Seok-ho because he always keeps his promises – even when she wrote a prenup declaring they’d live separate lives (in separate bedrooms) – and is therefore baffled he has yet to send her money. She finally addresses the man in the room and orders him to look into Chan-mi’s relationship with Seok-ho: “It’d be great if you find something. If you don’t, then it’ll be a relief.”
Leaving the office, Seok-ho surprises Chan-mi by electing to sit in the passenger seat. They drive off and a van pulls out behind them. When Chan-mi hits a bump, she reflexively thrusts an arm in front of Seok-ho and then laughs in embarrassment. She says he would’ve felt more comfortable in the back but Seok-ho fibs that he only sits in the back because Woo-seok always claims shotgun.
Woo-seok arrives at the airport, not noticing when he passes Chief Tak. His calls going unanswered, Chief Tak tsks that Director Myeong is disregarding his big mouth. Trashing his plane ticket, Chief Tak resolves to have a chat with Director Myeong. As Chan-mi drives along, the man in sunglasses and Hwa-ran’s lackey fight to tail her. Their erratic swerving annoys another driver and he joins the chase.
The chaos draws Seok-ho’s attention and he urges Chan-mi to avoid the aggressive drivers. She watches as the cars mimic her every lane change and noting the license plates, recalls seeing the silver car (with the man in sunglasses) when she got the temporary license and the van (with Hwa-ran’s lackey) outside the office. She tells Seok-ho to hold on and then shifts into professional racer mode.
She’s unable to shake the drivers, so she pulls over at a rest stop. While Seok-ho heads for the restroom, Chan-mi has Moo-hyuk run the license plates of the three vehicles. They hang up and Moo-hyuk asks Gwan-soo (who’s pretending he’s not listening) what happens if someone with a suspended license loses their temporary license. Chan-mi picks a plate at random and heads over to accost the van driver.
Exiting the restroom, Seok-ho finds a crying child and attempts to comfort him. Hwa-ran’s lackey furiously snaps photos and jumps out of his skin when Chan-mi pops up in his view. He tries to backup and screams when Chan-mi appears in his rearview. Before he can drive away, Chan-mi leaps inside. He attacks, but Chan-mi easily knocks him back as the crying child’s mother returns. Wiping the boy’s tears, Seok-ho says, “A man must protect his loved ones. It’s silly to cry once they’re gone.”
The mother thanks Seok-ho as the boy catches sight of Chan-mi beating the daylights out of the man in the van. In the struggle, the driver kicks the horn and Chan-mi drops their seats back just in time to avoid being seen by Seok-ho. The driver whimpers as Chan-mi takes the memory card from his camera, swiping a water bottle and Hwa-ran’s business card from his console on her way out. She breaks the card and spots the driver who’d joined the chase from road rage.
The water bottle smacks his head and he sees an arm waving him around a corner. The man follows, demanding if she’s a psycho and is promptly knocked to the ground. Chan-mi demands who sent him and though the man doesn’t know what she’s talking about, he fights back. Seeing Seok-ho round the corner, Chan-mi maneuvers so the driver is choking her, screaming in mock terror. The driver reels back to hit her and Seok-ho grabs his arm.
Baffled, the driver insists Chan-mi started the fight but Chan-mi tells Seok-ho she’d dropped her water bottle and the man was angry for tripping over it. The man balks, demanding they review CCTV footage… only to discover there isn’t any. Chan-mi leads Seok-ho away, shooting daggers over her shoulder as they leave the flabbergasted driver behind. Seok-ho wonders about Chan-mi’s cast (which had broken off in the fight) but she just pushes him towards the car.
Walking home, Ye-eun absently bumps into a couple. After they help her gather her produce, she can’t help but stare longingly after the couple pushing their child as she pushes her own stroller, alone. Today is the anniversary of Min-suk’s death and Ye-eun prepares food, ignoring Woo-won’s calls. A text pops up, warning to claim breach of contract if she doesn’t answer. Ye-eun picks up and Woo-won orders her to come over.
Calling the sitter, Ye-eun races over to Woo-won playing games on his phone. Pointing at the rice cooker, he says Cheol-woong did everything, so he doesn’t know how to use it. Dumbfounded, Ye-eun points out their contract is only valid when he’s promoting company products, so Woo-won snaps a selfie with the rice cooker and posts it. His end fulfilled, he cheerfully tells Ye-eun to prepare some side dishes while she’s at it. Fuming, Ye-eun complies but curses Woo-won under her breath.
Chan-mi follows Seok-ho through a cemetery and answers a call from Moo-hyuk, reporting on the license plates. Despite his best efforts, the car driven by man with the sunglasses has no record. The owner on file is a corporation, which Moo-hyuk suspects is fake. Under Seok-ho’s curious gaze, Chan-mi fibs it was a spam call and asks why they’re here. Seok-ho leads her to his father’s grave and Chan-mi’s eyes widen to realize his father died.
Flashing back 15 years once more, Chan-mi grimaces up at the rain. She jumps when Seok-ho appears beside her, wondering why he’s there. Seok-ho grumbles he’d waited but she never came, so he came to her. Holding his jacket over their heads, he shouts to run and they race to the bus stop. Chan-mi’s smile falters when Seok-ho says he came to say goodbye, guessing he decided to study abroad. Seok-ho confirms he’d only stayed for his mother so nothing else is keeping him.
He apologizes for not bringing flowers, and Chan-mi assumes his heart has changed. “My heart doesn’t change that easily,” Seok-ho answers, explaining he’s sick of them after the funeral – specifically lilies. Chan-mi starts to say why she couldn’t be there, but Seok-ho cuts her off, urging her not to get sick. He starts walking away and Chan-mi calls out for him to take her umbrella, but he holds up the bunny he’d swiped from her bag and says they’ll trade when they see each other again.
In the present, Chan-mi places a bouquet on Dad’s grave, tsksing sons are worthless. She’d gotten them from a vendor at the cemetery entrance and guesses Seok-ho was too embarrassed to bring flowers, himself. “Don’t people usually buy lilies?” Seok-ho asks, looking at the colorful flowers. Chan-mi shakes her head: “For some reason, I’m not fond of lilies.”
Meanwhile in Taipei, Woo-seok finds the address he’s searching for while Seok-ho tells Chan-mi his father died today, three years ago. She thinks to herself this is the same day Min-suk died during their failed mission, shocked to learn Seok-ho’s father had also gone to Busan alone that day. The man Woo-seok is meeting is skittish, insisting someone is following him. He says “they” eliminated Seok-ho’s dad and would have no issue doing the same to him.
Woo-seok pulls out a photo of the man and Seok-ho’s father that had been on the late chairman’s desk and the man sobs, blaming himself. Woo-seok swears to keep their discussion confidential and the man says Director Myeong keeps a secret ledger. We flash to Director Myeong ignoring Chief Tak’s call, grumbling greedy scumbags will never be satisfied with what they’re given. Back in Taipei, the man tells Woo-seok to talk to Myeong’s driver.
When Woo-seok says the driver died two years ago, the man’s demeanor shifts and he barks at Woo-seok to get out. He shoves Woo-seok out of the apartment and slams the door. Sighing, Woo-seok walks away. Someone with black gloves darts behind him, headed towards the apartment and Woo-seok turns back, suspicious. Inside the apartment, the man hears his doorbell ring and before he can stop him, his son unlocks the door.
His shout sends his son scurrying back into his arms as the door swings open and a black-gloved hand reaches in… and then vanishes. The man slowly approaches the door and peeks out but there’s no one there. He steps back inside and locks the door. Outside, blood drips down Woo-soek’s hand as he throws a pair of black gloves in the trash and disappears.
Woo-won balks at the feast Ye-won has set out and starts to complain there’s no meat but Ye-eun sets down a plate. He again starts to argue he only eats stir-fried spicy pork but Ye-eun produces that as well. Woo-won barely manages to hide his smile and gleefully digs in as Ye-eun grabs her bag to leave. Her eyes fall on his sketchpad, however, and she rushes back to ask him about it.
Woo-won proudly declares it his artistic inspiration and rambles about his skill, saying he plans to hold an exhibition. Panicked, Ye-eun suggests he have it appraised by an expert who can recognize his talent, instead. Woo-won agrees not everyone will recognize its value and Ye-eun says she knows someone who’s prominent in the contemporary art world… and texts the picture to Gwan-soo.
He calls back, and Woo-won hovers excitedly as Ye-eun carefully asks what Gwan-soo (the master of contemporary art) thinks. Sighing that it’s obviously a drawing of Chan-mi and Mi-soon, Gwan-soo questions if Woo-won’s memory is resurfacing. Ye-eun flashes through all the bad things that happened between them before Woo-won lost his memory and Gwan-soo orders her to keep watching him.
Gwan-soo warns that if Woo-won regains his memory and sues Cheol-woong, they’ll lose another witness to the police (just like Secretary Goo). Ye-eun whimpers she might die before Cheol-woong, begging for someone else to watch Woo-won. She jumps when Woo-won’s face appears inches from hers, asking for the master’s assessment. Ye-eun stutters he’ll need to see the art in person and Woo-won asks for the master’s name.
Ye-eun fumbles, saying he uses a pseudonym she can’t quite recall… Woo-won asks for his surname and when Ye-eun gives it, he types it into the internet with keywords “master of contemporary art.” Moo-hyuk’s fingers fly, managing to create a fake profile just in time for Woo-won to find it: Dong Casso. At the same time, So-hui plays at a park and when the nanny steps away to answer a call, a man approaches So-hui. We don’t see his face, but when So-hui asks: “Daddy?”
Seok-ho steps out of a building where Chan-mi is busying herself with stretches while she waits. He chuckles as she twists and turns, finally seeing him when she bends over. Alarmed, Chan-mi loses her balance and falls over. She assures Seok-ho she’s fine, but he offers to drive. Unfortunately, he’s so nervous he’s driving at a crawl. Chan-mi tentatively asks when he got his license and Seok-ho scoffs he got it when he was 20.
Chan-mi suggests, as a seasoned driver, he speed up but Seok-ho admits this is the first time he’s been behind the wheel since he got the license. Chan-mi immediately asks him to pull over and Seok-ho attempts to comply without looking, nearly slamming into a car in the other lane. She barks at him not to swerve and Seok-ho balks she spoke informally to him. Chan-mi tells him to keep his eyes on the road and take the next exit.
Seok-ho once more tries changing lanes without looking, resulting in more screams and honking horns. Unable to change lanes, Seok-ho remains in the center lane, puttering along long past nightfall. They pass a tollbooth and the GPS warns them they’ve gone off course as a storm rumbles in the distance. Looking up, they’re shocked to see they’ve arrived in Busan.
Another storm is brewing back in Seoul as Ye-eun grabs her bag to go. Woo-won asks if she’s really leaving and Ye-eun points out it’s past 9, wondering when her phone turned off. He argues she hasn’t shown him how to use the rice cooker and Ye-eun says she put a note with detailed instructions on his fridge. Woo-won goes to check and shouts there’s nothing there. Ye-eun frowns at the empty fridge as Woo-won crumples the note behind his back.
She hands him the manual, but Woo-won insists he has compulsive reading disorder. Ye-eun points out that condition would make him want to read and Woo-won sputters he’s been avoiding reading as a remedy. She asks how he studies his lines and Woo-won says his manager recorded audio files. Ye-eun finally snaps, demanding if he’s messing with her. Woo-won is taken aback by her tone and Ye-eun confirms she’s angry.
Ye-eun accuses Woo-won of calling her because he was bored: “I’m not your manager, your housekeeper, or your girlfriend. Why do you call me over all the time an order me around?” Eyes watering, Ye-eun says she would’ve endured it any other day, but today there was something else she needed to do. Woo-won is speechless and is unable to stop Ye-eun from running out in tears.
Outside, Ye-eun clasps her ring and sobs, apologizing to Min-suk for not preparing a meal and being there for him, since no one else would be. Woo-won watches her cry on his steps through the CCTV and runs out after her.
Seok-ho brings Chan-mi a coffee and she asks why he’d offered to drive when he’s not good at it. “I wanted to let you rest,” Seok-ho smiles. He asks if she’s been to Busan and Chan-mi says not in the past 3 years. Seok-ho guesses because of the distance but Chan-mi thinks to herself she wasn’t brave enough. The rain starts to fall and as Seok-ho runs to fetch an umbrella, Chan-mi turns to see the silver car that has been tailing them all day.
Ye-eun also walks in the rain and a car pulls up next to her. The window cracks and Ye-eun peers inside but we don’t see the driver. Woo-won runs out with an umbrella, but Ye-eun is gone. However, her bag lies abandoned in the street. The umbrella falls to the ground and Woo-won clenches her note in his fist. Seok-ho returns to find Chan-mi missing as she’s currently chasing the silver car.
The car stops and the man in sunglasses gets out. Chan-mi grabs an abandoned umbrella and approaches him. The man attacks and Chan-mi wields the umbrella as a weapon as they rush each other. The man pulls out a syringe and as they struggle, Chan-mi finds a tracker in his pocket, realizing he’s also an NIS agent. The man says he’s only heard rumors of her: “I guess it’s an honor to meet you in person.”
Seok-ho tries calling Chan-mi, but her phone lies abandoned on the ground as she continues to grapple with the agent. She asks who sent him but he only says they both need to maintain their cover. The agent finally gets the upper hand and presses the syringe into Chan-mi’s neck. She falls to the ground just as Seok-ho happens upon them.
Epilogue Ye-eun takes Woo-won to a gallery. Wearing a beret and fake mustache, Gwan-soo greets them and Ye-eun introduces him as the master of contemporary art, “Dong Casso.” Awestruck, Woo-won says he’s heard of Dong Casso’s achievements and asks for his assessment of Woo-won’s drawing. Throwing out some random terminology, Gwan-soo fudges the assessment, saying he’s very impressed. Ye-eun suggests a photo and the men pose with the drawing as she snaps a pic.
I live for the epilogues y’all, especially after this episode veered sharply into sinister territory. I really wish I were interested in the spy nonsense and the hodgepodge of villains strewn throughout because they’re clearly here to stay. Honestly, I should commend the show for managing to consistently add to this already convoluted plot with new and exciting unnecessary twists and antagonists. How many bad guys does a show need??? We have “Michael” aka Kook-hwan (although, I still think it’s possible “Michael” is multiple people working under one pseudonym), Director Myeong, Chief Tak (whom I thought we had preened out along with Secretary Goo… but nope!), Wang Kai, evil ex-wife Hwa-ran, all the lackeys, and some black-gloved man in Taipei? At least we can reasonably assume the man that approached So-hui and possibly kidnapped Ye-eun is Ok Cheol. And while I hope Seok-ho isn’t simply relegated to an innocent puppy thrown to the wolves, I also don’t think this show can cram another bad guy in the mix… or at least I don’t want it to try…
Honestly, I’m unsure how we’ve made it to the halfway point without a solid understanding of any of the antagonists. Why is Kook-hwan betraying the NIS? What is Director Myeong after, if not Seok-ho’s seat? Hwa-ran is interested in money but I’m unclear why exactly she still has her claws in Seok-ho after they got divorced… or how she got them in there in the first place? What is Ok Cheol’s deal? Who was the mystery person in Taipei that I’m guessing Woo-seok took care of.. and who is Woo-seok? I’ve always enjoyed his banter with Seok-ho, but dispatching of a would-be assassin isn’t your typical secretarial duty. I want to dig more into Seok-ho’s backstory, beyond what he shares with Chan-mi. Was it his father that forbade Chan-mi meeting with him? And why did dear old dad go to Busan alone… and die the same day of the failed mission that killed Min-suk. It would be a stretch to consider him the man Chan-mi shot as that wound wasn’t fatal and the person she shot seemed too agile for a middle-aged man. At first, I suspected Seok-ho was the scarfed man at the theme park, simply because he fit the body type and it seemed like a good twist… but at this point, all bets are off.