Good Casting: Episode 13
As one of our agents spends time recuperating, the rest of the team scrambles to find the person responsible for a major crime within the NIS facility. As the spies draw more conclusions about the nefarious criminals running amok, our intrepid CEO and his right-hand man are making connections of their own.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
Reviewing security footage, Mi-soon and Gwan-soo find the deliveryman who’d brought Kook-hwan’s poisoned soup had an “M” tattoo. Gwan-soo interviews the security agent in charge but the man can’t remember the deliveryman’s face. Gwan-soo storms out finds another team of agents clearing out Kook-hwan’s office. He tells one of the men to store Kook-hwan’s possessions separately and joins Mi-soon and Ye-eun in their operation room.
While Moo-hyuk reports on the poison in Kook-hwan’s food, Mi-soon explains to Ye-eun it’s a natural toxin that has no antidote. Moo-hyuk adds Ok Cheol hasn’t made any movements. At the same time, Ok Cheol is on the phone with Director Myeong, discussing the third stage of development and suggesting he’s earned a special bonus. Director Myeong laughs cruelly and warns him Kook-hwan has already been eliminated for getting greedy.
He hangs up and Ok Cheol slams the receiver angrily on his desk, cursing Director Myeong for cutting him off before he finished talking. Turning to his computer, he finds an email from White Collar (the same fake company Cheol-woong’s killer had a uniform for). He plays the audio file and hears Director Myeong telling someone once they get the data for phase three, Ok Cheol will no longer be useful.
In the hospital, Chan-mi looks at the one picture Gwan-soo was able to take of the deliveryman assassin. He asks if it’s the same guy from the video of Cheol-woong’s death, but Chan-mi can’t be sure. Her eyes find the tattoo and remembers seeing the same tattoo on the wrist of the man during the bomb incident. Gwan-soo asks if Michael has the tattoo as well, but Chan-mi can only say he could’ve gotten one in the past 3 years.
They’re interrupted by Seok-ho returning to the room and he barks to Gwan-soo to lay off Chan-mi. Ignoring him, Gwan-soo implores Chan-mi to try and remember, frantic to catch the man who shot her. Seok-ho drags him back and growls at him to let the patient rest. The men glare at each other, exchanging macho barbs for the other to back down… only to turn and find Chan-mi has disappeared during their argument.
Seok-ho runs out to find her, but it’s Ye-eun that catches Chan-mi limping down the hallway. Chan-mi shrugs her off, insisting she needs something from home. Unable to dissuade her, Ye-eun refuses to let her go alone. They arrive at Chan-mi’s apartment and Ye-eun gapes at the room Chan-mi has dedicated to tracking down Michael as Chan-mi throws stacks of files on the floor, digging for something specific.
She mutters the killer in the video looked familiar, sure he’s someone she knows: “The tune he hummed. I heard it … from somewhere.” Watching with a pained expression, Ye-eun yells for her to stop. She begs Chan-mi to take care of herself first, crying as she realizes how much Min-seok’s death has consumed Chan-mi and feeling guilty. Chan-mi insists she’s the one who should apologize but Ye-eun cuts her off.
“Thank you,” Ye-eun says, “For not forgetting about Min-seok or giving up on catching his killer.” She’d watched the video Chan-mi left next to his ashes and realized how happy he’d been to have Chan-mi in his life. Ye-eun says she’s grateful Chan-mi was his team leader and now her teammate: “So don’t ever think of running away. Just stay with the team.” Smiling, Chan-mi says Ye-eun is good at comforting people.
Ye-eun replies she’s good at taking revenge too, declaring she’ll never forgive Michael: “I’m going to take revenge for what he did to Min-seok… and for ruining your life.” Taking Chan-mi’s hand, she suggests they do it together… after Chan-mi gets better. Chan-mi walks Ye-eun to her taxi and then runs into Seok-ho. He chides her for running off and not answering his calls, admitting he was terrified to find her gone.
Chan-mi apologizes, and he suggests they get ramyeon with rice cakes at the restaurant they frequented 15 years ago. Once seated, Chan-mi marvels that it hasn’t changed. Seok-ho asks if she’ll return to work, suggesting she stay until the operation concludes. Their food arrives and they automatically start exchanging green onions and rice cakes as Seok-ho cautiously asks about her relationship with Gwan-soo.
Learning Gwan-soo is the team leader, Seok-ho mumbles they seemed closer than normal colleagues. He shakes it off, guessing it’s a misunderstanding and Chan-mi agrees: “We broke up ages ago.” Seok-ho balks, arguing it’s wrong for exes to work together and Chan-mi says a CEO may choose his workmates, but she’s does as she’s told. Seok-ho nervously asks if she broke up properly and Chan-mi quips he’s still too interested in her personal life.
Mentioning Director Myeong’s ledger, Chan-mi admits she didn’t look closely, but she hadn’t seen Seok-ho’s father’s name. When they’ve finished eating, Seok-ho tells Chan-mi his fater found out about Director Myeong’s ledger and then promptly died in a car accident on his way to Busan. He confesses to believing Director Myeong is responsible, but without proof he feels frustrated and unsure of whom to resent – so he just blames himself.
Chan-mi starts to speak, but Seok-ho shakes his head. Extending his hand, he says if she wants to console him, she should hold it. After a brief hesitation, Chan-mi takes his hand and Seok-ho says from now on, she need only hold his hand when she wants to console him: “You don’t need to say anything to let me know how you feel.” Chan-mi smirks, wondering how he can know when she doesn’t.
Seok-ho smiles and vaguely replies there’s a way. He flashes back to eating noodles in the past when he’d admitted he didn’t like green onions and Chan-mi had quickly taken them and replaced them with her rice cakes. He thinks to himself when you like someone, you can’t help but watch them and over time, you start to notice everything they do, and see what they’re feeling. Presently, he asks if she knows why he likes ramyeon with rice cakes. Chan-mi guesses it’s always been his favorite, but Seok-ho only smiles, and they walk on.
At the team meeting, Gwan-soo announces he’d found recurring payments in Director Myeong’s ledger to a borrowed-name offshore bank account. The amount ranges from 50-500 thousand dollars and the last deposit was in November. Just as the team starts to puzzle who the bank account belongs to, Chan-mi bursts into the room bearing snacks and declares Kook-hwan the culprit. As everyone tucks in, Moo-hyuk explains how Chan-mi had ordered him to investigate all borrowed-name bank accounts.
After some digging, Moo-hyuk had found Kook-hwan’s financial planner. Mi-soon tsks Kook-hwan had wanted the ledger to cover up receiving dirty money. Gwan-soo wonders aloud who has the most to gain with Kook-hwan’s death. Mi-soon answers Director Myeong but wonders why he would kill Kook-hwan over a ledger. Chan-mi suggests he has something else to hide and Gwan-soo agrees they’ll have to catch him to find out.
With phase three nearly completed, the team wonders why Director Myeong has been so quiet despite having his ledger stolen. Meanwhile, Director Myeong can barely contain his grin as he leaves Kook-hwan’s funeral service. Out of earshot, he snickers that he may have lost his ledger, but the deeper they investigate, the deeper they dig their graves: “If they take that to a prosecutor, it would make quite a scene.”
At work, Ye-eun is stunned when her internship is terminated. Her team leader coldly replies she needs to get Woo-won’s signature on the annulment of his contract if she wants to keep her job – otherwise, resign. Ye-eun argues it’s unfair to force Woo-won to sign a one-sided notification from the company but her team leader simply says it’s a dog-eat-dog world and the only way out is to not participate at all.
Taking a break at dance practice, Woo-won ruminates over his agency’s CEO handing him the annulment notification and informing him Ye-eun was fired for not getting his signature. Stunned, Woo-won had recalled her visiting him when he was depressed but when he asked why she was there, she’d said it was nothing. He leaves practice without a word and as he drives, we see his doctor had suggested if his symptoms weren’t due to manic depression… it could be love.
Mi-soon is mopping the lobby when she sees Woo-won sashay inside and spills her bucket in surprise. Upstairs, Hyo Jin tsks at Ye-eun as she packs up her desk. She snatches Woo-won’s file from Ye-eun’s hands, claiming it as company resources. Snatching it back, Ye-eun says she assembled the file and it’s not company property – it’s Woo-won’s private life and shouldn’t be leaked. Ye-eun puts it in her box and walks away, but Hyo Jin slaps the box out of her hands and scoops up the folder.
They’re interrupted by the appearance of Woo-won and he snatches his folder, declaring it his property. Unconvinced, Hyo Jin snorts but then Woo-won removes his sunglasses and her jaw drops as the office erupts in excited whispers. Woo-won doesn’t seem to notice, instead barking at Ye-eun for getting fired. Ye-eun attempts to usher him out, but Woo-won says if she’s leaving, it’s going to be voluntarily.
Grabbing her wrist, he leads her into the team leader’s office. Citing Ye-eun’s strong work ethic, Woo-won accuses the team leader of sucking her dry and discarding her. The team leader easily agrees so Woo-won promises to sign the annulment in exchange for Ye-eun’s job. He spits the team leader is a terrible judge of character. Leaving, Ye-eun tries to talk, but Woo-won echoes her words to just stay next to him.
Out in the lobby, Woo-won releases Ye-eun and demands why she let them push her around. Finally angry, Ye-eun snaps that she puts up with everything because she needs to work and is grateful to have a job. Taken aback, Woo-won asks if she only worked for him for the pay. Ye-eun says his position may allow discarding contracts worth thousands of dollars, but in her position it would seem childish. He asks if she means to return to her job but Ye-eun just walks away.
Woo-won chases after her, but Mi-soon is still mopping up the water and he doesn’t notice her warnings. His legs swept from under him, Woo-won crashes hard to the floor. Mi-soon and Ye-eun rush to his side as flashes of his missing memory replay in his mind. When Woo-won awakens in his bed, he bolts up. Having remembered everything, he screams he won’t forgive anyone.
Arriving at work, Seok-ho grins when Chan-mi greets him brightly from her desk. Woo-seok also greets him, but only earns a grimace. Heh. Ye-eun is given her job back as well but ordered to bring Woo-won his paperwork. Ironically, it’s Mi-soon was the one to lose her job. She pouts into her lunch as Gwan-soo reprimands her heavily. She points out she didn’t want to be fired and Gwan-soo’s attentions are diverted to the deliveryman forgetting his pickled radish again.
Director Myeong thinks it’s time Hwa-ran chose her alignment and she warns him against being hasty. Hwa-ran sniffs he only wants her shares and Director Myeong counters that her aim is to get Seok-ho back. Director Myeong says the best way to do that is destroy Seok-ho: “Anyone who’s drowning will grab the life vest thrown at them.” He adds the shares he plans to obtain combined with hers will be enough to push Seok-ho out of the company.
Hwa-ran muses that will require a lot of money on his part, but Director Myeong confidently assures her he’ll have it by the end of the month. She guesses he wants her to lobby the board, wondering what she’ll get in return. Director Myeong smiles that he’ll be CEO in name only, while she’ll be the true owner. On her way out, Hwa-rain thinks she could be CEO in name as well, so why would she agree to that deal.
In the lobby, she stops short at the sight of Seok-ho with Chan-mi. Her secretary reports Chan-mi’s transfer was put on hold. Hwa-ran angrily orders her to set up a meeting with Seok-ho, warning him that if he stands her up, Chan-mi will pay. Back in the office, Woo-seok suggests he and Chan-mi figure out the proper way to address each other now. Despite Chan-mi being older, Woo-seok outranks her position in the office.
He tentatively asks if he can address her informally and Chan-mi agrees that’s proper in the office… however outside work, she outranks him as Seok-ho’s former tutor. Woo-seok snorts that doesn’t make her his tutor and Chan-mi quips, “Once a tutor, always a tutor.” The clock chimes the end of work and Chan-mi takes her leave for the NIS, warning him to keep up with his physical therapy after their fight.
Woo-seok bids her goodbye and then grumbles the hierarchy is totally wrong. Chan-mi’s phone rings and Woo-seok heads over to pick up files from Director Myeong’s secretary. She apologizes for making him come, sighing Director Myeong hardly lets her leave her desk and has been keeping her longer. Woo-seok blinks and innocently asks why the sudden change and the secretary whispers his office was recently burgled.
Director Myeong pings the intercom for her to set up a dinner reservation and Woo-seok leaves but lingers at the door to hear the appointment details. He reports it to Seok-ho and offers to investigate, but Seok-ho insists on coming to, refusing to let Woo-seok get hurt again. The team is already parked outside the restaurant and have seen both Ok Cheol and Director Myeong enter.
A few moments later, they’re shocked to see Woo-seok and Seok-ho arrive as well. In one of the rooms, Woo-seok drags Seok-ho to the partition, whispering Director Myeong’s meeting someone in the next room. They’re startled when Woo-seok’s phone goes off and Seok-ho glowers as Woo-seok frantically ignores Chan-mi’s call. In the van, Chan-mi tries calling again in vain as Gwan-soo wonders if Seok-ho is meeting Director Myeong too.
Inside, Seok-ho stares at Woo-seok straining to hear through the partition with a paper cup. He crankily questions why Woo-seok couldn’t install cameras or microphones and Woo-seok retorts he’s no NIS. Seok-ho wonders if Woo-seok can even hear through the cup and Woo-seok snaps he could if Seok-ho shut up. Seok-ho joins him with a second cup, but can’t hear anything and returns to the table, accidentally bumping it with his knee.
Although he hears a noise, Director Myeong’s attention is drawn to Ok Cheol asking why they’re meeting. Director Myeong passes over a watch to hide the data and Woo-seok perks up and repeats “data” to Seok-ho. Director Myeong tells Ok Cheol the reason he works with Michael in order to reveal who’s operating behind Michael. Ok Cheol brings up the audio file Kook-hwan had and Director Myeong agrees it’s cause for concern.
Having eliminated the person with the copy and now only needs to find the source – Michael. An attendant brings food to Seok-ho and Woo-seok, who scramble to the table so as not to be caught crouching by the screen. Director Myeong hears the commotion and calls the manager, having requested the adjacent rooms be empty. The manager apologizes, saying there was a special customer.
Woo-seok and Seok-ho panic in the next room and Director Myeong steps up to the partition. He thrusts it open… but Seok-ho and Woo-seok are already skittering down the hall. Woo-seok loses his shoe as they dart around a corner, Director Myeong hot on their tails. In the parking lot, the pair dive into a freezer truck. Seconds later, the driver reappears and locks them in. He drives away, leaving Director Myeong in an empty parking lot, none the wiser.
The spies see Director Myeong and Ok Cheol leave and Gwan-soo orders another agent to follow Director Myeong while they go after Ok Cheol. Chan-mi is anxious they haven’t seen Seok-ho or Woo-seok yet and tries calling their phones. In the truck, the men scream but the driver can’t hear them over his radio. Seok-ho huddles in a corner as Woo-seok wanders around, searching for cell signal.
He finally gets some bars but Seok-ho leaps for it in excitement and the device plummets into a bin of ice water. Unable to reach them, Chan-mi tells the team to go on without her and rushes back into the restaurant as they speed after Ok Cheol. The room is empty, and the manager grumbles they left without eating. She runs out and finds a shoe, quickly identifying it as Woo-seok’s from the scratches she’d made during their fight.
In the truck, Seok-ho looks imploringly at Woo-seok: “You know that I suffer from cold hands and feet.” With a whimper, Woo-seok reaches for the water. Seok-ho encourages that he’s warm enough and shoves Woo-seok’s arm into the tub. They reclaim the phone and barely manage a victory dance when the truck hits a bump, sending the phone back to the depths. The truck pulls into a gas station and, following a trace on Woo-seok’s phone, Chan-mi pulls in after.
Too cold to retrieve the phone again, Woo-seok and Seok-ho huddle together for warmth just in time for Chan-mi to open the truck and find them in a pathetic clump. They remain stuck together in the back of Chan-mi’s car as she drives. She peppers them with questions, but an embarrassed Seok-ho can only manage to wave weakly as Woo-seok begs to ask the NIS for help. Hee.
The rest of the team pursues Ok Cheol, but he’s aware of the tail and teases them by weaving through traffic. Thinking of the audio file of Director Myeong’s plans to eliminate him once phase 3 is complete, Ok Cheol slams on the breaks in the middle of the road. The van screeches to a halt as well but when Ok Cheol resumes driving, Gwan-soo veers off, feeling Ok Cheol is leading them somewhere.
Instead, they reconvene with Chan-mi, Woo-seok, and Seok-ho. Looking around, he recognizes Mi-soon and Ye-eun and wonders how many NIS have infiltrated his company. Gwan-soo brings the conversation back to Director Myeong and Seok-ho suggests they pool information. Chan-mi shares Director Myeong had Kook-hwan killed, and Seok-ho nods, thinking the same was done to his father.
Gwan-soo isn’t keen on teaming up, but Seok-ho points out this may be just another job to them, but it’s also the company his father died to protect. Begrudgingly, Gwan-soo clarifies they can’t share classified information. He takes Chan-mi aside to ask what she found while researching Woo-seok and Chan-mi reports he’d served in the special forces and then worked as a mercenary before becoming Seok-ho’s father’s bodyguard. On a business trip to Russia, he was arrested for murder, but released without record.
Afterwards, he was sent to study abroad with Seok-ho and followed him to work at Il Kwang Hitech. They agree he’s loyal and Chan-mi muses Chairman Yoon must’ve thought him the perfect person to protect Seok-ho. Back inside, Seok-ho pouts Chan-mi gave him the blanket around Woo-seok’s shoulders. Woo-seok says it was for both and they bicker until Woo-seok finally relents and throws it at him.
On their way out, the team wonders what Kook-hwan had over Director Myeong and Gwan-soo suggests they ask. Cut to the NIS Safe House where Kook-hwan orders an agent to taste his dinner. Gwan-soo arrives and, ignoring Kook-hwan’s complaints, asks about Director Myeong’s secret. Kook-hwan warns him Director Myeong wouldn’t be where he is if he were easy to arrest. Sure enough, Director Myeong already knows Kook-hwan is alive.
The agent Kook-hwan used as a lackey asks Director Myeong for half of Kook-hwan’s payoff in exchange for the information. Director Myeong is suspicious and wants to know where Kook-hwan is and the agent agrees to give him the address for 80% of Kook-hwan’s cut. Director Myeong makes a call and barks at the person to do it right this time. A van bearing a “White Collar” logo pulls up to the safe house and a tactical team sneaks inside.
They find Kook-hwan easily, but he holds out a pen and says they should listen. With a click, the audio from Director Myeong’s call with Michael plays and he says if he dies, the file will go straight to the NIS. Director Myeong orders them to bring Kook-hwan to him, instead. As they drive away, Kook-hwan smiles to see Gwan-soo’s surveillance van following behind as Gook-hwan tells the women: “Let us begin the operation, then.”
Epilogue Chan-mi and Ye-eun pester Mi-soon for details to her termination as she clears out her locker. Downing a bottle of soju she’d stashed, Mi-soon tells them to let it go. The other two think it unfair to be fired over Woo-won’s slip and wonder if something else happened. Mi-soon snaps at them to drop it and flashing back we see the security officer (cameo by Kim Ji-young’s real-life husband Nam Sung-jin) accusing Mi-soon of trying to get him fired.
She explains she’d merely been flustered by the appearance of Woo-won and the officer barks Seok-ho could’ve slipped. She shouts she’s sorry and he says she’s on his radar and gives her the stink-eye. Turning to leave, he trips over her cart and Mi-soon lunges to catch him, both falling and in classic k-drama fashion, landing a smooch. They stare in shock but as Mi-soon turns away, she grins.
I gotta say, as much as I find Kook-hwan irritating, I was glad he was alive so our team finally managed to get a step ahead of the baddies… only for the big reveal to immediately fall into Director Myeong’s lap as well. It certainly served Kook-hwan right to get passed off by his own lackey, but it sure is frustrating when the team can’t catch a break. And when the tactical team easily snuck into the NIS Safe House, I was poised to lose it. Thankfully, I just didn’t give our team enough credit (and with their track record, I hardly doubt I can be blamed) and it was all a trap. I’m really hoping we make some headway because we’re heading into the final three episodes with a lot of loose ends to tie up.
In other news, Hwa-ran continues to baffle and annoy, Woo-won pulled a cringe-worthy cliché male lead “rescue” complete with (my least favorite) wrist-grabbing. I was happy someone finally told Ye-eun’s coworkers off, but I wish it had been her. And Woo-won’s outburst was altogether childish. Her job at the company may just be a cover with no real repercussions if she gets fired (especially now they have the CEO on their side to grant access) but Woo-won wouldn’t know that, and he had no right to quit for her. The transition to him comically slipping in the lobby after their emotional blowout was jarring and then for him to regain his memories and swear vengeance on… who exactly? The spies who saved him? Ye-eun for accidentally exposing his naked body? Whatever his reasoning, the spies have added one more enemy to the roster…
And finally!!! Ya’ll know I’ve been dying for the spies and the dynamic duo to team up. Just in time too, because our dynamic duo was well on their way to becoming popsicles. The only downside to this alliance is likely less Seok-ho/Woo-seok antics, but fingers crossed they still manage to find some trouble. Their squabbling was the highlight of the episode and while I came into this drama pumped for some badass lady spies, I find myself laughing hardest when the hapless wannabees are on screen. Is it too late to ask for a spinoff? Seok-ho’s puppylove for Chan-mi is endearing, but his bickering bromance with Woo-seok is probably my favorite thing about this show.