Good Casting: Episode 16 (Final)
We’ve reached the finale and our spies have found themselves in a bind. With “Michael” within their reach, the team is frantic to get to him before their operation goes up in flames. Luckily, they’re not alone in their desire to bring Michael down, but this mission may come at more cost than anyone bargained for.
FINAL EPISODE RECAP
The mission hits a snag and Wang Kai turns on Mi-soon and Ye-eun as Chan-mi is startled by a knock on the door. Wang Kai’s men herd Mi-soon and Ye-eun away as Chan-mi boards the elevator. Gwan-soo tells Chan-mi he’s lost contact just in time for her to see her teammates ushered towards Wang Kai’s room. A quick frisk finds nothing on the spies and Wang Kai orders them killed. Mi-soon blurts a sniper is waiting on the opposite roof. Unconvinced, Wang Kai dares the sniper to shoot a vase on the table or he’ll shoot them.
Pacing at the end of the hall, Chan-mi receives a call from Mi-soon (who’s being held at gunpoint) to come in. When Chan-mi joins them, Wang Kai sneers he’ll be sure to fetch a good price if he hands them over during the phase 3 transaction. Chan-mi argues he can’t do that if he’s dead and says she brought a present to repay him for the one he’d brought last time (vis-à-vis the bomb vest on Cheol-woong). She motions and one of the thugs opens his shirt to reveal a timebomb strapped to his stomach. Wang Kai screeches at him to take it off, but Chan-mi brandishes a detonator and warns the bomb will go off in less than two minutes.
She orders Wang Kai to release them, asking his gunman whether he can shoot her before she presses the button. Further distressing her teammates, Chan-mi starts a 10 second countdown but Wang Kai finally relents. The spies leave and Gwan-soo leads a backup team in to arrest Wang Kai. Chan-mi explains she’d commissioned Moo-hyuk for a fake bomb and a brief flashback shows when the thug showed up at the room, Chan-mi had quickly subdued him and strapped on the bomb. Having secured Wang Kai’s gang, Gwan-soo congratulates the spies on a job well done.
Leaving the prosecutor’s office, Seok-ho is worried when he doesn’t find Woo-seok waiting as promised. All his driver can say is Woo-seok went to Jeju suddenly and Seok-ho recalls Woo-seok’s vow to protect him from his father’s fate with renewed dread. Meanwhile, Woo-seok sits outside a hotel indicated in a text and sees Ok Cheol step outside. Woo-seok follows when he drives away and Ok Cheol calls Wang Kai to meet. Under direction of Gwan-soo, Wang Kai changes the meeting place. Unfortunately, he tips off Ok Cheol with a room number that is taboo in Chinese culture.
Catching it, Chan-mi snatches the phone and informs the others. Wang Kai whines criminal charges in Korea are better than being killed upon returning to China. Chan-mi orders a trace on Ok Cheol’s phone as Ok Cheol fumes over Wang Kai being caught. He catches sight of Woo-seok and instigates a high speed car chase as Chan-mi is informed Ok Cheol’s satellite phone is untraceable. Woo-seok follows Ok Cheol to a school and, finding Ok Cheol’s car empty, heads inside.
Chan-mi demands where “Michael” is, but Wang Kai taunts Michael hasn’t been caught because he only accepts meetings on his terms. Wang Kai’s cackles and Gwan-soo punches him. Chan-mi answers a call from Seok-ho saying Woo-seok is in Jeju. When Chan-mi is unable to disclose her mission, Seok-ho declares he’ll handle it himself and hangs up. Chan-mi immediately calls for a trace on Woo-seok as we see him enter the school. Ok Cheol appears behind him with a gun but Woo-seok manages to disarm him. Ok Cheol knows of Woo-seok and they fight, but Woo-seok knocks him down and demands the data chip.
Pulling a knife, Ok Cheol dares him to take it. The men grapple but Woo-seok gains the upperhand and beats Ok Cheol unconscious. Slipping the watch from Ok Cheol’s wrist, he sighs in relief when he finds the chip inside. Unfortunately, Woo-seok looks up to find Ok Cheol gone and turns just in time for Ok Cheol to plunge his knife into Woo-seok’s abdomen. Taking the watch back, Ok Cheol tuts it’s easy to steal, but only if you’re alive. Ok Cheol retrieves the gun and turns just as Woo-seok barrels into him and they wrestle.
Chan-mi has been following Woo-seok’s phone, but the signal dropped near the school. She orders the rest of the team to search the area as she pulls up to the school and finds 2 abandoned cars. A gunshot rings out and Chan-mi rushes to the school to find Woo-seok bleeding out in the hall. Min-seok’s death flashes through her mind as Chan-mi stumbles towards Woo-seok. She applies pressure to his wound and though Woo-seok urges her to go, Chan-mi is haunted by her past decision and firmly shakes her head.
Woo-seok’s pleads become more insistent as tears streak down Chan-mi’s face. He shouts she’ll never catch Michael if she doesn’t go now, screaming at her to go. Finally, Chan-mi nods and runs off as Ok Cheol heaves himself into his car and, bracing himself, wrenches his knife from his leg. He starts to drive, but Chan-mi is blocking his path, her gun drawn. She declares him under arrest and screams for him to get out. Smirking, Ok Cheol slams the gas pedal. Chan-mi shoots and it pierces the windshield, but Ok Cheol doesn’t slow.
Another shot blows out a tire and sends Ok Cheol spinning a split second before crashing into Chan-mi. Chan-mi turns to see Gwan-soo had shot the tires and her team runs to her as Chan-mi flings open the door and points her gun at Ok Cheol. Her first shot had hit and he’s bleeding heavily. Ok Cheol looks up briefly before passing out and Chan-mi runs back inside. Seok-ho gets the call and urges the driver to speed up. He arrives to find Chan-mi cradling Woo-seok as he struggles to breathe.
Seok-ho runs to him, shakily reminding Woo-seok he’d been ordered not to travel alone because it’s dangerous. Woo-seok apologizes and Seok-ho hushes him but Woo-seok insists he’d promised to protect Seok-ho and his father. Crying, Seok-ho pleads, “You know that you’re my only family. You know, don’t you?” Nodding, Woo-seok assures him he needs to wear his new suit (Seok-ho had promised to buy). Looking down, he pouts his favorite suit is now ruined. Seok-ho begs him to hold on but Woo-seok only apologizes, saying he’d always wanted to stay by his side.
With a final shudder, Woo-seok stops talking and Chan-mi and Seok-ho are wracked with sobs. The scene fades and a month later, a news station reports a man was found dead in Jeju from a gunshot wound. In the morgue, Chan-mi looks down at Woo-seok’s body as the coroner hands Gwan-soo a small piece of tinfoil they’d found in his stomach. Inside is the data chip and the coroner praises Woo-seok for knowing the foil would protect it. A flashback shows after Ok Cheol stabbed him, Woo-seok ripped a piece of foil from a student project and choked it down before forcing himself back up.
Outside, Chan-mi reports the finding to a disheveled Seok-ho and her teammates. He asks how Woo-seok knew where to go when the NIS didn’t. Gwan-soo agrees they need to find out and orders an investigation into Woo-seok’s movements and call log that day. Standing, Seok-ho announces he’ll never forgive those responsible for Woo-seok’s death. He tells Gwan-soo to share whatever they find and he’ll consider telling them what Woo-seok said about White Collar and stalks out. Afterwards, Seok-ho is acquitted of leaking technology while Director Myeong was sentenced to 37 years in jail and a multi-million dollar fine for his own transgressions.
Woo-won has also bounced back from the scandal when his former manager’s suicide was revealed to be homicide. He’s also announced his intention to sue malicious netizens (Ye-eun’s awful office superior among them). Meanwhile, Hwa-ran has also stepped down, allowing Seok-ho to resume his post as CEO. Returning to work, Seok-ho announces he plans to introduce eco-friendly practices as his father had wished. In his office, Seok-ho serves Hwa-ran tea and she muses he never did so when they were married.
Seok-ho points out they weren’t interested in each other and Hwa-ran agrees he probably took notice of her preferences afterwards in order to keep his management rights. Seok-ho guesses she’s not here for tea and Hwa-ran announces she’s transferring her shares to him. Realizing he’d taken risks exposing her father in order to get away from her, Hwa-ran congratulates his success. When questioned, Hwa-ran admits she’d only kept the shares to get his attention: “Otherwise, you wouldn’t have even looked at me.” Blinking back tears, she saunters out.
Outside, she flashes back to meeting one of her cohorts when he’d mentioned Director Myeong’s ledger. She’d rolled her eyes at the old rumor, but he assured her it’s real. He points out her connection to Myeong was nearly exposed 3 years ago when the board held issue with her managing the cosmetics branch. Seok-ho used his shares to stamp out the problem, which is why he couldn’t protect his management rights. Hwa-ran had been shaken by the revelation, but in the present, she shakes it off as a headache.
Following his rejection, Woo-won nurses a hangover. Flashing back, Woo-won realizes Ye-eun’s insistence he not sway her implies that he has. Ye-eun ignores his call as she’s in the middle of a debriefing. Gwan-soo identifies Madame Wu (the woman who’d died in prison just before Chan-mi arrived) and Chan-mi wonders how a drug dealer’s bookkeeper is connected to “Michael.” Gwan-soo puts Chan-mi in charge of figuring that out. With the mission complete, Gwan-soo orders them to clean up their posts and Ye-eun ignores a second call as she agrees.
Woo-won rings Ye-eun’s doorbell to no avail and vows not to leave until he sees her. Heading to the park outside, he plops onto a swing. Moo-hyuk is also there playing with So-hui and eyes the single adult male wearing a mask in a children’s park suspiciously. So-hui insists on swinging and Moo-hyuk shoots Woo-won a worried look as he steps away to take a call. Woo-won assures her dads are always like that and So-hui innocently replies she only has a mother: “I wish I had a dad too.” His face falls and Woo-won walks away just as So-hui screams with joy and runs to Ye-eun.
Woo-won’s jaw drops and Ye-eun freezes when she sees him. He joins them for dinner and Ye-eun explains this is why she’d warned him not to like her. Ye-eun urges him to eat so he can go home… and never come back again. As Woo-won reels, Ye-eun explains he’ll be easily spotted in her neighborhood and rumors will spread. Woo-won growls at her to stop talking: “My image is mine to worry about, not yours.” Ye-eun insists she can’t help it after witnessing how the last scandal broke him. Woo-won shouts he doesn’t care and So-hui bursts into tears as Ye-eun shoots Woo-won a reprimanding look.
Afterwards, she walks him out and hands him a bag of leftovers. Woo-won sighs that of all the expensive gifts and letters he’s received from his fans, none have affected his heart (like hers). He asks Ye-eun how he’s expected to “take care” when his heart will remain with her. He walks away and Ye-eun turns to go in, but he pulls her back, declaring she made him fall for her so he’s her responsibility now. His voice rises as he speaks and Ye-eun worries about the gathering crowd.
Woo-won loudly announces he’s most scared of not seeing her again and demands whether she’s going to dump him or not. Ye-eun tries to pull him inside, but Woo-won remains rooted on the sidewalk as the crowd urges her not to dump him. Finally Ye-eun relents, promising she won’t dump him, and Woo-won pulls her in for a kiss. When they pull apart, Ye-eun looks up and goes back for another as their audience cheers. Upstairs, Moo-hyuk pulls So-hui away from watching as Ye-eun and Woo-won continue to kiss below, finally pulling back to stare at each other.
The next day, Chan-mi submits her resignation to Seok-ho and he wonders what happens if he doesn’t approve it. She says her last wish to be terminated properly and he scoffs she’s going to leave regardless. Seok-ho asks if she can’t stay – he’s all alone now – and Chan-mi assures him she’s not leaving, just returning to her position as he has. Seok-ho grumbles she’s always cold, lamenting Woo-seok’s prediction that first loves reuniting never goes well. The memory makes them both quiet and Seok-ho signs the notice.
Standing, he announces she’s neither his secretary, nor his tutor, so he can call her whatever he likes. She asks what that would be but Seok-ho just grins. Outside, the spy trio look back at the building and Ye-eun admits she’s a little sad to leave her first undercover job. Mi-soon agrees the first operation is like a first love that you’ll reminisce about and make your heart ache from time to time. “First loves should stay in our memories, though,” Mi-soon continues, “A reunion will only hurt the wound that’s begun to heal.”
The surveillance van pulls up and Chan-mi, already in the passenger seat, suggests they just leave, so Gwan-soo starts to drive as Mi-soon and Ye-eun chase after. Back in his office, Seok-ho tears up as he looks out at the empty desks. His eyes drift a little further and he smiles to see Chan-mi left him the king platypus plushie. Aww.
Joo-yeon returns home to find Mi-soon working at the kitchen table. Mi-soon jumps up to feed her, surprised when Joo-yeon says she already ate with friends. Joo-yeon asks about her work and Mi-soon warily wonders why she’s so talkative. She asks if she should quit, thinking her job embarrasses Joo-yeon, but her daughter says she knows Mi-soon is working to put her through school. It’s a lovely bonding moment… until Joo-yeon asks if she can go to Woo-won’s concert now. Ha!
Mi-soon angrily asks why Joo-yeon likes such a narcissistic brat and Joo-yeon rails to defend her “oppa.” “I don’t remember buying him for you,” Mi-soon retorts and Joo-yeon storms off in a huff. Bong-man sidles up and cheerfully observes Mi-soon hasn’t been as busy lately. She distractedly says she reached her quota, reminding him she’d said it would only last a few months. He asks if she was really just busy with her job and Mi-soon confusedly asks what else it would be. He skips off to do the dishes and Mi-soon shouts at her family to go back to being annoying and stop creeping her out.
Back at the hotel for another blind date, Chan-mi calls to ask if there’s any sting operations occurring there before calling to warn her aunt this is really the last time. She preens a bit and looks up as her date walks in… and stares at the guy from the last one. He greets her cheerfully and thinks they must be fated. Chan-mi calls it nasty karma and is relieved when her phone rings. She answers the scammer with exaggerated enthusiasm, loudly agreeing to meet him immediately.
Tapping out a quick text to trace the caller, Chan-mi tries to take her leave, but her date stands and declares his wish to date her officially. He explains he fell in love at first sight and called her aunt to beg for another chance. Swiping a bouquet from a nearby couple, he kneels and asks her to date him. Before she can answer, Seok-ho plucks the bouquet and the date staggers at the appearance of his CEO. Seok-ho apologizes Chan-mi is already taken and taking her hand, ushers her away.
Chan-mi demands what he’s doing and Seok-ho explains he’d said he’d start calling her whatever he wanted. He thinks “lover” seems too forward, and asks what she thinks of “boyfriend?” She balks and he suggests starting as a “friend who’s a guy,” resolving never to call her his tutor again. Chan-mi sniffs she doesn’t want to play games and Seok-ho says he vowed 15 years ago if he ever saw her again, he’d never let her go. Commenting he’s dropped honorifics, Chan-mi wonders why he doesn’t just have his way with her.
“I was just about to,” Seok-ho replies, pulling her in for a kiss. Chan-mi’s eyes flutter closed and when they pull apart, Seok-ho announces she’s the target of his mission – every time she runs, he’ll chase her (although he requests she not exceed 100 escapes). Chan-mi’s phone buzzes and Seok-ho’s jaw drops as she immediately bolts and runs after her. As Chan-mi speeds down the road, Seok-ho cowers in the passenger seat. She warns dating her means sudden disappearances, frequent lies, falling of the grid only to pop up unannounced in a month or so.
Seok-ho agrees to those and Chan-mi argues she’s bad with anniversaries and won’t be able to be with him when he needs her: “Dating me could make you feel lonelier.” Seok-ho’s eyes are glued to the road as the car careens through traffic but thinks that’s all fine too. Chan-mi grumbles they all say that at first and continues she’ll rarely answer calls, get injured often, and even put him in harm’s way. Seok-ho remains firm he doesn’t care so Chan-mi shouts she could suddenly die and he admits that’s not ideal. Hee.
Chan-mi sniffs that’s why they can’t be together and Seok-ho argues no one would be okay with their partner suddenly dying. He begs her to slow down, asking if she’s trying to get herself killed and Chan-mi says she’s catching a bad guy. Seok-ho screams there’s a traffic camera ahead, but Chan-mi just breezes through as it snaps a photo of his terror.
6 months later Chan-mi is back in prison and this time when she calls out to Barbara (the Russian inmate from the start of the show), the other woman grins. Barbara points Chan-mi to another inmate but Chan-mi accidentally knocks a hammer off a table and is stopped by an angry woman. The inmate ignores Chan-mi’s warning of her “Royal Psycho” reputation and tries to make Chan-mi pick up the hammer with her teeth. It earns her a punch in the face and the hammer between her teeth as Chan-mi continues on to Secretary Goo.
The other woman ignores Chan-mi but pauses at the mention of White Collar and seems genuinely surprised to learn of Kook-hwan’s death. Chan-mi suggests she’ll be the next target, but before they can discuss further, the hammer woman returns with her prison gang. The leader steps forward with a drill only to stumble back at the sight of Chan-mi. Smiling, Chan-mi says it’s been a while and the woman shivers as she recalls their last fight. Chan-mi tsks she’d promised to turn over a new leaf and orders them to come at her together to save time.
Cut to the gang kneeling with their arms up under Barbara’s watchful eye as Chan-mi speaks with Goo, who explains how to get in touch with White Collar. Goo declares them even and tells Chan-mi not to seek her out again. Walking back, Chan-mi pauses to tell the gang leader to be kind and generous. The leader nods enthusiastically and her lackey snorts. In another prison, Ok Cheol injures himself and is rushed to the hospital. They cuff him to the bed, but as soon as everyone is gone, he picks the lock.
Disguised in a lab coat, Ok Cheol sneaks to the stairwell. Another doctor asks if he’s alright… and then injects him with a needle. Removing his mask, the doctor reveals himself to be Chief Tak! Despite Ok Cheol running him over and sending him flying into the water, Chief Tak had survived and he walks away from his kill. Meanwhile, Chan-mi brings her info to Gwan-soo – the new chief – and he hands her a personnel transfer. He tells her Ok Cheol was killed and asks if she’s ready to leave. Chan-mi tells him to turn around and changes.
They head to a restaurant to meet the new team… and of course Ye-eun and Mi-soon are waiting. Ye-eun hands her a cake saying the candle indicates the first day of the operation. As the team chatters about their new mission and wonder what it’ll entail, Gwan-soo says what matters is who you work with: “The success of a cover mission or a TV series… depends on the casting.” Chan-mi agrees the three women are perfection, holding her glass to toast: “Good Casting!”
Well, it’s over. After Woo-seok died, I completely checked out emotionally. When Chan-mi found him, I was so proud of her for learning from Min-seok’s death and trying to stem the bleeding instead of chasing Ok Cheol… so it was disappointing when Woo-seok convinced her to go. Especially when he’d already swallowed the data chip. Ok Cheol was going to be eliminated for failing his mission anyway, so after discovering the chip in his stomach, Woo-seok’s death lost all meaning. And can someone explain to me why no one called an ambulance for Woo-seok? They just held him as he bled out and screamed at him to hold on… but the man needed medical attention! I had considered they were afraid to compromise the operation but they took Chan-mi and Min-seok in when they were shot, so now I’m just extremely salty. Woo-seok’s relationship with Seok-ho was hands down my favorite part of this drama and I can’t justify why the writers felt the need to take another person from Seok-ho. Going in, I hadn’t realized this was going to be the “Make Seok-ho Miserable Show.” You killed his parents, took away his first love, took his company, killed his best friend, and then his consolation prize is, well, you get to have your company and first love back? They had the strongest relationship in the show and I can only imagine Woo-seok was eliminated so he didn’t steal Seok-ho from Chan-mi because what the fizzityup!?
That was my main beef, but I rolled my eyes so hard they hurt with Woo-won and Ye-eun’s resolution. He is still a child and I still don’t buy their romance. Like the rest of the show, there was potential in the beginning, but that quickly dissipated when Woo-won proved to be a brat, resistant to any personal growth. After he lost all connection to the plot, there was really no justification to keep him around except to bully Ye-eun and the poor woman already got so much crap in the office, it felt unnecessary to push the Candy image further. I had thought this show would deliver a more empowering message for the lady spies with Ye-eun changing the most from being a timid support team member to actually kicking some butt in the field… but her relationship with Woo-won completely undermined her story of healing from Min-seok’s tragic death, coming into her own, and building a bond with her teammates. Mi-soon’s story was similarly glossed over. She had real problems with her family that magically disappeared by her husband fearing she was leaving and Joo-yeon suddenly being okay because she’s now friends with her tormentors. I kept waiting for a hear-to-heart between mother and daughter and instead there was a brief exchange in the kitchen that still never produced an apology from Mi-soon for the misunderstanding, or just not being there. This drama did a disservice to its characters because while Ye-eun gained a little confidence, everyone else is exactly the same.
I think my problem is I wanted to like this show. I was excited for some female empowerment and bonding with a healthy dose of hijinks and a sprinkle of cute romance… but the show never really found its footing. There were far too many plotlines introduced that never got fleshed out. White Collar is a shadow organization that conveniently explains how Dad died and Michael manages to always get away. Director Myeong was handled so quickly once they had the recording it makes me wonder why Kook-hwan never used it, since his argument had always been Director Myeong was too hard to prosecute. I understand he was greedy, but he could’ve exposed Myeong and saved himself a headache… or maybe even his life. Hwa-ran was completely pointless. The entire plot would’ve functioned exactly the same without her presence. The board could’ve just as easily decided to boot Seok-ho when the data was leaked and stepped down again when he was acquitted. And her motivations made me scream – just to get Seok-ho’s attention? She could’ve just put an honest effort into their marriage, but she never seemed interested in him at all! Similarly, I’m unsure why we needed to establish Chan-mi and Gwan-soo are exes. It had no bearing on the story and is never addressed in the end, anyway, because she (presumably) agreed to date Seok-ho. The car chase scene was cute and I’m glad Seok-ho finally got his girl – after all the crap he’s gone through, he’s certainly earned a “happy” ending – but this drama is such a hot mess I hardly care anymore. This still isn’t the worst drama I’ve seen, and I think had I gone into it with no expectations, it might’ve been a passable watch, senseless but harmless. As it stands, I can only thank y’all for sitting through these wasted hours with me, I shall not be revisiting this one again.