Fly Dragon: Episode 7
In spite of the heroes’ recent wins, the evildoers continue to thrive, so our retrial-specialist attorney takes a different approach for his next battle. With two possible cases on their plates, our heroes have their work cut out for them as they strive to be rational and levelheaded. However, some situations call for righteous fury, and from time to time, a little outburst can bring big changes.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Yoo-kyung slams her hiking shoe on the table, and her uncharacteristic fit of rage has the others cowering. She’s frustrated at her company for refusing to publish her article, and now Sam-soo is calling her fight against Justice Jo meaningless. After Tae-yong calms her down, she starts over and explains the Jeju Island case from the beginning.
Realizing that the Samjung misruling wasn’t a standalone mistake, Tae-yong agrees to help, but Sam-soo calls their decision a U-turn. When he hears about Mr. Oh’s life sentence, Sam-soo’s eyes light up, and he nearly joins them until Yoo-kyung mentions that it was reduced to seven years. Since Sam-soo opposes the case, Tae-yong suggests going to Jeju Island with Yoo-kyung, and he winks at his partner to play along. Alas, his attempts at being sly fail as the reporter asks if he’s sick.
During the plane ride, Tae-yong reads the articles and is shocked by the lack of publicity surrounding this case. Yoo-kyung says that it’s even more shocking that Justice Jo became the chief justice, and Tae-yong adds that her face is the most shocking thing. Once they land, Tae-yong reminds Yoo-kyung to remain calm, especially when chasing after big goals.
Having stayed behind, Sam-soo makes breakfast for Jin-shil and cautiously retracts on their vacation plans. He blames Tae-yong for the cancellation, but Jin-shil already figured that he was just boasting. At the office, Sam-soo lies on the couch with nothing to do when he spots the case files about the truck driver murder. He argues with himself over what to do, and eventually decides to take a little peek.
As Sam-soo flips through the documents, the description and photos of the gruesome crime scene paint a vivid picture in his head, and as Tae-yong predicted, they frighten the reporter. Speaking of whom, Tae-yong calls Sam-soo to make sure he keeps the place clean, and Sam-soo lies that he’s just loafing.
Tae-yong and Yoo-kyung meet Mr. Oh at the nursing home, and he tells them that he’s been alone for over a decade since the rest of his family lives in Japan. He plans to donate some of the compensation money to the nursing home, and a glance around the room shows the few, worn items owned by him.
Contrasting with Mr. Oh’s humble surroundings, Justice Jo enjoys the power and attention attached to his new title as chief justice. Thanks to Mayor Kang’s tip, Justice Jo had restricted access to all his court rulings during the authoritarian regime, but taking no chances, he makes a call to a law firm as well.
Mr. Oh shows Tae-yong and Yoo-kyung a monument dedicated to people like him who donated money to build schools around Jeju Island. He explains to his guest that people were lined up to take on his case in the beginning, but now that they’ve reached the Supreme Court, his lawyers are forfeiting the retrial. Mr. Oh just wants to know why, and Tae-yong offers to help him.
After reading through all the files, Sam-soo calls the number left by the clients and asks the wife of Kim Doo-shik (the framed man) if she’s in touch with one of the detectives related to the case. She tells him that he retired and describes him as one of top three richest people in Osung. Before Sam-soo can ask her more questions, she spots her son being bullied by the other kids and hangs up.
The law firm in charge of Mr. Oh’s retrial is the largest in Jeju Island, and the head attorney greets Tae-yong and Yoo-kyung enthusiastically, having heard lots about both of them. Without an ounce of remorse, the attorney tells them that they’re giving up the case because it’s tied to the new chief justice and advises them to do the same.
Yoo-kyung gets frustrated with his attitude, but Tae-yong steps in before things get heated. He offers to take over the case, and the attorney warns him against it. He suggests taking on a low-risk client instead and reminds Tae-yong to choose sides wisely.
After they leave, Yoo-kyung asks Tae-yong how he can act so calmly, and he tells her that they need a needle rather than an axe when fighting a monster. He believes in precise attacks aimed at weak spots, and advises Yoo-kyung to be rational when tackling her investigations, too. She smiles at his advice, and seems to take it to heart.
The evildoers hold an early celebration for Justice Jo’s inauguration tomorrow, and the chief justice thanks everyone for their help with the Jeju Island case. Mayor Kang uses this opportunity to knock the justice down a few pegs, but Legislator Kim defends Justice Jo. Having been humiliated, the mayor holds his tongue, but once in his car, he hits the roof in anger.
With the inauguration just a day away, Yoo-kyung wants to stop Justice Jo before then, but Tae-yong protests against her emphasis on speed. He promises to handle this case well, and unlike his previous wins, he’ll make sure that this time he hits their weak spot.
Sam-soo makes a few calls to track down the detective, and his patience pays off when Ex-Detective HAN SANG-MAN (Lee Won-jong) gets in touch with him. Unfortunately, Sang-man isn’t interested in the case, but when the reporter mentions his theory about the murderers being swapped, the retired detective invites him down for a chat.
Calling it a night, Tae-yong drops Yoo-kyung off at the hotel while he stays elsewhere. Though he drops hints about wanting to stay with her—her room’s balcony is awfully big for one person—she just smiles and walks away.
At the sauna, Tae-yong continues working on the case, and at the same time, Sam-soo pores over the files while fighting off sleep. He eventually dozes off and has a nightmare about the truck driver murder case. Like the others, Yoo-kyung stays up working and thinks back to Tae-yong’s advice about making a needle. His words give her an idea, and Yoo-kyung leaves for Seoul early the next morning.
To celebrate the launch of their new building, CEO Moon gathers all his employees and has them toast to the company and journalism. Meanwhile, Justice Jo gives his inauguration speech, espousing ideas of justice and moral principles. Once it ends, Yoo-kyung steps out from the crowd of reporters and asks if he remembers Mr. Oh. She presses him to apologize, but Justice Jo glares at her as he leaves.
Yoo-kyung’s confrontation becomes the talk of the town, and CEO Moon throws a tantrum when he sees her on tv. Tae-yong also sighs when he watches the news, but as he listens to her words, his expression softens. As for Justice Jo, he’s still seething over Yoo-kyung wrecking his day when Legislator Kim calls to scold him. As for Mayor Kang, he gives a customary call to CEO Moon, asking if he returns favors like this, but in reality, he’s delighted over the chief justice’s predicament.
Sam-soo wakes up to an angry call from Yoo-kyung, and as her senior, he treats her to a meal. She shares her plans about quitting and joining his team to work for free, but Sam-soo is against the idea. Since he stayed at News and New for ten years, he orders her to return and learn some more before running away. To him, she only looks like a child whining after one fall, and points out that she still hasn’t accomplished anything on her own.
Yoo-kyung sheds at tear at his criticisms, and Sam-soo tells her to eat and gain energy. Afterwards, he apologizes for raising his voice at her, and Yoo-kyung seems to forgive him, offering to help him whenever he calls. As she leaves, Sam-soo tells her to hang in there for just a bit longer since she’s the ace.
The Supreme Court PR judge holds a press conference and bans all future News and New reporters from the courthouse. Despite the consequences, Yoo-kyung doesn’t seem to regret her decisions as she answers a call from Mr. Oh, thanking her for speaking up for him. Tae-yong also praises her and admits to forgetting his own words. He once told Yoo-kyung that unjust situations called for anger, and she thanks him for the encouragement.
Armed with a new resolve, Yoo-kyung returns to work where her fellow reporters cheer her on. Chief Shin also stands with Yoo-kyung and defends her against CEO Moon. He informs them of the disciplinary committee that will be held, but Yoo-kyung doesn’t flinch at his outbursts.
Sam-soo arrives at Sang-man’s house and finds the retired detective feeding koi fish in his indoor pond. Marveling at the impressive home, Sam-soo wonders how a detective became so rich, and Sang-man explains that his father owned a lot of land. He brags about never even looking at his pay check, and Sam-soo laughs in awe.
One mention of the truck driver case ruins the mood, though, since Sang-man had a stroke because of it. He tells Sam-soo that he was demoted after catching the real murderer, so Sam-soo suggests the retired detective take up the mantle again and become their captain this time. Sang-man rejects the offer and takes Sam-soo out for a nice lunch instead.
They take Sang-man’s car to the restaurant, and Sam-soo comments on the old model. Sang-man says that he bought it right after his demotion as a petty revenge against the higherups because, at the time, it was the best car any officer in Osung owned
Despite their PR stunt, the reporters still hound Justice Jo on the Jeju Island case. When he meets up with Legislator Kim to apologize, the legislator chucks items at him, and he tells the chief justice that even after retiring, he still works from seven to six.
As the prosecutor general and then minister of justice, Legislator Kim never touched one group of people during his 30-year career: judges. Though he arrested everyone else, he never kicked judges, but it wasn’t because he liked them. Marching up to Justice Jo, Legislator Kim raises his hand as if to strike him.
Immediately, the chief justice quivers, and Legislator Kim explains that judges were always the quickest to submit in front of power. Describing the torture chambers in Namsan, Legislator Kim says that they created this country on the backbone of those days, and he won’t have people like Justice Jo ruin everything he’s built. He warns the justice that this isn’t just about him anymore.
Sang-man takes Sam-soo to a tiny restaurant whose owner is a reformed pickpocket whom he once arrested. While they eat, Sang-man tells Sam-soo another reason why he hates the case. His specialty as an officer was busting gangs, but Doo-shik became a gangster after he was wrongfully jailed. Sam-soo argues that the framed man isn’t a gangster, but his words mean nothing to Sang-man.
Sam-soo changes tactics and mentions a huge fire that happened in the area. He recalls a lot of people being fired due to bribes except for one person: Sang-man. Sam-soo praises him for being a true detective and starts a chant going in the restaurant.
Warming up to the reporter, Sang-man offers to take him to the crime scene, but that’s it for his involvement. At the intersection, Sang-man points out the two important points of the case: first, Doo-shik is a witness and not the murderer, and second, the murderer didn’t know the truck driver.
As Sang-man describes the events of that evening, Sam-soo doesn’t understand why the real culprit, Lee Jae-sung, stabbed the driver so many times if he wasn’t pure evil. Sang-man says that it’s the opposite—the murderer was a meek scaredy-cat. However, he warns Sam-soo that those type of people change drastically when cornered.
While Sam-soo looks over the intersection, the scene changes to the night of the murder. Doo-shik returned to the crime scene and told the detectives in charge that he saw the criminal. As he was talking, he looked up and saw two men standing on a nearby roof.
Before Sang-man leaves, Sam-soo has one last question for him: did Doo-shik really see the culprit’s face? Sang-man doesn’t know the answer either since Doo-shik was already in prison when he captured the culprit. He asks Sam-soo to pass on the question for him as well because he also wondered why Doo-shik made that composite sketch.
The office is a mess when Tae-yong returns, and he calls Sam-soo to scold him about it. Noticing the truck driver case files were touched, he yells at the reporter for acting on his own when they already have their hands full with the Jeju Island case. As Tae-yong absentmindedly flips through the documents, he pauses, and though he tells Sam-soo to stop his investigation, he continues reading.
Sam-soo refuses to follow orders since he is not Tae-yong’s minion, but when he arrives at Doo-shik’s workplace, he freezes on the spot. Unable to open the doorknob because of his past trauma, Sam-soo knocks until someone opens it, and memories of his past come flooding back to him. Sam-soo remembers his mom holding a knife over a bloody body, and in the present, he hunches over in fear.
Doo-shik’s underlings are glad to see the reporter, but Doo-shik yells at the others for going behind his back. Apologizing to Sam-soo, the underling kicks him out, but the reporter is done playing the role of “neighborhood drum.” He bangs on the door, but as Doo-shik swings it open, he sends Sam-soo flying to the ground. He roars at the reporter to scram, and Sam-soo gapes at the frightening man.
Yoo-kyung’s actions of confronting Justice Jo may have been rash, but it was exactly what needed to be done in that moment. One of the issues with the Jeju Island case is that too little people are interested in it because of its lack of media coverage. As Tae-yong noted, the case itself has a lot of merit and sensational qualities but hasn’t gained attention. While his cautious approach is fine for the courtroom, Yoo-kyung’s bold and public clash with Justice Jo was the right move for her to do. Once she caused that initial splash, a media frenzy ensued, and essentially, she was able to eclipse the chief justice’s inauguration with news about his misruling. The evildoers’ goals are always about hiding the truth and their misdeeds, so Yoo-kyung pinpoints this weakness and exploits it.
Unfortunately for our novice reporter, she didn’t completely think through the consequences of her actions, and hears an earful from Sam-soo. His words might have been harsh, but there’s a truth to his biting remarks which makes them even more painful to accept. To Yoo-kyung, joining the duo sounded like the perfect option going forward, but Sam-soo knew better and called her out for running away at the first signs of trouble. I doubt she saw it that way when she initially suggested it, but as she listened to his lecture, she realized that his assessment of her actions was correct. Subconsciously, Yoo-kyung was taking the easy way out under the guise of fighting for justice, but where she really needed to be wasn’t at Tae-yong’s office but at News and New.
Though Yoo-kyung is the youngest member of the group and often falls into the mentee-role in both relationships, I like how her mentors respect her and know how to apologize when they’re wrong. After the meal, Sam-soo apologizes for his overly aggressive tone and tells her to hang in there just a little bit more, suggesting that she’s almost there. As for Tae-yong, he calls her to let her know that he was wrong about his approach to the case and tells her that he learned from her example. Yoo-kyung may be a bright and passionate reporter, but she still needs guidance and encouragement from time to time. In that regard, it seems as if she’s found a couple of great mentors who are willing to scold her when appropriate but also nurture her passion and enthusiasm. Clearly, Tae-yong and Sam-soo have her best interest at heart, and from the looks of it, Yoo-kyung knows it, too.
While our heroes are slowly building trust with each other, the same can’t be said for the den of evil. From the beginning, their partnership was built on self-interest, so it comes as no surprise that cracks are showing when things get tough. For the evildoers, they aren’t just battling with the other side but constantly maintaining their standing within the group as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if friend suddenly turned into foe for these people since they don’t seem to like each other anyways. Legislator Kim leads with fear, and the other legal members practically grovel at his feet. Mayor Kang is the odd one out—seen as the uncultured one in the group—but even so, he still defers to Legislator Kim’s decisions even if he’s just biding his time. While I find most of the bad guys one-note so far, I do like Mayor Kang as a character. His petty one-upmanship with Justice Jo is a delight to watch, and he adds a slight levity to the scenes with the other bad guys, balancing out with the more humorless members of the group. Without him, the den of evil would feel too cut and dry.
A minor quibble I have with the show is the casting of some characters. While I enjoy Lee Won-jong’s performance, it is a bit strange to have him play almost ten years above his actual age. It would be fine by itself, but when paired with Bae Sung-woo who’s playing almost ten years below his age, it’s harder to see the twenty-year gap between the characters. For the most part, the age difference between the Bae Sung-woo and Sam-soo is used for comedy, but in a couple rare instances, the visual effect is a bit jarring in a scene. More than Sang-man, I find it strange that Hwang Suk-jung was cast as Sam-soo’s mom. While she doesn’t feel out of place in the flashbacks, the present interactions between the characters feel odd since the actors are only a year apart. On one hand, I wouldn’t mind if Sam-soo’s mom stayed mostly in the past, but at the same time, it seems like a waste to not explore the parent-child dynamic in this interesting relationship. For both cases, I get the impression that the actors were cast with the past scenes in mind, and while it doesn’t ruin my enjoyment of the show, it does seem like an odd choice. Despite my criticisms, I really liked the introduction of Sang-man to the story. He’s the good-natured philanthropist the duo has been searching for, and though he says that he’s through with the Osung truck driver case, it’s clear that this blot on his career continues to eat at him.
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