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Fly Dragon: Episode 20 (Final)

We reach the last arc of our ragtag team’s tale and watch their final fight against the corrupt and heinous villains. Despite the evildoers’ attempts to silence their victims, our lawyer and reporters have opened people’s hearts and moved them to action. As the heroes draw closer to their goal, it also signals the end for their partnership, but no matter what happens, their friendship will never disappear.

 
EPISODE 20 RECAP

After hearing Tae-yong’s request, Prosecutor Jang asks if this is a threat, wondering what would happen if he does not comply. Tae-yong bluntly tells him that they will target him as well, but he fails to see why the prosecutor would reject the partnership.

Prosecutor Jang argues that the mayor is still his family, and Tae-yong accepts his answer. He takes the envelope from his hands, but the prosecutor snatches it back since he still needs time to think. As he returns to his car, Prosecutor Jang glances at the sticky notes and flowers left for the deceased student.

The prosecutor flips through the evidence Tae-yong obtained and grumbles about the lawyer belittling him. However, Prosecutor Jang is not so keen about his father-in-law either, and remains conflicted over which side to choose.

Tae-yong returns to the office emptyhanded, and Sam-soo immediately berates him for not getting an answer. Tae-yong assures them that the prosecutor only has two options—go down with the mayor or make him fall—but Yoo-kyung disagrees. She points out a third and grim scenario: the prosecutor joins the mayor, and they both survive.

While Sam-soo wails about the foreboding possibilities, Tae-yong reminds the team that their specialty is winning against impossible odds. They forge on ahead with their plan, and Yoo-kyung shows the others the list of illegal hires, all of whom are children of high-profile individuals. This new piece of evidence reinvigorates the team’s morale, and they head out for another day of investigations.

At the technical school, Teacher Heo reads an article about Tae-yong’s retrial and reports to Chae-eun about the trespassers. He advises her to be discreet, and promises to handle the matter concerning the whistleblower. He suspects Teacher Gu and verifies his hunch when she admits to meeting with a prospective parent, aka Sam-soo.

Da-young and her friends receive their first task from Sam-soo who instructs them to convince as many students to join their cause. Similar to Seung-taek’s situation, they find their classmates working odd jobs from food delivery to construction work.

Sam-soo and Da-young visit the house of an alumnus who died three years ago, and her parents are still grieving her death. The father tells them that his daughter committed suicide two months after she started her internship but has no one to blame for the loss. Sam-soo tells him to hold the world accountable since the school forced its students into hostile workplaces.

Overhearing the conversation, the mother asks what can they do by themselves, but Sam-soo reminds her that they are not alone. He wants them to join their fight, and his rising emotions finally cause him to burst into tears.

Teacher Gu drops by Tae-yong’s office and introduces the lawyer to the new allies she acquired. Despite their fears, the two teachers have come forward after seeing the efforts put forth by the students and Teacher Gu. They hand Tae-yong a list of all the working students who have died and share something odd they heard about Seung-taek’s death.

After realizing that her husband lied to her about Tae-yong and Sam-soo, Chae-eun informs her father about her suspicions. Mayor Kang mumbles about a country bumpkin ruining their house, and refuses to look up when the prosecutor joins them.

Prosecutor Jang notices the frosty treatment, and his unease intensifies when his driver enters the room. Mayor Kang lifts his putter at the prosecutor and snarls at him for taking him as a joke. He knows the political scene is filled with betrayals and learned about the prosecutor’s partnership with Tae-yong from his driver.

He chuckles at the accusation and tells his father-in-law that he befriended the lawyer in order to protect this family. He tells them about Tae-yong’s latest plan, and puts on a grand act to prove his loyalties. With one call to his junior, Prosecutor Jang has the case snuffed, and then to cement his point, he kneels before the mayor.

The two teachers inform Tae-yong of a meeting they were forced to attend by Teacher Heo where the principal celebrated with a company CEO and a head from the Department of Education. The teachers tell Tae-yong that the Office of Education is in cahoots with the school since they earn money as well. Tae-yong slams the table in fury and announces his plans to end this corruption.

Back in Chae-eun’s office, Mayor Kang helps Prosecutor Jang rise to his feet and puts him in charge of this case. Chae-eun accepts him back, too, and tells him about her cousin, Teacher Heo, who is investigating the matter from within the school. The prosecutor thanks her for the information since they both want the same thing: the mayor winning the presidency.

After their visit with the parents, Sam-soo and Da-young talk about their similar upbringings and how they joined the workforce early to provide for their families. In her case, she wanted to spend time with her mother who had to work far away from home.

Meanwhile, Tae-yong stands in Seung-taek’s classroom where Prosecutor Jang joins him. The prosecutor tells him that he needs a more enticing case than a student’s death, so Tae-yong asks if he thinks this is trivial.

Prosecutor Jang admits to misspeaking and explains how someone needs to work until exhaustion in order for the world to run properly. Tae-yong corrects him since the student did not work tirelessly but to his death. The prosecutor remains unmoved, arguing that people die all the time.

Da-young looks down at her missing fingers and tells Sam-soo that she originally wished her pinky and ring fingers were severed instead. However, she then started thinking that this was better since she received more compensation for her disability, but when she told her mother, she smacked her back.

Her mother said that she could not live without her daughter, and hearing those words, Da-young realized her own worth. It’s also why she enjoys fighting against the school because it makes her feel important and needed.

Prosecutor Jang tells Tae-yong that this case will not be enough to hurt the mayor, but Tae-yong says that his goal isn’t to bring down a mere presidential candidate. What he wants is for kids to return home safe and sound.

The prosecutor calls his aspirations a fantasy because private schools will never change. Tae-yong remains undeterred and says that he’s drawn to difficult tasks. He mocks the prosecutor for being too cowardly and vows to bring down the mayor himself. However, he will not touch the prosecutor since their battlefield is elsewhere: Jongno.

Sam-soo treats the students to another meal and hears about their progress. They recruited twenty more classmates to their side, and their stories reflect the same dangerous and exploitative working conditions.

Yoo-kyung meets with Mi-young again, and the cocky law professor tells her that her father will not fall since all the powerful officials work for him. Her arrogance knows no bounds as she brags about her own safety measure and divulges information about the mayor’s secret assets. Prosecutor Jang thought he grabbed everything, but Mi-young points out that her father wasn’t naïve.

Hearing about the failed negotiation, Sam-soo asks Tae-yong if he exposed their plans for nothing, but Tae-yong remains optimistic since he thought of a backup plan. He threatened to take Jongno away from the prosecutor, which he believes should be enough to make him act.

Sam-soo eyes his partner wearily, wondering if this means Tae-yong is running for office after all. Tae-yong denies it, but Sam-soo isn’t convinced, mocking the lawyer to campaign for real. He tells Sam-soo that they shouldn’t rush things and sets a D-day for the big reveal.

Sam-soo finally loosens up when Tae-yong comments on how reliable he is, and the two of them share what they found so far. While they talk, Yoo-kyung barges in and asks if they heard about the Kang Chul-woo files.

She hands over the secret document she obtained from Mi-young, and the others gush about her amazing investigative skills. Since they amassed plenty of evidence, Yoo-kyung suggests attacking the mayor next Wednesday when he announces his candidacy.

Prosecutor Yoon reports back to Prosecutor Jang about the corruption at the mayor’s schools and wonders if they should change candidates. Prosecutor Jang reminds his junior that the prosecution never attacks those in power, so for now, they will wait and see how the mayor reacts to this brewing scandal.

At school, Teacher Heo notices the odd movements of some of the teachers and catches the two contracted instructors rummaging through someone’s desk. However, when he confronts them, they lift up their cleaning supplies and feign ignorance.

Moments before, Da-young and her friends warned their allies about the enemy’s approach, giving them enough time to cover their tracks. With so many people helping out, the team has found the evidence they need and silently celebrate in the group chat.

Over coffee, Tae-yong asks Sam-soo about his plans afterwards, and Sam-soo says that he has nothing set for the future once they complete this last project. Now that they are nearing the end, Tae-yong wonders why Sam-soo joined him in the beginning, and the reporter admits to being moved by his speech about justice.

Having a question of his own, Sam-soo asks why Tae-yong gave up on finding a philanthropist, and Tae-yong smiles since he already found Sam-soo. He suggests that they work together again, but Sam-soo rejects the offer. He promises to protect the bottom, so Tae-yong should freely fly to the top.

As he leaves, Sam-soo reminds Tae-yong of their first meal together and tells him that his simple dinner allowed their partnership to last this long. On his way out, Sam-soo sends him a heart, and Tae-yong draws one on the window in return.

Da-young cocks her head to the side as the teachers run outside to greet the mayor. She calls someone to tell them about the situation, and then approaches the mayor to volunteer as a ball girl. While she tosses him some balls, Sam-soo prances towards them and greets Mayor Kang like an old friend.

The mayor asks if he came to clean up dog poop, but Sam-soo chuckles, explaining how he only cleans up shady people’s messes now. He offers to throw some balls for the mayor and casually asks about the award money the mayor earned from forging employment rates. Mayor Kang glares at Sam-soo, finally realizing his aim, but Sam-soo continues the interview.

While Sam-soo lists all the crimes committed by the school, the mayor denies the accusations. Laughing, Sam-soo asks what it feels like to meet people who can’t be bought and vows to fight until the end. He and Tae-yong have opened the mouths of everyone the mayor has silenced and warns him to be prepared for the repercussions.

Walking out of the school, Da-young asks Sam-soo if his specialty is fighting dirty, and he tells her that Tae-yong taught him the importance of being steadfast and honest. Those words move Da-young as well, and she takes charge of her group, messaging her classmates about D-day.

The fateful day arrives, and Mayor Kang announces his candidacy in front of an adoring crowd of supporters and reporters. Meanwhile, Da-young protests outside the school with Teacher Gu while the other students storm the administrator’s office.

Teacher Heo finds the growing group of protesters by the gate, but no one budges at his threat. From the sidelines, Sam-soo calls Kwi-hyun to publish their first article about the inhumane teacher’s contract. The mayor’s side feels the effects immediately as buzzing phones drown out his speech.

One by the one, the protesters increase in number, and even Seung-taek’s grandma joins the group. Yoo-kyung starts their live broadcast, and their second article about the school goes up as well. She interviews Da-young about the inflated employment rates and then gives Grandma the floor to air her grievances.

Since he cannot force them to disperse, Teacher Heo closes the gate instead, but Tae-yong jumps in to stop him. As Grandma’s attorney, he demands an audience with the school’s administration, but Teacher Heo ignores his request. As the gate gets shut, the students rush forward and block it with their bodies. They want answers for the forged records, and soon, the entire crowd chants, “Open the gate!”

Mayor Kang attempts to restore peace in the restless audience, but his words are no match for Yoo-kyung’s live broadcast, which shows the protesters marching into the school. Keeping up the momentum, they publish their final article about Seung-taek, and utter chaos erupts at the convention.

Tae-yong escorts Grandma to the principal’s office where Teacher Heo insists on the school’s innocence. She doesn’t believe his lies, and the crowd turns to the principal for his response. Unlike Teacher Heo, the principal bows his head and apologizes.

Unaware of the audience already in attendance, Chae-eun rushes into the principal’s office on her father’s orders, and she arrives just in time for the principal to blame her for everything. The teachers support his claim, and the protestors lift up their irrefutable evidence.

The team’s attack worked perfectly as the mayor withdraws from the hall with his head bowed. Meanwhile, at the school, the protesters usher the guilty party outside. Facing both teachers and students, Chae-eun apologizes for her crimes and resigns from all her positions. Teacher Heo apologizes to Grandma next, and lastly, the principal promises to run the school democratically and safely.

Since Tae-yong made his move, Prosecutor Jang realizes that he must act as well and orders Prosecutor Yoon to investigate the mayor. Back at the school, the crowd celebrates their win, and Sam-soo credits their success to the students and teachers’ hard work.

Tae-yong gets a chant going for Sam-soo as the best reporter in the world, and Sam-soo returns the favor by starting a chant for the lawyer. Keeping with tradition, Yoo-kyung marks the end of their broadcast with a group photo.

Prosecutor Jang holds a press conference and apologizes on behalf of his family. He pledges to conduct an impartial investigation, maintaining his ruse as the righteous prosecutor. The mayor also puts on a show as the typical, sickly chairman, even using a wheelchair to hammer in his point. With the mayor no longer in the running, Prosecutor Jang takes first in the polls, and Tae-yong announces his candidacy in Jongno.

CEO Moon invites his ex-employees for a nice meal and asks them to rejoin his company. When they refuse, he offers to buy their platform for ten billion won (approximately $9 million), and Sam-soo takes out a notebook to write a contract on the spot. Unfortunately for him, Yoo-kyung stops the deal since this goes against their policy and will not sell for any amount of money.

Assemblyman Jang’s aide visits Tae-yong’s office and thanks him for joining their party. She expects great things from Tae-yong, and he promises to catch Prosecutor Jang just like the mayor.

With no more work for the foreseeable future, Sam-soo moves down to a farm to earn some cash, and Tae-yong drops by to laugh at his old partner who’s rolling around in cow poop. Taking a quick break, Sam-soo treats the lawyer to some cup ramyun and tells him to beat the prosecutor.

Tae-yong suddenly wonders if he made the right choice, but Sam-soo knows the lawyer will make a great politician. Still harboring doubts, Tae-yong asks if Sam-soo will work with him again, but the reporter gives him his blessings to soar on ahead.

Tae-yong wonders why Sam-soo chose to work at farm rather than sell the company, but Sam-soo reminds him that some things are worth more than money. He accompanies Tae-yong to the bus stop, and the lawyer puts out his arm, giving the reporter once last chance to hold him back. Sam-soo doesn’t grab him, and instead, they shake hands before parting ways.

The old office transforms into a campaign space, and all of Tae-yong’s previous retrial clients from the homeless man to Doo-shik join the new cause. He places second in the recent polls and thanks everyone for bringing him this far.

Suddenly, a client walks into the office, and the group turns to Tae-yong for guidance. He agrees to listen to the man, and the client tells him that he was unfairly charged. Not long after, Tae-yong pays another visit to Sam-soo at the farm and tells him about a new case.

While his campaign team tries to reach him to no avail, Tae-yong walks with Sam-soo as they discuss the most notorious serial murder case in South Korea. Tae-yong tells him that the courts caught the wrong culprit and put him in jail for twenty years.

He says that only the two Parks can solve this retrial, but Sam-soo dismisses his proposal as gibberish. Blocking the reporter’s path, Tae-yong gives him another three seconds to reconsider and dangles the bundle of documents as bait. Sam-soo hesitates for a moment before chasing after Tae-yong and joining him once more.

 
COMMENTS

We’ve reached the end of the show, and overall, Fly Dragon stayed true to its tone and message. Tae-young chose to fight on the ground for the powerless, and Sam-soo stuck by his side as his eternal friend and partner. The final shot of the dynamic duo was cute and heartwarming, emphasizing how much their relationship has grown. They started out as bickering hotheads united for the sole goal of making money, but now they are an inseparable pair fighting for a world where justice becomes the norm. While I enjoyed the bromance, the ending still left much to be desired.

First of all, I don’t understand why Sam-soo is working on a farm and away from everyone he cherishes. Since he turned down CEO Moon’s offer, shouldn’t he be publishing articles still? What was the point of rejecting all that money if he was going to let the platform rot anyways? I understand the gesture, but it feels like an unnecessary plot point to have one of the leads move to the countryside and waste away his talents. My biggest problem with this odd narrative choice is the fact that the creators made this their final scene. Rather than have the leads back at the office or outside a courtroom, we see them in this completely foreign and random environment that didn’t serve the plot or the characters. It also omitted Yoo-kyung from the picture, which is a shame since I always considered her the third leg—albeit not as prominent. It was also strange for Tae-yong to disappear from his team without a word since Yoo-kyung probably would have given him her full support. She did, after all, fall in love with Attorney Park Tae-yong and not Assemblyman Park.

My other issue with this ending was the rather vague conclusion for a lot of the antagonists. Though many of them fell from grace, the show implies that they will eventually bounce back. The only one we know for certain who will not recover is Justice Jo since he was dismissed from his position as chief justice. However, given his impressive background, I’m sure some high-profile law firm will recruit him since having an ex-justice, no matter how disgracefully he retired, still means something in the South Korean legal context. Also, the show completely forgot about Partner Kim, and in general, it ignored most of the problems it raised about the legal system. As Mi-young said, the Legislator Kim will most likely return in some capacity as well, so intentionally or not, the show suggests that Tae-yong’s wins are temporary at best.

Then there is the mayor’s family. I found the final arc a bit too romanticized and convenient. The protesters storm the school, and their demands are met with apologies and immediate answers. Chae-eun doesn’t even put up a fight, and the principal isn’t held accountable for his own complicity. As for the mayor, his dreams of the presidency were dashed, but for the most part, I didn’t get much of an impression that he would be harmed in the long run. The last villain is Prosecutor Jang, and he basically left the show in an even better position than when he started. Sure, he wasn’t a mastermind evildoer like the legislator or justice, but he still knowingly charged three innocent people for murder. He showed no remorse for his actions, and in this regard, his ending felt unsatisfactory. Sam-soo’s complaints turned out to be true, and the heroes inadvertently made one of the bad guys an even more powerful adversary. Unless this was some elaborate setup for a second season (which I highly doubt), this plot point feels like an oversight.

While I wish Fly Dragon finished on a better note, I wouldn’t call it a bad ending. I enjoyed the open-ending about the serial murder case which was a nice nod to the real-life attorney’s recent win. The last episode also gave us a lot of wonderful Tae-yong and Sam-soo moments which is always a treat. Though I wish the pacing was tighter and more questions were answered, I guess the takeaway is that the real world isn’t simple or neat. Mayor Kangs and Prosecutor Jangs exist in all shapes and forms, but on the bright side, people like Tae-yong and Sam-soo are out there as well, fighting for justice to this day.

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I’m so proud of you @lovepark.

*proposes a toast*

If I ever watch Fly Dragons, I’ll definitely come read your threads. 🥺

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Thanks lovepark for the recaps! It was good to have someone else's viewpoints on the show since not many people were watching it.

I agree with you about the ending feeling underwhelming. I too think most of these people will eventually bounce back from their setbacks. Also the fact that the school was complicit in the deaths of a dozen students over 10 years and all they are punished with is firing and apologies is just appalling. Same for Prosecutor Jang's crimes.

Still it was a good show to watch live - you could get a mix of a weekly legal procedural while also seeing the lead characters grow and change as they work together and some of the real-life stories were truly heart-wrenching. If it had been 16 episodes and more tightly scripted I think it could have been a great show.

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Thankfully I'm not the only one who didn't find closure from the ending.
A lot of things didn't make sense to me, SamSoo on a farm being one. He had a news outlet to run alongside YooKyung so why refuse to sell or join CEO Moon's if he was gonna take the 'easy' way out. If that was a shot at noble idiocy, its the most idiotic one I've encountered.
For the climax that was built through the weeks, the ending for me was rather anticlimactic.

He refused the political bid from the assemblyman even though he was a man who shared his goal of justice but was fighting alone in the assembly, that also didn't sit well. Attorney Hwang and our reporter duo could continue the work of fighting from the grounds while he fought from the top(I don't know if this option is in touch with real-life buh since its a movie, he could have done that).

Thank you @lovepark for finishing this recap through to the finale. I could understand many a few scenes thanks to your recaps

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i loved this show! the actors were great and sent the story forward despite the inconsistencies. i sure hope to see kwon sang-woo again soon! i thought jung woo sung picked up the ball beautifully and integrated right into the plot with only 4 episodes to go.

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