Vincenzo: Episode 2
Our lead strikes up a tentative partnership with the determined lawyer of Geumga Plaza to try to save the building from demolition. Being the underdog is a new experience for our mafioso, and he struggles to adapt to this unfamiliar environment. But with his unique methods and his new lawyer acquaintance’s in-depth knowledge of their foe, they might just have a chance.
Dangling from the window, CEO Park promises to skedaddle with his men. Vincenzo makes him pinky promise before hauling him up. Of course, CEO Park reneges on his solemn pinky promise and immediately orders his men to kill Vincenzo.
As the men raise their weapons, the police rush in to break things up and warn CEO Park that there are reporters outside. Once CEO Park and his gang leave, Yoo-chan pulls Vincenzo aside. He thinks this was all orchestrated by Vincenzo and doesn’t believe his assertion that Young-woon was threatened into selling.
Vincenzo is fed up with the accusations and leaves after promising that he’ll get the building back. Moments later, a reporter comes in looking for Vincenzo. Yoo-chan is surprised to learn that Vincenzo tipped them off.
Cha-young smells something fishy and catches up to Vincenzo, wondering why he’s so worked up over the sale. She guesses there’s something more valuable than the building at stake. After saying her piece, Cha-young confidently skips away … and then realizes she’s going the wrong way and does a U-turn like nothing happened.
The tenants gather to badmouth Vincenzo for his betrayal and figure out what to do now. Yoo-chan is conflicted after hearing Vincenzo is the one who called the media and promises to investigate whether Vincenzo is on their side.
Elsewhere, Myung-hee goes all in at aerobics class before heading to work. It turns out she’s a prosecutor who prides herself on being able to dig up dirt on anyone.
Vincenzo, meanwhile, goes to visit Young-woon in the hospital who is pretty banged up but okay. He feels guilty about the sale, but Vincenzo doesn’t blame him for protecting his family. Young-woon advises Vincenzo to demolish the building before Babel does so that they don’t discover the gold.
We learn that there’s a particular aspect to the structure of Cassano family saferooms. Not only are they connected to the beams and columns, but they’re fitted with devices that amplify impact. If someone attempts to break into the room with force, the devices amplify the impact and cause the building to collapse. The final safety measure is killing everyone who worked on the room or knows about it.
The only people alive who are aware of the saferoom at Geumga Plaza are Vincenzo and Young-woon. A year ago, the Chinese businessman who commissioned it died of a heart attack, and he told no one of its existence. Shortly after, Vincenzo and Young-woon decided to take the gold for themselves by moving it under the pretense of constructing a new building.
Cheol-wook and one of the monks catch Vincenzo loitering outside of Nanyak Temple, so he pretends to be interested in the plaque with teachings against greed. Vincenzo panics when he hears them talking about installing a boiler and very intensely offers to buy them an electric heating pad for the floor instead.
At Wusang Law Firm, Joon-woo rushes into Cha-young’s office with the news that one of Babel’s quarantined researchers is missing. Meanwhile, Team Leader Ahn reports to DIRECTOR TAE (Kwon Tae-won) that Vincenzo was targeted after Fabio died. He proposes that Vincenzo could’ve hid money in Korea and might even create his own mafia … branch? I don’t know mafia terms.
Director Tae still thinks he’s overreacting and won’t sign off on his “mission.” Team Leader Ahn decides he’ll pay for his own mission. The only problem is he’s too poor.
Yoo-chan watches the news of the whistleblower’s supposed perjury in disappointment and disgust. Joo-sung (his office manager) tries to convince him it’s over, but Yoo-chan isn’t ready to admit defeat.
Vincenzo stops by to ask Yoo-chan to share information on Babel. Yoo-chan still doesn’t believe he’s on their side, but Vincenzo argues that giving him a chance is the best way to figure out if he’s telling the truth and win this fight. Yoo-chan gives him the documents.
Cha-young, with Joon-woo serving as emphatic backup, meets with Babel researchers who agree to keep the disappearance quiet. If the escaped researcher talks, they could lose the case. She confides to Joon-woo that the worst outcome would be the researcher going to her father.
She spots the Babel’s CHAIRMAN JANG (Kwak Dong-yeon) with his entourage and makes a beeline for him. Cha-young introduces herself as the lead lawyer on his subsidiary’s case, and he looks positively affronted when she grabs his hand to shake.
Joon-woo takes issue with his informal (i.e., impolite) speech, but Cha-young has no problem bowing to the rich and powerful. She forgoes Joon-woo’s offer to grab a meal and takes off. Cha-young’s sense of direction is seriously lacking. Once again, she runs the wrong way, and Joon-woo has to point her in the right direction.
While Vincenzo goes through the Babel documents in detail at Yoo-chan’s office, Myung-hee has dinner with her colleagues. She’s frustrated that they plan to turn over a case she’s been working on to Prosecutor Seo’s unqualified nephew, but the real kicker is when she’s asked to minimize the damage for a chief prosecutor who sexually assaulted a woman.
Outside of Jipuragi, Cha-young dramatically gives herself a pep talk before going in to talk to her father. She’s unhappy to find Vincenzo going through the Babel case files, especially when he goes on about how Babel operates like the mafia or yakuza. For once, he and Yoo-chan find common ground.
Vincenzo goes one step further and accuses Wusang Law Firm of being no better. Yoo-chan emphatically agrees and gets excited when Vincenzo says they should pay for their crimes. Suddenly, Yoo-chan is being all polite and offering to help Vincenzo if he needs more info.
Cha-young chases after Vincenzo once he leaves and accuses him of trying to profit off her father’s lawsuit. Vincenzo ignores her and tries to get something to eat, but he’s turned away by both Chef Baek and KWAK HEE-SOO (Lee Hang-na) who runs Youngho Snack Bar. Cha-young comes to his rescue and buys the food instead.
Vincenzo assures her he’s not using her dad – he’s fighting his own fight. Cha-young amuses him by saying he’s no match for the mafia-like organizations in Korea and encourages him to go back to Italy. As they eat tteokbokki, Hee-soo’s teenage son KIM YOUNG-HO (Kang Chae-min) returns. He and his mom begin fighting and accidently knock the plate of teeokbokki onto Vincenzo’s lap.
After vowing to destroy her awful colleagues, Myung-hee runs into Attorney Han who tries to poach her for Wusang. He offers to help her take down the corrupt prosecutors. With the up-and-coming big player Babel on their side, it’s possible. Plus, their Chairman is unhinged and easy to manipulate. Myung-hee’s interest is piqued.
Chairman Jang stands on an ice hockey rink and apologizes for losing the researcher and not handling the building situation better. A man in hockey gear shoots pucks at him and beats him viciously with a hockey stick. What the…?
The next morning, Vincenzo wakes from a nightmare montage of his misdeeds of death and torture. He goes to Arno again and gets Chef Baek to admit he didn’t study in Italy. Vincenzo orders a risotto which he gags on. After painting a vivid picture of its disgustingness and shattering Chef Baek’s confidence a second time, Vincenzo pays and walks out.
Vincenzo drags Yoo-chan along with him to Babel where he manages to see the head of Investment and Development NA DEOK-JIN (Na Chul) by faking an indictment for abduction. Vincenzo favors the eye-for-an-eye approach and wonders if he should kidnap Deok-jin’s family to get the sale cancelled.
Deok-jin mocks him for thinking he’s the mafia since he’s from Italy, but he loses his confidence when Vincenzo grips him painfully by the shoulder and tells him he’d be vineyard fertilizer were they in Italy. This is a warning, he clarifies, not a negotiation. Yoo-chan is impressed by Vincenzo’s style and makes Vincenzo smile when he says he wants to try those cool phrases out.
Meanwhile, Myung-hee turns in her resignation and confidently walks out. She’s determined to take them all down and vents her anger by flinging her desk name plate through an office window.
At Wusang, Attorney Han introduces their new senior attorney Myung-hee to the notably unenthusiastic employees. When he announces she’ll represent the firm, Cha-young looks particularly peeved. Her colleagues pay lip service to how she, the most successful, should have that role, but Cha-young calls them out for secretly being happy.
At his dance studio in Geumga Plaza, LARRY KANG (Kim Seol-jin) solicits advice on his zombie choreography – he’s coaching zombies for Train to Ulsan 2 (heh) – from a few of the tenants. The women start nickpicking his performance and get up to show him how it’s really done.
This is the chaotic scene Vincenzo and Yoo-chan walk in on when they return. Pianist SEO MI-RI (Kim Yoon-hye) is mortified that the handsome Vincenzo saw her in such an unflattering state.
Back at Jipuragi, Yoo-chan and Vincenzo discuss strategy. Although there are laws protecting tenants, it’s easy for these companies to get around them by paying a meager sum to tenants and forcing them out. The most pressing concern is stopping the demolition.
Yoo-chan introduces Vincenzo to makgeolli, and after several drinks, Vincenzo brings up Yoo-chan’s public defender work. Yoo-chan reveals that he only has one client. He pities her situation, being falsely accused of murder and fighting pancreatic cancer.
Vincenzo sadly wonders why she’d just accept her fate and stills when Yoo-chan says she’s punishing herself for abandoning her son. Yoo-chan assumes Vincenzo can’t understand the suffering of the weak, but he counters that the last couple of days have taught him what it means to feel helpless.
Yoo-chan shares that he named his firm “jipuragi” (which means “straw”) because he’s often the last straw his clients can grasp. He takes a call from an unknown number, but the man on the other line hangs up without saying anything.
The Wusang team discusses the upcoming demolition. They’ll get around the illegality by bringing in heavy duty equipment under the pretense of clean-up and “accidentally” damage the building. Once the tenants move out in fear, they’re free to demolish without opposition. Their casual discussion of the acceptable number of deaths during redevelopment is chilling.
Cha-young storms into her office after the meeting, fuming about how the tenants are making things harder on themselves by staying. Joon-woo tries to talk her down, but she’s mostly angry at her father for not being more practical about all this.
Vincenzo wakes with a splitting headache and gets a call from Yoo-chan inviting him over to eat hangover soup. As Yoo-chan cooks, Vincenzo peruses the family photos on the wall and can barely believe the casual girl in the photos with a bob and glasses is Cha-young.
At Wusang, excitable Joon-woo overhears Attorney Han say that the demolition will begin the following night, and he runs to inform Cha-young. Despite that they’ve “cut ties,” Cha-young immediately goes to Yoo-chan’s place, interrupting his and Vincenzo’s meal. Yoo-chan invites her to eat.
Before she can tell him the news, Yoo-chan gets a call from the missing researcher who wants to meet. He runs out and tells Cha-young to pass along whatever she has to say to Vincenzo. After a little fit, she tells Vincenzo about the demolition and urges him to get the tenants out.
Vincenzo notes it’s the first time he’s seen her so worried. Concerned he’ll think she cares, Cha-young argues she’s worried because it could affect her. She finally notices the house looks like a disaster area and gasps at her father’s messiness.
While Yoo-chan meets with the researcher, Vincenzo tries to think of a plan to stop the demolition. The next day, he and Joo-sung gather the tenants to break the news. Everyone is outraged when they see Vincenzo sitting there liking people’s Insta photos rather than helping solve the problem.
Elsewhere, Team Leader Ahn is ecstatic when he manages to find CCTV photos of Vincenzo, allowing him to track his location. Yoo-chan, meanwhile, finally returns to Geumga Plaza to find everyone in a panic. Vincenzo hadn’t been able to reach him, so he’s only hearing about the impending demolition now.
Over a fancy dinner, Myung-hee asks Attorney Han when she gets to meet Chairman Jang, which he tells her will happen in two days. They’re interrupted by their junior colleague who runs in and breathlessly tells them about the missing Babel researcher.
As the demolition time draws near, Cha-young tries to feign indifference, but she can’t help herself from getting involved. Yoo-chan actually takes her call for once, and she’s dismayed to hear he’s still in Geumga Plaza with no intent to leave.
Cha-young is in such a rush that she even hangs up on Attorney Han when he calls angrily. In the car, she spots the construction vehicles ahead and speeds up. When she and CEO Park’s men arrive at Geumga Plaza, they’re all confused to find a Sicilian wine event taking place outside.
The entire plaza is filled with people enjoying the festival full of food, music, dancing, and wine. Cha-young smiles knowingly when she spots Vincenzo looking all snazzy in a tux, schmoozing with well-dressed guests. Across the way, Team Leader Ahn has mingled in with the guests and gives Vincenzo a suspicious squint.
Vincenzo catches Yoo-chan’s eye, and they toast each other. At the meeting earlier, Vincenzo had suggested the party idea to the tenants. He’d gotten the word out through social media and amassed a sizable crowd of attendees.
Cha-young likes his Insta post, impressed with his strategy. She stares and smiles at him appreciatively, seeming to see him in a new light. Vincenzo catches her eye and raises his glass.
And we got even more characters this hour! The number of characters in this drama is insane, so I apologize in advance for inevitably getting names wrong occasionally. One notably addition this episode was Chairman Jang. What was up with that weird, abusive hockey scene? He’s supposedly the chairman of this major organization, so who is he answering to with such fear? I’m wondering if he’s only a puppet chairman who is the public front of the company while someone else actually leads behind the scenes. Either that, or he just has an abusive family or someone he’s beholden to who tries to keep him in line. Attorney Han referred to him as unhinged, but if that kind of abuse is what he deals with regularly, it’s no wonder.
We also found out that laundromat lady is a prosecutor – or was. Myung-hee switched sides awfully fast, and something feels off about it all. She almost seems like a double agent or at the very least like she has her own agenda. We know she wants to take the douchey prosecutors down, but I suspect there could be more to her decision to join Wusang. She comes across as the practical type who doesn’t always play above board, but she didn’t seem phased at all by the callous discussion of people getting hurt or dying due to the demolition stunt they were planning. Either she doesn’t do ethics, or she has something else up her sleeve. I might be reading too much into it, but I just get a sneaky vibe from her.
I get pretty much the opposite vibe from Team Leader Ahn who is painfully obvious in all he does. He seems like a mess, so it’s hard to tell how much of a threat to Vincenzo he is. Even if he’s not overly competent at his job – and maybe he is – his obsession with Vincenzo may allow him to stumble upon something incriminating. He’s already located him, although Vincenzo isn’t doing anything illegal yet that could get him in trouble. Honestly, even if Team Leader Ahn finds out about the gold, I’m not sure what he could do about it. I’m not a lawyer, so I have no idea if Vincenzo could be charged with anything with regards to the building and the gold. Plus, he’s an Italian citizen, so that could complicate things. Speaking of his being Italian, I always have a hard time when dramas assert that someone grew up abroad, yet all their mannerisms are so obviously Korean. Even ignoring the fact that Song Joong-ki is not a native Italian speaker, there’s nothing about Vincenzo that suggests he’s culturally Italian. I just have to take the drama’s word for it.
I didn’t expect Yoo-chan to be Team Vincenzo so quick. The minute Vincenzo called Babel and Wusang mafia types, Yoo-chan was sold. He and Cha-young are much more similar than either would like to admit. Both father and daughter are so dramatic and intense with a petty streak. They pretend not to care about each other, but she still warns him when there’s trouble, and he still tries to feed her when she stops by the house. So much for cutting ties. Judging by those pictures, Cha-young has undergone quite the transformation in recent years. I’m guessing something dramatic happened to make her become so intent on money and advancing, willing to throw away sentiment and ethics when necessary. Although, honestly, I’d rather we didn’t get some traumatic past or major event that changed her – it’d be refreshing if she just decided to live that way because it was easier or would take her farther. Either way, she does have more of a conscience than she lets on. Cha-young can claim she’s worried about the demolition for selfish reasons all she wants, but it’s obvious she doesn’t want anything to happen to the tenants or her father. I’m kind of on the fence with Cha-young as a character. I’m hoping Jeon Yeo-bin tones down her performance a tad because I think Cha-young has the potential to be a great character if she’s not so over-exaggerated.