Vincenzo: Episode 11
Some hidden truths come to light this hour, and for once, things seem to be working in our leads’ favor. They make some headway in their attempt to reach the real Babel chairman thanks in part to help from an unexpected source. Although our leads are closing in and have continually thwarted his plans, the chairman can’t imagine a world where he isn’t perfect and all-knowing, so he remains convinced he’s safe. That might just cost him.
Vincenzo reveals that Jang Han-seok, Chairman Jang’s older brother, is the real chairman. Joon-woo almost gets caught when his pocket starts vibrating after Vincenzo calls the number he pulled from the assassin’s phone. Joon-woo whips out his second phone from a different pocket to show Vincenzo it’s not ringing.
A car pulls up, and the two men who previously worked for Myung-hee get out. They’ve been working for Vincenzo since he got them to talk in the warehouse. Joon-woo watches them take the injured assassins to a secret location on Vincenzo’s orders.
Vincenzo and Cha-young leave Joo-sung and Cheol-wook to clean up the scene, while they head to the warehouse in the assassins’ car. Joon-woo, meanwhile, drives to a secluded place and has a temper tantrum over failing and nearly getting discovered.
Vincenzo, his minions, and Cha-young watch the assassins struggle to escape the van they’re trapped in as it fills with fumes. Under duress, they admit to Cha-young – who’s taken the lead in this interrogation – that they’re the ones who committed all the recent murders for Babel, including the four victims who were family of Babel’s other victims.
Upon hearing that, Cha-young grabs the remote control and floods the van with fumes. Vincenzo looks concerned but doesn’t interfere. After giving them a taste of their victims’ pain, Cha-young eases off. Vincenzo asks about Jang Han-seok, but all they can say is that he’s in Korea and gives orders through the phone (using a voice changer).
Cha-young wonders if they should kill them since they don’t have any useful intel, and Vincenzo observes that people like them don’t usually learn from their mistakes. Cha-young once again increases the fumes in the car before walking out.
In the car, Cha-young says she gets angry whenever she sees Myung-hee’s former henchmen; they remind her of her father’s death. Vincenzo promises she’ll get the chance to personally throw them to the lions once they’re no longer needed.
Cha-young is impressed with Vincenzo’s fighting ability which he tells her he learned from training with a former member of the Italian special forces. He was bullied as a kid for being Asian, so he had to learn to fight.
When she asks what his plans are for the assassins, Vincenzo says he’ll show mercy. His “mercy” is giving them a quicker death by having his two minions push the car with the unconscious assassins into a lake.
At Geumga Plaza, everyone fawns over Hong-shik and his scissor fighting skills. He humble brags that his nickname in his hometown was Lightning Scissors. CEO Park and his workers warn everyone not to take this attack lightly. Those men are known for killing people who don’t leave during development projects.
The tenants then start debating whether Vincenzo or Hong-shik is the better fighter.
Vincenzo’s fan club Team Leader Ahn gets all offended at the suggestion Vincenzo might be second place.
Meanwhile, Vincenzo and Cha-young drink until the early hours at his apartment. She apologizes for hugging him earlier but admits it made her heart pound. She’s not sure if that’s because she likes him or because she was worried, so Cha-young announces she needs to test it out.
A drunk Cha-young makes him get up so she can hug him again for an awkwardly long time. He gets increasingly flustered, especially when she stares at him with her face inches from his. After all that, she announces the heart pounding was due to worry and stumbles away.
The following day, Vincenzo visits Kyung-ja in the hospital. She lights up to see him but worries over how tired he looks. She assures him she’s eating and taking her meds now. It’s the calmest, most pleasant exchange they’ve had.
Vincenzo brings up her previous cancer diagnosis from 28 years ago and asks if she didn’t have any family back then. Kyung-ja says she had a son she sent away so he could live happily. Vincenzo argues he wouldn’t have been happy anywhere without his mom.
Kyung-ja begins to cry when he says Yoo-chan told him she’s punishing herself for abandoning her son. Vincenzo reassures her that her son must be doing well, so she should start taking care of herself and not give up. Through her tears, she promises she’ll try.
Over at Wusang, Joon-woo remains ever confident that he’s untouchable, despite how close Vincenzo is getting to finding him. As usual, Attorney Han frets while Myung-hee comes up with a plan that involves using Vincenzo’s Mafia past.
On his way to the office, Vincenzo is caught first by Hong-shik who’s on a high from his recent battle and offers his fighting services. Next up is Cheol-wook who begs Vincenzo to let him be his bodyguard. Yeon-jin is vehemently opposed, and Vincenzo sits awkwardly while the couple fights about it until Yeon-jin literally drags her husband away.
Although Babel has managed to get the phone records of Jang Han-seok and his hired assassins erased, Jipuragi accessed them in time to get one vital piece of info. Han-seok’s phone was in the vicinity of the underpass when Vincenzo called that night.
Once again, Team Leader Ahn pops in with food and tries to eavesdrop. He hangs around awkwardly until Vincenzo basically walks him to the door. Before leaving in his usual bizarre manner, Team Leader Ahn overhears Joo-sung’s comment that an intelligence agency could get the info they need.
While Young-woon watches as officials come to inspect Nanyak Temple over his false claims of corruption, Jipuragi muses over how to find someone who knows Han-seok’s face. Mi-ri interrupts Jipuragi’s meeting to invite them to the tenants’ monthly game day.
Despite his protests, Vincenzo is roped into joining their obliviously apt game of Mafia. The game is disrupted by the arrival of prosecutors with a warrant for Vincenzo’s arrest on charges of attempted murder and blackmail. The tenants are stunned when the prosecutors refer to Vincenzo as a Mafia consigliere.
Over dinner, Chairman Jang makes the bold request that Joon-woo let him run Babel Pharmaceuticals. In response, Joon-woo flips the table and holds a steak knife to Chairman Jang’s throat. He suggests maybe he should die so Chairman Jang can have Babel.
Meeting the day’s quota for traumatizing his brother and doing the most, Joon-woo makes Chairman Jang grab the knife and guides his hand to push it against Joon-woo’s own throat, drawing blood. Chairman Jang cries that he’s sorry over and over and shakes as Joon-woo threatens to kill him if he ever suggests something like that again.
Cheol-wook, Yeon-jin, and Hong-shik sit at Hee-soo’s and try to process that Vincenzo is with the Mafia. They hilariously misheard “consigliere” as “corn salad” and think that’s what the top brass of the Mafia are called. They ironically decide to get Vincenzo’s help finding the gold since the Mafia are good at this stuff.
Elsewhere, Team Leader Ahn makes the case to Director Tae that they shouldn’t let the prosecutors have Vincenzo. He manages to convince him that, as the expert in international crimes, Director Tae shouldn’t stand by while the prosecution tries to sideline him.
In the interrogation room, Cha-young acts as Vincenzo’s lawyer and asserts that the photos of the murders Vincenzo supposedly committed aren’t enough evidence to indict him. The prosecutor threatens to create whatever evidence is necessary to get Vincenzo deported.
As they lead Vincenzo into the hall in handcuffs, Team Leader Ahn gets his moment to shine. He struts in and shows his badge (backwards), announcing that Vincenzo is under their jurisdiction. The prosecutors have no choice but to comply since he has a warrant. An impressed Vincenzo and Cha-young gladly follow Team Leader Ahn out.
Wusang gets wind of this turn of events and cautions Joon-woo to protect his identity well now that an intelligence agency is involved. Myung-hee wonders if Vincenzo is a spy, and everyone starts to panic.
Team Leader Ahn fesses up to his little surveillance mission and says he stayed quiet because all Vincenzo did was fight for the weak. He baffles Vincenzo and Cha-young by offering to help them go after Babel and goes on about Vincenzo’s admirable “atonement.”
Vincenzo is hesitant, but Cha-young immediately accepts Team Leader Ahn’s help, although he has conditions. They’re fine with keeping his identity secret and letting him into the inner circle, but his request for a hug seems a bit much.
Vincenzo offers a handshake, but that’s not enough for Team Leader Ahn who leaps into his arms and completely fanboys over him. Vincenzo extracts himself, noticing the photos of his victims lying on the table. He realizes Han-seok must’ve gotten them directly from an informant who likely knows Han-seok’s face.
While they wait on Vincenzo’s Mafia associate Luca to get them info on the informant, Vincenzo and Cha-young return to Geumga Plaza. They’re met with an actual marching band and a banner that welcomes back the Mafia’s “Corn Salad.”
Cha-young bounces along behind Vincenzo down the red carpet underneath a military-style saber arch. There’s confetti and hand-kissing – it’s all so amazingly extra. They’re thrilled he’s Mafia and beg him to be their leader and make Geumga Plaza his “turf.” Vincenzo looks pained as they start chanting, “Corn Salad!”
At Jipuragi, the team watches the footage Luca sent over of the informant. Vincenzo and Cha-young then pass it along to Team Leader Ahn who boasts he only needs five hours to determine the man’s identity.
Monk Chaeshin comes running in looking for Vincenzo and bring him to the temple. The monks show Vincenzo and Cha-young the complaint lodged against them. If they can’t prove it’s false, the temple could be shut down.
That night, Chairman Jang practices shooting with his new handgun, but he can’t hit any of the bottles. Attorney Han criticizes his aim and shows him how it’s done, shooting two bottles without batting an eye. He apparently was known for his marksmanship during his military service.
Chairman Jang vents to Attorney Han about Joon-woo and how Vincenzo is outsmarting him; Joon-woo would’ve died had Vincenzo caught him at the underpass. Attorney Han’s eyes light up at this opportunity to get rid of Joon-woo.
He reiterates that he’ll support Chairman Jang and make sure he can run Babel properly after Joon-woo is gone. Attorney Han knows Myung-hee won’t side with them, so the two unappreciated men decide to secretly work together.
At Geumga Plaza, Mi-ri spies Young-woon meeting with Vincenzo on the roof. She eavesdrops as Vincenzo asks if Young-woon was behind the complaint against Nanyak Temple. Young-woon apologizes, as does Vincenzo for taking so long to get the gold. Vincenzo tells Young-woon not to act without discussing it first and orders him to post a retraction.
On his way back to the office, Vincenzo is pulled into Hong-shik’s laundromat. Hong-shik, Cheol-wook, Yeon-jin, and Hee-soo share what they know about the gold. They explain that all the tenants know and offer to cut him in if he helps. Vincenzo struggles to keep his anger in check and waits until he’s in the hall to kick some boxes.
Team Leader Ahn is still being his extra self as he unnecessarily “sneaks” to Jipuragi. He shoves a manila envelope under the door and then army crawls down the hall before leaping out of sight. Inside the envelope is the identity of the informant, a man named Kim Sang-yoon who’s in the arms business.
Cha-young heads out after getting a call from Joon-woo who says Babel isn’t going to compensate the victims. Vincenzo, meanwhile, kidnaps Sang-yoon with the help of his minions. Sang-yoon tells Vincenzo just to kill him. He’s been tortured numerous times, so he’s confident he won’t crack.
Vincenzo would rather use fear than pain. He takes out a gun and plays Russian roulette, taking turns between putting the gun to Sang-yoon’s temple and his own. By round four with no one shot, Sang-yoon breaks. He reveals that Han-seok is actually Joon-woo who is drinking with Cha-young right now.
On the condition that Cha-young give him info in return, Joon-woo passes over a document from Wusang showing that Babel will renege on their compensation agreement. Before Cha-young can tell Joon-woo anything he wants to know about what Jipuragi is up to, Vincenzo calls.
Vincenzo is serious but calm as he warns her that her former intern Joon-woo is Jang Han-seok. She asks what he’s going to do. He’ll still follow the plan, right?
Joon-woo arrives home in a good mood. That is, until he hears Vincenzo call his name. He turns to find Vincenzo holding a gun. Vincenzo makes him kneel and tells him he doesn’t need to pretend anymore – he knows he’s Jang Han-seok.
Joon-woo drops the act and asks how he found him. When Vincenzo tells him to say a final prayer, Joon-woo grabs the barrel and puts the gun against his temple, commanding him to shoot already. Vincenzo clicks off the safety. We hear a gunshot.
I’d be surprised if Joon-woo was offed this easily and this soon after being discovered. With all the buildup, having Vincenzo waltz into his place and kill him with zero struggle would feel a little anticlimactic. Also, how did Vincenzo know where Joon-woo’s swanky apartment is? I’m sure he didn’t use his real address for his puppy intern identity. Maybe Chairman Jang let him in. Now that he and Attorney Han have formed their little alliance to take down Joon-woo, I could see him offering to help Vincenzo in exchange for his own safety. He’s obviously had enough of his volatile brother’s insanity. At this point, I vacillate between seeing Joon-woo as genuinely threatening and comically cartoonish. There’s nothing really grounding the character. I don’t think he’s supposed to feel realistic or anything, but that doesn’t mean there’s no need to give him some depth or nuance.
I know Vincenzo’s plan has been to kill Joon-woo, but I feel like it’d be so much more satisfying to have him publicly revealed, condemned, and ridiculed rather than murdered when no one even knows who he is. He believes he’s so infallible that having him dragged in the public eye for his failures would be fitting. But I get that Vincenzo and Cha-young don’t want to give him more time to do more damage. I underestimated how dark Cha-young would be willing to go right off the bat. She’s clearly had enough and is done playing nice. Unlike Vincenzo, though, she’s never been part of this world before. If she goes too dark, it might be hard for her to come back from it. Even so, I do appreciate that Vincenzo isn’t overprotective. He respects her decisions and includes her, believing she can handle it. I’m so used to overprotective male leads that it’s jarring (but in a nice way).
Team Leader Ahn is coming in quite useful despite his ridiculousness. He’s essentially just a fanboy dressed as an agent. In a way, his ridiculousness hides his conspicuously bad spying since he comes off as a harmless eccentric. If he didn’t prove so hapless at every turn, I’d think it was strategic. He certainly fits right in at Geumga Plaza. How great is it that the tenants are trying to cut Vincenzo in on his own gold? Mi-ri might be the only one who has it together enough to figure out what’s going on. Even after learning Vincenzo is with the Mafia, no one else put together that the gold might be his. Perhaps they were just too excited over having their very own mafioso “Corn Salad” on their side.