Vincenzo: Episode 3
Our eccentric corporate lawyer butts heads with her new boss as Wusang races to locate the missing researcher before he can implicate Babel and ruin their case. Meanwhile, when Babel makes it clear exactly how far they’re willing to go to silence those who get in their way, our lead and his righteous lawyer friend have differing ideas about what this fight is worth.
CEO Park’s people discover that the police are there on protection detail – one of the attendees is the Italian ambassador. Meanwhile, Cha-young pulls Vincenzo aside, wondering what his endgame is. He paid for this event himself and goes around in fancy designer suits, so what could he want with Geumga Plaza? Vincenzo claims he fell in love with place just because, but Cha-young denounces his romanticism and argues love always has a reason.
After hearing the ambassador is there, CEO Park calls the demolition off. Cha-young returns to Wusang where Attorney Han tells her off for not informing him about the run-away researcher. Cha-young doesn’t take well to being criticized by Myung-hee, and Myung-hee isn’t a fan of Cha-young’s arrogance. They decide to give Cha-young a chance to fix this with the understanding she’ll be fired if she fails.
Since Vincenzo arranged and paid for the event out of pocket, the tenants soften toward him, assuming he wouldn’t have spent all that money if he weren’t on their side. Chef Baek talks some nonsense about how he and Vincenzo connect because Italy, and the women gush over how handsome Vincenzo is.
At home, Vincenzo looks over the case files for Babel Pharmaceuticals and searches for a more permanent strategy for stopping the demolition. At Wusang, while Myung-hee does her aerobics in full view of the office, Cha-young gets Joon-woo to look up Vincenzo only to discover he’s a legit lawyer without a criminal record.
Vincenzo once again tortures Chef Baek by making him cook for him and reacts to the result with his usual disgust. Although his douchey treatment of Chef Beak is a bit much, his complaints about the tomato being “quarantined” while the basil and cheese are “social distancing” are pretty amusing.
In the hall, a man bumps into Vincenzo’s shoulder. “It’s Vincenzo!” Team Leader Ahn shouts. He covers by saying they met at the party. Team Leader Ahn is anything but convincing as he contradicts himself when Vincenzo asks if it was the first time they met: ” No. I mean, yes.”
Vincenzo scrutinizes him before heading to Yoo-chan’s office. As Vincenzo walks away, Team Leader Ahn basks in Vincenzo’s wonderful smelling cologne, trying to waft it toward himself.
Team Leader Ahn then approaches Chef Baek and profusely praises his pizza from the event, getting emotional as he says it took him back to the boat harbor of Naples. With tears in his eyes, he does a hilarious goose-like imitation of the boat foghorns. Chef Baek is sufficiently buttered up and agrees to let him learn under him and even sleep at the restaurant.
At Jipuragi, Vincenzo informs Yoo-chan that the main ingredient in Babel’s new drug is classified as a narcotic. Yoo-chan and Joo-sung are shocked since the expert testified it was merely a pain reliever, but Vincenzo argues that Babel deceived everyone – it’s an opioid that will unwittingly cause addiction in its users. Yoo-chan is enraged and determined to stop Babel from getting this drug approved.
When Vincenzo takes a call and heads out, Team Leader Ahn spots him and follows. The heating pads Vincenzo ordered arrive, and he personally places them in the Temple and even offers to pay their electric bill. Team Leader Ahn can’t believe the generosity of this Catholic mafioso who is taking such care of the monks.
Outside, Vincenzo spies Young-ho and his friends smoking. They try the teenage intimidation act, and when Vincenzo tells them to toss their cigarettes, the boys try to fight. Naturally, they’re no match for Vincenzo and go running off, leaving Young-ho.
Vincenzo makes Young-ho toss his cigarette and warns him he’ll be keeping an eye on him. Team Leader Ahn watches this exchange and muses that Vincenzo is correcting delinquents to atone for his past.
At home, Vincenzo looks over the information Young-woon gathered on Deok-jin, the Babel representative they’ve been dealing with. His smile when he sees the pictures suggests Young-woon found some dirt.
Cha-young’s efforts – which include tearful acting and a sob story – to get info on Min-cheol, the escaped researcher, are a bust. Joon-woo thinks Yoo-chan is their best bet since Min-cheol is likely to go to him, but she aruges it’d be useless. Despite the stress, she’s uninterested in Joon-woo’s suggestion they leave Wusang to work for his friend’s new firm. Cha-young gets a call informing her she’s being summoned to a meeting by Myung-hee.
It turns out Yoo-chan already knew about the narcotics aspect of the trial drug. In their meeting, Min-cheol told Yoo-chan that they were ordered to inject participants with dangerously high doses of the trial drug – an opioid painkiller – and equated it to murder.
When Min-cheol tried to leave, Babel had threatened his family. He’s only willing to testify in court if Yoo-chan can guarantee his and his family’s safety, which Yoo-chan can’t do.
Vincenzo finds Yoo-chan on the roof and extols the dangers of continuing to fight Babel, a company that’s more like a cartel. Yoo-chan thinks the good guys can win, but Vincenzo argues that’s a fairy tale. Vincenzo’s pragmatism is no match for Yoo-chan’s stubbornness and conviction.
Yoo-chan gets a call and drags Vincenzo with him to the hospital. Vincenzo hangs back when he sees Kyung-ja in the hospital bed. She spots him halfway hiding around the corner and asks Yoo-chan who he is. Vincenzo is extremely quiet while Yoo-chan introduces him as a fellow lawyer. He stares at Kyung-ja’s wrist handcuffed to the bed and excuses himself to make a call.
Vincenzo listens from behind the curtain as Yoo-chan again tries unsuccessfully to convince Kyung-ja to consent to a retrial. While he waits for Yoo-chan, Vincenzo takes a call from Deok-jin, the man he threatened at Babel.
Myung-hee and Attorney Han take the team out for drinks. Cha-young and Myung-hee clash again when Cha-young refuses to be peer-pressured into performing on cue. Myung-hee claims it’s her chance to make up for her mistake, so Cha-young agrees to do an impersonation.
Cha-young stands, kicks off her shoes, and starts mimicking Myung-hee doing aerobics. PFFT. Myung-hee stares stony faced for a moment, and then begins laughing.
Elsewhere, Vincenzo meets with Deok-jin and blackmails him with evidence of the many bribes he’s taken and photos of him with his mistress. Vincenzo orders him to get the demolition postponed for two months and ensure Vincenzo’s people get to handle it when the time comes.
As they’re all leaving, Myung-hee sits in her car and calls Cha-young over. She grabs her by the back of the neck and warns that she’s dead if she messes with her again. Cha-young smiles and says she’d welcome a near-death experience. Myung-hee thinks she’s nuts.
CEO Park gets a call from Deok-jin, ordering him to halt the demolition plans for two months. Yoo-chan, meanwhile, texts both Cha-young and Vincenzo to come to his place. Cha-young arrives first, and Yoo-chan tells her about the opioids.
She doesn’t get why he’s so fired up when other companies produce opioid painkillers, but Yoo-chan worries Babel’s reach and influence will make their drugs more accessible. Cha-young accuses him of resorting to conspiracy theories and leaves.
Outside, she runs into Vincenzo and tells him to stop feeding her dad this nonsense about drugs and cartels. He accuses her of lying so much she can’t see the truth, and they smile as they imply neither has any honor. Vincenzo calls her stupid in Italian before heading inside.
Elsewhere, Chairman Jang takes a very conciliatory tone as he apologizes to someone he calls “hyung-nim.” He asks Chairman Jang something about the villa, but we don’t hear the details.
While they drink, Vincenzo asks Yoo-chan how Kyung-ja is doing. Yoo-chan informs him she only has six months to live, making Vincenzo wonder if she’s in a lot of pain. “If you were curious, you should’ve asked your mom yourself.” Oooh, so he does know.
Ah, Yoo-chan recognized him from the Kyung-ja’s trial five years ago. He’d noticed Vincenzo’s distressed reaction and guessed his identity. Vincenzo’s recent questions about his work as a public defender and seeing Vincenzo standing at the gates of the prison solidified Yoo-chan’s hunch.
Yoo-chan won’t try to force Vincenzo to visit his mother or forgive her. But he does encourage him not to have regrets.
Elsewhere, a man sneaks into the basement of a building and cuts a line. He leaves a timer behind. The smell of gas wakes several of the men upstairs. They reach the basement with only seconds left on the timer – the whole building blows.
The next morning, Yoo-chan and Vincenzo watch the news report on a gas explosion at the villa housing 14 Babel researchers who all died. Yoo-chan leaves in a rage with Vincenzo scrambling after him.
At Wusang, Joon-woo tries to convince Cha-young to stop representing Babel. He’s afraid she’ll be targeted too and gets so upset he switches to English. (He’s from New York.) Cha-young is unconcerned and warns him not to be overprotective.
Myung-hee is remarkably calm but freaks Attorney Han out by suggesting Chairman Jang was sending them a message with those deaths. Right then, Chairman Jang calls Attorney Han and asks to meet.
Yoo-chan gets into it with the police officers on site when they tell him the case is closed, and there’s no evidence of arson. Vincenzo spots men in suits watching Yoo-chan, so he drags him away.
Vincenzo gets angry, unable to understand why Yoo-chan is willing to go so far and even risk his life for this cause, but Yoo-chan calls these uphill fights his fate. Memorable quote of the day: “Smart people may rule the world, but reckless and stubborn people like me protect it.”
Over a meal, Chairman Jang orders Wusang to compensate the bereaved families no matter the cost. What most upsets him is the loss of his precious villa. When Attorney Han thanks him for the lesson (i.e., killing the researchers), Chairman Jang clarifies he was just “relieving stress.” Wow.
Chairman Jang asks about the missing researcher, so Myung-hee promises to find Min-cheol within a few hours. When Chairman Jang tells her to ask for whatever she wants, she asks him to buy her the Namdongbu Prosecution Branch. He can’t quite tell if she’s serious.
After meeting him, Myung-hee is sure Chairman Jang isn’t the real head of Babel, but Attorney Han doesn’t see anything amiss. Myung-hee gets a text from her source – they found Min-cheol. Attorney Han scares the poor bartender to death with his sudden, loud bark of laughter.
Then comes the bad news: Min-cheol has already talked to Yoo-chan. Unbeknownst to them, the murder of the 14 researchers makes Min-cheol decide to testify, and Yoo-chan plans to pick him up the following day.
Vincenzo stops Young-ho and his friend from smoking again and wonders what his life has become. He resolves to keep his focus and get out of here quickly. Later, Vincenzo presents his plan to the tenants (and the interloper Team Leader Ahn): he’ll let them relocate for free to the nearby mall he’s planning to buy.
It sounds too good to be true, but Vincenzo assures them there’s no catch. Some of the tenants are still hesitant, but they’re swayed by MONK CHAESHIN (Kwon Seung-woo) who suggests they trust Vincenzo.
At Wusang, Myung-hee calls Cha-young into her office and pulls her off the Babel case citing conflicting interests since opposing counsel is her father. Cha-young outright refuses to comply, even upon hearing it’s an order from Attorney Han.
Cha-young marches straight to Yoo-chan’s office and accuses him of impeding her future. Sensing danger, Joo-sung sneaks out, but Vincenzo misses his window and tries to fade into the background while they fight. He fails spectacularly by stumbling around and causing a commotion.
The argument gets more heated when Cha-young blames her father for letting her mom die alone and making their lives miserable. It’s a fight they’ve had before, but Cha-young can’t let it go. She doesn’t understand why he’s so willing to take care of everyone else but neglected her mom. No matter how many people he saves, he can’t erase that.
That night, Vincenzo finds Cha-young sullen and drinking alone outside the convenience store. He criticizes her for being immature and cautions her not to say things to her father she’ll regret. Vincenzo shares that he and her father will be drinking at the usual spot and invites her to join, even if she doesn’t want to apologize.
In her office, Myung-hee calls a contact saved as “Crystal Ball” and tells them to start. She responds “both of them” to a question we don’t hear. Meanwhile, Vincenzo drinks with Yoo-chan and reassures him that Cha-young is strong and will be okay.
Yoo-chan thinks Vincenzo is the strong one for even managing to go to the trial of the mother who abandoned him, but Vincenzo says he only went to see how miserable she was. “Don’t give Cha-young a reason to check how miserable you are.” He hopes Yoo-chan will stop making himself a target and run away this time, but Yoo-chan can’t handle the idea of standing by while others getting hurt.
Cha-young decides to go to the bar, but tells herself it’s only for the food, not to see her dad. As she stands to leave, an employee runs out with an umbrella; Vincenzo bought it for her. She can’t fight the pleased grin on her face as she opens it.
At a motel, someone knocks on Min-cheol’s door. The man says he’s a cop inspecting the area because a murder suspect was spotted nearby. Min-cheol nervously opens the door a crack – leaving the chain on – and sees a young man in a police uniform.
Min-cheol is sharp and notices that officer has a Seoul accent, although they’re in Busan. He smiles and says he’ll get his ID, closing the door again. Min-cheol quickly gathers his notes and computer. The “cop” starts breaking down the door with an ax.
Min-cheol leaps out the window and makes a run for it. He hides on a docked boat and calls Yoo-chan who happens to have stepped out for a smoke. While outside, a suspicious man approaches Yoo-chan for a cigarette and walks away.
Inside, Vincenzo sees “RDU” on the caller ID and recalls that the trial drug is RDU-90. He watches the phone ring and almost answers but changes his mind. On the boat, the men catch up to Min-cheol and presumably kill him.
When Yoo-chan returns to the table, Vincenzo asks if he’s hiding anything from him. Yoo-chan doesn’t give him a straight answer, but instead brings up an Italian proverb he knows about how it takes a devil to drive out another devil. Yoo-chan knows he can’t become a monster to catch the monsters, but he wishes a monster would appear and defeat the evildoers.
He opines that’s not realistic, but Vincenzo looks thoughtful. Then, Yoo-chan asks, “Lawyer Vincenzo, you can’t be that monster, right?” Vincenzo doesn’t answer but tells him he’s been getting an urgent call from “RDU.” Yoo-chan calls Min-cheol back, ignoring Vincenzo’s question about whether RDU is the missing researcher.
Suddenly, a Truck of Doom drives straight into the front of the building, bursting through the storefront glass. Yoo-chan and Vincenzo are sent flying back. Vincenzo is barely conscious but sees Yoo-chan lying on the floor several feet away, bleeding profusely from the head.
We’re only in the second week and we’ve already got our second Truck of Doom. It looks like Myung-hee ordered the hit, which would make her a little more ruthless than I’d thought. I’m not sure if she acted alone or in concert with Babel, but I’m concerned for Cha-young now too. She’s made an enemy of Myung-hee already with her brazenness and refusal to be cowed. Even though it might be reckless, I do appreciate that she goes toe-to-toe with Myung-hee like with that impression of her at the work outing. I loved that she found a way to make a point while technically following Myung-hee’s orders; I loathe the toxic culture of superiors expecting their subordinates to be subject to their every whim and forcing them to do things that make them uncomfortable. Cha-young can hold her own, but I’m not sure she’s a match for someone who’s willing to off their enemies.
I hope Yoo-chan survives, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he dies. Whether he lives or not, I can see how this could motivate both Vincenzo and Cha-young to take up the mantel and fight Babel. Despite their rocky relationship, Cha-young obviously still cares about her dad, and Vincenzo has been getting pretty close to Yoo-chan of late – his worry over his safety shows how attached he’s become. Although their perspectives are different, Vincenzo seems to respect Yoo-chan’s dedication and selflessness. Yoo-chan basically asking Vincenzo if he’d be willing to be the “monster” who fights the other monsters made me wonder how much he knows about Vincenzo’s work in Italy. He’s clearly observant given that he so quickly figured out Vincenzo is Kyung-ja’s son, so I bet he’s put together that Vincenzo isn’t a clean lawyer at the very least.
Right when Yoo-chan dragged him to the hospital, I figured he’d caught on to Vincenzo’s relation to Kyung-ja. He shouldn’t have sprung that visit on him, but I’m glad he brought it out into the open and didn’t force the issue further. No matter what the circumstances surrounding Kyung-ja’s giving him up, Vincenzo has a right to not get involved in her life or see her. But his hovering around her and asking Yoo-chan questions indicates that he still feels connected, so I have a feeling he’ll decide to get involved on his own. The trial scene made me think Kyung-ja recognized Vincenzo, but that didn’t seem like the case at the hospital, so maybe I misread that. It looks like they haven’t been in touch at all since she left him.
We got a double helping of familial angst this hour as we learned a bit more about Cha-young and Yoo-chan’s fraught relationship. Although Yoo-chan’s quest for justice and concern for the plight of the people is admirable, it sounds like he’s put his family on the backburner in the past. I can see how Cha-young would resent his principles and righteous zeal when it’s only brought her family pain. I don’t remember seeing her mother in any of the pictures on the wall, so I’m assuming she either died when Cha-young was little or was sick for a long time and died more recently.
Despite the heavier topics, the drama manages to balance it out with levity, so it doesn’t feel overly dark. There’s quite a bit of ridiculousness to go around, but Team Leader Ahn took the cake this episode. He’s so bad at subterfuge but manages to be an endearing doofus. I can’t tell how much of his “apprenticeship” with Chef Baek is real, but they’ll likely get along swimmingly. Vincenzo and Team Leader Ahn’s brief interaction implied that they’ve met before, and I’m guessing it wouldn’t have been under great circumstances. If that is the case, Team Leader Ahn’s little infiltration is even more reckless given that he’s doing this without the support of his superiors. Then again, he doesn’t strike me as the pragmatic, cautious type.