Vincenzo: Episode 9
Our team works to uncover the identity of Babel’s real chairman who has done a thorough job of hiding himself. Meanwhile, Babel’s partners in crime at Wusang learn exactly what the real chairman is capable of and how far he’ll go to get his way. With the body count growing ever higher, our leads don’t have any time to waste in their efforts to uncover the truth and put a stop to Babel’s atrocities.
Chairman Jang complains that Joon-woo should get rid of Jipuragi already, but Joon-woo calls them his “sparring partners.” Once he can completely defeat Vincenzo, he’ll get rid of him.
Meanwhile, Cha-young laments their loss, but Vincenzo thinks getting revenge for Kyung-ja is enough. They move onto their next stage: luring out the real head of Babel.
At home that night, Vincenzo ruminates on what the doctor said. Kyung-ja was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer in 1993, the same year she left Vincenzo at the orphanage. Her illness was miraculously cured four years later without surgery.
In the basement, the tenants have formed little alliances and scour the building for the gold. Team Leader Ahn even catches the monks searching, although they plan to donate the money to saving children, of course. Upstairs, Vincenzo has a fight with a cooing pigeon, who he names Inzaghi (after the Italian soccer player), hanging out on his windowsill.
The next day, Myung-hee informs Joon-woo that Jong-moon is working with the prosecution. The prosecutor in charge, Prosecutor Jung, investigated Babel when Joon-woo’s father was chairman. He’s notoriously strong-willed and unmovable.
In the middle of their meeting, Jong-moon calls Joon-woo with a deal. If Joon-woo doesn’t kill him and pays him $30 million USD, he’ll disappear. If Joon-woo refuses, Jong-moon will expose Joon-woo’s identity and deeds to the prosecution, including what he did to his father. Joo-woo agrees, but he’s got his angry face on.
At Jipuragi, the team looks over the official records of Chairman Jang’s older brother Jang Han-seok who moved to the States 15 years ago. He’s supposedly an artist, and no one knows where he is now. There’s no record of him even returning for his father’s funeral two years ago.
After Cha-young heads out alone to meet with Kyung-ja, Joo-sung sighs that poor Kyung-ja doesn’t have any family. He irritates Vincenzo with his ranting about how kids these days are unfilial, so even if Kyung-ja had a child, they probably wouldn’t visit her.
Kyung-ja is glad to hear that Min-seong got his comeuppance. Cha-young clarifies that Vincenzo did all the work and is even paying Kyung-ja’s hospital fees. Kyung-ja feels ashamed accepting so much from him.
Vincenzo arrives right as the doctor acquiesces to Kyung-ja’s insistence that she doesn’t need pain medicine. He gets increasingly angry as he chastises the doctor for negligence, complains about the meals they’re serving her, and yells at Kyung-ja for not listening to the doctor he’s been bashing. After he storms out, Cha-young apologizes on his behalf, but Kyung-ja smiles that his anger on her behalf was kind of nice.
Although Babel has Shinkwang Bank on their side, the other banks still aren’t biting thanks to Cha-young’s denouncement of Babel in the press. Chairman Jang frustratedly brings up getting rid of Vincenzo and Cha-young again, but Joon-woo won’t hear of it.
While the Jipuragi team meets with the Babel victims’ family group, Chairman Jang and Wusang meet with Chief Prosecutor Hwang and his sidekick. The prosecutors have no problem talking back to Chairman Jang and let him know that they won’t hesitate to strike back if they feel disrespected.
Through Chairman Jang’s phone, Joon-woo listens in on the prosecutors’ demeaning remarks and scoffs that they don’t know their place. On the drive back, a van screeches to a halt in front of the prosecutors’ car. They’re both yanked out of the car by masked men with bats.
At Geumga Plaza, Cheol-wook and Yeon-jin spot two men breaking into Vincenzo’s apartment. They confront them, and it seems all Cheol-wook’s boasts about his martial arts skills weren’t complete nonsense. But Yeon-jin steals the spotlight when she power lifts one man above her head and drops him like a professional weightlifter. The men manage to escape after blinding the couple with pepper spray.
Elsewhere, Cha-young and Vincenzo leave the restaurant with the Babel victims’ families. One woman grabs Vincenzo in a hug and thanks him, which soon turns into a group hug. A masked man watches the happy group from his car.
Vincenzo drops Cha-young off at her place, and Cha-young immediately notices footprints once she’s inside. A masked man with a hammer approaches, and right as he’s about to attack, his partner yells outside. Vincenzo enters and steps up to take care of the assailant with the hammer.
Cha-young tries to chip in with her backscratcher, but Vincenzo gently moves her so he can handle it. He’d noticed the men following them since they left the restaurant, so he’s plenty prepared. When it’s obvious Vincenzo has the upper hand, the man tosses the hammer at Cha-young and runs out.
Vincenzo tackles Cha-young onto the couch as the hammer smashes through the window. He goes to run after them, but Cha-young stops him. Now that the adrenaline has worn off, she sinks to the ground.
Elsewhere, Myung-hee and Attorney Han stand by nervously while Chairman Jang chastises the kidnapped prosecutors on Joon-woo’s orders. When Joon-woo walks in wearing his hockey helmet and carrying his stick, Chairman Jang ushers Myung-hee and Attorney Han to the side.
Joon-woo begins brutally beating the sidekick prosecutor over the head, splattering the shocked bystanders in his blood. Chairman Jang flinches and shakes as Joon-woo rampages and then wonders in singsong if the man is dead while poking his lifeless body.
Joon-woo then moves on to Chief Prosecutor Hwang and says his soccer-playing son is next. Chief Prosecutor Hwang begs Chairman Jang hysterically for his son’s life while Chairman Jang watches helplessly.
After he’s had his psychopathic fun, Joon-woo calmly wipes the blood off his hockey stick. Attorney Han hides behind the ever-composed Myung-hee. Joon-woo orders Chairman Jang to beef up his personal security since he’s Joon-woo’s “Achilles’ heel.”
Meanwhile, Cha-young is still shaken. She assumes Babel or Wusang was behind the attack, but Vincenzo thinks it was too sloppy. He freaks her out with his casual talk of how they were likely just trying to hurt her – they’d have tried to strangle or stab her if they’d wanted her dead.
Vincenzo encourages her to stay with a friend tonight, so she makes a call … to Vincenzo. He immediately refuses, but she can’t reach anyone else. Vincenzo takes her to a hotel because she insists she’s not scared.
There’s a moment in the car where he takes off his seatbelt and leans toward her. Cha-young is all ready for some romance, but instead he just leans across her to push open her door and send her on her way.
Inside, Cha-young can’t help but read something sinister in every face she passes, but the last straw is the man fixing the lock on her room’s door. Seeing all his dangerous tools, she panics and goes running.
At home, Vincenzo thanks Cheol-wook and Yeon-jin – whose eyes are still pepper sprayed shut – for running off the intruders. The gathered tenants assume they must’ve been petty thieves if Cheol-wook could fight them, but Team Leader Ahn worries someone put a hit out on Vincenzo.
Inside, Vincenzo hears loud cooing coming from his bedroom and finds Inzaghi and a friend chilling after ripping apart his bedding. Unable to catch them, he cedes his room to the pigeons. Later that night, someone knocks rapidly on his door.
Cha-young invites herself in and eats his ramyeon. Since the pigeons claimed his bedroom, Vincenzo lets Cha-young sleep on the sofa while he sleeps on the living room floor. He allows her to ask two more Mafia related questions.
She asks about Mafia bosses, and Vincenzo says not all are heartless like in the media. He shares that his boss Fabio was like a father to him. Cha-young next asks if Vincenzo has ever had to dole out Mafia justice himself.
Vincenzo looks uncomfortable as he lies that he’s never killed anyone – he’s just a lawyer. Cha-young seems relieved as she says she thought so and goes on about how Vincenzo wouldn’t do that, even for the Mafia. It’s not that she’d cut ties with him if he had killed, but he’d seem distant, like someone “trapped in a mural.”
Cha-young thinks that’d be a sad existence, but Vincenzo says he wants a life away from people. She assumes he doesn’t want to get hurt by others and laughs when he argues he’s just tired of people asking him for money. That night, Vincenzo dreams of the people he’s killed and tortured.
The next morning, Cha-young sees an article about Chief Prosecutor Hwang’s sidekick dying. Supposedly, Prosecutor Seo drove off a cliff while drunk. Vincenzo dismisses the idea that it’s related to their break-ins – this death was too meticulous.
Over breakfast, Joon-woo notices Chairman Jang’s nervous behavior and guesses he startled him last night. He mentions that he’s sent someone to Italy to do a check on Vincenzo and cautions that things must go perfectly from now on. Chairman Jang haltingly says he has something to tell Joon-woo. Whatever it is makes Joon-woo throw his glass against the wall in rage.
Joon-woo video calls Cha-young from the office. He comments that her house looks different, and then Vincenzo pops into the frame. Cha-young nonchalantly says she slept at Vincenzo’s place and hangs up amidst Joon-woo’s sputtering.
When Vincenzo heads out, he’s startled to see Team Leader Ahn literally lying in wait under his car. He acts all furtive and passes Vincenzo his contact info in case he’s in danger. Pfft, it’s one of those pop-up cards and has Team Leader Ahn’s face in the center of a heart.
Team Leader Ahn is sure Vincenzo has noticed that he’s no mere kitchen assistant. He gives some knowing winks and runs off … promptly falling on his face. Naturally, Vincenzo is confused by this whole interaction.
Jipuragi focuses their efforts on the people around Chairman Jang. Given the tightened security, they’ll have to find a more indirect way to get to the real boss. While Cha-young digs deeper into why Jong-moon is being protected by the prosecution, Vincenzo goes to meet Young-woon. The hackers succeeded in getting Wang Shaolin’s (the commissioner of the gold room) biometrics, so their next step is vacating Nanyak Temple.
Vincenzo pays the monks a visit and is surprised to see Mi-ri there praying. Apparently, she’s converted to Buddhism. She leaves but lurks outside to eavesdrop while Vincenzo tries to convince Monk Jeokha to move out. Despite Vincenzo’s arguments that it’s not safe here, the monks are determined to stay and fight for Geumga Plaza.
At Wusang, Attorney Han frets about how far things have gone, but Myung-hee argues they defected to the dark side long ago. Joon-woo barges in and asks Myung-hee to relay a message to Chief Prosecutor Hwang. Cut to prosecutors swarming Taesan Bank with their iconic blue boxes.
Meanwhile, CEO Park and his diminished team try to rebuild with the little they have left. They move into an empty unit in Geumga Plaza and rebrand as a travel agency. The tenants aren’t happy, but they have more pressing matters.
They hold a meeting where they decide to hunt for the gold together and split what they find. The tenants disagree on whether the gold should be split evenly, but they don’t want to ask Jipuragi since that would mean letting three more people in on their treasure hunt.
The Jipuragi team watches a news report on two bank presidents being arrested, and Vincenzo puts together that Babel killed Prosecutor Seo as a threat to Chief Prosecutor Hwang. Cha-young gets a call from Prosecutor Jung, so she and Vincenzo head out to meet him.
A fan of their Babel case work, Prosecutor Jung eagerly shares his suspicions that Jong-moon is intending to strike a deal with Babel. When Vincenzo explains that Chairman Jang is a decoy boss, Prosecutor Jung recalls Jong-moon’s remarks about “those jerks” not respecting the former chairman even in death.
They put together that Jong-moon was referring to both sons, and Prosecutor Jung realizes Jong-moon’s call to a burner phone must’ve been to the real boss who is likely Chairman Jang’s older brother. Unfortunately for Cha-young and Vincenzo, Prosecutor Jung is very straightlaced and won’t entertain their more creative methods.
At home, Joon-woo looks at the picture one of his spies sent of Cha-young, Vincenzo, and Prosecutor Jung meeting. Chairman Jang flounces in quite proud of himself and presents a document to Joon-woo. It looks like Babel got an American backer and partner for RDU-90 manufacturing. And now, both banks that were investigated have invested in Babel.
To make things worse, Prosecutor Jung calls and says Jong-moon is denying everything which means he’s sided with Babel. Out of options, Prosecutor Jung agrees to Jipuragi’s less-than-legal idea. They’ll pretend to be assassins from Babel to get what they need out of Jong-moon.
When they get to the safehouse that night, the police guards and Jong-moon are already dead. As if that weren’t enough, Cha-young gets a worrisome text from one of the victims apologizing for the rash plan they’re about to enact. We cut to a van parked in a reed field.
That night, Myung-hee stuffs her face in her office, Attorney Han practices his golf swing, Chairman Jang plays with his new gun, and Joon-woo dances alone to his own awesomeness. In the early hours of the morning, Vincenzo and Cha-young rush to the field. Everyone in the van is dead.
That trip was obviously going to end in death; everyone was too happy. The deaths keep piling up in this drama. I’m not even sure what the death count is at this point, and we’re not even halfway. Most of the deaths have been strategic and for a purpose, but Joon-woo’s killing of that prosecutor was something else. That scene was particularly disturbing for the casual brutality and the way Joon-woo reveled in it. His joy contrasted with everyone else’s horror created such a chilling tone. Given Joon-woo’s reign of terror, it’s just as likely Babel will implode as be taken down by outside forces. Chairman Jang is this close to mutiny, and I’m wondering if Attorney Han is going to break. He’s not made of the same stuff Myung-hee is, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he either defects or ends up dead or both. The crazier Joon-woo gets, the more likely he’ll be taken down by his supposed allies.
Since Joon-woo is looking into Vincenzo’s past in Italy, it’s only a matter of time before Vincenzo’s Mafia involvement comes out. I know Vincenzo is trying to move on from his violent past, but taking down someone like Joon-woo might require him to go a little darker than he’s been of late. I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of rooting for a full-on dark Vincenzo. Not that I’m a fan of violent retribution per se, but it’d be a more interesting narrative move. This episode highlighted how Vincenzo is still grappling with his Mafia past, so I imagine that will be more of a theme going forward and might foreshadow choices he’ll have to make as things progress. The look in Vincenzo’s eyes at the end of this episode makes me think he may not be far from doling out some Mafia-style justice.
Besides Babel’s insanity, there’s also the break-in at Vincenzo’s and the attack on Cha-young to deal with. If those events really aren’t related to Babel and Wusang, then that means Jipuragi has even more enemies. Although, those enemies don’t seem particularly competent, so there’s that. And then, there’s still the issue of the gold. Now that the tenants are poking around and Mi-ri overheard Vincenzo trying to convince the monks to move, Vincenzo is going to have a hard time sneaking the gold out even if his and Young-woon’s plan to get in the safe works.
I knew there’d be some tragic reason Kyung-ja gave Vincenzo up, so it’s not surprising if she did so because she thought she was dying. How cruel, then, that she was “miraculously” healed years later when it was likely too late for her to get him back. I’m looking forward to seeing mother and son lay it all out in the open because they both keep so much bottled inside. Until they deal with their issues, they’ll both remain stuck in the past. We haven’t heard anything really about Vincenzo’s adoptive parent(s), which is curious. His surname is Cassano like the Mafia family, but was he given that name later or was he actually legally adopted by someone in that family? He refers to his boss Fabio as being like a father, which I’m guessing means he’s not his adoptive father. Hopefully, we’ll dive into backstory a little more as we move into the latter half of the drama.