Vincenzo: Episode 17
Our lead’s grief sends him on the warpath, eager to dole out vengeance in the way he knows best. As he takes on Babel with renewed resolve, he’s supported by his tenant family who is ready to go all-in on this fight. But, as always, there are crosses and double-crosses thrown into the mix that add a layer of unpredictability on both sides of this dangerous game.
Vincenzo enters the villa with a vengeance. After he kills the man who murdered his mother, he trains his gun on each person in the room. They panic when he fires off several shots around them.
Everyone cowers while Vincenzo calmly says that killing his mother was both evil and foolish. He’d let them live until now because it’d be a hassle to kill them, but they’ve just sealed their deaths.
He calms them as they scream and whimper, saying that he won’t kill them today. Instead, he vows to give them two things: humiliation and a slow, agonizing death. Vincenzo orders them to “clean up the trash” and warns them against pinning the man’s death on him.
Vincenzo has one last order of business before he leaves. Joon-woo scrambles back as Vincenzo advances. To give him a taste of what’s to come, Vincenzo shoots him in the ear.
Once he’s finished, Vincenzo goes to see his mother’s body. He breaks down sobbing, resting his bloody hand on her forehead, and finally calls her “Mom.”
All the tenants show up in support at the funeral, after which Cha-young accompanies Vincenzo to Kyung-ja’s grave. Vincenzo feels like her death is his fault, but Cha-young argues he brought joy back into his mother’s life, even if it was for a brief time. Vincenzo confesses that he already misses her and breaks down in tears. Cha-young pats his back while he cries.
That night, Vincenzo sits at home in the dark with the scarf his mother made and reads the letter she wrote to Cha-young. She asks her to give the scarf to her son once she’s gone since it’s the only thing she has to give.
Kyung-ja asks Cha-young to take care of Vincenzo and relay her words to him: “Ju-hyeong, you were my blessing and happiness. You were the reason I carried on living.” There was never a moment that she didn’t love him, but she apologizes for not being able to show him that love. Vincenzo cries as he reads her letter.
Meanwhile, Joon-woo has a temper tantrum at the hospital while the nurses try to do their jobs and disinfect his only mildly damaged ear. He flips out when Han-seo and Myung-hee dare suggest he stay and get treated. Joon-woo eventually agrees so long as Myung-hee promises to make sure Vincenzo suffers a painful death.
Vincenzo dreams of his vicious Mafia deeds again, particularly the man he murdered in his car. Vincenzo’s eyes widen to see a child clutching a teddy bear and turning fearful eyes on him. Then, he sees his own time at the orphanage, which leads to memories of meeting Kyung-ja again.
The next morning, Young-woon comes over, bringing Vincenzo guns and bullets; Vincenzo is ready to make his opening chess move against Babel. He heads downstairs to find all the tenants waiting for him.
Hee-soo tears up and gives him a warm hug. Hong-shik says they’ve all closed their shops for now so they can go all in on the fight with Babel. Everyone from pregnant Yeon-jin to CEO Park offers to do whatever they can.
Team Leader Ahn realizes his lifelong dream by saying they’re all part of the Cassano family now. Vincenzo can’t say anything as he stares into their earnest faces and Hee-soo holds his hand.
Joon-woo is extra touchy as he prepares for the auction that day. Vincenzo calls him and lets him know their game of chess starts today. He taunts that losing all your pieces and being left alone on the board is humiliating. Joon-woo insists he won’t lose, but Vincenzo tells him in Italian that the beginning of defeat is fear, so he’s already losing.
At Geumga Plaza, the tenants wonder what they can do to help Vincenzo. Just then, Joo-sung waltzes in with Vincenzo’s black credit card and says they’re going shopping for the Cassano uniform.
Soon, everyone is stylin’ in their new black suits and shades, strutting down the street. Elsewhere, Cha-young and Vincenzo look over the construction permit for Babel Tower and prepare for their next step.
By the time Joon-woo and his team arrive for the Babel Tower auction, the tenants have thoroughly infiltrated the event as fake workers. While Han-seo and Joon-woo kick off the auction, the tenants carefully guard the hall outside.
Vincenzo and Cha-young watch a live feed of the proceedings from a hotel room. Midway through, one of Vincenzo’s minions arrives and is let into the auction by Cheol-wook. The minion catches Myung-hee’s eye and she jumps back in shock, but she tells Joon-woo she doesn’t know him.
The man reveals a bomb strapped to his chest and a bomb hidden inside a cake. He tells the terrified attendees that he was kidnapped and has been following orders through texts, so he doesn’t know who’s behind this.
We flash back to the hotel room when Vincenzo instructed the minion to ensure everyone thinks it’s a real bomb. He tells the minions that they’re free after this job and should leave the country right when it’s finished.
When the minion orders everyone at the auction to cut ties with Joon-woo and annul their Babel Tower contracts, Joon-woo realizes Vincenzo is behind it. They’re suspicious that the bombs are fake, so the minion proclaims the miniature Babel Tower will explode in five seconds.
He counts down … and the bomb on his chest explodes. Daaamn. The panicked crowd begins screaming and banging on the doors.
In the hotel room, Cha-young stares in shock, clearly unaware of this part of the plan. Vincenzo reminds her he promised he wouldn’t let the men responsible for her father’s death escape. He’d planned to let her push the button but, in the end, thought it’d be better if he did the deed himself.
When Cha-young puts her head in her hands and stands shakily, Vincenzo asks if she changed her mind about punishing the men. Cha-young recalls seeing her father’s dead body with the now-dead minion walking right by her. She pulls herself together and says she stands by her decision.
Amidst the chaos in the auction room, everyone’s phones start going off. Mi-ri sends a group text relaying Vincenzo’s instructions: find their contract and eat it, after which they must kneel and swear to disavow Babel.
Everyone follows his orders without hesitation while Joon-woo and his clique watch on. They all receive a final text commanding them to make sure no one knows this event ever happened. And with that, they’re all set free.
Han-seo tries to warn Joon-woo that they should pay attention to the cake, but he’s dismissed. Of course, the timer on the cake bomb starts up again. The “bomb” goes off, spraying champaign everywhere. Up in their room, Cha-young is surprised how easily they won this round.
The next day, Attorney Han goes to see someone asking for a meeting with “the elder.” He wants to talk to him about the Guillotine file.
Meanwhile, the second minion goes to see Myung-hee and admits to defecting to Vincenzo’s team (somewhat involuntarily). He drops to his knees and begs for her to save him. She tells him to explain everything over drinks, and he hops in her car.
Elsewhere, Vincenzo and Han-seo play ice hockey. It turns out Han-seo tipped Vincenzo off about the auction. Eager to be of use, he agrees to tell Vincenzo if there are any power shifts after recent events. Then, he smiles anxiously as he double-checks that Vincenzo isn’t planning to kill him.
When Vincenzo goes to leave, Han-seo asks him to wait and skates after him. They get their own little romantic moment when Han-seo slips on the ice and Vincenzo catches him. Afterward, Han-seo steels himself and mumbles unintelligibly a couple of times before bringing himself to thank Vincenzo for opening his eyes to how foolish he’s been.
Vincenzo stares at him for a beat and then whacks Han-seo’s hockey stick out from under him, knocking Han-seo on his butt. Han-seo just smiles like “that Vincenzo.” Meanwhile, in the middle of nowhere, Myung-hee has the minion beaten to death and buried by her subordinates.
After getting some tips from Vincenzo and Cha-young on how to engage the enemy, the tenants go out in their snazzy new suits and blackmail the attendees of the auction using the recording of the event. They manage to halt Babel Tower’s construction and the redevelopment of Geumga Plaza.
At Babel, Joon-woo makes Han-seo nervous by saying that getting shot by Vincenzo reminded him of how Han-seo shot him. Joon-woo doesn’t seem angry, though, when he says that he’s grateful to be alive. He reminds Han-seo that they’ve only got each other.
Joon-woo reveals that Han-seo’s mother once asked him to be nice to Han-seo and look after him, even if he didn’t give him anything. Joon-woo surprises Han-seo by saying that, now that Han-seo is smarter, he’s going to give him Babel Bio as a test run. He can have Babel Chemicals or Pharmaceuticals if he does well.
After displaying the required amount of humility by insisting he doesn’t deserve it, Han-seo happily accepts. Joon-woo is strangely accommodating and even gives his brother a non-threatening hug. I keep waiting for him to go berserk, but he doesn’t.
While Attorney Han meets with Candidate Park (the “elder” he’d asked to meet earlier) to talk about the Guillotine file, the Jipuragi team notes that real estate is a common theme throughout the file. Specifically, Babel has been in cahoots with a developer called IUDC.
Candidate Park, who’s running for president, not only bought up land around Babel Tower but his brother-in-law is head of IUDC. Now, Candidate Park listens in disbelief to Attorney Han’s story that an Italian mafioso has both trillions in gold and the Guillotine file buried under what will soon be Babel Tower. In another bid to protect himself, Attorney Han offers (begs) to be Candidate Park’s shield.
Vincenzo visits Nanyak Temple to make another plea to the monks to move. For their own safety, of course. They’re content where they are, but they do have a question for Vincenzo. We don’t get to hear said question, but Vincenzo smiles smugly once he leaves.
Joon-woo, Han-seo, and Myung-hee meet with some of their important connections like Director Tae, hoping to bribe them into getting Babel Tower built. Afterward, Joon-woo calls them his “pawns,” making Han-seo look away and roll his eyes before praising his cultured chess analogy. Pfft.
Over at Jipuragi, Team Leader Ahn happily introduces Director Tae to the team. In a flashback, Vincenzo lets Team Leader Ahn in on the fact that he has the Guillotine file. Team Leader Ahn wholeheartedly agrees to trust Vincenzo and let him use the file before turning it over.
Vincenzo had then sent him to tell Director Tae everything. They’d had him infiltrate the corrupt elites to get close to Babel. He’d also scared people out of going after Vincenzo.
Now, Director Tae brings Jipuragi his recording of the latest meeting at Joon-woo’s. Director Tae is shocked to see his former agent Young-woon at the office, and Team Leader Ahn gets all excited to realize they’re colleagues. He even gets the satisfaction of, surprisingly, being the sunbae in the relationship with Young-woon having to be deferential.
At Joon-woo’s, they get a shock of their own when Candidate Park’s right-hand man Chief Kim shares that Attorney Han is going to be appointed as a chief prosecutor. He then orders them not to go after Vincenzo because it’d cause an international issue.
Joon-woo bristles at being told what to do, but he’s stunned speechless when Chief Kim remarks, “For a boy who poisoned his own father, you sure talk back a lot.”
Angering Joon-woo further, Chief Kim suggests – in a very commanding way – that Han-seo take over the company again for now. Han-seo and Attorney Han secretly wink at each other, while Joon-woo and Myung-hee fume. But seeing as Chief Kim is speaking for the (likely) next president, they can only push back so much.
Han-seo and Attorney Han celebrate their win over drinks. But Han-seo freezes when Attorney Han says that Interpol will arrest Vincenzo within 24 hours. Attorney Han got in touch with Paulo to find a crime Vincenzo committed that he could report to Interpol.
Han-seo ecstatically applauds his strategy. Later, he stares at pictures of his brother and Vincenzo and laughs as he wonders who’ll come out on top.
While the Jipuragi team watches Attorney Han accept his chief prosecutor position on TV, Vincenzo gets a call from Han-seo saying he has something urgent to tell him. As the Interpol agents arrive in the country, Vincenzo meets Han-seo on the ice rink.
Han-seo sighs that he doesn’t like having to make these tough decisions. He’s had fun with Vincenzo, but their time is over. Han-seo pulls out a gun and turns to face Vincenzo, but Vincenzo is faster and already has his gun trained on Han-seo.
Vincenzo notes that Han-seo is just like his brother and assumes he must’ve achieved his goal if he’s betraying him like this. Scared now that he’s facing a gun, Han-seo tries unsuccessfully to convince Vincenzo his own gun isn’t loaded. Vincenzo clicks off the safety and tells Han-seo to shoot.
Suddenly, Interpol and a SWAT team burst in and surround them. Their guns aimed at Vincenzo, they announce his arrest and demand he lower his weapon. Vincenzo turns slightly toward them, and a shot rings out. Blood blossoms on Vincenzo’s chest as Han-seo’s gun smokes.
Han-seo’s gun is still raised as he stares with wide eyes, seeming shocked at what he just did, while Vincenzo drops to his knees. They stare at each other until Vincenzo collapses unconscious on the ice, blood pooling around him.
And I liked you, Han-seo! I was rooting for him, at least, to be redeemed a little and be better than his family. He seemed to genuinely like Vincenzo, so I’d hoped he’d stay on their side. But with the environment he’s grown up in, it’s not unexpected that he’d devalue people and focus solely on power. Of course, with how often things turn out to be feints in this drama, who knows? It’d be quite the gutsy move to kill off the main character with three episodes to go, so I’m assuming Vincenzo survives this latest shooting. I wouldn’t even be surprised if it’s another fake shooting like the one from the warehouse many episodes ago. I don’t fully believe anything I see since there are so many red herrings, and we usually don’t have the whole picture. Take the Director Tae situation, for example. Once again, we got a fake-out where we were only given enough information to mislead us into thinking he was one of the baddies.
Assuming Vincenzo really did get shot, even if he survives intact, this Interpol situation doesn’t look good for him. If Paolo gave Attorney Han evidence of a crime, particularly of international scale, it should be harder for Vincenzo to scheme his way out of this one. I do kind of wonder, though, why they wouldn’t employ this method sooner. If there’s evidence of Vincenzo’s crimes lying around, you’d think his enemies would make use of it. And why is it so easy to get ahold of the Mafia? Everyone just calls them up to chat on the phone whenever they have a question.
I have to admit, it’s quite gratifying to see Myung-hee and Joon-woo cower in fear. They’re all big and bad until faced with the same threats of violence they’ve consistently used against everyone else. They might have the influence and power, but Vincenzo is the fearless one. He’s always so composed and in control, even when he’s exacting vengeance for the murder of his mother. Like Vincenzo said, Joon-woo’s fear could be the start of his downfall. He comes off as so much more desperate, and now he’s even losing backing. Also, Joon-woo was suspiciously nice to Han-seo this episode. There’s no way he gave Han-seo a subsidiary out of the non-existent goodness of his heart; he must have a game plan. I guess that’s kind of irrelevant since Han-seo is being reinstated as the official chairman, at least for now. I wonder if having the backing of Candidate Park will make Han-seo bolder and more open in his fight with his brother for the company.
Speaking of family, I love how the tenants have come through for Vincenzo; they even closed their shops to make sure they can jump into the fray against Babel. They’ve obviously adopted Vincenzo as family, and right now, I think he needs that. Hopefully, having people who care about him will help him not lose himself in his grief and rage. Although Cha-young shares Vincenzo’s thirst for vengeance and his eye-for-an-eye sense of justice, she was pretty shaken by that guy’s death. Maybe she didn’t realize how nice Vincenzo had been playing until now, or maybe she was just shocked seeing someone die violently in front of her eyes and being party to it. She did agree with his decision in the end, but she’s obviously not used to the ruthlessness of Vincenzo’s world. Not that anyone should be. I just hope they can end this fight without everyone dying in the process.