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The Veil: Episodes 3-4 Open Thread

The only thing that moves faster than this week’s plot is our agent when he’s encircled by enemies. Determined to get to the truth about the operation that’s sent him down the rabbit hole, he’s willing to risk anything to get one step closer. With its second week just as satisfying as the first, I’m here to say I’m totally hooked.

 
EPISODES 3-4 WEECAP

Before we get into the tons of action and plot we hit this week, I just have to say how much I adore a larger-than-life hero. There’s something to be said for slice-of-life stories, but really, there’s nothing more satisfying than a hero that’s utterly fearless, takes down scores of bad guys, is intuitive enough to be ten steps ahead, and is smart enough to know just what to say when it needs to be said. A hero like this makes the story, and Namgoong Min is selling this role with fanfare. From the insane action scenes to the micro-expressions that we see on his face (that expressive brow ♥), when I’m watching this drama I’m completely sucked in.

Our cliffhanger last week left the Huayang “leader” showing off that he knew Ji-hyuk all too well, and Ji-hyuk with a giant black hole in his memory that he’s still trying to fill in. Like any good agent, he starts with his strongest leads, and that’s LEE CHOON-GIL (Lee Jae-kyoon), his North Korean defector informant. Ji-hyuk remembers him at the safe house door before everything goes black, so he picks up that lead and runs with it.

It’s here that his new partner Ye-ji starts to show her worth, and even though she has zero field experience and seems like she belongs in a coffee shop instead of a shoot-out, they team up a bit more and run some decent ops together.

This week’s episodes explore two different leads (Huayang and a new hacker plot line). However, instead of feeling episodic (God forbid), they felt like pieces of the same puzzle, because the overarching case looms over everything.

The first plot arc is around Mo-sool and Huayang’s drug ring in Korea. Thanks to Choon-gil, Ji-hyuk is able to push into his forgotten memories a bit more. He recalls that Choon-gil was indeed at the safe house door, but he had called him out to tell him that their presence was compromised and that it looks like the leak came from within the NIS. Ji-hyuk gets one step closer in the past, which helps his investigation, but he’s still handicapped in the present, as Huayang always seems to know an important handful of things that he doesn’t.

While investigating the shipping container and drug routes they’ve set up, Ji-hyuk is captured and taken to a glitzy hotel penthouse where he’s tortured by Mo-sool. This man is beyond insane, and though the terrifying lunatic drug lord character has been played many a time, this guy really knocks it out of the park.

Every time we think Ji-hyuk has misstepped and is truly in danger, we learn that he’s planned one step ahead of that. So for instance, the GPS tracker they find on him was actually a decoy, and the true tracker is one he’s swallowed. But Ye-ji isn’t meant to raid the penthouse until he forces himself to throw it up (of course he can throw upon command) and take it offline, which is the signal.

When he gets the better of Mo-sool and his thugs, the scene turns into an utter bloodbath — so much that there’s not much for Ye-ji to do when she finally arrives. Even though Mo-sool has escaped, they secure important info on their disgusting meth lab techniques, and Ji-hyuk is able to be with Choon-gil and to hear his dying words.

This blood and mayhem is looked over by the NIS because Ji-hyuk has been on a brief “sick leave.” But of course they’re all smarter than that — Deputy Commissioner Jo knows he’ll really be pursuing the case, Ji-hyuk knows that she knows, and in the same way, the agents are always playing ten steps ahead of each other, and twisting the situation to work for them, as they must.

At the close of Episode 3, we learn that Ye-ji isn’t as dewy and innocent as she seems — well, maybe she is as innocent, but her motives are not. Much like Ji-hyuk, she’s got her own secret investigation going, since her deceased father was also deeply involved in the case. This was a bit of a weaker (and expected) twist, and I don’t really like Ye-ji much, but I’ll take it, because Episode 4 is very much about Ye-ji and her connection to an agent that worked closely with Ji-hyuk for many years.

This agent was Ye-ji’s mentor, and his young son CHOI SANG-KYUN (Ahn Ji-ho known for his breakout role in Nobody Knows) is quite close to her. He’s been patiently waiting for her to solve his father’s “suicide” case, but decides to take matters into his own hands when she takes too long.

Sang-kyun happens to be a genius hacker who has a Plan B all ready to go. He uses his father’s laptop to hack into the NIS servers, and this kicks off an elaborate game of cat and mouse. But the game of cat and mouse is not only between Sang-kyun and the NIS, but within the NIS itself. The more we see the inner workings, the more we learn how the Domestic and Foreign units are in an internal war with each other.

The Domestic team is put in charge of Sang-kyun’s case, but who comes to his rescue in the middle of a Yeouido shopping mall, and later the subway? Ji-hyuk, displaying some more awesome moves, and working in concert with Ye-ji.

The plot of The Veil plays with a lot the idea of trust, whether it’s winning someone’s trust, losing it, building it over a common enemy — or even abusing it. “Always make the other person think they’re using you,” says Ji-hyuk. It’s a tactic he uses successfully again and again.

As the plot line with Sang-kyun escalates, his mistrust of Ji-hyuk eventually lands him in NIS custody. Luckily, Ji-hyuk is able to talk to him off the record, with about a 5-minute window to save the entire bulk of the NIS servers from destruction. We have to believe that Sang-kyun’s hacking skills are this good, but I’m willing to do so, because the interplay between the characters and timelines is just that good. To win his trust, Ji-hyuk comes clean to Sang-kyun, and we learn about the rapport between Ji-hyuk and Sang-kyun’s father.

Sang-kyun’s father was helping Ji-hyuk while on his ill-fated operation in China, and we learn a lot more not only about the op, but the fact that they were closing in on the “rat” that seemed to be in their midst. Whether Ji-hyuk was told who it was or not, he doesn’t remember, and shortly after was Sang-kyun’s father’s “suicide.”

The drama (and Namgoong Min, let’s face it) does such a superb job of tractor-beaming us in. Ji-hyuk seems to know exactly what to say to this hurting boy, and his adeptness wins him an important bit of secret intel, which becomes our twist of the week: the person his father identified as the mole? Her name was Seo Soo-yeon.

Despite being gorgeous and sexy, Soo-yeon has been quite unlikable from the start. We’re supposed to believe that she’s still grieving over the death of Hwang Hee’s character, but there’s something about it that never quite landed for me. Was she really the mole that compromised their mission? She seems to hate Ji-hyuk to the bone, but perhaps the reason for that is different than we were led to believe.

Either way, each week we get a whole new layer of this plot onion peeled away, and the multi-layered unraveling is a lot of fun. The brutal violence continues to be a bit much, but in a way I appreciate this drama’s absolutely unforgiving approach to the brutality that doing this job, and doing it well, requires.

On a final note, The Veil is using their great OST to nail those episode-ending twists much like the early episodes of You Are My Spring did. There’s something so satisfying about that feeling when the music cues, and your brain gets ready for the twist to drop.

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I love a good kdrama, but the one thing they do badly is drug addicts. I'm always confused as to what drugs the addicts are supposed to be on even if they tell us. Some of these symptoms are not from meth folks. Anyway, had to get that off my chest. The fight choreography in this is pretty excellent and NGM excels in these parts. As for the plot itself, it continues to be fairly predictable,Ye Ji also having her own wall actually made me roll my eyes. I too don't particularly care for her, her character is so stereotypically bland it is hard to muster feeling her, plus the actress just doesn't seem that interesting.

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it's super offensive tbh. it used to be that even goddamn marijuana was portrayed as like this horrific drug. and it sucks i mean i've never done those types of hard drugs (heroin, meth, i won't even touch cocaine lmao) but they conflate everything on the same wavelength. and not understanding that drug use will not lead to addiction necessarily it's the way it is introduced in our lives. the fear of it is bonkers cause what happens when you encounter it? i shouldn't have been so exposed when i was 15 but i also had a reason to gravitate towards it.

some show talk about fucking zolpidem like it's going to make you a zombie when, yes, it is used recreationally but like i've had insomnia for years and been on it and it's really really REALLY hard to deal with this condition. then thinking that psychedelics are all like class-whatever drugs. i know drugs are super stigmatized over there but the hypocrisy with the excessive alcohol kills me. and you're right the symptoms don't line up because meth is not a glamorous drug. i know the use is going up in asia but i'm going to take a wild guess and say it's probably among a lot of poor people.

this is something that sincerely drives me nuts lmao according to them i'd be fucking dead with what i've done but my alcohol use seems to be okay??? idk it really makes me feel like shit when i know these experiences and i know that i'm fine? and i can imagine for people who are addicts or really struggle with it

(btw don't do drugs guys i mean like if u do do it recreationally but trust me if u take molly it is not the same as fucking heroin)

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OH even fucking amphetamine salts. so many people take adderrall to focus and get their shit done but a lot of us need the stimulants cos u know. adhd. that is indeed a thing. i don't do it for fun and you can't get high off of it or whatever happens when you have the neuroplasticity issue. WHATEVER IT REALLY DOES BUG ME it feels like they're saying they're scum and dirty and they /are/ like wouldn't an addict have enough on their plate esp if they r in asia? lmao --_____-- i wish theyd just not touch it if they dont know what any of it is. it's like when an actor smokes on camera but u can tell they don't smoke like girl we know udk what ur talking abt

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I'm you have my empathy. Anytime I see someone supposedly addicted to drugs in a drama, all I can think is that is not at all how this works. I have no idea why they portray people on drugs like this. It doesn't make any sense and is just bad. Helllooo drama writers, alcohol is just as bad a drug if not worse than some of the ones portrayed. This is something they need to work on 100%.

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exactly! and addicts deserve respect they literally call them scum. there's obviously a huge alcohol problem there but here and there (in a different way) the stigma is insane. most ironic is the marijuana thing since it's native to japan ergo i'm gonna take a wild guess and say it probably grows near SK at least lmao.

it's sad—the shame is why it stays in the dark. and if we took it seriously we could have healthier ways (on tv) to interact with it but it's so over the top you can't take it seriously. it's not even scary it's literally like so misinformed! my blood boils when they call addicts gross names it's so frickin unfair they go through enough.

would love to know the alcoholism rates but i know that shit isn't reported like it should be. also alcohol is a drug, so is nicotine lol hjmm two things that are v popular there.....but what do we know ;)

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"Helllooo drama writers, alcohol is just as bad a drug if not worse than some of the ones portrayed."

This right here!! The times I've seen characters plummet hard after drinking non-stop continuously, & it not being addressed is plenty. Addiction of any kind is a beast, & often times very harrowing esp. to their loved ones.

Side note: Its been a while, but Heartless City (One of the government guys whose in The Veil was the Meth King there). I recall there was some sympathy for one of the drug addicts there. I believe it was Yoon Hyun Min's character, but they at least gave him sympathetic attributes in the end. I digress...but yes to your comment!

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I totally agree with you about Ye Ji. I don't like her and I don't trust her. Maybe she's the one who's helping JiHyuk from the beginning, but I hate how stereotyped she is, although she's not alone, I rolled my eyes at Soon Yeon going hysterical in the control room at the train station... when she shouted "Don't move until I tell you" I was like... ok, we have the candy girl and the hysterical one. Great.

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Yeah, the women are not written... well

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I'll be honest. I, personally, am watching this drama only because of Nam Goong Min. He is so electrifying in anything he does! Be it comedy or drama. His charm is no joke. The plot in this drama is something very similar to other action dramas I have seen. It is not providing us anything new. But this is watchable only because of Nam Goong Min I think.

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Aka shows led by veteran talents/established names. Well for me at least, knowing that a trusted actor is leading this makes you more engrossed in the story. He really put his soul/body into this role, which I respect esp. since he's a bit older now.

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I just have to say how much I adore a larger-than-life hero.

Also larger than his past self from other shows. Not that I'm saying you and other Beanies are being superficial or anything.

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i don't even like him and i'm like

read
seen
perceived
he got yoked and wowwwwpofihouagshgijpok[ ok anyways

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You can call me superficial. I really don't care.

*waves while smiling*

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the person his father identified as the mole? Her name was Seo Soo-yeon.

Who conveniently just happens to have more villain-y hair than in most past outings.

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Lol. That hair is enough to give anyone pause but when you pair it with that amount of black eye makeup, well...
They are working so hard to make her unlikable this early I feel that there will be quite a bit more to find out about her. I will never like her though, such a jerk

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This is the hairstylist that must be fired. I seriously think they are going for the DarthVader look, i almost expect her to breathe(or wheeze) very loudly.

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I thought she was wearing a wig! It's too dark and straight to be real one , right?

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It reminded me of Evangeline Lilly's hair from Ant Man. The whole female boss types with type A hair style. I believe Park Ha Sun's hair here is real/not a wig, she had the same do when she was on a variety show practicing lines for The Veil. I say lots of hair enhancers/straightening and time spent :D. I think she looks badass/sexy (as missvictrix said!) w/ the cut/style.

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"...villain-y hair..."

*laughing*

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I love that Namgoong mins character is quiet and not particularly wordy, so that when he does have something to say you turn up the volume and tune everything else out.
I have to laugh at Director Ha whenever he tries to get grabby with Ji-hyuk, it looks like he's trying to shift a tank.

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I am still enjoying the show. I thought the hacker story was quick filler since it resolved with only one reveal which may or may not be true. Seo Soo-yeon's hair style from the beginning gave off the Uma Thurman Kill Bill character vibe. Is she a grieving GF or revengeful killer (we don't know if he took her to the resort)?

The tug of war between intelligence departments seems petty and childish. The show has not show any accountability for the violent deaths of innocent bystanders. Instead, HJH continues to Rambo on in his personal mission.

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why he look so good?

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Eternal question. Why? How?

*very big sigh*

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Lots of push ups and weightlifting it seems :P

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I have to say, Park Ha-sun's hair is ridiculous as an agent/for a secret mission.
She get unnecessary attention with that hair.

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I have to agree with you about everything, from how NGM is nailing his role (on the other hand, when doesn't he? Even in Awaken, that weird drama...), to the action scenes, to plot (even with the predictable twists), to the music.

I'm utterly enjoying everything, but the two female leads. The candy and the hysterical baddie. I really hope another twist and that they gain a brain and a personality with it.

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RE: "This man is beyond insane, and though the terrifying lunatic drug lord character has been played many a time, this guy really knocks it out of the park." AGREE!! When he sniffed Ji-Hyun gave me the creep so much, I was so grossed out and I don't even know why.
The actor thay olay Choon Gil is really good, his screen time was short but I was already cheering for him!

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NGM is straight up a beast here! He went the Christian Bale route of morphing his body to extremes after his slim figure beforehand. Although, I do digress he always was fit but here wowzers that fight/hand to hand combat scene :O. R Rated for sure, MBC went there for the first time it seems ?. Also I've seen some grotesque shows, but I felt the action/fight scenes here are more gruesome/visceral than I recall from K-dramas imo esp since this is airing on Network TV. I think b/c the violence here is gross/jarring, that it makes the viewers recoil in horror at it.

Haha, I love the shoutout to Park Ha Sun's character being gorgeous and sexy. Her blunt hairdo is the epitome of dgaf vibes, & I'm here for it. Kim Ji-eun's role is there to diffuse the tension, & make scenes bright so I see why the writer wrote her like that. But thus far, she's been competent and smart so I'm ok with her. Again, 12 episodes is perfect for this genre, too much & it drags/less action set pieces, so this is just the right amount. I'm intrigued to see if our ML's memory can be trusted, & the bigger boss behind this whole ordeal.

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I'm kinda disapointed by the writing of the female characters. They're just here to make the ML shine. It's NGM, it doesn't need this to shine!

The young hacker reminded me so much Kwak Dong-Yeon! They have the same way to speak.

There are so many possibilites for the villain. I don't think it's Soo-Yeon, it's too soon and she really cared for her boyfriend.

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I hope its not Soo-yeon either, I was hoping she'd eventually team up with NGM.

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Tbh, it really is the NGM show. He has the most biggest role, & the showiest set pieces. However, maybe b/c I seen some meh/not so smart females in other dramas of this genre, I was pleasantly surprised that our rookie agent had some smarts/a good willpower to keep on moving. Now, that I think about it, its not as ubiquitous (in my viewings) to find a drama sometimes, where the FL isn't overpowered by the ML nor is her persona all related to the ML.

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It was so nice to see the young actor Ahn Ji-ho playing Sang-kyun.
It reminded me of the wonderful NOBODY KNOWS of which he was a big part.

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Jae Yi..not Ye Ji

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Haha when will we have another han yeo jin (fos) .
Probably the only fl in action kdrama that i like

smart,intelligence,know her place,not annoying or pushing ml ,great friend,calm ,never push hwang shi mok to open up himself,good listener,patience cool and strong
She work together with hwang shi mok,She gives good suggestions,listen to others and follow the plan,never did anything carelessly,she know when to follow the rule and order,and hwang shi mok can trust her to do something without worrying about her ,

I dont like how often in kdrama when fl forcing ml to let her join the investigation and endup make everthing more complicated,trying hard to go againts the order and later troubling everyone

Rarely kdrama has good written fl,

Sorry my english not verry good so pardon me for my mistake O_O

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Fight scenes were decently choreographed, at least for a kdrama, but I wish they were shot and edited better. ಠ_ಠ

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