Cafe Minamdang: Episodes 7-8
Amid all the heated rivalries and shaman shenanigans this week, the Minamdang crew and the police team are forced to work together in the face of the realities of violence against women.
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP
Thank the drama gods that Su-cheol arrives just in time to save Han-jun from an untimely death by choking. Su-cheol chases the suspicious nurse all around the hospital, but still loses him.
Meanwhile, Han-jun and Jae-hui rush back to Yeong-seop’s room, but they only catch a few minutes with him before he dies. Oh no. Playing his role as the spirit-blessed shaman, Han-jun gives Yeong-seop peace, resulting in a last confession: Yeong-seop really didn’t kill anyone.
At the Minamdang hospital room, Han-jun demands an apology, insisting Jae-hui should’ve believed him and even threatening to wash away the DNA material he got from the suspect. He’s so overdramatic that Su-cheol and Hye-jun are feeling so embarrassed. Same. Jae-hui begrudgingly apologizes, so Han-jun hands over the DNA material. But unfortunately, it doesn’t match with any identity. Well, things aren’t going to be that easy.
Back home, Han-jun complains about the smelly food, igniting his clean freak sensibilities and an air purifier PPL. I was wondering when we’ll get those, which don’t usually work on me, but Seo In-gook is a great seller that I’m almost tempted. Damn.
Planning their next step, Han-jun points out that they need to start with investigating the sewer murder victim KANG EUN-HYE (Kim Min-seol). Laughing maniacally, he promises to catch Gopuri before Jae-hui does.
The next day, Jae-hui and Do-won track down Eun-hye’s friend who gives them a new lead: Eun-hye is actually a trainee at Joyce Entertainment. They’re surprised, however, when said friend informs them she already discussed this with a male detective (*cough* Su-cheol *cough*). Seems like our Minamdang crew is one step ahead of the police again.
Back at the cafe, a frazzled woman brings in her “possessed” brother to meet the infamous shaman. Everyone’s scared of the possibility of ghosts, but when the woman brings out a thick envelope of money, Han-jun is instantly hooked.
At the shaman lair, Han-jun prepares for the consultation. Watching from the CCTV, Hye-jun berates him for accepting when they don’t have any info on this allegedly possessed guy. But a panic-stricken Han-jun only stares at the CCTV camera — his comms earpiece is missing! Things get worse when Hye-jun finds a livestream of the session. Oh nooooo.
The unexpected customers are revealed to be part of a show called Fraudbusters, sent in by Jae-hui. Too bad for her, Han-jun still has a few tricks up his sleeves: his profiling skills. All throughout his interactions with the unexpected clients, he has been cataloging observations, including the hidden camera in the woman’s bag. Our resident shaman just ended up with two more clients in awe of him.
Han-jun leads his new converts out to the cafe. There, he confronts Jae-hui and Do-won about their scheme, as they try to make excuses.
But the confrontation is abruptly cut off when none other than Han-jun’s mother arrives, watching the livestream on her phone and finding out her son is the shaman. Yikes! Poor Deaconess Kim nearly faints in shock.
Nevertheless, the trio get back on track. Their next target: PARK JIN-SANG (Baek Seung-ik), the director of Joyce Entertainment and a son of Choekang Insurance’s chairman. The Choekang Group again!
With a string of criminal records under his belt, Director Park is infamous as “Pain in the Ass” and “MC Genie” whose favorite line is “Do you know who I am?” It’s a wonder Joyce Entertainment hasn’t gone bankrupt under his leadership. Well, Hye-jun says the company’s already in the red, but surprisingly, it got a lot of investments. Who’s putting money in a poorly managed company? Sus!
Elsewhere, Do-won privately meets (read: ambushes) Director Park to question him about Eun-hye. It also quickly becomes obvious that they know each other, as Do-won refers to the director’s father as “Uncle.” Are they relatives then? Hmm.
Rattled, Director Park visits an actual shaman. Unbeknownst to him, Minamdang’s dynamic duo has been tailing him. Su-cheol accidentally barges into the ritual and only narrowly escapes by running away with bananas covering his face. LOL. They enjoy the free bananas, but their mission to see the director’s wrist is still a failure.
So, Han-jun enlists the help of VVIP client Min-gyeong, who is so adorably excited to get a call from the shaman. She recommends his services to Joyce Entertainment for their upcoming audition, and Han-jun finally gets a face-to-face meeting with Director Park. He quickly checks the director’s wrist, but he has a pain relief patch on. Blast!
Meanwhile, Jae-hui suggests going undercover and joining the audition. Detectives Kim and Na dress up as flashy idol wannabes, ready to dazzle and frazzle — except they promptly get busted and kicked out.
No matter, Jae-hui and Detective Jang are ready to go in as aspiring idol duo Han Jenny and Du Jinny. LOL. When did they even get to prepare a performance? I wish the police team had better comedic timing like they had here.
Meanwhile, the director’s stone-faced assistant GU TAE-SU (Won Hyun-joon) recognizes Han-jun. As the audition starts, Assistant Gu gets an order: get rid of Han-jun immediately.
Assistant Gu quickly follows Han-jun to the restroom with a deadly injection. He’s only thwarted when a sparkly pink-clad Jae-hui barges in to demand why Han-jun has given their audition a pass when he knows she’s there undercover. Shushing her, Han-jun pulls her into a stall, even sitting her on his lap to hide her properly. Talk about awkward.
Acknowledging they have the same agenda right now, Han-jun and Jae-hui (finally!) agree to work together. Back at the audition room, the two wink at each other as Jae-hui now pretends to be a wannabe action star, who “accidentally” kicks a coffee cup at Director Park…? The two bicker about their failed plan. Scratch that, it really is an accident. Oops.
Double oops. Because as the spilled coffee gets on an electric wire, poor Director Park gets electrocuted. It does give Han-jun a chance to check his wrist. But there’s no scar. Mission success, I guess?
As the director is taken away in an ambulance, Han-jun, Su-cheol, Jae-hui, and Detective Jang finally talk to Eun-hye’s trainee friend. Their new witness tearfully tells them she actually saw Eun-hye dancing and taking her clothes off in front of some unidentified people. Oh my, poor Eun-hye!
The scared friend has deleted the video she took and sold her phone, but she’s able to provide the details of the buyer. She asks the shaman to tell Eun-hye how sorry she is, and Han-jun gives her comfort. This is the second time this week that Jae-hui saw Han-jun giving peace and closure to tormented victims with his shaman ways. I hope this means she’ll tone down calling him out as a fraud.
Tracking the buyer to a remote island, they all arrive at the same time, with the guys (except Na-dan) getting sea sick from the boat ride. The two sides do their best to convince the phone buyer to hand over the device. Han-jun offers a looot of money, while Jae-hui threatens legal action. Of course, money wins, so Han-jun gets the phone.
But Jae-hui can’t give up that easily. She steals the phone from Han-jun, prompting a wild chase across the beach. Hye-jun simply sighs at them while enjoying a drink.
They only stop when Hye-jun informs them they’re stuck on the island for the night, so she’s the only chance they have to access the phone and they might as well just share the information. I really thought they’d accidentally throw the phone into the water and lose the evidence. Su-cheol even got his pants ripped to reveal bright red boxers! How is the phone safe amid all that chaos?
No matter, the two groups finally get to watch the incriminating video, and the ladies are righteously angry with its contents. Meanwhile, Han-jun compartmentalizes and zeroes in on one of the men in the video.
The next day, the two teams go their separate ways. The police learn that Eun-hye frequently goes through a certain train station, where they finally find her address. Her landlady reveals Eun-hye came to Seoul with her “uncle.” It turns out this so-called uncle is the same man the Minamdang crew is tracking down: JEON GYEONG-CHEOL (Hong Wan-pyo), the acting chief of Jjokmun Gang.
Han-jun and Su-cheol approach “Madam Wang,” with whom Su-cheol is forced to flirt with so they can get more information on the gangster. They get a location, but Han-jun decides to make a pit stop at the Han River to give his sister some backup.
At the river Hye-jun slams a bat on her new boyfriend’s car after catching him cheating. The angry boyfriend is about to hit her, but thankfully, he gets distracted by Han-jun and Su-cheol, who arrive via a reenactment of the iconic mist-filled hero walk in The Lonely Shining Goblin. LOL.
“They’re your angels of death,” says Hye-jun. Accurate, because our dynamic duo instantly gets the guy begging on his knees for mercy. We even get Hye-jun eyeing Su-cheol with interest after he threatens her now-ex. This little loveline of Hye-jun and Su-cheol is so cute!
The next day, the Minamdang crew heads to the gang’s hideout. After identifying more victims, they become even more determined to stop the gang.
They raid the hideout — in true Minamdang fashion, of course. That means Shaman Han-jun donning his shiny gold hanbok, waving his fan and bells around, and threatening the gang with a vengeful spirit — except it’s really just Na-dan dressed up as a girl, Hye-jun providing a voice with AI tech, and Su-cheol bringing in smoke for that complete haunted effect. My favorite parts of this show are really the Minamdang crew going full shaman mode to bring their elaborate schemes to life!
After Han-jun sticks talismans on the door, they’re able to lock up the spooked gangsters and head straight to where Gyeong-cheol is. The acting chief actually bump into the dynamic duo, but Han-jun is hilariously distracted with teasing Su-cheol.
The gangsters are still no match for the angry Su-cheol. As Su-cheol turns to Han-jun, the latter placates him with some pocket money, so the former is quick to forgive and forget. Did Han-jun just… purposefully rile up Su-cheol to get rid of the gangsters quickly?
A few minutes later, the dynamic duo has hung Gyeong-cheol upside down over some deadly spikes, threatening to let go if he doesn’t answer truthfully. But Han-jun learns Gyeong-cheol doesn’t know much, but he asks anyway if he knows Gopuri.
Unfortunately, that’s the exact moment Jae-hui arrives. As they squabble, the gangster prepares to hit Han-jun on the head. Jae-hui tries to stop Gyeong-cheol — except she ends up tasing Han-jun instead. Hit yet again, poor guy!
In this week’s final epilogue, we see what happened with Eun-hye in the video. The lady in the chair is the one who ordered Eun-hye around and who later ordered Assistant Gu to kill Han-jun. And she’s apparently a shaman?! Just as we think we’ve got things figured out, there appears more threads that we need to unravel. Damn.
This week, we saw so many instances of violence against women, and it was a series of uncomfortable but eye-opening truths about the reality of dangers women face everyday. It’s all the more uncomfortable knowing there’s a huge possibility that the mastermind behind Eun-hye’s murder is also a woman. Here’s to hoping that the Minamdang crew will always have a creative scheme up their sleeves to catch the bad guys!