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Insider: Episodes 9-10

Fresh out of prison, our hero immediately takes advantage of his newfound freedom by connecting with potential allies and working his way up to the big leagues. The bad guys aren’t happy with their plans going awry, though, and they’re determined to get rid of him — will he be able to remain one step ahead of them?

 

EPISODES 9-10 WEECAP

Desperate to avoid a prison transfer so he can avenge Min-ho’s death, Yo-han falls to his knees in front of Chairman Do and pleads for him to take him in. Chairman Do scoffs at his guilty conscience, revealing the name of the person he wants Yo-han to kill — Woo Sang-ki, a.k.a. Min-ho’s father.

It’s the only thing standing between Yo-han and the rest of his revenge, so he accepts. He’s released after the end of his jail term, and Soo-yeon picks him up from the prison.

In an unexpected reveal, we find out that Yo-han was actually behind the circumstances that allowed Tae-hoon to snitch on him to Jae-sun. With the corrupt warden out of the picture, Chairman Do’s power is severely limited, thus forcing his hand — he’ll have few remaining options save for Yo-han. Nicely played.

Soo-yeon finally shares her backstory with Yo-han: her mother was framed for investment fraud and killed in a faux suicide, but she’d left evidence of her innocence to Soo-yeon (whose real name was Yeon-soo). Unfortunately, Byung-wook had gotten to the attorney first. Soo-yeon was abducted and forced into unsavory things, thus establishing her vendetta against Byung-wook.

Yo-han’s first mission from Chairman Do, delivered by Bon-chul, involves hunting Sang-ki down at a sauna. Sang-ki flees, and Yo-han gives chase, yelling that he has something to tell him — but Bon-chul reaches Sang-ki first and tases him.

The pair relocate to a secluded location where Bon-chul has Yo-han dig a grave in preparation. Handing him a knife, Bon-chul instructs him to kill the man within fifteen minutes.

Yo-han seemingly does the deed, and afterwards, he and Bon-chul set fire to the makeshift grave. With the body charred beyond recognition, however, it’s impossible to tell if it’s truly Sang-ki.

Either way, the news of Sang-ki’s death shakes up the Deep Pockets. With one third of the slush fund belonging to the Macau triads, their head ANNIE STEVENS (Han Bo-reum) flies to Korea in order to snipe some sense into the ineffectual men.

Due to Sang-ki’s disappearance, the Goldman Casino’s money laundering has been put on hold, causing a severe deficit. Annie sneers that the men ought to take responsibility and fix the problem, but the prosecutors and gangsters are too busy trading barbs.

Meanwhile, Yo-han meets up with Soo-yeon — and Sang-ki! That night, the pair switched out Sang-ki for an unidentifiable corpse. In yet another surprise reveal, Bon-chul was in on it too; Yo-han had figured out that he was being wiretapped by Bon-chul, and he’d used it to deliberately leak information to him.

Yo-han points out that the day of Sang-ki’s disappearance and the day Yo-han picked Bon-chul up from Hae-do align too neatly to be coincidental. Since the address he’d delivered to Hae-do had been fake, Yo-han surmised that Chairman Do intended to have both of them killed by Hae-do.

With that, Yo-han proposed that he and Bon-chul join forces to take down Chairman Do. Without missing a beat, Bon-chul reminded Yo-han not to remove the wiretapped watch — since there has to be a source for him to edit the audio before sending it to Chairman Do. Nice, he’s on his side now!

Finally safe and sound, Sang-ki tells Yo-han and Soo-yeon what he knows — him and Min-ho were moved once after being abducted, since a policeman had come knocking. The policeman had yelled out his contact number, which Sang-ki relays in the present.

Soo-yeon has Ro-sa search up the number, and it belongs to Inspector Kwon, the same man who was killed for investigating the death of Yo-han’s grandmother. Everything really is connected after all.

Chairman Do enacts the next part of his plan to usurp The Skin Nation, by sending Yo-han to play games at the Goldman Casino. All he has to do is win or lose according to Chairman Do’s orders, in order to force his defeated opponents into signing stock transfer forms.

After the day’s work, Yo-han heads home, but he soon realizes he’s being tailed. He narrowly escapes with the help of Bon-chul, who informs him that the men were hired by Jin-hyung to kill him.

We get the rundown of how the casino works through a flashback to Sun-oh’s explanation. The invitation-only VIP suites are where the real slush fund games take place; by teaming up with Yo-han and winning big, they can take over the casino.

That’s exactly what Chairman Do plans to do, using both of them as his minions. The explicit confirmation that Sun-oh works for Chairman Do lends credence to Yo-han’s guess that Sun-oh killed his grandmother, and he has to steel himself for their first meeting since being released.

Yo-han meets Sun-oh at a pier — yay, he’s back, with freshly-dyed dark hair! Plus, he’s figured out how the money laundering works; by handing out cash to foreign tourists and winning it back through the games, the casino can claim it as revenue and have the Macau head office withdraw the funds.

Sun-oh’s elated to be reunited with Yo-han, excitedly calling him hyung like old times. The same can’t be said for Yo-han, though, who grins back out of habit but loses the smile once he turns away.

The VIP games begin and Yo-han attends, having obtained an invitation through Chairman Yang’s machinations. Soo-yeon’s there too as Chairman Yang’s plus one, and they join the table.

No one is any match for Yo-han, though, and he successfully fools even Chairman Yang with his acting. Chairman Yang begins to fidget anxiously; his plan was to kill Yo-han and have the VIPs turn a blind eye, but it’s starting to seem like the VIPs are on Yo-han’s side instead.

Indeed, they are — Yo-han already made his rounds beforehand, leveraging on their grudges against Chairman Yang and convincing them all over to his side. In fact, he’d even manipulated Chairman Yang into baiting him with the invitation, thanks to a little bit of acting by Seung-hwan. See, it pays to understand your allies and earn their loyalty, rather than violently force your way to it!

With that, the stage is set for Yo-han’s big move. He raises the stakes to 60 billion won, plus the VIP room they’re currently sitting in. Arrogantly, Chairman Yang calls, and both start to open their cards — except Yo-han reaches into his sleeve to pull out a card hidden within.

Omg, Yo-han’s going to pull a sleight of hand? Right in front of Chairman Yang? I have lots of faith in Yo-han’s skills (cultivated by Sun-oh’s tutelage), but this is such a daring move even by his standards. I wonder if he means to deliberately let himself get caught to incite something bigger, but then again he’s already pulled such a trick with Sun-oh before, so it has to be something else.

But what? And how? That’s exactly what I love about this show — nothing is ever predictable, and the way it reveals its plot twists is always so gripping and suspenseful. It uses flashbacks effectively to reveal a new dimension to scenes we’ve seen before, keeping us viewers on our toes.

Now, I’m definitely biased, but I’m utterly thrilled that Sun-oh is back so soon! He has such good chemistry with Yo-han that it’d be a shame to keep them separated any longer. For all Sun-oh’s duplicity, you’d think he’d keep his emotions more closely guarded — but he’s almost vulnerable in the way he openly displays affection and admiration towards Yo-han, and I’m inclined to think there’s at least a bit of sincerity there.

How painful was it to watch Yo-han grit his teeth through their entire interaction, though! It’s obvious his heart is warring with his mind over what to believe about Sun-oh, especially given the numerous betrayals he’s had to suffer through. Is it too much to ask for them to clear the air soon and overtake the gambling scene together?

 
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I feel like just copying and pasting @emsel’s comment from last week lol.
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Whilst I appreciate a protagonist who is smart, smarter than all the villains it would seem currently, the constant cutting back and forth and backtracking, the flashbacks of what's *actually* going on, and Yo Han's plan drip fed to us in reverse order, is actually getting somewhat frustrating to watch, and loosing any impact it might've had up until now.

This kind of formatting and execution is fine short term, over one or two episodes, or in a movie perhaps, (and even then, this is far from the cleanest version of this tool I've seen :/) but long term, over the whole show, it just gets wearisome;
It would be more satisfying I think at this point to know more of Yo Han’s plan from the beginning of each episode, going in, or even from back in the prison where and when he apparently planned it all, instead of the constant cutbacks and flashbacks to reveal he was playing everyone all along, over, and over, and over again, multiple times an episode.
(In fact, it kind of makes me question his character development in the prison entirely- when did he plan this exactly? Or else I just can't keep up with this things apparent time line.)
Instead of relishing seeing Yo Han's plan in action, I'm just going "oh, another twist incoming, watch 🙄", and then this week at least, calling most of the major twists. Selective narration is only effective up until a certain point- and I think this show would be better off with a balance.

There’s also the common problem that many shows fall into with a smart protagonist - of having to dumb them down for some final conflict, nearer the end, which is always painful to watch. Similarly, if you pull too many twists, only to NOT pull one final twist at the end that becomes expected, you end up cheating your audience.
This hasn't happened yet, but it's a red flag nonetheless.

Not in the least because, I find myself wondering where this show is going and why, and especially why we’re taking this convoluted plot route to get there.
Revenge sure, that's the supposed motivation, and not content to take down the mere small fry, he's going for the whole outfit-- or is it to show Yo Han himself perhaps falling victim to and getting addicted to the game of this world? I don’t know. I get lost about twice an episode before I find my way back. (see the first point!)
There are also still multiple unanswered questions that currently, without more of those incessant “twists” ofc, make certain major plot points not make any sense. (e.g. why exactly... did they have to and want to kill his grandmother, of all things. Other than the house deed, which surely they could've got some other way... why was that necessary. All it did was make YH mad, give him enough motivation and get in the game. or WAS that their intent? To play him? And if so, why again? Sigh.)

And overall, I’m just consistently drawn back to that, to be...

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... to be quite frank, not having our Mad Jester Jang Sun Oh as a proper player on screen is boring.
I miss him! His cameo this weak was underwhelming and kinda ... weird if I'm being very honest! :(
Like Emsel said, it would be a waste of his character to reduce him to just that which has been revealed to us so far.

My cynicism also tells me that I am too often burnt by wishing such tertiary characters to be more than the writing gives them, which makes me apprehensive lol.
I enjoyed some parts of this week but, yeah, hmmmmmm let's see...

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Not in the least because, I find myself wondering where this show is going and why, and especially why we’re taking this convoluted plot route to get there.

Because this drama is about gambling and thats how gambling is, confuse your enemy and attack them, but in this case we, the viewers, are getting attacked by the plot or lack of there of🙄🙄🙄

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But we're not the enemy 😭😭😭 stop confusing me! I'm on your side! lol

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I agree with you n emsel. The acting is good but the plot is tiring to watch. I drop from ep 8 n only read weecap n comments to keep update, just watch final episode. Thank you for the weecap.

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Soo Yeon said "everything is getting entangled" and that is exactly what the writer is doing instead of having the dots connected neatly. I like mysteries and complicated ones at that which leave me gobsmacked, but this one leaves me exasperated. All this time in the jail Yo Han is shown getting beaten and left to the mercy of more powerful ones like Wong Bon, but suddenly overnight he pulls off a high stake plan that has everyone to his bidding? Apart from learning the card game from Sun Oh and outside info from Soo Yeon, Yo Han is not shown putting together the pieces in jail which makes it very hard to believe that he is cleverer than the antagonists who all have years of experience in gambling field to be fooled by a rookie prosecutor 😒 If the writer isn't planning to introduce an unknown variable in Yo Han's almost perfect plan and then show him working around it to get his revenge, I am not going to buy any of this nonsense. Also, given the way we had different groups out to kill our protagonist and vying for the position of the head of a casino, I would be thoroughly disappointed if Sun Oh isn't shown to have a masterplan to over take it fir himself.

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*a moments silence for all the defenestration that will happen by yours truly if Sun Oh DOESN'T have his own masterplan of some kind*

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While I do wish that some of the flashbacks would've played out in real time, I have to appreciate how well woven together the plot is (so far). The writer obviously has everything planned out, which gives me faith that they'll pull everything off in a satisfying conclusion.

I think it's slightly odd at how Yo-han is managing to pull of so many insane moves and one upping everyone around him so suddenly, but then again, this man was on top of his class and on his way to become a prosecutor. He was probably cooking everything up from the moment he started learning about the gambling scene in depth.

Besides, it's about time he manages to pull some cards out of his sleeve--I was at my limit of patience waiting for Yo-hand to properly get everything rolling.

+ Sun-oh and Yo-han man my heart is breaking lmao yall need to get it together! Please let both of them somehow have a happy ending

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Honestly, K-dramas even ep 14 can be great and then poof they miss the mark in the finale. I hope that b/c of how much time/pre-production was given that the writer/PD can give us a solid finale. Part of me wonders if 20 episodes might have been better suited?, but also it does feel like it could've been a 2 hr movie too lol.

I do like in some parts that we saw Yo-han fail and lose in the beginning. It wasn't like he was a complete genius, so when those wins came it was more impactful. That being said, b/c of the non-linear narrative and the whole show but don't tell method of this show can be a bit confusing sometimes. But as he's become more aware of what he has to do, he's grown and there's more of a motive now.

Its one of the few instances where our ML was becoming a punching bag lol, like every-time I thought he would win/get out of it the show would make us question his abilities lol.

On your last point, I fear that it might be one of those scenarios where one ultimately realizes but its too late :O.

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I completely agree with your sentiment on how Yo-han's initial losses boosted the satisfaction of his wins later on in the story. Also maybe unpopular opinion, but I'm a sucker for nonlinear storytelling so I've been gobbling it up so far lmao

But yeah, I REALLY hope Sun-oh and Yo-han both have a happy ending, but like you said, it's not looking to good :/

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Yeah, I couldn't stand to watch him get beat up but I also kinda liked how they didn't make him this master at fighting when he only knows law. Which on another count, I find interesting is we haven't been exposed too entirely to that aspect in the show utilized as much yet. Perhaps in the end??

I also know KHN does muay thai (sorry I'm just like that's awesome lol), so I want to see him use that more here and hopefully we will more!

I feel like both of them will work together, and I can forsee a bittersweet ending :/. I do hope we do get more bromance scenes between the two, although Yo-han prob. wants to kill Sun-oh lol :O.

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bro KHN knowing martial arts is such a serve lmfaooo and yeah :( bittersweet endings sound a lot better than a straight up depressing one for Yo-han and Sun-oh I'll take what I can get

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@justakoreanpassingby Wish the show would show us one more badass martial art scene. The one in the prison was badass.

I know he said he's not great at action, but I think that knowing he knows martial arts is so cool! Aww, who knew our OTP would be Yo-han/Sun-oh lol?

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Grateful to have a discussion about this show! I really wished that they were more reviews out there about this show. But the ones I googled that came up summarized what I feel on the show:

"A thriller in all sense of the genre – maybe even too much sense – Insider walks a very thin line between the potential of becoming a cult thriller classic and yet another failed attempt at the genre due overdramatisation while taking itself too seriously. It all hinges on how well the emotional progression of this story is due to unfold, and the facets to Yo-han it’s willing to lay bare."

I really do hope that he doubles down, and enacts his revenge for real and show us his more of his smarts in a grand way!!

https://www.nme.com/en_asia/reviews/tv-reviews/insider-k-drama-review-recap-3253247

"Ha Neul specifically excels here, yet again, showcasing just how talented he truly is. I like his take on the character, the poker face he has and how he made the character so difficult to read. His take on the character is amusing to me."

"I don’t necessarily think this is a bad move on a writing level but I can tell the screenwriter is relying heavily on Ha Neul’s star power to literally power us through this difficult introduction period."

https://www.jazminemedia.com/2022/06/insider-episode-1-and-2-review/

Even though these were reviews for the first week, I think that the show's non linear narrative is oftentimes throws us in for a loop. I feel like just as we feel defeat for the ML, the show does a flashback or pivots to a prior scene to show how the ML was able to succeed. It's the anti-Lee Joon Gi lol, its no Again My Life (Insider is more complex/stakes are higher) where our ML knows how to fight/have prior information. That being said, I'm glad we can move past those scenes b/c I myself felt a bit uneasy esp. since KHN knows how to do proper fight sequences in rl.

But still, I really enjoy the show and feel like as one of the quotes I referenced above, that KHN's portrayal is what I go back to. He didn't choose an impressive/cool character off the bat, but I do find myself rooting for his character to succeed b/c of how nuanced his portrayal is. Thank goodness he didn't overact imo, he did just enough so it doesn't fall into melodramatic.

Also, I echo the sentiments that Sun Ho is such a lively/fun character. This show could use more of those moments, b/c there bond/chemistry is so dynamic. Plus, the two actors are besties in rl which help! Not many have mentioned Lee Yoo Young, but I also like her dynamic with Yo-han. I feel like there were moments in Ep 9/10, where she wanted to be more intimate but she stopped. That car scene, I thought she was going to touch his hand lol.

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Thanks @solstices for the recap. INSIDER has become one of my favorite dramas of the year and for me it is the best performance I have seen Kang Ha-neul give granted I have only seen him in MISAENG and CAMELLIA and his special appearance in RIVER WHERE THE MOON RISES a which was dropped after episode 4.
Yes the story is complicated and convoluted. As others have asked, why was grandma killed? We have had so many fake out cliff hangers that I am hopeful the Yo-han/Sun-oh bromance can survive. I believe Prosecutor Mok is also playing the righteous long game (after all he said he mortgaged his house to finance the operation he is running). The tail of Yi-hon might have been to extract him from the danger he is obviously in. Just speculating.

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He's way better in films imo; he has several leading roles. He's versatile, and isn't afraid to look unflattering either. Really like that he did a 180 from WTCB role to this, it was a smart move to move away from that type of role and show he can do way more.

I feel like its probably all a big conspiracy, maybe his dead father's past (he was a former prosecutor) has something to do with it? Interesting, I do wonder how all these baddies we been introduced to in the last few episodes will accumulate towards.I hope the show manages to ties those ends up, don't want a bad finale or rushed plot please!!! Esp. considering how this is pre-produced (although I've been burnt on those dramas so honestly yeah lol).

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