Adamas: Episodes 5-6
So intense! Adamas ups the action this week as both our heroes find their situations getting even more dangerous, all while the stage gets bigger, bloodier, and nail-bitier.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
This drama packs in so much plot each week, and this week even more so — in fact, I have to remind myself that we’re only up to Episode 6! Most notable for me this week was that, in terms of storytelling, we see quicker switches between our two brothers’ stories (more on that later) and their knowledge of each other’s situations adds a ton of interest to a story that was already completely riveting. There’s tons to cover this week, so here we go!
Woo-shin — brave soul that he is — is saved from asphyxiation by the skin of his teeth. But the brush with death was worth it. He later tells Tae-sung that he didn’t find the adamas… but he knows where it is. The mysterious carpet he was fixated on was from the original adamas unveiling, and sure enough it marks the place of the adamas — except it’s in the ceiling, where Woo-shin saw all the halogen gas go. He’s determined to steal it ASAP, but Tae-sung wants to wait on the orders of his peeps.
Speaking of Tae-sung’s people, learn a lot more about that team this week. They’re the SIH (Special Investigations Headquarters) — basically a black ops arm of the police, led by KANG HYUK-PIL (Choi Duk-moon). They’re dead-set on their mission… so much that they do quite unseemly things — like convincing Seo-hee to join them and use Soo-hyun as bait.
So, while Soo-hyun goes off to his not-at-all-suspicious 11PM bridge meeting, he finds… Seo-hee?! For a second I was terrified she was a double agent, but no, she’s who she said, she’s just been convinced by the SIH to help. And so has Woo-shin! Thus we learn — through an extremely irate Soo-hyun — that Woo-shin’s whole plan at Haesong is courtesy of the SIH. It sheds a lot of light on his behavior, but Soo-hyun couldn’t be more furious.
While Soo-hyun is in the safe house with the SIH, he refuses to cooperate, until finally he’s put in contact with his brother — this means Woo-shin standing in the woods with Tae-sung’s hidden sat phone, and Soo-hyun in the safe house on a cell phone. I really appreciate that the drama cares so much about the differences in the twins’ personalities, and it’s wonderfully illustrated by this phone conversation, which was one of my favorite scenes this week.
During the call, Soo-hyun is clued into the SIH plan, Woo-shin’s role, the fact that there actually is time left for the statute of limitations, and the plan to steal the adamas. But while Woo-shin is calm and committed to his mission, Soo-hyun is the one pounding the table and cursing him out. (Which twin do I love more? I can’t decide!)
Now that the brothers know what the other is up to, it adds a bunch of layers to our story: they not only have to worry about each other in the line of fire now, but they have pretty frequent knowledge of what is happening to each other. This is where the quick POV switches really add tension — so, for instance, Woo-shin might be trapped in the house, but he keeps getting updates from Tae-sung, and vice versa for Soo-hyun. This knowledge of each other’s actions/situation, all with very little actual contact, is so tense and exciting! I love the layer of obscurity it adds.
The other important thing to note is Soo-hyun’s constant worry as to why his stable and calm brother is acting so out of character — he tries to guess what would make him this reckless (since that’s Soo-hyun’s role lol), but comes up dry. Of course, we know that Woo-shin knows that Lee Chang-woo is their birth father, but that Soo-hyun does not. Yet. Soo-hyun also holds a lot of guilt over their adoptive father’s death, which we see played out in a quiet moment where he confides to Seo-hee (their chemistry is great!). Also, that toy action figure story broke me.
But it’s time to talk about the main action of the episodes, leading with Woo-shin. He gets into Chairman Kwon’s psyche and is pretty good at figuring out how he thinks. With Tae-sung’s help, he first attempts to steal the adamas the day that the chairman and Dragon Lady Kwon are both away. The “security button” under the chairman’s desk (“throne”) gives Woo-shin a 50/50 chance: will it call the police, or will it reveal the adamas?
The latter turns out to be true — OMG what an awesome reveal, followed by an even better twist. The case descends in all its glory, but the adamas is gone. Here we learn that Hyun-jo is a lot smarter than he looks/acts and that Dragon Lady Kwon has taken the adamas to the original jeweler. And as Episode 5 ends, Woo-shin says to himself in horror: he’s getting rid of the evidence.
Meanwhile, Soo-hyun is meeting more action than he might have expected. Also in the safe house is a baddie that the SIH captured (who was attempting to kill Seo-hee). This turns out to be Team Leader Lee’s kid brother LEE JOON-HO (Jo Dong-in), who’s already been set up as Lee’s achilles heel.
But the kid is also so brave! He endures unwatchable (ugh) torture from the SIH but never gives in… until Soo-hyun bangs his way into the interrogation room. This was another favorite scene of the week — Ji Sung’s acting ahhh so good — and we see in real-time why Soo-hyun is the successful prosecutor that he is.
Soo-hyun is smart, though, and he realizes that the kid is holding out because he has hope of being rescued. And sure enough we see Team A mobilizing (lol on this caricature of Bad Guys With Big Guns) to save their team member. The SIH has no clue they’ve been compromised — it’s Wooshin back at the mansion who pieces it together.
Woo-shin ties the GPS chip in his hand (ah ha!) to the captured kid and realizes the SIH is about to be under siege. And then it’s another nail-biting race against the clock, with Tae-sung booking it to the sat phone to warn the team in time. At this point in the show I’m basically sweating bullets — maybe more than the actual team under siege is.
They barely escape with their lives (and Soo-hyun proves himself as heroic as his twin), but we are left with important takeaways. Team Leader Lee’s little brother dies, which means he’s ruthlessly determined to pay back the same to Soo-hyun. He’s a loose cannon and a super violent man, and just so that we’re sure of it, he also hardcore curses whenever he’s on screen. (Admittedly, I can’t buy this 100% even though I want to — just because I like Oh Dae-hwan’s face too much!)
Anyway, Team A digs into the brothers, the case, etc., so that will all hit the fan soon — especially since while Soo-hyun and Seo-hee think they’re safe in Woo-shin’s swag apartment, they’re actually being surveilled (but kudos to the writer for that face recognition door lock moment!).
While all this action is going on — at the mansion and the safe house — we learn a lot more about the creepy people in the mansion. To start, Woo-shin’s reckless wanderings into Chairman Kwon’s bedroom (!) reveals a secret passage to Dragon Lady Kwon’s!
There Woo-shin discovers an album filled with photos of her deceased son (again I say, there’s a huge reveal waiting here for us). But outside of anxiety-inducing wanderings around the house, we learn a bit more about Hye-soo and the hell she’s been living in. From her business transaction marriage, to the horrible way she’s treated like a bargaining chip by her father, to the iron grasp Chairman Kwon keeps on her — one can understand her misery.
We also learn — and this one shocked me — that Secretary Yoon is in love with… not Chairman Kwon, but our resident heir and junkie Hyun-jo! Really?! Hye-soo knows it, and humiliates Secretary Yoon and torments her husband (wow, she’s really repaying evil for evil). I kinda love how they revealed that one, but the genuine love between Hyun-jo and Secretary Yoon is bizarro for me.
It’s also important to note that Dragon Lady Kwon seems to know about their love affair too: she knows Secretary Yoon set the plan in motion, brought Woo-shin to the mansion on purpose, knows he resembles Min-jo, and plans to use it to her advantage. Everyone has a scheme! And they’re all so good at scheming!
And that’s not all — we also have Security Guard Kim, who’s now covered for Woo-shin twice (if not more), but we don’t know his motives yet (but can he be bad with that adorable face?). Dong-rim, also, is proving more and more of a liability, with his father being used as a bargaining chip by basically everyone, which is just plain cruel.
As for the case that started all this mess, the current speculation that makes the most sense is that Lee Chang-woo stole the adamas 22 years ago, and when Team A went in to retrieve it at the chairman’s behest, their adoptive father was killed instead. Even if that’s true, there are still tons more questions to answer. And, I’m sure, tons more turns and twists for our story to come. Will I have any fingernails left after this drama is over?