Big Mouth: Episodes 11-12
It’s everyone for themselves this week, but it doesn’t mean they won’t have to work with their enemies to get what they want. Now that we have a ton of dirt on the mayor (and he knows it), the gloves are off and there’s no more pretending. And thanks to our crime-fighting OTP — who come through in a big way — we get to see our hero in no less than four different suits.
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP
Man oh man, the mayor is so bad. And I have to say, I really like Kim Joo-hun in his role here. I’ve seen him too many times as a second lead love interest where I thought he just didn’t quite fit (because, truthfully, he gave me a little bit of a creepy vibe). With this character, creepy comes in handy and he is playing it perfectly. So perfectly that as terrible as he is, I’m liking it.
So much of what happens this week tilts around the change in alliance — or pretend alliance — between the mayor and our heroic OTP. When the mayor figures out that Mi-ho and Chang-ho know about his crimes, he assumes that Chang-ho must be working with Big Mouse and blames Chang-ho for drugging Joo-hee. From there, he stops taking calls from our leading couple and starts setting up antagonizing situations for them. Oh, he also orders them to be killed.
It starts with the new warden who replaces Warden Park. WARDEN GAN (Kim Dong-won) is appointed by the mayor at Chang-ho’s request so they can work together to find Big Mouse. Chang-ho then starts bossing around Warden Gan, making him super angry and ready to devise his own methods for uncovering Big Mouse. Once the mayor stops the niceties with Chang-ho and Mi-ho, he allows the new warden to go ahead with his methods. Namely: tell the entire prison that Chang-ho is a fraud and take away all inmate privileges until they find the real Big Mouse. This causes some upset, but Chang-ho still has a few supporters — which is good because they stop him from being beaten to death on at least two occasions.
Poor Hye-jin is also affected by this broken alliance. We see her in the US, continuing to be an ally to Mi-ho by helping her test the blood samples that Mi-ho took from the inmates. They find that the drug the inmates are receiving is causing leukemia and Mi-ho advises Hye-jin to come back to Korea to get to the bottom of things (why?). As soon as Hye-jin is there, her scumbag husband finds her, turns into a cartoon villain (I mean, this is just bad TV), and murders her. Although, if he didn’t kill her, the mayor was on his way to do it anyway because he knows Hye-jin was the one who tipped off Mi-ho about him. The mayor cleans up the murder scene and Hye-jin is officially “missing.”
It’s about this time that Mayor Choi calls Warden Gan and tells him they’ve been had: Chang-ho and Mi-ho are not looking to take down Big Mouse — they’re working with him. He tells the warden to incite a riot and, in the chaos, to kill Chang-ho and Mi-ho. In the ensuing nutsness, Warden Gan dies (at the hands of Warden Park who — in a world that makes no sense — is now an inmate in the prison). Chang-ho and Mi-ho survive (thanks to some serious butt-kicking skills) but have to ally themselves, at least partially, with Ji-hoon to do it.
Here’s how it goes down. Warden Park thinks Chang-ho betrayed Big Mouse by working with the mayor. Chang-ho says he’s only pretending to be on the mayor’s side. This sparks some interest from the ex-warden, who thinks Big Mouse might be interested in teaming up again. Chang-ho asks for a meeting with Big Mouse that night. Cut to Jerry, on the phone with someone, saying, “Nothing will come of a meeting” (lol this show).
When the power is purposefully cut during the riot, Chang-ho goes to the meeting spot and finds himself face-to-face with his fortunetelling cell mate — ROOM LEADER NOH (Yang Hyung-wook). As viewers, we’ve seen this trick before, so it’s hard to believe any of what happens next. Except, what the room leader says seems to check out.
He claims he’s Big Mouse and that he framed Chang-ho as Big Mouse in order to save his life. When the VIPs wanted to kill Chang-ho for his involvement in their case, “someone” told Big Mouse to save Chang-ho and turning him into Big Mouse was the way to do it. But, at some point, the tables turned and Chang-ho started dragging Big Mouse down.
Room Leader Noh’s wish to Chang-ho in the beginning (back when Chang-ho was claiming to grant wishes) was to find out information about his missing daughter. Now, he tells Chang-ho that he wants Dr. Seo’s paper for the same reason (which makes me wonder: when are the other wishes going to come up again? Aren’t they related to the story somehow?). After some negotiation, and a few threats, the two cook up a plan to get Chang-ho out of prison so he can help find the paper from the outside. The plan is simple: he will turn in Big Mouse.
When it’s evident the guards are about to kill them all during the riot, Chang-ho calls Ji-hoon and tells him to come collect Big Mouse. Chang-ho hands over Room Leader Noh (with his agreement), as well as the blood samples Mi-ho took from the prisoners, and the mayor is there to witness the whole thing (he had stopped by to find out why Warden Gan wasn’t answering his phone). Chang-ho and Mi-ho know the mayor wanted the blood samples and they become antagonistic. Everybody now lays their cards out, making it clear there’s bad blood (literally and figuratively).
Because Chang-ho identified and turned in the real Big Mouse, the charges against him are dropped and he’s freed. His notoriety also brings him a bunch of clients and he rents a giant new law office and starts wearing a new suit every day (finally!). His team can start getting down to business solving Dr. Seo’s murder case — and they have the inmate blood samples to do it. As it turns out, the vials they gave to Ji-hoon were phonies. The big deal about the blood is that it provides evidence of all the cruddy stuff going on at the hospital and the prison, even without having Dr. Seo’s paper in hand.
Since Big Mouse/Room Leader Noh wants to expose the truth about the paper and Dr. Seo’s murder, Chang-ho becomes his attorney. At a press conference, Chang-ho makes it clear that the VIPs (soon to have an appeal trial) are at the bottom of a tower of criminals. He stops short of saying the Elder is at the top, but off-camera says that Hye-jin told him who the boss is (they still don’t know she’s dead, btw).
The show has now set us up for a head-to-head stand-off between the mayor and Chang-ho. Chang-ho knows Mayor Choi is the one that ordered him killed, as well as knowing the mayor’s involvement in the murder of Dr. Seo. There’s also a battle coming between the Elder and his NR Forum “family” and the Big Mouse/Big Mouth team. The mayor, as we know, is an adversary of the Elder as well, but pretends to be on his side in order to carry out a revenge plot having to do with his grandfather’s death. With all these elements in place, we’ve got a three-way showdown that’s about to boil over.
The mayor’s first move in this war is to ask the Elder to post bail for Big Mouse. Once he’s out of prison, it’ll be easier to kill him (or, carry out “justice” as the mayor frames it). When Room Leader Noh is released, Chang-ho takes him to the restaurant where he used to make his living. The restaurant’s logo is the infamous Big Mouse symbol, and Chang-ho wonders how no one could catch Big Mouse when his symbol was right there on the side of the building.
Before Chang-ho leaves, he finally asks who the “someone” is that told Big Mouse to save him back when the VIPs were about to kill him. The answer: come back at 9PM tomorrow and I’ll introduce you. Chang-ho leaves and as Room Leader Noh looks around his restaurant and remembers his life there, he opens a cooler and the whole building explodes.
Holy moly, information overload. And yet, as much as these episodes cleared things up, they also led to new doubts. It seems believable enough that the room leader is Big Mouse but after so much guessing, I didn’t get that excited about this outcome. I realized the only reason I’m interested in Big Mouse at all is because of Chang-ho’s involvement. Now that Chang-ho is on the outside, and Mayor Choi and Big Mouse are arranged as similar opponents, I’m ready for this to become a story about our crime-fighting couple again. I still have a million unanswered questions about the practical details of the storyline, but for now I’m going to look at that as a good thing — because we need to fill another four episodes.
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