Big Mouth: Episodes 13-14
We’ve left the prison behind for good and entered the domain of Big Mouse. Here, the mysteries are solved, the revenge plots begin, and the death toll continues to rise. At least our heroes get to ride it out in a nice hotel.
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP
We start from the building explosion. It’s confirmed that Room Leader Noh did not survive and he was indeed Big Mouse — it wasn’t another fake out. It’s also confirmed very quickly that the mayor planted the bomb. The show appears to be done with drawn-out mysteries and wants to get down to vengeance ASAP.
Chang-ho goes to the morgue to mourn and then on to the burned-out restaurant. When the mayor’s hired hand tries to jump him, Jerry shows up with a cute side part and some henchmen of his own. Jerry has just joined the Big Mouse criminal enterprise recently and his current assignment is to protect Chang-ho and Mi-ho. We see Mi-ho and her dad being taken to a luxe hotel, owned by “the Organization,” escorted by men in black.
Jerry takes Chang-ho to the mourning service for Big Mouse, where all the attendants are members of the Organization. Warden Park is there and we learn that, after Big Mouse, he was third in command. A video plays of Room Leader Noh giving his final message to his organizational “family.” He says that if they’re seeing this, it means he’s gone and that the group needs a new leader. After dragging it out a little, he names Park Chang-ho the new commander. Chang-ho is shocked (while the rest of us saw it coming from a mile away).
Warden Park is obviously upset that this newcomer now outranks him and demands to know who shot the video. In walks KIM SOON-TAE (Oh Eui-shik), Chang-ho’s lawyer and best friend (who until now has remained on the sidelines of the story). Soon-tae is second in command and he is the one that asked Big Mouse to save Chang-ho’s life.
The two friends later have a heart-to-heart — Chang-ho blaming Soon-tae for ruining his life, and Soon-tae claiming he saved his life — and it becomes clear that Chang-ho doesn’t really have a choice of whether or not to take on the new role. If he doesn’t, he may be killed.
Chang-ho does not tell Mi-ho about his new job (this boy hasn’t changed a bit), but he does ask her opinion about whether or not to continue carrying out Big Mouse’s wish and solving the case about Dr. Seo’s paper. Mi-ho has no hesitation: she will see it through ‘til the end. If not, more people will die. Chang-ho agrees and, with that, he officially concedes to be the new Big Mouse.
Now that Chang-ho is in a position of privilege, he and Soon-tae meet at the beach to clear up all the mystery lines we’ve been following and answer all our zany questions (plus, Lee Jong-seok in ripped jeans. Rawrrr.) Chief among them is: what does the room leader’s daughter have to do with the paper? Well, she was a reporter who went missing while investigating NR Forum. They found her body three years later, along with her notebook that mentioned Dr. Seo Jae-young. He was just about to be formally questioned when he turned up dead.
Chang-ho wants to do a deep-dive investigation into NR Forum and the Elder, a.k.a. CHAIRMAN KANG (Jeon Guk-hwan), and the team hits the archives. While Jerry gives a PowerPoint presentation of the city’s history and the chairman’s role in its development, Mi-ho pieces together that his company NK Chemicals is responsible for the rise in cancer patients. At the same time, Joo-hee separately becomes aware of the same information. She has ignored the hospital’s secret underground lab all this time, but now, as commissioner of the audit committee, she wants Chairman Kang to shut down NK chemicals.
When the chairman refuses, the mayor admits to his wife that he killed Dr. Seo. She’s baffled and heartbroken and wants to know why. He tells her that as a condition to be able to marry her, he agreed to do any terrible thing the chairman asked. He cries and says he’s never regretted marrying her and she has no idea she’s being played. She goes straight out and has the lab destroyed — not out of the goodness of her heart — but to get rid of the evidence.
Warden Park has some guys go try to kill Mayor Choi as comeuppance for killing Big Mouse. They don’t succeed, but this gets Warden Park almost murdered by his own organization for stepping outside the chain of command. It’s really graphic and I won’t go into it, but it’s shocking to see Soon-tae turn into a completely different person than the quiet and nerdy friend we’ve known him as. Chang-ho has also seemingly morphed into The Godfather. When Warden Park is kneeling in front of him, beat senseless, Chang-ho sits in his chair unaffected and tells him he’ll die if he steps out of line again.
Chang-ho’s plan is to expose the mayor for his crimes. To do this, he sends himself undercover to gain the favor of the chairman. He says he’s running for mayor in the next election and wants the chairman to back him. It works, and the chairman invites Chang-ho to his upcoming 85th birthday bash. Chang-ho also teams up with Ji-hoon, telling him Big Mouse didn’t steal NR Forum’s money, and he should look internally for the culprit (we know it’s the mayor because we saw him sitting on all those gold bars a few episodes back).
While Soon-tae, Jerry, and Chang-ho are riding around together (and I’m feeling like this should have been the whole show because this is much more fun) they realize they’re being tailed. It’s Mayor Choi’s secretary, who gets a video of all the Organization members bowing to Chang-ho when he gets out of the car. The mayor realizes Chang-ho is the new Big Mouse and asks Warden Park to team up with him to kill Chang-ho. The warden agrees.
While all those backdoor deals are going on, Mi-ho has figured out Mayor Choi’s secret history and that he is positioning himself to take over for Chairman Kang. We’ve had most of the clues already, but this week it gets laid on the table. Chairman Kang killed Mayor Choi’s grandfather because the two were best friends but the grandfather opposed NK Chemicals. Since then, the mayor has been plotting revenge against the chairman. He started as a child, taking over his cousin’s name and identity after he died. This allowed him to marry Joo-hee to get inside the family without anyone knowing who he was.
Chang-ho sends Warden Park on a mission and Jerry follows him because he doesn’t trust him to comply with Chang-ho’s orders. Jerry gets caught, knocked in the head, and thrown in a trunk. When he comes to, Chang-ho is tied up and the warden is pointing a gun at him, with the mayor on video chat in order to witness the event. The warden then shoots Chang-ho at point-blank range and it becomes clear this is a setup.
When the mayor arrives to the scene the body is already gone and the warden starts asking questions about the mayor’s intent to kill Chairman Kang. The mayor admits his intent and we see Chang-ho and the chairman watching the whole thing on screen from the chairman’s house.
Chairman Kang calls the mayor to his house afterward but the mayor intuits what’s up. He kills the chairman by putting something in his IV that causes a heart attack. He then has the chairman’s will doctored in his favor and becomes chief mourner at his funeral. When Chang-ho shows up at the funeral — alive — he surprises the mayor and tells him to prepare for a showdown.
Well, I’m ready for this show to wrap up. Now that everything is out in the open I don’t feel much urgency for next week. Chang-ho is becoming tough to root for. Mayor Choi has gone from a nuanced villain to The Joker, joining the rest of the goons in their cartoonish portrayals. Jerry, luckily, is the one person who hasn’t really changed — he turned out to be just as much of a sweetheart as we were led to believe when we got to know him.
With two episodes to go, my sincerest hopes are that Joo-hee will be the one to take down her husband, Mi-ho will get back as much as she’s putting in, and Hye-jin will get more than a passing remark about her death. It’s not looking good for any of them, though.
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