Angry and distraught, Sung Il shows up at Jung Do’s door. He can’t even explain the direness of the situation with an intern unconscious in the hospital and Sang Ho who was bought for money and now…it’s all gone too far. “I need to crush them all. Let’s do one more job.”
Jung Do, businessman that he is, wants to know how much it’s worth. 50 million dollars. “The bigger the job the bigger the risk.” Jung Do wants 10 percent. “I’ll give you whatever you want,” Sung Il answers.
A quick call to the team and they’re all busy in their dark little holes until he mentions the payout. Suddenly everyone’s schedule is free and they’re in. Wallet, too, assesses the situation. “You need me and my ammo. You’re all dirt poor.” She asks who in the world owes so much back tax.
There is an interesting dinner discussion between Bang Pil Gyu and Mayor Chun. Pil Gyu is rather flip towards the Mayor, a mere government official, but the Mayor isn’t so ready to accept his meager apology. The situation is serious: one person has died, one is unconscious in the hospital, and another has lost his job. The problem is gangsters and politicians only make good bedfellows when each perceives he is getting the best of the setup. Pil Gyu gives an analogy of a dog that, for six years, was docile and loyal. Then in the seventh year, the dog bit the owner’s hand on day. It was just a nip, but, the owner cannot allow himself to pity the dog and let it go. You never know when the dog will bite if it is dissatisfied. Conclusion: the dog must go. Pil Gyu compares the story to the recent happenings out of the Mayor’s office: an officer conned his man (Jin Seok), another officer raided his house (Sung Hee), and Min Sik’s situation six years ago. But Pil Gyu rides the coattails of CEO Choi and the Mayor hits him where it hurts. He asks Pil Gyu if he knows his place and Pil Gyu takes offense. “Are you insulting CEO Choi and me?” The Mayor tells Pi Gyu that he is not Chairman Choi and that he is only insulting him. He warns Pil Gyu that, in the future, he shouldn’t threaten but ask for favors politely. It is give and take. Pil Gyu, who has never been polite once in his life, holds what happened six years ago over the Mayor’s head. It’s a power showdown, insult for insult.
The con team is busy analyzing Bang Pil Gyu, but there is little information on him. They know that he is the right hand man of Choi Chul Woo who successfully operated a pyramid scheme then took the money and built Woohyung Group. Sung Il knows that Pil Gyu has a son and a daughter. UN Communications is a subsidiary of Woohyung Construction and Pil Gyu’s son, Bang Ho Seok, is the CEO. His daughter, Min A, is the advisor. They are rarely seen; Ho Seok only occasionally shows up for work and spends most of his time at home. Min A does the same and only goes out a couple of times a week to shop for antiques.
It is also unclear what UN Communications does. Sung Il knows this much: it’s a pyramid scheme that lures clueless people in to buy and sell stolen products. When they can’t make the numbers, they are pressured to take out loans from a lender to pay for the goods and lure in friends to get promoted. The fishy part is that the CEO of the lender is Choi Chul Woo, Woohyung’s Chairman. It’s all connected.
Commissioner Ahn is on the phone asking who cancelled Sung Il’s disciplinary hearing. He argues with the person on the other end that Mayor Chun wouldn’t have been the one to give that order. Wrong. He also finds out that Jin Seok was conned by Sung Il. Things aren’t adding up. Commissioner Ahn begins to dig through the stacks of recently paid taxes in Sung Il’s division. He makes a call to one of the names in the stack and identifies himself from the Seowon Tax Office checking up on their paid status. But the person doesn’t know what he is talking about. It’s true that the taxes were paid, but not by the citizens themselves; the money that was conned from them paid for their taxes. All Commissioner Ahn knows is that Sung Il had something to do with this.
The con team decides they will infiltrate UN Communications. Mi Joo becomes an unsuspecting recruit. On the first day she sits in on the orientation. Her plan is to be the top seller and get their attention. Her first order is for 30 boxes – enough to raise the eyebrows of her supervisor. Wallet, of course, is funding the operation and the boxes are delivered to their warehouse hangout. Next day, she places an order of 50 boxes, acting like it’s no biggie. The team supervisor takes note. After all, no one really sells that much nor are they expected to. UN Communications merely uses recruits to get their money and bring in more suckers.
Orders continue to be placed: 100, 200, 400 boxes. Mi Joo is making a splash as her sales skyrocket. The supervisor calls Ho Seok who can’t believe that a recruit has a client who buys that much.
Mi Soo explains her strategy to Wallet and why she needs more money. Wallet comments that she is doing a great service for the elderly. As it turns out, boxes of face masks – one of the items purchased in such huge quantities from UN Communications – are being delivered to elderly care facilities. The con team is getting a workout loading and hauling boxes and Wallet is doing her civil duty.
All this activity piques Ho Seok’s curiosity and he drives by to see Mi Joo in action loading up yet another truck of boxes. He motions, “Is it her?” to the supervisor who nods yes. Ho Seok calls his sister, Min A, to report that they have “a diamond in the making” – the top level of sales. Mi Joo has his attention good and it isn’t long before she is the star of sales and replaces the current supervisor and takes over her office.
Sung Hee visits Noh Seung Chul who has resigned and is living a quiet life. She asks if he’s all right and he tells her that he got the black eye from drinking and falling. She wanted to apologize in person but he tells her not to; after all, he stared the whole thing. Sung Hee is surprised that he matter-of-factly comments that he can’t believe the Mayor is still protecting Pil Gyu. She asks what he means by that and he realizes she wouldn’t know about the kickbacks to the higher-ups for sheltering the big tax offenders. It was the same issue six years ago when the tax department employees got too close to Pil Gyu. That’s how Min Sik died he tells her. The higher-ups covered for the rich and the regular employees suffered. This sheds a new light on things for Sung Hee.
Jung Do visits his father in prison. His father has never spoken to him when he visits, but when Jung Do tells him that he is getting revenge on his behalf, he speaks up, “Don’t. Don’t do it, son.” Jung Do chokes up and tells his father that he’s grown so old. “I’ll deal with it,” he tells his father, and leaves. “Son…,” his father calls after him.
Mayor Chun contemplates the tense talk with Pil Gyu. In his typical threatening fashion, Pil Gyu said that if the Mayor’s office gets too close again like they did six years ago, think about who would get hurt this time. The Mayor asks what he wants. Pil Gyu surprises him with the idea that he might apply for an open court hearing on his taxes.
One of the deputies is upset that Pil Gyu has requested a public hearing. When Chief Bang from Division One defends Pil Gyu’s right to a hearing, emotions run high. The deputy shouts that Chief Kang lost his job and Chang Ho is still in the hospital and it’s all Pil Gyu’s fault. He accuses the Chief of being Commissioner Ahn’s toilet paper and wiping up. The office is a mess. Sung Hee steps in and says everyone knows there’s nothing they can do. After all, Pil Gyu will get the best lawyers and he’ll use his connections to manipulate the judge. He will never pay his back taxes, everyone knows that. The mood is down. “It’s always that suffers. Nothing happens to those people,” Sung Hee says and leaves.
She runs into Sung Il in the hallway and fills him in on Pil Gyu’s request but Sung Il has already heard. He assures her it won’t happen. “What, you’re doing it again?” she asks, meaning conning people. She wants him to know that the mayor has Pil Gyu’s back, so the hearing is pretty much a done deal. Then she realizes that Sung Il already knew that; it seems that she was the only one that didn’t realize the office/gangster dirty deal connections.
Now that Mi Joo has the attention of Ho Seok, it’s time to rev up the action full throttle. Jung Do tells her to butter him up, get close to him, and find out something about Min A. She pokes her head in Ho Seok’s office and casually asks if he’d like to have lunch. He says that lunch wont’ work, but dinner will. Mi Joo grills the meat and compliments him on how cool and manly he is when he eats. So, what about his sister, she isn’t around much, she mentions nonchalantly. What does she do? Ho Seok says not much, she is into antiques these days. Mi Joo says she has an interest in antiques, too. What items does his sister like? Ho Seok isn’t too sure, ceramics, maybe. Hook.
Next, she casually mentions the person who helped her become a diamond. He has a large business in China. Actually, he is going to purchase more from her for his upcoming informational. You know, goody bags for the participants. It looks like Ho Seok isn’t biting, but on the way home from dinner he mentions coming with her to the informational. She says she would be grateful.
This is the best part! Burner is busy setting up a large conference hall for the informational presentation. There are large floral centerpieces for the tables and an impressive corridor of floral stands at the entrance. Burner has hired hundreds of actors who think they are walk-ons for a movie. It is hilarious. He prompts them to applaud, ooh and aah on cue, and at the end, give a rousing standing ovation. Everyone rehearses; the actors are perfect. Jung Do practices his pitch backstage.
On their way, Ho Seok gets a call from Daddy Gyu wondering what he is up to and asking why he isn’t home for dinner. Ho Seok is self-conscious that Mi Joo overheard the conversation. Daddy Gyu gets nervous when his loose cannon son’s leash is too long.
Mi Joo and Ho Seok arrive and find a seat. Ho Seok takes it all in and exclaims, “It’s huge.” With great fanfare, Jung Do introduces himself as Cho Hee Joon CEO of Dong Hwang Culture Arts produce Exchange. Man, this con team really goes all out. Makes me want to be a part.
His business is to take the discarded artifacts that China is digging up in order to build bigger, newer, taller buildings and make money. Big money. He lists the names of kings and dynasties and points out that royalty wasn’t buried with nothing. Think about it. The wealthy would have been buried with gold, jade – all that is being dug up in bulk in China. “We at Dong Hwang manage items like this. Can you smell the money?” The crowd enthusiastically responds, “Yes, yes!” The point, he continues, is an investment return of 100 percent. Double in two months. In five months, five times.
Ho Seok is mesmerized by the hype. You can see the teeny wheels in his head turning. The charisma of CEO Cho has the crowd on its feet. Ho Seok almost seems giddy as CEO Cho chants, “Rich, rich!” Burner cheerleads the crowd and they go wild.
Mi Joo, Burner, and Jung Do are taking care of Ho Seok. That leaves Sung Il, Keyboard, and Wallet to handle Min A. Wallet impatiently complains that no one has come up with an idea. Sung Il, shy to suggest his idea to a group of professional cons, speaks up. He beats around the bush, not sure how one presents a plan under the circumstances, and passes some sketchy notes to Wallet. She reads them over approvingly and asks, “Did you really come up with this?”
Sung Il’s idea is to find an existing store with nice ceramics in Insa-dong where Min A shops, and rent it. That is, make it worth the owner’s while by paying him to let them use it. As Sung Il explains the plan, we see it in action. Keyboard, looking like a Buddhist monk, finds just the right antique store. Money talks and in a matter of minutes he has convinced the owner to let him use it for a week. No questions asked. Sure enough, Min A walks in and asks if there are any good ceramics here. Wallet poses as the distinguished proprietor and scolds Min A for speaking casually to an elder. Furthermore, “everything here lived hundreds of years more than you. Show some respect,” she sternly puts Min A in her place.
They inspect a lovely ancient Celadon vase. But it is a set up for Min A to catch Proprietor Wallet – the vase has an old price tag and isn’t an antique at all. Just then, the Ministry of Culture enter the store – Sung Il, Wallet’s assistant and Keyboard – and tell the Proprietor to come with them. She puts up a fuss. It’s all a show for Min A.
They want Min A to get a good look at their faces for down the road when they con her. Min A thinks she has witnessed a fraudulent antique dealer being arrested and taken away.
After the informational presentation Mi Joo introduces Ho Seok to CEO Cho. Our Jung Do is quite the schmooze. They talk investment and return and I don’t know how he can say it with a straight face, but lays out Dong Hwang’s secure repayment plan system. Geez louise he’s slick.
CEO Cho is a busy guy with a tight schedule, but when Ho Seok asks if they can talk over dinner, he squeezes him in. First the hook, now the line.
Jung Do tells Burner and Mi Joo that it was a good start. There’s a big problem, however. They’re being followed. Sa Jae Sung has a couple of his policeman boys tailing Jung Do. Let’s just say that it’s plan B. That’s because Jae Sung was dissed by Pil Gyu who he thought would spring him from the slammer. But Pil Gyu doesn’t have time for annoying little rats like Jae Sung and walks out on him with these words, “We’re not that close, are we?” Jae Sung calls after, “Sir! Sir! Hey, Bang Pil Gyu!”
His policeman boy reports that Pil Gyu’s son is being conned by Jung Do. Never mind that, now. Let Pil Gyu’s son get ripped off. But he wants Sung Il brought to him.
Sung Il gets a call from Yang Jung Do. Well, it’s a call from his phone. He anxiously waits for whoever called from Jung Do’s phone. The policeman boy shows up and says, “You know Detective Sa Jae Sung, don’t you?”
Sung Il sits across the prison glass from Jae Sung. “Why did you bring me here?” he asks. Jae Sung asks, “How much do you know about Yang Jung Do?”
What have they done with Jung Do?
Recapping with good fuel – coffee and raspberry pie!
- This episode sure seemed long with the complicated con operations going down. But it was so worth seeing In Guk in his hyper state glory as charismatic CEO Cho. He is simply fabulous and I’m falling for him even more if that’s possible.
- The acting – it’s so great, top notch all the way. This kdrama makes me so happy in this regard!
- Sung Il had a plan that wowed even the best of the con artists. I loved how he timidly laid out the details of a plan that Wallet herself couldn’t have thought of, to her delight.
- But really, Jung Do was careless to not have someone on the lookout for tails. It is an occupational hazard and a basic one at that.
- Who do I despise more, Pil Gyu or Jae Sung? One thing, though, if they were on the same side or at least had been reciprocating beneficial corruptness, that partnership has ended. Let’s just let them go after each other’s throat.
- I think Sung Hee is going to join the ranks of the con artists. She does have a past with Jung Do, although it ended badly and drove her to pursue a background in law. Still, she has a bad taste in her mouth these days about the corruption on the inside and the depth and depravity of it all. Too many bad things have happened in a place where she had idealistically worked and now it’s too close to home. Me thinks it won’t be long before she is on the scene with Sung Il and Jung Do.
- What has creepster Jae Sung done with Jung Do?
- Is Sung Il going to listen to Jae Sung?