Friday, August 29, 2014

Triangle: Episode 10

If this show has taught us only one thing, it’s that you’d never want to get on any of these brothers’ bad sides, because the world did something to our trio of non-heroes that just can’t be undone. On the upside, this hour sees Young-dal possibly learning what it means to be a good person (even if he has to just fake it for now), and while it tears him further away from youngest brother Yang-ha, it brings him closer to mother hen Dong-soo. When was the last time anyone was this excited for a family reunion?
TVXQ – “Tri-Angle” [ Download ]


Both Young-dal and Jang-soo look surprised to see Jung-hee as the VIP dealer, and their gazes don’t go unnoticed by others in the room.
While Yang-ha greets a newly-promoted Dong-soo in his office, the game begins downstairs. Whatever Dong-soo’s task is remains uncertain as Yang-ha watches the game via multiple cameras, intent on finding even the slightest hint that Young-dal is pulling a con.
So far, the game is going according to Young-dal’s plan as he keeps making only the minimum bet until they can manage to pull off the card switch.

Yang-ha’s already been briefed by his casino managers on how the con would work theoretically, even though they’re dubious that Young-dal has the skill to pull a bait-and-switch in front of so many watchful eyes.
He then calls Dong-soo to take a look at the screen and gives him his task: Once Young-dal is caught pulling his scheme, Dong-soo is to use security guards to restrain him before turning him over to the police.
Obviously, Yang-ha has no idea that Dong-soo and Young-dal know each other, and the inner conflict shows on Dong-soo’s face as he attempts to suggest that Yang-ha try stopping Young-dal before he pulls the scheme, therefore saving him from trouble.
But Yang-ha just smiles. “It’s because I want to make sure that bastard gets locked up behind bars.” Ah, so this is less about the casino, and more about getting him away from Jung-hee.

Young-dal heads to the bathroom after getting an urgent text from Dong-soo to call him immediately. When he does, Dong-soo warns him that the casino is onto him and orders him to stop the game unless he wants to end up in jail. Aww, Dong-soo! Love.
The casino managers think that Young-dal is preparing to pull his con when he takes his boys out for a chat, when in reality he tells them that the plan is off. Top Dog is sent away before he can be arrested, though the boys are shocked when Young-dal claims he’s still going to play the game. Only without tricks.
This is probably the worst thing he could’ve said to them, as both worry about what Young-dal would do if he ended up blowing all of Chairman Go’s money. “I’ll just win it back,” Young-dal replies. Baaad sign. It’s the return of Gambling Addicted Young-dal.

Jang-soo and Jailbreak’s attempts to dissuade their friend don’t work, since Young-dal has taken the fatalistic approach: “When will I ever get another chance to play with this kind of money again? I’m going to play for real, so if you guys are too scared to do it, then stay out of it.”
Chairman Go is with Boss Min when they receive the news that the plan has been called off, and both have very different reactions: Boss Min is pleased that Young-dal chose the path of least idiocy (since the scam seemed doomed from the start), while Chairman Go starts reconsidering Young-dal’s usefulness.
Young-dal’s next bet goes up to thirty million won (about $30,000), and despite his friends huffing and puffing all over his cards, he loses his hand to Jung-hee. Even she seems disappointed in the outcome and apologizes, while the boys try to convince Young-dal to quit now before he loses even more.

However, Young-dal is never one to quit while he’s ahead or behind, and bets another thirty million. Everyone takes a moment to stare at each other, which includes Dong-soo watching Yang-ha contemplatively. Hmm.
Morning dawns, and we find Young-dal and his crew walking out of the casino with serious expressions. Oh no, he really lost all of it?
Casino unni Hyun-mi finds Jung-hee sitting dejectedly in the women’s locker room, feeling like she did something wrong. Aw. Hyun-mi can’t find a way to console her other than to say that she couldn’t imagine what Jung-hee was going through.

Lady Kim pays a visit to Madame Jang’s casino to ask if Young-dal was arrested, only to hear the exact opposite… Young-dal won a record amount of money at the casino last night(!!). I was so not expecting that. Huzzah!
But when his former lover argues that he cheated and should’ve gone to jail (since she vowed to ruin him), Madame Jang’s lackey dejectedly explains that if Young-dal didn’t get arrested, it’s because he didn’t cheat. He won the money fairly, which leaves them with nothing.
The leader of the Annoying Sunbae Trio rallies the other dealers against Jung-hee, whom she claims is in cahoots with Young-dal since he keeps winning whenever she’s dealing.

She takes the opportunity to confront Jung-hee over her lack of qualification, even though Hyun-mi tries to stand up for her by saying that all the money she made in tips last night will be split amongst the dealers. Even this doesn’t appease Sunbae Leader.
But finally, Jung-hee stands up for herself and looks her sunbae straight in the eye as she announces to the entire room that she has all the qualifications to be a dealer and made no mistakes last night. Furthermore, if her sunbae keeps terrorizing her, she’ll report her to the higher ups and let them decide who’s right and who deserves to be fired.
Suddenly, her sunbae changes tune, all, Let’s not overreact… Only for Jung-hee to add: “If you don’t think you can back up your words, then keep your mouth shut.” Snap.

Boss Min praises Young-dal for making the safe bet in pulling out of his scheme, but is totally taken aback when Young-dal not only gives her the money Chairman Go lent him to gamble, but allll his winnings.
She had no idea he’d stayed to play, and Jailbreak happily informs the room that Young-dal is the only person in Daejung Casino’s history to win so much in one night. Young-dal breaks out into a huge, happy smile. I can only assume Boss Min is trying to do the same.
Yang-ha is left in a foul mood after his casino managers assure him that there was no way Young-dal could’ve cheated. Dong-soo assumes the mood is due to the money the house lost, but if anything, Yang-ha tells him that casino profits will only increase when others try to replicate Young-dal’s success.

The reason he’s angry, Yang-ha admits, is because he wanted Young-dal behind bars. Dong-soo finally asks if Yang-ha has some kind of grudge against Young-dal, Yang-ha replies, “I’m not sure. He’s just a gangster from Sabuk I met coincidentally, but there’s just something about him that gets on my nerves.”
But he vows that, no matter what, he’ll make sure Young-dal goes to jail. His rage reaches a boiling point when he goes back over the security footage and finds that Young-dal had arrogantly smiled up at the camera as if he knew Yang-ha was watching. Yang-ha Smash!
Young-dal leaves his suddenly-appreciative friends for a meeting with Dong-soo, where he thanks him for tipping him off last night and saving his skin. When he asks how Dong-soo knew about it, Dong-soo plainly reveals that he’s been hired as Daejung Casino’s director of security, but declines to explain why.

Dong-soo asks how Young-dal knows Yang-ha, and Young-dal admits that theirs was a chance meeting but that he gambled last night in the hopes of pissing him off. Luckily, it worked.
But Dong-soo warns him to be careful, since Yang-ha is out for his blood right now. “You and I still have a job to do,” Dong-soo reminds him. “Don’t hurt yourself doing something stupid before we bring [Chairman Go] down.” Aw, Dong-soo still trusts him.
Grandma leaves Jung-hee in charge of dinner while she goes to pick wild herbs on a mountain (that can’t possibly end badly), and after settling in, Jung-hee gets a text from Young-dal, who’s also home, thanking her for last night’s win while also expressing concern that it caused her trouble at work.

It’s cute how he waits right by his phone for her to text back, and how wide his grin becomes the moment she does. In her text, she writes that watching him gamble last night made her nervous, even though it’s her job as a dealer to not be.
“A person’s luck can’t always be good,” she adds. “I hope that you won’t gamble your life away.” Young-dal takes her advice to heart, maybe for the first time ever.
Dong-soo wants to help Shin-hye celebrate her father’s birthday that night, but she tells him not to come since she’s going to break the news to her father she’s getting a divorce. Yikes.

When Shin-hye asks why Dong-soo’s working for Chairman Yoon, he tells her the truth he wasn’t willing to share with Young-dal earlier: Chairman Yoon thinks he’ll help him take down Chairman Go, but in reality, Dong-soo wants to take down both of them by putting one against the other.
“Their greed will be their downfall,” Dong-soo says with a sharp gleam in his eye. “Their involvement in my father’s death boils down to their greed. As long as they’re unable to put aside that greed, I’ll make them fight until they end up destroying each other.”
While Director Hyun tries and fails to turn Chairman Yoon against his own son, said son receives a background report on Dong-soo only to find out some interesting news: Dong-soo is the son of the man who died during the miner’s strike in Sabuk.

But more importantly, Yang-ha knows (and still seems haunted by) the fact that his adoptive father ordered Chairman Go to murder Dong-soo’s father.
Jung-hee is happy to get called away from her fellow dealers asking about her possible relationship to Yang-ha by her old friend/exposition fairy who pops up from time to time in the casino.
She’d asked him to find out the official word on Young-dal’s big win, and he tells her she has nothing to worry about—no one blames her for all the money Young-dal won, nor can they find any evidence that he cheated.

Shin-hye’s father is completely taken aback when she tells him she’s getting a divorce, and while he thinks it’s sudden, she breaks it to him that she and Director Hyun have already been separated for two years. But when she tells him the reason why (“I don’t love him”) her father all but scoffs—what married couple stays together out of love, anyway?
Marriage is about responsibility, he argues, but Shin-hye replies that her relationship was always an ill-fated one right from the start. “Is it because of me?” Chief Hwang asks hesitantly. “Was it because of me that you got yourself into a marriage you didn’t want?”
Her silence confirms the answer, and while Chief Hwang seems sorry, he doesn’t apologize for wanting the best for her—he always knew she had Dong-soo in her heart, but he never thought Dong-soo would amount to much without an education and wanted her to be with someone more impressive. Someone like Director Hyun.
Shin-hye is a good daughter, since she makes sure to tell her father that she’s always admired him the most. But unlike him, she never saw Dong-soo as inferior. “I no longer want to live my life by fooling myself.”

Dong-soo gives flowers to his favorite smarmy ajumma (whom he adorably calls imo, or aunt) at the new restaurant she just opened where he meets with his former team member and police insider DETECTIVE TAK.
After receiving a gift of money for his wife, Detective Tak gives Dong-soo the information he’d requested on Chairman Go’s recent actions. Turns out he’s been threatening a major shareholder of Daejung Casino’s stocks in an effort to get those shares for himself.
As for the other matter Dong-soo wanted him to look into, it’s a bit of a mystery. Dong-soo wanted to know the whereabouts of some mystery woman who Detective Tak did find, though he seems reticent to tell Dong-soo about her current state.

The smarmy ajumma finds Dong-soo sulking later and asks why, only for him to reveal that Detective Tak found his mother… the woman who abandoned him and his brothers. Ohhh. I’d just assumed she was dead, so it’s got to be like a knife in Dong-soo’s heart that she’s been living fine without them.
Yang-ha meets with Shin-hye to ask her about Dong-soo, since she’s the one who introduced him to his father, Chairman Yoon. Since she’s an open book of information on all her clients, she answers Yang-ha’s question regarding Dong-soo’s beef with Chairman Go by telling him that two of Dong-soo’s police colleagues died because of him.
“That’s all I know,” she says. “If you want to know more, ask him directly.” Yang-ha looks troubled… I wonder if he’s worried that Dong-soo’s revenge scheme will encompass his father as well as Chairman Go, since both were responsible for killing Daddy Jang.

I got two whole seconds to wonder about that, since Yang-ha tells his father about Dong-soo’s parentage and his concern as to whether that was the reason Dong-soo applied for the job.
He also argues that even without knowing whether Dong-soo knows about his father’s not-so-accidental death, they’d just be better off firing him anyway. His father decides to keep Dong-soo employed, citing the “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer” adage.
While Young-dal fails to win any points with Jung-hee’s little brother, Jang-soo’s father changes his tune about calling Young-dal good-for-nothing now that he won all that money. Get in line.
Young-dal smiles as he thinks back to Jung-hee’s speech about how he doesn’t have to feel ashamed around her when she’s no better than he is, though his expression darkens as he rereads her “Don’t gamble your life away” text…

…Especially since he flashes back to a recent meeting where Chairman Go officially accepted him as one of his own, claiming, “I feel like I’m looking at my past self when I look at you.” Oh, great. He tears down some boundaries with Young-dal by instructing him to call him “hyung-nim” instead of “chairman” now.
You can almost see the shame written all over Young-dal’s face, at least until Jang-soo comes in to excitedly tell his friend how everyone’s opinions of him being a worthless street mutt have changed now that he won it big. Yay…?
However, Young-dal seems to have been the only one wondering about just how the casino knew about their scheme ahead of time. On his orders, Jailbreak finds the hidden camera in their office, proving that Madame Jang and her lackey were the ones who sold them out.

So the three of them storm Madame Jang’s casino and kick all her customers out in order to have some alone time. Young-dal uses it to punch Jang’s lackey in the face before addressing Lady Kim with fire in his eyes: “Have you really made up your mind to destroy me, Noonim?”
He warns her that she’s playing a very dangerous game by provoking someone as ruthless as him, and for the first time, Lady Kim’s stricken expression seems to show that she believes his threats. For such a slight man, he literally radiates menace as he warns the three of them, Madame Jang included, that he’ll shut down their casino for good if they ever try crossing him again.
While Yang-ha deals with Chairman Go threatening Daejung Casino shareholders, Young-dal gives what he thinks is the good news of being accepted by Chairman Go to Boss Min.

She’s much less enthused, much more jaded, and warns Young-dal not to trust Chairman Go as far as he can spit—and to never, ever put his life on the line for a gangster who doesn’t know the meaning of the word loyalty.
Yang-ha doesn’t mince words when he meets with Chairman Go, and tells him point blank that Dong-soo is the son of Jang Jung-kook, the man Go killed.
It’s kind of funny how Chairman Go doesn’t even ask how Yang-ha got that information, nor does he even try denying his role in the murder. Though Yang-ha’s not sure whether Dong-soo knows the truth about his father’s death, he offers to drop his war with Chairman Go in favor of joining hands against a common enemy: Dong-soo.

The deal Yang-ha offers sounds too good to be true, since it includes all the things Chairman Go has been coveting as of late, including Daejung Group shares and a piece of that island resort pie. And all Chairman Go has to do is one little favor in return: “Get rid of Heo Young-dal for me. I’d prefer that he be left to rot behind bars.” That’s what this all boils down to?!
I’d almost forgotten that Madame Jang’s casino is owned by someone else, and we’re still given no clues as to who he is except for the fact that he’s trying to figure out a way to get rid of the tres amigos.

Even so, Madame Jang looks as though she wasn’t expecting the ensuing police raid—especially since she and her lackey end up in cuffs right alongside Young-dal and his boys.
When Boss Min finds out about Young-dal’s arrest, she calls Chairman Go expecting him to help… only to be told to let Young-dal rot in jail. Well, that was fast.
Madame Jang and her lackey get bailed out, leaving Young-dal and his friends behind. But Young-dal isn’t worried (yet), since he’s sure Chairman Go will spring them out.

Yang-ha smiles when he hears the news of Young-dal’s arrest, and makes it downstairs just in time to see Jung-hee receive the same news with a worried and nervous expression. He stares at her from afar for a long, unreadable moment.
Even though local Detective Gook headed the police raid, he still treats Young-dal as something of a trouble-making friend. At least enough to tell him that there’s no way for him to weasel out of what’s coming—the prosecution plans to indict him and send him straight to prison.

Dong-soo’s slow-burning revenge plan is in some serious trouble now, especially if his ambitious plot to pit one chairman against the other has now been obliterated under the weight of Yang-ha’s pettiness. I sincerely hope that Yang-ha joining hands with Chairman Go is all some sort of elaborate scheme, because if he put all that animosity (and a full-on declaration of war) aside just to see Young-dal suffer, it seems awfully short-sighted for a character who’s done a fair job so far of convincing us that he’s the most cunning of the three.
Normally, I’m always the one rooting for any characters suffering from unrequited crushes, and while I find Yang-ha interesting in a spider-in-a-jar sort of way, there’s very little to like about him—and that makes his subsequent crush on Jung-hee strangely unnerving. I had even begun to think that his feud with Young-dal stopped being about Jung-hee and became a matter of pride, but watching Yang-ha rush to see Jung-hee’s reaction to an arrest he orchestrated tells me that this is still all about her.
But instead of trying any traditional methods of wooing, or even just talking to Jung-hee, Yang-ha seems to believe that he’ll have her all to himself as soon as Young-dal is out of the way. There’s been no doubt about Yang-ha’s mental issues from the start, but this episode sets a whole new precedent by proving just how far Yang-ha is willing to go without making so much as a blip on his questionably-existent moral radar. And if Yang-ha is willing to team up with a man he literally knows to be a murderer in order to get rid of a romantic rival, what else is he capable of? He’s crazy enough to where I’d be legitimately worried if Jung-hee was caught alone with him. If only Shin-hye knew how to do her job.
Surprisingly, I’ve been liking Boss Min’s role in Young-dal’s life these past couple of weeks. Weirdly enough, she’s the closest thing to a mother figure he’s got, plus she seems to legitimately give a chip about him in a sea of people who couldn’t care less. It’s so sad whenever she brings Young-dal back to earth at any given moment, because his transition from naive happiness to sad understanding is like watching a kid holding a bunch of balloons while his crazy aunt occasionally pops one to remind him what failure feels like. Yes, Young-dal could use the life lessons—especially when it comes to trusting the nefariously idiotic Chairman Go—but darn it, stop hurting him!
All told, I’m most interested to see whether Dong-soo wisens up to the fact that his employer had only to do a background check on him to guess his full agenda, and whether he has any power in his current position to be of any help to Young-dal. So far I’m loving their growing friendship/bromance, and now that Young-dal seems to understand what it is to feel guilt, maybe he’ll think twice about betraying Dong-soo next time—if it ever comes to that again.

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