Friday, August 29, 2014

Triangle: Episode 13

What poor, unfortunate souls our three Jang brothers are. Two brothers fight over the affections of one girl while the oldest gets a glimpse into how dark he can get if he allows it. On the upside, there are sweet moments in our budding romance, and I can’t get enough of watching the once-playboy stammer in awkward nervousness and betray a shy smile whenever he’s talking to the girl of his dreams.

BTOB – “그 입술을 뺏었어 (Irresistible Lips)” [ Download ]

Jung-hee asks when Young-dal was released from prison, disappointed to hear that it’s been some time and he didn’t call to let her know. His eyes downcast until now, Young-dal lifts his head to honestly admit how he wrestled with himself about whether he could call or come see her.
He says it’s because he wasn’t confident to uphold his promise to her in leading a more respectable life. His answer takes the wind out of her sails—what does that make her for waiting for him all this time for him? For reserving the spare room until he returned?
She walks away, angry and hurt, but Young-dal to confess that he never stopped thinking about her and that he missed her like crazy. He didn’t have the courage to face her after spending that year in jail. Her eyes well up in tears, calling him dumb, and Young-dal pulls her into a tight embrace. Aww.

Chairman Yoon is incensed to learn that Dong-soo is responsible for leading the class action lawsuit, which Director Hyun uses to bolster his argument that Daejung has faced too much trouble under young Yang-ha’s direction. In short, he sees the arrogant orphan boy as unfit to lead Daejung in the future and tells Yang-ha’s right hand man to reconsider his loyalties.
Grandma is absolutely beside herself to see Young-dal again, wanting nothing more than to make him a homemade meal. Aw, I’ll never tire of her sweet adoration towards him. Little Byung-soo is curious about what prison life is like at the dinner table, taking the “doing prison time” idiom in a literal sense and asks if one really eats “rice with beans.”

But Young-dal kindly answers that the food is better than that, and the air turns somber as Grandma sighs at how Young-dal had no family to rely on when he served time. He nods when she asks if he can’t remember his family. With that, they all continue eating, and Young-dal can barely hold back his tears. Poor thing.
His room is just as he left it like Jung-hee said, and both she and Young-dal smile to themselves in their respective spaces.
Dong-soo receives another important file from Detective Tak and laughs to hear that the detectives aren’t getting along with the new team leader in charge. He also plans to pay his mother a visit and asks for her address.

Chairman Yoon tears into his son about the dismal outlook of the company’s future, threatening to revoke his authority if this ends badly for them. Although Yang-ha looks just as timid like he was in the beginning of the series, he vows to take care of it, then runs to the bathroom to take his pills. (Okay, PPL seriously works—is that phone waterproof? I want one.)
Yang-ha relays the information of Dong-soo’s involvement in the lawsuit to Chairman Go, who takes personal offense at the action. Chairman Go is too ashamed to admit the massive amount of money he lost in Daejung stocks and vows to take Dong-soo down.
Likening Dong-soo to a venomous snake, Yang-ha warns that provoking him in the wrong way will only come back to bite them. That calls for using a hunting dog then, which means putting Young-dal to the task again.

Speaking of whom, Young-dal goes back to work for Boss Yang, a decision that perplexes Jang-soo since he should be hustling to pay Manbong back. But Young-dal tells him that he has a plan and it’s best that no one knows what that entails right now. I hope you mean getting revenge on Yang-ha and Chairman Go. You better not keep secrets from us, Young-dal!
His first order of business is to pay a visit to the underground casino, where business is booming, and he notes how Madame Jang didn’t even visit him once while he was in prison. He’s here to ask for some funds, since yunno, he’s practically broke right now.
Then Young-dal sits down with Elder Ahn and admits that he’s going to take the kind old man up on his offer.

Yang-ha seeks out Elder Ahn at a local restaurant, where the elderly man insists on treating him to a meal. He’s here to follow-up on that loan request for Daejung and initially declines the cheap eats, but tastes the food anyway.
His voice hardens when he hears that there’s a stipulation to the loan’s disbursement, saying that he went through the paperwork. But that isn’t what Elder Ahn means—rather, Daejung must use one of his people whenever he demands it. As in, that person will have a say in the company’s operations. Yang-ha isn’t happy about it, but agrees.
It turns out that the file Dong-soo received concerns a man named Lee Young-geun, who became Daejung Casino’s largest shareholder after bailing the conglomerate out of trouble on numerous occasions over the years. What Dong-soo plans to do is drive a wedge between their longstanding relationship, and Shin-hye worries that things may end up badly messing with such a bigshot, which is why Dong-soo plans to get it done quickly.

Shin-hye is called out to meet Young-dal, who asks if it’s possible to recover his past memories with psychotherapy. She suggests that it may be possible through hypnosis and tap into his subconscious. Even if I know that this technique will work for the purposes of the narrative, I still don’t want Shin-hye to be the one to do it… though she probably will, anyway.
The annoying sunbae trio gathers the new recruits to grill them about meeting clients on their down time. Jung-hee stands up to them, citing that they’re no model employees, either, but the leader points out that everyone knows the rumor that she’s dating Yang-ha. The other recruits chime in in her defense, which effectively gets the sunbaes to back off.

Hyun-mi is proud that her friend stood up for herself, and then asks if she’s interested in meeting a casino manager in Seoul for better-paying jobs. Jung-hee says she can’t leave her family, to which her friend argues that she can still send money to her family, or better yet, have the whole family move.
Boss Min shoves some money to the male casino manager who allegedly takes weekend trips to Macau and has already lost quite some money because of his gambling addiction. Getting him on their side will get them the inside scoop on Daejung’s happenings and she promises to do her best to stop Chairman Go from looking Young-dal up.

Yang-ha waits for Jung-hee in her neighborhood after work and is just about to call after her when he sees Young-dal run up to greet her. He looks on as Jung-hee teases Young-dal for acting all meek (which Young-dal swears he’s only like whenever he’s around her) and asking her out on a date. The two leave hand-in-hand.
It’s adorable just how normal their date is, as they eat ddukbokki together and shop for groceries, and Young-dal takes any and every opportunity to hold her hand. They’re both wearing ear-splitting grins by the time they get home, which makes Grandma uneasy.

Grandma is pretty sharp and pulls Jung-hee aside to clarify that while she adores and pities Young-dal, she doesn’t think they’re suited for each other. She’s against the idea of them being an item when Jung-hee should be dating better fish in the sea. Aww, Grandma, I know you want what’s best for Jung-hee, but the boy makes her happy!
Yang-ha drinks alone looking even more miserable and forlorn than ever. He throws his glass against the wall and buries his head underneath his hands.
When Dong-soo swore that this would be a new and dark turn for him, he wasn’t kidding—he uses a taser against Lee Young-geun in the elevator and holds the man hostage with his hands tied in a boiler room. Dong-soo looks more menacing than he’s ever been and tells Lee he has no other choice than to do as he’s told.

Dong-soo isn’t the least bit afraid of death and throws the secret file that contains all of Lee’s darkest secrets onto the floor. He scoffs, claiming that Lee brought this on himself and even a man who uses power and authority to move mountains like himself can do little once this info goes public. Even worse, what will his family think of his dirty and corrupt nature?
Dong-soo knows that he has Lee under his thumb now, and he divulges that he knows Lee’s only daughter works at Daejung: Soo-jung. Omo. He threatens to show his daughter the incriminating photos of her father dallying with girls younger than her. And that gets Lee to cave.

The male casino manager Bae has heard that another casino in Seoul is actively recruiting casino dealers by offering a higher salary. He’s suspicious when he sees Jun-ho meeting Jailbreak again (here to get more names of Daejung’s VIP clients), recognizing him as one of Young-dal’s boys.
Manager Bae takes what he learns about Young-dal’s current whereabouts straight to Yang-ha, who downplays his interest. Recalling his earlier conversation with Chairman Go, Yang-ha calls him to request that Young-dal be “taken care of.” Again.
Meanwhile, Chairman Yoon sits down with Shareholder Lee to ask for his help and pull some strings once more. However this time, Shareholder Lee declines and calls Dong-soo to inform his as much. Dong-soo covers his bases and warns Lee of the repercussions should he back out of his word.

Shin-hye finds Dong-soo deep into his fourth bottle of soju and disgusted with himself at how he made vile threats against a man to get his way. She looks at him with sympathetic eyes as he throws himself in self-punishment, cursing his own wretched ways.
She takes his hand and comforts him with silence as he breaks down in tears.
Chairman Go greets Young-dal warmly, claiming he had no idea that he was in prison. Young-dal keeps up appearances, though his modesty makes Chairman Go furrow his eyebrows in suspicion. Still, it’s enough to convince Chairman Go that his once-faithful hunting dog is now too weak to bring Dong-soo down.

Jung-hee’s boss asks whether she’s been recruited by the casino in Seoul, to which Jung-hee honestly replies that nothing is set in stone. She isn’t against Jung-hee advancing in her career, but advises her to take serious thought in her decision because she’s never seen anyone who takes every alluring job offer thrown their way succeed in the long run.
Yang-ha surprises Jung-hee with a week-long vacay in Vegas, upholding his promise to send her there for winning the casino competition. It just so happens that he has to go there for a business trip next month, so he suggests that they go together, an idea that catches her off-guard.
We learn that Shareholder Lee had informed Chairman Yoon that he was being threatened by Dong-soo. That conversation still weighs on Chairman Yoon’s mind when Chairman Go comes knocking. Believing Dong-soo is even a greater threat than his father was, Chairman Yoon orders Chairman Go to do away with him, too.

Today also happens to be Daddy Jang’s death anniversary again, as Dong-soo pays his respects to his father. Young-dal arrives just then, hesitant to interrupt such a private occasion until Dong-soo invites him in.
Something about Daddy Jang’s portrait gives Young-dal pause, noting how there’s something familiar about it. It’s a bit morbid how Dong-soo reflects on how Daddy Jang passed away when he was his age, but changes the topic to ask what Young-dal’s doing in Seoul.
He laughs in amusement to hear the story of how Chairman Go tried to recruit Young-dal again and pleased to hear that things are going according to plan. Dong-soo is confident that he shook up Chairman Yoon big time, unaware that the Daejung chairman knows of his involvement.

Elder Ahn visits Yang-ha at Daejung and speaks of how the gambling industry has grown over the years. He agrees that there’s no business that’s as successful as one that feeds a person’s greed, a part of human nature that never goes away. He agrees to lend money to Daejung if the company agrees to his condition, to Yang-ha’s delight.
Afterward, Elder Ahn swings by to see Boss Min, who used to be one of his former employees back in the day. He informs Young-dal & Co. that things are going according to plan, yet warns him that Yang-ha is quite the formidable opponent.
“Patience is the most important thing when it comes to winning this battle,” he advises. “It’s impossible to win if you don’t know how to bide your time.”

Yang-ha shares the good news with his father, who tells him that the Dong-soo matter has already been settled. For a guy who overheard his own father order Daddy Jang’s death, Yang-ha seems oddly perplexed by those words.
He does, however, confront Young-dal on his way home that evening. I wish I could say Yang-ha has the right to tell Young-dal to back off and leave Jung-hee alone, but he doesn’t with his one-sided crush. Young-dal uses this opportunity to put Elder Ahn’s advice into practice and remains calm, goading Yang-ha to do something about it then.
Being called a piece of trash hardly affects him now, and Young-dal leans in to declare confidently that Jung-hee already likes him, so there. Then he taunts Yang-ha even further by telling him that if Yang-ha can’t deal with that, he can go ahead and try to woo Jung-hee’s heart.

With that, Young-dal smirks and heads inside, leaving Yang-ha seething in his wake.
Oh great—Shin-hye is now Young-dal’s psychiatrist, too, since she’ll apparently be leading his hypnosis sessions in the comfort of her own home. She outlines the process for him with the added reminder that Young-dal could end up recalling some painful repressed memories.

He’s told that he’s free to stop at any time, since he’ll have full awareness and control over his body, and thus they begin the journey into his subconscious mind. Shin-hye slowly counts backwards, and then Young-dal falls under.
It’s also at this moment that Dong-soo walks in on the session, though Shin-hye quickly shushes him. Here you are doing your job for once, Shin-hye, and you couldn’t lock the door? Sigh.
Fine, we’ll just roll with the show’s portrayal of Shin-hye as an effective hypnotherapist instead of, yunno, focusing on how she fails on all counts to protect any of her clients’ privacy or confidentiality. Which also means that Dong-soo gets to stick around for this session.

As Young-dal’s memories flash into view, he verbalizes what he sees: a young boy crying and carrying an infant on his back. He doesn’t know where it is, except that it’s a dark and cold night. Asked who else is there, Young-dal recalls, “Hyung’s there…”
“Hyung is saying something to me,” he continues, tears streaming down his cheeks. “Hyung… tells me to look after my little brother and he leaves.”
As Young-dal paints the memory of that night for us, we see young Young-dal carrying his brother, his cheeks stained with tears to see his older brother run off. “My little brother keeps crying… and I’m scared.”
Dong-soo’s eyes widen, those words triggering a wave of recognition. But the tears keep coming as Young-dal lets his repressed emotions wash over him.

As much as I’m proud of Young-dal to search for answers locked in his memories, I hate how incompetent Shin-hye is as a psychiatrist. I suppose on one hand being the one (and only) mental health professional in both Seoul and Sabuk gives her some kind of role in this show, as her job description gets longer with each passing episode along with her clientele. So far she’s been a profiler/drinking buddy/hiking partner/girlfriend/temporary detective/psychoanalyst wizard who now has seen all three Jang brothers. And even though she isn’t aware that the three men are all related, it doesn’t change the fact that they all know each other and that she’s even offered to introduce them to each other at one point or another.
Furthermore, it never fails to bother me how Shin-hye is the one who knows all of their deepest and darkest secrets—she is (or should be) aware of Yang-ha’s volatile nature, knows how deep Dong-soo’s guilt runs, and the one to guide Young-dal in his memories and bring him to the verge of a breakthrough. Even if we never knew what type of therapy she’s trained in or specializes in, or even broach the effectiveness of a recovered-memory therapy technique, I realize that it wouldn’t even matter just so long as the therapy method she chooses will give her more screentime.
So aside from how she possesses the magical ability to help someone recover their memories in a few minutes, I do see the importance of Dong-soo’s physical presence in the session, even if it breaks a thousand ethical guidelines. I really love watching the ebb and flow in Dong-soo and Young-dal’s relationship, and we’ve all been longing for the day the brothers recognize one another so that they can work together to bring down their enemies.
Still yet, I like how both Young-dal and Dong-soo are slowly becoming smarter about how they approach their revenge. What this show does well is in building in those lessons in our characters as we watch them fail, learn from those mistakes, and try something even better. So while it’s good that Young-dal doesn’t show his hand to his enemies, I hope that he keeps us viewers in the loop of his revenge or at least in his thought processes.
The rise and fall of these battlefield attempts apply to Yang-ha as well, though we can see that he has no one to turn to for his misery. Finally, Dong-soo’s dip into the dark side was interesting to watch, since you wonder just how far a former detective would go to seek his revenge. Although brief, we saw insight into how a taste of evil affects him and how much it disgusts him. Of course, Dong-soo has plenty of other things to worry about in this show since the baddies are after his life this time. Here’s to hoping that he discovers the truth before his lifeline runs out.

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