While Doctor Stranger still held the lead with 10.1%, Triangle inched up on its competitor, as this episode hit 8.9%. Still yet, Trot Lovers remained steady, netting a 6.1%.
SONG OF THE DAY
Vanilla Acoustic – “한 번쯤 니가 먼저 (Maybe Once You Were First)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 18 RECAP
After failing to flag down the van that kidnapped Jung-hee, Yang-ha makes an angry phone call to Chairman Go, accusing him of resorting to abduction to get back at Young-dal. “She’s someone special to me, too.” But Chairman Go takes offense and denies doing anything of the sort.
Recalling when Director Hyun spoke of how Yang-ha recently fell out of favor with his adoptive father, Chairman Go had remarked that Chairman Yoon was crueler than he thought.
Still, it seems Chairman Go was truly unaware of any kind of kidnapping, since he tries to find out who the victim was, only to be told that it’s best to leave Myung-jae to his own devices. Elsewhere, poor Jung-hee is tied up and alone, hollering for help that may never come.
Myung-jae is pleased that things are going according to plan—there’s no point in letting Young-dal know that his love one’s been kidnapped since he’ll come crawling to them once he finds out, anyway.
Missing Jang-soo finally makes contact from Macau, having been recently released from his captors. After hearing that Yang-ha intervened after finding out about their plans in Macau, Young-dal tells his scared friend to return to Korea quickly.
It’s only now that Young-dal learns that Hanchang Group (Chairman Sung’s casino enterprise) has a working relationship with Myungahnsoo Group, and connects the dots that they’ve been had.
He grabs a fistful of Yang-ha’s suit when the latter comes storming into his office, but he’s told that they’ve got bigger things to worry about than business right now—Jung-hee’s been kidnapped.
Yang-ha pins the blame of her abduction on him, and because this is Realization Hour for Young-dal, he works out that Myung-jae somehow found out about Jung-hee. The truth finally hits when he tries calling, but her phone goes unanswered.
At least he sends Jailbreak to the house to cover up Jung-hee’s disappearance so that they don’t worry by informing her family that she’ll be working the graveyard shift. Aw, that’s sweet.
Once Dong-soo is filled in, he warns Young-dal against any rash behavior since doing so will be playing into Myung-jae’s hands. While Dong-soo has his former detective team look into Myung-jae’s whereabouts, Boss Min and Manbong try to keep Young-dal calm.
Young-dal is a bundle of nerves, unable to bear sitting idly while Jung-hee’s in danger, but Boss Min says one wrong move could endanger her further. Hardly able to endure seeing Young-dal so distressed, she asks Manbong if they should really act, but he advises against it.
Both Young-dal and Yang-ha brood separately, thinking back to their last conversations with Jung-hee. And for what it’s worth, Jung-hee might be scared, but unharmed.
After Director Hyun learns of Jung-hee’s kidnapping the next day, he calls Chairman Go to devilishly say that her involvement could kill two birds with one stone for them, since Jung-hee is someone both Young-dal and Yang-ha care about.
So Young-dal suggests to his rival to temporarily put aside their differences and work together to save Jung-hee. Young-dal acknowledges that he’s the reason why she’s been taken, but points out that Yang-ha isn’t exempt either, because he could have stopped Chairman Go.
Yang-ha argues that Chairman Go knew nothing, a naive kind of thinking Young-dal scoffs at. Her kidnapping was definitely Myung-jae’s doing, which means he’s teamed up with Chairman Go.
Detective has a guess on where Jung-hee might be held captive, but he warns Dong-soo against infiltrating the location on his own. Dong-soo assures him that he won’t. While Jang-soo belatedly hears about Jung-hee’s kidnapping, Young-dal gets some advice from Shin-hye on how to proceed, though we don’t get to hear what that is.
Meanwhile, Jung-hee finally meets her captor Myung-jae, who tsks at her—this is the unfortunate consequence for dating the wrong guy. Then we interrupt this dramatic moment to focus on this short PPL close-up.
Evidently Shin-hye’s advice turns out to be the same words Young-dal’s been hearing all day: Stay calm, don’t act first, and don’t show any sign of weakness because his enemy could use that against him. Furthermore, giving into the kidnapper’s demands will only make Jung-hee’s rescue more difficult.
So when Young-dal gets an incoming call from Jung-hee’s phone, his thumb hovers over the screen. He’s clearly conflicted on what to do, but then musters up the courage to pick up.
Oh thank god—it’s Jung-hee’s voice on the other end of the line. Even though hearing her panicky, fearful cries trouble him, Young-dal does his best to sound as detached as possible. Myung-jae takes over the call, but he falls at getting any kind of concern out of Young-dal.
It’s a good thing this conversation isn’t a video call because while we can see how Young-dal’s bothered expression betrays his gruff replies, neither Jung-hee nor Myung-jae can. His eyes start to fill with tears as he tells Myung-jae that he doesn’t have a girlfriend, so Myung-jae can feel free to do whatever he wants.
Having to listen to Jung-hee’s intensified terror and desperate pleas to come and save her eventually become too much for Young-dal to take. He wipes away his tears as he’s forced to grit out words he doesn’t mean: that Jung-hee means nothing to him.
Jung-hee can hardly believe what she’s hearing even as Young-dal spells it out for her: “Do you think I’m the same lowlife who used to chase you?” Now he’s a big-time exec who can’t be held back like a casino dealer like her. It’s only after Young-dal hangs up first does he beat himself up for the callous words he didn’t mean, holding back angry tears.
Myung-jae looks legitimately confused at his stone-hearted words while Jung-hee sobs. He isn’t happy with his informant Top Dog (ah, so he’d squealed about Young-dal’s relationship with Jung-hee) but neither is he willing to let go of their hostage just yet.
Yang-ha, meanwhile, beelines it for Chairman Go’s office to demand Jung-hee’s release. He’s not having any of Go’s excuses today, though a brief flicker of surprise passes over his eyes at the mention of his affections for Jung-hee.
Yang-ha growls that he won’t forgive him if something should happen to her, adding that Chairman Go will keep that in mind lest he wants to lose his stake in Daejung’s casino and resort.
When Go uses the card that Yang-ha doesn’t have the authority to pull such threats anymore, Yang-ha calls those mere rumors and declares this at the end of their dealings together. But Chairman Go asks how he’ll face Young-dal if Jung-hee goes free, to which Yang-ha offers a gift—in exchange for leaving Young-dal to him, Yang-ha will give Chairman Go a stake in the deal struck with Myungahnsoo Group.
That does the trick to secure Jung-hee’s release, and Yang-ha finds her shaken and alone, but unharmed. He unties her and asks if she’s okay, concern written on his face. She nods.
Gently wiping a tear from her cheek, Yang-ha draws her into a comforting hug. And… is it just me or does Jung-hee look like she’s having second thoughts about him? Um, maybe it’s just because she’s been through a traumatic experience.
That intimate moment is cut short, however, when Manbong arrives with his crew and mistakes Yang-ha for the kidnapper, only for Jung-hee to clarify the situation. Did Young-dal send Manbong over to rescue her?
He must have, since he paces nervously in his office. He’s utterly relieved to hear that Jung-hee is safe now, though he doesn’t know that Yang-ha got there first. Infuriated by how Top Dog has betrayed them, Boss Min issues the order for him to be found.
Yang-ha drops Jung-hee off at home, telling her take some time off work. Even in her exhaustion, Jung-hee says she’ll be back soon and turns to leave, but Yang-ha stops her to tell her to think of this whole situation as a bad dream and put it behind her.
“It’s such a relief that I can wake up from this bad dream,” she replies wearily. As Yang-ha sends her on her way, neither he nor Jung-hee are aware that Young-dal is standing just around the corner.
As soon as Jung-hee’s alone in her room, she slumps to the ground and breaks down in a new wave of tears, recalling Young-dal harsh words versus his sincerity. As for Young-dal, he broods and drinks alone, remembering Jung-hee’s wishes for his life and her desperate pleas over the phone.
Yang-ha lives to see another day as Daejung Group’s heir thanks to securing that deal with Myungahnsoo Group. He smirks to see Young-dal losing a little respect (and patience) with Chairman Yoon, and dismisses Director Hyun’s worries that Hanchang Group is becoming a bigger threat.
Young-dal calls up Jang-soo asking if there’s any other way to curry favor with Chairman Yoon. Jang-soo doesn’t know of any, but Young-dal picks up an interesting tidbit: Chairman Yoon and Sung are in talks of an arranged marriage between their children (Jiyeon and Yang-ha).
Director Hyun takes the concerned approach with Jiyeon (her name’s Yoo-jin, but for consistency, we’ll stick with Jiyeon), saying how it bothers him how she’s just being used by Yang-ha.
Madame Jang and her lackey are barred from entering Daejung Casino. Ah, was this her plan to net some Daejung VIPs? Boss Yang tells them not to worry—he’ll pull some strings since his son’s on payroll here. But Jang-soo just waves them away later.
Young-dal and his buddies put their heads together to come up with something, anything before they’re made fools of by Chairman Yoon. Since Yang-ha went behind their backs, they’ll just repay the favor in kind, Young-dal figures. But he doesn’t say how.
Myung-jae pays a surprise visit to Boss Min’s, and the two exchange terse pleasantries before she tells him to cut to the chase. Like he told Young-dal, he has a similar warning for Boss Min and Manbong: to stop supporting Young-dal and walk away.
Neither Boss Min and Manbong intend to do anything of the sort. They’re awesome.
Yang-ha can barely hide his happiness when he receives a dinner invite from Jung-hee. She runs into Young-dal on her way over, and awww, Young-dal even looks happy to see her. Still angry, she walks past him.
Yang-ha is beyond excited about their plebian outing, though she says it’s to repay him for saving her. Nearby, Young-dal looks on with a forlorn expression. This feels like a repeat from Episode 12.
As Jiyeon spots Yang-ha leaving the building with Jung-hee, she recalls how Director Hyun told her specifically whom Yang-ha has feelings for: Jung-hee.
When Young-dal meets up with Jiyeon later, he’s surprised to hear that she already knows about both his current corporate and past gangster reputation.
Somehow Shin-hye’s social network surpasses anyone else in this show, because she sits down with Yang-ha’s right-hand man. She knows that he was responsible for Yang-ha’s adoption process. And perhaps for the first time in this show, she doesn’t get the info she wants because someone tells her that she’s poking her nose into people’s personal lives.
Shin-hye, however, finds this all too convenient and tells Dong-soo that she knows who his baby brother Dong-woo is. But… you don’t have even have any solid evidence!
Still, it doesn’t stop her from telling him that Chairman Yoon was the one who adopted Dong-woo. In other words: “Yoon Yang-ha is Jang Dong-woo.”
Seriously, seriously Shin-hye?! Even if I know you’re right about the Jang brothers, you still manage to find ways to blow my mind whenever you state presumptions as fact. Sigh. (punches a pillow). On the teensy upside when it comes to Shin-hye, though: It was about time that someone told her no and that her meddling does no one any good, even if she is the resident character who runs around collecting information for the show.
For what it’s worth, I’d been wondering how much longer we’d needed to wait for either Dong-soo and Young-dal to find out about baby bro’s current identity and whereabouts. So while I’m not exactly thrilled at such a swift execution within the last few minutes, things are going to shake up between our three Jang brothers soon. If we spend time seeing all the brainstorming for future secret plans actually being executed than being given more brainstorming sessions, that is. To that end, I can tell that Triangle is asking for my patience once more while it brews up more conflict in the latter course of its run. We found out that Young-dal didn’t anticipate that Yang-ha would intervene in his business plans this round, and although I want to trust that Young-dal’s semi-secret strategy will be clever, I also miss the Young-dal who told us his thought processes so that we can anticipate for the future with him.
Basically, I’m hoping that the payoffs for all this setup comes ’round soon, because right now these pair of episodes feel like two steps backwards and one step forward in terms of progression. It might be why I couldn’t feel as scared or panicked for Jung-hee when she was kidnapped, especially when we got some random baddie we were supposed to be scared of in Myung-jae Hyungnim but weren’t because he seemed to pop out of thin air. So then at least twenty minutes of this hour was devoted to see every character who needed to know about Jung-hee’s kidnapping find out about her kidnapping. Still, it was Young-dal’s conversation with Jung-hee that remains a standout moment—we could see how much it pained him to be so harsh at Jung-hee to buy just a little more time. And although he had to act tougher than her kidnapper at the time, his actions (and expressions) still show that he does indeed care for her.
And because Jung-hee had fought for their relationship multiple times, even while she was held captive, I could also identify how betrayed she would feel by Young-dal. It still doesn’t make me feel any better about her rekindling a friendship with Yang-ha (that’s hopefully out of gratitude and nothing else, because I love our couple) which almost feels like lather, rinse, and repeat at this point in the game. Maybe the truth that youngest bro has been unknowingly trying to take down his hyungs will break him out of his reverie. Or maybe we should let the boyish crazy man enjoy his moment. For now.