Sunday, August 31, 2014

Triangle: Episode 22

We’ve officially circled back to plotting and planning with minimal follow-through, which is its own kind of letdown for anyone weathering the meandering pace in the hopes that the emotional payoffs, however sparse, will make it all worthwhile. While this hour isn’t bereft of important brotherly connections, it certainly takes its sweet time exploring them, much to the detriment of the story flow. If Triangle doesn’t start shaping up soon, it’ll be yet another addition to the ever-growing list of Dramas Negatively Impacted By Extensions. And I, for one, don’t want it to be.
Ratings-wise, Triangle maintained its first place spot with 10.0% (I know!), while its competitors remained in the single digits.
DMTN – “Safety Zone” [ Download ]


Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the immediate fallout from Young-dal telling Yang-ha that he’s his long-lost little brother. Instead, we cut to both siblings after the fact as they brood about what just happened.
Yang-ha calls Kim Jin-soo to ask for the truth regarding his adoption, but the old man is reluctant to divulge any information as he insists, “You’re Chairman Yoon’s one and only son.”
“Before I was adopted, my name was Jang Dong-woo, wasn’t it?” Yang-ha presses. “My father was Jang Jung-kook. I have two hyungs: The oldest one is Jang Dong-soo, and the younger one is Jang Dong-chul. Is this true?”

Kim Jin-soo grows ever more uncomfortable as he insists that he knows nothing, but at Yang-ha’s incessant pleading, he finally gives in: “Yes, they are your brothers.”
Yang-ha reels in shock, tears streaming down his face as he asks if this means his real father was the man Chairman Yoon hired Chairman Go to kill. And if so, how could he have adopted him and raised him as his own? How?
The older man begs for Yang-ha’s forgiveness as he claims Chairman Yoon wasn’t aware of his parentage—he took it upon himself to try and atone for what happened by having Yang-ha raised by a wealthy family. This isn’t much of a balm to Yang-ha, who asks what right Kim Jin-soo had to decide something so enormous for him.
“What I did was wrong,” Kim sighs heavily. “Please forgive me.” But Yang-ha can only cry piteously as the truth of his existence settles in.

Since Young-dal is going through such a rough patch, Jang-soo tells the boys that he won’t be at work for a few days and asks Jung-hee to lend Young-dal whatever support she can. He’ll need it.
Jung-hee finds Young-dal moping alone, and isn’t successful in her early attempts to get him to open up. When he finally tells her that he recently found his younger brother, she smiles that that’s great news—what’s there to be sad about?
“My dongsaeng… is Yoon Yang-ha,” Young-dal admits. While Jung-hee’s eyes grow wide with shock, Young-dal’s remain distant and pensive as he adds guiltily that he’s the reason his little brother is about to get arrested.

Chairman Yoon has had it up to here with Young-dal, and tasks Director Hyun with getting rid of him. Knowing that Young-dal would have no reason to stay at Daejung without his connection to Elder Ahn, Director Hyun vows to find a way to sever their relationship.
Kim Jin-soo takes this chance to plead with Chairman Yoon about letting Yang-ha take the fall for him, but Yoon won’t be swayed: if they don’t feed Yang-ha to the prosecutors, it’d mean he’d have to take responsibility. And he has no intention of doing any such thing.
Young-dal feels hopeless when it comes to saving Yang-ha from prison, but Dong-soo refuses to let him fall into despair. He thinks that Elder Ahn might be of some help, and advises Young-dal to seek his opinion.

Since Yang-ha still seeks Shin-hye’s advice for whatever reason, he goes to her with the same conundrum his two brothers are facing: What should he do?
Her advice is for him to not take the fall for his father, but Yang-ha retorts that she’s asking him to abandon the man who’s raised(?) him his whole life for two brothers that just came out of nowhere.
Yang-ha decides that he’ll no longer seek Shin-hye out if this is the kind of stuff she’s going to spout, because he considers Dong-soo and Young-dal as nothing more than two people trying to take him and his father down.

Young-dal asks Elder Ahn if there’s any way of stopping the investigation not only because their main target has found a way to weasel out of it, but because the scapegoat, Yang-ha, is his long-lost little brother.
Elder Ahn knows an incredible turn of events when he sees one (only in dramaland), and empathizes with both Young-dal and Yang-ha as he promises to see what he can do.
Just in case we didn’t know Young-dal’s inner conflict, Boss Min explains it to Team Young-dal as she wonders if there’s anything she can do for their poor comrade.
Jang-soo tells her that there is, and asks if she can make sure Kang Sun-tae doesn’t spill whatever incriminating information he has on Chairman Yoon so they can prevent Yang-ha from going to jail.

And just in case we still weren’t up and up on what’s going on, Hyun-mi wonders aloud about Young-dal being responsible for Yang-ha’s possible-future-arrest. Jung-hee agrees as she murmurs, “They really shouldn’t be doing this to each other.”
They stand at awkward attention when Yang-ha passes them, but he stops momentarily to share a charged but silent glance with Jung-hee.
Onto the next scene where the same matter is discussed, this time with Director Hyun telling the casino managers to be on their toes with Yang-ha’s investigation on the horizon.
He gets in a dig about Manager Bae betting on the wrong horse (aka Yang-ha), before correcting Bae’s female counterpart on the rumor mill regarding Young-dal’s part in Yang-ha’s possible arrest. Of course, Manager Bae later tells her that the rumors are all true—Young-dal is responsible for the investigation.

Yang-ha starts his farewell tour before the investigation and stops by Director Hyun’s office to warn him against getting it into his head that he can become the heir to Daejung while he’s gone.
Director Hyun gets flustered now that he’s been found out, while Yang-ha all but shrugs at the futility of Hyun’s ambition. But he makes sure to warn him to be careful of Young-dal if he’s really going to try to usurp his position, “Because Heo Young-dal may be an even bigger threat to you than I am.”
While Chairman Go orders his minion to do something about Young-dal (for real this time you guys), Yang-ha warns Manager Bae to be careful of Director Hyun moments before men come to escort him to the prosecutor’s office.

Young-dal gets a brief moment with his littlest bro, only to be taken aback when Yang-ha declares that his relationship with his father is more important to him than his brothers are. This shocks Young-dal into asking if Yang-ha is unaware of what Chairman Yoon did to them.
“Your father isn’t Yoon Tae-joon,” Young-dal stresses. “It’s Jang Jung-kook. Your father is Jang Jung-kook, the man Yoon Tae-joon killed.” But Yang-ha snipes back that that name has no meaning to him—besides, he has no memories of that father.
“Dong-woo-ya,” Young-dal ekes out with tears in his eyes. Yang-ha: “Don’t call me by that name. My name is Yoon Yang-ha.” But even as he’s escorted away, Young-dal calls out his birth name pitifully.
Outside, Young-dal completely breaks down: “Dong-woo-ya… Dong-woo-ya…”

When Dong-soo confronts Chairman Yoon over his inaction regarding Yang-ha’s arrest, Chairman Yoon takes the same stance as his adopted son when it comes to who his real family is as he declares that Dong-soo’s relationship to Yang-ha means nothing to him.
Furthermore, he adds that Dong-soo and Young-dal are the reason Yang-ha’s being investigated at all—so if they care so much about him, they should do something about it.
Dong-soo tells Shin-hye how shocked he is over how little Chairman Yoon cares for Yang-ha, adding that he’s changed his mind about whether Yang-ha would be better off staying with his adoptive father: “If left under Yoon Tae-joon, Dong-woo will end up becoming a monster too.”

But Shin-hye, all-seeing and all-knowing, reminds him that they need to focus on how to free Yang-ha before anything else. That’s when Dong-soo tells her that Young-dal is working with Elder Ahn on his end to see what can be done. (Yes, but what are you doing about it?)
After finding out that Boss Min made sure Kang Sun-tae wouldn’t spill any of his incriminating information on Chairman Yoon, Young-dal calls to thank her. She passes it off as nothing, but makes sure to warn Young-dal that Chairman Go has put out orders for him to be taught a lesson. Again.

In order to protect Young-dal, Boss Min orders that all her men be mobilized to ward off Chairman Go’s men. Talk about déjà vu. Manbong takes on the role of general to Boss Min’s men as they gather to prepare for battle against the group of thugs Chairman Go has deployed near Madame Jang’s casino.
Madame Jang has enough warning to clear out any customers before Go’s thugs enter her casino looking for Young-dal. Boss Yang suffers no guilt in redirecting them to Daejung Casino instead.
After the leader of the Annoying Sunbae Trio continues to act uncharacteristically nice to Jung-hee only to talk viciously about her behind her back, Young-dal invites Jung-hee out to ease his loneliness.

Jung-hee’s just happy he reached out, explaining how consumed with worry she’s been about him. Over some soju, Young-dal takes her and himself down memory lane as he tells her about how he was left to care for his littlest brother alone and how painful it was when he was taken away from him.
She’s still having a hard time wrapping her head around the fact that Yang-ha is his long-lost brother, and asks what will happen to him now. Young-dal hangs his head as he admits that he’s doing everything he can to save him from being imprisoned, but doesn’t know if it’ll be enough.
Picking up on his mood, Jung-hee reaches across the table to grasp Young-dal’s hand in hers. “One day… Yoon Yang-ha will realize how much you truly care about him.”

Chairman Go’s thugs find Young-dal with Jung-hee and force him to follow them into a shady alley where they can duke it out. Jung-hee can do nothing but fret and call Jailbreak for help when she’s left behind.
Young-dal is outnumbered but excited at the prospect of taking the thugs on since he’s been itching for a fight. He actually ends up kicking so much ass that the thugs are sent running home to Daddy Go with their tails between their legs.
Team Young-dal freaks out about their friend’s fate since he never came home that night, unaware that he spent the night in his old room at Jung-hee’s house.

Little Byung-soo is the one to wake him up by calling him “Brother-in-law.” Hah. It’s adorable how Young-dal is so excited to be called that, as he ushers Byung-soo over to him with a grin: “I am, aren’t I? That’s what’ll probably happen, right?” Awwww.
Of course, Byung-soo extorts his new soon-to-be family member by saying that his friend’s brother-in-law always gives him money—so of course, Young-dal wants to earn points and does the same. Cute cute cute.

Young-dal’s smile only brightens when he finds that Jung-hee has prepared breakfast for him and the family, while Grandma dotes over him approvingly. To add to this idyllic scene, he and Jung-hee also share a sweet little smile when their eyes meet across the table.
Team Young-dal is relieved to see him safe and sound at work the next day, though Boss Min calls him like a worried mother to take him to task about going off the grid last night.
However, when he tells her that he plans to meet with her to make plans about Chairman Go, she assumes that he’s finally planning on taking care of Go for good.

Young-dal meets with SUNG YOO-JIN (executive decision to call Jiyeon by her character name, now that we know it), and is introduced to her sidekick, DIRECTOR YEON, from her father’s conglomerate Hanchang Group.
She immediately cuts to the chase: Hanchang Group and the American-based casino conglomerate Anderson Group are about to sign a ten billion dollar investment deal.
It would completely eclipse the deal Daejung made for their newest island resort, but Anderson has a condition: They want a monopoly over foreign clients. That’s why Yoo-jin contacted Young-dal, because if he can help her solve that condition, she’ll cut him in on the deal.

After telling Dong-soo that Yang-ha has been released thanks to Young-dal’s behind-the-scenes help, Shin-hye finds Yang-ha to tell him the same thing. He stands by his decision to not consider his brothers as his family, but Shin-hye manages to convince him to meet with Dong-soo before he decides to cut his blood ties completely.
Yang-ha’s face remains stoic and impassive as Dong-soo admits that he doesn’t have the right to call himself his brother after he failed to protect him as a baby. “But Dong-woo-ya… even if you deny our relationship, don’t deny our father, Jang Jung-kook. No matter how you decide to live your life, don’t ever erase his name from your heart.”

As Dong-soo goes on to say that he won’t object if Yang-ha and Young-dal decide to live separate lives as long as they’re not fighting, Yang-ha’s eyes begin to glisten with unshed tears. Dong-soo adds that if he only had one wish for his youngest brother, it would be for him not to follow in Chairman Yoon’s footsteps.
Dong-soo: “Do you remember telling me once that money was honor, money was pride, and money was everything? That’s not true. There are so many things more important than money in this world. What breaks my heart and saddens me the most is that Chairman Yoon raised you to think that way.”
After choking back his own tears, Dong-soo excuses himself. Yang-ha never says a word.

Yang-ha is embraced by Chairman Yoon upon his return, though he can’t help but think back to Dong-soo’s wish that he not follow in his father’s footsteps. But methinks Yang-ha knows just how little his father was involved in his early release when he tells his father that it was all thanks to his efforts—when in reality, he knows he has Young-dal to thank.
Speaking of, Chairman Yoon promises Yang-ha that he’ll get rid of Young-dal and Elder Ahn. Yang-ha doesn’t need to worry about a thing.
While Chairman Go is over the moon upon hearing news that the investigation into Yang-ha (and himself by extension) has been called off, Young-dal’s buddies are just as over the moon when he tells them that they could get cut into that multi-billion dollar Hanchang deal.

But since news only arrives via human messenger pigeons, Young-dal is the last one to find out about Yang-ha’s release—even though he was the one pulling strings to make it happen. Whatever the case, Young-dal is happy to hear it.
Dong-soo is the next person to call Young-dal with the same news, admitting that Yang-ha’s release was all thanks to him. But Young-dal quickly catches on to the fact that Dong-soo has had a little too much to drink as his hyung laments that he’s too ashamed to even face Young-dal because he’s never done anything nice for him.

He starts to tear up as he claims he’s happy Yang-ha was released, but that his heart still aches every time he thinks of Young-dal. Because he feels sick to his stomach when he thinks about how the three of them ended up this way and because of the rage he feels toward Chairman Yoon, he felt justified in having a few drinks.
“I just miss our father so much today,” Dong-soo says as he breaks down over the phone. Young-dal can do nothing but voice his concern for his hyung… at least until Dong-soo, in desperation, asks what they’re going to do about Yang-ha.
He hangs up before Young-dal can even try to answer, and as we see both brothers crying separately, we find Yang-ha drinking alone as he thinks back to his meeting with Dong-soo, as well as his father’s promise to get rid of Young-dal.

Yang-ha is welcomed back to Daejung with open arms as the new CEO by everyone but Director Hyun, who plans to bring about Yang-ha’s downfall by pitting him against his black-hearted father.
Speak of the devil, Chairman Yoon calls Yang-ha to say that he’s “taken care of” Elder Ahn, and that all Yang-ha has to do is take care of Young-dal.

…Which means Young-dal is in for a rude awakening when he gets to work only for Messenger Pigeon Jun-ho to tell him that Elder Ahn has been in a car accident. He’s alive, at least, but in very critical condition.
Yang-ha watches the exchange in shock before Young-dal sprints from the building, hell bent on getting to the hospital as fast as he can.

Seeing as how Chairman Yoon can do his own dirty work with about about 99.9% more efficiency than Chairman Go, I’m hard-pressed to find a reason why Go is still treated as though he’s not totally obsolete and/or irrelevant. He had his time in the spotlight as a particularly nasty villain, but that time seems to have come and gone now that Young-dal’s entered the big leagues—heck, the show even hung a lantern on Chairman Go losing his villainous flair when he literally asked his minion if he lost it.
So we saw a big deal made of Chairman Go’s inability to carry out any orders ever last episode, and when he was tasked with taking care of Young-dal (again), only to fail spectacularly (again), I was actually kind of glad we didn’t cut to Chairman Go getting a cartoonish “I’ll get you next time, Gadget! Neeeext time!” moment. Because that’s all it would’ve been at this point: a joke. He’s turned into a joke at this point, so I really hope Young-dal was being serious about taking care of Chairman Go. Someone’s gotta do it.
While I admit to feeling a bit underwhelmed with Yang-ha’s reaction to the big reveal, there’s definitely room for growth now that he seems to be even the slightest bit torn between his adoptive not-a-family and his real one. Young-dal’s change in the way he approached Yang-ha was also very subtle (maybe too subtle), since he didn’t spend all that long reconciling the Yang-ha he hated versus the little brother he’s been missing. I was expecting more conflict on that front, but it’s not so out of character that Young-dal can’t ignore his better self even if he wishes he could. And even though he’d like to lump Yang-ha in with Chairman Yoon, this hour made it clear that he thinks of Yang-ha as his flesh and blood, whether he likes it or not.
Which still leaves Dong-soo with nothing to do but continue his career path of being Sad And Worried. There’s clearly some self-awareness on the part of the show when it comes to Chairman Go’s impotence, but I do wonder whether Dong-soo’s ineptitude is something that will be addressed anytime soon. His conversation with Yang-ha was just about the only worthwhile action he had, since his only other attempt to do something in confronting Chairman Yoon was just sad. He clearly made no plans other than to tell Chairman Yoon his thoughts, so when Chairman Yoon all but brushed him off, he was left with nothing. He made no impact. That scene was rendered completely unnecessary.
However, if Dong-soo’s tearful phone call with Young-dal is any indicator, there could be a possibility for some character change on the horizon. I wouldn’t know, because spinning theories based on future unknowns is Shin-hye’s job.


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