Sunday, September 07, 2014

Triangle: Episode 24

More threats are issued, more theoretical wars are waged, and more scenes are devoted to following not-so-vital pieces of information around than you would’ve ever thought possible. I honestly wish I had better news as we head toward finale week, but I’ve actually become increasingly convinced that Triangle is less about the reunion of its three brothers than it is about showing us just how information is methodically and painstakingly relayed in the modern age—even if it means that we haven’t progressed all that much in efficiency from the days of traveling minstrels, telegrams, or the Pony Express. After this episode, I’d take the minstrels.
As for ratings, Triangle kept its lead at a solid 10.0%. Temptation lost some steam by falling to 8.3%, while Trot Lovers brought in the rear at 7.6%.
Kim Jaejoong – “우연 (Coincidence)” from the OST [ Download ]


Setting aside the fact that the car Soo-chang plans to run Young-dal over with is sponsored, we watch as he puts the pedal to the metal as he speeds toward his target…
And for the first time in maybe ever, the heroine sees what’s happening and does not throw herself in front of the oncoming car to save the hero. Instead she does what a normal person would, and screams: “Young-dal, MOVE!”
They both get the hell outta dodge while the car veers away. It’s only then that they figure out that neither of them sent texts to each other about meeting behind the casino, and that (clearly) someone meant to do Young-dal harm.

Jung-hee wins even more cool points by claiming that she memorized the car’s license plate number, even though Young-dal thinks it won’t help—if this was all planned, the plates were likely a fake. What neither of them know is that Yang-ha is watching from a distance.
Director Hyun slams his fists into the desk when he finds out that his inane plan to kill Young-dal failed. (Shot!) Then he orders whichever minion he used for Elder Ahn’s accident to be permanently silenced, since he knows the cops are onto his involvement.
Young-dal seems shocked when Jung-hee tells him that Yang-ha was the one who warned her about him being in danger, since he’s having trouble guessing which of his many enemies would be responsible for the almost hit-and-run.
His buddies, understandably worried for Young-dal’s safety, suggest going to his hyung or the police about this—but Young-dal doesn’t want to worry Dong-soo. Besides, he plans to take care of this himself, regardless of whether it was Chairman Yoon or Chairman Go behind it.

Young-dal then confronts Yang-ha about whether he has anything to say to him without giving him time to actually say anything. “I don’t know if what you’re holding onto so hard and trying to protect is even worth it,” Young-dal says, before adding that he hopes that whatever it is means something to Yang-ha—because if it’s not, what does that say about him?
He leaves Yang-ha close to tears before walking Jung-hee home, obliging when she insists he see Grandma now that she knows he’s Dong-chul. And Grandma, of course, fawns over Young-dal until he agrees to bring Dong-soo to meet her, since he’s more likely to remember her than their youngest brother.

Grandma knows she’s touching on a sore subject when she brings up the boys’ mother, and how she knows Young-dal must resent her for what she did. For her part, she tries to explain that his mom was going through a lot at the time, especially with Daddy Jang’s insistence on striking and postpartum depression resulting from Yang-ha’s birth.
Whatever the case, Grandma expresses her hope that Young-dal won’t feel so resentful toward his mom and that he try to understand her, unaware that Young-dal has already found her.
Hearing about Young-dal’s near-death experience proves to be Boss Min’s last straw—she orders that Chairman Go be brought to her so she can deal with him once and for all. (Again.)

After turning Manager Bae against Yang-ha and into a spy for him, Director Hyun is arrested for the attempted murder of Elder Ahn. That minion he ordered to be silenced before he could talk has already confessed everything.
News of the arrest reaches Chairman Yoon via Kim Jin-soo, who frets about what this could mean for his beloved chairman if Director Hyun were to talk. Chairman Yoon isn’t worried yet, and calls for his lawyer.
Since we have to follow each major piece of news as it reaches everyone who matters, we find Manager Bae telling Yang-ha about the latest big event before we find Dong-soo telling Young-dal the same thing.

However, they know that Director Hyun was acting under Chairman Yoon’s orders, and hope to devise a way to get him to confess. In the meantime, Dong-soo notifies Young-dal that he’ll be leaving to the States with Shin-hye to build a new life for himself—but only after they save Yang-ha. (He’s not going to make it to the States, is he.)
While Top Dog and a smattering of Boss Min’s thugs kidnap Chairman Go, Yang-ha confronts his father over Director Hyun’s arrest because he’s worried that his father will get dragged down with him. “I can’t take the fall for you on this one,” Yang-ha stresses.

Again though, Chairman Yoon isn’t nearly as concerned—he knows Director Hyun will take care of things because Director Hyun knows that he’ll die if he doesn’t. What really bothers him is that he has no one left now to take care of Young-dal and Dong-soo.
At least Yang-ha finally calls his father out on the ridiculous methods he uses to handle his problems. “What must I do in order for you to understand and agree with me?!” Chairman Yoon bellows back. I dunno, maybe stop trying to kill people? Just a guess.

Detective Tak goes to Dong-soo after attempts to get Director Hyun to confess—even in the face of his minion’s signed affidavit—have failed. Because the minion has no other evidence other than his word while Director Hyun has an army of lawyers, Detective Tak worries that Hyun may go free soon.
He’s shocked when Dong-soo advises him to just let Director Hyun go for now, since he’s sure that when they bring down Chairman Yoon and Chairman Go, Hyun will go down with them.
Dong-soo then gets a call he definitely was not expecting: Mom has passed away.
Manbong visits Young-dal to tell him that Boss Min has captured Chairman Go, which means that now’s his chance to finally follow through with all his promises to get rid of the errant chairman…

…Only, Young-dal wants them to let him go because of some vaguely explained reason having to do with him wanting to take Chairman Go down with his own hands. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
Boss Min respects Young-dal’s decision, and decides to have Manbong give Chairman Go a light beating before sending him home. Chairman Go, however, tells Manbong that he better kill him—if not, he’ll massacre the lot of them later.
Dong-soo goes to his mother’s funeral, which is empty save for her other good-for-nothing son. That son tells Dong-soo that her death wasn’t all that sudden since she had pancreatic cancer, and shrinks away when Dong-soo yells at him for not calling him before Mom passed.

“You’re really heartless,” Dong-soo cries as he looks at Mom’s memorial picture. “If you just leave like this again… what do you expect me to do?” He breaks down as he adds that she should’ve stayed to see Yang-ha, or at least to apologize to Young-dal. “Mother… Mother!” he sobs over and over again.
Only afterward does Dong-soo call to tell Young-dal the news. Even with tears streaming out of his eyes, Young-dal reacts with anger: “She didn’t even know… I hadn’t told her that I was Jang Dong-chul. She didn’t even recognize me, so how can this have happened?”

Both brothers cry at the futility of it all—getting angry now won’t change the fact that Mom died without knowing the truth.
Messenger pigeon Jun-ho tells Jung-hee that Young-dal’s mom passed away, prompting her to rush after him, while Young-dal cries silently in the car carrying him to the funeral.
Young-dal finds Dong-soo having taken over the position of chief mourner for Mom as the eldest son, but keeps his greetings to his hyung short as he turns his attention to Mom’s picture.

“Do you remember me?” Young-dal asks, his eyes red with sorrow. “I didn’t even get to tell you that I’m Dong-chul. You didn’t even recognize who I was. How can you leave again like this? There’s something I really needed to tell you… I really needed to tell you something, but who am I supposed to talk to now?”
Jang-soo calls Boss Min to tell her about the funeral, and more importantly to ask for her help, since there’s an absence of mourners. Boss Min, being Young-dal’s surrogate mom, rounds up her men to see to it that Young-dal’s real mom gets a proper sendoff.

Jung-hee and Jun-ho arrive at the funeral to find Young-dal completely devastated and nearly doubled-over in grief. Her own eyes fill with tears at the sight of Young-dal so broken, so all she can do is pull him into an embrace.
Even then, Young-dal doesn’t fully let go—his tears are stoic and restrained, even if the pain he feels is written all over his face.

As expected, Director Hyun is released due to a lack of evidence and is received warmly by Chairman Yoon, who declares that Daejung’s future is now in his hands. All he has to do is take care of Young-dal. Again. (Again?)
Aaaand we watch as Manager Bae literally gets a call with the news about Director Hyun’s release, which he then relays to Yang-ha standing next to him. Then Yang-ha gets a call from Shin-hye to meet, which they do four seconds later. Am I dreaming or this is all just one long commercial for phones?

Shin-hye is the one to tell Yang-ha that his birth mother has passed, and that his brothers are at the funeral as they speak. She thinks it would be best for him to pay his respects, even if Yang-ha claims he has no feelings for a woman he can’t remember and may as well have never met.
Young-dal stands with Dong-soo and Mom’s other son to greet all of their friends and acquaintances who’ve turned up for the funeral thanks to Boss Min putting out the word. Even though everyone (like Boss Yang, Madame Jang, etc.) thought Young-dal was an orphan, they still show up to do their part.
While they learn more things they didn’t know about Young-dal’s past— including the fact that Yang-ha is his youngest brother—Shin-hye tells Dong-soo that Yang-ha won’t be coming. She tries to comfort Dong-soo when it comes to his littlest bro as she says that change won’t happen overnight, to which Dong-soo replies, “I can wait.”

His concern, however, is that Chairman Yoon will corrupt Yang-ha to the point where there can be no relationship between them in the future. Shin-hye isn’t so comforting on that point, since she tells him that Chairman Yoon doesn’t have the kind of influence Dong-soo thinks he does—only Yang-ha can make the decision to change for the better or not.
It’s touching how Jung-hee cares for Young-dal during the funeral proceedings, and even how Young-dal bonds with his half-brother Yong-ho after Yong-ho refers to him properly as “Hyungnim”.
He confides to Yong-ho that he has a younger brother that he hasn’t met yet, but sighs that he doesn’t think he’ll ever hear Yang-ha call him “Hyungnim” anyway.

Yang-ha thinks back to his conversation with Young-dal as well as Shin-hye as he drives to the funeral parlor. At first he can’t bring himself to go inside, but after wrestling with his emotions he finally crosses the threshold.
Inside, everyone has fallen asleep on the floor, including Young-dal and Dong-soo. Yang-ha passes between them before he drops to his knees in front of his mother’s portrait and begins to sob piteously. Poor thing. (Are his brothers going to sleep through his visit and never know he came?)

Jung-hee spots him as he’s leaving, but Yang-ha won’t stay long enough to talk to her. She goes inside the room to find Young-dal asleep, and kneels beside him. At first it seems like she’s going to wake him, but then she decides against it, choosing to just watch over him instead.
The question of why she didn’t wake them comes up later, when Jung-hee joins Dong-soo and Young-dal for Shin-hye’s informal going away party. They didn’t even know Yang-ha went to the funeral before Jung-hee tells them, and when she says she didn’t wake them because she wanted to give Yang-ha some time, the omniscient Shin-hye chimes in to say that she made the right decision.
What matters most, Shin-hye claims, is that Yang-ha is having a change of heart at all—and the best thing they can do is leave him to work things out on his own instead of adding unnecessary pressure.

Dong-soo looks to Young-dal: “As long as you and I don’t give up, Dong-woo will come to realize how much we truly care for him one day.” Shin-hye then changes the subject by asking Young-dal and Jung-hee when they plan to get married, to which Young-dal replies that Shin-hye and Dong-soo should go first.
Shin-hye jokes that they’d need to talk to Dong-soo about that, since he hasn’t even proposed. After some ribbing by the younger couple, Dong-soo agrees to the marriage, only for Shin-hye to claim that it doesn’t count if she had to twist his arm for it.

Believe it or not, Chairman Go meets with Director Hyun to talk about how he needs to gather his men to get rid of Young-dal. (AGAIN.) But Director Hyun makes an argument for “taking care of” Yang-ha first, since he’s Young-dal and Dong-soo’s youngest brother and that somehow means he needs to go first.
Whatever the flimsy reasoning, Chairman Go buys it and tells top minion Soo-chang that their top priority is now taking care of Yang-ha quietly, without drawing too much attention. Seriously, the only person in this room who’s gotten something done is Director Hyun, so why do characters keep outsourcing their dirty work to the most ineffectual hitman ever?

Chairman Yoon takes Yang-ha to task over not breaking up the Hanchang-Anderson investment deal yet, and ushers the same exact warnings and threats we (and Yang-ha) have heard over and over again.
It’s no different this time: He’ll disinherit Yang-ha should he fail to break that deal, and will instead hand everything over to Director Hyun. (A-G-A-I-N.) To which I wish Yang-ha would just tell him to do it already.
Boss Min worries to the rest of Team Young-dal that Chairman Go will wage full-out war with them, especially after the latest kidnapping incident. She’s confused when Young-dal asks her to avoid that war at all costs, since he’s been working on a way to take Chairman Go down quietly. He has another hidden card from Elder Ahn he hasn’t yet used.

We don’t find out what it is just yet, but Young-dal’s buddies are pretty excited about whatever-it-is. They leave Young-dal to meet with Yang-ha alone after telling him that Chairman Yoon plans to replace his son and heir with Director Hyun.
Yang-ha remains completely silent as Young-dal tells him that he knows he came to their mother’s funeral, but more importantly, that he and Dong-soo will be there to help Yang-ha get through this newest issue with Chairman Yoon. As long as Yang-ha changes his mind, there’s no reason for them to keep fighting.
Director Hyun brags to the female casino manager that Yang-ha’s as good as gone in Chairman Yoon’s eyes, and that he’s all set to become Daejung’s newest CEO.

But that alone isn’t good enough for him, since he means to get rid of Yang-ha for good and tells as much to her—because it’s not a secret plan unless you speak it loud enough for anyone in the direct vicinity to hear.
And of course, just when Director Hyun literally says that there’s no one there to watch them, Jun-ho is revealed to be watching them. Luckily, he goes straight to Young-dal to report that Director Hyun means to have Yang-ha killed.

While Soo-chang makes the assassination deal with a designated assassin, Young-dal calls Dong-soo in a panic to tell him that Yang-ha is in danger.
We find the assassin stalking Yang-ha inside the casino, but he doesn’t follow him as Yang-ha meets his two brothers on the roof.
“What’s this about?” Yang-ha asks them. Cue merry-go-round of stares.

If there’s one positive point to be taken from all this, it’s that we can at least expect payoff next week, since the time for making idle placeholder threats will be over—Triangle will have to start delivering, one way or the other. If the remnants of what was once a compelling story are still in there somewhere, we can only hope that they’ve been warming the bench during this exhausting middle stretch of the extension so that they’re primed and ready for a late-game reversal. Because if not, what was it all for?
While I liked how this episode focused on Yang-ha’s slow shift toward personhood, I could not be any more checked out of the inheritance conflict that has become part and parcel with his character if I tried. Why is anyone, most of all him, still giving two chips about anything Chairman Yoon has to say? That man is a crazy person, and he doesn’t need Shin-hye to tell him that, or Einstein to define insanity as doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. He’s insane, and the very act of listening to him spout the same exact threats over and over and over again is enough to drive anyone absolutely bonkers.
And I’d like to think that Yang-ha began to realize that when he told his father that murdering isn’t always the solution, even if he dashed those hopes when he decided to keep on doing… whatever it is that he does. What does he do, anyway? He couldn’t answer Young-dal when confronted with that same question, and he’s been such an impenetrable fortress lately that it’s impossible to read what he actually wants. The question is, if what he wants isn’t a father or a family, is it really Daejung?
If it is the company, have we been watching Yang-ha try his best by attending a few board meetings with Daddy Dearest, and in giving one present to Yoo-jin? It’d kind of make make sense that he can’t keep that position for more than a day if that’s the case, even if it’s hard to believe that Yang-ha really and truly cares about his future within the company when he was so ready and willing to give it all up before, and for very good reasons.
The thing is, nothing’s changed since then as far as his internal logic goes… orrrr has it? I’m not being rhetorical, I legitimately don’t understand Yang-ha at all. Or his adoptive father. Or Director Hyun. Or anyone at Daejung. Actually, make that anyone but Young-dal and Jung-hee.

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