Everything shifts drastically and the city rumbles as alliances are challenged, broken and clarified. The Doctor dons his damage control digs and winds the clock back, while Hyung-min gets some handy advice. But surprisingly, Soo-min moves towards being savvier than expected, yet just as annoyingly clingy and needy, while perhaps showing her hand a bit too soon.
Eleventh City Sweep
Safari tosses over his gun, then stands and flashes his badge announcing he’s police, while the Doctor slinks away in disbelief. They take Officer Moon Duk-bae down to the Unit to confirm his story and Hyung-min storms into Min’s office indignant over this joint investigation team. But this was the condition of his reinstatement, so Min says to play nice. Instead, Hyung-min threatens Ahn’s career for causing the death of a squad member with his shoddy interference.
Detective Kim is sent in to deal with Safari, who’s already picked free from his handcuffs. To get a rise from him, Safari reads him like a book, noticing his brand name clothes, accusing him of getting kickbacks to take care of his family. And, of course, it works and Safari head butts and transfers his cuffs to Kim.
Yang reports to Min Safari’s claims, who recovers Moon’s file, then makes it available for the Unit. However, no one in Pusan seems to know of his existence, so Hyung-min concludes he’s undercover and confronts him. He wants to know his organization but Safari keeps silent. He isn’t interested in his questions for Hyung-min has no clue what an undercover experiences— what he’s been through to survive for twenty years. Plus, he has no intention on being controlled and says to pay him respect has his superior.
With no dirt or headway, Hyung-min has to let him go and makes this know to Ahn who blows his top, then wonders if he’s Hyung-min’s informant. Exasperated, Hyung-min let’s him concedes to his deduction and Safari is back on the street within minutes. But before he walks away Hyung-min asks him to help find and take down the Doctor’s Son. Safari decides to see how things plays out, then hangs back and imparts a little undercover handler words to live by.
Safari: Undercover agents aren’t an operation or strategy— they’re human beings.
Frantic, the Doctor yanks Min’s collar, determined for answers. Min admits Safari is his man but he’s a failed undercover, turned monster. He considers him a trader who chose greed and power over the Law. The Doctor reels at the confirmation screaming why he didn’t tell him before now but Min contends he’s always told him the truth. Safari’s the same man that caused his mother’s death, a member of Pusan’s organization.
But for the Doctor that’s not good enough for to Safari— “I’m the same, I’m just the Doctor’s Son, just another drug-ring leader.” Min tells him to think about Lee Kyung-mi, if he has become a monster as well. He believes that now that Safari has been revealed as police, Pusan will make his move. And sure enough, meanwhile, PJ moves out to track down Safari.
Jin-sook looks for Soo-min but she’s at her “real” home thinking of how the Doctor saved her. She pops her battery back in to contact him but The Great Wall (Hyung-min) intercepts. He shows up to hand her a new phone, and tells her to make way back to Jin-sook. With the deal going sour, both organizations with begin to doubt one another and create a way to infiltrate. He wonders why she ran away but she lies that she suddenly got scared, which reminds him of Safari’s words.
So when she wants to get drunk, Hyung-min sits her down and tells her to stop if it’s hard. But she won’t, she’s determined to catch the Doctor’s Son. She made the choice (for herself), therefore there’s no need to feel bad for her. Then she decides to forgo drinking and offers to study instead. Hyung-min fills the wall with known Pusan affiliates, from Halibut to a possible Safari, while Soo-min does her best to commit them all to memory.
Min returns home to find Safari waiting in the dark for him. He’s observes Min and his wife must be divorced but figures that’s expected— “With your personality, what good things would stick around in your life?” Min remarks that Moon’s changed and they disagree on who should be blamed for that change, the doer, or the do-ee. Where Min says it comes down to choices, Moon believes he had none. And stands up to growl and wag his gun in Min’s face.
Safari: From the beginning, I never had a choice. You sent me to that Hell hole.
Min: You always make your own choices. And you are responsible for those choices.
With that, Safari erupts at his aloofness, knowing that Min never used his intel to cut off Pusan, that he never intended to shut him down. Min understands Safari wants to point blame, but feels he’s acting pathetic and promises to bring him in for killing DC Kang. Therefore, it’s best for him to shoot him now, so he’ll never get the chance. Safari steadies and fires, but when he doesn’t take the shot ( he shot into the floor instead), he whispers into his ear he didn’t want to shoot him as an officer. For now—- “This really is the end.”
Stick and some goons are waiting for Safari at his home entrance but he manages to run away. Inside, PJ sends Meth off to collect Safari, while he plans to have his way with Eun-soo for the night. Soo-min makes her way back to Jin-sook and explains she was scared and ran. Then apologizes for not finishing the job but Jin-sook’s just glad she’s alive and wonders how she got away from Eun-soo, to which Soo-min lies about slipping out during the commotion. She then suggests Jin-sook not deal with those guys again.
Meth sides with Safari but relays Eun-soo wasn’t as lucky, to Safari’s bitter disgust. Jin-sook gives Safari a quick cuss out, who laughs, believing he’s dead anyway and suggests they partner up. But she tells him to go it alone and breaks up for the hundreth time. Suddenly, Bodyguard yells in and warns that Stick and the goons are in and Jin-sook sends Soo-min to another room, who uses this chance to call Hyung-min, who hurries over. Meanwhile, Jin-sook demands Stick get his boss on the phone, then she makes a date to meet PJ.
The Doctor reads Soo in on the current Safari shocker, then gets info on Jin-sook and they leave to intercept Stick, but encounter Hyung-min in the lot. Hyung-min passes Stick on his way out and when he spies, Soo-min and Jin-sook are safe, he leaves as the Doctor watches from the hall.
At home, Soo-min is convinced something big is going down but isn’t privy to details. Hyung-min tells her to switch his contact from “The Great Wall” to a spam handle to be more inconspicuous and asks about “Mr. Gangster” whom she says is Jin-sook’s bodyguard.
Jin-sook leaves for her impending doom but the Doctor waiting when she gets. As usual, he knows her plans and tells her not to go. But she’s sure she can take PJ, believing he wants to deal, however the Doctor knows there’ll be no end until he dies. They talk in circles for a moment, for, Jin-sook worries that he’s out for a war they can’t afford but he’s determined not to let her sacrifice herself for him. Thankfully, in the end, she’s scared enough to comply and he tells her the truth about Safari.
The Doctor visits Scale, Baby Scale and Lawyer in tow and tells all about Safari, promising to help him with regular visits with his kid. In return, he wants and in with Pusan.
PJ is interrupted from his afternoon delight with a stoic Eun-soo by Scale’s song of praise about the repentant Doctor but PJ isn’t buying it, until the Doctor gets on the line and PJ demands a face to face.
When he arrives, PJ is less than welcoming, considering he didn’t believe he’d have the cajones to show and insists the Doctor kneel for his insubordination. He sicks Stick on him but the Doctor offers him back the distribution and he takes it. They’ll all start back at one, Scale included. Only this time, the price in double with a C.O.D.
Soo-min rings up Mr. Gangster but when he doesn’t answer, worries something could be wrong, so she texts she’ll be waiting for him in a nearby cafe. True to her word, she waits and the Doctor shows but decides leave undetected. Just as he turns to go, she sees and stops him. She confesses she’s concerned if he doesn’t pick up his calls, then notices the cut on his lip. She does a full body check to ensure he’s ok, which makes him uncomfortable and he walks away. But stops in his tracks again when she thanks him for saving her life. He makes sure she’s doing well and she admits she’s better than he and assumes he now knows about what she does for a living.
At this he’s silent and in response, she almost reveals more but takes the opportunity instead to find out more about him. She thinks he may be on her side, but he offers nothing more than their last conversation, so she presses—- “By chance, do you know the Doctor’s Son?”
Unnichan: *sigh* So even good dramas have their lulls, ne? It’s true that most dramas putter around this mark in it’s run but I wasn’t expecting that from this drama. Oh well. Still enjoying it, but the shift isn’t smooth. This transition that the writer is taking us through. I get it but it’s bumpy and no one truly enjoys a bumpy ride, do they?
Ripgal: No drama is perfect, neither is this one. I have to admit writer has been experimenting a bit too much with his/her writing lately. The coincidences, the connection between certain characters, the linking of sub-plots.etc, some of them were pretty off IMO, just. I’m not blatantly blinded by them just because I’m enjoying the show so much. I’ve already voiced my concerns about writer’s tendency to have a bit too much fun with hercrazy ideas, but I also think they’re so much better than a lot of stuff we’re getting from TV nowadays. At least writer is working his/her brain off.
Unnichan: Well it’s true! Safari is definitely undercover. And surprisingly, I don’t feel one way or another about it. Perhaps, it’s because the drama was originally pinned “Undercover” or it’s my laid back personality kicking in. Either way, it’s a turn I accept. Not because I like it or hate just because it explains certain questions we had about he and Min, even Shi-hyun. It’s shifts my impression of the drama but I’m ok with that too. I just say, it could’ve been done better. Much like episode 4, so I’d actually care.
Ripgal: Utter bummer, I was so disappointed with the ending last ep this didn’t make it any better. Half the time I was screaming, do you carry your badge wherever you go Safari? Really, writer, you think that’s possible? I’d be dead cautious, who knows the badge might fall out or something during a fight lol My initial reaction of that whole scene last for about a minute until the revelation that he isn’t as dutiful a police officer as we think. It did put a lot of things in the drama into perspective, though not entirely convincing to me. I’m just gonna have to accept that he’s a cop, a bad cop, that’s it.
Unnichan: Now let’s just get to the story. Didn’t you just love how Safari pegged Kim immediately? It’s one of those things that we love about him, that intuitiveness. He and I don’t get along at all, on many things but you can’t negate that area of his character.
Ripgal: Kim has always been a rash person, you think he hasn’t learned his lesson yet? lol But Safari’s ability to see through a person, his intuitiveness on certain things, definitely there, has always been. One of the many reasons why I like this guy. He’s probably gone through all the years of jadedness to become the person he is today, trust no one and you see the picture clearly. I wonder if he knows something’s fishy with Kim.
Unnichan: And don’t you love how Safari gives no one a straight answer? It’s funny because I know this and pick it up with every other character but somehow I felt with Hyung-min it’d be slightly different. Like he didn’t have anything to lose by lying. It was an interesting moment. And the crux of the drama was in his advice ne? “Undercovers aren’t an operation or a strategy— they’re human beings.”
Ripgal: Safari’s good with words, absolutely. I mean he’s not entirely honest, but the words he utters aren’t exactly wrong either. Safari has always been true to himself, his actions, they deserved to be condemned. But I can’t deny I’ve always felt a certain genuineness in his expressions and emotions. It’s like hell yeah life is brutal, I’m just gonna go with the flow and try to make the best out of things. Survive. Gotta love his confidence, it’s like do or die.. or rather, he’ll do anything not to DIE.
Unnichan: I definitely believe he’d do anything “not” to die and I don’t like that. I don’t think anyone should be willing to do “anything.” If you ever encounter a person that’s willing to anything for something… RUN!
Ripgal: And don’t you think Prosecutor guy is such a dumb-ass? I can’t believe Hyung-min’s father is using such a man LOL it made me laugh that he was able to buy into Hyung-min’s words about Safari being his undercover, that easily. Stupid fool. But I guess we’d gotten a taste of his incompetence and lack of brains when dealing with the Doctor earlier. So easy to manipulate and use. Hah.
Unnichan: Oh yeah. From the first time we met him. He’s always caught up in something foolish, running off half-cock without thinking about consequences. I tell you he’s the stupid twin brother of Lee Jin-sook.
Ripgal: Also what do you think about Officer Oh? Who seemed to have known about Safari’s identity all this while? So everyone in the police department should not be trusted now? First Kim then Oh? This world is indeed a complicated one.
Unnichan: At first, I took little notice of but it is very interesting. But I don’t think it has anything to do with trust. If Safari is Min’s man, it makes total sense that Yang would know, being they used to work together and Yang still reports to him. For all we know, Yang still works solely for Min and was added to the Unit to keep eyes and ears on everything going on. The only thing that bothers me is that if Yang knew, then what else does he know? And also doesn’t this open up the possibility that Safari knows or has an inkling that Shi-hyun is police? We don’t really know the timelines but Safari doesn’t seem to me to be someone who misses much, so when Shi-hyun was picked up, wouldn’t have a noticed Yang in the pack? Don’t know just seems suspicious.
Unnichan: I like that the drama is showing us more of itself and what it’s goal is. We talk alot about blurring the lines and I wonder if drama is asking us where exactly that line is? Are we ever really fighting the “bad” guys at all? Are they really the enemy?
Ripgal: A good thing about this abrupt turning point, we’re pushed to explore a different area of this genre. I initially thought drama would focus a lot more on Shi-hyun’s balancing act and his struggles to stay on track, but writer wants to prove that there is more to tell. That perhaps, the line has never been there, that it’s always been about survival no matter where you stand, who you are.
Unnichan: Safari has been undercover for 20 years and of course that’s not really true but when you think about what that means it’s painful. Choi Ahjussi sold me on that. I didn’t need it, but I’m glad I got it anyway. There’s no way he could be “undercover” that long without going rogue or switching teams, because that just doesn’t happen. This isn’t deep cover ops or anything. It’s the infiltration of a drug ring.
Ripgal: Right, that was the salvaging element for me because you know I didn’t like how he turned out to be part of them. I think being in an environment for too long does make you accustomed to things and beliefs that come with it, hence Safari’s defiance and distraught turn. I don’t think he’s entirely off track, I don’t even think he’s on any definite side at all. To me it’s more like a survival thing for him, he’ll do anything, to protect himself. Who cares about the cops and the bad guys now? I’ll do whatever and pledge allegiance to whoever spares me.
Unnichan: Ah Min. I knew you were an issue, from the moment I met you, and I’m glad we finally see you for who you really are. Now, I feel comfortable enough to say that I’m certain he was involved in Jo’s death in ep1. Shoot he could be voice over the phone that had Kyung-mi bumped. And I don’t care. To me, that’s where this drama has faltered. I should care about things but I don’t. Mostly because there was so much mistrust in the air from the beginning.
Ripgal: So the hunch was right, why oh why? Now the bad guys turn out to be the good ones, the good ones aren’t as good or righteous as they seem to be. I guess it fits the bill of the drama well in that there is not definite line and that things shouldn’t be taken at face value. But you know I’m still willing to believe him, purely for what he’s done or been doing for both Hyung-min and Shi-hyun all this while. Just don’t go all “I’m the gangster mole” on me, and I’ll be fairly OK.
Unnichan: But why oh why didn’t Safari put a bullet in the man’s skull? I’m still questioning this. That is one thing that made no sense. I get the conversation, the outing of Min, Safari’s wuss problems, betrayal, blah, blah, but seriously, gun, head… It’s not simple but something should have occurred and it didn’t. Sure, Min seemed rattled for a minute but I feel this meeting should’ve had more oomph more chutzpah. I should feel like “Ok now Safari is really on the loose.”
Ripgal: I actually liked that scene a lot more than Shi-hyun’s outburst. A lot of things were revealed amidst their confrontation, the truth about Safari and Min, the devastating reality of having to be someone you’re not for years, and to be already part of “the identity”, the awakening from the misguided hope and faith that you’re still human to someone else. I think it evidenced a lot about Safari’s life and how he’s come so far not to trust even the closest or at least the one he’s supposed to trust. This is a foreshadow of what will probably happen to Shi-hyun too. Tho Min’s little than a fav of mine right now, I agree with his words that everything is about choice, and you take responsibility for what you’ve chosen.
Ripgal: I didn’t think Safari’s restraint in pulling the trigger lacked oomph or anything. It’s a writer’s device (Min can’t go now), one to show how it’s not that easy to pull it off on the only one who knows you (I believe Safari had some doubt when killing Chief Kang earlier too). Safari’s on the way to damnation, almost but IMO he’s not there yet.
Unnichan: Perhaps, we were suppose to see the “down and out” side of all this. And though I got a hint of it (Thank you Choi ahjussi), it still fell flat to me somehow. I mean I loved his breakdown and the emphasis that once he breaks full with Min and he’s outed, he really has no place to go. But then again, we know that won’t happen. I guess the aftermath just didn’t hit hard enough for me, that’s all. If this was an action that seemed within Safari’s character makeup I’d be ok but naw. It just didn’t connect with me. I just can’t give the writer slack here. Because we know intrinsically that Min is going to live, that he has to, that there’s more to the story, the game, the corruption, but the fact I questioned the moment still remains. A writer has to give me a reason to believe Safari should leave Min alive. Give me a flashback, tell me a story, give me options, any thread and I’ll pull it, but there was none. I’m not supposed to dream up excuses for characters. That’s not my job, my job is to believe the excuses you give. It’s like Soo and the Doctor with Hyung-min, he questions the Doctor because there’s no rational reason to leave Hyung-min living.
Ripgal: Yeah, we like to disagree! HAHA. I was expecting a lot more from Shi-hyun’s outburst tho, IMO he should’ve punched Min in the face! What kind of explanation was that?!! Jung Kyung Ho’s marvelous in this role, but I couldn’t help but nitpick on that scene, he could have gone further, could have been more explosive?
Unnichan: I guess, where you think Safari was fine, here I think that the Doctor’s expression was fine. It wasn’t perfect but he was so rattled and sick, I think. This revelation changes everything and he can’t get his head around it. The person who he thought was his enemy, may not be at all and yet, he must fight him like he is because that enemy believes he’s the bad one. How he reacted set ok with me because I’m not sure I wouldn’t be balled in corner somewhere rocking myself to rational thought.
Ripgal: The whole statement by Min about him becoming a monster also didn’t quite get to me.. because I have yet to feel that Shi-hyun’s gone overboard, or at least is in the process of doing so. Tad disappointed in Min for not comforting Shi-hyun there, so cold. No wonder Safari despised him.
Unnichan: Ha! Was Min referring to the Doctor as a monster? He asked him if that was the case and he (Min) immediately affirmed that wasn’t true. Min knows there’s a distinct difference between what Shi-hyun is pretending to be, who he is and what he could become, in comparison to his view of Safari. And I can’t speak for Safari because no one is blameless. Sure, Min was cold and perhaps uncouth in the scene and the man is dirty but he had to get the Doctor out his feelings and back in the game. And it worked.
Ripgal: Back to Safari for a second, what did you think about Min’s reaction about Busan though? What is it that he wants from Safari, who has literally been dogging behind the man up till now? Surely after years, Min could have gotten some leads no?
Unnichan: I think there’s a possibility that Safari could be both right and wrong (in his assumptions). Min knows more about Pusan and his dealings but maybe isn’t as corrupt as Safari believes him to be. For if Min is anything like me, he doesn’t give excuses for his actions, he just let’s people believe what they want to believe. That’s what it seems like to me. I don’t believe for a second that he’s on the up and up, regardless of how “fatherly” he is to our boys but we haven’t been given enough evidence to what degree we should fault him.
Unnichan: Also how do you feel about Hyung-min’s offer to Soo-min? It’s not that he didn’t mean it, I’m sure he did. But it was still kinda half-ass in it’s own way too though, right?
Ripgal: It sure did feel half-hearted, but it wasn’t without genuine thought and concern though. I think it hit Hyung-min quite hard that he’d not realized this earlier. He’s never been in a position like Soo-min, Shi-hyun Safari, he can never know how uphill a task it is to gauge between 2 sides. But it’s rather funny that he’d gotten the advice from Safari. I suppose there is no better advisory than one who’s been through it all.
Unnichan: He does seem to be making a little more effort with Soo-min with each passing episode so I’m glad about that.
Ripgal: I like that too. At least Soo-min knows Hyung-min cares and can put all that earlier blaming to rest. But I still can’t believe the cops know everything about Scale Soo Halibut and not Shi-hyun? Pictures and all, but none of the Doctor?
Unnichan: Well, they didn’t get Soo until he placed himself in the open. So we are to believe it’s possible. His own people couldn’t find, how are we to believe the police will, when the ones they know, have no clue where to look? See this is what I call deniable plausibility. The writer gave us an excuse, I choose to believe it.
Ripgal: Any thoughts on Busan’s son Slimy Jo? I find him amusing because he’s so comical looking and yet so frightening at the same time. He looks a brainless fart but in fact knows how to use people around him to his advantage. Though not as slick and crafty as the rest, he’s got his dad’s instincts to spare. Safari oh Safari, all the stuff you have to endure to do your job. No wonder it gets more and more difficult, you can never get out.
Unnichan: There’s always a way out, Safari just isn’t willing to take it. But Busan Jr is interesting. He’s manic and sadistic. He knows how this world works but mainly, he just has Daddy’s power and he wields it at will. He isn’t that smart because the Doctor owns him in one conversation. He can deal with the regular dogs, but he still doesn’t have the brains to out wit them.This area is the only one I feel any type of sympathy for Safari because BJ doesn’t deserve any of the position that he has, yet it’s given, solely because of who his father is. Then add on this wasn’t Safari’s world (necessarily) but an assignment. Initially, it was just a job, but now, he’s had to bend his knee so often, he’s unwilling or lost the resolve to do what it takes to stand.
Ripgal: Poor Shi-hyun, everyone’s after you. Even Slimy Jo. Is it that difficult to catch him I wonder? LOL Jin-sook will never give Shi-hyun up no matter what, maybe Shi-hyun could just try to stop persuading her to do things that she knows she’s not gonna do? Just interfere with the job, cut the deal with Busan/Slimy Jo and tell her later. Because we all know the Doctor always has a back-up plan (Scale).
Unnichan: I think you’re right but I understand why he continues to hope. He shouldn’t and I wouldn’t, especially given she never lives up to the reasonable doubt he affords her. I also can’t say she’d never give him up. I think, she thinks wouldn’t but I’m not sure. She always considers herself protecting him but he’s actually the one doing all the work again with that trusty damage control). That’s one reason he’s constantly asking her to stop. He wants her to live but also doesn’t want the hassle. But the cycle will continue until one (or all) of them dies.
Ripgal: Soo-min’s advice to Jin-sook was quite moving and thoughtful IMO, given the circumstances. I don’t think she’s entirely in the dark about Jin-sook’s motives but I like that she still cares for this unni. It’s moments like these which give the drama some light. Heartless or not.
Unnichan: Not one of our characters is heartless though the city most certainly is. In that, the world keeps spinning and there’s always a new crop of baddies to deal with. And yes, Soo-min gave great advice. It’s just sad that this newbie has to school her Unni, who isn’t going to listen.
Ripgal: Poor Soo-min though, she had to be there when Stick came to visit. I don’t think it was a situation where Jin-sook could have squiggled or squeezed out with ease. And I believe Soo-min knew and could foresee what’s in for her. Whether she’s prepared for it or not, that’s another question.
Unnichan: If you are referring to Jin-sook deciding to go and meet BJ, it’s another situation that if she were a different person, I wouldn’t care. However, being who she is, she shouldn’t even pretend to go. She shouldn’t be making these kinds of deals or pretending she’s capable of succeeding. She was clearly scared but again, I don’t feel bad for her because 90% of this situation began because of her. That’s why I’m glad, for the first time EVER she actually listened to the Doctor and let him deal with it.
Ripgal: I said I didn’t care for Eun Soo, but the Slimy Jo bed scene was sickening to the point I felt bad for her. She’s an assassin alright, ruthless and heartless, but a woman is a woman and when that happens, it sucks.
Unnichan: Oh yea! That was horrendous. It also shows the pleasure BJ gets from the torture, his excessive power. He truly believes he can do whatever he wants, to whomever he wants. And she was clearly shocked and disgusted but didn’t beg to be saved or spared. She chooses her battles and knows the world she lives in. She knows her (unfortunate) shortcomings. She wasn’t “forced” nor was she without choices. She allowed herself to be used, in order to live another day, to not get beat or battered. She could’ve fought back but what would she gain? Unlike Safari, she’s not willing to do “anything” but she’s able and determined to live through what she needs to. I respect that. And I also wouldn’t be surprised if she gets her payback as well. You never know, right? And goodness knows I’d be plotting and living for that day.
Ripgal: These deals they’re talking about, I dun really know, why are they so important? If they’re purely for control and re-establishment of the Doctor’s status I can understand, but is Busan really the only one they can depend on?
Unnichan: Yes. In their area. He’s the big honcho. Every area has their boss and Pusan is it for them. Which is another reason the Doctor was trying to remove the middle man(Scale) in the beginning. In this world there’s always someone who wants more. There are those who are forced to seek control, those who have no power and satisfied with their position and those who want to be the big dog. In this case, the Doctor is supposed to be the latter.