29 November 2014

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Bad Guys - Episode 7 (A Tae-soo-Cap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on November 29, 2014
OMG, how is this SO GOOD??! It certainly helps my enthusiasm that this episode is all about Tae-soo's pain (and his beauty, of course). And it helps that Jo Dong-hyuk plays this character with so much depth and passion (and beauty). We also make headway, finally, with the answers and not only the questions.
ooooohhhhh!!

Episode 7: Between Life and Death

Pawnshop Ahjussi is dead and Tae-soo doesn't seem happy about it. Goo-tak informs him that the murder weapon was found - the killer will be caught soon. Tae-soo knows better though. He's sure there won't be fingerprints: the old man was killed by a professional. A very scary one at that: one that kills with one cut, one that makes the victim bleed out within just one minute. He is of the 5% at the top. An assassin for hire, one that kills without emotions and thus, without guilt.
JoAnne: He looks like a painting. We can tell your screen caps of him are made with great love.
Yes, I stroke the screen, of course. Sometimes, I lick it, too
bcook:errr. should I come back later? I'm betting Tae Soo knows exactly who it is too. *sigh* what a magnificent jawline?
A phone call interrupts a rather pensive mood that takes hold of all our friends in that van - it's a Meet'n'Greet with Smiley Prosecutor! He is just weird, right?! He greets all of them by name - and finally turns to Jung-moon. He greets him like an old friend. Oh, he was in charge of his case? Interesting. very interesting Prosecutor Oh continues behaving very strangely. He asks Jung-moon whether he's been well ... to immediately answer his own question to the negative. How could he! With all those murders! Oh, but maybe he has forgotten the past? That must be it! It's all water under the bridge for him and Oh Goo-tak, isn't it? At that point, Goo-tak jumps in: "That's enough". I tell you, Prosecutor Oh freaks me out. He has some kind of grudge, right?
JoAnne: Something is TOTALLY up with that dude, and he knows something about Jung Moon and Goo Tak's shared past that Jung Moon does not know, and Goo Tak doesn't want it found out.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the creepiest of them all?  
bcook: I don't get it. Jung Moon remembers killing 2 people (assuming his parents) but doesn't remember the rest. He has to remember getting caught etc so if Goo Tak had anything to do with that He'll have to remember that too. So whatever's going on has to be kept from the other guys and miss random inspector person. Why is she even in the show again? 
Before he leaves the church ("office", as Goo-tak called it earlier!), Prosecutor Oh mentions that he got a call from Forensic Services. There were fingerprints on the murder weapon. That gets Tae-soo's attention! What does he know that he doesn't tell us? The computer spits out a name (and a face): it's Tae-soo's assassin buddy Hyeon-woo. Oh.
JoAnne: How convenient for everyone. But am I really supposed to believe that sad kid is a genius assassin? No.

When they get to his place, Hyeon-woo is in a body bag. Poor Tae-soo ... this was a friend of his TT___TT. They say it was a suicide by hanging. Probably out of guilt for the murder? That's bullshit. A guy who's about to get married who suddenly kills himself? Goo-tak thinks there's a little too much convenient evidence.
Goo Tak is in good company, because I don't think any of us believe it, either.
bcook: Nope. Do not believe. 
A bit to the side, Tae-soo is talking to Hyeon-woo's bride - who also doesn't believe her almost-husband killed himself. Tae-soo asks her about his dongsaeng's leg - does she know what happened? She doesn't, but we soon do - because we get a flashback of how that guy named Jeong-seok tortured the poor kid. He pinned a paper target on his leg and then shot him. So it's like JoAnne said: payment for wanting out, for quitting the assassin trade. From the glimpses we get, that Jeong-seok is a horrible, horrible person.
JoAnne: So then Hyeon Woo and Tae Soo were good assassins, and he's an evil assassin?
bcook: Some assassins have morals....some don't. For some it's just a job, he probably enjoys killing. 
Tae-soo knows enough now. But Goo-tak is not yet ready to let Tae-soo off the leash. He will go catch the real killer, says Tae-soo, cause it wasn't Hyeon-woo. He didn't have that kind of ability with a knife - his weapon was the gun. But he was framed, and then, the killer made it look like suicide. Goo-tak realizes Tae-soo knows who the killer is. Oh yes, he does: and he knows his methods to the T, because he used the very same. So he utters a warning: don't get involved in this case. The killer is too good. (But ... but ... Tae-soo!!! Stay! It's dangerous!!!!!)
And we have plans for you!
But where is Scary Dude? Tae-soo goes to see a Baduk-playing guy at a restaurant. They're old acquaintances and the Restaurant guy knows all the assassins: he is someone in charge of passing on the jobs. Great job, I'm sure... O____o But he hasn't been in contact with Jeong-seok for a while either, because he has been using a different contact person for a long time: the name is Kim Do-shik. A new star among the assassin-match-makers.
JoAnne: Of course. Korea, you are running out of genius professions. What's next, Genius Trash Guy? Genius Janitor? Genius Bus Driver? There is actually a drama now that's like WTF Paris, set in a laundry. The owner can tell what's going on in people's lives by looking at their dirty clothes. I kinda think we should watch it. Think of the jokes!
bcook: seriously? like...not joking? I kinda think we should watch too. Who thinks up this stuff?
Does Goo-tak believe Tae-soo? He is looking for additional clues in Hyeon-woo's apartment. Mi-young is dusting for prints. They notice something strange: there is not a single fingerprint in the whole apartment. And every last little thing has been removed. This? An indication Hyeon-woo knew somebody was coming for him. He wanted to leave without a trace. To duck and cover. But, alas ... we see in a flashback how the killer strangled Hyeon-woo from behind. They fought - blood splattered on the floor (split lip of the killer, it seems) and was smeared all over the floor, when the killer dragged Hyeon-woo across it. Those traces Goo-tak finds with the help of luminol. He also finds a picture - one that Hyeon-woo (?) dropped. It's that picture of Jung-moon. O__________0
So Hyeon Woo was ALSO supposed to kill Jung Moon? Oh wait, no.. it'll be the other guy. But seriously, that picture was sort of under a dresser on legs, but there was NOTHING else in the apartment... any fool would have seen it. Certainly a genius assassin would have.
bcook: bwahahaha. The minute I saw  it had fallen from the killer's jacket I knew! I just knew it was a picture of Jung-Moon. hahahaha. Poor guy.
He immediately hides it when Mi-young switches on the light. Uh-oh. Because of the blood and some CCTV coverage of a car leaving the parking lot at the estimated time of death, they now believe Hyeon-woo was murdered and didn't commit suicide.
bcook: Tae-soo - one. Framing Assassin- zero. Jung-Moon - korea's most wanted man

Jung-moon, the poor sod, is on surveillance video duty again. Woong-chul is also there. The mood is poisonous... Jung-moon demands that Woong-chul goes and asks his gangster boss who gave the kill order. Woong-chul walks out (why can't he ask?) and seconds later, a gang of thugs with iron pipes walks in. Before they can do anything, Woong-chul comes back and beats them all down. "I'll go ask him myself", says Jung-moon, unmoved. But Woong-chul stops him and says: "Let me take care of this".
Why can't Woong Chul ask, is that what you were saying? He and Du Kwang have supposedly cut ties, remember? As for Jung Moon, if I were him I'd expect Du Kwang to try to kill me if he saw me, so...
bcook: Only one question... how did they know where he was? (ok second question) how did they know he was alone? 
Tae-soo is entering a club ... looking for that Kim Do-shik. And Kim Do-shik he finds! It's that man that told him to kill Jung-moon "in the most agonizing way" a few episodes ago! He breaks into the dudes home (he goes: "Honey, you're not asleep yet, are you?" as he steps out of the bathroom and sees Tae-soo on his bed, ahahaha).hehe that was pretty awesome. He has no chance, of course. Tae-soo ties him up in his bathrobe and puts him in the bathtub. He had one thing to ask him before he knew who he was - but now, he has many. If he doesn't answer truthfully, he'll get tortured.
Kim Do-shik can't really help, though. That mysterious man, who always taps his fingers against a glass, told him to get Tae-soo to kill Jung-moon for a very high prize. Interesting... this person must know that Tae-soo is out. And he must know that there's a current connection between the two, right? But ... who was it that gave Tae-soo the hit order before?
JoAnne: At this point I kinda feel like just saying 'Colonel Mustard in the library with an andiron.'
bcook: No No No Clearly it was professor plum in the ballroom with the wrench. The signs are all there.

Woong-chul takes Jung-moon to the gangster lair ... but tells him to wait outside. All the better, because he has to beat up some more guys before Big Boss appears.
bcook: Is it wise? To leave the potential victim alone? It has never ended well before.
In the bathroom, Do-shik says he recommended someone else after Tae-soo refused. Jeong-seok, of course. Who, Do-shik is convinced, is the one who killed Tae-soo's two killer buddies. Teacher Im called him that night, angry, demanding to know "who is it". Hm. What's going on exactly? In the present, Do-shik tells Tae-soo he should step away from this. The only one who needs to die? Jung-moon. And die he will, says Do-shik - if he wants to try and prevent it, Tae-soo should never leave him alone.
Uh-oh.
JoAnne: Sssssssssheet.
bcook: um. yeah. Leave him alone? That will never happen 'coz... oh.

At gangster lair, Woong-chul confronts his hyung about that guy who wants Jung-moon dead. Why can't he tell him? Is he really that scary?! Why did he send men over just now? But Du-kwang says he never did - he stepped away from this. Oups. And fooook! Jung-moon is waiting downstairs all alone ... when a guy approaches, bumps into him and knifes him. SHIT!
JoAnne: Yes, indeed. But also, ummm? Woong Chul was ordered to kill Jung Moon. His refusal meant Du Kwang had to kill him. And then go kill Jung Moon, too. I dunno, I guess I just assumed that if HE failed in HIS task, he'd also die. But he could just walk away? Then why couldn't he let Woong Chul just walk away? Was it only serious until they needed him to NOT be the guy who sent gangsters after Jung Moon?
bcook: nobody else curious that he was going to jail last episode, but is out this episode? I mean I know some time has gone past but attempted murder (even if it is of a convicted felon) should warrant more jail time? No? 
It seems a bad wound, because Jung-moon is rushed to the hospital and operated on immediately. Well, he makes it. But he's in pretty bad shape. Only 3cm from the lung, Goo-tak informs Tae-soo, who strolls through the hospital to Jung-moon's bedside. He strolls very nicely, I would like to add. Mmmm. Goo-tak also says that this was not Du-kwang's doing - it was too well done, the stabbing. Well, obviously not THAT well, since Jung-moon is still alive (he is later killed for that blunder by his assassin boss). But here comes the deal ... the knife was dropped at the scene. And it's full of Woong-chul's fingerprints. So, if Jung-moon had died, Woong-chul would have faced murder charges, without any way to defend himself. Oh yes ... this method does ring a bell!
JoAnne: Interesting. And wait... Du Kwang is dead now? How did I miss that?
Nopsie. The guy that Jeong-seok sent to kill Jung-moon. The guy who missed the lung by 3cms.  
bcook: So Jeong-seok has minions now? Do they like bananas? (hehe. bad minion joke. Their movie's coming out soon! go watch!)
Goo-tak wants Tae-soo to tell him who did this - and how the almost-murder of Jung-moon is connected to the murder of Im-jeong aka "The Old Man". Alright, so Tae-soo admits that somebody tried to hire him to kill Jung-moon. He doesn't know who though. But he knows who probably does know. Another visit to Do-shik's apartment reveals one Do-shik very dead: suicide by sleeping pills. Only ... Tae-soo actually tied Do-shik to the towel rack with handcuffs. Tae-soo looks at the dead man's cell phone and says there's no other choice now: he has to go see that evil bastard in person. Noooooooo! Don't go, Tae-soo!!!!! TT______TT
JoAnne: I say go and kick ass, Tae Soo! I love watching you fight!
The phone number that Do-shik used to call Jeong-seok is the clue to how to find him. That's clever! I think. Tae-soo uses the number on a lottery ticket - and when he adds some of the numbers together and others not, that lottery ticket gives him latitude and longitude of where to find his arch enemy. It's a spot at the harbor - and Jeong-seok is already waiting for him there.
JoAnne: Nice shot.
bcook: That was a little too smart and convoluted of a location marker no? 
 
Jeong-seok is all "Hey there, old friend", but Tae-soo just wants to know who wants Jung-moon dead. Well, Jeong-seok claims he doesn't know. They never meet the clients, as Tae-soo well knows. He can never kill Jung-moon, says Tae-soo. Well, that might be true if he were there with him, is Jeong-seok's answer ... but he is here with him now. Nooooooooooo!!! This was a trap?!
JoAnne: Sssssssssssheet. Except, didn't someone just SAY never leave him alone? Oh but now it's specifically Tae Soo who must stick by him, I guess.
bcook: jeesh! The bromance is strong but it's not really that strong is it? Or is Tae-soo the only one quick enough?
At the hospital, a fake doctor makes his way to Jung-moon's bedside ... and starts to insert a syringe into his drip.

Those people are pretty laughable to Jeong-seok, right? Tae-soo asks. Oh yes, comes Jeong-seok's reply: An old cop, a woman who thinks she's smarter than everyone, a thug who only knows how to use his fists ... he doesn't even bother laughing about them. He is right, says Tae-soo. He is absolutely right. But he has been hit a few times by those fists, so he knows just HOW strong they are.
JoAnne: Woong Chullie is our rock.

And at the hospital, Woong-chul beats up Jeon-seok's underling.
JoAnne: See? Rock.
bcook: Poor Wong-chul. He looks so tired. He just wants this over with. *whisper* me too. The reveal had better be groundbreaking.
At the docks, Tae-soo asks why Jeong-seok killed Ahjussi and Hyeon-woo. So here's the story: That person who gave the kill order for Jung-moon said that Tae-soo also needed to be killed if he refused. Jeong-seok's second task, next to killing Jung-moon. And in fact, The Old Man died protecting Tae-soo! When he said "before that guy takes action, we must strike him first" in episode 6, he didn't mean kill Tae-soo first before he got to him to kill him for deceiving him about Pretty Lady. No, he meant kill Jeong-seok before he could get to Tae-soo. They tried to call and warn Tae-soo, but that's when the phone was kicked out of his hand.
JoAnne: DAMMIT.
But Jeong-seok got to them first - and killed Ahjussi on the spot. He gave Hyeon-woo a chance to "make the right decision" (i.e. run and not try to kill him in turn, which the poor kid did). But it was only a temporary thing: he followed him and killed him not much later.
JoAnne: This guy is a real bastard.
bcook: Yes a true sociopath
Tae-soo is very saddened and at the same outraged by that. Why did he have to do it? Hyeon-woo was like a little brother to them after all. And Ahjussi was like a parent who raised them. This is Jeong-seok's answer: The old man used to say this to them. "Although committing murder might be easy, it's the guilt that's difficult". The solution? Don't feel guilt. And that is Jeong-seok's suggestion for Tae-soo: choose an easy (guilt free) life.
JoAnne: So Ahjussi knew about guilt... felt it. Had to, in order to know it was difficult. Then why... never mind. Some things will just never be explained.
If you're asking why he killed, he in fact didn't. He was just the guy's "handler". Which does make him guilty as well, of course, but he did not have to kill people with his own hands.  
bcook: Unless he was a retired killer. So the guilt paralyses his killing ability but he can still teach and 'handle'. Isn't there a movie about that? There should be. 
They've gone too far to choose the easy path, replies Tae-soo. And as he puts on his black assassin gloves (cue badass music), he says today is the day that one of them has to die. And the Most.Awesome.Fight.Scene.Ever follows. Okay, maybe not ever (looking at Lee Jun-ki), but VERY awesome. At one stage, Jeong-seok pulls his carved knife which is not blurred btw (Tae-soo doesn't need tools like this! His hands are his deadliest weapon, or, if they're available, hammers), but Jeong-seok manages to slash Tae-soo's arm!!! Noooooooooo!!! He goes in for the kill, but Tae-soo grabs a box that's lying around to defend himself and then uses one of the wooden shards as a weapon himself in his counterattack. Tae-soo is quicker!!! He stabs Jeong-seok once in the leg, once under the arm, once in the chest!
JoAnne: That box bit, that was awesome.
And then ... he pulls Jeong-seok into a hug. Into a knife-hug. The sun is setting as the two men stand there, almost like a pair of lovers. Jeong-seok begs Tae-soo to finish him off. Quickly. "I don't kill people anymore", says Tae-soo. He can't anymore. We see pictures of the four of them, so happy, at that same dockside, as Tae-soo says he understands the agony of losing someone precious now, the guilt you feel if you've robbed someone off a loved one. And ever since he found out what this feels like, he can't kill anymore. also...you deserve to die a slow death. So win win. Wow. This is a character I'll miss forever and ever, I know that much!
JoAnne: Oh yeah... Tae Soo goes into the Hall of Fame, that's for sure.
If all those who remember him leave this world and die, and if he has to send away Jeong-seok as well, he will be truly alone. "Don't leave me alone. I beg you". But he would be the first person on Jeong-seok's hitlist if he were to survive, says the evil assassin. How did they all change so much? How did they change ... and leave him stranded in the gutter? Only he, he can't change. It's too late for him. Fuck, this is sad :((((
JoAnne: What do you think made them change? Was Tae Soo's change of heart the catalyst for the other two? Basically, whether he's paid to do it or not, my feeling is Jeong Seok wants his former 'family' dead because they 'changed' and 'left him.' Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!
bcook: The cinematography man. The colours... Jeong Seok clearly has some personality issues
And the death blow is delivered. Was it Tae-soo that did that final stab? Or was it Jeong-seok that moved the knife himself? We don't know. Jeong-seok dies - and Tae-soo screams. In utter agony. And he then hugs his dead friend and colleague ... the last of his group.
JoAnne: Ah, the plight of the lonely assassin.
It's dark now and Tae-soo's feet take him to That Woman's neighbourhood, as the words she spoke to him in front of that hospital echo in his head. When he asked whether she could forgive the killer of her husband if he were truly sorry and she answered that she could never ever forgive him. An apology is not enough for what he did, but an apology is what he comes to give. When she sees him, she is first very pleased to see him (look at that smile! Awwwwww, I'm so sad for him :(((() and then immediately alarmed, when she sees all the blood on him. Turns out she went to the bank. Turns out that there was an account for her, into which somebody had deposited money every month for two years. But she didn't know about it because the bank had used an old address to send her the account notices.
Poor Tae Soo, he must feel bad for thinking Ahjussi screwed him over.
bcook: poor guy eh? First he finds out that Ahjusshi died trying to protect him, then that Ahjusshi wasn't too bad. 
Tae-soo tries his hardest not to cry in front of her, but his eyes are wet TT____TT. He starts to say something .... but can't. (Was he going to confess??! Shit). So he says this instead: He is sorry. He now knows how it feels to lose somebody you cared for and to be truly alone. He is so very, very sorry. And he walks away, leaving her puzzled ... just to go down to the bottom of the stairs and cry.
JoAnne: Ugh. Poor guy... and yes, I think he was going to tell her. Damn, that means it was him that killed her husband. So who was her husband that someone wanted him dead? Will we find out? Why did Tae Soo show up at that funeral, if he was the murderer?
Remorse, of course!  
bcook: He couldn't say it though! Because if he tells her, she'll leave him and then he'll be forever alone. 'cept for us of course. (except Kakashi of course)
At the hospital, Jung-moon wakes up! It takes him a moment to realize where he is, but then, he grabs his phone ... there are messages. Most importantly, the guy he asked to find that other guy he tasked to follow him around with a camera reports he has found said guy with the camera. *blinks rapidly* say that again? Jung-moon immediately gets up and goes to the specified address. It's a very run-down place - and the guy he has been looking for seems to dwell in the dark. It seems he is dead afraid and it seems there are many people who keep following him and probably want to kill him.
JoAnne: Is he afraid of Jung Moon? Or someone else? I mean, did he run away back then because he saw Jung Moon do something and realized that now he'd be considered a liability? Or did he find out something ELSE that Jung Moon doesn't know? I'm guessing he'll say it's the first but that it will actually be the last.
bcook: soooo Who is president kim and why is he afraid of all those people following him?  
But when Jung-moon turns around, Camera Guy recognizes him - and says he came rather late. Two years late. Is there proof? Did he see him kill people? Oh yes, he saw it very clearly: Jung-moon ... is a killer. He is the serial killer in the Hwayeondong case. Standing outside, hearing every word: Goo-tak.
JoAnne: I don't believe it. I don't care what he says.
bcook: He's a little too calm about it. I'm suspicious. Was Goo-tak's daughter one of the Hwayeondong victims? Is that why he has that look on his face? 
 

Comments

I may be a bit biased, but I think this was the best episode of them all. Heck, Tae-soo kills me. And Jo Dong-hyuk plays him so damn well. I hate farewells and this final and fatal farewell was absolutely heart-breaking. Imagine begging this cold-blooded killer to keep living because he is the last of your family! And this is a family that the Bad Guys can never fully substitute as they do not understand this difficult life of trying to wash the blood off your hands without letting it get to you. I particularly liked how Jeong-seok marvelled at the change in all of them, he himself feeling truly lonely. 
JoAnne: Oh, boo hoo. The poor assassin, left behind by his friends. He could have stopped if he wanted to.
bcook: Maybe he couldn't. Maybe he understood the theory of stopping but couldn't take the steps. I read this quora response from a guy who understands that he's supposed to feel love...but can't. Quite sad really. 

And now, the elephant in the room. So Jung-moon IS the killer? Well, I think he is. But I also think there's a twist to that. Cause this is Bad Guys. And we have four episodes to go.
JoAnne: I'm waiting for more information.
bcook: He definitely killed people! (he has flashbacks to prove it) but I don't think he killed as many as he thinks. Oh! Maybe he was hypnotized and the person who wants him dead is afraid those memories are going to come back. 

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