Pied Piper 피리부는 사나이 - Episode 10 (Recap)

Where is the Pied Piper, you may ask? Well, he's BACK, bishes. With a twist and a kick to our heads. The ending of this episode is a waaaaaaaaaaaaaadafuck kinda moment, but it all makes sense immediately. Before getting there, Sung-chan unleashes more of his humanity and it seems Myung-ha notices him for the first time. I mean "sees" him, in the KDrama way.
JoAnne: Is he now a man in her eyes, you think? He's certainly a man in ours.
*makes rumbling noise deep in her throat* 
I don't want her to be a woman in his eyes, though. 
Trotwood: Not until she proves that her better hair isn't just an accident. 

Episode 10

With the nailgun at his throat, Hee-sung continues to translate, and tells Sung-chan its better if he and his camera man go out for the time being - the hostage takers demand all the money the factory owner has put aside (1 billion won = 862'000 USD), or Hee-sung dies. Lieutenant Choi has apprehended the factory owner in the meantime and is bringing him to the scene, which will allow them a new negotiating strategy. But what will they do with him? They cannot legally force him to give them the sum the Chinese are demanding. Torture is out of the question, I guess? Sung-chan seems at his wits end. Temporarily.
Think, Sung-channie, think!
They have an hour before the Chinese will kill the hostages, neither the factory-owner or the Shan Shan & baby cards are trumps, so they decide to secretly send the SWAT-team in and try to subdue some of the hostage-takers. In the meantime, Hee-sung is roughed up a bit, until he takes matters into his own hands. He tells Chungze that the SWAT-team is likely to infiltrate soon and then... whispers something to him. Hmmmmmmm.
And this surprised no one. He was probably born in the shade.
A brutal (and loud) beating follows. Worried, Sung-chan calls in. But the hostage takers don't give a damn - they start the machinery and throw dust into the air (it's metal powder debris) (I think this is why their faces are scarred). The SWAT-team is in position and starts moving in despite of Sung-chan's urgent plea to wait. Something is fishy, that much is clear ... Sung-chan discovers the dust seconds before the disaster (and is able to shout a warning). The Chinese create a huge dust explosion with a fuse and a cable. Luckily, and thanks to Sung-chan, the SWAT-team is unharmed.
Every time this comes up I laugh, because I spent the whole scene wondering aloud to myself why they had so much flour in the shop, and why they were making such a mess.
Darling Choi is a bit stupid - he lets the factory owner out at a gas station "to go to the toilet". Yeah. There goes that negotiating card Sung-chan was waiting for!! And at the hospital, the operating surgeon tells Myung-ha he did everything he could but cannot guarantee anything at this point. The negotiating team tries to call Myung-ha, but she doesn't hear her phone. Sung-chan lets his head hang... at this point, he has no more cards to play.
WTF, Choi. WTF. This is Cop 101!
So dumb!
I would like one time to see a show where people in it have clearly watched television themselves. In every show, the people get away with the bathroom excuse. This is the reason why our beautiful Banker had to poop in his pants. Even those gangsters weren't going to fall for the bathroom excuse.
But DAMN, then he remembers the drunk in that restaurant with his third damn option and Chairman Seo calling him a scumbag who lives by ripping off the weak and Hee-sung saying he hasn't changed one bit. Oh no...... time to do something stupid?! He rips off his police vest (yum) ... and declares that he will go in by himself. The only thing he has left to do - and time is running out quickly! - is to beg. Just when the desperate Hui are about to set off the second dust explosion to blow the whole factory up, Sung-chan appears at the door.
Mentally, I put him on a white horse, in shining armor. Then I laugh.
I had him with no sound but some dramatic music and in slow-mo in my mind. Then I laugh.
I can't see the horse and armour image...
He apologizes for trying to trick them, but he also has nothing that they want, nothing at all. The plug is THAT close to being put into the socket several times when Sung-chan tells Chungze that he should let everybody go, if he wants to make a statement, the death of two people is enough: him and Sung-chan. Is this your idea of a plea?!
And then, as shown below, he takes a brief intermission to signal a ball player or something, I don't know.
It's a tense moment and I tell you, this Chungze is actually thinking about this proposition when a phone rings. Hahahaaaa, it's Sung-chan's planted phone that they used all this time to have intel from the factory!! It's Myung-ha, shouting that they're alive, they're alive! It's a girl! Before she realizes what phone she just rang (He: "I'm in the middle of negotiating". Haha). And just like that, the crisis is over, nothing is blown to pieces- and Hee-sung gets to be the hero again AND has a great story for his news.
When they're old and married and retired they can dine out on this story - 'remember that time I called you in the middle of a negotiation by accident and accidentally saved the day?' 'yes, Dear... a thousand times.'
They're not to get married. I forbid it!
Sigh. I think the only alternative is that he dies. They get through this and become a couple or he's dead. I don't think this show is setting up other options.
After Sung-chan, Choi and Myung-ha visit Shan Shan at the hospital, Choi picks up some vibes between the two and quickly leaves. He's a shipper and that's SO CUTE. (I know. I said this before. I think if he spent as much time thinking through his police stuff as he spends on shipping them, he'd be an excellent cop) Anyway, Sung-chan has "found" a house for Myung-ha... in fact, it's his mother's house, empty since her death. She remarks that she has never heard him speak about his family to which he replies: and you will not in the future (let me tell you: he'll eat his words soon). When he takes his tight-fitting pants to the garden, memories assail him and they're not happy: finding his mother collapsed on the floor in this house, pleading with her to get an operation, realizing she has no money. 
It would be much sadder were it not for those pants.:D
I noticed the fit too. There was a guy in my office liked wearing supertight pants, which I hated, but with Sung-chan I can calmly accept. So, tight pants all comes down to who you fancy.
And why is there no pic that includes those pants? Or has that pic already been shipped to the Louvre?
The high-school him then went to find his father, the up and coming politician of the People's Party. He pretty much ignores him. On he goes to a place called "K-Capital"... yes. Chairman Seo's previous money lending business. Seo refuses to lend this underage kid anything. He also teaches him a lesson: nothing in this world is free. If you want something, you need to give something in return - is he willing to sign a contract giving away something valuable? I thought that was pretty cool, that he wouldn't just take advantage of a young kid. We're given the impression Chairman Seo is scummy, but this was a bit of redemption. I don't think this is redemption. I think that he has his own rules. Even the Pied Piper has his rules. Young Sung-chan vows he will be back after trying harder, ready to sign any contract. The kid goes to see his father again and this time, he gets to talk to him. He kinda blackmails him too, with evidence of his affair with his mother. It also seems he gets the money, but when he returns to the hospital, his mother is already dead. 
Ooh, harsh.
It was too much that he couldn't have gone to his father in the first place. I don't think the dad would've let the mum die, even if they were estranged.
Commissioner Yang expresses concerns about the upcoming Hearing, which is drawing closer, but BiL Kang has a very good idea: he just has to win the support of the people during a public debate on TV before that and the voice recording/Newtown incident won't matter much. To win, he needs a specific opponent. And that opponent... will be Assemblyman Jung. Why? Because the X-files revealed something about him that makes him highly vulnerable: He has a child out of wedlock. And though it's not public knowledge who that is, Kang has a pretty good hunch whom it might be.
Let's just poke him in the eyes, yes? With bullets.
Kang is too gleeful here. I want him sad and mad.  
There are so many people to hate in this show that I sometimes forget individuals until they come back on the screen.
I've come to realize that I know and loathe a person who looks just like him
But before we get to the next crisis, which is as certain as the day turning into night, Myung-ha moves into Sung-chan's house. Everybody helps. Iz cuuuuuute <3. They eat black noodles outside, when Choi notices that Myung-ha looks at Sung-chan ... well, surprised, because he just showed compassion for the Chinese workers and their plight. He gets everybody to leave and Myung-ha and Sung-chan get to share a moment. Well, several. The first is awkward, when they run out of things to talk about. The second is a bit tense, because the light dies and they stand there opposite each other in the dark. The third is cautiously exciting, because he once again expresses great concern for her as he changes the light bulb... and then, their fingers suddenly touch.
Since the light fixture isn't grounded, they're viciously zapped with electricity and mistake that for the first flush of love. We are all happy. No, not really.
I'm horrified.
No time for romance though (see?) - her phone rings and they hear that the factory owner has been found dead. It's another "suicide", with suicide note... but of course, the Piper/Soo-kyung forced him to write it and pushed him off the bridge. He also made him pay the foreign workers before this. 
Uhh, good job, Piper?
Half of that was a good job. 
Funny. I had no feeling about this except for relief that they got the money for the workers before he was killed and the fact that I was annoyed that anyone (and I mean anyone) at this point could think for even a second that it was suicide. You'd have to had just walked into this show to legitimately think this.

After this, the Scooby Gang goes full-out on their search for the Pied Piper. They brief the police force (and Hee-sung, who was invited) on Jung Soo-Kyung. He was a diligent and quiet young man right until the Newtown incident that killed his sister. He enrolled in the special forces after that - and the rest is history. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that he changes his pattern of crime all the time, currently murdering people who get in the way of his plans. Sung-chan thinks it's because he is running out of time and desperate.
I so wish the Boxer had been on the negotiating team and not the bad guy. Not that I want to get rid of any of the negotiators.
I find the Boxer distractingly handsome. I know he's a baddie and all, but I just want to see him more and more.
He is handsome and lithe (which makes everything better--let your imagination go, Jo). It also should remind us of the potential gone. He could've been an Olympian. At least he could have been some special forces hero. He'd be right there in Urk with our DotS friends being suave and badass. 
Sung-chan is just about to share something about the factory owner with Hee-sung when the reporter's phone rings. He excuses himself and goes to his car. And there, in the backseat, disguised as police officer... Soo-kyung! WHHHHAAAAAAAA! OHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! And no, Soo-kyung ISN'T THERE TO THREATEN HIM! These two men know each other well, and what is more: Hee-sung is angry that Soo-kyung acted against his orders, hurt Myung-ha and killed those men.
This is what I find interesting--his concern for Myung-ha. Do you think this is after he learned she was a victim, too?
Bad Boxer! No cookies for you!
So, we went in a Pied Piper circle.  
I think this is when my jaw dropped open. And then stayed that way for rest of episode. I don't think I was surprised though. I never trusted him and always thought he was a suspect, so I don't know why the whole closure here was so jarring.
And this is how they got to know each other: Hee-sung appeared in front of him right after he killed that manager of the construction company involved in the Newtown incident and told him that he has been watching him, that his methods were all wrong - this way, he would end up no better than the ones he wants so badly to see punished. Soo-kyung beat Hee-sung up, but he told him about the frogs and the boiling water. "Our job", he told the boxer, "is to wake up those frogs". In the here and now, Hee-sung reminds Soo-kyung that it does not stop at punishment. They have to show by example to change people's thoughts and change the world.
Good job, Boxer! Beat up the creepy reporter!
Maybe Heesung and the Boxer are the Frogs who Boiled in the Water of Madness. 
And then we see .... it was Hee-sung all along. All those phone calls and the disguised voice: him. All those people recruited: him. all the evil plotting: him. And of course, it was him who told those Chinese workers about that thing called "Dust Explosion". Him, him, him. Hee-sung is the Pied Piper.
Or so they want us to think... (but damn, this was eerie. Dude is totally deranged.)
I hope not. It's all a little annoying to just settle on Hee-sung because it's too obvious what him always being around, not that visible, yet known to everyone and involved in everything. 
The whole whistling thing was so creepy, and then the director goes even further and has him look directly into the camera and smile at us as though we are all complicit in his schemes. Super Creepy!

Other Things

* When they get stuck on the street while rushing Shan Shan to the hospital, Myung-ha shows that she has learnt something from Sung-chan: she addresses the cars in front of them directly to get them to move. He did that in one of the early episodes.
Clever girl.
Good job, Myung-ha!
As soon as she asked to do it herself, I knew what she was up to. I love it when shows reveal why earlier scenes are important. It shows a mindfulness of planning, and it makes a viewer want to pay attention to everything for a chance of pay off at the end.

* The baby we get to see is for sure NOT a premature baby. We were told that Shan Shan was 6 and something months pregnant. They go into an incubator with tubes.
They probably have rules about unplugging the preemies for acting jobs.
Shan Shan was pretty heavily pregnant. 
Yup. she was majorly pregnant. I can't believe no one noticed. What kind of health class did they take in school?

* There's a cute moment when Myung-ha learns about Sung-chan's reckless stunt to go in there without any leverage. He says: "If some idiot hadn't called me on the hidden cell phone at the time, everyone would've died." Awww. Date already!
Yes! Date happily! Let him brush your hair, it'll be romantic.
Don't date! I just don't want him dating Myung-ha, sorry, shippers.

* We find out Assemblyman Jung used to be a "civil activist"
Didn't we always know this? At least ever since the book event. He is the social activist guy. That seems to be his rep. That is why the Chief doesn't want to debate him at first--because he is known to be about the people. He is going to use his "honest" influence to save the reputation of that reporter guy, for example.
Where was he while Newtown was happening? No, seriously. Where was he?

* I wonder whom young Sung-chan grew up with after his mother died. Could it have been Chairman Seo? That would make him a foster-son of this bastard. I doubt it, but I am sure it's not the last the two saw of each other back then.
I'm guessing Seo sponsored his education, etc.  
That's an obvious one.  Seo seems the sort who'd find out that determined kid blackmailed his own absentee father and that would recruit him.  
I think that was going to be Young Sung-chan's proof to him that he was ready to give everything up as well as a bargaining chip. I can so see a young Sung Chan thinking what are the ways that he needs to grow up to have his own power and Chairman Seo recognizing a skill and focus that he could manipulate for his benefit.

* Sung-chan visits Chungze at the detention center and shows him photos of his baby girl (that he took himself, much to Choi and Myung-ha's amusement). He even learnt a few sentences of Chinese! D'awwwwwwz. He's so cute when he's cute.
You're so cute when you're in love.
So, those Hui men all got deported?  
* Commissioner Yang asks Myung-ha to forgive him. She tells him to go fuck himself (politely). What an entitled PRICK.
Yay Myung-Ha! You earn an unbrushed hair day for this! TWO days!
No. She must always brush her hair from now on. I will not give any leeway on this.  
And look. She is perfectly capable of brushing her hair and looking decent. Ponytails really are not that hard people. I love it how she politely and respectfully declines. I don't think I would've been that calm.


We knew it! And we didn't. CLEVER, drama, really clever! We have two Pied Pipers, with Hee-sung being the head of the operation, clearly, and Soo-kyung being the underling. Though a currently misbehaving underling and that surely does not bode well for anyone we care for.
Myung-Ha has a plan. When she finally brushes her hair, the static electricity will kill Boxer dead. I'll be a little sad, honestly.
Or maybe this is the Pied Piper: 

In all honesty, this twist makes me like Hee-sung much more than I liked him before. Imagine how long it took him to slowly but surely climb up the social ladder, become main Anchor and then Press Director, while working towards this noble goal of "freeing the frogs". That's true dedication to a cause! But... who is he? What exactly drives him? We don't know yet. We don't even know how he is connected to the Newtown incident. JoAnne's idea that there might be a bigger story is very likely.
Frog lips Hee-sung and his stupid boiling frogs. Thank you, yes, I like my idea too.
I totally loved the cautious Myung-ha / Sung-chan moments we got in this episode (electricity / light bulbs being a nice little metaphor for how feelings work sometimes) and I love how Choi (and the others) ship them. I don't need more than this, to be honest, I love watching a man and a woman developing feelings for each other and am content with the odd awkward moment between them due to it. If only Sung-chan doesn't do anything really stupid because of her.
Dead, dying, gone.
Not Myungha. I'm available, I can call him oppar...
Have you forgotten all the Kakashi "mine games"? You are living dangerously here.
Oh, she does. I have chosen to ignore her for the time being, but if she's not careful, I'll go all Pied Piper on her

Many people keep telling him that he has not changed, but this episode is proof that Sung-chan has indeed changed. Quite fundamentally so, I'd say. That he went for "option 3" when nothing else could have been done is a clear indication for this - and I liked how Myung-ha realized that. Once is enough though, Sung-chan, okay? No more of that self-sacrifice stuff. Thank you. 
Yes, he made his point, he's good. Now it's someone else's turn to sacrifice.
It showed his ability to empathize has grown. I appreciated that.