Pied Piper 피리부는 사나이 - Episode 4 (Recap)

This, my friends, turns out to be my personal TEN3 of 2016, only it's 10000times better written and acted. JoAnne is already making fun of me. The value of not falling in love often is that when it happens, people around you enjoy the spectacle so much more. At this point in time, this drama is well on its way to become one of my top 5. 
I'm not making fun! I'm so happy that you're happy, because I luff you! My happiness just comes out looking like teasing!
I think I like our lead actor more than the drama, but it's still pretty good.

Episode 4

Time for some media relations! Look who has exchanged cars (flashy! White!) and knows how to make a dramatic entrance! He also seems to have found the keys to his house again to change into something nice. Naturally, he massively pisses off Teamleader Kong, but the media LOVES him, so what can you do? Also, Teamleader Kong mocks comes to the conclusion that Sung-chan must be a rich guy. Yes, I'd say so too.
I'm thinking he's had a pretty lucrative career so far, yes.
He looks good all rich and snazzy like that! Plus, for the dangerous work he does, he should get paid well.
After this, they get ready to do the interview with Hee-sung. It appears to be live, which is unusual, but gives this scene much more gravitas. Hee-sung puts Sung-chan on the spot for changing from a well-paid business to a crisis negotiator with a public servant salary, once again putting emphasis on Sung-chan’s (former) link to K-Group and Chairman Seo’s obscure dealings.
The relationship between these two is very uneasy. I really like that. Gah! The problem with recapping starting behind the start of a show is that I forget what's known or not known. I'm afraid to say ANYTHING.  
They're like two predators, circling each other, waiting for an opening to go in for the kill
That reporter is still making less-than-zero impression on me. I know he does stuff, but I forget him as soon as he's off the screen, and I have to squint a bit to see him when he's on it. That makes him shifty to me. 

Of course, Sung-chan manages to talk his way out of it smoothly and to cryptically declare war on the Pied Piper - and it ends with Hee-sung publicly apologizing for his news reporting after the Philippine incident. Myung-ha on the other hand struggles to get a sentence straight, but in general, seems to have Sung-chan's back. Not that he needs it, but this is typical for her: she is upright and always honest, and she says that Sung-chan has definitely changed his ways (or is at least willing to.)
That does seem true to me. But Hee-sung... I don't know about him.
Nugu? Kidding, kidding...
After the broadcast, the two men have a short but very barbed conversation about their little business arrangement. Hee-sung insists he wants something on the Pied Piper from Sung-chan palli palli, in return for getting him on the force as a special consultant. To give this more weight, he mentions in passing that he still has his "confession video" from back then. Sung-chan does not seem overly concerned about it though, seeing how this is Hee-sung's weakness too (for not releasing it back then) and a higher-up's too (for making sure it's not released.)
I don't think that Hee-sung is stupid enough not to have considered that, but whatever.
I think they know that the other knows. This is to establish some clear lines in the sand
Just puffing themselves up.
Downstairs, Sung-chan and Myung-ha run into Assemblyman Jung. Who is ... personally concerned about Sung-chan and his well-being. Hmmm ... so they are related? I have a hunch how, but let's see how this plays out. Sung-chan politely tells him to fuck off and walks away.
There's only one situation in which a younger man tells an older man to fuck off in a Korean drama.
Since he still has no access to the Robber, he starts backtracking his every step. That takes him to the bank. Hilarious: how he plays the women to get the info he wants. Apparently, the Robber asked for a specific item from a safety deposit box. The clerks do not know what was in it, because it was sealed in an envelope, but they can tell him who the owner of that box was. When he gets to see who it is, he looks ... very puzzled. We later find out that it is, in fact, the now deceased Teamleader Oh. Myung-ha's foster father. 
I loved his face when he saw the name!
He also finds out the Robber got to the bank using a motorbike for chicken delivery. Hilarious and VERY cute: when he orders chicken from that place, then entices the delivery man to sit and talk and then finds out where a motorbike was stolen recently. A PCBang. There, he watches CCTV footage that shows what the Robber looked at mostly when he was using the computers. It's a site called Underground.
I guess no one would use a site called Hamlin.
It would've been funny to have used Hamlin, but the writers went with the more melo name of Underground.
When he gets back to the office, Sung-chan witnesses a somewhat embarrassing incident with an outraged woman and Teamleader Kong. Well, it ain't pretty: She is the mother of a boy, who is friends with Kong's son. This boy was badly beaten up and the mother is here to complain about how the police mishandled the issue. It was clearly an assault, but Kong seems to have filed it as "accident". Well, duh, the bully's parents are influential super-lawyers.
But I think we can rule out Mom as the Piper, at least.
Never even thought of Mom as being the Piper. (haha, I think JoAnne didn't either) Anyway, how frustrating for her that her son's case is being ignored like this! That was not a minor scuffle, her son was seriously hurt.

Not surprisingly, Kong's son is having a very hard time dealing with what he sees as his father's betrayal. And look at that!! Kong's son is also using this site called Underground and has even threatened to reveal the truth about the incident there. There is a user called "noname 3125" on there who promises to help people who think they have experienced unfairness in life. In exchange for a favor... and 3125 is rumored to be behind the Bank Robbery and the Casino incident. Oh, oh, oh. It's the Pied Piper!!!!!
Or is it Kong's Son with a very clever ruse...or even Kong himself!
The character of Kong would be a good disguise.  
We see how Kong's son visited his friend at the hospital. Woah, he is beat up badly ... and to make things worse, he is also the one who has to move school, not the bully. (Actually, this is life: the victims usually have to move away from the transgressors.) When Kong's son leaves, someone walks behind him in the dark ... the phone rings ... and somebody whistles... Cut to the negotiating team office, where a package is delivered. It's Kong's son's phone (eerie: the ring tone was changed to the Pied Piper melody!) and Father Kong is told he has 2 hours to find his son or else.
Curioser and curioser.
Luckily, Kong recognizes the background in the picture on the phone quickly: it's the place where the other kid was beaten so badly! They rush there to find a computer, with a live-feed of the Kong-Son, bleeding from a head wound. A Disguised Voice tells Kong to "reveal everything you know to be true, and say you'll quit the police force". He has 5 minutes or the son will die. Teamleader Kong complies. Myung-ha has noticed something strange and leaves the room to go a few floors up and finds ... Kong's son. Completely unharmed. What? He orchestrated it all himself?!
Too easy, though, right?
I really didn't understand what Myung-Ha saw that led her to the rooftop, but since her superpower is Intuition, I'll let that point go.
Oh, but now he is stepping to the ledge, frightened and emotionally unstable, threatening to jump. Time for some negotiating between father and son, during which the son almost falls, but luckily does not. Father and son make up (see? you just need to talk it out) and all seems well. Kong only did it to protect his son, because the bully's parents threatened to send lawyers his way for "revealing" things on the Underground platform and to destroy his life completely.
(In that picture on the right up there, it sort of looks like Kong is giving his baby Sung-chan a piggy-back ride, and Baby Sung-chan is cranky. I keep giggling and I can't make an intelligent comment here, sorry.)
((haha, yes, it IS a weird picture. To explain, dear readers: Sung-chan was holding Kong back forefully, because the situation was very volatile)) 
Wasn't it weird that the son and father were making up while the son was hanging off the ledge and about to fall, and that the team only pulled them both up once the conversation was over? I would've thought, pull them up first, and talk second. 
I'd hope that be the case in real life, yes

Back in the office, the son takes out his phone and ... texts to his Underground buddies about 3125: "He is a scammer. He asked for money. So I refused". Turns out that ... Sung-chan posed as the Pied Piper, to make sure Kong's son wouldn't do anything more stupid.
Awww, see? Not an entirely bad guy.
Naturally, the REAL Pied Piper gets wind of this quickly and he calls Sung-chan with a warning: get ready for action
Because Sung-chan helps Kong's son to exact revenge for his friend (he records the bully's confession with Myung-ha's pen recorder) (The bully has a bully), Team Leader Kong allows Sung-chan access to the Bank Robber. Oups, guys ... this is totally against regulations!! In there, he pretends to be the Pied Piper once more (that melody ... I whistle it all the time now!) and our Robber shows great fear. It becomes clear that he is convinced that the Pied Piper is in fact a policeman. He also reveals what was inside the envelope he got from that deposit box - a pen. One looking exactly like the pen Myung-ha uses. A pen that Team leader Oh used to record and re-play negotiations. Hmmmm .... but why has Team leader Oh put it in the deposit box and why would Pied Piper want it?
We do not know! (side note: all this whistling, which is a thing I cannot do, makes me feel inferior!)
Things escalate, because the Robber is pissed off that Sung-chan tricked him, and general terrified, and he briefly escapes outside into the corridor, where Myung-ha has to physically subdue him. What's more... when he's back in his cell, alone, at night, someone steps up to the bars and whispers something to him (drowned out by the background music), which causes him to hit his own head against the bars until he passes out.
Was he trying to kill himself that way?
Yes, I think he was trying to kill himself. 
Yeah, well ... that leads to a disciplinary procedure against the whole team. It's Sung-chan who does the talking. Certain of success, he plays a recording he made from his "interrogation" with the Robber, to prove that somebody else within the police force was threatening the man and probably is the Pied Piper. The upside: This leads to the presentation of the evidence from the Bank Robbery case. And indeed, among the things in the evidence locker there is a recording pen. The downside: There seems to be nothing on that pen.
So now we know that the Pied Piper wanted the pen because it had information on it which apparently didn't look good for the police, or for Samchon, at least... but why is it blank? when did it get erased?
Furthermore, the police chief handed Myung-ha a file right before the procedure started: It identifies Sung-chan as the person responsible for suggesting to use force to remove protesting landowners for the "Newtown" project. As a result, 4 civilians and 1 police man died. When she confronts him about it up on the roof, he doesn't understand what that has to do with things and tells her that overall, it was done the right way and that "negotiation is war. It's meant for someone to bleed". What he does not know is this: her parents were among the victims of this incident.
The casino was built on land that had previously been a neighborhood. What's different is the reasons for protests - this is because the casino is near a school, but back in the beginning it was because people were angry about losing their homes.  

Additional Bits and Pieces

* For the first time this episode, I notice how carefully the color-filters are chosen. Look at the screencaps! Before, I just thought it looked somewhat ... dull.
I like the blue ones...but the greenish yellow is odd. Effectively muddying, though.
I like the filters, they are soothing.

* Team leader Kong has an injury/scar on his right shoulder that troubles him.
I think Hee-sung does, too.
I wonder why both of them have injuries on their shoulders?

* Team leader Oh used to be an up and coming Riot Control Commander, but then he suddenly quit and founded the negotiation team nobody wanted. Why? Well, it's clearly related to the Newtown disaster. I'm sure we'll find out more about this soon. 
I am sure that you are right.

* Sung-chan notices how Myung-ha looks at Hee-sung in the studio, so he asks whether she knows him or is just a fan. She does know him, somehow, but dodges his question by saying it's from "here and there". Hmmm... (later, when she asks him how he knows Assemblyman Jung, he gives her the same answer).
I'm starting to think that the actual definition of yeogi-cheogi is not 'here-there' but 'this is totally not important at all you should just take my word for it oooh is that my phone oh hey sorry gotta go'
A neat little trick, Sung-chan

* Right after Sung-chan recorded the bully's confession, Seo Joon appears in front of the rich kid. No clue how he is involved in all this, but he tells the other kid he should "take care of it" and pay for what he did. 
Full disclosure: this scene caused me to abandon my 'Hee-sung is the Piper' theory and switch to 'It's the kid, wow, he must be a geeenius!'
Oh, he's the bully's bully! Okay, so there is a connection to everything and we'll see him again. I'm sure SeoJoon will be really good at making coffee and dressing up as a Pierrot.

* Choi Sung-Bum (one of the men on the team) is watching porn while on duty, hehe. Also, he is the computer geek of the team. That will come in handy, I'm sure.
Porn? Very amusing to Sung-chan
* The graffiti on the wall in the room in which they find the laptop with the live-feed of the "bleeding" son reads: "Do Something". I like this activist touch this show has. Also, the website Underground's logo is a variation of the Anonymous mask.
Oh it is? I thought it was the V for Vendetta guy.
Absolutely, because the Anonymous mask (which isn't the same as their logo) is the Guy Fawkes mask :)

* Sung-chan is a wuss - when he gets hurt a bit on his arm, he isn't particularly brave about it. He even admits he can't fight. Well, to be honest, being good with words is quite sexy too.
True but what's wrong with being both?
Too much work? (his BODY though! Wow. Watch "Empire of Lust". Can we hope for a shower scene in this drama?)
I actually like him more for being imperfect.

* I love the way Shin Ha-kyung pronounces the word "pen".
And I'm wrong for making fun of her. Right.

Thoughts and Comments

This episode was slightly more of the straightforward "police procedural"-kind and Sung-chan got to show off some quite impressive investigative skills in the first half. It is of course completely unlikely that a mere civilian would get the "power" to investigate, but in the context of this drama, it kinda works nonetheless. The police and everyone around it is so corrupt that it just matters whose buttons you can press. Sung-chan simply runs to the chief of police whenever he wants something.
As this goes on, you'll find yourself going "okay.. but it totally works here" about a number of things...
Yes, so in this episode, what would REALLY not happen is how Kong saved his son from falling down. You don't just catch a falling guy from falling, unless you hold onto something. Otherwise, it is almost 100% certain that he would pull you down with him
As I mentioned before, the conversation while holding onto his son was also unbelievable. Pull to safety first, then talk.

Particularly noteworthy in this episode is how this little team of "negotiators" is starting to come together as a real team now. That is connected to how they get more comfortable around Sung-chan - who can be the perfect buddy, if he doesn't decide to turn on you. He really is quite charming in this whole episode. He first hits it off with Choi Sung-bum, but the more they experience together, the clearer it becomes that he and Teamleader Kong have no reason to hate each other either. Also, in his efforts to help Kong's son, he works towards finding the Pied Piper, but he also quite clearly cares for the young man.
At first I kept thinking, 'oh, look how he's changing' but now I think it's not changing, but just loosening up.

Myung-ha and Sung-chan seem really comfortable around each other by now (I tell you, there is romantic tension there!) until the chief of police happens to receive the file on Sung-chan from an "anonymous" source. I doubt it's that anonymous. I think that Sung-chan is just too close to uncovering things that are going to be very uncomfortable for many people, so they want to get rid of him. He should be glad these people are not of the murderous kind, I don't think he'd make it for long. 
At first I thought he'd been hiding out from Seo so that he wouldn't get killed but it became apparent that this isn't an issue and now you're right, I keep thinking 'man, how are you not dead already?' so often!
I am against romance between Sung-chan and someone who always looks like she has just cried.

Leads on the Pied Piper:

We learn that nobody knows him or has seen him. This "underground" platform seems like the perfect set-up for a mastermind like he is. He promises to help desperate individuals in exchange for favors - that put the individuals in big danger, but they don't know that at the time when they agree, of course. I would say with my limited profiler skills that this indicates that the Pied Piper is of the younger generation. 40 at most?
I think it is a younger person and a man, but there's no reason it couldn't be someone into their 50s.

That the Pied Piper is a policeman is corroborated by that scene in episode 3, when somebody whistled the tune inside the police station. The whisperer that gets the Robber to hurt himself has a moustache - the guy in episode 3 was clean shaven. That he had access to the police station late at night is another indication that he might be a police officer.
But that's a classic misdirect, right? Absolutely. All it really means is it's someone with relatively free access to the station - or that he has minions there.