Pied Piper 피리부는 사나이 - EPISODE 16 FINAL (Recap)

kakashi: A glorious drama is coming to a glorious end. Until the last minute, this remains gripping and thoughtful and perfect. Yu Jung-sang acted his soul out. We all gape in awe. At the very end, self-sacrifice becomes the focal point in this drama again; but it does not take one life, but hundreds, thousands willing to put their lives on the line for others to save those in danger. What a moving message.
JoAnne: I got all weepy and goosebumpy.
Trotwood: Me, too. It's one of those shows that you want to go find people and drag them into the room and force them to watch so their faith in humanity can be restored. (Except Brother in Law is not punished enough, but you can't have everything)
Look at that smile below! I'd be smiling like too if I were hugging Teamleader Han
Jaehyus: Amazing. There wasn't a single hole in this story. Good job, writer!  
*Hugs Hakyun. And the writer* - *then Hakyung again*
Can we just hug everyone? Well, not Bastard Brother-in-Law Or Chairman Seo, but everyone else. I want a group hug. I want to hug the camera people and the lighting people and whoever fixed Myung-ha's hair!

Episode 16 - final episode

"Hurry up and shoot me!" Hee-sung screams ... and we see how Sergeant Jo gets up in the monitoring room and pulls his gun. Hee-sung urges Myung-ha to report that it'll all be over if Hee-sung dies; if she won't do it, somebody else will. Oh yes, here comes our Jo-cutie, gun ready!! Myung-ha barely manages to dissuade him from pulling the trigger. Up in the air, the plane veers off to the right again ... headed for its new target, the redevelopment site. This wasn't last minute, but last second.
I love Jo. Even if he shot Hee-sung, I'd continue to love Jo.
I've got to say that I always liked him and thought he was sorta of adorable even admirable and funny, but this is the first time I thought him sexy. I watched him pull that gun out more than once. Is there something wrong with me? 
Guns are such masculinity symbols. Add to that these heroics, and yes, it's sexy.
Ooookay, now there have a few more minutes to come up with a good plan. Unnoticed by Sung-chan and the rest, BiL Kang leaves the command room and ... calls the media. Well, he's a scumbag, but this is a good move! It will make "shooting down the plane in secret" a bit harder, won't it? Haha, yeah, as if you could shoot down a plane in secret. But at least, it will make it harder for the government to lie (because they could very well lie that it was an accident or a bomb on the plane or whatev). 
He's still a putz.
But he didn't do it for that reason. If he did, I wouldn't hate him so much. He did it because he wants that kid to die. If the son is dead, he will get the company. Every time the chairman talked about his son inheriting and wanting him to grow up faster so he could take over, BBiL (Bastard Brother-in-law) looked like he was going to have an aneurysm. He hates them. He wants that company and he wants it now, and this would be perfect to get the board to turn everything over to him.
It's amazing what people will believe, though. They could shoot down that plane and then tell people enough times that they didn't see it for people to believe they didn't see it. Any victims with lingering difficulties could be mollified.  

When Hee-sung hears about the new target site, he just smiles sardonically (he totally expected this). He tells Myung-ha this is quasi a copy of Newtown 13 years ago. Most people have left because of demolition but a few hang on. Is it right to kill those few powerless or should the plane go back to K-Tower? What does she think? Well, Myung-ha thinks those two options are not the only options! She urges him to tell her how the airplane can be safely returned to the airport. He only says: "The answer is not in the destination but in the method in which the plane travels". This is not about knowing what is wrong. Everybody knows what is. But what is the reason why things don't change? "We always expect others to do it for us. No one wants to sacrifice themselves".
And we're right back to that guy in the bar, telling Sung-chan exactly what was wrong with his story.
I don't see Hee-sung on this plane. Where's his sacrifice here?  
Cryyyptic, man.
I thought so, too, but inside I was screaming "to hell with cryptic, I want some damn answers and I want them now!"
I'm rolling my eyes and thinking stop with the attitude. You're just a crazy person, Hee-sung, nothing special.
Wow. When Myung-ha calls Sung-chan and tells him, he's like... "did he say anything else?" Yeah, that he wants to be shot in the head. Sung-chan calls this bullshit - so Hee-sung wants to become a martyr? Not on his watch.
Yes, keep him alive. Punish him, fix his warped logic, then let him spend his life doing good works, some how.
Yes, death to him would be too easy. It is, especially by her hand, what he wants. He's getting way too much pleasure out of this. That's my problem with him here. He doesn't deserve to be enjoying anything at this point.
I still think him wanting to die with Myung-ha around is pervy.
Up in the air, poor Teamleader Han has a hard time. He needs to keep the passengers calm but that bastard Comang did everything to incite the other passengers, remember? And he is doing more: telling everyone he is doing what he is doing because of Seo Joon - in fact, his father is the reason for everything the Pied Piper has been doing. Killing him? Yes, that would solve everything, of course. Great... what a scumbag.
I want to smash his face into something hard. Stupid fathead pudding face jerk.
Thank goodness for the Hanster because everyone is going crazy. I understand that they are all freaking out, but what would killing Seo joon do for them? That wouldn't change anything about the plane and their imminent deaths. I'd be trying to save my ass first not trying to get revenge because of some geek's warped logic. 
If I was on a plane about to crash, I'd be praying, and trying to contact family. I don't think I'd care about anyone else.  
Director Go is still quite adamant that they need to keep this whole thing a secret when Sung-chan suddenly becomes aware of the news... they're already reporting about it. In detail. Including the fact that the government is trying to keep this hush-hush. And including the fact that the government is trying to aim the plane towards the redevelopment district. When Chairman Seo gets wind of the situation, he has a rage fit. And grabs a gun. And, by the way ... K-Tower has more votes again.
People like Seo fascinate me. His precious child and his precious belongings, how dare they be hurt. But others, that's just business. That attitude, that conscious belief that YOU are valuable and others are not? That chaps my ass like very little else.
I hate this, too, but it is completely in character--to the point that I was disappointed in him. I mean this is all so obvious; why do you think the Pied Piper did this? I remember thinking that I thought he was smarter than this when he was trying to get his son out of the country. He acts exactly how I predicted he would, and I'm not nearly as smart as the Piper. Everything he does plays right into PP's hands, which made me wonder about the nefarious skills he had to have to get to the position that he's in in the first place.
Seo has thugs working for him. He got where he is based on a modicum of intelligence, muscle and money making more money.
Sung-chan has a rage fit of his own when BiL Kang comes back in. He knows immediately it must have been him leaking this. He actually thinks the scumbag has done all this to get rid of Seo Joon "publicly", so that he can be successor of K-Group. (Trot was right.) Later, he suggests to frame the Pied Piper as being part of an international terror organization, so that the citizens will understand a bit of brutality. Let me just look at this gif for a very long time:
It's really too bad he only hit him the one time. And that the second hit wasn't filmed from behind so we could scan... the view.
Thank you for this gif gift. As I said on twitter, I will probably look at this at least once a day and probably before every meeting I go into. 
I also thought it was fitting that Sung-chan, who has been established as a really (really) bad fighter was able to clock him one. You don't have SWAT member friends and learn nothing.
Also, BIL Kang does not look as though he could hit anyone.  

Up in the air, a very timid Seo Joon begs for his life - and it's only Teamleader Han's courageous intervention that averts the worst.
(*running in with a fan banner*) GO TEAMLEADER, HAN!!!! GO HAN!!! (*running back out*)
Bet Seo Joon is regretting encouraging the Piper in earlier episodes.
In the command room, Sung-chan and Director Go are screaming at each other about the dos and don'ts of media involvement until Sung-chan suddenly realizes ... there is a third option, isn't there. The third option in the online game is "The National Police Agency". But ... why is it not getting any votes? Wouldn't people naturally vote for that, considering the Yang mess-up and all?!
Right? That makes sense.  
And then, Sung-chan gets it. Sacrifice. Sacrifice! Might it mean they need to get other people to select the Police Agency? Director Go think he's crazy, but Sung-chan gets Choi to try it out. He clicks on option 3 (the grey one at the bottom)... nothing. The counter doesn't go up. What does it mean?!
You can't volunteer yourself? You have to encourage others to volunteer you? This made no sense to me right here. Later it's all clear, of course.
I was confused, too. And it wasn't helping that I was starting to feel as desperate as the people on my screen.
Maybe the third option is a fake-out?
Up in the air, Teamleader Han has finally calmed everyone down (he's so awesome <3 - and he locks the stupid ass hacker into the toilet, I cheered! his motto: "I hate everyone"), 
I loved the look on Han's face when stupid Hacker guy complains about his wrist hurting. He's like, "You are ready to die but you're complaining about this pain?" he's such an idiot that he isn't worth the energy of hating.
 . . . but there's new trouble... they're running out of fuel. Currently, they have some left for half an hour. Yeah, shit.
My immediate thought: but they were flying to Shanghai! My second thought: yes, but not from New York.
I did that, too. So funny that we immediately think from our perspective, literally, and then have to recalibrate distance from a new center.--This show brings up so many philosophical questions.
Seoul to Shanghai is a 2 hour flight.
In Seoul, Sung-chan notices that the third option reads "that place". But the Police Agency is what's displayed on the map. He wants to go see Hee-sung, but Director Go prevents him. Lots of pointless fighting follows, including incredibly immoral input from BiL Kang, who needs to be beaten some more.
Everyone just line up and take a swing.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. Despite all the despicable people in this show. He, to me, is the worst person.

And then, Sung-chan quasi explodes. He's had it. Don't they GET IT?! "When the people are in danger, the government is supposed to rescue them!" If they continue what they're doing, they will play directly into the Pied Piper's hand - who wants to expose them as lying and corrupt. If they continue as they do, he will become a hero, a legend. And there will be more and more Pied Pipers after this. It will never end! The family members of the dead plane passengers will receive a phone call and will hear some whistling... and someone will ask whether they want to hear the real story behind the shooting down of that plane.
Well it won't be Sung-chan. I feel pretty sure he values all lives now. I'm not sure he ever didn't... but just convinced himself he was picking the best of two bad options.
"Who will that be?" he asks - and beats his own chest. "Because I will clearly remember each and every one of your faces". Sung-chan: out. *Slow clap*
(It is ambivalent: he either just told them he'll be the next Pied Piper if they don't stop with the bullshit - or he told them he'd come after the next Pied Piper too.)
I can't see him taking lives.
I thought he meant that it would be his mission to expose each and every one of them and the role they played on this day.
Same as Trot. He wouldn't kill people to expose all these baddies.
As we see later, he very much made a "I'll be a Pied Piper"-threat here. Pied Piper doesn't equal killing. It's just about serving justice
Up in the air, Han-wife convinces Han-husband to tell the passenger the whole truth. (They are so cute!) The despair.... :((( Down below, the government decides that shooting-down the plane is off the table. But they need to make sure it goes to the redevelopment site, where there will be much fewer casualties. In the streets, people start becoming nervous.
Are they moving people away from the site, at least? I mean, who would stay? 'Hi, we're here to move you.' 'I'm not leaving my home!' 'A plane is going to land on your hou... where'd they go?' (from the car) 'Hey, government dude! What are you waiting for?'
Don't expect anything so reasonable as moving people to safety, I suppose.
Oh, but they did start evacuating them. Director Go gave the order

Outside, Chairman Seo arrives. Uh-oh. The press, who has gathered around the Agency (Reporter Yoon! Helloooo! (The poor girl in a completely different drama that isn't as interesting as the one she should be in) spots him immediately, but he refuses to comment. In the investigation room, Myung-ha gets a phone call from the "higher ups", to take Hee-sung somewhere else. We think for a moment it's from Sung-chan, but it's not. Because he appears there a moment later, only to find Hee-sung gone.
Because it was Chairman Seo who had him brought to him ... to the Negotiation Team's office. (Why there? Does that make any sense to any one?) Hee-sung smiles his eerie smile and says he expected Chairman Seo to find him sooner. A shame he didn't summon him from the top of the K-Tower though. He would have loved to witness the fall of Seo's empire, which is built on people's blood, from there.
I have to admit that I, too, think that would've been a good scenario. Hee-Sung is still the master of dramatic scenarios. Can you imagine what he could've been if he decided to go into writing dramas instead of terrorist vengeance? 
Chairman Seo has him beaten badly and does some of his own beating.
That man is just rotten to the core. Seo, Jaehyus. Not Hee-sung. Hee-sung is wrong, but he's not rotten.
Like I said, I'm completely disappointed in him as a villain. So obvious and so small minded.
Is Seo that bad, though? Remember how he made Sung-chan first exhaust all his options before coming to him for a loan. That wasn't a bad person's act, that was actually a bit of kindness.
Sung-chan, Sergeant Jo and Myung-ha arrive at the scene right when Hee-sung has delivered his message to Chairman Seo (it's not the dead that feel the pain - but the people left behind; and he wants him to feel this pain) and Chairman Seo is just about to pull the trigger. Hee-sung has everybody RIGHT where he wanted them. His bloody mouth pulled into that eerie grin of his, he turns to Chairman Seo and tells him it will all end if he blows his head open.
At least if he does it, there's no way he's getting out of dying in jail.
I've always wanted to enter a room like that.

But like in any good opera, where they sing before they die, he has a few more things to say to Sung-chan: He's sure it's been decided where to land the plane (he planned for it to be the redevelopment site). They'll call it an unavoidable sacrifice and will comfort themselves by saying it was the best option. Everybody just chooses the easiest answer. "I gave the power to the people. If they all contemplated the problem and looked for answers as if it concerned them, the secret would easily be unlocked." Sung-chan demands to know why the voting doesn't change when they click on the third option and Hee-sung says: "Because you did not really seek the answer with the true determination to sacrifice yourself."
Liar Game alert! How they figured this out amazes me still.
I wouldn't have figured it out at all. So glad that I didn't have to and so glad it was clearly explained to me. I know I rewatched some bits just to get it. I thought I should be taking notes as if I were going to be quizzed later.
I'm confused. They were picking the third option. They were actively choosing to sacrifice themselves. Why make it hard for them? Is there some determination gauge the program has, where it's all "nope, you're Hwayoung levels, not T-ara levels, your click doesn't count?"
And Sung-chan gets it. It's such a big thing that he cannot believe it yet, but he gets it - like Hee-sung WANTED him to get it, almost desperately, though he does his pleading with his eyes only. And while he gets it, Chairman Seo pulls the trigger. Hee-sung goes down. His work is done. Damn. I need a minute.
The poor sick man... what he did was so wrong, but why he did it was so right. People will call him a monster, but here's what I think: lots of heroes are monsters, too. It really depends on who's telling the story.
That's true. But I don't think any of those people at the development or on the plane will care much if they're injured, nor will their families if they die.
Sung-chan tells Director Go (who indeed called their option an "unavoidable sacrifice") to watch TV - and joins Reporter Yoon outside to deliver a message to the nation.
I love how as soon as she sees him, she gives him the mike without even asking. If I were her, I'd do this to, thinking, "Why not? No one tells me anything anyway."
He knows how to safely land the airplane. But he cannot do it alone. Everybody watching TV needs to help - they need to look at the third option in their voting box. Because that? Is wherever they are at that very moment. Clicking option 3 would mean sending the plane to themselves. But if they click right now, nothing will change. Because it will be the one location with the most number of votes that will become landing site No 3. If they all work together now, they can lead it to the closest airport in the area: Seongji Airfield. Everybody needs to go there immediately and vote.
I just do not get how he made that leap. It was brilliant, considering the pressure and the emotion and the urgency.
It's my Hakyun, that's why
I'm still confused. But whatever works.
Votes are only increasing slowly... until Sung-chan reads the passenger list and a short bio of every human being on that plane.
An idea he gets from Myung-ha, which I thought was a great touch. She is the person who still understands the human touch better than he.
They do it. They make option 3 get the most votes just seconds from impact. Thousands of people rush to the airfield - and bring the plane home, lighting the runway with their mobile phones.
Even the group from the PCBang from earlier!
It makes me cry just to read it. All the people rushing there. The bus driver who detoured from his route. All the cellph...phhh...phhh...*blubbering*
Yup, I was crying, too.
It's true, people need to see the human stories behind the pain to identify with the pain.
Which makes Hee-Sung right about this aspect at least.
And this :)
  I can so see them going on fishing trip together now. 
He lifts him up like a child. It is SO CUTE
He's so cute.

3 months later

Chairman Seo is facing trial for attempted murder (and more?), but he thinks he can get out of it easily. The whole legal system is in his pocket after all. Ha, but he didn't bet on Reporter Yoon, who has some juicy info about his money laundering activities and all the names involved. Wait.... did Seo Joon...?!
There's worse things than spending time in jail, old man. And you've got a good son.
I actually want Yeo Soon to grow up and take over the company. His first step should be to take out Bastard Brother-in-law.
What if Seo Joon becomes like the lead in Monster, though?
Hee-sung is in a coma. The bullet veered off, but it's highly likely he'll be a quadriplegic even if he wakes up. It's even questionable he will be able to blink. Flashback to when Hee-sung went to the photo studio to develop Mr. Shin's film. And then of him crying when he looks at the pictures of the people whose lives he has helped destroy.
New nightmare: he's trapped in that body, capable of nothing but dreaming.
Justice for Mr. Shin's living nightmre.
It's a horrible thing to have happened to anyone, but it feels like karmic justice. 
Also, what did people think of Reporter Yoon's visit? Everything about this show makes me want to figure out a layer? How did you guys read her expression? I couldn't tell. It didn't look any different than her usual look. Is that the point or did the writers not give her much else to do because she was the weak actor link and couldn't change expression to anything else?
She is getting ready to be the next Piper
Myung-ha is the new Teamleader of the Negotiation Team! Awwwwwww.
She and Teamleader Han do the same to a new recruit (mom is a plane survivor!) that Teamleader Oh and Han did back when she wanted to join the team
I keep interrupting because I don't want this recap to end but also because there were such great touches in this show. I love the full circle bit that we have going on. I love that they make the guy be a relative of one of the people on the flight.
Sang-chun has moved on ... but Choi (love Choi. If Reporter Yoon is in the wrong show, Choi keeps insisting that he's in a rom-com) suspects he must be calling Myung-ha "often". Hint, hint. She says she has no clue, but the boys find it strange that they get far less calls these days. Is he monitoring them again to do his rogues negotiator thing?
Awww, the recruit. And awww, the off screen romance possibility. And she's the boss!
She looks so happy! 
Yay, Mung-ha!
I'd spend a lot of money to get one of those jackets!
Of course he is. Haha. He's keeping an eye on his Myung-ha, smiling to himself when she gets a jumper down from the roof in "only" 2 hours and 15 minutes. But it's not just like before - Sung-chan now whistles. He has become a negotiator for the powerless, to make sure there's a balance of power in order to have fair conversations. 
And he smiles that big smile now, too.
I love him so much. What will I do now?? TT______TT 
Patting Kakashi's back as I cry to myself on the inside.
And last, but not least, this:
They are the best. The absolute best.
I'm sorry, but they are THE OTP in this show.



I could not have expected a more perfect ending. I am totally, fully satisfied and cannot tell you how much this pleases me, because when was the last time I liked a KDrama ending? Liar Game? Anyway ... they did it, it is perfect and I can mix tears of joy with my tears of sadness that this is over.
I don't ever remember having such goosebumps at the end of a drama before. That was awesome. Cinematic. Uplifting. Joyful. You name it, it was good.
To me it was more like a movie ending than a drama ending. I felt the same way here as I felt when I watched The Admiral: Roaring Currents in the movie theater. Everyone there was literally applauding and cheering at the end because of the way all the people worked together to triumph combined with the release of tension. (So tense at one point that even my mother cursed out loud by the way). I, too, can't recall an ending that felt so full and complete.

This episode was incredibly moving. Hee-sung's final message to the world was not one of destruction, but one of love - because Sung-chan understood him thoroughly at the end, which I'm willing to bet was Hee-sung's plan all along.
They really are/became this odd duo. Myung-ha may have been Hee-sung's muse, but Sung-chan was his equal in his background of despair and guilt but most importantly in intelligence. It was like these two were the only two who could really talk to each other because of the way their minds work. I've seen this with high gifted kids who get paired with autistic kids; they often have a great synergy because they actually "get" each other in way that even their teachers and parents don't.
You cannot live your lives making excuses, the message is. You cannot say "unavoidable sacrifice" and look to the other side. Every life matters and we have to give our very best to make this a reality.
So he never intended to kill Sung-chan, you think? Wouldn't that mean that he also fully understood the other man?
I think so, yes. There was never any indication that he wanted to kill him - he punished him, just like he wanted to punish Chairman Seo, by taking away his love. But after that, he kinda used him. As an asset. And because Sung-chan let himself be used, and because this agenda fully suited him at the same time, Sung-chan and Hee-sung are not real enemies, at least not all the time. At the end, they're partners in "crime".  

Sung-chan is the one character that gets most fundamentally changed in this drama. And this happens because of the Pied Piper. It's almost like this is his own personal education  - which ends in Sung-chan picking up the cause that Hee-sung has started. By becoming a new (and far less murderous) Pied Piper, Sung-chan both honors and continues Hee-sung's legacy. He will give power to the powerless so that fair conversation and ultimately negotiation becomes possible.
I love this. I love that Sung-chan could see past the wrong-doing to the pure intention, twisted as it was by Hee-sung's psychological torment. You can abhor the sin without abhoring the sinner.
I think Sung-Chan doesn't just learn this from the Piper. He learns this through the love, forgiveness, and sacrifice of his team members. As I said before, one of the differences between him and Hee-Sung is that he has turned his guilt inward. However, that wasn't really enough for him to grow; that just kept him from being violent towards others like Hee-Sung. What makes him into the activist are the Pied Piper scenarios but, more importantly, the way the team responded to the scenarios. Think about how they all really love each other--The way Han has always treated Myung-ha like she was that little sister he's always been so proud of. the way they all rallied around her when she found out about her adopted team leader dad. The way that Tean Leader Kong really was a leader despite what he looked like in the beginning and his rescue of Jo. The way they completely wrapped Jo in a blanket of forgiveness. The way Choi played cupid. They taught him that there were other answers to Pied Piper's questions and ones that made you feel good. Helping people really makes you feel good. Think about it, the Hee-sung was trying to get vengeance but he never really felt good or satisfied did he? maybe at the end when he realized Sung-Chan got his final puzzle?

Hee-sung's fate is cruel (and yet, satisfactory in the grander scheme of this drama). As we discussed in the comments section of episode 14, he is a tragic hero. His sadness, his crushing guilt add a special sort of pain to this character. He, who wants to give the people "the power of violence" so that the powerless can have a voice, knows he does not deserve to live. His life is agony and he wants out - after delivering his message. He does not become a martyr, like he may have hoped. He becomes utterly powerless himself, deprived of any movement if he ever wakes up.
It is cruel, but fitting.
Now I'm thinking I want Hee-sung up and moving so that he can start making amends to those bystanders who suffered. 

And, if I may venture into fanfic territory, I am almost certain he WILL wake up. He will be able to communicate through eye blinks in the future. And Reporter Yoon will be there to hear him, and, most certainly, Sung-chan, who also visits his nemesis. Now that Sung-chan has taken up the Piper task, there is no need for Hee-sung to continue on his sad quest. But who knows... if ever Sung-chan should veer from the right path, Hee-sung could start being the Pied Piper again.
I think Myung-ha will visit him, too. As for picking up the mantle if Sung-chan veers - I don't think he will. I think his visits to Hee-sung will serve to focus him, always.  
It would be really hard to do so much with just blinking, though. Simple instructions would take forever, let alone complex ones like computer programs and alternative crash sites for planes. Anyway, he made his point.
I'd visit just to make sure he was still int he hospital and not out trying to make plans. I have to say, I kept wondering if Yoon was going to be a minion.

P.S.: If you are interested in Pied Piper fanfiction / alternative universes, read this (from kiyulking).
I don't want it to end.
Me neither!
Actually, I would get super-tense when watching this, so I'm glad of the break...
I look at this pic and visualize myself spending the night hugging them all. Okay, maybe not Bastard Brother-in-law.