There’s no denying the fact that money rules the world, but it doesn’t stop us from wishing that those who think that money is everything get taken down a couple of pegs. We meet our good guys, focused on the straight and narrow even though it doesn’t yield any result and we meet our con artist with a silver tongue and a motivation to con. And even though we understand them being on two ends of a spectrum, we hope they can come together soon and become the best of friends.
Top 10 Moments:
- We meet Sung Il; an officer on the straight and narrow
We open with Sung Il talking to his colleague and friend: Min Shik who expresses frustration at the fact that them being law abiding task force workers isn’t helping anything to get done. Min Shik wants to run away from it all, but Sung Il would rather stay and get his pension. Except, Min Shik’s definition of running away is actually running away from life itself and by the time Sung Il finds his friend, it’s with Min Shik’s car engine running and him inside having suffocated to death. Six years later and we see that his friend was right as Sung Il is now the chief of his team, on his way out to catch a tax evader. Except, by the time they get there, the tax evader isn’t cooperative and all his employees gather to prevent the tax force officers from getting to him. The scenario repeats itself over and over again, proving that Sung Il’s way is an endless circle of frustration, failure and not getting anything done. After an endless circle of failures, Sung Il gets called into his supervisor’s office who at first serves him ramyeon then starts to grill him (hahaha. Talk about a last supper) about the fact that Sung Il’s team has not come anywhere close to meeting their quota for the year. Sung Il promises to work hard and then runs out of the office, without eating his noodles (hahaha. Feel so sorry for you Sung Il. But working harder your way, wouldn’t be changing much in the grand scheme of things).
2. Some task force officers get scammed
After the tongue lashing and manipulation he received from his boss, Sung Il returns to his desk and notes that some of the other task officers seem agitated with one of them shouting at someone else on the phone, asking how he could fall for it. Sung Il doesn’t pay it too much mind though as he’s more concerned on the person with the highest tax evasion rapsheet: Ma Jin Seok, who he intends to find. Just as he orders that his team members all move out so they can pay Ma Jin Seok a visit, one of his colleague from another team calls him and asks for a loan of 5,000 dollars to cover up the fact that he’d been scammed and to keep the information from his family. Sung Il of course can’t believe how the man let it happen but his colleague points to the other beleaguered task force officers to say that they were all scammed by a smooth talker who doesn’t rouse any suspicions until the deed is done (I can see your gorgeous mouth from here Jung Do you cutie you). Sung Il is of course disbelieving and considers the entire matter ridiculous as he takes his leave. On their way to the tax evader’s apartment, Sung Il’s team members wonder about the affair as they know that one of the task officers who got scammed is a naturally suspicious person and shouldn’t have ordinarily fallen for the scam, but Sung Il is of the opinion that the men were most likely naive and dumb, hence the reason why they fell for the scam (dude, I shall so be laughing if Jung Do is able to scam you as well. Hahaha). The conversation ends with Sung Hee telling the others that you need to get scammed at least once to know your place in the pecking order.
3. There’s a mole in the Task Force office
Whilst the team is involved in the scam discussion, they have no idea that back in the office, one of the task officers who finds out that they’re out to nab Ma Jin Seok, has called him to give him a heads-up. Ma Jin Seok then calls his girlfriend who is the apartment and she alerts the apartment security who come out in full force to bar the Task Force officers from entering. The woman though is still panicking as she knows it’s only a matter of time before the officers come in, to which Ma Jin Seok tells her to hide any and everything that’s valuable very carefully so that in searching for it all, the officers will waste time and then wouldn’t be able to carry anymore searches as it’s illegal to search apartments after sunset. And sure enough, the security guards buy the woman enough time to hide the valuables (which she hides them in the most obvious of places; utterly stupid if you ask me), although Sung Hee is smart enough to grab one of the security guards keycard and rush to the building to get in first and start the search. When the rest of the team get there, they start the search and easily find all the stolen valuables which they put aside to be auctioned off in the payment of taxes.
4. Sung Il learns a hard truth
Whilst still riding high on their victory as they tell Ma Jin Seok’s wife that should Ma Jin Seok need his valuables back, he would have to pay his taxes otherwise, they would be auctioned off, the man himself comes back house and nullifies their search because it is illegal to carry out a search after sunset, and seeing that it’s already dark out, the search their conducting at the moment cannot stand. He starts to toss the bank notes that the task force has gathered, around, telling them that they’re no different from his maid who he can get to drink an entire bottle of water, nonstop because he offered her money. When Sung Il tells him to simply pay his taxes if he has so much money to throw around, the man scoffs as he tells Sung Il that even if the law is on Sung Il’s side, what about the house and apartments Ma Jin Seok has had transferred to his brother and his mother respectively, plus the humongous piece of land he’d had transferred to his wife under a sham disguise of it being a divorce settlement, all of which they cannot touch even though they all know that it all belongs to him. He tells Sung Il that money triumphs over the law because the law is for the rich. When in the tussle that follows, Ma Jin Seok pushes Sung Hee to the ground, Sung Il can’t take it anymore and punches the asshole in the face (you would probably face disciplinary action, but thank you for that Sung Il. I was so tired of hearing him yap).
5. Man Jin Seok rubs the salt in
After meeting with the top boss who tells Sung Il to do better next time, and who then sends him off to the disciplinary committee, Ma Jin Seok tells Sung Hee that he’s off to pick up his daughter and even Sung Hee telling him that the other team members will take on part of the blame so as to keep him from being suspended isn’t enough to cheer him up. Whilst walking with his daughter, Ji Eun, Sung Il explains to her that the reason why she doesn’t do as well in school as she would want to is because there are a lot of geniuses around and she took after her father who although works hard, just can’t do as well as the others. The words cheer up Ji Eun who is happy to be just like dad, but their happy moment is interrupted when a speeding car splashes rain water all over them. Whilst Sung Il tries to pat her dry, Ma Jin Seok steps out of the car to give the sleaziest apology ever, first rubbing it in that Sung Il is walking in the rain and doesn’t have a car, then offering Ji Eun money as a way of apologizing, only to laugh when neither Sung Il or Ji Eun make a move towards the money so he takes it back, and says that he meant to offer her 10 dollar bills instead of the 50’s that he’d pulled out (Asswipe). When Sung Il says thanks but they are not interested in collecting his money, Ma Jin Seok says they would call it even then, Sung Il’s punch for the water splash. As he makes to enter his car, he leaves Sung Il with the word of advice to get himself a car, so as not to make his tired daughter walk all the way home. He even adds that the car doesn’t have to be like his as anything with four wheels should do (please let this asshole with diarrhea of the mouth be the first one that gets swindled. Please drama gods. Please. I want to see him wail as he realizes that he’s been scammed and the scammers paid in his money as his taxes. Please!).
6. Sung Il gets scammed
Turns out that Ma Jin Seok’s words got to Sung Il because when he gets home that night, he asks his wife if maybe they should get a second car so that Ji Eun and his mother can use it to get around. His wife is not having it, but Sung Il is so focused on the car drama that he goes on a second hand car website to look at used cars and then writes to his work requesting for a 5,000 dollar advance (ha! If you wife catches you…). At work, whilst he’s trying to cheer up his colleague that had gotten scammed, he receives a call from someone who says he saw his post on the second hand car website and is calling with regards to the post he’d sent. The man tells Sung Il of his interest to sell Sung Il his 2012 model car which has fairly decent mileage for 8,000 dollars, but seeing that he needs money urgently, he is okay with selling the car for 5,000 dollars. The amount has Sung Il perking up (hahaha. So looking forward to seeing your face when you realize that you’re dumb and naive and have just been scammed Sung Il) and he asks if maybe the car is damaged and that’s the reason why there’s such a huge discount. The man on the other end of the line says that it isn’t so and asks if maybe Sung Il isn’t interested in the car. When Sung Il explains that he is just wondering as to why the discount is thousands or dollars instead of a few hundreds, the man simple wishes him luck in finding another vehicle and hangs up (hahaha. The bait has been set). When Sung Il crosschecks with the other members of his team and asks them whether or not it’s a good deal, they all agree that as long as Sung Il checks the car for himself, it’s not a bad one. So, Sung Il calls the man back (oh, this is good and I do notice that Soo Young, the only member of the team who has been scammed is not on seat to give her opinion). When Sung Il calls the man to ask to check out the car, the man explains that he isn’t around at the moment and so his younger brother would show Sung Il the car but because he owes his young brother some money, he would rather if Sung Il doesn’t discuss the price with his brother. And sure enough, Sung Il just checks out the car and is so impressed that he makes a purchase offer to the man on the phone immediately. When the man on the other end of the call tells him to send the money to his bank account, Sung Il wonders why they can’t just meet in person, but the man tells him that he lives far away and wouldn’t be able to come over. When Sung Il sounds reluctant, the man tells him that his brother has all the car papers and registration so there won’t be any problem. This seals the deal for Sung Il who transfers the money immediately and then realizes what has happened when after the transaction, the man on the other end of the line doesn’t pick up his calls anymore (hahahaha).
7. We meet Jung Do; scam artist extraordinaire
When Sung Il chases after the car, asking the man driving where his brother, the car owner is at, he is stunned to hear from the driver that he doesn’t have a brother and the car is in fact his. It is at that moment that Jung Do calls Sung Il to ask him if he’s collected the car keys and then laughs at him. We cut to Jung Do having simultaneous conversations with different people, as he tells one man that it’s not like he’s buying a couple of shirts, and then tells another person that the person should have first checked who he was dealing with, and then asks the third person if the person isn’t old enough to have known better. He then tells Sung Il that next time, Sung Il should go to the car dealership instead of trying to buy a car directly, and then he tells someone else that he should just go to a store to buy his shirts next time. When Sung Il begins to beg and plead that he’d saved the money for his daughter, Jung Do says nothing, leading Sung Il to shout at him to return the money, to which Jung Do tells him that he sounds just a little bit upset, but he shouldn’t bother going to go and beg the car owner as the man wouldn’t give him the car for free. He then tells Sung Il to go home and to add insult to injury sends him some money as cab fare (hahahaha), and then thanks him for the pocket money, even as he tells Sung Il not to swear so much as it’s not good for Sung Il’s health (hahahaha). And then we see him step out of the store with a beatific smile on his face (hello there gorgeous looking Seo In Guk. We’ve missed you).
8. Jung Do explains the art of the con
The next scene takes us to the past, to Jung Do in prison as he explains to us that after the financial crisis of 1997, Koreans got a whole new mindset and so now they believe that money comes first. He explains that Korean would do anything for money and basically compares them to dogs and states that money is their relation, their religion and their friend and they’re so focused on it that a woman carrying an expensive bag is considered rich and a man driving an expensive car is called a hotshot. He explains that it’s this world that created men like him, a man whose teenage years were about bravado; whose 20’s were about persistence and who now cons people in his 30’s. As he walks down the hallway on his way out of prison, he wonders why people always fall for it when the principle is so simple, and then he answers his own question by saying that they fall for it because people in themselves are simple because every human being wants money at the expense of everything else. As he gets to the prison gate, one of the guards hands him the keys to a car and as Jung Do slides into the seat as he explains that people judge others based on money, instead of looking inward and focusing on the equation instead of intelligence like a conman would. He explains that if you focus on this principle, then everything in the world will work the way you want.
9. Jung Do is working for a higher purpose
Immediately he drives away from the prison, we see Jung Do go to work as he works through a list in setting up his con that involves the Task Force officials who got scammed at the beginning of the episode. Flashback shows that one of his fellow prisoners had given him a job which is to scam everyone who had collected a bribe from the chairman and had instead of doing everything they could possibly do to get him out of jail, had left him there to rot. The man therefore requests that Jung Do teach them all a lesson (wait, but why is Sung Il on that list? Isn’t our guy on the straight and narrow or was he framed?) Setting up the scam is fairly easy for Jung Do who works at it like a pro so much so that soon the Task Force officers are sending him 5000 dollars a piece to boost their credit ratings for a bank loan, a bar hostess is sending him 4,500 because she thought he’d sent her the money and needed his money back (damn, a false bank credit alert hadn’t even occurred to me as a scam) and an office worker is selling him a watch only to come back when he realizes that he hasn’t been paid, but Jung Do has already grabbed the watch and disappeared. And he executes all this plan simultaneously and so well that by the time they all start calling him, he ditches the phone he’d used for the scam and walks away laughing (damn he’s good)
10. Sung Il comes really close to the scam artist and doesn’t even know it
After a day spent scamming people, Jung Do goes clubbing and runs into an old friend: Mi Joo. Except, Mi Joo is not as happy to see him as she slaps him hard across the face before storming off. She is not angry for long though because soon she’s in the car with Jung Do as they tail Sung Il on that night he’d come to pick up his daughter in the pouring rain. Mi Joo had sent Sung Il a scam text which Sung Il had deleted without even bothering to read, something Jung Do had seen happen up close and personal and so when he gets back to the car, he considers that Sung Il might not be such an easy mark after all. Except, he is present when Ma Jin Seok and Sung Il have their conversation where the former advises the later to get a car so he can take better care of his daughter and Jung Do is able to take notice. Which is why he is able to set up the three person scam where he contacts someone who is interested in selling his car as a potential buyer and then contacts Sung Il as a seller, all the while making sure the actual car seller and Sung Il don’t interact, and thus he is able to collect the money for the car sale from Sung Il without Sung Il getting the car. And Jung Do of course watches Sung Il’s meltdown at the scam from a prime position at a balcony across the car park, which is where Sung Il ends up finding himself as he considers the fact that he’s been scammed. And because Sung Il has never met Jung Do face to face, he has no idea that it’s the man who has scammed him that is holding a cigarette and asking him if he has a lighter.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
Because nothing pisses me off as much a rich guy who sees nothing wrong in using his wealth and power to prove a point and who doesn’t care about those who are hurt in the process.
Headache inducing moment:
None whatsoever for me. I know some people might have been worried for Sung Il and wondered why he was so stupid, but Jung Do really pulled off a well coordinated, not so bad scam so I understood why Sung Il fell for it and did not need to start complaining about his stupidity. Hopefully, he’s learned from the situation.
This episode’s a Summer Berry Sangria, delicious and utterly perfect with a great premise set up and characters that are so deliciously bad (looking at you Jung Do) that you kind of hope they don’t get caught yet. But at the same time, you wish they do get caught soon because they sooner they’re caught, the sooner they can team up with out good guys and start going after the evaders who really need to be taken down a couple of notches.