Fifty million dollars isn’t easy money that can be easily conned out of a person so our team decides to divide and conquer and set up a pyramid scheme because what better way is there to pull down family money built on a pyramid scheme than running a pyramid scheme to con them out of that money. Jae Sung’s not content to lie still in jail and turns from one failed option to one that’s more viable.
The Episode in 10 Moments:
- The gang’s all in
After Sung Il makes his request that they should do one more job, Jung Do mutters that that’s the reason why he’s meant to stay away from public officials (hahaha). He asks Sung Il how much they’re to con out of the mark and when Sung Il replies that it’s fifty million dollars, Jung Do reminds him that such high costs come with high risks. Sung Il’s in it to win it and doesn’t mind. Hell, he even agrees to give Jung Do his ten percent cut, and Jung Do sets out to calling Ja Wang, Hak Joo and Mi Joo who at first, all have flimsy excuses for why they can’t be a part of the con until they hear that they will each be getting a million dollars. That has everyone agreeing to it pretty damn fast (hahaha). The only member left Bang Sil and she figures they need her help anyway, what with them being broke and all (hahaha).
2. Gab Soo shows his claws
Gab Soo meets with Bang Pil Gyu who merely laughs and apologizes when he hears that Gab Soo had had a plan in place to handle the taxation office mess. When Gab Soo points out that an apology and laughter is not an appropriate response to the fact that one man is dead and a member of his team has resigned, Bang Pil Gyu drops the smile and asks him if Gab Soo’s ever raised a dog because he had and in the dog’s seventh year, his dog had given him a little scratch. He’d meant to let it go but Choi Chul Woo had warned him that the dog would then start biting every time he’s displeased, and so the dog had to be put down. Bang Pil Gyu then draws a parallel between the dog scratching him and Ma Jin Seok paying taxes out of Bang Pil Gyu’s money and the tax collectors coming to his house. He then asks Gab Soo if he too mistakes pity for rights. Gab Soo replies him that sometimes people forget how much they gave and so make excessive demands, say terrible thing and forget their place. He then asks Bang Pil Gyu if the latter knows his place to which Bang Pil Gyu asks him if he’s insulting him and Choi Chul Woo. Gab Soo corrects him that it’s him, Bang Pil Gyu that Gab Soo’s insulting, not Choi Chul Woo (well will you look at that. Gab Soo’s got claws). He warns Bang Pil Gyu that next time, the latter should learn to ask politely, rather than making threats, to which Bang Pil Gyu tells him that he’s never asked politely for anything before and so would continue to ask in the way he’s comfortable with. He also brings up the incident from six years prior which stops Gab Soo cold (okay, so maybe there is some merit to the whole Min Shik didn’t really off himself and was murdered, and Commissioner Ahn and Gab Soo are somewhat involved in the mess?2).
3. Getting briefed on Bang Pil Gyu and Commissioner Ahn starts to dig
The team meets at the warehouse where Jung Do gives them a brief intro on Bang Pil Gyu. The big problem however is that they don’t have enough information on the man, other than a photo and information that everyone else knows. Knowing that targeting him directly is out of the question, they turn their attention to his kids: Ho Seok and Min A, both of whom Bang Pil Gyu had transferred all his assets to. Sung Il who’s been staking out Ho Seok reports that Ho Seok rarely ever shows up to work and is always at home doing heavens knows what. Turns out Ho Seok spends his evening playing board games with Ma Jin Seok and another buddy and they bet with real cash. Mi Joo who’s been staking out Min A confirms that Min A’s the same. She rarely leaves the house and when she does, it’s twice a week to window-shop at Insa Dong and then she heads back home. Jung Do wonders what they’re so fiercely guarding in their houses whilst Bang Sil wonders how they’ll get in. Mi Joo then brings up the company the siblings run: UN Communications and Sung Il explains that it’s a company that functions on a pyramid scheme whereby unsuspecting unemployed youths are lured in with the offer of jobs and given stolen items to sell. Those who don’t have the money to buy said items are introduced to a lender company who would lend them the money needed and those who can’t make their quota of selling their items are asked to bring in friends so they can get promoted and work their way up and so it begets an endless cycle. And to make it all worse, the person in charge of the lender company is Choi Chul Woo. The consensus then is that Bang Pil Gyu’s children should be the target and Mi Joo states that she would get a job with UN Communications. When Sung Il points out that Min A rarely shows up and she’ll be lucky if she sees Ho Seok, Mi Joo’s still up for the move. Meanwhile, Commissioner Ahn continues to digs into exactly who got Sung Il’s hearing cancelled, because he doesn’t believe that it’s Gab Soo considering Gab Soo knows how badly Commissioner Ahn wants Sung Il gone. He also probes into Ma Jin Seok’s tax payment and when he hears that Ma Jin Seok claims that he’d been conned by Sung Il, he has the other Sung Il bring him all of Sung Il’s tax offenders list. He goes through the list and then calls one of the offenders to confirm whether or not the person had paid his taxes. When the person denies it, he gives a disbelieving laugh as it all sinks in.
4. Reeling UN Communications in
Mi Joo does get a job with UN Communications as one of their networking marketers. She then proceeds to the next step of her plan which is to rise to the top of the ranks and catch the attention of the top guys at UN Communications. Her plan? Sell a hell of a ton of UN product boxes. Except, all the products she keeps selling are being bought by Bang Sil and are being stored in the Con Squad’s warehouse (hahaha. It’s a pretty smart plan actually. Pretty damn smart). And her plan works brilliantly well as she sails over all of her colleagues and even surpasses the woman who had handled her training and soon enough Ho Seok is being briefed about the rising star who just won’t quit with the amount of sales she’s pulling off on a daily basis. Eventually the warehouse becomes too jam-packed and soon our team’s moving the beauty products to a home for the elderly who have a lot of fun trying them on (awww. How cute). Mi Joo’s sales though keep right on soaring and after Ho Seok confirms for himself, he calls Min A that they have a diamond in the making in their company. As for the other woman who had trained Mi Joo, she has to pack her things and leave after it’s obvious that she’s been completely surpassed.
5. The last of Sung Hee’s disillusionment is stripped away and Jung Do’s father finally speaks
Sung Hee pays a visit to No Seung who’s looking worse for wear and he makes sure to point out several times that the injury he’s suffered was gotten from when he tripped down the stairs drunk and not because his wife had beaten him (makes me want to believe the wife story even more). Sung Hee isn’t there for that though but to apologize. No Seung doesn’t see why she should apologize considering he was the one that started it all. He also points out that the silence after Chang Ho’s injury and Sang Ho’s death must mean Gab Soo’s still covering for Bang Pil Gyu. When Sung Hee expresses her surprise, he comes straight out to tell her that Mayor Gab Soo practically works for Bang Pil Gyu and mentions that it was the same thing that had happened with Min Shik six years prior when Bang Pil Gyu had placed one phone call to Gab Soo and everything had ground to a halt. The words shock Sung Hee who remembers her conversation with Gab Soo. Meanwhile, Jung Do pays a visit to his father in prison and informs him that he’s sent Jae Sung to prison, meaning there are two more people to go. His father maintains his silence as always but when Jung Do makes to leave, his father finally speaks and tells him not to do it. Jung Do merely replies that he will deal with it, and then he leaves. Over at Gab Soo’s office, Gab Soo remembers Bang Pil Gyu’s words at their last meeting where the latter had warned him about what happened six years prior and had informed him that someone with a blade is always more dangerous that someone with a pen. When Gab Soo had asked Bang Pil Gyu want he wanted, Bang Pil Gyu had answered that he wants to attend open court to discuss his tax issues.
6. Sung Hee’s finally reached jadedness
Gab Soo agrees because the next thing we see, Investigator Kim’s receiving a phone call alerting him to Bang Pil Gyu’s court hearing and he gets pissed at the fact that all the wrongs and atrocities have been committed and yet Bang Pil Gyu will be able to walk away from it all. When the other Sung Il tries to defend Bang Pil Gyu, Investigator Kim accuses him of cleaning up after Bang Pil Gyu’s messes and Sung Hee has to step in to stop the two from fighting, pointing out that they all know that nothing would change, Bang Pil Gyu will hire the best lawyers and bribe the judge and he will walk away clean and so they shouldn’t be fighting within themselves because nothing they do will make any difference and they will all just continue to suffer whilst people like Bang Pil Gyu get away with it all. After saying the words, she walks away and runs into Sung Il who was just about to step into the office. When he asks why she looks upset, she mentions Bang Pil Gyu’s hearing and Sung Il tells her that he heard about it, but she shouldn’t worry as the hearing wouldn’t hold. Figuring out that Sung Il’s back to working with Jung Do, she brings up the fact that Gab Soo’s got Bang Pil Gyu’s back. But when she realizes that Sung Il’s also aware of that, she wonders if it’s (the con) the only way and Sung Il merely taps her on her shoulder and heads into the office. Meanwhile, over at UN Communications, Mi Joo’s now a deputy group head, complete with her fake name plaque on a table and an office of her own.
7. Starting the con on a light note
Jung Do has Mi Joo kick off things by casually asking Ho Seok out to eat and then prying him for information. Her attempts to compliment Ho Seok fall flat as he attributes her words back to his wife (how come we’ve never seen his wife?) but when she brings up Min A, he admits that Min A’s only interest are antiques and she’s at the moment collecting ceramics. Jung Do informs Mi Joo that Bang Si and Ja Wang will work on Min A. He however, will work on Ho Seok and so he suggests that Mi Joo bring him up at the dinner conversation. She does, and sells Jung Do as a contact she has in China, who’s been helping her sell the products she gets from UN Communications. She then mentions that her contact also wants yet another consignment and although Ho Seok doesn’t say anything else, she doesn’t push because Jung Do had told her to just mention him and not say anything else as he’s certain that Ho Seok will bite. Sure enough, on the drive to drop Mi Joo off, Ho Seok brings up Jung Do and asks Mi Joo if he could tag along on her next meeting with Jung Do. The meeting turns out to be some sort of conference as we see Hak Joo usher in the hired actors who take their seats. Mi Joo and Ho Seok meanwhile are on their way and Ho Seok gets a call from Bang Pil Gyu who wonders where he’s at and why he can’t make it to the family lunch. Ho Seok explains that he’s headed out for work and then soothes his father’s ruffled feathers by telling him that he loves him (so, daddy’s boy then). It’s an exchange that Mi Joo notes, just as she notes that Ho Seok’s a jackass who sees nothing wrong in furiously kicking the back of his driver’s chair. Meanwhile, over at his father’s house, Bang Pil Gyu asks Min A if Ho Seok’s not out doing something stupid. She casually admits that he’s always doing something stupid and his wife looks affronted at the insult on her husband (so he is married then). Ho Seok though has made it to the venue, unaware that Jung Do’s in one corner of the building practicing for his speech whilst Hak Joo’s in the auditorium training the actors on the right way to react to Jung Do’s presentation.
8. Giving a presentation worthy of Jordan Belfort
Ho Seok and Mi Joo walk in just as Jung Do gets on the stage and is being treated to a hearty round of applause. Ho Seok, taking it all at face value assumes that Jung Do must have a very big business, because of the the way crowd’s clapping for him. Carried away by the spirit of the crowd, Ho Seok joins in, in giving an applause (hahaha. Such an idiot). Back at Jung Do’s presentation, he gives an elaborate speech about precious artifacts that were buried with kings and nobles, being unearthed in China and so everyone present has the opportunity to make a profits ranging from one hundred percent to five hundred percent in mere months. The words has the fake crowd going wild (hahaha. Why is this giving me Wolf of Wall Street, Jordan Belfort flashbacks) and Ho Seok watches everyone’s excited reaction to the offer and soon finds himself buying into the emotions and being excited as well (Hahahaha. Bang Pil Gyu took most of the brains and left some for his daughter and none for his son huh?)
9. Setting the trap for Min A
At the warehouse, Bang Sil takes the rest of the team to task and asks for ideas since it’s her, Ji Yeon, Sung Il and Ja Wang’s responsibility to reel in Min A. Ja Wang remains quiet but Sung Il finally speaks up, and although he’s initially reluctant to show Bang Sil the idea he’s been working on, she ends up grabbing his notepad and looking at Sung Il’s plan. What she sees impresses her as she stares surprised at Sung Il and asks him if he really was the one who’d come up with the plan. Looking at the notebook, she smiles. Sung Il then shares the rest of the idea with the team which is for them to find a store that sells unique ceramic antiques in Insa Dong and rent the store for about a week, because soon enough, Min A will make her way to their store eventually (huh, if she’s been going to Insa Dong twice a week already shouldn’t she have visited all the stores in it?). Ja Wang ends up procuring the store and Bang Sil jumps into the field by pretending to be the store owner who shows Min A a sculpted piece. Min A knows everything about the making of the piece, proving that she’s an expert in the field, but she also points to the fact that there’re remnants of a price tag on the vase, meaning that it’s not as old as Bang Sil’s claiming. What she doesn’t know though is that our con squad have no interest in selling her the piece in the first place. No, what they want is to create a networking scenario whereby the rest of the team: Sung Il, Ji Yeong and Ja Wang, along with some actors, barge into the store, claiming to be from the ministry of culture and arrest Bang Sil, thus giving Min A a good look at all their faces because a good con starts with the mark thinking that she knows the con artists (well will you look at that. The student’s catching up with the master. Good for you Sung Il. And I’m sure Jung Do will be so proud :D).
10. Luring Ho Seok in and Jae Sung stirs the pot
After the presentation, Ho Seok meets with Jung Do who explains how being one of the founding investors in their company can net Ho Seok a profit of five hundred percent from which he’s to take one hundred precent and reinvest it into the company, thus starting a cycle of ensuring growth for the company whilst getting wealthier. Ho Seok asks if that’s a five hundred percent profit stream per cycle and Jung Do agrees stating that in a year, the investor would get a one thousand percent profit return (oh goody how I love this. How I love the irony. So here’s a man whose very wealth rests on conning the poor out of their money by running an extravagant pyramid scheme and now you have brilliant Jung Do taking the man’s money via that every same method. Genius. Absolute genius). Ho Seok’s interested and asks Jung Do to dinner the next evening. But Hak Joo, acting as Jung Do’s secretary informs him about his meeting with a Chinese official and his dinner plans with his wife whose birthday is the next day and Jung Do wants to be there to milk the ‘good husband’ comment by lighting up the candles on her birthday cake (precise and also perfect considering they’re working on the information that Ho Seok’s world revolves around his wife). They finally agree on a meet and Ho Seok leaves. Jung Do, Hak Joo and Mi Joo leave the building, unaware that they’re being followed. Meanwhile, Jae Sung receives a visitor in Bang Pil Gyu with whom he tries to negotiate so Bang Pil Gyu can get him out of prison in exchange for the information he wants to share with him. Bang Pil Gyu doesn’t bite though, figuring that Jae Sung has nothing of interest to share with him and so Jae Sung has Sung Il brought to him and asks Sung Il how much he truly knows of Jung Do. As Sung Il sighs, Jae Sung smiles.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
No one in this episode
Headache inducing moment:
Because at that exact moment, and with the way the director made this shot, I have this knot in my stomach that has me believing that Jae Sung will say something that would throw a wrench in the bromance between Sung Il and Jung Do. And I don’t want that because our team is doing well and Jae Sung’s just a bitter asshole looking to strike at Jung Do. But he is an asshole who looks like exactly like a snake whispering over Sung Il’s shoulder and it makes me very worried.
This episode’s a Bellini, light and fruity and oh so satisfying. We ride on a high with our Con Squad as they lay down the bait and work meticulously and carefully to ensure that the people who see nothing wrong with conning those who’re poor out of the little that they have, end up losing everything they have thanks to the very same con. It’s also the excitement we feel with how well integrated Sung Il is into the team even as we clutch our glasses and hope that he doesn’t fall for Jae Sung’s lies and half-truths.