Our leading man is recruited. Will he take the job?
The K2 Episode 3 Recap
Kim Je Ha (Ji Chang Wook) presses the gun to the head of Choi Yoo Jin (Song Yoon A). Ko An Na (Yoona) (aka Anna) watches and bursts out “kill her”! Je Ha turns and sees Anna, pauses and recognizes Anna as the girl from the subway. Anna continues yelling “kill her”! Je Ha looks at Yoo Jin and notes that somebody else besides him wants her dead. The gaggle of security guards rush into the living room and train their guns on Je Ha. He maneuvers his way down the stairs keeping Yoo Jin as his shield. She tells the security team to leave the living room. Je Ha asks for a getaway car. Yoo Jin taunts him saying that he’ll never get out alive. He returns her taunts saying his finger is itching to pull the trigger and the gun packs a mighty punch.
Meanwhile the car with Col. Jo and Assemblyman Jang Se Joon (Cho Seong Ha) receive a call informing them that they need to return home. Col. Jo orders the car turned around. When Col. Jo explains the situation his wife is facing, Assemblyman Jang asks the car pull over so he can smoke. I had to laugh that a smoke break was more important the attending to his wife who is held at gunpoint. Those two have a heckuva marriage there!
With the gun trained on Yoo Jin, Je Ha pulls his phone out of the potted plant. With a couple of keystrokes he achieves what he wants. He explains to Yoo Jin and Assistant Kim that he securely archives the video of everything Yoo Jin told him. Their looks of horror allow Je Ha to put the gun down because now he has the upper hand. Je Ha warns Yoo Jin to leave those that he cares about alone. If she doesn’t, that video goes to everyone, including the blue house (executive office and official residence of the South Korean head of state, the President of the Republic of Korea). Considering that’s where Yoo Jin hopes to install her husband one day, this is horrifying. Je Ha vice grip on Yoo Jin tightens when he microwaves the cell phone causing it to explode. Je Ha tells Assistant Kim to tell the security guys to back off because if he gets killed, that video will go viral. Yoo Jin looks at him with pure hatred. I was impressed with how calm and in control Je Ha was throughout this entire incident. Yoo Jin was certainly cocky and smug, but he turned the tables on her effectively.
Assemblyman Jang is not excited about returning to the house if it’s dangerous for him. But he changes his tune when Col. Jo tells him that not only is his wife in danger, but his daughter Anna is too.
Je Ha and Yoo Jin make their way to a car. Assistant Kim manages to let the security guards know not to interfere. Yoo Jin drives the car away with Je Ha in the backseat. Assistant Kim jumps into the waiting security car and follows them.
As Yoo Jin drives Je Ha down the road she asks him to name his price. At least she has the good sense to say that she underestimated him. Je Ha wonders if faced with the question of your wife or your political career, which would her husband choose? When she doesn’t answer, he states he could easily sell the video to her husband, because obviously they aren’t a solid team. A motorcycle with a passenger comes up beside them.
Back at the house Col. Jo and Assemblyman Jang arrive. Anna is excited that her father is finally home. Col. Jo asks if Anna is safe and secure. The answer is yes. Quivering in anticipation Anna hopes her father will come to see her. But he declines claiming he’s tired. Anna is disappointed. Assemblyman Jang leaves the room and his daughter behind. Anna stands there, tears in her eyes, feeling the rejection.
One of the men on the motorcycle has a device that controls the car that Assemblyman Jang is driving. Je Ha asks her to slow down. Panic rising in her voice she tells him that she cannot, someone else’s controlling the car. Je Ha realizes it’s the motorcycle next to them. The brakes won’t work either. Je Ha is a bit irritated that so many people want Assemblyman Jang dead. She’s cramping his style. LOL! Assistant Kim is not happy at the speed her mistress is going. She asks about the motorcycle. In a separate car in pursuit, Col. Jo wonders why a motorcycle is involved. Je Ha wants to shoot the motorcycle men, but there’s no control to get the windows down, and Yoo Jin informs him the glass is bulletproof. Trapped in a speeding car that they can not control, Je Ha tells Yoo Jin to scoot to the passenger seat so he can drive. The assistant and Col. Jo are surprised that Je Ha is now driving. Again they wonder, what’s happening? Je Ha takes a direct path and tries to ram the motorcycle off the road. Then he realizes that he can speed up the car, lengthening the distance between the car and the motorcycle. He deduces that if he can lengthen the distance between the motorcycle and the car he can break free of the remote control. Now the assistance car and Col. Jo’s car are even more confused with Yoo Jin’s car’s increasing speed. Col. Jo knows a steep curve is coming ahead in the road. It’s a wild and crazy ride through the streets. At one point the car breaks free from the motorcycle’s remote control device. But the motorcycle men realize it and pop a wheelie to catch up. LOL! The chase continues on with another moment of freedom from the remote. Je Ha attempts to shoot the men off the motorcycle, but it turns out that shooting while your car is spinning while aiming at an oncoming motorcycle, is a hard shot. Col. Jo finally buys a clue and realizes the motorcycle is the menace of this equation. He orders the car with Assistant Kim to eliminate the motorcycle. Je Ha tells Yoo Jin that finally her team understands that the motorcycle is the issue.
But time is running out for our remote-controlled car with Je Ha and Yoo Jin. They hurtle through a construction zone full of barriers that they knock off like a row of dominos stacked up in a row. The sedan ends up hurtling through the air and flipping onto its back. Meanwhile the motorcycle guys have stopped thrilled that their job is done. But their happiness is short-lived when the SUV with Assistant Kim barrels down on them and runs into them knocking them off the bike and high into the air.
Je Ha wakes in the car and a couple guys helped pull him out. But a fire starts in the car and the men run like scared rabbits. That leaves Je Ha to try and get Yoo Jin out of the car. It’s tough going but he manages to extract her. Assistant Kim looks on in horror as she sees her mistresses car up in flames. But through the haze of flames Je Ha appears with Yoo Jin in his arms. What’s interesting is Yoo Jin is awake but pretending not to be. As Je Ha carries her away from the car, she stares at this man that just tried to kill her, but then saved her. She looks back and sees the car explode behind them. A piece of the car comes and strikes Je Ha. As he falls to his knees Assistant Kim and her men come and wrench Yoo Jin out of his arms. Yoo Jin can’t take her eyes off of Je Ha the strange man that just saved her life. They leave Je Ha on the ground alone and bleeding.
That was certainly a heckuva car chase! Most kdrama car chases are pitiful things. But this was long, complicated, and exciting, with plenty of contact between cars that were bandied about like balls on a pinball machine. Director Kwak Jung Hwan (Chuno) is deftly guiding the action elements of this series. While all of that was way cool, it was Yoo Jin’s intense stares at Je Ha that intrigued me. The next time they meet should be very interesting. I can imagine that she won’t continue to try and kill him. He’s got this video that could implode her life. Yoo Jin seems like a woman that would never give up trying to eliminate an enemy.
Yoo Jin tells her team to take Je Ha to the hospital. She looks at Assistant Kim meaningfully and says they can never allow Je Ha to die. Immediately Assistant Kim understands that that video is the power piece of the puzzle, and they have to retrieve it before Je Ha can leave this world. But is that really the driver? Are you wondering like I’m wondering, did Yoo Jin develop feelings for Je Ha? Did she decide that he was going to be the perfect lackey for her? She’s got something on her mind, I can’t wait to find out what it is.
There is a flashback to when Je Ha was assigned overseas in the desert. He was friends with the woman that wanted to be reassigned. He suggested they get married so she could get papers to come to Korea. She was initially surprised but agreed to the marriage. They kissed. Time out, that was not a kiss, that was a lip press. Second will this flashback mean anything later on? Who was the girl and what happened to her? Is Je Ha married?
Je Ha wakes in the hospital his arms and his legs tied to the bed. LOL, the security guard is afraid of Je Ha! The police want to get into question him but once they realize that the JSS security team has control, they decide to back down. Why? Because of the close relationship between the president of JSS security and the head of the police department.
In Yoo Jin’s room she watches coverage of the incident. Her husband gets a big chuckle when a political opponent suggests his rival political opponent created the incident. Yoo Jin asked the doctor what Je Ha’s status is. The doctor tells her that he is young and strong and will be fine. The doctor assures them that Je Ha will be awake soon. The doctor leaves. Assemblyman Jang asks his wife if things won’t get ugly if Je Ha wakes and tells what he knows. Yoo Jin says that she’s decided to make Je Ha her personal bodyguard. Her logic is simple, keep your enemies close. Assemblyman Jang says just like you keep Anna close? Bam! The married couple stares at each other. Assemblyman Jang declares that she can’t keep Anna by her side.
Anna sits alone in her room and cries.
Col. Jo surprises Je Ha when he comes to his room. He removes the restraints. He orders the guard to leave. Je Ha assumes that Col. Jo was behind the motorcycle chase. Je Ha doesn’t consider Col. Jo a friend.
Yoo Jin’s brother comes to visit her. He pretends to be concerned about her his sister but she says dryly that they really aren’t that close. Does anybody on the show have a happy normal relationship? As Assemblyman Jang is called to go to a press conference, Yoo Jin calls her husband to her bedside. She makes him look a bit disheveled noting the press should see a man that looks like he’s been holding vigil by his wife’s bed. This guy is short. He smiles and as he walks away he calls her a good wife and mother, but cruelly he retracts mother, saying she doesn’t know what that’s like.
Assemblyman Jang is a consummate actor in front of the press. He appears forlorn and disheveled; a man worried about his wife. He berates himself for being the cause of her injuries. He tells them that his wife gave up everything for him, a lowly politician, but he could resist the hand that she offered to him, to help raise him up and become a better man? Is Yoo Jin watches her husband’s act, her brother comments that it almost seems like her husband means the loving words he says. She stares at the TV screen, at the image of a man the world wants to see, but she never will. I wondered to myself what would be like to be in a marriage where everything is just for appearances, and there’s actual contempt between you and your partner versus love and support. Talk about a prison. Is the end goal of political power worth it? Then Assemblyman Jang stuns the press and his wife when he declares that he will stop his pursuit of the office of president. He just can’t put his wife through this anymore. The press ask him to clarify his statement. Assemblyman Jang appears to gather his thoughts and looks into the eyes of the crowd around him and tells him they must fight the evil that threatens his family. He vows from this day forward to use his power to fight the forces of evil. He declares fighting evil is more important than becoming president of this great country. Inspired the crowd around him yells his name again and again. His bodyguards lift him on his shoulders as the crowd yells his name. Assemblyman Jang raises his fist promising to fight the good fight. Yoo Jin watches her husband’s theatrical skills and smiles. She says even though he has no morals, he can feign feeling and passion and others.
The political commentary on TV is predictably positive. The assemblyman who appears to be on Assemblyman Jang’s payroll waxes poetic about his desire to fight for the country. He implores Yoo Jin that she must return her husband to the political fray so sure he can save their country. During a commercial break the reporter notes that the assemblyman may be coming on a little bit too strong. Is there anyone on the show that isn’t manipulating?
Another man watches Assemblyman Jang’s performance and has to laugh. He tells his assistant he better visit her in the hospital. Who is he?
Col. Jo offers Je Ha a citizen card. Je Ha asks if he’s planning on using him. Col. Jo assures Je Ha that the that the ID is legit but warns him not to try to get a passport issued, as he still has outstanding arrests abroad.
Yoo Jin’s brother tells her he’s got to get going. She asks about why the money in his company isn’t paying her back on her investments. He sits on her bed, gives her a pat, and assures her that when her husband becomes president, her investments will pay off big time. He pats her again and says her efforts will make them all rich. He leaves.
Assemblyman Jang’s political opponent arrives at the hospital. As the press surrounds him he assures them that he had nothing to do with yesterday’s attack. He jokes that if he were on the receiving end of such attacks his approval rating would skyrocket, something every politician wants. The Assemblyman comes face-to-face with Yoo Jin’s brother. They greet each other but nothing of is said between the two men. However, as they pass by each other, they turn back and give each other a look. A look that tells you that Yoo Jin’s brother is no ally to Yoo Jin.
Col. Jo offers Je Ha the position of bodyguard. Je Ha declares he’s not going to be loyal to anyone anymore. Col. Jo notes he’s no longer loyal either. Instead money is the driving force. Je Ha points out that once Col. Jo’s usefulness is done, he’ll be discarded. Col. Jo responds that his plan is to be the first to discard not the last. Je Ha sees that his former commander has changed. Col. Jo remarks the world changed him. Col. Jo says that JSS security is large, powerful, and top-notch. Col. Jo says that Assemblyman Jang and Yoo Jin will indeed garner the presidency. He warns Je Ha that if they do, he could be executed. Je Ha declares himself useless now. The Col. asks if that’s because he has posttraumatic stress disorder. Je Ha is unhappy that the Col. knows his medical secrets. Col. Jo comments that Je Ha didn’t kill the security men that attacked his home. That’s when he knew something was different with Je Ha. Because the old Je Ha would’ve killed each and every one of those men. Je Ha wonders why he wants him to be a bodyguard. Col. Jo chuckles and says bodyguards aren’t cold-blooded killing machines. Col. Jo says he’ll make a perfect bodyguard because he can no longer bite the hands that feed him. Je Ha reminds him that he still has the video. Col. Jo says if they get to the presidency they’ll have the power to make those that hurt them pay. Je Ha shakes his head at that statement. He promised himself that he would never returned to Korea. He declares revenge is just more trouble than it’s worth. Col. Jo asked Je Ha to join his company through the presidential election. They can help each other. Je Ha declares he has no interest in world affairs. Je Ha says he’ll erase the video once the presidential election is done. He walks away. Col. Jo was frustrated that he wasn’t able to convince Je Ha to join his team.
The assemblyman makes his way to Yoo Jin’s room and offers his wishes for a speedy recovery. She accepts his kind wishes. He notices the well wishes from the presidency. She demurs it was kind of the presidency to send someone to visit her. They verbally spar a bit. The assemblyman notes that her late father was a wise man and choose a good person to be his successor. Ouch. So it’s obvious that Yoo Jin’s brother is the head of the company, much to her chagrin. It’s also amusing to watch each of the Assistants enjoy when their respective boss gets a good shot in on the other one.
As the Assemblyman leaves the hospital he comments to his assistant that Yoo Jin is a frustrating woman.
When the Assemblyman gets on the elevator to go down to the lobby, Je Ha is also on that elevator. Je Ha stares at the assemblyman a stunned look on his face. Make that a look of horror on his face. In a flashback, Je Ha clutches the inert body of the woman he proposed marriage to. Back to the present, he stares at the gun the security guard has in his holster. He makes his move and grabs the gun. He shoots the legs of all the security men in the elevator. The elevator seems to grow four times its size for the fight scene. But it wasn’t a fight scene it was more of an immobilize men scene. Je Ha and the Assemblyman are the only men standing. The top level view is blood splattered artistically on the floor the elevator. Nice touch! The Assemblyman turns and stares into the eyes of Je Ha. His mouth opens in shock. Je Ha raises the gun to him. As the camera spins 360° around the Assemblyman and Je Ha you have to wonder, will Je Ha be able to pull the trigger? Does the assemblyman know who Je Ha is or is he just afraid of the man with the gun?
None of these characters live a life where they express their true selves. They’re all wearing masks working towards the goal of power. They exist in their own power soaked reality. But it allows them to be ethically compromised at a moment’s notice. It allows them to hurt each other and not give a damn. It allows them to have complicated love hate relationships. Though I haven’t seen much love at all in this series. In a word, intriguing.
Kim Je Ha (Ji Chang Wook) saved Yoo Jin and earned her respect. What an interesting path Je Ha took this episode. He started out with the gun to her head, then engaged in a car chase where he saved her life, when no one else was willing to help. As he carried Yoo Jin away from the burning car, it was evident he still has a moral compass. In the flashbacks we saw that he cared for and offered to marry a woman. In the final flashback of the episode we saw that woman was killed. Je Ha harbors anger at the man that either killed her ordered her death. I think we can assume that that man is the Assemblyman. When Col. Jo offered the job of bodyguard, Je Ha declined. But we know he will cave and he will become a bodyguard. He has to. Because he has to get involved with Anna. Because he has to make her life better. And because his interactions with her will help heal both of them.
Choi Yoo Jin (Song Yoon A) is an interesting and complicated woman. I love powerful women and she certainly qualifies. This episode we saw very little of the crazy that she demonstrated in the second episode. This episode she was pushed to the limits when she was involved in the car chase and she realized that she couldn’t live without Je Ha’s help and so she acquiesced. But she was surprised by his willingness to put his life on the line for her. She feigned being unaware of his efforts to extract her from the car, but she knew that he went above and beyond. When he carried her away from the burning car she saw the metal piece coming at him. She used Je Ha’s body to shield herself from the impact. She felt Je Ha take that impact and crumple to his knees. When her team surrounded her (I’m digging Assistant Kim), they wanted to leave Je Ha bleeding and dying on that road. But Yoo Jin couldn’t have that. She had enough of a moral fiber to know that he saved her, and she needed to do the same. Granted, her choice was likely fueled by the fact that she realized that this kind of man could be useful. But nonetheless, she saw his value, and granted him the medical care he desperately needed. Her relationship with her husband is not loving. She uses him for political power, he uses her for political power, they loathe each other, yet they are bound by their joint desire to rise to the highest office in the land. I would never want to be in such a relationship. Life would feel like a prison.
Assemblyman Jang Se Joon (Cho Seong Ha) is a consummate actor. The performance he gave the press was manipulative and brilliant. The crocodile tears he shed over his wife’s pain in his self blame swayed the press, and the onlookers, and no doubt the audience to view him as a sympathetic loving husband. He then used that moment to declare that he would re-energize his efforts to fight crime, deftly sidestepping an out and out renewal of his run for the presidency. I have to shake my head at the life that Assemblyman Jang leads. It seems so shallow without meaning. I guess his life’s meaning is power. That’s his pursuit, that’s his goal.
Ko An Na (Yoona) had a cameo this episode. She hoped for a visit from her father, but he elected not to visit her. Shocked and dismayed she cried alone in her room. If I were the actress playing this role, and I read the first three scripts, I would realize all I had to do was run, scream, or cry. I look forward to the actress having more to do. She is effective within the limited constraints at her character has at this point. I look forward to her interacting with Je Ha, and a relationship growing between the two of them. They seem like lost souls, and therefore potentially well-suited to help each other heal and find meaning and value in their lives.