Bad Papa Episodes 25-26 “Replay”
Yoo Ji Cheol (Jang Hyuk) feels faint while training for his final boxing match. He collapses in the ring.
Ji Cheol visits the doctor who diagnosis a degenerative muscle disease. The doctor doesn’t understand why the disease is in a hold pattern. Ji Cheol asks if he can fight next week. The doctor recommends he doesn’t. Ji Cheol requests the doctor keep their conversation confidential.
Now we see the past fight with new eyes.
11 years ago…Ji Cheol and Lee Min Woo (Ha Joon) battle it out in the boxing ring. Due to the muscle disease Ji Cheol hits a point where he literally can’t punch. Ji Cheol loses the match. Unfortunately, it appears Ji Cheol wasn’t trying to win. Boos follow Ji Cheol as he leaves. Min Woo is livid that his win is tainted. As Min Woo walks down the hall, the ZD producer approaches Min Woo, offers a flower bouquet and declares he enjoyed the match.
The gangsters play the eavesdropping audio to the ZD producer. He hears Ji Cheol and Doctor Cha discussing the drug, the impact, and the plea for Ji Cheol to continue as a test subject. They show him an article about Jung Chan Joong (Park Ji Bin)’s ascension in the pharmaceutical company. The ZD producer wishes he knew about the drug so he could have manipulated Ji Cheol even more. He orders the gangster to make the rematch between Ji Cheol and Min Woo the biggest fight of them all. He chuckles that Ji Cheol’s reluctance will be overcome not by force but by starvation.
Clear as day, the ZD producer has never been a positive force in Ji Cheol’s life, but rather a man with a grudge that manipulates Ji Cheol for his own profit and pleasure.
Ji Cheol’s daughter, Yoo Young Sun (Shin Eun Soo) asks her father to watch her dance during the next stage of the competition. Ji Cheol agrees to come. Young Sun declares she wants her father to see her do her best. Young Sun warns with only 8 dancers left, anyone can be eliminated each week. Ji Cheol’s wife Choi Sun Joo (Son Yeo Eun) smiles when she finds her daughter and husband bonding.
Police officer Lee Hyun Soo (Kim Wook) waits for the bus to take him to the pharmaceutical company. He gets in when it arrives.
Anyone else have a bad feeling about Hyun Soo as a test subject?
Jung Chan Joong (Park Ji Bin) tells Mr. Park that his father knew how to manipulate people by using their family against them. He knows Ji Cheol has a family. He tells Mr. Park to bring Ji Cheol’s daughter to the lab. He muses she might be able to fight the drug’s effects just like Ji Cheol can. Mr. Park tells Chan Joong that Ji Cheol’s daughter is the dancer on the competition show. Chan Joong smiles that the girl of destiny will save his company. Doctor Cha’s assistant shows Chan Joong the list of test subjects. Chan Joong jokes that Doctor Cha didn’t come to work because he sensed he will be eliminated.
Anyone else have a bad feeling about Young Sun as a test subject?
Hyun Soo and the other test subjects arrive at the lab. Hyun Soo puts on his glasses with the secret camera to record what happens.
Detective Cha Ji Woo (Kim Jae Kyung) recalls her father rescinding telling her something important. She recalls her father asking her to stop investigating the drug his company is producing and testing. Ji Woo plants a device in her father’s car. At work, she is ready to track her father’s car but he doesn’t leave the house. She’s surprised when the chief tells her Hyun Soo is on vacation.
At the pharmaceutical company, Hyun Soo goes through security. He recognizes Mr. Park from the sketch. Dr. Cha’s assistant draws a blood sample.
Yong Dae tells Ji Cheol that the ZD producer won’t betray him. Ji Cheol tells him to chill and stop worrying that the money flow will stop. Yong Dae is worried that Ji Cheol won’t be able to raise the compensation cash to break the contract. Ji Cheol states he wants to fight once more to show Young Sun how to do it with dignity.
Sun Joo asks Yong Dae about Ji Cheol’s state. Yong Dae tells her that injuries occur. Sun Joo knows this. Sun Joo points out that Ji Cheol’s facial expression and furor were out of the norm in the last match. Yong Dae covers stating the opponent was so difficult to beat that Ji Cheol had to go into beast mode to win. Yong Dae believes that Ji Cheol is afraid he’ll lose. Yong Dae assures her Ji Cheol isn’t afraid of him. Sun Joo thanks Yong Dae for caring her husband.
The boxer shows Min Woo the video of Ji Cheol taking the pill during their match. Min Woo asks what the boxing association said. The fighter says that the ZD producer had the power to get the boxing association to overlook the drug charges.
Min Woo finds the ZD producer and shows him the video. The ZD producer claims Ji Cheol is only wiping his mouth. He claims Ji Cheol is clean. Min Woo says that the stench around the ZD producer is consistent. The ZD producer says years ago, Min Woo didn’t beat Ji Cheol on his own merit, rather Ji Cheol held back.
11 years ago…Min Woo recalls the ZD producer giving him the flowers and believing they were given with good intensions.
Min Woo asks the ZD producer if he manipulated the fight. The ZD producer says Min Woo owes his career to him. Min Woo calls him dirty. The ZD producer warns him to watch his mouth. Min Woo strides out of the office.
Min Woo didn’t cow tow. He’s grasped that the ZD producer isn’t to be trusted earlier than Ji Cheol.
Hyun Soo and the other candidates wait for the results. Under the guise of a restroom break, Hyun Soo find his way into the lab. He finds the room of pills. A lab tech escorts him to the restroom.
Dr. Cha’s assistant calls him and tells him not to come into work until they find worthy test subjects.
Hyun Soo finds Dr. Cha’s book in his office, he realizes Ji Woo is his daughter. He finds the bottle of blue pills on Dr. Cha’s desk. He hacks into Dr. Cha’s office and finds the video of the test subject they are investigating dying. The door to the office opens.
Ji Cheol stares at his family’s photo. He recalls his words to the fighter that tried to blackmail him. Min Woo calls.
Ji Cheol and Min Woo meet. Min Woo states Ji Cheol took money years ago. Ji Cheol denies is. Min Woo states Ji Cheol took drugs during his match. Ji Cheol points out the drug test came back clean. Min Woo scoffs that the ZD producer manipulated the results. Min Woo declares Ji Cheol and the ZD producer were partners in fixing the match 11 years ago, and they are continuing to do that in the present day.
11 years ago…Ji Cheol receives a bribe via phone from an undefined man. Ji Cheol refuses the money and the deal.
Ji Cheol realizes that the ZD producer manipulated him then and now. Min Woo declares he’ll make Ji Cheol pay for his dirty fighting and strides away. Ji Cheol sinks to the ground realizing that the ZD producer has manipulated him all along.
Ji Cheol drives like a crazy man and finds the ZD producer. He asks why he manipulated things 11 years ago. The ZD producer says he bet against Ji Cheol winning and had to make it happen. The ZD producer thanks him for losing. The ZD producer says he compensated Ji Cheol with the money from this set of flights. The ZD producer admits that Ji Cheol was the perfect fighter to bet against. He never lost. The ZD producer shares that he exploited Ji Cheol’s weaknesses of being a good father and friend.
11 years ago… insurance agent Chief Kim Yoon Soo tells Ji Cheol that he wants an investment that can’t lose. The ZD producer and gambler overhear. They approach Yoon Soo with a promise of an investment opportunity. Yoon Soo takes the bait and meets with the “investors”. He assures them he has sufficient funds claiming that Ji Cheol is his money source. Yoon Soo calls Ji Cheol about the investment.
Ji Cheol realizes that ZD has been his enemy not his friend. The ZD producer declares all friends becomes enemies eventually. Ji Cheol punches him. The ZD producer says he knows that taking the drugs has bothered Ji Cheol but not him. He says Ji Cheol caved 11 years ago and he’ll cave again. Ji Cheol retorts he didn’t lose the fight 11 years ago. The ZD producer says the past doesn’t matter, they only have to fight one more fight. The ZD producer means Ji Cheol’s precious family. Ji Cheol warns him not to soil his family’s name. The ZD producer sternly tells Ji Cheol that he will fight Min Woo, he will take the pill, he will defeat Min Woo. The ZD producer threaten to tell Ji Cheol’s family about the drugs. Ji Cheol is wants to hit him again. The ZD producer points out that his family will be horrified when they realize Ji Cheol’s pill induced beast mode had him beat an opponent into a coma he’ll never wake up from. Ji Cheol realizes the truth of the statement. With tears in his eyes, Ji Cheol walks away. The ZD producer calls that he didn’t have to push him to learn the ugly truth.
Ji Cheol drives and considers the horrible truth.
Ji Cheol finds Sun Joo watching the news report that he fighter is now brain dead. She says they should visit the fighter in the hospital.
At the hospital the fighter’s wife, sit in vigil. Sun Joo arrives. Ji Cheol arrives. The wife says she doesn’t blame Ji Cheol. He apologizes. She asks Ji Cheol to prove that her husband didn’t take drugs so his honor is restored. Ji Cheol leaves. The wife sobs over her husband’s body.
At the pharmaceutical company, Dr. Cha’s assistant recalls past interactions with Dr. Cha.
Ji Cheol sits in a bar and drinks and hits himself. He hears the news that the fighter’s wife is donating the fighter’s organs.
Ji Cheol finds the wife at the hospital by her husband’s side. Ji Cheol declares he’s a terrible person that doesn’t deserve forgiveness. He leaves a bag of money. The wife sobs.
I didn’t expect the organ donation twist. The amped the emotional distress on Ji Cheol.
Yong Dae brings Young Sun food during her practice session. She doesn’t eat much. Yong Dae asks about Ji Cheol’s mood. Young Sun points out he’s Ji Cheol’s manager. Yong Dae declares he’ll be her manager too and hands her an orange to eat.
His relationship with the daughter is similar to the father.
The ZD producer watches the new report of the upcoming fight between Min Woo and Ji Cheol. The ZD producer tells his assistant to call Hong Kong.
Min Woo watches the fights that Ji Cheol won with new eyes. He watches their fight from 11 years ago. He notices Ji Cheol’s pain after not being able to punch him. He recalls Ji Cheol’s vow that he never did anything wrong.
Does Min Woo believe Ji Cheol now?
At the police station, Ji Woo watches her father’s car continue to not move. She surprised to receive a timed text from Hyun Soo declaring he’s infiltrated the pharmaceutical company and is gathering evidence. He directs her to find his informant if he hasn’t contacted her prior to this text.
Ji Woo goes to the informant and demands to know where Hyun Soo is. The informant claims he only told Hyun Soo where the transfer point to the pharmaceutical company was.
At the police station the informant swears he doesn’t know the name of the pharmaceutical company.
Ji Woo gets a call from Doctor Cha’s assistant.
The ZD producer offers the younger gangster a briefcase of cash to do his bidding in secret. He struggles with not being truthful with his brother but caves.
The fighter that Ji Cheol beat, arrives at the house and says he has something to tell her.
Ji Cheol arrives home. Sun Joo says she was told he took drugs. Ji Cheol is shocked.
He drives recalling his conversation with the fighter.
Sun Joo considers Ji Cheol’s denial. She worries.
Ji Cheol meets the fighter. They stare at each other across the street. When the light turns green, they both step into the cross walk. The fighter is mowed down by a truck. Ji Cheol stares at the fighter’s body in road in utter shock.
Cross walks are death traps in kdramas!
The past and present collide. Writer Kim Sung Min laid it bare for Ji Cheol. The ZD producer manipulated him years ago. Min Woo wrongly assumed that the ZD producer manipulated the fight 11 years ago. But the fight footage showed Ji Cheol’s distress when he was unable to punch. Ji Cheol was horrified and filled with dread when he realized the extent that the ZD producer’s manipulation. To know he was used so the ZD producer could win a long shot bet, must have galled Ji Cheol. The ZD producer care only about one thing, manipulating circumstances to increase his personal wealth. I knew he wasn’t a nice guy, but he is down right despicable.
I was glad to see how insurance agent Chief Kim Yoon Soo tied into the story. I never got why this character was in the series. Now we know he was just another pawn in the ZD’s producer’s plan to control Ji Cheol for his own gain.
I don’t have a good feeling about Hyun Soo’s undercover stint at the pharmaceutical company.
Yoo Ji Cheol (Jang Hyuk) suffered multiple shocks this episode. Ji Cheol’s learned the evil extent that ZD producer went to. He had to live with the consequences of his actions that left the fighter braindead. When the wife donated the organs, that only increased Ji Cheol’s guilt and distress. Then his wife shared the recent opponent identified Ji Cheol as a dependent on drugs. When he went to confront the fighter, the ZD’s producer’s paid driver struck the fighter in the Korean deathtrap crosswalk. The ramifications from the drug and the greed are escalating. Can Ji Cheol break free from the trap to save himself and his family?
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as terrific. My episode ranking chart is below.