Bad Papa Episodes 27-28 “Last Dance”
While Yoo Young Sun (Shin Eun Soo) practices for the next round of the dance competition her friends confirm they’ll root for her father to defeat the champion even though the odds are against him.
Yoo Ji Cheol (Jang Hyuk) and the fighter that knows he took drugs 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. The driver of the truck, the gangster’s brother hired by the ZD producer to remove the fighter, sees the bloody fighter. He drives away. The fighter stares at Ji Cheol and mouths “help me”. Ji Cheol stays rooted to the ground. Another car drives up and reports the crime. Unable to move, Ji Cheol watches the ambulance take the fighter away. The gangster presses money into the auto body man’s hands to fix the damage to the truck. The gangster reports the job is done.
Choi Sun Joo (Son Yeo Eun) (Ji Cheol’s wife) worry about Ji Cheol suffering alone, the drug accusation, etc. Young Sun returns home and asks where her father is. Young Sun massages her daughter’s shoulders. Young Sun asks if father is okay. Her mother assures her all is well.
Sun Joo finds Ji Cheol sitting at the table. She asks how the conversation with the fighter went. Ji Cheol says he wants to sleep. He ignores her and shuffles to his room.
Kim Yong Dae (David Lee) recalls Ji Cheol wishing that his daughter could see him fight fair just once. Yong Dae believes it is possible. Then he recalls Sun Joo’s concerns. He calls Young Sun to check up on Ji Cheol. She doesn’t have an update and asks if he’s a stalker. Young Sun reports that her father is home. Yong Dae wants her to eavesdrops on her parent’s conversation. She refuses. He ends the phone call.
Ji Cheol lays in bed. He can’t the fighter out of his head.
At the pharmaceutical company, Doctor Cha’s assistant sneaks out of the building with paperwork.
Detective Cha Ji Woo (Kim Jae Kyung) leaves to meet the assistant.
Doctor Cha informs CEO Jung Chan Joong (Park Ji Bin) that he’s driving to work.
The assistant leaves a message for Doctor Cha not to come to work. He leaves to meet Ji Woo.
Sun Joo watches the news report about the hit and run. She asks husband what happened. Ji Cheol lies that the fighter had been struck down before he arrives. She asks about the claim of drugs. She asks him to be honest with her. Ji Cheol says the drugs claim is false. Sun Joo is willing to support her husband even if it is messy and unpleasant. Ji Cheol tells her all is well and leaves. Sun Joo cries knowing he’s lying and hiding things.
Just as Doctor Cha’s assistant arrives to meet Ji Woo, he’s pulled away. The chief calls Ji Woo and asks about her partner. Ji Woo says she’s heading into the office. The assistant asks Doctor Cha why he’s here. The assistant tells Doctor Cha he feels guilty about pushing the testing to continue. Doctor Cha declares once the drug is final, he’ll turn himself in. The assistant tells Doctor Cha that Chan Joong is planning on killing him.
Chan Joong asks Mr. Park if the undercover cop has been taken care of. Mr. Park confirms this. Chan Joong says Doctor Cha will be the scapegoat if needed.
Doctor Cha recalls his assistant’s warning to avoid the lab or Chan Joong will either kill him or make him the scapegoat.
Lee Min Woo (Ha Joon) thinks about the ZD producer’s machinations while he trains. His manager shows him the news report of the fighter’s death.
Yong Dae asks Ji Cheol if he had anything to do with the hit and run. He retracts the statement. The ZD producer calls and asserts that the fighter’s loss is Ji Cheol’s gain. He tells Ji Cheol to attend the funeral. He says people are watching Ji Cheol.
Ji Cheol stands on a bridge and thinks about the fighter, his family, the other fighter, his wife, etc. The guilt weighs heavy. He stares at the traffic flowing below him. He considers his wife’s words that they face hardships together.
The gangster is informed his brother was taken to the police station accused of a hit and run.
Doctor Cha’s assistant begs Chan Joong to spare Doctor Cha’s life. He promises to finish the drug. He claims Doctor Cha won’t turn himself into the police because he won’t shame his daughter. The assistant promises he’ll do the testing on Ji Cheol. Chan Joong suggests using Ji Cheol’s daughter instead. Chan Joong points out the daughter may have the same ability to break down the toxins just like Ji Cheol. The assistant is dismayed at using a 17-year-old girl but agrees. Chan Joong tells Mr. Park they must fetch Young Sun.
The gangster asks his brother who ordered him to hit the fighter. The jailed brother claims it was an error. Then he claims he did it so they could break free of the ZD producer. The brother cries he did it to protect his brother from blindly following orders from the ZD producer. The gangster vows to talk to the boss and get his brother out.
That was surprisingly effective. The brothers were two more people whose lives are forever changed by the ZD producer’s greed.
Ji Cheol thinks about good times with his daughter. He struggles to live with the guilt. He calls his daughter. He tells her he’ll pick up her. She’s not thrilled. Ji Cheol insists.
Outside school, Chan Joong approaches Young Sun and claims to be a fan who votes for her in the dance contest. He asks for an autograph. He invites her into his car so he can grab paper and pen. Young Sun is uncomfortable with the suggestion.
Ji Cheol hears the gangster was arrested for the hit and run. Ji Cheol calls the police.
Inside the car, Young Sun signs multiple autographs and has Mr. Park take a picture of them. Young Sun wants to exit. She says her father is picking her up. Mr. Park locks the car door. Young Sun realizes something is wrong. Chan Joong tells her that he knows her father.
Yong Dae complains about getting tasked to pick up Young Sun. As he arrives at school, he sees her exit Chan Joong’s car. He asks who that was. Young Sun says it was a strange guy that claimed to be her father’s friend. Yong Dae scolds her for getting in a stranger’s car.
The ZD producer lies to the gangster that his brother volunteered for the job. He tells the gangster he doesn’t want any lose ends. The gangster can’t believe his employer considers his brother a liability. The ZD producer calls him on his anger. The gangster confirms his loyalty and asks for help in getting his brother out of jail. The ZD producer promises to help. He points out that the brother has a problem keeping secrets.
Isn’t that telling the gangster his brother is a dead man?
Sun Joo reads that the dead fighter’s wife had a miscarriage. Sun Joo thinks about her own miscarriage. Young Sun comes home and heads to her room.
Yong Dae asks his training cohort why they take Ji Cheol’s abuse. Speak of the devil, Ji Cheol arrives. He shows Yong Dae the photo of the hit and run driver. They agree it is a gangster from one of the first fight venues. Ji Cheol suspects that the ZD producer is the one that benefits and set things in motion. He wants to find the connection.
Ji Cheol interrupts the ZD producer’s business meeting. Alone with Ji Cheol, he denies wanting the fighter dead. The ZD producer tells Ji Cheol to take a chill pill. He claims not to care what happens outside of the boxing ring. He tells Ji Cheol to focus on beating Min Woo so he can keep everything that matters – his family, house, etc. Ji Cheol agrees to fight Min Woo if his family is let alone and he gets a 30% cut. The ZD producer is psyched.
Ji Cheol drives home knowing he sold his soul to keep his ill-gotten gains. Sun Joo wants to talk. Ji Cheol doesn’t want to talk. She says they need to go to the dead fighter’s funeral. Ji Cheol heads to hit room.
Ji Cheol spits blood and suffers as pain racks his body.
Mr. Park ask why Chan Joong didn’t abduct Young Sun. Chan Joong admits he wanted to. He stares at a picture of his father and himself long ago. Chan Joong tells Mr. Park to find Doctor Cha.
The assistant escapes and grabs a co-worker’s cell phone.
Ji Woo tracks the GPS. The assistant calls and reports that Ji Cheol and the dead man the police found were test subjects at the pharmaceutical company. He states Ji Cheol stole drugs and continue to take them to this day. She asks if Doctor Cha is involved. He denies it. Men burst into the room and the phone call ends.
Ji Woo heard two things – Ji Cheol is involved and her father is not. Does she believe both statements?
The gangster that did the hit and run for the ZD producer is stabbed to death in his cell.
His gangster brother hears the news report.
He’s got to KNOW that the ZD producer is behind this. Will he help take down his evil employer?
Hyun Soo’s dead body is found.
Ji Woo can’t get her conversation with the assistant out of her mind. The chief gets the news of Hyun Soo’s death. Ji Woo asks him for an arrest warrant for Ji Cheol. The chief tells her that Hyun Soo is dead.
They identify the body at the morgue. The chief cries for the young man’s promise that will be forever unfulfilled. Ji Woo reels knowing her barriers forced him to investigate without her backup. She recalls moments with her partner and cries.
Killing Hyun Soo is like killing a cute puppy.
The gangster pay homage at the viewing to his brother. He apologizes to his brother. He declares someone needs to accompany his brother.
Min Woo consoles the dead fighter’s children. They worry about their mother and their unborn brother or sister. They cry. Ji Cheol watches. He knows the ZD producer is right. His family’s fortune was that family’s misfortune.
Young Sun is suffering from leg cramps after a fall. She gets up and keeps practicing. Tomorrow is the big night. Ji Cheol arrives and watches his daughter practice. She falls. She gets up. Her friends worry. Ji Cheol recalls his daughter’s declaration that she’ll show him her confidence when she takes the stage next. But things aren’t okay. She falls again. Ji Cheol rushes her to the hospital. Sun Joo and Ji Cheol bring her into the emergency room. Ji Cheol carries his daughter to the examination room.
And the villain of the series goes to…the ZD producer. He is a lying heartless snake. The way he told the gangster about his brother was chilling. He lies without blinking an eye. He twists the truth to put someone in his power by threatening them. What would Ji Cheol’s life been life if he hadn’t latched onto Ji Cheol 11 years ago to manipulate him to losing to Min Woo so he could win a big bet? Ji Cheol would have retired without stink of bribery. There might still be doubt because Ji Cheol’s muscle degeneration that didn’t allow him to punch Min Woo in the critical moment, but the bribery wouldn’t force others to assume he threw the fight. I was completely surprised when Chan Joong didn’t abduct Young Sun. His flip explanation to Mr. Park didn’t ring true. Was the picture of himself and his father a dream that he didn’t want to shatter for Young Sun? He seems as unfeeling as the ZD producer. In this instance did he prove he has more heart?
Protecting others has a price. Color me surprised but the jail scene between the brothers was effective and affecting. The younger brother wanted to protect the older brother from doing the crime. The older brother is ripped with guilt for putting his brother in the situation. Sound familiar? Isn’t Ji Woo suffering similar guilt pains for not being open with Hyun Soo? Didn’t he investigate without his partner because she wasn’t ready to face the truth he suspected he’d find? What about the assistant trying to protect Doctor Cha?
Yoo Ji Cheol (Jang Hyuk) and Young Sun suffer the same medical condition. Writer Kim Sung Min tied Young Sun’s falls to the medical condition she inherited from her father. Yes, this is premature because we don’t have the doctor’s verdict, but it is logical and another way to force Ji Cheol to see the ripple effects in life. Ji Cheol has taken hit after hit of guilt but is dodging the responsibility to keep the status quo for his family. But the status quo is gone. He is once again distant from his wife and his daughter wants him to be ethical, something he isn’t at this moment. Would Ji Cheol suggest Young Sun take a blue pill to get through the next round of the competition? Would he take his daughter down into the pit with him?
I rank this episode (on a scale from 1-10) as terrific. My episode ranking chart is below.