Though that was not the case, the episode was still good, featuring underhanded commentary on a capitalistic 'rat race' society which favors the powerful and rich, a pretty spot-on portrayal of the subtle sexism that still occurs in the Korean workplace, and a sick car chase near the end.
The mystery man and mystery woman.
I think my respect for Ma Dong Seok's character Baek Sung Il doubled in this episode, as he proved to be a morally upright, upstanding character who refuses to let himself fall into the hands of corruption just because 'everyone is doing it.' I especially liked how Sung Il stood up to his own colleague and so-called friend (something that is harder to do than with an enemy) when the friend tried to convince him to accept a bribe from Ma Seok Jin--Ma Seok Jin was the same person who humiliated Sung Il in front of his own daughter in the last episode and abused his power to avoid taxes by the millions.
I found myself feeling as indignant as Sung Il looked when Sung Il's 'friend' talked about exploiting the 'worker ants' and using the 'poor people's money because that is their inevitable fate. The friend was basically the Devil sweetly tempting Sung Il into complacency and to just stop trying because the world's been fixed to the point of no return. His words rolled like butter off his tongue, and for a second it seemed that Sung Il was convinced and that he would take the bribe.
A lot of Seo In Guk in this episode...not complaining though.
But of course, the drama would end then and there if that were the case. I almost clapped when Sung Il quietly but firmly told his friend that he doesn't "get to decide the fate for anyone." While everybody else may walk the easy path, Sung Il, either because he is truly just or because he is simply stubborn, chooses the thorny, winding path of his own volition. For a man who appears extremely cynical, Sung Il is actually proving himself to be a staunchly hopeful and conscientious character--traits which make him an unlikely yet appealing hero of the people.
This episode further explores the demeaning of women in the Korean workplace and in society in general, particularly during the scene where Sung Il's friend throws a pile of papers on the floor, forces his young female underling (who was wearing a skirt) to stoop to pick them up, remarks inappropriately about her "meeting a rich man to settle," and gives her a slight pat on the buttocks with the papers in his hand....all because she didn't do her work the way he wanted because she was trying to abide by the law. Basically, the woman did her job right yet was not taken seriously and objectified for the way she dressed--which was still pretty modest and conservative.
Seo In Guk in a suit is sure a sight for sore eyes. :D
Like the scene in the last episode where Sooyoung's character Sung Hee was shoved to the ground, I could feel myself bristling during this part. I'm not sure whether the drama is purposely making social commentary on the sexism in Korea, but the impression it personally left on me was that Korea still has a long, long, long way to go before it achieves some sort of gender equality both inside and outside the workplace.
I haven't mentioned Seo In Guk much but do not fret because I think I shall be mentioning him more after this episode...It's just that he remains a man of mystery as the drama has yet to provide any significant details about his background such as why he started working as a conman, who he is working for, and to what end goal. Oh, and why he has an estranged relationship with his father who is currently in jail. My guess is that his father took the blame for one of Jung Do's crimes? It's hard to make any conjectures at this point about Jung Do and his past. I will say this: That I don't believe he is putting on his 'Robin Hood' act for a benevolent purpose or because he sympathizes with the 'poor people.' I also smell a future love line between Jung Do and Sung Hee, which I hope that the writers will not shove in our faces because it will ruin the drama if not done in the right manner. Well, I suppose I'll just have to keep watching to see...
Will Sooyoung's character break gender stereotypes in the Korean workplace? Keep watching to find out!