We all knew it was going to happen; yes, Baek Sung Il and Yang Jung Do did join hands to con the balls out of Ma Jin Seok. But they can't do it without the necessary resources and the right circle of 'friends.' Friends Yang Jung Do has plenty of but it's not quite the same story concerning resources. Dropping the name of a mysterious man named President Wang--currently incarcerated for reasons unknown to us--Yang Jung Do half-bullies half-convinces an intimidating ssamonim into joining their sad (but capable!) little rabble.
'Art of Conning 101' taught by Seo In Guk at Cozen College for $1,000 USD a class.
Some time was wasted in giving Sung Il a crash course on 'The Art of Conning 101,' but Sung Il will catch on...eventually. Conning is hard work, folks! Together, the unlikely riffraff dig up what they can on Ma Jin Seok, who is very tight about avoiding his taxes. Dude, your profits are like hundreds of millions. You can't even pay that small percentage of taxes and do your patriotic duty to the country that birthed and raised you? What a bunch of greedy, entitled little '1 percenters'! Oh, what's the big deal, right? Oh, it's just a little tax money. Oh, the 'poor people' can pay that shit! Better yet, everyone is doing it!! But no siree, not under Baek Sung Il's watch! As an upstanding citizen and civil servant, he's on Ma Jin Seok ass like the NSA is on our asses. Both the rich and the poor (and everyone in between) can believe to their hearts' content that they may be cheating the system but money is just a tenebrous concept conjured by people anyway. So am I implying that Sung Il's efforts are fruitless? Perhaps. But are his civic duties not needed at all? Not at all.
Shit. Maybe I shouldn't have signed up for 'Art of Conning 101.'
Sung Il is the very symbol of hope to all us 'workhorses' and if not for him, then who will uphold the law and set an upright example? We all know the tax money he collects is not really going to the government; in fact, it's not really going to go anywhere. But society needs properly principled people like Sung Il to prevent total chaos from ensuing and to keep everything from falling to utter ruin. You may detest the tax man, you may grumble, bitch and moan under your breath every time tax season rolls around, give your accountant the stank eye and protest when he recites your numbers but it's all the Sung Ils in the world that sustains 'the system' that we are all so desperate to deceive. So winding down my long drivel, kudos to Sung Il. Even though he may be cheating the system himself. He's only doing it to uphold the system so he gets a pass.
Plus it's just a drama...
Conning has never been this tiring.
Moving on, I knew Sung Hee and Jung Do had a history! As soon as Sung Hee walked into the secret little rendezvous junction where Sung Il and the actual con artists held their meetings and locked eyes with Jung Do, I could tell that her old feelings toward him still lingered--despite that she was cruelly dumped by him...and despite that he only met with her for her coin (of which she had none at the time), or so he claimed when he dumper her. Her feelings were written all over her face. And obviously Jung Do still feels some type of way toward her even though he was better at hiding his feelings by maintaining his best poker face. I guess I'm okay with this particular 'love line' as long as the drama doesn't focus too much on it in future episodes. I'm actually looking forward to seeing more of them to see how their chemistry will develop and also because I'm pretty impressed by Sooyoung's acting. Her expressions, gestures, and lines are all well delivered, and I'm anticipating whether she will continue her good work throughout the drama's remainder.
Crying in the face of conning.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode as much as the first two episodes. Sung Il may be a bit of an overbearing ahjusshi who is stuck in conservative, patriarchal, traditionalist ideals (notice how he keeps brining his old age up like it's a superpower?) but not one without pure intentions--for the most part--making him my favorite character in the drama yet. Jung Do is a bit hard to approach because not everything about him is transparent...he's too sneaky. I may have opened up to him more after seeing that touching scene of him gazing fondly at old pictures of him and Sung Hee in better times. Maybe my feelings toward him will change more into a positive direction as the drama progresses.
Played right into the palms of conning.