MAN TO MAN -- EPISODE 9
Woon Gwang agrees to lend Seol Woo the money for the Black Auction mission, on two conditions: the first is that he come back as a bodyguard. The second is that he helps the actor get some time to talk to Mi Eun. The auction begins, and it looks like they'll lose the bidding war, until Do Ha stages a distraction, and sets off a localized EMP burst that disables Songsan's device. Mr. Seo gives Do Ha the info to clear her dad. Seol Woo rides off with the carving, and Mr. Seo dies when his car explodes. The person the ghost agent wanted to be killed was apparently himself...
Mr. Seo's apparent death presents a problem for the series. Because now we have no effective direct foil for Seol Woo. Up until this point, Seol Woo's been going up against the Baek Infantry, as well as Mr. Seo. That guy is former NIS and trained about as well as our favorite bodyguard. I don't think the other agents are anywhere near a match for Seol Woo. Although given the amount of reach Lawmaker Baek has, I'm sure Seol Woo won't be safe for long.
This episode was all about the money. The flashier the better. The expensive scenery, expensive suits, and expensive items at auction. I caught myself mentally calculating how much all this was worth. I got lost in the dollar signs. And, though Woon Gwang was a millionaire, apparently he wasn't that rich, if he missed $5 mil in cash. That's a lot of money to you and me, but to the very rich its a drop in the bucket. Those guys have net worths in the billions and drop that much on a weekend shopping spree.
Do Ha's reactions this episode were classic. Apparently, she doesn't trust what Seo Wool says to her. The terms for lending him the money I'm sure were as much hers as Woon Gwang's. She dismisses him as an "evil jerk," but really I think she's just feeding off her friend more than anything. I think she's trying to stay strong, struggling with her feelings about this being just a job to Seol Woo. Even though it's not. Or is it?
Manipulation is the name of the game here, all throughout this episode, and in general over the course of the series. Seol Woo lives in a world where the tide can turn very quickly, and you have to adapt to that. The best way is to lie, dissemble, cheat, and bluff your way out of situations. He's been doing this so much, I can't be exactly sure of what he's feeling. I'd like to think that he does have some affection for his cover employers here, and I think it's highly likely that Do Ha and him will get together.
The tension in this installment was at an all-time high. I loved the fight scenes, and even the auction scenes (normally pretty boring affairs) were taught and uncertain. I love how Mr. Seo actually turned on his employers here to help Seol Woo win and obtain the carving. The fight scenes were pretty well choreographed, as well. When they turn on the edginess, they really crank the action up to 11.
A gratifying episode overall. They really do a good job of reaching out and gluing me to the screen, and that's not easy to do. But they're good at what they do, and the director seems just as comfortable with comedy as with action. The result is a really high-quality show and another awesome episode.