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Mad Dog: Episode 10

With all of the baddies onto their scheme, it’s time for the Mad Dog team to come up with a new plan to dig deeper into the truth behind Flight 801. And as more questions arise, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the public start demanding answers. Good thing the team is actually starting to think and act like a team.

 
EPISODE 10: “A dog barks at the sun”

In the Taeyang lobby, Detective Jo leads a group of cops up to Chairman Cha’s office. Upstairs, Kang-woo arrives just before the police and warns Ha-ri about the trap.

In the greenhouse, Soon-jung trips the alarm and he and Min-joon scramble to clear out. Kang-woo enters and ushers the two of them into Chairman Cha’s office where Ha-ri is already waiting to plot their escape.

However, Kang-woo intentionally locks himself in the greenhouse behind them, and tells them that he’ll buy time for them while they get to safety.

As Chairman Cha’s secretary leads the detectives to the back entrance of the greenhouse, the rest of the Mad Dog crew sneak out the front door of the office undetected.

The detectives burst into the greenhouse to find Kang-woo standing there alone, much to Detective Jo’s shock. Kang-woo chuckles about being caught red-handed and apologizes to Chairman Cha’s secretary for breaking in.

But the secretary knows that Min-joon and Soon-jung should also be trapped inside, so she openly wonders where they slipped off to. When Detective Jo looks to Kang-woo to question him about the others, Kang-woo slyly winks at him.

The remaining Mad Dog crew casually strolls toward the exit, but the detectives rush in to stop them. Chairman Cha’s secretary asks where the supposed plant doctors are running off to, and Soon-jung lies that they just need to grab some chemicals from their van.

The secretary scoffs at their fib and turns to Ha-ri to interrogate her on why she also happened to come to Taeyang that day. Ha-ri blusters out her explanation that she’s delivering some old files.

Just then, Manager Park arrives and corroborates Ha-ri’s story. With no reasonable grounds to hold the Mad Dog trio any longer, they quickly flee the scene unscathed.

At Hyun-gi’s father’s funeral, Hyun-gi sees Chairman Cha and Hong-joo off, and he sarcastically thanks Chairman Cha for being with his father until the very end, which causes Chairman Cha’s eyes to flare in rage.

Outside, Chairman Cha fumes over Kang-woo taking the bullet for the rest of the Mad Dog team. Hong-joo notes that Kang-woo will continue to put himself in the line of fire if they keep going after his team, so she proposes that they go after the one who isn’t a part of Kang-woo’s team instead.

Back at Mad Dog HQ, Min-joon realizes that whoever laid the trap for them specifically tried to keep Kang-woo from getting caught in it, and speculates that they wanted to use Mad Dog as hostages for leverage over Kang-woo.

Min-joon argues that they should sit tight and see who reveals themselves as the trap’s mastermind to Kang-woo now that he got himself caught instead.

At the police station, that person turns out to be Hong-joo, and Kang-woo seems completely unsurprised to see that she was behind the trap. He tosses his Taeyang employee ID tag at her feet.

Kang-woo asks Hong-joo what she wants from him, and Hong-joo just tells him to stay put and don’t do anything until she tells him to. She warns him, “I’m putting a leash on a mad dog. So don’t do anything. Don’t bark and stay in your doghouse.”

Kang-woo wonders what would happen if he refused, but Hong-joo vaguely answers that he should decide later when he sees what she’s plotting. She promises he won’t be too upset by it, then tells the police to let Kang-woo off with a warning.

Outside, the Mad Dog team arrives to pick up Kang-woo after his release, but Min-joon is conspicuously absent. Kang-woo recalls Hong-joo’s warning and realizes that she’s targeting Min-joon.

Elsewhere, Min-joon jogs through the street alone when suddenly Lawyer Lee attacks him from behind and strangles him violently with a long scarf until he’s unconscious.

The Mad Dog team tracks Min-joon’s location via his phone, and realize he’s heading back to the Mad Dog office. When they return to the office, they find Min-joon tied up by his neck and placed on the couch. He’s unconscious but still alive, and they rush to transport him to safety.

They take Min-joon to Kang-woo’s house, where Nurse Oh brings a doctor who confirms that Min-joon will be fine with rest.

Nurse Oh questions what Mad Dog could be working on that would leave Min-joon in this state. She tells Ha-ri not to call her if something similar ever happens to Soon-jung since she doesn’t want to see Soon-jung like that, which elicits a shy smile from him.

Kang-woo advises the rest of the team to stick together for the night, and Ha-ri agrees to stay with the boys at Mad Dog HQ. She asks Kang-woo to let her know when Min-joon wakes up, clearly concerned for him.

The next morning, Min-joon wakes up and wanders through Kang-woo’s house, which is bare save for family pictures. He eventually finds Kang-woo sleeping in his son’s old bed, but Min-joon decides not to wake him.

Later, Kang-woo rises to find Min-joon preparing breakfast for them. Kang-woo checks to see how Min-joon is feeling after his assault, but Min-joon casually brushes it off. He says he didn’t see his assailant, but guesses it was Lawyer Lee given that Go Jin-chul died the same way.

Kang-woo realizes that Min-joon left the house to get supplies for breakfast and scolds him for leaving, since Kang-woo brought Min-joon here to protect him. Min-joon yields to Kang-woo’s nagging and offers to let him nag more after they finish breakfast.

They sit down for their meal together, but Kang-woo can’t help but reminisce about his family. He notes that this is the first time since the crash that he shared a meal with someone in his house, and he and Min-joon share a tender moment.

Meanwhile, Chairman Cha meets with Chief Prosecutor Ohn, who informs Chairman Cha that he’ll seek to put Hyun-gi in prison for 10 years and fine him a substantial fee for his wrongdoings.

Chairman Cha seems to be cooperating with the prosecution, and argues that they should make sure Hyun-gi doesn’t get off easy.

Chief Prosecutor Ohn agrees, and he reveals that they also plan to accuse Hyun-gi of illegally taking over JH Group, which causes Chairman Cha’s smile to falter, though he lies to Chief Prosecutor Ohn that he isn’t involved in helping Hyun-gi acquire control of the company.

Chief Prosecutor Ohn also brings up the video of Min-joon going after JH Group for their role in the crash, and he sinisterly warns Chairman Cha to make sure Taeyang doesn’t get caught up in JH Group’s problems.

Back at Kang-woo’s house, Min-joon and Kang-woo speculate over Hong-joo’s intentions, and conclude that she didn’t want to kill Min-joon, just threaten him. They wonder if there is some other issue besides the funeral that Taeyang and JH Group are trying to stealthily solve without garnering any attention.

Though Min-joon wants to kick up a fuss right away to foil Taeyang and JH Group’s plans for minimal attention, Kang-woo talks him into waiting for Detective Jo’s daughter to get her surgery before they launch into action.

Later, Kang-woo meets Manager Park and apologizes again for making him step down from his position, but Manager Park tells Kang-woo not to worry about him, and that he stepped down because he failed to investigate the crash properly.

Manager Park asks what Kang-woo wants from him now, and Kang-woo reveals that he wants to force Taeyang to pay out the money that they owe from claims that the company refuses to pay out, and for the policies that no beneficiary has claimed yet.

Manager Park sends the data on unclaimed policies to Mad Dog, and they find that Taeyang holds over 200 billion won in unclaimed policies.

Min-joon wonders why Mad Dog cares about helping others receive their insurance money, so Kang-woo explains that Taeyang went out of their way to pay Min-joon his 3.4 billion won while dragging their heels on all these other cases.

When Min-joon still doesn’t follow, Noo-ri shows him that the Financial Supervisory Service recently promised to clamp down on insurance companies refusing to pay out claims, so Mad Dog can use these claims to pressure Taeyang.

The group resolves to find the people with unclaimed policies so they can use their stories to force the Financial Supervisory Service to take action against the company.

Elsewhere, Hyun-gi finds Hong-joo drinking alone at a bar deep in thought. He pesters her about her relationship with Kang-woo, and Hong-joo admits that she did like Kang-woo as a man, though she never went after him because he was already married.

Hyun-gi taunts Hong-joo that she still put Kang-woo’s family on the plane, implying that Hong-joo wanted them to be in danger.

Hong-joo denies this allegation, but Hyun-gi keeps pushing her, saying that although Hong-joo couldn’t possibly know specifically that Flight 801 was going to crash, she did know that Juhan Air used deficient planes, yet she still put Kang-woo’s family on board.

Hyun-gi argues that if Hong-joo is so upset, she should just confess her mistake and ask for Kang-woo’s forgiveness. But Hong-joo says it’s up to the families of the victims to decide what counts as a mistake.

Hyun-gi disagrees, and he pulls Hong-joo’s face close to his to remind her, “You and I can make that decision. It’s what we did. Why would anyone else decide what that was? You and I just made a mistake. A small, minor mistake.”

At the hospital, Soon-jung approaches Nurse Oh to ask for her cooperation with their plan. She teases Soon-jung over his attempts to make himself appealing to her, saying that he dressed up to compete with a jerky, younger, and more handsome man. He scoffs that Min-joon is not good-looking, likening him to a vampire, and she tells Soon-jung that he’s the only one who thinks that they’re rivals.

But she agrees to help, and they get to work interviewing the families of patients that Taeyang is refusing to pay insurance money to. Soon-jung poses as a lawyer, and he promises the families that he can get their claims paid out by Taeyang, and hands out business cards to everyone in the hospital calling himself the “Robin Hood of Insurance.”

Back at Kang-woo’s house, Min-joon and Ha-ri answer calls from people looking to get their unpaid insurance money, and collect data on the various cases of each caller.

One caller calls Min-joon again because she liked the sound of his voice, and Min-joon flirts back at the woman. Ha-ri can’t help but be distracted by Min-joon’s antics, and forgets that she’s on the phone with another caller as she snidely remarks that he’s goofing off.

Min-joon takes a break from answering phones to explore Kang-woo’s house, and Ha-ri follows him into Kang-woo’s son’s room.

Kang-woo tracked his son’s height throughout the years on the wall, and Min-joon wonders what it must be like for Kang-woo to have all those memories of his lost family, and how he can continue to live on while holding onto those memories alone.

We see a flashback to the last mark Kang-woo made, as Kang-woo proudly measured his son, warmly promising that he’d soon grow tall just like his dad.

In the present, Min-joon gloomily asks how Kang-woo can still live like this, and Ha-ri sheds a tear herself as she ponders the same thing.

Elsewhere, Kang-woo meets with Hong-joo, who asks if he made his decision on whether to follow her orders from now on. Kang-woo, though, ignores her question, and asks how Hong-joo got herself tied up in Flight 801.

Hong-joo denies Taeyang’s involvement, but Kang-woo calls out her lie. He tells Hong-joo that what she did to Min-joon was uncalled for, but she argues that all she did was decide to hold on to the two most important things in her life: Taeyang and her father.

Kang-woo laments that he doesn’t know who Hong-joo is anymore, but Hong-joo just coldly reminds him, “If you stay put you’ll be fine. Nothing will happen. So stay curled up.”

Afterward, Kang-woo heads to a nearby pub, and a spying Detective Jo informs Chairman Cha of Kang-woo’s location. Chairman Cha confirms the location with Lawyer Lee’s second spy, so he agrees to follow through with Detective Jo’s daughter’s surgery in the morning.

In the pub, Kang-woo gets a text from Detective Jo, who reports to Kang-woo that they’re tailing him, and that he’s told Chairman Cha where he is.

Manager Park joins Kang-woo, and he remembers that the last time they were at this pub was when Hong-joo was a rookie on their team, but Kang-woo pretends not to remember and Manager Park drops the subject.

Kang-woo reveals that they plan to get started with the unpaid claims tomorrow after Detective Jo’s daughter finishes surgery, and he and Manager Park share a drink in anticipation of their coming task.

Later, Kang-woo returns home and finds Min-joon waiting for him. Noticing the stench of alcohol, Min-joon lectures Kang-woo over his drinking like a wife. Kang-woo suddenly turns cold and tells him not to say things like that to him, clearly reminded of his wife, and snaps that they don’t actually live together.

Kang-woo storms off to his bedroom, but seems to reconsider his tone.

The next morning, Kang-woo notices his now-full fridge, and scolds Min-joon for ignoring his command to stay inside. Min-joon informs Kang-woo that Ha-ri brought everything yesterday, so Kang-woo shouldn’t worry about him.

Min-joon offers, “Until the work is done, until I’m in front of your eyes, I will never get killed.” He also tells Kang-woo that Detective Jo’s daughter is already in surgery and he’ll call when it’s over.

At the hospital, the surgeons inform Detective Jo and his wife that the surgery was successful, and Detective Jo texts Kang-woo with the news and announces his resignation from the police force.

Kang-woo calls Detective Jo right back, but before Kang-woo can say anything, Detective Jo reveals that he got a new job in Busan, and tells Kang-woo not to worry about him anymore. He offers one final apology to Kang-woo, who bids farewell to his old friend.

Kang-woo composes himself and initiates the Mad Dog plan, and Noo-ri uploads all of the cases they collected to the Financial Supervisory Service’s website.

Min-joon, however, is missing again, and it turns out he already snuck out to meet with the woman who called him back regarding her unclaimed policy because she liked his voice.

The rest of the Mad Dog team dig into that woman’s file, and find that her sister committed suicide two years ago. In actuality, Taeyang only claims the girl killed herself because they found sleeping pills in her possession, but there was no trace of the pills in her system when she died.

Additionally, Taeyang rejected her insurance claim on the same day that they paid out the enormous policy to Min-joon.

Reporter Bang, who Min-joon brought with him to meet the aggrieved woman, records her testimony, and notes the oddity that they would reject her claim on the same day they paid out Beom-joon’s much larger policy.

Reporter Bang suggests that he should write an article about the discrepancy, and Min-joon agrees to be interviewed himself. Reporter Bang asks if Min-joon really believes his brother’s innocence, but Min-joon says that what he thinks doesn’t matter.

When Reporter Bang wonders what does matter then, Min-joon pontificates, “It matters how we should make people think, suspect, and remember on their own.”

Meanwhile, Noo-ri realizes that there’s a note from Min-joon in the aggrieved woman’s file, which simply tells them to check Reporter Bang’s blog.

Kang-woo decides they should help Min-joon with whatever he is plotting, and instructs Noo-ri to overload the servers at Taeyang, the Financial Supervisory Service, and the Life Insurance Association in preparation.

Kang-woo also asks them to track Reporter Bang’s location so he can find Min-joon before Lawyer Lee gets to him again in retaliation.

At Taeyang, Manager Park notifies Hong-joo of the servers going down because of all the traffic from unpaid claims. Manager Park worries that there are too many claims to examine, so she orders him to pay out only the small claims first.

Chairman Cha calls Hong-joo into his office to yell at her over Kang-woo’s meddling, suspecting that he is behind the sudden wave of claims.

Hong-joo says that she can handle the situation regardless of Kang-woo’s involvement by simply paying out the claims as necessary, but Chairman Cha reveals that he just gave the 10 billion won set aside for those claims to Hyun-gi.

Elsewhere, Min-joon receives texts from each of the Mad Dog members harassing him over keeping them all in the dark about his plan. Nearby, Lawyer Lee discreetly follows Min-joon by car.

He suddenly floors it when Min-joon approaches an intersection, about to run him over. Just then, Kang-woo walks up right next to Min-joon, and Lawyer Lee screeches to a stop.

Meanwhile, Hyun-gi is following the insurance claims situation himself, and calls Lawyer Lee to find out where he is. Lawyer Lee lies that he’s at a meeting, but Hyun-gi sees through it and knows Lawyer Lee’s apparent meeting must be in regard to the current crisis at Taeyang.

Hyun-gi asks Lawyer Lee if the 10 billion won he got from Chairman Cha is from the unpaid insurance money, saying that it’s going to be tiresome if they get dragged into this mess. Lawyer Lee says he’ll look into it, and throws his phone in a rage before driving away.

Kang-woo catches up with Min-joon and tells him to go ahead with the interview with Reporter Bang. Min-joon is surprised that Kang-woo is okay with it, since Min-joon may be in danger if he shows his face again.

But Kang-woo tells him it’s okay, “Get in a little danger. That way they’ll know we’re all mad dogs. Let’s bark.”

At Taeyang, Lawyer Lee informs Chairman Cha that Hyun-gi knows where the 10 billion won came from, and Chairman Cha laments that he shouldn’t have listened to Hong-joo.

Hong-joo arrives in her office and takes a call from the Financial Supervisory Service, but she promises that Taeyang is paying all the claims out one by one.

Hyun-gi, who was hiding conspicuously behind a bookshelf, reveals himself to Hong-joo. She tries to kick him out, but Hyun-gi breaks the news to her that Min-joon is currently doing a live interview with Reporter Bang, and they need to go meet Chairman Cha right away.

Min-joon answers Reporter Bang’s questions regarding Flight 801, and emphasizes that his point is that Taeyang paid out the insurance for Beom-joon’s suicide even before they had concrete evidence after the crash.

Yet Taeyang refused to pay out the much smaller amount owed on a very similar policy that same day. Min-joon asks the pressing question, “Why would a company that refused to pay a mere 200 million won for two years, pay 3.4 billion won to me right away?”

The rest of the Mad Dog team watch the interview from their office, and they revel in how many people the story is reaching.

At Taeyang, Chairman Cha finishes watching the interview and orders Hong-joo to pay out that policy immediately. Hyun-gi, though, wonders if that will be enough to kill the story.

Hyun-gi reveals that the stockholder’s meeting to vote him in as chairman is now canceled because of this crisis, and Chief Prosecutor Ohn will now be prosecuting Chairman Cha for his role in both this incident and Hyun-gi’s illegal succession of JH Group.

But Hyun-gi admits that Chairman Cha doesn’t need to worry, since he already took care of the problem. Hyun-gi pulls out his phone and shows Chairman Cha and Hong-joo a picture of Kang-woo, and they wonder what he could be referring to.

Elsewhere, Kang-woo and Min-joon depart after the interview, and the rest of the Mad Dog team arrive to pick them up, all of them looking cheerful.

In Chairman Cha’s office, Hyun-gi scrolls through the pictures on his phone one by one, from Kang-woo to Min-joon, then Ha-ri. Meanwhile Ha-ri exits the vehicle, and Soon-jung teases her over how worried she was.

Hyun-gi scrolls again to a picture of Soon-jung, and Hyun-gi admits that none of them is that important. Finally, he scrolls to a picture of Noo-ri, pointing him out as the important one.

The Mad Dog team makes plans to celebrate their success today, but as they are set to leave, Noo-ri’s phone rings, and he freezes to see “Father” in the call display.

Hyun-gi beams as he congratulates himself for finding out about Noo-ri, and chides Chairman Cha for keeping him in the dark about the boy.

Chairman Cha uncomfortably shifts in his chair as Hyun-gi turns to Hong-joo to confront her. “Hong-joo, you knew about him too,” he breathes, “since you two are family,” pointing to her and Chairman Cha.

Noo-ri excuses himself to take the call, and we see that Noo-ri’s father is none other than Chief Prosecutor Ohn. Hyun-gi confirms this fact with Chairman Cha, but the chairman tells Hyun-gi not to touch Noo-ri.

When Hyun-gi asks why not, it’s Hong-joo who answers, “You don’t touch family.” But Hyun-gi spits those words right back at them with a glare at Chairman Cha: “That’s right! You don’t touch family.”

Chief Prosecutor Ohn orders Noo-ri to stop working with Mad Dog, and a shell-shocked Noo-ri turns to face his Mad Dog compatriots chatting away nearby. His gaze meets Kang-woo’s, and the smile quickly fades from Kang-woo’s face as he senses that something is wrong.

 
COMMENTS

At this point, it almost feels like we’re going through a checklist of everyone around Kang-woo and testing their loyalty to him. First it was Manager Park, then Detective Jo, and now, it seems, is Noo-ri’s turn. Of the three, Noo-ri is probably the least likely to betray Kang-woo’s trust, and there’s not really any reason to suspect that Noo-ri will suddenly back out. Given how little interaction he and his father shared thus far, I can’t imagine this will amount to anything more than Noo-ri deciding between pacifying his father or rebelling against him. It’s not like Noo-ri will suddenly turn spy on them, so I’m not really inclined to consider this a major threat to the team.

What I do appreciate about this show is that the forces of evil are actually not only competent but seem to be pretty smart in their own right. They were able to bait the Mad Dog team into the greenhouse trap, and only failed because Detective Jo turned double agent on them. The dynamic between the two patriarchs adds an interesting layer to the proceedings, since both men seek the other’s destruction, but need to make sure that they themselves remain unscathed from the other’s fall. The problem, of course, is they both need each other to succeed in the short-term while they plot to take each other out later.

And while Hyun-gi and Chairman Cha are consistently at odds with each other in their own power struggle, you get the sense that both men seem to have their finger on the pulse of what the other is up to. Keep in mind that the reason the greenhouse trap was even an option was because Hyun-gi found the Mad Dog bug and tried to use it to send Mad Dog after Chairman Cha’s blackbox recording. The Cha family was one step ahead, though, so they could prepare their defenses in advance.

It’s interesting that Hong-joo seems content to embroil herself further and further into the depths of Taeyang’s corruption. Is her unrequited love for Kang-woo really a strong enough reason to justify her descent into darkness?

It feels more like she’s overcompensating to try to crush what is left of her feelings for him, but I wonder if she can manage to quell those feelings or if they’ll linger just long enough to ruin her in the end. Either way, now that she is on this path, there’s no way she will manage to redeem herself in Kang-woo’s eyes when he uncovers the whole truth, so any hope she may still possess of somehow holding on to her love should probably be discarded now or it will only hold her back.

Also, for all this talk about needing to put Kang-woo on a leash to keep him in check, can we put a leash on Min-joon? How is he still going off and doing his own thing at this point without the knowledge of anyone else in Mad Dog? I feel like they’ve done enough at this point to show Min-joon he can trust them, yet he just can’t seem to stop himself from running off on his own and doing things behind their backs. Just keep them in the loop about your plans at least. Stop disappearing! You’re going to make poor Ha-ri sick with worry. It’s time for Min-joon to learn that a little trust goes a long way.

 
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