Our team continues to keep Babel on their toes and put them on the defensive. Remembering that they’re a law firm, Jipuragi initiates another lawsuit against Babel, hoping to put an end to the redevelopment project once and for all. As the chairman’s allies dwindle and his position grows ever more precarious, he starts to lose confidence and fears his adversary might just be more than he can handle.
After Han-seo shoots, an officer leans down to check Vincenzo’s pulse. In one swift move, Vincenzo grabs the officer and swipes his gun. He orders everyone to drop their guns.
In what looks like a shipping container, Vincenzo has all the agents and Han-seo tied up. He kills each Interpol agent and instructs the Korean officers to report that the agents left because they had no evidence.
Vincenzo lets Han-seo go, commanding him to tell Joon-woo to stop acting up and wait for his death. But Vincenzo can’t let him go scot free, so he shoots him in the arm.
In the hospital, Han-seo explains all of this to the evil three. Attorney Han knew he was planning to lure Vincenzo out so Interpol could arrest him but not that he was going there to kill him. Joon-woo zeros in on the fact that Han-seo had a gun and doesn’t seem to buy Han-seo’s claim that he bought it to kill Vincenzo.
When Han-seo reveals that Vincenzo had several of his people hidden at the ice rink, Joon-woo wonders if someone tipped him off about Interpol. After threatening Han-seo with death if he touches a gun again, Joon-woo leaves with Myung-hee. Attorney Han believes Han-seo is hiding something about all this, but Han-seo denies it.
Outside, Myung-hee taunts Attorney Han for his failed first act as chief prosecutor. He’s unbothered until she points out that Vincenzo might come after him now. Myung-hee condescendingly advises him to stop getting in over his head.
At Jipuragi, the team drinks to Vincenzo’s escape from deportation and arrest. We get the music of revelation as we jump back to when Han-seo called Vincenzo and told him about Interpol. In the locker room at the rink, Vincenzo and Han-seo are outfitted and Joo-sung works his fake-blood magic.
On the rink, Vincenzo and Han-seo hold the others at gunpoint while Vincenzo explains that Paolo framed him. In exchange for his freedom, Vincenzo has Joo-sung hand over evidence of Paolo’s illegal dealings and info on Babel’s paper company.
Afterwards, Han-seo carries their duffel bags, refusing to let Vincenzo help. He explains that he decided to stay on Vincenzo’s team because he doesn’t want to be a puppet chairman again. Han-seo is worried that people will get suspicious if he returns unscathed, though, so he asks Vincenzo to shoot him in the arm.
Vincenzo warns him it’ll hurt and that he might even pass out. Han-seo bounces up and down like a boxer, insisting he can take it, but he screams when Vincenzo points the gun at him. Once Vincenzo actually shoots, Han-seo bluffs it’s not that painful and promptly passes out.
The next morning, CEO Park presents Vincenzo with a free ticket to use his balloon service. He boasts they’ve helped 47 people flee, 45 of whom survived. Pfft. CEO Park can’t help but respect and root for Vincenzo, the real gangster he always dreamed of being. Vincenzo accepts the gift but draws the line at calling CEO Park “hyung.”
Jipuragi readies for their next moves which include a lawsuit against Babel Tower and removing some of Joon-woo’s more consequential pieces from the board. These “pieces” get a text – supposedly from Joon-woo – with Director Tae’s secret recording of the private meeting at Joon-woo’s place. They arrive at the designated meeting place, a public building.
After Mi-ri plays recordings over the loudspeaker of Babel’s shady dealings, an enraged Chief Prosecutor Hwang calls Joon-woo, believing he’s trying to threaten them. Meanwhile, on the steps of the courthouse, Cha-young and Vincenzo announce their lawsuit against Babel Tower.
At Geumga Plaza, Hee-soo finds that the monks have been collecting alms every day and worries that the temple is in danger of closing. Yeon-jin suggests the tenants all pitch in to help with funds.
Over at Babel, Joon-woo is sure Vincenzo is behind the secret recording of his meeting. To make his day worse, Myung-hee gets a text about the Jipuragi lawsuit. It looks like it’s in the tenants’ names, and they’re claiming damages due to the illegal redevelopment practices.
Cha-young meets Myung-hee uninvited and plays her recordings of her former minions listing all the people – including Yoo-chan – Myung-hee ordered them to kill. Myung-hee is unfazed and says they’ll see who comes out on top in the end.
Elsewhere, Vincenzo intimidates Attorney Han into meeting him and offers a deal that could save his life. He had intended to let Attorney Han live, but that Interpol stunt changed his mind. Attorney Han plays tough and then starts yelling and banging on the table.
He sneaks looks at the door and eventually has to yell to his guards that he’s signaling them to come in. When they rush in, Vincenzo pulls out a gun and shoots two of them in the leg. He orders them out and advances on Attorney Han who drops to his knees and starts crying.
That night, Joon-woo is awakened by a noise. He grabs one of his hockey sticks and finds three masked men in his living room. One of the men tells him they’re the price he pays for disrespecting his elders. (Is it just me or does that voice sound like Hong-shik?) Joon-woo holds his own, but he’s no match for the men armed with various weapons.
He makes it outside, but the men chase him through the neighborhood. Joon-woo manages to escape and returns home where Han-seo demonstrates the appropriate level of outrage and Myung-hee urges caution; the “elders” still have power. Joon-woo proclaims them useless to him now and is willing to bide his time to punish them.
While Vincenzo sips his wine and repeats another Italian proverb about devils, Chief Kim sends a horde of his men to drag Young-woon to him. Prosecutor Jung told him that Young-woon can open the secret room at Geumga Plaza, so Chief Kim threatens to kill Young-woon and his family if he doesn’t get him a list of every hacker and security systems expert working in Korea when the room’s system was installed.
Joon-woo is really having a week. As he heads out to the car, flanked by security, a van pulls up and more masked men jump out. But this time, one of them has a gun. Joon-woo hurriedly hops in the car with his driver as the man shoots at them from behind.
Given the multiple assassination attempts, Myung-hee wants Attorney Han to arrest Vincenzo and the elders responsible, but Attorney Han is worried it’ll backfire. After sniping at each other for a bit, Attorney Han, for once, is the one with a plan: the safest place for Joon-woo is a jail cell.
Myung-hee takes the idea to Joon-woo, but he unsurprisingly hates the idea and throws a little tantrum. She gives him a reality check and says they’re no match for Vincenzo. Myung-hee promises to make his jail stay painless and pats his back comfortingly.
The next day, the prosecution comes to arrest Joon-woo at work. Before they take him away, Joon-woo instructs Han-seo to launch Babel Bio. Han-seo explains that he’s postponing that in accordance with advice from the board.
Han-seo goes further in his defiance and brings up how Joon-woo had encouraged him to learn from the business sense of Elizabeth Holmes (the former CEO of Theranos). Han-seo leans in to hug his brother and says, “But she was a fraud, and she’s in prison now.”
Joon-woo gapes at his brother’s audacity as Han-seo starts fixing Joon-woo’s tie while saying he wouldn’t want to bring trouble to his dear brother. Joon-woo’s usual scare tactics don’t work; Han-seo pretends to be frightened before dropping the act and sighing it’s too exhausting. He tightens the handcuffs on Joon-woo’s wrists, saying he’s doing this all for him. Look at you getting all brave, Han-seo!
Joon-woo is brought to Attorney Han’s office where he makes himself at home. Attorney Han does his usual groveling. Prosecutor Jung is there too, but Joon-woo doesn’t look thrilled at the news that he’ll soon be a deputy chief prosecutor.
Over a meal, Han-seo politely serves Vincenzo drinks and is relieved when Vincenzo confirms he has no desire to kill him since Han-seo’s actions show some degree of repentance. Unlike the empty flattery Han-seo heaps on his brother, his compliments to Vincenzo sound genuine.
Vincenzo can’t figure out why Han-seo is helping him when it could cost him the chairman position. Han-seo says it’s because Vincenzo feels like an older brother. He feels comfortable around him, even when Vincenzo is cursing at him. Awww. Vincenzo looks taken aback.
Han-seo asks to call him “hyung” when they’re alone, which Vincenzo initially won’t allow. But even Vincenzo can’t withstand Han-seo’s sad puppy dog face and ends up taking his refusal back. Han-seo lights up and giggles, immediately calling him “Vin Hyung.”
While Young-woon is coerced into using his agent credentials to find the system designer, Joon-woo take his anger at Han-seo out on the wall of his cell. Vincenzo pays him a visit and smugly asks if he thinks he’s safe in there.
In a flashback, we see it was Hong-shik along with Team Leader Ahn and Cheol-wook who broke into Joon-woo’s and shot at his car. Vincenzo used the incidents to push Joon-woo to the brink and then had Attorney Han persuade him he was safe in jail.
Tired of the games (and losing), Joon-woo taunts that Vincenzo must be keeping him alive because he’s afraid of the aftermath of killing him. The cold look Vincenzo throws at him wipes the smile off Joon-woo’s face.
Vincenzo shares that he was known in the Mafia for being like a cat that plays with its food before eating. After joining the Mafia, for two years, he tormented the thief who broke into his home and killed his adoptive parents. He wouldn’t even let him commit suicide and got him the best treatment available before killing the man himself.
Vincenzo vows Joon-woo will have to watch Babel fall from his cell, but Joon-woo claims he can get out easily. His bravado falters when Vincenzo tells him he kept the original files he swiped from Ragusang Gallery, and it’ll take at least a month for his lawyers to get him out.
Making matters worse for Joon-woo is the fact that no one likes him. The elders want him gone, and Attorney Han and Prosecutor Jung realize they can have Han-seo retrieve the Guillotine file. With no immediate reason to spring Joon-woo, they decide to prioritize the Babel Tower lawsuit which Prosecutor Jung will handle personally.
In jail, Joon-woo meets with Myung-hee and orders her to get him out as soon as possible. He also wants her to keep an eye on the newly confident Han-seo.
Meanwhile, Vincenzo’s friend Luca arrives in Korea and is accosted excitedly by the tenants when he visits Jipuragi. Unfortunately, Luca has bad news. Paolo has gotten multiple of their men killed and is planning to flee, leaving the Cassano family in dire need of a leader. He begs Vincenzo to come back and save their family.
While Young-woon gives Mi-ri’s information to Chief Kim, Vincenzo forlornly packs a bag. (The fact that he’s packing instant coffee for his trip to Italy is almost offensive.) Elsewhere, Cha-young looks at the “engagement” photo of her and Vincenzo kissing at the gallery.
The next day, Vincenzo prepares to leave and comforts the crying Joo-sung who’s worried Vincenzo won’t come back. Cha-young assures Vincenzo they’ll be fine for the two weeks he’ll be away. The tenants are emotional as they send him off, and Vincenzo is moved enough to even call CEO Park “hyung.”
Cha-young drops Vincenzo and Luca at the airport and tells Vincenzo, in Italian, “Friends are like one soul in two bodies.” She tells him not to get hurt since that’d hurt her too. Vincenzo promises to stay safe.
Meanwhile, at Geumga Plaza, Chief Kim’s men grab Mi-ri and forcibly take her to Nanyak Temple. Young-woon and the monks kneel by the vault as Chief Kim instructs Mi-ri to open it, threatening to kill her if she doesn’t.
Mi-ri has no choice but to hook in her computer and open the vault. But it’s empty. Chief Kim accuses Young-woon of hiding the gold and the file, but Young-woon swears he has no idea what happened. Mi-ri takes advantage of the distraction to hit one of the men with her laptop and run out.
While the monks hold Chief Kim’s men off, Mi-ri runs through Geumga Plaza, yelling for help. Cha-young and Joo-sung run out, and Cha-young sends Joo-sung to warn the others while she protects Mi-ri. And of course, right as one of Chief Kim’s men go to attack Cha-young and take Mi-ri, Vincenzo appears.
After throwing the assailant out the window, he tells Cha-young he returned because he found another solution to his family problem. Plus, he forgot to feed Inzaghi. Vincenzo promises he needs only five minutes to take make Chief Kim and his people pay. He beckons them forward with a smile.
I was half-joking when I suggested in last episode’s recap that the shooting might be fake and Han-seo might not have betrayed Vincenzo. When it actually turned out to be true, I laughed out loud. They’re seriously overdoing it with the whole “twists” thing. If I drank, I’d be tempted to make a drinking game out of how often we get these fake-outs. It takes all the suspense out when you just assume you’re being duped all the time and don’t take anything seriously. Ironically, the manufactured unpredictability has made the drama predictable.
I can’t pretend I’m not glad Han-seo is on the good team, though. He’s just so adorable with his adoration of Vincenzo and longing to have a real big brother. How cute was it when he got all giggly after Vincenzo let him call him hyung? In the short time Han-seo has stepped away from Joon-woo, he’s gotten much bolder and more confident, as well as happier. We’ve been bombarded with awful, corrupt people in this drama, so it’s nice to have one person choose to be better. I hope it sticks.
Joon-woo is cracking and seems to finally be realizing he’s not invincible. Myung-hee even admitted they’re no match for Vincenzo after playing into his hands for the umpteenth time. At this point, she’s probably the only ally Joon-woo has. That’s one of the dangers of relying exclusively on fear to lead – once you’ve been bested, you lose your hold. Vincenzo, on the other hand, is coming off as pretty invincible. That Interpol situation was handled after a quick chat and some convenient intel, and I’m sure he’ll take out Chief Kim and his subordinates just as quickly. I guess they’re going for the Bond/superhero vibe for his character. Vincenzo is endlessly suave and impressive, which is fun, but I personally would like him to feel a little more grounded. And maybe less tortured – was it necessary to have all his parents murdered?! No wonder he snapped after Kyung-ja was killed. Having one murdered family member would be traumatic enough, but he already had to deal with violently losing his adoptive parents as a child. I hope we get the story of how he ended up in the Mafia after that tragic incident.
I’d almost forgotten about the gold again, but it looks like Vincenzo finally got it out of the basement. I’m not sure if Young-woon was faking his surprise or was genuinely left out of the loop. Mi-ri must’ve already helped Vincenzo get in the vault, but I wonder where he moved the gold? With only a week to go, it’s about time he got his money. Now he’s just got to bring down an evil psychopath, save his Italian family from ruin, and help his tenant family keep their homes and livelihoods.
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