Yong-pal: Episode 16
With war brewing outside of Hanshin’s walls, no one imagined that the newest chairwoman could arrange such a mean call to arms. There’s trouble both in the battlefield and at home, with our heroine up against an imposing enemy and our hero struggling with his own internal conflict. With Hanshin entering the war zone, it’s time for everybody to wake up and stop smelling the lavender.
EPISODE 16 RECAP
Following that tense conversation with Chairman Choi, Yeo-jin leaves her own party on the grounds that there’s work to be done. When Tae-hyun asks what that is, she simply replies: “War.”
While Yeo-jin orders Secretary Min to assemble the troops, Tae-hyun is told that Daejung is a formidable enemy, but is no way stronger than Hanshin. Because nothing is… or his bodyguard believes that it’s because he can easily beat those puny guys at Daejung in a fight any day. Ha.
He chooses this time to confess that he’s actually younger than Tae-hyun (who’d been calling him “hyung”), to which the latter immediately switches to banmal: “Wanna die?” Hee, I love these two.
Yeo-jin’s inner circle is busy discussing whether if they should try to dissuade their inexperienced chairwoman from going to war against Chairman Choi when she walks in, knowing exactly what they were thinking.
Her first order of business is to call for some more comfortable clothes ’cause ain’t nobody gonna prepare for a battle wearing heels. Next she tells them that anyone who’s against war is free to leave, making them all quake in their shoes and voice their support for her decision.
It’ll be the end if they let Hanshin push them around, Yeo-jin says. Handing over Do-joon’s body like Chairman Choi wants isn’t that big of a deal, but allowing the other rivaling conglomerates to see a weak point in Hanshin is. The hierarchy will change in an instant, and they’ll be done for.
Marching into the war room, she scolds the strategy team members for their business attire. Since they’re going to get nice and cozy in here for the next three days, they’re free to act however they like, save for insulting her, the one in charge. Cue chorused chuckles.
The goal: Find Daejung’s weakness or they’ll be working elsewhere.
Tae-hyun, meanwhile, is left to wait at home with a modest breakfast versus the usual feast. He doesn’t like being told the saying that one should remain quiet while a war is brewing outside the home, so he enlists the staff to help plant flowers in the overgrown greenhouse. That’s a nice gesture, though it puzzles the head maid.
D-1. Yeo-jin and her team are getting nowhere, so she asks the quiet guy in the corner to offer something. Her interest is piqued when he says he’s been analyzing Dae-jung’s email traffic, but then another guy shouts that that’s considered hacking. Oh I’m sorry, were you all planning to go about all this the noble way?
Since all’s fair in love and war, she’s told that Daejung has been using a code word in their correspondences to hide something important. She rises out of her seat when she hears the word—lavender—and immediately knows that her late fiancé Sung-hoon was involved.
The aforementioned code word appeared most in an exchange with a biotech company overseas, and Yeo-jin can’t help but be impressed when the quiet guy tracks it down right away. The discovery gives them a second wind and they all get to work.
After thinking back to Yeo-jin’s vow to kill Do-joon by her hand (which makes me wonder how much Tae-hyun overheard of that conversation), Tae-hyun manages to obtain his bodyguard’s help by telling him that Hanshin’s in trouble.
His plan is to release Do-joon because that will ease the burden on the chairwoman’s shoulders and on Hanshin. He also reaches out to Chief Lee for help.
It’s D-Day, and Yeo-jin tells her inner circle to simmer down because they’re about to buy up a new company today. She declares that Hanshin will pour its total assets into this acquisition because she figures it will take all of their funds to go head to head with Daejung.
No one will be allowed to leave this room, and tells her team to get to work to slowly buy up the biotech company’s stocks. Chairman Choi doesn’t appear worried at first since he’s planted someone in Yeo-jin’s team, but once he gets wind that someone’s buying up those biotech company’s stocks, he angrily demands that the perpetrators be found.
Everyone jumps when Yeo-jin tells her team to let their work go public, ready to face Chairman Choi head on. The old man is also prepared to go to battle and pour all of his available funds into this war.
And to this, Yeo-jin continues to raise the stakes, much to everyone’s shock. “I haven’t even begun,” she tells them. “Soon, the whale will appear.”
Back in the VIP suite, Chief Lee ponders over Tae-hyun’s plea before injecting something into Do-joon’s IV. It triggers a seizure, and Chief Lee orders the incompetent nurse to go and prep the operating room.
At the same time, Yeo-jin and Chairman Choi continue to up the stakes. Their back-and-forth turns into a bidding war, and Chairman Choi chuckles confidently when the market momentarily quiets down after he doubles the offer.
But then there’s a huge spike… because Yeo-jin has seen that offer and raised it by another 10 percent. Refusing to lose to the young lady, Chairman Choi calls out an even higher amount.
Remember when Tae-hyun’s bodyguard boasted about his awesome fighting skills? He uses it to take down the security guards escorting Do-joon, then helps Chief Lee and Tae-hyun down the hallway.
The head of security catches them on camera and calls it in, only to be told by Secretary Min to leave them be.
Both Yeo-jin and Chairman Choi’s people grow worried when their fellow CEOs up the ante yet again. That’s when Chairman Choi’s secretary gets a call from their mole…
… and it’s Secretary Min. Oooh. Yeo-jin has noticed Secretary Min temporarily leave the room, and when she hears Chairman Choi’s latest bid, she retracts her own. Upon hearing about Do-joon’s escape from the hospital, Chairman Choi wonders if it’s a deliberate diversion, but soon he’s grinning because Hanshin has backed down.
At that, he orders that Daejung retract their offer as well. Problem is, they’re unable to because the deal has closed. Chairman Choi staggers and half-jokes that Do-joon’s body comes with a pricey tag before looking stern once more.
Letting Daejung be the highest bidder was all part of Yeo-jin’s plan to teach Chairman Choi a lesson since Dajung has spent trillions of won more than anticipated in the deal. If the old man has lost that much cash, he ought to stay quiet for some time, she muses. Her success is met with rousing applause.
Tae-hyun calls Chae-young to let her know that they’re on their way. She has a helicopter and a boat waiting to transport her and her husband overseas. Speaking of whom, Do-joon wakes inside the ambulance and doesn’t know why he has to run and leave the country.
When Secretary Min brings up the call he received in the car, Yeo-jin supposes it’s about how Do-joon has escaped with Tae-hyun’s help. It’s likely that Daejung is chasing after them right about now, she continues, which makes Secretary Min uneasy.
When he opens his mouth again, Yeo-jin tells him to shut it—she knows he was feeding intel to the enemy. “I was just protecting Hanshin… and betrayed my husband.”
Do-joon is surprisingly sharp for a guy who recently underwent brain surgery and was unconscious just five minutes prior. He takes offense with Tae-hyun’s boldness and couldn’t care less about the many lives at risk just to save him.
The assassination threat from Daejung doesn’t bother Do-joon either—he’ll just exchange Hanshin intel for mercy. Anddd that’s why you’re the guy with the bandaged head.
In her car, Yeo-jin puts on her shades to hide the tears she’s shed.
Tae-hyun grabs a fistful of Do-joon’s robe to spell out the grave danger he faces: Daejung knows that Do-joon ordered Sung-hoon’s death. Do-joon cries out that he erased all the evidence regarding that incident.
Tae-hyun climbs on top of him, his hand around Do-joon’s neck, but the latter pushes Tae-hyun off and punches him. After knocking both Tae-hyun and his bodyguard out with an oxygen tank, Do-joon climbs out of the ambulance and waves to the black cars approaching him. He’s gonna die, isn’t he?
Chae-young watches this unfold out on the tarmac as the car crashes into Do-joon, sending his body flying before falling to the ground again. The masked man climbs out and reaches into his pocket to pull out… a phone? Oh, so he can speak with Chairman Choi face to face.
Chairman Choi laughs in return, at which point the masked man pulls out a knife and stabs Do-joon with it. By the time Chae-young runs to his side, the cars have driven away. Do-joon smiles at Chae-young one last time before he closes his eyes for the last time. Heartbroken, Chae-young sobs over his body.
Having finally come to, Tae-hyun emerges from the ambulance, only to discover that it’s too late.
Yeo-jin is eating dinner when Tae-hyun returns home that night. He’s initially denied entry, but allowed inside with Yeo-jin’s permission. And finally Tae-hyun questions if Yeo-jin has gone too far, asking if she ordered Do-joon’s death.
When she says she did, Tae-hyun tells her not to lie. But she isn’t the type to lie, she says—she knew Tae-hyun would try to rescue Do-joon and that Secretary Min would let Daejung know of that. “So I did order it,” she finishes.
“Were you… using me then?” Tae-hyun asks. In a matter-of-fact voice, Yeo-jin says she needed a figure to hand Do-joon over to Daejung without getting her hands dirty. “You were perfect for that role.”
No one would ever doubt his good intentions because of his naively righteous ways. Tae-hyun embodies those qualities to a T, and now Daejung doesn’t even know exactly how Do-joon ended up in their hands.
Yeo-jin rises from her seat but stops at the door to ask, “Do you regret it? Saving me from the 12th floor?
“Yeah… I do.” Tae-hyun replies haltingly, his body tense. Yeo-jin lets that answer sink in before answering that she figures as much since she was responsible for his mother’s death and walking out.
Both Yeo-jin and Tae-hyun sit in the darkness within their respective quarters, reflecting upon all the time (and I mean allll the time—it’s a long montage of flashbacks) spent together.
Tae-hyun goes out for a morning stroll and sees Yeo-jin out in the garden. She’s the first to break the silence, asking if he’s still angry. In a calm voice, Tae-hyun wonders if it’s more like ruefulness. To that, Yeo-jin apologizes and promises never to make him feel that way again.
But Tae-hyun shakes his head—he’s talking about her. She asks him not to leave her then, lest she fall back into the darkness. “So don’t go.”
She knows that Tae-hyun must feel resentful towards her, but Tae-hyun cuts her off to say that he doesn’t because it’s not Yeo-jin’s fault that his mother died. Moreover, he won’t blame himself for her death either.
Instead he blames this tragedy on the greed for power that one develops by being on the VIP floor at Hanshin. He wants to go back to being just a surgeon, but Yeo-jin says he can stay up here in a seat of power and do whatever he likes whether that’s destroying the VIP floor or rebuilding Hanshin.
Tae-hyun shakes his head again, saying that they’re on the thirteenth floor, and by dismantling the VIP floor beneath them, they’ll destroy themselves as well. While Yeo-jin can enjoy the view from the top, there’s an entire world waiting down below, including the windy hill they once went to.
Everything that can make them happy is waiting down below. “So do you want to come with me?” Tae-hyun asks. He figures it would be hard for her to give up her throne to run away with him, thinking the idea a crazy one.
But Yeo-jin says it isn’t nuts—a rich world of fresh water and windy wills, those are precious things that can’t be traded with a CEO position. She’s back where she belongs with the crocodiles. Her eyes fill with tears as she says the field trip is over.
His eyes are wet too as he says they’ll get another chance, and when they do, she can always come back to him because he’ll be waiting. He plans to leave before breakfast, adding that he never ate breakfast anyway.
She tells him to take care then, and Tae-hyun gathers her in an embrace. He sheds a tear while wishing her well. He lets go a few moments later and walks off, leaving Yeo-jin alone with her tears.
Yeo-jin strolls the grounds and enters the greenhouse which houses a lavender patch once more. She’s told that it was Tae-hyun’s doing, but Yeo-jin doesn’t need anyone to tell her to know and breaks down in tears.
After packing up his things, Tae-hyun takes one last look at the manor before walking off.
He doesn’t get far when his bodyguard drives up to him, having been dismissed from his position to take care of Tae-hyun. He asks if Tae-hyun’s got a house to go back to, not because he’s worried for him but because he needs a place to crash. LOL.
At the crematorium, Chae-young watches her husband’s coffin slowly enter the incinerator. As the flames consume the rectangular box, her eyes remained trained on the last of Do-joon.
I wasn’t sure whether I’d be looking forward to finale week, but if Yong-pal is setting us up for Chae-young to dip into the revenge pool too, then it’d be a triumphant welcome for her character. I fear getting my hopes up though, because this show has taken us some odd turns ever since the story has spent more time outside of the hospital than in it.
Still, I found myself enjoying this episode despite the dips in time where I really just wanted to throw a pillow at Tae-hyun. It truly is incredible that he could be filled with such betrayal after Yeo-jin used his good nature for her own revenge… and then be there to comfort her the next day and act like a saint in saying that he doesn’t resent her. Yes, he admitted that a part of him regretted saving her, and yet he still doesn’t harbor any ill feelings towards her in the end.
While there’s remorse in Yeo-jin orchestrating the situation that would lead to her having a hand in Do-joon’s death, it still means she counted on Tae-hyun to feel bad for Do-joon and try to spring him out of there. If she placed her half-brother in the VIP suite for that reason isn’t exactly clear or evident, but if she did, I’d say that kind of decision screams more evil-crazy than evil genius because that’s banking on uncontrollable factors. Perhaps it’s because I still find it hard to buy Yeo-jin as a character sometimes when she seems like two different people to me: one who is coldhearted and calculative with her enemies and the other who is teary and cares for Tae-hyun. It’s only more confusing when Tae-hyun has seen both of those faces and still responds the same way no matter which face he’s faced with. Please oh please Tae-hyun—I don’t want to have to look at you, knowing that you were once Yong-pal and now say, “Wow, he dummmbbb.”
Though I must give credit where credit is due, because I found the very quick war between Chairman Choi and Yeo-jin quite entertaining. Aside from the fact that the numbers they were tossing back and forth seemed arbitrary, it was smart of Yeo-jin to tap into the old man’s pride and then use it against him as a lesson to mess with her. I know this isn’t a drama circled around the stock market, but I wish we’d also seen a little more variety than “No, I’ll see your x amount of money and add y!” When it comes to this area of fighting over company stocks, you can say that I’ve been ruined by Story of a Man which tackled these battle of wits with finesse.
While I didn’t expect anyone to mourn Do-joon’s death (though there hardly is anyone left to attend funerals these days), the thought that nobody but Chae-young was there to send him off is saddening. His temporary heightened consciousness in the ambulance was a sight to behold really, but now that he’s gone, Yeo-jin’s reasons for revenge is all but gone with him. It’s a dangerous place to be in narrative-wise, with your heroine finishing off her revenge against one of her ultimate targets and the interim enemy in the form of Chairman Choi taken care of for the time being. Which is why I’m hoping that it’s Chae-young who steps in and shakes things up or else we spend two episodes working on getting the lovebirds back together somehow.
Even if Chae-young has been out of the spotlight, she still feels more involved than Tae-hyun has. So I hope that his return to the hospital means we get to see a bit more Tae-hyun. I hope you got some rest during that break, Joo-won, because it’s time to get back into the game.