The Drop Off
Episode 4 of A Model Family starts with us in the past, with Han-Cheol (the undercover agent) losing his nerve. Yong-Soo is starting to do background checks on his workers and if that rings true, then it means he could be found out. Joo-Hyun tells him to hold on but for how long can he do that?
Fast forward to the present and Dong-Ha stumbles back home. After leaving the grave, Kwang-Chul promises to hurt his family if he does anything stupid and to wait for their call. And for Kwang-Chul, he deliberates over whether to organize a coup or not and break away from Yong-Soo, believing he’s going to be cast aside. He’s worked for the boss for 15 years and has nothing to show for it.
Kang-Jun learns what Kwang-Chul plans to do from an inside source, who also reveals about the dead bodies – and where the money is being kept. He mulls over whether to tell Yoon-Soo and get Kwang-Chul kicked out of this operation as a result.
The situation with the group continues to deteriorate, with Yong-Soo and Kang-Jun watching on the news as a drug bust sees a lot of narcotics seized. With the heat rising, Yong-Soo puts out the call to shut down the warehouses for now and stop production, at least until things calm down.
Back home, Yeon-Woo lashes out at her mother, prompting Eun-Joo to slap her across the face and the troubled girl to leave for school. She decides against getting the bus and instead messages someone asking to come pick her up. Unfortunately, this absence gets back to Eun-Joo who is called into school for a meeting about her daughter’s behaviour. She’s been skipping school, but some of this stems from a past troubled with bullying.
Eun-Joo heads off on the hunt to try and find her troubled daughter. When she eventually catches up, Eun-Joo apologizes for slapping her and promises never to lay a finger on Yeon-Woo again. She also admits that she’s miserable but Yeon-Joo ignores her and rides off with her biker friends.
Dong-Ha is visited by Kwang-Chul at the university campus, where he tasks the Professor with his first delivery. His car is filled with expensive gear which, on the surface, look like a bottle of water but we know there’s more to it than that.
Anyway, Dong-Ha boards a train to Busan as instructed and Kwang-Chul checks his progress. He also heads back to see Yong-Soo, telling him he still hasn’t found the money and needs more time. In order to show how serious he is, he decides to go and visit the Sangseon Ring himself and buy them more time. When Kwang-Chul leaves, Kang-Jun promises that the guy is lying. As a result, Yong-Soo agrees to let Kang-Jun take matters into his own hands.
At Busan Station, Dong-Ha meets his contact and follows her. He’s pretty clumsy and drops his bag, struggling to dodge and weave through pedestrians. Unfortunately, he walks right into this trap and he’s bagged and thrown in the back of a van.
Dong-Ha is nervous and eventually finds himself in front of a shady gangster. Given he only has one bottle to give over, the man realizes that Dong-Ha doesn’t have a clue what’s happening. Dong-Ha survives to fight another day and told to feed back that the gear is fine this time…but he needs three bottles for the next drop off. If not, then they’re going to find a new supplier. And just like that, Dong-Ha is bagged again and dumped by the side of the road.
Jung-Bae (one of Kwang-Chul’s subordinates) messages Dong-Ha, telling him to be at Busan Station at 8. KTX headed for Seoul. While Dong-Ha finds himself slipping further into this shady world of business, Yeon-Woo’s troublemaking, Hyun-Woo’s loneliness and Eun-Joo’s depression all combine to make A Model Family one deliciously ironic title for Netflix’s latest K-drama.
The Episode Review
A Model Family is such an aptly titled show for the story being told, which is blending elements of Breaking Bad, Money Heist and Ozark together into a twisted and morally ambiguous thriller.
There’s a lot to like with this one, especially the dark underbelly of crime and Dong-Ha’s tumble down the rabbit hole into this seedy world of drugs and murder. Through his eyes we see how dangerous this world is and all of this came about off the back of covering up a few dead bodies.
Quite what will happen next in this one is anyone’s guess but one thing’s for sure – this conflict is far from over.