Big Bet – K-Drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Ten-Year Debt

Episode 3 of Big Bet starts with Moo-Sik promising to pay Sang-Gu and his goons back for the money he’s borrowed. He warns them against threatening him with guns though, but that’s the least of his problems. Moo-Sik is back to starting from scratch, although Seok-Jun offers him a solution. He encourages him to be his business partner in the casino business, having seen promise from his earlier endeavours.

Moo-Sik next heads to the airport, where he’s encouraged by Joon-Hyun to try to sweeten things out with the NTS, that way they might even lower the charges and the amount he needs to pay. He could go to prison and have to pay a huge fine, but it’s curious as to why Moo-Sik hasn’t been charged just yet. He’s spoken to a tax accountant who decides the best course of action is to tell the NTS he has no money and try to strike a deal. Just then though, Moo-Sok receives a text from his mum. Kyung-Duk has passed away.

We then cut back to Daejeon in 1983. Moo-Sik’s teacher, Jin-Seok, scolds Moo-Sik for always getting in trouble so as a result, he’s tasked with looking after his kid. Back home, Kyung-Duk throws some money his way to buy “antibiotics”. In reality, he’s actually a junkie and has got his son to go out and buy drugs for him. Unfortunately it seems addiction runs throughout this family.

Moo-Sik keeps his promise to Jin-Seok though and heads over to look after Chaerin, his daughter. Despite falling asleep on the sofa, Jin-Seok sees potential. He encourages Moo-Sik to go to college and make his mum happy. He even gets an envelope full of 100,000 won. “Study hard, and dream big.” Jin-Seok says.

When Moo-Sik heads home, he finds his dad coming at Suk-Ja with a knife. Moo-Sik has had enough. He pushes Kyung-Duk over, who’s clearly high on drugs. He warns his father not to come near them and walks away.

Moo-Sik does show up to see the NTS, and learns his fate. He’s given a surcharge of 8 billion won. It’s considerably less than 45 billion that Chi-Young was given… but it’s not enough. Moo-Sik tries to fight his case, claiming that he’s given all of his money away. He also tries to pin the blame on Chi-Young, which doesn’t go down well.

Moo-Sik manages to talk them all the way down to 16 million won but even that’s not enough. Eventually he gets them to take 90% off the main amount, even dropping to his knees and begging. It works an absolute treat!

Moo-Sik returns to Manila and pays back Sang-Gu with interest. He encourages Sang-Gu not to use guns, given it betrays trust. He even suggests Sang-Gu come onboard with his new operation, with 5% commission and working to ferry money around. Before they part ways, Sang-Gu reveals the truth about what Dongeok really thinks of Moo-Sik. We saw some of this last episode but here, Sang-Gu breaks the news that he’s being played.

Moo-Sik meets with his high school friend and decides to sever ties. After reciting Sang-Gu’s words, Dongeok looks angry and smashes a glass on the table. Moo-Sik calls his bluff and tries to have him stab our protagonist with a pair of scissors. He can’t do it. And realizing Sang-Gu was telling the truth, berates the man and tells him not to call himself a gangster again.

After doing business with Seok-Jun for so long, Moo-Sik manages to get a lucrative sum of money – and a new opportunity. He’s sent out to recover funds stolen from the casino. Part of this includes heading back to Korea to pick up Mr Min’s crap bonds and repay the money taken. He’s pretty good at it too, learning intimidation tactics from his father, and managing to get the funds back one way or another.

Our flashbacks this episode take us back to 1987, where Moo-Sik’s carpentry teacher encourages him to lower his standards. Despite scoring a 285 in his tests (a really high and impressive score, allowing him to get into any college) Moo-Sik is forced to attend an easy technical school in Daejeon, somewhere he ironically met his wife to be.

With protests starting up through the streets, Moo-Sik finds himself caught right in the middle of it all. As students are beaten down by police, Moo-Sik notices Su-Jin (his wife to be) grabbed by an officer. He fights them off and tries to save her, but as a result, he’s arrested.

The detectives at the police station are convinced he was in on the whole protest, and it’s not helped by everyone outside chanting “Release Cha Moo-Sik”. Suk-Ja shows up at the police station, crying, believing that Moo-Sik is now a communist. Well, skip forward in time and he ends up becoming a spokesperson on the student council, standing up to give a big speech.


The Episode Review

Big Bet’s third episode meanders a little and immediately sees Moo-Sik land back on his feet after seemingly hinting that he was going to struggle and be forced to eke out a living. It’s a bit disappointing to suddenly see that changed and Moo-Sik succeed again so quickly.

Beyond that though, the show has a certain edge to it and Moo-Sk’s character is Interesting and well defined. The flashbacks really help to flesh this out further, and the past couple of episodes we’ve seen the 70s and 80’s in more detail, interweaving that around real life events, like the student protests. The ending hints that we’ve got lots more drama to come and next week’s episode should be quite the intriguing watch.

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3.5

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