Ace Up His Sleeve
Episode 3 of Insider starts with Yo-Han given an introduction to the intricacies of Texas Hold’Em. His genius mate on the other side of the cell begins reciting all the different combination of cards, prompting Yo-Han to begin imagining stacks of cards in front of him and working out the percentages.
There’s also chalk scribbles up the wall but this all happens to be his imagination.
When Yo-Han is released, he heads back to Song Doo-Chul, dropping to his knees and promising to make it all the way up to the top ranks – and paying him back too. Doo-Chul agrees and as a result, Yo-Han begins playing much more conservatively, thinking over what each of his competitors are doing and trying to work out if they’re bluffing or not… and Yo-Han wins!
With the winnings, he immediately approaches Woo-Sang and pays back what he owes, including a bit extra for labour… and damages. And just like that, Doo-Chul’s cronies all show up and begin beating down Woo-Sang and the others to make sure they don’t come after Yo-Han again.
In order for Yo-Han to move up the ranks, he needs to meet Sun-O and get on his good side. The only way to do that is for him to be sent to the infirmary. So as a result, Yo-Han’s ankle is busted pretty badly by Gil-San.
It seems to work though, and on crutches he heads over to try and find patient 3883 – Sun-o. As we know, he’s pretty chummy with the guards. Unfortunately, Yo-Han is spotted messing about in his room and as such, he’s brought before Sun-O.
On his knees, Yo-Han asks Sun-O to invite him into the top league. Instead, he uses a wrench to break the cast on Yo-Han’s leg. After seeing the injury himself, Sun-o decides to play a little game. With a card stuck to their forehead, whoever can guess the right card will win. The loser? They’re going to have a greeting with electricity.
Although Yo-Han guesses the right card, he’s also called out for lying about why he’s there – which was not part of the rules. A skirmish breaks out between the pair but Yo-Han plays possum, biding the right time before eventually striking Sun-O and electrocuting him.
Off the back of this, Yo-Han is granted access to a special guest who has asked for him personally – Oh Su-Yeon. She promises to be whatever he wants her to be. The meeting is brief, as he’s given a business card and is eventually introduced to Warden Ha Sang-Soo.
The warden wants to know who his visitor was from the Department Of Justice. He tries to play the nice-guy act, leading Yo-Han to lie and decide she’s an acquaintance from outside.
Yo-Han turns the tables and asks about moving up the leagues. The Warden confirms the only way to get out and move up is to beat Sun-o. But he’s the master of gambling… unless he can get Tae-Gwang involved of course.
Managing to get himself a phone call, Yo-Han rings Su-Yeon and asks for money and the details for the inmate in solitary confinement next to him. It’s not Tae-Gwang though. It’s actually one of Sun-o’s disciples!
When he meets the guy in private, he has Yo-Han call him Professor for the time being. Whilst they talk, Yo-Han tries to convince him to organize a meeting with Tae-Gwang outside the infirmary. It’s no good though and he refuses… at least to begin with.
When Doo-Chul looks close to hurting Yo-Han’s ankle again, impatient with how long this is taking for him to move up the ranks, the Professor intervenes and takes him away.
In private, the Professor gives Yo-Han a way to move up the ranks to the 1st league without Sun-O’s blessing. Moving into the 2nd league requires inmates to be sponsored by different guards. If he can convince someone incredibly powerful (like the security manager) to invest in him, that would get on the warden’s good side.
The Security Manager drives a hard bargain, that being a 60% cut. He won’t budge on that either, meaning Yo-Han is in hard and that could cause problems going forward.
Anyway, the game goes ahead but after folding on the first round, Sun-o suddenly shows up and intervenes, playing as the dealer. This certainly rattles Yo-Han, who finds himself in a precarious position round a table of sharks just waiting to strike him out.
Yo-Han is aware of what’s going on and it appears the table are conspiring against him. Part of this scam comes from different tells, whether it be hand symbols or the colour of chips. This seems to be what’s going on here, although Yo-Han is confused over whether Sun-O’s hand symbols are a sign of him helping or hindering him.
He decides it may be the former and decides to take a leap of faith. Going all-in against a rival competitor called Monk, the final card is turned and… it has no side. It appears to be an ace. Yo-Han has been scammed and unfortunately, the chips are not in his favour after going all-in. Uh oh.
The Episode Review
I know there wasn’t a whole lot of progression in this episode, and the Poker isn’t great either (especially if you know how to play Poker at a top level!) but goddamn is it nerve-wracking! That card fame at the end of the episode had me on the edge of my seat and I’d imagine that’s probably the same for others watching too.
JTBC look to be onto another winner here, although this may be a bit of a dark horse too, given it’s competing with Eve which I’d imagine is going to be the more mainstream appealing choice.
Yo-Han getting into league 2 this early in the show is a bit of a surprise too and that’s slightly concerning, especially if we’re gong to see Yo-Han in prison or taking down the group from the inside.
Either way, this is shaping up to be a very intriguing drama and the ending certainly hints that a world of pain is about to come Yo-Han’s way after losing that hand!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!