Episode 9 of Money Heist: Korea starts in the past, and more specifically, Vladivostok in Russia. The Professor meets with his contact where he reveals he has plans to buy a weapon, wanting to meet with his boss personally. This happens to be the group of rebels we saw previously that are now working with the Professor. They’re led by Berlin, and when he shows up, the Professor smiles and points out that they’re brothers. Given they both escaped North Korea together, losing comrades along the way, this explains their bond together.
The Professor shows a plan that his father started, intending to redistribute wealth and take out the Mint. This explains their motivation but of course, Berlin also has his personal vendetta against the warden too.
Back in the present, Woo-Jin has the whole HQ photographed but she suspects something is wrong. As they continue to search, the group uncover a bomb set to blow in 60 seconds! The Professor blows it up just as they all escape in time, but a raging fire destroys all the evidence inside. Good thing they all took pictures though!
Woo-Jin brings this to the Chief but she’s concerned that the bomb being rigged to go only after they’ve been there, along with Berlin’s stunt, could hint at larger things going on here. It all seems a bit fishy. For now, she interviews Tokyo and hooks her up to a lie detector where she talks about Berlin’s betrayal and how she’s been framed as a spy. Woo-Jin believes there’s an alternate reason for all this but Tokyo doesn’t give anything up. In fact, she’s thrown in the back of a SWAT van and moved to another location.
As we soon find out, Nairobi is the one who’s the real traitor here and it comes off the back of her son being threatened by Kim Sangman. She had no choice but to play along. Tokyo was actually in on this whole plan with being wheeled out with Berlin, knowing that this was their way to suss out the truth. Part of this plan involves Tokyo heading off on a self-proclaimed suicide mission, intent on saving Nairobi’s son from the worst.
Like clockwork, Tokyo is saved in the middle of being transported and the guards driving ARE held up at gunpoint. A dummy C4 is placed on the windshield to get them out, with the trained rebels revealed to be Berlin’s counter-government rebel group. With them out, the Professor keeps an eye on Captain Cha, pointing out that their goal is an uprising.
Kim Sangman is well aware of who this group are and a meeting is eventually put in place for the Warden to show up at the Mint, face to face with Berlin once more. While this occurs, the rebel group break into Sangman’s secure hideout and take out the guards, intent on bringing Nairobi’s child out to safety. There’s a really nice bit of camera work here as they fight through the waves of goons, with one continuous long shot with POV clips, Matrix-esque sequences and a rotating camera working beautifully.
Back at the Mint, the Warden switches things round and claims that Berlin actually raped and burned his daughter alive, trying to paint Berlin as the villain. Given this is streaming at the same time as the video inside the safehouse, Woo-Jin sends backup to help but it’s not needed. Seoul leads the charge alongside Tokyo to bring Nairobi’s son outside. They encourage him to head off with Woo-Jin, wanting her to bring him to safety. In doing so of course, that would allow the group to go free. But the life of an innocent boy is too much for Woo-Jin to turn away. There will be another opportunity.
That child though is not dead, and in fact is actually working with Berlin. She gives a speech about how he’s not innocent and that his stepdaughter is still alive and on this camera right now. She goes on to point out Sangman kidnapped Nairobi’s child and throws shade at the entire idea of the Unification.
Although Woo-Jin takes Nairobi’s child to an orphanage and knows they’ve done the right thing, she can’t help but feel she’s been played every step of the way. She laments that the Professor knows their every move and tries to work out what to do next.
All of this was the Professor’s plan, including Berlin making it seem like they’re political activists. Giving the people something to believe in, he knows that this will grow and it will allow them to enact the final stage of their plan. Part of that includes Berlin speaking to the hostages and offering them an enticing gig – they can leave the following day but if they choose to stay, then they’ll be given 3 billion won each.
The Episode Review
Money Heist: Korea turns the screw with a well shot episode of action and antics. Although the story is largely the same as what we’ve seen in the original Spanish version, there are also notable differences too that help this stand out.
The raid on the safehouse is one such example and it was really nicely shot too. It felt quite reminiscent of the elevator scene from fellow K-Drama Luca: The Beginning, although I appreciate that may be a slightly niche example for those who don’t follow all the K-dramas!
Either way though, this episode is a definite stand out, leaving everything wide open for where the story may go next.