Payback – K-drama Episode 2 Recap & Review

Train To Bluenet

Episode 2 of Payback: Money and Power starts in 1990 as a man on a train causes a whole load of grief. Eun-yong is there and he’s only been out of juvie for two days so he decides not to get involved. Only, a girl suddenly arrives and takes his umbrella, deciding to confront the men.

When more arrive from the other side of the carriage, Eun-yong senses things are about to pick up and he gets involved too.

The pair work together to fight off the goons and all the gangsters are arrested.. only, so too are Eun-yong and the schoolgirl. That girl happens to be Park Joong-gyeong, the woman we saw at the end of the previous episode. Her guardian, Hye-rin, shows up to get her out. She’s the CEO of Bluenet that’s destined to commit suicide in the future of this timeline. Hye-rin is kind and helps Eun-yong out, given he saved Joon-gyeong when she needed help.

Given Eun-yong has nowhere else to go, he’s invited over to Hye-rin’s place. She has tofu for him and has even signed off as his guardian. She doesn’t care about his history, although she’s surprised when he tells her he robbed a bank and took a good chunk of change in the process. She encourages him to stop committing crimes and to join her at Bluenet. It’s the first adult to actually treat Eun-yong as such, and that explains why her suicide is a massive deal for Eun-yong and hits so hard.

That much is especially true in the present, as Eun-yong looks over his old emails and sees messages from Joon-gyeong telling him that her mother needs help and is in trouble.

In 2010, we skip forward and see Hye-rin under the spotlight. She’s questioned surrounded Minister Son’s secretary’s work diary. Within the pages, “Bluenet Yoon, 5000” is scribbled. Hye-rin ends up being accused of bribing Minister Son Seung-jun by giving him $50,000. Gi-seok was the one overseeing this.

Minister Son was forced to withdraw his candidacy due to the bribery charges against him, while the investigation fizzled out once he resigned. As for the suicide, the camera footage shows the camera stopped on the road and then suddenly speeding forward and off the edge of the cliff. Eun-yong watches this and is convinced there’s no way she would do this.

After the unpleasant situation involving GMI Bank last episode, the present timeline sees our group of antagonists gathered together discussing their next move. Among them is Gi-seok, In-ju and Chang-hyun. Gi-seok decides to take the reigns on this and stop the investigation.

The group spit up, with Kim Seong-tae showing up to see Tae-chun. The latter is sent up to Special Investigations off the back of this, with Chief Gi-seok calling him into his office. He butters up Tae-chun, offering him a place at Special Investigations and telling him he’s good in the face of the public. It’s an enticing offer, but of course this is a way of getting him off the case and diverting his attention elsewhere.

To destroy evidence, In-ju and the others decide to delist GMI Bank to try and weasel out of the stock manipulation charges. Eun-yong notices all of this and decides they need to take down CEO Oh as their number 1 priority. However, in doing so this means diving into cartel land, something Eun-yong has a lot of experience with.

Back in 2003 Eun-yong branches out from In-ju’s cartel and decides to go his own way. In doing so, he ends up striking a deal with Hye-jin and Bluenet. Now, it’s around this time that Eun-yong had a run in with In-ju. The last job he does for him happens to be when everything goes south. Myung’s goons drive straight into Eun-yong and almost kill him. Surrounded by In-ju’s goons, he’s beaten down until the boss shows.

In-ju is doing all of this because Eun-yong is the proverbial golden goose of their operation. After beating him down, Myung forces him to sign over the stocks and threatens his family’s life if he doesn’t comply. Eun-yong manages to get away though, eventually scrambling to safety. Unfortunately, his sister is not so lucky.

As the stocks plummet, forced over to Chairman Myung, Eun-yong decides to work with Hye-rin and manipulate the market to their advantage, turning the tide completely. Myung does his best to win the media over to their side, but it’s no good. Under Eun-yong’s guidance, Hye-rin takes the next step and patents her chip technology for the US.

Eun-yong shows up to see Chairman Myung at a tense dinner, taunting the chairman and telling him they’ll settle things peacefully, with Eun-yong leaving the country. He warns Myung not to harm his family as a condition of him doing this. If he breaks the pact, Eun-yong vows to return and bring the fight right to his doorstep. Now that Hye-rin is dead, things are heating up and this is exemplified by the end, as Eun-yong shows up to see Joon-gyeong in the present, shielding her with his umbrella.


The Episode Review

This follow-up chapter does a great job explaining the history between Chairman Myung and Eun-yong, along with the deep-rooted issues that go back a long way with his shady dealings. It’s clear that this little criminal ring is going to be taken down sooner or later, and it could be a case of chipping away at it a little bit at a time, like k-dramas such as Again My Life.

The ties with Hye-rin and Joon-gyeong now make much more sense too, which is good, and although Tae-chun only features a little bit here, it’s enough to understand the confliction he’s going to have moving forward with all this.

Either way though, Payback is shaping up to be a decent watch and next week’s double-bill should be great.

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3.5

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