Payback – K-drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

Assembling The Troops

Episode 3 of Payback begins with Eun-yong returning to Korea and meeting with Jun-kyeong. He apologizes for not seeing her email and for his lateness.

Before we can see anything transpire, our focus switches back to 2003, as we see Eun-yong and Jun-kyeong eating ang drinking together. Eun-yong is preparing to head abroad and make lots of money, but the pair toast before he does. She tells him to stay healthy and come back when he’s made enough money.

Thus, Eun-yong is back with his extra funds and he’s invited over to Jun-kyeong’s place during our present timeline. He takes in the surroundings and  notices she’s done her homework on their targets. In fact, all the details surrounding our shady characters, including In-ju and Chairman Oh, are pinned up on the wall. “This fight isn’t for you alone.” Eun-yong reminds her.

In 2010, we see Hye-rin ready to try and ride the wave of controversy in the wake of this ongoing investigation into Bluenet. Jun-kyeong is angry when she learns Hye-rin is at the center of this and being investigated for bribery. She tries to claim foul play but Gi-seok waves it away and tells her that only she can save her mother and right now, she shouldn’t be rash.

Jun-kyeong takes a deal for her mother in a bid to protect her and Bluenet. She fabricates evidence as Gi-seok initially suggested for her. Thankfully, Hye-rin is found not guilty… but Jun-kyeong is not so lucky. She’s incriminated for forgery of documents and takes the fall for her mum. The last message Hye-rin sent was actually a voicemail to Son Seung-Jin, telling him that she’s the one who forged the documents. She then ran her car off the cliff.

When Eun-yong hears this story, he’s overcome with anger and decides to use everything he has to take them down. Jun-kyeong is also here for that too, but their duo soon turns to a trio as the episode turns to its latter stages.

Before we get to that though, Tae-chun is brought in to see Gi-seok. They head down to the first floor where a whole bunch of press are outside. Assemblyman Baek’s suspicions about the attorney general is big news, but Gi-seok uses Tae-chun as a shield, claiming he’s been working diligently to do everything he can to get through all these criminals investigations.

Gi-seok essentially throws Tae-chun into the deep end and has him speak to the press. Tae-chun brings up the unfair class wars, dismissing evidence of working vindictively and going on to mention how he’s desperate to help the country. This sort of recognition is good for Tae-chun, especially given his past issues at school involving his teacher abusing him, which is a stark contrast to the billboards currently plastering his name in a positive light.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Tae-chun’s mother has been diagnosed with alcoholic dementia. As a result, she doesn’t even recognize her own son. However, Eun-yong is a bright spot in his life, super happy that his nephew has made it as a prosecutor. With Eun-yong’s help, Tae-chun learns more about short selling and how Myung’s stranglehold over this makes it so different CEOs – like that at Gwangwoon Industrial – are forced to pay extra interest after being squeezed out the market. Lower prices mean higher gains and as a result, Myung can easily rake in billions from others’ misfortunes.

Myung doesn’t even care when the man commits suicide and falls rom the roof of the building. This was actually the turning point for Eun-yong, who realizes that Myung is a crook. He even had letters prepared for all those CEOs he believed were going to commit suicide.

With all this in mind, Eun-yong warns Tae-chun that he’s not to take any of Hwang Gi-seok’s offers if he’s to take Myung in and arrest him. Jun-kyeong is wise to Gi-seok’s games too and when they meet for drinks that night, she’s quick to point out that he’s in running with Myung and she has her guard up.

Eun-yong continues to make moves, while Seong-tae manages to sign the stock waiver form for Myung. However, he’s a little jittery given Tae-chun is in charge of his case. He rings Gi-seok and asks for the immigration records, pointing out the familial ties between Tae-chun and Eun-yong. This is almost certainly going to go badly, but we’ll have to wit and see how this plays out in the episodes ahead.

Tae-chun meets with Jun-kyeong who’s part of this now. She’s not exactly enthused with Tae-chun’s demeanor and how he wants to do everything by the book. The thing is, Gi-seok is a master at playing the crowd and he knows exactly how to work things in his favour. The trio need to be careful going forward from here. Eun-yong though, promises to make him the highest-level prosecutor in the country if they work together. Holding out his hand while standing on the edge of the balcony, we’re left with a tasty little cliffhanger.

The Episode Review

Payback returns this week with another dramatic episode, although we don’t really see all that much in terms of plot or character growth. To be fair, we do see Hye-rin’s last moments and how Jun-kyeong factors into this but in terms of Eun-yong and Tae-chun’s mission in the present, the flashbacks are more revealing than the present-day timeline right now.

Despite that, Payback has enough going for it to make for an intriguing watch, even if its premise isn’t wholly original.

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