Vagabond – Season 1 Episode 14 Recap & Review


 

The Political Coup

With next week’s finale looming on the horizon, Vagabond injects one last dose of drama here as we see the political landscape begin to shift in the wake of Jessica and Min being arrested. As Cha and Hae-Ri scramble to find Jerome, Prime Minister Hong finally makes his move, leaving things wide open for the final two episodes of this action thriller.

In the aftermath of what happened before, Joo-Cheol sits before Min and grills him over his involvement. He tells him to write everything down before leaving the room. As he does, Hae-Ri returns to rapturous applause as Tae-Ung gives her some flowers and they pay their respects to those they’ve lost. At the same time, we return to Cha receiving his mysterious phone call, told to turn around where Lilly sits in her car across the street. It turns out the video has been sent from Jessica and she wants to see him. Hanging up, Lilly drives off leaving Cha to phone Hae-Ri and tell her what happened. Desperate to make a good impression, she puts her makeup and perfume on before joining him in his car.

As requested, they head into prison and see Jessica who tells them she didn’t order the plane crash, someone else did. However, it’s here they also learn that Sang-Mi has been released from prison. This poses a very interesting question for them – what if she had more to do with this than she’s initially letting on? We don’t have long to find out either, as Sang-Mi phones through to a mysterious number and demands they transfer 20 million won to her account or face her exposing everything to the police.

While the message is released, Kim Woo-Ki is sedated and put back into bed after hiding in a storage cupboard. After threatening him to keep quiet or face the consequences, he’s allowed to meet with Hae-Ri and Cha who ask him questions about Jerome. While watchful eyes spy him from afar, Kim feigns psychotic symptoms while telling them he knows nothing. However, when Hae-Ri brings up the name Jerome, it triggers something inside him that sees him flash back to Morocco. Deciding to risk everything, he tells them Jerome is there as he’s taken away for “treatment” by the guards.

Meanwhile, we learn that Han-Ki is alive and well too, kept guarded in the hospital where it turns out he didn’t kill himself, someone planted the charcoal in his car. Prime Minister Hong offers him an ultimatum and as he speaks, he tells Han-Ki he’s a real patriot, prompting him to silently weep in bed.



After leaving, he phones Cha and invites him to meet at the Hotel. As it happens, it turns out he’s actually gathered a lot of other people, including Kwang-Deok, for a press conference behind the President’s back. It turns out he has a recording from Jessica about the President being bribed. He goes on to tell them Han-Ki took the full brunt of the public’s attack as the President used him as a human shield. It turns out the reason he took the plunge and admitted the truth is thanks to the bereaved families bringing Kim into court.

In retaliation, the President calls an emergency meeting while requesting to speak to Han-Ki, sensing a coup on the horizon. While he rests, he tells him he mustn’t wake up for a decade before leaving, as he shakes in bed.

While Cha, Hae-Ri and Tae-Ung discuss what happened, they contemplate whether Sang-Mi was released by Hong as a bargaining tool. It’s something that certainly seems credible, and while they look into this, Joo-Cheol frantically searches for Jerome’s location.

Meanwhile, the President speaks to his advisors and reporters about the press conference and tells them it’s simply a political coup to try and overthrow him. However, partway through he’s informed that Prime Minister Hong has arrived. Confronting him, he tells Son-Joon he’s fired but he laughs off the order and tells him if he does that, the people will demand the President be impeached and back his claims up. This tips the President over the edge and he immediately asks for a meeting with the party leaders before promising to fight for his position.

Heading out for dinner with the bereaved families, Cha asks Hong outright about Sang-Mi and Jo, calling him out on his plan. As an awkward silence descends over the room, outside Edward Park arrives and prepares to speak to Cha.

Meanwhile, Sang-Mi manages to escape from her assailants, losing them on the subway momentarily, while Park and Cha discuss the political landscape being shifted. Midway through eating, Cha receives a call from Sang-Mi who asks to meet with him. It turns out she has evidence against those responsible for the crash but as she notices Jerome, she makes a run for it. Hiding inside a local store, Cha calls the police before hurrying in too, where Jerome stalks Sang-Mi. With all three now together a game of cat and mouse ensues, ending with Jerome and Cha face to face where we leave the episode.

After all this time, Cha finally looks set to get his revenge on Jerome after everything that’s transpired over the season. While the latter half of this show has lacked the same dramatic intensity those early episodes managed to achieve so effortlessly, there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable watch nonetheless. Quite what next week holds in store for us remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – it’s going to be one heck of a finale!

 

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