Penultimate Power Plays
Vagabond’s second half to this series has been plagued with delays and false starts. The week breaks this show has suffered from certainly appears to have hurt the momentum of the show, despite a decent enough penultimate episode. As home truths are revealed and Cha finds himself stuck in a fiery inferno at the end, everything here feels geared up toward the climactic finale where Vagabond looks like it’s ready to end things on a high.
We begin at the psychiatric hospital, with Tae-Ung and Hae-Ri entering the room and finding Kim Woo-Ki’s blood-spattered cell empty. As the task-force get to work trying to find him, this brings us back to Cha who goes toe to toe with Jerome. Unfortunately he gets to Sang-Mi first and stabs her in the neck. Just before she dies however, Cha rushes to her side and she sounds out the word “Samael” while drawing out a word in hangul on the ground.
Feeding this back to Joo-Cheol and the others, they discuss what this may mean before Cha has a shower and realizes that Jerome may hold the clue. However, as he hurries out the shower, Hae-Ri happens to be right there and awkwardness ensues as he hides from her and she tells him she didn’t see anything. It’s one of the funniest moments in the entire series too and the way this completely comes out of left-field is the perfect example of how to inject comedy naturally into a series without ever offsetting the seriousness of the situation at hand.
Meanwhile, Jerome holds Kim Woo-Ki captive, who requests to be taken to Samael. Jerome refuses of course, but he does have enough compassion to let him have a drink while tied to the ceiling. At the same time, Hae-Ri and Cha head in to prison where thy speak to Jessica, showing her the blood-stained message from Sang-Mi and asking about Samael. After learning that he double-crossed her, Cha stops the President’s car and asks him if someone is setting him up. Piquing his interest, in private they speak together where Cha asks if Hong was one of the accomplices.
After berating him for his lack of action, back at the hospital Han-Ki is taken outside where the Press berate him with questions. He promises to tell the truth but only infront of the investigation team. There, he gives them the secret password and account details to his computer that holds all the files they need. With this information, news gets out over the John&Michael deal, causing President Jeung to become impeached.
Soon after, Edward Park phones Cha and requests a meeting. However, en-route to his location Cha realizes that Mickey, Park’s assistant, may well be part of the terrorist group, especially given the tattoo they all appear to have in common. Once together, he tells Park about Sang-Mi before seeing the tattoo on Mickey’s forearm, backing up his claims. With his guard up, Park tries in vain to catch him out and tries to stab him. It turns out Park was responsible for saving Cha in Morocco too, as he needed to use him to find Kim Woo-Ki. As he continues to divulge details about the past, he spills the sickening details around what he has planned for Cha.
With a bomb planted in the bag at the Subway the bereaved families are eating dinner at, Cha is forced to put his gun down from Park’s head; if he needed more convincing, a sniper trains his gun up at Hae-Ri’s head too. Out of options, he’s forced to drop the gun before being knocked out. After tying him up to the ceiling, Park has his guards pour oil around the complex before lighting it on fire, with Woo-Ki and Cha trapped inside the building as the fire continues to spread.
With a big cliffhanger ending and the truth finally out, the finale looks set to wrap up all our loose plot threads and bring Edward Park to justice. For the most part the episode does well to keep things interesting, although this time out the big twists all feel geared toward making the finale as interesting and intense as possible. That’s a good thing of course and Vagabond looks set to end things in explosive fashion tomorrow. Quite what the future holds for our characters though remains to be seen.