Following a 24 hour breather, Vagabond returns today for a more subdued episode this time around, one that sees Cha begin to piece together exactly who’s behind the conspiracy he’s stumbled upon. Despite some questionable shaky camera work during some of the more tense action sequences, Vagabond does well to keep things engaging and exciting, as the cliffhanger ending leaves things wide open going forward from here.
The Chief Negotiator Edward Park arrives to speak to the bereft families regarding those who died on the plane. However, they’re not happy to see him and begin throwing things as he enters the room. He tells them they should be angry as Dynamic Systems want them to settle for the lowest amount of money as possible. He goes on to say the plane took his wife and daughter’s lives too so he does understand how they all feel. It manages to do enough to subdue the crowds for now until Cha arrives.
Bloodied and bruised, Cha tells them someone survived the plane crash and that he was chasing the suspect, hence his lateness. It’s here he shows them the video from the plane and pauses it on the survivor from the flight. With grave faces all round, Cha and the others head to the airport where they find Jerome on CCTV. However the man he’s chasing doesn’t appear to have a scar on his face. As the families head home, deflated and annoyed at the wild goose chase Cha’s taken them on, Jerome gains intel from one of his associates, who tells him Cha’s actually a stuntman. He also receives a message to head home which he refuses to do.
Meanwhile, Cha arrives at Go’s house but after knocking on her front door, she pulls a gun on him from behind and questions why he’s there. However, he outsmarts her and turns the tables, tying her up to a chair and searching through her things to figure out who she is. He stumbles upon an NIS badge but, still not convinced, gets her to phone her office to verify the truth. It’s here we learn she’s definitely an NIS agent and Cha unties her, receiving a swift slap to the face for his troubles.
Convincing her to watch the tape, he heads outside and sees a shadowy figure in a car holding a gun. Inside, Go watches the footage before phoning the NIS where she speaks to Hwa-Suk. Given the man was on the phone in the background during the time of the video, she asks her to check the audio and try towork out what he’s saying. As they begin to manipulate the audio, a colleague helps tweak the channels as Hwa-Suk learns the man is speaking Spanish. Most of it is pretty cryptic although he does mention “14 hours 37 minutes”.
While the memorial service gets underway, the arrogant President Hong ignores his Defense Minister and continues to play Go with his advisor, while the families of the crash victims weep for their lost loved ones. At a press conference the media question Dynamic System’s involvement in an upcoming bid while Chief Gang is antagonized by another NIS member outside. As it would appear, some time in the past this man was clearly demoted but for now, his backstory remains a mystery as Go phones him and asks to see the black box from the plane.
Meanwhile the victims prepare for their flight back home after the memorial service, unbeknownst to them that Jerome is lurking in the distance. Cha, however, decides to stay behind and catch the terrorist, prompting him to leave in search of Cha. As we cut back to our protagonist, we see him attempting to access the videos from the cloud but to his horror, he finds everything deleted and his room a mess.
Figuring out it would have been one of the staff members at the hotel, he chases a cleaner into the kitchen before interrogating him over a boiling cooking pot. Saved at the last second, police bundle into the room and take Cha to Tangier police station. As Go catches wind of what’s happening, she heads there right away after learning that Hwa-Suk has interpreted the phone conversation from the video.
Once there she sees Cha blinded by rage as he accuses the cleaner at the hotel of being a co-conspirator with the shadowy man in the plane. Paranoid and unable to see reason despite evidence proving the man is innocent, Cha snaps. Seizing his opportunity, he holds the man up at knife-point and demands that he tell them the truth. A stand-off ensues soon after that sees Go put herself in the firing line until he finally lets the innocent man go, prompting the officers to grab and arrest him.
Unable to put the case to bed, Go investigates the conversations from the plane further and sees that the talks between the co-pilot and the shadowy man from the plane appear to match up. As Cha’s bail is posted and he’s released from custody, Go realizes that the flight was infact an act of terrorism and Cha isn’t insane.
With Go now on the same page, all eyes lead to the investigation taking a darker and more sinister turn from here. The big plot reveal around the co-pilot and Jerome working together is a pretty surprising twist, one I certainly didn’t see coming and opens a world of possibility going forward. Is the co-pilot alive too?
Despite all the positives, some of the camera work during the action scenes is frantic, to say the least. While I understand the need to shoot with handheld cameras during these segments, the scenes inside the kitchen feel awkwardly wobbly as the camera shakes around. Thankfully, a lot of this is disguised well with the quick pace but it’s also something worth keeping an eye on going forward.
Aside from that minor gripe, Vagabond continues to impress and the door is certainly left wide open for next week’s twin set of episodes. Quite what will happen next remains to be seen but there’s plenty to chew over ready for next Friday in the meantime.