Taking A Breather
Following a few episodes of non-stop action, Vagabond stops to catch its breath this week, with a much more subdued slice of drama. As we see more about the investigation, all of this culminates in a climactic finale that leaves things wide open for tomorrow’s episode.
Cha begins by confronting Jessica about the plane crash, threatening her before she tells him she feels sorry for him. After addressing the media and telling them Cha’s claims about the crash are false, Hae-Ri almost gets fired after confronting her boss, before visiting Joo-Cheol and asking him about the files on Michael. Getting nowhere, she eventually runs into Officer Min in the hallway who tells her to be hopelessly average and blend in, which she of course won’t do.
After an incident in the records room involving a flash drive corrupted with a virus, she meets up with Cha who’s convinced someone is working as a mole inside the NIS. Unable to do anything to change it, Cha loses his temper as Hae-Ri tells him things are hard for her too, unable to question her bosses for fear of being fired.
It’s an emotional reveal and one that sees both Cha and Hae-Ri reflecting in quiet solitude back home that night. Crying, as night turns to day Hae-Ri awakens to see a news report about the Blue House. Telling him she’s coming over, Cha prepares for Hae-Ri’s arrival before a knock at the door sees a disguised Lilly finally catching up to him. As he opens the door, she sprays his face, knocking him out cold. As Hae-Ri arrives, she realizes the ambulance that passed her on the way in is holding Cha’s body and calls for reinforcements, telling them Cha’s been kidnapped. In the ambulance, Cha fights his way free after coming to, only to see the vehicle capsize as the police catch up. Both Lilly and her right-hand man manage to slip away before they arrive too.
Meanwhile, the families are met by the President in the Blue House, prompting Cha to race there to stop an impending threat that may be brewing. Using his stunt man abilities, he manages to thwart the guards before eventually being outnumbered and surrounded. Telling them he’s a victim too, he demands to see the President before eventually being arrested. However, one of the Ministers overrules the arrest and allows Cha to come inside. It’s here he tells the President the truth – that the plane was hijacked. He goes on to play the video recording before confronting Kim’s wife and asking where the co-pilot is. As it happens, he’s in hiding in a darkened room, snorting cocaine from the looks of it, but for now that information is hidden from our protagonist.
Hae-Ri deliberates over her resignation letter and as she hands it to Min, he tears it up and tells her if she admits to her mistakes, he’ll have to resign too.
As Cha sits and discusses matters with the President and his advisors, he asks that Hae-Ri not be fired for disclosing this information to him and that he believes John & Mark may be behind the attack. After being taken to a safe house, the President berates his advisors while Hae-Ri and the other NIS agents are briefed.
As the episode closes out, Jessica meets the man whom they refer to as Shadow, shocked at who it is. As we cut back to Cha, we learn his trip to the safe-house may not be as safe after all as we’re left with one agonizing question – who is the mole?
Although not quite as action-packed as previous episodes, Vagabond still does well here and crucially, the ambulance segment managed to avoid a lot of the shaky camera movements we’ve seen in previous episodes. Between that set piece and Cha thwarting the guards outside, a lot of the episode this week has been dominated by political scheming and building up evidence for the investigation. Given how this one ended, I’d assume tomorrow’s episode will be pretty dramatic but for now, we’ll have to wait and see how this one plays out.