Vagabond – Season 1 Episode 9 Recap & Review

The Plot Thickens

Following the dramatic cliffhanger last week, Vagabond returns for a really tense slice of K-drama this time around, one that ends on a massive cliffhanger and many questions hanging over the series as a whole. With a decent pacing and more revelations made about the companies vying for power at the centre of this one, Vagabond continues to feel like the Korean version of 24 but with enough action and twists to help it stand out.

The episode begins with the President deliberating over a speech intended for the opposition party. Despite the objections of Han-Ki, the President goes through with changes proposed by the other officials. Meanwhile Lilly waits outside the embassy as Cha is hooked up to transfuse blood to a weakened Kim Woo-Ki. After some time, Cha grows weaker prompting Hae-Ri to feed him and offer words of encouragement. She warns that if he keeps this pace up he may die, but it’s a price he’s willing to pay to find information about why his nephew died.

Jessica and the others reel over the possibility of the video of Kim Woo-Ki being uploaded but Min remains confident that their hidden trump card will come through for them. O Sang-Mi is easy to manipulate and as Jessica heads there herself, she offers to spare her life from the kidnappers if she cooperates. Reluctantly Sang-Mi agrees to play ball and is driven to the police station, where she turns herself in for her involvement with the plane crash.

At the same time, Director Min collects his task force after telling Cha he has 2 days to hold out. In private, he gives the assassins their mission; they must kill Cha and Kim Woo-Ki no matter what. If they do, then they’ll get a big reward when they return.

Joo-Cheol breaks free from his captors and quickly steals a phone, phoning through to powerful people to relay the message on to the President over what’s happening behind the scenes. Min bursts into the room to stop him but it’s too late, and Han-Ki is forced to watch in the Blue House as one of the other officials shares his secret about the President.

While Min interviews Joo-Cheol and forces him into an uncompromising situation, Cha reminisces on old times while Hae-Ri weeps for her dead comrades. As they sit and share dinner together, they await the arrival of the back-up team, unbeknownst to them that this will only spell more trouble. Throwing a spanner in the works, O Sang-Mi takes to the TV and tells them Kim Woo-Ki is alive. Furthermore, she goes on to reveal it was Dynamic who are to blame for the plane crashing, not John & Mark. Incredulous and angry, Edward Park confronts Jessica over the massive plot twist and tells her there’ll be hell to pay.

With a code-named chicken order “Vagabond” riling the NIS agents into action, the back-up team finally arrive spurring Lilly to end the stakeout and join the foray. As the guards enter, Cha shows them upstairs, unaware they’re actually assassins until Tae-Ung receives a call confirming his suspicions. Heading upstairs, he tells the guards to leave before Cha hears the soldiers preparing their weapons and gear for the attack at hand. After Hae-Ri knocks on the door, she notices the soldiers have silencers on their pistols and informs Cha.

He knocks on the door soon after and tells them he wants to speak about Kim Woo-Ki before ambushing them, hitting several guards and diving behind a table with the head assassin in his grasp. It’s enough of a distraction for Hae-Ri to grab Kim Woo-Ki and free him from his restraints, just as Park’s secretary phones through to Cha’s phone. Hae-Ri answers and after following the orders, heads into the room with Kim Woo-Ki by her side. Guns pointed at both sides of the room, the episode ends with a show down.

With some big melodramatic beats and plenty of tension hanging over the episode, Vagabond does well to continue delivering impressive action while furthering the main narrative. While some of the plot twists are a little far-fetched, for the most part the series draws inspiration from 24 and does well to mirror the same adrenaline-soaked, over-the-top narratives as that series. While some of the characters feel a little one-dimensional and archetypal, there’s enough variety with the action to make for an enjoyable watch nonetheless. Quite what will happen next remains to be seen but you certainly don’t want to miss tomorrow’s episode!


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