Thoughts on “Last”–Episode 9

I don’t know about anyone else, but I prefer my villains in a K-drama to be interesting. Multi-layered. Maybe even worthy of a moment of sympathy from me here and there, or a strong wish that they would “see the light” and walk away from the situation. One-note baddies don’t do it for me. I prefer complex motivations over “I’m a jerk with money and power, so I can do whatever I want.” I think that’s why I like this show so much–KHS is evil in ‘tiramisu’ form–he’s got layer upon layer of anger and revenge going on in his head, with greed and power in between. He’s one of my favorite “bad guys I love to hate”. I haven’t enjoyed a baddie quite like KHS since the Dad character in “City Hunter”.

*All screencaps from Tiveee.com*

Episode 9 starts with a flashback to KHS showing TH the safe with pallets of cash–and asking TH if he wants to take the doughpile from him by force, or perhaps he would rather choose Door #2:

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TH, you better think about this carefully. Both Door #1 and Door #2 have some serious drawbacks, like, yunno….jail, or death. Just a couple of things you might wanna think about here. TH is thinking it over, and I am concerned. His over confidence is still right in the front of his brain, and there’s some leftover greed from his past too. The question for me is: Will TH give up the greed and choose a better path, or will his overconfidence be his demise?

TH meets NR after she finishes her night shift at the hospital, and they bicker gently until she finally takes him to Halmoni’s restaurant. He notes that she only fixed him a meal, but did not get herself anything to eat. When she demurs and says she will eat later, TH comes up with this line of irony:

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*snort* Yeah, right! There is no possible way this dude is ugly.  He follows this up with a mega-watt smile:

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NR–how could you resist that smile?! Even the screencap doesn’t do it justice…

They do eat together, as Halmoni, Foreman Oh and Hacker dude watch like Junior High kids from across the alley. TH discloses that he was a stock trader–and a darn fine one too. He made a lot of money–he claims it to be 10 times what the average salaried employee would make. Hmmm. Shamrockmom is always interested in the money; how much and where did it go…this site says the average monthly salary in SK is roughly 5.1 million Won, so that translates into USD– a little over $4300/month. So TH was making $43,000/month? Whoa! That’s some serious moola right there! NR asks TH if he’s repenting or bragging, to which TH replies–I’m remorseful:

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Na Ra and I both agree that he doesn’t really seem all that humble now either! TH does admit that after everything went south on him, and he came to Seoul Station, he realized that what was inside wasn’t too pretty either. NR says she’s not worthy to hear his confession, but TH wants to tell at least one person how he got here–and she gets the honors because after he became homeless:

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NR counters with a request of her own:

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She doesn’t want him to get hurt, or for him to hurt anyone else. OK, that’s a pretty fair request. TH agrees, but only if he can come to Halmoni’s and eat anytime he wants! Heh. The way to a man’s heart…..maybe I should learn to cook. Nah!

Straw Cutter is in his jail cell, reading the Bible. Interesting…I wonder what kind of attitude this show will have toward Christians. Will it show them as hypocrites (like SLA) or will it put a more positive spin on things? Poison Snake and Crocodile are waiting for their boss, and they seem genuinely happy to see each other. Crocodile offers SC a cigarette, and he gives them the new 411–he’s quit.

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PS and Crocodile look a little shocked, and then SC asks where Sargeant and Snake Eye are. Uh, oh.

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SC asks if HS is the same, and when PS nods yes, SC says he wants to see the Boss. Meanwhile, the #1 Big Boss has obviously hired LSPJ’s tailor and stylist. Check out this green suit that Kermit the Frog wishes he owned!

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Unfortunately, Tiveee.com is still having technical issues, so the screencaps aren’t in HD–which is a shame, because on my 50″ Samsung HDTV, that’s one heckuva grass green suit! Mantis goes over KHS’s itinerary for the day, and also reminds him that SC is being released from prison. Mantis mentions that SC is gonna go looking around for the Sergeant. KHS asks if PS or Crocodile are acting weird, but Mantis denies it. Then KHS blows me away with this statement:

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Whoa! Just as I was starting to feel a teensy bit sympathetic to KHS, who sacrificed himself to take care of his little brother after they became homeless, I realize that was a major mistake on my part. KHS is loyal….only to himself, and whoever he needs right then and there. If you are no longer needed, you are disposable. Dang. Then in a moment of pure foreshadowing, the record with “Heidenroslein” begins to skip; it was obviously damaged in the epic 3 vs. 20 brawl, even though HS tried to protect it.

Back at the “office”, TH gets teased by Foreman Oh for eating breakfast with NR. I swear that men never get past a Junior-High school level of teasing each other about a girl. HJ talks to TH up on the roof, and asks him the burning question. Hint: it’s not about Na Ra:

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Taking out LSPJ was one thing, because their lives were on the line. But being KHS’s buddy, and dragging all of the guys into the Mi Rae city project …HJ is not down with that. TH offers the carrot:

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Which fails to impress HJ in the least. TH says he’s tires of eating at soup kitchens and sleeping on cardboard–but hey, if HJ wants to go back, he can leave anytime!

RJG goes to some boxing clubs to see if he can start competing again (?) but is turned down. He goes to the club/Lair and crashes.  That’s where MJ finds him:

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She gives him some hassle over being there after he supposedly quit drinking, and he asks her to continue to get help finding Eun Ji. She declines and tells him he needs to find his own daughter himself. I’m kind of puzzled….it seems like she is building a wall between them. Is she doing this because she plans to sacrifice herself somehow for his (or Eun Ji’s) benefit? MJ also lets RJG know that SC is released from jail too.

SC gets back to Seoul Station, and my first thought is that SC is like the Pope walking through the streets. Serious adulation from his fans here:

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SC cuts a very symbolic religious figure with his collared black shirt. HJ gives everyone the backstory of SC; he apparently killed a homeless guy 5 years ago over almost nothing, and he’s been away in prison since. The Chairman sagely asks the other guys to find out info on SC–so TH will have one less thing on his mind. For a guy who supposedly has some kind of dementia, that’s some mighty fine advice!

There is a tense meet-up with the remaining dudes of the Seoul Seven at the Club; they wait expectantly for SC to make an appearance. MJ warns her Boss that the rumor is going around:

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Which is true–KHS gave the order to his trusted right-hand Mantis to do the dirty work. KHS tells her not to worry about it, and take care of RJG. MJ puts her boss on the hot seat:

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Oh ho! So KHS knows where RJG’s long lost daughter is, and he’s been keeping the info hidden from RJG? That’s some messed up stuff…gosh, what a controlling jerk he is. KHS touches MJ’s face in a creepy way, but doesn’t answer the question.

Back at Seoul Station, the homeless community is having a celebratory dinner for SC. He seems thankful for the snacks and soda pop, turns down a shot of soju, and tells the guys to “not commit sins”. HJ and Hacker dude are on the fringes, watching this, and Hacker is confused:

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SC asks about Sergeant, and the guys tell him that they’ve searched everywhere, but have not seen him at all. HJ decides to get into this conversation, and fanboys SC like he was a K-pop star:

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Which totally backfires on him. SC asks HJ what was so great about having others tremble in fear at his name. Wow. I guess maybe SC did change in prison. Everyone gets real uncomfortable, real quick. SC grabs HJ by the collar in a menacing way, noting that HJ has been watching him. Just then, Mantis stops by to break up the not-so-fun and games.

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TH gets a surprise “gift” from KHS: it seems LSPJ’s Head Thug has turned himself into the police:

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KHS promised to take care of the Head Thug’s underlings, and now TH is off the hook for Min Soo’s death. TH’s poker face gives KHS pause:

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I hope TH is getting the clue here….KHS is totally manipulative; administering both ‘the illness and the medicine’ as the saying goes. TH is a little dimmer than I thought he would be–when he asks KHS about LSPJ’s whereabouts, he gets this comment:

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TH, did you really think that LSPJ was still alive?? KHS also reveals that he has connections in the Securities Fraud department and in the Seoul Police department (*chuckle*), and he will continue to work on TH’s behalf to clear his name. Oh, so that is how you ensnare those around you in a web. Well done KHS. He spells it out a little more clearly for TH:

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SC and KHS meet in the Penthouse/Lair. KHS puts on a full show for his pseudo-friend, with a big “Welcome”, and fakey booming laugh:

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Yunno, that doesn’t seem like the right thing to say to a dude who just got out of prison. Just sayin’. He hugs SC, but it looks like he’s hugging an ironing board. KHS tells SC that it was a shame he blew off the Welcome Back party. SC gives KHS this excuse:

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Yeah, I had that same expression on my face last week too. The Boss decided to have a special lunch at a local restaurant since one of our employees is leaving to go back to school FT, and for two other employee’s birthdays. Everyone at my office got a hour and a half lunch–except for me, because of scheduling issues. They were adamant–only a short lunch for me. So I opted out, and stayed at the office by myself. It’s such a drag to go out to lunch with my co-workers, order yummy food, wait forever for it, and then have to scarf it down in 10 minutes before I have to go back to work. Or even worse: go without lunch because the servers can’t bring the food out before I have to leave, and I get to eat it from a box that evening. I’m over it. I’d rather have a granola bar in peace than heartburn from that kind of stress all afternoon. The Boss was PO’d, but whatever. If she can’t figure it out, I can’t help her.

KHS shouts at Mantis to bring drinks, but SC declines the offer, and wants to have a talk with KHS–without Mantis. KHS dismisses Mantis, who bristles–but finally leaves. However, he doesn’t go far; he’s right outside the door, knife in hand. I know I’ve said it before, but I really want to know Mantis’ backstory. SC commented that Mantis had grown taller since he’d been gone…so obviously Mantis has been around for more than 5 years. This Mantis guy is loyal beyond anything to his boss; even killing others without a qualm. What inspires that kind of loyalty? What web is Mantis in that he feels he owes a huge debt to KHS?

SC immediately confronts KHS over the Sergeant issue–he’d heard a rumor that KHS was somehow responsible for getting rid of him.  KHS laughs it off:

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Yeah KHS, I know the feeling. I got the same problem over here at my House too. (I may need to blow this screencap up and frame it. Next time Photobucket has a special deal…)  He quips it’s because he’s so famous! (har) SC reminds the Boss that they conquered Seoul Station as a team.  A loyal team:

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KHS acknowledges that SC is:

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I am on SC’s side for this one. Loyalty is a big issue for me. If there is no loyalty, everything is just reduced to a “what have you done for me lately” relationship. However, loyalty is a two-way street. Each party has to bring–and keep bringing stuff to the table. One-sided loyalty is abusive. I think lack of loyalty between employer and employee is why you see such rude customer service, and workers and bosses doing the absolute bare minimum to get by every day. SC wants KHS to find Sergeant–or he can go for Option #2:

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SC did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday either. He knows if KHS wants somebody gone–he can make them disappear. SC reminds KHS what he did for him 5 years ago. KHS looks very uncomfortable, but he grouches for SC to not “whine like a dog”–Tiveee/DF.  I like Viki better: “nag like a little bitch” Ha! The Viki subs for this scene are way better than DF–just my opinion. Here’s another example…

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Viki: “Is Jong Goo still rotting his life away in that bus?”  So much more color…I really have to hand it to the Viki Subbers. Great work. The Viki version gives a much better word picture. Viki is now ahead of DF in the subs too.

RJG is working out at his Bus House, punching the tires as his not-yet-healed wound starts to bleed. The shallow part of Shamrockmom notes how nice and muscular RJG’s arms and shoulders are. This guy must be plenty over 40–and he’s in excellent shape. SC shows up and wants to stay at the Bus House with RJG. When RJG asks why he doesn’t hang out with KHS, he gets this line from SC:

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SC whines that KHS used to be a loyal and friendly guy, but now he’s all about the money. I kind of get it though…KHS is thisssss close to taking out the guy who ruined his father and destroyed their family. He’s not backing down now. Money talks–BS walks. Still, he shouldn’t treat these guys like dogs either. SC gives RJG some hassle about MJ and if things are still the same between her and him. Another Junior High level move…..RJG gets PO’d and gives only this curt reply:

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SC wants to fight/duel with RJG for the #2 spot, but RJG tells him there’s no need to duel; he can have it, RJG doesn’t want it anymore. We then get a flashback to the day KHS killed some guy in an alley with a baseball bat. RJG and SC come running, as KHS stands over the body, telling them not to ask questions. SC grabs the bat, cleans it on his shirt and wipes his hands and the victims blood onto the bat!  Whoa! SC tells KHS to flee; they’ve just taken over Seoul Station and if the #1 guy goes to jail, it will be chaos again. KHS protests (a little) but SC says they have to have loyalty…..

Mantis lets his boss know that PS and Crocodile are asking around about the Sergeant. KHS is not surprised about that, but he is surprised when Mantis tells him that he will explain everything to SC. KHS doesn’t need a fortuneteller–he can already predict this outcome:

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and then SC will kill TH and eventually KHS….so Mantis confessing is not gonna happen! KHS doesn’t want to provoke SC–now that he’s pretending to be an angel. I get the feeling that SC really did change in prison…as we see him reading his Bible again in the Bus House.

RJG gets 10 lashes with a wet noodle from Na Ra for not taking it easy and letting his wounds heal. TH shows up, and NR can tell that these two are having some kind of spat. She inelegantly drops the info that she and TH are going on a date, before giggling and running off to change. Jeez, she must be in Junior High today too! RJG warns TH not to get caught up in the Sergeant/SC/KHS mess, because even KHS won’t be able to protect him. PS roughs up Crocodile, blaming him for stirring up Sergeant against TH. He lets Crocodile know that the Sergeant is gone for good:

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Yeah, I am sure KHS thinks TH is quite valuable right now. He needs TH’s smarts to achieve his revenge. Crocodile wants to take out TH, but PS reminds him that TH is under the protective wing of the Boss. Crocodile is not fazed. All they have to do is start a rumor that TH was the one who took out the Sergeant…and SC will take care of the rest.

Meanwhile, TH and NR’s date is not what TH thought it would be, as she rooks him into helping her deliver meals:

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Heh. What a pouty face! He wanted to take her out for a nice dinner too, but she says why waste the money?

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I love that she is trying to show him how to be less greedy and more thankful, not by lecturing him but by showing him how to do it. Nice job! TH continues to grump that this date (their first) was just to get him to help her out. No, that’s not quite it….

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She scampers up the steep hill with a couple more lunchboxes. I now understand how everyone over in Korea stays so slim. If you had to constantly walk up and down steep hills to your house or over to the bus stop, it would completely negate the need for a gym! NR and TH are eating the packed lunches as NR talks a bit about her childhood in the Seoul Station neighborhood. TH thinks she’s had it pretty tough:

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She says that’s fine, but she doesn’t care about those things. TH insists it’s “sour grapes”–because she’s never had the money or the chance to do those things, she’s decided that she doesn’t like them. The end part of this line really irked me until I checked the Viki subs:

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Viki: “because you haven’t had the chance to yet”. I was ready to give TH my #whattajerk hashtag, but I will forgive him this time. NR asks TH if he wants to return to that kind of life–clubbing, travelling and having fun. TH gives her an answer I am sure she is less than thrilled with:

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He wants all the money and power, so no one can touch him….then he can help NR who he calls “Angel”.

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Forgiveness revoked! *head-desk* Seriously…does he really think that makes up for everything?!? Has TH learned anything at all in 9 episodes? Na Ra takes him back to the flower garden in front of Halmoni’s house:

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We get to see a flashback….her mom was homeless, and froze to death outside of the house, but Na Ra was still alive. Halmoni saved her…

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Na Ra has no idea who her father and mother were….but she’s grateful nonetheless. Wow. That’s a great way to write in this character. It totally fits, and works with the storyline to add motivation to her character. Nice job, show! TH says that now they have something in common:

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NR then gives TH a hefty dose of truth: If he’s happy with money and power–that’s his deal. She just wants to be happy with other people. Heh. I used to preach to my kids: “Things with feelings come first. Things without feelings come second.” I never thought they listened until one day my daughter and her then-boyfriend had an argument at my house–and I heard her say that to him. The argument immediately ended! People first, then things….TH gently grabs NR’s wrist as she gets up to leave:

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Still, he wants to help her achieve her dreams too….I wonder if she will be the one that keeps TH on a straight and narrow path–and from ending up warped like KHS. I’d be good with that. I read somewhere that YKS said he doesn’t like to do romantic dramas, which is a crying shame as far as I am concerned. He really can show vulnerability without looking too weak or wimpy.

KHS meets up with lil ‘bro Se Hoon atop a parking garage. SH says he was just missing his brother, but KHS isn’t buying:

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Aw, c’mon!  Everybody else is acting like a bunch of 12 year olds today! SH lets big bro know that Jung Min’s brother aka The Troublemaker is back from the US. KHS knows that’s a plan that will limit SH’s effectiveness, so it’s imperative that JM is on his side “for suresies”. SH assures his bro:

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KHS thinks the apple won’t fall far from the tree, and that JM’s brother is probably just as wicked as his father. Heh. I think the daughter might be the most wicked one, but time will tell. KHS is depending on TH to come through for them:

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KHS reminds Se Hoon that he’s invested all the money and everything he has in him…so no pressure! As always, he is the protective older brother:

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SC is not having a good day. Looks like he’s been listening to some rumors going around Seoul Station:

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The older homeless guy fills SC in on the details–Sergeant and TH were enemies from day 1. They dueled once–and KHS stopped it. SC finds the ‘office’ and starts kicking butt (mostly Foreman Oh’s) looking for TH. They try to call TH to warn him, but he doesn’t answer the call because he is in a meeting with Se Hoon.

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This meeting is not awkward enough. Let’s see if show can fix that:

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Fixed! TH knows that SH and JM are a ‘thing’…and SH knows that TH and JM used to be a ‘thing’. This oughta be good. JM looks pretty darn uncomfortable, as SH says that she will be working with TH because he’s so busy. Then TH gets a warning call from KHS:

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He tells TH that there’s a rumor going around that TH killed the Sergeant, so it is too dangerous to go back to the office or Seoul Station; the penthouse/Lair would be a better idea. JM runs downstairs and confronts TH too–it’s not a good day for them either. She rails him for lying to her about starting over in NY, and he counters that he doesn’t have to explain anything to her!

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He warns her that he knows SH is her boyfriend (heh) and that she shouldn’t let her old feelings for him get in the way….. Oh goodie! Looks like he’s finally let go of her. NR=much better choice. Good job TH!

KHS and Mantis aren’t having a good day either. SC is already at the penthouse when they arrive. I’m thinking the security system at the Penthouse/Lair needs an upgrade! Think KHS expected this?! Ha!

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SC said that he had to beat up a couple of dudes to get in, but hey–

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This SC dude does not mess around. KHS says that this isn’t jail…and he needs to get used to things. SC goes over to the phonograph, and starts to pick up the record…

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Uh, oh! SC breaks the precious record, and I hold my breath, waiting for KHS to snap…but he stands there, frozen. SC walks on and over the couch, plops down and asks:

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SC knows that TH is someone really important to KHS, and KHS agrees.

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SC is finally starting to get it:

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Well, um….yeah. That’s what KHS is saying. Especially when it comes to revenge on the dude who put the wrecking ball to his family. Mantis is staring holes in SC’s direction; it’s like he’s just waiting to pounce on SC if he tries to do anything to the Boss:

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SC has this question for KHS:

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Who was the dude that KHS beat to death anyways? Yeah, I wanna know the answer to that too! Even the cops couldn’t ID the guy (which doesn’t surprise me after watching “Mrs. Cop”!) Turns out SC found out this info from another dude in prison–the guy KHS beat to death was a Korean-American, and he was about to get some serious dough from KHS. What was his profession? He bought and sold ID’s

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Oh, so this guy was keeping Se Hoon’s ID a secret…and then he thought he would blackmail KHS because he was short on cash. KHS plays this off like it’s some silly story, but SC has other intentions. Perhaps he will call the police:

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Will Mrs. Cop take the case? (Sorry, I can’t help myself!) But if KHS gives up TH, then:

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KHS looks back at Mantis, who pulls out the shiny knife he always carries (we hear its sinister click). SC lets KHS know that he wrote all this down and stashed the note somewhere, as sort of a “life insurance” policy for himself. KHS has two choices–give up TH or lose his empire….and then look who walks in!

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Yep, it’s TH!  Now that is being caught in a web! This should be interesting…

I apologize, but I won’t have time this weekend to recap Episode 10. A non-planned dental surgery got in the way this week, and took me out for a couple of days, and with school starting, I am already stressed. I feel so sorry for the doc who put my implant in. Good thing he’s the best doc around! Nothing about this implant I got last year has been easy–although everything is fine now. I am glad it happened to someone like me, who understands the details, and not one of my patients!

I do want to say how much I am loving this show–between this show and “Yong Pal”, I am completely spoiled for now!  Other new shows aren’t cutting it for me. I was totally excited to watch “All About My Mother” as it had two of my favorites from “Glorious Day”–Lee Sang Woo and Kim Mi Sook. I thought a nice show about a family would be an antidote to the adrenaline rush that this show and “Yong Pal” are for me….only to be drastically disappointed in the first episode. (Hint: You don’t win Mom of the Year awards by pimping your daughter out to the Landlord; insisting that she sleep with him so he won’t raise the rent.) LSW and KMS need to get new managers who can find better dramas for them. Next up: “Twenty Again”. Let’s see if Mr. Dimples aka Lee Sang Yoon has better luck with his new show!

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One thought on “Thoughts on “Last”–Episode 9

  1. Pingback: LAST. JTBC. | IKurate

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