This drama? Is so good, so so good. Quite simply put, it treats the viewers like we’re family and we’re all in this ride together. There is no pandering, it asks us to accept blips in the road when things don’t quite measure up, and it warms us in the feeling of caring about something rather than dispassionately watching with a jaundiced eye. Two Weeks is the surprise of the Summer for me, and proving yet again that I really enjoy watching writer So Hyun Kyung’s interesting and thoughtful writing. Tae San keeps on running in this episode and I haven’t gotten tired of seeing what escape routes he chances upon and what little lucks go his way to narrowly avoid yet another dead end moment. As Tae San runs, he’s both absorbing his harrowing life experiences as it happens and using it during the quiet moments to reflect on his shitty past. Even if Tae San got chewed up by his gangster life, he never did try to break free of the vicious cycle, and he’s as much to blame for his own predicament as Moon Il Suk is for framing him over and over again.
What’s so compelling is that we’ve seen Tae San be his own worst enemy for so long that it’s truly uplifting to see that Soo Jin compels him to rise up and push back. He is too weak to do it on his own, but for the daughter he just met, he can climb walls, jump off cars, saw handcuffs, and hide in garbage trucks, all to save her life. Except her life is tied to his life, and as viewers we want to save both of them just as badly as we want to roast Seo Hee and Il Suk over a spit. Those two are truly villains of the first order, a one-two bunch of brains and brawn and zero humanity. We finally learn Jae Kyung’s backstory with them and the girl has more patience then I do because she’s managed to lay low for 8 years to bring them down. Lee Jun Ki and Kim So Yeon as the two leads also have the most raw and engaging storylines and it’s really such a shame that Tae San and Jae Kyung don’t have any screen time together so far. If they can unite in their mutual hatred of Seo Hee and Il Suk, then they might actually have a chance to bring down their criminal enterprise. Because as of now, I still give the edge to the uber-smart baddies.
Episode 5 recap:
Tae San finds Man Seok dead in their apartment. Before he can grieve or gather his wits about him, we see Killer Kim sneaking up with a knife in hand. Suddenly Seung Woo arrives at the door and the noise jostles Tae San into action while Killer Kim darts into hiding again.
Tae San flies out the front door and the impact sends Seung Woo flying. The two men lock eyes and recognize each other. They both look at Seung Woo’s gun laying between them, and then Tae San kicks it out of the way and takes off running.
Seung Woo’s hoobae detective runs into the apartment and stares in horror at the dead Man Seok.
Seung Woo goes running after him and what follows is a chase through the dark and dank alleys of Tae San’s run down neighborhood. We see a black shadow jumping over rooftops behind them, and is Killer Kim a Terminator or what? Tae San’s pretty adept at evasion now and he even ducks into a corner to lure Seung Woo and then toss trash cans at him to trip him up and buy more time.
Eventually Seung Woo loses Tae San but spots an idle garbage truck parked there filled with bags of trash. Ewwww, but awwwww, poor Tae San. Seung Woo inches closer to dig through it when suddenly he sees a shadow darting away. Seung Woo gives chase and loses the shadow, which we see is Killer Kim luring Seung Woo away from Tae San.
Killer Kim goes back to the garbage truck (not sure why Seung Woo didn’t) and takes out his knife. Tae San is hiding inside and he clasps his hands over his own mouth in petrified fear not to scream. Killer Kim starts tossing bags of trash off the truck and gets closer and closer to Tae San.
Right before he removes the bag on top of Tae San, the garbage truck drivers return and confront Killer Kim on what the heck he’s doing? Killer Kim slinks away when the maknae detective runs up all out of breath asking if they saw anyone. The drivers head off to their next stop with Tae San in the back.
Jae Kyung is sitting in the precinct discussing the case. She hears the shocking news that Man Seok has been murdered by Jang Tae San.
Jae Kyung arrives at the crime scene and chews out Seung Woo for letting his dick get in the way and chase after Tae San alone without calling for back up first. Preach it, sister!
As the garbage truck drives off, Killer Kim follows along in his fancy killer mobile, i.e. an SUV. Tae San cries about Man Seok’s death and how it was all his fault. He spots a car tailing the garbage truck and he uses his eagle vision to confirm that it’s Killer Kim inside. Tae San is both scared and angry and he decides to take action. He stands up in the back of the garbage truck and starts screaming at Killer Kim while tossing bags of garbage out of the truck. The garbage spills all over the street and impedes his sight.
Tae San angrily tosses a bottle which shatters Killer Kim’s windshield and he has to pull over. Eventually the garbage truck drivers realize the trash is flying everywhere and stops the car.
The drivers get out and snap a picture of the car following them and acting all suspicious, and then they drive off again. Killer Kim gets out and abandons the vehicle, looking steely to have failed yet again to kill Jang Tae San. It’s two strikes, dude.
Tae San continues hiding in the garbage truck and finally gets ready to hop out once it slows down and drives into the dump. His foot gets stuck in a net and as he’s pulling it out, he notices a big safety pin on a burlap sack and grabs it. Tae San jumps out and he’s back in the countryside again.
In Hye goes to beg the doctor not to reveal that the bone marrow donor is fugitive Jang Tae San. The doctor isn’t sure he’s trustworthy, and reminds her that Seung Woo cares a lot about Soo Jin. If she told Seung Woo, he would make sure Jang Tae San was captured and safely protected until the surgery. But In Hye remembers what Tae San told her and insists, so the doctor reluctantly agrees to keep this information secret.
Tae San sits on a bench in the rice paddy and works hard to pop open his handcuffs, begging it to open. Finally he removes them and he smiles widely in relief. He lays on the bench to rest for a moment.
Suddenly he hears Soo Jin’s voice and finds imaginary Soo Jin standing next to the bench. She asks why he’s doing all this? Tae San says Man Seok had the camera and now he’s been murdered as well. Soo Jin says the camera could clear Tae San’s name but without it what will happen to her surgery? Tae San vows to make it for her surgery.
Soo Jin asks how, is he planning to hide until the surgery? He can’t turn himself in, remembering how he was almost murdered in jail. He thinks Il Suk’s side has the camera now, so all that remains is killing him. Soo Jin says this is all so scary. Tae San sighs, wondering why he’s always being crapped on. Soo Jin says it’s because he lives like a scumbag.
Tae San sighs and says he indeed lives like an idiot, and he always known this but never cared. Until now. Soo Jin asks what he can do, he can’t clear his name nor can he turn himself in. Tae San says no matter what, all he needs to do is not die.
Tae San heaves the handcuffs into the rice paddy vows that he will do this, he will not die!
Killer Kim goes to see Il Suk and gets raked over by a minion for failing yet again. Il Suk tells the minion to shut up unless he wants to go and see if he can do better. He tells the kneeling Killer Kim to get up and tells him to gouge Tae San’s eyes out first when he’s captured before killing him.
Il Suk asks his secretary whether Tae San has already seen the contents of the camera? The secretary doesn’t think so, the video must be encrypted since Jae Kyung planted it so its not easy to access. Killer Kim confirms that he turned the apartment upside down and couldn’t find the camera there either.
Il Suk thinks back to the illegal drug deal that he was plotting with Seo Hee. He suddenly remembers the girl who came to the pawn shop to look for Tae San. He says she must be found even if all anyone has to go by is what she looks like.
Tae San’s pawn shop lackey who got beat up and confessed the truth to Tae San is in the hospital and told that Il Suk is going to kill him for revealing the truth to Tae San. As he’s leaving the hospital, he passes by In Hye and recognizes her as the woman who came to find Tae San that day in the pawn shop. Roh ruh.
Obligatory show scene courtesy of hot-headed detective Seung Woo, who tries to figure out what connection Tae San has with In Hye. He starts to suspect Tae San’s the bone marrow donor.
It’s raining and Tae San ducks into a fruit orchard to sneak some food and hide under the tree from the rain. He hears a woman crying and wailing in the dark which naturally freaks him out. He chides himself for being scared of a woman’s voice and he follows the sound and finds a pregnant woman in labor.
She asks for help going to the hospital to deliver the baby, her husband is away serving in the military reserves. Tae San wants to help but he can’t take her to the hospital, knowing he’ll be seen.
Tae San eventually assists her back to her home and does his best to prepare items for a home delivery. He wants to leave but her screaming in pain keeps him by her side to help. He holds her hands and talks her through the pushing and pain.
This leads to a flashback – turns out Tae San and In Hye were close to getting married, he even went to meet her parents. But then Il Suk threatened him to take the fall for him, leading to Tae San cruelly telling In Hye that he didn’t want her or their unborn baby. He tells her to abort the baby and then immigrate with her parents. In Hye doesn’t believe this sudden change in him.
Which leads to Tae San dragging her to the hospital and forcing her to get an abortion. But we see Tae San breaking down after he walks out of the hospital, where Il Suk’s goons have arrived to take him away to jail to confess.
Back to the present, the woman safely gives birth and Tae San holds the bloody baby in his arms. He happily checks out the baby’s tiny fingers He thinks back that his Soo Jin came into the world the same way, how tiring and painful it must’ve been. Tae San starts to tear up.
After putting mom and baby to rest, Tae San goes to the foyer and sits there sobbing, apologizing to Soo Jin for not being by her side. In Hye accompanies Soo Jin for treatment. Tae San eventually stops crying and looks up in determination.
Killer Kim goes back to his killer lair and grabs some more knives. His killer lair is creepy indeed, like he is.
Il Suk and Seo Hee meet in yet another clandestine Han river pow wow, with Seo Hee annoyed that yet another person died and now Jang Tae San is even more infamous. Il Suk says not to worry, he will get rid of him. Seo Hee threatens to kill him if he fails again, but Il Suk says he’ll kill himself first if he screws up. Plus Seo Hee will take her cut of the money and leave the country, whereas Il Suk’s businesses are all here and he can’t leave, so he wouldn’t do anything to harm his future.
Jae Kyung’s boss Chief Prosecutor Han arrives at her apartment and is welcomed in. He points out things are spiraling out of control, with yet another dead person. He sees her meticulous white board of evidence linking Congresswoman Jo Seo Hee with crime lord Moon Il Suk and is impressed with all the work she’s been doing secretly all these years. He asks to hear about her story.
Flashback to high school-aged Jae Kyung, who meets with her idol Prosecutor Jo Seo Hee and is told that if she studies hard she can also become someone who pursues justice. Jae Kyung goes home and tells her mom that she got a scholarship. She’s so excited she heads off to tell her dad at his work.
Moon Ik Sook and his goons are trying to evict some folks and Jae Kyung’s dad is there and holds his ground. He insults Il Suk as just a gangster trying to pretend he’s legit. He is about to call the cops when he gets stabbing in the gut for his trouble, and Jae Kyung arrives just in time to see Il Suk doing it. Il Suk warns the other guys not to do anything or they will end up the same way.
Jae Kyung’s dad is transported to the hospital. Il Suk and Seo Hee meet to discuss how to get him out of trouble. She tells Il Suk to find someone with a clear record to confess and take the blame, she’ll find him a good defense attorney. As Jae Kyung heads there to see him one night, she happens upon Seo Hee and Il Suk speaking together.
She is in shock and points out Il Suk as the man who stabbed her dad. Seo Hee claims that she doesn’t know Il Suk and was just out for a walk, and wonders if Jae Kyung is certain about who hurt her dad?
In the present, Jae Kyung explains that at trial, she accused Moon Il Suk as the real perp but since Jang Tae San already confessed, her identification was ruled to be faulty due to her shock at witnessing the crime. Her dad died a year later and never recovered. To this day, Jae Kyung is scared of people, not knowing who is truly bad inside.
Her boss asks what Tae San is doing with the camera? Does he want a deal with it? Jae Kyung says she needs to think in Tae San’s shoes to figure out what he wants. Her boss points out that this is all so strange.
Tae San eats some food and cooks a meal for the new mom in her kitchen. He tells himself to eat while he can since he doesn’t know when the next meal will be. We see In Hye eating with Soo Jin in the hospital. Soo Jin says there is 12 more days left, and she wishes time would pass faster. She tells her mom to go to work, she’s fine today and doesn’t need company.
Seung Woo goes to see Soo Jin’s daughter who is also his friend and tries to find out who the bone marrow donor is. The doctor doesn’t violate patient confidentiality and tells him to ask In Hye.
Seung Woo goes back to the precinct and everyone is there strategizing about catching Tae San. There is no sighting of him yet. Jae Kyung points out if the woman who went to see Jang Tae San has been found. Seung Woo lies and says no. They discuss that Man Seok’s murder weapon knife has no finger prints on it. Jae Kyung thinks Tae San has no motive to kill Man Seok while Seung Woo says Tae San is that kind of person, he will viciously murder someone he lived with for many years.
Seung Woo gets a call from In Hye and walks out, and Jae Kyung also gets a call from her colleague and walks out. Jae Kyung learns in her call that the woman who went to see Tae San was named Seo In Hye. We see In Hye standing outside the precinct calling Seung Woo. Suddenly all the cops are called into action as there has been a Jang Tae San sighting. The minion that Tae San beat up tells another that he found the girl, and thinks this information will save him from Il Suk’s wrath.
Tae San sits with the new mom and eats. She tells him that since he was in a rush to go see his sister the night before, she’s fine now and he can leave. She offers him a change of her husband’s clothes since he’s all bloody from her afterbirth.
Tae San changes into sweats and tries to wash the blood off his suit clothes, wishing that he could just stay here until Soo Jin’s surgery.
New mom tells her baby to grow up like the kind ahjusshi who helped deliver him. She wants to call her husband but can’t because there is no electricity. It finally comes on and the new mom cradles her baby and watches the news, which flashes about fugitive Jang Tae San.
She recognizes him and Tae San comes out and says in fear that he’s innocent and didn’t kill anyone.
It’s raining outside and the cops come to the mom’s front door. She opens it and lies that she never saw Tae San and she is alone with her new baby. As the cops are leaving, one wonders how the mom gave birth all alone and cut the umbilical cord?
Seung Woo barges into the mom’s home and rushes into the bathroom where he spies Tae San’s bloody clothes in the sink.
Tae San is running through the back woods trying to reach a cave the mom told him about where he could hide. Seung Woo is furiously hot on his tracks. Tae San is finally cornered at the edge of a cliff and Seung Woo stops his retreat with his gun pointed at him.
Seung Woo tells Tae San to surrender and Tae San looks down the cliff. Seung Woo lowers the gun to aim at Tae San’s leg and fires. At that moment, Killer Kim sends a slingshot into Seung Woo’s gun and alters the trajectory of the bullet.
Tae San is shot in the back and he goes falling over the cliff. Noooooo……
Thoughts of Mine:
I’m having so much fun watching this show, because its preposterousness really flows seamlessly from the high brow concept of doing a real time K-drama about a man on the run. Tae San’s encounter with a pregnant woman in the rainy orchard was contextually absurd but the execution was wonderfully poignant. He continues to be true to his nature, he’s a good person with a lousy life but when faced with people begging for his help, he can’t turn his back. The delivery scene helped flesh out Soo Jin for him, giving him insight into how she was born and therefore even more urgency that she can’t die like this and right now when he’s found her again. Of course, the episode ended with Tae San getting shot and falling over a cliff, the double whammy of potentially dying or getting a life threatening infection that will prevent him from doing the surgery. Whenever Killer Kim shows up, he totally reminds of the T-1000 from Terminator 2, except without the morphing ability. I prefer the drama not show me his backstory and just leave him this silent and efficient killer. He totally puts the cops to shame with his ability to track down and take out Tae San. If Seung Woo doesn’t realize that something hit his gun to make his aim shift, then I’m going to have to put him in a time out. I think he’s being clouded by his dislike of Tae San because even Jae Kyung and others are pointing out there is something not quite right about all of this easy guilt on Tae San. Let’s hope the good guys start investigating the baddies and try to catch Tae San, because he’s not safe out there with Killer Kim on his tracks as well. Oh what a conundrum my poor boy is in. At least he keeps finding helpless women with food in the house and a change of male clothes.