Writer So Hyun Kyung is one of those rare K-drama screenwriters that has the ability to make her dramas keep getting better as it chugs along. It’s quite easy to come up with a concept but to execute it well is really the critical element that is sorely in short supply these days. Two Weeks might end up being my favorite of all her dramas and I loved 49 Days to pieces so it’s saying something that I think it has even a chance of topping that one. As for my beloved Lee Jun Ki? His Jang Tae San is on par with his heartbreaking Lee Soo Hyun from Time Between Time and Wolf, and I love how he throws in so much sincerity and gut punch emotion into his portrayal. He’s not acting insomuch as he’s in character and for those sixteen episodes, he is living the life of no good loser Jang Tae San who suddenly is forced to fight back. I love it though it hurts to see how much he’s putting in to film all the chase and escape scenes. Episode 6 is even more exciting and heartbreaking than episode 5, and continues with the hilarity of Tae San running into help that is so implausible as to require me to take a break to first laugh.
It works brilliantly because this is not a realistic thriller yarn as much as it’s about Tae San’s fight for his own salvation both physically and spiritually. So I needn’t care that Tae San falling into a river and then running across a former crime lord that he let live is about as likely as him getting hit by lightning. The point is that it adds depth to his backstory and allows Tae San to make a different choice now under similar duress situations. I think Tae San being unable to draw blood was a lucky break because otherwise he’d have already killed lots of people in his lifetime. He just didn’t care and did what was necessary to preserve his existence. Now he cares and the transformation of Tae San before our eyes is totally believable and really well done. In fact, this drama can only work with a tight script and well-developed characters otherwise it would sink into the oblivion of ridiculousness. I can buy that the cops are so incompetent and Tae San can keep getting unrecognized at check points with classes and some allergy cream, because what fundamentally works in this drama is that we are seeing Tae San grow each step of the way and his journey is less an escape as it is an opportunity for rebirth.
Episode 6 recap:
Seung Woo corners Tae San between his gun and the edge of a cliff, which is worse than between a rock and a hard place if you ask me. Tae San remembers Soo Jin waiting for him and contemplates jumping. Seung Woo isn’t losing his target that easily and lowers his gun to aim for Tae San’s leg. Too bad Killer Kim is around (what? Can he teleport now?) and the man is a whiz with old school toys like a sling shot and sends a rock flying into Seung Woo’s hand, causing him to shoot Tae San in the back. Ouch.
Tae San goes tumbling down the cliff while Seung Woo looks on in shock and dismay. Ooops, Jae Kyung is going to be sooooo mad at you! As Tae San sinks and before he loses consciousness, the little toy from Soo Jin falls out and Tae San tries to reach for it in the water but he cannot quite grab it.
Seung Woo stares at the red bruise on the back of his gun hand and looks around for the person who flung a rock at him.
Jae Kyung rushes to the cliff and screams at Seung Woo for shooting him! I swear, Jae Kyung chewing out Seung Woo is never going to get old, because he always deserves it. Both of them take off their jackets and jump into the water. The cliff is not that high so they are not being idiotic.
The rest of the team arrives and stares in shock at Seung Woo and Jae Kyung leaping. The captain yells at everyone to fan out and search and adorable hoobae Il Do asks if he wants them to jump off the cliff as well to start the search.
The cops rush to search along the river while Seung Woo and Jae Kyung swim and search in the river. Eventually both of them climb out of the water. Jae Kyung takes charge and tells the cops to search downstream because he’s not around here anymore.
Jae Kyung turns and this time really socks it to Seung Woo for shooting when she told him NOT to shoot. Seung Woo says he didn’t do anything wrong, he already warned Tae San and he didn’t listen. Don’t be petulant, Seung Woo, it’s unbecoming. Jae Kyung asks where he shot Tae San and Seung Woo says he intended to shoot his leg but something hit his hand as he fired so he shot him in the back. Now Seung Woo wonders if Jae Kyung knows something she isn’t telling him. Hhhmm, these two have a lot of chemistry, I can’t be the only one seeing it.
The captain tries to calm down the bickering duo shooting glares at each other. Jae Kyung has no time to explain to Seung Woo and orders all the cops the search for any and all strangers in addition to Tae San. Seung Woo’s fellow cops wonder if he’s gone insane with his desire to catch Tae San.
Jae Kyung sends her fellow prosecutor colleague Sang Hoon to investigate Seo In Hye. Sang Hoon goes to the store where she works and asks her boss stuff about her personal life. He asks if she’s married and hears that her fiancée is a cop.
Soo Jin is with her mom in the hospital and asks her mom what Tae San means? In Hye is shocked but explains that it means Big Mountain. Soo Jin draws her favorite toy and next to it starts to sketch a mountain range.
In Hye wants to excuse herself to make a call supposedly to Seung Woo ahjusshi but Soo Jin is one smart cookie and asks why her mom is lately answering calls away from Soo Jin. In Hye goes for the lame excuse that she needs some air and Soo Jin is all like “I’m the one locked in an antiseptic room, talk about who needs air more!” In Hye stays and Soo Jin tells her to call from here but In Hye says she doesn’t need to call anymore.
Sang Hoon tracks down Soo Jin’s doctor and tries to find out who the bone marrow donor is. The doctor plays mum but eventually silently confirms that it’s Jang Tae San. Sang Hoon asks if Seung Woo knows and the doctor says he doesn’t know. Sang Hoon realizes that if Tae San dies, then the little girl dies.
A scruffy old guy is walking through the rain towards the river to check on his rafts, looks like he runs a recreational raft rental place next to the river.
He finds Tae San clinging to the side of the raft, and looks shocked when he sees Tae San’s face and realizes he has a bullet wound.
Tae San wakes up in the old guy’s house and the man tells him not to struggle or else his wound will start bleeding. He’s put some medicine on to stop the bleeding. Tae San asks if he’s been shot and realizes this guy saved him.
Suddenly the old man asks Tae San why he didn’t kill him? Buh? Tae San looks very confused and scared. The old man asks if Tae San is the man who went to jail for Hwang Da Jun?
Flashback time. Tae San is in an alley and hears from his ear piece that Han Chi Kook is headed his direction. So Han Chi Kook is Chairman Han, the head of a rival group to Moon Il Sook. Tae San went to jail the second time for beating this guy up, but we know it was taking the fall for someone in Il Suk’s group.
Tae San tracks down Chairman Han and beats him, but cannot bring himself to kill him despite orders to do so. The Chairman uses Tae San’s hesitation and pushes him off and runs away.
In the present, Chairman Han says he survived thanks to Tae San, who asks if this is how he’s lived since then? Chairman Han says he saved Tae San today because he wants to know why Tae San didn’t kill him that night. These last few days, all he sees on TV is news about catching fugitive Jang Tae San and its annoying the heck out of him.
Tae San says it’s because of his mom. We see a flashback when little Tae San comes home with two popsicles and finds his mom slit her wrists and has bled to death. Chairman Han realizes that Tae San was the first to see his mom after she committed suicide. Tae San explains that the smell of blood still follows him to this day.
Chairman Han asks why he killed that girl and his own roommate then? Tae San gets confirmation that Man Seok’s death is now being blamed on him as well and he says he didn’t kill either of them. It was Moon Il Suk, and the girl Mi Sook likely recorded incriminating evidence of Moon Il Suk and she pawned the camera with Tae San and that’s when it all led to him.
Chairman Han starts to tell Tae San to leave immediately, he doesn’t want anything to do with Moon Il Suk. Tae San begs to stay for his Soo Jin, he can’t get an infection or else Soo Jin will die. Chairman Han asks if Soo Jin is his girlfriend and learns that she is Tae San’s daughter.
Jae Kyung is still ordering the cops to keep searching for Tae San. Even if he’s dead then they need to recover a body. She makes sure that all roads out have been sealed. She thinks that if he’s injured, he’ll get a hostage to help him, or beg someone to help him. She realizes that whoever hit Seung Woo’s hand up on that cliff must be acting on Moon Il Suk’s orders.
Jae Kyung gets a call from Sang Hoon and finds out that Seo In Hye is the mother of Jang Tae San’s daughter, and In Hye is also detective Im Seung Woo’s fiancée. Jae Kyung is stunned at this connection and then realizes Tae San has a daughter. Jae Kyung asks if Seung Woo knows this connection and is told he doesn’t. Jae Kyung hears that Tae San is scheduled to be a bone marrow donor, which confuses her even more that he would kill someone and then go on the run during this time. Jae Kyung orders Sang Hoon to quietly send someone to guard the hospital. Sang Hoon is smart and realizes the daughter may be in danger.
The cops goes to search Chairman Han’s house since it’s by the river and don’t find anything. Chairman Han is by the river scruffing up Tae San’s clothes to toss in the river. Chairman Han uses a rock to cut his own arm. Ouchy. This creates a wound on himself that he can claim the blood stains came from him.
Sang Hoon goes to their boss and asks for a security on the hospital and the boss agrees to make it happen and sighs that Jae Kyung really makes their lives so difficult.
Il Suk’s minions are at the hospital trying to find out about In Hye and they learn that she’s there for her sick daughter.
The cops have found only pieces of Tae San’s clothing and a shoe, thinking this means he’s dead. Jae Kyung says to not jump so quickly to that conclusion. The captain tells his team to keep searching and bring back the dead body.
Jae Kyung is so frustrated that later that night she runs to the edge of the Han river and screams out at Tae San, asking if he’s really dead? Then what about his daughter? She yells at him for being a bastard and asks where he died? She can’t believe he would be so crazy about to kill someone and go on the run when he needs to give his daughter a bone marrow transplant.
After nightfall, Chairman Han goes to an underground storage shed and gets Tae San out. Tae San wonders if he brought cops and Chairman Han tells him to stay underground with the snakes if he wants.
Chairman Han throws Tae San some clothes, antibiotics and supplies in a ruck sack. He wants Tae San to leave immediately Tae San says he can’t run in the shape he’s in and the Chairman says he can endure the pain and take the antibiotics. He can’t stay because if the cops don’t find a body, they will come to his home eventually.
Tae San begs to hide here but the Chairman cannot risk getting embroiled with Moon Il Suk again. Tae San says if he dies, Soo Jin will die. The Chairman doesn’t care, he tells Tae San to scram because he’s someone who has gotten in trouble and hurt others three times already.
Il Suk hears that Tae San might be dead and tells Killer Kim to stay in that area until the body is found. He talks with his secretary about the missing camera and worries that even if Tae San is died, the evidence still remains. Even if Jo Seo Hee is fine, he feels like there is a ticking time bomb out there threatening him. Il Suk gets a call that his minions have found Jang Tae San’s woman.
After putting Soo Jin to bed, In Hye hears on the news that Tae San has died.
Jae Kyung vows that even if Jang Tae San has died, this is not over with Moon Il Suk and Jo Seo Hee. It won’t be over until they are both dead in her hands.
Jo Seo Hee is dining in her fancy house and watching in her tablet her special needs son who she stashed overseas. He’s sleeping. The news is reporting on TV that Jang Tae San is dead and his clothes have been recovered from the river.
Jo Seo Hee goes to work leaving out of her fake poor apartment and driving off in her compact car, while we see Jae Kyung’s hoobae prosecutor has been parked outside keeping track of her every move.
The cops are back at the precinct and Jae Kyung is still in a pissy mood and tells Seung Woo to go find Tae San’s body himself since he was the one who killed him.
Seung Woo goes back out and he looks through his cell phone at pictures of Soo Jin.
Flashback to Seung Woo wanting to take Soo Jin camping but she refuses because it’s an activity to do with her dad. And Seung Woo ahjusshi is not her dad yet. Seung Woo asks if he can be Soo Jin’s bodyguard to protect her while her dad is in Heaven. Soo Jin says that after he marries her mom, then she will call him dad.
Seung Woo is called in to see the Police Chief, and it’s his dad.
Soo Jin sits in her hospital room looking at the picture of In Hye and Tae San. She says that Seung Woo ahjusshi is a good ahjusshi and she really likes him. But if she knew her dad was alive, then she wouldn’t allow him to date her mom. She was able to recognize Tae San because of this picture, which her mom tore up after she decided to marry Seung Woo. She wonders what her dad did to her mom, causing her mom to cry each time she mentions her dad. But Soo Jin still likes her dad very much.
Tae San drives a truck and the Chairman must’ve given him some cream to induce an allergic reaction because his face is red and eye is swollen shut. He’s stopped at a check point and let through. He clenches Soo Jin’s toy in his hand, so yay for grabbing it in the water and not losing it. Flashback to the rest of his conversation with the Chairman that night.
The Chairman pulls a scissors and insists Tae San leave. Tan San knocks the scissors away with his ruck sack and then grabs it and pins the Chairman down and looks to stab him like that night long ago. But Tae San stops once again.
Tae San tells Chairman Han that if he had gone ahead and stabbed him that night, then he wouldn’t be like this today. He isn’t someone so gutless as to be framed all the time. Back then, Moon Il Suk threatened to kill his girlfriend In Hye. The Chairman must know what it feels like to cling on to the chance to live.
Tae San used to not care if he died today or died tomorrow. Back then he didn’t think too much and though that without him In Hye would be fine. He worried that if In Hye had Soo Jin, she would suffer as much as his own mother suffered after she had him. So he pushed her into the operating room to have an abortion.
The child of his that he almost killed once, he cannot let her die again. A pathetic man like him, now he now longer fears death and has no hopes for himself, but all he wants is for his little girl to live. He begs Chairman Han to let him live in the storage shed for 10 days, even if he doesn’t give him food that is okay.
Chairman Han tells him to go to Busan, he won’t be able to hide from Moon Il Suk until the day of the surgery. He tells Tae San to go to Busan and get on a ship to go overseas to hide and return for the surgery. Tae San wonders how he can get there, if he drives a car he’ll be caught. Chairman Han assures him he’ll not be caught. He lets Tae San listen to the news which reports that Jang Tae San is dead.
In Hye goes to speak with Soo Jin’s doctor and asks what to do now that Tae San is dead?
Seung Woo gets chewed out by his dad and also his superior for being so out of it lately in his duty. His dad wonders if Soo Jin’s upcoming surgery is what’s bothering Seung Woo so much. Dad is still disapproving of the marriage with In Hye. He tells Seung Woo to come home and have dinner with his parents.
Tae San drives back to Seoul and goes to Soo Jin’s hospital. He grabs his shoulder in pain since the bullet is still inside.
Tae San calls to speak with Soo Jin’s guardian and is told they are heading back from the treatment room. In Hye is totally distressed while pushing Soo Jin in a wheelchair. Tae San hides to watch them pass and Soo Jin locks eyes with her daddy. She smiles and then throws up since she got just got radiation treatment. Tae San’s heart literally breaks watching little Soo Jin retch.
In Hye cleans Soo Jin up. She then distracts In Hye from seeing Tae San. She waves at her daddy surreptitiously as she’s wheeled away. Tae San waves back and then cries after she’s gone.
Soo Jin is so happy after seeing her dad that she’s jumping on her bed. Her mom’s phone rings and she tells her mom to pick it up. Tae San calls In Hye from the hospital and she’s shocked to hear he’s alive.
Tae San assures her that he’s taking antibiotics after being shot and he can’t turn himself in because he was almost murdered in jail. He reminds In Hye not to let anyone know about their connection with each other. Now that the world thinks he’s dead, he’s going to the Philippines and will return in time for the surgery.
In Hye is worried he won’t get back but Tae San chides her for thinking he’s running from the cops because he has nothing better to do. He tells her that he will save Soo Jin’s life, even if In Hye doesn’t believe him. If Tae San dies, he will save Soo Jin first before he dies. He is sad to have lived his life like this and apologizes to In Hye. He tells her to take care of Soo Jin. In Hye cries into the phone “Soo Jin’s dad, don’t die!” before Tae San hangs up.
The cops are out drinking away their frustrations over one botched Tae San capture after another. Jae Kyung goes to see them.
Tae San puts on his face swelling disguise again in the bathroom and then leaves the hospital. On his way out, he passes by Moon Il Suk but neither sees the other.
Soo Jin is in her room finishing her drawing of her toy and a big mountain next to it. She says that if she sleeps ten more times, then she will see her beloved toy AND her daddy again.
Moon Il Suk walks up to Soo Jin’s clean room and picks up the intercom phone to talk with her. He asks if she’s Soo Jin and she says yes and asks who he is? Where is the security in this damn hospital!!! Il Suk asks if her dad’s name is Jang Tae San and Soo Jin says yes with a giant smile. AHHHHHHHH!
Thoughts of Mine:
Just the thought of Moon Il Suk in the same vicinity as Soo Jin makes me want to hurl something. Much less have him smirk and look at her, all while pumping her for information about Tae San. He should be lucky that Tae San didn’t see him in the lobby, because I don’t know if Tae San would have let him slip on by to threaten Soo Jin. Of course Il Suk, and soon Seo Hee, is going to find out all about Tae San’s connections, but luckily Jae Kyung knows as well and Seung Woo is just one second away from getting confirmation. I am relieved so many people are looking out for Soo Jin that I can’t see Il Suk and his minions getting to her in the future, but I am so angry that so far the baddies haven’t experienced any comeuppance yet. I need them to suffer a little just to give me satisfaction that Tae San’s pain and struggle isn’t without a greater purpose. I love how the drama pairs his goal to stay alive with Jae Kyung’s aim to bring down the criminal enterprise of Seo Hee and Il Suk. If only Seung Woo would get over his jealousy fast and get his head back in the end, then I can’t see how the baddies will stand a chance against brains (Jae Kyung), brawn (Seung Woo), and heart (Tae San). Those three can become the next Three Musketeers and I’d watch that. Little Soo Jin’s such a wonderfully written character, with the precociousness that comes from being asked by life to grow up much too quickly, but a child’s innocence that shines hope and purpose into Tae San’s dark meaningless life. No matter how this drama ends and whether Tae San gets back with In Hye, I want Tae San to survive because father-daughter will have earned themselves another chance to form a bond going forward.