It’s pretty sad that a drama consisting of two of my favorite leading men in Cha Seung Won and Lee Seung Gi inspires in me only a litany of limp dick jokes for how this drama just can’t get it up. You’re All Surrounded episode 19 was more disappointment even when the entire drama has been a disappointment all along. It’s not bizarre and inexplicable, it’s just underwhelming like all the narrative choices made often in this story. Chief Kang doesn’t die in Dae Gu’s arms, which was unnecessary but still dramatic. Instead she lasts for a few more drama minutes only to die off screen in intensive care. I don’t think the manner of her death is a spoiler hence I’m discussing it here since she’s basically getting the swan song treatment that will pave over her litany of wrongdoings rather than having her actually answer for her failures and mistakes in the name of a greater cause. I wonder if the screenwriter ever understood the point of writing a cop procedural drama. The procedure needs to be interesting and the outcome meaningful, thus far the drama hasn’t delivered a single case that hit either requirement, and now even the big overarching case is shriveling under the weight of its flaccid reveal.
All along the Dae Gu’s birth secret was teased as the motivating driver behind the original crime and the subsequent cover up. It was never my favorite narrative device but if the writer wants to head that way then it best have a firm grasp of the impact it wants to deliver. This episode threw a big but not shocking twist in the story, big because it threw all the characters in the drama for a loop, but not shocking for us because it merely renders this story even less interesting. Now all the characters other than Dae Gu seem to be just along for the ride until the big bad is apprehended while Dae Gu carries the entire narrative on his shoulders. The actors are also just punching in their time cards and collecting a paycheck, doing so with professionalism and necessary pathos, but devoid of the critical connection that would give the story soul as it heads towards tomorrow’s ending. I do care about Dae Gu, the only character I’ve come to care about even if the rest of Team 3 are all lovely folks that don’t hook me simply because they’ve not been fleshed out. Even an epi-pen shot to the heart won’t help revive my dead interest in this drama, but at least I’m not leaving with a bitter taste in my mouth like other failed dramas that spiraled out-of-control. This one just failed to ever lift off.
Episode 19 recap:
Chief Kang does’t die in Dae Gu’s arms at the end of the last episode and the two rookies accompany her to the ER as the doctors wheel her in for surgery. Dae Gu remembers watching the dump truck ram into Chief Kang’s car and a bloody and dying Chief Kang apologizing to him before revealing that the recording is in her room. Many of of the Gangnam cops rush to the hospital in time to hear the doctor pronounce that Chief Kang remains in critical condition with severe internal injuries and the outlook is not good. One of the detectives placed a call to the traffic patrol in charge of the accident site and the initial finding is that the dump truck driver was tired and sleeping at the wheel.
Dae Gu tells Pan Seok that he knows Chief Kang is the Officer Seo they have been searching for. She admitted it to him and also admitted she took the recording from Killer Boots. She then went to see Congressman Yoo and afterwards the accident happened. Dae Gu is certain it wasn’t an accident since the truck came out of nowhere and t-boned Chief Kang’s car directly. Dae Gu posits that Congressman Yoo ordered the hit because Chief Kang may have been considering coming clean. Dae Gu vows to apprehend a criminal so brazen as to attempt to kill the Chief Kang.
Dae Gu and Soo Sun go to Chief Kang’s place to look for the recording and this time Dae Gu is alert when he enters by grabbing a bat beforehand. Once inside they find the place already ransacked but Soo Sun reassures Dae Gu that the important recording may not have been discovered that easily. Soo Sun finds a set of letters written by Dae Gu to his benefactor and he explains that the person who helped him was Chief Kang. Soo Sun sees that Chief Kang kept a cute photo booth picture she took with Dae Gu and tells him to place the picture by Chief Kang’s bedside and that should comfort her.
Director Cha keeps attributing the recent woes of the Gangnam precinct to evil spirits but Pan Seok cuts to the chase and tells him that Chief Kang may be involved in a murder cover up. He explains their investigation to Director Cha and asks him to go along with Congressman Yoo for now. Director Cha reveals Chief Kang had been acting weird since a week ago, getting her affairs in orders and even asking Director Cha to handle administrative matters for her at the precinct. He vows to personally participate in the investigation into the car accident. Director Cha goes to Eun Do to survey the accident site and then personally interrogate the truck driver and accuses him of lying about being sleepy since there were no brake marks on the street.
Pan Seok and Tae Il search Chief Kang’s office for the recording and Pan Seok finds a letter she wrote addressed to Pan Seok. In the letter she writes that the expanded investigative authority proposal will be discussed soon and after that she will reveal everything and accept her punishment. She asks Pan Seok to look after Ji Yong while she is in jail and she is truly sorry for what she did.
Dae Gu visits Chief Kang in the hospital and remembers his appendectomy a few years ago, he told her it was a small surgery but she sat by his bed all night holding his hand. He was actually very happy she was there because she really felt like his mom. The picture she kept was when he gave her a carnation for Mother’s Day and right now he wonders still if it was all fake. She can’t leave like this, she needs to get better because there is still a lot she needs to tell him. He places the picture by her bed and leaves all sad.
Director Cha attends a Team 3 meeting and announces that his eagle-eyed detective ability and perseverance has allowed him to discover important new CCTV footage. One recording shows the truck driver parked on the side of the road for 3 hours and then after he started driving for 5 minutes is when he supposedly got sleepy and rammed his truck into Chief Cha’s car. This proves that he’s lying. Everyone is happy at the new evidence until Pan Seok gets a call from the hospital that Chief Kang has passed away.
Dae Gu carries Chief Kang’s picture at the officer of Gangnam precinct file in uniform to the cemetery for her burial. Congressman Yoo arrives and pays his respects to Chief Kang and the cops have no choice but to let him act like he’s all sad. Dae Gu stares daggers at him but to no avail, the man is slimy and smirks right back at Dae Gu before leaving.
After the funeral, Pan Seok stays behind and shares with Sa Kyung about how Chief Kang used to be his team captain and was always pushing him to be a better detective. He used to hold her up as a role model and wanted to be a cop just like her. Pan Seok reveals that Chief Kang apologized to him but he feels that he needs to apologize to her for letting her fall into a trap. He saw how Ji Yong trusted her whereas he didn’t and that meant his passion and conviction for the job was long gone. Sa Kyung knows that Chief Kang’s passion for the job was greater than anyone and she was a good cop til the end. Sa Kyung is sure she’s gone to a better place.
Tae Il and Dae Gu wake up in the morning to find Ji Gook has cooked a full Korean breakfast for them. Awwww. He confesses that his mom brought most of the food over last night but urges his roomies to eat up. Dae Gu gets a text from Soo Sun to meet him at the playground across from the apartment before work.
Soo Sun hands Dae Gu a packed breakfast of rice balls she made herself. There is even seaweed in the shape of a heart on top. So cute. Dae Gu eats the rice and Soo Sun worriedly asks if it’s good? Dae Gu takes a second bit before admitting it’s good which makes Soo Sun happy. Dae Gu warns Soo Sun to never betray him, and it’ll be a betrayal if she ever falls for another man and that will be like declaring war with him. But there is something else even worse than that she is not allowed to do. Dae Gu tells Soo Sun to not die before he does. Soo Sun’s face falls as she watches Dae Gu shove the rice ball in his mouth while crying. Soo Sun promises not to die before him and not to betray him, but he also needs to not keep all his pain inside and just express it to her any way he wants. Soo Sun gets up and wipes Dae Gu’s tears away and he nestles his face in her hand for reassurance.
Team 3 recover the video recorded from the car camera which shows him meeting with Congressman Yoo’s lawyer and accepting a briefcase and exchanging something in an envelope. This exchange happened days before Dae Gu was attacked. Director Cha runs in to announce that his powerful interrogation technique has led to the truck driver revealing who was behind the intentional car accident and points the finger at Congressman Yoo’s lawyer as well. Tae Il and Eun Do interview the lawyer who pins all the blame on Madam Yoo. Eun Do doesn’t believe it since Madam Yoo was incarcerated at that time. Eun Do changes questions and asks who ordered him to exchange money with Killer Boots and the lawyer also claims it was on the orders of Madam Yoo.
Team 3 discuss how Congressman Yoo is placing all the blame on Madam Yoo and it seems like it was planned in advance. Ji Gook runs in to tell the team that Madam Yoo has been released from jail and placed in a mental health facility.
Madam Yoo’s son Ki Tae arrives and causes a scene demanding to see Dae Gu. Ki Tae hands the paternity test to Dae Gu which confirms that Dae Gu is not Mr. Shin’s son and therefore not Ki Tae’s half-brother. Ki Tae says there is no reason for Madam Yoo to have attacked Dae Gu’s mom. Ki Tae asks if Dae Gu knows where his mom is? He asks the cops to help find his mom since his mom is missing after she was bailed out of jail. Her cell is turned off and the family lawyer is also missing. Sa Kyung steps up and takes Ki Tae away to help him find his mom.
Team 3 reconvene to discuss why Madam Yoo believed so firmly that Dae Gu was her husband’s love child. They need to find her now to ask where she got her information. Sa Kyung wants to track Madam Yoo from her release and takes Tae Il along. Dae Gu meets with Mr. Shin and hands over the paternity test which shows they are not related. Dae Gu wants to know where Madam Yoo is right now and why she would be so mistaken about this to the point that she would attack Dae Gu’s mom. Mr. Shin asks for some time to figure it out as well.
Mr. Shin confronts his father-in-law Congressman Yoo to ask where his wife is. He signed the papers before he was stressed right before the board meeting and now he needs to see her. Congressman Yoo laughs at the absurdity of Mr. Shin caring now when all these years he’s acted like he’s not involved in this family and always standing off to the side. He acted like a pig being led to slaughter but it was his choice to marry Madam Yoo and slowly gain ownership of the family. Yet all this time he made Madam Yoo all nervous and fearful. Mr. Shin calls Congressman Yoo no better than him and he doesn’t want to do it anymore so he wants to know where Madam Yoo is now.
Sa Kyung and Tae Il show Madam Yoo’s picture around and hears that she was taken away screaming so chances are she’s been unwillingly placed in a mental hospital. Soo Sun and Ji Gook continue searching Chief Kang’s apartment and Soo Sun looks at the box containing all of Dae Gu’s letters over the years and finds the recorder hidden in the box itself after she cuts it open.
Team 3 sits down to listen to recording which is Congressman Yoo orders Killer Boots to forge a paternity test to show that Kim Ji Yong is Mr. Shin’s son. He needs Madam Yoo to help him this way right before the election by getting herself in trouble so that she would do what he asks. Dae Gu is floored to learn the real reason his mom died. Dae Gu throws a screaming fit in the conference room as the rest of the team let him give him some space to release his anger.
The corrupt and sleazy prosecutor from episode 3 shows up again with minions in tow to take all of Team 3’s investigation results away from them and announces that this case has changed prosecutors and also changed a new investigating team. Soo Sun screams that they secretly investigated because there was so many hidden secrets that they had to work around.
The prosecutor is unswayed and orders his minions to pack up which is when Dae Gu walks out of the conference room with a bat and smashes all the computers. He screams that the new team won’t investigate properly any way so why bother taking the evidence they collected. Pan Seok tells the prosecutor to leave now and he warns that he will be back soon and they better hand over the evidence then. He also informs Pan Seok that internal affairs will be by shortly to investigate whether Team 3 violated procedure to secretly investigate.
The rookies find Dae Gu packed up and leaving the precinct. He’s quitting and refusing to be part of the useless world of cops who can’t catch criminals. Ji Gook and Tae Il want him to calm down and hold it in but Pan Seok tells Dae Gu to let it out. He can’t keep holding it in. But he also asks if Dae Gu has the confidence to keep investigating and solve this case. All four rookies confirm they have the confidence and determination to go until the end. Pan Seok tells them to follow him then no matter what he does. Have they forgotten that he’s the legendary Seo Pan Seok?
The rookies place calls to all the media outlets while the prosecutor goes on TV to announce that the Masan murder and Chief Kang’s murder are being pinned on Madam Yoo. Pan Seok wears his full uniform and stands before the gathered media before he dramatically puts his badge and handcuffs on the table and then takes off his uniform. Pan Seok is taking off his uniform today because of a certain person.
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