Boss Seo’s extraordinary streak of bad luck extends to his followers; first to be infected is Jang-gab. But while the Ahjausshis had it bad, the Ahjummas are rising in power.

Synopsis:

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Do-hyeong sees the back of Joo-young’s head (with that new short do) as her thugs lug Jang-gab into the car’s boot and drive away. Instead of chasing after Joo-young (have to pretend she is dead, yunno) Do-hyeong takes care of the girl who ran into him pre-Jang-gab’s murder plan. She’s Ha-en, the missing daughter of the small time factory owner. He returns her to the police station where her father (contacted by Yoon-mi) is anxiously waiting. (hopefully daddy learns never to pawn away his family members again)

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While Do-hyeong survives an attempt on his life, Yoon-mi is sitting outside the pub where Hyeong-sik is currently meeting with Hye-jung. She finally balls up enough courage to enter — only to see 2 empty glasses. Hye-jung’s goons have alerted them before Yoon-mi even steps into the pub. (late again)

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Hyeong-sik pleads with Hye-jung to “release him from her and Boss Seo’s clutches”…only to be mocked by Hye-jung. It appears the two had a relationship before Hyeong-sik dated Yoon-mi. Unable to be let off the hook, Hyeong-sik decides to team up with Do-hyeong instead to get rid of his blackmailers. He arrives at Do-hyeong’s doorsteps with info on Hye-jung’s insurance co. and its link to the Shadows.

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We check in with unlucky Jang-gab, whom Joo-young has brought in for Mdm Lee. After a few choice threats of bodily harm, he spills all to Mdm Lee. (typical mob “loyalty”)  Mdm Lee makes a call to Boss Seo, and candidly warns him that she knows everything now (from Jang-gab) on why he insisted on pursuing Joo-young, and says she will inform Chairman Kang of his naughty deeds. Boss Seo is livid and after putting down the phone, orders his men to search for Jang-gab’s whereabouts immediately.

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Mdm Lee then releases poor Jang-gab to the wolves (aka Seo and men), and turns to a nervous looking Joo-young. She tells Joo-young to tap on her strength if Joo-young wants to stop all the bad guys from pursuing her and Do-hyeong. In exchange, Mdm Lee will make use of Joo-young and Do-hyeong to achieve her own end. (methinks is Underworld domination she’s after)

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Although Do-hyeong refuses to work with Hyeong-sik (who also admitted to being the police mole in a roundabout way), he isn’t against looking through the info Hyeong-sik brought. From Moneylender Park’s earlier conversation, he knows there’s another Chairman behind Boss Seo. So, all he needs to do now is to trace that Chairman’s identity. Using the info from Hyeong-sik, he and his colleague (Han-joo) try to trace the owner of Se-yeol Construction. Halfway through, Yoon-mi calls him urgently with info on Jang-gab.

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Apparently, Jang-gab contacted a smuggler to bring him out of Korea to evade Boss Seo. Said smuggler is of cos being paid by Seo to report back. But not long after the smuggler ends the call with Seo, Joo-young swoops in with her goons and beats out the same info from him. Mdm Lee then uses the intel and swaggers into the police station to inform Yoon-mi…and thus the phone call to Do-hyeong. Yoon-mi and Do-hyeong muz reach Jang-gab first and persuade him to be a witness in order to nail Boss Seo.

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Unfortunately, after Do-hyeong leaves to pick up Jang-gab, Han-joo gets called in by the bank’s Managing Director. The MD has caught wind that Do-hyeong and Han-joo are investigating him for misappropriation of funds…and isn’t too pleased about being checked on. (oops)

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Meanwhile, Seo and Do-hyeong both rush to the pier where Jang-gab is currently hiding. Do-hyeong reaches slightly after Boss Seo and gang, and decides to do a one-man covert op, taking down each and every one of Seo’s thugs looking for Jang-gab. He also manages to locate Jang-gab (who is hilariously overjoyed at seeing Do-hyeong…wait, wasn’t he your intended murder target juz a night ago?). After successfully disarming Seo’s men, Do-hyeong beats the crap out of Jang-gab and gets the name and info of Chairman Kang, as well as a confession that Seo was the one who killed Boss Song.

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Yoon-mi FINALLY arrives on scene (i wonder what the hell she has been doing all this while…touring Seoul?), juz as Boss Seo catches on that Do-hyeong has been taking out his men. Yoon-mi tries (keyword is “try”) to arrest Boss Seo at gun point…only to be knocked down (STILL conscious, though) by one of Seo’s thugs from behind. Seo mocks her and sneers at Hyeong-sik’s uselessness in keeping his pet girlfriend in line. He picks up Yoon-mi’s gun (which has dropped from her hand when she got bashed in by the thug), intending to finish her off. However, Hyeong-sik arrives juz then, and shoots Seo.

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Seo is sent to hospital, while Jang-gab is arrested and hauled to the station. Yoon-mi stones off in shock at hearing confirmation from Seo’s lips that Hyeong-sik is the police mole.

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Do-hyeong contacts Park and relays the info to him. As of now, Park is cleared of suspicions for murdering Boss Song. However, when Park hears that Jang-gab is merely arrested and held in police custody, he immediately warns Do-hyeong that Chairman Kang’s men will easily do away with Jang-gab.

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And his warning came not a second too soon: Chairman Kang instructs Secretary Kim to protect Seo (cos he is still needed in the money laundering business), and silence Jang-gab. Jang-gab is transported (on “orders from higher authority”) to another holding cell. On the journey, a car rams into the police car and assassins garrote Jang-gab. When Yoon-mi and Do-hyeong rush over, Jang-gab is already dead.

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Secretary Kim has no intentions of saving Boss Seo though, since he may be liable to spill that both of them are involved in Song’s death. So he meets Hyeong-sik, and bribes him to poison Seo. However, before Hyeong-sik can carry out the plan, Hye-jung has squirreled Seo out from the hospital. In other words, the police are back to Square 1. No suspects. And no criminals. (zzz)

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Han-joo calls Do-hyeong with further bad news — he can’t help Do-hyeong anymore. The Managing Director had threatened to expose Han-joo’s “sideline” if they continue to dig into his financial transactions. As for the “sideline”…Han-joo routinely sells clients’ info (those with bad credit ratings) to loan sharks. He earns from the loan sharks…and the clients end up getting their (very dangerous) loans. (and we all know what will happen to them/ their families when they default) Naturally, Do-hyeong is pissed.

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In the evening, Yoon-mi meets with Hyeong-sik, and pleads with him to “return to his beginning”, as she recounts how she has hero worshipped him in the past (and now).

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Joo-young, under instructions from Mdm Lee, is on her way to track down the MIA Boss Seo as well. They bribe the hospital’s security to pass them the photos of Hye-jung carting Seo out, and Joo-young manages to trace Hye-jung to a noraebang where she is meeting (on Seo’s behalf) Do-hyung’s Managing Director “to discuss business”. Unfortunately, Han-joo turns up too, and Joo-young (fearing exposure), hangs back from capturing Hye-jung.

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Han-joo informs Do-hyeong that both the MD and himself are meeting Hye-jung, whom they earlier suspect has shady dealings with Se-yeol, at the noraebang. Do-hyeong rushes over to the noraebang, intending to find out Seo’s location from Hye-jung.

Yoon-mi too, receives a call — from Joo-young. She pleads with Yoon-mi to help arrest Hye-jung, cos she doesn’t want Han-joo to see her alive. (Mdm Lee had informed Joo-young though, that Do-hyeong strongly suspects she isn’t dead…) Yoon-mi rushes down to the noraebang too…

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But both of them are slower than Hyeong-sik. He pulls Hye-jung out from the room and manages to find out where Boss Seo is holed up. He goes over to arrest? murder? Seo, but ends up getting beaten up and stabbed by (an injured) Seo. (haiz, the police)

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When Yoon-mi FINALLY turns up and arrests Hye-jung and FINALLY locates Boss Seo’s hiding place, she finds Hyeong-sik lying in a pool of blood and Boss Seo nowhere to be found. Boss Seo is currently escaping from the police, but he is stopped by Do-hyeong.

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In desperation, he leaps into Yoon-mi’s car (where Hye-jung is cuffed), and drives off in her car. (double eye roll) And who should turn up in another car to help Do-hyeong chase down Boss Seo? Joo-young.

Review:

kooriyuki mentions that I’m probably the only fella who sees Bride as being exceeding funny — hilarious even. Ok, maybe I do have an off the radar type of humour…but it IS funny. (right…stop wiggling that eyebrows)

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Anyway, since this is OCN (and not say, KBS2), testosterone fills the day. OCN’s shows are always pro-male, and sometimes a little sexist. Think back to all the police procedurals that OCN pulls off — the male lead is always the better police, the better detective, the better ghost buster, the better whatever. The women — well, they are there, but they are like the slinky, busty, eye catching magician’s assistant. In other words — a pretty vase. And so — I have totally given up on Cha Yoon-mi.

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It’s sad that OCN recruits an amateur boxer to star in Bride and then doesn’t make use of her at all. Not only is Yoon-mi rather dim as a Detective Squad Team Leader…she unfortunately harbours within her the what men stereotypically think of as “feminine quality” — being unable to control or over-ride her own emotions to deal with the task on hand. So when faced with first a strong hint, and later blunt evidence of her darling Hyeong-sik’s betrayal, all she can do is shut down, ball up and sttooonnne.

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In contrast, look at what Batman (sorry, Do-hyeong) does — he takes Action. (which includes but is not limited to, doing several reps on the pull up bar and showing us his rippling muscles in a pushup-pike-pushup sequence…sorry for snorting in laughter again)

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Ok, to be more serious in my discourse: Bride‘s plot is predictable like most gangland films. The collapse of the an Underworld’s structure typically starts from within. We have characters like Boss Seo who tries to usurp the right-hand man position, even though it is very clear that he will fail. Cos he isn’t THE top dog, he’s juz STILL a dog. The more he tries to cover up his crimes in front of Chairman Kang, the more he will fall. Chairman Kang probably knows of what he has done all along, and is juz waiting for him to overdo the corrective actions so he will trip himself up — which he does, eventually.

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Chairman Kang too, has the same problem has Seo. He is a little short-sighted, and complacent in his belief that he is invincible.  Thus, he hasn’t dealt with Mdm Lee yet, which imo, poses a larger threat than traitorous Boss Seo. Mdm Lee is basically buying up all the base runners in the Underworld’s “corporate hierarchy”, aka the loan sharks. In Bride, the loan sharks are the gateways to the Underworld. They are the ones who straddle between the normal people and those who “live underground”, away from Law and Order. If Chairman Kang doesn’t wake up and realise his bottom line is getting stolen by a woman…he may well lose his position.

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