Fighting for justice sometimes means stepping out of your comfort zone and doing things that you might have never done before. Vincenzo’s limits and boundaries are put to the test in this episode and while the process of doing things might not always be enjoyable, it’s the end result that motivates him to push through until the very end. It’ll all be worth it.
Vincenzo: Episode 8 Recap
After getting into a fight with the Babel gang, everyone is brought into the police station. While Mr. Park and his men complain behind bars, our Geumga tenants crowd in front of the detective to defend themselves and to explain what happened. Cha-young and Vincenzo interrupt the shouting and insert themselves into the conversation. They introduce themselves as lawyers representing the tenants and Young-ho saves the day with the video that he recorded of the fight. Our Geumga tenants are proved innocent and Cha-young praises Vincenzo once again for his quick and smart thinking. As expected of the Mafia member. Hahaha. Cha-young really won’t let Vincenzo live, won’t she?
The tenants and their lawyers rejoice and celebrate their victory at a restaurant afterwards. They all compliment one another on their fighting skills and it’s obvious the tenants’ confidence has risen with their win against the Babel gang. It’s all thanks to Vincenzo and he receives a round of applause from everyone. Mr. An resumes with his personal investigation on Vincenzo and reaches yet another conclusion about the
Mafia member Italian lawyer: he’s not a Mafia member like how he assumed. Vincenzo lead the tenants with his leadership and intelligence; he’s Che Guevara. Lol.
Lawyer Choi and Mr. Han hosts another meeting with Chief Prosecutor Hwang and his right-hand man, Mr. Seo. Careful of the last time they met, Lawyer Choi wants things to go off on a good start, but it doesn’t take her long to eventually lose her patience. Just like she did when she worked for the Namdongbu Prosecution, she too has to clean up after Mr. Seo and Chief Prosecutor Hwang again even under Wusang. There’s an incident related to Mr. Seo’s colleague that he wants Lawyer Choi to take care of. Oof. Working for another company, still doing the same dirty work.
Vincenzo walks Cha-young home that night after the late dinner with the tenants ends. On the way to her house, she once again expresses her interest and curiosity in Vincenzo’s career as a Mafia lawyer. She has like 80 different questions she wants to ask him and she’s dying to know. Vincenzo agrees to answering two of the 80 so Cha-young questions how he became involved and whether people really do die like how it’s seen in the movies. The Mafia lawyer answers Cha-young’s questions, but stops her just in time before she can ask another. Before bidding farewell for the night, Cha-young thanks Vincenzo for rescuing her from the police station. She promises to pay Vincenzo back one day and Vincenzo holds her to her words. Just like how the Mafia does it, she should pay him back in the future. Eeeeek, is the drama foreshadowing something?! And also, they are waaaaaay too cute, I cannot handle it!
Lawyer Choi, Mr. Han, and Joon-woo have a meeting at Wusang. Joon-woo is well aware of Vincenzo’s participation in helping Lawyer Choi buy the Namdongbu Prosecution group and he’s not so happy with how she handled it. Shouldn’t she just quit by now? Lawyer Choi is fired up with Joon-woo’s provoking and she refuses to go down without a fight. She’s never lost twice in a row before and she’s going to make sure that she never loses again. Joon-woo is impressed with Lawyer Choi’s explosive energy and fight in her. This is what he wanted from her all along. He doesn’t need a lawyer; what he needs is a villain that can be evil with him. With that, he instructs Lawyer Choi to keep the Namdongbu Prosecution group under her control and to find ways to secure funding after losing some money because of the fight with the Geumga tenants that went viral. Speaking of our tenants, they quickly gain attention and game. They each participate in shows and documentaries made about them and it’s obvious they enjoy the spotlight. Well deserved, eh?
Lawyer Choi and Joon-woo meet with Vincenzo and Cha-young to catch up on the lawsuit against Babel Chemicals. Lawyer Choi isn’t so happy with the compensation proposal that the Jipuragi team drafted up for them, but Joon-woo stops Lawyer Choi from allowing Cha-young to file a criminal suit. He suggests that they review the proposal first. Of course, Lawyer Choi listens to intern Joon-woo (AKA her boss) and the constant taunting between both teams continue. Vincenzo admits that they don’t have as many tricks up their sleeves as Wusang and Babel might think; I mean, there’s no point in piercing holes through a ship that’s already sinking right? Vincenzo and Cha-young recite one of their favorite Korean sayings at the same time to Lawyer Choi and Joon-woo which only angers the villains even more. Joon-woo writes a bunch of profanity in the word document that he has opened up on his laptop. So much for taking notes. Lol.
Han-seo practices his hockey skills at the ice skating rink and is joined by three executive directors. The acting chairman isn’t so happy with the work that the three directors has been doing. Banks have been refusing to work with Babel due to the controversies that they’ve been swept up in recently. Han-seo fires all three guys after hitting each of them with a hockey puck. When he wraps up his practice and returns to his car, his driver informs him of the package that’s come in for him. Inside of the box sits a gun with several bullets. Han-seo aims the weapon at his driver after placing a bullet inside of the revolver, but luckily the bullet doesn’t go off. The driver also updates Han-seo on Mr. Park and his Babel gang who are punished for failing to take care of Geumga Plaza. They’re held hostage in a cold storage facility and nearly freeze to death in the room.
CEO of Shinkwang Bank, Hwang Min-sung (ahhh it’s my Kim Sung-cheol), receives a call from Lawyer Choi asking to meet. She has a favor that she would like to ask him. Meanwhile, Vincenzo and Cha-young rush to the hospital and find Ms. Oh hooked up to a hospital ventilator. After talking with the doctor, they’re informed about Ms. Oh’s worsening condition and how she only has a few more days to live. Cha-young suggests that they submit a stay of execution for now so that Ms. Oh can get treated. When Ms. Oh wakes up, she finds both lawyers standing by her hospital bed. Cha-young updates Ms. Oh about the stay of execution and Ms. Oh isn’t so sure if she’ll have enough money for treatment. Vincenzo volunteers to pay for his mother’s hospital bills and pleads that she just listen to him instead of rejecting the offer. Cha-young notices just how worked up Vincenzo gets and Vincenzo calms himself down to avoid any suspicion.
In her meeting with Mr. Hwang, Lawyer Choi suggests that Shinkwang Bank invest in Babel. Their bank is known for being generous with loan investments and they can partner up with Babel. Although Mr. Hwang initially denies the proposal at first, Lawyer Choi threatens the CEO with his past and how she covered up some of his incidents for him. With that, Mr. Hwang has no choice but to collaborate with Babel and he is introduced to Han-seo in a meeting. Joon-woo smirks while sitting in the other room and listening to their conversation unfold. Lawyer Choi has redeemed herself. Mr. Nam delivers great news to Vincenzo and Cha-young about Ms. Oh’s stay of execution that’s been granted. Vincenzo also steps out for a bit for a meeting with Mr. Cho. There might be another way to access the gold in the storage room without demolishing the building: they can use the iris detection system. But wait, Mr. Wang is dead so how exactly will they open the room? Mr. Cho is prepared and he plans on bringing a group of hackers in Shanghai with him to the museum in Hangzhou that Mr. Wang used to own. The storage room at that museum also has an iris detection system so it’s the perfect opportunity. When Mr. Cho and Vincenzo bid farewell outside of Geumga Plaza, they’re spotted by Cheol-wook and Mr. An who are having a conversation of their own. Cheol-wook manages to sneak away with the wagon full of shovels and other equipment that he claims he’s collecting while Mr. An remains distracted by Mr. Cho’s face. Mr. Cho looks familiar.
Mr. Hwang stops by the hospital to pay Ms. Oh a visit. She’s not so thrilled at seeing him and grows even more furious when he presents her with two envelopes of money that she can use for herself as well as her funeral expenses. Ugh. Just then, Cha-young stops by the room and she questions the interaction that’s going on. Ms. Oh explains that Mr. Hwang is the son of Ms. Oh’s former employer who died while sexually assaulting her. Mr. Hwang isn’t shy in taking jabs back at Cha-young and how she’s the daughter of crooked and evil Lawyer Hong. Ms. Oh has enough of Mr. Hwang and she grabs him by his hair. Cha-young attempts to pull them apart, but Ms. Oh’s hold on Mr. Hwang’s hair is a lot stronger than she thought. Eventually, the two are pulled apart but without Mr. Hwang losing some hair of course. Lol. And so our Jipuragi team learn about Shinkwang Bank’s investment in Babel through the TV news and they have to now come up with a new strategy to defeat Babel.
Cha-young is determined to stop the investment from going through. She updates both guys about Mr. Hwang’s visit to see Ms. Oh at the hospital and how he told her not to request a retrial. There must be a way to take Mr. Hwang down and to screw Shinkwang Bank over. So with that, Cha-young makes her move and she meets up with her former colleague, a current lawyer at Wusang. He hands her a USB drive with some intel in return for the possible opportunity of working for a law firm in Boston, lol. The lawyer is tired of working at Wusang and having to constantly do impressions that Lawyer Choi keeps asking from him. Cha-young herself is a fan of the lawyer’s impressions and asks him to imitate Lee Sun-kyun from “Parasite” one more time in front of her right there and then. LOL. This is so funny.
Cha-young presents the information to Mr. Nam and Vincenzo back at the Jipuragi Office and goes into details about Mr. Hwang’s history. He was involved in dating abuse allegations and incidents with former partners in the past, but they were swept under the rug thanks to Lawyer Choi who was still working for Namdongbu Prosecution at that time. When Mr. Nam studies the photos of Mr. Hwang’s victims, he notices that they’re all guys. Cha-young notes that Mr. Hwang has his preferences, but it shouldn’t deter from the fact that he’s a violent and abusive man. In fact, they can use it to their advantage by bringing in a homme fatale. They can employ a charismatic man to sweep Mr. Hwang off his feet and influence him to cut Shinkwang Bank’s connections with Babel. Mr. Nam assumes he’ll play the role of Mr. Hwang’s love interest in this melodramatic story, but Cha-young has no plans of assigning Mr. Nam as the lead role. You see, Mr. Hwang has a certain ideal type and well, Vincenzo just happens to fit all of those characteristics exactly. Cha-young assigns Vincenzo as the chosen one. She knows he can make things happen.
Vincenzo refuses to star in Cha-young’s movie though. There’s no way he’s going to pretend to like Mr. Hwang. There must be another way to approach the situation. Cha-young and Mr. Nam attempt to calm the Mafia lawyer down and they reassure him that they’ll be there with him every single step of the way to help. Plus, they have to find a way to avenge Ms. Oh and to take Babel and Shinkwang Bank down. Even though Vincenzo repeatedly denies to partake in the plan, Cha-young and Mr. Nam are adamant on making him the main character. They console him and provide him with moral support as he breaks down. Lol.
And so the plan to seduce Mr. Hwang goes underway. Along with the fact that Mr. Hwang is a mama’s boy, he also enjoys horseback riding which he does once a week. So horseback riding it is for Vincenzo and that’s where Mr. Hwang first interacts and meets Vincenzo. Vincenzo shows up with his own horse as if he’s a prince from another world and Mr. Hwang is impressed with the handsome man. It’s as if it’s love at first sight for the Shinkwang Bank CEO. The two chat about their horses for a bit and Vincenzo even takes Mr. Hwang’s horse for a ride. Mr. Hwang is enamored by Vincenzo and the two make plans to grab some drinks that night. After the first encounter, Vincenzo and Cha-young reconvene inside the horse barn. Vincenzo has trouble concentrating and he’s still in denial and disbelief about it all. He’s losing confidence and he’s doubting himself, but Cha-young cheers him up. She reminds him of who he is and all his skills and how he shouldn’t give up. She also makes sure to tease him a bit before skipping off to exit the barn. While skipping away, Vincenzo suddenly grabs onto Cha-young’s wrist and pulls her back towards him for a quick and surprising hug (EEEEEK I’M SCREAMING!!). He was afraid that she was going to get hurt by the horse by startling it from behind so he pulled her back. Cha-young watches Vincenzo walk away, her heart fluttering and butterflies in her stomach.
It’s time for Vincenzo and Mr. Hwang’s date and Mr. Nam and Cha-young are also there to assist. While Mr. Nam and Cha-young sit at the bar, Mr. Hwang is seated directly across from Vincenzo at a table with his back against Vincenzo’s teammates. Vincenzo and Mr. Hwang start off by exchanging business cards and the CEO learns that Vincenzo’s name is Tae Ho. It’s the perfect set-up as Mr. Hwang loves guys with one-syllable first names, lol. Vincenzo is tired of playing along, but he has no choice but to keep going. Mr. Hwang continues to flirt with Vincenzo and even goes as far as to call Vincenzo his soulmate despite having just met him earlier that day. Vincenzo isn’t so sure he can take it anymore, but Vincenzo has to and there’s a reason why.
When asked how Mr. Hwang became the CEO of Shinkwang Bank, Mr. Hwang seats himself right next to Vincenzo to explain the story. Drunk Mr. Hwang reveals all to Vincenzo and the truth behind his mother’s story is unveiled. Mr. Hwang’s father, the Chairman of Shinkwang Bank at the time, was a womanizer who often sexually harassed female employees. One of those women was Ms. Oh and in an act of self-defense, she fought back against Mr. Hwang’s father and pushed him down. And so he fell and he lost his life. The only caveat? Mr. Hwang’s wife saw the entire thing and never said anything. She saw Ms. Oh fight and push Mr. Hwang’s father to his death, but she kept quiet because she wanted him to die so she could rule Shinkwang Finances. There’s no ounce of guilt as Mr. Hwang proceeds to sharing how Ms. Oh took the blame for his father’s death. He and his family has a reputation to uphold which is far more important than telling the truth. The story gets Vincenzo fired up and he becomes even more motivated to take Mr. Hwang down. They make plans to hang out that weekend. Vincenzo isn’t here to play around.
Now that our Geumga tenants are aware about the tons of gold being possibly hidden somewhere in the plaza, they each embark on their own little search party to find the gold. Along the way, Cheol-wook and Yeon-jin encounter Mr. Tak and Chef Toto also walking around the plaza with their own equipment and metal detectors. Lol. They all make up lies to avoid any suspicion from one another, but it’s obvious that all the tenants want to strike gold. The weekend finally arrives and Vincenzo and Mr. Hwang go on a date at the amusement park (ahh this should be fun). Vincenzo dreads every single moment whether it’s on one of the rides or on the carousel. Cha-young and Mr. Nam also tag along, but unlike Vincenzo, they’re having the time of their lives with this amusement park date. Lol. One of Vincenzo and Mr. Hwang’s stop at the amusement park includes a haunted house, but Mr. Hwang’s fear of zombies stop them from going inside. Eventually, the night falls and the date concludes. Vincenzo puts on his acting cap and he expresses disappointment in Mr. Hwang as they sit in Mr. Hwang’s car. Mr. Hwang knows how dangerous Babel is, why would he do such a thing and decide to invest in the corporation? There’s a chance he could possibly get hurt in the process too. Vincenzo ends things with Mr. Hwang that night and the two stop seeing each other.
However, it’s all a part of Vincenzo’s plan and he watches as Mr. Hwang wait outside of his work building in the rain. After repeated phone calls to Vincenzo fails, Mr. Hwang flashes his cell phone out at Vincenzo with a written message pleading for another chance. Cha-young joins Vincenzo for some lunch and she’s impressed at how hard-to-get Vincenzo is playing. This must be the power of love, but Vincenzo argues that not all villains deserve love, especially those who hurt and harm others. So what about Vincenzo then? Does he deserve love? Vincenzo remains silent with Cha-young’s question. He doesn’t have an answer for her. Hours pass and Vincenzo finally meets up with Mr. Hwang who’s still waiting outside for him. Mr. Hwang gives in to Vincenzo’s concern and is willing to learn how he should proceed with the signing ceremony between Babel and Shinkwang Bank. Vincenzo is delighted to hear the news and he suggests that they can hold the ceremony at an opera house.
While getting ready for the investment signing ceremony between Shinkwang Bank and Babel that evening, Joon-woo commends Han-seo on his decision to fire three of their executive directors. It was something he was going to eventually do anyways. However, he reminds Han-seo to ask for permission first next time. And so the investment signing ceremony takes place at an opera house like Vincenzo requested. Lawyer Choi, Mr. Han, and Joon-woo all sit together and catch Cha-young sitting higher up in the seats with her binoculars, lol. Han-seo and Mr. Hwang make their way up the stage and their appearance garners a round of applause from everyone. There’s high hopes for the signing ceremony to succeed without any obstacles, but there’s bound to be some bumps along the way, right? Vincenzo shows up to the ceremony shortly afterwards and sits with Cha-young. Upon seeing Vincenzo, Mr. Hwang is reminded of Vincenzo’s request and makes the decision to forego the contract with Babel. Everyone is stunned by his decision, but Lawyer Choi is prepared this time.
It turns out she consulted with Mr. Hwang’s mom prior to the signing ceremony knowing something like this would happen. And so Mr. Hwang’s mom shows up to the ceremony to sign the agreement herself and the investment deal goes through. While Cha-young panics, Vincenzo isn’t so worried. He’s gotten the help and support of the Geumga tenants in on his plan to mess with Mr. Hwang. After the ceremony concludes, Chef Toto, Cheol-wook, and Mr. An all pose as Mr. Hwang’s bodyguards and take him to a waiting room where the rest of our tenants throw on their acting hats and act as zombies (Mr. Hwang’s biggest fear). After escaping the room, Mr. Hwang comes running out into the main lobby where everyone has gathered after the ceremony. He finds Vincenzo and Cha-young standing on the stairs and he runs up to the stairs to cling into Vincenzo’s legs. He’s scared and traumatized from the zombies, but there’s a more pressing issue. Two detectives show up to the scene and arrest Mr. Hwang for blackmail and assault. It turns out a man under the name of Vincenzo Cassano tipped the police station about Mr. Hwang’s wrongdoings and that’s why he’s in trouble.
Before Mr. Hwang is taken away by the police, Vincenzo reveals his true identity to the shocked and frightened CEO. Mr. Hwang’s mother panics with her son’s arrest and she chases after him. And so the Jipuragi team face off against the Babel and Wusang team once again in the lobby. They might have won this time around, but Vincenzo and Cha-young aren’t afraid. They know they will prevail as winners in the end. Lawyer Choi is also well aware of what Cha-young’s weakness is and she provokes the Jipuragi lawyer by bringing up Lawyer Hong. Cha-young’s fire inside of her is sparked and she calls for all the reporters in the lobby to regroup around them.
Cha-young makes sure to be loud and clear when introducing herself as Lawyer Hong’s daughter as well as her commitment to expose Babel’s heinous activities, deeds, and crimes. Cha-young’s statement is met with tons of questions by reporters asking for more clarification, but Cha-young remains silent afterwards. Lawyer Choi can’t help but smirk at Cha-young’s comments and shrugs it off. Vincenzo steps in to prevent all the reporters from asking anymore questions and he walks with Cha-young away from everyone. He pushes reporters out of their way all the while protecting Cha-young and it’s not until they’re free from the crowd that they exchange glances at each other. A smile forms on both of their faces and they know what they have to do to win. More so than that, they know they have what it takes to get the job done.
You know, even if I don’t necessarily enjoy everything about the episode itself, I know I can always rely on ‘Vincenzo’ to deliver a great ending. I’ve been loving all the endings to each episode so far and this one is no exception. The last five minutes where Cha-young announced her plans to take down Babel was great and you could tell that she was definitely not playing around. She’s going to continue the hard work that her father devoted so much time in his career to doing and she’s going to finish it off with a bang. Of course, she’s going to do it with the help and support of Vincenzo who compliments her so well as her partner in crime. Vincenzo was so proud of her for speaking up and standing so confidently in that crowd while sharing her ultimate goals. Him helping her get out of the crowd was another nice gesture and the look and smile they gave each other at the very end was the icing on the cake that allowed everything to wrap up perfectly. The music that played in the background also added another layer of excitement and confidence to the scene and I loved every single second about it.
Now, what I didn’t necessarily like every single single second of was the rest of the episode leading up to the ending. That might come as a huge surprise (and it came as a surprise to me even) because I’ve fairly enjoyed all the episodes leading up to episode 8. Any drama or movie that implements a gay character walks along a very dangerous line and territory and I came out of this episode with a sour taste in my mouth. I might be in the minority here and I might be totally overthinking it as well, but I wasn’t a fan of how Mr. Hwang was presented in this episode. I know the drama has been setting Vincenzo up to be this smart, cool, creative, and awesome character who can do pretty much anything and everything, but I’m not sure if it was completely necessary to have him once again be that main character in this episode.
Was there another way to take Mr. Hwang down without having to loop Vincenzo to play his love interest? I get that the episode was trying to be funny and was doing things under the name of comedy and humor, but it still made me feel iffy at the end of it all. There were some moments where it felt very sarcastic and satirical and then there were moments where it seemed as if Mr. Hwang’s character was being made fun of. It’s as if the episode was poking fun at his character and the fact that he was gay? Again, maybe it might just be me interpreting his character incorrectly and looking too much into it, but this episode was one where I did not like the strategy that our Jipuragi went with. They’ve been such geniuses in the past, but unfortunately flat to me with this one. Positive representation of gay characters that aren’t made out to be jokes or aren’t used for purely comedic purposes is still so rare in K-dramaland and I’m disappointed that ‘Vincenzo’ didn’t do much with Mr. Hwang’s character. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a horrible person who should be punished for his actions and crimes, but that came at the expense of using him for his sexual orientation.
With that being said, there wasn’t much about this episode that left me completely enamored or intrigued. As usual, I enjoyed all the interactions and moments between Cha-young and Vincenzo. From him walking her home to her consoling him in the Jipuragi office to her going with him to the hospital to see Ms. Oh to her asking him about love to their hug in the horse barn to how he carried her purse when they were at the police station in the beginning to that last scene in this episode, everything about them was truly so beautiful.
We primarily have seen Vincenzo do most of the work in the past episodes, but I like that we’re also now getting glimpses of Cha-young pulling her tricks to get the work done. She dug into Mr. Hwang and did some research on him by pulling some of her own strings. She stood up for her father at the end and made sure to make it known that she is here to win the fight against Babel group that her father started. Of course, she’s contributed to the team in the past and the teamwork between her, Mr. Nam, and Vincenzo is on another level. However, it’s also nice to see Cha-young in action since all we’ve primarily watched has been Vincenzo and his creative juices. Justice for Cha-young and justice for her father!
If there’s anything we know so far, we know we can always rely on our Jipuragi team – Vincenzo, Cha-young, and Mr. Nam – to get the work done. I get that Vincenzo and Cha-young are our main leads, but it’s also nice to see Mr. Nam in there to help them every single step of the way. He too is such a wonderful asset to the team and carries a huge role in helping the team succeed. The three of them really are the dream team and I enjoy watching them come up with ideas and then execute their plans. Mr. Nam might be there for comedic purposes and highlights, but I think we can all agree that he is just vital and crucial to the team and plays a big part in small ways. There is no linear trajectory when fighting for justice and there’s bound to be many curveballs that will be thrown at our Jipuragi team, but I’m confident that our team will be prepared for anything that comes their way.
Extra photos from the episode~