Well the production team made good on the teasers this week and left me utterly speechless. I knew Swan and Black were the end game but I am a bit surprised by the sudden turn around. However the excitement doesn’t stop at the romance, the revenge plotting was absolutely fun, it was like watching a 3 way chess game where, in my opinion, 2/3 of the players were better than a certain frenemy.
Black audits Sun Woo group
Was I the only one who heard shots fire when Black said “Let’s begin the audit,” it was a declaration of war and Seon Jae knew full well. During the audit, in which Black questioned him about his time in Thailand, Seon Jae was clearly upset, but remained stoic. Black however seemed to be having fun toying with Seon Jae, taunting him with the fact that he knows everything but continues to play innocent. Seon Jae is of course displeased by how Black has infiltrated the company and sucker punches him, Black quickly subdues him and feigns ignorance. I love how Black distracts him by acting as though his sole target is Baek Eun Do. I find it funny how Black pulls Seon Jae in, making him think they are a team, as if they are resuming their friendship of old. It just reminds me of how fake Seon Jae has been and now we are watching Black repay him in kind.
Black feigned innocence helps to take the brunt of the heat off of him, but Seon Jae still has Black and his crew under surveillance, which ultimately means nothing because Black already knows. Black was also able to successfully predict that Seon Jae would arrange for Baek to be freed from prosecution in order to create a buffer zone between him and Black, keeping the chairman position in his hands. Ultimately everyone has their own best interest in mind, and at the moment none of them can easily rid themselves of the other.
Frankly due to his predictability it is hard to see Seon Jae as a worthy opponent for Black, but the fact that Seon Jae had the foresight to get Baek’s confession on tape gives me a glimmer of hope in the adept villain department. Aside from that, he doesn’t come off as the overly calculative type, he is a schemer, but his hot head works against him. It’s interesting how Seon Jae used the reporter against Baek only to be a pawn in Black’s game without even knowing it. Black is employing a divide and conquer tactic, which Baek has already seen through, but it may very well be of no consequence to Seon Jae because he plans to use Black and kick him out the company regardless. Mr. Baek feels more like the mastermind type that always has at least one trick up his sleeve, yet I wouldn’t count Seon Jae out so early in the game.
Baek targets Swan
Although he didn’t end her life, Baek tried to end her reporting career. While at Sun Woo group, Swan spots Mu Tong, and confronts him about his association with Black. The encounter was photographed by one of Baek’s henchmen and used to frame Swan for reporting in return for bribes. Baek takes the incident as an opportunity to railroad Black and Seon Jae by halting the MRB audit. The simple fact is, Seon Jae needs an investor for the casino deal, and no one will deal with him except for Black. It is quickly revealed that the other board members are on Baek’s side, and most notably Seo Jin Tak is playing both sides. Jin Tak suggests to Seon Jae that he should remove Baek from his position, then reports back to Baek that the removal plan was Seon Jae’s idea.
Despite Baek’s attack, Swan doesn’t back down, she doubles down and reports about a list of important political figures involved in Baek’s illegal gambling ring, which ruffles a few feathers. Baek abducts Swan and meets her at his house. He tries to intimidate her, but instead she pulls out a recorder and attempts to get his statement (this girls balls could eclipse the sun LOL). The only person who seemed to care about her safety at that point was Black, who came in like an action hero. The dramatization was a bit much when he held out his hand like she was standing on a crumbling cliff, but it doesn’t change the fact that Baek could have had her killed and dumped her in the Han River.
Baek is clearly not done with this duo now that he has picture evidence of them being together in Thailand, but I’d like to know more about Swan’s connection to Baek. Is he her father or grandfather? The elephant portrait on the wall, which Swan recognized, indicates some type of relationship with her family, and I am so curious to find out what. If there is a family or parental connection, than there is a good chance it will be used to separate Black and Swan and/or be looped into Baek’s potential redemption arc.
Swan and Baek kiss
After pulling her out of Baek’s study, Black, whose adrenaline was still on overdrive, chastises her for putting herself in danger, she acts in kind reminding him how this screws with his plans. Black makes it a point that she understand she is far more important than any of that, and orders her to never to leave his side. Of course she agrees, and she gives him a peck, he in turn shows her what a real kiss is like LOL. This is just so much to take in at once, part of me is squealing with joy, but the other part of me is like, “writers, how did we get here.” It really feels like Black just did a total 180 and now he is magically in love with Swan, but I don’t believe that is completely the case.
One sure challenge the writers faced was how to make a guy who seemed so focused on his love with Ma Ri, so much so that he made Swan feel like she had no chance, all of a sudden leave that behind and start anew with Swan in a believable manner. However, it is worth noting Black’s reaction to Ma Ri’s announcement of her pregnancy (which apparently was only confirmed today, although I thought we went through this already.), her remaining feelings, and the end of their relationship. The reaction we viewed was not one of a man who had broken up with the woman he loved. As she spoke, he was sympathetic and accepted everything, but he did not reflect the sorrow that she was clearly feeling. Even as he sat in the car, it simply appeared as though he was just trying to process what occurred, but emotionally he had moved on. Although he may have thought otherwise, his heart had already gone to Swan, whom he goes to watch get off from work, soon after leaving Ma Ri. The loving look in his eyes as he watched Swan makes me wonder if his attempts to seek out Ma Ri were purely out of loyalty or just a desire to protect her from her husband. Their talk served as the closure they needed to finally end the relationship, but it is hard to believe the two will be totally free of her. Now that Ma Ri knows the one who attempted to kill Black had a gunshot wound similar to Seon Jae’s, I am almost certain she suspects him. Question is what will she do from here?
With regard to his feelings, there has been a subtle shift in Black’s priorities as Swan takes supremacy in his heart. When the wooden compass made a reappearance at the end of episode 7, it signaled Swan’s influence on him. The compasses hold the same weight a couple ring would, because it is a symbol of them finding their way back to each other. In addition to this we have Black’s reaction to how hurt Swan felt when she learned that Mu Tong and co. were working together and she was left out of his inner circle. To stop her from leaving, he holds her in a back hug, which takes Swan by surprise (you and me both LOL). This scene demonstrates how he was transitioning from pushing her away in order to spare her feelings to letting her in in order to stop hurting her. Swan has been steadily making inroads to his heart, but he could only realize her significance in his life when he thought he could lose her. When the two kissed we saw Black in his full out emotional state, we know he wasn’t thinking straight because he decided to make out with Swan in Baek’s hallway haha….Unless of course he was planning to make Baek blush to death.
Ji Soo’s return
Coming back from the dead must be a Cha family specialty, because Ji Soo makes her reappearance at the end of this episode, and she may be meeting Baek. I really hope her memories are intact because I’m more intent on seeing Ji Soo get her revenge without the extra side drama of the amnesia cliche. Ji Soo would be an effective tool against Seon Jae due to the fact that he has his position, because he stole Ji Soo’s shares. All she needs to do is take them back, though I doubt it’s that simple. I won’t be surprised if Baek uses her a a secret card to prevent his dismissal as president.