Squad 38 Episode 1 & 2 Recap: Worker Ants Unite!
Sung Il finds himself in deep water when the higher ups set him up for the fall. Can he enlist a conman with an agenda to help him clear his name and take down his bosses? It’s a high stakes game with the worker ants behind the 8 ball. Join Cici, Firnlambe and I, Wendilynn, as we settle in to place bets on who might win on Squad 38.
Cici: I am in love with this drama already. And let me just say that the obvious winner will be Jung Do, followed closely by Sung Il. But it will sure be fun watching how these two seeming moral opposites help each other.
Firnlambe: Also let me add onto that ,. . . . who else isn't even mad Seo In Guk wasn’t even really present during the first episode--because I wasn’t. If the show I originally started, purely due to the leading man’s star power, draws me in and captures my attention within the first 15 mins like this show has--I’m 99.99% certain this will be a blast to watch.
Cici: It says something that I was satisfied with the brief appearance of Seo In Guk’s...lips, lol.
Wendilynn: I think it’s smart to place this story in the context of the every man. They even make an analogy about queen ants, soldier ants and worker ants. Since they work for their version of the IRS, it was interesting to me that you got to see the ho hum life of Sung Il. He’s being played beautifully by Ma Dong Suk. My heart just went out to him because he just could not catch a break. My son, who avoids all things kdrama, was intrigued by the premise of this story. He loves Burn Notice and White Collar type stories so even he was caught up in it. He loved it, too.
Firnlambe: He really couldn’t catch a break could he. Not only does he have to deal with the exceedingly rich scumbag (like, really? Who own gold bars these days?) on an alarmingly regular basis. He also has to deal with an EXTREMELY corrupt management system. Seriously . . . Sung Il has no luck whatsoever.
Cici: But what Sung Il does have going for him is the courage to stand up for what is right, to fight corruption, and to refuse to be bought. Of course, that alone is enough to get him in a world of trouble with his superiors. I was amused at how difficult it was for him to agree to use Jung Do’s conman skills to take down the gangster and clear his own name. Although, I guess if I’d been the one to be scammed, I’d probably have a hard time asking the culprit for help, too. Wasn’t that scam brilliant, though?
Wendilynn: He wasted no time scamming that list. Mind you, he had had plenty of time to work out what he was going to do. I have to wonder what prompted Jung Do to do it. I’m very curious who “the president” is that’s behind this. I’m also curious what the conspiracy is that these guys are into. Yes, I know they help the rich not pay taxes, but there seems to be more going on considering they even have mister quiet guy that sits next to Sung Il in on it.
Firnlambe: Are you referring to scammed dude or Sung Il from team 1? Because the fact that this whole issue with poor Sung Il from team 3 is simply because Jung Do wasn’t paying attention is classic. I’m also curious how far up the chain this corruption goes. We haven’t even met all the characters yet so I’m sure things are just getting started.
Cici: When they revealed the case of mistaken identity, I kind of thought that episode should have been called Another Baek Sung Il. But I guess that idea has already been taken. So I’m confused about something. Who was the guy in the sunglasses playing golf with Big Bad Gangster? I know he works for the Tax Service, but what power does he have over Sung Il, and how can he get away with accusing him of taking a bribe?
Wendilynn: That was his boss, the one who invited him to eat and then complained that he was eating.
Firnlambe: Yup. Isn’t he is also the one we briefly see on a photograph with Sung Il and the man from the first 5 mins of the show? The one who was accused of taking a bribe and then is found in his car filled with smoke. The fact that the three of them are on the photo really makes me feel even worse for Sung Il, because obviously something went wrong somewhere.
Wendilynn: Being betrayed by friends is the worst.
Cici: So this is about greed vs. justice, and the rich and powerful vs. the poor and powerless, right? I thought it was interesting that someone also referred to Jung Do as a Robin Hood. Who just happens to be my very favorite character type ever. So yeah, I’m all in here.
Wendilynn: Did you notice that Sung Il’s second in command, Mi Joo knows who Jung Do is? Clearly there is history there, probably having to do with whatever scam sent Jung Do to jail in the first place.
Firnlambe: Was she the one outside of the clothing store? I know I for sure noticed the hostility in the preview. I’m sure that reunion will be a ball of laughs.
Cici: The girl outside the clothing store was her girlfriend, and she called Mi Joo to let her know she had seen Jung Do. While I would be OK with a complete absence of a love line in this story, it does seem like a waste of a beautiful man’s talent. So maybe there will be loathing which eventually moves to trust and then love during the course of this drama. One can only hope, lol.
Wendilynn: I’d be just as happy if they leave love out of this. Jung Do already has a girl he’s using. I was also pleased to see who is playing our cop. Oh Man Suk has been doing the theater circuit lately so I was glad to see him back on the screen. He cracked me up. And he wasn’t the only recognizable face in a small role that peeked through.
Firnlambe: Dude! I recognized so, sooo many faces in this show already. Plus as an added bonus a wild Cuppybowl appeared!! Granted he got his ass handed to him within 5 mins but hey, at least he’s pretty. While on the topic, I was extremely pleased by Sung Il’s cop friend. He is hysterical, and I hope he stays around for the entire show.
Cici: The entire cast is great, and the cameos are so much fun. And Cuppybowl, alias Cutter, is one of my favorite character actors. I was so bummed when he was killed off in Daebak...but I digress. Did you know that before he started acting, Ma Dong Seok was a personal trainer in martial arts? So his fighting moves are genuine.
Wendilynn: Yeah, he looked like he knew what he was doing. The action sequences were pretty good. That car chase was fun. This show is setting itself up quickly. We know who our basic bad guys are. We know who our good guys basically are. However, this is a crime drama so nothing can be taken for granted. Double crosses will happen.
An uneasy truce has begun but can it be trusted when anyone can be the bad guy? Sung Il and Jung Do will have to sink or swim together. Only time will tell if they will both get what they want from it.
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