Pied Piper Episode 4 RECAP

Sungchan figures out how the Pied Piper is finding its accomplices – through an online anonymous forum filled with society’s outcasts.  In order to draw the Pied Piper out, he mimics the Pied Piper when the Crisis Negotiation’s Team Leader posts for help on that forum.

THE RECAP

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The Crisis Negotiations Team Leader comes home early now that he’s in a slower department. His wife tells him to speak with his son whose grades have dropped since THAT INCIDENT.

He goes to his son and then asks if his son is doing it because of his friend’s accident. He angrily notes that it was an accident and he’s working so hard to give his son an education in Seoul. His son mutters that he will raise his grades by the midterm time.

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The next day, reporters gather to see Sungchan join the Crisis Negotiations Team. The police chief takes Sungchan in his office and asks what Sungchan wants. Sungchan answers that he wants the team’s right to negotiate during crises and the team’s right to investigate the crimes after the crises. The chief scoffs that Sungchan needs to bring evidence that shows the benefits of letting the Crisis Negotiations Team investigate.

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Then Myungha and Sungchan go on Heesung’s broadcast where Heesung asks why Sungchan jumped to the police from being a corporate negotiator. Sungchan smiles that he was convinced by Myungha. Heesung bids them good luck and moves on to the connection between the two – the failed negotiation that lead to the death of the prior Crisis Negotiations Team Leader and Sungchan’s girlfriend.

Myungha notes that the team added Sungchan to avoid such tragedies in the future. Then Heesung and Sungchan trade veiled barbs about each other where Heesung apologizes for being wrong about Sungchan’s sincerity in the past and Sungchan replies that the experience must have helped Heesung become the respectable anchor he is today…

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Sungchan then goes to the bank where the attempted bank robbery occurred. He asks the employees for information on what the robber demanded from the vault. They answer that it was a secure box so they aren’t sure what was in it. However, the employee helpfully copies the box owner’s information.

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Sungchan then investigates the chicken delivery bike that the robber rode to the bank by calling for delivery. Some well timed compliments and an offer to share the chicken gets him information that the delivery boy’s bike was stolen recently.

Sungchan goes to the public computer lab where the bike was stolen and reviews the security cameras. He finds out that the bank robber had frequently visited some sort of message board.

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When Sungchan gets back to the office, he sees that the Team Leader is meeting with the mother of his son’s (Jung-In) friend. She asks the Team Leader to look into the case again since Jung-In stated that he witnessed the other boys beating up her son Chankyu. Yet, the police found it to be an accident and now it looks like Chankyu might have to transfer schools.

The Team Leader tells her to leave and Chankyu’s mother accuses the Team Leader of being bribed by the bully’s parents…

She leaves after leaving Jung-In’s message board post about the whole incident. The Team Leader storms out of the room and Sungchan takes out the paper in curiosity. His review of the paper turns into a flashback where we see Jung-In go looking for his friend. Jung-In sees and hears his friend getting beaten up but Jung-In hides when he sees that the bullies would outnumber him easily… He calls the police once the bullies leave but the main bully’s dad is the head of a large law firm. The incident gets covered up while Chankyu has to be hospitalized.

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Sungchan realizes that that message board is the same as the one where the bank robber had spent all his time. He asks his colleague to look into the matter, and the colleague explains that it’s a forum called the “Underground”. Sungchan asks him to look for certain posts which may have been deleted.

Meanwhile, Jung-In goes to visit his friend Chankyu. He asks Chankyu if Chankyu knows about NoName316, a poster on the Underground Forum. The rumor is that he helps those who need help on the Underground Forum for a price – each victim has to help NoName316 as well. Rumor continues that if you break his contract, you might die.

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Chankyu sighs that he does not care and Jung-In leaves. As Jung-In walks home, he posts that he’s so frustrated about his friend who got into a bad mess and the cops are not helping. Jung-In notes that he would be willing to do anything to get revenge…

Suddenly, Jung-In gets a call and the caller whistles the Pied Piper melody.

Sungchan returns to the police department in time to see a package get delivered to the Team Leader. He carefully opens it up and finds a cell phone inside. When he turns it on, he gets a message that is a picture of his son holding a sign that instructs the Team Leader to come find the son if he wants to keep the son alive. The phone suddenly rings and the Pied Piper’s melody is heard.

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The Team Leader and team gets worried and splits up in search of Jung-In. Sungchan and the Team Leader head over to the hospital but it’s clear that Chankyu and his parents have no idea. So, then the Team Leader remembers the building in which Chankyu was beaten up.

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The team runs toward the building and begins searching for Jung-In frantically. At one point, Sungchan and Myungha have time to debrief in the corridor and he tells her his hypothesis that the Pied Piper finds his victims through the anonymous forum…The victims do not realize that the Pied Piper’s offer is a trap and end up ensnared.

Then they hear a shout and run to a different cavern where the Team Leader has found a room with a laptop. The laptop shows a video of Jung-In coughing awayagainst a brick background. Meanwhile, a voice tells the room that the Team Leader better confess to everything or see his son die.

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The Team Leader falls to his knees and confesses that he was wrong to just close Chankyu’s case as an accident. The voice asks if the Team Leader received money. He answers that he did not accept any money but he did not want Jung-In to get hurt as the attacker’s family was too powerful…The case would have closed the same way either way.

The voice yells back that it’s all a lie and the Team Leader shouts back that the voice does not know anything!

On the side, Myungha feels like something is off and goes to the roof continuing her search. She finds Jung-In talking on the phone and he hangs up. The Team Leader also realizes that something is up and runs to the roof as well.

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There, they find Jung-In standing at the edge of the wall. He warns everyone to stay back. The Team Leader charges at his son, likely, to try to grab the kid before he falls but Sungchan and Myungha realizes how precarious the situation is. Sungchan physically restrains the Team Leader and the two remind him that there is something that Jung-In wanted to tell his father … something so important that Jung-In would put together this whole ruse to speak with this father.

So, the Team Leader pauses and asks Jung-In if it was because of Chankyu. Jung-In shouts back that he used to be so proud of his father; he would always brag about his father to his friends…He had been so scared when he saw Chankyu getting beaten up, he had believed his father would set it right. But then, the whole incident got swept under the rug. Jung-In adds that he had such a hard time making friends after moving to Seoul and then this happened to Chankyu, his only friend here in Seoul. Now, all of the kids at school are making him an outcast.

Jung-In asks how much money did his father receive and the emotions get to him. His weight shifts and he falls backwards with everyone running toward Jung-In to catch him. The Team Leader arrives just in time to grab Jung-In’s arm.

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The Team Leader holds on to his son tightly and confesses that he was wrong. The father of the bully is a partner at a large law firm and had brought lawyers who threatened to press defamation charges against Jung-In if Jung-In got involved as a witness. He had not been confident that they could win against the influential parents if they decided to make Jung-In’s life miserable…At the same time, the people above him were pressuring him to close the case as an accident; as a result, he had caved.

The Team Leader manages to pull his son and his confession seems to have gotten through to his son. Everyone goes back to the office in one piece.

A little time later, Myungha sees Jung-In posting on the Underground forum that NoName 316 is a fraud. She asks Jung-In why he’s posting it and Jung-In explains that NoName 316 had approached him but asked money from him instead! This gets Myungha thinking and then she rushes to find the bully student.

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Except Sungchan got there first. He tells the kid to shape up and stop being such a piece of trash in nicer words. The kid isn’t really cooperative and refuses to go and apologize to Chankyu. Instead, he tells Sunchan to back off since his family is strong enough that they will make all of the problems go away like this incident with Chankyu. But, what the kid doesn’t know is that Sungchan has been recording their full conversation.

Sungchan pulls out the recorder and tells the kid that he has a choice, go and apologize to Chankyu or risk that his family would get hurt when everyone hears about how the family is using undue influence to clean up their stupid son’s messes.

Myungha follows Sungchan who leaves Chankyu and demands to know what is going on. He explains that he realized how the Pied Piper was working and wanted to help out Jung-In…So, he pretend to be the Pied Piper to help Jung-In and test out his theory. As they walk, Sungchan’s phone rings – it’s the Pied Piper.

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Sungchan accepts the call on speaker. The Pied Piper’s melody plays and the Pied Piper asks if Sungchan thinks he figured everything out just because he knows how to whistle the melody. Then a car honks in the background and Sungchan realizes a car honked nearby. The walk toward the street and pull over a passerby and the call cuts…The passerby demands to know what they are after and they let him go.

Sungchan then asks Myungha how much she trusts the old Team Leader Oh. She answers that she trusts Team Leader Oh with her life as he helped her when she was an orphan. Sungchan accepts her answer and hands over the copy of the account box ownership info – the account box had been Team Leader Oh’s and the Pied Piper wanted whatever was in it.

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At the same time, the bully walks by and runs into the CEO’s son. He asks if the bully was really behind the incident as is rumored on the Underground Forum. He smiles that he’s disappointed as he had thought the bully would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a man of the law…The bully asks what he can do and the CEO’s son answers that the bully knows better.

Back at the hospital, Sungchan sees that the Team Leader has stopped by Chankyu’s room. To apologize? To reopen the case? Who knows.

We turn to the police where Sungchan questions the bank robber. He repeats the words that the Pied Piper had said on the phone in the Pied Piper’s intonation. The bank robber reacts and reassures Sungchan that he knew the Pied Piper was in the police and that he did everything he was asked.

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Sungchan implies that he can help the bank robber depending on how the bank robber responds to his questions…The bank robber confesses to seeing what was in the bank account box; it was a pen…Like the one Sungchan is carrying around (the recording pen that Myungha carries). The robber realizes that something is off and clams up.

Sungchan tells the bank robber that he’s being manipulated but the bank robber exclaims that he doesn’t trust Sungchan or the police. He runs out of the questioning room and gets pinned by Myungha.

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Later that night, we see someone walk toward the bank robber’s holding cell. Next thing we know, the bank robber is banging his head against the bars…

This creates a mess among the police. It’s on the records that Myungha took out the bank robber for questioning prior to his weird behavior which lead to the bank robber needing hospitalization. So, the police management call an official investigation into the Crisis Management Team.

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Before the meeting for the investigation, the police chief calls Myungha into his office and he notes his disappointment in how the Crisis Negotiations Team has been running. When Myungha does not seem responsive to his words, he asks if Myungha knows Sungchan’s involvement in THAT INCIDENT.

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The scene changes to the roof where Myungha has called Sungchan out. He’s all fired up and ready for the impending investigation so that they can save the Crisis Negotiations Team. However, Myungha is distracted. She continuously asks him if he remembers the redevelopment of a certain neighborhood and asks if he was involved and if he was the one who had suggested the strategy that the protesting people get forcefully removed. Sungchan freezes but he acknowledges that it was him. He doesn’t know why but he loses Myungha at that moment. She asks him if he knows how many people died because of that strategy. He answer around four.

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The investigation opens. Sungchan goes on the attack and explains about the Pied Piper. He also accuses the police of having a mole and declares that the evidence from the bank robbery – the pen from the account that the bank robber robbed – will support his hypothesis.

The board orders that the evidence get brought in and…. CLIFF HANGER!

MY TWO CENTS

Pied Piper toned down its tension in this episode to set the foundation for the main plot.  We are given a red herring as we follow the team investigate Jung-In’s crisis through which we learn more about the Pied Piper and this forum full of unhappy people.  Learning that the Pied Piper is not just threatening people into these crises colors the story much more.  While the victims end up helping the Pied Piper for his overall master plan to take over Korea, etc, he’s helping people who were essentially shifted by legal institutions.  For example, the bank robber only took out the loan because of the promise of redevelopment and increase in his property values.  When the redevelopment folded, he was left holding the bag and bad credit with no one willing to help the poor and influence-less person…With the first bomber, the guy had trusted his company to go work overseas before he was kidnapped.  Then the company only sent enough money to ransom one person instead of buying back the lives of all five captives… All were shifted over but had no power to fight back the big bad bank or conglomerate, respectively…It’s as if, the Pied Piper is not just one person but, rather, the Pied Piper is trying to grow a revolution against the fictional society in the drama.

So, while this episode had toned down the obvious tension, I felt that the tension underlying the main conflict increased.  Now, we start to wonder, is Sungchan and Myungha doing the right thing? Or is there something going on that would render Sungchan and Myungha just ants protecting the institutional corruption?

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