Insider: Episodes 1-two (1st Impressions)
When an undercover investigation goes awry, an upright judicial apprentice is dealt a terrible hand and forced to struggle for survival in an unrelenting atmosphere. If he desires to uncover the truth, he’ll have to play his cards suitable — soon after all, there can only be one particular winner.
Editor’s note: Drama coverage will continue with weecaps.
EPISODES 1-two 1st IMPRESSIONS
Insider throws us headfirst into the action with an intense chase scene — our hero, whom we’ll come to know as KIM YO-HAN (Kang Haneul), is on the run from a group of suited males.
He’s caught by their leader, who’s a greater fighter than him — what a nail-biting fight to watch — but Yo-han catches him off-guard with a flying hwatu card to the cheek. Good.
We rewind to a year ago, exactly where Yo-han is in the midst of a hwatu card game. They’re betting with major revenue, and Yo-han wins it all with his unreadable poker face.
That catches the focus of the gambling den owner, who gets his lackey to spill a drink on player OH SOO-YEON (Lee Yoo-young) as a distraction to hide his cheating. Yo-han goes all in, which signifies the players all drop miserably to the cheater.
But not all is lost — turns out Yo-han is a judicial apprentice, and he’s right here on an undercover investigation. Swiftly turning the tables, he exposes the den owners for the fraudsters that they are, and police officers burst in suitable on cue.
We discover that one particular month ago, the director of the judicial coaching institute, NOH YOUNG-KOOK (Yoo Jae-myung) roped Yo-han into a scheme to uncover the corrupt dealings involving CHAIRMAN YANG (Heo Dong-won), Chief Prosecutor HONG SANG-WOOK (Park Sung-geun), and his son HONG JAE-SUN (Kang Shin-hyo). The challenge is, such an undercover investigation is illegal — which signifies it is higher danger, higher reward.
As common of a dramaland hero, Yo-han has a sad backstory his father’s prosecutorial perform known as him away from a young Yo-han, and the wristwatch Yo-han wears to this day is a memento his father gave him. He lives a humble life, and his lack of an illustrious background (and subsequent disadvantage in climbing up the profession ladder) tends to make Young-kook’s offer you irresistibly attractive.
Nonetheless, Young-kook has larger fish to fry, and fellow undercover companion MOK JIN-HYUNG (Kim Sang-ho) requires it one particular step additional by suggesting that Yo-han goes to prison in order to receive important video proof from an inmate.
They inform him that he can take his time to answer, but Yo-han is abducted on his way house that evening. He awakens strapped to a dental chair — the gambling den owner is out for revenge, and he threatens Yo-han with a drill to his teeth and a warning that he knows his beloved grandmother’s address.
Just after that ordeal, Yo-han heads to Young-kook’s residence. When Yo-han admits that he’d anticipated vengeance of this sort to be exacted upon him, but nonetheless agreed to the undercover operation anyway, Young-kook comments that he’s just like his father.
In response to Yo-han’s staunch commitment to his ideals, Young-kook reminds him that conviction can lead them down the suitable path, but it can also push them into danger. Prison is a complete various ballpark, and Young-kook reassures Yo-han that he can back out if he desires.
It nearly appears like Yo-han’s going to forge straight ahead, till a contact from his grandma (Yeh Soo-jung) has him operating to her mart in a panic. It is in disarray, and the gambling den owner methods out — he’s playing the portion of beneficial handyman, but the veiled threat is as clear as day to Yo-han.
Determined to shield his grandma, Yo-han tends to make clear his intention to pull out from the program. Jin-hyung is livid, but Young-kook understands some of their colleagues have gone dark.
Regrettably, Young-kook is subsequent. He gets into his auto, but does not notice that he’s not alone — a masked man is in the backseat, poised to attack. Noooo, I wanted to see much more of Yoo Jae-myung!
Jin-hyung approaches Yo-han at Young-kook’s funeral, displaying him a list of contact logs. All the colleagues who went missing, Young-kook integrated, received a telephone contact from the exact same quantity.
That quantity belongs to prosecutor YOON BYUNG-WOOK (Heo Sung-tae), who specializes in catching wealthy, tax-evading chaebols, and is also in cahoots with Chief Prosecutor Hong. Byung-wook had received a text containing the names of the people today who are aiming to take down the Central Investigation Division, even though it is not but clear who the mole amongst them is.
In any case, Young-kook’s death is the catalyst that spurs Yo-han into prison, determined to uncover the truth. Some time ago, Jin-hyung had revealed to Yo-han that the series of administrative errors following the death of his father had been a cover up by the prosecution. That is precisely the sort of corruption they want to root out.
Byung-wook catches on swift, even though, and he tends to make Yo-han an offer you — confess the truth to him, and he’ll waive his prison sentence and reinstate him as a judicial trainee. Yo-han responds by seeking offhandedly at his surroundings and asking Byung-wook what he just mentioned. Ha.
Byung-wook could possibly not have gotten to Yo-han, but he’s managed to shake Jin-hyung. Byung-wook’s understanding of their program to use Yo-han as their trump card signifies he can threaten to expose their illegal undercover operation, and Jin-hyung ends up deleting Yo-han’s file from the database. Jin-hyung’s cleaned up his personal tracks, but freeing himself from any prospective implications also signifies that Yo-han has been hung out to dry.
In prison, Yo-han’s trials and tribulations are not more than just but. A prison guard leads him to the kitchen, exactly where the gambling den gangsters are lying in wait like a pack of hungry hyenas.
Nonetheless, they’re not out for blood — just revenue. Yo-han owes them a million won a week in compensation, or else each his grandma’s mart and her life are at stake. Yo-han fights back, but it is no use, and he gets beaten up.
The gangsters pass a note to the leader of Yo-han’s cell, SONG DOO-CHUL (Choi Moo-sung), asking him to send Yo-han to the kitchen to spend his dues — but that is their error. Turns out Doo-chul is portion of the exact same gang as the gambling den owner, just a lot of years his senior, ha.
Also, Doo-chul has a bone to choose with major dog JANG SUN-OH (Kang Young-seok), who swaggers about with the prison guards in spite of getting a fellow inmate. Doo-chul extends an offer you — Yo-han just has to make the suitable connections and stick close to Sun-oh, in order to spy for Doo-chul. In exchange, he’ll deal with the gambling den owner. It is two birds with one particular stone.
Meanwhile, we catch up with Soo-yeon — she’s noticed the suspicious situations surrounding Yo-han’s presence at the gambling den, so she heads to his grandmother’s mart to investigate for herself. That locations her there at just the suitable moment to intervene with a soju bottle to the windshield of the auto that is tailing Yo-han’s grandmother, and she even arranges a telephone contact involving grandmother and grandson.
Soo-yeon requires more than the telephone towards the finish of the contact, urging Yo-han to spend back his debt for his grandmother’s sake. When he asks soon after her identity, she just tells him cryptically that they’ll meet quickly.
Yo-han’s be concerned for his grandmother’s security has him accepting Doo-chul’s deal, and with that, Yo-han’s second undercover operation starts. Doo-chul’s henchman KIM GIL-SANG (Cha Yeob) reveals to Yo-han that the prison wardens truly run an illicit gambling den all the employees are in on it, and the prisoners have to rise via the tiered ranks to get to the major leagues.
1st up is the bottom rank, exactly where bets are placed utilizing cigarettes. The game is a modified version of Texas Hold’em, and Yo-han wins his very first game with ease. His subsequent games go terribly, even though, and he starts to suspect cheating — but with out any concrete proof, all he can do is maintain attempting (and losing) day soon after day.
A scuffle with the gambling den gangsters lands Yo-han in solitary confinement for twenty days, for the duration of which the prisoner in the subsequent cell strikes up a conversation about the prison’s gambling den.
The unknown prisoner properly speculates that Yo-han lost revenue, and delivers to teach him gambling recommendations. Yo-han turns him down, even though, and then a guard calls Yo-han out — he’s granted unique leave for the funeral of his grandma.
It is been ruled a suicide, but we see the truth the exact same masked assailant that murdered Young-kook had lured her to an alleyway. She was identified with her land ownership deed in her mouth, and Yo-han realizes that it points to Jae-sun. Apart from Yo-han and his grandmother, only Jae-sun and the gambling den owner know about the deed, and the latter is not the form to kill if there’s no revenue to be earned.
Jae-sun smugly admits to it with out a shred of remorse it is payback for Yo-han’s try to drag Chairman Yang and Chief Prosecutor Hong down. Jae-sun even has the gall to blame Yo-han for his personal grandmother’s death, and that is the final straw. Yo-han socks him square in the jaw and begins wailing on him, and it is as satisfying as it is heartbreaking.
Jin-hyung arrives and pulls Yo-han off an unrepentant Jae-sun, but the conversation involving them has Yo-han realizing that he’s been reduce off. Regardless of Jin-hyung’s attempts at downplaying the scenario, you can see the forlorn disillusionment gradually creep into Yo-han’s eyes as he realizes that he’s lost his most valuable individual in the procedure of fighting for a result in that has abandoned him.
Back in solitary confinement, Yo-han motives out that Jae-sun is not the form to get blood on his personal hands this conspiracy extends additional than he can see at the moment. Determined to continue pursuing the investigation to its bitter finish, Yo-han lastly requires the neighboring inmate up on his offer you to teach him how to gamble.
Hong Jae-sun, Mok Jin-hyung, Yoon Byung-wook, and the murderer who killed his grandmother — Yo-han vows to finish them all with his personal hands.
Insider’s opening episodes had me on the edge of my seat all through, with its deft storytelling and tightly-woven suspense. Corruption is a tale as old as time, but all of our characters are so compellingly layered that I’m completely immersed and invested in the story’s twists and turns.
A single distinct aspect that stood out was the irony of utilizing a temple as a gambling den the desecration of holy ground with the indulgence of carnal pleasures delivers a parallel to how the wicked greed of corruption undermines the impartial justice that the prosecution claims to uphold.
Amidst it all is Yo-han, a paragon of justice beaten down by the bleak futility of railing against a method that is stacked against smaller fry like him. He’s steadfast in his convictions, but he’s not immune to despair and dismay, which tends to make his decision to continue pursuing the truth hold even much more weight.
We didn’t get to see a lot of Soo-yeon this episode, but her charismatic composure and razor-sharp wit currently have me wanting much more. She commanded the screen in the tiny air time she had, and she’s undoubtedly shaping up to be a formidable foe to these who dare oppose her.
In addition, there’s a smaller ray of hope in the tentative connection involving Yo-han and deaf inmate NOH SEUNG-HWAN (Choi Dae-hoon). When Yo-han witnesses the vicious verbal abuse hurled at Seung-hwan by the other inmates, he’s the only one particular to stand up for him Yo-han even initiates conversation with Seung-hwan by means of sign language.
The way the camera lingered on Seung-hwan appears to recommend that he knows much more than he lets on, and I’m seeking forward to seeing each him and Soo-yeon assist Yo-han on his quest — the much more people today in his (at the moment lonely) corner, the greater!
I’ve generally held Kang Haneul’s acting in higher regard, but I feel he’s outdone himself right here he plays Yo-han with a restraint that humanizes his inner conflict in what could possibly otherwise have been a trite or melodramatic setup. His desperation — each to maintain his loved ones secure and just to survive — was utterly palpable, and the final shift in his gaze to that of determination was so gratifying.
Yo-han may perhaps have been thrust into an unfamiliar and unforgiving atmosphere, but he’s currently verified himself shrewd sufficient to adapt promptly and overcome any hurdles that come his way. As the betting pool grows, the stakes will only get larger, but that’ll make his final win all the much more satisfying. I’m prepared to watch Yo-han take down the terrible guys, one particular playing card at a time.
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