A show about insurance fraud isn’t the first thing one thinks of when going after something exciting and full of mystery. But, from the start, “Mad Dog” has offered sleek promotion, impressive explosions, smooth-talking men, highly capable women, and a whole lot of romantic (and bromantic!) tensions. These insurance cases are ones that will pull at each and every one of your heartstrings; either because of the passion of the Mad Dog team, because of the victims of fraud, or because the cases are used as a way for the lonely members of Mad Dog (and their friends) to find solace and friendship in each other. Of course, when these moments happen, they elicit from us, the faithful viewers, what I like to call “all da feelz.” And that is the good stuff. The heart-pounding, gasping, eyes-wide-open moments that keep you coming back for more. Here are 11 of the many such moments in “Mad Dog.”
Beware! This list of moments is spoiler-laden, but oh-so-full of the feels.
Moment 1: High-powered lady Ha Ri
Ryu Hwayoung plays Jang Ha Ri, a kick-butt member of “Mad Dog” who represents women by owning herself, her skills, her intelligence, her sexuality, and her confidence. This is made clear from the start when she works a very acrobatic mission that also makes use of her feminine wiles. Her teammates are impressed and proud of her, and it’s a sweet moment both in the watching and in retrospect. Watch her scale down a scaffold from a rooftop in episode 1 around 6:40 in an awesome feat that will have you cheering.
Moment 2: Jo Jae Yoon as a nice guy
Jo Jae Yoon is well-known amongst drama-watchers. This man has played the some of the best villains on television, which he excels at, but it’s such a treat to see him take on a good guy (albeit a reformed bad guy). The man is so talented and he creates this wonderful character in Park Sung Joon AKA Cheetah. At around 36:20 in the first episode, Sung Joon jumps into a fight and quickly whips the baddies into shape, saving a helpless construction manager. Watching this man become a bonafide hero is thrilling. The reunion between Jo Jae Yoon and Woo Do Hwan three minutes later is extra sweet because their roles are reversed from their last hit drama, “Save Me,” with Woo Do Hwan playing the man of questionable morals and Jo Jae Yoon standing up for the little people.
Moment 3: King Yoo Ji Tae
While typing out Yoo Ji Tae’s character name “Choi Kang Woo,” my computer kept autocorrecting “Kang Woo” to “King Yoo.” I have never agreed so much with autocorrect! Yoo Ji Tae is the king of emotion and milking scenes for all they are worth. When this man is on screen, there isn’t anything he can’t do. I’d like to just include the entirety of Kang Woo’s flashback in episode two as a “moment,” but one of the most bone-chilling scenes has to be when Kang Woo first hears that the plane his wife and son were on had crashed. The first time I watched the scene at around 28:00 in episode two, I had to pause and wipe the tears from my face — King Yoo had wrenched the emotion from within! This is, of course, only one example of many, but it is one that sticks out most clearly in my mind from the earlier episodes.
Moment 4: Min Joon Revealed
Adopting the goofy persona that we learned to love in “Save Me,” y’know, the one he used to disguise himself and infiltrate the cult, Woo Do Hwan as Kim Min Joon starts out as an unassuming, nerdy office worker who quickly proves that his wit and fearlessness are barely masked by his adorkable glasses. And then he reveals who he really is in a moment built through tragedy that permeates the fabric of the entire drama: the brother of Kim Bum Joon, the man who crashed the plane that killed over a hundred people, including the lives of Choi Kang Woo’s family. Choi Kang Woo brings his powerful A-game (as always), which makes Kang Woo’s horrified reaction to Min Joon’s declaration a moment that makes your hair stand on end.
Moment 5: Don’t mess with Ha Ri
From the moment Ha Ri and Min Joon met, sparks flew and the sexual tension between them was thick enough to cut with a knife. But it remains tension, because these two young people have goals to accomplish and are determined to do so. However, every once in a while anger explodes, and it turns into a very interesting moment, like around 27:35 in episode 4 when Ha Ri literally backs Min Joon into a wall. She promises to get to the bottom of his secrecy. It takes him a moment to set his smirk back in place and to throw a verbal punch of his own. These two are a fun pair and this moment was most definitely sizzling!
Moment 6: Things that make you go “Awww!!!”
One of my favorite pairings in “Mad Dog” is that of Jo Jae Yoon as Park Sung Joon and Kim Hye Sung as On Noo Ri. These two are the “Mad Dog” odd couple who work together, plot together, conspire together, and are just plain ol’ adorable together. Around 39:50 of episode 4, the two worry about their leader, Kang Woo, and quietly go into the office where he is sleeping on the sofa to cover him with a blanket. Kang Woo sends them away with a few sleepy, grateful words, and Sung Joon quickly covers Kang Woo’s feet before scurrying away. While not the most heart pounding moment in the show, it still made me squee.
Moment 7: Declared innocent
Until episode 6, team Mad Dog had been operating on the assumption that Min Joon’s brother, Bum Joon, was guilty of killing himself along with a plane full of people. But in a painfully cathartic moment near the end of the episode, Kang Woo, Min Joon, and insurance investigator Park Moo Shin (Jang Hyuk Jin) learn that Bum Joon is innocent of the charges. The real power of the moment comes with Min Joon’s tears. His brother was vindicated, and Woo Do Hwan does such a wonderful ugly cry. I cried along with him and thought angry thoughts at the people who had framed a man and caused both Kang Woo and Min Joon to have their families stolen from them.
Moment 8: Ha Ri Protects Min Joon
By episode 7, Ha Ri and Min Joon are openly flirting with each other, but under their playful exteriors are two people who genuinely care for each other. When Min Joon is about to be caught by a man who wants to kill him, Ha Ri is quick in hiding him, which results in hand-holding, standing in close quarters, and a lot of posturing awkward talk. In the end, Ha Ri warns him to be careful and the look on his face as he realizes someone is finally looking after him, a man who was abandoned by his adoptive parents, is heart breaking as well as thrilling. This man is being healed as he looks for answers with people he is learning to trust. The same is true for Ha Ri, who has also lost family and love.
Moment 9: Bar bromance
Like Ha Ri and Min Joon’s romance, Min Joon and Kang Woo’s bromance is burning strongly. Both men lost family in the same incident; both are searching for answers; and, both are extremely lonely souls. They were on different paths for a long while, and now that they are slowly coming together, so is the realization that they kind of (or more than kind of) care for each other and rely on each other. When Min Joon is willing to give up his life to clear his brother’s name, Kang Woo tells him that those who did wrong should be the ones to do so, not him. They toast to that just over halfway through episode 8, and I fist-pumped at the bromantic victory. The bromance only continues to develop in many moments throughout the drama that are equally as juicy and sweet.
Moment 10: Teamwork, everybody!
It’s been long in coming, but by the end of episode 9, Min Joon is finally truly included into the Mad Dog team with whom it had felt like he had been merely collaborating. Noo Ri, Ha Ri, and Sung Joon all give him the most adorable round of approval that again, made me squee. It was such a cathartic, victorious character beat that definitely got my blood flowing.
Moment 11: Who is Noo Ri?
After a mission gone well, team Mad Dog is heading out for a celebration when Noo Ri receives a phone call that makes the smiling hacker look stone serious. It is his father, and his father is the crooked chief prosecutor who works in cahoots with the chairman of Taeyang Insurance, the man who definitely had something to do with the plane crash that ruined so many lives. Up until that point, Noo Ri had been the funny kid who was a whiz with computers, allergic to the sun, and best buds with former con Sung Joon. Now he is a potential threat to Mad Dog. My heart dropped into my stomach as the closing credits rolled on that bomb drop.
Catch the latest episode below:
Soompiers, what have been your favorite moments in “Mad Dog” so far? Let us know in the comments!
Raine0211 is a lover of all things Korean, especially K-pop, K-drama, and Korean food. When she’s not writing for Soompi, she’s playing the cello and singing. She happily indulges in all kinds of K-pop, but her biases are SHINee, Infinite, and VIXX. She lives in Seoul with her roommate who also loves K-pop and K-drama.