4 Times Choi Min Soo Strikes Back In Episodes 9-10 Of “Numbers”
With the finale ahead, stakes are rising, and some people are starting to show who they really are. Jang Ho Woo (Kim Myung Soo) and Han Seung Jo (Choi Jin Hyuk) have been hitting it out of the park with win after win, even recruiting more people to their side like Jin Yeon Ah (Yeonwoo). But Han Je Gyun (Choi Min Soo) hasn’t been idle either. He’s been watching and waiting as his son delivers blow after blow, and this week he finally shows his hand. And it spells nothing but trouble.
Warning: spoilers for episodes 9-10 below.
1. Ousting Lee Chang Joo in favor of his brother
Despite just having killed his former righthand man Shim Hyung Woo (Sungyeol), Je Gyun couldn’t care less. He fakes a couple tears at the funeral and searches Hyung Woo’s office that night, hoping to destroy all evidence. His spy within Taeil finds Hyung Woo’s laptop. But Hyung Woo had more up his sleeve. He sent Ji Soo and Seung Jo every bit of information on all the dirt he had on Je Gyun. Threats, falsified records, reports—every inch of Hyung Woo’s time as servant to one of the most dangerous men in the country is all there. But it’s all so indirect that it’ll be difficult to make a charge stick on Je Gyun.
Meanwhile, the man himself is still seething over Ho Woo and Seung Jo halting his orchestrated takeover of Sang Ah Group. He was hoping to oust Chairman Lee Chang Joo (Jung Hae Kyun) in favor of Chang Joo’s older brother Lee Sung Joo (Jung Woong In). Now, Je Gyun was the one responsible for kicking Sung Joo out of the company to begin with. He ruined the man’s life. But Sung Joo crawled back up to the top, amassing wealth and power aplenty during that time. Je Gyun sees opportunity in a man as driven as Sung Joo. Meanwhile, Chang Joo and his inability to handle a conglomerate hold no further appeal. Ho Woo and Seung Jo ruined his first attempt at tossing Chang Joo away, but Je Gyun always has cards up his sleeve, and it doesn’t take him long to find Chang Joo’s weakness: his idiot son Lee Bo Sung (Joo Byung Ha) who owns a small but vital number of stocks in Sang Ah Group. If Bo Sung loses his stocks, then Sung Joo becomes majority shareholder, and, thereby, the owner.
From there it’s just a hop, step, and a jump to have one of Je Gyun’s people convince Bo Sung to purchase a stock-dependent loan. Bo Sung signs, certain that the value of his shares won’t plummet. Je Gyun immediately arranges to have Bo Sung framed for soliciting sexual services from minors. The share value drops, Bo Sung loses his shares, Chang Joo is kicked out, and Sung Joo reigns supreme over Sang Ah Group, one of Korea’s largest conglomerates. And now, Je Gyun has it in his pocket. But he won’t stop there.
2. Plotting to take over Ji San Bank
Jang Ji Soo (Kim Yoo Ri) is suspicious when she discovers Je Gyun’s focus on an online loan company, which is riddled with debts. Yeon Ah, Ho Woo, and Seung Jo are equally bewildered when they find that Je Gyun has proposed that Yeon Ah’s father Jin Tae Soo (Kang Shin Il), the president of Ji San Bank, purchase said company as a means of driving up the stock price. Je Gyun frames it as a means of extending Tae Soo’s tenure as bank president. Only, it’s a trap.
Seung Jo and co. discover that Je Gyun means to use the debt-ridden company as a Trojan Horse. First, Ji San Bank buys the company, relying on Je Gyun’s word that the company is solvent. Then, Je Gyun releases the news that the loan company is insolvent along with a bunch of lies that Ji San Bank is on the edge of bankruptcy. People will panic and pull their money en masse from the bank. And that is what will actually make the lies the truth because pulling money from a bank will result in it sliding towards insolvency. If the bank’s corporate clients also pull their money from the bank, then it’s doomed. The bank will be up for sale. And Je Gyun has a buyer in mind. Himself.
3. Buying up key players in the economy
At long last, Je Gyun’s plan comes to light. He’s been bribing people for years using patents that he obtained via ruining solvent corporations. He takes their patents and tech and passes them onto wealthy and well-connected people as a means of easy slush fund creations. Ji Soo is aghast at the list of people he’s bribing, from the Financial Commission to the National Forensic Service. Now, slowly but surely, Je Gyun controls a vast majority of Korea’s key players. Accountants aren’t allowed to acquire banks due to a lack of qualifications, but Je Gyun’s connections with the Financial Commission will allow him to bypass everything. He’ll be handed a perfectly good bank on a platter, and he already has a ready-made clientele in the rich and powerful. As an accountant and bank president, he can use the bank to shield all sorts of shady transactions and cover them up in financial records. In short, he’ll be unstoppable. He won’t just have control over the Korean economy, he’ll be the Korean economy.
Yeon Ah begs her father not to go through with the purchase, but Je Gyun threatens Tae Soo, saying that he’ll reveal every unsavory action Tae Soo has taken to get this far to his daughter. Tae Soo caves, hoping that his daughter was wrong. She wasn’t. The bank implodes but Seung Jo and Ho Woo can do nothing. Even worse, they’ve just gotten the last bit of evidence Hyung Woo hid away in revenge. And it’s the worst secret yet. Hyung Woo went to great pains to ensure that Ho Woo would find it but also seemed to have been terrified about Ho Woo knowing the truth. Ho Woo’s foster father Jang In Ho (Nam Myung Ryul) didn’t die by suicide the way everyone believes. He was stabbed to death and shoved off his construction site by none other than Shim Hyung Woo himself.
Seung Jo and Ho Woo are in shock. Ji Soo, who finds out via questioning the coroner who faked the forensic report for Je Gyun, is equally devastated. Je Gyun discovers that Ji Soo seems to be aware of the truth and sends men to kill her. Seung Jo foils the attempt, but everyone knows that Je Gyun is fighting with his claws out this time. And with success so close at hand, he doesn’t care who gets maimed.
4. Ruining Lee Sung Joo himself
Ho Woo’s still reeling when Sang Ah Group’s new chairman Lee Sung Joo drops another bomb on his head. It turns out that Sung Joo knew Ho Woo’s birth parents, and he knows how they died. Ho Woo’s father was a construction worker (Je Gyun really seems to have people working in construction) who took issue with Je Gyun siphoning money from the corporation. Ho Woo’s father was aware that Je Gyun was twisting financial records to make it seem as though the company was using premium materials to build. In reality, cheap, shoddy materials were being used, and the building, even during construction, was showing signs of impeding collapse. Je Gyun was using the difference between the cost of the cheap materials and the supposed premium materials he lists on the books to create a slush fund for the corporation’s owner. Ho Woo’s father was about to expose Je Gyun when the building collapsed, killing him and his wife, Ho Woo’s mother.
Ho Woo pretty much goes insane and confronts Je Gyun, but he just shrugs because as usual, there’s no evidence. And as for Chairman Lee Sung Joo who gave Ho Woo that information? He did so because he still harbors a grudge against Je Gyun for dethroning him and re-throning him. He doesn’t appreciate the manipulation, so he wanted to use Ho Woo to ruin Je Gyun. Only, Je Gyun got wind of it first. The next thing we see is Sung Joo being arrested for every financial crime known to mankind. It’s scary how this man can make or break people in a heartbeat.
At this point, it seems like nothing can stop Je Gyun. But he’s still only vice president. The mysterious chairman of Taeil has been absent throughout the show. But Ho Woo is determined to lure him out in the hopes that he can stop Je Gyun. After all, if Je Gyun wants to own Taeil so badly, there must be a reason. Said real chairman (Nam Kyung Eup) appears after Ho Woo makes a public post on the Taeil forums, outing what Je Gyun has done to Ji San Bank. But will he help? And more importantly, does he have the power to do so?
Next up is a strange case of the hearing-impaired barista who has been helping Je Gyun. She secretly spies on all employees at the coffee shop she works at, lip reads everything they discuss, and reports it back to Je Gyun. It’s how he’s been able to stay one step ahead all this time. Je Gyun isn’t omnipotent, but he owns so many people that he might as well be. Ho Woo finds that the barista is the daughter of the only survivor of the construction accident that killed his parents. It’s an accident caused by Je Gyun, so why is she helping him? Next week promises answers and a final reckoning. And I, for one, am really looking forward to seeing Je Gyun get flattened like the bug he is.
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Shalini_A is a long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she fangirls over Ji Sung, and spins thrillers set in increasingly fantastic worlds. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and feel free to ask her anything!
Currently Watching: “See You in My 19th Life,” “Delightfully Deceitful,” “Revenant,” “Numbers,” and “King the Land.”
Looking Forward to: “Gyeongseong Creature,” “Ask The Stars,” “The Girl Downstairs,” “The Worst Evil,” “Queen of Tears,” “Vigilante,” “Demon,” “Daily Dose of Sunshine,” and Ji Sung’s next drama.