Vincenzo — Episode 8 Recap

Our villains recover from their setbacks, while Chayenzo shippers get trolled so hard.

Zombies: 7
Gold hunters: 4
Arthdal Chronicles cast members: 4
Space Sweepers references: 2

Previous: Vincenzo — Episode 7 Recap
Next: Vincenzo — Episode 9 Recap

Everyone involved in the scuffle at Geumga Plaza is brought to the police station. Ant Company are behind bars, and the injured but good-spirited Geumga Gang insist they started it. Cha-young bangs a drum and Vincenzo summons Yeong-ho. His video footage proves the Geumga Gang are innocent, and they are released.

Lol, one of the monks has a boot print on his head.

The Geumga Gang celebrate their victory over dinner. They take turns slinging compliments at each other, but when Yeong-ho points out that Vincenzo asked him to film it all, Vincenzo looks nervous. Thankfully they are too caught up in the moment to think anything of it and offer their help to Vincenzo and Cha-young whenever they need as a thank you. In his mind, Agent Ahn declares Vincenzo isn’t mafia; he’s Che Guevara!

Choi meets with Chief Prosecutor Hwang again. They’ve got a deal, but looks like she’s back at square one:

You like all those leashes you’re wearing now, Attorney Choi?

Vincenzo walks Cha-young home. She apparently has 80 questions about the mafia, and he allows two:

Cha-young: How did you become their lawyer?
Vincenzo: They’re not any different. It’s just business.
Cha-young: Then do people really get killed like they do in movies?
Vincenzo: You have to pay the price for your actions. That’s what the Mafia believes.

She thanks him for getting her out of jail. He says she had better pay him back; you need to return your favors to the mafia.

15 minutes of fame

Yeong-ho’s video has gotten 1.2M views, and all the tenants are being featured on a news segment. Notably, the monks are on the rooftop practicing martial arts. They vow to fight against the devils blinded by greed. Foreshadowing, much?

At Wusang, Jun-woo is pumped they have won the Namdongbu Prosecutor’s Office, but Choi shouldn’t celebrate: he knows she got it with Vincenzo’s help, and even knows how he did it. Maybe she should just quit? She yells back that she’ll die of embarrassment and will do absolutely anything to keep that from happening. Jun-woo loves this renewed spirit.

He doesn’t need a lawyer; he needs the Vincenzo to his Yu-chan.

Due to the scandal at Geumga Plaza and the Babel Chemicals settlement, Babel Group’s finances are hanging on by a thread. They will need to figure out how to secure additional funding.

Jipuragi and Wusang discuss terms of settlement. Jipuragi is asking too much money so Cha-young says she’s happy to upgrade to a criminal case. Choi wants to play hardball but Jun-woo tells her the “chairman” would “probably” think the compensation amount is fine. She wants to know if Jipuragi have any more cards up their sleeve, but Cha-young says she doesn’t need to attack a sinking ship. Is it the Titanic, or a nuclear submarine, Choi counters.

Han-seo taunts three directors with hockey pucks before firing them for incompetence. They had failed to negotiate new loans to keep Babel up and running. He gets in his car and he’s got a package: a gun. Looks like he has a game of Russian Roulette planned.

Meanwhile, Ant Company and Mr. Na are being punished for the Geumga Plaza scuffle in a freezer storage unit. Attorney Choi contacts the Chairman of Shinkwang Bank. He calls her prosecutor, and it’s clear the two have history.

Ant Company MVP: Accounting.

Oh Gyeong-ja is back in the hospital, and Cha-young and Vincenzo rush to her side. The doctor tells them she only has a few days to live, so Cha-young wants to file a stay of execution. Gyeong-ja wakes up and Cha-young introduces herself as Yu-chan’s daughter, but she can’t keep her eyes off Vincenzo. Cha-young asks why she didn’t tell them it was this bad? She apologizes for worrying them, but she doesn’t have the money for medical treatment anyway. Unable to control his emotions, Vincenzo insists he’ll pay for it and storms out.

Shinkwang Bank is an institution notorious for its stringent credit requirements, and Choi cuts Chairman Hwang a deal. He just needs to sign a fake promissory note so that Babel can secure loans from other banks. If he doesn’t, she still has his case files from her prosecution days. He reluctantly agrees; Jun-woo, eavesdropping from the next room, is pleased.

A union of the sleazebags.

Gyeong-ja’s stay of execution is granted and Cha-young wants to visit her, but Vincenzo has plans. Mr. Cho has yet another novel idea for getting into the gold room: iris recognition technology. There is a museum in Hangzhou whose relic storage room has a biometric system where Wang Shaolin’s iris is stored. Mr. Cho will bring a group of hackers there to retrieve it.

Agent Ahn runs into Cheol-wook wheeling construction tools into the plaza, but Cheol-wook tries to deflect. The two see Mr. Cho and Vincenzo shaking hands outside. Ahn thinks he looks familiar.

Gyeong-ja has a visitor: it’s Chairman Hwang. Turns out Min-seong is the son of the chairman she is wrongfully accused of murdering. His mommy sent him with a basket of fruit, and he hands her an envelope full of money for funeral expenses — she better not be thinking of a retrial. When Cha-young arrives, he attacks her late father and warns her not to cause any more headaches. Gyeong-ja beckons him close, then grabs him by the hair. Cha-young double-teams him from the back, yanking out a chunk of his hair.

You know Vincenzo’s mom had to be a savage, too.

The Shinkwang Bank and Babel agreement make news, causing a stir in the financial world. Vincenzo senses something fishy. Cha-young mentions the connection between Shinkwang and Gyeong-ja, and that the chairman had been by to visit her, and his eyes flicker. The investment must be stopped, Babel and Shinkwang taken down for good, and revenge taken on Gyeong-ja’s behalf.

Cha-young receives a USB drive from a former junior at Wusang, in exchange for a new job at a Boston lawyer’s firm (uh-oh, is this the same one from Jun-woo’s offer in episode 3?). The information on it reveals our Min-seong is a serial abuser… and he’s gay, to boot. Wusang and Choi, in her prosecutor days, covered it up. And the victims never came forward because they didn’t want to be outed.

Cha-young thinks the perfect homme fatale could seduce him into withdrawing from the contract with Babel. Min-seong has an ideal type: handsome, intellectual, soothing voice. She and Mr. Nam eye a certain someone. Vincenzo is horrified, but they corner him and he cannot escape.

According to Cha-young’s research, Min-seong is a mama’s boy who likes being alone and riding horses, so the team take a trip to the stables. Vincenzo rides up on a white horse and makes his move.

One straw (Jipuragi!) and Min-seong is smitten.
The dark horse rises.
Min-seong isn’t the only one falling hard.

In the stable, it’s Cha-young’s turn to pick something off Vincenzo’s collar, but he’s really jumpy. Min-seong has invited him out for drinks, but he really, really doesn’t want to go. Cha-young reminds him he’s a cool-headed mafia lawyer who never lets go of his target. He’s so handsome, it shouldn’t be difficult, right? She skips away but he grabs her wrist, warning her it’s dangerous to startle horses from behind.

Mincenzo trade business cards over whiskey at the bar; Vincenzo introduces himself as Tae-ho, an attorney from a firm called Only You. His interest is not in the chairman of Shinkwang Bank, of course, but in the man himself. He promises they won’t talk business. Cha-young and Mr. Nam watch him squirm from a nearby table.

Many drinks later, Tae-ho asks how Min-seong became chairman at such a young age. He recoils as Min-seong pulls him closer. But soon, his reluctance morphs into determination as Min-seong recounts the tale of how the housekeeper took the fall for his father’s death while he and his mother took over the bank. Vincenzo’s eyes narrow. What’s Min-seong doing this weekend?

A honey trap

The Geumga Gang are in various places in the building, searching for possible hiding places for the gold bars. When Chef Baek, Hong-sik, Cheol-wook, and Yeon-jin all run into each other near the stairwell, they make flimsy excuses for themselves before parting ways.

Mincenzo head to an amusement park for their weekend date, Cha-young and Mr. Nam trailing close behind. Min-seong is uninhibited in his affection toward Vincenzo, who cringes with every touch. When they pass a haunted house, Min-seong has an anxiety attack; he has a zombie phobia.

At the end of their date, Tae-ho can no longer keep his “real” feelings in. Babel is such a deplorable company, he can’t help but worry for Min-seong’s safety. Won’t he just not work with them? Then he abruptly flees, feigning regret for talking about work. Min-seong runs after him, but Tae-ho tells him not to follow. Which, of course, means the opposite.

The next day, Min-seong stands in the rain below the window of Tae-ho’s office flashing a message: “It’s raining because of you. My heart has frozen still. Tae-ho, please thaw my heart.” Inside, Vincenzo tells Cha-young 7 hours will be enough time for him to wait. She thinks love must be to blame, and they have this exchange:

Vincenzo: Not everyone deserves to love. Those who harm or hurt others don’t deserve to love. For them, love is nothing but an accessory.
Cha-young: Then do you deserve to love?
Vincenzo:

It’s dark when Vincenzo eventually goes outside. Min-seong throws himself into his arms and will welcome any business advice from Tae-ho from now on. Tae-ho wants him to do the contract signing at an opera house. It will be more dramatic, no?

While getting dressed for the signing ceremony, Jun-woo tells Han-seo to be charismatic — oh and btw, he knows he fired three directors recently. He tosses him a rare compliment, but warns Han-seo against doing anything else without his permission. Jun-woo wonders if Han-seo is scheming up something, but little brother plays innocent:

The signing at the opera house is very dramatic indeed, complete with red carpets and cameras flashing. The Wusang team spot Chayenzo in the balcony, and Jun-woo sends her a text. What is she doing there? Cha-young cryptically replies she’s there to watch the power of love.

The moment arrives, and Min-seong and Han-seo appear on stage. Han-seo eagerly signs the contract, but Min-seong recalls Tae-ho telling him to show his sincerity with his actions and hesitates. From the balcony, Tae-ho flashes an “I love you” message on his phone.

Finally, he stands. He declares Babel Group is immoral and unreliable and refuses to sign. Bravo! Vincenzo claps. But wait…

Every chaebol heiress needs a pair of corgis.

A surprise guest! Chairwoman Hwang will sign in her son’s stead. In a flashback we see that Prosecutor Choi has pre-empted Vincenzo’s moves against Min-seong. Choi tells the chairwoman she will sign the contract herself, or Choi will spill the tea on her family, as she literally does right then.

Cha-young looks expectantly at Vincenzo, but he shakes his head; he’s got nothing. Jun-woo gives her a thumbs up; there’s the devil’s spirit he wanted! Even Vincenzo flashes her a message from above: not bad. Vincenzo: 4. Choi: 1.

Backstage, Min-seong is snatched by four men from the Geumga Gang disguised as security. They lock him in a dressing room, as we flash back to another conversation between Chayenzo. What is the most heartless way to take revenge on someone? Use the thing they fear the most. Vincenzo visits Larry at his dance studio. In the present, he and his zombie colleagues descend upon Min-seong.

In the lobby, Wusang, Babel, and Shinkwang are celebrating their “partnership,” but Vincenzo has called in extra reporters just in time for Min-seong to emerge covered in zombie blood. Then, the police arrive; they’ve received an anonymous tip from a Vincenzo Cassano. Min-seong is under arrest for blackmail and assault, and he looks confused. Tae-ho reveals his true identity. Cha-young reminds him how they met.

Amid the chaos, words are exchanged between Jipuragi, Babel, and Wusang. Han-seo threatens Jipuragi, while Vincenzo vows to take Babel for all they’re worth. Attorney Han gets cocky about their victory and Cha-young reminds them they are on the Titanic. Jun-woo, putting on his goofy ex-intern facade, gleefully says the rich people on the Titanic survived. He and Cha-young pretend to be sharks circling a sinking ship, and Choi interrupts: Does Cha-young want to die the way her father did?

Stay on board the Titanic. There might be sharks.

An impassioned Cha-young calls the reporters around her and declares her father died in vain fighting against Babel, but she will expose all of their sins, including their corrupt connection to the prosecution. She is bombarded with questions, but she is too focused on Attorney Choi to hear any of them. Vincenzo escorts her out of the building, defending her from the swarm of reporters.

Aaaah, too many thoughts! Firstly, the writers of this show are trolls, and I love it. Sorry, Chayenzo shippers. Mincenzo, forever!!!!

At this point in a drama, audiences expect the romance to be more explicit between the leads so it was refreshing and incredibly hilarious to see the writers fulfill those expectations — hand holding, back hugs, even cheek kisses — with completely different characters. Also, that was total Arthdal Chronicles Season 2 propaganda, and I am here for it. Aren’t you dying to see Eunseom and Ipsaeng together again now?

Mad props to them for selling that fling so well. I really was left feeling that the zombie torture was too cruel, until I remembered that this guy watched his father die and let Vincenzo’s mom take the fall.

But let’s talk about our main couple Chayenzo. Unlike everyone else, I’m not making much of all the skinship. Cha-young is an aggressively clingy person who does not care about people’s personal space, and Vincenzo was raised as a westerner. Arm grabbing and putting hands on backs is probably not a huge deal to either of their characters.

However, there is definitely a deeper relationship blossoming here. Cha-young is taking an interest in his past — oh, the way my heart broke when she asked if he didn’t deserve to love — and appears to be observing him as more than a colleague. She even calls him handsome at the stables, in her avoidant, dance-y prance-y Cha-young way. And Vincenzo shielding Cha-young from the reporters showed how protective he is of her. He may not buy her pretty things or tell her she’s beautiful, but he’ll make a deal with the devil herself and even flirt with a corrupt bank chairman for her. Isn’t that romantic, too?

The S.S. Chayenzo

I wonder if Cha-young’s instincts are as sharp as her father’s. Has she figured out Vincenzo’s relationship to Oh Gyeong-ja? As much as he doesn’t want to care about her, he can’t help but expose himself. He runs to her side in an emergency, insists that she get medical treatment, and flirts even harder with Min-seong when he talks condescendingly about her at the bar.

Meanwhile, seeing Vincenzo again seems to have lit a fire somewhere in Gyeong-ja, too. She’s been reluctant to fight up until this point, but it was incredibly satisfying to see her attack Min-seong with so much vigor. I hope this means she will go through with a retrial, and that she and Vincenzo can start mending fences.

In the interest of time, and brevity, here are some other quick thoughts I have about our other characters:

  • It was heartwarming to see the Geumga Plaza tenants offer their assistance to Jipuragi. On the other hand, their gold-hunting shenanigans in the basement were a bit dull to watch. Maybe they should just team up with Vincenzo to find the gold? If they come to him first, he won’t have to skulk around with Mr. Cho anymore and he won’t look so suspicious, either.
  • Agent Ahn recognized Mr. Cho, which means my Vincenzo-is-actually-an-undercover-consigliere theory is still alive! Bonus: at no point in this episode did Vincenzo actually say he worked for the mafia; just that they believe in payback and, like businesses, require lawyers.
  • It would have been really boring for Jipuragi to keep winning, so I was glad to see Attorney Choi win this round. She was set up as a ruthless character from the start, and she won’t — and shouldn’t — be tamped down so easily.
  • Jun-woo is starting to get sloppy, and perhaps a little too obvious, about his position. If Vincenzo didn’t notice before, he must surely notice the way Han-seo and Choi easily back down after Jun-woo whispers in their ears now. He’s also made his soft spot for Cha-young pretty clear, which could be future leverage for Han-seo.

Proud Filipina immigrant. Founder of travel-inspired streetwear brand Common Skies. www.common-skies.com