It’s the Layoff Game Part 2 and we’ll finally see just how Woo Jin will help Da Jung get out of the rut she’s in. And hopefully they’ll both be able to change a few hearts this way.
The card game ends in Jamie’s favor and $150K from Da Jung’s funds are immediately transferred over. Now it’s really hopeless for Da Jung to win this round.
Meanwhile Woo Jin and Dal Goo are outside trying to find a way into the shopping mall. Their plan? To have Dal Goo drive right through them and cause a ruckus. While pretending to be a bad driver, Dal Goo starts a wild goose chase as he drives into the complex, leading all the guards away from the entrance and allowing Woo Jin to sneak in.
With his lock picking skills, Woo Jin easily enters the complex and reaches the circuit breakers. The lights go out, and there’s a black out, cutting off all the video feeds for the show as well. Woo Jin grabs a disguise and pretends he’s one of the cameramen, passing right in front of Yoon Joo without her noticing. He finds Da Jung with her cameraman and authoritatively tells the man to return to base as they need to check everyone’s belongings. Slick!
Now Woo Jin is alone with Da Jung with no one watching. Just as she realizes who she’s talking to, the lights turn back on and the game resumes. Woo Jin tells her to act naturally and to head somewhere with no cameras. As he follows her with his handheld, no one suspects a thing about him.
They reach the basement where they won’t be seen, and she asks why he’s even here. “I heard you’re losing,” he replies. Hehehe. She feels terrible because she’s going to be a laughingstock once the show airs. She was betrayed by her friends and even Jamie, and doesn’t feel up to the task for the show. Da Jung thinks it’s impossible for her to win and is ready to give up, but Woo Jin will be the judge of when it’s game over for her and he has her relay everything that’s happened to her so far.
When she gets to describing Jamie’s game, Woo Jin explains to her that she didn’t have a 50/50 chance in winning. She never did because it was rigged. She first was ensnared by choosing the Joker card as her card, because Jamie had likened it to ‘light’ while the double-faced card was associated with ‘dark.’ Then, if Da Jung pulled out the card face up, she had to re-shuffle the cards even though she could have won that round. But if Jamie’s card was pulled face up – well, you wouldn’t ever know it was face up and therefore it wouldn’t have to get reshuffled. Jamie would keep that chance of probably winning that round.
Basically – Da Jung has a 25% chance of winning each round granted that she pulled the Joker and it was face down when she took it out. But Jamie always had a 50% chance of winning the round because one of the two cards just had to be pulled out. Da Jung feels like an idiot for buying into that card game and is no longer surprised that no one trusted her method for winning.
But Woo Jin says she wasn’t entirely in the wrong when she wanted people to trust each other. However, her method of blindly trusting people was wrong. The best way to gain trust is to teach the other what happens when he/she betrays her.
Da Jung finds Jamie at the arcade and suggests they play another round of the card game. Jamie’s not interested so Da Jung offers this deal: if she wins, then she’ll get half of Jamie’s stars (which would be 12) but if Jamie wins, Da Jung will give her the rest of her money. It’s a win-win situation for Jamie, and when Da Jung says she still has a 50/50 chance at winning the card game (pretending she wholeheartedly believes that lie), that seals the deal. Jamie’s down for another game.
Yoon Joo and Do Young watch Da Jung and Jamie’s game from one of the surveillance rooms. Yoon Joo can’t believe how idiotic Da Jung is, but Do Young isn’t so sure. When the lights turned back on, he feels that something’s changed. He seems to know that Da Jung got help from Woo Jin.
Da Jung plays the game as normal, and Jamie takes the lead. Because she’s winning, Jamie’s guard is down, and that’s when Da Jung is to begin her trick. At 5-9 in Jamie’s favor, Da Jung should mark Jamie’s card with a nick on the side. She’ll be able to feel it when trying to pick a card inside the bag and know to pick the other one. Soon enough Da Jung ties the game at 9-9, and Jamie begins to suspect that something is off about the Joker card. However, because the double-faced card is still in the bag, Jamie won’t find the nick so easily.
Jamie begins to get nervous, especially since she’s no longer in control of the game. So Da Jung wins the final point, and Jamie looks like she’s going to have a heart attack.
Meanwhile, Dal Goo is standing outside of the shopping mall’s entrance. He was already apprehended by the guards and forbidden from going past them, but hangs around them just in case. He gets a call from his boss, who’s pissed that he hasn’t done any work for him. Well guess what – Dal Goo is quitting! He yells at him for being an abusive, rude bastard who plays games all day on the computer and ruins the keyboards, and then hangs up on him. Yay! Go Dal Goo! Except, now he’s got no source of income for sure.
The seventh round ends, and Do Young reveals the results. Five of the participants are tied at first place with 24 stars, while another three have 23. Then the numbers change – Da Jung gets 12 stars, and Jamie drops from first place to 8th with also 12 stars. Everyone stands up shocked. Stars could be sold and traded? Do Young reminds them all that anything can be bought or sold.
No one’s exactly happy with Jamie, but it’s not like she’s betrayed their promise yet. After all, Da Jung could still lose. The contestants all part ways, and Da Jung sneaks down to the basement to meet Woo Jin. Just from a look on her face he knows that she won the game. But now she has more work ahead of her to do to win.
The eighth round begins and Jamie gets three more stars, which brings her up to 15 stars. Da Jung is now last with 12 stars still. Do Young asks her, as a host, how she must feel and what she will do to get out of last place. Da Jung stands, “Why does only one person have to get laid off? Why does everyone have to choose who is kicked out?” Do Young reminds her that it’s a game they all agreed to play, but Da Jung fires back that they shouldn’t have to follow his rules that he made up. Do Young leaves winning and losing entirely in the players’ hands, so he has no interest in changing the rules.
The group breaks again for another hour, and Jamie taunts her: “How does it feel to wait for elimination? Wouldn’t it be great if Woo Jin showed up now? He wouldn’t be able to help you much though.” Outside, Dal Goo settles down on a bench with a bottle of soju beside one of the guards, who’s been tasked to watch him. The guard hears something through his ear piece, and then tells Dal Goo that Da Jung is still in last place after the eighth round. He was hoping this piece of information would be enough to send Dal Goo away, but it doesn’t work out that way.
Da Jung runs up to Bong Geun, who’s enjoying some furniture shopping on his own. She wants to make a deal. She knows that his stars are currently tied up based on Jamie’s contract, but she is offering to give him her remaining $150K in exchange for nine of his stars. If that happens, by the tenth round she will tie with Jamie for last place and have 21 stars. If they’re both tied, hopefully there’ll be another tiebreaker round before she’s actually eliminated. Bong Geun likes her idea, as he wants to maintain some lead over Jamie and also wants to see Jamie get eliminated in the end.
The ninth round begins, and Da Jung continues sending three stars to Jamie for stars. Before revealing the results, Do Young teases that he hopes for something exciting to happen. The results go onscreen, and the person at first place with 75 stars is… Nam Da Jung! How on earth did she garner so many stars? Well, it’s simply because she had gone to every single person with the same proposition that she gave Bong Geun: Give me nine stars for $150K. Back at the studio, the audience cheers for their angel Nam Da Jung has survived! It’s hard to not root for the underdog, but only Director Jang is displeased at this turn of events. He can’t believe for a second that she thought of this plan herself.
Everyone is now reduced to 21 stars, and Jamie is in last place with 18 stars. But then the numbers change suddenly and Jamie has 21 stars – thanks to the three stars Da Jung sent her way. She basically saved Jamie on purpose. Jamie is so pissed off at how everyone gave their votes away for cash. Well, wasn’t Jamie the same way?
Do Young is have a field day watching everyone freak out. Jamie reviews everyone’s contract, and it says explicitly that Da Jung will be able to pay them $150K before the next round of voting. But there’s no way she can if she only has $150K left to spend. If she violates all these contracts, her prize money will be confiscated. Everyone can’t believe how innocent she acted, only to defraud them all. How on earth is she going to pay them all?
“She can uphold her end of the contract.” Dun dun dun, and Woo Jin reveals his face to everyone. This is great television!
Woo Jin asks if anyone could believe Da Jung is a liar. Frankly, no. He told Da Jung what to do and that’s why she tricked them all. Jamie is furious that a non-participant is here in the shopping mall, even more so when Do Young doesn’t do anything about it and just watches. Woo Jin says it’s not against the rules: every participant is allowed to bring anything with them – and Woo Jin is simply Da Jung’s “personal belonging.” In Gi can’t help but clap at the gall of Woo Jin. If Pippi can bring her little pet bird (whom she calls her spirit object) with her, then why can’t Woo Jin come along? They can just see him as Da Jung’s “dog,” who is smarter than she is and will fiercely protect her.
Back at the studio, Director Jang yells at one of the staff members for not properly handling the security of the place. How could Woo Jin have gotten in!? He wants to talk to Yoon Joo, who’s already asking Do Young to take care of the situation through his ear piece. Everyone is fighting over the legality of this move, but Woo Jin reminds them that they have no time to argue right now. Everyone is tied for last place and there’s only one round left. Da Jung has an excess of stars. This only means that the power of saving or eliminating someone is entirely in her hands. Woo Jin will hold an auction: whoever wants to live should buy stars.
Do Young is seriously having so much fun.
Yoon Joo tells everyone to cut filming. She needs to talk to Do Young privately. Yoon Joo shows him her phone, where Director Jang is calling her incessantly. Do Young knew about Woo Jin’s presence, didn’t he? So why didn’t he tell them? Do Young says that the show just has to be fun, which it is right now. The producers shouldn’t get involved in this situation. Besides, what Da Jung and Woo Jin did could be entirely in line with the rules of the game depending on how it’s interpreted, and if Yoon Joo lets it go. Do Young reminds her that he chose her – and stuck up for her before – to be the PD of this show. It’s almost like a veiled threat and Yoon Joo doesn’t take it lightly. So instead of answering Director Jang’s call, she takes out the battery from her phone.
Everyone discusses what their next move should be in the courtyard in front of Da Jung and Woo Jin. What if none of them bought a star? But what if someone decides to buy just one star? What if they decide to just lose and never pay the show back? Bulldog himself has never paid anyone back, but Woo Jin interrupts: “Will you be able to do that in this situation?” He reveals that three people from the last round went missing after they didn’t pay back the money. That’s enough to unsettle the group, even Jamie. Woo Jin goes on to say that Min Jin from the last round disappeared, and it wasn’t like she ran away. Lawyer Go adds that Min Jin had come to see him after the second round ended to see if she could sue the show first, but based on the contract terms he told her she’d lose in court. After that, Min Jin cut off all contact.
Do Young reappears in the courtyard to confirm that Woo Jin can stay. “As I said before, your lives depend on these stars,” Woo Jin intones, and he and Da Jung wait (quite appropriately) behind the ticket desk of a movie theater.
Bong Geun and Jung are the first to arrive. Bong Geun tries to sweet talk them with references to the Three Kingdoms and being a powerful trio. His pretty words don’t go over Woo Jin well, so Woo Jin asks, “Next” to let Jung have his say. At least Jung is more straightforward: “How much for a star?” Woo Jin gives them the deal: three stars for $150K. That makes them even and Da Jung won’t have to pay off the $150K as promised. These two are now safe.
Da Jung feels a little bad, but Woo Jin reminds her that everyone was inherently selfish. Though her idea of saving everyone was a good idea, in the end they didn’t want to share the money. And that’s why they are now all scrambling for stars in the hopes that they will not be the one eliminated. Woo Jin teaches Da Jung an important lesson: she will have to compensate trust, but punish betrayal. That’s how she will be able to ensure trust in the long term.
Pippi, Lawyer Go, Bulldog, and Jamie all arrive next: “One star for $60K.” Each time they protest, Woo Jin raises the price by an additional $10,000. At the end of the day, they all buy a star at $80K. Jung comes back feeling really worried and wanting to buy another star. Woo Jin feels no sympathy for him since Jung was one of those that betrayed Da Jung, but she does feel a little guilty on his behalf because he did talk to her and tell her about Jamie’s other contracts. Woo Jin offers him $80K for each star now, but Jung doesn’t have enough money. So instead, Woo Jin will give him as many stars as he feels like giving if Jung just gives them all of his remaining money.
Desperate, Jung agrees to this and the contract is made.
Finally In Gi passes by, but he refuses to buy from them. Instead he strikes a deal with Sung Joon – $40K for a star. Sung Joon buys, and the moment the contract is signed Bong Geun tells him that In Gi just put himself in last place. Now In Gi is forced to go over to Da Jung and Woo Jin to buy some stars.
Once all the transactions are done, Da Jung is now given the power to decide how each person will receive her stars. The 10th round returns to the studio, and all of the contestants stand onstage with Do Young. At this moment only Da Jung and Woo Jin could possibly know the results based on how many people bought stars from her. And, depending on who receives Da Jung’s final three stars it will determine who will be in last place. Of course everyone begs her for her final stars, but it doesn’t change Da Jung’s mind.
Da Jung is in first place with 31 stars. Seven people are tied in second with 30 votes: Sung Joon, Lawyer Go, In Gi, Bong Geun, Pippi, Bulldog… and Jamie. Everyone stops cheering. Da Jung saved Jamie in the end?! What about Jung?
Jung ends up with only 29 stars, and he breaks down in silent tears. Why did he have to be betrayed in such a way? It hurts even more because he was laid off from his old job, and ended up in this game only to be laid off again. Is it because they all look down on him, and that’s why he’s being treated this way? That no one cares about him? No one can even look at him in the eye because they feel so ashamed and hurt for him.
Finally Da Jung speaks up. She thanks him for talking to her when everyone else ostracized her, and by eliminating him it’s her way of helping him. She knows he spent most of his winnings on his mother’s medical expenses, so with her winnings in this round she’s going to give it to him. She will use her winnings to pay his penalty fee so that he can get out of the game and not worry about the debts.
Everyone is so touched by her kindness (except Jamie, who scoffs at it, of course). Even the security guard listening to the events unfold through the earpiece is a little misty-eyed, and so is Dal Goo, who listens through the guard’s earpiece.
Do Young announces that Da Jung has won $2.7 million dollars including her game money and the prize. As for Jung, he owes $700,000 for all the money he spent from his winnings plus the $300,000 game money in this round. If she offered to repay it then she is left with $2 million. And even if she forfeits then she’ll be left with a lot of money. As for everyone else they’ll have to repay the $300K that they each spent in the game.
Da Jung then announces that she wants to split her winnings with everyone, so they’ll all receive $250K each. Quite magnanimous of her. This also means she will most definitely participate in the next round. She explains that this game could be set up where everyone simply tricks or is tricked. But she saw it differently: a game that’s set up to see if this group of people could learn to trust each other. Da Jung chooses trust, and that is why she wants to divide the money. By giving everyone $50K less and Jung the full amount, she also makes the decision for everyone that they’ve all pitched in to help pay off Jung’s debt.
Do Young turns to Jung to ask how he feels after being eliminated. He introduces himself as a director who was laid off unfairly, a title which he felt like was a second name to him. But now after experiencing Da Jung’s kindness he’s realized that it’s time to give up the title of ‘director.’ He’s realized that it’s difficult for anyone to try to survive alone, and that it was sinful to have betrayed someone as good as Da Jung. So now he can only say that he is completely grateful for being able to take care of his mother without worries.
There is not a dry tear in the house, and even Do Young manages to fake some sniffles. He then asks what Da Jung hopes to do in the near future, because she’d be a great charity worker. “Don’t you think so, Woo Jin?” he asks pointedly. How cruel. How so very cruel. Do Young keeps his poker face on and concludes the show.
Jung manages to go back to his mother’s bedside in the hospital with a lighter heart, and Da Jung returns home to eat a meal with Dal Goo (who’s having a blast retelling her how they snuck Woo Jin in). And Woo Jin returns to his tiny hovel surrounded by newspaper clippings of his mother’s death.
The following day at the broadcasting station, Yoon Joo approaches Do Young with one question: Is there anything else she needs to be aware of going forward for the show? She’s starting to think that Do Young had other nefarious motives for wanting to come up with the show, especially since he seems so obsessed with Da Jung and Woo Jin. Do Young laughs it off and tries to walk off, but Yoon Joo won’t have any of it. She grabs his arm (woo!) and demands he look her in the eye when giving his reasons.
Do Young gives her a piercing stare. His intention for starting the show is far more noble than she thinks, but he doesn’t go on to explain it. And Yoon Joo doesn’t ask for more details, not with the way he’s looking at her.
While cleaning up the cafe, Da Jung begins searching for news on Woo Jin’s mother. The mother’s death anniversary is the following day too, so Da Jung meets Woo Jin outside of his home. She knows that he’s on his way to visit his mother’s grave, and he’s admittedly a little creeped out that she did a background check on him.
They visit the temple, where Da Jung prays and greets the mother earnestly. As soon as they’re done, he takes her to the orphanage his mother used to run. It’s rundown, as it’s since been closed. They eat their meal here, and Da Jung feels a lot of empathy for Woo Jin at that moment. He’s a little annoyed by her prying questions, but she’s only curious because her own mother died when she was young.
Woo Jin then tells her that his mother personally took care of every single thing in the orphanage. He followed her quite often to work, and because she was always busy with the orphanage he found himself alone and playing with the other kids all the time. He was always sharing his mother with others. One thing he did not like was how she was so trusting and always got involved in others’ problems as if they were her own. He found himself angry every time he saw her, and was worried if he didn’t. He couldn’t find a way to help her, or even understand her a little bit – just like how he can’t understand Da Jung and why she didn’t just forfeit.
He tells Da Jung his mother’s last words, “Is it so wrong for a person to trust another?” And it really hurt him to hear it again from her, a stranger. Woo Jin finds Da Jung a burden, and forewarns her that he will throw her away if she doesn’t win.
Woo Jin then heads to the studio to film his personal interview. Do Young informs him that public sentiment towards him has now turned ever since he showed up in the Layoff Game as a “personal item.” Woo Jin responds that the fact the rule was even created gave the opportunity for a helper to join the game. The public should suspect the game makers themselves for making this rule, as if they suspected someone like Woo Jin could enter and join the game.
Do Young then moves to the next loaded question: “Why is Woo Jin helping Da Jung so much?” Woo Jin instead grabs a bottle to drink and asks for a five-minute break. He turns off his mic and then asks Do Young if he knows of L Company. Naturally, Do Young does, as the company was in the news last year. So Woo Jin then asks if all the other participants are somehow connected to that company.
Yoon Joo watches them suspiciously from afar, noting how close the two seem. Unfortunately because the mics are off she can’t listen in on the conversation. Another staff member comes to Yoon Joo saying she’s got a suspicious caller on the line, someone whom they can’t tell if is a threat or a source.
She picks up the call on speakerphone, and the person tells her to stop the show immediately. Yoon Joo rolls her eyes, as she gets these calls all the time. But then he says, “You shouldn’t hurt an innocent girl like my Da Jung.” Yoon Joo grabs the phone. Could the man on the other line possibly be… Da Jung’s father?
Back on stage Woo Jin changes his question: “How are you connected to L Company?” Woo Jin knows they’re all somehow connected and were not chosen randomly for this game. Do Young keeps up the act that everything was not planned, exasperated that Woo Jin won’t believe him, and leans in close: “Is it so wrong for a person to trust another person?” Cue evil laugh.
Woo Jin grabs his blazer before he can walk off and asks his next loaded question: “You know me, don’t you?”
The battle is on as Woo Jin gets closer to the truth. I wish there were more scenes with him and Ja Young trying to figure out what is going on with the rest of the participants, as I am also really curious as to what happens when they don’t pay up. I want to know what plans Do Young has for those people who can’t repay their loans. Though Woo Jin and Da Jung are his main targets, I think he knows that they’re both always going to be concerned about the others who don’t make it in the show, and by hurting the other contestants he can hurt them too. Everything Do Young does is like a taunt at Woo Jin to find out the truth so that they can battle properly. But it also makes him even more suspicious to Yoon Joo, and I love that she’s onto him already. Not only does she grab his arm like male leads tend to do on female leads, I think she will find herself wielding more power over Do Young as time goes on. Right now she has the power to shut off all complaints from Director Jang and do what she wants. Only time will tell when she begins to act behind Do Young’s back and counter his devious plans.