Police Unit 38 Ep 4

Oopsie, JungDo’s underestimated just how cunning his opponents can be and is in for a loop. His team members aren’t very much better, since loyalty is an expensive thing between conmen and JungDo just didn’t pay enough in information.


Police Unit 38 Episode 4:

Noh DeokGi runs back home with all this liquid life savings and attempts to pass them to JungDo, who coolly acts like a real banker and asks why he’s offering them to him, hee.

SungIl knocks on the door then, and introduces himself as a police officer but his act hits a snag when he gives the excuse that he’s there because Noh DeokGi had apparently called the police regarding fraud, something Noh DeokGi definitely DID NOT do. HAHAHHAAH!! SungIl even asks, “why didn’t you?” Hee!! Caught off guard, he keeps insisting that Noh DeokGi had called him, which Noh DeokGi of course refutes with equal intensity and JungDo has to do everything to keep his rolling eyeballs in their sockets.

JungDo finally steps in and saves the situation by changing the reporter from Noh DeokGi to his Real Estate employee through a leading question. That saved, SungIl continues to create havoc by addressing JungDo as the guy from the Financial Supervisory Service, when JungDo had never been introduced as such before, lamely explaining it off with, “I know everything because I’m a detective!” and even obstinately tries to drag a very unwilling Noh DeokGi to the station without giving any kind of plausible reason so that he can “take his statement”. HAHAHAAAAA! I cannot!


JungDo gets Noh DeokGi to go with SungIl with a glib excuse and they almost get away, until SungHee invites herself into the house and stops them in their tracks. She’s exasperated and tells Noh DeokGi that they’re all a bunch of fraudsters, and SungIl doesn’t help by confusing SungHee even more by refusing to leave with her because this all started because of him.

SungIl is “saved” from explanation by the arrival of a pair of cops.

They take SungIl and JungDo away in handcuffs and even manage to take Noh DeokGi and SungHee away on the same vehicle as witnesses. While Noh DeokGi nags at someone over the phone about his gambling, SungHee stares at SungIl, whose head hangs in shame.

At the station, the cops tell SungHee and Noh DeokGi to wait while they put the fraudsters away, addressing them by their names. As SungIl walks down the hall, his steps grow heavier and heavier, and JungDo’s all sullen, shooting SungIl accusatory looks and asking if he’s scared. He even asks why SungIl didn’t just run away and SungIl mutters that it would have seemed too embarrassing and it amuses JungDo to hear that naïve reason. At the same time, someone makes himself very comfortable in Noh DeokGi’s house.


The real cops visit Noh DeokGi’s house, replete with uniform, and it’s HakJoo (Burner) who answers the door. He sends them away with the excuse that they must have gotten a prank call, which is also when SungIl and JungDo are sent out the back door and released, the “cops” friendly telling JungDo to give them a call later. HA! You sly bastard, you.

SungHee shows to be more observant than she seems because she realises the cops that took SungIl and JungDo away are fake, for she had never given them her name, which they had addressed her by. She runs through the hallways to find them, but she’s too late, because JungDo and SungIl have already gotten away in the BangShil’s getaway car, something that was planned in advance. Heh, BangShil sighs in disbelief.

HakJoo also takes all of Noh DeokGi’s money away, in a car with MiJoo.

JungDo has to tell SungIl that their con was a success, and the saucy little thing has the nerve say:

“Wasn’t it fun? This is what a con is.”

Money taken, they sit Noh DeokGi down and blackmail him using his own money. They know that Noh DeokGi has no other viable alternative to get his money back quick and ask for his silence and cooperation in cheating Ma JInSeok. You’re telling him that you’re going to cheat his client? Is that a smart thing to do?

That night, SungHee marches into HakJoo’s office and demands that SungIl talk with her, in the presence of the whole team. SungIl goes and BangShil lets out a nervous sigh, feeling very uncomfortable with all the interference and unpredictable variables.

SungIl ends up telling SungHee the whole story over some grilled pork skin and SungHee tells him not to continue whatever he’s doing with JungDo. She’s mainly concerned that SungIl could get hurt or lose his entire career over this one thing and offers to get Ma JinSeok’s money herself. SungIl knows that her efforts will be futile, because of Commissioner Ahn covering Ma JinSeok’s ass but SungHee stubbornly says that she’ll give it a try anyway.


She walks out on SungIl only to come face to face with JungDo, who was waiting for her. He notes that she’s learnt to drink and wonders why she’d ended up as a public official when she was majoring in art. She credits the change to him, because after his scam, she came to hate abstract ideas and a public officer is as black and white as it gets. She likes her boss, because he’s honest and different from JungDo and she wants JungDo out of her life, even if they have to act as strangers when they meet because she finds him disgusting and JungDo is left speechless, able to only put on a helpless smile as he watches her go.

The next day, SungHee asks for help from her boss’s same-level colleague, NohSeung, in getting Ma JinSeok. He agrees to her request and sends his team off to Ma JinSeok’s office.

At the same time, JungDo has started work on conning Ma JinSeok through Real Estate Fraud, which is basically to get the target to buy land at inflated prices and take the profits. He goes the simple way, asking BangShil to buy up land in Hwaseong that’s currently only worth $240,000 and comes up with the plan of selling it to Ma JinSeok as land that will never lose its value (in other words, sell him a goose that lays golden eggs). For some reason, the accompanying fees are so much that he needs 6 million for the whole con.


SungHee and colleagues install clamps on all the cars parked outside Ma JinSeok’s office and faces resistance when she tries to enter the office itself. She’s locked out, so she goes to harass Ma JinSeok’s mother and doesn’t get anywhere. She tries Ma JinSeok’s brother and still doesn’t get access the normal way, so she brings an electric lift platform (HAHAHAHAH) and comes face to face with him through his office window. She doesn’t have the evidence to pin it to him though, so she’s left empty handed.

Angry and at her wits end, SungHee calls Ma JinSeok and screams for him to pay his taxes if he doesn’t want to rot in jail.

BangShil gets a call of her own and when she returns to her office, a pair of guys are playing with her precious tea set. One of them turns around, and it’s JungDo’s father’s friend, JaeSeong, here to ask what she’s scheming with “JungDo that bastard”.

SungHee pleads Commissioner Ahn to help her get to Ma JinSeok and he’ so not interested in her appeal and instead, shuts her down and tells her to apologise for disrupting the lives of “innocent” people.

JungDo goes to see the land that he requested had be bought and BangShil’s so powerful and quick that she already has it ready for him. However, she wants out of the con, spooked by JaeSeong’s visit. He tries to get her to stay, since he still needs her to convince Ma JinSeok to buy the land, but she stands her ground, demanding to know why a small fry like him is so important to Chairman Wang and why he’s doing this. She can’t read him and that’s what scares her, so she’s leaving. But she’s nice enough to at least leave JungDo the land.


JungDo goes home in a funk and no sooner does he step inside does his doorbell ring. JaeSeong saunters in uninvited, without even bothering to take his shoes off. He snarkily marvels at JungDo’s swanky abode while JungDo stares at JaeSeong’s shoes and the places that they’d stepped on (ha). JaeSeong gets to the point, questioning how a recent ex-convict like him could afford all these, implying that JungDo got it through less than commendable means.

JungDo stares at him, obviously trying to hold back his terror and  JaeSeong pinches JungDo’s cheek and reminds him that he’d told him to stay away from trouble. His taps on JungDo’s cheek increasingly turn into smacks, and he sneers, asking if JungDo’s doing this because he wants to prove that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – JungDo’s father had been a corrupt cop. When JungDo tries to offer an excuse, JaeSeong straight out slaps him, hard, across his face and tells him to do a big one if he’s planning to con others anyway. That way, if JaeSeong catches him, at least it’ll be a case big enough to bring him significant credit.

He jeers at JungDo to just try him, because he’ll make sure to put him in jail until he’s 60, like his dad.


Once JaeSeong leaves, JungDo downs beer and reels from the day’s events, frustrated. He calls one of the gang to inform him/her of BangShil’s pull out and the next day, they congregate to come up with a new plan.

JungDo decides to hone in on Ma JinSeok’s love of golf and tells MiJoo to get a part time job at the indoor golf place that Ma JinSeok goes to and asks JaWang to bring him their remote control.

The reason for it becomes clear when HakJoo goes to that indoor golf place, acting as a service technician. It’s used to rig the electronic system used in the golf simulator, to give MiJoo the power to decide whether a player plays well or terribly, regardless of the player’s skill and swing.

All the logistics done, JungDo wonders about their golf player and all eyes fall on clueless SungIl. (“Huh?”)

The day of the con comes and MiJoo warns SungIl to at least hit the ball. SungIl tries his best, though he complains that the golf ball’s too small, pfft. Their target, Ma JinSeok comes to play and SungIl continues to play like he does, reeling in Ma JinSeok with his rigged hole-in-one.

He acts surprised to see Ma JinSeok there but doesn’t fall for his insults, continuing to play as badly as only he can, as per JungDo’s instructions. He has to act as a Hogu (pushover) before he can be seen as a HoGu. SungIl had worried about him messing up again, and so JungDo had told him to get into the game by imagining Ma JinSeok as the nasty daughter- in-law insulting his Holiday-Mother-in-law-persona’s child, ha.

Ma JinSeok does even better than JungDo and unknowingly helps SungIl along by actually insulting SungIl to his face, even belittling his daughter, and it pushes SungIl over the edge. He challenges Ma JinSeok to a bet – it’s $1000 for every hole he wins and if Ma JinSeok wins, he’ll give up after going Ma JinSeok.

Ma JinSeok goes first and MiJoo lets him have his normal result… but from then on, she messes with the game and SungIl gets $1000 note after $1000 note, crowing in happiness when he gets his hole in ones. He even brazenly does a swing with one hand! Meanwhile, Ma JinSeok gets increasingly frustrated as he gets creamed by SungIl, of all people, and just by focusing on SungIl’s horrible stance, he clues into the scam. He turns around and catches a glimpse of the remote in MiJoo’s hands and yells for a stop.


MiJoo stuffs the remote in her coke and sips from it as Ma JinSeok searches her table. Finding nothing, he stalks off, miffed, and calls an end to the game.

In the restroom, SungIl offers to treat Ma JinSeok to a dinner, claiming that they’re like good friends now and even baits him by promising to return all the money he had won through the bet. It works, and Ma JinSeok follows, laughing under his breath, thinking SungIl a fool.

Now free and in her office, BangShil watches the news and receives a report from her daughter, who uses formal language even though they’re alone. She sighs at the news about individual taxes going up while corporate and real estate taxes go down, blaming it on the rich lawmakers. It’s the mayor of Seowon city, CHUN GAB-SOO (Ahn NaeSang), on screen, promising to do more for the citizens with the additional tax collected.

SungIl stuffs his face with high quality meat, though Ma JinSeok sits there with a dour expression. He asks what SungIl wanted to meet up for, but SungIl’s phone rings at that moment and he runs off to take the call from his “friend working at Hwaseong”, not closing the door behind him properly (on purpose).


He talks loudly about Hwaseong New Town and the land for sale there (the one our conmen want to sell to Ma JinSeok), painting it as lucrative an investment as he can so much so that he starts rambling and over the phone, we see JungDo sniping at him to just stick to the essentials, ha ha.

When he returns, Ma JinSeok is suddenly very friendly, asking about his phone call and the insider information that he has. SungIl does a good job of playing hard to get and successfully baits Ma JinSeok, knowing that he’s succeeded when Ma JinSeok abruptly leaves for the toilet. JungDo prepares Noh DeokGi, who’s sitting right opposite him, to say the right things.

Noh DeokGi manages to convince Ma JinSeok to go all in on that land and misgivings alleviated, Ma JinSeok goes back to dinner and asks SungIl to introduce him to that colleague of his at Hwaseong.

At work, SungIl confirms with JungDo that he and Ma JinSeok will be heading down to Hwaseong to meet the “colleague” the day after, which is when Commissioner Ahn comes by and advices him to take a rest, since he’ll most probably be dismissed after his disciplinary hearing.

SungIl doesn’t give into the scare, revealing that he knows that it was Ma JinSeok behind his framing (of taking a bribe). He addresses Commissioner Ahn by his given name, TaeWook, and asks what happened to him to make him turn out this way. Commissioner Ahn ignores that and tells SungIl to just go home, growling that he’ll make sure that SungIl never has the chance to step into City Hall (their office) ever again.

SungIl’s day doesn’t end there, as Ma JinSeok suddenly comes to find him personally. He requests to meet the Hwaseong guy today, right now, because he’s too suspicious of the way things are going so smoothly. He reveals that he’s had his share of conmen trying to come after his money and this is how he filters the real from the fake. Ma JinSeok doesn’t even buy SungIl’s excuse that he has work to do.


With no other recourse if they want their ruse to succeed, SungIl is forced to bring Ma JinSeok to Hwaseong himself.

He calls JungDo in the car, repeating over and over again that he’s visiting Hwseong with Ma JinSeok right now and since JungDo’s half asleep, it take him a while to get what SungIl means. He finally jumps up, realising that Ma JinSeok had changed the date of appointment.

Sa JaeSeong gets a call from Noh DeokGi, who’s reporting a fraud by Yang JungDo.

JungDo rushes off in his car, speeding while calling JaWang on the phone, demanding that he create a phishing site within an hour. And then because this show likes to be unpredictable, A truck smashes into JungDo’s car, the impact from the crash making him bleed from the head.



Aigoo yah… this is why using the phone while driving is dangerous, though I always question why the air bags in Dramaland cars never inflate.  I thought all normal cars had airbags that were supposed to inflate upon impact?

Anyways, Ma JinSeok is a sly one, and definitely one of the guys in society that has learnt how to cheat the system. Remember what I wrote in the last recap about Money siding with the smart ones? This guy in one of them.  It’s going to take JungDo more than his usual brainpower and cunningness to beat this guy. More than understanding his habits and what makes him tick, JungDo needs to understand this guy’s fears in order to really know how he will act, because people mainly act according to two kinds of motivators – fear or reward – and JungDo is only (as far as I can tell now) operating on one – reward, when it comes to Ma JinSeok; fear, when it comes to Noh DeokGi.

However, he’s underestimating the symbiotic relationship between a rich guy and his real estate manager. Like any investment consultant (especially one paid in commissions), Noh DeokGi’s future (and to some extent, current) financial status depends on Ma JinSeok’s money. If Ma JinSeok has no money to buy land in the future, then Noh DeokGi will have no more income in terms of future commissions (of course he’ll have some from other clients, but I’m assuming that Ma JinSeok is a really important client of his). And not only that, if Ma JinSeok ever finds out that Noh DeokGi “betrayed” him and spreads that word, then even if Ma JinSeok has the money, he won’t work with Noh DeokGi and so won’t other investors who have come to hear of his trashed reputation.

Like a celebrity, Noh DeokGi’s lifeline is also his reputation so even if nothing happens, heavily promoting this piece of land that doesn’t bring in profit will put a dent in Noh DeokGi’s image as a real estate whiz. So if we weigh all those possible outcomes against him losing his life savings (which Ma JinSeok can cover, and I bet will be happy to cover, if it means keeping his trusted profit generator), it’s no wonder that Noh DeokGi’s calling to report the fraud. And now I’ll just be waiting to see what JungDo pulls out of his hat because these conclusions shouldn’t come as such a surprise, if he had thought about these two long enough. You know what? I’m not even sure that this is not part of the plan.

Still, I’m quite impressed by JungDo’s ability to read people as seen in this episode, where he pushed for SungIl’s pushover image in order to lower Ma JinSeok’s defences and he even knew where to poke SungIl in order to bring out that conviction he needed to pull off something that daring (although it was Ma JinSeok himself who actually riled him up).

If we shift to matters outside the con, it’s clear that JaeSeong is no nice uncle looking out for his friend’s son. I don’t know what the deal is with him, but I personally think that he was the one who set up JungDo’s father for whatever mistake he himself did long ago. But that doesn’t explain why he’s hanging around JungDo though… Maybe JungDo’s father and him were buddy cops in the past but JungDo’s father had made such a terrible mistake that it even ruined JaeSeong and he’s holding it against him and his family? Eh… That doesn’t convince me. The way that he had acted towards JungDo was not of anger or frustration or even tough-love but one of condescension, while JungDo himself looked like he had no love lost for this guy, which is such a turnaround from their interaction in the second episode. Huh. And even more intriguing than that is JaeSeong’s relationship with BangShil (Wallet) and Noh DeokGi. Like, who is this guy?

SungHee remains the good (dumb) cop of the show, trying to bulldoze her way into getting Ma JinSeok to pay up. Obviously, that doesn’t work, because it’s like throwing an egg against a rock, especially when Ma JinSeok has Commissioner Ahn on his side. When it comes to sly bastards like them, the direct method doesn’t work. She’s gotta use her brains more, instead of huffing around like a bull, if she wants Ma JinSeok’s 5.77 million dollars. She doesn’t have to resort to illegal means like JungDo and SungIl but, she’s got to give it more than passion. Passion doesn’t work against smart people. It’s passion and smarts that bring you victory.

Saying that I adore Seo InGuk’s cheeky suave and Ma DongSuk’s clueless everyday-man portrayal in this show is an understatement, but I also have to give props to the other actors who really sell their characters, and making the show feel – how do I put it – whole. The only one that makes me break out of the moment is SooYoung’s SeungHee, whose portrayal is admittedly a little flat for me. Maybe it’s just because the energy that she gives off (calm) totally contradicts the tone of the show (madcap, high stakes, smarmy, charming with little moments of heart and gravity), but that may be more character than portrayal.

I also really like the way the drama is taking more episodes per bad guy, because it flows more and it lends it more heart as compared to the episodic formula of cop procedurals. And if the baddies and the good guys match in smarts (which I am always down for), there’s no way the issues can be concluded in just one or two hours without feeling too mechanical. I’m not sure that Ma JinSeok is this team’s only case throughout the drama, especially if they succeed this one con (which we know they will. What’s a conman show to do about a conman who can’t con?). I’m predicting that there’ll be around 2 or 3 more cases to be handled throughout the drama, cos there are no end to Bad Guys. (See what I did there? Hehehehhehe *is shot*)



10 thoughts on “Police Unit 38 Ep 4

    1. If he does, I’m giving each and everyone in Unit 38 a cert of accomplishment. Although, it’ll be a bit sad to see yet another honest man in the world turn cunning.


    1. But a successful fraud rests on the believ-ability of it and JungDo’s underestimating his opponent. Don’t make it so hard, but don’t make it so easy to expose!


  1. Thanks for the recap! I hope you are right about there being more than 1 scam…

    And I agree with you that JaeSeob is giving off different vibes… first we think he is a good parental figure, and then now, suddenly, he becomes possible evil 2 faced cop? Intriguing how they keep throwing up obstacles against Jung Do. I don’t understand though why Noh DeokGi has a direct line to call Jae Seob to inform him about the scam. Isn’t that like a LITTLE too convenient? Unless of course Jae Seob is Evil and buddies with DeokGi and Ma JinSeok. Dum dum dum! *evil drama music*

    Im still going to keep watching this drama (waiting for subs for new episode!) but I do do hope they don’t make me wait too many episodes to take down Ma Jin Seok and co. I want to wipe the smirks of their faces. And smack them around a bit.


    1. “I don’t understand though why Noh DeokGi has a direct line to call Jae Seob to inform him about the scam.”

      I’m chalking that up to the mysteriousness of JaeSeob, because he also knows BangShil (Wallet) personally.


      1. So he knows the bad bad guys (Noh Doek Gi) and the good bad guys (wallet and Jung Do)… But we don’t know if he is a good good guy or a bad good guy yet. Lol. Everything is not what it seems in this show.


      2. i like that there’s a web. Webs, I like. I love complicated things and complicated things made simple. Therefore, I love JungDo.

        Did I say that out loud?


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