Police Unit 38 Ep 5

It’s an episode dedicated to conning Ma JinSeok as our conmen hit snag after snag though they’re nothing our gang can’t deal with. But, it’s the one closest to  our leader who poses the most significant threat to them and suddenly, there are two cliffs JungDo can fall off if he takes the wrong step. SungHee finds out that there’s more than one way to save her boss, and even better, this one doesn’t need her to compromise her principles.


Police Unit 38 Episode 5:

As JungDo collects himself after the crash, he thinks back to the time when he’d first seen SungHee. SungHee had once come to apply for a part-time job as a telemarketer at the office where he’d been working with MiJoo and while MiJoo was welcoming, he was very hesitant, persuading SungHee not to work there. He admitted that the pay was good, but something must have been wrong with the company because he was quitting and was not letting her join. He even offered to help find her another job.

In the present, JungDo stumbles out of his car, hobbling to yet another “insurance car” of his and drives off, ignoring the concerns of the other onlookers.

In the office, the SungIl’s team is sombre as the date for SungIl’s disciplinary meeting has been set and confirmed.

SungIl himself knows of no such thing because he’s speeding down the roads of Seoul in Ma JinSeok’s car and when JungDo sends him a text to stall for time, he uses the age-old excuse of having to poop.


Flustered and almost panicking, SungIl calls his detective friend DokBae in the toilet for a favour.

JungDo must be coming from another part of the capital because he’s the one facing heavy traffic.

DokBae pulls through for them and sends a request to the traffic police to have Ma JinSeok’s car stopped, with the made up reason that he’s riding a stolen car.

Meanwhile, Ma JinSeok slashes SungIl’s life-expectancy in half by asking if SungIl’s toilet break was an excuse to stall for time, to which SungIl weakly denies. He warns SungIl that if this all turns out to be a scam, then he better be prepared to face his fury and SungIl squirms in his seat. Luckily for him, the traffic police chase after them and call for Ma JinSeok to pull over.

Ma JinSeok stops the car but does so terribly annoyed, since that’s such a ridiculous excuse, when he’d been driving this very same car for years. He throws his ID at the poor traffic police officer and is generally very rude to her when she asks him to follow her to the police station.


DokBae pulls up in time (and SungIl has to catch himself from publicly recognising DokBae, hee) to stop the argument from escalating and defuses the situation by pretending to scold someone over the phone for getting the car plate number wrong. JungDo sees the altercation on his way and horns to let SungIl know that he’s there as he zooms past them. A lot more relieved, SungIl follows an appeased Ma JinSeok back to the car, only shooting a thankful glance at DokBae for his help.

BangShil (Wallet) pays a visit to Chairman Wang’s lackey (might as well name him now – Secretary Kim) in prison and while she’s focused on him conveying her verbal report about their project to Chairman Wang properly, Secretary Kim is more concerned about her non-adherence to Chairman Wang’s order – he knows that she’d pulled out of JungDo’s project, whatever it is.

She surprised at the displeasure and asks about the thing he’d said over the phone the last time they talked and Secretary Kim confirms it for her. Yang JungDo had saved the Chairman’s life. Twice.

At Hwaseong City Hall (where SungIl’s “colleague” is supposed to be working at), JungDo gives SungIl a short notice that he’s ready for Ma JinSeok before rushing into the toilet and cleaning up the blood that’s still trickling down his temple.

Once done, he walks down the hallway and comes across a pictorial chart listing all the managers of the different departments in the office building and hones in on Kim SangPil, Team Leader of Division One of the City Development department. His car plate and phone number are written there too and JungDo goes back down, finds that very car, calls Kim SangPil to move his car and then parks his own car right in front of it, HA!

He goes back up and walks past Kim SangPil who’s on his way down. He enters the City Development office, sauntering past all the workers with their questioning looks like he owns the place and stops only when he gets to Kim SangPil’s desk. He starts griping to SangPil’s team about their boss not even being at his seat during work hours and proceeds to scold each and every one of them, taking clues from their personal belongings. Pfft. He’s such an ass.


He doesn’t let them get a word in, which is how they simply assume that he’s one of the higher ups that they’ve never met and in the middle of all that, Ma JinSeok walks in without warning, so JungDo looks around and ask-demands one of the employees there when he’ll be done with the “BongSang City plan”, which is just the perfect thing for a person who’s investigating about the land he’s about to buy to hear.

JungDo acts the busy and annoyed manager and greets Ma JinSeok casually. In that short amount of time, SungIl even manages to almost ruin their con by loudly blurting that JungDo’s the one who “secured their investment for them” and JungDo hisses at him to shut it, playing it off like leaking insider’s information is just something that a public officer shouldn’t do.

He sends the two out first and when Ma JinSeok comments to SungIl that JungDo looks pretty young for a team leader, SungIl mutters that he’s actually really old. He just looks young for his age, pfft. For his part, JungDo bids the innocent members of Kim SangPil’s team a good bye and even congratulates one of them for getting married soon, when earlier he’d been holding that against her.


JungDo drives them to some barren land and points out the area that he’s got control over. Ma JinSeok asks if he’s sure that the turnover will be 5 times the investment and JungDo snaps into a temper right there and then, retorting that if he wants guarantees, then he should be keeping his money in the bank instead of asking him such questions and suspecting him.

SungIl’s so surprised at this display of reverse psychology that he tries to make JungDo take back his words but it works on Ma JinSeok, who remarks that he likes JungDo’s decisiveness. He asks JungDo how much he land he should buy then, and JungDo snipes that he should put down 8 million bucks, then turns around to grin at his success.

SungHee has gone to Commissioner Ahn to announce her decision of dropping Ma JinSeok’s case. Commissioner Ahn knows that this is her attempt to save her boss from the disciplinary hearing but tells her that the hearing will continue as planned and SungIl will be fired as planned, so he doesn’t care what she does with Ma JinSeok’s case.

SungHee walks out dejected but SungIl’s fellow manager colleague NohChul comes up to her with a piece of document.

At the rooftop, he links Ma JinSeok to Bang PilGyu, a guy who sends money to Ma JinSeok for investment. The money and extra profit(?) is then returned to Bang PilGyu through his son’s company, WooHyang Communications. It doesn’t end there, because Bang PilGyu is also the right hand man of Choi ChulWoo, the former president of WooHyang Communications. This guy, Choi ChulWoo, is also the one who responsible for an illegal pyramid scheme a few years ago. Ooh.

In addition, Choi ChulWoo’s got $100 million in tax arrears while Bang PilGyu’s unpaid taxes value about $50 million. Basically, they’re 2 of the biggest tax defaulters in Korea and NohChul tells SungHee that if they get Bang PilGyu, then SungIl won’t be fired. (There’s no direct relation between the two issues but if you land such a big fish, you can expect some extra rewards, which they’re banking on to save SungIl’s job.)


Once back from their land-viewing adventure, JungDo separates SungIl from Ma JinSeok and orders him to delay Ma JinSeok’s return to his office. That’s because the pretty plot of land that JungDo had shown Ma JinSeok was not the lousy one that BangShil had prepared for him (what?) and so he needs the extra time for JaWang (Keyboard) to come up with the phishing site and then even more time for the team to install the website into Ma JinSeok’s computers – at home and at work. SungIl grumbles that he should have prepared all those earlier, hahahhaha, and JungDo retorts that this is all SungIl’s fault!

JaWang finishes the phishing site and MiJoo goes into action.

On their way back, SungIl asks Ma JinSeok for lunch and suggests beansprout stew. JungDo eyes them on his way back and speaks to MiJoo on his hands-free device (why didn’t you use that earlier?). MiJoo’s well on her way to Ma JinSeok’s office, with JaWang munching on popcorn beside her, a wig on his head. He’s excited, because this is his first time in the field and he asks “Noona” to give him advice.

MiJoo’s annoyed at him calling her that, because he looks way older than her, and he tells her that he’s a ’94-er (someone born in 1994). HAHAHAHA! He’s only 22?! MiJoo demands to see his ID and he hands it over. She chucks it back at him after seeing his date of birth and threatens him not to call her Noona, otherwise she’ll kill him. Hee.


JungDo calls Ma JinSeok’s wife, who’s out with her friends showing off her new bauble from her husband and confirms by acting as a deliveryman that there’s no one in Ma JinSeok’s house. He shoots a call off to HakJoo (Burner), who calls his boys to bring him some tools. He’s totally displeased with their offers of their carcass-cutting saws and hammers, heh.

HakJoo speeds to Ma JinSeok’s house on his motorbike as SungIl and Ma JinSeok’s food come for them. SungIl fusses over the cleanliness of his chopsticks and then proceeds to take out all the beansprouts from his beansprout stew, claiming that though he likes beansprout soup, he’s allergic to beansprouts. So, he digs all around his food for any little piece of that offending vegetable and lengthens their lunchtime, PFFTTT!!

MiJoo and JaWang arrive at the lobby of Ma JinSeok’s office and MiJoo tries to go in as an employee of the Facilities Management Division from the city’s management, here on a routine check. The security guys don’t find any such notice from their computers and MiJoo pushes them by sighing that it’s already the third time that people from the Facilities Management Division have come without being able to carry out the required check. She warns them that if they can’t do their job now, the building will be disqualified (from operation).

HakJoo’s already at Ma JinSeok’s house, dressed as a technician, and ripping Ma JinSeok’s electric lock apart. He puts the lock back after he enters the abode and walks through several doors before finding Ma JinSeok’s home-office.

SungIl’s now onto a prayer of gratitude for the food and when Ma JinSeok interrupts him, he groans that he has to do it all over again, HEE!

Too bad for MiJoo as Ma JinSeok’s brother appears and asks what’s up. He puts MiJoo in a bind by telling her that they’d got the building checked out last week already, offering to call the city’s City Hall to check that she actually works there.

The tense moment is cut by JungDo’s call to MiJoo, and while he had intended to simply check up on her progress, she takes the opportunity to prove that she “works” at City Hall, addressing JungDo as Manager and blaming him for not confirming the buildings that have been checked already. Still acting as a public officer, she apologises for the mistake on her side and with the bomb defused and without any other choice, MiJoo leaves with JaWang in tow.


SungIl finds out from JungDo that they’re stuck and instead of stalling for time again, he offers to help them with the snag in the plan. He puts in a call to his colleague, Mr Jo, at the Tax Bureau and asks him to assemble a team, because there’s this guy who owes the government 5.22 million in tax arrears.

Mr Jo and his team storm into the building, asking for Ma JinSeok and while the security guards clash with the officers, JungDo comes out of his van from nearby and dresses up as one of the officers, complete with that earpiece bodyguards use. He stalks into the building and walks pass the mob, with the other end of the earpiece hanging out, HAAA!!! I can’t believe his audacity.

Ma JinSeok’s brother puts in a call to Ma JinSeok and Ma JinSeok promptly dumps our poor everyday man along the roadside to rush to his office.

JungDo meets some staff carrying some suspiciously confidential documents on his way up and he orders them to put the documents in the lobby.


He himself goes to Ma JinSeok’s office and turns his computer on. He’s stuck when he’s faced with the password-locked homepage and calls HakJoo for the number. HakJoo says that it’s 0000 and JungDo scoffs, until he tries it and it actually works.

He installs JaWang’s site into the computer and leaves, even putting in a complaint about them making a commotion at the entrance.

He goes off to collect SungIl, which is when Ma JinSeok’s arrives and demands order in his office.

JungDo meets SungIl by the road side and even gives him an impressed smirk, not knowing that there’s someone taking photos of them. That someone is JaeSeong, who crows that it seems like JungDo will be getting back into prison soon.

Ma JinSeok goes to his office, griping about those “bastards” who won’t stop pestering him about his taxes and smiles when he sees the very plot of land JungDo had been talking about marked on his real estate webpage.

That night, the gang gathers for a game of poker but it more a game to keep their hands occupied while JungDo assigns them their tasks for the next step. HakJoo’s to play the real estate agent with a heavy North CoongCheon accent that JungDo’s character knows while MiJoo’s to find actors to act as the land owners. They set the buying price of the land at $212 per pyeong (around 3.02m2, about the size of 1 and a half of a king sized bed) with a cap of $232.

They carry out their plan and everything goes swimmingly well, and then it’s time for SungIl to step in and deliver Ma JinSeok the bad news – the land owners have found out about the redevelopment plans and are not selling anymore.


Ma JinSeok gives into anger and SungIl suggests that they raise their initial offer and gobble up all the land. After all, if the land is to sell at $20 million, what’s the difference between a buying price of $4 million and $6 million? He does so well that JungDo even gives him a small round of applause.

All that’s left is for the “land owners” to wait it out as Ma JinSeok goes to them with higher and ever higher offers. All this intercuts with our gang playing poker, with all of them going all in with their chips… and they all fail, except for SungIl, whose cards are so powerful (and he didn’t even know) that he sweeps every single one of the gaming chips on the table into his arms. JungDo laughs that he’s a hoodwinker.

Ma JinSeok’s game of push and pull comes near its end and HakJoo goes to meet him in a coffee shop, to finalize the details of the sale. Outside, JaeSeong watches, a smirk on his face.

JungDo and HakJoo go for dinner at some empty restaurant where the owner acts cold towards them. HakJoo says that he chose the restaurant because it’s quiet, and therefore good for secret conversations. Do you not read Harry Potter, HakJoo?


He laughs at Ma JinSeok for acting all desperate and tells JungDo that the contract for the sale of the land will be signed tomorrow. JungDo just asks him if he’s set up everything as he’s requested regarding “that”. JungDo’s really concerned about it and “it” even involves depositing $200,000 into some bank account that HakJoo reminds him to return and it’s fishy how they suddenly change the subject when SungIl comes in. What are you scheming now?

JungDo escapes off and HakJoo uneasily asks how SungIl had known that they were there, to which SungIl replies that JaWang had told him.

SungIl checks his phone after a long day and finds out that the date for his disciplinary hearing is set.

He returns to his office and begins packing his things. SungHee tries to stop him and tells him to stop bothering with Ma JinSeok and just find a way to survive himself, first by talking to Commissioner Ahn. He doesn’t care, because he’s tired of struggling to live and says that no matter what the committee decides, he won’t stoop so low just to keep his job. SungHee watches him go, at her wits end.

She calls NohChul, who’s scrubbing his own shirt (how many married men do that?) and tells him that she’s willing to do that thing NohChul had brought up about Bang PilGyu.

SungIl returns home, only to see JaeSeong sitting in his house.

The next day, JaeSeong pays JungDo a visit in his house, and admits to stalking JungDo as per a tip off from Noh DeokGi. He throws the contract for the sale of the land at JungDo as he claims to know how JungDo thinks and tells him not to run away.

In flashback, we see that he’d smashed a wine bottle in HakJoo’s head and rendered him unconscious, which is how he’d gotten the contract in the first place. He’d also arrested MiJoo, JaWang and SungIl all in one night.


He sneers at JungDo that, yes, he doesn’t have the evidence to prove that they were committing a crime and that he has to release the others after 48 hours of detention, and so he tells JungDo to go get Ma JinSeok’s signature on that contract himself. The moment the signature goes on that paper, JaeSeong swears to arrest JungDo.

His partners’ lives at stake, JungDo declares that he’ll just go get Ma JinSeok’s signature himself then. He dares JaeSeong to come after him, since he’ll keep running.



What is your deal, JaeSeong? I really can’t figure you out.

This episode is all about seeing our team work things out and how they deal with emergencies, which I admit, they’re pretty adept at. SungIl’s closer to being a part of the team, with him showing the others that he can contribute as significantly using his public officer position. Still, a conman is a conman and I wonder what in the world JungDo is planning with HakJoo. Surely he’s not actually planning to take all $6 million for himself, right? I don’t know what that is, but I hope it has something to do with Noh DeokGi and bringing down or at least blocking JaeSeong from coming after our lovable fraudster. Is that a term I should be using? Or is “lovable” reserved only for our man-bear Ma DongSeok?

I have to say that I’ve read the character synopses at this show’s official website and with all the characters listed there, I think we’re going to be seeing Ma JinSeok for a really long time. The show’s not a procedural, I think, because there’s Bang PilGyu and Choi CheolWoo in the stands, waiting to come out and play.


Public Apology: JungDo’s number one enemy’s name is Sa JaeSeong, not Sa JaeSeob as I have been calling him. Oops! Sorry for the confusion. If you never noticed, then there’s no problem. If you noticed but didn’t tell me, then may a rat bite a hole through your favourite bunny slippers! 😡


6 thoughts on “Police Unit 38 Ep 5

  1. Wow that was quick! Thanks for the recap.
    I suppose the reason Sung Hee is so secretive about their new plan because Commisioner Ass (my autocorrect changed it but I like this name better) could tip them off? I actually thought that now that Ma JinSeok and SungIl are “friends”, they would drop the whole disciplinary thing.
    I’m wondering how JungDo is going to get out of this mess- the show seems to be making him out to be a superhero- He can walk away bleeding from a car crash and still save the day! SIG fans are swooning everywhere. 😋


    1. Huh? I don’t question SungHee being secretive about her new plan.

      Nah, this whole thing is out of Ma JinSeok’s hands. It’s now Comissioner Ahn who wants goody two shoes and kind of powerful SungIl out of the way so that he can continue his corruption.


      1. Ah. So anyone who knows/suspects that Commisioner is corrupt gets dismissed? So he will probably go after Sunghee next then.
        I guess I’m not entirely understanding why NohChul’s tax collection team didn’t go after these 2 guys previously when they know they owe tons of money, and why it was almost like secret/insider information the way that NohChul told it to Sung Hee.


  2. Ha, the lunch was so ridiculous. If you’re allergic to beansprouts, you still can’t eat the soup after you take all the beansprouts out, right? Then when he started praying, I lost it. I don’t think I’m so interested in the actual plot, I just love all the SIG/MDS/team hijinks! Although I really want to know the backstory of Jungdo.


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