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I completed the latest Rain/Bi/Jung Ji Hoon drama a couple of weeks ago. The drama, titled Fugitive: Plan B, was 20 episodes long and centered on a woman’s search for her family’s killers and the detective who helps her find out the truth. The drama starred Rain as Ji Woo, the intrepid detective who seems to only worry about money. Jin Yi, the main female lead, is out to find the man who has targeted her family over the years and is now out to get her. The drama was written by the writer of Chuno; I had high hopes for this drama. Unfortunately, I ended up being disappointed due to a slow beginning, irrational actions by the characters, an unsatisfying ending, and a heroine that I could not like.
Lee Na Young played Jin Yi, the woman who has seen her family targeted one by one over the years until she is the only one left alive. She has learned to always be on guard, and is unable to sleep at night because she knows there are people out to kill her. Daniel Henney plays Kai, her fiancé. Jin Yi loves him, but decides to stay away from him because she wants to keep him safe.
Besides being a famed detective, Ji Woo is wanted for the murder of his best friend, Kevin (cameo by Oh Ji Ho). Ji Woo has been running from the Korean police for years, and has looked for the actual killer, but has been unable to uncover the truth.
Detective Do Soo (played by Lee Jung Jin) is in charge of Ji Woo’s capture, and has made it his life’s mission to arrest Ji Woo. Do Soo is ably assisted by Yoon So Ran (played by Yoon Jin Seo) and his team of officers. Yoon So Ran is in love with Do Soo, and Do Soo also comes to love and want to be with So Rain in the midst of the chase. The two decide to be together and start their lives together after they take care of the Ji Woo situation.
The drama starts with a bang, focusing on the superb abilities of Ji Woo, the detective. He is able to steal a precious artifact and successfully escape, despite being pursued by a lot of people. He passes the test that Jin Yi sets up for him, thereby proving his prowess once more, for the viewer and Jin Yi. Initially Jin Yi comes to Ji Woo to hire him so that he can find “Melchidec” for her, an individual that may be responsible for the deaths of Jin Yi’s grandfather, parents and adoptive parents.
Melchidec is a front for Yang Do Hee, a man who stole Korea’s gold decades ago (the gold bars have serial numbers that can prove the gold actually did existed). When his partner in crime, Jin Yi’s grandfather, came out of hiding to demand his share of the power that Yang Do Hee had accumulated over the years for his politician son, Yang Do Hee ordered him killed to protect his reputation and his son’s chances at the Korean presidency. Because Yang’s killers left behind some crucial evidence (a bill that has the coordinates for part of the stolen loot, which provides evidence of the crime through its mere existence), Jin Yi’s family has been systematically killed over the years, in an attempt to get at that bill. Hwang Ji Min works for Yang Do Hee, and has tried to kill Jin Yi multiple times, ultimately failing and losing Yang Do Hee’s trust. Yang Do Hee is also Kai’s boss/sponsor, and the man that Kai admires above all others.
After taking on the commission, Ji Woo does his magic and is able to find a number and other information on Melchidec. Because he is getting close to the truth, a hit is put out on him, and Yang Do Hee decides that it is time to get rid of Jin Yi as well, the perpetual thorn in his side. Kai refuses to kill Jin Yi, and promises that he will take care of Ji Woo. Kai fabricates evidence about Ji Woo’s identity as Melchidec, and presents it to Jin Yi, who immediately believes this evidence. This was a major WTF moment for me. First of all, this is the main characters/couple that we are talking about, and the heroine just abandons Ji Woo to the police and walks away with Kai. Second, Kai makes Ji Woo out to be the killer of Jin Yi’s entire family (wherein Kevin carried out the hits that Ji Woo ordered), but they seem to have forgotten the fact that Jin Yi’s grandfather and parents died when she was a teenager. Ji Woo was around the same age as Jin Yi, so how the hell could he have the wealth, power or motive to kill people when he was in his late teens?!!
(Her abandonment of Ji Woo was the second reason why I couldn’t like Jin Yi’s character in the drama. The first reason being that when Kai asked her why she hired Ji Woo to find Melchidec, Jin Yi responded that she didn’t care if Ji Woo lived or died, whereas she would care about Kai. That was too cold for even a tortured heroine.)
Ji Woo is caught by Do Soo, who begins to make a case against him based on Kai’s fabricated evidence. Ji Woo escapes yet again. He follows Jin Yi, and is able to prove to her that he was not the killer (by showing her that the transactions supposedly occurred in a bank that didn’t exist at the time). He also reveals that Kai was the one behind this fabrication, and Jin Yi leaves Kai behind, feeling betrayed. It is inconceivable to me why Ji Woo sticks around and feels like that he has to protect Jin Yi. She’s hateful to him, but he continues to save her and find the killer for her. The reason he gives is that he’s a detective and she’s a client, but that excuse holds no water for me.
While in jail, Ji Woo leaves behind enough clues that Do Soo is able to discover the truth about Melchidec and the gold. Do Soo finds the gold and confiscates it. Although the gold is confiscated and Jin Yi caught, Yang Do Hee’s connections make the gold disappear and everyone that was arrested is released. Do Soo is angered by this corruption in the police department and quits, taking the gold with him to the Philippines. Yoon So Ran follows and the two have one night together before she returns to Korea. In the midst of a party held at Do Soo’s house, Ji Woo is able to steal back the gold. Do Soo eventually follows, realizing that he needs to finish this one final assignment, clean up his record, and start all over again. Yoon So Ran promises to help him and start over again with him.
As Jin Yi, Ji Woo, Do Soo and So Ran all work together to find the truth, they realize the truth about Yang Do Hee, and that his son is aware of his father’s actions. Instead of fighting for justice, Do Hee’s son, Yang Young Joon, hides away his father and works with Hwang Mi Jin to protect his future presidency. Jin Yi tapes a conversation with Young Joon, where he admits that he knew about his father’s criminal acts. When Young Joon’s goons show up to retrieve the tape, So Ran is stabbed and dies in Do Soo’s arms. In the midst of all this discovery and loss, the gold is stolen by Ji Woo’s Japanese associate, Nakamura Hwang.
Ultimately, Jin Yi is able to appear at Young Joon’s press conference with a gold bar (evidence of his father’s crime) and Young Joon’s admittance of his awareness of his father’s criminal acts. Yang Do Hee loses what he wanted all of his life: to get his son to become the president. And Jin Yi and Ji Woo drive off into the sunset to find the missing gold.
I was really looking forward to this drama, because I like comedy and action together. I’ve never been a fan of straight action fare. I also wanted to see this drama because Chuno’s writer was writing this. But no dice. I ended up being disappointed with the drama because of the questionable logic of the drama, Jin Yi’s character and So Ran’s death.
I have always enjoyed watching Rain, because I like his acting. I desperately want to find a drama of his that I could absolutely love. I enjoyed watching Sang Doo: Let’s Go to School, but could never rewatch it because it was so sad at the end. I enjoyed watching Full House, but I want to see more from Rain than a spoiled brat who realizes that the love of his life is the girl in front of him. Couldn’t watch A Love to Kill when I found out both the hero and heroine died. So, I wanted to like this drama. But I couldn’t. He was great in it. Rain was able to beautifully act the cheesy, manly, broken, sensitive and confident Ji Woo, but the drama itself wasn’t a good backdrop for Rain.
I have no problems with Lee Na Young, but I wish she was a bit more passionate in the drama. She was just so passive, especially when she’s supposed to be this tortured heroine, who is driven to find her family’s killer. Also, Jin Yi, the character, was not a nice girl. She didn’t care if Ji Woo lived or died, and she walked away from Ji Woo without a second thought multiple times. She was incapable of appreciating all Ji Woo did for her, and she was so mean to Ji Woo.
Ultimately, the drama failed for me because of the illogical storyline. I still do not know how Ji Woo could have been the fall guy for Jin Yi’s family’s death? I don’t understand why Ji Woo stayed so committed to helping Jin Yi, despite her behavior to him; I don’t get what motivated him to continue protecting her.
I also don’t understand why So Ran had to die. It totally felt that the writer felt that someone had to die for some reason, and she just picked a name out of a hat. Yoon Jin Seo did a great job playing So Ran. I liked So Ran. Her character was cute, bubbly, intelligent, and loyal. She lived for Do Soo, and I still don’t see why she had to die. I don’t mind when a character has to die because it only makes sense within the story (like in Chuno), but So Ran’s made absolutely no sense. [You can see how passionately I feel about this. :)]
Finally, I also don’t understand how the criminals got to walk away. There was no indication that they would be arrested or prosecuted. And I still wonder about the missing characters that showed up at the beginning of the drama (like the Japanese mafia).
It’s a drama worth watching once, because of the good actors and the music. I wanted more chemistry between Jin Yi and Ji Woo, I wanted to see a happily ever after for So Ran and Do Soo, and I wanted to see more scenes between Do Soo and Ji Woo, but sadly the drama failed to capitalize on any of its potential. Just don’t expect anything going in, and you’ll end up enjoying it.