The end is near, and “Military Prosecutor Doberman” ensures that it goes out with a bang. After 14 episodes of vengeance, betrayal, and plots within plots, we’re finally down to a few bad guys against Cha Woo In (Jo Bo Ah) and Do Bae Man (Ahn Bo Hyun). Unlike the very serious pair of episodes we saw last week, the show takes a comedic turn as everything begins to fall into place. As they attempt the herculean task of taking down more than one villain in one shot, they receive assistance from an unexpected source. Will they be successful? Continue reading to find out!
- Yong Moon Goo is finally forced to refrain from quoting “The Godfather.”
Have you ever met someone who takes a show or a movie and makes it their entire personality? That would be Yong Moon Goo (Kim Young Min) and “The Godfather.” He’s said “an offer you can’t refuse” to Bae Man, Kang Ha Joon (Kang Young Seok), and Woo In; it’s getting old. He should shake things up a bit.
So it’s all the more satisfying when Bae Man offers the corrupt prosecutor lady working with Moon Goo a choice: kill Moon Goo and Bae Man won’t mention her role in his ascension, or stick with him and he’ll give another prosecutor the massive dossier he has on Moon Goo and kill them both. She accepts the deal, as any self-interested person would. Moon Goo concocts a plan with Ha Joon to call a shareholder meeting to elect him as Chairman and oust Noh Hwa Young (Oh Yeon Soo). He goes over to rub it in her face because he’s so excited about it. It’s surprising that she doesn’t shoot him right away. Instead, Bae Man has the last laugh by waiting until Moon Goo is about to eat his birthday cake before having the prosecutor lady come in and smash it in his face. Don’t you just love it when bad guys annihilate each other?
Moon Goo, for example, goes from almost-CEO to being voted out of the company entirely. He fumes, knowing that Bae Man could not have done it without inside information. And he’s correct. Because Ha Joon has been playing him from the start.
2. Ha Joon’s deception, which didn’t need to be kept a secret.
Didn’t this show leave it until the last possible moment to give us this one? At first, it appeared that Ha Joon was acting as a double agent, but when he went so far as to hurt Woo In by returning the watch, it appeared that he’d gone too far. He, of course, did not. It turns out that he’s been planning to give IM Defense back to Woo In all along.
Bae Man apparently figured it out almost instantly, and the two “reluctantly” join forces to take down Moon Goo. They insist they’re not friends, but it’s clear they’re growing to respect each other. This friendship would have been wonderful to witness sooner. When Moon Goo realizes what’s going on, he has his shady gangster crew kidnap Bae Man and Ha Joon and beat the crap out of them before demanding the Patriotic Society’s X File. Bae Man and Ha Joon burst out laughing as they tell Moon Goo that they made it up (we know it’s a lie, but the two are pretty convincing with how hard they’re laughing).
Just as Moon Goo is about to add murder to his list of crimes, a furious Woo In arrives to beat the daylights out of everyone and drag the two sheepish men home, where they confess everything. The thing is, this plan didn’t have to be kept hidden. Nothing changed after Bae Man found out. That, if anything, made it easier for Ha Joon to carry out everything. Woo In’s knowledge of the situation would have jeopardized it in what way? We didn’t see Moon Goo spying on Woo In crying or anything, and Woo In would have given the best performance of her life if she had suspected any spying, so why hurt the poor girl? It’s no surprise she punches them; they deserve it.
3. Noh Tae Nam does a full 180
Tae Nam has been reflecting, which surprises me. And what about writing letters to his victims? It would have been nice to see this change more gradually because he was hateful in the first few episodes, so it’s difficult to believe this. But he appears to have matured as a person. In that sense, his time away from his wealthy, privileged bubble has been beneficial to him. Tae Nam is shocked to learn that his devious mother intends to use his PTSD to discredit his court testimony (it’s always amusing when bad guys turn good and forget all the tricks they used when they were bad). There are far too many people willing to stand in for Hwa Young, including her assistant. So, in a classic case of redemption-by-death, Tae Nam gives Bae Man the X-File (which he’s kept for years to protect his mother) and goes off to blow himself and Hwa Young up. And, for poetic justice, he’ll do it in the same warehouse where she once traumatized him.
Bae Man arrives too late to prevent the explosion, but he manages to shield Tae Nam from the brunt of the blast, leaving him critically injured rather than dead (I have a feeling grenades don’t work this way). Hwa Young appears stunned, but with this one, it’s difficult to tell where self-interest ends and maternal feelings begin. Right when she appears to be ready to put it all behind her, the dominoes of her empire begin to fall because, at this point, everyone despises her.
4. Everyone hates Hwa Young
There isn’t much left for Bae Man and Woo In to do at this point. Hwa Young’s son is in the ICU; Yong Moon Goo is living out of a van looking for a way to destroy her; her aide is turning squeamish; her powerful backer is in jail, and our duo has the X File; it’s game over, and she has no idea. Moon Goo has the doctor from the Mine Hero case hidden away, and he turns out to be the lynchpin that allows our duo to apprehend Hwa Young. She cooperates with the investigation about as well as you’d expect, still convinced that she won’t be caught.
But she certainly does. Even her righthand aide abandons ship after hearing Hwa Young dismiss her as a lackey. The once-mighty Hwa Young tries to argue that everything she’s done has been for the military, to strengthen their nation’s military might (how does owning a ton of shares in IM Defense fit into that, lady?). It’s a weak rationale, and we never learn why Hwa Young chose this path or why she is determined to rise above all men in the military. Even her suggestion to Woo In that they could have had a different relationship turns out to be a lie; Hwa Young was teasing her. It’s actually quite perplexing. Why did Woo In’s father pose for a photo with her and sign it, wishing her peace? We’ll never find out. She receives the military’s harshest punishment, the death penalty, and still walks out of court with her head held high.
5. The good guys have to pay too?
One year later, Hwa Young refuses Tae Nam’s visits in jail (wait, she isn’t dead yet? Is Private Pyun (Kim Yo Han) also still alive? and reads his letters with a wide-eyed expression that could mean anything. Tae Nam allows Bae Man to adopt Bolt while sobbing inside, ostensibly as penance and to teach himself maturity. He now works at a dog shelter and appears to be a much more humble individual. Meanwhile, Moon Goo sighs as he watches Minister Lee Jae Shik (Nam Kyung Eup) and his lackey slap each other in court, wondering why he had to work with such idiots.
And Ha Joon is sentenced to a year in prison. Why? After all, he was undercover the entire time, and he reaped no benefit from the entire collaboration with Moon Goo, so why should he have to pay for crimes he never committed? Should undercover cops be imprisoned as well? This is perplexing. And he isn’t the only one who has to pay for his good behavior. Woo In resigns as a prosecutor and admits to working as a vigilante under her red-haired alias. What? Only Bae Man, who is the most corrupt of the three and who committed actual crimes for five years while reaping a plethora of benefits, is let off the hook. If anyone should pay, it should be him! That’s a terrible way to end his character arc because it says he saw Woo In and Ha Joon reflecting and going to jail (despite the fact that they didn’t need to) and decided he was above it all? It’s quite strange.
In any case, Ha Joon escapes from prison in time to meet Woo In at the airport. She’s returning from wherever she’s been for a year, and he’s off to the United States to start over and get over his heartbreak. She hands back his watch and hugs him, referring to him as her best friend. And she’s so adorable doing it, he’s clearly smitten all over again. Let us hope Ha Joon finds love. Meanwhile, Woo In, now the CEO of IM Defense, returns to the military base where Bae Man is stationed and steals Moon Goo’s line to make him an impossible offer. He pulls her close, smiling, and we’re deprived of an actual kiss scene, but Ahn Bo Hyun does a great job of making us think they’re going at it by the speed of that neck grab, whew.
With that, “Military Prosecutor Doberman” comes to an end. This show wasn’t as gritty as “D.P,” and it suffered from the problem of “too many villains, not enough time,” so the ending felt rushed. The earlier bad guys took two episodes to take down, while the rest, including the big bad Minister Lee Jae Shik, were sent off as an addendum. Nonetheless, it never dragged, and Jo Bo Ah absolutely nailed this role, even performing her own stunts. Hopefully, we’ll see her in more similar roles in the future. Maybe opposite Lee Joon Gi? A girl can fantasize!