With a fresh new concept, Numbers revolves around the Taeil accounting firm, the biggest company in their field. Taeil has the best accountants in the country who work for big businesses. While many series have had stories that showed lawyers or prosecutors as both heroes and villains as they controlled the economy and politics around them, this series has accountants who can ruin or save any business with their knowledge of finance. Jang Ho Woo’s family gets disrupted after Taeil makes their construction business go bankrupt with a fraudulent audit report. Ho Woo joins the firm to find answers to why their company was wrongfully targeted and who was behind it.
Why Does Ho Woo Get Called A Pushover?
Numbers Episode 1 begins with a young boy running on a dark street alone, scared as if someone is chasing him. He finds a place to hide at a construction site, and the owner of the Haebit construction company, Jang In Ho, finds him. In Ho tries to find the young boy’s family with help from the police, but the boy doesn’t remember anything other than his first name, Ho Woo. The police don’t find any missing reports or accident reports from the day Ho Woo was found, and they give up on searching for his parents. Ho Woo has no idea what’s going on, and the next thing he knows, he is part of In Ho’s family. Although he is not legally adopted, In Ho gives Ho Woo his last name. Ho Woo grows up with In Ho and his mother, and they treat him like their real family. Ho Woo even makes friends, and they talk openly about how In Ho found Ho Woo. Ho Woo still doesn’t know the answer, but he is not curious either. He is happy that he has a family. Ho Woo is in high school now and dreams of becoming a police officer, but he often fights with other kids who tease him or his friends, and In Ho gets him out of trouble every time. In Ho’s mother runs a small restaurant near the ongoing construction sites, and at their current site, Ho Woo hears some people talking about issues in the accounts of In Ho’s company.
Right after the people leave their restaurant, Ho Woo tries to tell In Ho about those people’s conversation, but it is too late. The news about In Ho’s construction company going bankrupt has already spread on television. Along with the construction workers, Ho Woo also protests against the demolition but gets handed a legal notice, next to which he is powerless. The conversation among the accountants earlier was already suspicious, but seeing how quickly a notice was issued and the demolition began, the entire thing looks like a planned attack on In Ho. The company was everything to In Ho, and he can’t accept the fact that it is gone now. On the same night, he committed suicide by jumping from the partially demolished building. Ho Woo is shocked by In Ho’s sudden death, and the incident changes his life forever. The reckless high school kid becomes responsible and goes from one law firm to another to understand the meaning behind the legal notice. No lawyer even wants to read the entire notice when they see Taeil’s name mentioned on it. Ho Woo is helpless, but his desperation drives him to pass the accounting exam. He needs to avenge In Ho’s death and to do that, he tries to join the Taeil firm itself and gets accepted.
Ho Woo joins Taeil’s accounting firm, and he is already the topic of discussion because of his educational background. Employees with a conservative and old-fashioned corporate mindset believe that anyone who is not a college graduate is not trustworthy. From their viewpoint, Ho Woo only has knowledge from books and not from his seniors, who could have advised him had he attended college. He faces discrimination because of it from his first day, and no team leader picks him to be on their team. Ho Woo bears it for some days but then speaks up for himself. However, Ho Woo still has no idea how the real world works or that no one will care about him unless he is useful to them. At this rate, Ho Woo will get fired in a few days. He needed to stay in the firm to get close to Han Seung Jo, who handed him the legal notice and told him that his protest was worthless. He is lost as to what to do next, and at the right time, he bumps into Seung Jo, who unintentionally shows him the way. Seung Jo tells Ho Woo what he didn’t know: that the employees get bonuses depending on the entire team’s work, and no one can trust him until he proves that, other than his accounting skills, he can be a reliable team player. Ho Woo gets motivated and starts doing the tasks of an office assistant to get acquainted with other employees and to put himself out there. However, he gets called a pushover by others, and Seung Jo also hears it. Seung Jo couldn’t care less about Ho Woo, but a fight with his father, the vice president of Taeil, changes his thoughts. Seung Jo’s father believes that Seung Jo is respected only because of him, and Seung Jo wants to prove him wrong. He needs people on his side and chooses Ho Woo as his ally because everyone underestimates him, but he likes Ho Woo’s confidence and ambition to succeed. Ho Woo is surprised when Seung Jo tells him to join his team, but he is also excited because things are finally working out in his favor.
How Does Ho Woo Get Noticed By Hyung Woo?
Despite Seung Jo’s offer to work on his team, Ho Woo decides not to join him. Seung Jo is the chief of the advisory team, and many accountants wish to work under him. Ho Woo states the reason: he is unsure about Seung Jo’s skills because he is the vice president’s son and doesn’t believe that teamwork exists in his team. Ho Woo entered Taeil intending to get closer to Seung Jo but seems to have suddenly changed his mind, or it is a planned move with a different motive behind it. Seung Jo isn’t offended by Ho Woo’s statement but rather gets curious about him. Ho Woo continues doing petty tasks while waiting for the right opportunity, and soon enough, the opportunity comes to him. The audit team led by Kang Hyun is conflicted about an unresolved issue, and none of the team members are ready to do the task because they have more important work to do. Ho Woo sees the opportunity and volunteers to do the task for them. Kang Hyun’s team is conducting an audit of People Entertainment Company, and Ho Woo needs to bring a document from the bank for the same. As soon as he enters the bank, he understands why others refuse to do this task. The bank clerks prioritize their customers and ignore anyone else. Other accountants think that Ho Woo’s visit to the bank wouldn’t be fruitful, but Ho Woo wants to prove his value and does not want to go back without the document.
The bank clerk won’t do his work because of the already piled-up work, so Ho Woo finds a solution and helps the customers with their forms. It speeds up the process, and the bank clerk finishes her work just a few minutes before clocking out. However, she still refuses to give Ho Woo the document because it is a time-consuming process, but Ho Woo came prepared. He has already prepared the document, and the clerk only has to stamp it after making sure it’s correct. Ho Woo is stubborn, and he makes the clerk stamp the document before leaving the bank. The audit team is surprised that Ho Woo made it happen in a day, and Ho Woo received his first appreciation. He wanted to establish his presence in the office, and he did so. He gets noticed by Shim Hyung Woo, the right-hand man of vice president Han Je Kyun. Je Kyun and Hyung Woo are paying close attention to the audit of People Entertainment Company because an important client of Je Kyun, Sanga Company, wants to take over People Entertainment. If anything goes wrong, the merger won’t be possible. Hyung Woo sends Ho Woo to the audit team as a spy, and that’s how Ho Woo gets his first assignment.
Ho Woo pretends to report everything to Hyung Woo, but he hides the important information from him. His team has almost finished the work, but Ho Woo raises a doubt, which turns out to be valid. Kang Hyun meets the CEO of People Entertainment and hears the truth from him. His company has gone bankrupt, but he needs to show a fake report for the successful merger with Sanga. He begs Kang Hyun to help him, but Kang Hyun is a righteous person, and that’s the reason he still hasn’t been promoted after years of experience. Han Je Kyun calls Kang Hyun to tell him that he needs to do what the company tells him to, and it puts Kang Hyun in a dilemma. He doesn’t want to deceive the public, and he also can’t go against the one who gives him his salary. Meanwhile, Hyung Woo lashes out at Ho Woo for not monitoring Kang Hyun’s moves, but Ho Woo is unphased. His true target has become Han Je Kyun, and he agreed to work for Hyung Woo for the same reason. While doing petty tasks for other employees, Ho Woo got to read many documents that he wouldn’t have had a chance to read if he had been assigned to a team. He understood that Je Kyun was the main decision-maker, and he should go after him rather than Seung Jo.
Numbers Episode 2 ends on an interesting note as Kang Hyun puts Je Kyun and Taeil in trouble. He releases the real audit report and resigns from his job. Consequently, People Entertainment and Sanga Company also get into a conflict as they need to answer the shareholders now. Ho Woo luckily got into the audit team, which gave him a chance to shake up Je Kyun and Taeil a little earlier than he expected. He has big ambitions and has declared to Seung Jo and Hyung Woo that he wants to be at the core of Taeil. Seung Jo is skeptical about Ho Woo at first, but after Kang Hyun praises him for noticing the issue, he also wonders if he is really the wild card he imagined him to be.