When someone shows you kindness in a hopeless situation, it becomes a light that pulls you out of the dark. Eun Yong, an orphaned ex-convict, meets a kind woman named Yoon, who pushes him to live a better life. Years later, Eun Yong owns a hedge fund company and has been living a better life in Mongolia. However, one day, he gets the news of Yoon’s alleged financial misconduct and her suicide. “Payback” is the story of revenge for Yoon’s unfair death and the fight put up by Eun Yong, his nephew, Jang Tae Chun and Yoon’s daughter, Joon Gyeong.
‘Payback’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In Season 1?
Eun Yong was a poor orphan whose elder sister worked at a bar. He was incarcerated in a juvenile center for robbing a bank, and as soon as he got out, he got into trouble again. He fought with thugs on a train along with a young girl named Park Joon Gyeong. Both of them were arrested, and Joon Gyeong’s mother, Yoon, got her out. When she found out that Eun Yong had no guardian, she signed his form as a guardian to get him out as well. Yoon believed in fairness and justice, and she thought the situation was both unfair and unjust to Eun Yong. Because of her, Eun Yong started living a decent life, but money worsened matters. He needed money for his sister and her son, Tae Chun, so he took up a high-paying job with a loan shark, Myung.
Eun Yong was smart and excelled quickly as Myung’s manager. However, Myung and Eun Yong had a falling out later, and Eun Yong ran away to Mongolia. Nevertheless, Eun Yong continued to make money and set up his own business in stock trading. Many years have passed, and he is making a lot of money in his business. Thanks to him, his sister now owns her own bar, and his nephew has become a prosecutor. Eun Yong has yet to learn what’s going on back in Korea, but a new case taken by his nephew gives him a hint. Joon Gyeong gives Tae Chun an anonymous tip about a stock manipulation case, and Tae Chun asks Eun Yong for help. When Eun Yong realizes that the case is related to Myung and Yoon, he reads the news and finds out that Yoon committed suicide. He returns to Korea and meets Joon Gyeong before his own family.
Many more crimes are exposed while Tae Chun, Eun Yong, and Joon Gyeong try to punish the culprits responsible for Yoon’s death. As Eun Yong’s allies keep changing sides constantly, he has put his business and his life at stake to get revenge and bring back the lost glory to Yoon.
Does Hwang Betray Eun Yong?
Tae Chun has left Eun Yong’s side to follow a path of law and order. To fill the void left by Tae Chun, Eun Yong brings a more powerful prosecutor on his side, Hwang Gi Seok himself. Hwang had hit rock bottom because of his father-in-law Myung’s endless list of crimes. He needed Eun Yong’s help to retrieve his lost pride, and they made a deal. Hwang announces that he will expose all the corrupt prosecutors and the culprits behind the Bawoo fund case. He even lies and says that he has evidence when he actually has none. All the higher officials are worried after Hwang’s statement, and they decide to target his wife’s business as a warning. On the other hand, Tae Chun follows his own way and does a good job. Officer Nam and chief prosecutor Ham applaud his passion and efforts.
Joon Gyeong presents her plan to rebuild her mother’s company to the former employees, but they have a lot of questions, especially Dr. Cha, who was a major part of the company in the past. He questions if Joon Gyeong is doing it for money since the investor owns a hedge fund company. Eun Yong has been listening to their conversation, and he interrupts Cha. He assures them that he works within legal boundaries and that the company won’t be affected by any of the fund’s activities. Dr. Cha believes him and tells Joon Gyeong that he will start working on Yoon’s project again, and many other people also follow him. Eun Yong then makes Hwang call all of his juniors for a confidential meeting at his house, and they get all of them on their side. However, this group doesn’t include Lee Yeong Jin, once called the right-hand man of Hwang. Lee has already betrayed Hwang and gone to Myung to help save himself. Lee asks Myung to help finish Eun Yong after finding lawyer Lee who has been kept hidden by him. However, Eun Yong had already predicted this move and had a plan ready.
Lawyer Lee is with Joon Gyeong, and she takes him to the prosecutor’s office as he is going to surrender. Hwang calls the reporters, and lawyer Lee announces that he will reveal the names of corrupted officials one by one, and the person he reveals first is prosecutor Lee Yeong Jin. Yeong Jin gets arrested, and Hwang gets reinstated to his position as he convinces his juniors to take his side. Tae Chun is interrogating Lawyer Lee, but he refuses to say a word about Myung’s involvement in the Bawoo funds case. In the meantime, Hwang manages to charge many other officials, and with each arrest, Myung gets charged with additional cases. Hwang has reached a higher position than he was in before and is almost confirmed to become the youngest district chief. He has been working with Eun Yong, but Eun Yong thinks that Hwang will show his true colors soon. Joon Gyeong is worried about Tae Chun, but Eun Yong claims that Tae Chun is going to be the one to finish this game.
Kim Bok Sun, an investor, goes to Tae Chun to file a complaint about Myung and claims that Myung has breached the deal they made. Tae Chun finds it suspicious that Myung asked Kim to sue her. After some investigation, he realizes that the day Myung was taken for interrogation regarding Kim’s lawsuit was the same day as CEO Oh’s death. Ham Jin tells him that Joon Gyeong believes Oh was murdered, but they need firm evidence to prove it. He checks the dashcam videos and only sees Lee Yeong Jin entering the eastern division building, where Myung’s interrogation supposedly took place. He asks Yeong Jin to confess the truth, but he won’t budge easily. Hwang has already threatened to take the fall for some of his crimes. Hwang has regained his power, and he uses it to finally snatch Myung’s money. Eun Yong decrypts all of Myung’s ledgers, and Hwang now knows about all of Myung’s secret properties. Myung has to give all of them to Hwang to avoid more charges. Hwang has both money and power, and he stabs Eun Yong in the back. He brings Eun Yong’s company under investigation for stock manipulation.
How Does Joon Gyeong Get Myung To Confess His Crimes?
Hwang has Eun Yong’s business partner Hannah arrested, but he gives Eun Yong a chance to flee the country. However, Eun Yong calls Hwang a coward who can only use his power to extort money from Myung and torture Eun Yong’s friends. Hwang gets offended and tells Eun Yong that he will show him real power now. He puts all the prosecutors on his team to work to find even a little fault on Eun Yong’s side and blow it up. On the other hand, Tae Chun has been re-investigating Oh’s death and finds something suspicious. The evidence list has a fingerprint match for Oh’s suicide note, but the report itself isn’t present among the documents.
Tae Chun has a lot of questions, but Eun Yong solves one of them. Eun Yong gives a statement that he transferred a huge sum of money to Myung’s order, and Lee was the one who arranged their meeting. The statement can easily work against Lee. With this statement, Tae Chun can access the evidence gained from the search and seizure at Eun Yong’s company. Tae Chun gets the hard drive that has information on Myung’s wealth, which now belongs to Hwang.
Hwang is not happy with it and needs to get Tae Chun out of his way. He orders Yeong Jin to frame Tae Chun as an accomplice in the bribery case. However, Eun Yong also visits Yeong Jin and scares him about how Hwang will discard him once he is useless to him, so he should confess the truth. Lawyer Lee also tells him to be careful of Hwang because of what he did to Kim Sung Tae and CEO Oh. On the other hand, Myung makes a deal with Hwang to get himself medical parole. He promises to give Hwang a hidden treasure at his villa, but as soon as he gets out, he betrays Hwang and joins Eun Yong for money. While Eun Yong meets Hwang, Myung confesses to Ham Jin about his and Hwang’s involvement in framing CEO Yoon. Myung has nothing to lose anymore, so he won’t mind admitting to another crime. As Myung confesses his crime, Yeong Jin feels helpless, and Tae Chun has also found proof against him for tampering with evidence.
‘Payback’ Season 1: Ending Explained – Is Eun Yong And Joon Gyeong’s Revenge Successful?
Myung believed he was only supposed to confess about Yoon’s case, but Ham Jin and Joon Gyeong fooled him into confessing about Oh’s murder as well. Myung realizes that he has no way out and has been trapped by Eun Yong and Joon Gyeong. After Yeong Jin reads Myung’s confession, he also confesses to being a part of it along with Hwang. Finally, Tae Chun arrests Hwang on the charge of co-conspiring in Oh’s death. Myung and Hwang don’t stop blaming each other for their misery till the end.
Eun Yong and Joon Gyeong successfully get their revenge, and “Payback” ends on a satisfying note. Tae Chun leads a righteous life as his mom wanted, Joon Gyeong sees her mother’s company getting back on its feet, and Eun Yong returns to Mongolia to continue his business. Everyone goes back to where they belong. The series began on a promising note but managed to keep the suspense alive only until the final episodes. The story seemed to have rushed to an end, and Eun Yong seemed to have predicted every little action of his enemies. The suspense built up until now was of no use if Eun Yong was just going to move the story by himself. The series closed everyone’s storyline, and a sequel seems unlikely as Myung, Hwang, and all of their people have lost power and would take years to get out of prison. Even if they want to take revenge on Eun Yong, they will have to wait for years.