It’s fascinating to see Nam Joo-Hyuk’s facial duality in the show Vigilante. How he goes from an innocent and righteous police officer to a crime-fighting law enforcer, and how he’s able to capture both sides of the character in a fantastic way (or maybe it’s our bias talking). It seems the Korean media loves the subject of law and justice, specifically how it’s a terrible matter in the country. In episodes 1 and 2, we are introduced to Jiyong, a student at the police academy who lost his mother at a young age. As he grew up, not only did he choose to become a police officer, but he also took justice into his own hands, making sure he was able to get revenge on the people who pretty much get away scot-free for their violent crimes, like the person who killed his mother. There’s also a dark horse in the police force, who goes by “monster” because he’s rabid in his pursuit of justice and will do anything to get the Vigilante.
What Happens In Episode 3?
Chaos ensues in the streets of Seoul after the Vigilante becomes the talk of the town. Copycats are found all over the place, and everybody thinks they have the right to get violent and harm people like the Vigilante. In the meantime, Jiyong’s friend Seon-Wook and he are on the same page when it comes to the bigger picture. It almost feels like Seon-Wook knows about Jiyong or might be one of the copycats himself. The country’s big problem is that the victims are always left hanging while the criminals get prioritized.
While looking for cases, Jiyong comes across the case of a deliveryman who lost his life after being crushed under a truck. The perpetrator got only a 14-month prison sentence, even though the killing was clearly intentional. After hitting the deliveryman the first time, the truck driver didn’t bother calling for help, even though the deliveryman was alive and asked for it himself. Instead, he ran his truck over him again, killing him instantly. Jiyong finds the truck driver for a background check, to see if he repents his actions. He finds the man fighting off the mother of the deliveryman, claiming he had been absolved of his crimes by his prison sentence. But before Jiyong can do anything himself, a masked Vigilante with high-tech fancy gear that jams CCTV cameras shows up and kills the guy. In the meantime, Miryeo is doing everything in her power to make sure she can capture the Vigilante on camera, but the new guy is ruining her chances. She tries to bait the Vigilante yet again, but again, it’s the masked copycat who does the work. He doesn’t even spare women or minors, killing them for their crimes.
The guy is so confident that he also sends a message to the media stating that he doesn’t plan on quitting any time soon. It’s almost as if this copycat is trying to get the real Vigilante’s attention. Jiyong tells Seon-Wook that this guy is definitely not the Vigilante because he mentions the word “us” in the media message, meaning he’s not alone. Elsewhere, Jo-Heon thinks the Vigilante is provoking the police to catch him, but Jiyong’s professor also realizes that the guy in the video is not the real Vigilante but a possible invitation for the real Vigilante to show himself to this copycat and become friends. In the meantime, in a debate airing on the news, Miryeo too admits that it’s not the real Vigilante sending out messages, but she indicates that she’s on the side of the real guy. These might just be her tactics to lure him out, and it seems Jiyong might be interested in listening to what she has to say.
As we know, Jiyong’s been helping out an old lady with the cardboard boxes whenever possible. Now, things turn out horrible when the sweet old lady comes in the way of a rich man who has no patience. The sweet old lady ends up apologizing with a laugh, which irks the man, who thinks she isn’t taking him seriously at all. To teach her a lesson, he intentionally speeds up and hits her. As she’s struggling to stay alive, he starts spewing garbage at her, and a shop owner nearby takes notice. Instead of calling for help, he ends up beating up the guy to a pulp, by which time the grandmother passes away. Both the perpetrator and the shop owner get taken in by the police because of how badly the guy’s been beaten up. Soondo, the perpetrator, is taken to a hospital because of how messed up his face is. His brother Soonil visits the old lady’s husband’s house to strike a deal.
Jiyong finds Soondo in the hospital, creating a distraction for the police officer in charge there. He threatens the guy and tells him to make sure he pleads guilty so the judge can give him a massive sentence. Just as he’s leaving in the disguise of a doctor, Jo Heon shows up, crossing paths with Jiyong. Jo Heon has a hunch that Jiyong is the Vigilante, but he ends up being distracted by Soondo screaming about being threatened. Soondo gets killed by the copycat Vigilante in the little time between the police arriving and Jiyong leaving. Jiyong finds the copycat, who uses rappelling equipment to get out of the hospital. Jiyong runs after the fake ambulance that the copycat drives and gets into it. The man is thrilled to meet Jiyong in person, already knowing his name.
What Happens in Episode 4?
The masked man and Jiyong fight it out in the middle of nowhere as the copycat tries to convince Jiyong to take his help as a fan. Jiyong isn’t interested in knowing who the guy is, but he “asks” him to stay away from him as the man hangs off a bridge. In the meantime, Jo Heon finds Soonil and asks him to inform him if he gets any information about the Vigilante and not take matters into his own hands. The copycat Vigilante is finally revealed to be the DK group’s Jo Gang-Ok, who finds Miryeo and asks her to work with him. He claims that he is a fan of the Vigilante, just like her, and they should both team up in order to get the best results for the guy. He just doesn’t want Jiyong to be caught. Miryeo isn’t one to fold easily, though, and she wants to carry out her investigation in her own righteous way.
Jo Heon is fairly certain that Jiyong is the Vigilante and finds him in the police academy. He’s there to meet the professor, and they discuss the possibility of the Vigilante being a student from the academy. At night, Jo Heon tries to find some CCTV footage as evidence, but the guy at the shop thinks he’s a gangster from Soonil’s group. He says it’s weird that the group would want to return and check things more than once if nothing was found. This means they didn’t sit quietly, so Jo Heon goes ahead and shows Soonil what he’s made of, by getting extremely violent (being a police officer forgotten). At the academy, Jiyong is caught by the professor because of his bruised face. He says that he got them from sparring near his house, but the professor knows he’s lying. Before Jiyong can make another story up, though, the police come to find him regarding a harassment case. Supposedly, a girl was saved by Jiyong after being harassed by a civilian on the street. Jiyong claims that if a student of the academy beats up a civilian, it would tarnish their name; hence, he tries to lie about the situation. This girl has been sent by Gang-Ok to show Jiyong what he’s capable of. No, Jiyong is also realizing the sensitivity of it all. He decides to meet the wannabe Ironman to his Spider-Man to get some help, especially since Jo Heon seems to be getting closer to the truth.
In the meantime, Miryeo finds another interesting case to work on. A company named Sewool is the owner of Korea’s biggest illegal gambling website. The head of the organization was a guy named Kim Samdoo. According to Miryeo’s source, the guy is an absolute animal, and anyone who gets on his wrong side is immediately dealt with brutally. At the same time, the guy is seen feeding two of the men who betrayed him to pigs (what?). He learns of Miryeo being on his case, too, putting her in quite a dangerous situation. When Miryeo and her source visit one of the people who was meant to speak up against Samdoo, they find that he’s conveniently committed suicide. Obviously, the police don’t quite believe the journalists when they say that it’s not suicide, so they’re left to unearth secrets themselves.
Does Jo Heon Know Jiyong Is His Guy?
Jiyong makes his way out of the academy for the weekend. He’s planned to connect with the copycat because he’s worried about Jo Heon, too. When the boys arrive at their destination, the girl from the harassment case shows up, asking Jiyong to take her out for a meal. This is, of course, just a ploy, but Jiyong notices that Jo Heon is also there and keeping a close eye on him. He tells the girl to wait for a bit while he visits the washroom. The second Jiyong is alone, Jo Heon shows up in front of him. Jo Heon tells Jiyong that he and the professor used to work together a few years ago, so he’s going to treat Jiyong like his own direct junior. Jo Heon wonders if Jiyong is interested in the Vigilante case, and Jiyong says that he is keeping a close eye on it because he’s also writing a report on a similar subject. Jo Heon asks him if the Vigilante himself had to write such a report, how would he do it. From what Jiyong understands, the Vigilante wouldn’t reveal anything about himself and keep things civil, making sure he doesn’t appear antisocial. Jiyong also mentions that the Vigilante believes he’s not doing any criminal activity.
It’s clear that Jo Heon knows Jiyong is the Vigilante, and he tells him that he’s going to focus on making the city crime-free rather than being stuck on the Vigilante. At the end of the episode, we’re taken back to the conversation between Jo Heon and the professor. When asked what Jo Heon would do if the Vigilante was revealed to be a righteous guy, Jo Heon replied that he would not reveal that to the public. Especially if he’s a handsome man who seems worthy of appreciation. Instead, he plans on picking candidates who are not so “attractive” and choosing the worst out of the lot to turn the public against the guy. We can’t really tell what he’s playing at, but Jo Heon has definitely given Jiyong a warning to stop doing what he’s doing. On the other hand, even though Gang-Ok is on Jiyong’s side, he’s a murderer (a serial killer at this point), so how exactly will Jiyong take his help? We will find out next week in Vigilante.