Runaway: Plan B


Reviewed by: sukting

February 17, 2012

Rating: two-point-five

Foreword
During the Korean War, a big amount of money disappeared. 60 years later, the money has reappears. Zhen Yi approaches Zhi Yu. What motives has she? An unexpected romance starts between them. Numerous parties are after them. What is really going on?

Story/Introduction on characters

1. Zheng Zhi Yu – Rain
In Korea, it is prohibited to work on a secret investigation or be a private detective. This is why his occupation is “P.I.A (Private Investigation Administrator)”. He is the head of the Korean office in Asia Pacific region of International Detective Association.

He is good looking and attracts women in every country he goes to. His only problem is that he is the prime suspect in the murder of Kevin. Zhi Yu has been running from the Korean police for years, and is looking for the actual killer, but has been unable to uncover the truth.

One day, Zhen Yi comes to him as a client offers 100 million won as a reward to solve her case. She believes that Melchidec is the one who kills her family and she is his next target. He is a man who only cares about money but later he falls in love with Zhen Yi to confess to her.

He suspects that Zhen Yi’s grandfather has a hand in hiding the gold. The obstinate woman refuses to accept this fact till she breaks down after Dou Xi confirms this. The truth is uncovered at the expense of some deaths. He is apologetic but relieved that his fugitive days are finally over.

Rain has done well in this drama – but this drama is definitely not one of his best. There is zero chemistry between him and Na Young. Plus, I have thought that he is more devoted to Kieko – how can he have a change of heart so fast?

2. Zhen Yi – Lee Na Young
Zhen Yi is adopted by her uncle after the death of her parents. Then they are also killed but Zhi Yu concludes that as suicide. The only clue she has of the perpetrator is a mysterious figure named Melchidec. Kai is her first love interest whereas until later on she falls in love with Zhi Yu.

She deliberately mentions Kevin's name and says that she knows who killed him. Surprised by this, he checks her background. At first, she wants him to solve her case because she wants revenge on him for wrongly concluding her adoptive parents’ case. So she doesn’t care if he is hurt or killed. She also knows that he will work hard for this case as he is also looking for Kevin’s actual murderer.

Sure indeed, Zhi Yu gets the gold for her. This silly woman contacts Dou Xi and tells him that she has the gold. She asks him to meet her alone. Yang sends Dr Lee to kill Kai, Zhi Yu and Zhen Yi. Kai tells her that he still loves her but she refuses to forgive him for his acts. Luckily, Zhi Yu saves them on time. She still doesn’t trust him and insists of keeping the gold herself.

She ends up losing almost all but one – citing that she had kept it with the person she trusts most. I want to laugh at this – she should have kept all with him instead! This woman is impossible - 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. Yet, she can blame him for insensitive when she is in trouble. What a joke – who wants his life first?!

I have never liked Na Young’s acting – often stuck-up and stony. But yet – she often acts opposite all the hunks to let them down!! Her character in ‘Ireland’ broke Hyun Bin’s heart. It is worse here when we have two outstanding dudes who can do anything in order to save Zhen Yi. She looks older than them. My colleagues simply beat their chests – why is she so lucky every time?!

3. Chief Detective Dao Xiu – Lee Jung Jin
He is the section chief of a foreign affair investigation in the police station. He comes from a poor background, so he works obsessively. He gets shot by Zhi Yu while checking on Kevin’s case and his pride is wounded. Moreover, he is passed over for a promotion. Thus, this is his life’s mission to arrest him.

He is initially reckless and is disillusioned upon knowing that Commissioner Wu accepts bribes from Dou Xi to release all of Dou Xi’s men whom he arrests and returns all the gold to Dou Xi. All these make Dao Xiu believe that Zhi Yu is not the actual murderer of Kevin. Yang decides to melt the gold using an illegal chemical. Dao Xiu manages to get the gold and captures Dou Xi. Wu fires him and releases Dou Xi. The gold is left behind in Dao Xiu's car.

He smuggles the gold out to the Philippines. He later returns with Xiao Lan with the gold to rejoin the force. How? While Dr. Lee is about to shoot Zhen Yi, Zhi Yu gets in a fight with him and captures him. He hands him over to Dao Xiu ,who is now looking to solve this case to reinstate his post as a police officer. He tries to help Zhi Yu clear his name and urges him to be frank to Zhen Yi or he will regret like him after losing Xiao Lan. Dao Xiu arrests Dou Xi, Mei Zhen and the other people involved but he can never be the same again without Xiao Lan.

This is another brainless creature – who goes all out to hunt Zhi Yu down like a beast. It seems that he is a sore loser to allow him to escape every time. I find him acting worse than in ‘Love in Harvard’ and “April Kiss’. Is it because the script fails him?

4. Detective Yin Xiao Lan – Yoon Jin Seo
A female detective working under Dao Xiu’s team, Xiao Lan is not as capable as the rest. She believes Dao Xiu’s kindness to her is a sign of affection from him. Her efforts at chasing him are later rewarded although she is upset at times when work is more important to him than her. He has to coax her and she quits the force after knowing that he is framed and she is transferred to work on a remote island. She later dies in his arms after protecting him from Yong Jun’s killers.

5. Kai – Daniel Henney
He is an international shipping businessman and a core lobbyist connecting Asia with North America. From a young age, Kai has power, money and intricate network connections. He is also the only person Zhen Yi can trust and love. He manages all her money and she is dependent on her. That is why she never knows the importance of money, unlike Zhi Yu who has to fend for himself from a young age.

Because of the threat she feels over her life and anyone that comes close to her, she pushes Kai away to keep him safe. When Zhen Yi drags Zhi Yu into her foster parents’ investigation, Kai uses all his might to save her from being killed. Kai comes to know that Dou Xi, who he has worked with for many years in the past, is Melchidec. He is shocked at first. In order to save her, he meets up with him through Sophie.

Kai strikes up a deal with him that he will find the Joseon Bank note (from the Bank Of Korea) for him on the condition that will leave her alone and will ensure her safety. He comes up with the idea of framing Zhi Yu as the murderer of her family to hide his crimes. He comes up with the false evidence where the bank doesn’t exist for the money transactions.

Zhi Yu has warned Zhen Yi about Kai when he doesn’t pick her calls as expected but Zhen Yi simply ignores this. He has found Kai to be ambitious. Zhen Yi is brought to Macau by Kai to see Dou Xi and General Wei. Kai shows Jini the evidence and believes Kai .She visits Zhi Yu who is in police custody now and tells him that she knows that he is Melchidec, leaving him confused.

Zhi Yu is stunned by the evidence and suspects Kai to be a part of Melchidec. He escapes and tells Zhen Yi that he is framed by Kai. They both find Kai in conversation with Yang and she breaks up with him. Daniel definitely shines here as the devoted lover and ruthless businessman. His command of Korean has also improved over time.

6. Zhong Chun Huang – Sung Dong Ii
Zhi Yu knows Zhong Chun Huang who is a renowned Japanese-Korean private investigator as he is his mentor based in Tokyo, Japan. He is greedy and vicious. He harms Zhi Yu and Zhi Yu is at par with him comparing wits. Zhen Yi hides all the gold in a car tyre as she trusts no one – not even Zhu Yu. She is brainless indeed as James and Huang see through her scheme.

Huang has the gold after throwing powder at James’ face. He is now spending it lavishly. The couple suspects him to be holding the gold and search for him as the sun sets – sorry but this is the ending!

7. Huang Mei Zhen – Yoon Son Ha
She is a professor at a Japanese university, based in Hong Kong but is a killer working for Dou Xi. She has tried to kill Jin Yi multiple times in vain and losing Dou Xi’s trust. To force Zhi Yu to tell her where the gold is since he now gets the note from Zhen Yi, she also kidnaps Zhang to inject him with poison. Zhi Yu has to reveal it but it is too late.

Huang steals Zhi Yu's documents and learns about the gold. He approaches Mei Zhen and they work together to find the gold. She becomes greedy and wants to bury Huang alive to keep everything for herself. Zhi Yu also contacts Dao Xiu to help him solve this case. He follows with the police and arrests all of them. Suddenly, Mei Zhen is shot by an unknown person hired by Dou Xi and she goes missing from the hospital.

She is now wheelchair bound as she can’t walk steadily to be deaf in one ear. Thus, she wants to seek revenge on Dou Xi to combine forces with Yong Jun. Firstly, she bribes Dou Xi’s men to work for her.

8. Hiroki – Takenake Naoto
He is Kieko's father Hiroki. He is a businessman by day and a powerful Yakuza by night. He opposes to them together.

9. Kieko – Uehara Takaka
She is Zhi Yu’s girlfriend and is also a renowned singer. He attends her concert and hurries away when her father’s men run after him. That ends their romance although they share a passionate kiss openly.

10. Master Zhang – Gong Hyung Jin
Initially Zhi Yu’s client, Master Zhang is made a private investigator by Zhi Yu as his business was not successful. He operates in Beijing, China. He isn’t a clever person and gets killed.

11. Hua Yi – Ho Chiu Yee
She is Master Zhang’s girlfriend. He tries to cheat this divorcee of her money, knowing that she gets alimonies from her ex-husbands but doesn’t know that she is actually Mei Zhen’s spy.

12. James Bong – Jo Hee Bong
He is Zhi Yu’s’s rival. James Bong works in Manila, Philippines. He is an opportunist (or rather a clown) as compared to Huang. He keeps wanting the painting that Zhi Yu has stolen, which is now in the temple. He is tricked by Huang to work with him repeatedly and Huang gets away with the gold easily. I shake my head – this man often dresses in Hawaii shirts and sprouts nonsense? How can he be a top PI?

13. General Wei – Ti Lung
General Wei is Kai's business partner. He stays in Macau and is involved in Zhen Yi’s family’s death. He is often in contact with Dou Xi.

14. Yang Dou Xi – Song Jae Ho
He is a rich man seated on a wheelchair – only in disguise as he can walk normally. He is also Melchidec. The reason why Melchidec kills Zhen Yi’s parents and adoptive parents is that she has the Joeson bank note. The Joeson bank note is the key to find a large amount of gold which mysteriously went missing after the Korean war many years back. The killers leave this left and it has the coordinates of the stolen loot.

He was one of the soldiers who were awarded medals by the Korean government for his contribution in the Korean war. After the Korean war, a bunch of soldiers, including him and Zhen Yi’s grandfather) are appointed to bring a huge amount of gold bullion's to the south from the north. The two work as a team to steal the gold for themselves. Yang kills the other soldiers while her grandfather buries the gold

He betrays Dou Xi and keeps the gold for himself. After learning about this, Dou Xi kills him in order to find the gold. His son is more ruthless than him, putting him under house arrest as he only plans to release him after his term so that scandals will not appear.

15. Yang Yong Jun – Kim Eung Soo
He is Dou Xi’s son who is running for presidency. Dou Xi is worried that his and his son's reputation will be ruined if people find out the truth about the missing gold In order to hide his crimes and also to find the gold, he kills her entire family. Yong Jun agrees to help Kai to stop Dou Xi from harming Zhen Yi after knowing his misdeeds. Kai comes to know that Yong Jun and Mei Zhen are working together and that he is against his own father.

In the final confrontation between Yong Jun and Zhen Yi, Zhi Yu asks Dao Xiu for help. Both men record the whole conversation between the two .Yong Jun tells her to leave the country and that he will not apologize for his father’s crimes. After saying this, he leaves her alone and his men attack her. Xiao Lan pays with her life to protect the evidence.

During a press conference of presidential candidate, Zhen Yi interrupts by bringing in the recorder and by playing it in front of the press. His truth is exposed but he claims that anyone can fake the false evidence. The media asks her if she has the gold but she can’t answer as all gold is taken away by Huang.

Meanwhile, Zhi Yu is in his office to take out all his certificates out of frustration. A gold bar drops from inside. He comes to know that Zhen Yi has hidden one of the gold bars in his office as a part of plan b in case the gold is stolen. Zhi Yu immediately reaches the press conference. He shows the gold and thereby the truth is exposed to the world. Dao Xiu vows to arrest Yong Jun one day.

16. Bai Nan Zhong – Danny Ahn
As the squad chief, Dao Xiu is widely expected to be promoted to the next level. It comes as a shock only to have his undeserving subordinate, Nan Zhong to get the post. Why his father pulls some strings to bribe Wu . Still, Dao Xiu gets the authority as the team still responds to him as the leader. Nan Zhong likes to pull rank and flaunt his position but Dao Xiu often disobeys his orders. He can only rely Wu for help.

17. Detective Jin – Kim Hyung Jong
He is a young cop who idolizes Dao Xiu.

18. Detective Lee – Jung Seung Kyo
He is another young cop who isn’t afraid of authority.

19. Detective Piao – Kim Soo Hyun
He is the only one married with a son. That is why he is under a lot of pressure when he is transferred to a distant department. Worried over Dao Xiu’s safety, he follows him to Dou Xi’s villa to get the gold but is stabbed. Although he escapes death, Dao Xiu can never forgive himself.

20. Yan Sophie – Kim Soo Hyun
She is Kai’s secretary but is secretly working for Dou Xi. However, she is in love with Kai and turns to protect him instead. Kai decides to transfer her to work in Japan after knowing her feelings for him. He is once stabbed by Dr Lee. Luckily, Zhen Yi and Zhi Yu come to rescue him.

Zhen Yi sucks out the poison from Kai’s wound and chooses to walk away. Sophie is bitter when Kai only has Zhen Yi in his eyes, struggling to stand to go after her and warning Zhi Yu not to take advantage of Zhen Yi. Dr Lee attempts to kill Kai the second time and Sophie gets stabbed while shielding him. Even though Kai sends her to hospital, he hardly sits beside her and stands to watch her instead.

She tries to kill Dou Xi to keep Kai safe but she fails. She is caught by his assistant, tied up and bought to an unknown place. So is Kai. Both are shocked to Mei Zhen alive. She explains that she also wants to destroy Dou Xi and gives Kai some evidence to report the evidence to the press.

He agrees and even adds along with evidence of his own involvement to make it up to Zhen Yi. Sophie is sad that despite doing so much for him, he only has Zhen Yi in his heart.

21. Kelvin – Oh Ji Ho
Ji-woo’s U.S. contact is used to be his good friend, Kevin. They work together in Las Vegas on a case that gives them a large profit, awarded by the casino's owner General Wei for solving the matter of two deaths. Zhi Yu solves the case in a day and concludes it as a suicide case. As a result, he becomes the first private investigator in the world who solves a case in 1 day and he becomes a world renowned private investigator. Shortly after the case was solved, Kevin is murdered.

The Korean police gets some mysterious evidence which proves Zhi Yu to be Kevin’s murderer to take all the money for himself. He maintains his innocence, and deeply grieves Kevin’s death. In fact, his normally mischievous personality immediately turns grave the moment anybody mentions Kevin.

22. Billy
He is James’s assistant. James is a clown while he is a monkey to just obey his orders. James and Huang send him to test Dao Xiu out in his investments as Dao Xiu has seen them. I still don’t understand how Dao Xiu can get tricked as this man is as uncouth as James.

23. Police Commissioner Wu
This is the super villain to cause Dao Xiu of his promotion and also Dou Xi’s spy to remove/dispose of any evidence against him. This actor is really terrible in acting.

24. Squad Leader Cui
She is Dao Xiu’s friend, hired to investigate this case. Xiao Lan is initially jealous of her but is later relieved to know that she is married with a child. She consoles Dao Xiu after Xiao Lan’s death and tells him to continue to solve the case in order to avenge her. She also captures Wu and Nan Zhong for their involvement but both men are too stubborn to own up.

25. Dr Lee
He isn’t a doctor but is a cold-blooded murderer. He loves to see how others suffer. Being a good fighter, Zhi Yu and Kai are not his match.
Most favourite character
Zhi Yu, for his patience and persistence. A close second is Kai on his steadfast attitude towards love.

Most hated character
Zhen Yi – for sure – she is not just a spoilt brat but is also an ungrateful creature. How I wish the guys can just leave her to get killed and wash their hands off her.

Interesting facts
Rain did not act for 5 years, Na Young 6 years and Daniel 4 years. This was their comeback to the small screen. It was filmed in some cities : Seoul, Busan, Tokyo , Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Rain filed a lawsuit against the production company of his KBS drama, ‘Fugitive: Plan B’, for failing to pay him a sum of $396,000 USD for his work with the drama. The Seoul Central District Court later ruled in favor of Rain. The justice department ordered the production company to immediately pay Rain the total sum, which was calculated according to his contract of $50,000 USD per episode.

The production company has revealed that they will not be appealing the decision and that they will make the payment as soon as funds are available. From 21.7 %, it plunged to only 12.7% in viewership. You will know why when you watch it.

Conclusion

I have high hopes for this drama. Yet, I end up being disappointed due to a slow start, confusing actions by the characters, an unfinished ending and afemale lead that I dislike a lot. Zhi Yu is like superman from the start. He should become a top cop, not a PI. Rain acts well as the wise and confident Zhi Yu but the drama isn’t doing justice to him.

This is the first part that I can’t accept – Zhen Yi’s brain must be filled with grass - Kai makes Ji Woo out to be the killer, but the producer has overlooked the fact that Jin Yi’s grandfather and parents die when she was a teenager. Zhi Yu is around the same age as her – does he have the capability and reason to kill when especially he doesn’t even know them?!

Her leaving of Zhi Yu to handle the whole sticky situation by himself is the second reason why I dislike her so much. The first reason is when Kai asks her why she hires him to find Melchidec, Jin Yi replies that she doesn’t care if Zhi Yu lives or dies, whereas she will care for Kai. Even though she hates him, this is too much. Serves her right when Zhi Yu leaves her to get attacked and tortured by the Japanese. Zero sympathy for her here. He has done too much for this client.

Zhen Yi is a troublemaker – despite all they have done to save her. Kai provides for her all along as she doesn’t even know how money is earned. When Zhi Yu tells her not to reveal herself to get attacked, she close her ears. Even though he is capable, he can’t be winning 20 over fighters!

The loose ending of the criminals’ fate. Some small fries are arrested but what about the rest? I see dou Xiu holding a gun at his temple in the last scene – is he going to kill himself?

It’s a drama only worth watching once as it isn’t easy to understand. You see them running around but what is the purpose? To show us the scenery of different countries? The drama gets the big shots but underuse them. So only watch when you have the extra time.

Sukting’s ratings :

On acting : *** (Scale of 5)

On story : **1/2 (Scale of 5)



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