Do-chan's motivation is a mystery not just to Ha-ra, but also to his team of con artists. While there's no major conflict about this yet, I mostly just liked the moment where they're eating cheap pizza and talking about all the money they're going to get, while apparently unable to tell the difference between different kinds of premium cheap pizza. The con artists in "Switch - Change The World" are not a particularly discriminating lot when it comes to the finer things in life.
That much is a matter of perspective. Similarly, I liked the scene where Ha-ra's mom goes into proper fried chicken preparation technique while Mister Ppeong (played by Son Byung-ho) is eagerly paying attention to exactly the wrong part of that process. Some people just like money as a commodity, rather than as a means of exchanging value. Earning money, rather than actually spending the money, is the ultimate reward.
I bring this all up because on further reflection Tae-woong is really just as much a con artist as Do-chan is in that regard. The guy loves gaudy clothes, and only bothers to dress up nice for specific social situations. The main time Tae-woong is happy is when he thinks he has pulled one over on someone somehow. As minor as Do-chan's victories against Tae-woong are, Tae-woong remains frustrated and keeps playing to win instead of trying to take a more defensive posture.
That's what I like about Do-chan. Con artist exterior notwithstanding, the man has tangible goals outside of mere abstract concepts. Observe the flashback that allows Do-chan to hit upon a critical aspect of Tae-woong's operation. That Do-chan happens to have firsthand experience with regards to Tae-woong's property is random coincidence. That Do-chan thinks about this stuff a lot is not. Do-chan is far more nobly motivated than he's willing to let anyone else know.
And that's his main weakness. Major breakthrough notwithstanding, Tae-woong is slowly catching on to how he is being outsmarted in ways beyond the purview of a prosecutor. Tae-woong has plenty of people backing him up, even if just through patronage that can double as blackmail in a pinch. Do-chan has nothing. He has no one to trust. That's the opposite of how heroes and villains usually operate in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Even if on a mere temperamental level Do-chan can't realistically cut it as a cop, the guy does need to start trusting someone.
Review by William Schwartz
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Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Switch - Change The World" Episodes 11-12"
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