Genius criminal profiler, Lee Hyun (Seo In Guk) impatiently demands to know where detective, Cha Ji Ahn (Jang Na Ra) is, fearing that she is the target of vengeful killer, Jo Yong Woo. Ji Ahn turns to face someone approaching her from behind, but it is a false alarm. When Hyun explains that Yong Woo is out to kill someone he cares about, Ji Ahn is taken aback at being identified as an object of Hyun’s affections. Hyun quickly hangs up rather than explain himself.
Hyun considers the possibility that his younger brother, Min, now known as attorney, Jung Sun Ho (Park Bo Gum) may be the intended target. Sun Ho misses Hyun’s calls, before a knife is placed against his neck, and he is backed into his office elevator by Yong Woo. Sun Ho remembers the theory of medical examiner, Lee Joon Ho (Choi Won Young) about the killer’s motive, and cynically tells Yong Woo that he has chosen the wrong victim if his intention is to hurt Hyun.
Hyun orders the two police detectives guarding him, team leader, Kang Eun Hyeok (Lee Chun Hee) and veteran cop, Son Myeong Woo (Min Sung Wook) to find and protect Ji Ahn. They manage to contact Ji Ahn by phone, but when she realizes where Hyun has gone, she has his location tracked.
Hyun receives a call from Yong Woo directing him to come and watch his younger brother die. Sun Ho chooses this moment to attack the distracted Yong Woo. Hearing a struggle before the line disconnects, a helpless Hyun can only rush to the office building, hoping he is not too late.
Hyun arrives to see Sun Ho slumped on the ground with a bloody abdomen, and Yong Woo standing over him with a raised rebar. Hyun tries to convince Yong Woo that Sun Ho means nothing to him, but the killer is not fooled. Just as Yong Woo is about to finish Sun Ho off with the rebar, he is shot in the arm. With a gun trained on him, Ji Ahn orders Yong Woo to freeze. Yong Woo decides to run, and Ji Ahn gives chase while Hyun tends to Sun Ho, and calls for help.
Ji Ahn hunts for Yong Woo, unaware that the killer has crept up behind her. Eun Hyeok arrives unexpectedly, and Yong Woo ducks into the shadows to avoid being seen. After Eun Hyeok and Ji Ahn leave, Yong Woo emerges from hiding just as a shadowy figure appears behind him.
Ji Ahn finds a despondent Hyun waiting outside the operating room for Sun Ho. When Hyun begins to break down, Ji Ahn grasps his hand and reassures him that Sun Ho will pull through. Later, Eun Hyeok reports to Ji Ahn that Yong Woo is still at large, but Ji Ahn is preoccupied with the guilt of having to eventually arrest Hyun’s younger brother. She does not voice her thoughts, but Eun Hyeok attempts to cheer her up and offers his support.
The next morning, Sun Ho wakes up to find Hyun asleep at this bedside while holding his hand. Sun Ho is clearly touched by this evidence of Hyun’s concern, but feigns indifference when Hyun awakes. Hyun expresses relief at Sun Ho’s stabilized condition, and offers up his reluctant friend/lackey, the art dealer to watch over Sun Ho until they catch Yong Woo.
Hyun and Ji Ahn’s team manage to track Yong Woo’s location to an abandoned building. They find a rebar sticking out of the ground, and after some digging, discover that it is planted in the body of Yong Woo.
At the hospital, Joon Ho arrives to visit Sun Ho. After scaring off Hyun’s friend, Joon Ho gets sentimental as he recalls the times he tended to Sun Ho when he was a sickly child. Sun Ho accuses Joon Ho of directing Yong Woo at him, and Joon Ho reassures Sun Ho that he never intended any harm to fall on Sun Ho; he only wished to address Sun Ho’s curiosity about the extent of Hyun’s feelings for him.
Sun Ho repeats his question about whether Hyun had truly abandoned him to Sun Ho. When Joon Ho refuses to answer it, Sun Ho threatens his life, and Joon Ho smiles. Hyun arrives at this moment, and both he and Joon Ho have a tense exchange about guardianship of Sun Ho, veiled as a discussion on stewardship of lawn maintenance.
Back at the morgue, Joon Ho examines Yong Woo’s body, covered in his own violent handiwork from the night before. Hyun and Ji Ahn arrive, and when they learn of the myriad of fatal injuries that Yong Woo suffered, Hyun is amused at the lengths the killer went to to hide his MO. Ji Ahn uses false praise to mask her accusation against Joon Ho of feigned ignorance.
Outside of the morgue, Hyun confronts Ji Ahn about her knowledge that Joon Ho is actually former teenage serial killer, Lee Joon Young. Ji Ahn is sure that Joon Ho knows that she is aware of his true identity. Hyun is concerned that Ji Ahn is placing herself in danger by provoking Joon Ho, but she is determined to capture him before he is scared into taking flight.
While her investigative team puzzles over the murder of Yong Woo, Ji Ahn strongly suspects that Joon Ho was the killer. She asks Hyun if he has asked Sun Ho about whether Joon Ho is Joon Young, but Hyun is reluctant to push Sun Ho too hard on the topic. Ji Ahn reveals that they will need Sun Ho’s help, because Joon Young’s fingerprints were erased from police records.
Ji Ahn and Hyun are called in by her investigative team to explain Yong Woo’s murder, and Hyun inadvertently reveals that Ji Ahn is someone he cares about. Hyun creates a points system on the spot, to explain away any special association between him and Ji Ahn. After Hyun walks away, the team is left to speculate on why he gave such a high score to Sun Ho.
Hyun runs into planning officer, Hyun Ji Soo (Im Ji Eun) and Deputy Commissioner Kang (Nam Kyoung Eub), and brings up the loss of Joon Young’s fingerprints. He challenges Ji Soo to produce the missing document, and her silence is damning. Hyun is about to leave when Ji Soo begs for another chance, claiming that the years since she struck a deal with Joon Young have been difficult for her, too. An incredulous Hyun basically tells her to go to hell before contemptuously revealing that Joon Young has been close by all along. Meanwhile, Eun Hyeok secretly listens outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office, and wonders who Joon Young is.
Hyun visits Sun Ho and manages to coax him into eating, before taking him for a walk. After he discovers that Sun Ho tends to spend time alone like him, Hyun insists that they no longer need to be alone, because they now have each other.
Ji Ahn’s birthday is marked by boy band antics from her team mates, along with gifts, and a cake. Before she can unwrap Eun Hyeok’s gift, another one arrives by courier from an anonymous source, which we know to be Joon Ho. The box contains a birthday card along with a map of Ji Ahn’s childhood neighbourhood. A somber Ji Ahn directs them to get the cadaver dog ready.
They find a skeleton at the site marked on the map, and the corpse’s identity is seemingly confirmed by the presence of a key chain featuring a photo of Ji Ahn and her father. She quietly voices her suspicions, then thinks back to the debate she had with Joon Ho about whether it is better to know the fate of a missing loved one.
Eun Hyeok reports the finding of Ji Ahn’s father to his father, Deputy Commissioner Kang, and posits that the late jail guard was a victim rather than an accomplice of Joon Young. He is about to ask his father about his knowledge of Joon Young, but decides to focus on the current case for Ji Ahn’s sake. Deputy Commissioner Kang appears disconcerted by Ji Ahn’s personal connection to Joon Young.
Hyun arrives belatedly at the police station, after spending time with Sun Ho, to find Ji Ahn staring despondently at her father’s key chain. Her team mates bring him up to speed, and Ji Ahn insists that she is okay, having run this scenario numerous times in her head. Hyun takes Ji Ahn back to his home, and insists that she stay for one day.
Meanwhile, Sun Ho has been discharged from the hospital, and since Hyun is preoccupied with Ji Ahn, Joon Ho has happily assumed the responsibility of taking care of Sun Ho. Joon Ho states that he considers Sun Ho his family, and Sun Ho chooses to look away rather than respond.
Ji Ahn reminisces about the day the photo in her father’s key chain was taken, before realizing that she cannot remember the last time she saw her father since it was a day like any other. Her guilt drives her to finally cry, and Hyun sits down beside her to gather her in his arms.
Later, alone in her bedroom, Ji Ahn remembers her conversation with convicted serial killer, Park Dae Yeong about not knowing what one is capable of doing until face-to-face with the person who destroyed one’s life. Ji Ahn suddenly reaches into her bag for a handgun, then walks determinedly towards Joon Ho’s home where her father’s killer is happily preparing a meal for Sun Ho.
I am really enjoying ” I Remember You” on multiple levels. Superficially, there is so much eye candy with Seo In Guk and Jang Na Ra looking ridiculously good in spite of their low key styling. And, the fight scenes are consistently some of the best I have ever seen in a K-drama; filmed to clearly showcase the slick and original choreography.
More importantly, I appreciate the subtlety that the actors are bringing to characters that could easily have descended into cartoon villains. Park Bo Gum allows us to easily read Sun Ho’s mixed emotions as he slowly allows the brother he has resented for abandoning him back into his life, while he steadily distances himself from the kidnapper who raised him. Meanwhile, psychopath, Joon Ho has his own struggle with understanding the emotions of others. Choi Won Young maintains an impassive face that feeds into doubts about how much he understands the hatred and resentment directed at him, given his psychopathic mind. Yet, he gives sufficient cues to his growing fear and desperation over losing Sun Ho.
Finally, a side character that I am happy to see emerging as a more substantial player is Eun Hyeok. His growing awareness of the conspiracy surrounding Joon Young has given him an opportunity to be more than a running joke, and his quiet consideration for Ji Ahn makes him an increasingly attractive character. However, Eun Hyeok is still highly amusing when he is ridiculous. Here are Eun Hyeok and Myeong Woo gaining an inordinate amount of enjoyment from children’s books and toys.