Side dish: It probably makes sense that hyacinth flowers are poisonous. Luckily, the bulbs are not, and they’re even considered a delicacy in Puglia, one of the tastiest regions of Italy. Here’s how you cook hyacinth bulbs or lampascioni from Anita’s Italy.
We’re still in the flashback from the last episode, as police psychiatrist, Lee Joong Min (Jeon Kwang-Leol) explains to his son, future genius professor of criminal investigation, Lee Hyun (Seo In Guk) that he’s locking him up in the basement for his own good. As Hyun realizes that his father believes that he is a monster, he starts crying. Sobbing, Hyun tells Joong Min that he should have asked first what he talked about with serial killer, Lee Joon Young (Do Kyung Soo or EXO’s DO) before assuming that he was a monster like him.
At the prison, a pair of prison guards walk into the cell of Joon Young, in order to deal out retribution for something he did. You know it’s not going to end well, as Joon Young greets them with a faint smile.
Back at the house, Hyun’s brother, Min plays by himself, and calls out to Hyun to come play with him. Hyun, meanwhile, is studying in his basement cell with Joong Min, who has apparently not relented on locking up his own son.
Back at the prison, the guards enter Joon Young’s cell again, and this time, he greets them happily. As they advance on him, he picks up a small blade and cuts his own throat. He passes out as the two guards panic and find that he has no pulse. They call an ambulance and end up riding along in the back as it drives away. It’s not long before one of the guards hears the sound of an ambulance passing by as it goes towards the prison. We flash back to Joon Young telling Hyun that his pulse is impossible to detect on that side of his neck. The guard looks at the EMT, then at Joon Young, who opens his eyes.
Hyun, meanwhile, studies in his basement cell, while Joong Min works at his desk upstairs. Both of them sense a disturbance in the force at the same time, but it’s Joong Min that Joon Young is there to see. Without turning around, Joong Min offers Joon Young a cup of tea. The music is ominous, but the scene is bizarrely civilized as the two of them sit at the kitchen table for tea. Joon Young asks about Hyun, and Joong Min replies that he’ll never be able to see him again. It’s not long before the two of them end up fighting, alerting both Hyun who starts calling out for his dad, and Min, who sneaks out the window of his bedroom.
Finally, the noise of their fight dies down, and Hyun’s locked door is released. He comes out to find his father face down in a pool of blood, and a smiling Joon Young looking at him. In voiceover, the adult Hyun says that he lost his father that day, his younger brother disappeared, and he ended up with gaps in his memory. Onscreen, the Hyun of the past runs out into the rain calling out for Min, and trips, knocking himself unconscious.
Still in the past, Hyun wakes up to the face of a doctor asking if he remembers anything. Hyun denies it, but inwardly, he still has some memories of meeting Joon Young, and of reading his father’s memo book, where he wrote that his son was a monster. Hyun leaves the hospital with his father’s friend, Hyun Ji Soo (Im Ji Eun), wondering what kind of child he had been for his father to believe he was a monster.
In the present, Hyun is still wondering the same thing, but the only person who knew him back then, whom he knows to be alive, is Joon Young. Since he only has broken memories of their sole conversation, Hyun made sure to send Joon Young a message in his interviews for his book, that he wants to meet him again.
Police investigator Cha Ji Ahn (Jang Na Ra) comes home to her spectacularly messy apartment to find her aunt, Yang Eun Jung (Shin Dong Mi) has dropped in with a large amount of kimchi. Eun Jung is about to leave, when Ji Ahn mentions that the former target of her stalking, Lee Hyun has returned. Fascinated, Eun Jung sits back down, asking whether Hyun had recognized her. Of course he hadn’t, and on top of it, Ji Ahn has no words to describe how much of a jerk he is. The only thing she knows is that he’s their only connection to Lee Joon Young.
Back at his childhood home, Hyun listens to tapes of his father’s interviews with Joon Young, and wonders where Joon Young is. As he leaves the house, it’s clear that he’s being watched, but he carries on walking anyway.
Later, Hyun is spotted by a pair of policemen as he walks down the street. They call Ji Ahn, who is with medical examiner, Lee Joon Ho (Choi Won Young). As soon as she gets the phone call, she leaves to go chase Hyun down. Hyun, meanwhile is at the Bangbae-dong crime scene apartment, looking at the painting on the wall that got him started on this quest. The signature is of two eyes making up an infinity symbol, and he flashes back to Min showing him the same thing as his signature when they were children. Hyun wonders if Min could still be alive, and wanders around the apartment. He notes that the painting was put up recently, and that it matches nothing else in the house.
Ji Ahn comes tearing up the stairs to the apartment, only to find it empty. Instead of confronting Hyun, she tries to figure out what he was looking for in there, and finally lights upon the painting. She muses that it seems familiar.
Hyun shows the painting to an art dealer friend of his, who reluctantly agrees to track down the artist. When his friend gets offended that Hyun is speaking to him informally despite being younger, Hyun switches to English. His friend is equally unhappy with this result, but Hyun is pondering whether he should have agreed to cooperate with the special investigations team when Ji Ahn asked him to. To assuage his regret over turning her down, he agrees to do a lecture for a professor as a favour, much to his friend’s confusion.
Back at the police station, the members of the special investigation team go over the details of the two murders, only to realize that they’ve come up with nothing, since they have neither suspects nor evidence. When team leader Kang Eun Hyeok (Lee Chun Hee) asks how the request for Hyun’s cooperation is going, but Ji Ahn has no answer. Hotheaded veteran investigator, Son Myung Woo (Min Sung Wook) asks Ji Ahn if her ploy of using her looks failed, but Ji Ahn hasn’t even tried that tack yet.
Ji Ahn gets ready for battle with a nice outfit and some lip balm, as she goes into Hyun’s lecture. Once inside, she tries to get his attention as he lectures about how the different parts of the brain react to a murder plan. Unfortunately her overenthusiastic waving sends her rolling chair down the ramp towards the front of the classroom. He stops her just short of crashing into him and asks how the anterior cingulate cortex would respond to a murder plan. She guesses that it would agree with such a plan, but she’s wrong. He continues his lecture, using her as a prop, much to the amusement of the audience.
Afterwards, when Ji Ahn complains about this treatment, Hyun responds by asking why she’s following him. She protests, but then admits to following him to gain his cooperation. Looking at her, Hyun seems to remember something, but then gives up since she gives off a vague impression. Hyun refuses to cooperate unless she tells him who she is and how she knows him, but she lies and says that she’s a fan. He’s not convinced, and continues to refuse, but when she asks if he discovered anything at the Bangbae-dong crime scene, he tells her that both crime scenes had purple flowers, commonly used for mourning. He theorizes that the theme is from Greek mythology where Hyacinth died as a victim of a jealous feud between Apollo and Zephyr.
Ji Ahn laments how women are always victimized by men, but backpedals when Hyun reveals that Hyacinth was a man. He continues that the flowers in both apartments mean that the murders were planned, but that’s all the information he was able to get from the two crime scenes. He wonders why someone else hasn’t been killed yet, since the pattern of the two previous murders indicate that another one should have taken place. But, Hyun does have a hypothesis, that the murderer is re-enacting the murder of someone he knew, hence why the victims looked alike. He theorizes that one of the victims had recently cut their hair, thus enraging the murderer into strangling her rather than poisoning her.
Ji Ahn passes on the information from Hyun to her team, that the code left at the first apartment (to direct them to the second apartment) was semaphore, and that something similar should be found at the second apartment. She passes on that they should look at where the murderer would be able to find women who looked similar, and to look at old cases to see if any of them matched the pattern. Eun Hyeok splits up the tasks and everyone gets to work, as Myung Woo grumbles at having to listen to Hyun.
Hyun, meanwhile, is having drinks with Ji Soo, who is pleased to have overheard someone guess that she’s an older woman having an affair with a younger man. Hyun jokes around that they should make it more convincing, but she gets serious quickly, and asks why he’s left his college in the middle of the semester to come to Korea. He explains about the email, and tells her that he’d like to see Joon Young’s case file, including the information about his father’s death. Ji Soo is worried about Hyun requesting this after so many years of indifference, but in the end, she tells him that no such file exists; the police only started putting together evidence files in the past three or four years, too late for a file on Joon Young.
Later, in her office, Ji Soo flashes back to the past, when her superior handed her the file on Joon Young, and told her to cover up the incident forever. She looks in her desk safe for the file folder, but the file is gone. It’s Ji Ahn who has it, at home, and she puts it down to go brush her teeth.
At his hotel, Hyun also gets ready for bed, but has a dream as soon as he sleeps, of the moment when Joon Young came out of the washroom after murdering Joong Min. Joon Young says something Hyun can’t hear, then moves closer and tells him to sleep, that things have happened how he wanted them to. Young Hyun smiles as adult Hyun wakes up gasping. He has a drink to calm his nerves.
Ji Ahn has fallen asleep while brushing her teeth, but when she wakes up, she’s suddenly hit by a memory of the window in the second victim’s apartment being open. She leaves her apartment, and calls cheerful rookie cop Min Seung Joo (Kim Jae Young) to get an update. It turns out that both victims were members of the same hotel spa. She congratulates him on his good work, then goes over to the second victim’s apartment. As she walks in, she trips over something, and is suddenly hit by an attack of the heebie-jeebies. Ji Ahn asks the victim’s ghost to cooperate as she looks for her murderer. She enters, and starts searching through stacks of paper in the room, but doesn’t find anything. It’s not until the next morning when she finally notices some paper pinned to the fridge, and discovers the semaphore code.
We were about due for a shower scene, so lucky for us, Hyun is conscientious about his cleanliness as he gets ready in his hotel room. Sadly, he’s interrupted by the arrival of Ji Ahn, who needs his help to decode the semaphore, since the coordinates land them in the ocean. The best guess the team can come up with is that maybe the next murder will take place on a yacht. Hyun immediately discerns that they’re reading the coordinates wrong, and sends her on her way, with instructions to call him when they catch the murderer.
Myung Woo and Seung Joo go to the hotel spa to see if the person who lives at the coordinates matches the other two victims, and when it turns out she does, the whole team heads to her apartment. Ji Ahn starts calling the woman continuously, and finally gets through to her, shortly after a mystery man arrives at her apartment with purple flowers. As she races across town, Ji Ahn instructs the woman to act natural, but she’s too terrified, and it’s not long before the woman loses her cool and tries to attack the mystery man with a mug.
Meanwhile, Hyun is still listening to tapes of his father’s interviews with Joon Young, when suddenly the old recording cuts off, and Joon Young addresses Hyun directly. Joon Young reminds him that he wanted to see what kind of adult Hyun would become, and tells him that he’s already by his side. In the past and the present, Hyun smiles at Joon Young.
At the same time, Ji Ahn finally arrives at the woman’s apartment, and bursts in, gun drawn. She trains her gun on someone as the episode ends.
In terms of logic, this was a much better episode, though I’m still a little surprised at just how incompetent the police are made to look. Really? They couldn’t figure out how to read coordinates? Really? The prison had no protocol for dealing with injured prisoners? Because, that never happens? Really? Is it believable that they would have no case file on a serial killer? Really? The police needs someone to suggest that they look into similar cases from the past? COME ON.
But, like I said in the last recap, if you can put these annoying details aside, this was still an interesting episode. The pacing is good, and the visuals are still great, with an effective use of CGI. I especially liked the scene where Ji Ahn walked around the apartment crime scene shortly after Hyun, trying to figure out what he saw in there. I also liked the shots against the huge blackboard at the university lecture, which almost made the stupid rolling chair scene worth it.
It’s also a bonus that Seo In Guk and Jang Na Ra appear to have some chemistry. I don’t mean romantic chemistry, since that’s too early to tell, but their comedic timing is good, and the scenes of the two of them together are watchable. And, despite frequently coming off as total idiots, Ji Ahn and her team already give the impression of being a good unit. The only thing I could wish for here is that, for once, we could have had a change in dynamic, where the female lead is the smart one who holds all the cards, and the male lead is the one who’s bumbling behind.
Anyway, I hope the mystery in the end is worth these awesome visuals. Or, I figure out how to turn my brain off when logic takes a breather.
It’s not as devoid of logic as TGWSS though. Korean dramas have always been like that. I think IRY can be considered the better of the bunch and this episode was quite fun to watch anyway.
Agreed, but TGWSS started with a premise that sounded like a fairy tale, so logic fails were easier to ignore. Regardless, it definitely was a fun episode to watch.
Am I the only one who felt Frozen feels with the 1996 parts? Hyung is imprisoned in the basement as he is a “threat” to the society. But the dongsaeng sits by the wall asking hyung to come play with him…. Do you wanna build a snowman…
I like this drama so far. It sounds weirdly like BBC Sherlock, although Korean. I like how how Hyun is thinking. He has a smart brain and he’s utilizing it well.
Ha ha! If the kids break out into song we’ll know where they got their inspiration from…
An ambulance called to the prison is the protocol in real life though for severe injuries as well as the guards riding inside the ambulance. This kind of escape ruse is very commonly used even in Western procedurals.
Of course they should have known first-aid and actually applied pressure on the neck then checked for pulse. The “mutation” the convict refers in this episode actually exists and it’s called Absent Pulse.
Is there a cop show, where the story centers on a lead that is supposed to be very intelligent or has special abilities that has made the police actually competent? Even in the long list of US procedurals, the cops are always undermined and incompetent or else the lead wouldn’t be so special.
But yeah adult Hyun is really patterned to Sherlock. Didn’t watch Elementary to compare if they patterened her to it but Ji-An is like Watson. They even solve the crime together. lol
For the escape, those are good points. That’s totally fair. My only issue would be that the prison guards seemed to have no idea what to do in the situation.
More importantly, though, I do like Hyun and Ji Ahn together a la Holmes and Watson. Their banter as partners is pretty good, so here’s hoping the chemistry is good, too.
Thanks for reading!