Side dish: Today, July 7th, is World Chocolate Day. If you, unlike me, want to stuff yourself with something fancier than a plain old bar of chocolate, here’s a recipe for Nama Chocolate by Cooking with Dog.
Trapped in the closet of Jin Suk, the murdered police detective, genius criminal profiler and possible psychopath, Lee Hyun (Seo in Guk) and demoted police detective, Cha Ji Ahn (Jang Na Ra) are given away by her sudden onset of hiccups. In the apartment, veteran police detective, Son Myung Woo (Min Sung Wook) and investigations team leader, Kang Eun Hyeok (Lee Chun Hee) advance on the closet, weapons at the ready, when Ji Ahn suddenly bursts out, and apologizes for sneaking into the crime scene. She distracts the two cops by accusing Myung Woo of sexual harassment for his remarks about her unwomanly figure, and leads them out of the apartment.
Left alone in the dark apartment, Hyun speculates as to whether he’s been framed by psychopath, Lee Joon Young (Do Kyung Soo or EXO’s DO), but dismisses the idea. Instead, Hyun wonders why Jin Suk didn’t defend himself from the attack. Given that Jin Suk was dying of cancer, Hyun speculates that the reason may have been a dying man’s guilt. Hyun guesses that the culprit’s motive was revenge, springing from resentment and anger.
Driving home, coldblooded attorney, Jung Sun Ho (Park Bo Gum) thinks back to the words of his boss, about another death, and instructions to meet with a man and find his missing son. Elsewhere, the body left by the man in the black hoodie is found by a random passerby in an abandoned warehouse. In a totally different location, the man in a black hoodie, likely also the murderer of Jin Suk, stands over the prone figures of a woman and child in a puddle of blood.
Ji Ahn, Myung Woo and Eun Hyeok are eating noodles, when Eun Hyeok apologizes for not being able to protect Ji Ahn from demotion. Ji Ahn, who feels guilty for harbouring murder suspect, Hyun, apologizes back. Myung Woo, meanwhile, only stops sucking back noodles long enough to join in on clinking glasses.
Back at her apartment, Ji Ahn comes home to find Hyun already asleep on the rug. She tells him to stay away from her, but when she notices a bloodstain on his shirt, she flips him over, and pulls up his shirt to find a shallow knife wound on his back. Hyun only wakes up long enough to notice the irony, but is otherwise content to sleep while she dresses his wound. After Ji Ahn finishes up, she goes to sleep on the floor next to him. Hyun may or may not have been asleep, but he wakes up long enough to carefully carry her to bed, then unceremoniously dump her in it.
The next morning, Ji Ahn wakes up to all my fantasies come to life: Hyun making breakfast after having cleaned her apartment. Ji Ahn makes a pro forma protest, but happily goes off to wash, then sits down to eat breakfast. The fact that she can’t keep from spilling her food all over the place reminds Hyun of Min, his little brother, and he flashes back to his childhood. He tells her that her breakfast didn’t come for free, and in return, she has to do him a favour.
Ji Ahn goes to the office, to find the investigation team hard at work. On the pretext of organizing her disastrous desk, Ji Ahn tries to see what they’re working on, but is foiled by Myung Woo’s creative blocking of the board. Predictably, their horsing around is interrupted by the arrival of their superiors, planning officer, Hyun Ji Soo (Im Ji Eun), and Deputy Commissioner Kang (Nam Kyoung Eub).
Hyun, meanwhile, is taking a drive with his art dealer friend, who protests being used as Hyun’s personal assistant. When Hyun points out that he can’t do anything himself, since he’s a murder suspect, his art dealer friend loses his cool, and even tries to call the police after Hyun steps out of the car. Hyun smoothly informs him that he’ll implicate him as an accomplice if he calls the police, and walks away.
Hyun’s destination turns out to be the world’s fanciest medical examiner’s office (take that, “CSI”!), where he runs into his neighbour, medical examiner, Lee Joon Ho (Choi Won Young). Assuming that he’s part of the investigations team, Joon Ho takes Hyun to see the corpse while confirming that the same weapon used on the mystery corpse found earlier was also used on Jin Suk. Before entering the examination room, Joon Ho goes to put cream under Hyun’s nose to help mask the smell of the badly decomposed corpse, but Hyun shies away. Instead, they view the corpses, and Joon Ho points out the similarities in the two crimes and weapons. Hyun theorizes that the mystery corpse, a man named Jo Hyeok Joo, was the first murder, while Jin Suk was the second. As Hyun goes to leave, Joon Ho tells him to buy him a meal when he’s been cleared of the crime. A mildly surprised Hyun agrees.
Back at the police station, Ji Ahn surreptitiously prints off Jin Suk’s case record, while the rest of the investigation team works behind her. She gets a call from Hyun, asking for her to cross-check Jo Hyeok Joo’s records with Jin Suk’s, to find the connection between the two men. Myung Woo leans in to check on what she’s doing, but he’s interrupted just in time by Eun Hyeok, who announces the news of the second body.
Back at her apartment, Hyun combs the files that Ji Ahn brought back from the station, while Ji Ahn frets over having done the right thing by stealing police documents. Hyun forestalls her protests by patting her on the head, then issues instructions over the files he needs more detail on. They work through the night, until Ji Ahn falls asleep with her head on the table. When she wakes up, Hyun is sitting outside with a beer, looking at the stars.
He explains that the Big Dipper was interpreted differently in different cultures, since they had a different way of connecting the dots. He likens this to police cases, and points out that he hasn’t connected the dots on this case yet.
Elsewhere in the city, the man in the black hoodie follows another man home. Moments later, Black Hoodie leaves the apartment building, while ominous music plays. Later still, the special investigations team arrive at the same scene, and look at the body of the man, stabbed in the hallway in front of his apartment door.
Cheerful rookie cop, Min Seung Joo (Kim Jae Young) calls Ji Ahn to let her know that another victim has been found. When Ji Ahn tells Hyun that the next victim is a retired police detective, Hyun connects the dots to a case from 15 years ago, when a mother and daughter were found murdered, and the father, Park Yeong Chul, was found guilty of the crime. Yeong Chul had confessed to the murder and been convicted, though he later recanted, stating that he was coerced by the police. The other survivor of the murder was the 10-year-old brother, now 25 year old Park Dae Yeong (Shin Jae Ha). In voiceover, Hyun relates himself to the kid growing up alone, having lost his family. Ji Ahn adds that Dae Yeong also grew up as the son of a murderer, and in voiceover adds, like herself. Ji Ahn wonders if Dae Yeong is getting revenge for his family.
Ji Ahn’s theory is borne out by Dae Young himself, who, in his home, tells his dead mother and sister that there’s only one more left.
In the car with the investigations team, Seung Joo gets a text from Ji Ahn, telling him to look into the case of Dae Young. Myung Woo is incapable of giving his juniors any privacy, and takes the phone from Seung Joo. Eun Hyeok wonders if Ji Ahn figured this out by herself, but Myung Woo and geeky team member, Choi Eun Bok (Son Seung Won) have already figured out that she’s being helped by Hyun (aka David Lee).
Meanwhile, Hyun and Ji Ahn go to the prison where Yeong Chul is serving his time, only to run into Sun Ho. Sun Ho admits that he’s there to meet with Yeong Chul at someone’s request, implying that he’s doing it pro bono without actually giving any details. Sun Ho and Hyun trade obscure Greek philosopher references, much to the annoyance of Ji Ahn, who ends the conversation. As Sun Ho is walking away, he wonders if he’s met Hyun before, but Hyun can’t place him. Sun Ho looks stricken as Ji Ahn wonders if Sun Ho was so unremarkable that Hyun had no reason to remember him. Sun Ho marches away and misses Hyun’s next comment that it may be the important things he’s forgotten, rather than the minor details.
Before they make it to the visiting area, Ji Ahn gets a call from Seung Joo, who informs her that Dae Yeong has fallen off the grid. Hyun decides to play bad cop to Ji Ahn’s good cop to get the information from Yeong Chul about his son’s whereabouts. In the visiting room, Yeong Chul denies having anything to do with the murders of the two retired policemen, and readily admits to having killed his wife and child. Hyun, as bad cop, shows him pictures of the crime scene, since, as the murderer, Yeong Chul would enjoy seeing them. Instead, Yeong Chul flips out, and threatens to attack them with a chair. Hyun, undeterred, goes on the offensive, asking Yeong Chul where his son is, accusing him of asking Dae Yeong to take revenge for him.
Yeong Chul breaks down in tears, and Hyun leaves the room to let Ji Ahn finish up. As the good cop, she tells him of her own history, as the daughter of one of the prison guards who ended up in the ambulance during Joon Young’s escape. Since both prison guards disappeared after the escape, they were suspected of being Joon Young’s accomplices. Ji Ahn was ostracized throughout her childhood s the child of a suspected murderer. She tells Yeong Chul that she wants to help Dae Yeong, and Yeong Chul nods, with tears in his eyes.
Ji Ahn goes outside to where Hyun is waiting, and wants to be reassured that he was yelling at Yeong Chul only to make him confess. Hyun looks hesitant as he agrees, but Ji Ahn is too busy calling the investigations team to notice. Having confirmed that Dae Yeong is at the address where his mother and sister died, Eun Hyeok’s team moves out, leaving Eun Hyeok behind in the toilet.
Dae Yeong, meanwhile, is going through a pile of crossed out photos of the men he’s killed, Jo Hyeok Joo and the two retired detectives. The last man, yet to be crossed out, turns out to be Sun Ho’s boss, and after looking at it, Dae Yeong puts the photos in a drawer. Moments later, the investigations team bursts into the apartment to find it empty. Myung Woo starts searching around, and finds the stack of photos. He recognizes Sun Ho’s boss as Shin Jang Ho, the Prosecutor in charge of criminal investigations. Assuming that Jang Ho is the next target, they decide to go to his house, but first call Eun Hyeok, in case he’s closer to the location. As the team moves out, Ji Ahn drives up and rides along with them, leaving Hyun behind.
Meanwhile, Dae Yeong is at Jang Ho’s house, sneaking in with his weapon at the ready. Things look dire for the sleeping Jang Ho, but as Dae Yeong sneaks up, he throws the covers off to reveal that the person in the bed is actually Eun Hyeok. The goofy Eun Hyeok turns out to be tougher than he looks as he handily fights off the desperate Dae Yeong. The team bursts in to find Eun Hyeok already cuffing Dae Yeong. Later, as Eun Hyeok brags about his readiness to beat his opponent, he trips and falls down the stairs.
Meanwhile, back at Dae Yeong’s apartment, Hyun reads the last line of The Great Gatsby, underlined by Dae Yeong: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” In the back of the police cruiser, Dae Yeong cries his heart out. At the prison, his father, Yeong Chul does the same.
Meanwhile, back at the police station, Deputy Commissioner Kang congratulates the team on their good work. Starting with Myung Woo, the team all lay the credit for their quick work on Ji Ahn. Deputy Commissioner Kang is unmoved, but as he walks away, Ji Soo promises to convince him to reinstate Ji Ahn. The team decides to call up Ji Ahn, and have a celebratory drink, with Eun Hyeok limping after them.
At the bar, the team’s mood is far from celebratory, as they recount Jang Ho’s indifferent reaction to Yeong Chul’s case, blaming the mistakes on the dead detectives. Eun Bok’s investigation had turned up a different story, in which the police had made errors, and Jang Ho had let the true murderer, a member of mob, off the hook. However, in the end, Yeong Chul refused the right to appeal, in order to be with his son, Dae Yeong in prison.
Later, at home, Ji Ahn thinks back to the conversation, where Myung Woo speculated on how it must have been for Dae Yeong, living in the house his family died in. Eun Hyeok called it living among the dead, and Ji Ahn thinks of Hyun sitting in the house with his dead father as the episode ends.
Thanks to this show and its incessant dropping of ambiguous hints, I’ve become completely paranoid about almost every character. For example, young lawyer, Sun Ho. Is he Min? Isn’t he Min? Why did he look stricken when Hyun didn’t remember him? Why is he acting on Jang Ho’s orders, but then looking sad when Yeong Chul decides not to continue with his appeal? And, what’s with his hair?
Speaking of Jang Ho, how did Eun Hyeok get to his house so fast? And, what was with those ninja powers? Is he Min? And, how did Myung Woo know to look for photos in Dae Yeong’s apartment? Is Myung Woo, Min? Is Joon Ho, Joon Young? Or, is he just an ambiguously touchy-feely guy? SO MANY QUESTIONS.
On the other hand, this episode did much to address a lot of my complaints from previous episodes. Even though it was Hyun who solved the crime, the police were neither useless nor incompetent. In fact, the investigations team did a lot of the legwork that netted the criminal, and Eun Hyeok was pretty badass in taking down Dae Yeong at the end. It was also interesting to see the team considering if justice had really been served, with Dae Yeong in prison (I mean, he should be; he killed a bunch of people), and Jang Ho passing the buck for the mess that started it all. I have little to complain about here; even the fact that I have a lot of questions is a positive in a show based around a mystery.
It seems that “I Remember You” has transitioned from the initial setup to a story-of-the-week format, with each case pulling threads from Ji Ahn and Hyun’s shared past. As long as they keep the cases interesting, and keep bringing them (and us) closer to the truth, then I’m all for it.
Here is the breakfast he made for Ji Ahn. Dreamy.