Side dish: I couldn’t make out what Hyun was sulkily cooking for breakfast, so let’s pretend it was an Easy Cheese Danish. Some cheese and puff pastry will cheer up even grumpy, traumatized Hyun.
Police detective, Cha Ji Ahn (Jang Na Ra) is about to enter her home when a man in black steps up behind her. He bulldozes her inside and socks her in the face. Ji Ahn gets right back up, arming herself with a pen, and demands to know who he is. The man laughs and tells her that he has orders not to make her death an easy one.
Meanwhile, genius criminal profiler and possible psychopath, Lee Hyun (Seo In Guk) is at home, puzzling over a card splattered in red paint with the drawing of a car and a “V”. Thanks to its similarity to the card that was found after the disappearance of Prosecutor Shin, and the recent surveillance on him and Ji Ahn, Hyun guesses that Ji Ahn is in danger.
Hyun calls Ji Ahn’s team leader, Kang Eun Hyeok (Lee Chun Hee) to confirm that she is not with him before hanging up without explanation. Hyun’s calls to Ji Ahn’s cell phone go unanswered as she struggles with the contract killer. They appear evenly matched in skill, though the man has the advantage of brute strength.
Cold-blooded lawyer, Jung Sun Ho (Park Bo Gum) leans against his car, steps away from Ji Ahn’s home. He stares at the oranges that fell from Ji Ahn’s grocery bag while calmly debating whether she should live.
Ji Ahn has just kicked back the man in black when Sun Ho suddenly appears at her door, calling her name in feigned shock. Sun Ho whips oranges at the intruder before engaging, with a look of sinister enjoyment. Just as he has the man by the throat, Sun Ho whispers an order to run away, and the man does just that. Ji Ahn, who was in the process of making a phone call for help, exhales in relief. Sun Ho explains that his fortuitous arrival was thanks to the oranges she left in his car.
Hyun arrives just in time to see the man in black run away, but he is forced to let the assailant escape in order to check on Ji Ahn. Rushing inside her home, Hyun finds Sun Ho helping Ji Ahn up, and he suspiciously asks the lawyer what he is doing there. Ji Ahn faints as she attempts to answer the question, and the two men stare each other down.
Ji Ahn sleeps soundly in a hospital bed as the ER doctor confirms that her injuries are not critical. Hyun pulls Sun Ho aside and challenges the numerous coincidences that led up to the attack on Ji Ahn. Sun Ho would rather classify it as destiny, because he wanted to get close to Ji Ahn and Hyun. When Hyun asks why, Sun Ho parrots the vague answer that Hyun had used to explain why he liked Jeong Ha (from episode 7). Hyun guesses that Sun Ho’s vengeful client, Yang Seung Hoon (Tae In Ho) is behind the attempt on Ji Ahn’s life, and Sun Ho puts on his most innocent face while claiming ignorance.
Ji Ahn wakes up after her head lands in Hyun’s hand, and she finds him staring at her. She is feeling self-conscious about the state of her face as Hyun continues to scrutinize her with a bemused look. When Ji Ahn asks for Sun Ho, Hyun brusquely tells her that she has thanked him already, and carelessly walks away while Ji Ahn struggles to get out of bed.
When Ji Ahn arrives home, she finds her front door sealed with a mess of police tape. Hyun must remind her that she was the one who insisted on keeping the crime scene safe for forensics and investigation. Both Hyun and Sun Ho objected before resigning themselves to watching the concussed Ji Ahn seal her door.
Ji Ahn picks up a few items from home, and decides to stay at the police station since she does not want to lead trouble to her aunt’s door, and police protection on a police officer would be a PR nightmare. Though he is fearful for Ji Ahn’s safety, Hyun initially bites his tongue, and simply drives her to the police station. However, his fear that Seung Hoon will attack again forces him to stop Ji Ahn just as she is about to alight from the car. Hyun draws in uncomfortably close to buckle Ji Ahn’s seat belt then irritably announces that he will allow her to be in his debt by staying in his house.
Ji Ahn regains some audacity once she arrives in Hyun’s home, reminding him that he is in her debt since he hid in her home as a fugitive from the law. She then navigates easily through his house, knowing the layout as any good stalker would.
Ji Ahn is woken up in the middle of the night by Hyun talking in his sleep while he has a nightmare of his younger brother, Min being whisked away in a car. Ji Ahn holds Hyun’s hand, and Hyun readily grasps it in spite of remaining asleep. The next morning, Ji Ahn wakes up alone, and finds Hyun making breakfast in the kitchen. When Ji Ahn expresses concern for him, he dismisses it by referring to the trauma of having woken up to her face, then threatens to kick her out if she does not remain confined to her allotted space during her stay.
The attack on Ji Ahn comes to light when Eun Hyeok visits her home and finds the police tape. Ji Ahn is taken to task by planning officer, Hyun Ji Soo (Im Ji Eun) for failing to report an assault on an officer. Eun Hyeok and his team immediately distribute investigative tasks in the search for Ji Ahn’s assailant, though they soon discover that there is no evidence to be found.
When Ji Soo asks if Ji Ahn has a place to stay, Eun Hyeok offers his home before Ji Ahn can answer. However, since Eun Hyeok lives with his father, Ji Ahn would essentially be staying with the Deputy Commissioner who had her demoted. Veteran cop, Son Myung Woo (Min Sung Wook) makes a crack about how no one wants to be in the same room as the Deputy Commissioner just as the man himself walks up. Everyone looks away awkwardly.
Sun Ho is on the phone saying that he changed his mind, and will use Ji Ahn as a step towards his true target, presumably Hyun. He is interrupted by a call from Ji Ahn, and chooses to take it.
They agree to meet at a coffee house where Ji Ahn asks if she was targeted by Seung Hoon as revenge for getting him incarcerated in China. Sun Ho claims not to know of any such plan. When Sun Ho expresses enthusiasm for seeing her again, Ji Ahn bluntly asks if he is interested in her. Sun Ho promptly affirms that he has a special interest in her, and it is only the second time he has felt this way. Ji Ahn asks if the first time was first love, and Sun Ho admits that it probably was.
As he silently drinks his coffee, Sun Ho reveals that he is Min by recalling how much he revered his older brother, Hyun as a child. The brothers were separated when their father locked Hyun away in the basement, then on the night that their father was killed by teenage killer, Lee Joon Young (Do Kyung Soo or EXO’s DO), Min was kidnapped by Joon Young. Initially, Min cried out for his brother, but he eventually came to the conclusion that Hyun had willingly handed him over to Joon Young.
Hyun is consulting with his neighbour, police medical examiner, Lee Joon Ho (Choi Won Young) about how to commit murder without leaving a corpse behind. Joon Ho is taken aback, but confirms that there are many ways, though each killer has their signature MO. Hyun silently recalls Prosecutor Shin telling him that Joon Young was the suspect in murders that left no bodies. The two men smile at each other, leaving all their thoughts unvoiced.
Hyun is called away to meet up with his art dealer friend. The art dealer has not finished the background checks on the detectives, the medical examiner and the attorney, but he has found a lead on the painting Hyun found at the home of the murder victim that first brought him back to Korea. The art dealer reveals that an Incheon shipping company employee was able to sketch the figure eight eye balls symbol found on the painting.
Hyun shows up at the shipping company and forces his way into a warehouse job, despite being both over and under qualified. While he is questioning his new supervisor about the employees, Hyun receives a call from Eun Hyeok wondering when he will come in to work as an adviser. Hyun promptly dismisses him, claiming to busy with his part time job.
Hyun finds a crate with blood stains, and purposefully upturns it, sending it crashing to the ground. His supervisor comes running over in a rage, which quickly dissolves into sobs of fear when a woman’s body is found lying in the crate.
Eun Hyeok’s team is specifically called in about the discovery of a woman’s body. When they go to speak with the obnoxious new employee who found the body, they are flabbergasted to come face to face with Hyun. Joon Ho suddenly shows up, having also been summoned by Hyun, to examine the body of the company bookkeeper. He and Hyun both come to the same conclusion, that there are too many mistakes for it to have been a planned murder, then stare knowingly at each other.
Hyun notes that this latest murder was on its way to becoming one without a body, just as he and Joon Ho discussed. Ji Ahn interrupts his thoughts to ask if he was led to this murder case while in search of Joon Young. Hyun admits that he does not know, and that it might be for the best. In the meantime, he resolves to find the person responsible for this latest murder, which is comparatively easy to solve.
Ji Ahn stops Hyun as he is leaving to remind him that they had agreed to be partners, and asks when he will be honest with her. Hyun counters by asking what she will do when she finds Joon Young. Ji Ahn recalls how recently convicted serial killer, Park Dae Yeong (see episode 5) posed the same question. She could not answer him just as she cannot answer Hyun now. Ji Ahn pleads for Hyun to tell her the truth if he should discover anything about Joon Young. Hyun agrees to do so if she promises the same. Hyun reaches out to tuck a lock of stray hair behind Ji Ahn’s ear before walking away.
As the police detectives scour the warehouse for the scene of the crime, Hyun confirms with Joon Ho that there was no sign of sexual assault on the victim. Hyun then approaches the workers to find out if they can recall any one having a relationship that visibly changed for the better or worse with the late bookkeeper. The workers name Jang Il Joo, and confirm that he bragged about earning a lot of money.
The case quickly comes together as the detectives find blood stains, and Myung Woo intercepts a suspicious looking worker visiting the crime scene. When Myung Woo asks his name, the man attempts to escape, but Myung Woo quickly apprehends him.
Il Joo is interrogated by Eun Hyeok and Myung Woo who attempt to coax a confession out of him. The suspect readily admits to have killed the bookkeeper. The cops clear out, happy to have wrapped the case up so quickly, but Hyun marches into the interrogation room, locks the door, and turns off the surveillance.
Hyun shows Il Joo a photo of the figure eight eye balls symbol, and the suspect instantly looks away. Hyun assures Il Joo that their discussion will not be recorded, and that he will help Il Joo in return for his cooperation. Hyun correctly guesses that the bookkeeper was killed accidentally after she discovered Il Joo trying to move a dead body. However, Il Joo only knows the voice of the person who pays him to occasionally move bodies that have symbols painted on them, including the figure eight eye balls. Hyun is able to confirm that one of the bodies was Prosecutor Shin, and when he asks how many bodies Il Joo has shipped, the man refers to the number of beads on his bracelet as he breaks the string and the beads scatter. Once outside of the interrogation room, Hyun refuses to share any information with the irate investigative team.
Sun Ho is working on a painting with the figure eight eye balls when he thinks back to his conversation with Ji Ahn over coffee. She was impressed by how deep his feelings appeared to be for his first love, and Sun Ho admited that he still sees that person from time to time, but Sun Ho goes unrecognized. Ji Ahn advised him to approach this person, but Sun Ho claimed to enjoy the game. Yet, as he recalls all the times Hyun dismissed him, he appears distraught.
Sun Ho arrives at Ji Ahn’s desk just as Il Joo is being led out by cops. He appears to stay purposefully silent until Il Joo has passed, but the man hears Sun Ho’s voice and pauses to look back fearfully at his possible former employer. Sun Ho walks away with a creepy smile.
While episode 7 featured many cute moments between Ji Ahn and Hyun to balance out the darker story line, this episode chose to take on a more serious and melancholy air, and to shine a spotlight on Sun Ho.
I think it is safe to conclude that Sun Ho is Min all grown up, though whether he is a serial killer is still up for debate. It is perplexing how someone as sharp as Hyun fails to recognize who Sun Ho really is. Happily, this is not a cause for frustration, but rather, it is a puzzle that I look forward to seeing how the writers will resolve. In the meantime, we get to enjoy the many faces of Sun Ho; as Ji Ahn’s questionable savior and admirer, as Min waiting to be recognized by his brother, as a rather prolific painter, and as a fast and furious fighter. Any way you look at him, he is a super entertaining character, and kudos to Park Bo Gum for making him so genuinely creepy.
Though we did not get anything near as lovable as the amusement park date in this episode, there were many tender moments between Ji Ahn and Hyun. Jang Na Ra and Seo In Guk have managed to invest so much emotion into every look and gesture that their scenes together convey a lot with few words. When Ji Ahn approaches Hyun to plead for any information he has about Joon Young, you can feel the weight of their shared history, her need to find her father’s killer without really knowing what she is liable to do, and his fear of what the knowledge about Joon Young’s whereabouts will do to both of them. When a simple tucking of hair behind the ear prompts the same feelings of intimacy as a kiss, you know the actors and the production team are doing something right.