Side dish: I’m not sure what I would cook if I had three possible psychopath geniuses over for dinner. I’m going to go with this recipe for braised turkey legs from Serious Eats. Nothing makes you feel more like you’re high up on the food chain than eating something with a bone sticking out of it.
Genius criminal profiler and possible psychopath, Lee Hyun (Seo In Guk) has dinner at his home with coldblooded attorney, Jung Sun Ho (Park Bo Gum) and suspicious medical examiner, Lee Joon Ho (Choi Won Young). Meanwhile, police detective, Cha Ji Ahn (Jang Na Ra) and investigative team leader, Kang Eun Hyeok (Lee Chun Hee) try and fail to interview the boyfriend of the first murder victim in the case they’re investigating. On their way out of the boyfriend’s fancy home, Ji Ahn spots a license plate peeking out from under a garage door. When they investigate, they discover that it’s the van that was used in the initial abductions of the victims. But, before they can call for backup, a huge man walks in and beats them both up. When Ji Ahn tries to stop him by pulling her gun, Eun Hyeok gets stabbed in the gut, while Ji Ahn is taken out from behind by a woman with a piece of wood.
Bleeding on the ground, Eun Hyeok watches helplessly as the two attackers put the unconscious Ji Ahn in the back of the van and speed away to Doosaejae. The garage door closes as he struggles to move.
Meanwhile, back at Hyun’s house, the three men are enjoying a pretty spectacular spread for dinner, though the conversation is, again, excessively formal. Sun Ho asks how often Joon Ho and Hyun eat together, and Joon Ho seems to take particular pleasure in indicating that they’re neighbours. It’s like watching a battle over who can make the best deadpan face as Hyun asks Sun Ho about defending murder suspect, Jang Il Joo. Sun Ho acknowledges that he is defending him, and asks in turn about Hyun’s arrest of the man. Hyun replies that it was by accident that he caught Il Joo, since he was investigating a murder case without a body. The two of them discuss the semantics of the situation until Joon Ho reminds them that it might not be appropriate dinner conversation. He laughs and they all fall into silence.
Back at the police station, veteran cop, Son Myeong Woo (Min Sung Wook) reads a note from Eun Hyeok stating that he and Ji Ahn were going out to the place that Hyun profiled. He has no idea what place that is, but it’s not long before Myeong Woo gets a call from the injured Eun Hyeok. Eun Hyeok is only able to say Ji Ahn’s name before passing out again, but luck is on his side: they’re able to trace his location from his phone. Myeong Woo, cheerful rookie, Min Seung Joo (Kim Jae Young), and geeky cop, Choi Eun Bok (Son Seung Won) race to find him in the garage, where they send him to the hospital in an ambulance.
Now, the race to find Ji Ahn is on. Planning officer, Hyun Ji Soo (Im Ji Eun) and Deputy Commissioner Kang (Nam Kyoung Eub) issue orders to find her, while Myeong Woo and Seung Joo go to question the owner of the house, the boyfriend of the first murder victim. He’s so unhelpful in helping them track his brother’s whereabouts that Myeong Woo almost attacks him, but is held back by Seung Joo. On their way out, Myeong Woo remembers that Hyun’s name was mentioned in Eun Hyeok’s note, and wonders if he knows where Ji Ahn might be.
Back at Hyun’s house, the conversation has gone from stilted small talk to a cryptic maze, as Joon Ho asks the similarities between Beethoven, Dvorak, and Williams. Sun Ho responds that they were all victims of the 10th Symphony in that they died after they composed their 9th. Hyun thinks back to the nine bodies disposed of by Il Joo, and wonders if the ninth is the last one. Joon Ho seems to believe so, but Sun Ho obliquely hints that it’s not.
This circular conversation about nothing in particular is interrupted by a phone call from Myeong Woo, demanding to know where Ji Ahn is. As Hyun hears the details and gets up to go, Sun Ho and Joon Ho volunteer to help. A posse of possible psychopaths rides out from Hyun’s house to find Ji Ahn.
At the hospital, Eun Hyeok is in serious condition as Deputy Commissioner Kang (his father) and Ji Soo come running. The doctor informs them that they’ll be performing emergency surgery right away as they wheel him away.
Back at the garage, Myeong Woo attacks Hyun the minute he sees him, demanding that he find Ji Ahn. Rather than argue, Hyun demands to see the owner of the house to question him about his kid brother, Jae Sik, the possible culprit. He’s as unhelpful as last time, but is overwhelmed by the combined intellectual power of three possible psychopaths as Joon Ho, Sun Ho, and Hyun figure everything out just from his cold response. They walk away discussing possibilities of where Ji Ahn might be located.
Meanwhile, Ji Ahn comes to in the same garage as kidnap victim, Hyun Sook. Ji Ahn tells her she’s with the police, but Hyun Sook is not impressed since they’re both in the same predicament, tied up to a folding chair. Ji Ahn asks her to describe the culprits, and learns for the first time that there is also a woman involved.
Hyun describes to Sun Ho and Joon Ho the possible geographic area where Ji Ahn might be found on a map. They try to narrow down the possibilities by triangulation, and theorize whether Jae Sik would use his brother’s properties or not, since he has an inferiority complex towards him. With no conclusion in sight, Hyun suddenly makes the leap that Jae Sik must have had an accomplice since kidnapping by car requires one.
Back in the garage, Ji Ahn comes face to face with said accomplice, a woman (Lee El). She asks if it hurts, and Ji Ahn thinks back to Joon Ho pointing out the horrendous wounds on the other victims, and the fact that they were wiped clean out of guilt. Ji Ahn leaps to the conclusion that the woman is the one wiping them clean, and attempts to appeal to her by introducing the two of them. The woman looks doubtful, but moves over to Hyun Sook and pulls out a pair of nail clippers. Instead of cutting her bonds, however, the woman starts clipping her nails so she won’t scratch Jae Sik again.
At the hospital, Deputy Commissioner Kang is moved to tears when he gets the good news that Eun Hyeok will be okay. He pulls himself together in time to go visit the now conscious Eun Hyeok, who immediately asks about Ji Ahn. Eun Hyeok tries to remember what his attackers said about where they were going, but can’t come up with it due to his concussion.
In the garage, Ji Ahn gives Hyun Sook advice about how to act with their attackers to give them an advantage. Ji Ahn counsels Hyun Sook to be neither defiant nor cringing, but rather try to relate to them. In voiceover, she asks Hyun if she’s doing the right thing. When Hyun Sook voices her fear that they will never be found, Ji Ahn assures her that there’s a person who will find them no matter what. Meanwhile, Sun Ho tells Hyun that since the attackers kidnapped Ji Ahn knowing she was a cop, that time is running out for her. Hyun, insists that Ji Ahn will be fine, no matter what, but looks shaken.
Here’s hoping he’s right, because things are looking dire for Ji Ahn and Hyun Sook. The woman hides away a gun as Jae Sik returns. He tells Ji Ahn and Hyun Sook that when a new victim comes in, the old one must die.
Meanwhile, back at the police station, Eun Bok has found a property belonging to Jae Sik’s girlfriend within the triangulation area that Hyun had indicated. He passes this information on to Hyun who is driving in a car with Joon Ho and Sun Ho. Since the property has a large area, they still need to narrow things down. Joon Ho surmises that they may be holed up in a junkyard, since it’s isolated.
In the garage, Jae Sik approaches the two women with a garotte in hand. But, keeping Ji Ahn’s advice in mind, the two women act as nonchalant as possible. Hyun Sook breaks under the pressure and begs Jae Sik to stay away from her. When Ji Ahn tries to intervene, Jae Sik won’t take the bait, until Ji Ahn starts in on him, trying to make him fight her instead of strangle Hyun Sook. She insults Jae Sik’s manhood until he turns away from Hyun Sook and comes towards her.
Eun Hyeok is racking his brain to remember the location mentioned by Jae Sik. He finally remembers that it’s Doosaejae (note: the translation on Viki said Two Three Hill. If anyone knows what this is supposed to be, let me know), and phones Hyun. Joon Ho congratulates him on guessing the right answer, but Hyun points out that he wasn’t playing a game.
The three possible psychopaths drive up to the junkyard, just as Ji Ahn is making a credible attempt at fighting off Jae Sik, a man more than twice her size. They first run into the woman, and Hyun and Sun Ho leave Joon Ho behind with her to rescue Ji Ahn. They walk in, just as Jae Sik starts strangling Ji Ahn with his bare hands. Hyun takes him out with a flying kick, but it takes both Sun Ho and Hyun to finally stop him. Ji Ahn, in the meantime, unties Hyun Sook.
Outside, the woman tries to convince Joon Ho that she’s a victim of Jae Sik’s, but Joon Ho doesn’t believe her. He gives her a creepy stare until she breaks and pulls a gun on him. But, before she can do anything, Myeong Woo and Seung Joo make their entrance and overpower her. When Myeong Woo asks Joon Ho if he’s okay, Joon Ho puts on a convincing show of being relieved by his rescue.
Meanwhile, Sun Ho looks on as Hyun helps Ji Ahn out of the building. Before they make it out, Ji Ahn collapses.
Ji Ahn wakes up in the hospital and finds, to her utter mortification, that literally every man she works with is staring at her. Of course, she’s thankful for their collective efforts in saving her, but her eyes eventually land on Hyun who is standing at the windows. Sun Ho and Joon Ho are the first to leave, and Hyun chases them down to thank them for their efforts. He tells them that he’d like to get to know them both better, and they both agree, but it looks as if the truce is over for the time being.
Later, Jae Sik confesses in his interrogation by Myeong Woo, that he committed the kidnap and the murders, but he refuses to admit to the torture. Instead, the woman confesses that even though she didn’t want to kill anyone, she went along with Jae Sik’s needs. Both Hyun and Ji Ahn theorize that she was suffering from susceptibility mental disease, something that the girlfriend of serial killer, Yang Seung Hoon (Tae In Ho) also suffered from. At the police station, Hyun wonders if his younger brother, Min (who we know to be Sun Ho) was kidnapped by serial killer, Lee Joon Young (Do Kyung Soo or EXO’s DO) and was turned into a murderer via the same mental illness.
Sitting with Ji Ahn in her hospital room, Joon Ho refutes this thesis, believing instead that Jae Sik’s girlfriend already had this tendency. As the words leave his mouth, Joon Ho looks up to find Sun Ho standing in the doorway with flowers. The two men exchange a look as Ji Ahn accepts the flowers.
Back at the police station, Hyun is lost in thought, and ignores Myeong Woo’s attempt at an apology for grabbing him by the lapels during the search for Ji Ahn. Instead, he goes to Ji Soo’s office and finally asks her about Joon Young. Belatedly, she answers honestly, and tells Hyun the truth: that she lifted the communications ban on Joon Young prior to his escape, in exchange for information about criminals once he got out. Ji Soo never imagined what would happen, that Hyun’s father would be killed and that Min would disappear (what? So you thought a serial killer wouldn’t actually kill someone? Are you kidding me?). Hyun asks if she ever even looked for Min, but reads the answer in Ji Soo’s stricken face. But, the person Hyun is the most angry at is himself, for not personally searching for Min.
Before Hyun can storm angrily from the room, Ji Soo opens her safe and hands him a stack of fishing magazines, delivered to Ji Soo courtesy of the escaped Joon Young. Hyun goes through them back at his house, and finds all instances of Joon Young’s name, and guesses that these are in reference to the information about criminals that Joon Young was passing on to Ji Soo. In one issue, Joon Young sent a letter, with a poem for a dead child. From this, Ji Soo understood that Joon Young expected her to tell Hyun that Min was dead.
Hyun decides to post an ad in the same magazine, with the same poem, asking to meet. As Hyun goes to visit his art dealer friend, Bong Song, a mysterious person walks in to Hyun’s house and leaves him his father’s diary. In the meantime, Bong Song gives Hyun the rundown on the people he’s had investigated, including the fact that there are no irregularities in Sun Ho’s family records, and no record of adoption. Meanwhile, Eun Bok turns out to be an orphan, and two background checks are yet to be done, including Joon Ho and Myeong Woo.
At the hospital, Ji Ahn grumbles about Hyun’s lack of visits as she packs up to leave. Her mutterings are cut short by the arrival of Eun Hyeok, who awkwardly gets around to apologizing for not protecting her. Ji Ahn reassures him and leaves to go meet her aunt outside. It turns out that her aunt is stuck in traffic, but it doesn’t matter, because Hyun made it on time. Ji Ahn’s mouth falls open in shock as he comes to get her bag, and she surreptitiously makes a phone call to her aunt to send her away.
Once they get back to the house, the relief of being safe catches up with Ji Ahn, and she flashes back to her fight with Jae Sik. Ji Ahn was convinced she was going to die there, and that she only survived thanks to Hyun’s intervention. She wonders, being close to death, whether her father felt the same thing, but can’t bring herself to finish the thought. Instead, she tells Hyun that the scariest thing was the thought of not being able to see him again. He moves in and stares at her, smiling, but Ji Ahn just steps forward and kisses him. He looks unaffected, and stands there as she presses her lips to his.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate what an awesome character Ji Ahn is, shall we? I’ve bitched so many times about female leads constantly being rescued by the male lead after stupidly getting themselves into trouble. Sure, Hyun rescued Ji Ahn, but she was the one who was resourceful enough to buy enough time for Hyun to find her. She was the one who saved Hyun Sook from a horrible death. And, she kept trying to fight Jae Sik, with little chance of beating him. A heroine who uses her wits to win against long odds is pretty awesome in my book. Though, to her detriment, she somehow couldn’t seem to escape from being tied to a folding chair.
By contrast, we have Ji Soo, either the stupidest character in history or the most muddled. Her sad face as she recounts to Hyun how she engineered the release of a serial killer for her own professional gain was nothing if not hypocritical.
That out of the way, I did enjoy this momentary detente between Hyun, Sun Ho, and Joon Ho. They were a surprisingly entertaining team, and possibly an idea for another series, where a team of geniuses solve crimes. In this series, it’s doubtful that this will happen, though Bong Song’s recent revelations seem to cast doubt on everyone’s identity all over again. I don’t know if I’d buy that Eun Bok is Min, or that Myeong Woo is Joon Young at this late stage, though there does seem to be enough here to suspect them for other reasons (including Myeong Woo’s brief, inexplicable attempt to pass off Eun Hyeok’s phone call as nothing to his colleagues). Who knows? Maybe they’re just regular crooked cops rather than psychopathic serial killers who share a history with Hyun.
But, let’s not forget that kiss at the end. I know I should have spent more time in my comments squeeing, but, to quote JK: “When the heck did Seo In Guk start kissing like Park Shin Hye?!??” There better be an explanation for this next week.