Side dish: Apropos of nothing, aside from the fact that I like them, here is a recipe for lemon poppyseed muffins from Joy of Baking. Don’t overdo it with the sugar, or they won’t go with this show.
We finally get a decent reason for a wrist grab, as police detective Cha Ji Ahn (Jang Na Ra) walks past genius criminal profiler, Lee Hyun (Seo In Guk), gun in hand, ready to shoot serial killer in disguise, Lee Joon Ho (Choi Won Young). Hyun puts down his pastry bag, and grabs Ji Ahn to stop her (let us note that he’s decorating a cake, which is pretty dreamy).
Ji Ahn is in turmoil, as she has no idea how to deal with the recent revelation that her missing father has been dead for years. Aware that the culprit (Joon Ho/Joon Young) is next door, Ji Ahn has come to the conclusion that since there is no way to arrest him, she has to kill him, instead. As she flips out, Hyun pulls her into a hug, and asks her to look for another answer.
Back at the police station, veteran cop, Son Myeong Woo (Min Sung Wook) is emotional, but manages to get through the facts of Ji Ahn’s father’s case, that he was kidnapped and killed by Lee Joon Young (whom we now know to be Joon Ho, but these guys don’t know that) during his prison escape, and was branded an accomplice. Myeong Woo makes the decision to dedicate the investigative team’s efforts to finding Joon Young. When he turns to team leader, Kang Eun Hyeok (Lee Chun Hee) for confirmation, Eun Hyeok agrees, but he’s distracted.
Back at the house, Ji Ahn can’t help, but wonder at the expression on Joon Ho’s face, after having sent her to her father’s remains. She resolves to share her birthday cake with him. Next door, both Joon Ho and lawyer/serial killer/Hyun’s brother, Jung Sun Ho (Park Bo Gum) are nonplussed by the arrival of Ji Ahn and Hyun.
The atmosphere couldn’t be more stilted as they sit down, and everyone pretends they don’t know that Joon Ho is Joon Young, the murderer of Ji Ahn’s father. Ji Ahn promises to repay the gift of finding her father, and it’s obvious that she’s talking to Joon Ho. He responds by obliquely pointing out that everyone has two sides, that the people closest to them might not know about. Ji Ahn’s father, who was kind to her, was a brutal prison guard when it came to Joon Young’s time in prison.
Sending a significant look at Hyun, Sun Ho agrees that the closest people might not see someone’s bad side, but Hyun points out that they shouldn’t necessarily die for it. Ji Ahn agrees, pointing out that she spent years thinking that Hyun was a son of a bitch, when he was actually just cocky. She adds that she’s also known Joon Ho for years. When Joon Ho asks if he’s a son of a bitch, Ji Ahn denies it, and proposes a toast, to her unforgettable birthday. In voiceover, she toasts the day she’ll arrest Joon Ho.
After Hyun and Ji Ahn leave, Joon Ho wonders why Ji Ahn wasn’t happier with his good deed of giving her closure for her dead father. Sun Ho points out that it’s the result of a good deed coming from an evil person.
Back at Hyun’s house, Ji Ahn recalls the day she visited Joon Ho’s house, when he warned her away from opening a particular door. She wonders if she can find evidence of his true identity in the room, but Hyun warns her against going there alone. Later, when she falls asleep on a chair, Hyun covers her up with a blanket, and watches her. The next morning, Hyun is asleep in his chair, while Ji Ahn watches him. Through the power of K-dramas, neither one looks like they spent the night in a chair when he wakes up. Ji Ahn tells Hyun that she’s going home, so that he can take his brother, Sun Ho out of Joon Ho’s house. Ji Ahn informs Hyun that she’s going to have to arrest Sun Ho one day, but that she hopes he’ll turn himself in.
Hyun drives her back to her apartment, but the two of them are so reluctant to part that Hyun offers to clean her apartment up for her (dreamy). She refuses, but when he goes to leave, she calls him back to ask about what he said in the last episode, about the number of points he assigned to her at the police station, 15 plus alpha. When he launches into a complicated explanation, neither Ji Ahn, nor whoever is subtitling “I Remember You” on Viki can make it out (therefore, I don’t know either). Hyun explains that Ji Ahn’s value to him cannot be calculated. She thanks him for stopping her from shooting Joon Ho, and he finally leaves.
From there, Hyun goes straight to Joon Ho’s house, where he informs Joon Ho and Sun Ho that he’d like to take Sun Ho to his house. Hyun leaves the choice to Sun Ho, and Joon Ho looks stricken as Sun Ho chooses to leave with Hyun.
Joon Ho takes a walk in the woods with the only survivor of the murder of his entire family, Park Joo Ah. He’s upset at Sun Ho leaving him behind, and wonders why they hate him when he only separated the two of them for their own good. Joo Ah explains that bad things happen when Joon Ho tries to be considerate, and uses herself waking up to find a house full of murdered bodies as an example. As Joon Ho flashes back to Sun Ho saying the same thing earlier, Joo Ah points out that Joon Ho is jealous. She wonders what he wants from them, and Joon Ho comes to the realization that he’d like to be a family with Hyun and Sun Ho.
Planning manager, Hyun Ji Soo (Im Ji Eun) doesn’t know what to do about the mess she’s created, but thinking back to Hyun’s words, she takes out the original set of Lee Joon Young’s fingerprints from their hiding place. She calls up rookie cop, Min Seung Joo (Kim Jae Young), and comes up with an excuse to get Joon Ho’s fingerprints for comparison purposes.
Meanwhile, back at home, Hyun asks the freshly showered Sun Ho about the cards that he sent him. Sun Ho believes it’s better that Hyun doesn’t remember what they mean, and adds that he was already born the way he is. He refuses to elaborate further, then distracts Hyun by asking for a hairdryer. Hyun offers to dry his hair for him, but Sun Ho is adamant in his refusal. Regardless, Hyun ends up drying Sun Ho’s hair while reminiscing about their childhood. He flashes on a memory of questioning the dock worker, who kept a bead for every body he disposed of for Sun Ho, but Sun Ho interrupts him before he can finish his thought.
Everyone is suddenly hot on Joon Ho’s tail, as they search for the missing Joon Young. Ji Ahn discovers that records pertaining to Lee Joon Ho were burned in a fire. She wonders what happened to the real Lee Joon Ho, when Joon Young replaced him. In her office, Ji Soo looks at Joon Ho’s and Joon Young’s fingerprints side by side, and finally puts together that the two men are the same person. Eun Hyeok, meanwhile, searches through newspaper articles about Joon Young.
When Ji Soo goes to take a break, she immediately runs into Joon Ho. They exchange pleasantries and Ji Soo escapes, but not before Joon Ho notices how nervous she is. Ji Soo goes back to her office, where she tries, and fails to call both Deputy Commissioner Kang (Nam Kyoung Eub) and Hyun. Hyun turns out to be on the phone with Eun Hyeok, who asks to come see him. Hyun agrees, then immediately gets a phone call from Ji Ahn, who also informs him that she’s coming over. The next call is from Ji Soo, but Sun Ho comes in before he can pick up, and Hyun ends up ignoring the call.
As Ji Soo nervously packs up the files and leaves the office, Ji Ahn arrives at Hyun’s house, followed shortly by Joon Ho, who has brought over dinner. The atmosphere goes from jovial to awkward, and then gets even worse as Joon Ho is followed by an oblivious Eun Hyeok, to the point where no one laughs when Joon Ho likens the situation to speed dating. Eun Hyeok comments on how good Hyun and Sun Ho look together, then follows that up by dropping a bomb at the dinner table when he asks about Lee Joon Young.
Ji Soo drives in to a parking garage, and nervously walks to the exit. When it becomes obvious that she’s being followed, Ji Soo turns around to find geeky cop, Choi Eun Bok (Son Seung Won) behind her. When she asks what he’s doing there, Eun Bok stabs her in the gut. He tells her he has a debt to pay, then walks away with her bag containing the fingerprint documents, as she struggles to move on the ground.
Back at Hyun’s house, even Eun Hyeok can tell that something is up as everyone at the dinner table stares at him. An amused Sun Ho wonders who will explain things, while Joon Ho disavows all knowledge of Joon Young. It’s left to Ji Ahn to explain that Joon Young murdered both her and Hyun’s father, and kidnapped Hyun’s brother. Sun Ho seems doubly amused at this interpretation of events, and adds that Joon Young seems like a bad person. Eun Hyeok is surprised at Joon Young’s connection to Hyun, but seems more concerned with Joon Young’s connection to himself. Before he can elaborate, everyone, but Sun Ho’s phone rings. Meanwhile, as Eun Bok cleans up in a washroom, his own phone goes off.
Of course, they’re all being called to the same place, Ji Soo’s crime scene. Myeong Woo and Seung Joo are not only baffled as to what happened, they have bad news: another team has been assigned the case. As Joon Ho steps in to examine the body, Hyun walks away to listen to Ji Soo’s final message. She tells him that she’s going to come clean with Joon Young’s fingerprints, and that she didn’t raise him out of a sense of guilt, but rather because she thought of him as her son. When Ji Ahn joins him, Hyun tells her that Ji Soo probably sealed her own fate when she found out Joon Young’s real identity. Ji Ahn wonders who could have killed her when Joon Ho was eating with them. Hyun has no idea, but it’s clear to both of them that Joon Ho has an accomplice.
A defeated and sad investigations team returns to the office still in their uniforms from Ji Soo’s funeral. Having established that Joon Ho’s accomplice is likely to a police officer, Ji Ahn can’t help, but look suspiciously at everyone.
Back at home, Hyun explains the situation to Sun Ho and asks for his help. Once he learns that Ji Soo helped Joon Young escape from prison, Sun Ho is not only uninterested in catching Ji Soo’s killer, but regretful that she didn’t suffer more when she died. Hyun is stricken by Sun Ho’s cold words, but pats him on the head anyway, vowing to change him little by little.
Having spent most of this episode in turmoil, Eun Hyeok finally confronts his father, Deputy Commissioner Kang about his connection to Joon Young. Deputy Commissioner Kang explains that his sole connection was discovering the actions of Ji Soo, then covering them up to protect the police force. In flashback, Deputy Commissioner Kang plants the story of the prison guard, Ji Ahn’s father, being Joon Young’s accomplice to divert attention from the screw-up that led to Joon Young’s escape. Eun Hyeok is appalled as his father exhorts him to pretend ignorance.
Back at the house, Sun Ho tells a thoughtful Hyun that he won’t be able to take down Joon Ho without taking him down as well. When Sun Ho asks if Hyun wants him to be incarcerated, Hyun responds that he’ll look at his crimes objectively, but takes Sun Ho’s hand as he speaks. Sun Ho killed people who had abandoned others, since he believed Hyun had abandoned him, and Hyun wonders if Joon Ho’s crimes had a similar personal element. Instead of responding, Sun Ho tells Hyun that Joon Ho had collected other kids like himself. The two of them conclude that Joon Ho was repeatedly killing adults who had abused children, in an effort to “save” his childhood self.
Joon Ho, meanwhile, looks like he’s on the path to saving another child as he asks a bruised young girl to tell him what happened. Later, he runs into Eun Bok, and tells him that killing Ji Soo was unnecessary. Eun Bok, however, believes that he’s settled his debt for Joon Ho rescuing him from his terrible childhood.
Hyun, meanwhile, tracks down his art dealer friend, Bong Song, and asks him to look into Eun Bok, who was an orphan. Bong Song is reluctant to get involved again, but Hyun persuades by appealing to his better self.
Hyun’s next stop is Joon Ho’s office, to ask him out for a drink. Despite his surprise at Hyun’s invitation, Joon Ho readily comes along. As they drink, Hyun outwardly puts on a show of friendliness, but inwardly vows to himself that before he arrests Joon Ho, he will try one last time to understand him. It seems that Joon Ho has seen through Hyun’s pretense, and tells him a Scottish legend about a man who could understand people’s souls, and ended up horrified by the evil inside them. Hyun doesn’t believe that all people are evil, but Joon Ho points out that some are. He asks Hyun if he can handle someone like Sun Ho by himself. Hyun confirms that he can, and the two of them drink.
Their conversation is interrupted by a phone call from Ji Ahn, who hangs up when she finds out that Hyun is with Joon Ho. Realizing that Joon Ho’s house is empty while he drinks with Hyun, Ji Ahn immediately drives over and breaks in. Just in time, she calls Hyun to ask him to keep Joon Ho away while she checks the room she wasn’t able to get access to before. Hyun tries and fails to distract Joon Ho, thereby alerting him to the possibility of someone in his house.
Desperate, Hyun finally brings up the elephant in the room: that Hyun knows that Joon Ho is Joon Young. This is enough to stop Joon Ho in his tracks, and he asks Hyun why he never called him by name. Hyun is certain that Joon Ho is Joon Young, but lacks concrete evidence. As Joon Ho praises Hyun’s scientific mind, Ji Ahn goes into the room, and finds an album full of pictures of children. She grabs two photos at random and comes out to the living room, to find Sun Ho staring at her. Sun Ho smiles his creepy smile as they exchange polite greetings.
Meanwhile, Joon Ho takes Hyun’s hand and raises it to his neck where his pulse should be. Hyun flashes back to his conversation with Joon Young as a child, where Joon Young told him he didn’t have a pulse on that side of his neck. Joon Ho smiles as Hyun’s memory comes back, and Hyun calls him Joon Young.
First, let me begin with an apology. It’s entirely clear now that Sun Ho/Min is a serial killer, so my comments for last week’s episodes are entirely off-base. I suspect I resisted this knowledge, because it makes the otherwise sweet brotherly bonding between Hyun and Sun Ho seem kind of… off? I’m not sure if Hyun really believes that he can rehabilitate Sun Ho, or whether this is the product of his guilt for not finding him sooner. Either way, it’s pretty clear that Hyun is heading for a choice between his younger brother and Ji Ahn. We’ll have to wait for next week to find out which way he goes.
I’ll have to echo JK’s comments from the last episode here: considering how I spent so much time nitpicking in the first couple of episodes, “I Remember You” has evolved to a really solid show. The writer and Choi Won Young have invested Joon Ho/Joon Young with a wealth of little details that make him both a monster and a layered character. Park Bo Gum has done the same with Sun Ho, who is by turns a lost kid and a creepy murderer. Without these two great characters, “I Remember You” would be a lesser show, and I’m almost sad to think that their story is going to be resolved next week.
On to the investigative team, things are falling apart for both Eun Bok and Eun Hyeok (is there a naming coincidence here?). It’s interesting how the show is portraying Joon Young’s evil influence as so far-reaching. In the case of Eun Bok, saving him from a hellish childhood turned him into a murderer, and for Eun Hyeok, Ji Soo’s corruption turned his father into a self-righteous co-conspirator.
At this point, the bizarre square dance between Hyun, Ji Ahn, Sun Ho, and Joon Ho can’t possibly come to a happy conclusion, or even one that won’t leave our lead couple in tatters. Here’s hoping the writers have figured something out that leaves at least a bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
Since I’ve been serious for this entire post, allow me to take a moment to appreciate Lee Hyun. There’s something about the fact that Lee Hyun is obviously a nurturing type, rather than a traditional action hero that makes him attractive. He’s super intelligent, but he also bakes cakes, dries his younger brother’s hair, and likes to clean the house. It doesn’t hurt that Seo In Guk is the actor playing him either.