What was in the dark is slowly coming to light. I’m 2 for 3 on the guessing where this story is going measurement. The Black Boot killer comes out full force and the story is unraveling more and more. Let’s get started…
Recap: We start off the episode with a knife and a bat; literally. The black boot killer has boldly gone to the rookie squad’s apartment to kill Dae Gu/Ji Yong while he sleeps. But our smart and always alert young detective is waiting..waiting behind the door as the killer enters. A huge fight pursues with bat swings as well as knives. Dae Gu lets the Boot killer know that he recognize him and his voice. Amazing when you are here to kill someone you have time to have a conversation; just saying. Now, I love action but was anyone else annoyed with the glass wall coming in/out of focus? Maybe it was just me. Some how the director must of thought that was chic; I found it infinitely annoying.
Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are just returning with snacks as TL Seo pulls up. He proceeds into the building, nonchalantly walking up the stairs. Now in real life, I think Dae Gu would have bit the bullet but hey, this is drama. Just when we think the switchblade is about to hit our near unconscious young detective, TL Seo comes in and kicks the blade away. The look on his face is shock! He recognizes the man and says his name out loud: Cho Hyung Cheol. And we finally have a name! The stunned inaction gives Cho the opportunity to get away after throwing debris into TL Seo’s face. Instead of pursuing him, he checks on Dae Gu’s condition.
Amazingly, all this time, the rest of the crew STILL haven’t made it into the building. We will just believe at this point that they were walking at a snail’s pace but as they were walking so slow, they get the opportunity to see a man, dressed in black, come barreling out of their building. I’m not sure why the detective hats’ didn’t come on and they didn’t make an attempt to stop the man but again, I’ll just go with the story.
TL Seo runs out after Cho and tells the trio to get upstairs immediately to check on Dae Gu because he has been stabbed. Tae Il goes into doctor mode and tries to staunch the bleeding while Ji Gook calls for an ambulance. Soo Sun begins to shake poor bleeding Dae Gu to wakefulness.
As the ambulance arrives, the team follows the unconscious and wounded Dae Gu to the surgery door and wait nervously for a report from the doctor. Once the doctor comes out and tells that all is well and that Dae Gu’s condition is stable but that he will need a week to recover. Everyone breathes a sign of relief but are deep into their own thoughts.
At this stage, TL Seo is still in shock over this latest development. As we know, Cho used to be Seo’s partner before his injury and being booted out of the force for some illegal activity. SL Eung Do comes in full of questions and concerns. Eung Do is shocked that someone would do that so early in the evening at a police apartment complex. Soo Sun momentarily mixes up the names and calls Dae Gu as Ji Yong, earning a look by TL Seo. It is obvious to everyone that the intruder was specifically targeting Dae Gu. It is at that moment that TL Seo identifies the attacker again as Cho and that he had returned from Indonesia weeks ago. Eung Do asks how does he know this. TL Seo tells them that Cho used to be his partner 12 years ago when he was still on the force. And he vows to catch him for trying to hurt one of his kids.
As everyone departs Dae Gu’s hospital room, Eung Do turns around with instructions for the crew. Someone is to stay with Dae Gu at all times. As he says, you never know if Cho will return. 24/7 protection for our guy. Cho was bold enough to attack early in the evening, we all know how safe hospital rooms are (okay, I watch way too many dramas to feel safe in a hospital room)! Soo Sun runs out leaving the other two to catch up with Seo and Eung Do. Soo Sun wants to be involved as Cho tried to hurt her partner.
Back at the Seoul Gangnam station, in the team leader meeting, TL Seo talks about the attack on one of his rookies last night. Chief Cha is all up in arms about it but Seo ignores him and goes on to say that the attack was done by none other than Cho, a former police officer. As you can imagine, everyone around the table is stunned but my disappointment with Chief Kang continues because of the look on her face (don’t forget the revelation from last episode). She goes on to say that this information should be kept quiet as to not alarm the citizens that a former policeman has attacked a new detective.
As they are leaving the meeting, TL Kim asks TL Seo whether his team could still help her with her current Oh Hee Min case. She realizes how busy they are but Seo assures her that he will send Tae Il to assist her.
Chief Kang enters her office. I can’t tell if her look is of shock, dismay, upset or something else entirely. At this point, it doesn’t matter, my trust for this woman has gone out the door!
When Soo Sun enters the squad room with the CCTV medias from the area, SL Eung Do has already began looking at tapes. He calls her over so that she can get a good look at the suspect, Cho’s face. As soon as Soo Sun sees his face, it sparks a remembrance but she is not quite sure where yet.
We return to the hospital room where Dae Gu slowly gains consciousness and immediately wants to get up but TL Seo is there to stop him. But what Seo does is asks why was Cho Hyung Cheol trying to stab him? Dae Gu is surprised because now he knows the man’s name. Seo tells him that he was a former police detective but why does he want to kill you? Of course, Dae Gu still believes that Seo was involved (I’ll say it again, this time period was when Seo and Kim’s son died). But it is obvious to everyone except Dae Gu that Seo has no idea what he is talking about. Seo even shows him the CCTV device that Dae Gu installed into his apartment but he tells him that doesn’t matter. So tell him, what’s going on?
Dae Gu yells that Seo gave Cho the pendant 11 years ago. Again we get a stunned look on Seo’s face because the man is clueless as we all know (I’ve suspected for awhile before the reveal last episode) that he had nothing to do with Cho getting his hands on the pendant. Dae Gu goes on to say that Cho had come after him at the school but it is the shocked Seo that figures out that the person who killed the school nurse (Ji Yong’s Mom) was none other than the same person! Seo’s shocked expression couldn’t be any clearer at this moment. And he quickly figures out why Dae Gu has been the way he was. With Seo’s parting words, will Dae Gu finally realize that he wasn’t involved? We will see.
We next see Tae Il and TL Kim are on the missing person’s case of Oh Hee Min. They are looking for him as this was the last area he was seen. TL Seo first shows a picture of a handsome young man to the store owner but she hasn’t seen him. She then follows with another picture and STOP THE PRESSES!! It’s the same young man dressed in drag. HUH? Ok, where did this story line come from? Anyway, the store proprietor recognizes the young woman (*cough*) and points down the street to another building where they run smack into said young she-male coming out. And I mean coming out. Okay, I’m a pretty liberal person but there is no way I would mistake this man for a woman; just saying.
It seems we have a case of a runaway groom. Oh Hee Min has decided to leave his fiancee in a lurch and become a woman but he told no one, just ran away. He figured it was the easiest way than telling them the truth. He/She goes on to say that he is having the surgery done to become a full (more or less) female. He/She begs TL Kim to NOT tell his family that he was found. She tells him that she cannot say that he wasn’t found; only that they wouldn’t tell his location. TL Kim asks him what should they tell his fiancee, but he/she doesn’t want them to say anything as she has probably moved on; however, TL Kim tells him that isn’t the case.
As TL Kim and Tae Il return, they are deep into conversation about whether or not Oh Hee Min is right or wrong in not telling his family. TL Kim finds his actions cowardly and feels he should have told his fiancee at least. Strangely, we get a flashback of Tae Il talking to his parents as he is telling them he will not be returning to the hospital. I am not sure what one scene has to do with another but I guess eventually we will find this out. So now I am assuming that picture from a previous episode was his brother. Maybe?
Back in the squad room, the first thing TL Seo does is confront Soo Sun about knowing that Dae Gu was Ji Yong. He asks her how long has she known and whether she knew he was the detective in charge on the case his mother was going to be a witness for but was murdered. Of course, everyone else is stunned by this revelation. TL Seo takes this moment to apprise everyone about the case 11 years ago and other details that we, the viewer don’t get to hear as the scene fades to black and returns after everyone in the squad room but us got to hear the details. Really? Is this for dramatic effect later? Okay, it better really be dramatic for me to forgive this little editing stunt!
TL Seo goes on to say that he has told them all of the details because they now know who killed Dae Gu’s mother 11 years ago. It was none other than Cho Hyung Cheol himself. Yes, the man who attacked Dae Gu also killed his mother!
TL Seo brings up a clear photo from the police detective days as well as a picture from the CCTV showing Cho Hyung Cheol. He describes the scar behind his ear and you can see the thoughts churning inside Soo Sun’s head at that moment and we get a flashback to the school when Cho walked past an unsuspecting younger Soo Sun many years ago. TL Seo sends Gook and Tae IL back to the hospital to protect Dae Gu while Soo Sun and SL Eung Do will continue looking through the CCTV tapes to get a possible location on where Cho might be now.
Back at the hospital, Dae Gu is making his hospital break but just in time, Gook and Tae Il walk in to stop him. Tae Il tells him he can’t ask he might re-open his stitches but Dae Gu is insistent but it isn’t until they point out that he is still bleeding that he relents while the two team members beg him to give it a couple more days so that he can heal properly.
As Soo Sun and Eung Do comb through the many CCTV usb drives, they are finally able to pinpoint a location where Cho was last even. Even sharing a bottle of drink and Soo Sun giving a helpful massage as they go through the night. The next day, Soo Sun recognizes Cho’s image in one of the last few drives and then it is off to stake out the area.
The crew are at various points in the area. Eung Do is disguised as a watermelon cellar, Seo is in a van with some companies’ stickers making it look like a work vehicle and Soo Sun is driving up and down the street as a food delivery person. Minutes later, Soo Sun passes who she believes (and we see) is known other than Cho himself. Cho recognizes Seo in the van up ahead and a foot pursuit begins.
The chase continues into the streets and into cars. For a minute Seo loses Cho but then he sees a car fast approaching him in the street. The car obviously has Cho driving because the driver is making no attempts to slow down; even with Seo pointing a gun at them. The car continues on into Seo, hitting him and sending him into the pavement.
In the station’s bathroom, Soo Sun is washing her face and berating herself as she thinks back to 11 years ago and how she was literally telling the killer where Ji Yong was in the school. She continues her personal pity party whereby again she let the killer get away. Okay, I would be the first to not blame her about the school thing as she wasn’t really aware of what was going on but I definitely understand her guilt.
At the hospital, Dae Gu is again re-thinking over the conversation with TL Seo when he asked why Cho was trying to kill him? Looks like our boy is still not ready to let go of his hate and blame against Seo. He receives a text message from Soo Sun who wants to know how he is feeling. He responds that he is feeling better. Their conversation continues for a little bit longer; you know, the back and forth of two people not interested in each other…..RIGHT.
Tae Il meets up with Soo Sun at the station house and asks whether she is going to the hospital. She responds that she won’t because of two things: her guilt from 11 years ago (my thoughts) and the fact that Cho got away again. They make small conversation about how Dae Gu is doing and Soo Sun knows an awful lot about Dae Gu’s sleeping habits.
Soo Sun and Eung Do continue their talk about how they need to find Cho before Dae Gu is released from the hospital. Minutes later, she heads to the squad room and quietly opens the door. The scene before her is of TL Seo bandaged up pretty good after being tossed by the car that Cho was driving. She stands there a few minutes while trying to decide whether she should offer help but thinks better of that and slowly, quietly closes the door again.
The next few scenes are back in Dae Gu’s hospital room. Gook is lamenting to Tae Il about how much Dae Gu must have went through when he was younger and is now just beginning to understand him better. The next morning (we assume), Gook is trying to feed Dae Gu his meal just like a mother hen feeding her chick. Later when Dae Gu is trying to brush his teeth, Tae Il comes in to squeeze the toothpaste. These guys make excellent caregivers!
The fellows have helped Dae Gu dress and leave the hospital and they all return to the station house. The squad is happy to see him; Eung Do and Soo Sun are all smiles but TL Seo hangs back, noticeably. Eung Do gives Dae Gu a bracelet made up of wooden beads from a tree that was struck by lightening. It was given to him by his mother when he got stabbed and now he is giving it to Dae Gu (Awwww.. and yet I hope this isn’t a foreboding for the future). TL Seo gets them to all go into the squad room but there is that awkward moment where Dae Gu and TL Seo just stare at each other, no words said. But right at that moment, an emergency meeting is called for all of the team leaders.
Chief Kang begins the meeting to talk about an assault against a spokesman for the president. She is pulling all resources to investigate this case. One of the other team leaders interrupt saying that his team will take the case; however, she has already decided to put TL Seo’s team on the case. HUH?!! Seo reminds her that they are currently investigating Dae Gu’s assault but she is insistent that it be handled by another team instead Double HUH!
Seo goes on to say that not only was this an attack against Dae Gu but that the case from 11 years ago which resulted in the murder of a witness was done by the same person and the witness’son is none other than Eun Dae Gu who is also Kim Ji Yong! SURPRISE! For once Assistant Chief Cha has it right and says that the case should remain will Seo but Chief Kang insists that the change is a direct order. End of conversation. WOW!
Try as he might, Seo follows the chief into her office and goes as far as saying that he will resign if he cannot continue on this case. She says go ahead but under no circumstance will Dae Gu be on this case. She voices her concerns about Dae Gu’s mental state and his ability to remain cool as this does involve his mother’s murder. Her last words is that Dae Gu not be involved nor will he be allowed a weapon. Period.
I have to admit, everything she rambles off is totally plausible and it is very, very convincing. How often do we hear where the victim becomes the perpetrator?
After the great speech and plausible words, it is all shot to hell as we see why Chief Kang was insistent on removing TL Seo and his team from the case. She makes another call to the mysterious man from before basically telling him that she has followed his instructions. Okay folks, at what point in your life do you decide there is something greater than your own personal gain? A couple episodes back, I had this niggling feeling about her involvement and I wasn’t wrong but why this level of obedience? And have I missed something in relations to the identity of this man? I know he is a government official but I’m still not familiar with the lapel pins worn. I can recognize legal but I’m too old to recognize what his stands for. Anyone?
Immediately after getting off the phone with Chief Kang, our mysterious government officials makes another call and tells the person on the phone that they better hurry. Not sure what this means but I think we will find out real soon.
TL Kim comes up to Seo and Eung Do to say that her team will assist with the spokesman attack. Strangely TL Kim asks whether his team is really busy. Now even I find that strange but Seo answers yes, they are.
When the team enters the squad room, TL Seo reaches down and frisks Dae Gu’s leg who immediately asks him what is he doing? His response? You don’t have one, that’s good. He then turns to the other team members and states that Dae Gu is not allowed to be near anything that resembles a gun. He promptly runs everyone out of the room and begins a lecture which basically covers he knows what he is thinking and it is not going to happen. A great quote here:
Every time an irresistible rage comes over you
think about your mother.
The moment you turn from a victim to a perpetrator…
Your great mother becomes the mother of a criminal.
TL Seo goes back to his desk and pulls out an old case notebook which contains a picture of him and Cho. You can tell from the picture that they used to be really close friends. We again see the flashback to when Cho got injured saving Seo while they were on a case. I sure hope the people Cho is working for wasn’t involved with his sons death but I have this feeling…
Later we see why TL Kim had the strange look and questions. Her mother calls from LA to inquire whether she got some seaweed soup today. She plays it off saying that she is too old and too busy. But we know that is not the case. As Seo is speaking to Eung Do, she looks over at him and begins to text him about meeting for dinner but quickly changes her mind and deletes the text.
While the fellows (except for Dae Gu) go out on stakeouts and looking for information of Cho, Soo Sun is tasked with remaining behind to do some computer searching as well as watching Dae Gu 24/7. She is instructed to never leave his side. She even follows him to the men’s room. When Dae Gu return’s to the squad room, Soo Sun has fallen fast asleep. Here is a tender moment when Dae Gu is closing the blinds and trying to block the sunlight from shining in her face;
however, this whole scene is interrupted by one simple phone call; from you guessed it, Cho himself. Cho tells Dae Gu where to meet him and stupidly, not taking into consideration his injury or the fact he was told not to act rashly, he takes off to me the killer. You IDIOT!! They should have taken his car keys.
Too late, Soo Sun wakes up to an empty squad room and cannot find Dae Gu at all. She checks the gun case and of course we are not surprised by the fact that one is missing. She calls Seo to tell him Dae Gu and a gun are gone. He tells her to check his laptop and the phone GPS for his location ASAP! I think I’ve lost count on the number of mistakes she has made.
Dae Gu has gone to an underground parking lot to meet Cho, and comes in gun at a-ready but because of his injury, he is easily overpowered and beat down by Cho. The next few minutes is a game of dodge the bat as Cho is chasing Dae Gu either with the gun he brought or the bat Cho brought. Dae Gu, now more injured than before ends up under a truck hiding as Cho is searching for him.
Then the funniest thing (to me) happens. A strange man drives up and hits Cho as he is bending down to shoot Dae Gu with the gun he brought. As Cho is laying there hurt, the man gets out of the car and begins to choke Cho to death. The whole scene is almost reminiscent of when Cho killed Dae Gu/Ji Yong’s mother. Talk about what goes around, comes around.
Musings: Well, I cant say I’m sorry the man is dead (or is he?). The damage and death he has caused is innumerable. At the same time, this gives you an idea just how high up the ladder this whole conspiracy is going. One thing for sure, Dae Gu hasn’t learned anything. He did exactly what TL Seo told him NOT to do. I haven’t seen episode 12 so I have no idea of the outcome of this situation but I’m hoping this is the last time that he goes all ‘lone wolf’!
Again, I am convinced that TL Seo’s involvement in this whole conspiracy is NULL. I really don’t think the man had anything to do with it other than trying to do his job. It is quite obvious now who the real person is that has been in collusion with the enemy and the killer: Chief Kang. The real question is why did she save Dae Gu and what is this woman’s motivation for doing all this? Power? Advancement? What?
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, why did Soo Sun become a police officer again? Time after time, she makes these little mistakes that lead to big problems. If she felt tired, she should have had someone relieve her of watching Dae Gu. Sure, I understand that she had been up over 24 hours but we are talking about someone’s life here. Just blame my annoyance with being a big fan of the crime genre. I really hate to see this story line over and over again when it comes to women in uniform. I believe she has some sense, I’d just like to see her use it more often.
As far as the other happenings in this episode, they were just filler. From the case of the missing transgender to just about any scenes with TL Kim and Seo. I some times wonder why they even brought her into the drama. Her scenes are so few and far between. Okay, that is my complaint. After the stellar job she did in Cruel City, I just find her character to be such a waste.
As far as the romance between Dae Gu and Soo Sun? Why bother? We are now 11 episodes in and this is the best that you can do for romance? No wonder I don’t watch them if this is the best you can do.
As the organ plays in the background, we are all wondering “How will Dae Gu get out of this mess?” “Will he be blamed for Cho’s murder?” Stay tuned for the next episode and we will see.