Special Affairs Team TEN 2: Episode 2

The team learns that things are not always as they seem – the hard way – once again. (I feel like I’ve used that line for this Ten team before…) The number of twists and the conclusions that they jump to can be mind-boggling, but I can’t deny that this is a tightly plotted episode where everything just lines up perfectly.

 

The team returns to their office, thinking back on their memories of Ji Hoon, now colored with the lens of him being a killer. Min Ho can’t forget the time Ji Hoon simulated a crime and used him as a “testing partner”; Ye Ri remembers their talk about people hiding under a thick mask; Do Shik remembers when he mentioned someone he keeps chasing. They all find it hard to believe he’s that great of an actor to have fooled all of them – even Human Lie Detector Ye Ri.

But Min Ho finally recognizes Ji Hoon’s actions. The sleeplessness, the uncontrollable anger, the loss of a loved one – all are forms of grief he’s seen before in his own father. It’s possible the killer is manipulating them to think badly of Ji Hoon based on their impression of him, and since Ji Hoon knew he would be a big suspect, he went into hiding.

To clear his name they’re going to have to attack the last F case with fervor – the case of Kim Min Hee. And somewhere in an abandoned, run down building, Ji Hoon sits in the dark. Waiting. Hiding.

Chapter 1: The Devil

 

The trio heads back to the police station, waiting in the parking lot until all the officers leave for the night. Do Shik and Min Ho head up to the agents’ office while Ye Ri keeps watch in the lot. Min Ho uses the password he saw the agent type in before, while Do Shik keeps watch of the hallway as well.

Inside the office, Min Ho finds a computer that unlocks with an easy password, and copies all the files regarding Kim Min Hee’s case to his flash drive. Unfortunately – one agent realizes he left something back at the office, so he drives back to the front of the station. (That’s why Ye Ri never sees him, and can’t warn the guys.) By the time Do Shik warns Min Ho, it’s almost too late – the agent is entering the office!

Thankfully the files copy just in time, and Min Ho hides behind a pillar. The agent picks up his stuff, then notices one of the computer monitors on. He suspiciously checks the office, but stops just short of discovering Min Ho’s hiding place, and decides to dismiss it as his officers forgetting to shut off the computer.

 

With the new files, they discover that based on the phone records, Ji Hoon and Min Hee never knew each other, making it highly unlikely that he was the F killer. They deduce that the killer might have called Ji Hoon to Min Hee’s house, thus setting him up in a trap. Ji Hoon was in the house for a total of 13 minutes, so they need to find out what he did during that time. Whatever it is he found out, he must have realized that the F killer was going to frame him as the main suspect, and that’s why he went into hiding.

They head to Min Hee’s home, which has been cordoned off by police tape. Ye Ri volunteers to “act” with Do Shik on the street and distract the cops standing guard. (I love how Min Ho avoids eye contact with Do Shik so that he wouldn’t get chosen to do this “act”.) Ye Ri yells for help that Do Shik is a sleazy bad guy, but when he accidentally touches her chest, she screams. This “act” just became real. Out comes the slinging bag, beating him away, and the guards come chasing after Do Shik!

 

It gives Min Ho enough time to sneak through the front gate and enter the apartment, taking pictures of the crime scene as quickly as possible. Based on the pictures, it’s clear the murder happened inside the apartment, but the killer chose to move the body to room 101 in the motel (most probably to taunt Ji Hoon). Do Shik is more preoccupied with the when, the how, and who. He has Min Ho check CCTV cameras in the area to see if it caught the body being transported to the motel, and has Ye Ri look into Min Hee’s background.

They’re caught by the officers who interrogated them, since they had cameras everywhere. But the lead investigator lets them slide through – they’re the Ten team after all, and they’ll eventually lead the police to Ji Hoon.

 

Ye Ri finds a flyer in Min Hee’s room that’s similar to one she found in Hee Joo’s room. It’s for a victim support group called Haneul, run by the Catholic Church. Seven years ago, she had been in the same group with Ji Hoon and Hee Joo. Ye Ri goes to visit the Father there, and he recognizes Min Hee; she had joined the group while looking for her sister’s killer.

Most of the families there have had a loved one murdered. Hee Joo had brought Ji Hoon there one time so that he could ask the families some questions. But he left his reports unattended and a mother saw the photos of how her daughter was gruesomely murdered. It caused quite a ruckus, and the support group eventually held a protest outside the police station, clamoring for the F killer to be caught. They even threw food at the police chief and some officers.

One mother – Lee Bok Soon – had grabbed a police chief and begged for his help, but Ji Hoon twisted her hand off of the police chief. The Father remembers that she was quite close to Min Hee, so if Ye Ri has any questions, she should find Bok Soon.

 

Min Ho and Do Shik are at the office, going through numerous CCTV footage to list all the cars carrying the possible killer. Just as Min Ho gets real tired of searching, he finds a car with a familiar person in the passenger seat – it’s the M.E., Seo Yoo Rim. Who could she be with? The license plate indicates that it’s a rental, and the time between arriving at the house and leaving it is approximately 16 minutes. That is enough time to transport the body to the motel.

It seems as though Yoo Rim is the accomplice. They track down the car rental place they got the car from, and question the owner. He recognizes Yoo Rim as the one who rented the car, and even identifies Ji Hoon as the one who drove the car away. The team takes the news hard – is it really true that their leader is F? All the evidence is now pointing to him, and the rainy weather doesn’t help improve their mood.

 

They barge into Yoo Rim’s examination room and Do Shik aims the gun at her: “A detective who searches for the killer and a medical examiner who takes apart the dead bodies – what a perfect camouflage for the perfect combination. Where is Yeo Ji Hoon?!” Yoo Rim realizes that it’s futile to reason with an angry Viper, so she lets herself be arrested.

It’s something to note that she half-smiles when he arrests her, as if she knows a secret and expected them to come after her.

 

The team also visits Hee Joo’s parents and inform them of a break in her case. The father says that he gave his gun to Ji Hoon so that he could use it on the killer when he’s caught, but Do Shik replies, “(The killer) is the man whom you gave the gun.” Talk about an emotional blow.  Meanwhile, a presentation to the head of the police is made regarding Ji Hoon as the prime suspect for the serial murders. The chief of police wants this case wrapped up quietly; if the public gets wind of a serial killer officer, the police department will be criticized and shamed.

But after all this, Do Shik still has questions about Ji Hoon’s motives. He finds it strange that for some of the other murders, Ji Hoon had the perfect alibi – he was either a lover, an ambitious detective, or someone who lost a loved one, and those labels excused him from being a suspect. But now, with Min Hee’s death he doesn’t have a good alibi that prevents him from being suspected. It’s as if he wants to get caught this time.

Ji Hoon calls up Yoo Rim, but she doesn’t answer as she’s being held in custody.

Chapter 2: Understand

 

The team goes to search through three locations – Min Hee’s apartment, Yoo Rim’s lab, and Yoo Rim’s apartment – for evidence and clues that could give insight into Ji Hoon’s motives. Ye Ri is the first to discover something: she finds polaroids of Yoo Rim and Ji Hoon, snuggling in bed, in her bathroom. The pictures were taken in the winter of 2004, around the same time Hee Joo died.

Ye Ri takes a photo and confronts Yoo Rim in the interrogation room. She can read lies through his face, so she knows that Ji Hoon was lying about his affection for her. Ye Ri thinks that he probably sought out comfort in Yoo Rim, but will eventually just use Yoo Rim until he’s done with her. Yoo Rim: “Use me in every way he can? Do you think I don’t know that? You may be able to read through lies, but you don’t understand a thing about love.”

 

Do Shik goes to Min Hee’s apartment and surveys the mess. He flips through a yellow notepad, and finds one page torn out. The missing page is not in the garbage or papers anywhere, so he shades the following page’s imprint. As he gets the evidence, Min Ho calls him – he was looking through Yoo Rim’s deleted video files on the computer, and the only video missing is Kim Min Hee’s autopsy recording. Well that’s fishy, but Min Ho will be able to restore it after some time.

Do Shik also has the completed message on the pad: “Hee Joo shouldn’t have died that way. We did wrong. I’m sorry.” It implies that Kim Min Hee was involved in Hee Joo’s murder, and Ji Hoon killed the woman who helped kill his woman.

Min Ho recovers the video, and Do Shik notices something off when Yoo Rim is cleaning up the tape around Min Hee. Her wrist was slashed, and it looks like a fresh wound. But during the autopsy presentation, Yoo Rim said Min Hee died from suffocation. That means Yoo Rim lied about the cause of death.

 

Do Shik has the CSI team go over Min Hee’s apartment again for any remnants of blood. They find loads of it in the bathtub. She had written that note as a suicide note, slit her wrist, and died in the bathtub. But Ji Hoon and Yoo Rim had thrown away the note and disguised this suicide as a murder.

Ye Ri is in charge with finding out Kim Min Hee’s personal life and see if she had any reason for suicide. She visits Min Hee’s doctor, who confirms that Min Hee tried suicide twice: once by covering her face up with tape and another time by overdosing on drugs. Her guardian at the time was Song Kyung Tae, and when Ye Ri tells the boys, they recognize it as the guest in the motel room 308 the night Hee Joo died. So… Song Kyung Tae is F? And Kim Min Hee was his accomplice/girlfriend?

 

Ye Ri then finds Lee Bok Soon as the mother standing outside the police station, and she asks her about Min Hee and Kyung Tae. The three of them were quite close, as all of them were related to a loved one who died and were part of Haneul together. Bok Soon doesn’t remember anything quite off about them, noting that Ye Ri doesn’t know anything since she never lost a loved one. “The only people who can understand are the people who’ve been through it,” Bok Soon says. She could see they were haunted by a dead loved one, because she had gone through it too.

Do Shik and Min Ho search through Kyung Tae’s home, and in the basement they find mannequins mimicking the victims’ bodies, ropes, photos and clippings of their cases, and an entire wall devoted to stalking Ji Hoon. This is practical evidence that Kyung Tae is F, and Do Shik tells Ye Ri to go to Ji Hoon’s home. It’s likely the killer is searching for him there.

 

The boys come to the conclusion that when Ji Hoon visited Min Hee’s home, he discovered her dead body. He probably also confirmed based on the note that Min Hee was F’s girl. If Hee Joo’s death was supposed to bring Ji Hoon excruciating pain, then Ji Hoon wanted to do the same to the F Killer. By framing Min Hee’s death after Hee Joo’s, he could anger F, and draw the killer out.

NOW we get to the part that we saw at the end of season 1; Ye Ri heads to Ji Hoon’s apartment and finds a note under the cactus plant. She finds directions to a warehouse where Ji Hoon might be, and texts Min Ho the address. Of course – his phone is in his bag, so he doesn’t hear her call or text message. It’s only when Do Shik wonders where she is that Min Ho goes to check his phone.

Min Ho sees the address, and they fear she’s in danger. Off they go to the warehouse!

Chapter 3: Bait

 

Ji Hoon is actually following Ye Ri’s taxi cab to the warehouse, where someone else is already waiting. On the way, the taxi has to pass through a checkpoint, and so Ji Hoon takes a roundabout way instead. He inputs the taxi’s license plate number in his tracking device and finds a different way to get there.

As for Do Shik and Min Ho, they just put on their sirens and blaze right through the checkpoint.

 

Ye Ri is caught by Kyung Tae, and he knocks her out and binds her to the chair. He tapes up her face, and she freaks out, trying to breathe. A few minutes later, Ji Hoon comes rushing in, and he aims Hee Joo’s father’s gun at Kyung Tae, who casually stands beside Ye Ri. Kyung Tae gives Ji Hoon a sad face, and then an alarm rings signaling an oncoming train.

Ji Hoon’s momentary distraction gives Kyung Tae a chance to run. Ji Hoon fires, and his second bullet catches Kyung Tae on the leg. But now here is the question: should he save Ye Ri, the woman “next” to him, or should he go after Kyung Tae, the man he’s been chasing in his dreams?

After what feels like an eternity, Ji Hoon goes after Kyung Tae. But he’s knocked to the side, tackled by Do Shik. It’s enough time for Kyung Tae to struggle up and over the window, and disappear. Min Ho hurries to free Ye Ri from her bindings as Do Shik tries to calm Ji Hoon down. It’s not worth to kill F now! Do Shik had made a promise a while back that he’d beat the killer up for Ji Hoon, so the team leader needs to just stop his vendetta right now.

 

Ji Hoon doesn’t care. He grabs his gun and chases after Kyung Tae, who took the police car. That forces Do Shik and Min Ho to go after him too in a taxi, leaving Ye Ri to fend for herself. Ye Ri realizes that she was able to breathe the entire team, because he hadn’t wrapped the tape around her tightly. And then she remembers he said something…

 

Kyung Tae: I should’ve forgotten. I should’ve made myself forget. Min Hee… I killed her. Tell him to forget. Even if he can’t truly forget, even if he has to fake it, tell him to forget.

Ye Ri gets into a cab and asks a colleague to look into Kyung Tae and Min Hee’s backgrounds – it’s likely they forged their identity. She heads to Kyung Tae’s home, and finds his basement of horrors.

 

Meanwhile, Kyung Tae leads Ji Hoon on a chase, leading him to their final destination where they can have their final showdown. He ends up at a dead end on an unfinished bridge, and limps towards the end of the bridge. Ji Hoon follows close behind.

Kyung Tae: What should we do now?

Ji Hoon: Let’s have fun, since we waited all this time.

Kyung Tae: You won’t save me, right?

Ji Hoon: Sorry.

Kyung Tae stifles his laughter; he said the same thing to Hee Joo when she begged to be saved. That sets Ji Hoon off, and he shoots Kyung Tae in the shoulder, and in the leg again.

 

Ye Ri’s colleague gets back to her with information: Kim Min Hee was actually the sister of Song Kyung Mi, the victim in Daejeon. Song Kyung Tae was the brother of Song Mi Joo, the one whose family was shamed into leaving. He had quit his job and started targeting the police as a reporter. As Bok Soon had said, the two definitely had lost someone – it’s just that they lashed out and took revenge on Ji Hoon. They were there during the protest in front of the police station, and saw how Ji Hoon had pushed Bok Soon aside. (How this scene is reenacted in Ye Ri’s mind is an awesome bit of frozen motion, where everyone is frozen in time and the camera just moves.)

They were chasing after F too out of their grief. They became monsters because of F. But Ye Ri wonders why Kyung Tae is letting everyone think he’s F.

Back at the bridge, Kyung Tae tells Ji Hoon to just end his life right then and there. That way, he can get rid of his guilt for being unable to protect his woman. But he wonders what Ji Hoon will do after he dies. Will Ji Hoon just die too?

 

Now that Ji Hoon is so riled up, Kyung Tae braces for the shot. And that’s when Ji Hoon realizes something. He hears Kyung Tae telling him to forget (as he must have overheard Kyung Tae telling Ye Ri), and hesitates to shoot. Kyung Tae: “Too bad there’s no music, the music Hee Joo and I listened to.” And Ji Hoon fires. And Kyung Tae falls.

 

Do Shik and Min Ho finally arrive at the bridge, but it’s too late. They check on Kyung Tae as Ji Hoon heads back to the car in a daze. But then, Kyung Tae gets up. Despite the excess of bleeding, Ji Hoon didn’t shoot to kill.

In a voice over, Ji Hoon says, “I’ll keep you alive. Stay alive. From now on, I’m going to start over, and I’ll show you that I can live away from the pain. So stay alive and watch me be happy. From now on, this will be your hell.”

Chapter 4: Reset – 1 year later

 

We go through a darkened hallway, most likely in a basement. Glass doors slide open, and it’s the new headquarters of Ten. Min Ho still has a small desk (no office), but a snazzy new look with brown dyed hair. Ye Ri has her own glass office, and an all new sophisticated sexy look. And Ji Hoon has his own glass office overlooking everyone else, dressed in a sharp suit and a bit of facial scruff. OH. SO. HOT.

But where’s Do Shik!?

Comments:

An interesting and thrilling finale to the F case, if we can call it a finale. The last minute twist was  a bit unexpected, since I really wanted the killer to be caught. But then again, if he were caught, there’s no reason for season 2. All Ten needed was a movie then. Also, as Ye Ri says, they never thought about other people wanting to take revenge, even though it’s a very likely possibility. After all, don’t we watch movies where the protagonist is a relative to a victim, and seeking vengeance on his own path parallel to the cops?

I thought it was a very nice way to emphasize the idea of how revenge can bring out the worst in us, and how killers can create more monsters in their likeness. This F Killer could be dead for all we know, or retired, but he’s spawned copycats who kill in the form of “wanting to find him.”

The last look that Ji Hoon gives to Kyung Tae is a bit confusing for me, as I interpreted it differently from what the script probably intends for us to do. When Kyung Tae closed his eyes, bracing for the bullet, he had this momentary look of fear, a look that said “I’m not really the killer, because if I were, I’d be laughing in the face of death, having played with Death so many times.” And when Ji Hoon saw that, I thought he realized that Kyung Tae wasn’t the killer. Kyung Tae is still guilty for killing Hee Joo, but he’s not the F Killer that Ji Hoon was obsessed with. And that’s why he doesn’t really kill him.

His inner monologue of “Stay alive” to the killer could be interpreted in two ways:

1) That he really thinks Kyung Tae is the killer, and that he’s going to keep him alive so that he can see Ji Hoon “forget” and move on past Hee Joo’s death. That would be torturous for Kyung Tae because the point is to get Ji Hoon a complete mess.

2) That he’s speaking to the still-phantom F Killer. He took Kyung Tae’s advice to forget to heart, and will spite the unknown F Killer by not chasing him anymore, and move on from Hee Joo’s death.

I’d like to think that Ji Hoon knows Kyung Tae isn’t the killer, and his monologue follows interpretation #2.

Now that it’s a year later, it looks like Special Affairs Team Ten has been re-formed. The biggest question is where Do Shik is, and I seriously hope he didn’t choose to retire.

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