Special Affairs Team TEN 2: Episode 6

Finally – we focus on motives other than revenge! I have to say, the beginning intrigued me, and the final act failed to impress. But I think it was because I had a different hope and expectation for the episode, of which I’ll discuss later. Here is episode 6 – “Modigliani’s Women.”

It’s late at night, and a random man walks down the empty alleyways. He suddenly turns around as if he heard a sound, but there’s no one there. He continues walking his way. Little does he know, there’s a rape happening just around the corner as a man holds the woman by the knifepoint at her neck.

Daytime. Do Shik is on another one of his blind dates. He waits, reading a book to both ease his anxiety and cover his face. To pick up a call from Min Ho – who’s urgently requesting his assistance on a new murder case – Do Shik drops his book. It’s picked up by his date, who’s at once both learned (she knows the first line to the book he’s reading) and beautiful (since Do Shik can’t take his eyes off of her). YAY – a good date for Do Shik!

Min Ho won’t stop calling, so Do Shik throws the book and the phone on an empty seat beside them. Unfortunately, since he is a “public official,” he can’t ignore his duties for long.

Chapter 1: The Rose War

Ji Hoon and Chief Jung check out the crime scene at a private sauna – the kind in the locker rooms, not the public jjimjilbang. Blood marks are on the walls indicating that the victim was bleeding as he scratched the doors and walls, seeking freedom. During Sung Jae Min’s murder, the sauna temperature was at a stifling 140 degrees. The victim happened to be a litigation lawyer for patents against large companies.

Ji Hoon notices that there’s a slim window in the sauna, and right outside it is an armchair directly facing it. It appears the chair was also deliberately moved, so the murderer watched his victim die. Chief Jung believes that the murder involves the parties in his recent case, of which has cost a lot of money. Ji Hoon thinks otherwise.

Do Shik leaves his date a little flustered, and leaves his phone behind. Instead of going back to get it though, he hails down a police car and requests a ride to the murder scene in Gangnam.

Min Ho is in a field where Jae Min’s car was abandoned. Apparently it arrived at the house with the sauna Friday night, then left the area Saturday 5:38 am. The car was then abandoned in it’s current location.

Ji Hoon heads to the autopsy lab, where Yoo Rim informs him that his body began suffering from burn marks due to the heat, but basically suffocated to death early Saturday morning. A drug that causes one to fall asleep, or even die depending on the use, was found in Jae Min’s body, and was injected in his ankle.

Ye Ri visits Sung Jae Min’s office and meets his secretary, who doesn’t note of any bad blood between the lawyer and any parties involved in his recent cases. She does mention that the wife called two to three times last night, but didn’t bother speaking to him when the secretary offered to transfer the call.

A snow globe on the secretary’s desk does reveal that the secretary and the lawyer had a close relationship because he gave her the gift, but they never had an affair. The lawyer was too scared to cheat on his wife, especially after “that incident.” Turns out, his wife had suffered the same accident about a month ago. Ye Ri calls up Min Ho to have him check on it, then says “See you later!” Is there a budding spark between the two!?!?


Do Shik arrives at a jewel store, where the wife of the deceased is already wailing scandalously. It turns out he went to the wrong crime scene, and lands on a robbery/murder case handled by former colleagues. It’s a strange case, as it involves the robber expertly escaping unnoticed after his murder, and then even leaving the ransacked goods out in the open for the cops to locate.

He finds that the most expensive jewels in the store are still locked up in the safe, so Do Shik arrives at the conclusion that the robbery was just done to disguise the murder. He checks the CCTV tapes, but they don’t show anyone leaving during the time of the murder.

Ye Ri visits Mrs. Song, who’s strangely calm and insistent that Ye Ri try her tea. Mrs. Song is of the superstitious sort, but she’s also already lost her daughter in a school accident (drowning during a trip) and so it kind of makes sense she’d believe in ghosts. Ye Ri wants to see Jae Min’s room, but it’s locked, and Mrs. Song can’t find the key for it. She doesn’t try very hard to look for it either, which makes her even more suspicious looking.

The Ten team (minus Do Shik) round up at the office. Min Ho doesn’t have any new information about when and where the victim was kidnapped, since the murderer took the car’s black box before abandoning it. He also notes that the wife was locked in the same sauna a month ago, but it wasn’t really an emergency. Ji Hoon: “The situation may not have been, but the pain she may have felt is subjective (and might have felt like an emergency).”

Then, Jae Min’s lawyer comes to visit with the will. It turns out that Jae Min handed all of his possessions to the government, and ordered for an autopsy and investigation into his death. Hm…

Do Shik can’t stop being nosy about the jewelry murder case, and so he checks out the crime scene again. He realizes that the back entrance lights up automatically when you step into its small foyer. He checks back in the video footage and discovers that right after the killer bludgeoned the victim, Kim Kil Soo, he didn’t leave right away; the foyer didn’t light up. It was only thirty minutes later when the light went on, and the suspect left.

Knowing that the murder had to have left him bloody, Do Shik deduces that the suspect escaped through the stairs. He sees a bit of blood smeared on the stair’s banister and starts climbing up. However, the doors to each floor don’t open from the stairwell side. Do Shik keeps climbing up and up, wondering when he’ll get to a floor where the door will open. He rests on the seventh floor, exhausted. But he must forge onwards! Just as he gets up to climb another flight of stairs, the doors to the seventh floor open. Do Shik grabs the door before it closes; he’s ended up on the movie theater floor, and people are exiting the theater after a movie.

He heads back to the CCTV room and finds that a movie had ended 9:30 that night. That means, the suspect was able to blend in with the movie-going crowd, and, since it was raining that night, hide his face with an umbrella. Do Shik’s got a mastermind criminal in his hands.

Chapter 2: Blue-Eyed Lady

Suspicious of the wife, Mrs. Song, they start investigating her a little more closely. They discover that her mother-in-law Choi Soon Ja was killed on the street after being hit on the back of the head by a brick on January 15, 2005. Five days after the funeral, she and her husband registered their marriage, and added their two-year-old daughter to her husband’s family registry. It appears that the mother-in-law opposed their union.

Then in October 2010, two months after their daughter died in an accident, the preschool principal, who had denied any responsibility for the death, wrote a letter of apology and committed suicide in the Han River. Soon after that, Jae Min wrote his will; it seems that he started fearing his wife then.

Are all the deaths coincidence? Either way, Ji Hoon needs to meet her first.

Do Shik talks to his victim’s wife, Hyun Ji Hye, who’s drunk out of her mind at a bar. Ji Hye had no idea about her husband’s death, and Do Shik learns from the bar owner that Ji Hye is not really the most lady-like woman out there. Her husband treated her really well because she was his trophy wife.

Min Ho is busy trying to track down Jae Min’s movements. It seems that he went to a particular cafe that had no CCTV cameras, and ordered a shaved ice dessert. He waited for nearly an hour and a half, but there seemed to be no sign of who he was meeting. Min Ho looks through the CCTV tapes at the mall again, and then notices a security guard eating a burger. He calls up Yoo Rim to see what lab results came back regarding Jae Min’s stomach; Jae Min had eaten a hamburger and soda as his last meal. That means, it wasn’t Jae Min at the cafe, purchasing the shaved ice – it was the killer.

As Min Ho celebrates his new find, he bumps into Do Shik, who’s at the same mall investigating his crime. They find it odd that both just happen to have murder cases that lead them to the same mall; for Do Shik, the crime happened there. For Min Ho, the murderer for his case went there. How are they connected?

Min Ho wants to get to the bottom of his case without Do Shik’s assistance or theories; for once, he wants to be the one to figure things out! But even though he wants recognition, he’s still the youngest in the team, and Do Shik has him checking up on Hyun Ji Hye. Haha!

Ji Hoon meets with Mrs. Song, and she understands that he suspects her for her husband’s murder. She admits that her marriage wasn’t always smooth. When she had her own sauna incident, she felt that her husband had abandoned her as well because he kept walking away. Mrs. Song also has no real alibi, because she claims to have gone walking during the time of the murder.

So Ji Hoon shows her Jae Min’s will; it comes to a shock to her that he wouldn’t leave her anything. Ji Hoon asks, “Are you happy? Everyone you hate has died.” Mrs. Song doesn’t reply, but only says, “If the person you hate dies, do you think you would be happy?” Unhappily, she leaves the interrogation room, not caring whether they wish to hold her back or not.

Meanwhile, Do Shik is still investigating his victim’s wife, Hyun Ji Hye. With the help of another officer on the Ten team, Eun Jung, he discovers that she was trying to take out a large loan, and each time she did so, she’d call a number that was untraceable and used to belong to a now-deceased grandmother. Just as Do Shik is figuring this all out, a restaurant owner hangs up the phone for him; Do Shik has been using the restaurant’s phone! Instead of going back to retrieve his phone, he’s been using anyone’s spare phone!

And that includes using the restaurant’s delivery boy’s cellphone next.

Do Shik tracks Ji Hye down to an underground spa where it’s likely they use illegal and highly expensive medicine for their clients. This is where Ji Hye spends all her money extravagantly. He also contacts his friend, Ban Dal (or, Half-Moon), at a boxing gym for information about the killer. It’s likely he came from China along with some hit men/loan sharks.

The rest of the Ten team gathers in the office, and Min Ho shares his findings. The killer had used Jae Min’s card at the coffee shop, which indicates that he caught up to Jae Min somewhere between the house and the coffee shop. In one of the CCTV cameras overlooking the house’s garage, Ji Hoon notices the car exiting jerkily. It was as if the driver was not used to the car’s braking; if Jae Min were driving his own car, he wouldn’t make such jerky turns. That indicates that the killer drove the car, and now they have to go find out who he is.

After they leave, that’s when Do Shik arrives. He only finds Eun Jung, so he enlists her help to go through a bunch of robbery-murder cases that have been left unsolved. The first case occurred on January 2005, and another case on October 2010. Those dates ring a bell with Eun Jung. She shows Do Shik the other Ten team members’ whiteboard for their case; on the same day of the robbery-murder in January 15, 2005, Mrs. Song’s mother-in-law was killed. On the same day of the robbery-murder in October 9, 2010, the school principal committed suicide. Coincidence? I think not.

Ji Hoon and Ye Ri head to Mrs. Song’s house and check out the garage. He believes that as soon as Jae Min exited the car, he was injected with a drug by the killer, and then tossed into the trunk while unconscious. Mrs. Song is a likely suspect, since she herself admitted that she does not drive often (and it would explain the jerky car turns). However, Ye Ri adds that Mrs. Song does have an alibi; at the time of this kidnapping, Mrs. Song was seen in the CCTV of a train station, where she had gone to take her walk.

Ji Hoon looks around the neighborhood, wondering if anyone else in the area would have noticed Jae Min’s daily schedule. He spots a dark apartment across the street, and goes to check it out.

Chapter 3: Occupation and Project Activity

Ye Ri and Ji Hoon enter the empty apartment and find a lot of paintings in the small, dark room. There is a clear view overlooking Jae Min’s garage. The grandmother who’s renting the apartment out says that the renter also went on a trip to China. Ye Ri notices that most of the paintings are of women without their eyes, but one catches her eye – it’s the same one as she saw in Mrs. Song’s home.

Before they can question Mrs. Song further, Do Shik calls them all back with his findings. It appears that there has been one killer who would kill anyone with money lending issues, and then kill someone connected to Mrs. Song. For this particular case, he had drugged Jae Min, headed to the mall to kill the jeweler Kim Kil Soo, then hid until he could blend in with the exiting movie crowd, and then killed Jae Min in the sauna.

The question now becomes, why is the killer targeting people near Mrs. Song? They have one suspect: Do Sung Gyu, a Korean-Chinese who came to Korea in 2004 with a student visa and is in process of legally staying in the country. During the murders in 2005 and 2010, he was (conveniently) out in China. Do Shik believes that someone with Sung Gyu’s passport left the country to create this alibi. It also now appears that Mrs. Song might just be an accomplice to these murders, considering that the dead are people she hated.

So Ji Hoon and Ye Ri revisit Mrs. Song, who has no idea who the person killing the people she hated was, though she was curious. Ye Ri checks out a book of Modigliani’s artwork in the home; based on the style of paintings, she realizes that Sung Gyu must have liked Modigliani a lot, and only drew the eyes of the woman who ever understood his soul, his wife Jeanne.

Ye Ri shows Mrs. Song and Ji Hoon a painting done in the style of Modigliani. Mrs. Song remembers that painting; one day in the park, she, her husband, and her daughter passed by a street painter – Do Sung Gyu. He painted their family portrait, and it must have been then that he fell in love at first sight. He’s only ever been able to paint in Mrs. Song’s eyes.

As Do Shik and Min Ho check out Sung Gyu’s pad, Min Ho gets a call from Ban Dal meant for Do Shik. Never mind how Ban Dal got the number – he’s discovered something important. The gang of loan sharks are running around the neighborhood in search of Do Sung Gyu. Ban Dal thinks something is going to happen in Incheon Port soon too.

It’s puzzling why one man is killing for two entirely different motives, but Ji Hoon believes the only way to get the killer is to draw him out. And that means using Mrs. Song as bait. She herself doesn’t understand why she’s being targeted, and even though her “enemies” have been killed, she hates him. However, she must help the Ten team, and Ji Hoon gives her a note with a time and place to meet.

The team then heads out to set up a trap. Using Eun Jung as decoy and dressed as Mrs. Song, they head to Namsan Tower in the hope that Sung Gyu will meet them there. However, during the stakeout, Min Ho gets a call that Sung Gyu is dead – he had drowned, falling out of a boat coming in to Incheon Port. That means the loan sharks didn’t get to him yet — or they just killed his alibi so that when Sung Gyu is really dead, no one would know.

Ye Ri reinvestigates Sung Gyu’s home, and notices that he had insomnia (lots of bottles) and anxiety (he hid a long knife under his pillow). She then hears a rumbling outside; it’s Mrs. Song, opening the garage and driving away from her house. Mrs. Song was going through her old pictures of her daughter when she realized something. Looks like she’s going to find the killer by herself.

The cops guarding Mrs. Song make chase in their car, while Ye Ri notifies Ji Hoon. The police all head out, in search of Mrs. Song.

She makes her way to a small street that forks into two alleyways, and takes the right path. When Ye Ri arrives to see Mrs. Song’s car empty, she takes the left path. The cops arrive later and split up down the two paths.

Mrs. Song seems to know exactly where she wants to go, and she walks right past the alley where Sung Gyu is hiding. The two of them face each other without fear – in fact, Sung Gyu seems almost relieved to see her. As for Ye Ri, she’s still on the search, and walks right past another man who holds a knife behind his back. Suspicious, she follows him to see who he is looking for.

Sung Gyu turns around and leaves Mrs. Song, only to see the armed man. He reaches into his shirt’s inner pocket, but right then, the armed man stabs Sung Gyu in the gut. This suspect makes a run for it, but is quickly caught and arrested by Do Shik. As for Sung Gyu, he grips a folded paper tightly and dies before Ye Ri’s eyes.

A questioning follows the incident, as the Ten team tries to get to the bottom of the case. Ye Ri questions Mrs. Song on why they met at that particular alleyway. It turns out, the rape that we saw in the first couple of minutes had happened years ago. Mrs. Song’s daughter was terribly sick, and so she had gone searching for an open pharmacy late in the night. On her way back home, she got caught by Sung Gyu, who wanted to rape her.

Instead of resisting, Mrs. Song told him to get it over with as quickly as possible. She’ll comply, but she just needs to hurry back home and give her daughter medicine. Her willingness to be raped for the sake of saving and protecting her daughter hit Sung Gyu hard. It made him realize what kind of vermin he had become. He slowly let her go, and Mrs. Song thanked him before leaving. (She thanked him…)

Ye Ri shows Mrs. Song what Sung Gyu held before he died. It’s a painting of her, with her eyes. He clearly connected with her, and wanted to make sure she’d live happily. Seeing her hurt by people around her propelled him to “protect” her and kill those who hurt her. Ye Ri asks if Sung Gyu gave any last words to her.

When they faced each other on that alleyway, Sung Gyu apologized to her, as he wouldn’t be able to protect her anymore. He tried to give her the painting he made, but Mrs. Song rejected him. By “protecting” her, she lost everything she cared about. She wasn’t grateful for his actions at all, so Sung Gyu turned and left. And met his untimely death.

As for the man who killed Sung Gyu, he only did it because he needed to support his two younger sisters. He even gives up the measly amount he was paid to push Sung Gyu’s alibi off the boat, and then stab Sung Gyu himself.

Do Shik leaves the case behind, and visits the pet store where his blind date works as a veterinarian. He stays outside, watching her through the window. A student crouches next to him, looking at the puppy by the window, and asks Do Shik if she’s cute. He absent-mindedly replies that she is, and wants to take her home right away.

Next thing he knows, the student goes in the store and yells, “Mom! There’s a man outside who wants the puppy!” Haha!

His blind date hands him back his phone, and helps treat the cut on his forehead. And, it’s the start of date #2.

Comments:

Love and money are the name of the game in this episode of Ten. It’s one episode where I really felt bad for the suspect, and almost wished he could have a happier ending than just a sudden death. Though Sung Gyu was by no means good, he was also quite sympathetic as an outsider who had no idea how to express love. The idea of a strong protector who would kill for the woman he loves is both gory and twisted-ly romantic too. Though I understand Mrs. Song’s anger and hatred towards him (he did almost rape her) I almost wish she could understand him, because he’s a tortured artist too.

It feels wrong to sympathize with him for so many reasons, and yet I still do.

I do think that this episode was going to go on a different path. I had half-expected it to be like “Strangers on a Train,” the Alfred Hitchcock movie where two strangers concoct the perfect plan to kill someone close to the other, and get away with murder. Mrs. Song and Hyun Ji Hye might have come up with a plan to have each others’ husbands killed. It would have been terribly obvious, but perfectly sinister and interesting to see this drama’s take on that Hitchcock classic film. Maybe next time…

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