So, I've done it: I have in earnest decided to do a recap. This is a big moment, because I once swore there would be no recaps on this blog - mainly because I wanted this blog to be revolutionary different from other blogs (yeah ... good luck with that) - and because there are so many awesome recappers out there already (Marketing 101: don't compete in fields where you have nothing much to offer). Good thing I only swore this to myself so that breaking the vow comes with zero consequences. And breaking it was almost natural, not least because of how much fun working on the When A Man Loves SqueeCaps is. True, true, I'm only the giffer there, but still ... What, you don't care about all this at all? Yeah, figures. Stop justifying that you're recapping this to yourself, kakashi. Nobody cares.
Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 1
Understand, Part 1We are back to where we left off before the epilogue last season - the abandoned warehouse, a terrified Ye-ri (Jo Ahn) looking the killer in the face, screaming from the top of her lungs, as he starts wrapping duct tape around her head, muffling her screams.
"Things that should be remembered are forgotten. Things that should be forgotten are remembered... What irony. Thus, the past is still our homework. Like the unspoken promise of a year ago ... the story of that winter ... the warehouse incident from before. It all starts from somewhere."(I cannot vouch for correctness, this is taken from the subs. Don't blame me if it sounds weird to you... It does to me, too! Could be deliberate, could be the subs) And rewind ... the same scene backwards so that it looks as if someone were unwrapping her head, followed by more fast flashbacks (some of which are in fact scenes from this very episode we are going to watch)...
... followed by a well-done summary of the last two episodes of Season 1. Everybody is up to date now!
***(Squee! So excited ... Seriously, I haven't waited for a second Season of anything that much, ever). Do-Shik (Kim Sang-ho) and Min-ho (Choi Woo-shik) sit in their enormous quasi-empty new office, discussing Ji-hoon's disappearance... (I notice immediately that Choi Woo-sik has a slightly different hairdo in comparison to Season 1. The hair is redder. I don't mind much, but I do mind a little: they could have guessed that some people would rewatch Season 1 and notice this!) ... and in walks Ye-ri! She is alive! Ouf, big sigh of relief. And okay, now I get the initial voice over ... well, no, I don't get it fully, but at least we now know that time did not flow linear in the two last episodes of Season 1. The duct tape wrapping in the warehouse seems to occur after the current events; as does her visit to Ji-hoon's apartment.
Finding the Hidden PictureThey put up stickers and photos and arrows and notes on all the walls around the large office space (it's pretty cool, really ... I will try this in my own office)...
Note: There is one conversation that seems to carry particular meaning: One of the victims had a sister, but she's AWOL. (In my years as a KDrama watcher, I have come to realize that clues about lost family members always have plot-relevance)
(after leaving a note for his father, which I cannot read because the subbers forgot to translate the note. Note to subbers: please always sub written language too! ... but laos7 has translated it for me, thanks! "Father, I stopped by home. Please eat well")
AwayObviously, Ji-hoon was not only a few steps but quite some leagues ahead of them. But all of the cases they have revisited so far were also his (and the killer's) "home ground" (in the outskirts of Seoul). They decide to take on the "away"-cases (which happened after the ones they have been revisiting). Their first stop takes them to Daejeon. For the Daejeon case, Ji-hoon was brought in from Seoul as the "ace" to help with the investigation (and it is also where we first met the now chief / superior of Ji-hoon in Season 1). "Them" is Ye-ri and Do-shik... Min-ho has to stay at home ("the ticket is too expensive"). Min-ho is offended - and much more so when Do-shik tells him he has "a cow's reverse luck", i.e. only finds things by luck. Haha, Ye-ri makes such a cute cow-sign:
It seems not to have been just one, but two leaks. The first trail leads them to ... the boss-boss, Ji-hoon's boos (not sure what he is, exactly. Not Chief of Police, but chief of homicide maybe?). This wouldn't be our obnoxious TEN team if they wouldn't wait in front of his house and confront him with this new knowledge of theirs! Well, to say the least, he's pretty cool with it and even laughs at Do-shik for playing detective late at night. I've always liked his character a lot. Glad he doesn't really seem to be a bad guy (as some suspected after Season 1), even though Ye-ri senses that he is hiding something.
The next murder that happened after that and to which the TEN team turns its attention now is the "Room 101" case: Ji-hoon's girlfriend. And while this case should have been the most important to Ji-hoon, he has collected almost no information about it. Strange ...
Death and the MaidenMin-ho and Do-shik start at the crime scene: Room 101. Min-ho thinks he's late and is totally relieved when he hears from the officers guarding the place that nobody has gone it. Ha! But White Snake is already in, giving poor Min-ho a bad fright. So, how did he get in without being seen? Min-ho wants to know. Not a question of how, Do-shik says, but when. In order to not be seen by the surveillance equipment the police had put up, killer "F" had but one option: to already be in the hotel when they set it all up. And when the fire alarm started, he slipped away. But where? Why did he not get caught by the guards? He must have either disguised as one of the guests - or as one of the detectives. Do-shik orders Min-ho to go get alibis from every single person at the crime scene that night.
In Hee-joo's room, Ye-ri sees a lot of photos; of her and Ji-hoon, but also one in which she is at a gathering (I guess it is at the volunteer organization the mother talked about). From some fliers, Ye-ri learns the name of that organization: "Han-eul". Next, she picks up an LP (there's a note, from Ji-hoon, and laos7 says it reads: "Shubert 'Death and the Maiden'. I finally chose the best classical track. Congratulations on the 27th birthday of Hee Joo, Ji Hoon ^^ 2004.04.09). It's Death and the Maiden (A Schubert String Quartet, one of my favorite pieces of music since I was very little). She also notices two pictures in the room, depicting Death with a Maiden (the first is by Egon Schiele, the second by Hans Baldung Grien)
Do-shik looks at the camera footage again and freezes the picture on Ji-hoon:
"Camouflage. The best camouflage. A murderer who kills people disguises himself as detective who chases murderers."And in waltzes the police (the new investigator team for the F cases): they need to come with them (love how they come in and own this space - had to gif it!)
All three TEN-members are interrogated separately. How well did they know Ji-hoon? Did they ever wonder why he chose them? Did they know he did thorough background checks of all of them?
And then, the bomb: Ji-hoon was the prime suspect in his own girlfriend's murder and is the prime suspect for the dead woman in Room 101 (by the name of Kim Min-hee). Most importantly, there is a car video, taken around the time of the Room 101 victim's death, in front of her house.
The man stepping out of the house is ... Ji-hoon!!
Thoughts and Comments
The twist makes up for the slight disappointment I felt in the other "twist", which wasn't a twist at all: our three team members finding out that they are all connected to the Daejeon case. The problem with that moment (though really nicely filmed) is that we, the audience, knew that for a very long time (over a year, in fact!) So it's not at all a surprise to us. This is something we get in KDrama quite often: big things are revealed to the characters much later than to us. That can be very annoying, if it is dragged on for too long. Which it wasn't here, thankfully.
And in a way, I also understand why this moment was needed in this episode. First of all, it ties back to Season 1 and the four individual stories we saw of them, seven years ago. This would be particularly useful for people who have not (re)watched Season 1. Second, this moment was used to show us that Ji-hoon has of course selected these members very carefully (though I am not entirely sure I understand why these people yet). Also, Ji-hoon's obsession is foregrounded, as it becomes clear that the TEN team (set up to solve very difficult cases on paper), was always his tool to ultimately help with the F-cases. Fourth, I guess this episode was about forgotten memories overall. This theme was very nicely played out. Realizing what they have forgotten strengthens the team's collective identity.
Finally: I obviously don't believe that Ji-hoon is the killer, because that wouldn't make much sense, would it? Or ... maybe it does make sense?? This show has been able to surprise me more than many other shows I have seen in my life. So ... couldn't he in fact be a (if not the) killer? He has clearly shown pretty crazy behavior before (i.e. when he duct tapes poor Min-ho in order to do a time estimate). But then there are the monologues ... good thing we have those. Both the one at the end of Season 1 and the one at the beginning of Season 2 let me hope very much that this is all a big misunderstanding and our hot predator detective is not a bad guy. Okay, he is a bad guy of sorts. But I mean he is just a sexy bad boy and not a really bad killer.
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 1
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 2
- Summary and Analysis of the Tape Murder Arch
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 3
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 4
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 5
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 6
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 7
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 8
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 9
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 10
- Recap of Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 11
- Recap of Sepcial Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 12