Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 3 (Recap)

And on we go with recapping this delight! It seems that brevity is not my specialty ... I am working on that. Even though I don't really see the point in being brief about this show. It is too good to be brief about ... TEN has interesting cases, of course, but TEN is so much more: It is about a set of complicated characters and their relationships and each episode reveals a little more about one or several of them. This episode is mainly about Yeo Ji-hoon again. We are back to his past, but way before the F cases. And we are back to the here and now and his attempt to move on. Let's see how deals with that ...

Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 3

A feather falls. A man speaks: He is giving a lecture in front of a room full of policemen. "When you see the rotten body of a child", he says, "it is hard to show respect or manners. You will start treating people like objects. But the moment you lose your composure when facing a culprit is the moment the investigation goes south" (Okay,  he didn't say "goes south", but I like that expression. And you wanna bet this dude taught Yeo Ji-hoon?) The professor ends class with this little (well-known) joke: "You never know where and when you are going to die; so always wear clean underwear" (exactly what I do cause I already know this to be a fact)

He then rides his bike, goes and eats noodles all alone, gets a haircut (and falls asleep in the chair), gets his shoes shined, and, finally, goes back to the office, where he looks out the window, smiling a faint smile, drinking tea. He checks his watch: It's ten to three. The date is March 6, and there is an appointment marked in his calendar on the desk for 3 pm. The grandfather clock in the hallway chimes 3 times ... and right after the third stroke, a shot echoes through the police academy, startling the recruits. The professor is dead in his chair. A smoking gun is lying next to him on the floor. He has killed himself ...  
Counterattack of the Lonely

A phone on a nightstand buzzes and a sexy hand reaches for it (yeah, okay, I know whose hand it is already, and I admit a hand isn't sexy just by itself). Both belong to Yeo Ji-hoon, who is in bed, sporting a new goatee. Or at least a trace of one. It does look mighty manly and I am beginning to sweat already ... I am not a fan of facial hair, not at all ... but this? hmmmmmm...
He reads the text and his eyes go wide with emotion. He gets up, only to reveal a naked woman beside him. I don't think we know her, but she has a very nice back. This actress may in fact have been chosen just for her back.
There is a text message (but it is not translated so I need to wait for laos7 to do it for me :). I'm assuming it contains the news about the professor death plus an invitation to his funeral. As suspected, Ji-hoon knew him, and well at that: He is saddened by the news. Or maybe he is thinking: Why always me?
We are at his funeral next, where a student in uniform reads his farewell note: 
"I will die on the first Wednesday in March. The blade of a living death stabbed me three times, finally causing me to die. Even though I'm dead I am living through all of you, so my death is not in vain. When you touch the sorrow inside the dried blood, the torn skin is recovering ... and in the fractured bones, that's where you will find me."
Yeah, I guess our professor was into mysteries ... Or this is a really bad translation (subs may be official, but I do prefer viki subs to be honest). Ji-hoon listens to a bunch of students talking disrespectful of professor Kang Yoon-goo, leaning against the wall with his usual haughty facial expression. Looking hot in his suit (yeah, okay, I'll cut down on the squeeeee-comments). A woman comes in with a white rose. The students suspect it was a lover of the professor's or a "pure love", but Ji-hoon corrects them, very annoyed, that a white rose symbolize respect. He then pushes past them, rudely. I really love his attitude. He is my role model. And I love him. I want to be like him when I grow up.
Being the doubting detective-super-brain that he is, the goes to professor Kang's office next, to have a look around. A student comes in after him, telling him off for being there, but only until the student recognizes him and becomes super respectful. Obviously, professor Kang has talked a lot about Ji-hoon and he is really famous among detective-students. The student immediately let's Ji-hoon know that he doesn't think it was suicide. To kill himself with a gun doesn't match Professor Kang's style. Hanging, electrocution: yes, but shooting himself in the head? too messy for the professor.
But Ji-hoon tells him everything checks out: the gun powder on the fingers, the handwriting on the note, the camera footage ... Ji-hoon opens the drawers in the desk and pulls out a hotel receipt (yeah, my Korean is good enough to read that! Take that, subbers!). Then he looks at it sexily. 
Next up, autopsy lady also confirms: everything is pointing to the fact that this is a suicide, not a murder. Ji-hoon notices weird smoldering marks near the wound. Yes, Seo Yoo-rim agrees, that's a bit strange, because people who shoot themselves normally hold the gun much closer to the temple, in which case there are no smoldering marks. But it is absolutely certain: he did pull the trigger with his own hand. When Ji-hoon leaves, she wants to know whether he is still seeing the girl from before. Poor autopsy lady ... He goes (sexily): "I never meet the same girl twice. It's tiring". Oh, you sexy bad boy... And she muses to herself that this means that he has no reason to see her again, either. Yeah, face it. He's over you. In fact, he just used to to get F or rather not-F. Ye-ri warned you, didn't she?
Yeo Ji-hoon goes to the hotel/apartment building next. He looks at the receipt he got from the professor's drawer and has a memory of a lecture he himself visited. Professor Kang says in voice over, as Ji-hoon enters the building and the apartment:
"Will you see the truth or will you know the truth? Do you think you can just forget that one moment of doubt? You will find yourself thinking about that doubt constantly and that doubt will grow bigger over time. Until later, it will erode your entire soul"
 Woah, hidden meaning and resonance with what happened to Yeo Ji-hoon during the F cases!
"When a sharp thought passes through your head, you will need to overcome the obstacle of confirmation and verification. When you finally pass the countless obstacles, you will reach the bottom of the truth of human beings. Let's decide: Either you become a petty police, who becomes the monster's bait, living a life without ambition. Or: You can become a bold police who can swallow the monster."
Ji-hoon walks through the empty apartment, looking at everything. There's a book without a cover, on the stairs ... it is partially ripped, and there is blood on it. The hotel does not do CCTV, so there's no footage of who entered the apartment building.
At this moment, I notice how prettily Joo Sang-wook scowls. But never mind, I promised to cut down on the fangirling (am trying! really!). He gets a phone call by that weird student of professor Kang's (does he have a name?), who says he is at a murder site. Ji-hoon sexily rushes to that place, through a not very reputable area of Seoul. If I were one of these ladies, I wouldn't have let him pass that easily. Just saying.
They are at a rooftop apartment, with a gigantic blood stain smeared throughout. The student-without-a-name goes on talking, talking, talking, saying how he said it wasn't a suicide but murder, and this is the proof, when Ji-hoon kicks him sexily into the shin, effectively shutting the annoying brat off. He demands to know how he got here and whom he followed to get here. The kid hands him an envelope: he found it at the hotel where Professor Kang was staying. The bloody script was delivered in it.
At that moment, a delivery man on the rooftop shouts for somebody: Ji-hoon goes out and takes the package, which is for somebody named Yang Sang-man. He lies to get it and says he is Yang Sang-man. You sexy liar, you. It contains the same book/script, only this time, intact. The handwriting on both envelopes is the same.

The chapters of the book are as follows:
Chapter 1: The Life of a Stranger
Chapter 2: Secret Note
Chapter 3: The Counterattack of the Lonely. 

Ah, some sweet interaction between Min-ho and Ye-ri. He wonders with a devious smile to himself whether all this nagging affection is ... something more? Hm, sorry, but I doubt it very much, Min-ho. Ye-ri is a bit too mature for you.

CCTV footage from the post office. A well disguised man with a hat and in a coat is sending one of the envelopes. He only sent one piece of mail, a woman at the post office tells Min-ho, and there is no receipt. At another post office, the same man is seen, but is identified as Yang San-man. Both videos show the same date, by the way. And the same man, I would say.
On the rooftop, Ji-hoon and the weird student talk to the building representative. He has no idea who lived there. There was no contract and only payment in cash. The nameless-student-brat continues to be annoying. But then, Ye-ri appears! Hooray! The yellow police-tape is about the only colorful thing in this universe, by the way. It is really bleak, our TEN world. She wants to know from her boss whether the victim's identity has been confirmed. Yeo Ji-hoon states (sexily) that he has no clue about anything.
The annoying student-with-no-name says, with a deep sigh, "there's so many things to find", and Ye-ri looks at him sideways, kinda like: who the f are you? Ji-hoon has something else in mind and declares that he is going to Professor Kang's "crime" scene again. He touches Ye-ri's shoulder as he leaves. Hm. That gesture is kinda interesting ...

Back at Prof Kang's office, with the student-brat. They look at things, over and over. Ji-hoon notices something while comparing a picture of Kang with the real world: A book is missing from the bookshelf. It's the book he found at the apartment, with the blood stains. Ji-hoon tries the old phone trick: which number was dialed last? it is 011-992-1131, dialed on 2:57 pm. The number doesn't connect, though.
Annoying student says that Professor Kang often said that Ji-hoon was just like him. He did, Ji-hoon says, kind of ... melancholic? Or agreeing? Ji-hoon finds a lottery ticket in the waste basket next. Some numbers are circled red. But they are not the winning numbers, neither this nor last week.
Ye-ri is at the apartment with the gigantic blood stain, doing what she does best: checking everything out. She sees a movie poster on the wall: Basic Instinct. She comments how old this movie is... (yeah, how old is it?) While mimicking Basinger, she discovers that there is blood behind the poster. She jumps up and tries the TV set, the stereo, the fridge ... everything is old, she realizes ... This wasn't an apartment at all ... it is a set! A set to recreate the past!
In the meantime, Ji-hoon is reshuffling the numbers, not getting anywhere. Don't tell me you weren't good at math, Ji-hoon? Want to have some private tutoring? When Ye-ri calls him to share her latest revelation about the rooftop apartment, he solves the puzzle immediately. 1992: the year ... and the numbers need to be reshuffled ...

1992-011131 is a police case number!!

Assemble at the office! Haha, I love Min-ho ... FINALLY somebody asks who the annoying brat-student is. And Ji-hoon says: "He is the self proclaimed ace of the Police Academy."

Silence all around the table - and raised eyebrows. Haha, guys, you are awesome. But I would LOVE to know where Do-shik is. Yeah, he is not there, and we have all noticed ... so how about you effing tell us, show?! We want "The Viper"!!

Min-ho starts the briefing. In 1992, a pimp called Yang Sang-man and his rival, Jung Nam-soo argued over territory and money ... resulting in the murder of Yang Sang-man. Jung Nam-soo lied about being fishing at that time: In truth, he killed Yang Sang-man with his knife, then bound the body with fishing line, put him in a suitcase, and drowned it in a lake. Detective Kang Yoon-goo (=the dead professor) was able to solve this case in only 2 days, resulting in Jung Nam-soo going to prison for a long time. Min-ho shows the old evidence pictures from 1992, with very similar clues from the rooftop set: a slipper, a knife, fishing rods ...
"Wait!" sexy Ji-hoon says. "Go back!" ... and "Stop".
Something has caught his attention ... but of course Ji-hoon doesn't tell anybody what he is thinking, he just rushes off.

Detective Kang Yoon-goo

The whole team, including the annoying brat-student, are back at the rooftop crime-scene. Min-ho cracks me up, because he steps right into the blood stain. Ji-hoon picks up a woman's slipper that is lying on the floor. This was different in the past crime scene, he states: It was a man's slipper and much bigger. Min-ho confirms it excitedly. And there is one other thing that was not there in the past crime: a bag full of fishing equipment. But not fresh water equipment... sea water.
Is this a coincidence? Ji-hoon asks. (Duh. I forgive you for asking such an obvious question, because you are so sexy. And because you put the bag right into the blood, where it sticks, when Min-ho pulls it off).

The criminal is obviously leaving a message, making the point that there was false evidence back then. Indeed, back in 1992, the fishing rod was the most critical evidence. But Nam-soo was only into sea fishing. The evidence back then was lake fishing equipment. That, says, Ji-hoon (and I guess I must believe him, though I am a little bit confused) proves that Jung Nam-soo is innocent and did not put the body into the lake (= fresh water equipment).

Oh-oh ... What is Professor Kang's role in all of this? Well, it seems he had a very dodgy role to play ... probably deliberately manipulating evidence, when he was still only a detective. Was it the one that went to prison for 20 years innocently, then, who decorated this set and killed Professor Kang? To take revenge for the unfairness? And that would mean: the next target would be the real killer of back then. But ... who died in the new rooftop murder? Let's go dig in the reservoir, suggests Ji-hoon, and let's find Cinderella: the one the red slipper belongs to. The one setting up this set probably means to suggest the owner of the slipper is the murderer - and she might well be the next target.
Ji-hoon sits in the funeral hall, on the floor, deep in thought. Yeah, this must suck. And you really don't have it easy, Ji-hoon ... first, the whole mess with F and your girlfriend, and now, the professor you adored is not clean at all, but probably faked evidence? As so often when he is in a bind, it is Ji-hoon's boss that comes to talk to him. Yes, this criminal arrest in 48 hours ... it made Professor Kang a legend over night, and he got promoted quickly. Boss tells Ji-hoon to forget it. They were all like that back then (corrupt, he means). Leave it alone, forget. But Ji-hoon can't. Yup, show: He can't. He is not one to forget easily.

They go dive in the lake next - and find a suitcase. Yikes, there is female hair dangling out of it!! But the suitcase does not contain a body ... it only contains clothing, shoes (the same size as the red slipper), a knife, and a wig. A dress with a number, worn at brothels (so ... how do you know, Ji-hoon?! You also go to brothels?! Man, you are quite, uhm ... active, are you?!)
Ye-ri visits someone at the prison (or probation?) authorities. No inmates with the name of Jung Nam-soo were released. Yeah ... cause he wasn't yet! He is still in prison, for a little while longer! Yeah, shoot ... you do no longer have a suspect, do you? And, in typical TEN-style, another clue comes in right at that moment... the lab has called. The blood at the rooftop crime-scene is ... pig's blood. Oh, and now ... you don't even have a murder? Haha, TEN team, you can go on holidays!

Annoying brat (Ha! The student's name is revealed as Lee-ho) calls Ji-hoon in the car (he is with Ye-ri ... one of those rather uncomfortable car rides between the two, where they don't speak, and she steals side-way glances at him (which I would, too)) to once again prattle on about how the Professor did not fake anything, blablabla, until Ji-hoon cuts him off, rudely, and steps on the gas pedal angrily.

The Revenge is Mine

They are at the prison. Ye-ri watches how Jung Nam-soo is led away (to see Ji-hoon) from behind some bars and then goes up to his cell.

Min-ho is at the brothel in the meantime, trying to be like "The Viper". No, show, not nice of you. Do not remind us that Do-shik is AWOL!! Min-ho is so uncomfortable ... the bordello queen licks the spoon she just used to stir her tea and then uses it to stir his. Oh my god, why is this so gross?! Ohhhhh .... puppy drinks it. He drinks it! He is so brave!!!
Who wore #4, he wants to know? He knows that this number is only worn by girls especially singled-out negatively by the pimps. Wrong, the madam says. Girls who were loved by pimps wore #4. The ones hated or with debt were #7. Oh. Who was the girl the dead Yang Sang-man liked, then?! It is a woman with the name of Kim Soon-ae. She went to America 20 years ago and never came back. Ji-hoon immediately makes the connection, when Mi-ho tells him on the phone: The woman with the white rose! Kim Soon-ae seems to have come to Korea for the funeral. Find her, Min-ho!
Our sexy detective talks to a very calm Jung Nam-soo next. Ji-hoon on the other hand seems rather emotional, and he talks to him as if he were convinced Nam-soo did somehow arrange for the killing of Professor Kang. But Nam-soo scoffs at the notion of revenge. No, he is over that. He "forgot" about it. What, forgot? Ji-hoon doesn't believe it. Can't believe it! But Nam-soo confirms it: he got tired of it. After trying to commit suicide twice, he received a bunch of letters. It was a pen pal! This person believed in him and his innocence. And Nam-soo opened his heart thanks to that person, little by little. Whenever it started to get heavy again, his heart, he started to craft metal. "When I get released, we agreed to go sea fishing", Nam-soo says with a smile.

But then, Ji-hoon drops the bomb: he knows Professor Kang is dead, right? But Nam-soo doesn't and is genuinly surprised. But he knew he was framed by him? Yes. That, he did. When he took him in, Detective Kang said to him: "Have you ever lived like a human being? This is your chance. You are saving a precious person."

After this revela, Ji-hoon stands up to leave, still angry. "Your story, about making a heavy heart lighter", he says, "... you are telling it to the wrong person.
Revenge? This is my specialty. I know all about it. There is no better painkiller than revenge. The mere thought of revenge is never tiring. The murder is a debt - which needs to be repaid".

Oh dear, Ji-hoon, you are so not over this....

Up in the prisoner's cell, Ye-ri has received a whole bunch of letters from the prison guard. They are Nam-soo's only possession, and he values them greatly. I guess prisoners don't have much privacy, huh? Ye-ri reads some of the letters: all of them were sent by one person. The pen pal writes that he has a disease: Alzheimer. And his name was Kim Sam-gil.
The prison guard comes in, he almost forgot! A package was delivered for Nam-soo from Kim Sam-gil. A book. (dun-dun-dun) THE book! With the three chapters!

Ji-hoon looks at all the beautiful objects Nam-soo crafted out of metal, when Ye-ri runs in, with the book. The envelope and all the letters are in the same handwriting again ... It was Kim Sam-gil, the prisonere's pen pal who delivered the books. And killed on Nam-soo's behalf? But why is the third book here? Oh shoot, they were side-tracked. They need to go protect the next target! It is Kim Soon-ae. Luckily, Min-ho has found her: Her name is Sarah Kim now. And she is stying in a hotel.
Dun-dun-dun (yes, again) ... the team rushes to the hotel room. But Soon-ae is fine. She denies knowing any of the people: neither Kim Sam-gil, nor Nam-soo are familiar. But Ji-hoon goes in for the kill: what is her relationship to professor Kang? Yeah ... she admits she knew him from a long time ago. He invited her back to Korea. Then she heard that he died.

No, Ji-hoon says. The professor did not invite you: the murderer probably did. Cause you are the next target, Kim Sarah. ... I mean Kim Soon-ae. ... you, the real murderer of 20 years ago.

Blink, blink, blink... but no denying it. Yes. Kim Soon-ae killed Kim Sam-gil.

We hear a terrible story of her time as a prostitute. She was with child. She had no other option but to kill one of them if she wanted to quit that place. Sure, they had told her she could go if she got rid of the kid. But she knew it was a lie: it had happened to #3 and #6 before. That's why she killed him, with a knife. She even called the police to surrender. Detective Kang came, like a savior ... and let her go to America. He framed Nam-soo for the murder. She went, and never looked back ... But thanks to Professor Kang, her child grew up well (wait. ...  hmmmm)
The next question on Ji-hoon's mind: Why did Professor Kang play savior all of a sudden? The annoying brat-student Lee-ho congratulates Ji-hoon for being right. And pulls out a piece of paper: a will. Professor Kang's. The secret message that was read at the funeral:
"The blade of a living death stabbed me three times, finally causing me to die. Even though I'm dead I am living through all of you, so my death is not in vain. When you touch the sorrow inside the dried blood, the torn skin is recovering ... and in the fractured bones, that's where you will find me."
The hidden message? Lee-ho guesses: The blade of the living death is the tragedy of the manipulated murder scene. The dried blood is the bloody book. The torn skin recovering: Nam-soo's revenge.
Ji-hoon is semi-convinced and very unhappy about what he considers the professor's cowardice.

Finding Kim Sam-gil

They have a phantom image of the person who posted the two letters (based on CCTV footage). It does not match any of the registered Kim Sam-gils. Ye-ri hasn't found anything either. Ah, how frustrating ... so Min-ho is invoking the spirit of "The Viper" again! (Noooooo! Don't do it! It hurts!) wondering what he would do next. And Ji-hoon goes through all the clues again, alone in the briefing room. But he remains clueless.
Min-ho and Ye-ri visit an old "friend" of Nam-soo - a guy who almost killed him, before they became really good friends in prison. They think he looks kinda similar the phantom-poster. Min-ho tells Ye-ri to watch him: he'll show her what he has learned from the Viper! (stop using his name, Min-ho, seriously) But yeah ... see how it goes wrong. The ex-prisoner immediately spots him as a cop. And in sweeps Ye-ri with some extra-charm to extract the relevant info. The prisoner-friend tells the story of how they became friends. Basically, a half-dead Nam-soo begged him to spare his life... because he found a reason to live. It was that pen pal who gave him that.

Huh. Very romantic.

Yes, and he even sent a package to Nam-gil, he remembers! Off to the distribution center the two younglings run, where they really find the package, as a scanned image. Ji-hoon, on the phone, is all excited: yes, the pistol that Kang Yoon-goo used was a homemade pistol - probably made by Jang Nam-soo?! But no ... the package sent to Yoon-goo did not contain a gun. It contained ... a feather.
And Ji-hoon finds it in Professor Kang's office. He stares at the feather and repeats Nam-soo's words about making the heart light. He lifts the metal feather: underneath is a secret note. Nam-soo writes:
"Because of you, I was able to forgive. No, I was able to forget. I send this with gratitude. Knowing that we will soon meet puts my mind at ease. I'll be waiting by the sea"
This was sent to Kim Nam-gil, but ended in Professor Kang's office. Professor Kang is ... Kim Sam-gil. He received all of Jang Nam-soo's letter, who thought he was writing to his only friend - when this "friend" was nobody else than the one who put him behind bars. But: they had indeed become friends. Or rather: Nam-soo had become a completely changed person. A "human being". When Professor Kang received the beautiful feather and the note, he must have decided to take his own life.

Ji-hoon is greatly upset - now he understands the three kinds of lies: First, the turning in a fake criminal lie; second, the pretending to be Kim Sam-gil lie; third, the pretending not to be a suicide lie. And Ji-hoon has a minor freakout right there in the office, crying "lies, lies, lies" over and over.
Honestly, I am not entirely sure why he has the freakout. Must be guys' psychology and something about this professor-student relationship I don't really get. But it's hot. That all that counts.

The Final Class

The professor left something for Ji-hoon: his bike. "I guess this is the only way to make him into a decent person. Don't be afraid like me. Follow me slowly", a note to Ji-hoon reads. Ji-hoon takes the bike and does exactly what Professor Kang did before he shot himself. Yes, he even falls asleep at the barber's. So cute.
At the shoe shop, he finally finds the person who has posted the packages: It is the man who shines the shoes. He asks him whether he knew Kim Sam-gil. Are you here for Professor Kang? the shoe-man asks. Sam-gil was his nickname when he was young. He always forgot directions, so his friends would shout Sam Gil "Third road" at the intersection. Ah, Professor Kang left something with the shoe-man, in case somebody came looking: and he hands a data stick to Ji-hoon. With "lecture material". 
Ji-hoon gives him phantom image as a present from Professor Kang. And he smiles genuinely. That is nice to see. He then watches the video with the kid.
"So, you have found me out", says the dead professor on the video. "Who is there? Yeo Ji-hoon, for sure". And he shows how he will stage his death: He will sprinkle blood all over the book case. He will take out the black book, tear it into three parts. He will have it sent to everyone involved.
"Then, I'll blow my head in the other direction. Why? This isn't suicide. It is an execution ...  not out of guilt. It is a punishment that I deserve for messing with somebody's life. For Jung Nam-soo and before I forget my sins completely."
And he continues:
"I taught you monster catching skills ... But I never taught you how to live like a human being. Instead of trying to be a good cop, live a good life ... Oh, and Yeo Ji-hoon. You probably solved my last puzzle, didn't you? 'When you touch the sorrow inside the dried blood, the torn skin is recovering ... and in the fractured bones, that's where you will find me'"
uhm ... Ji-hoon, did you? Wait ... Ji-hoon, are you crying?
It's prison release time! Nam-soo is stepping out - Ji-hoon is waiting for him at the bus stop. Nam-soo wants to visit his friend, to go fishing. But Ji-hoon says he would be glad to help Nam-soo sue the state. But the ex-prisoner doesn't want to hear about it. He just wants to see his friend. Did the disease get worse? He hasn't been in contact for a while.
Ji-hoon set up a meeting between Nam-soo and Soon-ae. She bows deeply, probably to apologize for letting him take the punishment in her stead, but Nam-soo waves her off embarrassed. Ji-hoon and Ye-ri are there too, watching.
"Do you think he felt guilty", she asks him, "sending letters to Jang Nam-soo?"
"I told you once", says Ji-hoon, "why God gives you the punishment of feeling guilty. My teacher ... in order to make that person into a better human being, he considered this opportunity as a gift from God."
"It would be better if we did not let Jung Nam-soo know," say Ye-ri.
"Probably", Ji-hoon answers. And after a pause, he continues: "To become Jung Nam-soo's friend, he got rid of Kang Yoon-goo."
She looks at him, he turns his head to look at her. She turns her face away.
Ji-hoon says to her: "But it's strange: The one feeling guilty is me. I get this feeling that you are avoiding me."
She just goes "ah" ... and then they're interrupted. Hot damn! I wanted to hear that!!! It is Yoon-ae on the phone with her kid, who is asking what she is doing. She says: "I'm meeting with an old friend. Someone you must meet in the future."


Yeo Ji-hoon sits in his office, pensively staring at the feather. And he hears the words of Nam-soo again: "Thanks to you, I was able to forgive. No, I was able to forget. I send this with gratitude." A feather lands on his shoulder while he is shaving metal.  
Ji-hoon steps to the glass. Ye-ri is in the office, watching him being tortured by his demons, hearing Kyung-tae's words to her: "Tell him to forget. Even if he can't truly forget, ... even if it's a lie ... tell him to forget" ... and she turns away, troubled.
Ji-hoon is at the prison, visiting Kyung-tae. The two men face each other through the glass, silently. Then, Ji-hoon gets up, to leave. Before he is out the door, he turns around and asks: "Do people like you even feel guilt?" Something in Kyung-tae's sad face tells me that, yes, indeed: he does.

Comments and Final Thoughts

I do understand that some people think this is a slow episode. I may have been that - but it was not boring. This is, once again, an episode choke-full of things alluded to but never said. And it was, once again, fundamentally about Ji-hoon and his past ... but also his future. We know that he has decided to leave his past behind him and to move on. We also see that this moving on is painful and takes a lot of effort from him. He is still trying to forget, but he cannot. And others don't seem to be able to forgiven and forget either: Do-shik isn't part of the team anymore, and I get the feeling this has to do with what happened during the F-cases. Do-shik himself can probably not forgive and forget himself.

The topics of forgiving and forgetting are nicely brought over from Episode 2, brdiging the 1 year gap. Nam-soo is a person that has moved on: he is like a saint, almost, in his enlightened state. Ji-hoon doesn't believe him at all at first - he cannot believe someone could give up revenge and that is why he thinks this person must be guilty until almost the end. But in the end, he realizes that moving on is possible, though it requires sacrifices. Professor Kang "saved" a human being - and then saved two of them, by giving his own life. This is the final lesson from Professor Kang to his pupil, Ji-hoon: live on. It is possible. Guilt can be a gift. Use it.

There is one part of this episode that I do not fully get, as alluded to above: the professor-pupil relationship. It is a big topic, especially in Asian cultures, but I have never had that kind of relationship with anybody, so I can only relate intellectually, not emotionally. Ji-hoon's relationship to this man is like a father-son relationship. And it is more, even: Once again, the show plays with the notion of "alter egos". Kang and Yeo are the same, the show says - monster catching skills and all. Psychologically, this episode is about the death of a father - but worse, the complete dismantling of that father, leading to (almost) hate ... until the faith in him can be restored at the end. This is another super painful trip to his past for Ji-hoon, but to his very foundation as a police officer. First, he gets this devestating news about the death of his beloved professor. Then, he has to realize that this very professor had dirt on his hands. After the disappointment, he can understand the final lesson of self-sacrifice. The mini breakdown in the office, when he shouts "lies, lies, lies" may well be directed at himself: the realization the he, himself, is building his life on lies.

Oh, and the scene with Ye-ri... Hm. Very Interesting. Yeah, of course you should feel guilty, you scumbag, for what you have done to her. As mentioned, I wonder why she is still with you. She is probably avoiding you because she is scared of you. And/or because she is scared, but cannot help but care. But what is it that he wants from her? Why is he even noticing that she is avoiding him? He isn't particularly caring or nice to the people around him, quite the opposite. But he seems to have a tiny, weeny soft spot for her. Or is that me, hoping for just a little bit of romance?!   

Finally, I must admit that I was totally wrong about the whodonnit in this episode. I thought it was the annoying student-brat, from early on. And then I thought that the annoying student-brat was the Professor's son - which he was not - or Jung Nam-soo's son, which he wasn't either. Or was he? It is not at all clear. But if he is not anybody's son, why was he there at all? I am guessing that he may be Nam-soo's and Soon-ae's son - but he has never seen his mother, only talked to her on the phone: that is why he does not recognize her in the hotel room. That's about the only explanation I can find. Cause if they just needed an annoying side-kick, they could have used Min-ho, who serves that purpose with charm and wit. Professor Kang's last clue about the bones points to something biological too, but it could mean the boy is his son. Assuming he knew Soon-ae from before, which isn't clear to me. Or he may just be a symbolical son. Or whatever. Ah, TEN ... keep puzzling me! Thank you.