21 May 2013

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Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 4 (Recap)

Posted by Kakashi Sensei on May 21, 2013
This is part 1 of a double-episode and I guess it was necessary to spend a slightly unexciting hour to set the stage for a fantabulastic episode 5. At the center of this episode is uri Viper Do-shik and we finally find out where he has been hiding (and partly why he has). We are still cleaning up the damage done by Ji-hoon and his egoistic decisions over the Tape Murder Cases and forgiving/forgetting remain the central themes of TEN2. The most exciting bits for me were when Ji-hoon and Do-shik butt heads, forcefully. But it hurts to see them that opposed to each other ... solving this case is not going well because of it and I really hope they get over their egos and resolve their differences. You love each other, guys! Everybody knows that!!  
 

Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 4

Addict, Part 1

4 years ago, at dusk. A man drives a small truck up a windy road. He talks to his wife on the phone and she expresses unease about him "heading over there". He also talks to his little cutiepie girl (Minji), telling her he'll be home soon and to listen to her mother well.
And on he drives in the night, for a long time.

He comes to an intersection, looks at the signs while driving past ... and breaks hard. His car sits in the middle of the deserted road, engines running ... while he is visibly struggling with himself. I am pretty sure it is a bad decision that he backs the car up and takes the road to the right instead of driving on straight ahead.

중독자 (Addict)

We are at a casino with our truck driver (cameo by Kim Hyun-Sung) for what seems a long night. Things get increasingly blurry and his face gets increasingly long.

When we next see him, it is in front of a small store, where he is drinking soju out of a cup and eating cheap ramen. He looks plain awful, cracked lips and all. He notices a little girl who stares into an ice-cream box. He takes some money out of his pocket and gives it to her, breaking into tears and calling her "Minji" (that's his daughter's name), while she tells him with a kid's earnestness that that's not her name. Her mother bursts out of the shop as any good mother would, ripping the money out of the girls hands, throwing it to the ground and dragging the kid away.

He stumbles home. He uses green duct tape (is this the only kind in Korea?) to seal the door and the windows and then lights something. I say something cause I really don't know what it is ... tar, maybe? Whatever it is, it sure doesn't look healthy when it burns! He gulps down a bottle of soju and gets ready to die, breathing the fumes and probably suffocating from it.
He is already lying on the floor when his phone rings. He is annoyed to have his suicide interrupted, but he picks it up anyway. A man at the casino (in equally bad shape I'd say) tells him to go bet for someone: He is to go to a specific house and pick up the money. Suicidal truck driver does indeed go there. It is raining hard. He rings the door bell of a rather gigantic door and is let in immediately.

The same house, in bright sunshine. Two women are approaching, calling out for Mrs. Kwon, wondering whether she forgot about the morning prayers? They notice that the door is open and go in ...
... and see our truck driver, wiping a bottle of wine ... and three bodies to the right!! They are sitting on chairs, their hands bound, and there is a lot of blood. They scream! And run. And the truck driver flees into the forest, carrying a black duffel bag.

발바리 

(Does this really say "Spaniel"? No translation given in the subtitles...)
The sound of Ye-ri on the phone with Baek Do-shik, asking him to please come back. But he says: "I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the smell of blood. I'm tired of feeling sorry for myself in Seoul. This matches me, anyway". Ah, Do-shik. I've missed you... What happened?

We see him next as a guard at a girl school (in Gangwon-do, to the East of Seoul), grinning happily, munching those soft stick-things they keep eating in TEN2.
He tries to arrest a suspicious looking person in a raincoat (I guess he thinks it's an exhibitionist?), but the person turns out to be a "girl" that goes to school there, though this "girl" really doesn't look like a girl much and also doesn't have the voice of a girl (okay, I official don't get this scene, unless it's to show how much Do-shik doesn't fit in this world he currently is in). While still laughing about his silly mistake, he gets a phone call. An entire family has been murdered. He demands that they call somebody else (called "The Flounder", lol). But the person on the other end drops a name that gets Do-shik's attention: Kang Jong-yoon.

Do-shik drives to the crime scene. All the evidence points to one person: Kang Jong-yoon (the suicidal truck-driver) murdered the family and robbed the house, after being called there by the murder victim. Kang is known for stealing 2 billion won at a casino 4 years ago ... and Do-shik clearly knows him from back then. (And the guy that called him is the same guy he solved murders with in Episode 1 of TEN Season 1! Still as incompetent and annoying. Oh wait ... is Do-shik back in that area now? Seems so).

Do-shik looks at the three bodies next (they appear to be husband, wife, and daughter) and notices that the wife has a chipped tooth. The victim must have bit something (take note of that, friends - there are no clues mentioned in vain in the TEN universe). We learn that the victim is a loan shark by the name of Im Do-sool.
Do-shik sends people over to Kang Jong-yoon's house (who was a marine by the way, in the special forces). As expected, the house is empty, all his things are gone, and the bank account has been wiped. The murder suspect is on the run. Anticipating his next move, Do-shik takes a trip to the sea-side, where he instructs a guy with an eye-pad to keep an eye out for Kang. Do-shik is certain that Kang's wife will bring money to this place, because "this" (pointing at the sea) is the only place Kang will be able to keep on gambling (does he mean on a ship? or just outside of Korea? Not sure). Do-shik knows: gambling addicts will do anything to be able to gamble. They care about nothing else. The eye-patch guy (one of those over the top and imho unfunny half-life-characters we get to see quite often in KDrama) calls Kang Jong-yoon the "the one that screwed you over" - not something that Do-shik likes to hear.

The local police doofus calls, telling him they located Kang's phone at a bus terminal. Which is in the opposite direction of where Do-shik is. So he gets in the car and starts driving there fast. Somewhere on the road, he gets the next call: The suspect is now inside a bus that will be arriving somewhere else entirely in a short time. Do-shik turns around and drives there, too. He enters the bus in question just in time when it arrives, but ... surprise, the suspect is not there. Do-shik runs into the terminal ... and is told the suspect just turned on his phone, which causes him to tackle a person with baseball cap and phone to the ground. But of course it's not the suspect. And another phone call ... they sighted Kang Jong-yoon not too long ago. In Joengseon. Which surprises Do-shik a great deal (Joengseon is a small town in the province of Gangwon-do and also the hometown of Won Bin, thank you, Google Fu. I am not entirely sure where Do-shik is stationed normally, but I am sure that this wild goose chase we just saw wasn't one of the best moments of TEN or TEN2 - unless it's there to show that Do-shik isn't only out of place as a security guard at a girl-school, but also can't get anything done right with the bunch of police doofus he is working with now)
They are in an apartment, with the bloody clothes of Kang Jong-yoon and evidence that he shaved his hair off. Do-shik is very annoyed. And he did all this really close to the police station? He has gall. Do-shik continues to be annoyed outside the local police station, where he notices a scary looking guy with a scar, chatting away amiably with some thugs. That is Im Min-sub, he is informed, the younger brother of the loan shark that was killed. Do-shik orders him to be sent away.
Do-shik stares at a wanted poster of Kang Jong-yoon in his hand and starts ripping it apart in anger, when the (local) press rushes in and takes pictures of him. And he makes the news ...
... and the conference room screen in Seoul. Boss-boss (sorry, I do not know his name!) claps and declares: "That's a great photo", right before he starts ripping into the Regional Unit for not taking the lead in this case, which is obviously heating up as in getting the attention of the press. The leader of the Regional Unit gets up, apologizes and says "if you give us a week ...", but he is cut short by SEXY voice, saying "Give us 3 days".

YAY! It's Yeo Ji-hoon.
18minutes without him wasn't nice at all (as much as I like Do-shik) and this is now my least favorite episode for depriving me of him for that long. Boss-boss suspects Ji-hoon wants the case because Do-shik is involved (and so do I). He calls it a case that is "hard as hell but without reward". But Ji-hoon just states coolly that the way the family members were murdered doesn't make much sense, implying he is interested because something is fishy and not because he desperately wants to see The Viper again.

And then boss-boss says that it will be very difficult for the daughter when she is grown up, because "what could be more painful than watching the person you love kill someone?"
Uhm ... you did not just say that boss-boss?!
Oups, you did. But at least he realizes his faux pas and says: "I shouldn't have said that".
But Ji-hoon assures him with a smile that it's okay: "It is more painful to have forgotten the pain".
Hello, cryptic. Whose pain are we talking about?
 
Do-shik is looking through CCTV footage with doofus. He wonders why Kang is still in Joengseon, so close to where he murdered the family? With the help of several cameras, Do-shik is able to identify that Kang stayed in a specific neighborhood for 20 minutes. What did he do there? He asks around among shop owners whether they have seen the guy, but he is not successful. He is about to give up, when he suddenly notices a set of stairs going up to a "Royal (something) Center"
The sleazy man upstairs (a private detective?) lies that he doesn't know Kang  ... but Do-shik knows better. He goes through the contents of his paper bin and ... bingo! There is a crumbled wanted poster of Kang. Do-shik jumps happily onto the sofa - and pulls out a bundles of bank notes from underneath. "Found it", he grins. Upon seeing all that money in someone elses hands, the guy spills the beans: Yes, Kang gave him the money - to look for someone. To look for whom? "The guy who wants to kill Im Do-sool", sleaze ball says. Interesting.

We are at the morgue next. With three bodies and our sexy detective. Autopsy lady tells him that the murderer stabbed the victim 8 times, and completely avoided the body's pressure points. There is an additional stab wound: at the neck. That one is a pressure point: which made him bleed out in the end, I guess. So ... our killer knew something about anatomy? He was a real por. From some fiber they found at the neck she knows that the killer killed the daughter first. And the wife? Ji-hoon asks. About 1-2 hours before the other two, she guesses. So: wife - daughter - husband ... that is the order that he killed them, Ji-hoon concludes.
He is about to run out when he suddenly stops and turns around: "Did I ever thank you for coming?" he asks her. (Huh? Are you in therapy, Ji-hoon? Did they tell you to be nice to the people around you?!) She assures him that he did and smiles a little. A nice scene. These two? At ease with each other. Forgiven and forgotten.

Nam Ye-ri stays in Seoul to talk to the suspect's family members and to find Kim Eun-joo, Kang's wife. Everybody is really rude when they hear whom she is looking for and they slam the door in her face. She really doesn't have it easy, does she ...She needs a nice man to hug her!
Back at the local police station, Do-shik sees his colleagues standing around huffing and puffing about something. That something is Min-ho!!! He is putting up a sign on Do-shik's door: 특수사건전담반부 (Part of Special Affairs Team) Hahaha, this is awesome. Way to anger the beast ... And he looks like a deer caught in head-lamp, too, when Do-shik appears. 
It seems they haven't seen each other for a year. Do-shik asks him gruffly what he is doing there. Well, stutters Min-ho ... "this case was given to us". Do-shik stares. "You know ... from above", an adorable Min-ho adds. And points up to the sky. 
"Where is Director Yeo?" Is what Do-shik asks after a deadly smile.
Uh-oh...

해후 (Encounter)

Ji-hoon is at the crime scene, looking at things. Sexily, obviously. And there are some very pretty shots and special effects, too (*screencap frenzy*)
Suddenly, he notices Do-shik. They stare at each other. Not good ... oh no, this is not good! My heart is bleeding for these two ...
Yeo Ji-hoon is the first to break the silence. He muses aloud that there are blood stains on the wall but not on the frame that is now there. That means the frame wasn't there during the crime. Who put it up? But Do-shik doesn't want to play along with the detective-game. "You're still the same, Director Yeo" he says with a cold smile. Yeo Ji-hoon is not discouraged, and continues asking questions. What is the motive? The only thing missing is a bit of money and some cheques. For that, he stabbed three people? This just doesn't fit this type of complicated crime scene, Ji-hoon says.

"What are you implying? The culprit has been framed?" Do-shik asks back, his eyes narrowing.
Ji-hoon nods his head. "The culprit left Im Do-sool in a not so critical state and stabbed the wife and daughter first. Why?"
They stare at each other.
Ji-hoon then half whispers: "Pain ... the culprit wanted the victim to watch his family get murdered. This murder... was for revenge".

Do-shik is not convinced. What does Yeo know about Kang Jong-yoon anyway? Well, Ji-hoon knows Do-shik was in charge of his attempted murder case three years ago (he calls him sunbaenim, by the way). Then he should also know it's the same technique, right? Kang Jong-yoon claimed innocence and begged Do-shik on his knees, telling him how awful it would be for his little girl to have father that is convicted of murder.
And he walked free.
The first thing he did when he got probation? He went gambling. And Do-shik caught him. And looked him in the eyes.
Ever since, Do-shik knows: Gambling addicts will do anything to keep gambling. And he will absolutely not make the same mistake twice.
"You're the one that helped him get out of jail on probation, right?" Ji-hoon asks, "don't tell me they're blaming you for this family's death."
Oh, you d*** ... you didn't. How mean of you! Do-shik's face falls. 
"Mixing personal feelings into an investigation is the deadliest thing", Ji-hoon continues. Oh no ... and now you have just handed yourself to Viper on a platter.
And Do-shik smiles a predatory smile and relies: "Personal feelings? Look who's talking, Director Yeo. You said this was for revenge, didn't you? Ah ... because revenge is your specialty."
Ji-hoon's smile freezes on his face. Suddenly, they are talking about that case. And that stuff that happened over a year ago. Without going deeper into it, Do-shik tells Yeo Ji-hoon to butt the f*** out cause it is their local case and he will never get it. He leaves.
Oh no ... when did their relationship get so venomous? So sad :(
Ye-ri visits the apartment of Kang's wife. When she and the landlady walk up to the 2nd floor, Ye-ri notices numbers drawn on the stairs. The landlady has no idea what they are, she just says that Kim Eun-joo was a weird one. Inside, there is absolutely no trace of the woman and the girl to be found - the apartment seems to have been empty for days. Ye-ri checks the cupboard, there's a sexy red dress and lingerie. There is also a lot of new make-up. She puts some lipstick on (why?! geez, the woman might come back! It's not yours!) and sprays some perfume on herself. Oh, she goes ... Kim Eun-joo had a man?
Meanwhile, Ji-hoon is still at the crime scene. He looks at wine bottles in a rack near the kitchen. This is not really how you keep good wine, is it? Many seem to have been opened before, the corks are half-in. And something else is off. Where is the bottle that was on the table? he demands to know from the guys in charge. Taken in for fingerprinting, they tell him over the phone. Ji-hoon asks for a photo. It's a Château Cheval Blanc. Average price per bottle: 700 US$.
It is now night and Do-shik and his minion watch the private detective. The guy comes out and drives away and they follow him to an abandoned warehouse. I hate abandoned warehouse scenes. Everything about them is so creepy! The private detective meets Kang inside, who asks for "the account book". He gets it. When he wants to pay the private investigator, he just says "forget about the money" ... and in walks scary little Scarface brother. The private eye is dead afraid of Min-sub, almost falling over himself when getting out. Im Min-sub pulls out a knife ... and attacks Kang Jong-yoon. During the fight, he stabs Kang in the abdomen. All seems over for out suicidal gambler.
But when Do-shik gets there, the other man is down: Min-sub, hit over the head with a metal pole. No trace of Kang Jong-yoon. Do-shik drags scarface and scared-private-investigator to the police station for questioning. Yeo Ji-hoon and Min-ho are watching behind the one-way mirror. Min-sub says that he wants to take revenge for his brother. And the private eye says he brought him Im Do-sool's account book. Cause: Who else would want to kill a loan shark except the people who are in debt to him? Do-shik (always ready to explode) starts hitting him with the case file upon hearing this, which causes Ji-hoon and Min-ho to jump up and go into the interrogation room. The tension between the two detectives is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
Once again, Ji-hoon wants to convince Do-shik that Kang has been framed. His proof? The wine. There were a lot of expensive looking wines there, yes ... but a lot of it is rather vulgar. There was just one that was worth it ... The Cheval Blanc. So why did the culprit choose this particular one? He must have been a connoisseur. "You can fool one's eyes - but you can't fool one's taste", Ji-hoon says. In his opinion, Kang Jong-yoon isn't the murderer. He is looking for the real killer: the one who wanted to kill Im Do-sool and likes Cheval Blanc.
But Do-shik just laughs at him: "Whatever wine it was, my taste is for soju and I will go my own way."

When they get ready to dagger each other, doofus bursts in: Kang is calling; and he wants to talk to the detective in charge. That would be Yeo Ji-hoon. A bleeding and suffering Kang tells his side of the story while they get ready to trace the call. He sounds desperate as he assures them that the man he met that night at the house wasn't Im Do-sool! He went to the house and that bastard let him in. We see how he made him put his fingerprints all over everything: the wine bottle, the glass, the murder weapon (a knife), which he asked him to bring. They even talked about Kang's daughter, who he hadn't seen in 4 years ... and he told the mystery man how much he misses her and his wife. The Not-Im-Do-sool guy, whose face stays hidden in shadow all the time, puts money on the table. A lot of it. And Kang tells Ji-hoon that he went to the casino and came back at dawn ... to find everyone dead. Does he have an alibi? No, poor Kang has no alibi.
At this stage of the conversation, Do-shik grabs a phone and starts yelling at Kang. He really needs to take some anger management courses. Why did he go back at dawn when he already got the money? (yes, I was wondering about that, too?) And what did the other guy look like? Kang almost cries when he shouts that it was too dark for him to see.
Ji-hoon is super annoyed about Do-shik, but they were able to track the call after all. Do-shik rushes out with the rest of the police, while Ji-hoon marbles about the perfect scenario to frame somebody ... At Kang's last location (a veterinary?), they find bloody gauze all around, but not murder suspect, of course. There is a photo of the victim, however ... why did he hold one, Do-shik asks himself, when he has already killed him? Seriously, Viper. I get that you're angry and everything ... but don't you think Ji-hoon may be right?!
 

괴물 vs 독사 (Monster vs. Viper)

We are in a bar. Kang is there, sweating and suffering. The owner leads away the last costumers ... when he grabs her and threatens her at knife-point.

Ye-ri is at a help center for families of gambling addicts. She hears about how the help center encourages these family members to value themselves, wear nice clothes, and make-up.
There's a poster on the wall: on it are 12 steps that the help center encourages the victim's to follow. And apparently, Kim Eun-joo took them very seriously. Yes, they tell the relatives to write the numbers on stairs, so that every time they walk down, they would be able to take in good words of encouragement while repeating the rules. And we see Kim Eun-joo walking down the steps from her apartment.
Rule #1: Let's acknowledge the fact that we live with a gambling addict.
Rule #2: Let's not blame them (the wife is looking at lovely pictures of her and Kang Jong-yoon, while she was pregnant, and later the three of them with Minji)
Rule #3: Let's accept the fact that the past is the past
Rule #4: Let's not give up
... and she repeats "let's not give up, let's not give up" over and over, while we see flashbacks of debt collectors mistreating Kim Eun-joo.
And Ye-ri realizes that Kim Eun-joo did not have an affair. No, she dolled up just for herself, in order to not give up ... in order to get through this suffering.

Kang Jong-yoon runs into an old tunnel/ a mine and hides his duffel bag underneath some wood.

Do-shik watches videos of the forensic team at the crime scene, mumbling to himself how cruel and precise Kang was. Suddenly, he notices the brother of victim in the background, who is behaving rather strangely: he is not at all mourning over the dead body, but seems to be looking for something.

A SUPER Sexy Ji-hoon in a blue frock-coat (which could be right out of a British period drama) and white classy gloves (not plastic! cloth!) is on my screen next and I literally squeeeed! Okay, this was worth waiting for (yeah, but I'm still not okay with this episode's dearth of Ji-hoon). They are at the dead man's office, but they do not find an extra copy of the account book.
But Ji-hoon notices a strange book in the book shelf (he looks at books in book shelves often for clues methinks) and takes it out. It is Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. This book, which Dostoevsky wrote while deeply in gambling debt himself, contains the murder of a money-lender (Alyona Ivanovna) and her half-sister with an axe. A strange book for a loan shark to have, Ji-hoon thinks ... and indeed. The book is hollowed out and inside are pornographic pictures of a lot of women.
Ji-hoon gets a phone call from Min-ho. And while he wanders into a back-room, in which there is a bed and a mirror (oh gross ... this is most likely the bed these pictures were taken on), Min-ho tells him that he went to check Im Do-sool's medical records. And he found something: They guy got treated for syphilis last month. But this is not all ... a week later, Im Min-sub and Nam Min-jung got the same treatment. Ji-hoon and I ask simultaneously: "Who is Nam Min-jung?" And Min-ho explains that she is Im Min-sub's wife. Oh wait ... Ha! Ji-hoon smiles a little (swoooooon) cause finally, there is a lead and another motive: What if the victim messed with the brother's wife? Dun-dun-dun.

Do-shik is back at the house of the deceased, looking for the thing Min-sub was looking for ... and he finds a hidden save. It is open ... and it contains an account book. It seems that there were 500 million won inside the safe! Well, if Kang knew about this money, money may very well have been a motive after all ... and scarface? Do-shik is sure that he also knew and is also after the money. At this moment, doofus minion calls him: The Seoul team is after Im Min-sub, who is now an official suspect! They think he wanted to kill his brother for sleeping with his wife. And by the way ... the expensive wine? It was found on his credit card.

Im Min-sub comes home and takes a piss (in a ercedes enz jacket, see below). He hears something suspicious and turns around ...
Ji-hoon arrives in front of the house with Min-ho. They call out for Min-sub, but there is no answer. They draw their guns and split up. As Ji-hoon enters the front yard, a bloody Min-sub stumbles out of the house and collapses in front of him. He has been stabbed. Do-shik also arrives to witness it all.
"Who did this?" Ji-hoon asks the probably dying man.
"Kang Jong-yoon", he gurgles dramatically.
The two cops look at each other over the blood-oozing man ... Do-shik was right after all?

Final Thoughts and Comments

official character chart by OCN
This episode was rather straight-forward as in not very twisty, though the writer did manage to throw in a few clues that have not been picked up yet (the chipped tooth, for example). We have a guy who becomes a murder victim based on a lot of crushing evidence. We have Do-shik who knows him and has been cheated by him before, who is absolutely sure he did it and is not going to waver no matter what. Especially not with Yeo Ji-hoon on the scene. And we have Ji-hoon who is absolutely sure that the murder suspect was framed. Ji-hoon's theory seems the more convincing, not only to me, but also to everyone else involved in this case, and this last little twist (Scarface being stabbed by Kang, if it is true) doesn't change that fact. It just shows us that we have no clue yet what is going on. Who is our mystery man at the villa, the one Kang meets and gets the money from? What's with the pornographic pictures? And where are Kim Eun-joo and Minji?

As mentioned above, this episode didn't rock my boat all that hard, but we are now set up for next week's part two. I am not saying this episode was bad (and it was not), but TEN works because of the TEN team - and when there is no TEN-team, the series doesn't work well. Funny, because this is exactly what this episode was about: Ji-hoon and Do-shik pulling in opposite directions just results in a big mess. In this episode, we got offered a few hints about what went wrong between the two, without it being clearly voiced or fully explained. I am guessing/hoping we will find out more in episode 5. My reading of it is that Do-shik feels betrayed by Ji-hoon because he lied to him and everybody else. And was in fact able to pull this lie off to the very end: Do-shik really believed that Ji-hoon was the killer. It must hurt his pride as a detective-super-brain to have been fooled that way. And more than that: he probably feels very, very sorry to have believed it. Could you ever go back to what you were before after believing this of a person? But instead of talking it out, he decides to just go away, making himself believe that he is very happy somewhere in the province. Which he is clearly not. And Ji-hoon? He also seems sorry ... and troubled by Do-shik's defection. But he cannot show it either and even denies that he is particularly interested in this case because it is Do-shik's. Rather than speaking his mind, he chooses to attack Do-shik (verbally) and gets Do-shik to attack him back. *Sigh*... boys. Just get your act together!

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