We continue our journey into the depth of the human soul in Episode 5 of TEN2. This episode is Part 2 of a double episode named "Addict" (Part 1 is recapped here). In Part 1, Ji-hoon and Do-shik positioned themselves against each other, with Baek Do-shik going after the prime suspect (Kang Jong-yoon) with a vengeance, mainly due to the history he shares with that guy, and Yeo Ji-hoon firmly believing that Kang is the victim of a set-up, trying to prove Do-shik wrong (and winning this battle against him at the same time. Cause .... boys. Nuff said). While continuing the case and ultimately solving it, TEN2 keeps circling around the central themes of "forgiving and forgetting", and in particular, engages further with the aftermath of Ji-hoon's egoistical mis-use of the friendship and trust he shared with his team (or rather, his team shared with him). In this episode, these issues are finally brought into the open. Getting over them is part of the healing of one broken individual, but also part of the healing of the entire team. In this episode, we see that there is hope: finally, it seems to be possible to forgive and forget and move on.
Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 5
Addict, Part 2The not-quite-dead scarface gangster Im Min-sub is wheeled into the emergency room. Min-ho, Do-shik and Ji-hoon wait outside for news. The doctor tells them: He has passed critical condition but has not yet regained consciousness.
Okay, it's time for a serious pow wow now. Baek Do-shik confronts Yeo Ji-hoon with the latest developments, still on a mission to prove Kang Jong-yoon is the culprit: "Im Do-Sool had 500 million won cash at this house. Money the police didn't even know about. Isn't that very clearly Kang Jong-yoon's motive? He didn't kill wife and daughter to get revenge. He did it to get the code to the safe. What do you think, Director Yeo?"
But Yeo Ji-hoon stays silent. And let's just say he doesn't look very happy right now.Do-shik continues his vexing monologue. Yeah, he can be quite a pain in the a** if he wants to be! It is clear to him that Im Min-sub is looking for Kang Jong-yoon to get revenge on his brother ... and he is trying to get that money as well. And Kang? Clearly: he wants to get the only other person who knows about the money out of the picture! And he jibes Ji-hoon by saying: "You almost got fooled by Kang Jong-yoon's little show. I told you, right? This is a place you won't ever understand ... Hell."
(and I am not quite sure why Do-shik thinks this is a hell Ji-hoon cannot relate to ... anyway, I think our sexy detective is fantasizing about shutting Do-shik's mouth off with green duct tape, cause his eyes scream "murder"!). Do-shik is saved by Doofus, who runs in and excitedly tells them that there is a witness who has recently seen Kang Jong-yoon. And off they all rush. I love how Min-ho always wants to rush with them, but then he stays, because Ji-hoon stays. Yes, know who your master is, little one!
When Min-ho and Ji-hoon leave the hospital shortly after, Min-ho tries to summarize things. Haha. Playing grown-up detective, are you? Im Min-sub has a solid alibi for the crime. But could Min-sub be Kang Jong-yoon's accomplish? Like: Min-sub gave Kang Jong-yoon the money and made him kill his brother? (Uhm ... Min-ho? You are cute, but you suck a little as detective to be honest, haha, at least often) A nurse runs after them, disrupting Min-ho's ramblings - they found something inside the patient's clothes: a wallet and a bloodied picture of a half-naked Min-sub with two women.
And Ji-hoon replies, matter of factly: "I don't think it's time to be getting pity calls yet". (Oh. Do I detect a very dry sense of humor there? Oh wow, you just became 1000000000x sexier to me .... *gulp*.... this is getting unhealthy) And she tells him to come over, cause she has something to show him (I also have something to show you! Please come over! Please! I'll even pay for your plane ticket!!)
The witness Do-shik went to question is the bar lady that Kang Jong-yoon held at knife-point in episode 4. Kang made her call many numbers until somebody picked up that sounded familiar. He then went into the bathroom and stayed on the phone for a while. Doofus has a revelation: If Kang is calling people, doesn't that mean he is still looking for somebody?
Do-shik goes to the sauna next. He is looking for Miss Kim, the ruthless money-lender woman from Episode 1 Ten Season 1. She has taken a deep fall, it seems, living at the sauna, half starved to death. He buys her a meal and asks about Im Do-sool. Who would want to kill him?
"Well", she says, "you know what his nickname was? Pig."
Huh? Do-shik doesn't get it and neither do I.
She continues: "Most loan sharks take your house or car first. But this guy? He pulled his zipper down. He was a horny pig."
돼지들 (Pigs)Min-ho is trying to find the identity of the women in the picture they got off the scary brother. He is back at Im Do-sool's office, rummaging through the thug's computer. He sees a password protected folder named "pigs" (uh-oh....). He goes "well, Do-sool was kind of elderly, so his password was likely 1, 2, 3, 4". But no luck. "Hm," goes Min-ho, "did I make it too easy? Then maybe the other way round? 4, 3, 2, 1 ..." and he is in! You really DO have an information security problem, Korea!It's not the first time I notice ... (and how CUTE is he in this scene .... *melting*)
A disgusted Ji-hoon remarks: "I think I've found the motive." He asks Min-ho to send him the address of the women in Im Min-sub's photo. If the person closest to Im Do-sool pointed out these women in particular, there must be a reason.
"You can't ever escape from these bastards", says the other woman, "just go home".
And Hong Jung-im replies: "A long time ago, I used to think that once you entered hell, you could never escape. But now that I look at it ... the doors of hell were always slightly opened. It's not that you can't leave ... you won't leave. I know you know that too."
This is so sad ...
Soon after, the woman concludes the story, Jung-im's husband came to look for these guys - and I guess he paid the debt.
And cut to Do-shik who gets a phone call by Doofus: They have found the last person Kang called. The information is not verified and Do-shik needs to go check out the address.
Ye-ri is getting out of a taxi. She is looking around, unsure where to go next, when sirens blare and Ji-hoon's car arrives (sexily). Oh sorry, I meant to say he gets out, sexily. His car is also a bit sexy though. Seriously. Have a sexy and official OCN pictures for that scene:
And she is like: Min-ho ... Director ... what are you doing here?
And Director is: What are you doing here? Shouldn't you be investigating the family?
And she goes: Yes ... but this is where Kang Jong-yoon's daughter's receiver was sending a signal from last.
Dun-dun-dun ... Ji-hoon looks around, and then runs off towards a hospital of sorts that he spots in one of the side streets. It's a ghost hospital, empty and full of debris and it really creeps me out. It's the perfect set for a horror movie.
And the fight is ON.
Do-shik: "Again with that Cheval thing ... If you came to find Lee Sun-ho you are wasting your time. He's been missing since this morning."
Do-shik grins ... he has a completely different theory. Yes, he was indeed wondering why Kang would continue to play innocent. But here is the conclusion: There is only one way for Kang to get away with stealing 500 million. He wanted to kill Im Do-sool and Im Min-sub and framed it on a crazy guy: Lee Sun-ho.
But Ji-hoon has one more: The key to this hospital was found inside Im Do-sool's wife. That means Lee Sun-ho was present at the crime scene. But Do-shik dismisses that piece of news like it's nothing: Didn't he tell him already? Getting someone else's key is nothing for a guy like Kang.
And Do-shik counters, equally agitated: "I agree, I don't know why you're acting like this either!"
A bit surprisingly, Ye-ri comes to Ji-hoon's defense at this moment: she thinks that Lee Sun-ho holds the wife and the daughter hostage and forced Kang Jong-yoon to commit the murders. The proof? The necklace of the child. And Min-ho also speaks up: It is highly likely that Lee Sun-ho is taking revenge on the brothers for abusing his wife. Since he framed Kang Jong-yoon, he needed to prove that he was the suspect - and he did that by planting all that evidence.
(Uhm ... if I may, Do-shik: because it's a ton of money?)
Ji-hoon interrupts him: there is no concrete evidence that Kang has the money.
But Do-shik has had enough, really enough, and gets up: "Let's stop with the wordplay. There are so many things about Kang's behavior I do not understand. But I am wondering if I even have to understand everything. I went through a meaningful experience last year ... to understand everything about someone is a lie."
And he leaves all three of them standing there ... and the look on Yeo Ji-hoon's face is killing me softy.
The decimated TEN team is in the car and it's a bit awkward (to say the least). Min-ho breaks the silence by commenting that the guy sure is crazy. He doesn't mean Do-shik but our new prime suspect, Lee Sun-ho. But Ji-hoon corrects him: he is not. Lee Sun-ho is a coldblooded human being, meticulously taking his revenge. Ye-ri wonders whether he will return the family, now that his revenge is done. Ji-hoon looks troubled and confesses that he is not at all sure. In fact: he thinks it may be quite dangerous for the family. They must find the suspect secretly, without him knowing that he is a suspect, unless they want to endanger the hostages' lives. And what about Kang Jong-yoon, Min-ho wants to know? Ji-hoon knows that he will be taken care of by Do-shik, so they don't need to worry about him for the moment. But why did it have to be Kang Jong-yoon of all people, Ye-ri wonders? Why was he singled out to be the one framed? A good question, young lady ... Ji-hoon also thinks so and tells her to check that out.
Do-shik is sitting outside the police station, deep in thought. He pulls out his wallet. Inside, there's a funny picture of the TEN team (well, everybody looks funny except for Ji-hoon, who is wearing his black baseball cap). And then, Do-shik caresses Ji-hoon's face with his thumb ... only slightly, but oh man, this breaks my heart. Boys, just make up already!!!
Ji-hoon is in a public restroom, head bent down while the water is running. He seems really affected by Do-shik' words. He looks up, at himself in the mirror ... and then he attempts a smile. It is only a quick one, and the look of despair on his face afterwards is so heartbreaking ...
Do-shik is at a computer shop, interrogating a guy who used to work with Kang Jong-yoon. He helped him locate a cell phone number and gave him a prepaid phone. Do-shik threatens him with jail to get him to make him a phone just like Kang's, which will allow him to locate him.
Ji-hoon and Min-ho have found the rental car, which is abandoned. There is a girl's hair clip in it. Ji-hoon notices dirt/dung on the tires (and he sniffs it sexily) and they conclude that Lee Sun-ho must have gone to a farm with stables somewhere nearby. The search begins.
Oh no ... It was Kang Jong-yoon that got poor, poor Hong Jung-im into gambling...
The First DayYe-ri calls Ji-hoon to let him know that Lee Sun-ho most likely blames Kang Jong-yoon for his wife's gambling addiction. Oh no ... so kidnapping Kim Eun-hoo and the kid was revenge from the start?! Could he have already murdered them if it is for revenge?
No... they are still alive, a grave faced Ji-hoon says. Until he meets Kang Jong-yoon, they are alive. It is clear to him that Lee Sun-ho wants to torment him by killing his family in front of his eyes ... to give him ultimate pain. And Ji-hoon is lost in thought after he says that ... likely remembering his own severe pain.
Kang Jong-yoon gets through a police roadblock by hiding among stinky pigs in a small truck. As soon as he gets the chance, he gets off the truck and up on a roof top, just as Lee Sun-ho calls him.
"Where are they? I did everything you asked", a desperate Kang implores Lee.
"Why are you doing this to me?", he asks, as he searches the streets below for a sign of his tormentor.
"I have something to give to you: Torture", Lee Sun-ho replies, "where do you think they are? Use your imagination. Think of where the greatest torture would be. I'll see you there!"
And at this moment, Kang Jong-yoon spots him sitting in the car below him.
Doofus and Do-shik arrive at the intersection, they have tracked Kang's phone. And they witness a crazed Kang Jong-yoon (who is always clutching his side from the knife wound he got from scarface) going after Lee Sun-ho's car. They almost crash with it, but they let him drive away, not knowing who he is. Do-shik runs after Kang Jong-yoon, through back alleys, into a market, up some stairs, over a bridge, and finally into a train yard ... where Do-shik looses Kang.
Ji-hoon, smart and sexy as always, immediately concludes that the place he wants to meet Kang Jong-yoon and the place he keeps the family is not the same! Unfortunately, they are running out of time. The final step, Ji-hoon is sure, is to torture Kang Jong-yoon by letting him watch his family die. They need to find the hostages immediately! But where could this place be where Lee Sun-ho wants to meet Kang Jong-yoon? What could be the most painful site? "What was most painful ... the moment when his wife died? Or after?" Ji-hoon asks himself ... and I am crying a little for him again because he is forced again and again to confront his own demons.
Ye-ri is at the hospital where Lee Sun-ho's wife died. The doctor tells her that the gambling addict treatment didn't work in her case. But she decided to come back ... because of the child. She had a kid? Ye-ri asks surprised. Yes ... but the fetus was infected with syphilis. Syphilis is easily curable, usually, but in the case of the kid ... unfortunately, the treatment didn't work. The doctor shows Ye-ri where Hong Jung-im jumped off the roof.
Lee Sun-ho is turning on a de-PPL-ed Samsung phone (The "sung" is sticky-taped off). The phone starts transmitting a video of the wife and the kid to a computer we do not see. The wife is bound on a chair and he puts the kid, who is half-asleep, onto the bed. There are transfusion bags and poison on the table. The kid hugs him and calls him daddy, but he just giggles madly at that.
And the very same Do-shik comes up the stairs into the local police office, his head bandaged, where Kang Jong-yoon hit him. At this moment, patch-eye (from the seaside) calls him - a suspicious man was asking for boats. Oh yes! Do-shik's eyes light up ... "that bastard" took the bait!! (btw, Do-shik says 새끼 a lot!). Off to Pohang they rush!
Ye-ri walks down the stairs from Kang Jong-yoon's wife's apartment ... when she notices that there are not only 12, but 13 written numbers on the steps. But there were only 12 rules... Strange ... what was number 13 about?
"I thought we were going our own ways", he says by ways of a greeting.
Ji-hoon answers: "Lee Sun-ho is calling for Kang Jong-yoon. Kang thinks that his wife and daughter are there. And he's on his way. Please help me, Sunbaenim. We can stop Kang before he meets with Lee Sun-ho."
But Do shik says, grinning: "I just got a call from a friend. Someone will be smuggling out tonight. I think that guy is Kang Jong-yoon. He gave up on finding Lee Sun-ho and is planning on running away with the money. Why? He knows he's been caught."
Ji-hoon: "That could be true. But in case it's not ... Kang Jong-yoon... he will be tortured by seeing his family die in front of his face."
Do-shik: "Who knows ... which version is the truth? Is Kang Jong-yoon going to save his family? Or ... is he running away with the 500 million? Let's hang up."
Ji-hoon (desperate): "Sunbaenim!" and a long pause ...
Oh wow. Just wow. This must be one of the best TEN scenes ever. Finally, finally, we get this out into the open ... the feeling sorry, the guilt Ji-hoon has been carrying inside, silently. The acknowledgment that he did wrong, that he should not have done what he did. And the truth about his personal, terrible pain ... the pain everybody knows about but doesn't address.
Do-shik, with tears in his eyes, hangs up. Just then, a new peep-peep starts from the tracking device ... they have tracked the phone again! But ... what is this? Kang is now opposite from Pohang? He is heading back for Jeongseon! But Do-shik is not convinced, does not want to be ... he puts the phone away, determined, and says Kang Jong-yoon knows they are onto him and that is why he is seemingly going the other direction: just keep driving, doofus.
And from here on, we see the story scene after scene, how they were experienced by three different parties.
Mother and child. The infusion is dripping. They are not moving.
Lee Sun-ho, sipping some wine (who knows the name of this actor? I know I've seen him before, but I cannot place him).
The kid opens her eyes, and a tear falls out.
Lee Sun-ho, drinking more wine. And a motorcycle is speeding through the night. It is Kang Jong-yoon. He remembers ... the two couples, happy together. And how he told them to try gambling. Just once! Just for fun!
Police sirens and a house. It is Min-ho and Ji-hoon, with a bunch of other policemen.
Another house, a lodge? Kang Jong-yoon arrives.
Ji-hoon finds the girl's shoe lying outside ... they've found the house! Quickly!
Kang Jong-yoon storms into the house, a knife in his hand. Lee Sun-ho sits there, feet up, sipping wine. "What, you're here? Taking the money and running away ... was that you, bluffing?" But Kang only wants his girls back.
The policemen enter the house. ... and find the lifeless bodies of the mother and the child.
Lee Sun-ho says: "What can you do? I think it's too late". And he turns the screen around, on which we see the video from the other house, with two lifeless bodies.
Ji-hoon and Min-ho stare in horror at what seems to be two innocent lives, lost.
Kang Jong-yoon, devastated, screams "Whyyyy?" and rams his knife into Lee Sun-ho. who says: "How is hell?" And Kang Jong-yoon stabs him again and again. Lee collapses on the couch and Kang falls wailing to the floor.
Do-shik calls out for Kang Jong-yoon to watch! They're alive!
And a dying Lee Sun-ho says: "The 13th step. You ... must watch your daughter grow up"
13 StepsYe-ri is talking to Kim Eun-hoo. Lee's last words were "The 13th step". What does that mean?
Kim Eun-joo recalls: When she was bound and ready to die, he wanted to know why she had made 13 steps. And she said: "When I finished writing down the 12th step, I realized that my husband would never come back. That's why I drew another one. Minji's father ... even though he can't escape his gambling addiction ... I'll still be beside him."
"That sounds like hell", Lee Sun-ho says, truly surprised.
"He was my first love. That's why I made him a promise. No matter what anyone else says... I promised him I'd always be his last love."
Lee Sun-ho is visibly shaken by this. He goes to the window, almost crying ... and then crying for real.
"After seeing Kim Eun-joo and Kang Minji, he wanted to give you the last chance he never got ... to get rid of your gambling addiction. And you can only love if you're alive".
Kang will have to go to prison, Ji-hoon informs him ... but not for all his life. It's up to him what he makes of the rest of it.
(to the murder house, says kakashi). If those people weren't dead, who knows what could have happened? You're right that I didn't give up the money. Not sure it was because I believed I could finally go home if I had that money ... or whether I wanted to keep gambling ... I don't know either".
And he is led away, past his wife and kid, who calls out to him: "Daddy, Daddy ... you are leaving again?"
Kang cries and says: "This time, I'll be right back"
"Promise?", she goes - and they hook their little fingers before he is let away. And I'm a sobbing mess on the floor.
"Why did you turn the car back?", Ji-hoon wants to know.
"I didn't want to regret ... If I misunderstood him and ended this case wrong ... I felt like I'd regret it every day".
"Ahh ..." goes Ji-hoon ... "I guess you didn't turn back for me, then."
And they both smile at each other. Oh .... my heart just melted.
When did he get so wise, this kid?
"I'm not sure", Ji-hoon says after a small pause. They look at each other a bit longer, and then, Ji-hoon pushes away from the wall and walks away, down the stairs. "Case closed", he declares loudly. And then, particularly looking and Do-shik: "Everyone get ready to leave."
Min-ho stops and goes: "Are you not coming?", does an inviting move with his head (twice) ... and smiles. He is so darn cute when he does that.
Ye-ri and Ji-hoon are in the car, silent. He seems to be thinking about something, as usual, and she is looking out of the window. Finally, she looks at him. "This Lee Sun-ho person", she begins, "why did he stop his revenge?"
"I'm not sure", Ji-hoon replies quietly, "maybe he got tired of it?"
And at this moment, the rain starts falling.
Final Thoughts and Comments
Leading a better life is also a recurring theme in TEN. Moving on, moving forward, becoming a better person ... these are tasks for our characters, in particular our main protagonist, Yeo Ji-hoon. He may have been through hell, he may know pain, he may know revenge, he may know the darkest pits of human existence, but the message is loud and clear: get over it. Get away from it. Live your life to the fullest, as his professor told him in episode 3. Pain and suffering can be an addiction, as is revenge. The gambler who only cares about gambling and would do anything to keep doing it is like the man who only cares about his pain and revenge, and would do anything to take it. And hell is not a place you cannot leave from. It is a place of your own choosing - one you do not want to leave. The way out of hell? Just leave.
The most beautiful interaction in this episode is between Baek Do-shik and Yeo Ji-hoon. And how masterfully it was prepared by the writer of TEN2. It took three episodes for these two to finally face their issues ... It is Do-shik that fist voices what made him turn his back on the team (or rather, on Ji-hoon). He was deeply hurt by the fact that Ji-hoon lied to him - or rather, did not confide in him. He is hurt by the fact that he did not understand him and was shut out, deliberately, and deceived. I understand these feelings: if you consider someone a friend, this is among the worst things somebody can do to you. The beauty of this confrontation is that Ji-hoon musters up the courage to apologize to his team because of it - or at least parts of it (Min-ho is in the car with him, and he hears Ji-hoon's confession). Ji-hoon is sorry and he feels damn guilty about what happened - and he finally confides in his sunbaenim about how terrible his experience was. It is the turning point, of course, though with a slight delay. He opened to door to his own hell a bit further and is ready to step out.
The only one that has not heard the confession is Ye-ri. Well. What to make of this ... once again, we end an episode with those two alone, being (mainly) silent (but not uncomfortable). And once again, it is her that asks the crucial question, to learn from him, but also to probe him. When I think back to all their small interactions, he shares much more with her than with the guys - whenever he answers one of her questions, he is not only talking about the case, but always also about himself. It is the nature of her questioning, and he knows this. It is also interesting that he has never apologized to her (though kinda tried to in episode 3, when he admits to feeling guilty). Does he feel he does not have to? Most likely. Because she has clearly never even held a grudge against him. And that is hard to understand for us "normal" people; unless you consider her very specific psychology ... she always immediately understands people, sometimes even better than these people understand themselves. She understands his pain and his need, intimately. And I think she values him so much, she does not care to be used by him - as long as it helps him to get over the pain. I think he knows this, too. And I think that he is very, very sorry for what he did to he - but he also knows that she knows that. These two understand a lot about each other without having to talk about it - and this is either the beginning of a beautiful friendship, or might turn into a very hot romance. If not in Season 2, then maybe in Season 3.
Finally, the case. Well, it is not the most exciting or the most twisted. The two Pig-Brothers deserved severe punishment for their terrible crimes and they get it (I think they both died, Do-shik refers to Min-sub's death in one of the scenes if that's not a translation mistake). The dynamics between Lee Sun-ho and Kang Jong-yoon are mildly interesting, and I guess Kang doesn't recognize Lee back at the murder scene (Im Do-sool's house) because it is too dark and they don't even know each other all that well ... or at least lost contact after all the terrible things that happened in both their lives. Kudos to both the cameo-actors at this point: They did a terrific job. In particular, I am very much impressed with Kim Hyun-Sung and his portrayal of the regretting gambling addict slash father. There is not a single moment of overacting there ... just pure pain and agony, realistically played. And Lee Sun-ho: I guess he also deserved his punishment, for murdering innocent people in the name of revenge. The message? The things that happen to you can be horrendously terrible - but you are not allowed to bring the same mysery upon others. Forgive and forget ... and move on. Move out of your own personal hell: it is possible.
- 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