After a confusing episode 8, episode 9 is as straightforward as TEN ever gets. It is about a biological virus that is like a criminal and a criminal that is like a virus, and in which antibodies, be they biological or more psychological, promise salvation from pain. The TEN Team continues to function as one and the bonds between them seem as strong as they were last season, before ... you know, THAT happened. But, alas ... we all know that two of the members know something that has the potential to destroy this harmony ... and may well endanger the bonds once again, even destroy them forever. But what to do with such a secret? Do we protect the people we care for by concealing the truth that we know will hurt them? Or do we trust in love, healing, and coping abilities, the antibodies of human life? TEN 2 is slowly coming to the end of its second season and I am certain: it will not be pretty.
Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 9
감염 - Infection
People in bio hazard suits and masks exit the cars. It is an emergency team from the Korean CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). They ride an elevator and enter an apartment ... a man is lying on the floor there, in his own blood. He is dead. And he is covered in big, red spots.
Yeo Ji-hoon is in Boss-Boss' office. He is informed that the first Korean person to be infected with the virus has been murdered (Oh wait ... there is a nameplate on Boss-Boss' desk ... finally! His name is revealed! Haha, at least to me. It is 정우식 (Jeong Woo-shik). Hello there, Boss Jeong. Nice to properly meet you). Whoever killed him is likely to be infected soon - and it will become one of their cases. Ji-hoon asks whether they are taking on the case to stop the virus - or to reduce someone else's responsibility, i.e. catch the criminal. Boss-boss Jeong Woo-shik is mildly amused: well, it's both, really: Catch the criminal and stop the virus. Ji-hoon (who has done something to his hair ... it's redder? shorter? It looks darn good!) remarks that the criminal is the virus itself... "It's interesting", he concludes and seems very pleased.
He thinks that's a good thing? she says, kind of shocked. Of course, he counters, because the criminal will also be among the ones with signs of infection. Alright, the CDC woman likes what she sees and hears (who wouldn't) and moves in downstairs, into the TEN Team's meeting room, after declaring that they'll work together. Ji-hoon just sighs.
All the victim's stuff has been moved to a storage facility ... and poor Ye-ri has to check it all. She is also suited up, but removes the mask pretty quickly. Which is a good thing, because I like to indulge in her beautiful face. She looks at everything and takes pictures with her tablet. And ... she finds a box full of BDSM gear. That explains the strange wounds on the victim's body. And I love her facial expression. The logo on one of the leather straps says "S Bar".
Ji-hoon goes to check out what the CDC people are doing in his meeting room. He seems quite intrigued that there are a lot of commonalities between an epidemiological and a criminal investigation ... ultimately, both are there to reveal secrets. The CDC woman (is she flirting with him?) wants to know whether a job that reveals the secrets of others isn't making him bitter sometimes? But he shrugs it off. "Not really", he says, "it's always been interesting to me. You never know what you will find next".
Back at the apartment of the victim, Do-shik and Min-ho are connecting some dots. First of all, the murderer knew that there were no cameras in the stair case - he did not ride the elevator. Second, Do-shik has a photo of the shoe profile of the intruder, which he studies intently ... before he orders Min-ho to check for police reports in the building, quickly! He then goes to the front door and fiddles around with the spyhole ... which falls out, to the ground. Min-ho is back to report that indeed! There were a lot of reports to the police from around here.
Ye-ri notices entries for a "dinner" in the victim's calendar; always on Fridays. But the last one, before he was murdered, did not seem to have taken place ... he was home all day and there are no card transactions either. Min-ho calls to let her know that a burglar was in the victim's house and to ask her whether anything seems to be missing from his belongings? Yes, there are things missing: the phone, the PDA, a camera, and jewelry. She hangs up (on a cutely almost phone-kissing Min-ho) and thinks about what else is missing ...
While pondering the new info, Ji-hoon gets a phone call from Do-shik: 15 people are left on his list of potential burglars. Is there anyone from Shin Jung Don, where the infected people are? Ji-hoon wants to know. No, there isn't, says Do-shik. But he sends the list to Yeo Ji-hoon anyway. And when Ji-hoon has a closer look at the names, he gets it immediately: The suspect is a delivery man! He infected housewives and children as well as security-guards ... all of them people that are at home during the day. There is but one on the list that fits this profile: Jang Suk-bum (who also delivered a package to the victim's house on the date of the murder)
They bring the burglar to a hospital, where he gets better pretty quickly. Suk-bum and Do-shik hit it off right away. The burglar says he didn't kill the guy and Do-shik believes him. Cause Do-shik knows how burglars roll, bro. He went in at 11:10, Suk-bum continues, and discovered the body, whom he identified as the owner subito (because he had been watching him for a month). Of course he ran out immediately. Do-shik is interested to hear whether anything weird or unusual caught his eye when he was watching him for a month? Yes, a woman would occasionally be there ... but only on Fridays. Well, it is preeeetty clear what it means if a woman comes in and out that fast, the burglar says. He kisses the air and has a coughing fit. Does he remember her face, Do-shik wants to know. And the burglar, calling him hyung-nim now, says of course he does, cause his nickname is Human Scanner.
Ji-hoon is discussing the state-of-the-investigation with the CDC woman, who is glad that they stopped the infection on one side at least (that would be the burglar). But a new infection route could appear anytime. It is particularly worrying that the woman who has been infected is so silent! She seems to be in hiding, Ji-hoon remarks ... probably until she can hide no longer.
"Have you found the items that the burglar stole?" the CDC woman wants to know, cautiously and casually.
Oh ... he says no, but you see it in his face that he thinks that's a weird question. And it is. Suspicious CDC woman! And he sends Do-shik and Min-ho to the burglar's place right away, to look for the stolen goods. The camera is there, the jewelry ... but no phone. And no PDA. Hmmmm ....
Ji-hoon and Ye-ri are in the garage, walking towards his car ... when he notices the CDC woman talking to an official looking guy in a car, all hush-hush. She bows deeply when she gets out and leaves the garage, without noticing him. What is she hiding?
The funny burglar appears! He laughs at Do-shik for not yet having found the woman. He then continues to say that she looks quite nice, but was very mean ... she smashed his head with a golf club. Waaaait a minute ... how does he know that??! He shows them on the crime scene video that Do-shik has on his tablet - there was a putter next to the body. No, he didn't see the knife - only the golf club. And Do-shik, who understands that someone seems to have removed things from the crime scene, asks him what else is different on the video. The cover on the bed! the burglar says pretty quickly. There were blue bed sheets.
Liar, liar, pants on fire! Min-ho has new evidence for them. According to the taxi's GPS, Kim Joo-chul was at the murder victim's house on that night between 9 and 10:10pm. Oh-oh ... he seems to have known about the affair, then .... But what is more, the next day, from 2:20 to 3:15 am, he was at the crime scene again! Okay, everything falls into place now. Context, motive ... it's all there!
"Affair, passion, murder ... this is like a makjang", Do-shik says.
Ji-hoon is interrogating Kim Joo-chul and tells him straight up that his alibi for Saturday night is a lie - they know he was near Hwang's apartment. Was he following his wife? And what was he doing there for more than an hour? Kim Joo-chul doesn't even try to deny anything. He was there because he couldn't believe his wife was having an affair: he wanted to see it with his own eyes.
"And you just went home?" Ji-hoon aks, "that's hard to believe..."
But Kim Joo-chul says that seeing his wife with another man changed everything - there is nothing else that he can do. For her, or for himself.
"So --- why did he go back at dawn? You murdered him, right?", Ji-hoon wants to know. But the husband denies that he did.
Ji-hoon tells her that only two people could have gotten her infected: her husband or Hwang Sung-min. However, seeing her husband has antibodies, it must have been Hwan. She murdered him, right? And she confesses... Yes, she killed him. In the bedroom, with a knife, she stabbed him into the stomach - and then, she killed him with a golf club, in the living room. When Min-ho asks her for the motive, she says she already confessed ... why does he need a reason?
So ... who has it? The dodgy CDC woman! Ji-hoon steps into the meeting room. The CDC is packing up, I guess the case is solved for them. She wants to congratulate him on the good work, but he holds up the memory card. She was after this, was she? It contains advanced information from the analyst. A ranking of the stock value of major companies. It is worth a lot. And she took the victim's phone in search for it? Give it, woman. It contains evidence. And Yeo Ji-hoon needs it.
감염의 끝 (The end of infection)
Ye-ri is in the room with Lee Ji-soo once again. She tells her that they know how she suffered for her husband. But why didn't she say anything? It would have counted as extenuating circumstances! But the woman wants to make it clear that yes, she might have been suffering in the beginning ... but she started to enjoy it, more and more. But the tear that slips out while she say so doesn't make her words all that convincing.
The team comes back together. Ji-hoon has told the husband that his wife didn't cheat on him - but was trying to save him. It seems the husband doesn't know about the video - and he seems to have been doubtful about his wife having an affair. Both things together make it unlikely that he killed Hwan. So ... is he trying to cover for her? It seems as if all he wants is to protect and save her. And Ye-ri now also understands why the wife hasn't said anything: because she does not want her husband to find out about the slave-thing. So rather than being about hate, this is about love: they are both protecting each other. They will have to get the husband to stop lying.
Ji-hoon tells the almost crying husband that they have not yet told the wife about his confession. Because the moment she finds out about this, she will also know that HE knows about what has been going on. And this would be the most terrible thing for her ... she'd rather have him suspect her as a cheater. It is up to him how he will protect her, Ji-hoon says. And gets the results he wanted. Kim Joo-chul stops lying about killing Hwan.
He confronts his wife as if he were very, very angry about the affair. He tells her that he will never forgive her. Never. So his way of protecting her is to pretend not to know the truth. But when he wants to leave the room, she apologizes to him. Particularly for keeping secrets. And tells him everything.
We get a flashback to Ye-ri and her in the cell. Ye-ri tells her: "Hwan was like a deadly infection to you. He made you a host and kept you infected. You were afraid of spreading it to your husband. But ... there's something you do not know. Your husband had the antibodies. Antibodies that could kill the virus. So ... are you going to keep this a secret again? Or are you taking this opportunity to stop the virus together?"
And the TEN Team watches the two of them sitting across the table from each other. Will they be able to beat the virus together? Do-shik wonders. Min-ho nods, but says: "It won't be easy - the virus has many variants".
"But it's still worth a try", Ji-hoon says, and leaves the room. Min-ho follows.
"That's cruel", Ye-ri says.
"If Director Yeo find out the truth about Song Jyung-tae ... could he handle it"? Do-shik wonders.
And Ye-ri says, with her sad half-smile: "We should also tell Director Yeo that there are antibodies out there."
And we see Ji-hoon standing there in front of his office, all darkness in his eyes.
Final Thoughts and Comments
Excellent way to connect the case to the larger story, once again! TEN works best when it is about the team and, by extension, about Yeo Ji-hoon's demons. I am not saying it doesn't work well when it is just about solving weird cases (because it does work well) - but the episodes are most satisfying for me when they have a double meaning and are full of those interactions where characters talk about one thing, but we keep hearing something completely different. In that regard, Episode 8 was maybe the weakest of them all so far (though 6 wasn't all that good either). Episode 9 did manage to remind me of the elephant in the room really well though. I guess it is little things that do it, like the interaction between Do-shik and Min-ho at the hospital. No longer than maybe 60 seconds ... but oh, what a reminder of what must be on Do-shik's mind constantly! And also, making me question how much Yeo Ji-hoon actually knows; or at least suspects. And then, of course, the ending ... Ye-ri is ready to tell him, and has been for a while now. She thinks he can handle it - if he knows that there are people there for him. That's them, that's her. It is the lies that are dangerous. And keeping the truth from somebody is only making the virus spread.
As for the case, I thought it was pretty straightforward but still sufficiently twisted to keep me interested. I loved the character of the burglar and his interaction with Do-shik. Just brilliant. The central piece, a husband and a wife, who love each other very dearly, but still bring pain to each other for a variety of reasons, is realistic and really very sad, but resolved nicely when they get a "new" beginning in the investigation room. One thing that remains un- or at least underexplained is the exact role the CDC woman played ... who told her to get that stockmarket info? And what did Yeo Ji-hoon do with the memory card? (I hope he invested accordingly, will get immensely rich, and will then marry Ye-ri ... or me). But I guess this really is of no big importance for the overall case, so let's not keep wondering about it for too long. Three more episode!
- 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