'Is he dead? No, he can't be. But ... this is TEN, we're talking about. He could very well be dead. He could be. But they wouldn't do this to us! Or would they?! Is there a 3rd season? Do we know who's in it?! Gaaaaaah, save me!' These kinda questions and thoughts went through my head, after I watched Episode 11 raw and had to wait a whole week for the final episode (also raw). I must say, it was torture. But now, it is here ... the end of the end. It gives us closure, in a good way (and I am glad it is not a cliffhanger like the cliffhanger after Season 1), but it also opens up the next chapter, in a good way. It is terrifying, it is heart breaking, it is very sad - but it is also hopeful, sweet, and full of warmth. What a ride!
Special Affairs Team TEN 2 - Episode 12 (Final)
박민호 납치사건 Part 2 - Park Min-ho's Kidnapping
Yeo Teamchang-nim, standing on a rooftop at night, narrates: "Once again, I couldn't save him. All this pain ... it started because of me. And it is growing because of me. How can I end this disaster?" And he looks at the moon, full of pain.
Outside of Seoul, a search team is looking for Min-ho or at least traces of him, in the area where the shots were heard. They're not coming up with anything and Do-shik can't take it any longer ... he squats down behind one of the bushes and sobs. Hard. I can take a lot, but seeing this ahjussi cry like that?! It's too much ..... :(
Yeo Ji-hoon is speaking to a room full of highly decorated police officers. The case is now his. And he tells them that he and his decimated team will focus their energy on catching the rogue police officer, the kidnapper (Ji Jin-hyuk) - who has been falsely accused of murder in one case and then murdered dear Min-ho. And he assures them: he will find all the people that are to blame for Min-ho's death. Each and everyone of them. Yikes, I get chills down my spine... And so do the high-ups in the room, because what he is saying is this: watch out, you corrupt people. We will get you. And he ends by saying something very depressing: This is the Special Investigation Team TEN's last will.
Oh yes. Ji-hoon isn't being nice anymore; he is damn angry, and shady Ma Suk-gi (the cop that interrupted the meet-up with Jin Ji-hyuk by shooting at him and thereby causing Min-ho's death in episode 11), who sits in one of the TEN Team's glass cubicles, gets the full brunt of that. Ji-hoon storms into the room, kicks Ma Suk-gi's chair over and starts beating him up. He demands to know why Ma Suk-gi wants Ji Jin-hyuk dead so much. Why? Because of this ... Ma Suk-gi pulls out a cell phone, with a text message on it. It reads: "Please save me". And it is ... from Ryu Mi-ho (the crown witness who is currently missing).
Ye-ri is talking to Mi-ho's friend, the one with the weird hair, at a bar. So the last text that Ryu Mi-ho sent was to that detective? Yes indeed, the friend says. And we get a flashback, in which Ma Suk-gi is meeting the friend in that bar. The friend tells him that Mi-ho ran away with some money. He demands to know why they didn't contact him earlier, but the friend says Mi-ho did not want any cops involved. That is why she introduced her to a prosecutor, one that has helped her before, when she was on probation. She now thinks that was a mistake ... because she lost all contact with her, after another (unknown) cop/detective took her.
In the TEN Team's office, Ma Suk-gi tells Ji-hoon about her. She is only 18, such a young girl. And he starts to cry. He calls Ji Jin-hyuk a bastard that he should have killed when he had the chance. What is he implying here? Abuse? We know that Mi-ho worked in a night club. No, it seems to be murder! Ah, they think Jin-hyuk killed her. And Ma Suk-gi, who suddenly looks like a grief-stricken victim, is saying that it is killing him, having to look for her body. And Ji-hoon, referring to his own sad past, says, more to himself than to the weird cop: "There is a time for revenge. If you miss it, everything becomes much more complicated". But before the two can discuss anything more, suited guys come to pick Ma Suk-gi up. They're from the prosecutor's office - and they have the orders to take the guy with them.
Do-shik is following up on the Lee Byung-man's host bar connection. Jin-hyuk, who was basically Byung-man's lap dog, suddenly changed his behavior, one guy tells him, acting high and mighty, as if he owned everything. That was probably a week ago. And then, Byung-man started raising a rather large sum of money (500'000$). Do-shik shakes some more trees and finds out that Ji Jin-hyuk was about to leave the country - but he suddenly disappeared and never picked up his passport and tickets. Do-shik becomes weary ... this seems like something much bigger than he first suspected.
Ye-ri enters Lee Byung-man's house. He knew he was being investigated by Internal Affairs and he was very careful. So his call history is clean, except for Ji Jin-hyuk's unregistered phone. But ... there is something else, Ye-ri discovers, a lot of phone calls to (and some from) an unknown, short number.
Ji-hoon is in a man's office. He promises him everything, all the investment records, everybody ever involved with Lee Byung-man. Is he at the prosecutors'? I guess so. The man asks him what he wants in return. He wants the girl, Ryu Mi-ho and the killer, Ji Jin-hyuk, Ji-hoon says. Does he have the evidence that Ji Jin-hyuk killed that girl? the maybe-prosecutor wants to know - because they really tried to find something, but came up with nothing. The only thing they did find out was that there was a kill order for her at a "murder agency" (I'm guessing that's a place that kills people for money), but there's nothing to see there, they checked. The place has been abandoned. But Ji-hoon knows better: finding out what you can't see is already helpful.
He goes to the fake headquarters of the "Murder Agency" with that guy he exchanged information with on the roof-top in episode 11. Also a prosecutor, I guess. The guy repeats that looking for clues here is useless, they never leave any evidence, these kind of people. They closed everything down after killing an 18year old (or so it seems). But the prosecutor says that something is strange about the whole thing: Whenever Byung-man had somebody killed, he usually sent them away to a different country. So why did he have this girl killed in Korea?
Autopsy Lady calls! That's always a highlight (she is one of my girl crushes). She tells her ex-lover that Lee Byung-man has a scar on his forehead. Somebody seems to have hit him with something. So she called the hospital that treated him and found out that they removed glass splinters from a bottle that somebody smashed over his head. That was a week ago.
Do-shik, who is riding a taxi, asks somebody at forensics whether anybody else's fingerprints were discovered at Ji Jin-hyuk's house. No, forensics says, only Ji Jin-hyuk's, but all of them were "ruined" - somebody wearing gloves was there, too. Huh. interesting ... Do-shik recapitulates... the murder at the bar happened at 1am. Ji Jin-hyuk went home straight away. The investigation team followed. Three hours later, the police went to the site. The unknown person with the gloves must have used the time in between to go in and find something. But what? And ... who was it?
Ji-hoon calls to let Do-shik know that something is very fishy. Something bigger is going on. Oh yes, Do-shik agrees because he has been thinking along the exact same lines. He thinks that Ji Jin-hyuk had some special knowledge about a weakness of Byung-man's. Byung-man was raising money to get whatever Jin-hyuk had - but before they could exchange money, the murder happened. What is worth 500'000$? As soon as the murder happened, Jin-hyuk kidnapped Min-ho, to force them to reveal the real killer. Seeing that he killed him now means ... he has other means to get out of this: whatever Byung-man was so desperately after!
Ye-ri is following up on the unidentified number on the call history and finds out that those calls Byung-man made were about a missing cell phone of his. The lady at the phone shop tells Ye-ri that they did find the phone after two days, but he never came to pick it up. What ... he called every hour to ask for the phone, but when they found it, he didn't come to pick it up? The woman at the phone shop says he may not have come because the SIM card was missing. Where was the phone found, Ye-ri wants to know. It was in the same area that Mi-ho's house is in! And Lee Byung-man lost the phone right before she went missing.
The TEN Team meets on a parking lot to put the pieces of the puzzle on the table. Or the concrete. Alright, here we go: There is Lee Byung-man's lost phone. Ryu Mi-ho stealing his money and going missing. Lee Byung-man being hit by a bottle. All of these things happened early last week.
Ye-ri suspects that Mi-ho stole Byung-man's phone and took the SIM card out near her house (and I guess, though they never say, she was the one hitting him with the bottle). That SIM card ... it's the key! The girl was trying to bring that into the prosecutor's office. But Ji Jin-hyuk intercepted it, and tried to make a deal with Byung-man after. But ... why did he kidnap Min-ho instead of just using the information on the SIM card? Hmm .... maybe he didn't have the SIM card when he was running away? is Ji-hoon's guess. That is why he came back to Seoul, Do-shik thinks, to find it. And it is still not found ... guessing from the prints in Jin-hyuk's house.
Ji-hoon smiles his dangerous smile and says: The SIM card is his key to live - and for someone else, it's key for survival. All they need to do now is find it. Where could it be? Ye-ri says ... it wasn't in the house .... but it is most likely in his car!
Alright! Ji-hoon calls somebody in the police and asks where Jin-hyuk's car is right now. It's in a parking garage. Ye-ri wants to request a backup team, but Ji-hoon stops her. If he sees police, he will run away for sure. At this very moment, police-helper woman calls: they have got a report that the suspect entered Seoul. CCTV ftw! Off they rush.
추적자들 - Pursuers
The TEN team is waiting for Ji Jin-hyuk to show up at his car's location. Ji-hoon is in his car outside, Do-shik is waiting in a car on the same parking level as Jin-hyuk's car, and Ye-ri is in the control room. They wait ... when suddenly, Ye-ri spots him on one of the cameras! He is coming!
But, instead of shooting, he just freezes, eyes and mouth wide open. The car swerves around him and gets away. What has he seen?
Bloody hell, Park Min-ho is alive! He is currently driving his kidnapper around, who says he has nowhere to go. The conversation seems rather friendly, but Min-ho looks terrible, all beaten-up and bloodied. And we get to see the flashback ... Jin-hyuk raises his weapon underneath the tree, he fires! But he only shoots Min-ho in the left arm. Min-ho is writhing in pain on the ground. And he gets a choice: either help the rogues cop or die.
유령 - Ghost
The prosecutors are driving to an abandoned amusement park. Ji-hoon is behind them. He parks his car outside and follows them on foot. It's very dark and I find it a bit freaky to be honest. I've always hated abandoned amusement parks... Suddenly, a shot rings! The prosecutors get out of the car and run, and Ji-hoon starts to run, too. But he stops, because he notices somebody walking away.
"Revenge is a humane act. If you have no feelings, revenge won't exist. Neither will sadness nor madness. Just a cold metal. And that is ... a ghost."Back-up arrives, sirens howling. Do-shik intercepts everyone and shouts to pay attention. All the guns go into this trunk here! The internal affairs people, who are also there, object, but Do-shik says: he doesn't trust anybody, especially not those with a police badge. Somebody could stupidly shoot. And they all put their guns into Ye-ri's car's trunk.
They move him out of the container on a stretcher and want to put him in the ambulance ... when two special investigation people, including Ma Suk-gi, step in their way. They inform them that Ji Jin-hyuk is dead - and that they need a word with Park Min-ho. Do-shik tells them to bug off, don't they see he needs treatment as soon as possible? But Ma Suk-gi insists: and rides with Min-ho and Do-shik in the ambulance.
But Ma Suk-gi is more interested in Min-ho then anything that is happening outside all of a sudden. He asks him what that thing is he has? It's a SIM card! Min-ho replies. So you have it with you? the cop says, and Min-ho nods and pulls it out. And Ma Suk-gi points his revolver at Min-ho's head. Give it to me, he demands, several times, until Min-ho concurs. Ma Suk-gi puts the SIM card into his mouth and destroys it with his teeth. Then he chuckles a bit and says: "Life is always like this. When everything seems right, something goes wrong".
Click. Just click. He looks at his useless weapon, dumbfounded, while Min-ho knocks at the side of the ambulance. The doors are opened and outside stand ... the awesome TEN team, including the yummiest Detective on the planet, Yeo Ji-hoon. Gotcha, idiot.
고잉홈 - Going Home
A news item informs us that 40 police officers have been taken into custody. Though we are not told, I believe the information on the SIM card was about this: corruption in the police force. The who, the what, the how. Byung-man was hoping to buy himself free with it, but Ryu Mi-ho stole it from him (including the money), to buy herself a nice life. Before she could bring it to the prosecutors, though, Ji Jin-hyuk got it from her, and also hoped to be able to cash in on it.
And Yeo Ji-hoon hangs his head and covers his eyes, most keenly feeling the loss of this team ... and maybe already regretting his choice.
Yeo Ji-hoon is visiting the false-F in prison. The two men stare at each other, wordless. Like every time. Ji-hoon half-smiles. He gets up and leaves.
A prisoner gets released. He has been in prison for eight years ... a very civil man, a voice comments. So why was he inside? He killed a man, very violently, somebody else says. A normal man, with wife and kids. And the mysterious prisoner steps outside the prison walls. He is standing in the sun, looking around, quietly. His face is all shadows.
Final Thoughts and the Very End
Here we are. It's the end. I am sad it is, but I am glad that nobody I really cared for died. But ... the team is no longer. Why did Yeo Ji-hoon decide to hand in his resignation? This whole season was about him coming to terms with his past. He chooses not to kill Song Kyung-tae on that bridge and he does not become "a ghost". He stays human. And suffers on. Remember what he said back then?
"I'm going to keep you alive. Stay alive. From now on, I'm going to start over. I'll show you. I will show you that I can live away from the pain. So you stay alive and watch me be happy. In your pain. From now on, this is your hell."Has he really overcome his pain? He has become better over the course of this season. But he is not fine. And he is definitely not fine after the last two episodes. He blames himself for Min-ho's suffering: He believes it all happened because of him and his obsession with F (Min-ho stays so late because he researchers F) - and in a way, there is something to that. F is like a curse - and he cannot shake it. The dispanding of the team is quasi the last resort. I am guessing he will continue to search for F, but he is cutting the others off. Because he loves them.
What about the team members? We do not know whether Do-shik is still dating the veterinary, but I guess he is. He will be fine. What about Ye-ri? There is this interesting moment in this episode when she finally fully understands Yeo Ji-hoon. I find it interesting because I always thought that she already understood: she is to only one that never really blamed him for anything, and also the one team member that is most fascinated with his dark side. To the point where the interest could turn into a passionate relationship, but I guess we will have to wait for that ... if we'll ever get it. What will she do after the TEN team is no more? I don't know. I hope she'll stalk Yeo Ji-hoon and help him search for F ...
And then, there is Min-ho. His mother is a murder victim, his father has been suffering ever since. And we know that he sees his father in Yeo Ji-hoon or the other way round (Min-ho says so at the beginning of Season 2). Is that what draws him to Ji-hoon? I guess this is part of the attraction. The other is murder cases in general. He is in awe of Ji-hoon and wants to be like him - after he learns to be like Do-shik and gets to date Ye-ri. That we see him with his father again in the last two episodes is quite telling, I think. He is the one character that gets closure. His father tells him that he is okay. He has overcome his difficulties. One person, at least, is healed. And if healing is possible, Ji-hoon will also be able to heal.
And then, there is Boss-Boss. Hm. I know many people have been suspecting that he could be F. Yes, he could be, but there is no real indication for it. But I must admit, his smile and his comment when he realizes he has moved further up the ladder are a bit discomforting. We do not know who is really behind the SIM car-incident. We don not know who got Ma Suk-gi to do what he did. He could very well be the pupeteer behind it all ... because he definitely is the one that benefits the most from the big clean-up in the police.
Finally, the big mystery: Who is the prisoner that gets released? Could he be F? How is he related to our protagonists? We do not know and we cannot know. Let's hope we will find out. Soon.
TEN Season 2 certainly had its faults, many of them, not least the at times terrible subs. Guessing what they really could have meant was quite a challenge during the recap of this series. But, ah, I am sad this has ended... These characters are very dear to me and I hope, hope, hope we get news of a 3rd Season soon. Because who can sleep at night if I know that F is still out there? And who can be well without Yeo Ji-hoon's killer-cute gruffness?
Ji-hoon's final words with Boss-Boss open a door for OCN to continue the series with a different team, at least theoretically. But let's hope they'll be back ... cause they're awesome.
- 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