Pied Piper 피리부는 사나이 - Episode 13 (Recap)

kakashi: How do you catch a super-intelligent guy you know is guilty but you have zero evidence against him? Who now knows you know it's him? If you know the answer, please get in touch with Sung-chan! He tries to immobilize Hee-sung as much as possible and waits until Soo-kyung makes a mistake, but he couldn't have known that this would endanger Myung-ha's and his own life.
Trotwood: I think he does know that all of their lives are in danger. However, he has to push on. The Pied Piper will kill people anyway. 
But as things spiral out of control, Sung-chan gets a chance to show just how much he has changed since the beginning of this mess.
Jaehyus: He knows you know he knows.
JoAnne: BUT... does he know who knows you know he knows?

Episode 13

After Kong Ji-man's untimely death (*loud uncontrolled sobbing*--did you have to bring this up again?) (She's mean, our Kakashi), SWAT-Teamleader Han is made temporary boss of the negotiation team - the mood is subdued. As they go over their options to catch Soo-kyung as quickly as possible, Sung-chan suggests they should change their methods.
And our Sergeant Jo volunteers to interview Detective Lee. 
Don't do something stupid, Jo. It's part of the Jo Credo. Do no stupid. Or if you do stupid, don't get caught.
I have faith he won't do anything stupid.
No, he's had it with the stupid.
We see Sung-chan at the TV station next. Looking very pissed and therefore dangerous.
 . . . and looking good in those pants. More fitted pants shots please. We need them to help us through the stages of grief.
I won't feel better until we get to the boxer brief stage of grief.
Sung-chan asks Hee-sung for a broadcast to enlist the citizens' help in catching Soo-kyung. Hee-sung hesitates ever so slightly but of course, he cannot refuse in the end. But he is damn wary. It seems clear that Hee-sung is already suspecting that Sung-chan is suspecting!
That's right. Both suspecting each other. Suspicious.
Counterbalanced by Reporter Yoon, suspecting nothing, off in her own little drama. Also: wow... his pants are tight.
He knows what his fans want.
Can I be his pants? 
The broadcast happens and phone calls come pouring in right away... nothing of value so far, but still, people are paying attention. From his hospital bed, Chairman Seo gathers the top thugs in Korea - old connections, from his money lender days. He promises them heaven if they bring him Soo-kyung.
I love how I knew they were gangsters because they were all wearing the same gangster suit. We saw the same suit in Bad Guys and in My Beautiful Banker. I wish I knew someone who was interested in doing a start up in Seoul. We could just call it "Gangster Suits." It would be cheap because we would only need to make one kind of suit--just all different sizes.
They probably all have the same tailor.
Detective Lee, one of their potential leads to Soo-kyung, never met the man face-to-face, but obtained the Sarin gas anonymously, through a locker. Sung-chan learns that the one police officer that died during the Newtown incident was Lee's direct subordinate.
Sung-chan gets all this information from Sergeant Jo who he meets right after Jo interviews Detective Lee.
And he wonders out loud .... why is the Pied Piper so obsessed with Newtown?
I like the mechanics of this scene. He talks aloud and Jo hears him but thinks he must be talking about Soo-Kyung--a subtle reminder that the others are not yet suspicious of Hee-Sung. We as viewers need to be reminded to really understand the pressure Sung-chan is under and to make us wonder how long it'll take for him to bring them in on it. We also get why he hasn't yet: no evidence.
He means Hee-sung, of course. And indeed, why? Who is this guy?! He then asks Sergeant Jo what to do if you have a suspect you're 100% sure is the perpetrator, but there's no evidence? Follow him 24/7, is the answer. Of course, the "follow him 24/7" is right up Sung-chan's alley: bite and do not let go. He does that best.
(Yup, I went down that path, too, Jo. If Kakashi wants to keep him all to herself, she need to stop with the suggestive metaphors)
Then, the police receive a call that seems to be a genuine lead. It's from a pawn shop and there is CCTV footage too. Why does the camera linger on Choi's webcam after they leave their office?! And where the heck is Sung-chan? Well, shadowing Hee-sung, who is meeting with BiL Kang at a coffee shop. Hee-sung excuses himself because he seems to have gotten notice just now that Soo-kyung went to the pawn shop (hmmmmm).
Soo-kyung seems to have very little impulse control.
Too many punches to the head. I mean he's a good fighter but he must have taken some hits, right? Not counting Hee-sung's initial lady slaps.
I don't think he has impulse control issue. I think he is very focused--even more so than Hee-Sung. He is a true disciple and will not be swayed, even risking his own safety.
These gifs just make me want to do something that would cause Sung-chan to follow me.

He calls him, to tell him off for disobeying the order to stay put and to warn him to leave quickly because the police are on their way (hmmmmmm). Soo-kyung acts high and mighty, but the police do get there very quickly and it's more luck than anything else that Soo-kyung can get away unseen. Sung-chan, who finally gets in contact with Myung-ha, is almost satisfied to hear that Soo-kyung seemed to have known they were coming. Satisfied because he feels he is very close to catching Hee-sung with Soo-kyung.
It will be SungKyung - one scandal!
Soo-kyung tries to call Hee-sung after his narrow escape, but the Reporter won't speak to him. The Boxer seems shocked and nervous about that. Flashback: Soo-kyung is in bad shape, drinking and wailing at the pictures at his wall. Hee-sung appears and tells him to get a grip. But it seems that Soo-kyung has horrible nightmares (as does Hee-sung). Soo-kyung cries like a baby and Hee-sung comforts him like a mother. (I wasn't thinking that about this relationship, I have to say. Maybe Hee-Sung looks at him like a child, but Soo-kyung seems to look at him like a god. I actually think he is jealous of Myung-ha because of the way Hee-sung keeps protecting her) And he says: "We will give this nightmare right back to them". wow, Soo-kyung is such a wreck.
How are they weird? Most people won't do what they're doing, but I don't think of it as weird. It's within the range of responses to trauma. If Hee Sung wore leiderhosen under his clothes and Soo-kyung dressed everyone he killed in a rat mask, though, THAT would be weird.
Okay, put like that it's not weird. But watching them together, my thought was, "weirdos."
They actually move me. These people are deeply, deeply hurt. 
In the here and now, Soo-kyung's phone buzzes and it's a message from Hee-sung: Another warning to stay quiet at all costs. It ends with: "Your safety comes before the plan". (This would've been a tender moment if I didn't have to remember that they are both murdering bastards) And Hee-sung doesn't even know yet that a whole army of thugs is out for little bro too.
The thing is, the plan can fail and they can make another plan. But if Soo-kyung is caught and imprisoned, Hee-sung will really be stuck because psycho attack beasts aren't easy to find on petfinder.
OK Psycho puts you in touch with eligible members of the criminal element in your area! Your first match is free!
And each one after will cost an organ.
As soon as he does (Reporter Yoon tells him about it, always fishing for info that one) (I think she is starting to feel suspicious that she is in a different drama and beginning to feel left out.) (she's a reporter, so yes), he gets into his car and starts driving. Following close behind? Sung-chan. Hee-sung parks the car in a public parking lot and goes down some stairs - we're at the hospital that Chairman Seo is in. No need to be alarmed, he is just visiting the old man, bearing gifts. But that's not the only reason he is there, of course: he wants to confirm that Seo has unleashed his dogs on Soo-kyung. Seo is gloating: they have found out where "that boy" is staying.
Seo Joon looks like Eric Nam.
I was thinking that, too!
"The boy" is having horrible nightmares again and I must admit... I'm starting to feel sorry for him (Just remember Team Leader Kong, and that will dry up that empathy right quick). Hee-sung wakes him up with another warning-call: get out of there immediately and clean up all traces of ever having been there.
I wonder if Soo-kyung takes hallucinogens?
I remember thinking that those two things do NOT go together. When has clean up and immediately departure go together? You can't have both Hee-Sung! In fact, he doesn't.. If he had run, he probably would've gotten away or at least with less injury, but he spends precious moments trying to tear down pics and such. Waste of time. They already have evidence against him. They already know he's a murderer. What's the point? 
But Seo's dogs are already there! Hastily, Soo-kyung packs a few things and starts running, but they've found his room and attack him. Hee-sung keeps screaming: "Hurry up and get out", but that's easier said than done.
Hee-sung is super worried and drives off, Sung-chan closely behind him. A bit too closely, maybe?! He shakes the negotiator at a red light, but Sung-chan seems relatively unfazed. No wonder, he placed a tracker underneath Hee-sung's car! Sung-chan also takes the opportunity to call Chairman Seo's son Seo Joon, to ask him about what Hee-sung discussed with Seo at the hospital just now. 
Hospital food, how old the magazines are in the waiting room, the one really hot nurse.
There are so many of Seo's dogs there and Soo-kyung is already hurt. Ah, it's a messy, painful fight... Soo-kyung has a lot to lose though and he is tough, but if it hadn't been for Hee-sung (who uses his car to get rid of one last "Dog"), I don't think Soo-kyung would have made it. But he's here now and he tells Soo-kyung to get into the car and they drive off at high speed. I think Soo-kyung is moved that his hyung would endanger his identity to save him.
Another tender moment. Makes you wonder again what they could've been if they hadn't been sucked into the nightmare of trauma and vengeance.
Sung-Kyung - one scandal or another.
But Sung-chan has organized a road block and they catch Hee-sung not much later. Only... no Soo-kyung anywhere. Hee-sung hid him on the back of a small truck, going past the road block unnoticed. What happened?! Hee-sung noticed Sung-chan trailing him and made sure to check his blackbox too. Hence, he knew that Sung-chan had planted something underneath the car.
I don't think you're supposed to do that while you're driving! Unsafe! Also: if Koreans all have that black box to see everything ,why don't they also use it to record and transmit traffic violations to the police? Your ticket just shows up in the mail, boom.
Well, this is awkward... but Sung-chan has the perfect lie. He claims that Soo-kyung called him directly and told him that Hee-sung was his next target. He was afraid that Hee-sung might have been kidnapped. And now, they need 24/7 police protection for Hee-sung. Jo is appointed as his bodyguard and they drive off.
So smooth. Do you think he thought of this on the spot or was this part of the plan all along?
Probably decided this was something to do as soon as there was an opportunity to do back when he decided to follow Hee-sung 24/7.
I assumed it was on the spot, although yeah, I think he would have thought in a general way that it would be good to keep someone on Hee-sung - he just couldn't do it without rousing suspicion among the team.
I love his face. It's a good face. It's MY FACE!
Myung-ha has had it: she demands to know what's going on with Hee-sung and Sung-chan? Back at the office, he tells her. He wanted to have clear evidence before telling anyone, including her. Hee-sung has been planning all this for ten years - he is about a hundred steps ahead of them. It's a hard hit, but Myung-ha quickly starts thinking what to do next. Go and see Mr. Shin at the nursing home, he must know!
He can't talk! They could grow old and die before he spelled it out on that board!
They go there the next morning, but the nurse is adamant: Mr. Shin does not want to see them. Sung-chan thinks it's because the Elder Shin has been threatened. Maybe threatened that Myung-ha is in danger if he talks. Ah, Sung-chan is frustrated, so frustrated... their best chance to catch Hee-sung is Soo-kyung, whom he needs to control, which has become so much more difficult with his Jo-shadow. Well, my dears ... the real reason why you can't see Mr. Shin is Soo-kyung, who is hiding with "Father", as per Hee-sung's instruction. And Sung-chan was 100% right to think Mr. Shin would be threatened and 100% right that the threat would be about Myung-ha. Only that it's Soo-kyung doing the threatening, not Hee-sung.
Why are they all so obsessed with Myung-ha, though?
Soo-kyung thinks she distracts his hyung from their pure mission and ... SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER.
I actually went back and thought through sections. To me Soo-kyung is playing this like this is a battle between him and Myung-ha over the purity of Hee-Sung's soul/mission. To him, the way she has managed her post trauma life is almost like a sinful temptation to his god. She must be eliminated.
Oops. Thanks for keeping me straight, Kakashi!
Hee-sung has few moment alone (hahahaa, serves you right, love to see him so pissed off), but as soon as he's in his office by himself, he calls Soo-kyung. He tells him: "Next Monday, I plan to use our last minion". Take the bag with the material and "deliver it well". It's a very important bag. And Soo-kyung takes a notebook from Mr. Shin's bedside table to write down exactly what Hee-sung tells him. He writes: Yong-san D64 3864 - and then rips the page out. Ohhhhhhh!
The imprint of the ballpoint could probably still be seen on the next page.  
I literally clapped when I realized that Mr. Shin knew this, too. I started yelling, "Get the book! Get the book!" before remembering that the poor man can't move.
Flashback (Mr. Shin's): A much younger and merrier Soo-kyung in jogging gear is chasing Myung-ha through the streets, laughing. A much younger Mr. Shin sits in the yard and laughs at their game. But suddenly, Soo-kyung pulls a gun and threatens them. "All you have to do is stay quiet", he warns Mr. Shin. Oh, it's not a flashback, but a nightmare! His monitors go haywire and the worried nurse (her name is Lee) quickly gets her letter-board out.
It's sort of like asking a choking person if they're okay...
Hee-sung is in a meeting when nurse Lee calls him, to report that Mr. Shin seems to be doing much better ... he even seems to remember his past! Oops. Oh, and by the way ... he sent a letter to someone; "the lady detective". A normal letter. Since they didn't know the address, they sent the letter to the police station. Hee-sung is probably having a heart-attack inside! Good!
I love his 'oh shit what do I do now' face.
I do, too. He must have really good antiperspirant. 
He takes himself and his police shadow to the police station right away. Sung-chan isn't there (he probably hoped for that) and tries to get rid of his "protection" aka Sergeant Jo. Han stalls. Han is smart. And Hee-sung starts scanning the desks for that letter... and sees it. He's already reaching for it when Sung-chan comes in. I cheer. Sung-chan suggests they take it outside.
Come on boys, isn't it time to drop all this polite shit?! Sung-chan claims he is just worried for Hee-sung, who pretends to be angry that Sung-chan doubts him all the time. Hee-sung wants to take his leave quickly, claiming to be busy. But here's the rub... if he's that busy, why did he come by here personally? Sung-chan wonder, smiling. He is enjoying this, isn't he. But Hee-sung isn't cornered that easily. He pulls something from his pocket: the device that Sung-chan planted under his car. 
I know you know. Now you know I know you know.
Okay, now we're getting somewhere. Sung-chan no longer hides his mistrust and calls it: "It's you, the Piper, right?" When Hee-sung laughs him in the face and asks whether he has evidence, he whispers: "I'll find it".
Eat him ALIVE, Sung-chan. Do it!
But don't do it unless we can watch and you're wearing those pants!
Inside the office, Myung-ha finds the letter and opens it. It reads: "Myung-ha, are you well? I'm sorry I couldn't see you then. I don't have anything else to say. Don't worry". She thinks about calling Sung-chan, but decides against it (why?!) and then proceeds to go to the nursing home alone. She wants to confirm something with Mr. Shin. Myung-ha, NO! Through the rigged webcam, Hee-sung receives a text that Myung-ha just left for the nursing home. He calls Soo-kyung and tells him to get the letter back. But: "Do not EVER hurt Myung-ha". Soo-kyung says nothing in return.
Again, a Myung-ha obsession. They have no issues terrifying a helpless elderly person who can't even sit up in his hospital bed, but "do not ever hurt Myung-ha." Aish, chincha, forget it: never try to understand crazy people. 
But nothing he's doing is 'crazy' except that it's not a plan most people would undertake. There is a very strong internal logic to what he is doing and each thing he does within that. Soo-kyung, too. So you have to assume there's a specific reason Hee-sung is protective of Myung-ha, and in Soo-kyung's eyes, whatever distracts Hee-sung from the mission is a liability.
Sung-chan tells Jo to be on his guard all the time, but the young police man wants to know more. He knows Sung-chan knows something he won't share and is slightly pissed about it. But Sung-chan has a good reason for it: he is certain there's a leak somewhere. Time to get hacker-Choi on the case! (he's totally reluctant though, cause he's: somebody hacked us? On my watch?! NEVA!)
Somewhere rural between the police station and the nursing home, Soo-kyung drives Myung-ha off the road and takes her hostage. She is smart though and hides the letter well. She also puts up a brave fight, but, alas... the Boxer is the Boxer. When asked about the letter she lies and says Sung-chan has it and thought there must be evidence in it... for Hee-sung being the Pied Piper. He is looking into it right now, in fact.
If she dies that team will go crazy. But then so will Hee-sung.
I thought this was well played by Myung-ha. I like her character. I'm glad that they do not make the one "lady-cop" stupid, which happens far too often in shows.
Soo-kyung wants to check whether she's lying so he forces her to call Sung-chan, gun at her forehead. This is how this phone call goes:
Myung-ha: "Sung-chan, did you find it?"
Sung-chan: "..... What?"
MH: "That thing that was hidden in Ahjussi Shin's letter."
SC: "Hold on a sec" (leaves the room, thinks HARD) (I could literally see the cogs moving around furiously in his brain!)
SC: "I... found it". (thinks more and harder)
SC: "With this, I can put Yoon Hee-sung away".
At which point Soo-kyung snatches the phone and says "that's amazing". Oh man.
Sung-channie is so smarrrrt give him a cookie!
Sung-chan has so much self-control, it's amazing. He is surely extremely shocked, but he plays it cool, telling Soo-kyung that he has not yet shown this evidence to anyone else, but that he will if any harm comes to Myung-ha. "Yeah, but you saw it", says Soo-kyung. "Yes... I will turn myself over." One hour. And he has to come alone. And no tricks!
Cue both sides planning tricks. I would have liked for Boxer and Hee Sung to be on Liar Game. Sung-chan too.
That would've been excellent! (Someone should do a blog post about what characters should've been in other dramas)
When he realizes that Myung-ha is worried about Sung-chan, Soo-kyung screams at her about how the negotiator is to blame for everybody's death. Also, he thinks she has been brainwashed by Team Leader Oh.
So, that's why he hates her. 
It's more than just that though. He's pissed because he knows that she think he is the one who has been brainwashed when he sincerely believes that  . . .
The only one who is right is "that man"... Hee-sung. The one who brought him back to life. That's all he gives her though, because now, his crazy-possessive side comes to the fore. He does not like how Hee-sung looks at her. And he very clearly does not plan to let Myung-ha or Sung-chan live.
How does he look at her? I really can't tell with Hee-sung.
This is what I was talking about before. Hee-Sung looks at Myung-ha with care. He looks at Soo-Kyung that way as well. These two are the only two people Hee-Sung looks at this way. He says that Soo-Kyung must protect his life, but he thinks the same way about Myung-ha. Soo-Kyung hates that. She is on the other side and his rival. It makes me wonder though whether he wouldn't see her as competition for Hee-Sung's affection and focus if she were on their side.
Sung-chan finds Myung-ha's damaged and abandoned car by the side of the road. And he immediately starts searching it. He finds the letter and ... realizes something that Myung-has not. It's written on notebook paper and his fingers feel something. He grabs a pen and starts shading the paper ... the reveal what Soo-kyung had written there not long ago: Yong-san D64 3864. That, he guesses, must be a locker.
Clever Elder Shin!
Clever Sung-chan!
Clever Myung-ha!
Soo-kyung parks his car with a blindfolded Myung-ha in the middle of a sports field and leaves with his rifle. He takes position and calls Sung-chan. It's almost time, he says.
Oh dear.
Sung-chan is nowhere near though ... he went to where those lockers are. He shouts at Soo-kyung that he won't walk into an obvious trap, where both of them will be killed. He demands a change of location! But Soo-kyung isn't bluffed... he takes aim. "Say goodbye to her", he says. But right then, Sung-chan has opened the locker and takes out that bag. "I have the bag", he says. "And I repeat: If you touch a hair on Myung-ha's body, the deal is over".
Damn. Soo Kyung threw an assassination party and no one showed up.
This scene was excellent. The pacing and alternating shots were perfect. So tense!

Comments (there are no additional tidbits)

OMG, will this end with a heart attack?  
Yes. My own.
Mine too!
Maybe Elder Shin's.

Sung-chan, what are you dooooing TT___________TT. Such a dangerous, dangerous game! He is gambling with Myung-ha's life right now!! It's what he always does, gamble with life, in order to win big. But he also makes this stuff up as he goes along. He didn't even lie when he said he would give himself up - he is ready to do that (for her) and has been for a while. But then, along comes that letter - which really DOES contain evidence to bring down Hee-sung. And that changes his whole plan, of course. That's so damn clever, show.
It did not at all feel like before, either, his gamble. Was it like that for you?
It's much more desperate, much less planned out, I think. He really just went with what life handed him. I think it comes almost naturally to him, this gambling. 
Hmm. I didn't think he was gambling with her life here. I think was gambling because it was her life (on the line) here. There is a difference. He is forced to buy time and guess things. Soo-kyung would have shot her with no remorse if he had not found that bag.

If we take a step back and try to disentangle everything, this is what we get: Hee-sung knows for sure that Sung-chan suspects him, but he thinks he has no evidence. He must live in constant fear that he might find it though, hehe. Hee-sung also does not know what Soo-kyung is up to (yet) - his order to leave Myung-ha alone was clear enough. And even though Soo-kyung has disobeyed him in the past and has shown a tendency to crazy-violence, Hee-sung still believes that they can and should do this together. He is protecting the young one (as much as he can), shown most clearly when he rushes to Soo-kyung's hide out in person to rescue him, jeopardizing his own identity.
Are they a couple?
I don't get that impression at all. They have a close sunbae-hoobae relationship, and belong to the same axis of evil. It's natural for them to take care of each other.
I have my suspicions of Soo-kyung's feelings though.
Okay, then.
A very strong hyung-dongsaeng relationship I'd say. And you heard our Psycho: Hee-sung is his savior. It seems almost religious
There is a reason people call it a passion. The same hormones are often at work when people have deeply religious experiences as when they fall in love.
No one is getting any of my jokes today. I was parodying agency statements about idols dating in this one. There's another one. I was very proud of it, too. Sigh.

Soo-kyung ... awww, poor Soo-kyung. Yes, I said it. This is not a sadistic and evil psychopath. This is a deeply traumatized, deeply troubled young man who has snapped due to what happened in his past. Psychological help, like Myung-ha received, might have saved him. But he did not get any. Instead, Hee-sung found him when he had hit rock bottom - and used him. He has power over him and he knows it. Hee-sung has many shades of grey, but I think we see just how ruthless he is in the way he has taken over the Boxer's life. "I am not brainwashed", Soo-kyung tells Myung-ha, but man, there is nothing left of what he used to be, that laughing man in the track-suit is completely gone. I'm not saying Hee-sung has to take full blame for this, of course not! But a large part of what Soo-kyung has become is Hee-sung's doing.
Still, there's a limit to how much I can blame brainwashing. In the end, even if brainwashing is the case and totally to blame for the Boxer's actions, it's not enough to keep him from punishment in my view. Maybe a reduced punishment, but he has to get something.
I don't think anyone would argue differently.

And now, Sung-chan. He claims that he is not sharing intel because he is convinced there's a leak. That's not the whole truth though, is it? He may have come to that conclusion in the course of this episode, but I think he simply still cannot open up to people. The negotiating team may feel like friends at times, but he tells Myung-ha in an earlier episode that "he likes to drink alone" and in this episode, he also shows that he likes to do things alone. He is closest to Myung-ha (also because of the history they share), that's why he tells her about Hee-sung - but only when she confronts him about it. I hope he realizes that he needs the others to solve this case. All of them.
Interesting thought. It didn't really feel like he was cutting them out deliberately, just acting in the moment - but I guess he is?
Again, I don't even think he planned to cut them out. He just is. Because that's what he does. He's a loner at heart, because getting close to people means getting hurt, sooner or later
I also don't think he's doing it deliberately either. This whole "team thing" is new to him. He also is completely suspicious of the leak and the spying. He knows that there is some bug somewhere.

What will happen now? The situation does NOT look good for Sung-chan and Myung-ha, to be honest. He may have found some crucial evidence now that Soo-kyung wants, but we also know that Soo-kyung plans to kill them both. How will you get out of this trap, Sung-chan?! Damn.
I just pat my arm and tell myself it's okay, it's a drama, he won't die. Yet.