Flower of Evil 악의 꽃 - Episode 8 (Recap)

kakashi: This episode is defined by love and heartache. It made me realize that the one character who we are told cannot feel or recognize emotions is the one calling out all the emotions and accurately at that. This episode is also defined by lies. The only character who seems truly committed to truth is Hae-su who gets away with murder so easily so far, it makes me wonder what else the show has in store for her.
JoAnne: I don't get it. He clearly feels emotions. I think he's more reserved than most, but for those he loves, he shows what he feels. He always loved his sister, even as a child. I'm not saying he doesn't have some issues but I think that diagnosis was wrong.

Episode 8

Baek residence, in the past, not too long after Hyun-su was caught in his attempt to steal (his leg is still bandaged). He's sitting vis-à-vis the Baek parents, not in the least cowed. He calls what he has a "comfortable imprisonment" and Dr. Baek likes that he's so bold. Hyun-su has a question and it's actually the question I have too! Why is the one who drove the car in a coma? Dr. Baek looks at his wife, she runs out. 
Come ON. TELL US. Why can I be so patient letting Hyun Su's story unfold but this part, I am DYING?

"It's the same reason you're a fugitive," Dr. Baek smirks. Huh? "An accident occurred which no one intended." Huh??! Okay... cryptic or does he know something we don't know? But here is why they want Hyun-su to live under their comatose son's identity: Mr. Baek just became Chief of Surgery. If people find out about his son's state, he may lose his position (huh??! only in KDrama, I hope).
Seriously. Why would that be an issue? Although let's not forget that in KDramas orphans are treated with suspicion and contempt for having had the misfortune of being the child of parents who died, so...
In the present, Ji-won exposes her husband's lie when he sneaks back to bed after his visit to Kim Moo-jin and claims he just went to the workshop. Interesting bit with him asking why she's angry and her claiming she isn't... I think our emotionally stunted Hyun-su is much better at reading emotions than he thinks he is.
He was fed a lie as a child and he grew up believing it, I think.

Our detectives are shadowing a criminal gang re lettuce theft when a character I didn't expect to see again turns up: Kim In-Seo, the boy who pretended his father pushed him down the stairs in the first episode! He's in trouble, hanging with the wrong crowd, and has run away from home. We see him go to a very dodgy employment agency later.
Study hard in school kids or you'll end up in a gang stealing lettuce!
The interaction with the runaway Kim In-Seo makes Ji-won reconsider her options. Shouldn't the well being of her child come first? Revealing the truth can have very bad consequences, she realizes. But what to do with her husband's lies? Ji-won is behaving suspiciously when she declares she's against them taking on the serial killer case in front of her team - it's really not like her! Sniffer dog Choi suspects she might be working her own case behind their backs - damn, he's good. And trouble!
He's a pain in the ass but very like her, at the same time. I like him.
Kim Moo-jin arranges a meeting between the siblings, pretending it was much work for him to find each. Pffft. They meet at an abandoned indoor swimming pool, it's all very moving, it's been 15 years!! Hyun-su wouldn't have contacted his noona would he not need her urgent help to find the man who gave her the fish pendant. Ah, but poor Hae-su feels so guilty for using him to cover it up... we get to see what transpired back then. Apparently, the village foreman attacked her when she urged him to stop the exorcism and she defended herself? (I have questions)   
So do I, but they're different from yours. What is UP with all the POOLS? This is the third pool!  
They must have chatted about their lives for a long time because when next we see them, it's dark outside. Hae-su is happy-crying over the family pictures on Hyun-su's phone. He's clearly proud of them (so sad: he ensures Hae-su that his kid is nothing like him, he kept checking). Hae-su remarks that he has changed a lot. And then, the shittiest possible thing to completely wreck this wholesome scene happens. Hae-su asks Hyun-su whether he loves his wife. He's been told so many times that he cannot feel anything he probably believes it so he answers: No. He never once felt that way. "I don't know what that feels like". His wife... is standing right around the corner, hearing everything. Nooooooooo TT_________________TT
It's a lie, girl. You know it's a lie. Also, I completely missed this scene. It changes a lot of what I was thinking about later scenes.
It hits her so hard :((( I realize that she doesn't seem to have any friends at all, her husband is probably the only person she feels / felt close to? Ji-won also heard him say that he wants to live as Baek Hee-sung until the very end. Accepting that she'll never get anything else than lies, she burns Hyun-su's duffle bag with all its contents. 
It's a LIE.
When Hyun-su comes back to their house, his wife is waiting outside for him with beer. Again, he asks whether something is wrong - HE KNOWS HER SO WELL!! - and she admits to being stressed at work. Their fifth year anniversary of moving to this house is coming up and he promises to organize a party for her. She asks: "Do you love me?" He doesn't answer at first but takes her hand, kisses it and says: "Why ask the obvious?" And damn, IT IS OBVIOUS, YES! These two kill me TT_______TT - even more when she thinks about leaving him without uncovering his identity. Her "final gift" to him. The next day at work, she drops her wedding ring into a drawer.
This cannot end with them apart. It cannot.
Hae-su and Hyun-su gather at Moo-jin's and Hae-su tries very hard to remember something about the person who gave her the fish pendant. He cried more than anyone else, kept his hat on, said their dad helped him out once. He had a comforting voice and said when looking at the sleeping Hyun-su: "I feel bad for him. His future is headed down a dreaded path." Finally, he wrote a phone number on Hae-su's arm, telling her to contact him if she ever needed help. Of course she doesn't remember the number, it's been 15 years. She wrote it down back then but their house burnt down (Hae-su did it). 
Their house did not burn down. They just WENT to it. So the mystery man is now more mysterious to me by the way, and I do NOT think he is the accomplice but how did he get that charm?
Moo-jin cannot help staring at Hae-su, hahahaaaa, puppy eyes. It's clever how they're using him for comic relief (he calls Hyun-su pretty because he's so preoccupied). Later, Hyun-su calls him out on it - again, the one who cannot feel anything spots Moo-jin's heartache?! - he doesn't approve of it at all, I guess because he's protective of his sis.
Moo Jin did a shitty thing yes but they were all kids then. They've all done things, and they've all grown.
Our crime investigation unit is officially on the serial killer case now. The big question: What did the victims have in common? Ji-won finds something interesting: most people who got in contact with Jung Mi-suk before her disappearance called her because of a job offer. At the same time, Hyun-su remembers his father liked to set trap - horrible flashback to kiddo Hyun-su getting a rabbit from his dad from one of those traps. The father tells him he can do with it whatever he wants - he'll just watch. He was expecting Hyun-su to kill the animal, right? 
Yes he was.

Detective Choi has an insight. The accomplice and Do Min-suk would have to have met twice to exchange car keys (er... there exist more than one set of keys per car normally but never mind, show). If Do Hyun-su was with his father that day, he would have seen the accomplice (er... well, you can also give your car keys to someone on a toilet or something). Anyway, Ji-won is electrified by the news, runs out, checks her tracker and... shit, she is going there, isn't she?!
The rest of the story is going so well I can ignore these minor conveniences, I think. But I am keeping track, Show.   
Moo-jin and Hyun-su are bickering again, but Hae-sue manages to mediate between them and Hyun-su even offers an apology. They're at a dead end, but Moo-jin thinks he might get info from Detective Im if he gets him really drunk. He's just about to call him when Ji-won calls. He lies that he's sick when she asks to meet. When his doorbell rings, he expects it to be the pizza he ordered earlier but of course not. She soon finds herself inside with her husband and his sister and a window full of case information.  
And since I missed her listening to them around the corner earlier, during this scene I was thinking she suspects him but doesn't know, and conveniently lapsed on the natural assumption that if he IS him, she's his sister...but now I understand that she's not looking at a roomful of people she has doubts about, she's looking at a roomful of people she knows are actively lying to her.   

Baek Eun-Ha continues her charm offensive and Granny Gong Mi-Ja caves completely, cooking her a Korean pancake, feeding her upon the girl's request, even blowing on the food first. 
I mean, I would do anything for that cute girl and I'm not even her pretend grandma.

Dr. Baek is not pleased at all to see the child in their home when he returns from work. He calls his wife into their bedroom and guilt trips her about their son (again, he blames her fully for what happened to him) - but apparently, he didn't pick up the phone that day and that had something to do with the accident? He hits her for that! Wow, I'm livid, he's clearly the most despicable character in this show! These two hate each other.
He is disgusting, through and through. Funny to think that when we first met them and he was kind of hanging back, I thought SHE was the driver of the separation and that he was meek and mild.
We later see that Dr. Baek has a burner phone in his drawer. He almost calls a number but gets interrupted by a text from their housekeeper, alerting him to his wife's strange behavior. Indeed, the wife is standing in her son's room and she means to end his miserable non-life. Flashback to her feeding him like she fed little Eun-ha. Mother and son had a very loving relationship. And it is love that makes her do what she does: detach the breathing apparatus from his face. She means to kill herself after this as well.
So sad. I cannot even imagine the pain and desperation.
Horrible. He struggles to breath, is choking... when the father busts in. There's hand-to-hand fighting among the parents and then... we see that Hee-sung's eyes are open.
Of course they are.


This episode was 75 minutes long and took me at least 4 hours to recap. No, tvN, no! But it's not at all too long when you watch it. This is a drama where nothing is wasted, still, eight episodes in. Impressive. 
Agreed.  I am very happy with this show.  I am also happy that you recap and I comment.
What a horribly mean thing to do was having Ji-won hear him say he doesn't love her?! Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned and this woman is most certainly capable of MUCH scorn. Interesting though that she burnt his things and isn't thinking of revenge. Just letting him go, to fulfill his wish - if that isn't the deepest love, I'm not sure what else is.
Whatever else is going on in this show - and at this point I wouldn't be surprised if NO ONE is who we think they are - I know these two love each other deeply.
If he says "I want to live as Baek Hee-sung, this is the only thing I feel", he means that he loves his wife and his daughter so much he cannot imagine ever being without them. We realize this, the others might not yet see through him - only his sister has these happy little smiles play around the corner of her lips when he talks about his family.
I think this is all she ever wanted for him.