Some interesting plot twists in this episode. I’m really liking this drama so far. Usually with other dramas, it takes me a few episodes to get interested, but I was invested right off the bat with Gap-Dong. Also… quick side note. How fitting is it that I’ve begun this drama right as October is rounding the corner? At least I have a relatively spooky drama to view during the Halloween season… Anyway, let’s get to it!
Tae-Oh pursues getting a job as a barista (at the exact cafe that Dr. Maria goes to for coffee) after his release from the mental facility. Later on he’s passing out flyers at night during the Christmas season and examines all the females as he does so. A few of them suit his fancy but when he discovers that one has a child and the other a husband he decides “pass” on them as potential victims. However, Ji-wool catches his eye and he approaches her without hesitation. It appears she’s equally as excited since his undeniably handsome visage presents itself as a good candidate in terms of inspiration for her webtoon. Unfortunately, before they can make a solid connection, she’s dragged off by the old monk from the temple.
Turns out Maria is Jae-Hee, the little girl from episode one who witnessed Gap-Dong committing murder. She’s clearly traumatized by this and experiences flashbacks of Gap-Dong making the two girls play rock, paper, scissors to decide who will die. It doesn’t take long before she’s desperately reaching for some prescription pills. Also, she’s living in a trailer, which strikes me as a bit odd considering the fact that she’s a doctor and usually they’re known for bringing in a hefty salary.
The old monk isn’t as bad as he seems. He was only dragging poor Ji-wool away so they could visit our injured hero at the hospital, who’s just gotten off the phone with Maria in attempt to nag her into visiting him. Maria ends up declining thanks to Tae-Oh who runs into her on the street. He tells her he’s not doing well and wants to go back to the mental center.
Cue murder scene. Ah yes, another dead body to enhance the Christmas holiday. A fancy knot around the dead victim’s hands show that it’s the work of our mysterious Gap-Dong. Moo-yeom is clearly distraught by this as he watches from afar. Meanwhile, Maria gets her morning coffee from our new barista Tae-Oh, who’s elated to see her. Unfortunately for him, the feeling doesn’t seem to be mutual. Things get a little disturbing when he stamps her coffee card nine times instead of one. She awkwardly refuses to take it which suddenly prompts him to start ominously counting to nine aloud, mentioning that the feeling of completion is gratifying. (I can think of another nine…like— oh the nine murders of Gap-Dong. If that’s not a terrifying coincidence, I’m not quite sure what is…)
We’re taken back to the crime scene where Moo-yeom acts out the murder in his head. There’s something rather hair-raising about watching our hero acting out the crime. It gave me the creeps. Chul-gon comes to ruin the party and eventually kicks Moo-yeom off the case. (Goddamnit.) Moo-yeom visits professor Han and they discuss the details of Gap-Dong’s signature knot together. Moo-yeom wonders why he used fishing line and Professor Han responds that it’s sturdy. (Is it me or is this guy seedy as fuck? He seems to have all the right answers to all the right questions? On top of that, all those answers seem to be… too accurate.) After Moo-yeom leaves to go “beg” for the rights to pursue the case, Professor Han makes a call to Maria. (Since when did they know each other???) It doesn’t last long though. He says he’s bored and was just checking in before quickly hanging up and heaving a sigh.
As Moo-yeom arrives to beg, Chul-gon is awaiting the autopsy results. The begging is to no avail. It only makes Chul-gon suspect him more… if that’s even possible at this point. As Moo-yeom leaves, he receives a text from Ji-wool. His notebook full of his case notes on Gap-Dong fall to the floor (in the most obvious fucking manner) but Moo-yeom is too distracted by the text to notice. Chul-gon, of course, doesn’t miss this piping hot opportunity to snatch up that notebook and “confirm” his suspicions that Moo-yeom is following in his father’s footsteps. (Although, nothing’s actually being confirmed. He’s just too paranoid and set in his ways to view the bigger picture.) Moo-yeom takes back his book in disgust as he once more tells Chul-gon that he has the wrong idea.
We see our motorcyclist decked out in all black speeding down the street and catch a good glimpse of his face. Oh. It’s Tae-Oh. (Not sure about you but I wasn’t very surprised.) The scene changes to a young woman loading hay into the back of her truck. There’s not enough room for all of it, so she’ll have to make two trips. As she leaves, she passes Tae-Oh who seems to be struggling with his bike. His one arm is in a sling and he shoots the woman a helpless glance. At first, she drives off, but after a change of heart, and much to Tae-Oh’s pleasure, she comes back to assist him. This isn’t looking good, seeing as the two are right by the very same bus stop where one of Gap-Dong’s victims was last seen. (Is this our possible copycat killer?) Moo-yeom seems to pick up on this, and quickly begins making his way over to the destination.
The young woman offers to drive Tae-Oh home, but he’s sharper than he looks. The hand-crafted straw handbag that sits between them captures his attention and he comments on its uniqueness, asking where she got such an item. This causes her to change their course of travel to her workshop instead. (Eep! Don’t let those good looks deceive you girl!) In a creepy turn of events, he asks if she’d like to play a game; the zombie game. She questions his ability to play such a game with an injured arm. He slowly begins unraveling the bandage, saying that he feels better now. Then he offers her the bandage as a blindfold, prompting her to choose between the zombie or human. The woman starts to realize that the situation is heading south. (Too late for that, honey.) With uneasiness, she chooses the human, and with his signature creeper smile, he reveals it was a poor choice.
Maria snoops around in professor Han’s office and finds a bunch of photos related to the Gap-Dong case that resemble the ones Moo-yeom has. She snaps a few pictures of the evidence with her cell phone camera. Back in the world of Ji-wool, we discover our aspiring artist is using the alias Matilda for her webcomics. A closer look shows that she is pretty obsessed with Moo-yeom, since the spitting image of him is seen illustrated in her work. This idea is solidified when she attempts to call him. Our Mad Monk doesn’t pick up because he’s occupied with roaming around the bus stop where he believes the possible copycat Gap-Dong might have scoped out his next victim. Oh? Is that a motorcycle he just spotted? I think it is. Looks awfully familiar too. (Hmmm…….) Ah… what a convenient time for our hero’s phone to exhaust its battery. Time to use a sketchy pay phone while Maria makes her way over to the very same bus stop. As he discusses things with a co-worker, Tae-Oh gives him a good old whack upside the head with his motorcycle helmet, leaving him an unconscious mess on the pavement. (Damn… that had to hurt.) Tae-Oh wipes the leftover hay onto the blacked out Moo-yeom before hanging up the phone and making a call of his own.
Overall another thrilling episode. I think the pace was steady and a lot of interesting stories have begun to develop here. Some things have been a little predictable but hopefully for good reason. I’m wondering if Moo-yeom is going to be framed for the murder seeing as Tae-oh scattered the bits of hay all over his unconscious body. We all know Chief Scary Tiger is chomping at the bit to nail him but I pray to god that I’m wrong on this because that would be terrible for our hero. The only thing I’m not really liking so far is the portrayal of Ji-wool. I like her general character but in respect to her relationship with Moo-yeom I’m a bit confused. With the way things are progressing, she’s coming across a bit creepy. In other words, it’s starting to look like a disturbing obsession with Moo-yeom rather than a high school crush or admiration. The again… everyone in this drama seems to have their own unhealthy obsession now that I think of it. Also, I can’t leave out my immense satisfaction with this cast. Everyone has been excellent in regards to acting out their characters in a believable manner. Lee Joon is really impressing me, especially for an idol turned actor. We all know how some of these idols can’t make the transition very well, but thankfully that’s not the case for Joon. Anyways, It will be interesting to see what happens next!