As our daydream continues, we follow a young man as he quietly moves about a room with bookshelves and egg crate sound proofing on the walls. He stops to touch a wooden sign that is carved with the message “Peace to All Who Come Here”. He moves on to a bookshelf, passing a set of brass scales on the way. At the bookshelf, he pulls a single book from its place. The title is “The Seven Deadly Sins and the Justice”. He stares at the book cover for a long moment and then closes his eyes as if to pray. A short time later he steps in front of a cracked mirror. His hair is wet and he is shirtless and he appears to have just taken a shower. He looks at his hands and then suddenly begins to swat at his body, almost as if he is covered in bugs. The fit lasts only a moment and when he recovers from it he catches his dual reflection in the broken mirror. His expression changes from confusion to agony as he remembers abuse at his father’s hands. He had been quietly drawing when his father grabbed him by his hair and shoved him in a cage. His father told him that the world was corrupt and it was their duty to return justice to the world. The man holds the child and brands his forehead with a symbol. It is a scar that he still bears. A balanced scale.
Min Young briefs Ki Hyung on the murdered couple. There is nothing unusual about them, they didn’t have anyone who had a grudge against them. Ki Hyung wonders why they were targeted. Min Young considers that they may have been chosen because of their wealth but there are other more extravagant homes much closer to the road and a quick escape. The criminals thought process doesn’t quite make sense. Sun Woo brings Ki Hyung a list of people that work in slaughter houses. The couple was killed using methods normally used to slaughter animals. Perhaps they will be able to narrow their list of suspects from there. Na Hwang shows the team the video of the murder along with the 911 call from the killer and his accomplice. There are two different voices on the recording but only one promises to punish sins seven times. Ki Hyung expects there will be six more “sin” murders to follow. Lee Han interrupts to tell the assembled team that the camera on the laptop in front of him has just turned on by itself. The team is being watched and we see the camera from the killer’s point of view. A message is transmitted to Lee Han’s laptop. The message warns that if NCI tries to stop them they will be “judged in the name of the law”. Another message is delivered. “You can never stop us.” (Never say never.) With the laptop being controlled remotely, Ki Hyung believes that the murdered couple may have requested some kind of technical support that would allow another person access to their computer. He asks Min Young to look into it as Lee Han says that he will dig into the machine to see what else he can find.
The young man controlling the computer receives a phone call. He quickly puts on a pair of headphones and takes the call. It is someone calling for technical support. She says that she received her computer as a gift and is having trouble with the sound card. He asks her about her computer type and model number. He then asks if the computer is equipped with a camera. She finds the question strange but she answers that it does have a camera. He explains that he will need to gain remote access to the computer in order to diagnose the problem. Something catches his attention and he looks at the monitor to his right. A frisky couple is kissing one another wildly as they make their way to the bed. This is not a film but a live feed from someone’s bedroom. His eyes widen and we hear a gruff voice order him to “kill that witch”. He quickly disconnects the call and begins to cower in his chair. He says that the people on the monitor have only made a mistake. The disembodied voice insists that they must pay for their sins.
The team holds a round table to review what they already know about the killings and their killer. The note that one of the culprits tried to stop the other by alerting police but in the end was unable to stop the murders. The killers are either dependent on each other or they get some kind of thrill from the possibility of being caught. Ki Hyung tells the team to compile their individual lists of suspects. A bit later, Sun Woo presents a file to Ki Hyung. Someone suspicious was seen near the murdered couples home three months earlier. Sun Woo and Min Young will go and speak with the person who reported the suspicious activity. No sooner have they left than Ki Hyung is approached by another detective. There has been another murder. The team arrives at the scene and receives a briefing from the officer in charge. The victim is the homeowner’s tennis teacher. He’s had his throat cut and his body was found naked in the bedroom. It has been verified that the husband is out of town and his wife is nowhere to be found. Once inside, Hyun Joon picks up the “Devil” tarot card from the floor along with a typed noted. A single sentence is highlighted in yellow. He examines the items and tells the team that the sin this time is adultery. The highlighted portion of the note proclaims that a person who commits adultery has destroyed a family and therefore deserves to die. Ki Hyung’s attention turns to the open laptop on the counter. He says that the victims were being watched using the built in camera. He quickly closes the laptop. (Does this make you start to wonder about your built in camera? I recommend a trimmed post-it-note over the camera lens.)
In a dark cave somewhere, a woman wearing a black slip is tied to a chair. The young man squats in front of her in an almost protective posture and bleats “Father, this is murder”. The girl begs for her life and promises to do whatever the men tell her to do. She is immediately ordered to shut her mouth and then the young man is ordered to prepare for the execution by an still unseen person. The young man apologizes to the woman as several vicious dogs bark from their cages nearby.
Ki Hyung speaks with the detective in charge at the scene. He explains that when there are two killers, usually one is dominant while the other is submissive. The detective asks Ki Hyung to clarify his thoughts about a suspect and Ki Hyung can only tell him that perhaps the killer is not the person they think it is. Meanwhile, in the cave, the execution is proceeding. The young man speaks to the camera and says that the law exists to reform people not to punish them. His voice shakes and we realize that he is having a conversation and attempting to dissuade the other killer from going through with his plan. He asks for the woman to be forgiven and she echoes his request. They are immediately cut off and told that “Humans never learn unless they are punished.” He then threatens the young man telling him that if he says one more word that he will be punished as well. The young man immediately apologizes and does as he is told. He reads a passage from the book “Seven Deadly Sins and Justice” that outlines the punishment for adultery. The punishment should be merciless and prolonged. The woman struggles in her chair as the young man moves to the dog cages. He opens one cage and a barking dog rushes towards the woman with his fangs bared.
Back at the crime scene, Ki Hyung explains his suspicions about their killer. He believes they are dealing with a killer that has two distinct personalities. He believes that the killer created another ego that would carry out his crimes for him. Na Hwang calls Ki Hyung to let him know that the killer has posted another video. The video shows the woman in the black slip lying on her side still bound to a chair. Two dogs wander back and forth in front of her, biting at the air. She is deathly still. Lee Han realizes that the killer doesn’t work at a slaughter house but rather a dog farm. Ki Hyung passes the information to Na Hwang and asks for a list of dog farms in the area of the murders.
Sun Woo and Min Young arrive at their witnesses house. They approach the home with their flashlights and begin to search the property when no one answers the door. They are looking for Kim Min Soo. The two women decide to separate and search different areas. Meanwhile, Na Hwang cross references restaurant owners with dog meat vendors to narrow their search for a suspect. Hyun Joon finds a possible suspect that fits the profile. His name is Kim Il Ho. He passed the first bar exam ten years ago. Three years ago he was fined for running an illegal dog breeding farm. There doesn’t seem to be any record of Kim Il Ho actively practicing law. Perhaps he was rejected numerous times and became obsessed with law. Ki Hyung points out that the person in the videos is not old enough to be the man they are describing. Lee Han then discovers that Kim Il Ho has a son named Kim Min Soo. Ki Hyung remembers Sun Woo telling him about the witness report. The witness is named Kim Min Soo. Ki Hyung realizes that the call to report suspicious activity was merely a cover to find out how quickly the police would respond. He grabs his phone and calls Sun Woo to warn them of their danger.
Sun Woo looks at her phone and finds that there is no service at this remote location. She hears dogs barking and follows the sound as Min Young peers through a window on the other side of the house. SUn Woo makes her way into the cave where she heard the dogs barking. She finds the body of the young woman in the black slip, scratches and bite marks cover her face and arms. Suddenly, several dogs rush towards Sun Woo, barking and gnashing their teeth. Min Young still searches the perimeter of the house when she hears gunshots ring out. She makes her way back to the door where she and Sun Woo parted and is immediately hit in the head with a shovel. She falls to the ground, motionless.
A short time later, all the boys arrive, wearing bulletproof vests with their guns drawn. They begin searching the property for Sun Woo and Min Young. Ki Hyung and other officers go to search the house while Hyun Joon, Lee Han and the detective go to search the dog cages. As they enter the cave, Hyun Joon shines his flashlight on the damp floor and finds a dead dog. He raises his flashlight and is met with an order to freeze. It is Sun Woo. She is a little freaked out and Hyun Joon has to announce who he is before she will lower her weapon. He rushes to her side and asks if she is alright. She says that she is but she grips her forearm as though she’s been bitten. More flashlights reveal the dead woman tied to the chair. Sun Woo tells Hyun Joon that Kim Min Soo is the killer. He acknowledges that she is right. Her temporary relief turns to panic when she realizes that Min Young is not with the rest of the officers. Inside the house, Ki Hyung quickly finds the bank of computer monitors, unaware that their suspect is driving away with an unconscious Min Young.
Min Young wakes to find herself tied to a chair, blood mats her hair and runs down the back of her neck. Kim Min Soo sits in a chair nearby, holding her NCI I.D. badge. She asks who he is and why he brought her here. He starts to babble about the law and executing the law. He notes that she is one who protects the law but then asks her what sin she has committed. Meanwhile, Na Hwang arrives on the scene to analyze the computer equipment they have found. They start with Min Soo online activity looking for anything that would trigger a killer or lead them to his next chosen victim. Na Hwang notices that each monitor has a tarot card taped to it, each with a different sin.
Min Soo enters the cabin where he is keeping Min Young. He is dragging a bag behind him. The bag is full of fresh animal meat and he begins to butcher it while Min Young looks on. He talks about the justice beginning with blood and his voice is gruff and strange as he does so. Back at Min Soo house Lee Han discovers that Min Soo was able to acquire a large amount of an antipsychotic drug without a prescription since he purchased it from an animal pharmacy. Ki Hyung thinks that Min Soo used the medication to forget about being abused during his childhood. Using the drugs would have created a vicious cycle and a traumatic incident could have triggered Min Soo’s instinct to kill.
Deeper in the cave, an officer leads Hyun Joon to a chamber full of blue oil drums. Each drum is topped with plastic. Hyun Joon peels back one of the plastic coverings to reveal a man’s body. It is Kim Il Ho, Min Soo’s abusive father. Back at the cabin, Min Soo offers Min Young some food. Min Young talks gently to him and asks who is the other person that was there before him. He only asks if that person hurt her. He offers her food again and she requests to be untied so that she can eat comfortably. He tells her he can’t because his father will scold him but he does say that he can reduce her pain. He quickly grabs a small box and produces a syringe and a bottle of yellow liquid. He loads the syringe and begins to administer the shot in spite of Min Young’s pleas to stop. In the middle of giving the shot, Min Young’s personality shifts and it now the father that emerges. He accuses Min Young of tricking his son and he slaps her hard across the face for her transgression.
We learn that Kim Il Ho has been dead for at least six months. Sun Woo examines a diary that details the activities of father and son. Ki Hyung finds an entry that says “Father has made a judgment, He wants to be executed. I told him that I couldn’t do it but he has told me to obey his judgment.” Kim Min Soo has been writing in the journal as though his father is alive and apparently experienced something so traumatic that he was unable to write about it. It is believed that his disassociative disorder kicked into high gear on that day. Hyun Joon noticed that Min Soo’s room was messy but Il Ho’s room remained very orderly and neat. The team agrees that Kim Min Soo’s personality split in order to solve the contradiction to his father’s order. That is when the “Executioner” was created that would allow Min Soo to kill his father.
Hyun Joon realizes what they have missed and goes to Na Hwang. He tells her to log in to the computer system using Kim Il Ho’s account. At first, Na Hwang is confused but when she searches she finds an account for the deceased man. The dead man’s account contains all of the things they were looking for in Min Soo’s account. Images of war and death litter his account. There is also a live video feed of Min Young tied to a chair. Soon the entire team stares at the monitor in disbelief. Ki Hyung is sure that Min Soo knows that they are watching.
As the team watches in horror, Min Soo’s alter ego has arranged a test for Min Young. She is forced to choose who will die next. First, she throws the law at Min Soo and tells him that he cannot execute someone if their guilt is in doubt. A person’s crimes must be proved before they can be punished. Min Young then looks directly at the camera and says “Just like poachers who hunt out of season, you cannot hunt those who are not guilty in the name of the law.” Min Soo is furious that she has used the law against him and demands that she choose who should die. When she hesitates, Min Soo decides that she will die instead. He switches personalities to the Executioner and grabs a knife. He prepares to draw it across her throat when she finally agrees to choose but she says she will only do so if she can also choose who is allowed to live. Min Young looks at the monitors in front of her and chooses the monitor on the right containing a woman in her kitchen alone. Min Soo says her name and talks about her supposed crimes. Meanwhile, Na Hwang locates the woman and Sun Woo calls to warn her of her danger.
While the team continues to watch, Min Young chooses the man in the center monitor. Again, Min Soo names him and his “crimes”. He seems satisfied with her choices and says that since she did her job that he will go and do his. She stops him and asks if the children on the monitor on the left are guilty of any crime. She guesses their ages to be five and ten years old. She asks if they are being targeted because of their greed. She says that the couple lives in such a big apartment that greed surely must be their sin. Min Soo’s eyes narrow and he angrily scolds Min Young. He asks her if she really believed that he wouldn’t know what she was doing. He strikes her so hard that her chair tips over and she falls out of the camera’s view. Ki Hyung asks Na Hwang to go through Min Soo’s list of clients to find the family that fits the description that Min Young has provided. In spite of being very upset at seeing her friend brutalized, Na Hwang quickly locates the information and police are dispatched to four different residences that match the description.
Sun Woo asks to see a replay of what they have just seen and she listens carefully to Min Young as she talks about the law to Min Soo. She notices how Min Young looks directly at the camera when she talks about poachers. The team believes she is giving them a clue to her location. Na Hwang finds three hunting areas but Hyun Joon feels the search location is too vast to be able to find Min Young in time. They continue watching as the “Executioner” announces that Min Young will be executed at 11 pm. Na Hwang is stricken by the declaration and is almost in tears. Sun Woo receives a phone call informing her that a CCTV camera recorded Min Soo at 9:56 pm. The team calculates the time between the CCTV footage and the beginning of the first broadcast of Min Young’s “trial” in order to find a search radius.
Min Young carefully asks if Min Soo is there. She tries to draw him out by talking about his love for his father. Instead, Min Soo becomes enraged and grabs Min Young by the throat. Just before he is going to stab Min Young, Min Soo returns to himself and releases Min Young. He is horrified to find himself holding a knife. Min Young promises that she will protect him if he will let her go. He cuts the ropes and sadly asks her to make it out alive. His repentant tone only last seconds and his father re-emerges in a rage. He swings his knife at Min Young and screams at her for deceiving his son. Min Young is able to avoid the blow and turn the tables. Now it is Min Soo who is on the floor. Min Young climbs on his back and twists his arm behind him. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have control of his other arm and he stabs her with a syringe full of the yellow liquid. She slumps to the floor, drugged into unconsciousness.
As Hyun Joon and Sun Woo race to the search area, the talk about Min Young and how he might try to carry out Min Young’s execution. Hyun Joon wonders about Min Soo’s mother and he calls Na Hwang to get more details. They learn that her death was ruled a suicide but her husband said that she was being punished for deceiving her husband and deserved to die. Hyun Joon remembers the video of the “Executioner” announcing Min Young’s sentence. He asks Na Hwang about the tarot cards. The images match. On the tarot card, there is a grave and a hooded figure hanging from a tree. Na Hwang searches for graves within the search radius and finds that there is a grave site at one of the hunting locations.
Hyun Joon and Sun Woo arrive at about the same time a new broadcast begins. Na Hwang cries out as she sees her friend with a noose around her neck. Hyun Joon and Sun Woo find Min Young just as she is being hoisted off the ground by her neck. Hyun Joon rushes forward while Sun Woo covers him. He quickly grabs Min Young but is suddenly slashed on his arm my Min Soo. Since Min Soo is no longer holding the rope, Min Young drops to the ground as Hyun Joon turns to face his attacker. The two men grapple with one another and eventually, Hyun Joon has Min Soo shoved against a tree by the throat. Min Soo reaches for Hyun Joon’s wounded arm with his free hand and digs his fingertips into the deep cut. Now it is Hyun Joon with his back against a tree and Min Young’s knife inching ever closer to his throat.
Hyun Joon shoves with all his might and manages to kick Min Soo away from him and to the ground. Min Soo is quickly on his feet and back on the attack. He is a breath away from stabbing Hyun Joon in the chest when a shot rings out. Min Soo drops to the ground and Hyun Joon disarms him. Sun Woo rushes to Min Young’s side and tries to get some response from her wounded friend. Min Young slowly opens her eyes and relief floods Sun Woo’s face. Min Soo begins to speak through the blood that fills his mouth. He begs Hyun Joon to “save that woman”. He says that Min Young reminds him of his mother every time he looks at her. Min Soo dies and so too does his monstrous alter ego.
Min Young is taken to an ambulance on a stretcher. All of the team follows her. She reaches out to Ki Hyun and briefly holds his hand. Sun Woo climbs into the ambulance with Min Young while Ki Hyung checks on Hyun Joon. Hyun Joon assures Ki Hyung that his wound is nothing much and that he will be ok. Ki Hyung looks into Hyun Joon’s eyes and clasps his shoulder. He tells Hyun Joon that he has done a good job and the gesture seems to be a turning point for the two men, however small it may appear. Inside the ambulance, Min Young expresses her gratefulness to Sun Woo. Sun Woo carefully takes Min Young’s hand and reassures her that everything is going to be fine. Sun Woo offers her a rare smile that warms the atmosphere of the cold ambulance interior.
This was Lee Sun Bin’s episode and she really got to shine. Her portrayal of a captive with a cool head did wonders to erase the relatively thoughtless actions that put her there in the first place. (Again, I blame the writers.) The foley artists even included a door creak that would alert the dimmest of wits to someone sneaking up behind you with a shovel but our beautiful and intelligent media specialist was clearly paying attention to the gunshots and not anything else. Who could blame her? Not me. Not really. The way she approached the killer with patience and compassion gave her performance that extra edge and also gave us a peek into a character that is far more than just a pretty face. For that, I also blame the writers. 😉
I was also really happy to see a warmer Sun Woo. I can totally see all the girls getting together now for a “no boys allowed” night of pizza and chick flicks while wearing unicorn and Pikachu onesie pajamas. I can also see Lee Han and Hyun Joon figuring out a way to crash the party. Oh, if only I were in charge……. But I digress. I also was happy to see Ki Hyun reaching out a bit to Hyun Joon. The two men have a few things unspoken between them and I am hopeful that we will get to see a deepening of their trust in upcoming episodes. I’d also like to see Hyun Joon address the elephant in the room with Ki Hyung. We know he knows the truth but admitting it to another person might be easier said than done.