As our daydream continues, Hyun Joon briefs the NCI team about the girls’ backpacks and where there were found. Ki Hyung asks if there is anything special about the vacant lot where the bags were found. He feels that the perpetrator left them there because the location was significant to him or the victims. He then asks if there might be a connection between the parent of the missing girls. Min Young informs the team that Lee You Jin’s parents work in real estate, Park Song Yi’s mother works at a call center and Hong Hye In’s father owns his own law firm. Each occupation is seemingly unrelated although Lee Han points out that both real estate and law often can create problems depending on the situation presented. Sun Woo tells the team that she and Hyun Joon were not able to find any evidence of resistance at the swimming pool where the girls were taken. The team can only conclude that the kidnapper had observed his targets for some time and was able to take the other two by threatening the third. Ki Hyung points out that the girls must still be alive since Friday was mentioned over and over in the text messages. He swings the team into action and asks that the parents of the missing girls be brought to the local police station. The team fans out and begins their search.
In their hidden prison, the girls huddle together for warmth. Yoo Jin trembles and complains about the cold and when she does Hye In jumps down her throat. “Do you think you are the only one who is cold?” She scolds Yoo Jin for even remarking about their conditions since it won’t help them get out alive. The girls begin to argue among themselves about what is or isn’t appropriate to say at a time like this. Song Yi whispers to Yoo Jin that they shouldn’t have listened to Hye In. After all, she is the one who talked them into going to a club without telling their parents. Hye In looses her marbles a little bit and runs to the exhaust fan and shouts to be released.
Hye In’s father, Mr. Hong, arrives at the police station and Min Young takes over to fill him in on what they know about his daughter’s disappearance so far. Meanwhile, Hyun Joon briefs the local police and tells them what they need to search for. Since there are multiple kidnapping victims, the kidnapper must have prepared a place to hide them. The local police are asked to search every underground bunker and storage unit in the area.
Hyun Joon gets a call from Na Hwang with information about the vacant lot where the backpacks were found. It seems that Yoo Jin’s grandfather owned the property that once housed a strip mall. The mall was torn down last year and since then there has been some problems and litigation surrounding the development of the property. Just as Hyun Joon finishes his call with Na Hwang, Min Young rushes into the room. Mr. Hong, after hearing about his daughter’s abduction, quickly left the police station. Min Young heard him say that he was going to kill someone. Hyun Joon puts a track on Mr. Hong’s cell phone and the team sprints to follow him hoping that he might know who the culprit is.
At the gym, the girls swimming coach is lecturing a few of their teammates. He admits that he probably shouldn’t say it but he tells them that the absence of their other teammates could be their chance to become the stars of the swim team. No sooner does he finish the sentence, than he is punched squarely in the jaw by Mr. Hong. The blow pushes him across the room and nearly off his feet. Before he has time to recover, he finds Mr. Hong grabbing him by the collar and demanding to know where his daughter is. All the while, he calls the coach a pervert. When the coach fails to give the location of Hye In and her teammates, Mr. Hong grabs a barbell weight near him and raises it over his head. As he prepares to bring the weight down on the coaches head, Hyun Joon, Lee Han, and several police officers jump between the two men and stop the fight. The officers drag Mr. Hong away, kicking and screaming.
Back at their hidden prison, Song Yi does her best to comfort Yoo Jin, who is clearly unwell and suffering a bit more than her healthy counterparts. Song Yi reminds her of a previous competition where Yoo Jin had won by such a large margin that the team had called her Queen Yoo Jin. Hye In can hardly stand to hear the happy story and scoffs at Song Yi for attempting something cheerful in a place that could well equate to their own coffin. Hye In expresses her dislike for whining and the people that do it. In spite of Song Yi’s numerous requests for Hye In to stop with her rotten attitude, she continues her acidic remarks towards her friends.
Just outside a local motel, a man finds a bag with bloodied clothing inside it. He contacts the police and Hyun Joon and Lee Han arrives shortly thereafter. They question the man who found the bag with the clothing and shows him a few photographs, asking if he recognizes anyone. He immediately recognizes Mr. Hong.
At the station, Sun Woo interviews the girls swimming coach. He feigns innocence and describes the attack from Mr. Hong. Sun Woo is stone cold as she listens to his story. Sun Woo tells him that he really isn’t in a position to complain. She places several photographs on the table in front of the coach and explains that they were found on his computer. The coach appears shocked at first and then indignant that a search was made of his personal computer without his consent. The photos seem to show snapshots from a hidden camera. In the photos, we see mostly legs and feet but it isn’t much of a stretch to think that the coach is a fan of upskirt photography. And it wouldn’t be a surprise to find that some of his students were his favorite subjects.
Meanwhile, in another interrogation room, Min Young talks with Mr. Hong. He reveals that the coach is a sex offender. The coach had been charged with the crime but Mr. Hong, being a lawyer, had helped him beat the rap and keep his job. Now, Mr. Hong laments ever helping the man and questions his own judgment in entrusting his daughters care to such a pervert. Hyun Joon comes into the interrogation room and tells Mr. Hong that the coach has a solid alibi for the day and time the girls disappeared. Mr. Hong, however, does not have a solid alibi. He was gone for three days on a fishing trip. The bloodied clothing was found in front of a motel near the fishing area. Hyun Joon asks Mr. Hong who was with him at the motel. Mr. Hong drops his voice to a whisper and admits that he was at the motel with a “client” and then quickly adds that his personal life has nothing to do with the case.
Min Young briefs Ki Hyung about Mr. Kim, the girls swimming coach. His alibi checks out and it appears that he is not involved in the case. It is also revealed that the blood on the clothing found near the motel, does not match any of the girls. Ki Hyung thinks that the case will lead back to the girls’ parents in some way. He instructs the local detective to gradually leak information about the case to the parents while they are all together. He hopes that the information will trigger a memory that might seem insignificant now but means a great deal more to the kidnapper.
While Yoo Jin sleeps, Hye In tries to convince Song Yi that killing Yoo Jin is the natural choice, since she is already sick and will eventually die if they remain there much longer. There isn’t any reason why all of them need to die. Song Yi says that she will pretend that she didn’t hear Hye In’s abhorrent suggestion. Hye In feels there really isn’t a choice any longer. She reminds Song Yi about her ailing mother and the reality that she will be all alone if Song Yi dies. The thought reduces Song Yi to tears and Hye In seizes on the moment to agree to their captor’s conditions. She rushes to the exhaust fan and announces that they have made a decision. Two hammers are pushed through a small sliding door next to the exhaust fan. They clatter to the floor. Hye In quickly picks up a hammer just as Yoo Jin wakes from her fevered sleep. Yoo Jin asks what is going on and Hye In tells her in a soft and comforting voice that they will sort everything out. Yoo Jin puts her head down and goes back to sleep while Song Yi looks at Hye In and cries.
Song Yi’s mother sits at the police station waiting for news about her daughter. While she does, she cries about the upcoming swim meet and all of the wasted training time should Song Yi miss the competition. Yoo Jin’s parents are also there and they overhear the concerns that Song Yi’s mother expresses. The idea that she is worried about a competition is insulting to them. How can she be worried about something like that when their daughters are missing. Yoo Jin’s mother stands up to give Song Yi’s mother an ear-full but Yoo Jin’s father stops his wife, telling her that it is the only thing that Song Yi’s mother has to hold on to. He does not mean it in a nice way either. He scoffs at Song Yi’s mother and mutters under his breath, wondering why his daughter hangs out with the other girls at all. Song Yi’s mother begins to shout at Yoo Jin’s father and defends her daughter. Before it becomes a full blown cat fight, one of the detectives puts a stop to the argument and indicates that this isn’t the first time these parents have gone at one another. Another detective brings Mr. Hong to the room where the other parents are waiting. Yoo Jin’s father almost immediately starts in on Mr. Hong, demanding to know what he has done that would make the kidnapper leave the bloodied clothing near his fishing motel. Mr. Hong counters, and reminds Yoo Jin’s father that there are many people in the community that left because of Yoo Jin’s grandfather and his shady property dealings. Soon the men are at each other throats while the NCI team watches their interactions on CCTV monitors.
Deep in the woods, a door is unlocked and two girls emerge from a darkened room with blankets covering their heads. Song Yi is one of the girls and her face is splattered with blood. Meanwhile, back at the police station, the fathers almost come to fisticuffs until Hyun Joon steps in and stops them. Ki Hyung has watched the interaction and now asks Min Young to find out if Hye In’s father has handled any legal matters for You Jin’s parents in the last few years.
Outside the police station, a dented van pulls up across the street and stops. The man in the driver’s seat passes a cell phone to the girl in the back seat and then exits the van. The girl is Song Yi. She looks around, unsure what she should do next. The girl on the seat next to her trembles and cries also not knowing if they are meant to take this chance to escape. In the police station briefing room, Hyun Joon speaks with the parents and asks them to think carefully about anything or anyone that might have caused a grudge against them. Na Hwang calls Hyun Joon and quickly tells him that Song Yi’s cell phone has been turned back on. She is within a five hundred meter radius of the Haleung Police station. The team rushes outside to see two girls approaching the police station, both still covered in blankets. Ki Hyung instructs Hyun Joon to keep the parents back since only two girls have returned. Sun Woo, Min Young, and Lee Han run towards the girls while Hyun Joon does his best to hold back the desperate parents.
Song Yi sits in an interrogation room with Ki Hyung and Min Young. She trembles as she picks up the cup of tea in front of her. Ki Hyung asks her what happened but she can only stare at the table. In another interrogation room, Yoo Jin sits across from Sun Woo. Sun Woo speaks to Yoo Jin and acknowledges that recounting her experience will be difficult but it is something that needs to be done to catch the kidnapper and find Hye In. When Sun Woo mentions Hye In, Yoo Jin begins to cry. She explains that there was nothing they could do. Sun Woo assures her that what happened to them was not their fault. Yoo Jin begins to cry and tells Sun Woo that they were told to choose.
Ki Hyung emerges from the CCTV room and the parents are instantly on him, begging for any information about their children. Ki Hyung walks past them without a word. Na Hwang calls Ki Hyung and informs his that Mr. Hong handled several real estate lawsuits for Yoo Jin’s parents. Lee Han also has the information and when Ki Hyun reaches him we learn that Yoo Jin’s parents lost two of the lawsuits brought against them. Ki Hyung asks to meet with Song Yi’s mother. Once she arrives, Ki Hyung shows her photos of several people from the neighborhood and asks if she recognizes any of them and if she can think of any reason for conflict between the person and the kidnapped girls’ parents. Na Hwang calls Ki Hyung and he places the phone on speaker. Na Hwang explains that she researched local cases where the charges were dropped and she has located someone named Ji Soo Chul. His address is listed as the empty lot where the backpacks were found. Soo Chul also has a daughter who was on the same sports team as the three kidnapped girls. Lee Han receives a photo of the man and when his image appears on the computer, Song Yi’s mother admits that she recognizes him. She tells the team that he and his daughter, Yeon Hee, moved out of the neighborhood a few years ago.
At first, Song Yi’s mother dismisses the idea that Ji Soo Chul is the kidnapper. The neighbors used to say that he could live well without the law and she remembers him being a quiet and kind man. However, something in her memory clicks. She remembers witnessing an altercation between Ji Soo Chul and Yoo Jin’s parents. There had been an argument about rent and eventually, Yoo Jin’s parents had told Soo Chul to move out. Soo Chul’s daughter, Yeon Hee, happened upon the end of the argument and intervened. She defended her father but Yoo Jin’s father had shoved her into an old soda machine, causing the appliance to topple, crushing her. Song Yi’s mother witnessed the incident but felt helpless to do anything. She had refused to be a witness because she wanted to avoid a confrontation with people she saw every day. Ki Hyung gives a nod to Hyun Joon, who immediately takes off. Ki Hyung asks Na Hwang to locate Ji Soo Chul’s current whereabouts and if he has someplace that he could hide the victims.
Min Young talks with Song Yi. She tells her that her mother waited at the station for two days and refused to eat until she found her daughter. Song Yi cries and begins to tell Min Young about her experience. She was cold and thirsty and hungry when Hye In had told her that killing Yoo Jin was their only way to escape. She explains that she had refused to kill Yoo Jin but Hye In had told her about the athletes in the Andes who were forced to eat their friends if they were to survive. Hye In asked her if those people were murderers from the beginning? Hye In explained that they were good people that were forced by their circumstances to do what they did. They had no choice. Suddenly, Hye In’s eyes had grown wide and she froze where she stood. A second later, Song Yi watched her drop to the ground in front of her. Now Yoo Jin stood with a hammer and Song Yi’s face was splattered with Hye In’s blood. Yoo Jin had made the choice while Hye In had plotted her death.
In another interrogation room, Sun Woo has been listening to Yoo Jin as she too recounts what happened during their captivity. “So you killed her?” Yoo Jin continues to cry and insists that she has no choice. She asks Sun Woo if she should have just died. Hyun Joon comes into the interrogation room and shows Yoo Jin a picture of Ji Soo Chul. Yoo Jin begins to tremble uncontrollably.
Na Hwang has located more information on Ji Soo Chul. More precisely, on his daughter Yeon Hee. She was on the team with the other girls but had missed an important swim meet because she needed physical therapy. She had eventually dropped out of sports completely. Hyun Joo, Sun Woo, Min Young, and several police officers rush to a storage building on a piece of property owned by Ji Soo Chul. When they arrive, they find Ji Soo Chul inside the building sitting near Hye In’s body. Soo Chul says that he didn’t do anything. He smiles and says “I’m sure you’ve already heard, it was all their own doing.” He laughs and says that in the end, the girls were just like their parents. Song Yi’s mother had refused to testify, Yoo Jin’s parents hired Hye In’s father who eventually got the charges dropped and the girls seem to have left his daughter out when she dropped from the team. His child lost her chance to compete in sports because of the injury she sustained at Yoo Jin’s father’s hands. And she lost social interaction when she left the team. To Ji Soo Chul, all of them are responsible for his child’s misfortunes. The police arrest Soo Chul but not before he points out that girls had murdered their friend in order to live and ultimately, everyone is selfish.
Back at the station, Mr. Hong explains that he dropped the charges because he knew that Ji Soo Chul would lose the case. He claims that his actions were for Soo Chul’s benefit. Mr. Hong asks Min Young what that case has to do with the search for his daughter. He asks her point blank if the police have found Hye In and Min Young does not have the heart to answer his question. Yoo Jin’s father also speaks with Min Young. He explains that the situation was minor and didn’t expect that Yeon Hee would get hurt. He had even waived the two months of back rent for Ji Soo Chul because he felt so bad about what happened to Yeon Hee. Min Young can only listen as he justifies his actions. Song Yi’s mother interviews with Min Young and she tearfully admits that she was concerned about creating an uncomfortable situation in the neighborhood if she had testified. She also says that, although she was concerned about Yeon Hee’s injury, she was also relieved that her daughter would be able to slide into Yeon Hee’s vacant spot on the team.
“A small hole sinks a ship. And a small crime destroys a people.” -Vernon
Na Hwang bounces into a conference room where all the team is pouring over files. She joyfully announces that tomorrow is the team hang out but doesn’t announce to everyone that it also happens to be her birthday. Each team member makes an excuse and lets her know that they are unavailable to participate. Na Hwang’s joy goes from the rooftop to the basement as the last team member leaves the conference room. The next day, at the team hang out, Na Hwang has dressed up in her sparkly best even though she knows no one is coming. She dejectedly throws darts at the dart board and resigns herself to spending her 30th birthday alone. Close to tears, she picks up her fruity drink and begins to sip the beverage through her pouting lips. An attractive male voice asks loudly “Hey, beautiful lady drinking cocktails!” Na Hwang turns to find Hyun Joon holding a birthday cake with Lee Han and Min Young wearing party hats and singing happy birthday. Her pout turns bigger and she almost cries. Sun Woo hands her a bundle of flowers from “a very nice man”. Na Hwang takes the card from the flowers and reads… “Have I told you this? I’m always thankful. Happy Birthday. Don’t ever forget. Kang Ki Hyung is always behind your back.” Tears of joy fill her eyes and she blows out the candles on the cake as her teammates applaud. Na Hwang’s wonderful smile has returned.
In a darkened room a man is having a nervous fit. He covers his ears with his hands as if to block out some noise. He finally slams his hands on the table in front of him, which seems to calm him and he drums his fingers on the table as though he is typing formless words. He stops drumming his fingers and then takes a frameless picture from the table and places it in a stack with others and then gets up and leaves the apartment. Later he walks near a subway entrance. The black hoodie he wears almost completely obscures his face. He is chanting something over and over again and we are eventually allowed to hear it. “Only public law shall be like water, and justice shall flow like sewage.” Whatever that means. He hails a taxi and gets in. The driver tries to chat with him about soccer but finds his fare unresponsive. When they arrive at the requested destination, the cab driver tries to offer helpful information about the surrounding area and available subway stations. The driver hears the man mutter something under his breath and he asks him what he said. In response, the man repeats “Only public law shall be like water, and justice shall flow like sewage”. The driver is confused by the statement and realizes too late that he’s got a crazy in his car. The man lunges forward and stabs the cab driver in the neck, killing him. Blood drenches the inside of the windshield as the killer disappears into the darkness.
Min Young briefs the team on the murder of the cab driver, Lee Hyun Jae. He was found murdered in his taxi under the Guwol Bridge. His throat had been cut and when the body was discovered he was wearing a blindfold. Something strange about the murder is the rock that is deeply embedded in the victim’s ear. There are two other murders that have similar patterns. Han Ju Young was murdered in her apartment. Her throat was cut and her eyes covered. Also, a dentist, Kan Joon Suk was murdered in a similar manner. In each murder, there is no CCTV footage and the killings happened in the middle of the night. Ki Hyun sends Sun Woo and Hyun Joon to look at the two previous crime scenes while Ki Hyung, Lee Han and Min Young go to the current crime scene. They will all meet at the local police station when they have finished gathering their information.
On the way to their respective crime scenes, each team profiles the suspect. They believe that he will be in his late 20’s or early 30’s, highly intelligent and although the murders appear spontaneous, they are meticulously planned. Covering the victim’s eyes indicates that the killer is either unsure of his deeds or he is attempting to hide his identity.
Ki Hyung, Lee Han, and Min Young arrive at the current crime scene. Local cops are also there and the two teams exchange information. Min Young notices the taxi drivers cell phone and turns it on. The phone indicates that the driver picked up his last passenger at Youngsan-dong. The local detective tells the team that there is a famous driver restaurant near that location where the taxi drivers eat before starting their night shift.
Sun Woo and Hyun Joon arrive at Han Ju Young’s apartment and begin their investigation. Hyun Joon tries to follow the steps of the killer as he hid in Ju Young’s apartment. He follows the evidence markers that remain throughout the apartment. The killer stabbed her near the dining table and then followed her as she tried to escape. He delivered the fatal blow to her ear as she moved along the living room floor. The local officers with them wonder why the killer bothered to stab Ju Young’s ear when her neck wound would have easily caused her death. Hyun Joon explains that stabbing the ear is the quickest way to access the brain and the best way to be certain of her death. Also, breaking the knife makes it impossible for the victim to quickly remove the blade.
Lee Han recovers the murder weapon from the taxi and explains to the local detectives that two American serial killers were known for breaking the blade off when they committed murders. Ki Hyung admits that it is too early to tell if they are dealing with a copy cat killer and that profiling is complex and not something that is quickly accomplished. One of the local cops asks if profiling really works and suddenly this feels like a Profiling 101 class for all of the cops in this district.
Hyun Joon and Sun Woo are also in the middle of a profiling class with their local cops. Sun Woo explains that profiling allows them to narrow the list of suspects. She also explains that assuming that the killer is coming from a position of strength is misleading as well. Often a killer is not physically strong at all. More often, the killer is not physically strong or confident.
Ki Hyung believes that this particular killer plans all of his crimes down to the last detail. Each one appears to be like an execution. The marks left behind by this killer are unique and would be difficult to duplicate. It also seems that he is killing to satisfy some inner desire. He will continue to kill until his fantasy is shattered. Min Young asks the local detectives to keep the details of the case private and Hyun Joon lets them know that they will establish investigation headquarters at NCI.
“If we have profiled correctly, this killer will be feared much more than the average serial killer.”