As our daydream continues, it has turned into every parents worst nightmare. Han Byul has been taken by the Reaper. Ki Hyung’s phone rings while Hae Won frantically searches the mall for her missing son. Ki Hyung answers his phone and hears the Reapers voice asking if Ki Hyung is ready to make a deal. Hyun Joon and Sun Woo descend on the mall to aid in the search for Han Byul. Hyun Joon makes his way to the security room that houses all of the CCTV monitors for the mall. He flashes his badge and requests to see all of the recordings from the last few hours. Meanwhile, Sun Woo finds Hae Won and does her best to console her. As Hyun Joon reviews the security footage, he sees the moment when Han Byul wandered away from his mother. He also finds the moment when the Reaper took the child, leading him out a side door of the mall. Hyun Joon calls Sun Woo and the chase is on. After a brief search, Hyun Joon finds Han Byul safe and sound in a nearby play area. Sun Woo arrives seconds later and she clutches Han Byul to her while Hyun Joon calls Ki Hyung to let him know that his son has been located alive.
Ki Hyung arrives at the police station to find his wife and son with the rest of his team. He reaches for his boy and holds him tight. Hyun Joon takes Hae Won and Han Byul home while Ki Hyung continues to work on the case. On the ride home, Hae Won asks Hyun Joon to look after her husband. She explains that after the bombing he had nightmares every night. Hyun Joon had not considered that someone else had been in pain. He spent over a year blaming Ki Hyung for what happened and when he learned the truth he wasn’t sure what to do with his bitterness. Now he understands that Ki Hyung was just as devastated as he was following the bombing. He promises Hae Won that he will take care of her husband. It is how he will atone for his misguided anger. Later that night, as he watches over Ki Hyung’s home and family, his new understanding of Ki Hyung dominates his thoughts.
Later that night, Sun Woo and Na Hwang meet with the medical examiner. She remarks that the injuries on the Reapers victims are precise and reflect a knowledge of anatomy and surgery to suggest expertise. After the meeting, Sun Woo and Na Hwang go to Ki Hyung’s office to find him still at his desk. Sun Woo carefully suggests that perhaps Ki Hyung’s family should be placed in protective custody. The next day, Hae Won helps her husband tie his necktie before she and Han Byul leave for an undisclosed location. She smiles and wonders aloud what he will do without them since he can’t even tie his necktie on his own. He apologizes to her and she instructs him to straighten his shoulder and cheer up. Ki Hyung embraces her and Han Byul quickly springs up from where he is playing to join in. Out on the curb, Ki Hyung bundles his wife and child into a car and then speaks with the agent who is tasked with their safety. He promises Ki Hyung that he will look after his wife and child as though they are his own family.
Later that day the team reviews all of the suspects in the Reaper case and manages to narrow the list down to three. It is decided that each one will be brought in for further questioning. Hyun Joon and Sun Woo go to apprehend the first suspect. Go Sung Jin is the first suspect they target. When he sees Hyun Joon and Sun Woo, he makes a run for it. When it appears that he will get caught, he grabs the nearest ahjummah in a busy market and holds her at knife point. Hyun Joon manages to pull Sung Jin’s hostage away from him while Sun Woo takes the knife wielding felon to the pavement. Hyun Joon throws a giant look of admiration Sun Woo’s way. (Here’s hoping for some wrestling practice between these two in the near future.) At the police station, Hyun Joon begins to lay crime scene photos in front of Sung Jin who can’t quite understand what’s happening. He insists that he is innocent when he realizes that he is being brought back in for the Reaper case. Hyun Joon begins to lose patience until Sun Woo arrives and announces that Sung Jin has an alibi. On to the next suspect and they once again meet resistance. While Hyun Joon and Sun Won chase suspects, Lee Han and Ki Hyung review the testimony of Yong Chul. He sits in hospital pajamas and recounts his attack and his girlfriend’s murder. He tearfully says that he heard that the paramedics had to break her fingers to straighten her hands.
Hyun Joon receives a phone call from the young boy he spoke with. He asks Hyun Joon to come to the recovery center. His sister has remembered something about their parents attacker. When Hyung Joon and Sun Woo arrive they find a play being performed for the children. It is a play about being sad and how to deal with bad thoughts that a traumatized youngster might have. They join the audience, sitting behind the boy and his sister. When the play ends, the performers remove their giant heads to reveal the actors inside the costumes. Na Hwang is one of them. In the cafe, everyone sits a round table. Na Hwang has her dog costume with her. She has been volunteering every Saturday. After a brief chat, Hyun Joon asks little Se Hyung what she has remembered. “Mint Candy” she says. The attacker smelled of mint candy.
A couple is pulled over by a motorcycle cop in the rain. The driver gives his identification to the trooper who goes back to his motorcycle to get information from dispatch. The helmeted cop quickly returns to the car and stabs the driver viciously over and over. Later, the investigation team finds a locket from the previous murdered couple at the new crime scene. They also note that the man’s wedding ring is missing. One of their suspects, Jin Hwan, owns a photography studio not far from the current crime scene. The team descends on the photography studio with their guns at the ready. They find the studio practically wallpapered him Reaper news articles and photographs. Among the photos, they find Yong Chul’s picture front and center.
It has been determined that Yong Chul is in danger and most likely the next target of the Reaper. Sun Woo goes to his secret address to warn him of his danger. She waits outside and watches the residence. She receives a call from a restricted number. It is Yong Chul. She knocks on his door and he is surprised that she has arrived so quickly. She confesses that she was watching the house in order to protect him. Meanwhile, Hyun Joon and several other agents are waiting for their next suspect to appear. A man with a black baseball hat walks down a narrow street and pauses. He does so long enough for Na Hwang to verify his identity with facial recognition software. She confirms that the man in the hat is Seo Jin Hwan. Agents bolt from their vehicles and the chase is on. Hyun Joon joins the chase and when a motorcycle delivery man gets off his bike, Hyun Joon sees a way to end the chase quickly. He jumps on the bike and takes off while Lee Han holds the bike’s owner back and explains what is going on. The suspect weaves through narrow alleyways and side streets and eventually loses his pursuers until Hyun Joon catches up with him and slams the back end of the bike into him, sending him flying.
Min Young faces the media and makes a statement. The NCI team has located a suspect in the Northwestern Serial Murder case. Yong Chul watches the media coverage with great interest. He asks Sun Woo if Jin Hwan is the one who was arrested for copycat crimes like the Reapers? He seems to know a lot about the Reaper case and when Sun Woo gives him a strange look he shrugs his shoulders and asks her what she expected him to do while he was in hiding.He talks to her about his abusive childhood and how his father beat him and his mother was unable to stop it.
Hyun Joon stops by Na Hwang’s office to drop off a thumb drive from Seo Jin Hwan’s arrest. He says that preliminary testing has been done on the drive, so it should be safe. She plugs in the thumb drive and begins to tap away at her keyboard. Soon, photo after gruesome photo begins to display on her screen.
Ki Hyung enters an interrogation room to find Jin Hwan quickly offering his confession. He talks about the third time that he killed. He provides key details that only the killer would know. While he confesses, he scratches his thumb. Ki Hyung notices and quickly leaves the room. Hyun Joon meets him in the hallway. Ki Hyung announces “it’s not him”. He explains to the team that Jin Hwan said that he called and reported his third murder but Ki Hyung knows that the Reaper didn’t start reporting his murders via public telephone until his fourth murder. Lee Han watches the interrogation room monitor and notices Jin Hwan’s behaviors. He acts as if he is afraid. Suddenly, Lee Han grabs a case box from the shelf and pulls a photograph out. He rushes to the interrogation room and slides the photo across the table and asks where the people in the picture are now. Jin Hwan begins to stammer and look around nervously. Hyun Joon bursts into the room and snatches the photo from the table. He jerks Jin Hwan’s chair around to face him and shoves the photo in his face. “Did the Reaper threaten you?” he asks. Lee Han talks to the rest of the team behind the glass. “The Reaper threatened his family!” The words are still hanging in the air when Jin Hwan begins to beg and plead. He tells Hyun Joon that the Reaper has his son. A video call comes through the observation room to the team. It is Na Hwang and she is close to tears. She doesn’t know what happened but it looks like the NCI computer has been hacked. Everyone rushes to Na Hwang’s office and they quickly conclude that the thumb drive from Jin Hwan’s is responsible for the hack. Na Hwang and Lee Han go to work to try and stop the hack. The team realizes that Jin Hwan was used by the Reaper to get inside their systems. Hyun Joon tells the team about the smell of mint candy on the killer and Ki Hyung realizes that Yong Chul lied. In his hospital interview, Yong Chul said that the paramedics had to break his fiance’s fingers to open her hands. But when he recently spoke with Ki Hyung and Sun Woo he said that he had been holding her hand and had to break her fingers in order to get free. With numerous stab wounds, there is no way he would have been able to do that so how did he know her fingers were broken. The answer is too sinister and frightening. Yong Chul is the Reaper.
No sooner do they come to the realization, than one of the computer screens springs to life and they are face to face with Yong Chul, the Reaper. In the background, we see the older woman and the boy from the photographs. It is Jin Hwan’s mother and son. Yong Chul tells them that what they are watching is a video and that Ki Hyung is responsible for what will happen next. After all, he had promised that he would surprise Ki Hyung. Yong Chul turns from the camera and brutally stabs the woman and boy. The team realizes that they have been watched the whole time and surely Yong Chul knows where Ki Hyung’s wife and child are.
Ki Hyung and Hyun Joon race to the safe house only to find the agent charged with Hae Won and Han Byul’s safety, lying in a pool of blood and near death. Ki Hyung rushes to his side and the agent promises that he didn’t tell Yong Chul anything. We are shown the agents attack. Yong Chul surprises the agent and quickly cuts his Achilles tendon rendering the man unable to walk. Then he sits on his chest and begins to stab and beat the man in an effort to extract information from him. When the agent won’t tell him what he wants to know, Yong Chul takes the agents phone and begins to go down his list of recent calls until Hae Won answers the phone. He tells her that he is a special agent with NCI and he has some terrible news for her. He then works up some crocodile tears and explains that the agent that was protecting them has been killed and their location has been compromised. He also lies and tells Hae Won that Ki Hyung is dead. He instructs her to where to meet him. Now we flash forward to the present as Ki Hyung jumps in the ambulance with the severely wounded agent. It is here that Ki Hyung finds out that his wife and child have been manipulated.
In the mobile command center, the team tries desperately to locate Hae Won and Han Byul but Yong Chul has done a very good job of hiding his tracks. Ki Hyung doesn’t wait for the team to find Yong Chul, instead, he contacts him directly. Ki Hyung does his best to be made of stone as he talks to Yong Chul. He is sure that Yong Chul doesn’t know where his wife and child are and that is why he is making them come to him instead. The two men verbally poke at one another in sensitive spots. Ki Hyung pokes at Yong Chul’s unhappy childhood and his adult life bereft of love and laughter. Yong Chul pokes at Ki Hyung’s fear of losing everything that is dear to him. The NCI team can only listen helplessly. Another call interrupts the conversation and Yong Chul switches over. It is Hae Won. She has arrived at the instructed location. Little does she know that Yong Chul is sitting directly behind the taxi watching her every move. He tells her to go inside and leave the front door open. He will arrive soon. He switches back to his call with Ki Hyung and taunts him with the information. Ki Hyung’s eyes fill with tears knowing that he is miles away from being able to help his family.
The NCI team tries to guess where Yong Chul might possibly send Hae Won. Sun Woo believes that the location that would damage Ki Hyung the most would be their own home. Her suspicion is proved correct when the team realizes that Yong Chul had instructed her to leave the door open. They deliver the information to Ki Hyung who speeds towards home. As he does, his phone rings. It is Hae Won who is relieved to know that he is alive but she trembles in fear as Yong Chul embraces her son. Ki Hyung verifies that Yong Chul is listening to the call. He carefully and quietly tells her to stay calm and to not allow Yong Chul to see her fear. Yong Chul tries to taunt Hae Wan and asks her if her husband told her about the deal he made with the Reaper. Then he taunts Ki Hyung. He tells him that because of Ki Hyung’s ego, his beautiful wife and child will soon die. Ki Hyung tells Hae Won to ignore Yong Chul and she says that she trusts her husband.
Ki Hyung asks Hae Won to give a message to Han Byul. The boy comes to the phone and Ki Hyung tells his son that he needs his help with a case. The boy understands what his father is telling him to do and says he will help him and not to worry. Ki Hyung then asks Han Byul to hug his mother for him. Mother and child embrace and she tells the boy how much she loves him. Han Byul tells his mother that he needs to go when Ki Hyung begins to say “tick tock tick tock”. The child leaves the room and we aren’t too sure where he is going. Yong Chul forces Hae Won to kneel and places a gun to her head. She tells Ki Hyung to be sure that Han Byul knows that she didn’t leave him. Ki Hyung cries as he listens to his wife’s trembling voice and Yong Chul’s laughter. A shot rings out.
Ki Hung arrives home and he carefully makes his way through his silent home with his gun drawn. In the master bedroom, he finds Hae Won lying on the floor. Blood stains her white clothing. She doesn’t move or breathe. Ki Hyung looks to the left and sees shoes sticking out under the drapes. He fires five rounds into the drapes and Yong Chul falls to the floor with five slugs buried deep in the chest plate of the bullet proof vest he is wearing. He suddenly springs to life and viciously attacks Ki Hyung. Ki Hyung fights back but when Yong Chul breaks a heavy glass vase against the side of his head, he falls to the ground and does the best to protect himself. Meanwhile, Yong Chul continues his attack, both physical and mental. He tells Ki Hyung that he is going to make Han Byul believe that his parent’s deaths are all his fault. Ki Hyung fights back. He notices Yong Chul’s off balance position and uses it to his advantage. He reaches up and shoves the side of Yong Chul’s head as hard as he can, sending him flying down the stairs. Ki Hyung follows Yong Chul down the stairs. He grabs the now dazed and prone Yong Chul by his collar. Once in the center of the room, Ki Hyung begins to beat the snot out of Yong Chul. Even when it is clear that he can no longer fight back, Ki Hyung continues to rain blows onto Yong Chul’s bloodied face. “Die! Die!’ he repeats over and over. He is a man possessed.
The front door bursts open and we find Hyun Joon with his gun drawn. He advances inside the house, followed by Sun Woo, Min Young and Lee Han. Sun Woo shouts for Ki Hyung to stop. Ki Hyung turns his bloodied face towards his team. Sun Woo says that if they are swayed by people who don’t deserve to live then we become just like them. Ki Hyung rises and slowly climbs the stairs. We are shown a memory. Ki Hyung sits at his desk when he hears a knocking. In the cedar chest next to his desk, Han Byul is hiding. His father opens the lid to find his baby boy. He asks him what he is doing and Han Byul replies that he is helping his father solve a case. The two share a sweet moment as father and son. We return to the present. Ki Hyung carefully opens the cedar chest. It is there that he finds Han Byul. He is alive. Ki Hyung envelops his child in his arms, grateful that he has something left to hold on to. Min Young and Lee Han stand behind them. Ki Hyung leaves the child in their care and makes his way back to the master bedroom. He finds Sun Woo at his wife’s side. She quietly rises and leaves the room. Until now, his face was made of stone. He crosses the threshold of the room and he breaks, sobbing quietly at the sight of his murdered wife. He drops to the floor and crawls to her side, gently caressing her hair as he says her name over and over. Outside, Yong Chul is loaded into an ambulance. Although he is strapped to the gurney he struggles fiercely against his restraints.
We are shown Hae Won’s funeral. The NCI team stands by as Ki Hyung and Han Byul bid their last farewell to Hae Won. It is a somber moment as we can tell that none of them will ever be quite the same. That night, Min Young tucks her daughter into bed and lingers a bit longer than she normally would. A few days later, Hyun Joon approaches a house where a woman works in the yard. She turns to see him and a broad smile transforms his face. One night we see Sun Woo. She is sitting in her car watching a house. A couple has just returned home. The pair exits the car and as the woman walks towards the house she stops and looks in Sun Woo’s direction. Sun Woo turns her face away, fearing that she might be recognized. The woman continues into the house and Sun Woo watches her go. You can feel her longing to speak to the woman but something keeps her in her seat.
Several weeks later, Ki Hyung prepares to return to work. In the closet, he finds a rack of neckties, each of them with a perfect Windsor knot already neatly tied for him. It is a simple love gesture that remains. Ki Hyung remembers how Hae Won would help him with his ties. He takes a tie from the rack and with shaking hands he puts the tie in its place. He looks at a family photo on the vanity counter and says “I’ll be back”. At NCI headquarters, Ki Hyung finds Han Byul playing games with his team. He manages a smile knowing that so many are watching over him and his son. A news report airs in the background. The reporter says that Yong Chul has escaped after being transferred to the hospital for a suicide attempt. The Reaper is on the loose again.
This was an intense episode. I didn’t expect that they would kill off Ki Hyung’s wife, at least not this soon. He is so completely damaged now I’m not really sure how he would be able to effectively perform his job. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be a crime scene investigator or a profiler. Being exposed to death and the absolute worst of humanity every day would be soul crushing, to say the least. I am sure that they must be superhuman to some degree.
I knew something was up with Kim Won Hae’s portrayal of Yong Chul. He was just too strange, too shifty to be just a victim. He is great at playing crazies and it wouldn’t surprise me if he makes a career of it.