Curiosity about our resident psychopathic villain ramps up as we finally get a glimpse into just how utterly genius, evil, and crazy he is (handsome, too, but that goes without saying). He gets closer than ever to our Golden Time heroes, but can they figure out who he is in time to stop another horrific crime? Or will the mystery man remain a mystery?
Chapter 10: “The Whisper of the Devil Part 1”
Eun-soo goes down to the basement archives to investigate the evidence from previous acid attacks, but is surprised when there aren’t any documents in the archive boxes. A glimpse of movement catches her eye, and she slowly makes her way through the room crowded with selves of boxes until she comes face to face with Ho-shik.
Meanwhile, Kwon-joo contemplates Ho-shik’s odd inflections from earlier, while Dae-shik and Jin-hyuk investigate the PC room where the police cyber team have tracked Love8080’s IP address. They discover the computer is in use — by a woman, but a much younger woman than the one they’re looking for. Something doesn’t seem right.
Hyun-ho does his own bit of hacking to figure out that the IP address was being rerouted and is actually coming from an electrical repair shop — the same one that Ho-shik works for. He suddenly realizes that Love8080 is Ho-shik and that, based on the glare Ho-shik gave her earlier, Eun-soo is in danger.
Kwon-joo realizes the odd inflection she heard was Ho-shik’s delight in being noticed by Hyun-ho. She tells Jin-hyuk and Dae-shik to stop their investigation at the PC room. She also urges them to return to the station as soon as possible since Ho-shik has followed Eun-soo into the archives room.
As the detectives race downstairs, Ho-shik confronts Eun-soo, demanding to know why she wants to keep him and Hyun-ho apart. As he opens a bottle of hydrochloric acid, he tells her that it’s all her fault for trying to make him look like a lunatic in front of Hyun-ho, who likes him just as much as he likes Hyun-ho.
Eun-soo surreptitiously turns on her radio and Kwon-joo listens in on the conversation, and her acute hearing makes her realize that Eun-soo must be in deepest part of the archive shelves. Dae-shik and Jin-hyuk arrive at the station just then, and Kwon-joo tells them where to find Eun-soo.
Meanwhile, Ho-shik gleefully regales Eun-soo with the story of the first time he met Hyun-ho. He was working on the lighting at the club when Hyun-ho stopped by, and just as Ho-shik dropped one of his tools, Hyun-ho stopped to pick it up and hand it back to him. Ho-shik was immediately smitten.
Eun-soo tries to calmly remind Ho-shk that he heard what Hyun-ho really thinks about him — or about Love8080. But he scoffs at her suggestion that he’s crazy. Hyun-ho is only acting that way because he wants more attention from Ho-shik. Eun-soo tells him that he’s delusional, and that even if it’s difficult, he should focus on reality. Angry, he yells that she should be one to embrace reality and just disappear.
As he threateningly holds up the bottle of acid near her face, the other detectives finally arrive and enter the room. Eun-soo cringes as Ho-shik holds the bottle closer, but he’s distracted by Jin-hyuk calling out. Eun-soo uses the chance to push him away from her. He staggers across the room as the bottle of acid goes flying, and it lands on the floor next to where he falls.
Screaming from pain of the acid burns on his face, Ho-shik is dragged away by the other detectives. He pleads with Hyun-ho to help him — after all, he knows Hyun-ho likes him too! But Hyun-ho worriedly kneels by Eun-soo, making sure she’s okay.
Kwon-joo arrives at the basement just then to see Ho-shik being taken away. She thanks Jin-hyuk for capturing him, but it’s just all in a day’s work for these detectives. He marvels that someone with such a mental affliction could so easily and quietly live under their noses without anyone noticing. Kwon-joo points out that in this day and age when a person can easily live without interacting with the rest of society, the number of mentally ill criminals are growing.
She believes that even a little attention given to these people could aid in deterring more crimes. She also reveals that the bottle of Scopolamine pills was actually put in Hyun-oh’s bag by Ho-shik, who was taking the medication as an attempt at a cure. And here I thought Hyun-ho must suffer from motion sickness.
The Violent Crimes detectives arrive to rub in the fact that weird events keep happening to the Gold Time team (no kidding!). They also try to figure out if Jin-hyuk knows anything else about Chun-ok’s case, but he just yells at them to focus on catching Sang-tae.
Tabloid is still alive, and he calls Jin-huk with a tip as part of his repayment for Jin-hyuk saving his life at the lamb butcher’s warehouse. He reveals that Chief Jang used to go the elite hostess club Fantasia, but his visits were paid for by Sang-tae. Innnnteresting.
Furthermore, someone secretly filmed a video of him there with one of the girls and has been using it as blackmail. According to Tabloid, it was Sang-tae who requested the video to be made. Jin-hyuk orders Tabloid to get him all the information he can about the woman in the video and why Chief Jang is being blackmailed.
Hyun-ho apologizes to Eun-soo for putting her in harm’s way, even though he doesn’t understand why Ho-shik would act like that. He thinks that maybe it would be best to give up posting on social media forever, but Eun-soo admits she likes seeing what he posts — although she likes seeing him in person even more. Aw.
Kwon-joo confirms that her team members are well, and commends Eun-soo for remaining calm. But Eun-soo hesitantly admits she was actually scared and could barely hide her fear. She also confesses that she tried to persuade Ho-shik like Kwon-joo does when she talks to the culprits, but wasn’t able to. She humbly states that she’s looking forward to learning more from Kwon-joo.
Dae-shik is in disbelief that Chief Jang would allow someone to blackmail him, but Jin-hyuk points out that Dae-shik himself had mentioned Chief Jang’s connection with the hostess club Fantasia. Yeah, but Dae-shik thought it just had something to do with Sang-tae, not be worthy of blackmail!
Jin-hyuk’s son calls him just then, happily thanking him for whichever of Jin-hyuk’s friends left him a big, expensive gift while he slept. We see in a flashback a mysterious man enter the room and quietly leave, just as Dong-woo wakes up and sleepily asks who is.
The man just says that Dong-woo’s father must have been surprised yesterday, so Dong-woo should be nice to him. Dong-woo might not have been able to see the man’s face, but we can, and it’s none other than Tae-gu with his eery smile.
Jin-hyuk asks Dong-woo to put the caregiver on the phone, but she stepped out to see her sister, and everyone else is downstairs watching the puppet show. Jin-hyuk begins to worry as he remembers the mirror warning. Knowing that he’s now being personally targeted by the killer, he tells Dong-woo to not open the gift — he’s on his way and will be there soon.
He keeps Dong-woo on the phone as he hurries to leave the police station, continuing to tell his son not to open the gift. But Dong-woo’s too impatient and, setting down the phone but without hanging up, starts to unwrap the box, thrilled by the gift. Just then, another mysterious man enters the room.
A man keeping a lookout calls Sang-tae, letting him know “the Ghost” has started the job. Sang-tae says that means they should begin their next move and sends a message to Tae-gu, telling him he wants to meet.
Dong-woo nervously asks the mysterious man what he wants, but the man just silently advances. Wait, is this the Malaysian that Sang-tae hired to be an assassin? Terrified, Dong-woo scrambles off the bed, screaming for his father — but just then the call drops.
Frantic, Jin-hyuk calls the nurses’ station, letting them know there’s a suspicious man in his son’s room and for them to call the security team to investigate. Jin-hyuk also calls Kwon-joo, who starts the Golden Time clock as she sends out a patrol to the hospital. Her assistant looks through the CCTV footage at the hospital, but doesn’t see anyone resembling Sang-tae.
Scared and crying for his father, Dong-woo scrambles to hide under the hospital bed as the silent man continues to slowly advance. Just as the man reaches to drag him out from under the bed, the hospital security team arrives. They might outnumber the would-be assassin, but he’s more skilled than they are, and easily takes them down as he flees the room.
The nurse calls Jin-hyuk to let him know the situation, and as she tends to Dong-woo, Jin-hyuk races to the hospital while Kwon-joo looks through the hospital CCTV to find out where this “Ghost” assassin has fled. As Jin-hyuk arrives at the hospital, Kwon-joo tells him what emergency exit the mystery man is leaving from, and Jin-hyuk speeds around to block the man’s departure.
Jin-hyuk pursues him when he attempts to flee, but the man also fearlessly pulls out a knife, ready to fight when Jin-hyuk confronts him. He demands to know who sent him — was it Sang-tae? But instead of answering, the man immediately fights Jin-hyuk, who expertly blocks his attacks. The man runs off, sliding across the hood of a car. But Jin-hyuk one-ups him by leaping across the entire car as he runs after him. Pretty impressive.
As Tae-gu drives his car, he remembers his encounter with Dong-woo. He quietly entered the room and set down the gift, then studied Dong-woo. Leaning over, he intently peered into the boy’s sleeping face, carefully stroking his chin. But then Tae-gu forcefully pulled his hand away, almost as though he were fighting against himself, and started to leave the room.
That’s when Dong-woo woke up, and, with a smirk, Tae-gu told him that his father must have been surprised yesterday, so he should be nice to him. Then Tae-gu watched from his car as Jin-hyuk frantically arrived at the hospital.
Smiling to himself, Tae-gu glances over at the large teddy bear in his passenger seat. I feel like the teddy bear must have some meaning, but I don’t know what it could be.
He arrives at the hostess club Fantasia where he joins his father. CEO Mo is holding a meeting with the director of Sungun’s land planning department, Director Kwon (who’ve we’ve already met), as well as his publicly elected superior in the department, Minister Kim. Across the street, Sang-tae sits in a car and watches Tae-gu enter the club.
CEO Mo reassures the nervous Director Kwon that he knows Minister Kim from church — it’s not like they have the same close relationship as he does with Director Kwon. He tells the men that his favorite Bible character is Jacob, and he’s prayed so hard to be blessed like Jacob so that he could contribute to Sungun’s development by creating the Sungun Express road.
Tae-gu enters the room just then, and Minister Kim compliments the CEO’s son by remarking that he’s as handsome as ever. No lie there. Without missing a beat, Tae-gu quotes their company’s motto: “Be a grain of wheat that falls to the ground, providing for the poor and weak.” CEO Mo beams at his son’s knowledge, and explains that some of the other development companies are blocking his way for the redevelopment of the neighborhood, and he hopes that the men here will help smooth the way.
The madam of the hostess bar, Gyu-ah, has been crafting drinks for the men all this time, but CEO Mo sends her out to get more alcohol for them. It seems more like CEO Mo and Minister Kim are working on getting Director Kwon to agree to arrangements, which he hesitantly does, gulping down his drink.
Tae-gu excuses himself to answer Sang-tae’s message, who tells him that he’s waiting for Tae-gu at the back staircase of the club. Tae-gu seems annoyed that Sang-tae is showing his face in public, but he agrees to meet with him. As Gyu-ah gets another round of alcohol for CEO Mo, she walks by the back exit and catches a glimpse of Sang-tae.
When he meets with Sang-tae, Tae-gu marvels that the other man is now ordering him about. But Sang-tae points out that they’ve known each other for twenty years, and who knows when they’ll see each other again. Tae-gu just laughs, reminding Sang-tae that they’re from two totally different worlds, and he should just enjoy the chance to live overseas.
Sang-tae agrees that they’re different, but it would be unfair if he left with just the CEO’s money — Tae-gu should compensate him with even more. Tae-gu sneers at this request, asking if the dog is now attempting to bite his master.
But Sang-tae asks if the master who abandoned his dog will be happy. He knows that Tae-gu went to the hospital to see Dong-woo. Is he looking for a new toy to play with? Tae-gu just responds with his Cheshire cat grin.
Gyu-ah recognizes Sang-tae from when Jin-hyuk and Kwon-joo stopped by a few days ago, asking about the connection in regards to Kyung-il’s case. She slips into an empty room to call Kwon-joo, letting her know that Sang-tae is at the club, and she thinks he’s there to meet someone. Kwon-joo tells her that she’ll be on her way.
Tae-gu overhears Gyu-ah’s phone call, and pops his head in the room. She nervously asks why he’s there, but he just silently stares at her. Uh-oh, this can’t be good.
Kwon-joo radios Jin-hyuk to let him know she’s going to meet Gyu-ah, but he’s still busy chasing down the would-be assassin and promises to meet her at the club as soon as he catches this guy. As she heads out, Kwon-joo asks for the local patrol to meet her at the club.
Jin-hyuk continues to fight the assassin, but they’re both so evenly matched in their skills that neither seem to get the upper hand. In the tussle, Jin-hyuk’s radio falls and breaks, which means Kwon-joo can no longer contact him to let him know she’s arrived at the club.
She’s on the third floor, where she promised to meet Gyu-ah, but the hallway is dark and empty. Ahhhhhh, haven’t we already learned that investigating creepy dark hallways alone isn’t a good thing?
With her flashlight and gun in her hands, she carefully looks around, but when she sees a trail of blood on the floor, she radios the call center.
Kwon-joo continues to cautiously look around as she follows the trail of blood, and her super hearing causes her freeze when she hears a noise that sounds like muffled breathing (or perhaps stifled laughter?). As she explores the large, empty, dark room, she finds something strange on a shelf. It’s a glass containing a human eye on the end of an ice pick, and written on the wall in blood is “John 9:41.” There’s also a cell phone, which looks like it’s set to record audio.
After she radios in her findings, she hears the muffled laughter and footsteps coming from somewhere in the hallway. She readies her gun, but relaxes in relief when the movement she sees is from the local police finally arriving at the club.
One of the club’s security guard reports to the manager what was found upstairs, and, worried about the trouble that they’re now in, the manager orders the security team to escort the VIPs out.
The Violent Crimes Unit arrive on the scene just then and confirm that Gyu-ah’s body hasn’t been found, even though presumably that’s her eyeball in the glass. Chief Jang orders the cops to look through the CCTV footage, but then he gets a phone call — which we don’t get to hear.
Kwon-joo introduces herself to the manager and security team, letting them know no one is allowed to leave the premises. She also wants a list of everyone who was on the third floor.
She checks in with the call center, asking about Jin-hyuk, and they tell her that they’re trying to track him down. They’ve sent Dae-shik to help figure out where he is since they’ve lost signal due to his radio breaking. Dae-shik arrives at Jin-hyuk’s last known location and runs around, looking for any sign of his partner.
At the club, Tae-gu washes up in the restroom and carefully studies himself in the mirror. His father is still chattering on to Minister Kim and Director Kwon about the development plans and how it will make the what was once a blight into the gem of the neighborhood. Tae-gu sits silently, sipping his drink, but the meeting is soon interrupted by one of the security team telling them about what was found on the third floor.
CEO Mo is aghast, especially since Gyu-ah was just sitting with them a few moments ago. The security guard suggests they leave as soon as possible so they don’t have to deal with the police. Throughout all this, Tae-gu maintains an eerily peaceful expression, with even a hint of a smile.
Kwon-joo fills Chief Jang on what she found, and the chief orders the cops to gather everyone into the main room downstairs. But the security team quietly escorts CEO Mo and his men, including Tae-gu, out one of the back doors. The other guests aren’t so lucky — they must not be VIPs — and are ordered by Chief Jang to provide proof of identification. That’s probably something no one wants to do, considering the nature of the club.
Kwon-joo can’t stop thinking about the footsteps she heard, but she notices that the VIP room is empty except for the security guards. She yells at them for letting the guests leave while the cops are still investigating, and she can hear the footsteps as the men exit out the back way. She tries to push past the wall of security guards, but they refuse to let her through.
It isn’t until Chief Jang arrives, warning them that they’d better let the detectives pass if they don’t want things to get get ugly, that the head security guy gives a little nod which allows the security team to let them through. But CEO Mo and the rest of the men are far enough ahead that they make it to their cars before the cops can arrive.
Tae-gu stands next to his car, watching intently as the security team that escorted his father out now restrains Kwon-joo and the detectives. Kwon-joo finally breaks free, but it’s too late — Tae-gu is already driving away. Meanwhile, Jin-hyuk continues to battle the assassin.
So, I have mixed emotions about this episode. And lots of questions. So. Many. Questions.
I don’t understand how large the police station must be that it took so long for Hyun-ho to run downstairs. He arrived at the same time Jin-hyuk and Dae-shik did, and they were coming from outside the building. Hyun-ho was also the first one to realize that Ho-shik was dangerous, so shouldn’t he have been trying to go help Eun-soo even sooner? Also, they’re in a police station! Why are they waiting for Jin-hyuk and Dae-shik to arrive when there surely has to be some other police force nearby in the same building? How did Ho-shik even get access to the archives room when it clearly needed a badge to open the door? And where did he know to find the leftover HCL evidence when even Eun-soo had to go searching around for it? Why wouldn’t Kwon-joo, who clearly thinks nothing of her own safety in dark, creepy hallways, not immediately barge downstairs to save one of her own team? Why wait until after the detectives have saved her?
Also, what kind of assassin goes to kill (kidnap?) a kid and his primary threat is just to stand there and stare intimidatingly. I mean, sure, it’s pretty terrifying if you’re a kid and have no idea why this stranger is standing in front of you, but I still don’t understand what the end goal was for this. Was he really going to hurt Dong-woo? Kidnap him? Just be as threatening as possible until Jin-hyuk got word and then run away, proving that Jin-hyuk’s enemies know how to rattle him? How long are he and Jin-hyuk going to continue fighting? I mean, I like watching Jang Hyuk’s action scenes as much as the next person, but having them fight for at least half the episode seemed a little much.
At least it helps to show that Tae-gu really is the “master,” because his visit to Dong-woo truly was creepy and even more unsettling than the would-be assassin, just through the sheer mystery around it. He’s proving that he can easily reach Jin-hyuk’s most important person in the world, but he also is showing restraint — which is possibly the most disturbing thing, especially since we know what he’s capable of. And I’m still curious about this oral fixation Tae-gu seems to have — I shuddered a little bit when he gently stroked Dong-woo’s chin, since I assumed he was imagining what he could do to it (and honestly I don’t want to know).
Tae-gu was really the saving grace of this episode, and I don’t think I’m just saying that as a die-hard Kim Jae-wook fan. There’s something so mesmerizing about him and the way he can calmly (and quickly and cleanly!) do something so despicable, yet appear to get such satisfaction from it. Maybe it is, indeed, my bias speaking, but I think the show has done a marvelous job casting someone so charismatic and handsome, but who also seems just a little bit unhinged, even if you can’t quite put your finger on it. Tae-gu could so easily become a standard drama villain, all evil machinations created to give our heroes hurdles to overcome until the final episode, but I’m totally intrigued (and not a little horrified). I want to see more of him and figure out why he does what he does.
I do have my theories, mostly of the religious kind. Considering how much CEO Mo keeps talking about religious things (his envy of the Biblical character of Jacob; the company’s motto which sounds very much like the Bible verse John 12:24; his description of being willing to “bear his cross” when it came to the redevelopment), I wonder if somehow Tae-gu has taken a religious aspect of his life that has been there since childhood and dialed it up to an extreme where he believes he’s somehow responsible for cleansing the world of those he considers to be sinners (or at least those who deems have sinned against him).
The verse on the club wall is John 9:41: “Jesus said, ‘If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.’” Considering that he actually removed Gyu-ah’s eye, it would seem he takes these verses literally. Which also makes me wonder about that famous verse of “an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Does that crackling jaw mean some teeth have been exchanged? Does he have a lifelong vendetta against a dentist who didn’t properly fix a cavity?
As a fan of suspenseful cat-and-mouse games, I’m looking forward to watching how Tae-gu will continue to tease Kwon-joo and Jin-hyuk, leading them along his psychopathic path — until they finally catch him, of course. I mean, he is evil, so I shouldn’t be rooting for him. And I’m not! I swear! Those cheekbones must have some magical properties that make me momentarily confused. Yeah. That must be it.