This show owes me a new manicure, because with every second ticking down against the “golden time,” it’s a fingernail-nibbling anxiety-inducing race to see if Kwon-joo will be able to figure out where the boy is and if Jin-hyuk will trust her deductive powers of hearing. We also learn more of what exactly happened the night Jin-hyuk’s wife died, what happened to Kwon-joo’s father, and why Kwon-joo is so adamant that the killer is not Dong-chul. There’s just no resting in this show, is there?
EPISODE 3: “Two-Faced Healing Mama Part 2”
It’s ten minutes after Ah-ram’s call to the emergency center: Jin-hyuk and Dae-shik realize they’re at the wrong apartment and Ah-ram’s mother discovers the boy is hiding in the washing machine. She angrily yanks him out and drags him crying and screaming into the living room, while Kwon-joo listens helplessly from the other end of the phone.
Over the radio, Jin-hyuk asks her what she meant by a xylophone, but she says, in slight distress, she doesn’t know what it could be. He reminds her that she’s supposed to have super hearing — focus and figure it out! If nothing else, he tells her to buy time by talking to the mother so they can investigate the other buildings.
Ah-ram’s mother advances on the boy with her knife as he pleads for his life, promising that he’ll be quiet. The woman says it’s too late for that now, but she freezes in terror when she hears Kwon-joo’s voice, telling her that it’s not too late. As the woman takes the phone from Ah-ram’s grasp, Kwon-joo informs her that the police are on their way.
Meanwhile, Jin-hyuk and Dae-shik discuss what things could possibly sound like a xylophone, and spot a wind chime hanging from a window. Bingo. Counting the windows to try and figure out what apartment it is, they run back to the security office, but the guard is nowhere to be found — although there is a wind chime half assembled on his desk.
Dae-shik asks the curious neighbors if they know of a seven-year-old boy living in that apartment, and they tell him that’s where “Jae-eun’s mother” lives — they only have a daughter, who’s been hospitalized for months due to meningitis. It seems like a dead-end, until Jin-hyuk remembers the boy talking about the girl who used to live there before him.
Kwon-joo’s team has pulled up more information about the woman’s husband — he’s a failed restauranteur who now works as a chef, although he hasn’t been at work for the past month, and he and his wife have adopted three kids. The first child died, the second is in the hospital, so there’s only the last adopted boy currently living in the house. The address matches the location the detectives found the wind chime.
As the police run to the building, Kwon-joo tries to stall Ah-ram’s mother from doing anything else. She asks the woman if she really wants Ah-ram to die like this, but the woman shrieks out that it’s not her fault. She fed and clothed the children — the “old man” was more cruel than she was!
The woman leans over to try and strangle Ah-ram, but Kwon-joo has figured out that the woman must have gone through similar abuse. She orders her hacker Hyun-ho to dig up more information while she keeps talking to Ah-ram’s mother, calmly pointing out the woman must also be in pain, just like Ah-ram.
The woman freaks out, reverting to an almost childlike state as she screams that she hates how noisy and messy children are, and then blubbering to her father that she’s sorry and she “won’t do it again.” Hyun-ho discovers that the woman was also adopted when she was a child, and tried repeatedly to run away. Even though the reports say she was found with severe injuries, she was returned home each time.
Kwon-joo tells the woman that she knows she’s had a hard life, and has probably asked herself many times why she’s had to struggle when everyone else seems to have it easier. Based on the sound of the woman’s voice, Kwon-joo can tell that her words are getting through. In a flashback, we see the woman as a young girl, attempting to run away when her adopted father — whose face we can’t see — advances with a stick to beat her. Her words sound identical to Ah-ram’s: “I’m sorry! Please don’t hurt me! I won’t do it again!”
As the detectives run to the building, Kwon-joo tells the woman that she’ll help her have a normal life if she’ll let Ah-ram go. Both the woman and Ah-ram plead for help, and Kwon-joo relaxes in relief. She tells them that the police will be there soon, but the wind chime — which sounds like a xylophone, and looks creepy with human teeth dangling from it — starts to ring as a man steps into the apartment.
By the time Jin-hyuk, Dae-shik, and the rest of the police arrive, only the woman is there. The sole trace of Ah-ram is a bloody stain on the sofa. As the men search the apartment, Jin-hyuk arrests the woman, who stares vacantly ahead as tears stream down her cheeks.
They put in a call to track down the husband since they suspect him of kidnapping. Jin-hyuk’s convinced the husband is their new culprit, but Kwon-joo thinks the footsteps sounded like those of an old man, whereas the husband is in his thirties.
The neighbors all watch in shock as the woman is escorted, handcuffed, to a police car. Hyun-ho has found out more information about the woman, having had to dig deep since the adoption agency buried the fact that the adoption was dissolved due to her adoptive father abusing her.
Kwon-joo calls the patrol officer in the car with the woman, asking to speak to her. But the woman despondently says that she doesn’t know who took Ah-ram. Her eyes widen in surprise when Kwon-joo asks if it was an old man with arthritis, and she trembles as she repeats that she doesn’t know anything, insisting that it isn’t her adoptive father like Kwon-joo suggests.
Suddenly the woman ducks down, terrified of something she can see out the window, and she whispers that she doesn’t know anything. Hearing the change in her voice, Kwon-joo suspects that the man is somewhere nearby.
Jin-hyuk and Dae-shik drive to where they think the woman’s husband might be. When Jin-hyuk learns that the woman’s adoptive father used to be a dentist, he remembers the wind chime that was made with teeth, and the half-assembled chime on the security guard’s desk. He orders Dae-shik to pull over so he can run back and investigate the security guard.
Twenty minutes after Ah-ram’s call to the station, Jin-hyuk returns to the security guard’s office. The guard appears, surprised to see the detective again, asking if they’ve found the boy. With a friendly smile, Jin-hyuk tells the old man that he just needed to double-check if someone ever visited the woman, claiming to be her parent.
The guard apologizes for not being able to remember because he sees so many people come and go. He then apologizes for forgetting to be hospitable and offers the detective a bottle of healthy juice. Jin-hyuk takes the drink, asking why the man’s trouser legs are so dusty. The man admits he was in the boiler room, and Jin-hyuk asks if a boy could hide in there. Offering to show him the space, the guard tells Jin-hyuk to follow him.
Meanwhile, Kwon-joo has gotten the woman to confess who took Ah-ram, but when she calls for Jin-hyuk, only Dae-shik answers. Kwon-joo is worried when she hears Jin-hyuk returned to the apartment, because she just found out that the security guard was the woman’s adoptive father who would abuse children to get insurance money. He became the security guard of her apartment complex to get revenge and reassert his control in her life. In hurting the children, the woman was only following his orders.
Jin-hyuk follows the security guard down to the dusty basement, but his radio crackles due to bad reception as Kwon-joo calls for him to get out, now! She repeats over and over that the security guard is the culprit and that Jin-hyuk needs to leave, but the radio only crackles with the broken messages.
As he looks around the boiler room, Jin-hyuk casually talks about kids with the security guard, drawing out the man’s opinion that children should be beaten for their own good. The man admits that his own daughter has been troublesome for him. As the guard informs Jin-hyuk that his daughter is actually the one the cops have been looking for, Jin-hyuk gets dizzy and collapses on the floor.
Standing over him, the security guard mockingly tells Jin-hyuk that he shouldn’t take drinks from strangers — the juice that he drank a few minutes ago was actually spiked with an anesthesia that disrupts the central nervous system and makes it difficult to breathe. Jin-hyuk gasps and struggles to move as the security guard gloats that he was the one responsible for all those kids dying — he was going to throw them out like the trash they really are.
He pulls out a syringe filled with something that will kill a man, telling the struggling Jin-hyuk that those kids should be grateful for him. He at least let them live like humans for a while. The reason he’s doing this is because he decided to take revenge on his daughter after she reported him, and he laughs as he confesses that he also killed her husband.
But enough of that — it’s time for Jin-hyuk to die like all the other children. Except Jin-hyuk fights back, resisting the syringe and revealing that he’s been recording the old man’s confession. Jin-hyuk springs up, fully fit and in control of his body. Ha! He saw the empty anesthesia bottle in the trash, and only pretended to drink the juice.
He asks the man where Ah-ram is, but the old man stubbornly refuses to tell him. So Jin-hyuk grabs a nearby wrench and bashes in the old man’s knee. Ouch. But before he can hit the man again, Kwon-joo’s voice crackles over the radio, telling him that she thinks she knows where the boy is because she can hear him.
Hesitating a moment, Jin-hyuk tosses away the wrench and holds the walkie-talkie up so Kwon-joo can listen. She focuses on the rhythmic tapping that she knows is coming from Ah-ram, since she had told him to keep tapping on the phone when he was hiding in the washing machine.
After a few twists and turns, following Kwon-joo’s directions, Jin-hyuk arrives in front of a blank wall. She tells him he needs to keep going straight, but there’s no where else to go. This time, Kwon-joo can definitely hear the boy’s fingers tapping against metal. She knows he’s in there.
Jin-hyuk grabs a nearby sledgehammer and knocks down the drywall, opening up large enough hole to see a the husband’s body wrapped in plastic, and the injured Ah-ram leaning against his cage, his fingers still tapping against the metal.
Jin-hyuk tears down the rest of the wall and frees the boy, asking him if he’s okay. The boy weakly asks to talk to Kwon-joo, letting her know he kept his promise to keep tapping, no matter how small the sound. Jin-hyuk calls for back-up and an ambulance for the boy as Kwon-joo officially ends the timer.
Thirty minutes after Ah-ram’s call to the emergency center, the case is closed.
Kwon-joo steps outside to call Ah-ram’s mother, letting her know he’s safe. She seems relieved to know the boy will be able to live a better life than her, even if that was the reason she hated him. The woman asks the patrol officer to roll down the window enough for her to throw away the wind chime. She drops the chime, the symbolic reminder of her life with her abuser, out the window and at least seems freed even as she’s headed to jail.
When Jin-hyuk returns to the station, he asks Kwon-joo when she first was able to hear sounds that no one else can hear. She tells him that when she was twelve, she was in an accident that made her blind for a few years. She assumes that’s when her hearing became better than others. It’s a secret that only her father used to know, but now that Jin-hyuk knows, there’s a total of three people in the world that know about it.
He then asks about what happened that night his wife died — what was in the recording that’s missing? Why did she return to this station and make him part of her Golden Time team? They sit down in a quiet corner of the station as she goes into detail what happened.
Flashback to Kwon-joo, recently transferred to the emergency call center for a week, settles into a busy Friday night shift when a call comes in about a potential robbery at a politician’s house. Due to the high-profile client, that case takes the focus of the call center.
Then Jin-hyuk’s wife calls, and after Kwon-joo transferrs the call to her supervisor so he could get more information, the call is dropped. Kwon-joo hesitates to call her back, but her supervisor presses the button and once they’re reconnected, she asked the woman for her location so they can help her.
Except, of course, the phone ringing catches the attention of the hooded man. The scene of the murder plays over again, but this time, we see Kwon-joo’s reaction to the sounds and voices she hears. As she recoils in horror when the woman is bludgeoned, her supervisor takes over and orders a patrol to that area.
Meanwhile, the call center chief is on the phone with someone who tells him the robbery report is false — a dog tripped the alarm. No need for a “code zero.”
Over the radio, Kwon-joo’s father calls for her, letting her know that he’s in the area of the attack. Of all the places for him to be assigned. She reassures him that a patrol has been dispatched, so he should just wait for them to show up, but he hurries through the alleyways when he sees a mysterious hooded figure.
Kwon-joo’s father, not in the best shape, does his best to run after the suspect, reporting back to Kwon-joo that he can’t just let the guy go since he’s right there in front of him. When he loses the hooded man in an alleyway, he radios back to Kwon-joo, asking if she heard anything that could help. She pleads with him to just wait for the patrol, but they both freeze when they hear the sound of someone walking up behind him.
It’s the mysterious man, but this time he’s shed his hooded jacket and staggers drunken-like down the alley. Kwon-joo’s father isn’t fooled by this disguise, noting the blood on the man’s hands. The two men tussle as Dad tries to arrest him, but the younger man is too strong and agile — and he has his trademark kettle bell, which he swings down against Dad’s head.
Listening through the radio, Kwon-joo stutters in shock as she realizes what’s happening. She calls for her father through the abandoned radio, but it’s the mysterious man who picks it up instead.
He laughs at the fact the cop has a daughter who’s also a cop, and Kwon-joo tells him that she recognizes the cracking when he speaks, so she knows that he’s the one who also killed Jin-hyuk’s wife. He’s amused that she can actually hear that, and at the sound of Dad groaning, reveals he’s still alive.
Kwon-joo desperately pleads for her father’s life, telling the man that there’s no way he’ll get away with it. Too late though — Dad saw his face, so the man will have to kill him. As Kwon-joo screams that she’ll hunt the mysterious man down herself and kill him, the murderer lifts up his kettlebell one last time and smashes it down on Dad’s head.
Meanwhile, Kwon-joo’s supervisor is updating the chief about the situation, and they angrily remind him that he shouldn’t have called the victim back since it would expose her location. But he says it wasn’t him who hit “redial” — it was Kwon-joo. Ohhh, you bastard.
Kwon-joo sits alone at her father’s memorial, dazedly watching a news report that they’ve caught the man responsible for killing Jin-hyuk’s wife. Dong-chul’s fingerprints were found at the scene of the crime and the woman’s blood was on his clothes, so it seems like he’s the obvious culprit. Except as Kwon-joo listens to Dong-chul angrily tell reporters that he isn’t going to talk, she knows that his voice and the killer’s voice aren’t the same.
Back in the present day, Kwon-joo tells Jin-hyuk that he knows what happens next: how no one believed her testimony or that there was more to the recording, proving that her father was killed by the same man. After the trial, she was summoned by the then commissioner (who’s since become the Secretary General) that she should withdraw her testimony.
She insists she’s not crazy — she knows what she heard. But he points out that she’s just causing trouble, and if she still wants to keep her job and have her father be buried at the National Police Cemetery, she should watch her mouth.
That’s when she realized that it was the police who were trying to cover up this case. It’s not just a simple murder case — it’s about a few powerful people using the police to violate the law. She went to America to try and become stronger in her ability to catch the man who killed her father.
Jin-hyuk’s still stuck on the fact that she insists that the same man killed his wife, her father, and destroyed the evidence. He believes that Dong-chul killed his wife, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Kwon-joo is convinced that there’s a connection between Dong-chul and the killer, which is why they found the coat in Dong-chul’s possession. She believes the killer fled the country once Dong-chul was released. Jin-hyuk says he’ll believe her if she brings him concrete evidence.
All she can tell him is that the killer is a psychopath, a monster who was able to stay calm even while killing someone, and has the money and power to cover it all up.
But Jin-hyuk continues to insist on evidence, demanding she bring him proof. Kwon-joo tells him that she believes Dong-chul and the killer are back in the area. She’s convinced that the killer’s agreement with Dong-chul has been broken, and Dong-chul is planning to meet with the real killer.
In a deserted part of an industrial area, the hooded man hammers another victim who pleads for his life. The victim is none other than Dong-chul, and as the hooded man raises his kettlebell for the kill, the sound of police sirens give him pause.
Over the radio, someone tells Kwon-joo that they’ve just received a report of a body falling to its death in the area, and that body has been ID’d as Dong-chul.
Jin-hyuk and Kwon-joo stare in surprise as the realization sets in. The man accused of killing Jin-hyuk’s wife is now dead.
On one hand, I’m relieved that this episode hasn’t ended with another nail-biter of a cliffhanger. Not to say it isn’t a cliffhanger, in that I definitely want to know what happened. But I don’t need an hour after watching to decompress while I worry about someone about to be killed. I mean, he’s already dead. (Er, is that too harsh?)
On the other hand, I’m desperate to know more about the Kettlebell Killer. It takes a special kind of person to casually murder two people in the space of ten minutes, keeping his cool long enough to ditch his jacket to frame someone else. There were also some accomplices — those guys in the car — that also make me wonder what their role is. Were they just there to pick up the killer? Or is this some kind of organized killing gang? Despite knowing that the killer must have some serious connections and money to buy his way out of any accusations, I think I’ll be disappointed if we discover it’s just another rich asshole chaebol with psychopathic tendencies. (And what does it say about the state of dramaland that this wouldn’t even surprise me if it were true?)
I, for one, don’t believe Dae-shik is the killer (although I’ve been enjoying all the theories everyone has posted!). Not just because I immediately recognized that jawline the moment I saw it, but also because I would be gutted to find out that the one person Jin-hyuk has had to lean on during his three years of anger and grief was the person who caused it all. And now, knowing that this guy killed a police officer in cold blood, I’m even further convinced it can’t be Dae-shik. As someone who’s been on the force for so long, I just don’t see him killing a fellow cop — or having the resources to cover it up afterwards.
I do appreciate that Jin-hyuk seems to be gradually coming around to Kwon-joo’s abilities. Ha, I say “gradually,” but I have to remind myself that this is still only their first official day working together. I really liked that he was the one who told her to focus on listening and was able to talk her through her distress and not figuring out what the sound might be. Although, having learned exactly what happened that night — and how her father died — gives me even greater respect for Kwon-joo. She’s not only had to deal with everyone blaming her for Jin-hyuk’s wife’s death (aaaaaaargh, I’m still so angry with her supervisor throwing her under the bus for his mistake), but also thinking she’s being bribed to cover for Dong-chul who everyone believes to be the real killer.
But she heard her father be murdered! Not even taking into account the emotional and psychological trauma that must have caused, she carries the burden of being the only one who has an inkling of what really happened that night. No wonder she’s so careful to control her emotions, knowing that someone in the police force has gone to great lengths to destroy that evidence and threaten her to keep her mouth shut. I think it’s pretty clear how Commissioner Cha made it up the ranks to Secretary General in just three years: massive coverup for a psychopathic, entitled killer who, by the way, is still killing people. Which leads to some important questions: is he using the same kettlebell as the one from three years ago? And does he carry it around all the time in case there’s a convenient chance for murder? Or is it a premeditated “hey, I feel like killing today, so I better not forget my kettlebell!” situation?
As for today’s case, I’m of course relieved that Jin-hyuk and Kwon-joo were able to save the boy, but I’m also happy that the resolution wasn’t as obvious as the clues they were planting in the last episode. I was totally convinced the other person the woman was talking to was her husband — the security guard didn’t even factor in until they showed the wind chime on his desk. Also, you have no idea how loud I yelled “Dooooooon’t dooooooo iiiiiiiiit!” when he offered Jin-hyuk the juice (and let’s just say that Jin-hyuk’s acting skills were totally). I’m generally pretty good at predicting the outcomes of crime shows, and while I definitely have my theories, I’m delighted that this show manages to keep me on my toes and the edge of my seat.