EPISODE 9: “Special Secret”
…We begin episode 9 with Eun Dae Koo (Lee Seung Gi) receiving a call saying the blackmailer’s body is at the morgue. At the morgue he confirms it is the blackmailer. At the same time, Seo Pan Seok (Cha Seung Won) receives a similar call and heads to the morgue to identify the body. He is stunned when he sees Dae Koo exiting the morgue. Suspicious, he stares at Dae Koo as he walks toward him. There is a glimmer of recognition in Pan Seok’s eyes. When Dae Koo spots Pan Seok he is startled and draws to a stop. Pan Seok says “You are alive. Kim Ji Yong.”
Dae Koo simply pretends not to know what Pan Seok is talking about. After spotting Ji Kook (Park Jung Min) he claims he is there for work. Pan Seok accepts this but does not fully believe it. After Pan Seok leaves, Park Tae Il (Ahn Jae Hyeon) comes up and asks Dae Koo what he is doing there. Dae Koo claims he simply wanted to see them, shocking them both.
Eo Soo Sun (Go Ara) wakes in Pan Seok’s apartment. Recall he thoughtfully plucked her out of the tent due to the major rain and allowed her to sleep at his place while he slept elsewhere.
Dae Koo recalls all the nice gifts and notes of encouragement his sponsor sent him over the years and how thrilled he was when he finally met her. In present day, the police chief meets Dae Koo and he admits the Pan Seok has correctly identified him though he’s dodged confirmation for now. The police captain is impressed how quickly Pan Seok figured out his identity. The police captain asks if Dae Koo still suspects Pan Seok is in cahoots with the blackmailer and Boots. Dae Koo is admit that he MUST be. He is passionate that he must solve his mother’s murder now or he’ll lose the opportunity for good. The police captain reminds Dae Koo that he promised to let the law provide the punishment and he would not extract revenge on his own. Dae Koo reaffirms he’ll let justice come from the law.
The brothers, the detectives, Pan Seok and Squad chief Lee Eung Do (Sung Ji Ru) meet to discuss the results of the autopsy of their father. Which brother will turn out to be the killer? Turns out it was an accidental death. He slipped and fell in the bathroom when Insurance brother called him and Gamer brother kept on gaming unaware his father lay dying in the bathroom. You see both brothers deflate knowing they each unwitting contributed to their father’s death.
After a group lunch, each of our rookie detectives think about their parents. Tae Il ponders calling his mother but does not. Dae Koo writes a text to his mother that he must erase as she is dead. Ji Kook calls his mother and asks for her special pickled plums.
Pan Seok cannot shake his belief that Dae Koo is Ji Young. He heads to their apartment and searches Dae Koo’s room. He finds the computer password protected and the desk drawers locked. He takes Dae Koo’s toothbrush to run a DNA test swearing Ji Kook to secrecy. Ji Kook is very uncomfortable with Pan Seok’s actions.
Pan Seok and Sa Kyung have a cute outdoor cafe date. He doesn’t know how to make rice paper wrappers so Sa Kyungs shows him how. It is adorable when he admits he trolled blogs to find the recommendation for a good place to take a date. Their cuteness continues after the food to include ice cream, hand holding, and a kiss in the rain. Yep, they have cuteness.
When the team goes to apprehend a criminal poor Ji Kook is taken hostage with a knife. This keeps happening to him. The surprising part is Ji Kook’s refusal to cooperate with the criminal even though Pan Seok and Eung Do tell him to. The criminal is apprehended after several of them roll down the stairs together. At the police station Tae Il tends to Ji Kook. Looks like their friendship is back on track.
Soo Sun meets an old hometown friend for ice cream and catching up. Dae Koo walks by the ice cream shop and the friend says that it is Ji Young, he’s positive.
During a stakeout things are prickly between Soo Sun and Dae Koo. When the criminal looks in the car then flees they both give chase. The criminal gets away and Soo Sun trips and falls over her untied shoe laces. Dae Koo ties her shoes and Soo Sun flashes back when Ji Young tied her shoes IN THE SAME UNIQUE WAY years ago. She asks if he is Ji Young telling him her hometown friend recognized him too. Dae Koo repeatedly denies it. He tells her that if she continues to pester him about this he’ll kiss her. She backs off but just like Pan Seok she KNOWS he is Ji Young.
Boots meets the politician we’ve seen the police captain talk to in past episodes. He is upset that Boots is visiting him at work. Boots upsets him further when he admits he never killed Ji Young 11 years ago. Smirking (the actor relishes smirking) Boots tells him he knows where he is now and will take care of it.
The DNA test confirms that Dae Koo is Ji Young. Pan Seok confronts Dae Koo telling him he is relieved that he is alive after years of searching and worrying. Dae Koo stubbornly continues to deny the truth. Kinda fruitless at this point in my opinion. Pan Seok says he understands why he hates him. Agitated Dae Koo denies that he is Ji Young. Pan Seok holds out the DNA test which proves he is Ji Young. At this point, Dae Koo loses it and yells at Pan Seok that he is not Ji Young, that Pan Seok will never prove it, he’ll never admit to it. He stalks off.
That evening Soo Sun comes to the same certainly. Dae Koo IS Ji Young. However she takes a different tack than Pan Seok. She stops by the apartment and finds Dae Koo alone. Dae Koo gives her 10 minutes.
Soo Sun: I can’t let it go. I am sure you are Ji Young.
Dae Koo: Eight minutes.
Soo Sun: I realize I don’t understand. When you mother died and you disappeared I was worried what had happened to you.
Dae Koo: Five minutes.
Soo Sun: Do you have a reason you are hiding the fact that you are Ji Young?
Dae Koo: Four Minutes.
Soo Sun: Just tell me that. If you need to hide that you are Ji Young, tell me that much. I won’t ask for any more. Am I right?
Dae Koo stares at her long and hard.
Dae Koo: Three minutes.
Soo Sun: I got it, I got it. (She turns to leave)
Dae Koo: I’m saying it again, I’m not Ji Young.
Soo Sun: I got it!
Dae Koo: But…I do know him a little. He told me to tell you this. For a bird brain, you figured this out well. You are right. There is a reason why he must hide his identity. So for the time being, don’t ask. And don’t tell anyone else.
They stare at each other long and hard.
Soo Sun: I got it. Tell your friend Ji Young that I understand.
Dae Koo: Then go ahead and leave (he turns away).
Soo Sun: Dae Koo…there’s a food tent outside. Have you eaten? Would you like to eat with me? I’m hungry.
At the food tent, they clink the glasses filled with Soju and enjoy the soup. Soo Sun smiles at Dae Koo saying she is happy. She thought Ji Young was dead. She admits was regretful for the mean things she said to Ji Young in the past. Dae Koo slips and tells her to forget it, oops, Ji Young says it is ok. Soo Sun says Eung Do says he lived in an orphanage. Dae Koo says the director was kind and he had a good sponsor that got him through college. Soo Sun promises this is the last thing…please tell Ji Young if he ever needs her, just call. She’s ok if he doesn’t call her noona because he is 2 years younger than her. Dae Koo scoffs at that. She promises to keep the secret from everyone even though she does not understand the details. She’s there for Ji Young forever. Dae Koo is touched. They clink their glasses again and enjoy their meal.
As they part, Soo Sun gives Dae Koo the sweetest back hug. That hug tells him she’s there, she’s happy he is ok, and she’s on his side. She verbalizes that she’s thankful and proud of him. He touches her hand and tears well up in his eyes and finally fall.
* We needed to get the reveal that Dae Koo is Ji Young in the done pile. This episode did it well. When Pan Seok presented definitive DNA evidence I was surprised Dae Koo continued the denial. It seemed fruitless at that point. Soo Sun’s friendship and support was touching.
* Boots conversation with the politician was interesting but nothing substantial happened again.
* We now know the secret was that Tae Il was once a doctor. Not sure I totally buy Ji Kook’s explanation that he betrayed the secret because he was jealous. But I’m glad their friendship is back on track.
* I liked the confrontation between Pan Seok and Dae Koo. These actors are willing to go for it with each other. Powerful scenes between these two actors.