Criminal Minds Episode 4 Recap
The reaper has Team Lead Kang’s son, Han Byul. His wife, Hye Won, searches the mall for their son. The reaper calls Team Lead Kang. He tells him his son looks exactly like him. The reaper puts Team Lead Kang’s son on the phone. His son says he will stay with his friend until he comes. Team Lead Kang Ki Hyung (Son Hyun Joo) warns the reaper not to hurt his son. The reaper assumes Team Lead Kang received his gift. The reaper asks if Team Lead Kang is interested in the deal now. Team Lead Kang’s order the reaper not to touch his son. The reaper chuckles that things will get interesting now.
Team Lead Kang alerts the team that the reaper has his son. Ha Sun Woo (Moon Chae Won) and Kim Hyun Joon (Lee Joon Gi) arrive at the mall where the child was taken. Team Lead Kang’s wife is frantic when Sun Woo arrives. She assures the mother, they will find him. Hyun Joon heads to the security remove to look at CCTV footage. He sees the reaper buying Han Byul a lollipop. Then he sees the reaper take Han Byul out the exit. He dashes out the exit and spots Han Byul with other children. He rushes to the child’s side. Sun Woo follows and hugs the boy. Team Lead Kang hugs his son when he arrives. Yoo Min Young (Lee Sun Bin) and Professor Lee arrive too. Everyone is relieved Han Byul was unharmed and seems unaware of the danger he was in.
Hyun Joon drives Team Lead Kang’s wife and son home. Hye Won asks Hyun Joon to take care of her husband. Hyun Joon assures her he will. Later as he watches the house, Hyun Joon recalls Hye Won telling him that Team Lead Kang had nightmares for a year after the bombing incident.
The coroner tells Sun Woo that the reaper delivered the killing stab wounds with surgical precision. Sun Woo urges Team Lead Kang to put his wife and child in a protection program. Na Na Hwang (Yoo Sun) agrees with Sun Woo’s suggestion. Team Lead Kang says nothing.
The next morning Hye Won sends her husband off to work. They share a family hugs as they enter protective custody. Team Lead Kang implores the officer to care for his family. The officer promises to keep them safe. Team Lead Kang watches his wife and child drive away.
The Criminal Minds team gather to review the potential suspects that match the CCTV footage of the reaper. Na Hwang offers three suspects, Go Sung Jae, Park Sang Gu, and Seo Jin Hwan. The first two suspect’s locations are known but not the third. They decide to interview all three suspects.
Go Sung Jae runs when he sees Sun Woo and Hyun Joon coming his way. With some nifty teamwork, they capture Go Sung Jae.
Unfortunately, Go Sung Jae isn’t the reaper when a videotape surfaces of his whereabouts when the campsite murders took place.
Sun Woo and Hyun Joon search for Seo Jin Hwan. Hyun Joon gets physical to get his whereabouts revealed.
Team Lead Kang watches old footage of the sole reaper victim survivor, Kim Yong Chul.
Sun Woo and Hyun Joon join the camper site victims’ children at an event and learn the Na Hwang counsels victims on the weekend. The little girl tells Hyun Joon that the reaper smelled like mint candy.
The reaper disguised as a police officer pulls a couple over. We see the reaper is wearing a shirt and tie under his rain gear.
When the murder is called in Sun Woo and Hyun Joon realize the address is close to Seo Jin Hwan’s studio.
At the murder site, Team Lead Kang finds the locket from the campsite victims and learns the reaper took a wedding ring from the male victim. When Sun Woo and Hyun Joon arrive, they tell Team Lead Kang that Seo Jin Hwan is the most likely suspect.
The Criminal Minds team searches Seo Jin Hwan’s studio. They find the wall of victims. Min Young wonders why Kim Yong Chul’s photo is there. Hyun Joon realizes reaper is targeting Kim Yong Chul to eliminate the surviving victim.
This brings to mind my question why they didn’t put Kim Yong Chul in protective custody in the previous episode.
Kim Yong Chul calls Sun Woo and is surprised when she gets there so quickly not knowing the police are watching him.
More police are watching for Seo Jin Hwan. Hyun Joon spots him walking in the neighborhood on CCTV and Na Hwang confirms it. Once Seo Jin Hwan realizes the police are after him he runs. Hyun Joon “borrows” a delivery motorcycle and gives chase, capturing Seo Jin Hwan.
Min Young tells reporters they’ve arrested a suspect that fits the reaper profile. Seo Jin Hwan is brought into the police station. Kim Yong Chul doubts Seo Jin Hwan is the reaper. He tells Sun Woo about his sad childhood.
Na Hwang is thrilled when Hyun Joon visits her office. He hands a USB drive retrieved from Seo Jin Hwan. They are shocked to see murder victim photos.
When Team Lead Kang interrogates Seo Jin Hwan realizes that he’s lying that he’s the reaper. Hyun Joon can’t believe that Team Lead Kang is dismissing Seo Jin Hwan’s confession. The rest of the team point our Seo Jin Hwan’s nervous mannerisms. Professor Lee wonders if the reaper has threatened Seo Jin Hwan’s family forcing him to confess. Professor Lee enters the interrogation room, show Seo Jin Hwan a picture of his family and asks where they are. Hyun Joon enters the room and asks the same question. Professor Lee declares that the reaper is threatening Seo Jin Hwan. Afraid for his family, Seo Jin Hwan confesses that reaper has his son.
Na Hwang reports they’ve been hacked. Hyun Joon guesses the hacker gained access through the USB drive. They realize that the reaper is hacking the protection program to find Team Lead Kang’s wife and son. Na Hwang reports the witness protection program hasn’t been hacked…yet. Team Lead Kang realizes that Kim Yong Chul knew a detail that only the killer would know.
Flashback to Kim Yong Chul watching his finance die from the stab wounds. Creepily he pops a mint then licks blood from his finance’s hand. Sun Woo declares it’s obvious why reaper kill couples.
Flashback to Kim Yong Chul revealing his face to the police commissioner.
Team Lead Kang declares that Kim Yong Chul is reaper.
Kim Yong Chul appears on Na Hwang’s computer screen and asks the team if they are surprised. The prerecorded video reveals he has hostages that he will kill unless they catch him. Team Lead Kang wants to go to him but Hyun Joon stops him saying it’s a trap to make him lose his family and ethics. Kim Yong Chul kills the hostages.
That was an effective scene. Kim Yong Chul is smart and cruel.
Team Lead Kang has the sinking feeling that the reaper is tracking the police officer keeping his family safe. He calls the officer but there is no answer. The team goes to find Team Lead Kang’s wife and son.
They arrive at the safe house location. When they enter they find the police officer stabbed and near death. The police officer declares he didn’t reveal Team Lead Kang’s wife’s phone number even though Kim Yong Chul tortured him but it wasn’t enough.
Having only one officer protect a witness is a single point of failure just waiting to happen…and it did.
Flashback to Kim Yong Chul taking the police officer’s phone and checking the phone log. He calls all the recent numbers and finds Team Lead Kang’s wife when she answers the phone. He claims he is from special security reporting the police officer assigned to them was murdered. Hye Won is upset to hear this. Cruelly he lies that her husband was murdered too. Hye Won falls to the ground and hugs Han Byul close. Kim Yong Chul tells her to throw away the phone, get a new one, and call only him. Hye Won asks him to confirm what he said about her husband. Kim Yong Chul feigns sadness and confirms the news. He hangs up.
That was an effective scene. Kim Yong Chul is smart and cruel.
The police officer tells Team Lead Kang his wife and son are in direct contact with the reaper. The police officer dies apologizing to Team Lead Kang.
The team is frustrated the Hye Won’s phone cannot be tracked. Team Lead Kang calls and lets them know what Kim Yong Chul told his wife and that the officer who protected her has died from knife wounds inflected by Kim Yong Chul.
Going rouge, Team Lead Kang calls Kim Yong Chul. The Criminal Minds team listens to their conversation. They go back and forth trying to establish the power in their relationship. Team Lead Kang calls Kim Yong Chul predictable. Kim Yong Chul chuckles and promises this is only the beginning. Team Lead Kang changes tact and asks him to reconsider. Kim Yong Chul chuckles pleased that Team Lead Kang is feeling the fear of losing those he loves. Kim Yong Chul says he’ll take away what Team Lead Kang has (a loving family) because he never had that. Kim Yong Chul spies Hye Won and Han Byul exit a taxi at the safe house. He taunts Team Lead Kang that his wife’s smile is lovely. He muses that she smells good. Kim Yong Chul taunts that the adorable son will be his too.
Hye Won calls Kim Yong Chul as she promised. He tells her he’ll be there straight away. The Criminal Minds team and Team Lead Kang listen in horror. Kim Yong Chul tells Team Lead Kang that he has to go, his wife is waiting. He chuckles. Team Lead Kang’s grip loosens even more.
The tracking on Kim Yong Chul’s phone fails. The Criminal Minds team agrees Kim Yong Chul is proving his power in every way. The team realizes Kim Yong Chul lured Hye Won and Han Byul back to their house ensuring maximum pain for Team Lead Kang.
Sun Woo calls Team Lead Kang that the reaper is going to his house. Team Lead Kang knows. The reaper calls and it is his wife. She realizes she trusted the wrong man. Team Lead Kang tells her not to show weakness or fear. Kim Yong Chul tells Hye Won that her husband could have avoided this if he’d taken the deal he offered. Kim Yong Chul tells Team Lead Kang that his arrogance will cost his wife her life as well as his son. Hye Won tells Team Lead Kang that she trusts him. Knowing this could be the last conversation with his family, Team Lead Kang asks to speak with Han Byul. His son asks him if his friend is a bad person. Team Lead Kang confirms this. He asks Han Byul to help him solve a case. He asks if Han Byul knows what he means. His son does. Team Lead Kang asks Han Byul to hug his mother for him. Hye Won and Han Byul hug. Hye Won tells Han Byul she loves him. Team Lead Kang prompts his son. Han Byul says he must investigate and runs off.
Kim Yong Chul watches and tells Team Lead Kang his son is cute. Hye Won asks if Team Lead Kang is almost to her. She tells him not to feel sorry for her. Kim Yong Chul puts the gun to her head. Hye Won says she’ll never see him again and to tell Han Byul she didn’t want to leave their son. Awk! Tears! The gun goes off. The Criminal Minds team is frozen in shock.
That was an effective scene.
Team Lead Kang arrives at his home. He finds the living room empty and blood stains on the carpet. He goes upstairs. In the bedroom, he finds his bloody wife. He sees something move behind the curtain. He empties his gun into Kim Yong Chul but he’s wearing a bullet proof vest. They fight. Kim Yong Chul stuns Team Lead Kang when he breaks a vase on his head. He promises he’ll kill him then show his son his parent’s dead bodies. With a burst of strength Team Lead Kang rises and pulls Kim Yong Chul down the stairs. Imagining what Kim Yong Chul did to his wife and son he beats Kim Yong Chul to a bloody pulp. The Criminal Minds team enters guns pulled. Sun Woo yells at Team Lead Kang to stop so he doesn’t become like Kim Yong Chul.
Let me stop here. Are you kidding me? Stop beating the man that killed your wife and son? How in ANY WAY does that make Team Lead Kang like Kim Yong Chul? The reaper is a man that planned, tortured, and killed for decades. How is anger at murder of his wife the same? Sorry, the standard line “don’t because as bad as your enemy” is not applicable to a man that just found his wife dead. I give Team Lead Kang full latitude to pummel Kim Yong Chul.
Team Lead Kang stands and walks away from Kim Yong Chul. He goes upstairs. He recalls when Han Byul would hide in a toy chest. He finds his son alive in the toy chest. Han Byul hugs his father and says he did as he asked. Team Lead Kang breaks down in tears. Min Young and Professor Lee enter the room and hold Han Byul while Team Lead Kang goes to his bedroom. Sun Woo leaves the room. Team Lead Kang sobs and crawls next to his wife. He calls her name. But she can’t answer. Awk! Tears!
Kim Yong Chul is taken away in an ambulance. Sun Woo watches the ambulance leave and thinks that man has created devils among us.
The Criminal Minds team attends Team Lead Kang’s wife’s cremation. Awk! Tears! Team Lead Kang stares at the coffin. Han Byul cries holding his mother’s picture. Team Lead Kang watches the door of the oven come down.
Min Young watches her daughter sleep.
Hyun Joon visits his mother.
Sun Woo watches her parents exit their car from across the street.
Team Lead Kang remembers his wife putting a tie on him. He cries as he puts the tie on. Awk! Tears! He looks at her picture and promises to return home.
The Criminal Minds team plays with Han Byul. Team Lead Kang enters.
The news breaks, the reaper, Kim Yong Chul, has escaped from prison.
I’ve wanted emotional content. This episode provided it. Here’s what I liked:
* The reaper was sick, cruel and smart. I questioned Team Lead Kang’s wisdom in taunting the reaper especially after the reaper offered the same deal to protect his family. The reaper’s backstory wasn’t all that riveting; father beats Kim Yong Chul and mother can’t protect him so he starts killing men/women in pairs. What was riveting was the reveal that Kim Yong Chul was the reaper. That surprised me. The reaper played everyone. He was the maestro of the Criminal Minds team orchestra. He crushed Team Lead Kang and made him powerless as he lured Hye Won and Han Byul into his clutches. The reaper was a compelling criminal. I hoped in vain that Team Lead Kang’s pregnant wife wasn’t dead. I felt emotion for the first time in the series. Loss is an experience we all share. Hye Won’s death ended two lives – herself and her unborn child – and shattered Team Lead Kang’s happy family.
Criminal Minds team:
* Sun Woo had a moment where she and Hyun Joon were a true team. I want more of that. She’s estranged from her parents which makes me think she’s the sister of the murdered girl in the river case. I already complained about the “don’t become your enemy” moment in the recap.
* Professor Lee with his IQ of 187 considered Team Lead Kang’s family as personal friends, so this was close to home for him (and the entire Criminal Minds team).
* Min Young has a daughter.
* Na Hwang, the resident computer expert, was horrified when the USB infected her computer allowing the reaper to find the police officer protecting Hye Won and Han Byul. It did cross my mind that putting the USB on a standalone computer would have been wise. But it yielded a shocking moment with the reaper revealed himself and killed two people in front of the Criminal Minds team.
Hyun Joon (Lee Joon Gi) could only watch and listen while the reaper killed Team Lead Kang’s wife. He has a caring nature that I like. He had a moment where he and Sun Woo were in sync which I liked. But this episode belonged to the reaper. Everyone but Team Lead Kang and the reaper were support characters.
Team Lead Kang (Son Hyun Joo) lost his wife to a jealous cruel man. He couldn’t keep a stiff upper lip in the last conversation with his wife. The reaper surprised me that he quickly shot her in the head. Before he’d stabbed with precision to kill. I was relieved when Team Lead Kang’s son hid in the toy box as his father requested. Team Lead Kang eked about the right amount of tears for this controlled character. His loss and devastation was obvious and portrayed well.
Writer Hong Seung Hyun let the reaper win. I was surprised the reaper was Kim Yong Chul. His cruelty was shocking. He enjoyment of inflecting pain was repulsive. He tortured Team Lead Kang and killed his innocent wife and unborn child. Then he escaped prison. He must die.
Ranking the episodes (on a scale from 1-10) had me rank this episode as very good based on Team Lead Kang and the reaper’s compelling performances. My episode ranking chart is below.