Criminal Minds Episode 9 Recap
It’s a dark and rainy night as Team Lead Kang Ki Hyung (Son Hyun Joo) looks over the city lights. He takes his PTSD medicine and recalls the chief’s assessment that his judgement is compromised while on the medication and he should take a break from the team.
Kim Hyun Joon (Lee Joon Gi) wonders if there’s a connection between the kidnapping of the little girl in the amusement park recently and a similar kidnapping of a child 8 years ago. Ha Sun Woo (Moon Chae Won) and Yoo Min Young (Lee Sun Bin) wonder what triggered the culprit to begin again.
Hyun Joon and Sun Woo interview the mother, Mrs. Oh, whose child was taken 8 years ago. She explains the fully cooperated with the police but nary a trace of her child was ever found. She shows them an evidence wall where she has tracked similar kidnapping cases. She claims she saw her child 3 years ago. The flashback shows Mrs. Oh spotting a boy and rushing towards him calling his name but the boy disappeared. Sun Woo asks why Mrs. Oh did not report the sighting. Mrs. Oh says the police think she’s delusional. Hyun Joon tells Mrs. Oh to stop drinking so she’ll be alive when her child returns to her. Mrs. Oh murmurs that losing her child took only a moment but finding him is taking the rest of her life.
With how the writing of these episodes go, I wonder if Mrs. Oh is what she claims. The reaper wasn’t what he claimed. Mrs. Jang wasn’t what she claimed. It makes me suspicious, though Mrs. Oh seems genuinely adrift by her child’s loss.
Hyun Joon briefs the Criminal Minds Team. The map has numerous kidnapping cases over the last eight years. Team Lead Kang declines to investigate stating there is a division that handles child cases. The entire team begs to differ. They believe it could be a serial kidnapper. Team Lead Kang’s opinion doesn’t alter.
Sun Woo presses Team Lead Kang to remember her first case where they saved a child when everyone told them it couldn’t be done. Team Lead Kang reconsiders and agrees to take the case. The team is pleased.
Team Lead Kang may be drugged, but his heart is still functioning.
A sketch artist renders a portrait of what Mrs. Oh’s son would look like today.
Sun Woo and Hyun Joon go to the amusement park. They imagine the crime from the vantage point of the two criminals that distracted then abducted. They realize there was a third person, a driver.
Hyun Joon and Sun Woo report their hypothesis to Team Lead Kang, Professor Lee, and Min Young. The Criminal Minds Team realize something dastardlier may be in play.
The kidnapped little girl wakes in a room in a basement. She hears voices and peeks through the door. She sees older children being scolded by “Mother” and disciplined with a whip by “Father”. She scurries to the bed and puts her hands over her eyes to block the sound.
Professor Lee wonders if the children are alive. Team Lead Kang believes they’ve been conditioned to accept whatever their kidnappers meter out. Team Lead Kang imagines Mrs. Oh’s child would be 16 and biddable to do whatever the kidnappers tell him to.
Mrs. Oh’s child, Jin Oh, tells the little girl that she must forget her former life.
At the little girl’s house, the missing children task force gives up. The Criminal Minds Team team arrives and tells them this is one of many crimes. The missing children task force believe pedophiles are the kidnappers. The Criminal Minds Team explains why they think otherwise. The parents ask if their daughter is alive, Team Lead Kang tells them she is. Na Na Hwang (Yoo Sun) finds CCTV footage of a man near their daughter. The search for the man begins.
I have a hard time with Team Lead Kang telling the parents with certainty their daughter is alive. The Criminal Minds Team is operating under that theory, but it is not proven…yet.
A group of the children tell the little girl while the adults are gone and they need to run away. One boy says when a new child is brought, one of them will be killed. The children decide to make a break for it. They manage to get to the ground level but “Mother” catches them and drags them back.
Simultaneously, Sun Woo and Hyun Joon arrive at the third criminal’s home. He runs. Hyun Joon chases him. Sun Woo glimpses the group of children and starts to follow. Hyun Joon captures the man.
The Criminal Minds Team digs into the man’s past. His wife died when she was 7 months pregnant with their child. The company he worked for sold a product and used their employees as testers. The product was faulty and could have been the cause of death for the man’s wife and unborn child.
The forensics team searches the man’s house. Hyun Joon finds pictures of the latest kidnapped child. He interrogates the man. Livid about the death of his wife and child the man blames the company for using his family as Guinea pigs. Sun Woo finds prescriptions and tells Hyun Joon the man is on antidepressants and suffers from panic attacks. Hyun Joon remembers a moment during the chase where the man was unable to enter the subway.
Team Lead Kang, Professor Lee, and Min Young realize that the man can’t function in crowds and therefore could not be the kidnapper. Couldn’t he be the driver? They wonder why the man ran.
Sun Woo interrogates the man. She says he’s been stalking the little girl and was likely surprised when she disappeared. Sun Woo guesses that the man was pleased to learn the little girl was kidnapped because her parents (associated with the company) are suffering. Sun Woo presses the man to explain why he’s claiming he kidnapped the girl, when he didn’t. And why did he run?
The children are forced to kneel. They beg Mrs. Oh’s son to let them leave. “Mother” and “Father” arrive. “Mother” offers food to the children. Everyone but the little girl eats the food. When “Mother” grabs the little girl to be punished the children plead with her for leniency. “Mother” declares one of the other children would have to be punished in lieu of the little girl. No one offers to take her place.
“Mother” dresses the little girl in a white dress and takes her into a room of mirrors. She tells the little girl this is a special place. “Mother” flashes back to her mother bringing her into the room and leaving her to stare at her reflections. “Mother” tells the little girl bad children are left in this room to stare at their faces when they’ve been bad. “Mother” sings to the terrified girl. “Mother” tells the little girl her mother sold her. The little girl won’t believe it. “Mother” leaves her to think about her impertinence. The little girl screams.
That’s messed up. The psychological terror inflicted on these children is disturbing.
The man screams as he’s led away. Sun Woo and Hyun Joon wonder what he knows. Hyun Joon guesses the man won’t talk because the little girl’s parents are suffering, which is a desired goal. Sun Woo has a flash of inspiration. She rifles through the photos and sees a van near the little girl. Hyun Joon realizes the man knew others were stalking the little girl.
Flashback to the man stalking and photographing the little girl. He realizes a van is also stalking the little girl.
Hyun Joon and Sun Woo decide to examine the black box footage from the man’s car.
Na Hwang asks the question we are all thinking; why would anyone do this to children? Professor Lee, Min Young and Na Hwang review CCTV footage of the little girl. Professor Lee sees a moment where the little girl recognizes someone or something off camera and runs to it. Min Young notices the little girl is smiling. Professor Lee sees the man photographing the little girl. He guesses the man’s photographs could reveal what the little girl saw and ran towards. They pull up the man’s photos and find one from the same day.
Sun Woo and Hyun Joon search the same area from the photos. They’ve only got a partial license plate from the man’s photos. They guess the kidnappers stalked the little girl for a considerable time.
Sun Woo visits the little girl’s bedroom. She notices pictures of animals. Her mother says her daughter was allergic to animals.
The Criminal Minds Team gathers to discuss what they know. Professor Lee doesn’t understand why the little girl was snatched in a public venue when they could have easily snatched her from the streets without a fuss. They consider the house the children are kept, the jobs the kidnappers could have, and whether the kidnappers are married. They guess the kidnappers were abused as children. Team Lead Kang realizes the kidnappers must have failed before. He says it’s time for the press to be notified. Team Lead Kang directs them to gather the missing children’s parents.
Min Young goes to the press about the missing little girl, the other kidnap victims and the kidnappers.
The children care for the little girl who has survived her stay in the room of mirrors. They tell the little girl she must eat. “Mother” finds the children gathered around the little girl. She tries to take the little girl but they try and block her. “Mother” says she’ll beat them for their insolence. Mrs. Oh’s son intervenes and says he’ll conduct the punishment. He only pretends to inject the boy with drugs. “Mother” is livid. “Father” arrives and starts to drag Mrs. Oh’s son away. He scrambles to the tie up boy and puts his arms around him. “Father” drags Mrs. Oh’s son away.
I like when the Criminal Minds Team members picture themselves in the scene with the criminal. They imagine what the criminal does and why. I’m assuming the US version did the same. It’s a more interesting flashback to a criminal’s past activities. This kidnapping case is intellectually interesting but not emotionally engaging. My hot buttons are mistreatment of animals, children and the elderly. But I watched this case like I was a member of the Criminal Minds Team in intellectual mode. I did enjoy how the Criminal Minds Team all voiced their opinions. This wasn’t Team Lead Kang directing, this was collaboration.
Sun Woo had several flashes of insight. She wasn’t prickly around Hyun Joon and they acted like partners.
Professor Lee with his IQ of 187 was a team player this episode. He offered several good insights.
Min Young was a team player this episode. Not much to mention this episode.
Na Hwang, the resident computer expert, was invited to a team meeting. Her computer room is like the kitchen in a house, everyone gathers there.
Hyun Joon (Lee Joon Gi) chased the stalker and caught him due to the panic attack the man suffered. Hyun Joon correctly pushed Team Lead Kang to consider taking on the case (and the rest of the team verbalized their agreement). I enjoyed his chase of the stalker. It’s not a proper episode unless Hyun Joon is in a foot race to catch a criminal.
Team Lead Kang (Son Hyun Joo) listened to his team. Initially he didn’t want the kidnapping case but listened to the recommendation of the team and acquiesced. No headaches or signs of the PTSD other than the opening scene when he considered the chief’s request to step aside. It looks like his decision is to keep working
Writer Hong Seung Hyun selected another interesting case from the US show’s archives. No mention of the reaper or the river murder case. I still want this delved into.
Ranking the episodes (on a scale from 1-10) had me rank this episode as good. My episode ranking chart is below.