Tell Me What You Saw Episode 16 “Haughty eyes, a lying tongue and hands…” (Final)
Proverbs 6:17 “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that run swiftly to evil…”
In the past…
Genius profiler Oh Hyun Jae (Jang Hyuk) teaches students in an elementary school about profiling. He says thinking like the criminal allows him to guess what will happen next. A young Kim Yo Han (aka Kang Dong Sik) asks Hyun Jae if he can discern why a criminal kills. Hyun Jae relays the story of the scorpion and the frog. As he reaches the climax of the story, Hyun Jae moves to the young Dong Sik as the scorpion says he couldn’t help it, this was the way he was born. Hyun Jae states a killer follows their instinct. Dong Sik murmurs to himself, “this was how I was born.” He smiles broadly. After the visit, Dong Sik picks up a business card from the stack Hyun Jae left. He murmurs “thank you. I hope we meet again. Hyun Jae, profiler.”
Awesome! Now we know the initial interaction between Hyun Jae and Dong Sik. A simple yet pivotal scene. Dong Sik felt that Hyun Jae validated his murderous bent and actions. Now we know why Dong Sik went back to the elementary school for this final showdown.
Detective Cha Soo Young (Sooyoung) learns peppermint candy killer Kang Dong Sik is at the elementary school he went to as a child. Detective Lee Ji Min says they aren’t far away. Detective Cha says this could be a trap. Detective Jang Tae Sung calls for backup.
Team Lead Hwang searches for Dong Sik. He approaches and tells her this is the final party location. Team Lead Hwang says it’s over. Dong Sik sits in a chair and says it isn’t over. He declares the world favors people like him. He says there are many of them. He points to a group of men that enter behind her. He says the men want to beat Hyun Jae to a pulp. Hyun Jae arrives and calls to Dong Sik. Team Lead Hwang turns. Dong Sik knocks the gun out of Team Lead Hwang’s hand and grasp her from behind. He says this will be fun to watch.
Hyun Jae starts to fight the men.
Joo Sa Gang wakes in the truck that Dong Sik has unlatched. He looks at his left hand.
As Hyun Jae fights, Dong Sik tells Team Lead Hwang that 5 years ago the first name she gave was the wrong name, but it is the right name tonight. He tells her to name the person to kill. He demands she say the name. Team Lead Hwang frees herself and declares there’s no one. Team Lead Hwang declares she doesn’t want anyone to die and he won’t kill anyone against. She declares he’ll face the law. She tackles him. He pushes her back to the ground. Team Lead Hwang stands and shows him her handcuffs.
Hyun Jae finishes dispatching the men. He walks toward Team Lead Hwang and Dong Sik.
Team Lead Hwang sees Joo Sa Gang enter the room and start to head to Hyun Jae. She screams his name.
Chief Park learns RIU Team #1 is intersecting Dong Sik at the elementary school. Chief Park tells the officer to dispatch RIU Team #2 and no one else.
Split personality left hand serial killer Joo Sa Gang wakes in the truck that Dong Sik has unlatched. He looks at his left hand. He sees the keys on the floor to the handcuffs.
Enroute to the elementary school, Chief Park calls and yells at RIU Team #2’s Team Leader for letting Hyun Jae get away. He yells they must do what it takes to silence Hyun Jae and Dong Sik.
Hyun Jae begins to fight the men Dong Sik summoned.
As Hyun Jae fights, Dong Sik tells Team Lead Hwang Ha Young (Jin Seo Yeon) that 5 years ago the first name she gave was the wrong name, but it is the right name tonight.
Joo Sa Gang bursts out of the truck. He’s wearing his leather jacket. He is in serial killer mode!
Dong Sik tells Team Lead Hwang to name the person to kill. He demands she say the name.
Joo Sa Gang sees a fire extinguisher on the ground. He picks it up and walks with purpose.
Dong Sik demands that Team Lead Hwang give him the name. She grabs a shard of glass and plunges it into Dong Sik. Team Lead Hwang frees herself and declares there’s no one. Team Lead Hwang declares she doesn’t want anyone to die and he won’t kill anyone again. She declares he’ll face the law. She tackles him. He pushes her back to the ground. Team Lead Hwang stands, declares she’s a cop and shows him her handcuffs.
Hyun Jae finishes dispatching the men. He walks toward Team Lead Hwang and Dong Sik.
Team Lead Hwang sees Joo Sa Gang enter the room and start to head to an unsuspecting Hyun Jae. Joo Sa Gang swings the fire extinguisher. Team Lead Hwang screams his name. Joo Sa Gang hits Hyun Jae. He goes down.
Detective Cha, Detective Lee, Detective Jang arrive. Others arrive. RIU #2 Team Lead tells them to stand down, his team will handle this. Detective Jang and Detective Cha argue against that. RIU #2 Team Lead pulls his gun and order them not to interfere. He steps away leaving others on his team with guns aimed at RIU Team #1. RIU #2 Team Lead calls Chief Park that they have control and will begin to search for Hyun Jae and Team Lead Hwang. Chief Park order him to kill them. Team Lead #2 is shocked to hear the order.
Detective Cha notices the marks leading behind the building. They are ordered to step back. They are ordered to put their hands on the car. Detective Cha tells Detective Lee that the action is behind the building.
Hyun Jae spits blood. Team Lead Hwang goes to him. Joo Sa Gang raises his knife to stab Hyun Jae but Team Lead Hwang intervenes and is stabbed in the gut. She tells Hyun Jae she’ll handle Joo Sa Gang. They go out of that area of the building.
Yikes! That was a big knife that just got plunged into Team Lead Hwang.
Dong Sik and Hyun Jae begin to fight.
Team Lead Hwang tells Joo Sa Gang this isn’t his affair. They fight.
Dong Sik gets Hyun Jae on the ground.
Team Lead Hwang jumps on Joo Sa Gang’s back and puts him in a chokehold.
Hyun Jae swings his leg to bring down Dong Sik. His aim is true.
Team Lead Hwang squeezes until Joo Sa Gang passes out.
Now Hyun Jae has Dong Sik on the ground and pummels him.
Team Lead Hwang struggles to stand but her wound is gushing and she can’t stand.
Dong Sik sees his pistol on the ground and aims at Hyun Jae. He knocks it away and the gun goes off.
Detective Cha, Detective Lee, and Detective Jang attack RIU Team #2. Detective Jang and Detective Lee subdue them. Detective Cha rushes to the back of the building. She finds Team Lead Hwang wounded and spitting blood. She calls an ambulance as Team Lead #2 arrives with his deputy. They dash into the building. Team Lead Hwang tells Detective Cha to stop Hyun Jae.
Hyun Jae handcuffs Dong Sik and pulls him to his feet. He puts Dong Sik gun to his head. Dong Sik loves it and taunts him to kill him. Team Lead #2 and his deputy arrive and order him to drop the weapon. Hyun Jae walks behind Dong Sik and whispers the time isn’t now. He puts the gun to Dong Sik’s head and starts walking him backwards. Team Lead #2 yells at Hyun Jae to drop the gun. Detective Cha inserts herself between them. She yells she won’t obey an unjust order. She declares if they shoot at Hyun Jae, she’ll arrest them for attempted murder. Hyun Jae walks Dong Sik out of the room. He knocks him out with the gun.
The ambulance loads the severely injured Team Lead Hwang and speeds away. The police take Joo Sa Gang away. Detective Cha, Detective Lee, and Detective Jang are faced with the question of what to do next. Detective Cha declares Hyun Jae has gone to his lair. They see other officers arrive. They decide to leave before the other officers come up with the same conclusion.
Chief Park berates Team Lead #2 for losing Hyun Jae and Dong Sik. He yells they must be tracked.
Hyun Jae brings Dong Sik to his lair. The security guard nods in approval.
Dong Sik wakes to find himself hanging from a rope and Hyun Jae drinking. He says he was here yesterday. He suggests they might become friends. Hyun Jae opens a trunk and reveals Dong Sik’s doll and other items. Dong Sik asks who the security guard was. Hyun Jae replies that was the sixth victim’s father. Dong Sik thinks back and says the victim looked like her father. The security guard destroys the fingerprint access.
Hyun Jae pushes a button and Dong Sik lifts to the ceiling. He calmly informs Dong Sik the window for strangulation is between 4 and 14 minutes. He hopes Dong Sik will beat the average.
The complete calm. He has planned this moment for a long time.
The team worries Hyun Jae will kill Dong Sik. Silently she vows to stop Hyun Jae from committing murder.
Team Lead #2 reports they are tracking Team #1’s car. Chief Park urges him to hurry.
Dong Sik swings in the air. Hyun Jae tells him it’s been 4 minutes. He lowers Dong Sik to the ground. Dong Sik gasps for air. Hyun Jae says there’s more to come. More pain and suffering. Dong Sik is pleased. He says they are one and the same. He asks if Hyun Jae is loving owning his life and the superiority of that. Hyun Jae says Dong Sik must be feeling good. Dong Sik agrees. He says just like Hyun Jae he doesn’t feel pain or fear. Hyun Jae lifts Dong Sik to his tip toes. Dong Sik reminds Hyun Jae of the story of the scorpion and the frog. Hyun Jae flashes back to the visit to the elementary school. Hyun Jae says what he said that day wouldn’t have changed Dong Sik’s murderous ways. Dong Sik says Hyun Jae created him. Hyun Jae laughs. Hyun Jae disagrees. Hyun Jae says Dong Sik loves to kill and that’s what he craves. Hyun Jae raises Dong Sik to the ceiling.
Team Lead Hwang goes into shock in the ambulance. At the hospital, they fight to save her.
The team arrives at the lair. The elevator doesn’t work. The stairs are locked. Detective Cha believes Hyun Jae has blocked them and plans to die with Dong Sik.
Dong Sik dangles. Hyun Jae looks at the clock that reads 8 minutes. Hyun Jae says it’s time to die. Dong Sik says someone else killed Yi Soo. Hyun Jae tells him to stay strong.
Words of a desperate man? Didn’t Dong Sik put a bomb of Yi Soo’s car and intentionally blew it up? Is he inferring someone else ordered him to do this? Doesn’t make sense.
The team sees the Team #2 arrive. Detective Cha tells Detective Lee and Detective Jang to keep driving to draw them away. She’ll find a way into Hyun Jae’s lair. Detective Jang declares Detective Cha sounded just like Team Lead Hwang. Detective Lee gives her a thumbs up. They get into their cars.
Team #2 sees them drive away and follows.
Detective Cha decides to scale the wall.
Dong Sik says Hyun Jae will regret it if he lets him die. Hyun Jae lowers him to his toes. He grabs a sledge hammer from the trunk. He warns Dong Sik that if he doesn’t explain, he’ll feel pain via the hammer. Dong Sik declares the person that killed Yi Soo is Hyun Jae.
Hyun Jae flashes back to Doctor Han telling him not to assume everything was over and not to overwork. He’s caught in his head.
Detective Cha scales the wall.
Dong Sik says he failed to kill Yi Soo with the accident. Then Hyun Jae hesitated about saving Yi Soo in favor of capturing him. Dong Sik removes his handcuffs and puts his hands on the noose around his neck.
Hyun Jae looks in the mirror and sees Yi Soo calling to him. He’s unnerved more.
Dong Sik removes the noose. He says Hyun Jae’s hesitation made him decide to kill Yi Soo. Dong Sik taunts Hyun Jae that his ambition cost Yi Soo her life. Hyun Jae snaps out of it and declares Dong Sik will pay. He swings the hammer but Dong Sik darts out of the way.
Detective Cha continues to scale the wall. It isn’t easy.
Dong Sik walks to the trunk and pulls out a knife.
Hyun Jae murmurs not yet. Dong Sik asks if Hyun Jae is losing his eye sight. Hyun Jae asks for time. Dong Sik says he’s behind him. Hyun Jae blindly swings and misses. Dong Sik slashes him with the knife. Hyun Jae swings and misses again and again. Dong Sik slashes again and again.
Dong Sik messing with Hyun Jae’s head and the blindness adds tension and uncertainty. Of course, Dong Sik must die.
Hyun Jae slumps to the ground.
Detective Cha pulls herself through the window.
Dong Sik approaches Hyun Jae.
Detective Cha finds the destroyed fingerprint access. She pounds on the door and calls to Hyun Jae.
Dong Sik says Detective Cha is here.
Detective Cha pushes the fire alarm.
Dong Sik states Detective Cha is quite a woman. She found the man that killed her mother 20 years after the fact. Dong Sik notes that complicated matters between Hyun Jae and him.
Detective Cha finds a metal rod.
Dong Sik states Hyun Jae denied he killed Yi Soo and chased them (Yi Soo, Team Lead Hwang and Dong Sik) for years to avoid the truth. Hyun Jae sits on the floor unable to move and says that’s ridiculous.
Team Lead Hwang flatlines while the doctors administer CPR.
Dong Sik says it is what it is. He says Hyun Jae was wrong not admit he killed Yi Soo. Hyun Jae yells that he tried to save Yi Soo until the last moment. Dong Sik calls him human and week. He promises to makes his death quick. He promises to kill Detective Cha quickly after he’s killed Hyun Jae.
Detective Cha strides down the hallway to the door.
Dong Sik declares after Hyun Jae is dead, he’ll become perfect.
Detective Cha beats on the door.
Dong Sik pulls out the rope to strangle Hyun Jae. He moves behind Hyun Jae and puts the rope around his throat. Hyun Jae puts one hand under the rope and flips Dong Sik over him. Now the positions are reversed. Hyun Jae begins to strangle Dong Sik. Hyun Jae tells whispers in Dong Sik’s ear that humans see and hear things only as they wish to. Hyun Jae says he never said he was going blind, that’s merely what Dong Sik wanted to believe. Hyun Jae tells Dong Sik to name the person he wants to kill. Dong Sik says there are too many to name. Hyun Jae murmurs that Dong Sik is still alive and well.
Detective Cha continues to lever the door open.
Hyun Jae tells Dong Sik to say the name he wants to hear. Dong Sik gasps Hyun Jae. He warns Dong Sik not to disappoint him. A tear falls from Dong Sik’s eye. Hyun Jae demands the name. Dong Sik gasps Kim Yo Han (his birth name). Hyun Jae approves and strangles him with the intent to kill.
Detective Cha levers the door open and enters. She sees Hyun Jae strangling Dong Sik and calls his name.
Flashback…Detective Cha asks Hyun Jae why he helped her when he didn’t care. Hyun Jae replies he didn’t help her, but he felt sorry for her and himself.
Flashback…Detective Cha asks what it means. Hyun Jae says pain is the feeling of loss for those that have nothing to live for. Hyun Jae tells her to watch out if she doesn’t want to sink. Detective Cha tells him she believes in him.
Hyun Jae releases the rope from Dong Sik’s neck. Dong Sik slumps to the floor. Hyun Jae asks Detective Cha if she knew he wouldn’t kill Dong Sik. Detective Cha says she believed in him. Hyun Jae says Dong Sik will think he’s facing a good death. But the pain will begin once he wakes. Hyun Jae asks if he’s a good person or a bad one. He stands and faces Detective Cha. He tells her to say what she saw. Detective Cha walks to Hyun Jae. She looks at Dong Sik on the ground. She says some say humans are directed by instincts. But she doesn’t believe that. Someone with a good heart can become evil and vice versa. Detective Cha says she saw him fight against becoming evil. Whether someone is good or evil is a personal choice. Hyun Jae holds his engagement ring and slips it on. He says there’s someone he has to meet now. He walks away.
A tear rolls down Team Lead Hwang’s face. A heart beat happens. The doctors say it is time for surgery.
The sirens wail. Detective Lee and Detective Jang arrive. The police arrive.
Detective Cha puts the handcuffs back on Dong Sik.
I wasn’t sure if the writers could make Hyun Jae’s interaction with Dong Sik satisfying when I wanted blood, but they did it. The quiet moment between Detective Cha and Hyun Jae was simply lovely. She became his lifeline.
The next day at the police station…Detective Lee tells Team Lead #2 he’s under arrest for attempted murder. He handcuffs him. Detective Jang tells Chief Han he’s under arrest. He handcuffs him.
One month later…
Team Lead Hwang visits Detective Yang’s memorial. She says it felt weird that he didn’t visit her in the hospital. She shares the case went well. Team Lead Hwang says Hyun Jae vanished in thin air. She wishes she’d listened to Detective Yang’s advice. She promises to live a better life and asks that he watch over her. She cries. She puts her police badge in his memorial.
One year later…
Hyun Jae’s lair is empty.
Police station…Detective Cha videos chats her father. Detective Jang and Detective Lee burst into the room. They tell the newbie to move. They all exit.
A man grabs a hammer. A woman begs for her life. The man says he brought her there to kill her. RIU team #1 bursts into the room. Detective Cha flies into the air and knocks the man down. She tells him that isn’t the right way to use a hammer. Detective Jang and Detective Jang arrest him and take him away. Detective Cha moves to the victim and tells her she’s okay. The woman cries.
Detective Cha feels like someone is watching her. She stops and looks but there isn’t anyone there.
Is it Hyun Jae?
Detective Cha returns to the bullpen. She looks at the team photo and Hyun Jae’s earbuds. She sees the earbud blink. She smiles broadly.
Fantasy Flashback…Detective Cha asks Hyun Jae why they are always late. Hyun Jae tells her there’s not punishment from the gods but only what man meters out. He says they chase criminals to the end.
Flashback…Detective Cha says she hopes they can comfort other and she’s glad she became a cop. Hyun Jae agrees it was good she became a cop.
The credits roll to behind the scene moments that make this look like a true ensemble cast that enjoyed themselves throughout the production.
This finale satisfied. Writers Ko Young Jae and Han Ki Hyun resolved most of the lingering questions. Producer Director Kim Sang Hoon once again showcased the story and ratcheted the tension. The cast brought stellar performances one last time.
Series comment. Initially one couldn’t help but compare Tell Me What You Saw to Voice. But this series had richer characters, closer ties among them, and more emotional punch. While I didn’t love every case, each had a nugget the moved the overarching story of the peppermint candy killer forward. My hats off to Writers Ko and Han. As far as I can see, this is their first series. PD Kim is a master in this genre. The cast and crew created a series that delivered more than I anticipated. It sounds odd for a drama about a serial killer, but this series was an unexpected delight.
Genius profiler Oh Hyun Jae (Jang Hyuk) saved himself by not killing Dong Sik. Hyun Jae realized Dong Sik justified his actions by what Hyun Jae told him in an elementary school visit. The final act between Hyun Jae and Dong Sik was riveting and satisfied. Hyun Jae had the advantage, then Dong Sik had the advantage, then Hyun Jae triumphed. I believed that Hyun Jae was losing his sight just like Dong Sik assumed. That assumption allowed Hyun Jae the leverage to have the last word with Dong Sik. He forced Dong Sik to utter the person to kill rejecting his first candidate (Hyun Jae) and accepting Dong Sik naming himself. He could have killed Dong Sik. But he didn’t. In that moment, Hyun Jae saved his humanity. Did he join Yi Soo by committing suicide when he disappeared? I don’t think so. Did the beeping earbud on Detective Cha’s desk indicate Hyun Jae was alive? I think so. But there was ambiguity, so it is up to each viewer to decide.
Detective Cha Soo Young (Sooyoung) believed in Hyun Jae and she was right to do so. Detective Cha was the voice of reason and sanity throughout this series. She performed this service again in the finale. She vowed to stop Hyun Jae from killing Dong Sik. And she did, but it wasn’t what she did in this episode, but her past interactions with Hyun Jae that he remembered in the crisis point. My favorite moment was when she told Hyun Jae that someone with a good heart can become evil and vice versa. She told him she saw him fight and win against becoming evil. She wrapped it up noting whether someone is good or evil is a personal choice. I agree Detective Cha, I agree.
Team Leader Hwang Ha Young (Jin Seo Yeon) didn’t die. She flatlined but came back. She visited Detective Yang’s memorial and promised to live the life she knew he’d want her to live. I felt two of the three parts of empathy for Team Lead Hwang – cognitive (see it from another’s perspective) and emotional (feel another’s feelings). She carried a heavy burden this series. Hyun Jae forgave her and she forgave herself. She triumphed when Dong Sik goaded her to name a person to kill one last time. She turned the tables and declared he would answer to the law. I was sure I wanted Dong Sik to die, but this worked for me. It was the right thing for Team Lead Hwang to do.
Officer Kang Dong Sik (Eum Moon Suk) was finally caught and lived to face the consequences of his actions. Writers Ko and Han supplied the perfect start to the relationship between Hyun Jae and Dong Sik when Hyun Jae visited Dong Sik’s elementary school and told Dong Sik that a killer follows their instinct. Dong Sik validated his actions and feelings telling himself this was how he was born. He used that throughout his life and he gave Hyun Jae credit for that validation. His end goal was to drag Hyun Jae into the depths of evil with him. The final act between these two was stellar. Eum Moon Suk partnered with Jang Hyuk in those raw scenes perfectly. Dong Sik was one of the more interesting serial killers I’ve seen, primarily because Writers Ko and Han tied him closely to all three leads. Most kdramas tie a killer to one maybe two leads, but all three leads and many other characters…it was superb storytelling and made it personal for a majority of the characters.
How did I do on my wish list for the final episode?
* Dong Sik dies or is captured. GRANTED. Hyun Jae didn’t kill Dong Sik. Though we didn’t see Dong Sik after the final act between Hyun Jae and Dong Sik I believe Hyun Jae was right… Dong Sik believed his death by Hyun Jae was proper. But the pain of living and paying for what he did was Dong Sik’s end story.
* No one else dies. GRANTED. It was touch and go with Team Lead Hwang but she pulled through. It was touch and go with Hyun Jae and Dong Sik, but they didn’t kill each other. Utterly satisfying to see Chief Park and Team Lead #2 arrested
* Healing is where this series should end.
** Team Lead Hwang lives life. GRANTED. Her story was graphic, gripping and traumatic. Jin Seo Yeon perfectly portrayed the badass and broken Team Lead Hwang during the series who triumphed to live life again.
** Detective Cha believes in herself. GRANTED. Sooyoung impressed me from the first episode to the last as she portrayed the impossibly brave and determined to find the truth Detective Cha. I loved her smile at the end and the assurance that Detective Cha was confident that she’s a good detective.
** Hyun Jae regains a life worth living. GRANTED. Whether or not he was alive (blinking earbud and Detective Cha’s smile) or disappeared forever through death of self isolation, Hyun Jae found himself. He rejected Dong Sik’s assertions that Hyun Jae made him a killer and that Hyun Jae was just like him. Powerful stuff. Jang Hyuk elevated this series. Jang Hyuk is a master in utilizing props (wheelchairs, dolls, drinks, etc.), pregnant pauses, and whispered words that deliver more impact that shouted ones.
I rate this episode as almost excellent, 9.5 on a 10-point scale.