Mixed-up Investigative Agency really stepped up its game in Episode 9. From what I’ve seen in the next few episodes, the bar of the series has been raised in its latter half. I’ve been liking the series but haven’t been addicted to it, and though I wouldn’t say I’m quite in addiction territory, the series has kicked itself into high gear.
Episode 9 was cute and fun and, best of all, clever.
SONG OF THE DAY
Pudding – “A Little Girl Dreaming.” Pudding is a (Korean) group whose music is largely instrumental, like this track. The sound isn’t quite jazz (at least not in the technical sense of the genre) though it incorporates some jazzy elements; this track is my particular favorite and reminds me of another of my favorite instrumental musicians, Ryuichi Sakamoto, who does a lot of soundtrack and score work as putting out well as his own albums.
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CASE No. 9: “An Attack Begins With a Light Jab”
After Eun-jae passes out during her hypnosis treatment, the clinic calls Hee-kyung to alert her to Eun-jae’s condition. Things are still awkward, since Eun-jae left while Hee-kyung’s angry outburst was still hanging between them, but Hee-kyung can’t find Mu-yeol or Yong-su, so she goes alone.
Seeing Eun-jae sleeping with cuts on her face (from falling into a bookcase as she collapsed), Hee-kyung feels sorry, then angry at the employees who are all busy watching a soccer game.
She cuts out the TV at a crucial moment and berates everyone for their negligence and cruelty. An employee tries to calm Hee-kyung down, downplaying Eun-jae’s condition, which only makes Hee-kyung angrier:
“Why didn’t you take her to the hospital?! How could you leave a sick person all by herself? How could you? It seems you all think she’s insignificant since she has no family or guardian, but people shouldn’t act like that! … All of you’d better prepare yourselves. If anything happens to our Eun-jae, I’m holding you responsible for everything!”
Hee-kyung’s too busy ripping into the woman to notice Eun-jae waking up. She continues yelling, threatening to sue, and defends “our Eun-jae” one more time, just as she looks over to see that Eun-jae’s heard her tirade.
Both women are embarrassed and quiet on the way to Eun-jae’s home, and try to maintain polite distance. Eun-jae thanks Hee-kyung for her help and tells her she can leave since it’s late. Hee-kyung starts to go, but changes her mind and stays, watching over Eun-jae and falling asleep on her bed.
In the morning, Hee-kyung gives her an awkward but sincere apology before leaving:
“About before, I think I was a bit harsh last time. I don’t think I said anything that was completely false, but… well, in any case… I’m sorry.”
Eun-jae finds the tape of her therapy session and watches the video, while the other three friends prepare to vacate their office. Mu-yeol and Hee-kyung fight to claim everything (from the furniture to their snacks); all Yong-su claims are Emperor Gojong’s materials.
Yong-su reads the texts and starts on a particularly interesting line of reasoning over the location of the third map. However, Mu-yeol and Hee-kyung are too busy fighting over the last of the items to pay much attention (Mu-yeol eagerly grabs the toothbrush formerly belonging to his beloved Eun-jae, wondering with slight shame, “It’s just a souvenir of my love… have I turned into a pervert?” Hee-kyung: “It’s okay. All love is a little perverted.”)
While watching the video of herself, Eun-jae is struck with a startling thought and races over to the Gold Building, trying to stop the gang from spilling more secrets into the waiting ears of their gangster eavesdroppers.
She makes it just in time to interrupt Yong-su and shares her suspicions with the group, and they decide to use the situation to their advantage. Returning to their office, they speak loudly for the benefit of their audience and announce that they’ve found the third map. Eun-jae is exceptionally bad at acting her part, which is doubly cute because it’s reminiscent of Mu-yeol, who likewise froze up when he was interviewed on TV after discovering Jo Man Gi’s corpse.
But the gangsters believe them, thinking that they’ve really found the map and are storing it in a safe in the office.
That night, the four friends prepare for the intruders to attempt to steal the map. They pair up as they wait, and Mu-yeol takes the opportunity to ask Eun-jae if their gold hunt is back on (it is). He also adds that he really missed her.
Hee-kyung, on the other hand, shares with Yong-su a strange feeling she had at Eun-jae’s house — she saw a ghost for the first time since she was in middle school. She thinks it must be Eun-jae’s father because he didn’t give off a dangerous vibe, and he fit the description. Yong-su asks if she sees any ghosts hanging near him: “A high school male student around 19 years old, with glasses and short hair and white face, kinda thin. He’d look like he’d be a good student.” Hee-kyung asks if that’s what his brother looked like (yes, and he disappeared the day before Chuseok in September 1989), then reassures him that since he disappeared, he’s probably alive somewhere.
Sure enough, “007” (Kang Seung Ho) and his two foolish sidekicks arrive, only to be ambushed by the misfit crew. The wimpy subordinates flee, but the friends are able to capture 007 and tie him up.
They’re briefly interrupted by Officer Jang, who stops by to check on them after noticing two strange guys running out of the building, but the friends hide their captive and assure the officer nothing is wrong. Officer Jang invites them to his kid’s first birthday party over the weekend while the friends nervously make sure he doesn’t notice they’ve got a gangster tied up and gagged behind the couch.
The next day, Mu-yeol and Eun-jae take 007 to a remote location, and Hee-kyung and Yong-su do a sweep of everyone’s quarters to find all the hidden cameras.
Hee-kyung looks one camera straight-on and informs the gangsters of the guy they caught last night. She gives them their conditions: They’ve hidden 007 in a safe location and will keep him there until they ransom him back, in exchange for the map the gangsters stole. She also has one last parting message:
“Did you get that, Baek Min-chul you bastard?!”
(Min-chul doesn’t show much reaction — he seems a bit morose this episode, distracted over someone he cares about being in the hospital.)
At the safehouse, Mu-yeol chains 007 to the hearth and keeps him at a distance while Eun-jae questions him — how long have they been searching for the gold? What do they know? Where’s the other map? 007 calmly tells them they’ve messed with the wrong person, and cautions them to be prepared to deal with the consequences.
But 007’s smug sneer fades when Eun-jae tells him, “You have a daughter. She’s one, two years old, right?”
She tells him if they turn him in to the authorities, he’ll get locked up and might not get to see his baby girl enter school, or guide her formative years.
“This is the age that a parent’s love decides a child’s future. I endured a lot of unhappy times, moving around from home to home after my father died when I was ten, but I was able to endure that because of the love I’d received from my father until then.”
007 tells her in a defeated tone, “It’s no use. My hyungnim gave me my life,” indicating he won’t betray Min-chul.
At this stalemate, Eun-jae leaves for the night, warning Mu-yeol to be careful watching over Kang Seung Ho for the night. (007 remains stoic all night until Mu-yeol leaves to sleep, taking with him the only light in the house — at which point he asks him uneasily where he’s going with the light.)
By morning Kang Seung Ho looks like crap, and Hee-kyung takes over Mu-yeol’s guard duty (Mu-yeol mentions 007’s fear of the dark, laughing). The friends have spent all night planning the details of the upcoming exchange, making contingencies for possible traps or tricks by their opponents.
The gangsters receive instructions on their meeting place, and everyone heads over (with Yong-su making a quick stop to fetch the antique-loving grandpa, luring him with promises of a buffet lunch)…
…and everybody arrives at the birthday party for Officer Jang’s baby.
It’s rather clever, because the place is practically crawling in cops. Tons of them. Unaware that a group of dangerous gangsters has just walked into their midst. It’s the friends’ insurance, of course, against any attempts Baek Min-chul may make to turn the situation to his advantage.
End sequence: “Save the Lord’s little lamb”
Sometime in the middle of the night, 007 wakes up at a strange sound. Startled and immediately on guard, he nervously starts humming a hymn, singing, “Glory, glory hallelujah…” while holding his hands in the shape of a cross to ward off any evil spirits…
- Mixed-up Investigative Agency: Case 8
- Mixed-up Investigative Agency: Case 7
- Mixed-up Investigative Agency: Case 6
- Mixed-up Investigative Agency: Case 5
- Mixed-up Investigative Agency: Case 4
- Mixed-up Investigative Agency: Case 3
- Mixed-up Investigative Agency: Case 2
- Mixed-up Investigative Agency: Case 1