Episode 2 seriously kicks up the ante, and I have to admit that the acting gets a bit better from So Ji Sub and Lee Yeon Hee. This episode had enough instances of “What the crap just happened?” that made me want to reach through the computer and grab the characters by the collar to scream, “EXPLAIN YOURSELVES NOW!” And that’s a good thing by the way.
So the door opens - but we still don’t see who is the freaking owner of the globe watch! Instead, we watch Ki Young creating his fake “Kim Woo Hyun” ID so that he can get into the Investigation Bureau. Meanwhile Hyuk Joo and Sang Woo are getting evidence from Eung Jin for the case, though they have no luck in catching Ki Young themselves.
Sang Woo: Since he’s a hacker, maybe he’s hiding inside a computer? *taps a computer* Hellooooo Ki Young??
Hyuk Joo: I will put you to jail.
Kaedejun: Sang Woo, you’re adorable.
As they leave, Hyuk Joo catches a glimpse of Ki Young’s back, walking away from them in the hopes of going unnoticed. But Hyuk Joo’s quick – and he starts chasing after Ki Young. He loses him in the stairwell, and then rushes to the CCTV room with Sang Woo. Ki Young knows that Hyuk Joo’s just waiting for him to show up on the CCTV, so he quickly plots out his route with the building’s blueprint on his tablet.
Back in the cyber team’s office, Young Suk catches Kang Mi working overtime, looking for the Phantom file that Woo Hyun assigned to her. Even though the case is pretty much no longer in their hands, Kang Mi has the obsessive personality where she wants to find it because it could be important evidence. Young Suk does inform her that there’s a USB stick he found that had nothing in it, so he put it in the evidence room. Hmmm…
The evidence room is exactly where Ki Young is headed for. He goes through the aisles and finally finds what he’s looking for – Hyo Jung’s laptop. But just as he’s about to take it away, a gun clicks – it’s Kang Mi. Instead of surrendering, he baits her – doesn’t she want to know who really killed Hyo Jung? If he could go through the laptop, he’d be able to show her the evidence. Kang Mi still believes he’s Hyo Jung’s killer, but Ki Young points out that digital evidence is easy to manipulate, and that the video was edited within the police station.
Ki Young then points out that Hyo Jung used steganography to hide the Phantom file. (Steganography is when someone purposefully hides a message within another file or piece of writing.) It’s quite unbelievable that an actress like her would know this science of secret codes, but based on the flashbacks, it seems that Hyo Jung used a simple program to hide the Phantom file within another AVI movie file. Though Hyo Jung never attached that AVI file in the email she was going to send, Ki Young saw where it was located. Kang Mi wants to believe in the possibility of it, so she tells him to find it in front of her.
Meanwhile in the CCTV room, Hyuk Joo has the tapes rewind to thirty minutes prior – where Ki Young gets past the guards. The gall of Ki Young!! It actually makes Hyuk Joo like Ki Young more, because he feels like he’s now going up against a worthy opponent.
Ki Young locates the Phantom file within “36.avi” and runs it through the same program to extract the file. Instead of a list, the Phantom file is actually another video. Without letting us see the complete video, Ki Young and Kang Mi gasp at the content. (Whyyyyyy? I scream.) It only makes Kang Mi point her gun at Ki Young’s head again because he must have planted the file. That’s crazy talk though, because if Ki Young planted it, why in the world would he go to a police bureau when he’s a wanted criminal?
The alarms ring, and Kang Mi warily picks up her phone. Eyeing Ki Young’s fake ID with Woo Hyun’s name, she calls security. That’s when Ki Young notices an evidence tag on the gun; she must have picked up a random gun in the room, which means its unloaded. He knocks down a shelf on Kang Mi, breaking her phone, and grabs the laptop and runs off.
Hyuk Joo orders the cops to close off all exits to contain Ki Young. They get a signal that Ki Young’s phone is now on, and track it to a truck pulling out of the bureau. Ki Young is not the driver, so they open the back – only to find Ki Young’s phone. Now Hyuk Joo really likes Ki Young.
Ki Young is actually not far from the station, and he uses a payphone to call up Woo Hyun. He’s now found the file, so he wants to talk to Woo Hyun face-to-face. Woo Hyun can’t believe that Ki Young found it when Kang Mi couldn’t. He agrees to meet, since he has something to say too.
Woo Hyun drives up to an abandoned chemical factory and receives a call from Kang Mi, but he doesn’t pick up. She leaves a message saying “she needs to talk;” I’m starting to wish that some of these characters can just say what they want to say instead of saying “We need to talk.” The police also radio Hyuk Joo in his squad car that they tracked Ki Young to the chemical factory. En route, Hyuk Joo also receives word that Woo Hyun met Ki Young alone first, and reported him dead.
Inside the factory, Ki Young is already waiting for Woo Hyun. He’s seen the file, and he did bring it, but the file they thought it was, isn’t. Instead, it was a video file of a man being handed a drink, and then he chokes from poison and dies. The video was taken from a shaky camera phone, which makes Ki Young think that Hyo Jung was dating the man who handed over the drink. They possibly met when he was her “client”. Because she had that recording though, that man had her killed off.
But what’s worse is… there was another man hidden by a potted plant in that video. Once the victim died, this man stood up – and it was WOO HYUN! What the hell!? So… our hero is actually the bad guy?? And this is only episode 2!!!
Ki Young wants to know why Woo Hyun – the only straight cop he would have ever trusted – did something so evil and inhumane like this. Woo Hyun has no answer, which pretty much confirms that he really is involved in this whole Hyo Jung conspiracy. Instead, he pulls out his gun on Ki Young! Woo Hyun: “You never should have discovered that file.” Flashback to when Woo Hyun met Hyo Jung’s neighbor, and now his look of shock is actually due to the fact that he knows this neighbor personally. Ki Young is really smart, and figures out that Woo Hyun must have met the real killer before coming to the factory. He really wants to know the relationship between the two, but all Woo Hyun says is “I’m sorry,” and he removes the safety from the gun.
The cops drive up to the factory, but seconds later a huge explosion blasts out the entire side of the building. With all the flammable liquids in the factory, the whole building starts exploding and destroying everything in its path. Survivors? Likely there’s none. Hyuk Joo grabs at his hair and screams – his case is all up in flames.
Firefighters arrive at the scene and put out enough of the fire so that Sang Woo can go in and check out the area. He finds a body that’s still moving, and it is quickly carted off to the hospital. Because of his bad burns, his entire face and body is completely bandaged up. He’s placed into ICU and fades in and out of consciousness. We jump into a flashback and we see Woo Hyun and Ki Young in their police academy days practicing judo. Ki Young warns Woo Hyun to watch his back, as he can easily topple him and pin him in judo. But Woo Hyun replies that he never will, because Ki Young should always have his back. Aww – bromance…
The man is so bandaged up that we can’t see his face, but his patient card says “Kim Woo Hyun.” He was so badly scarred that the only way they were able to identify him was through the bureau ID card on his body, and so the other body by process of elimination must be Park Ki Young. Thing is, if I remember correctly, it was Ki Young who wore the ID card with Woo Hyun’s name…
An autopsy will be performed on the dead Ki Young’s body. Director Jun is personally annoyed that Woo Hyun met with the suspect himself - He broke protocol!!! - but to Chief Shin, Woo Hyun could do no wrong. Chief Shin wants to close up the case and make it tidy, but Hyuk Joo wants to investigate further. He finds it incredibly suspicious why Woo Hyun met with Ki Young alone, and how Ki Young died. To everyone, they must think that Woo Hyun was going to cover up for his academy buddy.
At the hospital, Kang Mi paces nervously outside the ICU room. Though her coworkers tell her to just go home for the night, she’s actually too jittery because she wants to confirm what she saw on that Phantom file with Woo Hyun. She realizes that she can check the copy of Hyo Jung’s hard drive back at the office to find the Phantom file again. The bureau is mostly empty as it is late in the night, but on the way to the office, she passes a police officer wearing black checkered Vans.
Kang Mi logs into her computer and follows the steps that Ki Young took to locate the numbered AVI files. However, “36.avi” is now gone… Young Suk comes into the room hoping for an update on Woo Hyun, but Kang Mi asks if he knows about the file gone missing. Of course he doesn’t – he doesn’t touch any of the computers. Kang Mi remembers that Man with the Vans, but of course by then, he is gone. Once alone in the office, she checks out Woo Hyun’s computer – perhaps seeing if he has the file himself – but then can’t even figure out how to log in to his computer. She scolds herself for mistrusting him, and that’s when she sees his ID on his table.
Sang Woo is adorably thrilled to see Kang Mi calling his phone so late in the night. Perhaps she wants to hang out? No – actually all Kang Mi wants is confirmation on how he was able to ID the survivor of the blast as Woo Hyun. It was through the ID tag around his neck of course, Sang Woo replies. Uh oh – Kang Mi definitely smells something fishy.
After begging with the nurses, Kang Mi is allowed to go into the ICU and get the survivor’s fingerprints. She had assured the nurse that she wouldn’t do anything to further stress the patient, who’s currently asleep. Once left alone, she quickly opens her kit and pulls up Woo Hyun’s fingerprint on her laptop. She takes the patient’s index finger and presses it against the scanner. The laptop checks to see if they’re a match.
They’re not. Oh crap – they just saved Ki Young. Woo Hyun is dead.
Kang Mi struggles to contain her shock as Ki Young stirs awake. She starts crying, “You’re Park Ki Young aren’t you?!” but he only gasps out, “He tried to kill me…” His heart rate goes up, and the nurses quickly rush in, dragging Kang Mi out of the room. She only hears Ki Young mutter, “It was not an accident…someone else was there,” before she is tossed out of ICU. Unsure whom to trust, Kang Mi calls up Young Suk to tell him what she just discovered. Before she can get into details though, she sees Vans Man passing by and heading to ICU.
Uh-oh… Kang Mi barges in to the ICU and beelines for Ki Young’s bed. He’s gone. The nurse explains that Ki Young was taken to an exam room. Yeah right. Ki Young is actually being wheeled down a dark hallway by Vans Man. He turns his head just enough to be able to see the Vans. He recognizes the shoes from back in the factory as the man who walked away unscathed after setting the fire.
Vans Man takes him into a private exam room, where he pulls out a needle for a lethal injection. But just as he’s about to insert it into Ki Young’s IV line, the lights go out. Vans Man looks outside the room – there’s no one in the hallway. He walks a bit to turn on the switch again, but when he returns to the room, Ki Young is gone.
Kang Mi runs down the hallway pushing Ki Young’s gurney. Vans Man is right at her heels, but Kang Mi manages to push Ki Young into the elevator and close the doors just in time. As the elevator reaches the third floor, she presses on the emergency stop switch.
Poor Ki Young is all dazed from being wheeled back and forth, and probably still in pain from his burns. However he’s immediately assaulted with questions on who Vans Man was, and what happened that night. With great difficulty, Ki Young says that Woo Hyun was beginning to regret it. Though Woo Hyun looked set to kill his best friend, at the last moment he wasn’t able to. He wanted Ki Young to run, to hide from the murderer. Ki Young wanted to stay and find the killer, but Woo Hyun points out that Ki Young still won’t be able to prove that he didn’t kill Hyo Jung. There are also more sympathizers within the police department; Woo Hyun isn’t the only one who’s “helping” the killer.
Woo Hyun acknowledges that he’s made a big mistake from the very beginning, and so he’s going to turn it all around now with this case. Ki Young scoffs – he helped a killer, and now he wants the glory of catching the killer? He refuses to run, or hand over the laptop with the file. Woo Hyun raises his gun to shoot Ki Young again, but that’s when they both notice a line of fire making its way to the canisters of chemicals. The explosion throws them back; Ki Young slams into another pile of canisters while Woo Hyun is trapped by falling debris. There’s no way Woo Hyun can get out. He apologizes to Ki Young, and then the chemicals behind him blow up. Woo Hyun is now a pile of ashes, and Ki Young is now the severely burned patient with Woo Hyun’s identity.
Kang Mi can’t believe that Woo Hyun is a crooked cop, but Ki Young swears that he is now going to find the man who killed Hyo Jung, and now Woo Hyun. He’ll do anything it takes to solve the crime. That is, if he can survive a fit of epilepsy that overcomes him from all the stress he’s been going through. He gasps out, “Don’t trust anyone,” and finally the elevator doors open. They’re met with the doctors and nurses who immediately assess Ki Young’s state. They wheel him into ICU to save his life, while Vans Man watches it all unfold in the distance.
Kang Mi waits outside ICU and is surprised by the appearance of Hyuk Joo. He had never gotten a chance to ID the victim, having counted on Sang Woo’s word that it was Woo Hyun. (If Sang Woo never told him that Kang Mi called asking how he identified the burned victim, I don’t think Hyuk Joo would have thought to do this right away.) Hyuk Joo wants to get the patient’s fingerprint, which alarms Kang Mi. She realizes that she does want to help Ki Young find the killer – if the Phantom file were manipulated, and Woo Hyun was really sorry for having been involved in something corrupt, and that the whole time Ki Young was actually trustworthy, then she needed to find a way to throw Hyuk Joo off.
She tells Hyuk Joo that she already confirmed his identity with a fingerprint test. No go – Hyuk Joo would rather do the test himself. The nurse comes out to tell him that no visitors are allowed at all, no thanks to Kang Mi. But Hyuk Joo’s OK with that; at 10AM, the autopsy on Park Ki Young (actually Kim Woo Hyun) will begin. He then calls Sang Woo to say that he’ll pick up Ki Young’s dental records himself as a point of verification. Uh oh…
The two of them rush out of the hospital separately, with Hyuk Joo heading to a hospital to pick up Ki Young’s dental records, and Kang Mi heading to a medical records center where she accesses the files through a colleague’s computer. She changes the name on Woo Hyun’s file to ‘Park Ki Young,’ prints it, and then replaces the sheet within the appropriate medical folder.
She rushes to the Forensic Science bureau where the autopsy will take place. Hyuk Joo is already there with Ki Young’s dental records, striding quickly towards the autopsy room. At 10AM exactly, the autopsy begins. At 10AM exactly, Ki Young-as-Woo Hyun crashes in the hospital. The coroner starts out by checking out the body’s teeth to match with the dental records; the doctors bring in the crash cart to try and revive Ki Young.
The coroner comes out to Hyuk Joo. The dental records and the body’s teeth match perfectly – it’s Park Ki Young.
The heart rate monitor flat lines. The real Ki Young is dead. If y’all are following – that means the dead body is Woo Hyun-successfully-passed-off-as-Ki Young, and the dead patient in the hospital is Ki Young-passed-off-as-Woo Hyun. Either way both are dead.
All with me now: WHAT THE F—?!
The doctors are still performing CPR to save the patient, but finally they stop. They call time of death, and right at that moment the heart rate monitor beeps again. HE’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIIVE! Talk about dramatic. When he comes to again, the nurse greets him, “Congratulations on your rebirth, Kim Woo Hyun!” Yeah – no kidding.
A flashback then reveals what happened in the autopsy room. Kang Mi had headed for the lockers and pulled on some scrubs with the fabricated file. She was the assistant in the autopsy room who accepted the file from Hyuk Joo, and then swapped it out with her fake files. That way, Woo Hyun’s teeth matched his own, but it was all done under Ki Young’s name.
Vans Man emails our murderer – Phantom – from a PC cafe that based on the autopsy results, Woo Hyun is alive and Ki Young is dead. Phantom warns Vans Man to remain on his guard.
Kang Mi visits the cemetery where the plaque says ‘Park Ki Young,’ but the ashes belong to Woo Hyun. Flashback to when she picked up her repaired phone: she received a couple of voicemails from Woo Hyun before he died. In the first, he tells her to stop looking for the file because there’s no need for it anymore. In the second voicemail, he leaves her some words of advice: “Policemen must never quit. They must always catch the suspect, but I think it’ll be difficult for me to do that this time… Yoo Kang Mi, don’t become like me.”
Ouch. It totally confirms everything Ki Young had told her. It also makes her vow to catch Phantom for sure, and restore Woo Hyun’s name.
Chief Shin, Director Jun, and Hyuk Joo all visit Ki Young in the hospital. While Chief Shin sounds like a relieved father, Director Jun and Hyuk Joo are suspicious. They want to know why “Woo Hyun” faced Ki Young off alone in the factory. “Woo Hyun” claims to not remember, which is understandable considering all the trauma. But Hyuk Joo doesn’t believe him. There could only be two reasons why Woo Hyun acted alone: 1) he wanted a promotion, or 2) he wanted to help cover for the suspect. Hyuk Joo believes it’s reason #2, and he’ll do everything it takes to prove it.
Since “Woo Hyun’s” face has been completely broken, the doctors will need to do massive reconstructive surgery. It is possible for him to regain his original voice through surgery, but the only thing is that he’ll be forever scarred on the back and his arms. “Woo Hyun” will also have to undergo intense physical therapy to be able to regain full use of his legs. Kang Mi watches “Woo Hyun” rehabilitate, knowing full well that after all this, no one would ever believe them if they said he was Ki Young. Ki Young himself knows that as Woo Hyun, he’ll be able to find out who in the police force is sympathetic towards Phantom, and find Phantom himself.
Dun dun dun! Face off!
One year later. It’s the anniversary of Hyo Jung’s death and there are still mourners who visit her grave. From afar, Phantom watches the mourners leave flowers in the rain.
In a small apartment, a young woman crouches in fear. She locks her doors, then cautiously turns on her computer. It boots up normally, much to her relief. Her phone suddenly rings and the caller ID is unknown. No one is on the other line, but suddenly “The Phantom of the Opera” plays in the background. She quickly turns it off and undoes the battery. Then her computer is hacked into, and “The Phantom of the Opera” starts playing again. She tries to turn it off and override it, but she can’t.
The hacker opens up the internet and types: “Pick Up The Phone.” The webcam turns on, and suddenly the young woman is staring at herself. She knocks the webcam down, and the computer screen goes black. “Remember the sin by your hand…” starts scrolling like a marquee, making her cry in fear and hide under a table.
Kang Mi visits the hospital only to find out that “Woo Hyun” has disappeared. She thinks hard as to where he might be, and heads to the old “True Story” office first. He’s nowhere inside. She finds him at the cemetery instead, laying white flowers for “Park Ki Young.”
“Woo Hyun” has a scar behind his ear, the only mark of the reconstructive surgery that he had. Kang Mi scolds him for disappearing from the hospital, but when he turns to look at her, she freezes. He looks like Woo Hyun – which is a weird thing to say because the actor is So Ji Sub who does play Woo Hyun… Anyways… “Woo Hyun” puts a photo of them together on the plaque. It’s the one year anniversary of his death, and it will be his first day at work.
Woo Hyun: To the phantom that made Woo Hyun and I like this, that ghost hiding behind the monitor, I will stop him in your stead. From now on, I am Kim Woo Hyun.
KYAAAAAAAAAAA! Sorry for once again breaking your windows and computer screen with my shrilly scream.
I know you all want to just scream the movie Ghost is somewhat imitating, so scream it with me: “IT’S FACE/OFF!!!!” I’m pretty sure this plot will work out way better than that movie though, because though the idea was great, I don’t think that movie was that great in terms of quality. It was also more unbelievable because it required two men to decide to be the other at the same time. In this one, it’s one man assuming another’s identity, which is a tad A Wife’s Temptation-esque, but it works better for this story. I’m sad I won’t see Daniel Choi anymore, but it certainly makes me excited to see So Ji Sub act like a double agent of sorts. I hope we get to see him be charming and jokey as Ki Young was in the beginning.
I can see it all now: Shin Hyo Jung’s case is very similar to the idol star who dies in the beginning of Sign. It becomes a through-line for the drama in that everyone is going to refer back to this case. It’s very possible that we will have smaller cases in between where Woo Hyun could get into close shaves in being outed as not the real Woo Hyun. I do hope that this drama will veer off a bit from Sign so that I don’t keep comparing it, but right now it’s hard not to. What’s interesting is that the young woman who’s frightened in her apartment seems to be Hyo Jung’s killer. If Phantom is hacking into her computer and threatening her to keep silent, she could very well be the one who tossed Hyo Jung out the window all by his bidding. But if this is a preview to a new case, then it’s certainly very intriguing.
In a way, I’m quite surprised that Kang Mi has risen into almost like the lead for the drama. She’s the one person who knows the entire truth without having undergone any change at all. She can act as the guide for Ki Young within the office, and she is the one who’s going to be helping him the most in solving the case. It’s also kind of cool because I felt she had more chemistry with Ki Young than with Woo Hyun, even though 1) she was acting opposite two different actors, and 2) it was hinted that she was in love with Woo Hyun. In my head, I’ll keep on pretending that she’s teaming up with Ki Young/Daniel Choi. Speaking of which, I’m not sure how confusing it will be in the future, but I’ll continue calling Ki Young as Woo Hyun now, since he technically is Woo Hyun.
Last note: the music. I did not mention “The Phantom of the Opera” soundtrack in the last episode because I hope it was a choice of weird background music. Turns out it’s a major plot point. How fitting it’s the theme song for Phantom; how awfully cheesy it sometimes comes on. I know it’s meant to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, but because I have such fond memories of the musical, I can’t help but laugh. But that’s just me. If it ever comes on again, I’ll pretend that I’m scared and worried about Phantom coming out!
- Ghost: Episode 1
- Find the hidden message in Ghost’s posters
- So Ji-sub and Lee Yeon-hee shoot Ghost title sequence
- Daniel Choi joins the cast of Ghost
- Eom Ki-joon joins cyber thriller Ghost
- Lee Yeon-hee reunites with So Ji-sub for Ghost
- So Ji-sub confirms crime drama Ghost
- So Ji-sub’s return to dramaland?