Ghost: Episode 8
This school is CRAAAAY-ZAYYYY. School has never felt more like a prison until this drama, where the teachers can be so evil in the name of “doing what’s best for the kids.” It’s the most extreme depiction of “Asian Kids Only Study” stereotype I have seen in a drama so far, and boy does it make me want to punch out “Tiger Teachers.”
SONG OF THE DAY
“Never Cry” by Shin Bora – Ghost OST [download]
Problem at hand: Kang Mi has gotten a little too curious about the piece of paper sticking on the pipe by the art room. So curious that she loses her grip on the window and falls backwards out the window!
Her fall is stopped halfway – Woo Hyun has caught her! He managed to figure out just in time that the art room was the place where all the “suicides” occurred. Just before she completely fell out, he grabbed her by the arm and pulls her back in. The two of them are breathless as they realize just what could have happened.
The local police arrive for a full on investigation while the students are having a late night cram session for their finals the following day. (Students should SLEEP – not cram! – the night before a test!) Yeon Sook tells all the students under her charge to continue studying, and she goes out to see what all the ruckus Kang Mi and Woo Hyun must have stirred up. In her class, the student with the white bow looks up – will she be caught now?
The teachers gather in the teachers’ office as Woo Hyun checks out Yeon Sook’s computer. Yeon Sook is shocked to hear her students were murdered, since she was perfectly willing to believe that they were stressed and suicidal. The log states that Soo Yeon’s phone was confiscated on June 8th; Woo Hyun sees that Yeon Sook’s computer was hacked on June 9th at 3PM. Yeon Sook says it’s impossible – her computer could not have been hacked!
Lady – don’t try to fight those who know cyber crime when they see one.
She finally admits her computer had been hacked, but the answer sheet was never leaked out. As a rule, all teachers create the tests and answer sheet in their homes so that no student would have access to it. Another teacher comes to her defense and says that during the hacking, the school’s schedule for the semester and a list of scholarship candidates were leaked out. Basically, the main suspect had used the opportunity of the hacking to spread the rumor of the answer sheet being leaked, and it’s possible the suspect is also the hacker.
The easiest way for the police to find out who did the hacking would have been to look at the CCTV footage – but there are none in the teachers’ office. To avoid more victims, Woo Hyun suggests they cancel the final. Yeon Sook: “Are you crazy!? The final is tomorrow. The students would be so confused!” No – the students would be happy. Yeon Sook compromises – she will warn every student about the false rumors and lock the art room so that another murder would not happen. Oh goody – so students have to worry about a final and a killer in their midst. Yippee.
The local detective has already requested for DNA and fingerprint identification at the scene of the crime (finally), so hopefully he’ll have something solid for Woo Hyun and Kang Mi. He leaves to go question the students and witnesses as well.
Sang Woo heads to Hae Myung Resorts to ask the concierge about villa number 15. The concierge refuses to give out any information about that particular house. Hyuk Joo dryly comments that the concierge gave out so much information on villa 12, but is tight-lipped on villa 15. They leave the resort without prodding for more information, and then the concierge calls up Jae Hee again to report Hyuk Joo’s investigation. He then leaves the front desk for a break, as lying to the police can be such a stressful job!
Hyuk Joo sneaks back to the front desk – he never left! Making sure the coast is clear, he does a quick redial and hears Jae Hee’s voice at the end, calling as a representative for Safe Tech’s development team. Aha!
Woo Hyun brings Soo Yeon’s phone back to the bureau for some investigation. As he takes it apart, his team is still trying to get over the fact that high school students have such murderous intent. They can’t figure out what the motive is for killing these students, as Jin Won and Soo Yeon have no common link between them. Woo Hyun manages to load up all the contents of the phone onto the computer and backs it up. The text messages that Soo Yeon sent and all of the apps downloaded were all studying related. Eung Jin: “For a senior, this is just too much [studying].”
From experience, Kang Mi says that Seong Yeon High emphasizes first place; if you’re not first, then there’s no point for you to be there. (Um – for someone to be first, it means there has to be a second, third, fourth, etc… Just sayin’.) Young Suk: “This is not a school. What kind of school is this?!” Ditto.
The next day, the students are scrambling to finish the test questions for their English II final. One of the teachers – the gym teacher – ruthlessly grabs each student’s answer sheet the minute the exam ends. He reminds the students that the rumors about an answer sheet are all untrue, so they should just study. “If you don’t want to be trampled on, trample others. Everyone else except yourself is the competition. In this world, if you become distracted, you become a loser.” Dude – what kind of lesson are you teaching these kids!?
Of course, the teacher saying that the rumors are untrue only makes it more true for the students. Since he’s referring to it, he’s affirming that it exists. Suspicions fly around in the classroom over who could possibly have the answer sheet already.
Back at the bureau, Woo Hyun checks out the email log on Soo Yeon’s phone. After it was confiscated, the phone was opened a total of 8 times. Woo Hyun does the math – if the suspect opened the phone to send 3 emails to Jin Won, 3 emails to Soo Yeon, and then one more time to delete the emails from Jin Won’s inbox, then it should only have been opened 7 times. The suspect didn’t have to open it to delete Soo Yeon’s inbox since she went straight to Soo Yeon’s room.
For the 8th time that the phone was opened… it must mean that the suspect sent one more email out. One more target. And this was done right before Woo Hyun went into the teacher’s office the night before.
And at that moment, we see the students during their break gossiping, while another student – Jung Mi Young – stares at her email: she just got a message from the suspect about getting the answer sheet.
Woo Hyun organizes a team to head out back to the school for further investigation, but Kang Mi has found another clue. She’s read through the texts again, and noticed one from Soo Yeon to a friend about volunteering at a library. She remembers that the other student, Ji Soo, had mentioned about volunteering with Jin Won. It might be a long shot, but the connection between Soo Yeon and Jin Won could be this volunteering task. The suspect could have been part of that group as well.
Meanwhile, Hyuk Joo orders Young Suk to do another investigation over Nam Sang Won’s case and villa 15. He wants a fresh pair of eyes to take a look at the case, but he can’t tell Young Suk why this closed case must be reopened. The investigation must also be kept secret from Woo Hyun.
Sang Woo wonders why Young Suk must do a reinvestigation if he already did a thorough job on it. Hyuk Joo: “Because Young Suk is the best in that field.” Also, he has another project for Sang Woo to do with him…
At Safe Tech’s courtyard cafe, Seung Yoon conducts an interview with Jae Hee on the company’s development team. She thanks him for his time, and hands him a small memento – a USB – as a token of her gratitude for granting the interview. Jae Hee accepts the gift with a smile. He smiles!!!
Seung Yoon leaves the building and finds Hyuk Joo and Sang Woo parked a little ways away. The interview was just a set up so that Hyuk Joo could plant a bug on Jae Hee with that USB. Sang Woo is the only one who thinks this whole plan is crazy, because wiretapping is illegal and if caught, they’d lose their jobs. Seung Yoon is only concerned about getting her scoop. She won’t let Hyuk Joo leave her hanging, but he dismisses her like a pest.
So Seung Yoon calls up Jae Hee again. Could she come back up to his office, as she seems to have left something behind? Hyuk Joo and Sang Woo run out of their cars, pick her up by the arms, and dump her into the backseat of their car. Seung Yoon: “Oh never mind! I found it in my bag!” Hahaha – I enjoy watching her get on Hyuk Joo’s annoying side.
Hyuk Joo turns on the listening device and puts on an earbud. He refuses to share it with Seung Yoon, so she ends up putting her ear right next to his to see if he hears any scoop. Aw – they look like father and daughter…
Woo Hyun and Kang Mi return to the school to ask Yeon Sook for the volunteer program’s log. She resentfully gives it to them, finding no connection between the volunteer program and the murders. Lady – you really need to stop trying to figure things out on your own, because you don’t really understand what’s going on in your own school. Woo Hyun finds that Jin Won volunteered twice more than others despite the exams coming up.
Yeon Sook explains that Jin Won was a candidate for the Choonchu Scholarship, which helps students pay for tuition if they can’t afford it. Volunteer work and grades are equal factors in deciding which student best deserves the scholarship. Jin Won and Soo Yeon were both the strongest candidates for the scholarship, which explains why Jin Won did so much volunteer work. It also explains why both were desperate enough to get the answers for the final exam, since their future at that school was riding on it.
Woo Hyun deduces that the suspect must have realized she was not on the list for the scholarship, or was too low in the ranking of the candidates. Therefore, she was targeting those who were her biggest rivals. The next target and the killer are both on this list, so he requests that all the candidates be gathered in one place for questioning.
While waiting for the students to gather, Woo Hyun requests for all of their personal files. He’s figured out a way to possibly find out which student created the foreign email account. He logs on to the email provider with the suspect’s username “bluesky” and then pretends he’s forgotten the password. The security question is “What is your father’s name?” Woo Hyun has Kang Mi read to him each student’s father’s names and inputs it as an answer.
Success happens with Kwak Ji Soo’s father’s name. On the candidate sheet, she’s ranked third behind Jin Won and Soo Yeon on who might get the scholarship. It’s highly likely she’s the one who killed her classmates.
Woo Hyun is still skeptical though since it’s also possible that someone signed up for the email account with Ji Soo’s identity. They arrive at the room where the students have gathered, and immediately notice that Ji Soo is missing. The local detective and Kang Mi head out to search for her. Woo Hyun also notices that there is one more person aside from her who is not present: Mi Young. He asks Yeon Sook what kind of student she is, and we discover that Mi Young was the student in the beginning of episode 7 who broke down and ate all the food from the floor. Though Mi Young was a good student, she did have a mental breakdown. The teachers wanted to send her to a hospital, but she refused to and got better.
Since the documentary was shot during the days of the first attack, and was shot everywhere, Woo Hyun also realizes that the camera could have caught who hacked into Yeon Sook’s computer. He requests for the footage from the production company and then fast forwards the footage to 3pm, when the computer was hacked.
When the interview moves to the teachers’ office, Yeon Sook sits with her back to a mirror on the wall. Lucky Woo Hyun! He manages to see that there’s a reflection of a student in that mirror, sitting at Yeon Sook’s desk and hacking into that computer. It’s amazing no one noticed this White Bow student…
Meanwhile, each students’ rooms are searched and checked as the police try to find Ji Soo. Kang Mi runs up and down the stairs to each floor when suddenly – she’s stopped in the stairwell. Student?! Killer?! What’s going on!? Don’t change scenes now!
A student re-reads the task to drop a mannequin from the roof where the other students fell off; we don’t see her face, but we do see her struggle to carry the mannequin over the barrier on the roof. The mannequin falls to the ground with a horrific smash, and then we see the White Bow student running to push that student off the roof. White Bow student finds herself face-to-face with Kang Mi. And Kang Mi finds herself face-to-face with Mi Young.
Mi Young was the one who killed all the other students, and sent the final email to Ji Soo. In the stairwell, Ji Soo had shown Kang Mi the email and asked for help, so they switched places in order to catch the killer. Mi Young smiles craftily – does Kang Mi have proof?
She doesn’t – but Woo Hyun does. He appears on the roof with the local detective and Yeon Sook. The video shows that she hacked into Yeon Sook’s computer for the candidates’ list. When Mi Young found that she was ranked fourth in possibly getting the scholarship, she came up with this plan to get rid of each of her rivals. She then used Ji Soo’s name to create the email account, and used her own phone to send the final email. When we thought she was the recipient of the threatening email, she was actually sending it out to Ji Soo.
The local detective slaps the handcuffs over her wrist. Her only words of defense: “I didn’t tell them to die! I told them I’d tell them the answers, but not to die! They killed themselves!” Yeon Sook is appalled that Mi Young would think such a thing, but Mi Young says she’s only doing what she learned: “If you don’t want to be trampled on, trample others. Once you lose, it’s over!”
I knew that stupid lesson was going to bite these teachers in the ass!
Reporters gather outside Seong Yeon High to report on the deaths. In the interrogation room, Mi Young ends up slamming her head against the desk repeatedly, and then goes into epilepsy shock when the police come in to stop her. She receives treatment for her mental breakdown caused by stress. To prevent others from becoming like her, an onsite psychiatrist provides counseling at the school. I think what you actually need to do is to get rid of those crazy teachers who care only about grades.
The students eligible for the scholarship are announced, and Kwak Ji Soo gets it. However, that award is tinged with the blood of her fellow students, so instead of accepting it, she packs up her bags, and leaves her drop-out form by the outlined bodies of her classmates in the courtyard.
The next day, Woo Hyun finds Kang Mi on the bureau’s rooftop. She wonders what could have happened if she didn’t meet Woo Hyun after Eun Sol’s death. It’s possible she could have ended up as crazy as Mi Young or committed suicide like Eun Sol. However, old-Woo Hyun had told her that she must live her life to the fullest in Eun Sol’s memory, and to just be sorry. That’s what she’s been doing ever since – living her life for two people.
And Woo Hyun is doing the same – for Ki Young and for old-Woo Hyun.
One bright and sunny morning, the people of Seoul tune in to a particular channel on the radio – commuters, joggers, housewives, students alike all listen to a song request for Bach’s “Air on G String.” It’s a mellow song that’s rudely interrupted by static, and a desperate voice screaming, “Se Kang Group is watching everyone!” And then he screams in pain, with bursts of static, and then his voice is gone. The listeners are all confused by the weird interruption, as it was both jarring, strange, and very creepy.
But one housewife has a particularly bad reaction to the interruption, and turns off the radio. She’s a housewife living in the Se Kang Townhouses, and she’s the wife of the deceased Nam Sang Won.
One particular person refuses to wake up to the sound of her phone ringing. Even though it’s 10:15AM, Kang Mi just rolls over in her sleep, trying to ignore the call from Woo Hyun.
Suddenly her computer turns on and rock music blasts through the speakers. Kang Mi wakes up in fright, as the image on the screen looks a lot like the one when the “Phantom of the Opera” song was playing. But then the words “WAKE UP WILL YOU!?” start scrolling through the screen.
Kang Mi: “Park Ki Young, you~!”
HEEHEEHEE. And it doesn’t stop there – Ki Young, I mean, Woo Hyun sends her a video message. Looking all stern and serious, he says, “Wash up in 5 minutes, change your clothes, and come to the cafe across the street, now!” And then he looks around the cafe as if to make sure no one’s staring at him, and turns it off.
HAHA – you’re so adorably awkward. Kang Mi storms into the cafe and he hands her a cup of coffee.
Kang Mi: When’d you infect my computer with that virus?
Woo Hyun: Just now.
Kang Mi: You know I’m a cyber crime cop right?
Woo Hyun: That’s why I deleted it already.
HAHA. It’s her day off and she’s annoyed that Woo Hyun is calling her out so early. He shows her his computer, where he’s gotten screen caps from Gu Yeon Joo’s car’s black box. He believes that Yeon Joo is getting close to him on purpose because when he tried to kiss her, she had reacted strangely. Kang Mi is stuck on the fact that he kissed her – did he really do it? Woo Hyun: “Am I not allowed to?” Hahaha – Woo Hyun is amused that Kang Mi is so affected by the kiss, but she’s trying to act cool about it.
Woo Hyun believes that Yeon Joo is on the killer’s side, and simply trying to contact him. She had installed the black box recently, so he hacked into it to get information on where she’d been recently. He split up the locations exactly in half – they’ll both check out the places she’d been and see if there’s anything suspicious. Wow – putting her to work on her day off?!
When Woo Hyun leaves, Kang Mi is still troubled: “He kissed her?”
Based on the locations, they visit her home, gym, a wine bar she frequents, and work. ‘Phantom’ would not have met her in those places since they’re so open and public. There’s one location left, and Woo Hyun heads to the outskirts of Seoul.
After several days’ worth of stake outs, our motley crew of Hyuk Joo, Sang Woo, and Seung Yoon finally get a pay off! Jae Hee is on his way out, so they need to follow him. He also left with the bugged USB in his bag.
After driving all day, Woo Hyun ends up entering Hae Myung Resort. Oh boy – we know how this is going to end…
Hyuk Joo and team follow Jae Hee all day as well, and I’m surprised Jae Hee hasn’t caught on to the fact that he’s getting tailed. But they nearly get into an accident when another car pulls out right in front of them, cutting them off from Jae Hee. By the time they get around the car, they’ve lost Jae Hee, and they lost the signal on the bug. But Hyuk Joo sees signs towards Hae Myung Resort. Could it be…?
He orders Sang Woo to turn right – let’s head to Hae Myung Resort!
Woo Hyun drives up to the guard gate in front of Hae Myung Resort and shows his ID. Without asking for more information, they smile and let him through immediately. So they recognize him from before… He drives right up to villa 15, where Yeon Joo’s car had gone. The house is quiet, but the light is on.
Woo Hyun walks right inside. Really!? You’re going to just go in, not knowing what you’ll see!?
Suddenly, he recognizes the living room; it’s where the phantom video file had taken place, where Nam Sang Won had died. Woo Hyun realizes that this is a dangerous place indeed.
And then, Hyun Min appears, coming down the stairs.
Hyun Min: We meet again, Lieutenant Kim Woo Hyun. What brings you here?
Woo Hyun: I was investigating a homicide case that occurred a year ago.
Hyun Min smiles. Dun dun dun!
Not the best two episodes of the week, but I had my fair share of enjoyment. Particularly when Kang Mi sees Ki Young instead of Woo Hyun, because then their relationship is much more amusing. When she works with him as a partner solving crimes, it’s a much more staid and solid relationship. When she works with him trying to figure out who Shin Hyo Jung’s killer is, it’s like watching the younger brother boss his older sister around – and she listens! It also allows Woo Hyun to loosen up a bit because he doesn’t have to be on his guard in front of her, and that allows So Ji Sub to give me a few more expressions than “the raised eyebrow” look.
I don’t think I enjoyed this case as much because it involved overachieving students who would kill each other over grades for money, and the teachers who taught them the wrong way to live their lives. It’s a good thing these episodes weren’t extolling the whole “Study! Study! Study!” mindset. The teachers pissed me off so much because they were more single-minded and obsessed with good grades than the students. How could you teach teenagers during their most impressionable stage of their life a lesson like “Trample on others before they trample you!” or “If you lose now, you’re a loser for life!”
No reason or excuse can make me understand where the teachers are coming from when they say those things. It made me really wish that they were the actual murderers and get arrested. But in a way, they really are; they’re the ones who formed the students’ mindsets. They created the monster.
I’m curious on what will happen this week, as I’m sure the culprit for that random radio interruption is sure to be the focus. Also – the net is closing in ever tighter on Woo Hyun and Hyun Min!