Hidden Identity: Episode 11
As the team finds themselves at a dead end in their search for the Ghost, some digging turns up a possible new lead. But this one will take some creative thinking on the part of the whole team in order to learn anything about their ultimate target. This new baddie is different, and will require a whole new plan if the team wants to get anything out of them.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
In-ho incapacitates Tae-in and makes a mysterious phone call, then runs into Gun-woo while attempting his escape. He remembers Gun-woo clearly and asks how he’s been without his girlfriend, but Gun-woo doesn’t feel like making small talk. He simply says, “I will kill you tonight.” In-ho pretty much invites Gun-woo to get in line, since he’s not the only one with that wish.
In-ho tells Gun-woo that he’ll send him to see his girl and to tell her he says hello, but Gun-woo fires back to tell her himself. Both men size each other up for a long minute, then it’s on. Gun-woo is in the zone, fighting viciously but with focus and purpose. In-ho taunts that he’s changed, remembering Gun-woo as begging and crying the night they met, and says he likes the new Gun-woo.
They engage again and Gun-woo slips off his jacket and manages to get it wrapped around In-ho’s throat, but In-ho pulls a knife and slashes Gun-woo’s face. He tries to stab Gun-woo, but Gun-woo blocks it with his arm (ouch!). In-ho growls that killing him won’t bring Tae-hee back from the dead, and this gives Gun-woo renewed strength.
Gun-woo stomps In-ho’s knee until he can’t stand, then a well-placed kick to the head wins him the fight. He picks up the knife and holds it to In-ho’s throat, and In-ho sneers that even if he kills him, Gun-woo’s team still won’t win. He adds that Gun-woo’s girlfriend didn’t die because of him — she died because Gun-woo was weak.
Pushed too far, Gun-woo pulls back his arm to stab In-ho, but Jang’s sharp voice stops him. He stands with his gun pointed at the two men, and orders Gun-woo to drop the knife. It’s eerily identical to the scene eight years ago, and Gun-woo starts to sob from the memories. Overwhelmed, he screams and slams the knife down. But he misses on purpose, and stands down.
As Gun-woo staggers towards Jang, emotionally spent, a gunshot echoes. It’s In-ho, who’s standing now and apparently had a hidden gun. He’s shot one of the officers as they were arresting him. He aims at Gun-woo, but with one well-placed bullet, Jang takes him down. Through a mouthful of blood In-ho manages to gasp, “This isn’t… the end. The Ghost… will start…” then he dies.
Min-joo is glad the team can relax a bit now that they have the virus, but Jang is worried that with In-ho dead, their only connection to the Ghost is also gone. Tae-pyung points out that when one monster dies, another shows up (I’ll say!) and so he hopes they find the next one fast.
Tae-in and Gun-woo visit Tae-hee’s resting place together, and they wonder if they will be able to rest once the Ghost is caught. But more importantly, Tae-in asks, will things be okay between the two of them? Gun-woo doesn’t answer.
Outside, Tae-in tells Gun-woo that the person who shot him eight years ago wasn’t Team Leader Jang — it was actually his partner. Being who he is, Jang had taken the responsibility as he always does.
Gun-woo goes directly to Jang to ask why he never told him, and Jang just says that someone has to be responsible. He brushes it off as just his job, and Gun-woo bows deeply and thanks him.
Chief Han meets with the crooked chairman, who compliments him on his hard work, though the files he recovered didn’t turn out to be very useful. He’s more concerned with getting his hands on the virus, saying that it’s crucial for “our plan.” Han says that In-ho didn’t turn over all of the virus, and that he’ll have access to the bit they saved back in two days.
Tae-in compares Chief Han’s composite sketch to the CCTV footage from the school (where the mermaid downloaded the files) but it looks as though he was never there. Jang asks him to check the black boxes of all the cars in the area that day, just to be sure.
The entire team is uncharacteristically silent as they search intently for information on a connection to the Ghost, but they find nothing. Jang discovers that In-ho and both men who died at the school that day worked at a place called Hexagon, which is a “private military firm” — in other words, a mercenary group. Guns for hire. And their net worth is in the trillions of won, and they invest all over the world.
Duk-hoo hands each team member a packet, with information on a company called Benny Capital Management, which he found while researching Hexagon. BCM regularly hired In-ho and the other two mercenaries, Chul-han and Tae-sik, which makes BCM a possible lead to the Ghost.
The strange part is, many different people have been listed as owner of the company, so Duk-hoo isn’t sure who is the real owner. But he did discover one interesting fact — one of the listed owners was Lee Moo-sung.
Moo-sung looks none too happy to see Jang again, though Jang seems to be getting a little giggle out of poking Moo-sung a bit. Moo-sung tries to intimidate Jang by saying he could have him killed easily, but Jang just asks if he thinks his higher-ups will protect him.
Jang takes great pleasure in slapping down photos of the men they’ve killed — Teacher Jung, Chul-han and Tae-sik, In-ho — and tells Moo-sung that this is what happens when people interfere with the Ghost. Now Moo-sung looks nervous.
He tells Jang about a woman named Um In-kyung, known for her beauty, who’s a representative at the Sharing Smiles Welfare Foundation. But that’s only a cover — her real job is managing the Ghost’s money. Any money that comes in to the foundation gets laundered through Benny Capital Management, then to the Ghost.
In order to get to Um In-kyung, they first have to find a man named Yoon Byung-chul, who’s in charge of the actual money laundering. He uses his antique store and cultural contacts since international transactions are harder to track. Jang tells the team to find Byung-chul’s weakness, and Duk-hoo notes that there’s a phone number he calls most often, a man named Kim Hyung-tak, who’s specialty is manufacturing knock-offs.
Gun-woo is sent to check out Byung-chul’s place, and Tae-pyung looks into Hyung-tak. Gun-woo breaks into Byung-chul’s home and finds broken glass on the floor, and further inspection reveals Byung-chul himself, dead in a pool of blood. Tae-pyung doesn’t find a body, but he does find evidence of a struggle and blood all over the floor of Hyung-tak’s place.
The man himself is bleeding but alive, and begging Um In-kyung for mercy as she creepily sharpens a pencil with a razor blade. He’s in trouble for making then selling inferior goods to her. He offers to do anything, anything at all to make it up to her, so she tosses the razor to him and tells him to cut his wrists and she’ll let him live. Isn’t that kind of counter-intuitive?
Instead her henchman holds the razor to Hyung-tak’s throat, and as he begs for his life, In-kyung smiles that Byung-chul was exactly like this. She comments that everyone makes that face right before they die, wondering what it would hurt them to smile. The henchman slits his throat.
The team deduces that Byung-chul was planning to sell In-kyung one of Hyung-tak’s knockoffs at a higher-than-usual price and pocket the profit, but In-kyung found out and had the two men killed. With them dead, the team has no choice but to go straight to In-kyung. Tae-pyung wonders who should go undercover this time, and gestures gallantly at Min-joo. HA, Min-joo looks distinctly un-pleased.
The chairman looks over some nearly finished hospital renovations, and tells his assistant to update Chief Han. Chief Han, meanwhile, packs his sniper rifle in a guitar case while staring at photos of the Investigative 5 Team for inspiration. ~shudder~
Outfitted with her communication device, Min-joo meets In-kyung at an art gallery, and In-kyung simply looks her up and down then walks away. She follows In-kyung to a meeting room (and takes note of the paper coffee cup a secretary is holding that says “Kang” in red letters) where she’s interviewed for a job.
In-kyung is scary smart, and asks to see her Japanese work visa when Min-joo’s previous experience can’t be verified due to the organization having shut down. When Min-joo says she can bring a copy the next day, In-kyung sends her henchman, whose name is Kang, with Min-joo to get it now. Eep.
Duk-hoo didn’t think to have a work visa prepared, and the team wonders if they can make one on the fly. Min-joo covers her flustered expression by claiming nerves, but goes along with it when In-kyung seems ready to reject her application. The team goes into overdrive to get the keys to Min-joo’s fake address and get a visa made.
They manage to get working on the forged visa just as Min-joo and Henchman Kang pull into the parking garage. HA, Gun-woo gets himself clipped by Kang’s fender, and Tae-pyung gripes at the man in an attempt to buy another minute while the visa is being made. Henchman Kang Kang is not amused, nor is he fooled, and say she knows they did it on purpose.
He even offers to check the car’s black box and the CCTV in the corner, so Gun-woo picks a fight and Tae-pyung hustles him out of there before they get busted.
The moment Duk-hoo and his helper finish the visa, they hear Min-joo opening the front door. Oh no, hide! Thankfully, Min-joo and Henchman Kang walk into an empty apartment, and Min-joo’s look of relief when she finds the visa is adorable.
Kang checks it over and calls In-kyung to report that it’s valid. But a noise in the next room has him giving Min-joo the side-eye when she says the apartment is empty, and he walks into the bathroom to find Duk-hoo and his helper undressing each other. That is hilarious.
Duk-hoo pretends to be Min-joo’s cheating husband, and she plays right along and goes into hysterics. She gets back at him for an earlier comment that she’s got a loud mouth by hitting him hard, then slapping him, hee. I love that Henchman Kang just stands at the window placidly taking in the view during their whole act.
So Min-joo kicks out Duk-hoo and his “girlfriend,” and apologizes to Henchman Kang. All he says is that In-kyung wants her to start tomorrow. Success! Back at the headquarters, Jang looks so relieved he could faint.
Since In-kyung only sends sensitive messages through her computer, Duk-hoo suggests that they install a “stealth logger” onto her keyboard. It’s basically a keylogger that records all the keystrokes on a keyboard through a physical device instead of a program on the computer, so it can’t be detected with an antivirus like a keylogger program can. The downside is that Min-joo has to install it herself.
On her first day working for In-kyung, Min-joo claims to be on a diet in order to stay in the office during lunch. Duk-hoo also has a new job working for the Kang coffee shop, and he sees In-kyung’s secretary there. He slips something in her coffee that makes her sick, and she asks Min-joo to sit at her desk while she runs to the restroom.
Once she’s alone Min-joo slips into In-kyung’s office and gets to work installing the stealth logger. But EEK, Henchman Kang is heading back to the office! He notices that there’s nobody at the secretary’s desk so he checks In-kyung’s office, but it’s empty. Suddenly Min-joo pops up from under the secretary’s desk, where she’s pretending she lost her contact lens. HA. And WHEW.
Team Leader Jang meets with Tae-in, who reports on all those cars’ black boxes that he checked. On one video, they managed to catch Chief Han slipping a note to an older cop named Baek Chun-soo, who manages a criminal investigation team at another police station. He’d suspiciously volunteered to stand security at the entrance to the school that day.
Tae-in has also found information that proves Chief Han is the Ghost’s right hand man. He used to work for the National Security Agency but went missing in action, and now he works under aliases. His real name is Ban Hyuk-jin.
Officer Baek, the corrupt team leader, is interrupted during a meal with his daughter’s future in-laws by Tae-in and Team Leader Jang. They ignore his offended blustering and quietly play the video of him and Chief Han, and they demand he tell them everything he knows about Han.
Baek breaks, and says that Han enlisted his help in the plan at the school and told him nobody would get hurt, and that he’d leave money in a locker at Sam Dong Station. He begs Jang not to make a big deal about it and ruin his daughter’s upcoming wedding, and Jang gives him a day to turn himself in.
They check out the CCTV video from that day at the station, and there’s Officer Baek picking up the bribe money. Eight hours earlier, they find film of a man leaving the money in the locker, and Tae-in offers to check the other camera angles to find out his identity.
Chef Han walks with his sniper gun, and talks on the phone to the crooked chairman, assuring them that the plan will go smoothly. Nobody will know about it. The chairman asks his assistant if he got a picture of the lead investigator, and when he sees the picture, he clucks that it’s a shame — he’s so young. Oh no, it’s Tae-in.
Duk-hoo monitors In-kyung’s communications through the stealth logger, and something he sees makes him sit up in alarm. He shows the team an instant message saying that the chairman will be meeting with someone on the day of the charity fundraiser, and that she will arrange a VIP meeting room.
She goes on to mention that she’s excited to meet the Ghost, and the person she’s messaging with tells her never to mention that name. Jang tells his team that this is it — they’re finally meeting the Ghost.
This was a bit of a lighter episode, which I think we needed after last week’s heavy subject matter. I’m glad we know now exactly how Tae-hee died, which explains a lot about why Gun-woo feels guilty. He was the one who took her to an unsafe place that night on the roof, then left her alone for In-ho to find her. Then during the confrontation, he pretty much panicked and botched the whole thing, allowing In-ho the upper hand. I can completely understand why he’s been in a dark place of guilt and anger for so long.
But I’m also glad that Gun-woo wasn’t the one to kill In-ho. Even if he’d done it in self-defense, his connection to In-ho was too personal for it not to have put him under suspicion if he’d done the deed himself, so it’s better that it turned out the way it did. And I’m proud of Gun-woo for making the choice to be the bigger man, and let the law handle things. Even if In-ho did end up dead anyway, Gun-woo’s hands are clean and he can move forward with his life, and his career. The man ultimately responsible for Tae-hee’s death is still out there, and the team is going to need Gun-woo if they’re to take him down. Still, a part of me will miss In-ho, as he was a terrifying and worthy foe.
Now we’re one step closer to the Ghost, and I love that our current baddie-of-the-week is a woman, which I think is going to keep the team on their toes. She’s not going to act and react like their usual thugs and smugglers, and she’s definitely not shy about what she expects from her people, or having them eliminated if they let her down. We haven’t seen much of her yet, but I’m hoping she sticks around for a few episodes like In-ho did — I have a feeling she’s got a lot more scary to show us.
Not to mention how much I’m enjoying seeing Min-joo front and center as she goes undercover. She’s good at thinking on her feet (and so is Duk-hoo for that matter, the whole “cheating husband” bit he came up with on the fly was hilarious!) and she approaches her role with a lot of humor. I adore when she plays the slighty dingy pretty girl to put Henchman Kang off-balance, and he genuinely seems not to know what to do with her. She’s pinging his radar big-time, but he can’t quite pin anything on her. Yet. I almost hope she slips up in front of him, because she can kick ass with the best of them, and I’d love to see his face when she busts his chops.
I agree with what odilettante said in last week’s recap, that it’s impressive how sleek and gorgeous the show has remained even as we get down to the final couple of weeks. Not to mention, all the characters and details that it’s got to keep track of — and while the plot isn’t exactly hole-free, everything seems to flow smoothly and all the points connect to one another in a cohesive way. This show is WY out of my wheelhouse, and yet even I manage to follow along without getting lost or bored, which is saying something! I’m very much looking forward to how this all culminates in the final weeks, and I can’t wait to meet the Ghost and see if he’s really as frightening as we’ve been promised. If he is, the end of the show should be as fun and wild a ride as the beginning.