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Village: Secret of Achiara: Episode 4

More suspects emerge in the case, where increasingly, things are not as they seem on the surface. The harder our leads work to get to the truth of the matter, the harder opposing forces work to ensure the truth remains buried. On the upside, our leads are dogged and persistent, though they’ll need more than pure grit to outsmart the bigwigs with deep pockets and selfish agendas.

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EPISODE 4: “Agasshi”

Yoo-na sneaks into Agasshi’s shack, determined to get some evidence that he’s Hye-jin’s killer. When Agasshi unexpectedly returns home, Ga-young calls Yoo-na to warn her, only the phone has been left behind in So-yoon’s apartment.

Yoo-na slowly turns to see Agasshi standing there looking at her, and starts to scream, just as Agasshi gets hit in the back of the head. He goes down—it’s So-yoon, holding a shovel. Moments later, the police arrive.

Agasshi shrinks when the police shine their lights on him, huddling to himself and asking why they’re doing this. He’s totally not the killer, is he?

Agasshi is taken to the local station, where he’s identified as Kang Pil-sung, who has two priors for public lewdness and has lived in Achiara for the past few years. Woo-jae doesn’t want to hand off the case and makes a minor protest about sending Agasshi to the police station (theirs is a local substation that only handles minor cases), though one bark from his sunbae has him scrambling to make the call.

So-yoon questions the two girls, not buying Ga-young’s explanation that Yoo-na pestered her for information about the killer until she gave it to her. So-yoon asks point-blank whether getting Ga-young a job was part of the deal, but the girls stick to their story, however unconvincing it may be.

Sergeant Han begins the questioning, and Yoo-na says she went to the house to find evidence that Agasshi killed Hye-jin. He asks why she thought Agasshi did it, and Ga-young declares that Agasshi’s a killer.

She explains how Agasshi is known around these parts for being a pervert, and some time ago some teenage boys sought him out and beat him up, calling him an embarrassment to manhood. Battered and bloodied, Agasshi had warned them, “I killed a woman.”

Agasshi copped to raping, killing, and burying women, and suffering nightmares afterward out of guilt. Then he started wearing women’s clothing, and it offered relief for his feelings, making the guilt disappear. What a coincidence that surfaced recently that he was the inhabitant of the lake shack, and then the body was discovered nearby.

That was suspicious enough for Ga-young to go with her friends to see for themselves, which is how she saw Yoo-na and Ba-woo that same night on their digging excursion. They’d seen Agasshi leaving his shack, and in her eyes, the conclusion is obvious: Agasshi is the killer.

Ga-young asks for a reward for catching the killer, though Sergeant Han points out that there’s nothing connecting Agasshi to the murders, and that the only clear crime here is their trespassing.

The two mothers arrive at the station, upset to hear of their daughters’ exploits. Woo-jae confirms that the dead woman is Hye-jin, and both mothers startle at the name, then cover up their reactions saying they just know her from seeing her around.

Ga-young throws a hissy fit to see her mother at the station and stomps out. Ji-sook collects Yoo-na calmly and drives her home, and advises her not to be too close to Ga-young. She’s pleased to have the case wrapped up neatly, saying that Yoo-na can stop worrying about this and turn to her studies now.

Yoo-na retorts that things may seem solved to her mother, accusing her of being happy that Hye-jin is dead. Ji-sook replies that Yoo-na’s under the wrong impression that she hates Hye-jin because she was Dad’s mistress, because if that were the case, she’d have to hate half the women in the village. (Although one wouldn’t preclude the other!)

Ji-sook declares that Hye-jin means absolutely nothing to her, though her voice gets increasingly heated the more she insists on it, and for a moment mother and daughter glare at each other.

Then Ji-sook’s attention is diverted from a knocking on the window of her car. The moving car. She looks up to see Hye-jin pounding on the glass pleadingly—ack!—and the shock sends her swerving into a traffic barrier.

Deeply shaken, she asks if Yoo-na saw it too. Yoo-na doesn’t know what she means, and the answer makes her even more scared.

At the station, Woo-jae advises So-yoon not to go rushing into dangerous situations; since she called the police, she should have waited for them. She says a student was in danger, then shares her happy news that her sister survived the old car accident.

Agasshi is escorted into a police car, to be transferred stations, and something about his face seems to strike So-yoon.

Once in the car, Agasshi starts toying with walnuts in his hand—so he’s the mysterious man from the bus. But then another woman is attacked and dragged off by a man in black, which means Agasshi’s not the serial killer.

In the morning, Ji-sook drops by her sister’s pharmacy and comments on last night’s events. Sister Joo-hee isn’t convinced the police caught the right villain, because it seems too easy—Hye-jin wasn’t one to die so readily. And isn’t it convenient that when there were people who wanted her dead, a stranger should pop up to kill her instead.

Ji-sook bristles at the implication, suggesting that maybe Joo-hee wanted Hye-jin dead too. But Joo-hee says that at least hearing of Hye-jin’s death doesn’t frighten her: “But unni, you look scared.”

So-yoon receives an update from the traffic department: Following the car accident, both sisters were sent to an orphanage until their grandmother could collect them, and an error must have occurred there. The officer gives her the official address linked to her sister’s ID number, which provides a lead to pursue.

So-yoon heads out in high spirits, just as she’s caught in a frenzy of police officers mobilizing in the wake of the new crime. As they clear out, she tenses to hear the telltale sound of clacking walnuts, and sees Agasshi standing nearby, having been released.

He stops her to ask, quite politely, for some cash (a few dollars’ worth) for the bus. Despite the garish makeup, Agasshi seems timid and unthreatening now in the light of day, though So-yoon is spooked and hurries away after thrusting some cash at him.

The new murder is assumed to be the serial killer’s sixth victim, and given that Agasshi had a strong alibi and they had no proof, he was let go. Woo-jae is disappointed to hear it, but then lights up upon hearing that Hye-jin’s case has been delegated to his substation while the main station is busy with the new case. He practically does a happy dance right there in the office.

Sergeant Han issues instructions for their next steps: Contact Hye-jin’s next of kin, find her phone and bank records, and confiscate her belongings from the apartment storage area.

The latest murder is splashed in all the news, which infuriates Assemblyman Seo and threatens his plans for building a tourist resort. (The murders have thus far been in neighboring Gyeonggi province, but this one crosses the line into Gangwon-do, which is where Achiara is.) He’s further disgruntled to hear that the murder suspect is no longer a suspect—Agasshi was in a car accident in Jeju during the time Hye-jin disappeared and was laid up in the hospital for two months.

This means the police will begin investigating Hye-jin in earnest, which Seo doesn’t want. The tourism deputy secretary gapes in surprise when the assemblyman orders him to block the investigation.

Woo-jae calls Hye-jin’s mother to inform her of her daughter’s demise, and gets glum thinking of how nobody knew or cared that Hye-jin was missing for two years. He asks Sergeant Han what he’d do if he ever went missing, getting super-earnest as he says he has no friends or family here, either: “You’d search for me, wouldn’t you?”

Next, Woo-jae collects Hye-jin’s belongings from storage, and we notice a curious amount of pregnancy-related books in her possession (though it escapes Woo-jae for the moment). He lights up when So-yoon drops by, his budding crush very cute and very obvious.

She accidentally knocks over a basket, and out falls an old photo album. It briefly catches her eye before she dismisses it, while the music tells us this is an important beat.

So-yoon thanks Woo-jae for his help in looking for her sister, happy to be one step closer to tracking her down. She’s puzzled over Agasshi being let go, and says that the photos he had of Hye-jin were curious—to her eye, it seemed that the photographer was attached to Hye-jin somehow. Not as a mere pervert-stalker.

So Woo-jae lays out the pictures to examine them more closely, trying to glean insight from them.

Unni’s address leads So-yoon to the orphanage where her sister lived until her first year of high school. It’s strange that this would be listed as her official address for so many years after she’d left, and So-yoon asks to speak to a long-time employee who may have known her sister.

One of the former orphans now works there, and supposes that Unni ran away, which isn’t an unheard-of circumstance. Hearing that So-yoon is the younger sister, she says disapprovingly that she could have written once to her unni, who was said to have gone crazy waiting for a letter from her little sister in Canada. She once spent days next to the mailbox, refusing to leave it, barely eating.

The woman supposes that Unni went looking for her mother, recalling that she mentioned it just before she ran away. So-yoon is puzzled, since their mother most certainly died.

Woo-jae drives to Agasshi’s shack with some friendly chicken and beer, and finds that Agasshi plans to throw away his women’s clothing and seek treatment at a hospital. He sighs that he can’t go around dressing that way and getting wrongly accused of crimes anymore.

Woo-jae asks how cross-dressing made him feel, and Agasshi hints at a sexual thrill, saying Woo-jae wouldn’t know the feeling. Heh. He’d made up the story about killing women to scare those boys, which worked because they stopped harassing him after that. As to the photos of Hye-jin, he first says he took them because she’s pretty, but when Woo-jae presses, he adds, “She’s a very special woman.”

In flashback, we see Agasshi walking the streets, waiting for the chance to face a woman and goad her into that scared, disgusted reaction that would give him a thrill. But Hye-jin was different, not batting an eye as she’d stared him straight in the eye. It had made Agasshi shrink back and run away instead, and he confesses that that was “the most shameful moment of my life.” It also made him take an interest in Hye-jin.

So-yoon returns to town that night, heart heavy over what she’s learned. The sound of a car honking at her flashes her back to the moment of the childhood car accident, and she stands like a deer in headlights. At the last second, someone grabs her out of the oncoming truck’s path—Ki-hyun.

She confides the day’s discoveries to him, sighing that she’s feeling confused. If the mother was dead, why did her sister say she’d look for her. Why did Grandma say her sister died?

Ki-hyun says sympathetically that there must be a reason, a secret in her family that she doesn’t know about. He asks if there’s anyone who knew her family, and So-yoon remembers the letter sent to Canada. She’d initially assumed a relative sent it, so he tells her to start with finding that relative.

Woo-jae bikes back to town after his visit with Agasshi, and spots So-yoon getting a ride with Ki-hyun. Aw, his disappointment is so cute, and he says sadly that the car is nice.

Assemblyman Seo wines and dines the police chief to pressure him into stopping the corpse investigation. The chief argues feebly that it looks bad to abandon the case when they’ve identified the body, and had put the local substation in charge as a stalling tactic (expecting them to get nowhere). But the assemblyman barks that they don’t have time to waste.

Woo-jae grumbles that women women only like men with nice cars, just as the boss arrives for a briefing on the case. Woo-jae lays out the facts, which put her disappearance in September 2013. Agasshi has been removed as suspect because his whereabouts were accounted for during that time.

One of the many curious things is that Hye-jin died without a wallet, purse, or personal belongings in her keeping, and those things were also missing from her apartment. Based on the timing and facts, they have to see this as a homicide case. Their boss heaves a sigh, since they’re right.

The problem is, the higher-ups still plan to close this case if no evidence comes to light within the week, and Sergeant Han shares this with Woo-jae.

So-yoon explains to Ki-hyun that she was able to find out about an aunt, but not any details of her whereabouts. Ki-hyun figures there are professionals who can track people effectively, and offers to put in the inquiry.

At school, Ga-young sneaks up on teacher Gun-woo while he’s painting in his school studio and covers his eyes with her hands flirtatiously, though he finds nothing amusing about it. She says she’s quitting school since she got a job and came to say goodbye, and also to return his umbrella from that night.

Ah, so Gun-woo was the driver who’d picked her up in the rain, who’d startled her when he put his hand on her leg. She says she’s been racking her brains to figure out why he’d done it, and has finally worked it out.

At the time, he’d seemed to come to his senses and withdrew his hand, but she’d held it there, saying, “If you want something, tell me. You never know, I might give it to you.”

He’d snatched his hand away and clarified that he wanted to see the red spot on her leg, and Ga-young had bared her upper thigh to show him the mark.

The thing is, nobody knew about her spot other than her mother and her friends, so she wants to know how he found out about it.

Then she adds that Hye-jin also knew, and steps closer as she asks, “Did you love her?” Gun-woo looks at her in surprise and maybe alarm.

Ki-hyun’s experts track down So-hyun’s aunt, so he drives her over to meet her.

Woo-jae sighs at the thought that Hye-jin’s case could be closed prematurely, which he finds unfair, just as he notices something about the photographs taken from Agasshi’s house. Rearranging them, he realizes that they were taken in the same place, over three separate days.

That sends him back to Agasshi, who explains having an interest in photography and shows him the camera where he snapped those photos. It has a massive zoom lens and a clear view of the field where Hye-jin had showed up one day, and the next, and the next. He’d wondered why she appeared to be waiting, and snapped photos while she was there.

Woo-jae is suspicious that Agasshi was so interested in her from one encounter, so Agasshi adds the detail that when they’d met, Hye-jin had asked him a question: “How would you r mother feel, seeing you like this?” It wasn’t in scorn or ridicule, he recalls, but in genuine curiosity to know the feelings of “a mother who birthed a monster.”

So-yoon meets her aunt and learns that she and her sister had different mothers, but shared the same father. Apparently her parents had had difficulty having a child, so they officially adopted Unni, and a few years later had So-yoon.

Unni had come to that conclusion on her own, since it explained why Grandma (mom’s mom) only took So-yoon and left the adopted daughter behind. When she sought out Aunt asking questions, Aunt had told her the truth.

Since Hye-jin showed up three days in a row waiting for someone, Woo-jae asks what happened after those three days. Agasshi had to leave town for Chuseok, and only now does he realize that those photos were taken right before Hye-jin disappeared, and he actually yells at Agasshi for needing to travel for the holidays and missing his chance to photograph the killer. Ha.

Agasshi gapes, “Then did that man kill the woman?” Turns out that he’d been so curious that he set up a timer to record in his absence, and he shows Woo-jae the footage. And there he shows up on video, his face turning slowly to reveal… Ki-hyun.

 
COMMENTS

Being that we are in Episode 4, there’s no way Ki-hyun is going to be our killer, right? I like that the show is throwing us red herrings and false leads, and that the truth of a scene is shown to be something quite different with the addition of another flashback or POV shot. It keeps the target moving, and I like that much more than the cases where the target is identified and we spend weeks and weeks just trying to get the characters up to speed with what we know as the audience. (Because, man! It can be so frustrating being the omniscient audience while the cast remains oblivious; I’d gladly exchange some of that knowledge to gain more suspense.)

That doesn’t mean I’m assuming Ki-hyun is absolved of guilt, since it’s entirely possible he’s complicit, or guilty of a different offense. He’s certainly way too nice to seem normal, at least in a town this full of shifty characters. But I want to like him; in addition to having a warmth lacking in most of Achiara’s ranks, I can’t help but like him better as a romantic interest.

The initial descriptions seemed to set up Woo-jae as the main loveline, and I do find him cute in a puppy-dog sort of way, but for me the interest feels more compelling with Ki-hyun. I don’t even need a romance to blossom into a full-fledged storyline; in fact I prefer it as a sort of background presence, adding an extra layer to the scenes without necessarily taking over the scenes. So it’s not so much about who gets to “win” the girl for me, but that I like Woo-jae as the enthusiastic helper with a crush from afar, and feel more of a crackle when So-yoon’s with Ki-hyun.

That said, I actually find Woo-jae to be almost more of a main character than So-yoon, which I like in the sense that I like Woo-jae, but dislike in the sense that it can’t have been the show’s intention. It isn’t that So-yoon isn’t involved enough in the storyline, since she’s pursuing her own family mystery, but in terms of the show’s central conflict, it’s Woo-jae who’s driving the action. And while I want to like So-yoon more, I find myself worrying that she’s letting the men help her and direct her actions while she kinda stares with wide eyes. I don’t need her to be fearless or kickass—not everyone needs to be that kind of heroine—but I don’t want to see her becoming a passenger in her own mystery.

I have a feeling this is only a temporary concern, though, so I’m waiting for the show to pair her with Woo-jae. If Hye-jin is revealed to be her sister, that ought to provide the impetus to send her into the hunt in earnest, and I’m looking forward to that moment. Because right now, the story’s a little too slow for my liking, despite doing a good job creating tons of mood and keeping us guessing. But when you give us viewers more information than you give the cast, it becomes an exercise in patience for us while we wait for them to catch up, and I’d rather be running alongside the characters, rather than being ahead of them.

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Dear Beanies, as someone having some really good friends inside the Gay community, I am really disturbed by the portrayal of Agasshi. I know that Korea is a very conservative country, but will they ever have a nice character who is also Gay?.

One of my best friends (a lady) went out of the closet for me by bringing her girlfriend to donate blood for my dying father. That was more than six years ago and to this day I am still moved.

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Anyway, my little rant is another thing, very different from my pleasure of reading this recap. THANKS A LOT FOR THIS RECAP, MS. JAVABEANS!!!.

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i agree, we all are humans, sharing same blood color, but attitudes depends on where we born, and our culture. In my country i can see gay people, some people are looking down them, and some are not. like korea.
only country i have seen where gays and tomboys can live with out much more hesitation is thailand.

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To make you feel better, I think the portrayal of Joon Hee in Answer me 1997 was done pretty sensitively.

Also, I think this Agasshi may just be a cross-dresser, not so much gay? or I could be wrong.:)

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From what I gather, just a cross dresser.

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Theres zero indication of Agasshi being gay tho? dressing in women's clothing =/= being gay. In fact im more inclined think he is attracted to girls rather than boys bc he targets only girls caue he thinks "their scared reactions are cute".

what i didnt like tho is (and maybe its sorta like what u were saying) is how the show sort of glossed over his reason for going out in drag as 'just being a pervert'. ANd his needing to get treatment was iffy cause while its true he prob needs professional help about his tendency to find thrill in going around scaring girls, its hard to tell how much of that is about him going out in drag. I do like how the show humanized him this episode but I dont like all their choices.

As for decent portrayals of lgbt characters in korea dramas, as far as I know theres one in Secret Garden, there was a lesbian character in one of the older School series, and I havent watch any of them but werent there a couple in the Answer Me series? Also: seonam high school investigators (which got quite a bit of attention for a serious lesbian kiss scene). Not to mention there are movies like Antique Bakery. As for transexual characters, not sure decent portrayals of them exist as of yet.

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or decent portrayals of guys who simply like to cross-dress for that matter. Its my first time coming across one here

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There was one episode in Master's Sun where the "ghost-of-the-week" was an old, rich man who had a big secret—that he liked to cross-dress. He had a house and a whole room filled with women's clothing and makeup. It was treated like a big, ugly secret, but when the man's son found out, he only promised his dead father to keep his secret.

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There was also a gay couple in the weekend drama, Life is Beautiful. It was Lee Sang Woo and Song Chang-Eui (I admit I shipped them irl because they felt so real lol). They actually had their own storyline and were such a sweet couple.

Someone put together their whole storyline from the drama on an account on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC48k6e_Y1cYKS_sG-70JAUg

The couple actually had a commitment/wedding ceremony with vows and everything but SBS cut it out when it aired.

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tae sub's and kyung soo's story in life in beautiful was amazing. I really admired the writer for making the decision to not have any skinship - but instead portray the more ordinary, domestic moments between them and the pressure they face from society. it was incredibly sensitively done, and I wish we would get another tae sub and kyung soo... :( (I also can't believe SBS cut out the commitment ceremony!)

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To add some detail (cuz I looked this up out of curiosity) the church they were going to film it at blocked them when they found out it was a gay scene, so they improvised a commitment ceremony scene elsewhere and it had technical flaws so the whole thing got cut. But the writer, oh my god SHE RAGED about it.

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I dont think he's gay because he was interested in Hye Jin and liked to scare girls because he thought their expressions were cute BUT I see your point. It felt wrong to see him bullied, beaten, and arrested for crossdressing. I didn't even find him scary. At first I thought the drama was just emphasizing Ga Young's childishness but then Woo Jae also agreed that he should go to a hospital and shouldnt crossdress. It's his choice to wear what he wants and he shouldnt be ridiculed and suspected for it.

That said, the drama also presented the character in a way that portrays crossdressers as perverts (who scare women) instead of a person just doing what makes them feel comfortable. Aghasshi is only seen as normal and helpful when he's dressed as a man again and he just ends his crossdressing habit. Its weird to me.

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That was my feeling also - that they went a bit overboard in the "pervert" name calling. Perhaps not mainstream, but it is obvious that the writer has never been to San Francisco or Pattaya in Thailand.

But it also points out that in many ways,. Korea is still ultra-conservative in many ways.

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Yeah it's so confusing. Is Agassi transgender and has been made to think it's perverse? is it just cross-dressing as a fetish? Is it really a fetish or the only way of expressing queerness that's accessible?

At least the character seems to be nice so that's a plus.

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I realize I'm commenting months later and it's likely no one will read this, but I just wanted to add my two cents on this topic.
The show definitely doesn't portray him as being gay; in addition to the fact that he admitted getting a sexual thrill from scaring women (and was attracted to Hye Jin) we also also saw that he had that closet full of pictures of scantily clad women and (presumably) porn when Yoo Na was searching his place. Also, I don't think the show portrays him as being transgender either - he never indicates that he feels more comfortable being a woman, but rather that he enjoys the thrill of women being disgusted by him and afraid of him. In terms of crossdressing being accepted or not, like anything else I think its "appropriateness" is influenced way more by the intention than the act itself. If he feels that we wants to receive therapy because he finds sexual pleasure in fear, or whatever, then good for him (just because he's receiving treatment doesn't mean it's necessarily "I like to dress as a woman, please help me" treatment, the details are only hinted at). While I agree that it could have been portrayed better, I didn't really have a problem with the portrayal, particularly given Korea's conservative nature. It wasn't over the top, and it fit the story in that they wanted a character that people would easily believe to be the murderer. The real sad part here is that this was in fact the best choice in regards to a character the other characters would most easily believe to be the killer.

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Thanks for the recap!!!!

I am liking this drama a lot, I like the mystery of it.
The fact that the writer is giving us hints, and the dark colors of the night give the landscape a very dark and eerie vibe to the whole cinematography.

I am not sure whether the brother in law is the culprit. but seems like he has somersetting going with with the sister in law, also when she saw the dead girl in her window, I felt that maybe she is the one who murder the girl, and all the other murder are related to the serial killer of the present!!!

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OMG...this episode kept me on the edge of my seat. So many unexpected things were discovered. Finally we know the "walnut guy" is the agassi. So-yoon sister also survived the crash. And Ki-Hyun has been secretly meeting up with Hye-Jin? Is he the one she's having an affair with?

I love MGY which is the reason I tune in on this drama but honestly it wasn't until this episode that I'm all in.

Finally, THANK YOU DRAMABEAN for recapping this as only raw version are available first.

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as much as i tried to say "not Ki Hyun" but honestly i used to think, perhaps, he was the killer.. his calm character is just too weird for a chaebol with a step mom. he even bought a 'weird sexy' outfit for his step sister.. but.. he's cute and he looks super adorable and nice to our heroine.. but who knows.. psychopath always hides in good image :D

and our police boy (i cant call him police man, haha.. he didnt look like one :P).. so adorable with his crush.. boy, his car is good, but it's more safe with you :D

im getting more curious.. who is the real killer.. the art teacher and his lover.. wth happen to them. she didnt want to marry him cuz he's a liar.. but why they end up dating each other for 3 YEARS??? sigh. what is the motive??

why are so many character in this drama, aigoooo... thanks for the recap :D

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Does anyone else think Ga-young is Assemblyman Seo's child? Oh and there is definately something going on between stepmom and stepson

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me think too

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Yes..she could be a rape-child based on her mother's flashbacks..
And yeah these is something between step mum and step son..i thought Hamlet kind..but they could just be accomplice

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Ga Young could definitely be Assemblyman Seo's child, but is he the same person who abducted her mother or could that be his present wife?

There is definitely something going on between stepmom and stepson, however I'm not sure if it's just covering up each other's secrets or more.

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Watching raw, watching all video clips provided by SBS and I still wondering what the heck happening..
My head will hurts if I try to solve the mysteries one by one..
Our Ki Hyun is nice to So Yoon teacher... Wonder if he has a crush on her? And our policeman seems disappointed after he finds out Ki Hyun with So Yoon.. Hahaha
The PD said this drama has no love line.. But seeing Ki Hyun being nice to So Yoon since ep 2, I wonder if they'll insert romance or maybe one-sided crush?

Oh yeah, at this point I still think everyone is a suspect. Except So Yoon.

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It's strange that Ki-Hyun is always by So-Yoon vicinity. I think he has a deeper motive instead of crushing on her. She seem to be telling him everything she discovered.

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Yes it's strange that he seems so nice, even to his stepmom.. LOL
But like I said everyone is still a suspect.

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I was alone in my dark room watching the show live yesterday and holy moly.. I almost fainted of shock....that Hye Jin knocking on the window of moving car..lol....was she really there or was it Ji Sook imagination?

So..I guessed right.Gun woo was the driver..but what on earth a man asked to look at a girl mark/birth mark...whatever, close to private area....just out of curiosity unless it means something.... Like, I remember in episode 2 Ga Young was looking at an old photograph of her mother and assemblyman Seo? Lemme make a wild guess...is she a love child out on a revenge or something?

I too feel like So Yoon is only part of the many characters instead of the main one. But, I still love the show as a whole. It was intricately written and well thought of and every interaction is meaningful. No filler. I like it. Not wasting a moment.

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I keep wondering if that birth mark is hereditary. Maybe he's looking for someone. In his own creep way.

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my first thought was..."did she burn herself??".. but yeah.. why would creepy Gun Woo wanted to know about something as private as birthmark, unless he is looking for someone or a proof.

I found Gun Woo very suspicious..but he didn't actually look like a pervert. He seems like he really does care about student, but....his character is so twisted in private. so complicated. Except for Woo Jae, everyone else is complicated. I don't even trust So Yoon. What if...she just lost her memory but actually did have something to do with the murder....ok, no...thats not a possibility. hehe.. :P

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Thanks for the recap!!

Im loving the suspense in this drama although the scene where Hye Jin was at the window of the car gave me a heart attack.

That said, things are starting to come together and fall apart. I suspected that Hye Jin was out to ruin the assemblyman so she slept with him but I had hope it didnt include his son. That just makes my skin crawl and lets not forget she had a connection with the art teacher too. I still believe Hye Jin is So Jung aka So Yoon's sister. I agree that she needs a more active role though because all she does is visit police stations and babysit (we've yet to see her actually teach).

What I dont get is the art teacher. He randomly asks to see Ga Young's thigh because he misses Hye Jin?? What?? What--how does that even make sense?

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Maybe the art teacher is trying to confirm Ga-yong's parentage. The red mark on her thigh may be a hereditary mark, shared with the Assemblyman, suspected to be Ga-yong's rapist-father by Beanies here. He could have learnt of the mark from Hye-jin, who knew Ga-yong has it. Hye-jin would also know if the Assemblyman has a similar mark, having slept with him, at least once.

Ga-won the art teacher may be planning to blackmail the Assemblyman. He's a low life who steals from his girlfriend, who calls him a conman and uses her link to put him in a better position, financially.

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I had the same thought! Thanks for doing the writing.

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Ooh..i like it. Hye-jin was pregnant?! But yes it is too early to reveal the killer or serial killer. Keep me guessing!!

But please give woo-jae a good love story. I haven't gotten over school.. The way he comments on the car..gahh..puppy löve

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me too! damn school 2015! what are you doing to the love of my life?!!! my taekwangie!!!! :"""

I just hope sungjae get lots of love because of this drama.
GO GO SUNGJAE!!!

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Just watched subbed episode in dramanice. Its not fully subbed yet but I get the gist of the story. So much of suspense. Now I am starting to wonder what's the meaning of the painted picture of the woman and her child in Kim Hye Jin room and...Hye Jin honest question to Agasshi about "How his mother would feel looking at him dressing up like a woman?"..and we didn't get to see Kim Hye Jin real mother yet. Her face was not shown. Who is she? She went crazy waiting for her sister...runaway and then...?? What triggered her to go back to Achiara even after she found out she was only an adopted daughter. So many unanswered questions here....(second time commenting) heeee..

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thanks for the recap! JB ....all the characters in this drama are so complicated with so many secrets...everyone is suspect expect woo jae ...lolz

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Yikes! A ghost tapping at the window of a moving car? It's a good thing I haven't watched this ep! I had to scroll down veeery slowly afraid of revealing a too scary screencap LOL
That's it. I'm counting on recaps first before actually watching this drama! Which, of course, will take away the thrill from a thriller drama, I know, but..well, I am a whimp like that, thank you very much! But I'm in for the mystery. Thanks for the recap, JB!

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Found myself chanting "Gun-woo! Gun-woo! Ki-hyun! Gun-woo! Ki-hyun! Ki-hyun! Gun-woo!" before the face was revealed. What a fun episode!

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Did anyone else wonder why ki Hyun so helpful to So Yun? Makes me wonder how he found her aunt so quickly...maybe he knows about so yun's past thru hye jin? Were they meeting because hye Jin was pregnant? Pharmacist sister gives me the creeps...she and con man boyfriend....loved and enjoyed this episode btw. Thanks for the recap!

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I think pharma sister and her conman boyfriend have some dark secrets of their own, but probably not related to the probable death of Hye.

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Well I now have more questions than answers!

What happened to Ki Hyun's birth mom?
Did Ji Sook have a flash back while driving of not helping Hye Jin right before she was killed?
Was Ki Hyun meeting Hye Jin for a rendezvous or as messenger for another person?
Why does the scene where the walnut guy is being taken away in the police car while looking at the girl in the alley make me think that Hye Jin faked her dental records and is still alive? (I'm 99.99% sure she's dead though.)
How is the birthmark relevant?
What's the story between Hye Jin, the pharmacist and the art teacher?
Who sent the letter?

Also, how will Sergeant Han look for Woo Jae if he's the one that makes him disappear because he was getting on his nerves? Just kidding, I like Sergeant Han - he may not be a go getter but he's incredibly astute and smart.

Thanks JavaBeans for the quick recap!

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hahahah.. u so funny. Can we put sergeant Han as one of the suspect too??
This episode was actually funny, I was laughing out loud when Woo Jae tried to cover his eyes and Sergeant Han pointed his gun to Agasshi..
Woo Jae was soo cute. He and Sergeant Han are so perfect as partner. The eager newbie and the experienced sunbae.

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Actually Sergeant Han keeps going on and off my suspect list. At least for the serial murderer. Has anyone else mentioned that a clue is left behind in/on his victims?

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@PlumWine

'What’s the story between Hye Jin, the pharmacist and the art teacher?'

My understanding is that Joo-hee the pharmacist and Gun-woo the art teacher, have been lovers for the past three years. Somehow, Hye-jin subsequently came into the picture, having the common link of both she and Gun-woo teaching art. They may have had a relationship, with Ga-yong implying that Gun woo loved Hye-jin, which may be the reason Joo-hee detested Hye-jin, as charged by Ji-soo, even if Joo-hee herself refuse to marry Gun-woo, currently. At this stage, I have no idea as to the significance of their relationship to each other.

What's been bugging me for some time is why would Hye jin herself out her affair with Seo to Ji-sook? She can't possibly think of taking over Ji-sook's place in the Seo household, that'll make her a pariah to the public. Plus, the fact that she had the photos on her showed that her tryst with Seo was a set-up. Who was her photographer accomplice? Gun-woo? For someone who claimed that her husband's affairs didn't bother her, Ji-sook was pretty shaken after viewing the photographs. Why? Is her claim a lie?

And what's with Yoo-na? From the car convo with her mom, she's aware that her father has been quiet liberal with spreading his seed around and that Hye-jin was one of his mistresses. Shouldn't Yoo-na feel resentful towards a third wheel in her parents' marriage, even if that mistress is her favourite art teacher? In her interactions, Yoo-na seems to favour Hye-jin over mom. I find that odd.

Any ideas?

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I do think that the art teacher came to admire/desire Hye Jin to a point where the pharmacist was upset. So that's a definite possibility. Someone put for a theory of the serial murder being two people and these two are so twisted I can see it being them and Hye Jin found out, so she was killed. Unlikely, but who knows.

I definitely believe Ji Sook is lying about being unaffected by Hye Jin, especially if she might have been pregnant. How about if she was sleeping with both father and son? She seems to have a tight relationship with her stepson, so that could be upsetting to her. I now wonder if walnut/agasshi person took the pictures. It appears they may have bonded as outsiders so it seems possible to me.

As for Yoo Na's behavior with her mom I both understand it and don't. Her mom's ability to stand up for herself or daughter seems to vary which can confuse anybody especially kids that age. Speaking of kids that age, dissing moms sometimes is universal, so as one I get that. The problem now seems like Yoo Na has decided to overlook that mistress problem and focus on her death. I do believe that if Hye Jin had stuck around more she wouldn't be quite so happy with her, no matter what lies or honeyed words she said. She does seem to genuinely care for her mom, so I put most of it down to child/parent struggle.

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This episode is by far my favorite! Everything starts to get moving, and it's really moving fast. We get to know what everyone may be hiding, and whether it has a connection to Hyejin's murder and the serial killing. Plus, I love Agasshi so far! He seems genuinely kind to me and I hope he'll continue to be kind. He IS the walnut guy and that kinda scares me, but I'll hold any judgment until later. Personally, I feel bad for him because everyone seems to have a bad impression against him :(((. I'm wondering if there's any reason behind his cross-dressing besides things that he said to Woojae; I don't think the show gave us enough information. Maybe that's intentional and we'll find out the rest later.. I don't know.

I have the same thought as javabeans regarding Soyoon. Unexpectedly, I think she's rather weak for a main character. Yes, I don't expect her to be a complete hero either but honestly I expected more. She also seems a bit out of the equation despite her possible connections with Hyejin. I also feel that Woojae is the star of this investigation since he's so passionate about his first 'real' case. And I ship him more with Soyoon, I was sad seeing him feeling rejected after spotting Kihyun taking Soyoon home </3

I wasn't surprised about Kihyun, though. At all. I know he has something big that he's trying to bury. Maybe he and Jisook are in this together, or maybe they're trying to cover for each other's 'sins'... but I've expected that the man Hyejin waiting for was Kihyun.

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"Did Ji Sook have a flash back while driving of not helping Hye Jin right before she was killed?"

@PlumWine : I think you made a good point! So that scene wasn't just randomly added to thrilled us. And yes, Hyejin's expression that time was like someone asking for help.

Anyway..
I also think that Gayong is Assembly Seo's daughter and Hyejin knew about that (that's the BIG secret she told the Pharmacist about).
Hyejin might had close relationship with Gayong's mother & Gayong herself so she knew about Gayong's birthmark (both persons' reactions after hearing Hyejin's name proved it). There's surely something about the birthmark so the Art Teacher asked her to show it.

Hyejin might be pregnant.. is that the meaning behind her painting: a mother hold tight her baby?

And about Bawoo, is he still alive after found that time capsule?
He was lying on the floor and didn't pick up his phone. And the pills.. did he just sleep after taking too many doses of it.. or actually dead?
All that happened after the Pharmacist watched him through out the window.

Even though I enjoy the show, I don't have any favorite character so far. Agassi caught my attention last episode, but after his secret revealed on this episode, I've lost my interest on him. lol
And if I'm not mistaken, the PD said there would NOT be any loveline in this drama.. but who knows he changed his mind (for better rating, perhaps? lol)
We all see the possible triangle love between Woojae-Soyoon-Kihyun (I'm not invested on that matter.. not yet).

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Well I guess there won't be a love line if Ki Hyun killed Hye Jin and Woo Jae is the serial murderer.

JOKE - please don't stand in line to kill me for saying that about adorable Woo Jae!

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I love the suspense and mystery of this show. I just have a hunch that maybe Ki Hyun and Hye Jin share the same mother. But, Ji Sook thought that Hye Jin's baby was her husband and accidentally kill her. Just something in my mind..

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Ohhh.....

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Thanks Dramabeans for recap , you're rock . This show is very complicated and everyone seems very suspicious even So Yoon for me

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My thoughts and these are just my thoughts of how the story will go.
Hye Jin is Ji Sook's daughter.
Ki Hyun likes Hye Jin, but they are sibling on Paper (Ji Sook marrying Ki Hyun's father).
Ga Young is the Gunwoo's (Teacher) daughter.

Assembly Seo probably wanted to kill SO Yoon's family after knowing that Ji-Sook had an illegitimate child, and the father must of course know some sort of deep dark secret of Assembly Seo.

My reasons for thinking that Hye Jin is Ji Sook's daughter is the painting. So yoon thought the painting was very warm, but the little girl Yoona said that it was the opposite. Yoona said that the painting portray a mother being very cold to the child, which is the similar to what Hye Jin asked the Agasshi (Cross Dresser) what would his mother think of him seeing him like this.

For someone to know if someone else has a birthmark would only be a parent or someone very close to the child. So the teacher must be related to Ga Young.

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Oh and one more thing. The whole thing with Hye Jin and Assembly Seo seems staged. What Ji-sook imagined looked a bit different on the pictures that Hye Jin handed over to Ji-sook. The imagination shows Assembly Seo smiling, but the photos seems like he was out of it or drugged.

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I think it wasn't a smart move to make Soyoon spend so much time looking for her sister. It completely isolates her from the main plot. She has almost no part in it. They should find a way to quickly rear her back to it; at least spend half of the time investigating with others. Because none of the characters - except Woojae - are investigating ALL THE TIME, they have their own concerns too, but they are more involved than she is, which is not good, given that we are supposed to care about her as much as the rest.

Apart from that, I'm loving the show. I love how all the characters seem so complex, with two faces and a past of their own - except Woojae (is there maybe a reason behind this?). I think the pace is perfect, the music is fitting and they succeed in making us suspect of everyone - except Woojae (bis). I'm having the creeps, but it's SO good haha

Ah, and I'm for a Woojae-So Yoon pairing, if there's going to be a background romance to this plot (which I'm not sure will happen). He's innocent and naïve, but she's not far behind, so I don't see her with dark and mature Gihyun.

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I think her sisters plot will soon merge with the main one. Perhaps her sister was one of those killed? Or went under a different name.. like Hye Jin?

Somehow it is all tied to the huge steaming pile of dirty secrets in Achiara, and hoping it will start coming together soon.

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My current theory is that Ki-hyun either has an Oedipus complex and intervened on behalf of Ji-sook (maybe murder maybe not) or they were meeting because he orchestrated the supposed affair, possibly because he still hates her (trying to destroy their marriage) or because of his complex (a twisted, if dad's a cad she'll come to me) to bring down his father by scandal association (which would be stupid since that would negatively affect him).

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I was thinking the same---since sister was abandoned, was described to have gone crazy then reunited with relatives? Or was it her bio mom? And changed name?

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this show is very good. I think ji sok killed her?

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I'm hoping to check this out once I have time. Hopefully it continues to get better!

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I think kihyun knocked her up, gun woo liked her, chairman liked her so that explains why the two ladies wanted her dead...
But she liked kihyun ... Still don't know the killer...?

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Here is my theory, Han So-Yoon and Kim Hye-Jin are sisters, that is pretty clear by now. I think that the Kim Hye-Jin was having an affair with that guy because she was trying to find information about her family secret and about the accident. The chairman is not the father of Kim Hye-Jin baby because if I remember correctly in episode 1 we learn that he is sterile and can't have babies. Remember that scene where the stepmother was getting an ultrasound and the doctor told her that she had tried everything that maybe it was her husband the one with the problem? Seo Gi-Hyun is probably also not the killer. If this is true then Seo Gi-Hyun and Seo Yoo-Na are probably not his kids either. He probably went to meet her to confront her about the affair, since he seems very protective of his stepmother. Hence the scene where he breaks the glass to interrupt his aunt from yelling at her. I also don't think him and his stepmother are having a relationship in his character descriptions it says that he protects her because she treated him like a son and he respected her like a mother. Also if I paid attention correctly the dress the corpse was found in was the same dress she was wearing when she was confronted by the stepmom about the affair meaning she died that day. What I really want to know tho is if Han So-Yoon's grandma was killed or if she actually committed suicide.

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Whoever is the father of Kim Hye-Jin's baby is most likely the killer.

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I still think there is more than one killer.

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I'm not convinced the books we are shown in HJ's belongings are necessarily "pregnancy related".

Their titles are:
1) The Best Present I can give my Body: Foot Massage
2) Revitalize your your five viscera and six entrails: Abdominal Massage 30 minutes daily
(The cover pix might look pregnancy-related to someone who can't read the title, but I suspect such activities might be somewhat counter-indicated during pregnancy)
3) We only get the briefest glimpse of the cover of the third book, and when Woo Jay lays all the books down flat in a pile, though the spine of this one is visible, I can't make out the title of it on a 720p raw.
4) Social Welfare Legislation: an Introduction.

So while I agree that there are hints spread across the episode and the preceding one that HJ might indeed have been pregnant, I don't really think her mini-library points as plainly in that direction as "pregnancy-related" might suggest. I see that people on various sites are already citing this recap as saying HJ had "books about pregnancy" in her possession, though of course that's not what you actually say or meant.

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Oh, oppa. You and your unrequited loves. If Eunbi and Soyoon don't want you, I do! I honestly don't mind just riding your bike. Cars pollute the atmosphere, so I'm totally okay with romantic bicycle rides with you ??????

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Watching this show at night gives me the creeps but it's so good I can't stop.

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Strangely (or is it?) the Village doesn't spook or scare me with its attempts at horror. Instead, it comes across more as a mystery/suspense type of drama.

Woo-Jae spotting So-Yoon getting a ride with Ki-Hyun and feeling like his bike doesn't measure up...
Woo-Jae needs to look no further than My Beautiful Bride and check it out for inspiration and guidance. Seems like he needs a lesson in what all a bike can do and how it can go toe-to-toe with a car. Beautiful Banker Kim Do-Hyeong is awesome at riding a bike and knows how to maneuver on one and get the best of a car.

Possible Theories:
- Seo Gi-Hyun is either the serial killer or murderer of Hye-Jin. He's been away for the past 3 years. He knows about his father's infidelities. Were any of the dead women linked to his father Chang Kwon? There's something more to his relationship with his stepmother Ji-Sook.
- Ji-Sook is struggling with infertility. Past secret either she or her sister Joo-Hee gave birth to another child (Hye-Jin?) before Yoo-Na was born.
- Inspector Han may be the serial killer. What better cover than to be on the police force and have access to information about the investigations. He's a mentor to Park Woo-Jae and has his full trust and respect.
- Teacher Gun-Woo & Kang Joo Hee are the serial killers. They have a love pact lure the woman to kill them.
- Teacher Gun-Woo & Hye-Jin teamed up and staged the pictures to con/blackmail Seo Chang Kwon and/or his family.
- Chang Kwon's mother is not really handicapped. She can walk and get around without a wheelchair. The dead women are any of them linked to her son Chang Kwon?

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i dont know how to ride a bike though

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I love Agassi interactions with Woojae.. Can't they give them more screentime?
When Woojae asks why Agassi has gone to Chuseok, he said it's because he's the oldest son of the family, I died laughing... LOLOLOLOL
Our Agassi seems kind and pure.. Though it's still possible he's the killer/serial killer

My theory:
Gun Woo and Ki Hyun like Hye Jin, that makes Joo Hee jealous, Ji Sook also jealous. Can't say who is the killer. It's still confusing up to now.

Oh, and So Yoon's unnie probably is not Hye Jin, but other person. Joo Hee?

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"But when you give us viewers more information than you give the cast, it becomes an exercise in patience for us while we wait for them to catch up, and I’d rather be running alongside the characters, rather than being ahead of them."

This is exactly why I did not like The Girl Who Sees Smells. That drama revealed the culprit too soon while we spend more than half of the drama waiting for the characters and the incompetent police to catch up with the culprit. Even if we see Ki Hyeon's face in the end, that is not enough evidence to say that he's the culprit and even if it was, there are still a ton of questions to be answered.

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I do like that this show feels more like an ensemble mystery than a typical drama. At the same time it's got some familiar tropes so the result is a refreshing fusion.

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Hi, thank you so much for the recaps!
This drama reminds me of Peyton Place series, where scandal, homicide, suicide, incest, and moral hypocrisy hide behind a peace New England town called Peyton Place.

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"I actually find Woo-jae to be almost more of a main character than So-yoon, which I like in the sense that I like Woo-jae, but dislike in the sense that it can’t have been the show’s intention."

Teehee, isn't this the same thing that happened to Yook Sungjae's Taekwang in School 2015? He did so well, almost everybody who watched fell and rooted for him + Han Yian appeared to be lackluster.. argh that ending still

As a fan of BTOB (Sungjae's group-they're amazing, trust me), and seeing their random videos, I'd say that Sungjae is really in his element as Woojae. He's so cute I want to squish him!!!

Also, this drama is the one my drama drought has been waiting for. Fightiiiing! ?

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Hi i read the recap after watching the episode to see if there is something I missed and it is mentioned here that Hye Jin and So Yoon shared the same father? I watched the episode again and the aunt didn't say that, she only said that she was adopted and at the end "Hye Jin thinks that your father is her real father". And then in episode 9 when Ji Sook told So Yoon to stay away from Yoo Na because she is Hye Jin's sister, she said that they are not bound by blood. Hence I'm confused, is Hye Jin her adoptive sister or her half sister? I'm wondering if the episode I saw got lost in translation.

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