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Mystery Queen: Episode 15

Now that Wan-seung’s lost an important source for the answers he’s been chasing after for so long, our team faces their biggest challenge yet, as shadowy forces work to undermine them from behind the scenes. With every victory slipping out of their fingers before they can fully grab onto it, how can Seol-ok and Wan-seung defeat an enemy whose ruthlessness seems to have no limit?

 
EPISODE 15 RECAP

Detective Go gives the order for Wan-seung’s arrest, and Wan-seung recalls Ji-won telling him that everything was a setup, as well as Detective Go’s lies about the Shinim-dong case. He smiles and asks how Detective Go knew to come here, or that the victim is Jang Do-jang. The officers advance on him, guns firing, and Wan-seung darts into Jang Do-jang’s car and speeds away.

The police cut off his escape and he’s forced into a narrow alley, so he abandons the car and runs away on foot, losing his pursuers. Detective Go gets chewed out by Chief Kim over the phone, who tells him he’d better find Wan-seung tonight—tomorrow, or CEO Ha will take action.

CEO Ha calls Chief Kim, demanding to know why he’s made Wan-seung into a murderer. Chief Kim says that he’s only doing as he’s told by his superiors, and tells CEO Ha that it’s time for him to make a decision; after seventeen years, he can’t have his back anymore. “Your life and mine are at stake,” says Chief Kim. CEO Ha says he’ll take care of it.

In her study at Kyung-mi’s, Seol-ok promises her parents’ photograph that she’s not going to rely on Ho-chul to solve their murders anymore, but will do it herself. She looks over the old newspaper clippings about their deaths, remembering when she’d arrived at the scene as well as her disbelief and sorrow when Detective Go told her they had committed suicide.

She sits on the front porch of the store, and repeats to herself that it wasn’t suicide. Wan-seung calls her, asking if they can meet right now. She teasingly asks why he wants to see a married woman at such a late hour, but he says it’s urgent, and asks to meet at the lunchbox store. Surprised, Seol-ok peers down to see him leaning against the front steps.

She’s shocked to see his bloody leg and gets upset when he tells her that a bullet grazed him. They move to the back room, where Seol-ok carefully bandages his thigh and scolds him as she works. He smiles slightly as he watches her, remembering the last time she took care of his wound.

She asks crossly why a veteran detective is always getting hurt, and he replies that it’s usually because of her. She says that’s more reason to be careful—it makes her even angrier when he gets hurt because of her. Awww. She tucks a tube of ointment into his shirt pocket, and he assures her he’ll use it often to prevent infection. She studies him for a second and says he’s gotten nicer.

He asks jokingly if she was waiting for him, and she teases back that she was. “I told you, I’m a bad boy,” quips Wan-seung, but he sobers when his gaze falls on the old newspaper articles. “You and I are connected,” he says seriously, and she laughs. She thinks he’s still teasing, until he shows her the Shinim-dong case file.

Seol-ok cries as she reads her father’s “suicide” note. Wan-seung says that forensics found it to be her father’s handwriting, and she confirms this, but says that he didn’t write it. She tells Wan-seung that he simply copied someone else’s words, and that the note carries evidence of his murder.

After failing to find Wan-seung at his apartment or trace him by using his phone, Detective Go calls Kwang-tae to ask where he might be. Kwang-tae says that if he’s not home or at the police station, he’s probably at the lunchbox store.

Seol-ok tells Wan-seung that each person’s writing is like a fingerprint; her father always used “me” instead of “I,” and used to habitually misspell words, but this note is written perfectly. Wan-seung points out that it’s also strange that a man’s last words would be full of details about a crime he committed—even the vocabulary used is like that of a detective.

Seol-ok says that Detective Go, who was in charge of this case, is suspicious. Wan-seung tells her that he was the one waiting for him at the scene of the murder as well; it’s also strange that Jang Do-jang suddenly changed where he wanted to meet to Shinim-dong, which was in Detective Go’s jurisdiction.

Wan-seung says that they can’t reinvestigate the case without clear evidence, but Seol-ok says that they have some: not a single fingerprint was found in the taxi, as if someone erased them. In addition, the briquette that was found in the car hadn’t burned enough to actually kill someone, meaning that her parents were moved into the taxi after they died. The autopsy result, which would show the cause of death, is also missing. Seol-ok asks him where he got this case file, wondering whether he’s hiding something from her.

She says that she found out a lot about Wan-seung from the police station’s PR materials: He joined the police academy in February of 2001, right after Hyun-soo’s disappearance, and started out in the Intelligence Division in order to look for her. On March 21, 2007, he transferred to Traffic Safety in order to look for the taxi that Hyun-soo took before she disappeared, and found taxi driver YOO IN-SANG—Seol-ok’s dad.

She adds that Wan-seung and her father had planned to meet on November 13, 2007, in Shinim-dong. A flashback shows young Wan-seung on the phone with In-sang, who told him that the man who had Hyun-soo had a snake tattoo and needle marks on his arm. Seol-ok says that he never met that driver, but in 2009, he transferred to Narcotics to find the man with the tattoo.

“Jang Do-jang,” murmurs Wan-seung, and we see in flashback that he was Hyun-soo’s kidnapper and that the two had taken In-sang’s taxi that day, leaving a cell phone behind on the back seat. “My dad died the day he was supposed to meet you. Could it be a coincidence?” asks Seol-ok.

Unable to meet her eyes, Wan-seung apologizes, but Seol-ok cuts in tearfully that her dad was always so meddlesome. He looks at her then, quite shaken himself. A noise startles them; it’s the cops, and Wan-seung finally tells her that he’s wanted for Jang Do-jang’s murder.

Detective Go and his men search the place, and he makes it into the back room before the security alarm goes off. Having broken in without a warrant, they leave, and Seol-ok and Wan-seung emerge from the cabinet they were hiding in. Seol-ok says that her parents’ murderer must be related to Hyun-soo’s case, and Wan-seung promises to catch him. She sighs as she watches him leave.

Joon-oh arrives home to find Wan-seung waiting in front of his apartment, and although he complains, he helps Wan-seung up the stairs. Once they’re inside, Wan-seung asks for his pajamas, and Joon-oh asks why he would have them. “You know—our couple pajamas,” says the older man. Joon-oh grins.

Kwang-tae arrives then to ask Wan-seung if he’s all right, and if he’s really being blamed for Jang Do-jang’s murder. He asks Wan-seung what he’s going to do now, and Wan-seung replies that he has to find the real killer. Suddenly, they hear the front gate creak downstairs, and Kwang-tae calls Detective Go and tells him that Wan-seung is at his house.

Wan-seung waits until they’re gone before creeping down the stairs—but the police come out of hiding from all directions, and he’s caught immediately. In the interrogation room at Shinim Police Station, Detective Go says that the evidence points to Wan-seung’s guilt, adding that he should just confess.

Wan-seung says that Jang Do-jang said before he died that he didn’t do “it,” and wonders aloud what that might have been. He points out that the man was killed after promising to tell Wan-seung everything, and Detective Go was immediately at the scene, just as if he’d been waiting. “Do you know Seo Hyun-soo?” asks Wan-seung.

CEO Ha arrives, cutting the conversation short. He calls Wan-seung pathetic and tells him to just go to the U.S. Wan-seung laughs at this evidence of Ha & Jung’s influence, and his father says it’s only because of the firm that Wan-seung is still alive. Wan-seung counters that CEO Ha is nothing without the firm, either—it’s not as though people grovel to him because he’s a great man. But his father just warns that this is Wan-seung’s last chance.

Seol-ok comes to visit Wan-seung the next day. She reminds him that Detective Go started work at Shinim Police Station right before Hyun-soo disappeared and says that everything was planned, which reminds Wan-seung of Ji-won saying the same thing. She tells him that Detective Go had probably been watching In-sang. “Even if you hadn’t looked for him…” Seol-ok trails off, before promising to save Wan-seung.

He sighs and tells her that he’ll clear his own name, warning her not to do dangerous things when he’s not there to save her life. She tells him that she wants to brag about saving him for once, but he says that there’s no comparison and gruffly tells her to go.

Seol-ok goes to the crime scene, where police block her entry until CSI Park and CSI Na see her. CSI Park lets her in and shows her the position Jang Do-jang was lying in when he was killed, right after he got out of his car. They don’t have the car, however, since Wan-seung used it to escape. Seol-ok studies the scene, then says that based on the direction Wan-seung approached from, he couldn’t have been the murderer.

Inspector Woo joins them when CSI Park goes on break, and he and Seol-ok study the bloodstains around where the body was found. He positions her body and mimes stabbing her from different directions with his pen. CSI Na tells them that there are no other suspects, since the only working CCTV was at the entrance to the building, and it only recorded Wan-seung.

Inspector Woo somehow deduces the height of the murderer by dropping fake blood on a piece of paper, estimating that he’s 180 cm tall, in his late thirties or early forties, about 90 kg, and unused to using a knife. CSI Na agrees that the killer wasn’t a habitual knife user, since Jang Do-jang was stabbed four times.

They figure that the culprit must have needed a place to wash off the blood, and Inspector Woo says that there’s a bathroom nearby. They check the bathroom with luminol, which shows faint traces of blood.

Seol-ok wonders how someone like Jang Do-jang gave up his knife so easily; CSI Na adds that his defense wounds weren’t severe, and furthermore, only blood type A was found at the scene. Inspector Woo posits that the murderer had a gun and must have been someone that Jang Do-jang believed wouldn’t kill him. Like a detective, suggests Seol-ok.

They check a nearby phone booth with bloodstains inside, and CSI Na confirms that it’s also type A. Seol-ok hypothesizes that the murderer called the police from there to report the murder, then waited for them to show up.

Back at the crime scene, they spot Detective Go talking to some uniformed officers, and Inspector Woo lists off all his attributes, which match their profile of the murderer exactly. But when Detective Go sees them, he has Seol-ok forcefully removed from the scene.

Greeting Inspector Woo effusively, Detective Go sticks out his left hand to shake, and Inspector Woo notices blood underneath his fingernails. He comments that Detective Go is a lefty and asks to examine his hand, motioning for CSI Na to prepare her tools. Offended, Detective Go tells them to get a warrant and walks off. Inspector Woo looks satisfied and tells CSI Na that the killer isn’t very meticulous; they’re sure to find other evidence he overlooked.

Seol-ok finds another CCTV in the area and asks Joon-oh to come and look at it, not knowing that Detective Go is watching her. When she and Joon-oh ask to see the tape, the building owner tells them that someone matching Detective Go’s description just came and took it away.

Now the only evidence left is the bloodied clothes, and Seol-ok and Joon-oh wonder where he might have put them. Inspector Woo joins them and suggests the trunk of Detective Go’s car—a safe place no one else would have access to. They can’t open the trunk without a warrant, but Inspector Woo says that he just reported Detective Go’s car for illegal parking, and it’s been towed.

The three of them wait outside the impound lot for Detective Go to reclaim his car, and as Inspector Woo predicted, the first thing he does is check its trunk to make sure that the bag of clothes is still there. They run toward him, with Seol-ok grabbing the bag out of the trunk while Inspector Woo and Joon-oh tackle Detective Go. Joon-oh tries to read him his rights, but he throws them off and pulls his gun on them before driving away.

Joon-oh goes to visit Wan-seung to tell him that they have evidence that Detective Go is the murderer, and once they have results from the National Forensic Service, Wan-seung can go free. He also shares the bad news that Detective Go got away, and Wan-seung warns Joon-oh to stop Seol-ok in case she tries to go after him.

Seol-ok is walking outside alone when Joon-oh calls her, and she asks if Wan-seung was thankful for her clearing his name. Joon-oh says that Wan-seung only said to hold her back, but nothing can ruin her mood. Seol-ok tells herself proudly that she saved Wan-seung’s life, since he was about to die of boredom in that cell.

Kwang-tae and Joon-oh go to CSI Park’s office at Seodong Police Station, asking suspiciously why Wan-seung hasn’t been released yet and why the higher-ups have been speaking with him. CSI Park says that all of the blood so far was found to be Jang Do-jang’s, adding that he did all of his work conscientiously and according to the rules.

An auditing team suddenly comes in and takes CSI Park away for corruption. Kwang-tae reports this development to Inspector Woo, who has just arrived at the NFS. He’s about to go in when he receives a call from Detective Go. When Inspector Woo arrives back at Shinim Police Station, Joon-oh and Kwang-tae ask him if he’s given the clothes to the NFS, but Inspector Woo acts like he doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Detective Go stops his car on a dirt road in the woods. He gets out and stares at his hand, remembering the night he murdered Jang Do-jang; afterward, he’d called Chief Kim from the phone booth to report that the job was done. He opens his trunk, where Seol-ok is lying bound and gagged. He drags her into an abandoned building.

Inspector Woo meets Wan-seung in the interrogation room and tells him to do as Ha & Jung ask. Wan-seung is suspicious, until Inspector Woo reveals that Detective Go has kidnapped Seol-ok, adding that only Ha & Jung can help them save her. He plays a recording of Detective Go telling him to bring the clothes and come alone if he wants to save Seol-ok.

Inspector Woo warns Wan-seung that Detective Go is desperate and likely to go to extremes, and that he works for Ha & Jung, though he won’t tell Wan-seung how he knows that. Inspector Woo’s phone rings again, but Wan-seung grabs it. He tells Detective Go that he’ll meet him instead, and Detective Go gives him until 6:00 p.m. Inspector Woo asks Wan-seung how thinks he’s going to get out of here.

Cut to Wan-seung clutching his bloody thigh and moaning exaggeratedly as paramedics take him out of the station on a stretcher, Inspector Woo following beside them. (A flashback shows that Wan-seung poured Inspector Woo’s fake blood on his bandage.) They keep up the charade until they’re in the ambulance, with Inspector Woo shaking Wan-seung and dramatically entreating him to stay strong. Hahahaha.

Once they arrive at the hospital, Inspector Woo frees Wan-seung when no one is looking, and Wan-sung hijacks the ambulance. However, he’s soon surrounded by police and forced to stop, with the chief of Seodong Police Station himself blocking Wan-seung’s path.

Looking as though the act physically hurts him, Wan-seung calls his father and asks him to clear the way. CEO Ha says that this is his last chance—if he goes with the police, he’ll become a murderer, and if he comes home, everything will return to its place. Wan-seung hesitates, then says he’ll do everything his father wants, live the way he wants, as long as he lets him through.

CEO Ha makes a call to the chief, and the cops lower their guns and leave the road clear. Wan-seung arrives at the address Detective Go gave him, and something about the dirt road in the woods jogs his memory of finding Hyun-soo in an abandoned building. He starts to run.

From a window in that building, Detective Go watches the road. Seol-ok is tied to a chair behind him, her hands cuffed behind her. A flashback shows us that she found some motor oil when she was trapped in the trunk and managed to pour it all over her hands. Now, she struggles to slip them free of the metal.

Kwang-tae, Joon-oh, and Inspector Woo arrive and park by the ambulance, and although Inspector Woo warns that they’re endangering Seol-ok, the other two fear that Wan-seung is acting irrationally and worry that leaving him to find her alone is more dangerous. With that, they run off toward the building.

It’s 6:02 p.m. Detective Go calls Wan-seung, just as Seol-ok frees one hand. He asks Wan-seung why he hasn’t come, and Wan-seung tells him he’s almost there, but at that moment, Detective Go spots Kwang-tae and Joon-oh in the distance. He says angrily that he warned Wan-seung to come alone, growling that Wan-seung has killed Seol-ok.

Detective Go turns away from the window to find Seol-ok gone, and he goes after her with his gun. She runs through the empty rooms and down the stairs with him following—but then he sees her on a flight of stairs below and shoots at her from behind.

Wan-seung freezes at the sound of the gunshot. Seol-ok falls the rest of the way down the stairs and onto the ground floor, where Wan-seung sees her. “NO!” he shouts, as he runs toward her unconscious body.

 
COMMENTS

Oh no! How can this happen to Seol-ok now, after Wan-seung just made that huge sacrifice just to get to her in time? I’m going to believe that Seol-ok will be okay, if only because at this point it’s pretty much tradition for him to save her life, and for her to pretend like she totally could have done it herself. I have faith in you, Show! I just hope Wan-seung brought his gun, because he’s running straight for an armed murderer with nothing left to lose.

The various threads of the overarching mystery that were teased from the beginning are finally coming together, and although we’re still left with a few questions, it’s becoming clear that whoever is behind Chief Kim is pulling the strings in this whole conspiracy. It seems that even CEO Ha has been a victim of blackmail by this shadowy figure, and that all these years he’s been trying to bend Wan-seung to his will in order to save his own skin, or to save his son from harm—or both. Hyun-soo is clearly at the center of this tangled web of lies and murder, and I wonder if she might be the daughter of some powerful figure in the government. Perhaps her family disapproved of her choice to pursue theater as well as her relationship with Wan-seung?

Mystery Queen wasn’t a perfect show, but there was a lot to love about it, especially its low-key, smart sense of humor, and the moving, realistic relationships between its characters. My favorite thing about it will forever be the partnership that developed between our leads over the course of the show, from the way they slowly grew to know and appreciate each other as they bickered and solved crimes together until they became indispensable to each other’s lives. How great was it that Wan-seung immediately called Seol-ok when he was in trouble, instead of going full Noble Idiot as would be par for the course in any other drama? And even better is the fact that I knew she’d be the first person he called, because the show has done that good of a job in establishing its characters. Their interactions always stay true to their personalities, without ever becoming boring or clichéd.

I love that Seol-ok and Wan-seung have such an equal relationship; they’re always worrying about the other’s safety, but not in a way that denies them agency. We haven’t had any big declarations between them, and we might never get an explicitly romantic plot line (oh please, Show, pleeeeease!), but it’s the small moments between them that really get me in the heart. Their fondness for each other is clear in the way she fusses and scolds over his wounds, or the way he cheers her up when she’s feeling down, even at the expense of his own dignity. Their running joke about how he’s a bad boy and her crush on him is doomed to failure makes me crack up every time.

It was at the end of this episode, however, that I think it really became clear to Wan-seung how much Seol-ok means to him. At that moment in the ambulance, with her life hanging in the balance, he gave up his career as a detective, accepting the very real possibility that along with it went his last chance to find Hyun-soo. For a man who has been chasing the same demons for seventeen years, the magnitude of that sacrifice can’t be overstated. I do think that he’ll be able to find out what happened after all, if only because he has Seol-ok on his team, and there’s no way she’ll give up without getting 100% of the answers. I only hope that once they’ve both laid their past traumas to rest, they’ll realize that where they belong is right by the other’s side. (And if this realization comes with smooches, I’ll be a happy shipper.)

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After loving the whole series the rushed storytelling of the last two episodes has really undermined that feeling. I was hoping for a 17th episode like with Whisper. Because this is just not enough time to deal with Seol-Ok's marriage and Wan Seung's love and the overarching crimes. Just kinda bummed. But I still do love the characters, I'm just disappointed with how these big threads came together.

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I don't think the writer has any intention of tying up the overarching mystery of SO's parents' suicide and WS's first love. Nor are they interested in setting aside some time to resolve SO's marriage and family. There is simply not enough time to do so. The writer might have already planned for a second season, and probably throwing in this overarching mystery to titillate our taste buds for a second season.

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Kwang-tae and Joon-oh must have missed the police training class on stealthy approaches in a hostage situation.

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Hahahahahaha. God, those two along with Woo were just standing when WS left in the ambulance rather than going after that detective. It was a pure W.T.H. moment.

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Couldn't agree more. It was a stupid scene

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Inspector Woo shined for me in this episode. Seeing him and Wan Seung bicker was amazing and their acting was so funny xD. I wish we would've gotten to see more of this during the show.

Wan Seung: “Don't people think it’s weird that you carry this around”
Inspector Woo: “You’re weirder”

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That interaction cracked me up! His wooden sleuthing give me stitches all the time, like suddenly reenacting the stabbing using Seol-ok, so awkwardly funny ^^
And Wan-seung really depleted his fake blood, hahaha!

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Somehow his deadpan expression that made him look sinister before is now hilarious in this context.

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Omgg and the fake gasp of the forensic girl combined with the fact that Seol Ok wasn't disturbed with the stabbing made the scene even better!!

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Wan Seung and Inspector Woo make such a hilarious team. I love the scene of Inspector Woo rushing Wan Seung into the ambulance screaming at him to hold on. Then the pause in the screaming because no one was around to watch. And then resuming the screaming. I wish we've gotten Inspector Woo earlier in the series and have him integrated into our gang. However, I'm glad we did get him involved with our gang before the series ends. Hopefully he'll stick around and I can imagine him hanging out at crime scenes with Seol Ok and Wan Seung.

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LOL, yes the ambulance scene was hilarious, I replayed it many times and it always cracked me up!

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I replayed that one too. I even cut it to make it easier to replay. lol

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Because Inspector Woo is portrayed in a rather serious manner in the earlier episodes, it never occurred to me that he would have fantastic comedic moments as well. Together with WS, another one who is spot on with his comedic timing, the prison and ambulance scenes are made more hilarious. I never enjoyed myself as much as I had during those two scenes. It's a pity there is only another episode left.

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Yes, they were both pretty funny.??

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Inspector Woo is definitely my favorite this ep. :) And those tiny protests he makes when Wan-seung wasted so much of his expensive fake blood! And his toilet paper joke!

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I know right. The interaction between Inspector Woo and WS is pure comedy gold. I replayed that entire scene several times, only to be tickled every time I watched it. The chemistry between the two of them makes me sad that they weren't given more screen time together. Imagine the funny dialogues we would be treated to had they shared more screen time together.

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And If I am watching this show looking for sleuthing, it'll be a major fail, coz really, closer to the finale and the mystery just get mysteriouser and mysteriouser...
Wan-seung & Seol-ok's relations are getting better and better, their life were actually tied in a tragedy, and instead of blaming/feel guilty for each other, they give comfort to each other and band together to find the truth. This should've happened somewhere in the 9th episode, show!
Hooray for the reappearance of Inspector Woo! His reluctant bromance with Wan-seung is hilarious. Wan-seung seems to inspire reluctant bromance everywhere, with is couple pajama and all ><

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And the way they ended the series ... Makes me wanna question and honestly I guess only beanies will have the answer ... Is there gonna be a second season ???

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Yes, there should be a second season coming. The writer practically resolved nothing about the overarching mystery, but brought in more questions instead. However, when the second season would air is a question mark.

WS does indeed bring on the bromance very well. I love his interactions with JO then at his apartment, and now with Inspector Woo. It helps that Inspector Woo is another weirdo, what with him bringing bottles of fake blood everywhere... hahaha. I didn't think Inspector Woo would appear again, but I am darn glad he did.

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oh yes, please!!!! I'm with you. This show has been all kinds of fun and awesomeness. There have been some plot holes - but I loved how Wang-seung and Seol-ok grew on each other.
I do hope they do a second season so we can watch the whole lunchbox sleuthing team work together, but also with Inspector Woo!

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Thanks for the recap! I love these two characters but I'll be happy even without a romance between our leads. We have that little "some" going on with Captain Bae and Gyung Mi anyways. They're so cute together.

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Yes! Captain Bae and GM are so cute together. They are like a young couple in love. So sweet.

I am also okay with the leads remaining as friends and without any romantic entanglements. But pretty please, set aside some time to resolve SO's family issues, especially her marriage. I don't want it to appear as an afterthought in the last episode because she deserves better!

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Funny how kdrama (and American TV) cars seem to be so bullet-resistant. Maybe a hole in a windshield, but nothing that goes into the car to hit anyone inside, and never anything that stops the car from running no matter how many shots are fired at it. Good thing that last -- you'd run too if you were a car being shot at :)

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It's uncanny how everyone seems to know they are going to be involved in a gun shooting incident, and hence bulletproof their windshields. Hahaha. I guess this is a statement that the world is going crazy, and you never know when you would encounter a gun toting guy.

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The whole part from when Wan Seung was trapped and had to call and give in to his dad so he could save Seol Ok all the way to the moment when he screamed "Andwae!!" as he rushed to Seol Ok's body - so full of emotion and so tense. Wan Seung keeps claiming to be a bad boy, but he is really such a good, tenderhearted guy and a loyal one.

I was upset that Seol Ok was walking around in secluded areas after knowing that Detective Go escaped. But I cheered when she maintained enough presence of mind being bound and gagged inside a trunk to grab the motor oil. I would have fainted from a panic attack!

I'm a little disappointed about the sudden-ish involvement of a shadowy organization, which seems to add some unnecessary over-complication to the story at the 11th hour. However, if they had brought this up earlier in the series, we would have probably been subjected to an extra 10 minute segment in each episode of the shadowy bigwigs planning and scheming and trying to take our characters down at every turn. As it is right now, we got to enjoy all our fun and favorite characters solving mysteries without a huge shadow looming over them. I also suspect that Hyun Soo must have been the daughter of a powerful figure - maybe illegitimate? since it seemed like she didn't have parents around to miss her.

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I didn't understand it either, why a shadowy organization or another mastermind has to be inserted at the eleventh hour in the overarching mystery. And why does the overarching mystery involve so many people covering up the crime? The only reason I can come up with is that the writer is preparing for a second season.

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Love your recap. Totally agree with your thoughts about Seol Ok and Wan Seung's partnership. Love their running joke towards each other and how Seol Ok now laughs to his teasing... Wan Seung's expression when his Ahjuma was cleaning his wounds was just.... it gives me so many butterflies in my stomach.. Knowing that Wan Seung is a man of deep passion and capable of such deep abiding loyalty, I could see his face right there looking at Ahjuma with that same devotion even if he keeps on teasing Ahjuma that he is a bad boy and bound to break her heart ha ha ha... I love that this time around he was willing to let Seol Ok fussed over him without any complaints and even saying immediately he will make sure to not let the wound get infected.. Even with how everyone felt that the development of the story was a bit rushed I will be okay with it as long as we get to have a season 2. This is the one kdrama that I am fine if the show will makes it an open ending because I would love to watch Seol Ok and Wan Seung for many seasons to come...

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"Knowing that Wan Seung is a man of deep passion"..

Gosh, exactly my thoughts and the actor Kwon Sang Woo should get this credit. When WS is serious, he is so cool and composed and manly, yet oozing these vibes making his passionate and physically so attractive..sighhhh...

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I love how WS always looks at SO so tenderly when she's not looking. And he is always looking out for her, although he constantly denies it and teases SO not to fall for him. I can't believe he hasn't confessed his feelings already. Haha. I believe WS to be a man of deep passion too, as evidenced by his pining for his first love for 17 years. However, I don't think now is the time for them to get romantically together. I want SO to resolve her family issues and start on a clean slate with WS, and if that means a second season, bring it on!

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SO and WS on the phone just near each other and not hearing the other is improbable, ridiculous. Infact the moment her phone rang he should have been able to hear it as she was just at the other end of the porch. But it gave way to such a beautiful image (the last one in the recap above) as she leans and looks down to her left and he up to his right. The night, the light, the trees made so swwooooonnnworthy, it was very intimate. The later scenes with both of them as she bandages his wound as well have super lighting. It ranks with my favourite scene of SO and Kyung Mi drinking together the night SO decides to take the position of profiler even if she isnt qualified by education. I loooove that scene and this one came in now.
Loved the way WS says he cant go to the hospital wilting in pain. He immed showed her he was in pain, the first time he has. He never lets on that he is in trouble with SO lest she worry and I love how composed he is.

WS makes such a sacrifice in that ambulance scene just for SO and SO does the same as well (SPOILERY: ep 16 when shes more bothered about getting WS out of prison rather than capture the murderer of her parents). These two are meant for each other not simply as casual crush goes but they simply prove that each will sacrifice for the other ones life with absolutely no doubt or hesitation. I mean, who doesnt desire that kind of partner in life? i absolutely want that.

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To be fair, how does WS know that SO is just above him, and vice versa? It's not as if they are expecting the other to be there, at the lunchbox place. Even if they did hear the phone ring, it would be unnatural to assume it's the other's phone.

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Its not about knowing SO is there. When her phone rings, the ring tone is loud and he should have logically turned to see who it was. And then found out SO.
But the conversation is carried on over the phone. He was low in tone than her, she wasnt. The quietness of the night they def can hear. So, the director writer make her say 'Eh' abnormally much louder , ie when she spots him. As if they were really afar inaudible to the other.
Its a scene that works only in K drama land and defies logic but that image after is sheer beauty.

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"I love that Seol-ok and Wan-seung have such an equal relationship; they’re always worrying about the other’s safety, but not in a way that denies them agency."

Yes!!

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Same. No one is being patronizing or disrespectful.

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They have come such a long way since their first encounter. I love how respectful and concerned they are for each other. It's so sweet.

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I'm so used to one of the leads of any show almost dying before the finale. While there are instances were I believe they could actually die (Signal, obviously) usually I'm not left on pins and needles. Of course Ahjumma will be fine, she has a whole episode to recover!

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This episode lost me a bit. It still had good moments, but yeah....

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That mysterious Chief Kim is always looking out the window and if you look too, you can see the same building that keeps showing up in Chief Kim (the show's) title page thingy. :D

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Who knew Inspector Woo could be so funny with his brand of dry, stoic line delivery?

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I love Inspector Woo's deadpan delivery of his lines, which somehow only serves to highlight the comedic moments of the scene. Daebak!

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Why was CSI Park arrested? Isnt he a good guy? I thought its because Woo has been taking the fake blood supplies for his own investigation hence Park is questioned. Is it not?

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He was accussed with equipment corruption. But he's so confused about it. So, I don't think he's one that. I guess it was a tactic for him not telling the forensic result as he's about to say it to Captain Bae.

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Just before he was arrested, he told the team that he wouldn't be participating in any cover-up actions. So it's likely he is being framed to take over the forensic team and fill it with insiders, and/or let crucial reports go "missing" during the "transition".

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I am the only one I guess who doesnt like the Kyung Mi with Capt Bae pairing. She is SO's age, they have studied together and are best friends yet SO gets the handsome hottie about her age while KI being the second lead gets a much older man.
KI is attractive, sassy, smart and young.
She had to be paired, fine, rules of K drama are abided by, fine, but I found this pairing unfair to her. Its not about Capt B being a bad man or such, hes much much older (God, he mentored Woo when Woo was about WS age and then now WS. He is one generation up. He is a granddad age actually and this was commented by Dong Gi in an episode) and the number of characters introduced I think the writer just pushed these two together. I simply found it wrong.
I dont like this pair , KI deserves a good hot handsome man, she crushed on Woo, I was hoping theyd get these two together. Woo and his deadpan mannerisms and Kyung Mi the dynamite. These two should be together instead of Capt Bae.

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Hey, Ahn Gil-kang is younger than me, & I'm not a grandma yet! (Seriously, he was born in '69, so he is still in his 40's, while Seol-ok & Kyung-mi are clearly mid-30s.)

Also, he is a flirty cutie-pie.

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The age of SO is confusing. I felt she is in her late thirties. She says her parents passed away on 14th Nov 2007. i.e. 10 years ago. When she moved in wasnt she in high school? Or college? So it means that she is 21 /22 that time or 18/19 yrs old? So its just 10 yrs till present so her age should be 30 /31 right?
When her sis in law disappeared WS when finding her describes her to be in her early thirties. SO is older than her. I think she is 38 /39. So then SO got married at 30, as she says she is in a 9 yr marriage?
She didnt go to college, worked to pay HC and her SIL's education after that for years she was at home (slogging nevertheless) and got married at 30?...But the timeline since 2007 doesnt add up..

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Nooo..he is old for her..he is clearly in early 50s. Woo and then WS he has mentored. He is shown greying hair. In dramaland , guys in their forties are never like this.

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I know a couple where the woman married the man when he was 55 and she was in her 30s. They stayed married for nearly 30 years and counting. Don't be so ageist.

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I had grey hair in my 30s. (Heck, I went to school w/a kid who had salt & pepper hair at 20.) :shrug:

Kim Hyun-sook (the actress who plays Kyung-mi) was born in 1978. Ahn Gil-Kang was born in 1969. That means there's less than 10 years between their ages. Definitely not too old.

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What do you mean unfair. Aging is like wine, it gets better.

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"deserves"

she deserves someone she can care for and who cares back for her. that's really all the criteria needed for someone to "deserve" someone else.

This drama's charm was all about how they didn't use visual baits like other dramas, and just drew the audience in with the charms of its characters. An ahjumma can be cool too, and the heroine of a thriller mystery. It shows that looks or age shouldn't matter. I can't believe you're still focused on that after watching 15 episodes of this drama.

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@sakin: im not ageist. i know ppl do get together irresp of age gap after all its love that matters. Its here that I felt it unnatural and didnt feel the pairing worked.

@Krish Haki: Yes , this drama is breaking some rules of the usual K drama tropes, but the thing is the ajumma , the ajoshi and all are attractive still. SO isnt the usual skinny , model in looks but she is still attractive even in those initial overalls and loose coats. She had a sense of style, very quirky and it was put across loud and clear. WS, well handsome actor. The others had presence. When the Joon Oh's character came in, Dong Gi was kicked out of the show because the former was more attractive although he is such a dumb officer.
In this sense the visual baits are all well here. My point isnt that Capt Bae looks bad hence he shouldnt be with KM. It felt forced. He is old, there was no other character to play off her, partner her, so they pulled him to do it. I feel so. I wanted Woo to get together with KM. Because he is better looking? No. His deadpan approach and her expressionist attitude would have been fun to watch. I dont see that with Bae and KM.

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There's no rule for needing attractive or stylish people to get together. I don't think they paired her with him because he was old. His age might have helped him level with her better, but there were more factors than just that.

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It's fine to have different preferences (I think it would have been fun to have Bae get something going with Joon Oh), but if you keep complaining someone is too "old", there's no way it's not going to sound ageist, unless you're coming out generally against age differences in relationships, in which case there are a lot of targets in kdrama (one recent extreme example being a centuries-old goblin crushing on a high school student).

In any case, I don't see Inspector Woo as a viable partner since he was only around for a few episodes.

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Sorry, I meant KM with Joon Oh.

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Okay, my crackpot story is that HS is alive & pulling the strings from dark lol.
I can't think of anything else because all the characters that we know are exposed now, & STILL the bad guys from episode 1 are now shown to be controlled by higher ups, my question, just which character will be introduced as the ultimate bad guy, this late into the show????

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Kind of amazed that you were right, but what do you think is her real identity?

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I thought she was the ultimate bad guy lol, but I was wrong about that one.

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Inspector Woo, what have you done to my poor heart?

One minute I was so happy hearing your voice & seeing your face. I was so glad you came back helping SeolOk and WanSeung showing your true skills as an amazing profiler. The next minute I was so frustrated seeing you play dumb and take Ha&Jung side. And then I squealed all over you again for that big act on the ambulance.

Just fell in love with him. Hope he become the main cast.

SeolOk and WanSeung are as cute as ever. They are a perfect match. The way he looked at her when she tended to his wound, omo I melted completely.

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WS, Captain Bae, JoonOh, SO, Inspector Woo ❤, and the two forensic folk -- I hope this is the new to Squad 48, where the average ages of the police investigation unit it 48yo - ajummas and ajjusshis. Come on, we need more age representation in tv!

I can't believe how much Inspector Woo stole the show, when he looked like such a piece of work earlier! If only he had been added earlier to the mix...

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season two. please give me season 2 with a lot of romance. please........

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There better be season 2

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It annoys me how sometimes seol-ok is wearing the gold whistle and sometimes not. I suppose its symbolic of how she thinks, or rather doesn't think much, of joon oh. :(

The bad guys really are a little too powerful and I don't get it. like, the whole phoning his father to call off the police. really? REALLY? i always thought the overarching mystery was the weakest part of this show and nothing has changed in this episode. I don't feel like its coming together at all. I was wondering why detective go was being so sloppy, but with his backers being so powerful I guess he can get away with it.

Anyway, I was so glad to see inspector woo again and working with seol ok. his little joke! His hilariously sarcastic "thanks" to inspector go. I like the inspector woo who has dealt with his past trauma. the ambulance scene was honestly priceless. I can't believe the ambulance workers didn't pick up on how fake it was though- especially since it seems they changed the bandage in the ambulance en route to the hospital.

also what happened after wan seung found hyun soo? Did he call for help only to find her gone? Did he take her to the hospital and then she dissappeared...? Still so many questions...

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I thought the whistle might actually be used in an emergency, but it seems just a device to show Joon-Oh's crush and for her to have that moment where she's blowing the whistle in the cafe and enjoying the attention from the two boys.

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As someone who has had basic first aid trainong ever since elementary days, bandaging wounds OVER clothing really doesn't help the wound. There's just so many WTF moments that clearly defied common sense that it sometimes kinda messed up the episode for me. Overall though it was a good episode, the characters really stood out. And Kyung Mi and Captn Bae's blooming loveline is just so cute

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