The Guest: Episode 4
Psychic visions of possessed murderers don’t mean anything if there isn’t a way to prove that a murder actually took place. With a lack of evidence, Hwa-pyung struggles to convince the chronically skeptical Kil-young that a woman’s life is in serious danger. But if the police can’t help, the next best option is a handsome exorcist priest.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
At the junkyard, Hwa-pyung confronts Min-gu, believing him to be the one who attacked the women in the monkey taxi. Min-gu’s older brother, Min-sang, intervenes and asks what they want with Min-gu. As Yook Kwang starts to explain possessions, Hwa-pyung finds a brochure for Sharing Hand with Priest Yang on the cover.
Recognizing the priest, Hwa-pyung demands to know why they have it. Min-sang gets defensive and orders them out, but Hwa-pyung asks if he’s recognized the symptoms of possession in Min-gu — the gibberish and strange behavior. The brother threatens to call the police, but Yook Kwang apologizes and escorts Hwa-pyung out.
They’re still convinced that Min-gu must be possessed. Yook Kwang recognizes that look in Hwa-pyung’s eye and refuses to get involved, reminding Hwa-pyung how his attempt to exorcise Young-soo nearly killed him. Hwa-pyung at least gets Yook Kwang to agree to stay and keep an eye on Min-gu.
Kil-young is still tracking down any possible CCTV footage from that night, and finally comes across convenience store footage of the woman hailing a taxi. The convenience store owner recognizes the woman and tells Kil-young that she’s a regular — one of the locals who buys treats for her daughter.
Using credit card records from the convenience store, Kil-young gets contact information for the woman, Ahn Yoo-mi. She finds out that Yoo-mi hasn’t been to work and didn’t even call in, which is strange for her. When Kil-young goes to Yoo-mi’s home, no one answers when she knocks on the door. Kil-young can see movement inside, and yells that she’s the police.
A little girl cautiously opens the door after confirming Kil-young is a policewoman. She’s Yoo-mi’s daughter, and Kil-young’s voice becomes a little more gentle when she realizes that not only has the girl been left alone all night because her mother never returned home, but the little girl also requires a urostomy bag.
The girl says it’s strange for her mother not to return home from work, but that a neighbor checked on her. Kil-young reassures the girl that nothing’s wrong, but she can’t stick around to investigate any longer because Detective Go calls. They’ve got a culprit from one of their other cases cornered on a roof.
When Kil-young arrives, the culprit whips out a knife and brandishes it at the other detectives, who cautiously back away. Then the culprit leaps off the roof to a another roof — and Kil-young leaps after him, tackling him even as he slices her arm with his knife.
Detective Go is furious that Kil-young would act so recklessly. Catching a bad guy shouldn’t mean she should risk her own life. But Kil-young doesn’t have time to discuss it — she needs to continue investigating the missing woman and the taxi. Her partner warns her that her habit of running headlong into problems will one day get her in serious trouble.
Detective Go also finds it suspicious that all of her evidence centers around Hwa-pyung’s statements, warning her that he might not be as honest a guy as he says he is. Detective Go suggests Kil-young stay away from Hwa-pyung, but Kil-young can’t stop investigating if it means she could save a woman’s life and bring a killer to justice.
Hwa-pyung tracks down Priest Yang at Sharing Hand. The priest is surprised that Hwa-pyung remembers him after all these years. Hwa-pyung asks if Priest Yang has heard anything about Priest Choi, adding that he’s looking for the younger priest — well, he’s really looking for Park Il-do, the spirit that had possessed him.
Priest Yang says he hasn’t seen Priest Choi since that night — which was also the night he quit being an exorcist. He refuses to talk about it, wishing to rather forget everything that happened.
Moving to something more current, Hwa-pyung asks about the junkyard brothers. Priest Yang remembers them, saying that their charity supported them. Hwa-pyung bluntly says he believes that one of the brothers is possessed. Priest Yang is a little surprised, and tells Hwa-pyung that Min-gu was abused by his mother when he was little, which exacerbated a personality disorder.
Min-gu also attempted suicide, which is when Priest Yang suggested counseling. Hwa-pyung is still determined to have an exorcism, though. He then asks the priest if he knows anything about Priest Choi’s younger brother, explaining that Park Il-do is looking for the brother.
Priest Yang doesn’t know why Priest Choi (or Park Il-do) would want the younger brother, and Hwa-pyung theorizes that it’s to kill the brother. Priest Yang says that, if there was jealousy or hatred between the brothers, than the spirit could have latched onto that hatred to take advantage of it.
That brings up the subject of the junkyard brothers, and Priest Yang says that Min-gu was too scared to run away like his older brother did when their mother was abusing them. So Min-gu resents that he was the only one who suffered from Mom’s abuse.
At the junkyard, Min-gu whittles at a block of wood with a screwdriver, talking to himself about how his mother used to abuse him. That unnerves Min-sang, who asks him to stop. But Min-gu asks his hyung why he ran away and left Min-gu behind to be beaten by their mother.
Min-gu’s eyes have a creepy look as he grips the screwdriver threateningly, then he stands and screams, just like his mother used to: “You bastard! You don’t even deserve death! You’re not my son! Die, die, die!”
Min-sang panics and leaves the room — and into Yook Kwang’s arms, since he’s still keeping watch on the brothers. Yook Kwang promises to help him, and calls Hwa-pyung.
Min-sang tells Hwa-pyung that Min-gu has been acting strange lately, ever since he fell in love with a girl who rejected him. The brother says that the girl used to work at a cafe, but he hasn’t seen her lately. That’s not a good sign.
Kil-young returns to Yoo-mi’s house and gives the daughter some porridge, worried that she hasn’t eaten all day. She starts to ask the girl if she knows of any relatives, but Yoo-mi suddenly appears. She’s returned home, safe and sound. Yoo-mi says that she had an emergency to deal with that kept her away from home.
Furious, Kil-young calls Hwa-pyung, telling him his visions were wrong because the woman he saw dead in the trunk is actually alive and well. Hwa-pyung doesn’t believe it, since he clearly saw her in his vision. Kil-young refuses to listen to him anymore, even when he starts to babble about the other girl, the one Min-gu had a crush on. Kil-young bluntly tells him to never contact her again and hangs up.
Realizing the police won’t help him, he heads to his next option: Yoon. The priest is completely unaffected by Hwa-pyung’s desperate pleading, saying that there’s a process to follow and that he won’t help Hwa-pyung with an exorcism tonight. But Min-sang is also there, and it’s his pleading for his brother that convinces Yoon to go with them back to the junkyard.
When they arrive, Yook Kwang, who’s been keeping an eye on Min-gu, gives them an earful for returning so late and tells them, “See ya later!” He’s got another appointment, which Hwa-pyung doesn’t believe and assumes Yook Kwang just wants to avoid dealing with a powerful spirit. At least Yook Kwang performs a quick ritual to protect Hwa-pyung from having any spirits entering him.
They head to the junkyard office where Min-gu is. Yoon stares at the Min-gu intently, who twitches and doesn’t return his gaze. Reaching into his briefcase of holy items, Yoon brings out a cloth and asks to see Yoon’s hand. Gently unclenching the younger man’s fist, Yoon places the cloth in Min-gu’s hand.
This time Min-gu stares back at him, but Yoon just packs up his bag and starts to leave. Hwa-pyung follows, demanding to know why Yoon isn’t continuing the exorcism. Yoon cooly explains that it’s because Min-gu isn’t possessed. There was a crucifix hidden in the cloth, and Min-gu didn’t react to it.
Yoon says that Min-gu doesn’t need an exorcist — he needs a therapist. Min-gu’s only problem is that he has a mental disorder. It’s a common issue that Yoon has seen throughout his years as an exorcist priest. People would insist their loved ones were possessed by demons, but their loved ones were simply mentally ill.
Hwa-pyung insists that Min-gu is possessed, because he has visions from the others who are possessed by Park Il-do, and he knows the vision he had definitely was from Min-gu. Yoon stands his ground, though, insisting it isn’t possession and tells Hwa-pyung to let the police handle it.
Just then a crow flies directly at them and crashes into a car window. The two men stare at the bloody smear on the window and crow’s lifeless body. Then suddenly, all around them, crows start dropping from the sky and landing with noisy thuds all over the junkyard. Hwa-pyung and Yoon stare at each other. Looks like Yoon might be convinced there’s a possession after all.
Detective Go and Kil-pyung have dinner together, and he’s delighted to hear that Kil-young’s given up on the taxi case. Detective Go is now convinced that Hwa-pyung is a crazy attention seeker, so it’s best that she’s no longer dealing with him. They order a bottle of soju, but when the woman delivers it to the table, Detective Go remarks that it’s strange their waitress is wearing long sleeves on such a hot day.
He jokes that she must have tattoos she wants to cover up, but it reminds Kil-pyung that Yoo-mi was also wearing long sleeves when Hwa-pyung came to visit. That means that Yoo-mi was also trying to cover something up — and it wasn’t a tattoo.
Kil-young hurries back to Yoo-mi’s house and demands to see her wrists. There’s clear signs of Yoo-mi being bound, and Kil-young realizes that Yoo-mi was abducted. Yoo-mi tearfully confesses that the man who took her also took her ID and cellphone, and threatened to kill her and her loved ones if she called the police.
Yoo-mi only managed to escape by being able to kick open the trunk once it was damaged after Hwa-pyung caused it to crash. Still bound-and-gagged, she did her best to run away, hiding behind a tree when her abductor started following after her in another car. The man called out for her, but in that creepy demon voice. All Yoo-mi can remember is that it was a junkyard. She didn’t see the man’s face.
At the junkyard, Hwa-pyung ties Min-gu to a chair as Yoon begins the exorcism. Min-gu screams and writhes against his bonds, threatening to kill everyone. The overhead lights go out, leaving them with only Yoon’s candles to see by. Min-gu’s older brother says he’ll get a flashlight as Yoon continues the exorcism.
Yoon and Hwa-pyung watch Min-gu carefully, but Yoon says that Min-gu isn’t reacting to the prayer, which means he’s still not possessed. Hwa-pyung pulls out his photo of Priest Choi and waves it in Min-gu’s face, demanding to know if he’s met the priest. But Yoon grabs Hwa-pyung’s arm. Stunned, he asks Hwa-pyung why he has that photo.
Suddenly the candles flicker out, leaving the office in darkness. Min-gu’s brother shows up with a flashlight — and Min-gu is gone! Yoon and Hwa-pyung are shocked that he was able to untie himself from the chair, but Min-gu suddenly grabs Yoon from behind and presses a knife against Yoon’s neck.
Hwa-pyung asks Min-sang to tell his brother to calm down, but Min-sang doesn’t respond.
Meanwhile, Yoo-mi reveals that her abductor talked like he was having a conversation with himself. Yoo-mi had asked him to stop the vehicle and let her out, but as soon as she stepped out of the vehicle, another man came out of the trunk and grabbed her. Kil-young realizes that they’re looking for two culprits — or two brothers, to be more precise.
At the junkyard, Hwa-pyung suddenly gets a vision of a man grabbing Min-gu’s hand and forcing him to slice Yoon’s neck. The real possessed person isn’t Min-gu — it’s Min-sang, who delights in how Hwa-pyung recoils in disgust at the too realistic vision. Thankfully, it’s only what Min-sang wants to do. Yoon is still alive, and for now Min-sang ties up Yoon and Hwa-pyung.
Kil-young races to the junkyard. She calls Hwa-pyung, but Min-sang answers and quietly listens as Kil-young explains everything Yoo-mi told her. She can hear gasping in the background and realizes that she’s not talking to Hwa-pyung, and hurries even faster to the junkyard.
Min-sang gulps down a container of water, admitting it was difficult for him to remain calm while Yoon was praying because it was so painful to him. The possessed Min-sang suddenly bends over and spits up a bunch of metal nails, sighing in relief. He then turns his attention to Hwa-pyung, demanding to know why Hwa-pyung keeps following him.
Min-gu fixes the light, and Min-sang does a flying kick, knocking the younger brother to the ground. The possessed man starts to scream that he’ll kill Min-gu, then demands to know where the car is that they used to move the bodies. Min-gu huddles in fear as Min-sang says that younger brothers should be beaten so that they’ll learn to listen to their older brothers.
Then the possessed man turns his attention to Yoon, leering as he says that Yoon should have listened to his brother so that the policewoman wouldn’t have died. That hits Yoon deep, but he hides his reaction as Hwa-pyung stares at him. Stunned, Hwa-pyung asks if Yoon is Priest Choi’s brother, but Yoon wants to know how Hwa-pyung even knows about his brother.
Min-sang returns to the office carrying a bloody bat. He heads toward Yoon, waving it at him as he says that he told Yoon not to ditch school. It’s exactly like Priest Choi, that night twenty years ago. Yoon recoils in fear, but he has no where to hide.
Hwa-pyung suddenly shifts his body in between Yoon and Min-sang, getting the possessed man’s attention as he asks how they couldn’t figure out that he was really the one who was possessed. The demons inside says it’s because Min-sang embraced them and wanted to kill everyone because of the hatred and resentment borne from his childhood abuse.
When Hwa-pyung mentions Min-sang’s mother, a flashback shows the mother whittling wood — just like Min-gu did — and then brandishing her homemade stake at the boys who were happily playing in the living room. Min-sang starts to cry as he reveals that his mother repeatedly beat them, locked them up, and pierced them with her sticks.
But the demons inside laugh when Hwa-pyung asks if that’s why the brothers hate women so much. Min-sang says that the first woman’s death was an accident — Min-gu was so hurt when the woman he liked rejected him, that he beat her and ended up killing the woman, so Min-sang had to help him cover it up. That’s when the demons entered Min-sang’s body.
Hwa-pyung latches on the use of the word “we,” and the possessed Min-sang pauses as the demons inside argue that they’re actually “one.” Min-sang leans down and asks how it feels for Hwa-pyung to spy on their lives with his visions, to join them in feeling the brutal sensation of cutting up people’s bodies.
But Hwa-pyung persists in asking when Min-sang first met Park Il-do. The spirits inside Min-sang scream that Hwa-pyung will never know since they’ll kill him first. Just as Min-sang raises the bat to beat Hwa-pyung to death, Kil-pyung enters with her own stick and knocks Min-sang down.
She beats him with the stick over and over, until Min-gu grabs her in an effort to protect his brother. So she turns her attention to him, beating him with her stick until Hwa-pyung shouts that the one she needs to follow is Min-sang. Min-sang drives off in a car, but Kil-young is prevented from following since Min-sang pierced her tire with a screwdriver.
She returns to the office and unties Yoon and Hwa-pyung, and handcuffs Min-gu. She says that Min-sang got away and asks for Hwa-pyung’s car key. Yoon’s still wide-eyed, demanding to know why Hwa-pyung has a photo of his brother and keeps showing it to those who are possessed. Hwa-pyung says he’ll explain later.
Right now, they need to figure out if Min-gu knows where Min-sang might have gone. But all Min-gu can do is cry and babble about their mother. Hwa-pyung tries a much gentler approach compared to Kil-young’s usual “beat it out of them” attitude. She realizes that Min-sang knows that Yoo-mi is still alive — and where she lives, since Min-sang has Yoo-mi’s ID.
Yoo-mi is attempting to get her daughter to take her medication, but the girl refuses until Yoo-mi promises to buy her candy. Despite being nervous about leaving her house, Yoo-mi goes to the convenience store to buy the promised treat.
As she walks home, a car stops and asks for directions. But Yoo-mi realizes it’s her abductor and drops the candy to run away. Kil-young and Hwa-pyung stop by Yoo-mi’s house, worried when they realize she stepped out to buy candy.
They carefully drive through the neighborhood, looking for her, as she continues to flee from Min-sang. Terrified, Yoo-mi runs through tiny alley ways until she returns home. Her hands nervously tremble as she tries to unlock the door, but Min-sang finds her before she can it. He reminds her that he’d promised to kill her if she said anything to the police.
Hwa-pyung and Kil-young return to Yoo-mi’s house and, seeing Yoo-mi’s shoe and phone on the doorstep, realize that they’re too late.
At the junkyard office, Yoon stares at the photo of his brother. Detective Go escorts Min-gu out, but when Kil-young calls to let him know they lost Min-sang, the detective tries to order Min-gu to tell them where Min-sang has gone. Min-gu is too terrified to answer in a sensical way, and Yoon steps in.
Min-sang arrives at his mother’s house. Mom hears the commotion outside and asks why Min-sang keeps coming around like this every night lately. Min-sang shoves the terrified Yoo-mi into a dark corner as he says he needs something from the basement. Mom sees that there’s someone with Min-sang, and dismissively assumes it’s her troublesome younger son.
Yoon tries to get Min-gu to focus, as Min-gu babbles on about how Min-sang used to care for him. Yoon says that he’s looking for his older brother, too, who is also possessed. He explains that his hyung used to be nice and kind like Min-sang used to be, and the only way they both can get their brothers back is if Min-gu tells him where Min-sang is.
At his mother’s basement, Min-sang packs up a box of body parts that he’d been keeping in a freezer. Yoo-mi, bound and gagged, huddles in terror. Mom knocks on the basement door, demanding to know what’s going on, and the possessed Min-sang hisses and screams as he tells her to go away. He runs to answer the door, and is greeted by Kil-young kicking him in the face.
She beats on him with her stick, and Hwa-pyung also joins her in the beating as they force Min-sang to retreat. Min-sang recoils at first, then stands and laughs at them, so Kil-young sprays him with knock-out gas.
Kil-young drags the dazed Min-sang back to Hwa-pyung’s taxi, handcuffing him to the passenger grab handle and then locking the car. She doesn’t want Hwa-pyung stealing Min-sang from her like he did with Young-soo. Hwa-pyung pleads for her to at least let him exorcise Min-sang immediately, or else he’ll try to kill himself like Young-soo did.
Kil-young thinks it’s ridiculous, but finally agrees. However, as soon as they approach the vehicle, they see Min-sang attempting to bite off his thumb so he can free himself from his handcuffs. The car door is locked and Kil-young can’t unlock it.
Smirking, Min-sang bites his thumb off and frees himself, then takes off the headrest and tabs the metal bars into his skull, splattering blood all over the backseat of Hwa-pyung’s taxi.
Gah, show, what a horrifying way to kill someone. How is Hwa-pyung going to explain all that blood (and the resulting sea water that will surely follow) to his boss? I’m not sure how long he’ll be a taxi driver at this rate, so maybe it’s a good thing he’s already figured out that Yoon is Priest Choi’s brother. That gets them one step closer to becoming a little Scooby Gang as they fight against the powers of darkness (only this time, I’m afraid there won’t be Old Mr. Jenkins hiding under a terrifying one-eyed mask).
I know we’re only four episodes in, but I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of Kil-young barging in at the last moment, beating the crap out of a possessed man, and saving Hwa-pyung’s life. Is it her ignorance of how dangerous and powerful Park Il-do is that makes her so fearless? Or would she knowingly stare down pure evil and threaten to kick its ass, no matter what? I hope it’s the latter — not that I condone violence, but I still really want to see her punch evil in the face, to make Park Il-do realize that there’s someone who’s too tough for him to possess, despite all her anger.
I did have my concerns this episode about how the show would treat Min-gu. My defenses rose a bit when everyone decided that he must be possessed just because he acted strange, even though it was clear that he had a mental disorder. Treating mentally ill people like their problems are due to demons and not chemical imbalances in the brain is so frustratingly archaic. I was genuinely a little angry until Yoon came in and pointed out that most people that request exorcists are just people who don’t know how to handle their family member’s special needs. Just because someone doesn’t act normal, doesn’t mean that an evil spirit is directing their every move. After all, Min-sang seemed pretty nice, pleasant, and “normal” until his hand (heh) was forced.
Speaking of “hand,” I can’t believe that I only just realized this episode that Priest Yang’s “Helping Hand” fellowship and charity is a pun. I’m assuming an intentional one, since the word for “hand” is the same as “Sohn.” It might be a little too obvious, but the show is going to have to work hard to convince me that Priest Yang isn’t somehow connected to all of this. He says he doesn’t know where Priest Choi is — maybe it’s true, but there’s something fishy about the fact that this charity is connected to both Young-soo and Min-sang. “Helping Hand” seems more like it’s really “Helping Sohn” find new bodies for his minions to possess.
But if the minions know who the younger brother is — and where he is — then does this mean Park Il-do will be trying harder to get to Yoon? Because if Priest Choi has been looking for the brother, and now they know that the brother is Yoon and an exorcism priest — well, it just seems like Priest Choi should suddenly find himself in need of an exorcist. Then again, that would mean less time for our trio to grow closer together as they fight against the powers of evil and save people’s lives, and we definitely need some more of that. So take your time, Priest Choi aka Park Il-do aka Sohn. It’s been twenty years; what’s a few more weeks?