The Guest: Episode 7
In their attempt to discover where Park Il-do disappeared to twenty years ago, the trio also try to solve what happened to the missing girl. But can cruel acts of violence be attributed solely to demonic possession, or are some people just plain evil? It’s not a new question for our trio, but it’s one they’ll need to answer soon, hopefully before they destroy their burgeoning partnership — and friendship.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Twenty years ago, in the forest late at night, someone digs a grave and buries Hyun-joo’s body. In 2018, Kil-young studies a photo of the dead teenager before going into the local police station. She only avoids the wrath of her boss, who’s furious that he can’t find her, thanks to Detective Go’s quick wit in pretending that she’s with him but can’t come to the phone because she’s too busy beating up a criminal. Ha!
Kil-young meets with the police chief to ask about Hyun-joo, and it turns out that her personal relation to him is that he used to be on her mother’s team when he was a rookie. He was the person she called for backup that night. Kil-young demands to know if they’re looking into Hong-joo, since she’s listed as a suspect in her mother’s case notes.
The police chief insists that the statute of limitations has passed and the only testimony they had from that time was a security guard who confessed he saw the two girls together the night Hyun-joo disappeared. But the guard has since retracted his statement, saying he was confused.
Kil-young’s determined to investigate Hong-joo, not caring that Hong-joo is currently a congresswoman or was the daughter of the school’s director back then. She begs the police chief to tell her where that guard is now so she can investigate, but the police chief cautiously says that as much as he respected and admired Kil-young’s mother as a detective, ultimately her mother was incorrect in her hunch. It sounds like he’s more scared about investigating Hong-joo since it could mean he could lose his job.
Yoon informs Hwa-pyung about Hong-joo’s connection to Sharing Hand and the recently possessed victims. Hwa-pyung’s at the police station and follows Kil-young, asking if she’s found a suspect for Hyun-joo’s case. Despite Kil-young telling him to stay out of it, Hwa-pyung insists it has to do with Park Il-do, then asks if she’s heard of Hong-joo.
He explains that Hong-joo is connected to the people who have been recently possessed, but Kil-young is just shocked to hear Hong-joo’s name, since the congresswoman is a suspect in Hyun-joo’s case. Once again, everything seems to tie back to Park Il-do.
Yoon visits Priest Yang, who assumes the younger priest wants more information about Sharing Hand. But Yoon instead asks about Hong-joo, revealing that she’s connected to those who have been possessed by Park Il-do. Priest Yang scoffs at the implication that Hong-joo is also possessed, since she’s a devout Christian and an active member of Sharing Hand. Yoon is surprised to hear that Hong-joo regularly visits the church.
Hwa-pyung and Kil-young stop by Hyun-joo’s grandmother’s home. Ha, Kil-young goes along with Hwa-pyung’s lie that they’re reporters, since she’s out of her jurisdiction and has no authority to investigate. Grandma tells them that she never believed that Hyun-joo ran away, since she was a good girl who loved her family and home. Grandma also reveals that Hyun-joo was deaf.
Hwa-pyung asks if Grandma has seen Hong-joo before, but Grandma doesn’t think so. Nor has she seen anyone else suspicious, but remembers the detective who used to visit them everyday — that detective was the only person who believed that Hyun-joo hadn’t run away. Grandma sighs as she reveals that the detective died while on duty, and Kil-young knows the woman is talking about her mother.
Tamping down her emotions, Kil-young studies her mother’s case notes. Hwa-pyung cautiously asks if she’s okay, and Kil-young says that working on this case feels like some sort of divine punishment for her adolescent petulance the night her mother died.
She gets word that the guard who originally testified he saw Hong-joo with Hyun-joo that night now lives in a psychiatric hospital due to severe paranoia — he believes someone is trying to kill him. Could that someone be Hong-joo, who confidently strides up to the doors of the church? Despite a moment’s hesitation, she enters the holy building without her skin burning off. She kneels to pray, as Yoon quietly observes from the back of the church.
Hwa-pyung and Kil-young go to the psychiatric hospital to meet with the guard, Kim Noh-seok. He’s in a locked ward, and ignores them as he sits in the corner, drawing something on the floor. Kil-young sets down a photo of Hyun-joo next to him, asking if he remembers her and what happened the night she disappeared.
Noh-seok doesn’t say anything, and the nurse interjects that Noh-seok hasn’t really spoken in years, since his paranoia is such that he believes he’ll be killed if he speaks. Kil-young and Hwa-pyung get closer to see what Noh-seok is drawing, and it’s a sketch of a person with their right eye stabbed out. Hwa-pyung asks if Noh-seok has seen Park Il-do, and then shows the man a photo of Hong-joo. Noh-seok starts to flail in panic.
Yoon greets Hong-joo as she leaves the church, introducing himself as a visiting priest and expressing interest in her involvement with Sharing Hand — adding that he saw her recently in his hometown. It’s all polite vagueness, but as she turns to leave, Yoon bluntly asks if she puts her trust in God, and not the devil.
Hong-joo stares at him for a moment, then smiles and says that she does. Yoon proffers his hand for her to shake “goodbye,” — a hand that is also draped with his rosary. She glances at it, but doesn’t touch his hand as she tells him she’ll see him around.
Hwa-pyung is convinced that Hong-joo is Park Il-do, but Kil-young tells him not to jump to conclusions based on the slim evidence of a mentally ill man. She points out that if Park Il-do possessed Hong-joo that night, then why didn’t Park Il-do just possess the security guard as well, killing the guard so he couldn’t testify. Hwa-pyung retorts that Park Il-do doesn’t work like that, and besides, Hwa-pyung is still convinced that Park Il-do is involved.
When she returns to her own police station, Detective Go grumbles about having to cover for her all day. She tells him about the new information regarding her mother’s old case, and he warns Kil-young not to get into trouble since it’s not her current case. Even so, it’s her mother’s old case — she can’t ignore it.
Detective Go is also shocked that Kil-young’s main suspect is a congresswoman, since they can’t even think about touching Hong-joo without evidence. He warns Kil-young that they’ll be fired if they investigate, and Kil-young sighs, admitting it’s a difficult situation, especially when their only witness is mentally ill.
Yoon calls Hwa-pyung — who’s staking out Hong-joo’s office — and the two men meet up. Yoon reveals that he saw Hong-joo last night and he’s not convinced Hong-joo is possessed, since she went into the church and prayed. He asks if Hwa-pyung really believes Hong-joo is the main suspect in Hyun-joo’s death, and Hwa-pyung tells him about Noh-seok, reiterating that he still believes Hong-joo is possessed by Park Il-do.
His theory is that Hong-joo killed the other girl and buried her in the forest, which is how she ran into Priest Choi, since that’s where he killed himself. Park Il-do decided to move from Priest Choi — a criminal wanted by the police — to Hong-joo, a high school student who could evade suspicion.
By all rights, Kil-young should give up on the case since it’s not her jurisdiction, but instead she tracks down a woman, Han Mi-jin, who used to be friends with Hyun-joo. Mi-jin cautiously says that she doesn’t know anything, and tells Kil-young to leave since she’s busy running her restaurant.
But she looks worried when she later checks to make sure Kil-young is really gone, and her husband asks if everything is okay. Mi-jin shrugs it off, but watching a couple of happy high school students makes her nervous, and she tells her husband to take care of the restaurant while she goes home to rest with their young son.
She sits at the bus stop, lost in thought. Her son almost gets on the bus without her, but Yoon gently stops him. Mi-jin profusely thanks the priest for making sure her son didn’t leave without her, but her face freezes when Yoon reveals that he’s there because of Hyun-joo. Hwa-pyung and Kil-young are standing with him.
Hwa-pyung tells Mi-jin that they found Hyun-joo’s body a few days ago, and Mi-jin breaks down sobbing. The trio go with Mi-jin to her home. As her son plays in his room, Mi-jin reveals that she’s been keeping quiet about that night for the past twenty years.
Mi-jin had waited for Hyun-joo outside the school so they could walk home together like they always did, but when Hyun-joo didn’t come out, Mi-jin went inside to find her. She discovered that Hong-joo was yelling and hitting Hyun-joo. Mi-jin hid while she watched her friend quietly take Hong-joo’s abuse.
Hong-joo kept ordering Hyun-joo to answer her, but Hyun-joo tried to escape by pushing Hong-joo away and making a run for it. Hong-joo grabbed the younger girl by the hair and pulled her back inside. Then Hong-joo picked up a chair and slammed it down on the girl. Hyun-joo didn’t move, and terrified, Mi-jin ran outside, where she was caught by Noh-seok, the security guard.
Through her sobs, she told Noh-seok what was happening. But when he went to investigate, he returned and, a little dazedly, said that everything was okay and that Mi-jin should just go home, warning her not to tell anyone what she saw.
Mi-jin begins to cry as she admits she was scared to talk to the police once Hyun-joo went missing, since everyone said that Hyun-joo had run away. Everyone except for Kil-young’s mother, who died the night before Mi-jin could meet with the detective and give her testimony.
A few days after Hyun-joo disappeared, she went to talk to Noh-seok about what happened. But Noh-seok angrily told her not to talk about it because “he” might hear them. The guard screamed at her to stop talking, because “he’ll” kill them if she says anything, adding that’s the reason the female detective died.
Noh-seok attempted to strangle Mi-jin, but she broke free and ran away while the guard yelled at her to keep quiet or else “he’ll kill you.” Mi-jin said she was too terrified to do anything after that, choosing to believe that Hyun-joo ran away since that was the safest option.
Mi-jin’s son breaks the somber atmosphere by entering the living room to play with his toy ambulance. As Mi-jin holds her son, she confesses that she’s thought about Hyun-joo ever since that day, feeling guilty that she never spoke up to defend her friend. She muses that it feels like karma that her son also is hard of hearing, just like Hyun-joo.
Outside, the trio discuss their options. Kil-young says that none of the witnesses can testify, but Hwa-pyung doesn’t care, since he’s still adamant that Hong-joo is Park Il-do. Kil-young doesn’t believe it, but asks what he’ll do about it if he’s right about the possession. Yoon says that he and Hwa-pyung will take over since it involves exorcism — they don’t need the police.
Angry, Kil-young points out that Yoon keeps trying to push her away even though she wants to catch Park Il-do as much as they do. Yoon insists that it’s too dangerous, reminding her that Park Il-do is a violent and brutal spirit. Kil-young says that he doesn’t need to worry about her, but when Yoon suggests that what happened to her mother could happen to her, she’s ready to fight the priest.
Hwa-pyung intervenes, reminding them they don’t have time to fight each other. Furious, Kil-young asks Hwa-pyung if he knows any other exorcist priests — she’s done with Yoon and refuses to work with him any longer. She gets in her car and drives away.
Annoyed, Hwa-pyung chastises Yoon for pushing Kil-young away, reminding him that they need her help to catch Park Il-do. Yoon yells at him, asking Hwa-pyung if he also feels guilty for putting Kil-young in danger.
Hwa-pyung shouts back that he feels sorry for all of them, but that’s not going to get them anywhere when it comes to catching Park Il-do. He pleads with Yoon, reminding them that they’re so close — after all, Park Il-do is in Hong-joo. Yoon’s still not convinced that Hong-joo is possessed, but Hwa-pyung is adamant, and will prove it when he can get close enough to Hong-joo himself.
Hwa-pyung sneaks into a Sharing Hand event that Hong-joo is attending. He charmingly introduces himself as not only one of her political supporters, but coming from the same hometown. Then he “innocently” asks if she’s heard about the missing girl’s body being found, wondering if she knew the girl who died.
When Hong-joo says she doesn’t, Hwa-pyung fakes surprise, noting that Hong-joo worked at the school the girl attended. Hwa-pyung then asks if she knows the name “Park Il-do.” Her smile gone, Hong-joo stares at him for a moment, then walks away without answer.
But she’s all smiles again when Yoon greets her. She’s happy to see the priest, but hesitant when he offers her a rosary as a token of his appreciation for everything she’s done at Sharing Hand. He blesses it with a prayer and holds it out to her. She takes it as both Hwa-pyung and Yoon watch intently — but her skin doesn’t burn!
Smiling, she thanks him for his gift. All signs point to her not being possessed, a fact Hwa-pyung isn’t willing to accept. However, they learn from Priest Yang that there’s something called a “complete possession,” where a demon, having taken over the body for a long time, can stay disguised since holy items don’t affect it as much. There would be no way to know if the person is possessed unless the demon decided to show itself, and any exorcism attempt could take years.
Hong-joo stumbles out of the bathroom, where it sounds like she’s been vomiting. She looks haggard and sick as she stares in the mirror. She pulls out Yoon’s rosary, shrieking as she breaks it into pieces.
Hwa-pyung is still determined to confront Hong-joo and make her reveal she knows Park Il-do. Yoon rationally points out that it’s not easy for a couple of random guys to get close to a powerful congresswoman. Yoon reiterates they need to discretely determine if she’s possessed or not.
Remembering that everyone possessed by Park Il-do loses their eyesight in their right eye, Hwa-pyung says they should find out if Hong-joo can see out of that eye. If she can’t, then they can exorcise her!
Yoon reveals that he no longer has the authority to perform exorcisms, though. Frustrated, Hwa-pyung points out that Yoon still has the skills and know-how, so it’s stupid that Yoon is determined to follow the rules of the church when lives might be at stake. But Yoon is resolute, and Hwa-pyung grumbles that he’ll just do it himself, then.
Meanwhile, Kil-young tries to get the results of Hyun-joo’s autopsy. But the police chief refuses to tell her anything, irritated that she’s poking her nose where it doesn’t belong, and reveals that Noh-seok escaped from the psychiatric hospital last night.
Yoon once more goes through all the Sharing Hand brochures and discovers that Sharing Hand has worked closely with the psychiatric hospital ever since the charity was founded.
Noh-seok gulps down tons of water at Mi-jin’s restaurant. She’s not there, thankfully. But her husband is a little disturbed by Noh-seok and the way he keeps repeating “You shouldn’t have called me that night.” Mi-jin’s husband calls to check on her, and Noh-seok eavesdrops, so now he knows that Mi-jin’s at home.
Hwa-pyung’s lost in a trance, and his point-of-view shows someone climbing onto Mi-jin’s balcony and looking in, watching her sleep while her son plays in his room with his toy ambulance. But the sound of the toy mingles with the sound of a real ambulance driving by Hwa-pyung’s taxi, which shakes him out of his reverie.
Noh-seok breaks into Mi-jin’s apartment, but he ignores the boy — who, due to his hearing loss, is unaware that there’s another person in the room. Noh-seok grabs a knife from the kitchen and Mi-jin wakes up, demanding to know who’s there. When she sees who it is, she runs to her son’s room and locks the door.
Clutching her son tightly to her chest, she waits until there’s only silence in living room. Cautiously she approaches the door, then screams in terror when a knife stabs through it. As Noh-seok brutally hacks his way through the door, Mi-jin hides her son in the wardrobe.
Kil-young stops by the restaurant, asking if the husband has seen a strange man recently. Mi-jin’s husband describes Noh-seok, so Kil-young speeds to Mi-jin’s apartment, arriving at the same time Yoon does. But they’re too late — as is Hwa-pyung, who just stares at the dead bodies of Mi-jin and Noh-seok, the latter of which has stabbed out his right eye.
Yoon realizes that the boy must be somewhere, and they find him peering out from the wardrobe. Yoon rushes over to block the boy’s view of the bloodshed, hugging him tightly.
The police arrive to investigate the crime scene and carry away the bodies. Noh-seok’s body is still dripping sea water. Kil-young watches as the only witnesses in the last case her mother worked on are taken away.
The trio watch as Mi-jin’s husband sobs in grief while clinging to his son. Hwa-pyung decides to take matters into his own hands and kill Hong-joo before more innocent people die.
Yoon grabs him, reminding him that if he kills a possessed person, he’s no better than a demon. Hwa-pyung angrily points out that another person has already died because they didn’t take action. When Yoon tries to block his way, Hwa-pyung punches the priest and drives off.
Kil-young yells at them for acting like immature children, but Yoon worriedly tells her that they need to stop Hwa-pyung.
Hwa-pyung goes to the site where Hong-joo is giving a lecture. He waits in the hallway until she’s alone. She yells at him to leave her alone while she makes a call, thinking he’s one of her aides, but is surprised to see that it’s Hwa-pyung.
With crazed eyes, he asks if she killed Mi-jin and Noh-seok. Annoyed, she tells him to leave, calling for her aides as Hwa-pyung approaches her. Hwa-pyung demands to know why she’s killed so many innocent people, but she keeps yelling that he’s crazy and for him to leave her alone.
Hong-joo scoffs at his insistence that she’s Park Il-do, and when he asks if she’s blind in her right eye, she sneers at him, telling him that she’s heard of him, the crazy kid who killed his family. But Hwa-pyung grabs her and covers her left eye, demanding to know if she can see him.
Determined to finish what he couldn’t twenty years ago, Hwa-pyung grabs a knife from his bag. Just then, Hong-joo’s aides rush in, and, perceiving an assassination attempt on their boss, carry Hwa-pyung away as he screams Park Il-do’s name at Hong-joo. Yoon and Kil-young also arrive, and Hong-joo just smirks at them.
Oooooh, so is Hong-joo possessed or not? She certainly gives off a possessed vibe, but, as we know, there’s no hard evidence. Yoon’s rosary did seem to have a belated effect — or maybe it was just food poisoning and, despite her supposed devoutness, maybe she just hates religious items (hey, I can be as skeptical as Kil-young). Buuut… she’s possessed, right? Park Il-do could have easily bounced from the then-useless Priest Choi to the vessel of a young woman so rage-filled and cold-blooded that she’d kill a teenage girl for apparently not giving her respect. I’m pretty sure a demon would be much more at home in a narcissistic politician that has a lot of influence over people, versus a young priest whose primary “dark side” is the frustration that he didn’t want to be a priest in the first place.
Obviously if Park Il-do can possess a priest for a day or two, then he should have no problem acting like a devout believer for twenty years. That is, if we take Priest Yang’s description of “complete possession” at face value. I’m still suspicious about Priest Yang, because for all the interaction Hong-joo has had with Sharing Hand and the various possessed people who have been “helped” by the charity, Priest Yang was the one who created the charity in the first place. Maybe his drinking is to cover up a different kind of pain. I still want him to be innocent, just for Yoon’s sake (because that poor guy doesn’t need to find out that one of his mentors was secretly possessed by a demon — he’s traumatized enough as it is!).
As much as I appreciate Hwa-pyung’s desperation to find Park Il-do (and his firm belief that he has found Park Il-do), I’m getting a little annoyed that our trio keeps trying to be individual renegades. Haven’t they learned (the hard way) that success only comes when working together? Yoon needs to stop pushing Kil-young away “for her own good.” I know he feels guilty for being the reason her mother died, but Kil-young isn’t a child any more — she’s a grown woman, a skilled detective (and fighter), and she can make her choices about what sort of dangerous things she wants to be involved in. Besides, if it weren’t for her involvement, Yoon and Hwa-pyung would have died multiple times already. Who else will drop-kick a demon in order to save their asses, if it not for Kil-young?
I want to yell at the trio that working together means working together. Hwa-pyung’s urgency to make sure no more innocent lives are lost to Park Il-do is understandable, but Yoon’s cautiousness and Kil-young’s need for evidence are also important so that even more innocent people aren’t unnecessarily killed. As Yoon pointed out, they’re no better than the demons they’re fighting if they decide the only way to get rid of Park Il-do is by killing the host body. Fighting fire with fire may work in some cases, but this fracturing of the trio is exactly what Park Il-do wants. And if he is really possessing Hong-joo, he knows that his plan is working all too well. Hopefully Yoon teams up with Kil-young to save Hwa-pyung instead of trying to convince her it’s “too dangerous.” The trio need each other more than ever, and no demon should have the satisfaction of tearing them apart.