Red Moon, Blue Sun: Episodes 11-12
Persistence pays off, since we finally start to find evidence that proves our tenacious detective’s theories about murder aren’t just theories, but based on fact. Even though the mysterious vigilante serial killer’s identity is still unknown, at least our heroes are able to see who the true villains are.
EPISODES 11-12 RECAP
As Eun-ho steps forward in the line-up, Ji-heon asks Ha-na if he was the man who killed her mother. Ha-na stares at Eun-ho, but her lack of response indicates that it’s not him. Ji-heon’s convinced she knows Eun-ho, though, but Woo-kyung keeps Ji-heon from getting too angry with the child.
But when Ha-na watches the men in the line-up file out of the room, she points at Eun-ho, saying “sand.” She’s referring to the way that Eun-ho taught the kids how to make sandcastles at the playground.
Since they have no real evidence to keep him, Eun-ho is free to go. Ji-heon takes off the handcuffs as Eun-ho asks him how Hye-sun died. Ji-heon grumps that she had asthma, so killing her was easy. Eun-ho wonders if it’s easy to kill someone, and Ji-heon snidely says that Eun-ho would know.
In his perpetually unperturbed state, Eun-ho points out that Ji-heon is the type to judge someone forever based on his preconceived notions. He adds that driving in the morning doesn’t make him a kidnapper, just like having a gas can doesn’t make him an arsonist. Ji-heon retorts that this is the second time Eun-ho has been connected to a similar death — could it only be coincidence? But Eun-ho simply says that it is, indeed, a coincidence.
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Holding a lighter doesn’t make you an arsonist
Woo-kyung offers Eun-ho a ride back to the children’s center. She watches in the review mirror as Ha-na and Eun-ho smile at each other. Woo-kyung says that Ha-na saw him make a sand castle, and Ha-na shyly offers him a lollipop, beaming with joy as Eun-ho accepts it.
Soo-young tells Ji-heon about the man who’s there about a murder case, and her partner is at first dismissive of the man who seems to just want the police to erase his speeding tickets. But once the man mentions it’s about So-ra’s father, suddenly Ji-heon is all ears.
His car was parked in the perfect location to get a view of So-ra’s father’s car that night, and he hands over the black-box recording showing someone else starting the fire. It’s too dark to see who did it, and the person is wearing a hoodie to hide their face, but it is clear that there’s foul play.
Ji-heon dives back into the case files, analyzing the evidence again in the hopes something will point to murder, but of course everything indicates suicide. Hesitating, Soo-young reveals that So-ra’s mother stopped by, insisting her husband was killed.
When Ji-heon hears that Captain Hong made Soo-young keep the meeting a secret from him, he grumps that of course she had no choice but to follow her superior officer’s orders. Except Soo-young breaks her promise to Captain Hong by showing Ji-heon the photo of the note that has since been determined to simply be a parking note, and not a suicide note.
Meanwhile, So-ra’s mother is still panicking about the money, and in desperation she messages Red Cry. That anonymous messenger tells her she’s being too greedy, asking what it was she really wanted — her husband’s death, or money. Red Cry warns her that greed can kill.
When Woo-kyung drops Eun-ho off at the center, he asks to look at the photo of the unknown boy again. Eun-ho says he noticed the poem written on the back of the boy’s drawing, and remembers seeing a boy write that poem when Eun-ho worked at the orphanage.
Since it’s not a normal poem that kids’ would know, Eun-ho asked him where he had learned it. The boy had pointed at the poster with “The Leper” poem that was then hanging up on the wall. Eun-ho says he only saw the boy once. Woo-kyung points out that the orphanage director was confident she had never seen the boy before, and she knows all the children that come through her orphanage.
Eun-ho apologizes that he can’t be much help because he hasn’t been back to the orphanage very often. He realizes he hasn’t seen the boy since that day, and points out that it’s odd for a child to spend such a short time at the orphanage.
Woo-kyung returns to the orphanage, and the director tells Woo-kyung that Eun-ho must be mistaken. They do take children for a short time before sending them to other institutions, but they still do an official intake process no matter how little time a child is with them, and she doesn’t remember seeing the boy. The director hauls out a book of all the transitory kids that have gone through the orphanage, but the boy’s records aren’t in there.
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An unusual poem for an unusual kid
Woo-kyung asks to see the playroom where the poster had been hanging, and the director shows off their new decorated bulletin board that’s taken the place of all the posters. Among the photos are pictures of the transitory children, and Woo-kyung is shocked to find a photo of the unknown boy.
The orphanage director is furious to realize that he came through on a day when she wasn’t there, and that her staff didn’t feel the need to officially do an intake since he was going to be sent to another orphanage the next morning.
Hearing that the staff treated the boy as a mere number and didn’t even follow-up to make sure he got to the other orphanage, Woo-kyung’s quiet rage causes her to angrily declare that the staff member should never work with children ever again.
Ji-heon and Soo-young visit So-ra’s mother, following up on her claim that her husband was murdered. She retorts that it’s the police’s fault for not realizing her husband didn’t commit suicide. Ji-heon somehow manages to play both good-cop and bad-cop to get So-ra’s mother to accidentally confess she has a new phone and uses it to play games — and chat with people.
She immediately clams up once she realizes she’s said too much. It’s not something they can use as evidence, but So-ra’s mother is acting strangely enough that Ji-heon orders Soo-young to look into what the woman has been doing.
Woo-kyung calls Ji-heon to let him know that she’s found the unknown boy, and Ji-heon practically shoves Soo-young out of the car so he can go to Woo-kyung. Annoyed, Soo-young demands to know what’s going on — they’re partners, after all — but Ji-heon insists that he doesn’t need to tell her everything.
The boy, named Jung Suk-woo, apparently got lost in the orphanage administrative shuffle, and was actually sent back to the original orphanage since the one he was sent to didn’t have his name on their list. The driver returned him to the original orphanage, but only dropped him off at the gate and didn’t see the boy go inside. That was two days before the accident.
During those two days, Suk-woo managed to travel all on his own nearly fifty miles to Seoul. Woo-kyung’s tried calling the phone number on Suk-woo’s records, which says it belongs to his father, but no one answers. Ji-heon warns her not to expect too much, because parents who abandon their kids leave fake numbers all the time.
But Woo-kyung is convinced it should lead to someone. If the father really wanted to remain anonymous, he would have left his son on a street, not dropped him off at an orphanage.
Ji-heon takes the black-box evidence to Captain Hong as proof that So-ra’s father was murdered. Captain Hong grumbles that Ji-heon shouldn’t waste his time gloating about being right, and should instead go out and catch the killer.
But Ji-heon first needs to address the fact that Captain Hong ordered Soo-young to keep information from him. Captain Hong says that they have a ton of open cases already and Ji-heon keeps wanting to reopen the closed ones, which wastes valuable time and causes a headache for the whole department.
Dropping down to more informal speech and referring to Captain Hong as “hyung,” Ji-heon says that when he was rookie, his sunbae once told him that “Investigating is creativity.” That sunbae was none-other than Captain Hong.
But Captain Hong bellows that Ji-heon needs to address him formally. Sighing, Ji-heon says he still lives by that rule, anyway, and warns Captain Hong not to get tied in knots by trying to play both sides.
Thanks to Chan-wook’s technological skills, they’ve been able to track down more information about the Suk-woo’s father. Suk-woo’s father, Jung Kwang-yeon, is 23 years old, which means he had Suk-woo when he was only 17. But even more shocking is the fact that the records show he also has a five-year-old daughter.
Realizing that there could be a little girl in danger, Ji-heon and Woo-kyung head into an old, sketchy part of town that supposedly is Kwang-yeon’s address. Ji-heon assumes that the place is abandoned because the front yard is filled with junk and trash.
But Woo-kyung, knowing that people can live in all sorts of conditions, enters the tiny run-down room that’s even more filled with trash and junk than the front yard. There’s no sign of anyone there, but when Woo-kyung trips over a child’s toy, she sees a little girl hidden and unconscious underneath a pile of blankets and cardboard.
They rush the girl to the hospital, and as Woo-kyung waits outside the ER, she sees the little girl in the green dress. Woo-kyung sits on a bench next to her, musing that she had thought the little girl in the green dress was Suk-woo’s sister. But now that they’ve found Suk-woo’s sister, who isn’tthe little girl in the green dress, Woo-kyung realizes the little girl in the green dress must be there to help save children.
She still wonders who the little girl in the green dress really is. Ji-heon sees Woo-kyung talking to what he perceives to be thin air, and tells Woo-kyung that they arrived just in time because Suk-woo’s sister had fainted due to dehydration and hunger, but the doctors have been able to stabilize her. Ji-heon congratulates Woo-kyung on saving a child’s life, and Woo-kyung glances over at the spot where the little girl in the green dress would be.
Ji-heon once again drives Woo-kyung home, but he waits in the car as she sleeps, not wanting to wake her up, especially when it’s raining. Aw. Woo-kyung eventually wakes up, and after thanking him for the ride, scurries to the front door.
But Ji-heon follows, because he needs to confirm his suspicion that Woo-kyung saw the little girl in the green dress again. Hesitating, Woo-kyung explains that she sees the girl due to stress and that her doctor says it will go away when she takes her medicine. For now, though, she doesn’t mind seeing the little girl.
Because if she didn’t see her, then she wouldn’t have been able to find Ha-na or Suk-woo’s sister. She’s content to be crazy if it means saving children’s lives. Ji-heon insists that she’s not crazy, but she should at least figure out why the little girl keeps appearing. Aw, there’s a moment of genuine camaraderie between the two of them, especially since Woo-kyung seems relieved that Ji-heon doesn’t judge her for her delusions.
Meanwhile, Soo-young decides to exorcise whatever inner demons she may have by getting drunk at a club and then beating up a guy who got a little too handsy with her. She’s at the police station in the morning — behind bars, this time, when Ji-heon shows up to free her from the holding cell.
Over breakfast, Ji-heon wants to know why his police buddy contacted him instead Soo-young’s family. Soo-young simply says that she doesn’t have any family, then defensively adds that she never mentioned Ji-heon, but his police buddy went through her phone to find the most recent contact.
Ji-heon says she should have just reported the guy who groped her for sexual harassment, but Soo-young nonchalantly says that it’s not necessary now because she beat him up. Well, that’s one way to handle it.
Soo-young can tell that Ji-heon is still mad at her, and she reiterates that she didn’t tell him about So-ra’s mother coming to the police station because she had to follow Captain Hong’s orders.
Irritated, Ji-heon admits he is angry because Soo-young purposefully hid potential evidence from him. His frustration is about her surrendering her conscience as a detective who should be trying to find the truth, not simply following orders.
Woo-kyung takes Ha-na to her new, more permanent foster home. Ha-na looks like she’ll settle in quite nicely with the foster woman’s other children, and as Woo-kyung tells the happy little girl goodbye, she reassures her that they’ll meet again at the center since Ha-na will need regular counseling.
Woo-kyung gets a call from an unknown number, and the woman on the other end of the line immediately accuses Woo-kyung of killing her son. The woman says she just found out and is overcome with grief, but she’s actually more distracted by the people in the apartment that looks like it’s set up for a porn shoot. The woman yells at the staff to be quiet while she’s on the phone, then tells Woo-kyung that they need to meet.
As the woman waits at a coffee shop, she texts a loan shark about not having money to pay him back, asking if he can wait a little longer. Woo-kyung arrives to find Suk-woo’s mother looking very unemotional and not at all sad about her son’s death.
The woman continues texting, almost ignoring Woo-kyung as she apologizes for what happened to Suk-woo. Woo-kyung asks if she’s visited her daughter yet. The woman shrugs it off, saying that the doctors must be caring for the child, so why bother?
Woo-kyung believes Suk-woo was trying to return home from the orphanage to see his sister, which is why he was on the road that day. Suk-woo’s mother muses that he was always a smart boy, nonchalantly adding that it’s a pity someone so bright had to die.
The woman’s face brightens with expectation when she sees Woo-kyung reach into her purse, but it’s just to pull out the picture Suk-woo drew. Suk-woo’s mother dismisses the drawing, instead asking how much money Woo-kyung will give her. The woman asks for 10 million won (about $10,000) but as her phone endlessly buzzes due to the loan sharks, she drops it down to 5 million won.
She leaves her account number with Woo-kyung, adding that she runs a “racy” internet show, so Woo-kyung should tell all her male friends to tune in so that she can make more money. It’s clear that she only cares about Suk-woo because his death means she can squeeze guilt-money out of Woo-kyung.
At the police station, Ji-heon and Chan-wook study the footage of So-ra’s father buying charcoal, but it’s poor quality and his baseball cap hid most of his face. Ji-heon notices an unusual limp, and tells Chan-wook to analyze all the CCTV footage from nearby cameras to see if they can get a better view of the man.
Meanwhile, Soo-young’s looked into So-ra’s mother’s financial records, and discovers that she received insurance money by enduring her husband’s abuse and then reporting it at the hospital. The stack of money from the car matches the amount she received a few weeks before her husband died.
Ji-heon studies his evidence board, analyzing the murders — they were all done in completely different ways, but with the same purpose. That still doesn’t help him figure out who is the likely culprit. However, Soo-young points out that all three deaths have someone in common: Woo-kyung. She helped Ji-heon figure out who killed Ji-hye, she counseled So-ra, and she discovered Hye-sun.
Woo-kyung tracks down Suk-woo’s mother — not to give her money, but to let her know where his ashes are. His mom isn’t interested, but Woo-kyung makes her take the information anyway, since she had promised that she’d bring his family to him. Suk-woo’s mother is creeped out by the idea of visiting a columbarium and ignores Woo-kyung’s plea.
But Woo-kyung grabs her, tersely reminding the woman that despite her youth, she’s still Suk-woo’s mother. The woman sneers at Woo-kyung, pointing out Woo-kyung doesn’t have any right to look down on her — after all, Woo-kyung killed her son.
Furious, Woo-kyung sits in her car and watches Suk-woo’s mother saunter down the hill. Gripping the steering wheel, Woo-kyung floors the gas pedal and drives straight into the woman. But it’s all just wishful thinking fueled by her rage, and Woo-kyung actually sits in the car as Suk-woo’s mother walks away, unscathed and unaware of Woo-kyung’s violent thoughts.
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Wishing for murder
Bursting into tears, Woo-kyung pounds the steering wheel in frustration. A small hand reaches out to comfort her — it’s the little girl in the green dress. Woo-kyung hugs the little girl as she continues to sob.
It’s Woo-kyung’s father’s memorial day, and Woo-kyung tells Mom that she did a great job putting everything together. But Mom slips her hand out of Woo-kyung’s, refusing to engage. Woo-kyung wonders if it was difficult for her stepmother to get married at a young age to man who already had young children, and Mom simply says that it was her fate.
Woo-kyung muses over the memory of going through the photo albums with her father, and wonders why he liked to look at them so much. Mom seems bothered by Woo-kyung’s questioning, but brushes her aside to attend to the memorial ceremony.
Woo-kyung continues to pleasantly thank her stepmother for doing such a great job of raising her and Se-kyung. But Mom coldly asks if Woo-kyung really means it, adding that she never knows what Woo-kyung is really thinking. Woo-kyung seems stunned by this response.
At the police station, Chan-wook proudly shows off all his hard work. He’s tracked down CCTV footage showing So-ra’s father walking from the subway to the store where he bought charcoal. Chan-wook finds it strange that a man with access to a car would go out of his way to take public transportation for such a simple errand.
He also thinks it’s interesting that So-ra’s father walks off camera, and a few minutes later, So-ra’s mother appears. Analyzing the gait of both people, Chan-wook has determined they’re actually the same person — So-ra’s mother. In the subway bathroom, she changed into an outfit to resemble her husband.
Ji-heon shows the CCTV footage to So-ra’s mother, who stubbornly insists it’s not her. But the evidence is piled up against her — not only she did she disguise herself to buy the charcoal, but Ji-heon knows she wanted to kill her husband because he broke So-ra’s finger so they could get another insurance payout. So-ra’s mother screams at Ji-heon, insisting she didn’t do it.
Ji-heon immediately pivots from his tough bad-cop attitude to the sympathetic good-cop, soothingly telling So-ra’s mother that he believes her and doesn’t want to see her framed for a crime she didn’t commit. However, she needs to help him find proof of her innocence, and she can do that by telling him who told her to do it.
He knows that someone had to have told her to dress up like her husband and what store to buy the charcoal. So-ra’s mother starts to cry as she insists the person who helped her isn’t a bad person — he listened to all her complaints and comforted her. She’s actually grateful to him.
Ji-heon gently reminds her that it won’t be good for So-ra if her mother takes the blame for a murder she didn’t commit. So-ra’s mother is still hesitant to tell Ji-heon anything about the person who came up with the idea to kill her husband. Sighing, Ji-heon tells Soo-young to get an arrest warrant for the woman, but she suddenly blurts out, “Red Cry.”
At the children’s center, Eun-ho is in his room, sketching. Woo-kyung stops by to thank him for all his help in finding Suk-woo. She also has a favor to ask — can he help her draw a picture of someone?
Woo-kyung describes the little girl in the green dress and Eun-ho skillfully draws the picture. They only have the lips left to add, and Woo-kyung suddenly has a memory of a little girl in the green dress.
Woo-kyung is shocked to remember a little girl who used to always smile and laugh. But in her memory, she sees the little girl in the green dress get pushed to the floor by someone else. Woo-kyung whispers, “That girl, I know her.”
Coming up with comments on this show is such a struggle, because I either want to spend 10,000 words analyzing and speculating over every little moment, or I just want to be like, “Wow. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m loving it!”
There’s just so many micro-expressions to feed my suspicions and build up unspoken backstories on the characters that, even though I have no proof, I know Woo-kyung must have had a difficult childhood, whether she recognizes it or not — but I don’t know if I can really blame an evil stepmother for whatever happened in the past, since I’m not totally sure I trust Woo-kyung. Those little hints Mom keeps dropping that Woo-kyung did something terrible, that she’s not sure if she can believe Woo-kyung’s sweet words, combined with what we’ve seen when Woo-kyung’s rage takes over (when she went to grab the kitchen knife, and the strong desire to run Suk-woo’s mother over with her car), makes me feel like Woo-kyung could easily have done some sort of horrible thing in her past. As much as I’m rooting for Woo-kyung to save all the children, there’s a part of me that also wants to hold her at arm’s length.
Especially if it’s proven that the little girl in the green dress was indeed someone from Woo-kyung’s past — either a childhood friend, or perhaps her sister, or even herself at some more innocent, younger time, a time before her real mother (presumably) died and her father remarried. Maybe the little girl in the green dress is her inner child, some sort of innocence that she lost due to a horrific event in her young life that she’s repressed all these years. I keep trying to figure out why the little girl in the green dress first appeared to Woo-kyung the moment before she hit Suk-woo. Did it trigger some forgotten memory that still has yet to completely resurface? A fresh trauma making her remember an old trauma?
But the little girl in the green dress still seems to have some kind of omniscient agency that can’t simply be explained by Woo-kyung’s psyche. Or can it? Maybe the little girl seeming to know exactly where to lead Woo-kyung is just Woo-kyung’s intuition, manifest. Maybe she’s actually deeply perceptive, but fear and timidity (possibly born during her years growing up with a formidable character like her stepmother) causes her to self-doubt. So perhaps she needs the little girl to explicitly tell her what she may already secretly believe but isn’t confident to act on. It’s almost like the little girl in the green dress is Woo-kyung’s super ego, encouraging her when to act (to save a child’s life) and when to restrain herself (and not kill her husband or Suk-woo’s mother).
Ah, so much possibility! Before I lose myself in one of those 10,000 word essays, I’ll simply say, “Wow, what a gripping show — I can’t wait see what happens next!”
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