Red Moon, Blue Sun: Episodes 15-16
As our protagonist follows every clue in her desperate attempt to figure out who the little girl in the green dress might be, the detectives continue to track down information that might lead them to Red Cry. It won’t be an easy task, because the identities of both mysterious people are very carefully hidden — but by whom? And why?
EPISODES 15-16 RECAP
Looking at the drawing of the little girl in the green dress, Woo-kyung’s not-really-childhood friend says that the little girl looks like Woo-kyung. But Woo-kyung staunchly denies it, and takes out a photo that shows child Woo-kyung standing with another little girl, who is another supposed childhood friend. Yep, child Woo-kyung doesn’t look like the girl in the green dress.
Meanwhile, Ha-jung’s daughter Bit-na hurries after the detectives, warning them not to believe everything her mother told them. She defends Woo-kyung, who once used to counsel her. Bit-na says that her mother is just jealous of Woo-kyung and thus wants to discredit her out of a bizarre sense of competition.
Ji-heon asks Bit-na if she stole her mother’s information and sold it online, but the girl scoffs. She doesn’t need money — she already has 10,000,000 won in the bank. Ji-heon marvels that the girl seems to have a good life — plenty of money and top of her class, what more could she need?
Except her life is anything but good. Ha-jung turns out to be an overly controlling mother, doing TSA-worthy searches of her daughter to make sure there aren’t any distractions before locking Bit-na into a closet where she can do nothing except study. Ha-jung even has a camera set up in the closet, and happily spies on her daughter studying.
But carefully blocked by her book and desk, Bit-na expertly sends a message without even looking at her secret phone. She asks someone that’s saved as “Teach” in her phone if the secret phone she’s using is a burner phone, since the detectives were asking about burner phones. But “Teach” tells Bit-na not to worry about it.
Woo-kyung arrives at the apartment building just as Min-seok is leaving after dropping off Eun-seo, but she waits in her car until he drives away. Mom reveals that she talked to Min-seok about Woo-kyung, and they’re both concerned that Woo-kyung is still hallucinating about the little girl in the green dress.
Woo-kyung insists she no longer sees the little girl and is being treated by her doctor (LIES!), but Mom angrily demands to know why Woo-kyung keeps asking about the little girl. Woo-kyung says that she just had a memory of the little girl and is trying to recall where it came from.
Mom gets defensive, telling Woo-kyung that trying to remember the little girl won’t help their family. Besides, if Woo-kyung should remember anything, she should remember her breakdown after Se-kyung’s accident and how difficult those months were for everyone. Mom warns Woo-kyung that if she doesn’t snap out of her obsession with the little girl in the green dress, Woo-kyung will lose her actual child, Eun-seo.
In their secret command room, Chan-wook has worked his tech magic to discover that the burner phone they originally tracked to Ha-jung is definitely connected to Red Cry, and that it was turned on a couple of days ago for a total of seven minutes — the same period of time that Woo-kyung received the message from Red Cry.
Soo-young looks into Ha-jung’s history, and finds a few interesting criminal charges — vandalism, public disturbance, and assault. All of these actions came about because someone disagreed with Ha-jung’s extreme stance that anyone who abused a child should be arrested or killed.
She even fought with one of the Everybody’s Child members when the other woman said that Ha-jung was being too harsh. But the woman does say that Ha-jung and Woo-kyung seemed to get along — in fact, Woo-kyung was the only Everybody Child’s member Ha-jung was friendly with.
All roads continue to lead back to Woo-kyung, so Ji-heon and Soo-young stop by the children’s center to ask her about Ha-jung. Woo-kyung is surprised by their questions, and Ji-heon adds that Ha-jung said Woo-kyung went crazy after Se-kyung’s accident.
Woo-kyung admits her sister got into the car accident right after she and Woo-kyug had an argument, so it would have been strange if Woo-kyung didn’t struggle after her sister’s accident. But she hasn’t been in contact with Ha-jung since she quit the club two years ago.
Ji-heon asks if Woo-kyung thinks Ha-jung could be Red Cry — after all, they both share the same extreme views on how to deal with child abusers. Woo-kyung cautiously explains that a parent is a child’s universe, and to imagine how frightening and disorientating it would be if the universe suddenly attacked you for no reason. In that way, Woo-kyung also agrees with Ha-jung’s and Red Cry’s views that child abusers should be harshly punished — but simply having an opinion doesn’t make someone a murderer.
As they leave the children’s center, Soo-young’s still convinced that Ha-jung and Woo-kyung must be working together, but Ji-heon muses that they always seem to return to this building, no matter what case they’re working on. He spots Eun-ho unloading the maintenance truck, and wonders if Woo-kyung is really the problem — or if it’s the children’s center.
The detectives hurry back inside, and Ji-heon asks if Woo-kyung’s work computer is set up to a intranet for the center. Woo-kyung says it is — that’s where all her case files are kept. But they’re all securely encrypted and there’s no easy way to hack the system.
But as the detectives analyze the children center’s software, Chan-wook reveals that there’s a back door to the intranet, a “master key” that can be accessed in case of emergencies and allows the user to view all files. The only person who has access to the master key is the children’s center owner. That seems like a good lead in narrowing down who Red Cry could be.
Except the owner is computer illiterate, and hands out his log-in information like candy so others can get the access they need from him. Ji-heon wants to know if Eun-ho would have access to the log-in, but considering how lax the owner is with his personal security, it would be easier to make a list of who didn’t have access.
Soo-young checks the alibis for all the employees of the children’s center to see what they were doing when the burner phone was turned on for those seven minutes. Luckily for Eun-ho, he’s caught on the CCTV camera at that time, doing maintenance in the front garden — and definitely not in the location where the wifi towers indicate the burner phone was used.
One of Eun-ho’s drawings of Ha-na catches her eye, and Soo-young is surprised that he drew the little girl with a huge smile. Eun-ho practically beams as he explains that Ha-na’s become so much happier lately. He adds that whenever he looks at the children laughing and smiling, it feels like something terrible inside him is being washed away.
As Soo-young turns to leave, Eun-ho stops her, asking about the rumor he’s heard, that the mummified woman was actually Ha-na’s mother. He muses that it’s actually a blessing, since Ha-na now gets to live a happy life — although he quickly adds that murder is bad, of course. But in this case, it all seemed to work out well for Ha-na.
Woo-kyung goes to the hospital to visit Suk-woo’s little sister, Hee-soo. She gives the little girl the drawing her brother had hidden in his shoe, then talks to the social workers at the hospital. The social worker says that the father immediately waived his parental rights to Hee-soo, but she hasn’t been able to reach Hee-soo’s mother to get her to sign the form.
Woo-kyung tries calling Hee-soo’s mother but doesn’t get a response. The last we saw of Suk-woo and Hee-soo’s mother, she was collapsed on the side of the road after being hit by a truck. However, in a surprising turn of events for the normally reliable Truck of Doom, the woman is still alive, although badly injured and in the hospital.
At an art gallery, Woo-kyung wanders around, looking at the paintings. But her true purpose for being there is because the gallery owner is another of her childhood friends. Except the woman doesn’t remember Woo-kyung at all.
That sends Woo-kyung to hunt through Mom’s storage room to find anything else from her childhood. But Mom says that they threw out all of the childhood memorabilia when they moved. Woo-kyung finds it odd that her father would spend so much time showing her photos and telling her stories about her childhood, but never did that for Se-kyung.
Mom simply says that Woo-kyung was always her father’s favorite. But Woo-kyung tells Mom about the supposed childhood friends who have no memory of her, her voice starting to rise in a panic as she says it’s strange that her memory and theirs could be so different. Why can’t she remember anything correctly?
Mom points out that it would be strange to have a perfect memory of things that happened over thirty years ago, but Woo-kyung demands to know if her father purposefully showed her those photos and told her those stories to give her false memories. She desperately asks why her father would to such a thing, but Mom coldly tells Woo-kyung she should go see a doctor.
The detectives are annoyed that their Red Cry lead became a dead-end thanks to the children’s center owner being so carefree with his log-in information. All the employees have alibis for when the burner phone was turned on, so that trail has gone cold, too. Ji-heon’s foul mood is further ruined when he gets a call letting him know that his request for a restraining order to keep Ha-na from her father has been denied.
That means there’s no reason to keep Ha-na from meeting her father. When Woo-kyung and Ji-heon reluctantly take Ha-na to her father, her smile disappears. She doesn’t look at her father as he laughs at the absurdity of him suddenly thinking Ha-na is cute, despite him hating children in general.
Ji-heon and Woo-kyung are not amused, but they keep a careful watch as the man calls to Ha-na. She ignores him until he suddenly bursts out that she should look at him when he’s talking to her. Ha-na immediately, and almost instinctively, leaps to attention=. But she’s still silent as the man repeatedly and absurdly calls himself her father.
The little girl is so terrified that she pees her pants, but is too afraid to move until Woo-kyung reassures her that it’s okay to use the bathroom. As Woo-kyung asks the man where it is, Ha-na immediately runs towards it. That’s odd, considering the man keeps insisting this is the first time he’s ever met his daughter, so it should be impossible for her to know how his home is laid out.
Ji-heon isn’t falling for the man’s lies, and tries to keep calm and neutral when the man starts to talk about Woo-kyung, joking that she has such a nice body that even Ji-heon must be attracted to her. But even a cool-headed detective has his breaking point, and Ji-heon suddenly stands up, looking like he wants to punch the man in the face.
Laughing, the man says his lewd remarks are just jokes between a couple of guys. But Ji-heon reveals he’s been recording their conversation and that he can arrest the man for sexual harassment. Ji-heon grabs him by the collar, and through gritted teeth, angrily tells him that he knows exactly what kind of criminal trash the man really is. Then Ji-heon shoves him to the ground.
Ha-na and Woo-kyung come out of the bathroom just then, and Ha-na runs over to Ji-heon, clinging to his leg as she looks up at him in silent appeal. Ji-heon hesitates and then puts his arm around the little girl.
Ha-na is thankfully returned to her foster family, and her bright smile is all the thanks Ji-heon needs to confirm he did the right thing. Woo-kyung sighs that they don’t have any proof that Ha-na’s father did anything to abuse her, and it’s frustrating knowing that someone committed a crime but they’re unable to arrest them.
Ji-heon’s determined to keep track of every little thing Ha-na’s father does wrong until it adds up to be enough for an arrest. Woo-kyung says Ji-heon’s optimistic and naive — Ha-na would rather pee on herself than say anything against her father. She’ll be too terrified to testify against him.
Woo-kyung adds that Ji-heon must finally understand how Red Cry feels right now, the rage against a child abuser and wanting to do anything to destroy them — because, at least, that’s how Woo-kyung feels.
On her way home from school, Bit-na is stopped by Soo-young who treats her to a quick meal before Bit-na heads to her after-school class. Soo-young wants to know more about what made Woo-kyung and Ha-jung split ways, and Bit-na says that the two women are just naturally different — one is authentic, the other is fake.
Soo-young asks which one is which, and Bit-na shrugs, saying it all depends on your perspective. But Soo-young catches a glimpse of fresh scars on the girl’s arms and demands to know if Woo-kyung also saw them. Soo-young wonders if that’s the reason why Bit-na’s mother and Woo-kyung no longer speak to each other.
Annoyed, Bit-na insists that the marks are just a “scratch game” the kids play, but Woo-kyung also saw them and accused Ha-jung of child abuse. That would definitely cause a fracture in the friendship, since there’s no way Ha-jung would be able to withstand being called the very thing she hates.
Meanwhile, Chan-wook has dug further into Ha-jung’s records, discovering that Ha-jung regularly received an illegal study-aid prescription from Doctor Park — the same doctor who killed Ji-hye.
Ji-heon and Soo-young question Ha-jung about the prescription, pointing out that she was receiving the drugs from Doctor Park for quite some time, so she must have known him relatively well — especially since they both protested against Ji-hye.
Ha-jung acts shocked to discover that Doctor Park is the same person who committed suicide after killing Ji-hye, but Ji-heon yells at her to stop playing dumb. He then asks where she was at the time when the burner phone was turned on, but Ha-jung is affronted by all their questioning.
Woo-kyung finds Suk-woo’s mother at the hospital and is shocked by how injured the woman is. Woo-kyung apologizes for slapping the woman a few days ago, but the woman says Woo-kyung must be so happy to know that she was hit by a truck. After all, Woo-kyung told her she might as well die.
But Woo-kyung’s main concern is for Hee-soo and getting her mother’s permission to send Hee-soo to a foster home. As Woo-kyung starts to leave, she hesitatingly asks if the woman has someone to take care of her, but the woman just quotes the poem that was sent to her: “The poop of sorrow, the meal of poop.”
The woman starts to cry as she admits that when the truck hit her, she thought she was being punished, that she was being forced to experience exactly how terrified and in pain her son was when he died. But she survived and her son didn’t, so she says she’s worse than poop.
Driving home, Woo-kyung can’t stop thinking about how Suk-woo’s mother kept asking if Woo-kyung was pleased that she nearly died, and how the accident matched Woo-kyung’s prior desire to run the woman over in her car.
Recognizing the phrase from the poem, Woo-kyung flips through all her poetry books until she finds the one by Choi Seungja, titled “You, Who I Cannot Save.”
Ha-jung is in her own secret chat room disguised as a rock band’s website, messaging her concerns to an anonymous person. She’s concerned that the detectives keep about her alibi, but the anonymous person tells her it will be fine, provided Ha-jung acts innocent.
Ha-jung steps away from the table as Bit-na emerges from her prison, I mean, bedroom, to get a drink of milk. She thinks it odd that her mother is looking at a rock music website, but when Ha-jung returns, she merely warns Bit-na not to drink so much so she doesn’t waste study time peeing. Ugh, this mom is the worst.
In the morning, Woo-kyung goes to Ji-heon and his team to tell them about Suk-woo’s mother, the Truck of Doom, and the poem. She thinks it’s strange that a person who criminally neglected her children was nearly killed and was sent a line a poem just before it happened. It fits Red Cry’s modus operandi perfectly.
Chan-wook thinks it’s creepy that they’ve got a serial killer who loves obscure poetry, but Woo-kyung disagrees — she believes the killer actually hates poetry. When it comes to killing something the culprit hates, such as abusive parents, the culprit wouldn’t want to immediately associate it with something they love, such as poetry.
Soo-young follows Woo-kyung, inquiring about Bit-na’s statement that “one of them is authentic, the other is fake.” Woo-kyung doesn’t know what it means and turns to leave, but Soo-young adds that Bit-na still plays the “scratch game.” Neither women seem to believe that the “scratch game” is really how Bit-na got her wounds.
Woo-kyung sends Bit-na a message, reminding her that she’s always on her side, just like she had originally promised.
The detectives head to the building where Suk-woo’s mother does her online streaming, and they paw through the dumpster to find the note with the poem on it. They also ask if she received any weird or creepy messages online, and one of the staff members wryly points out that in their line of business, weird and creepy messages are their bread-and-butter. But the staff member is shocked to discover that she was married and had kids.
When Ji-heon and Soo-young visit the hospital to see Suk-woo’s mother, she’s furious that they told everyone at work that she’s a mother. The detectives just want to know if she talked to anyone about her kids, especially the way she neglected them. The woman protests that she didn’t purposefully neglect them — she had to work and didn’t know what else to do with them.
She starts to cry as she confesses that ever since her divorce, she never mentioned her kids to anyone. She knows she’s not a good mom and doesn’t deserve to be one.
Just then, Ji-heon gets a call that they’ve discovered the identity of the hit-and run-driver. It’s a college student who goes to school abroad, but was working part-time for a moving company over the winter holiday. Ji-heon warns the student that even though Suk-woo’s mother didn’t die, he could still go to prison for a long time for driving away from the accident.
Ji-heon quotes the line of poetry to him, but the student has no idea what Ji-heon is talking about. It doesn’t seem like the student was the one who sent the weird gift to Suk-woo’s mother. At the moment, it looks like it was a genuine Truck of Doom accident and has nothing to do with the vigilante serial killer who may (or may not) love poetry.
Ji-heon’s day continues to get even worse when he’s asked to make Ha-na’s DNA results public so her father can register her as part of his family. Ji-heon refuses to give the man that information, despite the man warning Ji-heon that he’s tearing a family apart. Yeah, sure, whatever. We know that there’s no good reason for him to claim Ha-na as his own.
Woo-kyung receives a message from one of her not-childhood-friends, apologizing that they must have been mistaken about not knowing Woo-kyung, because she sends a photo of them celebrating Woo-kyung’s birthday together. Woo-kyung stares at it in disbelief — there’s no image of the little girl in the green dress, but young Woo-kyung is wearing the green dress.
A flash of memory causes her to recall her birth mother giving the dress to her as a birthday present, and how happy she was. Images of the little girl in the green dress and Woo-kyung as a child superimpose in Woo-kyung’s mind as she fights to recall the correct memory.
Looking across the kitchen table, she sees the little girl in the green dress staring sadly at her. Once again, Woo-kyung wonders who the little girl really is.
I’m still sticking to my current theory that the little girl in the green dress is Se-kyung. We know that Se-kyung is younger than Woo-kyung, and I could see how a younger sister would ask to try on her older sister’s birthday present. At any rate, I’m determined to believe (at least, for now) that the little girl in the green dress is blood-related to Woo-kyung and a true memory from her past, but one that her father worked very hard to persuade Woo-kyung never existed as he kept feeding her false memories. (Which is seriously messed up — how terrible a childhood did Woo-kyung have that her family would pretend it never happened, creating an entirely different childhood story for her? For that matter, why didn’t Se-kyung get the same treatment, since she surely had the same memories? Or was she too young to remember anything at the time?)
Even though I don’t fully trust Woo-kyung, I’m not convinced she’s the poetry killer. She definitely has the rage and the desire to kill someone — but not, I believe, the follow-through. She does seem to come to her senses at just the right moment. She may slap a few neglectful parents, but kill them? That’s going a bit too far, no matter if she thinks they deserve it or not.
But the children’s center is definitely where we’ll find the killer. Eun-ho still seems the most likely suspect — he has the kind of job that allows him to go all sorts of places virtually unnoticed. Just because he had CCTV footage giving him an alibi for the time Red Cry messaged Woo-kyung, doesn’t mean that he still couldn’t have done it. CCTV footage can easily be altered, especially when you’re the one in charge of keeping the records. While he might not have been the one driving the Truck of Doom, he does routinely drive a truck, and may have met the student driver somehow and become friends. Eun-ho knew what Suk-woo’s mother looked like since she visited the children’s center — he could have been following her and figured out a path she would normally take, and paid the student driver to hit her. Or, at least, take the fall for hitting her. It makes sense! But so will an entire new theory once we get even more information in the next episode, heh.
While normally I’d be annoyed at the slow trickle of clues, I’m actually finding it rather delightful that we’re discovering everything almost at the same pace as the detectives and Woo-kyung. It makes me feel more like a participant than a mere viewer, as though I’m solving the mystery alongside them. I really appreciate that none of our detectives seem particularly clueless — whenever I’ve had a flagging concern about some potential weirdness, so did Ji-heon or Soo-young. The “bumbling cop” feels like such a common trope — a way to let the amateur sleuth figure out everything — that having such intelligent and intuitive detectives is exciting since I know it won’t be easy for our killer to stay hidden forever. I’m such a sucker for a good cat-and-mouse game, and even though so far this is still very much the mouse’s game, I can’t wait for the cats to finally figure out what’s really going on (because then I will know what’s really going on, too).
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