Item: Episodes 5-6
Thankfully, the awkward editing from last week is gradually improving, which means we can begin to focus on the intricate plot. It seems clear that the murders are somehow connected, but the relation between the various items is still tantalizing vague — although both the murders and items could possibly stem from tragedy that seems to have affected everyone’s past.
EPISODES 5-6 RECAP
The morning sun shines through stained glass in a church, and Father Gu recites a prayer of penance, asking for the sins committed in darkness to be cast away by the light. He should pray for penance, since he’s already killed two men with his laser-whip — but his calm attitude towards his own sin indicates that he believes his murders are useful in spreading the “light.”
Gon drops off Da-in for her first day of school. She writes him a note, asking him to come home early.
As Gon heads to the prosecutor’s office, he runs into Yoo-na, who chides him for not stopping by to say “hello” to her on his first day back. She offers to treat him to some coffee, but he has to take a rain check since he’s working on the judge’s murder.
Gon tells Yoo-na that they’re expecting the CCTV footage to give them a lead as to who the killer might be. Yoo-na does not look pleased to hear that, although she hides her reaction to Gon, cheerfully telling him she’ll see him later.
At the imaging room, the technician has done her best to analyze the footage of the blue light beaming from the judge’s car. It doesn’t seem to have a natural explanation from the nearby sources, or through a fault in the camera, so the technician’s hypothesis is that it’s some sort of electromagnetic pulse.
The technician has managed to enhance the footage enough so that they can make out a vague outline of a man in the driver’s seat. But, because the CCTV camera is nowhere near HD, the blurry, pixilated enhancement is the best that she can do. At least Gon has some sort of vague lead.
Se-hwang’s on the hunt for the bracelet, having tracked it down to Dae-soo. He’s unperturbed that the police are also looking for the gangster, since he knows Hwawon owns more CCTV cameras than the police could ever hope for. He orders his security team to find Dae-soo by the end of the day.
So-young visits Father Gu’s orphanage. All the kids rush up to her, happy to see her, which means she’s a regular visitor. She meets with the priest, happily handing over a rosary as a birthday gift for him. He refers to her by her confirmation name, “Angela,” noting the bottle of anxiety medication in her purse.
She confesses that she still has trouble sleeping without the pills. She wonders if Father Gu still thinks about “that day.” Both of them grow somber as she admits that, despite all the time that has past, it still feels like “it” happened only yesterday — even though everyone else seems to have forgotten.
A photo on the wall shows the priest, So-young, her father, and a dozen other people holding a banner that says “Sunflower Recovery Program.” All of them had family members that died in a fire at an amusement park. Ahhh, this must be what they’re referring to. And now we know what happened to her mother.
In his office, Gon puts up photos from the judge’s murder. He’s trying to make sense of the weird EMP and odd marks on the judge’s body, and asks Chief Shin, So-young’s father, if he’s seen anything like it in his years as a detective. Chief Shin says he hasn’t, wondering why the killer went through the trouble to hang the body upside down.
Remembering how the bracelet gave Dae-soo super-strength, Gon suggests that maybe the killer had special superhuman powers, or possibly had an item that provided superhuman powers. Chief Shin thinks it sounds a little crazy, but Gon muses that they’ll find out once they catch the killer.
Da-in’s at school and during recess, she’s confronted by the neighborhood bullies. They mock her for having dead parents, and then try to take the melodica that she protectively clutches to her chest. The bracelet on her wrist flashes and she accidentally throws the largest kid across the yard. Terrified, he calls her a “monster” and runs off. Da-in stares at the bracelet in stunned wonder.
So-young presents her report on deaths of Chairman Nam and the judge, informing her team that she believes the two murders are linked because they both had the same Bible verses with their bodies. She believes that the killer is using the verses to indicate why he’s killing, since Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven things the Lord hates.
For Chairman Nam, the page from the Bible was found on the man’s eyes, which fits the phrase, “haughty eyes.” The judge’s verse was found stuffed into his mouth, indicating “a lying tongue.” So-young theorizes that the killer is working his way through the list, and there will be five more murders (hands that shed innocent blood; a heart the devises wicked plans; feet that make haste to run to evil; a false witness who breathes out lies; and one who sows discord between brothers).
She adds that both men were respected and considerable honorable, but next to their bodies was evidence of their corruption. So-young predicts that the next murder will occur tomorrow, and each murder will become even more dramatically grandiose.
Gon has also noted that the Bible verses were found with both bodies and shows up at the police station to talk to So-young. He wants her professional profiler opinion on the case, and she agrees that it’s unlike any she’s seen before.
She points out that, with the judge, the killer didn’t try to hide what he’s doing, so she believes the killer will grow bolder in his attempt to make each death attract more attention and spread his message.
Cute maknae Yo-han eavesdrops on their conversation, and his serious expression as they talk about the killer’s message makes me nervous that he’s somehow connected in a way we haven’t seen yet.
Se-hwang wakes up from a nap when his eyes do the camera-flash thing. At least he’s resorted to keeping the polaroid camera close by, so he can immediately see what image is produced. The picture is of a man outside of an apartment building, and Se-hwang happily tells his security team to get ready to move out. It’s time to track down his items.
Da-in and Gon put together a puzzle piece that’s of a photo of the two of them. Ahhh, so cute! But she’s distracted, remembering what happened at school when the bracelet’s power threw the other kid across the field. Gon notes that she’s not her usual self and asks if anything happened at school, but Da-in just shakes her head.
Outside their building, Dae-soo lurks in exactly the same manner that was shown on Se-hwang’s polaroid. The gangster does his Gollum-muttering, “It’s mine. It’s mine!” as he swears that he’ll kill anyone who stands in his way.
Da-in is in bed when her uncle gets a call that he decides to take outside. His old team is still trying to help him track down Dae-soo, but they’ve run into a dead-end. So-young is also outside, likely having her nightly “stare at night sky and talk to Mom” moment.
They awkwardly greet each other in an attempt to be friendly neighbors, but it’s much easier to talk about murder. Gon, who’s read through So-young’s case file, asks if she really thinks that something supernatural happened at the judge’s murder scene. So-young says that she’s not sure — but considering the bizarre effort required for the murder, it’s strange that there’s no evidence of how it was done.
Gon hesitantly admits he’s seen an object that could possibly have the power. He describes the supernatural bracelet — adding that it’s the same one he had in his dream, where he first saw her. That’s why he’s been so focused on tracking down Dae-soo.
If only he knew the gangster was literally yards away, glaring up at the Gon and So-young on the rooftop. Dae-soo clutches a brick, ready to fight and claim back what he believes to be “his,” but he’s suddenly attacked by a dozen men.
They’re part of Se-hwang’s security team, and Se-hwang watches the fight safely from his car (by using a high-tech holographic screen, with images transmitted from a camera in Mr. Yoo’s glasses). All Se-hwang needs is a bucket of popcorn, so delighted by his own action-movie happening outside.
When Gon runs downstairs to stop the fight, Se-hwang suddenly sits up in surprise. But he’s no less thrilled by his real-life action film, since he knows Gon is a worthy opponent — but Se-hwang still has full confidence his team will win.
Dae-soo is tackled, but the bracelet isn’t on his wrist. Gon also valiantly fights off the hooded men, and So-young calls in her team, turning on her police siren. Annoyed that he hasn’t found his prize, Se-hwang ungraciously accepts his temporary defeat, ordering his men to leave the scene.
Hearing the police siren, Da-in peeks outside, shocked to see her uncle fighting off a bunch of men. Downstairs, So-young’s father pokes his head into his daughter’s bedroom, wondering where she’s gone.
But his eyes grow wide with horror when he sees what she’s working on, and the scribbled note on her case file: “What if special powers exist, ones that we’re not aware of?” He hurries out of the apartment, looking for her. Hmmm, why so freaked out, Dad?
Dae-soo looks like he might be able to get away, but he’s suddenly wrapped up in the laser whip and hoisted into the air. Uh-oh. Father Gu — in his black trench coat and hood — drags the gangster onto the rooftop, and demands the terrified young man tell him who he is.
Hopefully the priest got an answer before he dropped Dae-soo off the roof of the building, where the gangster smashes onto a car (but still manages to repeat his “It’s mine!” mantra. Such dedication!).
Gon rounds the corner just in time to see the gangster land on the car, and watches in shock as the laser-whip hoists Dae-soo back to the rooftop. Gon runs upstairs and stares in confusion at the priest, who towers over Dae-soo unmoving body.
As the rain pours down, Father Gu uses the whip to hold Gon upside-down over the side of the building, making the whip tendrils pull tighter and tighter until they crush Gon’s ribs. Da-in, worried for her uncle, runs into alley, desperately searching for him. She clenches her fist, and the bracelet glows a little.
Meanwhile, Se-hwang has adorned himself with the One True Drama Disguise, a black baseball cap and mask. He’s been lying in wait, since he’s received yet another polaroid that shows Da-in in this very alleyway. He carefully follows her as she searches for her uncle.
Despite hanging upside down from the rooftop and having the life squeezed out of him, Gon sees Da-in in the alley. He also sees a mysterious masked man following her. Gon weakly calls out to niece, and when she sees him suddenly drop from her sight on the rooftop, she falls to her knees.
The sound of a police siren and So-young searching for Gon causes Se-hwang to fade back into the shadows, leaving Da-in unscathed. So-young finds Da-in, reassuring the little girl that she’ll find her uncle and bring him home safe-and-sound, then orders her team to head to the rooftop.
They run upstairs, where they find her father tending to the injured Gon — but there’s no sign of Father Gu. Gee, seems a little suspicious, especially since we saw someone push Father Gu’s hand away from Gon right after he was dropped back on the roof. Dad definitely seems to know more than he’s letting on.
Once Gon regains consciousness and sees Da-in, he runs to her, confirming that she’s okay. But she’s pissed her uncle scared her by almost dying, and she beats her tiny fist onto his shoulders. He pulls her close, clinging to her tightly as they silently hug in the rain.
In the bathroom, Gon stares at the marks left from the laser-whip — which look identical to the marks on the bodies of Chairman Nam and the judge.
Se-hwang sulks in his lair. His head security guy, Mr. Yoo, stands at attention nearby, prepared to be berated for his team failing to obtain the item.
As expected, Se-hwang slaps the man repeatedly — and hard, causing Mr. Yoo to stagger back. But Mr. Yoo placidly returns to his deferential pose, accepting the punishment without a reaction as Se-hwang continues to brutally slap him, demanding to know if it hurts. Each time, Mr. Yoo says it doesn’t.
Da-in worriedly tends to the wound on her uncle’s hand. As she looks at him with those big, expressive eyes of hers, Gon apologizes for disappearing and leaving her alone, promising it will never happen again. Is it possible to put a bandaid on a heart? Because mine is bursting due to how much love — and concern — they have for each other.
So-young and Yo-han wait at the hospital as the ER doctors tend to Dae-soo. Yo-han nervously fiddles with a ring, which makes me suspicious because any time the camera focuses on a seemingly normal item, I’m gonna assume it’s a magical artifact — especially when the symbols on it match the symbols on the bracelet.
Gon drops Da-in off for her second day of school, and solemnly reminds her that he’ll protect her, no matter what. She draws a heart on his hand, then heads off to school with one last look back at her uncle.
He gets a call from So-young letting him know that Dae-soo has regained consciousness, so Gon rushes off to the hospital. But Se-hwang, dressed as a doctor, shows Dae-soo a picture book from Dream World, the amusement park that burned down.
Se-hwang opens up the book and bits of black and brown start to flow from Dae-soo to an empty page in the book. It’s like the book is sucking out Dae-soo’s soul. “Doctor” Se-hwang saunters away as the “Code Blue” alarm starts, and the real hospital staff rush into Dae-soo’s room.
So-young and Gon arrive just as the staff are attempting to revive Dae-soo, who seems to have gone into cardiac arrest. Gon notices a weird tattoo on the young man’s wrist, and remembers getting a stamp of that tattoo as a child when he went to an amusement park.
Da-in is home alone, writing a letter to her uncle. Meanwhile, someone in a black hoodie creeps up the the stairs and decodes the lock. There’s still a safety latch keeping the door mostly shut, and Da-in looks up from her note to see Se-hwang peering through the crack in the door.
Terrified, she video calls her uncle, but drops the phone to run to her room and lock the door. Se-hwang breaks down the safety latch and ominously walks to Da-in’s bedroom, stepping on her phone and breaking it. He rattles her doorknob, and, with his cheeky smile, starts to whistle as he pulls out the Dream World photo book.
The screws slowly fall out of the door handle as Da-in sobs in terror, clutching her melodica.
Gon speeds home as fast as he can, and when he gets there, Se-hwang is long gone. There’s signs of a struggle, and Gon panics when he can’t find Da-in at first. Then he sees the wardrobe slightly open.
Relieved, he finds her hiding there, and starts to pull her out, but she falls over, unmoving. She’s unresponsive as Gon tries to shake her awake. Noooooooooooo!
She’s rushed to the hospital, and Gon watches helplessly as the paramedics perform CPR, since she apparently had a heart attack. Following them is Mr. Yoo and Se-hwang, who get cut off by a police car when they break the rules of the road to keep up with the ambulance.
Annoyed that they’re being stopped for what he believes to be petty reasons, Se-hwang gets the policeman’s attention. In his polite and charming public persona, he chats with the policeman, then sprays the officer with the perfume bottle item. The policeman’s eyes become momentarily cloudy, and he stands still, unmoving, which allows Se-hwang and his crew to drive away.
So-young and Yo-han see Gon running into the hospital as Da-in is escorted to the ER. The detectives hurry to his side, reassuring Gon that Da-in is in good hands with the doctors, but Gon staggers to the floor, dizzy with worry.
So-young waits with him outside the operating room, and the doctor finally emerges to tell Gon that Da-in has stabilized. But it’s odd that someone so young, with normal vital signs and no visible injuries, should have had a cardiac arrest.
The doctor warns Gon that Da-in still hasn’t regained consciousness, though, and at this point in time, they’re not sure when — or if — she ever will. Gon agonizingly watches over Da-in’s unmoving body in the hospital bed, and as he reaches out to hold her hand, he sees on her wrist the same infinite-heart shape that was on Dae-soo’s wrist — the symbol of Dream World.
I’m thrilled that the editing and pacing has improved enough so I’m no longer distracted by what the heck the show is trying to convey and can simply enjoy the plot and mystery as it unfolds. I’m loads more confident that the story will actually start to make sense, especially now that there’s a hint of how everything fits together. I’m assuming that the fire at Dream World, the amusement park, is the defining moment for everyone.
That seems to be how So-young’s mother died, which connects her to Father Gu since they were part of the same support group (and I haven’t forgotten that weird exposition where we found out that he once used to be a doctor before becoming a priest, so perhaps he turned to the priesthood after losing a family member in that fire). Gon apparently attended that same amusement park as a child — maybe he lost a family member there? After all, we haven’t heard about his parents. I’m just assuming they’re dead since you’d think if his niece was suddenly an orphan, she’d be living with her grandparents instead of a single uncle who’s never taken care of a kid before. It’s also unclear to me if both her parents died in the car crash, but that’s a detail that doesn’t matter at the moment, since the important thing at the moments is that both Da-in’s parents are dead.
I’m currently convinced that all the items must be connected to Dream World as well. Maybe they’re items that belonged to someone (or multiple someones) who died in the fire. Maybe the fire wasn’t the stereotypical code-violation from greedy corporations (*squints hard at Hwawon*), but perhaps some supernatural thing — like a meteor falling from the sky. I’d like to think that these everyday items suddenly were given magical powers because they were found buried under kryptonite (or your other-worldly mineral of choice). After all, the items are very mundane: a bracelet, perfume bottle, polaroid camera, cigarette lighter, and, apparently, a souvenir photo book.
The photo book is intriguing, since that must be where Gon gets the brown-and-white faded photo of Da-in when he’s stopping the train (sometime in the vague future). Which means Gon must find the book eventually. I’m not sure what the book does (I’m just gonna stick to “sucks out your soul” for lack of a better description), but I’m hoping somehow it can be reversed — although that creepy clown next to the newly de-souled Dae-soo may need an explanation. Does that mean the last time the book was used was actually at the amusement park (since that’s where I’d assume you’d find clowns)? How long has that clown been trapped there? Is there a circus performer that’s been in a coma for a decade?
Then there’s Father Gu, who’s ready to rain down the fire-and-brimstone on the hypocritical men in power. I’m not sure what their connection is, but I’m gonna assume there’s going to be a murder soon that involves someone’s hands being ripped off them (“hands that kill the innocent”) and then left to be displayed in a gruesomely garish way. As serial killers go, at least he’s creative and has a clear agenda. I can’t wait to see the look on So-young’s face, though, once she discovers that the killer she’s chasing is her neighborhood friendly priest — and that her father, and potentially her adorable maknae partner, are also somehow involved.