Item: Episodes 11-12
The cat-and-mouse game begins in earnest, since a certain arrogant CEO is not exactly able to hide how much he deeply wants to play with his new toy, er, I mean, prosecutor. “Delayed gratification” means nothing to a sociopath who is only interested in finding new ways to torture honest folk who just want to keep their loved ones alive.
EPISODES 11-12 RECAP
Se-hwang kills Dae-soo by ripping the Dream World photo in half. Se-hwang then gloats to Gon, telling the prosecutor that if Gon doesn’t find the item, then Da-in will die in a week. Gon, who doesn’t know that it’s Se-hwang on the other end of the line (thanks to the voice modulator), vows to catch the crazy bastard.
But first he has to deal with the fact that Dae-soo is dead. Yo-han and So-young ask him to join them at the station to make a statement. Well, So-young asks, Yo-han demands it, pointing out that it’s once again super suspicious that Gon keeps getting calls from someone, telling him that someone is going to die.
Gon agrees to go the police station in the morning, which So-young permits, much to Yo-han’s annoyance. He’s convinced Gon is somehow nefariously involved, but So-young is confident that Gon is innocent, and explains with her profiler knowledge how Gon’s actions don’t fit a man who is guilty. She trusts him, even if her fellow detective doesn’t.
Chief Shin’s injuries are bandaged, and he’s relieved to hear that Da-in is okay. He pulls Gon into the hospital chapel to have a private word, revealing that he overheard Gon talk about the item.
Gon is like, “I know it’s hard to believe, but…” until Chief Shin cuts him off. Chief Shin knows that there are supernatural items out there, and he blames himself for Da-in’s vegetative state and Dae-soo’s death. He accurately describes how the photo book works, which surprises Gon, who wonders how Chief Shin found out about it.
The ex-detective sadly says that he used the album before. Suddenly he’s interrupted by his daughter, who’s shocked to find out that her father apparently has known about everything all this time.
Chief Shin apologizes, and explains that after he had to watch so many innocent people die — including her mother — he couldn’t just let the criminals go free, no matter what the law said. Tears start to fill So-young’s eyes as she turns around, unable to even look at her father.
She can’t stop thinking about the day years ago, when the judge declared all the culprits involved in the Dream World fire to be innocent. Eventually, she reaches for her father’s hand — it’s been difficult for the both of them.
Gon wonders how someone else got their hands on the photo book, and Chief Shin explains that he had tried multiple times to destroy it, but nothing seemed to harm the book. He was afraid of the power the book held, so he threw it away, and presumably that’s when it was found.
They know the book can kill people, but Gon asks if there’s a way the book can resuscitate the people in vegetative states. Chief Shin doesn’t know — that’s something he never experienced with the photo book. So-young wonders if re-attaching the ripped photos will bring people back.
Gon stares at the bracelet on his wrist, knowing that time is ticking away. Their first line of business should be to figure out who currently has the book. That person is somehow connected to Hak-jae, since Gon was ordered to bring Hak-jae’s item within a week. So-young offers to talk to Hak-jae, and in the meantime, Gon and Chief Shin will figure out who attacked them at the warehouse.
First, Gon has to follow up on his promise to give a statement. Thankfully, he had the presence of mind to record the conversation he had with Se-hwang (via the voice modulator). Yo-han questions Gon, who doesn’t have a lot of answers, except he believes the person behind the recording is also the same person ordering around the assailant in the waste facility.
Yo-han’s still on high suspicion alert, since there’s no evidence that there were any men at the trash compactor warehouse last night. Yo-han suggests that either Gon doesn’t remember correctly, or he’s hiding something. He demands to know if the person Gon met yesterday was truly a stranger.
Gon’s interrogation is being observed by the rest of the detective team, which includes So-young — and Yoo-na. The prosecutor doesn’t even wait to hear the end of the questioning and, knowing he’s hiding something, orders a tail on Gon.
When Gon leaves the station, So-young hurries to greet him, slipping him a note just before the rest of the detectives come out to ask if he wants to have a chat over a cup of coffee. Gon’s in no mood to play, though, and the lead detective grumbles that the look in Gon’s eyes seems more like a criminal’s than a prosecutor’s. So-young retorts that the lead detective’s face is, in her expert opinion, more like a gangster. Pffft.
Gon’s determined to figure out who Mr. Yoo is, since that’s the same person who was part of the group Gon fought off in front of his apartment building. There has to be a connection somewhere.
So-young visits Hak-jae in jail, who’s delighted a pretty woman is there to see him. So-young’s a no-nonsense profiler, though, and immediately demands information about Hak-jae’s item. Hak-jae coughs in surprise, and tries to backpedal, saying that if he had an item and if he gave it to Dae-soo, why would he tell a random detective about it?
Realizing she’s losing Hak-jae, So-young suddenly blurts out that a little girl is in a vegetative state and could die — just like Dae-soo did last night. That stops Hak-jae, even though he tries to jokingly insist that he knows nothing. When she brings up the “Room of Wishes,” he dismisses it as a fanciful rumor.
She wants to know how many items are out there, and Hak-jae shrugs, pointing out that there could be dozen or a thousand. When she finds out, she should come back and tell him. Despite his goofy demeanor, he’s pretty cagey, and So-young walks away without finding out anything new.
Gon and Chief Shin head to the traffic control center, where they look at CCTV footage of nearby traffic cameras. All of them conveniently stopped working last night during the attack at the waste management warehouse. Gon asks them to rewind to the day when Da-in was attacked, looking at the footage of traffic cameras near his home.
They spot a suspiciously familiar black SUV and take note of the license plate. It’s Se-hwang’s vehicle, because the camera shows it getting pulled over for a traffic citation. Gon recognizes Mr. Yoo sitting in the front seat, then is shocked to see that, after the black SUV drives away, the police officer suddenly step out into traffic and get hit by a Truck of Doom.
Gon tracks down the deceased officer’s partner, who doesn’t believe it was suicide. (Although, we know it technically was, thanks to Se-hwang’s perfume bottle of suicidal scent.) Chief Shin discovers that the SUV is part of the Hwawon corporate fleet, and Gon immediately zeroes in on Se-hwang as his enemy.
Se-hwang is surrounded by the press after declaring his intention to step-down as the CEO of Hwawon. He’s got his polite and humble persona on full display when Gon suddenly appears, demanding if the mysterious voice from last night was him.
Se-hwang plays dumb as Gon plays the recording, but when he realizes his heart-rate is rising after Gon threatens him to stay away from Da-in, Se-hwang can’t help but grin. He loves his games, and Gon is his favorite right now. He leans in, whispering in Gon’s ear that Gon always manages to be entertaining.
Gon demands Se-hwang tell him where the album is, even grabbing Se-hwang by the collar. Knowing full well that the press are continuing to film and take photos, Se-hwang continues to feign ignorance, but he can’t hide that little smirk. Gon punches Se-hwang in the face. Yessss!
Chief Shin and the Hwawon security team drag Gon away as Se-hwang plays up to the cameras, pointing out that Gon hasn’t changed at all in the last three years, and asking if Gon is going to send him to jail again. Gon spits out that Se-hwang is a bastard, which reminds Se-hwang of when his father would call him a monster.
Still in his public persona, Se-hwang politely tells Gon that he’ll be returning the favor and giving Gon a nice gift soon. But the smile drops as soon as Se-hwang enters his car, and Gon is swarmed by reporters wanting a juicy story from the prosecutor.
So-young arrives at the orphanage to see Father Gu. Oh, yeah — I forgot about him. They take a peaceful walk through the grounds so that So-young can soothe her troubled mind, and then Father Gu offers to give her some tea leaves that he recently made.
He leaves her in his office to go look for the tea, and So-yound idly browses the bookshelf. She spots the row of Bibles and flips through one, stopping in Proverbs. But before she go any further, Father Gu returns with the tea. They pleasantly bid each other adieu, but once So-young’s gone, Father Gu’s smile vanishes.
That’s because So-young saw that the page in Proverbs — the one that holds the verses found by the dead men — was ripped. So-young talks herself out of what she thought she saw, insisting she was imagining it, but we know Father Gu is guilty of killing those men.
Gon is convinced the Se-hwang is the mysterious voice over the phone, even though he doesn’t have any proof. Chief Shin reminds Gon that they can’t make any accusations without evidence, especially when it involves Se-hwang.
Chief Shin believes that Yoo-na could help them, since she took over all of the cases involving Se-hwang. If anyone has info on him, then surely she will. But Gon shows Chief Shin the note So-young passed him that morning, warning him that Yoo-na is secretly investigating him.
Yoo-na might have requested a tail to be put on Gon, but he’s the one following her as she leaves the courthouse. He trails her to the secret-office apartment, which she enters with one of the detectives.
Sneaking around the building, Gon follows a delivery driver up the elevator, using him to get the detective to open the door. The detective is shocked to see Gon standing there instead of delivery food, and Gon barges in to find Yoo-na and the other detectives (but not Yo-han or So-young).
Once the detectives leave and the two of them are alone, Gon asks if she was ordered to investigate him. Yoo-na retorts that it was actually her idea, since his blood was found under the judge’s fingernails, plus all the unpleasant connections that Gon has to the Hwawon corporation.
Oh, and then there’s the fact that the murders only started once he returned to Seoul and he always seems to be at the scene of the crime. It sounds like a reasonable argument for an investigation, and Gon has to admit that he can’t blame her — he would have done the same thing. But he’s still planning to pursue his own investigation.
Gon’s made the front page of the news as Se-hwang’s assailant, and Mr. Yoo wonders if it’s okay that they’re just letting Gon go free. But Se-hwang finds greater joy watching a racehorse escape the stadium than merely run in circles like it’s supposed to.
He gleefully shows Mr. Yoo how Gon has raised his heart rate, delighted to be feeling excitement over something for once. Now he needs Mr. Yoo to meet with Gon again.
Mr. Yoo heads down to the police station, where he makes a statement that an incident happened in his warehouse — one of his men was attacked by a prosecutor. Except he says that he never saw Gon (or Chief Shin) before.
Gon, tipped off that Mr. Yoo was there, watches from behind the two-way mirror with the other detectives. Except he knows Mr. Yoo is lying.
So-young also tries to poke holes in Mr. Yoo’s statement, pin-pointing the fact that it’s odd the man is only reporting the incident now, and that he’s the one giving a statement, not the man who was attacked.
Analyzing Mr. Yoo’s micro-expressions — or rather, distinct lack of expressions — So-young determines that Mr. Yoo is not as worked up as he is appearing to seem. She demands to know why he’s really there. Mr. Yoo says that he only wants “that prosecutor” to not hide behind governmental prestige and power.
Staring directly at the two-way mirror, as though he knows that Gon is standing behind it, Mr. Yoo adds that he just wants the prosecutor to come and apologize like a real man. He’ll be waiting.
Message received, Gon leaves the police station. Chief Shin enters the observation room in time to hear the detectives talk about Gon being investigated. So-young is surprised to discover that Gon was at the police station, but then realizes that must be who Mr. Yoo was really talking to.
She tries calling Gon, but he purposefully doesn’t answer. He’s too busy tailing Mr. Yoo from the police station. So-young knows exactly what Gon is doing, and demands footage from the parking lot, confirming her theory.
So-young sends her father to the hospital, in case Gon shows up there like he said he was going to. She texts Gon, pleading with him to stop as the detectives hurry after Gon, but they lose him along the way.
Mr. Yoo is nonplussed, fully aware that Gon is following him — presumably just like Se-hwang wanted. Mr. Yoo speeds down the highway with Gon hot on his bumper.
At the hospital, Se-hwang whistles as he walks down the hallway, carrying another bouquet of white flowers. This time the flowers are for Da-in. Oh no!
Gon follows Mr. Yoo to a building construction site and hurries out of his car. He heads upstairs to the empty building, hesitating for a moment before putting on the bracelet. Spotting Mr. Yoo, Gon demands to know where Se-hwang is.
Mr. Yoo spins around, pointing his gun at Gon. Se-hwang is still at the hospital, sitting next to Da-in, admiring how much she looks like her photo. He muses that no one can escape him.
At the construction site, Gon says that he doesn’t want the bracelet — he’ll hand it over if it means getting the book back. Mr. Yoo starts to laugh, and then suddenly stops. Ohhhhh, earlier Se-hwang had spritzed him with the suicide perfume, and now Mr. Yoo tries to prevent his own arm from pointing the gun at his head.
Gon rushes forward to try and help, but as they wrestle with the gun, it goes off, shooting Mr. Yoo in the chest. The sound of a gunshot gets the attention of the detectives, who have tracked Gon to the construction site.
A tablet on a nearby table suddenly turns on, and through the screen, Se-hwang cheerfully greets Gon. He explains that he had a change of plans, using his distaste for predictability as an excuse. He asks if Gon has heard about the Room of Wishes, then suggests that Gon should find out for himself if such a place exists.
Se-hwang shows him the photo book, pointing out that if Gon finds all the items, then Gon can enter the Room of Wishes — and in doing so, save Da-in. Gon angrily warns Se-hwang that if he so much as touches Da-in, he’ll kill the cocky bastard.
But Se-hwang just laughs, reiterating that Da-in will die. He shows the photo of Da-in and slowly starts to tear it in half, despite Gon’s desperate screams. The tablet turns off before we can see what happens to Da-in, and just as Gon is ready to run back downstairs, he comes face-to-face with all the detectives pointing their guns at him.
It certainly doesn’t look good for Gon, since there’s yet another dead body and he’s the only culprit. Yo-han yells that Gon is under arrest for Mr. Yoo’s murder, but So-young trusts her instincts, and throws herself in between the detectives and Gon.
She reminds her fellow detectives that they didn’t actually see what happened. Gon desperately tells So-young that Da-in is in danger, and then he leaps off the building, using a rope to safely swing himself down to his car. By the time the detectives run back downstairs, Gon has sped away.
The detectives call Yoo-na, letting her know that Gon is on the run after killing someone, and that he’s headed to the hospital. So-young and Yo-han also speed to the hospital after Gon, who calls Chief Shin, begging him to hurry to the hospital and check on Da-in.
By the time Gon runs to Da-in’s room, Chief Shin is standing outside. As Gon tries to catch his breath, Chief Shin sadly shakes his head. Stunned, Gon slowly enters his niece’s room.
Her body is covered with a sheet. He’s too late. Dazedly, with tears streaming from his eyes, he staggers towards her bed, collapsing on his knees as he holds the small hand that peeks out from beneath the white sheet.
So-young and Yo-han arrive and watch in stunned silence as they realize that Da-in is dead. So-young slowly approaches Gon, tears in her eyes, and gently reaches out to comfort him. Gon breaks down sobbing, clutching Da-in’s cold hand.
What. The. Hell. What the HELL, show??? I… I don’t know what to say. I mean, yeah, Se-hwang is a crazy bastard, but killing Da-in? So soon? When we’re not even halfway through the drama? Like… where do we go from here?
Part of me is vaguely suspicious that, because Se-hwang is such a drama queen, maybe he switched the bodies. After all, we haven’t seen Da-in’s face — it could be anyone under that sheet! Where’s the confirmation?!?! That way he’d still get Gon to find the items, but then could pull Da-in out, with a “Ta-da!” flourish, when he wanted to shock Gon into doing something else for him.
I’m finding it hard to believe that, with Da-in’s death, Gon wouldn’t now just go all-rage revenge and kill Se-hwang in return. Gon really doesn’t have anything to lose, including his morals, once you take away Da-in. She’s his only family, his sole motivation. With her out of the picture (literally, heh), what are we left with? A broken man who wants to destroy his only enemy? Which is all well and good (revenge-thrillers are great!), but I just don’t understand Se-hwang’s purpose in speeding up the timeline. Well, I do, to an extent — he likes the thrill of it all, being shaken out of his rich-boy humdrum life. But I feel like this part of the plan will seriously backfire.
I think I understand Se-hwang’s intentions — what greater motivation to force Gon to gather all the items and find the Room of Wishes than to dangle the promise of bringing a loved on back to life. Which… if you can really do such a thing, then I wonder what would stop Gon (assuming he’s successful in finding the Room of Wishes) from bringing back not just Da-in, but her parents? And So-young’s parents? And, heck, what about everyone who died in the Dream World fire? Would doing so completely disrupt the power structure of all the items? Or is that the reason the items exist in the first place, so that they can be gathered and someone could wish everyone back into existence (although how would you explain the 17-year absence?). Oooh, or maybe Gon could wish to go back in time and prevent the fire from ever happening! Or the Hwawon corporation from ever existing! Or I could use the room to wish that this show had a better production team that could magically make it not as boring! Y’know, maybe this “Room of Wishes” thing might not be so bad, after all!
But until then, we have to deal with the (apparent?) fact that Da-in is dead. Dang, show, making me type those words. Sob. I’ve been enjoying Se-hwang’s campy over-the-top villainy because he brings life to what could otherwise be a much-too-boring show. Yeah, he’s evil, but in a comic book way, and I’ve never really doubted that Gon would eventually defeat him. But stone-cold killing the most adorable little girl ever just for his own amusement is a just too much. Maybe putting the photo back together will actually help (since we know that Gon somehow does, based on the first episode when he looks at it before stopping the train — and yes, I went back and confirmed that the photo was indeed ripped). I don’t know, and part of me is unsure if I really want to know. Her death is a dramatic moment, but somehow the oomph was lost just because I’m already tired of watching Gon endlessly suffer for no good reason.
I just know that Da-in will somehow live in the end, or else this writer clearly never wants me to watch any of his shows again.