Item: Episodes 13-14
Reeling from his deep loss, our hero Gon is forced to face that fact that nothing is really going his way. At least he has a spunky profiler by his side, who throws all her heart and soul into proving his innocence, even when it means going against the powerful people (in more ways than one) who are determined to destroy Gon at any cost.
EPISODES 13-14 RECAP
Gon collapses next to Da-in’s bed, lost in grief over her death. Yoo-na and the detectives rush into the room, ready to arrest him, but So-young pleads with them to wait just a little longer. Yoo-na allows Gon to have five more minutes to mourn his niece.
Once he’s alone to weep over Da-in’s body, Gon spots the torn photo from the Dream World book. Remembering So-young’s suggestion that putting the photo back together might bring someone out of their vegetative state, Gon hurries to match up the two photo pieces — but nothing happens.
Watching from the secret cameras, Se-hwang cackles in glee at Gon’s grief. That psychopath is surprised that anyone would care about a nobody little girl like Da-in. Yeah, because we need reminding that Se-hwang’s a heartless bastard.
Gon’s five minutes are up, and one of the detectives rushes in, providing proof that the fingerprints on the gun were Mr. Yoo’s — and Gon’s. Yoo-na orders them to arrest Gon, but Chief Shin drops to his knees, begging them to wait until at least Gon has given Da-in a proper funeral.
Yoo-na reminds Chief Shin that Gon is a prime suspect in a murder case, but Chief Shin points out that Gon had vowed to take care of Da-in, and he should be at least be given the chance to properly see her off.
There’s also the fact that all the evidence they have against Gon is circumstantial. No one saw Gon fire that shot. Mr. Yoo’s fingerprints were on the gun, too — if they are wrong about Gon being the killer, then So-young insists that the prosecution and police departments better take full responsibility for the mistake and even resign.
Yoo-na demands to know if So-young is threatening them, but So-young is just asking them to behave rationally.
They’re interrupted by the appearance of the Chief Prosecutor, who demands to know where Gon is. He verifies that Yoo-na is convinced Gon is guilty, and she rattles off all the very persuasive evidence (blood under the fingernails, the fact that Gon is always found at the scene of the crime, caught holding the gun).
However, the Chief Prosecutor agrees that they can wait until after the funeral to arrest Gon, although he orders the detectives to keep Gon under close watch until then. He also warns everyone not to say a word to the media.
As they’re leaving the hospital, So-young demands to know why Yoo-na is being so cruel. Unfazed, Yoo-na simply says that she’s just investigating a suspect for murder — it doesn’t matter if it’s a friend or family member, she’s just doing her job.
So-young retorts that Yoo-na must not have ever lost someone close to her, since Yoo-na’s acting so heartless. But Yoo-na cooly informs So-young that while So-young may think sympathy and pity are ways to save her loved ones, Yoo-na is saving those she loves in her own way.
Hak-jae’s snoring peacefully in his jail cell when one of the guards wakes him up in the middle of the night. He’s surprised to hear that the warden wants to see him, especially at this time of the night.
But Hak-jae’s meeting isn’t with the warden — it’s with Se-hwang, who demands privacy as the guards step outside. Nervous, Hak-jae sits down. Ha, but he chooses the farthers seat from Se-hwang as he possibly can.
It turns out that Hak-jae has already been working for Se-hwang, purposefully spreading the rumor to Gon about the Room of Wishes. Oooh, Hak-jae actually had the balls to steal from Se-hwang, and the only reason that Se-hwang didn’t kill Hak-jae was because he thought he could use him in other ways — such as feeding Gon the info about the Room of Wishes.
As Hak-jae stutters out an explanation, Se-hwang casually sprays him with the suicide perfume. Se-hwang then whispers in his ears as Hak-jae’s eyes cloud over. Oh no, it’s not looking good for our chatty jailbird.
When Se-hwang returns home, he gets another eye flash. Scurrying to the secret room, he picks up the new Polaroid photo — it’s of two women crouching in the alley, and one of those women looks an awful lot like So-young.
Gon’s still at the hospital, dazed over the fact that Da-in is gone and that repairing the photo didn’t work. Chief Shin apologizes, blaming himself for what happened, but Gon is quick to point out that it’s really all Se-hwang’s fault.
Gon is ready to take matters into his own hands, but Chief Shin and So-young urgently remind him that he’s being carefully watched as a murder suspect. If Gon disappears now and does something stupid — like try to kill Se-hwang — he’ll only dishonor Da-in’s memory. Da-in wouldn’t have wanted her uncle to become a murderer.
So-young understands what Gon is feeling, though, because she experienced the same murderous rage sixteen years ago, when the Dream World culprit was arrested. She wanted revenge for her mother’s death. Even though the man insisted he didn’t do it, the angry mob watching him being escorted into the police station wanted him to die for all the lives that were lost.
Watching from the sidelines was a young So-young. Ooohhh, but also there was a young Gon!
So-young reminds Gon that pursuing their desire for revenge won’t lead anywhere good — instead, the killer must be caught and apprehended by the law. Chief Shin gently reminds Gon that if he leaves now, then there will be no one to watch over Da-in during her period of mourning.
Yo-han arrives at the hospital, and cautiously asks if Gon will agree to an autopsy, since Da-in’s death is suspicious. Gon refuses, not wanting Da-in’s body to be touched in any way. They already know the results of Dae-soo’s autopsy — it will likely be the same for Da-in, anyway.
Trying to gather his wits, Gon tells So-young that Mr. Yoo killed himself, but almost like he was doing it against his will. Gon decides they should look into the police officer who ran in front of a Truck of Doom, since he believes the supposed “suicide” cases must be connected.
Turning on her profiler brain, So-young suggests that the culprit is playing with them, happy to see that they’re confused. Chief Shin thinks they must be dealing with a psychopath. Um, yeah.
So-young heads out to the abandoned building where Mr. Yoo died, looking for clues. She spots a bunch of cigarette butts that were recently used, which leads her to conclude that there could have been a witness. She searches the property, finding an area that looks like a homeless person had been living there.
Something hurries down a dark hallway and So-young carefully follows. A terrified homeless woman, clutching a bundle tightly to her chest, runs from So-young. The woman trips and falls, dropping her precious bundle, but So-young cautiously approaches, giving the bundle back and letting her know that she’s a detective and means no harm.
A couple of Se-hwang’s men are also at the scene, but they duck out of sight to watch the two women. Yep, it’s the scene from Se-hwang’s photo, and they phone their boss to tell him that So-young arrived to intercept the homeless woman before they could.
So-young calls her father to let him know she’s found a potential witness to Mr. Yoo’s death, and he suggests she take the woman to Yoo-na, since she’s the one investigating everything. So-young doesn’t look convinced that it’s the right idea, but stops by Yoo-na’s office, letting her know that she’ll bring the witness over after once the woman is stabilized.
Determined to track down the witness, Yoo-na orders Se-hwang’s men to follow So-young. But they’re surprised and bewildered when So-young arrives at a hospital morgue.
Ah, that’s because So-young has left the woman in the capable hands of her forensics unni. Hopefully that’s a connection Se-hwang hasn’t figured out yet.
Gon has a grief-stricken meltdown in the empty hospital chapel, wondering if all this has happened because of his father. Oooh, so his father was the one accused of the Dream World fire. Well, that certainly makes things a little more interesting. Gon desperately pleads for a way to exchange his life for Da-in’s.
Also kneeling in prayer is Father Gu, who ponders if all of this is truly God’s plan, wondering why God continues to remain silent. Then he puts on a ring that looks identical to Yo-han’s — oh, that’s because it is Yo-han’s ring.
Father Gu’s face melts away to reveal Yo-han’s face. Yo-han believes that this is the path chosen for him, and so he will continue on it. So… either the ring gives Father Gu shape-shifting powers, or he and Yo-han are actually the same person.
Da-in’s funeral begins. The only other mourners with Gon are So-young, Yoo-na, and the detectives (who are likely there to keep an eye on murder-suspect Gon than anything else). They pay their respects, though, allowing Gon to sit in peace in the mourning room.
Gon stares at Da-in’s memorial photo, remembering the happy day he took it. Recalling for the millionth time how he failed to save his niece, Gon despondently shuffles out of the mourning room, the detectives closely following.
Chief Shin isn’t there to pay his respects because he’s busy tracking down the footage of the cop that supposedly committed suicide. But all of the CCTV records have mysteriously vanished due to a hacking attempt. Yeah, sounds fishy to me, too.
As Gon sits outside the hospital, staring at Da-in’s taped-together photo, the bottom of the photo slowly starts to fade. Gon is suddenly swarmed by reporters — the detectives leaked the news about Mr. Yoo’s death and Gon as a murder suspect.
Suddenly the breaking news about a prosecutor killing a man is everywhere, much to the Chief Prosecutor’s annoyance. The reporters also link Gon to the murders of the chairman and judge.
But Gon doesn’t have time to worry about his sudden notoriety. He’s busy focused on the fact that Da-in’s photo is slowly fading. So-young suggests that it might be some kind of timer, and that they have until the photo is fully faded to save Da-in.
Se-hwang acts like his usual weird and dramatic self in front of Yoo-na, making a big deal about scent memory. He tauntingly asks if she remembers her mother’s scent. Yoo-na refuses to engage, and merely tells him that they’re still looking for the witness.
But she does have the fearless courage to ask if Se-hwang really wants to turn Gon into murderer. Se-hwang laughs — he doesn’t really care what happens to Gon. Se-hwang simply wants the truth. Yoo-na wonders if there’s any kind of truth in Se-hwang, but he reminds her that the truth is he’s still her lifesaver.
Oooh, the guy with the cancer mother has now been promoted to be the new Mr. Yoo. Se-hwang earned the man’s loyalty by making sure his mother receives all the treatment she needs. New Yoo’s first task is to deliver the funeral flower arrangement to Gon. Se-hwang giggles to himself as he wonders how Gon will react.
So-young shares her suspicion about Yoo-na with Chief Shin. Oh, apparently So-young never actually called to let Yoo-na know she had a witness — Yoo-na just already knew about it. (Argh, this production team and their bewildering editing!)
She’s convinced that Yoo-na has some sort of nefarious plan against Gon, and is also trying to get rid of evidence. So-young is also shocked to hear that all footage of the policeman’s date with the Truck of Doom is erased.
She returns to Forensic Unni’s home to visit the witness, who seems a little calmer after a good night’s rest. The woman clutches a pair of dolls her chest, refusing to let So-young touch them. But she uses them to act out what she saw that night — two men fighting over a gun, and one of the men using the gun to shoot himself.
The main concern, though, is the mental state of the witness. Since she’s mentally disabled, So-young will have to fight to prove that the woman’s testimony can be considered evidence.
Se-hwang’s men watches from a distance as So-young drives away with the witness. They call Yoo-na, letting her know that they’ve found the witness. Yoo-na orders them to intercept the witness so they can grab her.
The men suddenly block off So-young’s car, telling her that Yoo-na is requesting he bring in the witness. So-young’s not ready to give up so easily, and fights the man off. The witness bites the man who tries to grab her, and runs down the street.
So-young hurries after her, with Se-hwang’s men racing after the women. They get lost in the maze of alleys. The witness hides behind a wall, but someone enters the alley — it’s Se-hwang.
I’m just gonna assume one of the items helped him find her so easily, but he bends down and gently tells her that he’s not there to hurt her. LIES! Because he pulls out the perfume bottle with the suicide scent and whispers in her ear.
So-young manages to find the woman’s scarf, but the woman is nowhere to be found. She gets a call from an unknown number. The voice is disguised, but So-young realizes it’s the same person that had previously called Gon.
The voice (which we know to be Se-hwang) tells So-young that he’s found a homeless woman and that So-young can find her at the crosswalk at a nearby construction site. So-young runs to the intersection, where the witness is staggering down the street.
Somehow, even in her suicide perfume state, the witness manages to miss being hit by a Truck of Doom — but eventually is hit by a car. So-young rushes over to the woman lying in the street. Se-hwang watches from a distance with his trademark smirk, then drives away without notice.
Da-in’s body is prepped for cremation. Gon, with encouragement from a slightly creepy mortician who believes the dead can still hear you until they’re in their coffin, leans close to Da-in’s face and whispers something.
Slowly he walks back to the mourning room, dazed to see New Yoo delivering the flower arrangement from Se-hwang. Furious, Gon throws the flowers against the wall then grabs New Yoo by the collar.
He orders New Yoo to pass along a message to Se-hwang that Gon is coming after that crazy psychopath as soon as he sends Da-in off. Through his fury, Gon spots the photo of a smiling Da-in on the wall, and tells New Yoo that he won’t kill anyone in front of his niece. Well, that’s a good excuse as any to not actually become the murderer everyone assumes you to be.
In the mourning room, Gon sits vigil, telling Da-in that he won’t crumble to pieces. He asks her to keep an eye on him. Tears start to fall as he wonders if she can really hear him. As he succumbs to his grief, a voice calls out, “Uncle!”
Startled, Gon looks around, but there’s no one else in the room. Thinking he’s hearing things, Gon dismisses it, but suddenly the melodica that’s sitting on the memorial table begins to play by itself. Which is pretty disturbing if you think about it, but Gon recognizes the tune as one of Da-in’s songs that promises they’ll meet again.
Stunned, Gon realizes that Da-in is still somehow alive.
Da-in stands in an ethereal place, looking around in dazed wonder. As a tear rolls down her cheek, she calls out for her uncle.
Well, I don’t know what I was expecting would happen with Da-in, but some sort of Aurora Borealis purgatory wasn’t high on the list. I’m kind of baffled by what we’re supposed to do with the fact that her soul is alive but her body is being prepped for cremation. Also, in this other dimension (as we’ll call it), she can speak! That’s gotta be a huge deal, right? The girl who couldn’t say a word before, can now suddenly call out from the depths of whatever other dimension she’s currently inhabiting! I guess So-young was right that Da-in would speak again when it was time. Death certainly seems like a good incentive. I’m assuming that they’ll find a way to save Da-in before she completely fades from the photograph (and please tell me I’m not the only one having Back to the Future flashbacks). Because if Da-in doesn’t live by the end of the show, I will riot.
Then there’s that other WTF moment: Father Gu and Yo-han. Or should I say, Father Gu/Yo-han because apparently they’re the same person. I think. From a previous episode flashback during the Dream World court case, Father Gu was seen sitting next to So-young and her father as they awaited the verdict. So I’m assuming Father Gu came first (hey, it’s a new take on the “chicken or egg” question!). Now whether the ring can make him look like whomever he wants to be, or perhaps just a younger version of himself is still unclear (like so much of this drama). But I’m assuming that the Yo-han we’ve known so far has been secretly Father Gu. And now I’m tempted to go back and see if there hints of some crazy off-screen Clark Kent/Superman switcheroo moments but, eh, that would actually require me going back and rewatching episodes. And, frankly, this show is lucky enough to get my attention the first time — no way am I going to go back and try to figure out if there was an actual attempt at cohesion.
Because, let’s face it, it’s still a boring, convoluted mess. I keep making what I think are reasonable, educated guesses based on honed instinct thanks to many, many, many hours of watching dramas (especially mysteries and thrillers!), only to realize that my assumptions are wrong due to (most often) awkward editing choices. I’m still annoyed at that entire scene between So-young and her father where I was like, “Oh, wait, so you were shocked that Yoo-na knew about the witness even though it wasn’t made clear at all at the time?” I mean, if Dad says, “Hey, you should take the witness to the prosecution” and the next scene cuts to So-young walking into Yoo-na’s office, and Yoo-na acting like So-young was bringing the witness there, I’m assuming So-young gave Yoo-na a heads-up that they had the witness. Also, I don’t understand why So-young went all the way to Yoo-na’s office for just that thirty second exchange when there are things called cell phones — except, of course, to give those goons a chance to follow So-young to the hospital morgue.
I’m just really tired of the way the show leans on repetitive exposition to move the plot along, and yet it somehow seems to miss key elements that make me have to back pedal and go, “Wait, what?” This show makes me question my ability to watch and understand a drama. It should be an exciting thriller about people who have magic items! Not a baffling and boring excuse to have people run around willy-nilly and just look sad and confused all the time. Although, to be fair, “sad and confused” is pretty much how the show makes me feel all the time, too.