Abyss: Episode 2
Abyss continues to charm its way through a murder most foul, and while that probably seems like an oxymoron, this show somehow manages to make it work. Our heroes have a rough go of figuring out their new lease on life, but at least they’re together and it’s so endearing I never want them to be apart.
EPISODE 2:“Living, Not Dead”
Min shows the newly revived Se-yeon the Abyss, explaining that he brought her back from the dead and identifying himself. Se-yeon understandably thinks he’s crazy, but Min rattles off all of the men she’d dated over the years instead of him and she cuts him off when he starts to recount the time he’d ordered 5 chickens when her parents opened a restaurant. Se-yeon snaps that even if she believed him, why was he reborn gorgeous and not her. Heh.
Min admits that’s not his doing and reminds her of Abyss’ rule that it revives people in the form of their souls. Se-yeon takes Abyss from him and stares at it in shock while Min throws his jacket around her shoulders. Min reasons that while it sounds insane, there’s no other explanation and Se-yeon agrees… and then vows to figure it out, herself.
Fellow prosecutor Ji-wook exits the station with Detective Dong-chul. Ji-wook is on his way to Se-yeon’s burial, but Dong-chul can’t go since he’s still searching for Min. Se-yeon accosts Ji-wook at his car, guessing he’s going to her burial and volunteering to drive. Ji-wook mistakes her for his and Se-yeon’s co-worker that relocated to New York, wondering why she’s being so pushy.
Se-yeon’s voice warbles as she reveals who she is, begging him to hurry since she needs to get to the site before the casket is buried. Ji-wook demands an explanation but his hand on her wrist triggers Se-yeon’s memory of her murder. Someone had suddenly attacked her in her apartment and tied her up, blindfolded. As he stabbed her, he rasped, “You didn’t know you’d die, right? I didn’t think I’d get to kill you either.”
The flashback is too much and Se-yeon collapses. Min runs out and catches her just in time, frantically calling her name as Ji-wook watches with increasing confusion. At the hospital, Min pesters the doctor to examine Se-yeon again since she still hasn’t woken up. Apparently he’s already made them perform multiple tests that all came back clear and the doctor firmly tells Min that Se-yeon is sleeping and he just needs to wait.
Two nurses gossip over Min’s devotion and while one is tickled by what a great boyfriend he is, the other is clearly bitterly jealous and sends Se-yeon the stink-eye. Min is thrilled when Se-yeon finally opens her eyes. He tells her she’s at the hospital and Se-yeon panics that she’s missing her burial. Meanwhile, Dad and Ji-wook shovel dirt over Se-yeon’s casket.
Park Ki-bum (the father of one of the Eomsan-dong Killer’s victims) sits before an altar for his deceased wife. He places a box cutter on the table and tells his wife that it’s over now. Clutching his daughter’s bloody uniform to his chest, he sobs.
At the prosecutor’s office, a coworker delivers a box to Ji-wook, seeming to think it’s yet another gift from his girlfriend. Ji-wook’s uneasy expression suggests otherwise and he opens it alone in his office to find a note, though we don’t get to see what it says.
Meanwhile, Se-yeon storms out of the hospital as Min chases after her, weakly protesting that her burial is over. She snaps that she’s not dead but her parents are grieving and Min can do nothing but follow after her. At the cemetery, someone is already digging Se-yeon’s grave up, however. It’s Ji-wook and he stumbles back as he unearths the coffin to find it empty.
By morning, everything is back in order as Min and Se-yeon stand at her grave. Min chatters that it’s probably best they don’t dig up the casket, since her parents won’t be able to accept the truth (that she’s been reincarnated in a different body). Se-yeon cuts him off to ask for the soju they’d bought and pours it over her grave, vowing to find her murderer.
At work, Ji-wook learns from Dong-chul that while Min’s credit card has been used, he hasn’t appeared. Additionally, the amounts are too small to suggest theft, so they’re considering Min had an accomplice. Dong-chul starts to mention Se-yeon’s work on the Eomsan-dong Killer, but Ji-wook snaps that they should be focusing on her murder right now.
Se-yeon leads Min into her apartment and instructs him to tie plastic bags around his shoes as she does the same. Min questions whether she really needs to see the crime scene but tramps down his own uneasiness when Se-yeon gripes that he can leave. Se-yeon is also shaken by the scene, but pushes aside the flood of awful memories to scoop up some of her business cards that were scattered on the floor.
They’re interrupted by the sudden appearance of Dong-min’s detectives who’ve come to clean up the mess at Ji-wook’s suggestion. The detectives bark at them to leave and Min is anxious to comply but Se-yeon doesn’t budge. She asks if the forensics are done, fibbing that she’s a relative of Se-yeon which Min immediately backs up. The detectives assume they’re also there to clean.
Afterwards, Se-yeon eats heartily at a restaurant while Min can’t seem to stomach his food. He calls her odd, but she argues that despite being resurrected from the dead, she’s painfully average. She grumbles at her appearance and Min agrees that compared to her previous form, she’s more common now. Se-yeon’s stink-eye has him quickly backpedaling that common isn’t a bad thing.
Min finishes that she should just accept this is her soul’s appearance. “How am I supposed to navigate this world with such a hideous body?” she whines and Min snaps that she became like this because of her shallow views on life. They bicker about their souls and Min finally suggests that they should be nicer since they were given a second chance.
Se-yeon saunters off, but pauses to flash a newspaper headline of her death, calling Min a murder suspect. Min cries that he didn’t kill her and as they walk, Se-yeon agrees it’s an odd leap. She does tease that no one held a grudge against her like Min did. He demands why he would kill her and then bring her back and Se-yeon shrugs, “Who knows what a psychopath thinks.” Hee.
She detours to a coffee shop and tells Min to cover her bill, citing that she’s just been revived and has no money. Min grumbles that there’s no denying she’s Se-yeon but as he pulls out his credit card, Se-yeon yanks his arm back. She drags him outside and chides him for leaving a trail when he’s on the run from the police.
Min finally clicks to why the detectives seemed to always know where he was and Se-yeon snatches his wallet. She starts to say they can only use cash but only finds a few small bills in his wallet. Min sheepishly points out no one carries cash these days. Looking him over, Se-yeon gets an idea and drags him to a pawn shop.
Min’s wallet, watch, and even shoes are quickly exchanged for cash as Se-yeon barters with the owner for the best deal. Next, Se-yeon hits the subway station and bribes a homeless man so they can each get burner phones. Min cheerfully tells Se-yeon to put him as number 1 on her speed dial and Se-yeon snips that he’s so old-fashioned.
Meanwhile, Park Ki-bum receives a mysterious package from a bike messenger. Inside is a note we can’t read and a bloody piece of glass? He looks up in shock, wondering if someone is still alive. Hmm…
Min asks Se-yeon if they should eat now that they’ve gotten cash and phones, but is immediately shot down when he suggests beef. Se-yeon points out that they’re too strapped for something fancy and leads him to a convenience store. As she loads their basket, Min pouts that her haul costs as much as a restaurant but Se-yeon ignores him.
They start checking out, but the food items are past their expiration date. The young cashier offers to replace them, but Se-yeon sighs that it’s a violation of the sanitation act and this convenience store was just recently issued a citation for the same thing. The young man pleads with Se-yeon not to report it since he’ll surely be fired and she agrees not to make a fuss… but wants something in return.
Se-yeon happily pours herself a drink as she and Min sit outside the store with their (free) haul. She explains that this store is notorious for leaving expired items on the shelves and pocketing the money from the unsuspecting buyers. Min pities the cashier, but Se-yeon quips that Min should worry about his own problems.
Min chides her for breaking the law despite being a prosecutor and Se-yeon snaps that they have to survive while living like ghosts. A wave of guilt washes over Min and he apologizes to Se-yeon for not doing things differently that night and preventing her murder. Se-yeon doesn’t blame him though, and says it’s her fault for making him buy her hangover drinks.
The store’s CCTV catches her eye since it’s pointed in the wrong direction — out towards the street. They head inside to watch the footage from the night of Se-yeon’s murder as she explains that the killer would’ve had to pass this convenience store going to and from her house. Unfortunately, the footage is incomplete as the cashier (who had initially turned it away because his boss was spying on him) had turned it back towards the counter.
The cashier’s boss suddenly returns and he makes Se-yeon and Min hide. He leaves after chewing the cashier out and Se-yeon and Min start to leave. The cashier’s mention of his boss’ habit of parking backwards sparks an idea in Se-yeon and she confirms that the manager had done the same on the night in question.
At home, Mom is furious that Min has been labeled a murder suspect. She instructs her assistant to do whatever it takes to make this go away and find Min. The housekeeper eavesdrops anxiously at the door and then runs to her room to pull out a bag with Min’s bloody clothing.
Se-yeon and Min head over to Se-yeon’s parents’ chicken restaurant and she sneaks them in to spend the night. Min is itchy and Se-yeon identifies it as an allergic reaction, guessing it was the nuts he ate at the convenience store. Min says he’s never been allergic and wonders if it came with his new face. He’s suddenly startled by a cuckoo clock and clings to Se-yeon.
She warns him not to add sexual harassment to his murder charge, and Min says that he really wasn’t trying anything. Se-yeon scoffs that he’s chased her for twenty years but Min points out that she looks different now and he seems to have lost interest. Rather, with his new attractive face, Min thinks he’s the one who should be concerned. Heh.
Se-yeon lies awake staring at a vase of dead flowers and tells Min that her mother never let them wither. A few tears escape her eyes, but Se-yeon says they need to sleep so she can catch her killer. Min asks why she won’t just cry, but Se-yeon says it’s a waste of tears. Min pats her head and starts rattling off praises, but gets stuck on the most beautiful, realizing she’s not anymore. He keeps backpedaling to Se-yeon’s annoyance, but succeeds in brightening her mood as they bicker.
The next morning, Park Ki-bum looks at the bloody glass and flashes back to a rainy night. A man gets out of a taxi that Park Ki-bum is driving. He gets out after the man and shoots him with a nail gun. Pulling out his box cutter, he slices the man’s Achilles tendon. Oof! He tells the man that his daughter was murdered and says he’ll return that pain now.
In the present, Ki-bum looks down at the contents of his mystery package and we now see the note reads “You thought it was over. No, not yet.”
Min and Se-yeon eat triangle kimbap on a park bench, but Min is already sick of eating cheap meals. He suddenly asks Se-yeon for 10,000 won (roughly 10 dollars) before realizing that it’s technically his money. Se-yeon grudgingly hands him a single bill and warns him to spend it wisely.
Se-yeon’s parents return to their restaurant and Mom immediately zones in on the fresh flowers in the vase, as Min walks by outside with a smile. Aww, what a sweetie. He returns to Se-yeon and she pesters him as to what he’d bought. Min grows nervous at her proximity and gently pushes her away, muttering he can’t get used to her face. Se-yeon mumbles he’s good-looking for no good reason, but denies having said anything when Min asks her to repeat herself.
The convenience store manager pulls up, then, wondering why they’d called him. We don’t see the exchange, but as Se-yeon reviews the blackbox footage from the manager’s car at an internet cafe, Min asks if it’s okay for her to impersonate a prosecutor. Se-yeon snips that the business card was her own. Hee.
Prosecutor Ji-wook visits someone at the hospital, but it’s clear it’s an unwelcome one as the patient’s assistant nervously tries to usher him back out with excuses the patient is not well enough to see him. Ji-wook notes the putting equipment in the corner and smell of smoke despite the patient supposedly has difficulty breathing. Ji-wook says the man seems to be making tremendous progress, which would allow them to put him back in custody and tells the man to get up already.
The man, who’d been faking sleep, jolts up and snaps that he went to school with Ji-wook’s father, threatening to call him. Ji-wook is unfazed and says he’ll be digging into the man’s (phoney) hospitalization, promising to see him soon. As he leaves, Ji-wook overhears some doctors panicking that the surgeon he’d questioned with Se-yeon earlier, Young-chul, has taken a sudden leave of absence.
Ji-wook receives another call from “J” and this time he answers and we hear a woman screaming to be let out. The line suddenly goes dead and Ji-wook puts his phone away. Meanwhile, Min’s ex-fiancee, Hee-jin runs barefoot through a warehouse and ducks behind a barrel. Someone else follows slowly after, dragging a pipe and humming to himself.
Min checks his original phone and sees multiple messages from his mother and housekeeper, but nothing from Hee-jin. Se-yeon returns from the bathroom and immediately switches it back off, reminding him the signal can be tracked. Se-yeon suggests he stop moping over Hee-jin since she’d stolen the deposit on their newlywed home and ran off after saying she “couldn’t stomach” living with him.
She calls Hee-jin a gold-digger and Min snaps that Se-yeon’s the one that introduced them. Se-yeon changes tactics and says even if Hee-jin changed her mind, Min is now a murder suspect. She suggests he help her solve the case and Min cries that if only she’d come back to life in her original body, she could’ve exonerated him.
Se-yeon bristles and Min asks what her plan is. She brings up the blackbox footage on her phone and says the only person that passed by was a taxi. Min asks why her neighbor isn’t a suspect and Se-yeon says she’s positive she didn’t know her killer. Min spots the cardboard man in the footage as well, but Se-yeon says she knows him. Se-yeon wants to look up the taxi and debates sneaking into her office.
A man with long hair and a scar on his neck walks up the steps of the prosecutor’s office and accidentally bumps into a woman coming out, scattering her papers. She curses at him as he stoops to help gather them. Min and Se-yeon run over to help and the woman storms away once her papers are returned. Se-yeon is appalled at the rudeness of the woman and suddenly remembers where she’d seen her own face before.
Flashback to a karaoke bar where Se-yeon sang and danced while her coworkers cheered, all except for one… Mi-do, the coworker Se-yeon didn’t like (also played by Park Bo-young). Mi-do had clearly been bitter about the attention Se-yeon was getting and when Se-yeon returned to her seat, Mi-do dragged her outside.
In the restroom, the women had faced off. Mi-do admitted she never liked Se-yeon — which Se-yeon confirmed she already knew since Mi-do had been bullying her at work. Mi-do snidely called Se-yeon out on rumors that she got a higher conviction rate because of her looks and then launched into a slew of curses and insults.
In the present, Se-yeon dons a pantsuit and heads over to the law firm Mi-do had been leaving the prosecutor’s office for. She easily impersonates Mi-do (who’s been out of the country) and with Min’s quick thinking, gets the key to Mi-do’s new suite. In their new place, Min opens a box and finds a picture of Mi-do, musing that they really do look alike.
Se-yeon giddily asks to see as well, but gasps when she sees the picture is of Mi-do with Detective Dong-chul, realizing they’re dating. At the station, Dong-chul receives a text from Mi-do (who’s really Se-yeon) asking him to look up the license plate of the taxi driver.
He asks his coworker what it means when an ex suddenly texts and asks something ridiculous and is told she likely wants to get back together. Dong-chul is flustered and the other detective guesses that it’s the girl that dumped him to study abroad. Dong-chul denies it and vows not to give in and text back…
Which lasts all of ten minutes before Se-yeon receives a reply with all the information (plus a plea as to where she is and how she’s doing). Min is relaxing in a bubble bath when Se-yeon bursts in, eyes shielded, to demand he get out since they know the taxi driver’s identity. Meanwhile, Dong-chul anxiously waits for a reply that never comes.
The taxi driver is Park Ki-bum, as we’d seen in his flashback. Se-yeon and Min head over to his address and Min knocks on the door. No one answers, but Se-yeon finds the door unlocked. Min tries to suggest he’ll go first, but she ignores him. Meanwhile, Ki-bum sits in his taxi outside someone’s house, remembering that rainy night and we see a second sentence on the note which reads, “You’re next, I hope you enjoy the pain.”
At his house, Se-yeon sees the family portrait and recognizes him as the father of one of the Eomsan-dong Killer’s victims. Elsewhere, the snotty prosecutor is brutally murdered in her car by the long-haired man. He says she shouldn’t have looked down on him before ripping out her blackbox camera.
Min calls Se-yeon into another room and she gasps when she sees the walls plastered with photos and newspaper articles all surrounding the Eomsan-dong Killer case, one of which is a photo of surgeon Young-chul (who made sutures eerily similar to those on the victims). Park Ki-bum glares up at a house and mutters, “It doesn’t matter if you’re still alive. I’ll kill you over and over again… until you die for good.”
Se-yeon pulls Young-chul’s photo off the wall, sighing that Ki-bum must’ve been chasing after him all this time. Min takes the photo from her, visibly shaken. He says he recognizes the man and not as a famous surgeon. Dong-chul and his team speed across town after telling Ji-wook that Se-yeon had been suspicious of Young-chul and that upon looking into him, there’s reason to believe she was right.
Min reveals that he’d met Young-chul on the day Se-yeon had died — he’d been the man Min had found dead on the street… and revived with Abyss. At Young-chul’s house, Park Ki-bum turns and for the first time we see the long-haired man’s face. It’s Young-chul! He just looks older thanks to Abyss.
Unfortunately, Ki-bum doesn’t recognize him and Young-chul speaks as if he’s his father. He asks Ki-bum inside and won’t take no for an answer. Se-yeon demands why Min didn’t tell her sooner and he says he hadn’t even known Abyss had worked. With horror, he realizes he revived a serial killer.
Ki-bum steps into the house and behind him Young-chul mutters, “I guess you’ll finally get to meet that daughter of yours you missed so much.”
Y’all, I don’t even know where to begin. I had few expectations going in. I saw Park Bo-young’s name and that was enough to sell me — the promise of a murder mystery and some fun supernatural hijinks was just a boon — and boy am I glad I picked this up. I love everything about the switch with Min being the endearing friend with a heart of gold that never got the girl because (while I totally believe she loved him back) she couldn’t let go of the superficial… turning into an uber attractive guy, while Se-yeon gets a taste of what it’s like not being the prettiest person in the room. She needed to be humbled and he deserved to be hot, now that’s what I call a good use of Fate’s intervention.
I love their dynamic and how even after the tables have turned via looks, Se-yeon still wields a certain level of power over Min. Despite his protests that he’s just not into her anymore, I do believe his love for Se-yeon was real and went beyond just her face. However, it’s nice to see him pushing back a bit, arguing that he won’t just be a lovesick puppy she can twist around her finger. Abyss has allowed them a chance to find more equal footing because before Min felt inferior due to his looks and that, more than his appearance itself, was his stumbling block. Regardless, I’m looking forward to Se-yeon having to chase after him for once because Min is still very much hung up on his fiancee, and from the looks of it, she’s not doing so hot.
There’s a lot of mysteries going on other than Abyss (and seriously, Min, I need you to read that manual!) such as why Hee-jin left him in the first place and is now being pursued by a murderous man with a pipe? Is that man Young-chul? Why? And was she the “J” that called Ji-wook? I do like the twist that the man Min saved with Abyss turned out to be the serial killer that then got up and murdered Se-yeon, both because the chain of events that evening is insane but also because it adds a layer to the killer. We know who he is, but since he was revived in the form of his soul, it’s going to be much harder for our heroes to track him down.
On the lighter side, Se-yeon’s new face has set her up perfectly to take over Mi-do’s life for a while. The downside to resurrecting from the dead with a new appearance is you have to start over but there aren’t many resources at your disposal. For now, she and Min are sitting pretty with Mi-do’s apartment as well as her job and luckily (if her phone call to a plastic surgeon right after touching down in Korea was anything to go by) Mi-do probably won’t be back to claim things in the near-future. It’ll make for an interesting reunion, to say the least.
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