Abyss: Episode 3
This show really likes to hit us with a lot of information, then leave us to sort it all out later. It can be a little frustrating, but it also keeps me on the edge of my seat, feeling as though the answers are right at my fingertips if only I could put the clues together. True to form, this episode gives us a lot of answers, which only lead to more questions.
EPISODE 3: “True facts”
Se-yeon and Min get a lead on Park Ki-man (I initially mis-named him Park Ki-bum, my apologies!), the father of the Eomsan-dong Killer’s victim. They go to his house, where they find a room chock-full of information on the serial killer, including a picture of Young-chul, the famous surgeon.
Se-yeon recognizes him, but Min knows him, too – he’s the man that Min first resurrected with Abyss, after finding him dead in an alley. Min realizes with horror that he brought a serial killer back to life.
At the same time, Ki-man waits outside Young-chul’s house, but he’s greeted by Young-chul with long hair and a beard, looking much older. Young-chul pretends to be his father and ushers Ki-man inside the house, inviting him to sit, then offering him tea.
Before Se-yeon died, she’d advised detective Dong-chul to check on Young-chul’s days off, which matched up to the dates of the Eomsan-dong Killer’s murders. They’d found enough to make them suspect him, so Dong-chul requested a warrant from Ji-wook and is heading to Young-chul’s home at this very moment. Dong-chul and his team stop a ways from the house, and his partner, Detective Choi, is worried that they haven’t heard back from Ji-wook regarding the warrant.
Still at Ki-man’s home, Se-yeon tells Min that Young-chul is the prime suspect in the Eomsan-dong murders, but that doesn’t mean he killed her. She flips through a journal that Ki-man kept regarding the case, noting his frustration with the prosecutors’ lack of action, and she shows Min the page where he wrote, “I will punish with my own hands,” on the day she died.
When they can’t reach Ji-wook by phone, Dong-chul decides to proceed. As he rings Young-chul’s doorbell, he notices Ki-man’s taxi’s license plate number and thinks that it seems familiar. The gate is opened remotely and Dong-chul is about to go inside when Ji-wook finally shows up, warrant in hand.
Sure now that either Young-chul or Ki-man killed her, Se-yeon is anxious to confront one of them and see if it’s him, or if it’s not him, confirm that it’s the other. They head to Young-chul’s house but Min tells her firmly to wait — he’s concerned that seeing her killer face-to-face will be too upsetting, especially if it’s Young-chul.
Ji-wook leads the team into Young-chul’s house, where they find Young-chul on the floor, gasping for help. Dong-chul calls for an ambulance, while Ji-wook looks extremely uncomfortable.
Se-yeon lets Min go first, but the ambulance takes Young-chul away. Unfortunately, Dong-chul spots Se-yeon and understandably mistakes her for Mi-do, his ex-girlfriend. He hugs her dramatically, which visibly bothers Min, then he drives them to the hospital, periodically grinning at Se-yeon like a lovesick goofball.
Min sits in the back seat rolling his eyes as Dong-chul talks to Se-yeon. Dong-chul asks Min who he is and Se-yeon quickly says he’s her paralegal. Min asks about the guy who was taken in the ambulance, but Dong-chul won’t say, making Se-yeon come close to snapping at him in banmal.
Dong-chul says that he missed her (Mi-do) while she was in the U.S., but he was comforted by the fact that she gave up her dangerous job as a prosecutor. He tells her that it upsets him to see her showing interest in a crime scene, and when Se-yeon says she’s asking for a good reason, he gives her a thump on the head. LOL, Min actually laughs at that.
At the hospital, Dong-chul objects when Min and Se-yeon whisper together. Se-yeon asks to see the victim, too, gritting her teeth and calling Dong-chul “oppa” to get her way. It works, though by now Min looks like he wants to barf
Dong-chul learns that the “victim” was wounded in the leg and shoulder, but that he’ll live. He thinks the man is Young-chul’s father, who came to check on Young-chul when he couldn’t reach his son.
Meanwhile, Ki-man manages to sneak out of the house and past the police. He recalls Young-chul handing him the tea, and inside the glass had been Ki-man’s daughter’s locket. While he’d stammered in shock, Young-chul had stabbed him in the belly, crooning that Ki-man’s daughter was a thief who’d deserved to die.
In flashback, we see Mi-jin in Young-chul’s house. She’d spotted a ring in a potted plant and had put it on, then in another plant she’d found… is it a fingernail? Someone had opened the door, then the scene shifts to Mi-jin running down a dark street trying to call her father. But a hand had grabbed her by the hair and dragged her away.
She’d been found with several stab wounds and rushed to the hospital. Her gurney had been wheeled right past Young-chul, who’d seen her slashed-then-stitched Achilles tendon. He’d been the doctor to operate on her, and the one to tell Ki-man that his daughter had died.
After stabbing Ki-man, Young-chul takes pleasure in telling him that his daughter died by his hands twice, because he was the doctor in the ER. This is news to Ki-man, who only saw Young-chul with a surgical mask on. Ki-man gasps that he killed Young-chul, and Young-chul says cheerfully that he’s not sure how he’s still alive but looks different, but that the gods are on his side and want him to keep killing.
Ki-man had a small knife and had injured Young-chul, though it’s hard to see in the dark room exactly what happened. Young-chul tells Dong-chul that Ki-man asked to use his restroom then stabbed him for no reason. Still thinking he’s talking to Young-chul’s father, Dong-chul asks how long it’s been since Young-chul was home, and Young-chul says it’s been about ten days.
Se-yeon enters the room, then immediately leaves again when Min calls her. Young-chul sees her and something seems to bother him.
Min wanders the hospital, when suddenly Abyss flares so brightly that it burns him. He realizes that he’s near the door to the morgue, and he tells Abyss that he’s not letting it resurrect anyone else thankyouverymuch, but it burns him again.
Ji-wook sees him and asks if everything is okay, thinking that he looks familiar. Luckily, Se-yeon shows up and distracts Ji-wook, who thinks she’s Mi-do. He asks if she’s okay after fainting in front of him, and Se-yeon says she’s fine, then snaps at Min to follow her.
Once they’re alone, Se-yeon beats up Min for talking to Ji-wook. Min explains that he was trying to stop Abyss from resurrecting anyone when Ji-wook popped up out of nowhere. Se-yeon finds it strange that Abyss suddenly activated after being dormant and asks if there’s a manual or anything, and Min says there’s one, but it’s in a strange language.
Se-yeon thinks this is the perfect place to give Abyss a test run. She finds a room where a family is mourning a deceased loved one and literally shoves Min inside, but he gets him kicked right back out again. He pleads with Se-yeon to tell them he’s not a weirdo, but she just pretends to take a phone call, hee.
Ki-man realizes he’s being followed by a couple of cops. He attacks them with a fire extinguisher and runs into a busy street, causing an accident. Detective Choi tells the other cop to check the CCTV cameras to find out which direction Ki-man went.
When Min and Se-yeon are reunited, Min goes off on how Se-yeon uses then abandons him. She tries to distract him by asking why Abyss isn’t working when they’re surrounded by corpses. She theorizes that it only works on those who died a wrongful death, but Min hilariously just looks over her head while she bounces up and down trying to get in his line of sight.
She’s startled by Dong-chul grabbing her arm. He says that the victim went home since his injuries weren’t serious, and when Min says he might warn Young-chul, Dong-chul says that they told the “father” that they were there for Ki-man.
Se-yeon hears Dong-chul making plans to meet up with Ji-wook and tries to shoo Min away, but Dong-chul tells her to wait and say hello. The guys somehow end up in a tug-of-war with Se-yeon in the middle, and Min looks incredibly smug when Se-yeon goes with him.
Dong-chul tells Ji-wook that Young-chul’s file says he has no father. Ji-wook just says that a man who’s been divorced three times might be on bad terms with his father. He heads back to work, and we see on the arrest warrant for Young-chul that a father’s name is listed: Oh Sung-chul.
Over dinner, Min whines that thanks to her, he experienced his first love, his first broken heart, and his first time being a murder suspect, ha. She has to show him how the side dish buffet works, and Min laughs when a customer mistakes her for a waitress.
Ki-man heads to the bus station, where he bandages his stab wound in a restroom then buys a ticket.
Min has to practically carry a very drunk Se-yeon into Mi-do’s apartment, slurring that she loves this new body that can eat and drink a lot more than her old one. She’s shrieking that she’s never going on a diet again as he drops her on her bed, but she locks her arms around his neck and he lands on top of her.
She makes sexy faces at him, but he just gets up for some water. She wonders why she just tried her best move on him, reminding herself that he may be hot, but he’s still Min. But when he returns, she goes right back to her dizzy damsel in distress routine, curling up in his lap.
Min is oblivious to her flirting and just dumps her on the bed again. She correctly guesses that he’s going to his ex-fiancee Hee-jin’s house again. He leaves, and Se-yeon sobs that he keeps leaving her alone when he knows that she was alone when she was murdered.
Min sits outside Hee-jin’s apartment, remembering their first night together. He’d asked her to move in before their wedding, but she’d assured him it would happen soon enough. He wonders sadly if she was only using him, and thinks about how Se-yeon said that Hee-jin couldn’t contact him now even if she wanted to since he’s a murder suspect.
He has Park Ki-man’s notebook, which he leafs through looking for clues to where he may have gone. There’s an entry about meeting his daughter in a park that gets Min’s attention.
Ki-man has made his way to the wooded park, and he stops to call the hospital where Young-chul was taken. He’s told that the old man died before arriving at the hospital, and he hangs up thinking that it’s finally over — but the nurse wasn’t finished telling him that there were two patients meeting his description.
Min walks through the park, talking himself up regarding his ten years of kendo, then falling down when a cat jumps in front of him, haha. He hears Ki-man, who’s in pretty bad shape as he hunches over his daughter’s grave. He tells Mi-jin that he finally punished the man who did this to her, and that now he’s coming to be with her.
Ki-man prepares to drink poison and finish the job, but Min kicks the cup from his hand and tells him he’s cheating. Ki-man gasps that he only did what nobody else would do, and he reaches for the poison again. Min takes it away and says that he’ll just resurrect Ki-man if he dies.
He gets Ki-man to the hospital where the doctors pump his stomach, but he has to stay for further treatment. Min doesn’t leave Ki-man’s side, so the moment he wakes the following day, Min is right there waiting. Ki-man asks why Min saved him, and Min says he has one question — did he kill Go Se-yeon?
Young-chul hums to himself as he makes his way to the warehouse where he’s keeping Hee-jin imprisoned. She’s still got enough courage to scream at him, so he gags her before bringing out his surgical instruments to suture a cut on her shoulder.
Meanwhile, Ji-wook questions some former neighbors of Young-chul’s father, who say that he was proud of his son becoming a doctor. Later they heard that Young-chul killed his own wife, though he wasn’t charged with anything. One neighbor says that he always felt Young-chul had an eerie vibe, and that he didn’t even show up when his father died five years ago.
Young-chul boldly approaches the cops staking out his house, and he asks if they’re waiting for his son. Young-chul says that “his son” was once wrongfully accused of a crime, but Detective Choi tells him that they’re here for his safety in case Park Ki-man returns.
Young-chul says he’s going to the hospital to get his wounds dressed, then on a hike, playing the old man act to the hilt as he shows them his phone and how much music it holds. While on the bus, he replays his struggle with Ki-man in his mind, and how Ki-man had been stronger than this new, older body.
Ki-man would have killed Young-chul if not for Dong-chul ringing the doorbell just then. Ki-man had stopped long enough to grab Mi-jin’s locket, then escaped while Young-chul grinned despite his injuries. Young-chul says to himself, “Shall I start the real hunting now?”
Dong-chul asks Se-yeon why she’s chasing after Park Ki-man and Oh Young-chul. She fibs that she’s got a pro bono case (a case that lawyers take on for free) for a civic organization for bereaved families of murder victims. She’s still laying the “oppas” on thick, and Dong-chul thumps her again as he complains that she always does that when she wants something.
He makes a fuss over a tiny cut on Se-yeon’s finger, then says that this case is too dangerous for her to work alone. He offers to help her, and tells her that he knows where Park Ki-man is now. He’s wrong, since he’s going off the ticket Ki-man bought but didn’t use, and she gets a text from Min that says Ki-man is actually in the hospital.
She doesn’t believe him, so Min takes a picture of Ki-man in his hospital bed as proof. Se-yeon shows the picture to Dong-chul then calls Min, who says he’ll make sure Ki-man doesn’t get away before she arrives to see if he’s her murderer. Unfortunately, Ki-man needs a small procedure that will take two hours, and LOL, the nurse asks for Min’s number while Ki-man stands there in pain.
On the way to the hospital, Dong-chul wants to call in his team, but Se-yeon talks him into letting her check something first. They find Min, who tells them that he caught Ki-man trying to drink poison and stopped him. Se-yeon asks if Ki-man is their guy, but when Min leans close to answer, Dong-chul objects again to them getting so physically close, so Min just says that Ki-man will confess after his procedure.
Ki-man isn’t in his room, and the nurse tells Min that he got a visitor and they went for a walk. They watch the CCTV footage, and Min confirms that it’s Young-chul who led Ki-man from his room. Se-yeon asks how he knows, and we see that when Min asked Ki-man if he killed Se-yeon, Ki-man had shown him Se-yeon’s work badge that he found with the rest of Young-chul’s murder trophies.
He’d also given Min the bloody piece of broken glass and note he got from Young-chul, which Min now hands over to Dong-chul, saying that Ki-man says he “killed him again because he didn’t die afterward.” Min says he wanted to talk to Dong-chul and Se-yeon before taking action, but he didn’t think Young-chul would find Ki-man so quickly.
Young-chul puts the half-unconscious Ki-man in a taxi, telling the driver that he’s moving him to another hospital. The driver is curious, and Young-chul mutters darkly that curiosity killed the cat. Moments later, the taxi swerves violently.
Alarmed by the message in Young-chul’s note that Ki-man is next, Se-yeon says that Young-chul is a creature of habit and ritual, so she knows where he’ll take Ki-man to kill him. She drives Dong-chul’s car like a maniac, while Min reminds her that they’ll accomplish nothing if they die.
Dong-chul sobs as he takes a call from Ji-wook letting him know that Young-chul committed another murder — the rude woman who bumped into him. The strange part is that he left behind a fingerprint, when he’s never left evidence before.
Young-chul is now driving the taxi, presumably after offing the curious driver. He tells someone on the phone that they’ve made the right decision and should have listened to him from the beginning. He finally stops and drags the mostly limp Ki-man from the car, but Ki-man suddenly comes alert and fights back. He pushes Young-chul to the ground and throttles him, but Young-chul pulls a knife from his pocket and stabs Ki-man over and over.
As Dong-chul, Se-yeon, and Min near the place that Se-yeon is sure Young-chul is taking Ki-man, Dong-chul gets another call from Ji-wook that sends them running. They find Ji-wook standing over Ki-man, who’s miraculously still alive, waiting for an ambulance. Dong-chul and Ji-wook run off looking for Young-chul, leaving Min and Se-yeon with Ki-man.
As the EMTs carry Ki-man to the ambulance, Min hears him croak out the words, “Oh Young-chul’s father…” Min glances over to the crowd and sees Hee-jin just as she turns to walk away. He goes after her, with Se-yeon right on his heels.
Dong-chul and Ji-wook split up, and Ji-wook spots Young-chul and gives chase. He corners Young-chul in a dead end and tells him to give up, but when Young-chul turns and Ji-wook sees his new face, he looks terrified. Young-chul walks right up to him, and Ji-wook asks, “What are you doing here?”
Young-chul says that Ji-wook already knew he’s not Young-chul’s father, and tells him that he’ll never catch Oh Young-chul. Ji-wook asks why he thinks so, and Young-chul says, “Because I know better than anyone that my blood runs through your veins.”
Nearby, Hee-jin runs from Min and Se-yeon as if her life depends on it.
Okay, wait, what?? It was obvious that Ji-wook knows more than he’s letting on, but being related to Young-chul came out of left field. Is Young-chul his father? Is that why he said Ji-wook will never catch him — not because Ji-wook can’t, but because he won’t? It might explain why there were no murders while Ji-wook was on the case… maybe Ji-wook already knew Young-chul was the killer and was able to somehow convince Young-chul to keep himself and his murderous tendencies under control. At this point, my wild guess is that Ji-wook is the product of one of Young-chul’s three marriages, possibly even the one where he got away with murdering his wife (Ji-wook’s mother?) and that’s why Ji-wook is so interested in the case. I’m flailing in the dark here, but it’s the only thing I can imagine with what little information we have.
What I really want to know is, what is up with Hee-jin? I’m assuming that she’s the person Young-chul told made the right decision (on the phone), which brings up a whole host of questions such as why she had her phone, why Young-chul was keeping her hostage, and why he (apparently?) let her go. Is she part of this twisted family, too? I feel like we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s actually going on, and that this is about much, much more than a simple serial killer case.
I liked the premiere of Abyss, but I was confused about a lot of things once it was over. Thankfully the second episode cleared up a lot, and once we got to see Min and Se-yeon interacting, I think the show got a lot better. I love their dynamic — you can tell that Se-yeon is used to being in charge and that Min generally just goes along with her. But they seem to have a genuinely close friendship, to the point that they both had feelings for each other, though Se-yeon kept hers hidden. I love how Min is using his growing confidence due to his improved appearance (and intense focus on finding the killer) to get a little cheeky and push back at Se-yeon, and I think that she lets him, not because he’s pretty, but because she does care for him. The circumstances are putting them on more equal footing, and I like seeing how they’re slowly adjusting to this new normal.
I can see why Abyss isn’t every drama watcher’s cup of tea, but I really like it. I like the premise of Se-yeon and Min trying to catch a killer while simultaneously coming to terms with their new, bizarre reality. I like their friendly bickering relationship underscored by their deeper feelings for each other, though Min is definitely still in love with Hee-jin — or the person he thought Hee-jin was — and is bound and determined to find her and get answers. I love that we already know who the killer is, it’s just a matter of catching him a second time after Min accidentally resurrected him. I like the dark humor, which is nicely tempered by the more serious moments of fear and suspense. I even like the mysteries we still don’t have answers for, such as how and why Abyss works and what connection Hee-jin has with everything that’s going on. The show is still finding its footing, but I feel like each episode is a bit more stable than the last, and that once a few more questions are answered, things will smooth out going forward.
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