Abyss: Episode 5
Tragedy strikes, and our heroine is left on her own to try and put things back to rights — or at least, as much as she’s able. Luckily, she’s a smart lady with a quick mind, and she’s able to keep right on the killer’s heels without tipping him off. A confrontation is inevitable, but hopefully Se-yeon will be able to fix things without making making a target of herself too soon.
EPISODE 5: “Murderer vs. Savior”
Desperate for information about Young-chul’s current appearance, Min hatches a really dumb plan to kill Park Ki-man, the only person who knows what Young-chul looks like, then revive him with Abyss. He goes to the hospital where Ki-man is in a coma after being stabbed by Young-chul, but when it comes time to pull Ki-man’s plug, Min chickens out.
Young-chul is lurking behind the bed curtain, but Min assumes he’s a doctor because of his white lab coat. Young-chul asks Min to step out so he can check his patient, but before he gets a chance to inject something almost certainly deadly into Ki-man’s IV bag, the nurse comes in.
Young-chul plays the concerned doctor and issues orders, then gets out of there. Min stops him to ask about Ki-man’s condition, and when he might wake up. Young-chul says that Ki-man will die soon, and when Min tries to stop him from leaving, he smacks Min hard enough to knock him down.
Abyss rolls out of Min’s pocket, and Min watches in astonishment and realization as Young-chul picks it up, knowing that only those who have been revived by Abyss can see it. He pulls off Young-chul’s surgical mask and says, “You’re him, aren’t you? Oh Young-chul.” Oh Min, you dummy.
Young-chul slowly reaches into his pocket for the syringe, but some people walk by, so he just smiles at Min and tells him he’s got the wrong man. He takes off, but Min stupidly follows him out of the hospital and into an alley, telling him not to run from him.
Young-chul chuckles that he finds Min amusing — he wasn’t running from him, he was leading him to the perfect place to kill him. He stabs the syringe into Min’s neck, describing how Min will become paralyzed, and soon his heart will stop.
He asks Min how he recognized him, then says that it’s not important — what matters is that he won’t be able to tell anyone. Min manages to croak, “You killed Se-yeon, right?” Young-chul admits to killing her because she was showing too much interest in his suture techniques.
He steps on Min’s hand, snarling at him for daring to touch him, and kicks him repeatedly in a rage. Min gets hold of a length of pipe and somehow gets to his feet, slamming Young-chul with the makeshift weapon. Young-chul easily overpowers him and keeps beating him until Min can’t get up again.
Se-yeon arrives at the hospital, planning to try and stop Min from killing Ki-man. But Ki-man is still alive, so she searches for Min and finds him in the alleyway, badly injured. He gives her Abyss then falls unconscious, as she screams and begs him not to die.
A message flashes across Abyss’s surface: “If the owner of Abyss dies, the next revived is its temporary owner.” Abyss dissolves into thin air, and re-materializes nearby — in Young-chul’s pocket. Panicking, Se-yeon runs back to the hospital, and she finds Dong-chul on his way inside.
The police arrive at the scene, and yep, Min is really dead. Se-yeon is in a state of shock, staring at Min’s body as if looking away will mean he’s truly gone. Dong-chul sweetly puts his hand over her eyes, blocking her view, and she finally starts to cry.
Back at his car, Young-chul gets a call from someone (Ji-wook?) who tells him that he left his fingerprints at one of his murder scenes. He belatedly realizes that his face changed when he was resurrected, but not his fingerprints. A tracking app on his phone notifies him that Hee-jin’s phone is offline, which makes sense since he thinks he just killed her.
At her old apartment, where Min left her, a bored Hee-jin tries in vain to get her phone working. It stays dark so she chucks it across the couch, where it slides between the cushions. She thinks about being hit by the truck earlier, unable to figure out how she survived without a scratch.
Someone activates the electronic lock, and Hee-jin is startled to find Min’s mother in the hall. She slaps Hee-jin hard, angry that she’s been accusing Min of horrible things on television. She refrains from beating Hee-jin black and blue like she wants to do, believing Hee-jin’s public claim to be pregnant with Min’s child, so Hee-jin lies that she’s eight weeks along.
At the morgue, Se-yeon physically blocks Dong-chul from taking fingerprints from Min’s dead body, knowing that they’ll turn up Min’s true identity. Dong-chul asks why she won’t let him fingerprint her friend, but she doesn’t have a plausible explanation handy.
Luckily for Se-yeon, Dong-chul gets a call that Cha Min is dead. A body was found severely decomposed, and it was assumed to be a vagrant, until a DNA test ordered by Ji-wook turned out to be a match to Min. Se-yeon argues that even if Min killed himself right after being accused of murder, his body wouldn’t be that decomposed, but the coroner says it’s possible.
Ji-wook tells Detective Choi to close the case now that the primary suspect is dead. Detective Choi argues that they’re still investigating others who held grudges against Se-yeon, but Ji-wook snaps that a lot of people hold grudges against prosecutors and if they look into them all, the investigation will never end.
Young-chul finds Abyss in his car when it falls out of his pocket, and he remembers how amazed Min was that he can see it. He enters a random apartment, and Abyss glows a sickly green as Young-chul sets it on the nightstand, muttering to himself, “I guess she’s still alive.” In the bathroom, the apartment’s female tenant lies slumped in the bathtub, bleeding badly.
Se-yeon tells Dong-chul that whatever Ji-wook or the coroner say, that body isn’t Min’s. But he gets a call that the case is being closed, and that Ji-wook wants to focus on finding Se-yeon’s missing body. Se-yeon is furious, so she decides to prove to Dong-chul how she knows that Min isn’t her killer.
She takes him back to the morgue to scan Min’s fingerprints, which match Cha Min’s fingerprints even though the face is different. While Dong-chul is wigging out, she hands him Min’s phone and wallet to show that they didn’t find Min’s belongings on the other body because this is the real Cha Min.
Dong-chul is willing to allow that plastic surgery has come a long way, but he can’t reconcile how much taller Min’s new body is after only a month. Se-yeon says that’s proof that someone disguised the other body as Min’s to cover up the truth, and she’s pretty sure she knows who that person is.
Dong-chul wants to know what’s really going on, but Se-yeon whines that he wouldn’t believe her. She begs him for time to sort things out, and her big-eyed pleading flusters him enough that he agrees. But he says that regardless of which body is the real Cha Min, he’s still dead, so there’s nobody to indict.
She asks him, what if Cha Min isn’t dead yet? Dong-chul is confused, but Se-yeon asks him to postpone closing the case for one day to straighten everything out. While trying to convince his boss to let him postpone, Detective Choi announces that something strange was found at the hospital murder scene — Cha Min’s fingerprints, and Young-chul’s blood.
Dong-chul calls Se-yeon to tell her that if the guy in the morgue is truly Min, then Young-chul probably killed him. He’s got his men looking through the CCTV footage, which Se-yeon says won’t help them find Young-chul since she doesn’t know what he looks like… but it might show her Abyss.
Se-yeon is at Hee-jin’s apartment, and she’s surprised when Min’s mother’s secretary, Mi-sun, lets herself in. She’s worried for Min, and Se-yeon talks her into taking her to see Hee-jin at his mother’s house, promising that she’s trying to make sure Min is okay.
Hee-jin is in the middle of a dream — first she’s a child, and she and her older brother hide while a man beats their mother. Later, teenage Hee-jin is the recipient of the beatings, but she still bravely accuses the man (whose face we don’t see but whose voice is clearly Young-chul’s) of killing her mother.
She wakes with a scream when Se-yeon touches her. At first Se-yeon gripes that Hee-jin was supposed to stay put, but she notices that Hee-jin seems rattled. She tells Hee-jin all about Abyss and the fact that Min used it to resurrect her, though Hee-jin has a hard time accepting it since for some reason, her looks didn’t change.
Se-yeon tells Hee-jin that she needs her help whether or not she believes, and shows her photos of her body after the accident, calling it strange that she doesn’t have a scratch on her now. She says that Abyss is in the hands of a murderer, and that Min, who used it to save them both, is dead.
She explains that she and Hee-jin are the only ones who can retrieve Abyss and revive Min, because only they can see it. She takes Hee-jin to where Dong-chul is reviewing the hospital’s CCTV videos, though Hee-jin makes a point to complain that she’s there against her will. Dong-chul has pinpointed three suspicious cars from that night, but the drivers can’t be reached.
In the apartment where Young-chul is holed up, the woman in the bathtub finally dies, and Abyss begins to glow much brighter and emit a strange, high-pitched tone in response to the proximity of a corpse. While Young-chul wonders why Abyss is doing this, the landlady knocks on the door, complaining about the late rent.
Pretending to be the tenant’s father, Young-chul invites the landlady inside to wait while he gets the money to pay her. While she waits, she sees blood on the wall, and downstairs Young-chul gets his doctor’s bag of instruments from his car.
The landlady is startled when Young-chul returns, and she says nervously that she can get the rent later and tries to leave. Young-chul lets her get outside, then grabs her by the hair and yanks her away from the apartment, scalpel in hand.
After a few false alarms where Dong-chul can see the light on the videos, Se-yeon finally spots a glowing green dot on one video that Hee-jin can see but Dong-chul can’t. It’s in the bushes outside the apartment where Young-chul is busily digging a hole to bury the landlady. Abyss glows so brightly in his pocket that it burns him, and he throws it to the ground, where it lands beside the landlady’s body.
Dong-chul is reluctant to send someone to check on a light that to him doesn’t exist, so Se-yeon runs off, saying that she’ll take care of it herself. She takes Hee-jin with her, and Dong-chul calls Detective Choi to follow them, still not really sure what’s happening.
Young-chul dumps the landlady’s body in the hole, and he notices that Abyss is now glowing blue instead of green. Not nearly so interested with it anymore, he tosses it into the hole with the body. But as soon as he’s finished filling in the hole, he hears a strange noise, and a hand bursts up out of the ground.
Hee-jin tries to talk Se-yeon out of going after Young-chul alone, but Se-yeon blames her judgment for being the entire reason they’re even in this mess, so she backs down. They find an open gate, where they see the recently filled-then-emptied hole in the ground, and blood on the asphalt.
Hee-jin goes inside and finds the body in the bathtub just as Dong-chul calls Se-yeon to tell her that the car they’re tracking just left the area. He uses the CCTV cameras to follow Young-chul’s car and tell Se-yeon where to go.
He’s about to leave to help them, but Detective Choi shows him that Ji-wook already told the media that Cha Min was found dead. Dong-chul just tells Se-yeon to wait and hangs up on her, then she hears the news announcement on their taxi’s radio.
The police station is teeming with reporters when Dong-chul returns. Se-yeon calls him back, but he says he’s confused too. He suggests they let people know about the real Cha Min’s body, but Se-yeon asks for just a little more time.
It’s raining when Se-yeon and Hee-jin get out of the taxi and split up to look for Abyss. Se-yeon tells Hee-jin that if she sees Young-chul, to sweet-talk him so they can catch him.
Young-chul isn’t far away, and he’s on the phone with someone (I’m still guessing it’s Ji-wook). He tells them that he’s got something that can turn the tables in their favor, and they make arrangements to meet up.
Se-yeon sees Young-chul as he’s putting the glowing Abyss back into his pocket and calls Hee-jin to tell her he’s headed her way. Hee-jin spots Abyss’s glow in Young-chul’s pocket, but as she approaches, she sees his face and realizes who it is. She freezes at the memory of him keeping her captive, and suddenly remembers that he was the driver of the truck that killed her.
She trips and falls in surprise, and hides her face from Young-chul with her umbrella. He notices her, so she runs, and crashes into Se-yeon. They go back to Hee-jin’s apartment, where she confesses to Se-yeon that he’s the same man who made her lie on the news then tried to kill her.
Se-yeon asks why Young-chul would do that, but Hee-jin says that he’s not Oh Young-chul, so Se-yeon explains that his appearance changed when he was revived by Abyss. We finally see the man’s face from Hee-jin’s nightmares, and sure enough, it’s a much younger Young-chul who beat her mother and her.
Annoyed that Hee-jin is just now telling her all this, Se-yeon asks what their connection is. But Hee-jin remembers Young-chul’s warning that she’ll end up like her mother if she talks, and she says she can’t do this anymore. She runs out of the apartment, leaving Se-yeon without answers.
Se-yeon finds Hee-jin’s phone in the sofa cushions and takes it to the repair shop. The guy that she’s got illegal dirt on writes her a note that the phone is wiretapped, so she’s careful not to speak and let Young-chul hear her voice.
As Young-chul waits for his partner, his phone notifies him that Hee-jin’s phone has been turned on. He turns on audio and hears the navigation app leading Se-yeon to the hospital where he killed Min. But Young-chul thinks that Hee-jin has her phone, and is surprised that she’s still alive.
Dong-chul is preparing for a media briefing about the case being closed. He’s still trying to talk his boss out of it, since Cha Min’s fresh fingerprints were found at the hospital well after he was supposedly found dead, but he’s ordered to do as he’s told.
Young-chul follows his tracking app to the hospital, while Se-yeon puts on a long-haired wig to make her look like Hee-jin. She calls Dong-chul, who interrupts his briefing to answer, and she tells him who she believes is trying to cover up the truth behind the murders — Oh Young-chul. She says he’s at the hospital right now, and that she’ll keep him busy while Dong-chul sends the police. Dong-chul stalls the briefing by claiming an upset stomach, and he motions to his boss to follow him out of the room.
Se-yeon, in her Hee-jin wig, leads Young-chul to a patient room that’s been labeled with Hee-jin’s name. He goes inside and finds the bed marked as Hee-jin’s, where someone lies sleeping, and Abyss begins to glow and chime. Young-chul reaches out to reveal the face of the person in the bed — and it’s Min’s dead body wearing a long wig.
Stunned, Young-chul stares as Min’s fingers start to twitch… Se-yeon tricked him into reviving Min.
I was all prepared with some harsh criticisms for some issues I have with Abyss (and don’t worry — they’re still coming) but I have to admit that that last twist was pretty clever. I was assuming that Se-yeon’s plan was to kill Young-chul and get Abyss from him, since she’s next in line as its owner, then use Abyss to revive Min. But instead she lured Young-chul to the hospital and got him to resuscitate Min himself, which I wasn’t expecting at all and which just proves that Se-yeon is a pretty smart cookie. My guess is that the “temporary” part of Abyss’s change in ownership will end now that its original owner is alive again, and that Min will be back in control of the orb, which will shift the balance of power between Young-chul and his victims back to a more even distribution.
Although Min was barely in this episode, I spent nearly the whole hour being both angry and annoyed with him. He’s supposed to be intelligent, so I keep waiting for him to smarten up, but he’s driving me nuts. He’s so emotional and he’s got zero chill, so he just says and does whatever strikes him in the moment, even if it could get him killed. What kind of dummy tells a known serial killer that he knows who he is? Now that he’s alive again, I hope he’s a bit more careful and a lot less reckless. And for pete’s sake, I hope he starts listening to Se-yeon — she’s legally savvy and street-smart, and she truly cares for Min and has his best interests at heart. Plus she’s got Dong-chul willing to at least go along with her crazy stories, which is a huge help.
I’m still pretty confused by Hee-jin’s part in the story, and how she fits into Young-chul’s plans. My theory, for what it’s worth (which isn’t much considering the vast swaths of information we still aren’t privy to) is that Hee-jin is Young-chul’s daughter, or maybe his step-daughter. I think it’s likely that Ji-wook is the big brother from Hee-jin’s nightmares, but that he’s Young-chul’s biological son, since Young-chul said that his blood runs in Ji-wook’s veins. There’s likely more than filial piety making Ji-wook help Young-chul hide his crimes, but at this point, there’s no telling. I have a lot more to say about Ji-wook, but since he wasn’t in this episode much, I’ll save it for a future recap.
I’m fully in agreement with Sunny on the fact that I want to like this show, I really want to like it. I love the quirky premise, the characters are complex and sympathetic, and the tone is interestingly dark and mysterious. But information is doled out in such a scrambled, confusing way that it’s difficult to follow along, or remember things that should be key information. Sometimes I feel like this is purposeful, to keep the audience as off-balance as the characters themselves, but at other times it’s as if the writer is just making things up as they go along with no real plan in mind.
For one thing, Abyss’s rules are starting to feel awfully convenient. Every time something shocking happens, we learn of a new rule that explains it, which is beginning to feel a bit too deus ex machina for my taste. I know that Min said he couldn’t read the user manual because it was written in an alien language — but then why do the rules write themselves in perfectly legible Korean around the orb itself? And why do the rules seem to apply differently to different people? If it resurrects people in the form of their true soul, then why is Min a random handsome guy, but Se-yeon looks like a former colleague that she hates, Young-chul became an older version of himself, and Hee-jin didn’t change much at all? I still feel like the writer knows the answer to these questions, but it’s time to let the audience in on some of them, because without clear rules set up in advance, it’s getting harder to trust that there are plausible explanations for these inconsistencies.
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