Abyss: Episode 8
Our resident nut job might be in prison, but his accomplice is still on the loose and wreaking havoc. It’s a game of cat and mouse as both sides scramble to identify the other. It doesn’t help that with changing faces and shifting motives, it’s hard to know who to trust. The stakes are life and death and without Abyss, our heroes must tread carefully.
Locked in a high speed chase, Min swerves through traffic at Se-yeon’s direction as Hee-jin rolls around in the backseat. Just ahead, Ji-wook frantically careens down the road with Hee-jin’s mom giggling in the passenger seat. They temporarily disappear from view when they enter the tunnel and when Min and Se-yeon spot the vehicle again on the other side, it suddenly veers off the road, tumbling downhill and exploding at the bottom. Damn.
Min comforts a sobbing Hee-jin as first responders swarm the scene. Dong-chul tells Se-yeon that no bodies were found in the wreckage but she argues that there was no time for the occupants to escape before the explosion. Dong-chul awkwardly pats her shoulder and assures her his team is searching for them.
Meanwhile, Ji-wook and Hee-jin’s mom have sought refuge in the home of Park Ki-man’s blind mother. Ji-wook winces at his cut hand as Ki-man’s mother assures him he made the right choice in bringing Hee-jin’s mother to her. Apparently he’d lied that Mom had lost her mind after her child died. She promises to look after Mom until Ji-wook can find a hospital for her.
Dong-chul reviews Min’s blackbox footage and agrees that there was someone in the vehicle before they entered the tunnel. The licence plates reveal the vehicle is unregistered and Se-yeon starts to storm back to the hospital to check their security footage, but Dong-chul holds her back. He’s curious why she keeps sticking her nose into this case and guesses she’s keeping secrets from him.
In prison, Young-chul looks at Abyss thoughtfully, recalling the accidental revival of the landlady he’d murdered. When all the inmates clear out of the room save for one, Young-chul jumps on the remaining prisoner. He grins at the glowing Abyss as the man struggles against Young-chul’s choke-hold.
A guard arrives and yanks Young-chul off, causing Abyss to cease glowing. He continues to grin at the orb as the guard revives the other inmate and then orders more guards to drag Young-chul away. Young-chul cackles as they lock him into a solitary cell and then rushes the bars, barking that they can’t stop him because he’s a god. He holds Abyss out, marveling at its glow, but he just looks insane to the guard who can’t see it.
At the office, Ji-woo’s assistant informs him of Young-chul’s outburst. Ji-wook looks shifty and says that since Young-chul keeps changing his testimony and insisting innocence, they’ll have to conduct a follow-up investigation. The assistant leaves to inform the precinct in charge of the case and Ji-wook fishes a small box out of his desk (the same one he’d received in ep. 2).
Inside is a family photo of young Ji-wook, Young-chul, young Hee-jin and her mother. The box is confirmed to be Young-chul’s doing as Ji-wook flashes back to his visit with Young-chul in prison following the arrest. Young-chul had demanded a deal and when Ji-wook snorted, Young-chul threatened his current status as Seo Chun-sik’s (adoptive) son.
Young-chul says that Hee-jin’s mother is still alive and wants Ji-wook to take care of her, revealing he needs her alive in order to manipulate Hee-jin. Ji-wook doesn’t understand why he’s bothering since Young-chul is doomed to either a life-sentence behind bars or death. Young-chul insists he’ll never die, and has figured out how to cheat death, anyway.
Declaring Se-yeon to be alive as well, Young-chul adds that they need to get rid of her… for both their sakes. He looks mad as he marvels at Abyss, muttering Se-yeon also knows about its power while Ji-wook sees nothing but air. “No one in the world can stop us now,” Young-chul sneers.
In the present, Ji-wook agrees that it’s no good if Se-yeon is still alive.
Se-yeon visits Hee-jin at Min’s family home, fibbing that she’s not concerned or anything — she just happened to buy some food and drop by. Hee-jin sobs that she doesn’t even know if her mother is alive and Se-yeon argues that if he’d wanted her dead, Young-chul would’ve killed Mom long ago. She urges Hee-jin to pull herself together so they can find Mom and catch the accomplice.
When Se-yeon leaves to fetch some water, Hee-jin receives a text from Ji-wook threatening her to do as he says if she wants to see her mother again. Hee-jin quickly promises to comply and Ji-wook asks if Se-yeon is there. Hee-jin hides her phone as Se-yeon returns. She’s immediately forced to leave again, however, as the real Mi-do has made an appearance at the law firm. As soon as she’s gone, Hee-jin replies that she knows where Se-yeon lives. Argh!
Meanwhile,the real Mi-do is physically removed from her own office. Mi-do flashes her identification cards, but is simply reprimanded for falsifying documents as her co-worker snaps that she knows what Mi-do looks like. Mi-do even tries calling Dong-chul to verify her identity, but he barks at her to stop prank calling him and hangs up. Hee.
Mi-do isn’t backing down, though, and quickly fires off a text to Dong-chul threatening to expose the birthmark on his bum if he doesn’t bring his fingerprint scanner immediately. Flustered, he rushes to get the scanner while Se-yeon arrives at the law firm. She’s nervous when she hears Mi-do is still there, but upon seeing a different face, she smirks.
Se-yeon saunters up to her and Mi-do gasps to see her old face. Se-yeon starts chiding her for attempting to impersonate someone, but when Mi-do regains her composure enough to retaliate, Se-yeon flashes back to Mi-do bullying her in the past. Horrified, she realizes the woman really is Mi-do just as security arrives to drag Mi-do out of the building.
Immediately running to Min, Se-yeon whines at him to fix this mess. They bicker for a while, but Min relents and next thing we know, he and Se-yeon are sitting across from Mi-do at a cafe with a suitcase of cash between them. Min lies that he’d needed Mi-do’s help but when he couldn’t contact her, he’d found a look-a-like. Somehow Mi-do believes his story and is clearly pleased with Min’s generous apology for the mix-up.
Se-yeon can’t help but snort at Mi-do’s coy act which only infuriates the other woman. Min manages to appease her, but Mi-do demands to see Se-yeon’s ID. Min interjects that he just found Se-yeon on the street. Mi-do says she’ll think about the offer and be in contact, but when she tries to talk off with the money, Se-yeon holds her back… but only to say she’d changed the passcode at Mi-do’s apartment and will have to pick up her things later.
That night, Ji-wook enters Mi-do’s apartment and rifles through Se-yeon’s case files with gloved hands. In the bedroom, he finds Se-yeon’s picture on her laptop as well as her ID badge and flashes back to when a woman appearing to be Mi-do had rushed over and tried to convince him she was Se-yeon, followed by digging up her empty coffin, and how that same woman had called Se-yeon’s mother “mom.” With a smirk, he realizes that was Se-yeon all along.
Dong-chul paces outside the law firm with his fingerprint scanner, unable to get through to Mi-do’s phone. Se-yeon calls and Dong-chul tells her some crazy lady has been impersonating her. Se-yeon urges him to ignore her, promising to handle it herself. Before he can argue, Dong-chul gets a call from Detective Choi and is forced to hang up.
Hee-jin anxiously awaits contact from Ji-wook. He texts that he’s confirmed the address she gave was correct and sends her a picture of her mom. Se-yeon walks in on her crying in relief, but assumes she’s still distraught over the other night. Hee-jin is horrified to see her and asks why she didn’t go home. Se-yeon whines that she can’t since the real Mi-do has returned. Hee-jin quickly excuses herself to make a call.
Mi-do arrives at the apartment and lets herself in. Outside, Ji-wook sees the light turn on and makes a call, telling the person “Take care of it now. Do the job well if you want to have a future.” Oh noes… Hee-jin frantically tries to text Ji-wook that Se-yeon isn’t there tonight but Se-yeon — who’d picked up on her suspicious behavior and followed her outside — snatches the phone away. Realizing what Hee-jin’s done, Se-yeon runs off to save Mi-do.
As Mi-do showers, a masked man sneaks into the apartment. Mi-do hears noises and exits the shower, finding it strange the lights are out in the rest of the apartment. She reaches out for the switch and is startled by Se-yeon. Relieved Mi-do is okay, Se-yeon notices the open balcony door and tries to usher her out of the apartment.
The lights cut out again and the man rushes in from the balcony, plunging the knife into one of the women and then stumbling back, shocked. Terrified, he drops the knife and runs out, bolting past Min on his way in. Min immediately rushes in to find Se-yeon unconscious on the floor, blood gushing from her abdomen.
In the hospital, Min tearfully apologizes to the still unconscious Se-yeon for always being too late. A doctor comes in and confirms that Se-yeon will wake up soon and that Mi-do only sustained minor injuries. Min asks him to keep it quiet from his mother and then resumes cradling Se-yeon’s hand in his.
Hee-jin tentatively steps inside and weakly asks if Se-yeon is okay. Min barely glances at her and Hee-jin starts to say she didn’t think it would go this far but Min cuts her off, telling her to leave. She tries to argue and Min hands her all the cash in his wallet, coldly telling her she can have all the money she wants, but to leave and never come near him or Se-yeon again.
“Because of you…” Min spits, “No, because of me who was stupid enough to let you near us again, Se-yeon almost died twice.” He screams at her to get out, but Se-yeon pipes up that Hee-jin will stay put until she says so. Min rushes over and Hee-jin apologizes again. Se-yeon tells Hee-jin she needs to stick around until she’s made up for her sins.
Dong-chul arrives at the hospital, fingerprint scanner in tow. He runs into Mi-do and they bicker until Min directs them into Se-yeon’s room. She has Mi-do verify her identity with the scanner and then reveals herself to be Se-yeon. Dong-chul has trouble accepting it, but Min’s extensive biometric reports are hard to argue with. Shocked, Mi-do starts sobbing that Se-yeon was a brat but she didn’t deserve to be murdered. Hee.
Demanding why they’re all telling him this now, Dong-chul balks when Se-yeon reveals Young-chul had an accomplice.
The next day, Dong-chul follows Se-yeon’s plan and has his unit process the apartment like a crime scene. He tells the nosy neighbors the woman who lived there was murdered as the assailant from last night stands in the back and takes photos for Ji-wook. The ruse serves as both a trap to lure the accomplice out while ensuring Hee-jin’s mother’s safety.
Hee-jin texts Ji-wook that Se-yeon is dead and he tells her to be patient. A small radio beeps and Se-yeon orders Hee-jin back inside. Se-yeon is propped up in bed at the guest house and she holds out her hand for Hee-jin’s phone, wondering when she’d swiped it. Hee-jin balks when Se-yeon demands a glass of water but quickly relents when Se-yeon whines about her stab wound.
The final part of Se-yeon’s plan involves keeping Mi-do hidden since Se-yeon had been impersonating her and is now “dead.” The man who stabbed Se-yeon takes more photos of “Mi-do’s” urn and sends them to Ji-wook, who’s reviewing the man (whose name we learn is Choi Gi-hoon)’s assault case.
That evening, Min helps Se-yeon limp into the living room where Dong-chul and Mi-do are already eating some PPL Subway. Se-yeon excitedly reaches for a beer despite Min’s protests, but Dong-chul snatches it away and quickly downs it. Min and Mi-do are both unhappy with his concern, but Dong-chul stammers he’s just looking out for Se-yeon and she playfully adds that he’s treated her so well because of her face.
Min’s mood continues to sour as Se-yeon addresses Hee-jin, who’s been sitting solemnly behind them. Hee-jin meekly says she doesn’t feel right joining them but Se-yeon snaps that she hates Hee-jin’s pathetic act. Softening a bit, she adds that Hee-jin’s mother is still Young-chul’s hostage, but Hee-jin keep’s glancing at Min’s stiff shoulders and can’t bring herself to move.
Dong-chul shows Se-yeon the picture of her attacker, Gi-hoon, they found thanks to the CCTV footage. Meanwhile, Gi-hoon meets with Ji-wook and asks if Ji-wook will dismiss his assault case. In turn, Ji-wook asks if he’s told him everything and Gi-hoon flashes back to the attack when he’d seen two women in the apartment and run past Min on the way out, but lied to Ji-wook that Se-yeon had been alone.
Gi-hoon says he’s done exactly as he was told and Ji-wook says the case will be thrown out on lack of evidence. However, it hardly matters because next we see Gi-hoon motionless in the driver’s seat of a vehicle in the middle of nowhere, empty soju bottles and a suicide note on the passenger seat. It’s all staged, as we can gather from Ji-wook’s gloved hands as he opens the door to peer inside.
A text from Hee-jin comes through, asking for proof her mother is okay. Ji-wook swaps the phone with Gi-hoon’s and smirks as he walks away from the scene.
Min checks on Se-yeon in her room and offers to turn off the light for her to go to bed. She stops him to say he doesn’t need to be hard on Hee-jin for her sake, assuming he probably still has feelings for his ex. Min bluntly replies that he doesn’t, and after taking the time to really think about it, realizes he never really loved her in the first place.
Se-yeon snorts that he’s claiming to know a lot about love despite always having been single. “Although I’ve been single my whole life, I know what being in love is like,” Min retorts, “though it wasn’t mutual.” He says that’s why he knows he’s been completely over Hee-jin for some time now. He turns to leave, but Se-yeon calls out to ask if she can go back to treating him the way she had before he met Hee-jin.
Min scoffs, wondering if there was a difference. Se-yeon insists there was and Min laughs that she can do whatever she wants — not like she’s ever asked permission before — so Se-yeon promptly asks him to stay with her until she falls asleep. Min sits next to her as Se-yeon wiggles under the covers, but she doesn’t sleep and continues to stare at him.
Finally, she blurts out “We can kiss.” Min denies thinking about it, but Se-yeon corrects that it was more of a suggestion… and asks if she can kiss him. Flustered, Min stammers that Se-yeon never asks for permission so she pulls him down and gives him a quick kiss. Embarrassed, Se-yeon says good night and pulls the covers back up, but Min gently pulls them down again. After a beat, he leans in and kisses her back.
Despite my complaints for Abyss (and there are many) that kiss was pretty great. Se-yeon has clearly been battling feelings for Min for a long time, and I’m not just talking about post-death and body swap. Even before Min was gorgeous, Se-yeon had a soft spot for him and while I think she was aware of it, she also chose to actively ignore it. Her reasons are fuzzy and I hope we explore that in the future, but I love that she acknowledged their relationship changed after Hee-jin joined the mix. It makes sense Min wouldn’t notice (he’s not the brightest bulb, after all) because Se-yeon had been outwardly rejecting his affection for years. He never picked up any meaning behind her denials or the fact that despite them, she remained in close contact with him. So of course he wouldn’t be able to distinguish when she started drawing back once he began dating someone else.
I’m curious how this will progress going forward. Luckily, Dong-chul is now aware of the mix-up so his heart isn’t going to be crushed… again. But even after learning the truth, he still gets quite flustered over Se-yeon and I’m not sure that’s entirely because she looks like Mi-do. Regardless, it’s been fun fodder for Min’s jealousy just as Min’s attentiveness to Hee-jin sparked Se-yeon’s. I am sooooooo glad he’s finally smartened up a bit and stopped falling for Hee-jin’s BS. Although, if he’d still trusted her after the crap she pulled with selling Se-yeon out a second time and nearly getting her killed… again… I would’ve rage-quit the show so hard. I get that he’s supposed to be dense when it comes to social intelligence to balance out his genius IQ but Jiminy Cricket, it’s been a challenge to watch.
Although, nothing in this show frustrates me more than Young-chul and I am so glad I’m not the only one. His character lacks all charisma and I am beyond sick of his looney tunes shtick over Abyss. I get that he’s supposed to just appear mad to everyone because they can’t see it, but he really is insane. He thinks he’s a god, y’all. Nothing is more of a crazy-pants cliche than that. I keep hoping he’ll get reckless and let himself get killed, because Young-chul clearly still doesn’t know how Abyss works and seems to think it’ll revive him indefinitely. It’s time to hand the villain title over to Ji-wook, anyway, who’s far more compelling and chilling. There’s a lot of debate as to the family tree but my best bet is Ji-wook is Young-chul’s biological son, Hee-jin and her mother are Ji-wook’s step-family, and the other man is Ji-wook’s adoptive father that took him in to replace his comatose son?
No matter what, the theory Ji-wook is doing any of this out of fear of Young-chul or some morbid filial piety has gone out the window. I’m pretty convinced Ji-wook’s only goal is to protect his social standing and the life he’s managed to build away from Young-chul. There’s surely more secrets to be uncovered as Park Ki-man had that photo in his notebook of three children: two boys and a girl… and I’m guessing that’s Hee-jin, Ji-wook, and his adoptive father’s real son. I’m not sure how that ties in, but that’s pretty much how I feel about every mystery this show has thrown in the mix. Whether the show is gradually improving or I’m slipping into insanity trying to follow it, I still find myself invested despite the sloppy storytelling. We’re only halfway so Abyss can still go either way but for now, I’m just gonna focus on cuddly kisses and our new Scooby-Doo team dynamic.
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