Catch The Ghost: Episode 4
Our intrepid subway police have more cases to handle, and it seems that each case’s victim feels powerless to stop what’s going on. Meanwhile, there are some slight growing pains as our hero and heroine continue to build on their partnership. As partners, they’re beginning to accept things about each other, though they still have a lot to learn.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
In the loan shark’s office, Yoo Ryung finds a last will and testament left by Do-chul. It’s to his wife, explaining that he’s being forced to kill someone. A picture included with the note shows the shop front of Walnut Cake Shop, clearly referring to the owner.
Yoo Ryung can’t see anything that would distinguish exactly which shop of the chain it is, but she notices a time scribbled on the back of the photo. She thinks it’s the time the murder is going to happen.
Ji-seok has called in to pass off the investigation, and he tells her they should go their separate ways from now on. He’s unmoved by her protests…until she shows him his illegal loan application. He tries to swipe it back, but she plays keepaway and finally shoves it in her back pants pocket. He won’t risk grabbing her butt to get it out (lol) and finally caves.
According to the advertising guy they question, the loan shark owner is called Bass, and angry muscle man is Gold Watch. Remembering conversations with the shop vendors at their station, Ji-seok calls them for more info. They tell them the Walnut Cake Shop owner couldn’t pay up so Bass beat the guy up, but the whole thing was caught on the CCTVs and the owner threatened to sue him for assault.
Yoo Ryung realizes that if it was caught on CCTV, that narrows the field considerably: only four Walnut Cake Shops have cameras facing them. And there is only one shop that could film that angle: the one at Yongchon Station.
At Yongchon, they stake out the shop. Bass arrives and starts talking to the owner. Ji-seok holds Yoo Ryung back from rushing in and arresting the guy, telling her they’ll lose Do-chul otherwise and won’t be able to stop the murder. Besides, something doesn’t add up. Why would Bass be anywhere near the potential scene of the crime right now?
Gold Watch threatens one of the vendors, telling him to forget Bass and cough up the money he owes by tomorrow. The vendor doesn’t understand why he’s giving Gold Watch money that should go to Bass, but Gold Watch says that he’s the manager now. Another vendor across the way calls Ji-seok to tell him what’s going on, and Ji-seok puts it together: it’s Bass that’s actually going to be murdered.
Sure enough, they see Do-chul, looking a little like a zombie, following Bass. As they follow Do-chul, Ji-seok explains to Yoo Ryung, Gold Watch wouldn’t be able to force the vendors to give him Bass’s money unless he planned to kill Bass and take over. The picture of the storefront shows where Bass would be at the time listed, where he would be most vulnerable.
Unfortunately, they lose their targets. Ji-seok calls Chief Inspector Gong asking him to look through the Yongchon CCTV footage to find Do-chul, while Yoo Ryung sees the vendor selling CDs from their last case.
Bass walks into a deserted area and then confronts Do-chul, but backs down immediately when Do-chul pulls out a gun. He takes Bass to a bridge and tells him to jump, saying he’ll jump right after. Ji-seok runs up, telling them to come down. But Do-chul is ashamed of being a father who couldn’t provide for or protect his son, and doesn’t want to live this way anymore.
There are tears in Ji-seok’s eyes as he remembers the CD vendor, shamelessly talking of his circumstance to win pity, or the loan he almost got to support his mother. He tells Do-chul, “In order to become a proud head of the family, one has to do something shameful every day…But the most shameful thing the head of the family can do is to leave their family. You should fight and win. Then you can protect them.”
Do-chul starts to break down, and Bass takes advantage of the distraction. He knocks the gun out of Do-chul’s hands and into the water, then bolts. This is the last straw (the gun was actually a toy for his son), and Do-chul prepares to actually jump.
Just before he can, Yoo Ryung runs up, pulling the vendor’s cart with all the CDs in it–the ones that had calmed him down before. This seems to move Do-chul enough to get down. He (of course) slips, but Yoo Ryung and Ji-seok manage to pull him back to safety.
Bass, Gold Watch, and Do-chul are taken into custody. Do-chul gets charged for attempted murder, but the extenuating circumstances will be taken into consideration, since he was pressured to carry out the attempt. Ji-seok visits Do-chul’s son’s school and passes on a gift: the toy gun he wanted. Then, oof, he says he really needs his dad’s help and asks to “borrow” him for a while. Ji-hwan happily agrees, not knowing that Ji-seok is covering for the fact that his father will serve time.
Lying in their beds during the night shift, Yoo Ryung tells Ji-seok that she burned the loan application and apologizes for threatening him with it. She also tells him that while her heart races during a crime scene, she doesn’t really get excited. She asks if he is interested in promotion, and Ji-seok flashes back to his graduation ceremony. But he just asks her if she’s going to go to Major Crimes like Woo-hyuk said. She vehemently denies it, he tells her to go to sleep, and they both lie down with smiles on their faces. You dorks.
Speaking of Woo-hyuk, he and Ma-ri review the Subway ghost case: the victims have nothing in common or a reason why they were lured out. The last three locations of the calls were traced to payphones that anyone could have accessed, but the latest one was hidden and harder to find, suggesting that the killer might live nearby. Woo-hyuk thinks the Subway Ghost is too meticulous to give away something like this, but Ma-ri notes that it is the guy’s fourth murder and he might have gotten careless.
At 2 a.m., Yoo Ryung wakes up and sneaks out to go search the tunnels. She finds a picture of herself on the floor and recognizes it from one of her night shifts. If only she and Ji-seok were there, who took the picture? Is someone hiding in the actual station?
In the tunnel, she finds an empty boiler room and begins looking for more clues. Her search becomes more and more frantic, until she finally shouts, “Show yourself and tell me where my sister is!” and breaks down crying. Guh, sweetheart.
The next day, a man and woman pull up to a station, met by adoring fans and reporters. The man is Kim Won-tae, and he’s a famous MMA fighter and the new PR ambassador for the subway police. Man-jin and Soo-ho fanboy over him when they’re introduced (haha, when Ji-seok shakes his hand, Soo-ho puts his hand over their hands as he proclaims he’s a huge fan) and Won-tae introduces his fiancee as Ma Hye-jin. Yoo Ryung leads them to a room where they can change, then stands by the door to guard.
Suddenly she hears Hye-jin cry out. Bursting through the door, she finds Hye-jin on the floor and Won-tae crouched over her. He helps her up and says she fell, but Yoo Ryung clocks her red cheek, her frightened demeanor, and a bruise on her arm. Ack.
Yoo Ryung reports this to her teammates; they think she’s just stirring up trouble, but CCTV reveals Won-tae slapping his fiance to the floor. But the worst part is that when Ji-seok shows one of his superiors, even though the footage is obvious, Chief Jeon refuses to investigate because it will ruin the subway police’s already-tainted image.
Yoo Ryung, of course, wants to tell a reporter right that second. Ji-seok just manages to convince her to shut up, but she wheedles out a promise that he’ll figure out a way to pursue the case.
Ji-seok and Ma-ri meet Commissioner Kim, and she brings up the loan shark case. But, to Ji-seok’s surprise, she yells at him to stop wasting his time when he should be finishing the Grasshopper case and kicks him out of her office.
“Menopause is really scary, Mom,” says Ma-ri. OMG haha, and also hmm, interesting. Commissioner Kim guesses that she’s mad because he dumped her daughter. She sighs at such a talent wasted on the subway police, but when she says Ji-seok would have gotten the lieutenant position over her, Ma-ri is understandably ticked. As she leaves, Commissioner Kim murmurs, “She doesn’t even know why they broke up.”
Ma-ri sees Ji-seok leaving, and remembers the time they busted a crew of gangsters at a club. It’s very obvious, from the way he winks at her when they beat up the gang to her smile when he fusses over her afterwards, that they both cared about each other deeply. She chases after him and tells him she’d put a good word in for him if he’d come to Metro with her.
He, in turn, remembers the reason he moved to the subway police in the first place: he found his mother on the side of the road, not knowing how to get home. Oh god, clearly she’s in the early stages of her dementia. As he’s leading her back to safety, he gets a call from Ma-ri telling them about the promotion to Metro. He looks over at his mom, and the next scene is him packing up to go to the subway police. Ma-ri didn’t understand why he was throwing his life away, and called him a loser.
Ji-seok turns down her offer, but as he heads back afterwards, he can barely get himself to walk down the subway stairs. He sends everyone off to research the Podori costumes, and tells Yoo Ryung to drop the Won-tae case.
Ji-seok gets back with no sign of anything, but Yoo Ryung comes in with good news: she’s found a shop that sold the costumes to three men who needed them by the date of the press conference, and she has their address.
They arrive at the house and decide to look over the wall into their yard, but it’s just a little too tall. He crutches down and tells her to climb on his shoulders. She warns him she’s heavy, but obliges. So we get her looking over the wall, while he holds out as long as he can.
With lots of grunting noises. It’s great. But it becomes not great when he hears her mutter to herself, “I dare you to touch each other. If you do, I’ll catch you in the act.” Oh no. What did you do?
He drops her and orders her to tell him what she saw. She finally admits, “Kim Won-tae and Hye-jin are living together…” Ji-seok winces. She’s quick to apologize, but it’s clear he really is hurt. He’s let her get away with a lot because he knows her intentions are pure. But lying to get him to come to Won-tae’s house is a breach of trust. He starts to walk away, but she calls after him, “Police always work in teams of two. Whenever we rode on the scooter, having you in the backseat felt like a seatbelt to me. I just thought we should move together, so I lost my mind for a moment. I’m really sorry.”
Just then, there’s a crash of glass from the house. Without another word, Yoo Ryung runs out into the street, and tries again and again to parkour herself over the wall. Ji-seok watches with a smile before putting his straight face back on. He finally gives her a boost up and he backs up while saying, “I’m going crazy,” before successfully parkouring over the wall.
And just in time, as Hye-jin is on the floor shaking with bleeding hands. Ji-seok arrests Won-tae immediately, but he doesn’t seem that torn up about it, and waits calmly in the police station. He tries to wield his status to wriggle out of the situation, but Ji-seok is unmoved. So Won-tae calls to Hye-jin, who’s in the adjacent room in the middle of filing out a report. No no, shut him up, shut him up!
He gets on his knees, begging Hye-jin to take him back and promising he’ll change, telling her everything he does is for her. Hye-jin hesitates, then crumples up the paper. Yoo Ryung tries to dissuade her, but Hye-jin convinces herself that she got hit because that’s just how he loves and she messed up.
Soo-ho interrupts her to pull both her and Ji-seok into another room, where he shows them a file. Apparently Won-tae was a witness for the robbery and murder of his girlfriend 9 years ago. It was death by brain hemorrhage, which the medical examiner attributed to assault. But the girlfriend’s wallet and ring had been stolen, so it was considered robbery. But as they go through the case file, Yoo Ryung sees a picture of the stolen ring and realizes she’s seen it before…on Hye-jin’s finger.
Noooo! Why, show, why? I mean, I know why. It’s a guarantee I’ll tune in next week. But still! Someone help Hye-jin! Someone high up in the pecking order, please grow a heart.
One thing this show is doing very well is the developing relationship between Ji-seok and Yoo Ryung. I don’t mean romantically–although I definitely think we’ll go there at some point. But right now we’re exploring, among other things, the story of two very different people learning how to work together. They started off this show seeing each other as necessary evils, but now they are learning each other, starting to see their traits as assets. And the fact that he’s slowly warming up to her and her methods while also tempering her recklessness means to me that they’re a great team, which is always a great start to a romance. I think Yoo Ryung’s far too focused on her target to notice it, but Ji-seok is already giving heart eyes. I think it’s only a matter of time before he figures out his feelings aren’t quite as platonic as he thinks they are. I suspect if they do fall in love they’re not going to figure it out for a while, which I’m very okay with.
What I’m also okay with is challenging their relationship. Yoo Ryung can lose her head and not think about the consequences, and this was one of those times where it came back to bite her a bit. Now that Ji-seok has committed to having her as a partner, it makes sense that he would be pretty hurt about her taking advantage of his trust. But, for her faults, at least Yoo Ryung was quick to apologize. It will be very interesting seeing what else comes up to challenge their relationship that’s not just possible romantic tension.
It helps that the actors are just killing it. I didn’t know what all the hype was about Moon Geun-young coming back, but now I get it. She’s just owning this character–all heart and emotions and recklessness (she doesn’t even walk that gracefully sometimes), yet not sinking into caricature. Kim Sun-ho is also doing very well. I will admit, I wasn’t so sure about Ji-seok the first episode. I know this show is a comedy and zany is part of the territory, but in the first episode Ji-seok struck me as a bit bumbling and not the top-tier police detective we’ve been led to believe he is. But I think Kim Sun-ho is settling into the role more, and the more we learn about his backstory, the more real of a character he becomes. That scene in the flashback where he’s comforting his mother while also trying to hide his own emotion was just heartbreaking, and so well done.
I also loved when he was talking Do-chul down, but when I saw the tears in his eyes, it occurred to me that we don’t really know exactly why the father isn’t in the picture. We know that he died, but we don’t know for sure how. There was some emotion as Ji-seok called the most shameful thing the head of the family can do is leaving the family. Did Ji-seok’s father commit suicide? Or did he leave in some other fashion? Whatever it was, Ji-seok was connected in that speech.
We’re getting into the “crime of the week” format, with our larger scale crimes taking a bit of a back seat. But I must say that I actually don’t hate it. The crimes so far are the settings for character growth. The crimes aren’t just a super important puzzle to be solved; as the puzzles are being solved, our main partnership is growing and figuring out how they work together.
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