Catch the Ghost: Episode 8
The latest case hits a little too close to home for our reckless newbie and it comes at an inconvenient time, since our duo has decided to part ways. But there’s only so long that lies can be kept up, and emotions can’t be held back forever. Eventually the truth will come out, one way or another.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
In the bathroom, Ma-ri tells Yoo Ryung she won’t reveal to Ji-seok that Yoo Ryung’s been sneaking around at the station looking for the Subway Ghost. It’s not for Yoo Ryung’s sake, she’s doing it to protect Ji-seok’s feelings. As she walks away, Ma-ri pauses to say there was another reason she didn’t take Yoo Ryung’s case: caretakers of autistic people never leave their charge’s side, so how did her Yoo Jin go missing? “Caring for your sister must have been a big burden for you. By chance, did you…?” Wow. Are you seriously implying what I think you’re implying?
Ma-ri tells Ji Seok that Yoo Ryung was at the wrong meeting spot and tells him to let her know if he decides he wants to get back together.
Meanwhile, Ma-ri’s words echo through Yoo Ryung’s head as she wanders through the subway. She runs into Woo-hyuk, who reports that the lab found female DNA test on the cloth in the tunnel, but it didn’t match any known Joker victims or suspects. She takes him into the tunnel and shows him the secret passage she’s found, with the gate. He pulls it out easily.
But he’s not quite so handy at the end of the tunnel, where they find a blocked metal door, labeled “restricted” and apparently shut down in 1992.
They can’t see anything beyond it, but behind the door is the lair. The Subway Ghost opens up a woman’s wallet and inspects her ID, then reveals two tickets for a K-pop festival.
Back at Wangsoori Station, Yoo Ryung and Ji-seok have parted ways. Ji-seok deals with petty criminals and passes the major stuff to other units. He’s actually smiling and happy…until a filthy, wild-eyed Chief Inspector Gong comes in and grabs him. He’s paired with Yoo Ryung now, and apparently her antics are a bit too much for him.
Oh my god, Ji-seok actually breaks out a list of tips to work with her. Some of them include “if she tries to break a window, get all fire extinguishers and rocks away,” “make sure to feed her,” and “no matter what you do, you will get beaten up. Just accept it.” She comes in, looking a disaster and a half, and the boys bolt.
Clearly the crews almost never see each other. But Ji-seok and Yoo Ryung both have moments where they look at the other person’s desk and remember them sitting there.
But they can’t avoid each other forever, and they finally have a run in. In his haste to start his shift, he heads out while leaving his phone behind. She sees that he has a notification from the drunk voicemail she left and realizes it’s not enough to delete the text–she has to delete the actual voice message. But she can’t figure out the password.
She chases after him, but he won’t give any clues, even when she follows him into a bread shop. But as they are arguing, she notices a boy in the back of the shop (who’s quite clearly autistic) trying to get some flour down. Ji-seok tries to get to him before he knocks the flour down, but doesn’t quite get there in time. The store owner (the boy’s father) appears, furious. He beats him up right in front of them, yelling about how hard it is to take care of him.
Yoo Ryung has a flashback: she had been fired from a restaurant job because Yoo Jin couldn’t be left alone and kept knocking things over. No matter how she pleaded, her boss refused to listen to her, even using the same wording as Bread Dad. Back in the present, she calls the beating abuse and tries to connect with the autistic boy, but the Bread Dad tells her to butt out of things she doesn’t understand.
They return to the station. Apparently the Grasshopper case is still static–until Ji-seok suddenly wonders if the costumes could have been stolen, since there wasn’t any record of them being bought at suppliers. Sure enough, a kindergarten was robbed of the Podori costumes, and they start looking for the CCTV around that area.
Bread Dad leaves his son in the shop while he runs an errand at the bank; he’s making a huge withdrawal (about $100,000). A woman who’d been in the shop earlier in the day while Bread Dad was on the phone talking about the money returns to the shop and smiles at the son. And when Bread Dad comes back, his son is nowhere to be seen.
The Grasshoppers are on the move and attack Wangsoori Station specifically to mess with Ji-seok. But they don’t know that they’ve been caught on camera–outside the kindergarten that they stole the costumes from. As the team prepares to move out, a wave of Grasshopper victims show up reporting the new thievery.
Apparently news of the new thefts is already circulating on social media. Chief Jeon reports back to Commissioner Kim and encourages her to fire Ji-seok, since this is his responsibility. But when he gloats about it to Ma-ri, she just tells him that if he’s so worried about Commissioner Kim, he should handle spinning the case in to the press.
Her cool facade drops when she’s alone and calls Ji-seok, frightened that he’s going to get suspended. But he’s in the middle of taking statements, and can’t properly reply.
When he shows a picture of the Grasshoppers, one woman recognizes Grasshopper Hyung–and remembers that she heard them talking about meeting someone at 3 p.m. at Exit 3 at Seolleung Station. She was also going to meet someone at the same time at the same place, so she thought it might be him. HAHA, Soo-ho jumps up, apparently his online date was meeting at the same place; at the same time! He approaches her, saying, “By chance, are you…?”
But before he can get the full question out, she continues and talks about how the guy was totally her type, with his sharp jawline and his strong features. Poor Soo-ho wilts, but aww, they all comfort him as they move out.
As they leave, they run into Bread Dad, who’s searching the station for his son. He brushes them off, but receives a call from a woman, asking for a ransom in return for his son. The ransom is for the exact amount he withdrew from the bank.
Major Crimes interviews the father, and, as usual, Yoo Ryung wants to help, saying that their division knows the most about the subway. And, as usual, Ji-seok doesn’t want to get involved, understandably his focus is on the Grasshoppers since he thinks he’s going to get suspended. When she tries to stop him, he reminds her that they’re not partners and leaves.
Bread Dad gets another call. The kidnapper requests the cash and starts to give a location of where his son is. But when a badly-timed manager comes in asking why Major Crimes is here, she tells him he must not want to see his son and hangs up. Instead of getting distraught, the father gets up and starts wrapping up bread rolls. When Yoo Ryung asks why he isn’t doing anything, he replies with, “Don’t I still have a store to run?”
Yoo Ryung flashes back to walking in a park, holding hands with a guy…and the other hand is holding onto her sister. Yoo Jin starts acting skittish, saying “Let’s go,” over and over again. She tugs on her arm so hard that Yoo Ryung falls into a mud puddle.
She apologizes, saying the caretaker couldn’t come, but the guy calls her bluff–they’ve met three times, and each time her sister was there. “Why should I meet your halfwit sister? If you can’t come alone, let’s not meet.” Ouch. He calls a parting shot, “Have a good life with her,” as she walks away. I mean, he’s horrible, but this must not be the first time something like this has happened.
On the subway, things are obviously tense between the two sisters. Yoo Ryung watches people hanging out together, while she and Yoo Jin are alone. She takes the bow out of her hair, but Yoo Jin puts it back in. Yoo Ryung pulls it out again, and Yoo Jin pulls on her arm, saying, “Let’s go.” Yoo Ryung finally explodes, screaming at her that she wishes she’d disappear. And then, in a fit of impulsive rage, Yoo Ryung leaves her little sister on the train.
Oh. My. God. Of course, moments later she regrets it, but by that time we know how the story ends: when she gets to their station, Yoo Jin is nowhere to be found.
Back to the present. Yoo Ryung tells Bread Dad that he’ll regret it before he finishes packing these rolls and promises to find his son. But he kicks the police out and declares that he practically lived in this bakery to earn his money, and that he won’t give it up for a half-wit son.
The Grasshopper witness is sitting next to one of the perverts they’re processing, and when Soo-ho catches him looking at her legs, he gives him the stink eye and gives her his coat.
She starts talking to him, mentioning that she filmed a band performing outside the bakery for a full hour just as Yoo Ryung walks in. Yoo Ryung drags the witness to where the band was performing and, sure enough, the angle of her camera would have captured everything perfectly. But the phone was stolen by the Grasshoppers. Which means someone has to talk to Ji-seok.
Yoo Ryung finds him at the location the witness mentioned, waiting for the Grasshoppers. He tries to make her leave, but instead of explaining why she needs his help, she convinces him that she wants to help solve his case. She sees Grasshopper Hyung and charges in.
But he clearly picked this location for a reason, since his clothes blend in with a group of Chinese tourists. So Yoo Ryung yells, “Look! It’s Jeon Ji-hyun!” Lol, all of them run in one direction…except for Grasshopper Hyung, who runs up the stairs.
She sends Ji-seok on a short cut while she chases him directly. Grasshopper Hyung goes down an escalator, she skids down the area in between, and Ji-seok uses the shortcut to catch Grasshopper Hyung just as she’s flying forward. Hearts go out of his eyes…and then she knocks them apart. Oh my god. That’s amazing.
Grasshopper Hyung makes it out of the subway and into a cab…and throws his bag into a garbage truck. They get on the motorcycle, but Yoo Ryung kicks Ji-seok off and drives after the garbage man. Not again! A bewildered Ji-Seok calls in and figures out that there were two missions going on.
Yoo Ryung trails the truck to a dump, and starts frantically looking through the trash for the backpack. You can tell it’s all blending together–her need to find her sister and her need to solve this case.
Finally she drops to her knees and sobs out, “Fine! I was wrong. I was wrong! I lived only for you. I wanted to live my own life too. Sorry. I’m so sorry. You lived only for me. It was just too hard for me back then. I’m sorry.”
And Ji-seok, having followed in a taxi, watches the whole thing.
*Ties hair back* *breathes in* *breathes out* HOLY COW.
There’s a lot to recap from this episode, but I have to talk about the plot twist in this episode. Because THAT REVEAL. When Ma-ri first insinuates that Yoo Ryung abandoned Yoo Jin, I was certain they were just leading us down a rabbit trail. Because Yoo Ryung loves her sister too much to do that, right? But that reveal actually makes so much sense. Love is a powerful motivator, and so is a sense of justice. But guilt? Not only is it powerful, but it blinds people.
One of my favorite movies in the whole world is Inception. The main character’s subconscious manifests his guilt over the death of his wife as a lethal killer who puts his whole team in mortal peril. And not only does the main character not warn his team about it, but he tries to hide any signs of the problem existing in the first place. Which is incredibly foolish in the scheme of things, but makes sense if you blame yourself and wake up every morning with the shame of a thoughtless choice.
Of course what Yoo Ryung did was a thoughtless choice, and it had massive consequences. But no wonder she’s so hell-bent on whatever she does. No wonder she empathizes so deeply with the crime victims. No wonder she treats every day like her last. She’s already done the worst thing she thinks she can do, and something as small as a police regulation doesn’t matter. Atoning for abandoning her sister does. Her guilt isn’t misplaced–she really did abandon her sister, leaving her vulnerable to the Subway Ghost.
This also explains why Yoo Ryung doesn’t tell people things. If she had shared that she’d lost her autistic sister and that she’d regretted it ever since, perhaps the father would have reconsidered. If she had explained that she needed the witness’s phone for her case and that would help him with the Grasshoppers, she wouldn’t have had to lie to Ji-seok (who we’ve already established hates lying). They might have planned better.
But it’s hard to talk about stuff that you know you’ve messed up with. As we’ve seen before, Yoo Ryung connects emotionally with every case she works with. This can actually be a strength–at least two of her cases have been solved because she could reach out to the victim and meet them at their level. But it’s also her greatest weakness, as it clouds her judgement and usually leads her to do things all by herself.
I feel so conflicted about this show, because honestly I love studying Yoo Ryung and Ji-seok and Ma-ri and watching these fantastic actors live in these fully fleshed-out characters. Every time I think they’re going to fall into cliched patterns, they surprise me. Ma-ri isn’t your typical female second lead–she’s actually kind, capable, strong, and kind of awesome. And while she clearly wants to get back with Ji-seok, I don’t think she’s showing any crazy I’m-going-to-make-you-mine characteristics (fingers crossed). Ji-seok falls into dorky territory, and he’s not as smart as the show is claiming (what a surprise!), but he’s also full of heart, does genuinely care about the people he chooses to care about, and is actually a pretty good leader. Of course, Yoo Ryung is at turns frustrating, inspiring, and so emotionally powerful that I find myself fascinated by her.
On the other hand, the actual procedure stuff is starting to drive me nuts. It took you this long to figure out that the Grasshoppers could have stolen the costumes? I was wondering that two episodes ago! There’s no way Yoo Ryung would be able to get away with the stuff she’s been getting away with in a normal police system–in fact, I imagine it would have been hard to get admitted in the first place with her history. Also, how many times do Yoo Ryung and Ji-seok have to fight on whether they should take a case or feed it to Major Crimes? How many times will Yoo Ryung lie to Ji-seok with him falling for it? It was fine in the first couple of episodes, but now we’re on number 8 and we keep rehashing this conflict. We all know how it will end. One of you, please get a clue.
The plot can be awfully convenient, but it can also subvert expectations (I died laughing when Yoo Ryung actually ruined her own attack on Grasshopper Hyung). It makes me head-desk, but it also makes me want to pull the characters out of the screen and give them a hug.
Hopefully this ending will force some honesty. But Ji-seok, I swear. If you see her like this and you just accept whatever lie she invents on the spot, I’m cutting you off. You’re supposed to be one of the best officers on the force! Yoo Ryung has great facial expressions. Read the facial expressions, please!
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- First Script Reading for tvN’s Catch Yoo-ryung with Moon Geun-young, Kim Sun-ho
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