Catch the Ghost Episode 9
Our chief may finally have enough information to understand what drives his newbie’s rash efforts, and it might just be what they need to heal their partnership. But while our subway team has been learning to work together, the Subway Ghost has been planning their next move. The pieces are starting to add up, but the police might still be too late to prevent the next murder.
EPISODE 9 RECAP
Ji-seok arrive at the landfill, where Yoo Ryung cries atop a towering pile of discarded paper goods. He hears her call out that she was wrong, and that she wanted to live her own life. At first, Ji-seok tries to remain angry with Yoo Ryung for ruining his chance at catching the Grasshoppers, but it only makes Yoo Ryung cry more, and that’s more than Ji-seok can take. So he climbs up beside her and digs through trash at her side. After some digging, Ji-seok pulls the backpack out of the pile.
Yoo Ryung and Ji-seok jump and hug, jubilant, and then their eyes widen as they watch the phone footage of the abducted Jung-hoon. They return to the bread shop, still very stinky from their dump dive, but with evidence that Jung-hoon went willingly with the woman who kidnapped him. Bread Dad obviously recognizes the woman who patronizes his shop, but he gruffly tells the police that he doesn’t know her.
Yoo Ryung threatens to arrest Bread Dad for child abuse, but Ji-seok pulls her back down. Meanwhile, the crew spots the woman’s bag for Eve Sculpting School. There are a lot of locations, but they think they can trace her transportation card and get a narrower field.
Cut to a sculpting school, where Jung-joon nervously scrapes at a large clay bust. His kidnapper stalks behind him, menacing him with a sculpting knife, as she says that it’s time for them to part ways. Jung-hoon gasps, and the clay falls to the floor.
Major Crimes narrow the search to just one school and are on their way, Yoo Ryung at their heels. Ji-seok hangs back for a moment, and then chases after his newbie to call her off. Yoo Ryung protests, of course, while Ji-seok explains that Major Crimes is trying to claim the case, and that whoever puts the cuffs on is the team who gets credit.
But the sculpting school is empty by the time Major Crimes arrives, thanks to Bread Dad tipping off his son’s kidnapper by phone. The kidnapper agrees to give him a second chance and demands that he bring the money to Hapjung Station, Platform 2-3.
The train arrives at the platform, the kidnapper waiting at the door, alone. Bread Dad asks for his son, and she refuses to hand him over until Dad releases the money. He hesitates to let go of the bag, until the woman yanks it from him and the doors close. The train starts to move away, and Dad sinks in despair, until he spots Jung-hoon fall to the floor on the other side of the platform. Whew.
The kidnapper smiles with satisfaction at her bag o’ money, along with her plane ticket to London. But then a phone begins to ring loudly. It persists, disturbing the other passengers, and their eyes eventually fall on the kidnapper and the bag in her lap. She opens it and finds a phone, with an incoming call from Yoo Ryung. Ha!
Yoo Ryung steps through the doors of the neighboring train car, handcuffs at the ready. But the kidnapper puts up a fight and flees with the cuffs around one wrist (everyone’s so willing to fight the police in this show!) But no worries, Ji-seok is in the next car to cut her off, and he finishes the arrest, sealing it with a mighty high-five with Yoo Ryung.
Yoo Ryung is so impressed as Ji-seok explains that he slipped the phone into the bag while Major Crimes ran off to the sculpting school. Ji-seok basks in his success, happy to impress his newbie. Yoo Ryung asked how he knew Bread Dad would go after her, and Ji-seok explains that he’s been going to the bread shop ever since he started as subway police. He’s seen Bread Dad angry, but he’s also seen him love his son and want to teach him.
Major Crimes returns to take their culprit in, but Yoo Ryung makes sure to let them know that she placed the first cuff and Ji-seok placed the second cuff, so this case is officially theirs to claim. Their happiness dries up, though, when they receive a call alerting them that Jung-hoon is in the hospital from an overdose of tranquilizer.
Yoo Ryung and Ji-seok visit Bread Dad and his son in the hospital. Dad takes on the guilt, saying that Jung-hoon followed the woman because of her art school bag, and that he refused to buy any sculpting tools for his son. Yoo Ryung apologizes to Dad now that she knows the kidnapper had threatened him into cooperating, but Dad is still consumed with guilt. He admits that he was so afraid of what would happen to Jung-hoon after his own death, that he hoped that his son would die with him. Tears spring to Yoo Ryung’s eyes as she witnesses this very familiar sentiment.
Ji-seok knows a bit about taking care of a dependent family member too though, and he commiserates how exhausting it can be to keep running ahead for them without any end. But he reassures Dad that he came back for his son, even after he faltered, and that’s what matters. Yoo Ryung shoots Ji-seok a sidelong glance of appreciation.
Jung-hoon wakes up at last, and Yoo Ryung asks the boy if she can give his father the gift she has. Bread Dad opens the bag and finds Jung-hoon’s small sculpture, which is a bust of his father. Dad is tearful and thankful, while Ji-seok and Yoo Ryung take turns shooting appreciative glances at one another.
With the case closed, Soo-ho meets with the phone’s owner and his almost-date, Don-na, to return her phone. He keeps it brief and can’t seem to admit to her that he was her missed connection date. But Don-na calls her “Jackson” as soon as she gets out of the restaurant, and Soo-ho’s phone starts to ring just behind her. She hangs up, and it stops. She calls again, it starts. She hangs up, it stops. And with one final dial, she realizes who her “Jackson” is. She smiles brightly as she asks him why he didn’t tell her the truth, and Soo-ho only squishes his own cheeks in response. Don-na returns it with a happy (not disappointed) smile. So. Cute.
Ji-seok anticipates a reprimand for letting the Grasshoppers get away when he reports in to Commissioner Kim, and she does start to yell at first, but it’s all a charade and instead she congratulates him on making the right call. In fact, she’s so impressed with his actions that she’s asked to delay any disciplinary actions against him for now. Yay!
Meanwhile, the Grasshoppers regroup to try to figure out what went wrong for them. Bald Grasshopper Dong-man is mad, while Grasshopper Hyung tries to control his explosive partner. There’s somebody the Grasshoppers are working with though, since they were supposed to pass the stolen goods on at a certain station. And worse, the cops know their faces now. As Grasshopper Hyung tries to figure out what went wrong, he can’t help but recall Yoo Ryung there in the crowd.
Yoo Ryung lingers at the station to hear from Ji-seok, and eventually he returns to report to his team the good news. Yoo Ryung can’t help but join in their celebrating when he shares that he’s no longer up for disciplinary action. With some knowing looks, Man-jin and Soo-ho duck out and leave Ji-seok and Yoo Ryung alone.
Ji-seok eventually leans Yoo Ryung’s way to let her know that the commissioner also praised her efforts in the kidnapping investigation. And soon they’re both crowded in front of the tv to watch the news report, where they learn that the kidnapper was struggling with credit card debt. Ji-seok watches Yoo Ryung watch the news, and he thinks about her earlier pleas at the trash center. He starts to ask, “Did someone in your family…” but then he’s distracted by a notification on his phone alerting him of a new voice message.
Yoo Ryung knows what that alert is for, and she desperately searches for a reason to convince Ji-seok to delete it. She lands on, “it’s a phishing scam,” one that will erase all the contacts on his phone. At first Ji-seok is super skeptical. It seems like he’s going to click the link and get to voicemail, his fingers right there to press it…. But no, he deletes it, muttering about all the liars and swindlers out there.
And then it’s another typical day at the office, except that Ji-seok finds Yoo Ryung crouched on the station floor with her belongings clutched to her chest, her gifted baton at the top of the pile. She says that Chief Inspector Gong has kicked her off the team, and Ji-seok just shifts around her, retrieves his own baton from his desk, and heads out.
In a quick recap, we see Yoo Ryung and Inspector Gong’s various disguises, and the way that Yoo Ryung has run poor Inspector Gong ragged, haha. Until finally Inspector Gong gets a moments rest at the office while Yoo Ryung steps out, and Ji-seok nudges him awake. The inspector resists, until Ji-seok leans in to whisper, “I’ll take Officer Yoo back.” Chief Inspector Gong rises to thank Ji-seok with a big, long hug.
Eventually, that news catches up to Yoo Ryung, and Ji-seok waits out in the hallway for her with a smile. The partnership reunited, it’s time to bust some criminals. And so, with some splashes of sexual tension, the two take down the bad guys together, working in sync to carry drunkards away and protect the subway. Ji-seok finds a moment of peace at the end of the day, the train rattling along into the night. He looks over and discovers that Yoo Ryung has fallen asleep, and he places his grip on the railing in the perfect spot so that her head lands on his hand when it rolls over. Yeah, he’s got it bad.
Ji-seok tells his sleepy companion when they deboard that they can both head directly home. I can only assume that Ji-seok’s off to see his mom and Yoo Ryung just so happens to call up her friend, Nurse Park.
At the nursing home, Mom preens over the nice braids that Caregiver Choi has tied for her. Caregiver Choi mentions that she has a son, when asked about his occupation, she responds that he suffers from a broken heart. Ji-seok arrives then, dressed as Dad and bearing egg bread.
Caregiver Choi follows him out to the hallway and asks about his job as a detective. She assumes he’s in Major Crimes, but he says that he’s part of the subway police. She persists about the Subway Ghost murders, but he easily says that he’s not involved at all. He lets her go home early, but on her way out, Caregiver Choi passes by Yoo Ryung. She gasps in recognition (and I’m pretty sure it’s because she’s encountered Yoo Jin before).
Yoo Ryung’s at the facility to find Nurse Park, but it’s Ji-seok she spots first, in his dad costume weaving his mother through the halls in her wheelchair. She watches shocked, until Nurse Park arrives with a, “isn’t he so handsome?” at her ear.
The two ladies slip outside for a drink, where Yoo Ryung confesses that the handsome detective is also the chief she’s been gushing about lately. Nurse Park
breaks every patient privacy law fills Yoo Ryung in on the details of Ji-seok and his mother’s circumstances, including the recent money pinch he’s been in. Yoo Ryung immediately recalls the loan shark ordeal and now understands why Ji-seok was there.
Yoo Ryung “just happens” to drive by Ji-seok on the street as they both head home, and Yoo Ryung offers him a ride. Ji-seok hesitates (because he no longer has a home to return to) but instead says he could use a ride back to the office to finish things up. Yoo Ryung takes the scenic route there, and points out a glorious full moon in the sky as they drive up the winding roads.
Yoo Ryung pulls over to an outlook and the two admire the moonlit city together. Yoo Ryung tells him that she often comes here when she feels down, but that she hasn’t needed to since she joined the subway police. Ji-seok asks if she means because she was too busy, but she says it’s because she hasn’t needed it. Yoo Ryung peeks over to admire Ji-seok, and Ji-seok does the same once her gaze returns to the moon. “I guess I called you back so I could see this,” he says as his eyes linger, but Yoo Ryung doesn’t hear him.
The next day at the office, the guys finally show Yoo Ryung how to open locked doors with their official tool (instead of, you know, totally shattering any barrier in sight). But Ji-seok puts on his jealous face when Woo-hyuk calls Yoo Ryung. Ji-seok says they are getting dinner at a place with long lines and can’t wait for Yoo Ryung, but she swears she’ll be right back. Man-jin and Soo-ho trade glances and begin to search for a restaurant with long lines, haha.
Woo-hyuk has new information about the locked subway tunnel. It turns out that it’s from an abandoned project to expand Line Three to Wangsoori Station. The tunnels were all dug out when the project was canceled, and everyone forgot about it. But Line 3 totally passes through the station, and now Woo-hyuk believes that it is possible that the Ghost is moving bodies in the tunnel. Woo-hyuk places his hand on top of Yoo Ryung’s to reassure her, and tells her that they need to open the door at the end of the tunnel tonight to prove their theory. Once they’ve got the proof, they can take it to Metro and request an official investigation.
Yoo Ryung returns to find her colleagues waiting for her to go to dinner still, but they’re delayed by the arrival of the stationmaster with the head of subway safety, who is there to confirm everything is up to code. Everything checks out, until of course he discovers the tunnel door key missing. Ji-seok lies and says he left it at home, and the guys cover for him and say they need to head out right now to resolve a murder case. The Safety Head allows the delay but will be back the next day.
Ji-seok can’t believe he forgot all about the missing key (yeah, me neither), but he figures they can find it in the office quickly. Yoo Ryung watches everything with guilty eyes, but she doesn’t say a thing.
Woo-hyuk returns to the Subway Ghost investigation near that one payphone, though the team is frustrated with all the dead ends they’ve hit. Woo-hyuk resorts to pretending that he saw that the Ghost had a shoulder twitch in a dream he had, which of course Ma-ri blows off as nonsense.
But then Ma-ri notes a runner, and she stops him to ask if he runs the same route near the payphone often. He does, and when she asks about someone suspicious at the phone, he recalls a hooded figure. The runner says he stopped to tie his shoe, and thought it was weird because the caller told the person his phone was broken, but he could see his intact cell phone in the person’s hand. He also heard the figure say they’d found a wallet and wanted to return it. The runner also noted the shoulder twitch. And he even saw the figure on a second night, when it was raining, but he didn’t stop to hear anything.
But a rainy day helps Ma-ri narrow down when it might have happened, and she also noted that the calling card reader was out of order, so the Ghost would have had to use cash. She tasks her team with getting the phone company to empty the coin box and also check the calls from the rainy day. One of the numbers the team pulls is for Choi Mi-ra. Besides being the woman with the missing wallet, she also happens to be former Subway Police. Interesting.
The Subway team is still searching for those keys when Ma-ri and Woo-hyuk arrive to ask them about Choi Mi-ra. Man-jin recognizes her as a member of Team Two, before Ji-seok started working there. But he still recognizes her, and pulls Yoo Ryung over to confirm it’s the woman they interviewed with the lost wallet.
Yoo Ryung mentions she was nervous about the woman picking up her wallet, and that confirms her as a Ghost target for Ma-ri. Meanwhile, Ma-ri receives a text from the Ghost, saying that they’ll just mail her wallet back to her. This helps relieve the suspicions Ma-ri harbored, and she wants her wallet right away so that she can pick up her concert tickets in time. She calls the Ghost back and arranges to pick up the wallet that night.
The Metro team reaches Mi-ra’s family, who confirm that Mi-ra just left to go get her wallet. They try to reach Mi-ra by phone, but she’s not answering the unknown number. From the clues they’ve gathered, they believe Mi-ra will go to a station within three stops of Wangsoori. Yoo Ryung asks Ma-ri to get a trace on where Mi-ra called her from last time, and from there Yoo Ryung narrows things down to a restricted area that the Ghost could have used.
Yoo Ryung notes all of the stops with restricted areas, and the teams split up to cover each. Meanwhile, Mi-ra proceeds towards a restricted area. She enters and faces the hooded Subway Ghost. Looking the figure in the face, it seems that she recognizes them. In flashback, we see her as a subway police officer, tackling someone and struggling to put them in cuffs. The Ghost moves in and wraps their strangle cord around her neck.
As she struggles, more recollections flash before Mi-ra’s eyes. In them, Yoo Jin drops a lollypop that shatters on the ground. Mi-ra has the cuffs on her suspect, who is wearing a striped shirt and wears a ring on his index finger. We also see a flash of another figure with a backpack, and scruffy hair tendrils hanging down.
Ji-seok and Yoo Ryung dash through the station and arrive at the restricted door, Mi-ra and the Ghost on the other side. The door is locked though. Ji-seok pulls out his stun gun while Yoo Ryung bangs on the door and demands entrance.
Oh man this is a big development. If Yoo Ryung and Ji-seok can make it through that door in time to rescue Mi-ra (and if anyone can, it’s these two), then they will have someone who not only stood face to face with the Subway Ghost, but recognizes them from a previous encounter.
Not just that, but she’s a cop, a former subway police officer (I can’t help but wonder if it’s this case that made her want to transfer away from the team). It’s hard to know for sure what’s going on in her flashbacks, but it seems like there may have been a couple figures, and Yoo Jin may have been present as well. If that’s the case, Mi-ra was likely there when the Ghost claimed their first victim. So why hasn’t that been linked before? There are so many questions that we need to be able to ask her. Hang in there, Mi-ra!
And of course, this very likely puts an end to my Woo-hyuk theory. Sorry buddy, you just had bad chemistry with Yoo Ryung, instead of a case of the murders. I don’t feel too bad about my miscalculated suspicions, just because it made Woo-hyuk that much more fun to watch on screen.
It’s hard to guess who might be the bad guy though with the pool of other potential suspects. Mi-ra’s reaction suggests that the person is someone she’s dealt with before as an officer. That leaves the pool with either known subway bad guys (the Grasshoppers? But they seem so bumbly…) or subway police (and by that, I mean Chief Inspector Gong, because there’s no way I’m suspecting anyone on the core team). I’m glad that I still have an episode this week to find out if we’ll possibly have Mi-ra’s testimony soon.
I can’t help but wonder if Caregiver Choi is perhaps helping her son, the Subway Ghost. The way that she was speaking to Ji-seok about the investigation makes me think she was hoping that the police weren’t on to him. And she also recognized Yoo Ryung. Or rather, she recognized a woman who looks exactly like Yoo Jin, the Ghost’s first victim. It means that she not only knows the Ghost, but that she’s seen his victims too. Yoo Ryung’s sister wasn’t in the news with the other crimes. Ma-ri made sure of that, so the fact that this woman knows about Yoo Jin means she’s been there from the start, a witness to these crimes.
There was lots of new things to digest in those last moments, but let’s not forget that the majority of this episode was dedicated to so much sweet bonding time for Ji-seok and Yoo Ryung, and I appreciated it so much. I was so happy that they were reunited, and even in the way they reunited. Ji-seok is so close to really understanding what’s driving Yoo Ryung, and so far he hasn’t turned his back on her.
But that voicemail is still there waiting for him, as well as the missing tunnel key and Yoo Ryung and Woo-hyuk’s plan to explore the abandoned tunnel. Whatever fallout is going to happen from all that, it feels like it’s coming soon.
Now let’s get back to all the cuteness, right? I mean, these two spent the entire episode shooting each other sidelong glances and sly smiles. So much chemistry between them, from the big moments of triumph to the quiet moments of understanding. They see so much of themselves in each other, even though they don’t know the full stories, and they seem so happy to find someone who understands and accepts. I was so excited for that voicemail fallout just a week ago, and now I just want to charge right past that and straight to more adorable hugging.
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- First Script Reading for tvN’s Catch Yoo-ryung with Moon Geun-young, Kim Sun-ho
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