Special Affairs Team TEN: Episode 7
I present Part 2 of the Kidnapping of Min Chae Won! It’s crazy to think that it’s now nearing the end! This case has it’s own twists and turns, and certainly not as complex as the first episode. But what I like about the twists in this series is that each layer of doubt has a satisfying payoff.
Chae Won has now been missing for 27 hours, and her mother is in a stable condition after her stabbing. The police quickly pack up the evidence at the apartment, and Do Shik finds a small pair of shoes belonging to Chae Won. It hits home for him that they were so close to getting her, but failed once again. Min Ho’s research reveals that the apartment belongs to an Im Yoo Kyung (she’s same actress as the teacher’s assistant in What’s Up!). Yoo Kyung has had some contact with the mother, Hee Won, before. Do Shik immediately recognizes the photo ID of Yoo Kyung – she’s the woman they bumped into at the parking lot while going up to the apartment.
Do Shik wonders if she’s dating the kidnapper, or an accomplice. It’s possible that the kidnapper used her to help babysit Chae Won, and then they disputed about splitting the money. Ye Ri thinks that they could have taken the child away again to get more money from the family. Ji Hoon disagrees – they asked for the exact amount of money that the family had, so there’s no way they would ask for more.
The kidnapper may think that he’s lost the police’s tail by disappearing from this apartment, but Ji Hoon knows better.
Do Shik takes the shoes and Min Ho outside the apartment. Min Ho apologizes for not having been able to catch the kidnapper, but Do Shik hands him one of the shoes. “Until the kidnapper is caught, believe that you will be able to put the shoe back on Chae Won yourself.” A touching reminder that their goal is to save a child.
Ye Ri inspects the kitchen with other police officers and notices prescription pills on the counter. She also finds bottles of milk in the fridge and bags it. Meanwhile, Ji Hoon goes into one of the rooms, which is set up like a nursery. Though Yoo Kyung is listed as single, it looks like she was preparing for a baby to arrive. He notices empty picture frames surround the room, and a tiny (live) puppy called “Poppe” on its cushion.
Suddenly he walks right out, past Ye Ri (who is holding on to the purse Hee Won left behind), and goes straight to a nearby pharmacy. He had found a prescription paper bag in the nursery. The pharmacist there remembers seeing Yoo Kyung because she was so nervous and frazzled. Yoo Kyung wanted to purchase cough medicine and some rash ointment there, but wouldn’t give the pharmacist exact symptoms or the age and gender of the patient. The pharmacist had to guess at the correct dosage to prescribe.
Ji Hoon: The person who took the medicine was for a 7-year-old girl with severe allergic symptoms to animal hair. And she was already exposed to it. Are there any dangerous side effects to taking that medication?
Pharmacist: An allergy? You can’t use that medicine for allergies, especially for young children. It can obstruct her airways.
Oh great – Yoo Kyung most probably choked the little girl to death – albeit unintentionally.
Now, Chae Won has been missing for 39 hours.
At the hospital, Ji Hoon goes and apologizes to the grandfather for his past decisions regarding the case. The grandfather forgives him; he would have made the same choices if he were the detective in charge. Ji Hoon promises to catch the killer, and pleads with him to release the Amber Alert because he is now the sole protector of Chae Won. Hee Won most likely is an accomplice to the kidnapping, and therefore unqualified to make a decision about this alert. With this alert, they’re more likely to be able to catch the killer.
Grandfather understands that Ji Hoon believes Chae Won is dead. However, he wishes to be a “foolish grandfather” for once and believe in that small 1% chance she may still be alive somewhere.
Min Ho and Do Shik go back to the office of the kidnapper and search desperately for clues on where he could have gone. Min Ho finds a bank book with some strange transactions – last week he transferred 5 million Won to another account, and that same day, deposited 800 Won. Do Shik gets an epiphany with the number ‘8’ – and he orders Min Ho to get the engine running on his motorbike.
What ensues is a comedic sequence of Do Shik riding on the back of a hot red motorcycle, and them getting chased by a traffic cop because Do Shik isn’t wearing a helmet. Do Shik has to prove that he’s a cop too, and the traffic cop tells him to wear a helmet even though they’re rushing to a crime scene. Do Shik: “But the helmet doesn’t fit my head!!!” Traffic Cop: “But you still should wear it!”
Hehe. Anyways – Do Shik and Min Ho arrive at Incheon port. His epiphany was that if a man like the kidnapper was on the run and received a big payday, his only solution would be to get smuggled out of the country. The ‘8’ in 800 Won indicated that he might be heading to China, because Chinese smugglers usually would return an amount starting with ‘8’ whenever they got paid. Now, it is simply a matter of locating the right boat.
At a lab, the M.E. discovers that the milk Ye Ri bagged was breast milk – milk that was over 5 years old. BLEGH – did Yoo Kyung feed that to Chae Won?! On top of that, the pills were Prozac, an anti-depressant. All these clues suggest that Yoo Kyung was suffering from post-natal depression.
Ye Ri muses over why Yoo Kyung would stab the mother, when she remembers that she is holding on to Hee Won’s purse. She finds Chae Won’s class diary in it. In it, Chae Won details how much she resents her mother for not keeping her promises to take her to places, and for not letting her play with animals. She also mentions she met a dog named Poppe and its owner (Yoo Kyung), and had only gotten itchy from petting it.
Guess the kid does not understand that itchiness = allergies. It’s sad there are a lot of misunderstandings between her and her mother. Chae Won really likes Yoo Kyung for keeping her promise to meet Chae Won with Poppe, but she notes that Yoo Kyung never calls her by the correct name.
That rings a bell with Ye Ri, and she pulls out the pregnancy diary that Hee Won had; Hee Won had mentioned that Chae Won was originally named Ki Ppeum. The thing is, the handwriting in that diary does not match the handwriting in Hee Won’s planner. HMMMM. Ye Ri asks the lab to run a DNA test on the breast milk.
Meanwhile, Ji Hoon figures that Yoo Kyung must have been the one to have lured Chae Won. However, what he doesn’t understand is why the video that was sent to Hee Won. He gets a call from the Chief – Hee Won’s woken up in hospital. However, she’s not talking, or even asking about her daughter. He grabs Ye Ri and they head over to the hospital.
During the car ride, Ye Ri brings up their previous conversation about people’s lies. “You told me to take off the mother’s mask… what if I hate what’s underneath it even more?” Ji Hoon doesn’t have an answer.
Min Ho and Do Shik’s search leads them to a small shack by the port, where some Chinese seamen are eating lunch. Do Shik asks if they know where a “Jang Sa Bu” is, and one of the seamen replies in Chinese. Min Ho takes over in the conversation, saying that they want to get on a ship. Yes – he knows Chinese. (It’s because he watches a lot of kung fu films, but still…) Lady Killer: check. Multi-lingual: check.
The seaman points to the office next door, but there’s no one inside, not even Jang Sa Bu. Suddenly, Do Shik realizes that one of the seamen eating lunch was wearing sunglasses; in the ransacked office, a picture of Jang Sa Bu showed that he had a scar under his eye. Dun dun dun! They leave the office and find that Jang Sa Bu has run off. Min Ho jumps over the the balcony railing and into a tall sand/dirt hill, with Do Shik right behind him.
They chase Jang Sa Bu through the port. Min Ho changes directions, opting to climb over each sand hill and cut off the suspect’s path. Do Shik continues chasing him until they reach fence; there’s nowhere else to run. Jang Sa Bu whips out a knife out of self-defense. Do Shik groans – is he going to have to get stabbed by a knife again!?
He taunts at Jang Sa Bu to attack, delaying until Min Ho can sneak up from behind and tackle him to the ground. Kidnapper arrested! Do Shik demands to know where the kid is. Jang Sa Bu: “I don’t know. The mother took her.”
At the hospital, Ye Ri takes over in the interrogation. She cannot believe for one minute that Hee Won is no longer concerned for her child’s well-being, and refuses to believe that she’s really an accomplice to the kidnapping. But with Chae Won’s diary, she now understands that Hee Won is just a big fat liar. At that moment, Ji Hoon also gets a call from the M.E., confirming that the breast milk belongs to Chae Won’s birth mother – which is Im Yoo Kyung.
Based on the fact that Chae Won’s diary was found in Hee Won’s purse, the mother must have found out that Yoo Kyung had met Chae Won some time ago. Worse still, Chae Won preferred Yoo Kyung to Hee Won. Ye Ri wants to know why Hee Won lied the whole time during the investigation, and plotted a kidnapping of her own daughter. Hee Won: “I… am her mother. I couldn’t just let Chae Won be taken away.”
Min Ho and Do Shik find out just as much from Jang Sa Bu as well. Seven years ago he was a broker for surrogate mothers. He arranged for Yoo Kyung to be Hee Won’s surrogate, but also had her meet the birth father. Chae Won resulted, and so she is no way related to Hee Won at all. Then, a month ago, Yoo Kyung called up Sa Bu about finding the kid. After Chae Won was kidnapped, Hee Won called him up asking to find Yoo Kyung. That’s when he realized that Yoo Kyung must have kidnapped Chae Won, and he took advantage of the situation. He promised to tell Hee Won where Chae Won was, but in return she had to help him pretend it was a real kidnapping with a ransom and all that.
Dayummmm this is messed up…
When Ji Hoon hears of this, he confronts Hee Won about it. She claims to have had no choice – Sa Bu was the only one who could really help her find her child. She couldn’t tell the police about this because if Grandfather found out, she would lose Chae Won forever. He had already begun building custody case against her, and if he and the police found out she wasn’t the real mother, she would never see Chae Won again.
But now, she’s lost hope in getting Chae Won back, so she finds some solace in the thought that at least Yoo Kyung loves Chae Won, and would never hurt her. Ye Ri says she’s wrong – Yoo Kyung is actually a bit addled in the brain, and this whole “kidnapping game” has put Chae Won in greater danger. “Sometimes, strong maternal instinct can put the child in greater danger,” she adds. Ye Ri will have to break the promise of letting Chae Won and Hee Won hold hands again.
The team regroups at the office, where the M.E. presents her findings on Yoo Kyung’s medical records. Initially, Yoo Kyung had only depression, but after a recent shock, her mental state deteriorated to schizophrenia and megalomania. The shock was a recent pregnancy…and subsequent miscarriage. With her very fragile mental state, Ji Hoon definitely does not want to issue an Amber Alert. Any outside trigger may cause Yoo Kyung to do something even more harmful for the child.
However, it’s too late – someone already issued the Amber Alert to the public. Grandfather had given Chief Jung permission, and the chief issued it without consulting Ji Hoon. Time’s a-tickin’! They’re going to have to solve this – fast. Ji Hoon orders all of them to quickly catalog all the evidence found in Yoo Kyung’s home. They’re going to need to cross-check all reports that come in with the evidence they find.
Chae Won has now been missing for 44 hours.
One of the reported sightings say that Chae Won and Yoo Kyung were spotted at a puppet show theater at 7:30. It fits their current timeline: right after Hee Won received the video of Chae Won changing at around 7pm, they must have gone to the puppet show theater. Chae Won was simply changing into a dress for the occasion. Since she noted in her diary that it was her wish to go to this show, Ji Hoon realizes that Yoo Kyung must be trying to fulfill the role of a mother, and do everything that Chae Won wants to do, but couldn’t because Hee Won was too busy.
Ye Ri chimes in that one of Chae Won’s biggest wish is to have a dog as a pet. Min Ho does a quick search and finds a report that came in 15 minutes ago – both were spotted at a children’s park. The report also added that the car was white with tinted windows. Off they go to the park!
The children’s park has a zoo in it. Oh great – animals galore! Yoo Kyung pushes a stroller with a sleeping Chae Won in it. A park employee notes that Chae Won must have been exhausted from running around (or else why would a 7-year old be in a stroller?). Yoo Kyung begs to differ: actually, Chae Won just always falls asleep after she breast feeds her. Park Employee: “Br-breast feed?!”
She wisely just walks away, despite being befuddled. Yoo Kyung then sees a large TV screen hanging outside a glass building flashing her face and Chae Won’s picture. Uh-oh….
On top of that, the M.E. calls up the team en route, and tells them that the breast milk had traces of the anti-depressant. The medication could cause sleepiness, and if fed to a child with allergies, it could be deadly. At the zoo, a mother and child gives Yoo Kyung a hard look, and a glance at her phone, trying to match Yoo Kyung to the Amber Alert text that she received. Yoo Kyung becomes paranoid, and starts thinking that every single person there is staring at her and looking at the Amber Alert.
Still in the police van, the team hears an emergency alert – a woman with a stroller, bearing heavy resemblance to the Amber Alert, is currently standing on the rooftop of a building in Sangam-dong. The police van quickly makes a U-turn and heads over there. Hee Won also sees it while in the hospital because a nurse has a live feed of the situation playing on her phone.
Yoo Kyung is pushing the stroller back and forth, and it looks dangerous enough that she could very well push the stroller off the edge. A negotiations expert is heading over, but it will take her a while to arrive. Ye Ri volunteers to negotiate – she’s had training, and she’s done a lot of trauma consulting. Suddenly, the crowd screams – Yoo Kyung is walking closer to the ledge.
Ji Hoon: “Don’t forget to use Yoo Kyung’s name, and to call Chae Won ‘Ki Ppeum’. Create a sense of kinship with her.” He grabs Ye Ri’s shoulder; “If you make one mistake, you’ll have to live with it. Are you willing to take that risk?” Ye Ri nods, and he sends her up to the roof.
Yoo Kyung is singing a lullaby to Chae Won when Ye Ri arrives. Ye Ri compliments her on the song, which makes Yoo Kyung a happy kidnapper. But when Ye Ri suggests that ‘Ki Ppeum’ looks sick, Yoo Kyung’s face grows dark. She is ‘Ki Ppeum’s’ mother, and knows her best; a cupful of breast milk will make her alllll better. She also doesn’t like that ‘Ki Ppeum’ keeps calling for her mother, or that everyone on the streets below are calling her a kidnapper when she’s the real mother. Ye Ri: “I know you’re the real mother.”
Yoo Kyung is somewhat sated that a stranger knows she’s the real mother, but she rejects Ye Ri’s offers to go downstairs for a talk. She thinks Ye Ri will just take ‘Ki Ppeum’ away. Ji Hoon, who’s been listening in via earpiece, grows nervous at Yoo Kyung’s extreme mood swings. Grandfather wants to go up to the roof to help, but Ji Hoon says another person on the scene will just make things worse.
Min Ho points up to the roof – isn’t that… Hee Won up there too?!
Hee Won only has a coat over her hospital pajamas, and she managed to get up there by taking the stairs all the way to the roof. (Even the steps and railing are bloody because she hasn’t fully healed from the stab wound.) Yoo Kyung is pissed to see that Hee Won didn’t die from the stabbing. Ye Ri whispers to Hee Won that she needs to go down; her presence is not helping negotiations at all. Hee Won: “Can you trust this mother just this once?”
Looks like Hee Won has a plan, and Ye Ri reluctantly lets her talk to Yoo Kyung. Clutching at her bloody wound, Hee Won inches forward. She acknowledges that Yoo Kyung is the real mother. Though she raised Chae Won/Ki Ppeum, she never fully appreciated how precious the child was. After her husband died, she was unable to deal with the loneliness, and took it out on her daughter. She wasn’t worthy to be a good mother. However, Yoo Kyung taking Chae Won away made her realize that she could not live without her daughter. Even though Yoo Kyung made her realize her faults as a mother, she also made her realize that she is a mother.
Hee Won falls to her knees, having lost so much blood, and she crawls closer to Yoo Kyung’s feet. She begs that they go down together, and promises to tell Chae Won that she has two mothers. Before Yoo Kyung can reply, Hee Won faints.
Yoo Kyung tearfully goes to the stroller, and touches her daughter’s face one more time. And then, she wheels the stroller over to Ye Ri, who takes Chae Won down.
Chae Won is immediately treated for her allergies, and Hee Won for her burst stitches. Grandfather refuses to go over to his grandchild, as he feels that he has no right to come between the mother and daughter anymore. The first face Chae Won should see when she wakes up is Hee Won’s, and boy are they both happy to see each other after so long.
Min Ho realizes belatedly that they never put Chae Won’s shoes back on. Do Shik hands over his pair – Min Ho can put it on her later, because he needs to make a phone call to his mommy.
Min Ho: You still call your mother ‘mommy’? At this age?
Do Shik: So?
Min Ho: No wonder you’re still not married. You’re a mama’s boy. Or a mama’s man.
Hehehe! And isn’t it fitting that the first question Do Shik’s mother asks when he calls is, “Are you getting married!?”
Ji Hoon drives Ye Ri back home, even though she says he doesn’t need to. She wonders if he was worried about her while she was on the rooftop. Erm…. Ji Hoon admits he was worried… that she would ruin the whole thing. Ye Ri: “Liar. The mask you’re wearing today is kind of cute.” HEHEHE.
Ye Ri has him drop her off somewhere else instead – in front of her mother’s house. Looks like everyone’s gone a little sentimental for their mommy after this case.
As for Ji Hoon, he returns to the office to do some paperwork instead of going home. The M.E. stops by, offering to go out for drinks. He politely rejects her, saying he’s too tired to go out, and then leaves. The M.E. goes over to his desk and looks at the file he was going over. It’s Ye Ri’s file – and her parents are listed as deceased.
Um – WHUT JUST HAPPENED? I will add that when Ye Ri rings on the doorbell to the house, she adds “Mom” hesitantly. It’s possible that she’s actually an adopted child. I actually really enjoyed this case, and with all the initial confusion on how many culprits there are in this case, it really whittled down to just three: Yoo Kyung for the kidnapping, Sa Bu for the manipulation, and Hee Won as the accomplice for Sa Bu. The whole ransom money bit was like a red herring because it had nothing to do with the kidnapping – it was a stolen opportunity that diverted our attention from Yoo Kyung for a bit. Storytelling wise, it worked very well because it confused both the viewers, and helped add a layer of dimension to Hee Won’s character. Hee Won may be slightly twisted for agreeing to such manipulation, but her desperation and guilt explains for her actions. I’m also relieved that neither she or the Grandfather were really trying to stage a kidnapping from the beginning just for money.
Another thing I loved about this episode was the amount of trust Ji Hoon and Ye Ri start to build up together. They may have different ways in dealing with suspects, but they’re learning from each other’s gut instincts and methods. Do Shik and Min Ho have already established themselves as quite the dynamic duo, and so I’m glad Ye Ri and Ji Hoon are really learning to trust each other. She’s not even being nosy about him, or forcing him to open up more. Rather, I think Ji Hoon’s cold heart is slowly starting to melt on its own, as he watches Ye Ri deal with each suspect in her own way. What’s funny is that he is interested about her instead, and goes to check out her family status instead of visiting his own mother.
I notice that the person who confronts the culprit in the end tends to be the one who can relate the most to the case. If Ye Ri were adopted, then it’s quite fitting that she’s the one who confronts the two mothers with the truth. In “The Forest Chaser,” Ye Ri and Min Ho are the ones who confront the brokenhearted father, since Ye Ri awarded one victim with the Brave Citizen award, and thus has a personal connection to the case. In “The Queen,” Ji Hoon confronted the killer of the Madame because the case dealt with the power of secrets, and Ji Hoon holds a dark secret of his own. In “Mimosa,” Do Shik confronts the killer because it was his good friend that died. In “The Visit from Strangers,” Ji Hoon confronts the housemaid killer because he knows what it’s like to have experienced a traumatic loss as well. And in the shocking first episode, well, everyone takes part because it was one heck of a complicated suicide…
- Special Affairs Team TEN: Episode 6
- Special Affairs Team TEN: Episode 5
- Special Affairs Team TEN: Episode 4
- Special Affairs Team TEN: Episode 3
- Special Affairs Team TEN: Episode 2
- Special Affairs Team TEN: Episode 1 (Part 2)
- Special Affairs Team TEN: Episode 1 (Part 1)
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- Joo Sang-wook in new cable drama Ten