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Gap-dong: Episode 13

Now that we know the who of the matter, it’s time to turn to the why of things. Giving us the identity of the killer with so many episodes to go was a risky choice, but this drama has always been more interested in plumbing the psyches of its characters, so I expect to delve a lot further into the question of what drove Gap-dong, and why he’s lain dormant all these years. Because as our characters find in this episode, the question driving everyone crazy isn’t how he pulled it off, but where he disappeared to.

SONG OF THE DAY

Every Single Day – “Rush” from the Gap-dong OST [ Download ]

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EPISODE 13 RECAP

Tae-oh reaches a breaking point and insists on seeing Maria, who arrives to find him in a sad, scared heap on the floor of his prison cell. He tells her, “When I met Gap-dong, I was happy. I thought I might learn the secret of how to stop a monster like me.”

That’s why he’d felt Gap-dong was his god—he was the rare psychopath who found the way to stop himself, and he wanted to know how to do that. But when he killed the flight attendant on the plane, he realized that he couldn’t be stopped. The murders he’d found exciting started changing, particularly when the victim in the greenhouse had sobbed and asked what she’d done wrong. Tae-oh replied that she hadn’t done anything. “In that moment, I felt strange. Why am I doing this? Even so, I had to keep doing it.”

He explains that Poopy, whom he’d believed to be Gap-dong, had told him to surpass him: If Tae-oh completed all nine murders, he would know the answer. But now Tae-oh realizes that Poopy didn’t know either, and he despairs of never knowing.

Section Chief Cha is revealed to be the original Gap-dong when he heads out to the field of reeds and starts whistling Gap-dong’s tune. Mu-yeom calls him from outside the prison hospital, asking for his help in handling the Tae-oh situation. Mu-yeom isn’t authorized to join Maria, but the longer she’s inside, the more on edge he becomes.

Tae-oh asks Maria desperately to tell him the secret of the ninth murder. Perhaps with some pity, she agrees to tell him, but on a condition: First he must tell her in full detail what he did to victims one through seven.

Maria listens with a horrified expression as Tae-oh describes his murders laughingly, and up through the fifth case that involved Ji-wool, he had no problems. The doubts began with the sixth incident, after he’d found out that Poopy wasn’t the real killer—if he had left the country believing that lie, he may have been able to convince himself that he could stop the psychopathic impulse. But instead, he found himself welling up in uncontrollable rage during the flight: “I knew I would be caught but I couldn’t help it—I felt like I had to do something.”

Dully, he admits, “The seventh killing wasn’t planned, like Ha Mu-yeom said.” He wonders what the true Gap-dong looks like, but advises Maria to give up her hopes of catching him: “He’s dead.” Tae-oh now believes that people like himself can’t be stopped short of death—ergo, Gap-dong must be dead.

Section Chief Cha pulls up to the hospital and meets Mu-yeom there, his presence allowing both of them inside to watch Tae-oh and Maria talking via security camera. Tae-oh asks for the secret of the ninth murder now, and Maria starts her explanation by saying that the victim was her best friend.

Section Chief Cha starts to go in to join them, but Mu-yeom holds him back, saying that Maria is the one person who might get Tae-oh to talk openly. They can’t risk ruining that by interfering, and Maria is strong; she can handle this.

Their talk lasts into the morning hours, and it’s daylight as Maria explains that the secret is that nobody knows why Gap-dong disappeared. She tells Tae-oh that he did a good ting in speaking up, and that he can call her whenever he wants to talk again.

Mu-yeom is waiting for her as she steps out, and she smiles in relief to see him, just before her fatigue takes over and she slumps. He catches her before she falls, and waits until she awakens a bit later, telling her to rest.

But Maria fixates on her bigger concern—Tae-oh’s conviction that Gap-dong has died. Could that be true? Mu-yeom wipes her tears away and says he doesn’t believe that, and holds her while she sobs. Section Chief Cha arrives in the doorway of her office and clocks the scene, leaving quietly.

The footage of Tae-oh’s confession is turned over to the police, which allows them all to breathe a big sigh of relief now that the copycat case is over (and prosecutable). The officers note that despite their beliefs to the contrary, Tae-oh has actually had no contact or connection with the original Gap-dong.

Ji-wool is working at the station when she overhears detectives watching Tae-oh’s confession and hurries outside, upset and conflicted. Mu-yeom follows her out and asks whether she liked Tae-oh, and at her denial (and reminder of who she does really like), he’s satisfied.

But Ji-wool challenges, “If I don’t like him, does that make everything fine? I was hoping that Ryu Tae-oh was human, that he wasn’t walking the beast’s path. Is it wrong for me to hope for someone to be human? Just as long as I don’t like him?”

Ji-wool sobs that she’s a fool for having mistaken the beast for a human, and that she hates herself for it.

The focus of the investigation shifts to gathering proof of Tae-oh’s involvement in each of the murders. But while everyone on the team is in high spirits over the break in their case, Mu-yeom and Section Chief Cha remain subdued. Mu-yeom suggests seriously to Cha that they not stop with the Tae-oh case—they should go after Gap-dong too.

The expiration of the statute of limitations had been the source of a bitter realization for Mu-yeom: that Gap-dong will have gotten his ticket to freedom, but the rest of those traumatized by him would live the rest of their lives being punished. And because of the expiration, Mu-yeom can’t really do anything now either. Chief Cha asks what he intends to do, and as he waits for Mu-yeom’s response, we see his mouth quirk upward into a creepy smirk.

Mu-yeom misses the look, though, and Cha just advises Mu-yeom to let Gap-dong go, like the wise hyung he is. It’s advice Chul-gon agrees with, and he tells Mu-yeom to take it.

A grisly discovery is made at a construction site, when human remains are dug up. The police are called in, and Mu-yeom takes in the details: the long-buried skeleton, the tattered clothing, the whistle found next to the bones. Tae-oh’s words ring in his ears about Gap-dong being dead, but first they’ll have to investigate the remains. Off the bones go to the lab, where the forensic examiner suggests that they have the face reconstructed using the skull.

Chief Cha tells Chul-gon apologetically that he hasn’t been able to get him restored to his position. Chul-gon takes it in stride, saying that he can entrust the Gap-dong case to him. Outwardly it sounds like he’s ready to let go of the case, but I think we can expect Chul-gon to persist on his own. He goes to Profiler Han next and asks for a job: “I’ll make copies or fetch coffee—just as long as we can talk about Gap-dong.”

Tae-oh’s mother calls in her high-powered lawyers to buy Tae-oh a way out of his mess. They hit upon affluenza as a potential excuse, where extreme wealth adversely affects somebody to the point where they don’t feel emotions. They cite the case of a young Texan who used affluenza as his defense and was able to evade a prison sentence, getting probation instead. Mom likes this idea.

In the prison, Poopy’s eyes grow frenzied as he spots Tae-oh being escorted down the hall. He leaps at him, calling him a phony and demanding, “How dare you copy me?!” It looks like his Gap-dong delusions are only growing stronger.

Tae-oh meets with his lawyer and seems to find the affluenza defense absurd, or at least amusingly far-fetched. But he sits up in surprise to hear that his mother has called Ji-wool, and is in the process of persuading her… to marry him. WHAT.

Mu-yeom gets the update and heads to Tae-oh’s cell, derisive of the defense tactic. Tae-oh admits to not liking it either, but says it’s his mother’s doing. But Mu-yeom is here for another reason, and asks what Tae-oh thinks of his new theory: that Gap-dong didn’t actually stop himself.

Tae-oh leaps up hopefully at that, asking if there’s proof to support that. Mu-yeom declares that Tae-oh is the proof—Tae-oh couldn’t stop himself, so isn’t it strange to think that Gap-dong could? Instead of thinking that Gap-dong is rare for being able to stop himself, consider the opposite, that he wasn’t rare and didn’t stop.

Ji-wool mulls over the proposal, seriously considering it (and the 5 billion won she was offered to marry Tae-oh). I suppose it’s crazy, but she does have a crazy amount of compassion for Tae-oh and a warped sense of responsibility over being his Sonya…

She visits the monk to drop off food from her mother, and hears that Maria hasn’t been feeling well. So she stops by to see her and the mood is subdued, with both ladies being weighed down by their thoughts.

Ji-wool asks, “Why are we like this? I’m poor and powerless, and can’t receive love from the one I like. I’ve never bullied or hated anyone. All I’ve done is like someone. I’m only nineteen. What sin have I committed in a past life? What have I done wrong?” Maria tells her sympathetically that she’s done nothing wrong, but it’s not much consolation.

Ji-wool says that she knows Maria has been through more than her, and that she knows Maria almost died at Gap-dong’s hands. “How did you endure it?” she asks.

Maria is shaken at the reminder. In a flashback, we see Maria’s friend asking her the same question, and suggesting that they run away. Ah, so that’s why Maria (Jae-hee) had been dragging along a suitcase when she was attacked, and when her friend arrived to meet her, she was taken too.

Mu-yeom visits Profiler Han and Chul-gon to discuss the new (old) case of the discovered remains. There are no immediate signs that this is Gap-dong’s work, lacking both his signature knot and his habit of displaying his crimes—this body had been abandoned. Profiler Han isn’t ready to dismiss the idea of Gap-dong’s involvement, though, postulating that it could have been a “hidden crime”—in that case, hiding the corpse would negate the need to mark it with his signature. Or maybe he was in a rush. “Or this was a failed work,” Chul-gon theorizes.

Profiler Han shows the other two a computer program he’s been working with, into which he has entered the details of Tae-oh’s killings. The satellite map shows an interesting pattern, where each of the killings occurred within a certain radius, at the center of which was Tae-oh’s apartment. So he ran the old Gap-dong case through the same program, displaying a similar plotting of dots… with the temple at the center. Omo.

Flashback to 1995, after the eighth murder is discovered. At the temple, teenage Mu-yeom sits with a detective and takes notes on the latest murder. He asks about the victim, a female officer, and the detective says that she wasn’t the type to shoot—her nickname was Crybaby. (Hmm, so was that old letter not about Mu-yeom at all, but from the first Gap-dong case?) The monk faux-grumps about all the detectives hanging about, who are boarding here at the moment. It’s hard to tell, but is one of them a young Cha?

Mu-yeom scoffs at the idea that the monk might be suspected, but Profiler Han doesn’t mean him—he means the detectives. But even he’s not confident, and sighs, “It can’t be, right?”

Chief Cha offers Ji-wool a ride home, which she gratefully takes. He asks about her webtoon, and she says she’s working on a new one. Hearing that it’s about a detective who’s the criminal, he jokes that she should write one about a good guy this time.

Mu-yeom posts up notices of missing persons on the bulletin board, which is when he spots the love letter posted nearby. He assumes it’s about him (scoffing at his popularity), but the sign-off “Crybaby” catches his attention, and he racks his brains trying to remember why that sounds familiar. He grabs his notebook, which contains the notes he’d jotted down twenty years ago, and there it is: Victim No. 8. But it’s such a stretch, and he tells himself it can’t be.

Chief Cha arrives and takes a look at the board—and he recognizes one young woman who went missing in 1995, which gets him sweating. His eyes get shifty, but he keeps his cool as he asks Mu-yeom about it. Mu-yeom explains that with Tae-oh caught and everyone telling him to drop Gap-dong, he’s going to focus on these unsolved cases. Section Chief Cha does not look pleased.

Maria texts back and forth with Mu-yeom as she gets ready for a date, but as her gaze falls on her old photos with her dead best friend, the smile dies on her lips. “Is it okay for me to be happy alone?” she wonders. “What can I do now? What do I have to do now?”

Meanwhile, Tae-oh rattles the bars of his prison cell, growing more and more agitated the longer Maria remains away. The guard assures him that he left her a message, but Tae-oh is losing control, muttering to himself that he was lied to.

Maria does eventually show up, but her gaze is far from friendly. She’s not quite Vixen Maria today, but she’s in that in-between stage with the edgy jewelry and hard look in her eyes. Tae-oh blubbers that he’s going crazy, and she replies, “Why? Because you can’t kill anyone in here?”

Tae-oh says, “I confessed. Now kill me or something.” He says that prisons are suffocating and asks to be killed. Maria tells him that his freedom is over now: “The freedom to steal people’s lives, and also the freedom to die as you wish.”

Tae-oh begs her to stay just a little longer, desperate to cling. She asks if he has more to confess, adding, “I’m sure there was more, just like I didn’t tell you the full story.” Tae-oh looks stunned and hurt, but she says, “I don’t know the full story either.”

Maria’s detour means she misses her date with Mu-yeom, who calls Profiler Han to check. Profiler Han wonders, “Could she… have gone there?”

The next thing we know, Maria is walking along a familiar deserted road, armed with her tough outfit and tough face. She revisits that night from her childhood, stopping at the scene of the old crime. She faces the darkened field and recalls being captured by Gap-dong and begging for her life.

Young Maria asks why he made her play rock-scissors-paper if he wasn’t going to let her go, and Gap-dong answers that it was to decide who would die first. So he ties her up and gags her mouth, and rips her shirt. Gap-dong pauses at the sight of a birthmark on her shoulder, and then hears footsteps—it’s Young Mu-yeom walking nearby, toying with his nunchaku. Gap-dong leaves.

Maria thinks to herself, “I won’t run this time. I’ll show his face to the world.” So she closes her eyes and forces herself to think back to her encounter with Gap-dong—and this time, she sees his face.

It’s then that Mu-yeom finds her here in the road and reaches out to tap her shoulder. Maria goes into self-defense mode and takes him down, only to realize belatedly who it is. Maria looks at him with teary eyes, telling him, “I remembered.”

She’s also remembered that it was Mu-yeom’s nunchaku that sent Gap-dong away and saved her life.

At the station, Ji-wool asks Officer Young-ae if she wrote the love letter, only to be told that the letter came from her own book. Detective Ki-ri has seen the CCTV footage showing the letter originating from her stack, which completely flummoxes her. The others think she’s lying, but she declares she’ll get to the bottom of it.

She takes a look at the book in question, and finds the title page inscribed with the name Do-hyuk (which is Section Chief Cha’s name). The accompanying note reads: “Is a perfect crime possible?”

Cha is at home with his wife and young daughter, the very picture of family harmony, as they mention their plans to move abroad. But a call from Mu-yeom has him rushing back to the station with a worried face—Maria has remembered the criminal’s face.

Mu-yeom brings Maria to the station to meet Chief Cha and to have the police sketch drawn. While they talk, the monk peers at the wall of missing women and recognizes one picture—the same one that put Chief Cha in such fidgets.

Cha watches Maria closely as he asks how she remembered and what he looks like. She searches for a way to explain it, saying, “It’s like I’ve seen him before somewhere…”

 
COMMENTS

It doesn’t appear that the Section Chief Cha reveal was a fakeout, and the show is proceeding with him as our original Gap-dong. I suppose they could still be leading us astray, but based on its pattern of storytelling thus far (and the way the show handled the unveiling of Tae-oh), I’m going to go ahead and presume that Cha is our man.

This means that our main question is the why, and the how. If Gap-dong is a psychopath, how could he have transformed himself into a seemingly upstanding law-abiding citizen (inasmuch as he doesn’t appear to have continued to kill), and tamped down his impulses? Did Cha settle down with the wife and kid and change himself from the inside out? Is he a monster in sheep’s clothing? Or is there something else going on?

If we accept Mu-yeom’s hypothesis and base it on Tae-oh’s experience, the killer instinct isn’t suppressible, which means that Gap-dong may have continued to kill. As far as we can tell the latest discovery actually dates back two decades (so, around the time of the other Gap-dong) murders, so it doesn’t suggest that Cha kept murdering throughout the years and just hid the victims. But that’s one possibility—that while the Gap-dong of 1994-95 seemed to cease his activities, perhaps the man behind Gap-dong kept killing, just using a different set of tools/markers/protocols.

Is Gap-dong a man who merely escaped capture? Or is he just one persona represented by a man who killed in other ways? Or is there something special about that missing woman that resulted in a different treatment than the rest?

I think it’s safe to say that Maria’s memory will sufficiently imperil Chief Cha, because if we’re to go by flashback, it seems pretty clear that the young officer at the temple is our Gap-dong. The reveal itself was a little fumbled, in my opinion, since obviously we knew that the Gap-dong we’d seen thus far wasn’t anybody we recognized, and so the first time the camera lingered on a new face it was pretty obvious why it was doing so. But in terms of narrative, this puts Cha on the hook in a way that he hadn’t anticipated, which will be interesting to watch since I want to see him squirm a bit.

The more interesting question (to me, at least) is what motivated Chief Cha. Maybe he’ll end up being depicted as a random crazy guy who just liked to kill people, and in that case there’s no arguing for rationale because he’s just insane. I’m hoping for something more psychologically nuanced, however, and have hopes the show will explore that with some depth because that’s what the show likes to do. In fact, that’s what the show DOES do at the expense of suspense and mystery, because it gives us the culprit up front and then takes the long way around to explaining why they did what they did. I mean, we just spent twelve episodes on Tae-oh, and he’s not even the guy in the title of the show. (I do think they did a good job fleshing out Tae-oh, although the marriage bit has me rolling my eyes. Sure, you can argue that he was in love with the girl he kidnapped, but I don’t see how that gets you out of the time you killed six people.)

On one hand, we have that woman who wrote the love letter, and it seems safe to assume that Crybaby was writing to Cha, who was immersed in the Gap-dong case at the time (for obvious reasons). We know she was an officer, but is she at all connected to the woman who went missing? Why would Cha kill someone who knew him, when his other victims appeared to be strangers? Was he out to become Gap-dong out of some sick desire to pull off the perfect crime, as he wrote in the book flap? (I still contend that Crime and Punishment is a flawed analogue since I can’t see any way you can psychologically connect Gap-dong to Raskolnikov, other than the fact that they both thought they were better than society. In that way the Sonya allusion is a better fit for Tae-oh, but not for Gap-dong himself. But fine, I suppose it offers a neat literary reference.) In which case, he’s just about to find out the answer to his question, and it’s not gonna be pretty.

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Well things are getting more interesting
I feel bad for feeling sorry for tae oh and mu yeom is just one cute ajusshi

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Me too, this episode made Tae Oh more pitiful. I actually want him to have more screen time because his character is so interesting to the point that I'm wishing he is the main character but I'm so conflicted because he's a psychopath murder. Although I keep telling myself that it's fine to root for a character like him since it's just a drama not reality lol. Anyway, the actor who plays Tae Oh went to my newly discovered talented actor to keep on my radar. I became a fan of his because of his awesome character, Tae Oh.

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his name is joon, an MBLAQ and he's hilarious in real life. who knew his acting talent is more impressive than him being an idol? a well rounded entertainer!

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And to think that at first I was most skeptical about him. I thought that the actors for this show are great except for casting a boy band member to play a psychotic villain (what were they thinking, right?). So I was happy that I was wrong and to top it off, he's now my favorite character in the show.

By the way, I know the group MBLAQ and some of their songs even before this show but I'm not familiar with their members. They're actually one of the few talented boy bands who can really sing and is talented and has some good songs that I heard unlike many popular k-pop idols or boy bands.

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Try to watch Lee Joon in Jungle Fish 2, he's captivating even in early days of his acting career. If you want to watch his hilarious and funny side, it shown in Star Golden Bell. He is talented young man.

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I tried that show before but I didn't know him when I watched it and I don't know but for some reason I wasn't interested when I tried watching the first episode. Anyway, I prefer him playing a psycho or a villain or both lol. I plan to watch some of his movies and dramas that I found, particularly the ones with him playing a dark role.

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It's lkie Ji-wool said about Tae Oh, "I wanted him to be human and not a monster."

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I actually want him to be both. Just enough crazy to make him interesting and different (like the BBC Sherlock). But not to the point that he murders people, I guess?

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Cute is not the word ...Handsome....Dashing...etc....I really need him to play a RomCom so the guilt will leave my soul for falling for a psycho...but what a psycho...he is delivering his role like a season actor...a lot of people can play cute...many can play funny...but there are not many folks who can play sexy-psycho-with-layers...I am placing the blame on his crazy mama - yes, he is a mama's boy:)

PLEEEAAASSSEEE Next Role Romcom!!!!

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Are you talking about Lee Joon? He came under my radar when he started acting in dramas and I looked up his other works. He used to be a variety shows' most wanted star... because he is "different"... if I'm not mistaken he has 4D personality or something like that.

But instead of romcom I like him play badass LOL

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my head hurts from all these merry go rounds but the pain is worth it. thank you for the recap!

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Thank you for the recap, Javabeans. I think Ryu Tae Oh inherit his psycho gene from his mother. God, what happen to that woman with all her crazy ideas including lethal pills and now marriage?? And last time instead of sending his son for a good mental treatment abroad she was going to send him to a normal school?? I need time to comprehend.

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The mother is the real nutcase here. From what I gather he also killed his brother (?).

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I think it's his father.

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Yeah it looks like his mother is the one who spoiled him by covering his mistakes all the time, he might also have killed his father during that time but his mother covered for him or something, in any case it looks like her only goal is to help him by any means when he does bad things rather than help him stop doing bad things. I still don't know what she thinks of her son, is she just helping him because it brings bad reputation to her family business if she don't or is she helping him because he's her son and this is her way of showing love to him?

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Good point about Tae-oh's mom...because yes, she has been covering for him since childhood. I don't doubt that she was the main reason why TO wasn't suspected in his dad's death (although I'm thinking it's not been 100% confirmed that he did it).

That being said...I'm thinking it's a two-pronged reason why she's covering for him. The obvious reason being that, despite being a psychopath -- he is still her son, who she bore. She has the motherly instinct to protect her baby, no matter what horrible things he does, even if it's taking another person's life.

Another reason could be that she's also a psychopath, possibly passing genetically that trait (although that's speculation that criminal tendencies are able to be passed via genes). Of course, a person becomes who they are from the combo of genes and the type of environment they're raised in. It is very possible that she raised him horribly--mental/psychical abuse, for one. Or if she is a psychopath, she would not be loving, nurturing or mother-like in any way...and thus, psychological TO was reared. Covering for him could very well be her batsh*t crazy way of showing her "love."

Or, like you said...it could simply be protecting the family's rep and wealth. Definitely could not afford to have a son who kills.

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Oops typos...meant physical and psycho.

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i'm sure she does it for her and not for him....if she loved him she would pt him first and give him treatment from an early age and prevented his inner monstar to manifest and destro so many lives yet she prefered to cover it with money and get away with her other son far away from him just to keep her clean reputation...
Everyone believed someone killed her husband from outside even if the husbund didn't presented fighting,aka he knew the killer and didn't oppose him yet guess no one suspected the young 12 years boy as the main killer...
and she is a bigger monstar than her son because she is largly the one that killed those women even if she wasn't the one who did the kill

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and i also think she hates him just as much,her eyes are with hate but still can't do anything because her own reputation is more important than other things..that's why she came from Boston to clean his mess

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JB thanks for the recap,

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I just had a weird idea that Gap dong (Chief Cha) "stopped" his killing spree because he "accidentally" killed his future Sonya/muse (victim 8)?
What if during that time he was in denial about the guilt that he felt when he killed Crybaby? He thought he could still continue killing so he proceeded with Victim 9 and he was so close to killing Victim 10 (Maria), when Mu Yeom suddenly appeared?

It's like by killing victim 8 his very calm, god-like, killer persona, with no fear suddenly changed? He felt more human. Hence, he had doubts about his ability to kill/escape when Mu-yeom arrived (when in fact Mu-yeom was just a kid which Gap Dong could have easily killed in the past pre-victim 8).
So that's when he became Chief Cha... It's not that he doesn't want or know how to kill... It's just that he grew "impotent"?

Lalalala... This show is really screwing with my mind.
I think Ji-wool is exhibiting clear signs of Stockholm syndrome, with her growing concern over Tae-oh.

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he was a detective to start with.. people think he stopped but he actually didn't..he just hide his crime and so on..

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Ah, impotency! Riffing here on the whole impotency thing. Loser was impotent so he couldn't be Gap Dong. But Gap Dong here has a daughter. uhmmmm.. And what with all the DNA evidence lost, there is no proof unless some DNA was left on this last victim's body. Then maybe in a future episode, the DNA of the Cha daughter can be used to prove a connection to Gap Dong. Am thinking all this because it seems to me this drama has a lot of innocent little girls and collaterol...and I just can't see Cha's daughter not being used in some way in the story...even if it's the gentle act of "not" letting her know in the long run that her father is Gap Dong. So am waiting to see what comes up.

Am not sure if it's Stockholm Syndrome so much, although that is in the mix. Stockhom Syndrome makes one understand one's captors because one sees them as human after having lived with them. Ji Ul sees that he's a monster, plus she knew him before he kidnapped her. I'm just amazed that the cops would allow a teenaged kidnappe victim to ya know..visit her kidnapper when he's in jail, after said kidnapper has confessed to heinous crimes. And of course the whole marriage thing!!!! Stockholm syndrome is the least of the psychological weirdness in this drama.

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I am growing more and more sympathetic with Tae oh.....Lee Joon is doing an excellent job in portraying his character so well....I love Joon oppa....
Also even though it has been shown to is that section chief Cha is Gap Dong...but I still have a feeling that he is just another copycat....and someone else is our famous Gap Dongie...

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I think who the real Gapdong is not a question anymore.Writer nim has already confirmed Chief Cha is the real deal.

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Not sure if anyone caught it but in a flashback to the scene of the police camping at the monastery, there was a really young police who asked mu yeom if he wanted to learn how to use the nunchucks, and he looked exactly the same as gapdong shown in Maria's flashback later.

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I was hoping for Chief Cha to be just another red herring, but that seems very unlikely now. So now I'll just focus on the rest of episodes and watch how will they catch him. Also I think that letter from Crybaby will be very important evidence that it was Chief Cha 20 years ago.
By the way I tried cover the supposed young Chief Cha's eyes and the lips are perfect match to the original Gap Dong. And since young Chief Cha was friend with young Mad Monk, that's perhaps how he learned about his father and could easily frame him...

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I don't like the way Oh Maria is dealing with Ryu Tae Oh. She is supposed to be a professional psychiatrist at a jail clinic where criminals are rehabilitated. I don't mean to defend Tae Oh's actions in any way, but he has confessed to his crimes now, and clearly showing some remorse. He told her that he wants to stop, but feels that he can't stop on his own, indicating that he needs the help of someone. It's difficult not to feel sorry for him when no one offers him any help. And it's not up to her to judge whether he's beyond rehabilitation when she hasn't even tried. I don't think she's even considered the possibility. And to make matters worse, most of this is due to her own emotional trauma clouding her judgement. In her line of work, it's the least desirable trait to have.

Tae Oh seems to think that the only way he could ever stop is to do whatever Gap Dong did to stop himself from killing. As a psychiatrist, Oh Maria should have first assured him that Gap Dong's way of doing things aren't necessarily the only answer to his problem. There may be other ways well worth exploring. She should have given some hope, even if it's a tiny bit, that he may be capable of suppressing the killer instinct. But no, she has done no such thing. Instead she put on her tough bitch persona again, and told him that he's practically a lost case. That's unacceptable behavior for a psychiatrist. Whatever trust she managed to establish between them was shattered right then and there.

Point of the story: I wouldn't have Oh Maria as my psychiatrist.

Thanks for the recap, JB. Sorry for the venting.

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Everything in this drama is so personal. The cops, the serial killer, the monk, the shrink, the victims...all intricately bound. And yes, one would think folks would insist that everyone who was personally involved in the Gap Dong case remove themselves. I'm not sure if the writer is saying anything about the personal/private versus the impersonal/public or if it's just flaky k-drama logic that everyone has to be personally involved. But it does certainly add weirdness, spite, vendetta, fear, and twisted love to all the interactions.

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Yeah it's personal. I guess she cant help it since she's a victim herself and her main purpose since the incident has always been to catch Gapdong. And she knows more than anyone what Tae Oh's victims went through.

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yes. I suppose she could be the clear-eyed POV we all need. If we didn't see her anger, we might fall into the "pity the hottie serial-killer mode" which mode I've already fallen into alas. But as viewers, we do NEED her perspective and her anger and her spite as someone who speaks for and symbolizes the victims. So it balances out all this exploration of poor Tae Oh's mental psyche.

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Yeah, it's personal. I guess since she cant help herself since she's a victim herself, . She knows more than anyone what Tae Oh's victims went through and it's understandable she's mad at him.

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I would agree on this only if it wasn't just a drama. To me lot of situations in Gap Dong (and other dramas) seems ridiculous and very unreal. But well... it's just a drama so I think there is no need to be serious about it. And I still don't understand why people feel sorry for him, he is a bloody murderer and that no one offered him help is not excuse for killing people. Only way to help him is to stop him from murdering. But I don't think that's an easy task even if he had a professional psychiatrist which Maria's character isn't (I mean she is invoved in the case so she shouldn't treat him since the start)

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she is a psychiatrist with a mental disorder too.. haha seems like she has a bipolar personality due to the past trauma. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde -woman ver.

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It cant be just that she's guilty for living when her best friend died. And not only that whose murder and possibly rape she witnessed.

NOOOO...Of course not. She has metal disorder in other words she's just crrrrrazzzzzy. Definitely crazy for treating a murderer like a murderer. YIKES.

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RE: Oh Maria being psychiatrist who is having psychological problems herself.
Heh. This might be the most real life character trait in the, otherwise, unreal crime drama. You would be surprised how many professional counselors out there, in real life, are more messed up than any of their patients.

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Like everyone said, it's a drama so everything is personal. But also in truth psychologists should NOT try to treat psychopaths anyway. That's why I can kind of understand Maria's way of dealing with Tae Oh. First of all, she's quite messed up herself. Putting on the tough bitch persona helps her cope better. Additionally, Tae Oh is a freaking psychopath. No one should try to reason with him and use therapy on him. He will take advantage of that and toy with the ones who try to treat him. There is no hope for psychopaths (realistically not ideally speaking). So one of the ways to potentially treat them is to do something surprising or shocking to them. That's why everything Maria does kind of shocks Tae Oh and lets him see a new perspective on things. So one can argue at least she is doing something to him and not being played by him.

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Thanks for the recap.

Wow, the dialog in this drama is sooo good, and the emotional beats between people -- quirky yet so real.

Am wondering if we had two Gap-Dongs back then. One who was a real psycopath and the other who was his disciple/imitator. Or maybe they didn't know each other. It could be that the murder which wasn't for display was the "real" cause of the serial killing. Perhaps the only person Gap Dong intended to kill was the girl who was in love with him (for whatever reason...better marriage etc) so he killed her and created Gap Dong's other murder to throw off everyone. Or Gap Dong's murdering was going on and Cha decided to kill this girl after.

What I'm saying is ...maybe Gap Dong is not a serial killer at all and the whole serial killer thing is just window-dressing to hide a more banal crime of passion.

Loved the GeoPros Software --which I've seen in a lot of true crime shows. And the Affluenza defense which was used for the rich kid in Texas. This writer is up on American true crime.

I noticed no one is speaking about the molestation thing about the profiler....yep...that is all forgotten. How can a pedophile stop his crimes but a rapist-serial killer can't?

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But was he ever found guilty? I mentioned it in my post on previous episode recap, I think he was only accused, but never proven to be a pedophile. Or did I missed anything?

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not sure why he retired. But am wondering if convictions or accusations matter if one is a pedophile? Does that change a person? Maybe just a loose plot thread though and not really a foil for serial killers.

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So if someone accuse me of being a pedophile does that make me a pedophile? I think it is very important to differ between accusation and proven fact. There was also mentioned a possibility that "victim" could have lied because her parents forced her to do for money. That's why many people ended in prison for crimes they didn't. Of course if he is proven a pedophile I hope he will rott in jail, but til that happens I won't point at him. That would be same as what Chul-gon and many others did to Mad Monk because his father was accused of murders he didn't. I also remember reading a case when little girl that was abused accused someone else because she was threatened and scared of the person who abused her. Of course I'm not saying that's the same case, the girl could have been saying truth all the time, but again... it's just a drama so I'm usually disappointed with a drama logic and explanations.

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Yeah I agree with you wholeheartedly, I also believe in the saying "innocent until proven guilty".

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My question was: If one actually IS a pedphile, does it matter if one is accused or prosecuted? If one actually IS a pedophile, would one stop just because someone accused one? Would one stop whether one is accused or not?

I was wondering about the subtext of "stopping one's self" from behaving like a monster. If the accusation against profiler Han was merely a red herring, the writers should've closed off the thread...sooner or later. If it wasn't a red herring but if profiler han was removed from law enforcement because of it, (and if profiler Han stopped his monstrous side) then we are dealing with a monster that stopped himself from acting monstrous. It was just the writer in me wondering why that plot thread went nowhere. I wasn't saying all accusations of molestation are true simply because someone was accused.

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One thing I didn't catch earlier, if someone would kindly explain, why did the monks need to move out from the temple? Was it just temporary temple (rented for 20years?) Are they still going there after they relocated to Oh Maria's quarter?

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finally no more red herrings? I am interested to find out the why as well. I hope they won't give us a stupid reason. For me, the character i hate most is Ji Wool. Can't understand her warped thoughts. Even if you need money, marrying a confirmed murderer is no way to do it!!

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I am thinking that any more recent murders by Chief Cha will lift the statute of limitations. Cha has become careless because of that and hopefully that will trip him up along with Oh Maria recalling his face.

What's with the evil mother trying to get Ji-wool to marry Tae Oh? that's just crazy at another level.

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Ji wool has lost her damn mind. I can already see her agreeing to marrying tae oh and that's just gonna make me want to throw her in a hole. The writers need to stop with the foolishness because her character is not making sense at this point. Anyway. That ending was epic. Bring it on!!!

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So they're sticking with Section Chief Cha as the original Gap-dong...? Hm, I actually expected that to be a fakeout but I'm guessing they don't want a repeat of what happened with God's Gift.

I agree with Mu-yeom on his assessment that killers can't turn their killing nature on or off, just like pedophiles can't control their urges. Although there are a few serial killers who "stop" killing, the probable likelihood is that the majority go dormant for years -- usually because they're either incarcerated, incapacitated in some way, or there is a catalyst that prevents them from being able to kill.

That being said...so why SCC was able to "stop" killing? Although I'm not 100% positive if he was married sometime during the killings or right after vic #9, that could have been the catalyst to help him tamp down his urge to kill. That, or it was the birth of his daughter.

I'm thinking the body that they dug up (with the whistle) was likely his last kill, possibly not along his normal victimology (could be a man)...which could 'represent' him and the whistle could signify him "burying" his past/urge to kill with that vic.

I thought it was interesting that Tae-oh's lawyers thought up the affluenza defense (which was pretty ridiculous that it was accepted in the first place!) and thought TO rejecting it was even more interesting.

What was even more ridiculous was his mother's craptastic "idea" to "fix" her psychopath son -- to pay Ji-wool to marry him! WTH. And for her to even consider it...? That's a bit much. I get that she's young and all, but her anguish over realizing she was liking a "monster" is telling enough that she's been trying to make herself believe that TO is not a bad person.

And I'm finding myself feeling sorry for TO...although it does seem like his so-called breakdowns in his cell (because of Maria) seems like he's clinging to his last hope of redemption of sorts.

M's newfound strength to go back into her memories and remember the day of was interesting, especially the emergence of MY's presence that possibly saved her life. I kinda chuckled when M suddenly 'realized' she remembered GD's face -- well duh, you've been looking at him! ;P

I wonder when and how both MY and Chul-gon will realize they've been putting their heads together with the original GD...although I still have lingering suspicions that SCC is not the only GD (Profiler Han is still fishy). Maybe it's still in the cards that there were multiple GDs, but we'll see...

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I wonder how Tae Oh will handle being married to one woman but being inlove with/attached to/obsessed with another woman...especially a woman who loves another man. I doubt the love-as-kidnap defense will free him from jail but in k-drama anything will happen,

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I am also curious how he'd be, if he were to really marry Ji-wool...but it would raise a lot more questions.

Would his demeanor/behavior change? Would he be able to control his urge to kill? Would he get the change necessary to be a normal, non-killing person? I'm thinking not really for all.

Since he's a psychopath, and thus shouldn't be able to love (in the sense a real person should)...I don't think he'll change, whether he marries JW or not. I don't think JW has that catalytic property to her that could possibly compel TO to change. Shoot, if he couldn't control his urge to kill...I don't think he could live normally anyway.

I don't think he feels any sort of love for Maria...I think she represents the one person who'd listen and sympathize, and he feels possessive of her. So yes, he'd get mighty pissed, knowing that she likes Mu-yeom.

I don't think he'd be able to get off scot-free from his copycat murders, no matter the defense. But you're absolutely right---in kdrama world, anything can happen.

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I think the whole marriage thing was suggested because spouses can't be called to testify against their husband/wife. Ji Wool is one of their best pieces of evidence so if she doesn't have to appear on the witness stand that would definitely be a big help…if he hadn't already confessed...

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I see.. now I understand. At first I was confused why Tae Oh's mom came up with that idea. Thanks for the enlightenment!

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That is actually not true. In some places they cannot be forced to testify, but in most places that rule no longer exists, and not sure it ever did in Korean law.

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I think that is only a thing in common law/systems that are based on common law, though? (or at least that is what my reading of too many murder mysteries where suspects marry the only witness, would suggest)

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It is one of those things that exists in theory, but there are a LOT of exceptions. And even in those cases where it applies, prosecutors will sometimes take the route of charging both under conspiracy unless one testifies.

Pretty good writeup on it here http://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/criminal-defense/felony-offense/can-spouses-be-forced-testify-against-one-another

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I think what caused Chief Cha stopped his Gapdong's game is related to Crybaby.. but he might not stop killing, just stop being openly show-off Gapdong and changed his game to hidden murders.

I wonder how the drama will continue after everyone knows who the real Gapdong is. Maybe he will commit other murders??

And Tae Oh, please he needs more attention from his so called Doctor and most important his family! Please, director, please hear us!

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I think so too. We still have 7 episodes to go and we've found out who Gapdong is. It will be really boring it there isn't new murder.

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I suspect that never did stop killing, he just stopped advertising it, or did it other areas. I expect a much more recent body to show up soon.

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Ji-wool would not agree at all. But - I'd like it if her affection wasn't dismissed as a childish crush, because that is honestly something that can hurt her deeply. MY is doing something gravely wrong.

I do not like the main pairing either. It still doesn't make me root for it.

It is so interesting! Well - I may sound evil, but I guess I won't be satisfied until one of RTO, OM or JW dies. It wouldn't leave the punch, only horror.

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Speaking of dying, the writer hasn't reminded us lately of the bullet in Mu Yoem's head, i think. At least I didn't see any fainting spells or blurred vision.

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Omo! You're right! Whatever happened to that bullet he looks completely fine. Don't tell me writer is save-keeping it for a suddenly collapsed Muyeom in an important face- off scene. I will hate that!
All in all I love this drama and this is the only drama I follow closely and put my mind into at this moment.

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I’m not sure but right after he was released from the hospital, it was explicitly showed that Mu Yeom started to develop his kick the wall thing. I’m not sure with the writer’s intention but the way those earlier scenes were depicted suggested that they were subtle side effects of the bullet inside his brain. In recent episodes however, such scenes albeit still present, are given less emphasis. Thus I’m not quite sure of what to make of it.

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Thanks for the recap JB.
Here Ji-wool is being ji-wool “I wanted him to be human and not a monster.” Though I completely understand her prospective, Cause even I was like please change him for good. But as an avid kdrama viewer you cannot just look away from the main focus of the show. So I am suppressing my "please make tae ho a human" thoughts.
Secondly, THE MOM is scary. (My evaluation is that all weathly moms in kdrama, that I have watched so far, are scary)
Thirdly. How could you, casting director? How could you? How could you cast Hyun woo (he was in Pasta) as Cha/Gap dong. I mean I can never get over his smiling face in Pasta and now you make him a killer.....Why.......*down on knees crying* but if this charater makes and portraits him as a more mature actor then I....., but still why.......

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Huh? Is that him? The Hyun Woo who used to be KBS Music Bank's MC? I didn't recognize him here.

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Yup. Thats him. I dint knew that he was MuBank's Mc.
Imagining him as Gap Dong is so hard for me.

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yeah, I can understand Ji-wool's perspective too, because she wants to see the good in him. And I believe she did bring it out in him, however briefly - it's a little sad to see her so disappointed, but she's now rid of all her illusions about Tae-oh.

And yes, the mom is scary!!!!

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In a few days they will air his new family drama 고양이는 있다. So if you dislike him as killer you can enjoy him there xD Since he will be one of the main cast :)

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I've been looking for who played the young version of Chief Cha, but I don't think it's Hyunwoo :D Yes he was credited if you look at the list of cast on asianwiki but on any other sites he isn't. Plus I had to check his profile on wikipedia, asianwiki and wiki.d-addicts :D

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I keep refreshing Dramabeans and episode 14's recap hasn't been there yet. Feel tortured, can't wait any longer! Aaarrghh.. just like Ryu Tae Oh I'm officially addicted to Gapdongi!

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Me too! That's why I'm here now! LOL I've watched ep 14 it's so interesting and can't wait for the recap!

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And here I thought I was the only one dying for new episode recap XD I personally think the latest episode (14) was best so far and it confirmed my theory about the letter :)

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Thought I'm the only one xD

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the marriage bit has me rolling my eyes. Sure, you can argue that he was in love with the girl he kidnapped, but I don’t see how that gets you out of the time you killed six people.

Not to mention the fact that she's underage (isn't 20 in Korean age aka at least 18/19 in Western age, the legal age of adulthood in SK?). Still, I'm glad she's past any lingering feelings for Tae-oh beyond pity, but his mother is crazy - asking his would-be victim to marry him is one thing, but it wouldn't let him off the murders!

Also, victim no. 5 was the one who first started putting Tae-oh off enjoying his crimes, when she asked what she'd done wrong - no. 6 appears to have just carried the progression along.

Chief Cha is scary, all right. I'd have nightmares if I was facing that smirk, no matter how subtle it was.

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I'm not sure but right after he was released from the hospital, it was explicitly showed that Mu Yeom started to develop his kick the wall thing. I'm not sure with the writer's intention but the way those earlier scenes were depicted suggested that they were subtle side effects of the bullet inside his brain. In recent episodes however, such scenes albeit still present, are given less emphasis. Thus I'm not quite sure of what to make of it.

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Sorry disregard this. It was supposed to be a reply to another comment. I'm not really sure why this happened. LOL.

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LEE JOON!! Gosh I'm so proud of him <3 I've never had a guy idol that I followed for long before.. he is the first and honestly I'm glad he is :,) I feel so damn proud of him for coming such a long way through being a k-pop idol, a variety idol, a model, a rookie actor to now a really amazing actor.. damn he can act. its not easy to act out an evil person that makes people feel pity for. This show is by far the most amazing and smartest one. (Y)

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This EP was real solid.
Even tho Chief Cha has finally confirmed as Gap Dong, this ep still had a lot of suspense.

Now I'm excited to see everyone's reactions and see how they will catch him.

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