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Gap-dong: Episode 14

Whoa, things get legitimately good. It came a little later than I wanted, but better late than never. This episode injects a fresh jolt of energy into a story that has already revealed its villain and mystery, and I find that a very welcome thing. While the plot developments to date haven’t been outright predictable, per se, I’ve found them to be largely unsurprising, mostly because we’re always a step ahead of the characters, and that omniscience tends to get kind of boring. Which is why Gap-dong is a show I’d been enjoying for many reasons, but not for any sort of keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat anticipation. With this episode, the game transforms and throws in a curveball, which has me sitting up a little in my seat, curiosity piqued.

SONG OF THE DAY

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

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EPISODE 14 RECAP

In the interrogation room, Section Chief Cha waits in tense anticipation as Maria readies to share her newly recovered memory of Gap-dong’s face. She says slowly that it’s like she’s seen that face somewhere before, trying to pin down where. Chief Cha steps aside at the arrival of the sketch artists, and Maria eyes him closely as he exits. Has she made the connection?

The monk recognizes one of the women on the missing persons board, recalling that she used to work at a coffee shop. The woman, Jung-sook, regularly observed memorial rites at the temple.

The prison gets its wedding after all, and Ji-wool and Tae-oh take their wedding march down the hospital corridor. Tae-oh looks smug, while Ji-wool wears a wooden face and looks more like she’s heading to her execution.

Maria sends her a sorrowful look and shakes her head no, but it’s Mu-yeom who steps in to the rescue when the monk asks the age-old question about voicing objections. Ji-wool lights up as Mu-yeom grabs her wrist to drag her away.

…and then Ji-wool snaps out of her reverie. Ha, you can’t blame a girl for dreaming. She brightens when Mu-yeom calls, but deflates when she steps inside the station and finds him with Maria. They’re sitting with the sketch artist, using a computer program to fine-tune the rendering of Gap-dong’s face. However, the result doesn’t align with Maria’s mental image, which is frustrating.

So at Mu-yeom’s request, Ji-wool joins them and helps direct the process, which goes much better and leaves them with a sketch that looks a lot closer to our culprit.

Chief Cha grows increasingly tense as he watches them working. Mu-yeom informs him of his plans to get the Digital Forensic Center to age the drawing twenty years, which puts him even more on edge.

Tae-oh begs his prison guard to call Maria again, growing increasingly anxious. But Maria replies sternly that the only reason for her to see Tae-oh is if he has more crimes to confess. It may sound harsh in light of Tae-oh’s desperation (which is beginning to feel pitiful), but it does seem the most professional response. She isn’t going to be Tae-oh’s toy anymore, available for emotional manipulation.

Ji-wool visits Tae-oh, who guesses that she’s struggling over the marriage proposition. He tells her not to agonize over it, or pretend to agonize, when she’s just going to agree in the end.

Contrary to his expectation, Ji-wool calls Tae-oh’s family quite impoverished, particularly in comparison to Mu-yeom, who had once told her, “Lacking compassion is the greatest poverty. So that makes you a chaebol.” She says that he and his mother are beggars in the extreme, and therefore she rejects their proposal. Good for her.

The monk shows Mu-yeom the temple records of the family memorials that the missing woman, Jung-sook, observed every year. The visits end in 1995, just before the eighth murder was committed (of the woman officer, Crybaby). Mu-yeom asks if anybody is still around who might remember Jung-sook, and is pointed in the direction of an ajumma who happens to be an old friend of Ji-wool’s mother; both were friendly with Jung-sook back in the day. One look at the whistle found nearby has the woman gasping in recollection.

The ajumma explains that when they worked at the cafe, there was a woman officer who was undercover there. It was at the height of the Gap-dong terror, and she’d given the women whistles to use in case of trouble. Her real name was Kim Eun-ji, but to preserve her cover they’d called her by a nickname—Crybaby.

Delving further, Mu-yeom finds that Crybaby and Jung-sook were high school classmates. Section Chief Cha suggests that it’s premature to call Jung-sook another Gap-dong victim, but Mu-yeom is committed to investigating.

Chief Cha definitely looks worried, but he thinks to himself, “How can you guys possibly find out the truth?”

Tae-oh’s lawyers proceed with the affluenza defense, which has the district attorney’s office nervous. The prosecutor wants to go after Tae-oh to the full extent and is thus frustrated when he’s told by higher-ups to seek life imprisonment rather than the death penalty. But the district attorney points out that Tae-oh has a good chance of getting away with the psychiatric patient diagnosis, and thus they could lose if they go after the harshest sentence. The prosecutor asks whether the chaebol group is putting pressure on the case, which seems likely.

Ji-wool arrives at the station, ready to tell Mu-yeom of her decision not to accept Tae-oh’s proposal. But his reaction is the opposite of what she’s hoping for; when she says she visited Tae-oh, he jokes that he’s happy to have her transfer her feelings away from himself and onto Tae-oh instead.

Hurt, Ji-wool states point-blank, right there in the middle of the station, “I like you.” She points to the love letter on the board, saying, “That’s exactly how I feel.” She wells up in angry tears and says that she may have not said the words explicitly, but it feels like she’s said them countless times already. “Is that what love is to you? You only see the person you want?”

Mu-yeom gently pulls her aside and apologizes, saying that he’s just worried because she seems to be hoping for Tae-oh to change, “But people like that don’t change.”

He wonders who really sent that letter, and that’s something Ji-wool can help him with. She shows him the copy of Crime and Punishment that it came from, saying that Chief Cha must have donated it to the library. He sees the name written on the cover under the “Is there such a thing as a perfect crime?” note (dated Christmas Eve, 1993—the day of the first Gap-dong murder), and realizes that the dead officer Kim Eun-ji must have liked Chief Cha.

The age progression modeling is complete, and Mu-yeom looks over the Gap-dong image with Maria, who can’t shake her feeling of deja vu when seeing that face. Mu-yeom suggests that she might have seen him in her day-to-day life and encourages her to think. The aged model certainly has traces of Chief Cha in it, which we can tell because we know he’s the guy, but it’s understandable why it doesn’t trigger immediate recognition for now.

Maria hasn’t made the conscious connection yet because she goes to Chief Cha to request making another official witness statement. Now that she has recovered her memory, she hopes her additional information about Gap-dong will shed more light.

Mu-yeom takes the love letter to the mother of Officer Eun-ji, Victim No. 8, who is grateful to have it. Mom recognizes her daughter’s writing and stationery, and is comforted at the thought of Eun-ji having loved somebody, especially when Mu-yeom describes the man as a wonderful person and good detective, and someone who will make sure Gap-dong is caught.

Chief Cha watches from the observation as Maria gives her official statement. She explains that she and her best friend had repeatedly played the same hand in rock-scissors-paper, as though by tacit promise. But her hand changed almost of its own accord, and the instant she won, she’d thought, “I’m saved.”

But Gap-dong had just been playing with her will to live, intending to kill her next. She recalls the words he’d used mockingly: “Did it feel good to win?”

Tae-oh stews in his cell, thinking over Maria’s words about the secret of the ninth murder. She’d wondered if perhaps Gap-dong had felt compassion for the first time in his encounter with her—is that why he stopped? Tae-oh chafes to hear that word “compassion” again, grumbling, “What’s so great about compassion?”

Maria waits outside the station that evening for Mu-yeom to take her to dinner, although he doesn’t make it because he’s meeting with the victim’s mother. Chief Cha chats with her in a friendly tone and once again tells Maria she’s quite tough, and that she’s won against Gap-dong. There’s something about his face that triggers a sense of recognition in Maria, though she still hasn’t put her finger on why.

Then Chief Cha’s face turns sinister and he asks pointedly, “Did it feel good to win?” Maria looks at him in shock, but he just smiles at her blandly and she stammers, “Uh, yes.”

Maria’s bracelet falls to the ground and Chief Cha offers to help, taking the opportunity to step closer to fasten it for her—is he deliberately provoking her memory? Maria looks at his face in a new light, that sense of unease growing. Even still, she shakes her head against the suspicion, telling herself it can’t be.

Chief Cha hears that Mu-yeom asked for the address of Victim No. 8’s mother, which alarms him. He visits Profiler Han and Chul-gon next, and when Mu-yeom joins them, he lies that he’s coming from dinner with Maria.

As Cha leaves, he flashes back to before that eighth murder, when as a young detective he had arrived at the cafe and seen his colleague there, working in her cafe girl guise. Jung-sook is with her and upon Cha’s arrival, she asks Crybaby/Eun-ji, “Is that him?” Eun-ji mutters at her to lower her voice, and Cha clocks this all curiously. It sounds to my ears that Eun-ji was caught in an I have a crush moment, but Cha’s mind goes in a different direction.

Late that night as Eun-ji walks home, Cha waits in the shadows, knocking her down and tying her up. Eun-ji cries as he binds her wrists, and Cha chides her not to: “It’s more fun when you cry.” And then he attacks, strangling the life out of her.

Now Cha wonders, “What is it that Ha Mu-yeom knows? Why lie?”

But perhaps it’s the letter that finally triggers Mu-yeom’s suspicions, because now he shares his concerns about Cha with Chul-gon and Profiler Han. They mull it over.

Eun-ji’s mother calls Mu-yeom to make a request: The thought of her daughter’s feelings going unrecognized is too sad. Could Mu-yeom tell the letter’s intended recipient about Eun-ji being in love with him? He’s torn over the request, which he shares with Maria later that evening, saying that it could come as a shock to Cha—he had never dated before he married rather late, so the dead officer could have been a first love.

Maria hesitantly asks what kind of man Cha is, but stops herself from continuing the line of thought, not ready to voice those suspicions.

Mu-yeom thinks back to the night of the ninth murder, when he’d been walking along throwing around his nunchaku. He hears rustling in the woods, and a shadowy figure leaps out at him. Mu-yeom hits him with his nunchaku, shouting, “Gap-dong!” only to recognize his hyung (Cha) and laugh it off as a misunderstanding.

He asks Chief Cha to step aside for a chat that afternoon, carrying with him an envelope marked with Eun-ji’s name. They’re anxious for different reasons, and Cha listens tensely as Mu-yeom says Eun-ji left something behind before she died. He hands over the letter, and Cha realizes, “This is what it was?”

Chief Cha’s stunned reaction sticks with Mu-yeom, who decides to head back after parting ways and thus sees Chief Cha crumpling up that letter and throwing it in the trash. Something about his reaction provides confirmation for Mu-yeom, who can’t shake his suspicions any longer. The sight is deeply alarming, and Mu-yeom breaks down in angry sobs, thinking of the good hyung who’d watched after him for so many years.

Mu-yeom storms into Chief Cha’s office with his nunchaku in hand, and Cha smirks. The jig is up. “You’ve finally figured it out?” he asks. “That I’m Gap-dong?” Mu-yeom flies at him in a rage and strikes him on the head, blood spattering everywhere… and then he wakes from his nightmare.

The monk finds him brooding outside in the middle of the night and offers him some advice: “Don’t try to be a hero. The difference between a hero and a psychopath is a piece of paper.” People like Hitler and Napoleon, for instance, are just psychopaths who became heroes. People want heroes to save them when their lives become difficult, but you must close your eyes to too much in order to become great—people’s lives, feelings, cares.

The monk worries about Mu-yeom going over the edge, especially as he already has a touch of the crazy energy. The monk advises him to let go of the chase, saying philosophically that Gap-dong will be a wreck anyway, wherever he is, scared of getting caught.

But Mu-yeom interrupts: “What if he isn’t? What if he’s still doing something?”

He heads over to Maria’s trailer, telling her of his dream. And then he asks the question nobody’s really stopped to ask: What happens once they find Gap-dong? He tells Maria the story of a woman who met her daughter’s rapist after he was released, and he asked how the girl was doing. The mother became so enraged that she burned down his building and killed him, and ended up just as punished as he had.

Maria asks what Mu-yeom would do, and asks if he’s figured out who it is. He deflects, saying that he wouldn’t be wondering this if he knew the answer.

The next day, Chul-gon drops by Chief Cha’s office to ask how the matter of his reinstatement is coming along. Or rather, I suspect that’s his excuse to bring up that letter, which he says Mu-yeom worried about since Chief Cha might be unduly troubled by it. Chul-gon asks to see it, but the potentially tense moment passes when he retracts the request laughingly. He calls this (his suspicions) the curse of the detective, but there’s a hard look in his eye that he levels toward Cha.

Mu-yeom digs through old files of the eighth murder, looking for Chief Cha’s witness statement from 1995. He puts Hyung-nyun on the job of tailing Chief Cha secretly, and lets him in on the secret that Cha is Gap-dong.

Ji-wool and Maria chat as they bathe the young temple boys, talking about her new webtoon about that detective killer. Ji-wool shares the tidbit that many psychopaths are drawn to the career of police officer, and while most get stymied by the entry test or otherwise fail to become cops, some do manage to make it into the ranks.

There’s a woman in Ji-wool’s story who writes a love letter to the detective psychopath, but the letter doesn’t resurface until twenty years after she’d been killed by him on the day she confessed. Well, give it to Ji-wool for pulling relevant facts out of real life and weaving them together into a plausible psychopath story, though I find them a little too exact for my liking. C’mon, she’s a good storyteller, not clairvoyant.

Maria gets a text from Mu-yeom, wherein he says that since she likes Chief Cha so much (one of the passing jokes he’d teased her about), he’s sending her a photo of his young self. And the moment Maria sees young Cha, she flinches in horror. She scrambles to her trailer in a cold sweat, aghast.

Ji-wool finds her shaking and crying, and Maria hangs on to her for dear life as she sobs out her terror.

Mu-yeom meets Maria later that night, and despite their hopes to the contrary, they’re now on the same page about Cha’s identity. Mu-yeom had felt the hunch, but needed Maria’s certainty to cement his own.

They drive over to the station, where the sight of a smiling Chief Cha has Maria so incensed that she tries to go out to confront him. Mu-yeom holds her back, knowing that her impulse to deck him one and accuse him isn’t going to be satisfying. “True rage isn’t enough to be just rage,” he says. “We need to prove now that he’s the monster.”

Mu-yeom bitterly notes the irony of the matter, where catching the killer brings his captors more suffering than the criminal himself. Maria starts to ask if they ought to just kill him then, but he rules that out—too easy. Now begins the new countdown, the new timespan marked by how long the beast continues to live.

Mu-yeom sends over a confidential file to the prosecutor, instructing him to watch it with Detective Ki-ri. It’s a video that lists examples from other countries where the statute of limitations was suspended, such as the case of France doing so to prosecute Nazis after World War II, or with the U.S. allowing for it when DNA evidence is found without a suspect to match it to.

As Mu-yeom thinks back to Chief Cha throwing away the love letter, now we see exactly why he got so upset. Cha had been practically in a rage trance as his hands automatically twisted the letter into a familiar knot. He’d stuffed that knotted letter into the garbage bin, stabbing at the trash with near-manic energy. Afterward, Mu-yeom had fished that paper out.

Mu-yeom heads to the prison hospital, where he shows that letter to Tae-oh and asks for his assistance. Omo. Now this is a strange new twist. But Tae-oh is, admittedly, valuable: “I need you to tell me how we can lock up that beast.”

Mu-yeom calls it a fun game for a psychopath, proposing a game of chicken. Maria shows up to add her two cents: “Can I be the referee?”

And so, Tae-oh is outfitted with a tracking anklet and released. The trio relocate to an open stretch of road, with two cars at the ready. Oh wait, that wasn’t a metaphor? You meant a literal game of chicken? Maria tells them the rules: The one who gets closest to the edge of the cliff wins, and the loser becomes “the hunting dog to catch Gap-dong.” (I… don’t think they understand how chicken really works. There’s no cliff’s edge in chicken! But I suppose that’s minutiae.)

The boys get into their respective cars and take the wheel. They rev their engines and wait for the signal. Maria flings the white scarf, and the race is on.

 
COMMENTS

Innnnteresting. I had given up on the idea of Gap-dong being any sort of thriller, because while its story has been quite interesting as a character study of intense, damaged, and/or compelling characters, it hasn’t actually excited me. It was more of an intellectual exercise than an emotional experience, to follow people’s thought processes and delve into their psychological workings. We had all the murders shown to us before the good guys knew about them, and we saw the killers’ reactions up front and therefore deduced the truth episodes before our investigators did. As a result, I watched more to see how our heroes would react rather than because of a pressing need to know what would happen.

Now, though, the focus shifts away from locating a murderer whose location we already knew (Tae-oh) or discovering the identity of a dormant one (Chief Cha) or uncovering the details of an interesting but frankly long-past string of cases. We move away from making discoveries about the past to working in the present, and I just find that a lot more exciting. For the first time in this show, I felt my pulse literally speed up a little in the way that a good thriller will engage your feelings on top of your mind.

My newfound interest is twofold, the first of which is triggered by Mu-yeom trying to get the statute of limitations suspended. All along, the show has reminded us that Gap-dong is essentially home free now, that merely finding him wouldn’t net us a victory because legally our heroes’ hands are tied. This was a concern that the characters could push to the side while they had the more pressing issue of the copycat killer on the loose, but once Tae-oh was apprehended, the expiration problem resurfaced.

Sure, our characters could go in search of vigilante justice and kill Gap-dong themselves, law be damned, but this show has always made sure to point out that the victims’ suffering does not end with the villain. That’s the great injustice of, well, injustice — you can’t turn it into justice. If you could make it all better with a counteraction, it wouldn’t be injustice. That’s the nature of the beast, and that’s why, despite a sympathetic acting performance by Lee Joon, I have limited sympathy for Tae-oh. He might feel sad now that he’s shut in a cell with nobody to listen to him talk about how “suffocated” he feels (oh boo hoo), but he took six lives, enjoyed himself for five of them, and there’s no way to make up for that. Oh, your mother never loved you? I fail to see how killing people is in any way mitigated by an unfortunate circumstance experienced by lots of people feel who somehow manage to lead productive lives anyway.

So at best, it would be a hollow victory for our heroes to kill Gap-dong even if they could pull it off and escape legal reprisal. More likely, however, is the worse scenario in which that just adds to their anguish, becoming a double punishment, rather than a reclamation.

The statute of limitations is one of those things we just took for granted as a fixed entity, inasmuch as our characters’ entire lives have been shaped by knowing it’s this hard line that they can’t alter, that they have to live with. But in a broader context, a statute of limitations is an arbitrarily decided number codified into law — who’s to say you can’t change it? We’ve been working on the assumption that our characters will have to find their way around that roadblock, but Mu-yeom decides to go for the frontal attack and drive right through it. I know the monk asked him not to be a hero, but that’s pretty hero-worthy stuff right there.

The second point of interest is this unlikely (unholy?) teaming of Mu-yeom and Tae-oh, which frankly throws me into a bit of conflict because of all that stuff I just said about Tae-oh. And yet, I’m suddenly intrigued at the thought of them working together to catch Gap-dong. I don’t want them to bromance it out and develop into an odd couple, but I do think it’ll be a curiously effective matching of complementary skills. I’d worried about Mu-yeom turning into the monster to catch the monster because I’m invested in the idea of him living past the capture of Gap-dong, so the second-best thing is to utilize the monster in your midst. It’s kind of a perfect pairing.

On the other hand, I don’t want Tae-oh redeemed because he doesn’t deserve it, and certainly not because of his pretty face or sad eyes or the actor drawing you into his portrayal. Real-life killers shouldn’t be cut slack for being good-looking (although it certainly happens; I’m recalling all the “he’s so hot” commentary that surfaced in the wake of the Boston marathon bomber), so I feel uneasy for recognizing that this is a factor in a drama. I’m rooting for Mu-yeom, but does that mean now I’m also rooting for Tae-oh? And what does a Tae-oh triumph even mean in the context of this story? He can’t come around to “good” because I honestly don’t believe he’s capable of it, but if he can help the good side regardless of his motives (I’d say he’s spurred by curiosity and challenge, not any sense of doing good), maybe he deserves credit for that. And so, I want to like him, but I’m weirded out at the thought of liking him.

I don’t actually know how to reconcile the conflict and I recognize that I’m sharing some contradictory thoughts, but maybe my only explanation is that I’m a flawed human? Maybe all I can do is to acknowledge that there’s a clash here, even if I don’t have the answers. Life’s a mystery that way.

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I was like...that's not chicken...

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More like a game of "Excited Lemmings."

;)

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Why was this car race needed?

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Some kind of PPL maybe . Ha!

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"Excited Lemmings." I'm laughing so hard I'm crying

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I was honestly relieved and excited that they FINALLY are using Tae-oh in this manner. Even if he is just helping because of his inner intellectual conflict, I think that it is a very good move for the drama and (if I may) for the CHARACTER. I personally would like SOME redemption for Tae-oh, and not because he is "hot" or "good looking," but rather because Lee Joon (and the writers) have portrayed him as a true Psychopath…meaning that he is actually UNABLE to feel emotions. This has been noted since his childhood. Don't get me wrong, I don't want him to leave prison or the insane asylum and begin walking the streets… he is MUCH too dangerous…but rather, I would like for him to have some better control and understanding of his condition- and that would be enough "redemption" (I believe) in his own eyes, since he has honestly never cared (or been able to really care) what other people think of him anyway.

Kudos to the writers for keeping this story interesting.

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Oh I'm so excited for the last six episodes =)

Using Tae Oh to catch Gap Dong seems like a brilliant yet completely bad idea at the same time. This could go all kinds of wrong but I guess that Mu Yeom will somehow find a way to handle TO!

I am also against full redemption for TO but like missDVM mentioned above I'd love to see him getting appropriate help for his psychopathic tendencies! In jail that is!

Also... I freakin LOVE the OST's of Every Single Day =) Thanks for posting this one javabeans bc I've been dying to find it but haven't been lucky^^

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I agree but actually, it seems like people are getting the wrong idea of what psychopath actually means and its nature.
(This is kind of copied from previous comments I've made on other sites about this.)
Psychopaths (or, now more commonly known as people with anti-social personality disorder) are not "unable" to feel emotions, contrary to belief. In fact, they just possess something called the warrior gene. This means they have a LACK of emotions and process it a lot differently than "normal" people (hating using the word normal but for sake of this..) and they have to compensate for it. Not all psychopaths are bad people and vice versa. It is very easy to mimic a "normal" life and there are actually many "psychopaths" close to us, its just that we never know. An individual's experiences will ultimately decide how that individual acts.

Ryu Tae Oh, is a very very complex character, one of the most complex I have encountered (so bravo for this drama for actually fleshing him out)
He is manipulative and it seems like he can't feel empathy, compassion of some sort. Yet.. he manages to feel angry, desperation. And he can definitely feel pain. I think he pretends he isn't affected by anything, like he WANTS to be this psychopath that can't feel anything. But if you watch carefully, little things really - he starts to lose control and this masquerade falls thin. When Maria left him to die, or times that he's left speechless, and when things hit him hard. We see that he in fact, can process emotions pretty well. Strangely enough. 20 episodes is really not enough to figure him out. It seems to me he is AWARE that he is a monster and this terrible person, so it implies he has an idea of morals. What is right and what is wrong - he is all aware. I hate myself for wanting to sympathize with him, his murderers aren't justified. They never are. Yet I KEEP trying to humanize him.

This drama is really great, probably one of my favorites. It explores the idea of right and wrong and justification and morals. Though it doesn't outright say this, it's found everywhere. The characters feel real, and it doesn't seem black and white at all.

(I wrote too much..)

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Thanks for the definition...I am no longer liking Pscho-Oppa! Mad Monk was correct - I wanted him to become human - shift the blame to his Crazy Momma, but he still killed several women....the real GD killed and raped...but it is still violence committed again female's bodies

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Dear Anon,

Thank you so much for your reply. I believe that I know what you are saying, and I agree with you on several points. I also agree that Tae-oh seems to be battling within himself his "monster." In fact, I think that of all of the Gap-Dong characters, he seems to be the most TANGIBLE (good writing?? Great Acting?? Other??…) in his persistent struggle with his inner evil. All I can say is…"WOW." The drama did not really capture my interest at first, but as this conflict within the characters (and yes, especially our "known" killer/psychopath, Tae-oh), it has REALLY, REALLY captured my interest and I keep thinking and re-thinking about this drama. I also agree with you that this is one of the most "fleshed out" psychological studies that I have experienced and thoroughly enjoyed on film/drama. I am reveling in how thought provoking this drama has become. Granted, you have to suspend belief occasionally, but that is all part of watching dramas.

Again, thank you for you for your thoughtful and friendly reply! I hope that you have a wonderful evening! :)

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Dear Javabeans, thanks foe the recap! I've been waiting for it all day^^ couldn't stand the urge to say loudly how I like the episode. Although I love to see Ryu Tae Oh behind the wheels (I know I shouldn't say but he's hot) rather than behind the bar, the chicken race sounds a bit absurd to me.. (it feels like an addition and unnecessary) but overall this episode thrills me much.

I'm glad we can end the long "Guess who's Gapdong" game and switch to "Catch Gapdong" now. Just like people said in the beginning, a psycho is the best profiler, it maybe a good idea to get Ryu Tae Oh involved in the hunting.. or maybe it's not? I'm in a dilemma.

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I have to admit it, that run-away bride dream was so...heart-fluttering. It totally made me go "Awww"

I am thinking at some point, the writers are going to make MY deeply regret treating JW that way - she'll be a victim or a hostage. I observe that they are actually stressing on the fact that it isn't a childish crush.

There hasn't been a series that depends so much on its narration, and not on the suspense factor, and is still successful in getting people hooked. Good job so far!

As for Tae-Oh. I guess he'll get killed, which is a better option than making him suffer all life long. That'll make sense - like he was awarded for the one good deed he did, or something. Psychopaths are considered to be born that way, so it is very difficult to come onto a conclusion as to how much are they responsible for, since they are basically hunting people. But then again, human life is precious, and they should suffer for what they have done. Arghhh...such a vague topic!

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Woo-hoo...thank you for the recap, JB! I was gardening outside, saw this was up and now I'm happily typing away on my phone :)

This episode really kicked the story into high gear...and I'd have to agree, this was the best one yet. Lots of revelations, confirmations and flashbacks that did make this drama quite the thriller-esque.

Who would have thunk it, to see Section Chief Cha knowingly reveal his true colors...once a psychopath, always a psychopath. I thought it was interesting that Ji-wool, not the good doc Maria, would provide the tidbit about some psychopaths who manage to become cops and able to move up the ranks. Seeing his demeanor change from the voice of reason to worried-I-might-get-discovered to outright taunting glimmer of evil was very interesting...I thought he was baiting M to remember him, which is kinda reckless when there's a freakin' behind-the-scenes investigation into you!

Mu-yeom's realization that good hyung was GD was intriguing, especially when he revealed the letter to SCC...to see him overcome with emotion to SCC's reaction was emotion-stirring, as was when he realized he potentially caught SCC red handed that night (when he did have M). It's also very good to see Chul-gon finally putting the pieces together that SCC was not what he seemed...although I'm not 100% if he's completely onto him yet. MY sending the pic of young SCC to M was a bit of a shock to the system of M, even if she had inklings that his face looked similar...although I wonder why the others investigating never thought to compare the sketch with the pic first.

And thank goodness JW finally snapped out of the "but Tae-oh is a nice guy" bit and turned down the marriage proposal! When the wedding scene inside the prison hospital was shown, I literally slapped the table with exasperation...glad it was a fakeout.

I have to agree that MY's 'partnership' with TO is bordering on reckless...although this could potentially be his road to redemption? Sike no...he did murder (and enjoyed it) 6 women, so maybe he could possibly dodge the death penalty in reward of cooperating.

I was wondering when the topic if the statue of limitations would come up, and I think there's the potential that it might get amended here. It still boggles me that murder would have one, but I'm hoping this'll potentially create public discussion and bring out changes to the laws.

It's somewhat disturbing that there are actually people out there who get turned on by violence and murderers...it sickens me when I hear about groupies of serial killers, and even those that go as far as marrying them in prison -- yuck! The marathon bombing suspect bit was surprising to hear, had no idea that there were people out there who actually thought and discussed how good-looking he was...not even thinking of the atrocity and crimes he committed! :/

Can't wait til Friday!!!

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In the latest shooting + knifing + car murders a few days ago there were also some similar tweets about "he's so CUTE". So it is not an isolated thing. And when Heirs was running, there were a bunch of people - some of them here - getting hot for the ass-jerks.

But one thing I have noticed is that it is almost entirely a "girl" thing - I did a quick search and could find nothing similar about males doing the same thing.

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Ugh, that disgusts me to no end!! I've heard bits like that about that recent case, and no, he's not cute! Dunno wth these girls are thinking...

But I think it's almost an entirely a "girl" thing because female serial killers are a rarity. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but damn...they need their eyes and brains checked! :/

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Tae Oh surely deosn't deserve no ones simpathy for what he did,and more because he is pretty...only thinking he took all thse poor girls lifes,so i for one i don't feel any for his type,he is a monster with or not pretty face and i always rool my eyes when i see people think he should get free because ,well Joon is pretty and forget his character is a psyhopath...(if he was less pretty would people root for his freedom the same?,or is it okay to kill in mass just as long as one has pretty looks?)
I totally love this duo/trio between Tae Oh,Moo Yeom and Maria,i'm sure Tae Oh figured out that Moo Yeom already knew who Gap Dong is and were when he saw Maria joining the game...like Tae Oh said,only a psyhopath might recognize/cach one so i like this intresting approch,is fun...I might also say Cha is by far more creepy and monstar than Tae Oh,even if i wouldn't put a monstar on levels(buya!),such a twisted mind,still is he a psihopath,Tae Oh says he is ,but he sure is one smart and scary one for me and the young contrapart did a good job(even if i think there are 2 that played the young one for sure) but Hyun Woo made it seem like a crazy dude(quite liked him as the young Cha),yet again a flower boy killer,knew he would be one preety based on the face from the firsts episodes...
I als think Moo Yeom had more in his mind with the chichen game for Tae Oh than what he told him,i don't know why i get the feel that he wants to prove him something,and i'm sure he will loose,maybe making him see he indeed can feel some emotions?
Felt so sad for the cop mom who said her daughter loved a detective thinking that was her doom...
Hope they won't kill him and let him root for life in prison because indeed death is too easy for the type just like i hope for Tae Oh,for life!

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I already figured out since the beginning that Tae- Oh and Mu-Yeom would be working together to catch the real Gap Dong. I also have very limited sympathy for Tae-Oh. He is a serial killer who killed for the fun so I hope they don't redeem him and he ends up locked up in jail ( normal jail not a psychiatric hospital as he isn't crazy) for the rest of his life (and they throw away the key). I don't want him to get any chance at redemption since he didn't even offer any to his victims.

I'm very interested in how Section Chief Cha was able to keep his psychopathic tendencies on the down low and appear as just a harmless 'nice' guy. On one hand, I'm shocked he has a normal loving family on the other hand, I'm not as other serial killers like the BTK are able to become church elders, family men and pillars of the community. Although I find it curious, that he is breaking down all of a sudden. He has hidden himself for years and watched detectives try to catch him before but they didn't. I found it odd that he would give himself away like that to Mu-yeom and say triggering stuff to Dr. Oh. It seems out of character. Anyway, I can't wait for him to be caught and they better tell Ji-wol to be on her guard as he may target her.

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I wonder, though, if Tae Oh was born a serial killer..or was made a serial killer because of how his family treated him (touch of affluenza, perhaps?) Or if he became a serial killer simply because he was told he was (or because he told himself he was?)

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Even though he was born with some psychopathic tendencies, I think it's the environment that affected him the most. I don't actually think that he killed his dad. It may have been an accident or he was covering for someone else either the mum or the brother. Everyone (including his mother and lawyer) assumed he was already a psychopathic killer, he decided to become one to prove them right. I don't know, I maybe wrong

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Yeah, i'm thinking one of the sub-texts in this drama is going to be "accidents" and plain old tragic luck that happens to innocents.

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That debate has gone on for 100 years, and will probably go on for another 100. I think in many cases they are born with it, but it can be altered somewhat by the environment they grow up in.

"Psycho" is a pretty broad term that covers a lot of different brain miswires, chemical imbalances, and other causes, but the term works well enough here.

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Maria's breakdown in her trailer broke my heart. Excellent acting from Kim Min Jung.

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Thanks for the recap.

I'm wondering what Cha/Gap Dong meant when he saw the love letter and said, "IS this what it was?" Did he perhaps kill the girl assuming something else? And was his 8th (?) murder done because of an error because he thought undercover crush-er had happened upon his secret?

Seriously, I cannot see Cha as the old Gap Dong although we have to accept that he was. There was something very middle-aged about the voice of Gap Dong of Maria's memories..and to accept now that the voice belonged to a young cop just a bit older than Mu Yeom takes so much suspension of disbelief.

Re: Redemption of Tae Oh. He may not completely be redeemed in our eyes but he will be redeemed in his eyes...which may be a good thing. He is able to get vengeance on Gap Dong, although Gap Dong himself did nothing to him except ya know..."exist." I kinda wish he could get some vengeance on Loser because Loser was the one who made him feel ridiculous. Tae Oh's ability to catch Gap Dong will make Tae Oh feel helpful to society in his own right (after all, he can now use his sickness like Ted Bundy to fight serial killers...and after all aren't many pycopath's cops (supposedly). And maybe it'll help him feel human again. And perhaps "better than Gap Dong."

Am glad Cha seemed to be needling Maria and we get to see his nasty vindictiveness in addition to his calm demeanor under pressure. We didn't see enough of old Gap Dong to hate him as much as Maria hated him. We can never hate Gap Dong as much as Maria does but we can see how sadistic he is and was. In the same way, we hate copycat Gap Dong but we never saw him being sadistic/vindictive outside of his murders. Tae Oh was always kind to strangers, except for the one time he threatened Maria.

The Chicken Run was like..."WTF?" Why use the East of Eden Trope with Maria? I was like..."let me see how this all works out?"

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We saw Tae-Oh being sadistic with the hair salon girl. He let her ran away (giving her hope) and caught her very easily. He used the guy's son as a means to get his dad to kill the teacher, that is pretty sadistic. He practically toyed with his victims which is also sadistic behavior, he enjoyed watching them squirm.

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wow, yes! I'd forgotten about about those two. Aish, my memory! Thanks!

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I don't think SCC had any inkling that Min-ji/Crybaby liked him...so when she pointed him out to Jung-sook and said "that's him"...he automatically assumed wrongly that she was pointing him out as Gap-dong.

His "that was it??" bewilderment definitely confirms to me that hie falsely deduced that she knew his identity as GD, which likely led to the deaths of both CB and JS.

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Know what too? I want Loser punished as well. Serously! Loser in his own weak way gave Tae Oh the opportunity and motivation to kill. I don't think Tae Oh had the nerve to kill anyone except his dad (if he DID kill his dad) for all those years. (BEsides, he was in the mental institution) But being near Loser, and trying to please his idol...he went ahead and finally released his murderous demons.

So yeah, Loser should get some punishment for his "crime" ...cause I don't think he's all that innocent.

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Yes, he murdered her because he thought she knew of his murders. Hence he heard - "Is that him?"

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Someone please tell me the chicken fight is a daydream and not Tae oh getting out just to help catch the killer. It looks that way from the next preview. So much better to leave him behind bars looking for the real Gap Dong like Hannibal Lecter.

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Yeah, I'm hoping the chicken fight is a dream too. It just seemed so random and unrealistic. I mean, they just spring Tae Oh out from the mental hospital/jail and everyone's okay with that? And then they give him nice clothes and a car? Thinking this is a dream sequence.

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One of my favorite moments was when Cha discards Eunji's letter. It was a very powerful and disturbing moment. I felt like he was trying to mutilate the letter, as if it were the dead woman herself. (A further act of violence toward one of his victims.)

I had suspected Cha a little while back, but I wonder if there is too much of a disconnect between his present behavior and the way he was portrayed earlier in the show. I mean, I know that things couldn't be revealed earlier, but now its seems as though he cannot even remotely mask the evil inside himself whereas before he seemed like a genuinely warm hyung figure. I don't know....

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It was one of mine too. And all kudos for some really good acting there, to go from warm and concerned hyung to a serial murderer barely able to conceal his evil any more, and without doing a 180 on the character, is quite something.

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The mr cha scene where he asked dr maria is she was glad she won honestly made shudder. And her breaking down really broke my heart.The ending just made me roll my eyes. What is this, fast and furious with a serial killer tagging along. He needs to stay in jail, period. Either way it was a fantastic episode that had me feeling all kinds of ways. Although everyone talking forever and holding back info was getting tiring at this point. Can't wait for The next episode.

PS. Jiwool still needs to see a doc. ASAP

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What is this, fast and furious with a serial killer tagging along. He

I know, when Muyeom said they were doing to play chicken to catch the killer I imagined something more....metaphorical. And I imagined it as Tae-oh vs real Gap-dongi, not Mu-yeom vs Tae-oh (again!)

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I still don't get why Angry Monk is using Tae Oh? I mean is Tae Oh on a redeeming path? Someone please explain this to me.

Thank you in advance.

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Interestingly, we've never really seen much of Angry Monk's side since the beginning where we saw how kind he was to the delinquents. I've gotten so used to seeing spiritual heroes in k-drama not behave as if they had a spiritual side (yes, I'm talking about you Seonyu in Angel's Revenge) that I'd forgotten our hero had that monk moniker. So maybe this is the monk side of him coming to the fore.

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That's an interesting way of looking at it.

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Woah..the wedding scene frightened me for a while! I thought Ji Wool really went through with it.....from this episode, I still can't tell why Detective Cha became the pyschopath! He looks normal....which makes it even scarier!

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He is TERRIFYING in this ep. I even scrolled past the last screencap of his eyes super quick because that is how much looking at him scared me this ep.

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Don't feel bad for being sympathetic and rooting for Tae-oh, Javabeans. You are supposed to. Remember? Art is the most dangerous form of propaganda. Manipulating the audience is so easy. That's how politicians and media do it. Guess we are lucky the writers want us getting into the mind and rooting for a rapist serial killer, and not some grisly pedophile. In this drama, at least.
Paraphrasing Shakespeare: What's in a face? Why do you think they casted Lee Joon and not some ugly dude we would never feel sorry for.

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Quite true - how many times have we heard that phrase "he has an honest face" (or similar) not just in dramas, but sometimes even in real life?

And it has been seen over and over that hotties make the best scammers - for some reason humans I guess have been programmed to trust someone good looking more, even though it makes no logical sense.

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exactly. Tae-oh didn't get access to his victims by openly being a psychopath. He knows exactly how to appear to his audience/potential victims.

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Thanks for the recap.
After I read the comment by JB, I was in deep thoughts over why am I so keen on wanting to see Tae oh turning to good.(I still dont have an answer) So when I do reflect on what you said about real-life killers shouldn’t be cut slack for being good-looking or even getting away with their crime just because, I get why he cant come back. Even if tae oh goes into the redeeming path and, lets just say, turns a 'good' , he still has to pay for what he has done so cruely and mindlessly.
P.S.- I really thought that ji-wool has totally lost her mind when I saw the wedding scene. She did do exactly like tae oh said, not to agonize over it, or pretend to agonize, when she’s just going to agree in the end.(though that scene is afterwards, but gee he can really get into her mind)Thank god it was just a day dream and she came to her senses.

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i dont really get if

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"Oppa you are poor. Your family is poor"
"Huh? It depends. If you compared to Bill Gates maybe we are not that rich but.."
Hahaha the conversation cracked me up. Ryu Tae Oh's blank face when replying was so serious made also think the topic was about money LOL

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Woops sorry for the typo
"made me also think about money"

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Ok. I can't watch this yet because I literally don't have the time right now. But Yoon Sang Hyun looks so amazing in that pick and I just had to say it! I love that screencap! Aw I want to watch it now!

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I am very much enjoying this drama. Except for the ending of 14.. with letting Teo out with an ankle monitor.. and the car race?- oh boy.

The story line fascinates me because Ive been studying psychopathy for a few years. The writers have certainly done their research! Everything so far is spot on to what Ive learned.

Serial killers can't stop themselves from killing. Cha never stopped, he just found a different game.

Teo is very pretty, but he has nothing of value behind those eyes. Everything he's thinking, is how to manipulate someone, his tears and frustration are only for himself. Even if he cared for someone, it would only be because he feels they are his property. He has NO redeeming qualities. If this group can USE him to catch Gap Dong, fine, but in my mind he IS Gap Dong.. just end him.

Im worried about the bullet rattling around in the brain of Mu-Yeum. Im afraid he's going to end up a psychopath due to the damage to his frontal lobe.. and in the end after he and Teo have their big fight, where he kills him.. he finds Teo's OTHER pill ( remember? there were 2.. where did the other one go?) and offs himself. In which case, I will hate this drama. Very much.

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I thought Chief Cha also spit on the letter because at the time I thought DNA evidence.

I also found the use of the U.S. being part of the statue o limitation argument strange since the U.S. has no statue of limitation for murder.

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The one thing that still totally baffles me is the motivations of the mother. She has apparently been covering up for him for years, but I fail to see any reason unless she is just as psycho as he is.

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not wishing to lose face, perhaps. Admitting your son has serious mental issues is a major loss of face to a chaebol family.

And if kdramas have taught us anything, it is that chaebol families are more unscrupulous than snakes and more twisted than a circus of contortionists.

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We got two dream scenes this ep...and both of them are equally wtf-worthy, even if you can understand why the characters have them. I'm glad Ji-wool and Maria have more of a rapport now, though - she may be upset that Mu-yeom is never going to see her the way she wants, but in the hands of any other actress I'd probably like her a lot less. And even though my heart breaks for her disillusionment over Tae-oh, I'm glad she's able to face him and tell him off for trying to drag her into his mess.

And I love the idea of using a killer to catch a killer. Even if I don't understand the Drive Yourself Off A Cliff race in the end (wtf?!) and I don't believe Tae-oh is ever going to be redeemed fully. He's killed way too much, is far too twisted, and the only honest part of him is his obsession.

btw, JB, that case where the mother killed her daughter's rapist for taunting her is a real one from Spain, and fairly recent - c. 2010-2012, if I remember correctly, it made a huge stir back then. The writers clearly read up on their international news!

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I LOVE to see the dramatic side of everyone's character in this episode..

1) Chief Cha, his revelation scenes are thrilling

2) When Tae Oh confided the murders he's done to Maria.. his reaction when Maria told him that the 7th murder was not planned, that detailed expression and change in intonation, WOW! I was stunned!

3) Maria when she realized who the real Gapdong is.. she moved me to tears..

4) Mu Yeom when he witnessed and discover his "hyung" is actually the murderer he's been looking for.

5) Ji Wool's teary confessions to Mu Yeom and to Maria.. I feel for you girl

Applause to the actors!! They have done a very good job!!

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I laughed so hard when Wifey said Mu Yeom was an addiction... And then Kiri compared him to a drug!

I pretty much waited for for the moment where Mu Yeom and Maria would know who Gap Dong really is.
Chief Cha had a ton of those revealing, creepy moments, argh.

It was a bit cruel to spring that old photo of Chief Cha in a text to Maria. I wish that Mu Yeom had been there for her at that very moment in person.
Maria's breakdown scene hit me hard though. ;_;

TOTALLY DIDN'T EXPECT TAE OH + MU YEOM working together? WUT??!!!

Well, this EP definitely got better towards the end. I'm very curious about how they will catch Chief Cha.

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After watching, i feel that i have a rather different opinion. Yes, tae oh has killed 6 people and that is unforgivable. Perhaps not getting his mum's love may seem like a lame excuse for what he has done, but being a psychopath wasnt a choice for him. Psychopathy is a psychological disorder, just like depression and schizo. Just like nobody wants to get depression or schizo, no one wants to be a psychopath. Of course, i am not saying that then it is ok to kill people. what I'm trying to say that perhaps we should always give others a second chance. Compassion to others... That's what makes us rich isn't it? ^^

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I just want Ryu Tae Oh and Ji Wool be together at the end of the drama. Lee Joon and Ji Won have much chemistry. And this scenes when he mentioned that Ji Wool is his SoNya. My heart was melt . So lovely! He wanted to stop and begin new life with Ji Wool.In the novel Crime and Punishment, the killer loves Sonya so much and the ending of the story, Sonya stayed with him. Maybe when Tae Oh mentioned JI Wool as Sonya, does he fall for Ji Wool, doesn't he? maybe he don't know he likes her?
I am not sure because his feeling for Maria also is complicated.

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Yeah me too i want Ji Wool and Tae So just begin a new life together because i love them ^^ ! But i know it's more impossible than possible, it's a drama not a romantic comedy with happy end -__-' damn...

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So I feel sad because this film can not give them their happy ending. The content of this drama is quite interesting. Recently, I do not like any Korean drama because love stories is always the same and have many commons. BUt now, I enjoy the film and decide to come back with Korean drama. tvN is always different from other TV chanels such as MBC, SBS or KBS.

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