You’re All Surrounded: Episode 16
It’s almost a hug! That’s practically a hug, right? The things a girl’s gotta do to keep the bromance alive around here. We make some big strides today—we finally get a few key reveals in the overarching story, but as usual the more enjoyable parts of the episode are the small moments between our crabby Papa Bear and his grumpiest little cub. At some point, shouldn’t you just give in to the fact that the universe wants you to love each other? Don’t fight the universe, man.
SONG OF THE DAY
Jung Joon-young – “친구” (Friend) [ Download ]
EPISODE 16: “Things that can’t be hidden”
Pan-seok and Dae-gu present the one-of-a-kind pendant to Madam Yoo and confront her with the accusation head-on: She dropped it eleven years ago at a crime scene in Masan, which makes her the prime suspect in Mom’s murder.
She can’t hide her shock, but recovers quickly and tells them it isn’t hers. But they’ve done their homework and already know that it was custom-made for her alone. She scoffs, and then returns with a pendant—an identical one. Well, so much for one-of-a-kind.
She renders them speechless and accuses them of shoving a cheap imitation at her. Dae-gu stares at the two pendants side by side, completely floored by the unexpected turn. Pan-seok asks her to come down to the station with the second pendant for examination, which she naturally denies. The boys leave the house more confused than ever.
As he looks at their pendant again, Dae-gu puts his photographic memory to use and discovers that there are slight variations between the two—small, but enough to convince him that they aren’t perfectly identical. It means one of them is a fake for sure.
Madam Yoo’s husband comes home and wonders why she’s in such a panic. She just snaps at him, wondering when he started caring about her, and continues to call (Daddy, I’m guessing) repeatedly.
Pan-seok and Dae-gu share what they’ve found with the rest of the team, and they’re all shocked to hear that Birkin Bitch might actually have killed Dae-gu’s mom. The only thing they know for sure is that this is the pendant from the crime scene eleven years ago because Soo-sun has had it all this time.
It leaves open the possibility that Madam Yoo had a replica made to serve as an alibi once she realized she lost it, though it can’t be proven until they can examine the two pendants together.
Pan-seok says it’ll be faster to approach the case differently at this point, and decides that they’ll focus their energy on whether or not Madam Yoo could have been at the crime scene and if she actually has a clear motive for murder. Without that, the pendant is useless anyway.
He and Dae-gu will head to Masan tomorrow to look into the day of the murder and Madam Yoo’s whereabouts, while Eung-do takes Gook and Soo-sun to look into past relationships. Tae-il will focus on where the replica pendant might have been made. Pan-seok encourages the team and says the case could’ve remained unsolved, but this pendant has changed things, and they should approach the case believing they’ll find all the answers.
Soo-sun spends the whole meeting sneaking glances at Dae-gu sheepishly, feeling terrible about keeping such an important piece of evidence hidden in a drawer for so many years. Back at their desks, she cautiously scooches over to his side, but he coldly sticks his safe-distance ruler out and tells her to talk from there.
She asks if he’s having a hard time, and he answers curtly that she already knows, so why is she asking? She apologizes for being such a dummy about the pendant, and he only confirms that she’s as dumb as he said she was. Aw, Dae-gu Dae-gu, why have you returned to your cold fish ways? She hangs her head, not knowing what else to say.
Assemblyman Yoo comes home to the unfortunate news that the pendant that went missing eleven years ago has now resurfaced. He’s even more flabbergasted when Madam Yoo shows him the replica she had made, which he apparently never knew about.
She’s feeling smug about being prepared with an alibi, but he points out the idiocy of making a replica of a one-of-a-kind necklace, which is basically like acknowledging your guilt.
She’s utterly confident that no one could tell the difference between the two; Daddy’s not so sure. In any case, he tells her he’ll take care of it, and then calls to check in on Combat Boots.
Meanwhile, Chief Kang gets to her desk that day and finds a mystery envelope waiting for her. She opens it to find a picture of the pendant dated recently, and a typed message reading: “I have the pendant that you hid.” It instructs her to come to the Han River for a meeting, and for once, she looks panicked.
As soon as Tae-il wakes up the next morning, Pan-seok is waiting at the kitchen table and demands breakfast. Tae-il puts cereal down, which displeases him: “What are these, cookie crumbs for breakfast?”
Tae-il scowls but goes to start making breakfast anyway. He notices Pan-seok’s phone ringing with a call from Sa-kyung (named kka-kkoongie, a term of endearment like she’s a tiny baby) and it stings doubly that she’s calling Pan-seok, and he’s too absorbed in his work to even hear his phone ring.
He retaliates by asking Pan-seok’s permission to get Sa-kyung’s help on the jewelry angle. Pan-seok tries to play it cool by giving him permission, but then starts taking his petty jealousy out on inanimate objects on the table.
The rest of the boys get up, and Pan-seok says Foil is here. They stare groggily, and Pan-seok explains that Foil (eun-bak-ji) is them: Eun Dae-gu, Park Tae-il, and Ji Gook. And then he cracks up at his own joke, hee.
Pan-seok and Dae-gu head straight to Masan first thing, and Pan-seok asks about Dae-gu’s family, surprising him with all the background knowledge he has from searching for him all these years.
Dae-gu confirms that his father passed away before he was born, and Pan-seok doesn’t pry any further since he can tell it’s a sensitive issue. Dae-gu pretends to sleep for the rest of the way, leaving Pan-seok to fidget uncomfortably in silence.
They go door-to-door around the old neighborhood, and some of the residents remember him when Dae-gu introduces himself as Kim Ji-yong. They show a picture of Madam Yoo to see if anyone recognizes her, but no one does.
Tae-il and Sa-kyung spend the day going from jeweler to jeweler, trying to find someone skilled enough to make a replica of a detailed piece. Sa-kyung sighs when she gets a message from Pan-seok saying he can’t make their date, and Tae-il asks if he’s postponing yet again. She tells him to mind his own beeswax.
Soo-sun and Gook go looking for an old colleague of Mom’s at a clinic, but deflate when they learn that the friend is on a work trip to Jeju.
Pan-seok and Dae-gu take an ice cream break at the local store, and when the shopkeeper arrives, Dae-gu is shocked that it’s still the same grandma. Grandma recognizes him immediately and clasps his hands, so pleased that he’s alive and well.
She asks who the other man is: “Are you Yongie’s father?” They both reel, and Pan-seok rants that Grandma needs to get her eyes checked, insisting that he still gets mistaken for a bachelor everywhere he goes. Hee.
Grandma says she worried so much when Ji-yong disappeared, and admits that she always blamed herself for what happened to his mom, and that she should’ve gone to the police that day. They ask what she means, and she tells them she came by with kimchi the day that Mom died.
She never made it inside though, because she saw a scary man lurking in front, and it scared her enough that she turned around. She apologizes for not doing anything then, because she never imagined what would happen.
Pan-seok shows her photos to see if she recognizes any of the men, and she doesn’t until he gets to Pig’s Feet Oh Joon-soo—she says that’s the guy she saw that day. They thank her and run off to catch him.
On their way back, Tae-il texts Pan-seok to thank him for the opportunity to take Sa-kyung out to dinner. Lol, are you angling for a beating? I actually think he’s trying to play Cupid in his own misguided way, though you couldn’t tell that from his methods.
Then Dae-gu gets a text from Soo-sun asking how he’s doing, which puts a smile on his face. But then she follows it up by saying that she and Gook are out to dinner, and Gook is busy peeling a crab for her. He even spoon-feeds her. She reminds Dae-gu to eat, but all he sees is that she’s eating with another man, and fumes.
Both guys sit in the car stewing in their jealousy, and Dae-gu gripes to Pan-seok, “Why can’t women eat alone?” Pan-seok says that’s not the only problem: “It’s the men who don’t know fair play that are the problem!”
He mutters that you put in all this effort to raise them and then they attack whether or not there’s already a goalkeeper. It’s not a sensical metaphor, but the adorable part is that Dae-gu agrees like he’s saying some deep truth, and encourages him to drive faster.
Pan-seok: “Do you have your seatbelt on, Pet Rabbit?” Pfffft. Dae-gu asks curiously, “Pet Rabbit?” Pan-seok waves it off like it’s meaningless, but can’t help ribbing him one more time, and calls him Soo-sun’s pet rabbit and cackles in glee.
They go straight to Pig’s Feet and ask him what he saw the day of Mom’s murder. At first he hesitates, but in the end he admits that he was there (presumably to keep an eye on Mom and prevent her from testifying in court that day). He recognizes Madam Yoo, and says he saw her leaving the house.
Dae-gu heads out and takes a deep breath, trying to process the first real break he’s gotten in this case in eleven years. Pan-seok joins him, and Dae-gu actually gives him the credit—it’s not exactly a thank-you, but it’s close.
Pan-seok throws an arm over his shoulder, feeling pretty great. But that’s still a little too much affection for Dae-gu and he slinks away, and Pan-seok grouses at the rejection. So cute.
The rest of the team cheers when they get the news, calling it a miracle that they found an eyewitness so many years later. After delivering the happy news, Eung-do watches Chief Kang walk by and it weighs on him.
We see that Pan-seok shared his suspicions with Eung-do a few days ago, and neither of them wanted to believe that she’d be the Detective Seo they’re looking for. Her name doesn’t match, and most of all, they don’t want to believe that she of all people could be corrupt.
Eung-do insists that she must’ve just forgotten to pass on the message about Soo-sun’s witness statement, and Pan-seok agrees that that’s what he hopes, but if she did it on purpose, it’s highly likely that she’s the one who stole the pendant out of evidence too. He says they’ll find out soon enough.
Soo-sun stays behind until Dae-gu returns to the precinct, and stops to check her hair when she sees him walk in. She congratulates him on the break in the case, but he just walks away while she’s talking.
She follows him into the team room and asks if he’s mad at her, and he grunts, “Yes.” She sighs, guessing that it’s because of the pendant, and he calls her a dummy all over again. She blinks, confused, and asks why he’s mad at her then.
Dae-gu: “Why am I not your type?!” Haha. He asks why he’s not her ideal type, and if the kiss was really all business for her. That’s the last thing she was expecting, and she wonders how that could be important to him right now when the case is finally getting somewhere.
But he counters, “Yes, it IS important! Ever since you told me I’m not your type, I feel like life has lost all meaning!” Pffft, dramatic much? She turns to go, but he wants an answer, and whirls her around by the wrist.
She loses her balance and he catches her fall, and then doesn’t let her go until she answers the question: “So, who is it? Who’s your ideal type?” She starts hesitantly: “Your friend… Kim Ji-yong.”
He finally lets her go and she scurries out of the room. When the shock wears off, he grins broadly.
Assemblyman Yoo confirms that Boots has only had one visit with Pan-seok, and has rejected all other visitations while in prison. He calls someone and gives the green light to proceed with The Plan. I hope the plan involves murder and mayhem, because watching you sit in a chair is getting awfully dull.
Chief Kang checks her watch nervously, waiting for the dreaded meeting with the person who found the pendant. Chief Toad runs in with big news: a special judiciary committee has been formed to revisit the bill for joint police investigative authority. Assemblyman Yoo is finally keeping up his end of the bargain.
Pan-seok heads to the river and waits and waits; finally enough time passes that he’s convinced Chief Kang isn’t the culprit, and he sighs in relief. But just as he’s ready to leave, she appears.
He walks up calling her Detective Seo, and she turns around to see Pan-seok approach with a stricken expression on his face. He asks how it could be her, how she could have taken the pendant, told Boots where Ji-yong was hiding, and then become Ji-yong’s benefactor after all that. “How could YOU… be Detective Seo?!”
We fade into a flashback twenty-seven years ago in Ulsan, where two young female police officers face a dismissive prosecutor who refuses to help them prosecute their case. It’s a young Chief Kang with her then partner, Seo Kyung-eun.
They’re trying to get justice for the rape of a nineteen-year-old girl, but the prosecutor basically says she was asking for it. Both the detectives get fired up at the scumbag, but it’s Detective Seo who dares to outright accuse him of taking dirty money from the defendants.
He treats them like bugs under his shoe, clearly believing that he’s superior for being male and a prosecutor, and even slaps them for talking back and accusing him of corruption. He warns them that they’ll find out just what happens to cops who think they can talk to prosecutors that way.
The officers get reprimanded by the police commissioner for adding a suit against the prosecutor for assault, and it’s Police Chief Yoo Moon-bae (now Assemblyman Yoo) who comes to their defense.
Later he tells them they have no choice but to drop the whole case, and Detective Seo asks what happens to the victim when they promised her they’d fight for her and seek justice. She refuses to back down, but it’s Detective Kang who relents in the end, and she signs the waiver to drop the case.
Dectective Seo can’t believe she caved when they promised to go together till the end. They have to face the victim’s mother, who blames them for giving up and going back on their word. It’s all too much for the idealistic Detective Seo, and in the end she leaves her badge and jumps out the window, committing suicide.
Detective Kang buries her partner, and asks Chief Yoo why they have no power. She urges him to do something about it, so that the police force has the autonomy to pursue a case without being under the thumb of corrupt prosecutors. His eyes fill with tears, and at least here in this moment, he seems sincere and honorable.
She asks him to call her Detective Seo from now on, so that she never forgets her partner and this guilt that she feels.
Back in the present, she finishes the story and tells Pan-seok that investigative autonomy has been her only goal for twenty-seven years, and all that matters is that it’s about to become a reality. She swears she’ll confess everything and name all the people involved once the bill passes.
He can’t believe the words coming out of her mouth, and asks what happens if the bill doesn’t pass—hasn’t she been singing the same tune for the past eleven years? But she just counters that he has no evidence to contradict her, so it’s moot.
His jaw drops: “Were you always this kind of person?” It’s heartbreaking—he’s watching his role model and leader crumble before his eyes, and all she can do is ask for the pendant.
Back at the station, Dae-gu and Tae-il get ready to do another round of jeweler searches when Madam Yoo’s son Ki-jae shows up. He calls Dae-gu hyung and asks to be taken out to lunch, and Dae-gu obviously finds his behavior puzzling.
Ki-jae pouts when Dae-gu refuses to be nice to him, and wonders why he isn’t more appreciative of the villa hint in the bag case. It’s news to Dae-gu that the hint was intentional, which Ki-jae laughs at. He gets upset that Dae-gu won’t be his friend, and takes back all the nice things he said about him. Dae-gu watches him go, wondering what just happened. What is this kid’s deal?
After exhausting all the potential jewelers on their list, Dae-gu and Tae-il wonder if they need to broaden their search to foreign craftsmen. Dae-gu realizes he left his phone behind and turns around, leaving Tae-il to head to the car alone. Uh… nothing good ever happens when someone gets left alone in a parking lot.
Sure enough, two thugs are watching their every move, and as soon as Tae-il is alone, they rush him. They beat him down, and though he puts up a good fight, they’re too strong to overtake and manage to pry the pendant out of his hand.
They leave him on the ground, but he fearlessly fights back and chases them down to reclaim the pendant. This time, the henchman takes out a knife and stabs him in the gut. Yaaaaack.
Even as he’s lying on the ground bleeding from the stab wound, he claws at their ankles to try and stop them from getting away. Aw, Tae-il.
Dae-gu comes back to find Tae-il in a heap on the ground, and he runs over in a panic. Tae-il says they got the pendant, and irrationally keeps telling Dae-gu that they have to leave now to go after them. Dae-gu screams at him to forget the damn pendant, and cries out for help.
He follows Tae-il all the way to the surgical ward, and Tae-il has enough presence of mind to smile at Dae-gu’s concern.
Dae-gu waits out in the hallway with his head buried in his hands, and then the team arrives, flooding him with questions. He says they’re both okay, but his voice shakes as he says Tae-il was stabbed because of the pendant.
Gook collapses in relief and worry over “our Tae-il,” and Eung-do tries to get Dae-gu to rest. But he just gets fired up as he decides that Madam Yoo is behind this, and storms out of the hospital. Soo-sun chases after him, and they tell her to stop him from doing anything stupid.
She jumps out in front of him and tells him not to go, not now like this when he’s sure to do something rash. He argues that he can’t just sit here when they’re coming after him, when Tae-il was stabbed because of him. He refuses to let her get away with it. “If anyone should’ve been stabbed, it’s me!”
He won’t stop, so Soo-sun just throws her arms around him and hugs him. “It’s not your fault.” She tells him that it would’ve happened no matter who it was or what the evidence was: “Because we’re detectives and that’s our work. It’s not because of you.” She asks him to be patient until they can put her in handcuffs the right way. She holds on tight and pats him on the back, and he gives in and lets her comfort him.
At the same time, Madam Yoo waits by the river until a henchman delivers the pendant to her directly. We finally get the flashback to the day of Mom’s murder that confirms that Madam Yoo was the first visitor that day.
We don’t get to hear what they argue about, but in the heat of the moment, Madam Yoo grabs a vase and knocks Mom down. There’s blood everywhere and she drops the vase in terror, and in her haste to leave, she doesn’t notice that her necklace comes undone on the front stoop. Back in the present, she looks down at the pendant in her hand and smiles, satisfied that she’s in the clear.
And outside the hospital, Dae-gu cries on Soo-sun’s shoulder.
I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that Madam Yoo killed Mom, which in and of itself is neither here nor there; the moment of discovery is a shame since there were initial elements to Mom’s murder case that were interesting early on in the series, and they had potential to build suspense into the mystery. But that fell by the wayside long ago, and at this point I’m happier to just get the answers so that we can focus on our characters’ pursuit of justice. That’s far more appealing (not to mention better executed here), because at the end of the day this show is more about the dogged painstaking groundwork done by cops to honor a victim, not about Mom’s specific case. It’s what Chief Kang’s backstory reinforces, though she’s an example of how easily power corrupts, and not even in the traditional way, but how one compromise for the sake of the greater good turns into two, three, and suddenly you’ve spent eleven years convincing yourself that unethical conduct is justified by your well-meaning intent.
Chief Kang remains one of my favorite characters because she’s tragic and pure in her motivations—I fully believe she has the best interest of the police force in mind, even as she rationalizes her terrible choices. I like that her backstory is rooted in her first harsh lesson as a young cop, and her first encounter with true corruption. It’s understandable that she’d never be the kind of cop that Pan-seok is, because she watched her partner give up her life over her principles. It’s no wonder she convinced herself that being so rigid and honorable is pointless—it changes nothing, and the dirty prosecutors keep getting their palms greased and justice continues to serve the highest bidder. How sad that she’s become the very thing she hated. The irony is that she doesn’t see it because she’s convinced herself that intent is all that matters. And who knows, in the end she may be right that it was worth it, but she’ll have sold her soul to get there.
Now that we’ve confirmed what happened, I’m more excited for the battle of wits ahead. The bigger the odds stacked against our team, the better; despite being setbacks, I actually like that they’re coming after Tae-il with knives and that Madam Yoo has the pendant. I was honestly getting bored with the lack of danger, but at least now we’ve amped up the stakes and turned the focus not on Who killed Mom? but How do we make Mom’s killer pay for her crimes? Our good guys are limited by the constraints of the system, but that’s what makes the fight appealing—the bigger the gap between our underdogs and those in power, the more meaningful their victory.
I love the way Dae-gu and Pan-seok’s sameness creeps up on them the more time they spend together. Now they’re dressing alike and being mistaken for father and son (I wanted to hug that grandma), and suffering in their romances in the same way. It cracks me up that they seem to lack the same intuition when it comes to women, and how Pan-seok thinks he’s super clever when teasing Dae-gu about being Soo-sun’s rabbit, when he’s just as clueless in his own relationship. And Dae-gu continues to make me happy with his bluntness, which makes up for the romance taking so long to develop. He just says how he feels, which is utterly refreshing. Soo-sun is a little more frustrating in that respect, but she makes up for it by stepping up when it matters—she brings out the best in Dae-gu and doesn’t let him give up on the good fight for a moment of revenge, and she returns the comfort he gave her when she felt like no one was on her side. What a long way he’s come from being all alone in the world.
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- You’re All Surrounded: Episode 2
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