Mrs. Cop: Episode 8
Time is running out to catch a serial killer, and Young-jin and her team face more than just professional failure if they don’t succeed — lives are on the line. We get a few steps closer to understanding how all the separate people and cases relate to each other… or, we learn that they do relate to each other somehow. If the details are still fuzzy, at least it’s becoming clearer that these events are not random, and I have faith that Young-jin and her incredible deductive powers can put all the pieces together eventually.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Young-jin gives a presentation on the latest missing girl found dead, the one tied to the pole in the water, and announces that she will be investigating this as a serial killer case. One cop points out that you need three victims for it to be considered a serial murder, but Jong-ho clarifies that that’s the criteria set out by the American FBI. In his opinion, two should be the minimum.
Chief Yeom objects (of course he does) for fear of creating public panic, so Young-jin is asked to come up with a plan for releasing this to the press.
The nightclub owner the team was looking into, Myung-ho, steps into the restroom followed by a man in all black. It turns out to be the man Young-jin knows, who killed her father and who was recently released from prison, and Myung-ho isn’t happy to see the man he calls “Boss.” In fact, he looks downright terrified.
And for good reason, because soon he’s dead and stuffed in a garbage can, with Boss covering him up then wheeling him out into the street right in front of everyone.
A man referred to as President Kim prepares to meet with President Kang in his regular hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but Secretary Yoon is alone when he arrives. Yoon locks the door and strangles President Kim with a towel — business as usual.
Meanwhile our serial killer, Seung-hoon, rigs a car with a pipe to direct its own exhaust into the cab, and casually watches as another young girl dies. For some reason, he sighs at her as if he’s terribly disappointed.
A couple of cops (one of whom was in Young-jin’s original team years ago) who are actually following President Kim, wander nearby just as Seung-hoon is locking up the garage where the girl died. They notice his strange behavior, and give chase.
Secretary Yoon goes out to the car where President Kang is waiting, and reports that Kim is taken care of. Kang is angry he got himself caught, but Secretary Yoon assures Kang that they cleaned up any trails leading back to him. Kang tells Yoon to find someone smart to replace President Kim.
As Seung-hoon runs from the cops, he runs right in front of President Kang’s car and bounces off the hood. But he’s unhurt, and for just a moment President Kang gets a good look at this face and seems to recognize Seung-hoon.
Do-young makes good on her promise of fried chicken to Eun-young, but Eun-young gets up to leave in a huff when her mother shows up. Do-young offers to order her a beer if she’ll drink it with her mom, and the girl stays, to her mom’s relief. Do-young goes outside to give them some privacy, where Young-jin tells her she did well.
The latest victim’s body is found still in the car where she died, but the nearby CCTV cameras were painted so there’s no video. Young-jin’s old team member reports that they saw the killer but lost him, unaware that he might have been Young-jin’s serial killer until afterward.
The team goes over the one CCTV that caught the killer on video, though all they can see is him running away from the area. A black car was also caught on the film so Young-jin looks up the license plate in case the black box caught the man’s face. Everyone is shocked to find out it’s President Kang’s car.
Young-jin puts the clues together in her intuitive way, realizing that President Kang’s car in the same area where the cops were looking for President Kim is a pretty big coincidence. It’s an industrial area and all the factories are closed — there’s no logical reason for President Kang to be there.
Young-jin and her team go to speak with President Kang, who claims not to have been in the area of the murder at all that night. He allows them to check out the car, but both he and Secretary Yoon insist they didn’t take the car out at that time. In private, Kang’s lawyer suggests he get rid of the black box memory chip before the police get a chance to issue a warrant.
Jin-woo feels as though he’s met Secretary Yoon before, but Yoon says he’s never seen Jin-woo. Yoon leaves in the black car to take car of it, and Jae-duk and Se-won follow him.
Kang also leaves, and in the lobby he passes by Seung-hoon, who seems to be there on some sort of business. The team rush to get downstairs in time to prevent Kang leaving with Yoon, and Young-jin insists he let them inspect the car before he goes anywhere.
But he’s already palmed the black box memory card, and when Do-young notices it’s gone, Yoon claims they don’t use one in the interest of privacy. Se-won yells that he just saw it a few minutes ago still in the black box, but a search of Secretary Yoon yields nothing, and President Kang’s lawyer forbids them to touch him without a warrant.
Seung-hoon watches the confrontation from a short distance away, and smirks to himself as the cops are forced to leave, for now.
The team know that President Kang must be hiding something if he’s gotten rid of the black box memory card. But without any good reason to pursue it, Young-jin redirects their efforts back towards the serial killer for the time being.
President Kang watches the video in the privacy of his home, having figured out that the man they bumped into must be the killer the cops are looking for. He laughs to himself, finding this all very amusing.
Seung-hoon is at his own home looking over a financial report from KL Group, particularly noting that Chief Yeom and Prosecutor Go (the man who seemed to help Young-jin catch Jae-won) are on the company payroll. He laughs and laughs, then heads downstairs where he has two more girls locked up. He tells them that the game just got a lot more fun — a witness who can’t speak out just appeared.
The news gets out to the public that a serial killer has been found to be on the loose, which creates trouble for Young-jin at work. The department heads are up in arms that the information was leaked. Soon Young-jin is approached by the mothers of two missing girls, tearfully begging her to find their daughters before they’re murdered.
It gets her down a bit, and Chief Yeom notices that she’s not talking back to him like she usually does. He warns her that she’d better solve this case since both their heads are on the chopping block, but he at least offers to help her however he can.
Young-jin and Jong-ho go out for dinner at Jae-soo’s place, but Young-jin is listless and exhausted. She despairs that they’ve found nothing, no clues at all, and admits to being afraid of what will happen if they can’t catch the killer.
Jong-ho tries to boost her spirits by pointing out that, because this case is getting so much exposure, many other missing and runaway kids have been found. She can’t catch every bad guy, but at least she’s affected some good.
But Young-jin barely seems to be listening, and she muses that the two murders they know of happened fifteen days apart. It’s been ten days since the second murder, and she feels the clock ticking. But she’s found nothing in the way of clues, and she’s growing scared.
Do-young and Jin-woo go on a stakeout, and after a few days Do-young is whiny and bored and talking Jin-woo’s head off. Tired of her questions, Jin-woo offers to answer just one and then she’s to shush up. Ha, she negotiates for two questions or she’ll keep yapping at him.
First she asks about the poker chip keychain that seems to mean so much to him, and he says that he got it from his girlfriend, who died in an accident. Taken by surprise by the serious answer, Do-young apologizes, then asks what jin-woo meant when he said he likes the way she is.
He says it’s her fiery temper, which she thinks is a joke, but he’s not kidding. He actually likes that she has spirit and stands up to him. Do-young grumbles that he’s really just saying she’s got a bad attitude, but when Jin-woo looks away she pulls out the keychain and looks at it.
Jae-duk and Se-won pay our old friend Dal-hwan a visit, as he’s busy knocking some wayward youths into shape. One of them says he saw one of the missing girls, Se-young, at an internet cafe in Incheon where she’s a regular. Apparently she disappeared after meeting someone she met through a video game chat.
The other girl, Nal-ae, is still unaccounted for, and Young-jin says to check the game company records for her log-in information. They can use it to see if she’s logged into the game from another location.
When Do-young and Jin-woo visit the game company, they run smack into Seung-hoon, and Do-young recognizes him from his run-in with Eun-young. He tells them that Se-young hasn’t logged in since the day she disappeared, but the only person she chatted with was an elementary student. Jin-woo flips through a concept sketchbook for a game that’s still in development, and comments that it looks pretty frightening.
The team figure that someone must have bought the student’s game ID in order to hide their true identity, and he’s still logging in and playing regularly from a particular internet cafe. Young-jin tells them to stake out that cafe, and warns them that they only have two days left.
They still haven’t caught him by the fifteenth day, but Jin-woo witnesses a spat between a couple where the man gets violent. While Jin-woo is distracted, Do-young gets the call that the game ID has been logged onto, and she tells Jin-woo to come with her.
He starts to go with her but the man continues to beat the woman, and he turns back to cuff him. Do-young yells that there could be a serial killer right next door, and she gets fed up and goes into the cafe alone.
One particular man seems nervous to see her, and makes a run for it when Do-young calls out to him. Jin-woo arrives and they corner the man on the stairs, and this time Jin-woo stays back and watches as Do-young uses a slick move to take the man down and cuff him.
The regular cops take the man in, and Do-young again jumps straight to yelling at Jin-woo for stopping to cuff the abusive boyfriend when a serial killer suspect could have gotten away. Jin-woo doesn’t seem concerned — she got the guy, didn’t she? But she’s upset, because he could have escaped while Jin-woo was doing something she considers less important.
Jin-woo does allow that Do-young has a point, but maintains that a good cop can’t just stand by while a woman gets beaten in the streets. He thinks there’s no clear right or wrong here, while Do-young argues that there is, because children could have died.
The suspect is questioned but says he never spoke to those girls — he bought the game account recently. His alibi checks out pretty solidly, because he was in prison at the time they disappeared, though he’s just a petty criminal. Young-jin says to let him go.
Nam-jin’s friend offers to give Ha-eun a puppy, but Nam-jin has enough on her plate with raising Ha-eun and studying to even think about taking care of a dog. Little Ha-eun sobs like her heart is broken, but Nam-jin knows this is probably more about missing her mom.
Nam-jin asks why she’s been so upset lately, offering to do anything for Ha-eun, but Ha-eun says she can’t help with this. Awww, she likes a boy — that’s so cute. Ha-eun makes Nam-jin promise not to tell her mom, and they hug it out.
Boss calmly eats while a man begs for his life a few feet away, but he tells the man that he won’t kill him easily, “… because of my daughter, who died painfully.” He has another man, a friend maybe, vouch for him so he can get a job with a cleaning service. Something tells me this isn’t just a job — he seems to have something up his sleeve.
It’s day fifteen, and sure enough, Seung-hoon is preparing another girl to die — it’s Se-young this time. He ties her up in a large walk-in freezer, ignoring her pleas to spare her life, and says this game will be even more exciting than usual. This time the police could save her.
Jae-soo brings food to the team, noting the gloomy atmosphere, but Young-jin’s face falls when she recieves a text. It’s a picture of terrified Se-young, and the message directs Young-jin to play his game if she wants to save her. She must find Se-young within one hour, and she must do it alone. Her only clue is that Se-young is within the radius of the cell signal tower he’s sending this message from.
The team set out while Jong-ho sets up a control room, directing them to the area from which the message was sent. Young-jin asks for the location of any cold storage facilities in that area — she can see Se-young’s breath in the picture, and figures out that she’s somewhere cold.
With twenty-three minutes left, Chief Yeom wants to send all his men out to the area, but Jong-ho resists — it would put the girl in danger. Yeom actually argues that it’s acceptable to let the girl die, and that it’s more important to catch the killer. He tries to override Jong-ho, but Jong-ho refuses to allow the girl to die due to their actions, even if it puts his job on the line.
Fifteen minutes left, and Se-young is fading, succumbing to the cold. Again Seung-hoon looks disappointed that nobody has come to play his game. With a heavy sigh, he leaves Se-young alone in the storage room.
There are seven cold storage facilities in the cell tower area, but the team only has time to check one before time runs out. Young-jin remembers that the killer blacks out the CCTV cameras near his killings and asks to be connected to the area’s security office, ordering them to tell her which one is malfunctioning right now.
And there it is — one camera that’s working, but showing nothing but a black screen. The team heads for that storage facility and finds Se-young with literally seconds to spare. But she’s alone, and as the timer goes off, Young-jin pick up the device to see a photo of President Kang with a gag over his mouth and a red X drawn through it. Interesting.
Se-young is rushed to the hospital while Do-young and Jin-woo stay behind to look for clues as to where the killer could have gone. Do-young notices someone sitting in a car nearby, but as she approaches, they shine the headlight in her eyes and gun the motor. Before she can react, Jin-woo tackles her out of the way — they take a few shots at the car, but it gets away.
In the morning Young-jin directs Jae-duk and Se-won to watch over Se-young, and speeds over to the KL Group building to confront President Kang. In the lobby she passes a group of cleaners being trained, and we see that Boss is one of them — he sees Young-jin, but she doesn’t notice him.
Young-jin barges into President Kang’s office and says that she knows he saw the killer’s face. She even offers to let him off the hook for whatever his reason is that he’s lying about being in the area, if he’ll just turn over the black box memory card.
President Kang laughs in her face and asks if the police don’t have to follow regulations, but Young-jin just loudly demands the memory card again. He gets in her face and asks if she can get his son out of prison, and she grabs his lapel in anger, unable to even speak.
WHO IS BOSS??? No seriously, I want to know who he is. We’ve been dancing around his identity for five episodes now, and we still barely know anything about him — not even his name. All we know is that he killed Young-jin’s father and seems sorry, but he’s perfectly fine with killing other people if they cross him. He had a daughter, and she died a terrible death, which is most probably why he seems to have a revenge plan. And he has some sort of score to settle with either KL Group or President Kang himself. Something about Boss strikes fear into the hearts of strong men, though Young-jin doesn’t seem the least bit afraid of him. These are interesting details, but still so vague and fuzzy that they don’t tell me much — so who the hell is he?
At least the story finally seems to be coalescing into one cohesive plot, which I was beginning to despair would ever happen. Until now, events seem to have been happening at random and with no connection to each other, which has been frustrating. As a viewer, I’m not used to unconnected events in dramas, and it’s disorienting to watch a show about seemingly unconnected people and cases. But the connections are starting to materialize, so I’m feeling a bit more confident that we’ll start to get some answers soon. They don’t make much sense yet, but I do still feel as if the show knows where it’s going, so I have faith that we’ll learn about things when we’re supposed to. I just hope that’s soon, because trying to recap a show that feels like a puzzle missing half its pieces is starting to cramp my brain. It’s strange to be halfway through a drama and still not know what, exactly, the show is about. And the problem with giving us too many random details, for too long, is that without some solid connections and motivations you’re in danger of losing your audience. There’s only so long a watcher can put up with vague storytelling before they stop caring altogether.
But at least all of the separate pieces seem to be connected now, even if I’m still unsure exactly how. Boss appears to know President Kang and is planning something against him, though I’m unclear what his connection is to the nightclub owner and why he killed him. Seung-hoon also seems to know President Kang, and has found a reason to scope out the KL Group building at least once, though for what reason I have no clue. And what on earth ties President Kang to both Boss and Seung-hoon? Seung-hoon seems to know Kang, but Kang only seemed to find his face familiar, but wasn’t actually able to place him.
President Kang himself has something up his sleeve, and somehow it relates back to his son Jae-won and his stay in prison, though again the details are unclear. Andmaybe you guys can help me, but I have NO idea who President Kim was, or why Secretary Yoon killed him. He was supposedly connected somehow to the drug bust, but I honestly have no idea how. If there’s one thing about this show that absolutely maddens me, it’s the tendency to introduce new people without any context or explanation and expect the audience to know what’s going on.
But for some reason, as much as I’m growing weary of still needing to wrack my brain to understand who people are and what’s happening and why, I’m still here and I’m still interested. Young-jin and her team are great, and I have no doubt they will put the clues together and everything will make sense. I’m just frustrated by the storytelling style that seems to want to be mysterious and suspenseful, but instead comes off as evasive and confusing. And at this point, halfway through the drama, I’d much rather just be told who people are exactly, and why they’re doing what they’re doing, than to be eight episodes in and still wondering what major characters’ names even are. Luckily I love Young-jin and her team, particularly Do-young and Jin-woo and their growing professional relationship, so I’m still here — but a little more clarity wouldn’t come amiss. And maybe more of this cutie.