Vampire Detective: Episode 7
Yay, today’s episode sucks—but only in the way we want it to! But that’s what Vampire Detective so desperately needed: a healthy dose of vampirism and kickass. Time is of the essence, and San must race against the clock to protect the people who are dear to his heart. Learning about the past tells us more about this world than the present ever has in this series, and I am so very grateful for it.
If that weren’t enough already, worlds will collide in unexpected ways in this hour, leaving many with heart pangs in its wake.
SONG OF THE DAY
BTS – “불타오르네 (Fire)” [ Download ]
EPISODE 7: “Client of the Night”
It seems Jung Ji-woong has secured his ticket out of jail—he’s taken down to the docks where he’s given a fake identity (so he can lay low for a while) and told to wait until the next boat arrives.
But Jung knows there won’t be any boat, and is unsurprised by the group of suits approaching him. Their leader is a familiar face: Kang Tae-woo, who flips open and closes his lighter over and over again.
Looks like Tae-woo was the one who arranged Jung’s release, and the latter chuckles that he knows someone who’s looking for Yoo-jin. “Is he the one you’re scared of?” he asks tauntingly.
Next thing we know Tae-woo throws Jung into a pile of barrels with superhuman strength. Jung pulls out a knife, but Tae-woo avoids his swiping attacks with ease. He bides his time until he grabs hold of Jung and kicks him down again.
When he grabs Jung by the jaw, Jung stabs him in the gut. Unflinching, Tae-woo takes his wrist and pierces himself deeper before removing the knife. Plucking the knife out of his hands, Tae-woo slices his arm then stabs Jung in the chest.
“Do you get it now?” Tae-woo breathes. “It’s that son of a bitch who should be scared… not me.” With that, he removes the knife and stabs Jung in the heart again. As blood splatters on his face, his eyes glow red and we see a glimpse of his fangs.
As promised, San enters a nightclub to meet Yo-na, but he’s thrown for a loop to see Gu-hyung, Gyeo-wool, Doctor Hwang, and Se-ra all there too. He leaves the group to meet with Yo-na upstairs and barred from getting anywhere near her by her bodyguard.
So San engages in a fight with him, which is quickly diffused by an uninterested Yo-na. She’s called him here to put his master-lackey relationship to the test, then leads him through the dancing area, where San notices that everyone—save for his friends—has fangs and drinking red beverages.
Once outside, he’s quick to ask if Yo-na turned all the clubbers in there herself. She gives a vague answer, then asks him to find someone for her. She’s even gone ahead to hold his friends hostage here at the club to make sure he’ll do it.
She has her reasons for this urgent request, and San has until 6 AM to find who she’s looking for… or else his friends will die. She knows San has no choice in the matter, but she does sweeten the deal by offering to accompany him. So they leave together right around 1 AM.
Yo-na remains mum about who she’s looking for, and she sends him off once they arrive at a wine warehouse. San makes it clear that he’s only agreed in order to save his friends, because he would’ve already killed her.
After San gets out of the car, Yo-na takes out a photo that’s ripped down the middle of a handsome young man from her bag. It triggers old memories, back when Yo-na was still human and her mother ran a boardinghouse.
She was called Eun-hae then and unimpressed by their tenant Dal-soo. But her heart skipped a beat upon their newest boarder’s arrival—the young man in Yo-na’s photo: Joo Young-kwang.
Back in the present, San’s vampiric abilities are ignited when he sees a wine spill (or is it blood?) on the floor. He can envision the office in a corner and rifles through the files on the desk. Even if we don’t know what San’s looking for, he does, as he pockets a stub.
He rifles through the trash, where he pauses on a unique item on the list: a sun lamp. He runs out when he hears a commotion, then sees a shadow dart past. Yo-na has seen the unexpected rat too, and when San asks if there are other people looking for the same person she’s looking for, she doesn’t answer.
They head to a ritzy barbershop written on the stub, where the owner remarks that San must be new. That suggests the man remembers all of his clients, so San asks at the very beginning of his old-fashioned shave if the owners knows of Joo Young-kwang.
The owner hesitates, and San says Joo Young-kwang came here two days ago. The owner warns that he could nick San if he keeps talking, and Yo-na remarks on the oddity of a clean-shaven man like San getting a close shave right now.
San knocks the owner to the ground, then uses a towel to bring down the two lackeys. Yo-na steps in and starts choking the owner, telling him that she’s not as lenient as San—if he doesn’t squeal, he’ll die.
San follows the man’s line of sight to his cell phone, where all the calls are made to “Blue Moon.” The current time: 2:30 AM.
Over at the club, Se-ra fumes while Gu-hyung dances with another woman. She seems to be more peeved that someone other than herself is the center of attention, then gets up to show her best moves. Gu-hyung bows out, and Gyeo-wool wonders what’s gotten into everyone tonight.
She tries calling San, but he’s busy asking Yo-na what she’ll do once she finds the man she’s looking for. Yo-na says that’s none of his business and smirks to see that they’ve picked up a tail.
We’re transported back to the past: Yo-na/Eun-hae is running late so the handsome oppa Young-kwang offers her a ride to school. On his bike, she comments that he’ll be a great doctor, to which he says he needs to be a skilled doctor. She wonders if her father could’ve lived longer if he were her father’s doctor.
Clinging to him, she asks that he be her primary doctor. He promises to take care of her to the end if she ever falls ill, and she giggles. He can’t hide a smile when she adjusts his collar, then stops as if to say something before dismissing it.
Cut to the present, where a man stops in a dark alley to make a call. Someone rests a hand on his shoulder—it’s San, who punches him. A few more takedowns subdues him, and Yo-na picks up the ringing phone and tells the person on the other end that he must not have found Young-kwang yet either.
San gets frustrated when Yo-na remains vague about what’s going on, but she reminds him to only worry about the fates of his friends. He stops on the side of the road and grabs her in a chokehold, only to let go seconds later.
It’s then Yo-na shares that San won’t be the only one to lose someone should he fail—Joo Young-kwang will die too. They arrive at Blue Moon, which they find strange that it’s still open for business.
San gets right to the point with the owner, who doesn’t answer his query about Young-kwang. Yo-na’s eyes turn red when she sniffs the wine from the warehouse they visited earlier… and notes that it isn’t red wine.
Even though Yo-na walks off, San keeps asking about Young-kwang and picks up another clue: a business card for Nosferatu. Ha, way to keep those old vampy classics references rolling.
While Yo-na takes her sweet time freshening up her makeup, we enter another flashback: She’s out shopping with her friend and pines over a dress she can’t afford to buy. She dreams of getting married soon after graduation to Young-kwang.
She brightens to see him at the same mall, and she fixes his collar again as they walk back together. She confesses that there was a floral dress she liked there, but then her face falls when he asks who her friend was. She pouts with jealousy, and he smiles.
She’s still upset when they eat breakfast together, but she softens when he places a piece of meat on her rice. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. She casually asks when he’ll finish class today, and when Dal-soo says he’s free, she rejects him.
And that’s when her friend So-yeon pops by to say hi to the handsome oppa… dressed in the floral dress she’d been hoping to buy. Betrayal.
He sees her sulking, then asks if So-yeon buying that dress was the only thing she was upset about. She admits that she didn’t like how he kept staring at her friend, and he inches closer to her before softly kissing her. Ahh, I know Yo-na’s evil, but this is cuteness overload!
Back in the present, Yo-na explains to San that it might be the last time she gets to doll herself up.
3:50 AM. Yo-na’s employee prevents a vampire clubber from getting a taste of Gu-hyung. Gyeo-wool is exhausted and suggests that they leave, and Gu-hyung finds it strange that they still can’t contact San.
As Gu-hyung and Se-ra head back to the dance floor, Gyeo-wool leaves Doctor Hwang behind to follow Yo-na’s long-haired employee to the bathroom. Gah, that can’t be good.
There she notices a pair of girls passed out on the couch, and the clubber who nearly bit Gu-hyung washes her hands of blood. Just as Gyeo-wool leaves, the bathroom stall door opens to reveal a woman, bitten and unconscious.
Gyeo-wool rejoins the group insisting that they should leave, but Se-ra says they should dance a little longer. She’s stopped by the long-haired employee who says that staying for San will be for everyone’s benefit.
It’s at this moment Gyeo-wool notices people biting each other’s necks and agrees to wait.
Yo-na and San roll into the bar Nosferatu, and the man behind the counter looks mighty familiar (Is that you, Dr. Blood?). Showing him the photo, Yo-na asks if he knows who this is, and the bartender says this man isn’t here. San: “We asked you if you knew him, not if he was here.”
Pouring them two glasses, the bartender agrees to tell them about Young-kwang if they find someone for him: a prosecutor who disappeared three years ago—Min Tae-yeon. Ahhh, it is you, Dr. Blood!
Yo-na says they can look into that matter once she has more time on his hands (why, why would you tease the Vampire Prosecutor universe like that!) and San promises to find Tae-yeon. Oh you better.
We’re thrown back to the past as Yo-na/Eun-hae waits with the rest to celebrate her birthday. She lights up when she hears the door…
… and the camera cuts to Young-kwang arrive to see… no one. He opens the door to a horrific sight: Eun-hae’s mother, Dal-soo, and Eun-hae dead. He drops the bag in his hand, which contains the floral dress Eun-hae had wanted.
He gathers Eun-hae up in his arms and sees the puncture wound on her neck. Sometime later in the hospital, he gasps to see her drinking another patient’s blood, to which she says she was so thirsty.
A woman walks alone at night and hastens her steps when she feels a shadow following her. But it’s too late because she’s knocked out with a steel pipe… by Young-kwang. Holy shit.
He has her bound and gagged, then stabs her dead in order to collect blood for Eun-hae, who greedily downs the bottle. A moment of realization hits her and she drops the bottle, and he picks it up hastily.
She cries that she should’ve died too than live this damned life, and Young-kwang says it wasn’t her fault and embraces her. “I’m going to protect you, no matter what,” he promises.
Thus begins Young-kwang setting up a private space where he uses his medical knowledge to harvest blood from bodies for Eun-hae while she remains holed up in a room. He perfects the method over the years, and one night ten years later, he finds her gone.
He searches the streets and finds her feeding on a human in an alley. Her eyes still red, she bares her fangs when he scolds her, then her eyes turn dark again as she tells him how trapped she’s felt and dependent in that room.
She asks why he keeps feeding her, and he kills the human before telling her that he won’t ever let her hands get dirty. “I’m going to make a gang for you.”
That’s how the pints of blood came in and how Young-kwang started up the Glory and Jonas wine (that bears Yo-na’s signature logo) that bottled the blood. When she asks why he looks exhausted, he replies, “Because I’m a human.”
Annoyed, she tells him that he had an opportunity to become a vampire like herself, and he says he passed because she needs someone like him. She adjusts his collar like old times, but he turns away when she tries to kiss him.
She asks if he’s afraid of her becoming a monster, and that’s what finally sets him off. He says haltingly, “Because of you… I also became a monster. What else do you want from me?”
“Monster?” she asks. “Did someone tell you to become one?” Young-kwang sighs, “Fine, let’s just call it a sacrifice.” That sounds like an awfully convenient excuse to her ears as she says that there’s a finality when humans make sacrifices. “Nothing in this world is forever anyway,” he replies.
Some time later, Young-kwang catches Yo-na/Eun-hae making out with another man (vampire?) in the warehouse. He says nothing, which only infuriates her more.
Yo-na and San pull up to another building where they finally meet Young-kwang, who’s now a much older man. Relieved, she hugs him and readjusts his collar.
She takes his arm, but he gently removes it as another woman approaches: So-yeon. Putting the pieces together, Yo-na asks, “Was it because of her?”
Young-kwang steps back to stand next to So-yeon, and she remarks on how much her friend as aged. So-yeon asks for Yo-na to let Young-kwang go, but Yo-na finds it all insufferable and shrieks at her to shut up.
“What do you know about him?” she sneers. “Joo Young-kwang is no longer than man you knew. Oppa’s mine.” She gives Young-kwang the chance to choose, and he takes her hand and says, “I really wanted to become the day for you. But now I’ve grown tired. I want to leave everything behind and leave.”
He makes a move to leave, but Yo-na holds onto him: “You said you’d protect me.” Young-kwang: “There’s nothing I can do for you now. Please–”
“You said you’d protect me,” Yo-na hisses. “You said you’d protect me to the end!” Young-kwang takes So-yeon, and that’s when Yo-na shrieks an order to San: “Kill that bitch. If you want to save your friends, kill that bitch right now!”
San says that his work is done, but Yo-na is too emotional to hear him out. Then she marches up to So-yeon and bites her. She cackles, then her face still stained with blood, she asks Young-kwang to leave with her. “It’s all over.”
“All right, let’s put an end to this,” Young-kwang agrees. He presses a button that suddenly illuminates the entire hallway. Yo-na screams in pain and San rushes to cover her with his jacket as Young-kwang escapes with So-yeon.
San also sees someone else: Tae-woo. He gives chase, just as the clock reminds us of the time: 5:50 AM. Back at the club, Gyeo-wool looks on nervously as a group of vampire clubbers surround her friends. She tries calling San again, but doesn’t get through.
Back to San, who loses the car Tae-woo is in. The final few minutes tick past, and San barely has ten seconds left before running back to Yo-na.
Now that’s what you call a down to the wire suspenseful episode. I definitely don’t like how the vampires are crowding around our private investigation team like hungry undead vultures, but I doubt that any harm will come to them, not when we have more episodes ahead of us.
After dragging its narrative feet for weeks now, I’m so happy that the show has expanded the dramaverse beyond our little team and the case-of-the-week. I hadn’t expected that the expansion would come in the form of learning practically everything about Yo-na, from living as a human to her transition to her life as a bloodsucker. Much like Gu-hyung, we’ve learned an incredible deal about her and giving us valuable information about how and why she’s become the vampire she is today.
What impresses me most is how the show rooted her in the past with a typical girl meets boy story, with idyllic dreams for the future. With every glimpse to her past, I could sympathize with her desires, the betrayal she felt from her friend, and the innocent love she initially shared with Young-kwang. It’s tragic how she was turned into a vamp on her birthday, and downright horrifying how Young-kwang would kill people in order to harvest the blood so she could survive. It’s unclear if he kept killing in order to refine his process over ten years, but the fact that he would go that far for the woman he loves is just… wow. It’s indescribably harrowing and ghastly.
But we know that at a certain point, that love waned and Young-kwang built up a blood-masquerading-as-blood business for Yo-na. He distributed that everywhere around the city, even giving us a worlds collide moment with Dr. Blood. And oh man, San—if you don’t keep your promise to find the Vampire Prosecutor, we will have words (seriously, Vampire Detective is a Yeon Jung-hoon cameo too much to ask? Wait, I take it back—it’s too painful). Ahem, in any case, there are still plenty of questions left unanswered, like what incited Yo-na to find Young-kwang that night in the first place. Given how Young-kwang was able to escape with his life, I’m hoping that that’s not the last we see of him, or that we’re given more answers… which I realize is a hard thing to come by in this series.
But then again, I do see a glimmer of hope, primarily in Gyeo-wool. I love that she’s inquisitive, picking up on clues that might not get answered right away. She’s the only one at the club who worries where San is, and is sober enough to realize that the people in this club aren’t exactly human. Yet what I want to know is why blood masquerading as red wine needs to be poured into a decanter, at all—surely that can’t be good for the oxidation process. But what do I know? I’m just a human.