Wanted: Episode 12
The pieces are starting to fit together as the mastermind’s motivations begin to emerge. As the culprit loses control of his plan, the future of the Wanted broadcast also becomes uncertain, and the characters become increasingly concerned about how all this will turn out. But some shocking revelations are in store for our main characters that will change everything.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Mi-ok drops Hye-in off at the storage unit Lee Ji-eun told them about, and heads to a safe house with the girl. Inside, Hye-in finds a box addressed to Ji-eun’s mother containing a letter from Ji-eun’s father. In it, he wrote that if anything happens to him, they were to send the enclosed cassette tape to the media. He apologizes for not being able to protect his family.
Seung-in wearily returns to his desk at the police station, where Young-gwan tells him that it looks like Dr. Ha’s death will be ruled a suicide. Government officials have denied Seung-in and Young-gwan access to the CCTV footage, and they have no authority in the case.
Seung-in and Young-gwan go to see the forensic pathologist that performed Park Se-young’s autopsy, who tells them that the evidence points to murder in this case as well. The autopsy results have already been confirmed, she says, but the team on the case is pushing back their announcement so that they can look for other evidence that would point towards suicide. She doesn’t know who’s behind all this, but she warns them to be careful—Captain Jung is being disciplined already and won’t be able to protect them if they get in trouble.
Young-gwan asks Seung-in why he can’t just tell him who killed Na Soo-hyun, and why he was at the scene. Seung-in tells him it’s not that he doesn’t trust him; he just doesn’t want to drag Young-gwan into this mess.
“Then tell me what I can do,” Young-gwan says. Seung-in tells him they don’t have much time, since the culprit is going to become anxious when he can’t reach Na Soo-hyun, especially since Lee Ji-eun has also disappeared. They must find out the identity of the culprit today. Now that they know that Na Yeong-hyun died under suspicious circumstances and that Na Jae-hyun died trying to investigate her death, they should start with her. He sends Young-gwan to look into her medical records and cause of death.
Hye-in calls Seung-in to tell him she’s at the broadcast station and that Mi-ok will let them know when she’s found a safe place to hide Lee Ji-eun. She asks what happened to Na Soo-hyun, and Seung-in tells her he was killed. He also apologizes for being late.
Hye-in reflects that none of the culprit’s accomplices can help him now. Seung-in says this will make him feel desperate and pressed for time, and he may reveal his identity. They have to move faster. Hye-in tells him about the videotape left by Ji-eun’s father and promises to let him know what she finds on it.
The broadcast team is just finishing up their meeting with Lawyer Kim from Oh Sung Law Firm, sent by SG Group. He asks them if today’s mission is related to Attorney Choi Pil-gyu; he knows Hye-in was the one who found him the night before. No one answers him. He tells them they can no longer bring the targets of missions onto the show.
Dong-wook protests against this interference with the content of the show. Lawyer Kim calls this a preventative solution which protects them from being charged with assisting a murder, and/or for being sued for defamation. There’s also UCN’s image problem to consider, which Joon-gu says they’ll think about.
When Hye-in arrives, Lawyer Kim tells her that from now on, she has to reveal the script of the show before it airs. The SG Group chairman now requires them to report everything they plan to do beforehand. At times, they will be required to include content given to them by the lawyers as well. Hye-in asks, “If we do that, will it help us find Hyun-woo?” She won’t promise to do as he asks, and tells him his people can handle any management problems themselves.
Without telling them where she’s been, Hye-in shows them the video of Hyun-woo that was sent to her earlier. She asks to speak to Bo-yeon privately. Dong-wook grabs her arm and asks her if she’s hiding something. She says she’ll tell him everything he needs to know for the program—she won’t stab him in the back the way he did to her by bringing in a studio audience. Dong-wook protests that he didn’t have time to tell her, but she points out that he had time to find a close-up from an audience member’s phone.
Hye-in takes Bo-yeon to the editing room and asks her to play the video cassette for her. She asks her not to tell anyone else about this yet and Bo-yeon agrees, setting up the video player before showing Hye-in how to use it. Hye-in stops the younger woman before she leaves the room, saying she hadn’t expected Bo-yeon to come back to the team. Bo-yeon says she wanted to, and doesn’t want Hye-in to be burdened.
The video is of a very nervous LEE YOUNG-HWAN, Ji-eun’s father, talking to the camera. He says that he worked for SG Chemical, and was in charge of managing the research for Professor Kim Woo-jin’s team. The research was related to a legal response handled by Oh Sung Law firm. He was in charge of communications between the lawyers and the research team. At the behest of SG, many of the research results were modified. They deposited money first into his personal bank account, and then into those of the research team. Any transfer of files or instructions between Oh Sung and the lab were personally handled by Lee Young-hwan.
The broadcast team turns its attention to the question of how to get Choi Pil-gyu on the show. Unlike with Dr. Ha’s case, they have no access to the man, nor do they have evidence of his crimes. Ham Tae-young and Na Jae-hyun are dead, so they have no way of finding out if there is a link between them and what happened seven years ago.
On video, Lee Young-hwan continues his confession despite it being visibly difficult for him. He says that once, when he brought over files from Oh Sung, he found a memo that had been left in by mistake. The memo was from July 16, 2009, and was signed by Choi Pil-gyu. He reads it aloud: “I’ve solved the problem cleanly. The issue with the third son will not be discussed any further. We silenced Mr. Na as well. We obtained the identity of the troublemaker. For now, we will watch him closely.” He shows the note to the camera.
Horrified, Hye-in rewinds and listens to the last few seconds again. Joon-gu enters the room, surprised to find her there, and asks her what’s wrong when he sees her face. She shows him the video. “Sunbae,” she asks him afterwards, “how did you bear it? Your wife died so suddenly…” She says that even with finding out her husband died in an accident, she was only able to endure because of Hyun-woo. But Joon-gu never even found out the cause of his wife’s death. Joon-gu replies, “Bearable? How is that bearable?” With a strange, sad smile, he apologizes that he can’t do anything for Hye-in.
Seung-in meets with a man who was a PhD candidate in 2009, and who participated in Professor Kim Woo-jin’s research team for SG. He confirms that the man was also involved in the modification of research results. Meanwhile, Young-gwan finds the hospital where Na Yeong-hyun died nine years ago, and sees on her chart that her attending physician was Dr. Ha Dong-min.
Hye-in shows the video of Lee Young-hwan to the rest of the team. Joon-gu asks where she got the videotape, since the man and his wife are both dead. She says she can’t say. Dong-wook says this video tells them that the person who ordered the deaths of Ham Tae-young and Na Jae-hyun was Choi Pil-gyu, acting on behalf of SG Group. So, Writer Yeon says, what the culprit is trying to reveal is that there’s something that SG was willing to kill people over in order to hide.
Dong-wook points out that SG has already figured this out, as evidenced by the attempts on Jo Nam-cheol’s life. As Hye-in points out, even their takeover of UCN was to control the show’s content and shut it down at their convenience. Dong-wook says that in order to fulfill the mission, they have to bring Choi Pil-gyu on the show and use the video to provoke a confession. He suggests playing on the man’s anxiety by making him think something terrible will happen if he doesn’t appear on the show.
Young-gwan tells Seung-in that though they may know the culprit’s motive, they don’t know how this will help them find him. Seung-in thinks back to Na Soo-hyun’s dying moments, and now we see more of his last words:
Na Soo-hyun: “I… even though… I lost everything… Even though it was so painful… No, it was too hard… I was going to forgive everything. But I couldn’t forgive them. There was no one who asked for forgiveness. There was no one who said they did wrong.”
Seung-in tells Young-gwan that they need to find someone around Na Soo-hyun who might have had a motive. Young-gwan cajoles him to eat something before he collapses first. As they eat, Seung-in shows him the note passed on to him by Bo-yeon. Reading Detective Go’s confession about being given money by Choi Pil-gyu, Young-gwan points out that Detective Go never mentioned this to him when they questioned him. Seung-in then tells him today’s mission.
Young-gwan anticipates Seung-in’s next order and sets down his empty bowl. Getting up, he eyes Seung-in’s full bowl and says pointedly, “Aren’t you going to work?” Hah.
At Detective Go’s business, Seung-in recognizes the car parked out front as one belonging to one of SG’s goons. Inside the agency, Detective Go is tied up and pleading for mercy from an SG minion, claiming that he protected Choi Pil-gyu’s identity. The goon says they have a new job for him to do, and starts dragging him out just when Seung-in bursts through the door. The goon runs, but Seung-in pursues him and arrests him before he gets away. Young-gwan brings a shamefaced Detective Go out.
Dong-wook finds a reluctant Choi Pil-gyu in his hospital room and tells him that the video of Lee Young-hwan will be aired tonight. If the clip isn’t aired on Wanted, they’ll have to give it to another media outlet. At that point, both SG and Oh Sung will abandon Choi Pil-gyu and blame him for everything. He’ll become the culprit without even getting a chance to explain.
Hye-in meets her ex brother-in-law, Ham Tae-seok, and asks him to allow Choi Pil-gyu to come on the show. She tells him there’s evidence that he committed murder for SG group, and if he doesn’t confess, that will come to light. He denies any knowledge of the murder, but agrees that SG needs a chance to explain things, and says their own lawyer will come on the show as well.
Joon-gu confronts Jung-ho about SG’s interference in the show, but Jung-ho says the legal team is only doing what Joon-gu failed to—not once has he stopped Dong-wook from doing anything.
Detective Park questions Hye-in about Ji-eun’s disappearance, saying it makes no sense that she didn’t feel her move at all during the blackout. She says she was startled by the blackout, but Detective Park reminds her that she always calls Seung-in when something happens, and not the task force. Does she really want to find Hyun-woo?
Seung-in and Young-gwan come in with Detective Go to explain what they’ve found out, and say that he’ll go on tonight’s show. Detective Park angrily asks him if he works for the TV station, and tells him to stop interfering in this case.
Seung-in leaves, but Hye-in follows him out and tells her he’s found out the culprit’s motive: why Ham Tae-young and Na Jae-hyun met, and why they had to die. Hye-in asks tearily, “In the end, it was due to that incident that my Hyun-woo was kidnapped, right? Because I wanted to know. Even if it’s like this, I’m finding out.” She cries.
Mi-ok tells Ji-eun that Na Soo-hyun was killed, and she sobs. Mi-ok points out that this must not be what Ji-eun intended. After they find Hyun-woo, Ji-eun can still reveal what she wants to. Mi-ok asks her to at least tell her who the woman with Hyun-woo is, but Ji-eun insists that she doesn’t know.
Seung-in and Young-gwan take Lee Young-hwan’s work records to Bo-yeon to use as evidence. Writer Yeon sits in an editing room watching Joon-gu’s old programs, remembering how Dong-wook described them as something he could never do. Bo-yeon drops in and asks if the show will be okay, and Writer Yeon says they can only try their best.
As they prepare for the show, Jung-ho approaches Dong-wook and Joon-gu, offering a clip of Lee Ji-eun’s mother trying to blackmail SG Group. He tells them to play it when the lawyer for Oh Sung comes on. Dong-wook asks what relevance this could possibly have, and Jung-ho says it’s just spicing things up, and that it will provoke the audience as Dong-wook loves to do. Dong-wook says he’ll listen to it before deciding. Once Jung-ho walks away, we see that Dong-wook was recording the exchange. He tells Joon-gu not to worry—he’ll decide what goes on the show.
Seung-in asks Detective Park if he suspects anyone on the broadcast team; he says none are suspicious enough to arrest, but motives and circumstances point to Joon-gu and Dong-wook. Seung-in asks if any of them has an ill or suddenly deceased family member. Detective Park says that Writer Yeon has an ill daughter, and Joon-gu’s wife died eight years ago. Detective Park tells Seung-in to let him know if he has a hunch, since time is running out.
Dong-wook and Joon-gu watch the footage Jung-ho gave them, which is as he described. Dong-wook says that he knows the video has been edited, but he is still considering airing it. Joon-gu looks shocked.
Detective Park has some extra police officers on hand to keep an eye on things during the show, and to block any exit from the studio in case something unexpected happens. Hye-in sits in her dressing room holding her and her late husband’s old plane tickets, recalling both his older brother’s vow to find justice and the revelation that his death was ordered by SG.
Wanted begins with Hye-in’s apology for the blackout the night before. She introduces Choi Pil-gyu and the eighth mission. In the control room, Writer Yeon says they should keep it simple and focus on exposing SG Group’s hidden deeds. Dong-wook says they need to bring out the conflict as much as they can, but Writer Yeon protests that Hyun-woo’s safety is paramount, and so is completing the mission. “I won’t let you do things on a whim again,” she says.
On air, Hye-in introduces the video clip of Lee Young-hwan. Ham Tae-seok watches from his office as Lee Young-hwan reads out Choi Pil-gyu’s letter. She explains that if this evidence is true, Choi Pil-gyu can be charged for ordering her husband’s and Na Jae-hyun’s deaths via Jo Nam-cheol, who also killed Im Hyung-soon.
With Choi Pil-gyu set to come out next, Writer Yeon tells Joon-gu that they only want him to admit that the murder was ordered by SG, and that the outcome was ordered internally by someone at the Oh Sung Law Firm. Oh Sung will, of course, deny ever having received that report. Joon-gu says that SG will get away unscathed. Dong-wook says SG will be round two, but for now they have to arrest Choi Pil-gyu to complete the mission.
Both Choi Pil-gyu and Oh Sung’s representative, Lawyer Kim, arrive onstage. Hye-in asks Choi Pil-gyu first about the allegations. He says the video is fake and that SG never ordered any murders, nor did he ever carry out such an order.
Flustered, she turns to Lawyer Kim, who corroborates Choi Pil-gyu’s statement. He confirms Lee Young-hwan’s identity, but says his testimony is unreliable. He says between 2007 and 2009, his attendance was poor due to alcoholism and depression, and he was eventually fired. Lawyer Kim claims that after being fired, Lee Young-hwan spread rumors about SG Group and tried to blackmail its employees. He says that they didn’t sue him because he was mentally ill.
Hye-in asks if he can testify to this, and he says they still have records of the lawsuit they prepared then. There’s also the video clip he submitted to the broadcast team of Lee Young-hwan’s wife blackmailing them. Overriding the others’ protests, Dong-wook plays the clip, and Joon-gu punches him for it.
Lawyer Kim also brings up Ji-eun’s crimes as well as her mother’s recent suicide. “Can you really believe the words of such people?” he asks.
Dong-wook picks himself up and plays the recording he took before the show started. The two lawyers listen in dismay. Hye-in states the nature of the recording, and says that since they’ve received such differing narratives, they have someone else related to the case to interview. Detective Go comes onstage.
Dong-wook tells Writer Yeon and Joon-gu that it’s better to show exactly what SG has done so that they can present their side, and also be proven as liars. They ask why he didn’t discuss his plan with them, but he says it was only needed in case Oh Sung deviated from the script.
Hye-in asks Detective Go to confirm that he delivered the fifth mission to her after being threatened by Na Soo-hyun—also, to confirm that he was the detective in charge of Na Jae-hyun’s case, and that he stopped investigating under the former police commissioner’s orders. He agrees that it’s all true. She asks him if there’s more to the story.
He says he was able to quit being a detective back then because Choi Pil-gyu gave him a million dollars. He says that if he had investigated properly back then, if he’d felt responsible towards the victim, this wouldn’t have happened. He bows to the audience and apologizes.
The police come and take Choi Pil-gyu away. Seung-in wais outside for him and personally arrests him for the murder of Ham Tae-young and Na Jae-hyun, and for bribery.
Hye-in announces that Choi Pil-gyu has been arrested and will face justice, and thus the eighth mission has been completed. Ham Tae-seok watches angrily. In the safe house, Ji-eun takes Mi-ok’s phone when she’s not looking.
Hye-in continues that the team still has questions. Why did SG Group have the two men killed? Why did they meet the night of July 10, 2009? What did Professor Kim and Dr. Ha have to do with the whole thing? Joon-gu’s phone vibrates in his pocket, and he leaves the control room.
Hye-in posits that just like Na Soo-hyun and Lee Ji-eun, it’s possible that the culprit is trying to get revenge for a family member that died unfairly… which is when she pauses, seeming to realize something.
Lee Ji-eun calls someone from the bathroom. She tells them she’s with Mi-ok and that Hye-in and Seung-in know where she is, and also that Na Soo-hyun has been killed by SG.
On the other end of the line is Joon-gu, looking horrified.
Mi-ok calls Seung-in and tells him that Ji-eun got to her phone and called the culprit. She warns him that if she’s told the culprit about her capture and Na Soo-hyun’s death, he may explode. Seung-in rushes back into the TV station in panic.
Onstage, Hye-in takes out her earpiece and walks off. Seung-in bursts into the control room and asks where Joon-gu is. Writer Yeon says he went to answer a phone call. Seung-in runs out and through the station, ending up in the meeting room, where he stops in defeat. Hye-in comes in right after him, and they stare at each other, speechless.
First of all—what a reveal! Finally! And it was so well done. I have to admit that the clues in this hour were pretty obvious, making the revelation of Joon-gu as the mastermind somewhat less exciting than it otherwise could have been. Still, the phone call, Hye-in and Seung-in’s simultaneous revelation, and the rush to find him before the realization that he’s gone was so good. I was worried that once the culprit was revealed, the truth of the case wouldn’t live up to the buildup, but I really like how well all the various murders and persons of interest dovetail together in one large web of greed, manipulation and revenge for lost family members. It’s fitting that it’s the latter, the culprit’s motivation that they’ve been searching for all along, that leads them to the answer. That pain of unfair loss was a running theme in this episode, from Na Soo-hyun’s pretty heartbreaking last words to Lee Ji-eun’s stubborn silence for the sake of her father. It makes for a compelling set of villains, because we can sympathize with them while still being repelled by their actions.
One of the best things about this show is how visceral and real the tension feels. As viewers, we feel the anticipation building as well as the emotions rising, and we get the shock of every new twist in a way that is exciting, and yet not too over the top. I think what really helps build that atmosphere is the attention to detail. Apart from one glaring omission (how many more times will I yell at cops in this show to wear gloves at a crime scene?), there are a lot of small details that create verisimilitude and flesh out characters. Its makes us feel like these people are really in the thick of these crazy, almost ridiculous circumstances.
I’ve noticed the rising tension not just in a sense of urgency to solve the case before time runs out, but between the characters themselves, as their stress levels rise and tempers fray. Writer Yeon is particularly fed up, especially with Dong-wook’s unscrupulous machinations, and her masterful side-eye game in this episode gave me life (although everyone was getting in on it this hour). She’s been uneasy about the show since Bo-yeon’s kidnapping, but she’s no longer making any pretense of trying to compromise or work together with Dong-wook. Her scornful glances are basically how I’ve been looking at most of the manipulative, money-grubbing characters in this show since the beginning, so I kind of dig her saltiness.
Hye-in is also nearing the end of her rope. She’s steadily losing her almost superhuman composure as each day passes without Hyun-woo, and now having to face some very ugly truths about people she once considered family must be driving her over the edge. She had to visibly compose herself before the show, after sitting and thinking about her former brother-in-law’s betrayal. You could see the words turning bitter in her mouth as she was forced to ask Choi Pil-gyu whether he ordered the murder of her late husband, only to be slapped in the face with his denial.
And yet, all of this pales in comparison to her horrific realization at the end that her sunbae, the one she goes to for advice and comfort, a man who has been like family to her, is the culprit they’ve been searching for. He kidnapped Hyun-woo and left a trail of dead bodies for her to follow, all the while pretending to be part of the team. I can’t wait to see the fallout from this revelation next week, now that the suspect is known and no guarantees remain about the show or Hyun-woo’s safety. Hold on to your seats!