Voice: Episode 11
It’s two steps forward, one step back as Kwon-joo realizes that the killer must have some connection to the VIPs in the club, but can’t figure out exactly who it is. Little does she know that he’s closer than she might think — perhaps even too close. Jin-hyuk vows vengeance for the threat against his son, but he also struggles to figure out who his true enemy is: the devil he knows, or the one he has yet to meet.
Chapter 11: “The Whisper of the Devil Part 2”
The detectives gather everyone at Fantasia club to get check their IDs, but Kwon-joo can hear some people leaving out the back exit. She recognizes the footsteps as the same ones she heard before when she first encountered the eyeball in the glass, but had originally thought it was the sound of the police arriving. Instead, she realizes that it was actually the murderer.
Kwon-joo tries to follow the VIPs as they make their escape out the back exit, but she’s blocked by the club’s security. It’s only once the VIPs have safely made it to their cars that the detectives are allowed after them. CEO Mo and his men get into one car, but Tae-gu gets into another. He smiles, watching in the rearview mirror as the security guards block the detectives.
Kwon-joo breaks free and tries to chase after him, but the car is already too far away. She notices a CCTV camera in the lot — but it was facing away from the cars at that time.
Chief Jang yells at Fantasia’s manager for blocking their access to the VIPs, but the manager explains that CEO Mo was meeting with Minister Kim and Director Kwon. The reason they let the men go is because CEO Mo has plenty of influence, and didn’t want to be caught being seen together making under-the-table deals about the development project.
Kwon-joo asks Hyun-ho, even though he’s off duty, to look into CEO Mo and the Land Planning Committee, as well as the Bible verse that was left on the wall. He doesn’t need to look anything up to know that CEO Mo’s company is the richest around.
Meanwhile, Dae-shik races to find Jin-hyuk, where he’s fighting off the would-be assassin. When he sees the two men grappling with each other, he pulls out his gun and fires off a warning shot, which is enough to allow Jin-hyuk to escape the other man’s grip. Dae-shik warns the man that the next shot will hit its target, but Jin-hyuk gasps at him to put the gun down — he’ll settle this himself. Hasn’t he been trying to do that for the last hour?
But Jin-hyuk uses some swift kicks to knock the man’s knife out his hands, and then eventually pins him to the ground. He’s annoyed that the attacker can so easily smile at him, and proceeds to repeatedly punch him in the face.
Dae-shik intervenes, urgently telling Jin-hyuk that they don’t have time to waste on this guy — they have a report that Sang-tae was at the club, and he sent this guy to kidnap Dong-woo. Dae-shik is convinced that Sang-tae was the one who killed the club’s madam, Gyu-ah, reasoning that it must be because he overheard her call to Kwon-joo.
As he drives home, Tae-gu remembers secretly watching Kwon-joo discover the eyeball and call for backup. Aha, so those were his footsteps she heard, as well as his muffled laughter. He chuckles to himself, pleased to know that they’ve finally met after all these years.
A radio station reports on Gyu-ah’s murder, naming Sang-tae as the most likely suspect, and Tae-gu pulls over to a deserted area to send a text to him. The other man throws a fit when he sees Tae-gu’s casual message that he took care of things and that he hopes Sang-tae enjoys Japan. He’s also frustrated that the guy he sent to kidnap Dong-woo isn’t answering his phone.
Sang-tae’s loyal henchman worries that Sang-tae is getting too worked up over Tae-gu — they should be more focused on trying to find a way to escape. But Sang-tae’s got revenge on his mind, wanting to retaliate for the way CEO Mo punished Sang-tae’s gangster father after his father’s failed attempt to kill the young Tae-gu as a way to hurt CEO Mo.
In order to repent for his father’s actions (or so he wouldn’t end up with his limbs chopped off in the same manner), Sang-tae had faithfully served CEO Mo and Tae-gu for the past twenty years. But trying to win against Tae-gu seems impossible, and Sang-tae, with his crackling jaw, insists that Tae-gu isn’t even human.
At the hospital, Jin-hyuk hugs his son tightly, reassuring Dong-woo that he arrested the bad guy who tried to hurt him. He apologizes that this happened to him, but Dong-woo knows that his father has to fight the bad guys every day because of his job. That’s what his mother told him — that his father won’t rest until all the bad guys are locked up, no matter how many there are.
Aw, he’s so concerned for his father, worried that if he wasn’t sick and in the hospital, the man wouldn’t have come to him. But Jin-hyuk is the one who’s apologetic, and promises that the bad man won’t come back.
The security team show Jin-hyuk the gift that was left behind — it’s a normal toy robot, nothing nefarious. However, they’re not sure where it came from, since there’s no record on the CCTV of anyone entering the room. The security guard assures Jin-hyuk that they’ll be keeping an eye on Dong-woo 24/7 from now on.
Kwon-joo meets with Jin-hyuk at the hospital, where she updates him on what was found at the club. Even though they haven’t found Gyu-ah’s body, they’re reasonably convinced she was murdered. She’s also looked into the Bible verse, which states: “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin. But now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.”
She assumes that Gyu-ah must have seen something that caused her death, and she remembers the sound of someone’s footsteps when Gyu-ah called her to let her Sang-tae was at the club. Jin-hyuk realizes that the killer must have overheard Gyu-ah’s phone call, and Kwon-joo thinks it’s the same footsteps she heard running away when she was investigating the third floor. She’s already looked into CEO Mo and the Land Planing Committee, but hasn’t found anything suspicious about their activities yet.
Jin-hyuk marvels that the killer continues to toy with them. First by leaving the mirror at Chun-ok’s murder scene, and then visiting Dong-woo as a warning to them. He vows to catch the killer and tear him into pieces, no matter what it takes.
At the police station, Dae-shik aggressively interrogates the hitman Sang-tae sent (aw, such loyalty to his partner!), but the man isn’t talking. As the other Violent Crimes Unit detectives watch, they wonder what Jin-hyuk must be going through, first with his wife being killed and now the threat on his son’s life.
But Chief Jang starts to get shifty-eyed when one of the detectives mentions that they haven’t been able to contact one of the girls who work at the club because she’s been missing for awhile, out on an extended leave of absence. The other detectives put his odd behavior down to his worry about Jin-hyuk, but really it’s worry for someone figuring out that the missing girl is the one he had an affair with — and is being blackmailed over it.
He calls someone (whose voice is disguised, of course), warning them that he’s no longer going to be playing anyone’s games. He’d rather quit his job than be blackmailed any more. But when the mysterious voice tells him that they’ll send a copy of the video showing Chief Jang having an affair to his daughter, he knows that he’s still caught in their web. He angrily punches the wall, and then despondently whispers that he might as well be a dead man.
Tae-gu is at home when his father calls, demanding to know exactly what Tae-gu did when he stepped outside the VIP room. Sitting down at his desk, Tae-gu answers honestly, if not fully, that he met with Sang-tae, who kept asking for money. CEO Mo asks if Sang-tae killed Gyu-ah, but Tae-gu wearily says he doesn’t know — they didn’t discuss it, and when CEO Mo tells him to warn Sang-tae not to talk to anyone, Tae-gu sighs that he and Sang-tae are no longer talking.
He hangs up the phone and continues his task of brushing out a long clump of hair. In his briefcase are little baggies neatly organized and labeled with hair from his other victims. As he continues to brush the lock of hair, he marvels to himself that this is the first time he’s seen Kwon-joo in three years. He’s surprised that she’s still such a hard-working police officer, and that her hearing seems as good as ever.
Except he’s not talking to himself — he’s talking to a plastic-wrapped corpse propped up in the corner of the room. Ahhhh, is that Gyu-ah? It looks like it, especially since there seems to be an empty eye-socket. In his briefcase of hair are two empty baggies, each labeled with Jin-hyuk and Kwon-joo’s names. Eugh, so creepy.
Kwon-joo returns home and studies her wall-o’-evidence, remembering all the deaths that have happened since that night when her father and Jin-hyuk’s wife were killed, and desperately wanting to figure out why the murderer is violently killing innocent people. She notices that the picture frame that’s usually on her desk is now across the room, on the floor — and the photo of her and her father that should be in it is now missing.
As she looks around in alarm, she gets a text message. She tries calling the number of the person who sent it, but it doesn’t work. Ahhhh, it’s so creepy knowing someone so easily accessed her place but did nothing except prove that they could — just like Tae-gu did with Dong-woo.
Tabloid calls Jin-hyuk with intel on CEO Mo, revealing that he’s a highly influential business man. He originally had a simple bus company, but after buying up all the land on the bus route, has made a fortune through development.
He also reveals that he couldn’t find anything on Tae-gu other than that he went to an Ivy League. For a chaebol, he’s surprisingly scandal-free. Hahaha, if they only knew. Jin-hyuk is still furious that someone would get to him through his son, and vows to make the perpetrator pay at any cost.
The Violent Crimes Unit has discovered a possible location where Sang-tae might be hiding, and as they set out to go to the harbor, Dae-shik and Jin-hyuk literally throw themselves in front of the van, demanding to know all the information the other detectives have found out.
Jin-hyuk gets into the van, determined to go with them. Poor Dae-shik is forced to stay behind, since Jin-hyuk points out someone needs to be available in case the Golden Time Team needs to go out on a call.
Kwon-joo studies Jin-hyuk’s wife’s file. Apparently she’d been in the alley that night after visiting a welfare center, and she’d been looking for a specific homeless man. Kwon-joo then reads the message that was sent to her last night — it’s from someone declaring they were a friend of Jin-hyuk’s wife, and they have something to tell her about Jin-hyuk.
She already had Hyun-ho try to track down information about the phone number, but it’s a burner, so there’s no record. He watches in concern as Kwon-joo studies the message. He feels responsible for worrying her after mentioning his theory about the mirror showing the killer’s next victims. He didn’t know that it would be Kwon-joo and Jin-hyuk reflected in it.
Eun-soo reassures him that it isn’t his fault. It’s not like he meant to worry them. But he vows to do all he can to help Kwon-joo and Jin-hyuk to help capture the killer, and Eun-soo also promises to help. Aw, teamwork.
Jin-hyuk and the Violent Crimes detectives arrive at a seedy money exchange office, where they have knowledge that someone who looks like Sang-tae’s henchman will be arriving soon. It takes the threat of physical violence from “Mad Dog” Jin-hyuk before the guy admits the truth, and the detectives stakeout the office as they wait for Sang-tae and his henchman to show.
When the henchman arrives, the money changer greets him normally, but when the henchman spots that the guy is handcuffed to his chair, he knows something’s wrong. The detectives barge into the office to grab him, and Sang-tae, who was waiting around the corner in the hallway, tries to slip out another way.
Even though the henchman insists he came alone, Jin-hyuk runs out into the hallway to look for Sang-tae. He hears a noise to a door leading outside — hahaha, instead of a cat this time, it’s a dog! But the bag Sang-tae was carrying is there, although Jin-hyuk sees no sign of the man himself.
When he opens the bag, he finds a ledger book, passport, and other items that can be used as evidence. When Kwon-joo calls him, he tells her that he wasn’t able to catch Sang-tae, but that hopefully the bag will be of use. She hesitates a moment, wanting to ask him something. But then she says it’s nothing.
The detectives take the bag and the henchman back to the station. Sang-tae’s henchman refuses to speak, and when Dae-shik calls Jin-hyuk, he whines to his hyung that he totally could have caught Sang-tae if he’d been allowed to go with them. Ha! Seeing Jin-hyuk’s worried look, Chief Jang says it’s only a matter of time before they catch Sang-tae. But for Jin-hyuk, the time can’t come soon enough.
The emergency center receives a call from a patient at a welfare center who’s on the roof and threatening to kill not only himself but the orderly he’s holding hostage. He asks Eun-soo to send the special forces to the welfare center, claiming that he’s being poisoned — both in the food he’s served at the center, and at night when they release poisonous gases while he sleeps.
Eun-soo isn’t sure if it’s a prank call at first, but when the orderly starts to plead for his life, she transfers it to Kwon-joo while Hyun-ho looks up the GPS information on the phone. He confirms that it’s the welfare center, and the phone belongs to one of the workers there — the one who’s being held hostage.
Kwon-joo listens as the man threatens the rest of the doctors and orderlies on the roof, who keep their distance as they plead with the man to step away from the edge. She decides to declare “code zero” and start the Golden Time, ordering Dae-shik to mobilize.
Jin-hyuk is still on the way back to the station with the Violent Crimes Unit, but he tells the other detectives to stop and let him out. They tell him that Dae-shik can handle it, but Jin-hyuk insists, and finally Chief Jang orders all of them to go to the welfare center.
In one of the welfare offices, a little girl reads the story of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl” to the director of the center. He compliments her reading ability, but is interrupted when he gets a phone call from Kwon-joo. One of the other orderlies bursts into the room to let him know what’s happening on the roof, and he tells the girl to stay there while he takes care of what’s going on.
As he heads to the roof, the director tells Kwon-joo over the phone that the man, Jin-goo, suffers from schizophrenia, which makes it hard to control himself once he’s gripped by delusion. Kwon-joo knows that it’s important to calm Jin-goo down, and she talks to him on the phone, confirming that the man he’s holding hostage is one of the orderlies there.
Jin-goo is astonished how she knows so much, wondering if she’s “one of them” and will try to insert a camera in his eyes like the others did. He steps closer to the edge, insisting that the police “special forces” will catch him when he jumps.
The director fills in the details about Jin-goo, telling Kwon-joo that he was homeless for many years, and then was eventually diagnosed with a mental illness, which is how he ended up at the welfare center a year ago. In addition to severe schizophrenia, Jin-goo also suffers from alcoholism and has been known to cause trouble before.
That morning, when an orderly was checking on him as he huddled in a corner, Jin-goo suddenly attacked him and it took four men to drag him away. Later, he disappeared, and the orderly found him sitting on the stairs, gnawing on his own hand. Annoyed, the orderly tried to lead him back to his room, but Jin-goo grabbed him, insisting that he was being poisoned, and using what looks like a scalpel, held the man hostage.
Jin-hyuk and Dae-shik arrive at the welfare center at the same time, and as they hurry to the rooftop, Kwon-joo warns them that, because Jin-goo has schizophrenia, it’s important to keep him from getting too agitated. Jin-goo continues to believe that Kwon-joo is “one of them,” placing bugging devices in his ears and attempting to kill him, even though she tells him over the phone that she means him no harm.
The director arrives on the rooftop and Kwon-joo listens as he tries to coax Jin-goo away from the edge and to let go of the orderly. But it only makes Jin-goo step back even further and almost lose his footing. Jin-hyuk and Dae-shik also arrive on the roof, and Jin-hyuk says that he’s the police that Jin-goo’s been asking for.
Even though Jin-hyuk shows his badge, Jin-goo keeps asking if they’re really the police. Kwon-joo knows something seems wrong based on the sounds of stress in his voice. She also finds it strange that someone who was planning to commit suicide would call the emergency center, and expect the police to arrive.
Jin-hyuk tells Jin-goo to let the man go and they can talk, but when the other orderlies and welfare center workers step closer to him, Jin-goo yells that he’s going to jump. As he leans out over the edge of the roof, Jin-hyuk and Dae-shik manage to grab him and the hostage, dragging them back onto the roof.
The welfare staff quickly step forward to intervene, and as they take him away, Jin-goo shouts that they’re trying to kill him. Jin-hyuk points out that they’re therapists — they’re there to heal, not hurt. But Jin-goo continues to scream that he doesn’t want to go, and he’s so terrified he even wets his pants.
Twelve minutes after the call came in, the situation is diffused. A success for the Golden Time Team. Jin-goo is dragged into a waiting ambulance which zooms off. One of the doctors tells Jin-hyuk that it’s for Jin-goo’s best interest that they take care of him that way, and the director thanks the detectives for all their help.
It’s lunchtime at the center, and Jin-hyuk watches as everyone shuffles through the line to get their food. He asks the director why everyone seems to be wearing bandages, and the director genially explains that they take in those who have injuries, both mental and physical, so bandages and medication are the norm.
The little girl who had been reading in his office walks by on her way to the lunchroom, and Jin-hyuk immediately takes an interest in the fact that there are a lot of children there. He sweetly tells her that she’s a pretty girl, but she flinches and deflects his attempt to ruffle her hair in a friendly manner.
From the dark circles on her eyes and general pallor, she’s not only abused but deeply ill. Jin-hyuk doesn’t seem to think there’s anything odd as the director explains they have a lot of kids that aren’t fit for the adoption centers.
Meanwhile, Kwon-joo keeps trying to figure out the strange sound she’s hearing, and realizes that the phone Jin-goo stole is still on and in his pocket, and she listens as the orderly and paramedic physically restrain Jin-goo in the back of the ambulance.
The orderly asks for a syringe, and despite Jin-goo’s protests, they stick him with the medication, telling him it’ll be easier if he’s a dead man.
The GPS isn’t traceable, but Kwon-joo reports to Jin-hyuk that she heard the orderly talking about how Jin-goo woke from anesthetic earlier and caused a ruckus in the operating room. She wonders if Jin-goo was actually telling the truth on the roof, and urges Jin-hyuk to hurry and find the ambulance.
Of all the things that happened in this episode, there are two moments that genuinely shocked and disturbed me. First was the fact that someone entered Kwon-joo’s space and stole the picture of her and her father. I’ve always had the sensation that her apartment is a safe space for her. It’s where the outside world is silent and she can be alone with her thoughts and theories, so to have it quietly invaded — and without her immediate knowledge — makes it feel like nothing is safe anymore. That’s probably the point, though. The message is “I can can get to you, whenever I want. I just don’t want to right now.” It’s so unnerving.
Also unnerving is the fact that Tae-gu not only collects hair samples as souvenirs from his victims, and so carefully and lovingly combs them before neatly sealing them in their respective bags, but he also didn’t get caught dragging in a dead body to his apartment and somehow propping her up so she’s essentially on display. He must not get a lot of guests stopping by — at least not living ones.
Not to mention he’s clearly delighted with the fun of toying with Jin-hyuk and Kwon-joo before killing them. There’s not a doubt in his mind that this will happen — he’s got their hair baggies all set. Not like I didn’t know they were his next target, but it’s still unsettling to realize that this psycho serial killer, who so far has mostly killed without warning just due to circumstance and convenience, is carefully plotting how to deal with Kwon-joo and Jin-hyuk.
I’ll admit I’m a little baffled by this week’s case. So far, all the cases have somehow seemed to be eventually connected to the original one, where Tae-gu killed Jin-hyuk and Kwon-joo’s family members, so I’m already trying to figure out the connection. (Okay, I’m not totally sure how the old man killing the foster kids relates, unless he’s the dentist that gave Tae-gu a crackling jaw.) So now I’m wondering if this is the same welfare center where Jin-hyuk’s wife last visited before she died, when she was looking for the homeless man. It’s obviously a very questionable center, at least when it comes to “welfare,” since all the patients look absolutely miserable and sport a ghastly hue of grey in their skin.
While I don’t think they would actually be planting a camera or listening device on Jin-goo (or the other patients), there’s definitely something terrible going on. Maybe some unlicensed experiments on those that are considered “unwanted.” And what’s up with this little girl? She’s got to mean more to the story than we’ve seen thus far, and hopefully Jin-hyuk and Kwon-joo will be able to find out the truth of the center so she can be free and get a chance to heal — and hopefully find a new home. My fingers are crossed that “The Little Match Girl” is just being used as a convenient story and not as foreshadowing. I will accept all sorts of bizarre and horrific deaths on this show, but let the little girl live!