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Two Cops: Episodes 21-22

The time has come for Dong-tak and Su-chang to tell the truth, though whether they’ll be believed is a whole different issue. They begin to turn their full focus to solving the mystery, but as these things always go, every clue they discover only raises more questions. At least they’re working together now, increasing their chances of setting things right before time is up and everything is lost.

 
EPISODE 21 RECAP

Ji-an sees Dong-tak talking to Su-chang, and his nervous glance towards Su-chang doesn’t go unnoticed, either. She asks suspiciously who he is and who he’s talking to. Su-chang begs Dong-tak not to tell the truth or Ji-an will think he’s crazy, but Dong-tak says he needs to be honest.

He tells Ji-an that there’s someone else with them, and that he wants to tell her the truth even if she doesn’t believe him. He says that the spirit is a conman who was ejected from his body, and that he sometimes even possesses Dong-tak.

Ji-an laughs incredulously, but Dong-tak’s serious expression makes her nervous. He says it’s all true, and Ji-an asks if the spirit is Gong Su-chang. Dong-tak nods and takes a step towards her, but she backs up, confused, and says they can discuss it later.

She rushes off and Dong-tak chases after her, but she jumps in a taxi before he catches up. He drives to her house, calling her over and over, but she ignores his calls.

He heads back to the station and picks up the folder she dropped in her flight. Su-chang is worried about Ji-an, but Dong-tak says that she’s strong and will be fine. He decides that catching their culprit is the more urgent concern.

Inside the station, Su-chang finally comes clean about the fact that he only has forty-nine days to solve the mystery and get his own body back, or he’ll die. Dong-tak is upset that he only has fifteen days left, which makes Su-chang tease that he’s like the Grim Reaper.

But he admits that he’s scared to die, and Dong-tak says softly, “You won’t die. I won’t let you die. You can possess me, because we have to catch the real culprit from sixteen years ago. I’ll make sure I take him in and get rid of this soul that’s been haunting me.”

They don’t have much to go on — just the necklace with the initials “TJH,” and Doo-shik’s last words: “Find the real angel.” Dong-tak asks Su-chang if that seems familiar, since he’s most likely to know as Doo-shik’s best friend, but Su-chang can’t remember anything relevant. He thinks that whoever sent Dong-tak the picture of Doo-shik (that proved he was elsewhere when Hang-joon was killed) might be an insider on the police force, but any mention of possible police involvement just makes Dong-tak shut down.

Su-chang leaves cranky, but he keeps wracking his brain over who the real angel could be. He has a feeling that Doo-shik’s last words are a bigger clue than they seem, but no matter how hard he tries, nothing comes to mind.

The next day, the detectives set up a sting operation at a food market to catch a suspected rapist. It’s not long before they catch sight of their masked culprit, and Detectives Lee and Park give chase while Detective Yoo hangs back, warning them to be careful in case he has a weapon.

Detective Park says he’ll herd the guy to Detective Lee, but Detective Lee warns him not to get too cocky. Suddenly the suspect spots them, so Detective Park chases him into an empty hallway, trapping him.

He starts to cuff the guy just as Detective Lee arrives, but the suspect pulls a giant knife, twists out of Detective Park’s grasp, and runs away, slicing Detective Lee’s arm open on the way. Luckily though, he doesn’t get far, and Detective Yoo grabs him and body-slams him to the pavement.

Detective Lee has to get stitches, and at the station, he grouches at Detective Park for letting the suspect loose. Detective Park says it was an accident and tries to apologize, but Detective Lee is in a terrible mood, and he tells Detective Yoo that he wants a new partner.

Su-chang already knows that the CCTV footage from his accident sixteen years ago has been sealed, so Dong-tak tries to find out who sealed it, but he’s unable to get a name. The only witness reported to be on the scene was the taxi driver, Kim Jong-doo, whose name doesn’t fit the initials on the pendant, nor did he recognize it when Dong-tak showed it to him back then.

Dong-tak’s contact does reveal who the detective in charge of the case was, though we don’t hear the name. On his way out, Dong-tak runs into Superintendent Ma, who knows about his meeting with Chief Prosecutor Tak and warns him to stay away from the man.

Dong-tak says that cops need connections, and he’s just trying to make some. He tells Superintendent Ma that he just heard a name he hasn’t heard in a very long time, the person who taught him to be a man, just like Hang-joon once said Superintendent Ma was to him.

Superintendent Ma asks if Dong-tak is still angry that he didn’t investigate Hang-joon’s murder. But Dong-tak just says, “You shouldn’t have done that to him,” before walking away.

In the evidence room, Superintendent Ma finds the box of evidence from Hang-joon’s case. He tells Hang-joon that he’s sorry, then goes through the box. He’s surprised to find Doo-shik’s alibi picture, knowing this means that Dong-tak knows Doo-shik was innocent. He finds the lighter next and wonders if Dong-tak found it.

Commissioner Noh is also suspicious of Dong-tak looking into the accident, and he takes his concerns to Chief Prosecutor Tak. He says that he’ll take care of anyone who gets in Chief Prosecutor Tak’s way, but Chief Prosecutor Tak interrupts to ask why he’s not interested in the case itself.

Commissioner Noh just repeats his promise to handle whoever bothers him, but this time Chief Prosecutor Tak asks darkly, “When did I ask you to do that?” He tells Commissioner Noh that going too far is worse than doing nothing, just like with relationships.

Su-chang wanders through the station, chatting to the detectives as if they can see him. Dong-tak grabs him to talk in private, making the other detectives wonder who he was talking to.

They take the pendant to a master jeweler, who tells them it’s a custom job, but that it’s so old it would be impossible to discover who ordered it. Su-chang tries to remember more about the accident, and he thinks he recalls someone else being there, but he’s not sure.

They arrive back at the station to find a sea of reporters covering the transfer of the rapist to prison. Dong-tak and Ji-an lock eyes at one point, and when they get inside, Su-chang says that she looks thin and tired. Dong-tak asks how he saw so much, so Su-chang explains that con men see a lot more than cops, plus they’re smarter. Hee.

Ji-an surprises them by coming inside, wanting to talk. She asks Dong-tak why this happened to him, so Dong-tak reminds her of the boy who changed his life. He tells her that Su-chang is that boy, and that his spirit is with him because he couldn’t keep his promise back then.

He confirms that often, when she thought she was with him, she was actually with Su-chang, and that it was actually Su-chang who gave her the bracelet. Ji-an grows angry, finding all this hard to believe, and she assumes that he’s probably exhausted and overworked.

Determined to prove that he’s being truthful, Dong-tak takes her to a coffee shop, but Su-chang doesn’t want to cooperate. After watching him argue with nobody for a while, Ji-an tells him to just admit that he’s lying. Dong-tak splashes himself with water and orders Su-chang to possess him, but for once Su-chang refuses.

 

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A spooky catch

 
Getting really worried, Ji-an decides that Dong-tak needs to go to the hospital. She heads for the door, but trips over a chair, and it looks like she’s going to take a hard fall. But she suddenly hangs in midair, caught by Su-chang, who grabbed her without thinking.

It finally convinces her that Dong-tak is being honest, and she says that sometimes she felt he was very different. She asks who was with her during the car chase, and who rescued her from the kidnappers, relieved to hear that both were Dong-tak. He reluctantly admits that it was Su-chang who piggybacked her, and when she asks who kissed her, they both say, “Me!”

Hearing that she’s been unknowingly dating and kissing two different men is a bit much for Ji-an to take. She says that now she knows their secret, but that she’s busy and has to go. The guys watch her walk away, in agreement that she’s lying about being okay.

 
EPISODE 22 RECAP

Dong-tak still thinks Ji-an is strong enough to handle this situation, but Su-chang isn’t so sure. They decide to split up to investigate, Dong-tak following up on the pendant and Su-chang looking for the angel.

Meanwhile, Ji-an visits Miss Bong, who has her pick tarot cards. The first card says that there’s another man’s soul in Dong-tak’s body, and the second card shows that an ill-fated relationship has begun. Ji-an asks which is the ill-fated one, and Miss Bong just says it might be the one she likes more, but she tells Ji-an that a new chapter of her fate is unfolding.

Dong-tak learns from the jeweler that the pendant is one that used to be given to detectives when they retired from the Incheon Police Station, though the tradition stopped about fifteen years ago. So he calls for a list of detectives that worked there around the time of the accident, who had the initials “TJH.”

Trying to think of who the real angel might be, Su-chang whines to Doo-shik’s spirit that his final clue was too vague (that’s what I’m saying). But he immediately apologizes, thinking about their time together at the orphanage, which jogs his memory.

Over at the orphanage, prosecutor Jae-hee shows up with gifts for the kids, which seems to be a regular occurrence. The nun in charge says that she wishes his father would also visit, but Jae-hee reminds her that he doesn’t because he doesn’t want to draw attention from reporters.

The nun tells Jae-hee that although his father seems harsh, he would do anything for his son. An odd look crosses Jae-hee’s face, but he agrees that his father has always given him anything he wanted.

The nun says that in the sixteen years since he began sponsoring the orphanage, his father has been the same way with the kids here. She mentions the accident, and the fact that two children ended up at this orphanage because of it.

Su-chang visits the orphanage, passing Jae-hee’s car on the way and recognizing the prosecutor. He stops on his way in, finally recognizing the wings painted on the orphanage wall, and realizes that this is a big clue.

On a date with Sung-hyuk, Bong-sook preens, hoping for a compliment, He complains that she’ll get hair in her food, but he does notice that she’s changed her hair and says she looks pretty. She pouts that he can’t get upset and leave her alone again, and he promises he won’t.

 

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Caught stealing in the middle of a date

 
While they wait to pay, Bong-sook notices that the man in front of them has enough cash in his wallet to pay a big chunk of Su-chang’s hospital bills. Sung-hyuk leaves her by his car to go get coffee, and she sees the man with the fat wallet helping his date into his car. The temptation is too much, and she trots over to reach for his wallet.

Sung-hyuk returns and sees her, and he belatedly realizes that she wasn’t flirting with him when they first met, but trying to steal his wallet. He says that he should arrest her, but decides to pretend not to see anything. He adds, “But the next time you see me, it will be as Detective Dokko.”

Bong-sook heads to the hospital to talk to Su-chang’s body, and where his spirit finds her. She complains that Sung-hyuk already broke his promise not to leave her, and that it’s not like she wants to pick pockets.

She vows that she doesn’t want to see Sung-hyuk again anyway, then bursts out sobbing. Her tears distress Su-chang, who promises her that she’ll never have to pick pockets again, and that he’ll find her a husband way better than Sung-hyuk.

Dong-tak goes to Ji-an’s place that night, but he chickens out and leaves without knocking. Ji-an sees him walking away when she takes out the garbage, but she just shakes her head.

Elsewhere in the city, a young woman crosses the street. A car seems to swerve towards her, and a few seconds later, a loud crash is heard.

In the morning, Dong-tak requests to be taken off all of his cases for a while. Detective Yoo knows why without asking and he asks if Dong-tak can handle it on his own, surprised when Dong-tak says that he has a partner.

Detective Yoo assigns Detective Park and Detective Lee to investigate the traffic accident, but since Detective Lee is obviously still peeved, Detective Park decides to go alone. The scene looks like a pretty simple car-versus-trashcan situation, but Detective Park insists on checking the area thoroughly, and he finds a piece of bloody, broken glass in a pile of leaves.

He takes the glass back to the station, but everyone is too busy with other things to look at it. Su-chang is curious and absently asks what Detective Park is holding, and he gets a shiver when Detective Park appears to turn to him and says that the piece of bloody glass makes him nervous.

Dong-tak learns that there were ten detectives at the Incheon station who had the initials “TJH” between sixteen and thirty years ago, who aren’t either dead or female. His contact promises to send him the list of names.

Chief Prosecutor Tak gets a call from a man named Chairman Jo, who says that his son was in an accident last night. He asks for a favor, pointedly referencing their meeting sixteen years ago and “the corruption charges on the dead cop.” Chief Prosecutor Tak actually looks afraid.

He calls Commissioner Noh, who’s eating with Superintendent Ma, with Chief Prosecutor Tak’s deaf server in attendance. Commissioner Noh promises to take care of everything, but when he hangs up, he chuckles to Superintendent Ma that Chief Prosecutor Tak can’t do things on his own anymore.

Detective Park gets a strange call from Commissioner Noh, asking him to come to Yong-pal’s club. He’s introduced to a young man named Min-seok, who has an interesting bandage on his right hand.

Su-chang is excited to tell Dong-tak that he found the angel wings at his orphanage. They agree that Doo-shik must have been telling them that the killer is also from the orphanage, and they find it strange that Jae-hee was there.

Over tea, Chief Prosecutor Tak tells Superintendent Ma that the one thing more precious than money is children. He notes Superintendent Ma’s surprised expression, and says he would give his life for his child. He asks Superintendent Ma, if anything gets in Jae-hee’s way later, to take care of it for him.

At the same time, Jae-hee waits in Chief Prosecutor Tak’s office, but they agree to have lunch another time when his father calls to say he’s running late. Jae-hee notices a file on Dong-tak on his father’s desk and flips through it, finding a photo of Su-chang tucked inside. He wonders why his father would be looking into Dong-tak’s past, and how Su-chang is connected.

Su-chang takes Dong-tak to show him the angel wings painting at the orphanage. The nun confirms that someone visits the painting often, but when Dong-tak asks which former graduate it is, she asks why he thinks it’s a graduate, then says that she doesn’t know who they’re looking for.

After drinks, Detective Park is oddly respectful of the mysterious Min-seok. Yong-pal sees Min-seok as he’s leaving and kicks his employee, angry that he didn’t tell him a VVIP was here.

He goes over to talk to Detective Park, who acts nervous and quickly leaves. Yong-pal calls Dong-tak to report Detective Park’s strange behavior, but Dong-tak doesn’t take him very seriously.

Detective Park takes a huge haul of snacks back to the station to share, saying that he can do this often now that he has a backer. He and Detective Lee bicker, until a call that a college student has gone missing sobers everyone.

Detective Park and Detective Lee go back to the recent accident scene, where the cops have found a discarded women’s sneaker. Detective Park looks nervous, remembering that Min-seok said he hit a deer at this intersection and asked him to erase the CCTV footage. The accident happened just offscreen, and Detective Park had deleted the footage without a qualm.

To make matters worse, Detective Park’s wife calls to say that a friend of his came by to thank him for the favor and leave them some money. He gets a text from Min-seok saying that his wife really likes money, and he cringes, belatedly realizing that he’s inadvertently taken a bribe to cover up a crime.

Back at the station, Detective Park paces anxiously. He chickens out of telling both Detective Yoo and Detective Lee, instead asking Dong-tak to have a drink with him later. Dong-tak can tell that something is wrong, but before Detective Park can confess, they’re joined by Sung-hyuk, then the rest of the team, and Detective Park can’t say anything.

Chief Prosecutor Tak treats Jae-hee to dinner, where he tells him not to go to the orphanage for a while in case someone’s watching. He also tells Jae-hee not to act on his own again, and Jae-hee says that he just wanted to know what Dong-tak might get out of Doo-shik.

His father tells him that no parent would let their child get in trouble, and Jae-hee mentions that the nun said the same thing about him. Chief Prosecutor Tak smiles, contented that his son knows.

His smile fades when he gets a call from the same jeweler who spoke to Dong-tak, alerting Chief Prosecutor Tak that Dong-tak has been asking about a necklace like his. Chief Prosecutor Tak says that he still has his necklace, but Jae-hee looks nervous.

When he gets the list of detectives who may have received a pendant engraved with “TJH,” Dong-tak shows it to Su-chang, sure there’s a lead among them. But neither of them expects to see Chief Prosecutor Tak on the list, whose full name is Tak Jung-hwan. Dong-tak recalls that he used to be a detective in Incheon, and he stares at Su-chang, gasping, “So this means… “

 
COMMENTS

I’m so glad that Dong-tak finally told Ji-an the truth about Su-chang possessing him, because once Su-chang kissed her knowing that she thought he was Dong-tak, his crush on her stopped being funny and started being inappropriate. And I’m glad that Ji-an said so, objecting to the fact that they let her date and kiss both of them without telling her what was going on. I did think it was kind of interesting though, that Su-chang didn’t want to tell Ji-an the truth about himself and Dong-tak, when Dong-tak was the one who resisted the truth for so long. I can see where he’s coming from — not only is he scared for himself, but he’s also really worried about Ji-an and doesn’t want to add to her upset. Besides, he seems to have changed since kissing her too, and he probably doesn’t want her to see him as anyone but himself anymore, so I can see why he would be unwilling to possess Dong-tak and give her another reason to be confused between the guys.

It’s pretty clear to me that Jae-hee is the boy who was at the scene of the crash all those years ago, and that it’s his pendant Dong-tak has been carrying around all this time. Or more likely he was wearing his father’s pendant, since they have the same initials, and has been hiding the fact that he lost it. I still don’t understand why his presence there was covered up in the first place, unless it’s because he ran away and didn’t help. But I think I also know why he’s being protected in the present… I believe that Jae-hee might be the “real angel,” the one who killed Hang-joon.

Stay with me, here. We know two things about the Real Angel: that he just showed up recently out of nowhere, and that he has a tattoo of angel’s wings on the back of his neck. Jae-hee also came back to town recently, right about the same time as Hang-joon was killed. And I went back and checked, and every time we see Jae-hee, he’s always either wearing a suit with a collar, or a turtleneck. So it’s possible that the timing isn’t a coincidence, nor is the fact that he always keeps his neck covered. He’s also connected to the orphanage somehow, which would have given him the inspiration for the wing tattoo.

That said, what I can’t figure out is why. If I’m right about the identity of the Real Angel, it would mean that Chief Prosecutor Tak knows this about his son, and that he’s orchestrating all of these cover-ups to protect him. But we still don’t have a reason, not for the cover-up when Jae-hee witnessed Su-chang’s accident, nor why Jae-hee would be the one going after Hang-joon personally. So while my identity theory makes some sense when you look at the facts, what I still can’t figure out is any sort of motive. Obviously the orphanage is involved, and the two children who ended up there after the accident. And I wonder who the second child is — obviously Su-chang is one, but the other wouldn’t be Dong-tak or they’d have known each other longer than just their brief encounter. I have some theories about that, too, but nothing concrete enough to share yet.

And that right there is the main reason I’m getting frustrated with this show, which I find very entertaining otherwise. I’ve complained before that the show isn’t telling us enough about its villains to make us care, because when you show us someone skulking around, vaguely discussing doing bad things, but take too long in telling us what they’re doing and why, eventually we’ll stop caring. There’s an art to doling out information just slowly enough to create suspense, but not so slowly that your audience loses interest. That’s already beginning to happen, and while the more stubborn of us are still hanging in there, it won’t be long before any reveals will come too late for us to still give a damn. The show needs to tell us something soon, or risk losing its audience in its attempt to be mysterious.

 
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This show just isn't very well written. If it wasn't for Jo Jung Suk I would not still be here.

This was a pretty boring hour punctuated by excruciating expositional scenes like the one at the orphanage between Jae Hee and the Nun.

Considering it took our duo half of one episode to decode the "Find the Real Angel" clue, I have no idea why Doo Shik didn't just say "Look at our orphanage" instead of being cryptic. Why have a character dole out weird cryptic last words and then have our protagonists work it out three minutes later?

Also, what the hell have these guys been doing for a full month that their one clue is the necklace they already had 15 years ago!!! It's seriously been a full month? I guess I was right last week and Dong Tak's prison plan did take several weeks to pull off.

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I think the angel is Noh, that JaeHee was illegally joy riding and caused the accident, and that they visit the orphanage to appease JaeHee's guilt for making the two kids orphans. Things did start again upon his return because there were still people who knew about it.

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I'm happy watching Dong-tak and Su-chang worked together and truly cared for each other, but their join investigation was progressing at snail pace. On the other hand, I'm not sure we need to suddenly delve into another detective's personal arc and a completely new case this late in the game. Especially if it doesn't have any ties with the current case that Dong-tak already worked on.

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Thanks for your recap and commentary, LollyPip!

I enjoyed this week's episodes, especially Dong-tak's coming clean to Ji-an about the time-sharing that Soo-chang has been doing with his body. At least she didn't rend her garments while running away screaming. We've seen precious little of her lately, so she's practically turned into a plot device herself. Now that Dong-tak has gotten a gander at her research into her father's case, here's hoping we see more collaboration between them.

In the meantime, I'm acutely aware that Soo-chang had 15 days left on the clock.

I had initially assumed that TJH were Jae-hee's initials, but they are also his father's. So it looks like Dad gave sonny his necklace and the kid lost it.

About those two kids who ended up in the orphanage as a result of the accident: I bet they're Su-chang and his buddy, Doo-shik.

Here's a disturbing thought: Are those really angel's wings? The protective wings of a guardian angel are exactly what you'd expect at an orphanage. But maybe they are really the wings of a bird of prey. Say, an eagle large enough to carry off a mountain goat -- or a child. Somehow I get the feeling that we'll find out this orphanage has been used to recruit henchmen and thugs for unscrupulous baddies, as in SWEET STRANGER AND ME.

Commissioner No is truly a scumbag. The way he cold-bloodedly set up Detective Park to be beholden to a DWI chaebol master of the universe really grinds my gears. I hope we get to see this creep sent up the river and the key thrown away.

In the previous recap, I wondered aloud about the identity of the Big Bad pulling the strings. Lo and behold, Chairman Jo crawled out of the woodwork right on cue. LOL. I can't help but wonder what his relationship to Dong-tak's deceased partner is. Is it possible that Jo Hang-joon was one of Chairman Jo's sons -- who broke with his father and went into law enforcement? Perhaps he was Ji-an's father's protege at one time, and went on to mentor Dong-tak.

LollyPip, I think I have a solution to the head-scratcher that is plaguing both of us, i.e., Tak Jae-hee as helmeted assassin of Detective Hang-joon. A pair of identical twins was dropped off at the orphanage. One of them was adopted by Chairman Jo, while the other was adopted by Chief Prosecutor Tak. Detective Jo was whacked by his adoptive kid brother to take him completely out of the running for the inheritance, even though he had already walked away from it. There, mystery solved with a nice juicy birth secret. ;-)

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I guess with only two weeks left, we'll get some answers soon. I agree that Jaehee is probably the killer, but I also have no idea why. Hopefully it'll be worth the wait. Off to watch the next episode!

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