Two Cops: Episodes 25-26
Okay, finally we’re onto something! Our taciturn detective and his ghostly sidekick have a clear focus, and they’re starting to use their unusual situation effectively (and most important, quickly) to get some results. And not a moment too soon, because the bad guys are onto them and stepping up their efforts to block them, or even get rid of them. Better late than never, I say.
EPISODE 25 RECAP
At the same time as Dong-tak is reuniting with Ji-an, Su-chang is at the station, wondering why CP Tak said that he owes his father a favor. He sees a photograph that fell out of Ji-an’s folder, and he remembers the man in the picture as the detective he begged to help him prove his father’s innocence.
Ji-an shows Dong-tak the folder, and he blanches when he recognizes her father’s name. A flurry of memories pass through his mind — promising young Su-chang that he’d help him, gathering evidence, and giving that evidence to Ji-an’s father, Detective Song.
He sits Ji-an down and tells her what he knows — that Su-chang’s father was accused of causing a fatal accident sixteen years ago, and that her father was in charge of that case. He tells her how he gave Detective Song the evidence proving Su-chang’s father’s innocence.
He also tells Ji-an that Su-chang believes that Detective Song disposed of the evidence, which is why his father was found guilty. Dong-tak agrees with Ji-an that her father would never have done such a thing, because her father is the man who helped him get his life straight.
We see young Dong-tak, planning to steal a motorcycle soon after the accident. Detective Song catches him, but instead of arresting him, he takes him to eat. He offers Dong-tak some of the meat from his soup, but Dong-tak tells him that he doesn’t eat soup meat since his parents drowned while saving his life.
Dong-tak mentions their discovery that the taxi driver lied, saying excitedly that it made his heart race. Detective Song tells him that that feeling is why he should become a detective, because that thrill you feel when catching a bad guy is what it means to be a detective.
A little while later, Dong-tak calls Detective Song to tell him that he’s made up his mind to become a detective. He adds shyly that he envies Detective Song’s daughter for having a father like him. Detective Song replies that he wants to be a detective that his daughter can be proud of.
Back in the present, Dong-tak is a bit awed that he’s actually met Detective Song’s daughter in person. Ji-an tells him that her father was on his way to see her that day, but he had to stop and talk to someone first.
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I will clear your father’s name
But he died, and everyone said he committed suicide because he was corrupt. She says that she hated her father until recently, when his old partner told her that her father wasn’t corrupt, nor would he have killed himself and left her behind.
Dong-tak agrees, adding that her father and Hang-joon are similar in that they were both blamed for being corrupt after their deaths, and that they died while investigating the same case. He promises Ji-an that he’ll investigate her father’s death.
He heads back to the station, where Su-chang is working himself into a frenzy over the “corrupt detective” in the photo. But Dong-tak explains that he doesn’t believe Detective Song was corrupt, since his last words to him were that he wanted to be a detective his daughter could be proud of.
They make a chart showing how everything that’s happened leads back to Su-chang’s father’s accident. Everyone who gave false testimony, and those who died, all connect back to CP Tak. It’s obvious he’s trying to cover something up, that he either did something or he’s protecting someone.
Late that night, Jae-hee sits in his office working. He suddenly gets up and leaves, and next we see the Angel in his helmet, entering Su-chang’s hospital room. He injects something into Su-chang’s IV drip then removes his oxygen mask. When Su-chang’s body starts to struggle for air, the Angel begins choking him.
Suddenly Su-chang’s eyes fly open, and he sees the Angel looming over him. The Angel takes off his helmet, and Su-chang sees that it’s Jae-hee’s face underneath.
Su-chang wakes with a start — it was only a nightmare. Shaken, he wonders if that’s how he’ll die if he doesn’t solve the mystery, and why Jae-hee was in his dream.
Dong-tak tells Detective Yoo that they have proof that Commissioner Noh covered for Min-seok’s vehicular manslaughter of the young woman. Furious over losing Detective Park because of Commissioner Noh, Detective Yoo asks if this is related to Hang-joon’s death, and if there’s someone even bigger behind Commissioner Noh. Dong-tak swears he’ll find out who it is and catch them.
Commissioner Noh is arrested and taken in for questioning. Detective Lee does the honors, and Commissioner Noh slips up by denying that he takes bribes before bribes are even mentioned, ha. Detective Lee tells him that Min-seok already confessed that they set up Detective Park.
Chief Prosecutor Tak tells Superintendent Ma to let Commissioner Noh go, but Superintendent Ma says there’s nothing he can do. Ominously, Chief Prosecutor Tak growls, “Then let’s focus on what comes next.”
Chairman Jo, Min-seok’s father, uses his connections to have Jae-hee assigned to prosecute his son’s case. Chief Prosecutor Tak reminds him not to let Min-seok talk, grumbling that he’s doing all this just so Min-seok can inherit his illegally-earned fortune.
He tells Chairman Jo that he saw this coming sixteen years ago, and that he’s already prepared for it. He gives him a choice to save his son from a five-year sentence, or the company he’s spent forty years building. A short while later, Jae-hee is informed that Min-seok’s case has been assigned to a different prosecutor.
When Commissioner Noh talks to Chief Prosecutor Tak on the phone, he’s told that Min-seok is claiming that he was the only one involved in the police bribery. Frustrated when he learns that Chief Prosecutor Tak took Min-seok off the table as a source of information, Dong-tak decides to confront Chief Prosecutor Tak directly.
This time, Su-chang goes with him as he tells Chief Prosecutor Tak that Min-seok told him that Chief Prosecutor Tak was involved in the accident cover-up. He asks if it’s true, and Su-chang watches closely as Chief Prosecutor Tak says he has no recollection of the accident.
Su-chang tells Dong-tak that Chief Prosecutor Tak is lying, and again when Chief Prosecutor Tak insists that he still has his original pendant. Dong-tak tells Chief Prosecutor Tak that his invisible lie detector says that he’s lying.
Chief Prosecutor Tak makes another of his vague threats, warning that Dong-tak could end up “bleeding from the side” if he investigates. He asks if he’s confident that he won’t die if he bleeds, but Dong-tak retorts that a good cop doesn’t fear death.
He advises Chief Prosecutor Tak to be prepared to have himself and the person he’s covering for exposed. He adds that it would be interesting if that person turned out to be Jae-hee, and the confident smirk on Chief Prosecutor Tak’s face slips.
Dong-tak and Su-chang leave, and Su-chang mentions the way Chief Prosecutor Tak’s expression changed when Dong-tak mentioned Jae-hee. He warns Dong-tak to be careful, because Jae-hee is very smart. Dong-tak brings up how Jae-hee helped him get into prison to question Doo-shik, but Su-chang thinks that Jae-hee only helped because he was hoping Dong-tak would be killed.
They don’t realize that Jae-hee is listening to them from down the hall. He goes into his father’s office to find Chief Prosecutor Tak holding the pendant, and he tells Jae-hee that it’s time he learned the truth.
Sung-hyuk calls Dong-tak with the address of Kim Jong-doo’s wife, who went into hiding after his death. Since Kim Jong-doo’s death is what started everything up again, Dong-tak determines to discover what happened before his death, hoping it will lead them back to Chief Prosecutor Tak and Jae-hee.
When he finds her, the wife admits that she knew he would come looking for her eventually, and that she’d already decided to talk to him. Kim Jong-doo’s death was originally determined to be an accident after a run-in with a gang, so Dong-tak asks his wife why she claimed it was a suicide.
She says that she was offered money to testify that her husband was depressed, refuse to speak to the police, and sell her house. She doesn’t know who made the offer, and when she felt guilty later and tried to contact them, the number was disconnected.
She confirms that her husband came into some money sixteen years ago and that they’d been living in the Philippines until recently. When the money ran out, he wanted to return to Korea.
She says that he had called someone who promised him money, but that he died on the day he was supposed to receive the money. After they leave, Dong-tak tells Su-chang that Kim Jong-doo must have known something more than just having simply witnessed an accident.
On the roof, Chief Prosecutor Tak tells his son that he knew he caused that accident when he was only seventeen. He knew that three people had died, and that Jae-hee had fled the scene. He says that when he saw Jae-hee crying, he asked the witness to lie.
Looking horrified, Jae-hee just stares as his father tells him that Su-chang is the son of the man he framed for the accident. He says that was the end of it, until Kim Jong-doo threatened him years later and suddenly died, then Hang-joon also died while investigating Kim Jong-doo’s death.
Looking genuinely confused, Chief Prosecutor Tak says that he’s worried that Dong-tak believes that he and Jae-hee are involved in the recent deaths. He says that no father will let his child be hurt, and with love for his son shining in his eyes, he offers to step down if he has to.
Back in his office later, Jae-hee takes out a binder filled with articles and photos regarding the accident in Incheon sixteen years ago. He whispers to himself, “Gong Su-chang, when will you stop following me?”
EPISODE 26 RECAP
Bong-sook sits at a bus stop, telling herself that she doesn’t care about that dumb old Sung-hyuk dumping her. She’s tempted by the purse of the girl sitting next to her, but as she’s reaching to pluck the girl’s wallet, she looks up to see Sung-hyuk standing over her, telling her gently to stop. It’s really just the girl’s boyfriend, but the vision seriously rattles her cage.
Seeing her on the street looking upset, Su-chang asks Dong-tak for a favor. Dong-tak finds Bong-sook seething after being rejected for a job (because she has a record) and takes her for coffee. Su-chang beams, proud of her for trying to get a real job, and he asks Dong-tak to do that “talking to the soul” thing for Bong-sook and encourage her to keep trying.
She’s confused when Dong-tak doesn’t seem to know her — he’s actually never met her before, because she’s always seen him while Su-chang was using his body. But she seems moved as he gives her a speech about using her life to do what she finds exciting.
Su-chang adds that he doesn’t know who made her cry, but that she should grab hold of that guy. Dong-tak says that he can tell Bong-sook that himself when he wakes up. As she leaves, Su-chang tells Dong-tak that Bong-sook was his sidekick ever since they were at the orphanage together.
At his club, Yong-pal tells his minions about his misspent youth, and they all eat it up except for Doc, who whines that he doesn’t care. Yong-pal gets a call from an informant, and we hear him mention Su-chang, the hospital, and the stab-and-twist move. He calls Dong-tak, who doesn’t answer, so Yong-pal heads to the hospital himself.
Su-chang tells Dong-tak about his dream, and Dong-tak promises him again that he won’t let him die. But Su-chang is still worried, and he remembers nurse Da-jung saying that she saw someone strange leaving his hospital room before each of his attacks.
Right on cue, Ji-an calls to say that even though the CCTV cameras were supposedly out of service when the attacks happened, her colleague Mi-nam may be able to find a backup file. She sends Su-chang a message through Dong-tak asking him not to hate her father, which Su-chang hears but doesn’t answer.
Dong-tak asks Su-chang if he’s decided not to blame Detective Song, and Su-chang just reminds him that he promised to solve everything. But he suddenly thinks about the day they were attacked while handcuffed and he wonders, “What if it was me they were attacking and not you?” He panics, wondering why someone would be trying to kill him.
Yong-pal finally gets through to Dong-tak and tells him that he got a tip that the Angel killer, the one who does the stab-and-twist, is on his way to the hospital to kill Su-chang. He says that he and his minions are already at the hospital, urging Dong-tak to hurry.
Interestingly, they spot Jae-hee heading towards Su-chang’s room. Dong-tak tells Yong-pal to keep him from Su-chang’s room until he gets there. Sure that they’ve got their killer, Su-chang remembers seeing Jae-hee at the orphanage that day. Dong-tak calls Detective Lee and asks him to send a list of the orphanage’s sponsors.
Jae-hee makes it to Su-chang’s room and looks down at his sleeping body. He ducks into the closet when he hears Yong-pal and his minions, who barely even look for him before hearing a noise and leaving again. They linger in the hall, where they see a strange-looking doctor leaving Su-chang’s room just seconds before Su-chang’s monitors start beeping madly.
As soon as Dong-tak and Su-chang arrive, Su-chang doubles over in agony as the doctors fight to restart his heart. Dong-tak rushes out of the elevator and right past the strange-looking doctor, only remembering him when Yong-pal says that someone left Su-chang’s room wearing scrubs.
As everyone runs to look for the stranger in scrubs, Su-chang drags himself into his room to watch as the doctors work over his body. Meanwhile Dong-tak goes to the security office where he sees someone on the parking garage CCTV monitor, shedding a doctor’s lab coat.
He runs down to find a pile of abandoned scrubs, but there’s nobody in the parking garage when he gets there. He runs around aimlessly until he hears screeching tires, and looks up to see the Angel on his motorcycle at the top of a ramp.
The Angel revs his engine, and with memories of the times he was attacked by the Angel flashing though his mind, Dong-tak actually runs towards the motorcycle. The Angel tries to run him down, and Dong-tak performs a flying leap at the last second, kicking out at the Angel in midair.
He falls and rolls, then he and the Angel square off for another run at each other. But Yong-pal calls out to Dong-tak, and the Angel takes advantage of the brief distraction to get away.
A short while later, Dong-tak bursts into Jae-hee’s office to ask him straight out if he caused the accident sixteen years ago, and if he killed Kim Jong-doo and Hang-joon. He asks why Jae-hee is trying to kill Su-chang now, and although Jae-hee denies everything, Dong-tak vows to keep digging for the truth.
Jae-hee gets right in Dong-tak’s face and tells him to watch himself, because he’s seen many people who forgot their place disappear alone. Dong-tak says that he’s not alone — he’s got a partner, one he’ll stick with until the end. Jae-hee invites him to show some evidence, and Dong-tak retorts that he’ll do his best to live up to Jae-hee’s expectations.
Unsurprisingly, the parking garage CCTV footage is now suspiciously damaged. Dong-tak heads up to Su-chang’s room to talk to him, and Su-chang offers to follow Jae-hee until he finds something, pretending to be more okay than he really feels after yet another close call.
After getting a call that Min-seok is now refusing to talk, Dong-tak goes back to the station, where Commissioner Noh has asked to speak with him. He tells Commissioner Noh that he’s not after him, but the person who was able to stop Min-seok from talking. Commissioner Noh says that he’s the one who sent the picture of Doo-shik, providing his alibi.
He says he did it so that Dong-tak could catch the man who really killed Hang-joon, the man who hunts people down but never gets blood on his hands. Thinking about Chief Prosecutor Tak’s order to “put the failed hunting dog in the cook pot,” Commissioner Noh names Superintendent Ma.
While Jae-hee stews about Dong-tak in his office, Su-chang lurks around trying to see the back of his neck, but Jae-hee’s wearing a turtleneck. Jae-hee wonders out loud who Dong-tak’s partner is, and Su-chang chirps with a big grin, “It’s me!”
At the end of the work day, Mi-nam tells Ji-an that he’s heading out to host an event at the orphanage he’s been sponsoring. Ji-an thanks him for helping others who need it like she was helped by Chief Prosecutor Tak, then goes back to studying the file on her father.
She wonders who it was that her father stopped to talk to on the day he died. She gets a sudden idea and goes to see Chief Prosecutor Tak, who smiles to see her.
Alone in his office, Jae-hee looks over a background check he ran on Dong-tak, muttering to himself that he needs to stop him.
Su-chang finds Dong-tak and informs him that Jae-hee is looking into him and those around him. Dong-tak takes a call from Kim Jong-doo’s wife, who says she remembered something strange — her husband had never touched a cigarette in his life, but before his death, he brought home a lighter that he treated as though it was precious.
Dong-tak wonders if it’s the same lighter that Hang-joon had in his pocket when he was killed. He tells Su-chang that the lighter may be the clue tying everything together, but then a motor growls and a light shines in Dong-tak’s face.
The motorcycle comes at him too fast to be avoided, hitting him hard enough to knock him to the ground. The helmeted rider gets off the bike and marches towards Dong-tak, walking right through Su-chang’s failed attempt to punch him. He straddles Dong-tak and grabs his throat, choking him.
Unable to help, Su-chang yells at Dong-tak to fight back and get up. He looks down and sees the back of the attacker’s neck, and sees the angel wings tattoo there. Su-chang freezes as Dong-tak fights for his life.
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The motorcycle killer returns
By this point, I’ve been figuring that either Jae-hee knew everything (and was either letting his father kill everyone and not saying anything, or an accomplice doing his father’s bidding), or that he’s been completely ignorant for sixteen years. I even previously considered that he might be the Angel, but I always felt it was more likely that he’s had no idea all this time, given that he seems outwardly to be a nice guy whose morals are in the right place. So I’m a bit shocked that it’s looking like my instinct was on the right track, and that Jae-hee really is the Angel; the killer in the helmet. As I said before, the timing works out, because the recent deaths began when he came back to town after being away, and he certainly has motive if he’s the one who somehow caused the fatal crash in the first place.
What really surprised me is that this episode made a pretty good argument that Chief Prosecutor Tak may not actually know that his son is the Angel. It makes no sense for him to be going to such great lengths to protect Jae-hee from an accident in the past, if he’s aware that Jae-hee is just going out and killing even more people now. You wouldn’t shield your child from the past by sending them out to commit deliberate murders. It would explain why Chief Prosecutor Tak seems at times to be the mastermind, and at times he seems not to know what’s going on. I noticed that in his rooftop confession, he didn’t say that he had Kim Jong-doo and Hang-joon killed, he just says about them, “and then he died.” And he really did seem frightened at the thought that Dong-tak blames him and Jae-hee for the recent deaths.
It’s possible that Jae-hee came back to town, learned of the threats, and acted on his own. Still, I do wonder if this is a late-stage red herring and Jae-hee isn’t the real Angel. It was kind of strange to find out at this late date that reporter Ni-nam is also a sponsor of the orphanage. But that mention felt very tacked-on, so it’s hard to say if it was meant to be a real clue, or just a diversion to confuse us about Jae-hee (in which case, call it a success).
Having said all that, I have to admit that this show is starting to make me feel dumb, because every time I have a theory, that theory is proven wrong! And I may feel dumb again after this episode, because while everything seems to be clarifying pretty well, nothing really fits completely. But even if we find out that the truth is something entirely different, I have to appreciate that the show has kept me guessing until the very end.
I do appreciate a good mystery, one where answers only raise more questions. I find the central mystery of Two Cops to be interesting — it’s just that the execution has been so draggy. In fact, my complaints about this show can really be boiled down to one issue… it’s not that it’s badly written, or that the plot meanders, or that the story is boring. It’s that Dong-tak and Su-chang had everything they needed to solve this mystery from the very beginning, but it took them so freaking long to start using those skills. They spent weeks doing not much to solve their own case, even after figuring out that solving it is the key to getting Su-chang back into his own body. The scene where Dong-tak questioned Chief Prosecutor Tak while Su-chang watched him for signs of lying just killed me, because it was such an effective way to get information, and there’s absolutely no reason why those guys couldn’t have been doing that all along.
I get that Su-chang and Dong-tak had to work through some personal stuff first, but that could have been done much more quickly — I mean, look how fast Su-chang was able to change his mind about Ji-an’s father. So why did it take so long for him to forgive Dong-tak, who was only a kid back then? I would have happily watched some more case-of-the-week setups if the stuff in between had been more of Dong-tak and Su-chang being a solid team like they are now. The cases were interesting, I loved that they were all about righting wrongs against women. I would gladly have enjoyed a few more of those and sacrificed a lot of the aimless running around by the guys (so long as every case didn’t involve rescuing Ji-an. Again). And yet, all this isn’t enough to ruin the drama for me, which I still find fun and interesting, if I don’t try to think too hard. The problem is that I feel like the show wants me to think hard, but it’s just a bit too shaky to stand up to the close scrutiny.
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