The Guest: Episode 12
Eenie, meenie, miney, mo — who’s the vessel for Park Il-do? As the trio seek out answers, their loyalties are put to the test, threatening to tear them apart for good. In his desperation to protect his friends, Hwa-pyung may have doomed them — especially if his psychic ability turns out to be directly connected to Park Il-do.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Hwa-pyung sits in the hospital waiting room, dressed in mourning and holding a memorial photo of his father. He might not have been able to save Geun-ho from jumping off the bridge, but at least they were able to save Grandpa. Yay! Except he’s in a coma due to the blood loss, and the doctors aren’t sure when he’ll wake up again.
Hwa-pyung reassures his unconscious grandfather that he’ll make sure his father is sent off properly. He dazedly sits in the crematorium, waiting for his father’s ashes. Nearby are Yoon and Kil-young, also patiently waiting.
Yook Kwang gently shakes Hwa-pyung from his reverie and lets him know the ashes are ready. Yoon watches them walk away, and tells Kil-young that Hwa-pyung was by his side when his brother was cremated — now the roles are reversed.
Kil-young points out that Park Il-do finally achieved his goal of killing Hwa-pyung’s family, and Yoon muses that neither Grandpa nor Geun-ho were possessed by Park Il-do. Kil-young’s convinced Park Il-do must be nearby, watching them, and vows to catch the vengeful spirit for Hwa-pyung’s sake.
Just then, Priest Yang enters, making it feel very much like a “speak of the devil” moment.
Hwa-pyung collects his father’s ashes, then tells Yoon and Kil-young that he’s giving up looking for Park Il-do. He’s realized that they can’t defeat the evil spirit, and they’d only die trying, so it’s better if they go their separate ways and not contact each other ever again.
Yoon and Kil-young watch Hwa-pyung leave with Yook Kwang. Yoon’s convinced that Hwa-pyung hasn’t really given up, but Kil-young thinks otherwise. She believes that Hwa-pyung will do whatever it takes to protect his grandfather, including quitting his pursuit of Park Il-do.
However, Yoon and Kil-young are still as determined as ever to see things through until the end. After all, they don’t have any family left to lose. Kil-young decides to focus her attention on Hong-joo.
Hwa-pyung returns to his unconscious grandfather, telling him about the small funeral they had for Geun-ho. He continues to babble, believing Grandpa can somehow hear him, and starts to cry as he realizes how wrong he was to think that Grandpa could have been Park Il-do.
Through his tears, he thanks his grandfather for working so hard to make sure Hwa-pyung was able to grow up safe and sound. Then Hwa-pyung breaks down sobbing as he confesses that he couldn’t save his father, no matter how hard he tried. He helplessly asks Grandpa what he should do now.
Priest Yang and Yoon have lunch together (the older priest doesn’t even hide how much he now relies on his pocket flask). Yoon feels guilty because he wasn’t able to perform the exorcism. He suddenly hears spirits blame him for Geun-ho’s death, reminding him of the curse, but when Priest Yang asks if he’s okay, Yoon says it’s nothing.
Priest Yang admits that he’s worried about Yoon, blaming Hwa-pyung for what Yoon has to endure. He asks if Yoon trusts Hwa-pyung, and Yoon says he does — he didn’t at first, but now they share the same burden as they fight for their lives.
Except Priest Yang reminds Yoon that Hwa-pyung is the only other person who Park Il-do could have gone into that day twenty years ago. Yoon refuses to believe it, but when Priest Yang points out that the only two people still alive and conscious from that night are Hwa-pyung and himself, Yoon insists he’s never doubted Priest Yang, either.
Yoon also insists that he trusts Hwa-pyung, but Priest Yang persists in pointing out that Hwa-pyung may not even be aware that he’s possessed, since the shaman exorcism when Hwa-pyung was a child managed to suppress the Park Il-do’s power.
There’s also the fact that Hwa-pyung has visions from the people Park Il-do possesses, which is something Priest Yang has never seen before in the exorcism community. The older priest promises to start investigating Hwa-pyung himself, and leaves Yoon to remember all the spirits warning that “everyone close to him will die — he’s just like us.” (The “he” presumably being Hwa-pyung).
As Hwa-pyung leaves his grandfather’s hospital room, he hears a strange noise in the hallway and turns around. A searing pain in his right eye causes him to drop to the floor, and blood gushes from his eye. A spirit — Park Il-do himself, it looks like — appears and looms over the agonized and helpless Hwa-pyung as the lights flicker.
Hwa-pyung reaches out and calls Park Il-do’s name, but suddenly the lights come back on. The spirit is gone — and so is the blood and the pain in his eye.
Yook Kwang joins Hwa-pyung for a drink, but Hwa-pyung is understandably distracted. The shaman gently encourages his friend by telling him not to blame his father or feel guilty about his grandfather. Life is too short, and everyone dies, anyway — some just die earlier than others.
He tries to lighten the mood with his cheerful chatter, but Hwa-pyung barely listens, instead declaring that he’s more determined than ever to catch Park Il-do. Yook Kwang is shocked, since that’s the opposite of what he told Yoon and Kil-young.
But Hwa-pyung only said that for their protection — he doesn’t want them to die because of him, like his father did and his grandfather almost did. Besides, he’s not alone — he still has Yook Kwang. Aw.
Hwa-pyung purposefully ignores Yoon’s call. Still thinking about Priest Yang’s declaration that Hwa-pyung is Park Il-do, Yoon then calls Kil-young. She’s planning on looking into Hong-joo, although she’s not sure how to get the congresswoman to reveal her connection to Park Il-do.
But when Detective Go muses over scaring a lower-ranking gangster to make him go running to his boss (and their real target), Kil-young is suddenly inspired. She visits Hong-joo on the pretense of following up with Hwa-pyung’s attack on the congresswoman, casually asking about Hwa-pyung’s accusation that she was Park Il-do.
Hong-joo laughs it off, but Kil-young reveals she’s investigated Park Il-do and knows that he was originally her great-uncle. Hong-joo looks a little nervous, but is still composed as she says Kil-young is wasting her time, talking about a man who’s long been dead.
Kil-young admits that the man Park Il-do may be dead, but the spirit lives on. With a wry smile, Kil-young reveals that she knows which body Park Il-do is possessing right now. But she demurs to say anything more, since she says Hong-joo must not be interested. After Kil-young leaves, Hong-joo nervously scratches at her neck. Eeep, some mannerisms must be hereditary.
Yoon returns to their hometown to visit the old shaman lady. She now lives in an assisting living home and, while she has dementia, she still remembers Hwa-pyung and the exorcism she performed on him.
She tells Yoon that it was to suppress the spirit that possessed the boy. Yoon asks if the spirit was Park Il-do, and the shaman says that whoever it was, it said that it belonged to Hwa-pyung and would never leave. She eerily adds that it’s probably still in his body, and that this is about the time when her exorcism will start to wear off.
Worried, Yoon asks what will happen, and the shaman says the spirit will take over Hwa-pyung’s body — he’ll hear and see things that no one else can. She suddenly turns her face to Yoon and grins creepily as she realizes that Yoon has also been cursed by the spirits.
The shaman then becomes distressed as she repeats over and over that people will die. The nurse runs in to try and help as Yoon stares in shock, listening to the shaman’s despairing and frantic prediction.
Hwa-pyung is headed home when he suddenly has blinding pain in his eye. It’s only for a second, and when it’s over, he sees his father’s spirit in the alleyway. Hwa-pyung follows the ghost to a phone booth. But as Hwa-pyung gets closer, his father’s spirit disappears.
Hwa-pyung returns home, dazed by what happened, and even Yook Kwang (delivering some groceries, aw), is totally shocked. He realizes that this means the shaman suppression is wearing off, and Hwa-pyung’s childhood ability to see spirits is returning. Yook Kwang echoes the old shaman lady’s warnings by telling Hwa-pyung he’ll start hearing and seeing things no one else can.
Realizing that his father must have been trying to tell him something, he asks Yook Kwang to track down the phone number that called the inn the night his father was possessed.
Kil-young stakes out Hong-joo’s office and follows her when she leaves. Hong-joo’s driver drops her off at a tunnel in a run-down, industrial part of town. Cautiously, Kil-young follows Hong-joo into the tunnel, and sees that Hong-joo meets with a man — Priest Yang.
Thanks to Yook Kwang, Hwa-pyung gets the phone number that called the inn. He tries calling it himself, but it just rings — no one answers.
In the morning, Hong-joo meets with the hometown police chief — and Kil-young’s boss. Uh-oh. She essentially tattles on Kil-young, handing over photos her staff obtained of Hwa-pyung with Kil-young and Yoon. She demands to know why Kil-young is hanging out with such a dangerous man, and then dares come to Hong-joo’s office to ask her about him.
Hong-joo loses her cool, smashing a water glass as she yells at them for not preventing Kil-young from bothering her. Both policemen look nervous at Hong-joo’s outburst, but promise to take care of it.
That means Detective Go gets yelled at by his boss for not properly controlling his partner. Later, Detective Go whines to Kil-young, asking her to not bother powerful politicians, or else Hong-joo will make their lives hell. Kil-young insists she has to deal with Hong-joo because it’s important to the case.
Detective Go demands to know why Kil-young won’t tell him anything about this mysterious case she’s working on. Sighing, Kil-young says that she didn’t think he’d believe what she’d have to tell him, then confesses she’s chasing after Park Il-do.
She explains that all the cases they’ve been working on — from her mother’s twenty-year-old case to Young-soo and Min-sang — are all connected to Park Il-do. Detective Go finds it impossible to believe that Park Il-do is an evil spirit that possesses people and Kil-young looks deflated, pointing out that she knew her partner wouldn’t understand.
She’s still planning to investigate, anyway, and doesn’t need Detective Go’s help. He suggests that this is all just an irrational obsession due to what happened her mother, and Kil-young tells Detective Go that he should just stay in his comfortable bubble, kissing up to those in power. She storms out of the office.
She meets with Yoon, who tells her the theory that Hwa-pyung might actually be the one possessed by Park Il-do. Kil-young refuses to believe it, but Yoon hesitantly points out that it’s the only way to explain why Hwa-pyung has his visions.
Except Kil-young thinks the most suspicious person is Priest Yang. Yoon’s shocked, but it’s about time their attention turned to that shady priest. She tells Yoon about Hong-joo meeting Priest Yang.
The fact that he was the first person she wanted to see after Kil-young’s visit — and that she met him in such a private, secluded location — means that Kil-young has to be on to something.
Kil-young heads home, but sees a mysterious man leaving her apartment. She grabs him, recognizing him as Hong-joo’s chauffeur. He suddenly wields a knife as he warns her to stay away. She chases after him as they race downstairs to the parking garage.
The man reaches the parking garage just as Detective Go arrives, on his way to apologize to Kil-young for what he said earlier. Instinctively he chases after the man, tackling him — and getting stabbed in the process. The man gets away as Kil-young rushes to Detective Go.
The detective is raced to the hospital, and Kil-young comforts his worried wife. Her boss is there, and asks if Kil-young is really sure that it was Hong-joo’s chauffeur. He warns Kil-young that if Kil-young gets on Hong-joo’s bad side, they could all be destroyed.
Kil-young defiantly asks if they’re just supposed to cover up the fact her partner was hurt by one of Hong-joo’s men. Her boss desperately says that yes, that’s exactly what they’ll have to do if they want to still have jobs.
Hong-joo is furious that her chauffeur got caught and Kil-young recognized him. But then she becomes disturbingly peaceful as she tells him that she’ll send him to a safe place until everything cools down.
She calls someone, letting them know there’s a problem that needs to be fixed.
Hwa-pyung continues to call the number from the inn, but there’s still no answer. He redials, and finally someone picks up. It’s Priest Yang. Hwa-pyung immediately hangs up once he realizes who it is.
At the hospital, Detective Go reassures his family that he’ll be fine. It was a minor wound — he’ll just need to rest and recuperate from the surgery. His wife leaves to refill his water jug, and another person — whose face we can’t see — arrives. Surprised, Detective Go wonders why this mysterious person is there.
Hwa-pyung enters Priest Yang’s church, but as he does, he’s overwhelmed by a vision of someone leaving the hospital. Hwa-pyung drops to his knees as his nose starts to bleed.
He’s revived by the time Priest Yang returns to the church. Priest Yang worriedly asks if Hwa-pyung is okay, and Hwa-pyung says he’s fine. He’s more curious about why Priest Yang called his father that night.
Priest Yang says it’s because Hwa-pyung’s grandfather asked him to. Grandpa was worried when Geun-ho accused him of being Park Il-do and thought Priest Yang would know best how to deal with Geun-ho. Priest Yang says that as soon as he called, Geun-ho hung up on him.
Hwa-pyung asks if there was anything else, revealing that his father was possessed right after he spoke to Priest Yang. But the priest turns it around, pointing out that Hwa-pyung was the last person his father saw before he was possessed, then asks him more questions about his visions.
As Priest Yang drinks his liberally spiked coffee, Hwa-pyung notices the cross behind the priest’s desk is upside down. The priest casually says that it keeps falling because of a loose nail.
Hwa-pyung goes to investigate the upside-down crucifix, noting that there doesn’t seem to be a loose nail. But as he reaches for the crucifix, the blinding pain in his eye stops him. When Priest Yang asks if Hwa-pyung is okay, Hwa-pyung hurriedly makes an excuse and leaves.
Yoon’s outside Hwa-pyung’s house when Priest Yang calls, warning Yoon that Hwa-pyung was just there and reacted to the crucifix — which Priest Yang says he turned upside down on purpose in order to test Hwa-pyung.
Priest Yang desperately warns Yoon not to trust Hwa-pyung and to keep a carful eye on him. After Yoon hangs up the phone, he’s suddenly stricken by the cursed stabbing pains in his chest.
Kil-young lingers around Hong-joo’s office until she sees Hong-joo’s car pull up. She grabs the driver, but it’s not the same guy who attacked her. The new chauffeur says he just started working for Hong-joo today and has no idea what happened to the previous chauffeur.
She gets a call from Detective Go, asking where she is. He drives to her, despite her concern that he shouldn’t be out and about in his condition. But Detective Go has decided to believe Kil-young, especially since someone visited him at the hospital and said that he’d been possessed by Park Il-do.
Detective Go wants Kil-young to talk to this person, so she gets into the car. As they drive along, Kil-young worries about her partner, since he doesn’t look great and she believes he should still be in the hospital. But Detective Go grins, insisting that he’s fine.
She quietly but sincerely apologizes, blaming herself for his injuries. Detective Go — with his eerily wide grin — says that Kil-young should blame herself for nearly making his wife a widower and his children fatherless. Then he gulps down a large bottle of water. Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no!
As he sits in his car outside the church, Hwa-pyung also gulps down some water — but in a less desperately possessed way. Yoon finds him there and asks why he went to see Priest Yang. Hwa-pyung says it’s none of his business, but Yoon still needs to ask Hwa-pyung something.
Hwa-pyung gets out of the car, and Yoon hesitates before he asks Hwa-pyung if he can see from his right eye. Hwa-pyung is offended that Yoon would think he’s Park Il-do, but Yoon says he just wants to get rid of any doubts. Hwa-pyung retorts that Priest Yang was also there that day, and Yoon says it’s impossible for an exorcist priest to be possessed.
Hwa-pyung reminds him that Yoon’s brother was a priest and was possessed. But Yoon is desperate, and grabs Hwa-pyung, pleading with him to prove that he’s not Park Il-do.
Covering his left eye, Hwa-pyung stares at Yoon, declaring that he can see Yoon’s face clearly. Still hurt by Yoon’s suspicions, Hwa-pyung turns to leave, but immediately falls into a trance.
In his vision, he sees Kil-young’s worried face, which confirms our fears that Detective Go is possessed.
Hwa-pyung wakes up from his trance and calls Kil-young. Detective Go, no longer hiding that he’s possessed, yells that he told her never to talk to Hwa-pyung again. Kil-young, realizing the situation, quickly answers the phone and shouts her location just as Detective Go crashes the car.
Yoon and Hwa-pyung race off to find Kil-young. Meanwhile, she wakes up from the minor concussion caused by the accident. Gripping her arm, which seems to be broken, she looks around for Detective Go — but he’s no longer in the driver’s seat. That’s because he’s on the trunk of the car, leering into the back window as he wields a knife.
Nooooooooo! How dare you, show?!?!? How dare you take Detective Go — sweet, loyal, adorable, funny Detective Go, the one bright spot in Kil-young’s life, the only person who seemed to treat her like family — and make him possessed? The loyal, comedic sidekicks are off limits, do you hear me? Off limits! Sigh. I’m so conflicted. I really want Yoon and Hwa-pyung to get there in time so they can catch Detective Go, save Kil-young’s life, and exorcise him. But another exorcism means Yoon’s one step closer to death. Yet, if they don’t exorcise him, then Kil-young will likely die. Why this horrible catch-22, show? Why do you hate us this much????
I don’t know why I’m so surprised, since it’s been made abundantly clear that anyone remotely close to Hwa-pyung will die, but I guess Detective Go never really seemed like a viable threat. Now I’m nervous for Yook Kwang, especially since he’s already had visions of his own brutal death. I just need my comical sidekicks to stay alive as they support the trio, especially when the trio aren’t sure if they can trust each other.
As someone who’s been suspicious of Priest Yang for weeks, I’m totally on team Kil-young. I refuse to believe that Hwa-pyung is possessed by Park Il-do. Although… it would make sense… I mean, if the shaman exorcism simply restricted Park Il-do’s powers and didn’t fully exorcise him from Hwa-pyung, it would explain why so many horrible things have been happening lately as the suppression begins to wear off. I still don’t believe Hwa-pyung is Park Il-do (or I just don’t want to believe it), but I can understand why Yoon might have his doubts.
I might take those doubts more seriously, though, if they hadn’t been planted by Priest Yang, who has been my number-one suspect for Park Il-do’s vessel. Then again, this episode seemed to almost work too hard to paint Priest Yang in a mysterious light — I now wonder if he’s yet another red herring. He’s getting the same editing treatment Grandpa did the last couple of episodes, and we know Grandpa was innocent. There could be some completely innocuous reason he met with Hong-joo the night Kil-young put a bee in the congresswoman’s bonnet about knowing the true identity of Park Il-do. He could have doing some perfectly normal church business that took him away from his office the very moment someone was meeting with Detective Go in the hospital. That upside-down crucifix (a horror-genre staple of demonic activity) could indeed have been placed on purpose, knowing Hwa-pyung’s attention would be drawn to it.
Maybe Priest Yang really is as innocent as he claims. But I refuse to believe it, if only because the alternative means Hwa-pyung is possessed by Park Il-do. If it turns out Park Il-do has been with Hwa-pyung all this time, not only will Hwa-pyung be crushed under the weight of even more guilt, but I fear that he’ll decide the only way to truly rid the world of this evil demon is to kill himself. Which seems to be exactly what Park Il-do wants — but only after he kills everyone else around Hwa-pyung first of course. Yoon’s already partially there (why do I have the sinking feeling that he’d use his last chance of an exorcism to save his friend’s soul, even knowing that he’d die instead?). As for Kil-young, well… I’m worried for her, but after all the ways she’s managed to fight and win against various possessed people, I’m hopefully confident that, despite the personal connection, she’ll be able to fight off her friend and partner until the trio is reunited and they can figure out what to do next, together. After all, according to scripture: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”