Possessed: Episode 9
Our lovable bumbling detective takes a backseat this hour as his predecessor takes center stage. The switch doesn’t go unnoticed by those closest to him, and unfortunately that includes a certain malevolent spirit on a mission to bring Armageddon.
Morning comes and Dae-doo’s next victim, Do Ji-seok, exits her apartment. Detective Kim (in Pil-sung’s body) and Seo-jung tail her to her restaurant job. While they wait for Dae-doo to appear, Detective Kim suddenly asks what will happen if he refuses to leave Pil-sung’s body when all is said and done.
Seo-jung nervously replies that Pil-sung’s soul will perish. Detective Kim guesses the two are in love since his heart aches whenever he looks at Seo-jung. He assures her he’ll leave peacefully and returns the focus to the task at hand.
They’re still waiting when evening falls and Detective Kim warns Seo-jung to stay alert since it should happen soon. Sure enough, just as Do Ji-seok gets ready to leave the restaurant, something clatters in the kitchen.
Do Ji-seok cautiously investigates and is startled by a cat. She heads home and as they follow, Detective Kim can’t figure out why Dae-doo hasn’t made a move. Seo-jung anxiously wonders if they were wrong about the next target and Detective Kim’s expression is uneasy. When they arrive at the apartment, he gets out of the car and looks around as the woman unlocks her door.
From the shadows, Dae-doo sees Detective Kim for who he is and chuckles that his old adversary has also returned. “Things are going to get interesting,” he smiles and walks away. Detective Kim tells Seo-jung something has gone wrong and bangs on the door of the apartment. Do Ji-seok answers and Detective Kim shows her Pil-sung’s badge, fibbing that he’s currently searching door-to-door for a missing child.
Do Ji-seok’s daughter calls out that her father wants them to meet him for burgers and Detective Kim warns Do Ji-seok to lock door and call the police if she sees anything suspicious. Mother and daughter head out to the burger joint, unaware of Detective Kim and Seo-jung following shortly behind.
Inside, Do Ji-seok receives a call from her husband, asking them to meet him behind the restaurant so they can eat in the park. Seo-jung and Detective Kim sit out front and Seo-jung asks if he’d sensed anything strange at the apartment. Detective Kim suddenly thinks back to the daughter saying her father called and asks if Dae-doo can mimic voices.
Seo-jung says it’s possible if he’s absorbed that person’s soul and Detective Kim bolts out of the car for the restaurant. Meanwhile, Do Ji-seok and her daughter exit the back and see her husband’s van waiting for them. It isn’t until they’re seated that they look over and notice he’s wearing a mask.
The doors all lock and Dae-doo pulls the mask back to reveal he’s not her husband. Detective Kim and Seo-jung race through the restaurant, but Do Ji-seok and her daughter aren’t there. Elsewhere, Dae-doo positions the bodies in the van and then takes a hamburger for himself before tossing the rest onto the laps of the dead family.
As he eats, he admits that Seo-jung is more competent (for bringing back Detective Kim) than he’d given her credit for. With an angry shout he seethes about Detective Kim, wondering how to toy with him and inflict the ultimate pain before disappearing into the night.
The family is found the next morning and Detective Kim’s expression is wracked with guilt as he bursts through the police barricade and pulls back the sheet on Do Ji-seok’s body. Dae-doo calls and asks why he lost the game despite figuring out the answer, sighing more people died because of him.
Ignoring the taunts, Detective Kim asks why he killed the daughter. “You’re usually not like that. Have you given up your pride now?” Laughing, Dae-doo says Pil-sung must’ve really studied him… or else Detective Kim has returned. Dae-doo tells him to say “hi” to Seo-jung — revealing he’s close enough to see them — before hanging up.
As they drive away, Seo-jung’s eyes are brimming with tears. As she stares up at the red sky, she asks Detective Kim to pull over. He does and she gets out. Her eyes glow as a swirling portal only she can see appears and she announces the gate to Hell is opening.
They arrive at Pil-sung’s apartment and Detective Kim downs a bottle of soju while Seo-jung takes in the room. He tells her they’re doomed to lose against Dae-doo and Seo-jung reminds him Dae-doo loves inflicting fear so he shouldn’t let it get to him.
Detective Kim angrily demands what Pil-sung would do, and Seo-jung coolly replies at least he wouldn’t give up so easily. Detective Kim snaps that they dragged him back because they were afraid and Seo-jung asks if she should help him return, then.
He doesn’t answer and instead reveals Pil-sung chose to summon him because of Seo-jung. She’s confused and Detective Kim explains Dae-doo’s promise to stop if Pil-sung killed Seo-jung himself. Detective Kim says Pil-sung was desperate to not give up, but adds that the more they struggle, the more they’ll suffocate in Dae-doo’s trap.
“So if I die, all problems will be solved,” Seo-jung answers. Detective Kim scoffs and taps Pil-sung’s notebook, “Do you actually think this guy can kill you?” He’s felt Pil-sung’s soul and says that even if the world burns, Pil-sung could never harm her.
Seo-jung simply replies Detective Kim could do it for him, then, since she’s unafraid of death. “You’re incredibly selfish, aren’t you?” Detective Kim scoffs again and takes another swig of soju. By nightfall, Detective Kim has passed out.
Covering him with her coat, Seo-jung eyes Pil-sung’s notebook. She flips it open and finds the letter he’d addressed to Detective Kim, imploring him to protect Seo-jung at all costs. She sees the note about the alter and lights the candles and incense for the spirits.
The grandfather and granddaughter appear and Seo-jung greets her kindly. She guesses they’d been surprised to see Detective Kim, but assures them he’s a good spirit and that Pil-sung will return soon. As she looks at the girl, Seo-jung’s brow starts to furrow and she declares the girl shouldn’t be here because she didn’t choose to end her life.
Her eyes flash to the grandfather and she barks that it’s his fault and she needs to cross over before it’s too late. The grandfather spirit angrily snatches his granddaughter away and Seo-jung shouts, “You should’ve died alone instead of dragging an innocent girl with you!”
She tells him holding her back isn’t love and implores him to allow his granddaughter to pass on and receive the happiness she’d been robbed of. The grandfather releases his grip and Seo-jung hugs the girl, seeing flashes of her life where they’d lost the house to debt and struggled to get by until the grandfather made up his mind for both of them.
Seo-jung begins to pray and as a light shines behind her, the two spirits exchange a tearful smile before the girl dissipates into a white smoke and vanishes into the light. The light fades and the grandfather spirit takes his leave. Seo-jung brushes away tears and takes a seat next to Pil-sung’s body.
She holds his hand and rests her head on his lap. In her mind, she calls out to him, asking where he is and if he can hear her. On a boat in the middle of a calm sea, Pil-sung (in a swanky white suit) is fishing. He sighs that Detective Kim passed out after a few drinks (calling him by name) and calls for Seo-jung to come in.
Her spirit appears on the boat and she muses he seems like a different person, but then her eyes fall on his shoes… the ones she’d bought him. She admits they still haven’t caught Dae-doo and Pil-sung asks not to talk about him — he can sense it all anyway.
Pil-sung slides next to her and takes her hand, finally dropping his cheerful act to say he’s been worried sick about her and has missed her like crazy even though it’s only been a few days. Seo-jung warns him loving her will only bring misery but Pil-sung says he’s okay with that. He leans in to kiss her, but just before their lips touch Seo-jung’s soul returns to her body.
Sitting up, she looks at Pil-sung’s sleeping body and asks what she should do now.
Phony fortuneteller Do-ryung is up to his old tricks as he tries to convince a woman to drop a hefty sum to insure her good luck sticks. Unlike his usual clientele, this ahjumma is resisting his pitch. To emphasize his point, Do-ryung takes out a huge water bottle and says the water is her good luck while the small pipette of ink is bad.
The woman is horrified at the way the ink quickly colors all the water black and although she blanches at his fee, she concedes to pay. The next customer is Seo-jung and while he’s initially chipper to see a friend of his girlfriend, the smile quickly fades as he meet’s Seo-jung’s eyes.
She smirks as he grows increasingly nervous under her ability, until finally standing and sending all his customers away. When he returns, Seo-jung tsks that he uses his heavenly gifts for selfish gain. She adds that loving someone on top of that is an unforgivable sin.
Do-ryung cries that he didn’t ask for his gift, and can’t control whether or not he falls in love. He pouts that she wouldn’t understand, but Seo-jung sighs that she does. Ignoring Do-ryung’s shocked expression, Seo-jung tells him about Dae-doo.
Do-ryung promises to help, tentatively wondering if that could lessen his punishment for disobeying the heavens. Hee.
Do-ryung’s girlfriend, Soon-kyung, arrives and blinks at the closed sign on his shop door. She turns to see Pil-sung walk up and is offended when he doesn’t greet her, unaware there’s a different soul at the helm. Detective Kim argues he’d feel it if she was someone Pil-sung knows, so she must be someone he wants to forget.
Detective Kim bangs on the door and Soon-kyung is furious when Do-ryung appears and tries to send her away. Pushing inside, she’s appalled to see Seo-jung, assuming she’s being cheated on. Do-ryung manages to drag her out while Detective Kim goes in with Seo-jung.
She tells Detective Kim she’ll be staying here for the time being. He says their next move is to look into Seon Yang-woo, the doctor that summoned Dae-doo. Detective Kim points out Dae-doo had to already have chosen his next host while possessing Yang-woo because he was willing to let Yang-woo die once his murders were discovered.
“Hwang Dae-doo never acts randomly,” Detective Kim says when Seo-jung voices her apprehension, “He’s a control freak that must connect everything and give it all meaning.”
At the station, Detective Kim pores over a map and then announces that he’s going to check out a lead before running out. Once he’s gone, Chief Yoo beckons the other two over to ask if Pil-sung seems strange to them too.
Maknae Joon-hyung thinks Pil-sung lost it due to the Seon Yang-woo case. Detective Choi suggests they drag Pil-sung to the doctor, but Chief Yoo points out Pil-sung is originally crazy and now is acting normal. He tells them to keep a close watch without Pil-sung’s knowledge.
Detective Kim pulls up to the abandoned building where he and Dae-doo had their final standoff in 1995 (and where Seon Yang-woo met his end before Dae-doo jumped bodies). Walking inside dredges up unpleasant flashbacks of that night. He walks out and keeps going until he reaches the top of the mountain, with a clear view of multiple vacation homes. Bingo.
Detective Choi sits Joon-hyung down and tells him that Pil-sung is notoriously awful at soccer. In the 10 year rivalry between our station and the Gangpo’s, the score sits at 5 wins each. Last year, however, our team nearly pulled ahead thanks to Detective Choi. However in the excitement, he’d accidentally kneed Chief Yoo in the groin.
Pil-sung was swapped in and in the last 3 seconds accidentally scored in their own goal. The opposing team then won the shootout. Joon-hyung notes they don’t have enough players to make Pil-sung sit out this year and Detective Choi agrees they’ve already lost.
Game day comes and Detective Choi orders Detective Kim not to move. Annoyed, he does as he’s told, even as the ball stops at his feet and the other team manages to score. Detective Choi barks at him, but Detective Kim replies he merely obeyed.
Scoffing that Pil-sung never does what he’s told, Detective Choi cheekily orders him to score with a fancy soccer move, then. Detective Kim does, and while the spectators cheer, Detective Choi tells Joon-hyung he’s positive that man isn’t Pil-sung.
That evening, Detective Kim types his daughter’s name, Kim Ji-hang, into the database and jots down her address. He goes there the next morning and watches through tears as his wife sends their daughter off to work and then limps back inside.
Ji-hang leaves work upset so her friends take her out for drinks. Detective Kim sits a few booths away and listens as the other girls chastise their boss for getting away with hitting on and then bullying female employees just because he’s the CEO’s brother.
They urge Ji-hang to hang in there and she declares she’ll never resign. She worked hard to get the job and she needs to pay back a loan for the apartment and surgery for her mother’s leg. She and her father tear up as she recounts how hard her mother has worked to support her and she vows never to give up.
Parting ways with her coworkers, Ji-hang goes to the park to sit and sober up. Walking past, a group of guys notice her purse dangling and one tries to snatch it. He’s caught by Detective Kim and runs when Detective Kim identifies himself as a cop.
Detective Kim snaps at Ji-hang for being out so late and so drunk. He makes her call her mother and when she does, he takes the phone. The sound of his wife’s voice renders him silent for a moment, but then he tells her Ji-hang is drunk so she should come fetch her. Ji-hang pipes up that she’s fine, and her mother’s leg isn’t well enough. She tells her mom she’s on her way and thanks Detective Kim.
He watches her stumble a few steps and then orders her to get on his back. As they walk, Ji-hang tells him her father was also a cop. Detective Kim starts to cry as Ji-hang says that she never got to see her father much growing up. While other fathers took their kids on trips, her father sometimes was too busy to even come home. She says that every once in a while, though, he’d show up at her kindergarten and piggyback her home without a word.
Ji-hang used to resent him for it, but now she thinks it was his way of apologizing to her. She laughs at telling all of this to a stranger, but says she feels as comfortable as if she were on her father’s back. Aww. The next morning, Ji-hang is called in to see her skeevy boss. He chides her for being offended by his scolding and sighs that she’s lucky she’s getting dispatched to another location for 3 months.
Seo-jung arrives at Pil-sung’s apartment and gasps at all the notes Detective Kim has laid out on the floor. He explains it’s what he does whenever he’s stuck for clues — write down every possible bit of information and then he can find the connections.
She wonders if he’s heard from Dae-doo and admits she’s more anxious when he’s quiet like this, thinking he must be scheming again. The next morning, Ji-hang reports to her new job… under Dae-doo.
Chief Kim sleeps soundly and we see some of his notes on Seon Yang-woo’s connections, such as coworkers, and the director of the hospital… who also owns one of the vacation houses Detective Kim saw from the top of the mountain.
Arrggghh!!! This show is determined to smash my heart to pieces. I mean, of course Dae-doo was going to go after Detective Kim’s family. That was his final promise to Detective Kim before he was arrested and the only reason he hasn’t made good on it sooner is because Detective Kim was already dead. Now that Detective Kim is back, however, the game is back on. Killing the previous victim’s daughter might have been his message to Detective Kim, that all bets are off and he’s planning to finish what he’d started.
So when Detective Kim expresses his reluctance to go head-to-head once more with Dae-doo, I can’t really blame him. His first run-in left him with a guilty conscious over the death of his subordinate as well as severe PTSD that forced him to cut ties with his family for their own safety. And then after years of depression and alcoholism he was murdered by Dae-doo’s fanboy. Nothing good ever comes from crossing paths with Dae-doo and it’s extremely taxing on the mind and the heart to play his games.
But Seo-jung is right that giving up isn’t really an option. Dae-doo isn’t going to stop on his own and unfortunately, Detective Kim is the only one capable of truly rattling him. I’m sad because even if he succeeds, Detective Kim can’t have the happy ending he deserves. He’s already dead and therefore can’t return to his wife and daughter. It’s going to make leaving that much harder when the time comes.
However, as much as I like Detective Kim and am enjoying him running around being a badass in Pil-sung’s body to the confusion of his team, I’m not willing to let him keep Pil-sung’s body. I can’t help but miss our goofy detective and I’m not alone. Pil-sung’s team may not always agree with him, but there’s no question they care about him and want him to return to normal (even if his “normal” means causing a lot of trouble along the way). And even the ghosts were upset when he came home with a different soul in his body.
But the one who misses him most is without a doubt Seo-jung. It’s so hard to watch those two because they so desperately want to be together and yet the universe has deemed otherwise. I don’t know about y’all but I was totally blindsided when she went through with the ceremony last episode after that kiss! I know they didn’t really have other options and her choice made sense, but dammit I want a happy ending for this OTP that is surprisingly cute and endearing for a show this dark. Seo-jung may have resigned herself to fate, but Pil-sung is still refusing to give up and you gotta love that about him.
I know we probably sound like broken records, but a show like this demands praise. I am consistently blown away by Possessed in both story and execution. The actors are killing it (hehe) with the portrayals of multiple souls and I always end every episode with so many feels. I am both excited and fearful of where the story will take us, but wherever it leads, I’m going to follow.