Catch the Ghost: Episode 11
Does one cowardly action define an entire person? Some people, like the commissioner’s daughter, would like to believe so. But others, like our soft-hearted subway chief, know that anyone can act selfishly when things get hard. So while Metro tries to shame our newbie for past actions, those who understand her reach out when she needs it most.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
Nurse Park tells Ji-seok the truth about Yoo Ryung, her sister, and the Subway Ghost. How Yoo Ryung cared for her sister since the age of 10, how the police ignored Yoo Ryung when the Subway Ghost took her, and the guilt that mapped every inch of the subway system in Yoo Ryung’s brain as she tried to get Yoo Jin back.
Tears well in Ji-seok’s eyes as he drives to Metro, Yoo Ryung’s voicemail ringing in his ears. Inside, he spots Yoo Ryung standing at the board where her sister’s photo hangs amongst the other victims. The other Metro cops remark how cold she is to not feel anything around the photo. Ma-ri even commands her to write out all of Yoo Jin’s actions prior to her disappearance. Not even Woo-hyuk acknowledges Yoo Ryung as she ducks out of the room.
Ma-ri takes notice of Ji-seok as he demands to know the truth about Yoo Ryung’s sister. Ma-ri confirms it, but Ji-seok surprises her when he tells her how cruel hanging up Yoo Jin’s photo is to Yoo Ryung. Ma-ri tries to make this about herself and says she’ll take this as Ji-seok’s answer to their possible reconciliation.
Ji-seok asks if Ma-ri feels sorry for Yoo Ryung at all, and Ma-ri hints that there’s something Ji-seok doesn’t want to know about her. The other Metro cops go further and pull up the security footage of Yoo Ryung leaving Yoo Jin behind. Yoo Ryung returns to the room just in time to see her chief watching the footage she never wanted him to see.
Ma-ri says that she’s not sorry, because this is who Yoo Ryung is, and tells Ji-seok he should stop pitying her. The emotions rise in Ji-seok’s voice as he says he doesn’t pity Yoo Ryung, but he understands her. He says that he too wanted to hide his own pitiful actions when he didn’t tell Ma-ri the truth when they broke up. He says that he was an adult when he had to give up on his dreams to take care of his family, while Yoo Ryung had sacrificed for her sister since she was a child. “Everyone becomes a loser in hard times.”
Ma-ri turns to take her anger out on Yoo Ryung now, and Yoo Ryung flees for the door. She bumps into another hostile Metro cop in the doorway though, and he berates her as well. Ji-seok flies to Yoo Ryung’s side and twists the cop’s arm back, warning him to never touch Yoo Ryung again. “Let’s go,” Ji-seok says to Yoo Ryung as he grabs for her wrist. But his hold is gentle, and he pauses to allow Yoo Ryung to agree before the two storm out of the station together.
Ji-seok drives the scooter for once, and Yoo Ryung rests her head against his back. As she locks her arms tightly around his waist, a wide smile spreads across Ji-seok’s face.
Ji-seok offers to leave the scooter at Yoo Ryung’s for her. She says that it belongs to the subway police, and Ji-seok delivers a quick, “No thanks,” (haha) but then amends that they don’t need it because they have the subway. Ji-seok turns to leave, and Yoo Ryung blurts, “Do you want some ramyun?” Her eyes are on the ground as she mentions that she heard Ji-seok’s stomach grumble, and then Ji-seok eagerly asks if she has eggs. And then he’s dashing up the stairs with Yoo Ryung trailing behind to her rooftop apartment.
Yoo Ryung makes Ji-seok wait outside while she cooks the ramyun. She declares her roof the best place in Seoul to eat ramyun, and Ji-seok digs in eagerly. Ji-seok can’t help but ask how exactly Yoo Ryung managed to get the tunnel keys off him, since they were affixed to his pants. Yoo Ryung chokes on her noodles and then swears that she didn’t nab them off him while he was asleep. She pantomimes the way the keys flew off him into the last pot of ramyun they shared, but Ji-seok scoffs that Yoo Ryung lies even now.
Though he’s teasing, Yoo Ryung apologizes for her real lies and the trouble they’ve caused for Ji-seok. Ji-seok says that he understands that anyone might lie in urgent circumstances. Yoo Ryung promises that she’ll do anything she has to to get Ji-seok reinstated.
Yoo Ryung brings out the beer next, her entire week’s worth, and the two cheers. They laugh and talk together, until soon the beers are all gone and they both sag drunkenly where they sit. Ji-seok now asks whether it’s true that Yoo Ryung memorized the whole subway while looking for her sister, and Yoo Ryung responds that it was better than being home alone.
As the words drift from her mouth, Yoo Ryung’s head droops as she falls asleep sitting up.Ji-seok presses his hand to her head to keep her up, and then slides over until his shoulder is there for Yoo Ryung to rest against. He sits there with her for a moment, just looking out at the night, and then he turns to sweep her hair away from her face. When he does, he spots the tears glistening against her cheek, and he tenderly brushes them away.
Back at Metro, Woo-hyuk reviews everything that’s happened with Yoo Ryung lately, from his unsupportive reaction to the security footage of her to the way that contrasts with Ji-seok’s understanding. “You’re so cool, Ji-seok,” Woo-hyuk murmurs to himself. Looking at their evidence board, Woo-hyuk pulls Yoo Jin’s photo down before he leaves.
Ma-ri returns to the dark offices, her thoughts on her confrontation with Ji-seok. She turns back to their evidence board, and her face tightens when she notes Yoo Jin’s photo missing from its spot.
Back at Yoo Ryung’s, Ji-seok carries her inside, past the couch and into what should be her bedroom. Instead, her giant murder board covers the wall from edge to edge, and Ji-seok sees the way that Yoo Jin’s disappearance has completely taken over Yoo Ryung’s entire life. Ji-seok settles Yoo Ryung into the couch with a blanket, concern on his face as he lingers, noting the stack of ramyun on the table.
The next morning, Yoo Ryung wakes up unable to recall how exactly she got inside. She leans over and spots Ji-seok asleep on the floor next to the couch. She grimaces and then scrambles for the edge when Ji-seok throws his leg up over the couch cushions in his sleep. She does her best to sneak out without waking him, but fumbles and knocks into him with her backpack. Ji-seok’s eyes are bleary with sleep, but he heads to the doors to the other room. Yoo Ryung winces, awaitin the big reveal, but instead of the murder board, there’s now a big curtain hung across the wall.
Yoo Ryung approaches it and swings open the curtain, almost as if she expects that the evidence has been taken down. But when she swings the curtains open, it’s all still there. Ji-seok stands behind her, and his arms swing up near her sides as he closes the curtain again. Yoo Ryung turns to face him, and he places his hands on her gently as he says that he’s not saying not to look at it at all, but to close it sometimes too and look at herself. Ji-seok says he bought her some rice and side dishes as well, grabs one of two identical phones off a table, and steps outside so that Yoo Ryung can get ready for work.
Once outside, Ji-seok blows out a big gasp of relief. It seems the chief wasn’t so sure how that would all play out, haha.
Ji-seok accompanies Yoo Ryung to work and even keeps her company in the elevator. The Metro cops get on the elevator as well, and of course do their best to talk about Yoo Jin while Yoo Ryung stands behind them. Ji-seok reaches over for Yoo Ryung’s clenched fist and holds her hand tightly in support.
They’re still holding hands when the elevator arrives, right in front of Woo-hyuk. Woo-hyuk asks if the two of them are dating, and Ji-seok replies, “Not yet. I didn’t ask her yet.” Oh Ji-seok, you are smooth.
But then Ji-seok explains that he’s holding Yoo Ryung’s hand because of the Metro guys, and then he tells Yoo Ryung to call him if anyone swears at her or shoves her around. Woo-hyuk jumps between the two and says that Yoo Ryung can turn to him, since he’ll be right there (too little, too late, my dear Woo-hyuk…) Ji-seok tries to peer over tall Woo-hyuk’s shoulders, but Woo-hyuk manages to block him and Yoo Ryung scurries away from their antics.
Woo-hyuk remains at Yoo Ryung’s side as Ma-ri keeps up her efforts to punish her. Ma-ri slaps the photo of Yoo Jin down on the table as she pulls out the clothing evidence found in the Ghost’s lair. Ma-ri is convinced that the Ghost was trying to send some message when he left the piece of cloth behind for Yoo Ryung to find, and she thinks it’s about something Yoo Jin did to stir up a grudge with the Ghost. Ma-ri wants DNA to test for a match for Yoo Jin on the clothes, and since identical twins have identical DNA, she roughly grabs a swab from Yoo Ryung.
Not satisfied with that humiliation, Ma-ri gives Yoo Ryung a stack of 200 wanted posters of the Grasshoppers. Instead of hanging them up, Ma-ri wants Yoo Ryung to hand them out personally. Woo-hyuk protests that this isn’t work for police officers, while Ma-ri tells Yoo Ryung that she should do it if she really wants to find her sister’s body (ouch).
Yoo Ryung heads to a subway entrance to distribute the fliers, where she runs into the woman from the first case she and Ji-seok solved together. The woman can’t believe that Yoo Ryung’s talents are being wasted this way and offers to hand out Yoo Ryung’s fliers along with her own. Flyer Lady won’t let anyone pass without a flier, even shoving them into a woman’s bag as she protests.
Meanwhile, things are getting tense at the Grasshopper compound. Grasshopper Hyung is looking nervous, and Bald Grasshopper Dong-man is in his face with evidence that Hyung-soo is clearly the murderer among them. Dong-man shares a story where one night a stray dog was barking, and Hyung-soo had a strange look in his eyes, retrieved a knife, and went outside. Moments later, the dog stopped barking. Dong-man says that’s what’s even scarier is that Hyung-soo had no memories of it the next day. Hyung-soo arrives just then with evidence of his own, pointing out that Dong-man has killed someone before.
Back at Metro, the wanted fliers have been super effective and the office is inundated with possible tips. Ma-ri orders everyone to forward their calls to their cell phones, since they’re going to be busy. Woo-hyuk suggests that Ma-ri rest just a little as she gets a nose bleed while calling out her orders. She brushes off the blood from her phone to answer a call from the commissioner.
Ma-ri meets with Commissioner Kim, where she’s reprimanded for making up the anonymous tip. Mom accuses Ma-ri of being jealous of Yoo Ryung’s performance, while Ma-ri tries to explain that she was trying to protect the subway officers. Commissioner Kim asks why Yoo Ryung wouldn’t just ask for support from Metro, and Ma-ri explains that she had previously excluded Yoo Ryung’s sister as a possible victim.
She tries to explain how her decision was based in reason, but Mom says that even if the evidence all seemed against it, it would have been worth it to help the desperate Yoo Ryung. Mom says that while she was proud of Ma-ri before, now she’s really disappointed in her.
At the Grasshopper compound, Grasshopper Hyung is still looking edgy. Hyung-soo continues to point the finger at Dong-man, who was formerly in a local gang known as the zombies. Rumor is that Dong-man killed a rival gang member. Dong-man doesn’t deny, and instead shoots back at Hyung-soo about the knife and the dog. Hyung-soo doesn’t hide his dissociative order, but he explains that his other personality is an innocent little boy, not a killer. He suspects that he set the dog free rather than killed it.
Hyung declares that turning against one another is exactly what the police want them to do. Dong-man says that he’s found a smuggling boat they can escape to China on the next morning. They agree to split up for the night, since the hideout is too risky, and agree to meet at the harbor in the morning. Meanwhile at the hospital, Mi-ra’s fingers are twitching and her eyelids flutter. Our witness may be waking up finally…
Grasshopper Hyung dons a dark cap and heads out. Hyung-soo heads out as well, but he suddenly gasps, as if he’s perhaps experiencing an episode of dissociation. Dong-man, meanwhile, heads back to that zombie gang and asks for shelter for the night.
Ji-seok visits his mother in his new free time, and he apologizes for getting angry the last time he saw her. He’s in his father’s clothes this time though, so Mom doesn’t know what he’s talking about. They hug, pulling away only when Caregiver Choi arrives. Caregiver Choi starts to look nervous when Mom tells Ji-seok that she has a son. Mom has misunderstood and thinks Caregiver Choi’s son is sick at the hospital and that’s why she works there. Ji-seok asks about it, and the caregiver says that she doesn’t have a son and promptly flees. Ji-seok recalls the time he saw the caregiver chase after Hyung-soo, but he brushes this aside as he notes the time and heads off to an appointment.
That appointment is drinks with the commissioner, who scolds him for dumping her daughter. The commissioner says that she can’t stand to see how her daughter his killing herself with her work, and Ji-seok gently suggests that the commissioner could try acknowledging Ma-ri’s skills and hard work once in a while. The commissioner turns the conversation to Ji-seok’s mom, and laments that it must be hard for him now that he has no income. She asks if Yoo Ryung is that special to him, and Ji-seok looks up surprised.
Meanwhile, the zombie gang is courting Dong-man to join up with them. Dong-man says that he’ll just bring trouble with the ax gang again. The zombie gang member points out that Dong-man’s family still needs money, because his mom still works as a janitor at a hospital (oh really?). Dong-man declines, but the offer remains open.
Dong-man stops at a convenience store, and the woman recognizes him from the wanted flier stuffed in her purse. He leaves without incident as he pays with credit card, and the woman calls the police as soon as he leaves. It takes a bit before the call finally routes to Yoo Ryung’s cell phone which… is in Ji-seok’s possession. Whoops.
Ji-seok realizes he grabbed the wrong phone this morning as he picks up the tip call. He is ready to jump into action, but the commissioner drags him back down and reminds him that he’s suspended. He tries to call Ma-ri, but she’s not answering, and as he goes to type Woo-hyuk’s number, he sees his own number, listed as “Our Chief” in Yoo Ryung’s phone.
Ji-seok appeals to the commissioner, saying that his goal was so clear when he first graduated at the top of his class in the academy. He wanted to catch all the bad guys in Korea, but he’s since ended up avoiding them instead. He says that he’s ashamed of himself, and needs to catch the Grasshoppers…no, the Subway Ghost. The commissioner warns that working while he’s suspended may cost him his badge, and Ji-seok asks for the chance to at least do so while being the kind of officer he’s not ashamed of. Commissioner Kim hands him a set of cuffs and sends him on his way.
Speeding on the scooter, Ji-seok calls Soo-ho on the way to have the guys trace the credit card from the convenience store. The guys are elated, so happy to hear their chief back in action and after the Grasshoppers again.
Ji-seok finally reaches Ma-ri (on Yoo Ryung’s phone), and explains the tip. Ma-ri springs to action, tracking Dong-man’s cell phone and finding two other numbers used in the same locations. Now they’ve pinpointed the locations of all three Grasshoppers, and it’s time to split up. Ma-ri sends Woo-hyuk to accompany Ji-seok after Dong-man. She tells him to send Man-jin and Soo-ho after Grasshopper Hyung, and she plans to go after Hyung-soo. Yoo Ryung insists that she’ll go with Ma-ri, even as Ma-ri asks how she can trust an officer like Yoo Ryung who stabbed her chief in the back.
Ji-seok flies down the road, until he hears sirens behind him. He screams at the motorcycle cop that he wasn’t speeding, and then the cop drops his helmet visor and Woo-hyuk grins back at him. Woo-hyuk pulls ahead, saying that Ji-seok is his back-up. Ji-seok won’t have that, and he presses the scooter ahead. Woo-hyuk pulls up, and Ji-seok cranks that pink scooter’s throttle as much as he can. But eventually, Woo-hyuk pulls ahead, and the pink scooter blows a tire. Woo-hyuk teases Ji-seok, who now has to ride on the back of the motorcycle, for pushing his scooter too hard to best his rival. They head towards the zombie gang headquarters, where Dong-man waits out the night.
Yoo Ryung readies her stun gun in the car alongside Ma-ri, as they drive towards the residential area where Hyung-soo’s phone pings. Hyung-soo, meanwhile, breaks into the home of an elderly man. Man-jin and Soo-ho are in pursuit of Grasshopper Hyung, who does what he does best and pickpockets through the crowded streets.
Ji-seok and Woo-hyuk take fighting stances at the door to the warehouse where Dong-man waits. They swing the doors open together, but Ji-seok slowly slides his side back in place as he sees the room full of gang members, haha. Woo-hyuk shoves Ji-seok’s door back open and the two charge into the room. They say they’re just there for Dong-man, while Dong-man rallies his allies by suggesting that the police will just pin crimes on everyone.
Ji-seok tells Woo-hyuk to get his gun out, but Woo-hyuk’s got a surprise for his sunbae. Woo-hyuk charges forward with a graceful and mighty kick. “I’ve been boxing since I was five,” he calls over his shoulder, and the two of them put their fighting skills to use. The two spread out, taking out the gang members one by one with expertly delivered punches and kicks.
Ma-ri and Yoo Ryung canvas the area where Hyung-soo’s phone signal indicates. Yoo Ryung knocks at the door where Hyung-soo sits, eating apples and watching tv while the elderly man sits across the room, bound. Hyung-soo doesn’t answer the door, but he leans over to threaten the man with his knife. Yoo Ryung can just see him through the curtains, and she picks up a nearby brick and hurls it through the window. Ma-ri heads for the front door, Yoo Ryung chasing after. But Hyung-soo slips from Ma-ri’s grip and tumbles through the broken window onto the street, escaping.
At the zombie gang headquarters, Ji-seok and Woo-hyuk have managed to take down most of the members. But Dong-man manages to get away as the fallen gangsters cling to the police’s ankles. Meanwhile, Grasshopper Hyung ditches his cell phone, losing Man-jin and Soo-ho’s tail.
The Grasshoppers have eluded everyone, and they hide until morning when it’s time to head to the harbor. Grasshopper Hyung makes his way to the harbor first, hoping aloud that the other two don’t show up. But of course both Dong-man and Hyung-soo arrive. Hyung notes Hyung-soo’s strange hair and the glasses he now sports, and the returned-to-normal Hyung-soo is surprised by both. Dong-man notes the nervousness in his hyung, and he’s the first to run after Hyung when he makes a break for it to the boat alone.
Hyung ducks down with a newly stolen phone in his hand to call the police. He reports the Grasshoppers, who might be the Subway Ghost, are after him. As he cries into the phone, both Dong-man and Hyung-soo leer over him.
The news of his phone call makes it to our team, and they unite at the harbor. The police spot their suspects on the boat and spread out to take them down. They grab Hyung-soo and Dong-man, and Yoo Ryung goes after Grasshopper Hyung. She slams him to the boat floor, except it’s not Hyung. It’s the boat owner wearing a dark cap, who says that he loaned them the boat to go fishing.
Grasshopper Hyung sprints down the docks away from the scene. We quickly cut to Caregiver Choi, standing over the rousing Mi-ra in her hospital bed. “Son, I am exhausted now too,” she says. Back to Grasshopper Hyung, who leans back on the dock railing. He smiles widely, his thoughts on Yoo Jin tucked into that suitcase as the image is interposed across the screen behind him.
Okay, who saw the twist coming? I get to brag, because I did!
I have been squirming all week since Episode 10 aired, when I caught a clue tucked away in the background. In Mi-ra’s flashback in Episode 9, we saw her handcuff someone wearing a ring on their index finger and a silver bracelet. In the Grasshopper scene in Episode 10, Grasshopper Hyung lifts up his hand to worry about his other Grasshoppers and… he’s totally wearing the same ring and bracelet. I love little clues hidden away like that, and it felt so good to get to this twist and have it confirmed.
Because I did catch that small detail last episode, it’s hard for me to say whether this episode tipped its hand a little too early or not. As I watched, I thought they were making it very obvious that Grasshopper Hyung was the Ghost, just because we didn’t get any dirt on him like we did the other Grasshoppers. Either way, I still enjoyed the energy of those final moments, as we gained little details and followed red herrings this way and that until we reached the end and the Ghost escaped once again.
Although to be honest, I’m still not entirely sure that Hyung is the Ghost, or at rather, I don’t think that he’s the Ghost alone. Because in Mi-ra’s flashbacks, Hyung is the one on the ground handcuffed, and someone else stands nearby. My current guess is that it’s Caregiver Choi. And now I’m wondering which one of them is doing the killings, and which one is abetting the other. Grasshopper Hyung is likely our killer, given that evil, dimpled grin at the end of this episode. But we still have a few episodes left for a twist or two.
I’m very glad that we traded up to Grasshopper Hyung instead of Hyung-soo. The trope of the deranged killer with a mental illness is a hurtful stereotype, and it’s a saturated trope in the crime mystery genre in particular. So I was relieved when the show went instead with the smarmy, arrogant bastard. It will be so satisfying to see him taken down.
I think lovelee made a very good point about the previous tunnel incident and how it is likely related to this larger Subway Ghost case. I’ve been thinking that too, and I definitely see now how it could also have happened on the same day when Mi-ra encountered the Ghost and when Yoo Jin was taken. What if Grasshopper Hyung was just vandalizing the tunnel, and someone died with the doors open? What if that death was someone he knew and now he wants revenge?
The question that remains now is whether these killings were actually random, or if there is a connection, something that leads everything back to that day Yoo Jin disappeared. We also need to see whether Ma-ri’s attempt to link Yoo Jin to things will go anywhere. It feels like a vindictive move on Ma-ri’s part rather than a logical step in the case, but perhaps it will get them to the next lead anyway.
Oh, Ma-ri. She wants to be right in this so desperately, because looking at the world in a different way now means that she’s been wrong for a long time. But Ma-ri is ultimately selfish. She’s in this job to further herself, not to protect others, and that’s how she got to a place where she wants to shame someone like Yoo Ryung rather than listen and help. Even when Ji-seok tells her how wrong she is, she can only double down on her efforts to punish and torment. It’s going to hurt when Ma-ri’s denial is what gets them all into danger rather than Yoo Ryung’s rashness.
Now that we’ve covered the mystery, let’s get to Ji-seok’s amazing breakthroughs. After years of being on hold, an existential crisis, and getting suspended, learning the truth about Yoo Ryung really seemed to set him free.
With the whole truth in hand, Ji-seok finally understands why he wants to protect Yoo Ryung. He truly sees how much they’ve had in common all along. By the time he’s drinking with Commissioner Kim, he sees how his efforts to hide from his dreams will only leave him with regret. He’s gotta catch the Ghost.
And then we were rewarded with an adorable eating ramyun together and spending the night sequence. I really like how a workplace drama delays the intimacy of coming over to each other’s homes, so that him just driving up to her building felt like a big move.
I feel like Ji-seok is going to be really attached to that scooter by the end of all of this. Every single high moment of this episode for him, he was charging into action astride that pink police mobile. There was some humiliation, sure, when it eventually broke down and he had to get a ride on a real motorcycle with Woo-hyuk, but he also got to experience driving Yoo Ryung home for the first time, as well as the thrill of going back to work to catch the real bad guys. Yoo Ryung has always driven before, but he’s in the driver’s seat now, and it feels like he no longer feels lost there.
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