Catch the Ghost: Episode 12
Actually catching a bad guy isn’t so easy, and as the team comes into conflict, heightened emotions, and hidden intentions affect judgements all around. Through it all, our subway duo spends some time apart, but their minds are never far from each other.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
At the port, the police manage to police arrest all the Grasshoppers except Grasshopper Hyung, who pulls a switcheroo and escapes. At the hospital Caregiver Choi sits in front of Choi Mi-ra’s bed. She stares off into space, and says, “Son, I’m exhausted now too.”
Ma-ri confronts Ji-seok, asking why he’d drop everything and almost certainly ruin his career to come here. His answer is that Yoo Ryung kept nudging him. At first it was annoying, but it made him remember why he became a cop in the first place, and who he really is. With tears in her eyes, Ma-ri says, “You’re back, the Ji-seok I loved. You’ve come back to your old self, but you can’t come back to me.” Oh, honey.
They take the Grasshoppers back to the main station, but Yoo Ryung hangs back. She tells Ji-seok that she doesn’t want to keep being the reason he’s in trouble (yay, maturity finally!). He might be okay with it, but she’s not. She’ll call him, after she catches the Subway Ghost. He knows how driven she is and says they won’t see each other for a while. But he can’t leave without fussing at her to eat and sleep sometimes.
Neither of the Grasshoppers brought in match the DNA found in the Subway Ghost’s lair, so Ma-ri grills them about Grasshopper Hyung. Their lips are sealed…until they hear the recording of Hyung betraying them to the police. They fall all over themselves to give useful information, but they can’t give anything more than his name, age, and their hideout’s address.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Kim explodes–the suspicion that the police mascot was the Subway Ghost has been leaked. Officer Jeon is in hot water, obviously, and vows to get rid of Ji-seok.
The police find some of Grasshopper Hyung’s DNA in the Grasshopper’s hideout, and it matches the DNA of the Subway Ghost. But the name is apparently a fake identity, leaving them without a lead.
Back in the hospital, Mi-ra wakes up to see Caregiver Choi. Eyes wide, she whispers, “You–you’re his mom.” Moments later, she flatlines and doctors unsuccessfully try to revive her as Caregiver Choi walks away, radiating nervousness and guilt. Nooooo. Mi-ra’s death means the loss of the investigative team’s biggest lead, and Yoo Ryung returns home looking exhausted.
Ji-seok fondly remembers when Yoo Ryung first bought and repaired the scooter, calling it the team scooter. Staring at it, he apologizes to Yoo Ryung about popping the tires, saying it’s their scooter and he got the best tires he could.
Yoo Ryung takes in the rice and side dishes Ji-seok got for her. She thinks about his advice and makes real food. Nourished, she goes back to the investigative team determined and works into the night.
Ji-seok visits his mom again, and asks how she deals with missing him. Mom says she thinks about their times together. So, of course, he looks through his phone for pictures of Yoo Ryung. While going through his photos, he finds the picture of the Subway Ghost following Yoo Ryung. Worried since the Ghost is on the lam, he drives to her house and stands guard on her roof. When she turns the light off, he sleeps on her table. I get the set up, but, like, didn’t people get the memo that that’s kind of creepy? I guess she does need protection, but still…
Officer Jeon meets with Commissioner Kim and says the members of the disciplinary hearing know Ji-seok contributed a lot to capturing the two Grasshoppers, and they want him to be reinstated as soon as possible. He says he agrees with them (“Do you now?” Commissioner Kim remarks skeptically) but he walks out the room looking angry.
Ji-seok is thrilled at the news, and immediately thinks to call Yoo Ryung. But he reasons she’s busy, and reports to Major Crimes anyway. Instead he meets with Man-jin and Soo-ho at a pojamacha. The talk turns to him and Yoo Ryung, but when Soo-ho declares nothing is happening, Ji-seok loudly declares there is something going on.
But Soo-ho concludes that they’re basically strangers since Ji-seok hasn’t told Yoo Ryung how he feels yet. Man-jin says they’re not just strangers, but Soo-ho says that’s even worse–he’s done so many things that even a boyfriend would find difficult, but under the label of “friends” it sets the standard for their relationship, and it’s hard to change a relationship set in its ways. He reasons that Ji-seok’s time is almost running out, so he needs to hurry up and tell her. You go, Soo-ho!
Officer Jeon is back in the commissioner’s office, saying he’s found the perfect place for Ji-seok. Aaaah, here’s where the petty revenge strikes–he suggests a position as the head of patrol of Narang Island. He tries to sell it as a developing area that needs handsome PR, but Commissioner Kim (loudly) calls it nonsense, since he has a mother he needs to stay close to.
Then Officer Jeon remarks that if the disciplinary board found out Ji-seok had orders from the commissioner while he was on suspension, it might not go well for her either. She yells at him, but he masks it as worry for both her and Ji-seok–the smallest issue could get him fired. Plus, this would start in a week, which would mean Ji-seok could provide for his mother.
Ji-seok grasps a bouquet, trying to figure out how to confess to Yoo Ryung and practices a few lines. But his face falls when the commissioner calls with the bad news. Over drinks, she says she regrets handing him the cuffs, but he says he would have gone even if she hadn’t given him the okay. She tells him to wait for a year and she’ll do everything she can to bring him back.
He visits his mom one last time then moonlights on Yoo Ryung’s roof again. And whoa, it appears his night watch is not unfounded–a man across the way is staring intently at Yoo Ryung’s apartment. Ji-seok runs over to the other building, but the lurker’s gone. But he does see a lot of cigarette butts and realizes whoever has been watching the house has been watching for a long time.
He books it to Metro and asks Ma-ri’s team to test the cigarettes and compare any DNA to the Subway Ghost. He accidentally admits that he was staying there all night, startling both Woo-hyuk and Ma-ri, but he forges onward and asks for the test. Ma-ri admits that what he’s brought is important, but wishes he would have at least masked his concern a little before coming. She tells him he should worry about himself and his new placement, and orders Woo-hyuk to watch Yoo Ryung, against Ji-seok’s protests.
Yoo Ryung, Woo-hyuk, and Ma-ri go back to the DNA lab, where the cloth Yoo Ryung picked up from the Subway Ghost and Yoo Ryung’s mouth swab is a 99.9% match. Ma-ri immediately says this means Yoo Jin is at fault. Yoo Ryung protests, but Ma-ri adds that this means the caretaker would be responsible. (Oh, so that’s where Ma-ri is going with this line of thinking.) Even Woo-hyuk looks mildly uncomfortable.
Woo-hyuk walks Yoo Ryung back home but she doesn’t want his protection. He continues that he wants to make sure she’s not in danger; she rounds on him, saying he also thinks Yoo Jin is to blame and that’s why he thinks a stakeout is necessary. He says it’s no good denying everything–they need to solve this case, and it’s only going to happen if they attack it head on.
Unsurprisingly, Ji-seok is around the corner and has heard everything. He decides to waltz up to them as they’re about to head up to Yoo Ryung’s place. That kicks off a battle for who-gets-to-have-Yoo-Ryung-stakeout-time (Yoo Ryung wants both of them to leave since she can protect herself). In the end, Ji-seok’s pleas go unheeded and he lets them up.
Inside, Woo-hyuk admits he’s been interested in her since two years ago, when Ma-ri rejected her case. Yoo Ryung apologizes for all the harsh things she’s said to him; they were really directed at herself. Sighing that it’s hard for him to be greedy when she’s like this, he tells her that Ji-seok has been staking out her apartment every night, and he collected the evidence that suggested she needed protection. He also tells her about Ji-seok’s transfer next week, and that he won’t be back for a year.
The next day, Yoo Ryung barges into Commissioner Kim’s office and requests that Ji-seok work with the subway police on the Subway Ghost case before he has to leave. She’s not asking for a favor–if he catches the Subway Ghost, it wouldn’t make sense for him to leave for the sake of PR. She’s confident they can catch him if they focus on what they know about the Grasshoppers instead of the Subway Ghost. Commissioner Kim doesn’t see how this could go wrong and, despite Officer Jeon’s protests, gives her the go-ahead.
She calls Ji-seok, and they reunite with Man-jin and Soo-ho at Wangsoori Station. Lol, when she says she’s not on the Major Crimes team anymore, their response is, “Were you kicked out? Did you get in trouble?” She tells them she quit and explains her plan and her deal to the team. The other two looked thrilled, but Ji-seok looks floored.
He tells her to follow him, and it looks like she’s in for a talking to as he takes her into the meeting room and shuts the door–before pulling her into a hug. “Thank you for coming,” he murmurs. “I like you. A lot. There’s no way to hide it now. I feel like my real self when you’re around.” Eeeeeeee! Then he pulls away and says she can give her answer after they’ve caught the Ghost: he doesn’t want to be selfish of her attention, so he’s going to wait until later.
Lol, Man-jin and Soo-ho are totally eavesdropping and get caught when Ji-seok opens the door. Man-jin announces, “We’re going somewhere far for a very long time,” and pulls a grinning Soo-ho out of the room. I love them. So much.
Yoo Ryung can’t look Ji-seok in the eye, until he sighs and says, “We should’ve just said we started dating today.” She quickly disagrees, but it breaks the ice, and they call the team together to debrief.
They’re all so cute as she explains her idea: the police have chased Grasshopper Hyung before, so he’ll be deep in hiding now. Few people would know his real identity, but during the last Grasshopper attack he took the time to meet with a fence at Seollong Station. It must be someone trusted since Hyung was willing to risk being caught. But who is the fence? They have a list in their database of about 100 known fences, and they start to comb through the list.
The questioning initially unfruitful, but they catch a break when a known fence insists he quit a long time ago. Ji-seok identifies the multiple stolen goods in the man’s shop, and given a choice between being charged for fencing or giving them what they want, the man’s tongue loosens. Apparently, Grasshopper Hyung’s fence is brilliant at counterfeiting IDs (so that’s why the Grasshoppers always grabbed wallets!).
The ID counterfeiting fence goes over Grasshopper Hyung’s new passport and prepares to leave, but she walks right into Ji-seok and Yoo Ryung. She claims she doesn’t know who Grasshopper Hyung is, but she’s meeting him at Hwagok Station in 30 minutes, so they can find out for themselves.
Major Crimes has the results from the cigarette butts: the DNA is a match for the Subway Ghost. Ma-ri can’t think of a reason why the Ghost would put himself at such risk. Then she gets the tip-off from Ji-seok about the Subway Ghost being at Hwagok Station and they head out to meet them.
Down into the station our subway duo go. At first they can’t see their target…but when the train moves away, Yoo Ryung sees him on the other side of the tracks. They gives chase and Yoo Ryung briefly struggles with him. She yanks a necklace off his neck before he gets away. And wouldn’t you know, it’s Yoo Jin’s. Ji-seok sets his jaw and chases after Grasshopper Hyung.
They dash out of the subway and through the streets, until Ji-seok finally corners him. Hyung takes off his face mask and they have a fistfight. Ji-seok handily beats him, pins his hands behind his back, and says, “I got you.”
Yoo Ryung catches up to them, and he looks at her while she stares intently at Grasshopper Hyung. She kneels down and asks where Yoo Jin is. Grasshopper Hyung says, “Yoo Jin is alive.” What?! The next scene is of a woman brushing her hair in front of a vanity. Sure enough, it’s Yoo Jin.
SHE’S ALIVE! She’s alive?! What??
Don’t get me wrong, I saw the hints as much as anyone else, but I was fully expecting them to be a red herring. We even saw her in a suitcase! With blood! I was kind of wondering how they would fill out the remaining episodes, if they caught the Subway Ghost by Episode 12, but with Yoo Jin still alive the goal has now changed. Especially if @lovelee is right, and Caregiver Choi is hiding her. Caregiver Choi is an enigma, she seems to be in a constant state of guilt-ridden anxiety, yet the show heavily implies she’s capable of killing someone. That just makes everything more complicated, if she’s abetting the Subway Ghost in his murders. But if she is keeping Yoo Jin, why? And what made her kill Mi-ra, but not Yoo Jin? Regardless, I am hoping for interesting twists in the upcoming weeks.
I want to address Ma-ri, because I wrote pretty positively about her in Episode 8 and…a lot has happened since then. At the beginning, I really liked her because she was so competent and driven. I never saw her as straight up selfish, or uncaring–she just had more important things to do than coddle people. At her best, I still loved Ma-ri: abrasive, facts focused, concerned with the job and not the drama. And I could see the potential good qualities behind her prickly demeanor. All of this doesn’t justify the intense bitterness and hatred Ma-ri is concentrating on Yoo Ryung. She has to constantly struggle to be enough, to be right in the eyes of her mother, to do well in her job and get any recognition. And then this newbie comes in, sweeps her ex-boyfriend off his feet, and wins the approval of her mother. All while breaking practically every rule in the book. I wonder if Yoo Ryung–or anyone, for that matter–will realize that all this hatred is masking deep insecurity and confusion? It’s selfishness, of course. But it’s hurt, at the root of it. It makes me want to grab her by the shoulders and tell her it’s okay to grieve, to be emotional, to admit that she’s hurting.
But, again, none of that justifies the truly horrible, unprofessional bullying she’s putting Yoo Ryung through. I’m hoping someone calls her out soon, especially regarding the victim-blaming. I’m really confused by this plot point, I know why Ma-ri is using this logic, because it puts Yoo Ryung in a bad light and indirectly blames her for the murders. But I don’t understand why everyone is going with it, including Yoo Ryung. It’s a serial killer. They don’t need a reason to kill, and it’s certainly not the victim’s fault that they’re killing. Maybe there was a specific antagonization that made the Subway Ghost lash out, but that certainly doesn’t say anything about Yoo Jin, or Yoo Ryung.
Okay, enough negative stuff. Let’s talk about the confession! I was so excited when that scene happened. Ji-seok spent a portion of the show ignoring his feelings, but seeing him finally own them was lovely. And I really liked that when he had the flowers, he was confessing in all these metaphors, but when he was actually with her, he was simple and to the point.
I haven’t always thought that Yoo Ryung reciprocated Ji-seok’s feelings, and I still don’t think that she’s in nearly as deep as him, but there were little moments that suggest she’s moving in that direction. I think she has always seen Ji-seok as someone she can depend on, but in this episode it was subtle things–the sad look on her face as Ji-seok said they wouldn’t be able to see each other for a while, tilting away from Woo-hyuk and towards Ji-seok–that lead me to believe that when this is all over she will say yes to Ji-seok confession.
I honestly wasn’t sure at the beginning if the two of them would be a good romantic pair because they were both so different. But if we’ve learned anything in these 12 episodes, it’s that Ji-seok is the person who cares about Yoo Ryung the most. When she’s in trouble he knows how to support her the best: by believing her, trusting her, understanding her. Sometimes it’s as simple as leaving side dishes in her refrigerator and sometimes it’s as complicated as watching her to protect her from serial killers crawling through her window. For all their differences, they actually understand each other in a profound way. She always saw the potential in him to be more than just a pen-pushing cop, and he saw her good heart under all the recklessness and mistakes. At the end of the day, they are two people who understand each other in a way few people can.
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