Nobody Knows: Episode 2
Our heroine has come face-to-face with a man seemingly responsible for the stigmata serial murders. Unfortunately, this encounter only births more question and the media attention that follows the discovery of the ninth stigmata serial killer victim threatens to bring light to an organization that would rather remain in the shadows. As Young-jin digs for answers, her tunnel vision may cost her more than she bargained for.
EPISODE 2: “Young-jin Crying Out in Anguish”
On the rooftop, Young-jin demands why the stigmata murders have resumed when she was told Soo-jung would be the last. Former pastor Seo Sang-won points out this is what she’d wanted -hadn’t she lied that the murders would continue? Young-jin spits that she’d wanted to taunt him into finding her, but he never showed. Seo Sang-won says he wasn’t hiding, rather he’d been put to a huge test… so he punished her. Young-jin asks if the victims were all punished but Seo Sang-won corrects that they were blessed.
“They were scared when I chose them,” he tells her, “but at the last moment, they were happy. I freed them from their feeble bodies… and saved them from their painful lives.” When asked how they were chosen, Seo Sang-won replies, “The darkness inside them.” He explains that while young and beautiful on the outside, they were all unhappy. Young-jin can’t understand why Soo-jung had been chosen over her, recalling how cheerful her friend was. Seo Sang-won looks piteously at her and says he can see truth and falsehood.
Young-jin wonders if he remembers all their faces and Seo Sang-won declares he carries them all in his heart, desperately waiting for the day of revival. He explains he’d called Young-jin to bear witness to this miracle after remembering and searching so desperately for him. He frowns that she’s not listening and steps up on the ledge. Young-jin grabs the bloody awl (I misidentified it as an ice pick and screwdriver last episode) and holds it out to him, begging him to prove it to her by saving her from the pain. Seo Sang-won apologizes he can’t give her the blessing of revival – she’s here as a witness.
He tells her to testify his resurrection to the world and steps off the ledge. Young-jin dives and manages to grab his hands. Seo Sang-won urges her to let go, warning her she’ll fall too. He admits she can’t revive because she lacks the marks for resurrection and Young-jin asks if Soo-jung will. He smirks that Soo-jung doesn’t meet the qualifications but doesn’t elaborate. He declares he grants her the blessing of faith with his resurrection and he finally slips through Young-jin’s hands… plummeting to the ground just as rookie Jae-hong arrives.
Jae-hong sees Young-jin on the roof and checks the body, not finding a pulse. He pulls out his phone but pauses, thinking instead to find Young-jin. She’s already made it downstairs and she rushes for the body, frantically attempting to administer CPR. Jae-hong manages to pull her off and Young-jin flashes back to walking with Soo-jung and gossiping about the stigmata murders. Soo-jung worries that a seventh victim was found and warns Young-jin not to go to the mountain alone and always answer her calls. Young-jin had promised and the girls ran off giggling.
In the present, Young-jin sobs apologies until Jae-hong snaps her out of it, demanding to know what happened. Sobering, Young-jin cuffs the body, spiting that she’ll do as asked and bear witness to Seo Sang-won’s evil deeds. To Jae-hong’s shock, she calls her team and announces that the ninth stigmata serial murder victim has been found.
In his room, Eun-ho inspects a book titled “New Life Gospel.” We see that the strange ajusshi, Jang Ki-ho, had given it to him after he’d saved the man’s life. Eun-ho had tried to refuse, but Ki-ho yanked him close and with crazy eyes, told Eun-ho the book is as precious as his life. He told Eun-ho to keep it safe until he returned for it, promising to repay his kindness then. In the present, Eun-ho starts to read while Ki-ho happens across the investigation of Seo Sang-won’s suicide and wanders away in shock.
Young-jin washes blood from her handcuffs and hands, Seo Sang-won’s words spinning in her mind. The forensics team is busy documenting the murder victim’s crime scene as Young-jin’s team watches the video sent to her of Young-jin’s business card and the victim. Detective Han worries people will blame Young-jin. The others wonder why Young-jin was singled out and Jae-hong defends that he was probably watching her since anyone watching the families would’ve known Young-jin was heading the case.
The door flings open and Young-jin hands Jae-hong a bag of Seo Sang-won’s DNA to take to the NFS (National Forensic Service). He asks if she’s okay but Young-jin only tells him to drive safely. The forensic team gives the detectives the clear to investigate now. As Young-jin contemplates the crime scene, Byung-hee and Jin-soo inspect the roof. Byung-hee thinks Young-jin should’ve waited for Jae-hong so if Seo Sang-won jumped, there’d be no question of her involvement.
Young-jin tells Detective Han that a man witnessed the victim coming up alone and had seen her here before. Detective Han gathers they victim knew Seo Sang-won but Young-jin is concerned that the woman has nothing on her, not even her phone. The victim is identified as Lim Hee-jung, and she has no family. Thinking of Seo Sang-won’s talk of a test and punishment, Young-jin thinks he knew the victim a long time.
Following the bodies to the morgue, Young-jin inspects the wounds until Superintendent Hwang bursts into the room. We flashback to the day Young-jin reported to him after becoming an officer. He’d later handed over the case files to her and Young-jin stayed late at the station photocopying everything. Years later, Superintendent Hwang told Young-jin he was transferring departments and putting the case behind him.
In the present, Superintendent Hwang muses that the killer finally made good on his word but Young-jin corrects him. To his shock, she tearfully admits to her lie. Meanwhile, the director of New Life Church frantically shreds all evidence of Seo Sang-won. Young-jin recites the killer’s real message and explains she’d feared she’d never find him and chose to lie to provoke him. Superintendent Hwang sighs, but softens at Young-jin’s torment.
He understands the initial lie, but he’s disappointed she’s kept it from him all these years. He tells her not to be sorry and Young-jin sniffs that he kept on the case because of her lie. Superintendent Hwang gently points out the case was his responsibility, while Young-jin was the one who suffered for her lie and became a target of the killer. However, it’s over now and he urges her to explain her connection with Soo-jung.
Young-jin knows it’ll mean being taken off the case and Superintendent Hwang warns her everything will be revealed eventually, and she could get hurt in the meantime. Young-jin doesn’t care and declares the only reason she became a cop was to end this case herself.
At home, Sun-woo tells his brother-in-law Hee-seob to have more children as he looks fondly at his niece, Ji-won. Hee-seob teases that Sun-woo isn’t the one raising them and Sun-woo cheekily promises to do so should anything happen to Hee-seob. Over drinks, Sun-woo answers a call from one of the girls in his class. She tells him about Dong-myeon’s altercation with the bullies and how they’d been harassing Eun-ho.
Eun-ho’s mother returns home drunk and she while she starts off praising him, it quickly devolves into an attack stemmed from her insecurity of being a bad mom. Her boyfriend urges Eun-ho to leave the room while he calms her down. Sometime later, the boyfriend finally leaves. As Eun-ho sees him out, he asks if Eun-ho is “keeping it safe.” Eun-ho nods and the man leaves.
Hee-seob suggests Sun-woo leave it to administration and Sun-woo says he’ll ask Eun-ho first. His sister, Sun-kyung, recognizes the name and Sun-woo confirms that they’d met Eun-ho while out with Ji-won. She praises Eun-ho as a nice boy – saddened that he’s being bullied – but is grateful the bully isn’t in Sun-woo’s class this time. Sun-woo assures Sun-kyung he’s learned his lesson about keeping a distance from his students.
Dong-myeon had texted Eun-ho for money but grows impatient he hasn’t showed after an hour. A van pulls up and Dong-myeon jumps inside while Eun-ho settles into bed. His phone keeps pinging and he sits up to see texts from Dong-myeon: “Just give it to me. I’ll take care of it.” He sets the phone down but can’t get back to sleep. Sitting up, he pulls a shoe box from under his bed and in one of the sneakers is a large roll of cash.
Running upstairs, Eun-ho lets himself into Young-jin’s apartment and thoroughly hides the box next to her plants. Sitting there, he remembers her assuring him it’s okay for kids to make mistakes. Arriving home, Young-jin is surprised to find Eun-ho inside. She asks if something is wrong and he starts to say something but becomes alarmed by the blood on her sleeves. Waving it off, Young-jin guesses Eun-ho’s mother’s boyfriend is over and he rolls with it.
Collapsing on the couch, Young-jin realizes her murder room is ajar and stares at it as she tells Eun-ho that she caught the killer… and lost him. She sobs that if only she’d found him a day earlier… After she calms down, Eun-ho reminds her it’s not her fault and that she can put it behind her, cheerfully offering to help her clear out the murder room.
That morning, Eun-ho cooks breakfast and leaves it out for his mother. He pauses at her door but decides against knocking and leaves. Young-jin tosses her bloody jacket in the laundry and applies pain patches to her shoulders, steeling herself for the day.
Part 2: “Ninth Victim’s Cell Phone”
Young-jin and Jae-hong approach the New Life Church director with a photo of victim, Lim Hee-jung, questioning if he knows her. He grumbles she’s not telling him what it’s about and Young-jin clarifies it’s a murder case, demanding Hee-jung’s phone number. The call confirms the phone is off and Young-jin ask what Hee-jung’s relationship was with Seo Sang-won. The director asks if Seo Sang-won is the culprit and when Young-jin says she can’t answer, he says he doesn’t know anything.
The director insists Seo Sang-won left the church a long time ago but Young-jin is suspicious the director had all his contact info in his phone. He barks that the police can’t waste an innocent person’s time and suggests she make a formal request, ordering them to leave. Young-jin informs him if he’s uncooperative, she’ll have to investigate the church. He asks if she’s threatening him and warns she’ll get hurt. Unbothered, Young-jin lets him go.
A call from the NFS reveals Seo Sang-won’s DNA matched 3 stigmata murder crime scenes. Young-jin orders Jae-hong to contact the families while she goes to see Soo-jung’s mom. Meanwhile, the church director informs Hee-seob of “Director” Lim Hee-jung’s murder. Hee-seob asks him to meet at the school and returns to breakfast. Curious who called, Sun-woo shudders when Hee-seob says the church director, hoping to avoid him. While the rest of the family laughs, Hee-seob looks worried.
Young-jin arrives outside Soo-jung’s sibling’s place and calls Mom. Upon seeing Young-jin’s face, Mom knows she found the killer and erupts into grateful sobs. Young-jin apologizes that he died, and Mom breaks down. Mom cooks for them, urging Young-jin to eat. She sighs that even after a child dies, you still get hungry and sleepy. Mom says she passed her days eating and sleeping but never felt peace.
She asks if Seo Sang-won mentioned Soo-jung and recalling the pastor’s words that Soo-jung was unqualified to be reborn, Young-jin lies that he didn’t as tears trail down her cheeks. Mom says that if he’d gone to prison, he would’ve lived like them. Whether Young-jin’s hands slipped or she let go, Mom says she did well. Young-jin finally can’t hold back and sobs, apologizing to Mom.
The director tells Hee-seob Young-jin was looking for Seo Sang-won yesterday and today said Lee Hee-jung was murdered. Hee-seob assumes Seo Sang-won is responsible and the director worries about the impending investigation. Hee-seob asks if he’d mentioned Lee Hee-jung was the director of their foundation. The church director had kept his mouth shut to give Hee-seob time to prepare – noting that Hee-seob and Lim Hee-jung had been disagreeing recently – but Hee-seob calls it unnecessary.
Min-sung’s driver parks outside the school and notices Min-sung’s sullen expression. When pressed, Min-sung announces he’s being threatened. Inside the school, Sun-woo calls Eun-ho over and offers him a drink from the vending machine before taking him aside to ask about Dong-myeong. Eun-ho denies that Dong-myeong has ever bullied him or asked for money, clothes, or shoes. Sun-woo asks if he can believe Eun-ho and is forced to drop it when Eun-ho assures him he can.
Min-sung’s driver is shocked his childhood friend turned on him and angrily vows to set Eun-ho straight. A man walks over and motions for them to roll down a window. Seeming to recognize Min-sung, he leans inside for a better look before the driver pushes him back out. The man explains they can’t park there and Min-sung denies the man is a teacher but agrees to get out. The man chases after him, cheerfully making conversation before Min-sung stalks off. The man calls to tell the vice principal he’s arrived.
News stations broadcast the update to the Stigmata Murders and at a press conference, Detective Han reveals Seo Sang-won’s DNA matched the 2nd, 5th, and 8th victims’ crime scenes. He apologizes for not finding the culprit sooner, saying they never gave up searching. He clarifies that the suicide was unavoidable and vows to continue investigating to reveal the whole story. The church director watches nervously and answer a call from Young-jin.
She has him identify the bodies at the morgue and he hands over an envelope of documents, chuckling that if she’d explained herself his morning, he could’ve complied sooner. Jae-hong growls that they clearly identified it as a murder investigation while Young-jin calmly replies they didn’t have DNA results back when they visited him earlier. The director now admits that Seo Sang-won and Lim Hee-jung were both close with the church founder, Pastor Kwon Jae-chun.
The director says Seo Sang-won quit the ministry suddenly, but Pastor Kwon had continued to care for him until he passed away recently. She asks when Seo Sang-won quit, questioning if it was after August 2000 (when Soo-jung was murdered). The director lies that they don’t keep records that far back. The file he’d given her was Lim Hee-jung’s employment record and the director confirms Shinsung Foundation (of which Lim Hee-jung was director) is the owner of Shinsung Middle School (where Eun-ho attends) and run by the church.
An assembly is held at school and Eun-ho is called to the stage to be commended for saving Ki-ho yesterday. Afterwards, they call out a guest and it’s the man who’d approached Min-sung outside. He shakes Eun-ho’s hand on his way past, laughing that he and Min-sung are in class together. He announces he’s the chairman of One Life Foundation, BAEK SANG-HO (Park Hoon).
Sang-ho says while at the school he’s seen light (his eyes fall on Eun-ho) and darkness (he looks to Min-sung). He tells them the difference between humans and animals is strong animals prey on the weak. “We may feel bad for it,” Sang-ho says, “but we don’t’ fault them because that’s their nature.” He continues that for humans, the strong protect the weak. He wanted to be strong so he could live a life protecting the weak. “And…” Sang-ho finishes, “I’ve become strong.”
Afterwards, Sang-ho sits with Hee-seob in his office and wonders if his speech was overboard. He adds that he saw Sun-woo earlier and asks Hee-seob to pass along a dinner invite. Looking over at the desk, Sang-ho recognizes it as Sun-woo’s father’s desk. Hee-seob tenses when Sang-ho asks when Sun-woo will sit there. Hee-seob says Sun-woo doesn’t seem ready to run the foundation yet. The church director calls Hee-seob to say Seo Sang-woo is the stigmata serial killer. Hanging up, Hee-seob tells Sang-ho their foundation is about to become hot news.
Meanwhile, Young-jin inspects Lim Hee-jung’s home and Jae-hong tells her Seo Sang-won’s phone was last used at his house the day of his death, right before she received the video text from him. Young-jin wonders how that’s possible if they didn’t find the phone at the scene and Jae-hong lists that either Seo Sang-won threw it out or someone else was there. The camera zoom onto a photo of Lim Hee-jung… and the same “New Life Gospel” book that Ki-ho gave Eun-ho.
Back at the station Officer Yoon Ja-young and her superior stop by to offer support. Jae-hong grumbes the best help would be keeping to their own positions. Ja-young snipes that their positions could be wrong in the first place. Young-jin tests Ja-young to list the possibilities for the missing phone. Thanks to Byung-hee’s hint, Ja-young answers 4: Seo Sang-won went outside to toss the phone, he tossed it from the apartment, or someone else was there. Finally, Young-jin could’ve taken it. Young-jin apologizes for overlooking her and says she’ll call if she needs help. Ja-young turns to give Jae-hong the stink-eye.
On his way home, Eun-ho is thinking of Sang-ho’s speech about strength when a motorcyclist snatches his bag. The force of the attack knocks him to the ground, scraping his hands. He runs home and notices someone has searched is room. Panicking, he clambers upstairs to check Young-jin’s balcony for his box… but it’s right where he left it. Trembling, he thinks of Young-jin saying there’s no way she wouldn’t know if something happened to him.
Eun-ho carefully replaces the box while Young-jin and Jae-hong busily fill boards with facts of the case. Detective Han tells them they both need to file incident reports for Seo Sang-won’s suicide. He announces they’ll release the video sent to Young-jin soon and they need to get their stories straight. Once he’s gone, Jae-hong asks if they should include Young-jin cuffing the corpse. She tells him report what he saw.
Thinking of Superintendent Hwang’s advice to come clean about Soo-jung, Young-jin starts to say something when she receives a call from Eun-ho. She tells Jae-hong nevermind and goes to meet Eun-ho downstairs. Young-jin asks if something happened but before Eun-ho can get anything out, her phone rings again. It’s the NFS lab and Young-jin is told the card (given to the first victim by her sister) had 5 sets of DNA.
Young-jin discounts the two female sets as the younger sister and mother. Of the remaining three, none belonged to Seo Sang-won. His DNA was on the angel doll, however. Lost in thought, it takes Eun-ho calling her twice for Young-jin to snap back. He’s lost his nerve, though, and just says he wanted to tell her about his award at school. She asks if that’s all and he mumbles she wouldn’t know unless he told her. She suggests they go out to eat soon and lets him go.
Outside, angry tears prick Eun-ho’s eyes as he calls her a liar for saying she’d know if something happened to him. He returns to the house and retrieves the shoebox from Young-jin’s and shoves it in a bag. By daylight, he’s walking somewhere with it. Meanwhile, Detective Han looks over Young-jin’s reports and tells her they need the clothes she wore that day. Young-jin goes home for her bloody jacket and then adds Lee Hee-jung’s photo to the adjacent wall in her murder room.
Staring at the photo, Young-jin remembers Seo Sang-won mentioning she doesn’t have the mark for resurrection. Placing Soo-jung’s photo next to Hee-jung’s Young-jin puzzles over what the mark is… and what made Soo-jung “unqualified” for resurrection. That evening, Eun-ho stands atop a building. The bag is no longer with him and his lip is bloody. He peers over the ledge… and then plummets to the ground below. A parked car breaks his fall and he’s still gasping for breath as a tear streaks down his face.
Nooooo… I knew something would happen to Eun-ho but I never thought it would be self-inflicted! It breaks my heart that he didn’t confide in Young-jin and Sun-woo. Both noticed something seemed off but unless Eun-ho tells them, there’s not much they can do. I felt Eun-ho’s frustration at Young-jin for failing to press him and accepting his weak-smiled assurance everything was fine, but she’s also not at fault. She’s a brilliant detective, but she’s no mind-reader and it’s hard to blame her for being preoccupied by her traumatic reunion with the stigmata murder case.
Eun-ho’s problems aren’t recent, either. This is something he’s been keeping from Young-jin for quite some time. As close as they are, they both try to protect one another from the darker sides of their lives and unfortunately, it culminated in the worst scenario. Did Eun-ho’s mother’s boyfriend give him that money? Where did it come from, what is it for, and why do so many people know he has it? Eun-ho went as far as to hide it at Young-jin’s and someone was determined enough to search his room and steal his backpack to find it.
Where does Dong-myeong come into this? Is he involved or is his relationship with Eun-ho separate? There’s definitely more to the story and I get the feeling Dong-myeong might be a red herring. Of all the people Eun-ho interacts with, I find Min-sung most suspicious. Him tattling to his driver that Eun-ho was “threatening” him was above and beyond crummy. The fact that Dong-myeong – who’s been presented as head bully at their school – doesn’t seem to like Min-sung only reinforces my dislike for the snot.
Everything about the New Life Church bugs me. Learning that it’s involved with the foundation that owns the school is disconcerting. I was getting to like Sun-woo’s family only for his brother-in-law had to act all sketchy with the New Life Church director. And we finally meet Baek Sang-ho! I have suspicions he might be the one that ended Soo-jung’s life (I am still unconvinced that Seo Sang-won is the stigmata serial killer… or at least, not that he worked alone) but damn if Park Hoon isn’t amusing. With 3 unidentified sets of DNA on the first victim’s card, it’s possible that the cult acts as a group which is absolutely chilling.
In some ways that could explain how the killings could stop for twenty years, because serial killers usually can’t but if it was a group thing, well, they’d presumably be acting on someone’s orders. I’m unsure how deep New Life Church is in the cult or if that was just a common thread where the cult members found each other. The director seemed disturbed and unaware of Seo Sang-won’s body count but was still incredibly cagey with Young-jin and quick to destroy any records connecting Seo Sang-won to the church.
It’s possible that was all in the name of protecting the foundation from scandal, but that only makes me wonder what the foundation is hiding? There’s a lot of suspicious ties and everyone should be terrified because if Young-jin could spend 20 years chasing Soo-jung’s killer, you can be damned sure she won’t rest until the people involved in cornering Eun-ho are brought to justice.