Nobody Knows: Episode 8
We’ve reached the halfway mark of Nobody Knows and while there’s still a lot of mystery left to uncover, Young-jin’s determination inches her closer to finding the shadow players and hopefully discovering the truth of what happened to Eun-ho. Sun-woo continues to work solo while Young-jin is preoccupied with finding a killer and uncovers some uncomfortable truths of his own.
EPISODE 8: “Investigation into Kevin Jung’s Death”
Eun-ho lets himself into Young-jin’s house and finds her curled up on the couch with medicine on the counter. She assures him she’s fine and Eun-ho smiles that at least her body is making her rest. After watering the plants, Eun-ho looks up at the sun and his sneeze startles Young-jin awake. She questions if he did it on purpose again and Eun-ho replies he can overcome it, grumbling annoyance at sneezing every time he transitions from a dark place to a bright one.
Frowning, Young-jin wonders what’s wrong. Eun-ho says that’s just how teenagers are and returns the book he borrowed to her shelves. He grabs another and covers her with a blanket before leaving. That evening, Young-jin wakes up and retrieves the book from the shelves, reading the note Eun-ho had written inside the back cover: “It was so boring I almost fell asleep.” Another book reads: “I worked at full speed to figure out the perp, but failed.” Finally, Young-jin selects a book where he’d written: “My mother might’ve raised me, but my soul was enlightened by…”
Young-jin smiles and the memory fades to the present where she opens Eun-ho’s backpack resting in the dead Kevin Jung’s lap to find her book inside. Flipping to the back, Eun-ho’s message reads: “I can’t tell you anything. But can you still help me?” Remembering Eun-ho’s wish she’d never find out if anything happened to him, and his later comment she won’t know anything unless he tells her, Young-jin cries out. After a moment, she composes herself and carefully zips the book back into the bag.
The rest of the team is busy trying to find Ki-ho but so far have uncovered nothing. Officer Hong brings Ki-ho’s call records, revealing his phone had been off 4 days prior to Seo Sang-won’s death and last pinged near his home. Jae-hong answers a call from Young-jin and reports she found Kevin Jung’s body. Young-jin inspects the corpse and finds bruises on the chest and wrists as well as powder in his nostril and dilated pupils.
Forensics and the rest of the team arrive quickly. Byung-hee chides Jae-hong and Ja-young for cutting their stakeout short and missing the crime but Superintendent Han says the guilty part is the one who committed the murder. Young-jin stops forensics to check the body and draws up Kevin’s sleeve to reveal multiple needle marks. There’s no fatal injuries on Kevin’s body but evidence of heroin on his nose.
Taking both meth (via needle) and heroine simultaneously over-strains the heart. There’s no signs of a break-in or physical struggle, but the binding on Kevin’s wrists means someone else was involved. Byung-hee guesses Young-sik and Ja-young receives a call Young-sik’s apartment is still empty. Superintendent Han puzzles over why they’d have Eun-ho’s bag and what they did to him. He orders them back to the office for a meeting.
Jae-hong asks if Young-jin spoke with Min-sung and she admits she was unable to because he was injured. At the hospital, Min-sung’s head is wrapped and he lies despondent on the bed under Sun-woo’s care while Hee-seob informs Min-sung’s mother. Sun-woo asks if he remembers what happened, but Min-sung just looks away and Hee-seob motions Sun-woo out of the room. Outside, Hee-seob thinks Min-sung is in shock and Sun-woo asks if he really thinks Dong-myeong is responsible.
Confused, Hee-seob says Sun-woo saw what happened. Sun-woo argues Min-sung can’t remember and they didn’t ask Dong-myeong. Hee-seob retorts Dong-myeong would’ve defended himself if he were innocent, but simply opted to go with Young-jin. Hee-seob suggests they not punish Min-sung for cheating on the exam and just discipline the person who leaked it. Instead, he’ll ensure it never happens again and before Sun-woo can respond, Min-sung’s mother arrives.
Superintendent Hwang speaks with Dong-myeong and says he heard Han-sol’s surgery went well. Dong-myeong tells him not to bother himself about them and Superintendent Hwang smiles that means he’s free to care. Hee-seob takes his leave and Min-sung’s mother rails on Sun-woo about Dong-myeong while Min-sung picks at the scabs on the back of his hand. Sun-woo suggests they speak in the hall and Min-sung’s mother snidely remarks on Dong-myeon’s family before seeing her son.
Her eyes widen and she quickly ushers Sun-woo out before he sees. Turning to Min-sung, his mother holds his hand and Min-sung nods sadly that Dong-myeong isn’t guilty. She asks what happened while we return to Dong-myeong telling his side of the story to Superintendent Hwang. He confesses to dragging Min-sung by the arm to the science lab to talk about Eun-ho. Dong-myeong accused Min-sung’s driver of hurting Eun-ho and asked if Min-sung was behind it.
Min-sung seemed startled Eun-ho fell and Dong-myeong is unsure whether it was genuine. When Min-sung argued Eun-ho probably jumped because of Dong-myeong, he’d moved to hit Min-sung… but didn’t. “You’re right. I’m a hobo and a bully,” Dong-myeong said, “But even a guy like me has a friend. Someone who almost died because of you.” Agreeing he might always be poor, Dong-myeong vowed to stop being a bully so as not to embarrass Eun-ho.
Leaving, he’d paused at the door to warn Min-sung his driver is inhuman. Min-sung and screamed at him and ran over to a wall, repeatedly banging his head until Dong-myeong says he grabbed him by the collar to stop him. That’s when Young-jin arrived and though Dong-myeong thought no one would believe him, she did so without even asking.
Superintendent Hwang nods, saying he’ll investigate and Dong-myeong deflates: “You don’t believe me.” Superintendent Hwang explains the police need to hear both sides of the story, but Dong-myeong argues Min-sung will lie. Sure enough, after Min-sung relays his story to his mother, she advises him to mix lies with the truth since Eun-ho is still unconscious and no one will believe Dong-myeong.
Walking home, Dong-myeong is accosted by Sang-ho who attempts a hug and then a high-five. Opting for neither, Dong-myeong looks at him like the crazy person he is and asks if Sang-ho followed him. Clearly unaware stalking is creepy and a crime, Sang-ho confirms he did because he worried no one is on Dong-myeong’s side. Rightfully suspicious, Dong-myeong asks why and Sang-ho says his intuition is very accurate.
Throwing an arm around Dong-myeong, Sang-ho starts leading him to the car saying he just wants to be on Dong-myeong’s side. Dong-myeong breaks free and calls bullpoop, dubious of Sang-ho’s sudden support. “You’re Eun-ho’s friend,” Sang-ho replies, adding he’s also Han-sol’s brother. Dong-myeong’s expression softens a little and Sang-ho suggests they eat.
At the office, the correlation boards fill up and Superintendent Han requests to investigate New Life Church. Officer Hong brings Lee Young-sik’s call records and leaves a little dejected everyone is absorbed in their work. Young-jin reports Eun-ho’s condition to the team, and though he’ll wake up soon, she doubts Eun-ho will have the answers they seek. CCTV footage shows Young-sik helping Kevin Jung home an hour after Jae-hong and Ja-young left. Soon after, he runs outside and falls to the ground, pleading. Hmm.
His frantic behavior suggests he’s been drugged. The younger detectives reason the men discovered Eun-ho had the money but when it wasn’t in his backpack, threatened him and he fell. Afterwards, they hung Dae-hoon. Superintendent Han reprimands them for fitting evidence to their theories. Jae-hong gets a call about Young-sik’s last known whereabouts and knowing he’s on foot, Young-jin orders him and Ja-young to follow while Superintendent Han tasks Byung-hee and Jin-su with finding Ki-ho.
Sang-ho leads Dong-myeong to his private elevator (activated by his thumbprint). Dong-myeong hesitates and then steps inside, noting there are only 2 stops – the 1st and 10th floor. Sitting at a grand dining table in Sang-ho’s suite, Dong-myeong asks if he lives alone. Sang-ho pointedly says he shares it with family-like friends and doesn’t invite just anyone. Dong-myeong admits it’s nice and spacious… but far from the toilets. Hee.
Food arrives and Dong-myeong is presented with a feast while Sang-ho is given his instant ramen on a silver platter. Dong-myeong is amused and Sang-ho takes the opportunity to bring up Tae-hyung – Eun-ho’s caregiver and member of Sang-ho’s foundation – saying the two boys have similar backgrounds. Tae-hyung was framed, kicked out of school, and became him hostile. Sang-ho was sure he’d improve with the foundation and when Dong-myeong asks how he’s changed, Sang-ho replies he entrusted Eun-ho to Tae-hyung.
Recalling Dong-myeong was there the day Eun-ho received his award, Sang-ho asks his impression of his speech. Dong-myeong says it was interesting – Sang-ho said the difference between humans and animals is stronger humans protect the weak and so Sang-ho amassed power. He confesses he hadn’t believed it then and doesn’t see when Sang-ho snickers like a cartoon villain.
Sun-woo and Superintendent Hwang meet with Min-sung’s mom and ask to speak with Min-sung. Min-sung’s mother agrees and Min-sung tells them he doesn’t remember much. He repeats Dong-myeong’s story about being dragged to the science lab, learning of Eun-ho’s fall, and the accusation against his driver. Glancing at his mother, Min-sung says he doesn’t remember anything else.
As Dae-hoon is likely responsible for hurting Eun-ho, Hwang asks if he did so for Min-sung, or if Eun-ho’s comment to Dong-myeong about tormenting Min-sung was true. This time Sun-woo sees Min-sung look to his mother before answering. She nods and Min-sung says Eun-ho extorted money from him and he complied because Dong-myeong had Eun-ho’s back. Hwang asks about Dae-hee and Min-sung admits he’d said he’d only scare Eun-ho a little.
Nodding, Superintendent Hwang sympathizes he’s probably been worried ever since, but warns him lying when the truth is difficult or scary will only make his life harder. His mother kicks them both out but Min-sung blurts he hurt himself and Dong-myeong was innocent. His mother screams at him to shut up but Hwang thanks him for telling the truth.
Outside, Hwang asks if Sun-woo has an idea why Eun-ho was bothering Min-sung. Sun-woo confesses he’s the one caught between an easy lie and an uncomfortable truth. Hwang laughs they all experience that in life, admitting he’s also told a lie to the world. Sun-woo asks if he regrets it but Hwang smiles he’d lied to protect someone else. He asks what Sun-woo is protecting and Sun-woo acknowledges he doesn’t know.
Sang-ho drops Dong-myeong off at the hospital and gives him a cake. Telling Dong-myeong to call him, Sang-ho speeds off. Meanwhile, Byung-hee and Jin-su follow the CCTV footage of Ki-ho leaving the hospital while Ki-ho in the present sneaks in.
PART 2: “Fight in the Abandoned Building”
So-yeon thinks of Young-jin saying no one can replace her for Eun-ho, and sitting on his bed, says her greatest wish is for him to wake up and call her “Mom.” She’s finally realized what a blessing it is and admits people don’t change overnight, but vows to do her best. There’s a knock at the door, which So-yeon finds Dong-myeong in the hall.
Greeting her, he hands her the cake from Sang-ho. She motions to the couch, but Dong-myeong wants to visit Eun-ho first and she learns they’ve been friends since last winter. So-yeon asks Dong-myeong to take care of Eun-ho until Tae-hyung arrives because she has work. Once she’s gone, Dong-myeong tells Eun-ho about Min-sung. He worries he’ll take the fall but says Sang-ho promised to help and seems like a good guy.
Han-sol calls and Dong-myeong steps out to answer, unaware of Ki-ho sneaking into the room behind him. Leaning close to Eun-ho, Ki-ho begs him to wake up and rests a hand on Eun-ho’s forehead, praying for him to be healed. Dong-myeong returns but doesn’t find anything amiss. Seeing the book on the bedside, Dong-myeong decides to play music while Ki-ho hides under the bed and sees the blinking light on the recorder.
Jae-hong and Ja-young find footage of Young-sik limping across an intersection recently while Superintendent Hwang visits Young-jin and she says the more she investigates, the more she feels like she’s walking through a maze. Hwang says all mazes have exits if you’re determined and Young-jin points out he’d recently told her to give up. Hwang tuts she’d been at a dead end and advises her to do her best as a cop, but not let it consume her life.
When asked about Dong-myeong, Hwang says he sent him home, but questions why she’d immediately declared him innocent. Young-jin explains there were blood spatters on the wall and Dong-myeong had hold of Min-sung’s collar from the back. She admits it was irresponsible to speak without a thorough investigation, and Hwang assures her Min-sung already confessed. He doesn’t think Min-sung was malicious and seems to be having a hard time. Young-jin wants to question him anyway and Hwang agrees.
Officer Hong comes by with results from the prints on Eun-ho’s bag and Young-jin’s book. The bag had 12 fingerprints, but only 6 identified people while the book has 9 total prints. Officer Hong suggests the unidentified prints probably belong to Eun-ho’s classmates and Young-jin looks at Min-sun’s picture. Sun-woo pulls up to the school, but Hee-seob’s desire to keep Min-sung’s cheating quiet haunts him. Thinking of Young-jin’s declaration she’d find Min-sung’s secret and Sun-woo was free to choose his stance as Min-sung’s teacher, he speeds off.
Pulling up to the building where Dae-hoon was found dead, Sun-woo heads inside. Young-sik limps up to the building shortly after, yanking down the police tape. Sun-woo stares up at the rafters, recalling Dae-hoon hanging there, Min-sung’s denial they were close despite the pictures on Dae-hoon’s phone, and Min-sung’s admission to hurting himself. He resolves that he and Min-sung both have a chance and turns to leave, startled to he see Young-sik limping in.
Assuming Young-sik is an employee, Sun-woo apologizes and promises he’s leaving now. Young-sik mumbles someone died here and asks if Sun-woo knew Dae-hoon. Behind his back, Sun-woo dials the police, as he denies Young-sik’s accusations of being a cop. Unfortunately, when he tries to push past, Young-sik smashes his phone. Young-sik warbles Dae-hoon had been waiting there to meet him but swears he didn’t kill Dae-hoon.
Suddenly, Young-sik screams Kevin Jung killed Dae-hoon and punches Sun-woo in the face. When he stumbles back, Young-sik throws Sun-woo a metal bar and gives him the choice to kill Young-sik or be killed. Sun-woo picks up the bar and Young-sik seems relieved but grows distressed when Sun-woo throws it away, suggesting they go outside to talk. Young-sik screeches and barrels into Sun-woo, knocking him to the ground.
Ripping cords from the ceiling, Young-sik starts choking Sun-woo until he takes a flying kick to the back. It’s Young-jin and she identifies him, pulling out her handcuffs. He asks if she has a gun and when she shows the piece hooked to her belt, he cries that he met the devil. “Getting out alive,” he tells her, “could be a curse.”
Grabbing a pipe, he swings at Young-jin but she quickly subdues him, cuffing him and reading his rights. Jae-hong and Ja-young run in and help Sun-woo to his feet. Sang-ho drinks with his gang and they laugh about whether Young-sik has been arrested or shot for attacking a police officer. Sang-ho chuckles he’ll abide by his agreement to let Young-sik live, but when the drugs wear off, the real fear will set in.
Young-jin loads Young-sik into the squad car and checks on Sun-woo. He says he would’ve died if she hadn’t arrived but Young-jin points out Jae-hong and Ja-young would’ve shown up. He asks how she knew where he was and realizes she wasn’t there for him at all. Young-jin confirms she was chasing Young-sik and we flash back to see Jae-hong had called her with an update to Young-sik’s whereabouts which she’d marked on a map.
Looking ahead, she saw the school and the abandoned building were further along his current route and sped off while Jae-hong and Ja-young followed him in real-time. Young-jin asks why Sun-woo was there and he reminds her she’d told him to decide his position – he’d thought he could focus on Min-sung and Eun-ho here. She tells him to see a doctor and he calls out a thank you. He starts to say something else, but just smiles because Young-jin is already inside her vehicle.
Tae-hyung has joined Dong-myeong to care for Eun-ho but stops for cake. Glancing at Eun-ho, Dong-myeong says he isn’t hungry and Tae-hyung asks which floor he ate on, feigning jealousy when Dong-myeong answers 10th. His gentle expression twists and Tae-hyung tells Dong-myeong to stop wasting time and ask what he used to be like. Dong-myeong confesses he used to steal and bully weaker kids, his dad’s in prison, and today he was questioned for an assault he didn’t commit.
Nodding, Tae-hyung says his backstory is similar and he dropped out of high school after being accused of hitting his teacher. When asked if he did it, Tae-hyung says he was beating a kid who’d framed him for stealing when the teacher got in the way. Dong-myeong looks back at Eun-ho and Tae-hyung assumes he’s worried Eun-ho is in Tae-hyung’s care. Dong-myeong agrees and Tae-hyung points out others would say the same of Dong-myeong.
After a moment, Dong-myeong says Eun-ho doesn’t like sweets… except cake. They agree to give it to the nurses. Digging for information on Ki-ho, Tae-hyung is disappointed Dong-myeong doesn’t know, but Dong-myeong tells him about Nosy Ajusshi and shows him the number. Out in the hall, Tae-hyung immediately texts the number to Sang-ho.
Sang-ho calls Tae-hyung back and jumps up, ecstatic. He gleefully announces he’s found Ki-ho, patting himself on the back for putting surveillance around Eun-ho. Punching in the number, Sang-ho frowns when he realizes he already has it. Nosy Ajusshi answers and Sang-ho coyly asks if he’s heard from Ki-ho. When Nosy Ajusshi denies any updates, Sang-ho hangs up and glowers while the rest of his cronies clear out.
Returning to his shack, Ki-ho pulls out the recorder he’d swiped from Eun-ho’s bed. Young-jin questions Young-sik, about his story Kevin Jung masterminded everything. According to Young-sik, Kevin didn’t say how he found Eun-ho took the money but ordered him to snatch Eun-ho’s bag. The money wasn’t there so he’d contacted Dae-hoon to intimidate Eun-ho, but Dae-hoon messed up and Eun-ho fell. Dae-hoon drove back to the abandoned building and argued with Kevin.
Afterwards, Kevin gave Dae-hoon a drink and he passed out. Young-sik claimed to be too high to know what was going on and he and Kevin did heroine together. They relocated to Kevin’s where Kevin asked Young-sik to inject him with meth, but he stopped breathing. All throughout, Young-sik merely confirms with an occasional “yes.” Out in the hall, Young-jin asks Jae-hong and Ja-young’s opinions.
They point out the critical error of Dae-hoon driving that night (since he has night blindness) agreeing Dae-hoon was added to fit a false narrative since Young-sik knows the basic chain of events, but not the details. Young-jin tells them Young-sik said he met the devil and she believes there’s someone behind this who knew the outline of the case but not the specifics.
Mulling over the notion of fitting facts to a false narrative, Young-jin thinks of Min-sung. Calling Min-sung’s mother, Young-jin barely introduces herself before the woman spits a detective already came by and hangs up. Returning to her son, Min-sung’s mother chastens him for hurting himself, arguing he should hit others instead of branding himself a nutcase. She barks nothing has gone smoothly since he was born, frustrated with all the money sunk into his ongoing treatment. Min-sung promises to stop, but she storms out of the room.
That night, Min-sung smashes a bottle and picks up a shard of glass. A nurse knocks and Min-sung comes out of the bathroom. She tells him a friend of Eun-ho’s dropped by and hands him a bag. Inside, is one of Min-sung’s model figures from Dae-hoon’s place. Meanwhile, Nosy Ajusshi drives along, unaware Sang-ho is tailing him. Min-sung steps out of a taxi and lets himself into a building while Nosy Ajusshi knocks on Ki-ho’s trailer.
There’s no response, so he pulls out a key, but Sang-ho drives up before he can open the door. Sang-ho snatches the key and inserts it as Min-sung lets himself into Dae-hoon’s apartment and sees familiar boots at the door. The light is on in his room and he finds Young-jin waiting inside. Ki-ho turns at the sound of a door opening and Sang-ho steps inside the shack.
I’m not sure how he’s doing it, but Park Hoon has been getting increasingly sinister every episode and I find myself equally loving and wanting to be far far away from his character. I hope I wasn’t the only one screaming “stranger danger” at Dong-myeong. His suspicion was certainly founded – and you should never follow a predator to a secondary location! – but that just goes to show how well Sang-ho manipulates. He’s built up a lot of leverage by paying for Han-sol’s surgery, caring for Eun-ho, and declaring he’d be on Dong-myeong’s side when he felt alone. Sang-ho prides himself on reading people well, but what he’s truly skilled at is finding and exploiting weaknesses. Just as he’d alluded to with his own staff, Sang-ho “saves” the weak, thereby creating a viciously loyal entourage who are willing to murder for him. It’s very disturbing and once more brings the term “cult” to mind. I fear for Dong-myeong because getting involved with Sang-ho spells nothing but trouble. With Sun-woo fully realizing his error after Min-sung’s confession, I hope that Dong-myeong can find the support he needs from the people who truly have his best interests at heart.
The theme of this episode seems to be “manipulation,” and while Sang-ho is certainly the front-runner, there are other contenders. Many are under Sang-ho’s influence like Tae-hyung and his bonding with Dong-myeong in order to extract any information he may have about Ki-ho. It’s also pretty clear that Young-sik’s story was fed to him and it makes me happy Young-jin and her ducklings know his story isn’t right and to look for hidden players. Outside of Sang-ho’s circle, Min-sung’s mother and to a lesser degree Min-sung, are also in the race but Min-sung did the right thing and at least came clean about Dae-hoon. Bratty as Min-sung has been, my heart broke at the way his mother berates him and disregards his mental health. It doesn’t excuse him sending a grown man to intimidate a fellow child but, Superintendent Hwang was right to say Min-sung has his own struggles that should be considered. And while I’m still angry he’s the reason Eun-ho was assaulted, I do hope Young-jin draws another duckling into her fold.
Young-jin has such a powerful dynamic with every character she interacts with. I’d be lying to say I’m not bummed we didn’t have more Young-jin/Sun-woo this week, but it was great to see Sun-woo trying to do detective work on his own. His past with Tae-hyung and the current dilemma between Eun-ho, Min-sung, and Dong-myeong are triggers for him and it was nice to see him start addressing that. Hee-seob’s suggestion they sweep the exam scandal under the rug was appalling, but it served as a vehicle for that poignant moment with Superintendent Hwang about easy lies, uncomfortable truths, and what Sun-woo is trying to protect. In the beginning, he was trying to protect himself from another incident like Tae-hyung, but through Young-jin he’s learning that there are more important things. Of course, his solo mission failed miserably with him entering the abandoned building on his own and nearly getting murdered… but that’s why you use the buddy system! Hopefully he’ll get his buddy back next week, because I’m extremely fond of that pairing.