Nobody Knows: Episode 11
Our intrepid detectives cover a lot of ground this hour with everyone making discoveries, with varying results. Young-jin’s suspicions towards Sang-ho only grow as he continues to insert himself in Eun-ho’s business, but her attention is dominated by more pressing matters and the discovery she makes just might lead her to the missing piece of a twenty-year puzzle.
In the past, Seo Sang-won finds a shivering boy and tells him not to fear, he’s come to save him. Carrying the child away, he assures him his love will get the boy back on his feet. The scene shifts and regains color as Eun-ho bolts to Young-jin’s apartment, apologizing to the plants as he waters them. While he naps on the couch, Young-jin kneels beside him and thanks him for being alive. Eun-ho stirs, thinking Young-jin is talking about the plants and sitting up confusedly when she cries with relief.
Waking from the dream, Eun-ho asks if he was hurt. Mom volunteers to fetch a doctor, fearing telling Eun-ho too much before he’s ready while Eun-ho’s eyes find the calendar. He tentatively asks Young-jin if it’s wrong and when Young-jin assures him the plants can survive a few days without water, Eun-ho quivers that he’s missing a month from his memory.
A doctor inspects Eun-ho and says he’ll be able to go home soon. Young-jin follows him out to ask if there’s any treatment for memory loss but he insists it’s not his area. He’s startled when she guesses he’ll report to Sang-ho and Young-jin pointedly requests he tell Sang-ho everything he’d told them about Eun-ho’s memory… and that he won’t recognize Sang-ho.
The doctor reports to someone as told, but the appearance of Sang-ho – who’d run out immediately after hearing the news – tells us he’s a double-agent. Sang-ho likewise questions him and is unconvinced by the doctor’s lie about a former classmate. Hee-seob sets down his own phone and realizing Eun-ho’s missing memory includes Ki-ho, calls Nosy Ajusshi to meet.
Sang-ho downs a cold cup of tea, tutting if it’s hot he must sip it or wait. Filling it up again, he sighs he’d wanted to ask Eun-ho some questions, staring at the steam as he ominously adds, “I can’t gulp it down.” Meanwhile, Jin-su scrolls through the news articles on Young-jin and balks at the comments. Byung-hee chides him for looking at that garbage while they’re on a stakeout, laughing at the top comment suggesting Young-jin killed Seo Sang-won when all the evidence proves otherwise.
Jae-hong isn’t taking the news half as well and when Superintendent Han dismisses him, he slams down a photo of the unit and storms out. Next, Han calls Young-jin and learns Eun-ho work up but can’t remember the past month. She hangs up when Sang-ho approaches and he laments being unable to visit since Eun-ho won’t recognize him. Young-jin firmly replies Eun-ho will remember soon.
When asked if she wants Eun-ho to remember, Young-jin guesses Sang-ho doesn’t. He points out Eun-ho’s brain is protecting him from something traumatic and she asks if he means to say Eun-ho will be in danger if he remembers. Laughing it off, Sang-ho clarifies he merely worries that regaining those memories will trap Eun-ho in a living nightmare.
Chasing Jae-hong, Ja-young confronts him, jumping into his car before he can stop her. Cutting off his protests, she correctly guesses he didn’t put everything in his report the day he found Young-jin and Seo Sang-won’s body and asks him to maintain that statement. He questions why she isn’t angry Young-jin kept her relationship with the case secret and Ja-young points out that doing so would’ve meant she couldn’t investigate it.
Jae-hong argues he should hear this from Young-jin and Ja-young calmly points out Young-jin would feel too guilty to ask. Growing suspicious, Jae-hong asks why Ja-young joined their unit. She admits she’d overheard Young-jin talking about her conversation with Seo Sang-won. She says if Jae-hong doesn’t stick to his report, she’ll reveal she knew all along. He asks if she’s threatening him, but Ja-young smiles she wouldn’t make a threat with something she liked.
Unable to let it go, Eun-ho asks Mom how he got hurt and if he’d said anything strange before his accident. Before Mom can answer, Young-jin returns. He asks if she has questions and Young-jin says she has many but only asks where he would hide something. Eun-ho says it depends whether it was an object or a secret, peppering Young-jin with questions why he’d want to hide something.
She says someone wanted him to keep something safe but doesn’t answer when he asks if it’s related to his accident. Young-jin clarifies that it’s not important to him, but to the person that asked. Eun-ho confirms Young-jin’s guess of her apartment and tells her check the kitchen. Suggesting he rest, Young-jin turns to leave but Eun-ho shouts that no one will tell him what happened.
Young-jin replies that she can only give a rough outline of events because he’s the only one that knows what happened. Mom doesn’t want him to remember a painful memory but Young-jin tells him he fell off the roof after using the lifeline and then unbuckling himself halfway down. She vows to find the truth but admits she may fail and asks if Eun-ho is okay missing that piece of his life.
Furious, Mom drags Young-jin into the hall, barking at her not make Eun-ho live the way she did. Young-jin is confused and Mom asks if she’s satisfied after catching the stigmata serial killer. Inside, Eun-ho sighs that Young-jin found the killer before a sharp pain erupts in his head as flashes of Young-jin’s murder wall flash through his mind.
In another hospital room, Hee-dong gripes at the way Du-seok is feeding him while Sang-ho gleefully watches a nature documentary. Sun-ah joins them, and Sang-ho says, “In the animal world, the food chain of preying on and falling prey to repeats endlessly.” She asks about humans and Sang-ho blankly replies humans are animals too. She wonders if Eun-ho’s amnesia is a ruse, but Sang-ho doubts Young-jin and Sun-woo would gamble with a child.
He thinks the best scenario is for Eun-ho to regain his memory and they catch Ki-ho when he comes to retrieve his item from Eun-ho. His lackeys want to kill Eun-ho but Sang-ho pouts that’s the most boring scenario. Irritated his secret exists somewhere he doesn’t know, Sang-ho growls he wants to blow up the world and Sun-ah retorts Eun-ho needs to regain his memory for world peace.
The women return to Eun-ho and Young-jin apologizes for putting herself over Eun-ho’s condition. He argues he wants to know but Young-jin says he needs to recover first. When asked instead about his nice room, Young-jin says he’ll move now that he’s awake. Meanwhile, Jin-su and Byung-hee perk up at the arrival of Hee-seob, quickly ducking down as he heads inside the restaurant to meet Nosy Ajusshi.
Ja-young explains how Young-jin figured there was an accomplice from Seo Sang-won’s final speech when he said despite the markings, Soo-jung didn’t qualify for the blessing of rebirth. Jae-hong realizes the problem isn’t the victim’s qualifications, but the criminal’s – meaning someone else killed Soo-jung.
While searching the stigmata serial murders after hearing the report on Young-jin, Sun-woo starts to call but hesitates. A knock on the door alerts him to his niece’s presence and she asks to read a story since Hee-seob promised but went to work. She notes his expression is sad and Sun-woo says he was reading something sad. Ji-won assures him her book isn’t sad and as they sit down to read, Sun-woo asks if she’d like to have a younger sibling.
His question triggers a memory and Ji-won says Eun-ho asked how she’d feel about having an older brother. She’d told him she wanted a younger sibling and his eyes became sad like Sun-woo’s. He wonders when this happened, but Ji-won denies any of the days he recalls, saying it happened at her school.
Nosy Ajusshi tuts Hee-seob should’ve just called since he hasn’t heard from Ki-ho. Nosy Ajusshi doesn’t know why Ki-ho is hiding and Hee-seob tells him to pass the message Eun-ho woke up, returning to add something we don’t hear. Listening to the recorder he found under Eun-ho’s bed, Ki-ho learns of Young-jin’s close relationship with Eun-ho.
Scrolling through her phone, Young-jin thinks to call Superintendent Hwang, but luckily he calls first. She asks if the chief contacted him but he’s calling to say she’s still in charge of her unit. Superintendent Han is with him and hisses for him tell her not to do anything, pouting she won’t listen to him. Rolling his eyes, Hwang tells Han to stop begging her and order her so Han barks at Young-jin to do nothing but breathe.
Hanging up, she calls Jae-hong, who’s still processing all he’s learned. She tells him Eun-ho is awake and he’s stifles his excitement. Young-jin tells him to come keep guard and Jae-hong tentatively asks if it’s a favor, smiling when she corrects it’s an order. Superintendent Han warns Hwang that he’ll be in minor trouble and to let Young-jin be the only scapegoat for the scandal.
Hwang chides him for thinking of scapegoats when they should first think of how to protect Young-jin. Han points out they know Young-jin, but she’ll be suspected by everyone else. “Those who try to do something with a spirit of self-sacrifice are the first ones to be sacrificed,” Hwang replies firmly, “Those bystanders who aren’t willing to do anything, never suffer any damage.”
When they arrive, Young-jin asks Ja-young and Jae-hong to watch Eun-ho until the backup officers arrive, warning them to watch what they say since Eun-ho doesn’t remember the past month. Standing to leave, she pauses and apologizes to Jae-hong for not telling him about Soo-jung. She confesses she wanted to catch Seo Sang-won herself and Jae-hong says he understands.
Unfortunately, Nosy Ajusshi notices Jin-su and Byung-hee following him so he pulls over. They’re forced to pass while he seemingly gets out to pee, but as soon as they’re out of sight, he gets back in his truck and doubles back. Waiting up ahead, Byung-hee and Jin-su grow anxious when the truck doesn’t reappear and turn back to find it missing.
Nosy Ajusshi passes Hee-seob’s message for him to claim inheritance from Im Hee-jung’s estate “before it’s too late.” He also shares Eun-ho regained consciousness and Ki-ho thanks God, wanting to see Eun-ho immediately. Nosy Ajusshi shakes his head, saying Young-jin came to see him, looking for Ki-ho. Passing her card, he relays her message Eun-ho almost died because of him and then adds that Young-jin was friends with the eighth stigmata serial murders victim.
Young-jin tears her apartment apart, looking for whatever Eun-ho could’ve hidden there. She still hasn’t found it by daybreak and calls Sun-woo. He jokingly agrees that she called too early before assuring her she’s welcome to call anytime. Sun-woo admits to seeing the news and asks if she’s still enduring. Denying it, Young-jin reveals Eun-ho woke up.
Sun-woo runs into Hee-seob’s study with the news but deflates when Hee-seob already knows. Furthermore, Hee-seob breezily asks Sun-woo to set up a meeting with Mom so he can tell her about the Min-sung incident. Suspicious of the timing, Sun-woo asks if it’s because Eun-ho can’t remember being beaten by Dae-hee. Hee-seob laughs that’s a good point but says he’s revealing the exam scandal this week and wants to tell Mom first.
Cake in hand, Sun-woo visits Eun-ho, who apologizes for the trouble. Seeing the cake, Eun-ho has flashes of the cake from Sang-ho and feels ill. Sun-woo rushes to remove it but Mom offers to eat it with the officers and give him time to visit. Eun-ho worries he’ll never retain his memory and Sun-woo assures him that even if that happened, the people around him would reconstruct it.
Eun-ho argues that’s not his story and wants to remember, himself. Sun-wo suggests he try, asking what his last memory was. Eun-ho recalls meeting Sun-woo and Ji-won outside their house. Recalling Ji-won’s words Eun-ho had asked her about having an older brother, Sun-woo asks if he remembers what they’d talked about at the park. While playing, Ji-won had looked up at the sun and sneezed.
When Eun-ho admitted having the same reaction, Sun-woo explained he might have a photic sneeze reflex like Ji-won. He said there was no cure, but it doesn’t affect a person’s health – it’s just uncomfortable. Eun-ho relays the conversation to Sun-woo and says afterwards Ji-won asked him to go to their house, so he did… and then he woke up in the hospital. Eun-ho starts to say something else, but a nurse arrives and Sun-wo leaves to talk with Mom.
Sun-woo says Hee-seob wants to meet – assuring Mom he can relay a message if she prefers – but Mom agrees. Eun-ho thinks back to the park and how Sun-woo said the photic sneeze reflex is genetic, so his parents were to blame. Ji-won smiled they were the same and Eun-ho looked thoughtful.
Jin-su and Byung-hee meet with Officer Hong, who grumbles she had to take a day off. They warn her to be careful and she assures them she used to be on the SWAT team before heading back into the New Life Church. Meanwhile, backup finally arrives to relieve Jae-hong and Ja-young and everyone returns to the office. Ja-young fills Byung-hee and Jin-su in on what she’d told Jae-hong the previous night regarding the accomplice.
Joining her, Jae-hong hands over Young-jin’s conversation with Seo Sang-won Jae-hong left out of the report. Young-jin arrives and the room is tense. Byung-hee breaks it to ask if the report is fake or if there’s more to add and Young-jin answers no. He starts to complain about her standing there stoically when Jin-su cuts him off, saying Young-jin was wrong to hide things, but Byung-hee shouldn’t talk back to a superior even if she’s his junior.
Addressing Young-jin, Jin-su says they’re colleagues – not tools – and slumps back into his seat. After a pause, Young-jin corrects she joined the force first and everyone laughs. Adding she’d thought it didn’t matter, Young-jin admits she regrets not telling them sooner. Learning Soo-jung’s mother is the only other person that knows Young-jin (and not Hwang) received the call from her killer, Byung-hee says if it gets published, they’ll know the informant is one of them.
Superintendent Han joins them, announcing the disciplinary hearing is in three days and Young-jin is on standby until then. She asks about Hwang and Han says he won’t be able to avoid it. Hwang ignores a call from reporters as a subordinate comes to retrieve a file. The young man nervously adds Hwang can go home. Once the man leaves, Hwang unlocks the bottom drawer of his desk and pulls out Soo-jung’s casefile.
Young-jin returns to her desk while Han gives the rest of the team orders. Jae-hong and Jae-hee look anxiously at Young-jin before leaving on their assignment. Jin-su asks if they should head out too and Byung-hee eyes Young-jin before loudly asking Jin-su where they lost track of Nosy Ajusshi, nudging his partner to play along. Jin-su answers just as loud and Young-jin smiles as she heads out.
At school, Sun-woo informs Min-sung and Dong-myeong of Eun-ho regaining consciousness and Min-sung breaks down in tears. He says he’s been waiting for the day to apologize to Eun-ho (but now must wait because Eun-ho can’t remember). Dong-myeong wants to see Eun-ho immediately and Sun-woo writes him a pass. Before leaving, Dong-myeong tells Min-sung they’ll go together next time.
Following Jin-su’s directions, Young-jin finds the spot they’d lost Nosy Ajusshi. She looks around, puzzling where he could’ve gone when her phone rings. She answers and Ki-ho identifies himself, asking after Eun-ho. She tells him to see for himself and Ki-ho asks if he shows up, will Young-jin let him meet Eun-ho. If she answers, we don’t hear it as Ki-ho hangs up the payphone and Young-jin curses.
When Dong-myeong arrives, Eun-ho asks if he’s stayed out of trouble. Dong-myeong sniffs that Han-sol had a successful surgery and he’s now in Sun-woo’s class, grumbling Eun-ho has to come back and be his desk mate. Eun-ho cheekily agrees no one else would and then marvels at seeing Dong-myeong cry for the first time. Dong-myeong sniffles that he isn’t and Eun-ho laughs.
Hee-seob arrives at a hotel to meet with Mom and freezes when he sees her in the lobby. He approaches her awkwardly and Mom stiffly says she’d thought they weren’t supposed to acknowledge each other. Sun-woo walks up and pauses when he sees them together, overhearing Hee-seob suggest they have tea sometime. He’s surprised Mom knows the headache he mentions is about school and she snips that she’d given up when she found out who “the woman” was.
Brushing her off, he says it was nice seeing her but he has to go deal with a headache. Mom lets him leave and Hee-seob runs off, both looking shaken. Sun-woo slaps on a smile and runs up to her, guiding her to see Hee-seob who balks when it finally clicks Mom is Eun-ho’s mother. She introduces herself as if this is their first meeting and Hee-seob awkwardly plays along, explaining the exam mishap. Mom is quick to understand Eun-ho would’ve urged Min-sung to turn himself in and Min-sung is from a rich family connected to the school.
She says it must be quite a headache for Hee-seob and then sashays out. Sun-woo follows her and offers a ride back to the hospital. In the car, he tentatively asks about Eun-ho’s sneezing and if she has it. Mom shakes her head so Sun-woo asks about his dad. Mom freezes, recalling Eun-ho had asked the same thing and asks if it’s hereditary. Sun-woo confirms it is and Mom shakily lets herself out of the car.
Sun-ah finds Sang-ho with his instant noodles and tells him Eun-ho’s call records show he’d called Dong-myeong’s aunt’s restaurant after leaving Ki-ho at the hospital. Thinking Han-sol might’ve heard something, Sang-ho visits Han-sol with gifts. Sang-ho asks if he knew Eun-ho saved someone. Han-sol proudly chirps Eun-ho called to say he couldn’t visit because of it.
Sang-ho says he would’ve rewarded Eun-ho with gifts if he’d saved him and Han-sol innocently says Eun-ho did receive a gift – a book, “New Life Gospel.” The title throws Sang-ho into a flashback, revealing him to be the boy Seo Sang-won “saved” and he nervously recites prayers only for Seo Sang-won to snap a cat o’ nine tails whip when he messes up. The second mistake earns a whipping.
In the present, tears sting Sang-ho’s eyes. Outisde, he scoffs, “That sly old geezer made a map with “New Life Gospel” on purpose… because that book was our everyday life.” He spits they were given food, clothes, and a place to rest but only when they perfectly memorized the verses – and getting them wrong earned brutal beatings. Sang-ho suggests killing Ki-ho… after making him memorize the gospel and whipping him for every world he gets wrong. He calls Hee-dong to bring a copy of the book and Ki-ho.
Ki-ho grabs the recorder and his stash of money and leaves the shack. He pauses before locking it and then tosses the key inside. Walking away, he stops in his tracks when headlights wash over him. Du-seok, Hee-dong, and Sang-ho get out of the car… but it’s a fakeout and they find the empty shack. Meanwhile, another car pulls under a bridge and Young-jin looks over at Ki-ho.
He refuses to talk until he sees it and Young-jin retrieves the book from the trunk. He reaches for it and she holds a lighter to it. Ki-ho warns her to stop and Young-jin asks what happens if the book is destroyed. Ki-ho sighs she’ll never know anything and then corrects that even if she discovers the truth, she won’t be able to do anything about it.
They got me again with the Ki-ho fake-out! I’d like to think I’m better than this but honestly, it’s just Nobody Knows has been dancing around typical drama pitfalls like letting the villains win too much and forcing the heroes (and us poor fans) to slog through weeks of pointless goose-chasing. It’s refreshing to have the villains and heroes moving at the same pace – just on different trajectories – rather than one side always being three steps ahead. Sang-ho thinks he’s sitting pretty, but Young-jin has been calling BS on his game since the get-go and while she’s never had anything to slap him with other than giving off major bad vibes, that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been paying attention.
From what we’ve seen of Sang-ho’s dark side, the glimpses of his past aren’t surprising, but they’re horrific and heartbreaking, nonetheless. It excuses nothing, but it does help to better explain his philosophy about the strong and the weak and how even though his morals are beyond questionable, he still manages to do good things for people… when it suits him. If he turns out not to be Soo-jung’s killer at this point, I will be stunned, but Nobody Knows has fooled me before, so I can’t rule out that it won’t suddenly reveal Sun-woo as the ultimate undercover psychopath (but I hope not because he’s precious and I would give my life for him or any other of Young-jin’s ducklings).
Despite hitting classic eye-rolling makjang tropes like amnesia and birth secrets, the show has handled them effectively so that they weave well into the story and don’t feel like they were thrown in as a cheap attempt at milking tension. I can’t imagine anyone predicted Hee-seob was going to turn out as Eun-ho’s father and I’m unsure what this actually means going forward other than to highlight just how much pressure Eun-ho had been under prior to his accident. I love that Sun-woo not only overheard the exchange between Mom and Hee-seob but was smart enough to put the pieces together immediately. I can’t gush enough about a show that allows its characters to not be idiots just for Plot.
And that’s the thing I love most about this show: the characters and the relationships they build with each other. Young-jin’s team standing behind her even after she lied, because they know she’s not the person the media was painting her to be. Even Jae-hong’s volatile reaction was from the hurt of Young-jin not trusting him – not because he truly doubted her – and Ja-young talking him down and explaining why Young-jin reacted the way she did was lovely. Still, the best was Young-jin apologizing and admitting she was wrong. I love seeing adults treating each other – as well as the kids – with sincerity and respect. It explains why the kids bonded so quickly with Young-jin, Sun-woo, and Superintendent Hwang and why the adults work so well with each other, even when they disagree. I can’t wait to see our heroes solve both cases and find the light at the end of this 20-year tunnel.