Nobody Knows: Episode 14
Finding the item that our villain has been searching for and got Eun-ho wrapped up in this mess in the first place was only half the battle. Now our protagonists must get it to the man that started this trip down the rabbit hole before our villain finds out–or else they may lose their chance to catch a killer forever.
Sang-ho grins wickedly as he heads to Young-jin’s promotional ceremony to special inspector. She passes him to return to her seat, unable to recognize the monster in her midst. Sang-ho watches with interest as Hwang presents her with a stack of business cards embossed with her new title. Back in his office, Sang-ho carefully places one of the cards in his desk next to Soo-jung’s phone and the photo. In the present, he smiles down at his collection while Young-jin announces to her team Sang-ho is their prime suspect.
We rewind 7 hours to Young-jin promising Eun-ho she’ll catch Sang-ho and they”ll return home together. Ki-ho thinks of his own promise to Eun-ho when he entrusted the book to him, lamenting he was too late. He leaps up and leaves the cabin in search of a cell signal. Sun-woo follows Young-jin into the hall and confesses he’d had difficulty accepting Eun-ho was Ji-won’s brother until he remembered Han-sol’s drawing they’d found in Dong-myeong’s locker.
Han-sol had drawn both his and Dong-myeong’s mothers all holding hands and smiling. Young-jin commented that despite not all sharing the same blood, they were connected. Sun-woo proudly declares he’ll weather the storms ahead knowing he has one more connection. He smiles sheepishly at Young-jin’s own smile and she tells him he’s a good person. Sun-woo hopes the disciplinary meeting goes well and Young-jin says she’ll ensure it does.
Sun-woo asks if giving the book to Ki-ho means they can catch Sang-ho. Young-jin holds up her ringing phone in response, showing Sun-woo the caller ID. She answers and tells Ki-ho they found the book. He questions whether he can trust her this time and Sun-woo holds up his own phone. Young-jin reads aloud: “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the messengers in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
She adds that in “New Life Gospel,” they refer not to disciples but angels and promises to be there that evening. Sun-woo offers to go with her, but Young-jin worries about leaving Eun-ho alone. Young-jin heads to her disciplinary hearing and Hwang has to restrain her when the verdict is read to dismiss Hwang. Afterwards, Hwang tells her to go ahead, urging her to be careful.
Mom arrives at the hospital and Sun-woo leaves. When he drives away, Tae-hyung – who’d been waiting in the parking lot – follows him. Sun-woo runs into the school to collect the book, oblivious to a fellow teacher watching him. Sun-woo drives off, Tae-hyung still following, while in his office, Hee-seob asks why Sang-ho is looking for Ki-ho. Before answering, Sang-ho’s phone rings and Tae-hyung reports that Sun-woo collected his bag from school and left again.
Sang-ho recalls an earlier report of Young-jin and Sun-woo talking next to Eun-ho’s locker but leaving empty-handed. Hee-seob attempts to reclaim his attention but Sang-ho excuses himself. Meanwhile, Young-jin briefs her team on the evidence a “witness” saw in Sang-ho’s study, assuring Superintendent Han that her source is credible. Han worries she just finished a disciplinary hearing and is diving into another case she has a personal attachment to.
Young-jin’s matter-of-factly reply she doesn’t care if this is her last case causes Han to erupt in frustration. He barks that she’s what the department needs but is fine leaving while the rest are unnecessarily keeping their positions. Jin-su jokes they’re not so bad and Han snaps at him to hush, announcing that externally Han will be in charge, but they’re all to follow Young-jin’s directions.
Clearing her throat (and her emotional gratitude) Young-jin explains Sang-ho is connected to everyone involved. He was saved by Seo Sang-won, Im Hee-jung owed him money, and he’s searching for the book Ki-ho gave Eun-ho. Kevin Jung, Dae-hoon, and Young-sik were all decoys to distract from Sang-ho. Ja-young questions why Ki-ho didn’t do anything sooner if he had the book proving Sang-ho’s guilt.
“They even kept quiet,” Young-jin answers, “about the murders between brothers.” Officer Hong shares Hee-jung and Seo Sang-won’s DNA identified a paternal connection and Young-jin confirms Ki-ho is also their sibling. She warns them to move carefully so Sang-ho remains unaware before sending Ja-young and Jae-hong to guard Eun-ho while Byung-hee and Jin-su locate Nosy Ajusshi (who’s finally given the name Yoo Pan Sool and I’m gratified Byung-hee also finds this to be news).
Superintendent Han offers to dig up anything he can on the hotel and Young-jin can’t help but smile. Jae-hong worries about Young-jin meeting Ki-ho alone but she insists Ki-ho won’t help if there’s anyone with her. Everyone heads out while across town Sang-ho dips into the teachers’ office and pokes around Sun-woo’s desk, laughing aloud Sun-woo was supposed to return his book. A teacher at an adjacent desk says he just saw Sun-woo leave with a blue book.
Sang-ho calls but Sun-woo ignores it so Tae-hyung calls and tells him to answer the phone. He hangs up without answering Sun-woo’s questions and Sun-woo frantically calls Sang-ho, who sneers Tae-hyung is Sun-woo’s weakness. Sang-ho asks what he’s doing without his students and orders him back to school within 30 minutes or he’s going to handle Sun-woo’s closing meeting for the class and who knows what he’ll say.
Pulling over, Sun-woo demands to know what Sang-ho is up to, warning him not to mess with the kids. “I used to be a kid too,” Sang-ho muses. He orders Sun-woo back and hangs up. Looking up, Sun-woo sees Tae-hyung parked behind him on the shoulder and pulls out the packet. We now see that upon finding the book couldn’t be scanned or photographed, Sun-woo had set out scan the entire book and transcribe the missing sections by hand.
At daybreak, he’d locked both away in his desk and retrieved them that afternoon. Now, he slides into Tae-hyung’s passenger seat, demanding if he even knows what the book is Sang-ho wants. Tae-hyung thinks it’s proof of the foundation’s corruption and Sun-woo asks for help delivering the envelope (of the copy) while he takes the book back to Sang-ho.
Tae-hyung scoffs that he knows the foundation has sketchy financials, but they save the lives of many kids. “Between Baek Sang-ho and Lee Sun-woo,” Tae-hyung sneers, “whom do you think I’ll trust?” Sun-woo clarifies he isn’t asking for Tae-hyung to trust him, rather he’s asking because he trusts Tae-hyung. “You’re lying,” Tae-hyung mutters, but before Sun-woo gets out, he asks where he needs to go.
The second Mom leaves Eun-ho’s room, Du-seok slips inside. He leans in to greet Eun-ho, only to realize they’re not alone. Ja-young and Jae-hong stare Du-seok down and he explains he’d seen Eun-ho in the halls and wanted to say hi. When asked, Eun-ho denies recognizing Du-seok and apologizes. With a quick wink, Jae-hong takes Du-seok out to talk. As soon as the door shuts, Eun-ho’s heart monitor skyrockets and Ja-young praises him for holding out.
Jae-hong wonders how he should interpret Du-seok sneaking into Eun-ho’s room and when Du-seok says he acted on a whim, Jae-hong growls that Eun-ho is anxious enough with missing his memory. Du-seok agrees to be more careful but falters when Jae-hong points out Eun-ho shouldn’t know his face anyway. Smiling, Du-seok admits he didn’t consider that and Jae-hong leaves.
Young-jin drops by with something to say to Eun-ho. She apologizes for letting him leave the night he visited her at the office, confessing she sensed something was wrong. “It’s not that I didn’t know,” Young-jin admits, “I acted like I didn’t.” Apologizing, she says that she’s leaving now not to catch Soo-jung’s killer but protect Eun-ho. Young-jin knows that she’s also being protected (by Hwang and even Eun-ho).
She starts to mention the past seven years and Eun-ho cringes. Young-jin laughs that she was embarrassed when he called her a hero as a child. Eun-ho says he’s not a kid anymore, but Young-jin smiles gently that he’s only 15. She asks if he still wants to become an adult quickly and Eun-ho smiles: “No. I want to take my time. It’s not so bad right now.”
Creeping outside Sun-woo’s class, Sang-ho peers inside, counting down the seconds. Just as he reaches for the door, Sun-woo screams his name. The walk out to the parking lot and Sang-ho suggests they talk in Sun-woo’s car, immediately digging through Sun-woo’s bag for the book. He continues his charade of collecting a book from Ki-ho and smiles this must be his. He turns back to ask if Sun-woo read it and Sun-woo breezily replies he never read his own copy.
Sang-ho nods Sun-woo was the exception – while they had to memorize it for food and shelter and were beaten for getting a word wrong. Sun-woo says he didn’t know and Sang-ho urges him to continue not knowing… and sometimes pretending he doesn’t. Sang-ho leaves with the book and Sun-woo bolts back to his class, a few students scrambling back inside when they see him.
Panting, Sun-woo asks about the empty desks and his students whine he’s late. They sense his anxiety but Sun-woo denies any problems with Eun-ho, claiming he’s just grateful they waited for him despite being late. Meanwhile, Young-jin meets with Tae-hyung who hands her the envelope, explaining Sun-woo had to take the original book back.
Tae-hyung says he trusts Young-jin after watching her interact with Eun-ho and admits he was a little jealous. He clarifies he’s doing this for Young-jin and not as a favor to Sun-woo. She suggests he make up with Sun-woo and Tae-hyung looks down, mumbling he has no right to after hitting Sun-woo in front of the kids.
“You were still a kid back then,” Young-jin points out, “Make up with him before you grow any older.” In her car, she calls Sun-woo to confirm she received it. She asks if he’s okay and Sun-woo sighs Sang-ho took the book. She warns him to be careful and pass the message to Tae-hyung. Young-jin promises to call and Sun-woo says he’ll be waiting.
Jae-hong shows Eun-ho photos of Kevin Jung and Young-sik, but unsurprisingly, he doesn’t recognize them. He asks if he should but Ja-young assures him that if he did, that would mean they were on the wrong track. Eun-ho does, however, recognize a traffic cam photo of the motorcyclist (Du-seok) who stole his bag. He explains as much to Jae-hong, who asks why he didn’t report it.
Ja-young guesses because of the money he’d stolen, but Eun-ho says he also considered Dae-hoon snatching his bag for Min-sung since his phone still had the exam answers. Too frustrated to listen further, Mom steps into the hall. Jae-hong wonders if they should continue but Ja-young suggests they find more motorbike footage first and goes out to speak with Mom. She sympathizes but Mom says Eun-ho is the one struggling and she can’t do anything for him.
Mom wants Min-sung’s mother’s number and when Ja-young expresses discomfort about sharing personal information, Mom tells her to call and arrange a meeting. Min-sung’s mother agrees and the women glare at each other in her living room. Mom pips that she’s not for sale in response to Min-sung’s mother’s appraising look. The other woman coolly suggests they meet when Mom is less emotional.
Sighing, Mom snaps that she’s human and therefore has emotions: “My son had to go through such a horrible thing because of your son. Of course, it hurts and infuriates me.” Min-sung comes downstairs and although his own mother orders him to leave, he obeys Mom’s desire for him to join them. He explains he shared the answers to be friends again and Mom questions why he then sent Dae-hoon after Eun-ho, demanding how she’s supposed to forgive him.
A tear trails down Min-sung’s cheek and he answers she shouldn’t – Eun-ho was hurt and Dae-hoon died because of him – Min-sung would never forgive himself in her position. Mom asks if he doesn’t intend to apologize and Min-sung asks if he can. She confesses she doesn’t know either, but that’s all he can do. Min-sung’s mother sees her out and Mom says she’ll visit her in prison. “How lucky we are,” Mom adds, “We moms are messed up, but our kids are kind.”
Superintendent Hwang drops by for a visit and Eun-ho beams. While Jae-hong fails to peel an apple, Hwang suggests they meet more often with Dong-myeong and Min-sung. Eun-ho asks how he knows them, so Hwang recounts the incident, emphasizing Dong-myeong would’ve been in trouble if not for Min-sung coming forward. They’re interrupted by a knock and Dong-myeong joins them, wondering at Eun-ho’s serious expression.
Eun-ho asks him to call Min-sung and he claims not to have the number. When Hwang points out the unlikelihood, Dong-myeong confesses Min-sung’s mom made a fuss at school so his mood is likely poor. Eun-ho asks again for him to call and tell Min-sung to come if he wants and we see Min-sung running out to a taxi. Back home, Mom cleans the apartment with special focus on Eun-ho’s room.
Everyone waits outside while Min-sung talks to Eun-ho and when Min-sung calls them in, Dong-myeong looks between the grinning boys and grumbles they worked it out fast. Ja-young realizes all three boys will be in the same class once Eun-ho is discharged. With the stolen money charges being dropped, Hwang warns Dong-myeong and Eun-ho to stay out of trouble.
He adds someone new will be in charge of them because he was fired. The room falls silent and only Dong-myeong is brave enough to comment surprise. Seemingly unfazed, Hwang suggests they work part-time together on his friend’s farm and Dong-myeong agrees a job offer from a former police officer can’t be too bad.
Sang-ho excitedly sits down with Ki-ho’s book and a regular copy of the “New Life Gospel” and starts comparing the books. He calls out all the differences for Hee-dong to mark down and when they reach the end, Sang-ho proudly announces they found 21 numbers. They don’t know what they mean, however, and he calls Sun-ah over to puzzle them out since he sent her to a prestigious university.
Unfortunately, Sun-ah tells them the numbers are useless if they don’t know what they mean. Hee-dong guesses they could be coordinates but Sun-ah says that’s only 17 numbers. He argues the remaining 4 could be a passcode but Sun-ah points out they still don’t know how to decipher the latitude and longitude. Sighing, Sang-ho orders them to bring Ki-ho and Sun-ah points out Young-jin spirited him away.
Sang-ho argues she doesn’t have the book, but Sun-ah thinks Ki-ho won’t help them, regardless. Sang-ho denies the possibility Pastor Kwon told Ki-ho anything. Sun-ah thinks they should destroy the gospel, then no one will be able to find the evidence anyway. Sang-ho points out neither will he – they have the gospel, so all they need is Ki-ho. He sneers that he isn’t doing this because he’s threatened: “That is a piece of my soul that made me who I am now.”
Making her way up the mountain, Young-jin is met by Ki-ho. She tells him the book is in her backpack and he holds out his hand – for the book- but she says she’s fine and troops past him towards the cabin. Hee. Sang-ho asks for his other lackeys’ opinions and while Du-seok thinks they should stop taking risks, Hee-dong sides with Sang-ho. Sun-ah points out he’s been summoned for questioning with Young-jin’s department over Eun-ho’s fall.
Sang-ho waves it off and she argues when Eun-ho regains his memory, they’ll know what happened to Dae-hoon. Sang-ho sneers Eun-ho didn’t see them hang Dae-hoon and assures them they’ll be fine if the follow his lead. He orders Du-seok to investigate Young-jin’s house, thinking it may hold clues to a hideout in the mountains where Grandpa foraged for ginseng. Du-seok nods, but locks eyes with Sun-ah on his way out.
Inside Grandpa’s cabin, Ki-ho pours tea and demands his book. Young-jin slides over Sun-woo’s transcribed copy and Ki-ho realizes Sang-ho has the book. At his distress, Young-jin questions if he needed the book itself – not the contents – but Ki-ho denies it. Young-jin points out only he can find the answer, so it shouldn’t matter, and Ki-ho goes to work on the book.
Starting at the church, Byung-hee and Jin-su are told Nosy Ajusshi hasn’t showed up for the past few days. They ask the clerk why it wasn’t reported, and he tells them Nosy Ajusshi had been bragging about selling his land for a good price, so they just assume he took the money and left. Byung-hee leaves his card and they head over to Nosy Ajusshi’s home where his neighbor says she hasn’t heard anything.
The detectives ask where he parks his truck and she gives them directions to his shop. They find a tow notice dated the day after they were made and Byung-hee grumbles the phone is off, he hasn’t been seen anywhere, the truck is towed and his shop is closed. Jin-su suggests they check the land, thinking Nosy Ajusshi might be there. Byung-hee isn’t convinced but agrees to go when Jin-su bets the loser buys beer.
Of course, the shack is empty and Jin-su wonders who offered to buy the land. They remember seeing Hee-seob meeting with Nosy Ajusshi and resolve to investigate him first. Officer Hong calls with the trace on Nosy Ajusshi’s phone, placing in the nearby area. Jin-su grabs flashlights and the pair start looking. Meanwhile, Young-jin watches Ki-ho mark down the numbers and notes that the word “angel” was changed to “messenger” in this version.
Ki-ho says finding the numbers isn’t hard, but they are useless if you don’t know how to read them. She knows this to be true because Sun-woo already told her he’d found 21 numbers hidden in the text but couldn’t decode their meaning. Ki-ho finishes and says these 21 numbers represent the world is full of sin. Young-jin questions if that’s how he perceives the world, musing that to her, 21 represents Eun-ho’s favorite number.
Surprised, Ki-ho asks why. Young-jin recalls Eun-ho once counted the teeth on a bottlecap and found there to be 21. He counted multiple bottlecaps afterwards and discovered they always have 21 teeth. “That’s why… he likes that number,” Young-jin says, “It doesn’t need a special reason to like something.” Ki-ho asks to meet Eun-ho once this is over. Young-jin asks if it’s because he saved him and Ki-ho answers there doesn’t need to be more reason than that.
He says if they leave now, they can reach the location by dawn. Ki-ho suddenly stops to say there might be something other than the evidence against Sang-ho and wants Young-jin to promise he can keep it. She only agrees to let him have it if he can prove it belongs to him. Ki-ho nods that he wouldn’t have trusted her if she accepted his demands. They make it to the car and he beings director her where to drive.
In the woods, Byung-hee notices the disturbed dirt and they start digging. Du-seok pulls up to an apartment and answers a call from Hee-dong, lying he’s in front of Young-jin’s old house. Hee-dong reminds him to take his medicine and Du-seok hangs up, looking to the duffel on the passenger seat. He calls Sun-ah, asking when he can leave. She says things will be ready soon and for him to call on a burner phone from now on.
By daybreak, Byung-hee and Jin-su have found Nosy Ajusshi’s foot and forensics arrive to photograph the body. Ki-ho tells Young-jin the final turn she needs to arrive at a New Life Church. She asks if the numbers do more than lead to the church and Ki-ho says he can show her the way, but he can’t tell her how: “It’s Pastor Kwon’s gift given only to us.”
Sang-ho recites a passage from the gospel: “I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, by my words will never pass away. No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven…” He corrects angels to messengers, adding, “nor the Son, but only the Father.” Young-jin parks at an empty lot and Ki-ho scrambles out, looking around in disbelief. She grabs him, asking if he’s sure this is the place and Ki-ho says it can’t be.
Well, we knew it couldn’t be that easy. The whole coded book and Ki-ho saga is probably my least favorite plotline of the show, but that may be in large part because the time we waste on this, the less time we get with Young-jin and her ducklings. Up until this point, Nobody Knows has been tightly written so I’m not complaining (yet) but I reserve the right to full on rage if the resolution doesn’t live up to the rest of the show. The story up til now gives me hope, but I won’t speak too much on it for fear of upsetting the drama gods and jinxing the whole thing.
I’m still not sold on Ki-ho. He finds Sang-ho to be a monster, but we still don’t really know his allegiance. From his mention of something else besides evidence against Sang-ho, it makes me wonder if his assistance is motivated more by finding that than putting Sang-ho away forever. And if that’s the case, he can be easily swayed. Because it’s clear something is wrong with where the code led them. Did Sun-woo transcribe something incorrectly or was there another secret to the book he didn’t know to look for? Unless the church was simply torn down, this gives Sang-ho leverage with Ki-ho and I don’t like that one bit.
Interestingly, Sang-ho’s loyal followers have revealed themselves to be not-so-loyal this week. Sun-ah’s snooping behind his back and plotting to kill Eun-ho was a minor rebellion compared to Du-seok’s abandonment. I can’t blame him from running away – Sang-ho has gone full-on crazypants and it’s not like he’s ever been shy in saying he’ll throw the three of them under the bus in a heartbeat. I’m unsure if Sun-ah is actually helping Du-seok or if she plans to screw him over. She seems the most defiant of the three, but you could argue that stems from her close relationship with Sang-ho.
This week wasn’t as exciting as the rest, but there were a lot of pieces to get into position for our final showdown, so I’m willing to let it slide so long as the finale delivers. And one thing that continues to thrill me even when the main plotline wavers, is the kids. I was squealing with Eun-ho made up with Min-sung, even if it was anticlimactic, because damn those kids are adorable. I love knowing that Hwang will continue to be a grandfather figure to these boys even after he’s no longer in charge of them. I hated to see him leave the force, but as both he and Superintendent Han said: Young-jin is the kind of cop the department needs.