Nobody Knows: Episode 15
Having seemingly arrived at a dead end, Young-jin is forced to search for alternative solutions. Luckily, she has a great team behind her, but will it be enough to take down a killer who’s evaded her for 20 years? As the clock winds down, desperate measures may need to be taken to ensure justice is served.
Standing in the middle of an empty lot, Ki-ho insists the transcript was wrong and demands Young-jin fetch his book. She’s confident the contents are the same and suggests if Ki-ho isn’t deceiving her, then he was deceived by Pastor Kwon. Ki-ho cries that he deceives no one and his father wouldn’t lie to him. Young-jin questions whether he ever verified he was learning the same things as Hee-jung. Ki-ho’s insistences grow and he sinks to the ground in despair.
While reciting a passage from the gospel, Sang-ho flashes back to observing Seo Sang-won’s rebirth ritual (a.k.a. murders). After witnessing seven murders, Sang-ho had reported it to Pastor Kwon, leveraging for the land he’d planned to give to Hee-jung in exchange for putting an end to the serial killings. Pastor Kwon balked but Sang-ho coolly replied they should exchange at least as much to establish trust. Pastor Kwon counters Sang-ho should put his life on the line.
Soon after, Sang-ho murdered Soo-jung and presented a video recording of the act to Pastor Kwon. Nodding, Kwon had deemed their transaction complete and announced he would hide the tape somewhere only he could find. In the present, Ki-ho tells Young-jin Sang-ho met with Pastor Kwon in his office twice, after which the land they’d intended to build a house of prayer on was given to Sang-ho.
Young-jin reasons Sang-ho must’ve used Seo Sang-won’s serial killings against Kwon. Ki-ho admits he wasn’t privy to their deal, only told the two were in a symbiotic relationship and Kwon intended to hide something in a place only he could find. Kwon had then created the special gospel as a map to reveal Sang-ho’s sins. Young-jin asks when the meetings were, and Ki-ho provides the exact dates – two days after the seventh victim and the day after Soo-jung’s death.
Afterwards, Kwon gave the building meant for Ki-ho to Hee-jung and Seo Sang-won moved into the top floor. Young-jin muses it was his prison and Ki-ho and Hee-jung were the jailers. She suggests they leave and Ki-ho stares at her outstretched hand, asking if she trusts him. “I can still reach out for someone I don’t trust,” Young-jin replies and Ki-ho takes her hand. Young-jin freezes, realizing Hee-jung must’ve threatened to find the book and reveal Sang-ho’s sins.
A flashback places the three of them in Pastor Kwon’s office, following his funeral. Hee-jung declared they should complete their deal, sighing that Seo Sang-won’s sins vanished, but Sang-ho’s were immortalized. She wanted her hotel, patronizingly adding he’d still have his foundation. Sang-ho laughed that Ki-ho hadn’t found the evidence and when Ki-ho started to say he’d found the map, Hee-jung screeched at him to check on Seo Sang-won.
It occurs to Young-jin that they’d all assumed Seo Sang-won killed Hee-jung, but Sang-ho had motive too. Ki-ho agrees there’s many CCTV blind spots in the area. Meanwhile, Sang-ho muses if he should’ve kept Hee-jung alive. We see he’d gone to Seo Sang-won after the meeting and cried crocodile tears, begging forgiveness for betraying him. Sang-won accepted him with open arms.
Sang-ho suggested punishing Hee-jung and completing his resurrection ritual. Seo Sang-won solemnly replied he couldn’t complete the miracle with a corrupt soul but granted Sang-ho permission to punish her. When Hee-jung arrived shortly after, she was ambushed by Sang-ho. While she bled out, Hee-jung spat that if she died, Sang-ho’s secret would be revealed, and he’d be locked up just like he’d been when they found him. Her threat backfired, however, as it confirmed that she wasn’t the only one who could read the map.
The memory is interrupted by Sun-ah entering the office and wrapping her arms around his waist. Sang-ho thinks Ki-ho might show up now that he has the book and Sun-ah wonders when he’ll think of them. Stepping out of her embrace, Sang-ho quips that he won’t: “You’re already mine.” In a tiny hotel room, Du-seok takes his medicine and thinks of Sang-ho’s assurances everything would be fine if they followed his lead. Du-seok grumbles Sang-ho is too easily swayed and resolves to take care of it by himself.
Officer Hong reports to Young-jin the New Life Church that should have been there was disbanded and sold two years ago. Young-jin asks her to check if Pastor Kwon visited before the church was torn down and Officer Hong reminds her this is just work. Ki-ho asks where to next and Young-jin says she’s getting back on track and returning to work.
While Nosy Ajusshi’s body is carted away, one of the forensic team reports finding a shoe print from the site that comes from a premium brand with only one store. Superintendent Han orders a customer list, adding something smells fishy. Young-jin calls Jae-hong to say she’s coming back and Ki-ho perks up at the mention of Eun-ho. From across the room, Eun-ho pipes up he wants to talk to her.
Eun-ho worries that she sounds tired, urging her to rest. Smiling, Young-jin assures him she’s fine and when they hang up, Ki-ho admits he’s wanted to know what kind of person Young-jin is. He holds out the recorder he’d found under Eun-ho’s bed and plays the audio of Mom’s outburst towards Young-jin before Young-jin dragged her out of the room.
Ki-ho is curious what Young-jin said that Mom completely changed her demeanor upon returning. Young-jin had told Mom to watch her tongue in front of Eun-ho because no matter what, she was his irreplaceable mother. Ki-ho asks how Young-jin and Eun-ho could maintain a relationship when he already had a mother. “You just heard it,” Young-jin replies, “Eun-ho and I are friends.”
She says Eun-ho was the first to talk to her and worry about her. She’d only done her duty, but he called her a hero. Despite being lonely, she’d been fine with it… only to realize after Eun-ho was hurt, she’d never been lonely. Eun-ho manages to walk around the room by himself and Ja-young suggests they have a soccer match between his class and their unit when he’s recovered.
Jae-hong offers to get breakfast, but the door opens and Dong-myeong and Min-sung walk in bearing gimbap from Mom. Ja-young asks if Mom is a good cook and Eun-ho’s immediate “no” isn’t comforting. He explains Mom is too busy, so he usually cooks and Jae-hong suggest they have a barbecue at his house later.
Everyone quickly agrees except Min-sung, who’s unsure whether he can make it. He promises to bring lobster and steak if he can and Dong-myeong bluntly says Min-sung is annoying, but he hopes he makes it. No sooner do they sit down to eat than Han calls Jae-hong to update him and order them back to the office as soon as backup guards arrive for Eun-ho. Jae-hong plays it off as no big deal to the boys but shares a look with Ja-young.
Next, Ki-ho plays the audio from Sang-ho’s creepy visit to comatose Eun-ho. His speech about the strong and the weak is suddenly cut off and Ki-ho suggests Sang-ho whispered something. He hesitates only briefly before handing the device over to Young-jin. She answers a call from Han, informing her of Nosy Ajusshi’s death and ordering her back. She glances uneasily at Ki-ho but promises she’s on her way.
While the boys visit, Jae-hong and Ja-young bid goodbye to Mom, who’s arrived to take over. She confesses in the beginning it was hard entering Eun-ho’s room, but now she’s excited to see who’s going to visit Eun-ho and what they’ll talk about. She worries things will go back to the way they were after leaving the hospital but Jae-hong says what matters is they understand each other now. Ja-young promises to drop by for a haircut and they take their leave.
In the car, Jae-hong opens his laptop and freezes when the motorcyclist finally appears in the CCTV footage. He calls Han to say they’ll be there after following a lead and he and Ja-young head over to the location in the footage. They find a bike shop nearby and the owner recalls the motorcyclist came by and wanted a paint job done in a day. He doesn’t have his info, but immediately identifies Du-seok’s photo as the same guy.
Jin-su and Byung-hee investigate Nosy Ajusshi’s towed truck and find multiple rolls of cash stashed in the glovebox. They get the call Ki-ho is arriving and they head back to the office just as Ki-ho realizes where Young-jin is taking him. She parks in the lot and Ki-ho accuses her of arresting him. Young-jin tells him they found Nosy Ajusshi’s body and Ki-ho follows her inside.
Handing the recorder over to Officer Hong for testing, Young-jin asks her to check the DNA against Hee-jung’s crime scene. In an interrogation room, she tells Ki-ho to stay away from Sang-ho and lay low in the safehouse they provide. Ki-ho suggests she simply tell Sang-ho he couldn’t solve it but Young-jin points out he’d never believe her. Ki-ho guesses Young-jin doesn’t believe him, either.
She admits to suspecting him of taking her to the wrong place on purpose and wondering whether his reaction to Kwon’s deception was an act. Ki-ho says Kwon always gave his siblings roles, but while they all said he was one of them, he never got to be part of them – he was an outsider. Young-jin tells him to live the rest of his life as a protagonist and Ki-ho manages a small smile… and then urges her to use him as bait for Sang-ho.
Ki-ho takes her immediate rejection as lack of trust but Young-jin clarifies he’ll be in danger. When Ki-ho growls he doesn’t care, Young-jin argues: “Then it will be in vain that Eun-ho saved your life.” She recounts Eun-ho had questioned why Ki-ho gave him the book, wishing he hadn’t since everything went wrong afterwards. Young-jin asked if he regretted saving Ki-ho and after a brief pause… Eun-ho shook his head and said he would’ve saved Ki-ho even if he knew he was a bad person.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team gets the records for the shoes and immediately locate Du-seok on the list. Han mutters things are going awfully smooth and Byung-hee agrees Du-seok isn’t an amateur to be making so many mistakes. Jae-hong and Ja-young arrive and share their findings about the bike. Han calls Young-jin and she orders Jin-su and Byung-hee to guard Ki-ho while she, Jae-hong, and Ja-young head over to Millennium Hotel. At the safehouse, Jin-sun gives Ki-ho a watch with a panic button and takes a DNA sample.
Young-jin and company arrive to find Millennium Hotel under construction. Sun-ah greets them cheerfully, apologizing for the mess. Young-jin comments it seems sudden, but Sun-ah insists they’d already planned it in advance. Thinking of Eun-ho’s testimony of Soo-jung’s things in Sang-ho’s office, Young-jin asks if the remodeling includes the tenth floor. Sun-ah beams innocently that they’re removing all traces of the past.
When asked why they’re here, Young-jin says they’re looking for Du-seok but his phone is off. Sun-ah frowns that he’s been missing for two days after asking for a large sum of money. She says he’s waiting on her call and hands over Du-seok’s new number. Superintendent Han meets them outside, offering to drive since none of them have slept. Aww.
Du-seok answers a call from Sang-ho, lying that he couldn’t find anything in Young-jin’s house so he’s questioning ginseng foragers in town. Sang-ho says he gives Du-seok the hardest jobs, so he’ll receive the biggest reward but Du-seok says Sang-ho saving his life was already his reward. They hang up and he immediately calls Sun-ah, asking when it’ll get here. She says soon and hangs up.
Everyone leaps out of the car as soon as it pulls up to the hotel but Young-jin tells Han to stay back because he’s their command center. The other three head upstairs and Young-jin calls the number, hearing the phone ringing inside a room. Unfortunately, the room is empty, and the window is wide open. They split up to search and Ja-young is the one to confront Du-seok. She shoots in the air and warns him the remaining rounds are live.
Unbothered, Du-seok starts towards her but before he can reach her, Jae-hong barrels into him. Du-seok pulls a knife and in the ensuing scuffle, he manages to plunge it first into Jae-hong’s thigh and then slice Ja-young’s arm. He throws her to the ground and Jae-hong struggles to get up, but they needn’t worry as Young-jin swoops in and delivers a flying kick to Du-seok’s chest. While the wounded detectives escape, Du-seok lunges at Young-jin.
She easily evades his blade, deflecting with her handcuffs. Throwing him to the ground, Young-jin finally cuffs Du-seok and reads him his rights. News travels fast and across town, Hee-dong urges Sang-ho to save Du-seok. Sang-ho shoots him down, slapping Hee-dong hard when he asks if they’re abandoning Du-seok. “He abandoned us, okay?” Sang-ho growls.
During interrogation, Du-sok just silently stares at the photos of Eun-ho, Dae-hoon, Kevin Jung, Young-sik, and Nosy Ajusshi. Everyone returns to the office to find Ja-young and Jae-hong bandaged up and waiting. The pair refuse to go home and Young-jin smiles proudly. During the meeting, the team assumes Du-seok intends to take the fall.
While they debate whether it’s worth getting a warrant for the hotel when they’ve surely cleared out all evidence, Officer Hong arrives with the results of the DNA on the recorder. Young-jin announces there’s a match to the rooftop where Seo Sang-won fell as well as the first victim’s letter (from her sibling which we saw young Sang-ho read).
At the end of the school day, Sun-woo checks his phone, disappointed to see Young-jin hasn’t called. By nightfall, his call log remains empty and Sun-woo wonders if Young-jin realizes how worried he is. He calls Hwang for drinks and after a few, Hwang says Young-jin hasn’t called him either. Sun-woo asks if she promised she would, like she did for him. “I know she’s working on an important case,” Sun-woo mutters, “Still, I just think she could care about someone who worries about her and waits for her.” Aww…
Hwang assures Sun-woo he spoke to Han and Young-jin wasn’t involved in anything dangerous today. His phone rings and Hwang tells Young-jin to join them. Texting her the address, Hwang insists Sun-woo wait. Answering his own phone, Sun-woo anxiously asks if Young-jin is okay, guessing it’s too late to meet. She offers to text him an address and Sun-woo says he’ll leave immediately. Hwang tells him to just sit still, chuckling when Sun-woo checks his texts and realizes Hwang spoke with Young-jin first. Hee.
Young-jin arrives and updates them on the DNA lifted from the recorder. Hwang praises her and Young-jin says it’s just the start, thanking him for the opportunity. Hwang thanks her for letting him stop mid-way, saying he was able to leave because he knew she would finish it. He apologizes to Sun-woo for unintentionally excluding him, but Sun-woo says it was nice to listen and witness how the case that pained them, brought them together… admitting he feels a little jealous.
Turning back to Young-jin, Hwang says he’s thankful for all the people around him thanks to Young-jin – Dong-myeong, Han-sol, Min-sung, and Sun-woo. He suggests he and Sun-woo become drinking buddies, laughing they can let Young-jin join sometimes. Young-jin promises to join another time because she needs to return to the office. Sun-woo says he’ll see her later and Young-jin smiles, neither aware of Hwang’s thoughtful gaze.
While being interviewed by Jin-su and Byung-hee, Ki-ho asks about Du-seok. When he hears the team was hurt while apprehending him, Ki-ho is worried until the men assure him Young-jin was unscathed. Afterwards, he looks thoughtfully at his calendar and the next day, Ki-ho sneaks out early and gets himself a suit.
Hee-seob knocks on Sun-woo’s door and asks to talk. They sit down and he says he plans to tell Sun-kyung about Eun-ho. “Why?” Sun-woo asks, “To make yourself feel better?” Hee-seob accuses Sun-woo of being mean, arguing he didn’t pretend not to know, he really didn’t know. Sun-woo asks if not knowing changes anything. Hee-seob is stricken but Sun-woo says he’s talking about himself.
He asks if the foundation’s business is related to the church and when Hee-seob clams up, Sun-woo says that he may have been a child and Hee-seob nearly grown when they met, but he’s an adult now: “It doesn’t matter how hard you try to protect me. There is no way for you to stop me from getting hurt. I want to know everything. I want to get hurt completely. And after that, in the way I believe is right, I want to get better.”
Sun-kyung pops in to fetch Hee-seob for church and to her surprise, Sun-woo agrees to join them. Meanwhile, Ki-ho calls Young-jin and she jumps when she hears church bells. Ki-ho confirms he’s at church. He says there’s something he’d like to tell the world and asks Young-jin to hear it. She warns Sang-ho will surely hear about it and come but Ki-ho laughs they can have tea afterwards – there’s nice teacups in the Pastors’ office.
Sure enough, there’s a stir when Ki-ho takes his seat. Sun-woo tries calling Young-jin, but she doesn’t answer. Sang-ho is overseeing the remodeling when the current pastor calls to inform him Ki-ho is there. Ki-ho takes the stage and declares he’s been born again. Seeing Young-jin arrive, he continues that recently he’d suffered a heart attack and saw his father, Pastor Kwon. Before he could to go him, he’d felt warm hands and a voice begged him to open his eyes and breathe.
Ki-ho returned to see a boy, sweating and crying and delighted and he realized the true meaning of resurrection – it’s meaningless to be born again physically, only when you’re reborn spiritually can life’s pain change to joy. Living is instinct but living compassionately is nature and it is joyful. He vows to live the rest of his life experiencing that joy: “I hope you welcome your spiritual resurrection and its joy, like a miracle, a gift, or a daily life.”
Afterwards, Ki-ho meets with the church director, who chides him for disappearing. Sang-ho bursts inside and kicks the director out. Ki-ho offers to make Sang-ho coffee and starts pouring it in a paper cup before Sang-ho snaps at him and he transfers it to a china one. Ki-ho sighs, “It’s your preference to decorate a worthless thing with a flashy, expensive wrapper.” Sang-ho guesses Ki-ho think’s he’s safe because there’s people around.
Ki-ho says he’s not afraid because the thing Sang-ho wants is locked inside his head. Sang-ho starts to argue he has the book, but Ki-ho rattles off the numbers and hands them over, confident Sang-ho can do nothing with them. Sang-ho asks what he wants, thinking Ki-ho is also after the hotel, and is surprised when Ki-ho asks for Eun-ho’s safety: “There’s no statute of limitations to my father’s deal – like your sin – so that boy has to be safe from you forever.”
Sang-ho tries to play dumb, but Ki-ho doesn’t think Seo Sang-won killed Hee-jung. The door opens and Ki-ho assures Sang-ho he won’t say anything as Young-jin orders them apart. She grabs the notepad Ki-ho had scribbled the numbers on, demanding why he showed Sang-ho. When asked if Ki-ho is under her protection, Young-jin says Ki-ho has the book and is the only one who can read the map.
She orders him to leave and Sang-ho complies. The door shuts behind him and the pair breathe a sigh of relief, looking to the bookshelf where there’s a hidden camera in one of the books. Reaching his car, Sang-ho has a sudden realization and runs back to the office, but it’s empty… his teacup gone with Ki-ho and Young-jin. He cackles at a photo of Pastor Kwon, not noticing there’s a book missing from the shelves.
Ki-ho asks if this will be enough to end things. “No,” Young-jin says, “We can start it.”
As Young-jin said, this isn’t enough to put Sang-ho away, but it’s enough to get the ball rolling. Circumstantial evidence won’t convict him, but it gets her foot in the door and that’s a huge win. I haven’t been a fan of these book shenanigans, but I’m glad to see the secret the book is hiding is damning. The funny thing is, for all the fuss, they may not even need it. Sang-ho and his goons are crafty, but they’re flawed. Du-seok seemed the most loyal and yet he bailed. You could argue this was all a ploy to protect Sang-ho and while I have no doubt that’s been Sun-ah’s angle, Du-seok could go either way. I can’t tell if he was genuinely running away or scheming this backup strategy with Sun-ah to deflect attention from Sang-ho. Regardless, Sang-ho is down an ally and it wouldn’t take much to lose Hee-dong as well. Unlike the other two, Hee-dong has expressed genuine discomfort on occasion and seems to obey out of fear more than fealty. Now that Sang-ho is cracking, I’m not sure how well even that will hold.
I hadn’t expected to get much out of Ki-ho. He’s been kept intentionally ambiguous and with so little time left, I wasn’t expecting him to bond with Young-jin, let alone have his own little empowerment arc. I was so thrilled when he flat-out told Sang-ho he’s not afraid. Maybe it was bravado, but it was satisfying nonetheless because from what we’ve seen and what he’s said, Ki-ho has been living his life feeling invisible. Young-jin’s encouragement for him to live as a protagonist was so sweet and I hope when all is said and done, he has that chance. This episode, like the last one, spent a lot of time in flashbacks. I understand they’re important elements of the story, but I wish we spent less time in the past. It felt like we were still playing catch up and I hope we’re done because I want the last episode chock full of Young-jin and her ducklings.
The kids have taken a back seat since the resolution of their conflicts, but the brief snippets we get are so pure and sweet. I love how they have gone from lonely boys to a trio of best friends with a small army of adults building a support system around them. It’s a delight to watch and a wonderful contrast to the horrors Sang-ho brings to the table. The other bright spot is, of course, my favorite dynamic duo Young-jin and Sun-woo. We haven’t had as much interaction in recent weeks (curse you time-wasting flashbacks!) but Sun-woo was downright precious this episode. Waiting all day for Young-jin’s call and then ready to run to her when she finally did says so much and don’t think for a second Hwang wasn’t picking up on it. I love that his gentle meddling is not reserved solely for the kids.