365: Repeat the Year: Episodes 17-20
This week’s episodes finally answer a lot of questions we’ve been asking for quite some time, but those answers offer only more struggle for our remaining travelers. Their year is running out, and thus their time left to stop a killer before they become his latest victims.
Jung-tae is killed in his home by an intruder, and a short while later, Hyung-jo sits at Jung-tae’s desk, Jung-tae’s body still on the floor beside him. He copies the computer’s hard drive, finishing up just as the police arrive.
He’s nervous and distracted as Sun-ho takes over the crime scene. Ga-hyun calls, and Hyung-jo goes to her place after breaking the news of Jung-tae’s death. She tells him her discovery that all of the travelers died in his jurisdiction, and that she thinks they might be the victims of a serial killer.
She reminds Hyung-jo of how Shin talked about changing fate, which wouldn’t be possible if the travelers’ deaths were accidental. Ga-hyun believes that Shin may have chosen the travelers because they were all murdered.
Later, Ga-hyun tells No-seob about her serial killer theory theory. They both receive an audio file from an unknown number… a recording of Jung-tae’s last phone call with his sister, in which he mentioned that Hyung-jo was on his way to talk to him. The audio continues through Jung-tae’s murder, and catches him gasping, “Detective,” as he died. It seems to be proof that Hyung-jo killed Jung-tae, but Ga-hyun points out that someone had to have recorded it and sent it to them, someone who knows their connection to Hyung-jo and Jung-tae.
Just in case, Ga-hyun has the audio file professionally analyzed, and they report that it’s not been altered or spliced in any way. It makes Hyung-jo look even more guilty, and he’s lurking near her house when she steps outside. She plays him the audio file and asks him flat-out if he killed Jung-tae.
Hyung-jo’s expression changes to annoyance, then he lunges at Ga-hyun. Slamming her against the wall and pulling out his gun, he growls, “Do you think I won’t kill you right here?” Ohthankgoodness, it’s just Ga-hyun’s imagination running away with her.
Ga-hyun takes a taxi to Jian Clinic, but it’s still closed. She doesn’t show up at the cafe that evening, and No-seob and Jae-young are pretty sure that Hyung-jo has done something to her. Jae-young gets fed up and scared, so he takes off. He nearly walks right into Hyung-jo and tries to run, but Hyung-jo quickly catches him.
He tells Jae-young that he saw him leaving Jung-tae’s place the night he was killed, and shows him the shoeprint he had analyzed, which matches Jae-young’s expensive, limited-edition sneakers. Hyung-jo had gone inside and found Jung-tae’s body, but Jae-young was long gone. Hyung-jo realizes that Jae-young saw the real killer, but Jae-young just laughs and asks if Hyung-jo plans to kill Ga-hyun next.
Hyung-jo calls Sun-ho for help then goes to Shin, since Ga-hyun’s phone lost signal at Jian Clinic. Shin tells him that he’s on his own in catching the killer, and she threatens to have him forcibly removed. But he snarls that he knows why she’s been resetting and asks her again where Ga-hyun is.
Ga-hyun wakes up in the back of a car. Her abductor takes her to a remote location and removes her blindfold, then forces her to call Hyung-jo. He’s relieved, but he gets suspicious again when she says she sent him the most recent episode of her webtoon and tells him the identity of her antagonist, Samson, since she’s always refused to give him any clues.
Ga-hyun’s kidnapper turns out to be her manager, Seung-min, who blames Ga-hyun for the fact that he was just fired. Ga-hyun promises to get his job back, but he’s too angry to listen. While he whines and moans, Ga-hyun slides her taser from her purse, then she nails him with it and flees the car.
Seung-min is only knocked out for a few seconds, and since Ga-hyun’s hands are still tied behind her back, she trips and falls and he catches up to her. Thankfully, Hyung-jo shows up just in time and tackles Seung-min, then hurries to help Ga-hyun while Sun-ho makes the arrest.
Hyung-jo takes Ga-hyun home and pouts at her (his impression of her voice is so cute!) for suspecting him as the serial killer, and she admits that she should have known better since he was with her when two of the travelers died. She says she’s glad she can trust him, and he pouts again that it’s only because there aren’t many travelers left, hee. He does agree that there might be a serial killer, and tells Ga-hyun about some pictures that were left at Jung-tae’s place.
In the morning, Hyung-jo gives the USB he swiped from Jung-tae’s computer to Captain Heo. Captain Heo disagrees that there’s enough evidence to call this a serial killer case since each death is completely different, but Hyung-jo says that maybe the killer gets a thrill from fooling the police. Captain Heo tells him to get Jae-young in for questioning as a witness.
Just before he was killed, Jung-tae had sent Hyung-jo a photo of Shin with her doctor colleague, and he’d said they didn’t seem to be the only ones fearing for their lives. Hyung-jo never got to hear Shin’s secret from Jung-tae, but he tells Ga-hyun that just showing that picture to Shin got her to help him find Ga-hyun.
Jae-young is summoned to the police station, but his father is more concerned with how this will affect his upcoming hearing than the fact that Jae-young might be charged with murder. Jae-young gets a text from Young-woong saying that he’s decided to release the bullying video, and Jae-young looks like a hunted animal.
Despite being removed from the case due to being a suspect, Hyung-jo checks Jung-tae’s call history and sees that he was on the phone with his sister when the recording was made. Sun-ho is confused, since the phone at the crime scene showed Hyung-jo as the last person Jung-tae called — he had two phones.
Hyung-jo deduces that the killer must have taken the phone Jung-tae was using when he died. He gets the number of that phone from Jung-tae’s sister, and she tells him more about her brother. He had showed up in January after not seeing her for a decade, forced her to take a bag that turned out to be full of money, and had told her to leave her husband or to call him if she didn’t.
She hadn’t seen him for a long time after that, then one day he came again and took her to the hospital. Hyung-jo tells her that Jung-tae endured a difficult journey in order to save her life.
Sun-ho questions Jae-young, asking how he recorded Jung-tae’s death if he’s not the killer. Jae-young admits that he broke into Jung-tae’s place to get rid of the bullying video Jung-tae had on him, and when Jung-tae came home, he’d Jung-tae mentioned Shin so Jae-young started recording.
He tells Sun-ho that he clearly saw Hyung-jo’s face, but later, Sun-ho says that he may have heard “detective” and just subconsciously associated the killer with Hyung-jo. He wants to try hypnosis to get at Jae-young’s true memories, and Captain Heo agrees.
Sun-ho shows Hyung-jo the notes he photocopied and demands to know how he knew who would die before their deaths. Hyung-jo gives in and tells Sun-ho that he met someone who offered to let him go back in time one year, from January 11th, 2020 to January 11th, 2019.
Ga-hyun and No-seob are still trying to figure out Shin’s weakness. The picture Jung-tae took was of Shin attending a symposium regarding a new drug for an incurable disease which kills a person by solidifying the organs. They conclude that Shin must be dying of this disease, so she keeps resetting in search of a cure.
At Hyung-jo’s place, he continues telling Sun-ho about the reset — how Oh Myung-chul killed Sun-ho, so Hyung-jo went back in time to save him. He explains that Ga-hyun and the other people in his notes also went through the reset, and that they suspect they’re being killed by a serial murderer.
Hyung-jo visits Ga-hyun next and tells her that he told Sun-ho everything, and that Sun-ho decided to believe him. He says that he still doesn’t regret going through the reset, since he was able to save someone who trusts him so unconditionally. He promises Ga-hyun that he’ll catch the killer and save both their lives, and they share an adorable fist-bump.
Jae-young recieves a video of him and his friends beating up Young-woong, with a message to call the sender if he doesn’t want it to go viral. He goes to meet the sender, and someone grabs and chloroforms him. He wakes up in the room where the killer keeps his trophies, his hands cuffed behind his back.
Just as he’s realizing that the trophies represent his fellow travelers, the killer joins him. He steps into the light, and Jae-young recognizes… Sun-ho. His memory from Jung-tae’s murder clears, and Jae-young remembers that the face he saw in the hoodie wasn’t Hyung-jo, but Sun-ho.
Sun-ho stabs Jae-young in the stomach, a sick grin on his face.
Sun-ho takes off Jae-young’s ever-present headphones and places them in one of the glass trophy cases. He looks back on his previous trophies, and the line of cases goes much further back than just the travelers. Jae-young begs for his life, and Sun-ho tells him ominously, “There’s something I need you to do.”
The next day, the team (minus Hyung-jo) meets to discuss Jung-tae’s murder, and since they know Jung-tae called him “detective,” they decide to focus on the detectives who visited Jung-tae while he was in prison. Sun-ho shares the list with Hyung-jo, and he asks how they were able to go back in time if they were murdered.
At Ga-hyun’s place, they explain that Shin prevented the murders in the previous reset, so they all lived. He asks why they think this is a serial killer, so they show him the photos from the USB at Jung-tae’s place. They’re all of the dead travelers, before the cops arrived at the murder scenes, but they don’t know if they were taken by the murderer, or just someone who knew when the murders would take place – Shin.
The doctor brings Shin the results of the clinical trial they’ve been doing with the new medicine. No-seob arrives to see Shin and greets Young, who runs off, and he takes a look at the pictures she was drawing and frowns.
Sun-ho brings Hyung-jo and Ga-hyun the most recent investigation notes and asks if they’ve found any new leads. Ga-hyun mentions that the murders were very close together, then suddenly stopped for seven months, and they wonder what made the killer halt his activities for so long.
Sun-ho knows why… their primary suspect, Jung-tae, was in jail, so Sun-ho had to stop or they’d know Jung-tae wasn’t the killer. Sun-ho had visited Jung-tae and asked how he knew Hyung-jo, and Jung-tae had said coyly that they “transcended time and space, and went to the past together.”
He’d told Sun-ho the result of one future investigation to prove that he knew things. Sun-ho had figured out that the names in Hyung-jo’s notes are people he will kill in the future.
Young-woong meets with Ga-hyun again and tells her that after he uploaded the bullying video, one of his old teachers told him that a detective visited the school to ask her about his relationship with Jae-young. He assumes it was Hyung-jo, but Ga-hyun says it wasn’t.
Meanwhile, Hyung-jo finds Shin’s assistant, Ji-hyun, in a parking garage and asks for a sample of her DNA to match against some unknown DNA they found at the scene of Jung-tae’s death. She refuses, saying that she was never at Jung-tae’s house, but Hyung-jo points out that he didn’t say Jung-tae was killed at home.
He gets a call that sends him rushing to an abandoned warehouse. He finds Jae-young’s body, still handcuffed and left sitting in a chair. Hyung-jo barely has time to process the evidence left lying around, including Jung-tae’s missing phone from which the pictures of Jae-young and message to come find him had been sent.
A couple of cops arrive and assume Hyung-jo is the killer. He manages to get away and calls Ga-hyun, and he tells her that the killer knows him. He says to go home and stay there, and that he’ll call her later. He’s cornered and has to abandon his car, but he gets away from the cops on foot.
Hyung-jo’s team shows up at the scene and Sun-ho pretends to be greatly concerned for Hyung-jo. Another team from the Regional Investigation Unit arrive and take over the case. Sun-ho goes to Ga-hyun’s house to tell her what’s happened, and she says that she agrees that the killer seems to know Hyung-jo and his relationship to Jae-young.
Sun-ho offers to talk to Shin for her, though of course he’s there for his own reasons. Shin seems to know exactly who he is, and he obviously suspects her of knowing he’s the killer, so they end up just playing word games and talking in circles.
Soon-woo, Sa-kyung, and Sun-ho meet Hyung-jo and take him to an abandoned office where he can crash. Sun-ho returns later with food and a burner phone, and Hyung-jo mentions that the handcuffs on Jae-young’s body were the ones that he lost at Jung-tae’s house. Sun-ho offers to look into the phone number that sent Hyung-jo the text that led him to Jae-young’s body.
After Sun-ho leaves, Hyung-jo studies the forensics report of the substances found at Jung-tae’s house. He’s surprised to find the spice cardamom on the list, because he knows where it comes from — No-seob puts it in his tea. Hyung-jo heads to the cafe, but moments before he finds arrives, Sun-ho grabs No-seob and chloroforms him.
Thankfully, Hyung-jo interrupts Sun-ho’s attempt to silence No-seob, but he gets away. Ga-hyun was on her way to the cafe as well, and by the time Hyung-jo returns, No-seob is awake. Hyung-jo questions No-seob, who confesses that he left the box at Jung-tae’s house.
He explains that he made a deal with Shin, to be told when he’d die so he could arrange for his wife to be cared for. She’d promised, in exchange for information about the surviving travelers. She’d had him take the box to Jung-tae’s home, but he hadn’t known what was inside.
Hyung-jo and Ga-hyun are unhappy with No-seob, and he easily agrees to let them know anything he does for Shin from now on. No-seob also tells them that Shin isn’t the one who’s sick or the reason she’s resetting — it’s her daughter, Young.
A flashback takes us to before Shin’s first reset. Young had died of her illness, and her death had completely broken her mother. Shin had decided to join her daughter, but instead of dying when she drove off the cliff, she’d woken up one year earlier when Young was still alive.
Ga-hyun visits Hyung-jo, who says determinedly that the only way to catch the killer is to use fate, and that he hopes it’s him. Ga-hyun promises to catch the killer and offers Hyung-jo a fistbump, and he says shyly that they’ll catch him together.
As she’s leaving, Young-woong calls Ga-hyun and tells her that his teacher who talked to the detective has agreed to meet with her. She calls Sun-ho to tell him the “good” news, and he pretends to be glad she’s getting closer to finding the killer.
After showing the teacher the photos of the detectives who visited Jung-tae in jail, Ga-hyun calls Sun-ho back to report that the teacher didn’t recognize any of them. Sun-ho cheers up, but after she hangs up, Ga-hyun sags and gulps in air — oh no.
She goes back to Hyung-jo to tell him that Young-woong’s teacher identified Sun-ho as the detective who questioned him. Hyung-jo immediately denies that Sun-ho could be the killer, but Ga-hyun gently insists he listen to reason. Angry, Hyung-jo says that Sun-ho is like his family, and he storms out of his safe room.
But Hyung-jo is too good at his job not to realize that what Ga-hyun says makes sense. He calls Sun-ho to meet with him, and he asks how Sun-ho believed his serial killer theory so easily when there was no evidence. Sun-ho claims that he doesn’t quite believe it, but he trusts Hyung-jo.
Hyung-jo borrows Sun-ho’s car and goes to see the man who provided Ga-hyun’s alibi in Yeon-soo’s death by saying he was at the park that night. He tells Hyung-jo that Sun-ho asked him to say he was at the park to help out a woman who was in a tight spot. It’s the same story at the store where Jung-seok supposedly bought charcoal briquettes to kill himself — the shop owner admits that they haven’t sold them for years.
Hyung-jo goes to see Shin and asks her flat-out who the killer is, and she confirms that it’s Sun-ho. She confesses that she didn’t really save all their lives in the previous reset one at a time… all she had to do was convince Oh Myung-chul to kill Sun-ho instead of Hyung-jo.
Hyung-jo remembers that Oh Myung-chul said that someone suggested he punish Hyung-jo punish him by making him suffer for the rest of his life, just before he found Sun-ho’s body. He asks why Shin is doing this when she knows how it feels to lose someone you love.
She says that she did it to see if any of them could change their fate. She tells Hyung-jo that all he needs to do now is catch the killer, and that she’ll be watching to see who changes their fate and survives.
Ga-hyun returns home, and she sees Sun-ho waiting for her. At the same time, Hyung-jo fearlessly walks into the police station and lets himself be arrested.
I knew Hyung-jo couldn’t be the killer, he’s just too earnest and sweet and he cares too much to be anything but entirely innocent. I think that many of us began to suspect Sun-ho was the killer quite some time ago, especially since the travelers didn’t die in the reset where Sun-ho was killed. He does a great job pretending to be innocent, and he took a lot of care laying down little clues that eventually helped him frame Hyung-jo, which was pretty brilliant of him.
I feel terrible for Hyung-jo, who not only has to come to terms with the fact that this man he loves and respects, that he risked his life to save, is a serial killer, but that in saving Sun-ho’s life he condemned all of his friends to die. Not to mention how much time he spent trusting Sun-ho and discussing clues with him, which made it easier for Sun-ho to continue killing. Unfortunately, the only way I can see for Hyung-jo to fix things is to convince Shin to let him reset again, and this time, kill someone who’s always been his friend. Hyung-jo will suffer for that, a lot, but I do think he’ll do the right thing in the end.
I’m a bit unclear on how Ga-hyun’s death/paralysis links up with Sun-ho and Hyung-jo and the other travelers, because as far as we know right now, she wasn’t killed by Sun-ho. Her accident was caused by Yeon-soo, and she was able to avoid it by not being there that night… unless she was originally murdered by Sun-ho too, but towards the end of the year, well after her accident. Hyung-jo didn’t die in any resets (Shin said that Oh Myung-chul always failed to kill Hyung-jo and was arrested instead), but he is a major player in Sun-ho’s survival in this reset, so it makes sense for him to be here. But I’m still not quite sure how Ga-hyun ties in with everything.
As always, while the whats are all lining up and making perfect sense, I’m still not clear on the whys of everything that’s going on. I understand now how Shin stopped the murders in the previous reset, but why? And why did she reset again to let them happen again? I know she’s attempting to save Young’s life by trying to prove that death isn’t fated and can be changed, but I’m not sure how ten victims saving themselves from a serial killer relate to whether a sick child can survive. Even if the murders can be stopped and those lives saved, that has nothing to do with whether Young’s illness can be cured. I also don’t understand why Shin has been so gleeful about the deaths, since you would think that each death is proof that fate can’t be changed and thus disproves her theory. So far, everything has made eventual sense even when it seemed completely nuts at first, so I’m sure there are answers to these questions as well, but right now I’m still stumped.
- Premiere Watch: 365: Repeat the Year, A Piece of Your Mind, Welcome, A Couple’s World, Unique Chef Moon, Rugal
- Lee Jun-hyuk, Nam Ji-hyun return to the past in new teaser for MBC’s 365: Repeat the Year
- Cast of 365: A Fate-defying Year gather for script reading
- Nam Ji-hyun considers 365: A Fate-defying Year with Lee Jun-hyuk