Flower of Evil: Episode 2
Our protagonist is equally parts endearing and terrifying as he juggles his past and present lives. Determined to stay hidden, he risks everything to investigate why there’s a sudden interest in his past. But he still has plenty of time to prove that he’s the ideal husband and father when it comes to the ladies in his present life.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Ji-won and Hee-sung first met when he walked into the convenience store where she worked to buy beer. Ji-won checked his ID and pronounced him too young looking to have been born in 1982. After Ji-won guessed that he was new in the neighborhood, Hee-sung told her, “It seems like a nice place to start over.”
In the present, Ji-won sleeps in while Hee-sung practices smiling in the bathroom mirror, using tips from a lecture that he’s watching on his phone. Hee-sung makes sure to include his eyes when he smiles.
After his practice session, Hee-sung expertly prepares breakfast while a playful Ji-won sneaks up on him. When Hee-sung sees Ji-won’s smiling face, his eyes crinkle as he smiles back. Ji-won smiles even more when she shares that she had a dream about their first meeting.
Ji-won tries to help set up breakfast but she isn’t very good in the kitchen so Hee-sung has her get Eun-ha dressed instead. While getting Eun-ha ready, the little girl mentions a friend but Ji-won doesn’t recognize the name and her daughter sighs, “Why do I even bother?”
When it’s time to blow-dry Eun-ha’s hair, the girl voices her preference for her dad. Eun-ha brings the hair dryer to Hee-sung who asks, “Where’s your mom,” and he hides his alarm when she confides that Ji-won went downstairs to clean his workshop.
In the basement, Moo-jin’s eyes open when he hears Ji-won enter the workshop. Struggling to free himself, Moo-jin’s wrists start to bleed as Hee-sung runs downstairs. Hee-sung finds Ji-won picking up a broken shard from his favorite tea set and she asks about his guest because he always serves hot beverages for long chats.
Hee-sung stammers that it was a friend from middle school and Ji-won reminds him, “But you said you were a loner as a boy.” Hee-sung explains that it was actually nice to run into each other again as he steers Ji-won back to their place.
Ji-won catches Hee-sung studying her face and asks, “What’s with that gaze? I must still be the prettiest woman on earth to you.” Throwing his arm around his wife, Hee-sung teases Ji-won as they head upstairs and Moo-jin gives up his struggle.
A young social worker makes the long climb up the many stairs leading to the home of an elderly client. Inside, she screams when she discovers that the old woman is dead.
A police team is already collecting evidence when Ji-won arrives with Jae-seob and Ho-joon. Jae-seob notices that the victim’s thumbnails are missing and Ho-joon mentions the similarity to the Yeonju City serial murders.
Ji-won remembers that was the case that Moo-jin wrote about but Jae-seob isn’t familiar with it. Ho-joon explains that the case was closed when the culprit committed suicide and the news was overshadowed by the World Cup. Ji-won can’t understand why someone would copy an 18 year old case just as the victim’s son runs in and shouts, “Mom! Mom, I’m here!”
At his store, Hee-sung turns his sign to “Closed” and unlocks the basement door. After he pulls the tape from Moo-jin’s mouth, his prisoner asks, “Hyun-soo, why are you doing this?” Expressionless, Hee-sung reminds Moo-jin about an incident from 18 years ago, “I was in your shoes, and you were in mine.”
In a flashback to the summer of 2002, Moo-jin taped Do Hyun-soo to a tree with the help of some classmates. Waving a bandaged finger in Hyun-soo’s face, Moo-jin warned, “Did you think I’d let you get away with doing this to me?” When Hyun-soo hissed back, “I should’ve twisted your neck,” he was slapped.
Moo-jin taunted Hyun-soo, “You saw your dad committing murder, didn’t you…did you help him do it, just like what the rumors say?” Moo-jin cruelly added, “The village foreman told me that you’re weird because you take after your dad,” while he and his friends searched for rocks. Moo-jin warned, “If it hurts too much, don’t hesitate to tell me,” before launching the rocks at Hyun-soo.
In the basement, Hee-sung picks up a small hammer and drags it across Moo-jin’s face. When Hee-sung echoes Moo-jin’s warning, “If it hurts too much, don’t hesitate to tell me,” the frightened reporter whines, “We were young then…That’s how kids grow up.”
Pulling back, Hee-sung chuckles, “If I was really going to kill you, I would’ve covered the floor with a plastic cover.” When Moo-jin confesses that he’s scared, Hee-sung reminds him that he takes after his dad and warns, “You’re making me want to cover the floor…” Yikes. Pulling the reporter’s phone from his pocket, Hee-sung calmly demands, “From now on, don’t make me repeat myself. Tell me your passcode.”
At the post-mortem, Ji-won learns that there were no ligature marks around the victim’s neck so the rope was only there for show. After the victim died from her stab wounds, her thumbnails were removed and her ankle was broken and the doctor makes the connection to the Yeonju City serial murders. Seeing a residue on the victim’s thumb, the doctor collects a sample.
During a team review of the case, Jae-seob shoots down Ho-joon’s theory that they’re dealing with a copycat killer. Jae-seob argues that the victim, JUNG MIN-OK, knew her killer and points to a crime scene photo of an apple as proof. Jae-seob theorizes that she shared an apple with a friend and the knife used to cut it is the missing murder weapon.
Detective Lee Woo-cheol asks about CCTV footage but the closest camera was broken. Chief Yoon Sang-pil inquires about money problems but Jae-seob recalls that the social worker described the victim as a major donor of the welfare center. Chief Yoon asks about heirs just as the victim’s son ransacks his mother’s house in search of something.
When Chief Yoon asks Ji-won why she’s been so quiet, she asks, “Why Do Min-seok…he’s not very famous.” Ho-joon blurts out, “Reporter Kim… It’s because of the article he wrote.”
In the basement, there’s now plastic on the floor (chills) as Moo-jin tells his boss over the phone that he won’t be at work. She reminds Moo-jin that he’s rarely in the office and mentions his deadline before hanging up, just missing Moo-jin’s desperate message, “Ms. Kang, I’m tied up.” Hee-sung estimates that he has at least three days before Moo-jin will be missed.
Still thinking that his former classmate works for Baek Hee-sung, Moo-jin reminds him that his boss’ wife is a detective. When Hee-sung asks, “How do you think I got away with being a wanted man for 18 years,” Moo-jin finally realizes that Hyun-soo is Ji-won’s husband.
Moo-jin can’t understand why he’s been imprisoned if Hee-sung/Hyun-soo had nothing to do with the foreman’s death. Ominously, Hee-sung asks, “Do you want to know the truth. Once you know though, you’ll have to pay for it.” Moo-jin insists, “I don’t want to know,” but Hee-sung places tape over his mouth and then whispers into Moo-jin’s ear, “It was me.” Noooo!
In a flashback, Do Hyun-soo’s school uniform was splattered with blood and in his hand, he held a bloodied tool. As Hyun-soo looked down at the dead foreman, a shaky Hae-soo told him, “…this is wrong. You can’t do this. Hand that over to me.” Eerily calm, Hyun-soo admitted, “I actually feel quite all right,” and a huge smile spread across his face.
While Ji-won reviews the Yeonju City serial murder cases, Ho-joon looks up Moo-jin’s most recent article and reads that all of Do Min-seok’s victims were found with a noose around the neck, an ankle injury and their thumbnails removed. Pointing to the Yeonju City crime scene photos, Ho-joon explains that the noose was actually a specific brand of dog leash, but that detail was never released. The ankle injury that was found on the victims was a severed Achilles tendon, not broken bones, and Ho-joon concludes, “…this culprit doesn’t know about Do Min-seok at all.”
Ho-joon admits that Jae-seob was right, their killer copied the Yeonju City serial killer to confuse them but Ji-won wonders, “…why Do Min-seok though?” Ji-won’s thoughts are interrupted when the kindergarten principal calls and asks her to come to the school right away.
After locking the basement door, Hee-sung turns off Moo-jin’s phone and hides it in a secret compartment in the back of his closet. When Hee-sung checks his own phone, he sees the missed calls from Eun-ha’s school.
Outside of the welfare center, the victim’s son catches up to the social worker and demands to know the whereabouts of his mother’s ledger. Jae-seob arrives just in time to intervene when the desperate son grabs the social worker by her jacket. After the altercation, the social worker, Park Seo-young, explains to Jae-seob that the son, Ahn Jong-goo, has a gambling problem. When Jae-seob has more questions, Seo-young mentions Jung Min-ok’s will.
At school, Ji-won checks to make sure that Eun-ha’s only injury is a bloody nose and then urges her daughter to accept Soo-young’s apology. When the girl’s mother blames Eun-ha for the incident, Eun-ha explains, “I just wanted to hold your doll because it was really pretty.” Ji-won is appalled when Soo-young’s mom accuses Eun-ha of theft.
Hee-sung walks in and bows to Soo-young’s mother, “I apologize. It’s my fault.” Crying huge tears, Eun-ha dutifully obeys Hee-sung and apologizes to Soo-young, Soo-young’s mother and the principal.
After the meeting, Ji-won confronts Hee-sung and when he sees how upset she is, he touches her shoulder softly and reminds her that he’s a first time dad. She orders him to smooth things over with Eun-ha and when Hee-sung promises, “Leave it to me,” with a smile, Ji-won punches him. A call from the NFS doctor with news that lipstick was detected on Jung Min-ok’s thumb beckons Ji-won back to work.
Hee-sung treats Eun-ha to her favorite dessert but she’s too upset to eat because Hee-sung took Soo-young’s side. Hee-sung insists that he’s on Eun-ha’s side and promises, “I’m going to raise you to become a nice kid.”
Hee-sung explains that Eun-ha now has a good reputation, which means that when something bad happens, no one will suspect her. Eun-ha doesn’t care about that so Hee-sung shares that he saw Soo-young crying after she lost her doll. In a small flashback, we see Hee-sung washing his hands after dumping Soo-young’s doll in a trash can. Feeling better, Eun-ha takes a bite of her dessert and announces, “Dad, you’re my favorite person in the whole wide world,” and Hee-sung tells her, “Right back at you.”
In an interrogation room, Jae-seob shows Ahn Jong-goo his mother’s will leaving all of her money to the welfare center. When Ahn Jong-goo realizes that he’s a suspect, he refuses to answer any more questions.
After the interrogation, Jae-seob and Ji-won have another one of their heated exchanges when they disagree about the importance of the lipstick evidence. Waving the will in Ji-won’s face, Jae-seon shouts, “What’s wrong with you? This is the strongest motive for murder!”
Grabbing the will, Ji-won realizes that the thumbprint was applied with lipstick. While Ho-joon has the document analyzed, Ji-won shows Jae-seob and Woo-cheol that after applying lipstick to the thumb, residue is left under the nail.
Ji-won puzzles over who was present when the thumbprint was applied and Jae-seob remembers that Park Seo-young alerted him to the document’s existence. A call from Ho-joon confirms that the thumbprint was made with lipstick.
After leaving Eun-ha with Ji-won’s mother, Hee-sung examines the contents of Moo-jin’s bag. He sees Hae-soo’s necklace but sets it aside to go through Moo-jin’s notebook and stops when he sees the name Nam Soon-kil.
Down in the basement, Moo-jin whimpers when Hee-sung appears with a bottle of water. After the tape is ripped from his mouth, Moo-jin begs for some water but first Hee-sung wants to know about Nam Soon-kil.
When Moo-jin claims that it’s nothing, Hee-sung pours water onto the floor until he says, “I remember now.” Moo-jin explains the Nam Soon-kil called him with a tip but he refuses to say anything more until Hee-sung gives him some water.
After allowing Moo-jin a mouthful of water, Hee-sung learns that the tip was about him and Moo-jin explains, “I wrote an article…about your dad and you.” Hee-sung learns that they arranged a meeting for that very day and Moo-jin asks, “Wouldn’t it be bad for you if I don’t show up?”
At the welfare center, Ji-won finds Seo-young washing her hands in the bathroom. After identifying herself as a detective, Ji-won asks for a DNA sample for comparison to the lipstick but Seo-young refuses.
Jae-seob and another detective review the elevator security footage from Seo-young’s apartment complex and notice that when she came home, her dress was inside-out to hide the blood evidence. Jae-seob sees an envelope in Seo-young’s hand and guesses that it contains the murder weapon and the victim’s thumbnails.
Wearing a black baseball cap, Hee-sung stares down at Nam Soon-kil from a covered walkway. Hee-sung calls with Moo-jin’s phone and explains that he can’t make the meeting and asks for a brief phone interview.
Hee-sung inquires about Hyun-soo and Nam Soon-kil pulls out a copy of Moo-jin’s article. He explains that he lived with Hyun-soo from the fall of 2002 until the summer of 2005, when they both worked as deliverymen.
Nam Soon-kil admits that he was always suspicious of Hyun-soo but he never imagined that he was a killer or the son of a killer. Hee-sung is about to hang up when Nam Soon-kil adds, “Hyun-soo has been threatening me.”
While thinking about the envelope in Seo-young’s hand, Jae-seob reasons that she didn’t bring it into her apartment. According to the security footage, Seo-young was home the rest of the night but she told Jae-seob, “I saw a shooting star last night. I feel like she was saying goodbye.”
Running up to the roof, Jae-seob sees an access panel. As he approaches it, we see Seo-young walking towards the panel with the envelope in her hand. Pulling open the panel, Seo-young tossed the envelope inside and it’s still there when Jae-seob looks down.
Ji-won blocks Seo-young when she tries to leave the bathroom just as Jae-seob calls with news that he found the missing evidence. As Ji-won arrests her, Seo-young asks to put on some makeup since she went makeup free to look sad. When Seo-young explains that her sentence could be influenced by her appearance, Ji-won allows it.
While Seo-young applies lipstick, Ji-won asks why she killed Jung Min-ok and she calmly explains, “There were too many stairs.” A montage shows Seo-young going up and down the stairs that led to Jung Min-ok’s place day after day.
In a flashback, the old lady applied lipstick to her thumb while Seo-young peeled an apple. After placing her thumbprint on her will, Jung Min-ok asked Seo-young, “Just come here every day, talk to me, and keep me company like a granddaughter,” but all the social worker could think of were all of those stairs.
Turning around, Jung Min-ok asked Seo-young to scratch her back and with the knife in her hand, she answered, “My pleasure.” Before reporting the murder, Seo-young was emotionless but as soon as she got on the phone, she cried uncontrollably.
After telling her story, Seo-young tells Ji-won, “…about three percent of the people are like me.” Seeing a small razor in her bag, Seo-young warns, “There may be one near you too.”
Nam Soon-kil tells Hee-sung, “A month ago, I got a call from a payphone at 4 am.” In a flashback, Nam Soon-kil assumed the caller was Hyun-soo when he said, “I’ve been waiting for your life to become the happiest ever.”
Nam Soon-kil insists that Hyun-soo is the only person he fears and when asked why, he confesses, “I wronged him.” In another flashback, Hyun-soo and Nam Soon-kil wore black raincoats as they searched the woods for Hyun-soo’s missing wallet. Nam Soon-kil pulled out a knife and plunged it into Hyun-soo’s shoulder but Hyun-soo was saved when they tumbled down a hill. Nam Soon-kil picked up his knife and confessed that he stole Hyun-soo’s wallet because he needed the money.
Hee-sung tells his former roommate, “Do Hyun-soo died…So you should forget all about him.” Nam Soon-kil is relieved, “He was on the run after killing someone anyway…It’s better for certain people to die,” and Hee-sung agrees.
Ji-won glares at Seo-young as a tiny slash on her cheek begins to bleed and is told, “What a shame. I really hated your eyes.” Dropping her razor, Seo-young holds out her hands so Ji-won can arrest her but she gets slapped instead. In the hallway, Ho-joon hears the commotion and tells the patrol officers with him, “It’s okay.”
When Seo-young protests her treatment, Ji-won reminds her that suspects are sometimes killed during altercations with the police. Holding the razor to Seo-young’s neck, Ji-won coldly offers her a choice, dying in 12 seconds from a cut carotid or 3.5 seconds from a severed subclavian artery. Seo-young begs, “Please, don’t kill me,” and Ji-won smiles, “I’m only joking. How can a police officer take a life,” and then takes her into custody.
Hee-sung surprises his mom with a visit just as a customer is leaving. When they’re alone, Mom announces that the fact the her customer takes anti-depressants brings her joy, “If I can’t be like others, I’d rather they be like me.” When asked about the reason for his visit, Hee-sung tells his mother, “I need some sleeping pills.”
Hee-sung waits for Ji-won outside of the station with an umbrella. When she runs out to meet him, Hee-sung sees the bandage on her cheek but Ji-won claims it’s just a paper cut. Wrapping her arms around Hee-sung, Ji-won calls the rain romantic and they walk away as someone wearing a black raincoat enters a pet store to buy a dog leash.
Alone in a closed Chinese restaurant, Nam Soon-kil holds the printout of Moo-jin’s article about Do Min-seok and Hyun-soo. He calls Moo-jin’s number and leaves a message as someone on the street approaches, swinging a dog leash.
Nam Soon-kil tells Moo-jin, “I recently heard that Do Hyun-soo assisted his father in the killings.” When the stranger walks into the restaurant, Nam Soon-kil stammers, “Do Hyun-soo is here!” Pulling a knife from his pocket, the hooded stranger advances and Nam Soon-kil screams, “I said he’d come for revenge!” When Nam Soon-kil reaches for some scissors, the killer runs up and stabs him.
As lightning flashes, the black hooded figure walks past some mannequins and walls covered with articles. When he uses his knife to pin Moo-jin’s article, now stained with blood, to the wall, another flash of lightning reveals that the articles are all about Do Min-seok’s crimes.
At home, Ji-won wakes up alone and sees that it’s 3:30 in the morning. She walks out of the bedroom to look for Hee-sung just as he returns home wearing a hooded black raincoat. Lightning lights up the living room as Hee-sung pulls off his hood and faces Ji-won.
Oh my, I must confess that I have a serious problem. I have fallen so completely under Lee Jun-ki’s spell that I can’t accept that Hee-sung/Hyun-soo actually killed the foreman when he was in high school. Thanks to all of those flashbacks, the fact that both Moo-jin and Nam Soon-kil terrorized Hyun-soo at different times in his past only feeds my need to believe that he’s somehow not culpable for his violence. There has to be someway to justify something as awful as murder, right? Like defending the other high school student on the scene, Hae-soo, who seems to loom large in both Hyun-soo’s and Moo-jin’s teenaged life. I can’t wait to find out why and learn what happened to her.
I’m hoping that @lollypip is right, that Hee-sung sincerely cares for his wife and daughter because I don’t see how he can pretend to be so devoted if there isn’t something there. I just love Hee-sung’s exchanges with his daughter Eun-ha, who like her mother, isn’t afraid to tell her father exactly how she feels. She was so upset after she had to apologize to that stinky Soo-young and she let Hee-sung know. I found Hee-sung’s perspective on the apology, even though Eun-ha did nothing wrong, to make so much sense considering his background. And I might have enjoyed seeing Soo-young’s doll in that trash can a little too much but Hee-sung is clearly all about doling out justice right now. What I found really interesting is that Ji-won was eerily similar to Hee-sung when she threatened to kill Seo-young, “Which artery do you want me to cut?” I loved it, especially because it means that Ji-won will understand Hee-sung’s thinking when the time comes.
The case of the hour put sociopathic tendencies front and center, which only fed my hope that Hee-sung isn’t really a sociopath, he was just raised by one. As cold and terrifying as he can be, he’s only returning what he’s received from Moo-jin and Nam Soon-kil and we’ll just ignore the dead foreman for now. What has me concerned is what is Hee-sung going to do about Moo-jin? The fact that he put plastic on the basement floor can’t be good but if Hee-sung can figure out a way to keep Moo-jin quiet, he won’t have to kill him. Moo-jin clearly wasn’t a good guy in his youth so is there something that Hee-sung can find to blackmail him with? See what I mean? I’m so desperate for Lee Jun-ki not to play a killer that my mental gymnastics have me pouncing on blackmail as a way to save Hee-sung.
What we already know it that there’s a killer who’s well versed in the Yeonju City serial murders. Is it possible that Hee-sung’s father wasn’t the culprit or is there really a copycat killer running around? Whatever the case, Hee-sung is already finding himself caught up in someone else’s web through his connection to Nam Soon-kil. Whoever threatened Hee-sung’s former roommate, Hee-sung knows that he didn’t do it but because of Nam Soon-kil’s guilty conscience, he just identified Hee-sung as his attacker (probably his killer because he’s certainly dead). Hee-sung is going to be forced to revisit his past to get to the truth in the present.
Ji-won is sure to be assigned to Nam Soon-kil’s case, which will put her on a collision course with Hyun-soo/Hee-sung. That means that Hee-sung and Ji-won will be working on the same case but with different agendas. How will she make sense of the man that she’s lived with for so long when she’s faced with the evidence against him? As Ji-won has shown, she approaches evidence from a unique perspective and she may finally bring to light that Hyun-soo isn’t a cold blooded killer, at least that’s what I’m hoping she’ll do.
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