Flower of Evil: Episode 3
You can’t escape your past, especially not in our antihero’s case. He’s spent almost twenty years constructing a new life, but there’s someone out there who’s determined to drag his past into the present. Some surprising revelations turn everything we know on its head, resulting in one of the strangest teams ever forced by circumstances to work together.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
Summer of 2007
Hee-sung is working on a pair of matching silver rings in his workshop when Ji-won lets herself in, having brought some beers she took from her mother’s store. She peppers “Oppa” with questions about himself and his metalworking, but he ignores her until she takes his picture and posts it on social media.
Angry, he orders her to take it down, so she does. He asks why she’s been asking questions about him around town, clearly paranoid, so Ji-won confesses that she likes him. Hee-sung stares into space for a long time, a dark shadow coming over him, and when he snaps out of it, he kicks Ji-won out of his workshop.
Hee-sung comes home early in the morning, wearing a large black hooded raincoat because of the storm. Ji-won is awake and worried, and Hee-sung tells her that he was down in his workshop because he couldn’t sleep. He’s picked up some beer, which reminds Ji-won of the day he’d kicked her out.
She asks why he hated her back then, but he says that he just felt awkward because it was his first confession. Ji-won says pleasantly that this is why she can’t talk about her past, but when Hee-sung asks what she means, she just says, “You’d be surprised. I have a complicated past.” Hmmm, interesting.
Not long after, Hee-sung heads down to the basement to feed kimbap to Moo-jin. He tells Moo-jin that he bought the kimbap in his neighborhood and that it will be the last meal they find in his stomach, which makes Moo-jin frantically spit it out again.
Hee-sung takes out the sleeping pills he got from his mother and crushes several of them, then starts to force-feed them to the terrified Moo-jin. Moo-jin shakes his head so hard that he knocks the glass from Hee-sung’s hand, shattering it, then starts screaming for help.
Hee-sung waits patiently for Moo-jin to wear himself out, then asks him about something he uploaded to the internet back in 2011. He had claimed to be a high school girl writing a screenplay in which the main character helped someone commit a crime, then later wanted to become a reporter. Moo-jin had asked what happens if people find out about his past.
In a later post, he’d added there was a video of the crime, and that in the beginning, the “main character” didn’t know that something illegal was going to happen. Giving up the ruse, Moo-jin swears that he really didn’t know anything, but what Hee-sung takes away is that Moo-jin has video footage of a murder.
Moo-jin promises not to tell anyone about this or go near Hee-sung again if he lets him go free. Hee-sung says he doesn’t want promises, but collateral: “I don’t trust people.” He leaves Moo-jin again, just as the old grandfather clock in the corner strikes four.
Later that morning, Ji-won and Ho-joon arrive at Nam Soon-kil’s Chinese restaurant soon after his body is discovered. Ji-won takes in the severed Achilles’ tendons, the missing thumbnails, the stab wounds, and the dog leash around Soon-kil’s neck, and immediately connects the murder to Do Min-seok’s victims.
There’s a CCTV camera that recorded the whole murder, but the killer was careful to keep his face hidden. Ji-won remembers Hee-sung coming home in the early hours, wearing a similar raincoat, but she keeps this information to herself.
Detective Lee says that back in 2002, the detail of the dog leash wasn’t released to the public, yet this copycat killer knows about it and even used the exact same brand and color of leash. Jae-seob points out that Do Min-seok killed seven people, worrying everyone that this might become a serial murder case.
It’s discovered that Soon-kil called Kim Moo-jin just before he died, and that Moo-jin can’t be reached. Ji-won and Ho-joon are sent to find Moo-jin as quickly as possible.
Hee-sung lets himself into Moo-jin’s apartment and finds his laptop right where he said it was. He follows Moo-jin’s instructions to a file folder, the contents of which will “end [my] life whenever you want,” according to Moo-jin. Hee-sung downloads the entire file onto a USB.
Ji-won and Ho-joon talk to Moo-jin’s boss, Ms. Kang, who says that it didn’t raise any red flags that she hasn’t seen Moo-jin for a couple of days. It’s not unusual for him to turn off his phone, and the reporters often work away from the office.
Hee-sung watches one video, which was filmed in 2002 while Hee-sung and Moo-jin’s classmates were in the woods, drawing for a sketching contest. Further along in the video, Moo-jin had followed Hee-sung’s sister, Hae-soo, into an attic that their father had built her for her art.
Hee-sung seems surprised by Hae-soo’s art room, and when she uses Moo-jin as a model for a clay bust, Hee-sung gasps, “You lied to me?” Suddenly he hears a pounding on the door. He peeks outside and sees Ji-won standing there.
Moo-jin’s coworker tells a story about Moo-jin getting locked in his own bathroom until his mother rescued him, so they go to his place to make sure he hasn’t done that again. They find two days’ worth of delivered food on his door, which means either he hasn’t come home, or hasn’t gone out, in that time. They force their way in and look around, but Moo-jin isn’t there.
Ji-won notices that Moo-jin’s laptop is warm and guesses that someone might still be there. She also spots a plant that’s been knocked over — but not the conspicuous man-shaped shadow in the window. Alarmingly, Hee-sung is clinging to the building between the balcony and the wall, roughly ten floors up.
Luckily for Hee-sung, a cloud crosses the sun just in time to obliterate his shadow, so Ji-won doesn’t see it. She does see the blinds moving and steps closer to check it out, just as Hee-sung’s foot slips so that he’s literally hanging on by his fingertips. He regains his grip, and right when Ji-won reaches for the blinds, Ho-joon calls out that she has a phone call. WHEW.
LOL, it’s Hee-sung on the phone — he somehow pulled his phone from his pocket while hanging off a building and called her to deflect suspicion. He says he’s with Moo-jin and that Moo-jin is asking about her, and that he’ll tell Moo-jin to meet her at the police station.
Hee-sung hurries back to his workshop, unlocks the trap door to the basement, and goes downstairs, only to have Moo-jin (who knocked over his chair, found a piece of the broken glass, and cut his bonds) attack him. Hee-sung quickly gets the upper hand and strangles Moo-jin until he almost passes out.
Meanwhile, Jae-seob watches the CCTV footage of the area around Soon-kil’s restaurant, and he sees someone catching a cab in an alley near the time of the murder. He calls the driver of the cab and asks him to come to the station for a statement.
While they were on the phone, Hee-sung had told Ji-won he felt sick so that she wouldn’t try to call him back. But it worries her enough that she goes home, and when she opens the workshop door, she nearly collides with Hee-sung and Moo-jin on their way out, both of them looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths.
Downstairs, Hee-sung had let go of Moo-jin and told him that he can’t kill him because the cops are looking for him. Moo-jin had laughed at this turning of the tables, calling Hee-sung a psycho bastard, and had demanded a sincere apology or he’d have a lot of interesting things to say to the police.
Instead, Hee-sung had sneered, “That camcorder was fun.” He had found the actual camera in a cabinet, with a recording of Hae-soo and Hyun-soo telling Moo-jin to leave her art studio before her dad found out. Moo-jin had called Hee-sung “future brother-in-law” and told him to calm down.
Hyun-soo and Hae-soo had moved to a different part of the house, but Moo-jin had gone alone into another room, which led down to a basement, and as Hee-sung watched the video continue, his eyes had gone wide with shock. Now he tells Moo-jin that the video could end his career as a reporter: “If you had made a different choice, the serial murders would have stopped. How many more did you kill?”
Hee-sung asks if Moo-jin watched the video and got excited. and Moo-jin grabs him and says he’s not a monster like Hee-sung. Hee-sung growls that Moo-jin can either do as he says, or they can ruin each other’s lives. Moo-jin lets go and asks what he should do, so Hee-sung sneers that he wants an apology.
Upstairs, Ji-won exclaims about the wounds on their faces and they tell her that they had a fight. She doctors the cut on Hee-sung’s face then slaps her handcuffs on Moo-jin to arrest him for assault.
Hee-sung tells her that he started it by making Moo-jin angry, but Ji-won protests that he’s too nice to everyone (STOP — REWIND — REPLAY… Moo-jin’s epic eyeroll is the funniest thing I’ve seen all day!). Hee-sung insists that this was his fault, and Moo-jin exclaims, “I have so much to say!” Hee-sung glares at him “…but I have nothing to say.” PFFT.
Ji-won finally tells Moo-jin that Soon-kil was murdered early this morning, then takes him to the police station to show him the CCTV footage of the murder. They also listen to Soon-kil’s voicemail, in which he says that he heard that Do Hyun-soo assisted his father with his murders. Then you can hear the door open, and Soon-kil’s panicked reaction to seeing who he thinks is Do Hyun-soo come to kill him.
Clocking his reaction, Ji-won asks Moo-jin if he knows Do Hyun-soo. He tells them that Do Hyun-soo is serial killer Do Min-seok’s son, and that he used to live in the same town as their family. He says that Hyun-soo is still wanted for the murder of the town’s foreman three months after his father’s suicide.
Detective Lee asks how Do Hyun-soo is connected to Soon-kil, so Moo-jin explains that after reading his article on Do Min-seok and his son, Soon-kil called him saying he had a tip… for three years, Soon-kil had worked at a Chinese restaurant with Hyun-soo making deliveries.
He says that the claim of Hyun-soo helping his father with the murders is just a rumor, started in their town after Do Min-seok died, because Hyun-soo was kind of strange. He says the kids used to call him possessed because they didn’t know the real term for Hyun-soo’s condition — antisocial personality disorder, or sociopathy.
He says that if Hyun-soo was even slightly upset, he would seek revenge no matter what. He nearly slips and says that Hyun-soo hasn’t changed, but Ji-won catches the slip so Moo-jin stammers that he only meant he didn’t expect to hear about him again.
Ji-won and Ho-joon leave to speak to Soon-kil’s wife, who’s six months pregnant and had to be taken to the hospital when she heard the news of his murder. They ask if Soon-kil had any enemies, and she tells them that Do Hyun-soo called him with threats every morning.
The cab driver tells Jae-seob that his passenger took his cab to the restaurant, asked him to wait thirty minutes, then returned and had the driver take him to New Sun Villas, where coincidentally there are no CCTV cameras. The driver had made small talk, asking what his passenger does for a living, and had been told that he does the same work as his father.
Hee-sung sits outside with Eun-ha, who catches him smiling for no reason and asks if he’s thinking of egg tarts (her favorite dessert, so cute). He tells her it was just because his tea tastes so good.
When Moo-jin finally gets home, he confirms that Hee-sung took his recording. He keeps lying down to rest, only to pop back up when he thinks that he should tell the police what Hee-sung did, then talks himself out of it.
He gets a call from Ms. Kang, his boss, who meets him at a coffee shop. She thinks he’s been investigating a huge scoop regarding Soon-kil’s murder, but he focuses on the time of the murder. It happened while Hee-sung was in the basement with him, according to the grandfather clock, which means Hee-sung can’t have killed Soon-kil.
At the Chinese restaurant where Soon-kil and Hyun-soo worked together, Ji-won squints at a poster on the wall of one of their specials… the same exact dish that Hee-sung made for breakfast the other morning. They talk to the owner, who admits that he paid Hyun-soo in cash because he didn’t have any ID, so there’s no way to track him through his bank account. The owner tells Ji-won that Soon-kil suddenly had enough money one day to open his own restaurant, but that Hyun-soo left without a word.
At home, Hee-sung is changing when a huge scar on his shoulder reminds him of the night that Soon-kil attacked him out in the woods, saying that he needed money. They’d fallen and Soon-kil dropped the knife, which Hee-sung grabbed, and he’d gone after Soon-kil. He’d pinned Soon-kil to the ground and was about to stab him when he heard a voice in his head saying Kill him. Hyun-soo-yah, kill him.
To Hee-sung’s horror, he’d seen his father standing in front of him, his eyes completely black. Hee-sung had screamed and brought down the knife, stabbing it into the ground beside Soon-kil’s head. He had run blindly, crashing through the rainy forest and out into the street, where he’d been hit by a car.
Back in the present, he gets a call from Moo-jin, who crows that he’s Hee-sung’s alibi now, and he says he knew Hee-sung didn’t commit such a messy murder. Hee-sung growls at Moo-jin to get out of his life or else, but as soon as he hangs up the phone, Moo-jin knocks on his door.
He shows Hee-sung the news report of Soon-kil’s murder, including the fact that Do Hyun-soo is the primary suspect. Hee-sung drags him outside and Moo-jin asks who really killed their village foreman, and Hee-sung says again that it was him, but that he didn’t kill Soon-kil (Moo-jin: “You’re a killer, but not a liar.”).
Moo-jin asks if Hee-sung was threatening Soon-kil as Soon-kil believed, but Hee-sung denies it. Moo-jin says this means the killer knows Do Hyun-soo well enough to fool Soon-kil, and he’s convinced that the killer’s identity lies somewhere in Hee-sung’s past. He proposes that they solve the case together, earning an exclusive article for him and a cleared name for Hee-sung.
Elsewhere, in his lair, the killer looks over his wall of articles about Do Min-seok. He turns, and on the opposite wall are hundreds of posters bearing a woman’s face. He doubles over, coughing so hard that he collapses, and takes some medicine with bloody, shaking hands. We see that on his phone is a charm with a picture of a fish with golden scales.
Back at the police station, Ji-won goes over the facts — Do Hyun-soo disappeared in 2005, right about the same time that Nam Soon-kil suddenly had the money to open his own restaurant. Soon-kil lived in fear of Hyun-soo for the rest of his life, which makes her think they had a falling out over money.
The only photo they have of Do Hyun-soo is from middle school, since he set his house on fire before running away. Jae-seob wonders how Do Hyun-soo is getting by when he has no ID, no bank account, no credit cards, and no phone.
While at work, Hee-sung’s mom hears Do Hyun-soo’s name and the fact that he’s a murder suspect on the news. She summons him to the store and slaps him, and he says that he’s trying to find out what happened. He tells her that he didn’t kill Soon-kil, but she shrieks, “If I had known you would make mistakes like this, I never would have turned you into Baek Hee-sung.”
Meanwhile, Hee-sung’s father comes home and enters a closet that turns out to have no back wall. On the other side is a hidden room filled with medical equipment, hooked up to a man lying in the bed. With sorrow-filled eyes, Hee-sung’s father sighs, “Hee-sung-ah…” as he looks at the comatose form of his real son.
We see flashes of that night fifteen years ago, when Hee-sung ran out of the woods and was hit by a car. He was taken to the hospital and had to be revived, and soon after, he was living the life of Baek Hee-sung, including taking his place in the family portrait.
Okay, what? I mean, WHAT?! I’m so confused, bear with me while I break all this down.
So, I pretty much knew that Hee-sung’s parents aren’t really his parents, because his father, Do Min-seok, killed his wife and then himself many years ago (I wonder what happened to his sister, though?). I had guessed that Hee-sung/Hyun-soo has something on the people posing as his parents, but I wasn’t expecting that there’s a real Hee-sung out there somewhere. It appears as though Hee-sung was in an accident, as was the real Hyun-soo, and that somehow Hyun-soo took over Hee-sung’s identity. But I still don’t know who these people are or why they have any reason to harbor a killer, especially when their son is still alive, if in a coma. It does, though, explain why they’re so angry and bitter all the time, and treat Hee-sung/Hyun-soo terribly — he’s living the life of their real son, who has been robbed of his. (Obvious “I’ve Seen a Few Korean Dramas” Prediction: The real Hee-sung is going to wake up at some point and make things very difficult for Hee-sung/Hyun-soo. Also, that was Kim Ji-hoon!)
Like I said before and as @TeriYaki agreed, I’m just deep under Lee Jun-ki’s spell. He’s got me rooting for a guy who, while we haven’t seen him kill anyone yet, is most certainly not a good guy. But I can’t help making excuses for him, and my heart insists that he’s got a dark past and a mental illness, but he’s not a killer. He kept Moo-jin captive for days and repeatedly threatened to kill him, sure, but when he had the chance to kill him twice, he spared Moo-jin’s life both times. He had to kidnap and threaten Moo-jin because Moo-jin was going to reveal his identity! And Hee-sung was in Moo-jin’s apartment because he needed that recording as collateral so that he could let Moo-jin go free. That’s a good thing! Isn’t it?
But it’s the way that Hee-sung fought against the memory of his father that makes me think that he’s not actually a killer. It’s so early in the story and I can’t imagine that there aren’t any twists and turns in store for us. I think that Hee-sung is a sick man in terms of his mental illness, and he’s certainly traumatized from his childhood abuse at the hands of a murderous father, but now that we know all that about him, I believe that he truly does just want to live a normal life as a normal family man. So much of what he does that appears sinister on the outside, such as practicing facial expressions, could just be him trying to fit in. I can even understand why he kidnapped and threatened Moo-jin — Moo-jin had done the same thing to him once, so doing it to Moo-jin now is no worse, right?
Moo-jin is an interesting character, as well. He’s nowhere near the innocent he appeared to be at first. He was a bully towards Hyun-soo back in school, and then apparently witnessed a murder, and instead of telling anyone, he knowingly hid his own past rather than face up to it. I won’t say he deserved what he got at Hee-sung’s hands, but I certainly lost a lot of respect for him, especially since really, Hee-sung mostly just scared him for a couple of days (there I go defending Hee-sung again!) and never intended to seriously hurt or kill him. But something Moo-jin did or witnessed while he was shooting that video was big enough to stop the serial murders back then, yet he chose not to do anything, and allowed the murders to continue. I’m dying to know what happened, but what I do know is that Moo-jin isn’t a good guy. But I kind of love the idea of Moo-jin and Hee-sung working together to stop the copycat killer. I’m a sucker for mismatched misfit teammates, and if there were ever two completely opposite personalities, it’s these two.
- Premiere Watch: Flower of Evil
- tvN’s Flower of Evil holds first script reading with Lee Jun-ki, Moon Chae-won
- Kim Ji-hoon to join Lee Jun-ki, Moon Chae-won in tvN’s Flower of Evil
- Lee Jun-ki and Moon Chae-won’s picture perfect family cracks in new Flower of Evil teaser
- Lee Jun-ki and Moon Chae-won’s ill-fated relationship in Flower of Evil’s new teaser