Alice: Episode 8
With a dangerous man on the loose, our leads are forced to live together for the sake of safety. Cohabitating with his mother’s lookalike gets our hero to become a little less hardened than usual. As someone trusted tampers with the investigation, it’s much more difficult to find the culprit.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
After graduating from high school, Jin-gyum moved out with Captain Go’s help. With tears threatening to spill, he gave his empty home one last glance. Jin-gyum conjured up an imaginary version of Mom and told her that he was leaving, but promised to return since this was their home.
Jin-gyum stands in the same spot now, but instead of his mother, it’s Tae-yi who’s in front of him. He explains that this is the precinct’s safehouse. Meanwhile, Dong-ho gets chased down by Do-yeon who threatens to write an article exposing the police unless he gives her Jin-gyum’s location.
Dong-ho calls his partner for help but Jin-gyum assures him that Do-yeon won’t actually write anything. We learn that the other researchers in Oh-won’s group will be under police protection as well.
When Tae-yi finds the light switch easily and correctly identifies the master bedroom, Jin-gyum is a bit taken aback.
During her stay, Tae-yi won’t be allowed outside communication and will have to shut off her phone to prevent location tracking. She complains that a holding cell would’ve been better, and Jin-gyum agrees, pfft.
Tae-yi can’t bring her belongings over, so she presents Jin-gyum with a list. A reaaaally long list. Flipping through the pages of requests, a stunned Jin-gyum asks, “Do you plan to live here your whole life?” Although Tae-yi grumbles that living alone with him will be uncomfortable, her hidden smile says otherwise.
Lieutenant Ha and Sergeant Hong are tasked with notifying Tae-yi’s parents, asking them to stay vigilant about reporting any suspicious people lingering around the restaurant. The detectives mention that they visited Tae-yeon’s workplace earlier, but it seems that she has quit.
Right on cue, Tae-yeon walks in and the detectives fall for her looks. She complains about work, not knowing that she has been outed. When Tae-yeon realizes that the ruse is up, she bolts out the door and Mom orders the cops to arrest her. Hah, they instinctively obey her without question and bring her back.
As Tae-yeon gets chewed out for quitting her job at the bank, the detectives argue about who gets dibs. Lieutenant Ha even tries to pull the seniority card, but Sergeant Hong refuses to back down. They’re equals when it comes to love. Hate to break it to you boys, but she’s not interested.
Jin-gyum later gets stumped by the instructions for building a table. Tae-yi doesn’t get why he even needs them in the first place, taking over and assembling the piece of furniture easily. She suggests ordering dinner, but he doesn’t allow it in case her location gets exposed.
He offers to cook but has never stepped foot in the kitchen before. Tae-yi sighs that he’s pretty useless, since he doesn’t know how to do much. She whips up a kimchi stew and immediately after taking the first sip, Jin-gyum asks, “Should we order some food?” HAHAHA.
Jin-gyum backtracks and says their location won’t get leaked by ordering delivery. Offended, Tae-yi tastes her dish…only to request that he orders jjamppong for her. Jin-gyum takes it a step too far though, asking for permission to toss out the stew.
Knowing the place by heart, Jin-gyum points Tae-yi in the right direction as she looks for things around the house. She can’t reach the top shelf so he towers over her to help. Affected by his close proximity, Tae-yi takes it the wrong way when Jin-gyum suggests that she wash up first.
Tae-yi asks for antacid for her indigestion but Jin-gyum takes matters into his own hands, expertly preparing to poke her thumb with a needle. He can’t actually bring himself to do it and hilariously decides that home remedies aren’t the way to go after all. Fed up, Tae-yi pricks herself and he winces, prompting her to question whether he’s even capable of shooting a gun, haha.
Realizing that Tae-yi’s afraid of the dark now, Jin-gyum offers to stay in the living room while she sleeps. He asks about her adoption process because it must’ve been difficult to get chosen as an “older” child at the age of 8. She explains that her mom had trouble conceiving and originally wanted to adopt a baby, but Tae-yi caught her attention.
Unlike the other children, Tae-yi never put her best foot forward to act well-behaved, largely because she truly believed that her biological mother would return for her.
Tae-yi asks for her laptop so that she can work on solving the equation that the bearded man, Hae-min, left behind. Jin-gyum’s not keen on this, wanting her to relax during her stay. Once she falls asleep, Jin-gyum gently brushes her hair from her face and looks at her pricked thumb.
The next morning, Tae-yi wakes up feeling refreshed and is touched to discover that Jin-gyum wrapped a bandage around her thumb. She finds him sleeping in an uncomfortable upright position just outside her door, and smiles to see the wall filled with notes about where to find things inside the house.
One note reads,“I’ll catch the culprit for you soon.” She replies with a thank you on a sticky note and then it’s her turn to study his sleeping face. When Jin-gyum’s eyes pop open, Tae-yi’s reflex kicks in and slaps the poor guy across the face.
He looks up at her all confused as she lies and accuses him of not being able to hear her call his name, feigning concern about his ability to protect her.
Shi-young checks on Min-hyuk after he gets his wound treated. He ignores her advice to take it easy and she blurts out, “Is it because of Tae-yi?” Min-hyuk gruffly reminds her that Tae-yi was the one who left him, so why would he worry about her? Not to mention, this is a past version of her.
He winces in pain so Shi-young rushes to his side, but he shakes her off. She tells him that Teacher seems to be behind this incident, as Hae-min travelled to the past the same way Se-hoon did in 1992.
Hae-min had told Min-hyuk during their fight that his kills are because they caused the Book of Prophecy to fall into the hands of someone from the past. Shi-young updates Cheol-am that there’s a new victim who isn’t part of the research team.
Cheol-am isn’t so sure that Teacher exists. Shi-young figures that if Teacher is real, then they’re behind all the illegal time travelers and their goal is to acquire the Book of Prophecy. She offers to meet with Se-hoon, but Min-hyuk decides to go instead.
Shi-young confronts him after to question whether Se-hoon really has the book. She lets him know that they’re unable to analyze Jin-gyum’s Time Card because of how damaged it is.
Jin-gyum compiles all the information he knows about the Book of Prophecy, Oh-won, Min-hyuk, Hae-min, and Teacher. At the center of his investigation board are his mother and Tae-yi.
The forensics department gave the detectives a shortlist of people whose fingerprints match the ones found in the classroom. It’s not the ideal way to find the suspect, but they have no other choice. They also haven’t been able to find Oh-won yet, so Sergeant Hong suspects that he’s already dead.
The team jumps up to greet Tae-yeon who is here to promote Crime Squad’s new delivery service. Lieutenant Ha and Sergeant Hong eagerly promise to order from them often, but she warns them not to go overboard since it’ll create more work for her, ha.
Captain Go suddenly returns to work after being unreachable for a while and sends his entire team off to lunch. When they leave, he goes through the list of suspects and takes Hae-min’s profile out of the stack, ripping it up before the others can investigate him.
Oh-won is locked underground in the middle of nowhere so nobody can hear his cries for help. Sun-young (Tae-yi) had warned him back in 2010 that he may face danger in the future, and the day has come. He shakenly prays for his safety.
Captain Go joins his wife at the market and comments on the amount of groceries she’s getting. In-sook reminds him that Jin-gyum’s mother’s death anniversary is approaching. He suggests going on a vacation once this case wraps up, which she finds ridiculous since he’d always said it was nonsense for a detective to go abroad. “I just want to act as a proper husband from now on,” he says.
Bored, Tae-yi wanders around and goes up a set of stairs outside that leads to a storage room. The door slams shut behind her as she explores. When she realizes that she locked herself in, she yells for Jin-gyum who comes to the rescue and explains that the door is broken. Unfortunately, the door shuts behind him as well and he didn’t bring his phone with him. Oops.
She judges him hard and tells him to break down the door, but he’s a logical guy and knows that it won’t do any good since it’s made out of steel. Jin-gyum assures her that Dong-ho will come looking for them when he can’t be reached. To make matters worse, they’re locked in there with cockroaches that Jin-gyum fails to kill. Agh, what a nightmare!
Do-yeon has written a piece about the police’s incompetence out of spite and tosses it into the trashcan (come on, someone’s definitely going to find that). Her parents pass by Jin-gyum’s house and notice that the lights are on. Mom calls Do-yeon to see if she’s there, and she practically flies out the door. Unfortunately, her manager finds the article.
By now, Tae-yi has managed to deduce that Jin-gyum grew up in this house. When she realizes that he hasn’t sold it because of his memories with his mom, she shares something that she learned while researching about time. “Memories and feelings get blurred as time passes, but spaces store time.”
Tae-yi envies Jin-gyum for having a place like this house, which brings back happy and sad memories. She was never able to pick a place she’d like to time travel back to because she didn’t really have any memories prior to the orphanage.
If she ever succeeds in traveling through time, Tae-yi claims she’ll come back to this moment and open the door. A beat passes and the door remains closed, so Jin-gyum comments that she has failed, hee. Tae-yi tells him not to sell the house because she’ll visit for sure. Jin-gyum promises to wait for her to come.
He catches Tae-yi shivering and offers to give his sweater up. She refuses but he insists and gets stuck. She reluctantly pulls on his sleeves to help him, accidentally taking his entire T-shirt as well. That’s when Do-yeon swings the door open to find a topless Jin-gyum staring back at her.
They relocate to the kitchen where Jin-gyum explains the situation. She appears to understand, but refuses to leave – Do-yeon unilaterally decides to stay with them for as long as Tae-yi will be here. When the professor points out the lack of space, Do-yeon defensively claims that she knows the layout of the house better than her, and says they’ll share a room.
When Dong-ho shows up after being unable to reach Jin-gyum, Do-yeon turns her wrath onto him for lying about not knowing where his partner was. As if she can read my mind, Tae-yi scoffs that Do-yeon sure likes to fight with everyone.
Thus begins an extremely tense dinner. The ladies are in a terrible mood and join forces to criticize poor Dong-ho for attempting to ease the tension. They shut him down when he suggests playing games but a couple of shots later, the three of them are drunkenly dancing the night away.
Jin-gyum watches uncomfortably as they scream passionately into the mics and cuts them off while the girls are mid-hug. Tae-yi orders him to sing and Do-yeon backs up her “unni.” They’re totally going to deny this happening once morning comes, pfft. They end up regretting their request as they watch Jin-gyum move robotically to the beat. I’m crying; this is so endearing.
The lieutenant gets pretty into it and ends the night off with a sentimental rendition of Kim Dong-ryul’s “Thanks” while maintaining eye contact with Tae-yi. She drifts off to sleep, comforted by the sound of his voice.
Morning comes, and Jin-gyum has kindly prepared breakfast for everyone. He clearly can’t read the room and tells the girls that he’s relieved that they became close, but they deny it and are back to bickering. Do-yeon brags that sleeping over is no big deal, since she’s done it often over the past decade.
The one thing they can agree on is that his cooking is terrible, and they request that he orders them hangover soup. Haha! Dong-ho yelps from his room and storms out calling Do-yeon a traitor. Her article has been published, and she runs back to work to deal with it.
Later that afternoon, Dong-ho and Jin-gyum sit down to discuss the disappearance of Oh-won. They can’t find him or a Schrödinger’s Cat box anywhere.
There also hasn’t been any progress with the equations found at Tae-yi’s place, since they’re difficult to solve. In her own room, Tae-yi recalls the equation that Hae-min wrote on the board in the classroom. It gives her an idea.
It’s Min-hyuk’s turn to pay Se-hoon a visit. Although it’s been thirty years, Se-hoon remembers Min-hyuk very clearly. The Alice agent offers to help him out once he gets out in two days, as long as he cooperates – who’s Teacher?
The discussion doesn’t go the way Min-hyuk had intended. He learns that because they lost the book, something happened to the Tae-yi whom he loved. Se-hoon snarls, “If you’re curious, ask Oh Shi-young.” Apparently, she came to visit Se-hoon a few days ago.
Shi-young thinks back to 2010. She’d found Tae-yi and approached her on the train. Shi-young urged her friend to get an abortion so that they could return to the future together. “This is the fate that I’ve chosen,” Tae-yi had firmly told her. She told Shi-young to lie to Min-hyuk that she couldn’t be found.
It was clear that Tae-yi was hiding something, but she wouldn’t tell Shi-young what it was. Accepting her choice, the agent warned Tae-yi that for Min-hyuk’s sake, she should never return to their timeline.
The Tae-yi of the present manages to discover something online – an article by the Hae-min from the 2020 timeline, using the Maxwell-Schrödinger equation. Tae-yi explains to the detectives that mathematicians can get the same answer using different methods. Some equations are like signatures, which is how she found this article.
Jin-gyum heads over to Hae-min’s apartment and finds him tied up and unconscious. On the wall is a murder board with a knife sticking out of Tae-yi’s forehead. Next to that portrait is a photo of the safehouse. Uh oh…
The lieutenant is unable to reach Dong-ho because the Hae-min from the future is already there and has knocked him out cold. Tae-yi screams in terror when she stumbles upon the scene.
As Jin-gyum follows a GPS signal on his phone, Shi-young’s drone catches sight of Hae-min and Tae-yi at the top of a high-rise building. Her eyes widen in shock as she witnesses him choking her, but she swipes the screen away the moment Min-hyuk storms into the control room.
No longer the level-headed team leader, Min-hyuk lets his emotions take control and booms, “What did you do to Tae-yi?”
Luckily, Jin-gyum had the foresight to hand Tae-yi a location tracker. He comes to her rescue just in time and mercilessly shoots Hae-min in the leg, forcing him to let go of Tae-yi’s neck. She doesn’t manage to get away in time and the time traveler puts her in a chokehold and activates his Time Card.
Jin-gyum aims for his hand but unfortunately, it causes the criminal to fall off the building, dragging Tae-yi with him. Horrified, Jin-gyum races to the ground floor but only one bloody body can be found…Tae-yi has evidently traveled to a different time period, since she’s completely fine and finds the Time Card on the floor.
She races to the precinct and is greeted by an officer that she doesn’t quite recognize. When she asks for Jin-gyum, the mood in the office grows somber. He’s been dead for a year. WHAT!?
The officer promises to catch the culprit but with tears in her eyes, she declares that it’s unnecessary because he’s not dead. They were just together this morning, and he even rescued her just moments ago.
In complete denial, Tae-yi cries, “He doesn’t have emotions. Do you know how strong he is? He isn’t someone who would die.” Behind her, the calendar indicates that she went forward in time to October 2021.
We see that in the original timeline, Captain Go stands outside of Jin-gyum’s house in October 2020. He has blood all over him, and he looks inside the window as he clutches onto a knife. In the exact spot where Jin-gyum’s mother passed away, Tae-yi sobs as she cradles a bloody and unconscious Jin-gyum in her lap.
Oh my god. What’s Captain Go’s deal? Jin-gyum considers him his father! He watched the boy grow up! I’m hoping that this is another purposeful misdirection, similar to how they led us to believe Oh-won was evil when he was first introduced. I don’t know though, everything the captain has been doing makes him look mighty suspicious. I wonder if his actions have something to do with the death of his son? I know that he told Jin-gyum that his son died of a heart defect but…what if he was lying? Is his son still alive? Is his son Teacher? Is his son Hae-min?! I’m totally reaching here, but for Jin-gyum’s sake, I need Captain Go to not be evil, thank you very much.
While stakes are getting higher and timelines are getting all mixed up, this episode seemed almost like a comedic break, for the most part. I’m not sure about you guys, but I’m really enjoying the version of Jin-gyum that’s been slowly coming out of his shell. His dry humor had me chuckling throughout the episode and I love the running gag where he makes a really logical point, but ends up retracting his statement awkwardly.
While Tae-yi is seemingly interested in Jin-gyum romantically, I agree with @LollyPip that Jin-gyum will never see it that way. Tae-yi explained that spaces/places have the ability to transport you back in time. Jin-gyum is very attached to his house because it’s where he made memories with his mom, Sun-young. Ever since he stepped foot inside the safehouse with Tae-yi, he’s been hyper aware of any similarities or actions that she does that possibly links her to his mother. For example, when Tae-yi reached for the light switch so naturally and was able to identify which room was the master bedroom, Jin-gyum hesitantly asked how she knew. Being in this space caused him to become more hopeful that Sun-young wasn’t completely gone after all, even though he normally would not entertain any ideas that he can’t prove for himself. So, yes – special places definitely have a way of bringing back vivid memories from long, long ago, and I’m certain that he’ll never fall for Tae-yi romantically. Can we just tell Tae-yi soon, so she doesn’t have to deal with the fact that she might be falling for the child that another version of her had?!
Something that bugs me is that Tae-yi keeps mentioning her biological mother dropping her off at the orphanage in 1992. It didn’t seem like there was a wife in the picture when we were first introduced to Dr. Jang in the first episode…so where did this biological mother come from? Tae-yi mentioned that she doesn’t remember much about her mom, not even what she looked like. I suspect that Sun-young/Tae-yi had gone back to the child Tae-yi in 1992, taken the final page of the book (and thus learning the secret to ending time travel), and dropped little Tae-yi off at the orphanage. I hope that Tae-yi’s trip to 2021 brings back useful information that can be used to prevent Jin-gyum’s death.