Flower of Evil: Episode 13
All this time, our loyal cop has never doubted that her husband is the good man she knows him to be. But he’s far from perfect, and he’s still haunted by ghosts from his past that could resurface at any time. The slightest miscalculation could trigger him into behaving out of character, and as the real accomplice sets out to target him, his sanity grows thinner and thinner.
EPISODE 13 RECAP
It’s 1997, and a teenaged Hee-sung stands on the school roof to deliberately drop a brick onto a dog being walked below. His mother takes him to therapy, where he claims not to remember what happened and cries fat tears of remorse, wailing that all he recalls is getting his report card and feeling like dying.
The therapist excuses him to speak privately to his mother, and once in the hall, Hee-sung wipes his tears away and smirks. He heads to the waiting room, where young Hyun-soo sits with his father. Hyun-soo is called to his appointment, and Do Min-seok recognizes Hee-sung as the boy who threw the brick.
He asks Hee-sung if he knows why he did it, and Hee-sung says it’s depression from academic stress. Min-seok corrects him: “You wanted to see the ripple effect of your actions. Because you don’t know how to have fun. You’ve never met anyone like you. You must have been very lonely.”
In the present, Hee-sung and Dr. Baek are busy stuffing the dead body of the housekeeper into the trunk of a car when Hyun-soo and Ji-won show up at the front door. Mom tries to get rid of them, but Ji-won says bluntly that she knows everything. Once inside. Mom asks how much Ji-won knows, and Ji-won fires back, “How much are you hiding?”
She informs them that she plans to stick by Hyun-soo no matter what happens, then asks about their son, who they’ve kept hidden in the house all these years. Dr. Baek and Mom have no choice but to take them to Hee-sung’s secret room, where he’s lying in bed hooked up to his machines. Mom explains that there was an incident after Hee-sung and Hyun-soo’s car accident, and Dr. Baek adds that they’ve been keeping Hee-sung alive through artificial means for so long that he’s in organ failure.
Dr. Baek promises that Hyun-soo can live as Hee-sung for the rest of his life (both Ji-won and Hyun-soo look skeptical). Ji-won says she’s not here for promises, she just wanted to see the real Hee-sung. Hyun-soo has been obsessively checking the time, and he says it’s time to find out the real accomplice’s name, while at Dr. Baek’s summer house, Jae-sub waits for Sang-chul to show up.
Dr. Baek asks Ji-won and Hyun-soo if they’re here because they think he knows who the accomplice is. Hyun-soo says that if he were really going to the summer house, he’d be arriving about now. He points out that the only other person besides Ji-won who knows he was going there is Dr. Baek, so if Sang-chul shows up there, it means that Dr. Baek gave him the information.
Ji-won reveals that the cops are at the summer house right now, and both Dr. Baek and Mom’s poker faces slip. Hyun-soo says that when Sang-chul got the call from someone offering double money to kill him, the only person who knew where he was or how much he was paying Sang-chul was Dr. Baek. He accuses Dr. Baek of being afraid of his own identity being revealed because he’s Do Min-seok’s accomplice.
A vehicle approaches the summer house and Jae-sub leaps out of hiding to arrest Sang-chul… except that it’s only the caretaker, who insists that Dr. Baek sent him to get the house ready for Hyun-soo. Dr. Baek yells at Hyun-soo for thinking he was the accomplice, but Hyun-soo just sneers that he underestimated Dr. Baek.
Playing hurt, Dr. Baek asks how he can prove that he’s innocent. He expresses disappointment in Ji-won as a cop for deciding that he was guilty first, then trying to make the evidence fit. Hyun-soo argues that everything that’s happened convinces him it’s Dr. Baek, but Mom suddenly slams down her drink and blurts out, “It’s me.”
Having heard everything, Hee-sung gets out of bed, dresses in all black, and ties back his hair. He speaks as if to Hyun-soo: “From now on, you will be the game piece on the board that I set up, Do Hyun-soo.”
Mom says that she leaked the family secret, and she takes the blackmail note from the housekeeper and hands it to Ji-won. But just as Ji-won opens it, the lights go out, so Dr. Baek leaves to check the breaker. He meets up with Hee-sung in the garage, and we see in a flashback that they planned this whole thing, including the power outage.
Hee-sung had contacted Sang-chul, who insisted he didn’t tell Hyun-soo anything other than that someone paid him to kill him. Hee-sung had ordered Sang-chul to stay out of things from now on, and he’d been the one to tell his parents that Hyun-soo was setting a trap — the moment Sang-chul showed up at the summer house, Hyun-soo would know exactly who sent him.
Mom argues to Ji-won and Hyun-soo that it’s easy for secrets to get out, using Jae-sub and Hae-soo as examples. She denies that she’s protecting Dr. Baek, but Hyun-soo doesn’t believe her and asks what she’s hiding and why he should trust her.
As it turns out, the power outage was deliberate, so that Dr. Baek could leave the room and Mom could light some candles. When she leaves the room, Ji-won whispers that something is off. They hear a cry, and Hyun-soo runs to find Mom picking up the contents of a box that she dropped. She tells him that she’s always thought of him as family, and he replies that he’s never once doubted her true feelings.
The power returns, and Ji-won notes that Mom isn’t rushing to check on her son who’s on life support machines. Dr. Baek answers that Hee-sung’s equipment is on backup batteries and asks impatiently if they can wrap up this conversation. While they’re all inside, Hee-sung plants hairs from the dead housekeeper in Hyun-soo and Ji-won’s car.
Meanwhile, Hae-soo marvels at the necklace that Moo-jin returned to her earlier, wondering at the fact that he kept it all these years. She hears a noise outside and goes to investigate, and she finds cigarette butts near her door, and a handprint on her window. ~shiver~
As they drive home, Ji-won tells Hyun-soo that whether Dr. Baek is the accomplice or not, he’ll hold a grudge after tonight. She asks Hyun-soo to let the police handle things, but Hyun-soo says he needs to talk to the housekeeper (they think she quit) and find out what she knows.
Through gritted teeth, Hyun-soo growls he can’t take another moment of knowing that someone in his life, who has access to Ji-won and Eun-ha, is a person who loves killing. Ji-won clasps his shaking hand and reminds him that her department has 120% arrest rate this year, so not only are they catching all of their targets but even some from last year, and Hyun-soo relaxes and says that she sounds convincing.
Offended at being told by Hee-sung to stay out of it, Sang-chul makes his way to a psychiatric hospital and bribes someone he knows to discharge a female patient to his care. Alone with her, he greets her, “Long time no see, Jung Mi-sook.” Oh. My. God. It’s Kyung-choon’s wife, who was kidnapped eighteen years ago and presumed dead, and who has evidently lost her memory.
Later that night, Hyun-soo receives a call from someone who lists his name (as Baek Hee-sung), his wife and child’s names, and even Ji-won’s employer and Eun-ha’s school. He says he’s a fan of Hyun-soo’s art, but Hyun-soo hears the call for the threat that it is, unaware that it’s the real Baek Hee-sung on the other end.
Hyun-soo traces the call, which originated at a pay phone in Makmun-dong. He goes there but the area is deserted, and when he calls the owner of a car parked nearby (their number is on their dashcam) to ask if he can look at the video footage, she’s on vacation. Hyun-soo returns to the pay phone and this time he sees a message written on the glass: Hide and seek! I can see you, but you can’t see me.
In the morning, Hyun-soo is so preoccupied that he pours an entire smoothie on the kitchen counter. Eun-ha tells him that she got up to use the bathroom last night and saw him leaving the house. Ji-won asks where he went, but before he can think of a lie, her phone rings with an urgent call from Jae-sub.
Out in a wooded area, some volunteers find the body of the dead housekeeper in a shallow grave. Jae-sub has called Ji-won to the scene, and when she arrives and apologizes for last night, he says they’ll discuss it later.
As a result of his recording of Do Min-seok’s accomplice’s voice, and livestreaming his attack by Sang-chul’s bodyguard, Moo-jin is invited to sit on the panel of a TV show called All Perspectives. The PD asks how he’s always one step ahead of the cops, so Moo-jin gives him a vague answer about good informants.
Moo-jin is alerted about the newly discovered body, since her missing left thumbnail links her to Do Min-seok and his accomplice. At the same time, Hae-soo visits Hyun-soo in his studio to tell him that Dr. Baek can’t be the accomplice, because while Hyun-soo was with him last night, someone was at her place, watching her.
Hyun-soo tells her about the call he got last night, and that he also believes it’s not Dr. Baek. Although the man’s voice wasn’t disguised, Hyun-soo says it reminded him of Moo-jin’s recording of the accomplice. Moo-jin comes in and tells them breathlessly about the body with the missing thumbnail.
The housekeeper’s notebook is found beside her body, and the most recent notes show that things were not well with her employer. In one note to Hee-sung she’d mentioned his parents by name, giving Ji-won pause just as they get the call that she’s been identified.
Additionally, a fingerprint was found on the tape that was on her body, but despite it being a complete print, there’s no match in the database. This means the killer is either a child, or an adult who has no government ID. Ji-won’s worst fears are confirmed when she learns that the dead woman was her in-laws’ housekeeper, and all she can think of is how Hyun-soo supposedly left the house last night without her knowledge.
Hyun-soo is certain that the call last night was from the accomplice, the same person who gave him Jung Mi-sook’s keychain all those years ago. Hae-soo wonders why he suddenly reappeared after all these years, and Moo-jin guesses that he must have been in jail or in another situation where he couldn’t kill.
Hyun-soo asks Moo-jin to look into who went to jail in 2002 and only recently got out. He asks Hae-soo to stay with Moo-jin for a while, since she’s the only person who’s seen the accomplice and may be his next target. He instructs Moo-jin not to leave Hae-soo alone and says he’s going to see Sang-chul and use him to get close to the accomplice.
Sang-chul takes Jung Mi-sook to Do Min-seok’s old home, claiming that he’s taking her there to meet her family. He asks if she truly remembers nothing, and she says that she recalls walking in the rain without a destination, injured and disheveled, then being bounced around before ending up at the psychiatric hospital. She thanks Sang-chul for finding her family, but he says he’s getting paid for this, and that she’s of grave importance to all of them.
Sensing that something is wrong, Ji-won takes a copy of Hyun-soo’s fingerprint from their house. She compares it to the unmatched print from the housekeeper’s body, and it’s a perfect match. She calls her mother and asks her to pick up Eun-ha from school today.
At the Baek home, Hee-sung finds his mother brooding and tells her that the housekeeper’s body was found so the police will be calling soon. He tells her to keep doing as she’s been doing, and we see that when she’d dropped the box and let Hyun-soo help her clean up, he’d touched the roll of tape. Ah, so that was their plan.
Hee-sung tells Mom that she’s not fragile — she gave birth to him, killed him, and brought him back to life. “To me,” he says, “You’re like a god.”
Confident that his call will be taken, Hyun-soo calls Sang-chul to ask him to meet. But Sang-chul left Mi-sook alone with his phone, so when it rings, she’s the one who answers. She tells Hyun-soo her name, so he asks where she is, but she only has time to say there are a lot of trees before Sang-chul returns and hangs up the phone.
Hyun-soo is still processing the fact that Jung Mi-sook is alive when Ji-won comes to his studio and asks if he went to Makmun-dong last night. She says that the Baeks’ housekeeper’s body was found there, and that his fingerprint was on the tape used to tie her up.
Jae-sub is at the Baek house, where he asks Mom when the housekeeper left yesterday. She says that she called her a taxi at 7:30 p.m. because she wasn’t feeling well, but even this was part of the plan — it was Mom herself who put on a performance for the CCTV cameras by getting into the taxi, wearing the housekeeper’s distinctive scarf.
Jae-sub shows Mom the photos of the notes from the housekeeper’s notebook and asks who they may have been written to. She says there could only be one person, and though we don’t hear who she names, we can make a good guess. As soon as Jae-sub leaves, he calls Ho-joon trying to locate Ji-won.
Woo-chul takes the phone and demands that Jae-sub tell him what he and Ji-won are hiding. Jae-sub pulls over and warns Woo-chul that he won’t believe what he’s about to hear, and Woo-chul’s jaw goes slack at the news that Ji-won’s husband is Do Hyun-soo.
At the same time, Hyun-soo swears to Ji-won that he didn’t kill the housekeeper. She says he has to come to the station to make a statement, but she promises that they won’t let him be punished for something he didn’t do. As she tells Hyun-soo that she has to handcuff him, he gets a look in his eyes like a hunted animal.
He makes himself hold out his arms for the cuffs, but as soon as the cuff snaps onto his wrist, he hears his father’s voice say, “I really did love your mother. And I thought your mother loved me, too. But… she couldn’t accept me for who I really was. In the end, she abandoned you two and ran away from me. Love can be very cunning. It’s very sly. It makes you think you can solve everything, but in the end, it betrays you.”
Hyun-soo can actually see Min-seok in the corner speaking to him: “Hyun-soo-yah, listen to me carefully. When you feel the urge to trust somebody one day, it means you’re becoming weak.” Hyun-soo turns back to Ji-won, and now his gaze is steely and angry. He asks if she trusts him, or if she believes he really killed the housekeeper. He says that if she doesn’t trust him, then nobody will.
Ji-won answers a call from Jae-sub and tells him she’s at the studio with Hyun-soo. Hyun-soo slaps the phone from her hand, then in a flash he grabs one of the knives he’s made and whirls Ji-won around to hold it to her throat. He snarls in her ear, “I won’t trust anybody.”
Jae-sub shows up with the entire team, but the studio is empty. They check the CCTV footage, and see that it’s been unplugged. Rewinding to the point where Hyun-soo takes Ji-won hostage, they watch in horror as Hyun-soo directs Ji-won to disconnect the CCTV feeds.
Ji-won had pulled each plug one at a time, leaving the one directed at her face for last. She’s stared into the camera, her eyes full of terror, as she’d unplugged the final connection.
Man, I hate it when a drama gets pushed back by one episode, so that the cliffhangers that were meant to be resolved the very next night now have to wait a whole week! Not that I think Hyun-soo would ever truly harm Ji-won, but he’s definitely snapped. It was only a matter of time — Hyun-soo is under such enormous pressure, which has been on him his whole life and has recently come to a peak, that it’s really no surprise if he’s having some sort of psychotic break. He’s been treated with suspicion, hatred, and violence for most of his life, and has lived as another man for so long, and now the one person who believed in him no matter what has just shown that she does think him capable of murder.
If anything would push Hyun-soo over the edge, it’s the loss of Ji-won’s trust. I do believe that Hyun-soo’s love for Ji-won will win, and he even said himself that he’s terrified of anyone hurting Ji-won or Eun-ha. And there’s always the chance that this is just a show Hyun-soo is putting on to deflect attention away from something even worse, but just like when he locked Moo-jin in his basement, my gut instinct says that Hyun-soo himself is not safe right now. What I like about Flower of Evil‘s cliffhangers, though, is that unlike many dramas, they’re not predictable at all. I truly have no idea what will happen next and I love that.
It’s not that I blame Ji-won for having a moment of doubt about Hyun-soo’s innocence. All the evidence points to him, and she’s been under so much pressure herself lately. She also doubted him when she first learned his true identity, but back then she had time to process the facts and examine her own instincts and come to the reasoned conclusion that he’s innocent. It’s just unfortunate that this time, her moment of doubt happened in front of Hyun-soo, and that he saw it on her face. And he was in just the wrong place emotionally that it sent his demons roaring back, and he reacted out of fear and fury.
It wasn’t entirely clear, but I do think that Hee-sung’s mother was being truthful when she told Hyun-soo she thought of him as family. Her coldness has never seemed like true dislike, but an attempt to hold Hyun-soo and his family at a safe distance so she wouldn’t get too emotionally attached. We saw how easy it was for little Eun-ha to bust through Mom’s walls, so the love is there. She’s just trying so hard to keep it bottled up because the last time she loved a son, he turned out to be a murderer and she blamed herself. It’s no wonder she’s trying has hard as she can to keep her feelings in check for a son-figure who she knows is the child of a serial killer, but now that Hee-sung is awake, I think that Mom is seeing that Hyun-soo is a truly good man and has been a good son to her, even when she was cold to him. I believe that’s what their little exchange over the spilled candles was about, and despite the fact that she was helping frame Hyun-soo in that moment, I do hope that when it comes to a choice, Mom chooses the man who’s been her true son all along.
- 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