Flower of Evil: Episode 15
It’s amazing that our antihero still has his sanity after everything he’s been through. He’s managed to hold onto his humanity for so long, but with every blow, his grip on reality grows weaker. He’s still got a killer to track down, and this last confrontation may be more than his fragile mind can withstand.
EPISODE 15 RECAP
Back when they were all teenagers, Moo-jin made a video at Hyun-soo and Hae-soo’s house where he went into the basement and saw something horrific. Now we see the rest of that video — he’d seen a bag with something human-shaped inside, but Do Min-seok had shown up and told him it was only an elk.
In the present, Moo-jin grins happily when Hae-soo tells him over the phone that the necklace he returned to her is as dazzling as it used to be. They make plans for her to come to his place with Eun-ha after stopping at Hyun-soo and Ji-won’s place for some of Eun-ha’s things.
But while she’s there, Hee-sung stabs her after promising not to hurt Eun-ha, who’s shut in her room. He believes she’s Ji-won, and he takes Ji-won’s shattered ID from Hae-soo as a souvenir before he leaves.
Luckily, Moo-jin ignores Hae-soo’s insistence that she’ll get to his place on her own. He drives to Hyun-soo’s home to pick her up and finds her bleeding out, so he calls for an ambulance in a panic.
At the station, Woo-chul and his team are trying to work out the timeline of the Baek family’s housekeeper’s last day. They have CCTV footage showing that Ms. Park left work at 7:30 p.m. and took a taxi home, then her credit card transactions show that she ordered dinner that was delivered at 8:30 p.m.
What’s strange is that the autopsy showed that she died within 4-6 hours of her last meal, which would make her time of death after midnight, yet other physical evidence indicates that she died before 9 p.m. Woo-chul is willing to chalk it up to human error, but Jae-sub wants to keep investigating.
Ji-won interrupts — she’s gotten the black box footage of the person who called Hyun-soo and lured him out of the house. Woo-chul notices that the caller carefully chose an area without CCTV cameras yet didn’t seem to consider the possibility of black boxes in cars. Ji-won gets a call, but Woo-chul tells her not to answer calls from unknown numbers.
A call to the station alerts the team to Hae-soo’s stabbing at Ji-won’s home, and Ji-won’s first thought is for Eun-ha. She rushes home and learns that Eun-ha is still in her room, refusing to open the door for anyone but her mother. Eun-ha opens the door when she hears Ji-won’s voice, and awww, Ho-joon’s sigh of relief to see that the little girl is okay.
Hee-sung goes to his mother’s pharmacy and grabs some rat poison, then calls Sang-chul to say that he has his money. Hyun-soo is left alone in his old basement, where Jung Mi-sook is still locked inside the cage. She’s terrified to see him standing there with a box cutter in his hand, even when he tells her his name and warns her that his father’s accomplice will be here to kill her soon.
He says that he plans to catch him, then uses the box cutter to slice the zip ties holding the door to the old cage closed. He snaps a metal lock onto the door then slides the key to Mi-sook, telling her that she’s now the only person who can unlock the door. How smart!
Mi-sook asks nervously why Hyun-soo would help her, and he says softly, “Probably because I’m in a similar situation as you. You probably don’t understand why this had to happen to you, and I feel the same way.”
At the hospital, Ji-won’s mother says that she resents Hyun-soo for fooling Ji-won for so long. But Ji-won says she hasn’t changed, and that she can’t be happy if Hyun-soo isn’t happy. She asks her mother to take pity on Hyun-soo when he returns.
Woo-chul and Ho-joon see Hee-sung on the CCTV footage from outside Ji-won’s house and realize that he’s the same person from the black box footage, though they can’t see his face clearly. Ho-joon suggests they leak false information to draw him out, so Chief Yoon tells reporters that the person who was attacked was Ji-won, and that she died.
Ji-won joins Moo-jin at the hospital, where he tells her that this is his fault for leaving Hae-soo alone. Ji-won says that Hae-soo didn’t fight back because she was protecting Eun-ha, and she promises Moo-jin that they’ll catch the guy who did this. The doctor tells them that Hae-soo is severely injured and lost a lot of blood, so they can’t promise anything until she regains consciousness.
Moo-jin remembers that Hae-soo asked Dr. Baek for the list of hospital volunteers, believing that one of them is the accomplice. He runs off, intent of getting that list. Ji-won is going to go with him, but Ho-joon calls to tell her that she can’t be seen because of the plan to pretend she’s dead. Oh no, this is gonna backfire so hard.
Hee-sung sees the news of Ji-won’s death on his phone while driving out to Hyun-soo’s old home, and he smirks. Sang-chul is waiting for him, and they head down to the basement where Hee-sung stops to smell the rank air of his old haunt. He’s even more pleased to see Mi-sook caged and waiting for him.
He hands over the briefcase full of money, watching with satisfaction as Sang-chul takes a deep whiff of the cash like he knew he would. Sang-chul doesn’t smell the rat poison that Hee-sung sprinkled liberally amongst the bills, though his nose begins to bleed as he leaves the basement.
At the station, Ji-won reviews the CCTV video of the accomplice waiting outside her home. She agrees that he was there to kill her, then realizes that he must not know what she looks like. It seems odd, since he was close enough to get Hyun-soo’s fingerprints and plant Ms. Park’s hair in their car.
Jae-sub interviews the guy who delivered the food to Ms. Park’s apartment on the night she died. The delivery guy says that the woman he delivered to wasn’t deaf, because he knocked on the door and she promptly answered. In addition, according to the autopsy, Ms. Park had tofu at her last meal yet nothing the woman ordered had tofu in it.
He calls in this information, and Ji-won checks the CCTV footage of the woman getting into the taxi the night that Ms. Park was murdered. She growls that it could only be one someone who would do anything to protect the real killer — his mother. It also explains why the accomplice didn’t seem to know about the black box dashcams, because they weren’t common back when Hee-sung went into his coma, which means that Baek Hee-sung is awake.
Hee-sung grows angry when he discovers that the key Sang-chul gave him doesn’t work in the lock on Mi-sook’s cage. He screams and flails at her, but she stays at the far end of the cage where he can’t reach her, brandishing the box cutter from Hyun-soo. Hee-sung unfortunately spots Mi-sook’s gaze flicking to something behind him, just moments before Hyun-soo attacks.
Hyun-soo still manages to get the dog leash he’s holding (one of his father’s leftovers ~shudder~) around Hee-sung’s neck. Hee-sung fights hard, but Hyun-soo has done this before and he throttles Hee-sung until he goes limp, then punches him until he screams that it hurts. Only then does Hyun-soo see who it is that he’s caught, and he stares in shock as Hee-sung greets him politely through bloody teeth.
Moo-jin informs Dr. Baek and Hee-sung’s mom about the attack on Hae-soo. He asks for the list of volunteers, and Dr. Baek agrees to give it to him. While he’s in his office, Moo-jin gets a call from Ji-won, who tells him to leave the house immediately as they have good reason to believe that Baek Hee-sung is Do Min-seok’s protégé, and that his parents are acting as accomplices.
But instead of doing the safe thing and leaving, Moo-jin, still furious over Hae-soo’s stabbing, flies completely off the handle. He barges through the house in a loud, wild search until he finds the hidden bedroom and the hospital bed empty of its occupant.
Dr. Baek hears Moo-jin and Mom yelling and rips up the volunteer list he was about to hand over. He goes to the hidden bedroom where Moo-jin confronts him and his wife, then stalks out again. Dr. Baek grabs some drugs and loads up a syringe, intent on killing Moo-jin then turning himself in.
Moo-jin asks what that will accomplish, and Dr. Baek screams, “My son might finally change! If I sacrifice for him, he’ll finally change.” He blames Hee-sung’s murderous works on Do Min-seok, claiming that Hee-sung would have been normal if they’d never met.
With a huge eyeroll, Moo-jin tells Dr. Baek about the sack he found in Do Min-seok’s basement and how he chose to believe there was only an elk inside… “But regardless of how hard I try to convince myself, it doesn’t change the fact that the thing inside the sack was a human being, not an elk.”
Slowly approaching Dr. Baek, Moo-jin says that he must have always known what his son was capable of. Tears stream down Dr. Baek’s face as Moo-jin continues that it’s not Hee-sung’s future he wants to change, but that moment when he realized Hee-sung’s true nature and chose to ignore it.
He fearlessly walks right past Dr. Baek, only to whirl back and grab the syringe when Dr. Baek tries to inject himself with it. Moo-jin tells Dr. Baek that he’s obligated to stay alive until the truth is revealed, then leaves him sobbing on his knees. Mom sinks down beside her husband and says softly, “It’s strange — we both knew things would end this way, but we chose to come this far.”
By now, Hyun-soo has Hee-sung tied to a chair while Mi-sook remains safe in her cage. Hee-sung gloats that, despite having caught him, Hyun-soo will always be in his shadow. In a shaky voice, Mi-sook asks Hee-sung why he kidnapped her, but Hee-sung says he doesn’t regret it.
Hee-sung waxes poetic about the biography he’ll write in prison about his close relationship with Do Min-seok. Hyun-soo wants his phone, so Hee-sung tells him which pocket it’s in and asks him to request an ambulance when he alerts the police because he thinks he’ll need one.
We see a flashback of Hee-sung with Do Min-seok on a fishing trip together. Min-seok had lamented that Hyun-soo was a failure despite all his work. At Hee-sung’s stricken expression, Min-seok had assured him that he was “the best work I’ve ever accomplished.”
When he pulls Hee-sung’s phone from his pocket, Hyun-soo is horrified to see Ji-won’s bloody ID badge tangled up with it. Hee-sung politely asks for his souvenir back, but Hyun-soo begins to tremble. Hyun-soo screams at Hee-sung to tell him that he’s lying, but Hee-sung only says, “Do Min-seok turned me into a murderer, so I’m going to do the same thing to you. It’s only fair.”
Mi-sook yells at Hyun-soo to call the police, but he’s too far gone to hear her. Hee-sung mimics Hae-soo’s order to Eun-ha not to open the door for anyone but her mommy, still believing that he was Ji-won, though he promises that he didn’t hurt Eun-ha.
Hyun-soo uses the phone to call Ji-won, but since he was just told not to answer calls from unknown numbers, she ignores it. He calls the police station, who confirms that detective Cha Ji-won was murdered, and Hyun-soo absolutely flips. He wails with grief and fury, and Hee-sung says that whether Hyun-soo hands him over to the police or kills him, he wins either way.
Hyun-soo grabs Hee-sung’s switchblade from the floor and calmly tells Mi-sook to call the police and tell them that he killed someone. She begs him not to do this over someone like Hee-sung, but he’s not listening. “Tell them I cut off his hands and feet while he was still alive so that he couldn’t be identified. Even after all that, he wouldn’t die and crawled on the floor, so I killed him over and over!”
Seeing his death in Hyun-soo’s eyes, Hee-sung has the sense to be scared. He tries to scrabble away from Hyun-soo, and when Hyun-soo lunges at him with the knife, he kicks him in the chest, knocking them both backwards. Mi-sook holds onto Hyun-soo through the cage bars and screams for Hee-sung to run.
Hee-sung manages to get out of his bonds and takes off. He trips over Sang-chul’s dead body outside, then disappears into the woods with Hyun-soo right behind.
Ji-won goes to the Baek home with the police and demands to know where Hee-sung is, but all they know is that he went to meet Sang-chul. Ho-joon hurries in with the news about the call to the Mapo station from someone asking after Ji-won, and at first they assume it was Hee-sung checking up on whether “Ji-won” died.
But when they learn that he also asked about Eun-ha, Ji-won realizes that it must have been Hyun-soo, because Hee-sung would know that he didn’t attack Eun-ha. She checks the caller’s number and sees that it’s the same number that tried to call her earlier, and it belatedly dawns on her that it was Hyun-soo, and that now he thinks she’s dead.
She calls the number back, and Mi-sook finally leaves her cage to answer it. She’s glad to hear Ji-won’s voice, proving that she’s alive, and she bursts into tears and begs Ji-won to come save Hyun-soo.
Hyun-soo continues to stalk Hee-sung through the forest, and eventually he catches up and stabs Hee-sung in the shoulder. He grabs Hee-sung’s leg and hamstrings him, and when Hee-sung yells for Hyun-soo to just kill him, Hyun-soo calmly orders him to run. Hee-sung does, and Hyun-soo momentarily loses him… until the specter of his father shows up to lead the way.
Ji-won and the team arrive at Hyun-soo’s old home, where Mi-sook asks to speak to Ji-won. She confirms that Hee-sung claimed to have killed her and hands over her bloody ID badge. She says that it’s not Hyun-soo’s fault if he kills Hee-sung, but Ji-won retorts that murder is murder regardless of the reason.
Min-seok leads Hyun-soo to the edge of a cliff and grabs him by the throat, pushes him to the ground, then sits on him and points the knife at his face. Hee-sung whispers gleefully, “Kill me already. The endless pain will be yours to bear anyway.”
Hyun-soo is about to end Hee-sung when he hears Ji-won’s voice cry out, “Jagi-yah!” He looks over in disbelief to see her and the whole team standing nearby, and she begs him to drop the knife and let the police handle this. But Hyun-soo can’t trust his own senses anymore, as he’s still seeing Min-seok behind Ji-won, and he believes that she’s only another hallucination.
He wails that Hee-sung said she died, but Ji-won assures him that she’s really there and moves closer. Hyun-soo sobs that he can see the dead so it’s hard to believe that she’s real, but Ji-won urges him to drop the knife and come to her.
He drops the knife and staggers towards her, and Woo-chul sees that he’s no threat and orders his men to arrest Hee-sung. But just as Hyun-soo and Ji-won reach each other, Hee-sung stabs a cop with the dropped knife, takes his gun, and shoots. Hyun-soo has just enough time to put himself between Ji-won and the bullet, and he drops to the ground, blood pouring from his head.
Meanwhile, in ICU, Hae-soo finally opens her eyes.
Hyun-soo wakes up in bed with Ji-won, in a room filled with white light. He asks how long he’s been there, but Ji-won tells him not to ask questions so that he can forget everything. Caressing his face, she says, “You struggled so hard and did your best. Thank you so much. Now it’s time for you to rest.” Hyun-soo apologizes for how much he put Ji-won through, but she says it’s okay because she loved him so much, and that every moment she spent with him will be a beautiful memory.
She tells Hyun-soo not to worry about her anymore, and when he notes how quiet it is, she says that’s because they’re the only ones there. Hyun-soo says that they must be in paradise, then he yawns, so Ji-won wishes him goodnight. He tucks his face under her chin contentedly and drifts off to sleep.
I’m sure that last scene means that Hyun-soo is dying, but I don’t think he’s dead yet and I’m positive he’ll survive this… physically, anyway. If he does, he still has a long way to go to heal emotionally — he’s never lived a normal day in his life, first being groomed (thankfully unsuccessfully) by a murderous father then living his entire adult life as someone else. Luckily he has the pure, real love of his wife and daughter to give him something to live for and work towards, and I’m sure he’ll be okay eventually, but there’s still a long, painful road of healing ahead of him.
I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but I actually felt sympathy for Hee-sung’s parents in this episode. They are absolutely horrible people for what they’ve done, hiding their son’s homicidal nature and even helping him frame Hyun-soo for murder, but for just a short moment, you could sort of see why they did it. Hee-sung is their only child, a son they were so proud of until they found out who he truly was, and then he was immediately taken from them for fifteen years. They probably felt that they never got a chance to try and help him, and when they finally had a chance, they just didn’t know how to do that in a healthy way and reacted emotionally instead of rationally. Don’t get me wrong — they need to go to prison, yesterday. But I do have compassion for what they’ve suffered.
Although it never made a huge deal out of it, Flower of Evil has presented such a great argument of nature vs. nurture; whether humans are born hard-wired to behave a certain way, or if influences as they develop can override their basic personality. Do Min-seok admitted in this episode that he tried to train Hyun-soo to be a killer but failed, while he succeeded with Hee-sung. I have always personally believed that people are influenced by both nature and nurture, but that nature tends to win out more often than not. I would argue that it’s not that Min-seok failed or succeeded, but that he couldn’t override Hyun-soo’s most deep-seated nature to be loving and empathetic, while Hee-sung was on his way to being a killer long before Min-seok ever met him. Min-seok certainly did a huge amount of damage to Hyun-soo’s psyche, but he never became a killer, because it’s just not in him to be one. Meanwhile, Hee-sung would have ended up a murderer regardless of his privileged upbringing and loving parents, it’s just that meeting Min-seok hurried the process along.
Now, I do think that the show has kind of gone around in circles for the last few episodes, but for me, this penultimate episode brought back that sense of nervous anticipation I felt at the beginning, that is-he-or-isn’t-he question regarding whether Hyun-soo was a murderer or not. And I’m not gonna lie, I wanted Hyun-soo to do Hee-sung some painful and permanent damage down in that basement when he believed he’d murdered Ji-won. If anyone could be justified in lashing out in that moment, it’s Hyun-soo! But then I’m also glad that Mi-sook stopped him, not for Hee-sung’s sake, but for Hyun-soo’s. He hasn’t always been stable under pressure, but he’s always stopped himself before crossing that line, and I do think that he would have carved Hee-sung into tiny pieces if Mi-sook hadn’t interfered.
I have to say, I have absolutely adored Hee-sung as a character, and Kim Ji-hoon for making him so bone-deep evil. Hee-sung was bad from the beginning (despite his parents’ denials), and he never hid how low he was willing to go to be the absolute worst. I think that he always felt jealous of Hyun-soo because he got to have Do Min-seok as a father, yet resentful of Min-seok not treating him like a son but as a commodity that he produced. That’s why Hee-sung killed Min-seok, and why he was determined to turn Hyun-soo into a killer — he wanted to prove that he could do the one thing Min-seok couldn’t. I don’t know if he would have succeeded if Ji-won hadn’t shown up at the last possible second, but something tells me that Hyun-soo would have killed him, and that makes Hee-sung one of the most successful villains I’ve ever seen in a Korean drama. Well done, Show, well done.
- 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