Mouse: Episode 4
Tragedy hits close to home for our rookie cop and despite his injuries, he’s determined to track down the killer. Looking for more excitement, the killer taunts our rugged detective and the crew must work together to defeat the psychopath before another innocent life is taken.
EPISODE 4 RECAP
Before Halmoni can call Ba-reum for help, her phone rings and reveals her hiding place to Yo-han. He ruthlessly stabs her multiple times and pockets the pin that she cherishes.
Yo-han finds this hunt boring – a prey should struggle to survive, but Halmoni’s too weak to do so. He takes the photo and lights the evidence on fire while the elderly lady watches helplessly.
Moo-chi’s waiting for lab results and hands Sang the contact information for Yo-han’s friend, who can supposedly confirm his alibi. He receives confirmation that the finger from the wine glass belonged to Chi-kook.
They get called to an old clothing factory that was previously run by a religious organization. A decaying body was discovered there, estimated to have been dead for ten days. An object is lodged in his throat and he’s also the owner of the finger that was originally thought to be Chi-kook’s.
Another homicide is radioed in while the detectives inspect the body. On the way to the second crime scene, Sang notices Bong-yi hunched over in the pouring rain and gives her a lift across the bridge. Moo-chi recognizes her and recalls finding a child’s shoe and a makgeolli pot when he was a rookie.
He keeps his face hidden, offering his handkerchief for her to dry off. Sang sends Bong-yi off with an umbrella and groans afterwards that it was limited edition, so Moo-chi calls him an immature snob.
Bong-yi’s unable to get through to Halmoni and bumps into Dong-goo and a few neighborhood ladies on her way home. Dong-goo guesses that there must’ve been a murder, judging by how many cops arrived. Dong-goo’s mom hasn’t seen Halmoni but figures that she’s likely checking out the crime scene.
Moo-chi immediately notices that Halmoni is gripping something tightly and pries it from her hand. It’s a corner of the photo – she put out the fire with her hand to save it.
After getting a closer look at the body, Moo-chi recognizes Halmoni. Back then, Halmoni was sobbing outside of the operating room waiting for Bong-yi and told Moo-chi that it was all her fault. Angered, Moo-chi swears and lets out a guttural yell, “Why do only the pitiable people have to die every day?”
He later finds Bong-yi amongst the crowd and tries to pull her aside to chat. Bong-yi can sense that something’s wrong but Moo-chi holds her back when the body gets wheeled out. With the exposed injured ankle and hairpin, it’s undeniable that it’s Halmoni.
An officer asks the distraught Bong-yi to confirm the victim’s identity. Moo-chi gently wipes the blood away from Halmoni’s face before allowing Bong-yi to get a glimpse of her. Moo-chi restrains the tearful Bong-yi as she cries, “Why is my grandmother lying there?” Oof, this is heartbreaking.
Moo-chi beelines to the hospital to gather intel from Ba-reum, who’s drained of energy and blames himself for not picking up Halmoni’s calls. The detective grabs his face and warns him to get it together – he needs to recall every tiny detail that can help them catch the culprit.
Through tears, Ba-reum recounts that Halmoni sent a text saying that she found the man who killed the college student (greenhouse victim) and was afraid. Halmoni told Ba-reum to meet her at the general store because she had a photo to show him.
Ba-reum biked there in the rain but the neighborhood was empty and the store was closed. He followed the sound of her ringtone and found her body. Ba-reum chased the killer, but it was too dark to see his face. Moo-chi urges him to recall anything that could be a clue.
He punched Ba-reum with his left hand, which aligns with Moo-chi’s observation back at the prison. The way the knife was driven into Chi-kook’s uniform could only be done if somebody was left-handed. Ba-reum also remembers that the culprit smelled like mint.
We see Yo-han grab his body wash with his left hand, washing off all traces of blood. His mother Ji-eun drops by unexpectedly and picks up his laundry from outside the bathroom, hesitating as she realizes that it’s soaked in blood.
Yo-han mists himself after showering and finds Ji-eun cooking dinner. Avoiding eye contact, she mentions the bloody clothes, making an excuse for him – was there an emergency patient on the way home from work?
She also notes that he smells nice and figures that he has someone special in his life, hoping that he’ll give her a grandchild soon. “Just thinking about it is horrifying. A third generation of Han Seo-joon?” he replies, looking her dead in the eyes.
Moo-chi asks if there was anything unusual with Halmoni today but all that happened was that Halmoni argued with Bong-yi and was upset. Moo-chi raises his voice at Ba-reum for not being sure of anything, but gets scolded by Ba-reum’s aunt, so he takes his leave.
On the drive home, Ji-eun turns on the radio and breaks down when she learns of the two murders that happened today. She pulls over when both cases are reported to be linked to the recent serial killings and recalls how she once told her son that he was a monster and shouldn’t have been born. Sobbing, Ji-eun wonders what she can do about these sins.
Yo-han watches the news at home but heads to the hospital when he learns that Ba-reum is getting treated for his injuries so he’s not there when Hong-joo lets herself in. She finds a bandage on the floor, finding the cartoon Goatman design peculiar because it’s not something Yo-han would wear. Hong-joo tosses it away without much thought.
A guard is stationed outside Ba-reum’s private room as he’s under witness protection. Being a doctor, Yo-han walks in easily. Before he’s able to inject the contents of a syringe into Ba-reum’s system, he hears a commotion outside and ducks out of sight.
Bong-yi fights her way past the guard with Dong-goo following closely behind. She shakes Ba-reum awake and cries, “Why didn’t you answer Halmoni’s calls,” blaming him for her death. She desperately clings onto his shirt and demands him to find the killer. “Bring my grandma back to life, please.” Yo-han slips out unnoticed.
With six kills under the murderer’s belt within a span of two months, the nation is gripped with fear and distrust towards the police, as they still have zero leads.
Moo-chi analyzes the corner of the photo, certain that he’s seen it somewhere before. He has a lightbulb moment and pulls out the case file of the college girl. Bingo. Although charred, he can still make out the pattern of her sweater.
To find out where Halmoni acquired the photo, Moo-chi tries to retrace her steps but unfortunately, there’s no CCTV in the redevelopment zone where she was killed. Luckily, the bus company has footage of her so he heads to the stop where she boarded and finds Ba-reum already there, despite being stuck in a cast.
Ba-reum refuses to rest and proactively seeks out ways to find out where Halmoni went. They make it to an old building and begin to ask every shopkeeper whether they’ve seen her, but don’t have any luck.
They miss the lady from the job dispatch center who recognizes Halmoni and is about to call in to report it. However, the owner of the agency stops her, afraid that their practice of hiring illegal immigrants will be uncovered by the police. Moo-chi revisits the area on a different day with three investigation teams to ensure that no stone is left unturned.
Ba-reum takes care of everything while Bong-yi mourns. His parents’ ashes were scattered into the sea, so he has nowhere to visit when he wants to cry. He worries that Bong-yi would experience the same, so he gave Halmoni a proper burial.
Bong-yi pours her grandmother makgeolli as an offering, which reminds her of their regretful last interaction where she blamed Halmoni for her trauma. Sobbing, Bong-yi hugs Halmoni’s grave and apologizes profusely as Ba-reum watches tearfully.
They return to her place for the first time since the accident and Bong-yi refuses to toss out the dinner that Halmoni left out for her. Ba-reum tries to stop her, but she stuffs the rotten food into her mouth and goes to bed with an upset stomach.
That night, Bong-yi imagines Halmoni sitting by her side. Halmoni wonders, “My poor baby, what should we do?” She reaches out, but is unable to touch her and falls asleep.
When she stirs awake, she finds that Ba-reum has placed a hot water bottle on her tummy in the middle of the night. Bong-yi finds him sleeping upright outside her room and covers him up with a blanket. “Halmoni, don’t worry. There’s someone who protects me,” she says, looking at Ba-reum.
Moo-chi’s search team figures out where Halmoni boarded the bus, so he goes to the neighborhood and starts asking around. Yo-han watches through the window as the detective goes door-to-door. His friend Joon-sung calls because the police contacted him, and Yo-han instructs him to say what he told him to say.
Joon-sung meets with Shin Sang and claims that he was at Yo-han’s place on Sunday night because his friend wasn’t feeling well. Shin Sang borrows his phone and calls Yo-han, who picks up and asks, “Did the cop go? Did you tell him what I told you?” Busted.
Shin Sang hangs up and leaves with no further questions, and Joon-sung realizes what happened when Yo-han calls back. Shin Sang reports this to Moo-chi who says that naturally, the next step is to break into Yo-han’s car and find out where he really was by reviewing the black box footage. Shin Sang refuses to risk his father’s political career and Moo-chi hangs up to continue his own illegal investigation.
Before he can get ring Yo-han’s doorbell, Team Leader Bok calls Moo-chi back to the office. The nation is interested in what Moo-chi has to say about the case since the serial killer called him out by name. The chief of police has tasked him with giving the briefing that night, so Moo-chi can’t back out of it.
At an amusement park, a foreigner mother and her son Kim Han-kook participate in a show called “Hope for Children.” He’s a Goatman fan and really wants some bread, but Mom encourages him to wait until after the taping. She gets called over by the filming staff and tells Han-kook to stay where he is. However, the young boy gets lured away by a trail of bread and goes missing.
When it’s time for the briefing, Team Leader Bok warns Moo-chi not to go off script and to not lose his temper in front of the reporters. Joon-sung gets home and begins packing his bag in a rush, pausing to listen to the broadcast when Moo-chi confirms that all cases are linked. They’re investigating for a motive or common link between these crimes. Joon-sung doesn’t notice somebody entering his apartment.
Moo-chi wraps up the briefing and one reporter mentions the unpublicized seventh victim, Chi-kook. He points out that the murderer infiltrated the prison to kill him, so how is that considered random? The detective booms that there really are no connections between the victims, but a thought comes to him. He mutters under his breath, “What if there was a standard by which he selected the victims?”
Almost immediately, he receives a text: “Bingo!” The killer calls Moo-chi and disguises his voice with an effect. He considers Moo-chi pretty competent, despite being wrong once. There is a standard, and Moo-chi will have to figure out why he chose “that child” and announce the reason publicly on Sherlock Hong-joo. If he’s wrong, the kid will die in a public manner. “You psychotic bastard,” Moo-chi snarls. The reporters can tell that he was on the phone with the killer.
Moo-chi realizes later who the child is when the news reports that Han-kook came to Korea to look for his father but is now missing. He heads to the mother’s place and learns that a kidnapper called to demand a ransom for her son’s life, due Friday at 11PM. It’s when Sherlock Hong-joo ends, so Moo-chi is positive that the kidnapper is the killer.
A meeting is held between the police force and the broadcast station to discuss whether they should prepare for a show. Moo-chi is certain that Han-kook will remain alive and that the killer is trying to boast about his crimes. It’s a common characteristic amongst psychopaths.
The American BTK “Bind, Torture, Kill” Killer roamed free for thirty years and continuously sent letters and victims’ belongings to the police and the media. He accidentally left his DNA on a letter once and got caught. Hong-joo chimes in and shares that Daniel Lee once told her that these predators are so vain that they make fatal mistakes.
Moo-chi hesitates for a split second before backing her up with the Head Hunter example: he got away with twenty murders until he targeted a family of four, mistakenly thinking it was only a family of three. Leaving the youngest son alive led to his arrest.
The killer at hand is reaching the peak of his exhibitionism. Moo-chi believes that luring him onto the big stage will trap him into making a mistake and they may obtain information that they don’t already know.
There’s concern that listening to a killer’s demands will bring about negative public opinion, so they must prepare for this broadcast secretly for the next four days. Moo-chi is confident that he can figure out the reason, so the chief of police gives him the green light.
Reporter Ahn (who brought up Chi-kook at the briefing) sees them filing out of the boardroom and tries to gather intel from Detective Kang. When that method fails, he sneaks into Hong-joo’s editing room and listens to the recording of the phone call.
A special task force is created to figure out how the killer selects his victims. Moo-chi starts by interviewing Ba-reum about Chi-kook. Before they can get into details, Dong-goo rushes into the hospital room and turns on the news.
Reporter Ahn broadcasts Moo-chi’s phone conversation and reveals to the public that the police are preparing a secret broadcast at the demand of the killer. Moo-chi fights through a mob of reporters to get into the police station safely.
Detective Park, who was in charge of the Head Hunter case, calls out to Moo-chi who pretends not to know who he is at first. When the older detective urges him not to do the broadcast, Moo-chi tells him that he’s only in this line of business to catch and kill Seo-joon himself.
He needs to get the current killer and get sent to prison where Seo-joon is. The Head Hunter killed their loved ones, “So even if everyone in this world is against me, you shouldn’t be, Ajusshi,” Moo-chi says.
Detective Park reveals that his own arrogance on public broadcast provoked Seo-joon into killing his daughter. He doesn’t want Moo-chi to make the same mistake and warns that he’ll lose what’s most precious to him. Having lost everything when he was eight, Moo-chi just scoffs, “I don’t have any more to lose,” and walks away.
The next few days, protesters surround the broadcast and police stations and everyone discusses whether it’s right or wrong to do the show. With all the pushback, the police commissioner orders them to halt their preparations.
If Han-kook dies because of the broadcast, they’ll be held responsible. Moo-chi resigns and declares to the reporters that the task force will find the child using other methods.
When Yo-han learns that Ba-reum was discharged early, he looks up his information to find his address. Ba-reum’s at home and welcomes Moo-chi and Hong-joo who show up with a box of belongings each. Turns out that Ba-reum and Dong-goo brought Han-kook’s mom to the station last night. She begged Moo-chi to do the broadcast to save her child.
Ba-reum asked Moo-chi not to give up on the broadcast so they can catch the guy who harmed Chi-kook and Halmoni. Hong-joo was on board with the idea and Moo-chi had sighed that they can’t do it at the precinct. That’s how they ended up setting up camp in Ba-reum’s living room.
Hong-joo sees a photo of Ba-reum accepting his citizenship award and asks, “Don’t you remember me?” Her first job was to interview the recipient of this award, and the student had given her a hard time and said that it was all thanks to his friend. She now learns that this friend was Chi-kook.
When Ba-reum mentions that he saw the person they saved recently, she loses her enthusiasm and cuts the conversation short when Moo-chi chimes in to ask about it. Hmm…what else is she hiding?
Moo-won rings the doorbell and drops off some food for Ba-reum to share with the team. It’s japchae, made exactly the way Moo-chi likes it. He tells Ba-reum not to reveal who made it and asks him to take care of his brother. Yo-han watches this exchange from afar.
After lunch (which Moo-chi loved), the team decides to split up to meet with the victims’ acquaintances. Yo-han sees that Hong-joo is investigating with them.
The victims are as follows: the sewer victim Soon-young was in her early thirties and worked in a kitchen of a drinking establishment. Park Jong-oh was a contract worker in his mid-twenties, found at the clothing factory with an insect in his throat.
Jo Min-jung was a college student in her early twenties who made mukbang videos on YouTube and was found in the greenhouse. Mr. Kim was an unidentified homeless man in his fifties and was found with the hatchet that killed him. Finally, the sole survivor Na Chi-kook was in his mid-twenties working as a guard at Mujin Prison.
They spend the next two days working hard and stressing out. When everyone else is asleep, Moo-chi decides that he must think from the killer’s perspective and seems to figure something out.
On the night of the broadcast, the entire nation stops what they’re doing to tune in, including the relatives of the victims. Hong-joo explains that although they originally decided not to go on air, Han-kook’s mother came to them with a desperate plea.
At this time, Shin Sang is called to another crime scene. Joon-sung has been murdered and his finger is bent to point at the bloody cross drawn on his window. His watch stopped ticking at the time when Moo-chi was giving the briefing and Shin Sang realizes that the killer killed him and called Moo-chi from this very apartment.
Moo-chi announces that he found the answer, but speaks directly to the camera and asks, “You’re watching now, aren’t you?” He tells the killer to prove that he’s the killer and that Han-kook’s alive before he reveals the answer. Yo-han gets up silently and heads to his basement room. Han-kook is tied to a chair and is being recorded in the dark. The door opens but it’s not Yo-han who walks in…it’s Ba-reum.
I know what I’m seeing, which is that the person walking into the room where Han-kook is held hostage is undoubtedly Ba-reum. There has to be a logical explanation to this, even if he did kidnap a child… Is there any possibility that he abducted Han-kook as a way to force Moo-chi and the police force to pool together more resources and find an answer under a time crunch? Perhaps this is his way of trying to speed up the investigation? My brain hurts trying to come up with possible scenarios so I’ve decided to just sit back and see what happens next. He seems to be a genuinely kind person who cares too much about everything around him so as much as I’d hate for Ba-reum to be evil, it would really make for an interesting twist. For Bong-yi’s sake though, I hope that’s not the case. My heart breaks for that poor girl. This is my first time seeing Park Joo-hyun in anything, but she’s fantastic and so emotive!
Last week, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Moo-chi and couldn’t figure out what to say about him, but I’ve decided that I really like him. Although unconventional, he’s actually good at his job and cares deeply about the victims. He always says that his only intention is to end up in jail to kill Seo-joon, but it seems that over the years, he has chased murderers fueled by the hatred he has for Seo-joon. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty and he clearly is empathetic towards the victims.
I think his crush on Hong-joo is cute, and I am really curious what her deal is. It seems like she knows that Yo-han is Han Seo-joon’s son, and she herself was a victim of Seo-joon’s in a way. Why is she willingly dating his son? Is she investigating something? Also, what was up with the way she halted the conversation when Ba-reum mentioned the person he saved in high school? It seems like there’s something much bigger at play here connecting all our players and I’m excited to see how everything interconnects.