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Bad and Crazy: Episode 9

The deeper our hero digs into his past, the more it becomes clear that memories aren’t always reliable. Every answer seems to open up more questions, and those answers start to paint a very different picture from the one he thought he’d been looking at all this time.

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

Soo-yeol freezes as the mysterious X calls him by his birth name. A splitting headache pulls him back into his hall of memories, where he marches straight up to door #1002. Now he realizes it stands for October 2nd, the same date Young-joo chose to kill herself on. When he gathers the courage to open the door, he finds Young-joo standing there in her raincoat… over his father’s body. But then her face changes to that of his younger self. Soo-yeol panics, and the hallway melts away.

Soo-yeol searches through police reports of his father’s death, alarmed by what he finds. His mother had told him his father died in a fire, but police reports revealed the fire was only a cover for murder – his father was stabbed 12 times, and blood was found on a yellow raincoat.

He rushes home, but Mom isn’t there. Her phone is, however, tucked away in a drawer, along with her Alzheimer’s medication. He wakes Dong-yeol to help him search for her.

Dong-yeol finds her outside her shop’s old location from ten years ago, confused as to why it’s now a shoe store. Dong-yeol breaks down as Soo-yeol arrives, and Soo-yeol takes them both home. By the time they get her tucked into bed, Mom regains her memories, and Soo-yeol nags at her for not telling him about her condition.

Of course, she nags right back that he wouldn’t have had to see this if he’d moved out already. She doesn’t want to burden him, and announces the conversation closed. Soo-yeol quietly explains that he’s never seen her as a burden – rather, she was the one who took care of him when he had no one. He retreats to the bathroom to hide his tears.

The next morning, he finds her sitting at the table. She doesn’t know how much longer she’ll be able to remember certain things, so she’s ready to answer all his questions about his childhood. Hesitantly, he asks if she was scared to take in a child that might have killed his own father.

She recounts finding him bleeding and unconscious, and nursing him back to health. He’d remembered his name and where he lived, but when she’d taken him home, the police had started questioning him about his father’s death, clearly suspicious he might have had a hand in it, though he’d seemed confused and shocked. Mom had jumped to his defense.

He’d immediately lapsed into a week-long fever, and to avoid harming him with further trauma, she’d determined to tell him everything once he regained all his memories. Now, she assures him that if he were guilty, he’d have been arrested years ago.

With a sad smile, she adds that as her own memories start to fade, she may not always recognize him. But right now, she knows for certain that the boy she took in back then was a boy who ran away to save his own life – and that he’s grown into a man who upholds the trust she placed in him. She urges him to trust and protect himself, too.

Kyung-tae meets with Jung-hoon – the boy who reported Joo-hyuk’s stabbing to the police – to get his official statement. Jung-hoon is covered in bruises, some fresh and some old, and he seems to get more anxious the longer Kyung-tae talks to him. He brushes off Kyung-tae’s concern for his wounds, claiming he can bear the pain just fine.

When Soo-yeol steps outside, K is waiting. It’s the first Soo-yeol has seen of him since K stopped him from opening door #1002, and with a snarl, Soo-yeol chases him down the street. Eventually, Soo-yeol trips on stairs and falls flat. K helps him up, and Soo-yeol uses the opportunity to pin him against the wall and demand answers.

K claims he doesn’t know anything, and that he didn’t let Soo-yeol open the door because he was scared. Soo-yeol presses to know what he was so scared of, finally provoking K to admit he was afraid he’d killed Soo-yeol’s father.

They go to Geun-soo for help. Unfortunately, Geun-soo agrees it seems probable one of them committed the murder. That plunges K into despair, and Soo-yeol has to keep shoving him back into a chair to keep him from hurting himself.

It finally strikes Soo-yeol as odd that October 2nd would be important, since his father died on the 23rd. Geun-soo chalks it up to distorted memories, but cautions that the brain often distorts memories to hide even worse ones.

Hee-gyeom keeps Soo-yeol company while he scours police reports for the October 2nd connection. All he explains to her is that it’s connected to Young-joo’s “gaslighter,” though she knows there’s more he’s not comfortable sharing just yet.

While looking through the files on a murdered drug dealer, Soo-yeol pauses at pictures of a bloody knife wrapped in a yellow raincoat. Even more interestingly, the victim’s son was initially blamed, only for another man to be convicted, having been found in possession of the murder weapon (and raincoat).

That same man, Sung Bok-joon, is now a barber after serving more than ten years in prison. Though he’d initially claimed innocence, he suddenly gave up appealing and confessed. When Soo-yeol asks why, Bok-joon says he “suddenly remembered” committing the murder. He describes it in unemotional detail, down to how much he paid for the raincoat. The story adds up, but it feels more like something he memorized than an experience he actually remembers having.

Outside, K rides up to Soo-yeol on a bicycle. He strikes a pose and announces that heroes don’t let fear stop them. He’s ready to regain their lost memories, proclaiming, “From now on, this hero exists only for you.” He takes Soo-yeol on a (painful) ride to his old neighborhood. When that doesn’t work (because Soo-yeol is too busy complaining about his sore backside), he lets the bike careen down a hill into the river, singing jubilantly the whole way.

Hee-gyeom meets with the lawyer who defended Bok-joon. He remembers that Bok-joon received a ton of letters while in prison, all of them from the same person.

When Soo-yeol and K return to Bok-joon’s place, Bok-joon is no longer there. Despite Soo-yeol’s protests, K takes that as an opening to search through Bok-joon’s belongings for those letters. He easily finds them, and Soo-yeol can’t help taking a peek. Every one of them is addressed from the murdered man’s son, Jung Yoon-ho. And the contents of the letters are Bok-joon’s confession verbatim.

Naturally, Bok-joon returns at that moment and catches Soo-yeol with an open letter in hand. He attacks Soo-yeol for suggesting Yoon-ho manipulated him into confessing when he was actually innocent.

He shoves Soo-yeol’s head into a bucket of water, unknowingly triggering a memory: young Soo-yeol attempting to drown himself in the river. But Yoon-ho had convinced him not to follow through, and taken him to the youth shelter. Soo-yeol finally breaks free from Bok-joon’s grasp, and Bok-joon begs him to let him go on believing he was the murderer. Ack, K looks even more shaken than Soo-yeol.

Later that night, Soo-yeol waits until X logs online, and then types into the chat: “Jung Yoon-ho.” X responds: “Finally, you remembered me.” Soo-yeol demands to know what really happened back then, but X wants him to figure it out himself.

All Soo-yeol remembers so far is that Yoon-ho told him they wouldn’t be able to stay long at the youth shelter, because certain people needed to disappear for good – otherwise they’d never see an end to their misery.

Geun-soo wakes up to Soo-yeol pounding on his door. But it doesn’t take him long to realize this is actually K. K has remembered his very earliest memory, and while he doesn’t share it, he desperately asks for confirmation that it might not be accurate.

Geun-soo agrees it might not be, but adds that K’s emotions at the time of recalling the memory probably were. K’s voice trembles as he says he felt like he wanted to kill someone. In his memory, he was gripping a large knife.

Soo-yeol visits Joo-hyuk and finds his information (as Jae-hee) in the shelter’s old files. The starting date is the date he first met Yoon-ho, and also a number on one of the memory doors. The file also contains friendly photos of him and Yoon-ho together. Joo-hyuk doesn’t really comment on any of this, except to say that at least now Soo-yeol knows what he’s dealing with, and to invite Soo-yeol to contact him any time he wants to talk.

Soo-yeol goes up to the rooftop where one of the pictures was taken. There, he sees a woman leaning over the edge, but when he calls out to her, she quickly leaves the rooftop without a word.

Kyung-tae gets a social worker to accompany him to check on Jung-hoon. They find the door to Jung-hoon’s house open, and when no one answers their greetings, they venture inside. To their horror, they find Jung-hoon’s older brother (and guardian) dead, and Jung-hoon sitting glassy-eyed in front of him.

Soo-yeol questions Jung-hoon at the police station. Jung-hoon repeatedly brushes Soo-yeol’s questions aside to ask if his brother really is dead. In a flashback, we see Jung-hoon approaching his abusive brother with a heavy frying pan, shaking in anger. He tells Soo-yeol that it doesn’t matter who killed him – as long as he’s dead, Jung-hoon’s misery is over. That phrase makes Soo-yeol pause, since it’s the same one Yoon-ho used.

Just then, Kyung-tae calls Soo-yeol out into the hallway to report that Jung-hoon has a confirmed alibi: he was caught on security camera stealing from the register at the restaurant where he works. Soo-yeol angrily goes back in to ask Jung-hoon why he said he killed his brother when he clearly didn’t. But Jung-hoon retorts that he never said that – all he said was that as long as his brother was dead, nothing else mattered.

He stands to leave, but Soo-yeol grabs his arm asks who fed him the line about his misery ending, offering to help Jung-hoon any way he can. Jung-hoon scoffs, confirms AGAIN that his brother really died, and gets up close to say that whoever killed his brother already helped him.

As Soo-yeol watches Jung-hoon go, Kyung-tae returns with more updates. The restaurant owner is certain Jung-hoon knew the camera was there, which makes Jung-hoon’s alibi seem a bit too perfect – perhaps even intentional.

Kyung-tae and Jae-sun tail Jung-hoon, snapping pictures from afar. Deciding that Kyung-tae doesn’t blend in with their surroundings well enough, Jae-sun leaves to buy them both ice cream cones. But the girl working the register recognizes him (she’d been the witness to the fire in Kyung-tae’s apartment).

Kyung-tae, who was already anxious about being found out, is so distracted by Jae-sun’s antics that Jung-hoon easily sneaks up on him. Jung-hoon asks outright if Kyung-tae is tailing him, and Kyung-tae’s panic response is to run and kick Jae-sun to the ground and handcuff him, pretending Jae-sun is a wanted criminal and the real reason he’s here. Jung-hoon does not look convinced.

Hahaha Kyung-tae patches Jae-sun up later, but even though he apologizes, he’s very proud of himself for thinking on his feet.

While going through security footage, Soo-yeol spots the same woman he’d seen on the rooftop at the youth shelter. It takes him a moment to put together that he’d seen her just a few hours after Jung-hoon’s brother died.

He and Kyung-tae investigate at the shelter. Kyung-tae gets the woman’s information, while Soo-yeol tries to figure out what she might have been looking at over the rooftop edge. There’s nothing of note down there except a manhole, so they open the manhole grate to investigate further. And what should they find but a sack with a bloody murder weapon and a yellow raincoat.

The woman, Ki So-yeon, is currently being rushed to the hospital. Turns out, she’d already been scheduled for disk surgery due to repeated beatings. Jae-sun hasn’t found any links between her and Yoon-ho, except that she’d been a long-time volunteer at the shelter.

While her surgery is underway, test results confirm the blood on the murder weapon belonged to Jung-hoon’s brother, and So-yeon’s DNA was also found. Furthermore, So-yeon’s abusive ex, Park Sung-gwan, happened to be present everywhere Kyung-tae photographed Jung-hoon.

Soo-yeol connects the dots: the two must have conspired to help each other. Jung-hoon intentionally created an alibi for himself while So-yeon killed his brother. Now she’s got her alibi – undergoing surgery – so it’s the perfect time for Jung-hoon to move in on Sung-gwan.

Sure enough, as Sung-gwan walks down the street, Jung-hoon drives by on his motorbike and swings a large metal pipe at his head. Sung-gwan dodges, causing Jung-hoon to wipe out, and then jumps on Jung-hoon in retaliation. That’s when Soo-yeol arrives. He gets between them, flinging the pipe away, only for Jung-hoon to pull a knife on him. While Soo-yeol tries to talk him down, Sung-gwan takes off running.

Jung-hoon gives chase, with Soo-yeol at his heels. Although Jung-hoon catches Sung-gwan first, Soo-yeol pulls him off and pushes him up against a fence. As he looks into Jung-hoon’s frightened eyes, he sees his younger self, and then Yoon-ho. He remembers watching his father’s body being carried out of their home, and Yoon-ho, beside him, whispering thanks. Since Soo-yeol killed his father for him, he promises to do the same.

When Soo-yeol comes back to the present, both he and Jung-hoon realize that Jung-hoon has accidentally stabbed him. Jung-hoon drops the knife and flees as Soo-yeol sinks to the ground.

In his mind, he staggers down the memory hall. At the end, door #1002 opens to reveal his father’s death again, but this time the boy in the raincoat is Yoon-ho.

A hand clamps down on his shoulder. It’s K, who asks if he plans to stay in this maze forever. Soo-yeol suddenly looks around in confusion, not remembering why he’s here. “You got stabbed,” K tells him. That brings back the revelation that it was Yoon-ho – not him – who killed his father.

Soo-yeol, giddy with relief, wants to go catch Yoon-ho right now, but K stops him. “Do you remember my part of the story?” he asks. When Soo-yeol looks down, K is holding a bloody knife. “This is the first memory I have of myself,” he says in a haunted voice. “I killed someone.”

COMMENTS

I’m a bit on the fence about the direction the story seems to be heading regarding K. I honestly liked the reverse-Jekyll-and-Hyde situation, where Soo-yeol created K to be the hero he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) be. Now, however, it looks like he was meant to be more of a scapegoat, to take on the weight of the murder Soo-yeol was manipulated into committing. If that’s the case, it is interesting (if a tad too convenient) that he doesn’t remember it, either. And when he inevitably finds out, will he blame Soo-yeol? Or will he assume the role of Soo-yeol’s hero one last time to take responsibility for everything? (I’m betting on a little bit of both.)

I guess my main issue with this angle is that it feels more retroactive than planned. Instead of casting all of K’s actions to this point in a new light, it sort of just sidesteps them. As though Soo-yeol’s backstory were intentionally left undecided during the first few episodes and filled in later for more conflict after dealing with Gye-shik.

I’m also not sure how I feel about introducing an entirely new villain this late in the game – even though he’s almost certainly someone we’ve already met. (And in my mind, there’s really only one person he could be, so there isn’t much suspense about that at this point, either.)

But, all of that said, I really am enjoying this show. And I tend to enjoy it even more when I think of it as being divided into mini seasons, as I mentioned in my last recap. Why does that make a difference? I’m not sure, but it does. Maybe I just like categorizing things.

On that positive note, it makes me so happy to see how Kyung-tae continues to prove himself to be an invaluable member of the team. It gives more weight to Soo-yeol saving him in the first episode: not only did doing so set Soo-yeol on the path to redemption, but it also added to his miniscule support system – and has indirectly helped save a number of other people.

Kyung-tae could easily have been reduced to a tragic catalyst (either in the first episode, or later if he had actually sacrificed himself to take down Assemblyman Do) or sidelined as comic relief once he joined the team, but instead he gets to be both of those things and more. He’s excellent at gathering intel and at getting to the root of people’s motivations, and I’m not sure even Soo-yeol realizes how valuable of a confidant Kyung-tae has become to him. A good luck charm, yes, but also the perfect sounding board and moral support.

Much as I’m unsure of the direction Soo-yeol’s hidden past is going, I do find the topic of unreliable memories both fascinating and terrifying. Having significant chunks of one’s memory gone would be unsettling enough, but then you add on top of that having someone deliberately manipulating you to remember doing things you never did – and then having other memories resurface that you desperately hope aren’t real, because they’re even worse.

I’m sure we’ll take a few more twists and turns by the end of this, since we still have a few episodes left. There will probably be even more forgotten memories brought to light, and some of them may once again flip everything we think we know at this point on its head. Because if there’s one thing this show wants us to remember, it’s that things are never quite what they appear.

 

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Show seems to be committing the common kdrama sin of ruining itself by trying to out-twist every other kdrama ever. They had a fun split personality crime-and-corruption-fighting story -- and now they don't :( I'm tired of the old amnesia & childhood trauma bits.

If I had know how this show was going to turn out I wouldn't have started it. But now that I've come this far...

The bright spot was having pairs of people commit murders for each other to time their alibis. Of course that's not totally original. It was in a short story I read decades ago... I think the author was Larry Niven (?)

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You're right, it's not totally original. Patricia Highsmith's (and subsequently Hitchcock's) Strangers on a Train also had the murder exchange plot.

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A million and one different movies and novels have used that story line. It's not new but every one adds their own twist

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Why, oh why, would K not remember anything?
My hypothesis of last week is now proven wrong. Not that I am annoyed about it. But I feel like we've changed pace, logical path, and motive just to be faced with a completely new plot. The k-drama whiplash of doom. I can never get used to it.
I believe we've already met X. What I find weird now is that, if K doesn't remember anything about X or what happened in the past, then why did he come back in the present? He seems to have been dormant for the past two decades.

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I wonder if K actually did something or X is just trying to make him believe that...

I really hope the show keeps being fun despite the whole trauma thing. To be honest, I didn't care about the plot that much to feel annoyed about the twist. I just want them to keep the comedy on point.

PS. That therapist is so sus, how come SY doesn't notice it?

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Really liked the scene where Soo-yeol and his mom had a heart-to-heart.
The mystery is becoming a tad too predictable. The sus psychiatrist makes me want to roll my eyes! But it's still an engrossing show overall.

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I mean, they’ve been hinting at Soo Yeol’s backstory since the first time he did hypnosis. It’s not like they randomly pulled this out of nowhere; they made it clear that something traumatic happened to him as a kid. In my opinion this show isn’t just randomly putting in twists for shock value but is unraveling a giant web. It just gets better and better.

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When I was small, my little sister had leukemia, and that came with a really messed up childhood living in a hospital, as we always stayed with her through her surgeries and procedures. Each time, she fought to go through these, she hated the anesthesia and woke up groggy and in pain. Hearing her screams, seeing my parents trying to hide their tears, we also had nights we thought she would die... She survived, but it did mess me up. Between 8-14 years old, I subconsciously forgot the painful bits of that part of my life until I had to specifically recall childhood memories for an assignment. When I started remembering, it was awful. I had to read my paper in front of the class, I totally lost control and cried, because all my memories came back in a rush. I think my brain really tried to protect me until I was ready, but then it was also so painful to remember this all at once. So I empathize greatly with this character, childhood trauma can have a great impact on your brain.

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Why they changed the story ! This episode was completely different tone then previous .2 opposite character was enough to go on , why we need a depressive story !!I did very much like his talk with his mom tough! That is my weekend favourite. Super casting. I cant believe we are already half way through :)

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When we first discovered that Soo Yeol was abused as a child I had immediately thought that K had been manifested back then to 'save' Soo Yeol by murdering his father, protecting him by ensuring the bad guy could never harm him again - just like a hero.

I'm not disappointed to be proven wrong as I find this turn of events quite interesting!

I just don't know how I feel about K not remembering the incident as I believed that was the purpose of his creation (it also feels like it invalidates all those times that K looked so guarded every time Soo Yeol enquired about their past)

It would also not surprise me if X had also planted the seeds for this exchange of murders in So-yeon and Jung-hoon as another way to jog Soo Yeol's memories.

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@mistyisles
Pls recap the 10 and 11 episode

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