Cafe Minamdang: Episodes 5-6
In their efforts to catch the real culprit behind the murders, our shaman crew clashes with the police team several times before they eventually — and just a little bit forcibly — agree to (somewhat) work together.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
Continuing right where we left off last week, Han-jun and Jae-hui report the body they found in the sewers. As the authorities secure the crime scene, Han-jun tells Su-cheol that he thinks the M.O. is nearly the same as Gopuri’s, but that the sewer was probably only a temporary storage for the body and the culprit was going to come back for it. They split up to investigate around the area.
As Han-jun grabs a car’s dashcam, Jae-hui spots him, telling him to stop interfering with the investigation. She threatens him with fines and jail time, so he’s forced to turn over the dashcam. No matter. He already saw the video clip inside, and Su-cheol has spotted a suspicious man they need to follow, so Han-jun dashes off.
Following the suspicious man, our dynamic duo is surprised to see it’s CHOI YEONG-SEOP (Jang Hyuk-jin), the culprit from the case that got them off the police force years ago. They’re so obvious and so loud — how are they chatting so loudly and not getting caught when there are no other people on the street? K-dramaland, I guess.
At the same time, Jae-hui and her team also learn that Yeong-seop is at the scene. Han-jun calls them, trying to discourage them from going after Yeong-seop and insisting there is another culprit behind the murder. Unfortunately, Yeong-seop gets spooked by police sirens, forcing them on a street chase that ends with Yeong-seop in a car accident.
At the hospital, Su-cheol eavesdrops on the police trying to figure out where Yeong-seop’s phone is. They can’t find it because Han-jun secretly snatched it earlier. Squatting down in a random corner, he has been trying to figure out Yeong-seop’s passcode. But they immediately get caught after Jae-hui follows Su-cheol. I knew Su-cheol’s bright orange puff jacket would get him in trouble; it’s just so eye-catching!
Han-jun and Jae-hui get into an argument about how each team got in the other’s way. After Han-jun insists that they should’ve just let Yeong-seop run away to catch the real culprit, Jae-hui gets so mad that she hits him again, even if he tries to hide behind Su-cheol. Han-jun pretends to be so injured (and even going into “shock”) to get sympathy from Jae-hui’s sunbae, Detective Jang. It doesn’t work as well as he hopes it would because Detective Jang points out that he’s holding the wrong cheek. LOL.
Han-jun has no time to waste though, because back at the cafe, Hye-jun is panicking. The siblings’ devout Catholic and shaman-hating mother, “Deaconess Kim,” is on her way to visit. Su-cheol drives them back to the cafe as fast as possible, even nearly hitting Deaconess Kim and getting Han-jun’s face hilariously smushed into the window.
Still, their attempt to hide the truth behind their cafe business from Deaconess Kim is foiled when her friends arrive for their appointment with the infamous shaman. Han-jun tells Su-cheol they should stop lying, but what he really means is that he’s going to throw Su-cheol under the proverbial bus and get him to pretend to be the shaman. Phew, crisis averted for Han-jun, but Su-cheol is cursing him to the moon and back.
In their fancy shaman lair, Han-jun gets Su-cheol dressed up in colorful hanbok and shoves some candies into his mouth to get him to stop hiccuping when he lies. Facing Deaconess Kim and her friends, Su-cheol acts like a child, because according to Han-jun, he got his powers from the spirit of a child. Kwak Shi-yang is so hilarious in this role, and he nailed this scene.
As the dynamic duo entertains their customers, Na-dan goes on a solo mission to investigate the abandoned van from the crime scene. He gets to grab a plastic bag full of trash just before the police arrive. After he brings it back to the cafe, the crew goes through it (with clean freak Han-jun wearing full protective gear!) and finds a receipt with an address.
Heading straight to the address, Han-jun and Su-cheol go through Choi Yeong-seop’s small home, looking for clues. Han-jun figures out that Yeong-seop’s phone passcode isn’t his dead daughter’s birthday, but the date his daughter’s rapist was killed. So they finally get to open the phone. While Han-jun muses about the clues they found, Su-cheol forcibly drags him away because Jae-hui and Do-won are arriving. The Minamdang crew is always one step ahead of the police — though to the police’s credit, they are close behind every time.
In the hospital, Su-cheol “accidentally” damages the car of Jae-hui’s rookie detective teammate as a distraction. Meanwhile, Han-jun puts on his shaman act and tells the superstitious Detective Jang that he’s being haunted by spirits, even giving him actual chills thanks to Hye-jun hacking into the air-conditioning system. Convinced, Detective Jang is ready to do anything to get rid of the spirits, so he lets Han-jun into Yeong-seop’s room and leaves them to talk.
Still putting on his shaman act, Han-jun convinces Yeong-seop that his dead daughter has warned him about her father’s actions. He gets Yeong-seop to admit that he helped Gopuri in order to exact revenge on his daughter’s rapist. However, just before Han-jun gets more information out of Yeong-seop, Jae-hui arrives to drag him away.
Confronting him outside the hospital, Jae-hui questions why he keeps on underhandedly interfering in the investigation. Han-jun admits that he did see the actual culprit before, and it’s not Yeong-seop. He just didn’t see his face — only an old burn scar on his wrist.
In a series of flashbacks, we see what really happened years ago during the Choi Yeong-seop case. During a patrol, a rookie Jae-hui finds the burnt body of a man beside an unconscious Choi Yeong-seop, who confesses he killed the man.
HAN JAE-JEONG (cameo by Song Jae-rim), Jae-hui’s brother and the prosecutor in charge of the case, consults Han-jun about the crime. They visit the scene of the crime to investigate. Han-jun figures that Yeong-seop isn’t the actual culprit and that they’re probably dealing with a serial killer.
They even nearly catch the culprit, but after going on a street chase, they only end up crossing shields and swords, a.k.a. Captain America Jae-jeong holding a trash can cover and Thor Han-jun wielding a kitchen tong, lol.
The chase isn’t as fruitless as it seems, as they find a witness nearby who confirms that there was another person at the crime scene on the day of the murder.
The next day, Jae-jeong updates his sister on their new findings. Even if Jae-hui is so sure that she caught the killer on the scene, Jae-jeong tells her that he would let Yeong-seop go, because the culprit is someone else. Jae-hui questions her brother why he trusts a random profiler more than his own sister. But after she learns the profiler is her childhood crush Han-jun, her attitude takes an instant 180. She even asks Jae-jeong to set them up on a date, much to her brother’s horror.
Determined to impress her crush, Jae-hui tails Yeong-seop when he gets out of custody, following him back to the crime scene. But after telling Jae-hui that it’s her fault that her brother will die, Yeong-seop escapes with a phone containing a video clip of the murder.
Worried, Jae-hui calls her brother — but the culprit is already at Jae-jeong’s apartment. Just outside the door, Han-jun and Su-cheol knock, but the drugged Jae-jeong is unable to reply. When they see smoke coming out of the apartment, they force the door open, but they’re too late. Jae-jeong is already burning alive. NOOOOO.
Back to the present time, Jae-hui insists Han-jun didn’t see the culprit at all, only a figure running away. Frustrated, Han-jun tells her to consider other perspectives and check her suspect’s alibi. She begrudgingly does, and the police team concludes that no, at the very least, Yeong-seop isn’t the killer behind the body in the sewer.
Back at the cafe, Na-dan informs the duo that a dolled-up Hye-jun is out on a date. Oh no, older brother protective mode activated! Or is it? They immediately follow her, and just as her date is about to “confess,” they try to carry her away, telling her this date will just turn into a nightmare — the nightmare being an invitation to a pyramid scheme.
Hye-jun kicks her date where it hurts, cursing him to the moon and back as Han-jun and Su-cheol drag her away.
On yet another Minamdang scheme, the crew heads to the hospital in an attempt to catch the culprit. Su-cheol dresses up as a patient to pretend to be Yeong-seop. Except he falls asleep on the wrong bed and gets brought to another room for a colonscopy! Poor Su-cheol didn’t sign up for this.
With his partner-in-crime missing in action, Han-jun himself is forced to pretend to be Yeong-seop. Unfortunately for him, even if he tries to convince the doctors he’s there as an undercover detective, they simply conclude he’s delirious, so they give him a sedative shot — in the butt of all places! Lol, their schemes don’t always work out like they want to.
Jae-hui quickly figures out the Minamdang crew’s schemes, so she looks for Han-jun to confront him. But our resident shaman is so doped up in drugs that they end up in an accidental kiss. Oops! An embarrassed Jae-hui immediately slaps Han-jun in the face. How many times has she hit him? Poor guy.
After a woozy Han-jun explains their plan to catch the killer, Jae-hui lets them stick to their plan, though she does make sure to get a video of the doped-up Han-jun.
The next day, Do-won arrives to question Yeong-seop with Jae-hui. And after Su-cheol and Hye-jun tease Han-jun about the accidental kiss, the Minamdang crew listens in. Funnily enough, Jae-hui knows them well enough by now to know there’s a bug in the room, so she gives them the finger through the camera in an uncanny timing.
Jae-hui tells Yeong-seop that they know he isn’t the killer behind the sewer murder. Both Han-jun and Do-won also figure that Yeong-seop considers the culprit his savior for enacting his revenge for him. Do-won encourages him to tell the truth, but Yeong-seop only gives vague answers. So Han-jun concludes that even Yeong-seop doesn’t know why the real culprit is murdering people.
As Jae-hui and Do-won continue to question Yeong-seop, a suspicious nurse enters the room to administer an “antibiotic.” Hacking into the CCTV, the Minamdang crew sees a burn mark on the nurse’s wrist, prompting them to give chase.
As it turns out, the antibiotic is actually a dangerous drug that gets Yeong-seop’s vitals going crazy, and the suspicious nurse tries to escape. Jae-hui, Han-jun, and Su-cheol try to run after him.
Unfortunately, only Han-jun finds him in a dark stairwell. He gets into a scuffle with the man and confirms that he has a burn mark on his wrist. It’s Gopuri! Or is it really? Unfortunately, we end this week’s episodes with Han-jun getting his life choked out of him. I know he’s going to be okay, because you know, he’s the main character. But still, here’s a prayer — please be okay, Han-jun!
We unpacked a lot of the mystery this week, especially about the original case haunting the Minamdang crew — I honestly didn’t expect that. Since the drama has a total of 18 episodes, I thought they would be giving us information little by little each week. Now I’m a little scared we’ll find this case solved rather quickly and end up with a police/crime drama that gets formulaic with case-by-case episodes. Fingers crossed it won’t be. Please don’t fail us, Show!