Blind: Episodes 3-4
Just after the verdict is reached and the sentence pronounced, another murder throws the case of the Joker Killer wide open again. At this point, no one seems fully trustworthy — not even those who are supposed to stand for justice and truth.
Like last week, each episode begins with more of the Hope Welfare backstory. Only one of the kids — Yoon-jae, the youngest — is referred to by name; for the others, we only have numbers as identifiers.
The leader of the group, #11, is the one who escaped but was betrayed by officer YEOM KI-NAM (Jung In-gi). He was punished — tortured, rather — and would have been killed if Mad Dog hadn’t been feeling celebratory about his wife’s pregnancy. As soon as #11 reunited with the others, he started planning their big escape.
In the present day, as our characters try to recover from the traumatic events of the past few days, they’re wracked by yet another tragedy. One of the jurors, influencer YEOM HYE-JIN (Baek Seung-hee), was murdered the same night after the trial. Her injuries match Ji-eun’s exactly, right down to the length of the Joker scars, meaning this is either the same killer or an extremely meticulous copycat.
Almost immediately, Man-chun is ruled out as a suspect, since he was holding Eun-ki hostage at Hye-jin’s time of death. Since the other jurors were the last to see Hye-jin alive, Sung-joon and his colleagues start by questioning each of them. Some act shiftier than others, but almost all have verifiable alibis.
One of the two who don’t is taxi driver CHOI SOON-GIL (Choi Jae-seop). He’d given several jurors a ride home after their dinner party, and Hye-jin was the very last to be dropped off. Not only that, but Soon-gil had displayed an uncanny burst of road rage when a motorcyclist cut him off, and he’d been leering at Eun-ki and Hye-jin in his mirror for much of the drive.
The more Sung-joon looks into Soon-gil, the more suspicious he seems. Turns out, he was in the special forces with Moon-kang, and the two even have matching spider tattoos, which Moon-kang says was something a group of old colleagues did together on a whim. What he doesn’t tell Sung-joon is that Soon-gil also worked at Hope Welfare Center, and had approached him just after the trial to say he’d spotted one of those kids.
It’s quickly becoming clear that everything happening in the present is related to Hope Welfare. Hye-jin was the daughter of Ki-nam, who’s now a police chief. Even before Hye-jin’s body was discovered, Ki-nam heard from Moon-kang that his family might be in danger — and sure enough, an ominous whistling man had taken Hye-jin’s son out of kindergarten to give him a bag of snacks. The same snacks Ki-nam bought #11 before driving him back to Hope Welfare.
As Ki-nam desperately searches for clues, he recognizes Sung-joon’s necklace as one belonging to Yoon-jae. Sung-joon says it was a present from his noona who died a long time ago, and that checks out, too: Yoon-jae had entered Hope Welfare alongside his older sister. And it’s implied that Ki-nam either assaulted or killed her (or both).
What doesn’t quite check out is that according to official paperwork, Sung-joon wasn’t adopted, and his current parents were the ones who filed his birth record. While they do mention “taking in” one of their sons, it’s unclear which they’re referring to. (Though they have no problem explicitly stating which son is their mutual favorite. Hint: It’s not Sung-joon.)
Meanwhile, the favorite son is doing some sleuthing of his own. He hands his phone over to the detectives, since he’d texted each juror to confirm their safety after Man-chun’s escape, and uses that opportunity to casually ask Sung-joon about his own whereabouts that night.
Sung-joon either doesn’t catch on or pretends not to know what Sung-hoon is really asking. He happily answers that he was out looking for Man-chun, part of the time alone and part of the time with his partner.
Sung-hoon can’t get Man-chun’s accusations out of his head, so late one night he searches Sung-joon’s car. And what does he find but one of Ji-eun’s earrings. At that same moment, Sung-joon is sitting in bed, staring thoughtfully at one of Hye-jin’s fingernails. Eeek.
All these investigations merge when Man-chun asks to speak to Sung-joon alone on the hospital rooftop. Sung-joon complies, though he fully expects this to be another murder attempt. Instead, Man-chun falls to his knees and begs for help.
His young son has a brain tumor and was about to be discharged if they couldn’t pay his bills, but an anonymous caller promised to pay their debt if Man-chun would take the fall for a murder that was about to happen. Everything — from holding Eun-ki hostage to Man-chun’s wife’s Joker scars — happened according to that man’s orders.
Right after Sung-joon leaves the rooftop, the officer guarding Man-chun is knocked out by a blow from behind, and Man-chun falls off the roof to his death. Sung-joon isn’t picking up anyone’s calls, so a manhunt ensues. They track his phone to a motel… where an officer finds him holding a knife that’s buried in Man-chun’s now-dead wife.
Needless to say, this does not look good. The officer has his finger on the trigger and won’t listen to Sung-joon’s attempts to explain, so Sung-joon fights him off and flees. But Moon-kang’s men are waiting in his car to kidnap him.
When Sung-joon comes to, he’s in a dark basement. It looks a lot like Hope Welfare, and his disorientation increases as Mad Dog slowly walks toward him, whistling. Though Sung-joon reacts when Moon-kang calls him Yoon-jae, he doesn’t seem to recognize that Moon-kang really is Mad Dog, or to fully understand he’s being accused of killing Ji-eun until Moon-kang spells it out for him.
When Moon-kang moves closer with a knife, planning to quite literally cut Sung-joon to pieces, Sung-joon somehow manages to fight his way free with his hands still tied. They chase him through the woods to the edge of a small cliff. With nowhere else to go, Sung-joon jumps off the cliff, hitting his head on the way down and knocking himself unconscious.
Maybe it’s Taecyeon’s winsomeness, or maybe it just feels too obvious, but I really hope Sung-joon isn’t the actual killer. That moment with the fingernail was certainly creepy, but it could still be a misdirect. Sung-joon could have swiped it from one of the jurors he interviewed, or found it in Sung-hoon’s room, or even taken it from the crime scene. And just because the killer used Yoon-jae’s name doesn’t necessarily mean he is Yoon-jae.
Speaking of the jurors, they bring an interesting and unique dynamic to the story. As humans are often wont to do, they bonded very quickly through their shared experience — only to realize in a very sudden and sobering way that they actually know nothing about each other.
If the killer’s voodoo dolls are any indication, their collective nightmare may be just beginning. So here’s hoping the innocent ones can band together and help identify the killer before many more of them meet the same fate as Hye-jin.