Miraculous Brothers: Episodes 3-4
Our newest literary sensation finds himself the reluctant guardian of the still unidentified superpowered teen. Their first order of business is figuring out who the heck this kid is and where he came from, but that’s easier said than done. Meanwhile, our writer realizes he might’ve gotten in over his head when the fictional novel he claimed might not be so fictional after all.
There’s still a lot going on, but this week’s episodes went at a slightly less feverish pace. With the setup out of the way, we now dive into the crux of the story and start to see how our multiple mysteries align. Like @unit, I wasn’t particularly into the murder mystery of the premiere week episodes – I feel like I’m drowning in drama investigations recently – but now that it’s more clearly linked to the central characters, I found my interest peaked. But it’s Dong-joo and Mystery Boy’s unique situation and developing relationship that I’m really enjoying.
After successfully passing off the manuscript as his own, Dong-joo’s guilty conscience and anxiety is manifesting in nightmares, awkward interviews about his book, and an aversion to his newfound fame. So far, Dong-joo is skating by on vagueness and outright lies, but it’s bound to catch up with him sooner or later.
As for Mystery Boy, he’s got a problem – he’s being discharged from the hospital, but he has nowhere to go since his identity is still a mystery. His extremely kind doctor LEE SOO-YEON (Lee Ji-hyun) truly goes above and beyond, offering to let him stay with her and her family. But Mystery Boy decides he’d rather inconvenience his new hyung who is the only person he can be around without setting off his empathy powers. Dong-joo grumbles about it, but Mystery Boy is determined and stubborn, so Dong-joo gets a new roommate.
I already love the dynamic between these two who settle into a comfortable relationship almost right away. Dong-joo is the nagging, lecturing hyung who complains about everything, while Mystery Boy is the demanding yet endearing dongsaeng who always ends up getting what he wants. Mystery Boy may be an empath with no memory, but he’s no pushover. He’s direct and honest with a stubborn streak, and he loves winding up his new hyung.
Mystery Boy, who decides to call himself Ki-jeok (which means “miracle”), is still struggling to piece together his identity and past. He has occasional flashes of memory, but nothing concrete. Everything points to him being from the past like his unfamiliarity with everyday tech and his knowledge of old-school music. Then, there’s the woman he runs into in the hospital who looks like she’s seen a ghost. She says he resembles an old friend who’s her age (a high school classmate named Kang San) and leaves him her card. Oddly, just like Dong-joo, she’s veiled to his empathy powers.
Ki-jeok feels adrift knowing so little about himself, but he does get a clue to his past after an incident with a little boy. He follows the distressed child to a house with a chalk drawing on the side. When Ki-jeok touches the drawing, his powers activate… and then he disappears right before Dong-joo’s eyes. Ki-jeok materializes inside a room where the malnourished little boy is locked up. The situation triggers a memory for Ki-jeok of being locked in a “repentance room” as a child with another young boy, both children with awful marks of abuse on their backs.
Dong-joo runs around all day looking for him (they really should get Ki-jeok a phone), until somehow Ki-jeok sends him a telepathic call for help. Dong-joo manages to locate the house right as Ki-jeok uses his power to burst out of the locked room. He starts to make the abusive mother of the boy choke herself using his powers, but Dong-joo’s voice pulls him out of it. When the story hits the news, Dong-joo gets credit and is hailed as a hero which further increases his book sales and unwanted popularity.
Gaining Dong-joo even more attention is the similarity between The Almighty is Dead and an old case. Hyun-soo is the first to make the connection. In 1995, one unhoused person was murdered by another at the same lake the film director was found in recently. The novel asserts that the man charged was framed; the real perpetrators were a group of four rich young men.
And this is where Tae-man comes into play. All signs point to him and his group of elite friends as those young men. The recent murder of one of their own group and the detailed account of the murder in Dong-joo’s novel have them on edge. One of the men wonders if the witness they thought dead, a man named Lee Ha-neul, is truly dead.
Meanwhile, after Hyun-soo questions him about the suspicious similarities between his supposed fictitious novel and the very real murder cases, clueless Dong-joo gets freaked out. He starts doing his own research, enlisting the help of his cop friend JUNG YONG-DAE (Jo Bok-rae). He considers telling the police about Kai but that would require him to admit the manuscript isn’t his. The fat $500,000 check from his publisher puts thoughts of reporting Kai to bed.
Speaking of Kai, he’s been regularly eating at Dong-joo’s mom’s restaurant, which can’t be a coincidence. We don’t learn much concrete about his identity; however, it’s looking like he was the other boy with Ki-jeok in that “repentance room”– like Ki-jeok, he still has those scars on his back. Yet another reason to suspect Ki-jeok is from the past seeing as Kai is much older than him.
Back to the novel, Hyun-soo isn’t the only one to note that Dong-joo’s book seems to be based on a real case. In fact, a film director threatens to sue the publisher – his script was based on the 1995 murder and has almost the same opening. Since Dong-joo has no proof of when he supposedly wrote the novel, they can’t prove he didn’t plagiarize. That leaves endlessly exasperated Myung-seok with no choice but to buy the rights to the script to prevent a lawsuit.
Elsewhere, Ki-jeok’s empath adventures get him into trouble (and keep Dong-joo on his toes). He discovers that if you follow someone around like a creepy stalker, they will report you to the cops. Ki-jeok convinces the teenage girl through a telepathic conversation that he was only trying to prevent her from taking her own life. The girl senses his sincerity and rescinds her report. Then, she gives Ki-jeok her number. Looks like he made his first friend.
In his quest to learn more about the 1995 case linked to his stolen story, Dong-joo makes a trip to his old principal’s office. (Dong-joo is from the area and went to the same high school as the perpetrators.) While he’s waiting in the office, Dong-joo spots a class photo from 1995. Front and center is KANG SAN who is the spitting image of Ki-jeok. At home, Ki-jeok mills around and notices a photo of baby Dong-joo with his parents, and he seems to recognize Dong-joo’s deceased father.
With that, we end week two. I’d say it’s all but confirmed that Ki-jeok is indeed Kang San, and he somehow ended up in the future. We know he can teleport and stop time, so why not time travel? And given the clues so far, it seems that he’s directly linked to Kai. My current theory is that Kai could be the missing-and-supposedly-dead Lee Ha-neul who is exacting revenge on the real culprits of the 1995 murder. If he really is the orphanage hyung of Ki-jeok – and since that’s what he’s going by, I’ll keep using that name for now – maybe Ki-jeok knew about the murder and is involved in the plan too. Or maybe he was trying to stop Kai. We’ve still got a lot to learn about Ki-jeok and his role in all this, but for now, I’m just glad he’s got his newfound grumpy hyung to help him while he’s most vulnerable.
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