Miraculous Brothers: Episodes 5-6
Our fake-it-‘til-you-make-it writer begins piecing the clues of multiple mysteries together and is shocked at what he finds. While said writer investigates old cases and new faces, our superpowered teen is piecing together some clues of his own through flashes of his returning memory. The duo begin to butt heads over their very different perspectives and ideas on how to move forward, especially when the return of our empath’s memory might just be our writer’s undoing.
We knew 1995 was pivotal, but everything leads back to that fateful year. Ki-jeok and Dong-joo might not have met so randomly after all because Ki-jeok knew Dong-joo’s father CHAN-SUNG. In one of Ki-jeok’s increasingly common memory flashbacks, he recalls Chan-sung handing him the backpack and sending him out the back door of his bookstore. That was the night of the accident. Chan-sung seemed to be hiding Ki-jeok from the police and told Ki-jeok not to trust anyone. It’s likely no coincidence – is anything a coincidence in K-dramas? – that Chan-sung died in a hit and run soon after.
Dong-joo does more digging and starts putting names to the initials used in the book for the murderers. The first name he lands on is his frenemy Myung-seok’s older brother Tae-man who has started taking even more of an interest in him (that can’t bode well). The more he learns, Dong-joo is at a loss given the insane situation he’s in as the fraud author of a secret true crime novel and the happenstance guardian of a superpowered, time-traveling teenage amnesiac. He’s desperate to tell someone and tests the waters by sharing the Ki-jeok part of his story, disguising it as a new novel idea, with BFF Yong-dae and is stunned when Yong-dae calls it boring. What it really needs is a serial killer to spice things up and sell copies. LOL.
Meanwhile, Hyun-soo is growing more suspicious of Dong-joo. She glimpses the original copy of the manuscript in Dong-joo’s office and sneaks a photo of Kai’s note. Although Dong-joo isn’t an official suspect yet – it’s not like they can arrest him for writing a novel – Hyun-soo and Byung-man manage to convince the department to investigate the link between the 1995 murder case and the recent cases. So before long, Dong-joo is going to have more explaining to do.
Then, there’s the matter of Ki-jeok. After speaking with the principal, Dong-joo has the full story on Ki-jeok, including his name (Lee Kang-san) and that he had an older brother named Lee Ha-neul. Aha, so the boy with Ki-jeok in the “repentance room” wasn’t just a kid he met there but his real brother who is also the missing witness to the 1995 murder. The brothers grew up in a Catholic children’s home and both disappeared without a trace in 1995. No one, including the police, really bothered to look for the missing orphans. Dong-joo makes the connection between the missing Ha-neul — a reportedly gifted writer and seeming narrator of The Almighty is Dead — and the enigmatic Kai. To try to lure him out, he writes a coded post on an online forum addressed to Ha-neul.
Kai, however, is busy making moves of his own. He anonymously calls the police with some vague tip about the case that basically equates to “follow the money.” The wrongly accused NO MYUNG-NAM, released a couple of years ago after serving his 25-year sentence, is on his side and the two seem close.
There’s no indication Kai knows Ki-jeok time-traveled and is now in the present, so he must think him dead. Assuming he is Ha-neul, his life-long dedication to revenge makes more sense since not only did these men get away with murder and force him into hiding, but (he thinks) they also killed his little brother. From the looks of it, the brothers had no one but each other. Their only supporter was Dong-joo’s father, the kind bookseller who went out on a limb for them.
Ki-jeok shares his memory of Chan-sung and the backpack with Dong-joo, sending him spiraling. Dong-joo can no longer deny that he’s deeper in this than he’d bargained for. He recalls references to a bookstore in the novel, which must be his father’s. And that means maybe that hit-and-run wasn’t so accidental.
Chan-sung seemed kind and caring, much like Ki-jeok, but Dong-joo couldn’t be more opposite. While Ki-jeok wants to help every person in need he comes across, Dong-joo thinks it’s every person for themselves and encourages him to be selfish. It leads to their first major fight, and you can see the disappointment in Ki-jeok’s eyes.
Rather than sharing what he’s learned about Ki-jeok’s identity and link to the murders, Dong-joo tries to convince Ki-jeok to stop digging into his past and just live in the present. He forgot everything for a reason, so maybe he should focus on building a new life – he could even get rich from his superpowers! That does not go over well with Ki-jeok, who calls him “garbage” (again?).
It is pretty rotten and self-serving of Dong-joo to keep Ki-jeok’s past and identity to himself. He knows how much Ki-jeok has struggled with not knowing who he is or if someone is looking for him. And now that he’s remembered he has a brother, Ki-jeok is even more desperate and determined to get his memory back. Dong-joo can frame it as being for Ki-jeok’s own good, but Ki-jeok can tell Dong-joo is hiding something from him.
While Ki-jeok’s empathy and desire to help is admirable, he is way too trusting and honest for his own good. He barely even tries to hide his superpowers and directly tells Hyun-soo about them. He also tells her what he remembered about knowing Dong-joo’s dead father and receiving a backpack from him. (She doesn’t believe him on either count.) Then again, given Ki-jeok’s penchant for accidentally teleporting when he’s experiencing high emotions or stress, he probably couldn’t hide his abilities anyway.
Despite their recent spat, Dong-joo still helps when an abused woman pings Ki-jeok’s empathy radar. He brings in Yong-dae to assist, and it turns out they stumbled upon quite the case. The woman is the kidnapped daughter of corrupt cop-turned-assemblyman BYUN JONG-IL, one of the 1995 murderers. He’s more concerned with his image than saving his daughter (who he abuses), so he won’t let the police publicize the case. Pushed to her limit, his wife smashes a vase over his head right in front of the cops, sending Jong-il to the hospital.
Because everything is connected, the kidnapper is Myung-nam who recognizes Dong-joo and begs him to help set the record straight. He knows the truth and could convince people! Dong-joo isn’t interested in that and wants to be left alone, but Ki-jeok sets up an empathy link between the two men to facilitate understanding. Dong-joo sees Myung-man’s memories of witnessing the murder and later being tortured by Jong-il into confessing to being the culprit. Then, Dong-joo sees his own forgotten childhood memory in which Jong-il, still a cop, came to their house and was stealing a tape (the videotape of the murder?).
After the empathy link ends, Ki-jeok disappears. Once again, he teleported accidentally, so Dong-joo goes running out to look for him. In the ending scene, we see Ki-jeok lying all aglow in the now empty lot where Chan-sung’s bookstore used to be.
Ki-jeok really needs to get a handle on this teleportation business. He just keeps disappearing and reappearing all willy nilly. At least he has a cell phone now, so I’m sure Dong-joo will find him eventually. Still, it can’t be good to keep growing the list of people who have witnessed Ki-jeok’s abilities firsthand. During one of his impromptu teleportation episodes, a man nearby seemed to catch it on camera, so I imagine they’ll soon have to deal with that complication.
As for Dong-joo, that man has some serious growing to do. It’s okay not to be the type of person who is warm and fuzzy, jumping in to help everyone you meet. But he’s selfish to the point of ignoring how his actions harm others. There’s hope, though, because it’s clear he does feel guilt over it; Dong-joo just seems the type to take the easy way out rather than put in the effort to do better. Lucky for him, he’s got a persistent good influence in Ki-jeok who isn’t deterred by Dong-joo’s prickly exterior.
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