This episode centers around Hyun Ho and his past. A stalker threatens him into taking a hostage and our team must find the culprit and clear Hyun Ho’s name before the situation gets worse. Eun Soo gets caught up in the situation as well and her life is endangered.

EPISODE 9

The episode starts with Hyun Ho telling Jin Hyeok and Kwon Joo that the mirror in front of Chun Ok’s body signifies that whoever reflects there will be the killer’s next target. Meanwhile, Tae Gu is relaxing in a bathtub, listening to classical music and generally enjoying life. His dad calls to ask why he hasn’t answered his phone calls earlier, but Tae Gu lies that he was sleeping. Later that night he hears a new report about Kwon Joo, Jin Hyeok and the Golden Time team, who continue to successfully solve cases, mentioning the Eunhyung-dong case. That gets a reaction from Tae Gu, whose stare becomes crazy yet again. The camera zooms in on something lying on the table, it looks like trophies he gathered from his victims. I’m not sure about those items since they were blurred out, but one looks like a patch of scalp with hair on it and the second one might be a tongue or an ear.

Hyun Ho and Eun Soo are talking about the Surim-dong case. She asks if he gave Kwon Joo the data, wondering why they need more information when the Violent Crimes Unit thinks that Nam Sang Tae is the culprit. Hyun Ho thinks that Kwon Joo and Jin Hyeok might be investigating something secretly. They switch the talk about Hyun Ho’s obsession with SNS. Eun Soo lectures him that posting personal information on SNS is dangerous and might get him in trouble. Hyun Ho thinks she’s just concerned about him and invites her to his DJ show, giving her Fever club’s business card. Eun Soo is confused since Hyun Ho keeps using abbreviations, but he explains that informants need to be quick. She notices a bottle of pills in his bag, but doesn’t say anything.

Exhausted Kwon Joo gets home that night, remembering Jin Hyeok’s words about the killer going after them next. She looks at the drink Chun Ok prepared for her and remembers trying to tell Young Woon about his sister’s death. He believes that Chun Ok will come for him, because she always keeps her promises and told him to do the same. Young Woon can sense something’s wrong and gets hysterical, screaming for his noona. He calms down only after Kwon Joo gives him Chun Ok’s drink.  Back at home, Kwon Joo finally breaks down in tears having been unable to keep her promise to protect Chun Ok. She vows to arrest the killer no matter what.

After getting off work, Hyun Ho offers to give Eun Soo a ride, but she politely refuses. Hyun Ho picks up a lost puppy and makes a few selcas with it. Eun Soo notes that the regions with more abandoned dogs tend to have higher crime rates based on the article she read. Hyun Ho decides to bring the puppy home.

Jin Hyeok gets a call from his son, who’s upset that dad couldn’t come visit him yet again. He promises to visit tomorrow and makes his son take his medicine. After ending the call, Jin Hyeok takes out Nam Sang Tae’s photo and wonders why he took the blame for the Eunhyung-dong case if there’s another killer.

Late at night commissioner Bae and CEO Mo meet near the Han river. CEO orders commissioner Bae to sort out the Surim-dong case, but it’s going to be difficult since Nam Sang Tae’s fingerprints were found at the scene. CEO Mo says that he and Nam Sang Tae’s father are indebted to each other and he can’t do anything about Sang Tae violent tendencies. It’s best to send him off to the US and CEO has already arranged things with Chief Prosecutor Park, so commissioner Bae simply has to tie loose ends and know his place.

The Violent Crimes detectives come to work the next morning and find Jin Hyeok asleep. He didn’t go home last night and they are worried about what other problems he’ll create because of Nam Sang Tae. Dae Shik comes in next and wakes up Jin Hyeok, having something to tell him. They go to the interrogation room, where Dae Shik explains that he overheard an interesting conversation this morning.

Kyung Hak was talking to someone on the phone. He said that Jin Hyeok’s caught onto something, which means he’ll get to the bottom of the case no matter what. Kyung Hak also threatened that if “that” thing about Fantasia gets revealed, he won’t stand still as well. Dae Shik thinks there’s something going on since Kyung Hak won’t be able to afford to even book a table at that place. Jin Hyeok thinks it’s best to keep this information hidden until they find evidence.

Nam Sang Tae goes to meet CEO Mo at a sashimi house, who proposes to go overseas to hide until everything’s settled. Sang Tae isn’t all too happy about it, saying that it sure is easy for him to cut ties. CEO Mo gets angry, saying that Sang Tae could’ve gotten one of their subsidiaries if only he was patient enough and controlled his temper. He gets out a suitcase full of cash and tells him to go overseas in two days. Sang Tae promises to go, but before that, he’ll kill Jin Hyeok and send a hitman to his son. CEO Mo is displeased with the idea of hurting the kid, but Sang Tae is in enough trouble, so he’s not afraid of anything.

Kwon Joo is sitting alone, going through all the material they got on the killer so far. It seems that his murder methods have become crueler compared to three years ago. Eun Soo is irritated by a prank call and another officer offers to help her if needed. He notes that it’s been quiet today because Hyun Ho’s not at work. A female officer is shocked to see an SNS post about Hyun Ho being a drug addict and a murderer. She tells everyone to take a look.

The post says that Hyun Ho used to be in a high school gang that bullied others and used drugs. A classmate committed suicide after Hyun Ho hacked his email account. Eun Soo contacts the bulletin board’s management to delete the post, while Sang Pil informs Kwon Joo about it. She notes that this wasn’t in his resume or personal information. They decide to give him a call first to get an explanation. Eun Soo looks into the medication Hyun Ho had in his bag – Scopolamine, that’s used to treat motion sickness, but has side effects such as hallucinations, neuroparalysis and short-term memory loss.

Hyun Ho is outside the club Fever and tells the owner how happy he is to be a DJ here. He goes inside, but gets a notification about a new comment on SNS from his stalker – love8080, who admires his hair today. Hyun Ho ignores it and goes inside the club’s dressing room, where a woman (Kim Yoon Ah) is applying makeup. A fangirl comes inside to get an autograph and also recognizes Hyun Ho as DJ Black.

He goes to introduce himself to the other female DJ, but she gives him the cold shoulder and complains to her boss about choosing random DJs. Boss takes her away and tells Hyun Ho to have some coffee that’s already conveniently placed on the table, made especially for him. Dude, that’s rule number one of clubbing – don’t drink suspicious liquids in a club or leave your drink alone, gosh. Hyun Ho goes to the bathroom, having spilled some of that coffee on himself. He suddenly gets dizzy and a woman enters the men’s bathroom, slowly approaching him.

The party is in full swing and the host introduces a new DJ – Black. Hyun Ho appears to be in a daze, bumping into people. He gets out a knife and threatens everyone around him, taking a random girl hostage. Eun Soo gets a call about a DJ, who took a woman hostage in the club Fever and is threatening to stab people. Kwon Joo listens in on the call as the man explains that the DJ must be drugged since he was staggering and his eyes lost focus. The Emergency Center receives more calls about it and someone even sends in a video, were Hyun Ho is clearly visible threatening people with a knife.

Kwon Joo activates Code Zero, informing the Golden Time Team about the situation. She asks Jin Hyeok to try and communicate with him first since there might be some misunderstanding. Eun Soo tells Kwon Joo about Hyun Ho’s medication and the information she got from the LA Police Department, confirming that the SNS post was true. Dae Shik wonders how did Hyun Ho even become a police officer, but Kwon Joo explains that his father is an influential person in Sungwun.

Our team arrives at the scene and carefully enters the club with two more local officers. They tell Hyun Ho to put the knife down, but he threatens to kill the girl if they come closer, repeating the same words over and over – “high color laser”. Kwon Joo notes that his diction and breathing are abnormal, he must be high on drugs. Jin Hyeok tries to talk with Hyun Ho, who gets angry that they can’t figure out the hint he gave them. He tells them not to come closer or this place will turn into a sea of fire. They try to figure out what “high color laser” might mean and Eun Soo figures it out, remembering that Hyun Ho used abbreviations all the time. It seems that what he meant was hydrochloric acid (HCL). Jin Hyeok explains to Dae Shik that someone must’ve threatened Hyun Ho, so he’ll look where the aid might be, while Dae Shik looks for the culprit in the club.

Jin Hyeok distracts Hyun Ho with nonsense about Kwon Joo’s horrible personality, while also signaling him that he knows the acid is on the ceiling. Dae Shik locates the culprit, who’s holding a remote control. Jin Hyeok counts to three for Hyun Ho to put the knife down, but the culprit activates the mechanism that’s gonna drop the bottles with acid on the floor. Jin Hyeok tells everyone to run, while Dae Shik attacks the culprit and stops the mechanism, but one bottle is about to fall on Hyun Ho. Thankfully Jin Hyeok gets him out of the way just in time.

They chase after the culprit who ends up being a male crossdresser. They arrest him and bring to the station together with Hyun Ho, where a lot of reporters have already gathered. Hyun Ho gets questioned by Kwon Joo and Jin Hyeok. He thinks that his stalker love8080 is behind all of this. That person stalked him for a year, getting angry on SNS at female commenters, even editing his face into pornography. Today, when he got dizzy in the bathroom, the crossdresser entered and threatened to drop the acid on behalf of love8080, who drugged his drink earlier. Jin Hyeok asks why he didn’t track the IP address, but Hyun Ho says he did and failed because the stalker kept changing them. Guess you’re not that good of a hacker, then. Hyun Ho also denies his involvement in any school gangs, telling them that the guy died in a car accident, not suicide. The crossdresser Yang Ho Shik they caught earlier also says that love8080 set it all up.

Jin Hyeok and Dae Shik question Ho Shik, who swears he didn’t know it was acid. He tells them a story about poor him, who never had a girlfriend because of his personality, so he went to the revenge exchange websites to get rid of his frustration. One day a woman sent him a message with her picture, inviting to be friends. His boss refused to pay him money, so he requested someone from that website to throw waste water on him. That is when love8080 contacted him about exchanging revenge since she also wanted to teach someone a lesson.

He agreed and went to meet her, but she didn’t come, leaving a box of supplies and instructions instead. When she called him, she sounded like a woman in her 30s or 40s and the sound was echoing like inside of a basement. Jin Hyeok notices that Ho Shik has manicured nails and carefully applied makeup. They decide to keep an eye on him without detention because his statement seems to be true and a background check didn’t reveal anything suspicious.

Commissioner Bae is lecturing Kwon Joo about hiring such unfit members into their Call Center. This incident has badly affected the reputation of Sungwun Regional Police, so he’s considering getting rid of the Golden Time Team. From now on the Violent Crimes Unit will be in charge of the Surim-dong incident. Kwon Joo thinks that commissioner Bae must be related to the kettlebell killer, because he’s getting more nervous the closer they get to the culprit.

She receives a call from the IT department, who confirm that the id “love8080” belongs to a woman in her 40s, who recently bought a lot of acid. Her IP address tracks to an internet café and she’s currently online. Kwon Joo sends Jin Hyeok and Dae Shik to the place. Ho Shik is released and goes to visit Hyun Ho to apologize. He’s acting suspicious, asking to have a seat and telling Hyun Ho how handsome he is. Ok, something’s not right.

Eun Soo comes to visit Hyun Ho and asks to speak in private. Ho Shik goes away, glaring daggers at Eun Soo, who’s surprised at such a reaction. She asks Hyun Ho where she can find cases of recent hydrochloride acid attacks and he suggests to look in the basement archive. Ho Shik is eavesdropping on their conversation. Eun Soo asks if Hyun Ho ever heard of De Clerambault’s Syndrome or erotomania – a disorder when you think a person of higher status loves you. There were at least two acid attacks in the recent years that might be committed by a person who suffers from such a disorder. Their suspect love8080 has nothing to do with it based on her background check.

Eun Soo thinks the culprit might be someone else. Leaving some food and his laptop, she leaves to go to the basement archive. Hyun Ho tries to hack love8080 email, comparing the IPs that don’t match. The new IP he got brings him to an electrical repair shop, the one where none other than Ho Shik works. Hyun Ho informs Kwon Joo about Ho Shik being the culprit. Meanwhile, Eun Soo looks for the cases in the archive, but they are all missing. Suddenly she notices that there’s another person in the room with her.

BREAKDOWN

This was a less scary episode than those from last week, but it still kept me tense and engaged. Hyun Ho got his moment of fame this time, dealing with a crazy stalker. That man, Ho Shik, creeps the hell out of me. He truly has a disorder that makes him dangerous to other people. Why did they just let him go is beyond comprehension.

It doesn’t make any sense that Ho Shik didn’t know about the acid, but even if he didn’t that doesn’t mean he’s not guilty. Some of the plot holes do get on my nerves sometimes. For example, how did Ho Shik get inside the archive when Eun Soo opened it with a card. There’s no way he could’ve gotten it. Then there’s Hyun Ho, who was presented as a genius hacker, but can’t track his online stalker. I rolled my eyes at that.

The kettlebell killer remains the most interesting serial killer I’ve seen in Korean dramas. I hope that Nam Sang Tae’s arc will be closed soon, because he’s getting on my nerves. The fact that Nam Sang Tae even wants to go as far as killing not only Jin Hyeok, but also his son, is terrifying. I can’t imagine what’ll happen to Jin Hyeok if he loses his only family member. I thought that Sang Tae was just a pawn of Tae Gu, but he’s actually just as disgusting.

Overall this episode was a much-needed break from all that crazy that was happening lately. I do appreciate that, but also hope that there aren’t as many plot holes in the future episodes.