The case of the day deals with identity theft, showing how scary it can be and how horrible the consequences are. Aside from an interesting case, this episode is filled with cute moments between our team members. Sun Jae and Kwang Ho finally learn to work as partners even though it might not last long with the discovery of Park88’s dead body.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Kwang Ho goes to the crossroad where he first met Park88. He remembers that there was a car chasing after him and wonders why. Later Kwang Ho arrives at the police station where Sung Shik is nervously waiting for him, worried that he might’ve lost his way when he hastily got out of the car in the middle of the road yesterday.
Kwang Ho is more interested in Park88’s car and asks if the location was tracked. Sung Shik answers that not yet, but they found his phone’s last location before it was turned off – it’s somewhere around the Hwaho area. That’s too big of an area to search through, but Sung Shik says he already requested the footage of the nearest CCTV’s from the surveillance center, so Kwang Ho decides to go there right now.
Sung Shik asks if he’s really ok after finding out about Yeon Sook’s missing ID number, but Kwang Ho tells him that he’ll feel better after finding Park88. Sun Jae comes to the station and meets Sung Shik and Kwang Ho at the entrance. Kwang Ho asks him if he had breakfast, which startles both guys, but Sun Jae actually answers him, not ignoring him anymore. Oh, is he starting to warm up to Kwang Ho after what he told him at the rest stop about offering his help etc.?
Sung Shik is shocked that Sun Jae answered and goes after Kwang Ho, calling him sunbae-nim. Sun Jae heard it and looks surprised, but doesn’t get to ponder on it for too long, because he gets a call from doctor Mok, who asks to meet. Doctor shows him the autopsy results for the murder victim from Hanyang River. The cause of death is suffocation and Sun Jae notes how two years ago another woman, Yang Hyo Jin, was murdered using the same method.
The murderer doesn’t randomly pick his victims, but chooses them based on some criteria and follows them. Doctor Moo doubts that it was done by the same person and strangely notes how following these victims took much effort. He then adds that in cases like these they should look at what happened before the murder, rather than after, so finding the criminal’s identity is important.
Jae Yi is working in her office at the university. Hye Won suddenly suggests that she should quit the consulting job because it’s getting too dangerous and she even got hurt. Jae Yi answers that if she wanted a safe life, she wouldn’t have taken the job in the first place. She looks at her injured hand and remembers how Sun Jae treated her wound.
Jae Yi goes to her lecture and brings a bag filled with tools that can be used as murder weapons. She asks her students to take an item they would use to kill someone. Only a bottle of sleeping pills remains untouched. Jae Yi tells the students to research murder cases where their chosen tool was used and make a report about the reason the culprit decided to use it.
Sun Jae cleans up in his room, taking off the wall all the notes and pictures of murdered women that might’ve been connected to his mother’s murder. He leaves only one picture – of him and his mother. Later that day Sun Jae arrives at Jae Yi’s university and Hye Won asks to speak to him. He asks what’s the matter and Hye Won mention that he asked her once what kind of person Jae Yi was, thinking that she might be the culprit in one of the cases.
Now he seems to have changed his mind about her, so Hye Won asks him the same question – what kind of person does he think Jae Yi is? He answers that she’s someone who can’t express her pain and Hye Won says that if he understands that, he should also not let her get hurt. She asks that they stop summoning Jae Yi to the crime scenes and he agrees.
Sun Jae asks Hye Won how Jae Yi’s parents died and she answers that the exact cause hasn’t been identified. When she arrived, the house was already on fire. The police thought that Jae Yi’s mother set the house on fire after fighting with her husband, but there’s no real proof.
Hye Won thought that Jae Yi’s mother was the reason why Jae Yi had decided to study female murderers. Sun Jae asks why there had been rumors about Jae Yi setting the house on fire then and Hye Won explains that Jae Yi was adopted in England and was a stranger to everyone.
When Jae Yi returns to her office after the lecture, she finds Sun Jae there, waiting for her. He holds Jong Ho Young’s case files and asks her for help as a profiler. Sun Jae asks if her hand if ok and she answers that yes, she’s fine since she has her left hand. She tells him to take his handkerchief back, but he decides to take it next time. A blatant excuse to see her again and he’s not even trying to hide his intentions.
Sung Shik and Kwang Ho look through the CCTV at the surveillance center. They find Park88’s car and the jeep that was chasing him. The center’s employee promises to call them back when they identify the plate number. Kwang Ho wonders if Park88 is still alive, but Sung Shik mentions that there’s no evidence that the guy was alive for the past four months. There were no phone calls, transaction or any other records, Sung Shik even checked the hospitals.
They notice a commotion and police cars in front of an office and Kwang Ho tells Sung Shik to stop the car. A woman inside is threatening to kill herself with scissors because of her credit card debt. The officer at the scene explains to Kwang Ho and Sung Shik that the woman came to their police station to report her credit card being stolen even though all the transactions were made on her laptop and now she’s even causing a commotion here.
The officer thinks that she’s lying, but the woman strongly denies all the accusations, saying that someone must’ve stolen her identity. She is brought to the police station, where Sung Shik explains that she was arrested red handed threatening people with scissors, but she continues to repeat that she didn’t use her card. He asks her why she thinks that someone has stolen her identity.
The woman explains that one day she got a letter from a credit card company where she didn’t have an account. Back then many cases of identity theft were reported, but she didn’t think much of it, dismissing the letter as an advertisement. Afterward, she started getting calls about her overdue payments even though she didn’t apply for any credit cards.
Some women even came to her workplace demanding that she pays them back the debt. They accused her of borrowing money from a massage parlor and started coming to her workplace every day. In the end, she was forced to pay back the money she never borrowed and even got fired from her job. It didn’t end there though because soon after a man claiming to be Young Joo’s fiancé showed up.
The woman who’d stolen her identity knows her address, workplace, even her credit card number and even bought things using her laptop, but Young Joo doesn’t know anything about her or who it could be. Kwang Ho asks about the fiancé, Cho Dong Ik, wanting to question him. Sung Shik isn’t fond of the idea because it might expose that Kwang Ho is using Park88’s identity, but he tells Sung Shik to be careful himself because he keeps calling him “sir” in front of everyone.
Sung Shik takes it to heart and starts addressing Kwang Ho informally, which gets him a slap and they hilariously try to cover it up in front of the others. Sung Shik tells Kwang Ho not to get caught by Sun Jae, saying that the guy is just too annoying and won’t let go if he finds something suspicious, but Kwang Ho tells him to be nice to him instead. The look on Sung Shik’s face is priceless.
Kwang Ho and Sun Jae go to question the fiancé and one of his colleagues tells them that Cho Dong Ik passed away last week from sudden unexpected death syndrome. His funeral is today, so our team goes there to ask some questions to his brother. He’s never seen Young Joo and tells them that Dong Ik called him at night, but when he picked up, a woman told him to come quickly.
When he arrived at Dong Ik’s apartment, he was already dead and the woman was nowhere to be found. The brother couldn’t even contact her because her number wasn’t in Dong Ik’s phone. That’s not all though because no one has ever seen his girlfriend or known anything about her. When Dong Ik planned to introduce her to the brother, she suddenly rescheduled the meeting.
Sun Jae asks for permission to do an autopsy and the brother seems to agree. Kwang Ho says that for now, they can’t be sure that Young Joo is telling the truth. Sun Jae calls Sung Shik and asks to get information about her whereabouts last Friday when Dong Ik died, it’s the same day they met as well.
Kwang Ho watches Dong Ik’s relatives crying and wonders if the father and son are doing well. He’s talking about little Sun Jae and his father. Kwang Ho explains that there was a man whose wife got murdered and he came to the police station with his little son every day. Back then he really wanted to catch the culprit but lost him. Sun Jae is surprised that Kwang Ho worked with homicide earlier, thinking that it was his first time since he transferred to their station.
Back at the station, Sung Shik questions Young Joo about last Friday and she answers that she mostly stayed at home after she stopped working. He orders Min Ha and Tae Hee to look through the CCTV’s at her place to confirm her statement.
Dr. Mok does an autopsy on Dong Ik, while Kwang Ho and Sun Jae check his apartment. It looks as if someone cleaned up the place in a hurry. There isn’t a single item that belongs to a woman and Dong Ik’s laptop is gone. Kwang Ho finds a photo album, but all the pictures are of Dong Ik alone, though in one picture a reflection of the woman is visible.
Later that evening our team returns to the police station, where Kwang Ho tries to compare the reflection from the photo to Young Joo, but he isn’t sure it’s her. Tae Hee calls to inform that Young Joo came home on Thursday and didn’t come out for two days, but the building has a back exit with no CCTV, so they can’t be sure that she indeed didn’t leave the house on Friday. They’ll check the black boxes of nearby cars tomorrow.
Sun Jae found out the probable number of Dong Ik’s girlfriend, but it’s an illegal number that can’t be tracked. Sung Shik tells them to check the ex-convicts that committed similar crimes tomorrow. He gives a ride to Kwang Ho, who gets off midway because he sees Jae Yi walking alone on the street. He notices her injured hand and helps her carry a box inside her apartment.
He looks inside the box and finds case files for Jung Ho Young’s murders. Jae Yi explains that Sun Jae wanted her to take a look and Kwang Ho has a similar request. He wanted to ask about Park88 and a possible reason for his disappearance, but Jae Yi asks for more details, like the man’s name and age. Kwang Ho can’t tell her those, so he diverts the attention to Jae Yi’s empty house, wondering if she even eats in here, and then leaves.
The next day when Kwang Ho arrives at the police station, Sun Jae‘s already there. He stayed up all night and found out that there’s another victim in the identity theft case. It’s a woman who went through the same thing as Young Joo and later committed suicide. Kwang Ho wonders if it was really suicide and that’s when Dr. Mok calls to tell them that the autopsy results are out.
They meet at the forensics center and Dr. Mok explains that they found 1.95mg of nicotine and sleep medication Zolpidem in Dong Ik’s body, which was enough to cause a heart attack and kill him. There’s no doubt it was murder and not suicide. Sung Shik orders Min Ha and Tae Hee to look into Young Joo’s medical history and see if she was ever prescribed sleeping pills.
Kwang Ho and Sun Jae will meet the victim Ko Ah Ra’s family. Her mother tells them that Ko Ah Ra committed suicide by taking sleeping. She started getting strange after the day they met the groom’s family. The woman received a reminder about her overdue payment from multiple places. Her boyfriend broke off the engagement after finding out that she took so many loans.
No one believed her when she said that she didn’t borrow any money. When asked if there were any strange or new people around her daughter, the mother remembers that there was a person at the funeral, who said that Ah Ra borrowed money from a massage parlor, but when the woman looked at Ah Ra’s portrait, she didn’t recognize her and ran off in a hurry.
Kwang Ho remembers that some people also accused Young Joo of borrowing money from a massage parlor. They go to the place and ask the owner, who tells them that Ah Ra was a regular customer and always made reservations. Then one day she didn’t show up and her relatives told her that Ah Ra died.
The woman decided to go to the funeral and found out that the person looked nothing like the Ah Ra that she knew. Kwang Ho asks if the woman remembers what the fake Ah Ra looked like, but she can only describe that she was average looking and always paid in cash.
Later that day Sung Shik is organizing all the facts on the evidence board. Sun Jae found 4 more victims of identity theft that might be connected to our case. Sung Shik orders to release Young Joo and send the case files to Jae Yi for analysis. Sun Jae and Kwang Ho brought the massage parlor employees to the police station to make a sketch of the suspect.
Min Ha is put to the task because he’s very good at picturing the things he hears. Like really? You won’t use the special program that was made for that purpose and draw it by hand??? Everyone else is put to the task of questioning the victims to get a better understanding where all of them might’ve met the suspect.
They are completely drained after a couple of hours, unable to find any leads. Sung Shik tells Sun Jae to ask Jae Yi for help. He gets angry because they sent the case files to her and goes to call her. Jae Yi is currently looking through the victim profiles. Sun Jae asks her what she thinks about the case and Jae Yi answers that the suspect likely met the victims when they were on a date with their boyfriends.
All of them had boyfriends when the identity theft happened and all of them later broke up because of it. Jae Yi thinks that the suspect started this when she broke up with her own boyfriend and had money problems on top of it all. Jealousy seems like a likely motive. Sun Jae decides to limit the search to restaurants and cafes that victims visited and suddenly asks Jae Yi where she usually goes to spend the time. He notes how she didn’t hang up yet how she usually does and Jae Yi hurriedly hangs up.
Sun Jae cutely grins and turns to go back only to bump into Kwang Ho, who stood behind him the whole time. Caught red-handed! Kwang Ho asks if Sun Jae likes Jae Yi, but he cutely denies it. The next day everyone is busy going through the payments from restaurants and cafes. They find one common place the victims visited – Wonderland restaurant.
Kwang Ho and Sun Jae go there with the sketch of the suspect. Sun Jae notices a waitress that looks exactly like the woman they are looking for. They bring her, Kim Mi Soo, to the police station. She’s quite meticulous, having removed all her traces at Dong Ik’s house. Tae Hee mentions how they barely managed to get her fingerprints without a warrant. Two weeks before Dong Ik’s death, she bought Zolpidem and nicotine.
Kwang Ho shows her the pictures of her victims, saying that she should know them since she ruined their lives. She denies ever meeting or knowing them, though. She’s not even slightly affected by the news that one of her victims committed suicide.
Sun Jae shows her the picture of Dong Ik and lies that the man is still alive and they faked his death to capture her. He should be at the station soon, which gets Kim Mi Soo worried for a split second, before she smirks, saying that she remembered something funny. Sun Jae shows her the prescription she got for Zolpidem.
Kim Mi Soo is quick to explain that she got those sleeping pills because of insomnia and bought nicotine for her electronic cigarette. Kwang Ho wonders why would she need to steal someone’s identity, it’s not like she’s an ex-convict or needs to hide. Sun Jae remembers Jae Yi’s words about jealousy as the primary motive.
He and Kwang Ho go to find Kim Mi Soo’s ex-boyfriend. It appears that they were dating for about three years and were even planning to get married. They broke up because of Mi Soo’s crazy spending habits; she kept spending about 5000$ a month. Her boyfriend met her once after they broke up. She was working at a restaurant and when he called her by her name, she said she’s Yoon Young Joo.
Sun Jae shows him the photo of Dong Ik and her ex-boyfriend recognizes him as the man Mi Soo was with that day. Our team returns to question Mi Soo once more and Sun Jae tries to get through to her by saying that he understands her motive. She must’ve felt jealous over these happy women and their boyfriends when her own engagement got broken.
They were spending lots of money on expensive things while she was always broke, constantly receiving notifications about her overdue payments. She wanted to have what they had and stole their identities, but Dong Ik figured it out. He came to her one day, angrily asking who she was. Sun Jae thinks that she killed him because he got in the way of her happiness, even though she couldn’t have it anyway.
Mi Soo gets angry, asking why she can’t have it and Sun Jae replies that she can’t even take a photo of herself and lives in secrecy, how is that happiness. We get a flashback of how Mi Soo stole the identity of her first victim when the woman wrote her personal details on a promotional event’s flier. She then became fearless and even started making fake ID cards. Sun Jae says that seeing how the women’s lives were ruined must’ve made her happy, but Mi Soo just smirks.
The next day Sung Shik gives Kwang Ho a brand new smartphone and explains what it’s for. That’s a smart product placement. Since Sung Shik said that Kwang Ho can use the smartphone to find out any information on the internet, he makes a voice query, asking how he can return to 1986 and gets a reply that the poor phone doesn’t know anything about it. Hahaha…
Kwang Ho thinks that the thing doesn’t work and Sung Shik doesn’t even know what to answer to that. Kwang Ho asks for Sun Jae’s number and writes him a message – “Kim Sun Jae is an idiot and Park Kwang Ho is a genius”. Oh my, I can’t XD. Sun Jae’s face says it all, he sends him a reply – a “Shut up” emoticon. Ok, their maturity level is about the same.
Sung Shik gets a call from the surveillance center. They have emailed him all the CCTV footage they could find of Park88’s car. Meanwhile, Sun Jae visits Jae Yi at the university, bringing her coffee. Sung Shik and Kwang Ho watch the CCTV and finally get the plate number of the car that was chasing Park88. The last footage is from Youngil Fishing Site where they go to look for any clues.
Sun Jae visits Dr. Mok to play chess and discuss the latest case of identity theft. Sun Jae says that it’s hard to not leave any traces with all the gadgets and internet available everywhere. Dr. Mok is a caveman when it comes to modern technology, but he thinks that Kwang Ho is even worse than him in that regard.
He thought it was strange that Kwang Ho didn’t even have a phone. People who have something to hide are usually like that. The comment grabs Sun Jae’s attention and he remembers what Mi Soo told Kwang Ho at the interrogation room – that someone else besides her needs to answer whether he’s happy living under a name he stole.
Sun Jae gets suspicious and returns to the police station where he meets taxi driver Oh. The guy’s looking for Kwang Ho, who didn’t get in touch for a while. He mutters that Kwang Ho’s always talking about how it was 30 years ago and doesn’t now his way around. That raises Sun Jae’s suspicions even more and he looks through Kwang Ho’s things at his desk. He wonders why there aren’t any pictures of Kwang Ho just like in the case of Mi Soo.
Sun Jae remembers Sung Shik calling Kwang Ho sunbae-nim, so he looks through chief’s computer as well, finding the footage of Park88’s car. Suddenly the phone rings and Sun Jae answers Sung Shik’s call. They found Park88’s car, that was abandoned near the end of Route 15. Sun Jae immediately goes there to look at the car. Going further into the woods, he finds Park88’s dead body and his real ID. Sun Jae is shocked and wonders who is the person he knows if this is the real Park Kwang Ho.
Did they really have to ruin the bromance between Kwang Ho and Sun Jae so soon? Just when they seemed to get along, Sun Jae discovers the corpse of Park88. While it’s a good thing that the plot is moving fast, I’m sad that Sun Jae will be suspicious of Kwang Ho from now on and there we won’t see their cute bickering for a while.
This episode was great and I like the change of pace. The one-case-one-episode format might be a bit too much, though. I would’ve preferred if they lingered on a case a bit longer, but it’s nothing to complain about. I never thought about identity theft as a serious problem, but this case made me a bit paranoid, better not give out any personal details to anyone. They didn’t really explain many of the details because they lacked the time and had to wrap up the case in this episode. For example, how did Mi Soo make payments from Young Joo’s laptop? Unless she stole the laptop, had direct access to it or was a hacker, there’s no way for her to do that. I doubt any of these options are available for this particular situation, so how?
The progress of Sun Jae’s and Jae Yi’s relationship seems to be quite quick, which I like. Usually, OCN dramas try to stay away from romance altogether, making it seem like the characters’ lives revolve around work and only work. That, in turn, makes them seem somewhat robotic and connecting with them becomes harder. In Tunnel though the romance and other relationships are an integral part of the story. It just fits so well and doesn’t seem out of place. The humor adds a nice touch as well.