What an emotional rollercoaster this episode was. Kwang Ho went through hell and back in a span of a single day. We’ve learned the bitter truth about Yeon Sook’s disappearance and her daughters past. This episode circled around families of our heroes and their feelings, proving to be the most emotionally draining so far.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Sun Jae’s father is shocked to have met Kwang Ho in the police station, while his son asks how do they know each other. Just as the father starts to say about what happened 30 years ago, Sung Shik interrupts him. He says that the father must’ve mistaken Kwang Ho for someone else and leads him away.
Sun Jae demands an explanation from Kwang Ho, asking how he knows his mother’s name. Kwang Ho explains that he was the detective in charge of his mother’s murder case. Sun Jae grabs him by the collar, thinking he’s saying some nonsense again, but Kwang Ho simply apologizes for being unable to catch the culprit back then. As shocking as it sounds, Sun Jae seems to believe it.
Sung Shik comes back and tells Sun Jae to go to the hospital since his stepmother is sick. Stepmom is happy to see him since they don’t meet often and he apologizes for not visiting them earlier. Sun Jae’s dad blames himself for being unable to take care of the dead nor the living. Sun Jae asks him if the detective’s name who investigated his mother’s case was really Park Kwang Ho. The dad confirms it, but says that he must’ve mistaken the officer at the police station for him. He heard that Park Kwang Ho died while investigating the case 30 years ago.
Later that night Kwang Ho and Sung Shik sit alone at the police station, wondering what kind of sick fate is this. Not only did they meet Sun Jae’s father, but his son became a cop. Kwang Ho explains that Sun Jae became a police officer to find his mother’s murderer, something they should’ve done a long time ago.
Kwang Ho goes to the hospital where Sun Jae went and meets him at the entrance. He remembers little Sun Jae and tells him how much he’d grown up. They go to the time traveling tunnel. Sun Jae asks why something like that happened and Kwang Ho answers that he must catch the serial killer to return.
They go inside and Kwang Ho shows the place of the last murder. He explains that back then the term “serial killer” was nonexistent. They investigated many suspects and checked the people around the victims, but were unable to find anyone even after a month, even though they usually found the culprits within three days. On top of that people continued to die, accumulating to a total of six victims.
The murderer always left a mark on his victims – dots on the heel. Sun Jae explains how he tried to find the culprit on his own, but all the case files were burned by a fire and he couldn’t find anyone who was in charge of that case. He never heard or read about the dotted marks anywhere, not even in newspapers, but Kwang Ho explains that they never released it to the public in the first place. Sun Jae can’t believe that all this time people who knew about the case were so close to him.
He urges Kwang Ho to try and remember the culprit’s face or any other details, but he didn’t see the face because he got hit on the head from the back. Sung Shik mentioned that there were no other murders after Kwang Ho’s disappearance. Now that Kwang Ho met Sun Jae, he’s even more certain that he was sent from the past to catch the murderer. Sun Jae asks who might’ve killed Park88 and why. Kwang Ho thinks that since Park88 knew about the case from 30 years ago and looked for some man, he probably found out who the culprit was and got killed by him.
Jae Yi is pacing around the room, thinking about one of the murdered women – Hwang Choon Hee. Since there are no official records about her, Jae Yi goes to the public library to look for old newspapers. In one of them, she finds an article about Choon Hee.
Min Ha and Tae Hee return to the station and wonder about the reason why Sun Jae handcuffed Kwang Ho yesterday. They think the office must be quite chaotic, but when they enter it’s completely silent and peaceful, with Kwang Ho and Sun Jae friendly chatting. Tae Hee asks what happened yesterday and Kwang Ho answers that Sun Jae took revenge on him for what he did on his first day. They seem suspicious but decide to let it go.
Sun Jae receives a call from Jae Yi who asks to meet and he agrees, taking Kwang Ho with him. Lol, the faces of Min Ha and Tae Hee are priceless because of the sudden change in attitude XD. Our team goes to the place that Jae Yi told them about and Kwang Ho immediately recognizes it as the home of one of the suspects – the high school kid that killed the dogs in the neighborhood. Sun Jae tells him that this is Jung Ho Young’s house and Kwang Ho remembers that the kid’s name was also Jung Ho Young.
They meet Jae Yi and Kwang Ho shows them the place where the guy buried all the dogs he killed. Jae Yi explains that Jung Ho Young’s first registered murder happened 10 years ago, he choked his wife to death. She mentions what Lee Sun Ok told her about Choon Hee getting murdered after wearing a skirt and coincidentally Jung Ho Young’s victims were all wearing skirts as well. Jae Yi shows them the newspaper article she found and Kwang Ho recognizes the victim as Choon Hee.
Sun Jae interrupts Jae Yi just as she’s about to ask Kwang Ho how he knows the woman’s name. Since Park88 was looking for some man, Kwang Ho makes a guess that it might’ve been Jung Ho Young. They need to find him as soon as possible, but Sun Jae says it won’t be that easy. Jae Yi asks what Jung Ho Young said to him at the interrogation session ten years ago.
Sun Jae remember that the guy mentioned about killing women a long time ago, but those cases were not recorded anywhere. Sung Shik calls them about a new case and they hurry to the crime scene. There was an arson attack in a boutique and Sung Shik tells them that it’s already the fourth case in this neighborhood. Min Ha is recording all the bystanders on video to check it out later since arsonists usually like to stay and look at their “work“.
Kwang Ho and Sun Jae go inside and find a lighter that was left on the scene. They look around some more and Kwang Ho notices a hissing sound. The gas is leaking near Sun Jae, so Kwang Ho jumps in front of him to protect him from the explosion that occurs seconds later. They both get hurt, but Kwang Ho’s the one who’s unconscious. Sun Jae screams for him to wake up, while others call an ambulance.
He dreams about having lunch with Yeon Sook at their favorite dumplings place. He tells her about meeting Sun Jae and how he’s all grown up now. Kwang Ho wonders if Sun Jae’s alright after that explosion, noting that he seems to be fine. He asks Yeon Sook where she was all this time. She must’ve been waiting for him and Yeon Sook answers that he should wake up if he knows that she’s waiting. Kwang Ho asks if this is another dream of his and she nods, slowly walking away. He asks her to stay, but as she disappears Kwang Ho wakes up in the hospital.
Min Ha and Tae Hee ask if their maknae is alright and Kwang Ho grumpy answers that Min Ha the troublemaker is the real maknae. The guys laugh, thinking that he’s fine if he’s so grumpy. Kwang Ho asks about Sun Jae, who sits on another bed in front of him. They seem relieved to see that the other isn’t hurt. Sung Shik throws a fit about “his kids” being hurt, but they tell him to calm down and go to find the culprit of the arson case.
As the others leave doctor Mok arrives to visit Sun Jae, thinking that it’s him who got badly injured. Sun Jae explains that if it wasn’t for Kwang Ho, he might’ve gotten hurt. Dr. Mok asks for an explanation regarding Kwang Ho, but the only thing Sun Jae can tell him is that our Kwang Ho has nothing to do with the death of Park88.
Jae Yi is having a walk with Hye Won and asks her about paramnesia or déjà vu, telling her that she’d experienced something like that recently when she went to the dumplings place. Hye Won tells her that it might be a form of false memory or she might’ve really visited that place before, but forgot because it wasn’t important. She asks Jae Yi if she found cases from 30 years ago. Jae Yi answers that there were similar cases, but she’s not 100% sure that it’s Jung Ho Young’s doing.
Everyone is having a meeting about the arson case. They go through the evidence that they have, but disappointingly there were no witnesses who saw the culprit. Kwang Ho remembers that Min Ha took a video of the bystanders and they look through it but don’t notice anything. Sung Shik tells Min Ha and Tae Hee to identify the people on video, while Kwang Ho and Sun Jae will question the victim about possible enemies.
When the others leave Sung Shik asks why Kwang Ho risked his life, saving Sun Jae when he has a wife waiting for his return. Kwang Ho answers that the least they can do is protect Sun Jae if they were unable to catch the murder and protect his mother. Sun Jae was standing nearby and heard everything. He seems touched, so when Kwang Ho goes out, he sincerely thanks him.
Kwang Ho and Sun Jae question the boutique owner, who tells them that the other store owner might’ve reported the incident late because she’s jealous of her success. They ask the other lady about her whereabouts at the time of the incident and she answers that she was at her store the whole time and quickly reported the fire.
They return to the police station where Min Ha and Tae Hee are busy identifying the bystanders. More like they are asking a local man to identify the people. Kwang Ho notices a strange man in the video, who seems to be laughing. He’s not someone from the shopping district, so it’s gonna be hard to identify him. Sun Jae gets a call from his father and helps pick them up from the hospital. He even offers to drive them himself, which greatly surprises his father, but he declines, not wanting to be a bother.
Later that evening Kwang Ho shows the video of the bystanders to Jae Yi. She notices the wound on his head, but he refuses to talk about it. Kwang Ho asks if the man in the video was really laughing and she confirms. That’s a common trait of serial arsonists, who relieve stress or desires by watching the fire. Suddenly someone rings the doorbell, but when Jae Yi opens the door, no one’s there. When Kwang Ho leaves her apartment, someone’s looking at him from afar.
The next day Sun Jae looks at the pictures of the crime scene and remembers that lady from the other store said that she saw mannequins on fire and called the police. That doesn’t add up because there’s no way she could’ve seen the mannequins from her store, only the front door is visible. They wonder why she lied and summon her for questioning.
Sun Jae asks her why she told the police that the fire started from the mannequins and the woman answers that her son Hee Joon told her so. We switch to a young man, who walks around some store with a lighter and newspaper, looking for something. He notices a stack of papers and sets it on fire, laughing like a loon. Suddenly someone puts out the fire with a fire extinguisher. It’s Kwang Ho and Sun Jae, who set it all up to catch the arsonist.
The guy tries to run away and even attacks Kwang Ho, who skillfully tackles and arrests him. They arrive at the police station where the others are watching an interview Jae Yi brought. It appears the arsonist set a place on fire and even gave an interview afterward. The culprit laughs like a crazy person, happy to see himself on the news. The team brings Hee Joon at the crime scene to question him there.
Kwang Ho walks around the boutique, thinking it’s quite old-fashioned. He unexpectedly finds a photo of Yeon Sook and a woman from year 2007. He can barely contain his emotions and goes to show it to Sung Shik, who’s just as surprised. They find the woman from the picture to asks her about Yeon Sook. She explains that Yeon Sook suddenly stopped coming to work, so she doesn’t not where she is right now.
The woman was worried at first, but there was nothing she could do since she didn’t have her phone number or address. She later heard that Yeon Sook remarried and moved to Seoul. Poor Kwang Ho is stunned by the news and runs out being unable to listen any longer. Sung Shik finds him sitting on the stairs, he looks completely crushed.
Even though his mind understands that Yeon Sook couldn’t have waited for him for 30 years, his heart refuses to accept it. He wonders if her new husband is well off since he’s a pharmacist, hoping that she didn’t struggle much in life. Sung Shik can’t take it anymore and asks if he should look for Yeon Sook or not. Kwang Ho doesn’t know what to do as well, afraid that she might’ve forgotten him already.
Later that day Sung Shik gets information about Yeon Sook’s husband and they go to find him. Meanwhile, Jae Yi is looking through the pictures of Hwayang serial murder victims and the latest one from the present, wondering why they were differently disposed of. She wonders if the culprit changed his MO (modus operandi) and Hye Won later confirms.
She explains that in rare cases when the culprit feels threatened, he’ll change his killing method. Jae Yi remembers that the criminal was once caught on the CCTV near his victim’s workplace, so that might explain it. Hye Won finds one thing strange, though. He should’ve first buried the victims and then left his next one on display, but it was the opposite. Jae Yi also finds it strange, especially if murders from 30 years ago are also Jung Ho Young’s doing. That means his M.O. changed from displaying the body to burying it and then back to displaying it.
Jae Yi wonders if he did it deliberately for other people to see. Meanwhile, Jung Ho Young returns to his old house, his backyard, to be specific. We get to see a flashback when his parents came to get him from the police station. His mother ordered him to tell everyone he was with her all time to sustain his alibi. Now he’s walking the same road where he killed Sun Jae’s mother, singing an old song. He remembers killing her here and notices a woman walking past him; she’s wearing a skirt.
Kwang Ho and Sung Shik have finally found Yeon Sook’s husband, Lee Sung Jae. They ask if his wife is around, but she’s currently in Europe with their daughter. Kwang Ho’s face falls and he walks out of the pharmacy only to walk back inside a minute later when Sung Shik tells him that the man’s wife isn’t Yeon Sook. The pharmacist tells them that it was just a rumor about him and Yeon Sook, but they were never in a relationship even though he had a crush on her.
Sung Shik asks him why didn’t he get married to Yeon Sook if he liked her that much. The man answers that he got rejected after confessing to her. Yeon Sook told him that she was planning to wait for her husband while raising their daughter Yeon Ho. Kwang Ho looked so happy and excited after finding out that he has a kid. They go to the place where Yeon Sook used to live – Mooyoung Oriental Medicine Clinic.
A young woman comes out of there and Kwang Ho carefully looks at her, trying to figure out if she might be his daughter. The owner of the clinic tells them that Yeon Sook and her daughter lived here in a rented room. Kwang Ho asks when she moved away since there are no records about her, but the lady says that Yeon Sook died in a car accident over 20 years ago. Poor Kwang Ho refuses to believe it, so they go to the hospital that registered her death.
The receptionist at the hospital gives them her records and confirms that she died due to shock the next day after the accident. Kwang Ho breaks down in tears, finally realising that his Yeon Sook is gone. Sung Shik receives a call from Tae Hee about Jung Ho Young, who committed yet another murder. He has no other choice than to go to the crime scene, while Kwang Ho goes back to the clinic.
The forensics are busy at the crime scene when Sung Shik arrives. Sun Jae asks where Kwang Ho is, but chief explains that he won’t make it today. They already identified the victim – Lee Seo Yeon, 25 years old. Sung Shik looks at her phone that has 57 missed calls from her mother… Sun Jae receives a call from Jae Yi, who’s already heard about the murder. She tells him it’s because of him that Jung Ho Young changed the way he gets rid of the bodies.
He probably wanted Sun Jae to see the victims. Maybe he triggered a forgotten memory of Jung Ho Young’s during the interrogation 2 years ago. He will murder again just to see Sun Jae’s reaction. Jae Yi thinks that Sun Jae triggered the criminal and he remembers how he asked Jung Ho Young what it felt like to kill someone. Sun Jae is shocked to find out that the killer restarted his killing spree because of him.
Kwang Ho returned to the clinic to asks more questions to the owner. They sit together thinking about Yeon Sook and the old times. Yeon Sook’s daughter was playing outside and used her whistle to call for her mom when she hurt her leg, but the clinic ajumma came instead. Little Yeon Ho explained that her mom told her to blow the whistle whenever she was in danger and she’ll come to her rescue.
That was the first and last day Yeon Sook didn’t appear before her daughter because she died in a car crash. Kwang Ho cries as he remembers the whistle Yeon Sook gave him 30 years ago. We switch scenes to Jae Yi’s apartment where Kwang Ho’s whistle hangs on one of the photo frames.
I rewatched this episode a couple of time as I was preparing the recap and every time the last 10 minutes get to me. What a sad and heavy episode. Kwang Ho just couldn’t get a break. His heart got broken when he thought Yeon Sook remarried, then the news that his wife didn’t remarry and always waited for him while raising their daughter brought him back to life.
To have his whole world get destroyed by the news of Yeon Sook’s death was hard to watch. Not only that, Kwang Ho didn’t even get to see his daughter at least once and now she’s nowhere to be found. I don’t know how he’ll hold on, but hopefully, Sun Jae and Sung Shik will help him get through it.
I was really sad to see how Yeon Sook died. What a cruel fate… I really like her character, because she was such a sincere and goodhearted person. They were a perfect pair with Kwang Ho and I’m rooting for their happy ending. I don’t know how and when Kwang Ho will return to the past, but hope that the two can live a happy life together with their daughter.
I guess the fact that Jae Yi s Kwang Ho’ daughter has been practically confirmed now. I wonder if he’ll get to know that she’s his daughter. If so, then it’ll be very awkward. Just imagine seeing your daughter for the first time when both of you are the same age.
Speaking of Jae Yi, her friend Hye Won is suspicious. Every time she asks about the Hwayang case I think that there’s something she’s hiding. The fact that someone was stalking Jae Yi/Kwang Ho near their house is also quite scary. Plus, it happened after Jae Yi showed Hye Won her interest in Jung Ho Young’s case.