...when the screen takes over...

The Ghost Detective, Second Week (1)

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The Ghost Detective

Episode 5 & 6

Casts: Choi Daniel, Park Eun-Bin, Lee Ji-Ah, Kim Won-Hae, Lee Jae-Kyoon; Director: Lee Jae-Hoon; Writer: Han Ji-Hwan

The Ghost Detective, Episode 5 & 6

So he’s a ghost and she knows it from the start, ie. the moment she slammed him in front of her apartment, not due to any superpower but an observation on the principles of classical mechanics in physics: a ball goes through him unhampered. This begs the question of her being so cool about it. “I really wished I could see ghosts so I could meet Yi-Rang, or my parents, but they never did come,” she says. Yeah, be careful what you wish for. And why is Da-Il only able to touch her? He puts a hand on Yeo-Wool’s shoulder. Just steps away, the woman in red is watching them.

Of course this is the woman-in-red’s party. The manager wakes up and, at the sight of Yeo-Wool, in bloodshot eyes — a fill in for a red-tinted glasses? — hallucinates. He sees Yeo-Wool as Yi-Rang. Showing neither remorse nor shame, he justifies his conducts towards Yi-Rang as him getting his favour, of giving her the job, returned. An angry Yeo-Wool gets even angrier that Da-Il has to restrain her. “What did you do to her!”

This looks like a party…

The manager continues addressing Yi-Rang and tells her that he didn’t kill her. Then, shocked, he sees behind Yi-Rang the woman in red. “The woman!” He shouts, panics and approaches the edge of the rooftop — he too had seen the woman the night Yi-Rang committed suicide. Yeo-Wool and Da-Il follow his line of vision, looking for whatever upsetting him. “You mean the woman in red?” Yeo-Wool asks further. The manager looks surprised that Yeo-Wool has seen her as well. He then proclaims an ominous ‘you are next’ towards Yeo-Wool, bends backward over the railings and falls from the rooftop.

Yeo-Wool runs forwards, in vain, trying to stop the manager. Yet Da-Il, suddenly aware of another presence moving away, turns back and follows the woman in red down the stairs. But he is unable to move further when a door is shut in front of him. Blood floods through the gap under the door, comes into contact with his shoes and gives him pain — his eyes momentarily turns bloodshot. And then it’s all gone.

Outside, Da-Il drags Yeo-Wool, who is frantically indecisive whether to call the police or ambulance, away as the police is coming. They run.

 

 

Tired of running, Yeo-Wool stops. She is trouble that they may have been responsible for the manager’s death. Da-Il corrects her that it’s the woman-in-red’s fault or perhaps he’s overcome with guilt. Yeo-Wool then asks why he returns. Da-Il just mentions that he had also died because of the woman in red.

Yeo-Wool gets curious. Da-Il had promised to help her investigate her sister’s murder without knowing the nature of the incident — involving elusive immaterial (non-)entity. Is it because he knows something? Da-Il says that he just wants to find the woman-in-red and he needs Yeo-Wool for it. Since they share the same goal, she vows to do whatever he tells her. He tells her to go home, eat, and get some sleep. “You need to stay alive.” He then walks away.

After Yeo-Wool turns and walks away, Da-Il stops and looks at her direction. A flashback shows that he had been in Yeo-Wool’s shoes, pleading with the police to look into his mother’s death. “She didn’t kill herself,” he had said.

 

At another part of the city, a woman is sleeping peacefully. Her face resembles the woman-in-red’s.

 

The next morning, Da-Il is going crazy trying to solve a puzzle: why he can’t go passed doors (he’s a ghost, he should be able to walk through walls!) or turn the handle to the consultation room of the inquiry office. Nearby, Sang-Seob also vents his frustration of Da-Il’s disappearance. “You should have called, punk!” he says as if he sees Da-Il around him.

Meanwhile, the kindergarten’s principal director is frantically searching Lee Chan-Mi’s room. A call from a reporter sets her ablaze. She continues searching, fearing that Chan-Mi may have left a note or journal, which may ruin her.

The night jaunt brings complication as Yeo-Wool is caught in the hospital cctv footage chasing the manager. Yeo-Wool tells Detective Park when he comes to her apartment that she was at home sleeping. Detective Park also asks about Da-Il, whether he has returned. He assumes Yeo-Wool asked Da-Il to find the woman in red. He chastises her for trusting a ‘detective’ when it isn’t even a legally formal profession. “I didn’t trust him. He believed me,” she says. Detective Park tells her that Yi-Rang had the motive to kill herself; that she had been harrassed by the manager and humiliated by her colleagues. But Yeo-Wool’s ears ring and his voice fades so she cuts him short, “I know that.” When he asks if she knows the manager is dead, she tells him to come with a warrant.

Detective Park leaves, passing by Da-Il who leans on the wall. Yeo-Wool loses consciousness and would certainly fall if not for Da-Il running to her rescue.

I can’t hear you…

Some time later, Yeo-Wool sits unmoving in her bedroom. Da-Il thinks she is ignoring him. Then suddenly she turns the volume of the television up to eleven. Yet she can’t hear it. “This happened to Yi-Rang after their parents’ death,” Yeo-Wool says. She puts on Yi-Rang hearing aid. Then suddenly, she hears herself berating a sleeping Yi-Ran for being a burden. “Why I have to take care of you for the rest of my life?!” The words shocks her. “No. That’s not it,” she cries, “I never told her that.”

Da-Il immediately takes the hearing aid off of her ear. He asks what she hears. “It was just a passing thought,” Yeo-Wool tells him, visibly distressed. Things got too tough after their parents were gone that she felt overwhelmed. Then it strikes her that Yi-Rang may have found out and been hurt by those words. “What if she died because of me,” she cries and apologises repeatedly.

Da-Il sits in front of her and tells her to recall her sister’s last words. “‘Don’t listen to her. Run away from her.’ She didn’t blame you. She was trying to protect you,” he says. He assures her that it wasn’t her fault.

 

Detective Park barges into the forensic office’s morgue. He wants Gil Chae-Won to checks on Bo-Ri’s teeth for human flesh. If she’d been bitten, “she must have bitten back,” he says. But the good doctor tells him to get out and not bother her with a closed case. Still, she’ll check and tell him if she gets anything.

A Doctor Who? Or Doctor Strange?

After Detective Park is gone, Chae-Won takes off her glasses and approaches Bo-Ri’s body. She strokes Bo-Ri and talks to Bo-Ri that she is a competent medical examiner. But this time, she needs to know something more. “You have to show me,” she says. After making sure no one’s watching, she puts her hand on Bo-Ri. She sees what Bo-Ri had seen on her last moments. She sees Da-Il struggling and then the woman-in-red. Chae-Won is shocked and withdraws her hand, “Her hand was cold and burning.” She wonders what or who had frightened Bo-Ri so much. There was someone else there the night Lee Chan-Mi committed suicide.

 

A man walks into a hospital room and raises the blinds to let sunshine in. Then he faces the sleeping woman on the bed, a life-sustaining machine is attached to her. “The weather looks great,” he says.

 

 

***

Da-Il assesses their findings so far. The woman in red induces auditory and visual hallucination in his victims. Somehow Yi-Rang’s hearing aid picks it up. He takes it, to Yeo-Wool’s surprise, and wonders if it’s because of the woman in red or Yeo-Wool that he can touch it. Yeo-Wool knows he wants to test it somewhere and she insists on coming along. Doing something will ward off bad thoughts.

It’s his house, now covered in thick dust. He had lived here happily with his mother until five years ago. Yeo-Wool notices his eyes are fixated on a door, which opens to a bathroom, and sees him overcome with emotions. Da-Il quickly recovers. In the bathroom, Yeo-Wool puts on the hearing aid. After a moment she begins to hear a voice, the woman-in-red’s. “Wouldn’t it better to die than live like this?” And a scene plays out for our eyes only…

Mom was startled that a glass was pushed off the table, broken on the floor. She tries to keep the shards away from Da-Il. but he talks about how he would have been better off without Mother. “You’ve been nothing but a burden since I was young,” he said. He wanted her out of his life. The woman in red was watching behind her in delight. Mother picked up the shards and the woman in red gave her one larger piece of glass. She nodded an encouragement to Mother.

A tragedy…

Yeo-Wool stops recounting what she hears but Da-Il tells her to keep going.

“Who are you?” Yeo-Wool hears Mother’s voice. Apparently Mother was aware that this Da-Il was a fake. She aimed the larger shard at Da-Il “You are not my Da-Il.” Those were her thoughts, not her son’s.

The woman in red exhaled, making her presence known and the false Da-Il’s vanished. She feigned disappointment that Mother didn’t fall for her tricks. “If those won’t make you kill yourself, what will?” She wondered aloud. Then she threatened Mother to make Da-Il’s life miserable, make him blame Mother for that and kill himself. “Don’t touch my son!” Mother said. The woman-in-red revealed that her father died when she was twelve because he didn’t want to be a burden. “It’s the right thing to do, don’t you think?” She told Mother to chose, either her son or she should die.

Tears falls down as Da-Il listens to Yeo-Wool and recalls what happened next. He had returned home to Mother’s favourite recording playing and found the broken glasses. Blood trailed towards the bathroom. Anxious, he braced himself and opened the bathroom. He found Mother dying on the bathtub. Devastated, he hugged her and then saw her message on the mirror. ‘Don’t believe anything that she tells you. I love you’. The he saw the woman in red walk out of their house.

Yeo-Wool relays the woman in red’s last words, “no one will know what I’d done to you. Not even your son. Because I don’t exist.”

Da-Il is angry and heartbroken. When Yeo-Wool takes a step forward, he tells her to leave. “Let’s leave together,” she says and steps back, giving him space to grieve. Then the house shakes as if it’s a manifestation of his anger. He’s so lost in thoughts, he isn’t aware that the glasses are breaking and furnitures falling. At last minutes, He manages to get Yeo-Wool away from a larger and heavy but otherwise empty bookcase. “Was it your doing?” Yeo-Wool asks him — ‘rhetorically,’ he must’ve thought — after the calm returns.

Let’s go…

“First, let’s get out of here,” she says. They should go and find the woman in red. But doubts creep in him. What can he do when he cannot touch or be seen? Just as the woman in red, he doesn’t exist. Yeo-Wool holds his hand, telling him that she still wants to know why the woman in red did these horrible things to Yi-Rang and his mother. She reminds him that, just as Yi-Rang tried to protect her, his mother died trying to protect him. “She didn’t give in to her ploys.” They must do something about the woman in red.

“Besides,” Yeo-Wool says, “this isn’t like you at all!” Da-Il cracks a smile at that comment. He gets up. They have to find the woman who killed her sister. He knows who her next target is.

.. and that’s about ten minutes left and you, dear reader, should experience it yourself.

 

 

Really. You should.

 

 

No. Really.

 

 

 

All right. Just as I wrote in the beginning, be careful what you wish for… Let’s just say that Yeo-Wool and Da-Il finally find whom they are looking for.

Sweet dream, people!

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