...when the screen takes over...

The Ghost Detective, Second Week (2)

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The Ghost Detective

Episode 7 & 8

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

The Ghost Detective, Episode 7 & 8

“Let go of that hand!” Lee Da-Il says….

… For the little girl whose hand Yeo-Wool holds changes to the woman in red, now smiling eerily. Yeo-Wool lets go of the hand but the woman in red grabs hers. She drags Yeo-Wool inside the school’s annex, leaving behind Lee Da-Il who is struggling to find opening into the room.

Yeo-Wool confronts the woman in red for what she did to Yi-Rang. Why? Denying any wrongdoing, the woman simply says, “she died because of you.”

The woman steps aside and Yi-Rang appears, smiling and holding a birthday cake. Yeo-Wool looks wistful as Yi-Rang tells her to blow the candles and make a wish. Then the cake is spilled with blood and Yi-Rang, bathed in blood with the suicidal cut on her neck, attributes her misfortunes to Yeo-Wool. It was Yeo-Wool, not Yi-Rang, who was supposed to be in the car accident, which had taken their parents’ lives and inflicted Yi-Rang with hearing difficulties — Yeo-Wool had feigned sickness to get away that day.

Outside, Lee Da-Il shouts warning to Yeo-Wool to neither listen to the woman in red nor look at her.

The ‘What If’s…

Yeo-Wool takes a step back, and then another. “You are running away again,” The woman in red, sitting on the edge of a bed and sucking lollipop, points out. Yi-Rang accuses Yeo-Wool of wishing to be free of her. “You are free now, Eonni…,” Yi-Rang says Yeo-Wool can go backpacking and travel the world now. “You don’t have to run away anymore.” Yeo-Wool tries to deny Yi-Rang’s accusations but then Yi-Rang disappears. The woman in red asks Yeo-Wool why she left her sister to die and why she didn’t die.

Yeo-Wool pulls herself together. “That is not Yi-Rang,” she faces the woman in red and calls her out on her deception. Yi-Rang never calls her ‘eonni’ (big sister). The woman in red just smiles as she alludes to another person who had also refused to be tricked: Da-Il’s mother. Yet, “what do you think happened to her?”

The woman in red sets her gaze on top of a cupboard, where the school director has been hiding. Yeo-Wool follows her gaze and finds the director’s eyes set on her. The director jumps in front of Yeo-Wool and, at the woman in red’s suggestion that Lee Chan-Mi seems to be alive, sees Yeo-Wool as Chan-Mi coming back to kill her. “Then shouldn’t you kill her first?” The woman in red says.

The director grabs a scissor and attacks Yeo-Wool with it as Yeo-Wool frantically dodges and hides. The woman in red looks amused. Yeo-Wool grabs a chair and breaks the nearest window, which gives Lee Da-Il an opening. The director is poised for a final blow on Yeo-Wool, now cornered. The blow would definitely have landed on Yeo-Wool, had Da-Il not dragged her away. Now devoid of target, the scissor goes straight to the director’s own midsection. The director is dead.

When the party is over…

The woman in red loses enthusiasm. She looks dispirited and ignores Da-Il’s questions — “why did you kill her?!” He yells. She wondered if he can save Yeo-Wool next time. In anger, Da-Il tries to get hold of her but she vanishes. The clock on the wall strikes one a.m.

 

At another part of town, Detective Park waits outside the forensic office for Doctor Gil, who has been avoiding him. On the phone, Chae-Won, who sees him in front of the entrance, claims to have gone off work and tells him to read the report instead of hounding her. But Detective Park hears her voice nearby and accosts her on another exit. “What are you doing?!”

 

They are left with a mess. Yeo-Wool’s hand has cuts and blood. “Are you all right?” Da-Il inquires. Not only regarding her hand, he asks if she is all right. He tells Yeo-Wool to call the police and tell them the truth to avoid complication. Of course, not all the truth. “Leave the woman and me out of it.”

Yeo-Wool calls Detective Park, who’s dragging a reluctant Gil Chae-Won. He immediately shifts focus to the call. And when Chae-Won hears ‘Dasom Pre-school’, she gets interested and gets inside his car. She refuses to leave even though Detective Park insists. She dangles the ‘autopsy report’ he’s been after all day. Detective Park relents.

They find Yeo-Wool and the director’s dead body inside the annex. As Detective Park deals with Yeo-Wool, Doctor Gil examines the body. Without the spectacles, Chae-Won sees a presence near Yeo-Wool — Da-Il manifests as a transparent silhouette. She tells Detective Park to bring Yeo-Wool outside while she makes observations. When Da-Il passes her to follow Detective Park and Yeo-Wool, Chae-Won surprises him by telling him to stay.

Outside, Detective Park covers her wound with his handkerchief. He asks what she is doing at this hour with a dead body. Yeo-Wool’s answer, that she was looking for clues of Lee Da-Il’s disappearance and somehow attacked by the director, frets him as she is now in a more difficult spot. How would people see her now that she has witnessed two deaths? They may not believe that she is innocent. Even without evidence, her presence in both incidents will pin her as suspect. He doesn’t want her to endure interrogation even if she can endure it.

Detective Park tells her his conclusions of the two deaths. On the restaurant manager’s case, since she was caught on CCTV, she went to confront him after finding out that Yi-Rang had been harassed. But she didn’t find the manager and went straight home. In the director’s case, he tells her to go home since she has never been here tonight.

Inside, Cha-Won strikes a one-sided conversation with Da-Il. “Why are you here?” She explains that she lost the ability to see ghosts when she was fifteen but she is able to feel them. She puts a hand on him and hears voices. When she opens her eyes she looks straight at him, “It’s you, right? The fourth victim who died in this case,” she says and then laughs, “the one who bit the dog.”

Connecting…

She is interrupted by Detective Park and Yeo-Wool. She makes preliminary hypotheses on the body and tells Detective Park to send the body to her team. “Come to the autopsy room if you have questions,” she says, seemingly addressing Detective Park but her eyes are on Da-Il. She leaves the room looking excited.

 

While walking her home, Da-Il asks why Yeo-Wool called Detective Park even though he doesn’t believe her. “He didn’t assume Yi-Rang committed suicide because she was disabled and orphaned,” she says. She also sees that Detective Park investigated other cases thoroughly. If he looks into this case further, he may find something is off.

In the annex, Detective Park looks around the room and finds Lee Chan-Mi’s diary. He reads a couple of pages and finds a reference to the woman.

Da-Il then asks why she grabbed the woman’s hand. Yeo-Wool mentions that she was holding a girl’s hand. The girl looked neglected and uncared for. “Can’t you see her?” she asks Da-Il, who just shakes his head.

 

In the hospital room, the woman in red bed is having seizures. After doctors and nurses tend to her, she returns to calm. A tear rolls from her eyes.

 

The next morning, in the office, Yeo-Wool looks for Da-Il and, in the process, wakes Sang-Seob. Da-Il directs her to search the internet for incidents that match what they’ve learnt so far about the woman in red. The search was interrupted as Sang-Seob is going out looking tense. He has been informed of the pre-school’s principal’s death. He wants to talk to the police as he is worried something bad had happened to Da-Il.

Da-Il decides to tell Sang-Seob. Besides, they need more help to find the woman in red. They need Sang-Seob and they need to make him believe what happened to Da-Il. “Seeing is believing.” If he won’t believe what he hears, he should be shown Da-Il’s body.

As they follow Sang-Seob outside, Attorney Baek comes. She’s been trying to settle their incentive pay. Since she hasn’t heard back on the amount they wanted, CEO Lee sends them the car: a brand new mini blueish SUV already parked next to Sang-Seob’s shabby car. Sang-Seob refuses the gift and asks Attorney Baek to wait until Da-Il comes back. “You can give him whatever he wants then,” he says. Da-Il’s disappearance seems to bother both Sang-Seob and Attorney Baek even more.

Men and their irrational love for their cars…

Da-Il tells Yeo-Wool to tell Sang-Seob to accept the gift since Sang-Seob’s car won’t last long and he won’t come back either. Yeo-Wool receives the key and opens the second row’s door for Da-Il. She nudges one loose side rear mirror of Sang-Seob’s car and declares it unsafe. Sang-Seob is indignant that Yeo-Wool insults his car. “This once beat a Porsche on the Autobahn!” Attorney Baek urges Sang-Seob to accept as well. Otherwise she won’t get paid for not wrapping up the case. Sang-Seob finally accepts the car.

But, on the road, he is confused why Yeo-Wool doesn’t drive to the police station. She asks the empty passenger row for direction, which baffles Sang-Seob even further. “I know where Da-Il is,” she says.

They arrive at a field of long grass. She then tells Sang-Seob that Da-Il is with them, gesturing towards an empty space next to her. “He is right here. He’s been with us all along.” Sang-Seob assumes she’s been sleeping and dreaming. She explains that Lee Da-Il died on the night he went to search for the children. Lee Chan-Mi killed Da-Il under the influence of a woman. “We need your help to find her.”

There lies a secret…

Sang-Seob advises her to quit the part time job at the agency and let go of her guilt. “It’s not your fault that people died,” he says. He’ll call her when Da-Il returns. But Yeo-Wool points towards the field. “It’s there,” she says, “the body…” At that, Sang-Seob tells her off, “don’t even say that! That’s enough!” Yeo-Wool grabs Sang-Seob’s hand and, feeling her earnestness, Sang-Seob accedes to her silent plea.

With shovels in their hands, they walk towards the site where Da-Il’s body is buried. But, after some time digging under the sun, there is no body to be found. An exhausted Sang-Seob sarcastically tells Yeo-Wool to ask Da-Il how deep he’s buried. Da-Il has no answer. Then Sang-Seob’s eyes catch something. He finds Da-Il’s military ID tag. Da-Il’s body was here.

 

***

Sang-Seob, unusually quiet as he is coming to terms with the result of their digging, is further shocked as he hears Yeo-Wool asking for sandwich fashioned to Da-Il’s liking, which should only be known by someone who knows him well, or Da-Il himself. He realises that Da-Il’s spirit is present. He orders three sandwiches of the same built.

Da-Il cannot eat the sandwich so Sang-Seob formally gives the sandwich as offering to the dead. When he finally can touch the food and eat it, Da-Il and Yeo-Wool are delighted. Yet, Sang-Seob is overcome with grief. His sobs bring home the grim reality that Da-Il is dead.

Mourning an invisible friend…

 

Meanwhile, Detective Park is looking into Lee Chan-Mi’s diaries and social media. Strings of hidden messages suggest Chan-Mi having conflicting thoughts on killing the Director. “Did she have split personality?” The Section Chief comments. Detective Park mentions Chan-Mi’s history of getting treated for depression. Detective Park, however, is more intrigued by the reference to ‘the woman in red’ that he finds in the diary. He recalls Yeo-Wool’s plea for further investigation to find ‘the woman’ in Yi-Rang’s death.

Park Jeong-Dae is summoned by Gil Chae-Won, who is lazing on an autopsy table. She tips him off on another person involved in the kindergarteners’ abduction. The bite marks on Bo-Ri suggests a male. Could he be Lee Da-Il? Doctor Gil also points to another presence other than Lee Chan-Mi, Bo-Ri and the male human. “Someone scared the hell out of Lee Chan-Mi and the dog,” she says. Pressed further, Chae-Won dodges Detective Park’s questions by challenging him to find the clues. “Do your job!”

I am Doctor Doolittle of the dead!

Park Jeong-Dae wonders how she comes to such conclusions. Is this one of her mysterious insights, which once helped one of his senior on a case. “Let’s just say I converse with the dead,” Chae-Won says enigmatically. She suddenly pounds on the autopsy table, which surprises Detective Park, and spooks him. She walks away laughing.

 

At the agency office, Sang-Seob and Yeo-Wool are trying to set their next course of action. Yeo-Wool, on Da-Il’s counsel, suggests they find the woman. Sang-Seob, still grieving, wants to find Da-Il’s body first and who buried and dug his body. Da-Il insists that finding the woman is more important so Yeo-Wool proposes that finding the woman will lead them to Da-Il eventually. Moreover, she knows more about the woman now.

They research old news and sift through printouts to find incidents that were similar the woman in red’s history, as told by her 12 year old younger self: a father committing suicide with his children some time around the 90s. One fits to a T, in which a father and son suicide was survived by a 12 year old daughter, who was found with scratch marks. They must find out more about this incident.

 

In a hospital, the male nurse reads a bedtime story aloud to the woman in red bed. One day, a fisherman found a sealed pot in his fishing net. When the fisherman unsealed the pot and opened it, an evil spirit came out and tried to kill him. Asked why he wanted to kill the one who let him out, the evil spirit told the fisherman that at first, he had intended to lead whoever freed him to a treasure trove. But no one came to his rescue for a very long time. Then, the spirit had vowed to grant whoever freed him three wishes and still nobody came. Then, full of anger, the spirit had vowed to kill whoever freed him.

Unwilling survivor…

As the story progresses, the woman in red’s 12 year old younger self was seen sitting alone in a corner of a house as she was watching her father and brother dying of poison. Weeks later, the police found the girl alive with scratches and lying among the bodies that had been smelling foul. Angry, she scratched the one who had awakened her.

 

Da-Il, Yeo-Wool, and Sang-Seob make a plan to trace the girl. They must find out what happened to her up to the moment she died — they assume the girl lived to adulthood and died later because the woman in red looks like an adult.

Even though time has passed, Sang-Seob is confident that he can get information from a connection to the hospital in which the girl had been treated. “The chief administrator owes me,” he says with gleams in his eyes. Sang-Seob’s determination draws jest from Da-Il that he had a shady past as a scary debt collector. Sang-Seob feels that Da-Il is telling Yeo-Wool stories and tell him off for that.

Sang-Seob tells Yeo-Wool to get some rest for she must be worn out. He reasons that by informing him of Da-Il death, Da-Il wants him to share some of her burden. “Don’t say ‘I am okay’ when you are not okay!”

Da-Il sees Yeo-Wool to her door. She asks if he’ll be all right by himself since he can’t do anything without her. He assures her that he will be fine with Sang-Seob helping them. He reminds her to lock her door and not let anyone in. She may be immune to the woman in red’s mind tricks but others can be manipulated to physically harm her.

 

 

Now home alone, Yeo-Wool’s eyes scans the room and are set on a tent, which brings back a memory. She had set up the tent to let Yi-Rang have the big bed. But Yi-Rang demanded to know when she would follow her plan to travel the world, to go along the Appalachian trail. Yeo-Wool assured Yi-Rang that neither she nor her deafness weighed down Yeo-Wool.

Yi-Rang then questioned why Yeo-Wool didn’t go now. Did she buy the house worrying that Yi-Rang couldn’t pay rents? “Don’t use me as an excuse,” Yi-Rang said and insisted that she could take care of herself. Yeo-Wool just brushed it off, wondering if Yi-Rang hated living with her. She also wondered if it was Yi-Rang who made excuses, saying she was all right when she actually needed help.

Back in the present, Yeo-Wool decides to clear up the tent. She cleans up the room and puts away her backpack. She speaks out loud to the empty room that she will stop running away. She won’t go anywhere until she catches the woman in red.

Then someone knocks the door. Wary, she sets the door chain, opens the door a bit and finds a package. In it is brand new hiking boots. A card from Kim Gyeol, Yi-Rang’s boyfriend, tells her that the boots are a birthday gift from Yi-Rang and he apologises for the late delivery.

Yeo-Wool chases a male figure in a cap, presumably Gyeol, into a coffee shop. She searches the shop everywhere for him but he is nowhere to be found. She settles for one Americano.

 

At the agency office, Da-Il cannot get in. He wonders why Sang-Seob doesn’t leave a door open for him. He is loitering by the parking lot when a security guard, who’s been picking up litter, approaches. As his eyes turn red, the guard calls Da-Il and says, “you’ve made me angry.” A passer-by stops, with red eyes, and asks him why he didn’t kill himself when his mother died. “If you had, all these wouldn’t have happened.” Da-Il begins to see the enormity of the situation. With apprehension, he sees Sang-Seob, looking depressed, walking out of the office, followed by the woman in red.

a tag-along…

“What do you want?” Da-Il asks her. She shrugs and, with a smile, simply says that she will kill everyone who loves him just so he’ll be lonely.

 

In the coffee shop, as Yeo-Wool is waiting for Gyeol to show up, a man is approaching. His hand touches her coffee, which then spills on her. He apologises for the mess. He is the male nurse who’s been taking care of the woman in red bed.

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