Sign: Episode 12

All the values are thrown out the window here! This is the episode where things start to get tied up – the mystery behind Ji Hoon’s past is finally revealed and solved.Once this is done, I think we move on to solving the second big mystery of the series: the popstar’s death.

It’s time for Jung Byung Do’s funeral. The procession goes by NFS, and Lee Myung Han has the chance to say his final goodbye. He bows in respect, and everyone else follows. Tears are pouring down everyone’s eyes, and you just know that Myung Han didn’t want things to come to this.

One person glaringly missing is Ji Hoon, who’d rather be holed up in his dark room at Byung Do’s house. Da Kyung goes over to look for him but he’d rather be alone. Since she won’t leave, he gets up to go first – stepping on a tie clip on the way out.

He recognizes it as Myung Han’s and confronts him on his presence at Byung Do’s house before their mentor died. He wants to know what they discussed that could have caused Byung Do to commit suicide. Myung Han only says that certain secrets cannot be revealed.

Ji Hoon makes the decision to perform an autopsy on Han Tae Joo, but Da Kyung reminds him that he shouldn’t bring his personal feelings into an autopsy. Ji Hoon says that if Da Kyung’s by his side, he can come to a more objective conclusion, but we all know that’s impossible – especially when he finally breaks down on the bench from anger and grief.

Yi Han is doing his own investigations, interviewing the wife of one of the deceased. He shows her a picture of the other victims and she recognizes them all; they all have dinner together on Sunday nights.

With Woo Jin watching, Ji Hoon performs the autopsy on Han Tae Joo – but everything is clean. She had cardiac arrest, which could be attributed to her pregnancy as well. Ji Hoon wonders if her cardiac arrest could have been caused by something else, and Woo Jin shows him the video from the elevator feed before she died. She clearly was suffering from breathing problems, which makes Da Kyung think that Tae Joo was poisoned.

But Ji Hoon is resistant to jumping to that conclusion right away because he thinks that would mean his father died from poison as well. Which would mean the Jung Byung Do lied on his autopsy report. But Da Kyung points out that she’s not talking about the case 20 years ago, and this could be completely different.

Yi Han joins them to say that six people could have been murdered. He shows them a group photo of a mountaineering club comprised of the victims from Han Young. Four people of the group have already died, two are left: Lee Chul Un and Director Bae Sung Jin (who is on a business trip).

Since this is all too much to be a coincidence, Ji Hoon supposes that it might be nerve poisoning. He has Dr. Hong run tests on Tae Joo’s blood and organs, and has Da Kyung check up on the previous victims’ autopsy reports to see if there was any evidence of poisoning.

Myung Han brings Dr. Joo in to tell him that he “enjoyed” the TV interview. Turns out Dr. Joo read the autopsy file left on Myung Han’s desk, and that’s how he found out. He only wanted to embarrass Ji Hoon, and never meant to hurt Myung Han. Gosh Myung Han – you need to find a better sidekick. Dr. Joo is an idiot!!!

Ji Hoon meets with the father of Park Ki Jung, who died 20 years ago under similar circumstances. She was the only one who was buried rather than cremated. Ji Hoon is seeking permission to dig up her coffin to find out how she died. However, the father says that Jung Cha Young had personally called him up and offered to help pay for her cremation.

Woo Jin brings Chul Un in for questioning, but he denies knowing anything. His attitude changes when he hears that Han Tae Joo was pregnant though, and so he admits that the mountaineering club was collecting evidence of Jung Cha Young’s illegal donations and property. Chul Un had accidentally seen an incriminating file, but instead of turning it into the police, they bribed Jung Cha Young.

Yi Han goes to look for Bae Sung Jin but finds out that Bae’s already gone to meet with Jung Cha Young. Aieeee! Bae is informing Jung that if the president pays him off with 2 million dollars, he will hand over the evidence and wipe his hands clean of the entire matter. As Jung is contemplating on his answer, Bae takes a sip of his cup. Just then, the secretary brings in Ji Hoon, who only has one question for Jung Cha Young: did he use tetrodotoxin, or amatoxin?

Jung sends off Bae, and addresses Ji Hoon’s question with a taunt: academic types have never been able to test on a live person, so they don’t know how difficult it is to measure the correct amount of poison that factors in the target’s build, eating habits, and diseases. He doesn’t outright admit to murder, but is pretty close to it: “I just performed another experiment before. Aren’t you curious to see how it turned out? It’s about time…”

Ji Hoon realizes that Jung just poisoned Bae, and at the same time, Yi Han is dashing into the building to look for Bae. Jung calmly sits in his office, counting down the seconds.

Bae reaches the parking level and gets in his car. Ji Hoon and Yi Han dash after him, looking for him, and as Jung counts, “3…2…1,” a car horn sounds off. Bae is dead.

Ji Hoon rushes back to NFS and Dr. Hong presents the blood results – none of the poisons he said to test for matched. He and Da Kyung pull out a bunch of books to find the poison, while Woo Jin is demanding that there be an arrest warrant made for Jung. Her superior is hesitant because Jung is the president of a Top 50 company. (So what!? Just because you’re rich doesn’t make you exempt! Argh!!)

Ji Hoon comes across the poison antimony, which recalls memories of when he first researched the poison. Though there were no cases of antimony deaths in Korea, he was just curious and Jung Byung Do had told him not to waste time on such matters. Just then, he gets a call from Park Ki Jung’s father – he had lied to President Jung Cha Young about cremating his daughter’s remains and asks Ji Hoon if he still wants to solve the murder.

They dig it up and open her coffin – Park Ki Jung is perfectly preserved. That’s enough for Ji Hoon. He goes back to the lab and tests Han Tae Joo’s blood again – this time for antimony. And as he gets the results confirming it so, Myung Han appears, affirming that antimony was used 20 years ago, and now. (What the hell – does Myung Han have “Ji Hoon figured it out” Antennae?!)

Of course, by affirming that this silent, almost undetectable killer is the cause, Ji Hoon probes for more information on what happened 20 years ago. Back then, when NFS was run by the mighty trio, Dr. Kang had passed away due to overwork and exhaustion. That was enough to make Myung Han reevaluate his reasons for being in this profession. He’s frustrated that all their hard work just leads to death and having their families be compensated by money. He resigns and heads off to study abroad in America.

Now that Jung Byung Do was alone, he had to make a decision – and it just so happened that the decision was made on Ji Hoon’s father’s corpse. His father was also part of a group trying to expose the corruption within Han Young Group and killed by antimony. The then-president asked Jung to forge the results, and in return he would financially support the NFS.

Ji Hoon says he doesn’t care anymore, but Myung Han ends with a threatening message: if he exposes the use of antimony, it will no doubt expose the link between Jung Cha Young and his father, and thus bring up the case from 20 years ago all over again. It will then ruin Jung Byung Do’s reputation and the prestige and power that NFS now has. It’s a burdensome decision, but Ji Hoon believes that truth is greater than honor or prestige or power.

The next day, Jung Cha Young finds his office being ransacked; Yi Han finds the bottle of antimony. Woo Jin is there with a warrant of arrest.Because Jung is a high profile figure, a more public form of prosecution hearing is set up to make the investigation process more transparent.

At the day of the trial, both Da Kyung and Ji Hoon are set to testify on their autopsies on two of the victims. Before he leaves, Ji Hoon receives a mailed letter – from Byung Do. In it, Byung Do apologizes for forging the autopsy, but he couldn’t give up NFS. He asks Ji Hoon for forgiveness, stating that the past 20 years were the happiest in his life. He valued his honor above all else, and committing suicide was the best way for him to keep his secret and reprieve him from the fate of losing everything he had and built because of one mistake.

Well what a way to put Ji Hoon through a terrible guilt trip.

Da Kyung testifies on the stand, stating that 108 micrograms per liter of antimony was found in Kim Gyu Chul’s body – enough to kill a man. Ji Hoon arrives quite late, but in time to take the stand as the next witness. Ji Hoon testifies that he did find antimony – 126 micrograms per liter of it.

That’s enough for Woo Jin and the whole court to realize that these two people were murdered.

Ji Hoon: However, the 126 micrograms of antimony found in Han Tae Joo is not a lethal amount… We cannot conclude that the antimony was the cause of death… The conclusion of my autopsy – Han Tae Joo did not die of poisoning, but from acute internal complications. She died from natural causes.


Jung Cha Young is cheering. Myung Han is smiling. And Da Kyung is shocked beyond belief. (Oh, along with Woo Jin and Yi Han too.)


One thought on “Sign: Episode 12

  1. Such a tough decision: honor versus truth.

    And woot for choosing that nice still showing we know whose smirk. 😀

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