Sign: Episode 15

With one recap off my plate, I can focus on Sign!

Yi Han’s father, Prosecutor Choi, is plain awesome. Seriously. Although, he’s overshadowed by a particular guest star in this episode…

It’s a dark alleyway, and a young student spots a shifty figure following her. She quickly calls up home, and her sister picks up. She asks if it’s possible for her sister to meet her halfway home. Her sister is half asleep, and tells her to just run home. A close up on the nametag reveals that the student is Go Da Hee.

Yep, it’s Da Kyung’s younger sister.

She tries calling home again, but no one answers. The figure from behind races up to her and knocks her in the head with a hammer.

Once again, we are at the same dark alleyway, but the victim is different. It’s a young woman, and she can sense the figure behind her. She makes a phone call as well, but no one answers. She quickens her pace, ending up in a half-run, and wends her way around the houses. She thinks she’s lost him, but then falls – at the feet of the attacker.

Woo Jin presents her report to her superior, proving that Lee Soo Jung is really innocent, and states that she wants to reopen the case. Her determination leaves her superior no choice and she guilts his conscience into allowing her reopen the case. This should raise concern within Seo Yeon, but she smiles, cool as a cucumber, while Myung Han and Attorney Jang are more worried. Myung Han wants to know if she hid anything else from them, but she says she didn’t. Instead, she tells them that Ji Hoon came to find her, and declared that his M.O. in pinning her would be through witness statements.

Myung Han calls Ji Hoon in, who then hands in his resignation. He will discover the truth his own way, and make sure no one interferes. He also advises Myung Han to leave; people like him do not suit NFS. But Myung Han warns him to stop – if Ji Hoon continues, all the witnesses will die.  But Ji Hoon’s thinking is different. He thinks that to save the witnesses, Myung Han should confess that his autopsy was a lie; then, everything would be solved.

Da Kyung is seriously disturbed, and doesn’t want Ji Hoon to leave her. She pleads him to stay, and to put his faith in Yi Han and Woo Jin to complete the case. However, Ji Hoon doesn’t think he can be a forensic examiner and treat each case objectively anymore. She asks him to stay – for her – but he only has words of encouragement. And with that, he leaves.

Woo Jin re-interrogates the Manager Joo, asking what his relationship is with Kang Seo Yeon. However, he pretends to not know her. Woo Jin states that they have evidence of him speaking to her for three hours at a restaurant with the other conspirators. Dude – don’t lie, unless you ABSOLUTELY know you won’t get caught. Despite offering a lesser sentence, Manager Joo is tight lipped.

She finds Ji Hoon in her office, and he hands her the autopsy report for Seo Yoon Hyung. He finds out that Woo Jin is having difficulty convincing Manager Joo to cooperate, especially since the manager is the only witness they can contact. (Group member Jung Seok Heon is in America.) So Ji Hoon pays the manager a visit and asks him to cooperate, lest he be next in line on the death list. He even warns him that as a forensic examiner, he knows that there are many ways to die and yet disguise it as an accident. With that, Ji Hoon takes his leave. That gets Manager Joo thinking.

Da Kyung receives her first solo autopsy – it’s the woman from the alleyway, Oh Sang Eun. Ji Hoon Lite rattles off the details of the case, and notes that the crime may have been done without a motive.

That sets off a flashback where she and her father are running in the hospital alongside Da Hee’s gurney. The investigating officer had said that her attacker had a hammer, and that it appears to be a crime without a motive.

Da Kyung is brought back to the present, and she performs the autopsy. She then runs some simulation tests on what the weapon could be, and through a 3D simulator, she and the technician input all the various possible weapons that could be used. They narrow it down to an octagon-shaped hammer. This is enough to confirm her worst fears: her sister’s attacker is on the prowl again.

Good for her that the police had arrested someone in their 30s who was wandering around that night. Bad for her that the guy had an alibi.

Ji Hoon calls a friend in the States to ask for a list of dead bodies found in LA in the past month. He checks all of the names, and then races to find Manager Joo to ask, “Is Jung Seok Heon’s American name Daniel Jung?” Manager Joo’s annoyance is enough to confirm it for him, and Ji Hoon points out that ‘Daniel Jung’ died in a car accident.  Manager Joo is next.

Unfortunately, when he calls Woo Jin to ask if Joo will get witness protection, she tells him that he hasn’t cooperated, and they might have to drop the case. Meanwhile, Kang Joong Hyuk wants Woo Jin stripped of her title, and get rid of her completely.

Manager Joo meets with Attorney Jang to ask for some funds so that he can move to America. Clearly he’s troubled, and Jang is more than happy to accommodate (“Good riddance!” is what he’s thinking). Assured, Manager Joo leaves the car. However, as he crosses the parking lot, a speeding white car nearly hits him, and he only barely manages to get away. He immediately suspects Attorney Jang, and he’s now sure that they will kill him if need be.

Woo Jin and Yi Han are going over the case again in her office, when suddenly Yi Han’s father appears. Awkward. He tells Yi Han to leave, but Yi Han’s a stubborn mule. So the father has no choice but to announce to both that Jung Cha Young’s family is suing her for handling the case badly. Yi Han throws a fit, but Woo Jin tells him to shut up. She asks if his father thinks she did handle the case badly, and he honestly admits that Kang Joong Hyuk is behind this. He has no choice but investigate her, per his orders from his superiors. He asks that she give up the Kang Seo Yeon case; that way all of this can stop.

She refuses. Yi Han’s father nods with a faint smile.

It’s time for a discussion roundtable among the head prosecutors as they discuss Woo Jin. Some are aware that they should stay out of political maneuvers, but others note that Woo Jin has made mistakes (note: the serial truck killer). Yi Han’s father speaks up and defends Woo Jin, announcing boldly that no one should let outsiders influence their judgment, and that they should all protect a prosecutor’s right to investigate. He stands up at one point to emphasize his point, but under peer pressure, is forced to sit back down.

He’s a man of good morals, but he’s just one person, and that’s not enough to change “the way it’s always been.”

Manager Joo phones Ji Hoon at night to meet him at a hotel at midnight. Joo is seriously freaked out, even worried about every person who comes ringing at his door. The first “visitor” is room service. Since the Room Service Boy is innocent enough, Joo entrusts him with a letter to be handed personally to Ji Hoon. He even adds a little bit of cash to make sure the boy does his job, and then leaves the room. Joo also leaves his wallet behind, which is an enticing object for the boy.

The Room Service Boy leaves, but then there’s another knock at the door. This time, it’s Kang Seo Yeon. Manager Joo looks like he just greeted the Grim Reaper, and it ain’t no Jung Il Woo!

Later that evening, Woo Jin is called into Prosecutor Choi’s office. She takes him to see his superior, who asks if Woo Jin really needs to reinvestigate Seo Yoon Hyung’s case. She does, and he reminds her of the consequences that will result. The whole time, Prosecutor Choi is wincing in pain at her seeming stupidity. His superior asks if she’s afraid, and Woo Jin confidently says, “If this would make me afraid, I wouldn’t have started (this at all).”

Prosecutor Choi is all: “Goodness, why are you screwing yourself over!?”

His superior says simply, “OK – do it.”

Prosecutor Choi and Woo Jin are all “EHHH?!” but absolutely pleased with the chance. The superior was impressed by her guts, and he says that he’ll take responsibility for her. But, if she messes up, the three of them will lose their jobs as prosecutor. Will they be ok with losing their robes?

Prosecutor Choi: “Well, I always take off my robe. To take a shower.”

Kaedejun: !!!!!!!!!! Like father, like son.

Superior: “You’re okay, but your jokes are so lame.”

Kaedejun: !!!!!!!!!!! You’re my new hero, superior prosecutor!


Ji Hoon arrives at the hotel a little before 11pm. He goes up to the room but no one is answering. He asks the front desk if they can call up, but then that’s when he hears people screaming outside. Manager Joo’s body is on the ground outside the hotel back door, presumably having died from a fall. Ji Hoon looks at his watch – time of death is 11pm.

Ji Hoon and Yi Han don’t think it’s suicide, and they go up to Joo’s room to investigate. Witnesses say that he had dinner at 6:30, checked in at 6:50, and then called Ji Hoon at 7. They find a letter on the table that is supposedly a suicide note. In it, it says that Joo did not kill Seo Yoon Hyung, and that the pressure of the reinvestigation caused him to commit suicide.

Meanwhile, Attorney Jang informs Myung Han that Manager Joo’s body will be arriving the next day. Please fabricate the autopsy!!

Unfortunately, the only way to prove that it’s a homicide is for Ji Hoon to do the autopsy. Ji Hoon arrives at NFS, despite having quit, because he was “commissioned” to perform the autopsy. Yep – Woo Jin pulls her “I’m the prosecutor, so I choose the examiner” Card, thus allowing Ji Hoon to perform the autopsy. Uh Oh.

Myung Han, Woo Jin, and company watch from above as Ji Hoon performs his autopsy. Da Kyung is missing though; she’s busy on her own Hammer Killer case, and she requests a meeting with the suspect. In comes Secretary Kim! I mean, Kim Sung Oh, who fidgets around like a nervous kid and picks at the side of the table. Da Kyung asks to speak to the suspect alone, and then asks if this was his first time killing. He doesn’t know what she’s talking about, so Da Kyung recounts details from her sister’s case.

He still doesn’t respond, but claims he’s innocent. He becomes frantic and shrieks that he didn’t kill anyone, and that he never saw a hammer or a checkered coat. But Da Kyung never mentioned a checkered coat…

He gives her a sheepish half-grin. Woops. That’s enough to set Da Kyung off, and she gets up, trying to find a way to release her anger as civilly as possible. He tells her not to worry and (waving his handcuffed wrists) that they are in a police station.

Da Kyung screams like a mad woman and raises her chair to attack him. Good thing the officer arrives in time to stop her. She grabs his collar from across the table and says, “I’m going to catch you.” He only gives her a grin, daring her to try.

Yi Han is at the hotel security room reviewing the footage from ten to eleven, but there’s nothing to be seen. So he asks for tapes of the other times.

Ji Hoon finishes his autopsy and reports up to Woo Jin and Myung Han. Time of death: it’s not 11PM, but actually 7PM. Cause of death: Strangulation. Nature of death: Homicide.

Good thing Yi Han just discovered footage of Kang Seo Yeon in the elevator, arriving at Manager Joo’s room around 7PM.

Comments:

I had to add my personal comments to this episode because I made a realization while recapping. My comments are in reference to Ji Hoon’s resignation scene in Myung Han’s office.

As much as Ji Hoon is a genius, I think he’s quite naive. His pitfall is that he views the world narrowly, and believes that there is only one road to the truth. However, isn’t there a saying, “All roads lead to the truth;” there’s several methods of getting to the truth and a little foresight could help one avoid the stumbling blocks. I think that Myung Han is smarter – he’s got book smarts and street smarts, and can think of the broader picture. He knows that he may be lying for the greater good, but if he wants to reverse his statement, he knows he can do so later on when NFS has more power.

What’s great about this drama is that it presents Ji Hoon’s way as the right way, and makes us viewers sympathize and think like him. I certainly sided with Ji Hoon’s character at first, but now I think he’s being foolish. There certainly is a payoff: it’s when he realizes the bigger picture, and in that sense, grows as a character.

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