Vampire Detective: Episode 4 Recap

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Well, with this episode we’re finally getting somewhere when it comes to the overarching plot line. It’s a bit of a tenuous link to the case of the week, but I don’t particularly hate it. Not when we finally meet Lee Chung Ah in this episode!

Case 4: Waiting in the Dark

We start off in a studio as a model sexily poses in a slinky black dress with many cutouts. With the way we’re meeting her, she’s either our next victim or our next client. Soon after her photo shoot, the model returns home and falls asleep in her bath tub. All I can think of at this moment is Psycho.

She wakes up and finds herself in a pool of blood. Her blood. She screams and flails and then next thing we know she hangs over the side of her tub, dead. We don’t exactly know how she dies, but we know she’s dead and it looks very much like a suicide.

Back to San: Sun Young brings him to her father’s “office” where he continued to create fake identification for his clients. It’s a rundown location that no one would think twice to look into, and Choi Tae Shik did keep some of his clients’ photos in the office. Which means that the photos of Yoo Jin and Tae Woo were even more sensitive since he kept it in his personal safe. San wants to believe that the two of them are on a secret mission together again, just like they were many years before. That’s the only way he can accept what’s happening right now.

Back at home, Goo Hyung is being the perfect partner by preparing some food while Gyeo Wool looks up news about the club her brother used to visit. The club suspiciously burned down to the ground, and she wheedles Goo Hyung to get back on her brother’s case. He ignores her, and picks up a call from a mysterious client instead.

The threesome all head to the client’s home, with Gyeo Wool in a bitter mood. She feels that Goo Hyung just picks and chooses his cases based on the prettiness of the client, which is not untrue. They ring the doorbell, and a frail woman appears. Moon Mi Jin (Lee Chung Ah) opens the door for them, but she is blind. Immediately, I know something is off with this woman. Regardless of our knowing that Lee Chung Ah’s character is not named Mi Jin, I know that something is suspiciously off with the way she shuffles towards the kitchen and prepares their drink.

San is a bit concerned for Mi Jin, as she is blind, and he offers to help her prepare the drinks. She refuses his offer but then drops the ice bucket. San picks up the broken glass, ice, and an ice pick off the ground for her while she helplessly crouches beside him.

Once everyone is seated, Gyeo Wool insists upon receiving their down payment and being reimbursed for transportation, as she’s not really interested in helping Mi Jin out. Mi Jin blurts out that she wants them to help her brother. That gets Gyeo Wool’s attention. Mi Jin reveals that her brother was arrested for the murder of two models, which happened a little while ago. Goo Hyung thought that the man arrested, Moon Kyung Ho, was a lot older, and Mi Jin explains that they have a huge age gap and he raised her after their parents died while she was young.

Mi Jin believes that her brother is innocent as she remembers hearing him develop his photos in the dark room during the time when one of the murders took place. Unfortunately her brother confessed to the crime when the knife linked to the murders was found in his home and he was sent to jail. The police also didn’t believe her alibi as they didn’t believe how a blind person could tell the time.

Gyeo Wool is moved to see a young helpless woman forced to be on her own because her only relative was taken from her, and she quickly decides for all of them to take the case. Mi Jin thanks them for believing in her and tells San that they can visit anytime if they have more questions. They don’t really have many questions though; when they start investigating the murders they don’t see anything that particularly stands out about Moon Kyung Ho. They do happen across an article that shows him taking a photo of someone they know: Nurse Se Ra.

The threesome visit Se Ra at the doctor’s office, and she doesn’t have much to add other than the fact that Kyung Ho is a kind classmate from her modeling school years who would never have killed anyone. She doesn’t believe that he is guilty of the murders and asks the investigators to make sure they catch the real killer. When Gyeo Wool asks if she knows of Kyung Ho’s sister, Se Ra is surprised. She never knew he had a sister, much less that the sister was blind.

If bells aren’t ringing off your head by now, it should be.

The doctor then calls San aside. He took a look at the research notebook that San brought him and found that the blood in the research is not one that should normally exist in the living world. However, it does exist in San. The doctor is not even surprised or scared by the fact that San is a living experiment. Everyone’s pretty calm about this, as if they knew he’s a vampire and are actually ok with it. What the heck.

The investigators split up after this to start questioning people around the dead victims’ lives. Gyeo Wool meets with their agency head to see if his new ingenue has anything to do with their deaths. After all, she had most to gain after Han Na and Yoo Ri died as she was the third top model in the agency. Meanwhile San visits the head coroner on the case, and she notes that for the models’ bodies, it looked like they were stabbed first by a sharp knife, and then it was covered up with slits on their wrist after their bodies turned cold to make it look like a suicide. He then goes to the jail to meet Kyung Ho, but the man refuses to see him.

As for Goo Hyung, he goes to meet Detective Park to see what other information he can glean from the good ol’ officer. The detective is quite busy, so he sends over the case paperwork via messenger and then has Goo Hyung pay for the delivery fee. Hahaha! This detective is so wily it’s hilarious.

The three of them regroup at the studio, where they talk to Joo Ha Young, the model who took Yoo Ri and Han Na’s place as top model for the agency. Ha Young is an innocent thing, and definitely not as good as the other two. It’s unlikely she would have murdered them. She does provide a new clue: she heard rumors that Han Na had left a dying message about who the killer was. When the investigators look at the papers and photos they were provided, they see two bloody ‘M’s’ on the shower door. ‘M’ for Moon Kyung Ho? It’s a bit of a stretch, since he only has one M in his name, but the police did find the incriminating evidence at his place and he confessed to the murders.

San remembers Mi Jin’s testimony about hearing her brother print photographs, so they return to her apartment to check out his dark room. Mi Jin isn’t home, so Gyeo Wool decides to break into the house. The door only has a passcode key anyways. They investigate the dark room right across from the bedroom and discover it’s full of legs. Film photographs of legs. Moon Kyung Ho is a pervert and a stalker. Maybe he really did kill those models then. San notices a row of film cameras but one is digital, but before they can look into it they hear the front door opening. Mi Jin’s returned home. Oh crap.

Goo Hyung and Gyeo Wool do their best to sneak past Mi Jin. She hears their presence and turns to ask if anyone is there. Everyone freezes and holds their breath. Mi Jin shuffles towards the narrow hallway leading to the dark room, barely brushing past Goo Hyung and Gyeo Wool. She stops in front of San, who’s stuck between the closed door to the dark room and her. Mi Jin is so not blind. Not with the way she unbuttons her shirt in very very close proximity to San and breathes on him. San closes his eyes as she undresses before him before turning to step into her bedroom, trying to control his heartbeat. I’d figure that she would have heard it already too.

They all safely get out of the house and San looks through the digital camera. There’s one photo that’s completely corrupted in there (and there’s conveniently only one photo in the entire SD card), so they take it to the doctor to have him examine it. This man is multi-talented – part doctor, part scientist, part tattoo artist, part photo manipulator. When the doctor loads up the SD card in his computer, San notices that the photo’s metadata states that it was taken with a Canon Mark III. But the camera is Nikon. That means someone planted the SD card in there.

Finally San asks to go to the scene of the crime, where Han Na was discovered. About time! Despite time having passed (and we’re not quite sure when the murders happened), the scene of the crime is conveniently still intact. San notices the bloodstained shower stall and his vampire powers automatically turn on. With his golden eyes he sees the victim’s last moments and sees her drawing the letters.

Except she’s drawing two V’s. And then when her hands drop and she dies, the blood streaks down, creating the vertical lines to make it look like ‘M’s’.

He also sees a female hand with long fingernails choking Han Na, holding her back from any struggle. San has to inhale some of his special blood prescription in his inhaler to maintain his vampiric consciousness, and once he gets all the information he needs, Goo Hyung is right next to him, ready to escort him out. Goo Hyung definitely saw San struggling, but we’re all just going to gloss over the fact that San had a vampiric episode right now.

San presents his findings to Goo Hyung and Gyeo Wool at home, pointing out that Han Na was drawing what she saw rather than writing out letters. Gyeo Wool is curious as to how San knew that it was a V rather than an M, but Goo Hyung jumps in to remark on her rudeness in addressing San. So… no one is going to tell Gyeo Wool that San is a vampire huh? Even though it’s really obvious that you’re hiding something from her already.

San goes to see Moon Kyung Ho, who is the only person who can confirm how the models died. He asks the question, “Did you stab them? Or did you cut them?” and Kyung Ho’s answer could prove whether or not he did the murders. Meanwhile Goo Hyung meets with Detective Park again and buys him ice cream, and he learns from the good ol’ detective that Moon Kyung Ho does not have a sister. I repeat – he does not have a sister! Moon Mi Jin is the name of his girlfriend. His blind girlfriend. Before we start wondering whether Mi Jin meant ‘oppa’ as in her brother or boyfriend, Detective Park shows Goo Hyung a picture of the girlfriend. And it is not the Mi Jin we know.

Goo Hyung texts San the picture of the real Moon Mi Jin and has him ask Kyung Ho who the woman is. Kyung Ho’s eyes widen and names her as Mi Jin, and based on his reaction we know he’s telling the truth. He doesn’t even know that there’s another woman living in his apartment. Just in time, the doctor also finished retrieving the corrupted photo and sends it to San. It’s a photo of the fake Mi Jin, and San realizes that in the split second when he opened his eyes and fake Mi Jin went into her bedroom, she had glanced his way.

San shows fake Mi Jin’s photo to Kyung Ho and asks who she is. Kyung Ho: “That is the woman who made me confess to the murders. She told me that she would save Mi Jin under the condition that I came here.” San realizes that the two ‘V’s’ were actually fangs. Vampire fangs.

Han Na and Yoo Ri were bit by a vampire and then the vampire cut slits over the bite marks to hide them.

We then see fake Mi Jin strutting across the garage and opening the trunk of her car. Real Moon Mi Jin is tied up inside, and fake Mi Jin is ready to play. She calls up San and in a breathy voice congratulates him on solving Choi Tae Shik’s case so quickly. She also mentions Yoo Jin shooting him, which means she knows of Yoo Jin. It startles San how much this woman knows about his life, but his first priority is saving the real Mi Jin. He has one hour to find her before she dies.

Fake Mi Jin has the real one tied up to a chair in Moon Kyung Ho’s apartment. The girlfriend doesn’t understand why she’s being punished. She can’t see or identify her kidnapper, so why can’t she just be let go? She also doesn’t understand what grudge fake Mi Jin has against her saintly boyfriend. Fake Mi Jin grins – is Kyung Ho really a saint? She then explains that Kyung Ho is the reason why Mi Jin is blind. This vampire knows a lot about her marks.

Back in the day, Kyung Ho was Mi Jin’s photographer and he was in love with her. But he couldn’t approach her or get a word in to ask her out. So instead he stalked her, photographing her legs all the time. Eventually he assaulted her in her home, knocked her out with chloroform, and then purposely blinded her eyes with his chemical solution for developing films. And then he waited by her bedside in the hospital, and became her boyfriend. Mi Jin is in shock when she hears of the truth, and the emptiness just fills her inside.

San and Goo Hyung arrive at Kyung Ho’s apartment to find it empty except for Mi Jin. They reassure her that they’re there to save her, but her cries become more frantic as San cuts the ropes binding her arms. Why? Because he just unwittingly set off a bomb timer.

With less than five seconds, San covers himself over Mi Jin’s body and they dive to the floor. The bomb explodes… and confetti pops out. It’s a trick!

Meanwhile Gyeo Wool is always left behind watching the door. Her job is always unexciting. But suddenly someone appears behind her. It’s fake Mi Jin. She stops Gyeo Wool from turning around, and then playfully grabs Gyeo Wool’s throat. She did consider killing Gyeo Wool right off the bat when they first met because she was so rude, but since Gyeo Wool believed her she let her live. Gyeo Wool asks why create this whole charade, and fake Mi Jin only replies that Gyeo Wool shouldn’t trust anyone. So this whole case was a lesson for the team to not trust anyone?

Fake Mi Jin also comments how Gyeo Wool looks just like her brother, but before she can enlighten Gyeo Wool about their ‘special relationship’, she disappears. Gyeo Wool is more determined than ever to catch this woman, especially since she knew Han Gyu Min.

The following day San visits Moon Mi Jin to see how she’s holding up. She’s doing better; though she can’t forgive Kyung Ho for what he did, she will try to move on with her life after being betrayed. Kyung Ho will also be declared innocent, but who’s to say that he will remain unpunished for the incriminating photos in his dark room. As San leaves her home, he gets a call from the vampire. Her name is Yo Na, and she hopes to meet San again. And in regards to his girlfriend that he keeps snooping on – well, she looks quite good on camera.

San realizes that she’s referring to a security camera in the parking lot and asks Sun Young for the footage. She willingly grants it, and he skims through the footage until he finds a figure hiding behind a pillar, taking pictures. It’s Yoo Jin. She caught a photo of Yo Na pretending to be blind but baring her fangs, and then planted the SD card in Kyung Ho’s dark room. San is now one step closer to figuring out the whereabouts of his supposedly-dead girlfriend.

Comments

There’s really something about this show that is almost kind of inane but I keep coming back for more. I think it’s because it has a clear storyline and it’s trying to get somewhere. However the writer is very lazy when it comes to writing the case of the week.

For starters, I don’t understand anything about this case. Why did Yo Na kill these models in the first place? Was she hungry? Was it to frame Kyung Ho and get him out of the house? Did she threaten Mi Jin to get Kyung Ho in jail? And then once she was in the house, was she able to locate the SD card that Yoo Jin had snapped photos of her in? Why did Yo Na involve San? Was she mad that he solved Choi Tae Shik’s case? What did Choi Tae Shik have to do with Yo Na? Why did Yoo Jin put the SD card in Kyung Ho’s camera?

Aside from these questions I was also wondering: When did San and Goo Hyung have a conversation about his vampirism? When did San learn to use his inhaler? Why are Goo Hyung, San, and the doctor so eerily calm about San’s condition? Why aren’t they telling Gyeo Wool at all when she can tell that something is going on? When will San realize that he can see the victim’s last moments through their blood, and finally start asking to see the scene of the crime first before doing anything else? And why did San seem to become less of a “genius detective” after he got a dose of vampire blood. For a detective who was able to solve a simple murder through a burn mark on bedding, he’s taking an awfully long time to solve cases that I can figure within five minutes of being presented one. These particular questions frustrated me on a character-arc level. I want a better understanding of their personal lives rather than a few throwaway lines. I want to be involved in the conversations that they’re having about vampirism and San’s new abilities. I don’t want to have to assume that a lot of conversations are happening off-screen because a lot is being said without our knowledge. These characters are suddenly endowed with information that we have about vampires that I don’t think they should have right away.

I don’t really appreciate the lazy writing that is going on here but I keep hoping that there will be more substance in later episodes. I keep hoping that there will be a big reveal and that all these unanswered questions will pay off. I did wonder at one point if Vampire Prosecutor had lazy writing and I just didn’t realize it back then, but I think Vampire Prosecutor had better cases. They always used a red herring in the case that was a good twist, not like the ones used in this drama. In addition, we met Prosecutor Min Tae Yeon when he was already a vampire and adjusted to his abilities; unanswered questions and the understanding between him and his cop buddy were acceptable. Here, San and Goo Hyung are supposed to be learning about his vampirism at the same time, and both are really okay with it. Are vampires that common in their world that they barely bat an eye when they have to encounter one?

I’m glad we finally met Lee Chung Ah though. She’s quite sultry as a vampire and I like seeing this side of her. I feel though that she is not the queen bee of all vampires that we’re expecting. Because where would that put Yoo Jin then?

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