Everything comes together in this episode. And mind you, it’s just episode 2! But all the threads that could have been joined next week came together pretty quickly with tonight’s episode, and boy am I happy with it. What I’m not happy is that I have to wait a friggin’ week for the next episode.
Mission 1: What is inside the trunk?
Beautifully noted by Hye In near the end of the episode, she says, “By the end of tonight’s episode you [the viewers] will see what’s inside the trunk.” But because TV wouldn’t be TV if we saw it, we didn’t exactly see what – or who – was inside the trunk. And ohmygod if I had a table to flip, I would have flipped it.
But let’s back up a second and start from the beginning, yeah?
Hye In is announcing to the world via “Kiss and Tell” talk show that her son was kidnapped, and she will be filming a reality show that will track the progress of her search for Hyun Woo. She bows at 90 degrees several times to the camera, begging everyone to watch and help her in the search, and finally collapses on TV.
It’s such good TV. Even Woo Shin and Dong Wook couldn’t have come up with a better idea, and it brings them a lot of attention. Dong Wook isn’t happy that she planned this without him, but he makes do and films her as she exits the broadcasting studio and walks through the swarm of reporters outside.
The police are now forced to act, pretending that they were in on it the entire time. Jung Ho helps in his own weird way by bribing the Commissioner into doing a good job; don’t let anything interfere with the broadcast of the show, and Jung Ho will support the Commissioner’s bid as an Assemblyman. Jung Jung Gi tries to assign the case to Seung In but he’s not interested in finding Hyun Woo. He wants to find his mokbang girl Lee Ji Eun first; she’s a kidnapping victim too and warrants his attention. The other officer on the case, Park Young Shik (I think), doesn’t want to work with Seung In either since he thinks that Seung In is arrogant.
It’s okay – all roads will lead to Hye In eventually, so it’s good that Seung In sticks to the mokbang girl case.
Officer Park and his partner Officer Yoo go to Hye In’s home to question her. Officer Park doesn’t like that she tried to take matters into her own hands, as he believes the police is better at these things, but he admits that he wouldn’t know what he would do if his own daughter were kidnapped. They question Jung Ho as well and find it suspicious that he sweeps all his problems under the rug. While Hye In willingly admits that UCN isn’t doing well and some employees are threatening to sue Jung Ho, and that he’s had extramarital affairs, Jung Ho denies that he has any enemies.
Officer Park also questions the manager Kyung Hoon about his whereabouts and we learn that Hye In sent him to his parents’ house for a few days. He figured that things were tough at home after she announced her retirement so he stayed away. Kyung Hoon is a pretty sad character – it’s clear he cares a lot about Hye In and Hyun Woo, and feels immensely guilty for not having been around to protect Hyun Woo. It will really hurt if he ends up being the mastermind.
Meanwhile, we meet Reporter Jang Jin Woong (Lee Seung Joon), who’s seemingly very lazy but actually has the scoop on Hye In and Jung Ho. While his supervisor thinks that he is slacking off in writing articles about the kidnapping (which is big news), he’s actually prepped a book and exposé on the whole situation already. He’s that kind of writer. Not good, since that means he’ll be really nosy and get in the crew’s way.
It’s almost Saturday and they haven’t received the mission yet for what they need to do. Woo Shin is starting to form a backup plan for what they have to shoot on Saturday live just in case no mission comes in. After all, her job is to make sure they continue getting high ratings so that Hyun Woo won’t get hurt. Hye In can’t eat as she’s sick with worry, but is forced to when Dong Wook tells her point blank that he’ll quit if she doesn’t take care of herself and properly act in the show.
Seung In and his rookie Young Gwan ask other broadcast jockeys if they have seen Lee Ji Eun’s boyfriend before, and one of them positively ID’s him as a creeper. She believes that Ji Eun’s kidnapping was staged as the boyfriend had mentioned to her as well about possibly doing that on air just for fun and to cause a ruckus. Seung In then gets a tip on where the guy, Park Sae Yong, lives and heads over as quickly as possible.
At the same time a delivery comes in to the “Wanted” office. It’s the next mission: there’s a picture of a black car in front of a graffitied cargo container and one question: “I wonder what’s inside the trunk of this car?” Hye In catches the delivery service guy who brought in the envelope outside before he can run off. After a bit of a struggle and Kyung Hoon’s help, she manages to bring him into the office for questioning. Woo Shin records him as the delivery guy admits to being the one who drove Lee Ji Eun away after she dropped off the package at Hye In’s home. He was paid a lot of money by Park Sae Yong to also drop off this envelope, and was too scared to not do it or report to the police. Park was a psychopathic high school classmate of his, and he was too scared to see what Park could do to his family and friends.
This very same Park Sae Yong who also hangs himself in his bedroom as Seung In and Young Gwan burst into his house. Sae Yong’s poor mother seemed to have no idea that he was killing himself then when they live under the same roof. Seung In tries to save Sae Yong but to no avail. He also figures that Lee Ji Eun isn’t around, and when he opens the door to a secret room, he finds the walls covered with pictures of Jung Hye In. Sae Yong had an obsession with her, and Seung In finds himself pretty much on the case that he turned down.
As the “Wanted” crew tries to track down the location of the car, Hye In goes over to Sae Yong’s house at Seung In’s bidding. He wants to know if she recognized Sae Yong and Ji Eun, and she confirms their identities as the one who took her son away and the other one who left the script at her door. She then gets a call from an unknown number.
It’s Hyun Woo.
The tears start flowing and Seung In slowly puts the phone on speaker so he can listen in on the conversation. Hye In keeps asking where Hyun Woo is, but he just begs her to come soon. A train faintly rumbles in the distance, and then soon the connection is broken. Seung In asks Young Gwan to find a port that’s near an over-ground train, as it’s likely that Hyun Woo is there. How did Seung In know about the port and cargo containers? Because he saw a receipt in Seung In’s room to a gas station that was in that direction. And, he’s a smart guy.
At the same exact time, Woo Shin’s figured out the location of the car herself as she knew she saw that graffitied cargo container before. She had done a shoot there a long time ago, and gives the crew the location. Dong Wook grabs Bo Yeon and some of their cameramen and head to their production truck to get to the port as soon as possible. They catch Reporter Jang sneaking out of the truck; thankfully Officer Park is on hand to take him away.
As the crew drives off to the location, Hye In calls them up to confirm the location from Seung In’s car. It’s a race against time, and she realizes that neither group is going to reach the location by ten. So while Woo Shin and Joon Goo are back at the studio prepping the opening intro for the show, Hye In prepares to open the show through her phone camera from Seung In’s car.
She quickly informs the audience that they’re all on their way to an Incheon port, where her mission is to first open up the trunk of a car. Seung In pulls up and they run into Dong Wook and his crew. Everyone starts running – Seung In racing ahead, Hye In following, and Dong Wook and a mini camera crew (with portable lights) close behind.
Seung In gets to the car first. He opens the trunk, gasps, and then runs back to stop Hye In from getting closer. What’s in the trunk!? Dong Wook and Bo Yeon reach it next, and Bo Yeon looks sick. Dong Wook reaches for the camera and starts filming inside the trunk, and just then Woo Shin has the studio cut away from his shot and to another angle where people can see his face, filming the trunk.
What is in the trunk!?!?!?!?!
Finally Hye In breaks free and rushes up to the trunk. She looks like she’s in pain. We finally look in the trunk. It’s a body dressed in a striped polo shirt. That is not Hyun Woo. No way, since Hyun Woo wore a different shirt! …Right?!
Everyone thinks the person in the trunk is dead, but suddenly the body shifts. And then an arm reaches out, and the body holds Hye In’s hand.
Argh! That cliffhanger! I believed Hye In when she said that she would let us see who was in the trunk by the end of the episode. Again, it’s one of those things I love about this show being a little meta. (The “Wanted” intro looks a bit like the show’s actual intro too!) And though the show actually delivered, I wanted more.
Good job, show. I hate you, show.
I’m really glad that Seung In’s been pulled into the case naturally, and I now wonder what will happen as he’s sure to go up against Officer Park, who’s pretty much the lead on this case. It’ll be an interesting dynamic considering that Hye In might trust Seung In more now and tell him more things about the case, while the rest of the production crew are purposely pushing Officer Park and his team away for the sake of the show. It’s already a tough balancing act where Dong Wook must think of how to keep the show genuine to the audience and the killer, while also giving the police just enough information so that they can provide backup in case anything dangerous happens.
I still don’t know what to make of Jung Ho, though I’m pretty sure he didn’t mastermind the kidnapping, but I was taken aback when he asked the commissioner to make sure the investigation doesn’t interfere with the show. It’s not surprising that he wants the best show possible at the expense of the police force’s reputation, but at the same time that kind of move just makes you think he’s in on the whole kidnapping.
The last thing that keeps me on edge at times is Hye In herself. I know she’s devastated – she’s shown it during the moments away from the camera. But what’s really unsettling is how sometimes I don’t know when she’s acting and when she’s being herself. That moment where she fainted on the talk show was something that I believed to be a true reaction – until Dong Wook and Woo Shin cynically noted that that was good TV. It’s a very fine balance that Hye In must manage, one that she’ll probably struggle with. I personally feel like she doesn’t have to act at all for this reality TV show; her worst fears will naturally come out. But I can see how Dong Wook may force her to act/exaggerate even more, in which I will see through her lie. And then it will make me hope that Hye In doesn’t harden her heart too much and become cynical, and that the audience won’t turn against her.