Black: Episode 12
Some truths are finally revealed. Well, as much truth as we’re allowed to know right now, because with every answer comes another dozen mysteries, but for Ha-ram it’s more than enough to rock her to her core. There’s also a lot of investigation into Scarface, where everyone learns that he’s just as terrible as we already knew.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Kwang-kyun wonders how Black knew Mi-so was murdered by the same person who murdered the mental health hospital director, and Black explains that the style is exactly the same — the same type of weapon, the same depth and style of the knife marks.
However there’s one major difference: the mental health director was first stabbed in non-vital areas because the murderer wanted her to suffer before killing her. As for Mi-so, Scarface first slashed her throat, attacking a vital point in the beginning, and then followed up with stabbing the rest of her body. All this implies the killer had a grudge against the hospital director, but not Mi-so.
Soo-wan tries to track down information about a person who signed one of Moo-gang’s old receipts. The restaurant owner tells her that he can’t remember — the date on the receipt was two months ago.
Soo-wan originally found the receipt in Moo-gang’s clothes, asking him why he went all the way to Chuncheon for lunch and pointing out the signature isn’t his. Moo-gang told her that he’s investigating his brother’s hit-and-run accident from 20 years ago, and that the signature was from someone helping him with the case.
She’s convinced that whomever signed the receipt also knows where the tapes are, and is more determined than ever to find this person so she can protect Moo-gang.
As the detectives literally fight over which team should take over Mi-so’s case, Ha-ram studies the eyewitness drawing of Scarface, realizing it’s the same man she rescued from the fire. That leads the detectives to the man who hired all the thugs to fight off the Mujin protestors. The detective who’s in charge of the case is, of course, Missng-finger’s informant.
Ha-ram blames herself for saving Scarface, but as she’s fretting about her meddlesome ways, Black arrives with Leo. Black boasts that Leo is following him to learn from the best, and Leo explains that it’s for his upcoming drama role.
Leo proudly tells Ha-ram that he’s using the original script from the rookie writer, but at the mention of the writer, Ha-ram suddenly realizes that she saw also Scarface at the broadcast station. He was the one she warned to move so he wouldn’t die by the writer falling on him.
Knowing that the broadcast station would have CCTV footage, she’s ready to head out to see if Scarface was caught on camera. But Black, frustrated, warns her to keep her nose out official police business — let the detectives find the serial killer. If Ha-ram keeps trying to butt in, she could get hurt or even killed.
But Ha-ram refuses to just sit back and do nothing, especially now that she knows that she’s saved Scarface’s life twice already. If they don’t do something now, Scarface could end up killing another person.
They do find CCTV footage at the broadcast station, but Scarface is hidden in the shadows and can’t really be seen. Mi-so was the MC that night for the music program, and Ha-ram realizes that Scarface must have been waiting for Mi-so.
Leo offers to use his connections to check on Mi-so’s schedule to see if she was at the broadcast company other nights, and Ha-ram grabs his hand in gratitude. Black, jealous as ever, holds out his hand, also demanding he get the same appreciation. Pffft.
Man-soo’s going through all the 1997 Chunsu Insurance paper copies, but hasn’t found anything noteworthy. As he tosses aside a file, a paper falls out — a sticky note that has a bank account number and 30 billion won written on it. Man-soo’s eyes grow wide as he wonders whose bank account it is.
Black and Ha-ram have been able to find more footage of Scarface visiting the broadcast station on the nights Mi-so was there, but they still aren’t able to get a good glimpse of his face. Ha-ram deduces that whomever is in the car with Mi-so would have seen Scarface, and if they can find the car, then they can check the blackbox footage.
They try to get a better glimpse of the car to at least get a license plate, but the CCTV footage is at a bad angle. The dirty detective finds them at the security office, annoyed that they’re one step ahead of him. He orders them out so he can look into it, but it seems that he might recognize the car.
Leo heads out to his next schedule, and even though Black’s convinced that if he stays close to Leo, he’ll find Loser, Black’s first concern right now is to help Ha-ram. Black reassures Ha-ram that Mi-so’s death isn’t her fault — even though Ha-ram saved Scarface’s life, she didn’t know he was a murderer. Ha-ram still feels responsible, though, and is determined to find the killer.
Man-soo visits his father in the hospital to ask him about the mysterious bank account, wondering what the money was for.
Man-soo’s father simply warns his son not to do anything silly. Man-soo realizes that Dad is protecting Man-ho, who presumably did something illegal with the money. Man-soo knows that Dad doesn’t like the two brothers fighting against each other, but after what happened with Sip-gyeong, Man-soo refuses to back down and turn a blind eye.
Dad asks Man-soo to bring him a key that’s hidden in a safe, promising to tell Man-soo what the key belongs to when the time is right. After Man-soo leaves, Dad watches the news about Scarface, wondering how far “that fool” is going to take it, promising to never forgive him if Man-soo is hurt.
Soo-wan finds Missing-finger waiting in her apartment. Missing-finger says that Scarface was the one who killed Clara twenty years ago, but Missing-finger got him locked up in the mental hospital until Scarface escaped. Missing-finger warns Soo-wan that if Scarface visits her, she should stall Scarface and call Missing-finger right away.
Soo-wan remembers meeting Scarface secretly, soon after he visited her in the hospital. Soo-wan gave him an envelope containing something we can’t see, then demanded to know how Scarface knew about Moo-gang. Scarface explains that Moo-gang visited him in the mental hospital, wanting information about Joon.
Soo-wan ordered Scarface to stay away from her and Moo-gang, and Scarface, happy with the envelope she gave him, promised that Moo-gang would be fine provided he stayed out of Scarface’s way. Then he did that creepy giggle as he told Soo-wan (calling her “Seon-young”) that he will kill “that bastard,” slowly and painfully.
Man-soo gets the key from his father’s safe, and as he does, he finds a copy of a life insurance payout for a man named Wang Young-choon. Man-soo recognizes the name as the man who killed Ha-ram’s father — or, as we all now know him, Scarface.
Man-soo pulls up to Black’s house, surprised to see Soo-wan just arriving. He recognizes her as one of the Royal Hospital doctors. Soo-wan’s concerned about where Black is, and Man-soo explains that he’s with Ha-ram, busy chasing down a killer.
Except Man-soo always calls Ha-ram “Miss Fortuneteller,” a name that confuses Soo-wan. Man-soo explains that Ha-ram has the ability to see how people will die. Man-soo’s description of Ha-ram reminds Soo-wan of when she was younger and Joon had described young Ha-ram in the exact same way. When Man-soo offers to get her a fresh cup of coffee, Soo-wan grabs something from one of Moo-gang’s shelves and hurries away.
Soo-wan’s desperately determined to keep Ha-ram and Black apart, if only for Moo-gang’s sake. She goes to Ha-ram’s apartment and tells her that Moo-gang and Joon are two different people.
Soo-wan explains that Joon is Moo-gang’s older brother, who changed his name to Moo-chan when he went to live with his biological father. She then informs Ha-ram that Joon died years ago. Stunned, Ha-ram tries to process this information.
Soo-wan says that she was just worried for Ha-ram, since Moo-gang was purposefully lying to her so he could use her for his investigation. Ha-ram struggles to make sense of what Soo-wan is telling her, and Soo-wan shows her the photo of the two boys together. Aha, so that’s what she stole from Moo-gang’s house.
Ha-ram stops by the station to talk to Moo-gang, her face serious. He thinks she’s there because of the investigation, and when Ha-ram calls him “Joon oppa,” Black naturally answers her.
Turning around, Ha-ram throws the photo of the young boys at him, furious that he lied to her. She demands to know if Joon is really dead, and Black quietly admits that he is. Ha-ram slaps him and then storms out of the station. Watching from down the hallway, Kwang-kyun wonders what Black did to get slapped, but he stops when he sees the photo of Joon and Moo-gang.
He recognizes Joon from the fragment of burnt photo that was hidden in Scarface’s room at the mental health hospital, which reminds Kwang-kyun that he’d seen footage of Moo-gang visiting the hospital before Scarface escaped.
Kwang-kyun asks Moo-gang’s mother about the photo, showing her the burnt copy. She’s stunned that Scarface would have a photo of Joon. Kwang-kyun’s hypothesis is that Moo-gang left it there because he was in the middle of investigating something, and Scarface tried to burn it before he escaped.
Kwang-kyun asks if Mom knew what Moo-gang might have been investigating, and why he would visit Mujin. Mom explains that’s where Joon’s accident happened.
Mom had taken the boys with her while she attended a medical conference in Mujin. On the way there, she took their picture — the very picture of the two boys that’s made its way from Moo-gang, to Soo-wan, to Ha-ram, and now to Kwang-kyun.
The medical conference (which Creepy Doc attended, too) happened to be the same day as the mall collapse, and soon Mom was busy helping with the endless parade of injured victims. She ended up working at the hospital four days straight, unable to even take time off to be with the boys. In the early morning, four days after the collapse, she got a call from an unknown number telling her that Joon was killed in a hit-and-run accident.
Joseon and Hip-hop arrive in Black’s home to find it completely redecorated. Joseon realizes that Black’s discovered that very human habit called “retail therapy.”
Black is delighted to show off his new collection of black suits, cheerfully explaining that he’s maxed out all of Moo-gang’s credit cards. Ha, I guess there are some benefits to being dead — no need to worry about debt.
As Black happily slurps down his dinner, Joseon wonders if Black is as okay as he says he is. Joseon knows that Ha-ram said she never wanted to see him again, but Black shrugs it off, insisting he’s the amazing Reaper 444 and that he can find Loser without any help. When Black asks if there would be any other reason he would have stayed by Ha-ram’s side, Joseon and Hip-hop try to hide their smirks.
Black orders Joseon and Hip-hop to get out, but he says it just as Man-soo walks into the room, so Man-soo assumes Black is talking to him. Annoyed, Black says he’s not talking to Man-soo, but Man-soo, hurt (and unable to see the other Reapers), insists that he has nowhere else to go. Besides, he’s given up a lot of time to help Black and Ha-ram find the killer.
Black says he’s not looking for Scarface any more, so Man-soo needn’t mention Ha-ram to him ever again. But he does wonder how Man-soo knew that they were looking for Scarface, asking if Ha-ram stopped by (and maybe found the photo of Joon and Moo-gang). Man-soo says the only person who visited was Soo-wan.
Black can’t stop thinking about the way Ha-ram looked when she demanded if Joon was really dead. Meanwhile, Kwang-kyun is obsessed with figuring out the timeline of Clara’s death.
Clara, Jin-sook, and Seon-young all disappeared the evening of April 19th, 1997, and Joon’s body was found on the road at 4am the next day, April 20th. The place where Joon’s body was found was only 1.1 kilometers away from the abandoned dye factory. Kwang-kyun is convinced that the cases are related, and calls up a buddy in the Mujin police to send him Joon’s hit-and-run file.
Kwang-kyun also believes that Moo-gang was looking into both cases before he was shot, but Kwang-kyun doesn’t know why Moo-gang would go to the mental hospital. Kwang-kyun wonders if Scarface has something to do with both Clara and Joon’s death.
Ha-ram huddles inside her apartment, her face buried in her arms as the tries to process the truth about Joon and Moo-gang. Outside, Black paces her street all night.
In the morning, Man-soo visits Ha-ram, offering to take her to Joon. Ha-ram refuses, assuming he’s talking about Black. But Man-soo gently explains that he means the “real” Joon. He escorts her to the columbarium where Joon’s urn is kept, and Ha-ram realizes that Black had blocked her from seeing Joon’s urn that day she’d visited Seung-chul’s parents.
She weeps for Joon, wondering why he had to die.
Ha-ram says she feels ashamed and sorry that she so easily mistook someone else for Joon. She vows that she’s not going to let Black get away with fooling her. Man-soo gently reminds her that Black probably thought he really was Joon, since he lost his memory after being shot, and she kept calling him “Joon oppa.”
Ha-ram’s still convinced that Black took advantage of her, pointing out that he kept lying to her even when he knew he wasn’t Joon. Man-soo the peacemaker then suggests that Black just couldn’t find the right timing to tell her the truth, but Ha-ram isn’t having it. Aw, it turns out that Black was the one who told Man-soo to take Ha-ram to see Joon’s urn, proving he cares (and that he knows Ha-ram wouldn’t want to go with him).
Man-soo checks in with Black about Ha-ram’s visit to Joon. Black thanks him, much to Man-soo’s surprise, since “thank you” isn’t usually in Black’s vocabulary. Black thoughtfully toys with Joon’s red bracelet that’s on his wrist until Kwang-kyun calls, ordering him to get back to the police station because Joon’s mother is there.
Joon’s mother greets Black, but Black recoils in disgust because she reeks of fish. She apologizes, adding that Kwang-kyun called her while she was in the middle of a fish delivery. Black realizes she’s the same woman he saw at the columbarium.
Black’s mostly there as an observer while Kwang-kyun asks Joon’s mother questions. She tells Kwang-kyun that she did her best to raise Joon until “a situation” arose. A flashback shows that the police — led by Ha-ram’s father — barged into Joon’s mother’s bar, searching for drugs, which they found in Joon’s backpack. Joon’s mother insisted that the drugs were hers, so she was arrested.
With nowhere else to send Joon (who was furious to discover his mother had drugs at home), she contacted Moo-gang’s mother and asked she take care of Joon (since Joon’s birth father was Moo-gang’s mother’s husband). Joon’s mother didn’t even find out Joon had died until a few days before she got out of jail.
She hauls out a pack of pens to show Kwang-kyun, explaining that it was found in Joon’s belongings the day of the accident. Instead of pens, however, they’re really smoke bombs. Joon’s mother explains that a detective Joon admired had created them so that people could use them to alert someone in case of an emergency. For example, the red smoke bomb could be released if there was fire, and the yellow smoke bomb for when someone was trying to harm them.
Joon’s mother looked around the crash site and found the used yellow pen smoke bomb, which convinced her that the hit-and-run wasn’t an accident. Kwang-kyun asks her about the detective who made the smoke bombs, and he recognizes the name, Kang Soo-hyuk, as his old partner from Mujin (who is also, as we know, Ha-ram’s father).
Joon’s mother’s face lights up when Kwang-kyun mentions Seon-young, since she had taken care of Seon-young like her own daughter when Seon-young’s parents died in a car accident. But she sadly explains that, once she was arrested, the only person she could find to take care of Seon-young was her good friend Clara. She doesn’t know what happened to Clara and Seon-young, just that they disappeared around the time Joon died.
Soo-wan ignores calls from Moo-gang’s mother who is worried about her. Moo-gang’s mother hunts around for a phone charger, and finds the capsule in Creepy Doc’s desk. He snatches it from her, telling her to stay out of his belongings, and then puts the capsule in his pocket. He’s then called to an emergency, where he takes off his coat — and the capsule rolls out, unseen, into a corner of the room.
Joon’s mother continues to explain to Kwang-kyun that she finally found someone who believed her story about the smoke bomb pen and her belief that the hit-and-run was intentional. The “someone” she found was Moo-gang, who was looking into his brother’s death.
Moo-gang promised to reveal the truth about Joon’s death, and said he’d call her when he found more evidence. But she hadn’t heard from him until about a month ago, when she called him and he said he’d have evidence soon. Kwang-kyun realizes that the day she spoke to Moo-gang was the same day that Moo-gang was shot.
Kwang-kyun pieces together the timeline of the day Moo-gang was shot. The speeding ticket was issued at 4:20pm and he spoke to Joon’s mother at 4:27pm. There must have been some evidence that Moo-gang found that day to make speed in a direction far from his original destination.
Man-soo’s hacker skills pull up an oddity in Royal Group’s electronic files. He discovers that Man-ho used a paper company to buy the land for the Royal Group mall back in 1997, and then invested twice that much to buy the land under Royal Group’s official name ten years later. Man-ho essentially embezzled 35 billion won.
Kwang-kyun searches through Moo-gang’s house, wondering where Moo-gang would have kept an important piece of evidence. He discovers the secret room in the basement, which is now set up with Man-soo’s theories about his brother’s shady business deals back in 1997. Kwang-kyun wonders why Moo-gang would be so interested in Royal Group, until he finds an identical file to the one Moo-gang had been investigating before he was shot — a file about a fire that happened 20 years ago.
Despite his annoyance at her fishy smell, Black drives Joon’s mother back to work. He wonders to himself if Moo-gang was killed because he was looking into Joon’s case, and realizes that Moo-gang was likely killed by the same person who killed Joon.
As he drops Joon’s mother off at her roadside fish stall, she’s accosted by some gangster-type thugs. Black hesitates, then drives away, deciding to not get involved.
Black finds the file about the fire on Kwang-kyun’s desk, realizing that it’s the same case Ha-ram’s father was investigating before he died. Based on what Ha-ram told him about the case, he wonders why similar burnt yellow paper would be found at both the original arson and Mi-soo’s murder. Kwang-kyun discovers that the burnt yellow papers are actually pieces of Chinese money, which is often burned when someone dies so that the spirit can be freed.
Man-soo secretly reviews Man-ho’s car’s blackbox, hoping to get evidence of legal corruption the night before Sang-min was released. He’s shocked when he sees that Mi-so (and not a prosecutor) gets into the car with Man-ho — and that the blackbox also shows Scarface lurking in the background.
Man-soo prints out photos of Scarface and shows them to Ha-ram, who recognizes him as the man who killed her father. She’s never seen a true photo of him with the scar before — only his face in the shadows, or covered in blood, or an artist’s rendering of a witness’s description. She realizes in horror that this must also be the man who killed Mi-so — and the man whose life she saved twice.
Stunned that he’s still alive, Ha-ram goes to Scarface’s sister-in-law, who originally told Ha-ram that he had died in China. The woman has a Shadow on her, and Ha-ram warns her that Scarface will kill her. But the woman nervously tells Ha-ram to leave her alone and never come back.
Black’s also come to the same conclusion: the man who killed Ha-ram’s father is Scarface. When Black hurries to Ha-ram’s apartment, he discovers the dropped photos of Scarface. Knowing Ha-ram’s also found out the truth, Black quickly portals to the sister-in-law’s home, but it’s too late — the sister-in-law has already been murdered.
The detectives discover from nearby CCTV footage that after Scarface left his sister-in-law’s house, Ha-ram followed him. Black rushes out, desperate to find Ha-ram. He runs down the street, shouting her name when she doesn’t answer her phone.
Seeing one of her shoes on the side of the road, Black heads into the nearby mountains, only to find another crime scene that’s cordoned off by the police.
Next to some bloody leaves is Ha-ram’s phone and her other shoe, which is also covered in blood. Black convinces himself there’s no way that Ha-ram is dead, since she can only die once her capsule is opened. How unfortunate, then, that a couple of Reapers, while waiting for their assignment to die at the hospital, find the capsule that fell out of Creepy Doc’s pocket. One of them realizes it belongs to 444, and he must not be a fan of the runaway 444, because he gleefully opens the capsule.
Rain pours down as Black continues his fruitless search for Ha-ram. Once of the CSI techs calls him, letting him know that they’ve found approximately two liters of Ha-ram’s blood on the ground — there’s no way Ha-ram could survive such a hefty blood loss.
Black, in shock, drops to his knees. In his secret hideout, Scarface giggles to himself, remembering how he stabbed Ha-ram in the gut.
Nooooooooooooooooooooo! Ha-ram can’t be dead! She just can’t be!
At least, I don’t think she can be. If this were any other drama, I wouldn’t be so worried that one of the main protagonists was in serious danger of being killed off, especially when there are still six episodes to go. But… this is Black, where people die all the time, and where dead spirits are even given another chance at life. I’m still hoping that there’s enough Reaper in her (from her father’s side, y’know) to keep her from dying. Or that the afterlife will be thrown into enough of a tizzy trying to figure out what to do about a woman who is half-human/half-Reaper that they decide she can’t die just yet.
But it does make me wonder… if Ha-ram did die, would she be considered a missing person, since her body has yet to be found? Would she come back as a so-called “pure-blood” Reaper, with no memories of her own? Or would her half-Reaper status allow her to keep her memories? Would she be able to find her way back to Black and help him reveal the truth of Joon’s murder? But what am I saying: Ha-ram didn’t die; there’s no reason for me to be so worried; Black will find her in the next episode and she’ll be magically cured of her knife wound and they’ll continue to save children’s lives; la-la-la, I can’t hear you tell me any different.
Even though I’m not pleased at the way Ha-ram found out (oh, Soo-wan, stop lying to yourself that you’re doing good by your efforts to protect Moo-gang — instead, come further and further to the dark side, because I think I’d like you a lot more if you didn’t look like a perpetually scared deer and instead accepted your antagonist role in trying to hide evidence), I’m relieved that Ha-ram finally knows that Joon and Moo-gang are two different people. Yes, her heart is crushed, but it also means we can focus on investigating what really happened to Joon. And even though I can believe Joon was killed the night of the 19th/early morning of the 20th, I don’t for a second believe that he was killed by that hit-and-run driver. I’m going to need more evidence than a hand with the red-string bracelet peeking out from under a blanket. Where’s my DNA proof, people!
As much as I’ve been enjoying the general WTF-ness of the quick pace and millions of clues and details thrown at me each week, something about this episode felt slghtly off. Maybe it’s because we already knew Scarface was the same person who was responsible for the fire back in 1997 and who killed Ha-ram’s father (among many others). So watching Ha-ram, Black, and Kwang-kyun gradually reach the same conclusion felt a little anticlimactic, like, yes, yes, we already know, c’mon, let’s get to solving the mystery of what exactly happened back in 1997 to make Mujin the cornerstone of every terrible thing our characters have gone through. I’m not saying this episode was “filler” because we did get our weekly dose of new clues and details (all of which will undoubtedly be meaningful later) — and because I don’t think this show can do “filler”. But I just wish somehow we could have gotten everyone on the same page a little bit faster.
At least there was another hour to enjoy Black’s character growth (admittedly, for Black, it’s two steps forward, one-and-half steps back — but at least there’s progress!). I was impressed that he would actually swallow his jealousy and tell Man-soo, his number one rival (or maybe number two rival, if we count Leo), to escort Ha-ram to where Joon’s ashes are kept. I also got a few chuckles out of the fact that he tried to ignore his depression and loneliness by going shopping, because, as Joseon pointed out, that’s a total human reaction (and don’t I — and my poor bank account — know it). Black is becoming more and more human each week, and I love it. Although I do still appreciate when his arrogant Reaper ways express himself, particularly the demeaning nicknames he gives everyone. Which is why it made me gasp to actually hear him call out for Ha-ram by using her name instead of the “Chewing Gum” nickname he’s used ever since he realized that he needed her ability to see the Shadows.
Ha-ram is an important person to Black, whether he realizes it or not. She’s no longer just a pair of eyes to borrow so he can accomplish his mission. In fact, he purposefully set aside his mission (by letting Leo leave) so that he could try and help Ha-ram cope with the realization that a man she saved killed another person. That empathy is not something we would have seen from Black in the early episodes, since he probably would have dragged Ha-ram along to Leo’s wardrobe fitting, not caring about her inner turmoil since everyone has to die sometime. That’s the Reaper rule. But not for Ha-ram, I hope. No, I can’t accept that she’s dead. Not yet. Not when Black is finally discovering how much she means to him.