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Two Cops: Episodes 7-8

Our grumpy detective finds himself chasing a mystery that grows deeper every time he thinks he’s getting close to the answer. The last thing he wants right now is more entanglements, but he can’t avoid them as he’s forced to turn to unexpected sources for help. Meanwhile a certain spirit tries to figure out why he’s in this strange situation in the first place, which leads him to an upsetting revelation.

 
EPISODE 7 RECAP

Detective Dong-tak drives back to the station after arresting suspected murderer Doo-shik, muttering that now he’s seeing things, having thought he actually saw Su-chang for just an instant. Su-chang won’t stay quiet, and Dong-tak threatens to call an exorcist.

Su-chang repeats that Doo-shik isn’t the real killer, insisting he saw the real killer’s face. Although he’s reluctantly thankful for Su-chang’s help, Dong-tak says that Doo-shik is the real culprit because he confessed.

Su-chang argues that Dong-tak just doesn’t know what a massive idiot Doo-shik is, which he learned when they lived in the same orphanage—but he stops himself. He accuses Dong-tak of trusting Doo-shik more than him.

Ji-an heads to the police station armed with bags of snacks. Her plan is to get more information about Hang-joon’s murder case, but she’s not very confident that buttering up Dong-tak with food will work.

While Su-chang sulks, Dong-tak asks why he wants to possess his body so badly. Su-chang grumbles that there’s something he needs to do, recalling the memory of the young boy tearfully begging the older boy to keep his promise to prove his father’s innocence.

He tells Dong-tak again that he can help him catch the real culprit. He adds that they might be destined to be partners, which reminds Dong-tak of Miss Bong saying that he’ll find an amazing partner soon.

She’d said that the only way for them to live is to stick together like one body, and Dong-tak wonders if a con man’s spirit in a detective’s body makes any sense. Su-chang says that it does when they both gain something from it.

The cops pull up to the station just as Ji-an arrives, and she asks Sung-hyuk what’s going on. He tells her they caught the killer, making her eyes light up.

Su-chang continues to badger Dong-tak as they near the station, and has to tell Dong-tak which way to face to talk to him, again. Dong-tak tells Su-chang to bring him proof that Doo-shik isn’t the killer, and by Su-chang’s silence, he can tell that he doesn’t have anything.

Su-chang spots Ji-an and gets excited. She congratulates Dong-tak for catching the killer and asks for details, and when Su-chang chimes in that she helped, Dong-tak yells for him to get lost.

Except it sounds like he’s yelling at Ji-an, of course. Then Su-chang mischievously yells at Dong-tak for yelling at a beautiful woman, and stands behind Ji-an so that Dong-tak talks back in her direction, cooing that she looks even prettier when she’s angry.

Sounding frazzled and jealous, Dong-tak suddenly asks if Ji-an gets angry in front of just anyone, then tells her not to get angry at other guys. He says she should only get angry at him, making her and Su-chang both gape at him.

He starts to go inside and Su-chang follows him, muttering that he put out bait, and wonders what if Doo-shik is really guilty. HA, you little sneak. He offers again to help Dong-tak, who says he doesn’t need it.

Ji-an watches Dong-tak as he gets upset with Su-chang’s nagging and starts kicking at empty air, and tells herself that she’s crazy for buying food for a crazy detective. Dong-tak continues yelling, demanding to know where Su-chang is and waving the fire extinguisher around, hee.

He calms down and goes to question Doo-shik, and he gets a call that they found the murder weapon at Doo-shik’s house. Doo-shik smirks as he says that both Hang-joon and Dong-tak’s blood will be on it. He also shows Dong-tak his tattoo, asking if that’s everything he needs.

He tells Dong-tak that the taxi driver drove like an idiot, because he only told his gang to beat him, but he died in the accident. He says he killed Hang-joon for “overstepping,” warning Dong-tak to stop overstepping in stuff that’s none of his concern, and Dong-tak lunges across the table at him.

The other detectives pull Dong-tak away, telling him that Doo-shik is provoking him so he can claim he was forced to confess. Su-chang stays behind, then finds Dong-tak to declare that he has proof that Doo-shik isn’t the killer. He’d witnessed Doo-shik changing clothes, and saw something on his back when he had his shirt off.

Dong-tak goes back to the interrogation room and lifts Doo-shik’s shirt to reveal… nothing. But he remembers Su-chang pulling that bookcase onto his attacker the other night, knowing the real killer would be bruised.

When Ji-an pops up asking questions, Detective Lee evicts her from the office, and Su-chang sees her and starts to head her way. Suddenly he clutches his chest and falls to his knees in agony.

He’s pulled back to the hospital, where he sees his body in cardiac arrest. Luckily the doctors restore his heartbeat, but it frightens him and reminds him that he only has forty-nine days to return to his body or he’ll die.

He thinks of a memory he wanted to forget, and we see a man and a boy in a truck, swerving onto the wrong side of the road and causing an accident. There’s an instant when the boy is in the hospital, an older boy’s arm slung over his shoulder as they both look up at a young man.

Later the boy gives a pendant to the young man and asks for his help. Su-chang realizes that this is the web of karma he needs to untie.

Dong-tak asks Doo-shik if he’s actually a substitute for the real killer, but Doo-shik just laughs. Later, Ji-an is there in the crowd of reporters as Doo-shik is led out of the station to be transported to prison. She asks Doo-shik why he confessed, and he says that he hoped confessing might get him a lighter sentence.

In flashback, we Superintendent Ma offering Doo-shik a special pardon. As he’s led to the bus, Doo-shik looks up at Superintendent Ma’s office window, where the superintendent stands sneering down at him for thinking he’s “one of us.”

Dong-tak shoves Doo-shik onto the bus, and Doo-shik asks why he thinks he’s not the killer. Dong-tak tells him that he’s decided to believe someone else more. Doo-shik asks who that is, and Dong-tak growls, “My partner.”

Another flashback shows that prosecutor Jae-hee had approached his father, Chief Prosecutor Tak, protesting that Doo-shik’s trial would only be for show. He’d wanted to take the case, and Chief Prosecutor Tak had asked if he would just insist that Doo-shik is innocent until proven guilty and get another criminal released.

He’d told Jae-hee to invite Ji-an to dinner soon, and alone in his car, he’d looked at Dong-tak’s personnel file. He’d said to himself thoughtfully, “Cha Dong-tak. There’s heat in the wind.”

Dong-tak visits Hang-joon’s gravesite, thinking how he’d told him that someday there would be someone he’d want to catch so badly it’d make him cry. He vows to his old mentor that he’ll catch his killer, then cry all he wants.

After Dong-tak leaves, someone approaches the columbarium and removes the stone face and reaches behind Hang-joon’s urn.

The detectives go out to celebrate catching Hang-joon’s killer, but Dong-tak is disturbed. He thinks about a traffic ticket that was issued to Doo-shik on the night of Hang-joon’s murder, but when he’d asked for a list of speeding violations from that night, they’d all been destroyed.

Ji-an goes out with her friend Da-jung, the ICU nurse, who tells her that her coma patient almost died today. She’s worried another shock could kill him and admits that she’s a bit of a fangirl, because he’s really handsome.

They see some unruly-looking thugs across the street, but Ji-an recognizes them as the detectives, drunk after their celebration. She sends Dong-tak the video of himself having a meltdown by the river, which Sung-hyuk sees over his shoulder. He wants to go find the pervert who got partially naked in public, but Dong-tak sends him home and says he’ll find the “pervert” himself.

He catches up to Ji-an, who claims that she has to revert to blackmail since he keeps going back on their deal. She refuses to tell him where she got the video, saying that she has to protect her sources, though Dong-tak fires back that illegally obtained information isn’t protected.

She asks what he was doing by the river, and he swears it’s not him in that video. She says it is, describing his dark eyebrows, chiseled jawline, and broad shoulders, then realizes too late that she sounds a bit too complimentary, ha.

Ji-an jokes that maybe he has a long-lost twin, but Dong-tak says that he has no family, something they have in common. He asks again for the original video, but Ji-an is reluctant to relinquish her blackmail material without a real deal.

Suddenly, a young man bursts out of the convenience store behind them and runs off. Dong-tak gives chase, catching up hilariously easily by comfortably jogging beside the kid. (The intense background music behind the non-chase is hysterical.)

The boy quickly runs out of steam, and Ji-an arrives a few seconds later, yelling that Korean detectives know taekwondo, judo, hapkido… Dong-tak gives her this look and says, “That’s my line,” then actually cracks a smile.

Back at the convenience store, the boy tells Dong-tak and Ji-an that he’s been working 14-hour days to help pay his girlfriend’s tuition, and that when he asked the owner for his back pay, the man vindictively gave it to him in coins. The owner tells a different story, saying that the boy was always late and that the register never added up when he worked, accusing him of stealing.

Pulling the boy aside, Dong-tak asks if that’s true. The boy swears he didn’t steal anything, and Dong-tak decides to believe him. He tells the kid that he shouldn’t have punched the owner though, and when the kid says he was angry, Dong-tak tells him to hit him.

The boy hesitates, and Dong-tak says, “You waited five seconds. That’s also how long it took you to lose your temper. What do you think your wrong choice during those five seconds took away from your life? Possibility. You would have become something in five to ten years. But you’ve exchanged half your possibilities with those five seconds. Do you still think you can’t wait five seconds?”

The boy listens to him, then apologizes to the store owner, who forgives him. Dong-tak gives the boy bills and takes the coins, which he and Ji-an now have to lug all the way home, heh.

Dong-tak offers to walk Ji-an home, pretending to do so only because he wants help carrying the coins, and on the way, she asks why he didn’t arrest that kid. He says that the boy needed an adult, not a cop, and that he was a lot like that kid when he was young. He tells Ji-an that he grew up living with relatives and took everything the wrong way, until he met a detective who was the first real adult he’d ever met.

Ji-an asks who it was, and Dong-tak says he died. With a sad smile, he says that everyone around him dies, like that detective, and later, Hang-joon. Ji-an decides that they should stop talking about people with sad endings, and asks if he knows someone who had a happy ending.

Dong-tak smiles again and says that “that person” is probably living their happy ending right now. Ji-an asks who, and he tells her that it was a tough little kid who changed his life. Ji-an chirps that they’ll have a happy ending too, noting that they already spent the night together and nearly kissed.

Dong-tak is very confused at her mention of a kiss, then figures out that she must be talking about when Su-chang was in his body. He tells her that the person she met was only half him, which makes her laugh. Dong-tak asks if she’s been smiling at him like that all along and tells her not to do it anymore.

She thinks he’s feeding her a line, but he denies it, and she pesters him all the way home. She starts to go inside, but he asks if she wants to borrow his money, mostly wanting an excuse not to carry the coins any further. He hands her the bags and stoops to tie her shoes, and Ji-an stiffens at the sight of him kneeling at her feet.

There’s another awkward moment when he stands back up, then he quickly leaves. Ji-an gives a happy little sigh and turns to go inside, only to trip and land on her face. PWAHAHA, Dong-tak tied her shoelaces all right… to each other. He hears her furious screech and grins to himself.

From a short distance away, prosecutor Jae-hee watches Ji-an and Dong-tak and wonders why Ji-an is with the detective.

Once inside, Ji-an asks Da-jung (who’s actually her roommate) what it means when one person in a relationship offers money to the other. Da-jung thinks it means a breakup is imminent or that they’ll charge insane interest, but Ji-an opposes that idea since the man in question is a detective.

Later, Ji-an takes out a keepsake box and flips through a photo album. At first it’s full of pictures of herself, from babyhood to a young child, obviously put together by a loving parent. Then the pictures abruptly stop, with the last few of Ji-an sitting in front of a birthday cake alone.

She says to herself, “I needed an adult in my life too.”

 
EPISODE 8 RECAP

Shaken after seeing himself almost die, Su-chang realizes that he needs to get serious before his forty-nine days are up. He runs into his old accomplice, Bong-sook, as she picks a man’s pocket, then ducks into an alley. Bong-sook vows to steal enough to hire the best surgeon, and Su-chang is touched that she’s doing this for him, but worried that she’ll get careless and be caught.

He decides that Dong-tak is his only option, since he can hear him. The pendant that Dong-tak wears also bothers him, certain he’s seen it before.

Dong-tak also thinks about the fact that Su-chang seemed to recognize the pendant. He wonders if Su-chang is “that kid,” reliving the exact same set of memories that Su-chang has, of an accident and a boy in the hospital. But he shakes it off as an impossible coincidence.

While at lunch with her coworker, Mi-nam, Ji-an overhears a man from a sketchy job placement agency talking to a teenage girl. She needs a job to pay for her tuition and balks at the exorbitant percentage the agency plans to deduct from her paycheck.

When the guy starts to offer the girl some disgusting ways to reduce the fee, Ji-an loses her temper. She storms over and talks to the man in condescending banmal, saying that he possesses zero human qualities, so she doesn’t feel the need to be formal. He raises a hand to hit her, so she pretends to call Dong-tak and tell him that a pedophile is about to hit her.

The man takes off, but the teenage girl isn’t grateful that Ji-an just lost her a job, not even caring about what she’d have had to do to reduce the agency’s cut. Ji-an paraphrases Dong-tak’s impressive speech from the night before about thinking before you act, preening at how cool she sounds.

But the girl isn’t impressed, taking offense at Ji-an trying to teach her a life lesson. Ji-an snaps that the girl should be studying instead of painting her nails all fancy, and the girl criticizes Ji-an’s clothes and snaps that “ajumma” probably doesn’t have a boyfriend. Ouch.

Ji-an is still furious when she and Mi-nam get back to the broadcasting station, and she goes to the break room to scream it out. Unfortunately, the room has glass walls, allowing Mi-nam and newscaster Na-mi to marvel at how insane she looks.

Dong-tak visits Doo-shik in prison and shows him the traffic cam photo of himself from his speeding ticket. He rips up the photo, lying to Doo-shik that that was the only proof that he isn’t the real killer. He tells Doo-shik never to tell who framed him, because he’s discovered that he’s up against a very interesting guy.

Doo-shik says that Dong-tak is wrong, and Dong-tak tells him to keep saying that. Before he goes, he asks Doo-shik if he’s curious who sent him that picture, and for the first time, Doo-shik looks nervous.

Dong-tak goes to evidence storage and finds the box of evidence from Hang-joon’s case. Remembering that Hang-joon told him that he hid things from his wife in evidence boxes for closed cases, he slips the other copy of Doo-shik’s traffic photo into the box, along with the lighter found in Hang-joon’s jacket.

Su-chang is waiting for Dong-tak at the station, and Dong-tak asks if he really saw the true killer’s face. Su-chang swears he did, so Dong-tak requests a facial composite sketch. Su-chang wonders out loud if that would work for an older case, and Dong-tak asks if that older case has something to do with why Su-chang wants to use his body, but Su-chang avoids the question.

It will take a while for the sketch request to be approved, so when Ji-an shows up to surprise Dong-tak, he asks if she can draw. She can, so they go to a room where Dong-tak relays Su-chang’s description while Ji-an does the drawing.

LOL, the drawing turns out to be of Ji-an herself, and Su-chang shoots her moony finger-hearts, saying that he described the person he sees when he closes his eyes. Dong-tak bellows that Su-chang just conned him, but again, Ji-an thinks he’s yelling at her and yells right back.

Su-chang grows more insistent about being allowed to use Dong-tak’s body, but Dong-tak loudly refuses, accidentally screaming in Detective Lee’s face. Su-chang follows Dong-tak into the restroom to verbally admire his… equipment, and this time it’s Detective Park who’s surprised by Dong-tak’s tantrum for him not to look.

Su-chang follows Dong-tak into the interrogation room as he questions a suspect, answering Dong-tak’s questions with silly answers and confusing the thief when Dong-tak tells him to say his name, then snaps at him to shut up. The rest of the team wonders if Dong-tak is going crazy, but loyal Sung-hyuk decides it’s just a new interrogation technique, and their team leader calls Dong-tak a veteran already.

Poor Dong-tak can’t even get any sleep, as Su-chang serenades him all night. In the morning, Dong-tak goes out for breakfast, but Su-chang’s constant chatter finally breaks him. He screams at the top of his lungs, scaring the bakery employees half to death (HAHA, they’re the guys Sung-hyuk brought to the “herd” the other night).

Desperate, Dong-tak goes looking for Miss Bong to ask how to get rid of Su-chang. She says it’s impossible, and that a huge change will happen soon, because their connection has become stronger. She reminds him that he has a past debt he hasn’t repaid, telling him to figure that out first.

Sung-hyuk alerts the detectives to an assault that just happened in broad daylight, and when they watch the CCTV footage, Dong-tak recognizes the boy from the convenience store as the attacker. Oddly, all he took from the man he assaulted was a small doll. Dong-tak doesn’t know it, but the victim is the sketchy job broker that Ji-an confronted, and the doll was on the teenage girl’s bag that he was trying to recruit.

They bring the boy in, and he tells them that his girlfriend, Soo-young, has been kidnapped, and that he attacked that man to try and discover who took her. Disappointed, Dong-tak tells the boy that he regrets believing him, and the boy grows upset and begs him to believe him just one more time.

Dong-tak decides to give him one more chance, so the boy tells them that Soo-young broke up with him via text message after meeting someone named Mr. Park. She then went missing, and he thinks that the man he attacked and this Mr. Park are working together.

He shows the detectives their text conversation, which proves that Soo-young is normally foul-mouthed, but after meeting Mr. Park her messages became very tame. As a test, Dong-tak has the kid send a text asking Soo-young to return a dress he bought her. She responds that she threw it away, only he never gave her a dress.

A man gets into a car and tosses a phone into the backseat. It lands next to Soo-young, who’s unconscious. He drives her to a wooded area and gets out to throw the phone into the trees. But in that moment, she wakes and escapes the van, tripping at one point and losing a shoe.

Detective Yoo gets a tip that a girl has been found by the side of the road, and the detectives jump into their cars to speed to the hospital. Su-chang hitches a ride with Dong-tak, and he asks why Dong-tak believes the kid. Dong-tak says that he was just like him at that age, that nobody believed in him and he had no hope.

He asks Su-chang how he became a con man, and Su-chang tells him that he actually had dreams of being a detective once. He says that he changed his mind after meeting a scumbag who betrayed him, growing angry just thinking about it. He says he doesn’t know the guy’s name, but once he finds him, he’ll set things right.

Dong-tak almost seems to be leading Su-chang as he asks if he remembers anything. Su-chang says, “A necklace. I gave it to him and asked him to clear my dad’s name.” Dong-tak looks shaken by his answer.

When they arrive at the hospital, Dong-tak hears a young boy’s voice asking, “Hyung, help me.” The scar on his hand suddenly hurts, and he remembers a boy in a hospital gown holding the pendant out to him, asking for his help. He’d taken the pendant and promised to help the boy catch the man who framed his father.

Stunned, Dong-tak turns around and sees Su-chang, standing right in front of him. It takes Su-chang a moment to realize that Dong-tak can see him, and he smiles happily. But his smile fades when Dong-tak asks if he’s “that kid,” and he snarls at Dong-tak, “Are you that conning scumbag?!”

Dong-tak holds up the pendant, and the two stare at each other in disbelief. It begins to rain, and Ji-an, who heard about the missing girl on the police scanner, shows up and calls out to Dong-tak. She starts to run to him, and a car comes straight at her.

Su-chang and Dong-tak see the car at the same time and they both run towards Ji-an. Dong-tak grabs her and pulls her out of the way, then asks if she’s okay. Uh-oh, his voice sounds very different. He wilts with relief and turns to yell at the car’s driver, then fusses at Ji-an for almost getting hurt, calling her “Song.” Ooooh no, it’s Su-chang.

Su-chang suddenly realizes that he’s back in control of Dong-tak’s body, and he grins widely at Ji-an. He turns to look at the camera, breaking the fourth wall as he asks cheekily, “Shall we have some fun?”

 
COMMENTS

He’s back! As much as I love the potential bromance brewing between Su-chang and Dong-tak, seeing Jo Jung-seok as Su-chang in Dong-tak’s body is hilarious, and I missed that this week. It’s good timing as well, because Su-chang is going to need some time to cool down after learning that Dong-tak is the person he blames for ruining his life. I really appreciate the smooth way that Su-chang’s background has been revealed to us, both through little offhand comments he’s made and his flashbacks. It’s difficult for a show to deal out information slowly without being confusing, but in this case, we get exactly what we need to know, exactly when we need to know it. There are so many tiny clues and details that lead to some interesting theories, like, why did Dong-tak’s scar hurt when he thought of little Su-chang? Is this whole situation orchestrated by Hang-joon, who didn’t get to introduce Dong-tak and Su-chang in life, so he’s making sure they meet now?

The love triangle is really bizarre in this show, but I’m finding it a fun kind of bizarre. Watching Su-chang flirt with Ji-an (both in Dong-tak’s body and in spirit form) is adorable, because he’s so unabashedly besotted, and it’s fun to see someone just put their feelings right out there. On the other hand, Dong-tak’s quiet, seething jealousy is also entertaining, because he knows it’s ridiculous to be jealous of a spirit, especially when Ji-an thinks that spirit is him anyway, but he can’t help himself. I have a feeling that half of Dong-tak’s reluctance to let Su-chang use his body again is because he doesn’t want him romancing Ji-an.

I really like that we’re getting to see the other sides of both Su-chang and Dong-tak’s personalities. Su-chang isn’t all jokes and fun—he also has a darker side, one nurtured by his traumatic past and what he’s always considered a huge betrayal. It’s already getting in his way, because he’s in the habit of doing everything alone, so he’s not being honest with Dong-tak about why he needs to use his body. He’s forgetting that Miss Bong specifically said that he and Dong-tak need to work together, and until they can learn to trust and rely on each other, they’re not going to get anywhere.

Meanwhile, Dong-tak turns out to have a mischievous streak and a rather wicked sense of humor, which he’s starting to rediscover around Ji-an. The way he made her swoon by tying her shoelaces, only for her to find out he tied them together, had me whooping with laughter, because even though he seems so straightlaced and serious, it somehow feels very in-character for him to play evil practical jokes on people he likes. I can’t wait to see more of that side of him, and I can see now why Hang-joon thought that Dong-tak and Su-chang would like each other. I find it very interesting that Su-chang dreamed of being a detective but feels his life was ruined by Dong-tak, while Dong-tak was a delinquent until he met someone who changed his life for the better.

If it’s not Hang-joon pulling the strings, then I think that the reason Su-chang and Dong-tak are linked by Fate is that everything is connected, from Hang-joon’s murder all the way back to Su-chang’s accident. At least I really hope so, because I like the idea of using the old “met as children” trope to explain why things are happening the way it is now. I wonder if Ji-an is also connected to the two guys somehow, since all three of them appear to have lost their families at young ages, or if that’s just something that makes them kindred souls. Either way, I’m really enjoying the backstory of the two guys, and I can’t wait to learn why little Su-chang asked Dong-tak for help, and why he feels betrayed.

 
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