The Guest: Episode 8
If you’ve missed being inundated with spooky spirits, then this is the episode for you. The mystery surrounding Park Il-do continues, but this time it involves another child psychic. With our intrepid trio doing all they can to fight supernatural evil, will they also be able to prevent history from repeating itself?
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Hwa-pyung wakes up to a voice angrily telling him that “It’s all because of him,” but it’s not Park Il-do — it’s just his gangster cellmate talking in his sleep. Kil-young and Yoon stop by the police station and give Hwa-pyung grief for getting arrested; pointing out that this is the consequence of him acting so rashly.
Hwa-pyung defends himself, since he’s still convinced Park Il-do is in Hong-joo, and he would do anything to get rid of the evil spirit. Yoon wonders why Hwa-pyung is so obsessed with Park Il-do — they’ve all lost their families thanks to the evil spirit, but as far as he knows, Hwa-pyung was simply possessed as a child.
Instead of answering, Hwa-pyung tells them to keep an eye on Hong-joo. As Yoon and Kil-young leave the police station, Yoon says they should just keep Hwa-pyung in jail for his own good, since it would be safer that way.
To no one’s surprise, Yoon decides to work alone. Kil-young points out that they need Hwa-pyung to help them figure out who’s possessed, but Yoon stubbornly says he’ll figure it out himself.
Detective Go notes his partner’s grumpy attitude, teasingly asking if it’s about a guy. She retorts that it’s because of two idiots, actually. Ha! But then she’s stunned when her boss tells her to hand over all her information regarding Mi-jin’s case to the local authorities.
Kil-young is furious that all her efforts will just be given away, but she’s in no position to argue — although she tries, protesting that Noh-seok didn’t kill Hyun-joo twenty years ago, despite what the other authorities say. It’s hard to fight against the rational assumption that Noh-seok killed Mi-jin to cover up his supposed crime from back then.
Priest Yang invites Yoon to dinner (and Yoon eyes him carefully as the older priest pours a hearty glass of soju). Priest Yang inquires about Hwa-pyung, and Yoon grumbles that he doesn’t know why Hwa-pyung is so obsessed with Park Il-do, since — unlike Yoon and Kil-young — Hwa-pyung didn’t lose his entire family to the spirit.
The older priest gently corrects Yoon, telling him about Hwa-pyung’s possession which caused his mother to drown and his grandmother to hang herself. Yoon’s shocked, since Hwa-pyung never mentioned it before. Then he asks Priest Yang to help him meet with Hong-joo.
Yoon begs her to drop the charges against Hwa-pyung, but Hong-joo muses that she’s looked into Hwa-pyung and his background, and wants to know who this “Park Il-do” is. Priest Yang gently explains Hwa-pyung’s possession as a child and everything that resulted from it, but Hong-joo laughs at the idea that Hwa-pyung believes she’s possessed.
Hong-joo says that she won’t drop the charges because she doesn’t trust that Hwa-pyung — who she calls crazy — won’t try to find her again. Yoon takes responsibility for Hwa-pyung, telling her that Hwa-pyung might be a bit unstable, but he at least listens to Yoon. Then Yoon tells her that he was able to prevent Hwa-pyung from going to reporters with his theory that Hong-joo was involved with Hyun-joo’s death.
Threat of bad press is enough of a bargaining chip for Hong-joo — or it’s enough to convince her that Yoon will control Hwa-pyung — so she drops the charges. Aw, he looks so happy to see Kil-young waiting for him outside the police station.
He’s shocked to realize that his freedom is due to Yoon, since he assumed Yoon wanted nothing more to do with him. Kil-young still warns him to stay away from Hong-joo, reminding him that if he ends up in jail again, he won’t be able to catch Park Il-do.
Hwa-pyung walks home, a little tipsy from the beers Kil-young bought him. He realizes a car is following him so he stops and confronts the driver. It’s one of the gangster cellmates who was freed at the same time he was. The gangster warns Hwa-pyung to leave Hong-joo alone — or else.
But Hwa-pyung says that the gangster should stop following him — or else. He calls Kil-young, letting her know about his new stalker, but she just reiterates that Hwa-pyung needs to stay away from Hong-joo.
Yoon goes to the psychiatric hospital to find out more information about Noh-seok, particularly who the last people were to visit him. The nurse tells him that would have been Kil-young and Hwa-pyung. The day after they visited, Noh-seok went for one of his usual walks, but looked like he was having a seizure as he flailed and screamed at something nonexistent in the trees.
While studying the spot where Noh-seok saw something terrifying, Yoon gets a call from Kil-young. He tells her about Noh-seok and his belief that the man encountered Park Il-do when Noh-seok went for a walk. Coincidentally, at that time Hong-joo was in town attending an event elsewhere.
Maybe it’s not a coincidence? But the only way for them to determine if she’s possessed is to confirm that Hong-joo is blind in her right eye. And they can’t exactly confront her like Hwa-pyung did.
Speaking of Hwa-pyung, he’s resting at his grandfather’s home. Grandpa’s worried because Hwa-pyung doesn’t look well, and wonders if Hwa-pyung has girl troubles. Hwa-pyung sighs that he was, indeed, dumped, and that he thought he’d won that person’s heart, but they ran away. Are… are we talking about his partnership with Yoon? Because I hope we are.
Hwa-pyung also has questions about when he was possessed as a child, but Grandpa dismisses them. Their lunch is interrupted when a neighbor begs Grandpa to look at her granddaughter, since she’s convinced her granddaughter is possessed.
Grandpa tells her he’s no longer in the shaman business, and hushes her when she frantically says it’s just like when Park Il-do came to the village twenty years ago. Grandpa finally shoos her away, but Hwa-pyung is definitely curious, especially since she name-dropped Park Il-do. He visits the woman later, who marvels at how well he’s grown.
But Hwa-pyung wants to know about her granddaughter’s symptoms. The woman explains the girl can see things that no one else can, notably the spirits of people who have died. Most recently — and the major cause for concern — was that the granddaughter recently answered the door with a knife in hand, warning that something terrible was there. Except there was no one at the door.
Hwa-pyung tries to visit the girl, but the girl’s mother is annoyed that Grandma has sent what she assumes to be another shaman, and tells Hwa-pyung to get lost. As Hwa-pyung stands outside the apartment building and calls the grandmother, a man standing outside, waving up to a window, is suddenly killed by a falling rock.
This actually is Kil-young’s jurisdiction, and she and Detective Go arrive on scene to investigate. When Kil-young realizes that one of her witnesses is Hwa-pyung, she drags him off to the side to speak to him privately.
She demands to know why he’s there, and he tells her about the little girl who might be possessed by Park Il-do — it was her father who was just killed.
At least that gives Kil-young another purpose to her investigation, as she and Detective Go question the mother, Lee Hye-kyung. Kil-young says that according to witnesses, her husband was waving to his daughter the moment he died, and asks to meet with the little girl. But the woman won’t budge and orders the detectives to leave.
Further investigation reveals that Hye-kyung and her husband often fought, particularly over the subject of their daughter, and they had been living separately. Detective Go finds it strange that Kil-young is so focused on the child, but finds it even stranger when CCTV footage shows Hwa-pyung visiting the apartment moments before the man died.
Kil-young tries to cover for Hwa-pyung and redirects Detective Go’s suspicions to Hye-kyung’s strange reactions to their questions. Hye-kyung studies the spot where her husband died, realizing that he was standing just beneath their balcony.
Nervous and worried, she grabs a paring knife from her daughter’s hand as the girl’s attempts to cut an apple. Grandma arrives, convinced that her son-in-law died because of her granddaughter, Seo-yeon, being possessed, but Hye-kyung screams at her mother to leave it alone.
Even so, Grandma sneaks Seo-yeon out of the apartment so that they can meet with Hwa-pyung and Yook Kwang. Hwa-pyung tells the girl that he used to be just like her when he was younger, since he could see spirits, too, and then asks what she can see.
Reluctantly, Seo-yeon describes the first spirit she ever saw, a woman in old-fashioned clothes. Yook Kwang concludes that Seo-yeon was possessed and will need an exorcism.
Except Seo-yeon says she hasn’t seen that spirit in a while, and it wasn’t a scary spirit, unlike the ones she’s been seeing lately. They keep following her with knives in their hands. They tell her to help them kill everyone, and if she does, she’ll be protected. Hwa-pyung asks who she’ll be protected by, and Seo-yeon says, “Park Il-do.”
That’s enough to send Hwa-pyung to Yoon and, despite Yoon not wanting to talk to Hwa-pyung, he can’t ignore the fact that a little girl might be possessed by Park Il-do.
At the police station, Kil-young questions Hye-kyung about her separation from her husband. Kil-young points out that most of their arguments centered on their daughter, and asks if there is something wrong with Seo-yeon. Hye-kyung screams that their daughter is perfectly fine.
Meanwhile, Yoon and Hwa-pyung are with Seo-yeon and her grandmother. Yoon carefully tests to see if Seo-yeon is possessed, but the girl doesn’t react to the crucifix he puts in her hand. Yoon continues to question her about the spirits she can see, and Seo-yeon reveals that it all started a couple of months ago.
She first saw the scary spirit on her way home from school — it stood across the street and stared at her, raising its knife. Then later another one was standing outside the apartment building and tried to follow her into the elevator. And the most recent one was just outside her apartment. But she always ran away and hid — they never actually entered her home.
Yoon determines that Seo-yeon is in the process of being possessed, but isn’t possessed yet. Hwa-pyung is relieved, since he was afraid Seo-yeon killed her father. As Yoon watches Hwa-pyung happily cheer up Seo-yeon, he remembers what Priest Yang told him about Hwa-pyung’s family dying when Hwa-pyung was possessed.
Seo-yeon tells Hwa-pyung and Yoon that her mother didn’t believe Seo-yeon could really see the spirits. She adds that she could see a spirit of a young woman following her father, but he told her not to tell anyone. It was the arguments her parents had about that particular spirit that caused her parents to separate.
Hye-kyung arrives home just then and is furious that Grandma brought a priest and Hwa-pyung (who she believes is a shaman) to see her daughter. She opens the door and yells at them to get out, but Seo-yeon suddenly starts backing up in fear. She can see a grinning spirit just outside the door.
Realizing that she can see a spirit, Hwa-pyung relays that information to Yoon, who grabs the girl and tells her to look away. But Seo-yeon suddenly screams at Yoon, ordering him to take his hands off her in a very possessed-person way.
Yoon presses his crucifix agains the girl’s head and she shrieks as she falls to the ground, her skin burning. With Hwa-pyung’s help, they briefly exorcise the girl, believing that the spirit she just saw immediately entered her. Within minutes, Seo-yeon is back to her old self and is surprised to see her mother there.
Hye-kyung can’t believe her daughter is possessed, and Yoon offers to find her an exorcist priest, since he’s still technically not allowed to perform a full exorcism. Hwa-pyung asks if she’s ever seen Hong-joo before, but neither mother nor daughter have met the congresswoman, and they haven’t heard of Sharing Hand.
That certainly puts a wrinkle in their “Hong-joo is Park Il-do” theory. Even so, Yoon tells Hwa-pyung to stay out of it. But, of course, Hwa-pyung can’t. And not just because of his obsession with Park Il-do, but because the little girl reminds him of when he was a little boy and Park Il-do possessed him.
Yoon’s worried that Seo-yeon might have killed her father, but Hwa-pyung is adamant that she’s innocent. The real question is whether or not he believes it because he thinks it’s true, or because he doesn’t want to admit that a possessed child could kill family members — like he might have done as a child himself.
Detective Go and Kil-young are still combing through CCTV footage to figure out who killed Seo-yeon’s father. Detective Go thinks it strange that Hwa-pyung keeps appearing at the scene of these weird cases, and he gets goosebumps when Hwa-pyung calls at the exact moment Detective Go is talking about him. Ha!
Hwa-pyung needs Kil-young’s help to track down a woman who might have died in relation to Seo-yeon’s father, since the spirit Seo-yeon described only appeared when her father drove.
Meanwhile, Yoon brings an official exorcism priest to Seo-yeon. The other priest doesn’t believe Seo-yeon is possessed, since she didn’t react to his tests. When Yoon tells him he’s already confirmed the girl’s possession, the other priest chides him for working outside the official parish rules and performing exorcisms without permission, just like his old mentor, Priest Han.
Yoon weakly protests that he didn’t technically exorcise the girl, and pleads with the other priest to stay since he knows this spirit will only end up killing the person it eventually possesses. But the other priest is having none of Yoon’s recklessness and tells him that there’s no point in staying until the church can officially confirm Seo-yeon’s possession.
Hwa-pyung — who impatiently waited outside — furiously tells Yoon that he’s sick of all these ridiculous rules and protocols the church enforces. Yoon retorts that these rules and principles are important and that the priesthood takes their ordination seriously, and that exorcism isn’t a game.
Hwa-pyung points out that Seo-yeon might die and starts to leave to find someone else who will save her, but Yoon shocks him by saying that he’ll do it.
At the police station, the detectives sift through Seo-yeon’s father’s phone. They find it odd that, not only was there no sign that he was cheating on his wife, but he barely texted or called anyone at all. However, they find that he would go to the same spot every day and take a selfie.
Kil-young visits that spot, the site of a hit-and-run accident according to the large banner that requests any information from potential witnesses. She discovers that the victim was a young woman who was wearing the same clothes as the female spirit that would stalk Seo-yeon’s father.
Yoon and Hwa-pyung return to the apartment with Yoon’s suitcase of holy items. Aw, Hwa-pyung is suddenly adorably concerned for Yoon, worried that if the parish council finds out about this illegal exorcism, he could be defrocked. Yoon coolly says he’ll take care of himself.
Kil-young calls to let them know about Seo-yeon’s father being involved in the hit-and-run accident. She finds it strange that he would visit the hit-and-run site every day, and that he would then go to his daughter’s home and wave at her through the window.
Seo-yeon’s asleep when she hears a tapping on the window. There’s no one outside however, but the tapping persists. Seo-yeon screams for her mother, saying that it’s trying to come inside. When Grandma steps out on the balcony to investigate, Seo-yeon screams at her to not open the window.
Grandma reassures Seo-yeon that nothing’s there, but when Seo-yeon looks down from the balcony, she sees a spirit grinning up at her, holding a knife. Seo-yeon hurries to a suitcase hidden under bed and opens it, revealing a large rock. She desperately explains that this is the only way to get rid of the spirit, and Hye-kyung realizes that Seo-yeon killed her father, believing him to be a spirit.
In the security room, the trio watch CCTV footage of Seo-yeon’s father entering the apartment building, something he did every few days despite no longer living there. They watch the footage of the man standing eerily in the hallway, which was the same time when Seo-yeon said she saw a creepy ghost standing outside their apartment.
Hwa-pyung realizes that when Seo-yeon was seeing spirits, she was actually seeing the spirits that were possessing her father. He was the one who stood outside her school and who followed her home.
This all must have started when he killed that girl in the hit-and-run. But if he’s dead, then the spirits Seo-yeon sees now are looking for a new body — and the body of a child psychic is the perfect vessel.
Hye-kyung and her mother are still rattled by the discovery that Seo-yeon killed her father. Seo-yeon dazedly watches them as the two women talk in worried, hushed voices, until she hears a knock on the door. She answers it, but no one’s there — at least no one that we can see.
But for Seo-yeon, there’s a horde of spirits filling the doorway, begging to be let in. They follow her to the bedroom.
Ooohhhh, what a good episode. I’ll admit that of all the horror tropes, kids being creepy is one of my least favorite because I find it to be so utterly terrifying, so this episode definitely felt a little spookier than the ones that have gone before. I’m already worried about the next episode, since I don’t think Seo-yeon will be able to resist that horrible array of spirits longing to possess her. Additionally, if Park Il-do ever possesses a child’s doll, I’m outta here for good. However, I was really intrigued by the twist that the spirits she saw were actually in her father (who is the same actor, by the way, who played Ha-rim’s reaper-possessed father in Black, so I guess he’s found his type-cast niche). This means our trio isn’t back to square one when it comes to Hong-joo and Park Il-do, but will need to focus their attention on how Seo-yeon’s father is connected to Sharing Hand (because he’s gotta be, somehow).
I also really liked this episode because it gives Hwa-pyung a chance to redeem himself. He sees a young psychic girl going through the exact same things he did as a child, so if he can save her, he can, in a way, save himself. Except he’s already too late to save one parent, who was clearly killed by Seo-yeon, no matter how much Hwa-pyung denies it. He’s probably been living with the lie — whether it’s a lie to himself or the lie his grandfather told him — that his mother committed suicide, just like his grandmother. Hwa-pyung is going to have to deal with some serious emotional baggage once he realizes that a possessed child who is so reminiscent of himself could kill, because he’ll be forced to face the fact that he also killed while he was possessed. While we still don’t officially know what happened, this does seem to support the theory that Hwa-pyung pushed his mother over the ledge and killed her.
My other favorite moment in this episode was Yoon deciding to illegally (or, at least, outside of the church’s jurisdiction) perform an exorcism. Yes, he could be defrocked, but considering he primarily became a priest to find and save his brother, he really doesn’t have much to lose now that we know Priest Choi died years ago. Yoon being an exorcist priest won’t save his brother now — but Yoon can save other people from the spirit that destroyed his brother, even if it means going against protocol. I wonder if Yoon thinks he’s also, in a way, saving Hwa-pyung, since he now knows about Hwa-pyung’s history with Park Il-do and what happened when he was possessed. (Is it weird that I’m almost as obsessed about this budding bromance as Hwa-pyung is about Hong-joo being Park Il-do? No? I didn’t think so, either.)
Finally, so much love for my darling Kil-young, who proves she’s the most intelligent and rational since she’s already figured out how the trio fits together with their various roles. She knows that in order to truly get rid of the evil spirits that kill innocent people, they need Hwa-pyung’s visions and psychic intuition to let them know who is possessed, her detective skills and access to information about the possessed person, and Yoon’s faith and ability to perform exorcisms. They won’t be able to track down and defeat Park Il-do by themselves, and I’m thrilled that everyone (particularly the hot-headed Hwa-pyung and stubborn Yoon) seems to have finally, honest-to-goodness, no-more-arguing-about-going-solo, accepted this fact. It feels strange to admit that a gruesome mystery-horror-thriller gives me warm fuzzies, but when I see the trio working together — supplementing each other’s weaknesses and encouraging each other’s strengths — it makes me so incredibly happy.