Mystery Queen: Episode 6
Mystery Queen: Episode 6
We finally understand why Seol-ok’s been so good to her in-laws this whole time, and her reasoning for hiding her dream to keep the family peace starts to make a little more sense. True to her word, Seol-ok tries to wrap up her love for mysteries once and for all — except that one particularly determined detective isn’t about to let her just give up now that he realizes her worth.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Still working at the prosecutor’s office late at night, Ho-chul picks up a call from someone called Chief Kim and agrees to find something for him. The secretary walks in to notify Ho-chul that he’ll be in charge of the Jang Do-jang case, and Ho-chul curses under his breath when he sees that Wan-seung is the detective in charge.
Meanwhile, Dong-ki, Team Leader Kwang-tae, and Wan-seung have just learned that they’re being transferred from the Gang Crimes Unit to the Violent Crimes Unit, and Kwang-tae complains that the power of Ha & Jung Law Firm sure is frightening — now, the Jang Do-jang case is completely out of their hands.
Drowning their sorrows over alcohol, Wan-seung wonders what will happen to Jang Do-jang while Dong-ki drunkenly comments that he just feels bad for Team Leader Kwang-tae — how will he keep up with the new unit when he’s old enough to be a grandpa? Ha.
Kwang-tae snaps that he’s not that old yet, and Wan-seung ponders the case, noting that Jang must have some valuable information on him if Ha & Jung Law Firm is trying so hard to get him released. Dong-ki adds that the situation is even fishier since Kim Ho-chul is the prosecutor handling Jang’s case, and Wan-seung asks indignantly why Kim Ho-chul would be put in charge when drug crimes are completely out of his jurisdiction.
The team realizes that this must mean that the prosecution’s only planning to charge Jang for breaking into the lockers, and at that, Wan-seung downs an entire bottle of soju in a fit of anger as Dong-ki and Kwang-tae try to stop him from destroying his liver.
After a night of drinking, Wan-seung heads straight for the prosecutor’s office. He finds Ho-chul at the steps and grabs the prosecutor by the collar, accusing him of being connected to Ha & Jung Law Firm. Wan-seung is just about to start a fight when Seol-ok runs in, exclaiming that everything is a misunderstanding.
She starts to explain the real reason for why she had been at the police station the other night, but Wan-seung cuts in and tells her that they’re not talking about her — they’re talking about Jang Do-jang. Confused, Ho-chul asks Seol-ok what she means, but when Seol-ok launches into her explanation again, Ho-chul just takes it as a chance to get away from Wan-seung and curtly apologizes for misunderstanding before he takes his leave.
In disbelief at what just happened, Wan-seung yells that Seol-ok always messes things up for him, and Seol-ok tells Wan-seung to let it go — she just saved him from a beating. Wan-seung asks incredulously if she means that he almost got beaten up by Ho-chul, and Seol-ok tells him cheerily that Ho-chul used to do kendo in college.
Wan-seung sarcastically thanks her, and Seol-ok suddenly recalls that Wan-seung had mentioned Jang Do-jang earlier. Curiosity piqued, she starts asking what happened before deciding against it, reminding herself that it has nothing to do with her.
Wan-seung tries to tell her that this case is actually related to her since her husband is the prosecutor, but before he can finish his sentence, Ho-chul, who came back, interrupts him. Trying to get Seol-ok away from Wan-seung, Ho-chul offers to take her out for lunch, and she agrees excitedly. From behind, Wan-seung eyes Ho-chul suspiciously, commenting that there’s definitely something fishy going on.
In jail, a man drags his foot unnaturally across the wooden floorboards as he makes his way towards Jang Do-jang. The strange man silently passes a cellphone on to Jang, who picks up a call from the mysterious Chief Kim. Chief Kim berates Jang for acting up and reminds Jang to stop pretending that he knows things. Jang responds cryptically that he would need to actually know things to be pretending that he knows things and chuckles as Chief Kim hangs up on him.
At Ha & Jung Law Firm, Ji-won briefs CEO Ha on her call with Jang Do-jang. CEO Ha doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in Jang though, and instead asks about Ji-won’s engagement. She trails off when she mentions Wan-seung and that’s all that CEO Ha needs to hear before reassuring her that he’ll take care of Wan-seung. Once Ji-won steps out of the elevator, CEO Ha pulls out his phone and makes a call.
At the restaurant, Seol-ok reflects on the burglary-turned-murder case as she talks to Ho-chul, noting pensively that she shouldn’t have acted the way she did when she didn’t have 100% of the evidence. Ho-chul is rather uninterested in the conversation though, responding monosyllabically to everything she says.
He does tell her to stay away from Wan-seung, commenting that there are a lot of bad rumors surrounding that guy, and Seol-ok just reassures her husband that there won’t be any reason for her to get close to Wan-seung.
At the police substation, Joon-oh wonders sadly why Seol-ok isn’t picking up his calls anymore, thinking that Wan-seung must have something to do with it. Now that Joon-oh has a bone to pick with Wan-seung, he sends him off to investigate a neighborhood theft; when Wan-seung dismissively tries to get out of it, Joon-oh asserts his authority and tells Wan-seung sternly, “I’m the lieutenant here.”
At the lunchbox store, Seol-ok gets to work throwing away all her mystery-studying materials, and Kyung-mi waffles between urging Seol-ok to keep chasing after her ten-year-old dream and encouraging her to let the dream go.
Kyung-mi comments wistfully that Wan-seung was quite good-looking. Seol-ok looks up at her friend in shock, Wan-seung’s handsome face having apparently escaped her notice. Seol-ok rejects the notion and urges her friend to go out and date more, commenting that Kyung-mi’s standards have dropped to rock bottom lately, ha.
While investigating the neighborhood theft, Wan-seung complains about Joon-oh to Earnest Cop, arguing that the only reason he tried to get out of coming here was because he wanted Joon-oh to get the experience instead — Wan-seung was just looking out for the rookie cop! He adds that this is all because of Seol-ok, grumbling that she sure gets upset easily.
Suddenly, a young woman jumps out from behind the corner and cheerily greets the police officers, exclaiming excitedly that the serial theft took place at her house. Leading them to her laundry hanging on the rooftop, she explains that she preserved the “crime scene” for the officers to investigate, and Wan-seung begins to realize that he’s here to catch a petty underwear thief.
Thinking that he’s too good for a small case like this, Wan-seung tries to hand it off to Earnest Cop, but Earnest Cop just got called into an even more pressing case. Wan-seung offers to go in his stead and scoffs when Earnest Cop tries to talk him out of it… until Earnest Cop explains that the other case involves a man publicly pooping in a restaurant and refusing to leave.
Grimacing, Wan-seung agrees to stay and pityingly tells Earnest Cop that he sure is working hard. The young woman returns from her room and hands Wan-seung her magenta-pink underwear to aid his investigation, brightly explaining that the underwear thief stole one that was similar in design, and all Wan-seung can do is nod as he gingerly holds onto the woman’s panties.
Hee-chul sits alone at an empty funeral wake for his mother, terrified and lost as he stares at his mother’s portrait. When his aunt comes bursting in to comfort the poor boy, he bursts into tears, and his aunt can do nothing but lie to him, reassuring him that the police were wrong about everything.
Seol-ok watches the scene unfold from the doorway, and she’s brought back to the memory of herself at her parents’ funeral wake. Seol-ok too had been staring listlessly at her parents’ portraits before Kyung-suk had burst into the room, crying over her friend, Seol-ok’s mother.
Kyung-suk had then turned to Seol-ok and immediately embraced her, comfortingly stroking her head. In the present, as Hee-chul’s aunt tells him that she’ll take care of everything, Hee-chul glances up to see Seol-ok before she walks away.
Seol-ok returns home, and as usual, Kyung-suk nags her about all the housework they have to do. This time, though, Seol-ok thinks back to how Kyung-suk had brought her in to live with the family after Seol-ok’s parents had died — Kyung-suk had taken Seol-ok by the hand and reassured her that she would be treated like Kyung-suk’s own daughter.
After introducing her to Ho-soon and Ho-chul, Kyung-suk had even lovingly offered to make soybean noodles for Seol-ok. In the present, Seol-ok wakes her mother-in-law from her nap and sweetly offers to make the same soybean noodles for her, forever grateful to Kyung-suk for giving her a family.
At the police substation, Joon-oh comments pointedly that Seol-ok probably would’ve been able to solve the panty-thief case by now, and Wan-seung glares at him, asking if Joon-oh’s comparing him to an average housewife. As Joon-oh walks out, Wan-seung complains that Joon-oh sure holds a long grudge and shouts that he really did try to keep Seol-ok from leaving.
While Joon-oh is on patrol, he spots Seol-ok and runs up excitedly to her, telling her that he’s been worried about her. Seol-ok greets him, but she refuses to do any more mystery-solving and quickly takes her leave before Joon-oh can say something to convince her otherwise.
Wan-seung meets with Dong-ki and Kwang-tae to discuss what they’re going to do about Jang Do-jang, and Kwang-tae wonders why Wan-seung is so obsessed with Jang — to that, Wan-seung just says that it’s because Jang is a bad guy. Kwang-tae doesn’t quite buy it, but he wonders what they can do to keep Jang in prison, and suddenly, Wan-seung recalls that Jang had almost stabbed Seol-ok the night he came back for the drugs.
He realizes that they could charge Jang for violence, police assault, and even attempted murder, as long as Seol-ok testifies in their favor. The only problem, Dong-ki notes, is that she’s Ho-chul’s wife.
Wan-seung seeks Seol-ok out at Kyung-mi’s lunchbox store, and Kyung-mi tells him that Seol-ok hasn’t picked up her calls either. Kyung-mi reminds Wan-seung not to look for Seol-ok at her house, and he tells her that he understands. He takes his leave, and Kyung-mi walks back inside the store… to Seol-ok, who’s been sitting inside, just a few tables behind the door, listening to the entire conversation.
Seol-ok tries to get Kyung-mi to start dating again, but Kyung-mi just notes that Seol-ok wouldn’t know anything about that — Seol-ok only got married because she wanted a family. Seol-ok disagrees, arguing that she got married because she was in love, and Kyung-mi points out that loving someone because she got married to him isn’t exactly the same thing.
At the police substation, Joon-oh looks forlornly at the wanted posters on the bulletin board outside as he remembers how Seol-ok had once tried to take them down for herself. It was then that Seol-ok had started helping him solve his cases, and in the present, Slacker Cop comments that it looks like Joon-oh’s been dumped.
Claiming to be an expert at reading women, Slacker Cop wonders if he should give some advice to Joon-oh, and Wan-seung asks if there’s a way to change a woman’s heart. Slacker Cop tells him that the man must first buy the most expensive flowers he can find — then, at a decisive moment, he must get on his knees and apologize unhesitatingly for his wrongdoing.
To finish up, the man should then whisper lovingly to the woman that the flowers are a symbol of their everlasting love. Amazed, Wan-seung wonders if this works when asking for favors too, and Slacker Cop nods, assuring him that this method is infallible.
At the jail, Jang glances menacingly in the mirror before swaggering down the corridor — not looking the part of a frightened prisoner in the least.
Wan-seung visits a florist, and when asked about the woman’s personality, Wan-seung chuckles as he comments that she likes to brag about her education, looks down on people, and does things on a big scale — like buying five trays of eggs. The florist recommends that he buy a unique bouquet of flowers that mean “thank you,” and Wan-seung agrees that it’s perfect.
As he steps out of the shop with his flowers though, a group of suited men suddenly appear behind him and force a bag over his head before pushing him inside a black van. He’s thrown roughly on the floor of a fancy-looking house before the men take the bag off his head… revealing Ji-won, who tells him to hurry up and get dressed for their engagement ceremony.
Wan-seung asks angrily what Ji-won thinks she’s doing right now, but unfazed, she just tells him that he ought to think about what he’s doing right now. She says that her pride has been pretty damaged by him (oy vey), and she leaves him to change as he screams after her that he said very clearly that he wasn’t going to do the engagement.
At that moment, CEO Ha wordlessly walks into the room, and Wan-seung greets him hesitantly: “Father.” CEO Ha just picks up a call from Ji-won’s father, Assemblyman Jung, and reassures the assemblyman that Wan-seung is getting ready for the engagement. Wan-seung doesn’t say anything, but his glance lingers on the cellphone and car keys on a nearby table.
At Seol-ok’s home, Kyung-suk nags Ho-soon about her revealing outfit, forcing her to cover up before going out. Kyung-suk adds that all Ho-soon did while studying for her Ph.D. was chase men around and bemoans the fact that Ho-soon always gets swindled by men.
She recalls how she had to work so hard to cover up Ho-soon’s losses without Ho-chul knowing, and Ho-soon retorts that Seol-ok was the one who did all the work. Seol-ok tries to cozy up to Ho-soon as she leaves, but Ho-soon isn’t having it and tells Seol-ok that she knows that Seol-ok is just Kyung-suk’s spy.
Seol-ok points out that it’s better for Ho-soon if she’s the one keeping an eye on her and not Kyung-suk, and Ho-soon agrees to at least that much. Ho-soon adds a few spritzes of perfume and asks Seol-ok if the fragrance goes well with her — it’s called “Gone with the Wind,” she says. Before leaving, Ho-soon glances back at her mom, and then bids Seol-ok goodbye.
At the engagement ceremony, the workers comment on the rumors surrounding CEO Ha’s son, wondering if he’s handsome. In the meantime, that handsome son is sneaking out stealthily by jumping across rooftops, making his getaway by stealing Ji-won’s car.
While doing laundry, Seol-ok notes that there was something fishy about Ho-soon today. She thinks to herself that Ho-soon’s bag was much larger than usual, and remembers seeing a thick brown binder sticking out from it — a binder that looks exactly like the one in which Ho-chul had placed his rare stamp collection.
Seol-ok recalls all the times that valuables have gone missing in their house, and remembers how Ho-soon had asked her for money not long ago. Seol-ok rushes into Ho-soon’s room and realizes that Ho-soon’s suitcase, as well as most of her clothes and bags, are missing. Panicking, Seol-ok tries to call Ho-soon, but there’s no answer, which can only mean that Ho-soon has run away.
Right as Seol-ok is rushing out of her house, she runs into Wan-seung, and she tells him she’s too busy to talk — her sister-in-law has made off with a bunch of valuables and she has to catch her before she disappears. Wan-seung offers to give her a lift, but Seol-ok just ignores him and calls for a taxi, rushing off to Ho-soon’s workplace.
Undeterred, Wan-seung just decides to follow Seol-ok and offers to help by reporting Ho-soon as a wanted person. Seol-ok snaps that her mother-in-law would die from shock if that were to happen and asks him to stay out of it.
At Ho-soon’s workplace, Seol-ok finds out that Ho-soon had quit the job a week ago; what’s more, she had been lying to her coworkers, asking them to lend her money for a variety of made-up reasons — from getting married, to her mother’s emergency medical surgery, to going abroad. Wan-seung offers to track Ho-soon’s location for Seol-ok, and that finally gets Seol-ok cooperating with Wan-seung.
Meanwhile, Ji-won has discovered that Wan-seung’s gone missing with her car, and she calls her secretary to track him down. Ji-won recalls that Wan-seung had brought a bouquet of strange-looking flowers with him and asks the secretary to figure out another thing: who Wan-seung is with right now.
Though Seol-ok had previously rejected Wan-seung’s offer to drive her, as soon as she hears that Ho-soon’s at the airport, Seol-ok jumps into the car and tells Wan-seung to hurry it up, ha. Once they reach the airport, Seol-ok rushes inside without Wan-seung and thinks about which country Ho-soon might be going to — the only problem is, Ho-soon had no direction in life and had different plans to go all over the world.
Wan-seung meets up with his friend working at the airport’s surveillance room and spots Seol-ok through the cameras. She’s currently combing through the trashcans, dutifully examining each cigarette. Seol-ok notices that one cigarette in particular is stained with peach lip tint — the exact same shade that Seol-ok had gifted Ho-soon for her birthday.
Seol-ok runs off again, and this time, she stops at the airport pay phones, where she notices the scent of the perfume that Ho-soon had sprayed earlier in the day. Though Wan-seung tells Seol-ok that Ho-soon already passed through customs, Seol-ok insists that Ho-soon must have used the phone to cancel her flight and asks Wan-seung to report Ho-soon as missing.
Wan-seung reminds her that the police wouldn’t accept Seol-ok’s missing person report if Ho-soon’s only been gone for a few hours, but he decides he’ll do it for her, saying that he’s a detective too. From the surveillance room, Seol-ok watches as Ho-soon leaves the airport and Wan-seung argues that this was only ten minutes ago — Ho-soon doesn’t look like a missing person at all.
Seol-ok’s hands fly up to her mouth and she says slowly: “She’s going to be kidnapped.” Wan-seung rolls his eyes, and the other detective points out that Ho-soon is walking around fine — she’s not even with anyone. Seol-ok jumps up in panic and tells Wan-seung that Ho-soon will be in danger if they don’t find her soon.
Meanwhile, Ho-soon is walking by herself on a path along the river. No one else is there — with the exception of a man in his car, not too far behind Ho-soon, watching her every move.
Oh no, Ho-soon! She’s always come off as smart girl, easily catching on to Seol-ok’s little white lies even when Kyung-suk didn’t have a clue, but also one who acts and reacts pretty rashly, especially when it comes to talking back to her mother. I’m just glad that the case with Ho-soon will force Seol-ok to rely on Wan-seung and possibly bring her back to solving real mysteries. It’s been fun to watch her apply her mystery-solving skills to situations in daily life, like figuring out where the eggs discount would be, or what was off about Ho-soon that particular day, but things only start to get really exciting when Seol-ok is working on a real case — in that sense, I thought it was very clever of the show to take Seol-ok’s suspicions about Ho-soon and allow them to unravel into a real mystery.
As much as Seol-ok has resisted from using her sleuthing skills for a real case, now she has to if she wants to save her beloved sister-in-law, and by extension, her family. Now, it finally makes sense why Seol-ok’s been so subservient and loyal to her mother-in-law even despite being constantly taken for granted — Kyung-suk gave Seol-ok a new family at a time when Seol-ok had no family. Kyung-suk has never been the caricature evil mother-in-law, but the drastic difference between how kindly she had treated Seol-ok then, and how nitpicky she is now, was quite shocking; does time really change relationships that much? It also does make me wonder if Seol-ok truly loves Ho-chul, or if she loves him because marrying him was a way of joining the family permanently.
In the same vein, I also wonder if Ho-chul loves Seol-ok. It seemed that when they had met as teenagers, they had liked each other, but despite the concern that Ho-chul shows for Seol-ok at times, he also seems quite negligent as a husband. It was a little sad to watch how distracted Ho-chul was while Seol-ok poured her feelings out to him over lunch. Seol-ok definitely doesn’t know about Ho-chul’s shady dealings either, so it’s certainly worrying that she puts so much trust in him and that he puts none in her — not that it would be good for Seol-ok to be involved in this anyway. Moreover, the show still hasn’t revealed why Ho-chul had been thought to be a bachelor by Kwang-tae and the other detectives — is it just a mistake on their part, or is Ho-chul hiding his marriage with Seol-ok?
Speaking of possibly dysfunctional relationships, it’s high time I mention Ji-won’s attachment to Wan-seung. I thought it was funny last week when she had reacted so nonchalantly to Wan-seung exclaiming that he would never get married to her, but abducting Wan-seung and then thinking that she has the right to be angry at him over her “hurt pride” really says something about how entitled she must be as a person. Perhaps part of the problem is due to CEO Ha and Assemblyman Jung letting her think that Wan-seung belongs to her, but it’s a bit frightening how she plows forwards with her plans without any consideration for Wan-seung’s objections.
I imagine that’s probably the way Wan-seung has also been treated by CEO Ha all his life, and it makes me wonder if CEO Ha has some connection to what happened to Wan-seung’s Eun-soo noona — did he force the young couple to break up? We know that Jang Do-jang is linked to what happened to Eun-soo, and we also know that Ha & Jung Law Firm must be pulling strings behind the scenes for Jang — does this mean that CEO Ha had something to do with Wan-seung’s traumatic memory of Eun-soo lying on the floor, almost bleeding to death? Is Wan-seung aware of it? How deep does this story go?