A person (Bae) walks into Hope Welfare Centre around 6:00 pm. He has a video recorder and records everything as he enters. The place looks deserted and he enters the empty hall. The place seems deserted. He climbs down into the storage room still filming.
He finds the prison cells and cages in the room. He goes closer and is taken aback when he sees Yoon Jae in one of the cells, writing on the wall. Bae says he is the PD of a show and he received a tip that children are dying at this centre. Yoon Jae looks like he is beaten up.
From the adjacent cell, 11 warns Yoon Jae not to talk. Yoon Jae asks Bae for his ID and Bae gives it to him. Bae asks him a ton of questions.
Bae says he is secretly filming this. He promises to tell the world what is going on here. 11 tells Bae to save the boy in the next cell (12). Bae goes over and sees that 12 is badly injured. 11 says 12 will die if he doesn’t receive help. 11 says the boy got caught trying to run away.
Bae is horrified. Bae turns to Yoon Jae’s cell. He sees the words Yoon Jae has written on the wall, “There are people in here. Please save 11,12 and 13. (It is the same lettering on the wall where Ahn Tae Oh was being held captive with the noose around his neck).
(Episode 9- Square One)
24 hours ago
Ahn Tae Oh is tied up and sitting on the chair in the storage room at Hope Welfare Center. The killer calls Ahn as ‘Number 7’. He says Ahn betrayed them, so he has to die.
The killer tells Ahn how the noose will tighten over 24 hours. He tells Ahn that if someone saves him within that 24 hours, Ahn gets to live.
Ahn says he has not much time left. He says he is reminded of the times they spent here. He says he was able to endure those times because he was with the boys. Ahn says they had discussed their plans once they got out. He says they would all be living like that if he hadn’t betrayed them. Ahn apologises and says that this is all he could do. Ahn pushes the chair away and the noose tightens. He struggles as he chokes.
Eun Ki watches in horror back at the Children’s Centre.
At the Welfare Centre, Sung Hoon rushes into the cell and lifts Ahn by his legs.
Outside, Sung Jun wakes up and rushes to the prison cell hearing Sung Hoon’s cries. The timer is still at 3 minutes. Sung Jun runs over to the pulley mechanism and tugs on it. It is too strong for him. Sung Hoon lifts Ahn a little higher and Sung Jun pulls on the wire till his hands bleed. Finally, the wire gives way and the wire unravels, dropping Ahn on the floor.
Sung Jun rushes over to Ahn and gives him CPR. Sung Hoon tries to pry Sung Jun away as it is too late for Ahn. Sung Jun doesn’t stop. Sung Hoon pushes Sung-Jun away from Ahn’s lifeless form and tells him that Ahn chose this for himself. Sung Hoon’s eyes tear up as he says Ahn Tae Oh chose to punish himself.
Sung Hoon receives a message that reads, “Save me” big event is now over.
Sung Jun is furious as he runs out. Sung Hoon follows him out. Baek and his men are waiting outside. They attack Sung Jun and Sung Jun fights back. Sung Hoon and Sung Jun are outnumbered. Baek’s men hold Sung Jun and Sung Hoon down. They strangle Sung Hoon using a chain.
Just then, the detectives swarm the Welfare Centre. Detective Kang arrests Sung Jun. Kim, Oh and Na watch helplessly. Sung Jun and Sung Hoon exchange a glance before Sung Jun is taken away.
Later, Eun Ki goes to the police station. Kim and Kang are there. Kang laughs in disbelief as she enquires about Sung Jun. Kim says it looks bad for him as Sung Jun was arrested at the place where they found Ahn’s dead body. Kim says it looks bad for him.
Eun Ki says she can testify that Sung Jun went there to save Ahn. Kim says she will get into trouble for aiding a fugitive. She says it doesn’t matter to her. Kim says Sung Jun wouldn’t like that. She asks what Sung Hoon said.
Sung Jun is in the interrogation room. He recalls the black figure at the Welfare Centre. He thinks that was the killer. He remembers a yellow stripe across the sole of the figure’s shoes.
Just then, Kang walks in. Sung Jun asks him about Sung Hoon. Kang says Sung Jun seems concerned about Sung Hoon, but Sung Hoon was the one who called them to the Hope Welfare Centre.
Oh and Na question Sung Hoon. Oh asks why he reported it. He says he wanted the truth to come out.
Meanwhile, Baek is in the holding cell. Yeom sends the guard away. Yeom points out that Baek should have run for it before the police came. He asks what Baek was thinking when he got caught. Baek tells Yeom that he plans to kill Sung-Jun here. Yeom is shocked and tells him not to do that. Baek grabs Yeom by his shirt. He says just because he bows to Yeom doesn’t mean Yeom is above him. He tells Yeom will do as he says from now on.
Eun Ki catches up with Sung Hoon outside the police station. She says she heard that he was the one who called the police. She says she thought they were on the same team. Sung Hoon says he doesn’t have to explain it to her. She asks him if he thought for once how Sung Jun would feel about this. She says Sung Jun must be feeling betrayed. She says Sung Hoon only cares about law and principles.
Later, Sung Hoon goes back to his office. He opens a drawer and there is a flash drive inside.
Sung Hoon’s mother comes to Sung Hoon’s house. She slaps him and says he handled the situation badly. She is furious as she says she listened to him and addressed the nation. Na demands to know why Sung Jun is in Jail. Sung Hoon tells Na that if he didn’t do that, both Sung Hoon and he would have died at Baek’s hands.
Na scowls on hearing Baek’s name. Sung Hoon asks if she knows Baek. She says she doesn’t. Sung Hoon says Baek was head of Hope Welfare Centre and his daughter was the first victim of the Joker murder. He says Baek thinks Sung Jun murdered his daughter. He says Baek’s men followed him to the Welfare Centre and by the time Sung Hoon noticed them, it was too late. Judge Ryu understands that jail is the safest place for Sung Jun. Sung Hoon says the problem is that Baek is also in the same place as Sung Jun.
At the station, Yeom speaks with Kang. Kang says Sung Jun is denying all the charges. Yeom tells Kang to bring Sung Jun to Baek. Yeom tells Kang to kill Baek once Baek is done with Sung Jun. Kang is shocked as he asks if Yeom is asking him to commit murder. Yeom says this is not Kang’s first time.
At the motel, Kang stands over Jung Man Chun’s wife’s dead body. He is on the phone with Yeom. He says Baek’s men took Sung Jun. He says he fired live rounds so it won’t look like they lost him on purpose. He says he will report that Sung Jun killed both mother and son. Just then, he notices the child won Woong missing from the bathroom. Kang searches the house and finds the child hiding under a blanket in the corner. The child screams in fear as he sees Kang. Kang takes a pillow and presses it over the child and kills him.
At present, Yeom threatens to expose Kang if he doesn’t do as he says. He says his career will be destroyed if Kang has a criminal record.
At the Children’s Centre, Eun Ki watches the children play. She goes to the empty attic in the storage room and wonders if Sung Jun had eaten today. Yu Na walks in and says she sat the exam. Eun Ki is proud of Yu Na. Yu Na asks about Sung Hoon. Eun Ki says he won’t be coming hereafter. Yu Na is disappointed. She says she will pay him a visit at the District Court. Eun Ki asks why she is so interested in him. Yu Na says it is fun.
Sung Hoon is at his home. He recalls his mother telling him that Sung Jun is his one and only brother. She asks him to get Sung Jun out.
At the station, Kang takes Baek to the restroom. Kang asks to know the real reason why Yeom wants Sung Jun killed. He says Baek’s loyalty will do him no good as the hunting dog will be the one killed in the end. Kang says he will save Baek if Baek tells him the secret.
Baek smiles as he asks Kang to undo the handcuffs. Kang undoes the handcuffs. Baek smashes Kang’s head against the wash basin and kills him.
Baek walks into the interrogation after cutting off the cameras. Sung Jun is napping on the desk. Baek takes him by surprise as he strangles Sung Jun from behind. Sung Jun puts his hands between the wire and his neck and tries to loosen it but Baek’s grip tightens.
Meanwhile, Sung Hoon comes to the station and hands over the flash drive to the Police. He says he found this and it shows Jung Man Chun’s killer. Na and Oh play the drone footage.
Inside the interrogation room, Sung Jun fights for his life.
Oh and Na is shocked to find a black figure pushing Jung Man Chun over the building. They zoom into the video and find out that the figure is Baek.
We see a montage of Baek coming into the motel wearing the same black hood and killing Jung Man Chun’s wife and child. He also beats the police officer over the head before killing Jung Man Chun. He tells Jung Man Chun that his wife and child will be waiting for him in the afterlife. He throws Jung Man Chun over the roof.
AT present, Sung Jun stops resisting. His hands fall to his side.
Kim rushes to Oh and says Kang was attacked by Baek. Sung Hoon asks them where Sung Jun is. Kim says he is inside the interrogation room.
In the interrogation room, Sung Jun snaps and suddenly gets up and fights back in a frenzy. He manages to floor Baek and gets on top of him. Sung Jun places his hands over Baek’s neck and strangles him. The detectives rush in and try to pull Sung Jun away. Sung Jun pushes them away. Kim gets hold of Sung Jun and manages to pull him away. Sung Hoon watches Sung Jun’s fury quietly.
Yeom pushes him to the side and rushes in. Sung Hoon notices Yeom’s reaction before walking away.
After Kang’s body is taken away in the ambulance, Oh tells Sung Jun to take a few days off. Oh tells Sung Jun that Sung Hoon was the one who found the evidence a few hours after turning him in.
Sung Jun comes home and finds Sung Hoon cooking dinner for him. He sets up the table. Sung Jun is surprised at this. He joins Sung Hoon at the table.
Sung Jun asks how Sung Hoon got the evidence in time. Sung Hoon says it was just luck. Sung Jun says he dragged Sung Hoon into this mess. He says Sung Hoon almost died because of him. He asks Sung Hoon to stop caring for him. Sung Hoon says it is already too late.
Eun Ki is on the phone with the director. She asks for more information on Hope Welfare Centre. After she hangs up, Sung Jun walks up to her.
They speak in the storage room. Sung Jun says all this started at Hope Welfare Centre. She asks about his memories and he says it is a mess. She asks if he is blacking it out instinctively. Eun Ki wonders what kind of trauma he and the other kids went through at the Welfare Centre. She says she will continue looking for the kids at the Welfare Centre.
He takes her phone and installs his number on her emergency call service.
Meanwhile, Yeom briefs the press. He says Sung Jun has been cleared of all charges. Yeom apologises to Sung Jun and his family for the confusion.
Next, Yeom says Baek was the one who killed Jung Man Chun and his family. He adds that Baek’s subordinate planted Sung Jun’s button at the scene. He also says that Baek attacked the police officer who was Jung Man Chun’s security. Baek accepted to framing Sung Jun.
Sung Hoon is in his office. Na calls him up and commends him. Sung Hoon says he just did what had to be done.
The jurors attend Ahn’s funeral. Juror Jung has a split lip. Bae complains of a stomach ache. He says he is glad that the killer was caught. Bae says he met the culprit when he was young. He goes on to say Sung Jun is the killer. Shaman Kwon corrects him and says Sung Jun has been cleared of all charges. They hand him an article that says the Joker murder investigation is back to square one. Bae is worried that the killer hasn’t been caught yet.
Sung Hoon comes to the funeral. He spots Bae talking with Kwon and the others. He frowns. Eun Ki comes up to him and apologises. She says she got the wrong idea about him. She says she has a short fuse. He says she needn’t apologise as he did not explain himself.
Just then, Juror Jung walks up to them. She introduces Sung Hoon to him. Jung says he remembers Sung Hoon. Eun Ki asks Jung about the split lip and Jung says it is just cracked.
Sung Hoon is about to leave when Eun Ki gets a call. The director tells her that a nun has information on Hope Welfare Centre. Both Jung and Sung Hoon seem interested in the conversation.
Meanwhile, Sung Jun and Kim are in Baek’s house. They find Baek’s wife’s body in the freezer.
Later, Sung Jun goes through Baek’s phone records. He notices that Baek never called Kang. Sung Jun wonders who leaked his information to Baek. Sung Jun goes through Kang’s phone log. He is shocked to see that Yeom’s number repeatedly appears on both Baek and Kang’s call records.
Oh is drinking at the restaurant. Sung Jun joins him. Oh apologises for not standing up for Sung Jun during the investigation. Sung Jun speaks to him about Yeom. Oh says Yeom will do anything to move up the ladder. Sung Jun says Baek has been frequently talking to Chief Yeom. He says they are not just acquaintances. He wonders what Yeom is hiding.
Yeom is at his desk. He looks through the photographs of the skeleton that was discovered. Just then a very drunk detective Oh barges into the office. Sung Jun comes up behind him. Oh starts hurling curses at Yeom. As Yeom is distracted, Sung Jun takes Yeom’s phone. His eyes fall on the photographs.
Sung Jun drags Oh away from Yeom. He walks out after apologising. They go back to their desk and they go through Yeom’s phone. They find the MMS containing the killer and Yeom’s daughter Hye Jin. Hye Jin apologises on her father’s behalf. They are appalled as they see footage of her murder.
Sung Hoon is out for his morning jog. He bends down to tie his lace. His shoe has a yellow patch on it (the same as the one on the hooded figure’s shoes).
At night, Sung Hoon sits in his study, working on the wood carving. It is the wooden figurine of a boy with one of his arms outstretched. Sung Hoon takes out the other figurines in a similar pose from the box.
He places them in a circle with their hands overlapping as if making a pact. He turns over the last figurine. It has the number 7 carved on its back. He adds the figure to the circle and completes it.
He watches the figures as they stand in a circle imitating the boys 20 years ago when they made a pact of secrecy to escape the centre. Sung Hoon’s eyes well up as he looks at the wooden figures.
Image Courtesy -TVN
Bae has a recording of the children imprisoned at the welfare centre. It was pathetic to see Yoon Jae’s desperate attempts to get out despite 11’s warnings not to trust anyone. 11 was very careful with his secret plan. His plan failed because of 7’s (Ahn Tae Ho) betrayal.
Bae seemed visibly disturbed at the funeral. Yet, he isn’t giving up the tape on Hope Welfare Centre. I wonder what is keeping him back. It looks like he will get into trouble with someone (other than Baek and Yeom) if he turns the tape in.
It was revealed that Kang was Yeom’s henchman. He was the one who killed Won Woong at the motel. Jung Man Chun and his family’s murder was attributed to Baek. Baek even accepted framing Sung Jun. This in turn finally cleared Sung Jun’s name.
There were some interesting revelations in this episode with respect to Sung Hoon. Sung Hoon gave the flash drive over only after giving it some thought. I wonder how long he had the flash drive.
The black figure stopped Sung Jun from saving Ahn at the welfare centre. The yellow patch on Sung Hoon’s shoe shows that he was the figure at the welfare centre during Ahn’s death. I wonder if he did not expect Ahn to commit suicide. Sung Hoon was teary-eyed when he saw that Ahn killed himself. It seemed like he felt bad for Ahn’s suicide.
Sung Hoon was carving the wooden figures of the boy from the Hope Welfare Centre. It looks like he added 7’s figurine to the group at the end. I wonder if it was remorse or it was forgiveness and letting a twenty-year-old grudge go. It was the first time since the start of the series that Sung Hoon showed some form of emotion.
Sung Jun is finally free of all his charges. It looks like he is going to start searching for the killer in full swing. He has discovered Yeom’s involvement in the case.
Juror Jung and Sung Hoon both showed interest in Eun Ki’s phone call about the Hope Welfare Centre. It also seemed like both of them knew each other before Eun Ki introduced them to each other at the funeral.
I am curious to see what the next episode holds.
-By Soul Sword-