We finally get to the two main cold cases, and unsurprisingly they’re connected. Which leads me to believe that the walkie talkie might be smarter than we think. This weekend’s episode broke the double digit mark in ratings with episode 11 coming in at 10.456% and episode 12 at 10.065%. I am so happy for this show. It totally deserves these ratings and all the love it’s getting. A tight suspenseful story being acted and directed fantastically. What more could we ask for? Well, maybe that all our heroes end up in 2015 alive, but I’ll take this for now.
Hae-young meets up with Section Chief Ahn outside Injoo hospital and finds him stabbed and barely holding onto life. Ahn is able to eek out a few things before he dies.
(1) He killed Jae-han with his own hands. (2) He flipped out when he heard Jae-han’s voice on the walkie and went to check to make sure he was still under “those stairs”. (3) Jae-han was killed because of what happened in Injoo in 1999.
Hae-young does the responsible thing and calls 119 after Ahn dies so, of course, he’s a suspect. I would wager almost all the cops that are furious at finding out Ahn died are on Director Kim’s payroll. Which means the people investigating the murder,and Hae-young, are not looking for the truth. They’re looking to make sure no one finds out who the real killer is.
Hae-young gets interrogated but a lot of the questions he’s asked can’t be answered without Hae-young sounding like he’s crazy. I guess he could just say he happened upon Jae-han’s bribery case and because his current job is solving cold cases that’s why he started looking into it. But he doesn’t do that. And it doesn’t look good for our cutie profiler. First the guy interrogating him witnessed Hae-young fighting with Section Chief Ahn (the night they were fighting about the walkie, him and another detective walked in and heard some of the argument).
Then that loan shark that that Ahn hired to fake Jae-han’s bribery case says Hae-young was looking into Ahn because he thought he a dirty cop.
There was No CCTV footage of the where Chief Ahn was killed. Plus the last call Ahn made was to Hae-young making him the only person who knew where he was at the time of the murder.
Still, Hae-young is vague with all his answers and makes himself look even more suspicious. (Um, if you’re investigating your boss, and the boss of the person asking you the questions, you might be a little tight lipped about it.) Anyway, he’s told to keep doing what he normally does but stay close.
Soo-hyun tells Hae-young that she believes he didn’t murder Chief Ahn, but in order to help him he has to tell her everything. There’s this moment where you think that maybe, finally he’ll tell her. No matter how crazy he sounds. But instead, he delivers the news Soo-hyun has been bracing herself to hear for 15 years. Jae-han was murdered. And Section Chief Ahn confessed to his murder on his death bed. Soo-hyun is understandably shocked and devastated. I’m sure every person who has a missing loved one wants closure but still holds out hope until the very end.
We check in with our dead in 2015 but not in 1999 detective , and he’s being a bloodhound again. The facts aren’t adding up for him so he retraces the other police officer’s steps. From the different interviews he conducts he’s able to figure out those 7 student counsel members are the 7 referred to in the letter that outed the rape.
Because of Jae-han’s interview the principle calls the police guy in charge of the investigation. I’m sorry, I refuse to memorize this douchebag’s name or title. He’s in on this whole set up. He tells Director Kim and they both decide they have to send the 7 boys out of town and away from Jae-han (the only real cop involved in this investigation).
But Jae-han is a smart fellow and he requests the student files for the 7 boys and notices something about one in particular, Dong-jin. It’s the same boy who isn’t answering the polices calls to get him out of dodge. So Ahn shows up to shuttle him away just as Jae-han gets to the house.
He hilariously just jumps in the back seat and congratulates Ahn for finding the person that posted the letter that let everyone know the rape occurred in the first place. They drag him into the station, and all the crooked cops are in a tizzy.
Oh noes. One of the real rapists is actually being interviewed. What are we to do? Jae-han gets him in the interrogation room alone, and the parent in me yells that he’s a minor and can’t be questioned without a parent present. The mom in me also yells to get all the info out of this kid so justice for that poor girl can finally be served.
Dong-jin denies knowing the victim, Hae-seung, or having anything to do with her. But Jae-han showed the 7 boys pictures to the nurse at the hospital where Hae-seung is, and she identified Dong-jin as someone that dropped by. This makes him a good canidate to be the person among the 7 rapists who felt guilty and became the whistle blower by posting that sadly poetic letter. Dong-jin finally says he didn’t know her until that day… Park Sun Woo (Hae-young’s hyung) had knocked on his door and asked to use his house once a week so he can tutor her.
Dong-jin lets them in and all that goes on is tutoring. The story is cut short because Don-jin’s dad comes barreling in the interrogation room, and pulls his son out. But Director Kim was listening to all of this, and now he has the one thing he needs to get this investigation steered away from the 7 boys. In the confession letter it states that it all started with the one. Then the others followed suit. (Though I’d argue that no matter who started it they’re ALL guilty of rape and should be punished accordingly). Kim says that Dong-jin just identified the instigator, meaning the completely innocent Sun Woo who wasn’t part of the 7, nor the list of 18 the victim gave the police.
Back in 2015, Soo-hyun and Hae-young have relocated to Hae-young’s room where he pulls his files on the Injoo case. There’s this moment when Hae-young talks while he’s getting the file and all Soo-hyun does is scan his room. It’s filled with binders, files, notebooks, and maps. All with tons of tabs and notes where he’s marked something of importance. Pretty much, our cutie profiler has ZERO life. This boy needs to get laid or something. LOL. Not that Soo-hyun is much better, but at least she’s surrounded by her family. Hae-young seems to be very alone.
Soo-hyun says before she opens up the file to read for herself she needs to hear the story from Hae-young not what’s in the files.
Now we get to see what happened from Hae-young’s POV and it’s pretty sad because he has no clue what was going on when everything went down. He’s just sitting with Sun Woo doing homework. They are adorable together and it pains me so much that they were both robbed of this by the greedy slime balls that orchestrated this and the privileged jerk bags who actually committed the crime. There is a very torment filled place in hell for all those involved in this conspiracy.
Anyway, the police come and take Sun Woo away while Hae-young runs after him crying. Sun Woo is the perfect Hyung and just tells him he’ll be back and keeps a stoic face.
Later their dad packed up all his stuff, totally not believing in his son. I think he gets that special spot in hell too. He takes Hae-young with him to Seoul and the parents got divorced. Which means Hae-young grew up with only his jerk of a dad. BOO!!!
Hae-young says when he heard his brother was released from the detention center (we still don’t get a time frame of how long he was there) he returned to Injoo looking for him. And this is when he finds him dead in a pool of his own blood. Knowing the full story, I have to suspect that maybe those wrists were not cut by Sun Woo, but by someone trying to keep him quiet.
Later we get to see Hae-young with frizzed out hair looking like he’s in high school or college. Someone from his school in Injoo comes into the convenience store where he works and gives him a bit of information he didn’t know before. One of the local thugs told the police that he saw Sun Woo ditch class with Hae-seung, and ride the bus together. Which Hae-young’s friend found odd because Sun Woo would never ditch class.
So Hae-young tracks down the thug, who is still doing his thug thing and confronts him. After some back and forth he says it was the police that told him to say that about Sun Woo and Hae-young just needs to leave it alone.
Hae-young follows the thug into a pool hall. I totally thought of Shut Up Flower Boy Band when they were all in there being thuggish and playing pool. Where’s my lollipop and eyeliner best buds when I need them?
Hae-young learns nothing new and just gets the crap beat out him. But I’m pretty sure we just witnessed when he decided to become a cop. The thug just reiterates that the police are the ones that fed him what he was supposed to say, so he just needs to drop it because he doesn’t have money or power to go up against the people involved in this case.
When Hae-young finishes telling Soo-hyun the story she says she knew the team that was involved in conducting the Injoo investigation so she’ll go talk to them. Hae-young wants to help but Soo-hyung reminds him he’s a suspect.
Back in 1999 all of the rapists are now being interviewed and they’ve been coached to say Sun Woo made them do it. It’s like a broken record during their interviews. I never caught this guy’s name but I’d bet money that he’s “the one”. The original instigator.
Sun Woo gets questioned as well and he emphatically denies having anything to do with it. Jae-han tells him that they’re all saying he’s the principal offender, even his friend Dong-jin. Sun Woo pulls Jae-han’s crumpled card out of his pocket and tells him that he’s the one that gave him the picture of the 7 student counsel members. Why would he point the police in the direction of the real culprits if he was the instigator?
Jae-han can sense Sun Woo’s telling the truth so he goes back to see if he can talk to Dong-jin, but his dad won’t allow him to see him. Jae-han sees that willow tree in front of Dong-jin’s house and it makes him pause. Everyone’s story has always been the willow tree in the letter was some closed down restaurant named Willow Tree House. Um, yeah. One of the 7 live in a house with a HUGE ass willow tree in the front. I’m pretty that’s where it all started.
He goes back to the old abandoned restaurant where multiple people testified that they’d seen Hae-Seung go with the boys who were originally listed in her statement. He looks through the garbage and it appears to be staged. So then he asks a vendor across the street if he’s seen kids partying there and the vendor says he can’t recall that he has. And informs Jae-han that the restaurant was never called Willow Tree House. So then it all starts clicking and Jae-han finally realizes what we already know. The whole thing has been staged. Every bit of testimony since he arrived in Injoo. He confronts the couple that gave him testimony and they finally blurt out that the police are all the same too. The police knew what was going on. Even that detective from Seoul. Yeah, Jae-han’s friend. We’ve suspected (known) the detective Jae-han works with is on Director Kim’s payroll, but now Jae-han finds out the horrible truth.
Jae-han confronts Director Kim about having everyone on his payroll. He’s all fired up and Kim acts like he doesn’t have a care in the world. And he shouldn’t because unfortunately it looks like EVERYONE is getting money from someone in this town. Including the victim. Sadly she points her finger at Sun Woo as well. Though I do notice she calls him Sun Woo gah the whole time. Not something you’d call your rapists, but we all know he’s probably the only person at their school that was kind to her. But I’m sure her drunk dad is the one making her do this.
Director Kim even implies that she could use some money to be able to move far away from this place and maybe get a new name since the reporters already identified her. Yeah, no protection for victims in this town, either. Kim also proudly tells Jae-han that with all the offenders being minors they’ll get a light punishment like volunteer hours. Except, of course, the original instigator. AKA the only innocent one. It makes my stomach boil with molten lava with how this guy sounds so pleased with himself for ruining a young man’s life just so he can get more money. Or in his case, power and position.
We leave a very sad Jae-han in the back of his car hoping and maybe dreading that the walkie lights up. I have total faith in his dogged personality that this will not be the end of his meddling with this case. And even though we’ve seen Hae-young’s POV of Sun Woo’s “suicide”, this is a new timeline where Jae-han has someone on the other end of the space time continuum that needs him.
Soo-hyun goes to see the detective that was friends with Jae-han and helped orchestrate the Injoo case. Apparently, after that case he resigned from the force. He gets nervous at Soo-hyun’s questions and gets up to leave. She tells him that Jae-han died trying to solve the 1999 case and that Ahn confessed to the murder.
He’s still tight lipped and she begs him for any piece of information. All he tells her is that Jae-han never gave up on that case.
Hae-young pulls up to the police station just as the loan shark dude is being escorted to his care. When he sees this fluffy white thing dangling from the rear view mirror he suddenly remembers that he saw Director Kim’s car in Injoo the night Section Chief Ahn was killed.
He calls Soo-hyun and they meet up.They realize that Director Kim has to have some kind of blackmail evidence on the actual person who killed Ahn, because you know that dude’s not getting his hand dirty, even though they already have tons of metaphorical blood on them. They find out that Director Kim has a house that he doesn’t really use so they go check it out. And by that, I mean break in. I love how timid Hae-young is about it and Soo-hyun’s like, “I’m going and you can meet me back here with a warrant.”
Okay, was I the only was screaming “STAIRS!! Under the STAIRS!!” When they walked up that staircase?
They don’t find anything inside. BECAUSE IT’S UNDER THE STAIRS. Hello, he’s owned the house since 2000. When Jae-han went missing. As they’re leaving Hae-young does notice the disturbed dirt under the stairs and he stops. Remember what Section Chief Ahn said about he had to verify that Jae-han was dead by checking under the stairs. They get Detective Lee to check and see if Ahn went through the toll recently and bingo, he did. So Hae-young starts digging.
Soo-hyun just stands there with the flashlight thinking that Hae-young has lost it.
But soon enough Hae-young’s digging uncovers a skeleton.
But not just any set of bones. The ones she’s been looking for, for 15 years.
Ahn even left Jae-han’s name tag with his body.
Excuse me while I grab a tissue. Seriously, I’ve known from the first episode that Jae-han died back in 2000. And that every scene he’s in, it’s in the past. Not tangible. Not now where we can go have soju with him. He’s essentially been a ghost the entire show. One who talks to us from the dead via radio transmission. But his bones just brought a whole new weight and sense of finality to his death. Except, Soo-hyun was also once dead and came back alive. So it’s not over till it’s over. It’s still 1999, not 2000. We still have a year. Or maybe just a few months until he’s killed. We also have 8 episodes left. 🙂 CORRECTION: there are only 4 episodes left. For some reason I got it in my head that the series was 20 episodes. I’m actually relieved because with the show’s current pace, 8 would be too many.
The magnitude of the corruption displayed in these last two episodes is just mind boggling. For an American citizen it seems unfathomable. But then I look to our headlines and see that maybe it’s not. Especially in a society that was so newly democratic. If there’s anything I’ve learned from the dramatized world of Korea, it’s that the rich and powerful can get away with about anything as long as they find the right hand to grease. Hae-seung was a victim all the way until the end. Even having to go against the one person who was nice to her. I wonder where she is in 2015. Did she ever recover? Because no matter how much I hate that she too pointed her finger at Sun Woo, I also know that she had zero power in this situation. She was first attacked by these horrible boys, then victimized by her father and those in power. I hope that Jae-han turns the tide somehow as he’s done before and finds a way to get those boys the punishment they truly deserve. Because you know in the original timeline they went on to be people in power who are probably continuing to hurt women knowing they can get away with it.
I’m DYING for Soo-hyun to hear Jae-han’s voice on that radio.We now know because of Ahn that others can hear his voice, so it’s happening. It has to! The clock has started ticking for Sun Woo and for Jae-han and I think if the past can work with the present they might all come out of this alive. You hear that drama gods? Writernim?
Until the next transmission, Drama Geek, over and out.
4 thoughts on “Signal Episode 12- If you’re looking for justice don’t go to Injoo!!!”
I just want to correct the number of episodes left. We only have four (Signal wraps up at episode 16).
This episode is very heartbreaking for me especially after seeing all the helplessness with all the conspiracy and the confirmation of the remains..
The thing I’m fearing the most is that they wouldn’t be able to save Jae han even with both their effort combined (CSH & PHY). If you would remember during Episode 1, Jae Han told Hae Young in the old hospital building,”It was you who told me about this place. Mr Park, why did you tell me not to come here?”
It just means that PHY really did warn JH not to come there but still, he came. If ever that scene comes up in the future and PHY will warn him, all the things that happened will still eventually happen..It’s just a time loop…
Thank you for pointing out the episode discrepancy! All fixed. 🙂 What I’m hoping is that since the conversation between Hae-young and Jae-han is still in Hae-young’s future, it’s not set in stone. Maybe Hae-young realizes he must have warned him before and it didn’t work so he tries something different. It’s the only think keeping my hope alive. LOL.
I’d like to trade our deceased Jae-Han and his hyung for the (currently) live Director Kim.
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