The final piece of the puzzle has been revealed in the trigger for the tragedy eleven years ago in Masan that ties the two leading men together in mutual regret and anguish. One lost a mother and life as he knew it, the other lost a son and a marriage. For the first half of You’re All Surrounded, we’re led to believe that it was a crime committed to cover up the prosecution of another crime, a witness getting snuffed out and a cop failing to do his duty to protect. That was quite a compelling narrative because we see how much Pan Seok’s failures have dogged him, and it makes Dae Gu’s loss feel so senseless because it was avoidable. Now everything is getting turned on its head and it’s no longer a crime that came to their doorstep on by a twist of fate, it’s a personal crime that can be blamed on no one else. Dae Gu may have apprehended Killer Boots and eliminated an immediate threat, but his very existence remains precariously in the hands of the bad guys and he doesn’t even know it yet. I think his brush with death in the few tussles with Killer Boots was actually a boon, it allows the people who care about Dae Gu to keep a closer watch over him, and it reminds him to be on his toes.
The reason for Dae Gu’s mom’s death is clearly tied to his birth secret, one that must involve the powerful sinister Congressman Yoo. I don’t think the guy is Dae Gu’s dad or grandfather, if Dae Gu was related to him then no matter how evil he is I don’t think he would be that cavalier in ordering Dae Gu’s death over and over again. I think Congressman Yoo is covering up for someone close to him and Dae Gu isn’t part of his family but his existence may be a potential disruption. The drama continues to be easy watching, I can handle the simplistic police elements now but do wish the excessive cellphone and food PPL would get toned down a bit. It’s like once the ratings drops, the production cranks up the PPL to supplant the revenue through another source. The ratings for YAAS remain steady in just over 10% with neither Golden Cross nor A New Leaf much of a threat this whole time. Next week brings the sageuk Joseon Gunman and the week after is the fluffy rom-com Fated to Love You so I don’t know if the ratings or my interests will shift but I appreciate how YAAS has settled into a solid if uninspiring rhythm.
Episode 12 recap:
Killer Boots has Dae Gu’s gun and has him cornered under a car. But Killer Boots has his own killer stalking him and a man revs up the engine and rams his car right into Killer Boots. The second killer gets out of the car and proceeds to strangle the incapacitated Killer Boots in a scene reminiscent of how Dae Gu’s mom was strangled as Dae Gu was hiding under the bed. Dae Gu makes the decision to do the right thing and gets out from his hiding place under the car and body slams the second killer who decides to not press his luck and takes off in the car.
Killer Boots still has Dae Gu’s gun and he clambers up and points it back at Dae Gu. He mocks what an odd boy Dae Gu is to save him in this situation. He was once like Dae Gu, willing to sacrifice himself for his friend but the world stepped all over his goodness and was only interested in taking him to task for his mistakes. Killer Boots asks Dae Gu not to hate him and gets ready to pull the trigger.
Pan Seok and Soo Sun have tracked Dae Gu’s cell signal to this parking garage and drive around looking for him. Killer Boots continues pontificating about how they are all controlled by fate and Dae Gu should be like Killer Boots and accept his lot in life. Pan Seok and Soo Sun get out of the car and start searching on foot. Killer Boots says “go well, Kim Ji Yong” as he prepares to pull the trigger which is when Dae Gu screams and rushes him.
Pan Seok and Soo Sun find Dae Gu laying on the ground and nearby is Killer Boots also laying on the ground. Errr, I’m assuming Dae Gu slammed him before he pulled the trigger? Dae Gu manages to drag himself over to personally slap the handcuffs on Killer Boots and formally arrest him with Pan Seok and Soo Sun looking on.
Dae Gu grabs Killer Boots by the collar and reads him his rights as he’s arrested for the murder eleven years ago in Masan. Dae Gu has to stop and catch his breath because he’s near tears but he finishes reading the rights. Pan Seok picks up the gun on the ground and opens up the barrel to see that it was empty all along, Dae Gu didn’t bring a loaded gun. Killer Boots laughs at how crazy Dae Gu was to come without a loaded gun. Dae Gu didn’t know what he would do with a loaded gun but he knows he doesn’t want to become a monster like Killer Boots. Pan Seok hands Dae Gu’s gun over to Soo Sun and they watch Dae Gu stagger off. Pan Seok especially looks at Dae Gu with a mixture of pride and sadness.
Eun Do, Tae Il, and Ji Gook are nervously pacing in the precinct when they get the happy call that Killer Boots has been apprehended by Dae Gu. Chief Kang stands nearby and hears the news as well. Killer Boots is brought back to Gangnam Precinct bruised and blooded while the the rest of the cops applaud Team 3 for a job well done.
Director Cha holds a news conference that the cops have captured the suspect in the Masan murders eleven years ago, and it was the victim’s own son who is now a police officer that captured the suspect personally. The powerful Congressman Yoo reads this news online and freaks out, immediately ordering a full background investigation into Eun Dae Gu.
Tae Il is putting his doctor skills to use and patching Dae Gu up. The rookies remark how crazy he was to go alone in his hurt condition. Dae Gu claims to be fine and wants to head over to the interrogation room to lead the interview with Killer Boots. Pan Seok arrives and tells Dae Gu to go home and rest but Dae Gu insists on doing the interview since he captured Killer Boots. Tae Il gives doctor’s orders for Dae Gu to go home and Pan Seok agrees to interrogate the suspect tomorrow and wait for Dae Gu. He tells the rookies to take Dae Gu home straightaway.
Dae Gu falls asleep on the car ride home and the rookies smile to see him finally at ease. The last ten days felt like a dream for Soo Sun and everyone finds it remarkable how strong Dae Gu was to get through it. Soo Sun smiles at how formidable her partner is and Ji Gook teases that he’s so awesome he ended up on TV. Tae Il asks about Dae Gu’s childhood and Soo Sun wistfully remembers Ji Yong as smart and cute. That gets Ji Gook to realize Soo Sun and Dae Gu grew up together.
Chief Kang starts covering the baddies tracks by visiting Killer Boots in the holding cell and warning him to keep his mouth shut if he wants to stay alive. She tells him to pin all the blame on the company president, now dead, over the other case. Killer Boots reveals that he was almost killed earlier and Chief Kang claims to know nothing about that. She especially reminds Killer Boots to say nothing to Pan Seok and claim to have gotten the pendant himself from the Masan evidence cabinet.
Killer Boots slams his hands on the cell bars and is in no mood to play along since he almost died once and isn’t about to get sacrificed again. Chief Kang calls him just the tail of the beast that can easily be severed so if he wants to remain alive then he needs to toe the line. She warns him to not upset the old man and she’ll take care of him. She’ll keep him alive and find a way to decrease his prison sentence. Killer Boots asks her to pass word to the old man that he won’t die alone if push comes to shove.
Chief Kang isn’t planning to be taken down either and Killer Boots laughs at how confident she is because she has Kim Ji Yong beside her. Chief Kang asks one more time that he pin the blame on the dead company president and she won’t let the kid continue to investigate. Killer Boots needs time to think over her proposal and whether he can trust her. Chief Kang knows he’ll come around since he has no chips in hand anymore.
Dae Gu wakes up in his bed and remembers apprehending Killer Boots for the murder of his mom. The rest of the rookies enter the room with beers in hand ready to finally share a congratulatory toast with Dae Gu. After taking a drink Dae Gu asks how long he’s been asleep and is shocked to hear it’s nearly 10 pm. Ji Gook wants to give him a hug in lieu of how teachers would give students a stamp for doing well. Soo Sun wonders how Dae Gu feels right now and he’s not sure what he feels other than he feels like some ramyun.
Soo Sun cooks a pot of ramyun and all the rookies dig in. She asks Dae Gu how it tastes and he predictably grumbles that it’s too hard. Soo Sun takes a bite herself and Dae Gu pauses to stare at her eating profile. Ji Gook points out that Dae Gu is two years younger than Soo Sun while he’s one year older which makes him three years older than Dae Gu. Tae Il confirms that Dae Gu is the maknae in the rookie team and immediately he’s put to work. Ji Gook wants to be called hyung while Soo Sun tells him to call her noona. Tae Il sends the maknae to get some sausages from the fridge. Dae Gu silently takes it all in and actually gets up to go to the fridge.
Dae Gu brings back the sausages and Soo Sun laughs at how reluctantly obedient he is. Dae Gu finally can’t stand it and says if they’ve spoken banmal before then they can keep at it. Everyone laughs at how he’s finally letting lose around them and everyone happily returns to eating.
Killer Boots is brought out for interrogation by Dae Gu with Pan Seok and Chief Kang watching behind the plexiglass. Dae Gu starts off by recounting the day of the crime when there were two visitors to his house that day. The first visitor lost the pendant and the second visitor was Killer Boots. Dae Gu doesn’t know how many came the first time or whether it could be Killer Boots. But based on Killer Boots conversation on the phone, it’s clear he wasn’t the first visitor. It was the first visitor who smashed a vase over his mom’s head, and later it was Killer Boots as the second visitor who choked his mom to death in front of Dae Gu.
Dae Gu asks who sent Killer Boots to find the pendant in his house? And how did Killer Boots get the pendant later? Was it from Officer Seo he mentioned on the phone? And which Officer Seo was involved, was it Seo Pan Seok? Killer Boots laughs at how Dae Gu can assume it’s Seo Pan Seok, it’s not him because that man owes Killer Boots a lot and he won’t tap into him for such a small matter. Dae Gu asks who ordered Killer Boots to look for the pendant and Killer Boots shoots a look at the glass before pining the blame on the company president.
Killer Boots claims that the first visitor was the company president to convince Dae Gu’s mom not to testify. He smashed vase on her head and dropped the pendant as he ran off. He sent Killer Boots later to retrieve it. Dae Gu wants to know why Killer Boots wants to kill him now? Killer Boots knows he’s the only eyewitness so if he gets rid of Dae Gu then he’s all in the clear. Dae Gu demands to know who Officer Seo is and Killer Boots refuses to reveal that one final information and tells Dae Gu it’ll make the investigation more interesting. Dae Gu loses his temper and has to be restrained. Chief Kang ends the interrogation and wants to send Killer Boots to the prosecutor’s office.
Killer Boots leaves Dae Gu with a warning not to trust people that easily. Killer Boots trusted people and was cruelly betrayed. He wishes Dae Gu well and laughs maniacally. Dae Gu storms out of the precinct past a concerned Soo Sun.
Pan Seok enters the interrogation room and asks if Killer Boots was intending to kill Kim Ji Yong and leave Korea afterwards and needed Pan Seok to get him a freighter out. Killer Boots lets Pan Seok rest on that assumption but Pan Seok doesn’t bite since the statute of limitations was about to expire in a few days so why would Killer Boots need to off Dae Gu when there was no imminent risk of being found out? Pan Seok asks if it really was the company president who ordered Killer Boots to act? Killer Boots tells Pan Seok not to ask him these questions and ask someone else. Pan Seok repeatedly asks who Officer Seo was but gets no answer on that. Killer Boots takes out a wrinkled picture of him with Pan Seok during their partner days and he knows Pan Seok has the same picture. He likes it because it reminds him of a time when he still had his humanity. He tells Pan Seok to keep this picture as a souvenir.
Congressman Yoo receives the background report on Officer Eun Dae Gu and he reads it to discover that Chief Kang was Dae Gu’s sponsor at the orphanage. He remembers passing by Dae Gu at the Gangnam Precinct and how Chief Kang said nothing. He rages at how Chief Kang dares to stab him in the back.
Pan Seok finds the team in their meeting room and brings up Soo Sun mentioning how she saw Ji Yong after the murders. She saw him at school and also saw a man with the scar behind his ear. She reported to the police but Dae Gu says it’s not in the case files. Pan Seok asks if she remembers which officer took her statement and Soo Sun thinks she will recognize him if she sees his picture. Pan Seok takes Soo Sun to Masan to find the officer and Dae Gu insists on following along.
In the elevator downstairs, Pan Seok’s phone rings and Dae Gu’s copied phone also rings. Pan Seok answers the phone and Dae Gu’s copied phone stops ringing as well. Pan Seok calls out Dae Gu for being such a troublemaker, installing a camera in his apartment and also bugging his phone. He’ll let both things go but Dae Gu better toe the line from now on. Dae Gu mutters a yes but is still angry at Pan Seok since the reason his mom got killed was because she was pressured to testify. Soo Sun quietly watches the two men butt heads and mutters that this trip to Masan will not be easy.
Pan Seok gets in the front seat and Soo Sun steals the back so Dae Gu has no choice but to drive. Soo Sun tries to make conversation but neither guy is in the mood. When she suggests music, Dae Gu’s classic choice gets Pan Seok to immediately switch channels to something livelier and they two guys switch back and forth like kids.
Pan Seok runs into the Masan police station first and greets the captain there. Soo Sun looks around the office and doesn’t see the officer who took her statement that day. Pan Seok brings out the officer book and So Sun flips through it and recognizes the specific officer. The captain remarks that the officer isn’t a cop anymore and went into business. He’s currently overseas and won’t be back for a few months.
A quietly furious Congressman Yoo goes to the Gangnam Precinct to powwow with a very nervous Chief Kang. He brings up “that child” being at the precinct and she claims to have only recently found out as well. The Congressman doesn’t buy her excuse and wonders if he’s that easy to fool. Chief Kang claims she really didn’t know since he changed his name to come here. The Congressman gives Chief Kang a chance to prove her innocence, she knows that child cannot stay alive. If she dispatches him then he’ll believe she didn’t know.
Chief Kang agrees to take care of the matter when the timing is right but the Congressman wants to pick the time. Chief Kang says that the child is in her hands so he needs to trust her. They are all on the same ship so need to trust one another lest the ship overturns on them all. The Congressman can see that Chief Kang’s wings are tougher and she claims it’s not tough at all and she still needs a lot of guidance and support from the Congressman.
Killer Boots is being taken away to be processed pending trail. He turns to look rather sadly at Pan Seok and Dae Gu before getting in the police van.
Pan Seok visits a tree in the park and places his son’s toy robot under the tree. There is a plaque on the tree commemorating his son and he smiles to read it. Dae Gu brings flowers to his mom’s memorial and tells her that her killer has been apprehended. He talks to his most beloved mom, the person he misses the most. He ended it all and he did well, right?
Soo Sun is eating an soft serve on the street and runs into Dae Gu at the cross walk. She offers him a bite of her ice cream and he points out that she already touched it. Soo Sun doesn’t get offended sighs at the wonderful weather right now since it rained earlier. That’s news to Dae Gu and Soo Sun wonders if he went outside of Seoul. Dae Gu explains he visited his mom and Soo Sun is happy to hear that. She steps into the cross walk just as a car comes barreling towards her.
Dae Gu pulls her to safety and the two of the pause in the embrace for a good long while. Soo Sun drops her ice cream while Dae Gu quickly makes his getaway rather than discuss what just happened.
Pan Seok waits for Sa Kyung at the precinct and is happy to see her. She knows he’s been very busy and is happy that the case is closed. Pan Seok apologizes for forgetting her birthday and Sa Kyung brushes it off with some openly passive-aggressive words that also show that she cares that he ultimately remembered.
Soo Sun is biking by the river and runs into Pan Seok and the two race together. Soo Sun and Pan Seok sit by the river afterwards to have a snack and Pan Seok sees Soo Sun shoving food in her mouth like she hasn’t eaten in days. Soo Sun reveals she is trying to get in better shape as a cop and Pan Seok wonders why Dae Gu doesn’t keep her company since they are dating. Soo Sun clarifies that she’s not dating Dae Gu but Pan Seok remembers the kiss that day and decides not to mention it. Soo Sun doesn’t believe in dating at work and even her mom says a rabbit doesn’t eat the grass by its hole.
The rookies grab lunch at Subway with Soo Sun and Dae Gu still a bit awkward around each other. Soo Sun takes out her phone to add the rookies into a chat group. She gets a call from her mom who informs her that she’s in Seoul right now. Soo Sun begs the rookies to once again let her mom stay for the night and everyone agrees even Dae Gu.
Soo Sun’s mom is shopping at the mall and enters the bathroom at the same time as a rich lady carrying a same red purse. The ladies set their purses on the counter and Soo Sun’s mom accidentally takes the wrong purse as she leaves the bathroom. Later she sets the purse on the ground to fix her belongings and a mom chasing her son runs her stroller over the purse.
The expensive purse is ruined but she lets it go only to be dragged off by the rich lady’s bodyguard to return the expensive purse. Soo Sun’s mom offers to pay for repairs on the purse and laughs at how the two purses are so similar even though hers is just a cheap knockoff. The rich lady says the purse is super expensive and shows Soo Sun’s mom the receipt for it. Soo Sun’s mom initially isn’t cowed since her daughter is a cop but once she sees the receipt she begs the rich lady to just let her find a way to pay for repairs. The rich lady has a different idea of how she wants to handle it.
Ji Gook’s SNS page gets an viral video post of a ahjumma using a bag to wallop another woman. The video is called Bag Lady and Ji Gook watches it and immediately notices that the victim is Soo Sun’s mom. The other rookies watch the video and confirm that it is indeed Soo Sun’s mom.
Soo Sun walks up and they quickly turn off the video to keep her from seeing it. But another cop is watching the same viral video and shows it to Soo Sun who watches her mom get beaten up. Soo Sun calls her mom who doesn’t answer the phone since her face is all beaten up. Soo Sun keeps calling while Ji Gook says netizens have found the identity of the woman who beat up Soo Sun’s mom.
The rich lady is the daughter of a chaebol family and Soo Sun insists on going to interview her but Dae Gu refuses to let her go in her agitated state. Dae Gu arrives at the residence just as a car pulls up and an older man, a young man around Dae Gu’s age, and the rich lady all get out of the car.
Dae Gu asks if the rich lady is Madam Yoo and introduces himself as Officer Eun Dae Gu. Congressman Yoo’s car pulls up at the same time and he stares in shock to see Dae Gu standing right there.
Thoughts of Mine:
I’ll throw it out there first: Dae Gu’s mom was injured by Madam Yoo and Killer Boots was sent it later to retrieve the pendant she dropped and also tie up loose ends so she’s not held accountable. Madam Yoo is the daughter of Congressman Yoo, at that time Police Commissioner Yoo, who had no qualms about ordering his rogue subordinates such as Killer Boots and ambitious Chief Kang to do his dirty work. The entire Masan murder had nothing to do with Pan Seok asking Dae Gu’s mom to testify in the trial and everything to do with Dae Gu likely being the son of the man that Madam Yoo married. Which means she was trying to get rid of her rival in Dae Gu’s mom or at least keep Dae Gu’s existence a secret from her husband. That makes Congressman Yoo wanting to off Dae Gu now even more understandable, he needs to do everything to protect his daughter’s marriage and life and Dae Gu’s presence threatens both. With Madam Yoo assaulting Soo Sun’s mom, that makes Soo Sun more connected in the future with Dae Gu’s case. The elements of this drama have been overrun with coincidences and I don’t mind anymore since it keeps the narrative tighter at this point.
No matter the reason behind the crime eleven years ago, Killer Boots was still involved and still culpable so I’m happy that Dae Gu got closure there and apprehended him. His decision to take an unloaded gun to the scene was both stupid and sane, ultimately the way this whole drama has played out with some stuff wholly preposterous and other stuff rather moving in sincerity. That Dae Gu really took Pan Seok’s words to heart and didn’t want to risk becoming a monster who killed was really moving. I see him growing up little by little as this drama progresses and it’s under the tutelage of Pan Seok and Eun Do as well as the friendship and camaraderie of his rookie pals. The P4 have really grown on me and all four have blossomed into nicely developed characters each on their own. Nothing terribly deep to discuss about them but their interactions always bring a smile to my face. Pan Seok and Sa Kyung, on the other hand, are not getting any much meaningful interactions as a couple. Her character is quite superfluous while he’s getting lots of great angst and action all on his own. I’m expecting the story to really dig deep and deliver the good pay off now that the big mystery is on the very of getting blown wide open.
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