The detective squad and the bar code serial killer investigation gets shaken up a bit in this episode of The Girl Who Sees Smells (Sensory Couple), which continues to nicely balance the crime mystery with steady character development. Moo Gak and Cho Rim remain so super cute together, her playful and him stoic, and then switching it up with him being jokey and her all serious. I really like second female lead Detective Yeom as well, it’s a relief to have her character be professional, smart, and most importantly, doesn’t have any hang ups or forced interactions with the male lead.
Cho Rim’s comedy troupe dreams take a sideline break in this episode, but it’s at least back on track now that Moo Gak wins her a second chance with her grumpy troupe leader. Moo Gak’s investigation into his sister’s murder takes a giant step forward but we’ll have to wait until next week to see if he learns new details we don’t yet know either. I’m starting to think sinister Doctor Chun is a feint, especially since we’ve never seen him actually do anything. If Doctor Chun isn’t the bar code killer, does that mean good cook and owner of a super cute dog Jae Hee is the ultimate big bad? Whoever is out to hurt Cho Rim, I just want Moo Gak to lay a beat down to keep his little partner safe. Nobody better hurt my adorable Cho Rim!
Episode 4 recap:
A totally wasted Cho Rim interrupts Moo Gak’s case discussion with his superior Detective Yeom about how Doctor Chun could have come back and forth between Seoul and Jeju Island during the four days he claimed to be alibied on Mari’s death. Detective Yeom sees Cho Rim and pulls up her high school picture in her parents case file and seems to make the connection.
Moo Gak assists Cho Rim over to the sofa and orders her to sit down like he would a dog. Ahahaha. Even better is Cho Rim doing as he ordered, sitting down and then plopping over. Moo Gak covers Cho Rim with his jacket when Detective Yeom tentatively asks Moo Gak who this girl is? He describes her as his dongsaeng named Oh Cho Rim and that ends her questions about whether she could be the missing daughter. Detective Yeom packs up and heads out, leaving Moo Gak alone with Cho Rim in the office.
Moo Gak grabs a drink from the vending machine and goes back to the office, finding Cho Rim hilariously standing up and wandering around. She walks right past Moo Gak like she doesn’t see him, doing one turn around the office before sitting back down beside him. She lays down on his lap just like that and Moo Gak looks really affected and doesn’t push her off. He gently gets up and lays a pillow under her lap, staring at Cho Rim as she totally snores her night away.
A hooded man in a sweatshirt walks down into a basement area and opens a box filled with cutting instruments. He takes out a surgical knife and starts cutting lines into the forearm of a body.
The cops who arrive at the precinct bright and early find a snoring passed out Cho Rim sleeping in their office sofa. She opens her eyes to find four guys staring down at her and naturally freaks out. She asks who the guys are and where she is while they ask her who she is? Moo Gak runs in to explain that Cho Rim is his dongsaeng and drank too much last night. Cho Rim apologizes profusely and quickly takes her leave, running out of the office.
Moo Gak sees her cell phone left behind and runs after to return it. Cho Rim remembers her disappointment from yesterday with getting kicked out of the comedy troupe because Moo Gak stood her up. Cho Rim takes out her anger on Moo Gak, explaining that he totally let her down and because of it she got kicked out of the troupe. She claims her life is over and she wanted to let it go with Moo Gak by getting drunk but now she’s sober she wants to take it out on him.
Moo Gak offers to let Cho Rim unleash her anger on him so she pulls back and punches him in the face. Like he described to her before, Moo Gak can’t feel any pain from the punch so Cho Rim punches him again. She’s crying because of her hurt hand and how angry she is right now, even angrier that Moo Gak can’t feel any pain while she hurts so much inside. She wants to never see Moo Gak again since he ruined her life, walking away and ignoring him calling her name.
Moo Gak broods over what he did to Cho Rim. His partner Detective Tak can tell Moo Gak has things on his mind and offers to go see Detective Chun alone and give Moo Gak the afternoon off. Detective Tak pays Doctor Chun a visit to confirm his alibi again.
Moo Gak uses the time off to pay a visit to the comedy troop, begging the troupe leader to give Cho Rim another chance since he was the reason for her failed audition. Troupe leader agrees to give Cho Rim another chance if Moo Gak can make him laugh. Moo Gak asks for the room to be emptied out before he tries to make the troupe leader laugh.
The troupe members file out of the room and expect Moo Gak to fail since it’s notoriously difficult to make troupe leader laugh. They expect to hear him yelling at Moo Gak, only to be shocked to hear uproarious laughter coming from inside the room. Troupe leader walks out with Moo Gak still laughing his head off and slapping him on the arm. Moo Gak still has his deadpan attitude this whole time. I love it!
Cho Rim gets a call from troupe leader to come back to the comedy troupe. She hears that Moo Gak came and got her a second chance. Troupe leader describes Cho Rim as failing at everything so far in the troupe, except for one thing. Her choice in partner is a great choice so he’ll let her come back to perform comedy so long as her partner is Detective Choi Moo Gak.
Cho Rim bangs her head against the bus in frustration since she just had the big blow up with Moo Gak, how can she get him to perform with her again. Cho Rim arrives at the precinct and Moo Gak just saunters past her, patently ignoring her. Cho Rim uses her wiles on the rest of the team, going up to team leader first to offer him an energizing drink to keep up his strength doing his job. She moves from officer to officer while Moo Gak sneaks looks at her but says nothing.
Finally Cho Rim arrives at Moo Gak’s desk to offer him an energizing drink but he ignores her so she puts it on his desk. Moo Gak curtly says thank you and takes a call which interrupts Cho Rim’s attempt to talk with him. She’s about to walk away when she doubles down, running back to team leader to whisper a good idea in his ear. Team leader’s eyes light up and announces to the team that this girl wants to practice a police comedy skit for everyone to cheer them up.
Moo Gak takes Cho Rim up to the roof and demands to know why she is here, giving out drinks and doing comedy skit? Cho Rim claims she’s here to thank the cops and Moo Gak demands to know which cops, how many cops? Just say you want her to be here for you alone, silly boy! Cho Rim claims she’s here for all the cops since she spent the night in their office. Moo Gak points out he took care of her last night which is why she ended up in the office.
Moo Gak reminds her that she didn’t want anything to do with him anymore, right? Cho Rim apologizes for her angry words this morning, blaming it on her hangover. Moo Gak asks for the apology to be longer so Cho Rim sincerely apologizes for what she said this morning that upset him. Moo Gak lets out a small smile before walking away. Cho Rim frets about not having asked him to do the comedy skit with her but Moo Gak calls back that he’ll see her tomorrow to practice the skit. Awwww. Cho Rim runs after him all happy.
Cho Rim and Moo Gak go to an all-you-can-eat revolving sushi joint, with Moo Gak wondering if he should stop now since the owner is shooting him dirty looks. Cho Rim urges him to keep eating since this place is all-you-can-eat plus this is her treat for his comedy skit hard work. Moo Gak wonders if their last skit is funnier than the one they practiced today but Cho Rim orders him to leave the comedy ideas to her.
Cho Rim gets some wasabi up her nose and can’t believe Moo Gak can’t ever taste or feel the spicy. He gets up to take a call so she secretly puts a ton of wasabi on his piece of sushi, which Moo Gak totally sees in the mirror reflection while talking on the phone.
Moo Gak goes back to his seat and switches the sushi pieces when Cho Rim is getting another plate. He eats his normal piece and then pauses dramatically before continuing chewing as normal. Cho Rim eats her sushi and chokes on all the wasabi she slathered on the piece. She cries while Moo Gak hands her a cup of tea. Heh.
A jogger in the park finds a dead man lying on the park bench. Detective Yeom arrives and wonders why Detective Tak is already here, hearing that he walks through the park on his way to work and heard the police call so came straight back. Cho Rim arrives and waits with the rest of the bystanders while Moo Gak goes to the crime scene to check on the body of the victim. He sees a bar code cut into the victim’s arm and Detective Yeom screams in frustration.
The other detectives arrive to join the team and Cho Rim greets them from behind the yellow tape. The cops are understandably confused since this victim would be breaking the pattern left by the bar code killer. Detective Yeom declares that it’s not yet confirmed that this victim is definitely part of the bar code serial killings, regardless of whether he has the bar code carved in his arm. She tells the team to fan out and start their investigation.
The detectives discuss this latest victim – he was a fitness trainer who died 36 hours prior to his body being discovered, and manner of death is by strangulation. Team leader declares this is clearly a bar code victim so the cops should zero in on the whereabouts of their prime suspect Doctor Chun. Detective Yeom declares this might not be yet so the investigation should focus on the victim first. Team leader refuses to take her conjecture and orders his team to investigate Doctor Chun. Moo Gak offers to investigate based on Detective Yeom’s supposition and start with the victim.
Moo Gak sits with Cho Rim and gets her download on what she saw in the park today. Cho Rim finds it weird that the victim’s top and bottom clothing items don’t smell the same. That’s odd because normally a person’s entire outfit would smell the same. Except the victim’s pants has one set of scents, soju and beer and ice-cream, while the top has the smell of BBQ meat. Cho Rim says the smell is very dense so it must have gotten on it within the last two days.
Moo Gak shows the training suit top to a BBQ restaurant ahjumma who recognizes the training suit top as one she sees often from the trainers at the nearby fitness center who come by often. She doesn’t recognize the victim by face but remembers the training crew comes up usually as a group of six.
Moo Gak finds Cho Rim grilling meat and chides her for getting distracted while investigating. Cho Rim can’t concentrate while she’s hungry so Moo Gak lets her eat. She stops him from grabbing meat, suggesting that she get the first 5 pieces. He puts 5 pieces in her plate while asking how she knew it was this particular BBQ restaurant. Cho Rim says the smoke smelled of particular flavor combinations that was being advertised at this place.
Cho Rim starts eating but then prevents Moo Gak from grabbing meat again, ordering him to eat eggs while she scoops all the meat into her own plate. LOL, she’s never going to let it go that he ate all the meat before her the first time they went to a BBQ restaurant.
Moo Gak and Cho Rim pay a visit to the gym and ask the trainers about their uniforms, hearing there are three colors that are worn on alternating days. He finds out that the victim quit a month ago so wouldn’t be back to this area because all the trainers here have lent him money before and he still needs to pay up. The trainers reveal they had a gathering at the BBQ restaurant two days ago. Moo Gak tells the trainers that the victim was recently murdered two days ago.
Cho Rim starts screaming as the gym apparatus she was on tips over with her still stuck on it. She happily waves her three free gym certificates that she scored from the gym. Moo Gak paces on the roof trying to figure out all the clues, such as the different smelling top and bottom and why the victim’s top had the smell of the BBQ restaurant when he was dead already when the other trainers went there.
Cho Rim pays her friend a visit at the Japanese restaurant where she’s working now after switching jobs. Cho Rim chides her friend for changing jobs so often but then starts talking about Moo Gak. Her friend can totally tell Cho Rim likes Moo Gak with how often she talks about him. Her friend pretends that Moo Gak just walked in and gets Cho Rim to turn around all excited.
Cho Rim leaves the restaurant while muttering that she can’t possibly like Moo Gak. She sees a little dog running past her and then is hit hard by a man running past her. It’s chef Kwon Jae Hee and he quickly apologizes to Cho Rim and helps her up. She recognizes him as the celebrity chef and hears that he’s chasing after his little dog who got off the leash. Jae Hee knows he bumped into Cho Rim really hard and offers to take her to the doctor.
Jae Hee accompanies Cho Rim to see Doctor Chun and asks that he take care of Cho Rim. Doctor Chun reminds Jae Hee to go look for the dog so Jae Hee quickly runs out and leaves Cho Rim with Doctor Chun. He asks to see her other arm and pulls up her sleeve to see the surgical scars from bone surgery in the past. He asks if there are other areas that hurt and Cho Rim thinks maybe her hips hurt a bit. Doctor Chun has her take full x-rays to see where she is injured.
Doctor Chun assure Cho Rim that she has a small sprain on her wrist and should be fine with some treatment. He asks if the arm surgical scar is from a big injury and Cho Rim explains she was in a major accident three years ago. Cho Rim sees Jae Hee’s dog leash and from it the scent trail left by his little dog.
The detectives are certain that this latest victim must be a bar code victim otherwise how could he have the same bar code etched on his arm when the news of this serial killer’s MO hasn’t been released to the public. Another detective points out that only cops know the details of the bar code killings so team leader is even more affronted that Detective Yeom’s supposition would mean that a cop could be the real killer in this case.
Detective Yeom ignores their loud talking and continues to investigate. Moo Gak goes to join her for lunch and ignores the other detectives waving for him to come over. Moo Gak whispers to Detective Yeom that he thinks all of the victim’s former gym trainers should all be considered suspects.
Doctor Chun looks at Cho Rim’s x-rays and compares it with another x-ray in his file for Choi Eun Seol from Jeju Hospital, lining it up to be an exact match. He now that confirmation that Cho Rim is Choi Eun Seol and is here right now in Seoul.
Moo Gak goes back to the gym and asks about the locker keys at the gym, hearing that it’s easy to lose. He explains that a man who sleeps at the park saw one man in a gym jacket piggybacking another man in the park, thinking one guy was drunk. He saw a key fall out of the jacket and threw it in the pond. The next morning the victim was discovered dead in the park. Moo Gak announces that tomorrow they will search in the pond for the key and will be back to use it on a locker if found.
Detective Yeom orders her team to start looking for the key and wants to plant cops undercover at the scene because if the killer is one of the trainers then Moo Gak already let them know that the cops are looking for the key. Jae Hee’s little dog runs around the neighborhood and Cho Rim follows its scent trail to locate it in a box.
The cops start their undercover assignment, with a couple posing as lovers sitting in the park while others sit surveillance inside the cop car. Detective Tak gets a call from home and doesn’t answer it. The call shows his kid’s baby picture and Moo Gak compliments the lad on being so strapping like a general, only to hear that the child is a daughter. Ha!
Jae Hee cooks for Cho Rim to thank her for finding his dog. Cho Rim is so impressed with Jae Hee’s flashy cooking skills. The dog starts scratching and barking at a door so Cho Rim goes to pick it up. Doctor Chun thanks Cho Rim for finding the dog, explaining that Mari gave Jae Hee the dog as a present.
One detective poses undercover as park bum and has to sleep out in the bushes, LOL. All teams report back that they see nothing unusual.
Jae Hee and Doctor Chun sit down at the table for dinner while Cho Rim steps away. Jae Hee hears that Doctor Chun has been wanting to see Cho Rim and is surprised to meet her this way. The little dog continues to scratch and bark at one specific door. Cho Rim comes back from the bathroom and calls Jae Hee’s place as fancy as a hotel. She wonders why the dog keeps barking at that door, asking where it leads? Jae Hee explains it leads to the basement where he keeps his wine and cooking supplies. Cho Rim takes a bite of the food and marvels at it while both Doctor Chun and Jae Hee shoot looks towards her.
The detectives all assemble the next morning after quiet night where the killer didn’t show up to try and find the missing key. Moo Gak and Detective Yeom reveal that they concocted the key and eyewitness to try and lure the real killer out. Before team leader can get angry, Detective Tak calls the team over at the discovery of an expensive looking pen in the bushes.
The fingerprints on the pen match Doctor Chun who is promptly taken into custody. The police chief decides to take Detective Yeom off the bar code killing and orders her back to her original squad. Team leader is pleased with his breakthrough in arresting Doctor Chun. During interrogation, he explains that the pen was stolen from his office at the hospital.
Moo Gak apologizes to Detective Yeom for getting her into trouble with his belief that the real killer is one of the trainers. Detective Yeom also believes this victim was not a real bar code killer victim but whomever is the killer knew all the details about the serial killer case. They wonder if there could be a connection between the suspect trainers and an insider cop?
Cho Rim arrives at the gym to use her free coupon and gets in the elevator with one of the trainers. The same trainer passes by her and she stares intently at him. Moo Gak gets a call from Cho Rim who informs him that one of the trainers named Andy has the same scent as Detective Tak in the squad, the smell of a child. Moo Gak arrives at the gym and arrests Andy, identifying him as the younger brother of Detective Tak. He killed the victim accidentally after a fight and called his hyung to come help him. It was Detective Tak who planted all the bar code killing evidence and misdirected the cops.
Moo Gak takes the trainer into custody and the brothers tearfully see other in precinct. Detective Tak yells at his little brother, telling him to say he didn’t do it and pinning the blame all on him. The detectives watch the brothers crying but can do nothing to help.
Moo Gak arrives at the restaurant where Cho Rim’s friend works. She recognizes him and quickly calls Cho Rim to come on over. Cho Rim hears that Moo Gak is there and quickly excuses herself from going to dinner at a high end hotel buffet with her sunbae. She notices her sunbae’s pretty lip gloss and applies it on herself, explaining that she’s going to a funeral but wants to look alive.
Detective Yeom joins Moo Gak at the restaurant to thank him for solving the case and getting her back on this investigation. She hands Moo Gak his new ID and password for getting into the special cases file registry. Moo Gak is so happy and keeps thanking Detective Yeom profusely, explaining that there is one particular case file he really wants to see.
Cho Rim arrives happily but her smile disappears when she sees Moo Gak sitting with Detective Yeom and smiling happily.
Thoughts of Mine:
Awwww, she likes him. She totally likes him! And he likes her too, albeit in his own staid humorless way. Both Moo Gak and Cho Rim are just such likable people, characters that I can imagine being friends with in real life. Sure Moo Gak is living in unbelievable pain from losing his beloved little sister, but he doesn’t act like a man constantly carrying a burden around. He internalizes it and still manages to interact with people in normal ways. The occasional slip ups and poker face reactions shots are even more priceless because by and large he’s doing fine without Eun Seol around. He had to find her killer and get justice, but it doesn’t seem like he needs that closure to find happiness on his own. I loved his interactions with Cho Rim in this episode, from going to the comedy troupe leader to win her a second chance to getting jealous at all the attention she was showing to his cop colleagues when she should have been buttering him up instead. I can’t say I need them to fall in love as quickly as possible to show me swoony romantic scenes, I quite love their partnership where they can be themselves around each other. This is way more special that just saying I like you.
The whole Detective Tak twist took me off guard since I wasn’t expecting the team to lose a cop member this quickly. The drama could have done a better job in hiding his shadiness in investigating this case, but overall it’s not a big problem since this victim wasn’t a real bar code victim but was instead Detective Tak’s copycat. It would have had more impact had this case been shown later on when the audience had more time to get to know the various detectives and therefore feel something organic to see Detective Tak screw up this badly to protect his little brother. I think Moo Gak felt bad because he knows what it feels like to love a little sibling and want to do anything to protect the person. Moo Gak and Detective Yeom continue to be the brains and brawn of the operation but the other detectives nice serve as comedic fodder and exposition fairies. As the suspicion on Doctor Chun grows, the more I think he may be investigating the bar code murders too on his own and wants to catch the killer as well. Who knows, he was walking away from Eun Seol’s bed when he bumped into Moo Gak, and had blood on his him, but he could have arrived to find Eun Seol dead already as well and checked on her to get the blood on him.
The drama is turning out to be such an unexpected pleasant surprise I’m not sure what magic powder is bring sprinkled on the narrative to keep me in such a good mood when I watch. The pace is still a tad on the slow side, but whenever Cho Rim smiles and does anything, I just find her the cutest thing EVER. I want to protect her myself, so I get so scared when she is starting to get closer to chef Jae Hee and Doctor Chun. Those two just look shady even if they aren’t, good job in keeping the what if factor alive. We still don’t know what’s motivating the bar code killer(s) but Moo Gak will get one step closer to learning why his sister died once he access her case file. I’m sure Cho Rim’s dad knew another Choi Eun Seol died the night Cho Rim got in a car accident and was sent to the hospital. That’s why the cops are hiding Cho Rim’s identity and why he won’t tell Detective Yeom where to find her. He also knows she has no memory of her past so there is no point in putting her in danger when she doesn’t have information that can help the case. I wonder if she’ll start getting her memory back piecemeal, and where her scent seeing ability comes from. This story keeps me interested and that’s such a happy feeling I just want to throw confetti in the air.
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