The Girl Who Sees Smells may not be perfect but it continues to perfectly elicit both my delighted squeals and my holy mother of batman freakout screams. Episode 10 ends on the tensest cliffhanger moment yet, a reckoning of sorts for all three main leads. I consider Jae Hee integral to the story even as the soulless antagonist, the writer does a good job of making him seem almost human when he interacts with Cho Rim. I wish there could be more clues as to what he’s planning for her, there isn’t anyone who would make as much effort to help her as he does without some payoff at the end. Whether it’s as his victim or the object of his affection, I want to know that I can steel myself and yell at Cho Rim to run away as fast as she can.
The dating life of Moo Gak and Cho Rim remains so effortlessly wonderful in the little moments that don’t mean anything other than bring joy to the two people in love. From sharing likes and dislikes to just hanging out, K-dramas rarely depict romance in the low key interactions after an OTP has gotten together like what Smelly Girl is doing. Moo Gak and Cho Rim fit together so seamlessly and the best part is that they both realize and appreciate it. I don’t need to imagine their happily ever after, for once a drama is showing me in the here and now. But for Jae Hee the serial killing machine gunning for Cho Rim and imperiling the sweet romance, I’m so ready to plan weddings and baby showers for my two cuties. Before that can happen, Moo Gak needs to step up his game to take down the nemesis that killed his sister and wants to kill his girlfriend.
Episode 10 recap:
Detective Yeom matches the composite sketch of the woman Cho Rim saw in her triggered memory to the dead sea diving couple wife. Instead of confronting Cho Rim who arrives with Moo Gak to continue the composite sketching, Detective Yeom hides the picture and heads off to continue the drawing session with Cho Rim.
Moo Gak begs off on joining the ladies for the composite sketching, not wanting to be a distraction so Detective Yeom and Cho Rim can concentrate on the task at hand. Detective Yeom sends Cho Rim to buy a drink first and uses the time alone to snap a picture of Cho Rim’s ID in her wallet.
Detective Yeom pulls up a different sketch than the one she created, leading to Cho Rim pointing out that the face is not correct. Detective Yeom blames her own sketching skills and suggests they start from scratch. Afterwards Moo Gak finds the ladies dejected heading out of the session, having been unable to create a sketch that Cho Rim matches to her memory of the woman’s face. Cho Rim feels like she’s at fault for not being able to accurately describe it, thanking Detective Yeom regardless for staying late to help her.
Detective Yeom later goes back to her desk and pulls up Cho Rim’s identity sheet based on her ID number, finding out that Cho Rim’s dad is listed as Oh Jae Pyo, the retired detective she’s been hounding to find Choi Eun Seol. She wonders if Oh Cho Rim is the girl Oh Jae Pyo is protecting.
Moo Gak feels bad that Cho Rim can’t produce a correct sketch but she remains optimistic that she can do it still. He asks to grab a drink and Cho Rim happily accepts, understanding that Moo Gak wants to cheer her up.
At the restaurant, Cho Rim heads to the ladies room and opens the door to find a man standing inside. He smiles and opens his jacket to her but Cho Rim has averted her eyes and apologizes for walking into the men’s room by accident. She walks to the other bathroom and opens it to find irate men inside, showing that she was correct in entering the ladies bathroom earlier and it was a random flasher guy hiding inside.
A woman runs out of the ladies room screaming about a pervert. Cho Rim walks in to find the flasher having run off through the open window but she can track him by his scent trail. Moo Gak hears about the pervert and Cho Rim drags him off to find the guy through his strong smoke scent from his right foot that he uses to stamp out cigarettes.
Cho Rim and Moo Gak lose the scent at a spot and split up to keep looking. Moo Gak walks away and Cho Rim finds the pervert hiding up in the tree above. He runs off and Cho Rim chases after him. The man darts across a street and Cho Rim is almost hit by a truck but for Moo Gak arriving in time to pull her aside to safety.
Moo Gak asks if she’s okay and notices that Cho Rim looks anguished. Cho Rim reveals that she just saw a flashback of the moment of her car accident three years ago, darting into the street and getting hit by a car before falling to the ground. Moo Gak pulls Cho Rim in tightly while murmuring that it’s okay to comfort her.
Moo Gak is washing dishes at Cho Rim’s place and discussing how she’s gradually getting her memories back. Cho Rim has wanted her memories back but now that it’s happening she feels a bit scared. Moo Gak thinks she’ll feel better once she gets all her memories back rather than now when it’s only bits and pieces.
Moo Gak has an itch on the side of his nose that he can’t scratch with his gloves on, calling Cho Rim over to help scratch it for him. Cho Rim realizes afterwards that Moo Gak can feel the itch which means he’s getting his feelings back. She taps him on the head a few times but he still can’t feel it so she gives him a big whack that Moo Gak may not feel but definitely isn’t happy about.
Moo Gak gets Cho Rim back by suggesting that she test it out somewhere else, pointing to his puckered lips. Cho Rim leans in to lightly kiss Moo Gak and the guy takes advantage of the situation by complaining that he didn’t feel anything because she did it too softly. That gets him another smack on the head from an embarrassed Cho Rim.
Moo Gak then realizes he did feel it which makes Cho Rim happy and also gives him another chance to kiss her while pointing out that they are alone.
Jae Hee is inspecting the supply delivery in the kitchen, displeased with the ingredients for today and ordering some to be returned. Cho Rim arrives early for work to learn more about the workings of the kitchen.
Jae Hee beckons Cho Rim in and asks how she would communicate the selection of fresh ingredients on his show? Cho Rim describes it akin to a woman picking makeup and how to look good, so she’ll showcase the ingredients in a way to make people laugh. Cho Rim picks a watermelon seed and sticks it on her face which gets a big smile out of Jae Hee. Cho Rim excuses herself to go clean the dining room but Jae Hee stops her when he calls her a very amusing person that makes him want to get to know her more. After Cho Rim walks out of the kitchen, Jae Hee continues to stare at her in a supremely creepy way.
Moo Gak reports to Detective Yeom that Oh Jae Pyo appears to have disappeared and done so in a way that he doesn’t want to be found. They are determined to find him now more than ever because the eyewitness Choi Eun Seol may be in danger.
Detective Yeom takes Cho Rim out for dessert to apologize for not being able to produce the correct composite sketch. She uses the time to probe into Cho Rim’s past, hearing that she lost her memory from a car accident three years ago. She also finds out that Cho Rim regained the memory of the woman’s face from drinking abalone and seaweed soup. Detective Yeom suggests the soup may be something Cho Rim is familiar with since childhood.
Detective Yeom wonders if the woman Cho Rim saw could be her mom? Cho Rim is certain the woman is not her mom because her mom died before she lost her memory and she saw pictures of her dead mom and it’s not the face of the woman in her memory.
Cho Rim has produced a correct composite sketch of the flasher pervert from the other night with the two detectives. She also tells them the man has a habit of stamping out smokes with one particular foot. The detectives find the pervert at the park using the sketch and arrest him.
Team leader Kang takes his guys out to lunch and suggests ordering the cheapest beef soup by claiming he wants to eat that dish and everyone should get the same thing. LOL. The police chief happens by and offers to pay for lunch to thank the team for working so hard. After he walks away the entire team yells at the ahjumma to quickly bring the most expensive beef soup, six bowls of it.
The detectives notice that the police chief has left something on the table so Moo Gak is tasked with running out to give it back to him. Moo Gak happens to see Cho Rim’s dad Oh Jae Pyo on the street and follows him to a café where the police chief is waiting there. Moo Gak hides while eavesdropping on Oh Jae Pyo’s meeting with the police chief.
The police chief wants to know why Jae Pyo isn’t working as a security guard and instead hears that Jae Pyo wants the current files on the bar code investigation. The police chief reluctantly agrees since Jae Pyo knows so much on him. Jae Pyo leaves his contact information on a café note pad and after they leave, Moo Gak borrows the same pad and uses a pencil to retrieve the contact information.
Moo Gak calls Detective Yeom to report that he found Oh Jae Pyo and pass along the contact information. Jae Hee listen to this voicemail and learns where to find Oh Jae Pyo as well. Detective Yeom offers to go see Oh Jae Pyo herself while Jae Hee realizes that cops are also looking for the eyewitness. Jae Hee returns to putting books on the shelf from the box that Doctor Chun mailed to him before he died.
The detectives find a match on the blood of the person who was injured during the sting operation. Turns out the guy is a serial arsonist and Moo Gak remembers the local cops were patrolling the neighborhood that night because of a series of fires recently. Moo Gak realizes the guy he was chasing ran from him because he was a serial arsonist, not because he was the bar code killer. The cops realize they chased the wrong person all along.
Moo Gak believes the switch happened when guy he was chasing darted out the window, at which point Moo Gak chased after the wrong guy while the bar code killer hid. Moo Gak then wonders why Jae Hee had the same injury on his arm? Because of same area injury, the police suspected him but the DNA was not a match so Jae Hee could openly insult the cops for once again wrongfully suspecting him. Moo Gak is now certain Jae Hee was at the location that night which is how he could know where the other suspect was injured on the arm. That leads Moo Gak back to square one, suspecting Jae Hee is the bar code killer, and realizing Jae Hee was the one who attacked him at the storage container.
Moo Gak goes back to the storage container and goes inside Doctor Chun’s unit to poke around. He also remembers that he made the appointment to meet Doctor Chun while at Jae Hee’s restaurant, wondering what Doctor Chun wanted to talk to him about. Moo Gak notices a gap indicating that books are missing from the published series.
Jae Hee arrives first to track down Oh Jae Pyo, hearing from another employee that he’s a cop. He overhears another guy wanting Jae Pyo to stop helping park cars since he’s a cop but Jae Pyo wants to do what he can to help out since he’s not a cop anymore. Jae Hee purposely darts in front of Jae Pyo parking a car and is lightly struck by the vehicle.
Jae Pyo quickly goes out to apologize and assist the injured Jae Hee, who plays up his injury so Jae Pyo takes him to the hospital, thereby missing the just arrived Detective Yeom. Detective Yeom asks to see Oh Jae Pyo but the friend covers for him, insisting he knows of no such person. Detective Yeom has a meal at the restaurant and hears from a waitress that she has never heard of Oh Jae Pyo either, clearly the witness has been coached by the boss to lie.
Jae Pyo feels bad after Jae Hee is seen by a doctor and even pays for his own medical bill. He insists on taking Jae Hee out to lunch.
Moo Gak gets a call from Cho Rim that their date needs to be pushed back two hours. She has a planning meeting with the show production at Jae Hee’s house today, which has been delayed two hours because Jae Hee went to the countryside for a matter. Moo Gak tells Cho Rim to not eat too much since she needs to eat with him later. After the call, Moo Gak changes his destination and has the taxi driver take him to Jae Hee’s house.
Detective Yeom texts Moo Gak that she went to the location but found no signs of Oh Jae Pyo. Jae Hee reads the text on his phone and sees that Moo Gak is certain the location is correct, wondering if Oh Jae Pyo is using a different name. Detective Yeom plans to stay for another hour to wait and see so Jae Hee checks his watch to keep Jae Pyo with him.
Jae Pyo has recognized Jae Hee as the famous Chef Kwon, but he knows Jae Hee not because of the shows but because he is a family member of a bar code killing victim. Jae Pyo brings up dead model Mari and explains that he has an interest in the case. Jae Hee does not look happy about this discussion.
Moo Gak has brought in a petty lock picker to open Jae Hee’s front door for him.
Jae Hee drops off Jae Pyo back at the restaurant and this time Jae Pyo sees Detective Yeom leaving. He manages to avoid being seen by her and tells Jae Hee to contact him if he doesn’t feel well later on.
Moo Gak checks the time before poking around Jae Hee’s place. He notices the dog staring at a particular door so heads in there. Moo Gak walks down a staircase and into what looks like a standard storage room. Jae Hee calls Cho Rim that he’s headed back now so she should head on over to his place as well. Moo Gak walks through the storage room into Jae Hee’s sprawling closet but doesn’t have time to keep looking as Jae Hee returns home.
Jae Hee is about to walk inside when Cho Rim runs up and joins him to go in. Moo Gak fixes the closet and tries to leave but hears the dog barking as well as Jae Hee’s voice. Jae Hee is about to head through the door to change when Cho Rim sees Moo Gak’s scent trail from that door. Cho Rim intentionally breaks a glass which causes Jae Hee to turn back around to help her clean up.
Cho Rim suggests grabbing a broom to sweep it up so Jae Hee leaves to grab the broom, giving Moo Gak the chance to make a clean escape without being detected.
Cho Rim goes to the park to chew out Moo Gak for almost giving her a heart attack. What if she didn’t have the ability to see scents? She demands to know why he was at Jae Hee’s house investigating and not doing it in an official way? Moo Gak explains he suspects Jae Hee and doesn’t have a qualm about resorting to underhanded investigating tactics when it comes to catching the person who killed his little sister.
Moo Gak gets angry as he asks if Cho Rim understands what it’s like to lose a loved one, to lose someone he was just on the phone with? Cho Rim takes Moo Gak’s hand to comfort him while he apologizes for yelling at her just now. Cho Rim understands and asks if his sister was really pretty? Moo Gak believed she was the prettiest girl in Jeju Island so Cho Rim puts her long hair around Moo Gak and suggests Eun Seol looks like that.
Moo Gak shows Cho Rim a picture of Eun Seol in his wallet. She admires the picture and hears that her name was Choi Eun Seol. Moo Gak takes the picture back in case Cho Rim ruins it. Cho Rim pouts that she wants an older brother like Moo Gak who dotes on her. She takes off to find herself such an oppa so Moo Gak quickly follows and drapes his arm possessively around Cho Rim.
The lovebirds go back to Cho Rim’s house to slurp down ramyun and watch Cho Rim’s first show. They laugh as Cho Rim shows the audience how to make a hamburger in her funny way. Moo Gak thinks she looks pretty, the dress he bought her that is. Cho Rim starts getting texts from friends, congrats from Ae Ri and texts from all sorts of people that now want to reach out to her because she got on TV.
Moo Gak offers to clean up so Cho Rim puts an apron on him while they discuss how Moo Gak likes cleaning up more while Cho Rim likes cooking more. Cho Rim asks more questions and finds out that Moo Gak likes some of the same things she likes while they complement each other in other things.
Cho Rim goes up to give him a tender back hug so Moo Gak turns around asks her to stay by his side because only since meeting her has he learned more about himself. Moo Gak hugs Cho Rim as she shyly says she’ll do her best. Hilariously this is just her imagination but she gets up her courage to actually make it a reality. Too bad she slips on the wet floor as she goes to back hug Moo Gak. LOL forever!
Cho Rim wakes up in bed with Moo Gak beside her. He asks if she’s all better now and pulls her in for a bed cuddle. Moo Gak claims to be super tired and asks if he can take a snooze here. Cho Rim wonders for how long and Moo Gak says he wants to sleep until the morning.
Turns out this time Moo Gak is the one dreaming and is woken up by a yelling Cho Rim, who wonders why he’s resting when she was the one who hit her head. Moo Gak pulls Cho Rim on the bed to hug her into silence while she keeps asking what he likes. He gives answers that are opposite of what she likes, explaining that in doing so they can do more things together. Awwww.
Detective Yeom is thinking about Cho Rim being the real eyewitness Choi Eun Seol and calls Moo Gak in to take him off the bar code killer case. She’s sending him back to his local precinct and ending his access to the restricted files. Moo Gak doesn’t understand why this is happening and refuses to go. Detective Yeom uses Moo Gak unlawfully entering Jae Hee’s place to search as evidence that his emotion is clouding his judgment. She refuses to remain silent and allow Moo Gak to ruin her career. Moo Gak demands to know why Detective Yeom is doing this but her mind is made up.
The other detectives have eavesdropped on this conversation and hear that Detective Yeom wants to reassign tasks now that their squad is down one member.
Cho Rim is at Jae Hee’s place getting ready to record another show. A staffer calls her Choi Eun Seol, claiming to recognize her and assuming the name Oh Cho Rim is her stage name. Cho Rim recognizes the name Choi Eun Seol and hears that the staffer was good friends with her. Jae Hee is getting his makeup done and looks over. Cho Rim connects the name Choi Eun Seol to the same name as Moo Gak’s little sister.
Jae Hee sends Cho Rim to the library to get some cooking books for him that he wants to use as props for the show. Cho Rim takes the elevator down to Jae Hee’s massive library, marveling at the place as she looks around for cooking books. She finds some high up on the shelf and tiptoes to grab it, sending a few books falling down. Cho Rim finds a letter that fell out with the books and takes it out to read. It’s Doctor Chun’s letter to her, where he writes to Choi Eun Seol who is now called Oh Cho Rim. Jae Hee is asked where Cho Rim is since she needs to be mic’d so he heads to look for her.
Cho Rim reads the letter as Jae Hee arrives down in the library. Jae Hee turns the corner and sees Cho Rim reading the letter. He taps her on the shoulder and asks what she is doing? Cho Rim stares at Jae Hee as a tear falls from her eye.
Thoughts of Mine:
HOLY SHIT. I can’t believe the episode ended right there. For the life of me I can’t envision how Cho Rim is going to avoid having Jae Hee read that letter and learn her real identity. She’s a fast one thinking on her feet but right now she’s in a state of shock herself. I so wish Doctor Chun’s letter included the reveal that Jae Hee was the bar code killer, too bad he found out after writing the letter and before telling Moo Gak. I can see all the instances in this drama where information is conveniently hidden or learned in order to keep the narrative moving along a designated route. It’s not always rational nor all that subtle, but in the context of a drama that is balancing straight up rom-com with dark serial killings, I suppose it’s to be expected. As long as it doesn’t punt me out of a scene by sheer preposterousness then I can accept the convenient info trickle reveals. I wish Cho Rim’s dad wasn’t running away from the cops, why can’t he just tell them Cho Rim doesn’t remember? But then again, if the cops want to do memory regression therapy on her to remember, why wouldn’t he agree to it? Before being her surrogate dad, he’s also a cop and there is an active serial killer on the loose still. He does have a duty to society to stop the killer and I don’t really get why he’s so adverse to keeping Cho Rim from being discovered when there are other ways to keep her safe.
Having Jae Hee tap Moo Gak’s cell phone is probably the easiest trick in the book to keep him one step ahead of the cops, but doing so paints Moo Gak unnecessarily clueless because he ought to double check his cell afterwards just to be extra alert. It does allow Jae Hee to remain with the upper hand, and I wouldn’t be surprised if making contact with Cho Rim’s adopted dad would paint a target on his back as a potential victim. Aside from Moo Gak and Cho Rim, I think everyone else in this drama is fair game to bite the dust. I’m also on the lookout for another twist somewhere, it would be cool if there was someone working with Jae Hee within the police department and that was how he evaded capture for so long, rather than being lucky those tasked with catching him are by and large incompetent or prone to jumping on the wrong conclusions to waste time. It’s also hard to believe the cops don’t just keep a surveillance detail on Jae Hee for the time being, even if he was cleared on the DNA match there are still too many coincidences to wholly strike him from the suspect list. Why not just tail him as a precautionary measure, doing so would have revealed he was tracking Oh Jae Pyo himself. I don’t want to read too much into the police tactics because I do love this drama, but a bit more smarts on Jae Hee would be better than to dumb down the cops.
Thankfully there is the half of the drama that remains top notch, namely the romance of Cho Rim and Moo Gak. I love that there are no parents around and they are just adults in a relationship without burdening the story down with unnecessary baggage. Why does falling in love feel extra sweet to watch when the couple doesn’t fight it and understands how to navigate the tricky parts of learning more about each other. The teasing is wonderful but the best part is seeing how they have each other’s backs even in the darker moments, like Cho Rim’s piecemeal memory return and Moo Gak’s search for his sister’s killer at the expense of being a cop. The way he cuts corners and flouts protocol is grounds for his removal from the team, mostly because he’ll never get the charges to stick if he nabs Jae Hee that way. I also think Detective Yeom is correct in removing him from the team because he’s now doubly involved in the case, what with dating the eyewitness even if he doesn’t know it yet. I wish she could tell him though, not sure why she’s keeping that information a secret from Moo Gak. Cho Rim’s cheerful optimism remains the lightness that keeps this drama from being bogged down in the nitty gritty. I can watch her be cute all day long, which leads me to praying fervently that the drama doesn’t mire her in a pit of despair for the remaining episodes now that she knows the truth.
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