If the writer and director want to self-immolate, they can follow the lead of the director of “A
Poem Crap a Day” and switch to a repulsive ahjussi-niece pairing at the eleventh hour. I’m pretty sure @strawberynyoung and the rest of the Jinyoung’s crusaders would gladly do the honors of burning them both at the stake.
The writer and director have been pulling the viewers’ strings like puppeteers since the beginning. They knew that viewers were suspicious of Sungmo’s feelings for Jaein ever since Lee Ahn “read” her shadowy figure in Sungmo’s jacket in Episode 2. And their suspicion ratcheted up when the young Jaein became the definition of “pretty” in Episode 7.
Well, you’d have to blind not to think that young Jaein was cute in that scene but I’d insist that the reason Lee Ahn “read” saw Jaein’s shadow in Sungmo’s memory was only because Sungmo felt terrible guilt for her. Not love.
Remember what the young Sungmo told little Lee Ahn? “Noradrenaline in the brain turns bad emotions into memories. So instead of all the good memories in people’s minds, bad memories emerge. Especially because people are bad. Not because you’re a monster. Bad memories stay with people the longest, and you can see them.”
The operative word here is “bad”. The source of the memories are BAD emotions. Like guilt, remorse, blame and burden.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Why did Lee Ahn NOT see any of Jaein’s memories when they kissed in the rooftop but saw them when she held hands with him in the playground.
Answer: Because she was euphoric in the rooftop but sorry in the playground.
To me, the rooftop kiss was the key. Lee Ahn was unable to read her during their first kiss, NOT BECAUSE he had faulty senses, but BECAUSE she only had GOOD memories of him. He could NOT get a read of her memories because she was thrilled to have escaped the gangster and happy to be with him. But he was able to read those same memories when they held hands in the park because she was feeling guilty when she reflexively moved her foot away when he bent down to tie her shoelaces.
See that? 🙂
Think about this for a minute, too: If Lee Ahn were to see memories every single time he touched things and people, he wouldn’t be able to engage in a sexual encounter EVER. He’d be distracted by the “readings” while doing skinship. hahaha.
Back to Sungmo and Jaein.
The writer and director have tried to stir up the anxiety by giving scenes that could be (mis)interpreted as a sign of Sungmo’s interest in Jaein.
I’ll cite a couple of incidents:
Episode 6. Jisoo told Jaein not to worry about Sungmo being displeased that they’re investigating the suitcase corpse. She said he had the “most sincere smile” she’s ever seen on him since she’s known him.
But let’s go back to their conversation in the elevator, shall we? I think her jealousy was distorting her interpretation.
Jisoo and Sungmo meet awkwardly in the elevator. He says he’s there to check on the sketch of the Kang Hee Sook imposter. She tries to make small talk, “I saw you on TV. Your personality came out,” and she praises him for walking out during the interview. He ignores her flattery (because he doesn’t know how to banter like normal people) and informs her that someone leaked their info. She should warn her colleagues to be more careful. She denies it saying, “It wasn’t from the police. You know how meticulous I am. It’s the prosecutors you should be concerned about.”
He switches topic and asks what she’s doing at that hour in the office. She covers up Dr Hong’s badge and says she misses Dr. Hong. I’m sure he’s TEASING her when he says “I heard Dr. Hong left early today. Tell me where you’re going with our investigation data then, DETECTIVE METICULOUS?”
So she confesses:
JS: Officer Yoon and Ahn are in the autopsy room right now.
SM: I’m assuming Ahn didn’t ask to see the case related evidence. I’m assuming it was Officer Yoon.
JS: Yeah. She said she couldn’t help Ahn with his psychometry without more information.
SM: As I expected.
And he smiles. Jisoo sees that. It’s not even a big smile. It’s like a Mona Lisa smile. To me, he was happy that his plans of getting the two working together was succeeding. But to Jisoo, she thinks it’s a sign of HIS admiration for Jaein because EARLIER she, too, was impressed with Jaein’s expert handling of Ahn.
JS: It’s Officer Yoon, isn’t it?
SM: What is?
JS: The one you want Ahn to do psychometry on.
SM: That’s right.
JS: Why? Why is it her?
SM: (says nothing)
JS: We have such a polar relationship. You know everything I’m thinking and I don’t know anything you’re thinking, if you don’t tell me.
And she walks out of the elevator looking disheartened. He stops the elevator.
SM: Officer Yoon’s father is Yoon Tae Ha. The Yungsung apartment case’s criminal. I’ll head to the autopsy room with the sketch.
For Jisoo, her MAIN TAKE from this whole encounter was he smiled because Officer Yoon asked for the papers.
To me, however, she didn’t realize that Sungmo shared information with her THAT HE DIDN’T WANT TO simply because she looked despondent. For an unemotional guy, he was RESPONSIVE to her emotional needs. The fact that he can “read” her mind is actually a good sign that he’s attuned to her because he’s emotionally detached to everyone else.
And his connection with her is displayed several times. Take for instance the scene in Episode 7 when they had asked for police reinforcement which the Commissioner denied.
Dad: I hear the two bodies found by the river were killed by Kim Gap Yong, a member of that group. And he’s the witness in the Hanmin Care Home fire, right?
JS: Who told you that? It’s classified information.
Dad: I’m glad you said that. I’m the Police Commissioner, so why can’t I know about it? I’m the one on the inside, not the outside.
JS: Wowww. You planted a spy on your own daughter?
SM: Detective Eun.
Watch that habit of his. He always restrains her with a “Detective Eun” in meetings when her father is present. At first, I thought he’s just toadying up to the father, but no. He’s protecting her because he knows that with her temper, she and her dad are going to clash publicly.
Dad: Yes, I did. So what?
This time, he protested for her.
Then, as they walked out, Sungmo told her, “Our DETECTIVE METICULOUS should take care of her tail first.”
JS: I know who it is. It’s Detective Lee for certain. This is why he reeked of nepotism.
SM: And I’m hearing this from the Police Commissioner’s daughter?
Now, that’s an uncalled-for jab. He knew how hard she worked at her job so why did he bring up that? Answer: Because he wanted to see her reaction; he anticipated her to get fired up.
JS: I got to this point solely with my own abilities.
SM: Anyway, it’s impossible to make your father understand the relationship between the suitcase murders and Kim Gap Yong for now.
JS: I know. We can’t tell him about Ahn’s psychometry ability either. Ugggh! But that doesn’t mean we can just break into that company without any backup like a fool.
SM: Give me some time. I’ll think of a way.
To me that’s another sign that Sungmo likes her. He always comes to her aid. When she’s displeased or upset about something, he takes it upon himself to find her a solution.
Remember the Hanmin Nursing care home? Episode 3. She was disappointed that they had to close the investigation without solving it,
so he called in Kim Gap Yong for another interview.
After ending his call with Kim Gap Yong, he looked at her, like, “Well? Are you pleased now?”
And he told her that they’d (technically, HE would) push off closing the case.
And she was happy.
After she left, he also smiled in that Mona Lisa smile of his.
He’s a pushover for her. He assumes responsibility when things don’t go her way. Of course, in her mind, he was nice only with Jaein but she overlooked the number of times when he’d been a reliable shoulder for her to lean on.
Then in Episode 8, when she accused him of liking Jaein, he was caught off guard. He didn’t know she felt that way about him and Jaein. But she cleared off before he could process it.
JS: I guess we caught them all. Let’s go.
SM: “I guess.” That doesn’t suit your usual thorough self. (Meaning, she isn’t being meticulous like usual; she would have said something like, “I’m sure we caught them all. Let’s go.”)
JS: Are you better at making jokes or did you learn how to be snarky?
SM: If it was funny, then I succeeded. If you thought I was being snarky, then that’s a plus, too.
JS: Kang Sungmo, you really …
JS: I think you’ve made a change for the better, but why do I feel uneasy about this.
He faces her.
SM: You’ve definitely changed. I wanted to be the one to change you. Now I think it began when you met Yoon Jaein again.
JS: Eun Jisoo —
SM: I’ll look around some more. You can leave first.
To me, this conversation — her uneasiness with this “change” in him — was one of the reason he pointedly told her that she was precious to him later in that Episode 8.
He was warning her about the danger posed by his stalker/dad while, at the same time, correcting her impression that he cared for Jaein in THAT way.
JS: What exactly does this guy want from you?
SM: If you’re not going to back off this case, then remember that you could also be in danger.
JS: Why would I be in danger?
SM: If he doesn’t get what he wants, he’ll ruin everything and everyone precious to me.
She was the only person he warned.
He specifically said that his killer would target the people he CHERISHED. However, she rejected the possibility that he was referring to HER, and instead immediately concluded that he solely worried about Jaein. She told Dr. Hong, “Dr. Hong, if someone dear to Kang Sungmo is in danger, it’s not me. I think I understand why he asked Constable Yoon to take care of Ahn. The person that Prosecutor wants to protect was that kid.”
Certainly, he wanted Jaein protected. Jaein lost her dad because of the crime his dad/stalker committed 13 years ago. Sungmo didn’t want her to lose her life too because his dad/stalker was going after the people he cherished. And he was shocked and enraged to discover from the burner phone that his dad/stalker had stalked Jaein two years ago…and he’d been unaware of it. That’s why his hand shook when looking at the photo album.
But Jaein wasn’t the person whom he openly called “precious” to him. He didn’t warn her and Lee Ahn in the same fashion. Although he knew that Jaein was in danger, given that her CCTVs were being tampered with, he didn’t go to her before he left and explained things. If Jaein hadn’t seen him lurking that morning and chased after him, he would have left without her knowledge.
As far as he was concerned, Jaein was Lee Ahn’s responsibility. He tasked Ahn with the responsibility of protecting her because he was the boyfriend.
In Episode 10, “Don’t you know that a boyfriend should be responsible for his girlfriend’s safety?”
Having teased Lee Ahn about his love life, I don’t think Sungmo would go and steal his girlfriend right under his nose, do you? I can almost hear Jisoo scolding us just like she scolded her sidekick for doubting Sungmo’s motives. Her sidekick suggested that Sungmo greedily wanted to take all the credit of the solving the investigation to himself. She said, “How can you think like this?”
lol. I wish SHE’ll ask herself that question, too, next time she suspects Sungmo of liking Jaein romantically.
Sungmo left the maps for Lee Ahn to use. He reminded Ahn to take care of Jaein and he told Jaein to stick with Ahn. To me, that’s enough sign that he acknowledges that the two belong with each other.