Mi-young: “Say it. Oh Goo-tak, are you the culprit?”
Goo-tak: *smiles* “Yes, that’s right. I gave the order for all of it.” (Crap! You did??) “Is that the answer you wanted?”
Are you giving us answers we want to hear, or are you telling the truth? Because no, Goo-tak, that’s NOT the answer i wanted even if that’s the truth. Or was it half-truth?
I played episode 9 with two burning questions in mind: if Goo-tak really is the puppeteer and what will happen to kidnapped Jung-moon. While we get the answer for the first one, there’s none of the second. Bad Guys actually continues where eight left off in the penultimate episode and spends the ninth rewinding to two years ago where it all started.
To have the entire hour in the past is unexpected because there is pressing matter happening in the present that needs to be attended to, stat. Am i the only one worrying about Jung-moon’s welfare throughout the minutes, wondering if we will ever go back to the present to check on him? He’s kidnapped by possibly the psycho doctor, you know… But well, not that the backstory is unwelcomed; we all too want to know what happened then.
The travel back in time answers most of the questions we could possibly have of the characters’ backstories, even if it’s told from Goo-tak’s point of view: notably how then way-warmer-and-more-cheerful-squad-leader/father Goo-tak came to know Boss Lee Doo-kwang, the mad dog minions, and Prosecutor Oh; how Jung-moon was apprehended and proven guilty (the details we know nothing of until now) since the crimes he tried for left no trace and he himself didn’t remember killing any of the victims; and the event that led to Goo-tak’s suspension.
Since the beginning, there’s this crackling tension between Goo-tak and Jung-moon. Turns out, Bad Guys is never about the other characters, the cases, or the baddies catching bigger baddies deal; it all boils down to these two. It matters not who the serial killer in Hwayeondong case is, what matters is who killed Ji-yeon (Goo-tak’s daughter) and whether or not Jung-moon did it. Alas, it’s still not divulged. Neither is there any definitive answer as to whether or not Jung-moon killed anyone during the blackouts. Should we put two and two together ourselves or is the show going to show their hand? I hope the big reveal won’t be shown in the last 10~15 minutes of the finale, ‘cuz by now i don’t even know if it’s going to be a twist or an obvious disclosure.
Yes, there are images of Ji-yeon’s last moments and then WHO the killer is replete with the satisfied smirk on his face, but that’s just Goo-tak’s imagination, just like how Woong-chul pictures his hyung’s final moments in episode 10. That’s damn gut-wrenching but it also serves as the perfect trigger for them to go after the person they firmly believe is the culprit at all cost. Jung-moon was caught on CCTV entering the premise, but what about him leaving with any incriminating evidence like blood mark? He can’t go in but not go out, can he? Even if the did all the killings during those blackouts, can he be held responsible for something he did when he wasn’t in his right mind?
Next time we see Jung-moon, he’s alive — maybe that’s the only good thing to say about his condition. He doesn’t stay conscious for long; as soon as he stirs awake, he is choked with a bottleful of pills (dafuq?? He could die of overdose, you crazy doc!) or stunned. In this blurry vision, he staggers through a hallway until he spots Doo-kwang who seems to be expecting his visit. Next time he comes to, his hands are all bloody. His DNA is then found on Doo-kwang’s body and the murder weapon. It is different from the clean murders he supposedly committed it’s sketchy. Boss Lee once warned Woong-chul about betrayal stabs from behind, was he betrayed too? Because how come the gangsta boss was left unguarded at night?
While Woong-chul is made to believe that Jung-moon is the killer, Prosecutor Oh plants the idea in Tae-soo’s mind that Goo-tak is the man behind the recent hit orders, the one who ordered the assignees to be offed if they didn’t complete the mission, which in turn took everyone dear to him away. Goo-tak has denied it, but Prosecutor Oh confirms it anyway, saying he has circumstantial evidence and gut feeling to back his surmise up. You appear more and more suspicious by the hour, Prosecutor Oh, i’d be surprised if you are completely upright and innocent.
Regardless, provoking Woong-chul and Tae-soo (by framing Goo-tak and Jung-moon) is mission complete — Woong-chul is set on Jung-moon and Tae-soon on Goo-tak. That’s like killing two birds with one stone, huh? Add to that Goo-tak is also hell-bent to locate Jung-moon, the rest of the episode is all about these three tracking their targets down all while Jung-moon is doing his best to stay alive and free.
After much tailing using tedious means, they finally come face to face with the nemesis. Goo-tak takes no time leveling the gun at Jung-moon (how many times is it already?) but before he manages to fully pull the trigger, the latter is towed by the rightful owner(?) Woong-chul while the former is claimed by Tae-soo.
Seems that they didn’t come to confirm what they heard but to simply act on their boiling anger. Because even though they ask questions, they don’t wait long enough for the full answer. They just want to hear what they want to hear (that Jung-moon killed Ji-yeon and Doo-kwang, while Goo-tak orchestrated the hit orders) that when the response isn’t so, their fists speak on behalf of their ears.
I eventually feel sorry for Jung-moon in this hour. How many times he’s asked why he killed so-and-so and even if he sounds like a broken record, he can offer no better reply than “I am sorry but I don’t remember.” I get it now — how frustrating it must be to be told he’s killed so many people without him having any recollection of it.
During that one excruciating minute when the sweeping music plays as Woong-chul and Tae-soo ready themselves to do or not do it, Goo-tak and Jung-moon are too exhausted to put up a fight, and we see flashes of the team’s happier times in which the four of them are laughing, i just want to stop there and not move forward. Remember that camaraderie and stop hurting one another. I don’t want any of them to die, definitely not by one another’s hand! Besides, don’t they vow not to kill anymore? Don’t you say it, Tae-soo, in framed crimes, the victim’s loved ones could very well be hating on the wrong person for the rest of their lives? I still believe that’s what’s happening here.
The key to Jung-moon’s blank memory is the psycho doctor i was disappointed the Pandora’s box isn’t opened in time. Bad Guys has been solving each case in an episode that dragging this mystery to the final hour feels like a stretch. Doctor Kim is not on the loose right? Tell me Tae-soo picks up his details left in the dustbin by the detective. Then there’s the biggest baddie of them all, the motive, and the fallout. All of that for the final hour doesn’t sound too bad, provided that the finale delivers.
Make it worthwhile, Bad Guys.