Busted S1E10 Recap: The Disappearance of K

In this episode: The team rushes to rescue their kidnapped boss and finds out the secret behind Project D.

Episode Guest Stars

(I apologize for the not-necessarily-flattering quality of these photos – I mostly work with GIFs, so it’s a little harder to screenshot good images than I thought. But the aim is really just to give names to faces here.)

Yoon Hyunbin

Ahn Naesang
(actor, recurring Season 1 guest)

Cha Yuram
(professional pool player)

Kim Jeongtae
(actor, Episode 1 guest)

An Important Note

I’ve tried my best to summarize everything in these recaps, but sometimes there are parts of an episode or the overall story that aren’t clear to me. I’m in Korea, so I have Korean Netflix – they have English subtitles for all the dialogue, but not necessarily all of the captions and titles they put in the show. I’m sure that sometimes I miss things, and sometimes I may arrive at the wrong conclusion. But I’ll make sure to highlight the parts where I’m confused or unsure about certain details.

***WARNING!*** THERE ARE SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE EPISODE/SERIES AHEAD. These recaps are written summary style – I’m writing as if I’ve watched these episodes for the first time, but this is primarily aimed towards people who have seen the series before and want to refresh their memory or find answers to certain questions. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE SERIES AND ARE PLANNING TO, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

Episode Recap

It’s season finale time! The team is discussing the special microchip they just acquired – the one that can supposedly fix Project D’s errors – when Jaesuk receives a text from K. It’s a delayed message that was supposed to be sent after the murder party all the way back in Episode 1, and it gives them the address of their final test. So why didn’t it get sent back then? I’m not sure, but here’s my theory. The original plan was for M to host the murder party as the detectives’ first test. I think that if they passed that, then they’d have received this text from K and gone through this final trial before officially becoming detectives. But since Yoo Yeonseok killed M and C, I think K must have decided that the team had proven themselves enough trying to solve that mystery and just decided to directly contact them. And perhaps he was saving this final test for another time… which would be now. Also, didn’t we establish last episode that M was one of the adversaries along with C? Was K aware of this?

Shortly after the text, the team receives another communication. It’s not a video call from K per usual, but an audio message from a familiar voice. We already saw this part last episode, but now we get to find out the speaker – it’s C, and he says he kidnapped K. The team is confused because they saw him die in the first episode. To be honest, there’s a lot of back and forth in the finale about whether C is alive or not, and it actually gets really confusing when I read my notes back. So since this is a recap, I’m just going to cut through all that and tell you now: yes, C is alive. A lot of this episode’s clues point to this, so it’s fairly easy for viewers to figure out while watching. It’s just that the show is weirdly cagey about confirming it until about halfway through.

Fun fact: there was a small hint that C wasn’t actually dead. Remember the Cookie Monster doll I mentioned a couple of times? When we first saw C in Episode 1, he had one in the pocket of his lab coat. When Sejeong visited M’s grave in Episode 8, we saw another one had been left there. I think it’s cool how the show snuck in that little clue that he was alive.

Since the team doesn’t have much to go on, they head to the address in K’s text. It turns out to be a warehouse with two separate entrances, so they have to split into groups. Jaewook, Jongmin, and Minyoung head to a room with two platforms separated by a large stretch of water. They must complete the mission so a bridge will appear and help them cross the water to the door. The side they’re standing on has a water pump and a wall of darts; the side across the room has a giant dartboard with a key in the center. They have to get the key by throwing darts at it. The darts don’t have any tips, so they have to earn them by pumping water until some capsules containing tips spill out of the spout. And they should be careful with how they throw, because the dart board is filled with water. Some water leaks out every time they hit the board – making the target sink and widening the distance. Jaewook gets a lot of decent throws in, but it’s Jongmin’s random one that lands exactly on the key and opens the door.

A look at the darts challenge room.

Jaesuk, Kwangsoo, Sehun, and Sejeong go into a room with a special platform in the middle. (It kind of looks like two seesaws pushed together into a cross shape, with places for four people to stand on.) Four books hang above – the titles are in English, but each book’s cover has one red letter. Put together, the letters spell “page.” So, the four of them have to balance on the platform together and look at one book each. They must count the pages of the books and then add them up, because the total number is the password to move on to the next room. Unfortunately, they’re not as good as balancing as they should be; both Kwangsoo and Jaesuk end up falling off the platform multiple times into some seriously dirty looking water. Kwangsoo’s book even goes with him at one point, so they have to divide it up and separate out all the wet pages… but they do eventually get the answer.

Just one of of many mishaps during this challenge.

The team reunites in a room filled with stars. Seeing all the constellations makes them realize that each group saw two images of various Western zodiac signs in their respective rooms. Jaewook’s team saw a woman on the doormat before entering the room (Virgo), while Jaesuk’s team saw a goat (Capricorn). The mission for Jaewook’s team involved hitting a target, and there was a bow and arrow on the wall of the room (Sagittarius). The mission for Jaesuk’s team involved balance, and there were scales on the wall of that room (Libra).

The constellation room.

There is also an exercise bike in the corner of the room. When they pedal on it, they see it lights up to reveal the word “ON.” There are six other spaces to put in letters like they did for the puzzle in Episode 1, the one where they had to spell out a name to open the door. And just like that puzzle, they have limited time… because the ceiling is slowly lowering bit by bit. The answer can be found by putting the zodiac signs both groups saw together: Virgo is September, October is Libra, Sagittarius is December, and Capricorn is January. The zodiac sign for November is missing, and that sign is Scorpio the scorpion – meaning they have to put “S,” “C,” “O,” “R,” “P,” and “I” in the letter boxes and then pedal on the bike until “ON” lights again.

The scorpion solution.

When they’ve spelled out the word, the floor lights up. It’s a magic square: they have to slide the numbers 1-9 around so that all the row and columns give the same answer when you add their numbers together (diagonally too.) I’m terrible at math so I’m not going to write out the solution, but they solve it the nick of time and escape through a trap door in the floor. It eventually leads them to K’s office, where C kidnapped him from. They find some of his notes about Project D – he observed that “all subjects are acting outside their will,” which seems to be a reference to the team. He says that he made the perfect microchip that will fix the errors, which the team now has thanks to their exploits with Yoo Yeonseok.

K also writes that Kang Sungjin (the other test subject who tried to get the microchip) was regularly meeting with someone, and he suspects that he was being manipulated. We know from last episode that Sungjin was being used by the adversaries, and that C and M were among them. So it appears that K knew about the adversaries but was unaware of who exactly they were… which is probably why it was easy for C to kidnap him, since he probably didn’t think C was part of it. However, K was able to leave them a clue. (Now that I think about it, that’s probably why he sent the delayed text – to lead the team to his office where he got kidnapped so they could find that hint.) There’s a series of circles with writing on the edges. When they’re stacked up and rearranged, they form the words “Mapo-gu Rena Bar.” Rena, from Episode 1, is C’s ex-girlfriend. The team suits up in a bunch of spiffy new outfits that are conveniently in the office (it is their final test after all), and then they head out to save their boss.

The clue for Rena Bar.

“Rena Bar” turns out to be a pool bar, and Rena no longer owns it – she sold it to her employee, Yoon Hyungbin. C DID come here – possibly with K – but Hyungbin won’t tell them more until they help him test out his new way of playing pool. Basically, it’s pool plus math. First, they choose a random number from a box – for this game, the number is 128. The balls they’re playing with also represent different numbers. Each person takes a turn playing; if they successfully score, they draw from a second box to get a random math symbol (plus, minus, multiply, divide). For example, a turn could look like: 2 + 3 x 1 x 4 – 6 etc. So essentially, each side is trying to build an equation and the winner is whoever reaches 128 first.

Since it’s 7 versus 1, Hyungbin says he will enlist the help of his “part time cleaning lady” Seo Boram, who is actually professional pool player Cha Yuram. (Most of the cast recognizes her, so that’s a temporary break of the fourth wall.) I’m not going to recap the entire match here, because I suck at both pool and math and it took me forever to even figure out the rules I just outlined above. But they do eventually win because Hyungbin accidentally hits the white ball, meaning that he and Boram have to start from scratch. Then Sehun coolly sinks the last shot our team needs to clear the game.

Hyungbin reveals that C did come here with someone (K) and was apparently expecting another person – he kept calling them and was angry when there was no response. That someone was Sungjin, who we know died during Episode 9. C is not as up to date as we are and assumes Sungjin managed to get the microchip from Yeonseok and the team. While C was making phone calls, K managed to scratch the message “KCK” into the wall with chalk. The second “K” is actually the Chinese character “大” written at a different angle, so it’s really “KC大.” Apparently, this is sometimes how people write the names of Korean universities – which makes sense because both the Korean and Chinese words for “university” actually literally translate to “big school.” So, they have to locate KC University. Also, I JUST realized that name is also a reference to both the characters K and C… and this is like my fourth time watching this episode. (*face palm*)

The clue leading to KC University (KC大).

The team goes to the school but has trouble locating K – who is locked up and restrained with a very scary looking kind of muzzle. He manages to alert to them to his location by making a beacon with the Project D logo all bat signal style. (Now that I think about it, K is kind of like Commissioner Gordon.) They follow the beacon and discover him behind bars. He confirms that C is both alive and the leader of the adversaries. Like the show hinted, he used the fake bomb scare from last episode as a way to distract the team and kidnap K.

The room K is being held in has a bunch of lightbulbs on the walls. He tells them that C turned certain light bulbs in order to open the door, so they have to find which ones are the right ones. But they can’t turn them randomly, because K will get electrocuted if they choose wrong. The answer is that they have to make the patterns on each wall symmetrical. Minyoung also notices after the fact that there’s a pattern in the top line: there’s one lightbulb, a few that are turned off, two lightbulbs, a few that are turned off, three lightbulbs, a few that are turned off… and so on and so forth up to seven lightbulbs.

Part of the lightbulb puzzle.

Once the team frees K, he send them to C’s secret laboratory. I guess that’s separate from his secret house they went to in Episode 1. He says he’s too tired to go with them, which is fair since he was kidnapped/tied up/electrocuted and all. But he pulls Jaesuk aside and slips him a note, telling him it’s for his eyes only. As they leave, he whispers, “I’m sure it will all turn out well.” Like that’s not ominous at all.

Unfortunately, C has an army of more failed test subjects at his secret base, and the team is easily captured and tied up. Interestingly, it appears that there are different levels of failure in the test subjects. There are the zombie like failures that we saw last episode, while these subjects appear more functional but still follow orders (and they have some weird veins on their face). And then we have somewhat viable test subjects like the team, Yoo Yeonseok, and Kang Sungjin. So there must have been many different experiments with Project D.

C evil villain monologues about how he was initially on the same page as K about Project D, but then he realized that creating the perfect detective also meant that he could create the perfect crime. He proposed that to K, who turned it down… so he decided to form the adversaries and do his own research, then sell the information to anyone who wanted it. Like I said, it seems to me like K didn’t know for sure C was leading the adversaries since he never mentioned him specifically in his project notes. (And I’m even more certain he didn’t know about M since he sent Sejeong to his grave and all.) But given what C said, K must have been at least suspicious of him. It’s not really something important to know in the long run, but I’ve always been curious about this.

C asks the team if they want to join him, but they refuse… so he takes the microchip and leaves them to get blown up by a bomb. Jokes on him, though – because the team is very experienced with bombs by now. Although there is a fair amount of (justified) panicking, they quickly manage to untie each other and stamp out the fuse. Some of the team enter C’s secret base – which is a small container – to arrest him and recover the microchip. Unfortunately, they notice another bomb set to explode in 7 minutes.

Minyoung sees the microchip C was using and hands it microchip to Jaesuk… who realizes it’s a fake because it doesn’t have the right logo. It turns out that the note K gave him said to examine the microchip closely and trust no one. He goes back into the container alone to find it, but the doors lock on him! He does manage to find the real microchip AND locate the secret exit… but the container blows up before we see him get out. The shocked team searches for him under all the debris, but assumes he died when they can’t find them. C gets sent to prison, and the ending title says that “and for quite some time, K didn’t round up the team again.”

Of course, Busted! still has two more seasons left… and Jaesuk features prominently in the promotion for both those seasons. Plus he’s probably the most famous one out of all of them, so there’s no way the show would just let his character die. And since this is 2021 and not 2018 when this was first released, I’ll just go ahead and say that Jaesuk’s character did not die. But I’ll leave the specifics of what happened for my first Season 2 recap – coming soon!

NOTE: All photos and GIFs are screenshots or screen captures from Busted! Episode 10 on Netflix. Nothing belongs to me, and all images are used here for illustrative purposes only.

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