Busted S2E2 Recap: Serial Killing

In this episode: The team seeks answers about the murder of someone close to them, but they encounter a couple more surprising deaths along the way.

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.)

Park Jinjoo

Stephanie Lee*
(actress, recurring character)

Lee Yujin

Jung Jaehyung
(singer/songwriter, guest star from Season 1)

Tae Hangho*
(actor, recurring character)

***Other Recurring Guest Stars: Kim Minjae

There are two more guest stars, but I couldn’t get good screenshots of them without spoiling anything. (I know that I’m going to spoil it somewhere in the recap below… but there’s a time and a place!) So, I’ll just leave this photo of the Project D researchers here for a reference. The two men on the right – Kim Jeongtae and Jeong Jaeyeong – will be making appearances in this episode.

The four men involved in Project D (L-R): Ji Taeseok, K (Ahn Naesang), C (Kim Jeongtae), and Jeong Jaeyeong

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

*POTENTIAL TRIGGER WARNING!* There is a depiction of attempted suicide towards the end of this episode.

Picking up from last time, the team heads to the mental hospital that C escaped from to learn more about what he’s up to. The nurse Park Jinjoo says that C was often very angry and had a lot of mood swings (like we saw last season), and that he spent a lot of time in the Playroom and Social Skills Training Room. She also mentions that a lot of the patients in this hospital are geniuses… meaning that getting information from them won’t be as simple as asking.

Jaesuk, Jongmin, and Sejeong encounter Jung Jaehyung, the leader of the Genius Detective Team (Episode 6), in the Playroom. Apparently he had a nervous breakdown – perhaps because the Genius Detectives lost to our heroes? – and can now only communicate through the piano. They quickly realize that they have to ask him yes or no questions, but it takes a while before they discover how exactly he answers. (They think it has to do with the melody, but the trick is that the pedal he presses indicates yes or no).

Meanwhile, Jaewook, Minyoung, and Sehun meet a group of people C used to hang out with in the Social Skills Training Room. One of them is a gifted linguist, and created her own language that the group now speaks in. My Korean isn’t *quite* advanced enough to understand how it works and the English subtitles don’t really explain it. But from what I can tell, it has something to do with adding extra words and repeating certain sounds. In the example below, one person repeats every word and adds a “b” (ㅂ) sound to it. So if you romanize the hangul, she says “na han te” as “na ba ha ban te be.” And I think that different people repeat different consonants, because Minyoung mentions the same thing but with the “g/k” (ㄱ) sound. But like I said, I could be wrong because the subtitles kind of gloss over the specific rules.

An example of the secret language: the white words are what the woman is saying, and the yellow words are how one would actually say it in Korean.

Eventually, the two groups manage to gather some important details about C:

  • C told some of the female patients about a killing and that he killed someone. At this point, it’s unclear whether he’s referring to two separate murders or the same one.
  • There was a female profiler who visited him often, and C was obsessed with her. Some people think they might have even been dating. In any case, she visited C frequently because she was working on a thesis (and apparently he was part of it). Her business card indicates that she works at Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, like the other police officers we met last episode.
  • According to the visitor’s log, there were three other people who visited C: Jung Jaeyeong, Lee Yujin, and Tae Hangho. Jung Jaeyeong is the fourth person who was involved in Project D, but we don’t know anything about the other two right now.

One quick note about Jung Jaeyeong: I think there was a continuity error with how the show introduced him. When the cast first mentions him, the team apparently already knows about him… but we as an audience don’t. (And I double checked this a couple of times to make sure.) At the beginning of this episode, there was a brief recap of what happened previously and a montage of various clips. In this montage is a photo of the four Project D staff members – I put the cropped version above in the “Guest Stars” section. I went back and looked at the end of Episode 1 when the team found K’s files in the hotel room; when I looked closely, I saw that photo was included in the files. So, I think the producers were supposed to show the team learning about Jung Jaeyeong in the last episode and didn’t; or, they forgot that they hadn’t already introduced him when they were editing this one. There’s some kind of mistake somewhere.

Anyway, the team takes a look at C’s room and sees everything neatly arranged in groups of three – including those Cookie Monster dolls that he was so fond of last year. There’s a message in random English letters scrawled on the wall, along with three backwards arrows that look like a symbol for rewinding something. Sehun deduces that they have to shift all the letters backwards by three; for example, D would actually be A. (There’s no further explanation why everything in C’s room is in threes, so I assume it’s all supposed to point to that particular solution.) The message reads out “I am in your office,” and they believe C left it for the profiler whom they’ve heard so much about. When Jaesuk gets her business card from the nurse, he notices that her name is Stephanie Lee.

The coded message.

The team heads to Stephanie’s office – or to be more accurate, her counseling center – and finds that no one is there. But the door is unlocked, so they go in anyway. (How Nancy Drew of them.) They eventually make their way up to the rooftop, where they are shocked to discover C’s body – stabbed in the solar plexus in the exact same manner as K. And since their luck isn’t the best, Stephanie Lee just happens to arrive *right* at that moment. She’s initially hostile to them, because they’re strangers who trespassed and are standing over a dead body. However, she eventually concedes that they couldn’t be C’s killers… probably. She checked the temperature of the hood of their car because she hadn’t recognized it, and she could tell that they had just arrived. And upon examining C’s body, she says that he’s been dead for about 4 or 5 hours. She also notes that C was probably familiar with his killer, and it was a one person job.

The team asks Stephanie if she killed C, but she says she was traveling; the luggage tags on her suitcase indicate she just arrived back from Paris today. She was, however, aware that someone was out to get C. She had noticed that his condition worsened after receiving a visit from someone at the mental hospital (so from one of the three people on the list), and he told her that someone was going to kill him – which was actually the message he was trying to relay to the other patients. He had called her after his escape and told her that he was going to hide his things at her office.

While the team is examining C’s body, they find another QR code – a continuation of the video we saw last episode, where K and C were confronting a tied up Ji Taeseok over the disappearance of Yoo Yeonseok. The view isn’t clear, but K rushes Taeseok and we clearly hear Taeseok being stabbed… and then we see K holding the bloody knife. The arm of the man recording the video comes into frame during the murder, and the team notes his particularly prominent scar. Stephanie asks for a copy of the video so that she can analyze it further, and lets the team search her office for C’s belongings. They find C’s phone with texts from the three people who visited them in the hospital: Lee Yujin said it was nice to see him, Jung Jaeyeong was arguing with him, and Tae Hangho sent a rather threatening message. Since they don’t have an address for Jung Jaeyeong, they decide to split up and investigate Lee Yujin and Tae Hangho.

Jaesuk takes Sejeong and Sehun with him to the Baroque General Store, which is owned by Tae Hangho. He turns out to be a rather flashy and eccentric man who isn’t easy to talk to, because he demands 10,000 dollars for any information. (Like actual US dollars, not 10,000 won.) Since the detectives are perpetually poor on this show, they don’t have any money. So instead, they play jegichagi – a Korean game similar to hackysack – and bet Jaesuk’s watch as collateral. There’s a grid with various numbers on it; if they kick the jegi a number of times, they can claim that number on the board. Whoever fills in a row or line of numbers first wins. Their jegichagi skills are debatable – particularly Sehun’s – but they eventually emerge victorious.

What most of the match looks like.

Tae Hangho says that he met C about two months ago when he took him on as a client. He seems surprised by C’s death and is upset because C owed him money. His alibi is rather shaky – he says that he was sleeping when C was killed and that he was working when C escaped from the mental hospital – but he gets VERY upset when he thinks the team considers him a suspect. He also mentions there was a suspicious man who visited C at the hospital and a scar on his arm – which is probably the same scar the team saw in the QR code video. He gives them his business card and tells them to contact him in the future if they need anything… but he also gives them an *ominous* look when they leave.

Jaewook, Jongmin, and Minyoung go to Lee Yujin’s workplace, which is an art studio. When he’s not there, they decide to explore his art installation… and get locked in because it’s actually a puzzle (of course). The entire floor is covered with foot massage pads – the ones that hurt your feet when you walk on them. There are five photos of animals on the wall, and five corresponding frames on the floor. There are different colored massage pads in the frames, and they need to rearrange them so that each frame only has one color. The correct colors have the same first letter as the animals in each photo: blue for bear, silver for snake, green for giraffe, purple for parrot, and red for rhino.

The art installation puzzle.

The solution.

The installation opens up into an art studio, where they finally encounter Lee Yujin (who tells them they could have just used the elevator LOL). He says that he knows C because he volunteers at the mental hospital and met him teaching art. Like Tae Hangho, he was unaware of C’s escape and murder. Unlike Tae Hangho, he doesn’t seem that surprised or emotional about it. For his alibi, he says that he was working at the studio all day. There’s another artist at the studio who confirms they were together.

As the two groups are heading to meet up, Sehun receives a call from Stephanie. She informs him that Jung Jaeyeong’s body has been found in a tunnel. She also mentions that she felt something was off about the QR code video, so she had Yoon Jonghoon analyze it and zoom in on some of the frames. It turns out that while it seems K killed Taeseok, it was actually C. If you look at the mirror’s reflection in the video, you can see C stabbing Taeseok and K trying to stop him – K was holding the knife at the end because he pulled it out. Stephanie adds her professional opinion that this was a revenge killing; based on the stomach wound, the murderer is likely to be knowledgeable of human anatomy. (Jonghoon actually said that the murder wasn’t done by an expert last episode since the stab wound was messy, but whatever. Maybe the show means that the killer was familiar enough with anatomy to know the location of the solar plexus, but inexperienced as an actual murderer.)

Jaesuk’s group arrives at the crime scene first and spots Sergeant Kim Minjae, who allows them to take a look at Jaeyeong’s body. They check his arm and confirm that he’s the man with the scar on his hand. There’s a QR code on his other arm, but it’s damaged and they can’t access the video. When Jaewook’s group joins them, they search him more thoroughly and find his cell phone. His last (unsent) text to C says that Taeseok had a son – so presumably, the son saw the video and decided to take revenge on the people who murdered his father. Another important detail: the last number Jaeyeong called was the police, which Minjae confirms. Jaeyeong gave the video of Taeseok’s death to someone (probably the murderer) and realized all of the people in it were being targeted; he asked for protective custody, but was killed before the police could get to him.

Since Minjae appeared again, I think it’s a good time to remind everyone that we have now met all four of our recurring guest stars. They are: Kim Minjae, Yoon Jonghoon, Stephanie Lee, and Tae Hangho. From now on, at least one of them will appear every episode. They are very intricately connected to the main mystery of the season, so don’t forget about them!

The team decides to reinvestigate Yujin because Tae Hangho is too old to be Taeseok’s son. When they go back to the art studio, they see the artist who originally vouched for Yujin. She tells them he actually asked her to cover for him, and she has no idea where he was all day because she was at school. Sehun finds a hidden box of QR code stamps on Yujin’s desk; when he tests one, it pulls up the video that they found on K’s body. So this confirms that Lee Yujin is actually Ji Yujin, aka Ji Taeseok’s son that Jaeyeong mentioned in his last text… and the killer. Jongmin opens a canvas holder that they saw Yujin carrying around and finds a note inside. It says: “Today, I finished taking my revenge. I will join my father and sister at the place of my childhood memories. When tomorrow comes, I will hold the last memorial service for Father, and fall into eternal sleep.” So now, they have to find out where Yujin is before he kills himself at midnight… which is in a few short hours.

They look through his artwork and find a drawing of his sister Ji Yoonha, who died back in Season 1. (The reference photo is the selfie she took right before she was killed, which I feel is extra sad.) They also find a drawing of a house – which they assume is his childhood home – and three paintings of the same town. Jongmin mentions that maybe the house in the videos is the same one that Yujin is referring to, meaning that Taeseok was killed in his own home. They watch the videos again, and Jaesuk notes that he can hear some kind of noise in the background. He initially thinks it’s a train announcement; but after listening to it multiple times, he realizes it’s a resident announcement. He hears either “Sinnam-dong” or “Sannam-dong,” and a Naver search reveals that the latter is in nearby Paju.

Yujin’s paintings of his hometown.

Unfortunately, figuring all that out took up quite a bit of time, so the team only has about half an hour to find the house that Yujin is in. There’s some cross-editing of Yujin preparing to hang himself, so it really does feel dramatic and like there’s a sense of urgency. Most of the team members ask various townspeople about the house, but no one has a definitive answer. Jaewook decides to look at the paintings all together again. He turns them over, and realizes there are X marks on the back – it turns out that the house in the middle of each painting is the one they’re searching for. He and Sehun go to look at the town from a distance and finally spot the correct house with about ten minutes to go. The whole team finds Yujin at pretty much the last possible moment – he’s already taken the first step towards killing himself – but they do save him and talk him down.

Yujin confesses to the murders, and says that the victims deserved to die because they killed his father. The team lets him know that it was really just C who did it and not K, but he still stands by what he said. However, he expresses confusion when they mention all three men related to Project D are dead… because he only killed TWO of them. Apparently, he had nothing to do with Jung Jaeyeong’s death, and is actually confused about how the team knows him. Unfortunately, the police come in to arrest him right at that moment, so that’s all the information we’ll get for now. We won’t find out who really killed Jung Jaeyeong until the end of the season, so keep this information in the back of your head for like seven or eight more recaps. And now that the Project D plotline is (mostly) wrapped up, the show will slowly start to shift focus to the real mystery of the season…

Next episode: The team hires an intern to fill in during Kwangsoo’s absence, and they themselves are hired to track down a rare piece of jewelry.

NOTE: All photos and GIFs are screenshots or screen captures from Busted! Season 2 Episode 2 on Netflix. Nothing belongs to me, and all images are used here for illustrative purposes only.

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