We’ve reached the climax for Frost, and well, there’s a surprising turn of events, in case you haven’t guessed.
Synopsis (ep10, Final: Lost Memories, part II)
We pick up from where we left off in ep9: Frost, whose “memories” of the accident is triggered under Sung-hyun’s hypnosis, rushes to Prof Cheon’s office to confront him. Naturally Prof Cheon isn’t there — cos he’s facing down Detective Nam’s gun at his door steps. Prof Cheon notices that Detective Nam seems to be in an agitated daze. He tries to calm Detective Nam down, only to further upset him. Detective Nam fires his gun, but thankfully, it hits Prof Cheon’s shoulder. Prof Cheon is admitted to hospital, and when Sung-ah and Frost receive word, they rush there. Frost barges into Prof Cheon’s ward, and starts shouting and accusing Prof Cheon for making use of him as an experimental subject. Prof Cheon tries to explain, but Frost doesn’t want to listen. He storms out after brushing pass a shocked Sung-ah.
Sung-ah chases after Frost, asking why he is behaving so strangely, only to get a rude response from Frost to mind her own business. Stunned, Sung-ah watches Frost leaves. She later learns of the accident from Prof Cheon — when Prof Bae (Frost’s dad) borrowed the car from Prof Cheon, both parties were unaware that the car’s tyre had a problem. When Prof Cheon was alerted to it by one of his colleagues, he chased after Prof Bae, only to find that the fatal accident had already occured. Only Frost survived, but he lost the ability to emote thereafter. Sung-ah empathises with Frost, and realises her impression of him as an aloof genius is misplaced.
Frost receives a call from Sung-hyun to meet. Sung-hyun secretly gloats over the success of his “little experiment” as the Frost bitterly recounts how he now “remembered” Prof Cheon as his parents’ “murderer”.
Poor Detective Nam is locked up in remand, for misfiring his gun. (Prof Cheon had refused to press charges) However, Detective Nam cannot remember anything from 3 days ago. He has no idea what caused him to bring his gun out, much less confront Prof Cheon with it. Detective Nam’s subordinate agrees to help him find out what has transpired.
Back at university, Sung-ah ponders over Frost unexplained hostile behaviour and Detective Nam’s shooting incident. She finds both episodes to be rather fishy and out of characters for both men. Thus, Sung-ah decides to dig out the info on Frost’s accident 21 years ago, even going so far as to locate the witnesses and interview them on tape. She gives the information to Frost the next morning, only to be shouted at again for being a “busybody” and to “stay out from poking her nose into his affairs”. Hurt, Sung-ah retorts that Frost has been acting really strange and isn’t his usual cool, logical self. If so, he’d have noted several logical gaps in his accusation of Prof Cheon. Upset with Frost, Sung-ah dumps the file of evidence she collated for him and leaves in a huff.
Detective Nam gets interrogated at the station, and is distressed that he can’t remember anything…Meanwhile, a similar chilling episode is happening at Sung-hyun’s school. Song-sun counsels a young girl who has a history of being sexually abused by her father and spent most of her childhood to teenage years being enslaved in the basement as her father’s sex toy. That same girl appears cheerful and bubbly now, and has no problem having the counselling session behind locked doors — because she can’t remember whatever happened before. She has even forgiven her dad, since she has no idea what he has done to her. Song-sun is alarmed, but continues to smile reassuringly as she proceeds with the (unneeded) counselling.
Frost, having been scolded out of his stubborn-headed stupor by Sung-ah, looks through the files she has left behind. He finally begins to see that Prof Cheon appears to be the uncanny link between his parents’ accident and the recent spates of unsolved suicides and murders.
In Sung-ah’s file, she recounts that the police classified the case as an accident, since the car’s brakes had failed. However, she also noted how Prof Cheon (and his colleague) both claimed that there was nothing wrong with the brakes — it was the tyres that needed some repairs. Prof Cheon insisted someone sabotaged his car, but there were insufficient evidence to back it up. Frost suspects that the intended victim of the accident may not have been his parents…but Prof Cheon. Similarly, the victims or perpetuators of the suicide and murder cases are all somehow linked to Prof Cheon, and Park Gyu-hwan’s murder case which Prof Cheon played a role in. Frost lights on Park Gyu-hwan’s missing son, Park Dong-hui. He’d have the most motive to take revenge on Prof Cheon, since Prof Cheon was the one who “nailed” his dad’s guilt.
Frost finally manages to locate Dong-hui’s whereabouts. He’d been admitted to a mental hospital for schizophrenia. The consulting psychiatrist says that Dong-hui regularly have delusions that a friend by the name of “Park Dong-hui” will visit him and bail him out…but of course the “friend” never comes. When Frost pays a visit to Dong-hui, Dong-hui suddenly starts yelling that he is “Moon Sung-hyun”…and shouldn’t be trapped here. Park Dong-hui had promised to come back to rescue him after he swopped their identities. (omg…i think we all know who the real Dong-hui is by now) And as if to seal the confirmation of our suspicions, the psychiatrist confirms that “Dong-hui’s” hospitalisation fees are paid monthly by a “Moon Sung-hyun”.
At Sung-hyun’s school, Song-sun raises her concerns over the students’ “missing memories” with Sung-hyun. She gets even more alarmed when Sung-hyun brushes off her worries, telling her it is for the “good” of the kids not to remember anything about their terrible pasts. Song-sun protests, saying that the teens need to confront their darkest fears head on in order to conquer them. And removing their memories is equivalent of taking away part of their identities. Sung-hyun coldly tells Song-sun that he firmly believes that what he has done is to the teens’ “benefits”. Unnerved, Song-sun pays a visit to Prof Cheon in the evening. She brings up the earlier warning Prof Cheon has given her about Sung-hyun and plans to ask for more details. However, she clams up again when Prof Cheon starts to get worried over her.
In the same evening, Frost meets Sung-hyun to bait him. He asks Sung-hyun whether he remembers his parents, and later tells him of an interesting visit he made to the mental hospital in the afternoon, about a schizophrenic patient who insists that he is “Moon Sung-hyun” and not “Park Dong-hui”. Sung-hyun is agitated when he realises that Frost has exposed his identity…but since he knows that Frost doesn’t have enough evidence to tie the crimes to him, Sung-hyun doesn’t rise to take the bait. (but the gauntlet has clearly been thrown)
Detective Nam is ordered to take a 3-week disciplinary break, and he uses the time to re-trace the people he has met and things he had done during the past 3 days. His subordinates had given him a list of the calls he has made and he notices the number of his ex-colleague who now worked in the Records Department. Detective Nam’s ex-colleague passes him the picture which shows Sung-hyun meeting with Song-hui and Ho-chul, claiming that Detective Nam rushed off when he saw this picture 3 days ago. Detective Nam takes it with him to see Frost and Sung-ah.
However, Frost is currently at the hospital visiting Prof Cheon. He wishes to apologise for his rude behaviours the night before and also to update him on Sung-hyun’s identity. However, Prof Cheon gently interrupts him and says he needs to meet with someone urgently. And he will catch up with Frost again later in the evening. Prof Cheon clearly has forgiven Frost, and probably also understands that Frost is also a victim of Sung-hyun’s manipulations. He smiles encouragingly at Frost as he leaves …and who else should he be meeting but Sung-hyun? (oh, crap)
Returning to his office, Frost updates Sung-ah and Detective Nam on Sung-hyun’s real identity: he is Park Dong-hui. We flash back to 22 years ago, at Park Gyu-hwan’s trial. The eye witnesses all claimed that they saw a man about Park’s height wearing a cap running away from the victim. However, Park Dong-hui insisted his dad was innocent. Park Gyu-hwan had accompanied Dong-hui into a public toilet and while Dong-hui was inside, his dad had ran out after hearing a woman screamed. When Dong-hui came out from the toilet, he saw a bunch of people restraining his dad and claiming that he’d stabbed his wife. During Prof Cheon’s cross examination, the prosecutor insinuated that Park Gyu-hwan probably had premediated his crime to kill his wife, and used Prof Cheon’s analysis of the witnesses’ reliabilities as “evidence”. Prof Cheon wanted to explain that psychological tests might be fallible but was cut short at each attempt to speak. And because of the mounting circumstantial evidence, Park Gyu-hwan was sentenced to lifelong imprisonment.
And this is the same story which Sung-hyun (Dong-hui) is telling Prof Cheon now, as he confesses his true identity and his intention for revenge. He also admits to tampering with Prof Cheon’s car, leading to the accident which caused Frost to lose his parents. Sung-hyun indignantly says his actions are justified and they do not mollify the pain of losing his dad or being branded as the son of a murderer. Prof Cheon calls Sung-hyun a “monster” and promises that he will stop him no matter what. He then turns to leave…
Back at the uni, Detective Nam sends out orders to trace Prof Cheon and Sung-hyun when his subordinate confirms that the patient in the mental hospital IS Moon Sung-hyun and not Dong-hui. Detective Nam also sends police to guard the real Sung-hyun and hurries to Sung-hyun’s (Dong-hui) school to arrest him. Only Song-sun is there, since Sung-hyun hasn’t returned from the meeting with Prof Cheon. She calls Frost in concern, and finally learns of Sung-hyun’s crimes. Frost and Sung-ah rush to the hospital to check on Prof Cheon, only to find his bed still empty…
…cos Prof Cheon is dead, after getting his head bashed in by Sung-hyun.
Sung-hyun is arrested when he returns to his school. During the interrogation, he coolly denies all his crimes. Until Frost produces a recording made by Prof Cheon before he died. Prof Cheon, knowing that he might not be able to come out of the meeting alive, had dialed his office’s answering machine and used it to record Sung-hyun’s admission of his guilt. With that, Sung-hyun’s criminal activities are finally put to a stop, and he ends up in jail.
Frost sits alone at the bleachers at the university grounds. He sees (ghostly?) Prof Cheon approaching. Prof Cheon’s apparition tells Frost that he is improving — the expression on his face…it’s grief. The dam finally breaks, and emotion-less Frost cries his heart out for the first time after his accident.
On the whole, I’d give Dr. Frost a 7-ish out of 10. In terms of gore, it isn’t on the same level as say, Ten or Vampire Prosecutor. Similarly, in terms of excitement, and keeping viewers on their toes, Frost also falls a little behind. What I enjoyed most about Frost is probably the twists in the episodes — some more than others (recall the baseball guy case and maybe Sung-hyun’s as well).
In the final story, we have to revise our earlier impression of Sung-hyun being the usual brilliant-evil-Nemesis. Yes, he is still brilliant, and he is still evil to use his intelligence and psychological knowledge to play with human beings and their psyches. However, I also find that I sympathise with him. I kinda believe Sung-hyun’s (Dong-hui) dad MAY be innocent, since the evidence are largely circumstantial. Nobody actually SAW Park Gyu-hwan stabbing his wife, they only saw the aftermath. Prof Cheon MAY be a little at fault for his generic analyses of the witnesses’ statements. But then again, he hadn’t got a chance to explain that while psychological tests may look rigorous, they are unlike Physics or Chemistry experiments. There are actually a lot of working assumptions behind each result. And the assumptions had to do with benchmarking against “common human behaviours”, which are already a fallacy on its own.
Then again, Sung-hyun (Dong-hui) being a victim doesn’t justify his use of innocent lives in getting revenge against those who testified against his father. And being scarred by a bad experience in his life doesn’t allow him to forcefully remove someone else’s pain even though not remembering may make the person feel (temporarily) better. I agree with Song-sun; facing and overcoming painful experiences will make the person stronger eventually. And we have all seen various kdramas where characters who “forget” or “block” traumatic memories (re: Reset, Kill Me, Heal Me) are somehow incomplete.