When KBS2 changed the name of Hello, Monster to I Remember You, my first response was meh. The former title does sound more exciting…and suits a psychologically slanted police procedural. But, as Remember progresses, the latter title begins to make more sense than the former. Yes, one of the themes in Remember is still whether a “monster” (in this case, a serial psychopathic murderer) is created due to genes, or environment, or a mixture of both. However, a secondary theme of “(forgotten) memories” has began to gradually emerge, entwining the idea of monster evolution and possibly, providing a third explanation for the emergence of the monster.
To stretch it a little, it’d seem that Hyun is the root cause for the strings of serial murders (and disappearances) happening on Ji-an’s watch as well as Min’s transformation into a psychopath. From the onset, Hyun’s patchy memories have been an issue. He clearly has some form of post-trauma memory loss after his father’s death, and only after being baited to return to Korea does he regain some of those lost memories.
The cases Hyun (and Ji-an + team) dealt with are like markers for Hyun to re-locate more of those lost fragmented memories. The first case of the hyacinth flowers, which is the baited lure that made him move back permanently to Korea. In the investigation, his memories of Min are triggered by the infinity-eye signature on the double-headed pictures found in the deceased’s rooms.
The second and third cases lead him to a second forgotten puzzle in his youth — Ji-an. And where she fits in. She didn’t juz followed him around in the past for no reason, she pestered young Hyun because he was (and is still) her link to finding her dad and Joon-young. The recent cases finally move the Hyun even closer to the blotted out event of his dad’s murder. That of Min. And how he lost Min.
The absolute hero worship little Min had for hyung Hyun becomes embittered and gradually coloured with hatred, when Min faults Hyun for never bothering to look for him and rescue him from Joon-young. While it may not be THE reason for Min becoming a psychopath (i still think young Min had “potential”), it clearly is a good catalyst that tips Min over the edge. And probably Joon-young (now Dr Lee) recognises it too. To Joon-young, grooming Min into a serial killer like himself probably feels like a game. In his own words, he loves “reading people”. To a classic psychopath like Joon-young, he doesn’t view humans with emotional attachment. They are like toys, chess pieces, or interesting insect specimens.
What I am anticipating now is how the last bits of Hyun’s memories and the puzzles surrounding his dad’s death will click into place. There is an ominous reference to the “curse of the 10th Symphony” during the dinner talk between Hyun, Min and Joon-young. It’s either Joon-young + Min will succeed in overcoming the “curse of the 9(th)”, or Hyun will stop them before they commit the 10th murder. (and why do i get a sick feeling that Ji-an may be a potential 10th victim?)