It’s a case of whether drugs inspire hallucinations or “open” up the extra senses for ghost sightings. Well, you decide.
Late into the night, a dancer (Choi Gyeong-bin) rehearses alone in a dim studio. She gets more upset and visibly agitated as the night progresses, finally breaking down and tearing open a pill bag to pop a red pill into her mouth. The pill works wonder, and she pours herself into rehearsal with renewed (and eerily scary) frenzy, before collapsing in exhaustion…
…her reflection in the mirror however, starts to grin maniacally. It stands up and walks out of the mirror to Gyeong-bin’s horror. Gyeong-bin’s image rear down over her and bites (?) her as Gyeong-bin freezes in shock.
Next we see is Cheo-yong and Jong-hyun at the crime scene. Forensics can’t find any evidence of foul play, and decide that Gyeong-bin died from a heart attack. But Jong-hyun comments that her face looks extremely terrified before death, and timidly asks Cheo-yong if he senses “anything else”. Cheo-yong shakes his head, much to Jong-hyun’s relief. But after Jong-hyun leaves, he looks at the studio’s mirror questioningly.
In an interview with the student body (Gyeong-bin was a Theatres undergrad), all of them claim that Gyeong-bin was a friendly student leader. But recently, her personality had undergone a change: she became withdrawn, irritable. Some students also claimed they have seen her with a strange man at night.
Meanwhile, Ha-yoon, with Team Leader Byeon and Tae-gyeong, are investigating a different case. A body of a Korean lady (Seo Min-joon) has washed up on the shores of the Philippines and based on the embassy’s records, Min-joon was travelling there as a tourist. There are no exterior cuts/ bruises…except for tell tale stitches near her belly. She had an operation done in the Philippines prior to her death (the cause of death is a post-op infection).
Team Leader Byeon points out that it is common for drug traffickers to use women as carriers. The meds will be placed in the women’s wombs, to be retrieved at a later date. Ha-yoon identifies 2 more women who had recently travelled to the Philippines and had returned with operation wounds on their bodies. One of them is currently studying overseas, and the other is in a drug rehab center. Tae-gyeong gets to interview the crazed lady in the rehab center (who keeps referring to the drugs as her ah-gi (baby)), while Ha-yoon interviews Min-joon’s oppa and sole surviving kin, Chang-min.
Chang-min refutes Ha-yoon’s mild suggestion that Min-joon may have gotten in with bad company and started on drugs. He claims that Min-joon was “a good girl”, and would help out with the household chores the moment she gets off from school (she was an undergrad in Gyeong-bin’s Uni as well).
Na-young isn’t involved in any of the cases, cos she is too busy checking out all the shamans in town. She wants to find out why she can possess Ha-yoon’s body, and the catalyst for possession. She finally clues in to the possibility that their birth dates may be compatible…and decides she needs to know Ha-yoon’s date of birth.
Back at the station, Ha-yoon looks through Min-joon’s instagram photos prior to her death. She surmises that there muz be another person who travelled with her, since she took pics of a car’s interior from the passenger’s seat. Tae-gyeong, the car expert, immediately finds out that the car belongs to an actor: Go Chong-bin.
Similarly, Cheo-yong and Jong-hyun also discover that Actor Chong-bin may be related to Gyeong-bin’s death, as some students have seen the two together rather frequently. Ha-yoon and Cheo-yong separately arrive at Chong-bin’s drama shoot location — a dilapidated building. Na-young pops up too, and decides to accompany Cheo-yong.
However, before Ha-yoon/ Cheo-yong can located Chong-bin, we see Chong-bin getting a bunch of pills from a man. He pops a few into his mouth, and starts hallucinating. He screams as he sees a ghostly figure, and hides under a tarp — but the ghost rips it apart with her long fingernails. Horrified, he starts to run…off the ledge of the building, and lands right in front of Ha-yoon.
Well, Chong-bin’s death has the effect of alerting Ha-yoon and Cheo-yong to the fact that they are looking at the same case. They pool their information back at the station, and Cheo-yong shows them the red pill which Chong-bin dropped on the floor before he plunges to death. Tae-gyeong alerts the team to someone illegally assessing Chong-bin’s email after his death.
The hacker turns out to be another undergrad and a rugby jock in Gyeong-bin’s Uni. Jong-hyun and Cheo-yong (+ Na-young) drop by to bring the guy in, only to be stopped by a bunch of burly rugby players. Cheo-yong dispatches them in no time, and hauls suspect Yang Hyun-soo in for questioning.
Hyun-soo reveals that he, Chong-bin, Gyeong-bin and even Min-joon, belong to an exclusive club “F-on”, hosted by Gi-an Hospital’s heir and medical undergrad, Jung Do-hyeon. The invitation to F-on parties are sent by emails, and locations are secret until the day. The team make use of Hyun-soo’s account to obtain invitation to the party that evening.
Tae-gyeong and Ha-yoon play dress up to enter the party as undercovers, while the rest keep watch around the perimeter. They latch onto one chaebol, Han Sang-min, whom they know is friend to Chong-bin and Gyeong-bin. Na-young (who joins in for the party bit), notices Sang-min entering the anteroom of the bar with Do-hyeon. She poofs into the room, and witnesses Do-hyeon murdering Sang-min — by passing him an overdose of the red pills.
Although Na-young alerts Cheo-yong (and team) into action, it is too late to save Sang-min. He hallucinates and revisits the op where Do-hyeon has cut open a struggling Min-joon (op prob done without anaesthesia) to retrieve the pills in her womb. Min-joon died on the operating table. Sang-min imagines dead Min-joon leaping up from the table and strangling him…when in actual fact, he is choking himself to death.
Do-hyeon meanwhile, escapes in the ensuing confusion.
Frustrated that the investigation is going nowhere, Ha-yoon marches down to the Uni the next day to confront Do-hyeon. Only to have him sneer at her incompetence. However, Cheo-yong (and Na-young) who has accompanied her tells her that her short “interview” has succeeded in confirming that there is another party to the series of drug overdose murders. Cos Cheo-yong notices that Do-hyeon has a rather visible tattoo on his arm — which the man who supposedly passed the drugs to Chong-bin and Gyeong-bin, doesn’t.
With this new lead, the team widen the net to see if Do-hyeon has friends who are pharmacist/ chemist trained. In the midst of the investigation, the team finds out that someone has posted the recipe for the drug online a few months ago. And who should it be but Seo Chang-min (Min-joon’s oppa). Turns out that Chang-min is a chemist, and works in Do-hyeon dad’s group of related pharmacies. They bust into Chang-min’s last known address, and discover walls plastered with pictures of Do-hyeon + friends.
We now switch to hear Chang-min’s pov (which more or less confirms his guilt, btw): both he and Min-joon are orphans, and with much difficulties, they managed to get by with Chang-min’s sole income. One day, Chang-min stumbled into an online chat room, where the users were discussing on the possibility of creating a “super drug”. Chang-min took an interest in the topic and decided to experiment on his own.
He actually succeeded. After posting the recipe online, Do-hyeon approached him. He offered Chang-min money, if he agreed to mass produce the drugs for his party friends. Chang-min at first resisted, but eventually caved at the sight of the cash. Min-joon, however, was unaware that her oppa had come into “riches”. She agreed to become a social escort and was introduced (by Gyeong-bin) to Do-hyeon and his group of friends during a party…and her first taste of her oppa’s super drug started from then.
Things descended into hell after that. Min-joon became hooked onto the drug, and when Chang-min realised what has happened, it was too late. He tried to rehab her, by tying her down and ignoring her screams. However, she managed to escape her bonds one day and disappeared. Min-joon probably approached Do-hyeon, and agreed to become a trafficker in exchange for more drugs. And during the op to retrieve the drugs, she died.
Chang-min blames himself — and also Do-hyeon — for Min-joon’s death. He vows to exact revenge on all who led Min-joon to her painful death. So he secretly meets with Gyeong-bin, Chong-bin, etc and passes them stash of the drugs, knowing they will overdose on their own. (which they foolishly did) However, Do-hyeon is well aware that Chang-min’s next target is himself, and prepares for a showdown.
The police suspect that too, but has no idea where to find Chang-min. Cheo-yong hilariously instructs Na-young to tail Do-hyeon — in exchange, he promises to help Na-young find out Ha-yoon’s date of birth. Na-young, being a ghost, is the world’s most effective police tail. She overhears Do-hyeon arranging a meeting with Chang-min that evening.
Cheo-yong and team set out to tail after Do-hyeon. However, Do-hyeon knows the police are behind him, and successfully shakes them off. Na-young volunteers to track Do-hyeon. She discovers Chang-min’s hiding place (and lab) to be an underground un-used train station. Na-young poofs back to HQ, wanting to relay the info to Cheo-yong.
However, only Ha-yoon is around at HQ. She too, manages to locate the general vicinity of Do-hyeon’s last known mobile signal, and juz as she is about to investigate, she runs into Na-young and the latter is sucked in again to her body. In Ha-yoon’s body, Na-young tells Jong-hyun and Tae-gyeong about the underground train station. They rush there with Na-young running after them and asking them to wait for Cheo-yong.
In the makeshift lab, Do-hyeon’s bribe of a briefcase full of money is unable to sway Chang-min’s decision to kill him. In desperation, he pulls out a Taser, wanting to immobilise Chang-min. The guys fight, and in the scuffle, noxious fume from the drug making process is released. Jong-hyun and Tae-gyeong arrive then to break up the fight. But they too are affected by the fumes.
The next thing we know, Tae-gyeong sees something in front and starts screaming in fear. He drops his gun in fright to curl into a ball. (what?) Do-hyeon sees the same “thing” too, and eyes widening in horror, he picks up Tae-gyeong’s gun to shoot “it”. Well, “it” happens to be the ghost of Min-joon.
Chang-min sees his sister too, and wails that he caused her death. Ghost Min-joon looks at Chang-min in pity.
Cheo-yong finally arrives with Team Leader Byeon, and arrest Do-hyeon and Chang-min. Tae-gyeong meanwhile, continues to blubber in fear at seeing a ghost, and Jong-hyun…well, he shat his pants.
Epilogue: Na-young finally finds out Ha-yoon’s date of birth (while possessing Ha-yoon’s body), and she takes this info (again in Ha-yoon’s body) to see yet another shaman. The shaman comments that Na-young + Ha-yoon’s birth dates are super compatible. However, she warns that if the delicate balance between the two is off, the other person will dominate. Out of Ha-yoon’s body, Na-young recalls the shaman’s words and looks at her fading hands in worry.
Do-hyeon doesn’t even get to be persecuted for his crimes. His family lawyer, a familiar face with the police, bails him out and he is basically let off the hook. Ha-yoon and Inspector Kang look on in disgust.
Oh no…not Na-young! Although she hasn’t played that much of a significance in Cheo 2‘s cases thus far, I still enjoy her preppy personality on screen. Since Cheo-yong can be such a grumpy pants at times. But on the bright side, maybe a long term possession of a human body will allow her to fully integrate into the team? Though her usefulness as a ghostly police tail will be greatly missed.
In terms of story line for ep3, the plot is rather straightforward, with the exception of Chang-min being party to his sister’s death. (aww) The weaving in of the drug’s hallucinogenic effects and ghost sightings work pretty well — in fact, it sounds rather logical. It blurs the line between having seen a real ghost or the drugged mind playing tricks on you.
If this isn’t a Cheo-yong series, I’ll probably go for the drug effect theory. But since we have a non-drugged, apparently sane human who can see ghost (plus a ghost high schooler around), the second possibility wins hands down. Anyway, Cheo-yong’s team (besides Tae-gyeong) are well aware of Cheo-yong’s abilities, and by default, fully in acceptance that there are spiritual beings around them.