‘Crime Scene Returns’ Episode 8: Multiple captivating suspects, a show’s historic first, and the girls love plot is real + I’m a genius

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Hello and welcome back to the recaps for Crime Scene Returns, and we’ll be picking up where we left off on Episode 7, as we get to see what was behind the locked door in Episode 8.

This honestly turned out to be a doozy of a case.

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In the previous recap, I did a breakdown of the information the viewers have about the victim and the suspects, so let’s stick with a similar format here.

Doctor Jang (Jang Dong Min)

As I predicted, he’s basically akin to a Unit 731 doctor, and a secret laboratory for human experiments laid behind the locked door. Also as predicted, the ascension ceremony for the Sunsun cult was simply a cover for experimenting on and/or disposing of cult members. Doctor Jang tested the JV-45 virus on the members but the vaccine didn’t work, which is why it’s revealed he got put on the directory for ascension himself, which he found out at 11 PM the day before the murder. Like with other cases, he admits he had intentions to kill the victim as a result of this betrayal, and a scalpel was found hidden in the step to the altar. He claims to have only used claviceps for study, but it was also what the bread was dosed with.

A prime suspect because the motive was now not only his work but his life, he had access to both murder “weapons” in the claviceps (office) and gasoline (corridor outside of his office), and could’ve done this any time from 11 PM until 5 AM or so.

Faithful Key (SHINee’s Key)

As alluded to above, basically everything I predicted in the last recap about what would happen with his story ended up coming true. New Village was a death sentence, his wife was among the victims of Doctor Jang and the governor, and he knew how his wife died because he had her dog tags, so he could’ve made sure the victim died the same way.

One of the big holes in my theory, which was brought up by commenters, was, “How would Faithful Key know to murder the victim that way if he wasn’t aware of what New Village was and what was done to her?” Well, the answer was provided when investigation found that he was in possession of messages from defectors saying that New Village wasn’t real and that his wife was missing. Also, what started his hunt for the truth was seeing Dookdak Jang rocking his wife’s ring. Shortly after getting it back, he was promoted to Godking Of Dance to be killed because Doctor Jang recognized he was at risk for exposure due to seeing the ring.

Faithful Key had arguably the biggest motive due to not only his wife being killed but his life being at risk as well. He also had means via knowing well what claviceps does to a human due to his past as a farmer and having access via his clinic visit. Furthermore, his handprint in storage and the proximity of the clinic to the governor’s corridor meant he had access to both gasoline containers if he wanted. Due to knowing the secret area, he could’ve even switched out the containers himself to provide an alibi.

Dookdak Jang (Jang Jin)

For a while I thought he wasn’t a bad candidate because the victim had basically taken everything from him. However, in this episode there wasn’t much revealed that would make him a prime suspect. He had Faithful Key’s wife’s ring, his shoe print was on the altar, and he broke into storage to steal opium, but he never had access to the governor’s office corridor that we know of, so he wouldn’t be able to get to get that gasoline. I also don’t think he even knew about the claviceps.

Courtesan Park (Park Ji Yoon)

She didn’t seem like a prime suspect in the last episode and faded even further into the background in this one. She knew about the claviceps thanks to the women’s magazine, probably had ties to the Korean independence movement, and lied about being 23 since she was actually 39. However, she never has time to get the gasoline at the governor’s party since she was with the victim, she couldn’t tamper with the bread as she didn’t have access to claviceps, and her motive wasn’t significant or urgent enough to murder.

Really, this was just about using Park Ji Yoon as a character, which wasn’t a bad choice in that respect.

At least the GL plot was real!

Modern Joo (Joo Hyun Young)

Now this is how you build a surprise murder suspect, as she’s revealed to be the killer in the white tiger mask and an independence fighter. Like in the first case, she’s literally an assassin whose job is it to make kills look like accidents, which gives her plenty of ability to do anything. Due to having preparation room access, she had the easiest way to tamper with the bread and was the last to be in contact with the victim.

Aside from wanting to kill a Japanese occupier collaborator and her orders to do so, her parent’s land became cult land, which gives her a personal motive to kill the victim. Furthermore, she left for a time during the governor’s party, during which she could’ve taken the gasoline from the corridor, though she claims she went to her store (she literally lied her ass off last case). Also, she admits to using her oil paints to coat the victim’s clothes in flammable material in an assassination attempt. However, she claims her actual plan was to burn him in the preparation room during his finale change. Also, one thing we never find out is whether she had access to claviceps or knew what it did. We can assume she does because of her job but there’s no evidence.

Better love story than Twilight.

Victim – Shin Gyoju

A couple important things were revealed that are relevant to the murderer’s identity. It was confirmed that it was claviceps and not opium that tampered with his bread, and it seemed about confirmed that the gasoline used was from the governor’s corridor. Hence, the focus on those factors as murder “weapons” for the suspects.

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Opinion

There are three valid suspects in Faithful Key, Doctor Jang, and Modern Joo. The first two meet all the requirements necessary to pull of the murder, while the third is more of a dark horse due to the claviceps issue.

If you assume they missed a clue about tying claviceps to Modern Joo, she’s a valid target. From a meta perspective, she also makes a lot of sense, because the murderers have gone quite stereotypically thus far. The physical strength ones were perpetrated by men, and the injection one was done by a woman, so this one is perfect not only for an assassin, but also is one where the perpetrator doesn’t need to overpower the victim. Still, I put her at about 10% likely due to not being able to complete the evidentiary loop.

The other suspect is Doctor Jang, who had every bit of the evidence against him that Faithful Key did, as I mentioned in his section. Additionally, he’s also a decent meta pick because a Korean show going back to the colonial era making a Unit 731 doctor a murderer is a safe way for producers to avoid controversy … though that also makes him a prime red herring, and he already seemed like one last episode. I’ll put him around 35%

So that leaves Faithful Key, who I feel like I almost have to go with for the sake of my ego, if nothing else. The way I thought his storyline would play out based on the last episode basically all came true in this episode, and he has every bit of evidence against him that Doctor Jang does, as reviewed in his section. Furthermore, Key himself looks nervous as fuck when trying to explain things during investigation and backs himself into a corner of being caught in increasingly bad lies as things are revealed. While he claims the gasoline he took wasn’t used, he had access to both gasoline containers, and even had the means to switch them. The only thing that doesn’t make sense is the meta thing of Key being a villain twice in a season as a newcomer and as arguably the worst liar on the cast. Still, I have to go with like 55% chance.

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Votes

  • Doctor Jang: 3 (Detective Ahn, Faithful Key, Courtesan Park)
  • Faithful Key: 3 (Detective Ahn, Modern Joo, Doctor Jang)
  • Modern Joo: 1 (Dookdak Jang)
  • Dookdak Jang: 0
  • Courtesan Park: 0

Holy shit, it’s a Crime Scene first, a tie vote.

As a result, the two suspects with the most votes are ruled out from voting, and the remaining cast vote again. They decide that in case of a tie, they will go with Detective Ahn’s vote.

Votes

  • Faithful Key: 2 (Detective Ahn, Modern Joo)
  • Doctor Jang: 2 (Dookdak Jang, Courtesan Park)

What a choice by Detective Ahn, I was afraid she would fuck it up. We are both so smart!

Ah, fuck.

Of course it was Doctor Jang.

The investigations did miss one clue, and it was that the scalpel was relevant, but not for his stabbing murder plans, but to cut the bread. Not finding that allowed his alibi to somewhat work at least.

Oh man did he enjoy winning.

It was almost worth being wrong just for this bit, honestly.

I’m blaming Key for acting guilty as fuck the entire episode.

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Other Stuff

  • Okay, so I was kinda joking before, but in the preview for the next episode, they hint at all the cases being related this season and tying them all up in the final one. So … that could be interesting.
  • The cast was just overall excellent in this, as everybody got into character and they were setup well by the producers to include not only their long-standing bits but also a bit of drama as well.
  • Key really came up clutch this episode. I’m not gonna lie, his history of being way off in his deductions made me think there was another explanation for the gasoline stuff that made him a definite suspect still, but he was spot on.
  • Jang Dong Min screaming is definitely canon at this point.
  • Yujin bullying scandal incoming:

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Surprisingly this was one of my favorite episodes and I was engaged from start to finish. Sometimes when I put this much effort into recapping a show episode by episode, I feel worn down by the end, but even for the second to last case, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. A good sign, and it doesn’t hurt that conceptually and deduction-wise, this was one of the better episodes of the show in general, IMO.

If you’ve seen the other available episodes, don’t spoil it in the comments.