A solid chapter buoyed by its intense, gripping closing sequence.
This recap of Cafe Minamdang season 1, episode 4 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on yesterday’s episode by clicking these words.
When Gyeong-ho wakes from a nightmare about his wrongdoings, he wonders when high about why his men are so late. So he ventures downstairs alone, waiting impatiently until he finds himself troubled by the ghost of the woman he choked to death. Terrified, he runs out of his house, while Na-dan attempts to feed back the information to his boss. However, when the youngster discovers his technology isn’t working, he is forced to improvise, so fakes being a shaman to shock the rich VP into fainting (although an intervention by Hye-jun is key here).
Cafe Minamdang season 1, episode 4 recap
As Hye-jun sends Na-dan to worn their associates about the appearance of police, Han-joon and Su-cheol are hard at work disposing of Gyeong-ho’s men. It proves to be a rather simple task, with their disguises helping fear the rather hapless security into vulnerability, while the addition of a gong Han-joon turns into a weapon ends up vital in stopping any harm to the protagonists.
Then, when the two former policemen approach Cheong-gi, we return to the past. Here, the fraudulent investigation is shown in detail, with the internal inspector creating a story tailor made to land the profiler in trouble. Han-joon sees right through this, knowing that he’s being made to take the fall – something Cheong-gi admits to – but despite his astuteness, in addition to the fact he never partook in the giving or taking of bribes, he cannot avoid being put in the firing line.
Frustrated at the “dead” justice that has allowed him to end up in jail, Han-joon weeps loudly on the bus to prison, exclaiming that he didn’t do anything wrong. Meanwhile, we also bear witness to the sacking of Su-cheol, who tries to stay upbeat amidst the unfairness, but completely fails on his walk out of the office.
In the present, the two former policemen admit their part in the scheme to endanger Cheong-gi, before attempting to antagonise him into a confession. Yet, when a breakthrough seems close, Na-dan arrives with the information that the police are on their way. So the group are forced into a pseudo-exorcism, much to the annoyance of Jae-hui, who maintains her suspicions over what is going on. Elsewhere, a terrified Gyeong-ho tries to run away from Du-jin, with the rich drug user worried that a ghost has appeared.
Eventually, when Gyeong-ho is caught, Jae-hui departs from where Han-joon is performing his exorcism, though exits with a warning that he will soon receive a summons. But it’s no real concern for the shaman, as he quickly turns his attention to the rich VP’s men, who are more than ready to confess after a bit of pressure.
Fortunately for the police, Du-jin manages to snatch the files Gyeong-ho had hidden, finding within them the rich man’s guilt in MK Nobel murder case. It allows him to also piece together Cheong-gi’s corruption, which in turn means the internal inspector is put on the wanted list. Meanwhile, Han-joon uses this exposed culpability as a means to force a private confession in exchange for a safe house. It’s an offer pounced upon by an anxious Cheong-gi, who calls Superintendent Lim Min-jun, who himself is corrupt (enough to defect to a construction company), to essentially drop him into the thick of it.
When arriving at Min-jun’s house, the group discover that the former Superintendent has went into shock, and is being rushed to hospital. Doubting the occurrence, Han-joon orders Su-cheol to follow the ill man to the hospital, while he insists on checking whether the incident was a coincidence, or something more sinister. The subsequent poke around the house highlights the need for further investigation, with Su-cheol’s call confirming Min-jun’s death only adding more fuel to the fire. As such, Han-joon asks his friend to check for needle marks on the body, knowing that somebody had staged this deed to make it look like an overdose on caffeine consumption.
After relaying his theory to a worried Cheong-gi, Han-joon instructs Su-cheol – who confirms there was a needle mark – to hint that the former Superintendent could have been murdered. Elsewhere, Gyeong-ho tries to hold firm in the interrogation room, while Ms. Min is thanked over her involvement in the arrest of the rich VP. Here, Jae-hui does seem to become more intrigued as to what Han-joon is doing though, as she discovers that the only reason a witness statement came about was because of his faux shamanism.
While the police hear that Cheong-gi has been located, we cut to a quick flashback showing Han-joon’s crew toying with the internal inspector on a theme park ship, informing him that he’ll be safest in prison. Then, when back to the present, Jae-hui halts the ride, catches the crooked member of the police force, and sighs over the deduction that she may have been unwillingly aided by her current foe.
At Min-jun’s funeral, Han-joon mentions that the man they’re looking for must have been close to the former Superintendent, before Su-cheol adds his suspicions over the deleted CCTV footage, in addition to the fact there’s going to be a cremation without an autopsy. However, their deductive luck seems to change upon exiting the event, as despite not seeing any alarming characters beforehand, the emergence of the Choekang Group heir, Cha Seung-won, is enough to trigger some interest.
After informing Min-gyeong of the need to look into why Seung-won hired Min-jun, Han-joon finds himself on the receiving end of a marriage proposal (in addition to his work fee), and then a warning that this was a declaring of intentions when the shaman rejects the ring. In response, the former profiler exclaims that Gyeong-ho’s wife should just live free from now on.
When paying a visit to Woo-cheol, Jae-hui notices Han-joon’s appearance at the hospital, and finds herself interested in why he has gone to talk with the motorcyclist’s wife. As we find out, it’s to pay her some compensation money for the accident, gathered from Min-gyeong’s fees, which will help pay for the surgery, hospital bills, and her children’s school costs up until university. They give their word that they are not linked with the assailant too, but rather here to help until Gyeong-ho can be brought to justice. And, with a gifting of the Minamdang business card, Han-joon leaves along with his friend.
Afterwards, Han-joon goes to visit the memorial for Jae-jeong, vowing that he will catch the person who killed him, while also apologising for taking so long. He also explains that he refused to see his sister, Jang-mi (now Jae-hui), after a request from his mother, and that he should tell her to have fun with her life because next time he comes, he will have caught the criminal. “Just have faith in me and wait,” the shaman says prior to his driven departure.
As Do-won listens to Jae-hui complain about Han-joon, we cut to the two meeting that night. It’s another unfortunate occurrence, with the shaman ending up knocked out when he creeps up on the person he recalled being in his home not too long ago. Thus, Han-joon accuses the detective once more of being a stalker, but Jae-hui is more interested in the idea of the former profiler’s “superhero” persona.
Not convinced by the cover that all of this was done for Min-gyeong, the two end up in a squabble about the inadmissible evidence, paid hospital bills and guilt, only for the embarrassing original stalking accusations to come out again, along with a message that the police will be called should it reoccur.
Following on from some inner turmoil, Jae-hui asks to see the files on Han-joon’s criminal case, hoping to do some digging of her own. But her relentless work means that she is late for her own presentation the next day. Meanwhile, Han-joon agonises over his shopping failures, before VVIP Gyeong-ja calls. The elderly woman believes there is a ghost in her house, alleviating the concerns of the financial impact any catalogue purchases would have.
Knowing that a break-in from the outside would be unlikely as they investigate Gyeong-ja’s house for who this figure she sees is, a realisation sets in that the travel must have been completed through the sewer. Yet when Su-cheol is tasked with the investigation of the scene, he ends up arrested when a child lies about being kidnapped by the former policeman. It stunts the search for the “ghost,” or at least it seems that way until Han-joon re-emerges from the house, pointing towards the kid in accusation.
In time, Han-joon and Jae-hui go down to the sewers together (though it does take the detective exposing the hidden camera on his glasses to convince the shaman to attend with her) to look into the area. When there, they stumble upon a hiding child, who is worried that he and his brother will go to jail for their constant break-ins in search of food. There is a more important thing though, as a dead body which signals the return of Choi Yeong-seop concerns both the detective and shaman. As the two stare at the wrapped body, we head to the epilogue, where Han-joon heads out to investigate the appearance of a burnt corpse, where at the scene he purposefully avoiding an emerging Jae-hui alongside Su-cheol.