The Holy Mother
Episode 5 of Glitch starts with a flashback of a young Ji-hyo and Bo-ra in their van. Ji-hyo tells Bo-ra about an incident in 1976 when 12 lights appeared in the sky above Seoul and several people experienced mysterious events.
Ms. Back, an art major student, claimed to have been kidnapped by aliens who put a chip in her head. She said she could use the chip to communicate with them. Soon after, she disappeared. As Bo-ra puts up UFO stickers in the van, Ji-hyo says she wants to see the aliens with her own eyes.
The show cuts back to when Bo-ra was caught by the man from the divine light church. He chases her through the building into the middle of an ongoing yoga class. When Bo-ra barricades herself behind a door, the man admits to being Direct Kim and proves it by posting something on Direct Kim’s blog.
At present, the two girls enter Direct Kim’s house. He tells them that his wife and son are in New Zealand. He joined the church four years ago in an effort to find his daughter, but he hasn’t yet. Ji-hyo asks him about the crop circle symbol and the aliens but he says it’s nonsense.
Detective Kim, meanwhile, finds the officer who was in charge of the case of mass elderly suicide. The officer refuses to talk to him. He then gets a call from Ji-hyo’s colleague, Se-hee, who found his card while snooping through Ji-hyo’s things.
Direct Kim tells the girls that he suspects a volunteer group called the Newbeginnings Peace Corps or NPC, within the church. He plans to join them and find his daughter. However, he doesn’t have any concrete evidence, which frustrates Bo-ra.
Outside, Bo-ra tells Ji-hyo she doesn’t entirely trust Direct Kim. Ji-hyo is lost in thought and confesses that she might be crazy because she just stole Direct Kim’s hard drive. Just as he realises what they’ve done, the two girls run away on Bo-ra’s scooter.
They search through the drive, where Direct Kim has saved all the church members’ social media pictures. After a while, Ji-hyo comes across a photo of a sketch. The sketch is of the exact place where Si-guk disappeared, where she found his watch.
The real estate woman, Seo Hwa-jung, and Direct Kim are practising her levitation in the church, with the help of a wired contraption. At the same time, Ji-hyo and Bo-ra try and break into her car. They manage to do so but are unable to switch on the GPS. By that time, Hwa-jung and Direct Kim come to the parking lot. Direct Kim stalls Hwa-jung while the two girls hide in the trunk of the car.
Oh Se-hee meets Detective Kim and reveals to him that Ji-hyo hasn’t been coming home or going to work.
While hiding in the car, Ji-hyo begins to get flashbacks of her and Bo-ra in the field of reeds. A young Ji-hyo hols up the alien waves detector up to the sky. Bo-ra suddenly slaps her awake. Hwa-jung has left the car by a large house, somewhere far outside of Seoul. Bo-ra says they should investigate.
They use Bo-ra’s phone camera to look inside. Hwa-jung is cooking. Bo-ra takes the alien waves detector and snoops around the rest of the house. She looks into a window to find an old woman staring right back at her. Just then, Hwa-jung gets the food and calls out to her ‘mother’. She puts on the TV and feeds the old woman.
Detective Kim tells Se-hee that Si-guk might have joined a cult. Much to his dismay, she says she will help him.
Once Hwa-jung leaves, Bo-ra and Ji-hyo search the house. The old woman seems oblivious to them. When a piece of fruit falls from her fingers, Ji-hyo hands her another piece. Bo-ra finds a photo album with pictures from the old woman’s past. A lot of them seem to have been taken at the same location.
Ji-hyo goes to another room and finds it covered in a number of framed sketches. One of which is the photo they saw on the hard drive, of the place where Si-guk disappeared. Someone else arrives in a car but it turns out to be Direct Kim. He gives them a ride back, saying he lied because he knew they would get up to such antics. He tells them the old woman is the Holy Mother of the church and she’s the one who drew the pictures.
Bo-ra, who has stolen the photo album, recognises the woman from the pictures as Ms. Back Yoon-sun.
Sitting in Cap’s café, the group discusses how Yoon-sun was interviewed about her contact with aliens. She disappeared after the interview, never to be seen again. They think she was at the place in the photographs — Baekil National Welfare Centre. They look it up to find it is now New Hope Psychiatric Hospital. The place is four hours away in Jeonju. Cap agrees to drive them there.
Ji-hyo says she needs an hour before they leave. She gets her old UFO scrapbook from home and gives it to Bo-ra. She also confesses her alien visions to Bo-ra, although the visions have reduced since the two of them reconnected. Bo-ra suggests that it could be a screen image — a phenomenon when the mind experiences something shocking and incomprehensible and so covers it up with something familiar.
Seo Hwa-jung goes back to the house to see the ‘mother’ and finds her hands have charcoal on them. She goes to the next room and is shocked at what she sees. She calls up ‘father’ in a frenzy and tells him that the mother has finally shown the face of the Messiah. On an easel in front of her, is a sketch of Ji-hyo.
The Episode Review
An intriguing episode, episode 5 of Glitch is an entertaining segment of antics and mystery. Ji-hyo and Bo-ra continue to make a fun pair of quirky investigators. The show truly feels like it’s them against the world.
Direct Kim proved to be less helpful than expected but the reveal of the old woman’s identity was an enthralling one. The Holy Mother, who is also the missing woman from all those years ago, who also draws eerie sketches? Truly exciting to see where this is all going.
The show is leaning towards a comic tone, which works for the most part. Although, a more honest look at the characters and their feelings would complement it well. Hopefully, the following episodes don’t shy away from being a little more earnest.