The Messiah’s Escape
Episode 7 of Glitch begins with a flashback in the van, as young Bo-ra wakes up to find that Ji-hyo is not next to her.
A voiceover asks Ji-hyo if she has someone she can trust. Ji-hyo is at her counselling session with Doctor Ma. She tells him about the incident at the psychiatric hospital but can’t remember how she got out of there. He suggests that she went to find some evidence or maybe even a memory. As he coaxes her to remember, she sees a dinosaur toy behind him begin to float and distort in shape. A few seconds later she begins to see objects floating around her. The entire room around her begins to glitch like a screen with green rid lines being superimposed on it.
Someone pulls a curtain around Ji-hyo. She is actually in a hospital bed wearing a VR headset, with ‘Father’ observing her. As she comes to her senses she tries to escape but the young girl from the NPC — Abigail — ties her down to the bed and they sedate her.
At Ji-hyo’s house, Detective Kim talks to Ji-hyo’s father who is worried because she hasn’t come home in three days. The detective gets a call saying Ji-hyo’s credit card statement puts her location in Jeonju. He later speaks to Oh Se-hee, who has found out that the chairman of the hospital is none other than the church’s pastor, Moon Hyung-tae (‘Father’). He is also the owner of the building and is apparently also known by the name Job.
Seo Hwa-jung, the realtor, sees photographs of NPC members with an unconscious Ji-hyo on her phone while seated in her car. She is in tears. Bo-ra stands in the parking lot with a gun pointed at her but as she approaches, Direct Kim gets in her way and Hwa-jung leaves. Direct Kim tells her to stop. He says the church members can’t kill Ji-hyo since she is their Messiah.
Ji-hyo wakes up in the hospital. She asks ‘Father’ where Si-guk is but his response is vague. He tells her that the aliens she sees are not hallucinations. He compares them to a GPS that led her to this church. He further mentions the electronic device malfunctions that keep happening around Ji-hyo. He gets a phone call and abruptly leaves.
Direct Kim tries to tell Bo-ra to wait instead of doing something rash. But Bo-ra says she has no time to waste. She pulls out her phone to show she recorded Direct Kim talking about the church and blackmails him into helping her find Ji-hyo.
In the hospital, ‘Father’ tells a story to Ji-hyo about a woman who saw and heard things others could not. She wrote it all down word by word and soon everyone realised she was not crazy. Her writings were compiled into a book, which became their religion. ‘Father’ tells Ji-hyo that she too must have come in contact with aliens. He wants her to remember as her memory will bring salvation to all of them.
Hwa-jung talks to Direct Kim about a story from the book, about a man named Longinus who sent an army into the woods and saved the Messiah. She tearfully describes how she wanted to be Longinus but wasn’t able to. She wants to be more than the woman who cuts apples for ‘Mother’. Direct Kim tells her she can talk to the Messiah and get to know her. He convinces her that “history after the Messiah will be made by their own hands”. Bo-ra, who is listening in on everything, smiles to herself.
Ji-hyo tells ‘Father’ to try retrieving her memory. He gives her the VR headset and unties her hands. As his back is turned, Ji-hyo hits him on the head with the headset and leaps out of bed. She pulls on her clothes and goes to grab the religious book, but it floats in the air and gets distorted. The room begins to glitch with green grid lines flickering over it.
The whole thing was a simulation and Ji-hyo is actually still strapped to the bed, wearing the headset. The doctor says they can’t continue like this since she is resisting too much. She asks if they should take the chip out of her head and ‘Father’ says yes. He tells her to discard the body afterwards as, anyway, messiahs become messiahs when they are martyred. They wheel Ji-hyo to a surgery room. She is disoriented but sees an alien watching her from the side.
Direct Kim drives to Jeonju with Bo-ra and tells her to wait at a downtown parking lot while he and Hwa-jung go find out about Ji-hyo. Bo-ra notices a shop for motorcycle rentals.
Detective Kim and Oh Se-hee also arrive at the hospital. Se-hee lies and says they are here to inquire about a mugging case that took place nearby. Detective Kim tries to ask about Moon Hyung-tae, but he isn’t given any contact information.
Hwa-jung sweet-talks the NPC member guarding Ji-hyo’s room to give her ten minutes with the Messiah. While she is inside, Direct Kim thinks about the years that have gone by since his daughter’s disappearance. He remembers his daughter being distraught after her grandmother’s death. The flashes from the grandmother’s death are akin to the mass suicide in the nursing home.
Hwa-jung brings out food for Ji-hyo. When the NPC guard argues with Hwa-jung about how long she has been there, Ji-hyo gets out of bed. As they look for her, she attacks them, grabs a knife and runs out of the room. A guard sees her but Direct Kim arrives in time and takes care of him. He tells Ji-hyo to follow his instructions.
A call for security has all personnel coming to the front desk where Ji-hyo is holding Direct Kim by knifepoint. He is pretending to be a hostage. Together, they demand one of the members to bring out Direct Kim’s car.
Detective Kim and Oh Se-hee, who were arguing in their own car, see Ji-hyo and Direct Kim run out of the building and drive away. Direct Kim drives straight through the gates but faces a barricade behind which Abigail is positioned with a gun. She shoots the car and they are forced to stop. Ji-hyo gets out and runs into the woods.
Detective Kim tries to get them to stop and calls for backup.
Bo-ra finds Ji-hyo in the woods and gets her to safety. Abigail is looking for Ji-hyo but Direct Kim sneaks up behind her and uses a dart to incapacitate her. As she is falling into unconsciousness, she sees his face and calls him “father”.
Bo-ra gets Ji-hyo away from the hospital and comforts her as she has a breakdown about nearly being killed. She gets a change of clothes and removes the bandage around her head to find a small surgery mark on the back. Bo-ra asks what they did to her. Ji-hyo says she needs to go somewhere.
They arrive at Doctor Ma’s clinic and ask him to use hypnosis to help her remember. As Ji-hyo opens the door to her memory, we see young Ji-hyo seeing her father and stepmother together. She then meets Bo-ra in their van. Bo-ra convinces her to have a sip of alcohol. Ji-hyo does so. Later, she and Bo-ra are outside in the field and Ji-hyo is screaming up at the stars, a little drunk. She wants more alcohol but Bo-ra pours it down. Ji-hyo breaks down crying. Later, Bo-ra is asleep in the van but Ji-hyo is awake. She goes outside and lies down in the field instead, listening to music and sniffling.
At present, Ji-hyo describes the memory and the lights that came above her. She says she wanted the lights to come closer but all of a sudden goes into a seizure. Doctor Ma is unable to wake her up as Ji-hyo yells out that she can’t move her body. She screams and says they are putting something in her head.
The Episode Review
The shift between reality and simulation was definitely one of the highlights this episode. With the combination of neon grid lines, distorted objects and the use of animation, the show offers some amazing visual effects.
The divine light church continues to be an accurate representation of cults, right down to the unsettling photographs taken by the members, posing with an unconscious Ji-hyo and even going so far as to hold her hands in a heart shape. It really throws light on their skewed sense of morality.
Bo-ra, as usual, doesn’t just sit by. It’s satisfying to see her take charge and even force Direct Kim to take some action. Which works out well for him as he finally finds his daughter, Abigail! It’ll be interesting to learn more about how Abigail became the devoted church member she currently seems to be.
Meanwhile, we are right at the brink of the climax with the truth about Ji-hyo’s memories just around the corner!