A Brain Transplant… Really?
Episode 8 of Mouse begins in the past as we see a girl stamping on Jae-Hoon’s mouse. This brings us back to the present as Ba-Reum steps out the prison holding his head.
He tells Mu-Chi that Seo-Joon didn’t tie the knots. It turns out the knot variation was tied by a left-handed man or woman – and that means it can’t possibly be right-handed Seo-Joon. Could it be that he has an accomplice? As the pair start combing over the crime scene they realize that this may well be the case.
The pair continue to investigate, realizing someone has been checking out the evidence surrounding the ropes. This inevitably brings them to Hong-Ju who’s investigating the Na-Ri case too. She also believes something doesn’t add up with this new case and admits she wanted to check the knots. Mu-Chi is not happy, especially given she’s been caught on CCTV.
Well Hong-Ju has even bigger news for them. A girl went missing in the park a month prior to the first serial murder. Her dog was also found hanging on a tree. The police chalked it up to her being depressed and running away but a missing handcart from the park, and a knot found in a nearby drain, seem to hint that there’s foul play here. In order to solve this, Hong-Ju wants to team up with Mu-Chi and pool their resources.
Ba-Reum remains quiet, curious over what this means and quite why he has feelings for Hong-Ju. Given our previous theory surrounding him being Jae-Hoon, could it be that Hong-Ju is actually Jae-Hee, his sister from before?
Well, for now Ba-Reum finds himself remembering fragments of the past, and more specifically Bong-Yi and his ties to her. While out and about, he finds a pregnant cat and brings it back to his apartment. Finding the old bird cage, he begins wiping it down until a thought crosses his mind.
Immediately Ba-Reum speaks to Mu-Chi and brings up the window bars. Given all these houses were run down and pretty dilapidated, it seems pretty suspicious that all of these window bars were brand new. This also backs up the idea that whoever installed them would not have been suspicious.
Ba-Reum’s surgery seems to have made him a genius now, as he remembers crucial parts of different crime scenes and neighboring areas. Specifically, he recalls a cabinet with a turtle sticker on it from Ha-Ni’s apartment. This leads them to several different suspects at a nearby volunteer center who could be responsible. Thanks to Ba-Reum’s smarts, he narrows it down to a potential psychopath in Woo Hyung-Chul. This man also happens to be left-handed too.
As the investigation continues, Mu-Chi realizes that the dog hair found on Young-Hee’s hairband is different to that from the dog at the crime scene, which confirms that there were two different breeds – and two different dogs. However, Hyung-Chul has a pretty tight alibi meaning it can’t actually be him. Instead, it falls to Man-Ho – another of the culprits – whose phone was traced near the crime scene.
In the police interview though, he claims to have been sending files across to Woo Jae-Pil. The same Jae-Pil from the police department and responsible for helping to install window bars. Oh no… Wide-eyed, Mu-Chi believes that he’s the killer and heads outside. Only, he stops at the doghouse and finds a bag stashed inside. There, he finds a knife wrapped in a cloth.
Meanwhile, Ba-Reum heads up to see Bong-Yi after checking the logs and realizing that she could be in danger. In a touch of Deja vu though, he heads out and races through the streets after Jae-Pil.
Jae-Pil is eventually taken into hospital after Ba-Reum beats him to the ground, where he outright admits to killing the string of young women. This causes news to break across Korea as Mu-Chi too is forced to break the news to Du-Seok that Jae-Pil is the killer.
This grief-stricken officer immediately confronts his colleague, who’s completely nonchalant about the whole ordeal and even tells him that he killed because of how jealous he was becoming on the back of his numerous arrests. Du-Seok eventually walks away from the room, but only thanks to Hong-Ju showing up and stopping him from killing the man.
When he walks out, Hon-Ju speaks to Jae-Pil and asks why he lied. His wide-eyed expression and flashbacks to spatters of blood, seem to hint that he’s actually innocent in all this. This revelation is only made more mysterious when Hong-Ju shows up at the volunteer center wearing a bracelet seemingly belonging to one of the victims.
Meanwhile, back at the hospital Ba-Reum speaks to his surgeon, Park Min-Joon. He tries to make sense of what’s happening with his memory. Given how often he keeps seeing Yo-Han, he believes the man may be connected in some way.
Bong-Yi shows and talks to him about that fateful day from a year back. It turns out she never actually killed Yo-Han! She thought about suffocating him but changed her mind, instead interrupted by two doctors arriving and entering the room. She hid, while the duo discussed the implications of a possible procedure. Only, the man in the room doesn’t seem to be on the list of doctors, at least not from the main console at reception at least. Even worse, Ba-Reum realizes that Min-Joon seems to be lying too.
Meanwhile, Jae-Pil is murdered in his cell by Du-Seok’s wife. This prompts Mu-Chi to make a big decision and take the fall for this. He wants to go inside the prison himself and track down Seo-Joon, killing him for his role in this.
Ba-Reum senses he’s being lied to and while standing in the bathroom, checks out the scar across his head and begins hallucinating. Specifically, he sees Seo-Joon staring back at him through the mirror. As we soon find out, Seo-Joon seems to have orchestrated everything that’s happened, including potentially putting Yo-Han’s brain inside Ba-Reum’s head.
The Episode Review
After yesterday’s episode, Mouse continues to layer on twists, turns, shocks and contrivances as we approach the midway point of this Korean drama. Before diving in, let’s get the elephant in the room out the way first.
The ending with Ba-Reum asking about brain transplant surgery is so farfetched that I really, really hope the writers don’t spin this as the root cause of what’s actually happening. Not only is this surgery incredibly difficult to pull off, it also relies on Seo-Joon being released from prison and performing this, not to mention a whole string of doctors being in on the act.
How would CCTV cameras not have picked up on this? How could they prevent anyone from spotting them heading inside? And how would this surgery have even been possible? I’m holding out that this is Ba-Reum just being a bit delirious but in K-drama land who knows what the writers will cook up next!
Alongside that though, it seems like we’re dealing with a whole string of serial killers here. It makes sense that Ba-Reum is the seven sins killer but because of his alleged brain surgery, can’t remember doing this. Then again, it doesn’t explain him snapping the neck of the bird from the bird cage and throwing it out the window.
Originally I suspected that Ba-Reum is Jae-Hoon and this episode seems to confirm that. I’m still holding out that Hong-Ju is actually Jae-Hee from the past and could well be the original killer’s accomplice through all this too.
However, Mouse feels like it’s so enthusiastic to keep the mystery going that it’s stacking mysteries on top of mysteries for the sake of it. To be honest, this has made the show pretty difficult to follow at times. The biggest questions here mainly stem from that time jump. What happened to Han Kook? Is he dead? Is he still alive?
Ultimately, this show (like many others I presume) has left me clutching my head in agony like Ba-Reum. It’s hard enough to follow at times, let alone throwing in amnesia and time jump tropes that are not doing this show any favours.
Still, I’m holding out hope that Mouse will turn it around and it’s definitely one of the more intriguing shows on TV right now. Let’s just hope that these highway knots actually straighten out and loop into a neat bow before the season is done!
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!