Second Episode is Quirky and Fast-paced Happily episode 2 of Sensory Couple starts on a bright note. And keeps up a fast moving pace. Moo Gak walks away and overhears someone call Cho Rim by his sister’s name. He stops dead and suddenly we have a flash back to Moo Gak goofing around with his sister at a beautiful aquarium place, where Moo Gak works. We start this episode with Officer Choi (Moo Gak) and Cho Rim parting ways, with the prospect to meet up again when Cho Rim has an invoice for the wrecked car. The flash back Moo Gak has comes out of nowhere when he hears his dead sister’s name. This leads to a touching scene that’s sad yet uplifting, when you see the deep affection between brother and sister. We find out they only have each other, which makes it understandable why Moo Gak is gutted by Eun Seol’s devastating loss. And through such a senseless act of murder. Looks like we’ll be getting to see more scenes with Moo Gak’s Eun Seol which is great as I was worried she’d only be featured in those initial scenes in episode one. We do get more insight into the characters this episode, which makes them more relatable to me than in the last one. Cho Rim is now settled into her dorky, likable personality that comes off much better. Snapping out of his flashback Moo Gak turns to face Cho Rim who also turns and looks surprised to see him still around. He asks her about her name and she remembers she hadn’t even given him her contact details. Cho Rim writes them down on a piece of paper. She tells Moo Gak that she was mistaken for someone else. Moo Gak looks crestfallen, and they say goodbye and part ways. You can see the shimmer in his eyes from unshed tears at the unexpected mention of his late sister’s name. The emotions are really showing vividly this episode which is great. You really start to actually feel the pain driving Moo Gak’s character. We’re taken to Moo Gak’s home where he stands pensively gazing at his pet aquarium. We see him flash back again to the night of his sister’s gruesome murder. And he vows to kill the murderer himself. Back to work the next morning where he is teased by his co-workers. Then they ask him why he was at the precinct and he says he needs to see the head of the department. The head of department is far from pleased with Moo Gak. He kicks Moo Gak in the shin but Moo Gak doesn’t even flinch (ouch – normally a kick in the shin would be howlingly painful.). His superior had warned Moo Gak not to interfere with any of his cases. He kicks Moo Gak again – really hard this time but still no reaction from our pain-deficient Officer. Moo Gak promises to increase the department’s arrest rate if made detective. The head of department is having none of that, and asks Moo Gak if he thinks anyone who happens to catch a robber can become a detective. Moo Gak is however confident in his abilities to catch criminals and once again asks to be one of the head of department’s detectives. Surprisingly the HOD agrees – but on one condition. He gives Moo Gak a case file and says he has ten days to find the culprit. Then Moo Gak will become a homicide detective. Moo Gak has a can-do attitude and says he’ll make it happen. Then he’s told that if he doesn’t then he must promise never to talk about being made detective again. Meanwhile Cho Rim has to take the damaged car to the mechanics’ – a car that doesn’t even belong to her but a senior co-member of her comedy troupe. Being the rookie at the theater where she works Cho Rim is mostly treated as the errand girl made to do stuff like serving lunch to other workers. As Cho Rim is about to leave her boss appears and asks her why she isn’t practicing for the audition. He’s already threatened to close down the troupe if they can no longer make profit. He tells her to stop slaving for the other troupe members and prepare something for the audition. Anyone who doesn’t pass the audition gets kicked out. So a lot is riding on this for Cho Rim as she seemed dedicated to her career as a gag lady/comedian actress on stage. The owner of the troupe asks her what she has planned and Cho Rim looks at a loss. Then she says she has a ‘skit’ she wants to perform. Her boss is surprised and asks if she had a partner, because he seemed aware her former partner had abandoned her to partner with another troupe member. This opens a new dilemma for Cho Rim. Obviously she can’t do that skit without a partner. So she lies that she has a partner outside the troupe. Her boss demands she sets up an act the next day with her ‘partner’. Oops. He warns that if she can’t pull it off then that means she lied to him and will have to leave his troupe. Whoa. Pressure! So now Cho Rim direly needs a partner. She slams her head on the steering wheel in frustration much the same way Moo Gak is doing at present. He realizes there’s no way he can solve the whole case file in ten days. The case is over ten years old called the internet cafe murders. The whole Metropolitan Investigation Force (MIF) was mobilized to solve the murders but couldn’t find a clue. Which means Moo Gak doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of cracking this case and finding the murderer. Filled with despair Moo Gak bangs his head on the desk again. In the meantime an equally desperate Cho Rim is at the mechanics’ and finds herself asking the attendant if he’d like to do a comedy skit with her. Perhaps she thinks with his kind of appearance he’ll make a funny enough partner. He is far from amused or flattered by the offer. Both Cho Rim and Moo Gak have an ultimatum to meet and soon. Cho Rim needs a partner who can perform her skit with her, and Moo Gak needs to crack a murder case if he wants to ever make homicide detective. Stakes are getting higher this episode. The irritated mechanic tells Cho Rim to come in two days for the car. Looking stumped Cho Rim texts Moo Gak and tells him she has the invoice for the car repairs as arranged. She then suddenly has a flashback of Moo Gak at the public bathing house where they caught the robber. A gleam comes into her eyes as she remembers how well he pulled off acting like the robber’s friend. She realizes he’s a good actor and this gives her an idea… Soon we can see Moo Gak at a restaurant busy eating. And wow the man can eat. Just like in episode one at the convenience store during the stakeout we find Moo Gak polishing off food meant for a dozen people, all in one sitting. Now that’s a superpower I could do with. He receives a text from Cho Rim asking to meet to talk about the car repair invoice. Moo Gak is more preoccupied about making homicide detective. So he can catch the killer with his own hands. Still Cho Rim keeps texting him to meet up. Telling him the invoice is larger than she expected. And even threatens to report him to the police for a hit and run. Okay now she’s got his attention. Of course only we know she has ulterior motives. Moo Gak takes the time to polish off another dish while still contemplating. Moo Gak has an almost mindless approach to eating, as if he doesn’t even realize what he’s doing or maybe he has a bottomless hole in his stomach. Maybe it’s one of the many offshoots of his strange analgesic condition. At last he arrives at the meeting place where Cho Rim is waiting. It’s a coffee place and Moo Gak is seen almost toppling from a coffee spill on the slippery floor. He looks really goofy trying to keep his balance and Cho Rim can’t help but admire how good he’ll be at slapstick comedy. Cho Rim’s friend who works at the coffee house hurries up to apologize to Moo Gak and clean up the floor where a customer had spilled caramel macchiato. Cho Rim greets him in welcome and says she’s been waiting a long time for him – adding that it must have taken him a long time to arrive because he’d been busy eating such a huge meal. Umm. How did she know that? Moo Gak gives her a side look in surprise. Meanwhile Cho Rim is busy visualizing the scents of food emanating from Moo Gak. She then teases him for being a glutton and he just stares in amazement. He sniffs at himself wondering how she must have guessed he’d had a huge meal. Cho Rim just keeps smiling at his confusion. Then Moo Gak asks her about the invoice. Cho Rim sighs dramatically and says the mechanic expects it to be very very big. Her vague attitude about the expenses has Moo Gak once again confused. What’s her game? Trying to convince Moo Gak the costs would be very high to fix the car she tells him there’s a way he wouldn’t have to pay a single penny. Out of the blue she asks Moo Gak if he likes comedy skits. These first fifteen minutes have moved so fast you almost wouldn’t notice. Definitely a step up from episode one bogged down with so many details. Though we do get to know more about the characters this episode, you don’t feel like everything’s just rushing at you from all directions like the premiere episode. Cho Rip is busy throwing a cute impromptu sample of a skit to the staring Moo Gak. He obviously doesn’t know what to make of all this. I really like his facial expressions all through the episode. Reminds me a lot of his character in Rooftop Prince. Cho Rim is so amused by her own mini performance that she’s beside herself with laughter. She then tells Moo Gak she’ll pay for the repair if he does a skit with her. Moo Gak tells her to give him the number of the mechanic. Cho Rim lies that she doesn’t have the details on her, and instead persuasively tells him that doing the skit with her would easily ensure he didn’t have to part with any money. She tells him he’s got a natural talent that she noticed while they were catching the robber. His great acting was very convincing and she begs him to do a skit with her. Understandably the fact that she’s a stranger as well as because his issues with the solving the murder case on his hands makes Moo Gak impatient. He practically tells her to ‘get lost’. Cho Rim asks why he’s yelling and he tells her she is being ridiculous. He shortly tells her to send him the invoice and he’ll pay her the money. Just go, he says angrily. Equally annoyed Cho Rim jumps to her feet. “You think a comedy skit is ridiculous?” she asks. No, I think he means asking him to do one with you is what’s ridiculous. Moo Gak doesn’t answer though and Cho Rip adds that it is something precious to her. Then she calls him ridiculous, for yelling at her and then she stalks out. When she’s gone Moo Gak shakes his head and huffs, saying “Ridiculous” to himself once again. I don’t have time to worry about comedy skits lady, he mutters to himself. He’s obviously thinking about work. Then he gets his phone out and texts his superior telling him the internet cafe murder cases from ten years ago are too hard for him to solve Meanwhile Cho Rim is ranting to herself as she storms down the street. Then she gets a text and when she reads it finds out that Moo Gak has sent her a message by mistake. Moo Gak is waiting for his boss to reply not knowing he’d sent it to Cho Rim instead. She soon returns and reads out the text to him. Moo Gak now realizes he sent it to a wrong recipient because she’d earlier sent him three messages in a row which made him confused. Cho Rim asks Moo Gak about the murder cases and he tells her to forget it and just delete the texts. Chorim wants to at least hear about the case, saying she could solve it. After all, who caught the beauty salon robber she reminds him?
It’s funny how Cho Rim is so pushy when it comes to what’s important to her. At work she might let others boss her around and make her run errands but we see a side of her that’s assertive when she needs to be. Such as the time when she figured out she could help Moo Gak catch that robber in episode one. Now she’s offering to help him again – this time at a price. The scene cuts to the airport. and we see a plane landing. A man walks through arrivals talking on the phone. His name is Kwon Jae Hee and he’s asking for Ma Ri and seems surprised and worried there is still no word from her. He’s obviously unsettled. Meanwhile, I’m surprised to see Moo Gak actually calls Cho Rim’s bluff. He decides to test her claims. We see him peeking over a roof at the street below where Cho Rim is trying to trace him. It’s obvious he’s desperate for results as well and would try any possible angle if it could help him crack the case. Besides, Cho Rim did help him catch that robber in episode one. Minutes ago he’d drilled her with questions, such as how had she known the robber was hiding in the bath house? And how did she know he ate black noodles, spicy soup noodles as well as sweet and sour pork and fried rice together? “It’s not intuition,” he muses suspiciously. “Something else is there.” He leans in to stare into her face and says, “You have a secret don’t you?” Cho Rim seems shy right now, and softly asks if he doesn’t think he’s too close? This is one of the few ‘make cute’ moments in the episode and it’s all good. We don’t get any skinship per se for now but the couple are trying to give an illusion of chemistry. I say illusion because I still don’t quite feel it yet. So here Moo Gak is, saying that if they are to become partners they had to trust each other. Which means he needs Cho Rim to give him a straight answer about how she knew about all those things. This time it’s Cho Rim who leans in to whisper, “I know by smells.” Then she tells him how the scents of the four dishes he’d had were all over his face and body. Now it’s Moo Gak’s turn to seem ‘flustered’ by Cho Rim’s proximity. So they both self-consciously sit back. Awww. The chemistry must be building on this second meeting of theirs. They’d gone on quite well the other time without any undue attraction but that seems to be changing. Moo Gak now says that she must have a very keen nose. Cho Rim says she’s much better than those police dogs. This gives Moo Gak an idea. He gets up and says he’s going to hide outside. “Give me five minutes and then come and find me,” he says. Cho Rim replies, “Too easy!” Moo Gak simply turns and repeats that she should leave five minutes after him. As he walks away she watches the scent trail that follows his footsteps. Since he stepped on caramel macchiato she can see the tracks he leaves behind of the scents. She was right – this looks too easy. Cho Rim seems to have no problem following his trail of caramel macchiato. She walks outside while he’s watching from above. She looks down at the sidewalk and seems to know just where to go. Even Moo Gak is amazed. How is that possible, he asks himself. Suddenly Cho Rim looks up and he ducks but it’s too late. She tells him she’s seen him and he could come down. He makes the faux pas of telling her she’s truly just like a dog and she sends him a narrow eyed look. He looks embarrassed and finally joins her on the street. She wonders if she’s passed his test. He says he noticed he didn’t see her sniffing. She can see he still can’t trust her. So she tells him she doesn’t track with her nose but her eyes. Moo Gak huffs in disbelief. That’s enough, he says, obviously fed up and angry for even believing for a moment. Cho Rim then asks him about his mint candy, did he get that from the Chinese restaurant? She points at his pocket. He removes the sweets and looks shocked she knew about them. She finally convinces Moo Gak by doing several other tests such as the cup game. He makes her block her nose with tissue and try to find the sweet beneath a particular cup. She turns round to face the cups and each time, chooses the right cup hiding the mint candy. Moo Gak finally makes her go outside and even with a clamp on her nose, then asks her to find the sweet. She turns round and easily picks the right cup – again. Moo Gak seems fed up with himself. Moo Gak’s final test was to put the sweet in his mouth while asking her to guess which cup. Cho Rim turns to face him once again and still gets it right, accurately finding out the mint was in his mouth instead. At this point Moo Gak finally accedes to himself, this girl had been saying the truth and could see scents.
Both Cho Rim and Moo Gak are at the busstop. She hands him a notebook of notes she made for skits. At least this tells us he finally agreed to the deal of them both helping each other. Cho Rim asks Moo Gak to pick the one he wants and then memorize the lines for tomorrow. After she gets on her bus and leaves Moo Gak stares down at the notebook and sighs heavily like he can’t believe what he’d just got himself into. Cho Rim returns briefly to tell the surprised Moo Gak that he must not tell anyone about her ability. Of course, he says. She finally leaves. We’re taken to a scene with a long-haired woman trapped in a white room with cameras over head. She looks frightened as she stares all around her. By the she’s hitting the walls and yelling ‘save me’ you can kind of tell she doesn’t want to be there. She’s possibly been abducted – but by who? Next we’re back at police head quarters where there’s a meeting and the top police men are watching slides of a chain murder case in the conference room. Moo Gak sneaks in believing he could get some info to help him on his assignment. There’s a woman lieutenant giving the lecture. She talks about people who’ve gone missing recently. She mentions Jo Ma Ri a female model aged 27 and other missing persons. The lieutenant states that the cases are among those under the jurisdiction of the department. The lieutenant tells them that she’s very interested in two particular cases – the murder case of a professor from four years ago, and the murder case of a fisherman couple from three years ago. We can see this is the case involving Cho Rip/Eun Seol’s parents three years past. She names other cases and notes that they all have a lot in common. These cases occurred around this time of the year and began as a missing persons case. The corpses were all found seven days after they went missing. All of them were suffocated. The lieutenant also points out what makes the cases a chain murder case – each body had a set of markings on the inner wrist known as barcodes. Thus the reason the case is named Barcode Murders. So we learn about the model who we saw locked in that room. The lieutenant is most interested in the model because the victim’s age and occupation is different from the other so far. She closes the meeting saying she hopes for the safe return of both Mr. Kwak the bellhop and the model Ms. Joo. She asks if there are any questions. Moo Gak’s hand flies up and he asks “What are the uses of the bar codes and can they actually be used in real life?” Whoa…good question. You can see the lieutenant is surprised as she hasn’t thought of this. What if the codes do mean something? The homicide department is given the case of Ms. Joo to handle as Moo Gak is hustled out of the conference room by other cops. Outside they tell him to know his place and not keep butting in where he’s not needed. Poor Moo Gak. When his superior appears from the conference room Moo Gak tells him that there’s no way he can solve a ten year old murder case. Instead he asks that he can find Joo Ma Ri the fashion model. He reminds them he did find the beauty salon robber. His superior scathingly says, Nonsense. How charming. In comes another cop with news of the call records of Ms. Joo Ma ri. The last call is to a hospital. The cop requests that Moo Gak follow him since they are short staffed. He follows the cop to the said hospital and finds out that it’s the very same hospital he visited with Cho Rim. There’s a picture on the wall of Dr. Chun Baek Gyung who had the model as his patient. That face…it’s the murderer! The clueless Moo Gak can’t seem to recognize him from that night three years ago. It’s the doctor killer’s number that’s on the model’s phone records. They ask to see the doctor but he’s on vacation for four days starting today. How convenient. So is the fact that the receptionist claims the doctor doesn’t own or use a mobile phone. He does seem to like going on frequent trips though. The receptionist nurse seems to remember Moo Gak from the last time a few days ago. Meanwhile Cho Rim is on the streets sharing flyers for her comedy show that night and gives discount coupons for attendance. Watching her from a coffee shop window is the killer guy. Cho Rim and Moo Gak meet. She’s breathless from sharing the coupon flyers. She’s wearing huge sunglasses and Moo Gak asks what’s up with them. Cho Rim says she read online about the Joo Ma Ri missing case. Does she feel safer hiding behind big frames? Not sure what she means. They both go up into the highrise apartment building where the model normally lives. They meet her room mates/fellow fashion model friends who provide a perfume that the model likes using. It was custom made for her and Cho Rip feels she can use the scent to try and find Joo Ma ri. Then Moo Gak and Cho Rim go to the parking lot of Ma Ri’s agency where she was last seen. Cho Rim chooses this opportunity to ask about which idea from her notebook did he choose for the skit. He tells her he chose Green Light. She’s happy thinking because that could be the funniest one. But Moo Gak tells her it was the shortest and that’s why he chose it. She makes a little face and then asks if he’d at least memorized the lines. They’re walking into a building and pass by a man in a double-breasted suit. Cho Rim pauses and turns back, picking Mi Ra’s scent on the man. When she tells Moo Gak this he tackles the man to the ground and demands to know where Ma Ri is. Taking a closer look Cho Rim realizes she knows this person. He’s a popular chef (who also happens to have his restaurant in the same building as the hospital of the killer.) Two cops from the department appear and see Moo Gak pinning down the chef. They’re furious as this is the person they’d just had to meet with. He’s Mi Ra’s boyfriend and had called the police to see how he could help with the case. Moo Gak has put his foot in his mouth again – or is it tripped himself up? Whatever. He’s goofed and he knows it. The cops apologize to the chef and says that Moo Gak ‘a police box attendant‘ must be mistaken. Mr. Chef was on his way out after asking questions with the cops at the model agency. He also has the perfect alibi since he was in the US for a week and just returned yesterday (he’s the guy we saw at the airport). He notes he’s never met Moo Gak before so how did Moo Gak know he (the chef) is connected to Ma Ri? Now that’s a question I’d like to see Moo Gak tackle… We’re taken back again to the all-white room with the model trapped inside. She’s busy screaming in anguish. Cho Rim is surprised that the chef and model are dating. Moo Gak rushes to meet up with her and all she wants is to practice her skit. They have one hour before they need to perform it in front of her troupe leader. Moo Gak is meanwhile surprised the man he’d tackled is that famous. They start with practicing “Green Light”. Later they arrive at the theater and everyone is in costume or practicing. They soon go on stage where the troupe leader is watching from the seat section. They start the skit and Moo Gak looks pretty into it. He’s very enthusiastic and doesn’t just blab out the lines. At least he’s putting in effort. The troupe leader soon cuts in and says he’s confirmed she has a partner. He seems to like Moo Gak who introduced himself as Officer Choi. The leader thinks it’s a pseudonym and says it’s kind of crazy but cool. But he says Cho Rim has to up her game if she doesn’t want to end up in last place (the skit was pretty lame on laughs tbh). The troupe leader is gone and Moo Gak is suddenly wondering, why did Joo Ma Ri hide her boyfriend from everyone? No one seemed to know she was dating the chef.
It’s 7 days after Joo Ma ri went missing. A couple driving along the bridge ram into a car parked on the road and the car slides down an embankment, out of sight. Later we see the female lieutenant at the department telling the homicide chief that usually the body of the missing person is found after going missing seven days. Since it was now the eight day the lieutenant thinks this is not a serial murder case. She decides to stop working on the case. The chief says the model was in conflict with her agents and had some major debts so just possibly went off the grid for a while. Then comes the news that a card in Joo Mi ra’s name has just been used at a motel in Yangpyeong. The two cops rush over there. As they make to leave they’re shocked to find Moo Gak mysteriously sneaked himself into the back of their car. So hilarious how he gets himself involved in the case by all means necessary. Yoochun is officially hilarious in this drama series. I’m happy at least the comedy angle of the storyline is working out. Now the suspense and romance can maybe start to catch up. The cops get to the motel and find out it’s a petty thief and not Ma Ri the model. The thief apparently found her purse lying around somewhere and had used her credit card. So it’s back to square one on the case. Or is it? By the end of the episode Cho Rim and Moo Gak single-handedly follow the model Ma Ri’s trail. Basically because no one at the department wants to listen to Moo Gak’s ideas of where to search for Joo Ma Ri. Moo Gak even almost gets beaten by the department homicide chief when Moo Gak makes a suggestion about a dog carrying Ma Ri’s wallet from the river to the location it was found. The homicide and investigative team are busy combing the mountain while Moo Gak follows the hunch that Ma Ri’s body may be found by the river. I’m glad when at the bridge close to the river Moo Gak shows some deductive powers of his own. Meaning he doesn’t totally rely on Cho Rim for getting all the clues. He spots some pieces of broken brake lights on the road and wonders if there was an accident. He calls Cho Rim to check out the spot. At first Cho Rim is mumbling to herself about all the effort she has to put into helping the policeman. Still she does walk closer and then when she reaches him she suddenly freezes.
The second episode ends on another tame cliffhanger. What does it mean to have Joo Ma Ri’s scent directed right into the water? We’ll have to wait to find out next week.