Week 4 Review ~ Episodes 7-8: The Girl Who Sees Smells (2015)
The Girls Who Sees Scents keeps up its intriguing pace with more specific steps as episodes pass by while reaching its midway course. Of course, a veil of mystery is still omnipresent, but this time the plot twist aspects have surrendered to more palpable proof when it comes to facts. In one hand the 4th week’s episodes strengthen the drama’s insightful factor on various parts of the storyline as we find ourselves a few steps before the characters’ pathways meet on crossroads that bring forth the past at the present. On the other hand, the feels factor appears more electrifying alongside the drama’s humorous and pleasant flow amidst suspense and acts in the shadows.
During the past two episodes there was a slight information overload, but it didn’t overburden the drama’s layers. On the contrary, it was an insightful journey inside the world of masks between humans and psychos. Doctor Chun has officially left the world of the living to forcefully embrace the world of the deceased and his body was left inside his car with the necessary barcode carved on his wrist. We get to understand how chef Kwon works in the shadows and we invest more in the patterns of his legacy, we have yet to find out more about his psyche and see what dwells behind the public figure mask that turned him into a serial killer with “artistic” concerns.
He may not be overwhelming in terms of height, but he’s well-built and strong, dominating the victims in the first place and eventually proceeding with the overall plan. The reason why the police can’t infiltrate the traces of the cars of the victims from the cameras that monitor the possible road directions leading to the spots the bodies were left is because chef Kwon uses a truck in which he places the cars. It’s the perfect camouflage, but that alone wouldn’t be able to forge the perfect alibi. Chef Kwon always makes sure to be seen or “seen” at his restaurant or anywhere else so that his alibi will be ironclad. In doctor Chun’s case he made sure the cooking timer, alongside the driver he had hired to use his car, would make sure his colleague would justify the time and place of his departure and arrival. Leaving no traces behind is his specialty and that’s why he uses different mobile phones and SIM cards on every occasion and then gets rid of them. The fact that he never gets caught by a camera on the spot is because he probably does research in each and every area so there won’t be neither visual proof of his presence on the spot nor proof that betrays the way he acts.
At the same time Cho Rim’s helping the troupe in pretty much everything except for chasing after he dream. This time she’s holding the background scenery of a play, but a nail harms her and the overall attempt turns into a disaster. Getting scolded by her colleague overburdens her even more and she has to leave. Moo Gak was there though and he found out that Cho Rim was the one that informed the troupe chief he won’t be coming anymore. In one hand she doesn’t want to overburden him, on the other hand she wants to make her dream come true on her own. After eating spicy pork together with Cho Rim crying rivers of tears due to the spiciness Moo Gak points out that he wants to do the skit with her and they should start practicing together once again, but he would also like her to help him with the investigations.
Cho Rim and Moo Gak is a dynamic duo offering helping hands one another. It’s not that Moo Gak uses her to become a successful detective. Of course she’s more than helpful, but he also knows that Cho Rim enjoys working with him in various cases since she feels useful and not like a “monster”. By the time Cho Rim arrives at the restaurant the other chef has already fallen asleep after a tiring work schedule and chef Kwon relaxes after his multitasking nighttime. He doesn’t recognize Cho Rim the moment she appears and we get to know that he’s suffering from prosopagnosia, being unable to recognize people’s faces at times. After his confession he wants her to be his eyes in various meetings since he usually gets misunderstood for being arrogant.
Ae Ri, Cho Rim’s friend, finds herself in trouble since her boss and the other employee accuse her of stealing the money from the cafe! Cho Rim notices the other employee’s lies since her scent evokes specific vibes and she intends to do her own investigation taking Moo Gak with her since he’s the real detective of the story! They follow the employee and her boyfriend’s path in Incheon and take photos at the exact spots their photos were taken in an attempt to prove her alibi wrong.
They’re having fun wandering around the city following the other couple’s course within the time-frame the photos had been taken and at some point they find themselves on a vehicle which transports travelers and the next photo is a big problem! It’s a photo with a kiss and Moo Gak and Cho Rim talk about whether they should proceed with their alibi-cracking mission in this photo or not, but soon the conversation becomes tense and while both of them appear fearless to fulfill the kiss the world of physics and field simulation take charge of the overall situation and boom; kiss! The last place’s nowhere to be found and since Cho Rim’s heels are killing her they enter a store to buy new shoes, but the scents of curry are pretty strong. Soon they find out information that the curry restaurant where the photo was taken had closed a week ago and the shoe store opened at the exact place. Ae Ri’s free of charges and her innocence shines!
Cho Rim and Moo Gak leave the police station to take care of the restaurant coupons Ae Ri rewarded them with. Happiness doesn’t last long by the time they find doctor Chun’s lifeless body inside his car at the police station’s parking lot. Both of them are shocked, especially Moo Gak who can’t accept the fact that the doctor is dead after so many murders, at least in his eyes. The situation is different this time though, the suspect has become the victim and the whole theory behind the barcode serial killer’s investigation has changed since doctor Chun has the killer’s trademark on his wrist. Cho Rim notices a scent on doctor Chun’s body, but she can’t find its origin for the time being. Once again, chef Kwon used a driver and the detectives interrogate him to find out that it was yet another call from an unregistered number that was used just once. The investigation goes on and through the help of the driver and an ahjumma living in the area they find the exact time chef Kwon had abandoned the car with doctor Chun on the spot before getting transferred at the parking lot. Moo Gak asks chef Kwon a few questions, but his alibi is pretty strong and is innocence can’t be questioned.
Cho Rim’s waiting for Moo Gak to appear and treat him to dinner, but Moo Gak keeps investigating by visiting the place where doctor Chun had placed his belongings. Chef Kwon’s already there and finds the two books doctor Chun was referring to through the phrase “a golden fish must meet a hermit” while he was imprisoned in chef Kwon’s lair; Eugene Ionesco’s The Hermit and Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio’s Golden Fish. He leaves the depository, but Moo Gak was already on his way there and he pretends to be locking another one. Moo Gak examines the place and finds out that some wires were already moving, proving that someone was there just seconds ago. He starts checking all over the place, but chef Kwon stabs him and leaves immediately. It takes some time for Moo Gak to realize what was going on due to the fact he doesn’t feel pain and as soon as the excessive hemorrhage weakens him he passes out. He’s being transferred to the hospital and undergoes surgery and Cho Rim who was waiting for him at the park gets informed by Yeon Mi after she called Moo Gak’s cellphone. Cho Rim’s terrified even at the thought of Moo Gak lying comatose on a hospital bed, but Yeon Mi tries to calm her down.
The detective police force is alarmed and they try to find a way to catch the barcode serial killer. They deliver the news that Moo Gak has seen the murderer’s face so that the murderer will appear. Cho Rim’s unaware of the whole plan and lets chef Kwon know of what’s going on in full detail. He will move according to plan and prepares many meals for all the detectives protecting Moo Gak. He finds himself alone with Moo Gak, but Yeon Mi’s appearance prevents him from harming Moo Gak.
Later on, everyone’s ready for the murderer’s appearance and they hold their positions. Moo Gak’s ready too, he was faking his comatose condition, but the man inside his room is a celebratory clown for Moo Gak getting out of the hospital soon. Chef Kwon, dressed as a doctor, had already witnessed the plan in the making and he wanted to humiliate the police force succeeding in it. The murderer knows many of their steps and that indicates that he’s close to them, but Yeon Mi and Moo Gak can’t reach a conclusion for the time being. Cho Rim takes care of Moo Gak at the hospital and rides him around on his wheelchair until a hilarious death-ride takes place!
Cho Rim wants to prepare a meal for him and buys everything he wants to from the supermarket, the information pops up through an excessive video call! The meal cooking takes place as Cho Rim prepares one of his mother’s recipes! Cho Rim isn’t satisfied with the overall outcome, but Moo Gak seems to be enjoying the overall process as he loses himself while staring at her! Moo Gak finds the dish delicious and he’s really glad to taste once again his mother’s meal every time he was feeling sick. Well, he can’t taste, but he can feel the soul of the recipe overrunning him, as for Cho Rim, she can’t eat what she just cooked!
Cho Rim can only recall the last three years of her life, as for the past, everything’s blank and every time she tries to recall things a headache appears. Moo Gak feels overwhelmed by Cho Rim during the last 2 episodes and the moment she takes off remains of food from his lips a beautiful moment emerges between them and another kiss blossoms, without ground simulation this time, just pure feelings! After parting ways, their silence and the feelings carved all over their faces were highly representative of the bliss within. Cho Rim surpasses stratosphere and Moo Gak cherishes unknown feelings that actually feel captivating!
Elena Vashilivnashivanova has a present for detective Ki, a matryoshka doll with his face painted on each and every figure! After Moo Gak’s encounter with the murderer the police department is aware of the serial killer’s generic characteristics. He’s in his 20s-30s and he’s 1.78cm with a skinny yet muscular body type somewhere around 68kg, he’s right-handed, strong, agile and he’s got a Seoul accent with a soft voice. They still can’t figure out how the cars of the victims get transferred on the spots they find them without being monitored by the cameras. Elena Vashilivnashivanova plays an important role this time, her babushka makes detective Ki thoughtful for the first time in his detective career and he points out that the only way to do it is that the killer places the cars inside a bigger vehicle. The truck gets spotted and everything becomes more apparent.
Doctor Chun’s funeral takes place and Moo Gak alongside Yeon Mi pay their respects and condolences to his father who couldn’t afford the cost, but chef Kwon managed it, just like he did with Joo Ma Ri. Moo Gak and Yeon Mi have to uncover what doctor Chun wanted to tell him, but ended up dead before revealing the truth. They have to find Choi Eun Seol’s medical records and Choi Eun Seol herself since they start believing that she’s still alive even though she was reported as dead.
They meet with Cho Rim’s father who was part of the police force back in the days and was responsible for Choi Eun Seol while she was being hospitalized, they try to force some answers considering Eun Seol being alive and that she was reported as dead due to the witness protection program, but Oh Jae Pyo doesn’t intend to cooperate and sticks up to his story, the one that Eun Seol didn’t survive. At the same time, chef Kwon tries to uncover the truth behind doctor Chun’s words and eventually finds out that Choi Eun Seol, the one and only witness, is still alive and her medical records inside doctor Chun’s depository is a welcome amount of proof.
Moo Gak follows Oh Jae Pyo on his way back home, but Cho Rim’s sudden appearance prevents him from proceeding with his investigation process. He was too close and he still is! Jae Pyo intends to go on a journey so as to conceal all suspicions and takes with him all proof, like his picture with Cho Rim. Chef Kwon will make his appearance in a cooking show and while he was reading Choi Eun Seol’s mother’s book he’s got the right recipe for the show, seaweed soup with sea urchin.
The moment arrives and chef Kwon wants Cho Rim to be his right hand by being his personal journalist during his shows, but she doesn’t want to start right away. It will be a way to become more well-known and it will help her with her troupe recognition, but for the time being she wants to observe and learn. After the show ends she takes the food chef Kwon prepared with her and treats Moo Gak at her home. The moment she tastes the soup she breaks apart unable to hold back the tears, she can’t remember anything, but the taste of her mother’s recipe dwells in her subconscious world!
Thoughts: Not only synesthesia and the absence of pain and other senses are apparent in The Girl Who Sees Scents, but also prosopagnosia. I thought it was the writer’s invention, but it pretty much exists! It’s funny how many medical terms have their origins in Greek language! Oh well, prosopagnosia is a compound word that derives from the merging of two words, “prosopo” which means face and “agnosia” which stands for ignorance. As for the illness itself, it’s a cognitive disorder which prevents the patient from recognizing faces and we witnessed it for the first time in the drama in Cho Rim’s amorphous shape-shifting face in front of chef Kwon’s sight. This cognitive disorder must have something to do with chef Kwon’s past and in the way he picks up victims, but we have yet to find out his very specific background, since childhood probably or from the crucial moment that changed his life and triggered the killer instinct within.
He’s even more sick than i personally expected, the victims themselves conduct their own “books” as their last thoughts while they are being held captives behind his desk at the hidden library. It’s like a short autobiography of sparse thoughts concerning beloved people and anything that passes by a human’s mind knowing that his/her days are numbered. It’s something that implements a deeper meaning in chef Kwon’s legacy, something like an insightful trophy of imprisoning their last thoughts forever even if they have left their final breath in this world. At this very point we’re pretty much aware of how he can handle his victims due to his strong body type and we got to know how he works in the shadows in order to preserve his ironclad alibi, concealing all suspicion around his name. He’s very methodical and always makes sure to leave no traces behind, but Elena Vashilivnashivanova’s matryoshka doll has pointed out his very specific method of transferring the victims and their vehicles on the spot they’re being found. Am i the only one who wants Elena to appear on the last episode of The Girl Who Sees Scents?! Detective Ki deserves it, we deserve it!
Under specific circumstances, Cho Rim and Moo Gak’s mutual romance starts blossoming. Cho Rim had already fallen for him, but after the ground simulation kiss Moo Gak started losing himself in Cho Rim’s very soul and essence. Being unable to feel pain, taste, etc doesn’t mean he can’t fall in love and it’s probably the first time he feels something as strong as love and attraction towards someone else after his sister’s departure. Well, he doesn’t know the taste of a kiss, but okay! They are not just partners in crime helping each other in their daily lives with Moo Gak being her skit right hand and Cho Rim being his investigation right hand, both of them enjoy each other’s company and the more the time they spend together grows the closer they get and the last two episodes were highly representative of their mutually blooming emotions. What once was one-sided on Cho Rim’s behalf has finally found the corresponding it was craving for.
Chef Kwon, Moo Gak and Yeon Mi are close to discovering the truth behind Cho Rim’s past and the fact that she’s Choi Eun Seol, the one and only surviving victim, but Cho Rim’s father keeps hiding the truth for the time being. We have yet to find out why he was so kind to take her under under his wings or if he hides yet another secret, but we have yet to uncover how each and every main figure will react under the light of truth, a truth that’s not that far away from revealing itself. Fragments of memories behind the vast veil of mist through the seaweed taste that was exactly the her mother’s recipe have already started coming to the surface. Cho Rim might not know what it means at this very moment, but she’s bound to find out in the future. Once the truth reveals itself her pain will be immense since she never had the chance to mourn her real parents’ loss and i’m really curious to find out about Ae Ri and her connection to Oh Jae Pyo. Could she really be a friend of Eun Seol that Jae Pyo kept close to Cho Rim in order to be by her side or there’s another secret hiding behind this friendship?
If Cho Rim talks about her intense feelings while tasting his soup, will chef Kwon start suspecting her? And how will Yeon Mi and Moo Gak find out about her real identity? I think the answer lies in doctor Chun’s letter which is probably inside his depository in the box where chef Kwon found Eun Seol’s x-rays. If chef Kwon finds out about her real identity first, we all know that he will try to kidnap and eventually kill her and it won’t be difficult because they work together, but for the same reason he will automatically become a suspect since the last two victims were related to him. If Yeon Mi finds out first, will she tell Moo Gak? And how will he react knowing that his sister was “sacrificed” for Cho Rim to survive? At this point, i deeply wish that he won’t consider her responsible for his sister’s unjust death and that noble idiocy won’t make its appearance. Cho Rim will probably be the last one to find the truth and i’m really curious who will be the one to lead her towards the light and how.
The Girl Who Sees Scents has its own magic, the more you watch the more captivated you feel by its aura. As i find myself halfway through i have reached the conclusion that this drama is one of the most pleasantly flowing currently airing ones; if not the most. And why is that? The answer is easy, it’s all about balance. It balances between intrigue and proof, plot twists and natural flow, feels and humor, questions and answers, past and present that determine the future.