5 Moments In Episodes 11-12 Of “My Perfect Stranger” That We Didn’t See Coming And 1 That We Did
Two weeks to the end and “My Perfect Stranger” turns everything up a notch. Relationships are formed, and battles are won. Yet, with a murderer on the horizon, Yoon Hae Joon (Kim Dong Wook) and Baek Yoon Young (Jin Ki Joo) are rapidly running out of time to figure out the shadowy figure that seems to have it out for women who read. And someone’s started to put the wrong pieces together in the wrong order, which could spell doom for Yoon Young and Hae Joon in more ways than one.
Warning: spoilers for episodes 11-12 below.
1. Not a surprise: The love line
Yoon Young has been eyeing Hae Joon quite fondly for some time now, but it wasn’t clear if Hae Joon felt anything similar. He’s certainly been quite solicitous this whole time, and the two have taken turns taking care of each other, but there hasn’t been anything overtly romantic until the past couple episodes when Yoon Young rested her head on his knee. But she goes all out in this episode.
The mystery of Hae Joon’s mother’s identity is quickly resolved as an altercation outside the movie theater where his parents had their first date reveals that she was Chung Ah (Jung Shin Hye), the feisty proprietor of Bong Bong Teahouse (from which the killer takes the matchboxes to leave with the murder victims). For all his supposed apathy, Hae Joon remains resentful of the woman who abandoned him as a baby. His upbringing is sadder than it seems, with a father who showed up twice a year but spent more of his time in the States, more content to dwell in numbers and physics than being with his son. Hae Joon doesn’t seem to resent his father and understands the peculiar states that some geniuses can live in. However, he certainly resents his grandfather Principal Yoon Byung Gu (Kim Jong Soo) for being so cold to him throughout his childhood and adolescence.
After learning that Hae Joon saw his mother and is trying to work through his lingering bitterness, Yoon Young takes him on a walk to comfort him. When he sees through her cheerful chatter, she switches tactics and confesses her fear of losing him and that she’s been having a long-running dream of returning to a happier future with her parents’ marriage being a loving one. Yet, that future doesn’t have Hae Joon in it. She searches and searches and can’t find him, and it breaks her heart. A slow smile grows on Hae Joon’s face, and his response is pretty swoon-worthy as he admits that he thought he was the only one catching feelings here.
Ah, they’re too cute!
2. Surprise: Mi Sook publishing Soon Ae’s novel as her own
Though Yoon Young had guessed that Go Mi Sook (Chi Hae Won) must have stolen her mother’s manuscript at some point, she didn’t expect it to happen so soon. Yet, she and Lee Soon Ae (Seo Ji Hye) are shocked when Mi Sook suddenly pronounces herself an author, having secured a publishing deal with Soon Ae’s manuscript and parades around the school like she’s something special. Soon Ae’s in shock but bravely confronts Mi Sook on the theft. But Mi Sook doesn’t flinch.
She tries to gaslight Soon Ae. When Soon Ae stands firm, she says that no one will believe her because she has no proof now that Mi Sook stole her notebook. Well, Yoon Young isn’t going to take that. She convinces Soon Ae to stand up for herself. Soon Ae’s hesitant to put her family anymore in the spotlight than it has already been with her sister’s death, but her parents heartwarmingly rally around her. Soon Ae sits down for a meeting with Mi Sook’s publisher, Mi Sook, and Mi Sook’s snobby rich mother. And in the most shocking turn, Soon Ae wins! A manuscript doesn’t just take one notebook. It takes crossed-out lines and revisions and character removals and insertions, all of which fill out many notebooks. Soon Ae presents all of them to the publisher, who immediately kicks Mi Sook out and reissues the book under Soon Ae’s name. She becomes the most famous person in town, and Yoon Young is delighted to see her mother’s dream come true.
3. Surprise: the truth about Mi Sook
We’re nearing the point in the timeline where Mi Sook sends her brother to jail, and we finally see why. Mi Sook’s home life comes front and center this week, and it’s a sad tale. Her mother left an abusive marriage but didn’t seem to care when the pattern started to repeat within her home. Mi Sook’s brother Min Soo (Kim Yeon Woo) physically abused her regularly. Her mother was aware of it but did nothing to stop him and coddled his every need. Mi Sook has been taking out the aggression she experiences at home by bullying Soon Ae and lording her status over everyone else. She’s desperate for her mother’s approval, to matter to someone. And now she has nothing.
She knows that the police are desperate for suspects, having gone two weeks without getting any closer in finding the murderer. So she frames her brother. She plants the rope used to tie the victims in his room and fabricates a tearful story to the police, who are only to happy to believe her. Min Soo is arrested and set to go straight to jail. But that doesn’t sit right with Mi Sook’s closest friend.
4. Surprise: Mi Sook saw the real killer’s face
Kim Hae Kyung (Kim Ye Ji), formerly one of Soon Ae’s bullies, has turned over a bit of a new leaf after being helped by Hae Joon. So when she knows that Mi Sook is lying about her brother being the culprit, she goes to Yoon Young and Hae Joon with the truth. It turns out that she and Mi Sook witnessed the killer killing Lee Joo Young (Jung Ga Hee). Mi Sook somewhat protected them from being caught by the killer, so Hae Kyung didn’t see his face. But Mi Sook did.
Yet, she refuses to provide a name. Meanwhile, criminally foolish detective Baek Dong Shik (Choi Young Woo) continues to question whether they have the right man. He’s been wrong on almost every single count so far, but he’s right about Min Soo being innocent. The police department is eager to wrap it up, but that doesn’t get to happen because something happens that neither Hae Joon nor Yoon Young could have predicted: Soon Ae is kidnapped by the killer.
5. Surprise: Soon Ae’s kidnapping
Hae Joon and Yoon Young are horrified to get a call from Soon Ae’s ex-boyfriend Yoo Bum Ryong (Jo Yeon Woo) saying that he’s certain that Soon Ae has been abducted. He was going to apologize to her for even trying to assault her but found her gone with signs of a scuffle. Hae Joon tells him to stay put and that they’re on their way. They know that the police won’t be willing to listen, seeing as they’re certain that they have the right culprit. The time it takes to convince them could result in Soon Ae’s death.
Yoon Young enlists Baek Hee Seob’s (Lee Won Jung’s) help, and they scour the hillside with Hae Joon. But Bum Ryong hasn’t stayed put. Eager to atone for his mistakes, he races to save Soon Ae and finds her in an abandoned house, about to get killed. He attacks the killer, giving her a window to escape. It’s a painful moment because she hears the killer attacking Bum Ryong and knows that if she runs, she’s leaving him to die. But there’s nothing she can do (her hands are also literally tied). She runs to safety and straight into Yoon Young but Hae Joon dashes off, searching for Bum Ryong. The police have also been alerted at this point and are searching the hillside, but Hae Joon gets there first. The killer is gone. And Bum Ryong is dead.
6. Surprise: Bum Ryong’s death
This was an unexpected turn of events that solidifies that Bum Ryong, for all his creepiness, was not the killer. Hae Joon tries to resuscitate him to no avail. In hindsight, it makes sense that the killer’s pattern of targeting women who read would have made Soon Ae his next victim, given that everyone knows she’s an author. But none of this was part of the timeline, so Hae Joon was going in blind. And he had a lot to contend with. His father happened to find one of the killer’s matchboxes with the note in it in Hae Joon’s living room. He doesn’t know that it’s from the future and confronts Hae Joon, who can only ask him to keep fixing the car if he wants to find the truth.
Meanwhile, the victims are piling up here, and Hae Joon fears that life is already all but doomed. He’s just frozen in shock standing here, which is when detective Baek Dong Shik shows up and arrests him for Bum Ryong’s murder. He leads Hae Joon past a horrified Yoon Young who doesn’t even know how to get him off. The worst case scenario, next to Hae Joon dying, has arrived.
Dong Shik’s always been suspicious of Hae Joon showing up around crime scenes, but it’s truly ridiculous that he’s arresting him. Hae Joon has been in Dong Shik’s business from day one for letting Min Soo go after he attempted to assault Yoon Young. He saved Dong Shik’s own nephew from being tortured by corrupt Seoul police, and this is the man Dong Shik thinks has been going around murdering people? It makes no sense. But that’s the track that Dong Shik seems to be taking. The preview shows him pointing out that all of Hae Joon’s 1987 documents are fake, which doesn’t bode well. It’s going to be up to Yoon Young to either orchestrate a prison break or for Hae Joon’s dad to fix the car, both of which could help the two return to the future and back to the past to prevent these murders happening once and for all.
With four episodes left and Yoon Young’s fears of Hae Joon not being in the future dangerously close to coming true, here’s hoping that there’s a happy ending ahead of us! The bad guy just can’t keep winning!
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Shalini_A is a long time Asian-drama addict. When not watching dramas, she works as a lawyer, fangirls over Ji Sung, and attempts to write the greatest fantasy romance of all time. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and feel free to ask her anything!
Currently Watching: “My Perfect Stranger,” “Tail of the Nine-Tailed 1938,” and “Dr. Romantic 3.”
Looking Forward to: “Gyeongseong Creature,” “Ask The Stars,” “The Girl Downstairs,” “The Worst Evil,” “Queen of Tears,” “Vigilante,” “Demon,” “Daily Dose of Sunshine,” and Ji Sung’s next drama.