‘Crime Scene Returns’ Episode 7: Detective Yujin, Godking Of Dance Key, cults, colonial rule, and corruption, oh my!

Hello and welcome back to the recaps for Crime Scene Returns, where we’ll be starting up a new case after finishing up an intricate one last episode. For Episode 7, the show takes us back in time around 80 years and tackles a cult murder while under colonial rule.


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As mentioned, the case takes us back to 1945 with Korea still under Japanese colonial rule, where a cult leader is found burned to death on top of an altar inside the religious compound of Sunsun. Unlike previous murders, everybody seemed to have witnessed this one, so it’s a matter of who set things up to go awry.

For this case, we’ll be having Detective Ahn (IVE‘s Yujin). While she’s been amazing so far on the show, I wasn’t sure how she’d do as detective, but she still managed to be entertaining while showing her usual Fanatic Ahn investigation style.

Of course, what would a recap be without a comment on the breadth of the set?

Seriously though, they investigated the victim’s body just as I was eating dinner. Did not need that.


Victim – Shin Gyoju

  • 35-year-old male, leader of Sunsun religious cult
  • Claimed he reached divinity after dancing for 999 straight days, followers dance to celebrate leader
  • Burnt to death during ritual of ascension, which supposedly sends the best followers to New Village
  • Ritual held twice a year in March and August
  • Everybody saw him die, but thought it was special fire dance
  • Usually use resin for fire, but gasoline used here
  • Footprints found going up and down altar
  • Gasoline found on side of altar
  • Made a $50 donation (~$1MM) for a railway business permit for Sunsun in 1940

Some seemingly key clues were that nobody in the compound is allowed to work outside after sunset (so whomever didn’t abide by this becomes suspicious), the bread on the altar that he ate before the ritual had a black substance in it that is assumed to be opium but could be a number of things (again, would help expose who had the means), and there was a lot of attention given to wanted posters that show a person in a white tiger mask that served as a killer for hire (not sure what relevance yet).

Additionally, another wanted poster was from a storage fire in 1939 that looked like Dookdak Jang (experience with sabotage?), somebody broke into the storage to steal gasoline, coal, and opium (potential sabotage supplies, who left the print?), and there’s a focus on the victim talking about the epidemic causing a shortage of followers and having instructions to burn dead bodies (could relate to motive to kill him if he did something extreme to solve this).

Faithful Key (SHINee’s Key)

  • 34-year-old male Sunsun cult devotee
  • A Godking Of Dance that was set to ascend to the New Village
  • Claims to have last seen victim the previous day at 2:30 PM
  • Later got an IV drip at 8:45 PM and disappeared from clinic at 9:30 PM
  • Formerly a wheat farmer was fined $6000 by government after mold in his product led to sickness
  • Thus, he knew the impact that claviceps could have on humans
  • Modern Joo’s parents saved him from punishment, and Sunsun recruited him after that
  • Bankbook of earnings since joining cult may also be fake, claims he didn’t know

He had a wife that was sick and went to New Village. He was also sick and was taking Doctor Jang’s Sinmyo tablets. There are suspicions that New Village is actually related to either epidemic disposal and/or medical experiments by Unit 731, either of which would obviously give Faithful Key a gigantic motive.

Thank you, Godking.

Dookdak Jang (Jang Jin)

  • 32-year-old male divorcee, lowest rank in Sunsun cult
  • Claims he wasn’t at the ceremony where the victim was killed
  • Says last saw victim at 2:30 PM
  • Works in the field doing hard labor, bruises on face
  • In charge of storage room
  • Certificate showing he was in charge of security for victim

For him, the biggest thing was that he was ordered to be an opium dealer by the victim for the Sunsun cult. However, he started to do his own deals on the side by hiding opium in peach jars, and thus seemed to be rich. However, the bankbook he had was for a fake bank, which could go to motive. Additionally, he got caught for his side hustle and had “thief” branded onto his forehead.

It only reminded me of one thing.

Financial motive is usually pretty significant in the real world, but on this show, the motive usually ends up being something deeply personal. That branding could factor, but it doesn’t seem like the usual motive.

Doctor Jang (Jang Dong Min)

  • 28-year-old male Sunsun devotee, plus a researcher and doctor for Governor
  • Somehow a Virtuous Character rank (second tier) in the cult
  • Claims to have last seen the victim at 9 PM at party, left at 9:30 PM for work
  • Loyal to Governor, gasoline found outside Governor’s office
  • Got demoted for false claim of successful vaccine, reported by victim
  • Had both opium and claviceps, which paralyzes the body and has black color
  • Knows claviceps is made from moldy wheat

Probably the biggest reveal here is that he was basically a collaborator with the Japanese. He purposefully designed the JV-45 virus and vaccine for the Governor, but the vaccine didn’t work. In exchange for money, the victim wanted him to make a medicine to increase labor, and he made Sinmyo tablet so workers wouldn’t realize they were tired. Was also doing research into anti-aging for the victim.

Has a mysteriously locked door in his office that leads to a cliffhanger, which I’m guessing is gonna reveal he’s basically a Unit 731 doctor. Red herring potential due to his backstory and means, but motive is quite weak for now.

Modern Joo (Joo Hyun Young)

  • 26-year-old female, owner of salon, from Dangha (rich, gasoline access)
  • Made the victim’s worship clothes
  • Saw victim at part at 9:00 PM the day before death
  • Was last to see victim at 5:20 AM day of death when dressing him for ceremony
  • Had oil paint, but colors of blue, red, and yellow were missing
  • Knew the Sunsun ascension ceremony agenda
  • Dating Courtesan Park

The oil paint seems to be hinting at some ability to sabotage his clothes, and there’s questions as to whether knowing the agenda would be necessary to sabotage him (though everybody could gain access to that). That color from those oils would be a form of brown, if that has any significance.

The biggest reveal for her was that in 1940 she made a land “donation” to the government, where they essentially stole her wealth after her mother and father were left to die in prison due to a false report. I’m assuming at some point next episode it’ll be revealed that the victim has some connection to this and that gives her motive, though right now she seems most motivated to kill the Governor.

Courtesan Park (Park Ji Yoon)

  • 23-year-old owner of House Of Hwasun
  • Victim was a VIP customer
  • Last saw victim between 9 PM-11 PM at party
  • Had a magazine with a story about Faithful Key’s mold-infected wheat
  • Filed for sumadupo (smartphone) project, needed money and had debtors
  • Received a $5 donation ($100000) from the victim to start another house
  • Stole key from victim to get into storage in order to steal his seal to sell for money

So the biggest reveal here was that she owned a decryption table for like spies, and had media with hidden messages from the independence army directing her to punish the Sunsun cult. She claims that it belonged to her patrons, but if it was hers, then she had instructions to harm the cult in some form.

Other than the fact that I agree with her rationale that she needs the victim alive for his money, the optics of Crime Scene Returns making a character with ties to the independence movement the criminal in colonial times is unlikely.



Day Before Murder

  • 2:30 PM – Faithful Key and Dookdak Jang claim to have last seen victim
  • 8:45 PM – Faithful Key got an IV drip at clinic
  • 9:00 PM – Modern Joo, Doctor Jang, Courtesan Park see victim at party
  • 9:30 PM – Doctor Jang leaves party to go back to clinic, Faithful Key isn’t there
  • 11:00 PM – Courtesan Park last sees victim at party

Day Of Murder

  • 5:20 AM – Modern Joo dresses victim for ceremony
  • 5:40 AM – Death at ceremony


  • Doctor Jang: 1 (Detective Ahn)


I’m actually not super certain what relevance the timeline has at the moment in this case other than to establish who might be lying or not. Perhaps next episode will establish who had the time to setup the murder, but right now it’s a bit ambiguous.

As far as the prime suspect goes, my initial thought is that it’ll most likely be whoever is in deepest with the Japanese government because using colonial times and not making the Japanese and/or their sympathizers the perpetrators is public response suicide.

So obviously that makes Doctor Jang a prime suspect given that he seems like the governor’s lapdog doing experiments on Koreans. However, he almost seems too obvious at this juncture, and my suspicion turns to Faithful Key.

Based on context clues, it seems like the narrative is going to be that the Sunsun cult is tied with the Japanese government, and in exchange for money and permitting drug dealing, the victim allowed his followers to be sent to New Village, which is actually either a place to be experimented on by Unit 731 and/or a place for epidemic-ridden patrons to be killed off to stem the illness after the vaccine failed.

Given that his wife went to New Village, Faithful Key finds out not only that his cult leader was a fraud, but also that his wife was burned to death by him, and plots a revenge to burn the victim to death as well. At the moment, the two people who know the symptoms of claviceps are him and Doctor Jang, so that’s my choice.

Or the evidence next episode could lead to something completely different. Who ever knows at the midway point?


Other Stuff

  • Where are we on the meta gaming for the show? The three who haven’t been criminals yet are Jang Jin, Park Ji Yoon, and Yujin. You’d assume two of those three would have to be criminals in these cases. I would bet anything Yujin is the criminal in the last case just to utilize her best, right?
  • Then again, the producers aren’t that predictable, right? And every member can’t be Detective/Perpetrator since there are only five cases.
  • Where’s the PPL? Did they only sign for six episodes?
  • I found the commentary on how cults recruit people at their lowest point to be a nice touch given the issues with cults in Korea.
  • Punny!
  • The producers really enjoy setting Park Ji Yoon up. It’s like custom designed just for this banter.
  • Yujin is still able to entertain as Detective at least:

  • I’m glad they made the obvious joke because it would’ve bugged me otherwise.


This is setting up to be a great case. From an entertainment point of view, this episode gets things off to a great start, giving everybody characters they can seemingly excel at and providing built-in opportunities to get silly. Additionally, from a deduction point of view, the fact that the murder was public and that none of the suspects were around the victim at the time makes figuring out exactly what happened different from the usual cases. It’s more about piecing together the sabotage steps of the murder, and only after that, finding out who had the means to pull it off.

Excited for the conclusion.

If you’ve seen the other available episodes, don’t spoil it in the comments.


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