Three days later, Dal-po is the rookie to announce himself, and the fresh-faced newbie who arrived three days ago now looks exactly like the others, with dark circles down to there and the same dead look in his eyes. And a few days later, I had become one of them.
The investigation is showing signs of foul play, and the use of toxic chemicals to instigate the shipping container fire that killed them. Their leading suspect is the plant manager who owed them money and is currently missing… because Hyung trapped him in a manhole six feet under! Dal-po finally finishes his shredded paper reconstruction after two all-nighters, and the rest of the rookies are especially nice to him as they face their official district assignments.
The worst assignment is the Han River, because that rookie has to work under Jang Hyun-kyu whose nickname, by the way, is Jang Nitpick. She blankly asks Dal-po to return her hot-packs, suddenly not feeling so generous. Princess accuses him of treating them differently because of their connections, only to watch a little longer and realize that Il-joo is just as much of a hardass—he just likes to speak in that eerily polite, passive-aggressive tone.
Ha, does Beom-jo not understand sarcasm? In-ha has to stop and explain that Il-joo is saying one thing but means another. He practically sing-songs at them to run, and to answer his calls in under three rings at all times, whether sleeping or pooping. He reminds them that other reporters are now the enemy, and we intercut between Hyun-kyu and Il-joo giving minute-by-minute instructions to Dal-po and In-ha as they each race down to the street.
They actually arrive outside their buildings at exactly the same time, and Dal-po comes to a screeching halt and asks what In-ha is doing here. Dal-po ignores the outstretched hand and asks for an explanation, and In-ha tells him about Mom and the publicity internship. He looks up and sees the giant banner with mother and daughter advertising honest news from a Pinocchio reporter, and walks away. In-ha runs after him, leaving Beom-jo alone to swear angrily. He shouts back angrily, asking why she wants to be a reporter so badly—did she really want to go back to her mother that much, when all she did was stomp on her pride?
She pounds her chest: Not one minute, one second will be erased. Dad arrives in the distance as Dal-po tries to hold her back to argue. In-ha bounces up and down in glee, while Dal-po accepts defeat. Chaebol Mommy worries about him having to sleep at the police station like a common criminal, and she coos at him to give up if things get too difficult.
Way to teach him valuable life lessons, Mommy. In-ha peppers Dad with kisses too, though their relationship is too adorable for words. Grandpa just walks away and says you make money to spend money, and Dal-po tries hard not to cry. Sorry, I might have been too hasty. He outsmarts her by taking a different route, and we catch up to the opening scene as he arrives at the precinct. In-ha comes running in too, and Dal-po suddenly frowns to see her looking a little too happy to see Chan-soo.
They open the door to a tiny room filled with trash and dirty underwear. One lone reporter sits in the center of the room typing away like a zombie, and killing cockroaches with her bare hands. The rookies shudder in horror. The clock begins to count down with 48 hours left to go, and their night of relentless buzzing begins. They stop at every cop at every desk to ask if there have been any incidents, and get rejected, and rejected, and rejected again.
In this place, if you cry you get in trouble. If you sleep you get in trouble. If you eat you get in trouble. Mother, why have I come to this strange land? But it pings my stalker-dar that he happens to like them the same way. Beom-jo continues his narration to Mommy: The boys stare each other down, and Beom-jo describes Dal-po as a Tarzan zipping through this jungle however he pleases.
All Chan-soo can offer is that his gut is telling him something is off about the case, and Dal-po dismisses him offhandedly. Gyo-dong decides to call the station himself to see what he can find out. He thinks about her confession that she wanted to become a reporter because of him, and reaches over to touch her, but pulls back.
Dal-po tucks her in and then locks eyes with Beom-jo, who follows him out into the hallway. In-ha is getting desperate for something to report to her boss, and begs Chan-soo for a tidbit, calling on old high school feelings to try and persuade him. He shows her his wedding ring and wonders why he ever liked her, but tells her about an accidental death case at a gym, where a woman worked out until she died.
In-ha thanks him for the scoop, only to come out and discover Yoo-rae holding a stethoscope to the door. She calls the story into her boss first, and In-ha fumes. Both teams get yelled at to find out more firsthand information and get the CCTV footage of the death. The boys end up at the health club and the girls go to the hospital, and the petty rivalry escalates on both sides.
They cobble together some background information about the woman who died, but both teams are lacking the crucial piece—the tape that the gym refuses to hand over. But she leaves him hanging, and he awkwardly tries to cover up his embarrassment with a laugh. Dal-po and Yoo-rae are one step ahead of them, and Dal-po seems close to convincing the gym owner to hand over the CCTV tape. They watch the playback and take notes, and as they leave, Beom-jo tries to get In-ha to agree with him that Dal-po sucks.
She agrees but hiccups, and Beom-jo figures she must still like him. Yoo-rae claps and gives him a thumbs-up for being awesome, and they head back in a good mood. We see Hyung taking the cell phone in question to crowded places to turn it on and off, exactly as Chan-soo describes.
They surmise that the woman discovered her ex-husband was remarrying and began an extreme diet leading to her overdoing her workout and a heart attack. But In-ha decides she has to go back to check things over one last time. Dal-po watches the CCTV footage and something niggles at him too, but he ends up sending it to Gyo-dong. He moves his bet over to MSC and heads out.