It is unusual to have such a deep flashback episode so early in a series. That makes us believe that A Shop For Killers has indeed set out to break stereotypes. This expectation has set the bar very high for us because there is too much content out there for something to be truly special or fresh. The following is a recap of Episode 2.
Was Jinman responsible for the deaths of Jian’s parents?
When Jinman’s mother passed away, he suggested that they carry out an autopsy on her body since her death seemed too sudden. But Jinman’s brother, Jincheon, didn’t agree because their mother had already undergone two surgeries and was on her deathbed when Jinman came back into their lives. Jinman was just not aware of this, which is why he thought it was sudden, and Jincheon was angry because his brother had not been by his side all these years.
Jinman takes Jian back home, where he gets a phone call from a person he was not expecting. He says that he will be right there and leaves Jian alone, telling her not to open the door for anyone who cannot answer her riddle. Just as Jinman expected, a man came to kill Jian, but he was overpowered by Jinman’s comrade, who answered the riddle and asked Jian to hide. When Jian peeked through the door of her room, she saw the man’s arm being cut off by someone (Seongjo), and it was safe to assume that he was dead. Jian barely manages to escape from them, and to her luck, she gets into an accident that lands her in the hospital, temporarily protecting her from her pursuers. In her semi-conscious state, she hears the officers talking about how her parents were murdered in the funeral home, and only her uncle is left to take care of her now.
While Jian was with her uncle, they had both been watching National Geographic, and her uncle pointed out a lion being attacked and eaten by the hyenas. Jinman’s point was that the lion was majestic even in its defeat, while the hyenas were simply being noisy and loud, which took away the grace from their win. This may have been a mistake because Jinman essentially taught Jian that silence meant strength. That night in the hospital, Jian dreamt of a hyena bringing her the arm of the man she had seen die that day. Maybe Jian sensed that she was in danger, but the thing to note is that if she dreamt of a hyena, she was thinking of herself as the lion and as someone who would win eventually. Even Seongjo pointed out that Jian took after her uncle a lot, in terms of her perseverance and way of thinking.
Jian hid in the morgue to escape the killer, and that is where she saw the body of her dead mother, confirming what she had heard earlier that day. Jinman eventually rescues her, but Jian has changed. Jinman tells her that he may not be able to take care of her like her parents did, but in doing so, he unknowingly isolated her and came to regret that a lot. Jian stopped speaking, and she was diagnosed with aphasia combined with dissociative amnesia. She was constantly bullied at school, and one time, when things went too far, Jian hit the bullies with a chair, causing her to be permanently ostracized. Jinman believed that Jian needed to get over this block by herself. They had already built a system within themselves where they communicated through Post-it notes. Jinman wanted Jian to start speaking. One day, Jian was locked in a room by her bullies, and she couldn’t go back home in time. Maybe Jinman realized this way before he came to rescue her, or perhaps he was really just late. Either way, a scared Jian falls into his arms and asks him why he couldn’t come earlier when he had told her that he would return immediately. She is referring to the day of her parents’ murder, and perhaps she believes that if Jinman had come back on time, she wouldn’t have gone through all this. From that day on, the uncle and niece have a more verbal relationship, and they form their own family unit with time.
Why Are People Trying To Kill Jian?
Jian doesn’t believe that Minhye is really Jinman’s Chinese tutor, but she refuses to open the door. There seems to be a hidden meaning behind the interactions shared between the women, but at the end of it, Minhye leaves. Jeongmin goes through shady the website and comes to a conclusion that the website is a front for something else. True to the name of the series, this website was an online shop where people could hire services for illegal activities like murders, clean-up jobs, arms dealing, and whatnot. There were many others employed by the website, and it was all under the condition that once Jian or Jinman used some code, they would rush to protect them. That code must be Jian’s school ID. But before she can figure that out, the killers have already arrived, and a drone is chasing Jian throughout the house to take a shot at her. Somewhere else, a group of killers have gathered in one place, and they are all veterans of their field. The oldest of them cuts his arm and takes out a bug because that would be his last job, and he doesn’t need it anymore.
At the end of A Shop For Killers Episode 2, we see the very people that we had seen in Jian’s flashback, indicating that there was more to this story. All of them are gearing up to kill Jian, and they believe that this is the final move that will guarantee their freedom. We may speculate that this could be part of a business move. After all, if there is a shop for killers, it is an organization, and there must be mergers and acquisitions, except that all these are dealt with in blood, considering the nature of the business. Maybe Jinman’s death was the result of a hostile takeover, and people are hunting down Jian so that she doesn’t succeed in the business and lord over them after Jinman. It’s just a way of tying up loose ends for professional freedom.
If our theory is correct, we are excited for the show. If it isn’t, the alternate theory must be better, but there will be no forgiveness for anything underwhelming. This year cannot start with a cliche plot, no matter how it is executed.