Mask Girl episode 3 recap: Kim Kyung-Ja
Mask Girl episode 3 switches perspectives again, this time introducing us to Oh-nam’s mother, Kim Kyung-ja (played by The Glory star Yeom Hye-Ran). Even though Oh-nam and his mom had a challenging relationship, Kyung-ja still cared deeply about her son. The episode opens with a montage showing what life was like for her raising Oh-nam on her own.
Not long after getting married, Kyung-ja’s husband cheated on her, leaving her a single mother. She had always hoped Oh-nam would go to medical school and become a successful doctor, but even at a young age, he was more interested in pornography, though he did eventually get accepted to college.
Kyung-ja and Oh-nam could never agree on his future, so he eventually moved out and began living by himself. Despite their estrangement, Kyung-ja still frequently checked in on her son, whether he wanted her to or not. That’s why she becomes disturbed when she hears nothing from him in over two weeks.
She arrives at his apartment with a few police officers. Inside, the place is a wreck. It smells horrible, and there’s garbage all over the place. Kyung-ja also finds Remi the sex doll in Oh-nam’s bed. But the grisliest discovery of all is Handsome Monk’s dismembered body shoved in a trash bag stuffed inside one of Oh-nam’s cabinets. Fearing it’s her son, Kyung-ja faints.
The cops later visit her in the hospital to inform her the body was not Oh-nam’s, but he’s become a suspect in the murder investigation. After searching the rest of Oh-nam’s residence, the story becomes quite salacious. The news reports he likely ran away with Mask Girl, whose identity as Kim Mo-mi has become public knowledge. Police also found thousands of videos depicting adult content on Oh-nam’s computer and many other pornographic materials and sex toys strewn throughout the house.
The news exposes him as a pervert, murderer, and Mask Girls’ obsessive stalker. Kyung-ja refuses to believe that her son could be any of those things. She no longer thinks the police will be of any help to her so she takes computer lessons and learns common slang just so she can start investigating Oh-nam’s computer and infiltrate a fan community dedicated to Mask Girl. It’s not just Oh-nam who is missing, Kim Mo-mi has also vanished into thin air.
Sadly, Kyung-ja’s happiness over the body not being Oh-nam’s is short-lived. The cops later find Oh-nam’s actual corpse and link it back to the body found at his home. Kyung-ja is understandably devastated and believes her only lead now is to find Mask Girl. She even tracks down Kim Mo-mi’s mother and gets arrested for harassment after screaming at her from outside the gate. Mo-mi and her mother no longer speak.
She meets a guy named Teddy, the president of an online fan community dedicated to Mask Girl. He sends her a photo of a blond girl dancing in front of a supermarket in Gangcheon. The girl looks nothing like Kim Mo-mi, but Teddy says she could have gotten plastic surgery. He thinks their figures and dance moves are very similar. The only thing giving Teddy pause is her breasts. A self-proclaimed “boob connoisseur,” Teddy says Mask Girl’s chest is famously all-natural (she did go nude that one time after all) while the girl in the photo has implants.
Kyung-ja is unconvinced until her friends convince her to see a fortune teller who also mentions Gangcheon. It’s too much of a coincidence to ignore, so Kyung-ja prepares to travel there.
Kyung-ja visits the supermarket where the photo Teddy sent her was taken, and the employees lead her to an agency that informs her that the girl in the picture, Yu-mi, quit to find a better-paying job. Kyung-ja’s search leads her to a street food vendor where she happens to spot this “Yu-mi,” recognizing her from the photo.
Kyung-ja follows Yu-mi into a nearby nightclub. The owner stops her from going into the dressing rooms but tells her the girl she’s looking for is named “Mi-ae,” so if it is Kim Mo-mi post-surgery, then she’s been changing her name frequently.
Now that she knows where Mi-ae works, Kyung-ja buys a gun and gets employed as a taxi driver. She uses her new job to kidnap Mi-ae from the club one night. After tying her up and taking her to an old abandoned church, Kyung-ja pulls out her gun and threatens to kill Mi-ae for murdering her son.
But Mi-ae denies all of Kyung-ja’s accusations and claims she’s never seen Oh-nam before. Kyung-ja even goes so far as to put a mask on Mi-ae’s face to see if she looks like Mask Girl with it on. Mi-ae says her real name is Kim Chun-ae and she’s not who Kyung-ja thinks she is.
Then Kyung-ja shows Mi-ae a photograph of Mask Girl wearing a necklace with a crescent moon identical to the one Chun-ae is always wearing. When Chun-ae sees the picture, her entire demeanor changes. Instead of sobbing and begging for her life, she starts laughing hysterically and tells Kyung-ja that she might know who that girl is.