‘Brain Works’ Episodes 1 And 2: Recap And Ending – Who Killed Kim Jae Won?

Written by Park Kyung Sun and directed by Lee Jin Seo, “Brain Works” is a mystery comedy that revolves around an eccentric scientist, Dr. Shin Ha Ru, who has risen to become a top neuroscientist in Korea at a young age. He is known to have an extraordinary brain. He meets detective Geum Myung Se, an altruistic cop, and his life changes overnight. The chaotic scientist and the pushover detective bring a comic touch to the complex scientific cases that the two work on in the newly founded scientific investigation department of the police.

Spoilers Ahead


Why Does Ha Ru Get Dismissed From Work?

Artist Kim Jae Won collapses on stage while performing with his band, and his personal physician declares him dead. Jae Won’s wife, who was backstage with some kind of remote control in her hands, cries next to Jae Won, saying that she killed him. Detective Myung Se, who is having leisure time drinking alone, gets continuous calls from his ex-wife and has to go to her place to protect her from a man she slept with. Myung Se has a daughter with his ex-wife, but they got divorced because his wife, Mo Ran, is particularly hypersexual. Myung Se doesn’t seem to get to relax today as he gets a call from captain Seol to come to the station right away. The scientific investigation department has not been completely set up yet, and they get the case of Kim Jae Won, which is already the talk of the town.

Myung Se thinks that they will be in trouble if they cannot solve this case, so he tells captain Seol not to take it. Captain Seol is extremely smart but has an anxious personality. She cannot take a stand against her boss for not taking the case; instead, she lets him scold her when Myung Se was the one who suggested not taking the case. As they began investigating, Kim Jae Won’s wife, Jung In Young, revealed to them that Jae Won had Parkinson’s disease and had deep brain stimulation surgery that inserted electrodes in his brain. However, it was not enough for him, so he illegally bought a frequency bracelet to stimulate his brain more. He was a guitarist and couldn’t afford to let his hand shiver while playing. However, the frequency bracelet overheated and broke the electrodes in his brain, causing a brain hemorrhage. Jae Won had told his wife to increase the frequency, but she blames herself for his death because she thinks that she made a mistake by doing what he told her to.

To prove that the frequency bracelet killed Jae Won, the detectives need evidence, which can only be obtained through simulation. Captain Seol thinks that “Brain Hub” is the best lab in the country for neuroscientific experiments, but she is not sure if Shin Ha Ru will help them as he is known to be extremely eccentric. Myung Se takes the chance and calls Ha Ru’s assistant when Ha Ru is on his way to meet a prisoner. Ha Ru sees Jae Won’s video and agrees to help. However, he has already concluded that In Young is not the murderer. Ha Ru tells his assistant that he is going to meet his treasure and proceeds to meet a serial killer on death row. Ha Ru has made a deal with the prisoner, Kang Sung Ha, that he will get to murder one more person before dying in exchange for his consent to donate his brain to him. Ha Ru’s insane deal makes us wonder who is the bigger psychopath—the serial killer or Ha Ru. However, soon enough, Ha Ru shows that he is totally sane and also incredibly sly. He gets the consent form signed by Kang Sung Ha and tears the written permission that allowed Kang to kill. It wasn’t real anyway, and Ha Ru had bribed the police guard to let him put on a show.

Kang gets enraged and attacks Ha Ru. Ha Ru manages to defend himself, but Kang eats the consent form. Ha Ru really needs his brain for his research on psychopaths, as Kang passed the psychopathy test with a full score, which is why Ha Run knows that Kang will kill himself soon. Kang is addicted to murdering people, and when he cannot do it in solitary confinement, he hangs himself to death. Ha Ru has forged the consent form because he needs Kang’s brain in any way possible. He wants the brain all to himself, so he takes away Kang’s body and makes Myung Se lie down on the stretcher instead of Kang. Myung Se was just there to talk about Jae Won’s case, but his altruistic nature includes helping others when they ask for it. Myung Se lied down without knowing the reason. Ha Ru removes Kang’s brain in locked cold storage while other scientists knock continuously to make him stop. 

Ha Ru gets what he wants and is not ashamed at all. Moreover, he believes that only his assistant knows about the forged consent form, but that is not the case. When Myung Se lay down on the stretcher, he heard Ha Ru’s assistant talking to himself about the forged form. Myung Se casually talks about it to his reporter friend when he gets drunk, and the next day, an article about a famous scientist illegally removing a criminal’s brain surfaces on the internet. There aren’t many famous neuroscientists in the country, so it becomes obvious that the article is talking about Ha Ru, the most famous neuroscientist. Ha Ru’s assistant tells him that Myung Se could have leaked the news, so Ha Ru goes to tell him that he is going to sue him for defamation. Ha Ru doesn’t think that Brain Hub can afford to lose a scientist like him, so he continues to act recklessly in front of the disciplinary committee.

Ha Ru was confident about himself, but unexpectedly for him, he gets dismissed from Brain Hub. Ha Ru is an orphan, but he has some seniors who look after him like parents. One of them visits Ha Ru at home to check if he’s doing fine, which he surely is. Moreover, he has decided what to do next. He holds a grudge again Geum Myung Se because he turned his life upside down in one day. Ha Ru joins the scientific investigation department of the police as a consultant, but his main purpose is to bother Myung Se as much as he can.


Why Has Ha Ru Joined The Police Department?

Ha Ru has voluntarily offered to join the scientific investigation department, but the chief questions if it will be a good decision as there is already controversy going around him. Ha Ru proves to the chief how much they need him by telling him what he has deduced from the case with just one look at it. The department is new, and the chief needs him. Moreover, Captain Seol also needs him because she needs to show results to her boss, and Ha Ru being a top neuroscientist, is beneficial to her. Myung Se and Ha Ru don’t get along, but they have to work together now. Ha Ru has two main reasons for taking up this job. One, he wants to ruin Myung Se’s career just like he ruined his. Ha Ru had seen Myung Se taking money from a sketchy-looking guy and believed that he was taking bribes. He plans to expose this to the world. Second, he wants to improve his image by solving an ongoing sensational case in the country. 

Ha Ru has officially started working on Jae Won’s case, and he immediately notices what’s wrong with Jae Won’s wife when he sees her getting interrogated. He goes to talk to her and lies that they have met before. In Young acts like she has really met Ha Ru before. Ha Ru diagnoses her with a rare neurological disease, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, in which people believe anything that someone says to them. It is likely that the real killer told In Young that she killed Jae Won. Myung Se doesn’t believe him, so they run a test, and it comes out positive for the syndrome. Even amidst this important revelation, Myung Se and Ha Ru find time to bicker about who is better. 

There are only two people other than In Young who know about Jae Won’s disease: his manager and his personal doctor. First, his manager Oh gets interrogated, and he claims to know anything about In Young’s disease. He gets emotional, saying that In Young and Jae Won were like family to him, and he doesn’t think that In Young would kill Jae Won. He says that he suspects Jae Won’s doctor. Jae Won’s doctor, Kim Hee Ju, was seen telling In Young that she killed her husband, and she is also a neurologist, which makes her a prime suspect. However, she denies knowing about In Young’s disease and makes it clear that she only said that to In Young because she resented her. She denies having a special relationship with Jae Won, but one of her longtime patients laughs after hearing it. As a neurologist himself, Ha Ru understands the meaning behind that laughter. Hee Ju definitely had a romantic relationship with Jae Won, but it seemed to have not worked out.

While returning home, Hee Ju sees her photos with Jae Won and reminisces about the old days, but she throws her phone into the river to erase those memories forever. Manager Oh, who has been tailing her, captures this on video and shows it to the detectives. The detectives believe that she tried to get rid of the evidence, so they rush to her house, only to see her being stabbed by In Young. Thankfully, Hee Ju survives and states that she threw the phone away because she didn’t want her relationship with Jae Won to come to light. If the detectives are to believe Hee Ju and In Young, only manager Oh remains a suspect. The detectives have no lead on him, but as soon as Ha Ru hears Myung Se talking about a spy app, he gets the lead he was looking for. 

Myung Se and Ha Ru meet manager Oh, and Ha Ru uses his tactics to confuse Oh. He asks him questions about his favorite artists and answers all the wrong answers to not be seen as a suspect. Ha Ru shows him another mobile phone that belongs to Oh, which scares Oh a little. However, he answers all the questions confidently. As soon as Myung Se and Ha Ru leave, Oh runs to check if his other mobile phone is in its place or if Ha Ru has really found it. His mobile phone is hidden where it was, and the detectives catch him red-handed. They confiscate his phone and arrest him for Jae Won’s murder. Manager Oh shamelessly says that he did so because Jae Won wanted to die at the peak of his career and not when no one remembers his name. Myung Se gets really upset and says to Oh that if he really cared about Jae Won, he should have comforted him by saying that he will always be by his side even when no one else is.


‘Brain Works’ Episode 2: Ending

Captain Seol has already found the real reason Oh killed Jae Won, so he cannot hide behind any excuse anymore. Oh knew Jae Won was depressed and wanted to die, so he convinced him to die dramatically on stage so that people would remember him. Oh had cloned Jae Won’s phone in case In Young hesitated to kill him. Oh’s computer had a detailed document on how to brand Jae Won’s death as that of an artist who died young. He had planned it by considering all the artists who died young before. If In Young hadn’t said that she was a murderer, his plan could have been successful.

“Brain Works” has started on a powerful note. Ha Ru, the eccentric scientist, knows how to put on an act and is also petty when someone challenges him. Myung Se has been disappointingly transferred from violent crimes to scientific investigation, and Ha Ru outcasts him a lot for this reason. Myung Se thinks he is just a lame father whose career is not moving forward, but he is a better father and detective than he realizes. The comic chemistry between the two of them reminds us of two kids bickering, despite them being two accomplished adults.


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Neha Bhondve
Neha Bhondve
Neha not only loves to write entertainment articles but is also a Korean culture and language enthusiast. In her free time, when she is not exploring the world of entertainment, she likes to explore new people and new places.

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