This is one of those series that, while you’re watching it you suspend a good chunk of disbelief because you enjoy watching some young talent with bright futures — namely Kim Kwon (as Kang Sung-mo) and Park Jin-young (Lee Ahn, the titular ‘psychometric guy’) as the two “brothers by fate” male leads. I should also add Jo Byung-gyu to this short list too (he plays the teenage Kang Sung-mo) because he is pretty darn good too.
There is also some nice work by Kim Da-som as their friend, Eun Ji-soo, and I appreciate the fact that the female lead played by Shin Ye-eun (Yoon Jae-in) is not the hysterical type in spite of some of the circumstances in which she finds herself.
But once all is said and done I felt that the early promise of the story is let down by the “kiddie cops” nature of the latter half of the plot.
In short: Lee Ahn develops psychometry after the traumatic loss of his parents in an apartment fire set to cover a multiple murder, ostensibly involving Kang Sung-mo’s mother as a victim. He cannot touch a person or things people have touched (including dead bodies) without picking up those memories of recent events. (Because this is based on a real thing… hah!) If such a thing were possible you could certainly understand how overwhelming it could be to come in random contact with the millions of stories of those near you as well as passers-by. Kang Sung-mo becomes like a brother to him after the fire, but has to place him in an orphanage while he completes his studies. Eun Ji-soo meets them during Lee Ahn’s time in the orphanage and becomes their friends, developing a massive one-sided crush on Kang Sung-mo. She follows in her dad’s footsteps and becomes a police detective, Kang Sung-mo becomes a prosecutor, and Lee Ahn skates by on life until he meets Yoon Jae-in and feels a connection. Turns out her father was unfairly blamed for the murder and fire and sent to prison for it. During the story, she and Kang Sung-mo independently work to find the real murderer. Lee Ahn is used to tap into the memories of various victims encountered along the way.
Kim Kwon is not the official lead of this story, but in truth he really is because he’s so compelling in his portrayal — he’s got the aloof, guarded, and mysterious thing down pat in his gaze. And he’s so damaged, life has been so hard for him (I’m not revealing the specifics here because to do so would diminish there impact), that his is a character you can empathize with and yes, even applaud his actions even when they go to extremes. The personality traits and how they’re portrayed by both Kim Kwon and Jo Byung-gyu are so in sync that while they don’t look like adult and teen versions of each other they do feel like it.
Park Jin-young also manages to convey the immaturity of a teen and young adult (there is a child actor who plays him as the boy in the story) who does his best to slough off the responsibilities of his “gift” and for a while does so by getting into fights and avoiding school. But once he realizes that his talent can really truly help get to the bottom of the crimes that orphaned him and so harmed the girl he’s fallen for, he tries (not always succeeding) to become more responsible. He’s boyish and enthusiastic and wears his heart on his too long sleeve (to protect those hands) and he’s very appealing.
The weak part of this all is that Yoon Jae-in may be a gifted student and a top-scoring rookie at the police academy, but it’s silly to think that she’d have the capacity to be involved in the crime-solving incidents that happen in the latter part of the plot. It definitely felt like a “kiddie cops” / Scooby-Doo gang shift and there is no way this could happen. But, if you’re going to believe in psychometry you might as well believe in rookie cops heading up investigations too!
All in all, in spite of those weaknesses, there are plenty of moments of genuine emotion and sufficiently compelling acting to make this worth your time. And keep an eye out for our leading men; they’ve got places to go!
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