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1. Korean Dramas

Café Minamdang Episode 5 Recap (2022 Korean Drama)

**This recap of Café Minamdang Episode 5 contains spoilers**

Trigger Warning: Topics of suicide, murder, rape are a ongoing theme of this show. Please look after yourselves.

In no time the area surrounding the manhole leading to the corpse in the sewer system swarms with crime technicians and police. Curious onlookers have gathered but kept at bay by the officers.

Jae-Hui fills Detective Jang in on the past cases involving Choi Yeong-Seop and how wrapping the victims in burial cloth matches his MO (modus operandi).

Han-Joon and Su-Cheol are observing the whole thing from a nearby balcony, trying to stay under the radar. A men wearing all black including a black hat and mask stands out among the onlookers.

Han-Joon heads down and past the detectives when Detective Jang stops him. Despite Jae-Hui’s obvious disapproval, he hands Han-Joon a card with the instruction to contact him if he finds out anything.

Café Minamdang Episode 5


Jae-Hui reassures the two young brothers and sends them off in a police car to a safe location. Afterwards she notices Han-Joon inside the car of Ms. Kim. He is removing the vehicle’s dash cam while on the phone with someone.

Han-Joon is in fact talking to Hye-Joon who is already analyzing the footage. She informs him of a suspicious black van passing by every 10 minutes earlier. Running the license plate reveals a the van was recently reported stolen.

Jae-Hui demands Han-Joon return the dash cam to her which he does after a unsuccessful attempt to deny taking it. She goes on to remind him of the legal consequences for hiding and/or stealing evidence. Knowing the gig is up, Han-Joon finally hands over the actual dash cam. He couldn’t fool Jae-Hui with the fake one he handed her earlier.

Su-Cheol reports spotting a suspicious individual among the onlookers. Han-Joon hurriedly heads in his direction. Together the two men start following the suspect clad in all black, including baseball cap and mask. Hye-Joon tries to get a clear visual on the suspects face using the surveillance systems on surrounding buildings.

Cafe Minamdang Episode 5

Jae-Hui’s IT team is also looking at recent surveillance footage in the area, coming across the same suspicious black van that comes back as reported stolen. Linking the delivery vehicle to the ID of it’s most recent driver, they are able to track that individual’s phone. Detective Na reports to Jae-Hui that the phone’s ping location is currently placing it in the area of the crime scene. They won’t be able to pinpoint the exact location of the phone unless the suspect uses it to make a call.

Café Minamdang Episode 5


Meanwhile Hye-Joon manages to get a visual on the suspects face. She confirms right away to Han-Joon that he is in fact Choi Yeong-Seop. He appears to be talking to someone on his phone. Han-Joon and Su-Cheol continue to carefully follow Choi who keeps walking while talking on his phone. They are convinced that he is just the fall guy but will lead them to the real culprit.

Hearing police sirens coming closer, they make a call to Detective Jang. Jang confirms they have narrowed down Choi’s exact location and are closing in on him.

Han-Joon desperately tries to convince them to stand back. He reveals his theory of Choi being used by the actual culprit behind the crime. Jae-Hui however refuses to listen to his request.

Choi, becoming aware the police is on to him starts running away. Jang and Jae-Hui leave behind their car and join Han-Joon and Su-Cheol who are chasing the suspect on foot. When Choi crosses a street, a black van runs him over right in front of their eyes.

The driver of the van, dressed in all black wearing a baseball cap and a mask, then drives off into the night. While Jae-Hui and Jang call the ambulance and updates their team, for a brief moment neither pays attention to the Han-Joon. He uses this opportunity to secretly take Choi’s phone. The emergency crew soon take a badly injured Choi to the hospital.

Café Minamdang Episode 5


While waiting in front of the hospital emergency room, Jae-Hui calls Prosecutor Cha. She tells him that she finally caught Choi, her brother’s killer. She also mentioned the driver of the black van, voicing her worries that he may be an accomplice. Even though she assures him that she is fine, Cha is concerned and decides to go and keep her company.

Together they continue waiting for updates, passing the time with discussion about the case. Jae-Hui mentions the fact that Choi’s phone was not on his person and ventures he must have secretly dropped it somewhere. Noticing Su-Cheol sneaking around nearby, her and Cha follow him without him noticing.

As she suspected, Su-Cheol leads them to Han-Joon, partially concealed under some stairs in another part of the hospital. He has actually been trying to access Choi’s password protected phone but is able to hide it before Jae-Hui sees him having the phone.

Jae-Hui insists he leave the investigation to her and go home. Han-Joon counters that if it wasn’t for her catching Choi, he would have led them to the real culprit. She is to blame that they don’t have the actual killer in their hands.

Su-Cheol and Detective Jang look on as the two continue their back and forth. The argument reaches a breaking point when Han-Joon not only admits to letting Choi get away, but that he has no regrets doing so. This earns him a punch from Jae-Hui that sends him to the floor.

Overly dramatizing how hurt he is, he remains lying down with Su-Cheol by his side. A call from Hye-Joon reporting she has located the black van instantly cures him. Secretly sharing the news with Su-Cheol, the two hastily leave the hospital.

Café Minamdang Episode 5


After their departure Jang questions Jae-Hui’s actions coming to Han-Joon’s defense. He voices his opinion that he does have a valid point regarding the entire matter.

On the way to the van’s location, Hye-Joon startles the two men by freaking out over their communication device. The Nam siblings mother, deaconess Kim, just announced a visit to them and will arrive in 30 minutes.

Forcing the two to return home immediately, Hye-Joon instead sends Na-Dan over to the van’s location to take a look.

Cafe Minamdang Episode 5

Han-Joon is less than pleased about this turn of events but they have no choice. In a race against time him and Su-Cheol manage to arrive at the front of Café Minamdang a mere second before his mother. However, the long line of clients in front of the Café and two of his Mom’s friends appearing just then force Ham-Joon to admit the truth. Café Minamdang also serves as place of business to a famous shaman.

In a last ditch effort to save himself, Han-Joon announces to his mother that unfortunately Su-Cheol has become a shaman. This is the only way to believably explain to his mother why him and his sister would allow a shaman to work in their building. Poor Su-Cheol has to go along with the scheme.

After inviting all three ladies into the shaman’s room, the ruse continues. With Hye-Joon feeding them the appropriate info, Su-Cheol and Han-Joon succeed in putting on a convincing show.

Café Minamdang Episode 5


Meanwhile Na-Dan arrives at the van’s location, with no sign of the driver or the keys and the dash cam missing. Trash litters the seats and floors of the vehicle. Rushing to leave before police arrive at the site, Na-Dan hurriedly grabs a bag of trash and drives off on his scooter.

When detectives arrive, they find small spots of blood in the back of the van and send it for a test. They also collect any other DNA samples from inside the vehicle. Jae-Hui stays updated as she is still at the hospital waiting for Choi to regain consciousness.


At Café Minamdang mother Kim and her friends are finally taking their leave, much to the relief of its three residents. Su-Cheol especially feels exhausted and sad after acting out his part of a shaman possessed by a young child, which caused him much embarrassment. Before departing, Deaconess Kim encourages him to fight and free himself from the child’s spirit.

Na-Dan has returned, bag of trash from the van in hand. All four start looking through its contents, while occasionally poking fun at Su-Cheol. They find a Red Cross receipt with an address on it, thought to be Choi’s. While they will look into it, Han-Joon reminds his team that the van’s contents could have purposefully placed there to further cast suspicion on Choi.

Café Minamdang Episode 5


Jae-Hui and the team receive news that the blood inside the van belongs to the victim found in the sewer. Any and all otehr DNA found matches Choi Yeong-Seob. It seems the accomplice purposefully made sure to not leave any of his DNA behind. The burial shroud wrapped around the victim contained blood and dye residue. They have yet to identify the young woman.

Considering the updated information, Detective Jang can’t help but venture that perhaps Han-Joon’s was right about Choi being framed.

Jae-Hui then leaves to accompany Prosecutor Cha who calls to say that he has obtained Choi’s address.

Han-Joon and Su-Cheol enter Choi’s house, making sure to wear protective slippers over their shoes. Looking around they spot numerous items suggesting a link between the owner of the residence and the murder victim. Han-Joon ignores these as he suspects them to be false evidence planted by Goburi.

Hye-Joon informs them that Choi has woken up, and to warn them that police is approaching their location. A panicked Su-Cheol drags Han-Joon out of the house at the last minute before Cha and Jae-Hui arrive. Han-Joon manages to grab an old picture of Choi with his wife and daughter taped to the underside of the cabinet right above the owner’s bed. Guessing the importance of this image to Choi based on its placement. He confirms this guess when through a message on the back of this picture he figures out the password to Choi’s phone.

Café Minamdang Episode 5


Once Jae-Hui and Cha discover the items in Choi’s room, he still looks guilty to her but to a lesser degree. Part of her starts agreeing that he may not be the main culprit in the recent murder. However, she is still far from agreeing with Han-Joon’s theory that someone framed Choi.

Looking into Choi’s recent whereabouts, Han-Joon’s team confirms he only returned to Seoul on the day the victim’s body was discovered. They keep trying to identify the person he last spoke to on the phone. But the other side used a burner phone which is untraceable.


Han-Joon decides to speak with Choi directly, who is being closely guarded by detectives at the hospital. After Su-Cheol creates a distraction to lure Detective Na away, Han-Joon manages to convince Jang to let him see the patient. He asks to do this as Shaman.

The team discovered that Choi’s daughter became a rape victim to someone named Do Jun-Ah. The prosecution subsequently failed to convict him of the crime. Han Jae-Jeong was the prosecutor in charge of the case and devastated by the outcome. The day after the announcement of the “not guilty” verdict, the daughter committed suicide. It did not remain a secret that Choi felt enraged at everyone involved. Choi was later found next to the dead body of Do Jun-Ah but was also not convicted. Shortly after Han Jae-Jeong died at the hands of a unidentified killer and Choi became the main suspect.

Han-Joon uses this information after Choi refuses to tell the truth. He tells Choi that his daughter’s ghost appeared before him insisting that her dad was innocent and being framed.

Choi believes Shaman Nam’s words and admits to searching for Do Jun-Ah with the intention of avenging his daughter. The plan was to then take his own life afterwards. Someone offered to instead get rid of Do for him, but he never saw the face of this person.

Han-Joon tries to find out who killed Prosecutor Han and the young woman in the sewer, but Choi does not answer. The shaman’s incessant questioning starts to affect his vitals as well, since he is still recuperating.

Café Minamdang Episode 5


Arriving with Cha outside the hospital and seeing Su-Cheol talk to Detective Na, Jae-Hui instantly knows that Han-Joon must be inside. She rushes to prevent Su-Cheol from entering the hospital before her and questions him about Han-Joon’s whereabouts.

Jae-Hui walks into Choi’s room and drags a furious Han-Joon out of there. In the chaos of the moment, Su-Cheol manages to place a small surveillance device pointed at the patients bed inside the room. Medical staff then ushers him out of the room as they look after the patient.

Meanwhile, an angry Jae-Hui drags Han-Joon up to the rooftop. A brief but heated exchange about whether or not Choi is guilty ensues. Han-Joon then reveals that the reason he is so sure that Choi is not the real culprit is because he has seen the actual killer.

Cafe Minamdang Episode 5


An individual dressed in black with a scar on his wrist is wrapping the young woman later found in the sewer in burial shroud. He is then shown attacking Superintendent Lim, as well as placing the damming evidence inside Choi’s house. The final frame shows him putting on what appears to be formal attire [button up shirt].

Café Minamdang Episode 5 – END

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