Signal Episode 5 – The Butterfly Effect

b7.pngWOW!  Just wow.  I can’t tell you in mere words how good this drama is.  Every week they transition seamlessly to new crimes while keeping both timelines (and the timeline changes) logical and understandable. For those of you new to the kdrama world, that might not seem that hard, but those of you who have been around the block when it comes to time travel themed dramas know the truth.  It is as difficult as it is to find a kdrama without a piggyback scene.  In other words, it is darn near impossible to do this well.I say this while throwing some salt over my shoulder, knocking on wood, and arranging a shrine to the kdrama gods since I don’t want to jinx anything.  Especially when we start getting into the part of the drama where The Butterfly Effect begins.


For those of you who are not familiar with the Butterfly Effect reference let me give an example.  Say that someone goes back in time and steps on an ant.  That ant was supposed to bite a kid who was deathly allergic to its bite and dies.  But that ant is dead and cannot bite that kid.  The kid grows up to become president of Korea and taxes the entertainment industry so much that dramas stop being filmed.  Therefore, history is altered at a huge level simply because a person went back in time and killed an ant.  That is what is called the Butterfly Effect.


As we have seen in the previous episodes, Hae Young and Jae Han are stomping on metaphorical ants right and left.  And while both men have an understanding of the consequences they can’t seem to stop changing the past and future with each use of the magical walkie talkie.


Soo Hyun

We get more glimpses into Soo Hyun’s past as a police officer as well as her past with Jae Han.  We also discover that she is still frantically searching for what happened to her coworker? Lover?  Mentor?……….still in the dark over the specifics of their relationship.

However, we do get to witness their first meeting.  Jae Han is in the overnight room resting after 3 days of stakeout when Soo Hyun arrives as the first ever girl in the department.  Everyone interrupts his beauty sleep to stash all the dirty clothes and girly posters so Soo Hyun can store her belongings in the “women’s” overnight room.


Jae Han, in full grump mode, shuffles out still only covered in his blanket and complains that it is not fair to everyone to cater to a girl’s needs.  He then goes back to the overnight room and kicks Soo Hyun out, telling her to learn to not be pampered because of her sex.


It is a bit hard to see our, tough as nails detective so timid and unsure of what she should be doing.  But it is a nice glimpse into her past and makes me wonder, yet again, what her relationship with Jae Han really was.



Facts about the unaltered burglary case

The department is hot on the trail of a burglar who is targeting the higher up’s houses.  So far everyone is coming up with bupkis and the only one to get caught is Jae Han who was using the restroom.  I was amused at the scene of a truckload of cops running through the streets after someone who wasn’t really there.  And it makes me wonder if the reason the thief was not caught is because he is actually one of the police?   Hmmm, food for thought.


Quick Rant

There is never a time that you are too busy that you can’t shower at least once in a three day period.  Why are Korean drama cops so proud that they have worked so hard they had only had time to turn their underwear inside out? You are upholders of the law, not hobos.  I can guarantee that there are 5 minutes where you can, at least, jump in and out of a shower, washing the necessary places.


Now that I have got that off my chest, let’s talk about the case.  Four houses have been burgled and the chief is positive it is an experienced thief.  Jae Han pauses over one of the mug shots and it causes him to go visit an ex-thief informant.  The two men seem to be on good terms, even though Jae Han is slightly suspicious of his friends involvement with the burglaries.  They stop bickering when the ex-thief’s daughter shows up.  She calls Jae Han “uncle” so he is obviously a fixture in their lives.

The daughter suspects why Jae Han is there but tells him that the burglar is obviously a newbie. Someone in the know wouldn’t hit such high profile houses.  Not to mention none of the items have been found on the black market.


Hello Butterfly (aka Magical Walkie Talkies)

In the original timeline, the burglaries remain unsolved and the case goes cold after the 4th and final break-in.  Jae Han is incensed when he hears the news from Hae Young and demands some profiling tips in order to catch the culprit. (QUICK NOTE – The year for Jae Han is now 1995.  Meaning six years had passed since his last walkie talkie moment with Hae Young.  For Hae Young the time has only been a week.)


Hae Young is actually hesitant because he is worried about what this will change in history.  He even tells Jae Han that people died that weren’t supposed to die, but, in the end, delivers some tips.  Look for fingerprints on the mailboxes, garbage cans, and other spots on the perimeter since the thief probably cased the joint.  Surely such simple suggestions won’t change things too drastically right?


Wrong.  The fingerprint tip brought up the prints of Jae Han’s thief friend and he was forced to arrest him while the man’s daughter cried and protested.  She eventually gets on the bus for home and Jae Han drives a bit behind with his friend handcuffed in the car.  Out of nowhere a portion of the bridge collapses, including the bus that the daughter was in.  She dies in the explosion and history changes yet again.


Needless to say, the thief blames Jae Han for his daughter’s death and Jae Han is understandably devastated. Am I the only one concerned for poor Jae Han who seems to lose everyone near to him because of the walkie talkie?


Soo Hyun is suspicious

I love that Soo Hyun realizes that something is suspicious with Hae Young.  All of the cases that the team has “solved” were directly due to Hae Young discovering clues out of thin air.  Not to mention he seems to glean on the most random things.  Specifically the 1995 burglaries that had already been solved.  It just makes no sense that Hae Young suddenly feels that the thief was not the real culprit.   I also wonder if she realizes that all the cases they are looking into have a direct connection to Jae Han?  All I know is that I can’t wait til one of the two detectives says Jae Han’s name out loud.  I suspect there will be some serious chatting going on when that happens.b18


Hae Young steps on some toes

I love Hae Young.  He just says it like it is and damn the consequences.  I also love that he is not going to let the mystery of Jae Han’s disappearance in 2000 go unanswered.  He starts looking into the case and only finds an obvious police cover-up.  Hae Young also manages to get on the radar of the police commissionaire and the chief.  The two men who are covering up something (possibly Jae Han’s death) and most likely, other illegal things.


The chief even goes so far as to look into Hae Young’s background, trying to find the connection between them.  He is stumped since Hae Young would have only been 10 when Jae Han disappears.  The Chief does uncover that Hae Young was at the police station when Jae Han’s belongings had been disposed of.  He sees CCTV footage of Hae Young digging through the garbage and finding the walkie talkie.  Although what a broken walkie talkie could say about his murder is unknown.



A kidnapping

Still in the dark over the specifics events of 1995 (all he knows is that someone was arrested for the burglaries), Hae Young is impatient to reconnect with Jae Han.  But before that special 11:23 time arrives a young woman is kidnapped.  Surprisingly it is by someone the police know.  The perp is none other than the thief who had been arrested in 1995.  The thief who specifically allowed himself to be filmed on CCTV and left a very clear fingerprint on the bathroom mirror.


Hae Young knows that something is wrong and tries to get some of the other police to listen.  They ignore him, and the chief actually punches him for interrupting and not acting like a team player.  Even Soo Hyun accuses Hae Young of not being a good cop and only thinking of himself.  If he can’t deal with cases not being solved then he needs to quit.  Also, if the girl dies in the kidnapping case because he couldn’t get others to listen to him, then it is Hae Young’s fault.


OK, sure I see where you are coming from Soo Hyun.  But in his defense, the stupid higher ups are as dirty as a garbage heap and Hae Young is being punished because they are worried he will uncover their illegal deeds.  I am pretty sure that Hae Young’s only fault is being blunt and it is not his fault that others are corrupt and those that are not, continue to support a corrupt system.



Through his investigation, Hae Young & Soo Hyun are able to determine that the thief has kidnapped one of the survivors of the bridge collapse.  Hae Young is positive that he and Jae Han made some kind of mistake in the past that has resulted in this situation.  A theory that is supported upon learning of the thief daughter’s death.  And their actions have resulted in the kidnapping in the present.


When he tries to contact Jae Han via walkie talkie, Hae Young tries to tell him about the kidnapping, but I am not sure the message gets through.  Jae Han is currently crying in his car over the girl’s death.  And all he can say to Hae Young is that they made a mistake.

My Thoughts:

b6.pngUGH!!!!  I am so excited to watch episode 6 and find out what comes next.  I am also interested to know if the convicted thief is not the real burglar, then who was?  Since on both timelines the robberies stopped after the 4th house.  Also, was the bridge collapse part of the original timeline as well?  For some reason I think it is significant that this was added to the headlines (which changed) as well.  So many questions and I am sure I will get answers if I go watch episode 6.  So I am going to sign off and go watch ASAP because I need to satisfy this intense Signal craving.

Til Next Time,




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