Life on Mars Episode 2 Recap

Life on Mars continues to bring us more questions than answers in episode 2.  As Han Tae Joo struggles to find his bearings in 1988, we also get tiny hints of what is happening on the other side. Let’s talk about how Tae Joo’s adjusting to old-school crime investigation as all of us try to figure out just what is going on here. 

Hi, I am Clkytta, one of the bloggers at Dramas with a Side of Kimchi. I will be bringing you my opinions on some of the episodes.  You may have noticed that Kmuse and I will be teaming up to recap these episodes and she started with Episode 1, while I am starting with episode 2.  A little about me: I’m a full-time mom and a full-time student. I’m on summer break so I am watching all the dramas I can and blogging as much as I can. Our recaps are more about what stood out during the show and less about every little thing that happened. This is my first time recapping a drama, so bear with me as I find my groove.

It’s All Connected

Tae Joo’s first case in 1988 involves a girl who is missing from a coffee shop and when he arrives on the scene he discovers a very familiar scene. The corpse has a fresh manicure. So, the killer is also in 1988, but how? Is the modern killer a copycat or is he some kind of time traveler?

Butting Heads and Cracking Knuckles

Detective work in 1988 is more about intimidation than investigation. No one’s got time for Tae Joo’s fancy forensics until it turns out that he’s seeing what everyone missed.  While Dong Cheol and the other guys are beating the crap out of the first suspect, Tae Joo is actually reading the report on the guy. As it turns out, it’s not possible for him to be the suspect due to the fact that he can’t close his hands. This guy has valuable information though, and it’s funny to see later in the episode how Dong Cheol backtracks and starts being nice.

Officer Yoon to the rescue!

Hot on the trail of the killer, Tae Joon and Dong Cheol sneak up on someone wearing a black hoodie in the alleyway. It’s not the killer, but Officer Yoon out doing some investigating on her own. Our mild-mannered Officer Yoon has been keeping a notebook full of high-quality theories.  She’s looking at things from the psychological point of view and I think she’s brilliant. I can’t wait for the gang to start treating her with the respect she deserves.

The neighborhood watch is better than the Internet

Dong Cheol uses his resources wisely. It’s 1988, so there isn’t Facebook, Google, or the Nextdoor app to keep people informed on what’s what.  By combining investigative styles, Han Tae Joo and  Dong Cheol are able to use information from the neighborhood leaders to find the culprit and save a victim. I loved how it was social hour at the police station as everyone gathered to give the dirt on their neighbors.

Of course, it’s a coma.

Did someone say coma???

Throughout the episode, we have flashes of light and ear-splitting noises. Yup, our guy hasn’t really time traveled, he’s in a coma on the other side. Tae Joo is hearing a voice reaching out to him and we discover it’s the voice of his doctor. Interestingly the doctor also appears in as a  kind of hologram, he looks more like a 1980’s newscaster than a doctor. He has news, important news! He says Seo Hyun is next to him. Is she alive?

The way back home? 

And now friends, it’s time to figure out how to get back to where our hero belongs. This episode ends with Tae Joo standing on a rooftop looking down. Will he jump and end up back in the modern day? Or will something or someone pull him back because he hasn’t done what he needs to in 1988?

My Thoughts

I’m loving how spine-tingling this drama is. Yes, I’m shallow and I’m also enjoying feasting my eyes on hunky Tae Joo (who makes 80’s fashion look really really good), but the storyline has me intrigued. I hope this show holds on to its momentum, right now I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see what Tae Joo’s next step will be.

Til the next murder,


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

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