Life on Mars Episode 4 Recap

The further we get into this drama I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think that is what is holding my attention so far, the mix of emotions this drama makes me feel. One minute I’m on the edge of my seat wondering if all of this is real or a dream, and the next I’m laughing hysterically at the antics of the 1988 cops.

The Way Back Home

We open with Tae Joo looking for an address, not just any address, but his old home address when he was a kid. All he finds is a stranger. He picks up the payphone to call home, but the number is disconnected. As he turns away, the phone rings and he hears the doctor and nurse in the real world talking about his diagnosis, he’s got nerve damage in his brain and his seizures may be from bad memories.  Then we flash to him running down the tracks as a kid. Did anyone else notice that the shirt he’s wearing in his family photo as a kid is the same shirt he’s wearing as he’s running down the tracks?

Crime of the week

We have a dead body. It appears that a local village chief has been poisoned and all fingers point to a simple-minded woman who supposedly owed him money. Tae Joo watches in frustration as the suspect is talked through all of the steps of the murder, but she keeps messing up the reenactment.  Even though she’s confessed, she doesn’t seem really capable of the murder.

Bathhouse shenanigans

After the suspect, Tae Joo, and Dong Cheol are doused with some kind of foul water by an irate family member of the victim, a bath is in order.  We get our comic relief as Dong Cheol splashes around like a kid, including creating fart bubbles in the water. Meanwhile, Tae Joo quickly rinses off and walks away.  To top it all off we have Dong Cheol using a hairdryer to dry his manly bits. While this made me laugh, I’d rather have had a shower scene…

The red scarf

The red scarf found at the scene belongs to the suspect’s 7-year-old daughter. A child who is afraid of Dong Cheol and seems very skittish around men. When the coroner finds little teeth marks on the victim’s arm, we can all connect the dots. The village chief was not a good person.

Officer Yoon is my hero

Officer Yoon is the hardest working member of the team. Not only is she pretty and has a lovely soothing voice, but she is so smart. She’s got that notebook filled with analysis and she really thinks about what kind of possible connections there are with each case. She also inspires trust in Young Joo, who confides the truth about what really happened. It’s also Officer Yoon who understands who the real killer is before anyone else makes the connection.

Greed is the real killer.

As the team searches for the victim’s adult daughter,  they discover a dead body in a wardrobe at her address. Apparently, the daughter killed off her husband and her father for insurance policies. She’s also slowly poisoning her mother, so nothing will stand in her way of collecting the insurance money. Ugh. Here I thought she was defending the little girl, but no, it’s all about greed.

Face to Face

Tae Joo is gradually adjusting to life in 1988 and seems more comfortable. As he walks into the police station he witnesses a catfight as two women go at each other over cosmetics. He recognizes one of the women, it’s his aunt! Walking outside he sees himself as a child running past. He watches as he runs into a beauty parlor.  Then we see his younger version running down the tracks again and we get more information on why he’s running. Young Tae Joo witnessed the Manicure Killer at work. It looks like the reason he is in 1988 is to find his own memories of what happened and use that to help solve the Manicure Killer case.

My Thoughts

This drama is all about give and take. They give us little hints of what is happening, but it’s not always what we think is going on. I had already figured out that something was up with the victim’s daughter, but I never guessed it was greed. So this makes me wonder if some of the Manicure Killer information is misdirection. Is there something we are looking at that we aren’t seeing for what it really is?  I find it really interesting that his aunt sells cosmetics and little Tae Joo is going in and out of a beauty parlor. This drama keeps weaving its web of mystery, but who is the spider?

Til the next murder,


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi


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