In my best announcer voice: Ok sports, I mean drama fans, we were left with a major cliffhanger and introduced to Tae Joo’s Dad in the last episode. As usual, I feel like I’m going deeper and deeper down the rabbit trail as we discover the differences between Tae Joo’s memories and the reality of what was happening in 1988. So my burning question is this, what’s up with Tae Joo’s Dad?
Tae Joo’s Dad is living a lie
Dad isn’t in Saudi Arabia, he’s really hustling in a bar and living a questionable life. Dad is actually pretty pathetic. Not only is he working in a bar, but he’s living in a back room that could barely be called a room at all. He even starts gathering bar food to take home as gifts so he doesn’t go home empty-handed, but Tae Joo draws the line at that and buys an actual fruit basket for him. He gets bonus points for asking to stop off at the sauna and take a bath before he goes home. At least he knows to wash the sleaze off before going home.
So apparently when Dad left, he sold the house without anyone knowing and took the money. Dad is sketchy, really sketchy. His sister meets him at the front door and immediately starts smacking him for leaving like he did. I’m not sure I would have let him in the door.
Little Tae Joo is freaking adorable
As Tae Joo is leaving, he is chased after by his younger self. They sit outside the store talking about how little Tae Joo wants to be a detective and Tae Joo shows off his I.D. and handcuffs. Little Tae Joo thinks the sun and the moon hung on his Dad, and even says “My Dad is the coolest person in the world”. Meanwhile, Tae Joo is seeing his Dad with new eyes as the truth unravels.
So I have to talk about how Officer Yoon meets Tae Joo at the corner hangout. When she sits down, she asks if he met his Dad. What?! Oh, she’s teasing him about having the same name as the son. I almost thought she had figured it out, trust me, I think she will be the first one to know. Instead, this causes Tae Joo to open up about how he always thought his dad had magic pockets and he only remembers the good things. She gently reminds him that dads don’t like to show their bad sides. I had a fangirl moment when she asks for a drink and he poured her one in his glass. Can we say indirect kiss? As they trade the glass back and forth, I’m really, really hoping that there is a way they can be together.
Tickets to die for
This week’s crime is a dead body found in an alley. The victim is a divorced alcoholic who had a record. We have a couple of clues, a watch (the victim’s?) and a pair of baseball tickets. Officer Yoon discovers the tickets aren’t even on sale yet, so we now have a major clue. The dead man was a scalper, someone who buys tickets to resell at a higher price. Officer Yoon gets volunteered to go to the dead man’s home and tell his family about his death. Of course, Tae Joo goes with her and he sympathizes with the dead man’s young son. He discovers that the watch isn’t the victim’s it’s the watch of the murderer.
No money for a call girl
In order to flush out who the murderer is, the team coerces another scalper to set up a meeting with a high-level official who is helping supply the scalpers. He has a stipulation, they need to have a woman with them. In walks Officer Yoon in a sparkly dress with killer hair and makeup, and smacking gum for all she’s worth. As Tae Joo leaves the room to find out why she is there, Dong Cheol says they didn’t have money to hire a call girl. There is a scream and the guys bust back into the room to witness Officer Yoon getting slapped. Dong Cheol stops Tae Joo from rushing to help and Officer Yoon flips the guy and punches him. She gets to make the arrest. It’s nice to see that they are recognizing her ability to handle herself. It’s also interesting to see how Tae Joo’s modern sensibilities about sexual harassment do not jive at all with the rest of the team. They literally see nothing wrong with catcalling their fellow coworker. Ugh.
Let’s Play Ball!
They stake out the baseball game to find the murderer. He pulls up just as the regular tickets sell out. He figures out that he is being observed, and ladies and gentlemen, we have a runner! He takes off with Tae Joo hot on his heels. He grabs a bike and proceeds to speed away. Dong Cheol pulls up in the car and they quickly overtake the huffing and puffing bad guy. Hilarity ensues as a spitting contest erupts between the bad guy and Dong Cheol. Dong Cheol wins when he spits Coca-Cola out and causes the guy to be blinded and wreck his bike. We can always count on Dong Cheol for some comic relief.
Who’s a winner?
Tae Joo spoiled the score information earlier in the episode for the big game between Samsung and Haitai. Even though he said Haitai would win, everyone still bet on Samsung. Everyone but Dong Cheol who said sometimes the newbie was right. Tae Joo spots his Dad and his younger self at the game and we see Dad in all his glory. Determined to get a ball autographed for his son, he chases down the bus and returns triumphant!
Superman or the villain?
As Dad hands over the ball, it drops and rolls to Tae Joo’s feet. He picks it up and suddenly we have a flashback to little Tae Joo running on the tracks. He’s looking in the hole at what we all assume is a murder scene when suddenly a face appears. Not just any face, it’s Tae Joo’s Dad! I have so many questions! Is Dad the murderer? Or is Dad just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Dad has blood on his face, is it his or the victim’s?
First, Poor Tae Joo! It’s obvious that he is in 1988 (whether this is a coma dream or he’s really time traveled) because he’s directly related to the crime. Second, earlier we hear the nurse over the CB radio telling him that they know he’s still in there, but his brain activity is dropping. How long can he hold on? If he dies in the future, will he still be alive in the past? Lastly, Officer Yoon obviously is developing feelings for him, and who could blame her? He’s handsome, courteous, and treats her as a professional and not a waitress. Also, I really hope there is some kind of misunderstanding and Dad is a bumbling fool but not a murderer. My brain keeps coming up with more theories and questions, but I’ll stop there for tonight.
Til the next murder,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi