Life on Mars Episode 7 Recap

Life on Mars really is an apt title for this show.  The whole alternate reality concept is really working for me, especially as all the reasons for Tae Joo to be in 1988 start adding up.  This week Kmuse and I are flip-flopping our recaps so I’ll be recapping episode 7 and she will do episode 8.  Prepare for an episode that will shock you to your core.

Who doesn’t have a crush on Officer Yoon?

Awww, episode 7 opens up with a group dinner and our rookie confessing that he likes Officer Yoon.  We all know she’s meant for Tae Joo right? I like Rookie, but I really want a miracle to happen and Tae Joo and Officer Yoon (she deserves all my respect, so I’m going to keep calling her Officer Yoon even though they are now calling her by her name, Na Young). As they leave, Officer Yoon and Tae Joo see the outline of a couple against a window in the building across the street. It appears to be a couple in an embrace.

Don’t answer the phone!

Ugh, I’m hating it every time the phone rings on this show. This time it’s Tae Joo’s Mom. The doctors want to pull the ventilator and she has until 2:00 to make a decision.  Poor Mom, you can feel her pain just from listening to her voice. Tae Joo is suitably shocked, but he has work to do. This man was truly meant to be a detective.

Hostages and hard places

Tae Joo doesn’t have much time to dwell on things because they get a call that there is a hostage situation, so off the team goes to save the day.  Three deadly prisoners have escaped from jail and are holding a woman and child hostage. The media is a huge issue, they are broadcasting everything the police are doing on television and tying up the phone lines trying to get the criminals to do an interview. Tae Joo cuts the lines and calls in a wildcard, one of the criminal’s mother.

No good deed goes undone.

Even though our team clearly has this under control, enter the SWAT team. Ugh. I hate the smarmy head guy so much. He could care less about what is going on, he’s there to make a very public example of how the government is going to crack down on crime. Even when he is told Officer Yoon is inside posing as a nurse, this idiot announces to the criminals that she’s a cop!! While confusion reigns, Tae Joo and Dong Cheol sneak into the apartment to save the day. And promptly get caught.

As usual, nothing is what it seems.

Wait a minute. These guys are just regular guys, not hard-nosed criminals. They aren’t rapists and killers, but embezzlers and petty thieves. We flash to a case on the news where a rich person is getting an “unfair” deal of 7 years in prison, while these guys are serving twice that for committing lesser crimes. Even the hostages say they are nice guys.  They are poor men who are paying the price for not being able to afford bribes for judges and attorneys. They just want someone to listen to them.

Only the rich are innocent.

SWAT is overzealous and storming the apartment. One of the criminals, who was already injured, says that they don’t stand a chance, and he puts a gun to his head. our team and the other criminals stare in shock. The team tries to talk to the other two, offering to help them with lawyers and telling them there is still a chance for someone to hear the real story. Sadly, another one of the men dissolves into hopelessness and even though Dong Cheol tries to stop him, he slits his throat. The ringleader is the only one left…

2:00 and all is not well.

The clock strikes 2, and the ringleader has Officer Yoon held captive and a gun pointed at Tae Joo. He tells the ringleader “shoot me”.  At the same time the gun goes off, we see SWAT break in and everything goes white. We flash to the ventilator being taken off of coma Tae Joo. Then, 1988 Tae Joo wakes up to Officer Yoon’s face and we hear his Mom telling the doctor she saw him smile and she won’t pull the plug. Tae Joo made it through, but none of the so-called vicious criminals did. They never stood a chance. Dong Cheol has been shot and is an ambulance with a sheet over him. Tae Joo mistakenly thinks Dong Cheol has died protecting him, but no, Dong Cheol is just taking a nap.

A date with destiny.

Rookie asks Officer Yoon if she has plans and she says yes, she’s going to a movie. She leaves and we see Tae Joo looking at the ticket she gave him last episode. A call comes in and they have a dead body, apparently, the couple we saw at the beginning of the episode were not embracing, but it was the Manicure Killer and his latest victim. Even worse, the victim is the woman who was with Tae Joo’s Dad in the bathroom when he was arrested. Dad keeps getting shadier and shadier. We flashback to little Tae Joo seeing a woman in a white dress flopping on a table and Dad staring through the hole.

My thoughts

Ok, I am emotionally drained after this episode.  It was such a travesty of justice to discover that those men were not a threat to society. Yes, they committed crimes and needed to pay for them, but this is a really good example of the corruption in Korea at that time. We all know that money and connections can still buy you almost anything today too. Watching the previews I’m feeling sick to my stomach. Does anyone else worry that it’s Officer Yoon in the white dress laying on the table? I’m still conflicted about Dad. It’s becoming more an more obvious that Dad is very much a part of what is happening, either he’s the killer or he knows who is the killer.

Until the next murder,


Dramas With a Side of Kimchi

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