We are finally getting to the reason why Tae Joo is in 1988. The connection is deeper than his Dad’s death, it all connects back to present day, and the elusive Kim Min Seok. Now it’s time to search for the true killer, someone who seems to stay one step ahead of our gang of crime fighters.
I remember you…
We start off with flashbacks to the present day and Tae Joo and Kim Min Seok staring each other down. Kim Min Seok taunts Tae Joo with the words “I remember you”. We also witness his finger sucking again which is even more disturbing the second time around. That is both disturbing and really physically revolting. The connection between Kim Min Seok and Tae Joo is that they were friends as kids, Tae Joo even looked out for him. How did such a cute little boy become the Manicure Killer?
Voices of doom
Of course, it wouldn’t be Life on Mars if we didn’t have Tae Joo start hearing voices, except now it’s not just the hospital setting. We have Kim Min Seok flashing like Max Hedroom on the screen. He’s taunting Tae Joo about Seo Hyun, and we all remember that Tae Joo needs to get back to the present to save Seo Hyun. Tae Joo starts having one of his seizures and hearing the hospital noises again. The doctors are saying he’s got brain damage and may never recover. Even more disorienting is a young man witnesses Tae Joo’s manic moment and confesses he hears it too and that he’s from 2018. His story is explained away by saying he’s escaped from the psych ward.
Crime of the Week
The gang is called out when a body is discovered in a remote area. A woman’s body is in some kind of underground box and she’s been there for a while. As they investigate they discover that she’s been beaten badly and she’s missing her accessories, namely a pair of pearl earrings she wore all the time. Upon finding the woman’s purse, they go to her home and discover that she’s a loan shark and… wait for it… Kim Min Seok’s mom! There is no sign of little Kim Min Seok or her husband.
An eye for an eye
The husband reveals that Kim Min Seok was an adopted child and they only adopted him to get an apartment. Adopted dad is a real winner, he has no clue where the child is but wants to know if he can still get priority on an apartment. Officer Yoon and Tae Joo investigate Kim Min Seok’s school and discover that he was absent a lot and seemed like a “repressed child”. They look at the little boy’s medical records and discover that he’s had several injuries that point to child abuse, Officer Yoon picked up on that immediately, but apparently, the hospital did not. As a matter of fact, he’s had a broken leg, ribs, and other injuries. Injuries that are almost identical to that of our victim, his abusive adopted mom. All signs point to a revenge killing and not a crime for money.
Just say no to drugs
Officer Yoon (it’s always Officer Yoon who sees the connection) notices that something isn’t quite right about the pictures and the team goes back to check for more clues. She sees something shiny, an earring? nope, it’s a club or union badge. At the club, they recognize a known drug addict in one of the pictures and head to his house to talk to him. They haul him in for interrogation and something goes horribly wrong. During Detective Lee’s interrogation, where of course he applied some persuasive techniques (his fists), the guy has a heart attack and dies! The autopsy determines that it wasn’t a heart attack from being hit, but it was actually from a drug overdose. How did he have a drug overdose in a police station?
A killer among us
Rookie and Detective Lee were gone for a few minutes and in that time someone else came in and overdosed the suspect. How do we know that? Well, Rookie decided to try to be like Tae Joo and he taped the interrogation. We hear a man humming a familiar song in the background. The killer explains that the suspect has to die so that he and Min Seok can live. We hear the killer puff on his inhaler and we know it’s the same guy that killed Tae Joo’s dad. How did the killer get in there? There’s only one way he could do it, he works at the police station. That’s how he’s been able to stay one step ahead this whole time. The gang is left feeling exposed and confused. As Tae Joo stands in the busy hallway, he misses Kim Min Seok running down the stairs behind him and taking the hand of a man who literally just saluted him minutes earlier.
My thoughts are all over the place, to be honest. We had some foreshadowing earlier in the hour when the psych ward escapee looked at a cop and said: “oh it’s you”. Now I’m wondering if the guy was really crazy or if he will play a role later on. He said he was from 2018, was that just crazy talk or is he there to help Tae Joo go back home? Officer Yoon continues to be my girl crush and I need them to find a way to be together. Their slow simmering romance is right up my alley. I also hope that Seo Hyun isn’t dead, but I’m afraid she is. Tae Joo doesn’t need the guilt of losing her to this madman. Even more distressing, will Tae Joo even be able to go back since his body has basically shut down? I’m really conflicted about Detective Lee and his ham-fisted techniques, and it looks like next week he’s going to go through a lot. I love that this drama leaves me on the edge of my seat with all it’s twists and turns!
Until the next murder,
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi