Life on Mars Episode 11 Recap

How do you find a killer when you suspect he’s one of your own? Everything changes this week as Tae Joo realizes that the killer may be closer than he thought. With our hearts in our throats, let’s talk about episode 11 of Life on Mars.

The blame game

Last week, a suspect died during interrogation, not only that, but he was left alone for 7 minutes when a call for an ambulance should have taken about 2 minutes. What was Detective Lee doing that took so long? He isn’t saying. Our police team lines the hall in silence as the body is carried outside to an ambulance. The police chief immediately starts in on the team and asks how he can trust any report from Dong Cheol (he knows Dong Cheol will protect his people). Dong Cheol is furious, doesn’t his word mean anything? The power play gets heated as Tae Joo steps up and says he will write the report.

The problem lies inside

As Tae Joo begins his investigation, he starts with the people on the team. This does not endear him to anyone and even Officer Yoon has become chilly toward him. The phone rings and we are all expecting it to be a flash to the hospital in modern day as usual, but this phone call is different.  A new voice begins to speak and explain that Tae Joo needs to be careful not to tip off the killer. He says four words that shake everything up, “The problem lies inside”.  Tae Joo needs to know who this person is that is calling him so he asks Officer Yoon for help. She’s so miffed at him that she says she has plans. Can I say how nice it was not to hear that shrill ringing we get when it connects to the hospital? Except, I’m a little nervous that we didn’t get any clues about his condition in the future.

One guy did it all

The phone call weighs on his mind as he works on his report and interviews everyone, Dong Cheol reveals that he’s got a gut feeling about this being someone inside also. While they look at the board, Tae Joo explains that it all ties back to last week’s case and the missing boy, Kim Min Seok. The death of Tae Joo’s dad and the druggie were to protect the identity of the suspect. The only death they can’t explain is the strangled woman, Go Young Suk. Tae Joo says that death is different because it’s more personal. Tae Joo finishes up his report and doesn’t allow anyone to see it as he goes into the police chief’s office.

You did the right thing

The results of Tae Joo’s report are out and Detective Lee is fired and Rookie is on probation. Rookie has had a really hard time with all of this and I’m a little worried about how he’s falling apart. Detective Lee gets angry and attacks Tae Joo in front of everyone. Emotions are high and Dong Cheol and Tae Joo are shouting at each other because now they have no leads and this case will be closed with no suspect. Tae Joo gets files knocked out of his hands in the hallway and a familiar looking man helps him to pick them up. Public Safety Division Officer Lee Soon Ho earnestly looks at him and smiles and tells him not to be discouraged and that he did the right thing. We realize that Lee Soon Ho is our bad guy and that he’s been in the background this whole time!

Sometimes a guy just needs to be with his mom

Tae Joo needs some comfort so he goes to the beauty parlor and starts cleaning all the graffiti off the walls.  Mom comes out with a basin of water and a rag because she had the same idea. She is thankful for the help and Tae Joo is comforted by being there. He brought bananas for his younger self (bananas were really expensive so mom is very thankful) and he tells Mom that little Tae Joo will be ok. Mom tells him Tae Joo is already getting better. I’m wondering how long it will take Mom to figure things out, or if she will. Her quiet ways remind me a lot of Tae Joo. He’s not flashy and outgoing like his dad, but more thoughtful and quiet like his mom. I think she knows something is up with this man who has the same name as her son, but she can’t quite put her finger on it.

Detective Lee goes crazy

Detective Lee is not taking being put on leave very well. He’s confrontational and aggressive. Dong Cheol takes him out for a drink and they run into Tae Joo who comes over to sit with them. Detective Lee wants no part of Tae Joo’s company, so he punches him (Detective Lee really needs to learn how to use his words and not his fists!) but later sits down to listen to Tae Joo. We think things may be quieting down, but no, Detective Lee shows up the next day and steals the interview tape. He’s got the whole station as an audience as he talks about how unfair all of this is and how he has the evidence that will clear him. Dong Cheol, Tae Joo, and Rookie follow a drunk Detective Lee as he weaves in and out of buildings and Rookie finally realizes that this was all a ruse, they are using Detective Lee as bait to attract the real killer. Yay for teamwork! Detective Lee is caught off guard and beaten badly, but he manages to wound the suspect. The guys are all worried about Detective Lee as he gets patched up, but he’s got a hard head so he’s going to make it. Relief that he will be ok give us a little comic relief as Dong Cheol actually goes in for a hug and Detective Lee denies him.

Wonder Woman gets kidnapped

Officer Yoon (you didn’t think this we would leave her out did you?) quickly got over being miffed with Tae Joo and began helping with the investigation. She has a friend who is on the team for missing people helping her to find Kim Min Seok, but that friend is actually Lee Soon Ho. She also makes a date with Tae Joo to meet at City Hall at 6:00, but Tae Joo didn’t know about the Summer time change and it’s after 7:00 when he gets there. There are signs of a struggle and Officer Yoon is gone, she’s been kidnapped by Lee Soon Ho! We have now come full circle as Tae Joo stands in the alley where he was stabbed in the present day. Only this time, he’s on a mission to find Officer Yoon before she is killed and I need this to end well, Officer Yoon is one of my favorite characters and I need her to be ok.

The killer is a ghost

We know that Lee Soon Ho is the killer, but who is he really? We discover that Lee Soon Ho isn’t really Lee Soon Ho, he took someone else’s name and military history to get a job at the police station. He’s also been involved in the case from early on and no one even suspected him because he was one of their own. I got chills as I realized that Lee Soon Ho was the one carrying little Tae Joo out of the train tunnel. The problem now is how to find him before he kills Officer Yoon.

My thoughts

When you just don’t understand what’s happening and you need everyone you love to be safe.

This episode covered a lot of ground and our killer is finally revealed. As usual, I have a ton of questions. Who is Lee Soon Ho really? Who is the person on the other end of the telephone in Seoul that is basically acting as a handler for Tae Joo? I was so sure this was a coma dream, but now I’m not so sure since the handler mentions a mission. Tae Joo is just as confused as I am. Tae Joo needs to find the killer and solve this crime so he can go back home. Can Officer Yoon make it out alive? I’m on pins and needles as I wait for subs for episode 12!

Until the next murder,


Dramas with a side of Kimchi

2 thoughts on “Life on Mars Episode 11 Recap

  1. Officer Yoon is incredible.It’s good to see that she’s getting recognized as a police officer and not treated like a secretary anymore. She’s also my favorite in this drama but I’m also hoping that I can see more scenes with the young Han Tae Joo. He is so cute.

    I’m waiting for your recap of episode 12 and 13. I just watched episode 13 today. 🙂

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