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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Korean drama "Signal": episode two recap and screenshots

 Air dates: January 22 to March 12, 2016 on tvN  Average rating: 8.8%

Main Cast:

Lee Je-Hoon as Park Hae-Young
Kim Hye-Soo as Cha Soo-Hyun
Cho Jin-Woong as Lee Jae-Han
Jung Hae-Kyun as Ahn Chi-Soo
Kim Won-Hae as Kim Gye-Chul
Jang-Hyun-Sung as Kim Bum-Joo
Lee Yoo-Joon as Jung Hun-Gi
Jung Han-Bi as Oh Yoon-Seo

 If you made it through that first recap then I thank you, promise this won't be as long. Going in thought the entire series was going to be devoted to the investigation of Yoon-Jung's kidnapping and murder from fifteen years ago but that wasn't the case. As a matter of fact that crime was solved in the first third of this show and the drama took an entirely different direction. Shame this series has Kim Hye-Soo dressed so conservatively but she is one superb looking woman....

 At the conclusion of the first show Yoon had been cornered by Cha and Park with less than an hour before the statute of limitations end for the kidnapping and murder of Yoon-Jung. Cha gives her the third degree in the interrogating room but Yoon is one tough cookie who doesn't crumble. You'll see in the screenshots a clock which is the deadline countdown, now less than ten minutes go.
 Cha is relentless in trying to force a confession out of Yoon who appears as though she's about to crack. The whole team watching thought the same way and it looked like she would confess to the brutal crime of fifteen years ago with just a few seconds left on the clock. Didn't work out that way which was for the better as that would have been a bit too cheesy, instead Yoon regained her composure and didn't admit anything as the deadline was reached.
 Yoon was now a free woman and proceeded to leave the station. There's no quit with Cha who realizes the statue deadline was for the killing of Yoon-Jung, the deadline for Seo's murder hadn't been hit. Cha races out with the team in tow and arrests Yoon for the murder of her ex-boyfriend Seo who at first was thought to have been the culprit. If some of this sounds confusing then recommend reading the first recap where everything is explained.

 Yoon is now arrested for Seo's murder which may have been a reason for a real life change in Korean statute laws. This drama was set in 2015 though it aired in 2016, in July of 2015 the Korean government changed their law about statutes. If the crime was violent then there would be no time limitations, so in this drama Yoon can and was charged with the murder of Yoon-Jung. That's the last we'll see of Yoon in this series as she's sitting in jail awaiting trial, one thing that never was revealed was why she had kidnapped and murdered the eleven year old Yoon-Jung.
 The team is now disbanded after successfully solving the fifteen year old mystery. The police force though was left with egg on their face as what they had said over the years turned out to be false and they covered up many facts to make themselves look good. This drew the ire of the main chief Kim, for payback to his underling and the detectives who were on the team he's created a special Cold Cases Unit. He made it known to the public and did so as he thinks the team will fall on their faces and he wants to embarrass them for making him look so bad.
 Cha will be the head of this new unit and it looks like the rest of the series will be devoted to investigating older, unsolved cases. It's a small unit with only four detectives who are sent to a small office where they're ridiculed by the other officers there. To everyone on the team's surprise Park has been placed on the team, though unliked he's the perfect person to have on the team as he's the best profiler on the force. These cases are not going to be easy, the first one they're assigned to has been unsolved since 1989.

 Three of the team members think there's no hope in solving a case from 26 years ago, that is except for Park. He's all gung-ho and even arrives early to set up a chart for the ten victims. Seeing him work so hard has motivated Cha and she gets the ball rolling, first assignment is to interview all of the detectives involved in the case.
 The main subject in the story was supposed to be the team or at least Park talking with someone from the past via a walkie talkie. There was only one scene in the first show where that happened but it helped solve the fifteen year old kidnapping case. That crime took place in 2000 and it was detective Lee Jae-Han who ended up talking to Park though Lee didn't know he was talking to someone from the year 2015.
 This case has been unsolved since 1989 and Lee was a rookie on the force then. There were serial killings going on with the total at the time back then seven, it would eventually reach ten. Lee and the other members of his team were in the woods searching for the seventh victim when he makes a call on his walkie talkie. For the second time he ended up reaching Park, Park knows who he is but Lee thinks he's talking with someone at the station. Park does know it's Lee he's communicating with but thinks he's talking to the Lee in the year 2015, not 1989.

 Park is amazed then that Lee doesn't know where the seventh victim was located, he told Lee where the body would be found. Not even a minute later someone on his team found the dead body, Lee is very confused on how Park would know that info. Also confusing to Lee is that there's no one by Park's name on the force, exactly what is going on are his thoughts. Park did give him one other clue and that's where the body of the eighth victim would be found though she wasn't dead yet.
 A few days later Lee visits the rail line where the eighth person will be killed. Lee wanders down the tracks and notices a body partially hidden. Upon investigating the scene he discovers the woman is tied up and has been strangled but is alive! Exclamation point was needed because the victim being alive has changed things in the future.
 There had been a total of ten killings, with the eighth victim now found alive the total went down to nine(?). On Park's chart the eighth victim's info has disappeared as it had never been there, same thing happened in Cha's notebook that had the names of all of the victims. This happened near the end of the show so don't know how it's going to play out but wonder if Park can convince Lee of where the next two bodies will be found so he can prevent the murders?
 Think that sums up the action fairly well, not nearly as much happened in this episode compared to the first show, tad slow in the middle when the new Cold Cases team was setting up office. One other piece of info, Park has been looking into the identity of Lee and he found three who were on the force back in 2000. Two are still with the force so he's going to contact them to see if one of them is the person he's been talking to over the walkie talkie. The other name on the list is the one Park wants though he doesn't know it yet. The third Lee was discharged from the force in 2001, why we don't know and what he's been doing for the last 14 years is also a mystery but think he's now deceased.

 Glad I made a wise choice and decided to watch a drama like this one, been only two episodes but know it's going to be such a suspenseful, thrilling and interesting series. This episode was 65 minutes long compared to 76 for the first show. Next few are around the same length but after that the remaining ones are all 70+ minutes.
 Never has worked out where I've finished a whole season of recaps for a Korean drama but plan on doing so for this series. Have done at least a hundred complete Japanese dramas as there so much easier to do as they're usually ten episodes with each one being around 45 minutes. Plan on doing two recaps a week so should be here hopefully this time next week with episodes three and four.

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