Another good episode!
Tunnel Episode 3 Recap
The black hoodie killer stares at his victim in the field. We see her heel. 5 dots!! The killer walks away. The victim sits up. WHAT? I did NOT see that coming!
A woman takes a taxi. She gets out and waits for the cross-walk light. She has a suitcase. She comments that everything is different. Who is the lady?
Detective Park Kwang Ho (Choi Jin Hyuk), Team Leader Chun and the other violent crimes unit officers of the arrive at the scene of the body. Team Leader Chun learns that only parts of the body are in the grave.
Kwang Ho watches the forensics team. He wonders how he’ll get back to 1986. He wonders where Kwang Ho, the man whose life he’s borrowing, is. The forensics team unearth the lower part of the leg and foot of the victim. Other officers are dispersed to search for other body parts. Officer Kwak Tae Hee sniff the air and says the body has been there for a month. Officer Song Min Ha tells Kwang Ho that Officer Kwak’s father was an undertaker so he can sniff a body and know the timeframe. Does that mean the killer time travels back and forth? Did he bring the body with him to the future? Kwang Ho sees the heel. He sees the 5 dots! He is shocked. Recall in 1986, the victim with the 5 dots was never found. Kwang Ho can’t believe the body is only 1 month old, not 30 years old. His partner, Officer Kim Sun Jae (Yoon Hyun Min) asks what he’s talking about. But Kwang Ho is lost in his thoughts and doesn’t answer. He wonders if he was sent to the future to catch the killer. Kwang Ho is hopeful that if he solves the case, he can return home.
Professor Shin Jae Yi (Lee Yoo Young) enters her classroom. She has a reputation for being intense. It’s well deserved. She shows the student murder victims. She has one student tape the wrists of another. She asks what the killer would do with the remaining tape. She student says she’s keep it. Professor Shin leans close and says the tape will remind the student of the murder. She pulls away and informs the class, they learn about memories of a murderer.
Sun Jae isn’t impressed with Kwang Ho’s knowledge of the 1986 murders. He tells Kwang Ho they’ll identify the victim through DNA and the missing person database. Kwang Ho doesn’t know what DNA is. Sun Jae shakes his head and walks away. Kwang Ho doesn’t like being ignored.
The coroner states the leg was cut cleanly from a woman with an electric saw as the bone is dense at the calf. Sun Jae wonders if the killer works in landscaping, carpentry, etc. The coroner tells Kwang Ho that they’ll use DNA to identify the victim. Kwang Ho is impressed. The coroner in 1986 had no tools like this. Kwang Ho asks if the 5 dots on the heel are 30 years old. That surprises the coroner. Sun Jae tells him to ignore Kwang Ho and turns to leave. Undeterred Kwang Ho starts to explain to coroner but Sun Jae cuts him off. Irked Kwang Ho follows his partner.
Professor Shin arrives at the scene of the crime. As she walks to the Dean calls her and asks if she’s at the police station. Professor Shin says she’s at the scene. Professor Shin says she wanted to follow this case from the beginning as an observer. The dean approves of her stance and says profilers do not get emotionally involved. I believe Professor Shin has cornered the market on not getting emotional. Professor Shin notices the body wasn’t buried deep. Team Leader Chun tells Sun Jae to train Kwang Ho and fast. Once they know the victim’s identity things will get intense.
Back at the police station, Sun Jae goes through the missing person database. Officer Kwak and Officer Song return stating there was limited CCTV footage. Kwang Ho is again clueless. He offers that the victim is 40-50 years old and targeted for murder 30 years ago. They stare at him. Sun Jae asks if he knows the killer too. Kwang Ho admits he has to solve that part of the equation. Kwang Ho tells them about the murders 30 years ago. No one is interested. Kwang Ho can’t believe he is being ignored.
Back at the murder scene, the officers continue to search for more body parts.
Back at the police station, Sun Jae briefs the violent crimes team. He lists all the women from the database. He’s contact all their families to get DNA samples. Kwang Ho tells Sun Jae it won’t be any of the women, the age is wrong. Irked Team Leader Chun tells Sun Jae to train Kwang Ho. Everyone leaves. Kwang Ho can’t believe they are going home when there are leads to follow.
Professor Shin calls Sun Jae and tells him that the corpse was cut up to hide the crime. She believes the killer disrespected the victim by cutting her up. She wonders if the killer had a personal relationship with the victim. She guesses the crime might be related to a breakup. She hugs up without letting Sun Jae get a word in edgewise. He shakes his head at her lack of people skills. Ha!
Sun Jae isn’t happy when the coroner tells him there is not DNA match with anyone in the missing person’s database. He even expanded the age range of the victim, but came up empty. Sun Jae can’t believe it.
Back at the police station, Sun Jae and the rest of the violent crimes team are stymied. Team Leader Chun sends Officer Song and Officer Kwak to find more body parts. He sends Sun Jae and Kwang Ho to search missing person reports from employment offices and distribute flyers. Kwang Ho implores SH to check recent Seoul arrivals for a missing girl. Sun Jae ignores him and walks away. Kwang Ho is frustrated.
Exiting an employment office, Sun Jae assigns Kwang Ho the task of calling potential victims. Kwang Ho admits he doesn’t have a phone. Irked, Sun Jae gets in the car and drives away. Kwang Ho vows to continue on his own.
Team Leader Chun arrives at the murder location and learns from Officer Kwak no more body parts have been found. The search continues.
Kwang Ho is amazed that he can secure records of recent Seoul arrives from a government office. He goes through the records and makes a list of potential victims. Taxi Driver Oh (recall he was Journalist Oh in 1986) is driving the taxi that picks him up. Ah, Kwang Ho called him. Taxi Driver Oh isn’t interested in driving Kwang Ho to interview his list of people. Kwang Ho chides him that this may help him become a police officer. He reveals the training manual in Taxi Driver Oh’s glove compartment. Taxi Driver Oh colors and claims he only reads that for fun. Kwang Ho offers to help prepare Taxi Driver Oh for the police exam. That makes Taxi Driver Oh happy. He surprises Kwang Ho when he requires Kwang Ho to put his promise to train him in writing. Ha! With Kwang Ho’s written promise, Taxi Driver Oh declares they’ll be on their way. Interviewing door to door isn’t simple. Good chemistry between these two!
The dean learns that 2 students dropped Professor Shin’s class. She wonders if she’s intimidating. She’s wondering why the police are taking so long to identify the body.
Back at the police station, Team Leader Chun, Officer Kwak and Officer Song aren’t making much headway. When Sun Jae returns alone, he snaps he’s too busy working to hold Kwang Ho’s hand. Team Leader Chun is not happy.
Kwang Ho continues his interviews. He learns from a land lady that her cleaning lady is missing, though she’s not on his list. Kwang Ho doesn’t understand why he didn’t find the victim on his list. He tells Officer Song that the victim survived 30 years ago and went underground. Officer Song suggests the easiest thing to do is to change one’s name. That sparks Kwang Ho.
He returns to the government office and learns one Seoul arrival changed her name. He searches the woman’s room while the landlady tells her that she’s missing. Kwang Ho asks how long has the woman been missing? One month is the response. Kwang Ho finds a 1985 photo of a woman on the road to the University. He takes the woman’s hand cream.
DNA testing is done on the hand cream. The coroner calls Team Leader Chun with the results. It’s a match! The victim is identified thanks to Kwang Ho’s detective skills. All eyes are on Team Leader Chun as he tells Sun Jae, Kwang Ho, OH and Officer Song that the DNA from the hand cream matches the DNA from the body. Kwang Ho is victorious. Sun Jae doubts the results. Officer Song reads the victim was a 50-year-old woman. Kwang Ho almost slips referencing 1986 as present day, but he covers saying he followed a hunch. Officer Kwak shows Team Leader Chun the heel with the 5 dots.
Team Leader Chun recalls Kwang Ho telling him in 1986, that the 5th victim was missing. He looks at Kwang Ho who averts his gaze. Team Leader Chun asks Kwang Ho how he knew about the dots. Kwang Ho says he read about it. Team Leader Chun counters the case file was destroyed in a fire, so there wasn’t anything to read. Both men stare at each other. Sun Jae interrupts and says Kwang Ho got lucky. He tells Kwang Ho to come with him. Team Leader Chun grabs Kwang Ho’s arm and asks who he is. Everyone stares. Kwang Ho disengages himself and follows Sun Jae.
In the car, Kwang Ho wonders if Team Leader Chun realizes that he’s not Kwang Ho who was to be transferred. He wonders how Team Leader Chun knows about the 1986 cases. He tells Sun Jae that he merits trust. Sun Jae’s look shows he doesn’t agree. The navigation system voice startles Kwang Ho. LOL!
Sun Jae reviews the CCTV of the apartment. He sees the victim was talking to someone on the day she disappeared. Kwang Ho talks to a local eatery owner who knew the victim. She relays a man at a factor asked for an introduction.
Outside Sun Jae and Kwang Ho meet. Kwang Ho suggests they get along. Sun Jae ignores the request. He shows Kwang Ho the CCTV image of the victim. Kwang Ho asks how a picture can be inside a phone. LOL! Sun Jae looks at Kwang Ho with disdain. It turns martyred when Kwang Ho drops Sun Jae’s phone. Kwang Ho shares that the eatery owner stated the victim garnered interest from a local man, who he wants to talk to.
The local man admits to liking the victim. They were both alone but she rejected his overtures. He later found out that she already had a man. Sun Jae asks for details. The man states he saw her talking to a man in front of the apartment. He recalls the man calling the victim “Young Ja” not her name. That gets Kwang Ho’s attention.
Back at the police station, Officer Song identifies other CCTV footage showing the victim walking away with a man. There is no footage of the man’s face. Sun Jae believes he was avoiding the camera. Kwang Ho suggests they knew each other. He states she had a lonely life. He wonders why she didn’t report issues back then. That gets Team Leader Chun’s attention. Sun Jae is positive the man knew the victim as he called her by her former name. Kwang Ho realizes the victim’s ex-husband may have information. Kwang Ho and Sun Jae leave. Team Leader Chun orders the CCTV footage sent to Professor Shin.
At the ex-husband’s workplace (metal shop with saws) the boss states he quit a month ago. Sun Jae looks at the calendar and says 30 days before today, January 3rd, would be the night the victim disappeared. Kwang Ho can’t believe today is January 3rd. Recall his wife’s birthday is January 3rd.
Shin Yeon Sook (Lee Shi A) goes to the dock and buys two tickets for the new river boat. She waits for Kwang Ho to show up.
Kwang Ho knows at this moment; his wife is waiting for him. He tells Sun Jae they need to figure this out and fast.
The ex-husband’s apartment is empty. Sun Jae calls to have a trace put on the ex-husband’s phone. Kwang Ho is amazed that can be done. Sun Jae stares at him in disbelief. They interview the landlady who says the ex-husband stopped by today and bid her farewell, and inferred he might never return. Sun Jae gets a call with the ex-husband’s location.
We see the ex-husband at his parent’s grave site. He’s about to drink something but Kwang Ho knocks it out of his hands. The man yells that if he wants to die, he can.
Back at the police station, the ex-husband acts surprised that his ex-wife is missing. Kwang Ho doesn’t believe his act. The ex-husband says when he called her this morning to say goodbye, she didn’t answer. Sun Jae acts if the ex-husband know the name “Young Ja”. The ex-husband doesn’t know who that is. Kwang Ho doesn’t believe him. The man claims his arthritis forced him to quit his job. Kwang Ho grabs the man by his lapels, frustrated at the situation. Sun Jae shakes his head.
Back at the ex-husband’s workplace and apartment, the forensics team find no evidence. Everyone is frustrated now.
Sun Jae stares at the CCTV footage watching Kwang Ho continue to pressure the ex-husband to confess but he refuses to admit to something he didn’t do.
Professor Shin watches the CCTV footage. She thinks she sees a knife or other instrument in the man’s pocket while he walked down the road with the victim. She calls Sun Jae. Once again without preamble she tells Sun Jae the man had a knife or something in his right pocket. But it was his left pocket that hid something else. She guesses the man’s hand is a prosthetic. She hangs up. Sun Jae can’t believe that she hung up on him again. I’m loving it! He looks at the CCTV footage. He stares at the ex-husband. He knows he’s not the killer. He believes the CCTV man had an issue with his left hand. He recalls the boss at the metal shop called the victim “Young Ja”. He recalls the boss hiding his hand. Kwang Ho recalls that too. Sun Jae wonders if the boss is lying. Kwang Ho believes only the killer would know the victim’s original name. Sun Jae pulls up the boss’s record and exits the room. Kwang Ho sees the information on the computer, the information the states the boss and the victim used to live in the same town. Kwang Ho’s eyes widen.
At the metal shop, we see the boss’s prosthetic hand. Sun Jae runs into the metal shop. Isn’t it dumb that Sun Jae didn’t bring his partner Kwang Ho for backup? Sun Jae realizes the boss has slipped out the back. Sun Jae follows. He turns on his flashlight. He hears a splash. He sees a man by the river. He approaches and illuminates the boss. He asks what he threw in the river. The man says it was trash. Kwang Ho arrives and with a high kick he knocks the boss down. He hits the man. He demands to know how he could do that to someone. The boss blusters that he didn’t do it.
The police search the river. When Team Leader Chun arrives he’s not happy to see evidence of Kwang Ho hitting the boss. The police call out they’ve found something.
Back at the police station in the interrogation room, Sun Jae tells the boss he knew the victim from the past. Sun Jae mutters this is why people cannot be trusted. Sun Jae states there never was another man that the victim was interested in. Sun Jae asks why the boss lied about the other man. Sun Jae asks if the boss is hiding something in his pocket. Sun Jae scoffs that a woman wouldn’t be interested in a man with a prosthetic hand. That angers the boss. Sun Jae recalls Professor Shin’s speculation the victim was murdered due to a breakup. Sun Jae asks the boss if they broke up.
Flashback to the boss and the victim…The boss asks the victim to go out with him. She’s not interested. He pleads that they are similar. Irked, she states she was like a slaved during her marriage and she’s happy to be divorced. She doesn’t want another man. She looks at his prosthetic hand and calls him a cripple. The boss looks at her with hatred.
The boss tells Kwang Ho and Sun Jae that he didn’t deserve to be treated like that. Sun Jae asks the man if he suggested a drink as a farewell gesture. I like seeing Sun Jae’s interrogation skills.
Flashback to the boss and the victim…He touches her. She pulls away. He suggests they get a farewell drink. She says nothing. He warns her that if she doesn’t agree, he’ll come back every night and bother her. That gets her attention. He promises just one farewell drink then he’ll leave her alone forever. The boss and woman walk down the road. She asks where they are going. He states there’s a place just around the corner.
Sun Jae tells the boss there wasn’t a place for a farewell drink.
Flashback to the boss and the victim…She follows the boss and realizes the drink is a ruse. He comes up behind her, grabs around her neck, and drags her backwards.
Sun Jae tells the boss with his strength he strangled her. Tension is ratcheting up!
Flashback to the boss and the victim…He strangles her.
The boss stares in Sun Jae’s eyes and declares he’s wrong. Kwang Ho interjects that he killed her and cut her into pieces. The boss stares at Kwang Ho and state he didn’t strangle her with a rope. He used his bare hand. He stares at his prosthetic hand and laughs that he killed her with this. Confession!
Flashback to the boss and the victim…He beats her with his prosthetic hand. He uses the prosthetic hand to crush her neck. She dies.
The boss laughs. Kwang Ho stares. Sun Jae stares. Loved the intercutting of the crime’s flashback into the interrogation scene. Nice production!
Back in the bullpen, Kwang Ho smiles and says he can go home now. He notice’s Team Leader Chun’s nameplate. He realizes he has the name as his former rookie partner. Team Leader Chun enters and thanks everyone for their hard work. He grabs his stuff and suggests a team dinner after he reports the details. He strides out of the room. Kwang Ho asks if Team Leader Chun worked at Hwayang station in 1985. Officer Song states the Team Leader Chun came to this precinct as a chief. Kwang Ho can’t believe it. Kwang Ho starts to leave, ready to return to his wife. Officer Kwak stops him stating here is a team dinner. Sun Jae goes home. Officer Kwak says that Sun Jae never socializes. Officer Kwak handcuffs Kwang Ho to him. Ha! Officer Song says Kwang Ho must come to the team dinner. Officer Kwak literally drags Kwang Ho out the door.
Sun Jae calls Professor Shin and asks (without preamble) how she knew the man had a prosthetic hand. She says she saw what they didn’t, that’s why she gets involved. Sun Jae tells Professor Shin that her breakup guess was only partially correct. That gets her attention. Sun Jae hands up. LOVE IT! She sputters, but no one hears. LOL! Sun Jae saves her number in his phone.
At the team dinner, they drink and ate. Kwang Ho demands to be released. No one listens. He doesn’t understand why the beer and soju is mixed. They drink and drink and drink. Everyone gets drunk. Kwang Ho finds the handcuff key in Officer Kwak’s sock. He unlocks the handcuff. He tells his coworkers that he wished he could have hit Sun Jae just once. He tells Team Leader Chun he wished that he’d recognized him. He bids them adieu. Team Leader Chun runs out to the street, but Kwang Ho is gone.
Kwang Ho approaches the tunnel. He smiles. He tells Yeon Sook he’s coming home. They’ll ride the river boat together. He jogs through the tunnel. He recalls of sweet moments with his wife. He runs through the end of the tunnel. He opens his eyes. He’s still in 2016. Frustrated, he yells what does he need to do? What must he do?
He walks home by the fields next to the river. He walks to the dock where Yeon Sook waited for him.
It’s dark and Yeon Sook still waits holding the whistle. She cries.
Kwang Ho walks to the bench where Yeon Sook wept and sits. He tells her he couldn’t keep his promise. He doesn’t understand what’s happening. Tears spring to his eyes. He hangs his head.
Kwang Ho (the one that was supposed to be there) flees from the killer. He falls and injures himself. He keeps running. He catches his breath by a tree. The killer comes up behind him. Kwang Ho whirls in shock and terror.
Writer Lee delivers another good episode. I was engaged. I got tense. The production is solid. This is a good show. Things that stood out:
* The brusque and rude exchanges between Professor Shin and Sun Jae. I loved her stellar intuition. She could care less about Sun Jae as a person, she just needed to relay her insights. When he got the opportunity to treat her the same, he ran with it. Oh, it was satisfying.
* Props – whistle and flashlight. We only saw a glimpse of the whistle from the flashback. It can’t come into play much, it’s in 1986 with Kwang Ho’s wife. I wondered if a flashlight would make an appearance this episode. I liked that Sun Jae welded it as he illuminated the killer. Now that’s the perfect use of a flashlight, illuminate evil.
* The 2016 violent crime unit officers are solid. They worked well together. Team Leader Chun is a decent boss. I’m not used to seeing competent police officers in recent kdramas. What a change!
* The victim survived the 1986 killer but couldn’t escape the jealous rage of the man she rejected. This explains how she had the 5 dots but had only been dead 30 days. That was a clever plot point. Laughing in a man’s face, emasculating him, then going down a dark street with him after he threatened to harass her was a fatal mistake.
* Kwang Ho ran for his life in the woods. The killer appeared to catch him. I don’t know this young Kwang Ho but I don’t want the killer to get him. Why is he trying to kill Kwang Ho?
We’ve all wondered, is the killer able to easily time travel between 1986 and 2016?
* Team Leader Chun’s quandary trying to figure out if Kwang Ho was indeed the Kwang Ho he knew from 1986 continued. But in this episode Kwang Ho realized that Team Leader Chun was his former rookie partner. Now that Kwang Ho hasn’t been able to time travel back to 1986, will they admit they know each other when sober?
* Sun Jae was stoic every time Kwang Ho was clueless about current technology. I couldn’t have controlled myself. I would have demanded to know how Kwang Ho didn’t know about basic work tech like DNA and databases. I would have demanded to know how Kwang Ho didn’t have a cell phone much less know that cameras were a component of them. But Sun Jae’s iron will kept his irritation just below the surface. I look forward to Sun Jae relaxing a bit. He’s tight as a drum.
Detective Park Kwang Ho (Choi Jin Hyuk) believed catching the killer was his ticket back to his past. He was wrong. The juxtaposition of Kwang Ho sitting on the bench where Yeon Sook waited in vain 30 years in the past was well produced. Yeon Sook refused to give up hope. Kwang Ho despaired not knowing what to do next. I felt their mutual pain. The anti-chemistry between Seon Jae and Kwang Ho was low key this episode. Sun Jae patiently endured his partner Kwang Ho without giving him credit for his detective skills. Kwang Ho choked out the respect the Sun Jae expected but it was a struggle. I like this pairing, I want to see more interaction and less disdain. These two will get there. Choi Jin Hyuk is owning this role. He’s so good looking. He is a feast for my eyes. The stylist’s choices in sweater and outerwear (a Kdrama obsession) make him even more gorgeous.