Is the secret out?
Tunnel Episode 6 Recap
Detective Park Kwang Ho (Choi Jin Hyuk) goes to the intersection where 1988-born Kwang Ho almost drove into him the first night in the 2017. He recalls another car that pursued 1988-born Kwang Ho’s car. He wonders why the man was chasing 1988-born Kwang Ho.
I do love Kwang Ho’s detective skills. He’s a thinker.
1988-born Kwang Ho’s car is covered with dirt, leaves, and branches and not noticed while hikers pass the ravine where it rests.
At the police station Team Leader Chun (Jo Hee Bong) shows Kwang Ho that 1988-born Kwang Ho last cell phone location on his phone. Kwang Ho isn’t happy the area is large. He wants to start searching immediately. Team Leader Chun is concerned about Kwang Ho since he told him his wife’s identity was wiped from the official register and is missing. Kwang Ho who believes finding 1988-born Kwang Ho is his ticket back through the tunnel portal to 1987, tells Team Leader Chun to come with him.
I love the chemistry between these two. Team Leader Chun is the right mix of deferential and caring. Anyone else loving Kwang Ho’s ombre jacket?
Officer Kim Sun Jae (Yoon Hyun Min) sees Team Leader Chun and Kwang Ho exiting the police station together. Kwang Ho asks if Sun Jae had breakfast. Sun Jae recalls Kwang Ho pledge of support to find the serial killer to help the victim’s families. Sun Jae responds that he may have and walks past Kwang Ho. Team Leader Chun is surprised at Kwang Ho’s expression of concern AND Sun Jae’s response (he typically only glares at Kwang Ho). He runs after Kwang Ho telling him to wait. Sun Jae turns then gets a call from Coroner Mok.
Sun Jae reads the autopsy report that his former precinct blocked but Coroner Mok is allowing him to see. Sun Jae notes the method of murder – strangulation, stalking, victim age match others. Coroner Mok notes when the body reveals little Sun Jae must look for the murderer’s identity.
The dean wishes Professor Shin Jae Yi (Lee Yoo Young) would quit being a consultant for the police, it puts her in danger. Professor Shin looks at her hand and recalls Sun Jae tending her wound and encouraging her to speak her needs instead of staying silent.
The dean is starting to bug me with her “advice” to Professor Shin.
In Professor Shin’s classroom, she has each student pick a weapon of murder from the array on her desk. Professor Shin wryly notes no one took the sleeping pills to lessen the victim’s pain. She assigns a report on the murder weapon while the class groans.
At his house, Sun Jae takes down his wall of evidence leaving only a picture of a mother and a son. I’m assuming that is Sun Jae and his mother who we learned was the 6th victim of the dot murderer from 1986.
The dean spots Sun Jae walking the hall with a box (presumably with the wall of evidence for Professor Shin’s perusal) and asks to speak with him. She asks Sun Jae to describe Professor Shin. Sun Jae says that Professor Shin does not express her pain well. The dean recommends to shield Professor Shin from future pain, Sun Jae shouldn’t have her visit crime scenes. Sun Jae agrees. Sun Jae asks for details about Professor Shin’s parents’ deaths. The dean says that 15-year-old Professor Shin returned from school to find her home engulfed in flames. The police suspected her mother’s private psychotherapy records were set ablaze after a fight with her father. No, no, those records might have been a motive for someone to set the fire. The dean reveals that Professor Shin was adopted in England.
Sun Jae is waiting for Professor Shin when she returns from her class. Without preamble Sun Jae tells Professor Shin he needs to know about the murderer so he can catch him. He says the box has evidence about the case and suspected victims. When Professor Shin spies her bandaged hand, he moves to her and asks if she’s okay. She stares at him then demurs her other hand is fine. Professor Shin persists and says it appears she’s not okay. Professor Shin chooses to hide behind her wall of silence and claims all is well. Sun Jae takes that as a sign she’s not ready to talk and leaves.
The interactions between these two fascinate me.
Team Leader Chun takes Kwang Ho to the traffic CCTV station. They view the video of 1988-born Kwang Ho’s car being chased by another. They ask for the details about the car pursuing 1988-born Kwang Ho.
Team Leader Chun is stumped by the disappearance of 1988-born Kwang Ho. No financial, internet, etc. records of action for the last 4 months. Team Leader Chun says they’ll have to continue their investigation quietly. He chides Kwang Ho for getting a speeding ticket. Kwang Ho spots a police car in front of a building and tells “kiddo” to pull over.
They enter the building to find a woman holding a knife and yelling that she didn’t take cash advances or a loan. She won’t be soothed by the officers on the scene. The officer explains to Team Leader Chun and Kwang Ho that the woman is upset because of fraudulent credit card purchases. But their investigation showed the purchases were made on her laptop and deemed done by her. The woman yells someone is using her identity. That gets Kwang Ho’s attention.
At the police station, the woman recalls everything started when a credit card was established in her name without her knowledge. She started getting calls about overdue payments, visits about loans she never took, and in the end, she paid the money back to end the hassle. But the spiral of bad things didn’t end. The thief who stole her identity kept racking up debts and even a finance. The woman doesn’t know anything about the thief, but she knows everything about her. Kwang Ho suggests they meet with the finance to find out more about the thief. Thrilled someone believes her, she gives Kwang Ho the fiancée’s card.
I’m surprised that it isn’t obvious the woman’s identity was stolen. Those that interacted with her said she didn’t look like the woman that made the transactions.
Team Leader Chun worries that Kwang Ho’s own case of identity theft (recall he’s masquerading as 1988-born Kwang Ho) may be discovered if he works this case. Kwang Ho chides Team Leader Chun for continuing to call him “sir”. Team Leader Chun looks chagrined and agrees they both need to be careful. Then Kwang Ho pops Team Leader Chun’s head causing Officer Kwak Tae Hee (Kim Byung Chul) and Officer Song Min Ha (Kang Ki Young) to look. They manage to play it off. Team Leader Chun warns Kwang Ho that Sun Jae won’t be so easily fooled. Speaking of Sun Jae, Team Leader Chun is irked that he’s not at the police station yet. Kwang Ho tells Team Leader Chun that during the last case, he learned more about his stoic prickly partner and feels sorry for him.
Sun Jae doesn’t make it easy for Kwang Ho to be kind. He continues to be prickly. Kwang Ho sighs and tells himself to be patient in even though he longs hit smack Sun Jae. They are surprised to learn that the fiancé is dead. Kwang Ho doesn’t believe this is coincidence. They head to the funeral. They learn from his brother that the fiancé was in distress and a woman called alerting him. When he got to the apartment his brother was dead. There were no injuries. He doesn’t know who the woman was. There was no contact for her in the phone. Even stranger, no one had ever met his girlfriend or knew anything about her. Sun Jae asks for an autopsy.
Kwang Ho and Sun Jae know things aren’t better for the identity theft victim. The fiancé died on the day he met her. They watch the fiancé’s body put in an ambulance so an autopsy can be performed. As Kwang Ho watches the man’s family mourn his mind drifts back and recalls another man mourning the loss of his wife. A man with a toddler child that would never know his mother. A toddler child that would one day become his partner (though neither know this…yet). Kwang Ho wonders if the father and son are okay. He tells Kwang Ho he once worked a case where the father came to the police station everyday hoping they’d found out who murdered his wife. Kwang Ho admits he longed to catch the killer but lost him instead. Sun Jae comments that Kwang Ho is supposed to be a rookie.
I look forward to the day when Kwang Ho realizes that Sun Jae is the son and his father the grieving husband from the past case.
Team Leader Chun asks the identity theft victim where she was when the fiancé was killed. She was home alone. Team Leader Chun send Officer Kwak and Officer Song to view the apartment’s CCTV footage.
At the fiancé’s house Kwang Ho notices that the house looks hurriedly cleaned. They search but can find nothing that proves he had a girlfriend. In a photograph, Kwang Ho spots a faint reflection of the woman that took the man’s picture.
At the police station, Kwang Ho doesn’t believe the woman is the identify theft victim. Officer Kwak calls Team Leader Chun and says they cannot guarantee the identity theft victim stayed in her apartment, so no alibi. Sun Jae find a number that was repeatedly called, but it’s an illegal number. Team Leader Chun muses the woman is like a ghost. Team Leader Chun and Kwang Ho call it a night.
As Team Leader Chun drive Kwang Ho home, Kwang Ho spots Professor Shin walking. He tells Team Leader Chun to let him out. Professor Shin ignored him as he asks about her bandaged hand. She’s stuck when he takes a box from her hand and brings it into her apartment. When he looks in the box, he realizes Sun Jae asked her to profile the killer. Kwang Ho is interested in her help to find a man that’s missing. Professor Shin needs the man’s name. Kwang Ho avoids answering by commenting that her apartment is sparse. Professor Shin asks him to leave.
The next morning Kwang Ho finds Sun Jae pulled an all-nighter. Sun Jae shows Kwang Ho the near identical victim he found. She committed suicide last year.
Coroner Mok has the finance’s autopsy results. The fiancé died from nicotine overdose that caused a fatal heart attack. It’s murder.
Back at the police station the detectives try to make sense of what they know. After Officer Kwak and Officer Song leave to do their assigned tasking. Kwang Ho tells Team Leader Chun things were simpler 30 years ago. Sun Jae looks at Kwang Ho. Team Leader Chun watches Sun Jae leave. Team Leader Chun tells Kwang Ho he’s too free with his musings and Sun Jae overhead and noticed. Team Leader Chun warns that Kwang Ho will get caught. Team Leader Chun wants Kwang Ho to do training, Sun Jae calls to Kwang Ho to get a move on it.
Sun Jae and Kwang Ho visit the mother of the identical victim. She says her daughter committed suicide the evening before she was to marry. The mother says everything started the night they had dinner with the fiancé’s family. In flashback, we see everything that happened to the first identity theft victim, happened to this woman too. The fiancé broke up with her. The police couldn’t help. The mother remembers at the funeral one guest stated her daughter was a regular at a massage parlor. Kwang Ho remembers the first identify theft victim mentioning a bogus loan from a massage parlor.
At the spa (aka massage parlor) the manager admits she was surprised when she went to the funeral and realized the dead woman wasn’t her customer. Kwang Ho and Sun Jae are stymied how both women because identify theft victims. What’s the connection? Sun Jae comments the manager saw the criminal’s face, it’s a start.
Officer Kwak and Officer Song return to the police station to find Team Leader Chun has multiple identify theft victims on the white board. The good news, Officer Kwak and Officer Song were able to clear the first identity theft victim of purchasing nicotine. Team Leader Chun order them to release her. He wants them to send the information to Professor Shin. Officer Kwak and Officer Song shake their head at the cruelty of this criminal. Team Leader Chun wants to know what she looks like. Sun Jae and Kwang Ho bring the massage manager and ask for a sketch artist. Team Leader Chun asks Officer Song to do the honors. The team tries to discern the connection between the victims but come up empty. Team Leader Chun asks Sun Jae to call Professor Shin and see if she’s found anything. Sun Jae isn’t happy that Professor Shin has been involved in the case. Recall the Dean asks Sun Jae to reduce Professor Shin’s caseload.
Professor Shin tells Sun Jae she thinks one connection is that each victim had a boyfriend before their identity was stolen and didn’t afterwards. Professor Shin thinks the criminal stalked her victims. Professor Shin thinks the criminal wanted the victims to lose their boyfriends and assumes the criminal had issues with failed relationships. Sun Jae decides checking eateries in common would be a good place to start. Professor Shin concurs. Smooth as silk, Sun Jae asks what eateries Professor Shin frequents. She’s surprised at the personal question. Sun Jae comments he expected her to hang up. Professor Shin hangs up. Sun Jae smiles.
He turns to find Kwang Ho right there. Kwang Ho asks if Sun Jae like Professor Shin. LOL! Sun Jae calls him an eavesdropper and starts to walk away. Kwang Ho counters the last case opened his eyes that Sun Jae likes Professor Shin. Sun Jae bristles that Kwang Ho is wrong. Kwang Ho says he’s right about this.
Terrific moment between our partners! Professor Shin and Sun Jae dance an interesting relationship dance.
The team looks for common eateries. One eatery is common. Plus, they have a sketch of the criminal.
Sun Jae and Kwang Ho arrive at the eatery. Kwang Ho confirms it’s the same eatery from the finance’s photo. They spot a waitress that could match sketch.
At the police station, they find out the waitress bought the drugs used on the finance. In the interrogation room the waitress likes the sketch of her. She claims not to know the women except as customers. Sun Jae lies that the fiancée didn’t die and is watching her right now. She laughs. She’s unmoved by the prescription evidence.
Sun Jae and Kwang Ho exit the interrogation room stymied at how to get her to confess. Kwang Ho asks what Professor Shin advised. Sun Jae states this began out of jealousy. Sun Jae guesses this started because of a breakup.
At an eatery, they find the man that dated the waitress for three years but broke up with her because she overspent. He confirms the photo of the fiancée was the man he saw in the company of the waitress.
Back in the interrogation room, Sun Jae tells the waitress they now know she was jealous of the happy women she served. Women with money and men, neither of which she had. She counters he doesn’t understand her life. Sun Jae says she was jealous and wanted them to feel the same misery she lived. Sun Jae says she killed her fiancée when he learned she was living under a false name. Sun Jae says happiness eluded her again. The waitress snaps that she deserved happiness too. In flashback, we see how she gave the victims entry forms for a bogus contest. That provided the information she needed to start stealing their identities. Sun Jae guesses that destroying those women made her feel powerful.
The next day Team Leader Chun gives Kwang Ho his first smartphone. The first thing Kwang Ho asks the phone is how he can return to 1988. Of course, the phone’s assistant program doesn’t know. Team Leader Chun tells him that won’t yield results. Kwang Ho wants Sun Jae’s phone number. He sends Sun Jae a text that says “Sun Jae is an idiot and Kwang Ho is brilliant”. Sun Jae returns an emoji that means shut up. Are we 10 years old gentlemen? LOL!
Team Leader Chun gets a call. Kwang Ho notices the change in his expression.
Sun Jae brings Professor Shin coffee. He’s darling as his flips her office door indicator to the status of vacation. He offers the coffee to a surprised Professor Shin. She claims it is good to see him, err, the coffee. Sweetly Sun Jae offers the coffee to her injury-free hand. They stare at each other. The nosy dean walks by the office and doesn’t recall Professor Shin saying she was going on vacation.
Team Leader Chun and Kwang Ho review the last known footage of the 1998-born Kwang Ho and the car chasing him. They are able to get the license plate of the chasing car. The location is near a fishing site.
Team Leader Chun and Kwang Ho drive to the fishing site. They see the CCTV location. They see a turnoff.
Sun Jae visits Coroner Mok for a game of chess and a chat. Coroner Mok comments that Kwang Ho eschews technology just like he does. Sun Jae tells him Kwang Ho has a cell phone. Coroner Mok comments that those that live without technology often have something to hide. Sun Jae recalls the waitress telling Kwang Ho that he shouldn’t besmirch her for living under an assume identity. She says she can spot identity thieves. Sun Jae tells Coroner Mok he’s got to leave. Coroner Mok comments that some hide in the light versus the dark.
When Sun Jae returns to the police station, he spots someone look in the bullpen. It’s taxi driver Oh looking for Kwang Ho. Taxi driver Oh is impressed when Sun Jae recognizes him. He comments that Kwang Ho is always talking about what happened 30 years ago. Taxi driver Oh tells Sun Jae to remind Kwang Ho that he promised to help him get a job. He leaves. Sun Jae stares after him.
Sun Jae goes through Kwang Ho’s desk. Sun Jae realizes he hasn’t seen a picture of Kwang Ho. He realizes that Team Leader Chun has been deferential to Kwang Ho. He sees the photo of the car chase on Team Leader Chun’s computer. He answers the phone call on Team Leader Chun’s phone. The man says they’ve found a vehicle in a ravine and the owner is 1998-born Kwang Ho.
Sun Jae arrives at the site. He looks in the car. He walks the forest. He finds the body of 1988-born Kwang Ho!! Sun Jae wonders if this is Kwang Ho then who is his partner?
This episode didn’t have the emotional impact or tie in to the serial killer the previous episodes have had. The wow moment was Sun Jae finding 1988-born’s body and realizing that Kwang Ho isn’t who he claims. And all that happened in the last 5 minutes of the episode. The episodes highlights:
* Sun Jae realizes Kwang Ho is a not who he claims. The identity theft criminal seemed to know this. I don’t know how. That seemed like a bit of a stretch. Coroner Mok (who I like quite a bit) triggered Sun Jae to realize that Kwang Ho’s lack of tech could indicate he’s hiding something. Team Leader Chun’s deferential behavior and close relationship with rookie Kwang Ho was another piece of the puzzle. It all added up to Sun Jae realizing Kwang Ho isn’t the rookie cop he proports to be. Kwang Ho and Team Leader Chun indiscrete exchanges added up to “loose lips sink ships.”
* 1998-born Kwang Ho is dead. We all suspected this to be true. Last we saw, he was found in the woods by the killer. Did he uncover the killer identity and had to be silenced? The fallout from this discovery will make things decidedly uncomfortable for Kwang Ho and Team Leader Chun. This needed to happen. They couldn’t keep the secret from Sun Jae forever. Even Officer Kwak and Officer Song have wondered about the friendly informal relationship between Team Leader Chun and Kwang Ho.
* Sun Jae and Professor Shin inch closer. I declare Sun Jae’s flipping the sign status to vacation as darling. Professor Shin likes him. He likes her. They moving at a snail’s pace. But I don’t mind the slow progress. It’s charming. I loved when Kwang Ho teased Sun Jae about liking Professor Shin. It was like they were 10 year old boys. Cute moment! Do you think the Dean is a bit nosy and interfering with Professor Shin’s life?
* This episodes’ case severed as the trigger for Sun Jae to see Kwang Ho hiding in the light. But this case had no emotional depth or draw at all. I was spoiled by the last two cases. This one was a means to an end but didn’t offer any content other than being a catalyst.
Detective Park Kwang Ho (Choi Jin Hyuk) has pretended to be 1988-Kwang Ho but that secret identity has been blown. I’m okay with this happening. It will add depth and move the story forward. I hope it helps to reveal the connection between Sun Jae’s serial killer and Kwang Ho’s serial killer. Then the connection that Sun Jae’s mother’s murder is a case Kwang Ho worked to solve 30 years ago will follow suit. Kwang Ho has an easy vibe can’t penetrate Professor Shin’s impassive ways. I enjoy his baffled frustration. Kwang Ho and Team Leader Chun will have to pay the piper for their indiscreet moments. The time has come for this.