The moment of truth has come…
Tunnel Episode 7 Recap
Flashback…1998-born Kwang Ho is chased by the killer. He almost hits Detective Park Kwang Ho (Choi Jin Hyuk) in the crosswalk. He barrels on without responding to Kwang Ho. 1988-born Kwang Ho recalls the killer injecting him with something. He drives erratically trying to fight off the drug. His car tumbles down a ravine. The killer driving a jeep gets out of his car and stares at Kwang Ho who struggles away from the accident site. The young Kwang Ho flees but the drugs and his injury from the accident make him easy prey. The killer attacks young Kwang Ho who valiantly fights but is choked to death.
Present… Lt. Kim Seon Jae (Yoon Hyun Min) searches the woods. He finds 1988-born Kwang Ho’s body and badge. He searches the car. He finds his license.
Kwang Ho and Team Leader Chun check the CCTV camera location of the last place 1988-born Kwang Ho’s car was seen. They ask around but no one recognizes the car. Kwang Ho wonders where 1988-born Kwang Ho disappeared to.
Sun Jae calls someone and tells him to meet him. Using his flashlight (shout out to the props) examines the body. Sun Jae wonders why 1988-born Kwang Ho was killed so far from the accident site. Why was he chased? Someone crackles through the woods. Sun Jae aims his flashlight on…Coroner Mok. Wow, I expected Kwang Ho. Not good for Kwang Ho that Sun Jae didn’t call his partner. Sun Jae points out the body. He asks Coroner Mok to keep this a secret. Coroner Mok hesitates but agrees because he trusts Sun Jae must have a good reason. Sun Jae promise to tell all later. They move the body with the goal of answering 2 questions – who is the body and how did he die?
Kwang Ho gets a hankering for dumplings on the way home. He sweet talks Team Leader Chun into paying.
When Kwang Ho gets home, he knocks on the door of Professor Shin Jae Yi (Lee Yoo Young) and offers the dumplings for her dinner. She tries to shut the door in his face, but his arm prevents this. Professor Shin tells him she doesn’t like dumplings. Kwang Ho grouses wondering why he bothers with her. He comments that she and Sun Jae look good together. He suggests they get married. She walks away. He looks at the dumplings and remembers his wife used to love them.
Alone in his apartment, Kwang Ho stares at his cell phone. He calls someone. He wonders where Yeon Sook is. Ah, he’s talking to Yeon Sook. The back and forth scene is lovely. He tells her to wait a bit longer for him to return. Tears fill his eyes.
Flashback...pregnant Shin Yeon Sook (Lee Shi A) tells that baby Kwang Ho would call all the time. She tells the invitro baby that Kwang Ho would calls her every time he traveled for business. Tears fill her eyes.
That was a well craft scene. The pregnant vulnerable Yeon Sook touched my heart. The determined sad Kwang Ho touched my heart. I do hope at the end of the series, they are reunited. But where is she in the present timeframe?
Sun Jae recalls Kwang Ho telling him that he wasn’t “that” Kwang Ho (meaning the 1988-born Kwang Ho). Coroner Mok calls him.
At the morgue, Coroner Mok is taken aback that the body is 1988-born Kwang Ho. He asks who Kwang Ho is. He tells Sun Jae that 1988-born Kwang Ho was strangled, battered and drugged. He asks if Kwang Ho has something to do with the murder. Sun Jae agrees he needs to find this out. He leaves Coroner Mok with questions not answers.
Sun Jae has his car dusted for fingerprints. Kwang Ho’s prints do NOT match any in that database. Sun Jae stares at his partner as Kwang Ho walks into the police station. He wonders who Kwang Ho is.
Inside the police stations, Officer Kwak Tae Hee (Kim Byung Chul) and Officer Song Min Ha (Kang Ki Young) don’t have any information on the license plate number Team Leader Chun asked them to check. They wonder why Team Leader Chun is keeping them in the dark. Sun Jae arrives and wonders the same thing. He stares at Kwang Ho. He says he doesn’t know who he is. Uncomfortable, Kwang Ho tells Team Leader Chun to come with him. Team Leader Chun hurries after the departing Kwang Ho. No one understands why Team Leader Chun is deferential to Kwang Ho. Sun Jae shakes his head.
Kwang Ho wonders why Sun Jae is acting strange. Team Leader Chun tells him not to worry. They decide to talk to the people that 1988-born Kwang Ho spoke with from his phone log.
Sun Jae searches Kwang Ho’s desk. Officer Kwak and Officer Song ask what he’s looking for. He finds the cell phone box.
Sun Jae calls the phone company to see who the phone is registered to. He’s surprised when the phone’s owner is Team Leader Chun. He recalls that Team Leader Chun called Kwang Ho sir.
Now Sun Jae searches Team Leader Chun’s desk. Officer Kwak and Officer Song can’t sit by and let Sun Jae search without answers to why. Sun Jae shrugs them off, finds Kwang Ho’s address, and leaves.
Kwang Ho and Team Leader Chun stand in front of the pay phone where the last call to 1988-born Kwang Ho was made. Team Leader Chun notes this is Kwang Ho’s home town. They decide to search.
Sun Jae arrives at Kwang Ho’s house (recall Professor Shin lives on the bottom floor and Kwang Ho lives on the top floor). He tries Professor Shin’s door but it’s locked. He sees the upstairs apartment. He tries the door and it’s unlocked. What a difference 30 years makes. No one leaves their door unlocked in the present, where they did in the past. Sun Jae realizes he’s in Kwang Ho’s apartment. He finds boxes of 1988-born Kwang Ho’s things. He sees the moving vehicle ticket with the license plate of the white car he just recently found in the ravine. He wonders if Kwang Ho killed 1988-born Kwang Ho and assumed his identity.
Kwang Ho and Team Leader Chun interview the locals. They learn that Kwang Ho’s guardian died 3 months ago but Kwang Ho did not show up for the funeral. They search the guardian’s house but don’t find anything. Kwang Ho believes that if 1988-born Kwang Ho knew about his guardian’s death, he would have come to the funeral. As they exit the camera zooms on a pile of leaves.
Sun Jae gets information on 1988-born Kwang Ho. He wonders why his partner assumed his identity.
Team Leader Chun and Kwang Ho interview a friend of 1988-born Kwang Ho. He relays the 1988-born Kwang Ho was excited to work the serious crimes unit initially but soon said he’d become involved in something. Both Team Leader Chun and Kwang Ho wonders what that means. Kwang Ho suggests they search the cases 1988-born Kwang Ho was working on. Team Leader Chun says he’ll handle that. He doesn’t want Kwang Ho spotted at the police station.
Sun Jae and Coroner Mok wonder what Kwang Ho is trying to hide. Why did he assume 1988-born Kwang Ho’s identity?
When Sun Jae arrives at 1988-born Kwang Ho’s precinct, he learns someone else was there inquiring about Kwang Ho. Sun Jae asks who it was.
Team Leader Chun and Kwang Ho arrive at the police station. Team Leader Chun doesn’t want him to go inside, but Kwang Ho says he’s already been there once.
Team Leader Chun, Kwang Ho and Sun Jae are all surprised to see each other.
Outside, Sun Jae demands answers. Kwang Ho spins a tale of having his identity stolen. Sun Jae looks to Team Leader Chun for confirmation. Team Leader Chun squeaks out his concurrence. Sun Jae realizes they don’t know 1988-born Kwang Ho is dead. Kwang Ho wonders what Sun Jae knows. Sun Jae says he heard the same identity theft story. Kwang Ho and Team Leader Chun are visibly surprised by this. Sun Jae suggests they work together to find the identity thief. In fact, Sun Jae suggest that he and Kwang Ho work together so Team Leader Chun isn’t bothered by this. Sun Jae snatches the call history from Kwang Ho’s hand. He tells Kwang Ho they should be able to track down the identity thief. Sun Jae walks to his car and leaves.
Kwang Ho is frustrated Sun Jae drove away with the call list. Team Leader Chun is frustrated the Kwang Ho entered the police station and didn’t let him handle it as he recommended. They both know having Sun Jae on the trial isn’t good.
Sun Jae can’t understand what Kwang Ho and Team Leader Chun are trying to hide while they search for 1988-born Kwang Ho.
Sun Jae talks it over with Professor Shin. She doesn’t know the man Sun Jae is describing is Kwang Ho. But she’s adamant that if the man killed Kwang Ho he wouldn’t be looking for him. Professor Shin asks Sun Jae to determine if the identity thief is the kind of man that would commit murder. Professor Shin believes Sun Jae doesn’t believe that the identity thief is the murderer. Sun Jae is stymied.
Kwang Ho leaves his apartment the next morning upset that Sun Jae is on the hunt. He wishes he’d listened to Team Leader Chun. He’s startled to find Sun Jae standing there. Ha! Kwang Ho can’t believe that Sun Jae knows where he lives. Sun Jae retorts he knows many things. He tells Kwang Ho to join him while they make their way down the call history. Kwang Ho tires to avoid working with Sun Jae on this, but he refuses to let Kwang Ho work alone. Kwang Ho shakes his head knowing he can’t tell Kwang Ho the truth.
In her class, Professor Shin listens to her student describe that a killer that uses a stocking to kill, does it for pleasure. Professor Shin tells the class there is a murderer at large that uses stockings as the weapon of choice.
Kwang Ho tries to delay Sun Jae from pursuing the next person on the call list. But Sun Jae won’t be deterred. Kwang Ho sighs knowing the moment of reckoning is coming.
Team Leader Chun orders Officer Kwak and Officer Song to call Sun Jae and Kwang Ho. In unison, they sigh and call back. Ha!
Sun Jae and Kwang Ho speak with a man whose car was blocked by 1988-born Kwang Ho’s car.
They head to the karaoke club where the incident occurred. Adorably Kwang Ho doesn’t understand the point of a karaoke club. Inside the workers are out. Sun Jae tries to call the supplied number but no one answers. Sun Jae leaves his phone on the table while he searches for anyone who is working there. Kwang Ho is nervous knowing that Sun Jae is getting closer. Sun Jae’s phone rings. Kwang Ho sees that the caller is Sun Jae’s father. He recalls Sun Jae saying his father was unable to do anything about his mother’s death.
Kwang Ho answers the phone. Sun Jae’s father asks who he is. Kwang Ho identifies himself as Sun Jae’s partner. Sun Jae’s father is pleased to verbally meet him. Kwang Ho comments that his voice sounds familiar. Recall Kwang Ho was the officer that worked the murder of Sun Jae’s mother 30 years ago. Sun Jae’s father asks Kwang Ho to take care of his son. He hangs up before Kwang Ho can ask him a question. Sun Jae isn’t happy to see Kwang Ho using his phone. He snatches it form Kwang Ho’s hand.
The Karaoke owner returns. Sun Jae and Kwang Ho asks why officer Kwang Ho came there. The owner states it was over an old case. A case where a woman was murdered in a tunnel 30 years ago. Kwang Ho stares stunned. OMG!!! Kwang Ho is visibly amped when he asks the owner why he was questioned. The owner states the woman murdered in the tunnel was his sister. Kwang Ho utters the woman’s name. The owner stares at Kwang Ho in surprise. He demands details. Sun Jae can’t believe Kwang Ho’s rapt interest. The owner explains 30 years ago, when his sister was killed, the police had no leads, no suspects. The owner says the officer said he had an idea who the murderer was. Agitated, Kwang Ho asks for the name. The owner says that the officer never returned to tell him more. Kwang Ho realizes he ran into 1988-born Kwang Ho when he arrived because their fates were tied to catching the serial killer. Sun Jae demands an explanation. Kwang Ho leaves. Sun Jae shouts for him to stop and explain.
Professor Shin stares at the serial killer, Jung Ho Young, Sun Jae interrogated but escaped from the police station before transport years ago. Professor Shin realizes that all the victims were women in skirts. Professor Shin recalls the female serial killer she spoke to told her about a long-ago friend that told her she was complimented on wearing a skirt. The serial killer stated that her friend was found dead days later with a stocking wrapped around her neck. Recall Professor Shin interviewed the female serial killer the first time we saw Professor Shin, nice tie-in to our present story. Professor Shin wonders if Jung Ho Young is the stocking serial killer.
Sun Jae recalls finishing the interview with the karaoke owner after Kwang Ho left abruptly. The owner said the case the young 1988-born Kwang Ho was interested in was over 30 years old. Sun Jae recalls his mother was killed 30 years ago. Yes, yes, yes!! Sun Jae recalls the serial killer, Jung Ho Young, bragging he killed years ago without anyone ever knowing it was him. Sun Jae wonders if the victim was his mother. Sun Jae wonders why Kwang Ho is so familiar with a case 30 years old.
Back at the police station, Kwang Ho finds Team Leader Chun not in. An officer arrives and says the white car belonging to Kwang Ho has been found. Kwang Ho asks where the car is.
Sun Jae drive up to the station to see Kwang Ho get in a taxi. He follows the taxi. Kwang Ho arrives at the ravine. He sees the car and examines it. He searches for 1988-born Kwang Ho. He wonders if 1988-born Kwang Ho is alive or dead. He is startled to see Sun Jae next to him. Sun Jae holds up 1988-born Kwang Ho’s driver’s license. Sun Jae tells Kwang Ho he’s the one that stole 1988-born Kwang Ho’s identity. Sun Jae grabs Kwang Ho’s jacket and shirt and demands to know who he is. His fingerprints aren’t in the database, there is no record of him…who is he? Sun Jae demands to know if Kwang Ho killed 1988-born Kwang Ho. The look of shock and surprise on Kwang Ho’s face is genuine (to me). He’s stunned to learn 1988-born Kwang Ho is dead. Sun Jae asks again if Kwang Ho killed him. Kwang Ho reels from the information. He mutters he’ll never be able to return to Yeon Sook now. He asks where 1988-born Kwang Ho is. Sun Jae handcuffs him and arrests him for the murder of 1988-born Kwang Ho. Unable to believe this is happening, Kwang Ho has no choice but to ask Sun Jae if he’d believe it if Kwang Ho told him he was from the past. YES, YES!!! We’ve waited, the time has come!
Sun Jae calls Kwang Ho crazy. Kwang Ho nods. He states he knew Sun Jae wouldn’t believe him, that why he hid the truth. Sun Jae demands proof. Kwang Ho yells that he wouldn’t lie in a crucial moment like this. He wouldn’t cast aspersions on his credibility by lying. Kwang Ho is passionate and firm…I am from the past. Sun Jae handcuffs Kwang Ho’s other wrist and completes reading him his rights. Kwang Ho tells him not to do this. He says it’s all because of the serial killer. He demands Sun Jae remove the handcuffs.
Terrific scene! We’ve waited 7 episodes for this reveal. The entire episode built to this moment. Both actors delivered. Kwang Ho’s passionate denial of being a murderer and his adamant admission that he was from the past, was perfectly portrayed by Choi Jin Hyuk.
The dean tells Professor Shin that her police contact never heard of the victim Professor Shin mentioned. Professor Shin knows the female serial killer had no reason to lie about her friend being murdered. The dean asks about the connection to serial killer, Jung Ho Young. Professor Shin states that serial killer, Jung Ho Young, murdered for the first time 10 years ago. But the case she asked about was from 30 years ago in the same village serial killer, Jung Ho Young, lived in. Professor Shin wonders if serial killer, Jung Ho Young, began murdering 30 years ago, not 10 as they all believe.
Sun Jae’s father returns home to a dark house. He finds his wife on the floor. Is she dead?
Sun Jae hears Kwang Ho’s denial of being 1988-born Kwang Ho’s murderer. He asks again who Kwang Ho is. Again, Kwang Ho states he’s from the past. He points out he wouldn’t search for 1988-born Kwang Ho if he murdered him. He wonders why 1988-born Kwang Ho died when he came from the past. He was counting on 1988-Kwang Ho being the key to return to the past. Sun Jae doesn’t believe him. Kwang Ho reminds him that he put handcuffs on Sun Jae the first time they met. Kwang Ho couldn’t comprehend how different everything was in this time. Kwang Ho couldn’t believe that Sun Jae was a detective at such a young age. Kwang Ho says he worked 10 years with the serious crimes unit 30 years ago. Sun Jae doesn’t believe him. Kwang Ho barks that he would have believe Sun Jae, his partner. Ah, but therein lies the rub. Sun Jae has major trust issues with partners. Kwang Ho releases that Team Leader Chun can verify they were partners 30 years ago. That gets Sun Jae’s attention.
Professor Shin calls Sun Jae but it goes straight to voicemail.
At the hospital, the Sun Jae’s father watches his wife.
Professor Shin drives to the eatery that Kwang Ho got her the dumplings from.
Sun Jae’s father calls someone (assuming it’s Sun Jae) but gets no answer.
Team Leader Chun returns to the police station but his team isn’t there. He asks an officer about the information about the white car. The officer says he relayed that information yesterday to Kwang Ho. Team Leader Chun wishes he’d told him personally.
Sun Jae pushes a handcuffed Kwang Ho into the station. Team Leader Chun stares in surprise. He orders Sun Jae to remove the handcuffs. Sun Jae pushes him out of the way. That gets all the officer’s attention. Team Leader Chun asks them to leave. When they are slow to do so, Team Leader Chun yells at them to get out. They clear out. Sun Jae accuses Team Leader Chun of knowing that Kwang Ho was an identity thief and a murderer. Kwang Ho asserts he’s no murderer. Team Leader Chun asks whose dead. Sun Jae says that 1988-born Kwang Ho is dead. Team Leader Chun is stunned. Sun Jae is firm. Team Leader Chun is adamant, Kwang Ho did not murder 1988-born Kwang Ho. He yells that he and Kwang Ho were searching for 1988-born Kwang Ho together. Sun Jae asks if they are in this together. Team Leader Chun yells he’s telling the truth. Team Leader Chun whips out the picture of the 1986 serious crime unit that Team Leader Chun worked with. Kwang Ho is front and center. Team Leader Chun says Kwang Ho was his boss 30 years ago. Sun Jae stares at the photo. Team Leader Chun says Kwang Ho’s fingerprints are not in the database. Sun Jae stares from the photo to Kwang Ho. He can’t believe what the photographic evidence is telling him. Team Leader Chun assures Sun Jae he had a hard time believing it too. Team Leader Chun assures him that Kwang Ho is from the past. Sun Jae stares at Kwang Ho who stares into his eyes in return.
At the dumpling eatery, Professor Shin enjoys the food.
Flashback…her mother feeding her dumplings.
Present…Professor Shin pauses. Is this a new memory?
Kwang Ho asks Sun Jae to remove the handcuffs. Team Leader Chun asks Kwang Ho about 1988-born Kwang Ho’s vehicle. Kwang Ho says the vehicle was found but 1988-born Kwang Ho wasn’t. He states Sun Jae knows more, but won’t divulge the information. Team Leader Chun asks Sun Jae for the details of 1988-born Kwang Ho’s death.
Sun Jae’s father arrives at the police station. Yes, yes, yes!! He tells Sun Jae his stepmother is in the hospital. He stares at Kwang Ho. He’s stunned. Kwang Ho bows to Sun Jae’s father. He comments that Sun Jae’s father looks familiar. Sun Jae’s father asks if he’s Detective Park. Yes, yes, yes!! Sun Jae stares at his father. Kwang Ho stares at Sun Jae’s father. The stunned man introduces himself as Seo Yi Soo’s husband, Kim Hwan. Now Kwang Ho is stunned. He asks him to confirm the name Seo Yi Soo. Team Leader Chun mouth falls open in shock. Sun Jae stares at his father, at his partner, unable to comprehend.
Kwang Ho flashes back to the father, the son, holding the son, calling him Sun Jae…he realizes the Sun Jae is the murder victim’s son!!!!!!!!! Kwang Ho stares at Sun Jae. Team Leader Chun stares at Sun Jae. His father stares at his son. AWESOME!!!!!!
The ending of this episode gave me chills. It was perfect! Sun Jae’s father arrival at the police station. Kwang Ho’s vague remembrance. Sun Jae’s father recalling Kwang Ho. Then the concise flashback of moments of the murder, Sun Jae’s father grief, Sun Jae’s father’s daily visits to the police station with his son Sun Jae, Kwang Ho holding the toddler Sun Jae, wow, wow, and wow! Perfection! Sun Jae cannot doubt Kwang Ho anymore. Sun Jae MUST believe Kwang Ho. Sun Jae MUST believe his father. Sun Jae MUST believe Team Leader Chun. Kwang Ho IS from the past. Three men that Sun Jae trusts (though he’s denying he trusts Kwang Ho at this point) confirmed what logically Sun Jae could not believe. The preponderance of evidence cannot be denied. Sun Jae must accept the truth.
What I loved about this superb episode:
* Sun Jae’s methodical and relentless pursuit of the truth. I respect Sun Jae. He went to his trusted friends, Coroner Mok and Professor Shin for help with Kwang Ho’s case without giving them all the details. Professor Shin logically pointed out the Kwang Ho could not be the murderer if he was searching for the victim. Coroner Mok logically pointed out that Kwang Ho wasn’t in the fingerprint database, which did not make sense.
* The confrontation between Kwang Ho and Sun Jae was worth the wait. Once cornered, Kwang Ho had no choice but admit the truth. He KNEW Sun Jae wouldn’t believe him. Sun Jae proved him correct. Sun Jae was unable to go there with Kwang Ho. The logical, methodical, unimpeachable Sun Jae could not believe that Kwang Ho was from the past. Not possible. Kwang Ho HAD to be lying or crazy.
* Professor Shin’s investigation into the serial killer Jung Ho Young, leads her to believe Jung Ho Young murdered much earlier than anyone suspected. Remember when at the end episode 1 recap I asked if Writer Lee had blown it by revealing Jung Ho Young was the serial killer? The answer is clear. No, Writer Lee, did not blow it. Instead Writer Lee used this fact to tie everything together. I love it!
* Professor Shin reveals someone in her past fed her dumplings. We’ve all wondered, who are Professor Shin’s parents? Why was she adopted in England all those years ago? Why is Kwang Ho drawn to forging a relationship with this impassive walled off woman? Is Professor Shin Kwang Ho’s daughter? Did Kwang Ho’s wife leave Korea for England to escape everything? What is the connection?
* Officer Kwak and Officer Song know something is off with everyone they work with. They couldn’t believe when Sun Jae rifled through Team Leader Chun’s desk. Officer Kwak almost came to blows with Sun Jae over the impertinent act. They know the relationship between Team Leader Chun is Kwang Ho is off. But they can’t put their finger on why. Will they learn the truth about Kwang Ho too?
* Team Leader Chun’s support of Kwang Ho is unfailing. The way he took charge and ordered the officers out of the bullpen to give him privacy with Sun Jae and the handcuffed Kwang Ho was authoritative and absolute. Kwang Ho has an excellent friend in Team Leader Chun.
* Sun Jae’s father tugs at my heart strings. What a tough life this poor man has had. His first wife murdered. Justice was never served as the culprit was never caught. The distance between himself and his son Sun Jae. The pain that still racks him even years after his first wife’s death. BTW, that’s a point that Writer Lee has made multiple times. Time does NOT heal all wounds. The pain of Sun Jae’s father cannot be erased. The pain of the father whose son was murdered in the military cannot be erased. Too many times, society tells the victims to get over it and move. But without resolution, pain is nagging constant reminder. I hope Sun Jae’s father, Sun Jae, Kwang Ho, Team Leader Chun will finally catch Jung Ho Young and get the resolution they so richly deserve.
* Touches of humor, flashlight utilization and loving the stylist. Writer Lee gives each character moments of humor, most of it wry which I love. Sun Jae used the flashlight to illuminate 1998-born Kwang Ho’s scene and his friend Coroner Mok arriving to help him. The stylist hits another home run with the baseball style jacket in soft grey that Kwang Ho sported. I’m completely digging the casual yet pulled together style of Kwang Ho.
Detective Park Kwang Ho (Choi Jin Hyuk) was caught by Sun Jae and forced to reveal he was from the past. Choi Jin Hyuk’s portrayal of Kwang Ho works for me on every level. Kwang Ho is old school, chauvinistic, a hard worker, a caring man, and focused on his goal of returning to his wife, who he desperately misses. I’ve felt the relationship between Kwang Ho and his wife, was given insufficient airtime in the first episode to feel the pain of their separation. But in this episode, I felt their pain at this forced separation. Something about Yeon Sook stroking her belly and telling the invitro child that his/her father loved them, grabbed my heart.
Maybe this is why Writer Lee is connecting emotionally with me. Every case that has touched me, has been about people caring for each other. From Sun Jae’s father, to the brother saving his sister, to the Father getting retribution for his murdered son, each time I’ve seen the love between the victim and someone, seen the loss, I’ve been pulled into the story and forced to feel the pain of their loss and sorrow. That’s why last’s episode’s identity theft victim didn’t affect me. While the story was fine, the emotional impact was minimal, whereas every other case has tagged me emotionally. Suffice it to say, Tunnel is working for me, on all levels.