The Game Towards Zero Episode 3
Detective Seo Joon Young (Lee Yun Hee) finds a footprint the serial killer left. Officer Ji listen to Joon Young’s belief that Jo Pil Doo left it and victim’s shoes intentionally. Officer Joon shares that Coroner Goo confirmed the cause of death for the butcher (died in episode 1) was a heart attack. She muses that she wants to believe Tae Pyung’s abilities and not just because he’s handsome.
Kim Tae Pyung (Ok Taec Yeon) agrees that Mi Jin surviving was a miracle. But he’s unsettled as to why his vision didn’t come true when it has come true every other time, for every other client. Joon Young teases she has the power to control death. She tells Tae Pyung she’ll drive him home.
Captain Lee watches his daughter sleep. He recalls how engrossed he was in work and didn’t pick up his wife’s calls. He steps outside the room and sees his wife. They hug. He apologizes.
Chief Nam and Team Leader Han asks Captain Lee if he’s been threatened recently. The answer is no. He thanks them for saving his daughter. Chief Nam reminds Captain Lee that the seventh victim was saved only to be murdered in the hospital. Chief Nam declares they can’t that happen again. Chief Nam says Joon Young, who Captain Lee tortured years ago, is the one he should thank.
Joon Young is shocked when Tae Pyung doesn’t know anything about serial killer Jo Pil Doo.
Captain Lee remembers his past with the seventh victim…flashback…reporter Lee report to his boss that the victim has been moved a single room. The boss orders him to get a photo. When a nurse enters the room, RL snaps photos that capture the room number. Later the killer comes to the room and kills the victim. RL watches the parents berate Chief Nam for letting their daughter die. The other reporters wonder how the killer know which room the victim was in.
Captain Lee rushes to his daughter’s room. He removes her name from the door.
Tae Pyung shares that he doesn’t watch any TV. Joon Young realizes that watching TV or movies would be difficult. Tae Pyung watches her with pleasure. He wonders if not being able to see her death, is allowing him to enjoy this simple car ride. Joon Young teases him for staring at her. Joon Young walk Tae Pyung to his house. She thanks him. She suggests they work together on future cases. Tae Pyung agrees to think about it. They wish each other a good night. Tae Pyung watches Joon Young walk away.
Inside, Tae Pyung reflects that previously he’s never been wrong but that changed tonight. He stares at the picture of the beach.
Is that the beach he’ll die at as an old man?
Team Leader Han Dong Woo, Officer Joon, and Joon Young watch Chief Nam brief the reporters on yesterday’s events. They decide to cut out for food. As they exit the building, Captain Lee walks towards them. Joon Young and Captain Lee lock eyes.
In an interrogation room Joon Young and Captain Lee talk. He notes she’s grown up. He says he doesn’t know how to thank her. Joon Young counters shoe only did her job. With Chief Nam, Team Leader Han, and Officer Joon watching on the other side of the mirror, Joon Young asks why he came today. Captain Lee shows her the article he wrote with the picture of the seventh victim that identified the room number. Captain Lee believes Jo Pil Doo saw the article and finished what he started. He wonders if attacking his daughter was revenge from the girl’s father. Joon Young points out during that time, it is unlikely the victim’s father ever saw the photo or read his article. Someone would only read articles if they wanted details. Joon Young shares that she saw the picture of her father’s body in Captain Lee’s article.
Flashback…a young Joon Young reads the article that details her father’s injuries and stares at the photo of his body. Detective Nam and Reporter Lee argue about his right to publish the picture of Joon Young’s father. They stop when an officer notes that young Joon Young is in the room. Reporter Lee and Joon Young lock eyes.
Joon Young recites the injuries to her father from his article. She points out that he was desperate for an exclusive and used her father’s death for his own gain. She doesn’t believe the seventh victim’s father would seek revenge 20 years later. Captain Lee blurts the assailant targeted his daughter just like the seventh victim. He points out that the seventh victim was kidnapped after buying a birthday cake for his mother (just like his daughter). Captain Lee is adamant the seventh victim’s father is the assailant.
Tae Pyung is shocked to find himself locked him his room by Lawyer Lee Yeon Hwa. She says it is on Teacher Baek’s orders. He gets her to unlock the door. He strides to Teacher Baek. They argue. Teacher Baek states if Tae Pyung works with the police their relationship is over. Tae Pyung wants to know why the death he saw changed. Teacher Baek asks if this is because of the death he saw 20 years ago.
Flashback…20 years ago…a young Tae Pyung has the dream that those close to him will die. Forced, young Tae Pyung tells a young friend that he’ll kill himself. He walks away. They are both upset.
Tae Pyung tells Teacher Baek that he stayed away from his parents because of his fear of being too close to them.
Flashback…A young Tae Pyung meets Teacher Baek and tell him how he sees everyone’s death every day.
Teacher Baek admits he doesn’t form attachments due to his fear. He doesn’t want to be afraid anymore. Teacher Baek says learning why one died won’t stop his fear. All humans live with fear. Teacher Baek wants to try with Joon Young. He doesn’t want to ignore this chance. He asks Teacher Baek to help him. Teacher Baek walks away without a word. Tae Pyung wipes tears away.
The team searches for the seventh victim’s father. No one answers the door and the mail is piled up. They ask in the neighborhood. One person says he’s at a hospital. The nurse tells them his in room 210. They enter the room and learn he died that morning. They look at his belongings and find a family photo. Joon Young reports this to Team Leader Han. The analysis on the shoeprint at the scene of the crime continues.
Lawyer Lee snatches the article about Joon Young’s father murder from Tae Pyung and reads it. Tae Pyung knows that article must have hurt Joon Young. He tells Lawyer Lee the photo Joon Young brought the first time she came to the house was her mother who died shortly after Joon Young was born. Lawyer Lee reads about the seventh victim. Tae Pyung grabs the article and stares at the victim’s eyes. He sees the victim killed. He sees the murderer. Tae Pyung wants to see Mi Jin’s photo to make sure she’s really safe.
Joon Young visits Mi Jin. Captain Lee is there. Mi Jin loves the light that Joon Young brings her. Mi Jin says it is nice to meet the woman behind the voice that helped her survive being buried alive. Mi Jin admits she thought she would die. Joon Young asks for Mi Jin’s help to see can catch the culprit. Mi Jin says she can’t remember anything.
Outside the room, Mi Jin’s mother thanks her for visiting. Joon Young asks for hypnosis to help Mi Jin remember. They promise to think about it. Captain Lee doesn’t want to talk about the seventh victim’s father in front of his wife.
Captain Lee admits he didn’t tell his wife about the seventh victim’s father and why he’d want revenge. Joon Young points out sooner or later his wife will find out. She informs Captain Lee that the seventh victim’s father died yesterday. Joon Young believes the Mi Jin was stalked for a period of time. She guesses that his wife may have met him. Joon Young would prefer that Mi Jin go home as soon as possible. She says the hospital is too open. She walks away. Captain Lee calls out and thanks her. Joon Young doesn’t respond but you can tell it hits a nerve. As she turns the corner, we see Coroner Goo watching her. The young reporter and her boss are blocked from seeing Mi Jin. Joon Young tells them the girl is doing well. You can tell the young reporter is conflicted.
Lawyer Lee asks Teacher Baek what his plan is. Teacher Baek says he can’t stop Tae Pyung. Teacher Baek says Tae Pyung will have to learn the hard lesson himself.
Tae Pyung drives in the night.
Joon Young stares at a picture of herself and her father. She misses him.
Flashback…happy times with a young Joon Young and her father.
Tears fill Joon Young’s eyes. The wind snags the photo. Coroner Goo grabs it and says he’ll come to her to return it. Coroner Goo arrives on the rooftop and returns the photo. He chides the detective for sitting on the edge. He introduces himself. Joon Young is surprised.
Tae Pyung arrives at the police station.
Joon Young brings them hot drinks. Coroner Goo learns how he got the nickname 4 weeks (it takes him a month to get the autopsy results out). Joon Young asks how he knew who she was. Coroner Goo admits he was at the hospital when a man called her by name to thank her. Joon Young asks why he came to the hospital. He says he came at a friend’s request. He thanks her for saving Mi Jin. He’s happy he didn’t have to perform an autopsy. She asks him to speak to the DNA department to hurry results. Coroner Goo says that won’t happen.
Tae Pyung arrives at the bull pen only to learn Joon Young isn’t there. Chief Nam arrives. Tae Pyung can’t take his eyes from the man. Chief Nam asks who he is. Team Leader Han is forced to explain. Chief Nam is not happy. He orders Team Leader Han to talk to him alone.
Why was Tae Pyung fixated by Chief Nam?
Officer Joon and Officer Bong ask Tae Pyung who was the photo that Joon Young gave him at his house. Tae Pyung declines to answer. Officer Bong wants to know how he’ll die. Tae Pyung says nothing. Officer Joon says he wants to live to 65. Officer Bong and Officer Joon talk about getting married and growing old. Tae Pyung thinks these two will die together and it will be a terrible death. Team Leader Han exits Chief Nam’s office and declares they must use forensics. Officer Bong and Officer Joon pass Tae Pyung a phone with Mi Jin’s photo.
Death scene…Mi Jin is strangled in the hospital by a man in a mask.
Was that Coroner Goo?
Coroner Goo asks how Joon Young knew the victim was buried. Joon Young teases she has a fortune teller. Coroner Goo says if Joon Young tells him, he’ll help her with the DNA results. Joon Young spills the beans about Tae Pyung’s ability. Coroner Goo chuckles.
Death scene…Mi Jin pulls the mask down. It’s Coroner Goo!
Tae Pyung stares at the phone.
Death scene…CJ strangles Mi Jin and speaks to Tae Pyung “Why am I’m doing this? You saw this, so you should know”. He releases the now dead Mi Jin. She falls to the floor.
Nightmare scene…The man in the scene is revealed to be Coroner Goo. He tells Tae Pyung “try losing someone that is precious to you. Then you’ll understand”. Just like all the other nightmares, the man (Coroner Goo) falls backwards.
Flashback…a young Tae Pyung tells a young friend he’ll kill himself.
Death scene…Coroner Goo walks out of Mi Jin’s room. The clock reads 1900.
Tae Pyung demands to know the hospital. It’s past 1900. Team Leader Han asks if Tae Pyung saw her death. Tae Pyung confirms this. Team Leader Han asks if Tae Pyung knows the killer. Tae Pyung admits it is someone he met 20 years ago.
Officer Bong calls Joon Young and asks her to come to the station. Officer Bong explains that Tae Pyung came by and wanted to see if Mi Jin’s death changed. Joon Young repeats that. Coroner Goo is all ears. Officer Bong says it isn’t positive. Joon Young tells him she’ll be there soon. Joon Young excuses herself and leaves. Coroner Goo watches her hurry away. He turns toward the hospital.
Mild mannered Coroner Goo is a killer. Writer Lee revealed that Coroner Goo will kill Mi Jin. The first question is Coroner Goo a Jo Pil Doo copycat? If not, why is he killing? Wasn’t serial killer Jo Pil Doo the man that killed the seventh victim in the hospital? Is he still alive? It’s surprising that Coroner Goo was unmasked in the third episode. Now we’ll cringe every time Joon Young gives him information. It’s an interesting choice by Writer Lee. Are we dealing with only one killer (Coroner Goo) or two (Coroner Goo and Jo Pil Doo)?
Detective Seo Joon Young (Lee Yun Hee) was classy during her interactions with Captain Lee. She was professional but let him know that article he wrote about the seventh victim likely did lead to her death. Of course, it did. His picture clearly showed the victim’s room number. The flashback showed the man vigorously strangling the seventh victim. Coroner Goo used the same kind of vigor. It’s going to be tough to watch Joon Young tell Coroner Goo things. He’s establishing that relationship for his own advantage. Of course, everyone trusts Coroner Goo and won’t suspect him. Tae Pyung doesn’t know his face.
Kim Tae Pyung (Ok Taec Yeon) saw Mi Jin murdered…by Coroner Goo. It was dramatic license that he had to go to the police station to get a photo of Mi Jin. Any newspaper or video clip on his phone would have had her face. Regardless, Tae Pyung seeing Mi Jin’s death was only part of the reveal. The next part was Coroner Goo’s face as the murderer. Then Coroner Goo speaking to Tae Pyung in the flashback. Then the replay to the nightmare with the man now revealed to be Coroner Goo. We know Tae Pyung dies on the beach an old man clutching the necklace. He can’t see Joon Young’s death. Does Coroner Goo kill her to fulfill the promise to take something precious from Tae Pyung. Again, it’s very interesting that Writer Lee is revealing this much information this early. Let’s see what happens next. One last thing, why was Tae Pyung riveted by Chief Nam?
I rate this episode as very good, 8 on a 10-point scale.