The Game Towards Zero Episode 5
Kim Tae Pyung (Ok Taec Yeon) asks Detective Seo Joon Young (Lee Yun Hee) how long she’s known Coroner Goo, the man he’s seen in visions kill Mi Jin. Not long. Tae Pyung believes once they see Coroner Goo, they’ll know if he’s the murderer.
Mi Jin’s mother and father are helped down the hospital hallway away from the daughter’s dead body.
Coroner Goo Do Kyung (Im Joo Hwan) greets Joon Young with a big smile. She introduces Tae Pyung. Coroner Goo and Tae Pyung lock eyes. Tae Pyung sees the vision of Coroner Goo holding him at knife point on the edge of a roof top with police guns drawn. Coroner Goo tells Tae Pyung he’ll never find Joon Young. Coroner Goo falls backwards off the roof and to his death.
Tae Pyung can’t believe that Joon Young will be the collateral damage. Tae Pyung remembers their encounter 20 years ago.
Flashback…a young Tae Pyung says he can see the moment of someone’s death when he looks in someone’s eyes. Looking in the mirror, he sees himself as an old man. He sees himself walking a beach, holding a necklace. He suffers a heart attack and collapses. He cries. The young Tae Pyung wants to know why he dies there and why does he cry.
Flashback…on the same beach a young Joon Young enjoys a shoulder ride from her father. They have fun. He gets a call and tells Joon Young they have to leave.
Flashback…a young Joon Young finds a man (a young Teacher Baek) in a bathtub with his wrists slashed. He cries that he came to ask him something. At the hospital the police ask him why he was alone in the house with the man. Joon Young can only see their deaths and passes out. At the hospital, Joon Young waits in the waiting room where a young Tae Pyung sleeps. When her father comes for her, she stands to leave. She slides a lollipop in Tae Pyung’s hands before she leaves.
Flashback…a young Tae Pyung wakes. A young Teacher Baek thanks him for saving him. He asks why Joon Young came from America to see him. Joon Young asks by Teacher Baek tried to kill himself when he knew he wouldn’t die. Teacher Baek realizes Tae Pyung can see deaths too. Tae Pyung admits he doesn’t share his gift. Teacher Baek admits it is a difficult gift. He says not knowing certain deaths is even harder. Tae Pyung sees a photo of a woman. He sees Teacher Baek’s future wife injured in an accident. Teacher Baek says that was the day he proposed to her. He tells his future wife she’s the only one whose death he can’t see. A truck rams the car on the passenger side. Teacher Baek wishes he had known so he could have changed the outcome.
Flashback…The seventh victim’s father rails at Detective Nam for not protecting his daughter in the hospital before she was killed. Reporter Lee watches. The police officers tells Detective Nam that on the girl’s ID they found Jo Pil Doo’s fingerprints. Detective Nam orders Jo Pil Doo arrested. Reporter Lee listens.
Flashback… Detective Nam and his men chase Jo Pil Doo. The man struggles with one of the officers who goes over the stairs’ edge and falls to his death. Enraged Detective Nam beats on Jo Pil Doo. Reporter Lee article describes in detail the officer’s death. The officer was Joon Young’s father.
Flashback…A young Joon Young reads Reporter Lee’s article and its graphic details. Detective Nam and Reporter Lee argue about the article. Reporter Lee declares the public had the right to know the details. Both men spy a young Joon Young and stop arguing. Detective Nam walks to her and sees she’s ready Reporter Lee’s article. He snatches the article from Joon Young and orders Reporter Lee kick out of the station.
Flashback…a young Do Kyung watches his father pulled from the police van to reenact the murder of one of the serial killer’s victims. Reporter Lee is there among the gaggle of reporters. Do Kyung calls to his father. He watches Detective Nam force his father to push a victim into a coffin. The crowd goes wild. Do Kyung’s father weeps. Detective Nam forces Do Kyung’s father to toss a cell phone into the coffin. Do Kyung’s father sees his son. The police drag Jo Pil Doo away.
Flashback…the police pulls Jo Pil Doo into the station. A young Joon Young is there. She asks why he killed his father. Do Kyung enters the station. He sees his father apologize to Joon Young. The police take his father away. Do Kyung cries. He exits the police station into the rain. Reporter Lee recognizes him and takes his picture. The other reporters circle him taking pictures.
Flashback…Do Kyung’s mother and Do Kyung hid in an eatery. A crowd bangs on the window demanding she come outside. Do Kyung’s mother orders him to stay put while she goes outside. The crowd throws blood on his, hits her and demands to know how she didn’t know her husband was a serial killer. Do Kyung rushes outside and declares they had no idea. Reporter Lee is there and snaps pictures.
Flashback…at the bus station Do Kyung’s mother gives him a bag of food. She tells her son she has take a break. She looks back longingly at her son as she walks away. Do Kyung finds money in the bag. He goes to look for his mother. He sees her on a bus that is pulling out of the station. He runs after the bus but to no avail. Do Kyung’s mother sobs on the bus. Now Do Kyung is alone. Father in prison and mother gone. Do Kyung eats the food.
Flashback…Do Kyung sleeps at the police station. He’s brought to Hope Orphanage. He delivers newspapers. Some with articles about his mother abandoning him, Joon Young being left an orphan, Joon Young being sent to Hope Orphanage.
Flashback…At the orphanage, Do Kyung cleans the floors. The nun sees the article in the paper about Joon Young coming to the orphanage. The nun says she wants to protect Do Kyung from the reporters while the girl stays at there for the evening. Do Kyung understands and accepts the keys to the nun’s apartment. As Do Kyung walk to the nun’s apartment, he sees Joon Young walking by. He watches her. He watches a nun warmly interact with Joon Young. Reporter Lee takes pictures of Joon Young sitting outside. She spots him. Reporter Lee comes closer for better pictures. Do Kyung graphs Reporter Lee’s camera and runs away. Reporter Lee gives chase. Do Kyung stamps on the camera and tells Reporter Lee to stop. Reporter Lee calls Do Kyung selfish. He says Do Kyung’s father killed 7 young girls and killed Joon Young’s father during a pursuit. He picks up the pieces of his camera and walks away. Joon Young finds Do Kyung and asks if he’s okay. She thanks him. She asks his name. Do Kyung claims not have a name. Joon Young says she doesn’t have a mom or dad either. She gives him a lollipop. She enjoys a lollipop herself.
Flashback…Teacher Baek and a young Tae Pyung visit the orphanage. One of the nuns tries to engage Joon Young but he doesn’t say much. He says she’s ill. The nun is taken aback. Joon Young asks why Teacher Baek didn’t tell her. The nun says Teacher Baek started visiting the orphanage after he lost his sight so he never saw her death. Joon Young confirms he can see death. He sees boys looking in the window. A nun pushes Teacher Baek through the ground. Teacher Baek wonders why Joon Young has been cursed with such a gift.
Flashback…Detective Nam sees Joon Young and Do Kyung walking together. He rushes to Joon Young and pulls her away.
Flashback…Teacher Baek wonders why he’s to do know.
Flashback …A boy confronts Joon Young about his ability to see death. He holds Joon Young. Other boys bring Do Kyung. They order Joon Young to see Do Kyung’s death. Joon Young stares into Do Kyung’s eyes. Do Kyung grabs Joon Young and demands to know how he dies. Joon Young says he’ll die surrounded by police officer and fall to his death. The boys leave clamoring with the news. Joon Young walks away. Do Kyung stands stunned at the revelation.
Tae Pyung watches Do Kyung walk towards him. He thinks his gift feels like a curse. He wonders what would have happened if he hadn’t told him about his death 20 years ago. Coroner Goo introduces himself. Tae Pyung and Joon Young lock eyes. She finds the gash on Do Kyung’s arms. She handcuffs him. Do Kyung says he’s not the culprit like Tae Pyung says. Do Kyung stares at Tae Pyung and thinks “try losing someone you deem precious. You’ll never find Joon Young”. He grins. Tae Pyung grabs Do Kyung and demands to know what he wants. Joon Young tells him to calm down. Chief Nam and Team Leader Han arrive. Team Leader Han explains why they suspect Coroner Goo. Chief Nam tells Team Leader Han to suppress that Coroner Goo is a suspect.
Joon Young enters Mi Jin’s room and sees her body. She remembers saving her. She remembers Mi Jin thanking her. She sees the clock it reads 16:48. She recalls Tae Pyung saying the time of death switched from 19:00 to 14:00.
She finds Tae Pyung. He knows he can’t see her death. He wonders if it is because Joon Young will die because of him. He doesn’t want to believe it. She asks if he’s okay. Chief Nam enters the room. He asks to speak with Tae Pyung alone. Joon Young exits.
Chief Nam asks why Tae Pyung got agitated earlier. Tae Pyung looks at Chief Nam and sees his death by explosion. Tae Pyung reiterates that Do Kyung will kills himself while surrounded by police officer. He points the sketch he had made of Do Kyung. Tae Pyung notes if the police had that sketch, then Mi Jin would still be alive. Chief Nam says he needs evidence. Tae Pyung tells him to find it, noting Mi Jin should have Do Kyun’s DNA under her fingernail. He says Mi Jin fought to unmask Do Kyung while he was strangling her, that’s how he saw that her murderer was Do Kyung. Tae Pyung tells Chief Nam not to let Do Kyung escape justice.
He exits and tells Joon Young he’ll call her later. He walks away.
Captain Lee asks Team Leader Han who is the suspect in custody. Team Leader Han says they can’t share that information right now.
The reporter and younger reporter learn that Mi Jin was killed. She worries their article might have incited the murder. He tells her to keep quiet.
Forensics swab Do Kyung’s mouth. He tells Joon Young this is ludicrous. Joon Young says he and Tae Pyung met 20 years ago at the orphanage and Tae Pyung predicted Do Kyung’s death. She shuts the police van door in Do Kyung’s face. She orders her team to get the evidence they need.
At the police station Team Leader Han tells Do Kyung to stamp his fingerprint.
Lawyer Lee tells Tae Pyung if the police don’t find the evidence, Do Kyung will be released. Tae Pyung asks why Teacher Baek didn’t tell him. Tae Pyung believes Teacher Baek knows the reason why he can’t see Joon Young’s death. Teacher Baek says Tae Pyung and Joon Young are in an ill-fated relationship. They like each other, but can never be together. Tae Pyung can’t see Joon Young’s death because she dies because of him.
What a burden Tae Pyung’s ability is. Writer Lee weaved all the flashbacks we’ve seen with additional ones to show the connection the trio of leads formed as young children due to tragedy. Do Kyung’s father was falsely accused of being the serial killer and accidentally killed Joon Young’s father during the arrest attempt. Joon Young and Do Kyung meet at the orphanage. Teacher Baek brings Tae Pyung to the orphanage and there he is forced to tell Do Kyung how he dies. Too bad Teacher Baek brought Tae Pyung to the orphanage, that created the dreadful connection between these two men. My hat is off to Writer Lee for the well-formed backstory. What happens going forward? Will the real serial killer ever be found or will that never be resolved? Will Do Kyung be released due to lack of evidence?
Detective Seo Joon Young (Lee Yun Hee) believes Do Kyung killed Mi Jin. The flashback wove together Joon Young’s sad story of loss. She’s totally innocent in this mess. Her father was killed by Do Kyung’s father. She met Do Kyung at the orphanage and was kind to him. But arresting Mi Jin’s killer is what mattered. I hate to say it but I’m guessing the police won’t find sufficient evidence to keep Do Kyung more than 24 hours.
Kim Tae Pyung (Ok Taec Yeon) put the pieces of the past together. Tae Pyung remembers the encounter with Do Kyung 20 years ago at the orphanage. Teacher Baek inadvertently created the opportunity for Do Kyung and Tae Pyung to meet at the orphanage. We learned that Tae Pyung can’t see Joon Young’s future because he’s the cause of her death per Teacher Baek who was the driver in the accident that killed the woman he loved. Of course, it was the truck that speared the passenger side of the car that really did the fatal damage. What is the mental connection between Do Kyung and Tae Pyung? It appears that Do Kyung’s thoughts can be heard by Tae Pyung when Do Kyung thinks them to Tae Pyung. Is Joon Young’s fate sealed? Will Do Kyung abduct and bury her where Tae Pyung will never find her?
Coroner Goo Do Kyung (Im Joo Hwan) has a sad backstory. I feel empathy for the young Do Kyung. His father was accused and convicted of crimes he didn’t commit. He saw Detective Nam force his father to reenact a murder he didn’t commit. He saw Reporter Lee take photos and sell articles exploiting his family’s story and Joon Young’s family story. Then he met a young Tae Pyung and demanded to know his death. I felt empathy for the young Do Kyung’s to learn he’d kill himself. I was glad when Do Kyung crushed the intrusive Reporter Lee’s camera after he photographed Joon Young at the orphanage. Then Detective Nam snatched Joon Young away from Do Kyung and the orphanage. But what Do Kyung has chosen to do as an adult is a different story. His smug smile irks. Do Kyung caused Reporter Lee the ultimate pain and achieved revenge by killing his daughter.
I rate this episode as very good, 8 on a 10-point scale.