The Game Towards Zero Episode 7
Detective Seo Joon Young (Lee Yun Hee) is in shock after the murder of serial killer Jo Pil Doo, who she knows wasn’t a serial killer. Kim Tae Pyung (Ok Taec Yeon) asks if she came to the hospital to see Jo Pil Doo. She confirms this. Joon Young says Coroner Goo is Jo Pil Doo’s son. She realizes Tae Pyung already knew this. He apologizes for not telling her sooner. He asks how she found out. Just having learned that Chief Nam framed Jo Pil Doo, Joon Young says she can’t explain. Tae Pyung accepts that.
Joon Young tells Chief Nam that she wanted Jo Pil Doo for killing her father, making her an orphan, but now…Chief Nam apologizes. Joon Young believes they must reveal that Jo Pil Doo wasn’t the murderer so Coroner Goo can be arrested. Joon Young says he’ll need to concur and soon. She walks away.
Lawyer Lee Yeon Hwa calls Tae Pyung about Jo Pil Doo’s murder. Tae Pyung confirms he was there when it happened. Lawyer Lee reveals that Coroner Goo was released due to lack of evidence. His DNA wasn’t found under Mi Jin’s fingernails. She warns him to be careful. Tae Pyung wonders about the DNA under Mi Jin’s fingernails and why Joon Young didn’t reveal that it was Jo Pil Doo’s DNA.
Mi Jin’s mother arrives at the police station. The horde of reporters swarm her as officers Joon and Bong bring her into the bullpen. Mi Jin’s mother asks Team Leader Han Dong Woo if Jo Pil Doo is really dead. She says Jo Pil Doo killed her daughter and deserved to die. Team Leader Han asks who told her that.
Mi Jin’s father, Captain Lee, tells the reporter that accidently told his wife that Jo Pil Doo was the killer mistakes happen. The reporter asks if Captain Lee could be willing to give an exclusive interview. Captain Lee decks him in fury. Other employees pull him away. He leaves.
Of course, that’s exactly what Captain Lee would ask the reporter if the situation were reversed.
Coroner Goo Do Kyung (Im Joo Hwan) is told Jo Pil Doo’s body has arrived and it is a priority. Coroner Goo doesn’t want to make this autopsy a priority. He learns Joon Young is there. Coroner Goo enters the room with his father’s body. Joon Young hands him the autopsy request. She says Jo Pil Doo was stabbed but he bled out. Coroner Goo asks Joon Young wants to reduce the charge because Jo Pil Doo was dying of cancer. Joon Young says he doesn’t need to expedite. Coroner Goo counters he wasn’t planning on it. Joon Young promises she’ll be as fair as possible to everyone. She says those still alive must go on. At least that’s what got her through her father’s murder (by Coroner Goo’s father). She leaves.
Coroner Goo pulls back the sheet and cries over his father’s dead body.
Ouch! Having to autopsy your own father!
Nightmare…Tae Pyung stares in the mirror. He sees himself as an old man. He sees his death on the beach clutching the necklace then collapsing from a heart attack. He looks into the mirror again and sees Do Kyung who promises Tae Pyung will never forget losing the most precious person in his life. Coroner Goo promises Tae Pyung will never find Joon Young.
Tae Pyung wakes and remembers Teacher Baek telling her he can’t see Joon Young’s death because he’ll be the cause of it.
Tae Pyung purchases a surveillance camera and other equipment including a small tracking device. She gives a necklace with a tracker embedded. It’s THE necklace Tae Pyung sees in his death dream. Tae Pyung doesn’t buy it.
Lawyer Lee tells Teacher Baek that Tae Pyung has been purchasing surveillance equipment. Teacher Baek says Tae Pyung will use the equipment to watch Coroner Goo. He tells Lawyer Lee that Tae Pyung won’t stop but he will find a way to stop him.
Chief Nam confesses to his boss that evidence against Jo Pil Doo was forged. His boss wants to sweep it under the rug. He yells that the reputation at the police will be smeared. Chief Nam can’t prove Coroner Goo is the murderer. Chief Nam vows to put Coroner Goo away. Chief Nam’s boss warns him the evidence better be rock solid and reporters better not find out the investigation plan.
Coroner Goo takes a toe tag off a body.
Coroner Goo drives away from work with Tae Pyung in pursuit. Coroner Goo probably realizes he’s being followed. Tae Pyung puts a tracking device on Coroner Goo’s car. He watches Coroner Goo punch in his passcode 1109 and wonders what the significance of the number is.
Captain Lee explains his wife believed Jo Pil Doo’s DNA was found under Mi Jin’s nails. Team Leader Han explains that DNA evidence may have been forged. Captain Lee can’t believe it.
Mi Jin’s mother sits in her cell. She’s told she has a visitor.
Captain Lee visits his wife. She’s not very communicative. She asks about their daughter’s funeral. She suggests they cremate Mi Jin so she doesn’t end up in a coffin like the one she was almost killed in. She tells her husband to stay with their daughter and not visit her. Captain Lee promises they’ll make their final goodbye to their daughter together.
Team Leader Han tells the team that staying within lines is important. Chief Nam arrives. He tells all to the team. Chief Nam says he has no excuses for his behavior. He says to put together a new team to investigate. He leaves. Joon Young apologizes for not telling the team. Team Leader Han declares that finding the culprit is what matter. They all agree. They tell Chief Nam they’ll do the investigation. Team Leader Han asks how Chief Nam will deal with Coroner Goo. Chief Nam says he’ll apologize to Coroner Goo and hope to get him to confess. He says he’ll record the conversation.
Joon Young calls Tae Pyung during his stakeout of Do Kyung. She asks Tae Pyung why he came to the hospital. Tae Pyung says he came to tell her that Do Kyung and Jo Pil Doo’s son was the same person. He tells her everything will work out. He tells her she’s the coolest detective ever. She smiles.
The next morning, Do Kyung exits his apartment. Tae Pyung enters his apartment to plant devices. Do Kyung returns while Tae Pyung is still there. Then Chief Nam arrives. The team watches and listens to Chief Nam’s conversation with Do Kyung. Chief Nam sinks to his knees and confesses that Do Kyung’s father wasn’t the culprit and he fabricated evidence to convict him. He says he was out of his mind with grief when Do Kyung’s father killed Joon Young’s father. Chief Nam says the bodies always appeared where his father worked. Then he forged Jo Pil Doo’s name on a hair sample from the suspect to generate the DNA evidence to make him guilty. Chief Nam apologizes for not correcting his mistake when Do Kyung called him 3 years ago. Chief Nam says he went to see Kim Hyung Soon, the man Do Kyung identified as the murderer but he had vacated the location Do Kyung provided. Do Kyung believes him. He asks why Chief Nam is confessing. Chief Nam agrees to make a public confession if he’ll stop to honor the memory of Mi Jin. Do Kyung kneels in front of Chief Nam. He snatches the camera from Chief Nam. He asks the camera if this what Joon Young went when she promised she’d treat everyone fairly. Do Kyung says the murderer won’t be caught because he cremated his father’s body. He puts the camera in Chief Nam’s hand. Do Kyung yells Chief Nam should have confessed 20 years ago. He stands. Everyone in the police van slumps. Do Kyung goes upstairs. Tae Pyung is still hiding and heard everything.
Team Leader Han and Joon Young go to the morgue and realize that Do Kyung switched the body tags and had his father cremated as a John Doe. Officer Bong confirms Jo Pil Doo’s body was cremated this morning.
Team Leader Han tells Chief Nam the knife with Jo Pil Doo’s blood, Chief Nam interrupts that it is Kim Hyung Soon’s blood. They wonder if Kim Hyung Soon is alive.
Stuck in Do Kyung’s house, he watches Do Kyung descend the stair and enter another room.
Do Kyung lights candles before a newspaper article stating Jo Pil Doo’s son hung himself. Tae Pyung finally leaves Do Kyung’s house. Do Kyung burns the article. Tae Pyung gets in his car relieved to be out of Do Kyung’s house. He checks the surveillance cameras in Do Kyung’s house. Nothing is revealed.
Tae Pyung arrives as Joon Young exits work. He offers a ride. She smiles and gets in his car. They watch airplanes take off. She asks why this is his place of comfort. Tae Pyung explains he thinks of his parent in the states when he sees planes. She asks why he came to Korea. Tae Pyung says he came to meet another that could see death. He says she met Teacher Baek when she visited his house. Tae Pyung says Teacher Baek had the ability before he lost his sight. Tae Pyung admits hanging with her, not seeing deaths is a comfort. He gives her the tracker necklace. Tae Pyung tells her this is a tracker necklace that he holds when he dies. Tae Pyung says he was surprised when he found it and didn’t initially buy it hoping it would stop his fate. He asks her to keep the necklace so he never gets it back.
Joon Young stares at the necklace. Tae Pyung stares at the picture of the beach.
Tae Pyung checks the surveillance camera in Do Kyung’s house. He sees Do Kyung looking at photo. We see it’s a picture of a young Do Kyung and his mother.
Do Kyung attends church.
Mi Jin’s parents watch her cremation. They sob tears of grief. The police team that watches is somber. Captain Lee tells his wife that Jo Pil Doo didn’t kill their daughter. Captain Lee promises to find the man to that killed their daughter. Team Leader Han tells Captain Lee his wife must go back to jail. They lead the stunned woman away. The reporters swarm her as she exits. Captain Lee watches the feeding frenzy. Captain Lee watches his wife driven away in the van.
After church, Tae Pyung calls him. He asks if Do Kyung will take this to the end. He knows Do Kyung took on his new identity in the hope that he’d live. Tae Pyung appears in front of Do Kyung. He says that if Do Kyung stops know he can live. He says he can change death with Do Kyung’s help. Tae Pyung says Do Kyung’s father wouldn’t want his son to become a murderer too. Do Kyung says he’s already a murderer. He walks away.
He’s right about that.
Team Leader Han has Mi Jin’s mother reenacts the crime as the hoard of reporters record it. Captain Lee cries as he watches.
Do Kyung listens to the news report and eats heartily.
Tae Pyung enters Do Kyung’s house. He pulls up the rug where the room under the floor is. He unlocks the lock (same combination 1109). He enters the room. He finds a man in a cage. Tae Pyung recognizes the man as the killer of the 7th victim 20 years ago. It’s Kim Hyung Soon!
Do Kyung holds the real serial killer captive. Writer Lee can’t make Do Kyung empathic even given his tragic backstory. Do Kyung is a killer. Do Kyung plans to kill Joon Young. Do Kyung takes pleasure from lording that over Tae Pyung. Do Kyung’s actions and attitude eliminate my empathy. Mi Jin’s mother was stunned to learn she didn’t murder her daughter’s killer. Captain Lee must have had Deja Vue. Instead a watching of a young Do Kyung watch his father forced to reenact a murder, Captain Lee watched his wife forced to reenact killing Do Kyung’s father. He kind of deserves a taste of the pain he readily dished out to a young Joon Young and Do Kyung.
Detective Seo Joon Young (Lee Yun Hee) accepted the tracker necklace. She didn’t wear it but she kept it. I was surprised that Tae Pyung told her this was the necklace he clutched when he died. Chief Nam admitted he fabricated DNA evidence against Jo Pil Doo 20 years ago to his boss, the team, and Do Kyung.
Kim Tae Pyung (Ok Taec Yeon) bugged Do Kyung’s house. Tae Pyung told Do Kyung he can help him change his fate. Sorry Tae Pyung, but Do Kyung isn’t buying what you are selling. I bet he’s aware of everything you are doing. Tae Pyung got the big shock when he found a caged Kim Hyung Soon in Do Kyung’s basement.
Coroner Goo Do Kyung (Im Joo Hwan) got an apology 20 years too late. He accepted Chief Nam’s apology but correctly pointed out that it was too little too late. This mess would have been avoided if Chief Nam hadn’t of fabricated evidence, had listened to Do Kyung’s call about who the real serial killer was, etc. It’s in those moments I KNOW that Do Kyung has had a raw deal. For goodness sake, he had to autopsy his own father. But his smugness, coldness, repels me. This affects my overall enjoyment of this series. Intellectually I can appreciate the story, but I’m not fully enjoying it because of this character.
The third song of the OST is by Harryan and called “Tunnel”
I intellectually rate this episode as very good, 8 on a 10-point scale.