The Game Towards Zero Episode 10
Joon Young’s voiceover” Confucius says “Before you leave on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”. I should have known what he was thinking”.
Tae Pyung makes a call. He’s delivered a box with a device.
Death scene…Tae Pyung is injured and wheeled into the emergency room. Joon Young watches the doctors shock him, but to no avail.
Joon Young’s voiceover “I should have been suspicious why he had a beaming face.”
The team celebrates Tae Pyung joining them as a consultant by drinking and eating. Each introduce themselves and highlight their skills. They tease him for not drinking.
Tae Pyung tells Joon Young he is doing fine and happy to start supporting the team. He follows Chief Nam as he exits. He thanks Chief Nam for the kindness he should by engaging Dr. Kim for Teacher Baek’s autopsy. Tae Pyung says he wants on more thing.
Lawyer Lee isn’t happy to learn that Tae Pyung will be doing field work with the team. Tae Pyung says he must learn about his enemy.
At the police station the team reviews what they know. Coroner Goo and the real Do Kyung new each other at the orphanage. The real Do Kyung’s suicide coincided with a fire at the orphanage when he was 18. That’s when Do Kyung took over as Do Kyung. He became acquainted with the real serial killer Kim Hyung Soon. He was stunned when his father was accused of murdering a girl. The police can’t arrest Do Kyung for taking over the real Do Kyung’s identify as they are minor charges. Joon Young says if Kim Hyung Soon is under Do Kyung’s control, he helped Do Kyung devise the copycat crimes. But they don’t know where Do Kyung is holding Kim Hyung Soon. Do Kyung looks at a photo of Captain Lee.
Death scene…Captain Lee is a ticking human time bomb. Team Leader Han, Officer Joon, and Officer Bong watch as the bomb squad try and diffuse the bomb. But it doesn’t work. Tae Pyung hears Do Kyung’s voice “I told you not to mess with me.” Captain Lee blows up.
Chief Nam arrives. Do Kyung stares at Chief Nam.
Death scene…Chief Nam is engulfed by the explosion as well as Officer Joon, Officer Bong, and Team Leader Han.
Tae Pyung realizes everyone is the room will die because of Do Kyung. Tae Pyung wonders why Joon Young isn’t in the room. Tae Pyung says he needs a breath of air. Joon Young follows him.
Outside Tae Pyung breathes deeply. Joon Young asks if he saw something about Captain Lee’s death. Tae Pyung says he wants to speak with Captain Lee. Joon Young calls Captain Lee but learns his phone is off. She suggests contacting another reporter.
Captain Lee stares at Kim Hyung Soon. He removes his gag and demands to know who he is. Kim Hyung Soon asks if it matters. Captain Lee declares Jo Pil Doo was the serial killer. His prints were found on the victim’s ID. Victims were found at every work location. Kim Hyung Soon chuckles that the police found bodies and the gullible Jo Pil Doo played into his hands.
Flashback…Jo Pil Doo arrives to the work location early. He sees the victim’s wallet where Kim Hyung Soon placed it so he’d find it. Jo Pil Doo takes the money and the wallet after throwing away the ID. But he left his DNA on the ID. Kim Hyung Soon smiles as he retrieves the ID Jo Pil Doo threw away. The police found the ID, matches the DNA and accused Jo Pil Doo of being the murderer.
Kim Hyung Soon laughs that Jo Pil Doo’s wife carried the victim’s wallet. The bodies he buried were discovered. Jo Pil Doo was accused and confused. Captain Lee asks why Kim Hyung Soon framed Jo Pil Doo. Kim Hyung Soon says that Captain Lee was the catalyst. He took the photo with the seventh victim’s room number, so Kim Hyung Soon killed her. Captain Lee stares in horror.
Flashback…Captain Lee takes the photo that shows the room number. Kim Hyung Soon murders the victim in the hospital room.
Kim Hyung Soon says Captain Lee tortured the wrong man. Kim Hyung Soon advised Do Kyung to kill Captain Lee’s daughter the same way he killed the seventh victim. With a wide grin, Kim Hyung Soon declares that Captain Lee’s actions caused his own daughter’s death. He laughs. Captain Lee starts to choke Kim Hyung Soon yelling he’ll kill him. Do Kyung appears and throws a knife in the cell. He tells Captain Lee to back up his words with actions. Do Kyung says killing is easy. Kim Hyung Soon laughs.
Wow, that is so messed up…where to begin? Kim Hyung Soon coached Do Kyung in the murders specifically how to kill Captain Lee’s daughter the replicate the seventh victim for which Jo Pil Doo was accused. And Kim Hyung Soon framed Jo Pil Doo. I can’t imagine taking advice from the SERIAL KILLER that framed my father to get revenge on the reporter that slandered his father and Do Kyung.
Tae Pyung believes they need to let the press know that Do Kyung was the prime suspect in Mi Jin’s murder. He says Chief Nam will need to reveal that Jo Pil Doo wasn’t the real serial killer. Instead Kim Hyung Soon is the real serial killer. Joon Young disagrees. Officer Bong and Officer Joon disagree. Joon Young doesn’t want Chief Nam persecuted. Chief Nam says he’ll do it. People must know that Jo Pil Doo isn’t the real serial killer.
Do Kyung stares at the calendar. It has the ninth day of the month circled.
No one is happy with Tae Pyung. He looks at Joon Young’s calendar and sees the ninth day of the month circled.
Reporter Han arrives to meet Joon Young and Tae Pyung. He says Captain Lee isn’t in the right frame of mind to write the article. Team Leader Han and Chief Nam arrive. Reporter Han bows his greeting. After hearing Chief Nam’s confession, Reporter Han says that Chief Nam will be persecuted once the article is published. Chief Nam says he’s ready.
Tae Pyung stares at the photo of the beach where he’ll die.
The article is published. The public is stunned. Kim Hyung Soon is identified as the real serial killer.
Do Kyung notices everyone staring at him when he comes to work. His cohort asks if it’s true. She shows him the article that says he was arrested in conjunction with Mi Jin’s murder. Do Kyung is called into his boss’s office. Tae Pyung is there. His boss introduces Tae Pyung. Do Kyung confirms they know each other. Tae Pyung says he’ll get going. He stares at Do Kyung and leaves. Do Kyung’s boss asks Do Kyung to confirm he didn’t murder Mi Jin. Do Kyung confirms this. Do Kyung’s boss removes him from his position for not telling him about the arrest.
Tae Pyung waits for Do Kyung. Tae Pyung says he’s just getting started. They share an elevator. Tae Pyung asks why Do Kyung killed Teacher Baek who was defenseless. Do Kyung says he wanted to live. Tae Pyung scoffs. Do Kyung declares that Tae Pyung can only see the moment before death. Do Kyung says he’ll decide how he’ll decide how he’ll die, until he’ll live as he wants. Tae Pyung promises that Do Kyung’s life is now interrupted. Reporters swarm Do Kyung as he gets off the elevator. Do Kyung strides away and smiles.
Wow! Great ending to this half episode! Can you blame Tae Pyung for wanting revenge? Wouldn’t you want to avenge someone you loved?
Chief Nam tells his boss it had to be done. He cleans out his desk. The team gathers to say goodbye. Chief Nam says he won’t stay in his home while reporters swarm it. The team promises to find the facts. They watch the swarm of reporters engulf Chief Nam as he exits the police station.
Joon Young looks at Chief Nam’s empty office. Tae Pyung and Joon Young sit outside. He apologizes for the pain Chief Nam is going through. Joon Young admits she’s worried about using the media. She wonders if Do Kyung will strike out because of it. She says the media abused her when she was young. And the media abused Do Kyung when he was young. Tae Pyung wonders about the connection between Joon Young and Do Kyung.
Do Kyung sits in his house and listens to the reporters banging on his door.
Flashback…Do Kyung and his mother listen to the neighbors banging on the door. They show blood on his mother. Do Kyung tries to defend her but he’s just a little boy.
Kim Hyung Soon tells Captain Lee to untie his hands and he’ll help him get Do Kyung. Captain Lee just sits there. Kim Hyung Soon calls to the reporters but they can’t hear him.
The commissioner apologizes to the reporters for situation. He appoints Chief Yang Ju Il to lead the team to find and prosecute Kim Hyung Soon. Once the commissioner is gone, Chief Yang tells the team they are the problem children. He calls Team Leader Han pathetic.
Chief Nam goes to see the remains of the unclaimed Jo Pil Doo. He asks the lady to tell him if anyone else visits him. Chief Nam cries and apologizes to Jo Pil Doo for wronging fabricating evidence that put in prison for crimes he didn’t commit. When he leaves, Tae Pyung is there. Chief Nam says he knows Tae Pyung likes Joon Young. Chief Nam tells Tae Pyung not to break Joon Young’s heart. Tae Pyung asks Chief Nam to help Joon Young if he fails. Chief Nam asks what he means. Tae Pyung says he’ll know when the time comes.
Do Kyung brings food for Captain Lee and Kim Hyung Soon. He mocks Captain Lee for not having the guts to kill Kim Hyung Soon. Captain Lee says that Kim Hyung Soon is Do Kyung’s ticket to proving his innocence. He offers to write an article to help that process. Do Kyung says he doesn’t want Captain Lee’s help. He leaves.
Chief Yang takes the team to karaoke that evening. They sing, they drink, they all feign having fun. When they take a break, they commend themselves for surviving. When Tae Pyung arrives, they ask if he sings. A drunk Chief Yang demands Tae Pyung tell him about his death. Tae Pyung says his body will be ripped apart by a bomb.
Captain Lee tells Do Kyung he’ll kill him once he gets out. Do Kyung tells Captain Lee he held his daughter captive for 4 hours. He says it only took 45 seconds to kill her. Do Kyung says Captain Lee is the one that deserved to suffer not his daughter.
The next morning, the reporters wait outside Do Kyung’s house. Reporter Han tells young reporter Yi Ji that Do Kyung will exit when he runs out of food. He believes other reports are figuring out that Do Kyung and Jo Pil Doo’s son are the same man. Reporter Han calls Captain Lee but his phone is still off. He wonders where Captain Lee is.
Do Kyung exits the house through the exit from the basement. He avoids detection by the reporters.
Chief Yang arrives at the police station hung over from the karaoke and drinking. He asks where Tae Pyung is. He’s told he doesn’t have to work daily. He asks where Joon Young is. He’s told this the anniversary of Joon Young’s father’s death and has taken the day off.
Joon Young waits at the train platform. Do Kyung waits at the train platform. Joon Young doesn’t see him. He smiles.
The train comes. Joon Young gets on and takes a seat. Do Kyung gets on.
Joon Young looks at a picture of herself and her father. She doesn’t know Do Kyung is only a few rows behind her watching her. Do Kyung thinks “This will be the last year I can see you like this”.
Flashback…Do Kyung is entranced by Joon Young when he sees her again as she works a scene and he arrives.
“It never crossed my mind you would become a cop”.
Flashback…Joon Young is happy with her friends. That makes Do Kyung happy. It made him feel like he should live a happy life too.
Flashback…Do Kyung typically can’t sleep because of guilt of killing the real Do Kyung. But the day he saw Joon Young, he started to sleep and dream. Do Kyung wonders if he lived a true life, would he be worthy to be in Joon Young’s life. But his father’s past stopped that dream.
Flashback…Do Kyung finds the evidence in the red box in Kim Hyung Soon’s storage unit. Kim Hyung Soon comes in and sees what Do Kyung has. He and Kim Hyung Soon fight. Do Kyung chokes Kim Hyung Soon unconscious.
“Had I let this go then, what would have happened? Would I have stopped killing people?”
Do Kyung watches Joon Young at her father’s grave marker. Tae Pyung arrives with flowers surprising Joon Young. She says they could have come together. They agree to return to the city together. Joon Young sees there are flowers on her father’s grave. She says they are there every year. She places her flowers then Tae Pyung’s flowers on her father’s grave. Do Kyung walks away. Joon Young tells her father there is a special visitor this year.
Joon Young and Tae Pyung drink. She tells him she’s never introduced anyone else to her father. She says she doesn’t open herself up and ask for favors. But she asked Tae Pyung to help her save Mi Jin. Joon Young wishes should could have kept Mi Jin safe. Tae Pyung says it wasn’t her fault. Joon Young disagrees. His father’s death created this. Joon Young admits she wanted to give him her father’s photo so Tae Pyung would confirm how he died. But she was decided against it. Joon Young realized it was hard for Tae Pyung to see death. She wonders how difficult it is for him to always see death. She smiles and says not seeing her death must be a relief and a torture knowing he’s the cause of her death. Tae Pyung kisses her. He tells her to focus on the here and now. He kisses her again.
Joon Young sleeps on Tae Pyung’s shoulder during the train ride back to Seoul.
Tae Pyung wonders why he has the gift to see death. He wonders why he can’t see her death. He wonders why he met Do Kyung again. If Joon Young would die because of him. Then Tae Pyung realized Do Kyung’s code “1109” was her father’s death anniversary. Tae Pyung realized Do Kyung liked Joon Young but yet planned to kill her.
We see Tae Pyung watching Do Kyung watching Joon Young on the train to where her father is buried.
Tae Pyung thinks he’ll do what he can to protect her.
We see Do Kyung arrive at Joon Young’s father’s tombstone first and place the flowers. Tae Pyung watches. Tae Pyung thinks “no matter what you both won’t live. This is a game that Do Kyung will play until one of you dies”.
Tae Pyung walks Joon Young to her door. She thanks him and goes inside. Tae Pyung smiles and walks away. Do Kyung is waiting for him outside her house. Do Kyung tells him not to get confident…if he can’t Joon Young neither can Tae Pyung. But Tae Pyung doesn’t recoil…he tells Do Kyung that he should stop believing he knows everything. Tae Pyung reminds Do Kyung he once asked him what he wanted. Now he’s sure he has sufficient reason to kill Do Kyung and die in the process.
Tae Pyung thinks “you will die because I love you.”
Do Kyung steps in front of Tae Pyung and demands to know what he’s talking about. Tae Pyung reminds Do Kyung that he said he killed him to live (referencing Do Kyung killing Teacher Baek (and the real Do Kyung)). Tae Pyung declares he’ll kill to protect. He gives Do Kyung a hard stare of determination.
Finally, Do Kyung is unnerved and Tae Pyung gains an advantage. Writer Lee answered our pleas and let good have a moment of beating evil. Tae Pyung made life uncomfortable for the evil Do Kyung. Writer Lee gave us tons of details about Do Kyung’s background. How he found Kim Hyung Soon. How he longed for Joon Young and considered not murdering again. But the evil in his heart was nurtured by Kim Hyung Soon and he extracted his revenge against Captain Lee by killing Mi Jin. This put the permanent barrier between Joon Young and Do Kyung. Even though Do Kyung wanted the fantasy of Joon Young, he decided to kill (literally) the possibility of it ever coming true.
Detective Seo Joon Young (Lee Yun Hee) doesn’t know that Do Kyung likes her, that Do Kyung has shared her father’s death anniversary with her, and that this would be the last one. She didn’t know that Do Kyung put the flowers on her father’s grave faithfully and watched her every year. But this year, Tae Pyung was there. Watching Do Kyung watch her on the train. Watching Do Kyung put the flowers on her father’s grave first. Knowing that Do Kyung won’t let her live the full life she deserves. Writer Lee finally gave us a real moment between this couple. Joon Young felt empathy for Tae Pyung and the pain his gift caused. She felt bad that she begged him to help her save Mi Jin, which catapulted Do Kyung into action. But it didn’t. Do Kyung was on this path. Do Kyung planned to kill Mi Jin. Joon Young is the fantasy woman and life that Do Kyung doesn’t deserve and it makes him burn with hatred and envy.
Kim Tae Pyung (Ok Taec Yeon) angered Do Kyung…again…and finally had an advantage. The gloves came off and Tae Pyung came out swinging. He used the press to expose Chief Nam, Kim Hyung Soon, and Do Kyung. He visited Do Kyung’s boss and relayed the police’s suspicions which led to Do Kyung’s dismissal. He rode the elevator with Do Kyung and demanded to know why Teacher Baek was killed. Do Kyung declaration that Teacher Baek had to die so he could live was hogwash. Tae Pyung called him out. No longer would he have the advantage. Should I say that Tae Pyung going down the path of revenge isn’t right? No matter Do Kyung’s sad past, he’s chosen to murder three times that we know of – the real Do Kyung, Mi Jin and Teacher Baek. The police can’t catch him. Tae Pyung has to step in. To avenge Teacher Baek and protect the woman he loves.
Coroner Goo Do Kyung (Im Joo Hwan) took advice from Kim Hyung Soon when he planned Mi Jin’s murder. That was an awesome and horrific reveal. Right there, you see that Do Kyung cannot be redeemed. He took a serial killer’s advice and murdered an innocent girl to avenge his father. But does it satisfy? Does Do Kyung mourn his father? Does Do Kyung mourn his mother that abandoned him? I will grant you Do Kyung was dealt a difficult deck of cards. But so was Joon Young. Do Kyung chose evil guide his future. He chose to murder…not once (the real Do Kyung), not twice (Mi Jin) , but three times (Teacher Baek) with more murders planned for the future when Captain Lee will implode and kill many officers. Even with tinges of regret, Do Kyung is evil.
I rate this rate this episode as excellent, 10 on a 10-point scale.