L.U.C.A.: The Beginning Episode 5

Sidekick is heads to L.U.C.A lab to return his captive. Ji O (Kim Rae Won) wakes. His hands and legs are tied. He asks why Sidekick is doing this to him. Sidekick administers another shot, then two more for good measure. Ji O slumps in the backseat and a tear rolls down his check. He manages to emit an energy burst. The van flips over. Ji O walks away. Sidekick tries to escape. He manages to extract himself before the van blows up. Ji O doesn’t spare a backward glance.

Detective Ha Goo Reum (Lee Da Hee) reviews court documents. She falls asleep on the couch.

Ji O stares at the payphone. He calls Goo Reum. She groggily answers and senses it is Ji O. He confirms it. She orders him to stay put and she’ll come to him.

As she drives Goo Reum remembers Forensics Expert Oh warning her that Ji O must be captured. Even though he seems human, that could quickly change because of his DNA slurry of animals.  Forensics Expert Oh warns that she may need to shoot him. He doesn’t believe Ji O should live on this earth. Goo Reum points out Ji O has feelings and deserves human consideration. Forensics Expert Oh counters that Ji O is a mixed DNA monster that could change the world. Death is better than life for Ji O.

Goo Reum arrives at the location. Ji O reveals himself. Goo Reum pulls her gun out behind her back. Ji O approaches. They stare at each other. Ji O asks why everyone hates him, why he’s alone, why is it always this way. He asks if she ever feels the same. He steps closer and puts his head on her shoulder. Ji O asks how she endures. Goo Reum flashes to Forensics Expert Oh’s shoot recommendation. She can’t do it.

Goo Reum drives Ji O and brings him to her home.  She hides the evidence wall before he enters.  She tells him she’s going to work. She tells him to clean up, eat, and chill out. She warns him not to enter her room. She leaves. She returns and put out food for him. She asks if Team Retrieval beat him up. Ji O confirms it. Goo Reum asks why Ji O doesn’t eradicate the human ecosystem. Ji O counters he’s human. Goo Reum says he’s not normal. Ji O counters he wants to be normal. His energy burst power is a negative. Goo Reum muses he’s never had the chance to love. Ji O says nothing. Goo Reum orders him to eat after he’s cleaned up. She leaves. Ji O smiles.

Nice scene!

Goo Reum listens to the news that multiple organizations, including the National Forensic Service, were cyber attacked yesterday. Forensics Expert Oh rushes to his office and learns his data, reports, etc. on Ji O are gone. In fact, all the serves are down. Forensics Expert Oh suspects this was intentional and targeted. He’s told too many organizations were attacked to consider himself the target.

Kim Cheol Soo is praised by Pastor Hwang Jung A for retrieving Ji O. Mr. Kim reports all the data and reports on Ji O have been destroyed. Pastor Hwang pours champagne and asks if Ji O’s energy bursts are as powerful as she’d heard. Mr. Kim confirms it. Pastor Hwang muses that generating electricity would be desirable for many humans. She wants Ji O cloned ASAP. She notes when new clones are born, the world will change. Then wealth, power, and praise will be theirs. Pastor Hwang notes Ji O’s fate was always to be destroyed after being cloned. That’s what project L.U.C.A is about. Mr. Kim confirms they kill and incinerate Ji O once he is cloned. She notes they are entering the next phase of their plan. Soon Mr. Kim will be established as the direction of the National Intelligence Service. Mr. Kim is grateful and pledges to always support and protect her. Mr. Kim gets a call and learns Ji O has escaped.

Mr. Kim arrives at the lab livid and slaps his sidekick repeatedly. Team Retrieval female assailant Yoo Na declares Ji O woke after multiple injections that would have put an elephant under. Mr. Kim slaps her repeatedly. He orders his sidekick woken even though the doctors don’t recommend it.

Doctor Ryu Joong Kwon is startled when Sidekick and Yoo Na enter his office. He orders Sidekick to rest. Sidekick wants Doctor Ryu to increase his strength by injecting his body instead of only his arm. Doctor Ryu doesn’t understand why Sidekick would want this. Doctor Ryu warns amputation of his arm could be the results. Sidekick doesn’t care. He believes his no longer human but not a monster. Sidekick says he should be one or the other. He needs to become a monster to catch Ji O. Doctor Ryu counters that Sidekick can never defeat those born like Ji O. A tear rolls down Sidekick’s face. He begs. Doctor Ryu refuses. Yoo Na declares Doctor Ryu needs to do it for Sidekick and her too. She tells a surprised Sidekick they need to end this and if becoming a monster is what it takes, she’s willing.

Nice scene!

It’s a normal day at the violent crimes’ unit.

Doctor Ryu warns Sidekick this will hurt. He doesn’t care. Doctor Ryu injections him. Sidekick starts to shake in pain as the injected liquid course up his arms. Doctor Ryu warns Yoo Na. She knows this will increase her strength and the aging of her cells. Doctor Ryu says she won’t be able to have children. Yoo Na looks at Sidekick and says she wants to share his pain. Doctor Ryu places the syringe at her neck. Sidekick knocks it away and tells her not to do it.

Goo Reum shops for Ji O.

Goo Reum returns to her apartment and tells him to wash and change. She sighs when he confirms he didn’t eat. Ji O looks at the rain on the window. He opens it and feels the breeze. In her bedroom, Goo Reum calls Forensics Expert Oh and reports Ji O is with her.  Forensics Expert Oh wants her to take Ji O to the police station. Goo Reum says Ji O isn’t a threat to her. Forensics Expert Oh almost hits a woman and stops his car. He tells Goo Reum he has to go.

Forensics Expert Oh helps the woman up. It’s Yoo Na. She tells him she’s okay and strides away. Forensics Expert Oh gets in his car. Sidekick subdues Forensics Expert Oh and he passes out. He gives Team Retrieval’s male assailant Forensics Expert Oh’s badge and orders him to find the data.

Ji O finds the evidence wall. He studies it. He sees a family photo of the young girl he encountered as a little boy with her parents. He remembers the energy blast he couldn’t control. He realizes Goo Reum is the little girl grown up. He enters her bedroom. She pulls a gun on him. Ji O says the little girl he described was her. He shows her the family photo from the evidence wall.

Forensics Expert Oh is in a world of hurt. His arms are strapped to the steering wheel and his car is positioned next to a river. Sidekick throws empty soju bottles on the seat next to Forensics Expert Oh. He demands to know where the original data on Ji O is. He injects Forensics Expert Oh so it will show he is legally drunk. Sidekick notes this tactic was used often during the cold war to discredit scholars. Sidekick demands the answer. He injects Forensics Expert Oh again. Forensics Expert Oh says Goo Reum brought him Ji O and he examined Ji O. He says Ji O is gone and the data is gone. Forensics Expert Oh says he only printed one copy of the data. Sidekick calls the male assailant that the printed data is in Forensics Expert Oh’s office. The male assailant strides down the hallway to the office. Sidekick cuts the straps, buckles Forensics Expert Oh in, and pushes the car into the river. The male assailant searches the office. Forensics Expert Oh’s car submerges in the water.

Goo Reum says after her parents disappeared when she was 10, she was adrift. She decided to become a police officer to find the truth. But everyone that knew her father were gone too. The camera scans the evidence board and Goo Reum identifies all her father’s associates that are missing or dead. Goo Reum admits he’s his best lead. Ji O notes he can’t remember what she needs. Goo Reum says Doctor Ryu is the key to Ji O remembering. She believes Doctor Ryu knows Ji O’s secrets. Ji O guesses Goo Reum hoped he killed her parents so she could have the long-awaited culprit in hand. Goo Reum confirms this. Goo Reum doesn’t think Ji O is a bad man. Ji O offers to let her arrest him, charge him, so she can move on with her life. Goo Reum says if he is the culprit, she’ll kill him. Ji O challenges her to make his murder perfect, so she isn’t caught. Ji O muses she’s never had the chance to love.


The next day, Forensics Expert Oh doesn’t answer her calls or texts. Team Lead Choi Jin Hwan approaches her with a serious face. He tells her there’s something she must know. He drives Goo Reum and Detective Kim Yoo Cheol to the National Forensic Science. She demands to see Forensics Expert Oh’s body before the autopsy. She pulls back in pain. Team Lead Choi and Detective Kim note Goo Reum was close with Forensics Expert Oh.

At the service, Goo Reum pays respects to her friend.

Ji O sits in her apartment in the dark.

The next day Goo Reum walks to where Forensics Expert Oh’s car was found. She pours soju into the water. Sidekick observes her from across the river.  As she pours, Goo Reum cries. Then she sobs.

Ji O greets a drunk Goo Reum when she returns home. She shrugs off his help. She drinks and tells him she when to Forensics Expert Oh’s service today. She says she has no one. She’s alone now. Ji O says it is better to be alone. Goo Reum reminds him he was unhappy when he told her he was alone in the world. Ji O says being alone isn’t so bad. He opens her next beer.

Sidekick arrives at Goo Reum’s apartment. The male assailant arrives and puts a device on Goo Reum’s car’s engine.

Ji O puts Goo Reum to bed. He covers her with a blanket. She murmurs that he isn’t to leave her. Ji O steps out of the bedroom.  He lays on the couch. He murmurs he won’t leave her.


The next day at the police station, Goo Reum is adamant that Forensics Expert Oh did not drink. She thinks there was foul play. Team Lead Choi declares the autopsy noted alcohol was not forced down his throat. Goo Reum insists Forensics Expert Oh would not have turned off his dash cam. She wants to look into Forensics Expert Oh’s calls. Team Lead Choi counters that the prosecutor has closed the case. Goo Reum declares Team Lead Choi should be ashamed for shutting down the investigation. Team Lead Choi counters these are their orders. Goo Reum asks what Team Lead Choi would do if she found evidence to the contrary. Team Lead Choi yells that she can investigate but she won’t be part of the team anymore. Team Lead Choi offers to send her back to the team she used to be with. He stalks away. Detective Kim points out Team Lead Choi can’t request a warrant in this case. Goo Reum offers to investigate without a warrant. Detective Kim tells her to dig deep but she’ll have to do it alone. He squeezes her shoulder and leaves.

Sidekick tells his team they’ll nab Goo Reum after she’s finished at the National Forensic Science. Forensics Expert Oh’s coworker shares the cyber-attack created a whirlwind of issues. He remembers that Forensics Expert Oh was upset that the report he sent to the academy was missing due to the cyber-attack. The coworker notes that academy was also cyber attacked. His coworker says Forensics Expert Oh hated drinking. Forensics Expert Oh places flowers and food at Forensics Expert Oh’s desk. She starts to tidy. She looks at a photo of Forensics Expert Oh. She smiles.

Ji O cleans the apartment. He makes dinner.

Goo Reum drives home. Team Retrieval follows. Sidekick order the male assailant to stop Goo Reum’s engine. It works. Goo Reum pulls over. Yoo Na approaches. Sidekick approaches and pulls her out of the car.

Ji O sets the table with dinner. He hears the report of Goo Reum’s abduction. He’s shocked. The news reports state she was abducted. The weapon is Sidekicks and Ji O recognizes it. He opens leaves. He goes to Won Yi’s apartment. His friend points out team retrieval paid him nothing. Ji O orders Won Yi to sell him out again. He hands Won Yi the phone and orders him to call. Won Yi calls Sidekick and says Ji O is at his apartment. Ji O grabs the phone and asks Sidekick why he took Goo Reum. Sidekick states this is the beginning. Sidekick promises to kill everyone that Ji O knows. Sidekick tells Ji O to come and get Goo Reum. Ji O counters that Sidekick has to meet him instead. Sidekick counters that if Ji O doesn’t do what he says, Goo Reum dies. Ji O tells Sidekick to kill Goo Reum after he kills him. He tells Sidekick to bring Goo Reum to the meet location. He hangs up. Sidekick stares at Goo Reum in the trunk of the car. He tells her Ji O likes her and is concerned. Goo Reum declares Sidekick killed Forensics Expert Oh. Sidekick counters that involving Forensics Expert Oh with Ji O was her fault. Goo Reum screams she’ll kill him. Sidekick declares she’ll be dead soon and shuts the trunk on an agitated Goo Reum.

Ji O tells Won Yi he’s borrowing his phone. Won Yi isn’t happy but agrees. He tells Ji O to never come to him again. Won Yi points out he protected Ji O in the past. Ji O ask if they are still friends. Won Yi says they don’t have friends. Ji O says he’ll only remember the good about Won Yi. He takes his phone and car keys. Won Yi is not happy.

Ji O drives to the meet location.

Team Retrieval drives to the meet location.

As Team Retrieval pulls into the parking garage, Ji O watches. He calls Sidekick and demands to see Goo Reum. Everyone exits the car. Sidekick does a video call and shows Ji O Goo Reum in the trunk. Ji O orders him to the first floor. Sidekick and Yoo Na head to the first floor. He tells the male assailant to stay with Goo Reum. Ji O pulls the electricity to the parking garage. The male assailant fights him. Sidekick and Yoo Na head back to the parking garage. The MA gets zapped by Ji O. He opens the trunk and pulls Goo Reum out. Sidekick and Yoo Na dash to the car and find Ji O and Goo Reum missing. Hiding behind cars, Goo Reum want to avenge Forensics Expert Oh’s death. Ji O says when he resets, he’ll come to her. He tells her to run. He vows to fight. Goo Reum wants to help. Ji O declares he could have killed her parents. If so, she must live and kill him. Goo Reum says he can’t do this alone. Ji O tells her he must. He takes her hand and zaps her. She falls into his arms.

Yoo Na and Sidekick see Ji O drive away. They have a lock on the male assailant’s phone. They follow.

Goo Reum wakes next in the parking lot.

Ji O smashes the male assailant’s phone. He questions the male assailant. He won’t answer. He laughs. Ji O hits him. The male assailant laughs.  Ji O hits him again. Ji O looks at the blood on his hands.

Sidekick and Yoo Na arrive at the building. They split up.

Ji O zaps the male assailant. He screams. Yoo Na searches for them. Sidekick searches for them. Yoo Na finds them and calls to Sidekick. They rush into the room and find an injured cohort. They help him into the car. They drive away. Ji O watches them go and follows.

Team Lead Choi and Detective Kim are shocked when Goo Reum staggers into the police station. Team Lead Choi asks if she was abducted. She explains she was help in the trunk of the car she ran the plates on several days ago. Team Lead Choi tells Detective Kim and Goo Reum to follow him.

Team Retrieval arrive at the lab. Sidekick carries his cohort into the lab.

Ji O watches them enter the building. He exits his car. He enters the building. The lights come on. Sidekick tells him he wasn’t clever enough. Sidekick declares it is time for them to put an end to each other. He pushes a secret panel. He says if Ji O beats him, he can enter. Sidekick says everything Ji O wants to know is behind it.

My Thoughts

Forensics Expert Oh was murdered. Writer Chun Sung Il (Chuno) sacrificed Forensics Expert Oh, Goo Reum’s one friend, and who took samples discovered Ji O’s DNA slurry of animals. Forensics Expert Oh told Goo Reum that Ji O would morph into another animal at any time. We haven’t seen that yet, nor has there been an inkling that Ji O can morph. Ji O believes he is human. He cares for Goo Reum. He saved her again. Writer Chun has offered background and insight into Team Retrieval. They are more than paid villains. They are examples of project L.U.C.A.. Yoo Na cares for Sidekick and offered to join him in receiving another injection from Doctor Ryu. Sidekick wouldn’t let her. That’s as much caring as Sidekick will offer her, but it is something. This episode was more than chasing Ji O. It was murder, coverup through a cyber-attack, Goo Reum’s abduction, Sidekick’s willingness to become more like Ji O to beat him, and the growing relationship with Goo Reum. Director Kim Hong Sun (Voice) builds the suspense in every episode. Nothing seems hooky. This series is more than it appears on the surface.

Ji O (Kim Rae Won) saved Goo Reum. He went to Won Yi to contact Sidekick so he could get a chance to save Goo Reum. Won Yi correctly pointed out when he and Ji O were young in the orphanage, they had each other’s backs. Sidekick vowed to kill everyone that came in contact with Ji O. Did Project L.U.C.A. do the same to Goo Reum’s father? The growing relationship between Ji O and Goo Reum was satisfying. This is NOT romance – e.g. Beauty and the Beast – nor should it be. But Ji O cares for Goo Reum. She is a core memory. He was forthright in asking her to kill him should she need to. While I suspect the end for Ji O is death, his path to humanity and finding his past is engaging.

Ha Goo Reum (Lee Da Hee) lost her friend, Forensics Expert Oh. She was hurt by his loss. She wanted to investigate his death, believing that the circumstances were suspicious. I liked the time Writer Chun spent on Goo Reum’s sadness and realization that once again, she was alone. Forensics Expert Oh was a friend. Ji O found her evidence board. He realized she was the young girl in the photo. Ji O explained that everyone on the evidence wall that knew her father was dead or missing. Goo Reum doesn’t know that her father created Ji O and was co-founder of project L.U.C.A.. Pastor Hwang made an appearance but continues to be secondary to Mr. Kim’s focus demands that Team Retrieval bring Ji O to him. This episode they used Goo Reum to lure Ji O. It worked. Now Goo Reum is back at the police station and positive Forensics Expert Oh was murdered by her abductors. Team Lead Choi and Detective Kim appear to be willing to discuss. Will they offer Goo Reum’s the resources to track her assailants?

I rank this episode as almost terrific, 8.5 on a 10-point scale.

Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on https://kjtamusings.wordpress.com/.

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Posted in L.U.C.A
3 comments on “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning Episode 5
  1. Jane Tilly says:

    How could Ji O ⚗🐭⚡ live, let alone walk after so many tranquilizer injections 💉❓⁉️ Was Yi Son 🦾🎖 trying to kill Ji O ⚗🐭⚡❓⁉️

    How can a forensic “do no harm” doctor Dr. Oh 👨‍⚕️🔎 incite Goo Reum👧🤜💢 to capture or kill Ji O ⚗🐭⚡❓⁉️ I was saddened when Yi Son 🦾🎖 killed Dr. Oh 👨‍⚕️🔎, as seemed to be Goo Reum’s 👧🤜💢 only long term acquaintance. Team Retrieval are SCARY 😨

    I concur that Team Retrieval are much more than paid villains. Each team member seems to have their own story, but the things they seem to have in common is Yi Son 🦾🎖 and Yoo Na 🦿🎖 seem to have in common are having a military background and seemed to be setup to unwittingly commit an atrocity that left them incarcerated with the only other option being recruited by project L.U.C.A.. We haven’t seen the backstory of the most recent burned team member, Teo, although I suspect Teo will have had another “gaslight” recruitment. This threesome seems to have decent commaderody.

    What is drawing Ji O ⚗🐭⚡ to Goo Reum 👧🤜💢 and protecting her❓⁉️ Especially as he’s been risking himself since the moment he observed be Goo Reum 👧🤜💢 hit by ominous white truck 🚚 in the crosswalk of death. Team Retrieval is well aware Goo Reum👧🤜💢 is Ji O ‘s ⚗🐭⚡ kryptonite 🟢 … I wonder how often use Goo Reum 👧🤜💢❓⁉️


    • How could Ji O ⚗🐭⚡ live, let alone walk after so many tranquilizer injections 💉❓⁉️ Was Yi Son 🦾🎖 trying to kill Ji O ⚗🐭⚡❓⁉️
      I wondered if the energy pulse flushed the drug. I took the shocking number of injections as insurance to bring Ji O back to the lab.

      have in common are having a military background and seemed to be setup to unwittingly commit an atrocity that left them incarcerated with the only other option being recruited by project L.U.C.A
      I appreciate they have a story and are more than stony faced thugs.

      Team Retrieval is well aware Goo Reum👧🤜💢 is Ji O ‘s ⚗🐭⚡ kryptonite 🟢

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jane Tilly says:

        “I wondered if the energy pulse flushed the drug.” -KJT. Good point, the energy pulse most likely did burn off the effects of the drugs.

        I find Team Retrieval complex and at times pitiable. These characteristics in antagonists make them much more interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

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February 2021

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