Ji O (Kim Rae Won) enters the building that Team Retrieval – Sidekick, female assailant Yoo Na, and male assailant – just entered. He looks around. 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. They fight. Ji O uses an energy burst on Sidekick. He’s surprised when the energy burst doesn’t incapacitate Sidekick. They fight more. This time Sidekick has the upper hand and knocks out Ji O. Sidekick expresses his rage by kicking Ji O many times. Ji O is wheeled into the L.U.C.A. Project lab. Doctor Ryu Joong Kwon wants to operate to save Ji O. Kim Cheol Soo declares Ji O has the ability to cure himself and they need to put it to the test. If he survives then they’ll take him apart and generate clones.
Mr. Kim takes a scientist aside and requests clones of Ji O’s somatic cells (any cell of a living organism other than the reproductive cells). He wants it done secretly. Mr. Kim threatens him with prison should the research become public knowledge. Mr. Kim ups the threat when he states all the scientists associated with the project will go missing. The scientist agrees to the request.
Yoo Na finds Sidekick. He says this is just the beginning. A war is coming.
Detective Ha Goo Reum (Lee Da Hee) sits alone in an interrogation room. Detective Kim Yoo Cheol beseeches Team Lead Choi Jin Hwan to give Goo Reum time to grieve and process Forensics Expert Oh’s murder. Team Lead Choi orders Detective Kim to watch over Goo Reum. Team Lead Choi enters the interrogation room. She points out she’s been tailed recently. Team Lead Choi asks where Ji O is and points out harboring a wanted man has consequences. Team Lead Choi shares that Sister Stella told the police that Detective Ha and Ji O visited the church before the fire broke out. Team Lead Choi says she’s under investigation. He asks where Ji O is. Goo Reum says nothing. Team Lead Choi puts handcuffs on the table. Goo Reum puts them on and tells him to interrogate her like she’s a criminal.
Doctor Ryu enters Ji O room. Ji O sits up still hurting from the fight. Doctor Ryu asks if Ji O remembers him. Ji O flashes back to painful tests that Doctor Ryu conducted on him as a child. Ji O pushes Doctor Ryu away when welcomes Ji O home. Ji O demands to know who he is. Doctor Ryu states he is Ji O’s father. He hugs Ji O. Doctor Ryu says Ji O is his son. The scientists watch from the door and note Doctor Ryu is evil to manipulate Ji O with claims of father status.
Goo Reum says Ji O escaped after the church visit. Team Lead Choi points out Goo Reum and Ji O visited Sister Stella together. Goo Reum suggests Sister Stella is lying. She believes Team Lead Choi should protect his team not interrogate them. Team Lead Choi wants to know where Ji O is. Goo Reum is adamant she doesn’t know where Ji O is. Team Lead Choi says he’ll get her the soup they give criminals.
Ji O says he grew up in an orphanage. Doctor Ryu points out not remembering his father doesn’t mean he doesn’t have one. Ji O remembers Goo Reum telling him Doctor Ryu is the key to his past. Ji O demands to see Doctor Ryu, the only man he’ll trust. Doctor Ryu introduces himself and says he is Ji O’s father. Ji O is dismayed by the revelation. Doctor Ryu knows Ji O has questions – why was he abandoned, why did it take so long to find him, why was Ji O hurt while being hunted, why is he different, is he a monster, etc. Doctor Ryu says those questions don’t mean anything. The only one that matters is does my father love me? Doctor Ryu swears he’s only loved Ji O. Because of his love, he won’t ask why Ji O abandoned him. A tear rolls down Doctor Ryu’s face. He holds Ji O’s hand.
Team Lead Choi and Detective Kim enter Goo Reum’s home to search for Ji O. They find an uneaten dinner on the table. They find curly hair on the couch. Team Lead Choi finds the evidence wall. Detective Kim photographs the evidence wall.
Over dinner Ji O admits he doesn’t remember much and doesn’t know what his memories mean. Doctor Ryu notes his body’s memory cells die when he emits an energy burst. Only the strongest memories survive. Ji O wonders why he doesn’t remember Doctor Ryu. Ji O asks if he has a mother. Doctor Ryu confirms he does but she’s gone. Ji O assumes she left because of him. Doctor Ryu says he brought Ji O to the lab for treatment because of the extreme electric shocks he’d spark. Ji O asks why he left. Doctor Ryu says Ha Young Jae (Goo Reum’s father) was the reason. Doctor Ryu notes Ha Young Jae always bragged about his daughter Ha Goo Reum. Ji O asks what happened to him. Doctor Ryu claims Ha Young Jae started a fire and ran away with Ji O. Doctor Ryu claims Ji O went with him willingly.
Flashback…Ha Young Jae puts an unconscious Ji O in a trunk and wheels him out of the lab in the chaos of the fire.
Doctor Ryu states Ha Young Jae tried to sell Ji O to other scientists who wanted to experiment on him. The rest Ji O remembers. Doctor Ryu asks if Ji O met Ha Young Jae’s daughter. Ji O asks if he killed Ha Young Jae. Doctor Ryu notes Ji O could easily kill, but he didn’t kill Ha Young Jae. Doctor Ryu notes Ji O liked Ha Young Jae and wanted Ha Young Jae’s promises to him to be actualized. Doctor Ryu states Ji O could never kill someone he cared for. Ji O asks how Ha Young Jae died.
Mr. Kim and the scientist are watching via CCTV. The scientist looks at the time and states Ji O should be recovered. Mr. Kim is pleased.
Doctor Ryu’s watch goes off. He tells Ji O time is up. He won’t answer Ji O’s question. He tells Ji O determine 1) if humans are the way they should be? 2) are humans the last mankind of the planet? Doctor Ryu tells Ji O not to rest until he finds the single answer to these questions. Doctor Ryu puts on a gas mask. Gas floods the chamber. Ji O gags and is overcome. He bangs against the door. The scientist tells Mr. Kim that dose is enough to kill an elephant.
Doctor Ryu exits the room. He tells the scientists to prep Ji O for surgery. Mr. Kim tells Doctor Ryu now isn’t the time to feel emotional about Ji O.
Team Lead Choi returns to the interrogation room. He shows Goo Reum photos from her evidence wall. He asks who she is. Goo Reum guesses Team Lead Choi didn’t have a search warrant. Team Lead Choi asks again. Goo Reum states her name. He asks if she’s searching for her parents. He puts the handcuff keys on the table and says they need a drink.
Goo Reum guzzles soju. Team Lead Choi calls her unrefined. Goo Reum can’t help but smile. Team Lead Choi shares that 20 years ago he worked a case where a husband disappeared and it was obvious the wife did it but they couldn’t find the body. Team Lead Choi says he worked the case for 10 years. He says everyone has a case they can’t let go. Team Lead Choi says it was a relief when the statue of limitation expired. Goo Reum admits she’s been investigating the case for 9 years. Team Lead Choi asks about Ji O’s involvement. Goo Reum claims not to know. She realizes that the statue of limitations may make prosecution impossible. But she can’t stop investigating the death of her father. Team Lead Choi says if she stops, he won’t report her. Goo Reum won’t agree. Team Lead Choi presses her to let her parent’s death go so she can start living. Goo Reum cries. She won’t agree. She tells Team Lead Choi he’s done what he could.
Back at her apartment, Goo Reum recalls her conversation with Team Lead Choi and his warning not to get caught. She stares at her evidence wall. She puts Forensics Expert Oh on the wall. She wonders where Ji O is.
Under the lights, Ji O wakes to find himself strapped to an operating table. He struggles to free himself.
In Doctor Ryu’s office, Pastor Hwang Jung A is happy this day has come. Mr. Kim is pleased too. Pastor Hwang asks Doctor Ryu how their child is doing. Doctor Ryu plans to give Ji O a shock to eliminate the weak cells. Then the cloning of Ji O will begin. Pastor Hwang declares the clones will be her church’s sons. Mr. Kim point out surrogate mother will be needed for gestation. Pastor Hwang says the church’s faithful will make it happen. She thanks Doctor Ryu for caring for their son. Mr. Kim follows Pastor Hwang out.
Doctor Ryu tells the scientists they will shock Ji O to eliminate the weak cells. He may go into cardiac arrest. They must keep him alive. When they confirm Ji O’s cells are evolving, they confirm immune and antibody responses are a go too. The team disperses to their stations.
Pastor Hwang asks if Mr. Kim will kill Ji O after he’s cloned. Mr. Kim confirms this. Pastor Hwang tells him to kill everyone at the lab. Mr. Kim asks if that includes Doctor Ryu. Pastor Hwang says Ji O and the clones are the church’s children and not to be tainted by rumors of scientific creation versus divine creation. Mr. Kim asks if she wants him dead. Pastor Hwang laughs and declares they are on the brink of their joint zenith. She drives away. Mr. Kim declares her an evil witch.
Doctor Ryu enters the operating room. Ji O pulls away from him. Doctor Ryu warns this will be painful. Ji O demands to know why he’s doing this to him. Doctor Ryu reminds him to answer the 2 questions. Ji O scoffs he’d never want a father like Doctor Ryu. Walking away Doctor Ryu murmurs he needs him. Ji O vows to kill them. He is pulsed by electricity. He survives the first voltage. Doctor Ryu bumps up the voltage telling Ji O whatever he can take is what he can generate. Ji O survives the second voltage. Ji O flashes back to the pain of the tests Doctor Ryu conducted on him as a child. Ji O declares Doctor Ryu is his father and a monster. Doctor Ryu bumps up the voltage again. Ji O flashes back to a story his coworker told him about animal testing. Ji O screams in agony.
At the police station, Team Lead Choi arrives and finds Detective Kim looking at the photos from Goo Reum’s evidence wall. He takes Detective Kim aside and tells him Goo Reum refuses to stop. Team Lead Choi points out the team will be investigated for the actions she committed while with them. Detective Kim states they need only keep their mouths shut. Team Lead Choi orders him to delete the photos. On the rooftop, Goo Reum tells Detective Kim the car has a license plate that can’t be traced. Detective Kim agrees. Goo Reum asks for his help if he can keep his mouth shut. Goo Reum says Doctor Ryu is the key.
Ji O flatlines. They administer CPR and bring him back. Doctor Ryu tells Ji O he’s done well. Doctor Ryu bumps up the voltage. Ji O screams in agony. Sidekick and YR as well as everyone hear his screams. Ji O flatlines. They administer CPR.
Goo Reum pursues information on Doctor Ryu. She finds a prosecutor that remembers that Doctor Ryu was involved in a human egg trafficking case. Due to lack of evidence, they couldn’t convict on trafficking but did convict on fraud and embezzlement. The prosecutor directs her to the prison to get a copy of the case file.
Ji O screams in agony as the team watches him endure more voltage.
Pastor Hwang tells Mr. Kim to stay for the service that will prove the faith of her mother members who will be surrogates. Pastor Hwang leads the service. The women get riled up. Mr. Kim watches from the back of the church.
Goo Reum arrives at the prison. She reviews Doctor Ryu’s case file. She notices no one visited nor did he send any letters during his confinement. Goo Reum notes a large commissary deposit. The warden says he had a supporter who didn’t visit Doctor Ryu personally. The warden determines the person that deposited the money was Kim Ji Sook.
Flashback…While visiting L.U.C.A lab (aka Human Tech), Goo Reum tells a scientist Kang Yong Su received money from Kim Ji Sook.
Back home, Goo Reum simplifies her evidence board. The connection with Human Tech is clear. She looks up the financials for the company. The electricity bill is high. She takes the electricity bill and learns that if the building has a below ground refrigeration system, that much electricity usage is possible.
At L.U.C.A lab, Sidekick and Yoo Na confirm they have the security in place Mr. Kim requested. Mr. Kim states if Ji O energy bursts before he dies, everything is over. He orders them to do whatever it takes including killing him, to subdue Ji O. Sidekick reminds Mr. Kim he promised to give him Ji O’s arm. Clearly Mr. Kim doesn’t remember but he pretends he does. Sidekick and Yoo Na notice. Mr. Kim promises to get approval. Mr. Kim tells them today is the day to kill Ji O and get it done. He leaves.
Doctor Ryu examines Ji O and tells him it’s over; they’ve extracted the L.U.C.A cells and created embryos of Ji O’s clones. Doctor Ryu will breed the clones so they don’t evolve to what Ji O is today. Ji O tells Doctor Ryu if this is an example of being human, he should have chosen to be a monster. Doctor Ryu informs Ji O he’ll die today. He promises the injection will quickly and painlessly kill him. Ji O vows he won’t die. He promises to kill them all. Doctor Ryu likes that. They stare at each other. Doctor Ryu walks away.
Mr. Kim tells Pastor Hwang they created embryos from the best cells from Ji O. In 2 weeks, the embryos will be implanted in the surrogates and their plan will come to fruition. He confirms Ji O is no longer useful and will be killed today. Pastor Hwang muses Ji O has her eyes.
Goo Reum arrives at Human Tech. She speaks with the same scientist. She asks if there is more than the first two floors that have activity. She notes the electricity bill is high. The scientist asks for the search warrant. She claims the police are on their way with the warrant. Goo Reum tells the scientist to take her to the basement. He claims there is no basement. Goo Reum can see he’s lying. She tells him she’ll look for herself. As she turns to examine the bookcase, he bashes her on the head with a glass vase. Irked at the shattered glass around her, Goo Reum knocks the scientist down. She tells him to take her to the basement. She hits him until he agrees.
A scientist prepares to administer the injection to Ji O. Doctor Ryu wants to do it stating Ji O is his son. The scientist relents and steps away. He tells Doctor Ryu they’ll dispose of the body after Ji O is dead. The scientist leaves. Doctor Ryu steps to Ji O and explains he was ridiculed for extra fingers as a child and the surgery to fix that left that hand paralyzed. He tells Ji O he understands his pain. He tells Ji O he was superior not inferior. Ji O tells Doctor Ryu to shut up and kill him. Doctor Ryu asks if Ji O has anything to live for.
Flashback…Ji O promises to return to Goo Reum if he isn’t killed. He wants to live and find her. Even if he doesn’t remember her, he’ll find her.
Doctor Ryu tells Ji O to live. Doctor Ryu implore him to live and find the answer to his questions. He tells Ji O the elevator’s location. He tells Doctor Ryu to run away and save himself. Ji O and Doctor Ryu lock eyes. Doctor Ryu puts the syringe with the fatal dose behind Ji O and pulls another syringe out of his lab coat. Ji O watches it all. Doctor Ryu injects Ji O. They continue to stare at each other. Ji O asks who he is. Doctor Ryu declares he’s Ji O’s father. He tells him goodbye. He steps away. He shuts the door on the operating room. Ji O begins to twitch.
The scientist takes Goo Reum to the basement. She sees the cages of animals. The scientist declares this is her hell. He hits her and calls for security. Five security guys appear and attack Goo Reum. Armed with a baton she bashes them.
Pastor Hwang and Mr. Kim walk down the hall with Sidekick and Yoo Na following. Doctor Ryu walks toward them. Pastor Hwang congratulates him on his good work. Pastor Hwang declares Act 1 is done, and Act 2 will be important for them all. Pastor Hwang asks if Ji O is dead. Doctor Ryu says the dose will kill Ji O in a minute though a normal person would die instantly. Pastor Hwang smiles and says she’s Ji O’s mom, but this is what must happen.
Ji O fights the effects of the injection. The scientists watch him struggle then he stops moving. He sparks. He sits up. The scientists yell. Ji O creates an energy burst. It travels down the hall. Sidekick, Yoo Na, et all run for their lives. The energy burst shakes the basement. Goo Reum is stunned. Doctor Ryu, Sidekick, et all are alive. Sidekick tells Yoo Na to take Doctor Ryu, Mr. Kim and Pastor Hwang to safety. Goo Reum fights off the last security guy and sees Yoo Na leading Doctor Ryu, Mr. Kim and Pastor Hwang through the hallway into the elevator. They all see each other. The elevators doors shut.
Sidekick goes for Ji O. They fight. Sidekick declares Ji O’s arm is his. Ji O doesn’t agree. He throws Sidekick around to prove the point. Ji O leaves and searches for Doctor Ryu. He finds Doctor Ryu’s office. It’s empty. He sees a picture of Doctor Ryu and himself as a little boy on Doctor Ryu’s desk.
Yoo Na puts Mr. Kim and Pastor Hwang into a car.
Ji O sees the broken contain of embryos on the ground. He finds the one with his name. He screams for Doctor Ryu.
Doctor Ryu hears Ji O’s screams before he enters the car.
Doctor Ryu doubles down that he is Ji O’s father. Writer Chun Sung Il (Chuno) focused on the diabolical scheme to purify Ji O, extract his L.U.C.A (Last Universal Common Ancestor) cells, clone them, and create embryos to be implanted in the faithful mothers in Pastor Hwang’s church. Then the army of angels will be born and forever change mankind. Yikes! Director Kim Hong Sun (Voice) created effective visuals – Doctor Ryu putting on the gas mask, an operating room that zapped Ji O again and again, etc. The brutality of the purification was not pleasant. Pastor Hwang’s lilting laughter that she was Ji O’s mother but death was his lot was creepy. Mr. Kim is simple – he wants the power and will lie, cheat, steal to get what he wants, L.U.C.A is the mechanism. Sidekick should have realized he is only a tool when Mr. Kim didn’t remember his promise. Doctor Ryu’s insisted he is Ji O’s father. He prompted Ji O to find the single answer to two questions 1) are humans are the way they should be? 2) are humans the last mankind of the planet? The answer has to be no.
Ji O (Kim Rae Won) was repeatedly cleansed through electrification. Doctor Ryu declared every time Ji O took a high voltage; Ji O could produce an energy burst with the same voltage. Actor Kim Rae Won screams of pain and Doctor Ryu’s name at the end of the episode conveyed much. Yes, Ji O has a slurry of DNA. But he is human. Ji O sagely told Doctor Ryu if this is how humans treat others, being a monster was preferrable. Doctor Ryu shared that he had extra fingers as a child and the surgery to “fix” the deformity paralyzed his hand. Doctor Ryu insisted he was Ji O’s father repeatedly. Ji O found a photo of himself as a child with a younger Doctor Ryu when he searched Doctor Ryu’s office. You’ve got to credit Doctor Ryu with giving Ji O a chance to live by switching the injections and imploring Ji O to beat death and find his truth. Do I think Doctor Ryu loves Ji O? No, he doesn’t. He sees Ji O as an extension of himself. Fathers are loath to kill their heirs. Ji O’s smackdown of Sidekick was satisfying. Will Ji O recognize Goo Reum if they meet in the lab?
Ha Goo Reum (Lee Da Hee) realized Human Tech (aka L.U.C.A) building held more than it seemed. She refused to stop the investigation. Team Lead Choi locked her in an interrogation room, Team Lead Choi and Detective Kim illegally searched her home and found the evidence wall, Team Lead Choi shared he too had a case he refused to stop investigating. That commonality led Team Lead Choi to allow Goo Reum to continue her investigation imploring her not to get caught. Goo Reum streamlined her evidence wall and had the realization that Doctor Ryu and L.U.C.A were the keys. She zipped to the building and bulled her way into the lab. Ji O’s energy burst rocked through the basement. Goo Reum saw Mr. Kim, Pastor Hwang, Doctor Ryu and Yoo Na escaping. Will she find Ji O?
I rank this episode as almost terrific, 8.5 on a 10-point scale.
The second song of the OST is series titled “LUCA” and performed by Jemma. The video captures the series (so far) in a nutshell: