Signal Episode 10-Fight like a girl. Cry like one, too.

Can we talk for a minute about girl power? I promise that I won’t get too feminist on you, but this episode explores how a character (man or woman) can show the duality of what it means to be a human. I’ve made it known that I think Soo-hyun is kick ass. She’s a smart detective who doesn’t let her male bosses, or the creeps they catch, push her around. But she’s also a person who is frail sometimes. Someone who succumbs to fear when faced with a truly horrifying scenario. This episode takes us to her darkest moments, and by the time it’s over, will show us how strong she really is.

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Soo-hyun briefs the higher ups (sorry, I didn’t catch the big kahuna’s name or title) about the nine bodies they found on Dongeui Mountain. She tells them how all the bodies were disposed of in a similar fashion, and concludes that it’s the work of a serial killer. Of course the mention of a serial killer has everyone all out of sorts. Especially when Soo-hyun informs them that there were two murders that hadn’t originally been connected that fit the same M.O. No one wants to take responsibility for not catching the killer back in 1997. Director Kim does what he always does, and shirks the responsibility on someone below him, which of course is the Cold Case Squad.

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From that slimy look on his face I’m pretty sure he assigned it to Soo-hyun’s team because he knows she was a part of the original investigation, and was kidnapped. And because he’s now out to get Section Chief Ahn.

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When the squad reconvenes, Hae-young asks Soo-hyun why they never caught the killer. We go back to 1997 after she’s been rescued and Jae-han is being a bit of a bulldog about questioning her. Dude, I know you feel guilty about this, and you really want to catch the killer, but CHILL. Even though Jae-han needs to take a chill pill, he does ask her all the important questions. After his prompting, she recounts what she remembers.

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There was water dripping. The killer told her that creepy line about life being really tough and that he would make it better. He pets her face through the plastic back then tells her he’ll be right back, and leaves.

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She got out of the room where she was held, and made her way down the hallway. She has to stop and take a breath during her recount,  because the next thing that happened was pretty horrible. She thought she found the door to outside, but what she really found was a closet with a body in it. The hand was really cold so she knows the person was dead. She recovers from that and finds the door, throws her body against it, and gets outside. She remembers a smell and that she ran for about 10 to 15 minutes before slamming into something and losing conciseness. I have to stop here and say that filming these scenes must have been super creepy. She has to run down the alley with a plastic bag over her head. Yikes!

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The other thing I have to say is that every time she remembers this scene and runs into that thing at the end, I keep thinking it’s a person. I just can’t shake how soft that thud sounds.

The last piece of information they get is that she thinks when she first escaped she heard running water, like a stream. So they use all this information to triangulate where the killer’s house could be, but everything leads to a dead end. Of course, Director Kim was in charge back then, and told them to just close the case. They never found anymore bodies, so everyone thought the killer just stopped. Unfortunately, he just started dumping bodies on that mountain instead of in the alleys like the first two.

The Cold Case Squad briefs the other teams helping with the investigation, and it’s hilarious how everyone grumbles when Hae-young gets up to present his profile of the killer.

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They have NO FAITH in our guy, and I just want to scream at them. We’ve seen the killer so we know that Hae-young is right on the money when he says he meticulous, has a tidy out ward appearance. He probably suffered from depression himself, which seems to be the only connection between all of our victims. He lives or works in Hongwon-dong area. Section Chief Ahn assigns everyone tasks and our squad is given the job of following up on the unidentified victim. Before the meeting is let out, Soo-hyun lets everyone else know that their is a witness. She’s talking about herself and offers to be hypnotized to try to recover any part of her memory that might help.

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She goes through all the stuff she already told the police in 1997, but when she gets to the part where she runs into that thing before passing out, she starts hyperventilating and the hypnotist has to pull her out. She wants to try again, but it’s decided they need to follow other leads and identify that last body.

Then it’s time for the magic of talking to the past to solve what’s going on the in future. Or  maybe the past can solve it so the future never happens. Who knows at this point. LOL. Our duo trade info, except, and I do admit I screamed at the screen when Hae-young didn’t say this, Hae-young never tells Jae-han that the killer starts burying bodies on Dongeui Mountain. Why? They know the bodies are from 1997 to present day. Why wouldn’t he let Jae-han know that if they just set up some cameras out there, they’ll catch the killer? Well, I guess the writer needed Jae-han to not have that bit of info.

During their conversation, Hae-young reveals that Soo-hyun is his team leader. Jae-han’s reaction is pretty funny. 0.5 is a team leader? How is possible.

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Hae-young asks if she’s really that bad back in 1997, and Jae-han jokes about her not being able to drive the van. At the end of the conversation Hae-young asks Jae-han if he’s ever wondered what his future self is doing, and Jae-han says no. He does tell him that if his future self won’t listen to just smack him a good one. Before Hae-young can tell him that’s he’s not alive in 2015 the walkie goes dark.

Soo-hyun and Hae-young go and get the coroners assessment on that unidentified body. She’s different from all the rest. Everyone else had the bag tide with the killer in front of them but with this girl, he was behind her. And it wasn’t rice sacks her body was wrapped in, but a blanket. Somehow this girl got to him before he killed her. If they identity her, the killer might be somewhere in her orbit.

We see that unlike all the other girls, this one noticed our killer and seemed to return his curiosity. Though she’s shy and timid, she still tries to reach out to him.

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And just her little bit of attention sends him running home hyperventilating. He sees a vision of his younger self crying and huddling in the corner. We go through a series of unimaginable things his mom did to him when he was young, like sticking him in a rice sack to get warm, force feeding him.

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Ugh, he finds a cute little white puppy (okay, I think this breed is a Jindo puppy and I own a similar Japanese breed that also comes in white so just seeing this part make me want to cry) and it also ends up getting Mom’s special brand of comfort.

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Later we see that the nail in unidentified girl’s coffin (or rope on her blanket) was that she went back to the killer’s convenience store and offered him an umbrella on a rainy night. She’d followed him home, and I scream until my throat hurts for her to run away as fast as she possibly, but for some reason the people in these situations never listen to me.

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Back in 1997 Jae-han is still going full steam trying to find the killer when he realizes that Soo-hyun still isn’t back. The other cops are like, it’s about time doofus. Jae-han remembers that Hae-young said even though Soo-hyung was a cop it must have been really hard for her, and that a word of encouragement from Jae-han especially would go a long way. It goes completely over Jae-han’s head why Soo-hyun would want his comfort, but he at least acts on it and goes to see her at home.

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Ugh, I hate seeing how broken she looks, but who wouldn’t after what she went through? Jae-han tries to cheer her up by giving her a gift someone sent her for catching that mugger on the motorcycle. She says she feels like she’s not cut out to be a cop anymore. Everything frightens her, especially criminals. How can she be a cop if she scared of the people she’s sworn to catch? Jae-han says he’s afraid of criminals too, but someone has to catch them.  And who knows, she might even be a team leader someday. LOL. I lub when he’s being a dork. Much better than the way he was when he was questioning her.

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The squad splits up in Hongwon-dong to question people about a girl who might have gone missing in 2014. The last victim wasn’t reported missing so they’re trying to see if maybe someone will remember when they’re asked if a girl just suddenly stopped being at work or something similar. This puts Soo-hyun back on those streets where she was kidnapped. Hae-young adorably tries to not split up, but she sends him on his way. She remembers Jae-han’s words. “Someone has to catch them” and she heads out. Because of the hypnosis the memories are a lot fresher than before and her surroundings seem to affect her.

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Hae-young manages to find a factory where the workers were exposed to mercury, which was present in the last victims body. They finally find out who the last victim was and Hae-young looks through a notebook she kept. It’s mostly poetry which she sadly talks about the killer like he’s some mysterious boy she has a crush on. In the back he finds short shopping lists and it dawns on him that the victims all didn’t like to go to the grocery store so the best way for them to get the things they needed was a convenience store.

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He calls Soo-hyun who is about to get back in her car, and she says she’ll meet him by the factory but then something strikes her all the sudden. The lights. When you’re walking down the alley they are on one side. And when she was running with that bag on her head they were on the right side, but then when she hit something and fell, getting back up to run again, they were on the left. She realizes that she ran back in the direction she had just run from.

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And that thing she hit before going unconscious. Yeah, it wasn’t a thing, it was a person.

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I knew that thud was too soft to be a wall. The memory she blocked out was that she ran right back into the killer and he started choking her, but then Jae-han came running while yelling her name so the killer took off. Holy cow! That was freaking close. Once she realizes this she goes back to the spot Jae-han found her and then heads toward where the house really should be. She even sees the sewer plate where she fell, which explains the smell she remembers right after she broke out of the house.

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While she’s doing this, Hae-young interviews all the nearby convenience store clerks until he walks into one that looks like an OCD support group set up camp there.

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Hae-young slams the clerk on duty against the overly organized drink refrigerators, and finds out the guy who made it look that way just got off and is probably at home…

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Which is, of course, where Soo-hyun is. She opens the door and we fade to black. NO!!!!! Don’t do IT.

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My Thoughts:

I’m really glad we got to learn more about Soo-hyun, even if it was a lot of crazy. She’s a young naive cop when she starts at the precinct, but we get to see what made her the detective she is today. I have people I’m close with that are in law enforcement. If you think you can see what they see day in and day out and not be changed by it, you’re a fool. Hopefully, you come out the other end a stronger more compassionate person. Sadly, a lot of people in these types of jobs just harden and become unfeeling toward the people they’re sworn to protect.

We also get to see the moment when Soo-hyun and Jae-han’s relationship shifted. Up until this point he’s treated her like the rookie that she is. Probably not really thinking about her too much outside of when he sees her at her desk. But from now on, he’ll always carry a little guilt, a little remorse, and probably respect, because of what he knows of her future self.

My hope is that they catch the killer in the past this time instead of the present day. I’m still freaking out and screaming at my screen for Soo-hyun to not go in that house, but I really want Jae-han to get this guy before he kills all those girls. Let’s hope that the next transmission, Hae-young tells him about that mountain.

Until our next transmission, Drama Geek, over and out.

 

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3 thoughts on “Signal Episode 10-Fight like a girl. Cry like one, too.

  1. Please don’t apologize for being a feminist. All decent people believe in equal rights and opportunities for women, and there’s nothing shameful or impolite in talking about that in public.

    Like

  2. I think it better to capture the killer in the present day. Because, if they do/did it in the past, it would be messed up.. 9 lives will be saved, but in the end, someone must die for exchanged their live right?
    Urgh..

    Like

  3. Pingback: SIGNAL.TVN. | IKurate

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