Drama Recaps
White Christmas: Episode 5
by | August 4, 2012 | 66 Comments

Are monsters born or made? Our boys (and okay, one girl) come face to face with a bonafide monster who loves guns, threats, and mind games. If group counseling were a blood sport, it’d probably look a lot like this drama, which takes a crack at normal therapy by amping it up a couple notches. Because nothing says “Tell me what’s on your mind” like a serial killer/psychologist/psychopath with a gun and handcuffs. Oh, and a fresh cup of warm tea.


White Christmas OST – Mercury Rev “Holes” [ Download ]

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


“I’m a serial killer.”

These are the words we open with as we watch Doctor Kim in the events leading up to his appearance at Susin High. He explains that he was exhausted from killing people, since killing takes a lot of work. Poor thing. He’s captured by police before he can kill his taxi driver, and is actually relieved to be caught.

On their way to prison, the icy roads cause the policemen’s car to swerve off the cliff, sending them crashing into the gully below. One policeman is thrown from the vehicle while the other’s head goes through the front windshield. Doctor Kim gets by with a wound to his forehead, the same one we’ve seen.

He stumbles from the car, taking a gun from the dead policeman while the other, barely alive, fires at Doctor Kim. He doesn’t even flinch, as if he’s expecting to die at any moment, but none of the bullets hit him and the policeman dies.

Doctor Kim struggles through the snow and wilderness before finding a suitable spot to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. When he sees Susin High light up in the distance he treats it like a revelation or mission from a higher power. As he begins his journey toward the school, we hear him continue in voiceover:

“Two thousand years go, three wise men followed a star to find baby Jesus. Today, that light led me to them. I realized that all the coincidences that had occurred were part of a destiny that had been determined long ago. Are monsters born or made?”

We jump back to where we ended last episode, with psychopath Doctor Kim pointing a gun at Ji-hoon.

Inside the school and unaware, Moo-yul and Eun-sung come to the conclusion that Teach’s body wasn’t hidden because the murderer couldn’t move the body, and that the knife on the scene wasn’t the weapon that killed him. Moo-yul: “Only the murderer has the real weapon.”

Jae-kyu comes running to tell Moo-yul his theory that Doctor Kim is the murderer. And just then, Young-jae emerges from the clinic with Doctor Kim’s bloody sweater.

Moo-yul & Co. start scrambling to find Doctor Kim, but he finds them first. He’s brought Ji-hoon and Kang-mo, and shows the gun to the class. Yoon-soo is exempt from all of this because no one can find him – he’s hidden away up in the rafters as usual, with earbuds firmly in place.

Everyone gathers in one room at Doctor Kim’s behest, while he sits in front of them with his gun. He thanks Moo-yul for saving his life. Oof, poor Moo-yul. Guy tries to save someone, and that someone turns out to be a crazypants serial killer.

When Jae-kyu asks why he killed Teach, he explains it as just a bad twist of fate – Teach had a TV in his room, and the police released his photograph. He couldn’t have Teach find him out, so he killed him.

Doctor Kim sighs, “I hope you can understand.” Moo-yul: “You killed someone. How can we understand that?” I love that Doctor Kim tries to paint himself in a sympathetic light, as if his back bruise compares with Teach’s frozen corpse in the courtyard.

Meanwhile, Mi-reu and Hiker come across a sign that tells them they’re only a few miles from the school. They celebrate.

Doctor Kim wants to make sure everyone’s present, so he comes up with a devious plan to ensure there won’t be runaways by pairing the students up, and then sending only one from each pair to find Yoon-soo. If they don’t come back, he’ll kill the partner left behind.

Young-jae gets paired with Kang-mo, with the latter responsible for searching. He’s worried Kang-mo will just leave him to die. Doctor Kim has the perfect solution for this problem, and gives the hostages a chance to beg their partners to come back.

When Young-jae is up, he’s not above begging Kang-mo. “I know I’m bad,” Young-jae admits, “but I shouldn’t have to die.” Kang-mo looks at him coldly and asks: “What would you do?” Eep. Caught.

When it’s Jae-kyu’s turn, all he tells Ji-hoon is: “I’m sorry.” The chasers – Kang-mo, Moo-yul, and Ji-hoon – are given ten minutes to find Yoon-soo and return.

But Doctor Kim is no pushover, and takes notice when Ji-hoon and Moo-yul communicate with each other using only their eyes. Probably sensing that the two of them together are a dangerous combination, Doctor Kim decides to make Ji-hoon stay, and sends Jae-kyu off instead. The clock is ticking.

“How big is the space that separates life and death?” Doctor Kim muses, as he tells the students that only the police catching him stopped him from killing his taxi driver. How big was the space between life and death for that guy?

The chasers can’t find Yoon-soo, and time is running out. Funnily enough we see that he’s in the same room as Doctor Kim, perched up in the rafters.

Moo-yul and Jae-kyu return, as Doctor Kim counts down the seconds and levels the gun at an increasingly nervous Young-jae, since Kang-mo has yet to arrive.

Time’s up. He gets ready to shoot.

And finally, at that last moment, Kang-mo arrives. Young-jae’s so overcome that he cries in relief – or is it still fear? Probably a mixture of both.

Meanwhile, Mi-reu and Hiker get closer to the school, and they stop to have a snowball fight along the way. C’mon, guys! Hurry up and do some rescuing!

Doctor Kim thinks that they chose not to find Yoon-soo, but Moo-yul claims that it’ll be hard to find him if he’s determined to hide. It’s a big school.

This isn’t great news for Doctor Kim, because the “game” he wants to play requires that everyone be present. He waffles between forfeiting the game or imposing a penalty, and points the gun at Moo-yul first (the leader), Ji-hoon second (the team ace), and Eun-sung third, since she’s the one with problems and would make a good sacrifice.

Seeing the gun pointed at Eun-sung is the breaking point for Moo-yul, who jumps to his feet as he spits out: “Are you crazy? What game? What sacrifice? Do you think holding a gun makes you God? You’re just crazy, you murderer!”

Moo-yul is shaking from anger and has to be held back from attacking Doctor Kim, who then decides to use him for the penalty. He aims the gun at Moo-yul’s head, but is distracted when a noise comes from the ceiling.

Everyone is shocked when Yoon-soo casually descends the ladder, and Doctor Kim even starts laughing at the absurdity of this wild goose chase when their goose was right above them. Moo-yul gets to keep his head after all.

It’s time for breakfast, and Yoon-soo handcuffed to the table. There’s a tiny moment here I love – Eun-sung is eyeing one of the knives like she wants to use it to attack Doctor Kim, so Ji-hoon brushes past her purposefully to literally bump her out of her resolve. D’aww. Luff him.

Doctor Kim decides to hold a question and answer session with his seven hostages, and when it comes to Eun-sung’s question about why he killed a group of high school girls, his answer shows the underpinnings of his psychosis.

Doctor Kim: “They were impolite. So ill-mannered and offensive. They laughed, and were so loud. They swore, too. I can bet you this – I bet the people on the bus that day felt the same way I did. ‘I wish those girls would disappear, if only they’d go.’ So I thought about it. Those girls being there, living on with their lives… is that beneficial, or not?”

Apparently not, seeing as he killed them. No one presses further, and I love that Ji-hoon is the only one eating, since he’s explained himself before.

Doctor Kim explains that the game will be to find the Black Letter Sender. It’s them versus him, and if either side finds out the answer, it’s game over. If they find out first, he’ll punish the sender.

However, if he finds out first, then he’ll punish the person with the worst black letter sin. And if the sender confesses, then he still wins. The students can use whatever method they want, but he’ll be employing one-on-one counseling sessions with them. Doctor Kim: “It won’t be any different from meeting a counselor.” Riiight. How about that gun?

Speaking of, Ji-hoon uses his question to ask how many bullets he has. Doctor Kim pauses before replying that he has four – the first bullet he used to scare, the second one killed Teach. “Worst case scenario… three of you will live,” he admits.

Time to start the counseling sessions. Doctor Kim locks everyone but Kang-mo up in the teacher’s dorms, and Ji-hoon instructs them to find anything they can use as a weapon.

However, he does say that the three of them should have never returned – he wouldn’t have killed them if four people were in hiding (including Yoon-soo). No one agrees, all of them thinking Doctor Kim is just crazy, until Eun-sung speaks up: “Ji-hoon could be right. He was careful in choosing the pairs. He formed those pairs so that they would return.” You can tell how much her agreeing with Ji-hoon angers Moo-yul.

They don’t know why Kang-mo was chosen first, even though Young-jae thinks he’s the letter sender and is probably confessing at this moment. “Thank goodness you didn’t send the letters,” Eun-sung notes. “You’d raise your hand and say you did it before he even asked.”

Young-jae turns on her, “Wouldn’t you? You would die if you got caught. Would you be willing to die for everyone else?” She claims she wouldn’t, but at least she’d think twice about it. He doesn’t see a difference between them.

Obviously, Jae-kyu is in a predicament since he IS the letter sender, though Ji-hoon is probably the best confidante he could have right now since his poker face could fool anyone. Plus, he’s got a good heart underneath the cold exterior.

Doctor Kim handcuffs Kang-mo to the clinic bed, but Kang-mo just talks his ear off, which Doctor Kim notes down as “compulsive gossiping”.

Moo-yul and Ji-hoon try to think of an attack plan using what little they could find – mostly household detergents. They know they have to attack quickly before Doctor Kim finds out about the CCTV hack they have, and they decide to execute their plan later that night.

Hah – I find it kind of funny that Doctor Kim is overwhelmed with how much Kang-mo is talking, and asks for five minutes of silence. Kang-mo fidgets around, clearly anxious when he’s not talking, until Doctor Kim starts telling him about a special breed of moth that, when in caterpillar form, uses camouflage to look like a snake and fool predatory birds.

Doctor Kim: “Do you know why the way you talk is so desperate? Because it’s your camouflage. Listening and talking… Does your disability still burden you?”

Dayum. Doctor Kim may be a psychopath, but he’s still a good psychologist. I’d say that’s Kang-mo in a nutshell – and Kang-mo knows it, because he suddenly finds himself choking back tears.

Mi-reu and Hiker are still far from the school, and have set up a tent in the snow. He notices a pendant around her neck and asks what it is – she replies that it’s a gallstone. I love how Mi-reu is like, “From inside your body?” Haha. Adorable.

He’s weirded out, but she won’t tell him who it’s from. She just insists that it’s a lucky charm to protect her from headaches.

After fighting a losing battle holding back his emotions, Kang-mo tells Doctor Kim a story from when he was six years old and in charge of ringing the cowbell during a school play. He knew how unimportant his role really was, but his dad videotaped it, and Kang-mo paints the event as the single worst moment of his life.

Kang-mo: “I stood out from the group. I stood like everyone else, but only my face was different. You said I was desperate. That was how I looked then. Desperate.”

He says that that’s what being disabled is – desperation. Doctor Kim asks him if he ended up ringing the cowbell or not, and Kang-mo lies and claims he doesn’t remember. Doctor Kim should try prescribing him more cowbell. (Could. Not. Resist.)

Ji-hoon tells the group that the only place they can predict Doctor Kim’s movement is the cafeteria, where he sits and puts the gun down to eat. That’s their window of opportunity.

Doctor Kim starts to tell Kang-mo another animal analogy, this time using the common occurrence of thousands of zebras going to the river, while the weakest one is attacked by a lion. Doctor Kim claims that it’s not just the lion that waits for the weak zebra – the others wait too, hoping that he’ll show himself and be sacrificed so they can drink water. Ehh. I don’t know about this one, Doc.

He asks Kang-mo what he would do if he was that injured zebra and no one knew it. “The lion by the river, this situation. They’re quite similar, right?” Doctor Kim muses, and Kang-mo’s lack of response pleases him. He smiles to himself, satisfied.

Ji-hoon fashions a sort of bomb (a lighter plus flammable spray) near the ceiling. They all head to the door once Kang-mo returns – and he’s having trouble with his hearing, since he can’t understand Doctor Kim without reading his lips.

Doctor Kim has them all walk to the cafeteria, hand in hand, while Mi-reu and Hiker make it closer to the school. We can judge their distance by the tiny tuft of Teach’s hair sticking out of the snow.

I love how fast Ji-hoon is on the uptake – then again, we shouldn’t expect less at this point. Yoon-soo does his usual thing and acts weird at dinner, arousing Doctor Kim’s suspicion. Ji-hoon reacts quickly and smoothly by asking him about a possible tie in this game, and it works.

Doctor Kim claims that if neither he or the students can find the letter sender by the end of the break, then they’ll win. The only way for him to win is if the sender confesses – so then he addresses the sender by talking to all the students, saying that if he stays silent, he can protect everyone. But he has to trust that the others won’t tell on him and get him killed.

“The other six of you who didn’t send the letters, listen. When you find out who sent them, you may choose not to tell me. But again, you have to have faith that the sender won’t confess to it,” Doctor Kim announces. “Yes, trust is the basis of this game. How much do you trust each other? You’re the smartest in our country… Has anyone taught you about trust?”

The rules are set, and they do make sense, in a devious sort of way. The air is tense while everyone but Kang-mo waits for the bomb to go off. Kang-mo is the one handcuffed near Doctor Kim today, and is lost in his own memories of being unable to ring the bell. Everything around him sounds like white noise, since his hearing aid is on the fritz.

Even Doctor Kim notes the tenseness in the air, but the bomb upstairs goes off and sets off the fire alarm, throwing the entire cafeteria into chaos as all the students on the other side of the table jump to their feet, with Moo-yul yelling to Kang-mo, “The gun!”

But all Kang-mo sees is chaos, except he can’t hear anything. He doesn’t react quickly enough to grab the gun because unlike them, he didn’t get to hear the plan.

Moo-yul vaults over the table to reach the gun that’s fallen on the floor, but he’s just a millisecond too late. Doctor Kim snatches it up and holds it to Moo-yul’s head. Kang-mo realizes what’s going on way too late, and holds back tears.

The alarm cuts off, and Doctor Kim just starts laughing. He’s actually amazed at how much fortune seems to favor him, because he really can’t understand. The police, the snowstorm, the accident, even now.

He aims the gun at Young-jae, the weakest, in an attempt to find out who orchestrated the plan. It’s not long before Young-jae blurts Ji-hoon’s name. Doctor Kim: “I knew it.”

Mi-reu and the Hiker have been going all day, yet they look no closer to the school than they did yesterday. She suspiciously holds her gallstone like it’s a precious amulet.

It’s sad to see Moo-yul in tears as he asks Doctor Kim what will happen to Ji-hoon, only becoming more desperate when he realizes that Doctor Kim plans to kill Ji-hoon. Even Eun-sung tries to get through to him, claiming what they did was self-defense. Doctor Kim says he’s defending himself too.

“Does that upset you?” he asks. “Or is a serial killer’s life less valuable than that of a growing teenager’s? A king’s life, a pigeon’s life… It’s all worth the same.”

Jae-kyu kneels in front of him to beg for his life. Everyone else, sans Kang-mo, does the same. Are they kneeling for their individual lives, or are they following Jae-kyu’s suit, thinking he’s begging for Ji-hoon? It’d be weird if they were all kneeling for themselves when Ji-hoon is the one about to be killed.

Doctor Kim acts sympathetic – but he’s alone, and there’s seven of them. He argues that he has to protect himself somehow, and that rules have to be in place for the game to continue.

Young-jae starts tearing into Kang-mo once they’re all alone, and beats him in a rage until he’s pulled off. He blames Kang-mo for siding with Doctor Kim on purpose, and for their plan failing.

Moo-yul is the first one to approach him, and he knows Kang-mo can’t hear, but he wants to know why he didn’t say anything. Kang-mo remains silent. We hear Doctor Kim in voiceover talk about the river where the lion waits – if you were an injured zebra, what would you do? He goes on:

When dying of thirst, someone must be sacrificed, or you cannot drink a single drop. What would you do? We can only pray that the most impatient will jump into the river, that someone will be injured, that a young one will fall behind, that the lion will be satisfied. How can you not hope for that? If you were standing by the river where the lion waits…

Doctor Kim takes Ji-hoon to the auditorium, and they stand face to face. Oh no.

He aims the gun at Ji-hoon, who remains stoic and silent. There seems to be a tiny moment where Doctor Kim thinks twice about pulling the trigger, but he steels himself…

And we cut to the rest of them waiting. A shot rings out. Eun-sung crumbles in tears, Jae-kyu sinks to the ground in shock. Even Yoon-soo’s eyes gleam.

It’s almost sadder to see Moo-yul trying his best to hold it together than it is to see everyone else falling apart. And it’s terrible to see Young-jae in grief, because he ratted Ji-hoon out. Kang-mo didn’t hear the shot so he can’t understand what’s going on – but dude, look at the grief around you and take an educated guess.

Doctor Kim has Ji-hoon’s handcuffs back. We don’t see where Ji-hoon ended up. *sob*

Mi-reu and Hiker finally make it to the school’s gates. Mi-reu beckons her inside: “Welcome to Susin High!”


Call me an optimist, because while I understand where Doctor Kim is coming from with the whole zebra analogy psychobabble, I don’t find it as applicable as Kang-mo does. The cafeteria incident wasn’t only his fault, and while I can see why he wouldn’t tell the rest of the group he couldn’t hear, the reason he doesn’t just makes me want to give him a good shake of the shoulders.

His reason for not trusting everyone makes sense when we remember the witch-hunt from the last episode, but it’s not like he was totally innocent in that, either. Kang-mo has seen a different sort of world than the rest of our group because of his disability, but he also sees in others the bad qualities he sees in himself. He sees the darkest side of his peers, when they’re not all like Young-jae. And most of all, they are not zebras.

There’s a point to be made in assuming that the human race can be reduced to nothing but a herd-like or mob mentality when push comes to shove, but it’s views like Doctor Kim’s that make murderers and sociopaths. He strips individuals of their individuality by claiming that we’re all those zebras on the side of the river ready to shove our neighbor down the lion’s throat if it means we can have a drink, and plays on Kang-mo’s complexes in order to convince him that he’d be the first one to go. So in turn, Kang-mo thinks he has to protect himself from his fellow man – which is exactly the kind of thinking that’s kept him ostracized until now.

Of course, if you fail to see humans as humans and think that we’re no more than animals, then you get douchenozzles like Doctor Kim, who feel no remorse for murder. In fact, with the girls from the high school, he felt he was doing society a service. I say this all while finding Doctor Kim a very interesting character and great for the narrative, even if he disgusts me on a personal level.

Kang-mo is the character I like the least, so maybe all this discussion means he’s got that much more room to grow. Or maybe this is the best he can do, and Doctor Kim has succeeded in answering whether monsters are born or made. I find myself weirdly invested in him against my better judgment, but it’s because out of all the boys (and Eun-sung, to be fair), he’s this close to a revelation. I want him to realize that he’s among good people like Moo-yul and Ji-hoon, who make mistakes because they’re human, and that’s why we’re watching a human drama instead of the Discovery Channel.


66 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. sajatokki

    This is what I get for refreshing DB like crazy on a Sunday! WC episode 5! Thank you HeadsNo2! 3 episodes left …

    BAEK.SUNG.HYUN. I love you.

  2. MhsC

    Thank you for the recap !!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. MhsC

    So Cool!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. whimsyful

    Thanks for another awesome recap Heads!

    To be fair to Kang Mo, I don’t think he had the chance to tell the others about his hearing fritzing out. I mean, he was never left alone with the other students after his “therapy” session.

    Man, these students have the worst luck *ever*. I mean, if someone had only turned on those school lights 5 seconds later Dr.Kim would have killed himself. But then this would probably turn into a romantic comedy instead of a psychological thriller.

    • 4.1 jelly-jamboree

      I wasn’t so angry at Kang Mo either.

      I feel like Dr. Kim is not only good at finding people’s insecurities, but also manipulating those people without them realizing it. It’s true that the plan may have succeeded if Kang Mo had told his friends that he couldn’t hear, but to me it seemed like it had more to do with the fact that Kang Mo was distracted by what Dr. Kim had said and remembering hurtful memories rather than purposefully distrusting his friends. He just had a lot on his mind, and wasn’t even aware there was a plan… so I feel like we can give him some slack. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • 4.1.1 cheekbones

        I wasn’t exactly angry at Kang-mo. I was exasperated, and yet I pitied him. I think he’s the hardest one to understand, and he’s just so stubborn or determined ? that it’s hard for the others to get to him.

    • 4.2 modestgoddess

      I agree. KangMo did not have time to tell the other students. It is understandable that he would not want to reveal his weakness in front of the serial killer.

    • 4.3 Betsy Hp

      I think he did have time to let Moo-yul know. Especially during one of the many significant looks Moo-yul shot his way while dinner was being laid out. (A quick tap of his ear would have done; Moo-yul’s a quick boy.) But, as HeadsNo2 pointed out, Kang-mo doesn’t trust any one of them. He’s not about to point out his weakness especially when stuff is that tense.

      But! I actually do sympathize with Kang-mo especially since Moo-yul joined the witch-hunt the other day. It is Kang-mo’s choice to not trust anyone, but man if his “friends” didn’t do their best to make Kang-mo’s lack of trust seem reasonable. (Makes me wonder if things would have gone better if either Ji-hoon or even Jea-kyu had been doing the significant looks instead of Moo-yul.)

    • 4.4 Betsy Hp

      I think he did have time. Especially when Moo-yul was throwing him all those significant glances in the cafeteria. All he had to do was tap his ear or something. (Moo-yul’s a quick boy, he’d have picked up the hint.) As HeadsNo2 pointed out, Kang-mo didn’t trust any of them, especially when he was so obviously weak and things were so terribly tense.

      However, I do think expecting him to suddenly become trustful right after being victim of a witch-hunt would be expecting waaaay too much. A witch-hunt Moo-yul was a part of, actually. Which makes me wonder if things would have gone differently if Ji-hoon or even Jea-kyu had been the ones giving the significant looks instead of Moo-yul.

      • 4.4.1 Betsy Hp

        Eep! Sorry – had a tech error and thought my first hadn’t posted. I apologize for the spam. ๐Ÿ™

      • 4.4.2 whimsyful

        Thoughtful spam is welcome! As long as you’re not a robot.

        Hmm, I guess he could have tapped his ears, but like someone said above, there was no way Kang Mo could have known about the plan or how crucial a part he played it in. I mean, it’s kinda hard to convey “we want you to attack Mr. Serial Killer after the alarm rings during dinner” using Significant Glances. Pity none of them seems to know sign language.

        • Betsy Hp

          Hee! No, not a robot. ๐Ÿ™‚

          That’s a really good point. Kang Mo would have had to proactively let Moo Yul and friends know he couldn’t hear for no reason other than sharing all the facts. In case they had a plan and it involved sound and he’d have a role to play. (A starring role for that matter… Yeah, they were really banking on Moo Yul’s ability to Significantly Glance.)

          If they’d been a band of friends, if Kang Mo felt friendly towards, or trusted any of them, I think he would have let that person know just ’cause… well, things are dodgy and for his own peace of mind it might have helped to have someone having his back in case something sound-based happened. But, as Dr. Kim kind of underlined — they’re not a trusting bunch. And Kang Mo wouldn’t trust any of them to have his back. So best to fade back and hope no one notices his desperation.

          • Chandler

            I agree with all that’s being discussed. And I actually think Kang Mo was who I felt for the most this episode (besides Ji-Hoon *sob*) because seriously. He had no idea that they were planning anything and I don’t think him trusting them or not would make any difference. In that moment, Doctor Kim had just shocked him into thinking about a horrible memory from his past and that combined with the fact that his hearing aid stopped working caused him to just not be in the moment. He was caught up in his emotions.

            The way the scene played out, as he was caught in that memory was so haunting. Because in the present, the same situation was happening and yet the stakes are so much higher and then all of a sudden he’s failed the group without even knowing what he was supposed to do in the first place. I can’t imagine what that must feel like. I really feel for him because he had so much responsibility for the plan’s failure and yet he had no idea until it was too late. I felt so bad for him. I’m actually oddly invested in his character for some reason even though he is probably the darkest of the kids. That might be why I want to see him become better.

            The one I was most disappointed with is Young-Jae even though I do understand and can’t say whether I wouldn’t have done the same thing if I were in his shoes. I hated when he started beating up on Kang-Mo even though I know he was partly doing it in order to place blame on someone other than himself.

  5. gracie

    Hmm. I could swear I saw a swatstika on the sign under the one that told mi reu and the girl that they were near the school… Did I miss something in the past episodes or is it just another detail?

    • 5.1 ์ •๋‚จ

      You most likely saw a Manji a Buddhist sign that is used quite often but most westerners mistake for a Swastika. Hitler adopted the design from the Manji.

    • 5.2 MeeisLee

      I was thinking the same thing about the swastika. Though it seems like the swastika is always rotated?

      Since ์ •๋‚จ said it was a Manji, do you know what it’s meaning is in regards to it being on that sign?

  6. melonhead

    I was screaming like a mad person all throughout this episode. *shudder* So many chills, but so good.

  7. eternalfive

    Yes, thank you HeadsNo2! Been refreshing for ages.

    I went ahead and watched the entire drama, and I remember just loving all those little moments with Ji-hoon in this episode, like when he purposefully bumped into Eun-sung, and looking as if he wasn’t even considering spilling about Jae-kyu, and his genius plans. It’s awesome how the drama just lets that kind of stuff establish the characters, without any unnecessary exposition. And Mu-yeol! Gah, I just want to hug him. Seriously, I think the best thing about this drama is the characters. They’re all so compelling, and even if they’re not likeable, they’re all complex with interesting backstories. Looove. <3

  8. AC2010

    Is Ji hoon dead???? I hope not =/

  9. DB5K

    Ever since Headsno2 recapped the first episode of White Christmas, I started marathoning it. And, it being summer vacation, I finished it within a week *sheepish grin* I bet that’s what happened to a lot of people, lol. I think the reason there aren’t more comments is because everyone interested in this drama has finished watching it by now. So we can’t discuss it because we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone~~

    I can’t wait for the last episode to be recapped so we can all start discussing the ending and debating whether monsters are born or made.

    • 9.1 eternalfive

      Yup, same. Can’t wait for all the discussion that’s to come!

    • 9.2 Betty

      Yep first recap I marathoned it the same day and finished it 10 hours later NO BREAK loll

      Yes I try to be careful and not spoil for other people ^_^

    • 9.3 sajatokki

      Same here, finished it in 2 days after the first recap.
      And yes!! Would love to discuss more after the final episode!

      • 9.3.1 zhill

        yeah, me too. I can’t wait for ep8 recap … am just so eager to read the viewers opinion if monsters are born or made … and who do you think win the game … ahhh can’t wait.

  10. 10 whatis

    whoa… I just read episodes 1 through 5. It looks AWESOME! I want to know what happens!!!! THANKS! Heads! AWESOME show!

  11. 11 Stardust

    YAY for another recap! Thank you HeadsNo2 for bringing this fantastic story to us… What I found is, this drama did not scare me as much as I thought it would… the horror described by other viewers didn’t make as much of a scare for me… maybe I have watched way too much CSI.. haha… Looking forward to reading your takes for the next eps! =D

    • 11.1 cheekbones

      You weren’t as scared maybe because you had read the recaps and the comments so you were able to mentally prepare yourself.

      I went into this drama not knowing a thing, and it got me chilled to the bones, especially the first few episodes.

      • 11.1.1 Stardust

        lol true true I had forewarning… but I already watched till ep 8.. kekekeke

  12. 12 sunshine

    I admit: I actually had to skip the part where their plan gets ruined and then go back to it, because I could not bear to see the kids fail. It was such a good plan! Alternately Kang Mo and Young-jae was my least favorite character (great for the plot but makes my blood boil), but something about Young Jae’s cowardice makes me want to shake him.

    • 12.1 Reya

      That’s odd. Kang-mo and Young-jae were my two favourite characters in this drama. Well, Young-jae keeps impressing me with his awful and pathetic behaviour (is there no end to it? He really is the weakest and so repulsive sometimes) and I can’t bring myself to feel any sympathy for him. But because of that, he really is one of the most interesting characters this show has to offer. And regarding Kang-mo, I like him probably the most of all. No matter what.

      • 12.1.1 Silver

        I also find Kang-mo interesting. I don’t particularly like him, but I like disliking him… if that makes sense. I feel he has a lot of depth that you get to explore throughout the show. You see a lot of signs of him being highly intelligent (he comes to conclusions right away that sometimes takes Jihoon to point out to the others) but unlike Jihoon he is not willing to work with the others. It provides a good counterpoint to the mob mentality group. Plus, we get to see his personality evolving and changing throughout this show as he starts to realize different things.

        Youngjae however, is my least favorite character. I feel he is the coward, without much depth to him to make him interesting, to me at least.

        I think my top 3 favorite students are Jihoon, Yoonsoo, and Kangmo. ๐Ÿ™‚ (I love the crazy and highly intelligent.)

      • 12.1.2 Michelle

        Young-Jae is repulsive but I actually find Eun-Sung to be really bad as well. I think Heads2No was very dismissive on this part:

        \Young-jae turns on her, โ€œWouldnโ€™t you? You would die if you got caught. Would you be willing to die for everyone else?โ€ She claims she wouldnโ€™t, but at least sheโ€™d think twice about it. He doesnโ€™t see a difference between them.\

        Actually, Young-Jae replied, “If you cry while betraying, does that show loyalty?” And she only glared because he had a point. In this “pretend-scenario” she wants to mask her weakness, her betrayal, with tears so she doesn’t seem like a total snitch, so even when she is betraying someone she is still only thinking about herself but that is the POINT, she is betraying a person so that she can live. So why add those seconds of hesitation? So she doesn’t seem like a bad person in front of the others? What are her tears or “thinking twice” supposed to compensate for? To convince herself that she is not a horrible person or that feeling guilt changes things?

        Young-Jae is repulsive for not thinking twice but doing the same action after “thinking about it” makes the betrayal different somehow?

        Unless “thinking twice” means you are coming up with an escape plan then I couldn’t care less for Eun-Sung’s tears. I find a good deal of her hypocrisy is masqueraded as “troubled morality” and that is only substantiated because she is a “girl”. I won’t go into much detail but yeah…I don’t like her one bit and she is the only other female besides hitchhiker girl until the near end which is a bummer because I thought a drama this good would have an amazing female character.

        • Chandler

          Actually I like Eun-Sung a lot, she can be a downer, but she’s very perceptive and speaks her mind.

          That said, I think she often says harsh things she doesn’t fully mean so you can’t put so much weight on that comment about how she would think twice, but ultimately rat them out and sacrifice one of her fellow students. I actually think that she would be one of the ones that wouldn’t, but could, like any human, in a moment of weakness, consider it. I think it’s unfair to criticize her so much for something she says she’d hypothetically do because if she were actually in that position, I doubt that she’d actually be able to. But I think that her comment is a way of conceding honestly that she could possibly be too weak to withstand that possibility of dying instead.

          However, I actually think her tears at the end should speak volumes more to you than that comment should. She was horrified and probably would not have willingly put someone in that position.

          Anyway, I think your dissection of her character is very harsh and that you should judge her more on actions than on words. I just completely disagree.

  13. 13 Perevell

    Loved this whole drama. At first I thought it was scary, but it’s actually phsyocolgically fascinating. I didn’t like most of the characters at the start but they all grew on me, everyone has their dark pasts or little secrets anyway (though I’m still a jihoon biased :P) I remember yelling out an anguished “NOOO!” when the shot rang out, sister nearly knocked me on the head for acting like the world has ended xD

  14. 14 Abbie

    Did Ji-hoon really die? Oh man, that pisses me off if it’s true. He’s my second favorite character after Mi-reu.

    I don’t like the doctor. I never did. In fact, I hate him. He’s freaking crazy. About those girls he killed. What gives him the right to decide if they are a worthless tp society. They’re kids. They’re still growing and learning and changing. No one knows what they could have been, what good (or bad) they could have done, if they’d only been given the chance. But Crazy Doctor Kim took that chance away from them. Psycho.

    I find myself liking Kang-mo less and less as the show progresses. I feel bad for him for all he’s had to deal with, but that still doesn’t give him the right to behave the way he does.

    And the Hiker, whose name we still don’t know. I am really suspicious of her. What if she’s actually working with the Doctor. What if she’s his daughter? Or, she could be a relative to one of his victim’s or something. Or, she could just be some random person. With this show, who knows?

    I hope the kids defeat the evil doctor, and that they all come out alive, and that Ji-hoon is still alive. Somehow. *crosses fingers tightly*

    Thanks for the recap, HeadsNo2!

  15. 15 Ivoire

    Thank you for the recap!

  16. 16 Denali

    Even though human beings perform monstrous deeds, they are not to be referred as “monsters”. Who is to deny their humanity? This naming is a fake protection for “the other ones” as if this label would cast away the person and deny the fact that every one, under some circumstances, could be led to do monstrous things.

    Thus monsters are neither born nor made. And if the topic of innate versus acquired is dealt with, I strongly believe in the latter.

  17. 17 modestgoddess

    The leadership trio Jihoon – Mireu – Mooyul. Each has a different style and Mooyul is stronger when paired with one of the other guys. Honestly I felt more scared at the begging of hostage scenario because Mireu was not there as the strong charismatic genius that could protect the others. Then at the end where we have Mireu about to return but we have lost Jihoon I’m terrified to have lost Jihoon as the quietly charismatic genius. It is hard to see how they can get out alive without Jihoon but then we are given hope with the return of Mireu.

    I think Jihoon and Mireu are supposed to be opposites. One hot, one cold. One full of fiery emotions (sympolized by his read hair) and one cool an devoid of emotions. Then we have Mooyul as the moral compass who tries so hard to do the right thing.

    I must say that characters like Younjae are the most dangerous in action or horror dramas because they panic and are too scared to think rationally.

    • 17.1 modestgoddess

      Oh I was definitely scared by this drama. Watching it at night made it worse. The first few episodes were very creepy and atmospheric.

      Mireu is my favorite character. It is weird how many of the guys liked Eunsung. Youngjae is so annoying. They only time he is likeable is in his bickering with Eunsung.

    • 17.2 cheekbones

      I also thought of Jihoon and Mireu as the cold and hot geniuses. Both are charismatic.

      While watching the drama, I kept thinking Youngjae would be the one who would ruin it all for them.

    • 17.3 Chandler

      It’s funny because this whole episode I thought back to the words Mireu said to Ji Hoon before he left “Don’t die”. I just had a feeling he would do just that before Mireu finally reached the school gates. And he did *sob*

  18. 18 Raitei

    If there was one great lesson I learned in this ep., it was this: always wear your seat belt!

    Seriously, those silly cops wouldn’t have died if they got the belts on like Mr. Psycho Killer. >.<

    That aside, this ep. had me on the edge of my seat. I kept chanting and cheering for their innovative plans, although I have to say that somehow, I was a little disappointed that they didn't jump/subdue him a lot earlier, considering he can only use one hand. Then again, the situation was too nerve-wracking and frightening to probably dare or even think of such a move…

  19. 19 Anvesha

    I still remember being sad and disappointed to see Ji Hoon die. I wa like they can’t.. the won’t… Right? right?

    I liked all the analogies of Dr Kim.. it makes sense and I understand we’re humans and not animals but our mind works on the sane logic, ony may be at an advanced level. This drama sometimes reminds me of Lord of the Flies book..

    • 19.1 meecheellee

      Hahaha, I believe there is an unspoken dramaland rule that applies to most dramas: It’s not dead until you see the body. Hopefully in this case, it’s true. Ji Hoon!!!

      And Doctor? You is creepin’ meh out here. Almost as much as Hyun Min in Ghost. Actually about the same as Hyun Min. While you’re a serial killer slash psychopath slash psychologist, (and I swear, those were the words I described him with when I watched this episode) Hyun Min is a… creepy computer hacker who also has a serial killing edge to his… silent but deadly(?) personality. They both scare me. Poor Teach. Dr. Kim, put the pointy thing down. And the gunny thing down. And chill your balls out. Does killing people make you that damn happy? *whipers* Okay. Don’t kill me. I’ll… uhm… go to that corner over there.

      Anyhoo, we found out… he’s the monster. In a way. If you as me, both Hyun Min and him are monsters. They just kill differently. Hyun Min via poisoned wine and cyber hacking, Doc via guns, (aka the most usual[?] way).

      I really don’t want Ji-Hoon to die. Because I really wanted to see him like… work together with Moo Yul and come up with this like super genius plan that fucking blows everyone’s mind. But… so much for wishful thinking.

      *twisted half smile*

  20. 20 Anvesha

    I still remember being sad and disappointed to see Ji Hoon die. I wa like they can’t.. the won’t… Right? right?

    I liked all the analogies of Dr Kim.. it makes sense and I understand we’re humans and not
    animals but our mind works on the sane logic, ony may be at an advanced level. This drama sometimes reminds me of Lord of the Flies book..

  21. 21 Nana

    OMFG did Ji Hoon really DIE?!!?! T_T

  22. 22 Nana

    OMFG did Ji Hoon really DIE?!!?! T_T my baby…….. T_T

  23. 23 Betsy Hp

    Thanks so much for recapping these, HeadsNo2! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love, love, love that opening line: “I’m a serial killer.” It totally kicked the show into another type of psychological-thriller from the earlier mystery. (This is such a good example of what I love about k-dramas: how they’re able to play with genre in a way movies, curtailed by time, can’t.)

    Ji-hoon was so awesome. (That shot – his death – kicked me in the gut.) And Dr. Kim is such a cool villain. I adore smart villains. All the better to test you with, my dear. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And going with “trust” as his game… The one thing these kids not only haven’t been taught about, I think it’s something the school probably actively discourages, what with the competitiveness.

    So yes, the squee is still alive and well with me. (Except for Ji-hoon. I’m very unhappy about Ji-hoon.)

    • 23.1 whimsyful

      I love smart villains too! And I love how Dr.Kim isn’t one dimensional and he justifies killing ppl in a really twisted way. The thing is, I don’t think he is an evil genius either. He is very smart, but his main advantage over the kids is his age, his experience with and knowledge of people.

      Re: trust. Not only are the students raised in a cutthroat, everyone for themselves environment, they’d just spent the past few days suspecting each other and hunting each other down.

  24. 24 embermiya

    Don’t put so much of yourself in the recap, it really ruins the read.

    • 24.1 kdaddict

      If you don’t want to read about the personal (how the viewer/recap-er saw or felt about a scene) then just stick to drama-wiki where you get a translation of the entire series, then just watch the series on your own. The reason most of us read dramabeans and koala is because culture sometimes plays a huge role in how you view a drama and my American based background doesn’t lend itself to understanding some of the nuances.
      I welcome and appreciate the personal commentary that either confirms what I think or brings a new perspective. If I just wanted to read a drama with no personal input, I would read the book or script.

    • 24.2 Betty

      Well it’s why I read recap in the first place, to have the thoughts of the recaper because if not I could just watch the episode and be done with it… It’s much more fun with the thoughts of the recaper and the comments!

    • 24.3 Danna

      Not one bit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      the hilarious asides and comments are what makes these recaps..and the only reason i even read them

    • 24.4 Moko

      at first it was because I couldn’t understand a scene because of my background
      then I read those recaps because they were funny and comments hilarious
      and then I read them to see if something interesting came up in dramaland
      and now I read recaps in order to know if my thoughts match yours and if I can find them here
      but all along I loved them to bits

  25. 25 anaprima

    fiuh… I haven’t wacth this drama so, I’m pretty desperate to read the recaps. This drama really good.
    Recently, I read some dystopian books like hunger games and divergent series, I love how those books explored the human being.
    I think there’s never ending exploration of human being. That’s why there are some specific areas study of human being. Human is simple and also comlplicated. Maybe we’ll never understand our race, human race. We are always envolving with the time until the time itself stop.

    ps. I love Ji Hoon

  26. 26 Tisnim

    I love this show and I really can’t wait until the end and I already finished it but I wanted to hear the peoples opinions on it so yeah

  27. 27 Pandora

    This drama is <3

  28. 28 Silver

    I dislike and pity kangmo at the same time. I also find him to be one of the more interesting characters. And I totally understand why he wouldn’t confide in the others. I mean, THEY TRIED TO MURDER HIM. Do you remember that state of the pillow kangmo that Youngjae bashed apart? If that had been Kangmo sitting there like they thought he would be dead right now. And instead of getting a reality check about how they could have killed someone they proceded to hunt him down, and not in a “we’re just going to question you way either”. While Kangmo has acted suspicious and very defensive, not once did he try to attack them, while they HAVE tried to kill him. His mistrust might have been misplaced in the beginning of the series, but I think now he has a completely legitimate reason not to trust everyone except Jihoon.

    I love Jihoon is this drama! I was so upset after watching this episode I almost didn’t finish the series. Every time he and the doctor are facing off against each other I squeal with happiness. They are like two opposite sides of the same coin, or two mirrors facing each other? I feel like Jihoon represents the answer to doctor Kim’s question: is a monster born or made? They are both highly intelligent, coldly logical, and not all emotionally or psychologically stable/normal. Yet one is a serial killer and the other a hero. So what is it that made Jihoon different. When I first saw the doctor and Jihoon facing off on the rooftop combined with the voice over I was so convinced that Jihoon was the original serial killer that was planning to off the students, and the doctor was a more experienced serial killer that stumbled upon the situation, and having recognized the darkness in each other they would face off with the students caught in between. I think I like how the drama actually played out better though.

    • 28.1 modestgoddess

      oh good point about Jihoon and the Doctor Kim being opposites. One of them uses his intelligence for good and the other for evil. Even though Jihoon doesn’t show emotion and doesn’t recognize people he still helps others and won’t turn on them to save himself. I also had a theory that there were two killers, The student that sent the note and the Doctor, working together.

    • 28.2 Betty

      Oh!!! I just love your thoughts about Kang Mo and about Ji Hoon compared to Dr Evil-Psycho. I have seen the entire drama and one of the scenes that have struck me the most is the one with them blowing off the pillow that was supposed to be Kang Mo’s head and I was very shocked. Basically they were just being hunters tracking down an animal, and all along I wondered if they understood the implication of it, if they gave thoughts to how doing this define them as a human being, that they could just be killing somebody with no proof, without even hearing him out.

      This man-hunting was really a projection of how a “normal/ sane person” can turn into a crazy one when they feel endangered. The best example is Moo Yeol. It’s why the emotional punch must have felt even harder when Kang Mo told him that he was really disapointed in him. He then realized that he almost killed someone, went on an man-hunting while he thought of himself as impossible of such acts, probably thinking that he was better than that, righteous, fair, etc. I mean it’s probably what everyone think of themselves but when being thrown in a situation like that we have no idea what we will really turn into…

      Kang Mo is my least favorite character after Young Jae but it’s only because he is antipathic. I don’t think he his creepy although he could turn into one. I don’t know I just find him unlikable but not bad.

  29. 29 mud

    I’m so late on this bandwagon, but thank goodness for better late than never. This is fast becoming my favourite drama I’ve watched this year. And is it any coincedence that both star Sung Joon?

    Please don’t let Ji-hoon be dead….pleeeeease…. on the one hand I just can’t see any other way the Doc can keep him hidden or whatever. I mean, Doc only has 4 bullets so it would be a giant waste to pretend to kill him and just have him hidden somewhere….plus he’s a serial killer. *sigh* I can only watch this drama when there’s daylight outside because it’s just too scary to watch alone and at night.

    Anyway, thank you Heads for the recap!

    • 29.1 mud

      The other drama that I absolutely adore being Shut Up Flower Boy Band =DDD

  30. 30 Moko

    I don’t get why Ji-hoon didn’t use the fact that he knew the answer to the game…this sucks.

    • 30.1 Chandler

      He didn’t want to play the psychopath doctor’s game. Simple as that.

  31. 31 DJMuenchen

    This episode dealt with various dichotomies quite literally through pairs. Dr. and Jihoon good or evil is featured most prominently. golly gee i love it!

  32. 32 nana

    i’m writing a comment now, 2 years after this was posted but i’ve just watched the episode

    anyway i find the doctor’s zebra analogy indeed applicable, after all, what he said was exactly what then Youngjae did when he was pointed a gun at – he told on Chihun (well who wouldn’t). the doctor knew he was the weakest link and used it.

    and the other thing, i beg not to be misunderstood, but there is truth in that as well that humans sometimes are reduced to animals.
    in fact, no animal is a “monster” (unless labeled so by humans) like a human can be. animals don’t murder (note: the important difference between “kill” and “murder”)

    Gangmo grew to be one of my favourite characters so far, i’ve only seen this actor in School 2013 before so it was unusual to see him like this at the beginning but he pulls it off nicely.
    Youngjae is despicable but a very complex character, he’ll probably change a lot in the end (if he survives lol)

    I personally dislike Eunsung, somehow i don’t see anything in her character…

    But i really like this drama so far

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.