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Gap-dong: Episode 3

Gap-dong is back after taking a week off, and the break somehow made me feel like the show had been on the air for a lot longer than it had—we’re only in Week 2 now, as the case heats up and everyone scrambles to prevent this new murder from turning serial. Everybody’s got their own theories, but it’s hard to get to where you’re going when the good guys are splintered, as we find when suspicion becomes a hindrance to the case, not a tool. (Then again, we’ve also got a tool in charge, so…) By now we all know that the shifty character that is Tae-oh is dangerous and creepy, but the question remains: What exactly is he after? Yes, he’s earned his spot under the Bad Guys column, but is he ultimately a detour on the path to discovering Gap-dong, a mere distraction?

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EPISODE 3 RECAP

We resume at the bus stop where Mu-yeom makes a phone call, having come here on a hunch. This was the location of Gap-dong’s second victim’s disappearance, and Mu-yeom is retracing the steps of the original case. He calls the station about the motorcycle without license plates, and as he talks, Tae-oh returns.

We see the attack from Tae-oh’s perspective this time, as a manic look seizes his face and he takes a hard swing at the back of Mu-yeom’s head with his helmet. Mu-yeom’s head has no chance; he falls to the ground unconscious. Tae-oh breathes hard, but that’s probably from whatever he was doing just before (say, murdering?) and not this. He brushes straw off himself, dusting Mu-yeom’s body with it.

Tae-oh hangs up the phone call with the police, then makes a call. A reporter picks up, and mention of Gap-dong has him sitting up at attention and hurrying to take notes.

The sudden call interruption is enough to bring the cops to the scene, thankfully, and Mu-yeom is taken away in an ambulance. Partner Hyung-nyun is at his side, and he puts in a call to inform Ji-wool, who does not take this news well. (I’m sure her concern is warranted, but her wails are cutely over-the-top. I laughed.)

As the ambulance speeds along with siren blaring, Tae-oh catches up on his bike and drives in front of the vehicle. The ambulance tries to go around, but Tae-oh slows and swerves; it looks like he just enjoys toying with them, and soon he speeds off.

Dr. Maria takes a bus to that stop, having seen it in Profiler Han’s notes, but she’s missed all the action.

In the morning, our elderly monk is at the hospital with wife-partner Hyung-nyun and the female officer who was on the phone with Mu-yeom, and the two cops apologize to the monk for what happened to Mu-yeom. Aw, they’re treating the monk like he’s Mu-yeom’s father; it’s sweet to imagine the makeshift family that has come together under his care. The monk says it’s hardly Wife’s fault and just asks him not to divorce Mu-yeom, heh.

The other officer, Young-ae, quips that it looks like there’s another wife in the picture, and we see Ji-wool at his bedside, checking for vital signs. The monk explains that Ji-wool has been stuck like glue to Mu-yeom’s side after he saved her from going down the wrong path as a thief.

Thankfully Mu-yeom isn’t badly injured (apparently he’s sleeping, not unconscious). But there’s some tension in the air as Officer Young-ae takes a few swipes at Ji-wool for being a kid and inappropriately close to Mu-yeom. Hm, is she jealous? Ji-wool won’t be bested, though, and snipes right back that she’s all grown up, calling Officer Young-ae “ajumma” to boot. She scoffs at Young-ae for being old and uncool for not recognizing what a webtoon is, and informs her that she is a webtoon artist going by the pen name of Matilda.

Ji-wool boasts that her newly released webtoon, “The Beast’s Path,” will be all the rage soon, only to get a surprise: “The beast has returned” is already No. 2 on the portal search list, right under “Gap-dong.” She clicks, thinking her webtoon is already a hit, only to realize that the topic is about Gap-dong’s return.

This breaking story comes from that call Tae-oh put in to Reporter Bae, but curiously, the source is reported as Mu-yeom. The cops double-check with Reporter Bae, who says that the informant identified himself by name, leading the police station to gripe that Mu-yeom has stirred up trouble for them. Wifey Hyung-nyun is the only one who argues against that assumption, positing that someone else used Mu-yeom’s name falsely. Aw, he’s so the faithful sidekick.

This is a headache for the district attorney as well, who talks it over with Chul-gon, complaining that informant Mu-yeom even offered predictions for a second murder, and went so far as to describe details like the color of the future victim’s clothing (red).

Reading the news in the hospital, Ji-wool and the monk suppose that if Mu-yeom was the informant, it means he believes Gap-dong is going to strike a second time. That’s when Mu-yeom wakes up, and this is all news to him.

Profiler Han gives another lecture in his university class, and today’s subject is Gap-dong’s second murder, which took on January 7. Time’s a-tickin’.

Reporter Bae receives a lunch order in his office, only to realize that the deliveryman is Mu-yeom. He identifies himself and goes along with the assumption that he was the man who called Reporter Bae, but asks for clarification on what he said in that call (citing drunkenness for a hazy memory).

The reporter says that he’d warned that going public was necessary to prevent a second murder, and that he’d mentioned a riddle of some sort. But “Mu-yeom” hadn’t given him the answer, saying that he would tell him if he couldn’t figure it out from what he’d already said. Mu-yeom plays along, saying that answering the riddle now would be no fun, and that he’ll do it later.

As Mu-yeom takes the elevator down, Maria steps out of the arriving elevator. He sees her, but the doors close before he reacts.

Reporter Bae’s assistant greets Maria’s arrival with skepticism, since they’ve been inundated with people claiming to have important information about the case. Maria asks her to pass along the message: She’ll tell him about Gap-dong’s appearance if he’ll talk about Gap-dong’s voice.

Mu-yeom waits outside until Maria exits the building, then follows her taxi in his car. The taxi lets her off in front of a neighborhood store, where she buys a copy of every newspaper in the rack with Gap-dong-related headlines.

Mu-yeom follows her through the neighborhood for a while on foot, until she becomes aware of having picked up a tail. She speeds up and hurries toward a building, while Mu-yeom hangs back, seeing that she’s caught on.

Maria grows panicked as she ducks around a corner and fumbles for her taser. He approaches cautiously, and then sidesteps when she reaches out to zap him. He disarms her rather easily; either he knocks her out or she faints from the shock, because the next thing we know he’s carrying her on his back.

She’s holding some keys but the door only uses codes and cards, so he looks around in confusion, not knowing where to find Maria’s place. And then he spots the trailer around the corner, which piques his interest. Her key fits.

Gap-dong is the talk of the town, and Tae-oh smiles to overhear cafe patrons talking about the case. But even as one woman vows not to date anyone for fear of Gap-dong, a second later she’s looking at Tae-oh with interest, saying that he looks sweet. And that’s his superpower, managing to seem unthreatening despite his intentions.

Maria awakens in her trailer, and sees Mu-yeom from the back, which puts her back on her guard. Grabbing a lantern as a weapon, she advances slowly, about to bash him over the head until he turns and she recognizes him.

He asks why she lives here and carries a taser, and she tries to play it off as a character quirk. He doesn’t buy her nonchalant act and guesses that she’s keen on self-defense, which makes him wonder: For someone who’s so full of fear, why is she going around chasing Gap-dong?

She recoils when he asks to see her hand, but all he does is place something into her grasp—a whistle, to sound in times of need. When he asks what she’s really all about, Maria is evasive, calling herself a psychiatrist earning a living. She does guess that he wasn’t the informant, though, keenly noting that like her, he believes Gap-dong put in the call.

But he just says it was a prankster out to screw with the police. He asks if she’s come up with any leads—any interesting riddles solved? To which Maria replies, “It has a beginning but no end.” She advises him to take a closer look at the informant’s report: “Gap-dong told of a way to find him, but not to catch him.” She tells him to find that end quickly—because if he doesn’t, he won’t be able to catch him at all.

At the police station, Chul-gon rages at his team for not getting anywhere with the case, especially since they’re under increased scrutiny to prevent a second murder. He checks to see whether Mu-yeom’s alibi checked out or not, and hears that it hasn’t. Not yet, at least. Then to add to the foreboding, Chul-gon is told that Mu-yeom went looking for Reporter Bae and promised to answer his riddle later. Just our luck, the conversation was recorded. Gah, that can’t be good.

Ji-wool drops by the cafe, not there with the intention to see Tae-oh but happy to reconnect with her potential sketch model just the same. She wastes no time filling him in on the amazing coincidence of her webtoon coinciding with true events, excited at the idea of her webtoon becoming a hit due to the association. She shows him her sketches of her main character, a cop who’s modeled after a real person, whom Tae-oh guesses is the officer informant from the news.

He asks if Mu-yeom’s nickname is Crazy Monk because he’s a psychopath, and the suggestion appeals to Ji-wool: There’s a nice poetry in a psycho cop going up against a psycho killer. Tae-oh agrees to be her sketch model as the killer character, saying he doesn’t mind being a psycho if he’s not the only one. That says a lot about him, doesn’t it?

Ji-wool sees Mu-yeom passing by and chases him down, eager to pump him for info about the case so she can do more research for her next toon. Where was that bus stop? Where was the body found? She’s started Part 2, but can’t figure out how to end it—words that ring ominously in his ears. “That’s the end,” he realizes.

Profiler Han reviews the photos of Victim 2 in his office, which is where Chul-gon finds him. Profiler Han is cheery to see his old colleague, but Chul-gon much less so, giving him a stern warning: “I’ll catch the criminal. Don’t waste your time figuring anything out and stay out of it.” He adds a message to convey to Mu-yeom: Don’t do anything stupid.

Profiler Han advises him not to act on his emotions and points out that Chul-gon and Mu-yeom are working toward the same goal, but Chul-gon hardly sees it that way and drops a bomb: The man that the profiler believed unable to tie a simple knot worked at one point with fishermen. He sold bait, but perhaps picked up other skills in the process. Chul-gon learned this detail too late and blamed Profiler Han for leading him astray during the case. “Now do you know why you were ostracized in this field?” he asks.

Chul-gon confirms that Profiler Han told Mu-yeom about the fishing knot the day before the murder took place. Gack, I hate how his mind works—with the facts, but against the truth.

Chul-gon gives his team the directive to prevent this from turning into a serial killing case, determined to prevent Gap-dong or the copycat from repeating history.

Section Chief Cha gives a press conference, which is televised live and watched by Tae-oh from his curiously luxurious apartment. Tae-oh doesn’t seem much concerned with Section Chief Cha’s declaration to catch the killer, merely going through some dance exercises before he starts whistling a familiar tune. He thinks back to meeting Gap-dong in the prison hospital and calling him his god.

At that hospital, the inmates watch the same news report, and the camera lingers on a face we haven’t seen before. Gap-dong, is that you? He looks amused as the other inmates discuss the case and how a lack of follow-up to their DNA samples being taken mean that there was no match. Inmate Poopy wonders why he would kill on the same day as twenty years ago since that would make his capture easy, but the others just tell him the crazy killer probably has his reasons.

By the time January 7 rolls around (the predicted date of the second murder), the whole city of Iltan is on alert. Everyone is so on edge that any woman wearing red is stopped and advised against it, and the bus stop in question is closed for the day.

Operating on his new hunch, Mu-yeom heads out to the fields and digs through piles of straw, recalling that the second victim was found under a cover of straw. But despite hours of digging, he finds nothing. Time ticks on and they make it to evening without any bad news.

Chul-gon mulls it over, thinking they missed something but not sure what that is. Section Chief Cha has gotten an alibi for Mu-yeom, with the hospital CCTV showing that Mu-yeom was unconscious the whole time. But Chul-gon clues in to something else, zooming in on his shirt—and the bits of straw clinging to it. Oh, crap. “Burn it all,” he says. “All that straw.”

Mu-yeom arrives at the stacks of straw set ablaze by police and calls Maria. She’s in full-on Vixen Maria mode tonight—or should I say, Vixen Bait Maria, since she’s wearing red and standing by the bus stop, as though daring Gap-dong to come for her. A it happens, someone’s watching in the shadows. Waiting. Tae-oh.

Thus Maria doesn’t answer the phone when Mu-yeom calls. He leaves a message saying that he’s figured out the answer—straw—but can’t see where that leads.

Tae-oh walks toward Maria, the look of glee on his face growing as he gets closer, though by the time he gets to her he’s back to shy ol’ Tae-oh mode. He greets her as his friendly doctor, while Maria mutters to herself that he must not be coming after all. She turns to walk away, giving up her mission.

Mu-yeom overhears the farmer arguing with police about burning down everything. He’s trying to protect one last bundle because it’s been promised (to our ill-fated artist), but the cops insist and start throwing that stack into the fire as well. And then Mu-yeom’s ears perk up as the farmer grumbles at “that strange woman” for promising to come right back and staying away for days.

Tae-oh walks Maria home to her trailer, and she tells him to run along. But he angles for a coffee invitation like a cute puppy-boy, which would be effective if Maria were less suspicious (we can be thankful that she looks fully on her guard, not trusting his act). She must have a plan in mind, because she invites him in, despite seeming quite wary of his motives.

Mu-yeom presses the farmer for the straw artist’s contact information, but the man doesn’t have it. The farmer assures him that he’s worrying for no reason because his exchange with ehr occurred before the recent Gap-dong fuss… but Mu-yeom’s suspicions are firing and now he thinks back to the motorcycle without plates.

The mood at the police station starts to relax once the clock passes eleven, now that they’ve only got one more hour to ride out this day. And then Section Chief Cha receives confirmation that he’s reluctant to pass along to Chul-gon, but pass along he must: The material stuck to Mu-yeom’s coat was straw. “Find out where he is,” Chul-gon whispers to Cha. “Quietly.

Mu-yeom inquires into straw craftsmen in the area and hears there’s only one. He tells Officer Young-ae to locate where that woman is using any available records.

But when Mu-yeom arrives at her art studio, he sees that she hasn’t been there for days, based on the number of flyers plastered to her door and the deliveries gone ignored. She hasn’t used her credit card or cell phone in a week, either—this isn’t looking good. He gets a clue, though, when the security guard informs him that the lady works at a separate studio. Where is that?

Chul-gon must be acting on another tip or hunch, because he mobilizes the whole squad, and they drive out in a procession with sirens blazing. Chul-gon has a moment of humility in wondering if he started this by returning when he shouldn’t have, but it’s certainly misplaced humility since he thinks he drove Mu-yeom to the edge and spurred him to copycat Gap-dong: “I provoked his innate beast’s nature.” What-e-ver, I have no use for useless cops wielding power like a weapon.

Mu-yeom gets to the artist’s workshop just minutes before midnight, bashes in the chains locking the door, and starts digging furiously through the stacks of straw inside.

In her trailer, Maria prepares coffee for Tae-oh and makes cheerful small talk. Then Tae-oh asks why she went to the bus stop, admitting bashfully that he’s been curious to know but scared to ask for fear of the answer. She asks, “Scared of what? Gap-dong?”

His eyes fly to hers, surprised. She admits that she was there waiting for Gap-dong, which stuns him speechless.

Tae-oh puts on a pretty good show of getting worriedly angry at her recklessness, though she smiles and says, “I’m Maria. Wouldn’t even Gap-dong be afraid of Maria?” (I suppose she means Virgin Mary, pronounced as Maria in Korean.)

But now it’s his turn to answer. She leans in close and asks, “Why did you go there? By any chance, are you Gap-dong?”

The entourage of police vehicles pulls up in front of that same building… where Chul-gon recognizes Mu-yeom’s car.

Mu-yeom digs and digs, convinced he’ll find something although nothing turns up in the straw. The clock strikes midnight and he growls, “If I catch you, I will destroy you.”

And then, a whistle sounds. Mu-yeom stops in his tracks and turns toward the source. Where is it coming from? There’s one last pile of straw on the other side.

He walks closer… closer… Is it me, or is the whistling growing louder?

Mu-yeom fishes in the stack, until he finds it: a pair of hands, tied together. There she is, the straw artist. An audio device is tucked into her hands, and as Mu-yeom clicks it off, the whistling stops.

And then, Chul-gon calls his name. He stands there in the studio, looking mighty smug. “Nice to see you, returned Gap-dong.”

 
COMMENTS

Gah, I hate Chul-gon so much. SO MUCH. He is the worst kind of “good guy,” which is a term I use loosely with him but which I suppose is technically accurate, inasmuch as his goal is justice. He’s not a corrupt cop, he’s not out for personal gain, he’s not motivated by evil intentions. And yet, he’s the worst kind of hero, in that he believes himself to be a hero despite controverting all of the attributes that come with heroism. It may actually be worse to be incompetent and powerful than to be competent and impotent. Because while the good man without power often finds his hands tied and unable to do any good, at least he’s not actively doing harm. You can’t argue the same for Chul-gon, who is his own worst enemy in being so blind to alternate theories that he’s torpedoing his own investigation. I suppose I should find some bittersweet satisfaction in that irony, but mostly I just hate him.

On the other hand, it makes Mu-yeom the kind of hero I love to root for, who is smart and driven (and sure, a little bit crazy, but in a good way!) and the biggest underdog of all. It’s not enough to make him less powerful than Chul-gon, but to make him into an active suspect turns his uphill climb even steeper. It’s akin to the Three Days dilemma of our hero being forced to go rogue to get anything done—but sometimes that’s not such a bad thing, seeing as how ineffective bureaucracy is. Giving him the excuse to go rogue may be just the thing to drive this case forward, because otherwise they’d all be barking up the wrong tree forever.

Maria remains an interesting contradiction, with her brassy alter ego at odds with the fear she displays at other times. I might be more inclined to go with Mu-yeom’s perception, which is that she’s a scared person acting bold. But we’ve seen enough of her being bold that I don’t think it’s a fearful woman tamping down her fear to act confident; it takes serious balls to taunt a serial killer to come and kill you, and that makes her fascinating.

(I do wonder if the show is hinting at a romantic turn anywhere down the line. I don’t expect or even want it, and even if it were to happen I suspect the show will never make it the prominent storyline. But it’s a K-drama, so romance will always be a question in the back of my mind. I’ll say that in this case, I would probably prefer a lack of romance, not because I don’t want romance (I’m always up for romance!) but because I’m not sure this pairing does it for me. Actually, I’d actually prefer a Crazy Monk/Ji-wool pairing, because she’s adorable and their dynamic cracks me up. But I recognize that’s probably not going to happen.)

It’s too early to be giving definitive judgments, but I will say this about the drama so far: It’s very well-produced and entertaining, and I have no qualms about watching or recapping. I’m enjoying it. But tvN seems to be opening itself up to a blind spot, which it may not even recognize as a potential pitfall: Its shows are all very polished and confident, with a level of production quality that adds a shiny gloss to everything, and perhaps obscures that the shows sometimes feel a little empty of something. Heart? Content? Complexity? I find Gap-dong surprisingly easy to watch (I expected darker, and truth be told I want darker), and its plot seems relatively uncomplicated.

Granted, I fully expect the plot to get a little more complicated than this, if only because IT HAS TO—we can’t have seen the villain in his full form in Episode 2, without more twists down the line, right? But if Tae-oh isn’t our endgame, I’d rather we get to the actual plot right away. Either that, or the show is misstepping by showing us the bad guys’ point of view alongside the good guys’—there’s no mystery left. No sense of eeriness, no wondering if a good guy is actually evil, no sense of tension because we already know what happened. So if we’re going to be getting twists, as the producers promise, I’d really appreciate if they came sooner rather than later.

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I've been waiting for this! Thank you javabeans!

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"Its shows are all very polished and confident, with a level of production quality that adds a shiny gloss to everything, and perhaps obscures that the shows sometimes feel a little empty of something. Heart? Content? Complexity?"

Ahh! I really really find that interesting. It never occurred to me as a tvN trend, but that comment seriously lights a bulb in my head. INR, Reply 1994, EC to name a few have been lacking all of that. Heart, content, complexity. Yet at the same time, they also don't feel like a piece-of-life type dramas. What I'm trying to get at is that they feel grandiose, almost going for unforgettable, but when all is said and done, they feel like empty shells. tvN's focus has been on the packaging which is great but the actual product is mediocre at best.

Back to Gap-dong lol, I've read reports that the producers are promising some very interesting revelations. I'm excited for them although I hope they're out soon instead of pulling a GG on us. In the hope of 'surprising' the viewers, I don't want them to be illogical. Other than that, this is the only, truly interesting thriller out of all the ones that came out. Maybe I just like that it's based on a real story which somehow makes it more thrilling. If it doesn't get darker, I won't mind as long as it keeps the quality in this level.

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Amen to that! I miss the Reply 1997 days. That at least felt for me like the show is all hearts - even with the latter fan service part of the drama. But the recent ones - the ones you've mentioned - kind of didn't do well for me in the hearts dept.

But I think so are a lot of series that aims for that extra-ump (whatever that ump is) Excuse me for including this, but YWCFAS felt like that to me. While Ji Hyun's acting is stellar and unforgettable, the show lacks heart (for me at least.) I wasn't able to connect to the supposed 'depth' and 'infinity' and 'everlasting-ness' of the romance, so much that I couldn't recommend the show to anyone. I maybe in the minority, though.

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Na, you are not the only one !
I faithfully saw it till the end, every week waiting for it but it never got me completely.
I enjoyed it throughout till end, but never loved it!

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Hello Ssie,

I am assuming GG stands for God's Gift-14 Days?

Me three! I agree with you that JJH's acting was excellent, and I felt that I learned a lot while watching the show (about Korean culture), but I did not connect to it, not in the way I was hoping to. I was very curious about how the murder mystery was going to be resolved, and that was one of the reasons why I kept watching. I also felt that DMJ ended up becoming one or two dimensional, when he could have been more. I had some questions about his world (which were a big part of who he was), however that part was not fully explored, and explained. I felt that DMJ could have had more layers. He went from someone who was interesting (and whom I was curious about), to being reduced to a character only there to love CSY. We learned a lot about her and her background, but not as much about him (if we were to compare the two).
When the show was over, I did not miss it, I did not experience withdrawal pains (which I experience with The King2Hearts), and I was ready to move on to another show.

I have a friend who felt the same way: she actually loved the show while it was airing, she was disappointed in the ending, and when the show was over, she said that it did not leave an impression on her (she didn't remember a lot of it), and definitely, that "ump" you speak of, had not been there for her, it seemed.

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Hi Ivoire!

Mandy was the one who mentioned GG :D Although that show is interesting but not the kind of show I will miss. I believed she mentioned about Gap Dong (hopefully not) pulling a GG which I think she meant by the red herrings and everything.

You stated so eloquently everything I didn't like about YWCFAS. DMJ was interesting at first, but then once you get to know him, it's just blah. Like every other character in a romcom. And Kim Soo-hyun's age caught the best of him. Im sorry to criticise but he lacks depth in the acting esp the crying parts. He's supposed to be 400 yo but he cries like a 20 yo. I wasn't moved and I didn't root for the coupe - and that's a disaster considering the show is more than 20 episodes and the theme is akin to forbidden love. The scenes before DMJ leaves also lacks desperation, I think. And this I blame on the character. I enjoyed watching the show, but ultimately, it's a show Im sure soon to forget (if I didn't already)

But just not to totally go OT, Gap Dong is starting to lose me with what's already on the table. The narrative is strong, but this is a thriller, and it's supposed to thrill me. Instead, I get conversation scenes about Gap Dong that I fast forward because I would rather see Gap Dong in action (well, that's what I'm here for). But to be fair, it's only been three episodes so far. I'll check at least two more then decide if I should drop this or not.

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I agree with you on YWCFAS. I did not even finish the last eps. Though I am in the super minority, I am not fan of Kim Soo-hyun,,, I cannot put a finger on why I do not like him. People seem to be impressed with his cries but I find almost all Korean actors/actresses excel in crying in dramas. People seem to go gaga when Ji Hyun acted like a brat, misbehaving badly but everyone does that in the private life. I bet in real life Kim Tae Hee in her pajama or in underwear dances in front of mirror! I guess when a pretty actress act a woman who behaves badly or do something unlike her official image, people tend to over praise her. But overall, there is a flaw in the plot. My biggest thing is that Ji Hyun looks much older than Kim Soo Hyun.I usually do not mind actress looks older than her partner but in this case, it did bother me maybe because he was 400 years old??

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Hi Ssie~

Thank you so much for your response. I really loved reading your post. I wrote you a response as well, and a lot of what I touched on was about YWCFAS, so I think I will post that text on the last recap of that show, so ep.21 recap of You From Another Star (here, on Dramabeans). My comment will be on the 5th page, the very last one. I will try and do it later tonight. So please, try and check maybe tomorrow, at some point, during the day. I hope you will see this comment.

And Oh noes! *Pouts* I am so sorry that Gap-dong is starting to lose you. I hope that it will get better, it does have good actors and actresses though.

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@ Ssie and @ atz~

I will post my comment here, please check later, if you are interested in reading it.
http://www.dramabeans.com/2014/02/you-from-another-star-episode-21-final/comment-page-5/#comments

@ atz,
I really liked what you had to say about YWCFAS.

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@Ivoire:

Thank you.

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@ atz, you are very welcome! :-)

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Hello Ivoire! I replied on the YWCFAS thread :D Thank you for your reply!

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You are very welcome Ssie! I responded as well, and from now on, I will be checking there to see if you have posted a message, and you can do the same :-)

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In my opinion, I think it lacks intensity. The story is there but I don't feel the thrill.

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The discussion here is really interesting and precious.

To contribute my small piece to it (while it may account for only an aspect rather than the whole), I would like to quote a friend of mine whose job is to read film scripts for production.

He finds that 99% are written by those whose horizon stops at the border of West Hollywood and it shows in their written products. He says that these screenwriters think they are really clever, when all they are doing is variations of the same old, same old. They don't take rejection, not to mention criticism, all that well, either.

On the other hand, he points out that great acting professionals can turn garbage into a night to remember. Unless directors mess it up.

So, according to my friend, when a drama succeeds, it is because the sum is greater than the parts. And vice versa.

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It's hard to judge any drama at this early stage but so far I like Golden Cross more than GD. Still GD is an interesting drama. I agree that this drama might be better off focusing on murder mystery and conflict among guys( women) rather than pouring some romance.

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Shut up: flower boy band i gotta say has heart. It was such a pleasant surprise that, since then, up to now i have not seen something that gave me so much feels..and not even for the loveline but for the friendship. Still waiting for that next drama 'sighs'

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Yay thanks for the recap! Off to read!

Side note: Boy, this episode sure looks long judging by the blocks and paragraphs.

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I wanted to check this one out but with the God's gift scarred me off thrillers for a while !

A love story without gratification, even though its a bitter , I can take it.
But when it involves serial killer baddies and kidnappers , I want my satisfaction that they got what was coming to them on screen ! Even if its not happening in real life !

I am gonna wait till Gap Dong is done, to marathon it !

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i too had been feeling like we hadn't reached the main plot either, and i'm impatient to get there. but then again, this is just episode 3, so i'll give it till tomorrow. i agree it feels like it's been longer—i seriously thought it had aired 2 weeks, not just one.

but if lee joon isn't our killer, who is? how will his presence at the murder scene (with the second woman, at least) be explained? by the way, he is REALLY doing a good job of switching back and forth between his two personas. he doesn't seem like an idol-turned-actor in the slightest to me.

kim ji-won is THE CUTEST THING EVER. i really hope that after this show she lands a leading role (on a big 3 network). i'd love to see her as popular as suzy someday—i like her so much, and her big break is so overdue. she bears a strong resemblance to kim tae-hee, but fortunately has her own look.

overall i'm glad to have my thriller fix in this show, now that god's gift is over. i don't think there's any danger of me falling in love with this show as hard as i did with GG though. partly because i just got burned so bad by that show, after loving it so hard and watching and rewatching episodes for weeks on end, trying to pick out clues. i will never fall for "love" again. hahaha :)

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well, of course he doesn't.. 'coz he was an actor first before he turned as an idol right?

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I actually checked on hancinema and you're right! This is his fourth drama, though, it seems, his first major role. And he's acted in some capacity or other in several movies.

He's really good but I hope his next contract is in another genre. Seems he's on his way to being typecast has mentally unstable, judging by his filmographie.

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I totally agree with all you said, but especially about Kim Ji-won. She's one of the rare actresses who can make a completely likeable character sympathetic, even at her worst - I saw that in Heirs and Anticipate Love. I can only engage in wishful thinking about how good the first Dream High could have been if they'd had an actress like her playing Hye-mi instead of, well, what we got.

(yes, sure, the premise of DH was 'idols everywhere!' and Suzy fans love to claim that her wooden delivery was made for the part, but nothing would have been lost by having an actually decent actor in the role)

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Just watched this episode and I swear I'm getting frustrated at all the loopholes..
1) they have CCTV photo of Yoon Sanghyun character with the hay on his coat BUT no Lee Joon's photo AT ALL???? and his bike ???
2) Crazy Monk is a DETECTIVE...really?? And he didnt use his sense at all & touched the 2nd victim's hands just like that?? And the way he throws all the hay while searching for the corpse...he didnt think it would destroy evidence??
3) The stupidity of the police chief who thinks its mad monk makes me want to strangle him

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that's kdrama for you, craziest thing can happen before you know it

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yeah, i was wondering about the CCTV cameras. It's like..really? There are no CCTV cams near the bus station? There is no tracking of hero's cellphone to find out where he was all the time...especially during the time of the alleged murder?

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It wasn't a CCTV that took the photo at the bus stop. It was a photo taken from the CCTV from hospital security camera.

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I think #2 was the most annoyingly stupid to me, though #3 is a close 2nd.

Though liking the show, those kind of script oversights tend to start piling up, and at some point the bother factor gets higher than the like factor.

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With Chul Gon in charge, no wonder the police never captured Gap Dong twenty years ago. He's such a dumb wit barking up the wrong tree. He's convinced the other police officers in the unit that the Mad Monk is the killer. He has spread his stupidity to everyone there....

Couldn't wait until this drama has returned. Yoon Sang Hyun is doing a wonderful job as the Mad Monk. I'm impressed Lee Joon is his creepy best too!

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Agreed - he has such a tunnel vision one track mind that I don't see how he has managed to solve anything - or maybe he really did NOT solve all those cases back in Seoul, he just beat confessions out of random suspects.

I am sure it was that same trait that made him miss all the clues in the original murders.

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Heh can someone explain the riddle to me please?? I don't get it!

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Thank you.

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I'm really starting to hate on Chulgon. I am so frustrated about him desperately trying to pin Muyeom as the culprit and murderer. I get it, he thinks Muyeom is the 2nd Gapdong killing now but as a police officer he was supposed to consider every possible scenario. Not solely blame and go after 1 person alone. He will never solve the Gapdong case when he is so closed minded about any other possible suspects. Just like 20 years ago, he blindly blame MY's father, even without enough evidence. Isn't there a rule saying 'Innocent till proven guilty'. But nope he just go after MY's dad and keep blaming him and even causing his death. If only he was open and even considered the option that 'maybe' MY's dad is innocent and not Gapdong then maybe he could have caught the real Gapdong 20 years ago.

Just like now, he is blindly blaming and going after MY again just because he thinks he is the 2nd Gapdong. He is leading his team in the wrong way. Sure, it's understandable that he suspects MY but nonetheless because he is a police officer and is handling this cased he should spare all his personal emotions against MY and get his side of the story as well and consider every possible scenario there after.

At this rate i'm starting to think that Chulgon IS THE REAL GAPDONG!! He murders all those victims 20 years ago and then pinned all the blame on MY's father. Is it not also suspicious that Gapdong returned when he came back to this district!! He maybe doing all this again after 20 years when the statue of limitation ended to finally put MY on jail. MY is out there to uncover what really happened 20 years ago and to clear his father's name. Of course Chulgon doesn't want that to happen, so now he is planning and doing all this to stop MY from uncovering the truth and to finally silence him by making every one think he is Gapdong and putting him on jail.

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Actually, I was thinking along that line in that somehow, Chulgon is Gapdong. I don't have any proof though.

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To be honest, I spend my time watching a lot of crime documentaries from US and Britain and found that there are actually cops that are exactly like Chul Gon that exist in real life, they like to call it their hunch, once they get that hunch about someone they only focus on that someone not thinking about other possibilities at all, they are notoriously dogged in their beliefs and many have succeeded in putting innocent people in jail, especially in the cases where they don't have any evidence or DNA, they like to go with their hunch, once they believe you to be a murderer you're done, what's more mindboggling and frustrating is the fact that even when those innocent people they jailed were released because they were found to be innocent, these stupid cops shamelessly say that they still believe them to be guilty of the crime, that's how delusional some cops and detectives are, if it weren't for the invention of DNA, these cops would put innocent people in jail majority of the time just because they got a serious hunch.

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One of the most notorious cases in US history was the McMartin day care child molestation case hysteria from a few years back. It grew and progressed to the total hysteria stage almost solely because one single AG/prosecutor wanted to make headlines. It ended up destroying many lives, and in the end resulted in 10's of million of dollars in lawsuits. It ended up spreading to many other daycare centers around the country, and there have been at least two movies and over 50 books written about it.

So just because he seems over the top fixated, don't ever think that it cannot happen, sometimes with devastating results and a total travesty of justice.

http://www.crimelibrary.com/criminal_mind/psychology/mcmartin_daycare/1.html

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I've determined that I am really a simple soul who likes --and can understand-- a simple story with relatively minor twists. Ah yes, the me that used to think I was intelligent and who liked sorting out complicated plotlines/twists...is no more. Might be age, might be menopuse, might be having endured drama-twistiness-overload. But am liking both Gap Dong and Golden Cross because I'm actually understanding everything and actually following everyone's train of thought. A little twist or there would be fun but hey...the joy of actually being able to follow along with the plot is so dang refreshing.

Thanks so much for the recap.

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I admit after 3eps I felt a little letdown. Perhaps I expected more but I just didn't feel the thrill. I really really hope there'd be a twist along the way. something like Tae-oh is NOT the killer like it keeps showing. Cause at the end of ep3 what was supposed to be a cliff hanger? didn't look like one to me at all. Like JB said, they're showing us the hero and the bad guy's POV simultaneously, there's no mystery left. where's the point? Like atm, I think the 1st gapdongi is the idiot guy in mental center, and Tae-oh is the new gapdongi, let's see if I'm right.

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I find it so sad that jb and gf only recap thrillers or melodramas now and leave rom-coms to the new writers T_T
I miss your recaps but I only have room in my heart for light rom-coms!

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I honestly hope that Tae-oh is trying to "bait/lure out" Gap Dong (much like "Maria" (the Psychiatrist) is trying to do. I don't mind if they have their own reasons, but I think that this would add interest to this story.

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I don't mind the lack of plot twists so far since it is only the third episode, and I'm sure all we've seen isn't the whole picture yet. However, I do wish there was more tension. The tone isn't that dark despite the plot being around a serial killer. I'm not at the edge of my seat or worrying about the characters in this episode which puts me at a distance in regards to emotional attachment.

Lee Joon is good at being innocent and psychotic, but he feels too bipolar and oddly not creepy enough to me. I still feel chills when he does is warped smile, but he seems almost too cartoonish and not enough shades of grey. However, my bet is that he is the copy-cat but the plot won't be about the copy-cat in the future. It seems more like the first arc that gets all the gears going (sort of a like an epilogue or introduction to set the scene for the real Gap-dong to enter and complete his final murder).

Sung Dong-il... besides the comments about his character (which I agree with wholeheartedly), I actually really don't like his portrayal. Maybe it is to the actor's credit that the Chief detective seems like a stubborn, ignorant fool who I want to see destroyed (or at least smack him across his head), but something about the character and performance seems off. He doesn't seem like a human, and I just don't understand what makes him tick. Maybe the story will tell us later and flesh him out, but he's too black and white for me to enjoy. Sung Dong-il is a phenomenal actor who brings such gravitas and depth to the screen. I guess my expectations were too high thus I become a bit disappointed. That doesn't mean I don't think his acting is good here, but I'm just not feeling as much from him as I usually do. His character is all just a bundle of self-righteous anger but I want more.

I really like Maria and Kim Min-jung's performance. There's an interesting dichotomy going on that makes me curious and want to see more. She's one of the more interesting characters, and it's here where I think the two personalities are straddled with balance that show multiple shades of the character. Plus, she's beautiful :)

I should probably mention the main character, too... I'll just say I love Yoon Sang-hyun and find his character a wonderful protagonist. Don't know if I have anything to add to the conversation about Mu-yeom within a small comment.

Anyways, there are definite flaws, but personally, I'm enjoying the show and just kicking back and allowing the plot to take me wherever it wants to go.

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i would love the jiwool/ mad monk pairing too. maria although interestng, just doesnt do it fo me. i really hope theres no romance or any hints of romance between the two. i wish kdramas would learn that the leads dont always have to be together and that sometimes side characters have waaay more chemistry and dynamin with the lead.

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Finally someone who shares my opinion!!! So much this!!! It would be a refreshing pairing and not so normal. Which is my kind of taste!

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crazy at it is, i find lee joon and maria much more fascinating together rather than mu yeom. maybe because it's interesting to see how this cold person reacts around someone he might have feelings for. i'm curious to see if he tries to protect her or his killer instincts take over the moment she angers him. my yeoml is really annoying me at this point too, though. he has this amazing ability at getting caught in the worst way possible at the worst of times. he simply does not think.. and i know he probably doesn't care about going to jail as long as he catches the killer, but he needs to know that if he's careless and thrown in jail then there really is no hope to catch him. and he must know that maria know more so why not dig deeper!!

and don't even get me started on the chief. i have lost count of the amount of times i have shouted IDIOT at my screen. lol i have lost all hope on that guy. poor thing.

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anyone know where to watch good quality like 720 korean tv show, Real men (진짜 사나이)?

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javabeans~

Thanks for the recap.

I'm finding Maria to be the most interesting character. If I could make one tweak , I'd make her a bad ass. (She carries a Taser, but is easily punked by the street savvy cop.)

She barely escaped being murdered by the original Gap Dong, so it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for her character to have learned martial arts in addition to becoming a shrink.

Her Vixen Maria persona would be even cooler if she had ninja skills. Okay, maybe knife throwing ninja is a bit much.

( If this were a USA show, she'd be packing heat.)

She's certainly fearless perhaps a bit reckless.

Romance ? Please don't add one just to have one. Just don't. (If this were a J Drama, there wouldn't be any romance).

Ji-wool is spunky. As a former thief, I expect her to have some street smarts.

Chul Gon is just a bit too obsessed with Moo Yum being Gap Dong , eh?

How does Tae-oh afford such luxurious digs?

Why did Maria inexplicably pass out after the Taser fail? That was a bit WTH.

Will the DNA be revisited? It should be.

Overall I'm enjoying it. It is lacking in the cliff hanger & suspense department though.

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In literary settings the hero in some epics must have his protagonist, but get real! I would really like to see the returning-possessed-stuck-in-a-rut man in charge cop fall off a cliff. Perhaps though, he would not be doing his duty if we did not feel this way about him? Hummmmm?

I was not sure on this one from the beginning and all. I must say though after the first 2 episodes, I am so hooked. Ok it does not hurt that the lead is Yoon Sang-Hyun. So nice on the eyes, and really talented and versatile in his roles. Whether comic or serial killer catcher, I am there popcorn in hand. Which leaves 1 hand free shouldddd I need to cover the eyes???

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I feel so much suspense while watching this show - I love it. This is definitely my new crack drama.

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