Bad Guys: Episode 5
Multiple murders are scary enough when a victim type or a motive can be identified, but what if neither is at your disposal? That’s the latest case that Team Crazy Dogs has on their hands with a spree gunman at large, taking down anyone and everyone within range. The good thing is, these guys won’t dare settle for the word “unsolved,” and they’ll do whatever it takes to prevent any more wrongful deaths from taking place.
Another strong ratings showing for Bad Guys this week: this episode peaked at a 3.8% with a minute-to-minute high of 4.6%. Now that’s what I call a hit.
SONG OF THE DAY
Yoon Hyung-ryul – “Break Up” for the OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 5: “Reason For Murder”
Today’s cold open: On a sunny day at the park, a man approaches a woman sitting alone from behind. Reaching into his jacket pocket, he slowly extends his other hand towards her…
She jumps in alarm and breathes a sigh of relief, recognizing him. It turns out the man was reaching for a small box—namely, a diamond ring. His girlfriend (?) simply asks him to ask nothing before walking away.
At the same time some distance away, a masked man in a hat loads his rifle. He fires the weapon and the woman falls, dead. Another shot rings out, followed by another, and then another.
Elsewhere, a peddler puts in a panicked call to the police to report some “strange men” who broke in and beat up him and his men. Those so-called “strange men” are none other than Team Crazy Dogs, and the peddler hands the phone over so that Goo-tak can tell the dispatcher that all is well here.
It turns out the dimwitted peddler dialed the information line instead. Ha. After Goo-tak schools him on the different dispatch numbers out there, he quizzes the peddler on the one to report drug dealings. And then Goo-tak calls the number, and hands the phone over, telling the drug dealer to report his own illegal activities. Hahaha.
With that, Goo-tak walks out to collect his boys, and lets them figure out who gets the reduced jail time reward for this case. Tae-soo suggests that they let Jung-moon take this one, since Woong-chul won his 10 years taken off for Madam Hwang in a game of rock-paper-scissors.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Nam storms into Prosecutor Jang’s office, enraged that the corrupt prosecutor had the arrest warrant against Madam Hwang dismissed. He’s in no mood to be mollified, however, and twists the prosecutor’s arm.
Just then, they’re interrupted by another prosecutor who kindly checks in on his colleague, and then cuffs Jang himself, saying that it’s dishonest guys like him who give prosecutors a bad rep.
Special prosecutor OH JAE-WON (Kim Tae-hoon)’s reputation as “Bulldog Prosecutor” precedes him, a nickname given to him for his tenacious approach towards his cases. He’s been brought back to work on the human trafficking case, and seems to be a morally upright official.
Prosecutor Oh is a curious man too, asking outright about the new special crime-hunting team that brought down a major human trafficking organization in a mere three weeks whereas the authorities had been working on the case for years.
He wants to know who’s pulling the strings, and at Commissioner Nam’s chuckled response, he smiles back, “Do you think I’m asking because I’m incapable of finding out myself, or out of courtesy towards you, sir?” Ooh, New Guy isn’t one to be trifled with.
Prosecutor Oh claims he could be of help, promising to take care of Team Crazy Dogs’ cases from start to finish. At mention of Goo-tak’s name, Prosecutor Oh curiously admits with a smile that yes, he knows Goo-tak quite well.
When Goo-tak calls his boys to move, Tae-soo is in the middle of another hospital visit to Sun-jung. She says Tae-soo seems like a good man, and wistfully adds that it would’ve been nice if he had worked on her late husband’s murder case. A few weeks after his death, she’d heard that the killer had turned himself in. So Tae-soo did kill her husband then?
In any case, Sun-jung wasn’t able to meet the murderer and ask him the burning question on her mind—why did he kill her husband? What was the reason?
If the murderer was sincerely sorry for his actions, would she accept his apology? An apology is for when one makes a mistake, Sun-jung answers, “Murder isn’t a mistake… it’s a crime.” Tae-soo appears understanding towards this response, and Sun-jung states that she won’t ever forgive the killer.
He needn’t come visit her anymore since she’ll be discharged tomorrow, and declines staying longer, since she has to make a living. That only confuses Tae-soo, who believes that she’d been financially supported by him, albeit anonymously.
But Sun-jung’s never seen an extra cent, which is when Tae-soo realizes that the pawn shop owner from Episode 2 had lied to him about it. Unfortunately, the pawn shop is empty by the time Tae-soo drops by again. Incensed, Tae-soo asks Goo-tak what it’ll take for him to overlook a murder—there’s someone he must kill, and he’ll do anything Goo-tak asks if he’s granted to take this life.
“If I can’t kill that bastard, I can’t see that woman again because I’d feel too sorry towards her,” Tae-soo breathes. His anger and guilt speaks to Goo-tak, who cuts Mi-young’s rebukes at him short.
Mi-young reminds him (in banmal, at that) that they’re working alongside criminals who need to be monitored. Goo-tak points out that Tae-soo did nothing wrong at present, and plus, aren’t criminals human, too? Do their past sins qualify them to be kept watch at all times?
Their hunting dogs isn’t looking for career advancement like she is: they’ll grit their teeth, bear the pain, and break their bones—all for what? Because they’ll die if they fall, so he advises Mi-young not to leave their criminals’ wounds untreated and push them away.
Team Crazy Dogs stumbles upon the crime scene at the park just as the bodies are taken away. They’re told that it’s a random murder case, though Mi-young mentions a similar crime that took place elsewhere a few days ago. Could be the same gunman? In any case, Goo-tak tells the trio to follow up later—this case is worth five years.
Later that evening, Tae-soo spots a couple of empty rifle shells, then retraces the gunman’s steps to where the mass shooting first began. He closes his eyes to imagine himself as the gunman, and takes down four victims before moving elsewhere to shoot down two more—six shots, six victims in all.
The sound of Jung-moon’s voice brings Tae-soo back to reality, but doesn’t readily give up any useful information. Not that Jung-moon really needs him to, because he has a profiled description of the masked man who carried his weapon in a fishing rod case.
Identifying the eeries similarities between this murder spree and the last one Mi-young mentioned earlier, Jung-moon says there were six victims in each, and in both instances, the masked gunman waited between his fifth and sixth shots. After taking down the fifth victim, the gunman was like a hunter waiting for his prey, then shot down his sixth and final victim.
The eyewitness accounts in both cases are a match too, and when asked what the motive was, Jung-moon smirks—that’s what they have to find out next. Tae-soo teases him for his smile, saying that the stone-cold expression suits him better.
Tae-soo’s expression darkens once Jung-moon leaves, and a flashback takes us back to when both men were imprisoned in the same facility… and Tae-soo had a picture of Jung-moon on his person, too. Yikes, did you have a hit order on Jung-moon, too?
Back at the church, Mi-young can’t help but be amused by Woong-chul’s ability to sleep with his eyes open. She wakes him up to point out that the gunman left both crime scenes in a taxi.
In an undisclosed location, we see the gunman painstakingly assemble his homemade rifle bullets by hand.
Despite Jung-moon’s curiosity that assessing the twelve victims’ demographics might be futile in what looks like random murders, Goo-tak insists that it is useful… only to be proven wrong as he throws down a file in frustration later.
Goo-tak turns towards Jung-moon to ask about the Hwayeondong murders he was originally detained for—who were those people? Why did Jung-moon kill them? When Jung-moon doesn’t answer, Goo-tak asks if his case falls under the category as these murders.
(Random murders are classified in a category translated as, “Don’t Ask Murder” [moot-ji-mah sal-in], when there seems to be no apparent motive or relationship between the murderer and victim. So Goo-tak is asking both, “Is yours a ‘Don’t Ask,’ too?” “Should I not ask you, either?”)
Goo-tak asks if Jung-moon still thinks himself innocent, a question Jung-moon turns right back at him: “What do you think?”
Goo-tak admits that he was a little hopeful, but lets the matter drop. That’s his answer too, Jung-moon replies—he wants to know too, but doesn’t.
Tae-soo drops by a shooting range where he’s on friendly terms with the owner, Hyun-woo. They chat about the murder case, and Hyun-woo presumes that the killer isn’t using a personal weapon, lest he be identified right away (in Korea, one must have a permit from the police office for personal possession of a firearm).
That’s what Tae-soo thinks too, and he asks his buddy about the rifles in this establishment. Hyun-woo says the weapons here are legally registered with the police, but Tae-soo leans in to ask if he’s encountered any illegal dealings by those seeking guns to kill.
Tae-soo’s only pulling his friend’s leg, but asks him to look into any other shooting ranges that have unregistered firearms. Up to now, Hyun-woo has been correcting Tae-soo’s shooting posture which yields inaccurate results; however this time, Tae-soo rotates the gun horizontally, and then shoots, resulting in a perfect shot.
Hyun-woo says Tae-soo will lose an eye if he keeps shooting like that, to which Tae-soo chuckles, “You live safely, I live dangerously. It’s always been like that with us.” He grows tense at the mention of the elderly pawn shop owner, but agrees to inform Tae-soo if he ever shows up.
Woong-chul picks up on the fact that he’s being followed and tsks at how fast the days are passing. He’s on standby while Mi-young keeps watch at the traffic control center.
Back at the church, Jung-moon makes a connection: the sixth victims in each murder spree worked at the same company. Furthermore, their significant others were always the first victim, and the crime scenes were locations the salarymen frequented often. What about the other victims then, Goo-tak asks.
But before Goo-tak hears an answer, Mi-young calls to report that the gunman is on the move. Woong-chul follows Mi-young’s directions to tail the taxi, and when the traffic light turns, he confronts the frightened taxi driver.
Woong-chul doesn’t mince words and asks where the rifle is, grabbing the driver in a chokehold when he protests. Just as Woong-chul is about to check the trunk, a gunshot rings out. And then another, and another, and another.
It’s a bloody frenzy when Woong-chul runs around the corner and sees the gunman shoot his fifth bullet point-blank at a man. He hears the gunman cry, “Why? Why did you do this to us?!” before firing the sixth and fatal shot.
Woong-chul’s eyes meets the gunman for a moment, but a bleeding victim cries for help forces him to stay behind, letting the gunman take off. A car pulls up just then—it’s the same sharply-dressed mob boss here to remind Woong-chul that his two-week deadline has passed. He isn’t surprised to hear that Woong-chul hasn’t done the job and tells him to get in the car… to his death.
By the time Goo-tak arrives at the crime scene, he picks up a rifle shell, then tosses it aside. Strangely only one victim died this round, but he too worked at the same company as the others. Goo-tak doesn’t tell Mi-young about the connection.
Woong-chul has gone off-the-grid too, to which Goo-tak points out that she’s surprisingly calm about it. She echoes Goo-tak’s earlier words that they should trust Woong-chul and wait.
Poor Woong-chul is held hostage by his former mobster boss, to whom he desperately asks for one phone call. He was the only one who got a good look at the gunman, and if he dies here, the gunman won’t be captured. I’ve always admired Woong-chul’s moral spine, and he says that they can always kill him afterwards.
Hyun-woo hands over the info about an unregistered weapon that went missing two weeks ago. Tae-soo thanks him, and then points out the oddity in news coverage about the latest murder. Usually, the gunman is an accurate shot, but this job was sloppy—one man (who died) was shot at twice.
Hyun-woo’s aloof answer about the murders sound a bit suspicious to my ears, but Hyun-woo stops Tae-soo to ask why he didn’t ask about his leg being in a brace. Hyun-woo had planned to give up being an assassin, and Tae-soo asks who permanently injured him. “Be careful… of Jong-seok.”
Jong-seok must be a mutual acquaintance, someone Tae-soo had made an agreement with: that one would kill the other the next time they meet. Having seen the wedding invitation on the table, Tae-soo congratulates his buddy on living a normal life now.
How much do I love that Woong-chul’s one phone call is to Tae-soo? He relays the gunman’s desperate cry (“Why did you do this to us?”) to Tae-soo, figuring that he’s sharp enough to figure out what that means. Tae-soo also picks up on the notion that something’s happened to Woong-chul, who tells him to catch the shooter before hanging up.
Not too long afterwards, some gangsters approach Tae-soo to commission him for a hit job, handing over a picture of the target and asking him to kill the target in the cruelest way possible. We don’t get to see who the target is, and my guess is on Jung-moon. Regardless, Tae-soo refuses.
When the gangsters attack him, Tae-soo takes each one of them down easily. He demands to know who called the hit, but the police arrive before he can get an answer. Tae-soo tucks the photo in his pocket.
Even though Tae-soo’s act of violence temporarily lands him in lockup. Tae-soo relays to Goo-tak that Woong-chul regarded it a higher priority to find the shooter than his own safety. Handing over the info from Hyun-woo, Goo-tak will be able to find the culprits with that. Goo-tak repeats, “Culprits?!”
With two out of action, it’s down to Goo-tak and Jung-moon to find the gunmen. There are two of them: one experienced in firearms and the other barely a novice but both frequented a particular shooting range before a rifle went missing. Their names: Jang Myung-jin and Go Chang-shik.
Jung-moon rushes over and breaks into Go’s apartment while Goo-tak lets himself into Jang’s workspace where he finds prepared rifle bullets and a family photo. Back at HQ, Go insists that he merely followed Jang’s orders. The only reason why he picked up a gun at all was to reassure Jang that he’d be in on the plan.
Goo-tak has heard enough, so Mi-young continues the interrogation. Go had lost contact with his accomplice who’d worried the police had picked up on his tail. She asks how many people were on their hit list, and Jung-moon interprets Go’s silence to mean that they planned to kill more lives.
Cradling Go’s chin, Jung-moon softly asks who’s up next. At the same time, we see Jang parked in a taxi under the bridge and loads his weapon for his next target: the company president.
By the following morning, Goo-tak has Jung-moon, Mi-young, and other officers stationed around the park. Everyone is on high alert, and any suspicious activity or noise catches Goo-tak’s attention, which only makes the company president that much more anxious.
Meanwhile, Jang gets in position. Jung-moon catches sight of him first, and just as Jang is about to pull the trigger, Jung-moon outs his presence. He draws towards Jang, who pops out of the bushes. He pulls the trigger… but it clicks, empty.
Jang falls to the ground in shock before taking off. He loads his rifle again and threatens to shoot another woman, and Jung-moon stops in his tracks. In a hurried voice, Jung-moon explains that he knows that he and Go were among those laid off to make up for the company’s lost funds.
In truth, the company execs were embezzling funds, and Kang Seok-ho (the man who proposed to his girlfriend at the top of the hour) was the one who executed the order.
A meek Jang had received a curt answer as to why he was losing his job (“Don’t ask,”) words that Jang repeats in the present, “Don’t ask me why. You [police] said not to ask, either.” That very phrase was the brainchild behind why he and Go first started these killings—that random murders would help cover their true targets.
Jung-moon points out that it was wrong of them to kill innocent lives along with those men. No matter how angered he was that he lost his job, lost his wife due to illness, and had to send his child away, it doesn’t make his actions right. “The people you killed, do you know who those people were?”
And with each approaching step, Jung-moon names each and every victim by name and circumstance, the thirteen lives Jang and Go took. Jang whirls his gun at Jung-moon, telling him not to come any closer. But Jung-moon goes on, saying that one victim had just lost his wife, just like Jang did.
Pointing the rifle at himself, Jung-moon invites Jang to kill him if he wants to kill that badly. He may as well kill someone who inflicts damage on others, Jung-moon says. “Why do people like us beat each other up? Someone else is in the wrong, so why do we, who are all the same, hurt each other?”
Grabbing hold of the rifle, Jung-moon tells Jang to shoot, and when Jang hesitates, Jung-moon whirls the rifle out his hands and turns it against him. A tear rolls down Jung-moon’s cheek as he places his finger over the trigger—damn, is Jung-moon going to commit the first murder he can remember?
Not today, because Goo-tak calls out to him, saying that this isn’t his problem to solve. Jung-moon eventually drops the weapon, and when he hands it over to Mi-young, Goo-tak asks whether what he said earlier was from his head or his heart. Meaning, did he mean what he say or was it part of his plan?
Goo-tak makes sure to tie up loose ends by apprehending the company president for embezzling funds. And while I’m relieved that they’ve arrested everyone, is anyone else worried about Woong-chul right now?
Goo-tak gets called over by Prosecutor Oh by the police commissioner’s usual fishing spot. He seeks to handle Team Crazy Dogs’s cases, and when his metaphor is too pretty, Prosecutor Oh humors him with another less-delicate one.
Goo-tak is ready to cut this meeting short, but he’s caught off-guard when Prosecutor Oh says he knows that Goo-tak’s working alongside criminals. What’s more is that he knows the past that Goo-tak shares with each of them. He knows that everything dates back to what happened two years ago, but the question is—are the criminals aware of this as well?
Meanwhile, Woong-chul is looking pretty beat, but he’s still alive. His former boss recalls when Woong-chul first came to him with the plea that he wanted to live like a person. So the mob boss had made sure that Woong-chul would want for nothing. How could his generosity be repaid like this? It isn’t like Jung-moon is an innocent life—he’s a serial killer.
Woong-chul sadly notes that his former boss is still wearing the ring he gave him; he’s grateful for his boss’s kindness, but he’s realized that living a life that only looks good in appearance isn’t to live like a person.
“But do you know this, hyung-nim? I never once slept comfortably at night. The people I killed kept appearing in my dreams and asking me, ‘Why did you do that to me? What was the reason?’ But I really had nothing to say to them.”
“How are you doing lately, hyung-nim?” Woong-chul asks. “Do you sleep comfortably these days?” His former boss rises from his seat, astounded by Woong-chul’s audacity.
But Woong-chul’s voice only becomes more desperate, hollering, “Doo-kwang-ie hyung! Let your dongsaeng sleep at ease. I beg you!” Whoa. But at least we have a name now: Lee Doo-kwang, whom we’ll call Boss Lee.
And Boss Lee calls out to prepare the car… because they’re going to bury Woong-chul today.
I’ll say it again: I really do love Woong-chul and his moral spine. Perhaps it’s because his emotions are so readily accessible to us as viewers whereas Tae-soo and Jung-moon repress their feelings more in comparison. He’s looking at this entire job at his shot towards redemption—how can you not love him when he puts the safety of others before his own?
My heart broke for him at his confession that he’s been plagued by the people he’s killed, and that in retrospect, materialistic wealth does nothing to satisfy his yearning desire to live like a decent person. And although I thought it was great for Mi-young to finally give Woong-chul and the other criminals some slack because they’re still human too, I wish that the show gave more urgency about the safety and well-being of our trio of criminals as much as they drive the dramatic action of the criminal cases. Like how the severity Jung-moon’s stab wound mysteriously disappeared as soon as Madam Hwang was arrested, and that Tae-soo mentioned that Woong-chul could be in danger… and he’s about to be literally buried. That isn’t to dismiss the other clear issue that two gunmen were still at large, but couldn’t anyone on the police force go lookin’ for the strong men?
As for the case itself, I thought it was fairly clever of the show to incorporate the term used for “random murders” and apply it to both Jang and Jung-moon. How interesting that the one who allegedly killed numerous people reminds the gunman of the dozen or so lives he’s taken. It’s with each passing week that Jung-moon isn’t the stoic and insensitive psychopath people believe him to be, which on one hand, is great to humanize Jung-moon’s character, and on the other hand, departs further from the definition of psychopathic behavior out there. Could a true madman hesitate and feel conflicted over taking someone else’s life when he’s been told that he’s a serial killer? Perhaps that’s a mystery waiting to be solved.
Speaking of mysteries, I like how the new faces shakes things up around here. In particular, it’s Prosecutor Oh whom I’m most curious about, because he’s at least heard of Goo-tak or may even share a past with him. His insatiable curiosity and own doggedness to find out information is what makes him a double-edged sword—he could either be a powerful tool for Goo-tak to have on his side, or a dangerous weapons who knows his secrets. I’ve long since loved Kim Tae-hoon’s acting performance as well, so I hope that he’s here to stay for the rest of the series.
Even though our team apprehended this week’s baddies, the show asks interesting questions that I hope they don’t leave hanging: do the murderers (including our resident ones) know the people they’ve killed? And what was their motive? Some cases have revealed those answers more than others, but I’m glad that our crazy dogs won’t settle for an answer that those baddies were just crazy.
- Bad Guys: Episode 4
- Bad Guys: Episode 3
- Bad Guys: Episode 2
- Bad Guys: Episode 1
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- Bad Boys of OCN join forces to take down a bigger bad
- Park Hae-jin turns psychopath for action-crime drama
- Cable network OCN courts Park Hae-jin for new drama