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Tunnel: Episode 15

What better way to gear up for the big finale than to take a journey through a murderer’s mind? For someone who likes to hide in the light, his underlying motives have so far remained hidden behind a sticky web of moral superiority. But it’s finally time to drag it all out into the harsh light of day, and if Jae-yi can’t do it, no one can…

 
EPISODE 15 RECAP

Dr. Mok takes time off work and throws cable ties and tape into the back of his car. We catch up with him later as he drives into the night. “So I am a serial killer,” he narrates. He says in voiceover that he had thirty years of peace where no one knew his secret, and it was so exhilarating that it made him laugh.

But then recently, the other Park Kwang-ho had spotted him in the tunnel. Asking questions in the neighborhood nearby, he came to hear of the murder there thirty years ago. Dr. Mok says that it’s a problem that people still talk about dead people. (Well excuse you, I’m sure they don’t mean to inconvenience you.) Then, as we know, he killed young Kwang-ho.

He continues that he’s now come to realize that everything that happened was fated, and that destiny brought Kwang-ho, Sun-jae, and Jae-yi to him. He dissolves into wild cackling as he speeds off with Jae-yi gagged and bound in his trunk.

At Jae-yi’s car, Kwang-ho calls her name in panic. Sun-jae rushes there and finds Kwang-ho slumped on the curb with a phone in each hand, repeating over and over that Jae-yi said she was coming right away. Sun-jae urges him up, and they go to check out the CCTV.

They find just one snippet of Dr. Mok at Jae-yi’s car, presumably abducting her, but as the car leaves the school gates, they find no visible sign of Jae-yi inside. Horrified, they both suspect what that means.

Sung-shik and his team are on the scene, and he puts out an APB for Mok’s car. One of the forensic officers tells him that it looks like Jae-yi was drugged and shows him a syringe cap retrieved from her car. Meanwhile, Sun-jae and Kwang-ho track Mok’s car via traffic cameras and find that he went through the Hwayang tollgate forty minutes ago.

On the road, Mok’s car starts juddering, and he pulls up to find his tire punctured.

Back at the police station, the detectives have constructed a timeline, concluding that Mok’s purposeful movements mean he’s heading somewhere specific, but he’s using the highways to mask it. Min-ha wonders where the fountain pen could be, but Sun-jae replies that only Jae-yi knows that.

Kwang-ho finally breaks his melancholy brooding to suggest that they look into every location Mok has had a connection to, including the places where he’s been a medical volunteer. Tae-hee and Min-ha look into Mok’s call records, credit card, and online activity, while Sung-shik continues to scan the highway CCTV. For a while, quiet reigns as everyone works at their tasks.

The mechanic Mok had to call out finishes patching up the tire. As he’s about to leave, he hears banging from the trunk, where Jae-yi is now awake and aware of his presence. Mok follows the mechanic ominously as he goes toward the sound.

But at the last moment, a phone call from another customer sends him hurrying away. Jae-yi cries despairingly in the trunk as she hears him leave. But the trunk opens… and it’s Mok, needle in hand. He administers a shot and shuts the trunk again as she passes out.

At the police station, the detectives have little luck finding anything on Mok, until Sung-shik gets off the phone wide-eyed and tells them that they’ve got a witness.

By now, it’s a new day. Over the phone, they get Mok’s location the night before from the mechanic, and Sun-jae discovers that it’s a town Mok once volunteered at. The mechanic also tells them about the strange sounds from the trunk, and Kwang-ho is horrified. The detectives head out in force.

Mok now holds Jae-yi captive in an abandoned house, and the police must be close, because he hears their sirens. Led by Sung-shik, the party spread out to search, and Mok can actually see a police car right outside his window. But their search is fruitless, and Kwang-ho is disheartened, though Sun-jae tries to encourage him.

Mok is relieved when the police pull out. He takes a seat opposite Jae-yi and tells her that he’ll ask her the whereabouts of the pen precisely three times, and if she doesn’t tell him by then, he’ll kill her.

She doesn’t reply when he asks the first time, and smiling, he tells her she’s got two chances left. He suddenly seizes her by the throat and asks her a second time while violently choking her. He finally releases her, and between sobs, she tells him, “England.”

He doesn’t believe her at first, but she tells him that since she was adopted, all her childhood things are there. Warning her not to deceive him, he lets her talk to English Kate. She tells Kate that the fountain pen is with her bible in her old desk drawer, and instructs her to send it to her office. Jae-yi tells Mok it’ll get to them in three days, but something in her look tells me that she’s got a plan.

Sun-jae’s Missing Persons contact calls him up to ask if anything’s up with Jae-yi, and says that English Kate told him about her weird call—something about a fountain pen?

Jae-yi takes in her surroundings, noting a child’s drawing on the wall of a woman with her back turned, and a one-eyed boy left behind. (Seriously, what’s with the one eye?! What kid draws themselves with one eye?)

English Kate tells Sun-jae that Jae-yi’s desk doesn’t have any drawers, so she thought something was off. Telling her not to worry, Sun-jae instructs her to send any pen, along with the bible. To the team, he guesses that Jae-yi purposely bought them time, knowing word of her call to Kate would reach them.

They meticulously plan a stakeout around Jae-yi’s office to catch Mok. They worry about Jae-yi, and Sun-jae consoles Kwang-ho that Mok won’t do anything to her until he gets the pen. Tae-hee tells him it’s just three days before it’s all over. “To me, that three days is thirty years,” Kwang-ho says hollowly.

Jae-yi refuses the water Mok offers and asks him about the drawing on the wall instead. “You drew it, didn’t you? You lived here with your mom,” she says. The victim profile she figured out for Jung Ho-young—targeting women in skirts because he saw his mother in them—was actually Mok’s, she continues. “What kind of person was your mother?” she asks.

His gaze travels to a ladder going up to the loft, and a trip to the past reveals his childhood self playing at being Gaksital (based off the manhwa, which came out long before the television series) . When he called for his mom, he heard a man’s voice rise angrily down below, followed by his departure. Little Jin-woo’s mom came sullenly up, irritated by the interruption.

Jae-yi guesses that she used to go to meet men, dressed in skirts and stockings. She paints the picture of his young life, constantly alone and waiting for his mother while she was out. His hatred would have grown as deep as his love, she says.

Staring at her, Mok recalls another memory of wanting his mother’s attention, but she just pulled on her stockings and went out. She’d come home that night and found her clothes cut to ribbons and strewn everywhere.

“The person killing his mother over and over again was not Jung Ho-young, but you,” Jae-yi says. At that, Mok loses it and says he killed those women for a reason, but Jae-yi derides him for being exactly the same as Jung. “I’m different!” he roars back, calling the women he killed sinful.

In disbelief, Jae-yi asks what Sun-jae’s mom had done wrong in taking her husband a necktie. He saw her smiling at another man on the bus, Mok replies, before he asks how a woman like that could raise a child. Rather, it’s better to have no mother at all, he says.

“No, you just killed those women because you wanted to,” Jae-yi cuts in. “You killed them in place of your mother.” He lunges for her, which she says only proves her point. She goads him to strangle her, screaming, “Kill me, you murdering bastard!” Shaking with the effort to control himself, Mok bolts from the room. Girl, that was one hell of a gamble.

Breathing heavily in the open air, another memory assails him, of his mom giving him the “Noel” fountain pen as a gift for starting middle school, but really it’s a precursor to sending him to live with his grandma.

In a bad way, either from alcohol or drugs, she had put him into a taxi. Though sad to have been sent away, he smiled over his gift. But when the taxi driver scorned the red light district’s women as “dirty women,” his face had darkened. He leapt on the man and attacked him, screaming that his mom wasn’t like that.

He repeats the line to himself again now, trembling.

Sun-jae hears from Kate that the package will arrive the next morning, and the detectives plan out how to snare Dr. Mok. Kwang-ho says they’ve got to get him in the building, otherwise he’ll escape. Strapping on their weapons, the team files out with purposeful determination, and they begin the stakeout of the university building.

In the morning, Dr. Mok leaves Jae-yi—freshly gagged—and heads there by taxi. Inside the building, Sun-jae and Kwang-ho are alerted to the courier’s arrival. They begin a nonchalant approach, but are surprised that he has no delivery for Jae-yi. They stop the man, who explains that it was arranged to be collected by someone else, and we see that Mok picked it up en route. The detectives hiss in frustration.

Of course: Mok had listened in on their strategy meeting via his chess-piece listening device, thus pre-empting them. But he opens the box only to find an ordinary pen.

At the police station, the detectives try to figure out how Mok anticipated their plan, and more importantly, Kwang-ho asks, how did he know Jae-yi had the fountain pen, when he’d only spoken about it privately to Sun-jae?

Sun-jae’s eye falls on Mok’s chess-piece lying on his desk. In dawning realization, he signals everyone to silence and pries off the base, revealing the chip. The team are appalled. Kwang-ho grinds it underfoot and stalks out, muttering murder. Hey, you could have used that to your advantage!

Fuelled by cold rage, Dr. Mok confronts Jae-yi over her deceit. Exploding, he shouts at her to tell him where the pen is, but she gives no reply.

Kwang-ho goes to Jae-yi’s apartment and sinks into her chair. Clasping the whistle in his hand, he promises Yeon-sook that he’ll save their daughter no matter what. He notices Jae-yi’s voice recorder on her desk, and remembering that she was looking into Mok’s past, he listens eagerly to her last interview.

When Kwang-ho learns of Mok’s mother’s line of work, the significance of stockings, and her death by alcohol, he realizes Jae-yi’s whereabouts could be connected to her. Rejoining Sun-jae, they look up the records of her death and acquire her old address, which they’re told may no longer exist. It matches the account in the recording, and Sun-jae tells Sung-shik right away.

Jae-yi maintains her silence. Dr. Mok takes it as his cue to talk and needles her about Kwang-ho, revealing his knowledge of their relationship. “What does it feel like to meet a father who is younger than you?” he asks before gloating about who to tell first about her father killing the real Park Kwang-ho and assuming his identity.

Seeing her fear, he demands the real location of the pen again, but she still can’t bring herself to speak. Saying that he should’ve killed her from the start, he closes in on her, but snaps around at the sound of sirens.

The police spread out to search once again, and Kwang-ho and Sun-jae discover a room with an upturned chair and cable ties scattered over the floor. They find the back door open, and Kwang-ho sees Mok flit by, Jae-yi over his shoulder. They give chase frantically, but Mok makes it to his car too quickly for them.

Kwang-ho’s shout jerks Jae-yi back to consciousness. Lightning-fast, she opens the door—which Mok hadn’t had time to lock—and throws herself out of the car. As they’re reunited, father and daughter cry in relief, although Mok escapes.

Jae-yi checks herself out of the hospital. Though limping from a sprain, she’s surprisingly chipper despite her ordeal and insists on retrieving the pen immediately. Back at her place, she digs out the red teddy bear.

“Oh! That doll…!” exclaims Kwang-ho. She smiles at him and nods. Cutting the bear open, she takes the pen out at last. Kwang-ho thanks her, and adds in a quieter voice, “Thank you, Yeon-sook-ah.”

Jae-yi wonders why Mok is so obsessed with the pen, and furthermore, why didn’t he kill her right away? That would’ve ensured the pen would be lost forever. She thinks it must be important to him in some other way, since he was so desperate to get it back.

The team gather with bated breath for the DNA results, which return positive for recent victims Yoon Da-young and Nam Joo-hee. But there’s no trace of the 1986 victims—it’s been too long, Sung-shik says. (I’ll say: It’s sixty years after the pen’s round trip through time!)

Everyone looks at Sun-jae. After a brief internal struggle, he says that the statute of limitations had passed anyway, but he’s frustrated that now that they’ve got the evidence, they’ve lost their suspect.

Jae-yi returns to the scene of her captivity, and this time goes up the ladder to the loft. She finds the child’s Gaksital mask, followed by a stack of Gaksital manhwas in the cupboard. Underneath it all, she discovers an aged, leather-bound notebook, which she unfastens and begins to read.

Dr. Mok visits his old church. He pauses at the memory of his younger self with that veteran who marked his kills on his body. “Jin-woo-ya, you have to kill the filth,” the veteran had told him. Young Jin-woo latched on to those words. Filthy things, he thought.

Later, he went to the hospital where his mother just died. Holding her hand, he asked, “Mom… did you die because you were filthy, too?” The thought followed him back to church, where he got up to leave mid-hymn. In a neat transition, it’s the adult Jin-wo—Dr. Mok—who exits.

“You guys couldn’t catch Gaksital,” he says, cursing them.

During the latest strategy meeting, Sun-jae recalls that Mok told him he could predict a person’s move by looking at who they were leading up to the crime. He determines that Mok will kill again—immediately, just like he did when he was released from custody last time: “He’s a person who can’t stop killing.”

Kwang-ho is positive that he hasn’t left Hwayang. He adds that Mok targets women who remind him of his mother, and moves around on foot. Looking at the locations of the bodies, Sun-jae struggles to find what connects the victims.

“It’s the place where he first saw them,” Kwang-ho says suddenly. He tells them that in the past, Mok killed them where he found them, but with CCTV and more people around, he can’t do that now. Accordingly, they find that all the victims’ final whereabouts were concentrated in front of the university, which Sun-jae concludes is Mok’s hunting ground.

With those parameters, the detectives and police spread out on the ground, while Sung-shik monitors the CCTV from the control room. He spots a capped man following a woman fitting the target description and directs the team towards the park.

The suspect picks up his pace to follow the woman, but Kwang-ho and Sun-jae sprint in and tackle him before he can reach her. But to their shock, it’s some other guy, not Dr. Mok.

In that moment, Kwang-ho recalls Jae-yi asking why Mok was so intent on the fountain pen, and why he didn’t kill her when that would bury the knowledge of it once and for all. It must have a special meaning to him, he remembers, and a dark realization strikes him.

Jae-yi steps into her house and freezes immediately, sensing the murderer’s presence even before she sees him. She tries to bolt, but Mok yanks her back and throws her to the floor, choking her with his bare hands.

“Just like Park Kwang-ho did to me, I should also take away what he treasures the most. You, Professor Shin… Park Kwang-ho’s daughter,” he grits out.

 
COMMENTS

Oh my god, this girl can’t catch a break! At first, I wailed and gnashed my teeth at the sheer woeful incompetence of it all, but you know what? I’ve decided to put my faith in the show. It’s pulled feints before, and at this late stage, it cannot be relying on compound stupidity to reach its end, I refuse to believe it—not when it’s repeatedly proven how much it cares about delivering those emotional moments with such touching realism.

I expected this episode to be packed with thrills—the first act of the big finale, going at a mile a minute—so it’s a little surprising that it turns out to be one of the most introspective yet. I’ve never been particularly interested in Dr. Mok as a villain, nor in his reasons for killing his victims. It was all just so very typical, so very classically misogynistic, that it didn’t seem worth dwelling on. But you could say this episode was about revealing all the different elements of what made him tick, and now that it’s finally come together, I’m surprised that I found it interesting after all.

Of course, we’ve known he was the murderer for some time, and many of us guessed it long before that: It’s a difficult balance the show has tried to strike, between creating suspense on the one hand, and creating a morbidly compelling character study on the other. I’m divided on how successful it’s been, but if we accept that the mystery was never intended to be in his identity, but rather in his motivation, I think it brings us much closer to what the show wanted to achieve with him.

That’s further proved by Jae-yi’s character, whose psychology lessons have guided us through a murderer’s mind throughout the course of the show. It’s actually one of the touches I really like in the show, where the “telling” has been strangely more effective and engaging than the “showing.” It’s seemingly straightforward exposition, but there’s a touch of cleverness in how seamlessly it fits into the narrative and the nature of the character, and I’ve always found those interludes thought-provoking.

So what is Mok Jin-woo made of, and what does he add up to? His individual traits are far from extraordinary, but they come together in a strange and chilling way. I find Gaksital’s appearance very telling, because with that alone, we understand how he sees himself: a masked hero and savior of the people. It was pretty clever (and foolhardy!) how Jae-yi trapped him when she provoked him, banking on his desperation not to be identified with inferior murderer Jung Ho-young. But it was a powerful bind, because had he killed her, he’d prove her right (that he’s no different from Jung Ho-young), and it would irreparably shatter the image he holds of himself as a killer with just cause.

We also set to rest the question I’ve been quietly wondering: Did he kill his mother? And it seems he didn’t, which may be his single redeeming quality. As bitter as his love was, he clearly craved her attention and it’s obvious from the moment she gave it to him how much he cherished that pen. Nevertheless, his attachment to her was a poisoned one, and maybe it was her death that triggered his misguided and zealous conviction that he was freeing the world of filth: Filth killed his mom, and filth is evil, so filth must die. I also find it interesting how for him, death and filth are fundamentally intertwined. It makes it all the more astonishing that he was able to keep his true self so thoroughly hidden without making anyone suspect him, and I wonder if such a thing would be possible with a similar criminal in real life. Wouldn’t someone notice something off? Or is that why he works with dead people?

With just one more episode to go, I’m a little scared that we won’t have enough time to do justice in our team’s send-offs. I’ve always assumed Kwang-ho would return to his own timeline and reset the future to a happier trajectory, but guuuys, your speculations on him being doomed to remain in the current future kills me! Say it isn’t so, show!

But no matter what happens in the next hour, thank you, Tunnel, for giving us Choi Jin-hyuk back in such fine form; for treating us to a bumbling three/five-way bromance with so many levels of lols that I still laugh about it days later; for fixing my little robot girl and letting us feel like her smile is the sweetest thing in the world; for the charmingly awkward almost-romance that will slay all fatherly opposition, and most of all, for being a show that—always and emphatically—wore its heart on its ’80s-leather-jacket sleeve.

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Loved the episode..... lee yoo young and the actor playing mok jin wo nailed their roles ? first?

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Yes, both did an amazing job, especially in the scene when Jae-yi is trying to get him to talk, that was great!

My comment is awaiting moderation because I said "let's not sp*** ep 16 for others"

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Yes! I've already finished Tunnel and the finale is honestly one of my favorite last episodes. Everyone was so good and everything was so heartwarming.

If someone hated the ending of episode 15, all I can is that stop what you're doing and go watch the next episode. The first 10 minutes were really intense... and not stupid at all, lol.

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I know right! I was particularly impressed with how LYY managed to seem different now in a subtle way. The way she is happier, smiling more, generally lighter somehow... I love how she brings the character to JY to life and not making her seem like a one dimensional character.

The actor playing Dr Mok is good too. He did the best with the material he was given. Though certain points fell flat due to the writing, he shone during the moments that mattered most.

Daebak!

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It was great to see JY smile. I waited so long for this to happen :) Its so lovely seeing how both Yeon Ho and Sun Jae changed over the course of the show.

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It was really satisfying to see them interact more with the people around them. KH had a way of bringing them out of their shell.

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me, personally,really really loved LYY scenes in this episode. nothing beat her expression. she's really portrait Shin Jae Yi so well.
hope she'll get another project in dramaland soon because I didn't get enough of her

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Lee Yoo-young slays this role. I'll definitely keep an eye on her next project. She is such a promising young actress.

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I loved that the focus of this episode was on Mok Jin-woo, I needed to know more about him, his past and where he came from, where it all started and what triggered his killings! No reason, no excuse is good enough for him to kill all these women but I wanted to understand him a little better! Him losing his cool when Jae-yi was pressuring him to talk and provoking him, creeped me out, I was so sacred he’d hurt her! I can’t help but compare him with Jung ho-young, I think their mothers played a big part in how they turned out to be, both had deep resentment and anger towards them, Jung Ho-young killed his mother over and over again in his victims whereas Mok jin-woo thought he was doing it for a bigger good, ridding the society of “dirty” people, both are sick murderers but Mok Jin-woo thinks he’s above all, that he has the right to make judgements about these women and kill them if he finds them guilty, he killed Sun-jae’s mother just because she smiled? Just UGH! I did feel a tiny bit sad for him but the for the younger him, seeing his mother like that must’ve not been easy, it was that pen she gifted him that started it all!

I was sad for Kwang-ho for feeling so lost in this episode but I was glad that he didn’t move without a plan, it was hard to just sit around and wait but moving rashly might’ve put Jae-yi in more danger! It’s good that Jae-yi records everything and that’s what helped Kwang-ho find her! I laughed when the first thing she did when leaving the doctor’s room is ask about whether they caught Mok jin-woo, Kwang-ho’s face at that was funny, well, she totally takes after him so he can’t blame her for that!

I’ve already watched episode 16 and I can’t say more here (avoid spoiling it for others) but I’ll be waiting for the next recap so we could all celebrate this show together! Thank you @saya for all the recaps and your wonderful thoughts, I enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed watching the episodes, I hope you’ll be able to join us in the last recap along with @teriyaki!

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With what happen the next episode, they are so clever to put the last minute like that. I thought the daughter was gonna die as in the preview two of them gives flower y the river.

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LOL me too

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????

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all i can say is, those who condem the show before the finale piece is going to regret buckets! trust the show to take you to places :)

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Yeah, this show drained me emotionally. In a good way, but I feel all cried out.

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This is the reason why I can't fully commit in dropping drama nowadays. I was supposed to drop this after episode 1 but the emotions just keep on building, it was a little too hard to let go.

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Yes. The show did not disappoint.

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Dr. Mok: “Just like Park Kwang-ho did to me, I should also take away what he treasures the most. You, Professor Shin… Park Kwang-ho’s daughter,” he grits out.

Me : "DUDE, Kwang-ho took your fountain pen not a life!"

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But knowing where that fountain pen came from and also what he used it for, it is his life!

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His mom gifted him the “Noel” fountain pen for starting his mid school.. He used “Noel” to marked his victims after he killed them... What a proud son tsk tsk tsk..

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You can't reason with someone who killed a girl for smiling.

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He even killed girls who come home late at night.. I bet he never go clubbing or got invitation to attend parties lol.

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This man was so broken inside, after this flashback I was actually shocked that he held it together so well in front of his colleagues. For 30 years nobody suspected anything, because he was able to blend in so well. I know this also happens in real life, when people learn that a neighbor murdered someone, they usually sah: OH no, he would never do that. He is so ordinary.
What a scary thought.

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Dr Mok... Hm, like people said, don't judge a book by its cover.

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I remembered a documentary my mom found on youtube about a man who kidnapped three girls and detained them in his own house for a decade and no one suspected him. His neighbors even said that he's just a normal guy who loves music.

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Well, to be fair, his work deals with dead bodies and murders, and he is supposed to be an expert in this field. I doubt anyone would find it strange even if he lets slip a couple of details unless they are scrutinizing and questioning/confirming his speech like what SJ did in the end.

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The fountain pen contained his life's greatest works, although we might beg to differ. It holds simultaneously his love and hate for his mother. Of course, he could not lose it.

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Dr Mok has a warped sense of reality. The value of an object and a person is the same to him. Thats what makes him so scary since he has no conscience.

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Gaaaahhhhh this episode was strangely frustrating. But good. But frustrating. But good. Gaaahhhhh I WANT A HAPPY ENDINGS FOR EVERYONE!

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Yes! This episode is so good. I enjoy how JY tries to one up Dr Mok during her abduction scene to unravel his motives as a murderer. And how she manages to keep herself together and think on her feet now despite the possibility of a second trauma.

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I was so scared for her, especially when she challenged him to go ahead and starngle her! She read him right and she knew he wouldn't do it because that would've made him the same as Jung Ho-young and since he thinks so highly of himself and that his murders are justified he didn't do it! I was so proud of her for being able to get to him and form an understanding of him and get out of unharmed!

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So one should be wary of people who smile around a dead body or a crime scene. Eg: Dr. Mok Jin Woo and Dexter. :P
I expected this episode to be more action packed, considering it was the penultimate episode. It was interesting how grossly misguided Mok was. I was shouting at Jae-Yi when she was provoking him. It was so foolhardy but I think she was quite confident in her analysis. Also it was clever of her to stall for time while sending a clue to the detectives indirectly. Still to go through a strangling experience not once or twice but three times!! Poor Jae-Yi!

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I for one don't trust any medical examiners anymore. Thanks Hannibal Lecter, Dr. Mok and serial killer from Hello Monster, whose name escapes me at the moment.

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Add in Garion from tree with deep roots

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Wah, the shows scarred you so badly? Not all medical examiners are murderers, and these are only shows. How many killers in real life are medical examiners? In my limited kowledge, I haven't come across any yet.

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I haven't come across any medical examiners in real life yet, so I couldn't say XD
But in every next crime show suspect no.1. will be him/her.

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I feel bad for the next actor who took a medical examiner role in the upcoming crime show. Even when they are truly a good guy, we would definitely label them as potential suspect no.1.

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A number of doctors (and also nurses, I believe) have been found to be murderers.

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I've been luv'n this show until this episode. This episode was ham acted by everyone and so full of cliches it was boring.

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The next episode tho.

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I guess it was a clever move we have all were thinking it would action packed instead we learnt why he became a killer i loved the show's focus on the killer's life and from his point of view

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I don't know. I quite like this episode. The emotional impact is there and well acted, although I thought Dr Mok's reason for killing a bit weak. Blame it on my high expectations. I expected something more dramatic and would make me go, woah!

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I didn't find it boring. I always want to know about the reasons and motivation. I'd forgotten about the chess piece recorder too.

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Same! I always wanted to know more about Dr. Mok, what is it that made him tick, what was the cause, his mother played a big part in who he turned out to be! I don't know why isn't my comment getting posted but whatever I say here feels like I'm repeating myself ?

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NOOOOooooo....please don't die Jae-yi!!! Can Kwang-ho & Sun-jae made it in time to stop Dr Mok?!? Jae-yi went through so much during her childhood (not to mention being kidnapped, tied & strangled for 3rd time now) that I can't bear to see her die just like that! ???

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I don't think she will die so easily. She is one of the leads! Even if she dies, I hope KH can go back to the past to right things, so her death becomes non existent.

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This episode gave my nightmares. It was so scary. Especially the ending.
It was fascinating though to finally learn Dr. Moks motivation. The way they revealed his past was really interesting. To see him become the monster, when all he wanted was to be a superhero was genius.

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The ending was kinda unexpected. I didn't think he would dare to attack JY a second time. I mean, isn't he worried that she would be put on watch after her abduction? Then again, he killed another female the moment he was out of the police watch, so... hm.

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Lee Yoo-Young (Shin Jae-Yi) and Kim Min-Sang (Mok Jin-Woo) did an amazing and superb acting. Oh and what more on the Finale...can't wait for the recap on that...

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But no matter what happens in the next hour, thank you, Tunnel, for giving us Choi Jin-hyuk back in such fine form; for treating us to a bumbling three/five-way bromance with so many levels of lols that I still laugh about it days later; for fixing my little robot girl and letting us feel like her smile is the sweetest thing in the world; for the charmingly awkward almost-romance that will slay all fatherly opposition, and most of all, for being a show that—always and emphatically—wore its heart on its ’80s-leather-jacket sleeve.

ahahah..this is beautiful @saya i feel like you have mentioned everything that's on my mind..i wanna write a speech about tunnel but i'll wait for the recap of last episode..

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I thought this episode was full of suspense, and it was interesting to know about Dr. Mok's past and his relationship with his mother.

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Yes, I love that the focus was on Mok Jin-woo, I wanted to know what is it that made him this way, as Jae-yi says there's always a reason for a killer to start killing and I was waiting to find out Mok Jin-woo's reason!

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I actually really enjoyed this episode for that reason too. Since they profiled after each crime I would have been disappointed not to know about dr Mok. His mind works in a strange way and I find his loving/hating his mother feelings quite incredible. He's one crazy guy and I find it scary but so interesting.

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I might be in the minority, but I find Dr Mok's motivation a bit flat. Especially after we know that Dr Mok's mom wears stockings and skirt and probably works as a prostitute in an earlier episode. And the reason he gives for killing the girls are not very convincing. A woman is killed just because she smiles at another guy? I thought he has actual proof that the women are dirty or something, but arragh!

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I don't think any reason would've been good enough because nothing justifies the killings of all of these women! He thinks he is above all and can pass judgements and has the right to kill just because he thinks someone is "dirty". His mind works in a twisted way, he might've thought of that smile in another way, I don't think he took it just as a smile but as she was having an affair with the man she smiled with, he's just so sick!

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@azzo, you took the words right out of my mouth! That's exactly the point: his reasons for killing would NEVER have been good enough, because those murders could never be justified. The idea isn't for us to reach the point where we go, 'ah, I understand why killed her,' but for his crooked view of the world to be torn apart so HE can realise that he sees the world in an essentially false way.

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I want to share every emotion that this show gave me but i'll wait for the last episode recap..Never thought a show that i was going to miss becoz i dont like this genre has become my fav drama of the year.Choi jin hyuk's acting in the scene where he finds jae yi has melted my heart and i have fallen love with him again ,who won't love a hot dad like him

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Thanks for the recap!

Uh, well, I would comment on the events of this episode and the general awesomeness of the series, but I literally just caught up with it after a weekend of marathoning and I NEED EP 16 RIGHT NOW.

Lol, so I guess see you on that recap? ;) Because, between this marathon and all the premieres, I'm sure I'll definitely be ready to pass out very soon.

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So our resident serial killer thinks he is some sort of hero a la Gaksital who purge this world of "dirty" people? A hero who hide his identity behind ordinary-forensic-doctor mask? That was one sick excuse. And he definitely felt it deep down that it was just a preposterous excuse, because he was so unsettled and disturbed when Jae-yi called him out on his hypocrisy. Whatever his reason is for his killing spree, he better not harm Jae-yi, or I will find a way to reach inside the screen and make him pay. Though I bet my fury is nothing compared to the hell he risk invoking from both Kwang-ho and Sun-jae.

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Add to that, the reasons he gives for killing the women are not very convincing. A woman is considered dirty just because she smiles at another guy? I suppose everyone has to stop smiling now in case the killers think we are being flirtatious or something.

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He will definitely pay. KwangHo and SunJae will not let it pass.

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I love your words @saya <3 Thanks for the recap!
I'm so nervous when I watched the ending for this episode and decided not to spoil myself before I can watch the subbed last episode ( I always watch the raw cut before the eng sub came out because I can't wait )

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thank you, Tunnel, for giving us Choi Jin-hyuk back in such fine form; for treating us to a bumbling three/five-way bromance with so many levels of lols that I still laugh about it days later; for fixing my little robot girl and letting us feel like her smile is the sweetest thing in the world; for the charmingly awkward almost-romance that will slay all fatherly opposition, and most of all, for being a show that—always and emphatically—wore its heart on its ’80s-leather-jacket sleeve.
THIS!!!!

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This is my best drama of the year. I loved all the characters and root for them. Already watched the finale and it was a satisfying one. Thanks ocn for this wonderful gem!?

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"After a brief internal struggle, he says that the statute of limitations had passed anyway"

Um.. Korea removed the statute of limitations on first degree murder back in 2015... and it applies retroactively.

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There was something very hearttending in Choi Jin Hyuk's portrayal of a father whose daughter was kidnapped; you could see he was barely holding it together, yet he couldn't allow himself to lose it because he needed to keep calm and keep his wits about him in order to find Mok Jin woo.

I'm so impressed by the performance of all the actors in this drama. They really nailed their roles. And this is what happens when a great script, great performances and great directing combine together....they form a ...masterpiece.

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The pacing of the scenes are done so right, and it helps that the actors are all competent enough to emote and express themselves through their gestures, words and expressions. Overall, they come together and make this show great. I love it that the time traveling aspect isn't that complicated either that it confuses us as to how it works. Now I just want my Episode 16! Like right now!

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Damn Jae Yi was amazing using all the necessary means to keep surviving,that was great indeed...It was also intresting seeing how such a chilling calculating man like Mok Jin Woo started making amatourish mistakes left and right,i guess the trigger was his mom all along...

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I have a couple of reactions with this episode while I was watching it. A couple of head scratching/ hair pulling moments to be exact.
1 - when SJ discovered the bug on the chess piece: Kwang Ho, dont ruin that bug?! Thats evidence and you can use that to track Dr Mok also possibly mislead him about your actions.
2 - when they found out about JinWoo's mother's last residence: Mr Policemen, Why did you go there with sirens on? It wouldve served you better if you used stealth to locate Dr Mok in NY Town.

Other than these, I actually liked the emotional moments in this episode.It was an overall good episode as we move to the finale. It did dwell on Dr Mok's motivation which was really twisted. Obviously he has major issues. But heart went out to KH as he sit in agony worrying about JY. SJ and the rest were also in agony but for KH its heartwrenching.

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Thanks Saya for the recap. I did appreciate that our little Robot Girl is growing a heart. Its largely thanks to KH and SJ. It just shows how much a tragedy it was to lose her parents at such a young age. And how love and care helped nurture her deeply hidden feelings.

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To be fair, KH and gang probably do not have enough time to mislead Dr Mok using the bugging device since it is almost the last episode. And KH being KH, the impulsive guy, it seems in his character to smash the device to bits. In fact, if he had been the one to catch the chess piece, he would have dumped it on the floor right away. And Dr Mok would not even have the chance to eavesdrop on them.

I am not sure how actual police work, but in dramas, the police often signal their presence with the siren whenever they are on a chase or in pursuit of a suspect. Maybe they think we, the audience, have no idea the police are on the move, hence the siren.

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Maybe I am just watching too many non-korean crime shows/movies that use that as a tactic. It usually works in those stories.

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Actually, it's the use of sirens that helped Jae-yi when they went to save her! Imagine if Mok Jin-woo didn't know they were around, he would've killed Jae-yi before they even got to them! Police use sirens as a tactic to distarct the culprits and make their presence known, that usually puts the culprit off!

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You do have a point. It did rattle him and made him move.
Sirens can be effective in being a deterrent for crime. But it also pinpoints how near or far the police are to the criminals. It gave him a lead time for a getaway though.

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Ohh that ending....?

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This episode looks like a filler episode, but it was nice to see Dr. Mok's past. The last episode though. Episode 16 is my favorite and the best episode of the drama imo.

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Hmmmm. I just bing-watched the series.

I thought the acting was top-notch throughout, and the cinematography was really good. And the story for the first 2/3 was solid.

However, with the stupidity of the characters brought on to make sure that the plot had suspense, I got really jarred out of my suspension of disbelief.

Why are all the main characters doing stupid stuff now?

First, Jae-yi, with being the bait without setting up a trap (a bait needs a trap to, you know, actually be useful).

Then, Kwang-Ho stupidly trying to 1-man army capture a serial killer and running back through the tunnel.

To, Sun Jae, in this episode, for some weird reason taking the chess piece thrown to him and keeping it with him (though this could be explained by Dr. Mok knowing his personality so well and that he would keep it on him. It's still a stupid thing to do, but at least there's a potential explanation aside from stupidity).

To Dr. Mok thinking that Jae-yi would give up the pen voluntarily when she knows that he'll kill her afterwards anyways.

Just too many dumb actions by the main characters so that the show could throw some thrills the audience's way.

Other examples of that. Police sirens alerting criminals that their lair was compromised. A completely elaborate and futile hospital sting operation which didn't think to track the package as soon as it landed (I mean, I thought of that, too. And I didn't need the transmitter in the chess piece to figure out the best way to avoid the trap.)

Also, is anyone else bothered that the key insights always have to be by the 3 main characters. I'd have loved to see a key insight from the Nose-Ear Duo and the chief, but they felt like filler most of the series.

Anyways, I enjoyed the series overall, but I felt let down by the last 1/3-1/4 because the writing made the characters dumb for the sake of cheap thrills which weren't that thrilling in the first place....

I think it was trying to be like Signal, but the writing didn't really reach anywhere close to the same level. Acting and directing, I felt were really good. Too bad, in the end, the writer succumbed to dumb character syndrome to give the audience thrills.

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I agree with much of what you say. Jae Yi's stupidity started me in cooling towards this series. The sirens blaring really got me annoyed. Way to go when you do a sting operation!!! ?

They had opportunities to get Mok, but they let them slip.

Aside from that, it was not too bad. The added feature from this writer is that we get to see inside the mind of the psychopath or crazy killer. It includes as much internal investigation of the psyche as external running around to find clues, which I found interesting. ?

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It's a shame you're not enjoying it!

I didn't think the 'stupid stuff' was actually out of character. The thing is, in-story, the characters can't be genre-savvy or have the benefit of dramatic irony. The mistakes they made are very in-character imo, like Jae-yi running headlong into danger without backup - her purpose wasn't to spring a trap, but to stop JHY killing anyone else on (as she saw it) her account. It's part of her brokenness that she doesn't see it isn't an answer, and therefore part of her growth. That emotion that Kwang-ho piqued in her at that point, the sense of responsibility, was so overwhelming that she didn't think rationally. So yes, it WAS stupid, but it wasn't gratuitous.

Re: the sirens, the police's priority had to be and always was preserving Jae-yi's life. Announcing their arrival as soon as possible could be the difference between her life and death. It's true that it could backfire, but it must seem the lesser of the two evils.

I actually think it was trying to *not* be like Signal, as much as it had things in common. Signal was extremely tightly plotted, but Tunnel always held the characters' journeys as its primary focus, that's why the show still held strong even when the plot lapsed a bit, as it sometimes did. Signal was a masterpiece on every level and not the kind of show that comes along often, and despite some of Tunnel's similarities to it, I think it's ultimately an unjust comparison, because the shows set out to do different things.

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Usually the police cars use the sirens and this is something i have seen in real lives also and if you have seen indian movies then you can understand the value the sirens

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This was a great episode. I liked how Jae Yi revealed Dr. Mok's mindset although it was a typical reason for his murders. Like Hello Monster, I had high suspicion for this doctor in the show, but it was a good idea to see more into adolescent life. The connection to the Gakistal was also well done. As for that cliffhanger at the end, I can't believe she was captured again. Seriously, this girl never gets a break. I wonder how they are going to resolve these characters at the end.

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Thanks Saya! I like your analysis.

"It’s actually one of the touches I really like in the show, where the “telling” has been strangely more effective and engaging than the “showing.” It’s seemingly straightforward exposition, but there’s a touch of cleverness in how seamlessly it fits into the narrative and the nature of the character, and I’ve always found those interludes thought-provoking." - I myself did not really notice that there was more telling than showing, but whether it was a 50:50, or 60:40 ratio between them, I found that this show did it well. Clever, indeed it was! ?

It married the character development with the plot progression very well, making it both character and plot driven at the same time, and done nicely. (I'm told that Mystery Queen is a character driven show, and when we compare that show to this, and see that the plot does not take centrerstage, it becomes obvious that that's true!).

One thought that came to me was that it was a relief to not see that creepy smile on Mok's face all the time. I rather see him looking aggravated than self-satisfied anytime! His smile gave me the willies!! ?

So it's on to the end now, and if it's anything like the ride it's been giving us, it's going to be full of feels and stress!!!
-Braces self!!- ? ? ?

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Tunnel is getting appreciation and i happy for that and after signal and dear my friends i really thing tunnel is a character driven show where every actor has done a recommendable job..even the earlier shows had a top notch story but tunnel had some plot holes but the acting made it for them

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Amazing episode as always, it was great to see Jae Yi getting under Mok Jin Woo's skin, she's smart but i was worried for her life at that moment. Also the ending scene was so tense, i can't believe Mok Jin woo got inside her house, the nerve!

Thank you for the recap!

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Convenient missed timings and incompetence is not the same as suspense.

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I'm glad so many weren't bored by this episode. I just was. Also, I've read that killing someone by strangling them w/your bare hands is not easy to do, and granted, the actor did make it appear as if he was putting a h_ll of a lot of strength into trying to strangle the life out of her, and she did act as if she was suffering immensely and almost dying...but, there were never any red marks on her neck after each strangulation?? Really??? How many times in one day can someone almost strangle the life out of you and you have no residual marks or physical signs of stress on/in the neck and throat?? We, and she (almost) were OD'd with all the strangling...like....well, here we go again. Also, there were a lot procedural gaffs in this. Bad editing, directing, did the director of all the previous episodes call off sick that day and a standby director stepped in? So what immediate cause prompted them to suddenly pull off the side of the road and start searching the grass? As I mentioned, I've been loving this show til this episode, but, this one, I think, was very below par.

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I know it isn't the most obvious thing and I will rant about a tertiary character but, how do you call a chief that doesn't believe in his team?. The rant by the Police Chief after they got Dr. Mok made him possible to kill another girl and almost hurt Jae-Ji.

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Thanks for the recap. This episode was my favorite of the drama.

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This show is one of dramas I'm currently watching beside Chicago Typewriter and Suspicious Partner . and i'm loving all of them.
actually i wasn't really interested after couples of eps , but i started to picked it up a while ago. and i'm not regret it! it's getting more intense since it's closer to the finale.
i love the chemistry of all actors, including Jae Yi, even thought i didn't like her at first because i think she's just too pale (no emotions).
And i don't like she is paired with Sun Jae (Sun Jae is mine!) lol

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I love the actress playing JaeYi, her confrontation with Dr.Mok in this episode is the best, i love it!

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Mok Jin Woo, the crazy doctor in Tunnel or Cha Min Ho, the evil tein brother in Defendant - who is scarier? Who is more scarred? I am so afraid that Jae Yi will die that I cannot bring myself to watch the final episode. The trailer for ep 16 had a scene of a funeral... (nooo!!!) So i had to come back to DB to read the comments to see if i can get a hint of what will happen... lol. Phew. Now i can breathe a little easier. I will work hard (ha ha) and wait with eager anticipation for tonight and then catch the final episode on VIU.

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Haha..... So apparently anybody could intercept a package on the way to the delivery address and the delivery guy would happily give the package to him ?

And it seems like Prof. Shin overestimate herself again.

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