Duel: Episode 3
In Deuk-chun’s desperate attempt to find his daughter, he stumbles across another sinister plot. As he races to stay one step ahead of the police and prosecutors, doubts begin to creep in when the fugitive by his side reveals some surprising skills. There’s also someone new who might hold a key to the puzzle that is Sanyoung Research Group.
EPISODE 3 RECAP
The episode begins with another flash-forward, this time to an empty warehouse. A man is tied to a chair, and Good Clone rushes in, desperate to find a way to remove the zip tie that’s slowly choking the other man. But Bad Clone appears and says the he can’t help the man — he deserves to die, anyway. Bad Clone tightens the cord strangling the man as Good Clone throws himself at them.
Back to the bridge, where fugitive Good Clone and Deuk-chun leap off the bridge to escape the cops. Jo-hye is surprised to hear what he did to break Good Clone out of jail, and wonders if they’re dead after that jump. She also asks about that other fugitive, Man-choon, and declares that they’ll be taking over this case. Dead or alive, they need to find these fugitives. She also requests that her team make sure everyone keeps quiet about Deuk-chun’s involvement.
It’s raining as Deuk-chun and Good Clone clamber onto the river bank. Good Clone’s got a nasty wound on his arm, but at least they’re alive. They need to keep moving, though, before someone finds them. Deuk-chun is relieved to find Soo-yeon’s hairpin still in his pocket, and a flashback reveals he originally stole it from the police evidence room.
Across the river, Golf Bag Guy watches them through a night-vision telescope and reports back to Bad Clone, letting him know that they’re still alive. Bad Clone tells him to keep an eye on them, and they’ll rearrange their plans to match Deuk-chun and the other clone’s movements. He smiles as he repeats that it will be fun.
Deuk-chun’s two loyal detectives, Hyung-shik and Soo-ho, are also helping out with the search, and they gather the evidence that Good Clone’s shirt is ripped and that he must have an injury. The police are under orders to turn over all evidence to Jo-hye, but Hyung-shik insists on taking it instead.
He reveals to Soo-ho that he’s been in contact with Deuk-chun, who had asked him for his help. He just didn’t know it was going to be like this, he says, and he still isn’t sure what Deuk-chun is up to. Both detectives are frustrated, but also worried about their boss. At least Hyung-shik is convinced that Deuk-chun won’t die before he finds Soo-yeon.
Jo-hye visits the Chief Prosecutor’s office, revealing that Man-choon was one of the prisoners who escaped — you know the one she sent to jail for “kidnapping” the five-year-old. But instead of putting the fugitives on the “wanted” list, she wants to keep the case private since one of them is Soo-yeon’s kidnapper and it will give them a chance to find the girl. The Chief Prosecutor affably agrees, pointing out that he trusts her because she’s so good at her job.
Good Clone and Deuk-chun arrive at a farm, and Good Clone tries washing his wound as Deuk-chun finds him a set of clothes that isn’t the very noticeable prison jumpsuit. They duck out of site when a patrol car investigates the farm, however the cop doesn’t find anything particularly suspicious, thanks to the water washing away Good Clone’s trail of blood. Even so, Deuk-chun and Good Clone need to get back on the road, and quickly.
As Deuk-chun jimmies open the lock of a nearby car, Good Clone marvels that a detective could have such skills. Deuk-chun points out that most of the people he meets are criminals. He tries to hot-wire the car, but it isn’t working.
A cop car is coming dangerously close, so Good Clone grabs the wires out of his hands and expertly starts the car, allowing them to casually drive away without notice.
Now it’s Deuk-chun’s turn to be impressed, but Good Clone admits he has no idea how he knew how to do that. He assumes he must have hung around with a bad crowd before he lost his memories. They’re headed to Busan to find the homeless guy who bought Good Clone the bus ticket to Seoul, since it’s the only lead to figuring out who Good Clone is or what he’s involved in.
Investigative reporter RYU MI-RAE (Seo Eun-soo) is trying to figure out what is really going on with the child who was scheduled to receive the stem cell treatment. She’s already discovered that the girl isn’t at Sanyoung hospital, where the press releases said she should be.
Mi-rae is convinced something has gone wrong — Sanyoung has been carefully manipulating their media play since the beginning when they were first experimenting with the stem cell treatment, now all of a sudden they’ve surprisingly become quiet and hostile to further questioning. Her reporter sunbae is worried about her because she’s been so wrapped up in this case at the exclusion of everything else, but she reveals that this is more personal than simply writing a good story. This case could have something to do with her mother.
Deuk-chun and Good Clone arrive at the Busan bus station, and Good Clone has a memory of the homeless man buying him a ticket — it’s like he’s watching the scene unfold when in reality he should have been still dazed and out of it back then. They frantically try to find the homeless guy that Good Clone remembers, and after bothering dozens of other homeless men, Good Clone finally recognizes him.
The homeless guy takes off running when he sees who’s there and they chase him through the streets. Good Clone suddenly stumbles, clutching his heart, but gasps to Deuk-chun to continue running to catch the homeless man. Ducking down an alley, the homeless man thinks he’s lost his pursuers, but Deuk-chun comes flying in from the other direction and tackles him.
Deuk-chun buys the man a big meal, and he hungrily shoves the food into his mouth. Deuk-chun pours him a cup of soju, gently asking why he bought the bus ticket for Good Clone. The homeless man reluctantly admits that the guy who ordered him to do it offered to take 5,000,000 won off of his debt. But he refuses to reveal who he’s indebted to — if he tells them, his daughter will die.
That’s a sentiment Deuk-chun understands, and he uses Soo-yeon as a way to earn the man’s trust, pointing out his own daughter will die if he doesn’t tell them more. Finally the homeless man admits that he borrowed money with his daughter as collateral, but it was only afterwards that he learned that the men who have her actually harvest children’s organs.
But Deuk-chun is determined to figure out why organ harvesters would ask a homeless man to buy Good Clone’s bus ticket. The homeless man stutters that he doesn’t know anything, or even where they are — he only talked to them over the phone, and just knows that one of them is called Director Baek. Good Clone points out they could just call them again, but the homeless man admits he’s already tried — the number he had before is an invalid number.
He apologizes for his wrong-doings and desperately pleads with Deuk-chun to help him save his daughter. First they’ll need to figure out how to contact the organ harvesters, and so the men go around to all the public bathrooms near the bus station, gathering up all the stickers that advertise organ sales. The homeless man, Ddal-soo, starts dialing and asking for Director Baek, but keeps getting told it’s a wrong number.
Finally, he reaches Director Baek, who asks if Ddal-soo is going to pay him back. Ddal-soo bluffs that he can give 5,000,000 won, but Director Baek demands 10,000,000 won instead. Ddal-soo agrees (since it’s not like he’s really going to pay him), asking for enough time to get it to him tomorrow, and Director Baek gives him a new number to call.
Hyung-shik and Soo-ho are still worried about their chief, but they also don’t trust Jo-hye, who’s called them in for a meeting. They feign surprise when it’s revealed that Deuk-chun was involved with the prison break, and is why Jo-hye wanted to keep this case private.
She’s convinced Deuk-chun is still alive, asking that the detectives help her convince Deuk-chun to turn himself him for aiding a criminal to escape. If he does so, then she can help him keep his job without having to face any consequences. She’s worried about his state of mind, adding that the detectives should help Deuk-chun come back to his senses.
Hyung-shik phone buzzes just then, but it’s an unknown number. She tells him he can answer it if it’s important, but under Jo-hye’s watchful eye, he dismisses it as spam.
Of course it’s really Deuk-chun calling from a payphone, but he’s not worried that Hyung-shik didn’t pick up. He figures Hyung-shik knows it’s him and will call back — which he does, as soon as he leaves the meeting with Jo-hye. Both he and Soo-ho are are beside themselves in relief that he’s alive, and Deuk-chun asks him for their help.
Eagle-eyed Jo-hye saw the number that came up on Hyung-shik’s phone, recognizing the area code from Busan. She writes the number down for her team to investigate (who marvel at her memory skills, as do I). She also orders her team to look into Hyung-shik and Soo-ho, and figure out what they might be up to. She knows that Good Clone originally came from Busan the night Soo-yeon was kidnapped.
Mi-rae pulls out a envelope full of documents that was her mother’s. It had been kept in a safety deposit box since 1994, and the bank had been told to destroy it after her death, but they decided to instead contact Mi-rae as her next of kin. Even though Mi-rae knows it’s not meant for her, she couldn’t help but hope it would hold some clue about the secrets from her mother’s past, including who her father was. But the documents are just old records of test results for stem cell research.
On a rooftop, Hyung-shik meets with Deuk-chun, carrying a bag of clothes. He’s relieved to see his boss, but when he sees Good Clone, he immediately grabs him and apprehends him. He tells Deuk-chun to run and find Soo-yeon, since no one but Prosecutor Choi and her team know about Deuk-chun’s involvement, and he’ll take Good Clone back to the station. They can put the blame all on him and let Deuk-chun remain innocent.
But Deuk-chun needs Good Clone to help him find Soo-yeon, and tells Hyung-shik he has a choice — he can arrest Good Clone or he can shoot Deuk-chun. Well, when you put it like that, of course he’s going to let Good Clone go.
He’s not happy about it, but he at least makes sure that Deuk-chun can make a good escape by providing him with a car, access to tracking the GPS from the phone number they have for Director Baek, plus a gun that he hopes Deuk-chun doesn’t have to use. He also grudgingly throws the bag of first aid supplies at Good Clone, grumbling that he thought Deuk-chun was the one who was injured. Aw, what a gruff old teddy bear.
As Deuk-chun drives to where the GPS says Director Baek is currently located, Good Clone struggles to dress his wound. It’s a pretty nasty gash, but Good Clone reassures Deuk-chun that he can handle it — and he does a very neat and professional job of stitching it up. Deuk-chun wonders where he learned such a skill, but there’s only a brief flashback of someone stitching up surgical wounds in a hospital setting before Good Clone admits he doesn’t know, either.
Director Baek and the true leader of the organ harvesting gang, Jin Byung-joon, arrive at a secure facility where the children are kept. The children wake up, bleary-eyed, most of them with dried blood on their clothes, as Byung-joon asks about the new arrival who’s been knocked out with sleeping pills because they’ve run out anesthesia. We can’t see her face as they gather her up in a large duffel bag.
Hyung-shik’s found out more about Director Baek’s organ harvesting scam — they make people take out loans and then take their kids as collateral. Then they drug them and remove their organs to send to China. Furious, Deuk-chun speeds his way to where the GPS says Director Baek is.
Also on their way is Jo-hye and her team. They wonder if Deuk-chun is there — is Soo-yeon one of the collateral kids? But Jo-hye calmly says that they’ll find out when they get there.
Deuk-chun and Good Clone pass Byung-joon on the road, unaware that there’s an unconscious child hidden in his car. They arrive at the facility, and a quick look through the garbage gives them enough proof that this is the place they’re looking for, since they find empty syringes and bloody gauze. Thanks to the worst security guard ever, Deuk-chun and the Good Clone easily make their way into the facility.
With Deuk-chun’s gun pointed at his head, the security guard opens up the room where all the children are held, but Deuk-chun doesn’t see Soo-yeon. Good Clone has a flashback of entering a hospital ward and finding a body on a bed, an organ clearly having been recently removed.
Deuk-chun demands to know where the girl with short hair is, and the guard tells him that he remembers seeing her. The boss had told him that she was special and would be a good source of income. But she just left the facility to be taken to the operating room.
Director Baek and his men are prepping to meet with the Chinese to hand over the fresh organs when Deuk-chun enters the office, his gun pointed at Director Baek’s head. The director is surprised there’s a cop in his offce, but Deuk-chun simply wants to know where the little girl is. To prove how serious his request is, he fires a warning shot just behind Director Baek’s head.
Having got the information they needed, Deuk-chun calls Ddal-soo, letting him know that if he goes to the facility, he’ll be able to find his daughter. Meanwhile, Good Clone reassures Deuk-chun that once they get to the other site, they’ll be able to find Soo-yeon.
But Deuk-chun suddenly pulls over to the side of the road and now points his gun at Good Clone, insisting that he’s “one of them,” the organ harvesters — that’s the only reasonable explanation for how he knows so much and how he’s so good at surgery. Despite Director Baek claiming he doesn’t know Good Clone and vice versa, Deuk-chun is convinced they’re lying.
Good Clone sincerely tells him that he doesn’t know anything that’s going on right now. If he really is that kind of bastard, then Deuk-chun has permission to shoot him — but only after they find Soo-yeon.
As Byung-joon opens up the trunk of the car to take out the child, Deuk-chun pulls up. Realizing something’s wrong, Byung-joon gets back in the car and speeds away. Deuk-chun follows, but loses him when the other man turns down a tiny dirt road that’s hard to see in the dark. Just as he’s gloating about his escape, someone else cuts him off on the main road, causing Byung-joon to swerve into a pole, knocking him out.
Jo-hye arrives at the organ harvesting facility only to find that the bad guys are already tied up thanks to Deuk-chun. When she shows Director Baek the photo of Deuk-chun and Good Clone, Director Baek admits that they were there and were headed to the operating center, looking for someone named Soo-yeon.
Deuk-chun is still driving along, desperately looking for any sign of Byung-joon. He finds the car that ran into the pole, but the driver’s seat is empty. They open the trunk of the car as Deuk-chun reassures Soo-yeon that he’s there — but of course the girl in the car isn’t Soo-yeon.
Instead, she’s Ddal-soo’s daughter. She’s still knocked out by the sleeping pills, and Deuk-chun frantically tries to revive her. Good Clone notices a trial of blood leading away from the car and follows it. Meanwhile, Jo-hye and her team have tracked the location of Byung-joon’s car and are on their way there.
The man we saw tied up in the beginning is Byung-joon, who desperately pleads with Bad Clone not to kill him. He swears he doesn’t know anything about a “list” and he didn’t kill anyone — he just did what Choi Joo-shik told him to do. As he continues to beg for his life, Bad Clone smiles at him.
Good Clone’s tracked the bloody trail to an empty building, and rushes in, attempting to free the choking Byung-joon. But Bad Clone appears, and tugging on the cord around Byung-joon’s neck, says that he deserves to die. Good Clone flings himself at Bad Clone and they fight each other. Bad Clone has the better moves, and the fight is enough of a distraction that Byung-joon dies in the meantime, unable to be saved.
When Good Clone wonders why Bad Clone killed Byung-joon, Bad Clone tells him with a smile that he didn’t — Good Clone did. Good Clone wonders who Bad Clone is and why he’s doing all this — are they twins? Bad Clone scoffs. Someone like him can’t be Bad Clone’s twin — they’re completely different.
Deuk-chun continues to try and revive Ddal-soo’s daughter, worried that she won’t regain consciousness. But when he hears her slight groans, he sighs in relief and carries her to the car. It’s only then that he realizes that Good Clone has disappeared — and that there’s a trail of blood.
Barging into the abandoned building, Deuk-chun points his gun as he yells at Bad Clone not to move. But before he can do anything, someone hits him over the head with a pipe and Deuk-chun hits the ground. Ohhhh, it’s Golf Bag Guy!
Except Golf Bag Guy turns out to be the real Director Baek, because that’s the person Ddal-sae met with originally when he was ordered to buy the bus train ticket — and where he first saw Good Clone passed out in the backseat of the real Director Baek’s car. The organ harvesting Director Baek with his mane of glory is just a ploy.
Back at the abandoned building, the real Director Baek ties the unconscious Deuk-chun to a pillar. Bad Clone smiles down at Good Clone, informing him that the next person Good Clone will kill is Choi Joo-shik. When Good Clone wonders who that is, Bad Clone tells him he has to figure that out himself.
I’m relieved that Golf Bag Guy finally has a name, although I’m still impatiently waiting for the clones to get names, too. Mostly because, even though Bad Clone is a killer, there’s something about him that I struggle to believe is truly “bad.” Maybe it’s the conspiracy theorist in me, but I’m hoping he’s using Good Clone as a way to get to the bottom of what’s really going on in the cloning world and that this stem cell research is not as wonderful as Sanyoung Research Group says it is.
That’s why I’m excited about the introduction of Mi-rae, because it gives us another avenue of investigation. One that is obviously still personal because it relates back to her mother (possibly a researcher? Or someone who had access to the medical files?), but she seems smart and capable, and I still really need a more rational mind to go against the emotion-driven “save my daughter at all costs” reactions of Deuk-chun. Not to say that Jo-hye’s cold robotic-like deductions aren’t useful, but I’m totally convinced she’s somehow deeply involved with whatever Sanyoung has going on and therefore is not to be trusted.
As someone who’s shown herself to be eager to clean up cases whenever convenient, it almost seems unlike her to be so protective of Deuk-chun — except that she wants to find Soo-yeon, even knowing the statistical chance of her being alive is almost zero percent. That makes me wonder if Bad Clone has gone rogue and is posing a threat to Sanyoung, and if Jo-hye is on the side of trying quietly find the clone via Soo-yeon so they can take care of matters that will be beneficial for Sanyoung and detrimental to these clones that have somehow escaped (because Bad Clone was clearly behind Good Clone showing up in Busan, due to the involvement of the real Director Baek). I know many viewers find Kim Jung-eun’s acting frustrating, but the fact that it looks like she’s wearing a carefully cultivated mask works for me since I assume that she’s hiding something.
This is all just speculation, of course. But I get the feeling that these aren’t the only two clones out there and that Sanyoung Research Group has been “growing” clones as a way to create an avenue of organ harvesting for rich old dudes (like the ones currently in Sanyoung Hospital, where Mi-rae had expected to find Soo-yeon). It’s like the film The Island, except instead of creating identical clones for each person who can afford it, one clone fits all. And apparently knows all.
Is there some “clone telepathy” that happens — when one clone feels something or experiences something, the other does, too? Are there shared memories? Was Good Clone created specifically to remove organs from other clones or is he having false memories from another clone that has gone before? Is it like The Matrix where they can just decide what skills each clone needs to learn and somehow upload it to their neural pathways? Can you breed genius and fighting skills? So. Many. Questions.
But good questions, ones that I think I’m supposed to have right now. I’m putting my faith in this writer to reveal little-by-little what’s really going on, and I’m already expecting my mind to be blown with whatever twist (or two or dozen) we’ll eventually encounter. But that can’t stop me coming up with theories, because half the fun of watching this kind of show is analyzing every detail I get get my hands on. Right now I’m eager to find out more about Choi Joo-shik, the test subject that was listed on Mi-rae’s mother’s papers (and I’m assuming those documents are “the list” that Bad Clone is looking for). Does Bad Clone intend to kill everyone who was originally involved in the stem cell project that presumably gave him life?
I really hope that the show doesn’t shy away from the ethical and moral quandaries of creating human life in a test tube, and what happens when that life turns out to have a mind of its own. Before that happens, though, I suppose we will need to get the point where Good Clone figures out he’s a clone in the first place.
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