Duel: Episode 5
We finally learn what “the list” is, why it’s so important, and just what lengths someone would go through to get a copy of it. While the connection between the clones still remains a mystery, Sung-joon’s flashes of memories begin to hint that the past is still very much relevant to the present, perhaps more so than anyone can imagine.
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Flash-forward intro: Sung-joon, with one hand over Mi-rae’s mouth and another holding a gun, begs her to stay quiet after apologizing for doing this to her.
Outside, Man-choon holds an axe against Deuk-chun’s throat, but when the prosecution team and other detectives arrive, he releases Deuk-chun, who takes the opportunity to steal one of the dropped handguns and take Hyung-shik hostage.
He warns Jo-hye not to follow him or he’ll kill Hyung-shik. Jo-hye doesn’t think he’ll pull the trigger, but both Hyung-shik and Soo-ho know that their chief isn’t in his right mind, and they plead for her not to provoke him.
We rewind back to the office at the dogfighting ring, where Mi-rae is trapped in a hidden room while Joo-shik threatens Sung-joon, who he’s had brought into his office. Joo-shik is confused to see someone he killed, and he asks how Sung-joon is still alive. As we see Sung-hoon bearing the scar that Joo-shik would expect to see on Sung-joon, Joo-shik attempts to strangle Sung-joon to finish the job.
With Joo-shik’s hands around his throat, Sung-joon has a memory of Joo-shik performing surgery on him, and when he asks how Joo-shik could have done that to both him and Byung-joon, Joo-shik is shocked to realize this has to be the same guy he thought he killed years ago. “I saw it with my own eyes. Your stomach was cut open!” Joo-shik raves uncomprehendingly.
As Mi-rae watches through a crack in the door, looking between the scene in front of her and the picture in her hand in confusion, Joo-shik lifts up Sung-joon’s shirt and confirms that there’s no scar from having all his organs removed — so it can’t be the guy they killed. Besides, Joo-shik says, Sung-joon is much too young, only now he really doesn’t know who he is.
Before he can get an answer, one of his men announce that their VIP guest is here. That’s enough of a distraction for Joo-shik to order his men to take Sung-joon away until he can deal with him later, but before he leaves, Joo-shik gets in a few enraged kicks that drop the young man to the ground.
Just as he’s about to give Sung-joon a further beating with a baseball bat, the VIP guest arrives, his face hidden by a hoodie. Annoyed, Joo-shik tells him to wait outside a little longer, but the VIP guest — Sung-hoon — turns out the lights and expertly shoots all of Joo-shik’s men in the head. When he turns the lights on again, only Joo-shik and Sung-joon are left (as well as a horrified Mi-rae, who continues to watch from her hiding spot).
Joo-shik attempts to make a deal with his “VIP client” as he wonders why he’s doing all this, at least until he turns around and realizes in astonishment that his VIP client is the same man he thought he killed, the same man as the one lying crumpled on the floor. But Sung-hoon just tells him that he wants “the list.”
Mi-rae’s sunbae tries calling her back, but she hurriedly cuts it off, worried that Sung-hoon might hear and know she’s there. As Sunbae wonders if something’s happened to her, Man-choon and his gang arrive at the dogfight to loook for Deuk-chun, who tries to hide from them by using Sunbae as a shield.
Surprised, Sunbae recognizes Deuk-chun as the chief detective when he worked on a story years ago. He’s adorably excited to figure out what crime the detective is going to deal with there, but Deuk-chun just shoos him away.
In the office, Joo-shik hands over the list of five people who got an organ transplant. He was planning to use it as his last resort to blackmail them if he needed money, but not he’s using it to save his life. He wonders why Sung-hoon wants it, as well how there can be two people with the same face as the guy he killed.
Sung-hoon asks if Joo-shik really killed the original man. Joo-shik shrugs and says he just did as he was ordered to do by Byung-joon. But Sung-hoon just deadpans back that Byung-joon said that he only did what Joo-shik ordered him to do, not the other way around. Laughing, Joo-shik says Byung-joon must be lying, but Sung-hoon says it’s a pity they can’t confirm who’s telling the truth since Byung-joon is dead.
His phone buzzes in his pocket, and Sung-hoon says that it’s Joo-shik’s turn. He steps closer as he points his gun at Joo-shik’s head. The other man stutters that he’ll give him everything he has, but Sung-hoon emotionlessly pulls the trigger just as Joo-shik yells that he promised him. Shot at point blank, Joo-shik’s body slumps to the ground as Sung-hoon says, “I never promised you anything.”
There’s chaos in the dogfighting arena when the detectives and prosecution team arrive. Jo-hye’s first mission is to find Deuk-chun. Their attention is diverted when Joo-shik’s body falls from the upper stories, and they make their way upstairs. Sung-hoon returns to the office (after presumably throwing Joo-shik’s body over the side and into the arena), but as he reaches for the envelope with the organ donor list, Sung-joon grabs it first.
By the time Jo-hye reaches the top level of the arena, a masked Director Baek helps to cause even more mayhem by dumping the briefcase full of cash. Everyone scrambles to catch the money as it rains down, and even though Jo-hye spots Deuk-chun in the crowd, he manages to slip away. Unfortunately, Man-choon’s gang also sees him and proceeds to follow.
Sung-hoon beats up Sung-joon, but Sung-joon refuses to give up the list. He doesn’t know why it’s so important to Sung-hoon, who threatens to kill him if he doesn’t hand it over. Sung-joon tells him to kill him then — he just wants to know why Sung-joon is doing what he’s doing. But Sung-hoon just tosses him aside, cryptically saying that it’s pointless for him to kill Sung-joon since he’ll die soon anyway.
But before Sung-joon hands over the list, he at least wants to know where Soo-yeon is. Sung-hoon says that she’s at his house, which means she’s still alive. Sung-joon pleads with him to let her go — she’s done nothing wrong. But Sung-hoon kicks the other clone a few times as he retrieves the list.
As he leaves, Sung-joon has one more question: Is he doing this to get revenge? Did he kill Joo-shik and Byung-joon because of what happened that night? Sung-hoon turns around and demands to know if Sung-joon remembers, but he gets a call from Director Baek warning him that Jo-hye is on her way to the office, and he makes his escape.
Sung-joon writhes in pain, but manages to pick up one of the guns from the killed henchmen and staggers his way to a hiding place — the same place Mi-rae is hiding. He puts his hand over her mouth, warning her that if she keeps quiet, he won’t hurt her.
Jo-hye sees the trail of blood leading from the office, but when she and Soo-ho enter, all they find are the dead henchmen. She wonders if this has to do with the warning note that was sent to her, recognizing that these men were not killed accidentally. Soo-ho continues to search the office area, coming close to where Sung-joon and Mi-rae are hiding. But then his phone rings — it’s Hyung-shik.
Soo-ho returns to Jo-hye, telling her that there’s nothing there and that he’ll continue to look around. He doesn’t say anything about the phone call he got from Jo-hye, but Jo-hye knows something’s up, and tells her men to follow him after they report that they lost Deuk-chun.
After Jo-hye leaves, Sung-joon tells Mi-rae that he’s not a bad guy — well, he adds that he can’t be sure of that, but he at least he knows he’s not the guy the police are looking for. He confirms that Mi-rae saw what really happened in the room next door and agrees to remove his hand from her mouth if she promises not to scream.
She affirms that she witnessed him being framed and offers to make a statement for the police about what his twin did. But Sung-joon insists that they’re not twins, and the police aren’t on his side. His only choice right now is to keep running. He’s apologetic as he explains that he has to use her as a hostage.
But he’s shocked when Mi-rae agrees and tells him that since there aren’t any police outside right now, he doesn’t need to keep pointing the gun at her. Sung-joon can’t trust anyone right now, though, and escorts her out of the building because he says he has to find someone first.
That person is Deuk-chun, who’s in the middle of a standoff with Man-choon and his men. Man-choon’s gang all have axes, but Deuk-chun dives to pick up a gun from the ground, and the tussle begins.
Hyung-shik helps fend off the gang by shooting at their feet and fighting alongside his chief, but they’re outnumbered, and soon Man-choon has Deuk-chun pinned to the ground with an axe pressed close to his neck.
Soo-ho rushes up and shoots a warning shot in the air. He’s quickly followed by the prosecutor team, much to his annoyance. Jo-hye orders everyone to drop their weapons and surrender by the count of three, or they will shoot everyone. It’s a tense standoff, but Man-choon finally relents before the count of three. Deuk-chun pushes him away and grabs the nearby gun to use Hyung-shik as a shield and hostage.
That brings us to the beginning of the episode, where Jo-hye tells the men to shoot anyway, since she knows Deuk-chun wouldn’t shoot one of his own men. But Hyung-shik pleads for his life, insisting that Deuk-chun isn’t in his right mind.
Meanwhile, Mi-rae and Sung-joon sneak out of the building, and thanks to Mi-rae, they avoid being caught by the police. She insists that it’s proof he should trust her, but it’s not like she’s helping him out of pure altruism. She reaches for the photograph in her pocket, then rethinks her decision. She says she’ll tell him later — first, they need to get out of there.
Deuk-chun continues to back up while holding Hyung-shik hostage. But he reaches a ridge with a steep drop and can no longer back up without falling. Jo-hye tells him that it’s all over — he should stop now. As she advances, he turns his gun from Hyung-shik to her. Scoffing, she asks if he’s really going to shoot her, but Deuk-chun just begs her to understand that what she saw today isn’t the whole picture.
He shoves Hyung-shik forward and then flees into the wood. As the prosecution team runs after him, Jo-hye seems fully aware that it was a ruse on the detectives’ part to help their boss get away.
Deuk-chun heads to where their car is parked, but it’s surrounded by cops. Sung-joon finds him there, and they’re both relieved the other is still alive. Mi-rae suggests they move to somewhere that’s a little safer, and Deuk-chun’s just like, “Who are you?” Pffft.
She calls Sunbae to see where he is, and as they walk to his car, Sung-joon frets over the bloody gash on Deuk-chun’s arm. Deuk-chun is more worried about Mi-rae and how trustworthy she is, but Sung-joon points out that out of all of them, she’s the one who seems the least dangerous. Deuk-chun: “That’s what makes her so suspicious.”
Sung-joon says that they doesn’t really have a choice right now, though — she’s their only way out, so they have to trust her.
Sunbae is surprised that Mi-rae’s brought a few guests along, but he’s thrilled to see Deuk-chun again. He assumes that Deuk-chun is looking for a criminal and chatters nonstop as Deuk-chun tries to get him to avoid an upcoming inspection point. Finally, Deuk-chun grabs the wheel in his own hands and forces Sunbae to turn off the road.
Stunned, Sunbae demands to know why a detective is avoiding the police — if this was official business, they wouldn’t need to avoid the cops. Deuk-chun wearily tells him that it won’t help him to know the truth, and says that it’s time to part company. But Sung-joon, worried about the amount of blood dripping down his arm, starts to tend to Deuk-chun’s wound.
Mi-rae also offers her services. She has supplies at home to stitch him up, plus, she adds that she graduated from med school. Sunbae is more eager to accept Deuk-chun’s gruff assessment that he’s fine and that he and Sung-joon will take care of it. He privately tells her that something is fishy with Deuk-chun, and that they should go their separate ways.
But when he tries to tell Sunbae that they should split up, Deuk-chun beats him to it. Deuk-chun also asks if he can borrow Sunbae’s car, promising that he won’t need it for long — he just needs to get to Seoul and promises to give it back. Haha, he’s asking to borrow the car like it’s a pen, but it at least gets Sunbae to agree to drive them to Mi-rae’s house since he refuses to give up his car.
Back at the dogfighting arena, Man-choon and his gang are arrested. Man-choon gives Jo-hye a lingering glare as he’s escorted into the police vans. Her team reports that Deuk-chun and Sung-joon must have escaped since they’re nowhere to be found, but they promise to keep looking. Just then, Jo-hye gets a call from the Chief Prosecutor.
At Mi-rae’s house, she helps provide Sung-joon and Deuk-chun with the tools needed to stitch up Deuk-chun’s wound. She apologizes, saying that while she did graduate from med school, she never became a doctor, so she’s a little rusty when it comes to suturing. But Sung-joon tells her that he’ll do it. She and Sunbae wonder if he’s a doctor, and he awkwardly explains that he’s not — he just knows how to do it.
Mi-rae watches in amazement as he neatly tends to Deuk-chun’s wound, and then she steps aside to study the photo, convinced that he has to be the same person. She wonders how her mother knew him well enough to have a photo of him, or who the other guy is that killed Joo-shik.
Thanks to some pain meds, Deuk-chun is finally able to catch a few winks. Sung-joon watches him sleep, slumped over against an end table as he wonders who his “not a twin” could be — and why he warned him that he would die soon. When Mi-rae asks why he didn’t tell Deuk-chun to lie down, he says that Deuk-chun isn’t the type to willingly sleep when he’s worried about his daughter. Aw, Mi-rae covers him in a blanket.
They step into her bedroom to have a conversation without waking Deuk-chun or Sunbae, and she shows him a photo of her mother. He doesn’t seem to recognize her though, as Mi-rae explains that she would have been 55-years-old today if she hadn’t died a month ago. Sighing, Mi-rae says that must mean “it’s the other guy,” and she shows Sung-joon the photo from her mother’s documents.
She admits that she thought it was a photo of her dad, but she says that doesn’t make sense, “There’s no way that you are my dad.” But Sung-joon says that it’s possible he knew her mother, since he can’t remember much.
After telling her that he lost the majority of his memory, he adds that if there is indeed a connection between him and her mother, then Mi-rae could actually help him regain his memories. Mi-rae takes to the idea, wondering if he could also help her figure out the secrets her mother kept from her.
Deuk-chun’s awake and preparing to leave. Sung-joon insists he should rest more, but suddenly Deuk-chun starts patting his pockets, frantic that he can’t find Soo-yeon’s hairpin. He must have dropped it at the dogfighting ring and starts to rush out to return there, but Sung-joon reminds him that there are cops crawling all over the place.
In a last attempt to get him to stay, Sung-joon blurts out that Soo-yeon is still alive and that Sung-hoon has her. Grabbing Sung-joon by the collar, Deuk-chun yells at him to tell him where she is, but Sung-joon says he doesn’t know before promising to help him find her, no matter what.
Sunbae’s also awake, and at the mention of the hairpin, he pulls it from his pocket. He says that he found it in his car but didn’t know where it came from. Deuk-chun is thankful to have this memento of his daughter back and promises that he’ll return it to her soon.
Soo-yeon wakes up in Sung-hoon’s medical room. She calls out for her father as she cautiously leaves her bed and ventures out of the room, carefully pulling her IV drip bag along with her. She tearfully calls out for the “doctor,” asking if anyone is there. Then, she sees the stairs leading out of the medical dungeon.
Sung-hoon’s in the shower, brooding over Sung-joon’s question about them remembering the same things as he wonders what exactly Sung-joon remembers. We can see that Sung-hoon’s back is peppered with a symmetrical array of puncture marks around his spine.
After he gets dressed (boo), Director Baek calls him — he’s found out where Sung-joon is. Sung-hoon tells him to keep monitoring the other clone, and Director Baek agrees that Sung-joon isn’t that important right now, since they have “the list.” He wants to know if Sung-hoon’s looked at it and if he’s figured out who received the organs.
Amused, Sung-hoon asks if the Big Boss is throwing a fit to get the names. He tells Director Baek to just wait — he has a plan, and he’ll be in touch later. After he hangs up, he picks up the envelope containing The List and flips through it, completely unaware of the security camera showing that Soo-yeon is no longer in her bed.
Mi-rae loans Deuk-chun and Sung-joon her car, warning them to be careful with it because it’s not fully paid for. Sung-joon promises to get in touch with her later, and she smiles, asking if he trusts her now. He also smiles as he tells her he’s not sure yet.
She gives him the photo of her mother, since it might be helpful in bringing back memories. She tells him that her mother used to live in Seoul before she got married and that she used to be a nurse.
Mi-rae muses that he’s probably too young to have been around before her mother was married, but then realizes he doesn’t know how old he is since he lost his memories. Sung-joon insists he’s older than Mi-rae, but she doubts it.
As Sung-hoon studies The List, he hears a noise behind and spins around, his gun aimed at the intruder. But it’s aimed a little too high for short Soo-yeon, who stares at him in tearful confusion.
Sung-joon gets in Mi-rae’s car, and as he looks at the photo of her mother, he gets a flash of a memory. He recalls a very pregnant Nurse Ryu Jung-sook in a waiting room, happily poring over a baby book of ultrasound pictures. She writes underneath one of them: “My daughter, Mi-rae.”
Sung-hoon lowers his gun so it’s now pointing at Soo-yeon, who asks where she is and if she’s in a hospital. But Sung-hoon just demands to know why she’s wandering around without permission.
I’m loving the budding bromance between Deuk-chun and Sung-joon. They both have no clue what’s going on, but they also seem to realize that they’re each other’s only connection to getting what they want, whether it’s finding Soo-yeon or just figuring out who one of them is. So in that sense, they have to support each other and care for each other. Watching how each of them worries when the other one gets hurt is adorable, and I hope that Deuk-chun can be the father-figure that Sung-joon never had. Or even a literal father, since I’m not sure exactly how the parenting of a clone works, though I hope we find out.
The marks on Sung-hoon’s back have me thinking that this must be part of the cloning creation, since it didn’t look particularly surgical. If those were marks to just take fluid samples (like a bone marrow or spinal tap), I don’t imagine they would be spaced out they way they are, either. I’m now thinking of something like The Matrix, with little pods of goo where clones are created. This is probably setting me up for an unreasonable expectation of a massive underground “hive” of growing clones, but I’ve seen too many sci-fi films not to have such grandiose dreams. (Really, I just want confirmation that there could be more than just these two clones! I want a clone army where they all look as pretty as Yang Se-jong! Just, uh, don’t ask me what I’d do with that army…)
It does seem like the guy in Mi-rae’s photo is the Original Human, and quite likely her father — either because the nurse was in love with the doctor or because she was a willing test subject for some potential experiment requiring the mix of clone genes. It also seems like he is now very much dead, thanks to Byung-joon and Joo-shik attacking him, pinning him down, and stealing his vital organs (although they are apparently just the underlings doing someone’s bidding, but I have a feeling we’ll eventually meet the Big Bad mastermind before this drama is over). But judging by Sung-hoon’s scar and the lethal way he’s determined to get his revenge on the people who received the organs, it would imply that he was the Original — he has the memories and scars to prove it.
He’s too young though! Unless the special potion injections into his hand are not only what keeps him alive, but also what keeps him young. Maybe his cells can’t grow past a certain age. In that case, I can totally understand the desire for cloning as a way to grow organs, since what old person wouldn’t want the heart or liver or lungs of a twenty-something who’s never smoked, drank alcohol, or eaten terrible fatty food a day in their life?
I’m still not convinced that Sung-hoon is the Original, though once we find out more memories, I might be persuaded to that argument. I can’t blame him, though, for getting revenge on everyone for his (or the Original’s?) stolen organs. This does set us up quite nicely for the next few episodes, though, since it will be a race to see who reaches those five people on the list first — Sung-hoon and his thirst for deadly revenge; Sung-joon and Deuk-chun, who realize these people might be the only way they can track down Sung-hoon, and thus, Soo-yeon; or Jo-hye, who I swear knows a helluva lot more than she’s letting on.
Mi-rae is also refreshingly delightful as a heroine who also doesn’t know what’s going on, but is able to suss out a situation and decide to make the most reasonable decision without getting completely hysterical. Okay, maybe not the most reasonable, because that would have meant leaving Deuk-chun and Sung-joon behind to save herself. But she also has a goal to figure out what her mother’s mysterious past was all about, and right now, Sung-joon is her only clue. I love that she was the one who had to reassure Sung-joon that she wasn’t going to scream or run, and that he’s really bad at trying to take people hostage.
I’m pretty sure her documents are the same as the ones that Joo-shik had, although it would be interesting to compare the “lists” and see if there’s some important fact that only Mi-rae would know, since she totally deserves to take a more active role than just handing over her car and hinting at a connection to the past. I want her to become a part of Deuk-chun and Sung-joon’s ragtag team (Sunbae can come along, too, provided he remains undyingly loyal to Mi-rae). Someone has to be the mother of the group, making sure no one loses their important hairpins or photographs, and he’s so adorably slow on the uptake that I don’t think he’d be a threat. At least, I hope not, but with this show, I’m not sure I can trust anyone.
- Duel: Episode 1
- Premiere Watch: My Sassy Girl, Seven Day Queen, Best Hit, Duel
- The hunt for the clone is on in new Duel teaser
- Three-way face-off between clones and a desperate father in Duel
- The clone face-off begins in Duel posters
- Chilling sci-fi thriller Duel to cool the summer with killer clones
- Kim Jung-eun considers OCN’s evil-clone crime thriller Duel
- Jung Jae-young returns with OCN suspense thriller Duel