Duel: Episode 6
Each episode gets better and better as we slowly learn more about who everyone is and how they’re all connected. That’s not to say that each new discovery doesn’t come with a million more questions, but at least everyone seems to be on a path that will eventually lead them to the truth — whatever that truth may be.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Flash-forward intro: It’s nighttime as Director Baek follows a car to a deserted field. When the car pulls to the side of the road and parks, he cautiously approaches — but there’s no one inside. That’s because Deuk-chun was waiting for him.
With his gun pointed at Director Baek’s head, Deuk-chun warns him to be cautious when tailing someone, because he could end up being lured. Then he smacks Director Baek with the butt of the gun, knocking him out.
We rewind back to where we left off previously, with Sung-hoon reading the organ donor documents before spinning around to point his gun at an intruder, only to realize that it’s just little Soo-yeon. She tearfully asks him where she is, and when he chides her for wandering around without permission, she apologizes, saying she didn’t know.
Then she asks if he’s a policeman, since her father told her that guns are only used to catch bad guys. She continues to cry as she asks where her father is and when he’s coming to see her. Sung-hoon lowers his gun and tells her to stop crying, and she blubbers that she wants to, but can’t seem to. He tells her that her father will be there soon and escorts her back to the medical room.
As he does so, he has a flashback of a little boy — a younger version of himself, based on the “Lee Sung-hoon” name on the boy’s pajamas. With a sad look on his face, the little boy asks the adult Sung-hoon if he thinks he’ll be able to rescue him.
With the photo of Mi-rae’s mother in his hands, Sung-joon has a flash of memory, recalling the pregnant Nurse Ryu. He realizes that he must know Mi-rae’s mother after all, and he gets out of the car to run after Mi-rae to tell her.
Mi-rae’s eager to hear any news, but finds it odd that his memory of her mother was when she was pregnant with her, since Sung-joon doesn’t look any older than she does.
Deuk-chun suddenly appears to nonchalantly escort them back inside. He’s noticed a car parked down the street and has recognized the masked man inside as the same one who dropped the money at the dogfighting ring. But it’s extra suspicious because the car hadn’t been following them before, so how did the masked man find them?
That masked man is Director Baek, and he continues to stake out Mi-rae’s apartment. Sunbae is surprised to see Sung-joon again, since he thought they’d already left. Sung-joon tells Mi-rae to keep an eye on the car outside, warning her to call the cops if anything seems suspicious. He then uses the emergency stairwell to exit the building.
Meanwhile, Director Baek gets an update with profile information about Mi-rae. When he sees that she’s a reporter, he sighs and hopes that this won’t complicate things. As if they’re not already complicated enough.
Deuk-chan is doing his own stakeout by the front gate of the apartment building and keeps a cautious eye on the car as he waits for the masked man to come out.
Meanwhile, Sung-joon creeps around from the back. Director Baek studies his GPS tracker as he wonders what’s going on, because the red dot appears to be in the alleyway instead of inside the building.
Director Baek grabs a syringe as he gets out of the car. He also puts on gloves, which is never a good sign. Syringe at the ready, he advances towards the entrance of the building. Director Baek nonchalantly starts to follow as a resident enters the building, but Deuk-chun is hiding just behind the door.
Deuk-chun advances, his gun pointed at Director Baek. Deuk-chun demands to know who he is, but Director Baek waits until Deuk-chun advances close enough for him to knock the gun out of Deuk-chun’s hand. The two men fight in the middle of the street, and they’re pretty evenly matched.
Director Baek pulls out the syringe to use against Deuk-chun, who blocks him and manages to throw him aside. Director Baek kicks him in the chest and sends him flying to the ground, and then Sung-joon comes running up to grab Deuk-chun’s gun and point it at Director Baek.
Sung-joon recognizes him as the man who was there the night Byung-joon died. Director Baek tells him that they’ve actually met before — doesn’t he remember? He then grabs Sung-joon and knocks him down, injecting the syringe into his neck.
Deuk-chun staggers to his feet and retrieves his gun, but his attempts to shoot at Director Baek go wide, and soon, he’s out of bullets. As he stops to reload, Director Baek gets in his car and speeds away — right toward Deuk-chun, who’s standing in the middle of the street. Mi-rae sprints and tackles Deuk-chun, saving him from getting run over as Director Baek escapes.
She and Sunbae are worried about the unconscious Sung-joon. They don’t know what he’s been injected with, but they agree that he needs to get to a hospital ASAP. Deuk-chun reminds them of the situation they’re in — they can’t exactly waltz into a hospital with the police on their tail.
Mi-rae has another solution. She knows a medical clinic that recently closed and has a doctor friend from college who will help her, no questions asked. As they carry the unconscious Sung-joon into the empty clinic, Mi-rae tells her doctor friend that they think he was injected with an anesthetic of some sort.
Sung-joon starts to violently shake. The doctor remains true to his word about not asking questions — he doesn’t care about the patient’s name, age, or profession — but he needs to know if the patient has had symptoms like this before. Deuk-chun watches in worry as he explains he doesn’t know what kind of condition Sung-joon has, and the doctor wryly notes that they must not be very close.
Jo-hye pulls an all-nighter at the office as she studies the case report from the dogfighting arena. She thought it was Sung-joon who killed Joo-shik, but the calm demeanor of the man who threw Joo-shik’s body over the ledge belies the frantic reactions of man she met in the interrogation room after he was arrested for kidnapping. She thinks over Deuk-chun’s assertion that there’s someone else out there who looks exactly like Sung-joon.
She wonders if twins can have absolutely identical DNA, but then immediately dismisses it as impossible. She also wonders why the murderer would send her the letter telling her that someone else going to be killed — it’s like he’s practically begging to be caught.
Her assistant, Boon-suk, reminds her that the criminals they deal with aren’t always rational. Boon-suk also admits that he can understand Deuk-chun acting irrationally too, since he’s desperate to find his daughter — he says that he would probably do the same thing if he were in Deuk-chun’s shoes.
Ha, then Boon-suk quickly backpedals to tell Jo-hye that he doesn’t actually have a secret daughter, in case that’s a concern. It’s only a concern for him and his hilariously adorable crush on her, though.
Sung-hoon tosses and turns as nightmarish memories of him being a child and strapped down face-first on a hospital bed flash through his mind. The child Sung-hoon cries and screams for the doctors to stop as they cut open his pajamas, revealing the symmetrical puncture wounds on his back.
Now awake, the adult Sung-hoon goes downstairs to watch the sleeping Soo-yeon through the one-way mirror, while at the empty clinic, Deuk-chun watches Sung-joon, who’s still unconscious.
Jo-hye goes to the chief prosecutor’s office. She steels herself before she enters, and it’s not without reason, because as she stands by his desk to give her report, he throws his cup of coffee in her face. She barely even flinches, and with coffee dripping off her, she calmly repeats that she’s there to give her report on the current situation.
The chief prosecutor is angry that she’s made him look like a fool by letting Deuk-chun and the kidnapper get away, and in the process, they killed ten people. Still maintaining her composure, she explains that she thought she would be able to catch Deuk-chun before anyone else was killed, though she adds that it was a misjudgment on her part.
The chief prosecutor reminds her that she’s managed to come this far by climbing over people who’ve made similar “misjudgments.” Even so, Jo-hye asks for a little more time to work on the case. After it’s over, she’ll accept any punishment she deserves. She also reminds him that she’s done a lot of favors for him in the past — he should at least give her this chance.
Considering the way he asks if she’s trying to threaten him, those “favors” sound like the kind that wouldn’t show up on any official reports. The chief prosecutor finally relents, since he knows that she’s the tenacious type who will do anything for money. He’s willing to turn a blind eye just this once if she succeeds in the case, and she thanks him. But with a small smile, she politely thanks him for “the coffee.” Ohhhhhhh, snap.
At the clinic, Deuk-chun finds Mi-rae in the waiting area. He asks if she doesn’t need to go to work, but she says that she’s taking a few days off. Her boss is probably more understanding of any erratic behavior from her right now since it’s only been a month since her mother died, and she refused to take time off to grieve then.
Mi-rae hands him some medication for the wound on his arm, reminding him that he needs to eat and sleep so he can stay healthy as he searches for his daughter. Deuk-chun wonders why she’s being so helpful — exactly what is it she wants to find out about her mother? Mi-rae says that she doesn’t know. In fact, she adds that doesn’t even know much about her parents in the first place, since her mother never talked about her father at all.
She admits that Sung-joon gave her some hope when he said that he had some memories of her mother, but now that he’s unconscious, she can’t ask him all the questions she wants to. Deuk-chun admits they’re in the same spot — they’re both relying on Sung-joon’s memories to help them find what they need. He wants to find his daughter, and Mi-rae wants to know the truth about her parents.
Jo-hye and her team assemble to figure out the connection between Sung-joon, Deuk-chun, and the men who were killed. She tells them to look into the details of Joo-shik and Byung-joon’s lives to find how they overlap, because then they’ll be able to hopefully find the third victim before Deuk-chun and Sung-joon get there.
She also orders them to investigate the ways Deuk-chun and Sung-joon could have escaped the dogfighting arena. They need to catch Deuk-chun and Sung-joon, no matter what. When Hyung-shik and Soo-ho look a little shifty, she adds that she hopes no one is swayed by their personal feelings as they perform their duty.
Director Baek gets a call from the Big Boss, who demands that Director Baek (though his real name is Cha Gil-ho) bring him the list of donors by the end of the day, annoyed that Sung-hoon found it in the first place. Director Baek points out that if he does, Sung-hoon will fight back even more, but Big Boss doesn’t care.
When Director Baek returns to Sung-hoon’s lair, he carefully eyes the copy of the list that Sung-hoon has on the table before him. Sung-hoon knows Director Baek has talked to the Big Boss and picks up the list, offering it to him. Then, Sung-hoon sets the papers on fire.
Director Baek protests and tries to grab the list before it burns, but Sung-hoon leaps up and aims the gun at him. Sung-hoon says that he destroyed the list because he doesn’t need it anymore — now that he’s read it, all the information is in his brain. Besides, he asks, isn’t that what “they” do? Take what they want and throw the rest away?
That makes Sung-hoon the only one who knows what’s on that list, which means Director Baek and the Big Boss will be forced to work with him. Then he sets down the gun, asking if Director Baek wants a drink — they should celebrate the finding of the list.
Sung-hoon asks after Sung-joon, knowing that he spent the night in the hospital, but Director Baek tells him that nothing happened. Sung-hoon is also curious about the people around Sung-joon, so Director Baek reveals that Mi-rae is a reporter, which Sung-hoon agrees could make things more complicated. Regardless, he leaves it up to Director Baek to decide how he wants to handle her.
Hyung-shik and Soo-ho are worried about Jo-hye’s tenacity. If she finds out how much Hyung-shik has been helping Deuk-chun — including giving him a gun registered in Hyung-shik’s name — then their careers and reputations will be in serious danger. They both are still stubbornly loyal to Deuk-chun, though, as they promise not to betray their chief.
Chief Park — the one who was caught taking bribes — finds Hyung-shik and asks him what’s going on with Deuk-chun. He doesn’t understand why Deuk-chun would help the kidnapper escape, and when Hyung-shik is surprised that he knows about it since Jo-hye made it a private case, Chief Park reminds him that he still has his connections.
Chief Park is also convinced that Hyung-shik is in contact with Deuk-chun and wonders if Deuk-chun is okay. But Hyung-shik remains tight-lipped, promising to tell him everything after the case is over. Even so, Chief Park tells Hyung-shik to pass along the message that if Deuk-chun needs help, Chief Park still owes him a favor. Aw.
Director Baek is having a very bad day as he angrily tells himself that Sung-hoon has no right to order him around. After all, he says, Sung-hoon is only alive because of the injections Director Baek provides him. Director Baek’s ready to throw the latest box of injections out the car window when he gets a call from the Big Boss. His attitude changes as he apologizes, explaining that there’s been a change of plans.
Meanwhile, Jo-hye’s team investigate into Joo-shik and Byung-joon’s past, looking for some sort of connection. They discover that Byung-joon was the residing medical director of the prison at the same time that Joo-shik died — in fact, Byung-joon was the doctor who declared Joo-shik’s time of death. The next step is to investigate the prisoners who died in prison during the short period of time that Byung-joon was the medical director.
Mi-rae patiently sits by Sung-joon’s side, willing him to wake up. Her doctor friend arrives to check on him, but he also needs to talk to her in private. Even though Sung-joon looks like he’s in his twenties, the tests the doctor ran to figure out what’s wrong with him have revealed that Sung-joon’s internal organs are as deteriorated as someone in their sixties or seventies.
The doctor will need to run more tests, but he’s convinced that Sung-joon didn’t collapse because of whatever drug he was injected with, but because his organs aren’t functioning well. In fact, the doctor is amazed that Sung-joon has been able to survive this long.
Mi-rae returns to Sung-joon’s room, where she finds Deuk-chun watching over him. Deuk-chun feels guilty that he didn’t try to take care of Sung-joon when he first complained about not feeling well. He regrets now that he was too wrapped up in finding his daughter, and that he only cared about Sung-joon’s memories instead of caring for him as a person.
Mi-rae gently reminds him that Sung-joon’s condition isn’t his fault. But Deuk-chun points out that it’s not like he’s all that more charitable now either, since he can’t stop wondering about what’s happening to Soo-yeon while they wait for Sung-joon to wake up.
Mi-rae wonders why the other culprit — the twin-that’s-not-a-twin — is making Sung-joon suffer and take the blame for everything. Even if they look the same, she says, there must be some evidence that the other guy is responsible. Deuk-chun simply tells her that the other guy and Sung-joon are identical, down to their DNA and fingerprints.
In his lair, a sickly looking Sung-hoon stumbles and gasps as he frantically dumps out the desk drawer of syringes. Most of the boxes are empty, but he finds one and injects it into his hand. It immediately takes effect as Sung-hoon breathes easier.
While she waits for the results of Sung-joon’s CT scan, Mi-rae studies the photo of the original Sung-joon. She thinks back to the interaction she saw between Sung-joon and Sung-hoon and wonders if Sung-hoon knew about Sung-joon’s condition, since he said it’d be pointless to kill him when Sung-joon would die soon.
She begins to piece together all the clues, which lead her back to the conversation she had with Sunbae about cloning. Finding the idea too ridiculous though, she dazedly tells herself that it’s impossible.
A young woman is playing tennis when she gets a phone call from Big Boss. He apologizes, saying that there’s a problem, but she says that they’ll let Sung-hoon have his way for now — they’ll still keep an eye on him, though. Then she asks how long it will be before he can get her all the organs she needs. Ohhhhhh, is she the real Big Boss?
Mi-rae and the doctor study Sung-joon’s CT scans, and he’s in even worse condition than the doctor imagined because all of Sung-joon’s organs are in terrible shape. He finds something small and metallic in Sung-joon’s hand, though, which is odd.
Meanwhile, Deuk-chun steps outside the clinic to see Director Baek’s car parked nearby. That’s also odd, because there’s no way Director Baek should have known where they went. Deuk-chun realizes that the metal object in Sung-joon’s hand is actually a GPS device — so that not only explains the cut on Sung-joon’s hand when Deuk-chun first met him (mimicking the cut Sung-hoon got from the gurney when he kidnapped Soo-yeon), but also how Sung-hoon and Director Baek have been tracking them.
Deuk-chun asks if he can borrow Mi-rae’s car, and she willingly hands over her keys, wondering where he’s going. But Deuk-chun simply tells her how thankful he is, and that if Sung-joon wakes up, to move him somewhere else since it’s not safe here. Deuk-chun adds that they shouldn’t wait for him to return and promises to return her car to her eventually.
Sunbae arrives at the clinic, and when he realizes that Deuk-chun has left and that Sung-joon’s still unconscious, he tells Mi-rae that this is their chance to escape. But Mi-rae stubbornly refuses to leave Sung-joon’s side.
Director Baek follows Sung-joon’s GPS tracking, and that leads us to the intro scene, where Director Baek cautiously approaches the car parked in the field. There’s no one in the car, but Sung-joon’s GPS chip is sitting on the driver’s seat. Deuk-chun had it removed from Sung-joon’s hand.
Deuk-chun appears to point his gun at Director Baek’s head as he reminds Director Baek that he could end up being lured when he’s following someone. Yep, Director Baek is having a very bad day. Then, Deuk-chun knocks him out.
Mi-rae tells Sunbae about her theory that Sung-joon is somehow related to the man in the photo, who she believes to be her father. Sunbae thinks it’s impossible that Sung-joon could have had memories of her mother being pregnant with her, since there’s no way Sung-joon can be much older than Mi-rae’s twenty-seven years.
Sunbae studies the photo, agreeing that the man in the photo does look an awful lot like Sung-joon. But upon closer inspection, Sunbae points out the date on the calendar in the background: 1993. It’s impossible for Sung-joon to be the same person.
The tennis-playing young woman is also apparently a chaebol, because as she’s later escorted to a secret lab, the scientist asks her not to tell the chairman. The woman asks, “Who, my father? Or my brother?”
The scientist shows her a human-sized capsule that has been there since “the incident” in 1993. He unlocks the capsule to reveal a man cryogenically frozen inside. A huge Y-shaped scar covers his chest, and he looks exactly like Sung-hoon and Sung-joon.
And in the clinic, Sung-joon’s eyes open.
Talk about an ending that makes you immediately want more! I’m pretty sure this is the Original Human — the one that is in Mi-rae’s photo, the one from the memory where Joo-shik and Byung-joon attack, pin-down, and then proceed to steal his organs. The Tennis Lady must be one of Sanyoung’s chaebols, although maybe she’s not the direct heir to the company, since her brother apparently runs the company. (And is her brother that creepy dude whose daughter was kidnapped in the first episode? Because the conspiracy theorist in me is convinced that that case is still somehow related to the clones.)
I continue to be in love with Mi-rae. She’s the first one who’s been able to figure out that these are clones (even if she can’t really believe it yet). She also has such a sweet relationship with everyone around her. I love the way she was so concerned for Deuk-chun, giving him the medication and reminding him to take care of his health — the same way that Soo-yeon would, I’m sure, if she were in that situation.
Those quiet moments in the hospital have really given some heart and depth to this action-packed show, and I’m hoping there will be more of the burgeoning father-daughter relationship between them. After all, Mi-rae’s looking for answers about a father she never knew, and he’s desperately trying to find his daughter — in the meantime, they have each other.
I’m also hoping for a similar reciprocal relationship to happen between Soo-yeon and Sung-hoon. Yes, he may be her captor, but I’m not convinced he’s 100% evil. Those flashbacks to when he was a little boy nearly broke my heart. The logistics of cloning are still a mystery to me, but I guess I never really thought about Sung-hoon being a young boy, forced to endure whatever procedures that would come with experiments in cloning. I do wonder, though, how clones age. Were Sung-joon and Sung-hoon “born” in 1993, and then “grew up” in a manner that matches the rate of human growth, even if their body deteriorates at a rate three times faster?
Because I am slightly baffled by how Sung-joon — who shows no signs of scarring, indicating that his internal organs are all his own — has such old and decrepit organs when he still looks so young. The skin is an organ, too, and I feel like if he was aging at an expedited rate, he should look like a man in his sixties to match his internal organs.
Then again, the big question is: Who was Sung-joon cloned from? Because things begin to make a little more sense if Sung-joon wasn’t cloned from the Original Human but instead cloned from Sung-hoon, whose good, healthy organs have been replaced with the defective, aging organs that were taken from the people on the all-important donor list. (At least, that’s what I’m assuming happened to his organs.)
Unlike a lot of other dramas, my bafflement is a actually a good thing, since my confusion is due to learning about what’s going on as the characters make discoveries, and not merely because of faulty writing. While it is a little frustrating getting teeny-tiny new tidbits each episode since I want to know everything right now, a large part of what’s so compelling about his show is trying to figure out the mystery based on the limited clues currently available.
Thank goodness our heroes are not especially slow on the uptake — even though Mi-rae is the first to seriously consider cloning, Jo-hye is not too far behind in realizing there’s something odd about a Sung-joon lookalike with matching DNA. Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we learn what really happened during the cloning experiments and “the incident” that caused Sanyoung to lock the research away for so long.
- 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