Two Cops: Episodes 5-6
I haven’t had this much fun watching a police drama in… well, ever. The action is tight, the characters are engaging, and I actually care about the mystery they’re trying to solve. I love the reluctant partnership forming between our grumpy detective and his soul-bound sidekick—with Dong-tak as the brawn and Su-chang as the brain, I have confidence they can take on anything.
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Detective Dong-tak hides when he realizes the killer has crept inside the police station, and makes the first move. He tries to fight off his attacker, but they’re pretty evenly matched. Con man Su-chang’s soul is also there, and he desperately tries to pick up something to throw at the killer, but his hands go right through everything.
The killer manages to get Dong-tak on his back, and aims his knife at Dong-tak’s heart. Su-chang tries to grab a nearby bookcase and push it over, but again, he can’t even touch it.
As Su-chang grows more frantic, suddenly his hands are able to grip the bookcase. He screams at Dong-tak to move, and miraculously, Dong-tak hears him. He rolls out from under the killer just as Su-chang pushes the bookcase over.
The fight resumes, and this time, Dong-tak pins the killer to the floor. Reporter Ji-an walks into the office just then, distracting Dong-tak for only a second, but it’s enough for the killer to push him off.
The killer runs out, bumping into Ji-an on the way and dropping something on the floor before getting on his motorcycle and speeding away. Dong-tak jumps into his car, joined by Ji-an, and they peel out after the killer.
Dong-tak hits the gas, weaving through traffic to keep up with the motorcycle. But suddenly the car is surrounded by a motorcycle gang, the same one that Dong-tak and Su-chang fought on the night of their accident. The gang starts smashing the windows just as Dong-tak realizes that his brakes don’t work.
Dong-tak swerves past a street barrier and into an alley, losing the gang, only to find himself careening towards a construction vehicle. At the last second, Dong-tak yanks the wheel and pulls the parking brake, slamming the car into a pile of dirt and stopping just inches before being impaled by steel pipes.
The gang drives away, and Dong-tak and Ji-an sit stunned for a moment. Then Ji-an realizes that Dong-tak has an arm thrown across her chest, with his hand right on her breast, ha. He yanks his hand back, and Ji-an launches into a fear-driven tirade.
She stops when she sees the cut on Dong-tak’s forehead, and she finds a bandage to put on it. He deadpans that he’ll arrest her if she doesn’t have a license to practice medicine, earning a retaliatory poke on his cut.
Ji-an asks if the helmeted attacker really killed his old partner Hang-joon. Dong-tak says he’s not sure, since detectives earn a lot of enemies. He adds that he thinks the motorcycle gang is more dangerous, and that he’s become their target for some reason. Ji-an wonders if the gang is sending him a warning, but Dong-tak has fallen fast asleep.
Left behind, Su-chang wonders who attacked Dong-tak. He thinks about how he was able to push the bookcase over, and hilariously concludes that he must have superpowers. He tries to kick over a can on the ground with flair, but just ends up falling on his butt.
On the drive back, Dong-tak looks at the now-sleeping Ji-an, marveling at how brave she is, though he chides her for being brave without a plan. He reaches up to push her bangs off her face, pulling back when she rouses a bit. He sighs and closes his eyes, and HA, we belatedly see that they’re being towed.
The next morning, the detectives find the station wrecked after Dong-tak’s fight. Rookie Sung-hyuk tells them what happened, and Detective Park is shocked to see Ji-an casually saunter through the room, fresh from a shower, with Dong-tak right on her heels after washing up too.
The detectives hold a meeting, where Dong-tak tells them that he thinks last night’s attacker is Hang-joon’s killer, and that the gang is the same one from the night of his accident. Detective Yoo orders the guys to make a list of every biker who’s in a gang.
Dong-tak adds that they need to find the so-called witness who placed Su-chang at Hang-joon’s murder scene, since it was his false statement that caused Su-chang to be arrested and injured. Eager Sung-hyuk says that Dong-tak mentioned that before, so he’s already looked into it.
Not only did the false witness give a fake address, but he also has several assault charges on his record. Detective Yoo tells them to investigate him further, since there’s obviously more to Hang-joon’s murder than meets the eye.
After Detective Yoo dismisses the team, he asks Dong-tak if he thinks the broken CCTV cameras that night were a coincidence. Dong-tak agrees that it’s strange, and they decide to keep their suspicions between them for now.
Ji-an waits for Dong-tak, looking closely at the matchbox that the killer dropped when he ran past her the night before. She hides it when Dong-tak approaches and insists on going with him as the only witness who saw his attacker. He asks if she doesn’t have family or a home to go to, but she says she doesn’t have any family to speak of.
In the parking lot, Dong-tak tells Ji-an that she can’t follow him. She says he’ll regret it, but he answers that he already regrets putting her in danger last night. Something in his voice sounds scared, but Ji-an accuses him of meaning that she’s getting in his way, and he lets her continue thinking it.
At the sincere look in his eyes, Ji-an agrees not to follow him. Before he goes, Dong-tak asks if Ji-an heard any strange voices during the fight last night. She asks if he’s trying to scare her off by pretending there’s a ghost, and Dong-tak just stands there awkwardly for a second before walking away, heh.
Meanwhile, Su-chang visits his comatose body and tries again to jump back in, with no luck. He screams at the sky, asking why he’s still stuck outside his body when he’s been found innocent of Hang-joon’s murder.
His accomplice, Bong-sook, comes running in, and Su-chang holds his arms out for her to run into. But she goes right through him to cry over his body on the bed, giving him a chill as she passes through.
He grumbles that he’s not dead yet as Bong-sook wails that he wouldn’t be a bachelor ghost if he’d just married her when she asked. She says that she saw the detective who put him here and vows revenge, while Su-chang tries to tell her that that was him.
Dong-tak and the detectives ask around about a biker with a tattoo of wings on the back of his neck. Ji-an calls Dong-tak to meet, teasing him when he rushes right over, and then hands him the list of motorcycle gang members she’s already compiled. She says that none of them were out last night according to traffic records, wondering where all the guys who chased them came from.
Noting one name, Dong-tak calls Detective Park about the case that Hang-joon was investigating just before he died. Five nights before Hang-joon’s murder, a taxi driver drove into a parked car at high speed. He hadn’t been drinking, but was depressed, and had been heard saying that he wanted to die. The case was determined a suicide and closed.
Remembering his own close call, Dong-tak asks if the driver hit a construction truck, and Detective Park says yes. After they hang up, Detective Park learns that the driver was a witness in an old car accident case.
Trying to figure out why his soul is still stuck, Su-chang concludes that he must not have possessed Dong-tak’s body to prove his innocence like he thought. He wonders if he could slip into anyone’s body, but when he tries, he passes right through and nothing happens.
He happens to spot the strange woman who drew his picture, Miss Bong, and follows her outside the hospital. She says hello, making Su-chang nearly cry to realize that she can see him. As she pokes his cheek, nurse Da-jung watches her sadly, hoping she’s taking her medication.
Su-chang asks Miss Bong why he could possess Dong-tak’s body, and she tells him dreamily that he and Dong-tak are fated partners. She says he has some “homework” to do concerning their fate, and that everything in this world comes back to its starting place. She adds, “You both came back to the starting point of your fate.”
She says she’s not sure if he and Dong-tak knew each other before, but she informs him that he has forty-nine days to untangle karma’s web. She warns that he can’t possess Dong-tak again without his permission, and when Su-chang asks what happens if he fails his homework, she says that he’ll die, obviously.
Dong-tak and Ji-an visit a contact at the transportation office to see the CCTV footage of the taxi driver’s accident. He tells them the footage was destroyed when the case was closed, but shows them a recording of another accident that happened nearby.
They watch as a motorcycle gang drives down the street, and Dong-tak recognizes their clothing. He tells Ji-an how Hang-joon kept investigating the taxi driver’s death after the case was closed, then takes her to pick up his car at the auto shop.
The mechanic says that his brake line was cut, and confirms that the taxi driver’s car was also tampered with in the exact same way. He says that he learned later that the prosecutor left out his report, and remembers telling Hang-joon about it. When he compares photos, he determines that the cuts on both brake lines were made by the same tool.
Dong-tak realizes that the taxi driver must have been murdered, and that when Hang-joon kept digging into the case, he became a target. He tells Ji-an that Hang-joon found something and had tried to tell him about it. He shows her the lighter that was found in Hang-joon’s jacket, and that reminds her to hand over the matchbox the killer dropped at the station.
He asks for her car keys, and when Ji-an hands them over, Dong-tak gives them to the mechanic and asks him to check her car. While Ji-an is distracted, he jumps in his own car and speeds away without her.
Police Superintendent Ma enjoys a fancy lunch with Chief Prosecutor Tak, who gets a text informing him that Dong-tak was asking questions at the mechanic’s. Chief Prosecutor Tak actually praises Dong-tak’s persistence, but he murmurs cryptically that a large carriage is rolling along to serve the country, and a small pebble is in its way.
He wonders if the pebble should be crushed or if the carriage should go around it, and his lackey promises that Dong-tak will be taken care of. Superintendent Ma asks to be allowed to handle it, and Chief Prosecutor Tak grins evilly.
Dong-tak follows the characters on the killer’s matchbox, which lead him to a Japanese restaurant. Sung-hyuk goes inside while Dong-tak walks around the building and finds a motorcycle parked out back. He goes in to ask who the motorcycle belongs to, and an employee makes a mad dash out the door.
Dong-tak follows him, and HA, when the guy tries to start his bike, a part falls off since Dong-tak already made sure to disassemble it. Smart thinking, detective. The biker takes off on foot, and Dong-tak and Sung-hyuk chase him into an alley, where he tries to climb over the fence. Just as he’s straddling it, Sung-hyuk catches up, grabs his leg, and gives a hard yank. HAHA, he’s so proud of himself for catching the bad guy.
They handcuff the biker to the fence, and Dong-tak looks on his phone to find a biker’s chatroom. Dong-tak’s name was given out as a target, but the biker swears he doesn’t know anything about the leader. Dong-tak gives him a long hard look, then decides that new handcuffs are cheap and leaves him there. The biker calls out that he’s never seen the face of the man who gives the orders, and that the gang just takes the money and “herds the rabbit.”
Dong-tak makes the biker take them to some of his buddies, but none of them knows how to find the person in charge. Guessing that he’ll be angry after last night’s failure, Dong-tak instructs the biker to post a message saying where he’ll be tonight.
Back at the station, the internal affairs investigators storm in, loudly bellowing for Dong-tak. Detective Park calls Dong-tak to hurry back to the office, and when he gets there, they play recordings of the swindlers he arrested. All of them are suing him for assault, but Dong-tak confidently tells the investigators to do as they please.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Superintendent Ma orders Detective Yoo to give his investigation of Hang-joon’s death to another team. He says that internal affairs thinkstak staged the so-called attack at the station to manufacture a reason to keep investigating. Detective Yoo doesn’t believe that, but he’s forced to obey.
Su-chang heads back to the station to find Dong-tak, worried about Miss Bong’s warning that he has to possess Dong-tak’s body again and discover their linked fate, or he’ll die. He has no clue what the “homework” she mentioned could be, but decides that he can figure it out while using Dong-tak’s body.
He spots Dong-tak leaving the station and tries to just run into his body, but it doesn’t work. He’s confused until he remembers that he has to have Dong-tak’s permission, so he chases the detective, determined to get it.
Watch the scene
Dong-tak thinks he’s lost his marbles
He chatters nonstop while Dong-tak drives, but Dong-tak just thinks his radio is broken. When Su-chang grumbles about Hang-joon having wanted them to meet, Dong-tak asks himself why the radio is talking about Hang-joon, and Su-chang says it’s not the radio.
It worries Dong-tak to hear the “radio” answering him, but he really flips when Su-chang tells him who he is. Dong-tak screams and slams on the brakes, throwing Su-chang’s soul out of the car by way of the windshield, not that Dong-tak can see it.
He jumps out of the car and starts yelling at it, assuming that someone bugged it. He looks like a crazy person as he searches for the bug all over the car, yelling at the top of his lungs and even whipping off his shirt, while amused bystanders film his tantrum.
Su-chang tells Dong-tak that there’s no bug, and it really is him. Still thinking it’s a trick, Dong-tak gets upset to think that someone is using his guilt over Su-chang against him. An observer uploads a recording of Dong-tak’s tantrum online, where Ji-an finds it.
Dong-tak stomps along the river ranting like a loon as Su-chang insists that he really did possess Dong-tak, then got pushed out of his body. Dong-tak tries to get a hold of himself, blaming his rough week on the fact that he’s hearing voices, but eventually he stops to ask if this is real.
Su-chang reminds Dong-tak that just before their accident, he’d asked him if he really wasn’t the killer, repeating the question word for word. He says that he saw in Dong-tak’s eyes that he believed him. So they go to Su-chang’s hospital room, where Dong-tak admits that he’s probably crazy, but he’s willing to entertain that Su-chang’s soul really did leave his body.
Su-chang tries to possess him again, but it doesn’t work, and he grumbles about needing permission. He confirms that Su-chang possessed his body after their accident and worked on the case during that time, though he still thinks it sounds insane.
Su-chang asks if Dong-tak remembers anything from those days, and how people reacted once he was back. Dong-tak recalls his coworkers saying that he’d been acting strange, and Ji-an claiming that he promised to give her information. He seems to have an epiphany, so Su-chang gets excited, only for Dong-tak to whisper, “I’m definitely sick.”
Back in the car, Su-chang gets petty revenge by whistling tunelessly and making weird noises in Dong-tak’s ear, ha. He stops to ask Dong-tak about the pendant he wears, but Dong-tak just pretends he can’t hear him.
He gets a call from the biker, who tells him that their boss took the bait and the biker gang has been instructed to “herd” him tonight. Dong-tak calls prosecutor Jae-hee to ask for backup, but Jae-hee only chastises him for bypassing protocol again, confusing him.
Stopping at a park, Dong-tak gives up on ignoring Su-chang and asks him, as an intelligent con man, what he should do when the police won’t help him and he needs more manpower. Grinning, Su-chang says that when you need help, you ask a brother.
That “brother” happens to be gangster Yong-pal, who gets a kick out of being the one with the power this time. He points out that Dong-tak has beaten up every one of his boys at some point, so he grins and offers Dong-tak a deal—let them beat him up in kind, and he’ll consider helping him.
Dong-tak calls him crazy, so Yong-pal just shrugs and sends him on his way (with a nice coffee, which cracks me up). Su-chang tells Dong-tak that you have to con guys like this, but Dong-tak just marches out and comes back with a duffel bag filled with the various weapons he beat up Yong-pal’s men with, from bats to slippers, to make it fair.
Yong-pal is incredulous, but Dong-tak says he really needs his help. Yong-pal tells his men to do it, and true to his word, Dong-tak doesn’t fight back as they beat the stuffing out of him. During a lull in the beating, Yong-pal asks Dong-tak why he’s going this far.
Dong-tak gasps that it’s his job, because “They think nothing of the law. They herd people with bikes and kill them, stab people to death, and turn our country into a mess. I have to punish them. That’s a detective’s job.” Yong-pal walks away, and Su-chang looks a little shaken as he asks, “Cha Dong-tak, what are you?”
At midnight, Dong-tak is prepared to set off his plan. Su-chang lights up when Ji-an calls, but he pouts when she asks Dong-tak about the “ghost.” She teases him, asking Dong-tak if he’s made friends with the ghost, and he just says, “Not yet.”
Ji-an mentions the video of his public meltdown, making Dong-tak cringe and Su-chang laugh. She wants to meet up to get info on Hang-joon’s case, but Dong-tak says he’s busy working. Ji-an tells him not to get hurt, since crybaby cops make great news fodder.
Dong-tak asks dryly if that’s concern or a threat, and tells her that he’s just after illegal trash dumpers. She asks why he’s pushing her away again, and Su-chang pipes up, “Because you’re pretty.” Dong-tak mindlessly repeats, “Because you’re pretty,” and when Ji-an squeaks in surprise, he reflexively hangs upon her, hee.
The guys bicker over whether Dong-tak was right to lie to Ji-an about what he’s doing tonight. Su-chang sighs that Ji-an is a brave woman, and Dong-tak says she’s brave without a plan. Su-chang adds that she’s pretty, and under his breath, Dong-tak mutters, “Very pretty.”
Ji-an looks up an old article from 2001, about a detective who took his own life when he was exposed for taking bribes. She smiles a bit and says that Dong-tak is nothing like her father.
Watch the scene
Dong-tak accidentally tells Ji-an she’s pretty
As the time nears for his confrontation, Su-chang says that they’re on their own again, just like that night. Dong-tak drives to the meeting spot, and soon they’re surrounded by the motorcycle gang, just as they planned.
The bikers start smashing their windows again, making Su-chang scream like a little wuss, but Dong-tak grits his teeth and hits the gas. He manages to lose the entire gang by blocking them into a narrow street, and Su-chang regains his courage and vows to get those guys when he has his own body back.
Dong-tak answers a call from rookie Sung-hyuk, who tells him to look behind him. They’re joined by four cars as Sung-hyuk crows that as Dong-tak’s office wife, he has the greatest respect for him. He’s come to help, and brought some friends. I luff this kid.
They pass some cars going the other way, and see Yong-pal driving the lead car. Yong-pal makes a U-turn and joins Dong-tak’s growing following with some of his gang, though he mutters to himself that he’s not here because he likes Dong-tak. Aww, yay anyway!
Su-chang is delighted, and Sung-hyuk alerts Dong-tak to the fact that the ringleader’s phone signal is being picked up in the area. Dong-tak looks at the scar on his hand as he anticipates catching Hang-joon’s killer tonight.
The biker gang catches up to Dong-tak’s car, but this time when they surround him, they find themselves surrounded by Sung-hyuk, Yong-pal, and their friends. Dong-tak gets a call from Detective Yoo with the rest of their team, joking that he likes to make a dramatic entrance, and Dong-tak looks like he might cry at their show of loyalty.
The detectives position themselves, and the others herd the biker gang right into their trap. They’re surrounded by cars, and when Dong-tak spots a familiar black helmet, he jumps out of his car. The biker gets away and Dong-tak follows, leaving the others to handle the rest of the gang.
He chases the biker into a blind alley, and the biker swings his motorcycle around to face Dong-tak’s car. They rev their engines and head straight for each other. Neither stops, and the biker goes flying over Dong-tak’s hood.
Terrified, Su-chang suffers another flashback of a young boy trapped in an overturned truck, crying for his father, who was covered in blood. Another boy in a white sweater approached the car, then a different young man pulled the truck door open.
Sometime later, still in the flashback, the boy from the accident cried to someone in the hospital that his father wasn’t the culprit. Su-chang thinks to himself in the present, “Is that why I went into Cha Dong-tak’s body?”
The biker hits the pavement, and Dong-tak jumps out and runs to him. He rips the man’s helmet off, revealing that it’s Doo-shik, the guy who framed Su-chang on Superintendent Ma’s orders. Doo-shik growls that he should have killed Dong-tak last night, but Dong-tak just flips him around to reveal the tattoo of wings on the back of his neck.
Having confirmed that he’s got the right man, Dong-tak asks Doo-shik if he killed Hang-joon. Strangely, Doo-shik seems confused at first, but then he grins widely and says that he was the killer. With a scream, Dong-tak punches him to the ground, then grabs him by the throat as if to throttle him.
Looking both horrified and confused, Su-chang wonders why Doo-shik is doing this. Doo-shik says again that he killed Hang-joon, and when Dong-tak asks why, he says Hang-joon shouldn’t have been digging into that closed case. Dong-tak pulls back a fist to punch him again, but Su-chang screams, “He’s not the killer!”
Dong-tak freezes and looks back at Su-chang. Su-chang says again that Doo-shik isn’t Hang-joon’s killer, and Dong-tak asks how he knows. Su-chang says haltingly, “Because… I saw the killer’s face.”
With one last punch for Doo-shik, Dong-tak stands and turns to Su-chang. Su-chang asks Dong-tak to let him into his body, offering to help him find the killer. As they face off, Su-chang flickers in and out, and Dong-tak seems to see him for the first time.
Well, I’m confused. But I mean that in a good way! I wasn’t expecting to discover the identity of Hang-joon’s killer so quickly, but I wonder if Su-chang knows something, because it certainly looks like Doo-shik is Hang-joon’s murderer. Either way, I like how this seems to point to the story going somewhere other than simply “catch the killer,” and that makes me excited to see what else the show has in store. I have a feeling that Hang-joon’s murder and the reasons for it go very deep, and that Dong-tak and Su-chang will unearth something very dark and dangerous before they’re done. It obviously all started when Hang-joon kept digging into the case of the taxi driver’s supposed suicide after being told to drop it, and he probably got too close to whatever caused the driver to be disposed of. I’m very curious to learn who is killing anyone who knows anything about this secret, and why.
Okay, so Dong-tak can hear Su-chang, but he can’t see him. That’s pretty interesting, and should make for some fun hijinks as well as some creative solutions when it’s time for them to work together. Aside from being highly amusing, I thought it felt very realistic the way Dong-tak resisted the idea that he’s basically being haunted by Su-chang’s soul, because sometimes I think that the characters in supernatural dramas accept their strange situations a bit too easily. It makes more sense for Dong-tak to assume he’s sick or injured, than that he’s really been possessed by the spirit of a comatose swindler. And it’s very in-character for him to resist the supernatural explanation as long as possible, but also to accept it when he realizes that he needs Su-chang’s help.
What I’m really interested in is what happens to Dong-tak when Su-chang is in control of his body? And what did Miss Bong mean when she said they came back to the starting point of their fate? I’m guessing that one of them is the boy from Su-chang’s memories, the one in the accident, and the other is the boy who rescued him (logic says that Su-chang is the younger boy, but I’m assuming nothing). And clearly, Dong-tak’s pendant means something, because he got evasive when Su-chang mentioned it. I’m not generally a huge fan of the “fated because they met as children” trope, but in this case it’s interesting because it’s not a love fate, but seems to be a situation where one owes the other, and Fate is trying to balance the scale. So what happened to them as children that linked them somehow, and what do they need to do to close their circle?
So far I’m really feeling confident that Two Cops will remain excellent throughout its run—the acting is fantastic, the cinematography is interesting without being a distraction, and the story is compelling and unpredictable. I particularly appreciate the balance of seriousness and humor, and the way they’re interwoven so that we get both in the same scene without the humor feeling jarring or shoehorned in. The scene where Dong-tak touched Ji-an’s hair is a perfect example—just as I got worried about how he was driving while staring at her, the camera pulled back to show us that in fact, the car was being towed. There are lots of little touches like that that add a bit of humor without going over the top, like Yong-pal giving Dong-tak a coffee before he left. These moments are funny enough to give me a chuckle, while still feeling subtle and natural to the show.
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