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Life on Mars: Episode 6

More family hijinx are in store for Tae-joo as we take a turn for the sentimental this hour. Tae-joo is finally face to face with the man he seems to have been trying to forget. Ever since falling into 1988, Tae-joo’s been forced to face his fractured past but the more he remembers, the more his world is turned upside-down.

 
EPISODE 6 RECAP

While attempting to bust the notorious “Lottery Gang,” our time-traveling detective Tae-joo and company stumble across Tae-joo’s father instead. The shock sends Tae-joo reeling and he flashes back to a happy memory of Dad bringing him the game ball before shifting to him sobbing in his mother’s embrace. Mom assures Young Tae-joo that Dad had to leave without warning, but that he loves him and will return soon. However, judging from the dark tones and what appears to be a mourning ribbon in her hair, it seems unlikely.

Upon returning to the station, fellow officer Na-young greets the team but Tae-joo is too freaked out to respond. Dad tries to negotiate a trip to the bathroom but officer Yong-ki snaps that if it’s urgent, he can go where he stands. Tae-joo steps in and unlocks Dad’s cuffs, much to Yong-ki’s annoyance.

Yong-ki grows antsy while waiting for Dad to finish his business. Ignoring Tae-joo’s insistence that Dad will be out soon, Yong-ki bursts in to find Dad tying the door shut with his pants. Dad panics and scrambles out the window and the detectives give chase. They follow him out into the parking lot, where their captain Dong-chul manages to apprehend Dad by opening his car door just in time to send the escapee flying over it.

In the interrogation room, Na-young treats Dad’s wounds and as thanks, he shows her some cheesy magic tricks with his pen. Dong-chul reprimands him for fooling around instead of writing up his statement, while Tae-joo watches with an uncertain expression. Dad swears he knows nothing of the Lottery Gang and merely works at the brothel.

He admits that he’s supposed to be working in Saudi Arabia, but after his travel money was stolen, he was too embarrassed to return home empty-handed. At the mention of his son, Dad brightens and proudly produces a picture of Young Tae-joo. Dong-chul chuckles that the boy is much cuter than some other Tae-joo he knows, but muses that they look similar.

Dad is thrilled to learn that the young detective shares his son’s name and wonders if they’re somehow related. Fortunately, Dong-chul smacks Dad in the head with his clipboard before Tae-joo is forced to fabricate a response. Dad grins sheepishly and returns to writing his statement.

When Dad has finished, Dong-chul agrees to release him on the condition that officer Nam-shik accompanies him home and confirms his address. Tae-joo volunteers to go instead and Dad asks to make a quick detour. They stop off at the bathhouse so Dad can clean up before facing his family. Tae-joo stares distractedly at his father until Dad catches him and offers to scrub his back. Despite Tae-joo’s protestation, Dad insists and it brings forth Tae-joo’s memories of visiting the bathhouse together in his childhood.

Afterwards, Dad takes Tae-joo to the Hawaii Room Salon—where he’s been staying since he was robbed. Dad notices Tae-joo’s uncomfortable expression as he looks around the closet-sized space. Laughing self-consciously, Dad admits that he had nowhere else to go and this was all he could afford.

Unwilling to go home empty-handed, Dad shuffles to the kitchen and fills his pockets with candy for his son. He then starts piling the fruit set out for customers into a basket. Tae-joo asks what he plans to do with it and when Dad replies that it’s for his family, Tae-joo snatches it away. Instead, he takes Dad to buy a nicer fruit basket with fresh fruits. Aww.

Dad leads Tae-joo to the beauty salon where Tae-joo already knows his mother lives and works. Taking one of the candies from his pocket, Dad offers it to Tae-joo as thanks before scurrying happily to the shop door. Peeking inside, Dad is met with a fiery glare and Tae-joo’s aunt bursts outside to grab him by the ears.

She drags Dad inside and Tae-joo follows the sound of their bickering all the way to the kitchen. Aunt is furious that Dad sold the house to pay for his trip to Saudi Arabia. Dad argues that he was trying to make money, but Aunt points out that he came back broke.

It’s all Dad can do to defuse the situation by diverting her attention to Tae-joo. Aunt’s demeanor takes a 180 degree turn and she smiles coyly. Her tone softens as she greets him and Dad is stunned that they know each other. This revelation is interrupted by the arrival of Mom and Young Tae-joo.

Dad immediately scoops up his son and they giggle together before Dad turns to Mom. He bashfully apologizes for giving his wife a hard time. Mom only notes that Dad looks weary and they hold hands until Mom notices Tae-joo standing awkwardly in the doorway.

Dad deems their connection fated and despite Tae-joo’s objections, the family insists he stay for dinner. As they gather around the table, Tae-joo soaks up the warmth he’s surely missed in his 2018 life, watching as his family dotes so lovingly on his younger self.

The peaceful moment is interrupted when the women ask why detective Tae-joo is with Dad. Tae-joo doesn’t argue when his father sputters out a lie that he’s helping the police with a “secret investigation.” Although not entirely convinced, Mom does look relieved. Meanwhile, Aunt continues to flirt with Adult Tae-joo, much to his discomfort.

After dinner, Tae-joo watches his mother washing Dad’s clothes. She smiles, discovering the pocketful of candy, before wincing. Holding her wrist, Mom attempts to ease the pain by applying a hot rag, but Tae-joo steps out and exchanges it for a cold cloth.

He tells her a cold pack is more effective and urges her to visit the hospital if the pain persists for more than a week. At Mom’s quizzical expression, Tae-joo continues that peritenonitus lasts longer than she’d think and admits that his mother was also a hairdresser who suffered the same affliction.

He says his mother had to quit working when he was in middle school and suggests that Mom go to the hospital before it worsens. She promises to do so and Tae-joo gets up to leave. Mom stops him to ask if Dad really didn’t cause trouble and Tae-joo assures her that’s not the case. She wonders how they’ll ever repay Tae-joo for everything he’s done, and while Tae-joo says there’s no need, she insists he stop by for a haircut.

Outside, someone calls out to him and Tae-joo turns to find his younger self staring up at him. He takes the boy to the corner store for banana milk and Young Tae-joo marvels at their shared name. He asks if the detective carries a gun and is disappointed when Tae-joo says no, but happily settles for playing with his handcuffs.

Young Tae-joo says the detective is cool, but his dad is cooler. Pulling a candy from his pocket, the boy hands it to our Tae-joo and says it was a present from his dad, but he’ll share just one with the detective. Slipping his wrist through one cuff, Young Tae-joo hands the other to our detective and they playfully tug back and forth. It’s surreal but so cute.

Later that night, Na-young arrives at the bar to find Tae-joo sitting alone with a few already empty bottles at his table. Walking over, Na-young asks if Tae-joo escorted his “father” home safely. He looks up, surprised, until Na-young explains she was joking since Dad’s son had the same name.

Tae-joo says Dad got home fine and Na-young cheerfully bounces into the seat opposite him. She asks about the candy piece sitting on the table and a secret smile spreads across his face as he tells her it’s a gift from his father.

Tae-joo continues that when he was young, his father would bring him something in his suit pocket whenever he went out. “I always looked forward to what my father’s pocket may have inside,” Tae-joo says, “And I put my hand in his pocket… and this is what came out of there today.”

His expression sobers as he pours himself another drink. Tae-joo confesses that he used to consider his father his everything, and thought he knew everything about his father. “But that wasn’t true at all,” Tae-joo finishes.

Na-young listens quietly and then asks if Tae-joo has ever seen his father’s back. She explains that fathers always want to appear cool and confident in their children’s eyes. It wasn’t until she grew up that she found out that her father had also been hiding a weaker side that was suffering.

Tae-joo thinks over her words and asks if she’s going home. Na-young sighs that she has more paperwork to do and asks Tae-joo to pour her a drink. He complies and on the other side of the bar, the barman cheekily plays some romantic music. Hee.

The next morning, Tae-joo grabs breakfast from the corner store and settles into the passenger seat of Dong-chul’s car. Suddenly the radio goes wild and a woman’s voice urgently informs him that his brain activity is dropping. Tae-joo tries to respond but she just pleads with him not to give up.

Tae-joo demands to know who’s talking and the radio crackles before Na-young responds. She tells him a body has been found and Dong-chul—who must’ve been sleeping in the driver’s seat—springs forward and snatches the radio. He cranks the engine and Tae-joo sighs that they’re on a one-way street. Undeterred, Dong-chul speeds backwards. Ignoring Tae-joo’s resigned remark that he’s committing a traffic violation, Dong-chul merely flips around using a side street and continues driving the wrong way down the one-way street.

At the crime scene, the detectives wonder if the man got drunk and froze to death. Finding a busted watch under the body, Tae-joo says that’s unlikely as it would take an hour minimum to freeze to death but it seems the man died in under fifty minutes. Yong-ki scoffs at Tae-joo’s deduction and snidely calls him “Detective Columbo.”

Dong-chul rifles through the dead man’s wallet and questions why the man was found so far from his own neighborhood. He tells Yong-ki to check it out, but when he goes to hand over the ID, both men stop and look warily at Tae-joo. Yong-ki carefully grabs the card using the tail of his shirt and slips it into his pocket.

Next, Dong-chul finds a slip of paper with a phone number scrawled across it. He assigns it to Nam-shik, but when the young detective moves to take it, Dong-chul again shoots a pointed look at Tae-joo. He tentatively asks if it’s okay to handle normally, and Tae-joo nods. How cute, they’re trying to preserve fingerprints!

Finally, Dong-chul pulls two Opening Day baseball tickets from the wallet. Yong-ki nearly swipes them but Dong-chul sends him and Nam-shik on their way… before trying to slip them into his own pocket. Tae-joo catches him and Dong-chul laughs it off, passing the tickets to another officer for safekeeping.

They meet up with a sneezy Manager Park at the clinic, where he informs them that the victim died from a heart attack. He confirms that the man was a heavy drinker, but it wasn’t alcohol that killed him—rather, a rusty pipe to the ribs triggered his heart failure.

Back at the station, Nam-shik reports that there was no answer when he called the number. Yong-ki has discovered that the victim had lived with his wife and child before his divorce the previous year. Now, he lives alone and his only relative—a distant one—avoided him due to his bad drinking habits. His drinking, along with his criminal record (seven property damage charges and three violent assaults), destroyed his marriage.

Na-young reveals that the victim’s ex-wife lives with her child and new husband just twenty minutes from the crime scene. Dong-chul tells Yong-ki to pay her a visit but he suggests Na-young is better qualified. While she’s clearly a great officer, Yong-ki’s words hold no sincerity. Tae-joo offers to go with her and as soon as they leave, Dong-chul reprimands the other two detectives for being lazy. He’s not amused and threatens them not to do it again before shuffling back to his desk.

The ex-wife bitterly tells Na-young and Tae-joo she’s already heard about the victim’s demise through the neighborhood gossip network. She cries that he should’ve died somewhere else and worries about rumors. Na-young calmly starts her questioning while Tae-joo steps outside to speak to the victim’s son.

The boy asks if his father has done something bad again. Tae-joo gently assures him that’s not why they came. Innocently, the boy asks why did they come. Tae-joo opens his mouth but the boy’s mother calls him home and he runs off. Na-young joins Tae-joo and they hear the mother screeching at her son to stop crying since his father never did anything for them. Na-young explains that this is why the other detectives didn’t want to come.

At the station, Na-young calls about the tickets found in the victim’s wallet. She’s puzzled to learn those tickets aren’t even for sale yet. Tae-joo questions how the victim obtained them and Dong-chul shoots him a cheeky grin.

A young man scurries around selling tickets to people on the street. He’s startled when Dong-chul calls out to him and bolts. Yong-ki and Nam-shik block his path so he turns only to be blocked by Tae-joo. The scalper growls at him to move but Tae-joo deadpans that he’s a detective, too. Heh.

Having relocated to a bathroom, they’ve stripped the scalper down to his skivvies. Yong-ki rifles through his clothes and asks if that’s all the tickets. The young man says yes, but Dong-chul manages to ferret two more out of his underwear. He hands the tickets to a reluctant Nam-shik while Tae-joo confirms that none of the tickets are for Opening Day.

The young man cries that he’s never even seen those tickets since someone bought them all up. He explains that scalpers typically buy 50 tickets right before they’re released to be sold to the public. However, this time a group of guys bought 3000 for an exorbitant 50 million won (or roughly 50 thousand dollars).

Tae-joo flashes a photo of the victim and the scalper confirms he was one of those guys. Tae-joo asks how they obtained the tickets. The scalper reveals that there’s a government employee who manages the company and will happily take bribes. Dong-chul tells him to set up a meeting.

Tae-joo stumbles across the victim’s son crying at the spot where his father was discovered and offers to walk him home. The boy tells Tae-joo his mother called his father’s death “punishment” for his crimes. Tae-joo attempts to comfort him, but the boy asserts that his father lied when he promised not to do any more bad things.

They arrive at the boy’s house and Tae-joo offers the boy the watch he’d found on the body. Curiously, the boy denies it, saying his father never wore a watch. Tae-joo reports back to Dong-chul and they figure that the watch must belong to the assailant.

That night they arrive at a nightclub for their meeting with the ticket supplier. A waiter leads Dong-chul and Tae-joo back to the private room area where the scalper is waiting. He asks which detective will be going with him and Tae-joo holds Dong-chul back. He correctly guesses that Dong-chul will immediately try to roughhouse and argues that they should tread carefully with a civil servant.

Dong-chul agrees to let him try the “gentlemanly approach” first. The scalper adds that the supplier expects a woman to join them and Dong-chul assures him he’s already called someone. Tae-joo follows the scalper into the room and meets the supplier, Chief Oh. They exchange pleasantries but when Tae-joo asks for 1000 tickets, Chief Oh balks. Sensing something is off, he tries to leave but stops when Na-young walks in.

Tae-joo’s expression is impassive until he steps out in the hall and demands that Dong-chul tell him why Na-young is here. Dong-chul whines that the alcohol is already expensive and he didn’t have enough money for a call girl as well. Besides, Na-young volunteered!

Suddenly, Na-young screams and they rush back inside just as Chief Oh slaps Na-young across the face. For once, it’s Dong-chul holding Tae-joo back. Their interference is unnecessary though, as Na-young judo-flips Chief Oh onto the table. The detectives yell when she winds up to punch Chief Oh… but she does it anyway. Hee.

Chief Oh has an identical watch to the one found by the victim and admits that it came from a mutual acquaintance, Kim Eung-shik. He swears ignorance of the victim’s death but reveals he’d witnessed him arguing with Kim Eung-shik about wanting to quit. Dong-chul lets Na-young handcuff Chief Oh and they leave.

Outside, Yong-ki catcalls Na-young and Tae-joo offers her his jacket to cover her ripped skirt. Walking over to the others, Tae-joo calls Yong-ki out on his sexual harassment. Yong-ki scoffs that he doesn’t like Na-young that way—as if that excuses his comments. Tae-joo is about to say more but Nam-shik arrives to report that the number in the victim’s wallet was for a deep-sea fishing company where he was to start working in a week.

Tae-joo pays a final visit to the victim’s son and gives him the Opening Day tickets. The boy cries, realizing his father had been on his way to deliver them the night he died. Tae-joo tells him that his father was trying to keep his promise (about not doing bad things) and repeats Na-young’s words that fathers want to only show their best sides to their children.

The next day is Opening Day and the men at the station are betting on the winner. Everyone is geared up for Haitai when Dong-chul steps up and points out that Haitai had a bad run last year. The men instantly flip to cheering for Samsung until Tae-joo silences them by announcing Haitai will win—even listing which players will make the winning home runs. Dong-chul balks that they’d be lucky to hit anything but leaves before completing his bet.

Na-young returns Tae-joo’s jacket, pointing out that she’d washed it after noticing a stain. He worries that she did extra work but she beams that it was no problem.

They get the call that the tickets are now on sale so they go down to the stadium to wait for Kim Eung-shik. Tae-joo’s mouth quirks into a small smile when he sees the victim’s son among the crowd and Chief Oh—who they’d cuffed in the backseat—draws their attention to a passing van. He identifies the passenger as Kim Eung-shik.

Unfortunately, Kim Eung-shik catches wind of the detectives and bolts. While the team manages to nab his cohorts, Eung-shik escapes on a bicycle. He’s no match for Dong-chul’s car, however. He’s already wheezy when Dong-chul pulls up alongside and the detective cheerfully mocks him as Tae-joo shouts that he’s under arrest. Eung-shik responds by spitting at Dong-chul. Incensed, Dong-chul hocks a loogie right back and a spit fight ensues that is equal parts hilarious… and gross.

Finally, Dong-chul is fed up and bumps Eung-shik off the road with his car. They arrest the killer and by the time they get back to the team, the game results are out: Haitai won. What’s more, it happened exactly as Tae-joo had “predicted.” Staring at Tae-joo in awe, Nam-shik wonders if inhaling briquette gas made him psychic.

The other detectives giggle that Dong-chul lost the bet, but Dong-chul corrects them that he’d placed his money on Haitai. He says that sometimes Tae-joo is right… he just doesn’t like to admit it. Ha!

As the team rounds up criminals in squad cars, Tae-joo finds two tickets in his pocket and asks Na-young about them. She cutely replies that it’s just her gratitude for all he’s done. Tae-joo awkwardly thanks her but says he doesn’t have anyone to go with. He tries to return them and Na-young blurts out, “Then do you want to go with me?”

Tae-joo is taken aback and Na-young quickly adds that she doesn’t have anyone to go with either, but she’d received them for free (as thanks from the scalper for standing up against Chief Oh). Furthermore, the tickets are supposed to be difficult to get so it’d be a shame for them to go to waste…

Tae-joo can’t think of a response before Na-young is called away to arrest more people. As he stares after her, Tae-joo hears someone call his name. Turning, he sees Dad running after the crowd with Young Tae-joo on his hip. Dad is trying to get the ball he’d caught autographed but the team piles onto the bus before he gets the chance. Setting his son down, Dad chases the bus until both disappear around the corner.

The crowd watches with bated breath until Dad comes back into view. His head hangs dejectedly and little Tae-joo’s eyes well up with tears of disappointment. Then Dad holds up his hand, proudly brandishing the signed baseball. It’s a scene Tae-joo has replayed often in his memories as Dad races forward and scoops up his son.

Tae-joo looks on with teary eyes but snaps out of it when Young Tae-joo drops the ball and it rolls to the detective’s feet. He bends down to pick it up, but the second he touches it, he flashes back to the tunnel where he’d seen that woman being murdered through a hole in the wall as a child. As he looks back up at his father, the blurry face that had jumped out at him in the memory finally comes into focus… Dad, splattered in blood.

 
COMMENTS

What?! It’s amazing how this show consistently leaves off on such great cliffhangers. Helcat and I had discussed the blurry face after the last episode and while we’d both thought it kinda looked like Dad (if you paused perfectly and squinted just right), I was sure we had to be wrong. This is definitely the kind of trauma that would result in Tae-joo’s brain locking away his childhood memories, but surely not all is as it seems? While Dad being a crazed serial killer is certainly an interesting twist, it feels too early to expose what I suspect is 2018 serial killer Kim Min-seok’s mentor, right?

So that leads to the question: What is Dad doing there, covered in blood? Maybe it’s just wishful thinking because Dad was very endearing this episode. He’s your typical lovable screw-up… but that could just be his (very crafty) cover. Looking closely, it did seem like Dad struck that woman but his expression when he looked through the hole was so dazed… hmmmm. What do y’all think? Because I just don’t know!

On a less mind-crushing note, how cute is Na-young? I don’t think I’ll ever stop singing her praises. She has such a sugar-sweet character that could’ve so easily rang dull and yet she’s just so darn endearing. Throw in her badass judo skills and it’s a wonder Tae-joo isn’t just as in love with her as she is with him. Na-young’s budding relationship with Tae-joo is such a treat and I am so proud of her for taking that first leap, because as Helcat pointed out, it’s really not Tae-joo’s forte. Luckily, this couple has supporters who aren’t afraid of a little meddling.

I love everything about this show (with the exception of Yong-ki, who—while I can appreciate him as a character—is just an ass) and it makes me that much more anxious for the episodes to come. Tae-joo’s mystery is a conundrum and no matter how many theories I craft, none of them produces a full picture. More than anything, I’m nervous that once Tae-joo completes the puzzle, he’ll have to return to 2018. Because while that is his “correct” timeline, I’ve grown so attached to 1988, I don’t want to leave!

 
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Once again, Na-Young proved us she's just a badass! The judo kick in the pub was so daebak! And I wasn't surprised when she asked Tae-joo to the football game in the end... :)

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I don't condone violence, but when Na-young does the thug punching then oh heck ya!

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Na Young is becoming #lifegoals

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That girl is Na bomb! 😅

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Suddenly remember Eun "The Bomb" Ho-won from Radiant Office ^^

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👏👏 Na Young is incredible. I loved how the Captain and TJ tried to stop her, in case she punched him to pulp.

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This episode is such a beautiful tribute to fathers. As as I did for Jang Nara reliving her relationship with eomoni in Go Back Couple, I cried buckets over scenes of abuji with child and adult Tae-joo. I also just love the show further deepens that connection by giving Tae-joo an opportunity to comfort the son of the victim.

Please don't make goofy dad a serial killer, Show! 😭😭😭

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My heart dropped when they showed little Tae-joo running into the tunnel and I KNEW the person they were going to show was Dad.

Pleaaaase, no! I can take Dad being a flawed, cowardly person who loves his family despite his mistakes, but serial killer?! Please... 😭

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I don't think Dad is the serial killer, he is most likely involved with the Lottery Gang or something else criminal. Tea Joo probably followed him to the crime scene, Dad saw him and in the process of saving him got killed.

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Answer Me 1988- aka the family special version of Answer Me series- also comes to mind. Taekie's relationship with appa, Deok Sun's with her appa, Jungpal with his mom, SUn Woo with his mom and dad, and in that last ep, Bora and appa- they killed me! I think I am a sucker for stories with such scenes!

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That red jacket and that signed ball! O.O Is it today? In the show. When we see baby Tae Joo running into the tunnel and peeking into that room? Too early I think. Most likely not. Tell me it's not!😱😱😭

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It can’t, it won’t, it shan’t!!! Andwae!!

Dad is not wearing the baseball jacket as he did attending the game, so most likely not the same day.

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I thought so too. *Phew* With @obsessedmuch 's smart observations below, I now think I just need to keep an eye open for this checked jacket and orange shirt on Dad. :/ That'll be the day. :/

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I don't think so.. Young Tae Joo has been wearing that red jacket from before... Remember 2 eps back when the old Tae Joo finally reached in front of the beauty saloon and lil Tae Joo came running? He was wearing that red jacket even then. Also, even in the photo studio where they took that family photo, Tae Joo was in that jacket.. So maybe he just has that jacket- they aren't well off so that jacket being worn regularly makes sense but also works in adding to the "is it now? Will it happen now" feel... The director is smart!

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I noticed the jacket earlier as well. But completely forgot about it. (Great observation muchie! ) But then they ball entered the picture today and I just went, NOOOOOOO 😱

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The ball was there in ep 1 or 2 too... When his ex-fiance gives him back his stuff, the ball is there and she was all "is it a fake or should I have sold it" and he was all "this is from this game and this guy blah blah" with that sad expression on his face. And how he never watched any match after that? (vague recollection.. maybe I should read the recap again).. I knew we were gonna get some back story for sure..

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This episode made me go through so many emotions!

That whole childhood fantasy of seeing your father as superman who can do everything with ease and can do no wrong but to grow up and find out that your father is just like any other man- full of love for his child but flawed like a normal human being is just too real. That parallel story just highlighted that point even more!

But the dad can't be the serial killer. He just can't. This is way too early in the show to be true and I hate you show for making Tae Joo go through this emotional turmoil but I also love you show cuz that is what makes this story so interesting! I think father was just at the wrong place at the wrong time/ got into a bad crowd/ witnessed the murder and Tae Joo witnessed him witnessing/ was working undercover or sth (after "Heartless City", I just take it for granted that EVERYONE works undercover 😅) / or just add any scenario and I will take it cuz nops abbeoji an't a killer.

Apart from this Dong Chul and Tae Joo's bromance keeps building and I love how DC is now listening to what TJ says- from saving finger prints (hilarious scene that) to betting on Haitai (Also was Haitai a name also thrown around in AM 1994? WHy do I remember it?).

Also Na-Young. She is such a bad ass cutie, a total girl crush! And I love all their shippers! Gotta say though, Tae Joo is a wonderful character and it is not my bias for Jung Kyung Ho speaking.

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Wasn't haitai one of the character's name? I haven't watched it, but I think it was someone's nickname.
The bromance and the romance are going full swing. Except YG-He's an ass. In the previous as well as this episode, the way he treated NY. But I guess that's hoe the mentality was back then (still is). Hopefully the others influence will work on him. Not only TJ, but even DC is changing now. NS was cute from the start.

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Ah yes Son Ho-Jun was Haitai!!

I am sorry "Except YG- He is an ass" is an all too familiar sentence for me in a different context! SO it made me laugh! But yes YG is an ass! But we need him to show off the male mentality of 80s Korea (or even present day Korea- and India)... ANd any change in him would be that much more effective.

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Agree with everything you said, Muchie! This episode did such a good job at showing the disappointment one goes through when you discover that someone you admire is not everything that you thought they were—and no one is perfect, so of course we will be disappointed by the people in our lives when we discover that.

Haitai was indeed Sohn Ho-joon’s character nickname in Answer Me 1994! The Haitai Tigers (now Kia Tigers) played in the province his character was from.

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Yeah for some reason I remembered him more from Youth Over Flowers Laos cuz even there he was initially called Haitai..

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Adult TJ and baby TJ are so cute! It's a little freaky but these two were so adorable that I forgot about it.

Also I don't think NY was kidding when she asked about his father. But then, how can she wrap her head around this when TJ himself is having a hard time? Also what about DC? Didn't he hear that conversation in the car? Atleast TJ's part?

This episode felt just a little bit off to me- It's as if they forgot they had to incorporate a case and then remembered it. But then it gave us such an awesome cliffhanger! Am I the only one who felt this way?

She asked him out! Please don't break her(and my heart) TJ..please?

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Oh yes! Dong Cheol was in the car when TJ had his moment! (man this guy is a frigging time bom- he keeps having those episodes and JKH's acting makes me all nervous cuz his eyes go all wide n I go crazy!)

I don't think DC knows yet but both NY and DC must feel something is off.. Maybe we will get sth on that?

I didn't feel the ep was off.. It needed a semi-important case which would tie in with the abeoji emo track and show Na Young being awesome and give us that hilarious car chase... SO I was okay with it...

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Yeah the parallel theme was good. And it gave us that ending. But I just felt that the first half of the show was a different show that I was watching.

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Was realising after reading the recap that, yes, am kinda vague about the case this time because I was so taken by dad's appearance and possible involvement. I'd say this drama's pacing is just great; have been kinda lulled by enjoying all the episodic cases so far but this episode really brought the time travel mystery smack dab to the middle. Show is pretty much yelling at us to stand up and pay attention!

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I have a strange theory, that everytime TJ has an "episode" the world just stops for a moment? Like when TJ got out of the doctor's room in ep 5, the room suddenly went dark, and the hallway was empty when TJ tried open a few doors, and that one bright room which, again, no one noticed?
And then when TJ had that conversation in the car, he had it for quite a while before NY's voice came in and suddenly DC just popped up, having absolutely no acknowledgement about TJ's screaming in the radio like a crazy person?
Maybe I'm going a bit too far, but since last week I've noticed that TJ's episode had always gone a little too long without anyone paying attention before either NY or DC disrupting him. Even then they barely have any opinion about him behaving oddly or saying strange things (except that one time he told NY directly, but he did it deliberately and didn't have any episode at that moment?)

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Maybe you're right? The world kind of stops when he's having an episode. Which means there's a good chance that this is all happening in his head and this world isn't real. But I don't want that to be the case!

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I actually loved this episode a whole lot and thought that it was a wonderful reimagining of the related BBC episode. In fact, I particularly liked the way the "fathers and sons" theme was integrated with the ticket scalping matter, TJ's encounter with his own dad and the big baseball game where Dad went all out to get the baseball autographed. I loved how all of the different facets coalesced. It was truly lovely to see TJ empathize with the boy ("Kyung Ho": Heh), sit with him and comfort him.

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Then it's just me. I liked the episode but it was such a change from the other action packed and case driven episodes, where the poignant moments are sprinkled in between and here it was the opposite. That's why I said that. But like you and others said, the case was integrated nicely with the theme of fathers, how we have such an idealised version of them ( which is true most of the times) and how they actually are, to the ending where he remembered an important part, which maybe the key to solving his predicament or may break him.

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I think you are right about the theme. In fact if Tae-Joo hadn’t had the experience of his dad disappointing him he wouldn’t have grown and been able to empathize with the little boy. I feel each case makes Tae-Joo grow more and connect with other people. In 2018 he is pretty standoffish and would probably not have taken the time to go with Na-Young or sit with the little boy.

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Good catch on the little boy's name.

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This show is ddabong!

...Don't tell me you didn't hear Dong-chul say that and think of Yoon Si-Yoon.

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HAHAHAHA see, I TOLD you guys that there was a lot of spitting going on in old Korea! Ah, memories ~

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When you wrote about it in the last recap, I wanted so much to talk about this episode. It's a habit that was common in Asia during that period and maybe even in certain parts now. When I was very young, taxi drivers used to spit out of their vehicle windows. Then the government started imposing fine for the spitting in public amongst others and the habit died fast.

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Erm... not just taxi drivers, regular "upstanding" citizens of India spit on the streets. We still have a long way to go!

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We solved it the high-handed way otherwise it might have taken much longer for public education to succeed. This is a country which banned chewing gum.

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That sounds like Singapore.. am I right?

And yeah tough measures need to be taken but I doubt they will be taken anytime soon.. we don't follow traffic rules, no spitting rules won't work cuz ppl who have to impose fines do this themselves! An overhaul of the whole system is needed!

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Bingo!

I'd agree that tough measures work but to have long term change, public education is still necessary. Now, hardly anyone does it and if anyone spits, he would be immediately frowned upon.

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Yeah public education is definitely necessary... We just have too big a country and a government with skewed priorities for it to happen anytime soon.

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This happened in my country too. It was widespread until a fine was imposed and now the streets are way cleaner.

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@bbstl,

When I heard that uninhibited, full-throated expectoration, I had flashbacks to living in Honolulu in the early 80s. Wowser!

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Oh lord, was it like that then in Hawaii too? 🤦🏻‍♀️ The streets (and sidewalks) of Seoul were covered in lugies. Hong Kong wasn't quite so bad.😂

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Public expectoration in Honolulu struck me as louder and more resonant than what I was used to hearing in the wilds of Jersey. I don't recall the sidewalks being covered with spit. It would have dried fast in the hot sun!

Then again, the streets of NYC back then were pretty gross. And the stench in the subways -- oy vey!

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Public spitting is a time honoured tradition in many cultures. :P I grew up in SE Asia in the 70s and 80s and our school bus driver occasionally took time out to do his thing while sitting in traffic.
I still remember seeing pictures of spittoons accompanying Deng Xiaoping during official events.

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i predicted it would be the dad last week because he was calling out to him when he was running on the tracks and his figure was also similar, although blurry, but that last scene was directed in a way that sent down chills. I'm sure there is more to the story than dad being covered in blood next to a possibly dead woman which i can't wait to find out.

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Is it possible that dad is actually apprehended in 1988 as a serial killer and this fact is kept from Tae-joo? Coz so far there is no clear explanation about dad's ending; for all we know, he might have received a death sentence... Maybe this is the mistake that Tae-joo's meant to change by his time-travel?
Am so much hoping this is the case, coz nooooo, don't break Tae-joo's heart, show! Also, am not even thinking about the fantasy probability any more and decided to just have faith that 1988 world really does exist.

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I've also been thinking this. What if dad was the good guy and killed the killer or something like that.

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A beanie said in the last recap that Dad might be an undercover agent. I really hope so because it would be so awesome if Tae Joo had been following his dream for this purpose.

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Ooh! I like your theory that Tae-Joo is back to time to right a wrong related to his father. Maybe dad was in the wrong place and the wrong time and got convicted for murder and Tae-Joo will clear his name. I still think Na-Young is somehow related to the mystery.
I wish Tae-Joo can stay in 1988 with Na-Young and they are both happy partners in solving crime. But I know 2018 is waiting!!

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Ugh, I yelled at the end of this episode. My mom had to tell me to shut up LOL

I couldn't believe it! I'm going to believe it has to be some sort of cruel mistake that put his dad there at that time.

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Do we need two psychotic serial killer dads? I think one Yoon Hee Jae(Come Here and Hug Me) is more than enough.

I refuse to think that goofy Dad here was capable of anything so heinous. He may have lied, led some secret life or was just a terrible loser but killing people? No. Perhaps all that is shown of Dad here are from Tae Joo's memory but I really hope the show is just deliberately misleading us to suspect Dad.

I am in love with this show and all the characters. Dong Chul and gang are old fashioned, chauvinistic but very funny. I can't even get grossed out or angry with any for long. Manager Park is also a welcome change from Dr Mok in Tunnel. And of course, the cream of the crop is Na Young. She's so smart, sensitive and badass to boot!

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Nah, I don't think he's a serial killing dad either. He's much more likely to be part of the Lottery Gang. Does anybody really believe that he was there just to empty ash trays?

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@outofthisworld, regarding “psychotic serial killer dads”, I watched Memoir of a Murderer. Sol Kyung-Gu plays a serial killer who is now suffering from Alzheimers. Seol Hyun plays his daughter. Spooky as hell, watched it on a day we had thunderstorms ⚡️ Kim Nam-Gil stars a bad cop who has a run in with our killer.

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Sounds like a good movie. Where can I watch this?

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I saw it on Kis*Dram*Clu*

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Thanks!

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@outofthisworld, regarding “psychotic serial killer dads”, the Japanese drama Genkai Danchi, gives us a serial killer grandfather. Suspenseful, Sano Shiro is great as the obsessive grandfather.

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Thanks for the heads up @johnb

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I wouldn't say that TJ isn't in love with her. He might not be aware that he likes her beyond their professional relationship but he definitely has feelings for her.

The sharing of the shot glass during the drinking scene at the pub went beyond the bounds of collegiality IMO. And I think TJ was just about to rip the civil servant apart when the errant knave struck her. But of course Papa DC knew that she'd take care of things on her own. ;)

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Wow! I didn't think of it like that. I thought he held him back to not blow their cover. Your interpretation sounds much better and I would like it, because it means he's starting to see her abilities and make more efforts to make her a part of the field work rather than making coffee!

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The sharing of the shot glass is how Koreans used to drink (well, at least how we used to see them drink in dramas), always sharing one glass between two people like that. And one always poured for the other. It's a recent development (kind of shocking!) to see people pour for themselves so commonly in dramas in the last few years.
I wondered what they were drinking, did soju used to come in clear rather than green bottles?

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That may be but for them -- TJ and NY -- it is a progression in their relationship that was previously purely professional. Even the pub owner did his bit to add to the ambience. ;)
Anyhow, it is just one of many indicators.

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Yes, that they're drinking together at all, that they're sitting in that bar together at all made me wiggle my eyebrows!

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This eps is the very definition of trippy and mind-bending, what's with Tae-joo's life suddenly intersected with everyone from his younger day's life. It's both a blessing and a curse for him to remember again how those days feel like to him. To witness young Tae-joo surrounded by so much love from his family, but at the same time also to witness the image of his superman-like father crumbled to dust right in front of his eyes. The disillusionment sure hit him very hard.

But the most memorable scene this eps is definitely Tae-joo's small talk with his younger self. It's oddly touching and unexpectedly sad. To know that he successfully grew up into one of those cool adults he used to admire as a child. But also to realize that this child who thinks the world of his father will be sorely disappointed in the span of 30 years. Good thing Na-young is around to share with him a new perspective to ponder on regarding his problem. (And am I the only one who think that them sharing that soju glass is quite intimate?)

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It's lovely to see how Na-young's wise words comforted Tae-joo, and that he passed on the comfort to little Kyung-ho.
And my slow brain just realised they were drinking from the same glass, wahh!

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Thank you for your recap, Sunny.

This episode gave so much great background on Tae-joo and his family. Learning of Dad's faked death in Saudi Arabia made my heart sink. Is he involved in crime, or is he a loser who's run afoul of loan sharks? When he was apprehended in the restroom, I couldn't help but sense that he might actually be a member, or even one of the higher-ups in the gang the police were after. Could his loser vibe be protective coloration? Maybe he sold the house to have money to bankroll a criminal enterprise. Or maybe he has a second family hidden somewhere.

That flashback to Tae-joo's view of Dad and the dead woman was an eyeful. I'm not convinced that he killed her. He may have been in shock after finding the body. I suspect that the 2018 manicure murders may be the handiwork of a latter-day copycat. Here's a twist: Perhaps the 2018 killer went back in time and murdered a bunch of victims. I have no idea how the time travel would be accomplished. Just a shot in the dark.

Tae-joo's meeting Na-young in the bar made me really think that she could be a time traveler, too. Or maybe she's in a coma in the same ward... and their spirits have somehow crossed paths.

I hadn't intended to watch this drama, but I'm really glad I tuned in. The cast is terrific, and I've been enjoying the cases. The humor is my cup of tea, as is the bromance in the air. Officer Yoon continues to delight me with her professionalism and badassery. Tae-joo's coma/unconsciousness has my rapt attention. I can't help but sense that he has some kind of unfinished business that his subconscious is trying to bring to his waking awareness.

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Tae-joo's meeting Na-young in the bar made me really think that she could be a time traveler, too. Or maybe she's in a coma in the same ward... and their spirits have somehow crossed paths.

If Tae-joo and Na-young are both in comas, we might be seeing a twist on TWO COPS. ;-)

It just occurred to me that Na-young might not actually be a cop, but in this dream or parallel reality she appears as one because that's the only way they can interact, since he's a cop and is always working.

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I know that Na Young seems too good to be true but I want her to be real. Not that she doesn't exist in the past or present but I want Na Young to be a cop and not a cop for other purpose.

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I'm rather inclined to think that NY is a bit too perfect... I like her a lot but I can't help wondering if she's a fantasy figure for TJ on some level ... a visualization of his ideal woman.

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That would be really sad.

We get this kind of awesome kdrama female character and it turns out she is only a fantasy in a man's mind.

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I too question if the 2018 killer went back in time - didn't Tae Joo see him? Or was he imagining? However, I don't see this as a time travel story in that there is some special way of travelling back and forth. I think Tae Joo's situation is unique because he's in a coma and somehow he's 'gone back' in time. Actually, we don't really know if it's a dream or did he really 'travel back'.

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I love the romantic drinking scene between Tae Joo and Na Young where Mr. Yang from the Insung Shop wittily changes the bgm to the 1978 love song "That Person" by Choi Byung Gul and Jung So Nyeo (check out the song here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9kaglUQdNo)

I roughly translated the lyrics! I found that there's no translation of this song online because the song is really old!

Lyrics:

"For some reason, I feel like I would regret passing by that person
That person

For some reason, I feel like I would come across that person anywhere
That person

That person (x2)

That person who I think would like me
That person who I think would love me
Exactly that person

That person I think I would like
That person I think I would fall in love with
That person"

The male singer and female singer sing together as a duet throughout the whole song and I thank the drama's staff member that found this song to play during one of their scenes because it's so romantic and dreamlike... the narrative of the song comes from two people who think the other person would be the love of their life but both of them stop there- they only think about it but don't pursue their love for each other and that's exactly Tae Joo and Na Young's relationship right now. It's obvious that they both have feelings gradually growing for each other in every episode (from respect to love) but they're not aware of their love yet and I think that's adorable and quite pure.

Ah anyway this drama is so fun to watch; there's romance, thrill, suspense, mystery- and the drama just incorporates all of the themes so wonderfully and seamlessly that I'm waiting at the edge of my seat by the end of the week for the next episodes to air. Also, this drama got me hooked on Jung Kyung Ho's acting that I watched all of his past work in the last two weeks... someone help me!!

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Thank you so much for that! I've been wondering about that. When I first heard it, it struck me as having a very strong Carpenters sort of feel and there are bars in the refrain that remind me of "There's a Kind of Hush".

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@lilium,

LOL! I immediately thought of "There's a Kind of Hush" by Herman's Hermits, too. The tempo of "Hush" is faster.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gatIk3z9a7Y

The brass and flute in "That Person" sounds very 60s.

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The version that I'm more familiar with is by the Carpenters.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CX83EQA8dc
Not that the tempo is all that slower but there's something about the way "That Person" is mixed just reminds me of other Carpenters hits not necessarily "A Kind of Hush".

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No wonder I thought "That Person" sounded familiar! "There's a Kind of Hush" is also a great song and I loveeee The Carpenters. Two awesome similarities you pointed out! Thank you :-)

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Wow, thank you for the translation. I loved that scene. I didn't think I'd watch this show but am so glad I did. Isn't Jung Kyung Ho wonderful? And I love the facial expressions of the barman in the few glimpses we get of him.

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I didn't think I'd watch this show too- I don't usually watch crime kdramas but I'm super happy that I got to come across this drama and Jung Kyung Ho. I think the barman's my favorite side character haha he's always setting the mood for Tae Joo and Na Young. Bless his soul

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Thank you so much for the song link AND the translation. I've been asking around since the episode aired and I've been getting no answers. You're the best. And it is a sweet song.

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You're so so welcome! <3

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Thank you so much for the name of the song and the lyrics! I was wondering if you also knew the name of the song that was playing just before the romantic song, when Na-Young and Tae-joo are joking about seeing his dad and Tae-joo getting candy from him. I found that scene to be extremely intimate and romantic and it's probably one of my favorite scenes in this show!

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The song that was playing just before the romantic song is "Between the Rain and the Teacup" by Baettaragi (1982).

The lyrics are kind of bittersweet. Here's a rough translation:

"Right now rain falls outside the window
You and I
are both here again like this

We left space between the rain and the teacup
while we were lost for words
We sat in silence

Right now leaves fall outside the window
Your reflection
sleeps inside the leaf,
leaves space between the rain and the teacup
Sitting in silence, lost for words

Your reflection is inside the leaf
and my reflection is submerged* in the teacup
Your reflection in the leaf
In the leaf
Your reflection is locked* inside the leaf"

The lyrics use the same verb "잠겼다" which has multiple meanings. In the present tense, it can mean "to be locked", "to sink", "to submerge"- it all depends on the context!

I feel like the first song in Tae Joo and Na Young's drinking scene shows the bittersweet, melancholic side of their relationship compared to the second song that's romantic and hopeful. While their relationship's growing, they are unfortunately still far apart from each other because of their different situations- Tae Joo suddenly living in 1988 (or dreaming about living in 1988??? who knows) and having to adjust to a different life/generation that happens to be a replica of his childhood by working with strangers at Insung police station and Na Young meeting Tae Joo, a man that showed respect to her for the first time in the police dept.

They both have something they want to say to each other but they're just stuck- they don't know how to explain their feelings/situations and the song embodies that.

I hope this helps! :*) and seriously, bless the music director of this drama

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I forgot to add the link! Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5ZJXnz8n1o

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Thanks again for another song and its translation, @flowerswithhoney tfwimcute. ;-)

This is so different from the New Wave and punk that was airing in the early 80s. Very soothing. The melody is definitely growing on me.

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Thank you so much for the lyrics and the song link!! I loved the melody of this song and replayed this scene several times not only to rewatch the scene but also to see if I could decipher some of the lyrics! I tried transliterating them and searching for them but I didn't get any good results.

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@flowerswithhoney tfwimcute,

Thank you so much for identifying the song, translating the lyrics, and supplying the audio link. I have put a pointer to your post on my fan wall to spread the joy. ;-)

Talk about a mellow track. It reminds me of Hugh Masekela's instrumental version of "Grazing in the Grass," a huge hit in 1968.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxXZF60EPdM

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Ooo thank you so much for adding my post to your fan wall! I really appreciate it :')))

Also thanks for sharing "Grazing in the Grass". I'm hearing it for the first time and loving it!

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My pleasure, @flowerswithhoney tfwimcute. ;-)

I truly appreciate it when kind souls translate song titles and artists' names, not to mention lyrics. (I was a German translator in a past life.) Thanks for your time, effort, and insights. ;-)

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@flowerswithhoney
I was wondering if you can tell me the name of this song. It has a nice cheesy 80s vibe. It was the evening entertainment at the night club that DC and TJ were staking out at.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THz5x0dS5fc
No translation of the lyrics are required. It just reminded me various 80s hits.

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I think you were looking for this song, "Last Night" by Sobangcha! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xwe4tXnajo

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Yes, thank you very much. Heh.
Dear me... those tracky dacks.

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Another great episode filled with so many sweet and touching moments and of course a lot of laughs. I really hope that Tae-Joo's father isn't the killer.

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There is definitely something going on with his character, but I think that the killer question is a mislead.

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Hopefully.

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This show is so good it makes my heart hurt ;____;

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It really does. The time TJ spends with his family members keeps making my heart feel like something is clenching it, and the inside of my nose get all tickle-y.

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I want to add to the discussion here, but I love this show so much that I can't really string together anything coherent beyond: Officer Na-young is everything. I luff her.

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The song in the club or bar reminded me of answer me 1988 when the boys helped her to win the tape player in their day trip where she misplaced their family camera. #Same song#

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The show did such a good job with the father theme. Everything from Tae Joo's personal predicament to the case this week all flowed together well. From the previous cliffhanger, I was prepared to be pissed at Tae Joo's father for being a cheater. But then, the show revealed the opposite, showing his goofy, loving side who dotes on his son so much. I nearly cried with Tae Joo when he saw his father running towards his young self with the freshly autographed baseball. What an incredible moment for him.

I love how this show can warm my heart and make me laugh unexpectedly. But their dark, twisted cliffhangers always give me a shock.

Thanks for the recap, Sunny! I'm attached to 1988 too. I want the team to be real and not to be a part of Tae Joo's imagination. I will be sad when he has to leave them...

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Officer Yoon is my fav. Sweet yet badass.

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Thanks you @sunny for the recaps and all the comments.
Once again this episode highlighted something that I am in awe of
when I encounter it from time to time in kdramas.
Let me preface. Both child actors playing the little boys Tae-joo and Kyung-ho were terrific. JKH was wonderful with both boys.
It was the emotional performance of the child who played Kyung-ho that really got to me. So the awe and wonder to me is how does a Director get a performance from a child like in episode 6 without affecting the child's own emotional health. I have seen some incredible performances from children in kdramas who have been placed in some very heavy situations. I am not implying that children are ever put in physical danger.

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I am always in awe of the child actors in K dramas. I constantly wonder where they find them from... there must be an agency that recruits and trains these kids because most of them are better than some of the adults that have come out of pop music.

That little fellow who played mini TJ was awesome even in his vocal delivery of how proud he was of his dad. And Kyung Ho who lost his dad in the ticket scalping incident... those tears... how do they do it?

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There are some awesome child actors out there. The ones in this show have been very good, and Heo Yool in Mother was phenomenal!

But there are also some really, really bad ones out there. See: child Nam Shin in episode 1 of Are You Human, Too?. SO bad.

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Just lucky I guess. I haven't come across any child actors that I thought were really bad. Or at least none that left a lasting impression.

Man, that girl in Thank You was amazing.

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I wanted to SMACK Detective Curly Hair when he made those "funny" comments "teasing" Na Young *rolls eyes* — and I'm pretty damn sure godsend Na Young was close to doing her signature throw on him too, were it not for Tae Joo kindly offering her his jacket. And when him going "I don't like Na Young ANYWAY" when Tae Joo confronts him for being an asshole, as if it's perfectly alright to make those comments because he's not interested in her. Jeez.

Also,I appreciate the fact that Na Young is such a soft spoken lady, and YET still manages to win everyone over; punch some bad guys AND prove her worth (in the eyes of detectives, anyway, since so much of her awesomeness tends to go under the radar). So many law enforcement related K-dramas tend to write their ladies as ~sexy & sassy sidekick~ or ~ms tough and hot headed~ or ~over enthusiastic enforcer of justice~ and then there's Na Young, quietly proving her point.

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So true!!! I think thats why she is so special and lovable to me...soft spoken, gentle, non confontational, non preachy, positive...underneath all these she exudes quiet strength. First impression of NY - my gosh! She is just like some of people I know and I want to be her friend! I think she is one of the very rare kdrama characters who is very relatable in real life. It helps also the actress does not have typical kdrama beauty so it makes her unique. I HEART NY!

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All caught up! Watched all six episodes and read all six recaps and comments.

1. I can't believe a story taking place in 1988 can now be considered as a period piece drama.
2. Na-young is awesome!

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I'm glad I started watching this drama. It has every element I usually like in a drama :
1. an intriguing crime/mystery ( bonus a detective in trench coat)
2. a potential romance (where it doesn't matter to me even if the romance didn't happen)
3. a badass female character
4. bromance!! (or not yet haha)

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