Rating:
Average user rating 4.6
92

Life on Mars: Episode 12

The search for Na-young is on and Tae-joo’s determination to find her is only enhanced by the feeling of past failure. Unfortunately, her kidnapper is more unpredictable and crafty than any other criminal Tae-joo has faced so far. With the clock ticking and no guarantees as to Na-young’s safety, it’s a good thing Tae-joo doesn’t have to do this alone.

 
EPISODE 12 RECAP

Distraught over discovering Na-young has been taken by the fake cop “Soon-ho,” Tae-joo frantically runs through the streets searching for the elusive door with a cross. Hours pass as Dong-chul drives him around to different neighborhoods, but Tae-joo can’t seem to find the street that haunts his nightmares. Flashbacks of the 2018 chase through the alleys follow him as he runs until he finally stops to catch his breath.

Dong-chul is dubious about Tae-joo’s door and asks where he saw it. Unfortunately, Tae-joo’s honest answer—“In 2018”—only confuses Dong-chul and he wonders if the younger detective is messing with him. Tae-joo is dead serious, however, and starts to panic that Na-young has already been missing for nine hours.

He turns to resume searching, but Dong-chul holds him back—Tae-joo is practically dead on his feet and they’re getting nowhere wandering aimlessly. Tae-joo is unwilling to stop, but Dong-chul is firm. He suggests that they return to the station and see if they checkpoints turned anything up. Unable to really argue, Tae-joo follows him reluctantly back to the car.

At the station, Tae-joo is setting up his crime board when Nam-shik arrives with bad news—the checkpoints haven’t found anything yet and there are no cars registered to the killer’s pseudonym “Lee Soon-ho.” To make matters worse, the killer still has his police-issued pistol and was recently provided bullets.

They’re interrupted by Yong-ki running in, his head still wrapped in bandages. Apparently, Nam-shik filled him in and he was too anxious to sit around and do nothing. While the others are talking, Tae-joo flips through Na-young’s notebook and finds the photo she’d taken of him tucked between the pages.

His determination refueled, Tae-joo returns to City Hall and asks to see what Na-young had been researching. The clerk reveals she’d had him compile documents on the district adjustment. He explains that due to recent land development, some changes are being made and Tae-joo has him print off another copy.

The document lists the names being considered for the new district and Seongil-dong (the area where the door bearing the cross was in 2018) is among them. Na-young is so smart! Tae-joo races outside just as Dong-chul pulls up. He says he knows where they need to go and the detectives speed away.

They arrive at the bridge (where Tae-joo was run over in 2018 right before he woke up in 1988) along with backup. Tae-joo tells the officers what they’re looking for and everyone splits up to search. Tae-joo retraces his steps from his chase with Kim Min-seok and is the first to find the door.

Tae-joo starts to radio it in, but thinks better of it and hops the wall instead. The front door is unlocked and it appears that no one is home. After a brief search, Tae-joo finds a door with an extra lock and smashes it with his radio. The door opens up to reveal Na-young, bound and unconscious on the floor.

Immediately radioing the rest of the team, Tae-joo rushes to her and begins to untie her wrists. Waking up, Na-young begins to scream until she realizes it’s Tae-joo, and then her shrieks dissolve into sobs. She cries that she was scared and Tae-joo hugs her tightly.

When Na-young has calmed down, Tae-joo guides her out of the room to find little Min-seok sitting on the stairs. They all stare at each other for an odd beat before Dong-chul bursts through the front door with the rest of their detective unit in tow. All three immediately ask if she’s okay and Na-young nods. Tae-joo continues to eye little Min-seok warily as the rest of the detectives fan out to investigate.

Later, Na-young sits outside, staring at her bare feet. Tae-joo brings her heels and sits down next to her. She assures him that she’s okay, but when she takes a drink of water he notices her nails have been painted red. Na-young explains that Min-seok did it and a brief flashback shows he had painted her nails while she lay bound on the floor. “Don’t be angry,” he’d told her, “I’ll make your nails pretty.”

Just then, fake “Soon-ho” had walked in and reminded Min-seok that he wasn’t supposed to be in Na-young’s room. He’d sent the boy to his room and as Min-seok walked away, he’d paused to stare back at Na-young. In the present, Min-seok looks up from the officer interviewing him and levels the same stare at Tae-joo. In his mind, Tae-joo hears 2018 Min-seok’s words.

Min-seok: “I remember now. The horrified frown on your face. Yes, that’s the face I remember.”

The other detectives join them and Nam-shik reports that the house belongs to a missionary who’d lived there with her husband until their son went missing five years ago. The couple left to search for their son but hasn’t been back seen since. Dong-chul sighs that they didn’t find anything inside the house and wonders where the killer disappeared to.

Na-young says that “Soon-ho” had been in a rush that morning to go somewhere and offers to ask Min-seok if he knows anything. The guys are concerned, but she insists that she’s fine and doesn’t feel comfortable sitting around when she can help.

Sitting down with Min-seok at the station, Na-young unwraps an ice cream for the boy and asks for his brother’s real name. Turns out they’re biological brothers and fake “Soon-ho” is actually Kim Hyun-seok. The boy says he also has an older sister named Kyung-ran but clams up when asked where she is.

Na-young asks instead if he knows where his brother went, but Min-seok only knows that Hyun-seok said he had some work left to do. His words unnerve the other detectives listening in. Finally, Na-young asks about the place Min-seok lived before ending up in the orphanage and he goes quiet. We don’t get to hear what he says.

Afterwards, the team wonders what Hyun-seok is planning. Na-young thinks Tae-joo was onto something when he said Hyun-seok’s first known victim, Go Yeong-suk, was key. Apparently, Na-young had asked him about it while being held captive. A flashback reveals she’d accused him of killing Go Yeong-suk, Dad, Min-seok’s adoptive mother, and the addict he’d pinned her murder on.

Smiling eerily, Hyun-seok had wondered why she wanted to know. Na-young had said that the only murder she couldn’t figure out a motive for was Go Yeong-suk. “She deserved it,” Hyun-seok had responded. Na-young had then told him that no one deserves to be murdered and Hyun-seok had flown into a rage, wrapping his hands around her throat. As he choked her, Hyun-seok had snarled that the world was a better place without Go Yeong-suk in it and warned Na-young to keep her mouth shut if she didn’t want to share Yeong-suk’s fate.

In the present, Na-young tells the detectives that Hyun-seok’s rage towards Go Yeong-suk was on a completely different level from the other victims. She says it was much more personal and Tae-joo declares that if they want to catch Hyun-seok, they’ll have to figure out his connection with Go Yeong-suk.

Tae-joo tells Na-young to look into Hyun-seok’s call records and Dong-chul sends Nam-shik and Yong-ki to dig up everything they can on Go Yeong-suk. He reminds them to avoid being caught by Chief Kim as technically they aren’t supposed to be working right now.

Dong-chul wonders what they should do about little Min-seok and Na-young says that since the orphanage won’t be able to collect him until tomorrow, they’ll have to look after the boy themselves for the time being. Na-young reveals that three years ago, Min-seok had been traveling to his grandparents’ home with his brother when they’d gotten separated somehow. That’s why he’d ended up in the orphanage.

Additionally, Na-young thinks that since Min-seok is reluctant to talk about his family, they likely left home because something bad happened. Dong-chul suggests that they try to find the boys’ hometown. Na-young says Min-seok had been found at Insung Station and he told her they’d walked along the tracks for three days.

Grabbing a map, Tae-joo figures out the area the boys must’ve started walking from. Na-young volunteers to call the local police stations for the brothers’ records and to ask for assistance. Dong-chul agrees they need to do everything they can. Looking up at little Min-seok sleeping in the next room, Dong-chul tells her to take the boy to the night duty room.

Shockingly, Tae-joo offers instead, and then stays to watch the boy sleep. Sometime later, Min-seok wakes up and asks if his brother has come yet. Tae-joo says no and Min-seok sits up, reaching out and holding his hand. Tae-joo looks down at their joined hands and Min-seok asks if he’s going to arrest Hyun-seok.

Min-seok says he heard the other officers saying his brother is a bad person, but swears that’s not true. Tae-joo stares at the boy coldly as Dad’s death replays in his mind. Tae-joo shifts his hand out of Min-seok’s grasp, but composes himself and tells the boy to get more sleep. Min-seok lies down and silently watches as Tae-joo stands and leaves.

Tae-joo and Na-young comb through Hyun-seok’s call records for the past few months. Most of the calls were to the police station and orphanages in Insung along with the town office when he was looking for Min-seok. However, he’d also called around to hospitals, hostess bars, inns and motels. Tae-joo also points out calls to the Hawaii Bar where Go Yeong-suk worked and the inn where she was killed.

It’s clear that Hyun-seok had been chasing Go Yeong-suk for a long time, but it still doesn’t tell them why. Dong-chul points out multiple calls made to the Hangbok Welfare Center while Na-young answers a call from another police station. Hanging up, she tells the others she’s found Hyun-seok and Min-seok’s home.

Dong-chul and Tae-joo drive out to meet the police captain who called them. He leads them to a house that’s been ravaged by fire. Apparently the owner—Hyun-seok and Min-seok’s dad—had lit a briquette in his room and died in the fire last year. The captain tells the detectives that the brothers’ dad wasn’t sane. After losing his hand in the Vietnam War, he’d come home to find that his wife had run off with a much younger man.

Unable to work, the man had passed his days drinking and fighting. The charred remains of multiple academic awards still hang on the walls and the captain reveals that Hyun-seok was very bright. He wasn’t able to attend school often because they couldn’t afford it, but had there been money he likely would’ve gone on to medical school.

Tae-joo picks up a photo of Hyun-seok, Min-seok, and a young woman. The captain says the woman is their sister, Kyung-ran. She’d worked tirelessly at a bar to support the family and did everything for them. Unfortunately, she’d fallen ill and eventually died just a few days before the fire.

The captain thinks the father likely lit the house on fire since he no longer had a source of income and laments that Kyung-ran didn’t run away with her brothers three years ago. He adds that the father seemingly suffered from some form of PTSD and whenever he heard sirens, he would beat his children. Tae-joo asks if anyone’s seen Hyun-seok recently and the captain says that the last time anyone had mentioned seeing him was the day of the fire… but she’s an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s so her statement wasn’t exactly reliable. Hmmm.

Dong-chul tries to talk to the potential witness anyway. Unfortunately, she just slaps him across the face. Tae-joo asks the captain about the brothers’ grandparents and learn they lived somewhere around Insung Station (where Min-seok had been found three years ago).

Following the captain back to his police station, Dong-chul calls around looking for the grandmother while Tae-joo flips through records. Something catches his eye and he shows Dong-chul the photos taken during the house fire investigation. The burn patterns reveal that the fire was started with an accelerant and not from a briquette—meaning the old woman was probably right about seeing Hyun-seok the day of the fire.

Dong-chul agrees that Hyun-seok likely returned home for his sister, but found her dead and set fire to the house… with his father inside. The thing that still confuses Tae-joo is how Hyun-seok had somehow been separated from Min-seok three years ago and then just disappeared until turning up at the police station the same day he did and starting his murder spree.

That night, Tae-joo lies on the floor of his home with case files scattered all around him. Chief Inspector is on the TV again and the old man guesses Tae-joo doesn’t even know what he’s looking for. Tae-joo confirms it and the TV man sighs that the case is muddled with personal feelings, so of course he’s lost.

Turning his head to look at the screen, Tae-joo asks what the old man means. “Officer Han. Are you trying to arrest the culprit?” the old man asks, “Or are you trying to seek revenge?” From Tae-joo’s silence, he guesses Tae-joo is seeking revenge. He suggests that Tae-joo just shoot Hyun-seok next time they meet… the way Hyun-seok had shot Dad.

Finally sitting up, Tae-joo says he’s not necessarily seeking revenge and the old man wonders if Tae-joo is feeling sympathy for Hyun-seok’s past. Tae-joo is unsure, but the old man barks at him that Hyun-seok’s a murderer. He sighs that Tae-joo is too soft and says Tae-joo will figure out what kind of person he is next time he sees Hyun-seok.

The next morning, Nam-shik reports that the brothers’ grandmother died three years ago and her house was wrecked. However, they catch a break when Yong-ki reveals that Go Yeong-suk worked as a nursing assistant two years ago… at Hangbok Welfare Center. Now the phone calls make sense and Dong-chul sends Nam-shik and Yong-ki to investigate.

A detective from a different unit comes in to relay that Chief Kim wants Dong-chul to head down to a crime scene immediately—a police officer’s been killed and he wants everyone at the scene. When they arrive, Dong-chul identifies the officer as a recipient of an award from the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Tae-joo inspects the body and notes that the bruises match up with being beaten with a police baton. They question the officer’s coworker that was called to ID the body and he says the victim had been missing just over a week. The last time he was seen, the victim had been going to meet someone called “Pretty.”

The other police had thought perhaps it was a girl from a brothel, but couldn’t find anyone using that name. Dong-chul thinks the name sounds familiar and Tae-joo recalls the mental patient, Yong-soo, who had made a scene at the station recently. He remembers that when Young-soo had seen Hyun-seok, he’d recognized him and called him “Pretty.”

Yong-ki confirms that before the psychiatric hospital, Young-soo had been in Hangbok Welfare Center. Everything seems to point to one place so Dong-chul sends Yong-ki and Nam-shik ahead to Hangbok Welfare Center while he and Tae-joo make a quick stop at the psychiatric hospital.

Young-soo greets the detectives warmly and immediately identifies Hyun-seok as “Pretty” from a photograph. He says Hyun-seok was always nice to him, but freaks out and calls Go Yeong-suk a “bad wench” when Tae-joo holds up her photo. Young-soo tells the detectives she was abusive at the Welfare center—refusing to feed them and administering strange medication.

A flashback shows Go Yeong-suk screaming and hitting Young-soo before walking over to the next bed where Hyun-seok lies awake, but rendered immobile from the drugs. She wonders where they should start and then starts applying makeup to the young man, giggling when he glares up at her. She finishes by painting Hyun-seok’s nails red, a sadistic smile plastered across her face.

In the present, Tae-joo stares at Young-soo horror-stricken as the young man cowers against the wall. Afterwards, the detectives head over to the Hangbok Welfare Center only to find it blocked off by a line of guards. The guards refuse to let the detectives pass even after Dong-chul identifies himself, saying that he needs to come back with written permission from City Hall.

Despite the inevitable scuffle, the detectives are forced to return to the station empty-handed. Gathering round, Yong-ki explains that the Hangbok Welfare Center was, in actuality, more of a group home for vagrants. A few years back, Chief Bae Sang-moo had initiated an “environmental cleanup project” and won a commendation for it.

Tae-joo is fuzzy on the details so Nam-shik explains that in preparation for the Asian Games and 1988 Olympics, the government launched a major crackdown on vagrants. They would round up vagrants and send them to facilities and Chief Bae’s main hunting grounds were the terminal and Insung Station.

Tae-joo deduces that the reason Min-seok and Hyun-seok were separated at Insung Station was the crackdown. After walking for three days, Hyun-seok surely looked ragged and Chief Bae had assumed he was a vagrant, beaten him, and locked him up in the Hangbok Welfare Center. Meanwhile, Min-seok was carted off to the orphanage.

This explains the three-year gap. When Hyun-seok was finally released, he assumed the identity of Lee Soon-ho, who’d worked at the Welfare Center while serving with the Riot Police. The team dives back into Hyun-seok’s call records but are interrupted by the arrival of Chief Kim. After the team’s stint at the Welfare Center, he’d received a call from the mayor and he’s livid, to say the least.

He launches into a tirade, first at Nam-shik and Yong-ki (who aren’t supposed to be here) and then at the team as a whole. He shouts at them to stop wasting time pursuing frivolous things and just as he and Dong-chul are about to get physical, Na-young (who’s been on the phone the entire time) cries out that she knows Hyun-seok’s plan.

The last phone call Hyun-seok made was to the director of the Hangbok Welfare Center. Now Chief Kim cares and Dong-chul orders him to get backup over to the hotel where the director is attending a conference—Hyun-seok is going to try and kill the director.

The detectives arrive at the hotel and demand that the concierge take them to the director’s room. Once inside, however, they find out he’s already gone down to the sauna. The team quickly fans out to search for him and Tae-joo and Dong-chul see him seconds before spotting Kim Hyun-seok as well.

The director unwittingly walks towards Hyun-seok, and Tae-joo and Dong-chul start to move in when Chief Kim arrives and calls out to the director. His schmoozing forces Hyun-seok’s hand and realizing it’s now or never, he pulls his gun and shoots the director in the back. The room devolves into chaos and Dong-chul and Tae-joo run after Hyun-seok.

Tae-joo chases Hyun-seok to the roof, but by the time he gets there, Hyun-seok is gone and a security guard is dead in the parking lot. The director was luckier and he snarls at Chief Kim to catch Hyun-seok before driving away.

Nam-shik tells Tae-joo that another security guard saw Hyun-seok leave in a red car, but couldn’t catch the license plate number. It doesn’t matter, however, because the detectives quickly work out that he’s on his way to pick up his brother.

Dong-chul and Tae-joo arrive at the bridge and find the red car parked there, the hood still warm. Na-young arrives in a taxi, saying Kim Min-seok disappeared from the station and she thinks he came here as well. The three split up to search for the brothers and Tae-joo returns to the house. Just as he’s reaching for the door, someone shouts for Kim Hyun-seok to stay put and he races off.

The chase scene perfectly mirrors Tae-joo’s 2018 chase with Min-seok. Tae-joo even catches Hyun-seok and nearly manages to subdue him until Hyun-seok fires the gun. Fortunately, unlike the 2018 scenario, Tae-joo manages to twist his body out of the way just in time to avoid anything fatal. The gunshot alerts the others and they frantically run towards the source.

Hyun-seok points the gun at Tae-joo again, but Tae-joo tells him it’s all over. Hyun-seok says he hasn’t even begun and Tae-joo asks if he really wants to be separated from his brother again. He says Hyun-seok’s sister wouldn’t want that.

Hyun-seok snarls that Tae-joo doesn’t know anything, but before he can pull the trigger, little Min-seok calls out to him. He turns back to look and sirens begin to wail in the distance. Lowering the gun, Hyun-seok yells for Min-seok to wait for him—promising to come back for him soon.

Tae-joo tries to grab Hyun-seok as he runs past, but misses. However, he notices Hyun-seok’s inhaler abandoned on the ground and scoops it up before giving chase once more. They end up back on the bridge and Hyun-seok drops the gun as he collapses from an asthma attack. Tae-joo kicks the weapon aside and follows slowly behind the now crawling Hyun-seok.

Gasping for air, Hyun-seok reaches towards Tae-joo for his inhaler but Tae-joo glares down at him as memories of Dad flash through his mind. Hyun-seok continues to reach out and Tae-joo grips the inhaler tightly, replaying Dad’s death in his head… before tossing the inhaler to Hyun-seok.

“You’re an outstanding officer,” Hyun-seok wheezes when he can breathe again. He asks why Tae-joo is chasing him and his brother so fiercely, and guesses it has something to do with the phone call from Seoul. Tae-joo is stunned that he knows about it, but Hyun-seok says he’s the one who looked into it for him.

Tae-joo thinks back to the mysterious caller (the one who warned him not to act rashly) and grabs Hyun-seok, demanding to know who the caller is. Hyun-seok is surprised Tae-joo doesn’t know but takes the opportunity to pull a knife from his pants and stab Tae-joo in the gut. Stepping back, Hyun-seok muses that Tae-joo must not even know the reason he’s here.

Hyun-seok warns Tae-joo not to trust the mystery caller too much and starts to say something else, but someone suddenly shoots him in the back. The shooter is Chief Kim and he grins as Hyun-seok clutches the bridge railing. Min-seok runs up on the opposite side with the detective team in tow and cries out for his brother.

Hyun-seok hoists himself over the railing and Tae-joo dives for him. They both fall over the side but Tae-joo manages to grab Hyun-seok with one hand and hold onto the railing with the other. He demands that Hyun-seok tell him what he knows, but Hyun-seok only replies cryptically that he’ll find out soon.

“That person… will come to see you,” Hyun-seok says before letting go of Tae-joo’s hand and falling into the water. Tae-joo makes a split-second decision and lets go of the railing as well. As he hits the water, Dong-chul and the others can be heard screaming after him but are soon drowned out by the sound of a heart monitor flatlining.

 
COMMENTS

That was intense! So, are we headed back to 2018 or is the show still playing with us? Silly question, of course the show is playing with us. I mean, that whole conversation with Kim Hyun-seok at the end was so cryptic and bizarre. Why is Tae-joo here? If this is all a figment of his fragmented mind, then all the doublespeak makes a little more sense since every “person” Tae-joo meets is part of his subconscious. But if not… then I am at a total loss.

Who is the mystery caller and just why was Hyun-seok so tickled that Tae-joo didn’t know? And even more curious, why did Hyun-seok warn Tae-joo against him? Everyone who seems to know something about Tae-joo’s displacement tends to contradict one another. I feel like this is just a really crazy spin on Alice in Wonderland and trying to make sense of anything is a fool’s errand. With only two weeks left, perhaps I should just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Which isn’t hard to do. Because despite my frustration at trying to untangle all the mystery threads, I do find this show very enjoyable. And I’m so thrilled Tae-joo was able to save Na-young so quickly. I was about to throw hands when she went missing because she is the heart and soul of the team and without her, there’s just a big gaping hole. And how sweet was it how happy everyone was to see her safe? They’ve all really come a long way from ordering her to wash their pants and bring them coffee.

From the start, the only person that I’ve disliked more than Yong-ki has been Chief Kim. I’ve always believed that Yong-ki, at least, would come around. And this week he and Tae-joo have come a long way together. However, I’ve always known Chief Kim was a political weasel. Yong-ki’s methods were wrong and his attitude left something to be desired, but he genuinely wants to help people. Chief Kim doesn’t give a rat’s behind what happens to anyone else, so long as he comes out smelling like daisies. Bad as it is, I wish the bullet Hyun-seok shot in the sauna had clipped him as well. Because while murder is wrong and Hyun-seok is no doubt a criminal, I don’t think he deserves to be killed—especially by a self-serving jerk like Chief Kim.

In truth, I feel for the Kim brothers. Those boys have been dealt a nasty hand and it’s just been the horrible gift that keeps on giving. After all they’ve been through, it’s really no wonder they turned out crazy. I had been hoping for a complex backstory, but I hadn’t been expecting it to tug at my heartstrings. Maybe I’m too sympathetic or optimistic, but is it too much to hope Tae-joo could somehow save those boys? Now that would make for an interesting plot twist.

 
RELATED POSTS

Tags: , , ,

92

Required fields are marked *

Ouch. Like @sunny, I really feel for the Kim Brothers. This might possibly be The Most Complex Backstory Of A Villian I've seen in dramaland so far. It's also nicely rooted in a time when human rights laws were lax, or in fact, delierately non-existent, thereby lending an air of easy believabilty to what the boys have been through.

In fact, with this kind of back story, the true villian seems to be Chief Kim. The real culprit is the terrible system, even if the boys are the proximate cause and the ones doing the dirty deed.

16
6
reply

Required fields are marked *

see, I do feel for the Kim brothers, but at the same time, I don't. If everyone who has had a terrible terrible childhood did what THEY'RE doing, the world would be utter chaos. there's no excuse.

9
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

True. I don't mean to condone their actions in any way. Once they're the adults, they're the cause of someone else's trauma and death - that's unforgivable.

7
reply

Required fields are marked *

The sad thing is, god damn, this was real.

In 1988, prior to the Seoul Olympics, vagrants were rounded up and carted off into this place called The Brother's Home, located in Busan (the municipality incidentally is a location sponsor/ production support for this show), in order to prepare Seoul for "presentation" to the international audience.

Korea's dictators saw the honour of hosting of the Olympics as recognition of Seoul's position on the national stage (plus, they had "elections" and a "democratic elected leader" for 8 years already!) and wanted to present it as pristine and well-to-do. But it barely was recovering from the throes of war, and, *snort* essentially still a dictatorship. (Even now, it's only been 65 years since the armistice.) Even kids were sent there and the worst human rights atrocities in the history of modern South Korea occurred for 5 years straight. Think North Korean concentration camp atrocities... that's what happened. Back then, S.K. was ruled by the military dictator Roh TaeWoo, he, who was a general who took part in the Gwangju Massacre under dictator Chun DooHwan (y'know, the "elected president"?).

It just breaks my heart that I'm not just watching pure fiction created by some deranged bored mind.

7
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

And the upper echelons are still covering it up and the victims are still not listened to. *sigh*

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

And by "vagrants were rounded up", I meant, illegally, without required checks, and of anyone who didn't look "proper".

Yeah, the police force and their allies did a fantastic, proper job.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for sharing this. Given SK's political situation at that time, I did indeed think it was entirely possible but to hear that is DID in fact happen is really sad.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was screaming "THANK DRAMA GODS OFFICER YOON IS SAFE" while watching the first few minutes of this episode. Didn't expect she'll be saved this early but I was more than glad because of that.

I appreciate how the show gave us characters that are viewed as bad in the law, but isn't the whole system the one to blame? I am scared of the brothers, but at the same time I feel for them. Chief Kim is shaping up to be the only unlikeable character in this show, and I am hoping for a tiny bit of back story even for him to justify why he is like that (since we've been pretty much given backgrounds on the characters that has appeared on the show).

Now that show has given answers and more questions (Is Tae-joo finally going back to 2018? I guess we may never know until Saturday), I am expecting the next episodes to be more intense than this one. Here's hoping that he can be given a chance to travel back again to save the brothers (or at least Min-seok), and even his own father.

10
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Ah the last scene on the bridge reminds me of my other favorite drama “Nine”. The hero was also stabbed in the same place, fell off a bridge into the river and time traveling too!! My only hope is that TJ won’t wake up in 2018 after falling into the river. I am not done with 1998 yet!

5
8
reply

Required fields are marked *

Interestingly, it reminded me of both Nine and W:Two worlds even though there is not much similarity with the latter. But well Nine and W were written by the same writers so it's not surprising that I might be conflating them both.

Or is there a similarity? Why don't I remember W clearly anymore!?

1
7
reply

Required fields are marked *

I suspect the Bridge of Non-Doom is the modern cousin of the Sageuk Cliff of Non-Doom, kindly identified by @pakalanapikake here:

http://www.dramabeans.com/2017/02/rebel-thief-who-stole-the-people-episode-6/#comment-2705949

Me thinks the Truck of Doom could learn a few lessons from Cliff and Bridge.

4
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

*high-fives @greenfields*

That's for sure. Pssst, Truck O-Doom... The name of the game is "diversify." You did a great job stopping on a dime in ABOUT TIME for that ultra-makjang double fakeout. An epic performance. Manseh! ;-)

*waxes nostalgic*

Ah, thanks for recalling Ye Good Olde Days, when a whole passel of us made it into Beans Of Wisdom with that thread. ;-)

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I looked for the Bridge of Non-Doom on koreandramaland.com (pull down "explore map" menu) but I couldn't recognize it and it wasn't listed yet for LOM or (Man x Man).

https://koreandramaland.com/listings/buyongdae-cliff/

4

@bbstl - that site is brilliant! And addictive. Haha

1

@greenfields IKR? I spent half the day looking at locations, but I had the best time!

1

The bridge of doom also makes an appearance in Man x Man.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

0

I loved 'Nine' but I hated 'W two worlds' even though they were written by the same writer. I dropped the latter after 7-8 episodes. But 'Nine' was my all time favourite K-dramas. Because I have a special affinity towards heroes getting injured, the falling off bridge scene in "Nine" was especially memorable for me, I had rewatched that scene n times lol... That's why it immediately came to my mind when I saw the ending of ep 12 in 'Life on Mars'.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

This show makes me go crazy in the best way possible!

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

it felt kinda weird when the timeline seams during 2018 and 1998 because i see tae joo as different person. (His updo is smokin' hawt).
The young hyun seok looks like we wanted to protect min seok when he didn't shoot Tae joo in the alley. But why does the older hyun seok(assuming he's the one shooting tae joo in 2018) having no qualms on killing in front of his brother?

2
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

Also, tf is wrong with Go yeong suk? Is she crazy? who applies makeup to subdued man and calls him pretty as a hobby?!

4
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really didn't expect that character turn for her at all. So mean and evil ! I do wonder, though, how little Min-Seok got into the nail-painting habit... he wasn't at the Hangbok Welfare Center...

so many mysteries!

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, omg, what is wrong with her! Was flabbergasted and creeped out at the scene, poor ET Boy, poor Pretty T_T

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

She was suffering from mental disorder which no one else got to knew about.
I feel the young Hyun Seok still had that heart that his brother is a kid but over the years He doesn't and I feel the one shooting Tae Joo is Kyung Se. I was disturbed by his grin when he shot Hyun Seok.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I can't stop adoring Na-Young... She's quiet, smart, and unexpected! I'm happy that her team is finally "recognising" her talents without they're even realising it....

11
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

She's sooo talented! I'm not sure how those boys operated without her insight all this time!! (before Tae-Joo appeared)
She always seems to quietly find the missing puzzle pieces, leading to a case being solved!

7
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

How they operated...?

... ... by taking evidence cos they can't find real evidence... ... and beating people up cos they can't link the dots themselves... ... and then drinking the coffee they made her make for them...

Bet she got bored.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

She is one of the most badass female lead in korean dramas. ❤️

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the recap, @sunny !
Oh, was I glad she got saved!!! SO HAPPY! As a matter of fact, this is the 2nd time I have gravely feared for Na-young's life: remember when she (coincidentally??) was wearing a white dress and was running after Tae-joo's dad? I was sooo tense when it seemed like she might be the lady on the table!!

That said, I was a little concerned about how quickly she went back into "cop-mode" after her own kidnapping. I applaud her bravery and yet, a part of me would feels like the complete 180° mood flip was too quick and a little unlike my expectations of a young cop. Not complaining, of course, especially since delving into her feelings on this traumatic experience might have spoiled the excellent pacing of this episode… or not… oh well…

I loved loved loved the parallel between the chase scene in 2018 and 1988, as well as how clear it was for the audience that Tae-Joo was back on the scenes of his own demise. And yes, I fully expected him to give Kim Hyun-seok his inhaler, and still, I reeeeally wish he hadn’t. I mean, the guy wouldn’t have died (not right away, any way…) and it would have given time for the other team members to arrive and arrest him pronto! But hindsight is always 20/20 and I can’t expect Tae-Joo to be sooo heartless as to let someone suffer this much.

I’m truly looking forward to this Saturday! Are we going back to 2018? Or is this an INCEPTION moment, with a dream within a dream within a dream -- or in our case, a coma within a coma?

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Am I the only one who has this weird suspicion about Chief Kim?
Idk, it's the way that the camera focuses on him and these sometimes subtle looks he gives Tae-joo.
This show might be driving me crazy and making me read too much into things, but I felt that suspicion again in this episode when Chief Kim arrived with backup on that bridge. It's just his facial expression and the fact that the camera immediately focused on him after Kim Hyun-seok said not to trust the guy on the phone.

And wow show, way to go and make me empathize with this murderer. I always like it when crime shows manage to make feel that for their villains.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@yuyuu
For some time especially since that hostage situation case when he turned up to appear on TV as he 'talked' to the kidnappers and revealed that Na Young was a policewoman, I've been expecting him to be their worst enemy. In fact, I do wonder if he is in league with some other baddies (besides Oh Jung Man) and is out at worst to sabotage investigations or at least to throw the team under the bus if they threaten his 'good record'.

He seems to pop up inconveniently, and too often, to mess up the planned set up to catch the criminal. Ostensibly, it's because he's out for the limelight and where he can rub shoulders with 'important' persons. But I wonder if he has a more nefarious reason as well. He looks like one who can be easily manipulated and used by baddies in high places. 😒

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Even I had the inkling that he may be the villain coz he's really getting enough screen space and that weird grin after he shot Hyun Seok.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

This episode. Is. Freaking. Good.
*standing ovation*

It's pack full of both exhilarating action scenes and emotionally heart-tugging backstories. The reason behind those infamous manicure murders is so much worse and disturbing than what I imagined. I'm not sure I want to know more about what actually happened behind the Hangbok Welfare Centre's tightly shut gate.

And our poor Tae-joo just couldn't catch a break. Right when he thought he has finally caught someone who can somehow transported him back to 2018, that very person boldly told him that Tae-joo never really knew the real reason he was in '88. Ugh, my head hurts. Who is that person who called him from Seoul? And are we really, really going to have to deal with flatlining Tae-joo?

12
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This show keeps delivering every week, plus the cliffhanger!

Although I find the plot movement and char consistency are slightly better in, say, Signal and Tunnel (thriller genre), LoM redeems it with its totally unpredictable narration/story. So many possibilities, so many factors that have to be counted in and I'm giving up theorizing and enjoy whatever the next episodes bring us later. Plus, the acting are so good in every front.

Officer Na Young is very smart and efficient one, she should lead a team of her own, and I can't get past how petty and childish Dong Chul can be, but then he goes all mature and fatherly and I see why he is the captain of the team.

The two brothers...do have some of the worst fate faced them in their fragile youth, and probably because they haven't meet kindness yet that they've gone so wrong. That doesn't mean that their actions are justifiable, but it is the case of "what if", if they've met people who showed them unintentional goodness and care towards them, what will their life be.

But the biggest question yet to face is, what actually is this 1988 world, and what is this to the real TJ??? I'm dying to know and I hope the rest of the show do not dissappoint...

7
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I really love Dong Chul, flaws and all. the only time he truly grates my nerves is when he turns to Na-Young and asks her for coffee. like, REALLY?!?!? She's proven more than a billions times how much of an asset she is to the team and you're asking her for coffee?!

I know it has to do with the chauvinistic mentality at the time (1988) but ggrrrrr!! I mean, if she was indeed rightfully employed as a secretary, fine! That would be in her job description! But she's a cop! a bona fide cop! why is she getting coffee for them!?!?

*sigh*

but I love him. lol

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks @sunny
I have this same desire... "is it too much to hope Tae-joo could somehow save those boys? Now that would make for an interesting plot twist." - What I'd really like is that Min Seok could be saved. We saw that he stood up to the bullies in defense of little Tae Joo. If only he could have a nice foster home and friends and grow out of wanting to paint nails!!! Then plot twist - Tae Joo, when he returns to 2018, would find quite a different situation, without those serial murders and his ex-fiancee would be fine (ie not kidnapped). Maybe he'd have suddenly more friends and be less isolated in the 'new' and improved 2018. I'm hopeful!!! 😌

One of the things I really like about this show is how it consistently makes use of Tae Joo's forensic knowledge to push the investigation forward. I loved how he got a chemical reaction with alcohol and the cloth dye, to prove Oh Jung Man's guilt. And in this one, how he could recognise that the cause of fire was arson with a flammable fluid. I hope we keep getting more. 😎

However, I'm puzzled - I don't understand the need for Hyun Seok to have kidnapped Na Yeong and leave her in the house with his brother. Would kidnapping her have increased his chances of getting away? He knew that Tae Joo seemed to know of the house with the cross on the door, so it was only a matter of time, before it was found. Yet he did not try to hide his brother away elsewhere.

Was it because he had a deadline with other murders to commit, so he leaves Na Young alive in the house with his brother? Little Min Seok was still innocent enough to expose him or let in the police. So I found it strange.

He killed to protect himself from being caught or out of revenge... but he did not seriously hurt Na Young. I'm glad, but I wonder why.

I was wondering also if the unlocked door was because Min Seok was at home and he did not want to lock his brother in. Questions... questions.... this show sets the mind going on and on so well!!!

I'm trusting that based on the coherent way most of the plot is coming together and how we are getting the explanations to most questions, that by the end of this show we'll know all the answers! 😋

6
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Was also thinking what's the point of Na-young's kidnapping, and theorising that maybe Hyun-seok never meant to kill her, he was just buying time to complete his mission to kill the people involved with the welfare centre. For all the people he has killed, he probably justified it as deserved punishment for the bad things they've done...

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Hyun-seok might be aware that Na-young is the true brains of Dong-chul's team, and has taken her out of play to slow down their investigation of him and his kid brother.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I know he kills alot but he had a hard working sister maybe working with Na -young maybe fostered enough feeling for her good qualities to make him reluctant to kill her.

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

The asthma-collapse bit seems off to me. Being chased by police should be a high-adrenaline event, right? And adrenaline can counteract the effects of asthma and has been used in emergency asthma inhalers. I don't think the baddie has an asthma attack then.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Asthmatic speaking here. Umm, no. Add in the panic of not having your inhaler in hand and the asthma attack can become even worse.

6
reply

Required fields are marked *

Its the opposite actually:
exercise induced asthma, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/exercise-induced-asthma/symptoms-causes/syc-20372300

https://web.archive.org/web/20110629035454/http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs307/en/

Asthma causes are not well understood, if they are caused by allergic reaction, then anti-histamine may help (like Adrenaline) but if not then it may actually get worse with exercise.
And if you remember that the blood report said he had Streptococcus (a type of bacteria) in his blood. This causes Pneumonia and Pneumonia can lead to asthma:

https://www.verywellhealth.com/can-asthma-cause-pneumonia-200525

And as the cause in not allergies, it will actually be really worse with exercise because his lungs are inflamed.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Comment was deleted

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This episode was intense.

NaYoung was so awesome in the way she handled the interview with Kim Min Seok. She showed so much compassion and empathy. She has the bestest heart 💖💖

The scene with TaeJoo and little Kim Min Seok was also full of emotion. I could see TaeJoo struggling with his conflicted feelings.

The most gripping scene was watching TaeJoo struggling to decide whether he wanted to give Kim Hyun Seok his inhaler. I was screaming soundlessly at my computer screen “give it to him don’t become a murderer!!” I was exhausted after that scene 😱😰

Kudos to all the actors for doing such a marvelous job that I forget this is a drama and am emotionally invested.

6
5
reply

Required fields are marked *

"The scene with TaeJoo and little Kim Min Seok was also full of emotion. I could see TaeJoo struggling with his conflicted feelings. "

Yes, I saw hate and even revulsion from Tae-joo's end, which makes the scene so powerful, especially since he is looking at a child who hasn't done anything at this point.

7
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

@Kasumi and @ Peridot
I so want part of Tae Joo's reason for being in 1988 to be to save these brothers so that they are not still running around killing people in 2018. I'd really love the ending if it could work out that way. It's only in 1988 that he realises that they were victims themselves, over and over again... if he can somehow stop his revulsion for them from surfacing and affecting him towards the next episodes, at least little Min Seok might be saved. I hope we still end up in 1988 after that fall into the water with stab wound and all.

(I was reading the thread on the Cliff of Non-Doom... laughed myself silly at all the comments. So this is the bridge of Non-Doom and about to propel our hero back into the future? 😂 http://www.dramabeans.com/2018/07/life-on-mars-episode-12/#comment-3277402 )

4
reply

Required fields are marked *

I kept thinking, will someone please run out and get the kid a stuffed animal and save Korea from a serial killer in the future, please??? Auggghhhh!

5
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

The scene where little Min Seok was sleeping at the desk in the police station was heartbreaking. All I could think was “he’s just a child.”

My overactive imagination was conjuring up far fetched scenarios to prevent little MinSeok from becoming killer MinSeok in 2018. One crazy scenario was that TaeJoo will stay back in 1988, get married to NaYoung and they will adopt little MinSeok!

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

I love it! What a nice alternate reality. On the other hand, does that mean that Tae-joo kicks the bucket? Aw, rats...

1

Glad that all find this episode intense from the long comments. 😂 Can't wait for the next episodes. 😍

2
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Can anyone explaim the motive of hyun seok killing the police officer at the river?

1
4
reply

Required fields are marked *

The police officer mistook Hyun Seok for a vagrant and violently took him in to the Welfare center. Hyun Seok was held almost captive and psychologically tortured by Go YeonSuk for 3 years. Plus he was separated from his younger brother who had to go through his own abuse.

3
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

@Kasumi
Actually I was under the impression that although the police knew that he wasn't really a vagrant, they just wanted to earn the accolades by brutally hitting him and draggging him away. The guy who was murdered received an award for 'clearing' the idea. I figured that he did not care to investigate if the people he 'cleared off' and incarcerated were truly vagrants or not.

6
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

I had the same impression, that the cop needed to run up his numbers (basically, to qualify for the award he won) and was pulling in non-vagrants as well as vagrants.

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@growingbeautifully and @bbstl

I think we are all providing pieces of the puzzle.
Dong Chul mentions that Hyun Seok had been walking for 3 days and looked dirty and could have been mistaken for a vagrant.

And you are both right, because the cop was more interested in getting accolades than being humane. And the violence of the “clearing” was also disturbing.

All in all a very stark example of how systems can result in the abuse of vulnerable people.

7
reply

Required fields are marked *

Life on Mars continues to impress. This episode was full of action and intensity. I was a little surprised that they found Na Young so fast, early in the hour. The show had pieces of information left to reveal to the audience (and still leave us hanging).

I assumed that the episode count was going to be 16, but now I’m not so sure after looking it up. It feels like 4 more episodes is not enough to finish the story. I like the current pacing and hope they maintain it to the end.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I .... am both shocked & thrilled through this ep.
Enjoying this show more & more.

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This episode was by far the most chilling because while I was watching I had the feeling those welfare institutions did exist. And I was right. https://apnews.com/c22de3a565fe4e85a0508bbbd72c3c1b
These institutions were no short of concentration camps and many lives were lost. 😭😭😭

I love how this drama embeds real history into the plot... like the hostage case in ep7.

9
9
reply

Required fields are marked *

@geliguolu sph_7,

Thank you for the link to that Associated Press investigative report. It reminds me of atrocities at mental hospitals here in the US, but on a far larger scale. This "welfare center" was organized and efficiently run at a profit in cahoots with high officials, so it really does resemble the concentration camps of the Third Reich. The brutality is mind-boggling. After reading that real-life background, I can now understand how Hyun-seok and Min-seok turned out the way they did.

VOICE had a hellhole of a welfare center, too.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Oh dear me, this is just horrifying. At that time I worked with Korean companies making handbags in Busan, including DaeWoo so this scares the hell out of me. We were so clueless.

1
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

@bbstl,

There was no way you could have found out the truth because the evil was top-down. It would have been even more difficult to discover that was going on with subcontractors.

Recall that it was back in the days when it was all the rage to off-shore manufacturing operations to overseas locations where the locals were paid a pittance and no fringe benefits such as health insurance. Occupational safety and health regulations, environmental pollution controls, and unionization/collective bargaining were among the other profit-reducing costs that could be dodged by US firms in this manner. Heck, even in the US, many companies hired temps so they wouldn't have to provide benefits.

Back then, no American in their right mind would ever have imagined slave labor was being used because the US prison system itself was still prohibited from competing in the open marketplace against private industry that did not have access to labor paid $1/day.

It reminds me of the revelation that prison labor was used to manufacture exports from the PRC back in the day, which may have been about 30 years ago, but I'm hazy on the timing.

I well recall the howls of protest when it was revealed that some US mail-order retailers had outsourced their call centers to prison labor. The idea of providing my address and credit card information to someone in the slammer was very disturbing.

Prison Call Centers Put Squeeze on Service Sector
https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4505278

1
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

PP, boy you hit that on the nose. The fashion trades (and so many others) had deserted American manufacturing for all those reasons: labor costs, unions, environmental protections, people protections etc. Second and third world countries let us do whatever we wanted and at an obscene profit, we weren't asking many questions. Sigh. My company worked only with factories that seemed very Western in their values but who knows. I saw some amazing stuff in factories that we turned down.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for sharing the link. This article was such an eye-opener. South Korea really did have some really dark history in terms of human rights abuse and I regret that it still remains unaddressed to this day. Life on Mars' writing continues to simultaneously ass-kicking and heart-tugging.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for the link. It was a disturbing read. It’s frustrating that those responsible were not held accountable. I hope the survivors can somehow still get the justice.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

thanks for the link...

i had to stop & re-read some passages coz it seemed so unreal. now, i'm going to follow the writer's future dramas for including real background stories for the characters.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you for sharing this article.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thanks for pointing us to the article. What they went through is truly horrific. This made my blood boil: "Yet nobody has been held accountable to date for the rapes and killings at the Brothers compound because of a cover-up orchestrated at the highest levels of government, the AP found. Two early attempts to investigate were suppressed by senior officials who went on to thrive in high-profile jobs; one remains a senior adviser to the current ruling party.

I think Show is very brave for incorporating yet another very painful episode in Korean history, and exposing the wound to the light. The story packs such an emotional punch when it's based on actual events like this. It certainly makes me understand how someone who had gone through this could end up like Hyun-seok.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

When the show replayed adult Minseok's words about Tae-joo's horrified expression, I began to think that that the Minseok might have seen adult Tae-joo when the former was a child. In which case, this would be some confusing time travel-loop. We know that young Min-seok interacted with young Tae-joo, but the "horrified look" comment does not make sense in that context. I got the strange feeling that 2018 Minseok was referring to the older Tae-joo, whom he had somehow seen in the 1980s. Does this make sense?

10
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yep, and this time travel loop business is sure to make my head hurt!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Even I felt the same that he was referring to the older Tae Joo coz younger Min Seok and younger Tae Joo used to be friendly and that frown is not at all expected from younger Tae Joo. So many mysteries!!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

So now we got our murderer, only to find there is a hidden big bad, possibly pulling strings from 2018 and 1988? *clutch head* Could it be whoever is behind the welfare home is still around and powerful in 2018?
Am so glad Na-young is saved early in the episode, but then it's Tae-joo's turn to be all bloody, gah, this show and its cliffhangers! But am so glad for the apparent worry of the squad on the bridge, them crying out for Tae-joo so loudly, especially Yong-ki. Please just let him survive and still in 1988, he can't leave now they've seen him as an integral part of the squad!

3
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

just wanted to thank helcat & sunny for the recaps! i have been watching the show and reading your insightful analysis (commentary) on the show along w/ the beanies' remarks & observations.

this episode hits all the right spots in terms of background for the villains, it was unjust & cruel how life & the system treated them, it is no excuse for murder or violence but i felt horrified for what 'pretty' had to experience in that facility. the eventual fallout of the younger brother is truly sad, based on the 2018 future:(

i really like the writing of the drama, salute! although the theme of the show is quite dark, there are unexpected moments of levity. my luv for JKH is growing by leaps & bounds<3

i liked the previous work of this director, HC & TGW:) the camera movement is glorious here especially when TJ experience flashbacks of 2018 or when the timeline runs parallel stories.

2018 is shaping up to be a really good year for kdramas! after the excellent my ahjussi & first-rate live, LoM is gold:)

7
3
reply

Required fields are marked *

A great drama year indeed, with these three outstanding dramas. In years past, we may be lucky to have one drama in that calibre - but three!

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

hi PYC!

i might be missing some good dramas due to lack of time, but 2018 has been amazing indeed! are you watching Life? haven't read the recaps yet, but CSW was really from forest of secrets, so...

0
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

FoS was the best from last year. Will start Life when a few more episodes are available, looking forward to see not just JSW but other FOS alum.

0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This episode was so instense! And the backstory for KHS and KMS is one of the most intricate villian backstory i have ever encountered in a kdrama. It makes sense that KHS turned evil after all the unnecessary hardship these brothers went through. I dont condone violence and what KHS/KMS did is not alright. But i do appreciate a villian with a strong background like KHS in LOM, it makes the villian mystery reveal more interesting and their despair somewhat relatable.

Come faster ep 13! at least, come faster ep 13 preview 😆

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

With this episode (and others) Chief Kim has done a lot to inconvenience the team and I think he might be The Big Bad, or at least connected to the man from Seoul.

The Kim Brothers were also truly monsters created by a corrupt system. Kim Hyun-seok being rounded up and taken to a mental institution reminded of how vagrants in Save Me were sent to Guseonwon, under the pretext of cleaning up the city. :\

The hospital scene was so chilling and sad. Go Yeong-suk was taking her frustrations out on these people, and it was completely deranged.

2
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yes, it makes me wonder what her horrible, debilitating back story was.

3
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

And it's possible that she may not even have one (some people are cruel just to be cruel)!

2
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you @sunny for the recap and all the beanie comments. Another great episode but I am annoyed. I think this calls for an emergency memo.
From: CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT GENERAL-- Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency ( I got the title from Wiki)
From henceforth all officers when apprehending a suspect must immediately place the suspect in cuffs, and frisk and pat him/her down for weapons.
1. There was the recent incident where suspect Yeom Ji-hong escaped from Detective Chae Do-jin (CAHM); and
2. Before the creation of SMPA (1991) in 1988 suspect Kim Hyun-seok was able to knife Chief Han Tae-joo.
Both incidents occurred because the suspect was not cuffed.
CUFF the suspects first!

4
2
reply

Required fields are marked *

THANK YOU! 🤦🏻‍♀️ Gaaaahhhhhhh

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you, @marcusnyc20 Bong-soo!

I was tearing my hair out when Detective Chae Do-jin cuffed Psycho Killer Dad's left hand to the wire (!!!) of the kennel instead of putting the bracelets on both wrists -- and behind his back so he could not grab a gun from an unsecured holster, nor use his arms to assault anyone.

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Yet another excellent episode. Apart from Episode 7, my opinion has always been that the even numbered episodes are always a bit better than the odd numbered ones. But really that's not saying much because this series has been unbelievably great.

For me this episode had resonances of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Victim Zero... if she can be considered such... was Nurse Ratchet reincarnated. The problem is certainly systemic and until it is dealt with on that level, bandaid solutions will just be applied to mollify a momentarily outraged public.

I am not unsympathetic to the Kim Brothers plight... on some level they are victims of a system that has no place for them or treats them as nuisances. But the problem with revenge is not only that it blurs the lines of legitimacy but it distracts from the much bigger problem. It frames the issue as being personal when ultimately, it is social issue that needs to be dealt with from the roots, so to speak. It is somewhat similar to the hostage situation in that the issues that are being raised get lost in the violence and bloodshed. All it mostly ends up doing is skirting over or justifying the poor decisions that were made in the first place that led to this human catastrophe.

4
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

@lilium,

Nurse Ratchet has been on my mind, too. Unlike Billy, who suicides in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, other young victims of abuse often (but not always) grow up to become victimizers themselves. Hyun-seok is hell-bent on revenge, with the security guard in the parking lot most likely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Which leads me to wonder what the heck happened to Min-seok when he was in the orphanage. I just hope that Tae-joo hasn't goofed like his counterpart in TWO COPS who failed to make good on his promise to a young kid to clear his dad's name in an auto accident. That would really stink -- but it would explain adult Min-seok's grudge.

I agree with you 100% about the systemic nature of the problems at the root of the killings in LIFE ON MARS. It's way too easy blame them on deviant and disturbed individuals. Corrupt institutions are much more difficult to reform, and their shadowy masters all have friends and enablers in high places, it seems.

3
reply

Required fields are marked *

oh Na Young! All I can say is that this girl is so recklessly brave and so full of empathy at the same time (re: talking to Kim Min Seok). I love her.

Also I know it's one of those complete creepy coincidences, but Kim Min Seok painting Na Young's nails while we see later that Hyun Seok gets the creepy doll treatment by Go Yeong Suk. Plus we know Min Seok is into dolling dead girls up in 2018.

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

This show ooohhh.... sooo good!! It's truly a great remake with local flavor and inserting factual incidents to strengthen the plot. I learn a lot about SK history from the show -what a 'fringe benefit' indeed. Hats off to the writer(s)! DAEBAK...!!

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

My heart broke at the vagrant scene. How traumatized would be to witness that, and to see your brother got dragged away/forced to separate.

It's true that it is our own choice on how we want to live our life, but the people we met and the environment play an important role in shaping us. I feel so bad for the brothers to meet various terrible people throughout their lives.

4
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

If there is anything this show has taught me is that you cant ignore even the tiniest details . Nothing is filler in this show.

For eg. tae joo’s father holiday photo had a baground of hawaii which turned out to be the baground of the club he used to fool his family that he is abroad.

Or the little news item about daylight saving hours which came into play when Tae-joo didn’t realise he was late by 1 hour when he was supposed to meet with Na-young at the city hall. Thus he was unable to prevent her kidnapping. There are many other such instances in the show.

Thats why right from episode 1 I have had my suspicions about Na-young.
She does know about Tae-joo’s circumstances moreover she has been actively trying to prevent him from finding out the truth even encouraging him to give up and live here with them rather than trying to return to his reality.

It’s not a coincidence every time Tae-joo communicated with (who i now suspect is the man from Seoul) through the radio telephone tv or even saw the astral projection (don’t know what else to call it ) of that person Na -young happened to be just there anxiously calling him back right when he came close to finding out.

She even knew to be there right when he was planning to jump . Technically no one was supposed to be there around that time and no knew what he was going to do. She knew that if Tae joo jumped he’d die out in the real world.
Thats why she lied about why doctor jang said those things. Otherwise you tell me what psychologist in their right mind would tell their patient they are in a coma and their reality is not real.

She even knew about tae joo’s father. That conversation in the bar when she asked about his father and covered it up by pretending to joke.

I find it unforgivable that when Tae-joo found the courage to tell her about coming from the future she told him he needed professional help. She’s known the truth all along but deliberately kept him in the dark about it . Moreover she’s actively discouraged him from finding out the truth telling him to forget and be happy here.

I wouldn’t even be surprised if she turned out to be the creator or co creator of this world instead of Gene from the original Mars series on BBC. That would be a twist.

I wish i was a better writer because i know this doesn’t seem enough to convince you of my suspicions. But if you go through those earlier scenes you’ll understand what I’m trying to say.

Whether I’m right or wrong ill know in the coming episodes but i am confident
that NA -YOUNG KNOWS !!!!

7
1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Your take on Na Young's role is so interesting! omg I enjoyed reading your observations. I'm going to keep a closer eye on her in the upcoming episodes haha!

1
reply

Required fields are marked *

Thank you, Sunny, for your recap and comments. Your play-by-play enables me to keep up with the rafts of details that may or may not be clues.

I don't even know what to make of Tae-joo and Hyun-seok landing in the drink. If his brother drowns despite the detective's utmost efforts to save him, will little Min-seok's murderous future become unavoidable?

1
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I was pretty sure that Young-soo was gonna turn out to be important since Show took the trouble to tell us his name when his character was introduced. He told Tae-joo that he was from 2018 and that he also heard the voices talking to him-- isn't it possible that he's been working with Min-seok in 2018? He was made to seem crazy because of the ET thing, but now that I think of it, Tae-joo is a lot like ET-- an alien in a strange land trying to find his way home.

The true story of the abuse, brutality, and in some cases, murder that occurred in the name of cleaning up the "vagrants" has me reeling so much that it's eclipsing all my other feelings about this episode at the moment.

The one thing I'll add is that Mystery Caller's voice sounds a lot like Choi Jin-ho's to me (he was the baddie in Romantic Teacher Doctor Kim), although he's not listed as being a part of LoM's cast.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *

I keep getting TWO COPS vibes. A conman falls into a coma after jumping off a bridge to escape the assassins on motorcycles who have chased him and the cop he is handcuffed to. His disembodied spirit has 49 days to deal with his unfinished business before moving on to the afterlife. I can't help but wonder if something similar is happening to Tae-joo.

It finally bubbled up into my awareness that the scene of Hyun-seok jumping over the bridge railing and then letting go of Tae-joo's hand could have given Min-seok (who could not have seen Hyun-seok let go from where he stood) the idea that the detective caused his brother's death (if he in fact dies). Or maybe Min-seok will end up in yet another orphanage, and this time will be severely mistreated. Either way, it could lead to the murderous desire for revenge that Min-seok exhibits in 2018 in a replay of his brother's campaign of vengeance.

Young Min-seok had watched out for little Tae-joo. How did he ever go off the rails? Institutionalization in a bad orphanage would account for it.

0
0
reply

Required fields are marked *