Trap: Episode 3
Things are about to take an even darker turn as we dive deeper into the events of that fateful night. Prepare for some stomach-churning details to emerge about the horrific truth behind what transpired in the mountains, and just how far some people are willing to venture into darkness.
EPISODE 3: “1 Millimeter”
After leaving CEO Hong’s office, Dong-kook and Seo-young head to the mountains to check the site where Woo-hyun’s son was found dead. Grimly, half of the boy’s face was blown off by a shotgun, and most of the officers there are traumatized by the horrific sight.
The actual cause of death, however, was a slash through the throat, and the coroner speculates the hunter intentionally kept the boy alive even after blowing half of his brain out before dealing the death cut.
As the detectives are discussing the scene, Detective Jang arrives with Woo-hyun in tow, who insisted on seeing the body. Seo-young argues that Woo-hyun shouldn’t see his son in this state, but Dong-kook disagrees and says he should see it now to stop his mind from imagining what happened instead.
Dong-kook offers Woo-hyun some advice, as if he repeated the same words to himself hundreds of times before, “Keep repeating this in your mind: ‘Now matter how painful it is, I will not die. I must catch the culprit and beat him to death. I will never die until then,'”
“If you collapse now,” Dong-kook continues, “this case ends here.” Woo-hyun wills his way over to Shi-woo’s corpse, and can only whimper in grief at the terrible sight, clutching his son in his arms.
Meanwhile, Seo-young and Dong-kook share their theory about CEO Hong’s involvement with Detective Jang, but he warns the pair that they have zero evidence outside of the burner phone, and dismisses their theory outright.
Back at the police station, Seo-young’s boss handles inquiries into their team’s investigation into the suspected serial killer case, burning their physical documents since he suspects the people prying into the case are trying to cover it up.
Elsewhere, CEO Hong tortures the aide that Seo-young recognized previously, and the aide creepily seems to completely accept his punishment.
Dong-kook and Seo-young head to the charred remains of the cafe to scope it out, and learn that it was remodeled several years earlier with extremely flammable materials. Additionally, the cafe rarely ever opened, remaining locked down most of the time.
These facts lead Seo-young to conclude that the cafe was designed to be a lure for the hunters’ prey, and as soon as the grounds were no longer needed they would dispose of all the evidence by setting the cafe ablaze and moving to a new location.
She also speculates that the cafe owner, who burned to death in the fire, was not actually a true member of the team, and was similarly cast aside once the site was no longer needed.
As the pair begin to leave the site, Dong-kook notices someone lurking in the bushes nearby, but it turns out to just be the rookie detective taking a shortcut through the woods.
Dong-kook, though, senses someone else followed the rookie, and sure enough, when he sends the rookie back the way he came, the other person scurries away. The three cops manage to chase the man down, and Dong-kook recognizes the tailer as a reporter.
The reporter brings Dong-kook and Seo-young to another cafe, introducing himself as Reporter Ko. Dong-kook shows zero patience for Reporter Ko’s shenanigans, so the reporter cuts to the chase, asking them if the case is about a serial killer.
Dong-kook wonders how much Reporter Ko knows, so he offers the man an exclusive interview just before the embargo is set to be lifted.
Reporter Ko admits he’s been looking into a seemingly unrelated story on the dangers of gambling when he stumbled onto a link between several gamblers who apparently committed suicide, but who were all last seen at the hunters’ cafe.
The Russian waitress who was sitting at their table finally interjects, a fluent Korean speaker, to reveal that she once delivered coffee to the hunters’ cafe while the now-dead gamblers were there for a secret illegal gambling session.
The girl gets a look at the faces of every other person there, and though the now-dead gamblers assure everyone else that the waitress doesn’t speak Korean, one older patron can somehow tell that she does, and warns her to leave now or he won’t let her live.
The waitress, in the present, notes that she knew even then that the other people gathered there were hunters, and she identifies one specific hunter who was there that day: CEO Hong.
Elsewhere, CEO Hong announces to some of the other hunters who were at the gambling session that their next hunt is prepared, and that they will be much more open about it.
As he is explaining, a young hunter interrupts looking annoyed at CEO Hong. Surprisingly, CEO Hong immediately drops to his knees and bows before the young man, even allowing the man to step on his head as a show of obedience.
One of the older hunters steps in to defend CEO Hong, and promises to take care of the problem of the detectives who are focused in on CEO Hong right now.
The older hunter takes CEO Hong aside to assure him everything will be fine, and casually boasts about how he used to hunt people back before CEO Hong’s time, and even made meat jerky out of the victims. They’re cannibals too?
Dong-kook, meanwhile, reports the new details to Detective Jang, who remains reluctant to believe CEO Hong is involved.
Back at the hospital, a priest visits Woo-hyun, who brings the priest to a secluded bathroom away from the guards.
In the car, Seo-young explains how CEO Hong would be able to keep his psychopathic nature hidden for so long by studying other people in order to mimic their empathetic responses to things. The differences between fake empathy and real empathy are subtle, so most people wouldn’t notice.
Dong-kook wonders if Woo-hyun would be able to detect those differences in CEO Hong, but before they can explore that topic, the rookie detective calls to inform them that Woo-hyun escaped from the hospital.
Woo-hyun subdued the priest in the bathroom and took off disguised in the priest’s clothes. The detectives suss out that Woo-hyun is heading to an event CEO Hong is holding, and quickly head to the location to head Woo-hyun off.
Woo-hyun parks outside CEO Hong’s event, waiting for him to show his face. When CEO Hong finally steps outside, Woo-hyun accelerates toward him. Dong-kook races forward as well, and pulls in front of Woo-hyun just in time to intercept him before he can get near CEO Hong.
Dong-kook disguises himself and Seo-young and hastily gets out to make a scene as if it was a legitimate accident, hiding Woo-hyun from CEO Hong’s view in the meantime. He chastises Woo-hyun for brashly trying to kill CEO Hong.
Back at the hospital, Dong-kook tries to get Woo-hyun to remember the memories he was missing from his previous testimony, but Woo-hyun instead questions what Dong-kook was talking about earlier when he wondered whether the anchor remembered him.
Dong-kook obliges, and recalls his own memories from several years ago. Back then, Dong-kook was working a case with Detective Jang, and Dong-kook catches the young hunter and his pals in a drugs bust.
Later that night, Dong-kook learns that one of the young men pulled some strings to get released. He doesn’t think too much of it, though, and instead rushes off to meet his family.
Dong-kook’s son calls for him across the street, and excitedly rushes across to meet his dad. Out of nowhere, a car speeds through the intersection and flattens the boy in front of his family’s eyes, killing him. The driver of the car was the same young hunter who Dong-kook arrested hours beforehand.
At his son’s wake, Dong-kook mutters the same line he would repeat to Woo-hyun about taking revenge on the killer, not even acknowledging anyone else’s presence.
Later, Dong-kook obsessively investigates his son’s case, and explains to Woo-hyun in the present that he enjoyed being a part of the Violent Crimes unit since it made him feel like he could actually do something about his son’s death.
The investigation proves fruitless, however, as the young hunter easily evades capture thanks to his powerful father and his connections.
Dong-kook takes matters into his own hands, confronting the young hunter and his father in their home. But the father laughs off Dong-kooks threats, and belittles Dong-kook for failing to even protect his own son.
The hunter’s goons beat Dong-kook to a pulp, and not long afterwards they are able to destroy all evidence Dong-kook collected on the case before that point by bribing a corrupt detective.
Dong-kook’s obsession took a toll on his family as well, and caused his wife to take their daughter and leave, further fracturing their family.
With nowhere left to turn, Dong-kook was stirred by the words of a news anchor, Woo-hyun, who proclaimed, “At times this world seems to be teeming with wickedness and corruption. Although it may sometimes take a while, justice will prevail.”
Dong-kook lobbied to share his story with Woo-hyun in order to get the news anchor’s help in getting justice for his son, and Woo-hyun did grant him an opportunity to present the story.
But Woo-hyun recognized immediately that the target was too powerful and too big to take on with Dong-kook having no power of his own to wield. Woo-hyun advised Dong-kook to be patient.
“The world will change,” Woo-hyun posits, “I know it will be hard but you need to endure. As long as you wait, you will see that justice will prevail in the end.”
After that day, Dong-kook abandoned his hope of getting justice, and began to resent Woo-hyun for refusing to help, and resents himself for his failure as a father.
With his story now out in the open, Dong-kook turns on Woo-hyun and argues that the anchor should be doing the same thing Dong-kook did all those years ago and be begging for help.
He pushes further, almost taunting Woo-hyun with his wife’s affair until Seo-young finally drags Dong-kook out of the room to stop the onslaught.
Later that morning, Dong-kook and Seo-young find out that the Violent Crimes unit from Seoul is taking over the case, and the corrupt detective who destroyed the evidence from Dong-kook’s son’s case is now in charge.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, a janitor inconspicuously slips Woo-hyun a disposable phone, and he stealthily contacts Secretary Kim while the newly appointed team is unaware.
Secretary Kim is stowed away in the back of a truck as she tries to escape the country, and she warns Woo-hyun to stay safe himself, as the people behind what happened have already started their next move.
Woo-hyun manages to hide the phone so the new police team doesn’t find it, but they immediately handcuff Woo-hyun and make clear that he is considered both a victim and a suspect.
Back at the temporary police base, Dong-kook openly questions the corrupt detective’s motives in front of the rest of his team, and asks if CEO Hong is the one who put him up to tormenting the victim by muddying this case like he did to Dong-kook before.
In the back of the truck, Secretary Kim reads Woo-hyun’s final message to her: “I will not die. I’ll never dies before I beat the culprit who killed my son.”
I feel like things got super dark all of the sudden. Not to say it wasn’t kind of dark before what with the kidnapping people’s families and hunting them for sport, but now they’re hinting at eating the victims too. I did notice previously that the cafe owner was boiling what definitely looked like a brain but I wasn’t really sure if I was just imagining it or not. He did also refer to the baits as “tasty” so it’s not totally out of left field, but to just have a hunter openly talking about how he made jerky out of his victims was pretty messed up.
Speaking of the hunters, I’m a tad disappointed that they seem to just be a group of powerful rich people and not necessarily targeting Woo-hyun for a particularly personal reason. They seem more interested in just the thrill of the hunt and the only person really with any connection seems to be CEO Hong, even if the young hunter is tangentially related simply because Dong-kook brought his case to Woo-hyun. I doubt that’s something that factors in to their choice of target there, though, so it leaves a lot to be desired as far as creating a compelling motive for the villains to be doing this. Instead it just seems like rich people doing this just because they can, which is a pretty tired trope.
On the other hand, we do have CEO Hong, who is a bit more nuanced than that at least, even if his reasons don’t seem too compelling either. He had an affair with Woo-hyun’s wife and then… decided to hunt his wife and son for sport? Maybe there’s more to the picture there but it sort of doesn’t make sense as it stands. At the very least he has a reason to dislike Woo-hyun, so perhaps he’s just a psychopath who wants to torture the man he hates. That’s at least a better motive than just wanting to flex your power over people.
Forgive me for spending so much time on the villains this episode but we did learn a lot about them. Still, we did finally get the revelation about what happened between Dong-kook and Woo-hyun to foster the detective’s dislike of the anchor. I’m curious just how much Woo-hyun knew about the villainous group, even back then, that he was so adamant that nothing could be done. He immediately recognized it as a too-ambitious target, and that was without any direct link to CEO Hong, who should theoretically be the only person Woo-hyun would know from the hunter group. Yet just from the young hunter’s involvement he knew to avoid it. Woo-hyun also seems to know CEO Hong is involved based on trying to murder him after he escaped the hospital, and I’d bet he knows a lot more than he is currently letting on.