Three Days: Episode 3
Now that shots have been fired and the good guy has been framed, the race to find the president begins. The only problem is that it’s a little hard to tell who wants to save him and just how many people are out to kill him, so all we can do is hope that our hero finds him first. That is… yunno… unless the president is the shadiest of them all.
SONG OF THE DAY
Shin Yong-jae (4Men) – “널 사랑한다, 지운다, 또 운다” (I Love You, Erase You, Cry Again) for the OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 3 RECAP
We left our hero Tae-kyung standing on the side of the road with local traffic cop Bo-won, staring right at the truck o’ doom headed their way. They jump out of the way just in time to avoid being pancaked.
As the truck takes its sweet time making a u-turn to come back for seconds, Bo-won tells Tae-kyung that this is the truck that ran his father off the road. He then decides that getting back into the car is a good idea for some reason, and all I can say is, thank goodness that is the world’s longest u-turn.
The car has some trouble starting but eventually cooperates, and they screech away with the truck on their tail. They end up driving right through a construction zone to avoid being crushed, but find that the truck hasn’t followed them to the other side of the tunnel.
Of course it’s just waiting for the right moment to come at them again, and Tae-kyung decides to play chicken in reverse and drives right into the truck’s path. At the last possible second before collision, he whirls the car around and stops, and the truck flips over on impact. Wait… I don’t understand the physics of that moment at all. I get what you were going for, but no.
They get out of the car to check on the driver, and I know this is wrong, but, please be dead. Please be dead. Bo-won checks his pulse: “He’s dead.” Woohoo!
Tae-kyung screams that they have to save him to find out why they killed his father, and Bo-won has to drag him away when she sees that the truck is about to go up in flames. She gets him out just in time before the truck explodes.
March 5. 9:55 PM.
Back at the presidential villa, the identity of the decoy dead president is discovered. He’s a police sergeant, and the security team remembers that he was an unannounced visitor to the villa shortly after the president arrived.
They go over the events and realize the only way the swap could’ve happened is if the president was in on his own bait-n-switch operation—he ordered his own bodyguards to keep the decoy president under wraps, while he slipped out in the car that the decoy arrived in.
Chief Presidential Secretary Shin is up in arms over the accusation that the president would’ve knowingly sent another man to his death just to save his own hide, which makes me think he’s the one noble guy in this room.
He wants to put out a search on that car that the president left in, but Security Team Leader Ham counters that letting the world know that the president is alive and missing makes it more dangerous—then the assassin knows the job isn’t finished. You mean it gives YOU more time to find him first.
Ham insists they need to keep this a secret, and reminds them that they have three days until the president is technically due to return to the Blue House. He swears that he’ll take the fall if things go wrong, and in the end Chief Secretary Shin reluctantly agrees.
Tae-kyung is determined to find the truck driver’s accomplice, driven by the need to uncover the conspiracy behind his father’s death. Bo-won tries to get him to calm down and return to the police station with her so they can report what they know, but he insists they have no proof of anything.
She tells him about these men setting up the EMP blast and asks what else happened tonight. She’s smart enough to string together the gunshots and the EMP, though he doesn’t confirm that any of those things are related.
Meanwhile, Cha-young goes to the medical examiner on the security team and muses aloud that all the victims tonight were shot with undeniable precision from a great distance, and oh, doesn’t Team Leader Ham happen to be a sharpshooter who still out-shoots younger agents to this day?
He asks if she knows what she’s implying—that the Blue House head of security is responsible for an assassination attempt on the president—and what kind of waves she’d be making. Her question is scarier: “And if it’s true?”
He balks at the accusation, but then she adds that she interrogated Tae-kyung herself, and doesn’t believe he’d have shot his team leader. She asks about the gunshot wound he treated on Team Leader Ham, and the medical examiner does admit that there was a close-contact burn, which means that he was shot at very close range.
He admits that the chances are fifty-fifty between Team Leader Ham shooting himself in the arm, or Tae-kyung getting close to him in a tussle.
Team Leader Ham takes out his secret bat phone and calls the other half of the EMP team that’s still alive. The assassin reports that they have a loose end with one eyewitness, but Ham says they have an even bigger problem: their target is still alive. Their priority is to find and kill the president. Again.
Bo-won stops at a convenience store and hands Tae-kyung a bottle of soju. He doesn’t look like he’s in the mood for a drink, but she eggs him on to drink it if he wants to hear about his father.
She passes over a hardboiled egg, and he proceeds to down the whole bottle. Ack. I don’t know why she’s making you drink, but it’s cute that she’s impressed.
She heads back to the police station and smiles prettily at the officer at the front desk, and complains that she caught some yo-yo drunk driving on a night like this. And teetering beside her is Tae-kyung. Ha.
She leads him upstairs in handcuffs, and notices him scanning every doorway as they pass by. She asks if it’s a job tic, and he says that a bodyguard’s first duty is to know every way in and out of a building.
He returns to acting drunk as they walk into the main office, and Bo-won drags her sunbae away for a coffee, leaving Tae-kyung slumped over alone at his desk. He searches the drawers for the password as instructed, and looks for the report for his father’s accident.
Bo-won has a hard time keeping the sunbae from his desk, and she’s about to run out of excuses when the other officer comes over with a wanted poster and asks if the guy doesn’t look an awful lot like the drunk driver she just arrested. Uh-oh.
She panics, and now I’m scared she’ll assume she helped the bad guy. Tae-kyung manages to get to the file and starts printing, but the officers are headed straight for him, guns drawn.
They bust into the office, but he’s already gone. They notice an open door and run after him, and Bo-won remembers how carefully Tae-kyung had thought of escape routes on the way in.
Sure enough, he jumps out from behind her after the other officers are gone, again with a hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming. He swears he’s been framed, and finally tells her that the incident tonight was actually a presidential assassination.
He tells her he’s being set up but needs proof before going back, and when she protests, he knocks her out like a ninja. He lays her down gently and apologizes, and grabs the printouts and a police cap and jacket. And then he just saunters out of the building, which is pretty great.
Cha-young arrives a few minutes later to investigate, and asks to speak to Bo-won alone. She knows that Bo-won is lying about the drunk driving, and asks if she knows Tae-kyung. Bo-won asks why she shouldn’t, and refuses to talk unless Cha-young is willing to answer questions of her own.
When Cha-young gets up to leave, Bo-won tells her that Tae-kyung is being framed for the presidential assassination, by someone on the inside. She waits to see how she’ll answer, and when Cha-young plays dumb, Bo-won thinks to herself that she’s lying, which means Tae-kyung was telling the truth.
She then hides out in the back of her sunbae’s car to needle him about changing the police report after Dad’s car accident. She guesses that he needed money for a kid on the way, and threatens to report him if he doesn’t tell her what he did.
He says that the order came down from somewhere high up, and even their captain didn’t know where. He was just told to call it a simple accident and turn over evidence. Men came from another police division (or so they said), and he gave them that white envelope.
He adds that they wanted all the evidence from another case too—a fire that same day of the accident—which he thought was weird.
Tae-kyung walks out undetected in his police uniform, and then picks up a new set of clothes from a donation bin. He burns everything he was wearing before, and reads through his father’s accident report.
Something catches his eye in the evidence pictures, and he stops at a tiny scrap of paper with security codes, just like the one he carries on the job. He wonders what his father is doing with something like that.
Three months ago.
Tae-kyung is on duty as the only Secret Service agent in a train car with the president. He takes out his little code cheat sheet to report his status, and then nods off to sleep while standing.
When he wakes up, he panics to find the train car empty, only to have the president pop out from behind a bookcase. Tae-kyung is prepared to be put on the chopping block for dozing off, but President Lee is kind about how tiring it must be to stand like that all day.
But then he takes out Tae-kyung’s little cheat sheet and starts reading the codes, amazed that there are over sixty of them. He says Tae-kyung dropped it when he fell asleep, and then President Lee chides him for having the scrap of paper when he’s technically supposed to memorize these. Ah, interesting—doesn’t he still use one, to this day?
Tae-kyung sweats bullets (he actually says, “Kill me, sir,” pfft), but then the president chuckles and puts it in his own pocket, joking that it’ll be their little secret.
Back in the present, Tae-kyung looks at the sheet and says with certainty that this is the same exact paper from that night in his own handwriting. So what was his father doing with it?
Tae-kyung realizes that if the president was using codes from three months ago, that changes the meaning of the message passed between the army colonel and President Lee. And it changes the meet location to Cheongju Station.
A flashback to the president’s mysterious plan confirms that he agreed to rendezvous with Tae-kyung’s father at the station, by which time “the file” will have been prepared. The problem is, while Tae-kyung is figuring this out, so is the security team, who gets a call that the president will be headed to Cheongju.
Tae-kyung arrives at the train station to follow up on his lead, only to walk right into a group of Secret Service agents combing the platform. He’s about to turn the other way when one of them taps him on the shoulder and calls him by name. Ack.
Heart in his throat, he turns around to face him. But the other agent greets him warmly, asking what he’s doing here when he’s supposed to be off-duty for his father’s funeral. Ah, this is an agent who came straight here from the Blue House, and Tae-kyung asks haltingly if he hasn’t heard what happened at the villa.
The agent confirms that they haven’t been told the specifics, and were simply ordered to come here and wait for the president’s arrival. He says that a team from the villa is supposed to meet them here, and Tae-kyung looks up to see them headed their way. Crap.
He distracts the agent long enough to slip away, phew, and the two team leaders exchange information quietly that there was an attempt on the president’s life and Han Tae-kyung is the suspect.
Tae-kyung watches the platform from a distance and puts together the puzzle pieces: the Blue House team called here secretly, a team from the villa here to meet them, and one car that left the villa after a meeting that wasn’t on the books… “The president is alive.”
Meanwhile Bo-won goes to the site of the other accident that her sunbae was ordered to cover up. It’s an abandoned cabin in the middle of nowhere, and all he knows is that the two men who died there were government officials high up on the chain.
She walks through the cabin and thinks to herself that there’s only one reason they’d be here—they were preparing something in secret. She pictures the men preparing “Confidential 98” and handing it to Tae-kyung’s father, who walked out with the file in hand and got into his car.
And seconds later the truck pulled up and one man got out to set the cabin on fire while the other drove Dad off the side of the road.
Cha-young returns to base and reports that Tae-kyung escaped wearing a police uniform. She eyes Team Leader Ham warily, and decides that she can use the opportunity to sneak into his office and look for any clues that he might be evil. But a few minutes later, he walks down the hall toward his room…
Tae-kyung waits till the agents scan the platform and determine that the president didn’t get off. They scramble to get on the train, and he follows them on just before the doors close. He thinks back to the coded message from the army colonel and realizes that one of the numbers, 1007, doesn’t have a corresponding code based on the cheat sheet from three months back. A light bulb goes off when he scans the train and sees the seat numbers. He checks the map and it’s there: a seat marked 1007.
Cha-young hears footsteps approaching and thankfully has enough time to hide under the bed before Team Leader Ham enters the room. He calls the assassin, who’s on the same train looking for the president just one car’s length behind Tae-kyung.
Team Leader Ham tells him that he has to be first, before Tae-kyung and before the other Secret Service agents: “Find the president first. And this time, you must kill him.” Cha-young panics, but manages to hold her breath and not make a peep. She waits until he finishes his call and closes the door behind him before crawling out from under the bed, and ohmygod he’s right there, crouching and waiting for her to come out. Shudder. Dude, is this a cameo? Is she dying?
On the train, Tae-kyung gets closer and closer to seat 1007. But so do the agents, and the assassin. A man in a pinstriped suit sits in the seat reading a newspaper, and Tae-kyung approaches.
Tae-kyung (voiceover): “The president is on this train.”
March 5. 11:40 PM.
But wasn’t Mr. President bleeding in the woods? I highly doubt that’s him sitting there in a suit reading the paper. Despite the leap in logic, I’d rather it be him just so that we can get Tae-kyung and the president in a room together, and the show can actually start using its best actor instead of leaving him in a friggin’ coma in the middle of nowhere. I dislike the show’s reliance on flashbacks in general, but I was so happy to get another scene with the two leads in one room that the train car flashback was by far my favorite moment in the episode.
I also love any glimpse of stick-in-the-mud Tae-kyung being so serious about making rookie mistakes, and I like that he has some flaws like his inability to memorize codes. That seems pretty important for his job, but we’ve seen him carry around a cheat sheet even in the present. It’s clear that the president knows how to charm people to get what he wants, but there’s also a believability in his warmth that’s intriguing. I really think the drama is making a mistake in leaving him bleeding in the woods or who knows where offscreen for two whole episodes this early in the show. Can’t we cut away to him just once in the hour?
So far, I like the idea of this show more than the execution. The car chase shenanigans at the top of the hour made me laugh out loud, which I’m sure was not the intent. At least that stupid truck went up in flames, so things are already looking up. The story still lacks tension overall, though the moment-by-moment scenes when we’re with Tae-kyung are improving on the suspense scale. Mostly, when we’re with him scenes tend to be about a thousand times more interesting, which in the converse means the situation room scenes make me nod off at my desk.
I seriously don’t know why the story feels slower than its own clock, but when they mentioned they had three whole days to find the president, I was thinking, That’s a long-ass time. And I shouldn’t be thinking that. It’s not a function of the time itself, but the show’s lack of making that deadline feel like it’s dire. Because right now there’s no meaning behind a time marker that tells me it’s an hour after the incident, because there are no immediate stakes. What happens two hours after the incident? Oh, nothing much? Then why tell me the time? I know it sounds like a minor thing, but I want the show to be better, and I want that ticking clock to put my heart in my throat. As of now, it doesn’t even make me blink.
The show’s saving grace is that I like the hero and he seems to be the only person in this universe who doesn’t have a hole in his brains (excepting that car chase, because that seemed like questionable decision-making). And I really like Bo-won, who also seems smart and dogged in similar ways. It’d be ideal if ALL of the agents could be smart, which would make Tae-kyung outsmarting them a little more impressive, but that seems like a pipedream and I don’t want to get my expectations up for a thing that’s clearly not going to happen. Guess we just have to stick to rooting for Tae-kyung to outsmart people of middling intelligence. Y…ay?
A note about recaps: Due to recapper schedules, timetables, and the general perversity of the universe, Episode 4 will be a little later than usual. Please be patient. If we get angry emails, we’ll send Yoochun to put the ninja sleeper hold on you. Wait… that was meant to sound threatening, not cuddly. I don’t know how to get Yoochun to hug you, so don’t even ask.
- Three Days: Episode 2
- Three Days: Episode 1
- Three Days’ bullet-riddled posters
- Character posters for the cast of Three Days
- Three Days teases presidential assassination
- Yoochun as presidential bodyguard in Three Days
- Yoochun undergoes training for suspense thriller Three Days
- Three Days in danger of losing lead actor Yoochun
- Three Days lands slot on SBS’s schedule
- Three Days loses broadcast slot (maybe)
- Main cast secured for Three Days
- Park Ha-sun in the mix to join Yoochun in Three Days
- Yoochun headlines action drama Three Days
- Three Days aims to be Korean “24”