Three Days: Episode 6
Following the climactic events of Episode 5, this episode feels like a sort of new beginning for the series. The president has been found and a bad guy defeated, but we’ve only scratched the surface, with plenty of questions yet to be answered. Although it’s heading in new directions, Three Days continues to be an action-packed hour that resists all attempts to predict its course.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
March 7, 5:30 AM. 33 hours, 30 minutes after the sniping.
Cha-young is investigating the tennis court gates at the presidential villa. If the sniper was stationed inside the villa, the gate had to be open to allow a clear shot. But in her interrogation at the end of Episode 5, Cha-young was told that the gates were closed at the time of the shooting.
She times herself running from the gate to the office. Seven minutes. Even if Ham could have made it in 5 minutes, it still wouldn’t be fast enough. The blackout and the shooting were almost simultaneous. There’s only one possible answer: Ham had an accomplice at the tennis court gate — someone else from inside the Secret Service.
Meanwhile, President Lee is just leaving his meeting at the hotel, escorted by his usual entourage. He has some instructions for Secretary Shin regarding the investigation into the shooting. NIS and the police should be excluded. Shin should use only people they can trust from the Prosecutor’s Office for the investigation team.
As Cha-young frantically tries to call someone to tell them what she’s figured out, Secretary Shin checks his phone: no signal. He keeps forgetting that cell phones don’t get reception around the president. (That’s some fancy tech, but what purpose does it serve?)
Over at Team Leader Ham’s apartment, Tae-kyung is having the same problem as Cha-young. Someone better answer their phone soon, because Tae-kyung seems to have identified the accomplice. Agent Hwang Yoon-jae is in the old photo of Ham and his army buddies and — uh-oh — he’s on an elevator with the president right now.
A quick series of flashbacks reveal that Agent Hwang was there for the incident at Yangjinri in 1998. Evidently, Team Leader Ham was not the only survivor of the restaurant shoot-out.
In the elevator, Agent Hwang touches his sidearm, eyeing the president. A voice comes over the radio: the elevator is malfunctioning and will have to stop at the third floor. Hwang senses that something is not right.
Out go the lights, and it’s now or never. Hwang opens fire on the president, but the other agents instantly form a wall between the rogue agent and his victim. He manages to take down a couple agents before finding himself pinned to the floor.
The elevator doors open and the president is rushed to safety. Hwang screams, “I have to kill him!” He’s so desperate and determined, I almost feel bad for him. But not quite.
In the conference room, Chairman Kim and company are disappointed to hear that Agent Hwang was unsuccessful. They hope he’ll be able to keep his mouth shut. If he realizes they’ve been using him, all bets are off.
Tae-kyung gets a phone call commending him on helping to stop Agent Hwang. (I knew that elevator malfunction was no coincidence.) He spots some papers hiding under Ham’s bookcase. On closer inspection, it’s none other than that infamous document, Confidential 98.
The sun rises on a nation in chaos. President Lee’s implication in the Yangjinri incident has everyone in an uproar. As the presidential motorcade returns to the Blue House, protesters are lining up outside. They surround the president’s car, pounding their fists on the windows until finally being subdued by security.
The Blue House staff greets the president and begins spinning options for damage control. Against their advice, the president wants to call a press conference immediately.
At the emergency press conference, Secretary Shin deflects questions about the Yangjinri allegations. There will be a thorough investigation into the matter and the results of the investigation will be made available to the public unconditionally.
Shin goes on to announce the details of the assassination attempt at Cheongsoodae. This new, juicy story succeeds at turning the press’s attention away from the Yangjinri revelations.
Alone in his office, the president remembers a confrontation with Chairman Kim years ago. The news has just broken about the death toll at Yangjinri and the future president is in a rage, throwing Kim around the office. Kim explains what went wrong: The North Korean submarine malfunctioned and had to dock. Both sides began firing out of fear. Kim can’t be held responsible for that, right?
Lee intends to turn himself in to the authorities and recommends that Kim either do the same or throw himself out a window. Kim comes up with a third alternative. If he really wants to make things right, Lee ought to become president. “Take the Blue House,” Kim tells him, “and change the future.” And wouldn’t you know it, Lee seems intrigued by the idea.
Back in the present, President Lee vows to himself that he will fix his past mistake. His private moment is interrupted by a knock at the door. Secretary Shin is ready to announce the lineup for the special investigation team. The team will be led by Prosecutor Gu Ja-gwang. He will be joined by representatives from the police department, security department, Secret Service, and the Blue House.
As the investigation unit assembles, we see that Cha-young is among them. The team has decided that determining the source of the EMP is their primary objective.
Chairman Kim’s cronies are furious when they find out that none of their people have been included on the investigation team. They just have to trust that Team Leader Ham and Agent Hwang will be given all the blame. Kim warns them that the investigators must not be allowed to discover the true source of the EMP bomb.
That may be easier said than done, because Cha-young has an ace up her sleeve. She tells the team that she knows of an eyewitness to the EMP blast — Officer Yoon Bo-won.
But Bo-won is busy with her own investigation. She gets a phone call from an eyewitness to the accident that killed Tae-kyung’s father. She takes down the caller’s address and hurries off the meet with him.
But perhaps she’d better take her time, because something about the guy on the other end of that call doesn’t sit right with me. Maybe it’s the lizard tattoo on his hand. Or maybe it’s the photo of Tae-kyung’s father posted on the wall behind him. And we certainly can’t ignore the fact that the phone call is being overseen by the assassin we last saw on the train in Episode 4. (It looks like he’s upgraded to contact lenses, because the thick frames are gone.)
Cha-young and Prosecutor Choi arrive at the same time to take Agent Hwang in for questioning. She reminds Choi that the special investigation gets first dibs.
But they’re not the only ones looking for answers. Tae-kyung comes barreling down the hall, shoving past the officers at the interrogation room door and locking himself inside with Hwang.
Tae-kyung demands to know who gave the Confidential 98 document to Team Leader Ham. Were they trying to get him to kill the president? Hwang refuses to answer, and suggests that Tae-kyung is just trying to deny the veracity of Confidential 98 because it implicates his father. But it’s deeper than that for Tae-kyung. He thought he was in the right when he killed Ham. But if Ham was just being used by someone else, then what did he really do?
Korea’s slowest police officer finally stumbles his way down the hall with the keys to the interrogation room. The officers burst into the room and separate the two. Cha-young leaves with Agent Hwang despite Tae-kyung’s plea for help. The officers try to drag Tae-kyung away, but he easily slips out of their butterfingers and is on the run again.
Outside, Cha-young and Agent Hwang are besieged by a mob of protesters and reporters looking for answers. Tae-kyung looks on and thinks back to his training. In a crowd of people, he was taught to always watch the hands. If someone is going to reach for a weapon or set off a bomb, it always starts with a movement of the hand.
Tae-kyung works his way into the mob, scanning the hands. He sees exactly what he feared — a masked man in the crowd pulls a knife. He shouts to Cha-young for help but neither of them is able to shove through the mass of people.
The crowd utters a collective gasp, parting to reveal Hwang with a gaping wound in his neck. Tae-kyung cries out for help, but it’s too late. Within moments, Agent Hwang is dead on the pavement, along with our hero’s best chance at finding out who’s pulling the strings.
The masked murderer, meanwhile, has slipped into an alleyway. The distinctive lizard tattoo on his hand identifies him as the phony eyewitness Bo-won spoke to. He makes a call on his cell phone: “Target eliminated.”
On the other end of the phone, his assassin buddy prepares to fulfill his part of the plan. It should be finished shortly; Bo-won has just arrived.
Tae-kyung has a sickening realization. Someone is killing all the witnesses. That means Bo-won is in danger. Cha-young phones Bo-won’s station and learns that she left over an hour ago to meet with a witness. Tae-kyung and Cha-young share the same thought: it’s a trap!
Bo-won is at the Grand Mall looking for the location of the meet-up. She bumps into a mall employee (literally) who helps her find the place: a vacant department store, empty except for rows of naked mannequins staring at her — creeeepy. As she walks through the store, the assassin watches her from behind the mannequins.
Help is on the way as Tae-kyung and Cha-young race into the mall. How did they know where to go? The Grand Mall is a big place, so they split up to search for Bo-won. (Please hurry!)
Bo-won senses the assassin behind her. She carefully unholsters her gun, then whirls around quickly to surprise him. But he’s quicker on the draw and fires straight into her chest, knocking her flat on the ground, reeling in pain. This is no flesh wound. Did we just lose our Bo-won?
The assassin takes aim for another shot, but before he can pull the trigger the elevator door opens. Tae-kyung has arrived and the fight is on. He full-body tackles the assassin, and together they go sailing through a plate glass window, crashing down to a lower level of the store.
With the gun flung out of reach, they come at each other with fists flying. Tae-kyung quickly gains the upper hand, and grips the assassin by the throat to ask, “Who ordered you to kill my father?”
Cha-young has caught up to them by now. She calls out to Tae-kyung and the momentary distraction is all the assassin needs to break free with a roundhouse kick to Tae-kyung’s face. Cha-young fires at the assassin, but he manages to escape. It’s only after he’s gone that Tae-kyung remembers Bo-won. He hurries to help her, but she’s unresponsive.
Cha-young pursues the assassin to the parking garage where Lizard Hand is waiting for him in a getaway car. As they speed away, he calls Chairman Kim with the good news.
With that settled, Chairman Kim is happy to return to business as usual and heads into a meeting with the board of directors at the Jaesin Company. (That was the name on the truck of doom that killed Tae-kyung’s father, and also the name of the hotel where the secret meetings were held.)
Secretary Shin has arrived at the mall to admonish Cha-young for not protecting Bo-won. Flashback to Tae-kyung and Cha-young realizing that Bo-won has been lured into a trap. What we didn’t see the first time around is Tae-kyung receiving a voice mail from Bo-won. She’s also suspicious of the alleged eyewitness, but sees an opportunity to catch a criminal. She asks him to meet her at the Grand Mall right away.
So what happened to Bo-won, Secretary Shin wants to know. Cha-young tells him that Bo-won… is fine.
Another flashback. Tae-kyung hurries to help the unconscious Bo-won. Bo-won’s eyes open and she unzips her jacket to reveal the bullet stopped by her kevlar vest. Tae-kyung and I breathe a sigh of relief.
Her ribs aching from the gunshot, Bo-won is taken in for questioning with Prosecutor Gu. She describes the EMP bomb, which had a name written on it with the initials F and O. He shows her the logo for a company called Force One and Bo-won confirms that that’s what she saw. Goo explains that Force One is the military weapons laboratory at the Jaesin Company.
Under Prosecutor Gu’s orders, the special investigation team enters Force One with a search warrant and begins seizing documents and computers.
Elsewhere, Prosecutor Choi and a member of his staff are thinking over the events of the past few days. Agent Hwang’s murder is just the latest death related to the Yangjinri incident. Could it be that someone, maybe even President Lee, is trying to get rid of anyone connected to the event?
Prosecutor Choi is reminded of Tae-kyung’s words from their meeting on the train: “My father died because of Confidential 98.”
Back at the special investigation’s headquarters, the results of the Force One search reveal that the company has built 15 EMPs and four of them are missing. A four-EMP blast would be consistent with the scale of the power outage at Cheongsoodae. But how did Team Leader Ham acquire them?
Chairman Kim receives word that the CEO of Force One is to be questioned. His instructions are for the CEO to comply. “Tell them everything,” he says, as he idly cuts the arm off a plastic soldier.
Secretary Shin tells President Lee he’s confident that they will discover who Ham was working for. But the president seems to have a different endgame in mind. Once they have the criminals cornered, they offer a way out. That way the president can get what he really wants from them. And what might that be? Let the speculation begin!
Chairman Kim takes a call from Joint Chief of Staff Kwon Jae-yeon. As the one who got Ham and Hwang involved, he’s worried he’ll be the one who goes down when the CEO talks. Chairman Kim asks for his trust, while slashing the toy soldier’s throat with an X-Acto knife. Chief Kwon nervously eyes a bloody copy of Confidential 98. Who here doesn’t think it’s the copy that was removed from the car accident?
Bo-won wakes up in the hospital with fractured ribs from the gunshot. Tae-kyung is by her bedside. He returns her car keys, saying that they saved her life.
Flashback to the Grand Mall. When Bo-won is knocked down by the mall employee, she drops her keychain. Later, Tae-kyung finds it, a crucial clue to finding her.
Back to present. Bo-won asks why Tae-kyung is there. “Witness protection,” he tells her. She tells him to go rest, acknowledging the difficult few days he’s had. She’s heard that another sunbae of his died today. “So don’t you die,” he says and, in an uncharacteristically tender gesture, puts a glass of water in her hand.
On his way out of the hospital, Tae-kyung runs into Prosecutor Choi. Choi wants to know why Tae-kyung thinks his father’s death is connected to Confidential 98.
Flashback to the meeting with Tae-kyung’s father that Choi spoke of in Episode 4. Dad asks Choi to postpone announcing the results of his investigation because the documents he has are false. Choi refuses to listen to him and accuses him of tampering with the investigation.
Back to present. Prosecutor Choi has compared his own copy of Confidential 98 to the copy Tae-kyung left in Agent Hwang’s interrogation room. They’re identical. Tae-kyung tells him about the copy of the document that went missing from his father’s accident. If it’s the same as the others, why would someone kill to get their hands on it?
At his interrogation, the CEO of Force One tells investigators that the missing EMPs were stolen en route to a field test. The ultimate authority at the testing site was Joint Chief of Staff Kwon.
Tae-kyung hopes Prosecutor Choi will reexamine the Yangjinri case, but Choi has no reason not to trust the version of Confidential 98 he received from Chief Kwon.
Indeed, a flashback confirms that Kwon is the one who supplied the document. Choi explains that Kwon was a commander of Team Leader Ham’s army brigade that was killed at Yangjinri, and he had been performing his own investigation into the incident.
Cha-young has also discovered the connection between Team Leader Ham and Chief Kwon. It’s beginning to look like Ham, Kwon, and Hwang learned of the president’s wrongdoing and conspired to steal the EMPs. Time to talk to Chief Kwon.
Tae-kyung is on his way to see Kwon as well. He imagines Kwon providing Team Leader Ham with the phony Confidential 98. He’s the perfect person to do it, someone Ham would trust completely. Tae-kyung must ask Kwon about his father’s death.
As Tae-kyung approaches Kwon’s enormous building, the assassin duo pull up outside. They are to eliminate their target and destroy the original Confidential 98.
Kwon’s doorbell rings. Who’s there? Cha-young, Tae-kyung, or the assassins? “Are you from the Blue House?” Kwon asks the person at the door.
Cha-young arrives outside just in time to see Joint Chief of Staff Kwon thrown from his window, landing on a parked car below. He’s all kinds of dead.
Upstairs, Cha-young finds Kwon’s door ajar and cautiously enters. She finds a man standing by the open window.
She points her gun at his back and orders him to turn around. It’s Tae-kyung.
March 8, 5:20AM. 57 hours, 20 minutes after the sniping.
While this episode had some thrilling moments, it was definitely a cool down after the excitement of Episode 5. I’m sensing that the previous episode was the climax of Three Days: Chapter One and the writer is using this episode to begin Three Days: Chapter Two. The transition was a little bumpy, but I’m hopeful that we’re just setting the stage for a thrilling second act. Should we consider the first five episodes a prologue to the real story? Or will Three Days continue to change direction every few episodes? Only time will tell.
You can feel a major gear shift happening as the driving action of the series changes. Our characters are no longer looking for the president. Now they’re trying to find out who’s behind the assassination attempt. The central mystery about Yangjinri, however, continues.
Team Leader Ham, our primary villain thus far, is gone. But there are bigger, scarier villains still to be confronted. Is Chairman Kim as bad as it gets? I’m not ready to place my bets yet. I don’t want to look like a fool when we find out that the real puppet master was Bo-won all along.
The writer continues her device of having multiple characters doing the same exact thing at the same exact time. Like when three different people come to interrogate Agent Hwang. Or when three different people are headed for Chief Kwon’s apartment. I’ll continue to suspend my disbelief… for now.
The densely layered plotting that I praised in Episode 4 began to feel gimmicky in this episode. Before, we were getting big payoffs that were inextricably tied into the narrative. Now they feel like extraneous afterthoughts. For example, finding out that the president was in the bus accident we had learned of several episodes earlier was a bit of a thrill. Finding out that Bo-won had dropped her keys a few scenes ago and Tae-kyung picked them up felt like a weak imitation of that thrill. “These keys saved your life”? Really?
The shocking keychain reveal aside, that scene in the hospital room was one of my favorite in the episode. In an episode that generally forgot to give me reasons to care, the discovery of Tae-kyung waiting at her bedside was a much needed jolt to the heart. I admire the restraint the writer is showing as their relationship develops. I honestly can’t tell for sure if she’s inching them toward romance, or just building a strong platonic bond. Thoughts?