Tunnel: Episode 10
The pressure mounts for the Tunnel team as public outcry and orders from above add to the responsibility of catching a serial killer. Everyone is pushed to their limit and cracks are starting to show, but this team is determined to get a killer off of the streets once and for all. In the end, everybody cares very much about the case, but they just show it in different ways.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
The cherry blossoms are in bloom at Hwayang University as Dr. Mok looks to the sky and thinks, “Rather than in darkness, there are people who hide in the light.” We rewind to four months earlier, when he autopsied the dismembered remains of Victim #5 and was shocked to see the five dots.
Dr. Mok laughed when he realized that the victim survived and asked himself, “So, you want to challenge me?” We then see a fountain pen apply the last of seven dots, after which Dr. Mok quietly comments, “I was merely responding to your game.” He stands up, cigarette in hand, and walks away from a young woman’s body lying on a riverbank.
In the present, Jae-yi joins the team at a crime scene where a victim with eight dots on her heel has been discovered. Kwang-ho’s eyes widen when he sees the dots, certain that Jung Ho-young has killed again, but Sun-jae wonders why there are eight dots.
Kwang-ho is certain that there must be a seventh victim somewhere. Jae-yi overhears their exchange and interrupts to ask if Jung Ho-young’s method has changed.
Kwang-ho tells her that Jung Ho-young returned to his murder method from thirty years ago, confident that no one would recognize it. The trio is joined by Dr. Mok when he makes an uncustomary visit to the crime scene to check on something.
Dr. Mok examines the victim’s heel and then informs the detectives that there were seven dots on the Haein River victim, Yoon Da-young. Dr. Mok is about to suggest a theory when Jae-yi interjects that there could be two culprits at work. Kwang-ho insists that Jung Ho-young is their only suspect, and Sun-jae agrees.
Sun-jae introduces Jae-yi to the doctor, who identifies himself as Mok Jin-woo. Jae-yi wonders silently if Jung Ho-young’s claim that he didn’t commit the Haein River murder was true.
Sung-shik arrives at the scene with detectives Tae-hee and Min-ha, tormented that another murder occurred because they failed to catch Jung Ho-young the previous day. Kwang-ho finds a wallet with a high school ID card for NAM JOO-HEE, so he and Sun-jae pay her mother a visit to break the bad news. Once there, they learn that the girl was no stranger to trouble.
News of the most recent murder results in widespread criticism of the police, even as they launch an intense search of the district for Jung Ho-young. Back at Hwayang Station, the section chief places blame for the latest murder on the team since Jung Ho-young managed to avoid capture and orders them to catch Jung Ho-young by the next day.
Kwang-ho thinks it possible that Jung Ho-young turned to his family for help, so Sung-shik sends Sun-jae and Kwang-ho to interview his mother and sister. Before they leave, Sung-shik calls Sun-jae aside and angrily reminds him that Sung-shik and Kwang-ho want to catch Jung Ho-young as much as he does, so they must work as a team.
When Kwang-ho comes to his defense, Sung-shik argues that he’s no different and storms away. Kwang-ho wants to know what Jung Ho-young told him during his call, but Sun-jae keeps the threat against Jae-yi to himself.
Jae-yi consults with Dean Hong and explains that two of the three recent murder victims were marked with dots — Yoon Da-young and Nam Joo-hee. The marks can be linked to the past murder cases, and Jae-yi reasons that if Jung Ho-young didn’t commit the two recent dot murders, then he can’t be the serial killer from thirty years ago. What she can’t understand is why two killers share the same murder method and are both fixated on women who wear skirts.
Dr. Mok is reunited with his victim in the autopsy room and tells her lifeless body, “You shouldn’t have been walking by yourself at night.” He looks unhappy when Sun-jae and Kwang-ho show up, but he turns and greets them with a smile.
Kwang-ho wants to know how the dots were made, and Dr. Mok suggests a tattoo needle or even a fountain pen as he pulls one from his pocket. Kwang-ho dismisses the suggestion as nonsense (hah!) and instead asks for an analysis of the ink to determine what company manufactured it.
Dr. Mok asks, “By the way, could Jung Ho-young have really done this?” Kwang-ho wonders why Dr. Mok brought that up again, but the doctor points out that Jae-yi believes that there could be two suspects.
Dr. Mok argues that the evidence doesn’t support the theory of one killer, instead there are two methods — victims with dots and victims without dots. He appeals to Sun-jae, but he agrees with Kwang-ho that there is only one killer and suggests that he, Sun-jae, may be the key to why Jung Ho-young’s method changed.
Sun-jae meets with Dr. Mok in his office and explains that his mother was a victim of a serial killer thirty years ago and that that’s what influenced his decision to become a police officer. Sun-jae is convinced that her killer is Jung Ho-young and believes that his method changed after his arrest two years earlier when Sun-jae triggered his memories about the murders from his past.
Dr. Mok argues that all of the recent victims should have been marked with dots if Sun-jae’s theory is true. After Sun-jae and Kwang-ho leave, Dr. Mok studies the chess board and muses that Sun-jae is mistaken about one thing, “Your mother wasn’t such a good woman.”
Kwang-ho rings a doorbell at the home of Jung Ho-young’s sister, JUNG HYE-JI, which has been marred by “Murderer” spray-painted on the gate and fence. She doesn’t answer the bell or her phone, and a neighbor informs Sun-jae and Kwang-ho that she ran away once everyone learned that her brother was a murderer.
They visit the home of Jung Ho-young’s mother, YOO OK-HEE, and find her confronted by reporters in spite of her denial that he is her son. Inside, she avoids their questions and asks Sun-jae and Kwang-ho to leave.
Kwang-ho notices that the front window is broken and suggests that she cover it, but Jung Ho-young’s mother argues that it will only get broken again. Sun-jae demands to know if that was her attitude when she raised her children — did she just ignore them?
Kwang-ho brings up Jung Ho-young’s arrest as a teenager in connection with the serial murders and asks if they lied about the boy’s alibi, but she only reasons, “If I had let them put him in prison back then, I wouldn’t have to be suffering like this.”
She yells at the detectives to leave and shuts herself in a room. Kwang-ho picks up a photo of Jung Ho-young’s parents from thirty years ago that shows them holding up a sign for Shin Ae Chemicals.
His face obscured by his motorcycle helmet, Jung Ho-young enters a convenience store. He’s distracted by a television that airs his mother’s interview and sees that Sun-jae and Kwang-ho paid her a visit. He grabs the clerk’s cell phone from the counter and exits the store.
At the station, Kwang-ho hopes for a call from Jung Ho-young so they can at least determine his location. Sun-jae’s phone rings with a call, and Min-ha runs off to trace it just as Jae-yi enters their conference room. Sun-jae answers the call and places it on speaker.
Jung Ho-young insists that he didn’t commit the most recent murder in addition to the Haein River murder. Jae-yi rushes in and tells Jung Ho-young that she believes him because Yoon Da-young and Nam Joo-hee were marked, unlike the victim that he admits that he killed.
Jae-yi suggests that Jung Ho-young’s mother is connected to his murders as well as his phone call, certain that her interview provoked him. She reminds Jung Ho-young that his mother sent him to the mental hospital when his curiosity led him to strangle his sister, and then she mimics his mother’s warning to the staff that her son wasn’t human.
After she suggests that Jung Ho-young’s murders represent killing his own mother, recognition flickers, and Jung Ho-young asks, “Are you Professor Shin Jae-yi?” Jung Ho-young recalls the threat that he made to Sun-jae about “that woman who is precious to you” and the detective’s subsequent panicked reaction as he raced to Jae-yi’s apartment. Jung Ho-young followed him that day and removed mail from Jae-yi’s mailbox to learn her name.
In the present, Jae-yi answers, “Yes, I’m Shin Jae-yi.” Jung Ho-young replies, “Nice to meet you,” and then hangs up. Sung-shik is alarmed that Jung Ho-young is aware of Jae-yi, and Kwang-ho demands to know if she believes his claims.
She acknowledges that the murders of Yoon Da-young and Nam Joo-hee are somehow different from the murders that Jung Ho-young admitted to. Kwang-ho accuses Jae-yi of being more concerned with her research than with stopping a killer.
Sun-jae tries to silence him, but Kwang-ho points out that Jae-yi shows no concern for the victims or their families. Jae-yi thinks that it’s enough to catch criminals, but Kwang-ho yells, “Being a detective is about saving people’s lives!”
Kwang-ho points to Jae-yi and tells her, “If this bastard kills another person because you provoked him, it would be like you killed her.” Min-ha interrupts the tense confrontation with a location for the phone used to make the call. Sun-jae and Kwang-ho leave to investigate as Jae-yi stays behind, a stunned look on her face.
Kwang-ho and Sun-jae find the phone discarded in some garbage. Sun-jae acknowledges that Jae-yi was right: They’ll never catch Jung Ho-young this way.
Jae-yi returns home and listens to the taped session of the teenaged Jung Ho-young. She washes her face, but she can’t manage to forget Kwang-ho’s words.
Sun-jae drops Kwang-ho at home and urges him to apologize to Jae-yi, but he protests, “Don’t even mention that cold-hearted woman to me.” Outside of her apartment, Sun-jae calls Jae-yi to apologize for Kwang-ho, but she asks if Kwang-ho has a family member who can’t come back. Sun-jae answers that it’s Kwang-ho who can’t go back.
Sun-jae and Kwang-ho visit Dr. Mok and learn that the ink used to make the dots was produced by Shin Ae Chemicals, but production was discontinued over twenty years ago. Kwang-ho remembers the company name from the photo of Jung Ho-young’s parents.
Jae-yi lectures her class about narcissistic serial killers who admit to their crimes and want to publicize them. As Jae-yi acknowledges that it’s necessary to believe the words of such killers, she recalls Jung Ho-young’s claim that he wasn’t responsible for the Haein River murder or that of Nam Joo-hee.
Kwang-ho and Sun-jae return to question Jung Ho-young’s mother about her husband, who was once CEO of Shin Ae Chemicals. They know that the main factory was redeveloped, but discover from Jung Ho-young’s mother that there was another factory.
Sun-jae calls Jae-yi to report the lead on Jung Ho-young’s hideout, confident that there won’t be any more murders. Sun-jae promises to contact her after he visits the scene, and Jae-yi asks him to be careful. Sung-shik’s special investigative team strategizes on how to approach the property to capture Jung Ho-young.
Jae-yi enters Dr. Mok’s office as he studies his chess board and asks for a brief chat. She admits that she can’t figure out why Yoon Da-young and Nam Joo-hee were marked with dots, so she’s decided to discuss the matter with him since his theory is similar to hers.
Dr. Mok shares that Sun-jae expects to get that answer from Jung Ho-young once he’s been apprehended, but Jae-yi argues that he can’t be caught, but must instead be drawn out. Dr. Mok agrees and suggests that the police should set a trap for Jung Ho-young, but they’ll need good bait. Jae-yi moves a chess piece and asks, “Like this?” She thanks Dr. Mok for his advice and leaves, and the doctor studies her retreating figure with interest.
The detectives prepare for their raid with firearms at the ready — with the exception of Kwang-ho, who foregoes a weapon. At home, Jae-yi considers an outfit that she’s laid out on her bed, especially the short skirt. Once dressed, she studies her reflection in a mirror and places her whistle around her neck.
En route to the abandoned factory, Kwang-ho asks Sun-jae about the search for his daughter and learns that she was adopted and went to England. Kwang-ho hopes to at least see her before he goes back. Sun-jae studies Kwang-ho as he vows to catch Jung Ho-young so that he can return and asks, “But is it actually possible to go back to 1986?” Kwang-ho warns Sun-jae not to jinx it, but his partner’s only comment is, “I’m just sad, that’s all.”
The team searches the factory property, but they only manage to find a group of belligerent teenagers who are unperturbed in the face of drawn guns. Sung-shik is frustrated that they failed to catch Jung Ho-young again as Kwang-ho bellows, “Where in the world is he?”
Jae-yi parks her car in a remote area just as she gets a call from a friend. She answers in English and warns the caller that it’s not a good time, but the woman, who has a British accent, informs Jae-yi that someone in South Korea is searching for Park Yeon-ho. The caller admits that she shared that Jae-yi/Yeon-ho is in Korea before she hangs up. Puzzled by the news, Jae-yi continues with her plan and walks away.
Dr. Mok walks through Hwayang University Hospital and happens upon a televised interview with Jae-yi. She explains that because of the district-wide search, Jung Ho-young must find another area to commit his next murder. Jae-yi points to a map and looks into the camera as she explains that he will kill someone near the reservoir she’s pointing to next.
Dr. Mok calls Sun-jae to ask if Jae-yi ever spoke with Jung Ho-young. When Sun-jae confirms that she did, the doctor tells him about Jae-yi’s interview and her plan to use herself as bait to lure Jung Ho-young.
Sun-jae tries to call Jae-yi but can’t reach her. He watches her interview and explains her plan to Kwang-ho. The entire team speeds to the reservoir as Sung-shik frantically calls for backup. Sun-jae still can’t reach Jae-yi by phone, so he and Kwang-ho head for her last known location.
Alone, Jae-yi walks down a narrow road near the reservoir when a car slowly approaches her. Her eyes widen in fear, but the man in the car warns her that it’s hard to get a taxi in that area and offers her a ride. After Jae-yi sends the man away, someone snatches her, and a glance in the driver’s rearview mirror reveals an empty path.
The investigative team arrives at the reservoir and begins to search for Jae-yi. Sun-jae stops a car as it drives out and shows the driver a photo of Jae-yi. He recognizes her and points Sun-jae to the spot where he saw her.
As Kwang-ho runs ahead, Sun-jae takes a call from his contact, who reports that Park Yeon-ho is now known as Shin Jae-yi and was at Hwayang University all along. Sun-jae reels from the news as he watches Kwang-ho run past a sign that reads: “End of the road.”
Jae-yi appears lifeless as a hooded figure drags her into the surrounding vegetation. Alone, Kwang-ho doggedly makes his way deeper into the terrain as his flashlight pierces the darkness. Jung Ho-young stares down at Jae-yi and then stoops to tie her wrists together before he pulls stockings from his pocket to bind her ankles.
Jae-yi’s eyes fly open and she kicks her assailant away. She manages to stand and runs away wildly with Jung Ho-young close behind. Eventually, Jae-yi trips and falls, and Jung Ho-young stops to watch as she crawls along the ground. She glances back as Jung Ho-young walks slowly towards her.
Kwang-ho finds himself in thick foliage and asks himself, “Where on earth is she?” Jae-yi’s hands tremble as she grasps at the whistle that hangs from her neck, but she manages to blow on it, and Kwang-ho races towards the sound.
Jung Ho-young tightens the stockings around Jae-yi’s neck as she kicks weakly, her eyes wide with terror. She grabs at her neck feebly before she eventually goes still. Kwang-ho pauses to look around and when he sees Jung Ho-young stooped over Jae-yi’s body in the distance. He instinctively yells out, “You scumbag!”
When Jung Ho-young runs off, Kwang-ho finds himself torn between his suspect and the prone body of Jae-yi. Kwang-ho kneels at Jae-yi’s side and fumbles as he works to untie the stockings from her neck amid his pleas for her to wake up.
Kwang-ho is racked with guilt as he tries to rouse Jae-yi and demands, “Did you become a victim yourself so that other people don’t die?” Kwang-ho is frantic when suddenly, Jae-yi finally rewards him with a weak cough.
Sun-jae runs up to the pair, desperate to assure himself that Jae-yi is all right. Kwang-ho directs him to chase after Jung Ho-young and points to where he was last seen. Sun-jae looks down at Jae-yi and tears off after the man who did this to her.
As Jae-yi takes in slow, regular breaths, Kwang-ho starts to relax and tells her, “If it wasn’t for that whistle sound…” But he stops when his eyes fall on the whistle. As Kwang-ho remembers the moment when Yeon-sook placed his whistle around his neck, he picks up Jae-yi’s whistle, confused because it looks so familiar.
Kwang-ho remembers that Yeon-sook’s former landlady told him that his daughter always blew that whistle whenever she was in trouble. His hands shake as he asks Jae-yi why she’s wearing that necklace.
In shock, Kwang-ho stares down at the young woman on the ground before him and mutters, “It can’t be. Are you… Yeon-ho?” Jae-yi looks up in surprise as a tear falls down Kwang-ho’s face.
What a jarring opening to the episode — serial killer, Dr. Mok, against a backdrop of cherry blossoms, on a university campus, surrounded by unsuspecting students. We learn that he began to kill again in response to his encounter with Kim Young-ja, when he performed the autopsy on her dismembered leg. After a dormancy of thirty years, it will be interesting to learn why that chance encounter prompted Dr. Mok to kill again.
Another question that begs an answer is this: Why does Dr. Mok insist on alerting the investigative team to the existence of two serial killers? He has a perfect chance to escape detection, but he keeps stirring the pot, increasingly frustrated by the obtuse detectives who insist that they are looking for one killer.
Is he like an artist who wants the public to appreciate his creations, or does he want his intelligence to be recognized? Either way, Dr. Mok can’t seem to allow his deeds to be credited to someone else, and he is doing everything that he can to get the team to accept Jae-yi’s theory that they are dealing with two serial killers. It’s only a matter of time before his behavior garners more attention than he may be prepared for.
The motive behind Dr. Mok’s murders became a bit clearer as he hinted that the victims were somehow targeted because of their actions or choices. This information will come as a shock, especially for Sun-jae, who sees his mother as completely innocent. Maybe she is, but there may be something unsavory about her and the other victims that could explain why they were targeted.
Unfortunately, Jae-yi has caught the doctor’s attention because she’s the only one who’s recognized the true nature of the unsolved murder cases. What remains to be seen is if she’s at all suspicious of Dr. Mok, or if she trusts him as a colleague. Along with Dr. Mok, Jae-yi is the only member of the team who understands how to catch Jung Ho-young, and she took it upon herself to catch a killer and prevent any more murders, although I think Sung-shik needs to give her that lecture about teamwork. But Dr. Mok understood Jae-yi’s plan and intervened to bring it to Sun-jae’s attention, thereby saving her. So far, they have an interesting dynamic.
The dynamic between Kwang-ho and Jae-yi continues to be difficult. He came down pretty hard on her about her lack of compassion and her focus on her research, but his comments cut her deeply and she was unable to ignore them. Jae-yi is not as cold-hearted as Kwang-ho thinks. In her own way, Jae-yi cares about the people that she works with, and she listens to what they have to say.
As a whole, the team is under a lot of pressure as the murders add up. Sung-shik is exerting his authority with Sun-jae and Kwang-ho for leaving him out of the loop, as he should. Sun-jae gets so focused on his mother’s unsolved murder that he forgets how invested Kwang-ho and Sung-shik are, and he doesn’t realize that he doesn’t have to work alone anymore. But old habits die hard, and Sun-jae can’t seem to share, not even when it came to the threat that Jung Ho-young made against Jae-yi. Maybe her brush with death will knock some sense into him.
One thing that Sun-jae does share is how important Kwang-ho has become, as evidenced by his admission that the thought of Kwang-ho’s return to the past makes him sad. Personal connections are a challenge for Sun-jae, and his reaction to the realization that he could lose his hotheaded, retro, and grumpy partner shows how much Kwang-ho means to him. Kwang-ho is so focused on going back to his timeline so that he can return to Yeon-sook’s side that he hasn’t stopped to consider the people that he will leave behind in 2017. Unless Kwang-ho can go back and reset the future by catching Dr. Mok and Jung Ho-young in the past, he’s sure to leave a huge void in the future when he returns to 1986.
The big development this episode was that Sun-jae and Kwang-ho both found out about Jae-yi’s true identity at almost the same time, in very different ways. Even more surprising is that Jae-yi is aware that Kwang-ho knows about Yeon-ho. I can’t wait to see how this affects our main trio going forward. I imagine that Sun-jae will find himself in the middle of a most difficult and unusual triangle. He understands and cares for both Kwang-ho and Jae-yi, and it shows how much he’s grown that he tries to help them to get along with one another. Now that Yeon-ho’s identity has been revealed, that task just got a lot more complicated.
- Tunnel: Episode 1
- Mysterious dots and missing bodies in OCN’s Tunnel teaser
- Choi Jin-hyuk runs like crazy to solve a serial murder case in Tunnel
- Time-slipping to catch a killer in OCN’s Tunnel
- Choi Jin-hyuk pursues hooded man from past to future in Tunnel
- Vixx’s N joins OCN’s Tunnel as young police officer
- Past detective Choi Jin-hyuk emerges from time-traveling Tunnel
- Yoon Hyun-min, Choi Jin-hyuk form detective duo for OCN’s Tunnel
- OCN’s Tunnel courts Choi Jin-hyuk, Lee Yoo-young to star