Trap: Episode 4
With the cover-up operation in full effect, our protagonist will need to dodge several metaphorical landmines just to keep himself from shouldering all the blame. At the same time, our righteous detectives will need to put themselves one step ahead of their corrupt counterparts to keep their investigation moving forward unabated.
EPISODE 4: “Secrets and Lies”
At the investigation base, Dong-kook openly challenges the corrupt lead Detective Yang on his motive for taking over the case in front of his juniors.
Dong-kook asks Seo-young to wait outside while he chastises his old colleagues for shamelessly interfering in the investigation and for following the lead of the obviously shady Detective Yang.
Detective Yang doesn’t like being openly dragged through the mud, so he challenges Dong-kook to a fistfight, and Dong-kook is not as spry as he used to be as he is easily overpowered until Seo-young breaks back in to stop Detective Yang’s assault.
Meanwhile, Secretary Kim rendezvouses with two Chinese-Korean mercenaries she is familiar with, but they both agree that helping Woo-hyun is a lost cause against the rich and powerful hunters.
After the fight, Seo-young tends to Dong-kook’s injuries, and she confides that a lecture Dong-kook once gave to her police training class still serves as her motivation when times get tough on the job.
Her confession stirs Dong-kook out of his stupor, and he realizes that Woo-hyun’s house may still be accessible to them even though they were taken off the case.
As Dong-kook and Seo-young drive off, rookie Detective Park fails to get their attention to share the news that Secretary Kim and the Chinese-Korean mercenaries are now actively being tracked again.
In the hospital, Detective Yang introduces himself to Woo-hyun, who notices the strangeness of the team in charge being switched in the middle of the case. Detective Yang all but confirms Woo-hyun’s suspicions, talking down to him as though he is the main suspect for the crime.
Dong-kook and Seo-young head towards Woo-hyun’s home, and Dong-kook posits that since he knows how Detective Yang operates, they can use that knowledge to stay one step ahead of him in the investigation.
Meanwhile, rumors start to spread about Woo-hyun killing a man, and Detective Yang waltzes Woo-hyun around the hospital in handcuffs to perpetuate the image of him being a suspect rather than a victim.
“Exercising the right to remain silent isn’t always a good thing,” Detective Yang warns, “people tend to imagine things, and the imagination of the public can be more overwhelming than the truth.”
Elsewhere, Secretary Kim remains on the run with her Chinese-Korean companions, and they both deny their involvement in Detective Bae’s death, citing a well-known assassin in their field named Ho-gae who they believe is behind it, and speculate that the police are likely backing Ho-gae up.
Flashback to several months prior, Woo-hyun and Yeon-soo share dinner with CEO Hong, but Woo-hyun is called away due to the sudden death of his former professor and excuses himself.
Later that night, Yeon-soo and CEO Hong depart together, and Secretary Kim stealthily follows them with one of the Chinese-Korean mercenaries. When they arrive at CEO Hong’s building, Yeon-soo jumps all over him with passionate kisses, and Secretary Kim captures the whole affair on camera.
Afterwards, Secretary Kim meets with Woo-hyun, who faked his professor’s death to get away from the dinner, and she fills him in on the complete details of his wife’s affair.
He asks Secretary Kim to stay with him while he goes over the files, but ushers her away when she lovingly caresses his face and he realizes how vulnerable he is to being unfaithful himself in that moment.
In the present, as Secretary Kim finishes recounting this to her companions, one of their disposable phones rings, and it’s actually Detective Park who pretends to be a client looking for them to do a job, but they instantly catch on to his ruse and flee their hideout before they can be tracked further.
At the hospital, the police administer a polygraph to Woo-hyun, and the only question he hesitates to answer truthfully is whether he still loves Yeon-soo. Detective Yang immediately takes this information and uses it to pressure Woo-hyun.
At the same time, Dong-kook explains to Seo-young that this is exactly how Detective Yang operates to frame people for crimes they didn’t commit.
And Detective Yang indeed does just that, drilling Woo-hyun about his wife’s affair with CEO Hong, as he implies that Woo-hyun’s escape from the hospital shows that he wants to kill both CEO Hong and his wife for the affair.
Meanwhile, in the hospital cafeteria, Detective Park fills Detective Jang in on his tracking of Secretary Kim, but Detective Yang interrupts to try to get in on their conversation, though neither detective obliges.
Back in the flashback, Woo-hyun listens through a copy of his wife’s phone as she and CEO Hong discuss what Woo-hyun would do if he found out about their affair.
She confesses that her husband would pretend to know nothing because he’s a boring person. She surmises that CEO Hong, on the other hand, would set a trap for him if he ever found out.
Elsewhere, Dong-kook needs to make a pit stop to get his car checked out, still wonky after the crash with Woo-hyun. As he and Seo-young wait, he can’t help but be reminded of his daughter, and he worries about not being able to keep his promise to spend more time with her.
As Woo-hyun thinks about his past memories, a new nurse administers his medicine, clearly starstruck by the famous anchor. The nurse reveals that Woo-hyun helped her father years ago by covering the man’s protest against his former employer.
Her story convinces Woo-hyun to ask for her help in retrieving the phone he hid in the washroom when the new detectives came to take over the case. She finds the phone and covertly brings it to him in his hospital room.
She asks Woo-hyun who could be behind what happened in the mountains, and though he doesn’t give a definitive answer, he promises that justice will prevail in the end.
As the nurse takes her leave, Detective Yang storms into the room and demands to know what secrets Woo-hyun is hiding from him. Woo-hyun remains tight-lipped, but then the nurse hands the phone over to Detective Yang and reveals her ruse; she was only pretending to be a nurse.
The detectives take the phone and force Woo-hyun to call Secretary Kim in order to trace her exact location. Woo-hyun keeps her on the line almost long enough to trace the signal, but right at the end he tells her to throw the phone away, and her travel companion does just that.
The detectives are furious with Woo-hyun, but he turns and tells them that he is ready to tell them everything, and assures them of Secretary Kim’s innocence.
In their car, though, the Chinese-Korean driver slams on the brakes. The other mercenary suddenly starts to feel weak, and realizes that the driver drugged him.
The driver casually reaches over and slashes the man’s neck, killing him. He turns to face Secretary Kim, also under the effects of the drug, and reveals that he is actually the assassin Ho-gae. She tries to fend him off, but he easily strangles her into unconsciousness.
Meanwhile, Woo-hyun, without naming any names, recounts his story to Detective Yang about a detective who came to him three years ago seeking justice for his son’s murder. There was enough evidence, Woo-hyun says, but someone in the team was paid off by the culprit to destroy the evidence.
Detective Yang realizes the story is about Dong-kook, and questions why Woo-hyun is bringing that up in this case. Woo-hyun quickly counters that the same person who tampered with evidence back then is now here to do the same thing again: Detective Yang.
Detective Yang tries to order the rest of his team out of the room, but they also recognize that Woo-hyun seems to be talking about Dong-kook’s case and refuse to leave so they can hear Woo-hyun’s allegation.
Woo-hyun completely exposes Detective Yang’s corruption to the team, and with a defiant glare he vows that he’ll fight those people in power trying to frame him until the very end.
At Woo-hyun’s house, Dong-kook and Seo-young search inside for any clues they can find. Seo-young diagnoses the couple’s marital problems, as their complete clash of personalities is evident in almost every area of the house.
She also reveals to Dong-kook that Shi-woo is not the couple’s biological son, as they adopted him at a young age due to Yeon-soo’s infertility.
As they continue to search the house, Dong-kook can’t help but empathize with Woo-hyun’s situation, feeling sorry for the man who he hated for years after the refusal to help expose the case.
On Shi-woo’s desk, though, they find a hand-drawn picture of the family, but with Yeon-soo crossed out by the boy, and realize there was even a rift between mother and son.
Meanwhile, Detective Yang brings Woo-hyun outside to a secluded area for some fresh air. The detective levels with him, and offers an honest exchange of information back-and-forth to clear the air.
Elsewhere, the hunter group gathers at their club suite, where Secretary Kim kneels before them. CEO Hong refers to her as a reporter, and she confirms that all she did was try to expose the evil of their club to the world.
CEO Hong tries to flatter the bound secretary, but she refuses to take the bait. She spits in CEO Hong’s face and asks why they killed Shi-woo and Yeon-soo. CEO Hong simply chuckles, “Did you think Yeon-soo was dead?”
At the same time, Seo-young pieces together that the only other person who knew Woo-hyun was taking his family to the mountains that day was Yeon-soo.
She adds that it is strange they still have not found Yeon-soo’s body, and that the culprit in most murders tends to be a close family member. All of this, Seo-young argues, points to Yeon-soo joining hands with CEO Hong to arrange the hunt.
Woo-hyun, meanwhile, accuses CEO Hong of being the man behind Detective Yang’s interference. The detective denies the link, so Woo-hyun throws out the names of several other hunters he knows to be involved in the organization, but Detective Yang continues to deny any knowledge of the hunters.
Woo-hyun also points out how there seems to be absolutely nobody else in the vicinity of their current chat, and surmises that Detective Yang intends to claim that Woo-hyun tried to escape again so he can use that as a cover for killing him.
Detective Yang finally admits that Woo-hyun is correct, and that he knows way too much about the organization behind everything.
In Woo-hyun’s house, Dong-kook suddenly notices that someone else is inside, and a masked man surprises them by dropping down from the upper balcony, easily incapacitating both detectives.
At the same time, Woo-hyun tries to overpower Detective Yang, but he’s still not 100% recovered from his injuries, and Detective Yang gains the upper hand. With Woo-hyun at his mercy, Detective Yang confides that he’s not the only hound the organization uses to get their way.
In the hospital, Detective Park tries to hide from Detective Jang. The senior detective creeps into the bathroom his junior is hiding in and quickly checks to see if anyone is in the room besides him, but misses the rookie hiding in the corner.
Detective Jang makes a call to one of the hunters while Detective Park listens in shock. Years ago, Detective Jang provided information about Dong-kook, unaware that he was aiding in the cover up of the case.
In Woo-hyun’s house, Seo-young manages to get the better of the assailant with some impressive martial arts moves.
Meanwhile, Woo-hyun uses a needle to break free of Detective Yang’s grasp. When the cop launches another attack, Woo-hyun stabs him and injects air bubbles into his bloodstream. The air embolism incapacitates the detective, and Woo-hyun confiscates his gun and phone before escaping.
As he flees, Woo-hyun calls Dong-kook, and leaves a message to confess his knowledge about the hunter organization and the depths of their evil.
As this happens, the assailant in Woo-hyun’s house regains the edge over Seo-young, and is able to strangle her into unconsciousness. With her last gasps, she pulls down his mask to reveal it is CEO Hong’s aide.
As Dong-kook reaches for his gun nearby, the aide beats him to it. The aide picks the gun up off the floor, points it directly at Dong-kook’s face, and a single shot rings out inside the house.
We don’t technically know for sure that Yeon-soo is still alive, though the implication is strong enough that I think we can just assume at this point that she is. It’s not really a surprise that she is involved given what we already kind of knew about her affair with CEO Hong. What might be surprising is just how cavalier she was with her husband and adopted child. It’s one thing to cheat on your spouse. It’s another thing to plot the murder of your entire family since they no longer serve any sort of purpose to you after you used them to get ahead in life.
But given the number of complete psychopaths that already permeate the hunter organization, Yeon-soo’s psychopathy isn’t that shocking. I think it’s a bit of a problem with the writing, though, that we’ve built an entire stable of monstrous villains here, who each deserve an equally substantial dose of comeuppance, yet we only have three episodes remaining to actually dish out the punishment they deserve. How can we possibly get a satisfying conclusion for Yeon-soo, CEO Hong, Detective Yang, the particularly evil young hunter, CEO Hong’s aide, Ho-gae, and the three other older hunters? Look how long that list is! There’s only three episodes left and we’re not even close to getting justice for any one of them.
Plus, we also have Detective Jang, who is admittedly less evil than the people mentioned above, but still obviously contributed to the conspiracy to cover up Dong-kook’s son’s murder. He’s probably the only villain-adjacent character with a chance for redemption at this point, as the rest are all just completely unforgivable lunatics. But Detective Jang seems to be just a normal guy who got in over his head, maybe didn’t even know just who he was in bed with (but let’s be honest, that’s not a viable excuse), and feels at least some shame for what he did. I shudder to think of how Dong-kook will react when he finds out about Detective Jang’s involvement, especially since there’s some pretty apparent trust issues already turning Dong-kook into the lone-wolf he started the series as.
But at the same time, Seo-young seems to be melting those trust issues away with relative ease. I’m not sure that it’s necessarily because the pair naturally work well together, but rather it is more like the relationship between Secretary Kim and Woo-hyun, without the romantic undertones of course. It’s because Seo-young and Dong-kook understand each other on a human level that their partnership came together so well. They share a zeal for their work and recognize each other’s competence at the investigative craft. There’s a level of respect for each other that fosters the ability for Dong-kook to open his mind to Seo-young’s profiling, and similarly lets Seo-young consider Dong-kook’s old-school style. Their two styles don’t normally mesh well together, but in their case, they make it work because of their mutual respect.