Train: Episode 6
A familiar face with a very different life is causing our hero major problems in World B, distracting him from his search for the serial killer. But everything seems connected, and the two cases may not be as independent as they first appear.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
Do-won and his team chase the missing woman’s tenant into a maze of back alleys, but he flips things on them and attacks Do-won. Do-won is shocked to see that the suspect is World B’s version of Jin-woo, his gentle, friendly partner. Jae-hyuk knocks Jin-woo off of Do-won, and as he’s being cuffed, Jin-woo screams that he didn’t steal anything and that it’s Do-won’s fault his grandmother is dead.
At the same time, in World A, Jin-woo lets himself into Alt Do-won’s hospital room and finds himself roughly pinned to the wall. Jung-min breaks them up and yells at Alt Do-won that it’s like he forgot the guy who became a cop just to work with him. Alt Do-won gapes at her, incredulous that “that criminal” is a detective.
Once the fire is put out in Alt Jin-woo’s apartment, Jung-min arrives to inspect the damage. She confirms that Alt Jin-woo set the fire on purpose, most likely to hide evidence of a crime, which Seo-kyung assumes is the murder of his missing landlord, Jung Kyung-hee.
There’s no evidence on Alt Jin-woo’s phone or truck, making Seo-kyung worry that he’ll be acquitted for the murder. Luckily, the meat cutting machine they know he purchased is found in the basement, and a luminol spray shows that there’s blood on the blade, so it’s sent for analysis.
While Jin-woo waits to be questioned, Do-won wonders if he could really be the culprit. He thinks about the Jin-woo he knew in his world, who was only fourteen when Seo-kyung’s father was killed — was he old enough to be a killer? This Jin-woo has a long rap sheet, including a felony assault case when he was a teenager.
Do-won goes into the interrogation room and asks Jin-woo what he means about it being his fault his grandmother died. With a huge eyeroll, Jin-woo snarls that four years ago, Do-won had framed him for robbery.
Do-won scans Jin-woo’s file, then tells the team that Jin-woo didn’t kill his landlord and leaves to report to Section Chief Oh. Joon-young tells Seo-kyung that before he was transferred to Mukyeong, Jin-woo went to jail for robbery. The surveillance footage didn’t show his face, but Do-won had insisted Jin-woo was the thief and gotten him sent to jail for four years.
Just as Do-won is about to explain to Section Chief Oh why he doesn’t think Jin-woo is guilty, Seo-kyung enters her office. They haven’t met before in this world, which makes Do-won sad knowing how close they were in his world. He introduces them, then tells Section Chief Oh that Jin-woo was only released from jail six months ago, so he’s not a suspect.
She says that Jung Kyung-hee only went missing two weeks ago, but Do-won can’t tell her what he knows about the timeline of the other murders (which all happened within the last three years, when World B’s Jin-woo was in prison). Instead, he explains that he’s independently investigating a string of serial murders, and that Kyung-hee is the latest victim.
Section Chief Oh wants more details on these other murders, and Do-won has to admit that only one other victim has been identified. She asks why he thinks that Kyung-hee isn’t the only victim, and he asks for more time to gather information before briefing her.
In private, Seo-kyung also wants to know why Do-won thinks there are more murders when he doesn’t even know who’s disappeared. She says that she’s going to assume that Jin-woo is the killer until the DNA results come back, and expresses her confusion at why Do-won would frame Jin-woo four years ago, then defend him now.
Do-won pretty much ignores Seo-kyung’s rant, searching through cabinets until he finds a first aid kit. He takes her arm, which is bleeding from a long gash she got while fighting Jin-woo, intending to bandage it. As he applies medicine, he says that he’s aware of what he’s done in the past, but that he doesn’t care about that, adding, “The only thing I can do right now is to do what I can in this world.”
He reasserts his conviction that Jin-woo isn’t the killer, then turns his attention back to Seo-kyung’s arm. He’s taken aback by old scars on Seo-kyung’s wrist that indicate that she tried to take her own life. Seo-kyung snatches her arm back and snaps that she’ll take care of herself.
As she stalks the station halls, Seo-kyung gets a call from someone listed in her phone as simply “The Woman.” She has a sudden memory of huddling against a wall as a woman throws things at her and screams, “How could you?!” She ignores the call, but when she steps outside there’s someone in a car, waiting for her.
Do-won is haunted by the scars on Seo-kyung’s wrist, which make him think about how, in his world, he’d saved her from committing suicide then took her to live with him and Section Chief Oh. This world’s Do-won didn’t do those things, so Seo-kyung was left to the mercies of her abusive stepmother and a stepbrother who sexually assaulted her.
Section Chief Oh summons Jae-hyuk and asks how Do-won seems to be doing lately, worried about him. Jae-hyuk replies that Do-won seems very different these days, as if he’s a different person. This startles Section Chief Oh and she drops her pen — hmmm, does she know something? Jae-hyuk asks why Section Chief Oh transferred Do-won to this station when he had a record of suspicious activities.
She says thoughtfully, “It’s not that I don’t trust him. I just don’t trust the weakness of someone who’s lost. It’s easy to make your first mistake. If you look back, you’re able to see what went wrong, and it makes you feel like you can always turn back. But a wrong choice naturally leads you to make another wrong choice. Once you regain your senses, you find yourself in a huge mess.”
Seo-kyung’s therapist, Doctor Seok, finds Seo-kyung in his waiting room as he’s leaving work. She tells him that “she” came to see her, and she stares at her wrist scars as she recalls the woman screaming at her. She says softly, “This is all because of Seo Jae-chul. It’s been over ten years but I still feel miserable, and I loathe him so much. I don’t understand why this had to happen to me.”
She says she’s angry, and at Doctor Seok’s prompting, she adds that she feels hopeless like she did back then. She says she wants to kill Seo Jae-chul, and she’s surprised when Doctor Seok says, “You can do that.”
Alt Do-won slips out of the hospital and takes a taxi to Mukyeong Station, desperate to go home. Unlike the busy station in his world, he finds an abandoned building in which the only living thing is the old clock. He notices that he’d jumped from the train into this reality around this same time of night, so he heads out to the tracks, but no train comes so he figures he’s missing something.
Meanwhile, Section Chief Oh looks over Seo-kyung’s internal personnel file, and something about it seems to concern her. She takes a follow-up call from a former coworker regarding Jae-chul, Do-won’s father. He asks about Seo-kyung, who was apparently asking after Jae-chul’s whereabouts months ago, and Section Chief Oh connects her new team member to the daughter of the Mukyeong Residential Murder victim.
Do-won asks Joon-young about Seo-kyung, since he went to school with her. She’d joined the force immediately out of high school and made detective exclusively through special promotions, a testament to her tenacity. Do-won asks why she skipped university and about her home life, but Joon-young doesn’t know.
Joon-young has Jin-woo’s file, so Do-won asks to see it, and reads about the felony assault when Jin-woo was in high school. He remembers his own version of the case — one day when he was a new cop, he’d found Jin-woo’s grandmother sobbing by her marketplace stall. Some boys from Jin-woo’s school had destroyed her stall, and Jin-woo had run off with a large knife.
Jin-woo had followed the boys to an abandoned warehouse, and had told them that he doesn’t care if they bully him, but going after his grandmother was too far. He’d cornered the ringleader and prepared to stab him, but at the last second, Do-won had grabbed the blade and stopped him.
Do-won had convinced Jin-woo that he would be harmed more than the other boy if he did this, and had successfully talked him down. It had changed Jin-woo’s life, and he’d become a cop because of his respect for Do-won. But in World B, Alt Do-won hadn’t been there to stop Jin-woo, so he’d stabbed the boy and his life had been ruined.
In the interrogation room, Jin-woo tells Do-won that when someone hurts the ones he loves, he makes them pay. Do-won counters that if he wanted to protect those he loved, he shouldn’t have ruined his life. He tells Jin-woo that he believes he’s innocent of Kyung-hee’s murder, and he asks why Jin-woo started the fire and bought the cutting machine.
Jin-woo refuses to say, suspicious that Do-won is trying to set him up again. But he does tell Do-won that he’d often given Kyung-hee a ride home from the train station, and that on the day she disappeared, he saw a strange car along the road she usually walked. He’s amused by Do-won’s interest, and he sneers he won’t tell Do-won any more until he’s set free.
As he’s being led back to his cell, Jin-woo is left alone for a second by his guard. He swipes a coin from a desk and swallows it.
Do-won offers Seo-kyung a ride to the crime scene and takes her to eat on the way. He notices that today, she’s wearing a watch to hide her wrist scars. He asks why she did it, and she says there’s nothing wrong with dying. Do-won’s eyes snap to her face as she continues that she’d rather die than live in misery. He asks if it was because of his father, but all Seo-kyung says is that she has a reason to live now.
She ends the conversation, and they head to the place where Do-won saw the strange car, though Seo-kyung thinks that Jin-woo was lying. Do-won walks the shortcut where Kyung-hee would have been that night, and just off the path he finds her cell phone in the tall grass.
It indicates that this is where Kyung-hee was grabbed, and Do-won tells Seo-kyung that Jin-woo would have no reason to attack her way out here when they live in the same house. On top of that, the DNA results from the meat cutter are back, and the blood on it is from an animal.
From his cell, Jin-woo asks the guards for some nail clippers. When the guard asks for them back, Jin-woo says he doesn’t have them, so the guard enters his cell with a metal detector. Jin-woo presses the wand to his stomach and it goes off, sensing the coin he swallowed, and Jin-woo lies that he swallowed the clippers.
The guard calls an ambulance and takes Jin-woo out of his cell to wait. Jin-woo has removed the string from his hoodie, which he uses to strangle the guard, and he successfully escapes.
Doctor Seok hypnotizes a teenage patient named Dong-hyun who describes the scene of his mother’s murder. He knows it was his father because the man was wearing the shoes Dong-hyun bought for him. Dong-hyun says that he wants to kill his father like his father killed his mother, and just like he told Seo-kyung, Doctor Seok says that he can do that.
He gives Dong-hyun a book — My Sweet Orange Tree by Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos — in which a character says, “Yes, I’m going to kill him. I’ve already started. Killing him doesn’t mean grabbing [a] revolver and bang! That’s not it. You can kill someone in your heart. Stop loving them, and one day they die.” Doctor Seok explains that you can also stop hating the person, because as long as you hate them, they’re alive in your heart.
Later, as Doctor Seok talks to Dong-hyun’s guardian, he sees the news on TV about Jin-woo’s escape. He was caught on CCTV camera, and Doctor Seok appears unsettled when he sees Jin-woo’s face.
Seo-kyung is predictably suspicious of why Jin-woo would try so hard to escape if he’s innocent. Joon-young points out that Jin-woo is guilty of arson and probably afraid to go back to jail, which brings them back to the question of why he set his room on fire.
Do-won thinks about how furious Do-won was at the boy who messed with his grandmother back in school, and how he told Do-won that he will punish anyone who hurts those he loves. It clicks — he’s after whoever is responsible for his grandmother’s death.
While Jae-hyuk and Joon-young check out the building where Jin-woo’s grandmother ran her market stall, Do-won and Seo-kyung head back to his burned room to look for more evidence. Seo-kyung finds the charred scraps of a newspaper article and looks up the article on her phone. It’s about how difficult it is to prove a murder without a body… uh-oh.
She heads out to Jin-woo’s truck and finds a digital camera in the glove compartment. On it are photos of a house, inside and out, at all times of day.
Do-won talks to Jin-woo’s employer and learns that he was hired when they took on a rush landscaping job and needed extra hands. Jae-hyuk calls Do-won with information that the building where Jin-woo’s grandmother (and many other vendors) ran their stalls had some trouble last year with the construction company who was slated to redevelop the area.
Violence had broken out, and Jin-woo’s grandmother was badly injured by one of the company’s employees. Her treatment was delayed because Jin-woo, her guardian, was in prison, and she died because of it. Not at all coincidentally, the construction company responsible is also the company that Jin-woo was hired to landscape for — Gunhyung Development.
We see that he’s been using the landscaping job to scope out the house. The last time he was on the property, he’d disabled the security system in preparation for his revenge. He’d gone home and torn down all the evidence of his plans from his walls, then set the room on fire to destroy it all.
Seo-kyung is distracted by a call from “That Woman,” and in flashback we again see the woman (probably Young-ran, her stepmother) screaming and throwing things at her. Seo-kyung picks up a shard of broken glass, and there’s blood splattered on the walls.
Knowing that Jin-woo likely plans to go after his target right away, Do-won calls for backup. Do-won, Jae-hyuk, and Joon-young arrive at the house at the same time, but the doors are locked and they’ve been unable to reach the owner.
Jin-woo is already inside, standing over the sleeping homeowner with a large knife. In an eerily reminiscent scene of the one from World A, Jin-woo raises the knife, but Do-won grabs his arm at the last second. Jin-woo bellows at Do-won to let go and they grapple with the knife, and Jin-woo manages to throw Do-won across the room.
He kneels over him, prepared to kill him first. Do-won says that there’s no going back if he does this, but it doesn’t seem to have any affect. A shot rings out — Jae-hyuk has fired on Jin-woo from the doorway, and Joon-young quickly cuffs him.
Seo-kyung runs in just seconds later and flips on the lights, and she notices that the homeowner is still in bed. They all realize at the same time that she’s already dead… and Do-won recognizes her as Jo Young-ran, Seo-kyung’s abusive stepmother.
Seo-kyung reaches down for the necklace that Young-ran is wearing. It’s one that had belonged to her mother, and it even still has her mother’s initials on the back. There’s blood everywhere from a head wound, but there’s also a ligature mark around Young-ran’s neck, marking her as the serial killer’s seventh victim.
Okay, things just got very, very personal. It was already looking like the serial murders were all connected to Seo-kyung, since it’s her mother’s stolen jewelry that is showing up on the victims’ bodies, but Young-ran’s murder is a clear message to Seo-kyung. I have so many questions, such as why Young-ran was killed and why she was in the home of Jin-woo’s target. Was she the homeowner (which would be a massive coincidence), or did the killer place her body there to be found? And if she was placed there, how did the killer know that Seo-kyung and Do-won would be there to find her? There’s something very, very spooky going on in World B, and in the most creepy way possible, I’m loving it.
We’ve spent some time now with the people in World B, and we’ve seen how much they differ from the people in World A. It’s proof of good writing that, even though the alternates act different in each world, they are still recognizable as the same people at their cores. In fact, they were the same people until the split in realities twelve years ago, kicked off by Do-won’s two choices on that fateful night — it’s everything that’s happened to them since then that has made them who they are now in their respective worlds. I love that there’s not a clean good/evil distinction between the people who have turned out very differently from their alternate selves… you can tell that they are that way for a valid reason.
Speaking of the people from World B, I’m still not sure what to think about Alt Do-won. He’s either wicked smart, because he was able to piece together the possibility that he was in an alternate reality so quickly and with so few clues, or he already had some suspicions before he landed in World A. I want to believe that he’s a decent person who simply fell into things like drug use and his corrupted dealings with the people he arrests, but these are usually things that clear-cut bad guys do in dramas, so it’s hard to reconcile Alt Do-won as simply a harsher version of our Do-won. I hope we get to spend more time with him in the next few episodes and learn more about him.
As for our Do-won, I’m glad that he’s found a focus for his anger at his Seo-kyung’s death, and the presence of Alt Seo-kyung (however hostile she is) seems to have settled him down some. But I’m worried about how he interacts with her — he obviously feels close to her, but to Alt Seo-kyung, he’s an enemy, the son of her father’s killer. Alt Seo-kyung looks like Do-won’s Seo-kyung, and began as the same young girl, but she’s had twelve years of fury, abuse, and resentment that’s twisted her into a very different person than the Seo-kyung that Do-won loved. I’m concerned that Do-won will forget that she’s not his Seo-kyung… she’s not the girl he grew up with, and she’s not the woman he loved. That woman is dead, and as he’s been told, nothing he does will bring her back.
Until now, both Seo-kyung’s have been less of a character on their own than something for Do-won to focus on, to give him something to pine after in World A and work towards in World B. He has so many regrets about how he lived his life in World A, pushing Seo-kyung away for so many years because he believed that his father was guilty of murdering hers. She was killed before he got to tell her how much he loved her, and now he’s faced with another Seo-kyung, and Do-won sees her as a second chance to fix the mistakes he made with his Seo-kyung. I’m okay for now with Alt Seo-kyung being a focal point for Do-won, because now he’s using his feelings to try and solve the serial murder case, which is much healthier than he was behaving before. But I want to see Seo-kyung developed as a character of her own, beyond a focal point for Do-won’s character growth. And if the show progresses their relationship into something closer, I’m going to need to see Do-won process and accept the fact that Alt Seo-kyung is a completely separate person than the Seo-kyung he loved before I’ll feel comfortable with it.