Train: Episode 10
Assumptions can be dangerous things for drama watchers, and this show is proving in a spectacular way that nothing is as it seems. Our hero finds himself in an impossible situation with no choice but to get back on the train that started it all, and what he finds there will rock him to his core.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Twelve years ago, Sung-wook and Seok Min-joon had broken into Seo-kyung’s home to steal her deceased mother’s jewelry, though Min-joon had been more interested in a photo of Seo-kyung with her father. Seo-kyung’s father had come home early so Sung-wook hid, but Min-joon had picked up a necklace and decided to commit his first murder.
He’d strangled Seo-kyung’s father with the necklace, then when he was dead, he’s picked up a hammer from a nearly toolbox and bashed his head in. When he was finished, he’d stared at his victim dispassionately and said, “Now you’re just like me.”
In the present, the now Doctor Seok tells Seo-kyung, “Some choices save lives, and some kill. But even when they’re given a choice that will let them live or die, some people keep taking the road that will kill them. That’s fate. That day twelve years ago and even today, you’re quite lucky. You got out of the rain again.” He tells Seo-kyung that he’s decided to play one last game, which has saved her life again. ~shudder~
When Do-won realizes that Doctor Seok is the killer, he calls Seo-kyung, but Doctor Seok answers her phone. He tells Do-won that he could have saved his father’s life if he’d figured it out a bit sooner, and when Do-won demands to know where Seo-kyung is, Doctor Seok tells him to look carefully.
Do-won has Jae-hyuk put a trace on Doctor Seok’s phone and follows the signal to an art gallery. He catches up to Doctor Seok and pulls his gun on him, but instead of telling Do-won where to find Seo-kyung, Doctor Seok confesses to all the murders, including Seo-kyung’s father, and gives himself up. As it turns out, Seo-kyung is perfectly fine — he’d only stolen her phone.
At the station, Do-won asks Doctor Seok why he confessed, and Doctor Seok says that he felt scared once Do-won learned the truth. Do-won knows that’s BS, so Doctor Seok says vaguely, “I’m waiting for my audience. I’ll decide when, what, and whom I talk to.”
When Seo-kyung arrives, Doctor Seok asks curiously if she wants to kill him now, like she wanted to kill Do-won’s father. He says he’s disappointed because he thought they had a lot in common until Seo-kyung started talking about protecting people.
Seo-kyung growls that he must have had fun witnessing her pain and listening to her talk about getting revenge on an innocent man. With a creepy grin, Doctor Seok says that it made him glad he didn’t kill her that night, too.
Do-won has had enough, and he knocks Doctor Seok right out of his chair. He’s ready to pound Doctor Seok into a pulp, but Seo-kyung stops him. She tells Doctor Seok that she’s going to be different from him, and just watch him rot in prison.
They proceed with a calm interrogation, where Doctor Seok confesses that he killed Seo-kyung’s father because the melody of the jewelry box was getting on his nerves. He claims that he killed all those women for the same reason that he killed Seo-kyung’s father — they got on his nerves.
He’s fascinated by the fact that they had said in therapy that they wanted to die, yet when they truly faced death, they fought to live. He describes his murder method in detail, seeming to enjoy the part where he smashed their skulls and got to see their brain and bone mingle together — as he says, “It’s payback for planting a bomb in my head.”
Disgusted, Do-won says that he can say all this in court, but Doctor Seok sneers that his confession means nothing without the bodies of his victims. In addition, he has an illness that causes dementia, and he challenges Do-won and Seo-kyung to make any charges stick under those conditions.
He says it’s a game… they have a confession, so if they find the bodies, he’s the culprit, but without bodies, they can’t prove he killed anyone. They can only hold him for 48 hours, and if they don’t find evidence in that time, they’ll have to let him go.
The evidence involving his missing patients is circumstantial, so Joon-young suggests they look more into Young-ran’s death since they have a body. Do-won says there won’t be any evidence leading to Doctor Seok, since Young-ran’s death was intended to frame Sung-wook for the murders.
Section Chief Oh says that finding the bodies is the only way, but with a meaningful glance at Do-won, Seo-kyung replies that they won’t find any bodies no matter where they look. She says that Doctor Seok turned himself in because he’s confident of that, so they have to find another way.
They strip Doctor Seok’s office to look for evidence of the murders, while Seo-kyung asks Jung-min to analyze the murder weapons again for traces leading to Doctor Seok. Jung-min vows that if it’s there, she’ll find it, and make him pay for killing Alt Do-won.
Someone enters the interrogation room, and Doctor Seok tells them it was all worth it to see them flustered and hopeless. He says that he’s doing this “because I’m going crazy, thanks to you.”
Seo-kyung looks into Doctor Seok’s family and reports that his parents are both deceased, but there’s nothing suspicious about their deaths. They go to check out Doctor Seok’s home, and Do-won tells Seo-kyung that none of this is her fault, but she feels guilty that she didn’t figure all this out before Doctor Seok murdered Do-won’s father.
Do-won tells her that the things that happened in his world are happening here, and that they should focus on stopping Doctor Seok. They search his apartment for more murder weapons such as the necklace, but what Seo-kyung finds is strange — some old childrens’ games in a drawer, along with the copy of My Sweet Orange Tree that Doctor Seok likes to quote.
He’s bookmarked a page, and Seo-kyung notices the line, “It’s just that you’ve got the devil in your blood.” The bookmark is a photo of Doctor Seok as a child, but the adult whose hand he’s holding has been torn out of the picture. He’s standing by a sign for Innam Market, which isn’t in Mukyeong.
They’re running out of time, but they still haven’t found anything to connect Doctor Seok to the murders. Do-won thinks about Doctor Seok saying that they won’t prove anything without bodies, and Alt Do-won telling him to go back to his own world. Yes, go back, that’s where the bodies are!
With only twelve hours left to prove Doctor Seok’s guilt, Do-won tells Seo-kyung that he has one more card to play. He shows her the test results proving that DNA found on the incense stick that Doctor Seok lit, and under Alt Do-won’s nails, are from the same person, and that traces of his Huntington’s medication were also found.
He says that the only evidence that can prove Doctor Seok’s guilt is Alt Do-won’s body. Seo-kyung reminds him that if they reveal Alt Do-won’s body, he’ll become a dead person and won’t be able to stay.
She asks if he’s going back, and he replies with a sad smile, “Truthfully, I met her when I was here. I didn’t mind leaving my world behind, seeing her alive, even if she doesn’t know me. I wanted to live like that in this world, next to her. If I lose her again because of my greed, I won’t be able to forgive myself. It’s best if I leave, even if I never see her again.”
They go to the morgue for Alt Do-won’s body, only to find that it’s been switched with the body of another John Doe that’s scheduled to be cremated today. They arrive at the crematorium too late, and Seo-kyung guesses that Doctor Seok had something to do with the mix-up.
Their time runs out to arrest him, and as Do-won uncuffs Doctor Seok he asks why he did all this. Doctor Seok smirks, “Just because it’s fun.” Before he leaves, he tells Do-won that there are now eight victims, because he killed again three days ago: “Find her before the body disappears forever.”
On Doctor Seok’s way out of the station, Do-won slams him against the wall and says that Doctor Seok knows who he is. He unknowingly repeats Alt Do-won’s dying words, “It may seem like the end, but it’s not over,” and he vows to make Doctor Seok pay for those he’s killed, including Jin-sung and his Seo-kyung.
Doctor Seok fights back and demands to know what Do-won means about Jin-sung and Seo-kyung. He takes the ring he’s been carrying around from his pocket and tells Doctor Seok to remember it, because he’ll see it again on the finger of someone close to him.
Later, Section Chief Oh asks Do-won if there’s really another victim, and says that finding the body is their only chance to catch Doctor Seok. She reveals that she’s resigning from her position because she condemned the wrong person twelve years ago, and even when the killer walked right into her hands, she still couldn’t catch him. She tells Do-won that her higher-ups want to pin the murders on Sung-wook, and she urges him to catch Doctor Seok no matter what it takes.
As Seo-kyung pores over the files on the missing victims, she recalls that Doctor Seok once said that it’s hard to escape painful childhood memories. Looking at the picture of young Doctor Seok, she wonders who angered him so much that he’s taking it out on his victims. She’s about to go investigate when Do-won stops her and forbids her from leaving the station from now on. He begs her to stay where he can see her, admitting that he’s scared that she’s Doctor Seok’s next target.
Thinking about it, it occurs to Do-won that, while Doctor Seok should know about the alternate worlds if he’s the killer, he hasn’t been acting like he knows. He’d asked if Do-won had siblings when he should have guessed where he was from when he saw him after killing Alt Do-won, and he hadn’t known about Jin-sung and Seo-kyung’s murders.
In the morning, Seo-kyung has gone off on her own against Do-won’s wishes to check out the neighborhood where Doctor Seok lived as a kid. On the phone, she tells Do-won that since Doctor Seok still has one piece of jewelry, he’s got a target in mind already. Do-won tells her that she’s the target, but she disagrees since he’s had plenty of chances to kill her but didn’t.
Meanwhile, Joon-young discovers the eighth victim’s identity, another patient of Doctor Seok’s named Hwang Hee-kyung who went missing four days ago. Do-won, Jae-hyuk, and Joon-young go to the location where he phone last sent a signal, and they find bloodstains on a wall. Do-won confirms that it hasn’t rained in the last four days, which means her body is still in this world.
Seo-kyung locates the home where Doctor Seok lived as a child, which is deserted now. A neighbor remembers Doctor Seok and his family, including the fact that the house was rumored to be haunted because of his grandmother’s bizarre behavior. Doctor Seok had been teased by the boys in the neighborhood, and had once even attacked one bully with a rock.
The neighbor says that Doctor Seok lived there with his mother and grandmother, but that nobody ever met his father. They didn’t stay long, and left after his grandmother passed. Oddly, though she doesn’t recall the boy’s name, she does remember that he didn’t have an unusual name like Seok.
Using traffic cams to locate Doctor Seok’s car on the night of the murder, Do-won sends Jae-hyuk and Joon-young to check out the empty warehouses in the area. He realizes, to his horror, that it’s begun to rain, and that there’s less than two hours before Train 8210 will travel to the other world.
Elsewhere, in the warehouse that Doctor Seok has set up to kill his victims, a hooded figure arrives and finds an ominous-looking suitcase. He takes the suitcase and heads to Ilsung Station, and boards Train 8210. Do-won makes it to the train in time and begins looking for the suitcase as the train leaves the station.
While this was happening, Seo-kyung had gotten an idea and had called victim Kyung-hee’s daughter to ask some questions about her mother. Whatever she learned leads her to believe she knows Doctor Seok’s next victim, but when she returns to the police station, everyone is gone.
Jae-hyuk and Joon-young find the warehouse and split up to look around. Jae-hyuk locates Doctor Seok’s kill room, including the still-bloody hammers he uses to smash his victim’s skulls. He hears a ticking, but he’s too late to stop the fire that breaks out all around him.
At the same time, the train shifts over to World A, and Do-won falls to his knees in pain as his head rings and he’s bombarded with memories of the Jae-hyuk from his world. Oh no…
Moments later, Do-won finds the suitcase between the cars. He reaches for it but stops when he hears a gun being cocked, and looks up to see the hooded stranger aiming a gun at him. We get a flashback of Seo-kyung looking up at her killer just before being shot, and as Do-won processes the hooded stranger’s identity, a tear rolls down his cheek.
He recalls the blood analysis from Jin-sung’s home, which showed that the blood found on the scene was a woman’s. It all makes sense now, as Section Chief Oh pushes the hood back to reveal her face to Do-won. In a broken voice, he can only ask, “Why?”
At the station, Seo-kyung finds Do-won’s notebook on his desk, and this time she sees who is in the picture Do-won keeps inside — the Seo-kyung from his world. She finally realizes that the person he’s been talking about all this time, the one he failed to protect and who he loved, was the other version of her.
Section Chief Oh tells Do-won, “I told you, Do-won, to live in silence.” She edges closer to him, and just as the clock ticks to 9:35 p.m., she shoots him in the chest.
While writing up my Comments for Episode 9, I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that something wasn’t adding up. I felt that there was still something about the murders we don’t know, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to put it into words. So props to Train for completely fooling me with this twist! I never have quite trusted Alt Section Chief Oh, but I was lulled into a sense of complacency because she’s seemed mostly normal ever since Do-won first met her. I should have known better… a show this well-thought-out wouldn’t have had her come across so creepy, then just drop it.
I love these kinds of reversals where suddenly, everything that seemed like a throwaway line or misdirection start adding up to a larger picture. The woman’s blood from the house, Section Chief Oh’s sometimes odd behavior, it all comes into focus now that we know she’s the hooded stranger. I have to re-adjust many of the assumptions I’ve been making, such as Sung-wook dumping the bodies, because now it looks like it’s been Section Chief Oh all the time. At least it makes sense now why it didn’t occur to Doctor Seok that Do-won is from the other world… it’s because he doesn’t know about the other world. All of the transfers and interactions with World A have been Section Chief Oh.
What’s amazing is how Doctor Seok got two people helping him — Sung-wook to procure his victims, and Section Chief Oh to dispose of them. I think that Sung-wook was just afraid of Doctor Seok revealing his involvement in Seo-kyung’s father’s death so he was acting out of fear. But my theory on Section Chief Oh is that she’s Doctor Seok’s birth mother, and that she’s the one he was speaking to in the interrogation room when he accused her of being the reason he’s going crazy. We know he gets his Huntington’s from his mother’s side of the family, so it would make sense (in his twisted mind, anyway) that he wants to punish his mother for that. And I think she’s been sending the bodies to the other world because she’s his mother, and in a sick, codependent sort of way, she’s been trying to protect her son. I’ll bet when they find the other half of that picture of Doctor Seok as a child, they find that Section Chief Oh was the one holding his hand.
I’m guessing (hoping?) that Do-won is going to fall off the train and back into his own world, because he needs some time to regroup and come up with a plan before going back to World B to make Doctor Seok pay for his crimes. Do-won needs those bodies to prove that Doctor Seok is guilty, and right now, they’re in the wrong world. He also needs answers, especially from his Section Chief Oh, and he needs to find out where Doctor Seok is in his world (my guess is that he died in the accident that permanently injured Sung-wook). I’ve said before that I think the answer of how to fix things in World B lie in World A, and I think it’s much more nuanced than simply “that’s where the bodies are.” I won’t be surprised if the solution to fixing everything that’s gone wrong in World B is to somehow reconnect the worlds so that things go back to the way they should have been if they’d never split. Since Do-won’s choice split them in the first place, there must be something he can do to put them back together.