Train: Episode 8
Our dark hero has come face-to-face with himself in many different ways, and he’s starting to notice something strange about the world he’s in now — the closer he gets to the true killer and their motive, the more odd things are happening around him. It seems that fate is more than just a concept – it’s a driving force, attempting to set right an anomaly that sprang to life twelve years ago.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
After Seo-kyung shoots Sung-wook in the empty warehouse, and Do-won stops her from ending her own life, they realize that Sung-wook has gotten away. They split up to look for him, and Do-won gets a call from Alt Do-won, who’s found his way back to his own world. He says that Sung-wook isn’t the killer, he’s just an accomplice.
Jae-hyuk corners Sung-wook on the roof and Sung-wook pleads his innocence. He holds up a silver necklace, saying that it’s proof that he didn’t kill anyone. He hallucinates another man on the roof, wearing the necklace, who says that it was Sung-wook’s choice to be involved in the murders.
Sung-wook relives Seo-kyung’s father’s murder — he’d cowered in a corner while the killer strangled their victim then bashed his head in with a hammer. As his delusion of the killer slowly approaches, asking if Sung-wook will live as a predator or the prey, Sung-wook keeps backing closer to the edge of the roof. Just as Alt Do-won is telling Do-won to find out who the real killer is from Sung-wook, Sung-wook falls from the roof and lands on a nearby car.
When he gets to his office later, Do-won can tell that the earlier call was made from here, since the phone is still off the hook. In addition, the photo of himself and Seo-kyung was moved, and someone has been on his computer, researching the murders and missing people.
As it turns out, Sung-wook isn’t dead — he’s in the hospital undergoing surgery. Jae-hyuk tells Section Chief Oh that Seo-kyung’s bullet didn’t hit any vital organs, but Sung-wook suffered a bad head injury when he fell. Oh no, he’s going to end up like Sung-wook from World A, isn’t he?
Section Chief Oh fusses at them for going after Sung-wook without backup, and Seo-kyung confesses that she fired the gun. She’s about to say that she shot him for personal reasons, which would end her career, but Do-won interrupts and claims that he made all the decisions because he wanted to be the one to catch him. He says that Seo-kyung’s shooting was in self-defense, and the bruises on Seo-kyung’s neck from Sung-wook strangling her convince Section Chief Oh.
Alone, Seo-kyung tells Do-won that since Sung-wook was mostly blinded in his right eye, he mostly uses his left hand. She says that the autopsy on Young-ran showed that her killer used his right hand to swing the hammer, and if the killer were Sung-wook, he wouldn’t have been able to accurately strike the same spot multiple times with his right hand.
Knowing that Alt Do-won agrees that Sung-wook was merely an accomplice, Do-won says they will look into it further. Seo-kyung admits that she didn’t fire on Sung-wook in self-defense, and she’s prepared to lose her badge. But Do-won says that if he’d gotten there sooner he’d have killed Sung-wook himself.
The station phones are ringing off the hook from reporters looking for information on the night’s events. Seo-kyung answers Do-won’s phone and sees his notebook on his desk, with the edges of a photo sticking out. She’s about to look at it when the phone rings again, distracting her.
Section Chief Oh calls Do-won to her office where he tells her that he wants to keep investigating, because he thinks that Sung-wook was only an accomplice. Instead, Section Chief Oh gives him a card for a nursing home and tells him that his father is in the end stages of liver disease and doesn’t have much time left.
Joon-young sees Do-won storming out of the station, but Do-won is out of sight when he’s forcibly slammed against his car by Alt Do-won, who snarls that he’s finally home. He asks if Do-won caught Sung-wook, but Do-won asks what he meant that Sung-wook is just the real killer’s accomplice.
They’re interrupted by Joon-young, and Alt Do-won insists on answering as he’s the “real” Do-won in this world. Joon-young notices that he’s wearing different clothes than the ones he saw him in a minute ago. He says that Sung-wook is still in surgery and may never wake up. Alt Do-won is surprised that Sung-wook is alive, and Joon-young is surprised that he doesn’t know since (he thinks) he was there when Sung-wook fell.
Both Do-wons head to the train tracks to talk. They figure out that the worlds were split that night twelve years ago, when Do-won turned to give Seo-kyung his umbrella but Alt Do-won ignored her. The delay resulted in Do-won’s father being hit by the car and dying, but Alt Do-won made it to his dad in time to save his life.
Alt Do-won tells Do-won that Sung-wook wasn’t alone in the car that night, so whoever was with him must be the killer. Do-won wonders why he stopped killing in his world (good question!), and Alt Do-won guesses that he might be dead or in jail.
He tells Do-won that they live in very different worlds, and says that it’s time for Do-won to go back to his own world and let Alt Do-won catch the killer. Angry now, Do-won grabs Alt Do-won and yanks back his sleeve, exposing the track marks from his drug use. He growls: “What can you do when you can’t do anything without drugs? You’re the worst version of myself.”
He’s not wrong, and Alt Do-won knows it. He lashes out, punching Do-won hard enough to send him to the ground. He retorts that Do-won is no better and hid the truth because he was scared to live as a murderer’s son. But Do-won says that he did it to protect Seo-kyung, even if it made him into a coward.
With an evil sneer, Alt Do-won asks, “Then why did you leave her to die? What if you hadn’t lied to her… do you still think she would have died? She died because of you. I may be garbage, but you lost your father, while I saved mine.”
He says he’s going to catch the killer before his father passes away, and tells Do-won to get lost. He goes home and prepares to shoot up, but he remembers Do-won saying that he’s the worst version of himself and throws the drugs in frustration. Meanwhile, Do-won is haunted by Alt Do-won pointing out that he’s the one of them who saved his father.
Jae-hyuk and Seo-kyung go through a box of things that were found in Young-ran’s safe. Inside the safe were Lee Ji-young’s and Kyung-hee’s wallets, which means that on some level, Young-ran must have known what Sung-wook was doing. Seo-kyung had assumed that Young-ran was scared of Sung-wook because of money, but now it looks like she was killed because she knew about the murders.
Inside Ji-young’s wallet, Jae-hyuk finds a business card for Park Tae-kyung from Janghae Foods. He assumes that he’s someone Ji-young knew and tells Joon-young to call him. (Park Tae-kyung is the name of the rapist from World A that got off scott-free because his victim was too scared to testify. This concerns me.)
Seo-kyung goes to the nursing home and finds Do-won sitting at his father’s bedside. Jae-chul says that he won’t live long enough to see his name cleared, but at least he got to see his son freed from guilt. Seo-kyung lets herself in and kneels to apologize to Jae-chul for wishing that he would die painfully.
Moved, Jae-chul says that being close to death has made him forget his grudges and hatred. He tells Do-won that he regrets not holding him more or making him more meals as a child, and he gives Seo-kyung permission to let go of the torture she’s put herself through.
Do-won and Seo-kyung go outside, and Seo-kyung asks what Do-won meant when he apologized to her last night. Do-won says that he thought she might have been less lonely if he’d been there for her twelve years ago. He says that he had someone like that — the person he told her about who was his sister, his family, and the woman he loved.
He forgets himself for a moment and sighs that he’d forgotten how much it hurts to lose a father. Seo-kyung gives him a weird look, saying that he sounds like he’s been through it already. Do-won just says that that’s why he wants to catch the killer before his father dies.
He tells Seo-kyung that on the night her father died, someone saw a second person in the car with Sung-wook, and that he believes the other person is the killer. They start by asking Sung-wook’s classmates, but none of them recognize the young man in the picture (I think I missed something, where did they get a picture of the killer?).
Eventually they find one guy who remembers him. He had witnessed some bullies beating up a classmate, and a boy from a different school had accidentally bumped into one of the bullies. The bully had slapped the student, and he had stood there for a long moment, holding his shaking right arm. Then he had snapped and beaten up the bully, and the witness recalls that he was wearing an unusual necklace.
Alt Do-won has looked through the file regarding the Sung-wook incident and sees a photo of the necklace he was holding when he fell. He remembers that when he was in World A, Jung-min had shown him the report of that world’s Sung-wook’s car accident. It had happened a week after the night that Do-won and Seo-kyung’s fathers died, and in the photo from the scene, two people could clearly be seen in the car.
Now Alt Do-won recalls that the second person in the car was wearing the necklace that Sung-wook was holding. He runs off, but Jung-min has noticed that the scar on his forehead has reappeared.
Seo-kyung recalls that Do-won’s father passed out in her home on the night that her father was murdered. He was so drunk that he doesn’t remember anything, so Seo-kyung suggests that they have him hypnotized to see if he saw anything that might be a clue. Jae-chul tells Do-won that he wants to do it, if only to remember what he was really doing that night that led to twelve years in prison.
Meanwhile, Alt Do-won turns up at the police station and he asks Jae-hyuk and Joon-young where to find the necklace. They ask how his father is doing, but he snarls that they used to badmouth his father, and they’re taken aback by his abrupt change in personality.
Alt Do-won finds the necklace in the evidence room, and with severely shaking hands (he seems to be in some withdrawal) he twists open the pendant, which turns out to be a locket. Something falls out and rolls across the floor… a green pill.
Seo-kyung sees Alt Do-won entering the evidence room and follows him, confused that he’s not at the nursing home like he’d just told her on the phone. Checking her ID, he recognizes her name and mutters that she’s the reason “that bastard” won’t leave this world. Confused, Seo-kyung wanders back to the office. She overhears Jae-hyuk and Joon-young talking about how Do-won is sporadically acting like his old self lately.
She calls Doctor Seok and he agrees to hypnotize Jae-chul tomorrow. Doctor Seok hangs up and picks up his teacup in his right hand, which starts shaking badly. Oh wait… oh no. It’s him, he’s the killer!
Jae-chul is hypnotized, and as he travels backwards in his memories, he first recalls Alt Do-won visiting him in prison and begging him to just say that he’s the son of a murderer so he can move on. Further back, Jae-chul remembers crying to Section Chief Oh during his interrogation, scared that he may really have committed murder.
Doctor Seok guides him to the night of the murder, and Jae-chul remembers going back to the house to get the phone he left there. The door was open so he let himself in, and someone had hit him over the head. He hadn’t been able to see his attacker’s face clearly, but he does recall that they were gone when he came to, and that he’d tripped over a prescription bottle as he fled.
Seo-kyung says that she didn’t see a prescription bottle at the house, and Do-won says there’s not one in any of the evidence files. It means that the killer must have returned to the house, so it must have been a drug that could be easily linked to him.
Alt Do-won has the green pill from the necklace analyzed — it’s a drug used to treat Huntington’s disease, which causes loss of motor control, delusions, and memory loss. The pharmacist says that it’s a rare disease, and that only about a hundred people in the country suffer from it. Al Do-won orders him to put together a list of patients.
Doctor Seok is still with Jae-chul after his hypnosis, and he shows him the empty jewelry box he got from Seo-kyung from the murder scene. Hearing the tinkling music clarifies Jae-chul’s memory until he can see the killer’s face… and it’s Doctor Seok. When Doctor Seok turns his back, Jae-chul frantically reaches for the call button but only ends up dropping the jewelry box.
When Do-won and Seo-kyung return, the scene looks normal, and Doctor Seok says that Jae-chul is sleeping after some painkillers. They leave because Sung-wook has woken up, and on the drive, Do-won asks how Seo-kyung knows Doctor Seok. She says that he’s her doctor, but Do-won is more interested in the black SUV that had seemed to be following them.
Seo-kyung asks Do-won if something happened, as he’d seemed like a different person when she saw him in the evidence room. He’s saved from answering by a phone call from Alt Do-won, who says that it’s going to rain tonight, so it’s time for him to go home.
Doctor Seok was driving that SUV, but he’s pulled off onto a small deserted road. He takes out a book to read, but his hand begins to tremor, and the medicine he usually carries in his necklace is gone. He thinks about his last conversation with Sung-wook… Sung-wook had asked why Doctor Seok planted that evidence in his locker, but Doctor Seok had wondered why he wasn’t asking why he killed his mother.
Sung-wook had threatened to go to the police and tell them everything, but Doctor Seok had smirked that he had no proof. He’d left the room, and when he’s returned, he’d realized that Sung-wook had stolen his necklace from his desk.
At the hospital, Do-won and Seo-kyung are told that Sung-wook will survive, but that his head injury may leave him with the cognitive abilities of a young child. Do-won’s head rings as he realizes that it’s the same thing that happened to Sung-wook in his world.
Jae-chul is still unconscious when Alt Do-won visits him and vows to find the real killer. He leaves when he gets a call that the list of people with Huntington’s is ready, and Doctor Seok slips into Jae-chul’s room. He says that he let Jae-chul live twice but that you can’t avoid fate, but as he’s about to inject Jae-chul with drugs and kill him, his hand starts shaking violently. Jae-chul wakes up and sees Doctor Seok, so he leaps out of bed and runs, calling for help.
The list of people with Huntington’s is sent to Alt Do-won’s phone and he sees a name on it that shocks him. When he realizes that his father is gone he calls Do-won, but says he can handle it. He runs down the street, calling for his father, just like he did twelve years ago.
Just like twelve years ago, when Jae-chul accidentally runs into the road in front of a car, Alt Do-won reaches him in time to pull him to safety. But this time a second vehicle barrels down on them, hitting them both at full speed.
And just like twelve years ago, Do-won arrives too late. By the time he reaches the scene, both his father and Alt Do-won are dead.
In voiceover, Do-won says: The forked road envelops two fates. But I realized only after reaching the end of both roads that I was not part of fate. Fate was part of me. I… was fate.
Well, remember that whole thing where I said I didn’t think Doctor Seok was the killer but I could be wrong? I was wrong! I’m surprised that the show just flat-out told us who it was, but there are only four episodes left, so now the focus will probably be on why he did it, why he’s focused on Seo-kyung so much that he’s taunting her with the murders, and catching him. I have so many questions — why is he killing, and why is he leaving the jewelry on the victims? Why did he stop killing for so long, then suddenly start again but only in one world? How does he know about the alternate worlds, and why is he sending the bodies with the jewelry messages to World A — who are those messages for?
I’m assuming at this point that Alt Do-won is dead, which makes me sadder than I expected I would be, though at least this will make it possible for Do-won to stay in World B if he chooses. I just wish we’d known more about Alt Do-won and why he ended up so dark… obviously he led the life that our Do-won would have if he hadn’t met Seo-kyung and had someone to ground and center him, someone “to live for,” as Do-won says. I do hope we get a little more insight into Alt Do-won’s life and why he went into law enforcement, but then made such bad life choices.
I do think that Do-won is very close to being outed as not belonging, probably by Jae-hyuk and Joon-young. Those two are extremely observant (finally, smart cops in a drama!) and they’ve noticed everything about Do-won that doesn’t line up. From his suddenly clean and friendly behavior, to his gentle treatment of Seo-kyung, to Joon-young noticing that Alt Do-won was wearing different clothes and smoking, Jae-hyuk and Joon-young are cops for a reason. Even Section Chief Oh had a close call with both Do-wons, Seo-kyung has commented on Do-won acting strange, and Jung-min has noticed that the scar on Do-won’s forehead had “reappeared.” I’m not sure if they’ll make it all the way to “this is a Do-won from an alternate world,” but I feel like they’re not far from figuring out that he’s not the Do-won they’ve known and worked with for years.
I know the show is all about Do-won, and I have no complaints about the amount of Yoon Shi-yoon on my screen. But I wish Seo-kyung were developed more than just as “the girl the hero likes,” because she could really be a brilliant character if she were more complex than she’s been shown. I hope, now that she’s let go of her vendetta and seems less angry, she can have some character growth and be a bigger part of the plot, rather than a side character who’s only there so that Do-won has someone to pine after.
So, something about Do-won’s presence in World A may be trying to force that world into more closely aligning with the world he’s in now… interesting. Everything was different but stable until Do-won swapped into the wrong world, but now it’s like there’s a force that’s trying to make World B more like the world that Do-won came from. His father was alive in World B but now he’s dead by hit-and-run, Sung-wook has suffered an accident giving him the same disability as the Sung-wook in World A, and now Alt Do-won is probably dead, leaving Do-won the only version of himself here. If World B really is trying to reset to be more like World A, then Do-won needs to find a way to stop the process or Alt Seo-kyung will end up dead, too.