Zombie Detective: Episodes 5-6 Open Thread
Now that the pesky cult is out of the way, we’re back to our main storyline, with all of its deadpan humor, eyerolls, and amazing meta. This week we learn how our undead hero — and our spunky heroine — will deal with some difficult truths.
EPISODES 5-6 WEECAP
Seeing half-naked Kim Moo-young is one thing, but seeing a half-naked, hole-ridden, and very zombified Kim Moo-young is another thing entirely. As expected, Sun-ji is terrified out of her mind, not sure of what she’s even seeing, and runs for the hills.
But her journalist genes run strong, and with the help of her zombie aficionado brother-in-law, she quickly pieces together all the parts of the Moo-young puzzle: decaying body, eating raw flesh, not feeling pain, and so on. The facts don’t lie: he’s a zombie. But those facts don’t stop her from heading back to his office to get her rightful pay. So, Sun-ji protects all her vital organs and heads to the office to confront him.
It’s a quick journey for Sun-ji from sheer terror to compassion and kinship, and the speed of her reversal is what makes it so entertaining. Pretty soon, Moo-young has Sun-ji back as his intern, and she’s dog-headedly determined to help him figure out the mystery behind his death.
I loved seeing our drama turn more towards the wider and bigger picture here — in other words, now that Moo-young has pretty much learned how to make it amongst humans, it’s time to start figuring out how he became a zombie to begin with.
Though most of Sun-ji’s attempts are met with hilarious eyerolls and exasperated comments (why is Choi Jin-hyuk so funny), they both settle on an important clue from his past: a unique lighter he had in his possession when he was murdered.
While doing detective work around the lighter, our zombie and his intern get briefly derailed helping Sun-ji’s former informant. His mother, who suffers from dementia, just went missing in the mountains. Sun-ji quickly puts Moo-young’s nose to work in the woods (she’s so good at bossing him around), and they soon find the elder sitting under a little parasol in the middle of nowhere, not sure where she is. However, when she sees Moo-young, she shouts out a desperate, “Son!”
Before our pair can even rescue her properly, though, a gigantic wild boar appears, and we get the hilarious fight of Zombie versus Wild Boar, which includes Moo-young getting tossed around like a rag doll, some funny meta “gameplay,” and a final victory for Moo-young which results in a much-needed meal — and a feature on the local news.
Let it not be said that the drama didn’t play with the damsel-in-distress trope too, though. During the boar versus zombie fight scene, Moo-young rushes in to protect Sun-ji in an epic multi-roll save in which he, of course, lands on top of her.
This is important, because a) it’s hilarious and b) Sun-ji gets giddy over this later. Gotta hand it to this drama for playing with tropes like the female employee having a crush on her boss — and then making it the most ridiculous and tongue-in-cheek thing ever. More to come on this front, surely, because why not play up (and play with) the love triangle trope as well? After all, Sun-ji’s cop friend Do-hyun is starting to get protective of her, and is even digging into Moo-young’s true identity.
Speaking of our supporting characters, they bring so much color to this drama. Sun-ji’s brother-in-law is the sweetest and I can’t wait for him to meet a Real Zombie, and the fumbling detectives across the street are so ridiculous — I look forward to having them woven into Moo-young’s story a little more. But I think my favorite side character is Sun-ji’s friend KIM BORA (Lim Se-joo). She’s the feisty owner of the tripe restaurant, and I enjoy her scenes so much I almost wish she was our heroine instead (not that Sun-ji isn’t also the right amount of weird).
Where we land at the end of this week’s episodes is super twisty and really well-played. In fact, it’s so well-played that I had a huge satisfied smile on my face, because I love when little bits of disparate plot points come together.
This burst of forward plot movement was fun because it gave me the sense that the drama goes off on these strange tangents for a reason — and now that we’re in week three, it’s pretty clear that there’s a well-hatched plan for where this drama will go.
The informant whose mother was missing, is clearly not what he seems — indeed, he’s been lying from the get-go about the Santa case, knows our Moo-young verrrrry well, and just maybe his mother with dementia, is not his mother and not suffering from dementia after all. Eeeeek! This has major repercussions for the past life that Moo-young is trying to uncover/recover.
But first, bring on the meta! This week’s episodes were beyond funny, but I think my favorite sequence was Moo-young’s disgusted-but-transfixed stare as he watched a makjang drama. It makes him not only ponder about amnesia, but then speculate that perhaps he, too, could be a long-lost chaebol heir.
Then, when “Almost Paradise” from Boys Before Flowers kicked in with the start of his loooong fantasy sequence, I about died. This whole sequence of homage + humor was so great! And so was Moo-young wearing a stethoscope and listening to his own heartbeat… while listening to the 2PM song “Heartbeat.” LOL. Who dreams up these scenes! And more than that, why is Choi Jin-hyuk so, so good at them?