Zombie Detective: Episodes 11-12 Open Thread (Final)
It’s been quite a journey for our hero, and what remains to be seen is whether or not he can go from zombie back to human. Though at first it seemed as though the battle was internal, now we learn there’s a very formidable enemy that’s waiting to take on our zombie detective.
EPISODES 11-12 WEECAP
Now that the nefarious Noh Poong-shik is in the picture, zombie Moo-young is able to piece together what the detective Moo-young figured out before his death: the medical waste from all of Poong-shik’s experiments revived the dead Kang Min-ho.
Moo-young knows he has to learn more about Poong-shik so he and Sun-ji head to the World King Agency with a peace offering of raw chicken and asks Sung-rok more about the Shadow case and its possible links to Poong-shik.
Sung-rok fills them in on the yet unsolved case and how a series of people went missing five years ago–and the first victim was Poong-shik’s daughter.
Knowing what sort of man Poong-shik is, Moo-young warns Sung-rok to be wary of the vet before leaving. But Sung-rok and Wang Wei pay no mind and they visit Poong-shik’s animal hospital to report on their encounter with Moo-young.
As soon as they’re left unsupervised, Sung-rok starts to investigate a strange noise and finds Poong-shik’s poorly hidden secret laboratory. There are taxidermied animals, medical thingamabobs, and in a large cage…a snarling female zombie.
Sung-rok’s so shocked that he falls back and knocks himself out, and Poong-shik takes his visitors exploring the lab.
Sun-ji steps out to pick up a few things to eat, but not before adding a tracking app to Moo-young’s cellphone (just in case she needs to chase after him again) and an unwelcome guest shows up at the office. It’s Poong-shik, outfitted in some heavy-duty safety gear and he uses a toxic green chemical to knock Moo-young out.
Poong-shik calmly carries Moo-young into the lab (I have to hand it to him, he must have kept up with a good exercise routine even in prison); Wang Wei and Sung-rok are already bound and gagged.
Elsewhere in Gangrim, Do-hyun’s investigation into Moo-young’s true identity gains momentum
Moo-young comes to as Poong-shik celebrates having successfully created a zombie who can think and speak like a human.
After a failed attempt to escape with the World King Agency duo, Poong-shik shares his story about the female zombie. His wife had been dying, and he knew he couldn’t live without her. He injected her with a green essence he concocted and it worked in keeping her alive…but only in zombie form.
Moo-young tries to dissuade Poong-shik, telling him that existence as a zombie is a terrible fate. But for Poong-shik, he thinks being alive is what’s most important–no matter how painful that existence is.
Do-hyun’s alarmed when the real Kim Moo-young’s body is found in the mountains. At the same time, Sun-ji decides to disregard zombie Moo-young’s order never to try to rescue him and she heads on over to the animal hospital.
She makes her way in and makes a beeline to Sung-rok and Wang Wei. Sung-rok quietly, urgently warns her that Moo-young is a zombie, and his disappointment/shock at her lack of reaction is hilarious.
In the lab, Moo-young stops Zombie Wife from attacking Sun-ji and as the two zombies have a showdown, Sun-ji notices a little trove of items belonging to the victims of the Shadow case.
Poong-shik brings out the big guns and holds Moo-young at gunpoint so that his wife can have a few snacks. Sung-rok is clearly delectable to all zombies, not just Moo-young, because Zombie Wife goes straight for him and attacks. Moo-young entreats her not to eat humans, but Poong-shik creepily tells him that his wife’s already developed a taste for humans (those poor Shadow victims).
In the ensuing struggle, Moo-young fights Poong-shik for the gun and accidentally kills Zombie Wife with a shot to the head. Do-hyun lurks outside the animal hospital and the sound of the gun is enough to get him to burst in. He finds his way to the secret lab and takes in the chaos.
Poong-shik’s taken away in handcuffs while Sung-rok’s taken to the nearest hospital and Moo-young heads back to his office. He’s not alone for long though–Do-hyun confronts him and, addressing him as Kang Min-ho, says he’s under arrest for Kim Moo-young’s murder.
Before anyone can rest easy, Poong-shik escapes from the police pretty much as soon as he’s taken away. But from the jerky way he flees, and the fact that a giant piece of glass sticking out of his torso doesn’t cause him any pain, it’s obvious he wasn’t just extracting blood from Moo-young for science.
It’s not all bad news though, since Sung-rok is safe and still human despite being attacked by Zombie Wife. Basically, his big belly protected him from any major harm and he just has some zombie teeth marks. Moo-young goes underground to keep the people around him safe.
Do-hyun and Sun-ji finally have The Talk (with the World King peeps very distractingly try to get Sun-ji’s attention). Sun-ji tells Do-hyun straight out that Poong-shik’s medical experiments have resulted in zombies. He’s skeptical to say the least and he leaves her with a warning that helping Kang Min-ho could mean she becomes accomplice to a crime.
Aw, the World King people were trying to get Sun-ji’s attention because Moo-young’s waiting for her at their office.
The four of them have a huddle and one of the biggest questions on the men’s minds is the mysterious green liquid that can knock out both humans and zombies. What is it? LOL Sun-ji casually says she grabbed a bottle of the stuff because it was lying around in the lab.
They collectively realize that Poong-shik cares about his wife more than anything in the world so they plan a heist to basically steal her corpse from the morgue (using their resident zombie as a way in).
Poong-shik shows up all bloody-mouthed and terrifying, and a showdown takes place, zombie versus zombie.
Moo-young eventually gains the upper hand but can’t bring himself to kill Poong-shik. That moment of mercy gives Poong-shik time to escape and take Sun-ji hostage as he darkly promises Moo-young to give him a taste of his own medicine.
Inconveniently, Do-hyun shows up just as Moo-young is about to drive off to rescue Sun-ji, so he gets dispatched quickly with a chop to the back of the head and Moo-young zooms off to the rescue. In an eerily abandoned warehouse, Sun-ji’s safe but scared and Poong-shik taunts Moo-young, saying that there’s no way for Moo-young to ever return to human form.
Once again, it’s a zombie showdown and Do-hyun finally sees for himself that zombies are real. Moo-young gains the upper hand and holds Poong-shik at gunpoint, but it’s not a moment of uncertainty this time–he’s just waiting for his crew.
Sung-rok and Wang Wei roll in with gas masks for everyone and giant vats of the green liquid Poong-shik loves. We go back to right after Sun-ji had been taken and we see that Sung-rok had insisted on helping out–they’re neighbors after all. With the help of Sun-ji’s friend Bora, they figured out what the green stuff was and procured more of it. Sung-rok and Wang Wei take charge and spray Poong-shik until he’s knocked down.
Just as everyone’s guard is down, Poong-shik grabs Sung-rok and refuses to let go. Moo-young warns him, and then shoots, in order to save Sung-rok.
Moo-young seems shaken by his own feelings. Zombies don’t feel pain, but he hurts. Zombies don’t have hearts, but he feels anxious. The others quickly comfort him, saying that he pulled the trigger to save someone. But Moo-young vows that no more people will be hurt by zombies, because Gangrim won’t have any zombies. He continues that he’s leaving because living amongst humans is too hard and too expensive. (So many bills! The BB cream! The raw chicken!)
Before he goes, Moo-young thanks Sun-ji for helping him find his past and his mother. She’s all tears and hugs…which sets off Wang Wei, then Sung-rok, and they hug out their feelings.
One year later
That day was the last anyone saw of Moo-young. One year on, a lot has changed in Gangrim. Tae-kyun finally scored a hit with his project Zombie Detective. World King Agency final achieved a global expansion, with Wang Wei leading the charge into China. And Sun-ji’s taken over Kim Moo-young’s detective agency.
When Sun-ji gets an anonymous invitation to a Halloween party, it’s clear she’s hoping to see Moo-young one more time. After a few false states, at long last, Moo-young and Sun-ji reunite. He’s been living well in the mountains (and getting fresh raw chickens delivered to boot). He has a job for her: tracking down an American doctor who claims to have found a zombie cure.
Their happy reunion is interrupted by a murder at the party, which Sun-ji and Moo-young team up to solve. And just so we’re left wanting a little more, the epilogue leaves us with a vignette of Wang Wei and a potentially zombified Sung-rok.
Despite a few plot holes here and there, this was such a fun show. I never expected a show about zombies and murders could have such humor and sweetness, too. We had a lot of heart and humor, as well as clever pop culture references (Parasite, A Better Tomorrow, Ghostbusters, etc.)
It was such a treat seeing Choi Jin-hyuk tackle this role–I haven’t seen him so alive in ages. I really hope he starts to do more comedies in the future because he was better than I ever could have imagined. I don’t know what’s in store next, but this is definitely one of the times where I wouldn’t mind seeing a season two. The entire cast was great, both with their comedic timing and their chemistry.
If it turns out that Sung-rok has become a zombie, I’d love to see an exploration of his journey through zombiedom with Choi Jin-hyuk as his mentor. Regardless of what the future holds, I’m glad we got this little gem to carry with us.