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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.

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The ghostbusters scene was love. And Choi Jin Hyuk at the Halloween party was soooooo handsome. Squeeeeee! 😍🤪

What a fun fun show. I hope there’s a season two. I totally ship moo young and sun ji. Also I think do hyun got over his long term crush pretty quick once he realised she was a weird zombie hugger!

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Burst laughing when the Ghosbusters soundtrack played, how appropriate. (Although the van got me Scooby Gang feels too!) Really love how they use music, especially the ones that went to screeching silence when the romantic scenes turned out to be fake ><

Show definitely on board of your ship too, since their halloween costumes were a pair! Am happy the female detective survived and Do-hyun got his HEA.

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what a treat! i really enjoyed this series. waited till all the episodes were out and binged it in a couple of days.

i particularly enjoyed the park ju hyun in this - she was excellent in Extracurricular as well. hope to see more of her in future.

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oh, wanted to add that i didn't get many references in this show but still enjoyed it all the same.

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Yes.
Parasite? (Seen it but didn't notice a reference)
A Better Tomorrow? (Heard of it, haven't seen)

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The one I caught was not Parasite itself but actually Bong Joon-ho's award acceptance speech.

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Moo-young briefly folded pizza boxes for cash. ;)

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This drama was a fun ride! A lot of references!

The casting was good. Choi Jin-Hyuk is very good in this kind of role. Park Joo-Hyun is pretty young and new as an actress but I like her in every role.

Now, as a rational person, I want a season 2 but not a love story between the leads. I like the loneliness of Moo-Young, seeing him in a bath with bubbles or hearing his toughts were the best parts. If Sun-Ji needs a love story, the detective/best friend is pretty hot and alive, for me it's not a detail. I'm curious how MY can be a human again... he has 2 holes in his body, no more blood, etc.

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The cure is pretty easy. The fact that he's still moving around means that his body's cells have somehow mutated. Using a special injection infused with nanobots that can re-program the DNA in the cells so that they can become normal again. Obviously, these nanobots are also programmed to recreate stem cells that will go to parts that are missing and re-generate them, as well as force the bone marrow to again create blood cells. He'll also probably needs to take IV nutrients so that the newly reprogrammed cells will have enough energy to rebuild and nourish his re-assembled body.

Oh yeah, and good point about the lack of blood. It makes me wonder what the heck Poong Shik took out of his arm. No worries, just another plot hole I'm sure, LOL.

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True about the lack of blood from the bullet holes, I actually thought he was going back as human on his own when they showed his blood after being stabbed by Sung-rok, maybe because whatever it was that he got injected with slowly lost its effect/got digested.
And, uh, yay for nanobots!

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I too agree about the romantic plot. Not please. I love them as friends or colleagues, but please, not a love story.

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This drama has a chance to be a multiple seasons drama like hollywood's. Lovelines will always there but developed only after season 3 (the earliest).

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This show had tons of plot holes and questionable things. But it was still entertaining, and fun as well. Although I always felt bad for Choi Jin Hyuk's character. He was so endearing, always trying to do the right thing even though it was usually torture. The female lead was both spunky and great with her skills in violence. Overall, it was a quirky fun romp that is easy to watch.

Too many of the other recent dramas are a bit too serious or meander too much and so I end up dropping them even though I've watched most of the episodes. This show somehow kept me interested to watch the entire run!

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its so funny, that a treadmill machine played quite an important role in this drama and to see a zombie from a different side (away from Train to Busan, Alive, World War Z, and Resident Evil). i never thought Choi Jin-hyuk can do comedy so well too and i think Zombie Detective has brought out the best of him. Indeed this is a fun drama and im happy with the given ending.

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Thank you for the final Open Thread! I can only conclude that this was a very fun and engaging drama, different from the usual fare. I came to love all the characters and especially loved the open ending. Now it is time to say goodbye (for now?) to the resurrected misery, Zombie Nim. It was so resfreshing to meet you this year, especially while living through this real misery all around.

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I always get a kick out of Korean pronunciation of “Chumbie”. 😂 Love the show and I hope they get a 2nd season. A cure would be a great way to wrap up the story and get a happy ending for all. Or they can just solve mysteries, it’s okay. ☺️ This was a perfect Halloween binge watch for a scaredy cat like me.

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Mu oh my! Choi Jin Hyuk looks way too sexy for a dead zombie in that Halloween party. I love CJH deep voice. He is one of those very few korean actors who are 'Masculine', if you know what I mean. I never knew he could do comedy so well!! Looking forward to his other future comedy ventures.

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I love love love this drama!
It's on my top 10 list of 2020.
It was so funny and the casting was fantastic. Of course especially Choi Jin-Hyuk, he totally nailed it, and Park Joo-hyun did an excellent job too as a lead.
What I like about this drama is, they stayed the course as an awesome modern B drama.
They didn't take themselves seriously and didn't try to be something they are not.
That made this drama so cool and fun.
(A lot of dramas are taking themselves too too seriously and try to be something they are not... and they fail)

Hope there's a season two!

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I have not finished this cause all the sites that are available to me have bugs.
Will it come to Netflix?
I did enjoy the first half and yeah... I think I can tolerate Choi Jin Hyuk in zombie form. Looks like he found his calling.
Wouldnt mind season 2 but they need some fresh dilemmas. Maybe send the zombie to university to get a masters in criminal investigation.

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I really, really loved this drama, and probably because I was expecting not to do it. In fact I began watching after reading comments con the wall (thanks beanies, your propaganda is the best!!).
How could this show be funny, tender, crazy, honest and scary at the same time? Well, it did.
Actors were just impressive, Choi Jin Hyuk has redeemed himself and I hope to see more of his comic side.
I would definitely watch a season two, but please, no romantic plot!!

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Lee Sung-Rok wondering if he would become like Moo Young if he starts to exercice was so funny, it was a nice reference to The Last Empress. Tae Hang-Ho was good in his role too :p

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Thank you for recapping this show. It was delightfully funny from the first episode to the end. And the fact that many of us now hope for a season 2 is a good sign. However I ONLY want the same cast of goofy characters.

So many time I wondered if there was a group of writers sitting around a table just throwing out crazy ideas and the others saying "oh that would be so much fun - yes let's add a Joseon era Zombie film! "

It was a show that took itself seriously at NOT taking itself seriously and it made me laugh every week. In fact I watched this before any other shows on Mondays.

So this and Pegasus Market are the two hidden gems out of the SK tv market in my opinion.
And they are definitely worth the rewatch - zombie plot holes and all.

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The show take itself for what it was and that's why it was so good. It could have been a total disaster but it was just the funniest thing to watch. I'm so glad I was convinced to watch by all the beanies who posted about it!

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This and Pegasus Market!
They are two hidden gems absolutely!

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Oh yeah: and zombies can have friends. Finally some justi-z

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I agree with you @stroopwafel about the show having such humor and sweetness.

I admit it took me a few episodes to get into it. Sun-ji was even quite annoying in the early episodes. Then she and pretty much all the non-murdery characters endeared themselves to me. Just want to give them all a hug. I'm so glad they all have happy endings. I'm stoked that the nice brother-in-law got his zombie movie success. I love how he and Sun-ji get along. Sure our Sajang-nim is still a zombie, but there's hope for a cure and he's keeping himself well-fed on raw chicken. This drama has one of the better kdrama endings out there and you know how most kdramas tend to flub the ending.

I'm glad that the drama did not give Sun-ji and Sajang-nim a romantic subplot. They care a lot about each other, but that's it. I love how she asked him if he's dating anyone and he sort of scoffs "what kind of dating life would a zombie have". Not that I'm anti-zombie, but he's got a point. It would just be too much stress and angst.

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Brother-in-law and Sun-ji sweet support for each other is one of the show highlights for me, love how she never lost faith in his dream and she turns out to be right.

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oh i loved this so much! i love jin hyuk and all the rest of the gang . how will i survive without my fave and only one zombie!

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I loved this drama soooo much! I personally wanted to see the romance develop but I am happy with the hints we got in the end :)
I know multiple seasons aren't generally a kdrama thing and that this drama didn't do that well in terms of ratings but... I can dream, can't I?

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Aw, so sad show is over T_T The overarching plot of monster who wants to be human vs inhuman human is not new, but it's lovingly and hilariously told here, with great acting all around.

The side characters are fun with quirks of their own (donggap with old face, internist turns gopchang restaurant owner) that they never feel like filler. The story can sometime feels meandering, but it's okay cause we picked so much laughter along the way, especially with the meta drama/movie within the drama courtesy of brother-in-law scripts. And totally appreciates the fedora and wingtip shoes!

It's been an easy and entertaining watch, and a second season will definitely be welcomed. Maybe Sung-rok can infect Wang-wei and Gangrim will go on unknowingly being kept safe by a horde of zombie detectives, hehe.

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It was such a good show! Funnier at the beginning (laughed my ass off during the first episodes), got much darker to the end, but still so enjoyable.
Wouldn't mind the second season one bit.
And my take-out of this drama? They humans are the scariest monsters there are.

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im rewatching this and it is just one of the most adorable shows. plus so far the only show of Choi Jin hyuk that I have finished. on one hand season 2 would be good but then I kind of dont want him to turn human?

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