Wild Boar Hunting: Episode 3
What should be an occasion for rejoicing is overshadowed by guilt, fear, and suspicion. The truth is bound to come out sooner or later, but in the meantime, our protagonist’s efforts to hide what he’s done are only building up to an even bigger fallout.
EPISODE 3 WEECAP
In-sung is safe, but he’s also beaten up, famished, and physically exhausted from whatever he’s been through during the past week. Upon returning home, he barely ekes out the word “Dad…” before collapsing unconscious.
Young-soo and Chae-jung rush him to the hospital, but thankfully his injuries aren’t life-threatening. Once they’re alone, Young-soo frantically searches In-sung’s body for any wounds that might have been missed, weeping as it sinks in once and for all that he did not shoot his son.
The significance of In-sung’s safe return is not lost on Chae-jung. In private, she asks Young-soo whom he killed the other night. Though she sobs as he confesses to murdering Joo-hyub, she presses for the details. Then she steels herself and warns him that it’s supposed to rain at dawn – so he’d better go back overnight and make sure he hid the body well. Their lives were finally about to take a turn for the better, and she’s not about to compromise that.
Surprisingly, she’s a lot better at this than he is. And a lot more callous. She knows that In-sung coming back without Hyun-min will put suspicion on the three of them, so when the detective questions Young-soo about the circumstances of In-sung’s return, she finds an excuse to interrupt. Later, when the detective returns, she again chases him off by accusing him of being invasive and insensitive, getting increasingly worked up until the other patients take her side and shame him for continuing to ask questions.
The detective isn’t entirely deterred, though, especially after talking with Ok-soon again. She heard Young-soo tell Chae-jung he’d become a murderer, and her insistence that he killed Hyun-min gives the detective pause. But he’s the only one who bothers to listen to her – even his superior brushes aside the accusation along with her infamous story about the villagers causing the gas fire that killed her son and daughter-in-law.
It takes a few days for In-sung to wake up, and when he finally does, he doesn’t speak. Instead, he stares listlessly into the distance… except when Young-soo turns around to find In-sung’s eyes fixed intently on him.
Meanwhile, Young-soo’s anonymous accuser is growing impatient. They order him to leave the cash on a certain bridge that night, demanding immediate confirmation that he’ll follow through. Chae-jung, however, urges him not to blindly comply with such an evil person. The plan they devise involves a gun, which means it can only end very badly.
That same day, the village chief happens upon Young-soo’s two friends, JIN-KOOK (Lee Kyu-hwi) and MAN-SEOK (Kwak Ja-hyung), digging the woods. But they’re not just digging – they’ve got Min-hyun’s body. The chief faints at the sight, so they drag him over next to the hole and keep digging while they wait for him to wake up so they can explain.
The night of the boar hunt, Joo-hyub had told them (after much prodding) that there was something really weird about Young-soo’s second missed shot. Joo-hyub thought he might even have seen a glimpse of blue clothing in the bushes. Jin-kook and Man-seok had assured Joo-hyub he must have been mistaken so they could retrieve Hyun-min’s body in secret.
But lest we think they did it to protect their friend, they go on to explain that they felt wronged when Young-soo didn’t share more of his lottery earnings. Jin-kook in particular feels that, after everything he’s done to help Young-soo in the past, Young-soo should have offered to help Jin-kook’s terminally ill wife.
That’s why they’re blackmailing Young-soo for money (modifying their voices with helium, which would be amusing if the whole situation weren’t so horrific), and it’s frightening how differently they speak of him when he’s not present versus the warmth they always show to his face. Though the chief is appalled, they intimidate him into agreeing that Young-soo deserves this, promising him part of the money Young-soo is handing over tonight.
Which brings us back to Young-soo’s plan. After making preparations, he sits at home waiting for the appointed time as the ticking clock gets louder and more ominous. Then he drops the money off a full half-hour early and retreats out of sight to snipe whomever comes to pick up the bag. Just like with the boar, he hesitates. When he finally shoots, he hits Jin-kook square in the shoulder, but he hasn’t reckoned on an accomplice. Before he can shoot again, Man-seok frantically bundles Jin-kook back into their truck and drives away.
Given the circumstances, Man-seok can’t take Jin-kook to the hospital, so they get the village chief to administer first aid instead. It’s a grueling night for all three, but Jin-kook pulls through, and by sunrise they’re ready to divide up the money. The mood is somber, not gleeful, and after they finish counting it out, the chief tosses his share at them, figuratively washing his hands of the affair as he remarks heavily that even after such a night, morning still comes the same as always.
Young-soo and Chae-jung fret over what they’ll do now that he’s failed to kill his accuser, but their attention is diverted by In-sung’s discharge from the hospital. He still hasn’t spoken, and spends the afternoon watching Young-soo through his bedroom window. Finally, late that night, In-sung comes to Young-soo with a confession of his own: he killed Hyun-min.
Ack, I was afraid of that. But at the same time, I’m not sure if I believe him. He could have done it, yes, or he could be blaming himself for what happened even if he wasn’t directly responsible. Or he could have witnessed the shooting and be trying to protect his father. Only he can tell us for sure.
More than anything, this episode hammered home that the scariest thing about these people is that they’re regular people. They’re not evil or genius plotters; they use balloons to disguise their voices, track mud through the hospital hallway after burying a body, and make things up as they go.
And now I can’t help wondering what other terrible secrets this little village is hiding. On the surface, they present as a supportive, harmonious community, but underneath, they’re rotting from bitterness and selfishness. They’re all a lot like Jin-kook, who lies to his sick wife that he won a small lottery prize and can now afford her surgery, and all the while a bloodstain is spreading across the back of his shoulder from his bullet wound.
I think my favorite thing about Wild Boar Hunting is how it uses the power of suggestion. Instead of being graphically violent, it shows us just enough that our minds can fill in the gruesome details. And it invites us to ponder the significance of long, lingering shots like Young-soo tracking mud down the hallway or Chae-jung cleaning layers of dust off the living room floor. It’s a powerful reminder that often the worst damage doesn’t come from circumstances that happen to us, but rather how we interpret and respond to them.