Eh no, I’m not saying GQ 4 is horrid to watch. Far from it. In fact, after a pretty lacklustre (imo) opening (and it’s not even the typical OCN’s bumper 2-eps opening!), the subsequent stories in GQ 4 are feeding my appetite for gore. Plus, they are soooo… deliciously creepy, I find myself glued to my laptop screen for that full hour. Yumz.
True to its series, GQ 4 continues to focus on victims (or aggressors) with really rare and really weird physiological disorders.
sab’s super short synopses
Again, Case 1: Red Tears has been briefly described in my First Impression article.
Case 2: Angel’s Nails
Victim in this case suffers from a neurological disorder that makes her hypersensitive to touch. The merest brush against her skin will cause it to split and tear and bleed. So you can imagine her pain when she is raped. Her middle-aged neighbour is hauled in as the aggressor, since incriminating blood stains are found on his jacket. Problem is, he claims he is innocent…only he is so drunk that night he can’t really remember what exactly happened, and why blood was found on his jacket. His son, though, fully believes in his innocence. Because when the police searched the house in the first round, the jacket wasn’t hanging on the clothes rack.
The son manages to later persuade the victim that his dad is not the aggressor, and they both try to push the lady detective in charge of the case to review it. However, the detective disagrees. The father eventually hangs himself in his cell out of despair. Years later, the detective is found stabbed to death near her house. While investigating the murder of the detective, Dr Han and Detective Kang re-open the rape case.
Turns out the aggressors (yes, plural) are the detective’s son and his chaebol friend. The detective knew her son is the rapist (since he came home that night and blubbered about it), but she also knows he committed the act under influence of drug — yes, the detective has a son who is not only a rapist, BUT also a drug addict. (tsk tsk) To protect her son, she incriminates an innocent man. Unknown to her, her son has another friend present at the crime scene. When the son learns that his mum (out of remorse) wants to re-open the case, he informs his chaebol friend…who panicks and decides to murder the detective to shut her up.
A rather interesting case, especially when the victim and the son of the wrongly accused man fall in love. A rather ironic (but happy) twist, in the sense that even though the two young people are neighbours, they hardly talk to each other before the incident.
Case 3: Serpentine Dance
A famous dancer is found entangled and very dead amongst creeping vines in the forest. Initial suspicions land on her eldest daughter, who will inherit everything after her mother’s death. But she has a foolproof alibi — she is in her office during the time of death, and there are witnesses to verify to that. The dancer had Huntington Disease, which caused her muscles to spasm uncontrollably and, ironically, her audience thinks she was a “gifted dancer” cos her movements were so “uniquely fluid”. Her younger daughter also suffers from the same condition, thus she is taken care of by the elder sister.
Suspicions move away from the two sisters since the elder one has an alibi, and the younger one (who had Huntington Disease) has such disturbed motor skills she can’t possibly murder her mum. However, Dr Han finds out that the elder sister (who works at a slimming centre) has access to a drug that can suppress the muscles spasms, and somehow, the dead dancer has traces of it in her blood stream. The sisters work together to murder their mother, disguising it as suicide. The younger sister visited her mum that night and gave her an overdose of the drug, which caused her mum to deliriously walk into the forest and hang herself with the creeping vines. The younger daughter had also taken a moderate dose of the drug, which enabled her to not only walk normally, but also drive a car back home.
Well, the murder in this case isn’t as chilling as the reason behind it. The dancer may be excellent on stage, but she isn’t fit to be a mother. After her first husband dies, she re-marries. Her new (and very rich) husband fancies her elder daughter (a pre-teen then) and she volunteers to pimp her daughter to him so that he can be kept happy and she can continue to receive her fundings for her dance troup. When the elder daughter performs on stage and dances better than her, she gets very jealous…and decides to push her daughter down a flight of stairs, injuring her severely enough to cut off any dance career. Interestingly, it’s the younger daughter who inherits her mother’s madness as well as her neurological disorder. In order to protect her elder sister, she begins an elaborate plan to murder their mother and successfully changes her will (written initially to give her assets to her dance troup) to benefit them instead.
Case 4: On a Warm Day
The warm, fuzzy sounding title is totally, totally opposite from this chilling story. An ex-orthopedist bled to death from the grievious wounds on his hands — one hand was badly mangled and the other was hacked off. Not only that, the cold blooded murderer had given him a shot of a muscle relaxant and slashed his Achilles tendon, so that he was unable to scream for help or run away. And to add to the cruelty, the passcode door lock is fixed at the bottom of the door, since the murderer rightly predicted that his victim would crawl there and try to escape.
While investigating this grisly murder, Dr Han finds out that the orthopedist had his medical license revoked because he was carrying out unorthodox experiments on patients who have lost their hands. The ex-orthopedist had illegally obtained hands (some from live victims, who are either homeless or orphans) and attached them to patients who have lost their fingers/hands. However, most of the operations failed because the patient’s body ultimately rejects the transplanted hand.
Dr Han also finds out that the ex-orthopedist suffers from a neurological disorder which will gradually make him lose the use of his limbs and also his senses of hearing and sight. His son (a trainee doctor), is spared the curse of the disease. The ex-orthopedist also has a nurse, who sometimes helps him with his clandestine operations. The nurse has been caring for a young man, with the same neurological disorder as the ex-orthopedist. (and you can guess where the story is heading) Yup, the young man with the neurological disease is the biological son of the ex-orthopedist. He had helped deliver the nurse’s son and done a swop that day.
The ex-orthopedist despises his biological son since he carries the same defective genes, and in order to ensure his works on hand transplants get carried on after his death, he chooses to forcibly adopt a healthy baby boy — the nurse’s son. Over the years, the ex-orthopedist cruelly trains his “son”, making him look at dead bodies and body parts in order to desensitise him as part of his “medical training”. The identity swop is eventually discovered by the ex-orthopedist’s adopted son, and he resents his “dad” for lying to him and putting him through he*l all these years. He then coldly plots the murder of the man who separated him at birth from his mum.
This case is not only chilling in the sense that we have some dismemberment, but also, an otherwise normal, innocent young man had his mind corrupted by the cruel “trainings” of his foster dad. In contrast, the son who rightly inherits the defective genes (and presumeably the twisted intelligence) of the ex-orthopedist grows up to be compassionate and empathetic. Both guys are present when the ex-orthopedist is tortured and killed. But it is the biological son who tries to stop the foster son from proceeding with the murder, and shrewdly guesses that his “brother” brought him along in order to implicate him as an accessory to the crime — and not to “witness” vengence done on a man who had abandoned him from birth.
sab’s (slightly) more lengthy review
Before I forget, based on the previews for ep5, we may be getting a Korean-style Jack the Ripper. (whee! this unsolved english case never gets old) I’m already waiting for my Monday’s subbed ep to be out. (tonight!)
Anyway, GQ 4 is in many ways similar to its predecessors, but with some small, but noticeable improvements. Other than the cases getting darker, we may be seeing a shift in the Dr Han-has-a-brilliant-nemesis endgame. In the previous three instalments, the big bad wolf is always gunning for Dr Han — from Jung Ha-yoon, to Seo In-gak, and even Dr Han’s own inner evil twin. In GQ 4, the bad guy shifts his attention to Detective Kang. (finally!) There is someone who has been stalking Detective Kang since ep2, likely some baddie she has caught and thrown into jail at one point in her career. Though Detective Kang is well, better equipped with cool martial arts moves than Dr Han, her arch enemy-cum-stalker is no fool either.
And Dr Han may still have his nemesis to deal with — Dr Seo In-gak is not dead. Far from it. Despite getting his brains fried in GQ 3, he doesn’t seem to have suffered permanent damage. He is currently in custody, but is let out for a short while — to operate on Dr Han. Ironically, Dr Seo is responsible for “murdering” the “evil Dr Han”. Although Dr Han is uncomfortable about having his enemy operate on his brain (who knows what Dr Seo implanted during the operation!), he has no choice but to give him the benefit of doubt that Dr Seo didn’t “mess with his brains”. (actually, i kinda hope Dr Han’s brain did get messed up…would make for a more interesting twist)
I’d mentioned in my First Impression post that the didactic tone is back in GQ. However, besides ep1, the Voice of Moral Teachings has kinda transferred to a little girl. We don’t know her identity yet, we only know she is a long term patient (why?) in the hospital where Dr Han was discharged from, she has no parents — her mother died when she’s a baby, and her dad is very absent. We don’t even know her NAME. She should be getting a backstory; maybe she is a connecting link to the shadowy guy stalking Detective Kang…or who knows, she may be a figment of Dr Han’s imagination — if Dr Seo has indeed messed with his brain during the op. (or my imagination is hyperactive again, as usual)
Lastly, the romance between the leads is finally starting to look like something. The height difference is still funny though, Detective Kang is half a head taller than Dr Han…so whenever they walk together she towers over him. (but short guys are charismatic…so) Anyway, it’s good that there are more spontaneous kisses and hugs this time round. Detective Kang also drops her tomboyish behaviour to pout at Dr Han, when he gets mad at her for allowing Dr Seo to operate on him. There’s also a fanboy bromance thrown in GQ 4. Han Shi0-woo (played by Lee Dong-hae) finally appears on screen from ep3 (not 2, as i’d hope). He idolises Dr Han, and grins like a happy puppy whenever he gets a correct answer when Dr Han quizzes him. (cute) Thankfully, he packs brains as well as good looks, which makes for a more interesting character overall.
Though I’d admit, I still prefer GQ 3 overall (cos of Ahn Nae-sang, mainly). But, God’s Quiz 4 is promising.