Classic OCN…but with a twist. (more on that later)

Main Cast:

  • Jang-hyuk (from Beautiful Mind) as Moo Jin-hyuk. Formerly a high flyer in the Serious Crimes Division, his life spiral out of control after his wife was brutal murdered by a serial killer 3 years ago. He has a young son who is cancer (?) stricken and is on long term hospitalization. Hot tempered, rash but also someone who takes command easily in the field. He is nominated (against his will) to head the Golden Time Unit.
  • Lee Ha-na (from King of High School Savvy) as Kang Kwon-joo. Has uncanny hearing ability due to a period of prolonged blindness in her youth. 3 years ago, she worked in the Police Emergency Call Centre, and received the call from Jin-hyuk’s wife. However, she firmly thinks the suspect which the Prosecutor brought to Court is NOT the serial murderer, who also killed her father. She left the Police Call Centre to the States for studies, and returned to head the Call Centre.

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Synopsis:

A woman flees down a dark alleyway, a hooded man in pursuit of her. She hides, and calls her husband – Jin-hyuk, who we learn is a detective currently staking out a mob boss for nights. The mob boss arrives (to flee Korea secretly by boat), and Jin-hyuk ignores the phone call to nab him.

So his wife had no choice but to call 112 (Korea Police’s Emergency hotline). Kwon-joo, then a rookie, picks up the call and senses something is off. However, before the police can trace the call, the line drops. Kwon-joo’s sunbae yells at her to call back, but she hesitates. Her sunbae punches in the Redial button and the ring tone of the Ji-hyuk wife’s phone alerts the murderer to her hiding place. He approaches her, and smiles as he whacks a kettle bell over her head several times…

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When Ji-hyuk is notified of his wife’s death by his hoobae, Dae-sik, he at first thought the latter is pranking him. When the truth finally sinks in, Jin-hyuk is devastated. A suspect, Ko Dong-chul, who was found with Ji-hyuk wife’s blood on his clothes and who had records for assault is captured. But Kwon-joo refuses to testify. She claims that the police have got the wrong man, and insists that the murderer is also her father’s killer. Strangely, the playback of the night’s recording had been edited. Ji-hyuk is livid that the Dong-chul is eventually released cos of Kwon-joo’s testimonial.

3 years later. Ji-hyuk is demoted to a patrol cop, but he hasn’t curb his foul temper, nor has he given up on tracing Dong-chul (who vanished after his release). In contrast, Kwon-joo left for the States and comes back as a sound profiler. She chooses to head the Call Centre, but her new proposal to set up a Golden Time Task Force with members from the Serious Crimes Unit is met with resistance.

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Ji-hyuk, by chance, sees her at the 112 Call Centre. Kwon-joo calmly takes his vitriol and even informs him that she wants him to head her new task force. He sneers in her face and would have punched her, had not a call from a young girl stopped him. The girl’s cries of plea invoke Ji-hyuk’s memories of his wife, and he agrees to help.

Thanks to Kwon-joo’s uncanny hearing ability, Ji-hyuk manages to find the girl before she is brutally hacked into pieces by a serial murderer. And the Police Comm is impressed enough with their effort to agree to set up Golden Time Task Force – on a 6-month probational basis. However, Ji-hyuk continues to doubt Kwon-joo, and thinks she probably had insider knowledge that the kidnapper is a serial murderer. He blatantly refuses to join Kwon-joo’s team.

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Kwon-joo, meanwhile, isn’t sitting on her haunches. She gets busy with recruitment – Officer Eun-soo, a foreign language expert is invited to join, though she is reluctant since she has sights for promotion. Rookie Hyun-ho (who was an ex-hacker) forms the other team member of the Golden Time Unit.

Juz as Ji-hyuk is (yet again) roaring his discontent at being put into Golden Time Task Force against his will, a second case arrives. A young boy claims to have been stabbed by his mum (whom I think isn’t his biological mum) and is crying for help.

Review:

Oh man…this is CLASSIC OCN. Dark enough, bloody enough, and so suspenseful I find myself holding my breath (ok, other than when Ji-hyuk starts over-acting) throughout Voice. However…we actually have STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER(S)? and not ONE but TWO?! OCN muz be evolving.

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I am impressed with Kwon-joo. Juz as Ji-hyuk is over-the-top roaring like an angry, bee-stung bear, Kwon-joo is the cool cucumber. And Ji-hyuk can be pretty repulsive. In his first meeting (after 3 years) with Kwon-joo, the first thing he did was hold Kwon-joo by her blouse’s collar while shouting in her face. If this isn’t bully behavior, I don’t know what is. In a way, Ji-hyuk is a microcosm of how the entire force views career-driven female officers in Voice. The other male officers (aka her superiors and Team Leader of the Serious Crimes Unit) all look down at Kwon-joo and her “useless” proposal. They also maliciously spread rumours that Kwon-joo took bribes from Dong-chul, that’s why she can afford an overseas education.

So it’s no wonder Kwon-joo is so…emotionless. (or maybe it’s Lee Ha-na’s acting?) I choose to read her poker face as an armor against the verbal and psychological bullying from her male colleagues. Her counterpart – Eun-soo (whom we only see for a short while), is also similar. Both of them have this cold, no nonsense sharpness. Probably the only way to survive in a male-dominated work environment.

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But as it is, the calm, level headed Kwon-joo who solves cases using her smarts is a good foil for Ji-hyuk, who although has a foul temper, is also a dogged detective with a strong gut instinct. I consider them Dream Team material for any good police flicks.

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