Voice has been white-knuckled, edge-of-seat suspenseful thus far. Cos we have the overarching Kettle bell Serial Murders to solve, we are kept hanging in nearly every ep’s ending … and we have complete buffoons in the police force whom we want to throttle. You know when you watch horror-thriller flicks and those characters selected to die first do absolutely STUPID things like breaking away from group safety, opening doors which are best left locked, etc? Then you go screaming at the screen to tell them to NOT do “it” (but they will, anyway). Part of the perverse enjoyment comes from watching such characters do things that defy common sense.
I suppose that is the case with Voice and its built up suspense. Chief Jang and his Violent Crimes Unit are meant to be the crème of the crop in the police force – after all, a rookie police officer’s dream is to enter this “It” team and be called a “detective”. Unfortunately, under Chief Jang’s (mis)guidance, the team becomes a bunch of apes running around willy-nilly and missing their target(s) entirely. The debut eps hint at their incompetency, but eps4-5 lay it on thick for us.
For example, in the case of Eun-byul’s kidnap: Jin-hyuk is practically WAVING the CCTV footage of the rental car company under Chief Jang’s nose. And the pic (although not extremely clear) shows a burlier guy than Ji-suk (Eun-byul’s abusive ex) renting the pickup which is used as the kidnap vehicle. And Chief Jang’s response? He brushes it off as nonsense, even after LOOKING at it. (HUH?) When it comes to discovering Ji-suk’s dead body in the pickup, Chief Jang refuses to accept the glaring evidence that Ji-suk has been murdered and left in the vehicle. Even after Jin-hyuk points out the damning evidence, he dismisses them as “circumstantial”. Until the call comes in that confirms Kyung-il as the kidnapper. (how did this guy pass his police tests?)
Well, thanks to Chief Jang’s staunch belief in his own (in)ability, he and his team leave Jin-hyuk (and Kwon-joo) without backup several times. Like when Jin-hyuk discovers where Kyung-il has taken Kwon-joo or when Jin-hyuk + Kwon-joo set off on the rescue mission to save Eun-byul. And not only does Chief Jang not provide the necessary manpower support, he literally put both of them in danger. Such as squawking over his radio in the LOUDEST voice possible and alerting Kyung-il to police’s presence. (we all know some idiots who can’t do the job properly but insist on “helping” and making things worse…chief jang is one of those)
Granted, Jin-hyuk doesn’t have exactly the most pristine records when it comes to team work and discipline. He is the renegade-detective type who flies off the handle more frequently than follow things thru “by the book”. But that doesn’t mean Jin-hyuk is a lousy detective. Even Chief Jang (grudgingly) admits and requests Jin-hyuk to transfer back to Violent Crimes Unit, arrogantly thinking that he won’t refuse. So yeah, imagine his utter shock when Jin-hyuk prefers to remain in Golden Time, which Chief Jang feels is a “sissy unit”, cos it’s headed by a girl.
And talking about said “girl” (aka Kwon-joo), and her interactions with Jin-hyuk, sometimes, I feel like thwacking Jin-hyuk on his head for dismissing her. I dunno if it’s a male thing, but in Voice, it seems like the women’s abilities are deemed questionable, on virtue of their gender. Although Jin-hyuk is coming around to trusting Kwon-joo’s extra-sensory hearing ability, there are still times he doubts her (sometimes in a too-pushy way). For example, during Eun-byul’s rescue mission, Jin-hyuk questions Kwon-joo on whether she is sure she heard a body being dragged upstairs, after seeing the fire extinguisher roll down the corridor. Cos of his slight mistrust in Kwon-joo, he leaves her alone to explore the “safe-zoned” 3rd floor, knowing full well she is not armed (unless u consider a walkie-talkie as a weapon), and she will be facing a psychopath in her injured state.
To be fair to Jin-hyuk, Kwon-joo’s exceptional hearing borders on the realm of supernatural, which is hard to accept on normal terms. And juz recently, he had proven her mistaken – Kwon-joo had insisted that Eun-byul is taken away in a sedan or SUV, but Jin-hyuk’s keen observation and quick thinking had correctly pinpointed the pickup. (which also shows that Kwon-joo isn’t infallible despite having “extra powers”)
Hopefully after Eun-byul’s case, Jin-hyuk can learn to trust Kwon-joo a little bit more (and stop shouting at her). Likewise, Kwon-joo can learn to rely on Jin-hyuk and not need to be the only person who knows about the corruption in the police force.
[Afternote: Spoiler alert! We learn in ep6 that Chief Jang has been blackmailed to help Kyung-il either escape or if not, allow for him to be assassinated. He probably is also acting clueless over Dong-chul’s death, which is not a suicide. However, that doesn’t excuse Chief Jang from his inept leadership and poor attitude towards Kwon-joo]