I have a love-hate relationship with dramas where we have omniscient view of all the narrative threads. On one hand, it is nice to know (or have our guesses confirmed), but it also takes the fun out of uncovering the truth alongside our characters.
As of ep8, my guesses that Sun-jae and Jae-yi are somehow related to Gwang-ho are confirmed. I’d initially assumed Sun-jae to be Gwang-ho’s son, going by how similar they are in temperament. Both of them are dogged police officers and extremely observant, but have a tendency to lose their cool when provoked. And I’d thought Sun-jae gave up a high flying career for that of a police officer to locate a missing father figure. Turns out that Sun-jae is the little boy (whatever happened to those cute baby fats?!) of the military guy who has been haunting Gwang-ho’s police station cos his wife was one of the Hwaseong serial murder’s victims.
Surprisingly, it takes Sun-jae a pretty short time to accept the rather far-fetch explanation that Gwang-ho travelled in time to the 21st century. Partly thanks to his dad, who confirmed Gwang-ho’s identity (or, as he later backpedals, someone who looks like the officer he knew 30 years ago). And I am SO glad that Gwang-ho’s time travelling secret is finally out of the bag. Frankly, even though Sung-sik is now a team leader, he is still not a very smart detective. Comparatively, Sun-jae is of a better caliber in the brains department – though he’d probably needs to work on his PR skills if he wants to lead a team in future.
And now that Sun-jae accepts Gwang-ho to be his peer (if not a sunbae, since Gwang-ho theoretically is older than him), he drops his caustic attitude and finally listens to Gwang-ho’s suggestions. It’s a joy to watch these two guys work together. If Tae-hee and Min-ha with their keen sense of smell and visual memories are a dream team, then Gwang-ho and Sun-jae are a match made in Police Procedural Heaven.
Sun-jae has the ability to connect dots very quickly and is highly analytical, and of cos, he has the advantage of knowing how to use modern technology to support his inferences. On the other hand, Gwang-ho is the traditional police-type, he is meticulous, able to form rapports with people (useful during interrogation/ statement taking) and has a strong gut instinct. He may not know how to use fancy gadgets to “confirm his hunches”, but he doesn’t mind putting in the legwork to do that. I can understand Sun-jae’s exasperation when Gwang-ho runs off mid-sentence to physically check out a new lead. But sometimes, the old way is juz as good, as exemplified by the recent case in ep7, where Sun-jae and Gwang-ho are stuck in a remote waystop having to solve a murder without WiFi/ LTE connections.
The other candidate (which I admit, was a secondary choice for me) for Gwang-ho’s offspring is Jae-yi, who Tunnel has explicitly tell us (and ONLY us) in ep8, that SHE is Gwang-ho’s daughter, Yeon-ho. Jae-yi’s gravitational pull towards police work, particularly, criminal profiling, may be the result of having inherited Gwang-ho’s genes.
Other than an interest in police work, and having similar strong analytical and observational skills as Gwang-ho, Jae-yi hardly resembles him – or her biological mother, tbh. Both her biological parents are warm and sociable people, very much unlike the cool and aloof Jae-yi. That’s why I slotted her in the “maybe-maybe, not” category as Gwang-ho’s child. Though her chilliness could be a result of her traumatic childhood after her adoption and death of her foster parents. The fire in her foster parents’ house must have given her some form of PTSD such that she loses all memories of her childhood prior her adoption to the UK. I also suspect her foster parents may have been abusive, given that her mentor mentioned her foster mother was mentally ill.
Ironically though, Gwang-ho may be experiencing an unexplained attraction towards Jae-yi – not of the romantic kind, but a fatherly one. After realizing she lives alone, he has been acting protectively towards her, nagging her to latch her windows, lock her doors, and even popping by with supper juz to make sure she is eating well. But the funniest is when he starts trying to match make Sun-jae with her, and keeps singing Sun-jae’s praises, claiming that the two with their “rude manners” are perfect together. I can imagine him possibly backpedaling and wanting to screen Sun-jae as son-in-law when he realizes Jae-yi’s his daughter.
Let’s keep fingers crossed that Gwang-ho learns of Jae-yi’s identity asap. (and he needs to, cos someone is definitely stalking Jae-yi, and it’s not the flirtatious stalking that Sun-jae does)