I didn’t know my wish to have Gwang-ho back in 2017 will be granted THAT soon. In the space of 1 ep, he gets thrown back (or should I say “forward”?) to the present while chasing the young Dr Mok down that accursed tunnel. And seems like my guess was right: both parties need to be present in order for the Tunnel’s time-space magic to work. Juz too bad Dr Mok doesn’t get to go on a trip.
Amazingly though, in the short time frame (was it juz a night? And one day?) where Gwang-ho had his short vacation back in the 80s, the serial murder case develops in leaps and bounds in the current time frame.
I’d thought Sun-jae will have a hard time wrapping his head around the idea that his beloved teacher (and almost surrogate daddy) Dr Mok is a serial killer – and the one responsible for killing his mum. But no. I am rather proud of him for being able to put aside his bias and follow the trail of breadcrumbs Gwang-ho left behind to figure out the identity of the killer himself. Kudos to Yoon Hyun-min for his portrayal of Sun-jae as he feels a mix of betrayal, anger and humiliation when he finds out for sure that Dr Mok not only killed his mum, but strung him along. (to be fair though, Dr Mok also doesn’t know until recently that Sun-jae is the son of one of his many victims)
Besides unmasking the killer, another big development is the reveal of Gwang-ho’s identity. When Gwang-ho’s time slip secret is known only to the select few, it is frustrating to see Sun-jae and Sung-sik dance around the other team players while conducting their own private investigation. With his return, one other critical member of the team had learnt of his identity – his daughter, Jae-yi (or Yeon-ho). And of cos, the other 2 police officers on Sung-sik’s team.
With only 2 more eps to capture Dr Mok, it is high time our police team get their act together. With two more seasoned police officers (Mr Dog Nose and Mr Photographic Memory) and the in-house profiler, the scales appear to start tipping in the police’s favour. Unfortunately, Dr Mok isn’t a sloppy psychopath either, as evident by his kidnapping of Jae-yi at the end of ep14.
Though it is pretty exciting to watch the police close in on Dr Mok, it is even more fun to watch the other characters struggle to come to terms with Gwang-ho’s real identity. Now that Jae-yi knows Gwang-ho is her daddy, she visibly relaxes her guard around him, and TRIES to communicate with him more often (at least she is smiling frequently now). I don’t blame her for getting stuck at calling Gwang-ho “Ah Pa” though – that guy looks young enough to be her HUSBAND. (if my dad is that swoony, I think I’m in trouble)
And poor Sun-jae. Although he knows Gwang-ho is Jae-yi’s dad, at times, he appears to be quite jealous over Gwang-ho over-protectiveness (plus, Gwang-ho as Daddy gets to be all touchy-feely with his girlfriend). Gwang-ho’s keeping Sun-jae at arm’s length from Jae-yi is also very amusing. If I’m not privy to his relationship with Jae-yi, I’d assume Gwang-ho, Jae-yi and Sun-jae are in a love triangle. (in a way, it’s true – all daddies hate to lose their little girls to another man).
But nothing beats Tae-hee and Min-ha’s reactions. From shocked speechless, to hysterical, manic I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening laughter, and finally to reluctant acceptance. Since they can’t call Gwang-ho (in Min-ha’s words, a “60-year old man”) maknae anymore, they have to switch to jondaemal, which, LoL. [kooriyuki: I thought Mr Dog-nose’s insistance that once maknae, always maknae, is funny.]
However, Gwang-ho’s secret being (almost) out in the open also poses some issues – namely, he has been assuming the name of the “real” Park Gwang-ho. Though we (and his team members) know Gwang-ho didn’t steal the young Gwang-ho’s identity on purpose, it’s still not going to look good on paper. Especially when the younger Gwang-ho is dead. Dr Mok, unfortunately, is able to link two and two together, since Sun-jae had first approached him to perform the autopsy on young Gwang-ho. And Dr Mok is unscrupulous enough to use this little tidbit to make Gwang-ho and team toe the line.
It’s a race against time (literally) now to see which secret identity will be exposed first – it’s either Gwang-ho as a Time-travelling Identity Thief, or Dr Mok as the Serial Killer.