WHEN A PSYCHOPATH COMES CALLING…
When an incarcerated psychopath draws a detailed image of a current crime scene and addresses it to a former, genius FBI agent, it draws the attention from the Chief of Police. Former FBI agent James Gil/Gil Soo Hyun (Kim Kang Woo) teams up with Veteran Detective Oh Dae Young (Park Hee Soon) and Jin Seo Joon (Jo Bo Ah) of the Cyber Crimes Unit to form a task force specializing in finding missing people and uncovering the mystery behind their disappearance.
OCN has a reputation of doing male-focused, mystery crime dramas. They’re produced by the same team again and again and the formula rarely changes. However, the reason why I’m drawn to them is that the casts are usually great and the same plots are delivered with fresh and unique perspective. Similar to what magicians or illusionists do, the mark of a great crime drama is when it can misdirect the viewers’ expectations.
Kim Yoon Ah – 자각몽 (feat. 올티) (Lucid Dream (feat. Olltii))
As the leads of the drama, most of the focus is on James and Detective Oh. Kim Kang Woo plays James with a very subdued, mysterious air while Park Hee Soon plays Detective Oh as a quirky, garrulous investigator. In the past, I’ve admitted that I wasn’t a fan of Park Hee Soon doing comedy. His portrayal in All About My Romance struck a wrong code with me as that drama was a romantic comedy and I felt that he dragged down the light tone of the drama but in this mystery/thriller I liked Detective Oh’s personality here. Visually, he fits the role of the veteran detective but it’s contrasts so well with Kim Kang Woo’s dark portrayal of James.
Like a dance, it’s quite interesting to watch the dynamic of the two characters as it changes throughout the drama. And it ends up playing a crucial part in the final episodes as seeds of doubt infect their dynamic.
Jo Bo Ah mainly starts off playing a supportive role and I wasn’t very drawn to her character at first. Like James, she plays things under the radar. However, I was taken by her backstory with the “Home” kids.
The narrative cleverly takes us down one road but the truth ends up being something quite different. I also think it if weren’t for the way Son Soo Hyun plays Ban Ho Jung, I wouldn’t have felt so strongly about these episodes.
The drama also has many great guest actors featuring in particular cases. Kang Ha Neul leaves quite a creepy impression in the first two episodes as the incarcerated psychopath Lee Jung Soo. I like that he’s gone on from the success of Misaeng and C’est Si Bon and continues to challenge himself with differing roles. The first two episodes have a creepy vibe overall but it sets the tone of the drama.
We also see other Misaeng alumni featured in the second case (Episode 3 & 4) and Park Hae Joon and Son Jong Hak give powerful performances for the case entitled, “Rust.”
Among my favorite episodes, I really loved the case entitled, “Pure Heart,” for all the twist and turns in it. There’s also a nice flow in progression with the 2 episodes from this case and the final episode of the series as the theme of trust is brought up again and again. Trusting the people that are closest to you and trusting that they won’t cross the line themselves. I wasn’t exactly prepared for the conclusion of the final episode and this just goes back to the fact at how excellent Kim Kang Woo and Park Hee Soon are in their roles.
Some might argue that the twist in the final episode is cause to bring the drama back for another season but I’d say that I’m satisfied by the conclusion. It’s not that I’m happy about how things turned out for our characters but I could now see that the drama has been overshadowing this conclusion from the beginning. It’s not a happy ending but it’s a meaningful one meant to show how thin the line is between righteousness and taking matters in your own hands.