Gap Dong Weeks 2 & 3: Catch Him If You Can

Last week was kind of boring as there were no new revelations and we just watched the police conclude that Mad Monk had committed the murder that we already knew Ryu Tae Oh committed in Episode 2.

However, it was the beginning of the game that only Tae Oh knew he was playing. To summarize, he killed the straw artist and bashed Mad Monk on the head while he was reporting his suspicious bike. Then he shook hay onto Mad Monk’s unconscious body,  impersonated him to a reporter and forewarned him about the murder he’d just committed, saying it would take place a week later. Yeah, so all in a day’s work for a psycho.

The reporter released the report and prejudiced Scary Tiger took it as further evidence that Mad Monk really was Gap Dong. In the meantime, Mad Monk investigated the case and in his infinite wisdom, not only did he not work with a partner thus securing a witness, when he found the body, he touched it with his bare hands and implicated himself. Who needs bumbling idiots when you have cops?

Our dearest Maria did some investigating of her own and used herself as bait to catch Gap Dong. Her former patient Tae Oh showed up in his place and she literally led him to the unsafest home a single woman could have. So smart!

Mad Monk got arrested to Stupid Tiger’s delight and guess what? He finally got the DNA sample he always wanted but we can’t have a detective show without incompetent detectives and it turned out that the police department had fucked up and didn’t have Gap Dong’s DNA. So Tiger was shit out of luck and ordered to release Mad Monk because it would look bad if a third murder occurred while he was in custody.

So Tiger took a resignation letter over to him and asked him to sign it in exchange for his release. But something strange happened – he confessed! What could he be thinking?

We learned that Prof. Han is Maria’s stepfather. Hmm. Why does this supposedly innocent man get more suspicious with every passing episode? He’s presented as a innocent bystander but could he possibly know more than he’s letting on? Plus he’s a fisherman!

Mad Monk was sent to the psych ward for evaluation and Maria arrived at the conclusion that he couldn’t be the killer because he’d never met the victim. But can’t a psychopath beat the test?

But if he’s a psychopath, so is everyone else at the psych ward, including the employees because after Mad Monk was sent there, a furious parent of one of Gap Dong’s victims attacked him and fell over. And the only person to reach out to help him was our handcuffed detective. And the rest of them just stood and watched him struggle to pull the man up. Who writes this shit? In the end, Maria stepped up to the plate and saved the man from an untimely demise.

Plus I need an explanation for the event taking place at the psych ward. This is not a regular hospital but a prison so do they normally host events for average citizens to participate in? We have criminals dressed as clowns and what not, entertaining kids, regular people visiting the place and having the opportunity to attack a criminal walking through in handcuffs. Mmkay?

A new possible Gap Dong was introduced called Choi. He’s a gentle older man who wears glasses. At first glance, he looks like someone going undercover to write a tell-all about prison clinics or something but he could very well be the real Gap Dong. I’m just glad that they’ve given us another suspect to think about.

So Stupid Tiger has always been stupid but there’s this other cop (and I don’t even care to know his name) who is so darn annoying. We at least know why Tiger dislikes Mad Monk but what is his deal? Why does he hold a grudge? Did he steal his girlfriend or something? He hates the guy and is the first one to go against him so of course, he’s the one who watches him sign his confession and expresses his disappointment at the discovery of his serial-killing hobby.

When Maria learns of the confession, she meets with Yang who somewhat recognizes her and hints that there could be more to the confession. Mu Yeom is made to reenact the crime and he fails, which still doesn’t convince Yang because he could be faking it. I agree with him here.

Meanwhile, Tae Oh picks a pretty stylist as the victim of his next murder. One moment, he catches her attention on a busy city street and the next moment, they are playing hide-and-seek in the woods. Can someone please tell me how they got there? That’s the one thing that’s never explained. Why are these women always in some abandoned area where no one else is? This scenario would be less contrived if they could at least show us how he lured her there.

While there’s this jackass who hates Mu Yeom for some reason, his old boss is quite protective. Is he hiding something? Anyway, Yang gets in trouble with the higher ups who want him to release Mad Monk as soon as possible but he refuses to do so till he gets to the bottom of something that’s bugged him for ages. What? He needs to know why he burned his father’s jacket and when Mu Yeom refuses to tell him, he decides to beat it out of him.

Mu Yeom suspected that his father was Gap Dong, especially after seeing a blood splatter on his clothes. However, shortly after he died, he realized that it was probably chicken blood.

So part of his obsession with Gap Dong stems from guilt… the guilt of not realizing that his father was innocent till after the died. Mad Monk, you’re going to have to forgive yourself some day.

No amount of beating gets Tiger his answer so he concedes that while his heart tells him our detective is Gap Dong, his head doesn’t. So he gives up and works with him which means that we no longer have to cringe every time he comes on screen. They devise a plan that involves Mad Monk cutting his finger so that he can get thrown into the psych ward and find Gap Dong.

I was expecting him to cut off his finger and I don’t get how that huge axe didn’t slice it right off but I guess it’s easier for the make-up department this way.

While all this happens, Tae Oh kills the third victim and as usual, makes Maria his alibi. He pretends to be suicidal and when she gets there, she lets him know that she sees through him by pointing out that he would have killed himself if he really wanted to die.

We also meet Yang’s sick child who unfortunately for me, isn’t Tae Oh. Damn, I guess we’ll have to get poetic justice somewhere else.

A month after Mu Yeom is transferred to the psych ward, a hiker finds a red shoe with the third victim’s phone tucked in it. Now the police have her body and Mu Yeom is exonerated with apologies from the prosecutor. Drats.

So why did Gap Dong wait for a month to plant the evidence leading the cops to the third body? Because he wanted to keep Mad Monk from investigating the inmates and finding the first Gap Dong. Which means that Tiger’s finger got cut for nothing, the cops look bad for arresting the wrong person and Gap Dong wins. Again.

In the midst of all this, our potential couple gets closer. They share the same goal and do crazy things to achieve it. He’s surprised to learn who her stepfather is but doesn’t yet know the real reason she’s also obsessed with Gap Dong.

Reckless, brave Oh Maria is shaken when she finds a threatening note warning her to hide well. So one night, when she senses she’s being followed on her walk home,  she blows the whistle Mad Monk gave her with all her might and guess who appears?

Her knight in shining armor! And he punches out the Big Bad Wolf… who turns out to be her patient. Mad Monk immediately apologizes for his mistake. But what are both guys doing in her neck of the woods? Tae Oh quickly explains that he’s there out of worry thereby cockblocking Mad Monk who then leaves. As he walks away, he figures that he should make sure that Tae Oh is as clean as he looks so he calls his partner who confirms that he is. But just as he’s about to hang up, he’s told that Maria was his alibi and that raises a blood red flag. So he rushes back and finds Florence Nightingale tending to the idol-looking wolf.

The hunter and the wolf look into each other’s eyes and they are finally playing the same game. Mad Monk pulls out a chair and sits with them.

The two men play innocent; exchanging words loaded with double meanings. Mad Monk asks him if there were rumors of who the psych ward Gap Dong might be and he retorts that he thought it was the detective. Besides, how would a little lamb like him recognize a psycho when it takes one to know one?

Well, if one needs to be a psychopath to spot another one, how about he get tested to determine if he’s one? Tae Oh tells him that he already passed the test but I bet he’s smart enough to beat it.

Mad Monk poses this question anyway:

Two sisters attend their grandma’s funeral and meet a distant relative who’s their ideal man. The next day, the older sister kills the younger one. Why?

Maria thinks it’s jealousy but that it won’t be a psychopath’s response. I suppose that means she’s confident about her own sanity.

Idol Wolf looks at our Monk coyly and teases that he knows the answer. But will he tell him?

Since the Iltan police force is bungling this case, they get help from another department but for some reason, let Scary Tiger lead the team. The justification that the leader needs to be a Gap Dong expert doesn’t hold water when not only has the man been unable to solve the case in 20 years, he did questionable things that got him demoted.

Then we get to know more about Tae Oh. He was one of those scary, demonic kids who hurt their siblings. His father wanted to report him to the cops or get him help but his mother refused because it isn’t something that one can do to their child. He thanks his mother for her compassion by killing his father.

This drama is like a cautionary tale. Ladies, beware of good-looking men and parents, don’t protect your monstrous kids. Twelve years ago, Mad Monk happened to be one of the cops at the scene of the crime and when Little Tae Oh asked who killed his father, he told him it was Gap Dong. Yeah. And that’s when his obsession began.

We learn that he became a drug addict after his father’s death but I’m not sure if that’s what landed him in the prison psych ward.

It’s time for a fourth crime and Tae Oh threatens a janitor with his son’s life. Twenty years earlier, a newlywed was killed and what set that crime apart from the first three was that the blood type didn’t match what was found in a previous case.

Our webtoon artist- whose primary role is to cling to Mad Monk – finally proves herself useful when in a fit of jealousy, she boasts to Maria that her oppa gives her details for her webtoon that foretell the crimes. Maria relays this to our detective and long story short, Mad Monk learns that Tae Oh gives her ideas that end up being identical to the real crimes.

Mad Monk lets Scary Tiger in on his discoveries and the team makes Tae Oh their #1 suspect, going as far as breaking into his apartment and searching it. But their secret search isn’t one because his hidden camera catches it all on tape.

Now that he’s got everyone where he wants them, Tae Oh calls Mad Monk with the answer to his question. The girl killed her sister because she needed another funeral to see her ideal man again. Mad Monk feels a chill in his bones because only the most psychopathic of psychopaths have this answer.

Then it’s time for a little romance. Now that Mad Monk knows that Tae Oh is crazy, he wants to protect Maria from him. The first thing he tries to do is make her leave her trailer and move in with her stepfather but she sees through his ruse and confesses that she knows what Tae Oh really is.

Now that things have escalated, she confronts Tae Oh about the note she received. He pretends to be hurt that she thinks he’s a killer and asks that she spend the next murder date with him so that he can prove his innocence. A normal person would be refuse but since she’s a reckless woman who blames herself for playing rock-paper-scissors and getting the other girl killed, she accepts his invitation to be his alibi for the fourth murder.

Maria refuses to see reason and when Monk declares to Tiger that he will protect her during the date, the older man points out that it might be easier said than done. Is this related to his daughter or is there someone else he couldn’t protect?

Later on, Monk goes over to Maria’s place and makes one last effort to get her to change her mind but she refuses. Perhaps a part of her feels that staying with him will keep him from killing someone else.

Then it’s time for a little romance. While Maria makes tea, Monk suddenly comes up behind her and his closeness and manly scent rattle her so much that she ends up pouring boiling hot water on her hand. She feels the heat, alright.

She initially resists his touch when he grabs her hand and places it under cold running water but later gives in. I know some people are opposed to romance in this drama but I quite like it. It’s not distracting plus it’ll only make him more invested in catching Gap Dong… not that I can see how that’s even possible. Will she be the potential ninth victim again? He tells her that they can’t lose sight of each other during her date with Tae Oh.

Back at the station, Monk’s protective boss is upset that they are letting Maria put her life in danger and wants Tae Oh arrested immediately. He, too, is connected with the first murders and we’ll find out more in a future episode.

On the day of the fourth murder, Monk’s hater and partner team up and tail Tae Oh in the most obvious possible way. But since they are stupid, they don’t pay attention to him at all times and miss the look he shares with the janitor he’d threatened earlier who’s standing across the street.

And to make matters worse, they end up losing him altogether

Idol Wolf and his Red Riding Hood go on a date under the watchful eyes on the hunter. Their ride on the merry-go-round seems safe till they disappear which sends Mu Yeom into a tizzy.

It’s a pointless game of hide-and-seek because a few miles away, the janitor stalks Gap Dong’s chosen victim, musters all the courage in him and bludgeons her to death. However, the average person can’t live with himself after such a violent act so he ends his life by jumping in front of a train.

Mad Monk instantly realizes that he’d been played and we get a flashback to twenty years earlier when his father saw him then jumped in front of a moving train. Does this mean that Scary Tiger isn’t completely useless and wasn’t entirely off the mark when he thought Mu Yeom’s father was Gap Dong?

Gap Dong wins again! Tae Oh celebrates at home as he watches the news, reveling in his victory. But one thing he hasn’t accounted for is that his opponent is one crazy sonofabitch. And crazy sons of bitches are unpredictable.

That night, Tae Oh receives an unexpected visit from Mad Monk. We don’t get to see if pleasantries are exchanged but what we know is that our idol wolf thinks it’s a good idea to follow him to the rooftop of his building where Mad Monk surprises him with a game of Russian Roulette. His rule is simple: tell him who Gap Dong 1 is or die. Smug Tae Oh thinks he’s bluffing till he pulls the trigger time after time after time. Each click takes him closer to the bullet and as his chances of survival diminish, the piece of shit bastard who acts like life is a violent video game gets scared. Why do these fools who have no value for human life run scared when theirs is on the line?

***

I’m glad that the show has taken things up a notch this week. We’ve got twists and more suspects and the drama is no longer so predictable. While Tiger and Monk are currently on the same side, I fully expect them to become adversaries towards the end of the drama.

Here’s the current list of suspects:

Suspicious Guy. He’s still suspicious and is currently being made to look like the guy Tae Oh speaks to on the inside. For all we know, he’s just a flunky who runs errands like painting messages on walls and writing threatening notes but has nothing to do with the murders.

Gentle Guy. He hasn’t really done anything suspicious and is only so because the show wants us to pay attention to him.

Chubby-faced guy and friend. They also haven’t done much out of the ordinary but since they have speaking roles, they could be Gap Dong.

Prof. Han. He’s a Gap Dong profiler and hides his marriage to Maria’s mom from the world. Is it because it’s a forbidden love or something else? Is he with her out of love or because he wanted to keep an eye on the only person who’s come close to Gap Dong and lived to tell the tale?

Det. Cha a.k.a Protective Boss. What is he hiding?

Big Boss Park Joong Goo. Nothing overtly suspicious yet but anyone who keeps a possibly incompetent cop as the head of an investigation is suspicious.

Scary Tiger. He probably isn’t but he theorized that there was more than one Gap Dong. Could it be because he committed the first crimes and made Ha’s father commit the fourth to get a culprit? This is far fetched right now but I fully expect them to point a finger at him at some point in this series.

The current murders mimic the previous ones. Does that mean that there was another cat-and-mouse game played back then and if so, who were the participants? Tae Oh claims the fourth crime was committed to acquit Gap Dong so who did the cops have on their radar for the first three crimes?

I doubt Mad Monk’s father is Gap Dong but did he commit the fourth crime under duress? Did he jump in front of the train out of guilt or because he was trying to protect this son?

I expect the list of suspects to grow in the coming weeks. And as long as the old monk never makes that list, I’m good. And now that they know who Gap Dong Jr., how will they keep him from committing more crimes? And will he go off script?

Till next week!

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