OCN’s “Voice” First Impressions + Episode 3 Preview

I’ve previously mentioned my love for procedurals so I was pretty excited to check OCN’s latest crime drama Voice.

It’s about a man whose wife is brutally murdered and the emergency call operator who answered her distress call working together to solve cases.

Kang Kwon Joo is an emergency call operator who answers a call from a woman who’s being hunted by a murderer. Her voice is a bit muffled and the woman is obviously in a panic so she’s not able to understand everything she says. She forwards the call to her manager who is even worse than she is and when the woman hangs up, the stupid manager calls her back which alerts her murderer to her hiding place.

This woman is the wife of Detective Moo Jin Hyuk who at that moment, is working another case and was unable to answer her call (she called him first).

The police’s investigation leads them a well known criminal Go Dong Chul, with whom they find her DNA. It’s an open-and-shut case for them except for the 112 operator who insists that his voice doesn’t match the killer’s (she’d heard him over the phone) but instead, matches the voice of the guy who killed her father. However, the police have already concluded that her father was the victim of a hit-and-run.

Three years later, Go Dong Chul has disappeared. Moo Jin Hyuk is a grief-fueled mess. He’s violent, irresponsible and demoted. His sick son is the only thing that puts a smile on his face. I loved how easy it was for his adorable son to mention that he missed his mom’s cooking. It’s painful but also shows how close and open their relationship is.

Meanwhile, Kang Kwon Joo studied in the U.S., solved a huge case there and has returned to lead the “Golden Time Team.” It’s a collaboration between the emergency center and the cops and aims to save lives by catching criminals in the act (and before they murder their victims).

Other than the suspense, what I like about this drama is that the woman is the brains. She acquired the ability to acutely distinguish sounds after recovering from an eye injury but more importantly, she also has the deductive reasoning skills needed to lead the group. She combines the information she gleans from sounds with what the victims tell her to solve the cases. So far, Jin Hyuk is the muscle but I’m sure that he’ll contribute more once he starts to trust her and willingly becomes a part of the team.

Two episodes in, we learn that Kwon Joo is still very much after her father’s (and Jin Hyuk’s wife’s) murderer. She also thinks that Jin Hyuk would be a great asset to her team and has forced him on it. Oh, another thing I like is that the woman is in a higher position of power largely because this isn’t often the case.

Jin Hyuk detests her because he believes she threw the case against his wife’s killer. The major rumor surrounding her actions is that she used the money Dong Chul bribed her with to further her education in the States. Everyone thinks she’s rather brazen for not only showing her face again, but working with Jin Hyuk.

Jin Hyuk also doesn’t quite know what to think of her. Their first case involved saving a school girl from being murdered by a slippery serial killer. Kwon Joo’s impressive skills were on display and no one quite understood how she was able to pinpoint the crime location. She explains to him that it was through sound but it’s easier for him to believe that she’s a liar largely because believing she’s got those skills means that she could have told the truth at Dong Chul’s trial.

The second case involves a kid in danger of being killed by his “mother.” Their relationship isn’t quite clear but it appears that a couple takes in kids then imprisons and tortures them. After attempting to drown the kid, the evil woman stabbed him. The case began with the bleeding kid calling 112 from inside their washing machine. The episode ended with the woman finding the child while the cops were at the wrong location. The intel had been suspicious because the location there were at was the home of an 8-year-old while the kid in question is 7. Kwon Joo had raised doubts about it but Jin Hyuk told her to wait till they checked that house first. Now he’s got to somehow get to the right location before the woman kills the kid.

Will there be a romance? I don’t know and right now it would seem a little inappropriate. Is there comedy? Nope. The criminals commit very violent crimes so there’s very little to smile about. What you get is suspense, action and a happy ending when the victims are saved.

There have only been two episodes so there’s still tons of character exploration left but I quite like Kwon Joo. She’s smart, determined and confident and I’m looking forward to learning more about her. She’s also very caring, thus, the right person to keep the victims calm as they go through their ordeals. It’s funny because I’ve never been a fan of Lee Ha Na but I’m enjoying this character.

Jin Hyuk is okay but I think I’ll enjoy his character more once he begins to trust Kwon Joo and stops wasting the first vital minute of every case fighting with her.

The only thing I don’t like about this drama is that they end the episodes with major cliffhangers. I prefer my procedurals to end after the cases have been solved and not at the climax. But it’s all good. I’m going to keep watching anyway.

Credit: OCN

4 Comments

  • Yes I’m loving this! Jang Hyuk is the typical a-hole but eventually he’ll get it!

  • beez says:

    What I don’t understand is, why there’s even a premise for this show? Is this type of call center unimplemented in S. Korea in real life?

    The characters all act as if it’s a foreign concept to try to stop someone from being murdered beforehand. I think S. Koreans are way smarter than that so it’s irking me a bit.

    As always, I’m glad to see JH but I’m really curious about how this is actually handled in S. Korea.

  • DramaFan says:

    @Beez I’m not sure if I have the answer but it seems what Officer Kang implemented is having a team especifically tasked to work for and under her call center team. This way they are ready to respond right away and are in constant communication with the call center until the case is solved. It seems that under regular circumstances, the call center only takes calls and then sends the case to the appropiate team and then they handle it. That’s what I understood.

    • beez says:

      Yeah. That’s my understanding too. It’s just all the other characters acted as if they’d never heard of the concept or didn’t think it would work or was worth their time. For the show, this premise is interesting to see the female officer fight for it. It just makes me curious of about what the system is in real life there. Now if they said this show was from 1988 or something (plucked that date out if the air. I have no idea what S. Korea was like in the ’80’s. (I keep planning to watch Sandcastles but I’m afraid my lack of knowledge of the history of that time means I won’t know what’s going on).) Oh, back to what I was trying to say – I can get with it for the show but I’d really like to know how their actual system is set up.

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