Chimera – K-Drama Episode 5 Recap & Review

Joong-Yeop’s Childhood

Episode 5 of Chimera begins with that tense stand-off from the previous episode, as Joong-Yeop tells Eugene he’s not the culprit. He does, however, hint toward past memories but fails to disclose whose memories he’s referring to. Their conversation is cut short though by the legal team for the hospital arriving and bringing Doctor Lee home.

As he sits on his sofa, in quiet contemplation, we cut back in time and see Joong-Yeop at the police station, berated by the corrupt officers as he tries to find his missing father. The townsfolk are convinced that the man is a murderer and he’s forced to watch his mum pushed to the ground and sputtering blood. Horrible graffiti reading “Murderer! Die Commie!” is plastered on his front door too. Poor Joong-Yeop is forced too look after his mother, who eventually passes away from her injuries.

This traumatic childhood seems to pave way for the cold and calculated doctor we’ve seen across the season so far. In the present, Joong-Yeop rings one of his contacts and claims he’s been seeing an old friend. And that man, according to the pictures he has up anyway, appears to be Chief Bae.

Meanwhile, Eugene and Jae-Hwan are joined by Ha-Na and as they contemplate what to do next regarding the case. Ha-Na winds up drunk and presses Eugene on her history. Given Eugene’s missing parents, Ha-Na believes that’s why she’s in Korea right now. Jae-Hwan manages to break up this uncomfortable chat, walking Eugene home. He apologizes on Ha-Na’s behalf but she shrugs it off.

Alone, the pair discuss Joong-Yeop and whether he really could be the culprit or not. She’s had difficulties reading him but deduces that Joong-Yeop could well be another party that’s actually looking to find the Chimera killer just like they are.

At the police station, Go Gwang-Soo decides to give up on the Joong-Yeop lead and chooses to send the team after a likely suspect known as “Fiery Chipmunk.” He organizes the team into two groups. Interestingly, when Jae-Hwan questions his line of thinking, Gwang-Soo essentially tells him to work off the books, independent from the main investigation to see if the Joong-Yeop lead holds any weight.

Interestingly, an article from 1984 may well have the answers. Now, in the economic section are a group of Hamyun University Researchers that all seem to be linked to this chemical called TH-5, and a fire outside their office only backs that up. All three victims of the Chimera killer are linked to those men from the team, with the older brother for one of the researchers happening to be Assemblyman Lee Min-Ki.

Speaking of which, Lee Min-Ki, Chief Bae and Chairman Seo meet over dinner and discuss the Chimera case. Specifically, they talk about the victims and how eerily similar this recent spat of victims are to those in the past. According to Bae, Joong-Yeop doesn’t seem to be the suspect but he does admit there’s something off with the man.

Those suspicions are only compounded further when Joong-Yeop shows up at Eugene’s meeting regarding interrogations. She more than holds her own against his verbal spats, questioning her about coerced confessions and the high-stress situation of an interrogation.

Afterwards, Joong-Yeop and Eugene head off for a game of chess. As Eugene asks about his parents, he suddenly starts speaking English and talks about how his parents died. Promising to keep their conversation a secret, Joon-Yeop admits he’s returned to Korea after an extended absence because he needs to finish something. Interestingly, he left Korea in 1984, around the time of the killings. But why? Joong-Yeop smiles, “Checkmate.” The game ends and Eugene is no closer to learning the truth.

Joong-Yeop returns to his office and receives a text from Madame Kim “Call me, I’ve located Yong-Bok.” Quick as a flash, he heads off to try and find this officer from the 80’s. Joong-Yeop is actually after him for information on Sang-Woo, who was of course the suspect pinned for the Chimera Case back in 1984.

Joong-Yeop’s investigation leads him into hot water, as he heads down to the docks after following a shady guy. They grab petrol cans and immediately cover his car, demanding to know who he is. Jae-Hwan though, happens to be watching from afar and sets to work trying to help Joong-Yeop. With a whistle and…badminton bats? he shows up and fights the gang, who attack one at a time.

Joong-Yeop however, heads out his car while the cop is distracted and begins mixing chemicals into water bottles. Jae-Hwan fights valiantly but finds himself at the mercy of this gang. Only, a sudden explosion distracts them all. Essentially Joong-Yeop has turned these water bottles into makeshift Molotov’s. Jae-Hwan looks up and is shocked, “Chimera.”

The Episode Review

Chimera returns this week with a look into Joong-Yeop’s past as it seems like he’s the true Chimera killer. But is this just a red herring to distract us from the truth? It seems like Joong-Yeop has a vendetta of his own and I’d imagine that’s linked to his childhood and wanting to gain revenge on anyone who wronged his parents. Growing up as an orphan must have been tough for him and it seems to link nicely into the case.

However, Joong-Yeop leaving Korea in 1984 is very suspicious unto itself, especially given the Chimera killer was “caught” around that time. When Joong-Yeop has returned, the killer started up again. Surely that’s not a coincidence right?

Jae-Hwan and Eugene are, quite frankly, pretty wooden in their depictions of these two leads and that’s a bit of a problem too. There’s just not a lot of personality to either of them and no amount of childhood abandonment for Eugene can hide that. I really hope this show doesn’t go the route of depicting the pair together in a relationship. Those scenes outside the restaurant seem to hint that they will be.

The case itself is undeniably intriguing and there’s enough in the plot to keep things exciting. I do know the ratings aren’t great for this one, and I’m not surprised with so many other hard-hitting shows on-air. Having said that, this is undeniably gripping, even with the character flaws.

Quite what direction Chimera will take next though remains to be seen.

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