Copycat Killer – Episode 1 Recap & Review

Episode 1

Episode 1 of Copycat Killer opens in the middle of an investigation where Noh, the serial killer, has sent yet another videotape to news agencies. These agencies decide to broadcast the tape in order to become the first ones to cover it.

In the tape, Noh poses a question to the viewers claiming that every single person who gets posed with the choice between saving their own life or that of an innocent’s will always save themselves.

Noh has hidden behind a mask with his voice altered in the tape as he chastises Prosecutor Kuo Hsiao-chi and asks if he wouldn’t save himself when it’s his own life on the line. Noh then proceeds to electrify a young woman on the footage as he laughs maniacally.

The episode then moves back to a case from eight weeks ago that Kuo is investigating where the victims’ adoptive son was the prime suspect for killing his parents.

Kuo inspects the crime scene and notices that the young boy, Liu Yao-tsung, was playing a video game before he allegedly murdered his old adoptive parents. The prosecutor takes away the video game with him to discern how much time it would have taken Yao-tsung to play the game. After talking to his friends and playing the intense game himself, Kuo concludes that the boy was not the murderer.

Since he had headphones on, Yao-tsung was not able to hear his parents being murdered. The prosecutor also notes that Yao-tsung’s fingerprints were not found on the fruit knife. Kuo adds that when Yao-tsung left his room, he was probably shocked to see his parents dead which is why he hadn’t said a word despite being a suspect.

In court, Yao-tsung wonders if Kuo actually played the game himself in order to save his life and is thankful to the Prosecutor. Kuo orders Yao-tsung to be sent to an orphanage until he turns 18. Meanwhile, the other prosecutors are pissed at Kuo for sidelining all the many criminal cases while the number of crimes in the country intensifies.

After the Yao-tsung case, Kuo is asked to join Prosecutor Syu You-wei for an inspection. However, Kuo notices that some classified documents linked to a construction project are on Syu’s desk. Kuo follows Syu at the inspection site and learns that the prosecutor was taking a bribe from Zhenbang Construction in order to settle the land dispute for them.

Prosecutor Syu is arrested and taken away while a reporter, Lu Yan-jhen, had been following the case and had filmed the entire arrest of Syu. Reports of the prosecutor being arrested make the news the following day and Yan-jhen’s boss, Ya-cih reprimands her for sending the report out through a different news agency even though she was asked to keep silent.

Yan-jhen states that she only went against her boss’ orders because she wanted to expose the flawed prosecution system of the country but Ya-cih threatens to fire her if she continues to disobey orders. That morning, the cops are investigating a severed female hand that was found inside a box at a local park in Songyan city.

The cops discuss how Kuo blew a whistle on someone from his own team but Kuo sneaks up on them and threatens to sue them for coercion. Kuo investigates the severed hand and notices something odd about the use of a gift box. He puts the cops to work and asks them to look for CCTV cameras around the park while news reporters from Yan-jhen’s news agency start covering the case.

At their office meeting, Chen He-ping and Jian-ho, the reporters that brought the exclusive photo of the severed hand, get sidetracked when Ya-cih convinces their boss – Yong-kun – to cover the prosecutor’s arrest case. She wants to have a sit down with the prosecutors and ask them how they will correct themselves.

He-ping claims that the viewers have been seeing the same news for the last few days and would love to see Ya-cih cover the severed hand case. However, Ya-cih is not happy about it so Yong-kun asks Ya-cih to cover it instead while He-ping would cover the severed hand case. At the prosecutor’s office, Kuo is going over the video footage of Syu’s arrest and spots Yan-jhen’s reflection in the video. He recognises her as a reporter from TNB News.

After this, Kuo goes to the forensic office where he learns that the victim’s hand was cut off after she was murdered. The forensic expert also shares the victim’s thumb was dislocated due to being restrained. The expert points out that this injury resembled Tian Cun-yi’s case from three years ago.

Ya-cih is having a discussion with the chief prosecutor as a video montage plays to show the various criminals that they had cracked in the past. Tian Cun-yi’s case is a part of the montage where his cruel method of murder is highlighted as being one of a kind. At the same time, Kuo is also investigating Cun-yi’s modus operandi where the photographer had lured a young woman, Jiang Yu-ping to have him take boudoir photos of her.

Back then, Cun-yi had claimed that the two had agreed to have consensual sex as well but when Yu-ping changed her mind, Cun-yi held her captive for a week and then murdered her. He wrapped her in plastic and buried her in a remote location close to his hometown. Kuo reads that Yu-ping had many neck bruises and died due to strangulation.

He also points out that her thumb was intentionally dislocated and her genitals were cleaned. Kuo finds it peculiar that Yu-ping, Cun-yi’s victim was Reporter Yan-jhen’s roommate. Kuo hears a Yan-jhen’s witness interrogation from Yu-ping’s case where she was adamant that her roommate would never have agreed to have sex with Cun-yi or to have boudoir photos taken of herself.

At the Gaode Precinct, the officers on the case determine that the thumb dislocation was caused due to the use of thumb cuffs. Kuo claims that the two cases were definitely related and that the hand being placed in the park was foreshadowing something.

An epilogue shows a young girl, tied up in the back of a truck with her hands being restrained by thumb cuffs.

The Episode Review

This show seems pretty intense from the looks of it and I am certain it will only get better after this. I am sure prosecutor Kuo is good at his job but Noh seems to be making it his life goal to create a scene out of his crime. The man is surely sick in the head but it will be ironic if Noh actually was someone Kuo worked closely with considering how Syu’s was highlighted in this episode.

Kuo could have a personal trauma related to children which prompted him to get so deeply involved in the Yao-tsung case. However, I wonder if this could come into play when there are so many innocent lives on the line with Kuo. The show is interesting for sure and keeps you hooked but the nature of the crimes is gruesome which is definitely not ideal for the faint-hearted!

Next Episode

Expect a full-season review when the season concludes!


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