Dark Hole – K-Drama Episode 4 Recap & Review

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“Let’s Split up!”

Episode 4 of Dark Hole begins with a brief glimmer of the past before everything turned into this mist-covered nightmare. Tae-Han confronts his brother about stealing but it turns out this is a lie.

In a cruel twist of irony, Tae-Han is unable to speak to his brother again, who’s hit by a car (or the white truck of doom) and killed.

Back in the present, Tae-Han stands with the others in the security room, contemplating journeying into the surgical ward to pick up the survivors or not.

At the school, Hwa-Sun and Do-Yoon are surrounded by the infected. Thankfully, Seung-Tae shows up and grabs Do-Yoon, taking him inside the school grounds.

Outside, Hwa-Sun clutches her head in pain as a weird ominous mantra floats through the air. It’s the shaman, chanting that “Those who refuse to follow me will die.” On the back of this, the infected inexplicably turn and walk away. The fog lifts too, prompting our survivors to breathe a sigh of relief when they’re all gathered together.

Weirdly, only Hwa-Sun actually heard the sound of this chanting outside, while those in the school don’t seem to have been affected. This immediately gets Hwa-Sun thinking, believing that these creatures are actually being controlled by something – or someone.

Do-Yoon sneaks out in the middle of the night, intent on picking up a gun left on the ground. Only, the strange smoke starts to rush toward him when he’s there. At the last second, Hwa-Sun shows up and scoops the boy up under her arm. Heading back inside to safety, Do-Yoon admits she just wanted to help.

The smoke lifts at the hospital too, prompting Hyun-Ho to immediately set up a plan to get his wife back. Tae-Han wants to tag along too, as the trio go it alone into the dark recesses of the hospital. While they journey on, Ji-Hye and the other survivors discuss moving to a better ventilated area.

As Tae-Han and the others continue, thin wisps of smoke curl out of the vents and hop back in again. The trio make it through the third floor and creep across the abandoned hallways.

The other survivors there discuss their options and what to do next. Our shaman, Kim Sunnyeo, is there too and after issuing some unnerving words to a few of the survivors, watch as this ragtag group head outside. They’re predictably ripped apart, with the loan shark believing Kim may be responsible for controlling these creatures.

Well, that certainly seems to hold some weight, as we see her later in the episode repeating that same strange chanting about following and killing. This time though she uses her hands to paint a large black hole on the wall. This is, of course, in reference to the sinkhole.

Anyway, the two fractured groups inside the hospital head off in different directions, with our survivors trying to make it to the negative pressure room. With the smoke unable to get them there, it’s a pretty smart move. The only trouble is, Tae-Han and the others are ambushed by a whole horde of infected patients.

At the school, things take a turn for the worst as well when a strange tentacled creature starts to attack. Hwa-Sun and Seung-Tae are first on the scene and move an injured Seo Yong-Min to safety. He needs urgent medical attention too, and this sees Hwa-Sun determined to head out and get the medical supplies needed from the hospital.

Unfortunately she’s stopped by Choi Kyung-Soo, who stamps his authority and reminds her that they’re at war. Hwa-Sun refuses to listen, and this group of survivors are split once more as she’s joined by Jin-Seok, Dong-Rim and Seung-Tae. They ready makeshift weapons and prepare to head out.

Just before they do, Hwa-Sun radios through to Tae-Han and tells him to be careful. There’s something else lurking inside the smoke and right now it’s unknown exactly how dangerous this could be.

Speaking of danger, remember the original patient brought in to the hospital with handcuffs last episode? Well, it turns out he’s broken free and donned the disguise of one of the officers.

The Episode Review

Dark Hole’s latest episode splits up our various different pockets of survivors further. The fragmented ideas between each group is pretty indicative of what would happen in a scenario like this. The constant back and forth between the school and the hospital is a nice touch too, and helps to split the focus.

Not only that though, Dark Hole perfectly balances its horror elements, intentionally holding back from going gung-ho action non-stop. Instead, the show leans into the more atmospheric and moody character drama before slowly showing thin slivers of whatever tentacled menace is after our characters.

It works really well to balance out the series and deliver a real slow-burn thriller. And what’s up with that shaman too? It seems like she may be controlling these creatures. Then again, it could be a red herring and she could be trying to ward everything away. This would explain why the fog lifted and the infected left for a short period of time.

Either way though, the episode ends with a compelling cliffhanger, leaving things wide open for next week’s follow-up.

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