Decoy – K-drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Frauds

Episode 3 of Decoy starts with the widespread broadcast of councilman Park Gang-shin. In a flashback to 2006, the councilman’s connection to the case is explained. No Sang-Cheon bursts into councilman Kim Seong-dae’s office. He is the man in the picture with Jang-chun who he had said would help out with the documentation of the mattresses he invested in at the port which ended up being a container full of empty boxes. The councilman insists that he does not know the man and gets Sang-cheon arrested as a terrorist.

At the police station, instead of the police helping him, they mock him as a foolish moron who got scammed. He gets locked up but later Park Gwang-sin gets him released. He tells him that the councilman is not aware that he got him released and he helped him out since he too was scammed. Gwang-sin gives him some money for food and Sang-cheon invites him for a meal together.

During the meal, he claims to want to go to the toilet and stays out for some time. He later calls Gwang-sin and tells him that he is chasing after some guy who looks like Young-jin so he will not make it back for the food. After the meal, Gwang-sin gets a call from the councilman and asks if he handled Sang-cheon. He says that he had and tells him about Sang-cheon mentioning Yoing-jin. The councilman assures him that he had already left.

Sang-cheon is hiding in the backseat of Gwang-sin’s car and overhears everything. He knocks Gwang-sin unconscious and he wakes up in a hotel room, naked in bed with a minor and with Sang-cheon taking photos of them. He threatens to expose him unless he tells him everything. Gwang-sin wonders how he knew it was them. The councilman had slipped up and mentioned Sang-cheon being scammed before he had told him the reason he burst into his office.

Gwang-sin tells him that they knew each other since Young-jin would ask them for favours. He would scam people, they would get him off the hook, and they used the money he paid them to fund Kim Seong-dae’s campaign. Park Kyung-dong, the slot manager who owed him money was one of them and everything from his borrowing money from Sang-cheon was part of the plan to scam him. He borrowed money as bait. Sang-cheon corners Gang-sin from joining his team.

Fast forward to 2023, the violent crimes investigation unit is forced to give a statement to the press since the dead man was a government official. The press thinks that the police are letting the killer go since it is connected to Sang-cheon. Do-han confronts the deputy head and wonders if he is worried about hiding the fact about the serial murders or the involvement of Sang-cheon. The deputy insists on booking Na-yeon and Byeok-jin as the suspects but Do-han still thinks they are not the murderers.

When interrogating Byeok-jun, a call comes in from the forensics team. It was a text in Byeok-jun’s phone giving instructions to be at the councilman’s office at 8 pm. The text was sent at the same time Do-han saw the victims get mass texts at the same time and they asked him to leave. Do-han decides to let Byeok-jun go immediately since he was disrupting an investigation. He is, however, adamant about staying arrested and when Do-han insists on letting him go, he confesses to being the killer. With the confession, the next course of action would be getting an arrest warrant and trying to convict him.

Do-han is certain he gave a false confession but when having a meal with the deputy’s head, he is informed that the prosecution has arrested Byeok-jun for murder. Do-han tells his team to re-investigate the crime scene from scratch and try to find evidence that Byeok-jun was not the killer. He then decides to go to Gyeoncheon to look into the first murder against the wishes of the deputy head. On his way, a slight flashback to 2016 is shown with Do-han being dismissed by a police officer when he provides evidence that someone killed his sister.

Do-han visits the crime scene and talks with the detectives in charge of the case. He is taken to the morgue but he also does not recognize the victim. The detectives tell him that they looked at the CCTV footage and shows him some photos of the people they did not recognize and they were among the suspects. One of them is the deputy head Jong-chun. The detectives want to delete his photo but Do-han tells them not to yet.

Flashback to 2011 and a frustrated Jong-chun walks into the prosecutor’s office. He wants to know why they asked him to let Sang-cheon go. The prosecutor explains that arresting Sang-cheon would not have helped the victims but arresting all the masterminds behind him would make a difference.

Still in the flashback, the victims fail to receive attention from the police and the media too even after they called a press meeting. Someone had managed to stop the printing of their grievances and Sang-cheon was behind it. He is frustrated that they keep pushing back because if the news gets out, it would be hard for him to escape. He tries to think of ways to silence them and he sends his lover/secretary. She approaches the victims saying she wanted to help them.

Fast forward to 2023, Do-han asks the deputy head if he ever visited Gyeongcheon which he denies. Do-han suggests they should take Byeong-jun off the suspect list so they could expand their investigation to include anyone without exceptions. The deputy’s head insists it was out of his hand and only the prosecution can decide on his innocence.

At Magang detention centre, the deputy’s head visits Byeok-jun. He asks Byeok-jun to tell him the truth for old times’ sake. Byeok-jun gets into furious outbursts telling the deputy head he only has painful memories of the old times unlike him who got promoted several times and is now the deputy head.

Na-yeon is released and she plans to write an article mentioning that the case of the councilman’s death is part of serial murders that mention No Sang-cheon. At the detention centre, Byeok-jun whispers something to the deputy head.

The Episode Review

Three episodes in and everything is still a mystery. At this point, I am eager for just some piece of evidence that at least uncovers something. Too much mystery is no longer very thrilling but kind of frustrating. There is a guy introduced in this episode in a flashback to 2011, Jae Hwang, he looked suspicious.

The deputy head continues to appear even more suspicious like he is trying to cover up something. I am looking forward to knowing more about Do-hun’s backstory since we had a slight glimpse in this episode. What did Byeong-jun whisper at the end? Was the first unidentified victim Sang-cheon’s lover/secretary? Will find out in the next episode.

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You can read our full season review for Decoy season 1 here!

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