That Monty Hall Problem
Episode 4 of D.P. begins with Jun-Ho granted leave from military service and heading in to see his Father in hospital. Based on previous flashbacks, he’s a serial abuser and is well known to hit Jun-Ho’s Mother. He’s not exactly happy about Jun-Ho being there, although the feeling is reciprocated from Jun-Ho too. In fact, Jun-Ho tells him that the day he dies will be the time he laughs out loud.
While he recovers in hospital, Jun-Ho heads home where Corporal Han happens to be eating barbeque with his family. Jun-Ho isn’t exactly pleased and it eventually leads to an awkward goodbye as Jun-Ho hurries him out the door.
Before they leave though, Jun-Ho does manage to speak to his Mum about the abuse she suffered, imploring her to run away. She refuses to do so though, making it clear that this cycle of violence isn’t going to end any time soon.
Back at the barracks, Jun-Mook continues to slip further into a depressive state. His Mother notices too and calls out Captain Lim for this hypocrisy, pointing out the irony of Jun-Mook being sent to protect his country…but being unprotected by bullies. Even worse, those men have just been reassigned and there’s no discipline against them.
Lim is understandably concerned but the commander waves away his protests when he tries to bring them up later that day.
That evening, another deserter hits the radar. This time, it’s a man who has jumped over the fence late at night and run away, down the steep descent of the mountain. This guy is Chi-Do, a man who’s part of a lucrative squad training with dangerous rappels. He actually banged up his arm pretty bad doing this, although the pay is good for what they do. He’s also a well-known gambler too.
Given this is another deserter case, it falls to Jun-Ho and Han once more to try and find Chi-Do. Like many of the other cases we’ve seen this season, the pair find themselves on the run, rushing through the dorms to try and find Chi-Do. Only… they run right into the girls-only section which causes quite the controversy – and a complaint to head office.
Back at the dorms, Sergeant Hwang is five days away from being discharged. Unfortunately Sung-Bok’s abuse at the hands of this man have changed him completely. He’s cold and relentless, taking his frustrations out on new recruits. Unfortunately, he’s still being beaten by Sergeant Hwang.
As Jun-Ho and Han stick together through this, they start to realize just why people are deserting the barracks to leave. Despite this, the pair remain determined to bring Chi-Do back, given it’s part of their assignment.
Narrowing down the list of places he could be, the pair use their wits to find Chi-Do. He was desperate to try and raise funds for his grandmother before she passed, determined to get her into a sanitorium.
This explains why he was willing to take such desperate measures to get back. This whole scenario is tinged with an air of uncomfortable poignancy, as it becomes clear just what these men sacrifice to do their mandatory military training.
Realizing how close to home this case is to Jun-Ho, he actually takes a big step to ring his Mum later on and find out how she is. Only, that’s quickly broken up by big news. Suk-Bong has deserted the army.
The Episode Review
D.P. has been a fantastic show so far. Blending episodic issues with a longer storyline is really well-handled and seeing how these characters haver changed and evolved over time is partly why this show works as well as it does.
Jun-Ho’s big moment at the end, ringing his Mother and finding out how she is, may seem like a small segment in the grand scheme of this show but it’s a massive moment when it comes to his character development.
Likewise, seeing Suk-Bong slip down into a depressive state is hard to watch but it reinforces just what this system does to these young men. The harsh reality of seeing that play out, next to the welcome moments of levity, make this a tonally sound and absolutely gripping watch.
With the ending hinting that Suk-Bong has gone rogue, big question marks hang over exactly what direction this one is likely to take next.