Episode 5 of Happiness begins with Sae-Bom heading over to Seo-Yoon’s place to check on her. With a baseball bat to hand, she intends to keep them safe. The thing is, there’s no signal for either the mobile phones or TVs, meaning they’re well and truly on their own now.
It also appears that Sung-Sil, the old lady from Room 302, may actually be infected. She’s itchy and as she takes her hand away from her back, spatters of blood can be seen. Her obnoxious blogger son, Dong-Hyun, is too interested in his 1000 views on his latest video to pay much attention.
More of the residents begin to gather downstairs, contemplating just how everyone has managed to get infected so quickly. Ms Oh is among them, but as things start to grow more hostile and loud, Sae-Bom shows and encourages anyone who wants to leave to do so. Non of them want to brave the parking lot.
With limited food stocks and Ms Oh on their side for now, the group discuss just what to do next and the very real possibility that they’re going to be in this for the long-haul.
Another development to this infection – and something that constantly changes the game – is the ability for the infected to randomly revert back their normal, docile state for being human. The blood spatter by the front door being wiped off confirms that the security guard we saw last episode is actually back to being human again.
The problem is, the infection isn’t reserved to the Apartment Complex. Tae-Seol shows up to a nightclub with his guys, hearing ominous banging downstairs behind a door. It’s actually because one of the infected is there, after the club was cleared out earlier on thanks to a member’s only party. Tae-Seok encourages his security detail to keep everything secret.
While that’s kept under wraps, the situation inside the Apartment Complex is not. Tensions begin to flare up as Joo-Hyeong challenges the whole notion of the infected and offers to pay $300 for anyone heading outside to gather supplies. For the greedy lawyer, he offers $1000 later that day but he refuses. However, an earlier encounter with Sang-Hee rubbing her foot up his leg, keeps Room 601 squarely in Hae-Sung’s line of sight.
After an eventful day, Yi-Hyun and Sae-Bom head back to check on Sae-Yoon. She immediately questions what’s happening with the infected but Sae-Bom is confident things will get better. She shrugs it off, claiming that all of this will be done in a week and that a vaccine is coming. At least, that’s what she tells Sae-Yoon. When she notices the messages to her mum still not getting through, she’s understandably concerned.
Meanwhile, another briefing about the Mad Person virus takes place. Or the Lytta virus, as they’re referring to it. Infection is caused when the virus enters the bloodstream but the target actually doesn’t feel anything or start to turn until it reaches the brain. Being bitten, scratched or taking Next is what starts infection, but Next is the catalyst for Patient Zero and how this all begun.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem too be a cure for this disease, especially when Tae-Seok confirms that the barrier to the brain prevents it. They’re working with a live virus to try and formulate a solution but that could take a month. 3 weeks longer than they have. Based on Tae-Seok’s projected model, he thinks they’ll be completely overrun after a week. What he doesn’t tell the other members of the group though is that this is a lost cause.
We’re on day 5 of the quarantine and Tae-Seok contemplates whether to widen the area of lockdown and try to secure the infected. He also seriously considers just having everyone killed too.
Joo-Yeong’s slimy operation to pay those heading outside takes place, with Yi-Hyun and Sae-Bom among those braving the courtyard. There’s also Dong-Hyun too, who shows with his phone and intending to broadcast everything.
Over by the front door they find the security guard and three other residents, who are very clearly infected. They’re not actually in their crazed state though but are trying to escape. No food rations have come through from the outside yet, and after an uneasy encounter at the front gates, our group quickly leave and head to the food mart to grab supplies.
Unfortunately Dong-Hyun lingers too long and as several of the infected appear, they corner him. Andrew happens to be in the supply room, keeping him deathly silent, while Yi-Hyun and Sa-Bom also find one of the workers at the store who doesn’t appear to be infected Thankfully they all manage to get away, shutting the gate down on the others.
Ms Oh., has an uneasy encounter with one of the infected down in the parking lot too. They act normally to begin with and she almost opens the door to let the man in too. That is, until she remembers the play about being thirsty and stops what she’s doing. Dropping water on the ground, the guy ends up crazed.
The guys make it back to the apartment complex but Joo-Yeong, ever the opportunist, refuses to let them in. Instead, he plays the cries for the infected and starts to lure them all over to their location. It’s pandemonium, as Joo-Hyeon slips away while the doors are finally opened and the group head inside.
Yi-Hyun is absolutely livid and immediately confronts Joo-Hyeong. He rubs blood all over the man’s face, sending the guy into frenzied uproar. When Sae-Bom shows, she manages to calm Yi-Hyun down and hugs her husband warmly.
Tae-Seok learns that an infected has escaped the apartment complex and makes a massive call. He decides to let the guy go in a controlled environment, making sure that no one is hurt but also to sway the public opinion so these infected are feared and loathed.
The Episode Review
Everything is just starting to come apart at the seams now. The meticulously laid plans for the lockdown are just starting to come undone and at the center of this is Tae-Seok, who oversees the whole operation. It’s clear that he’s fighting against a losing battle and this chapter does well to begin showing how the infection is breaking out of the locked down area and about to hit Korea at large.
Thee earlier ideas hinted that the apartment complex will be the only safe place in Korea left is still on, and it’ll be interesting to see what direction they go with this in the futute. However, the human implications of this virus and seeing how quickly these people descend into selfish desires – even Sae-Bom when she wanted to leave Andrew and Dong-Hyun behind – shows just how quickly panic can spread.
The ending definitely hints that things are about to get a whole lot more dramatic though.
You can read our full season review for Happiness here!