The Dangerous Spread Of Misinformation
Episode 2 of Hellbound begins with Jungja conforming that she’s going to go ahead and accept The New Truth’s offer. She’s being paid 3 billion won and with two kids to look after, that could do a lot of good.
Hye-Jin isn’t sure this is a good move and suggests she shouldn’t take the deal. Her subordinate, Mr Park, believes it’s a great deal and thinks she should go for it. After all, she won’t really die in 5 days and The New Truth won’t come and get her…right?
Hye-Jin eventually heads home, greeting her mother who happens to be smoking in bed. At the same time, Kyung-Hoon and Eunpyo arrive back at the station with a report about the occurrence in the street being supernatural. The Chief is not happy and throws the statement on the floor. He wants solid proof and refuses to believe any of this is real.
When Hye-Jin rings, it serves as the perfect excuse to get back in the field. Or, more specifically, back to Jin-Soo and Jungja.
Jin-Soo arrives at Jungja’s place with forms ready to be filled out for the agreed 3 billion won. His head of legal is there to go over the fine print, but really, Jin-Soo is more interested in Jungja’s kids.
He’s pretty pushy and presses her on having two kids without a father present. He indirectly calls her a mistress, which shocks Hye-Jin, especially when Jin-Soo nonchalantly claims this is the reason she’s being targeted for going to Hell next.
News of Jungja’s live broadcast heads across to Arrowhead, as this crazy neon-mask wearing goon delivers another live broadcast. As he does, the address for Jungja and her personal details are leaked… by Eun-Pyo. More troubling than that though, we cut to him at home, whispering while chanting Arrowhead’s name.
Kyung-Hoon also heads home, where he receives a call from Hee-Jung. She’s going to be staying over a friend’s house, which he agrees to.
In reality, she’s actually with Jin-Soo, where she admits to blaming herself for what happened to her mother in the past. She’s consumed by grief but kept it to herself all this time. That’s perfect fodder for Jin-Soo to use, and as Hee-Jung calls herself a failure, Jin-Soo hugs the girl and promises to create a world for her where no one wants to sin.
The irony here though is that Jin-Soo and The New Truth are actually sinners themselves. Jin-Soo drives Hee-Jung to the exact location her mother’s killer happens to be and together, they drug and incinerate the guy in a secluded factory. Both watch as he burns to death but Hee-Jung, with tears painting her face, starts to smile.
With Jungja’s details leaked, Hye-Jin and Kyung-Hoon both work together to try and take Jungja and her kids out before something bad happens.
The dangers of social media and the spread of misinformation are two concepts here that have been pedaled a lot already and this episode exemplifies why. The voice of Arrowhead claims Jungja killed her partners and even abused the kids too. The “proof” of this comes from a picture of Eunyul (her eldest son) sporting a bruise on his forearm.
In order to protect the family, Jungja and Hye-Jin organize for the two kids, Eunyul and Hayul, to be shipped on a plane bound for Canada. This leaves Jungja here, in Korea, ready for the live broadcast. However, news of the burned body spreads in the morning across all TV channels, with many pointing out the similarities between the Station case and this one. Only, we know this one was Jin-Soo’s doing; was he responsible for everything else too?
Arrowhead also see no difference though and really, neither do any of the major networks. All of them are going to broadcast Jungja’s trip to Hell live.
The house is set up with VIPs from The New Truth sat outside as a massive crowd join to watch Jungja’s descent to Hell. As we count down to 0…the episode ends.
The Episode Review
There’s a really interesting discourse growing here surrounding misinformation and the dangers of social media. Take Jungja as a classic example. Sure, she may well have been a mistress but she very clearly cares about her children and wants to do right by them. The money is simply to better her life. And yet, a simple picture of her son with a bruise on his forearm and leaked information from a defector in the police force is enough to turn public opinion against her.
Likewise, the juxtaposition between Jin-Soo preaching righteousness but yet dealing his own sins and punishments against those he thinks deserve it, is a nice way of showing the irony of The New Truth pedaling their dangerous religious ideologies.
With no Otherworldly monsters this time, Hellbound instead focuses a lot more heavily on building this case and fleshing out The New Truth. That’s certainly welcome though and hopefully we’ll see some pay-off to this solid work.