Don’t F**k With Cats
Episode 1 of Inspector Koo starts at NT Life Insurance with Inspection Team B in desperate need of a win. With only two of them left now, Na Je-Hui sifts through the files and finds a case that everyone has passed up on. Only an idiot would even think about taking this on, and she knows just the right idiot to convince.
The case itself though is in relation to a man called Kim Min-Gyu, who has an expected pay-out of 1.2 billion won. It’s incredibly risky and with no on-site investigation done, it certainly doesn’t look good. However, Je-Hui remains positive. With only her and Gyeong-Su to push forward, they set to work finding the ideal candidate to take on the detective work.
This falls to drunkard Kyung-Yi, a former police officer and desperate gamer. After taking her out for a drink, which she gulps down in one without a break, Kyung-Yi perks up and listens to the details surrounding Min-Gyu.
With a slick bit of editing, we cut back and see Min-Gyu was happily married but he disappeared without a trace out in the woods. His body was missing but his things strewn across the grass. Something is definitely fishy here and with no money problems and a lot of suspicious circumstances, its no wonder that Je-Hui is looking to Kyung-Yi for answers.
She sees through this facade though and calls out the perceived suicide case Je-Hui is thinking of turning this into. However, the insurance agent says enough to pique Kyung-Yi’s interest, who shows up back home and immediately marvels over the new gaming PC Je-Hui has got for her.
In order to persuade Kyung-Yi to join this case, Je-Hui brings in a locked padlock housing the plug switches to the computer, massive cleaning bills (taken out of Kyung-Yi’s wages of course) and an ultimatum. If she doesn’t join this case then the new gear will be taken back.
Now, Kyung-Yi has a history of private investigating too and enlists the help of an online friend called Santa. He doesn’t talk though, instead relying on an online voice recorder to do the heavy lifting. Together, they hunt for clues relating to Min-Gyu, searching around her seaside town and investigating his family.
Now, it seems like Min-Gyu’s wife is getting along just fine without her husband and Kyung-Yi decides to press the resident police officer there for more details. Now, it seems like Min-Gyu worked at the local plant and his death could actually be related to a whole string of deaths in recent months to similar factory plant workers. Alas, the plot thickens.
Kyung-Yi poses as a heavily religious woman next, goading Min-Gyu’s widow for answers over whether her husband was actually good or bad. She doesn’t get much from her but does manage to gain the woman’s trust during their brief time together.
Could it be that Min-Gyu is actually still alive? That seems to be the leap that Kyung-Yi is taking, especially when she hears a story abut a strange man arriving wearing a wolf mask. This also happens to be the same day Min-Gyu’s phone was switched off.
Spying inside Min-Gyu’s car, Kyung-Yi finds flour-based products inside, which is weird because her daughter, Seon-Mi, is diabetic. So this means that Jae-Yeong is potentially harboring Min-Gyu, who’s still alive…somewhere.
Kyung-Yi uses a baby monitor and some quick thinking to track down Min-Gyu. After claiming he’s not him and running all through the woods, Min-Gyu heads inside a bunker carved out the rock. Unfortunately it collapses as soon as he enters. As Kyung-Yi looks up, she notices a young woman watching her and smiling knowingly. It’s K.
Now, another part of this episode comes from the mysterious K herself. Most of the chapter makes it seem like this is an origin story for Kyung-Yi and reliving flashbacks, when in reality, it’s not. This K appears to be Kyung-Yi’s former protege and something went seriously wrong along the way to make her like this. As the episode closes out, a polished and decorated officer called Kyung-Yi arrives before K, ready to take her under her wing.
The Episode Review,
Inspector Koo has been inspired by Killing Eve and so far it does a pretty good job setting up this cat and mouse game to follow — just like BBC’s flagship series. It appears we’ll be getting episodic subplots around this growing feud, and the end reveal with Kyung-Yi and the flashbacks is a nice touch that adds more context to the show – especially when we see K standing with binoculars watching the action unfold at the end.
The one part of this show that doesn’t quite work perfectly though is the humour. Dark, absurdist comedy like this is incredibly difficult to get right and Inspector Koo does fumble its lines on more than one occasion. Then again, it’s still early days and that could change yet.
Having said that, the joke with Kyung-yi singing and giving money in church is pretty golden and does well to reinforce some of the better parts of the episode.
The rest of the cast do okay and the stand-off right at the end of the chapter is decently shot, setting the tone for this season ahead.
You can read our full season review for Inspector Koo here!