Killing Korean Eve
Episode 2 of Inspector Koo begins with a school production of Hansel and Gretel. But why? What significance does this have to the story?
Well, it turns out K is comparing the events at the end of the previous episode to this tale. And she’s also performing in this production too. As we soon see, K is the one responsible for the cave-in – and the subsequent death of Min-Gyu. She also sets a big explosion up at the nearby shed too, turning on a gas canister, shutting the door and lighting the fuse.
While she drives away, night turns today and police arrive at the scene. Kyung-Yi is there too and she believes this is a much bigger case than she originally thought. However, all of this is being chalked up to a suicide, complete with death by inhaling poisonous gas.
The similarities between Villanelle in Killing Eve and K are pretty palpable, especially when we see her eccentric side through this episode. Humming along to classical music in the bath, K suddenly has a thought. Throwing on her bath robe, she checks her photos and notices one including Kyung-Yi.
At the same time, Kyung-Yi also has a thought and contemplates the various deaths from the different factory workers. Is there a beneficiary involved?
While the police don’t pry further into the Min-Gyu case, Kyung-Yi throws a curve-ball at them in the form of Lee Jun-Hyeon. This man died during a company dinner, alone and with the security camera broken. That’s pretty suspicious in itself and the officers chalked it up to him being drunk and slipping. In other words, the police jumped to assumptions. This guy was also a loner so there doesn’t seem to be anyone who could have benefited from his death.
Speaking of benefits, Kyung-Yi heads back to see Jae-Yeong. Kyung-Yi is straight with her, knowing the young woman is involved in hiding things with Min-Gyu and keeping his “death” a secret. Of course, it was all planned from the very beginning but a curveball threw her off. That curveball comes in the form of a call from an unknown number, which is basically K in disguise.
After quizzing her about a man called Lee Jun-Hyeon, she convinced her not to feel bad if Min-Gyu died. Now, Jae-Yeong is feigning sadness with Kyung-Yi here as she says this, and our private investigator can see straight through her facade. Calling her out for this little act, she admits to giving the word to letting him die. For real this time.
Now, K is going by the alias of Yi-Kyung (the opposite letters to Kyung-Yi of course) and she’s not alone in her work. She has the help of Gun-Wook who’s her right-hand man. He too is going under the alias of Hyeon-Tae as a cover.
That evening, Kyung-Yi plays her game but just as she’s about to log off, hears one of the other players contemplating suicide. Realizing she needs to stop this, she enlists Santa’s help to track down her address. This young player is over 300 million won in debt, thanks to a crippling gambling addiction, and she has a history of being abused too. Thankfully Kyung-Yi manages to talk her out of this by jumping off the roof herself… straight into the trash.
On her way back from the dump, she’s picked up by a taxi which drops her off at a public bathhouse. Inside happens to be Yong-Sook, an older woman whom Kyung-Yi is recruited by. As they shake hands, Yong-Sook warns that “K” could catch wind of this and kill her if she’s not careful. Yong-Sook’s cover is that she’s the public face of Pureun Children’s Foundation.
When Kyung-Yi returns back to her unit, she finds clean freak Santa a complete state. He’s pretty tired too, as it turns out he tried rooting around in the rubbish dump looking for her. After cleaning themselves up, Kyung-Yi shows up at the office and finds Je-Hui packing up her gear. Their insurance team’s poor performance kicks Kyung-Yi into high gear, determined to change their fortunes and keep them around. Why? Well, it’s the perfect front for Kyung-Yi to operate within without arousing suspicions.
As Kyung-Yi begins sifting through the different clients, calling them out for insurance fraud thanks to Santa and Gyeong-Su keeping watch, the final incident involves K. Now, she feigns ignorance but in the hallway of the hospital, Kyung-Yi calls her out and asks: “why are you pretending not to know me?” As the pair stare one another down, the episode comes to a close.
The Episode Review,
So Inspector Koo bows out its second episode with some pure Killing Eve vibes. If the first episode teased it with its two main characters and clever twist at the end, the second doubles down on these influences – and it’s all the stronger for it.
Kim Hye-Jun brings the character of K to life beautifully, although you can tell the parallels between her and Villanelle already. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, although it was always going to be difficult to fill those massive boots.
The main incident involving the insurance fraud and the string of bodies is an intriguing one and I think it’s fair to say K is the one who’s probably behind all this, unless there’s another twist to come that we haven’t seen.
Either way, Inspector Koo has definite western influences in its story, especially with some of the montage segments, but there’s enough intrigue with this to keep things very watchable.
Expect a full season write-up when this season concludes!