Stay Out Of The Basement
The Game: Towards Zero has really felt like its lost what made the opening episodes so special. With a cat and mouse game ensuing and some illogical decisions bleeding into the main narrative, this Korean drama is haunted by one of the more frustrating elements of procedurals of its kind; a growing sense that The Game: Towards Zero won’t be able to mirror what made the opening episodes so special.
The episodes begin with Tae-Pyeong coming face to face with Hyung-Soo in the cage, who tells him to move to the blind spot in the corner of the room as Do-Kyung has cameras pointing at the cage. As we cut over to our antagonist we see him driving home, glancing at the footage on his tablet that’s hooked up in his car. Sensing Do-Kyung returning, Tae-Pyeong hurries off and decides not to report Hyung-Soo to the authorities.
Hiding in the shadows, he watches as Do-Kyung returns home with Joon-Young ready to berate him. She talks in his living room and they discuss his Father. She asks him to hand himself over to the police but he refuses, telling her that he kiled Mi-Jin.
As she leaves, she runs into Tae-Pyeong and they head back to his house, where he decides to cook for her after a busy day. Around the dinner table, he tells her about Hyung-Soo being stuck in the basement and she tells him to gather up the videos and not interfere any further in the investigation.
Heading back to the station, the police review his footage of the house and see Do-Kyung slip down to the basement. Chief Nam agrees to let the officers review the place and immediately the officers head to his house and find the basement. When they get there however, they find nothing.
After being berated at the station by Chief Nam, Joon-Young heads off and visits Teacher Baek, who explains more about the visions and why Tae-Pyeong can’t see her death. A montage ensues and after this we cut to Tae-Pyeong, who finds a tracker in the middle of the lake. It turns out Do-Kyung knew all about him being in the basement and has been tracking his car ever since.
He promises to make Tae-Pyeong regret ever tracking him and as our protagonist races back to Do-Kyung’s apartment, he finds a note there instead, reminding him that he will regret his decisions. It turns out Joon Young has gone missing and this throws even more questions into the mix surrounding just what Do-Kyung has planned.
Suddenly, Tae-Pyeong spots a blinking tracker on his GPS by the shoreline and heads off alone to investigate. Once there, he comes face to face with Joon Young, who happens to be walking alone. Do-Kyung meanwhile, poses as an electrical engineer and heads into Teacher Baek’s apartment where the episode ends.
Aside from the female reporter, who arrives as and when the plot dictates it’s convenient, there’s some serious question marks surrounding the police work here that struggles to make this one believable. When Joon Young heads in to see Do-Kyung, why isn’t she wearing a wire? Especially given he admits to murder at that moment.
Even if you can look past that, the investigation in the basement is the biggest culprit here. We know there’s a camera up on the wall so why wouldn’t the police check there? Even if it’s missing, at least show us the officers looking up at where the footage is. Why would Tae-Pyeong withhold this information, especially to Joon-Young whom he admits to Hyung Soo being in the basement? It’s not a massive stretch for him to elaborate and remind her there’s a camera up on the wall that could be used to prosecute him.
There are more questions being raised here and every week The Game: Towards Zero chips away at the exciting opening few episodes and starts to sink further into mediocrity. It’s a shame too because there’s certainly potential here but The Game: Towards Zero squanders that in favour of a more generic plot line. Hopefully things pick up going forward but right now it’s hard to see where that inspiration will come from.
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