Race Against Time
Returning for its follow-up set of episodes, The Game: Towards Zero builds on the great work done last time out with a double bill of crime drama, leading to a beautiful and emotional crescendo at the end. While we don’t see much in regards to the origins of Tae-Pyeong’s powers, we do get a glimpse of what this season has in store for us as the characters race against time to save Mi-Jin from her fate.
We return to find Mi-Jin’s Mum pleading with Tae-Pyeong to help find her daughter. Together, they head to the station where Tae-Pyeong looks at the different officers and comments how most people die of old age or when they’re asleep. Mi-Jin’s Mum snaps him out of his trance though and after reporting the girl missing, Joon-Young gets the call and heads out while the reporter, Ye-Ji, writes everything down and feeds this back to headquarters.
Joon-Young heads to the cafe where Tae-Pyeong saw the girl and reviews the CCTV footage, taking a particular interest in him getting up and rushing outside when Mi-Jin left the scene. The police retrace his steps to the scene where they find tyre tracks from the truck and contemplate whether that was the vehicle used for the abduction.
In private, Joon-Young touches Tae-Pyeong’s chest and realizes he’s not wearing a bulletproof vest, prompting her to question him about whether he saw Mi-Jun’s death or not. She begs with him to tell the truth and eventually he tells her that the girl has been buried alive and they’ll find her in an abandoned factory.
Given it’s 9.15pm now, Tae-Pyeong tells her solemnly that she has 2 hours 45 minutes to try and save the girl’s life. Underground, Mi-Jin manages to get hold of the cellphone in the coffin with her and rings through to the police telling them she’s buried. Joon-Young discusses a case at the station from 20 years prior involving a man named Jil Po-Doo. As she talks, the nosey reporter sits taking notes and tries to piece together what they’re working on.
After managing to get hold of the 911 call and ringing the 17 year old back, the police scramble to try and find exactly where Mi-Jin is, while the reporters come up with their own theories in regards to a copycat killer. Joon-Young brings Mi-Jin’s mother in as a tearful Mi-Jin apologises to her on the phone. Her Mother keeps her talking while Joon-Young bemoans the amount of reporters outside. With little to go on in regards to the case, Joon-Young has an idea and rushes over to Tae-Pyeong’s again but this time, with a picture of Mi-Jin in her possession.
After some deliberation, Tae-Pyeong agrees to help and after looking at her picture, looks around the crime scene where he hears the sound of a train, which is a big clue for where Mi-Jin could be. To add to that, Kung-Jae also finds the truck and all of this work builds up to a dramatic conclusion where all parties rush toward the warehouse Mi-Jin is buried in. When they arrive, Joon-Young finds a shoe outside while Tae-Pyeong stumbles over something on the ground. The exact spot Mi-Jin is buried.
Meanwhile, Reporter Lee receives a phone call from Woo Hyun and breaks the bad news that the victim is his daughter. All the missed calls have been his wife trying to get hold of him but unfortunately he was too wrapped up in his job to realize. As the episode closes out, Mi-Jin is found but she’s not breathing. With all hope seemingly lost, Mi-Jin suddenly starts breathing again as Tae-Pyeong looks on in a state of shock, questioning just what this means for his ability and power.
The Game: Towards Zero has certainly got off to a strong opening week here and with plenty of scope for the season ahead, this crime drama has done a good job balancing its characters with some solid pacing. While some of the characters haven’t had an awful lot to do, and others feel a little one-dimensional, the preview for next week certainly leaves things open for where this one may go next. So far so good though and these two episodes are another strong foundation for this Korean drama to build on.
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