The Killing Vote – K-Drama Episode 3 Recap & Review

White Lies

Episode 3 of The Killing Vote begins, quite literally, with an explosion. The car holding Eun-gyeong and Mu-chan bursts into flames, to everyone’s shock. Lee Min-soo, the school teacher, watches from a distance. He then spots two boys recording a video of the whole thing. Joo Min, worried about her sister, runs around looking for her. While doing so, she sees Min-soo handing the students some money in exchange for the video. She takes a video of the exchange.

Eun-gyeong’s husband and kids are brought back home where an officer tells them her body will be released to them after the autopsy. The people surrounding the area make it clear they agree with Gaetal and end up beating up the two detectives on site, Kang Yoon-ji and Ban Sang-jae.

News anchor Chae Do-hee reports on Mu-chan’s severe injuries and asks the public to reconsider their opinion of Gaetal. Joo Hyun comes home to see Min asleep on the sofa, with the news on. She wakes up, clearly relieved to see that Hyun is okay. Do-hee then puts forth the question about whether Gaetal is in the right now that he’s knowingly injured an innocent police officer. Hyun, too, tells Min that he’s not a good person.

Hyun keeps trying to call Mu-chan but he doesn’t pick up. At the National Police Hospital, the director of the police is bombarded by questions from the press. He denounces Gaetal and says Mu-chan is hovering in between life and death.

Back at the school grounds, Jo-dan isn’t allowed to get closer to the scene of the crime due to officers from headquarters. Jin-soo dismisses the issue, clearly hiding some information. He then spots Min-soo taking pictures of the scene and asks him to stop. He seems to recognise Min-soo and calls him Yu-seong, but Min-soo doesn’t respond and walks away.

Jo-dan comes back to the office where a beaten-up Yoon-ji and Sang-jae are seated. He thinks it highly suspicious that other officers stopped their team from going to the crime scene.

Meanwhile, Hyun pretends to have an appointment at the hospital and gets inside. In the hospital room, we see a bandaged but otherwise healthy Mu-chan sitting in bed. The police chief and Do-hee are also in the room. Turns out, this fake-out was Do-hee’s idea. Mu-chan insists they needed to lie so that the public would change their mind about Gaetal being a hero. We then see a flashback showing Hyun pull Mu-chan away from the car just before it blows up.

At present, Hyun wears a doctor’s coat to make her way around the hospital. She overhears Do-hee and the chief of police discussing the situation as they leave.

Mu-chan gets a call from Jin-soo who reveals that Eun-gyeong was actually killed by the presence of poison in her body and not the explosion. Just as Mu-chan tells Jin-soo to warn Hyun not to say anything, the woman herself enters his hospital room. She can’t believe his antics but he claims the lie was necessary to help them catch Gaetal.

At home, Min-soo sends a message to Executor saying that he has a video. His mother, Ji-young, enters and they discuss The Killing Vote. Ji-young seems to agree with Gaetal and wants him on her side. When she leaves his room, she asks the security guard if she’s keeping an eye on Min-soo. The guard says she has been.

The next day in school, Min sits in on Min-soo’s computer class even though she hasn’t enrolled. When her computer stops working, Ji-hoon fixes it for her and another student asks if they’re dating. When class ends, Ji-hoon sees Min-soo laughing at something on his laptop. But Min interrupts his train of thought and tells him to hang out with him. Much to his embarrassment, another student is recording the whole thing and laughing about it.

After a visit to the doctor, Seok-joo learns about Mu-chan’s critical state from the prison guard named Chul-min.

At home, Min shows Ji-hoon the test video of Gaetal on her laptop. Turns out, she transferred it when her sister fell asleep while fixing the zombie PC. As a burgeoning reporter, she wants his help to find Gaetal. Together, they realise that there are sirens from a fire engine in the background noise. While they discuss Gaetal, Hyun comes home and catches them at it. As expected, she goes ballistic. But the next thing we know, she’s seated in between them.

After hearing about their theory, she manages to narrow down the location of the room to three areas. Ji-hoon and Min convince her to let them tag along as she heads to one of the locations — Kwon Seok-joo’s house. She decides to go in (over a wall) and orders the students to stay out.

 Mu-chan gets a text from Hyun who’s told him where she’s going. Naturally, he has to go after her and makes Jin-soo dress up as a hospital patient instead. He creates a fake emergency and leaves the hospital amidst the chaos.

In the abandoned house, Hyun sees drawings made by Seok-joo’s daughter. Upstairs, she finds a room spray painted with the words “The 13th one was wrong”. She also finds case files pasted to the wall. It’s clear that this is where the test video was shot. At that moment, someone comes inside and knocks Hyun out.

Just as Min and Ji-hoon are about to do something to find Hyun, Mu-chan arrives (to their surprise) and goes in to get her. Inside, he hears a noise and grabs a knife before going upstairs. He finds Hyun on the floor but she wakes up immediately. Somebody’s footsteps alert him and Mu-chan begins to run after him.

A chase occurs and the man runs out of the house, straight into Min. She catches on to his leg but Ji-hoon convinces her to let go. To protect herself, of course. Mu-chan runs after the man but it’s too late. He and Hyun drop the kids off. We then see Gaetal scrolling online and seeing all the messages of support for the police. He angrily raps a bottle on the desk in front of him.

The next morning, the police investigate Seok-joo’s house. Jo-dan uses an electronic sensor and finds a router hidden in the ceiling. Min-soo watches them work from afar.

On their way to the prison, Hyun challenges Mu-chan saying that he always knew the test video was shot in Seok-joo’s house. She figured since he was in charge of Seok-joo’s case from the kidnapping itself and would have known what the house looked like. Mu-chan doesn’t respond.

At the prison, we hear Mu-chan’s theories about Gaetal being someone close to Seok-joo. Mu-chan warns Hyun not to let Seok-joo get a read on her. Seok-joo arrives and Hyun shows him pictures the police took at his house. Mu-chan questions him but he doesn’t respond clearly. When Hyun asks him about the quote on the wall, Seok-joo reveals that it was about the way he killed his daughter’s murderer.

He stabbed the murderer the same number of times his daughter was stabbed and in the same manner. But the 13th one was wrong since the knife slipped in his hand. Hyun then asks Seok-joo if there is someone who respected him and was close to his daughter. Seok-joo claims Mu-chan is the only one who fits that description.

At her office, Chae Do-hee gets a video text on her phone. She rushes out, telling her colleagues to grab their cameras. Elsewhere, at Bae Gi-chul’s funeral, his wife sits and looks through the videos on her phone. She makes a decision and decides to text Mu-chan but just as she does, a masked man enters and kills her.

Gaetal starts a live video and exposes the truth about Mu-chan, revealing that he isn’t actually injured. The press turns up outside the prison just as Mu-chan and Hyun are exiting. Mu-chan heads out into the horde of reporters and sends a message to Gaetal — he’s not a hero and Mu-chan will catch him, no matter what.

The Episode Review

This episode was definitely a bit slow. As a viewer, it is obvious that Mu-chan isn’t dead or even dying, not this early in the K-drama. So the initial suspense about his condition only served to drag the episode out. All in all, the fake-out was an interesting tactic. Gaetal, a criminal, seems to expose the truth while the police are resorting to lies. But who is really in the right? Who gets to make that decision?

I hope the show keeps exploring these questions and doesn’t get sidetracked by the plot. That said, a couple of moments felt off. The fake emergency in the hospital was unnecessary and not as humorous as the creators seemed to think it could be. Hyun letting Min and Ji-hoon tag along is also a truly ridiculous decision. No sensible cop would do that.

As a show with a serious tone, it’s important for them to keep things realistic and consistent. With silly and unrealistic scenes, the overall thrill of The Killing Vote could take a blow. As of now, Ji-hoon and Min-soo are both exceedingly intriguing parts of the show. We have no idea what each of them is up to and which side they are on. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they tie into the bigger picture.

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Read our season 1 review of The Killing Vote here!

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