The Killing Vote – K-Drama Episode 5 Recap & Review

Gaetal Creates Chaos

Episode 5 of The Killing Vote begins with Seok-joo taking his first steps outside prison. He goes up to Joo Hyun, who’s waiting by a car. Park Chul-min is there as well to accompany Seok-joo at all times as per the rules. He takes a tracking device from Hyun and puts it on Seok-joo’s ankle. It will be connected to Hyun’s smartwatch and Seok-joo must stay within monitoring range at all times.

Meanwhile, Mu-chan oversees the preparation of a prison cell-like room for Seok-joo. They attach bars on the window and install cameras as well. Mu-chan calls Hyun and tells her to be careful of reporters or others who might recognise Seok-joo. In the car, Seok-joo notices Hyun touching the scar behind her ear.

Jo-dan rushes up to Mu-chan and shows him something on Gi-chul’s wife, Elena’s phone — a message saying she was being blackmailed. Later, the team continues its investigation and wonders if Elena’s killer was the same man who attacked Mu-chan at Seok-joo’s house. They also found photos of a Russian boy at Gi-chul’s house. Mu-chan theorises that Gaetal used the boy to blackmail Elena and make her call Gi-chul on the phone on the night of his murder.  

Mu-chan and the police chief wait in the parking lot for Seok-joo. The chief seems nervous about having a criminal help the police. The van arrives and Mu-chan tells Hyun to get back to work. Seok-joo exits the van and the tension between him and Mu-chan is palpable. He takes Seok-joo through a heavily secured part of the building and to the cell.

Through a speaker, Jo-dan tells Seok-joo about the cameras while also expressing his admiration for an ethics class the latter once gave. Mu-chan tells Seok-joo that if anybody finds out about him, the special pardon will be taken away. Seok-joo insists that he will only communicate his findings through Joo Hyun. Seok-joo then brings up a parallel between Mu-chan and Gaetal — both of them used the phrase ‘justice is rational’.

At home, Hyun is looking up information about military officers who were accused of sexual assault but were not imprisoned. She calls Jo-dan and he agrees to help her narrow down the list. She watches Seok-joo through the camera feed on her laptop.

In the morning, Min wakes up to see Hyun asleep at the table. At work, Hyun presents a list of possible offenders to the team— a pretty long list. The team meets with potential targets and gives them watch trackers that they can use to call for help.

Mu-chan calls Hyun and tells her to work with Seok-joo on identifying Gaetal. She’s confused when she hears that he only wants to speak to her. Considering that and the fact that Seok-joo hid the letters and bargained his way out, Mu-chan thinks he has an ulterior motive. He tells Hyun to play along.

Meanwhile, people around the country seem excited to hear about the next killing vote. At the hospital, a drunk man attacks Doctor Oh. Oh takes the man out on the pretext of helping him but simply hoses him down with water.

Hyun works with Seok-joo to narrow down the list of people who are connected with him. They discuss how to determine Gaetal’s personality and then Hyun tells Seok-joo about Elena’s murder.

Doctor Oh goes to his office and we see his laptop has inappropriate videos of women. He logs on to a platform called Loki and puts the videos for sale. Somebody messages him and warns him to stop but Oh refuses. When he leaves his office, we see that his laptop has been hacked. The hacker deletes everything on it.

Meanwhile, all the press reporters seem to be waiting for news on the target. Choi Do-hee is disappointed at not being able to reach Gaetal as the email he used last time seems to be invalid now.

Ji-hoon walks out of school while on the phone with someone when Min turns up in front of him. She insists on walking him to the hospital since she’s responsible for his injury. When they reach, he says he was supposed to buy his grandmother a sandwich. Min rushes off to buy it instead but Ji-hoon’s intentions seem suspicious.

While working with Hyun, Seok-joo learns that the parents of Byun Woo-taek (the man he killed) passed away. Turns out, the chairman they worked for lived next door to Seok-joo. Both parents helped Seok-joo and his daughter and they were relatively close. He then describes how Woo-taek often helped the chairman and his wife’s frail son. Hyun seems surprised to hear the chairman’s wife was Min Ji-young.

The woman herself goes into her bedroom to see Min-soo lying on the bed. They talk about Mu-chan, describing him as a cockroach that can’t be killed. When he’s leaving, he suddenly doubles over in pain. But it soon subsides and he leaves, assuring Ji-young that he’s alright.

The third Killing Vote begins. The target is a Captain Oh, from the military, whose sexual assault of a a woman — Lieutenant Lim — led to her suicide. In a turn of events, Gaetal doesn’t reveal the target’s full name. Hyun quickly narrows down her list to all men with the last name Oh. Jo-dan gets a call from someone who claims to be the target and says he received a package with photos of his crime.

We see that the speaker is sitting inside a dark room. Mu-chan and his team leave to go find him. As the voting goes on, the police commissioner and Mu-chan’s direct supervisor discuss the situation. The commissioner says he got a call from Min Ji-young and that they are going to have to meet with her. He does not seem happy about this.  

Gaetal describes how Oh assaulted Lim, took photos of her and then threatened her with them. When she and her fiancé brought the issue to light, he got his soldier friends to lie for him and got out with minimal punishment. When he got a job as a doctor at the hospital, he even changed his name.

Mu-chan tells Hyun to leave with Seok-joo and head to Oh’s location. This is against the rules but he tells her to do it anyway as Seok-joo might recognise the perpetrator. At the hospital, as Gaetal keeps speaking, Doctor Oh (full name, Oh Jung-ho) realises that he is the target. He locks himself in his office and calls the police for help. Meanwhile, Min returns to the hospital and looks for Ji-hoon.

Chul-min catches Hyun leaving along with Seok-joo. She tells him to come along. On the way, she uses her keyword analysis and notices the use of the word ‘medical’ in Gaetal’s speech. She connects this to the only doctor on her list which is Oh Jung-ho. Jin-soo calls Mu-chan and connects him with Doctor Oh. He puts both callers on speaker and tries to discern who is the right one.

At the hospital, Jung-ho finds that Ji-hoon has been hiding in his room and listening to everything.

Hyun makes a decision and she and Seok-joo reach the hospital. Jin-soo, Jo-dan and the others reach a church, which is the location of the first phone call. They find the phone on one of the benches and realise they’ve been tricked.

Mu-chan turns his car around, towards the hospital. He speaks to Hyun and tells her to protect Doctor Oh. While Hyun is looking for him, the barriers and gates of the hospital come down and lock everybody inside.  Ji-hoon tries leaving the doctor’s room but Oh hits him with a chair. Ji-hoon then shows him that the voting is over, 72% have voted that he should die.

Hyun realises that Oh is locked in his office. Meanwhile, Seok-joo scans the people around him. Gaetal reveals Oh’s full name and hospital staff are shocked. Seok-joo then recognises a delivery man nearby as one who used to deliver to his house as well. He even knew Seok-joo’s daughter, Na-rae. Seeing that he’s been spotted, the man begins to run and Hyun chases after him.

Chul-min sees a package he left behind and it suddenly blows up, spreading gas throughout the room. Chaos ensues in the hospital. In the panicking crowd, Chul-min loses sight of Seok-joo.

Mu-chan arrives and is told that the main server of the hospital was hacked. So the hospital gates can’t be lifted up. Nearby, Min-soo seems to be listening to the police radio and hears the report that Seok-joo is missing. In the hospital, Seok-joo is calmly walking. He passes by a man pushing a cart with cylinders. He’s the same man who first called Mu-chan and tried to misdirect him. He was in the hospital the whole time.

The man comes outside Oh’s office and claims to be part of the bomb squad. He tells Oh to open the door. At the same time, Hyun gets into an altercation with the delivery man and is about to get hit by him. Simultaneously, Mu-chan gets in a car and drives it to break through the hospital barriers. Also, Seok-joo’s ankle tracker falls down. And the episode comes to a close.

The Episode Review

Episode 5 of The Killing Vote is really engaging, particularly seeing Seok-joo outside of the prison setting. His mysterious air seems to stand out in every scene. That Mu-chan suspects him of an ulterior motive, deepens the mystery even more. And the final scene with Seok-joo cinches the deal. We have no idea what this man wants. And the show is using that element really well.

Hyun and her keyword analysis are pretty interesting as well. It’s great to see how much she is becoming the brains of the operation. The Doctor Oh storyline is smoothly executed. It is pretty obvious that he would be the next target. But learning about his activities in advance sets the stage for the kind of person he is.

So, when the Killing Vote comes around we aren’t just thrown a bunch of information. The episode’s pace is a tad slow but the rest makes up for it. The ending sequence, the multiple characters in multiple locations, and the ensuing chaos are all done brilliantly. Tension is high and we leave the episode on a thrilling cliffhanger.

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Read our season 1 review of The Killing Vote here!

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