Seok-joo At Large
The Killing Vote Episode 9 opens with Do-hee’s Killing Vote show. The journalist informs her audience that they are going to open a message board to the public for incidents of injustice. The most liked issue will be presented on the show.
Back at the police station, Jung Jin-wook is being escorted out when he hears a song playing from the water company’s truck nearby. He suddenly fights off his guards and grabs another man, holding him at gunpoint. Doing so, he gets into the elevator.
Hyun confronts Seok-joo about the missing first letter from Number One Fan. Mu-chan calls her at that moment and tells her that Seok-joo is Gaetal. She’s still recovering from the shock when the water truck bursts through the prison wall and Seok-joo escapes. On the terrace, Jin-wook gets shot by a frustrated senior officer and falls to the ground.
Hyun gets into a police car and she and Mu-chan chase the water truck. Jo-dan guides them to a tunnel but by the time Hyun and Mu-chan reach, they see Seok-joo getting away on a bike.
A flashback shows that the first letter from Number One Fan was him admitting his murder of Na-rae. He carried out ‘justice’ since she was a tattletale. Seok-joo is distraught about receiving it. Later, he notices Ji-hoon, the boy he was going to adopt, in the prison church. He’s an altar boy.
Without anyone noticing, Seok-joo holds hands with him. While being examined by Ji-hoon’s grandmother who is a doctor in the prison, she gives him a cell phone. Seok-joo sends Ji-hoon a text about how they need to tell the world about this sin.
At present, the police investigation team finds themselves in hot water for losing Seok-joo. The senior officer wants to search for him in secret while Mu-chan says it’s faster if they make it public knowledge.
Mu-chan and Jin-soo discuss how Jin-wook could have known to create a distraction just at the time when Seok-joo was escaping. Mu-chan trusts everyone in his team. After Mu-chan leaves, Jin-soo speaks to someone on the phone and tells them that the professor’s picnic is over.
Ji-hoon and his grandmother, Hye-jin, come to Gaetal’s main server room and see it’s trashed by the man who betrayed them — Gaetal No. 5, Ko Dong-gyu. Gaetal No. 1 also arrives and we realise that Dong-gyu left them to join hands with Min-soo instead. That’s how he got his hands on their program. They begin to take a backup of their data. Ji-hoon gets a text from Min who says she’s waiting at a playground and won’t leave till he meets her.
Mu-chan searches Seok-joo’s house and Hyun turns up, having had the same idea. She sees Na-rae’s drawing featuring a young boy and Mu-chan tells her about the near adoption of the young boy.
Ji-hoon finally turns up to meet Min at the playground. He tells Min he had a younger sister who behaved just like her. When she asks about his empty house, Ji-hoon claims that he’s going to move soon. While they are walking down a road, Ji-hoon suddenly sees a shadow of a person behind him. He tells Min that his father is here and rushes off. It is indeed Seok-joo who embraces Ji-hoon.
At home, Min tries to tell Hyun that Ji-hoon is acting suspicious but she doesn’t think much of it. Seok-joo visits the server room with Ji-hoon and Hye-jin. Hey-jin wonders if Number 3 will betray them the way that Number 5 did. Seok-joo says that Number 3’s position is valuable and he won’t betray them.
Elsewhere, Min-soo marvels over the Gaetal program that he got courtesy of Dong-gyu. The latter reminds Min-soo that he promised to get him his revenge. He also reveals that it was Gaetal Number 1 who made the program.
In the morning, Min types the story of the drunk driver killing her parents on Do-hee’s program’s message board. When she reaches school, she and her friend see Jin-soo speaking to Min-soo. Jin-soo says it’s part of his duty to protect the schoolkids from Min-soo.
At school, Ji-hoon sneaks into Min-soo’s laptop and downloads something. Min-soo talks to Ji-hoon about the counselling Hyun ordered for him and asks if he’s close to Hyun. Ji-hoon answers vaguely and leaves.
Do-hee gets a call from Ji-young, who reveals that she’s manipulating the message board and orders Do-hee to cover the story that Ji-young wants to be aired. She then gets a call from Mu-chan.
Hyun and Sang-jae investigate Seok-joo’s prison cell. From the various amenities inside the cell, Hyun figures that Seok-joo must have had clients at the prison who ensured that his life was comfortable. When they ask about his doctor, Hyun realises it’s Yang Hye-jin, Ji-hoon’s grandmother.
Meanwhile, Mu-chan looks into the boy Seok-joo was going to adopt. The woman at the orphanage tells him that his name was Tae-yang and he witnessed his parents’ death and was unable to speak. After everything with Seok-joo, he was adopted by a good family. The woman says she doesn’t want to remind him of those incidents. As he leaves, Hyun calls him and tells him about the Yang Hye-jin and Ji-hoon connection.
Do-hee breaks the news about Seok-joo’s escape from police custody which lands the investigation team in even more trouble than before. We then see Jo-dan get a text from Gaetal Number One.
Mu-chan visits Yang Hye-jin. Hye-jin tries closing the door on him but Mu-chan lies and claims he’s here to check on Ji-hoon, whose life he saved at the hospital. Once he’s inside, he notices slight movement up the staircase but can’t see anybody. Seok-joo is indeed hiding there and listens to Mu-chan questioning Hye-jin about himself.
Hye-jin says that Seok-joo was interested in Ji-hoon since he was about the same age as Na-rae. Before leaving, Seok-joo suddenly runs upstairs but can’t see anybody. On his way out, he notices more than one umbrella in the umbrella stand.
Seok-joo comes downstairs and we realise that he had prepared Hye-jin for this very situation. While looking at a family relation certificate of Hye-jin and Ji-hoon, Mu-chan asks Jin-soo to get more information.
As news reports about his escape are plastered over the city, Seok-joo blends with the crowd in a Gaetal mask, which has now become popular. A man approaches him and Seok-joo slips a piece of paper into his hand. The man turns out to be a police officer as we see him making fun of Sang-jae and Yoon-ji in the following scene. Jin-soo arrives and puts a stop to it.
Jo-dan and Hyun are sitting on a bench at the school campus, dressed as students. Turns out, Jo-dan joined an online Gaetal community for students in order to lure out Gaetal Number One. Instead of the perpetrator, it is Min’s friend who turns up. She says the real Gaetal told her to come and give Hyun a piece of paper. It says, “See you when the weather is nice”. Ji-hoon tries to record the whole thing from afar.
He goes home and meets Seok-joo, who is positive that Hyun will understand his message. They discuss that they must get the program out of Min-soo’s hands.
Jo-dan and Hyun puzzle over what the message could mean. Hyun asks for Jung Jin-wook’s phone and looks through the apps. She finds two weather apps and figures it out. Mu-chan arrives just as she exclaims that she got it.
Do-hee begins her Killing Vote segment but finds her show gate-crashed by Hyun, Mu-chan and their team. Hyun tells the audience to check their phones where they will find two weather apps. She says by taking part in Gaetal’s voting, he hacked into their phones and installed the app to collect information. She and Mu-chan advise all the people to delete the app.
In Ji-young’s office, Min-soo flies into a rage. Ji-young calms him down and assures him that this isn’t over.
After the show, Hyun pulls Do-hee aside and accuses her of leaking sensitive information. Do-hee retorts that Hyun should check who gave her the information in the first place. Hyun realises that it was Mu-chan and confronts him. He says it was the only way to start looking for Seok-joo. Hyun is disappointed and says she will leave his team.
While working from Seok-joo’s house, Jo-dan and Hyun wonder why Gaetal told them about the weather app. Hyun thinks there must be a rift within Gaetal’s team members. The Killing Vote then begins and Gaetal admits that the public has lost faith in him. To show that he is on their side, Gaetal picks the popular incident on the message board for that day’s vote. The incident is about a real estate con artist who stole from a family and the family ended up committing suicide.
The man himself has been tied to a chair and we see that Dong-gyu is one of the Gaetals surrounding him. This is the man who sent Dong-gyu to prison and that’s why he wants revenge. The final vote goes above 50% and the man is killed.
Mu-chan and his team find his body the next day. Jin-soo remarks that murder has become a game to most people which is why they didn’t delete the app off their phone.
Hyun and Jo-dan sneak into Min-soo’s house on the excuse of fixing the internet while most people are outside. Hyun sneaks upstairs, and when the housekeeper is back Jo-dan tells her that Hyun left the house. She ends up finding Min-soo’s secret room and even unlocks his computer.
Suddenly she realises the door to his room has closed and she can’t leave. Meanwhile, Min-soo is on his way home. While looking through his files, she finds a video of Na-rae crying for her father. The episode comes to a close as the door to the secret room opens.
The Episode Review
One of the biggest developments in The Killing Vote Episode 9 is that Seok-joo is finally out in the open, free. It’s interesting to see him out and about and not constrained by the police. His dynamic with Ji-hoon and Hye-jin is clear and they seem to make a small family of their own.
At the same time, the reveal of Seok-joo being the mastermind behind Gaetal undermines a lot of Hyun and Mu-chan’s previous efforts. While the reasoning makes sense, it can’t help but feel like we’ve been running in circles. That said, the following episodes will determine whether this was a good direction for the story or not.
The argument of morality has taken a back seat in the more recent episodes. We get a glimpse of it when Mu-chan and Hyun argue about him leaking the news about Seok-joo to the reporter. But there isn’t any new substance in that conversation. The pace of the episodes is a bit slow and would admittedly be stronger with a shorter run time. But nevertheless, the story is able to capture one’s attention with the various twists and turns.
Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!