Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Thank you for joining me on this group watch of Signal! After all this time, I’m finally going to complete this show – because I’ll have your company. Thanks, y’all. 🥰
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT, before we begin:
1. We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.
We don’t want to spoil anyone’s watch experience with spoilers. The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).
This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.
We need to protect the innocent! 😉
2. HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
Ohhh. What a fantastic first episode this was. I honestly don’t recall being this thrilled by this first episode, when I’d first attempted to watch this show, maybe.. 5 years ago or so?
At the time, I think I just wasn’t quite ready for this show. I’d understood in my head that Show was very solid, but I didn’t instinctively love it, and then, I’d gotten stressed at the episode 4 point, because of all the intra-show tension, and ended up backing away indefinitely, with vague good intentions of coming back to it.. someday.
Well, someday is finally here, and I gotta say, love really is all about timing, it looks like. I am loving this in a way that I didn’t think was possible. I certainly have been evolving as a drama fan, eh? 😁
For a start, I am pleasantly startled by how funny Show is, when it moves to the 2015 timeline.
First, there’s the whole paparazzi schtick, where Hae Young uses his criminal profiler skills to predict celebrity scandals – and the celebrity scandal is an unabashed poke at the cast of Misaeng, with Kang So Ra supposedly in some kind of love triangle with co-stars Im Si Wan and Byun Yo Han.
And there’s even that whole nudge-nudge, wink-wink thing where Jang Hyuk Jin’s entertainment reporter character goes, “I know this drama. The manager was cool,” – because Jang Hyuk Jin had played a manager in Misaeng. Pfft. THE META. 😂
On top of that, there’s how Hae Young goes on about finding definitive proof that Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung are dating – when this is 2015, and Lee Bo Young and Ji Sung had gotten married, in 2013. Pwahaha. Is Show trying to tell us that Hae Young’s not really very good at this profiling thing, after all? 🤣
I hafta admit, I think all this humor flew over my head when I first watched the show, and it’s only now, that it’s hitting home for me.
Also, for the record, I don’t think Show’s trying to discredit Hae Young’s abilities as a profiler. I think Show just wants to have a bit of meta fun, is all.
That said, I do think there is a level of suspension of disbelief required, in this show. I mean, I get that Hae Young’s supposed to be a very good criminal profiler, but the fact that he can predict so many details about the perpetrator, and have such an eery degree of accuracy in his predictions, does lean somewhat magical to my eyes, so far.
However, I do love me a protagonist with superhero-esque capabilities, so I’m happy to just roll with it, and think of Hae Young as having some kind of X-Man-like ability to read minds. 😁 Plus, it’s just pretty thrilling to see his predictions be proven correct, from the big broad strokes, to the minor details.
I am also loving Kim Hye Soo in this. In our 2015 present timeline, she’s all hard-nosed, seasoned, no-nonsense cop, but in the 2000 past timeline, she’s distinctly tentative and shy, particularly around Lee Jae Han, who looks to be her romantic interest.
Off-topic, but I just need to pause for a second and say, Jo Jin Woong!!! Han Seom-ah!!! 🤩🤩 It’s only been a year or so since our Chuno group watch, so his turn as the portly Han Seom is still very fresh in my mind. It’s really a bit of a mindbender, to see ol’ Han Seom all slimmed down, and living the detective life. 😁
We don’t know much about Lee Jae Han yet, but just from this first episode, he strikes me as a very decent sort of guy. He wants to honor what appears to be Soo Hyun’s love confession, by giving her the proper attention she deserves, and he also wants to do a good job of solving the case at hand.
And, when everyone else had been running off in pursuit of more obvious case developments, it had been Lee Jae Han, who had said that it would be beneficial to further look into the suspect’s hidden girlfriend.
Of course, there’s also how he goes off to Sunil Psychiatric Hospital on his own, in pursuit of a lead, which is where he finds Seo Hyung Joon’s body – and then gets clunked on the head. Eep. I’m already worried for him, and I realize that it’s partly because I’ve already come to care about him, as a character.
Who is this Lieutenant Park that Lee Jae Han is trying to reach on the walkie-talkie, and why had Lieutenant Park told Lee Jae Han about the hospital – and then told him not to go there..? That’s definitely something that I’m very curious to know more about.
As for the Kim Yoo Jung case, it really is quite poignant, to think that Hae Young has carried this burden of being an eye witness, all these years, as the statute of limitations looms closer and closer. I do wonder if his decision to become a profiler had anything to do with this?
At first glance, it doesn’t appear to be the case, because from what we can tell, he doesn’t use his skills proactively towards the case, until the magical walkie-talkie lands in his hands.
However, since he himself talks about the subconscious mind in his first few minutes on our screen, I do wonder if his decision to pursue profiling, had been influenced by his desire to close the Kim Yoo Jung case, albeit subconsciously.
The entire way the Kim Yoo Jung investigation unfolds this episode, had me on the edge of my seat.
It’s literally a race against time, and as the clock runs out, and Hae Young and Soo Hyun and the rest of the team race to beat the clock, while following Hae Young’s gut instinct predictions, I couldn’t help but hope against hope, that Hae Young’s every prediction would be proven right.
The way Hae Soo jumps in front of those reporters and reveals that the perpetrator is a woman, and describes her in detail, is so audacious, seriously. But, as he points out to Soo Hyun, this really is their only chance at apprehending the culprit, in the little time that they have left.
It feels like such a personal risk, with Soo Hyun even promising to take responsibility, if they’re not able to apprehend the culprit before the statute of limitations comes into effect. I mean, that’s a very bold promise, given that they only have 27 hours left, at that point.
I got a thrill every time they took a step according to Hae Young’s best estimate, and found things maybe-possibly about to work out.
Yet at the same time, there’s this extra layer of anxiety that’s built in, because Superintendent Kim seems adamant on covering up the case.
This makes me wonder whether it’s just a matter of him not wanting to admit police incompetence, or whether it has to do with Lee Jae Han’s disappearance, or if it’s because he’s involved in deeper corruption, and the case cover-up has something to do with some kind of dirty deal that he’s struck. Hmm.
Of course, at the same time, it begs the question of what exactly had happened to Lee Jae Han? That’s definitely something I’m eager to know, as I look forward to the next episode.
Plus, of course, I need to know how Hae Young and Soo Hyun work together to solve the Kim Yoon Jung case, now that they’ve cornered their prime suspect, with just 20 minutes to go, before the statute of limitations comes into effect. Ahhh!
Gosh, that was a good twist, at the top of the episode.
I was holding my breath, hoping against hope that Soo Hyun &/or Hae Young would be able to get that confession out of Yoon Soo Ah before time ran out – and they fail. Gah.
Just as Yoon Soo Ah smugly sashays away in her fancy dress and red lipstick, forensics uncovers the details on the parking ticket in Seo Hyung Joon’s clothes, and that gives Soo Hyun the extra time that she needs, in order to arrest Yoon Soo Ah for the murder of Seo Hyung Joon.
Because, that parking ticket effectively means that the statute of limitations kicks in 24 hours later than they’d thought, since Seo Hyung Joon had died after midnight.
Guh. That was a pretty great twist, and I was on tenterhooks the whole time.
At the same time, I have to admit that I felt pretty callous, when Kim Yoon Jung’s mother asks blankly, why Yoon Soo Ah is getting away with her daughter’s murder, because in my mind, the more important thing is that our guys have managed to pin Yoon Soo Ah for murder, and she’s going to be put away for it.
In my mind, I’d conveniently conflated the price of Seo Hyung Joon’s murder, with the price of Kim Yoon Jung’s murder, and.. that’s not quite how it works, particularly in the hearts and minds of the family of the victim.
To Kim Yoon Jung’s mother, it’s cold comfort that Yoon Soo Ah is put away for murder. What she wants, is a clear conviction, that Yoon Soo Ah had killed her daughter, and is specifically being put away for that crime. What she doesn’t want, is the consolation prize, that, Oh, Yoon Soo Ah’s being put away for someone else’s murder, so that ought to cover your daughter’s murder too, right?
I feel suitably chastised for not considering the feelings of Kim Yoon Jung’s mother, and I feel like I’ve learned something, from this lesson.
I’m glad to see Hae Young go to the steps at his elementary school, where he’d last seen Kim Yoon Jung, to pay his last respects to her. This feels like him getting some measure of closure, after carrying the burden of guilt all these years, and I’m glad for him.
While Yoon Soo Ah’s conviction for Kim Yoon Jung’s murder is still in question, I feel like Hae Young can at least take some comfort in the knowledge that he’s finally done something, towards the culprit’s capture.
What a poignant nugget of information that we get, that Hae Young’s own hyung, had been jailed for a crime that he apparently hadn’t committed. And, it looks like he’d died, while still labeled a criminal.
I wonder what crime Hyung had been jailed for, and how that had happened.. I am hoping that Hae Young will get the chance to clear Hyung’s name, sometime in the course of our story.
It’s coming together in my mind, that we’ve got a bit of a time loop situation going on here, in the sense that when Hae Young last speaks to Year 2000 Lee Jae Han, Lee Jae Han had said that this would be his last transmission, and then we hear a gunshot, indicating that Lee Jae Han probably dies, of that gunshot.
At the same time, during this “last transmission,” Lee Jae Han also makes mention of the Gyeonggi Nambu Serial Murders, and tells Hae Young that he will need to convince the 1989 Lee Jae Han, when the time comes.
That’s so mind-trippy, honestly.
This means that when Hae Young first hears that transmission from Lee Jae Han from Year 2000, it actually isn’t the first time that Lee Jae Han speaks with him.
And so, the Lieutenant Park whom Lee Jae Han refers to, that I’d assumed was someone else, is actually Hae Young. Lee Jae Han, in 2000, had memories of communicating with Hae Young, back in 1989.
And, Lee Jae Han had understood the time difference, and knew that even though this was the end for him, this was just the beginning, for Hae Young, and that Hae Young would get to speak with him again, albeit the 1989 version of him.
Dang. This messes with my brain in the way J-movies about this kind of time loops folding on themselves have messed with my brain in the past. It’s trippy, and heartbreaking, but it’s also laced with hope, and I’m left feeling a little winded, honestly.
I’m still very curious to know what happened to Lee Jae Han in 2000, and I can’t help hoping that somehow, with these upcoming communications that Hae Young’s going to have with 1989 Lee Jae Han, that they’ll find some kind of way, to save Lee Jae Han in 2000. A girl can hope, yes?
If Yoon Soo Ah is telling the truth, that she hadn’t seen Lee Jae Han in 2000, then who had intercepted Lee Jae Han, when he’d discovered Seo Hyung Joon’s body?
I’m glad that Show doesn’t waste time and immediately dives into connecting Hae Young with 1989 Lee Jae Han, as the investigation for the Gyeonggi Nambu Serial Murders is under way, but I also hope that we’ll come back to save Year 2000 Lee Jae Han, at some point.
Because, the more I see of Lee Jae Han, the more endearing I find him. I mean, that little scene of 1989 him being too shy to approach the girl he likes, is so cute. He trails her home like some kind of stalker, to make sure that she’s safe, but runs away like the wind, the moment her mom looks in his direction.
Tee hee. He’s such a shy bear. I like him even more now (which is why I so hope he survives this! 😭).
How very trippy, that with the information that Lee Jae Han’s heard from Hae Young, he discovers the would-be 8th victim, in time to save her – thus changing history as it appears, in 2015.
Even trippier, is the fact that Hae Young is actually able to witness the moment when that history changes, and even seems to remember what the history had been, before it had changed. Woah. What does this mean, for our cold case team, going forward?
Will they solve the cold cases, by.. preventing the murders from happening? I guess that’s one way of doing it..? 😅
WHERE TO WATCH:
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