Hello Dramatics! Here we go again with another review of the exciting K – Drama Signal. This drama is based off of the K – Drama Gap Dong and the movie Memories Of Murder. All three are based off of real life events that happened in South Korea between 1986-1991. There was a serial killer who killed 10 women between the ages of 13-71. The stars of Signal are: Lee Je Hoon as Park Hae Young, Kim Hye Soo as Cha Soo Hyun, and Jo Jin Woong as Lee Jae Han. I will be reviewing this drama for DramaFever Drama Club. I will leave the links to our reviews weekly so you can see what we think about each episode. Lets get started with Episode 1.
We start of with a young girl in elementary school in PE class. The other children are playing and she is sitting by herself. She then sees a young boy who is our Detective Park. She goes over to him and asks to play but he just brushes her off. After school, its raining outside and all of the kids are dismissed from school. The only two students that are left are Detective Park and the young girl. Detective Park leaves and he sees a woman with red high heels. When he turns around, he sees the woman walking away with the young girl. At this point we assume that it’s the little girls mother. But we shortly find out that is not the case.
While at home, Detective Park is watching the news and hears the report that a young girl is missing at his school. He realizes that it’s the same girl he saw earlier who left with the woman. The news reports say that she was kidnapped by a man and Detective Park knows this information is not true. The man that is accused of kidnapping the girl is Seo Hyung Joon, a college student in his 20’s.
Young Detective Park goes to the police station to tell the officers that it was a woman, not a man who kidnapped the girl. As he was was pleading his case, no one would listen to him. The little girls body was found, but her case was never solved. The statue of limitation on the case is approaching and the police have until a certain date to catch the culprit.
We then see Detective Park as an adult. He is a police officer. He is very smart and quick witted in nature. He is determined to solve any crime he gets. We also meet his co worker Detective Cha. She has a very strong and bossy personality, but she is very hard working and all about business.
As Detective Park leaves, he is walking down the hall of the station, he suddenly starts to remember something from his past. We flashback to when he was a little boy trying to tell the other officers that the young girl was kidnapped by a woman, not a man. He has a note in his hand that he wants to give to an adult there, but he bumps into Detective Lee and loses the note. Detective Lee takes the note and puts it in his pocket.
Continuing with our flashback, we see Detective Lee going to a briefing about the murder of the young girl. We learn more detail about the abduction, the time, and a ransom note asking for 50 million won. Detective Lee goes to a cafe to try to find the culprit, but is unsuccessful. He did find his thumb print on a table. He had no phone records to trace in the investigation, however they did find his credit card records. They suspect he has a girlfriend because he made purchases on things a woman would use. We then see a young Detective Cha enter the office. It appears that Deceptive Cha and Detective Lee may have had a relationship at some point. He seems very concerned about her and asks if she has eaten. It’s obvious they work together, but there is something definitely going on here. We will have to find out in later episodes.
Young Detective Park returns to the police station and realizes that the note is missing from his pocket. We then see Detective Lee exiting the police station and he reads the note that young Detective Park dropped. As he opens it, the note says “The culprit is not a man, but a woman.”
We then see Detective Park exit the police station in the present day. He is going out to his car but notices that a truck is blocking his way. He tries to call someone to move it, but he is unsuccessful. We then see Detective Lee and he goes to the Sunil Psychiatric Hospital. He is going there because he had a suspicious feeling he would find something related to the case there.
When he gets to the hospital, we see that it is closed down, abandoned, full of cobwebs and dust. It almost looks like a haunted house. Detective Lee makes his way to the back of the hospital and outside when he discovers a manhole. When he shines his flashlight down to take a closer look, he sees the skeletal remains of a body. Just then, he gets on his walkie-talkie and begins to talk into it. Detective Park hears the walkie talkie in the truck and finds it and begins talking to Detective Lee.
When he communicates with Detective Park, Detective Lee gives him precise details about what he sees in the man hole. A noose is around the neck of the victim and his thumb is cut off. Detective Park is listening but confused at the same time because Detective Lee seems to know who he is.
Suddenly as Detective Lee is talking, he is struck on the back of the head with an object that knocks him out cold. We do not know who hit him, or why they hit him. We can only assume that whoever did it did not want him to find the remains.
On his way home, Detective Park thinks he is losing his mind. One of his co workers checked out the walkie talkie and we discover that it is very old and has no batteries so how could it transmit a signal? This made Detective park even more curious. So he goes to the hospital and he sees the manhole and when he shines his flashlight down he sees the remains.
The next day, other investigators ar at the hospital and he asks Detective Cha did she find anything out about the remains. Eventually she did find out that the remains are of a male about 20 years old with his thumb cut off. In the meantime, Detective Park is trying to find out any information about Detective Lee, but he is unsuccessful.
After finding out this information Detective Cha immediately confronts Dective Park. She accuses him of knowing the young man who was killed. Just then, the Chief of Police (played by Jang Hyun Sung) comes in and breaks up the fight between the two.
The Chief demands that Detective Cha hand over the files about the victim. She does and he takes it back to his boss, Superintendent Kim Bum Joo. It’s obvious that the Chief and the Superintendent are our villains by their strong personalities and corruptness in the police force. As the two talk, the Chief tells his boss that it was true what Detective Lee said before about the missing thumb. When he revealed it was cut off by a scalpel, the Superintendent got hostile and accused him of talking back.
As she leaves the station, Detective Park tells her that he saw the person who took the young girl. He reveals that the person was a woman not a man, and he tried to tell the police, but they would not listen to him. He offered to help her with the case since as well. When she exits the station she is bombarded by the media asking her questions about the case and he reply is no comment. Suddenly Detective Park confronts the media and tells them everything. This makes Detective Cha angry, but Detective Park tells her its the only way to get the truth out there. As Superintendent Kim and the Chief look at the news footage, they are outraged because the real truth is out. We also see a nurse who used to work at the hospital were the remains were found. She is very suspicious and it appears she knows something about the case.
Back at the office, the Chief of police enters is very angry that Detective Park spilled the beans about the case. Detective Cha stood up for him and told the Chief she told him to say that the murder was a suicide. Detective Park begins to tell all that he knows about the woman who took the girl. She takes care of her self very well, wears very nice close and was wearing red high heels the day she took the young girl. He also says that she must have been caught in the act and that’s why she killed the young man. He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. So Detective Cha, Detective Park, and others decide to go out and find the woman who is suspected of murder.
As they receive tips about a suspect, they find a woman who they bring in for questioning. She is a nurse who worked at the hospital where the remains were found. However, she denies everything. It suddenly dawns on Detective Park that they have the wrong woman based on the shoes she was wearing.
The real murderer outsmarted the police. When they were searching her locker at work, she switched the name plates. So when Detective Park and Detective Cha got the pictures, it was of the wrong woman. Detective Park sees the woman and tries to find her, but she got away. We then see Detective Cha confront her and that is where our episode ends.
Wow a lot has happened the first episode! I am looking forward to watching this drama and learning more about the characters. So far I am really loving the writing and the strong cast! I adore Lee Je Hoon and Kim Hye Soo. Choi Jin Woong is always amazing! This first episode had me on the edge of my seat! I have so many questions that need answers. I can’t wait to see more of this amazing drama. Let me know what you think. Leave a comment down below. I am reviewing this drama for DramaFever so I will post those here too. Also check out my reviews on my YouTube Channel Until next time Dramatics, remember to Keep Calm And Drama On!