Gap Dong made its return to television after a several week hiatus for episodes three and four. It’s been a while since I watched the first two episodes and had a hard time getting back into the show. I found the first week’s episodes engaging, interesting, and was excited to see where they would take the show. Originally I felt that Gap Dong would be a continuation of sorts to Memories of a Murder which explores the actual events that the Gap Dong killer is based on. The show felt thematically similar honoring the movies and had the same gritty sensibilities. After week two, a lot of that magic seems to have flown the coop.
Episode three set up some tension and put some key characters in their roles. We see that the Gap Dong killer is back, or some variation of him. At this point I’m not sure who Gap Dong is or if a copy cat is picking up his crimes or aiding him. It would seem that Lee Joon’s Tae Oh is highly likely to be taking over Gap Dong’s role, but we haven’t really seen that he’s a killer. He’s certainly creepy, but is he a killer? Is he helping the real Gap Dong? I’m not sure. There wasn’t much about the third episode I liked and hit the snooze button throughout most of the episode. Episode four was a tad bit better.
I did feel that episode four was a completely different show from the first toe episodes, but it did have some genuinely tense moments. Our lead Yoon Sang Hyun makes a tremendous amount of idiotic mistakes which drove me crazy. I need Oska to be making some better decisions because it really hurt my ability to suspend disbelief and throw myself into the story. As far as the tension in the show that was legitimate all came when Lee Joon was on screen. The dude’s facial expressions and internal monologue saved the show for me in spades. He’s owning this role and got my heart pumping repeatedly. He’s the villain I would have loved to see in God’s Gift 14 Days and never really got.
It’s possible that these episodes were heavily edited and cut down due to the Sewol Ferry Tragedy, but I’m thinking this may be the case. The show was far less gruesome and seemed to be pulling punches from one week to another. Another issue I think is behind the show is I’m not sure they know what kind of show they’re making. It seems like a crime procedural thriller, and murder mystery all rolled into one. The best shows do one of these things very well and utilize the other genres to enhance the story. I hope Gap Dong figures out quickly what kind of show it wants to be quickly. After such a long break it might be difficult for its audience to get behind the show if they don’t know what their watching,