Monday, January 16, 2012

thoughts: Special Affairs Team TEN (Korean) -- first impression follow up

To finish off my thoughts for Episode One of this series, here is a short and sweet rambling of what came to be.

There will be few SPOILERS, but to ruin the entire experience with ANY form of big giveaway would be cruel, in my opinion. So proceed with caution, but I assure that the ultimate conclusion to this first murder case will NOT be discussed in this article. This is assuming that I give anything away at all.

It's beyond my own expertise or even my own abilities as a blogger to even start forming my opinions about how ingenious this entire first episode fell together by the end. So this is a fairly crude throw-together of some thoughts I managed to come up with.

I'm under the assumption that this will be a one case per episode type of series. So, for one, I'm glad that there will be multiple criminal mysteries to follow through; and secondly, I'm at the edge of my seat in anticipation for the next episode and its accompanying crime thriller mystery. Oh... here's a plead to those who can make things happen to have English subtitles for this series appear quickly for my own excited pleasure! Because after polishing off the rest of Episode One's murder mystery, I'm just taken aback by the insanely gripping, edge-of-my-seat excitement that the rest of the series is promising.

There's little I can really mention about this particular murder case without completely giving it away (which would be cruel even for spoiler standards). But I will say that it was a truly thrilling and wonderful experience for me to be able to guess and think as the entire case unfolded itself before my eyes.

The story opens up (to add onto what I've mentioned already in the first impression article) with two murders and a missing persons case.

Case #1:
A man has taken a dive off a cliff where a sign stating "Suicide Prohibited" hangs ominously (and uselessly, I might add since, really, what's the government gonna do to someone already dead if they break that law?) as police crowd around to work the scene. Detective Baek Do Sik immediately clues in that this was not a suicide, but a homicide and so let the investigations begin.

Case #2:
A woman is found dead in her own apartment, a murder mimicking a case that had taken place nearly seven years prior. Her hands and her face has been taped by common industrial-use green tape and her fingers have been cute off as she lays in a gory pool of her own blood. This case is being reviewed by a board of law enforcement as it brings into play what they have dubbed the Tape Murder Case. Yeo Ji Heon, an expert professor who used to be a detective with undeniable ability has been brought in to help investigate the case, partnered up with rookie Park Min Ho.

Case #3
A woman has gone missing, reported in by her fiance. Detective Nam Yeri is brought in to find this woman, and using her expertise in psychology, begins her investigation. What she learns is that things haven't been going too smoothly for the engaged couple and that the missing woman has been conducting some secret activities out of character from her normal dealings.

When all three cases begin to converge together into one, and all three sides realize that they might be looking for the exact same person, the ultimate intrigue begins to unfold. The murderer of victim number one, the murderer of victim number two, as well as the missing woman from the third case... all the evidence starts pointing at an obvious connection between the three cases.

What's going on with this scenario? Where is this new evidence leading me? Maybe this is what happened? Each new truth had me dropping gasps and excited deductions about the murder case. And then there was the deeper emotional stigma of what had been going on behind both the victim's and the murderer's eyes. One sister dead, one sister missing; a set of twins separated after being adopted into two different families. A darker secret about their origins than would have been expected. There were lost speculations about motive and even new, heartbreaking discoveries about the sisters themselves.

The dead woman in Case #2 turns out to be twin sister to the missing woman from Case #3. The dead man from Case #1 happened to be the step-brother-slash-sexual-partner of the dead woman in Case #2. Everything starts to fall together and we start to wonder what might have happened to the missing woman from Case #3. Is this really part of a serial murder case of the Tape Murder from years before? Could it be a copy cat case? Did the other twin sister kill both victims?

How does the death of the step-brother come into play? And what about the scene of the sister's murder? Why doesn't the re-enactment add up? What are we missing? And what kind of darker secrets does she hold that might have propelled the entire mystery in the first place?

How could a simple, two-hour episode touch upon something so delicate, and make you feel so much from repulsion, to anger, and even sadness?

As the case developed, I found myself enraptured in the fact that my own speculations might be right. And when they turned out the way I thought they would be, I was so giddy with excitement. However, when the ideas turned out different, I was still amazed at what ended up being the truth.

You know that feeling you get when you're just holding your breath waiting for that new twist to inspire you to keep watching and wondering? And then when a new development occurs, it hits you so hard that you're actually silly ecstatic about how things turned out? And then you sit back and literally clench your fists because you know that this isn't the end and that more secrets are yet to be revealed?

This is how I felt watching the entirety of this first episode, the first murder case. The copy cat Tape Murder Case, if you will, that takes what seemed to be a simple crime mystery and turns it into a much more intriguing psychological battle of reasoning, wits, and deduction.

I'm just sad that I cannot form anymore words on this mystery lest I completely ruin the experience for anyone else.

Nonetheless, the story telling and the criminal case wasn't without its faults; the episode wasn't completely perfect, really. There were moments when enough evidence was given so that you had an idea what was to come in the end even before the characters could find their resolution. And then there were certain aspects that required a bit more suspension of disbelief. There were moments that made you wonder how it contributed to the overall murder mystery or even to the series itself. Each new turn, however, DID manage to keep you guessing.

I had immense fun just watching these first two hours of the series and I hope that the rest of it will follow in kind.

The team will be forming next episode, I assume, and what I love more than a gripping story line is the character relation dynamics. Four completely different types of investigators coming together to solve the most perplexing, brutal cases known. I know I mentioned that I'm not too keen on unnecessary side plots for a series like this (since it would take away from the fascinating criminal mysteries), but now that we've set up a pretty good direction and foundation for the series proper, I wouldn't mind seeing how our team of four, newly formed detectives will go about among each other. If they worked together so well without even meaning to, coming together from three different starting points, how well will these guys work as a unit, focused on one destination?

I am totally, totally excited! (I've no other way to describe this series, sadly.)

Here's crossing my fingers and hoping that things continue as smoothly as they are now.


Related articles:
first impression: Special Affairs Team TEN


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