Yet another serial killer on the loose in Kdramaland. We wouldn’t have thought that Signal couldn’t have gotten better then, whamo! Episodes 9&10 happened. Let’s get right into it, Jacqueline, do you want to start us off?
Jacqueline: Is it okay if I gesticulate wildly with fangirl flailing? BECAUSE I WANNA GESTICULATE WILDLY WITH FANGIRL FLAILING. ‘Cause, I mean, now I got emotions for a serial murderer, ya know…like ya do. CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT HOW DAMN GOOD THE WRITER IS FOR MAKING ME FEEL MY FEELS FOR THE PSYCHO KILLER?!
Stephanie: Laugh. Right? I was thinking, oh, this could be a drama itself, the poor abused kid meeting up with the depressed woman, they meet fall in love, fix each other, live happily ever…—then you remember—oh right, he’s a serial killer, so maybe not. But killing aside, I really felt for him.
Jacqueline: RIGHT?! I was legit BLOWN AWAY at how damn phenomenally this writer got my ass emotionally invested in this bad guy. We went from, “Oooh creepy mystery, legit-terrifying-crazy-pants” to an emotional engagement that was glorious, heartbreaking, and powerful. We had scenes with that dude that, as you said when we were watching, legit felt like they could’ve been on American TV. And all that was followed up by hardcore feels. SO MUCH COOL!
Stephanie: At first, because of something we hadn’t talked about, when we saw him in the convenience store, I thought it might be the Profiler’s brother. Up until now we just assumed that the brother wasn’t guilty of whatever he’d gotten himself wrapped up in, but then when that happened, I thought they were going to twist us up again. Whew. I’m glad that wasn’t the case. But going back to what we haven’t talked about, it’s so interesting how they are connecting the two men again! Now we knew that the brother was accused of gang rape and killed himself after, but now we know also that, surprise, surprise, the past detective was somehow wrapped up in it. Dude. THEY COULD SAVE THE BROTHER!!!! Didn’t see that coming.
Jacqueline: I feel like this whole drama is a DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING, because I’ll be hot diggity-damned if the twists aren’t all over the awesome place. I freakin’ love that, much like the brother coming into play, none of these twists and turns feel forced! I think a big reason for that is this writer letting the story naturally evolve. The format is not crammed into a “case of the episode” style of storytelling, so we get reveals that don’t read as fake. I also really, REALLY love that we got way more development on our female lead this week. Now more than ever, she feels like SUCH a dimensional character!
Stephanie: And an amazing actress! After some of those scenes they put her through, not to mention playing to versions of the same character, it makes me want to run out and watch everything she’s ever done.
Jacqueline: Exactly! This actress kicks ALL the ass, because this week alone has rocked terror, bravery, determination, vulnerability, literally ALL the feels. Not to mention now more than ever it’s obvious she’s playing dual roles; her badass, ass-kicking future cop self, and her newbie wet-behind-the-ears past trainee self. But what is SO damn amazing is that this week, we saw tidbits of each persona flipped. In the past, she was starting to showcase the grit we know her for in the future, and in the present she showcased the vulnerability and uncertainty we’ve seen in her in the past.
Stephanie: Okay, I just double checked, she has done a lot of dramas, but her most notable roles to me was Face Reader and Thieves. Woah! She’s that lady? She’s got some skills. And with the dark, dark, dark turn the show took this week (we’re talking US cable type of gritty violence), they needed someone of that caliber. She’s kind of the glue that holds everything together, more important than either of our boys, and if she weren’t believable, this show would not work.
Jacqueline: Note To My Forgetful Ass – CHECK HER OUT! This show did go down a rabbit hole of darkness, but I think what’s so cool about it is that is was really light on the violence. The darkness was all in the psychology and twisted implications paired with the offscreen murders. The dude who played Mr. Tortured Killer Man was legit creepy-freaky. He rocked that off-putting persona AND got me empathetic all over the place. Dude, you know this drama is legit when even the guest peeps have their acting game on point!
Stephanie: After last week, I wasn’t sure where we had to go, with the timeline of his murder catching up with the plot. But surprise, the jumping back in time again was a nice, unexpected twist. I love how the two men, despite not knowing why or how this is happening, are now ready to work together to do good. I loved that small moment when, after giving her crap for the two episodes, he was so surprised, happy and proud to find out that she had become a team leader. That both men were able to put business aside and just take some enjoyment out of the walkie talkie? Awesome.
Jacqueline: I should have guessed that, this being a time travel, WE’D JUST JUMP BACK IN TIME. Sheesh. (Cue facepalm.) I absolutely super-duper wove-love that this writer takes the time for the small character moments. It would be so easy to just run and gun it with “gotta-catch-the-bad-guy” motif threading throughout, but NOPE. The drama allows for emotionalism in its characters, and even humor! Like, when our female cop’s mom was playing injured and had our boy playing house servant? Bless. BLESSSSSSSS!
Stephanie: So funny that she is eyeballing him for her daughter. Hey. HE IS NOT FOR HER. Her guy is going to come back from the dead, so chillax. I love that we now still have a chance for the profiler to save the past detective. We have a chance to save the brother. So many options. Can we talk about the past detective and the lady detective after she was attacked? When everyone else wanted to take it easy on her and he was like, no, she is a policewoman. She is fine. And then that scene when he goes to her and says that sometimes he’s scared too? Gah. So many good moments.
Jacqueline: Shhhh. Don’t tell Stephanie, but I still ship our female lead with both male leads. I VOTE TRIAD DAMMIT! Okay, so my weirdness aside, it IS cool how there are so many possibilities for this show, so many set ups that have a chance of panning out. I absolutely love that our cop in the future is the reason our cop in the past gave such helpful words to our female lead. It is such an interesting plot point because it is entirely based in emotionalism, and I KNOW I keep stressing that, but come ON. How many dramas have we seen do the “Okay so…there’s cops. And stuff. And things.” And then we just get cardboard for characters and plots that taste like sawdust.
Stephanie: I don’t feel any romantic feelings from either of those characters though. It’s not that they don’t like each other, they are even coming to respect each other, but there’s no, “Oh hey there…” He’s learning from her a lot. Like the scene where he has to give everyone the profile on the serial killer. From the last time no one would listen to him and she chewed him out, blaming him rather than the other policeman, he learned and was able to connect with them, thereby getting them to listen. And now he is helping past detective with his interactions with her. (I think he’s trying to play a little cupid.) It’s like a giant evolving circle of help. Past Detective teaches her, who teaches the Profiler and the profiler now teaches it back to the past Detective. I might have just gotten dizzy.
Jacqueline: Imma let you into a little secret…and I ONLY tell my closest loved ones this; I have two kinds of shipping! There’s the logical OTP establishing, emotional connection sense-making shipping, and then there’s the I JUST WANT ALL MY FAVORITE NOT REAL PEOPLE TO BE HAPPY shipping. Realistically I know which couple is canon, but of course that’s assuming this show saves our cop. Honestly, I’m not even 100 percent sure that will happen, or even if I want it to happen. If it does, I just pray it won’t come off like a cheap party trick, which I doubt would be the case but OH MY GOD WHAT IF IT IS THE CASE?! God, now I am dizzy.
Stephanie: Sometimes I don’t need a happy ending,but I am going to ball my mother fudging balls out if it doesn’t in this case. I just realize I have to close my eyes (figuratively) and let go. I said this to you before actually watching this episode. As much as I love it, I was actually afraid/hesitant to watch this set of episodes. It is so good, I worry that it is going to go down the tubes, as that might hurt me more than one of our team dying at the end.
Jacqueline: Dude, I ALWAYS NEED A HAPPY ENDING, because I’m pathetic. So while I’m all torn about where I actually want this show to go, we definitely differ in how we watch dramas. If the drama goes down the poop-shoot, I won’t Scarlett O’Haramit because at the end of the day, Signal has already given me entertainment. I’m 10 hours in and have gotten an AWESOME ride of fun-time, which is more than what most media does. But I’ll pray to the drama gods that your fangirl heart shall be protected at all costs, because good drama needs to stay good!
Stephanie: Yeah, for me it’s much worse if a drama is awesome then sinks then if the drama was mediocre the whole way through. An added element to this show? Is the effects, the moody music, and this week? The addition of those amazing songs. I swear one of them sounds like the Lady Detective is singing. They are not the regular OST fare, and I’m really glad they went that way. I hope they sell this OST when they are done. I will certain pay real money for that.
Jacqueline: I will give them monies AND my cookie jar for that music, because Christ on a cracker is sounds AMAZING. I haven’t really noticed the music until these two episodes. I mean, the opening theme is beautiful and I want that song, but episodes 9 and 10 were the first time my ears had a happy! It made sense, too, since our bad guy’s theme was “kill the chicks who are sad because he’s also sad” and that fit perfectly. I don’t know what I’m more amazed by, the tunes, or how amazingly well setup yet another killer on the streets was established! And the ending of episode 10? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT DAMMIT!
Stephanie: Laugh. If listening to sad music on headphones means you’re depressed and thereby need to be ‘aided’ by a serial killer? I would have died long ago. But yes. I now need to know what happens next week and am already beginning to brace myself for the realization we only have 3 weeks left of this show. Let’s all start praying to the gods of kdrama now. Please let this stay amazing, please let this stay amazing, I’ll be so, so good. I’ll eat my vegetables, I’ll be nice to girl groups, whatever you need, I’ll do.
Jacqueline: *Laughs for the next 47 years.*…Sorry, I wanna contribute and make a witty reply that continues the conversation, but I’m still laughing from “I’ll be nice to girl groups.” I’m gonna need another minute.
Stephanie: I can give you about a week…because I think we’re done! Now everyone, don’t forget to think you’re “Stay Awesome, Signal” thoughts, you’re help would be greatly appreciated.