Shadow Detective Season 2 Episode 1 Recap & Review,Explained


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Shadow Detective Season 2 Episode 1 Recap

🔹In the first episode of “Shadow Detective 2” Kim Taek-Rok has failed the excavator exam three times and refuses to return to the police station. While on the road, he sees Congressman Lee Young-ho’s campaign car and remembers Kook Jin-Han mentioning in “Shadow Detective” that he hadn’t investigated his associates when arresting Chairman Zhang.

At that time, Congressman Lee Young-ho was the only person suspected of being involved in a large-scale corruption case involving politics and business in Jinwoo City. So, Kim Taek-Rok decides to report to Jinwoo Police Station. On the other hand, Lee Sung-A and Son Kyung-Chan are investigating a theft case with some suspicious elements. The thief didn’t open the safe but only took what was visible at the scene. They also found small footprints resembling those of a child or woman. They plan to inform the Women and Juvenile Affairs Investigation Department.

🔹Coincidentally, Kim Taek-Rok is assigned to work at the Women and Juvenile Affairs Investigation Department before returning to duty. Baek Sung-Il believes this is for Kim Taek-Rok’s own safety as it will prevent him from getting involved in dangerous cases before retirement. However, Kim Taek-Rok feels there may be another reason behind this decision – someone intentionally denying him a position in Serious Crimes Unit (SCU).

Upon arriving at Women and Juvenile Affairs Investigation Department, he learns from his colleagues that their team leader is known for solving a high-profile case involving violence by intellectually disabled high school students five years ago in Seoul. It took her three years of investigation before convicting them; therefore, his colleagues worry about potential conflicts between Kim Taek-Rok and their team leader due to her strict adherence to principles and procedures.

Meanwhile, they also discover that Kong Ha-na has passed her police exams and has become Kim Taek-Rok’s assistant. Outside, Kim Taek-Rok encounters Choi Do-Hyung, a former colleague from the Search Team who retired and established a foundation in Jinwoo City. However, Kim Taek-Rok never mentioned his time in the Search Team.

🔹Lee Sung-A and Son Kyung-Chan continue their investigation into recent theft cases and discover a group of underage children gathering together. They eventually apprehend Ha-Na but coincidentally find that Kim Taek-Rok is already aware of her whereabouts (she was reported missing).

However, to everyone’s surprise, Kim Taek-Rok unusually follows Han Ki-Yeong’s orders and takes Ha-Na home. This reminds him of a past case where he sent the criminal to prison, causing his daughter to become rebellious – Lee Sung-A herself. Later on, these teenagers attempt another theft but accidentally harm someone who turns out to be an unexpected member of the underworld they shouldn’t have provoked.

🔹Kim Taek-Rok visits Seo Gwang-Su in prison where Seo expresses dissatisfaction with being turned into an useless old man by him. At Women and Juvenile Affairs Investigation Department, Kim Taek-Rok finally meets Yeon Ju-Hyun face-to-face. Although she has heard about his past accomplishments, she advises him to abide by even the smallest rules (such as not being late) if he wants to maintain order in his future career.

Meanwhile, Sung-A and Son Kyung-Chan handle yesterday’s theft case but suspect a suspicious investment company. In addition, Sung-A finds some belongings belonging to Ha-Na in the stairwell; it turns out that Ha-Na and her accomplices were tortured by Woo Jang-Ik before they were rescued thanks to tracking their phone location signals which led them straight into arresting this gangster group. However, at the police station, Woo Jang-Ik manages to avoid detention due to the presence of a judge from Jinwoo District Court acting as his lawyer.

🔹Lee Sung-A still finds it strange why Woo Jang-Ik would come to Jinwoo City and open this company that has nothing to do with him. It is clear that all the dirty entanglements of interests are starting to stir up trouble again.

However, Kim Taek-Rok doesn’t want Lee Sung-A to get involved in any danger and asks Son Kyung-Chan to stop her from investigating this case. Lee Sung-A meets Ha-Na and learns that they didn’t actually steal anything from the investment company. Later on, through Yeon Ju-Hyun’s information, she discovers that what went missing was a USB flash drive.

This makes Lee Sung-A suspect that Woo Jang-Ik is hiding something and believes he must be connected somehow with Chairman Zhang who only seeks personal gain. Kim Taek-Rok becomes angry when he learns that Lee Sung-A plans to visit Woo Jang-Ik’s office but his concern proves valid as she encounters an explosion there.

Shadow Detective Season 2 Episode 1 Review & Explained

Shadow Detective Season 2 Episode 1

Shadow Detective 2” has been a year and a half since the first season. During this time, it is apparent that Kim Taek-Rok does not want to return to work. From the scenes, we can see that in “Shadow Detective 2” there are still psychiatric medications in Kim Taek-Rok’s room for his panic disorder. Interestingly, the director of “Shadow Detective 2” specifically shows Kim Taek-Rok taking vitamin C, indicating that in this season, Kim Taek-Rok’s personal demons are gradually being digested and resolved.

However, it is clear that Kim Taek-Rok has not yet let go of what happened with Kook Jin-Han. The director portrays this through Kim Taek-Rok asking Baek Sung-Il: “(Is there only this reason for me to go to the Women and Juvenile Affairs Investigation department?)”

This question from Kim Taek-Rok stems from his past experience in the Serious Crimes Unit. “Shadow Detective” was originally centered around Kim Taek-Rok’s remorseful self-reflection on his past actions. Therefore, for him, the Serious Crimes Unit is already a place of guilt. But more importantly, “Shadow Detective 2” continues with unresolved cases from the first season – specifically referring to Kook Jin-Han’s mentioned corruption case.

Therefore, at the beginning of “Shadow Detective 2” when Kim Taek-Rok asks Baek Sung-Il this question, it implies why he wasn’t involved in handling this case? Is someone deliberately trying to keep him away from it? (I believe this is also why Lee Sung-Ah says in the Serious Crimes Unit: “Without Senior-Taek Rok’s position?”) Like how others call him by the nickname “House Dog,” meaning once he bites onto something he won’t easily let go, but now Kim Taek-Rok is being placed in the Women and Juvenile Affairs Investigation department, which is completely unsuitable for him.

In the first episode of “Shadow Detective 2” there is a special emphasis on Kim Taek-Rok’s mental adjustment over the past year and a half and his past traumas. Many dialogues depict Kim Taek-Rok’s current thoughts and feelings. For example, when Han Ki-Yeong says to him that he would feel relieved if Kim Taek-Rok returned to the Serious Crimes Unit: “Don’t you find it exhausting living like this?”

The writer of “Shadow Detective 2” implies that Kim Taek-Rok has spent thirty years in the police force with an unwavering determination, but now he seems more inclined to break free from this tension and danger.

I really like the premise of the story in “Shadow Detective 2“. The writer’s decision to move Kim Taek-Rok to the Women and Juvenile Affairs Investigation department definitely has a purpose. Especially when the writer reveals Kim Taek-Rok’s guilt and concern for Lee Sung-A’s past, it is clear that Lee Sung-A knows his interest in the case is not just superficial. When she asks him, “Why were you so concerned about me before?”, it represents Kim Taek-Rok’s genuine care for the lives and dangers faced by those underage girls. He is not a police officer who turns a blind eye.

In the middle of “Shadow Detective 2“, we see that the person Kim Taek-Rok visits in prison is connected to Chairman Chon and Yu Hyun-seok from Season 1. Seo Gwang-Su tells Kim Taek-Rok, “Until when are you going to consider yourself useless? We ended up like this because of you. Is this all I get after turning myself in?” This scene brings us back to Season 1 where Seo Gwang-Su also regrets getting involved in such deep corruption. So both Seo Gwang-Su and Yu Hyun-seok from Season 1 are trapped in circumstances beyond their control, leading them to commit crimes.

Seo Gwang-Su’s confession was actually meant as a way for him and those who forced them into murky waters to meet their end together. However, they didn’t manage to catch an even bigger villain in the end. In Episode 2 of “Shadow Detective 2“, I think Lee Young-ho might be one of those remaining followers who secretly seized power after Chairman Jang passed away.

 The cases presented in Episode 1 already hinted at some connections: Ha-Na being targeted by gangsters (why did they interrogate them? It seems they believed Ha-Na was sent by someone, and it’s clear that something was stolen from the safe deposit box. Before Ha-Na stole anything, the safe had already been opened. The stolen item is a “USB drive”).

And this JY Investment Company is one of Golden Crow’s biggest investments. Woo Jang-Ik is acquiring all the buildings near interrupted redevelopment areas, which echoes what Kook Jin-Han said about Chairman Jang’s followers including a member of parliament, namely Lee Young-ho. So this investment company probably has some connection to Lee Young-ho, but we can’t determine their exact relationship yet.

I find it interesting that Kim Taek-Rok doesn’t want Lee Sung-A to investigate this case. I think he wants to protect her from inadvertently getting into danger because just a year and a half ago he almost died himself. He knows how dangerous the other party can be; that case nearly killed him and even running feels exhausting for him now. That’s why he keeps trying to prevent Lee Sung-A from suspecting any further corruption in the case. But behind this also lies Kim Taek-Rok and Choi Do-Hyung’s history in the Special Search Team, which Kim Taek-Rok has never mentioned before – indicating there must be some hidden secrets involved.