We can tell that this series is not going to be impressive. Many years ago (2003), an Indian film, specifically a film from Andhra Pradesh, named Tagore, was released that dealt with a similar premise. It was completely massy and one of the best hits of that time, considering the tight writing and characters that had the gravitas appropriate for that situation. It might come across as a harsh opinion, but the nature and charisma of the characters should be established right away instead of waiting for them to unravel over the course of many episodes. The Killing Vote should have been especially vigilant about this, considering the twist they introduced at the end of episode 2.
Additionally, when something is not going to be binge-watched, shouldn’t the writing be in accordance with the sensibilities of the audience and their possible reaction to the current plot? This makes us think once again about why Moving is doing such a good job with the release of its episodes, which may look haphazardly planned but are perfect plot placements to align with the audience’s questions and sensibilities. Since we are talking about The Killing Vote right now, let us go through the recap of episode 2.
Does the investigating team find the second victim?
The investigation of the case, as shown in Episode 2, is just not intelligent. But Kwon Seok Joo proves to be an interesting piece of the puzzle. Despite being in prison, he has maintained a certain influence, and it remains to be seen how far that goes. With his legal knowledge, he helps the inmates and the police officers alike with their matters and troubles, making himself valuable to them. However, we don’t know if that is all he does. After all, he has been in prison for eight years, and we doubt he garnered the kind of respect and following he did, as shown in episode 2 of The Killing Vote, solely on the basis of advice. He is definitely not a suspect for the identity of Gaetal, at least not a direct one. So far, Mu Chan and Joo Hyun only suspect that he may be influencing Gaetal or that he may have some past connection to him.
Joo Hyun finds that Bae Gi Chul was once beaten up in prison, but he was the one who ended up being punished by getting placed in solitary confinement. Therefore, Joo Hyun goes to prison to interview some of the inmates, and the professor only comes out when he learns that Gaetal has been using one of his phrases. When he sees Joo Hyun, he immediately understands that she may have a device in her ear, meaning that someone from the investigation is listening to their conversation. But he plays along and even drops the hint that they should try to narrow down the victim. We are assuming that the investigation team had already thought about it, though they did not tell the audience that. However, the professor’s manner makes Joo Hyun, and in turn, Mu Chan, think that he may know who it is. There is a reason we are calling the investigation shoddy. It is because if they suspected that the professor knew something, why did they not interrogate him more by pulling in some permissions or warrants? He could not have been the only person to know the law in Korea. It was especially important considering that the entire investigation prior to this only revealed that Gaetal had used Bae Gi Chul’s hideout for his first test run of the video. Fine, Gaetal is very cunning, but what else? Wasn’t it already obvious to begin with? This revelation did not have the intended sinister impact that the writers wanted it to.
Either way, Joo Hyun gathers a list of people who have been known to get away with their crimes by bending the law. One of them is Uhm Eun Gyeong, and she is the person who becomes Gaetal’s next target. Neither is the investigation team able to narrow her down in time nor are they able to protect her. But before Gaetal kidnaps her, the audience is shown that she is an evil stepmother who bullies two kids, so our minds have been influenced. It only remains to be seen whether Mu Chan and Joo Hyun are able to rescue her.
Is Mu Chan dead or alive?
The fundamental debate here is that of the validity of murder. School going children discuss that it is not murder since the person is evil, to begin with. But there is the question of the decision of guilt and how long the judge is capable of being objective with it, outside of a specific set of rules and guidelines, in the capacity of a vigilante. Let us also not forget that Gaetal is a showman. If his objective was simply justice, he could have killed the people in private. But he is making a spectacle out of it, wanting the people to join in his cause, which also means that he cares about their opinion, hence the poll. The people are literally his lawyers and jury.
Uhm Eun Gyeong is trapped in a car with the bomb, and she is Gaetal’s target because she has killed three of her spouses for their insurance money. Since it could never be proved, she has gotten away with it, but she couldn’t escape Gaetal. Mu Chan and his team reach there, and they have to rescue her. Mu Chan drives her to the field of a nearby school to contain the explosion, and Joo Hyun has to rush to get her sister out of there. At the end of episode 2 of The Killing Vote, Mu Chan calls Gaetal and tells him to diffuse the bomb because it would not be in his best interests. Gaetal wants public validation for his actions, and in the event that Mu Chan dies with the woman, the entire country would turn against him. Mu Chan refuses to get off the car, and from what we see, those are the last words he says right before a bright light takes over the car and it blows up, as Joo Hyun stares in shock.
The most obvious possibility is that Mu Chan is dead, but we know that is not likely unless this series wants to take the Game of Thrones route and not care for the lives of its protagonists. A second scenario would be that Mu Chan has survived but with injuries. A third and final scenario is that he has survived due to some secret method that nobody saw in the open field, and his fake death is going to be a way to investigate Gaetal.
We are scared that Lim Ji Yeon is going to get typecast in “crazy” roles. She has the ability to ace them, but that doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t be allowed some diversity. In a way, she shows a lot of spunk in The Killing Vote, which is different from her previous ventures, The Glory and Lies Hidden In My Garden. Coming to the drama, it is still too early to form an opinion, but we wish there had been some intrigue apart from the blast and the question of Mu Chan’s life. It would have suited the narrative better.