The Killing Vote episode 7 finally lets us understand what had happened in the past, in the case of Kwon Seok Joo’s daughter. To be honest, we had already predicted a fair amount of this through the flashback scenes and the occasional conversations, which is why, though the episode was entertaining, it felt largely unnecessary. But The Killing Vote is not making itself known for great storytelling, so perhaps that is alright.
What happened in the past?
It seems fitting that the flashback begins with a discussion on whether the suspects in any investigation should have their identities revealed. Min Young is for it, while Seok Joo speaks against it, as it would lead to pre-emptive assault, and that is against the law and democracy. Yun Seong (Lee Min Soo), who is Min Young’s son, is present in the audience, and it is clear right away that he absolutely adores Kwon Seok Joo. He also holds some very interesting ideas about justice, and Seok Joo asks him to visit his other lectures whenever he can.
Yun Seong follows right away, and he is quite bright but certainly jealous of the time Seok Joo spends with his daughter, Na Rae, and their dog. One day, he kidnaps the dog and kills it. But the professor doesn’t know that Fluffy is dead, and he only thinks it is missing. Someone had told him that they had seen Yun Seong with the dog, so he asked the teenager about it, who in turn asked the professor to check the CCTV. This alerts the professor, as he loudly wonders whether Yun Seong knew that their CCTV was not working. Years later, in the present day, Kwon Seok Joo realized that it was odd that Yun Seong asked the professor how he could have done something rather than why.
But it is after this interaction that we gain clarity as to Woo Taek’s role in Yun Seong’s life. His entire purpose is to be Yun Seong’s shield. Whatever Yun Seong does, Woo Taek must take the blame for it. Therefore, for ‘failing in his duties,’ Woo Taek gets beaten up that day, and while Yun Seong has no love for the boy, he decides that his next target is Na Rae, whom he calls the tattle tale that caused all this.
Yun Seong kidnaps Na Rae with the help of Woo Taek, and she is held captive by them for a few days, after which her dead body turns up. Seok Joo is the immediate suspect, as somebody said that he was the one last seen with her while picking her up from school. That is an absolute lie and has obviously been staged by Min Young, who is trying to protect her son. Rumors are also spreading that Seok Joo acted as a predator toward his students. His entire image is maligned, and he is painted as a menace to society who is capable of abusing and killing his own daughter.
On the other hand, Mu Chan is the only one who believes in him. He even put himself at risk to solve a case quickly so that he could start working on Kwon Seok Joo’s case. Mu Chan finds the video that shows that Woo Taek was the one to lead Na Rae away and not Seok Joo. Woo Taek is taken into custody, but Mu Chan understands that he has not acted alone. When he visits Min Young’s house, he already suspects that Yun Seong must have had something to do with it all. He had seen the boy smile when Na Rae’s body was being taken away, and even now, his demeanor is uncharacteristically composed.
When Mu Chan dug into Woo Taek’s past files, he found that Yun Seong was always involved in some capacity, either as a bystander or as a responder. This meant that considering the power imbalance between the two, it was highly likely that Yun Seong was the culprit throughout, and Woo Taek was the cover for him. Mu Chan moved to have his DNA tested on some evidence, and this may have just worked to prove his guilt, except that the defense ended up proving that it was the incorrect evidence, leading to Woo Taek being released and Yun Seong’s name not coming up. That was how Na Rae’s case ended.
Who is Ji Hoon?
After the trial, it was Mu Chan who was absolutely furious since he knew the case up close and understood how gross the injustice was. As for Seok Joo, he still wanted to take the legal route. He apologizes to Woo Taek for what he went through with the police, and that ends up giving him his clue. We couldn’t be sure if Seok Joo was trying his own hand at discovering evidence or if he was genuinely apologetic, but Woo Taek showed him the recordings of Na Rae from when she was held in captivity by the boys. That is enough for the professor, and he proceeds to kill Woo Taek the way he did. As for Mu Chan, he is still convinced about Yun Seong’s guilt, as he once again sees him smiling as the professor is taken away by the police.
In the present day, all these parties once again face each other outside the police station, as we had seen during the ending of episode 6. Ji Hoon is already suspicious of his teacher, and when he gets out of the interrogation room, he tries to look around for something. We don’t know what that is, but Joo Hyeon takes him back to his school, where they both land in the computer room. Joo Hyeon suspects that Yun Seong, now Min Soo, is Gaetal, and she finds some evidence of that with the help of Ji Hoon.
Back at the station, Mu Chan talks to Min Soo. There is nothing for them to talk about except the shadow of suspicions, and Min Soo is as glib as ever about what has happened. At the end of The Killing Vote episode 7, Seok Joo and Mu Chan are talking about how Min Soo is most likely Gaetal. He had been a fan of Seok Joo right from the beginning, and he had always wanted to kill people as much as he could. Justice was a huge part of Gaetal’s psyche, like how it mattered so much to Min Soo, but from an academic perspective and not from a practical one. We don’t think Min Soo is Gaetal, but the police do, and only the coming episodes will tell us the fallacy of that conclusion. On the other hand, Ji Hoon is the boy that Seok Joo wanted to adopt eight years ago. Ji Hoon had witnessed the professor killing Woo Taek, and the professor knew about it. Perhaps this was Ji Hoon’s past: his guilt about Na Rae’s death since he didn’t meet her on time on the day she disappeared.
We do not like The Killing Vote Episode 7’s ending shot where Ji Hoon sees Joo Min as a sort of little Na Rae. The latter was supposed to be his sister, while Min is supposed to be a romantic interest. We hope that the series doesn’t say that Na Rae was his first love. This was a good episode, but the others need to match up to it, and we don’t have any hope for that at this point.