Search has been garnering increased ratings through its run and rightfully so! I am glad I started watching it as soon as it aired as this has been an exciting ride so far! The only problem is that I have to wait an entire week for new episodes and that is a tough wait!
As always TV series deep dives on my blog consist of a synopsis versus expectations, segmented episode recaps, mid-run reviews, penultimate episode recaps and spoiler free reviews. You can access all that by just clicking the link here! Now onto the recap!
As always the episode recaps will have my commentary in bold italics.
The soldiers and villagers meet each other as they both carry out their missions. The soldiers manage to convince and sent the villagers away, but a grandma is nearly attacked in the village the same night and tourist lady realizes things may be going out of hand.
Meanwhile Yong watches the recording and realizes that this is the footage from Sector 21 in the DMZ from 1997 (its a very famous incident). He watches the crossfire end, and the Team leader saying its all the politician guy’s fault for starting the fire and that he is going to report things the way it is – which means everyone will get punished. The politician goes crazy hearing that and shoots down his team captain and threatens everyone else. Its later mentioned that the missing team captain was said to have absconded to the north. Wow. That politician is dead meat once people find this out. What’s worse is that Yong ends up telling all this to Asst Team leader, the politician’s son of all people. Asst Team leader asks him to concentrate on the present mission for now but is worried.
Asst team Leader is really disturbed to know the truth of what his father did but ends up telling his father that the camcorder was found. He orders him to bring it but he is silent and confused on whats right and wrong.
Meanwhile Son says the department head has an interim cure for the radiation that should kill the target but it should be injected in the head of the victim to work, if it works at all. The team then plan on how they can execute this plan.
Yong gets a good plan to kill the target. He says the only way to do it is by luring it into the village with the villagers in the relief centre hidden away. He observed that the target is disturbed by high frequency radio waves and decides to use that to steer the target to the point they want. Meanwhile tourist lady is returning to the village with her daughter who has a strange fever. At one point in the episode the zombie was shown following the kid, is this fever related to the zombie or am I reading too much into this?
As the soldiers start steering the zombie into their trap, the tourist lady drops her daughter at the safe point and runs to help. Together with their help they manage to subdue the zombie and inject the medicine which leads it to collapse.
Meanwhile the asst Team leader who stayed behind citing a leg injury takes the cam corder, destroys it and send its photos to his dad, who looks pleased and smug. Stupid, smug liar.
The episode starts off where it ends previously with the target killed. All the characters return to their original places and the mission is declared an end and all the team members decide to leave. Son is the first to leave with the target back to the laboratory.
Meanwhile the Team leader gets an angry call from the military head who assigned him to lead this project – he is angry as he wants to know how the camcorder came to be in the politician’s hands before his and feels that Team leader betrayed him. Team leader is confused on how that happens and realises this camcorder is related to the 1997 DMZ incident and that there were tow North Korean defectors that day that were no where to be seen after the incident.
Back at the laboratory Son and her team come to a horrible assumption. That the target they caught need not be the original host, and that the real host may have attacked ths target with rabies which led to this situation. As they speak this amongst themselves, we see another zombie running amock as well.
The politician guy is annoucned to be arriving at the camp to meet the sodiers and everyone finds out from the Team leader that the politician is Asst Team leader’s father of all people. Yong is shocked and realises that the missing camcorder from his cupboard may be the doing of the Asst Team Leader after all.
Team leader eventually switches sides and sides with the politician as well. Asst Team Leader begs his father to let go of the run in the election now that the evidence is gone. I guess the man does have morals, unlike his father. But the politician doesn’t listen to him.
The next day the tourist lady’s daughter (the one who has the suspicious fever) goes missing and all the soldiers who were about to leave gear up to find her. Asst Team leader takes charge as Team Leader is nowhere to be seen (probably working on something for that politician guy). Meanwhile Son realizes back at the lab that their mission is far from over. The child’s mother being ex-militia and knowing the DMZ area well also joins the soldiers to find their daughter. The military dog, Mac finds her trace to a run down buildng and the soldiers start their search there. The episode ends as they find a suspicious person within the building.
The episode starts where it ended previously, where the team of soldiers find someone suspicious inside the building – only to find its their Team Leader who says he is on a mission of his own. A back story shows that he was looking for some sort of radiactive substance with a machine to detect it, until he was found. Now with his team they try to find the child. Yong finally finds the child with an unknown man shaking hands or punching fists of sorts. As soon as Yong runs in the man disappears the the kid keeos mentioning him as a “nice man” although there was something off about the man.
Yong tries to call the man back and the man even saves Yong from a falling beam. But just as he was about to come near the man, his team comes in and scares the unidentified stranger away.
The child safely returns to her parents but Son arrives with the brand new information that the real host is elsewhere and the team minus one soldier who got injured gets ready to find the rea host. They realise the real host is the man who was with the child, but Yong feels he is very different from the target they killed previously, more human.
Meanwhile the politician gets selected for a very prestigious peace award and is full of himself. The military commander realises the politician doesn’t need him anymore either as the Team Leader now directly reports into the poltician. Despicable man, the politician.
But by that time the press receives the tape that Asst Team Leader has sent and the video is released to the world earning the politician lots of criticism. He however phones someone and seems to have found a way out of it as well.
Back at the camp the soldiers watch the video and Yong sees how the Team Leader from the mission who was shot down by the politician has an old picture of him and his mom and realises that this must be his father. Shocked and angry, Yong has a confrontation with the Asst Team Leader about this. Another flashback from Yong also shows how the “host” in the forest was approaching him like how his father used to. Uh oh.
The episode ends with a flahback where the policitian shoots down Yong’s father. Yong’s father is then shown flowing down the river in a boat to only be found by the North Korean officer who was on te run with the radiactive material. He takes Yong’s father into the building we saw the beginning of this episode and assk him where his wife and daughter is. So all this time I was focusing like the baby was a boy, and was Yong but I guess it’s Son! I’, so stupid to think otheriwse now that this came up!
Yong’s father says that his wife was killed and the baby girl taken away and the NK soldier screams and theres a scuffle and its slightly unclear but he ends up dead. Meanwhile, the radiactive fluid leaks into Yong’s father and he awakens suddenly from the dead. Ooohhhhhhhhhh! Now it all makes more sense!
Usually the second-last episode of a K-drama would pull out all the suspense and the final episode acts more as a conclusionary episode as its mostly slated for a single season. Therefore I have a predictions post on how I think the series will end for which you can click on the link here. If not, you can continue reading, this post! Thank you!
The episode starts with Yong finding the truth about his father from the leaked video to the press. He understands that Asst Team leader is the person who did this and has a scuffle only to be broken up by the Team leader. The Asst Team leader looks super guilty and asks to be left from the operation. Meanwhile Yong calls his mother worried, and his mother apologises for keeping it a secret all along.
Yong’s father was proclaimed to have defected to the North, therefore in short, a national traitor which would have made Yongs life very difiicult. Therefore, she made the difficult decision to change Yong to her brother’s family registry instead. Yong’s mother is later shown to be giving an interview to the press about her struggles after her husband’s death and how the politician who was Yong’s fatehr friends, refused to meet her.
Nevertheless the mission is back to find the original host at the run down building and the team plans on installing lights and finding a route around the building as it has multiple passageways. entrances and exits. Team leader asks to kill the target on site and Son, who is now the Asst Team leader for this mission disagrees as the research needs to be completed at KCST. Team leader is firm on his command to kill at sight and Son confronts him as she understands whose commands he is really following.
Meanwhile Asst Team leader catches his father hiring some mercenaries for another task. But he eventually understands his father’s plan – its to kill the entire team and have his name cleared again like he did in 1997. Shocked as he is, he sets out to find and warn the team.
The team meanwhile arrives at the run down building and starts setting out the lights and the plan. Son notices an old North Korean man’s uniform and wonders what really happened her. Meanwhile the Team leader has secretly set up another radio frequency to communicate with Lee Hyuk and his mercenries who are on the way. This team leader needs to get a grip. I have a feeling Lee Hyuk will kill him first!
Meanwhile the toruist lady comes to the soldiers camp with some packed food and feels somethings strange on arriving. She spies through the door and sees that the politician has cleared all evidence of the team ever being there and have mercenaries ready to enter the DMZ. She is discovered and tries to fight off the mercenaries but is knocked out and locked up. Back at the rundown building in the DMZ, some North Korean soldiers are also coming in via another entrance after injuring one of their own. Son finds the injured North Korean soldeier and finds out about the North Korean scientist couple who fled in 1997 with something important (the radioactive substance). Meanwhile Yong comes face to face with the host, who is indeed his father, and he somehow seems to understand Yong as Yong hands over an old photo of him and his mother to him.
But these interactions are short lived as the North Korean soldiers attack and a battle takes place. The North Korean soldiers are finally killed by the mercenaries who have arrived and the Team Leader asks his team to put down their weapons and join the new team. Aahhhhhh nooo… Someone.. the tourist lady or Asst Team Leader who is making his way through the DMZ – someone warn them!
Episode 10 (final)
The team joins hands with the mercenaries who Team Leader introduces as additional support teams, much to Son’s suspicion. The mercenaries then set to work attaching bombs all over the building to the teams suspicion. That evil evil politician! He is gonna bomb everyone down!
Meanwhile the tourist lady comes to her senses and escapes only to find that all forms of communications have been stopped. The amount of influence this politician has is unbelievable seriously. She however finds a portable military radio and tries frequency after frequency to warn the team and she does so just in the nick of time. One of the team members are injured and Son and Yong get him to safety and then decide to split to find a way out.
Team leader understands what the mercenaries were hired to do and finds that the radioactive substance he was supposed to find is missing as well. He gives Yong a chance and lets Yong release a bomb only for the Team leader to get injured and succumb to his injuries as well. I mean, we all had a feeling this would happen to him. At least he realized he was tricked and sort of died on his own terms and choice. There may have been some bit of humanity in him since he helped Yong in those last moments.
Meanwhile Son is captured and so is Yong and the politician comes in sneering at the fact that he has both of them at gunpoint. Its about to end really badly when Yong;s father runs in and attacks all the mercenaries. In the scuffle the politician tries to shoot only to kill his son, who jumped in at that exact moment. I knew we were in for this karmic moment, I knew it! Poor Asst Team leader though. The politician is also knocked out by Yong;s father and although Yong begs him to come back with him, he doesn’t.
As Yong, Son and the injured soldier leave, the bomb explodes and the entire building collapses.
The next few scenes are a conclusionary note. Yong is released from military along with the military dog, Mac and the two of them start to work for wildlife rescue. Yong meanwhile changes his family registry back to his father who has now been given a posthumous recognition from the government. The whole operation is kept a secret and Lee Hyuk is declared missing and pending investigation for the incidents from 1997. Its also revealed that the tourist lady’s daughter was suffering bouts if radiation sickness from when she got lost, but Son helps with the cure.
The series ends with Son finding out the true identity of her parents and understanding that the remains she saw at the building were actually her father’s. She looks down at the ID card her mother left her before handing her over to the South Korean military and accepts her fate, and is joined by Yong.
Well, if that isn’t a warm ending, I don’t know what is. I really wish Yong’s father had a chance to come back and get treated or something but I guess the story is not going to go that way! Although it ended satisfactorily, I am still wanting more! More expeditions by Yong and Son are most welcome! Anyways for a detailed review and other posts on this series, just click the link at the top!