After a thrilling first episode Voice continues to keep you on your toes in its second episode. This time we’re dealing with child abuse as our leads try to desperately rescue a little kid from his psychotic mother, who tried to kill him multiple times. The boy is injured and the time is running out for our heroes. Will they make it in time?

EPISODE 2 – TWO FACED HEALER

The episode starts with a recap of previous events. 10 minutes have passed after the incident occurred. Bok Nim wakes up near her assailant, who’s choosing the weapon to kill her with. Meanwhile, Jin Hyeok has finally made it to the barber shop and requests the base for assistance. He tries to get inside, but the door is locked.

The killer asks Bok Nim how she wants to die, hearing no answer, he grabs his favorite hammer. Just as he’s about to strike her with it, she dodges his attack. You go, girl! Kwon Joo can hear everything that’s happening and encourages Bok Nim to keep fighting and never give up. The girl tries to fight her assailant, but he beats her up, being bigger and stronger.

Jin Hyeok finally gets inside the building and, just as the killer is about to strike Bok Nim with a hammer, knocks him down at the last moment. Jin Hyeok restrains him until the girl crawls out of the room. She runs outside in panic, but someone knocks her down. Kwon Joo, having heard everything, requests all available personnel near Eunhyung-dong to head to the crime scene.

The killer lands a few good blows to Jin Hyeok, but receives just as much damage himself. There’s an intense battle going on, with no probable winner. The man that knocked Bok Nim down outside ends up being a policeman. She’s still terrified, but manages to tell the cops that Jin Hyeok is fighting with the killer. They hurry inside to help him, leaving one cop with Bok Nim. He calls an ambulance and announced to the 112 Emergency Center that the victim is safe.

The killer attacks with a knife, but Jin Hyeok blocks it and knocks him down with a shower head. They are both worn out at this point, but none is willing to give up. When the killer tries to attack again, Jin Hyeok flips him over in a bathtub filled with water. He then proceeds to beat the crap out of the bastard.

After the fight is over, Jin Hyeok is barely able to stand straight. He falls to the ground and sees a bag filled with the belongings of the killer’s victims, taken as trophies. That’s when Jin Hyeok loses it, he takes a hammer, determined to finish him off for good. Kwon Joo tries to talk him out of it, but he strikes anyway… only to hit the bathtub near the killer’s head. He tosses the hammer away and sits on the ground exhausted. The other cops arrive and Kwon Joo takes off her headset as a sign that everything’s finally over. The caption states – “07:35pm, Eunhyung-dong accident’s culprit arrested within golden time”.

Back at the 112 Emergency Call Center, where all the higher-ups have gathered. Kwon Joo asks them if they’re happy now, having heard a person’s agonizing pleas first hand. She’s pissed and tells them head on that Golden Team is necessary to save peoples’ live, so she’ll select the team members on her on. The commissioner (Bae Byung Gon) agrees, but gives her six month to prove the team’s worth.

Some cops muse about Kwon Joo’s skills, wondering how she could figure out the location of the killer. That’s when Jin Hyeok steps on Bok Joo’s lost phone, that was lying on the floor the whole time, and remembers that Kwon Joo is always talking about hearing sounds, this time and three years ago. That gets him to think that maybe she really can hear more than an average person.

Back at the police station Bae Byung Gon and Kyung-Hak are badmouthing Kwon Joo for daring to come back, causing trouble both then and now. Byung Gon doesn’t trust her, so he asks Kyung Hak to find out why she wants a new team and who she’ll choose as team members. After the commissioner goes away, Kyung Hak calls someone, but we don’t hear the conversation. This guy is suspicious.

Reporters have gathered at the police station, having received news about the caught criminal. Kyung Hak gives an official statement, but reporters are more interested to know why a member of the Emergency Call Centre caught the killer, while the Crimes Unit was chasing after another suspect. Jin Hyeok arrives at the station and reporters immediately gather around for an interview, but he ignores them.

Once inside the station, Jin Hyeok goes looking for Kwon Joo. He meets Dae Shik in the corridor and asks if he could possibly hear a sound from the barber pole at the end of their long corridor if there was one. The answer is an obvious “no”, which Jin Hyeok takes as a confirmation that it’s impossible to have a hearing like that. One of the cops tells Dae Shik that it would be better for Jin Hyeok not to get involved with Kwon Joo this time.

Meanwhile, Kwon Joo pays a visit to Bok Nim and her mom in the hospital. They are thankful for what she has done for them, but Kwon Joo says that it’s all thanks to Bok Nim’s willpower and good upbringing. They exchange some heartfelt words and Kwon Joo leaves. But before she does, Bok Nim thanks her for being the first person aside her mom to genuinely care about her.

Kwon Joo meets Jin Hyeok in the hospital, so they go out to talk. He asks her how she was able to figure out the killer’s location, urging her to tell the truth, since he doesn’t believe in her super hearing. Dae Shik calls Jin Hyeok and tells him not to believe Kwon Joo no matter what because apparently, she knew the location because of the data from the analysis unit. She tries to explain, but he dismisses her, saying he doesn’t care how she lives her life. If she ever felt sorry about what happened three years ago, she better forget about the Golden Time Team and leave. As if that wasn’t enough, he then pours salt on a wound by saying that he feels sorry for her father, having such a shame of a daughter. Dang, that’s such a low blow.

Later that night Jin Hyeok and Dae Shik go out for a drink. They are of course talking about Kwon Joo and her being a mythomaniac for insisting on her lies, thinking she’ll leave eventually. For a moment Dae Shik muses on a possibility of Kwon Joo telling the truth, which gets a negative reaction out of Jin Hyeok and he leaves. That thought is definitely stuck in his head, though.

Back at home Kwon Joo opens a curtain that hides away her hidden board of clues she gathered about the murder case three years ago. She remembers the nasty words Jin Hyeok said to her, then proceeds to repeatedly listen to the original recording of the emergency call that contained the killer’s voice. As she’s looking at her father’s picture, she promises to never falter and catch the killer from three years ago no matter what happens or what other people think of her.

Jin Hyeok goes to visit his son – Dong Woo, in the hospital, he’s suffering from chronic immune thrombocytopenia. The kid watched news about Eunhyung-dong’s culprit being caught and is very proud of his dad. Jin Hyeok brought his son a toy box and asked what he would like to receive for his upcoming birthday. Dong Woo misses his mom’s food, noting that he dreamt of her recently. Jin Hyeok tells him to be strong until dad catches the killer, then mom will smile at him in his dreams.

The next day Jin Hyeok and Dae Shik get transferred to the emergency call center as members of the Golden Time Team. Kwon Joo and Cheon Sang-Pil, her colleague, are interviewing potential candidates for their team – silly rookie/white hacker Oh Hyun Ho (Yesung) and pokerfaced Park Eun Soo (Son Eun-Seo) from the investigation division of Sungwun International Force. Hyun Ho gets hired on the spot and gets to work immediately, while Eun Soo refuses, having no interest in working at the Emergency Call Center. The way she said it was somewhat demeaning. Kwon Joo gives her a day to think it over.

Kwon Joo gets a call from Jin Hyeok, who’s throwing a hissy fit over being transferred to her team. She tells him to refrain from talking to her in banmal and that his desk is rearranged at the Crimes Unit, he can stay there if he wants. Sign over their desks says – “Golden Time Team, Emergence Dispatcher”. Their colleagues are suspicious of such a speedy promotion, finding it ridiculous that Jin Hyeok would serve someone who let his wife die. That obviously leads to a fight only Kyung Hak is able to stop.

Emergency Center gets a call from a seven-year-old boy, who reported that his mom had stabbed him with a knife. Kwon Joo takes over, activating Code Zero. The action team is required to dispatch on the scene immediately.

Jin Hyeok calls Kwon Joo, refusing to take orders from her, but she tells him there’s no time to be wasted and ends the call. He’s pissed, but Dea Shik, acting as the voice of reason for once, persuades him to go.

Kwon Joo asks the kid about where his mother is and we see her walking around the house with a knife, looking for the boy. She’s clearly not in the right state of mind. The mother’s demeanor unexpectedly changes and now she’s running around all worried, frantically looking for her son – Ah Ram.

Ah Ram is bleeding profusely, but tries to stay strong. He’s hiding inside a washing machine and tells Kwon Joo, that his mom just went outside. Kwon Joo asks additional information, like the boy’s name, where he’s been stabbed, then tells him to press hard on the wound, to stop the bleeding if only a little. Ah Ram doesn’t know his address, so he describes the surroundings – many red brick houses. Rookie Hyun Ho finds a possible location, telling it to Jin Hyeok and the team.

Ah Ram’s mother is running around the block, looking for him. She checks the trash bins, but he’s not in there. Her two neighbors call her Jae Eun’s mom (so where’s her real kid?) and ask, why hadn’t she answered the phone when they called her. They found a garbage bag that contains bloody children’s clothing and think it belongs to a lady from 104th apartment, but Ah Ram’s mom gets suspiciously nervous about their findings and quickly leaves.

Ah Ram’s mom goes home and calls her husband in a hurry. She’s afraid that the kid might call the police and asks what to do. Jin Hyeok and the team arrive at the scene within 3 minutes. They spread out and start the search. Kwon Joo asks Ah Ram if he remembers on which floor he lives, but Ah Ram doesn’t know, he was always held in his room. When he ran away from his mom, it was too bright for him to see. Then he proceeds to tell Kwon Joo about a boy he lived with – Jin Goo. Ah Ram’s parents always told him that they both eat too much and make the family poor. Jin Goo was always sick and went to live with his grandmother and never came back. He also told Ah Ram about another girl, who used to live here before he came. I have a bad feeling about this story.

Kwon Joo asks Ah Ram about what happened today. We see his mother trying to drown him in a bathtub, but he gets out, so she takes a knife and stabs him with it. He manages to push her away and runs to his current hiding place – washing machine. His mother hit her head when she fell and lost consciousness.

Kwon Joo informs the team that this is a murder case, since multiple kids were held in captivity before Ah Ram and went missing. Jin Hyeok and Dae Shik meet with the guard, who’d already heard about a reported child abuse case. Neighborhood ladies arrive to spread some rumors about apartment 104, where a mother abuses her kid. They get her personal information, informing the base, and go to check the apartment.

Kwon Joo tells Ah Ram that policemen will soon get him out, but the kid is barely holding on. Ah Ram remembers hearing a xylophone whenever dad came home, that’s when his mom cried a lot. Meanwhile, she gets a call from her husband, who asks if the kid was found yet. Just then Ah Ram’s phone slips from his hand and falls, creating a loud enough sound for his mother to hear. Now she knows the kid’s hiding somewhere at home.

Psycho mom takes a knife and goes to look for Ah Ram yet again. The kid tells Kwon Joo that mom knows he’s home. Kwon Joo updates everyone on the scene about the current situation, urging them to hurry. The Emergency Center does a profile check on their suspect – a woman, previously reported for child abuse, she lives with an 8-year-old elementary school kid. Kwon Joo gets suspicious over the information, thinking they might be looking for a different person, but Jin Hyeok insists on checking 104th apartment first.

Kwon Joo’s trying to figure out the sound Ah Ram talked about earlier – xylophone or something similar. Jin Hyeok and Dae Shik get to apartment 104. They hear a kid screaming inside, but Kwon Joo tells them, that something’s off. She thinks Ah Ram is somewhere else, but she can’t figure it out. Jin Hyeok tells her to stay calm until they check inside.

Ah Ram’s mom enters the room where he is hiding, but doesn’t notice him at first. Jin Hyeok and Dae Shik enter 104th apartment, but there’s a different woman inside, beating her kid for refusing to eat. They run outside in a hurry, telling Kwon Joo that they got a wrong apartment. Meanwhile, Ah Ram’s mom goes back in and notices blood on the floor, figuring out where the boy is hiding. She slowly creeps in on him, looking deadly and laughing like a maniac. We end this episode with Ah Ram’s terrifying screams.

10 minutes have passed since Burim-dong accident occurred.

BREAKDOWN

Ah Ram’s scream at the end of the episode made my blood run cold. I sincerely hope they find him in time. It would be wrong and too soon to have the victim die, so that Jin Hyeok learns to trust Kwon Joo. I do think that in the future episodes we’ll be faced with a situation like that. Golden Time Team can’t save every victim. There’s also a threat of the team being disbanded, since that’s what Bae Byung Gon and Kyung-Hak want. What better way to bring it up if not for a victim dying?

It’s a known fact, that the cases are based on real crimes that happened in Korea. I like what cases we’re getting so far, bringing up touchy subjects like the dangers of dating apps, underaged girls meeting strangers for money and child abuse. I’m curious whether Jin Hyeok wife’s case is also based on real events.

Two episode in and we already have our Golden Time Team established. The introduction of two new team members – Oh Hyun Ho and Park Eun Soo, was necessary, but I haven’t warmed up to them yet, especially Eun Soo. The girl certainly has a backstory and I’m sure we’ll get to know her painful past in the future, but my first impression of her wasn’t all too good. You can have a painful past, be serious and aim for a better position without being condescending to others and full of yourself. Hyun Ho is a silly fella, but there’s more to him than that. I like him for being useful on his first day at work and taking it seriously. While both aren’t fond of this job just yet, I’m waiting for the moment when they finally see the significance of 112 Emergency Call Center.

We got a better view on the lives of our main leads in the second episode. After losing his wife Jin Hyeok was left alone to care for his son Dong Woo, who has an illness and needs to stay in the hospital frequently. I feel so bad for their family; can’t they get a break from the suffering and hardships?

This episode also humanized Jin Hyeok a bit more for me. He might be a mad dog, often misplacing his anger and misjudging people, but when it comes to saving people’s lives, he gives it his all. Although I’ll be honest and say that fighting with Kwon Joo when they have an emergency is a bad move, save people, then quarrel all you like.

As a viewer, having seen the full story of what happened three years ago, it’s difficult to watch how Jin Hyeok treats Kwon Joo. It was especially painful to watch how he always brings up her father as a way to shame her. Such a low blow, although I get him. From his point of view, Kwon Joo deserves such treatment, I just hope that in the future he gets to eat his words and regret what he said about her. Jin Hyeok is not the only one who lost a loved one that night three years ago.

And finally, I’m able to talk about Kwon Joo. She is brilliant, I love and adore her to pieces. OCN’s shows usually are male-centered, but Voice balances out our main leads wonderfully. Even though Kwon Joo is always at the call center, she feels just as much of a lead as Jin Hyeok. I never once felt that she was left off in the background, she’s always at the center of things together with Jin Hyeok.

She’s a female lead I craved to see in a Korean drama. She’s smart, professional, calm and collected, focused on the important things and knows what she wants and how to get it. Kwon Joo is incredibly strong. If you think about all the mess she had to go through and endure, it’s amazing she managed as well as she did. Everyone blamed her for letting a victim die and not doing her job properly. Then, when she testified in court, everyone blamed her for taking the accuser’s side. Kwon Joo had to endure those nasty rumors about her taking bribes from the killer. Three years have passed, but nothing has changed since then. People are still judging her, Jin Hyeok hates her, her colleagues despise her. To top it off, she lived with guilt all these years for being unable to save her dad or Jin Hyeok’s wife. I don’t think just anyone could handle a situation like that, but Kwon Joo stayed strong and kept going. When she says, she’ll catch the killer, I truly believe her, because she has what it takes.

Kwon Joo has a certain cooling calmness about her, but we also witnessed her vulnerable side. She’s warm and caring with the victims, cherishing their lives above everything else, understanding, when it comes to Jin Hyeok’s hate, but also doesn’t let anyone walk all over her. Kwon Joo is my favorite character in this drama and I sincerely care and root for her. Lee Ha Na is doing a magnificent job at playing Kwon Joo.