Dark Hole -- Episode 3: Survival Instinct

Oh, my goodness, it's one catastrophe after another for the city of Mujishi, its people, Detective Lee Hwa Sun, and Yoo Tae Han. I am thoroughly enjoying the adrenaline rush that comes with watching this drama. It's everything I expected and more. I never want the episodes to end. My only pet peeve with Korean dramas is that they have no problem brandishing guns but hardly ever use them when needed most.

One thing is for sure, though, if the serial killer, dark mist, or the batshit crazy shaman doesn't get them, the batcrap crazy new sky deity cult would. It's deep survival mode everywhere one turns. I swear the minute the new sky deity leader told Detective Lee Hwa Sun not to be scared, I thought, oh, no, lady, you should be terrified. I found the lady who grabbed Do Yoon (Lee Ye Bit) off the street the scariest. I just knew they were up to something. The way they acted around the little girl, I thought maybe they needed her purity as a sacrifice to appease their deity; it never crossed my mind they were going for the Jonestown mass suicide effect. I bet the leader never intended to participate in the cleansing of his soul. So typical.

There's nothing like the fear of death to bring out the worst in people. I guess it's the survival instinct that distorts reality and brings out the worst in people who otherwise would be kind, compassionate, and honorable. Seeing the school janitor let his fear of the headmaster cloud his judgment and refuse to help someone in need was harrowing to watch, not that police officer Park Soon Il (Im Won Hee), any better. I appreciate entirely being fearful for one's life but to let someone die when you can help them, that's something else entirely. For some reason, I thought Yoo Tae Han was a police officer in Seoul, not Mujishi. I'm not sure why I thought that; I guess I just assumed it. The tension between him and Officer Park explained why he acted the way he did, but I think it may also relate to why Tae Han is no longer in the force. It's safe to assume the officer is not on the side of good. Still, I can't wait to find out more about the misunderstanding that made Yoo Tae Han leave the police force.

But in every moment of darkness, there are also countless moments of light—small gestures of compassion as shown by school teacher Choi Seung Tae (Park Keun Rok), trying to provide the masses a haven. In Detective Lee Hwa-Sun protecting a stranger's daughter, and Yoo Tae Han bravely trying to save his crazed friend despite the odds of it all. And if there's one blessing amid all the chaos is that whatever craziness that's afflicted Mujishi is not transmittable through bodily fluids, blood splash, or bite marks. My favorite and scariest moment of the episode was when the firefighter appearing out of nowhere jumped on the hood of Yoo Tae Han's truck and started whacking at the windshield with an ax. I almost jumped out of my skin.

I'm still somewhat unsure what to make of Han Dong Rim (Oh Yu Jin), the bullied student, Detective Lee Hwa Sun, and shaman Kim Seon Nyeo (Song Sang Eun); they seem to have some sort of built-in protection from the dark mist. It hasn't affected them like it has the rest of the town, which makes them either very dangerous or puts them in danger, especially Hwa Sun. The shaman and Dong Rim are a different story altogether. It seemed to me like Dong Rim did something to make the boy who was bullying her in the school turn; this new turn of the event makes me believe the dark mist is human-made and has followers gifted with particular abilities to do its work. I am hooked on Dark Hole and cannot wait to see what happens in the next episode. Watch Episode 3 here.

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