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Through the Darkness -- Episodes 5 & 6: Fighting Crime through the Biases

It brought me great satisfaction and relief to know that Soo Hyun's killer suffers in prison, not only because of the prison sentence, but also because he lost what he values the most -- hygiene, order, cleanliness -- so true when they say karma is the best revenge. I could also sense Song Ha Young and Kook Young Soo's distress for having to take desperate measures to award him some of the comforts he so terribly misses, especially since he doesn't deserve it just so he could open up to them.

Despite the realistic depiction of events of the time, I dislike seeing the overt contempt and ingrained prejudices of male police officers at all levels against their female counterparts even more than I do the serial killings. I understand the behavior is reflective of the times, and despite it having gotten somewhat better, the sad truth is that the battle between feminism and deep-seated misogyny continues to this day and is perpetuated by historical practices. The worst part is that those in senior positions who are supposed to mitigate such behaviors gratify it, by placing people like Kim Bong Sik (Seo Dong Gab) in positions of power, to further marginalize the efforts of those who are morally superior and give their all to their duties.

Just like how I like the depth that Kim Nam Gil brings to his role as Song Ha Young. I love the passion Kim So Jin brings to Tae Goo, as a top-notch police officer disregarded for her gender. Having a flashback into Yoon Tae Goo's past made me understand her behavior, not just towards Ha Young, but men in general. It wasn't that she disliked him, it's that she admired him for not calling her out, only to wrongly believe he did, and to none other than her tormentor Kim Bong Sik. It made her believe he wasn't any different. Some may consider her taking the credit for Ha Soung's action unconscionable. And if the circumstances were different, I would've too. But I understood, and deeply sympathized with her. I believe Song Ha Young did too, and was happy for her.

I like that Song Ha Young doesn't let Tae Goo's behavior towards him change his towards her, even though he never understood why. Nothing is more infuriating than an incompetent and cowardly misogynist like Kim Bong Sik, who thinks he has the right to blame others for his mistakes. But the biggest culprit is the culture of a society, which silently watches, rather than create a culture of psychological safety, enables it. I love that this drama doesn't shy away, nor skims through the dark issues.

The more I watch Through the Darkness, the more respect I have for Kwon Il Yong as the first true criminal profiler, and for pouring his all into looking inside the hearts of monstrous criminals at the time when the term criminal profiling and the idea of serial killers was nonexistent. And what I like even more is that the drama focuses more on those who chase serial killers, rather than the serial killers themselves.

I can only imagine the frustration, stress, and pressure the police might have been under at the time of these serial killings, to have worked day and night and have nothing to show for it. I am sure it must've driven many to the brink, but what's commendable is that they never gave up, especially Ha Young, Young Soo, and Tae Goo. And they weren't just dealing with one serial killer, but two at that time. My favorite scene of this week's episodes was Tae Goo deservedly slapping the nonsense out of Kim Bong Shik, and she did just as I thought "please punch him" and I am not one to condone violence in any way, but there are times when words are just not enough.



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