First Impressions: “Train” Promises A Ride Filled With Suspense And Thrills
“Train” is the latest thriller offering from OCN, and if you’re someone who likes suspense and riveting entertainment, then be sure to check it out! And because there’s only 12 episodes in total, you can be sure the storyline will be fast-paced, filled with punch after punch. Why you can even say, it’ll be as fast(-paced) as a train! *cough*
Seo Do Won (Yoon Shi Yoon) is a detective who is always adamant about getting to the bottom of things and also happens to be battling mental health issues. Han Seo Kyung (Kyung Soo Jin) is a prosecutor who is obsessed with finding her father’s murderer. While chasing a perpetrator, Do Won stumbles across bodies buried at Mukyeong Train Station. These bodies were victims of a murderer who appears to have the same M.O. as Seo Kyung’s father’s murderer. The two of them investigate into the murders, not knowing the horrors they’re about to uncover.
“Train” sets the tone of the show right away, with it’s foggy atmosphere and dark color palette. You can feel the sense of foreboding and tension, and it lures you right into the world they build. Given that this is also airing on OCN, make sure your stomach is ready for some more-horrifying-than-usual bits. You have been warned!
The storyline in the first two episodes largely focuses on two major plot points: the relationship between Do Won and Seo Kyung as well as the murderer who uses railroads as their burial site. Here’s a closer look at what’s happened so far in episodes 1 and 2:
Warning: Major spoilers below!
The death of two fathers
The story starts out with two teenagers, Seo Do Won and Han Seo Kyung, discovering the bodies of their fathers. Seo Kyung’s father was strangled with a necklace until he died of suffocation, then bludgeoned repeatedly across the head. Do Won’s father on the other hand, was the victim of a hit-and-run. After they hold their respective funerals and get the deceased’s belongings back from the police, Do Won shockingly finds the said necklace along with his father’s belongings.
When Seo Kyung finds her father’s body, his watch is stuck at 9:35 p.m.!
Fast forward 12 years, and Do Won and Seo Kyung have respectively become a detective and a prosecutor. We also learn that Do Won took Seo Kyung in when she was 17, after he learned that her stepmother and stepbrother were abusing her. For 10 years they lived together and Seo Kyung eventually developed feelings for Do Won, even confessing them to him. But Do Won leaves for three years, comes back, and pretends as if nothing happened.
However, Do Won is obviously not as nonchalant as he wants Seo Kyung to believe. He holds onto a broken watch she gave him many years ago, just because it was a present from her. We’re not particularly sure about what his feelings for her are specifically, but either way, the weight of his father’s sins bears down on him and remains a wall between the two.
This wall comes crumbling down when Seo Kyung misidentifies Lee Sung Wook as her father’s killer and aims a gun at him. Trying to stop her, Do Won finally comes clean about the true culprit, even telling her that this guilt the real reason he stayed with her and the reason he had to leave her. Seo Kyung is in disbelief over the whole situation and refuses to believe his reasons. She sees the broken watch that he’s still holding on to and tells him to go find her when he’s ready to admit the real truth.
This whole exchange proves what a smart woman Seo Kyung is, relationship-wise. Even though Do Won constantly insists that the attention he gave Seo Kyung all these years was out of guilt, and even though Seo Kyung is hurt by his coldness and wavers a little, she still sees through his facade. In her heart, she knows that the two of them share something special and refuses to be pushed away by him. I do wish Do Won would be less hot and cold towards Seo Kyung, going out of his way to help her one second, then being flippant with her the next. Seo Kyung deserves better.
“Danger, mirror, traffic lights, stop.”
The other major plotline, and really this is THE main plot of the whole drama, is one that involves a serial killer. Do Won accidentally uncovers a burial site at the Mukyeong Train Station railways, a station that has stopped operating as of 2015. The forensics team discover four dead women, all killed with the same M.O. — bludgeoned repeatedly across the head and stuffed in a luggage case. Their deaths are estimated to be about a year ago, with the bodies having decomposed down to just skeletal remains.
The forensics team find fingerprints on the luggages which they eventually match to Lee Sung Wook, who also happens to be Seo Kyung’s stepbrother. Unfortunately for the detectives, he’s also mentally disabled, and when they pull him in for questioning, he repeats the same four words — “Danger, mirror, traffic lights, stop.” Do Won eventually figures out that these four words also appear right next to where the four luggages are buried, and thus is even more certain that Sung Wook is their killer.
Hearing the news, Sung Wook’s mother (and Seo Kyung’s stepmother) hurries to the precinct, confessing that they accidentally came across the luggage before and Sung Wook buried it as he does habitually with all dead things. That is why his fingerprints are all over the suitcases and why he knows where they’re buried. She also insists that she didn’t know there were more bodies or that he had continued to bury them. She also comes clean about stealing an earring from that first dead body, an earring she has kept hidden at her house ever since. It isn’t clear why she took an earring or why she’s kept it all this time, but what is interesting is that the pair of earrings was stolen from Seo Kyung’s house 12 years ago, on the night of her father’s murder. And who do those earrings belong to? Seo Kyung’s late mother or the stepmom? And if it’s the stepmom’s, does she remember them?
When a dead person reappears
Do Won later remembers that Sung Wook also has a fifth word, “bukgyungru,” scribbled across his walls, and figures that there is a fifth body buried somewhere related to the word. Do Won and Seo Kyung go back to the railways and by chance see an advertisement with that very word plastered on the wall. They check around, and Seo Kyung finds another suitcase in an oil barrel. This time however, the body is fresh, and we see that the person has a scar on their neck. After running the victim’s fingerprints, they find that the body is that of a young woman named Lee Ji Young.
The prosthetic looks rather scaly, no?
Except… Lee Ji Young walks into the precinct and tells Do Won that she’s very much alive. It puzzles the detectives as to how these two people could possibly share the same fingerprints, and Do Won even notices that the living Ji Young also has a scar on her neck. But this isn’t the only weird thing about this case. The detectives and forensic team continue to uncover unexplainable circumstances, like finding new clothes that were supposedly made by a company that went bankrupt eight years ago. Or finding dead cats that looked like they had been run over by trains, except there were obviously no trains operating at the abandoned station. It is all very baffling for the detectives, but that isn’t what I’m most curious about. Why is there a one year gap in between the first four murders and the fifth murder? What prompted him to start killing again?
“The person comes by train.”
As Seo Kyung holds onto hope that there is more to the story of her father’s death, she continues to grill Sung Wook, and that’s when Sung Wook tells her “the person comes by train.”
I was watching this late at night, and this scene totally freaked me out!
Deciding to investigate further, Seo Kyung goes back to Mukyeong Station, and that’s when she sees a train ticket travelling from Seoul to Mukyeong, dated February 2020!
And right then, the clock strikes 9:35 p.m. (which is also the time the train is scheduled to arrive at Mukyeong as per the ticket), and suddenly we hear bells ringing and red lights flashing, indicating a train is arriving. And to Seo Kyung’s surprise, a train arrives and stops in front of her. An actual, real train that she manages to touch. We then see a figure in an all black ensemble pulling a luggage carrier through the train compartments, then tossing it out onto the railroads.
Seo Kyung, seeing the luggage, walks up to it and unzips it. And all I can do is scream at the screen, because that’s just NOT A SMART THING TO DO, Seo Kyung! A mysterious luggage comes flying out of a train, and the first thing you do is open the luggage with your back against the train, no less? Even though you clearly know that bodies have been buried in those same luggages, at the same exact area? Oh, Seo Kyung. (Also, she seems pretty calm throughout this whole ordeal, no?) This move of hers ultimately costs her, as the moment she opens up suitcase, she hears a sound behind her and turns around to see a gun pointed at her.
Do Won later receives a call alerting him to the luggage, and he finds another dead body. (Is that Seo Kyung’s step mother? The frizzy hair looks similar).
The patrolmen then also tells him that a female prosecutor came through earlier, but by the time Do Won finds her, she’s already dead. It’s heartbreaking seeing Do Won breaking down and in hysterics over her death, and Yoon Shi Yoon really digs deep in this scene. The emotion he pours out is so raw, you can’t look away even though you want to.
I was also thinking, wait, she’s actually dead? The female lead is dead?!
Which brings me to…
A blue-tinted train station
Okay, so the train station isn’t actually tinted blue, but rather the scenes themselves are. And if you came into this drama blind, then spoiler alert, this is a fantasy crime thriller that involves parallel worlds! And instead of a bamboo forest, the characters in this world apparently travel between worlds via this train. So theoretically the murderer is someone from this other world, considering that we see a person holding a revolver disembarking the train at a blue-tinted platform. So while Seo Kyung is dead in this warmer-tinted world, we’ll still see her doppelgänger in the other world.
And right at the end of episode 2, we see Do Won’s doppelgänger walking along the blue-tinted platform with a scar on his forehead and with bloodshot eyes. He’s not the one who shot Seo Kyung right? Surely it’s a red herring?
Watch the first episode of “Train” here:
Have you watched the premiere of “Train”? If so, did Sung Wook give you a scare too? And will you continue to tune in? Let us know in the comments below!