Chief Detective 1958 Episode 4 Recap and Review

* This review contains minor spoilers for episode 4 of Chief Detective 1958.

Chief Detective 1958 is set in post-war Korea, a period ripe with social change and unrest. The series follows the journey of a young detective in Seoul as he navigates the dangerous underbelly of a city grappling with rapid modernization and political turmoil. With a blend of historical richness and mystery, the show delves into intriguing criminal cases that reflect the societal issues of the 1950s. Each episode is intricately woven with suspense, drama, and a touch of period-authentic charm.

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Things take a dark turn in this episode for our heroes, with a heavy storyline involving the cold-blooded murder of infants. A woman comes to the station to report that her 5-month-old son was abducted from her home. The other detective refuses to investigate, as they only deal with major crimes.

Kim San-Sung (Lee Dong-Hwi) is upset by this and offers to take her report. She tells them her child has six fingers on one hand, and was wrapped in a blanket with a yellow turtle embroidered on it.

The suspicious orphanage

Later, soldiers on a training exercise discover a mass grave with the bodies of 10 infants. The bodies are soon taken away by local cops. It also appears that someone with a lot of power is eager to hush the matter up. The military doctor who conducted an autopsy on the infants is transferred to a remote base, while a journalist who reported on the discovery is suddenly struck by a car.

Suspecting that their missing infant could be one of the bodies, the team visit the other police station. They are told that the infants died of measles, and they are from an orphanage run by renowned socialite and philanthropist Audrey Ko (Kim Soo-Jin).

Chief Detective 1958 Episode 4

Kim is clearly angered by the other officers’ callous attitude towards the dead orphans. We then learn that he himself grew up in an orphanage.

Meeting Audrey Ko

Park Young-Han (Lee Je-Hoon) and Kim meet Audrey, who refuses to help their investigations. She immediately calls their Chief Superintendent to complain that they are harassing her.

Kim suspects that Audrey is kidnapping babies to sell to overseas couples for a premium, and that the infants were killed because they had physical defects. Their boss Yu Dae-Cheon (Choi Deok-Moon) also reveals Audrey’s shady past as a collaborator during the Japanese occupation. She revamped her image after the war, and soon gained friends in high places.

Park and Kim pretend to beg for Audrey’s forgiveness, in order to gain access to the orphanage. They meet a young boy who seems to know about the babies, but is too afraid to tell them. Eventually, they discover a burnt piece of cloth with yellow embroidery on it.

To their horror, they realize that Kim’s suspicions were correct, and that Audrey has been kidnapping and selling children. However, they need more evidence to convict her.

Catching a killer

After realizing that the missing babies’ mothers all used the same cosmetics brand, they suspect a local cosmetics saleswoman is the one hired to kidnap the children. They learn that she has a gambling addiction, and set up a sting operation to catch her as she kidnaps another child. They also locate a doctor who examined the babies and determined that they were too ‘defective’ to adopt.

Audrey and two of her staff members are brought in on suspicion of kidnapping and murder. However, the staff members claim they are the real masterminds, and that Audrey is not involved. It appears as though Audrey might walk, until Kim shows up with the boy from the orphanage.

Chief Detective 1958 Episode 4

The boy reveals that he saw the babies hidden away at the orphanage. He also witnessed Audrey ordering their deaths. This proves to be the final nail in the coffin for Audrey, and she is immediately arrested. The detectives later attend a funeral service for the 10 babies.

What we thought of Chief Detective 1958 Episode 4

This episode tugs at the heartstrings while also giving us some impactful character development. Our heroes face their most challenging case yet, and must use all their wits to get justice for these small victims.

We get a glimpse into the prejudices of the era. The villain comes dangerously close to getting away, in part because the victims were believed to be ‘only’ orphans. It is almost frightening to consider how many similar crimes may have been overlooked.

The episode shifts the focus to Kim San-Sung, showing us a vulnerable side to the rough and hard-headed cop. His personal connection to the case fuels his desire to see the evildoers taken down, and he becomes the main driving force of the investigation. We learn more about his past, including the surprisingly touching reason behind his penchant for biting, and get to see him form a close bond with the young boy from the orphanage.

The acting in this episode was top-notch. Both Lee Dong-Hwi and Lee Je-Hoon delivered understated but impactful performances. Kim Soo-Jin also deserves praise for making Audrey such an unflinchingly evil character.

We also get a touching B-plot, with Park Young-Han arranging reading lessons for the grandson of the local rice cake shop owner. It is yet another example of his natural kindness and care for those around him.

However, the teaser for the next episode reveals an unhappy ending to this story, and it looks as though next week will feature yet another tearjerker. Be sure to have your tissues ready!

Catch Chief Detective 1958 every Friday and Saturday on Disney+ Hotstar.

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