Chief Detective 1958 Episode 5 Recap and Review

* This review contains minor spoilers for episode 5 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.

READ | Chief Detective 1958 Episode 4 Recap and Review

Our heroes finally show their vulnerabilities in this episode, which opens with the murder of one of their close friends. Park Young-Han (Lee Je-Hoon) and his team are devastated to learn that Sung-Chil, the grandson of the rice cake seller, has been stabbed to death in the market.

Realizing that the Dongdaemun Gang is responsible, they storm the gang’s stronghold to confront Viper, whom they believe is responsible for Sung-Chil’s death.

Park beats Viper and arrests him, hoping to bring the gang leader to justice. However, despite managing to extract a confession at gunpoint, the case against him fails when his gang members support his alibi.

Search for the truth

The team get permission to investigate the case further from their boss Yu Dae-Cheon (Choi Deok-Moon), and learn new details about the crime. They suspect that the murder weapon is a special knife owned by Viper, but are unable to find it as it has been hidden.

Park learns of a new cult that is manipulating citizens into donating their money. Knowing that Viper’s right-hand man Rattlesnake is a follower, they decide to lay a trap for him.

They blackmail the cult leader into telling Rattlesnake that bad luck will befall him. Park and his men then orchestrate a series of ‘accidents’ around Rattlesnake, terrifying him into revealing the murder weapon.

However, all their efforts prove to be in vain. Dongdaemun boss Lee Jung-Jae (Kim Young-Seong) convinces the prosecutor to refuse issuing an arrest warrant for Viper.

Getting help from an old friend

Park falls into despair, and pours out his troubles to Hye-Ju (Seo Eun-Soo). He tells her that he is contemplating becoming a vigilante, but she manages to calm him down. Park later has a drunken conversation with his housemates. A chance remark suddenly gives him a new idea – get another country’s officials to arrest Viper.

Park decides to trick Viper into committing an ‘international crime’, and enlists the help of Steve Jackson, the Korean-American soldier from several episodes ago. His team disrupts the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Jongnam Market and forces Viper to attack Steve.

Viper is then arrested for assaulting an American soldier, and Lee Jung-Jae is unable to get him released. Park then meets Lee, and the two have a tense negotiation. Park points out that having a member of the Dongdaemun gang being prosecuted by the Americans would be bad for Lee’s business. A reluctant Lee allows Viper to be arrested for murder by local Jongnam police instead.

Dealing with the consequences

Despite finally getting their man, Park and his team are not done with Lee. Throughout the episode, we see Lee arranging a smuggling deal with a local military commander named Baek (Kim Min-Jae).

Park and his men eventually disrupt the deal, blowing the lid off the entire operation. A humiliated and angry Lee threatens Park, giving him a choice between dying, or working for him instead. Park refuses to compromise on his principles, and Lee tells him he will regret his decision.

We then timeskip to 1960, showing us the major changes of the period. Park finally marries Hye-Ju, and the police force is finally allowing women to join. However, the episode ends on a disturbing note, as we see Chief Yu being violently attacked in a dark alley.

What we thought of Chief Detective 1958 Episode 5

This emotionally-charged episode really tugged at our heart-strings. The majority of it focused on the team’s quest to get justice for Sung-Chil, and the toll it takes on them. In one scene, Park nearly beats Viper to death, but manages to hold himself back. This brief moment really illustrates his character, and how despite everything, he still wants to believe in the rule of law.

We also get to see Park and Lee Jung-Jae meet face-to-face, laying the groundwork for further conflict in the future. And with the sudden attack on Chief Yu at the end, will this mean more dangerous times ahead for Park and his team? We can’t wait to find out.

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

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