Signal Chat Part 13&14: It All Makes Sense

Posted by Stephanie on March 10, 2016



Gah! I’m not prepared for this show to end. Not when we’re one week from closure and it, remarkably remains excellent. This set of episodes was an emotional ball of sadness, closure, and the ripping open of new and old wounds.


Stephanie: You know how I got teary in past episodes? Yeah, that was nothing compared to the buckets of tears I sobbed through the entire length of episode 13. THE ENTIRE THING. Gah, this show knows how to ring that emotional bell.

Jacqueline: I’m always the giant crybaby in EVERYTHING, and if I hadn’t lost my mom last week, I can bet you kittens that I would have been sobbing my face right the hell off! As is, poor Signal didn’t get a single tear ‘cause I was all cried out. Still, episode 13 was LEGIT just one emotional sucker punch after the other! I gotta say, though, of the two episodes, 14 was my favorite just because SO MUCH STUFF I DIDN’T SEE COMING YO!

Stephanie: Yes, big smoochy, smoochy hugs for you Jacqueline! Thanks for coming right back, I don’t know what I’d do without my Signal buddy. These two episodes were too emotionally intense for me to watch by myself. And? Who else is going to listen to me for real scream at my screen? (Or cry into my cat?) Yes, 13 was more all about the emotional moments, it took the time for everyone to come to terms with the death of the past detective, and to realize what he meant—or in the case of our Profiler how much he’s come to respect him. This show shows that you can have a high intensity drama, but you can still take it down to those quiet moments.


Jacqueline: *TACKLE HUGS BECAUSE REASONS!* Pfft. I’m the lucky one because, as you said while we were watching, “I swear, if people could hear me outside my door, they’d be very confused.” And that just shows you Signal is everything! Not only did they do a fan-damn-tastic job of giving us those emotional beats to underscore the relationship between the OTP AND the character, but I’ll be hot-diggity if the writers didn’t have me ten shades of pissed. I neeeeed to see that dirty cop get punched in the head. With a tree.

Stephanie: Laugh. Was it that moment when I said I’M GOING TO MURDER HIM MYSELF!? Yeah, sometimes I worry about police showing up after a Signal night. Which is interesting because in episode 14 we had some listening behind doors which was, for once in the land of Kdrama, AMAZING. When she was at his apartment hearing him call out for past detective while at the same time suddenly remembering (because it happened in the past) overhearing him through the other end of that same walkie talkie? GAH. This show is so awesome.

Jacqueline: YES YEP YEAH!!! To both of those statements, LOL. And I absolutely LOVED the hell out of that scene, because that was absolutely genius. What better way to prove to our girl about the magic walkie talkie than to have it be a part of her memories? It was such a genius bit to the script, but considering how every other writer would indubitably pull the, “He tells her, she thinks he’s nuts, they fight, then she believes him” schtick…well, GAH THIS SHOW IS SO AWESOME!..(Also please let’s totes talk about how I need either the past dead detective or the brother to make it. JUST GIVE ME ONE OF THEM ALIVE, PLEASE DRAMA!)

Stephanie: Well, not so much believed him, but she definitely knew something hinky was going down as who, in their rational, not living in a kdrama brain, would believe magical walkie talkies? That scene at the end where she knew something was off enough to bring the walkie talkie with her and then witnessed him talking to the profiler? Her expression and freak out? Not just for what was happening, but the idea that the person that she liked so much was so close, or even alive in another time? I don’t want to repeat myself but Gah! My brain is melty.


Jacqueline: Ugh. Stoopid brain. I sucked at that last explainy-bit. I have a feeling that this drama might do the “okay now THIS time in Episode ___ female cop is gonna do the talky-thing,” so that she can subsequently believe. But, then again, WEONLYHAVETWOEPISODESLEFTOMG. I can’t deal with that. This show has freakin’ FLOWN by, and honestly that wows me. As much as I love Signal, though, it’s one of those shows that’s so difficult to talk about simply because all the goodness is in the nuance. The small moments, the quick plot and character happenings, to the point that OKAY NOW I’LL REPEAT MYSELF, GAH THIS SHOW IS GOOD!

Stephanie: Can we get back to the pain/feelz? When the past detective realized just who the profiler was? Who he was in conjection to the case? And then he takes care of him, making sure he’s fed enough? This broke my heart, not only because you could tell it really broke the detective’s heart to realize what had happened, but the realization that the Profiler had a really shitty life. When the bad guys pinned the rape on his brother, they didn’t just ruin the brothers life but they also wrecked an entire family. And then they went on with their lives. I love so hard that the past detective is not letting it go and is finally pushing the screws to the commander and the bad guy is FINALLY feeling the heat. Of course this is only going to get past detective killed…but what ev’s.

Jacqueline: See! That’s exactly what I love about this show! It’s in those emotional threads between the characters, but mostly it’s the pacing. I love in that group of scenes you described, we got that after fourteen hours of content! The writers didn’t feel the need to shove that shiznit in early, which is when most dramas would have done. Get the audience more connected and at a faster speed to the profiler through revealing his shitty life; bam, instant engagement. BUT NO! We grow to love the profiler because of who he is as a person, with his intelligence, his humor, his determined nature and his flaws, and only after that are we treated to exactly how craptastic his life was as a kid. I swear, though, one of the two dead dudes HAS to live by episode 16. They just HAVE to!

Stephanie: We grow to love him despite his bangs. Where we ended off in the episode, he’s broken his own rule in order to save his brother, he told the past detective about his brothers imminent murder (and we should touch on that murder rather than suicide). He does this knowing the consequences, knowing that, because he directly interfered, someone else will die. The thing is for me, I want the brother to be saved—his story is just too sad, too tragic for him not to live, to get another chance (or any chance). However, realizing that someone has to die in his stead? I will be okay if it’s the past detective. This will be the only way I will be okay if he doesn’t live, because this is a much more fitting and honorable death for him. He would have died doing his job, doing what was right. We might not like it, it will really hurt the Profiler, but this death? We know the past detective himself would be okay with it.


Jacqueline: I am SOOO with you on that! I feel like if the past detective must die, then dying in the place to save the kid will be SO damn worth it. Because to find out that the kid was MURDERED?! I swear, when we both realized that two seconds before the drama dropped that bomb, our collective gasp was a thing of art! I am so looking forward to see how exactly that case will play out. Is the poor older brother gonna be saved? HOW will that asshole boss get his comeuppance? But most importantly, WHY IS THE MAGIC WALKIE TALKIE A THING?! And more-most importantly, how did our past police detective KNOW the timeline would reset at his death? To be honest with you, I’m getting way worried that this drama is gonna drop the ball on this issue. Either we’re going to get a lackluster explanation of both, or it’s going to get overlooked entirely. Eeeek.

Stephanie: I’m not entirely certain the timeline was reset. He got the walkie talkie, started talking to him and then realized when he was going to die, that it was him who actually started the whole thing because at this point he knew when he had started getting the messages, he knew that the profiler had to convince him, because in his past, it had already happened. That part I’m okay with, the actual understanding of the walkie talkie itself? I’m not sure if we’re ever going to know this as, despite that, there is not another single mystical element of this drama.

16-03-10-19-34-54-017_deco 16-03-10-19-37-52-731_deco

Jacqueline: But see, that suggests that the detective is well aware of the fact that the current timeline is continuous and real-time based, whereas his past ostensibly operates congruently. Maybe I’m just a big dumbass who can’t wrap her head around how he knew the Profiler’s first transmission would be HIS last transmission, but his first transmission would be the Profiler’s second transmission? He knew the timeline would go back to his first memory of his transmission, but it’s not like he ever died before, and he appears to have no understanding of how the walkie talkie works. So by all rights, what is the cause for him to know a transmission would happen after his death?…Damn I think I just gave myself a headache.

Stephanie: But is first transmission wasn’t his last transmission was it? I thought there were a couple. He had the one when he first found the walkie talkie and the detective wasn’t shot until a conversation later, when the profiler was in his house. We know from other episodes that, in the present, the walkie talkie only works once a day at the exact same time. So it had to be multiple transmissions on multiple days. At that point time circled back around again, the past detective has his own memories (because at this point he’s now lived through it) and warns the profiler because he is about to die. It wasn’t a matter of time going backward for him, because technically, the past only changes the present. Gah. Now my brain hurts.

Jacqueline: Yeah I’m still confused. I think I’m a lost cause. Because in my mind, no matter how many transmissions did or didn’t happen between the Profiler’s first and the detective’s last, I still can’t understand how he knew when the next transmission would be. That’s okay, I’m the dumb kid in class, and honestly I’m not all that worked up about that particular plot point, I JUST WANNA KNOW WHAT THE MAGIC WALKIE TALKIE IS. In episode 14 they mention that it was connected to his past love, the girl that died, but for the life of me I can’t recall how that was so? Am I forgetting something? Did she give him the walkie talkie and I just forgot? And if she did give it to him, is the kicker going to be ye ol’ “dead ghost girl is using her ghost skills to let profiler and detective communicate?” Is the time constraint of 11:20-something because that’s the time she died so that’s the magic witching hour?16-03-10-19-55-16-612_deco

Stephanie: I think it’s because the first case they worked on in the new past was the serial killer when the girl was killed. His first remembered contact with the profiler (as the first-first contact the case with the dead girl hasn’t happened yet). Plus, I think that they just assume it’s because of that as they have no idea why he’s actually carrying around the walkie talkie, it’s not like he can tell them: “I can’t throw it out because at any point I can get a magical message from the future that helps me solve crimes”.

Jacqueline: That’s a good point, actually. Gah, with this show who KNOWS what’s going to happen or what has happened that we haven’t had explained to us just yet. I love all the juicy layers this puppy has, and I will keep saying that until my jaw breaks off!…er…fingers fall off. Episode 14 left off with probably one of the best cliffhangers ever, one because WHILE THE BOY BE SAVED! And two, because bless that poor detective; he is forever getting stabbed, I swear.

Stephanie: Can I tell you my one cringeable moment in these episodes? It really irritated me. When they were in the ambulance after he got stabbed and she’s wailing. Not crying, but full on wailing like a child. I know there is a difference between her in the present and the past, but it was so out of character and jarring. They were going for laughs and it was a cheap shot which was beneath them.


Jacqueline: I think that was honestly a case of the director, actor, and writer not quite having a good take for that scene. I was totally fine with her abject breakdown, because it was fitting. She literally just saw him knifed and thought he was going to die. I think she knew in the ambulance he wasn’t going to, but the emotional hit caught up with her. What made the scene read so forgettable is that they played up his comedic reaction, so with that paired with her extreme reaction the scene played weird. It didn’t make me cringe, but it did feel so tonally jarring.

Stephanie: Yeah, I didn’t mind that she freaked out but more the way that she did it. At this point in the game, I ain’t got no patience for such comedic shenanigans. That goes for the potty humor in the next scene with them. Grow up guys, grow up and move on. I loved the scene with the detective and the bad guy, the one after the bad guy threatened his father. Everyone else has caved to this man, has done what he wanted because of threats or money, and our detective wouldn’t do it. I loved his take that it was a slippery slope, that doing one little thing would lead to the next thing and the next. Yeah, he may be able to ruin the father’s shop, but the father loves his son so much and seems like such an upright guy, that our past detective had to get those views from somewhere. I’m guessing that it’s the dad and that, if asked, Daddy Dearest would completely agree.


Jacqueline: See, I disagree. Those comedic moments might have been misses for me, but I appreciate that the show takes the time for those small realistic moments. Barring climactic points in a episode, or the drama’s climax as a whole, I get irritated with shows when they’re in the home stretch and they turn every scene into THIS IS EXCITING AND DRAMATIC STUFF. When they don’t allow for characters acting like characters in those small moments, the drama runs cold for me. But as for the dad scene, I AM SO WITH YOU ON THAT! Like, honestly, it felt so good to see the detective be like, “Nah dude, you ain’t getting me to run scared.” It’s a scene that really underscored the honorable strength to his character.

Stephanie: Nah, dude? LAUGH. Seems like a pretty good place to end. Let’s all cross our fingers that the writers land this drama. Also, we’re going to have to watch this drama as soon as it comes out. If we get spoiled on this shizzel? Imma gonna be PISSED.

Jacqueline: Dear Internet – You ruin episodes 15 and 16 for me, and we’re gonna have words. And by words I mean me angrily gesticulating with my middle digits as I scream Victorian profanities at you.


Like Jacqueline? Check out her
Fangirl Musings (YouTube)
Diehard Fangirl (Tumblr)

1 Comment

  • Reply DBChen March 13, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    Time travel always confuses me. That’s why I avoid them but this show is just so good. I just want Det. Lee AKA Teddy Bear Detective to have a happy ending or meaningful death.

  • Leave a Reply

    Back to top