K-Drama Review: “Nobody Knows” Deeply Engages With Unexpected Crime Mystery Wrapped With Insightful Lessons
Nobody Knows imparts a wonderful message that with right influence children can be molded into better human beings
A culmination of an exciting mystery plot, well-rounded characters and some meaningful life lessons- Nobody Knows is a beautiful piece of work. Top-billed by Kim Seo Hyung, Ryu Deok Hwan and Park Hoon, the drama also introduces some rising stars like Ahn Ji Ho, Yoon Chan Young and Yoon Jae Yong who have created quite an impression with their performances.
The drama has received a lot of love from the viewers since its premiere and has been topping the viewership ratings for its time slot every week.
Title: Nobody Knows
Theme: Crime, Mystery
Length: 16 Episodes
Broadcast Date: 2 March 2020 – 21 April 2020
Main Leads: Kim Seo Hyung | Ryu Deok Hwan | Park Hoon | Ahn Ji Ho
Highlights: Strong Female Lead | Focus on friendships and loyalty | Underlying message of hope
Related Dramas: Save Me, Signal, Class of Lies
Quick Plot Round-up
A serial killer is on the lose and because of his killing methods, it has been dubbed as stigmata serial killings. After her friend Choi Soo Jung (Kim Si Eun) becomes a victim of a serial killer, a young teenage Cha Young Jin (Kim Sae Ron) vows to catch the killer at any cost.
19 years later, Cha Young Jin (Kim Seo Hyung) is a competent police officer working at a regional homicide department. However, the culprit behind the stigmata murder case i.e. Soo Jung’s killer is still yet to be caught.
Things suddenly gets twisted when Ko Eun Ho (Ahn Ji Ho), a young teenager who is Young Jin’s neighbour and shares a close bond with her becomes involved in a case which in many ways has connections to the past murder incidents.
Cha Young Jin- a steely female lead with a soft heart
Performing the hard-core action sequences or conveying the emotions, Kim Seo Hyung nails it all. Cha Young Jin, who is at the center of the whole story, has a lot going on. After having lived almost two decades wallowing in guilt, she finds herself again in the same situation. Cha Young Jin faces all these challenges strongly head on.
As the story progresses, we get to see that aside from being a tough detective, she too has a soft heart. She has been a great support and influence towards Ko Eun Ho since they first met. And she does the same with Joo Dong Myung (Yoon Chan Young) and Ha Min Sung (Yoon Jae Yong).
Cha Young Jin is truly great in every aspect. As Ko Eun Ho has rightly said, she is a hero. And though she might have lost Soo Jung, she saved many others.
Friendships and loyalty
A rare exception for a K-Drama but for once, there were no betrayers in the police department which was little unexpected. They have their banters and personal opinions but Cha Young Jin’s department worked together as a team when it comes to catching the bad guys.
Cha Young Jin’s relationship with Kwang In Beom (Moon Sung Keun) was a heart-touching one too. The relationship that began with the goal to solve Soo Jung’s murder grew into them becoming each other’s confidante.
It’s reassuring to know that she had people like him and Ko Eun Ho who, in a way gave her the strength to endure. One of the touching scenes was when Kwang In Beom takes all the blame on himself during Young Jin’s disciplinary hearing. And he has been protecting her from the very beginning.
As for Young Jin and Eun Ho’s friendship, it is great reminder that in order to forge a long-lasting bond, one does not need to be related.
Loyalty existed in the bad guy’s team too. Oh Doo Seok (Shin Jae Hei), Go Hee Dong (Tae Won Seok) and Bae Sun Ah (Park Min Jung) were unwaveringly loyal towards Baek Sang Ho (Park Hoon). But the reason behind it is disturbing, as they look up to Baek Sang Ho like some kind of god figure and would go to any lengths for him.
The complexities of relationship between the children and adults
Children are not the reflection of their parents and not necessarily they would turn out like them. However, the characteristics of the children are molded by the influence of the people in their surroundings. The reason why Ko Eun Ho was so righteous was because of Cha Young Jin, who he looks up to.
Living in a sad environment with an irresponsible single mother who could care less, Eun Ho’s life could have turned different. But fate brought Young Jin to the young kid who was just looking for someone who cares.
Same thing applies to Dong Myung and Min Sung who have turned into the worst versions of themselves. But people like Cha Young Jin, Lee Sun Woo (Ryu Deok Hwan) and Kwang In Beom helped them realize and move on from their mistakes.
In the similar yet different manner, Baek Sang Ho’s underlings are loyal to him because of their belief that he was their sole savior. The series draws a wonderful narrative as it shows the parallels between what had been done and what could have been done.
Underlying message of hope
The drama narrates a very dark story but in the darkness, there is also light. It is true that no one is born evil rather its the circumstances that turn them into evil.
Nobody Knows relates two different scenarios- one, where children are lost because of the happenings in their surroundings and the other, where the children are guided with a helping hand.
The two scenarios provide different results and it also sends out the message that our smallest acts of kindness can mean a lot to some people. And, while we may not find answers to all the questions and there are difficulties along the way, having someone on the side makes a difference.
Nobody Knows delivered a great well-paced story with a twist of some surprising elements. It was extremely difficult to predict the flow of the story as the creators kept bombarding the viewers with new unexpected information.
Kim Seo Hyung was impressive with her role of a cop seeking closure from her past trauma. One of the notable points observed from her performance was how she easily transitions from her tough exterior to a vulnerable state of emotions.
Delving into the story of children who are unwanted or misunderstood was quite insightful. The drama perfectly entails that our perceptions and everything that we believe might not always be correct. There’s always a benefit of doubt in everything and we must reason before action to prevent hurting others.
A must watch drama for anybody who loves good mystery dramas. The highly engaging plot kept the viewers at edge until the very last. Also, the drama threw focus on individual stories of each of the characters showing their perspectives.
And, while most crime dramas are depressing and gloomy, this drama had some glimmer of hope too. The kids were adorable which makes us want to protect them even more.
The drama also showed that there can be bonds which are thicker than blood relationships. Cha Young Jin and Ko Eun Ho’s friendship gave away a warm, fuzzy feeling. It is evident that they both saved each other and it is happier feeling to learn that they found more people to lean on in the process.
Images Credit to: SBS