Dark Hole episode 2 ups the horror and gore as the sinkhole’s infection begins to rapidly spread.
This recap of Dark Hole season 1, episode 2 contains spoilers.
Dark Hole episode 2 picks up exactly where the previous episode left off, with Hwa-Sun, in a black-eyed trance, pointing a gun at Tae-Han, believing him to be Soo Hyun, her husband’s murderer. He’s pretty understanding about the whole thing, really. In the featureless trance dimension, she sees her husband himself, who lowers her gun gently — presumably, she’s resisting the effects of the black smoke and the dark hole here, but she collapses right after, one assumes from the exertion.
Tae-Han carries the unconscious Hwa-Sun back through the woods, while Sunnyeo, watching from afar, takes their place at the edge of the churning, titular hole. The smoke swirls around her. Later, obviously infected, she draws her own blood and uses it to desecrate the temple of the deity she was supposedly channeling when we met her in the previous episode. “Anyone who doesn’t take me in will die,” she smilingly repeats to herself, which hardly bodes well.
In a brief aside, we see Muji schoolteacher Choi Seung-Tae (Park Keun-Rok) petition the school’s chairman for a security guard, but he’s shot down immediately by the chairman and his sycophantic yes-man, Son Dong-Goo (Jang Myung-Kab). Why does the school need security? What’s all the beef about? We don’t know for now, but I’m sure we’ll find out.
Anyway, Park Soon-Il and Zo Hyun-Ho eventually discover the sinkhole for themselves, which is apparently on the chairman’s land and will plummet the price of it. These two seem like obvious comic relief for now, but Sergeant Park has a direct line to the Chairman, who he calls to inform that a sinkhole has appeared on the exact spot he’s planning to build a nursing home. There’s obviously a lot of money at stake here, so Park is ordered to fill the hole in immediately, which is going to be easier said than done.
Elsewhere in Dark Hole episode 2, Hwa-Sun wakes up with Tae-Han, thoroughly confused and barely able to remember what happened on the mountain. Tae-Han is curious about what she experienced since he was front and center when Young-Sik experienced the exact same thing, but Hwa-Sun is tightlipped and also distracted by a call from Jung-Hwa informing her that Soo Hyun’s car was spotted on CCTV outside of Jingan Tunnel in Muji Metropolitan City. All roads seem to lead in the same direction, so to speak. Tae-Han leaves with Hwa-Sun for the journey to the tunnel.
Elsewhere, Mr. Choi instructs one of the students, Dong-Rim (Oh Yu-Jin), to see the school nurse about a cut knee — all the female students seem to wander around the place like zombies, but Dong-Rim especially, and a conversation with the nurse, not to mention a telling glance at a counseling poster, suggests she’s going through some things. As we learn, she’s being blackmailed by a former student with a video of some bullying, so she and several other students are taken to the sinkhole. They and the two men with them mess around on its edge, lowering Dong-Rim’s phone down on some of the police tape to see what’s inside. As the phone gets lower, something unseen yanks the tape, like a fish snapping on bait, and Dong-Rim’s phone ends up being left down there. The girls try to force Dong-Rim down with it, so she pimp slaps one of them. The black smoke enters the aggressor, and in a fit of black-eyed rage, she starts to strangle one of her accomplices to death. The smoke possesses another of the girls, who, seeing her mother, walks straight off the edge and into the sinkhole. The strangler finishes the job and begins to chase the boys leaving Dong-Rim alone with the dead girl — and the smoke, which she flees from. The Sinkhole Strangler is able to catch one of the boys and… eat him? The other escapes.
Hwa-Sun and Tae-Han finally arrive at the tunnel, which the car’s owner entered, and never left. Hwa-Sun follows and inside experiences visions and another migraine. The visions seem to be of youngsters, their heads obscured by white pillowcases with fiery eyes and grins. She witnesses her husband’s murder at the hands of these little killers, and as he dies, he tells her she can’t go in the tunnel. In the real world, her eyes are once again black, and she’s once again pointing her gun at Tae-Han, who saves her at the last minute from a passing truck. After, the lights in the tunnel shut out, and so do those across the entire city, plunging the whole place into darkness.
When Hwa-Sun explains that she had visions, Tae-Han recognizes the symptom — Young-Shik also saw visions of his dead father. She also fills him in on never having caught Soo Hyun, and coming to Muji city to do so. Since the hospital is on the way to town anyway, he suggests they go there first, which doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
The police’s efforts to fill in the hole turn into a super-spreader event in Dark Hole season 1, episode 2, as the Sinkhole Stranger and co. descend upon them, the smoke moving through the populace. The hospital, which is currently without power, begins to become overwhelmed. Inside, the man with the scarred face and neck who was one of the first casualties of the premiere reanimates and kills his doctors, one of them by forcing his thumbs into his eyes (never a fun way to go). It’s chaos, and Do-Yoon’s mother, Bo-Eun, is in the midst of it. Speaking of which, Do-Yoon, home alone, is surprised to receive a visit from a shadowy caller who claims to be her mother and would like to come inside, but a video call from the real thing proves the imposter a fake. It’s an effectively spooky sequence. The imposter breaks in and chases Do-Yoon while Bo-Eun is still on the video call.
Outside the hospital, Hwa-Sun recognizes the eye gouger and tries to arrest him, but she’s overwhelmed by his strength and Tae-Han has to save her from getting a chokeslam. She puts a bullet through the man’s leg, but he still continues to crawl towards Bo-Eun, reaching for her eyes, and Hwa-Sun is forced to finish him off with a headshot. His blood runs black, like his eyes, which is not a good thing since Hwa-Sun knows her own eyes have been blacking out. Is she in the midst of her own transition?
Tae-Han, having made a connection between the smoke and the infection, warns the doctors not to let any smoke into the hospital, though it’s probably too little too late by now.
Things are similarly miserable at the police station, with Soon-Il and Hyun-Ho barricading themselves inside while Tae-Han heads off to find Young-Shik, who is upping his body count and still sees Tae-Han as his dead father, setting about him with a pickaxe. They fight, and however determinedly Tae-Han tries to talk him around, it does no good. Tae-Han gets bitten but is able to drive Young-Shik’s head through the pointy end of a rake.
Elsewhere, Hwa-Sun teams up with Bo-Eun to find Do-Yoon. They just miss her, though, as she’s being chased outside by the demented woman who broke into the house. She’s able to corner Bo-Eun and Do-Yoon in an alleyway, but Hwa-Sun arrives to save them. However, Bo-Eun isn’t able to get away and sacrifices herself so that Hwa-Sun can get Do-Yoon to safety. She’s left behind, but we don’t see her die, as the spreading smoke engulfs her. It’s an emotional scene to close Dark Hole season 1, episode 2 as Muji City descends into chaos. Unfortunately, Hwa-Sun and Do-Yoon are separated as a tannoy announces that apparently there is shelter at the high school — I wouldn’t be so sure.