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Search (써치; Sseochi; also called The Search) is a 2020 South Korean series starring Jang Dong-yoon, Krystal Jeong, Moon Jeong-hee, Yoon Park, and Lee Hyeon-wook. It aired on OCN in October and November 2020.

People are mysteriously disappearing and being murdered around the demilitarised zone. A special search party forms to solve the case. They quickly realise the murderer isn't human.

The series can be watched on Viki with English subtitles.

Not to be confused with the 1972 American series also called Search, or the similarly-titled 2019 series Search: WWW, which is also from South Korea.

This show contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Ye-rim and Da-jeong are both soldiers and members of the search party.
  • Action Mom: Da-jeong has a daughter. One of the reasons she joins the search party is to protect her family.
  • Afraid of Needles: Ye-rim hates injections, and has to look away when she has her blood taken.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The North Korean defector hands a baby to the South Korean soldiers in the Distant Prologue. Towards the end of the series we learn that baby was Ye-rim.
  • Anachronic Order: Episode three jumps back and forth between Dong-jin getting lost in the DMZ and what happened in the hours leading up to his disappearance.
  • Back from the Dead: Lee Hyeok shot Min-guk repeatedly. Min-guk comes back to life anyway as one of the infected people.
  • Big Friendly Dog: Leo, Dong-jin's German Shepherd, is very friendly. So is Mac, Leo's replacement.
  • Binocular Shot: A variant. The first episode's opening scene is filmed from the P.O.V. of someone wearing a gas mask.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Jun-seong, Min-gyu, Min-guk, Baek-jun, and Ye-rim's parents are all dead and Mun-cheol is seriously injured. But Lee Hyeok is missing presumed dead and his crimes have been exposed, Min-guk's reputation is posthumously restored, Ye-rim has learnt the truth about her parents, and Dong-jin has been discharged and adopted Mac.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Blood drips out of Baek-jun's mouth after the murderer throws him across the room repeatedly.
  • Boxed Crook: Min-gyu is court-martialled on suspicion of unspecified crimes. Joining the search party is his only chance to stay in the military.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Jun-seong learns Lee Hyeok murdered Min-guk and hid it by claiming Min-guk defected to North Korea. He confronts his father over the phone, and hangs up in disgust when Lee Hyeok denies it while still ordering Jun-seong to bring him the footage.
  • Cat Scare: Or dog scare in this case. Ye-rim sees something moving through the grass towards her. She takes aim as it gets closer... and closer... then Leo jumps out at her.
  • Caught on Tape: A camcorder records the entire 1997 incident, including Min-guk's murder. The survivors assumed the camera either wasn't working or would never be found. Twenty years later Dong-jin finds it and watches the video. Then Jun-seong destroys it to protect his father, the murderer.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Where to start... Dong-jin is the son of Min-guk, who was murdered by Lee Hyeok, who just happens to be the father of Dong-jin's teammate Jun-seong. Dong-jin stumbles upon video footage of Lee Hyeok committing the crime. Naturally Jun-seong is the only other person on the team to find out about it. Then it turns out Min-guk was infected, has lived in the DMZ for over twenty years, and rescues Su-yeong shortly before the search party do. Meanwhile, Ye-rim is the daughter of Major Ri, the North Korean defector from the prologue. And her father is the infected person the team was formed to hunt.
  • Decoy Protagonist: The series starts in 1997 with Jo Min-guk leading a group of soldiers into the DMZ and discovering a North Korean defector. You'd be forgiven for expecting him to be the main character. But then the series jumps forward twenty years, and Min-guk only appears in flashbacks until the end.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Dong-jin doesn't have a father. Turns out his father is the other infected person living in the DMZ — otherwise known as Jo Min-guk.
    • Ye-rim's father was the murderer. She only discovers this after his death.
  • Distant Prologue: The prologue is set in 1997. The main series takes place over twenty years later.
  • Dying Alone: Min-gyu. After being fatally injured he walks away and tells Dong-jin not to follow. When he's alone he collapses, and dies soon after.
  • Epic Fail: A soldier fires a tranquiliser dart at a wolf. Not only does he fail to hit the wolf, he succeeds in hitting Dong-jin.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Played with. A jeep hits a tree, doesn't explode, and doesn't look like it's badly damaged. The driver has time to climb out and walk to safety. Then a massive fireball abruptly engulfs the jeep.
  • Gilligan Cut: Dong-jin says he won't go out. Cut to him outside, being ordered to join a search team.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom / Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • The murderer has glowing red eyes.
    • The first warning the soldiers have of the wild dogs' attack is when they see the dogs' glowing eyes.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The murderer's snarls and roars sound distorted and like a non-verbal Voice of the Legion.
  • Honour Before Reason: Telling the truth about the 1997 DMZ incident would result in the dishonourable discharge of Min-guk and the other survivors. Min-guk plans to tell the truth anyway. It gets him murdered.
  • House Husband: Da-jeong's husband Min-jae runs the household and raises their daughter while Da-jeong is at work or on a mission.
  • I Can't Feel My Legs!: Mun-cheol says this after he suffers a spinal fracture.
  • In the Back: Lee Hyeok shoots Min-guk in the back.
  • Jitter Cam: Used constantly throughout the series, even during mundane scenes like a conversation between minor characters.
  • The Kindnapper: Su-yeong disappears in the DMZ. Then, when Dong-jin finds her in a dilapidated old house, she says a "nice man" brought her to his home. Made slightly less frightening when it turns out Min-guk, the man who found her, has no bad intentions; he rescued her from wandering onto a landmine. Then made more frightening again because Min-guk is infected.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Lee Hyeok plans to shoot a baby, but his gun is out of bullets. So he walks over to pick up another gun. On the way there he stands on a landmine. The explosion tears his leg off.
  • Maybe Ever After: Dong-jin and Ye-rim aren't an Official Couple by the end, but their last interactions suggest they might start dating again in the future.
  • Missing Mom: Ye-rim's mother, Major Ri, dies in the prologue.
  • Nephewism: Played with; Dong-jin is raised by both his mother and his uncle, but he has his uncle's surname and is entered on his family register. His mother did this to avoid anyone connecting him with Min-guk.
  • Offing the Offspring: Lee Hyeok accidentally kills Jun-seong.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: These zombies are the "caused by a virus" variety. They're very strong and very fast, and the murderer in particular is smart enough to follow and attack people while staying out of sight. Cutting their medulla is the only way to kill them.
  • Plague Zombie: Corporal Oh's body and his attacker's blood are found to contain a virus initially mistaken for rabies.
  • Precocious Crush: Ten-year-old Su-yeong has a crush on twenty-eight-year-old Dong-jin. In their very first meeting she tells him she wants to marry him, so he'd better make a lot of money, and laments he wasn't born later.
  • The Scapegoat: According to Lee Hyeok's version of events, Min-guk murdered his friends and defected to North Korea. Actually Lee Hyeok murdered Min-guk to avoid being involved in a scandal, and along with the other survivors came up with a story to explain his disappearance and keep suspicion off themselves.
  • Shirtless Scene: Dong-jin is introduced playing basketball while shirtless.
  • Slashed Throat: Corporal Oh discovers Private Gwon's body with his throat slashed open.
  • Taking the Bullet: Lee Hyeok tries to shoot Min-guk again. Jun-seong jumps between them and gets shot instead.
  • There Is Another: After they kill the murderer the search party assume their mission is over. Then they realise another infected person is still in the DMZ.
  • This Cannot Be!: Lee Hyeok shouts, "How can this be?" when he discovers Min-guk is Only Mostly Dead.
  • Title Drop: The last line of the series is Dong-jin giving Mac an order: "Search!".
  • Working with the Ex: Dong-jin and Ye-rim dated and broke up before the start of the series. This makes it awkward when they find themselves working together in the search party.
  • Understatement: A North Korean soldier sees the murderer running up trees and leaping from branches at incredible speed. His reaction? "That seems way too fast."
  • Unfriendly Fire: Min-guk intends to report the truth about how North Korean soldiers opened fire on his group and a North Korean deserter, even though the incident would get him and the other survivors dishonourably discharged. Lee Hyeok shoots him to prevent this.
  • Unpleasant Parent Reveal: Jun-seong is horrified to discover his father is a murderer. Played with, since in this case the parent raised the child instead of disappearing for years, but his true nature is still a shock to his son.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Lee Hyeok suffers one after accidentally killing Jun-seong. Initially he's too shocked to react. Then he screams and fires wildly at everyone around him.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The epilogue shows Dong-jin joined a wildlife rescue centre after leaving the army.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Lee Hyeok is willing to murder a baby. He fails, the first time because the gun was out of ammunition and the second time because he stood on a landmine.