Genre- Thriller, crime,suspense, mystery, Sci-fi
Mouse starts with the arrest of the notorious serial killer known as the Head Hunter 25 years ago. He is sentenced to death and he is put at a correctional facility where he serves his time as a death-row convict.
Meanwhile, at a legislative meeting, Dr Daniel Lee, a geneticist, claims that he has devised a method to find out the psychopathic gene in a foetus. He says they can abort pregnancies with the psychopath gene, so the world can be a safer place. He claims the test has a 99% success rate because the psychopath gene and genius gene are identical and there is no way to find out if the child will turn out to be a psychopath or a genius (1% chance of it being a genius). The Government panel decides against passing the bill (which allows aborting pregnancies with the psychopath gene) because they do not want to kill a foetus that may turn out to be a genius.
25 years later, the nation is terrorised by another set of gruesome serial killings. Jung Ba-reum (Lee Seung-Gi) is a righteous and compassionate new recruit at the Police Station. After his friend is brutally attacked, he decides to involve himself in the case. They find that the case may be linked to the recent serial killings. The investigation is lead by Detective Go Mu Chi who has lost his family to the Head Hunter twenty-five years ago. Mu Chi’s goal is to go to prison after killing a serial killer. He declares that once he is in prison, he will kill the Head Hunter who is serving the time there.
On the side, the viewer is introduced to Jae-Hoon, a child with the psychopath gene. True to Daniel Lee’s studies, his murder instincts are awake and killing is like second nature to him. Jae-Hoon’s life as a child is shown throughout the series which leads one to keep guessing as to whom Jae Hoon grew up to be. The series progresses as the grown-up Jae Hoon is roaming freely hunting for new victims. This narrative is interesting as one is already faced with numerous characters and any of them could be Jae Hoon.
How the team uncovers the murder mystery forms the rest of the series.
The drama has a deeply knit plotline that keeps the suspense alive till the last episode. In the beginning, the main plot seems vague as the narrative is fragmented with a lot of partial flashbacks and time jumps. Throughout the series, the team handles a lot of serial killing cases which makes one wonder where the storyline is heading. But at the end of the series, one understands the significance of every case as it adds an important aspect to the main storyline.
Every case is gripping and well-portrayed because it keeps the viewer’s attention. Some cases are based on true incidents (namely the Cho Doo Soon case). These crimes are depicted very well and their portrayal is emotional and thought-provoking. The series also touches upon the Ghost Surgery practice.
The drama has its share of plot twists which keeps changing one’s perception every few episodes. Mouse is guaranteed to keep the viewer guessing.
Officer Jung Ba-Reum (Lee Seung-Gi) is a good Samaritan who always watches out for his loved ones. Due to an unexpected incident, he undergoes brain surgery which leaves him a changed man. Ba-reum appears as a normal character in the beginning and slowly but steadily takes over as the protagonist. Lee Seung GI portrays two different personalities in this series – before and after the surgery. He fits well into the role and has done justice to it.
Go Mu-Chi (Lee Hee-Jun) is a hot-headed Detective who has good intentions but gives out a wrong image by always jumping the gun. Mu Chi often finds himself singled out during investigations as he accuses without evidence. He is always brimming with emotion and emotion always gets the better of him. Though he vows to kill, when faced with the situation, he struggles to pull the trigger. He comes across as a total contrast to a psychopath. Lee Hee Joon has delivered the role well.
Han Seo-Joon (Ahn Jae-Wook) forms a major part of the storyline as the Head Hunter. Though the series is sprinkled with numerous psychopaths, Han Seo Joon leaves an impact as the head of all the serial killers. Ahn Jae-Wook portrays Han’s steel resolve and cold-blooded stature very well. Han’s scenes are easily among the best parts of the series.
PD Choi Hong Ju (Kyung Soo-Jin) hosts the TV show named “Sherlock Hong Ju” where she showcases case studies of crimes/current affairs. She plays a major role in the series as she comes across as a shady character with many secrets. Kyung Soo Jin has carried off the role well as she adds to the mystery of the plot with her performance.
Sung Yo Han (Kwon Hwa-Woon) is the head hunter’s son. He grows up in a society where he is known as a head hunter’s son. He is a surgeon and is also the prime suspect in the serial killings. Though his screen space is minimal, he plays a vital role in this series.
Oh Bong-Yi (Park Ju-Hyun) is a young and smart school girl. She lives with her grandmother. Though Bong Yi comes across as an ill-tempered girl, she is fiercely loyal towards her loved ones. She has a childhood trauma, which she struggles to cope with. She plays Ba-reum’s love interest.
Jung Jae Hoon (Kim Kang-Hoon) is a child diagnosed with the psychopath gene who wants to be normal. He holds God accountable for him turning out to be a monster. Though Kim Kang Hoon is the youngest actor in the cast which has many serial killers, he has given a laudable performance as young Jae-hoon with his emotionless stare and dialogue delivery.
The drama takes up 8 episodes to develop the foundation and base plot for the story. The later part of the series is gripping as one gathers where the plot is heading. There are a lot of characters in this drama. Every character plays a vital role in adding to the plot. The last few episodes answer every mystery which was created in the earlier episodes.
Though the series is lengthy, it is a thrilling and emotive one. It hits the mark in showcasing a psychopath’s mind. It is a known fact that psychopaths are incapable of emotions. Mouse depicts what it exactly means to be a person who is totally devoid of emotion. It also shows that you don’t need to have a psychopathic gene to turn out to be a monster.
Mouse is guaranteed to bring out the detective in you. The series was an interesting watch and at the beginning, it seemed like it was just a crime thriller, but it turned out to be much more than that!