Lee Tae-ju: Crash (2024) character explained

Director General Lee Tae-ju covers up crimes to please high-ranking officials. In Crash, Oh Eui-shik plays Tae-ju.

The TCI worked on a case related to unlicensed taxis. While investigating, So-hee found the phone of a gang leader. 

The phone contained evidence of drug deals and phone numbers of high-ranking officials’ children, including those of police officers. 

At that time, Tae-ju was a superintendent at Namgang Police Station. He took over the case when it gained significant attention. 

As he is a man willing to succeed at any cost, Tae-ju only arrested a few taxi drivers and did not investigate the drug deals to appease high-ranking officials. 

Tae-ju was rewarded for his loyalty to the officials with a promotion; he was given the opportunity to lead the Major Crimes Division at HQ. 

This resulted in So-hee, who was dating Tae-ju at the time, breaking up with him, realizing that Tae-ju only cared about his success, not justice.

An opportunist 

When Tae-ju’s team becomes part of a joint investigation unit assigned to a serial rape case, Tae-ju meets So-hee again. 

While Tae-ju still wants to be with So-hee, she wants nothing to do with him. She even rejects his offer to join the Major Crimes Division, unwilling to take favors from him. 

Furthermore, she believes that the position should go to someone who deserves it and not be handed out for any other reason, like how Tae-ju got his. 

Crash Lee Tae-ju
Tae-ju asks So-hee to join the Major Crimes Division

Yeon-ho draws a connection between the TCI’s car thief case and the serial rape case that everyone else had overlooked. 

Tae-ju is an opportunist who cares more about taking credit and getting promotions than solving the case, so even when Yeon-ho is proven right, Tae-ju keeps it from the rest of the unit, hoping to solve the case with just his team. 

So-hee finds out about it and confronts him in front of the members of the joint investigation unit, revealing Tae-ju’s intentions.

Working for Myung-hak

Tae-ju covered up the unlicensed taxi case because Deputy Commissioner General Pyo’s son was also involved in it. 

Later, So-hee’s father gets into a serious accident because of an unlicensed taxi, leading her to blame Tae-ju’s past actions. 

Despite this, Tae-ju continues working for Pyo Myung-hak, who is now Commissioner General. Myung-hak then asks Tae-ju to find the culprit behind Kyung-soo’s disappearance. 

Kim Hyun-min, the man who kidnapped Kyung-soo, is also targeting Myung-hak’s son, Jung-wook, who killed a pregnant woman in the past. 

Tae-ju gets rid of Chae-man and takes over as the temporary leader of the TCI to work on Jae-young’s murder case and protect Myung-hak’s interests. 

Tae-ju comes very close to catching Hyun-min, but the TCI gets to him first. They also succeed in finding Kyung-soo and convincing him to testify against Jung-wook. 

As Myung-hak’s misuse of authority comes to light, Tae-ju, who thinks about his self-interest first and foremost, does not hesitate to cut ties with him.

He sends proof of Myung-hak’s corruption to the Senior Superintendent General and is promoted to the position of Chief Superintendent.

Fearing that the TCI will try to expose his corrupt activities, he gets the team dissolved. However, the team is reinstated a year later.

As the TCI is now working under the National Office of Investigation, So-hee intends to expose Tae-ju, who will no longer go easy on her.

Also Read: Pyo Myung-hak: Crash (2024) character explained

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