Drama Recaps
Air City: Episodes 1-2
by | May 20, 2007 | 30 Comments

MBC’s new weekend drama AIR CITY promised a lot — being the return vehicles for big-time stars Lee Jung Jae and Choi Jiwoo — and its first episodes turned out to deliver. The series is laden with star power, and it looks spectacular. MBC really sank a ton of money into this production, and you can tell.

You know what Air City is? It’s like really yummy dessert that you can almost convince yourself is a decent meal, because maybe it’s got fruit in it. It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s got a good balance of action, thrills, stunts, mixed in with some humor and hints of romance to come.

Plus, it’s also got just the slightest hint of a cheese factor to keep it from taking itself too seriously, and keep it entertaining.

(Soundtrack) SONG OF THE DAY

Air City OST – “하루달” (haru dal) by Dong Bang Shin Ki
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In the darkened streets of Hong Kong, one black-suited guy is being chased (and shot at) by another black-suited guy. Running behind them is our hero, Kim Ji Sung (Lee Jung Jae!!), who’s too late to save his friend from being killed. He finds his friend’s body — noting a particular pendant clutched in his bloodied hand — and takes off after his killer, but to no avail.

On a plane heading to Korea’s Incheon International Airport, Ji Sung scrutinizes the passengers, noting one mean-looking dude in particular, whose passport he swipes surreptitiously while the guy’s in the lavatory. Ji Sung inspects it, while the guy swallows some pills, emerges from the lavatory, and collapses. Also on the flight is Han Do Kyung (Choi Ji Woo), whose brief flirting with another passenger is cut short as everyone looks at the collapsed passenger.

Responding to the emergency on the Incheon Airport side is Kang Ha Joon (Lee Jin Wook), the manager of airport administration who monitors suspicious activities from the “situation room” and its hundreds of security cameras.

Do Kyung attempts to pass herself off as the man’s fiancee to accompany him, but Ha Joon stops her — it’s clear Ha Joon doesn’t buy her story. Ji Sung silently watches with suspicion, keeping a close eye on Do Kyung. He also clocks three questionable Chinese travelers and follows them to the airport hotel, where Do Kyung is also checking in.

She checks into three separate rooms, all for her own use. Her peculiar behavior arouses curiosity among the airport staff, who take bets on who she could be — a spy? an employee appointed from the top? When she leaves her room, Ji Sung sneaks in using some kind of magnetic override keycard, and rifles through her belongings.

In the airport cafe, Do Kyung witnesses a strange briefcase exchange, and her Spidey sense tells her something’s wrong. She follows them into the terminal — and Ji Sung, who’s been secretly watching, follows her out.

However, their behavior has triggered the notice of security, and they’re arrested and brought in for questioning (Do Kyung accuses Ji Sung of being the culprit, and is surprised when she’s brought in as well).

Ji Sung is not too happy with her for mistaking him for a criminal, and she’s surprised that he knows who she is.

Ji Sung is taken to the head of security (NIS, or National Intelligence Service), where we find out he’s a government agent who’s technically taking a leave of duty. Initially stationed in Cairo, Ji Sung followed his friend’s killer from Hong Kong to Korea, although it’s not his assignment. The chief orders him back to his post, but Ji Sung is determined to get to the bottom of his friend’s death. The news is reporting it as an uneventful tourist death, and Ji Sung feels the indignity of his friend not being recognized for his service.

Ji Sung outlines his theory and tells the chief that the three Chinese tourists at the hotel are definitely involved. Ji Sung insists that even if the NIS doesn’t help him, he’ll do it alone. The chief tells him if he’s not gone by tomorrow morning, he’ll report him for violating orders.

(They made such a good choice with Lee Jung Jae here; he’s really good. You can see immediately that he’s a star, a big-time actor with tons of experience. He commits to this role in a way that you don’t usually see in kdramas — adding to the feel that Air City is a series on the scale of a movie. I love him.)

Do Kyung is introduced as the new head of operations, who’s been scouted particularly from Singapore, becoming the source of gossip among the airport employees. She and Ha Joon don’t exactly hit it off.

Ha Joon, on the other hand, knows everyone who works at the airport and gets along with them like family, from the upper-most tier down to the cleaning ladies and runway repairmen. The airport is his turf, and it’s clear he’d rather be there than anywhere, since he never leaves.

Do Kyung sees security footage of Ji Sung entering her room, and visits his room in a burst of indignity to demand what he’s up to. Ji Sung asks for her help, and they spend the night monitoring the Chinese trio, getting enough info to deduce that they’re planning a drop (exchange) in the bar.


With help from security agents, they intercept the exchange, but Ji Sung is confused to see only money and passports. It’s not what he was looking for. An idea occurs to him, and he goes off running for the medical ward…

…where the badass mofo guy has obviously taken the Romeo & Juliet Pills of Fake Doom, because he AWAKENS! He gets up without any difficulty and walks out, before Ji Sung and Do Kyung can arrive to stop him.


Knowing the escapee must still be in the airport somewhere, military teams are brought in and security is on high alert.

Spotting a suspicious man dressed as a maintenance worker, Ji Sung and Ha Joon take off after him, first via car chase on the airport runway, then through the inner chambers of the luggage belts and warehouses.

Ji Sung manages the capture the guy, but unfortunately he’s not talking. Without any additional proof, there’s nothing they can do but let him go, to Ji Sung’s frustration.

However, his troubles aren’t over, as he’s reprimanded (first by the head of intelligence, then by his supervisor at the NIS) for his reckless behavior — insubordination, violating procedures, endangering others.

He visits his dead friend Young Jae’s wife (mother?), who’s not only grieving for the loss but upset because nobody will tell her anything. Ji Sung sits by in frustration because he cannot divulge that Young Jae died in duty, rather than as the everyday target of robbery in a cover story that makes no sense to his family.

Ha Joon has been trying to figure out why Do Kyung looks so familiar, and asks about her past, wondering if they used to know each other. Do Kyung brushes him off, but the name of a school triggers something in her memory, and as she looks through her old things, she recalls they went to the same grade school. She tells him she’s Yi Kyung’s older sister. And immediately, they drop formalities and speak in banmal (informal speech) like old friends.

She asks him to take her someplace, where she talks to a woman who clearly has no affection for her. The woman calls her cold-hearted and hard for cutting off contact with her mother and sister. Do Kyung asks her to pass along her contact information to her sister, although the woman tells her there’s no way Yi Kyung will call her. She’s even more offended to hear that Do Kyung works at the airport, which apparently carries some cruel meaning that we can only guess at. Do Kyung left Korea when she was young to live with her father in France, and Yi Kyung refused to leave the airport, crying for hours.

Although she doesn’t divulge the source of all this family angst, Do Kyung tells Ha Joon that if she were her sister, she wouldn’t contact her either.

Meanwhile, Ji Sung drives to the home of a woman we can assume is his old lover, remembering happier times together. He doesn’t approach her, however, although she notices him drive away and possibly recognizes him.

Ji Sung’s given the order that he’s not being sent back to Cairo. If he’s so determined to get to the bottom of Young Jae’s death, he’ll be stationed at the aiport to monitor, waiting for the culprits to pass through.

So Ji Sung finds himself back at Incheon International…….

30 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. ginnie

    Thank you !!!!

    Now I can understand much better what I watched! Was getting quite confused with the soundtrack and languages.

    I can see that MBC put lots of investment in this and they can because of Choi Ji Woo’s value as Hallyru Star.

    Hopefully the plot thickens and I look forward to more scenes/interactions/conflicts between the characters!

  2. Luv

    Wow…Thank you so much javabeans. Luv you…hehe…

    I love this drama…love the cast…
    It’s so interesting that Lee Jin Wook & Moon Jung Hee also appeared as 2nd leads in my other favorite drama…Alone In Love.

    I really like the flashback scene between Ji Sung & his past love…

    Can’t wait to see them falling in love 🙂

  3. Ter

    So many dramas I want to watch…and yet so many finals to prepare for T___T. I love your summaries and, even more, your commentary XD. I’m curious to see how well this drama will fare. Thank you!

  4. dramalover

    Thanks a lot for the summaries….Now,I finally understand all the commotions going on at the airport although I have a feeling that they are dealing with criminals..I can’t wait to see CJW and LJJ’s love story unfolded and so with CJW and LJW…

  5. Anni

    Many thanks for your review Javabean.It’s really help my understanding. Keep on your good job. Best Regards!!!!


    Thanks very much for the summary. It helps so much in understanding what’s happening before the Eng subs are out. Now I can rewatch my downloaded version.

    Good job ! Hope you’ll be able to write the summaries or reviews for subsequent episodes as well.

    I really LOVE this series already…….

  7. Rosepetal

    Wow, Javabeans, I am impressed with your translation/interpretation….

    Obviously, you are an excellent bilingual and you did a fabulous job of delivering complete summary of both Ep. 1 & 2 so far….

    Even though I understand the storyline when I watch it, sometimes, it’s still not that easy to put it into perfect English.

    Now, I can relax, b’cos I know you are also around to help other foreigner fans who are so excited to watch AIR CITY!~~

    Mahalo, Gomawoyo, Gracias, Arigato, Thank you….etc.

    I Love AIR CITY!!!

  8. ellabel

    Wah!!! Very detailed and impressive summaries of eppies 1 & 2.
    Thanks a lot javabean for sharing.

    Reading thru it, one can feel the excitement in every episode. You really make the characters come alive. It really feels like one is watching a big-budgeted action movie. The cast seems to jell and the chemistry of the leads palpable. I’m sure it wud get better as the story unfolds.


  9. Felicia Soh

    Joongmal gamsahamnida Javabeans for the precise and detailed summary along with the capscenes. You are so efficient and an excellent writer. Appreciate your effort and time.

  10. 10 mauwy

    thanks as always javabeans ^^
    i wouldnt have gotten the gist of it if not for your summaries, you rock as always

  11. 11 hanihash

    Dear Javabeans,
    My first visit to your blog. Reading it, I find comfort in knowing I am not alone in this Kdrama obsession. Its blogs and forums like this that keep me sane. Loved reading your summary. Writing is most certainly one of your talents. Like love, the more you give of your talent, the more appreciation you will receive in return. Keep on blogging!


  12. 12 Jenny C

    Dear Javabeans,

    Thank you so much and really appreciate your detailed summary of episode 1 & 2.

    It is such a great help for those who are chasing the drama live online without any subs….Now we understand better after watching live online.

    Once again, thanks for your detailed summary and hope you can continue to summarise the upcoming episodes for us.


  13. 13 dayangdayang

    Thanks! This blog is becoming a habit-just like its brewed counterpart. Go Javabeans!

  14. 14 annahraf

    Thanks for the translation…been enjoying ur blog…hehe…
    im noticing that korean dramas choose singapore nowdays…like in QSS…haiz…im staying in singapore…but got no clue they were filming here…miss the chance of meeting them live in person……

  15. 15 lollipop2000

    Ooh thank you javabeans for the caps of this new series. I had seen some of Lee JJ modelling shots on youtube. He’s so hooottttt!. The other guy was in Smile Again and he’s cute but scruffy there. Now can see him better. Wah so now the story is at airport. Trust MBC to come up with interesting story lines and places. Next can be at the shipping ports they are famous for.Hehehehe. Waiting for future caps so that I can understand what the heck they are saying.

  16. 16 Kaida Rose

    Now those are alot of pretty people!! Asain right? Do all Asains have black hair?

  17. 17 JOENJWANG

    I want to watch this!

  18. 18 lololovedrama

    i was waiting this drama for 3 years: seems an eternity!!
    but whoa i am very happy because this drama looks different, you can see it will be special. i know i will be addicted to it, no, i am already addicted.

    just waiting for next episodes!!
    i have no intentions to sleep until i see them ^^

  19. 19 ripgal

    Sarah, again you just successfully transformed Ep 1 and Ep 2 of Air City into something more than just intriguing for viewers who do not understand Korean.
    I’m also watching Air City at the moment and I must say it’s really good, and what more, Lee Jung Jae’s just heaven for me. I read your Air City preview blog and you mentioned he was your first k-celeb crush huh? Now he’s on my mind all day man…I’m SO darn impressed with his acting and his ability to exert himself into the role so well. Ji Woo and Lee Jin Wook were equally good as well, so far I like all of them…but a teeny weeny bit more for uri Kim Ji Sung. hahaha…

    Looking forward to your next blog on the drama! =)

  20. 20 Philippa

    OMG I saw episode 1 today at veoh. It was AWESOME! I love Choi Ji Woo! She’s awesome! Thanks a lot for writing the summary of the episodes since the subtitles are slowwww…

  21. 21 Nordelm

    Thanks for writing the summary. I love this drama because the storyline is great & very different from others. And ofcourse, my most favorite Korean star, Choi Ji Woo, is the leading lady. I love her great acting & her very natural beauty. I like the other actors, too, especially Lee Jin Wook (he’s so good looking). I think they are all good actors. I had watched Episodes 1 to 8 with English subtitles. I could not wait for the other episodes to have English subtitles. I give this drama a 10 out of 10 (100%).

  22. 22 Claudia

    This is really an amazing drama! I never get bored of it and I’m always left wanting more… it’s full of action, romance, conflict, extremely famous celebrities (even Lee Jung Jae came back from his movie career for this drama – thank goodness, otherwise I would have no idea who he is!). I would definitely recommend this drama to others!

  23. 24 Nora from CA, USA

    I’m very sad that this drama ended too soon. I hope there will be Air City #2, #3 & so on & so forth. It think it’s a great drama, like “Law & Order”. I think this drama will be more accepted internationally. It also had good casts such as Choi Ji Woo, Lee Jin Wook & Lee Jung Jae (all great actors). If they continue this series, I want the same casts. I’m sure the writer will be giving us greater episodes in Air City#2. Let’s give them a chance people.

  24. 25 vieny

    thx…like to watch it. but i download the theme song first 😀

  25. 26 Traaang

    i love this dramaa!! 😀
    oh and btw.. how do i dl the songs? :S
    plz email me.

  26. 27 amn

    choi ji wOO ers la mjor actress de korean tu ers lo maximo
    yo te admiro y a sta novela que esta para
    impresionar bueno a mi ya me impresiono
    te apoyo CHOI JI WOO porque sinti no habría novela
    y pues vista al peru porfis
    Perú te quiere

  27. 28 emogirl

    I love yr site! Very informative. GOOD JOB!

  28. 29 Haneul

    what is the name of the song which played during the first two episodes , the lyrics are ” i see a trouble in your mind , there’s something you have to do ” .. plz help !

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