Drama Recaps
IRIS: Episode 1
by | October 16, 2009 | 155 Comments

Pretty badass, yo.

IRIS is an expensive drama, and it totally shows. I can’t say that the drama took my breath away, but it was very entertaining, and I can see why it burst on the scene with such a strong start. And then improved on it the following day.

I’m not surprised to see a lot of action, but I was a little surprised (in a nice way) to find that the first episode was actually pretty funny. I suspect that may fade as the story heads into more of its spy storylines, but it was a pleasant way to kick off the series — action mixed with beautiful cinematography, well-placed music, and oh yeah, Lee! Byung! Heon!

SONG OF THE DAY

LeeSsang – “Run” [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

We start out in Hungary. Present day.

KIM HYUN-JOON (Lee Byung-heon) is a National Security (NSS) agent — the top agent, in fact, although we don’t know that yet — and is surprised to be approached by his boss, the bureau chief Baek San. The man comes bearing bad news — they’ve suffered losses and agents have died.

Baek San relates the 1989 event when Hungary opened its border to the west, allowing Germans to leave en masse, thus aiding in the reunification of East and West Germany. He uses that as a segue to their current situation as he issues Hyun-joon a solo mission. If he succeeds, his actions could have a large influence in bringing about Korea’s own unification.

Hyun-joon prepares to carry out his mission: an assassination. The target is a high-ranking North Korean politician, and Hyun-joon’s shocked expression lets us know that he feels the gravity of this assignment.

In a very Bourne Identity-like sequence (and I mean the comparison positively, since the cinematography and music are top-notch), Hyun-joon prepares to carry out his task.

He scopes out the location of the hit, which is the Budapest History Museum. Posing as a tourist, he snaps photos of the premises, and cases the building, keeping a particular eye on the North Korean politician’s security detail. The guard team is led by Park Chul-young (Kim Seung-woo), who is closely attended by his subordinate, Kim Sun-hwa (Kim So-yeon).

As they await the arrival of the politician, Chul-young organizes his security team to receive him. Something is off when one of his guards stationed inside doesn’t respond to a roll call — and while he doesn’t know that Hyun-joon has silently taken out several guards, he knows something is wrong. He entrusts the team outside to Sun-hwa and runs inside to check.

When the politician’s entourage arrives, he is surrounded by bodyguards, while Sun-hwa remains on alert for danger. Still undetected, Hyun-joon takes out a position on the balcony and readies his gun to get a clear shot of his target. He waits as guards swarm the man, ready to pull the trigger…

Too late, Sun-hwa becomes aware of the danger and leaps in front of the man to shove him aside. Her instincts were just a split-second too late and the man is shot. Mission complete, Hyun-joon makes his getaway, not bothering to clear his weapons or take them with him.


Chul-young races to find the sniper, and spots Hyun-joon leaving from a distance. He manages to get off a shot, which hits Hyun-joon in the side.

Hyun-joon stumbles but keeps going, quickly blending into the crowd while the North Korean agents pursue. He slips onto the subway and loses them.

He’s badly injured, but his priority is to make it back to his apartment, where he calls Baek San to inform him that the mission was a success. He asks for a rescue, because he’s unable to make the escape on his own — but the cool-headed chief tells him he’s on his own.

Hyun-joon repeats his request, this time more fervently: “There is a reason I must stay alive and return. Please help me.”

But his boss just hangs up on him.

Alone now, Hyun-joon has to figure out his own way to survive and return home. He makes his way to an empty railroad depot, but Chul-young has launched a full-scale watch for him, and manages to trace his whereabouts.

Based on their intelligence, North Koreans head to the old railroad warehouse, where Hyun-joon crudely tends to his gunshot wound. The agents storm in and disperse in search of their quarry, and Hyun-joon is able to take out of few of them individually. Despite his injury, he is still strong and fast, and uses his benefit of surprise.

Young-chul spots him and follows while firing his gun at Hyun-joon, who ducks out of the way. He launches himself at Young-chul for a brief hand-to-hand struggle, and then they draw their weapons simultaneously at each other. Sun-hwa, poised to snipe from a distance, can’t get a clean shot and waits.

Hyun-joon knocks his enemy’s gun aside, and engages in more hand-to-hand fighting that ends with him being pushed off the landing to the lower level.

He takes that opportunity and runs outside — just as a helicopter swoops down and hovers over the scene. The pilot sees Hyun-joon running away and shoots a missile, which misses him but connects with a train car.

The blast shoots him into the air, into a car, and onto the ground. Bleeding from the bullet wound and stunned from the blow, Hyun-joon tries to crawl onward, but collapses into unconsciousness.

 

And then, we skip backward, to his school days.

Now we’re with a younger Hyun-joon, who makes his way to class at the beginning of his term. It’s an American politics and diplomacy lecture, and he walks in late as the professor lectures about Kennedy’s assassination. He asks his class about the various hypotheses about Kennedy’s murder. The student who responds is nameless throughout this episode, but we’ll know her as CHOI SEUNG-HEE (Kim Tae-hee).

Seung-hee lists a few of the conspiracy theories about Kennedy’s assassination (for instance, that it was really the work of the CIA, or the military-industrial complex). She believes the latter most plausible, relating it to Kennedy’s stance on withdrawal from Vietnam.

When the professor asks Hyun-joon what he thinks, he gives an off-the-cuff remark that dismisses Seung-hee’s comment. A little miffed, she launches into a more detailed explanation regarding the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, and calls Hyun-joon’s comment “simplistic and ignorant.”

He’s a little turned on at her intelligence, and a little insulted. But when he tries to talk to her during lunch, she simply walks away and ignores him.

In addition to school, Hyun-joon is also busy with army training alongside his best friend, JIN SA-WOO (Jung Jun-ho). The two have a good friendship and share a dorm room, and are also the top two of their group, as we see in various drills. Their shooting test gives me a bit of an Iceman–Maverick vibe, because Sa-woo completes the test coolly and proficiently, while Hyun-joon is a show-off; he’s just as good, but in a more unconventional way.

They have a healthy sense of competition and spur each other on. They also josh each other, as Sa-woo does when Hyun-joon moons over the new girl he’s just met, whom he is already describing in superlative terms. He doesn’t know her well enough to mean it 100% seriously, but he’s definitely intrigued. Therefore, Hyun-joon actually studies for class, determined to prove he’s not as dumb as Seung-hee seems to think him.

This time, he volunteers to answer a question (about the meaning behind the Gulf War) and satisfies the professor with an accurate summary. Instead of letting the professor continue, Hyun-joon keeps speaking, rattling off a litany of facts about the war.

Seung-hee is amused, but she shoots him down again, saying that explaining the meaning of war through memorized figures is “exceedingly simplistic and ignorant.”

Afterward, Hyun-joon can’t take the indignity and he talks to her after class, saying that he’s not simple and ignorant. He asks her out for some tea so he can defend himself. She declines, but he perks up when she adds, “Now, drinks, maybe…”

As they drink boilermakers (soju bombs), Hyun-joon explains that he didn’t actually force himself to memorize those details — his memory is really good, and once he reads something, he has it stored in his brain. He demonstrates by reciting the restaurant’s various menus, and she’s duly impressed.

She also drinks him under the table. She decrees his boilermaker “weak” and makes much stronger drinks, and in an effort to impress her, he drinks them all. Some time later, he wakes up at the table to find that she’s already paid and left.

The problem is, that’s the last he sees of her, because she stops showing up to class. Hyun-joon asks the professor if he knows why she’s not coming anymore, and learns that she was admitted to the class by special request of the dean; the professor doesn’t even know her name.

Over the next few days, Hyun-joon sulks over “the one that got away” — he doesn’t even know the girl’s name, or where she lives. Sa-woo tries to cheer him up, but Hyun-joon remains in a funk.

When Sa-woo meets his sunbae for drinks, however, he catches one glimpse of Seung-hee and falls head over heels in love with her. Naturally he has no clue that this is the same girl that Hyun-joon has been mooning over. The sunbae is PARK SANG-HYUN, who grew up in the same hometown as Sa-woo and is now a businessman. Seung-hee is introduced as one of his fellow employees, Jin-ah (and while we know that’s a fake name if we’re keeping up with character profiles, for the moment there’s no reason to think she’s assuming a persona).

Sa-woo comes home exulting over his future wife, and is in such good spirits that he urges Hyun-joon to drink his worries aside. The two sneak out to a nightclub, where Sa-woo gets busy acting as wingman for his friend by chatting up some girls.

Unfortunately, Hyun-joon gets into a minor clash with a drunk guy in the bathroom, who rallies his friends to go after him. The two friends run out of the bar while a whole gang of thugs chases after them, but they get separated — while Hyun-joon is able to run ahead, Sa-woo finds himself cornered.

In the morning, Sa-woo is nursing a black eye and is punished for his rule-breaking by running extra laps dragging a tire.

(Of course, then Hyun-joon tries to make things right by taking responsibility for the fight, thinking that’ll get Sa-woo off the hook. Instead, not only does their officer punish Hyun-joon, he makes the punishment even worse. LOL.)

One night, Sa-woo is roused from sleep by his superior officer, who is accompanied by some strange men. Hyun-joon is also awakened and taken in a strange car with the strange men to a strange location. He remains tense and asks where he’s going, but gets no response.

As Hyun-joon is led down the hall, however, he hears groans of pain coming from one chamber — and he recognizes Sa-woo’s voice. Suddenly in a panic, he struggles, but is dragged into his own chamber, where he is strapped to medical apparatus and administered an injection. The drugs make both men writhe in pain, and their heartrates speed to dangerous levels. The injection is pentothal (sodium thipental), a barbiturate used in interrogations to break the subject’s resistance.

All the while, Seung-hee watches impassively from the other side of the one-way mirror. Next to her is Sang-hyun, Sa-woo’s sunbae, who is NOT a businessman after all but the leader of this assignment. While the men’s vital signs are monitored, Sang-hyun asks a single question: “What is your mission?”

Seung-hee sees that Hyun-joon’s physical responses are normal, which means that Hyun-joon has managed to control his emotions perfectly. They increase the dosage of pentothal, which forces his heartrate even higher. Again, Sang-hyun demands to know what his mission is.

But then, Hyun-joon surprises them — fueled by fury, he strains against his bindings with all his strength, and actually breaks free of the wrist strap. Still weak, he stumbles to the ground, then grabs a chair and attacks the one-way glass. It’s reinforced so it doesn’t break, and he cannot see inside the room, but the agents are alarmed.

Hyun-joon continues to pound away at the glass. Sang-hyun tells his men to close off the room and prepare a sedative.

A voice interrupts, stopping them: Bureau chief Baek San walks in and instructs them to not do anything.

 
COMMENTS

First things first: shirtless Lee Byung-heon!

All right, now that that’s out of the way…

I thought IRIS got off to a great start. A great mix of action, humor, and enough intrigue to capture your interest without being cryptic (ahem, Swallow the Sun). I think most people already know the general premise of the story, which means that the torture/interrogation scene at the end isn’t really so shocking because we can all surmise that this is some kind of test. Therefore, it’s up to the execution to hold our interest, and that is something this drama certainly accomplishes at a high quality level. The production is very stylish, beautifully shot, and sleek without being too slick. If that makes sense.

I knew IRIS would look good, but the big question was whether it would connect with me. And I think one of the big draws for me was that it hits the right tone. I’ve seen big-budget blockbusters that felt devoid of spirit, and I was wondering if IRIS would be another one of those. I was pleasantly surprised at not only the suspenseful opening, but also the warm, funny flashback portion. I did think the flashback dragged on a bit too long, but I liked getting a chance to see Hyun-joon as a cocky young guy. The camaraderie between him and Sa-woo is another enjoyable bit, because they really do seem like close friends. That means the impending love triangle may actually hurt, which I consider a good thing in a dramatic sense.

Much of the drama’s appeal I will attribute to Lee Byung-heon — that man is compelling! — but even a great actor like him cannot act in a vacuum, and here’s where the high production values do make a big difference.

Kim Tae-hee wasn’t even that bad. I was not expecting much from her but hoping she would make all the naysayers eat their words (myself included). I don’t think she was strong enough to revoke her image as the Pretty Face Who Can’t Act, but at least she didn’t reinforce it.

I think the problem with Kim Tae-hee isn’t that she is a horrible actress, but that she lacks a certain charisma, oddly enough. (I say it’s odd because usually CF queens abound with charisma, since they’re trading on their appealing images more than skills.) But she does, especially compared to her co-stars. Lee Byung-heon is badass, Jung Jun-ho is warm, Kim Seung-woo is coldly professional, Kim So-yeon is sexy and strong, and TOP is… well, he’s TOP. Next to them, Kim Tae-hee sorta fades.

 
THE VERDICT

Stylish, entertaining, well-acted, well-produced. Probably going to be a huge success. I won’t gush wildly and call it an instant winner, but it’s off to a promising beginning. Definitely worth at least checking out.

 
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155 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. 101 Agent Darwin

    @96 Oops. I watched it through remote server from UK, that’s why! Well, my mom can watch it. She is in the US. May be is because of your server that disallowed you to watch it.

  2. 102 bleu

    @96 I saw Emma Ep1 on youtube, uploaded by cat4fab. Love it!

  3. 103 Agent Darwin

    I meant the new Emma. The one which is currently showing up to Episode 2. Will be watching tonight live at 9pm for Episode 3. This new Emma is quite funny. She enjoys matchmaking alot!! ^____________^

    Haha…we are off topic!!

  4. 104 sophia

    Ohhh Agent Darwin is Emma good then? I might give it a go. I’m from the UK but I haven’t watched it so far, cos I think we’ve done Jane Austen to death – BUUUTTTTT…..

    @91 – You’ve managed to convey everything that I wanted to say about this series and why I think it’s lacking. Quite frankly, we’ve moved on from the perfect spy – who’s just about great at everything – We’ve got Jason Bourne. The truth is this has been done before, only better.

    And as cute as I think the two male lead actors are – it really lost me when they went to the flash back in that spy school, am I supposed to believe that those men are in the early-mid twenties? Cos I don’t. – It just seemed really ridiculous & the love story,

    Yeah I agree with the comments that the kiss was DAMN HOT, hot as hell. But so what? The love story is following a predicable pattern already – which for only one or two episodes in – that’s kind of the death for me.

    I personally think it would have been more interesting if we’d stayed in the present – who cares how he became this fantastic spy? Are they just trying to fill out 20 episodes with story? Maybe I am just hoping for another Jason Bourne type story – I suppose I could just watch that again.
    Anyway – my rant is over.

  5. 105 anastassia

    Great recaps Sarah and enjoyable and funs comments we got here.

    Kim Tae Hee acting is kind a turn off for me. I really do hope Son Ye Jin will be in this great production. She can pull whatever script or character written in any script. Beyond we can ever imagine. A rare talent I have to say and will make this good production be a great production. Intense, cold and subtle is the range she can come with. But well, I will try watch this for the sake of KSW and KSY. She is really TALENTED actresses. I always love her acting when I watched her in All About Eve 10 years back. If people were smitten by Chae Rim back then, I had my eyes on KSY. The same goes with KSW. I love, love love him in Hotelier (Never like BSJ in WS and Hotelier) and then How To Met The Perfect Neighbor with ever lovely Bae Do Na. He just has the charms. LBH, KSW and KSY. One hella of team!

  6. 106 Artemis

    I haven’t watched anything yet because I am waiting for WithS2’s subs, but had to watch the kiss. You guys are right! That was just WOW. I love it when they have REAL kisses and not those fake barely touching awkward kisses that just don’t happen in RL.

  7. 107 asianromance

    thanks for the recap! I don’t think I am going to watch it but I love the screencaps! they look so movie-like!

  8. 108 tuesdhei

    i love the way they directed it — in a way, this actually reminds me of “alias” — i’m looking forward to seeing more spy action pack from this series… thanks again javabeans for the wonderful recap and review.

  9. 109 Kat

    Wow, I couldn’t disagree more with #91 about JJH! The thing is, Sa-Woo is not supposed to be as flashy as LBH’s Hyun-joon. He’s supposed to serve as a foil for the character and from the episodes so far. I think the actors have great chemistry and work well off each other. They are so believable as friends and as awesome and charismatic as LBH is, you can’t pin this all on him. This is obviously my personal opinion, but I think JJH has been great in the role. I think if there’s any blandness (and I don’t find him bland!) is because of the character itself and not how JJH portrays him. I’m not being rabid fangirl either because LBH was the reason I was most interested in the drama. It’s just interesting to me because for once in a drama I actually prefer the friendship to the romance! I have some suspicions about how everything is going to play out and I’m really interested in seeing how the pair interact later on in the drama (and I think this is to the credit of >both< actors). I'm preeeetty sure there's going to be a lot of conflict and not even from the whole love triangle. Anyway, just my opinion :).

  10. 110 Chuck

    Being relatively new to K-Dramas (I’ve watched 7 or 8 of them), I’m not familiar with any of these actors or actresses. So I come at it with an open mind. Up to now, I’ve watched historical dramas, modern romantic comedies, one modern police/detective show (H.I.T.), and one that’s hard to classify—Beethoven Virus. I’ve not seen a Korean action/spy thriller before.

    Several people have compared it to the Bourne movies. The action scenes do have the same frenetic alternation of scenes. I don’t really like that technique, but I can put up with it. I was reminded of the television series, 24, with the command center, the satellite tracking with CCTV assistance, etc. I wonder if the command center will have lots of backstabbing and counterespionage types, like 24?

    Some have said they don’t like the larger than life hero type that is being portrayed in this drama. That’s just the kind I like. I can see ordinary people everywhere I look. In a drama, I want the extraordinary. For the same reason, I like them to be ideal looking, too. They don’t have to be drop dead gorgeous, but good looking, noble looking—like Lee Young Ae.

    So what is this drama about? It is about a South Korean spy agency attempting to advance the cause of reunification with North Korea, presumably with the North folding into the South, and not the other way around. So far, so good. That’s a good plot/theme.

    How does the hero go about achieving it? That’s where the drama lets me down. The hero, although the top agent in the agency, is simply a pawn in the game. While I’m sure, like most Koreans, he’d love to see reunification, it wasn’t his special goal in life. He specifically tells the girl who profiled/recruited him that he isn’t in it for any patriotic reason. He just thought it was his “fate.”

    For me, there isn’t a worse explanation for anything that “fate.” How can there be any heroism in doing something you were “fated” to do? He could just as easily have been “fated” to be a murderer, or a street sweeper. Totally uninspiring.

    In other ways, too, the hero is wishy/washy. He has a photographic memory, but seems only able to rattle of facts and figures, without drawing any meaningful conclusions about them, as witness his answer about the Gulf War. And in his first assignment at the agency, in which the writers presumably want to show how he is superior to the other agents, what distinguishes him from everyone else? Intuition. Ugh!

    He is shown to be extremely physically fit, and with a dauntless attitude and will power, in the scene where he is tortured/interrogated. That was the best scene so far in the drama.

    Probably the worst scene in the drama was where the North Korean helicopter gunship fired a missile at the hero and hit a train, instead. What is a North Korean gunship doing in Hungary? Hungary is part of NATO, and would certainly not allow a NK gunship in their territory, let alone allow it to go firing missiles in the middle of a civilian population. That strains credulity too far.

    Another scene that bothered me was the school scene in which the girl who is profiling him says the American military-industrial complex is the most likely perpetrator of the Kennedy assassination. The hero criticizes that idea, and the girl comes back with the comment that he is “simplistic and ignorant.” And from this we are supposed to conclude that she is intelligent, and he is ignorant? In other words, those who believe in conspiracy theories are the intelligent ones, and those who are wary of such ideas are ignorant? That is not a very convincing way to make us—or at least me—believe the girl is intelligent. That just makes me think she is gullible.

    Anyway, I am hoping the writers will charitably forget that “driven by fate” motivation, and give the hero some better motives, and his own noble goals to pursue.

  11. 111 belleza

    What I liked about the first episode was the dread. Basically, he gets screwed twice and loses. In the beginning when he gets shot and then passes out from the explosion. Presumably, he’ll be captured. And during the prison scene when it’s clear he has no frigging idea WTH is going on.

    Even when there’s counters, it’s expected in spy thrillers for the lead charactger to exert his will over the situation and to methodically defeat the traps. However, Iris approaches both situations differently. The trap is set . . . and he doesn’t get out. Moreover, watch Lee Byung Heon’s emotions in the first 15 minutes. He’s scared. He’s anxious. There is dread there. Then watch the prison scene. Similar emotions. Fear. Confusion.

    “For me, there isn’t a worse explanation for anything that “fate.” How can there be any heroism in doing something you were “fated” to do?”

    Nah, I liked what he said there. It means he is in out of his depths at the NSS. Without even a moral code to comparmentalize the fallout of what he is about to do, he blithely walks into the house of mirrors. He made a mistake joining the NSS, but then again maybe he never really had a choice.

    @Kat,

    “Wow, I couldn’t disagree more with #91 about JJH! The thing is, Sa-Woo is not supposed to be as flashy as LBH’s Hyun-joon. He’s supposed to serve as a foil for the character and from the episodes so far.”

    Yeah, I tend to side with Kat here. But I’m biased because I like JJH’s film work. He’s the foil, and I think he’s done a great job there. I’m hoping the meaty part comes soon for him.

  12. 112 Jo

    The main reason im worried about watching this is because in everything i watched with Kim tae Hee, they were horrible. Ill keep reading these posts and and see if you see her acting as not…annoying/flat. Keep me posted on that!

  13. 113 Agent Darwin

    @110

    Am not sure when the shooting of the missile took place. Now or a few years after the fall of Berlin Wall.

    It seems like many Hungarians are leaving their country now. Apparently, it has a good 8 years after breaking away from Soviet. But, the former socialist party that has strong ties with the Soviet is now back in power again in Hungary.

    What can NATA do? Sanction Hungary? NATO takes care of external security issues for its members, but when comes to internal security, it has no say!!

    FYI, I live just next to the Blue Danube, I jog along Danube on a daily basis. Tell you what, you see all sort of ships passing through Danube and canals, even submarines….should I be alarmed? :P
    ^_______________^

  14. 114 fraulein

    @ AgentDarwin

    Thanks for pointing out the facts, I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I don’t think half of the Koreans who watched this ep knew it anyway.

    KTH opposite LBH is a catastrophe to some, because one really acts and does everything he can to make a production work. The other just gets dragged along but the other heavyweights. But since it is something we cannot change, let’s just take it in for what it’s worth.

    What’s with theSeung-hee the smarty pants character? Are they trying to mirror what she is in real life? She’s known to be a beauty with brains, isn’t she?

    And the best buds in college /army etc turned enemies plot? Too tried…..

  15. 115 Chelsea

    It gets better! Wha!!! THE KISS, if not one of–BEST KISS EVER! OMG, it’s been such a long since I saw a kiss like that on the screen especially in the Kscenes.

  16. 116 Chuck

    Re: 113 Agent Darwin

    If you see a North Korean submarine trolling through the Danube, you should definitely be alarmed. I repeat, no NATO country is going to allow a North Korean gunship into their territory. Have you noticed the North Korean’s Dear Leader has a habit of launching missiles over Japan, and in the general direction of Hawaii? Or that he starves the populace of the country he “leads”? Is that a man you would trust?

    Since the flashback scene spoke about the Gulf War as a thing of the past, and the helicopter incident happens further ahead than that, it clearly does not take place “a few years after the fall of Berlin Wall.” It is contemporary.

  17. 117 MEIKO**** ^-^

    @ Agent Darwin and Bleu

    thanks! ill check out you tube!

    I agree with Kat and Belleza, and I also think JJH is doing a good job in portraying his character.

  18. 118 belleza

    “She’s known to be a beauty with brains, isn’t she?”

    Kim Tae Hee graduated from the Harvard of Korea. Her eyes alone have higher IQ than the majority of posters over at Popseoul. ;)

  19. 119 wits

    @ Chuck, just like you, I’m relatively new at K-dramas. Before Swallow the Sun I’ve watched purely dramas. Loved STS, so I thought I’d give IRIS a try. At first, I was wondering what the fuss was all about Lee Byeung Heon. Honestly, based solely on photos, I thought this guy was not handsome at all.

    Then I watched Ep. 1 (that’s all I’ve watched so far) and MAAANNNN!!! (screams!!) My jaw just dropped!! And now, I’m a complete fan – just after one episode!! geezzz… this man not only can act, he is charismatic, he draws you in, and best of all, he is totally HOTTT!!! (that bod… fans herself woooo).

    Unlike some of the other commenters, I got hooked in to K-dramas because I want to be entertained. If I want reality, I always have the daily grind of life to watch, and the newspapers to read. The reason I watch k-dramas and loved, STS, Brilliant Legacy, Coffee Prince, Hotelier, and a few others I’ ve seen thus far, is precisely because i want to ESCAPE reality! And IRIS has given me that – a fantasy story. WTH, none of this could be real! We only have hollywood to compare it with, and honestly, though I loved the Bourne series (which is the closest of the genre I can think of), I prefer IRIS. It’s surprisingly funny, and it has that human angle – that unique, warm relationship dynamics so lacking in hollywood films and tv shows – that is so asian, I think.

    I also loved Kim Seung Woo (in Hotelier) and am looking forward to seeing more of him. Lastly, please allow me just one minor negative comment – Kim Tae Hee – I hope she would be less wooden in the next episodes. Yeah, I agree she should be cold and unemotional, being a spy and all, but you can still portray that role with some feeling, can’t you?? Try to project some more. Or better yet, get acting lessons!

  20. 120 pabo ceo reom

    Intense…wow I’m digging it. Surprised a bit to say the least. I hope they keep it up!

  21. 121 Judy

    Anyone have any clue as to the song name or artist that played at the scene where Hyun Joon and SaWoo were running out of the club and to the streets in this episode? D:

  22. 122 Vivian

    I want to know the song too…
    I’ve been coming back every now and then to see if any information on the song playing when they ran out of the club was revealed but I guess no one seems to know. e_o

  23. 123 iabLee

    I’ve also been trying for five days now trying to find the song where they were running out of the club in ep 1, i searched the lyrics everything i could’ve have done, but still useless there’s not even a clue of what’s the song call, if anyone find it please please please email me at iablee91@yahoo.com

  24. 124 Musicmakesmehigh

    That song will forever remain a mystery……@><@

  25. 125 j

    omg, i totally agree w/you on kim tae hee. every1 loves her, but she lacks something for me. & i think you pinpointed it [for me]. she doesn’t have the charisma or the “appeal” that usually lures me in. i don’t hate the girl; i find myself trying to like her, but i just can’t xP i guess her intelligence & “beauty” just doesn’t market well for me

  26. 126 IL

    wow about kim tae hee true also i do try to like her and everything but i just don’t find her interested at all but she is very pretty

  27. 127 bleu

    @124. I think you are right. Still who knows..someone out there may have heard it somewhere..somehow.. (determined not to lose hope kekeke..)

  28. 128 AhaHa

    ohmygod I really need to know who sing the song played when they were running out of the club… I know i’m the 1326764Z453rd person to ask x’) And I searched on the web (I even translate a chinese webpage) but I didn’t found.. They always answer “Run” by 리쌍.. but NO it isn’t..
    whatever, i need to know ToT
    (i actually have the extract from the episode on my iPod to listen it -.- )
    maybe on an official website of IRIS ? is there one ?

    Edit : Omg how can i forgot to said that this recap is very good !! <3

    sorry for my bad english.. i'm french ToT

  29. 129 li

    i just hope that the song will be when they make the Iris episode song list!

  30. 130 Kat

    Yeah I cannot find it ANYWHERE on google. It’s driving me crazy. I want that song soooo badly.

  31. 131 jae

    DOES ANYONE KNOW THE SONG WHEN THE CADETS ARE ALL WRESTLING IN MUD WATER??????????

  32. 132 jae

    it’s after the the girl drinks the main character under the table.

  33. 133 Musicmakesmehigh

    I know I said ealier last month that its gonna forever remain a mystery but its no longer a mystery.

    Sugarcaine – Before I go

    http://www.myspace.com/unicademusic

  34. 134 jess

    omg thank youu!!!

    did you find the mp3 yet?
    cant find it.. =/

  35. 135 JB

    Realy Thanks I FOUND IT!

    Here is the link for the song with other songs of the group

    http://www.sharetera.com/music/Sugar-Caine-No-Stars-Above-WEB-2009-ENEMY-170976.html

  36. 136 sugarrr

    i love you. i have spent years looking and no luck, and you have answered my prayers :) i swear i was about to go but a song id thingy :D

  37. 137 Kat

    Gah, I love you brilliant song finding people.

  38. 138 IL

    Musicmakesmehigh i have say thank you so damn much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i so glad someone finally found!

  39. 139 IL

    is there any website we can download this song?

  40. 140 il

    i found out that the band has change their name to Die Drogen

  41. 141 Mizuno

    This is my most fav show now and this website summary & pix are really superb. Hope you can do more summaries for other episodes too.

  42. 142 Anh

    Does anyone know the song in episode 1 when Hyun Joon asked Choi Seung Hee to go have coffee?

  43. 143 Angie

    Thank you so much for this! The vid I was watching cut off one scene and I was confused.

  44. 144 desperate

    Anybody know the english song that playing in episode 1? When Lee Byung Heon and Jeong Joon Ho running(training)… Pls let me know the title of the english song. Any help is very appreciate. Thx

  45. 145 annie nam

    well…….i actually don’t know what to say.but one thing is for sure, i think all of the characters in IRIS did very well.and the thing about kim tae hee, well…..that’s not true (in my opinion) so deal with it! i mean can you guys do better than that? i didn’t think so………

  46. 146 sin

    same question as desperate: does anyone know the title and artist of the song when they’re training w/ the tires?

    ‘you don’t know how i live
    all you’ve got is rumors spread around
    you don’t know where i met (?)
    i’ve had it up to here with all these people in this town
    yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah’

    can’t find it ANYWHERE online =/

  47. 147 bubule

    Song in the first episode : Sugar Caine = before I go

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h08m-HbigZs

    http://www.mediafire.com/?yomjozgfw2g

    Have a nice day.

  48. 148 muzak

    Does anyone know the song in episode 1 when Hyun Joon asked Choi Seung Hee are drinking soju bombs

  49. 149 muzak

    the lyrics are like:

    easy as the river as it flows into the sea…

  50. 150 frankly true

    LBH is so handsome !! i really like him. i wish i can met him someday.

    KTH is so gorgeous she is quite good in acting.
    i think her eyes were the one who acts, so u can’t understand that she is good in acting. she doesn’t need “CHARISMA” or whatever coz she is very gorgeous!

    I really really love IRIS!!

    i hope that LBH is stiil alive in IRIS 2.!!
    -after all he been through, he will just die?!

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