Drama Recaps
ATHENA: Episode 2
by | December 22, 2010 | 73 Comments

We take off with just another show, this time the action-packed romantic drama that I’ve been waiting for some time now. After Giant wrapped up, and a solid second half in k-drama land is about to close, Athena promised me a fun, escapist way to end the year.

SONG OF THE DAY

TVXQ – Athena (from the Athena OST) [Download]

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Episode 2 Recap

Jung Woo can barely believe that Hye In is right in front of him, with her cold, professional attitude explaining that she’s there just to work. He’s like a fangirl, stuttering and smiling shyly, but after telling him to meet at the planned location, she walks off, no dinner eaten.

…And what a location they chose! It’s a gorgeous Italian palace, complete with ginormous gardens, water fountains and luxurious decoration. Hye In arrives to what seems to be a party, wearing her kickass boots – a beautiful girl must always be ready for a good fight!

Just as she enters in a legal way, there’s someone entering via hooks and ropes from the outside, and getting rid of security pretty easily using a gun with a silencer. Meanwhile, Hye In plays the part of the guest, but she seems like she was waiting… someone, the same one that’s killing security guards as if they were insignificant roaches. Once he’s passed the last one, he takes off his mask and it’s revealed he’s Jung Woo – he promptly suits up and goes directly to the main hall.

The spy-couple communicates with undetectable devices, pretending that they didn’t know each other. Jung Woo uses his spy-glasses to identify the target, and informs her to approach a person wearing a white jacket. She does so, and starts flirting with him. Meanwhile, the security guards’ massacre is found out; so much for the surprise factor.

Abusing the sexy ways of the tango music playing, she takes the white jacket guy to dance. Her goal is clear – she has to get a clear print of his hand, using what appears to be some sort of magic fabric (of which her dress is made). After an incomplete print, he tells her just one word “Skinship”. Heh. She grabs his hand tightly, and puts it firmly on her back. Mission accomplished.

With the security team is on red alert, Hye In hurriedly leaves the hall and orders Jung Woo to hurry up if he doesn’t want to get caught. He goes to a mysterious room, with an angel statue in. He touches it gently without even blinking, until he finds a secret in the left hand: it’s the key to start the system. After inputting the password, he uses the print Hye In got to open the safe. All the while, Hye In has been urging him to withdraw, to no avail.

On her way out, Hye In finds some unexpected obstacles. Some guy from the Italian team tries to stop her, and without ever losing her cool, she smiles gently and steps on his foot. She even takes the time to let her hair down before knocking him out.

Jung Woo’s not so lucky, he has lots of guys chasing him, but he disposes of them shooting with amazing accuracy (well, he’s a trained agent, after all, but he looked so dorky before).

When cornered, Hye In takes the ultimate decision to go all sexy badass gunfighter – her long dress was just an extension to hide her weapons. After finally finding her way out of the building, Hye In takes her car and goes to the reunion point while shooting all the random guys who try to stop her. At the same time, Jung Woo is escaping safely as she detonates the explosives that have been placed inside the palace… from her car.

After all the chasing and shooting, he stops right on a bridge and jumps into her strategically placed car. With his spine not frakking reduced to a pulp. Kidding you not.

Eventually, they both escape after blowing up another car and leaving the place almost destroyed.

Adrenaline = kissing? No complaints here, but what the hell. They passionately kiss, but she’s a little violent with the lip biting… And he wakes up.

Hold on.

Just a minute, here.

So, we spent a quarter of the episode watching a dream sequence?

Seriously?!

Yes, seriously.

And that’s why everything seemed so out of character – especially Jung Woo. She’s in front of him, with a bunch of kids. He stares at her, obviously embarrassed, and then in a daze after she retakes her duties as a tour guide. Sung Chul finds it deliciously funny to see how bewitched Jung Woo is by this girl.

Sung Chul now takes Jung Woo somewhere still unknown (to both Jung Won and us), telling him that maybe he’ll receive useful information there – but he must enter through the back door. The people there don’t recognize who Sung Chul is or what he’s doing there, so he shows his gun, panicking the guy who’s at the entrance.

Jung Woo finds it easier to enter – he just punches some guy and he’s in. The place seems to be a gambling room, but since he’s no regular there, he awakens the suspicion of the guards. And you know how little fond of security guards our Jung Woo is – he defeats them effortlessly.

While Sung Chul is still discussing with the entrance guy, Kim Ki Soo (Kim Min Jong) appears. At last, Sung Chul can prove he’s no stranger there – he’s Ki Soo’s acquaintance, but he had forgotten the password. They both enter, only to find Jung Woo in complete control of the situation, and showing off that super sweet smile of his. Needless to say, Ki Soo is not pleased.

Sung Chul has a private conversation with Jung Woo, in order to explain Ki Soo’s background: he’s a former North Korean top official, son of the head of the Department of Security. Thanks to his position, he studied in Russia and got his title, but didn’t like to work, and spent all his time playing instead. What’s more, his skills were lacking and he couldn’t do his job properly. Therefore, he ran away to the south, seduced by the gentle scent of capitalism. Sung Chul believes he’s a crucial asset to them, since he has first-hand information from China and Russia.

Jung Won finally gets to tell Ki Soo what’s in his mind – he wants every information he gets about Russia, threatening to trash that place if he doesn’t give anything of relevance. This turn of events makes Ki Soo feel kind of betrayed by Sung Chul, since he’s been helping him with his children tuition fees. That doesn’t make Jung Woo feel any more humanitarian or flexible, he just wants Ki Soo to fulfill his request.

Back at NTS, Jung Woo has nothing useful to do, he’s the shadow of that efficient super spy that starred in his fantasy.

Today, the new director is coming to head-quarters, and isn’t interested in long speeches about generic stuff on the NTS; he wants to check the personnel and installations by himself – especially the people, who he thinks is crucial in this kind of organization.

First, he visits the general situation room (aka NTS’ Brain). He meets Team Manager Park Sook Guk, and his group of highly trained officials (amongst them, Choi Si Won’s Kim Joon Ho). He says that life and death decisions are taken there in matter of seconds, so he trusts they’ll stay alert. After he leaves, the younger guys make fun of Sook Guk for being so uptight when Director came – nothing better than good working environment.

Next stop, the Laboratory – Oh Sook Kyung (head of Scientific Investigations Department) is developing a spying device in the shape of a bug. The Director compliments her, and encourages her to show her final results once the prototype is finished.

Finally, he goes with the field agents. Being the core of NTS, he tells them they must write history, with him as their support – if they have anything to ask, he’ll help them. Jung Won is the first to raise his hand, and informs that he wants to return to NIS. In 4 years, he had completed 21 missions alone (the number would be larger if they counted team missions), while as an NTS agent, he has accomplished nothing. His request is granted, and he leaves immensely satisfied.

Son Hyuk has received the order to find Kim Myung Guk, whose whereabouts are still unknown. He asks for a meeting with the team leaders of the DIS and lets them know that the higher ups have found the East Assian branch’s information about China completely useless, so they’ve changed the Regional Director. From this day on, the East Asian Branch of the DIS will collect information on the development of South Korean nuclear technology. Until they have every detail perfectly gathered, this will be their top priority mission.

At the Blue House, Son Hyuk, as the new DIS Regional Director, meets the Chief Secretary of Foreign Affairs and National Security, Yoo Kang Ho; Han Jeong Pil, Chief Secretary of Policy Planning and Hwang Ho Young, Chief Secretary of State Affairs. Everything goes quite well until the last person appears – Kwon Yong Gwang, NTS director and old friend (see Episode 1).

That wasn’t awkward.

Jung Woo, now relocated as he wished, isn’t having a smooth time at the NIS. His superior accuses him of being arrogant, leaving him with no option but to either reflect on his actions or quit. It doesn’t matter how puzzled he is – he doesn’t seem to understand what he did wrong –, he’s been transferred to the NIS Exhibition Center.

Well, one could say that providence had this ironic way of pairing him up with Hye In – they’re both guides now. Yay?

At least Hye In is enjoying this, seeing Jung Woo struggling with a job so lowly for an experienced agent has to be hilarious. The kids don’t even listen to his half-hearted explanation, so he loses it and starts screaming at them until she comes to the rescue. With a few words and a nice smile, she controls that anarchic scene in seconds.

As they drink some coffee, she teaches him how to grab children’s attention – guys, weapons; girls, clothes. She wonders how long he’ll be staying, but he receives a text message just in time – it’s from Ki Soo.

When they meet, Ki Soo makes fun of Jung Woo’s new job, but eventually gives in and delivers his report. In order to engage himself in a rogue mission, he’ll need Sung Chul’s help, who grasps after seeing the long list of stuff he’ll have to get.

Busan – South Korea. Ki Soo’s report was about one Victor Sevchenko, a Russian Gang Leader who mainly smuggles weapons. A big deal will take place soon enough, so Jung Woo trails him to a big ship. Plan is simple: Sung Chul waits outside while Jung Woo investigates aboard the ship. After successfully avoiding security, he finds some suspicious boxes, only to open them and find just wine bottles.

He keeps on searching, only to notice a creepy altar, ornamented with candles and crosses. A sudden noise warns him of someone’s proximity, so he rapidly hides. From his position, he can witness how that person – Sevchenko himself – is performing some sort of ritual that involves cutting his hand with a knife, and letting his blood spill on a black rose. That’s a bad sign if you ask me, since black roses are generally a symbol for hatred or revenge, and death comes hand in hand with them.

The whole gang leaves the place, and so does Jung Woo, aboard Sung Chul’s car, deeply convinced that reporting this to the proper intelligence authorities is out of the question.

At the same time, Son Hyuk receives a report from Hye In about… Sevchenko. What we didn’t know is that has has ties with the Russian Intelligence Agency, so he has to be behind Myung Guk according to Hye In – they must be trying to take him back, after they lost him to the Koreans three years ago.

Meanwhile, Jung Woo and Sung Chul have followed Sevchenko to a bar. They have to observe him without looking suspicious, so they pretend they’re dancing (pretty awkwardly) after they arrive. Jung Woo keeps an eye on him surreptitiously until Sevchenko decides to leave his VIP location.

The cat and mouse game has started.

Jung Woo initially gets rid of Sevchenko’s guys, so he exits the place chasing the Russian only, but his guys recover quickly and go after him. Han Jae Hee (Lee Ji Ah), NTS agent, is also there in a car in what seems to be a “quiet surveillance”, but is forced to get engaged into a fight with Sevchenko’s guys after seeing that confusing scene.

While Jae Hee is busy kicking some minions’ butt, Jung Woo hasn’t even noticed that his pursuers are gone, focused on getting the leader. They enter a shopping mall, but Sevchenko is faster – before Jung Woo can even think about seizing him, he’s already taken a motorbike and run away.

As a nice bonus to the generally negative situation, Sevchenko was being investigated by Jae Hee’s team – genuinely investigated. Their meticulous work, which had taken six months, is now lost thanks to these two morons. Both groups part ways, visibly upset, but Jae Hee and Jung Woo exchange a gaze full of meaning.

Then, what’s the deal between them? As a handy flashback will tell us, they had a solid relationship some time ago. What happened? How are they two separate strangers? Well, time will tell. However, as of now, they can only remember those happy times while being miserable and drinking alone.

And that, my friends, was the least cliffhanger-y ending I’ve seen this whole year.

Personal comments

How do I write comments after an episode where I felt nothing really happened? We had a dream sequence that took a quarter of this episode, and that pissed me off pretty badly. Generally, I try not to be extremely (as in, excessively) nitpicky but in this case, when I think about it, it just boggles my mind. I mean, you’re the writer, you’re in episode 2, still trying to establish the show’s premise and tone and you say “Hey, what about 15 minutes with a dream?! How awesome is that?!” I mean, no. As an action sequence, I have to admit that I was super excited, impossible shooting and jumping from bridges included, because it had a hell of a good rhythm and was beautifully shot. But when he woke up, man, it was a HUGE let down. It slowed down the storytelling and left me wondering what they were trying to achieve with it. Jung Woo is an adorable loser, and we know it, we have Jung Woo Sung doing a terrific job; so why exactly?

In conclusion, okay, I’ll take it as what it’s supposed to be – Jung Woo dreams of grandeur alongside Hye In – and I won’t think about it any longer. After all, seeing him struggling with his new job while fantasizing about this apparently nice girl as a kickass NTS agent in an italian mission, enfasizes his loser status. And it’ll make it much more better when they engange in a mission for real. Still, sigh.

As I said before, the episode itself as a whole felt slow and a bit irrelevant. Maybe it wasn’t per se, we knew some characters, the agents’ status was set and the correlation chart explored further. However, it was done sloppily, with excessive filler shots, leaving an unsatisfying aftertaste.

To finish, I’ll let the optimism take over my keyboard. The biggest asset this drama has (as of now) is the leading couple (and lots of cash to squander…). I’m not overreacting when I say that I could watch Jung Woo Sung reading the phonebook all day and I wouldn’t be bored. Plus, a somewhat dorky character? I’m damn sold. If you add Soo Ae, whom I find surprisingly strong here, we have a winner leading couple. As a whole, the cast is impressive, I’ll give you that; so I hope the writing team gives them an interesting, funny, action packed and at least slightly coherent drama.

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73 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. dana

    Thanks a lot.

  2. Sumee

    I so knew its gonna be you ….super cool ;-)

  3. MISSKFANZ

    that kiss…..hope it will be in my dream tonight..hottest kiss of the year

  4. Ace

    Any episode with Siwon in it is good enough for me. I’m darn easy to please that way.=)

    • 4.1 Lilian

      haha..I was waiting for him to appear too! Fell in love with him after Oh My Lady!

  5. swui

    Oh glad I’m not the only one who finds Athena very slow…and I say this after watching epi3 and 4. No wonder they are losing audience…I like the cast alright…but if I must be honest, Athena lacks that addictive factor that IRIS has…I hope the ratings don’t go down too much…at this stage I am still hoping the story pick up a little more…cos it will be a waste of the talents they have here…

    How telling is it that I was actually bored here…and Athena must be the first kdrama I watch that doesn’t emphasize on a cliffhanger ending every episode…. Seriously.

    • 5.1 aidablue

      True … I did find it a little slow too, but … there’s enough eye candy to keep me satisfied. I am not watching this drama for its depthness (is there such a word) but for the kada bam kada boom and for the nice actors that play in it.
      I am not fully satisfied but I can’t complain either. Lt’s hope that things will start to step up a little

  6. ohemgee

    this show…

    i LURVE it.

  7. victor

    If Jung Woo won’t end up with Lee Ji Ah’s character, I will be pissed !!!

    • 7.1 myra

      Lol what do you mean? He’s obviously falling head over heels for Hye-in. Jae-hee is the one who’s still in love with him, I don’t think Jeong-woo has any feelings for her at the moment. You’ve seen the promotional photos & MV, it’s even stated in the press release who the lead couple is.

    • 7.2 LaLa

      Me tooo! i love the “we once used to be and i still can’t get over you” style relationship, but they never end up happening. Oh well, hopefully they’ll have some sweet moments.

  8. Leona

    Italian team?Pasta reloaded? =))))
    I disliked Iris even I watched from start to finish
    but after reading first half of your recap I’ll watch it – I like it …let’s see the real action

  9. absothe

    OMG I just watched ep 1 and 2, and was wondering when there would be a recap. And here it is! :D
    Thank you Aberdeen_angus and Kaedjun soo much, since PP I’ve been unintentionally stalking your recaps. But from now on it will be intentionally, cause I totally dig the same drama’s you guys dig.
    So yeah happy reader right here :)

  10. 10 coke

    The significance of the dream was a puzzle for me as well–why did the producer/scriptwriter spend such a great amount of time (and money) on Jung Woo’s dream? Just to highlight a modest… and already obvious fact that he is a loser or he is head over heels for Hye In? I don’t get it. It’s a major thumb down when he wakes up.

    Still, I’ve enjoyed the drama so far. I’m cool with its pace. The leading couple is totally off the hook–both Jung Woo Sung and Su Ae are great actors. I know girls go crazy about JWS, but I give Su Ae a lot of credits–she is way better an actress than Kim Tae Hee. Totally pull off the two-sided spy with her angel smile and deadly glare at the same time.

  11. 11 bd

    While Soo Ae is a well-regarded actress, she hasn’t quite made it as a top tier celeb which is a shame considering her talents and looks (and she looks amazing here).

    As for the action scenes, they were pretty decent, but a little too unbelievable (esp. w/ JWS’s character) to really get into it.

    But thus far, it’s the story line that is holding Athena back.

    • 11.1 Getoba

      It’s true Soo Ae is a great actress, she win two blue dragon award. For the movie Sunny and the movie Late night Fm. I don’t understand why she is not a big star like Ha ji won, Kim tae hee, Son ye jin.

      • 11.1.1 anastassia

        She is an A list Actress and bigger than Ha Ji Won, KTH in the media.

        • 11.1.1.1 Getoba

          Bigger than Ha ji won who win also two blue dragon award and two award for the drama damo and hwang jini? I dont’tink so. Ha ji won is very bankable in drama and movies.

        • 11.1.1.2 Getoba

          Bigger than Ha ji won who win also two blue dragon award and two award for the drama damo and hwang jini? I dont’tHink so. Ha ji won is very bankable in drama and movies.

        • 11.1.1.3 aprodithe

          if you’re referring to the media, probably it is. but for acting talent, i believe HJW is bigger than her…not sure about KTH though..

    • 11.2 kit

      Soo Ae has this quiet charm that really works for her. Whether she’s a noble’s daughter turned tradeswoman in Emperor of the Sea/Haeshin or some hot assassin in Athena, it’s very apparent. She is pretty well regarded though.

      • 11.2.1 swui

        I noticed that Su Ae is pretty well regarded here…and from the few episodes I’ve seen so far I think she’s pretty ok. However coming from a kdrama fan from outside korea, this drama is not winning fans over with her casting.

        I read with interest that many others considered her “ugly” and they much prefer Kim Tae Hee. They pretty much bashed Athena and saluted IRIS. It seems looks does matter…especially for loads of people who watched kdrama for eye candies.

        For example MSOAN might be going on a crazy route plotwise….it’s actually the most watched drama right now.

        I’m rooting for Athena, please don let me down.

  12. 12 missjb

    I love your recap.. keep it up… It help me alot cause I didn’t find substitle for epi 2, yet…. thx aberdeen angus ;)

  13. 13 blahblahblah

    I was looking forward to Athena but it seems kinda bleh from your recaps. If it gets any better in eps 3/4 then maybe I’ll tune in.

    Ugh, there’s nothing good to watch nowadays :/

    • 13.1 lazeolday

      not even secret garden??
      you’re so hard to please then.

      anyway.. thanx for the recap. this and SG are the recaps i wait most.

      • 13.1.1 bd

        Not really.

        SG is bordering on awful.

        • 13.1.1.1 czak

          hahahah I disagree…
          SG is not awful.. its eccentric & new…
          and its the characters that are awful Like SEUL masochist-sadist personality.. or JW chauvanistic-hell crap… there characters were portrayed to the extreme.. but that is TV..
          For me, i think of it (character & plot) as a reality check for all drama’s out there…
          anyway secret garden for me is for pure enjoyment…
          and if you watch and read through the writing/directing/acting, it is just superb..

          • 13.1.1.1.1 bd

            It is awful.

            All the relationships are irritating and stereotypical and the writing is subpar – hardly any witty dialogue at all.

            As for as “eccentric and new”, Coffee House did a much better job w/ both the eccentricity and humor (there basically is no humor in SG).

  14. 14 kaedejun

    heheheh – location shooting in Italy?

    most expensive dream sequence ever. :P

  15. 15 Birdie

    This episode was a disappointment for me. For action dramas, if you do not make it interesting and keep up the intrigue, you lose our interest. They have good cast, so make use of them and keep the plot interesting.Once you lose your audience, it is hard to get them back,as they may invest their time on another drama. I have not given up on it yet. I like the cast better than Iris, but the plot is not as good so far.

  16. 16 Biscuit

    I suppose that dream sequence has now become worser than PK’s episode 1 opening? ;D

    I actually thought it was real and only the kiss was being imagined. But I suppose it’s not that.
    While this drama may not be the most exciting drama, it’s still pretty good (IMO).

    • 16.1 faan

      > I actually thought it was real and only the kiss was being imagined.

      That’s what I thought too!! Damn, I can’t believe I missed that…

  17. 17 Amg1

    @aberdeen_angus, thanks a lot for your hard work!!!!

    I agree 100% with you, the drama felt a bit slower than Iris and the dream sequence was a bit out of place, I was like, was that just a dream? But the over all story line I like, I hope that epi 3/4 make more sense.

    P.S. Have I told you lately that you are my favorite recap “Lady”?????
    : O }

    • 17.1 Amg1

      Well with “Iris” I had a “second female lead syndrome”
      with Kim So-yeon, but after watching episode 3/4 I am back on top of the second female lead syndrome with “Lee Ji Ah”, I know some people say that she is not the “Prettiest” of the bunch, but her acting and her character just won me over, specially in episode 3,
      Lee Ji Ah/Jung Woo Sung Ship FTW!!!!!!!!!!!

      • 17.1.1 maez

        MTE! Seriously, I love Lee Ji Ah’s character and I’m not really liking the first lead just like i didn’t like Kim tae hee

  18. 18 jose

    i have a theory,but is only an idea and is:mmm maybe athena just want be a comedy with a little themed action part? iris had some comedy but it was much more serious and i think maybe the creators this time wanted the contrary,much comedy and little seriousness,well we will see in the future ,maybe i am wrong

  19. 19 Ariel

    Help!
    I’m currently into J-doramas and want to find a site as awesome as Dramabeans to give me updates on what’s going on in J-dorama land. Although this is just a side obssession of mine brought about by watching “Tatta Hitotsu no Koi” which I totally enjoyed. Thanks to the recommendation of ockoala.

  20. 20 churasan

    Arghh… I can’t stand long dream sequences like this one (totally ruined Lovers in Paris for me). I hope they don’t have any more of these as I feel that they really don’t do anything for the story. However, so far I’m sticking with Athena cuz I love the cast and it’s still quite early in the storyline to give it up yet. I hope Choi Si Won gets more screen time. He only had a couple of lines so far…

  21. 21 asianromance

    thank you for the recap!

    the image of Soo Ae and the words “Yes, seriously.” right under it made me almost take a spit-take! The juxtaposition of her in her prim outfit and those images of them making out was awesome! I can’t believe they went and pulled a Playful Kiss with the overly long dream sequence. They should have stuck it in the middle or something.

  22. 22 missjb

    maybe, just maybe, it’s not a totally dream sequences?

  23. 23 luraaa

    I was not glad that the first quarter of the episode was a dream. I rely on Withs2 for the subs, so these recaps are a big help for me.

    I’ve already seen some raw episodes of 3 and 4, and I think that the only reason that I’m sticking to this drama is the cast.

    I’ve always been in love with Jung Woo Sung. I adored Soo Ae in 9 end 2 outs, and her character is actually believable as a double-sided agent. Cha Seung Won, well, he’s Cha Seung Won. No need for explanations there. And even though this is the first time I’ve seen Kim Min Jong in a drama, I am loving his character here. He’s the only character with good comedic timing (adorkiness goes to Jung Woo). As for Lee Jiah, never seen any of her dramas, and I am still trying to like despite her character’s introduction as Jung Woo’s ex (which annoys me. a lot.). I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. I hope. I think. Choi Si Won, he’s the icing on my Jung Woo cake. As for the others, I don’t worry about them. They’re fine the way they are as they’re minor characters.

  24. 24 czak

    the start made me think WTF…? fighting foreign intelligence with a spy-girl then end up kissing with the sunset/sunrise with the said girl..? James bond is that you..?
    But I fell for it. LOved it & would watch it again & again…
    If there was an Asian James Bond, I’d nominate him….
    wohoo Jung Woo for JAMES BOND…

    kekekeke totally loved that part, the fanstasy sequence, just made Jung WOO dorkier than the 1st episode, his fantasies are totally IN character… and that part is totally out of character of the serious AThena concept…
    anyway I am loving ATHENA, for pure Jung Woo dorkelicious special, he seems so out of all the “athena” macho crap that I so LOVE it… bring in more Jung WOo dork special…

    what I find so cool also, is the fact that it seems in in ep2, we get to see him romance 2 girls.. may it both all in his head cause one is a fantasy & 1 is a memory..
    I am hoping for more spice in that love triangle..?

    hahaha so as you can see in my post, I am totally invested not really in the drama but more in Jung WOo.. kekeke Love it…

  25. 25 Pat

    I like to know the characters before they get shot at, so I can care whether they live or die. Random chasing wears off
    very easily to boring.

  26. 26 dramafan88

    I’m actually super interested to see more of Han Jae Hee/Lee Ji Ah and her history with Jung Woo.

    From some of the MV’s and teasers – she seems to have a history with Jung Woo and Son Hyuk! Ooo, conflict & tension galore! Mighty interesting!

    Plus I think she is hawt (this coming from a girl).

    And Siwonnie looking soooo good as an agent (biased opinion) – hehehe. More of Siwonnie please!

  27. 27 js

    actually i tht only the kiss is a dream…=x but then after I read the recap oh ya…the starting and doesn’t match with the end of 1st episode?

    I don’t really like IRIS and i quite looking forward to ATHENA. Personally episode 2 is ok to me, but after episode 4, i think i have really missed/didn’t catch some plot lines of the story.. becos I am still confused with a lot of things.

    I will continue watch it, hope it will get better.

    =)

  28. 28 sheilapiglet

    Just wanted to pop by and say how much I love Yunho and Changmin’s Athena Ost Song here…so addicting and fitting with an action drama=D

  29. 29 kit

    i was all ranting to my friend how amazing this drama was turning out to be blahblahblah and then … he woke up. and i started screaming furiously at my computer and almost gave up on it. but didn’t.

    sigh. it’s turning out to be a great show; well directed, beautifull shot, characterisation is great, plot seems to be on the move. but. WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT.

  30. 30 mysuna

    Thanks for the recap. Much appreciated.

    I actually like Athena much better than Iris. The cast is definitely good and the pacing of the story is different from Iris. To Me that’s good. It’s not trying too hard to “go Hollywood”. I could barely get through ep 1 of Iris and skimmed through ep 2-4 then I gave up. The only character that made an impression on me was KSY.

    As someone has mentioned earlier, the dream sequence might in fact turn out not to be one. THAT would tie in nicely at the end!

  31. 31 lily

    damn, I knew it I’m putting too much hope on the drama writer! that whole shooting fiasco in a freaking Italian castle is just a gawddamn dream?! uggh.
    I really hope this drama will not waste any more time on pesky-little-romance-details-things. gawd, I sound incoherent.

    But I gotta admit I love the camera works! Camera teams, you guys are good job!

  32. 32 aprodithe

    i agree with you..i watch this drama for JWS’s sake. iam with you about how you can read a book the whole day and enjoy to watch his face…lol.
    I am not really a fan of Soo ae. she’s fine, but not my cup of tea. i wish the role acted by HJW instead..imagine the damo / hwang jini / ra im as the opposite of JWS is really…hey..a girl can dream am i ??

    another opinion is that, this is overly ambitious drama. same with IRIS and Aircity, and the writer is failed to executed into the longer version, as good as the actor / actress is. and poor JWS..please dont let this drama fall too big, because just like LJJ in Air city.

  33. 33 caryatid

    all i need is JWS and i’m sold!:D

    and the lip-biting thing… rawr!!!:D

  34. 34 alex

    Thanks for the recap : it’s always a pleasure to read it as well as the comments .
    I like very much this drama : very pleasant and a good acting – and JWS !

  35. 35 pohonphee

    Finally Siwon!! :)

  36. 36 dreamer1023

    hi…i’m lurker of your blog…uhm i’m not sure if this is my first time to post here…

    thanks for your reviews…i actually look forward reading your reviews because you are an expert especially with the actions and directing…i really get to appreciate more from the scenes by reading your thoughts here…too bad you did not enjoy worlds within and continued your review..i hope you will continue it one day…

    i’m not into action type of shows however i tried watching iris but somehow lee byung hun is stopping me in continuing it…although i might try to watch it next time…

    i’ve got no intention watching athena because of it being a spin-off of iris…yet, i just started and though it’s confusing…jung woo sung would really hold me into watching this and maybe soo ae as well…i don’t know if i’m gonna hate jung woo sung for luring me into watching this…but then his antics are just entertaining…

  37. 37 Luann Potts

    all i need is JWS and i’m sold!:D and the lip-biting thing… rawr!!!:D

  38. 38 Dory

    Thanks! The show’s slow a bit but there’s enough to keep me watching.

  39. 39 katie

    The picture where Jung Woo Sung is holding a handphone stirs up my carnal desires.

  40. 40 Qwenli

    Its strange, I watched one ep of Iris and stop watching, until one day I accidentally watched it again to find that it is the last ep!

    Now, after watching first ep of Athena, I kind of lost interest too. And as a non korean, I dont quite understand the part where Cha Seu Won met all the other department heads. It was like so boring for me to watch all the introduction.

    I think Athena is turning out to a even bigger let down than Runaway Plan B.

  41. 41 Wesley

    The action scenes are very well done. However, I’m losing interest in this drama because of the manner in which the “romance plot” is being developed. Although the term “lovesick” has been used to describe JW, I prefer the adjectives desperate and irritating.

    JW is killing me, I just can’t take him seriously. I find his childish antics more akin to a 13 year old experiencing his first puppy love than a Jack Bauer type agent who is trained to kill without batting an eyelid. If Athena was an action comedy like Fugitive Plan B, JW’s antics would be perfectly acceptable. However, Athena is a very different show.

    Athena seems to go from “Jekyll to Hyde” and as a result it doesn’t feel natural. One minute the show feels akin to “24” in that its atmosphere is overtly serious and somewhat sombre. The next minute we have JW acting like a 13 year old experiencing puppy love. The extreme contrast doesn’t seem natural or realistic.

    Maybe things will improve? Maybe not? I’m not sticking around to find out.

  42. 42 Mai

    hmm… I was guessing if i have to watch Iris to be able to see athena… Do I have?
    thanks!

  43. 43 velvetblanc

    can someone explain why the director of the DIS is meeting with the director of the NTS??

    isn’t the DIS an american agency? then why Son Hyuk in the blue house??

  44. 44 runfaster

    thank you so much for the recap! :)
    personally, i favour Athena over Iris. For Iris, the action and story was good but the acting overall did not satisfy me (with the exception of 3 actors).
    But Athena is solid in terms of acting, story wise – still sorta okay (although 15 minutes dream sequence left me in such a HIGH daze, i was confused thinking i watched 2 different dramas in 1 drama), actions are good.
    I completely adore Jung Woo Sung (that i have to say i’d pick Jung Woo Sung over Lee Byung Hun anytime), to me he’s such an incredible actor, so RAW it’s unreal (he kinds reminds me of Edward Norton).

  45. 45 Mai

    Runfaster!
    thank you for giving me your opinion… =D

    But is there any connection between the two dramas? Do I have to watch Iris to be able to understand athena?

    thanks and hugs!

  46. 46 totoro

    thanks for the recap :]
    i have to say even though episode 1 and 2 was pretty confusing for me, episode 3 and 4 totally hit the spot for me. everything started falling into place and now i’m hooked.
    i am also very obsessed with Lee Ji Ah right now!!! X __ X im sick with the second lead syndrome too. but looking at the mv and previews, im really really looking forward to her relationship with son hyuk! i hope they get a good ending!

    • 46.1 xxx

      sammme here!!!! i want to see the development between Jae Hee and Son Hyuk! they make the perfect couple! ♥ LJA

  47. 47 bw

    watching this drama only for lee ji ah :D

  48. 48 spunah

    Watched a maybe 4 or 5 episodes of IRIS and gave up. Mostly due to Kim Tae Hee’s poor acting skills. Totally did not fall for her spy abilities. But Su Ae as a spy? Totally believable. Plus, totally hot. I don’t understand, as mentioned above, why some people think she’s ugly and keep comparing her to Kim Tae Hee. In my opinion, I think Su Ae is much more graceful, charismatic, talented and beauitful! I would love to look like her!

    As for the dream sequence, even though it gave everyone a “What the F” moment, I can appreciate why they had it done early and so long. I could tell when Jung Woo was posturing with fun in each hand on one bended knee, that the whole thing was a dream. The dream sequence was supposed to complement his frustration and listlessness with his current position doing desk duties although he’s supposedly a “field agent.”

    IRIS was high flying serious action the whole way through (to episode 5 at least, where I left off), and everything was…mature. But I get the feeling that producers want to make this more realistic, making Jung Woo kind of a dork and putting some emphasis on protocol and such.

  49. 49 spunah

    Shoot, typos above. I meant “gun” in each hand, not “fun”. Sigh.

  50. 50 jwsfan

    JWS and CSW,together, in a drama about spies and whatnot? My Christmas wish came true! What is there NOT to like about this drama? I could watch BOTH of these men reading a phonebook. LOL Thanks for the recap!

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