Drama Recaps
ATHENA: Episodes 19-20 (Final)
by | April 16, 2011 | 46 Comments

I love the shot above – so artistic and yet served a purpose in the storytelling. So let’s go down into the depths of hell together, and finish the series!

I’d really like to thank those who stuck through with aberdeen_angus and me as we recapped this drama – all the way down to the bitter end. Your comments were sweet and supportive, and it was always fun to read your thoughts/discussion (whenever discussion made sense rather than “Oh let’s just forget how to rationalize that,” – a thought which I’m sure happened often enough). Secondly, I can never forget to thank javabeans and girlfriday for giving us the space to write!


“Order” by Baek Chan (Athena OST) [download]

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Despite his initial excitement, Son Hyuk receives some bad news. Hye In is at a hotel nearby with Jae Hee and the rest of the NTS team, strategically plotting how to nab him. Sean Richard intervenes, but Son Hyuk will not be stopped. Fine then – they’ll go together. Sean Richard gives in too easily.

Since Jung Woo doesn’t have concrete evidence of Son Hyuk, he can’t get any more back up. But! He does get help in the form of Ki Soo, and they meet up far from the hotel/makeshift command center. Ki Soo admits he’s on a wanted list (preferably dead than alive), and Jung Woo immediately wants to give Ki Soo NTS-protection. Thanks but no thanks – he’s Kim Ki Soo! Former intelligence agent! He can survive anywhere! As long as he gets to join the team that finishes off Son Hyuk.

Jung Woo says he’ll consider it.

Jae Hee and the team make their rounds around the hotel to ensure the security. Everything is secured, and Hye In has already gone up to her room. However, Jae Hee passes a frantic hotel clerk who’s wondering where a cart of luggage went. Immediately, she heads up to Hye In’s floor.

That missing cart of luggage is currently trailing Hye In, pushed by Bellhop Son Hyuk. He wants her to leave; he’s going to start something big, something that no one can ever stop. She needs to get herself out of here, or else she’ll die too. Hye In puts her foot down – she won’t leave, and she won’t stop if Son Hyuk won’t.

Jae Hee catches them and chases after him, gun drawn. The others are alerted, and Son Hyuk makes his escape through the kitchen. Jae Hee only manages to find him (thanks to a helpful cook who guides the way) right before he drives off in Sean Richard’s car. She can’t even shoot at the car, that’s how bad her hand is shaking.

It’s at her shaken state that Ki Soo sees her as he comes bounding up to her in the hotel. (Clearly, Jung Woo allowed him to join.) He’s the only one who cares about Jae Hee though: “You got more beautiful I couldn’t even recognize you!” Jung Woo only asks after Hye In and Son Hyuk. The Flirt versus the Inconsiderate Love of Your Life – which do you choose, Jae Hee?

Director Kwon is informed that Son Hyuk had warned Hye In, so even though there’s no concrete proof, it looks more and more like Son Hyuk will attack the nuclear reactor. Jung Woo wants the military deployed to the reactor’s location, rather than the other 20 locations, but Kwon cannot provide more than just the military police and two teams of SRT. This is exactly the situation that Son Hyuk wants, and Jung Woo knows they’re playing right into it.

Jae Hee is reminded on how much she seemed like Son Hyuk – holding on to someone who doesn’t love them back and acting recklessly. It took her a while to realize how pitiful the act was. Jung Woo: “Erm…”

Hye In reminisces, and actually it’s really sad to see how far Son Hyuk has gone. He went from being her protector and trying to keep her out of it, to pleading to her to wait for him so that he can make all the work they did worth it, even if it’s not exactly legal. To the very end, he wants to protect Hye In.

Auckland! Kim So Yeon! She visits the grave of her daughter and husband, laying white roses and her daughter’s stuffed sheep by their memorial plaque. She remembers her vow for revenge – and heads to the airport. Wait – I just said hi to you, and now I have to say bye!? Noo!

Here ends the cameo of Sun Hwa.

Ugh – back to NTS: Kwon is convincing a couple of Secretaries from the President’s cabinet that Son Hyuk will attack the nuclear reactor. They don’t want to take the risk by removing support from the other locations, but they won’t notify the public and cause a frenzy. Meanwhile Son Hyuk’s team moves out, and that’s when Joon Ho finally locates Son Hyuk’s getaway car – at the Hall of Performing Arts, which had been “closed for renovations.”

One of their black vans arrives at a checkpoint in front of the nuclear reactor and it passes the inspection, with good reason; the van is disguised as a broadcasting station’s, and so all they can find are cameras and equipment.

Jung Woo and his small team arrives in front of the Hall of Performing Arts. Son Hyuk’s two watchmen report this to the Athenians still inside. Son Hyuk confirms if the package has been loaded first, and then orders everyone to move out first. He’ll buy some time, and meet them in half-an-hour at the rendezvous point.

The SRT team sees a garbage truck and tells the drivers to pull out quickly; too bad they don’t recognize the drivers as Athenian agents. Jung Woo enters through the front door and slowly everyone makes their way up the building. They encounter a few agents putting up a fight, and then Jung Woo spots Son Hyuk, watching them a few floors above.

Jung Woo notifies Joon Ho, who then informs the rest of the team of a confirmed sighting of Son Hyuk. Ha – it’s like no one will believe the alien exists until one of them sees it with his very own eyes. Jae Hee orders her team to keep an eye on Hye In at the hotel, and she heads over to the Hall herself. Kwon wants a live feed of what’s happening at the Hall, and he witnesses his men shooting back at some Athenians.

Jung Woo races up the steps, while Son Hyuk runs down. Will they meet!? Nope – Son Hyuk exited off a floor in between, and Jung Woo follows. They barely miss each other, as the elevator doors close between them. Son Hyuk heads to the first floor and eliminates anyone in his way. He gets into Sean Richard’s car, and Jung Woo wants NTS to track their car via satellite. Unfortunately, they have a very smart car that can parallel park automatically by itself, and so they squeeze into a spot while a decoy car takes over.

I WANT THAT CAR! (Yes, I fell for the damn marketing ploy.)

Anyways, NTS tracks the wrong car, and lead Jung Woo far from the Hall of Performing Arts. He literally drives right past Son Hyuk and Sean Richard.

SRT agents swarm the basement and locate the missile in the basement. They uncover it, showing a live feed to NTS, and to Tae Hyun and Joon Ho. The bomb section is uncovered, and when they get a closer look, Tae Hyun yells, “It’s a trap!”

Too late – video feed goes fuzzy, then dead.

Ki Soo is a tad late in the game, as he finds out last that everyone is being sent to get Son Hyuk, but him! Jung Woo finally catches up to the decoy car, and he realizes that he just got tricked. He requests for CCTV feeds, and Tae Hyun and Joon Ho realize that the Athenians have a bunker buster – a smaller missile equipped with a laser-guided system that could penetrate deep walls. What’s worse is, the missile can hold a nuclear device.

Kwon wants Sook Kyung to run a test and see what the casualties would be if the weapon were a standard or a nuclear missile. I think you’re wasting valuable time and resources on this, because honestly, no way is either test going to come out with “more favorable” results.

Jung Woo heads back to the makeshift headquarters, and he sees a garbage truck roll by. He asks Joon Ho if any left the Hall before they broke in, and they realize that they had accidentally sent the missile on its way. Plus, they don’t do inspections on garbage trucks. Luckily, Jae Hee (who is still on her way to the Hall) spots the garbage truck in question and tales it.

The only way to stop the missile is to get it before it launches; anytime after that is too difficult. Jae Hee spies the agents transporting the missiles from behind the truck into a large tower at the expo park. Jung Woo wants her to be on standby until he and the team arrive, but no way is she gonna do that. Even Joon Ho is itching to go on the field, leaving Tae Hyun in charge of the makeshift headquarters.

The Athenians set up the missile, and finally Jae Hee can wait no longer. She takes her gun and sneaks into the tower’s adjacent building. Son Hyuk and Sean Richard are already there, and they’re five minutes away from launch. Meanwhile, the two Athenians pretending to be journalists enter the nuclear reactor center, where they are given a tour of the place. Using their specially equipped camera, they use lasers to help mark a guided path for the missile.

Jae Hee breaks the neck of one guard silently, and goes up the stairs, to where the baddies are assembled. The computer techie encounters a frequency jammer, so they are delayed by a few minutes. That gives Jae Hee enough time to sneak up on them. She shoots one that has spotted her, and then aims her gun at Son Hyuk. It’s one against oh, fifteen? agents. Son Hyuk sneers, and orders the techie to continue. But Jae Hee yells that if he does continue, she’ll kill their leader. Poor techie – quite the dilemma eh?

Techie chooses to continue, and Jae Hee shoots him down. Son Hyuk quickly throws her across the floor. She shoots at the agents, grabs the laptop and runs.

The Athenians aim to kill, but Son Hyuk stops them. He grabs his gun, and with a few carefully aimed shots, he hits her back and her leg. She stumbles down to the lobby. Son Hyuk, lording over her, demands she return the laptop. She throws it at his feet, but when he bends over to get it, she uses her last bullet to destroy the computer.

The female Athenian (who appears to be the only competent one out of the bunch) says she can set off the missile manually, even though it might take a little longer. Jae Hee is turning deathly white, but she taunts Son Hyuk, saying he’ll never succeed. Ooh – get on his bad side will you? He aims his gun at her head, and that’s when Ki Soo comes racing in, firing bullets at Son Hyuk and the Athenian agents a floor above.

Son Hyuk calls them all off, and they leave the scene. Ki Soo rushes to Jae Hee’s side, and that’s when Jung Woo finally arrives. He slides across the floor and grabs Jae Hee, telling her to stay awake. She uses her last breaths to tell him that the missile is on top of Gyeongju Tower, and that they’re manually setting it off.

Jung Woo shakes her, repeating that she can’t die. A small smile creeps up on her lips as she says, “Jung Woo, are you still gonna sit there like that?” Reluctantly taking his attention off of her for a second, he reports it in to the rest of the team. However, when he looks back at her, Jae Hee is gone.

I gotta say, Son Hyuk reaaaaally knows how to make enemies.

The medics arrive too late, and Kwon gives the belated order to send fighter jets to Gyeongju Tower. Joon Ho arrives at the lobby when the medics are taking Jae Hee away. Since they haven’t covered a white sheet over her, he thinks that she’s just passed out. He shakes her to wake her, but her head lolls to the side. A medic confirms her death. Joon Ho stares, and tears roll down his face. He grabs her into his arms and screams at her to wake up, calling her “noona” instead of “sunbae.” Poor Joon Ho – he never got the girl… (Side note: Choi Si Won is amazing!)

The SRT tail Son Hyuk and his men through the basement, and start battling it out. Backup arrives, and finally the Hall of Performing Arts becomes a full scale battlefield. Out in the snow. The SRT backup team makes their way into the building, but as they climb up the steps, bombs explode in their path. Much like what happened outside the mall in IRIS

The female Athenian is still plugging away at manually launching the missile; some SRT agents are dragging their injured away from the crossfire; F15 planes are on their way to Gyeongju Tower; and no one at NTS knows the status of Jae Hee. It’s chaotic to say the least.

Jung Woo grabs a rifle from a fellow agent and storms his way up the steps. He kills his way to the location of the missile, where the female Athenian is ready to launch with just the press of a button. The two of them stare down, and he warns her not to move. She tests him, and lowers her finger to press the button.

Jung Woo riddles her body with bullets. He also saves the day.

Son Hyuk is wondering why the female Athenian didn’t confirm that she launched the missile, and that’s when he hears Jung Woo’s voice on the other line: “It’s over. Remember what I told you. I will end your life. So wait there. I’m on my way.”

Furious as hell, Son Hyuk fires a few more shots at SRT agents he’s battling, and his underlings have to force him out of there. Ki Soo comes in and starts taking out the remaining Athenians who stayed behind to buy some time – with a small automatic gun. Dude is badass.

The missiles have been recovered, but Son Hyuk and a few of his men have gotten away, disguised as SRT agents. Jung Woo finally reports in to NTS that they are in pursuit, but that Jae Hee is dead. That sends shock waves throughout the agency.

Several days later, NTS finally tracked down all the trucks that carried missiles in them. Or, supposedly carried them, as there was actually no trace of explosives in them. Though Athena may have turned its back on Son Hyuk, they start prepping for his next attack; Son Hyuk would not give up so easily. Hye In privately tells Jung Woo that Son Hyuk might just be waiting for someone to stop him – and the only one who can do that is her.

Suddenly, we get a glimpse into Sook Kyung’s private life. She exits a restaurant with her mother and sister to celebrate her mother’s birthday. (Of course, her mother has to say that the best birthday gift would be a son-in-law.) Sook Kyung drives her mom and sister to the Cultural Center, but on the way she is blocked by two silver vans, one in front and one in the back.

It’s a kidnapping, and Sook Kyung discreetly raises an SOS alarm on her phone to notify NTS. Brought to an abandoned warehouse and separated from her family, the Athenian agents have a simple request for her: log in to the NTS server and turn off the security motion sensors on the outer walls.

Yep – Son Hyuk and his men are going to invade NTS.

Sook Kyung refuses, so the agent raises a gun to her head. Then he comes up with a better solution; he has her sister brought in, tied at the hands, and has her shot in the leg in front of Sook Kyung. The next bullet will be in the head.

That’s enough for Sook Kyung to do as she’s told.

Son Hyuk and his men wait until the sensors are turned off before making their way inside from the lowest levels. Meanwhile, Joon Ho and Tae Hyun (in matching leather jackets and skinny pants) arrive at the location of the kidnapping. They see her car left there, and with careful deduction, they figure out that she was kidnapped. Once notified of this, Kwon sends Jung Woo out on the scene.

The next thing that needs to be done is for Sook Kyung to lock down NTS. Reluctantly, Sook Kyung does it, and Son Hyuk’s agent sets up the EMP, which sends out a pulse that disrupts all electricity and forms of communication. Massive blackout ensues. Jung Woo also can’t get out, as the gate locks down on him. When his phone doesn’t work, he and his partner realize Son Hyuk has arrived. Hye In knows it too.

The Athenian kidnappers are told to pack up and leave, and Sook Kyung desperately pleads for them to let her and her family go. As that happens, she spies out of the corner of her eye someone grabbing one of her kidnappers. She distracts her captor by screaming, but he slaps her and pulls his gun on her. Just as he’s about to shoot, Tae Hyun fires a bullet into him. Joon Ho serves as backup, and now we have the two idol boys battling it out with the baddies. Yeah yo.

Sook Kyung is freaked out, but she informs Joon Ho that NTS is under attack. He asks Tae Hyun to take care of Sook Kyung and her family, and heads right over to headquarters.

It’s a full fledged attack as Son Hyuk and his team go on the offensive, quickly eliminating the SRT agents in the perimeter of NTS. Kwon sends all non-comative agents to the safe room and initiates Code Red, where all field agents must prepare for combat – including himself.

Jung Woo and his partner have to manually open the elevator doors and get their way back to the control room. Meanwhile, Son Hyuk has a no-survivors policy, going into every single room and killing everyone there. They reach the control room and open fire. Kwon impresses me by taking down a few men himself.

Hye In walks through the ghostly halls, scattered with dead bodies…Jung Woo and his partner are making their way through the first level of NTS…A couple of Athenians are on the prowl, searching for more agents. They encounter a group of non-combatants, including all the techies, and pushes techie Kyung Won against the wall to execute him. Hye In bursts in, uses one’s gun to kill the other, disarms him, and points his gun at him. She tells the others to get into the safe room, before asking where Son Hyuk is.

It’s seriously an eerie place, as everything is dark, gunshots echo everywhere, and the agents have to sneak around in their own territory. Kwon forces Chul Hwan to get in to the safe room, so that he can protect the others in case anything happens to him. Chul Hwan is a stubborn mule, and it requires Kwon to push him inside and then blast off the lock so that no one can get in or out.

Son Hyuk stations one of his agents outside the safe room, and then sends others to go search for Hye In and Jung Woo. Lucky for the agents, they encounter Hye In almost right away, alone. She tells them to move, but since they refuse, she takes down all of them, one girl versus four guys. She is shot in the arm, but she gets up and walks off like nothing happened.

Meanwhile, Jung Woo and his partner are slowly making their way through NTS, taking down all Athenians in their way. The partner goes up the stairs first and freezes – Sean Richard is pointing a gun at him. He looks back at Jung Woo, and then raises his arm to shoot. Sean Richard shoots him down, and Jung woo takes that opportunity to kill Sean Richard.


Moving on – Jung Woo makes his way through the basement, and finds a C4 bomb planted on the pipes. Behind him, it’s Son Hyuk. He aims his flashlight at Son Hyuk, temporarily blinding him and they fight, Jung Woo shooting Son Hyuk in the leg.

Son Hyuk takes the moment to say that the person he really wants to kill is Jung Woo, who took everything away from him. Brutal fist fight ensues – and I mean seriously brutal; they’re punching each other’s guts and lifting the other up and slamming him down.

Hye In limps on, looking for Son Hyuk, when she is shot in the back by a couple of Athenian agents. Kwon to the rescue! He appears out of nowhere and shoots those two men down. He helps her up and then sends her along her way, telling her that he’ll handle the rest of the agents himself.

Jung Woo is clearly winning the fight against Son Hyuk, as he’s still fresh as linen and Son Hyuk is bloody as hell. Son Hyuk is crawling on the floor, and he takes the opportunity to withdraw another gun inside his coat pocket. Aiming it at Jung Woo, he says “I’ll see you in hell.”

Before he can pull the trigger, Hye In appears. She tells Son Hyuk to stop, but he replies, “No, I came too far to stop.”

Without hesitation, Hye In raises her gun and shoots several times into Son Hyuk’s chest.

OH MY GAWD – and who didn’t say that with me when that happened?!

When he was shot, Son Hyuk also pulled the trigger of his gun and injured Jung Woo. But nothing can compare to the pain of betrayal. Hye In kneels beside a dying Son Hyuk…and raises the gun to her head.

!!!!!!!!!!!!! WT@%!$?!?!?!?!? I DID NOT watch 20 episodes for this! Hell no! If you freakin’ pull an IRIS stunt on me I will kill you!!!!

Son Hyuk grabs her arm as she pulls the trigger, and both of them fall wayside. The bullet missed Hye In, but she’s still down from shock. (Good.) Son Hyuk: “Don’t die Hye In. This wasn’t what I planned for you. I wanted to give you a life with blessings and celebrations.”

He tells her not to cry, that he’s OK, and then lets out his final breath. Hye In closes her eyes, unconscious, and both are holding hands.

The Aftermath:

NTS will take a week to get back on line as they’ve been attacked with an EMP, but the loss of lives looms over each agents’ head.

Hye In’s surgery goes well, but she will require intensive rehab. She is transferred to another hospital by ambulance, and Jung Woo sees her off. Thing is, that ambulance is being driven by none other than Ki Soo and his lackey.

Jung Woo contacts Ki Soo, who informs him that he sent Hye In well on her way, and that she left something for Jung Woo. He says his final goodbye to Jung Woo, tosses his phone in the trash, and disappears into the crowd.

Hye In’s final gift? A cheesy recorded message thanking him and telling him that she is going to reform her life.

A year later, Jung Woo visits Jae Hee on her death anniversary, leaving flowers at her plaque. Joon Ho joins him, and we find out that Jung Woo is on an indefinite leave of absence from NTS. Joon Ho says that the nuclear plant is going well, so NTS is once again a boring workplace.

Jung Woo arrives at Auckland. Having remembered Hye In’s story about her trip to New Zealand, he goes in search of her. Isn’t it amazing, though, that he goes to a riverside park, and there is Hye In – standing in the grass, overlooking the boats in the waters.

She is surprised to see him. They stare deeply into each other’s eyes, and smile.



Oh Athena.

I used to extol its virtues and be so excited about it! And then I got to the later episodes and my excitement and love for it waned. I had even argued that ATHENA was better than IRIS! I’m not going to take that statement back, but I will take a step back and analyze how I felt about this series.

The thing about Athena was that it was definitely enjoyable the first time around. When I recap in general, I watch an episode twice – the first time just to watch it, and the second time to actually sit down and recap it. Therefore, I had watched Athena in its entirety a couple months ago, and only started to rewatch it for the recaps. When I first watched it, it was enjoyable. Cheesy, but enjoyable. Rewatching it made it painful, and has highlighted the flaws even more. Perhaps knowing how it all ends has also made me more impatient, as I know what will happen and just want the series to get there. So I admit – maybe it’s the way I watch it that clouds my judgment of the series.

However! Athena definitely had flaws. I already mentioned that its tendency to tell rather than show has been one of its weaknesses. It’s way more exciting to watch people beat down the doors of bad guys and catch them, than to sit in a conference room and say, “We beat down the doors of the bad guys.” The story can be tight and fast-moving, but very boring. Another thing was that the entire series felt like a mash up of elements that worked in IRIS, and then was re-used in Athena whether it fit or not. Action and romantic scenes ran amok in the drama, making it feel like there was no connectivity between the story lines within an episode. They even had grand overseas shoots; for example, the whole Italy sequence with Soo Ae and Jung Woo Sung (which was awesome). Except! It was a dream! So instead of the cool Hungary hunt-down that was all real and necessary to the plot, we got the coolest fight scene in Italy for a useless dream!

Overseas fight scene? Check. Makes sense within the story. Nope.

There was also the romantic love story. I believed that Jung Woo was in love with Hye In, but I really hated how he was so head-over-heels-ga-ga for her. It was repeatedly pounded into our heads that he loved her, but the romance remained quite stagnant. The romance didn’t really grow or evolve into something deeper; it only helped Hye In realize that she wanted to become good. I would have liked it if Jung Woo benefited from this “great love” as well.

IRIS had one big advantage: it was the first one in its genre to explore the whole spy-action drama, and so when watching it, everything felt new. The twists and turns, betrayals, and fight sequences. (You thought I would say Kim So Yeon, didn’t you? Anyways…) Despite being somewhat predictable and cheesy, it was still a spy drama, and you were curious how it would unfold. Athena came on to the scene and had the immense burden of having to up the stakes from its predecessor. By the time we watch Athena, we know what to expect: love, betrayals, twists and turns, etc. Therefore nothing is a surprise, but everything is made on a grander scale.

I personally still enjoy(ed) Athena much more than IRIS, so I guess you could say I think it was better in terms of watchability. I think the actors made up for this series, because they were far more interesting characters than the ones in IRIS. Plus, these actors all have credibility and I know they can do several genres before coming into this drama; that makes their acting ability a little more impressive. (Case in point: compare Soo Ae in 9 End 2 Outs and Athena.) On the other hand, IRIS had actors who had only/mostly done melodramas before, so watching them was like a repeat performance. If Kim Tae Hee had done My Princess and then IRIS, I would have been far more impressed. Something about Athena got me itching to watch more; perhaps I really just wanted to know who would die. But hey – that’s a good enough hook to get me to finish watching, yeah?

If an IRIS 2 comes out, I’m going to send a missile over to Taewon Entertainment.


46 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. minayuki

    It’s FINALLY over.
    I think I had a really hard time following this drama.
    Not that it wasn’t cool, or action-packed, but emotionally, I didn’t feel any attachment at any point.
    Maybe it’s just me?

    • 1.1 mariam

      MEE TOO! i could not for the love of me understand or want to understand this drama. when i found out who she was going to be with that was the killer for me. IRIS was better for me and ATHENA just plain suck for me. thanks for the recap and looking forward to a good drama because so far 2011 has been a downer.

  2. danna

    Thank you so much for sticking it out to the end with this one Kaedejun!…*runs off to watch hte part where Choi Si Won cries*

    • 2.1 danna

      also if they do make an IRIS to I’ll help you in building that missile

      • 2.1.1 nell123

        Count me in too. šŸ™‚

        It has has to be really good, brilliant actually, for me to watch it. And since we know it probably won’t be I’ll just skip.

        A big thanks to aberdeen_angus and kaedejun! I know that Athena was difficult to watch at times so recapping should have been even worse. But I’m glad you stuck through because your explanations helped me to understand some parts I didn’t get initially.

  3. JM

    i’ll give you credit for watching this! cause i can’t tell you how painful it was for me to finish this since by the end i was using ATHENA to help me go to sleep!

  4. yhsf

    “perhaps I really just wanted to know who would die”

    This…this is the whole reason I watched to the bitter end LOL

  5. snow

    thanks for persevering with the recaps, kaedejun! (and aberdeen angus, though she hasn’t been around for a bit.) i ditched athena even before i watched an episode, relying on your recaps to know what’s going on. i’m kinda glad i ditched it, i’m going to forget that jung woo sung did this drama and the chick he hooked up with (ain’t saying her name, no siree!).

    whatever it is, k-drama should give the spy genre a rest, a long long rest.

    • 5.1 danna

      we wish!..unfortunately Tae Won simply wont let it go

  6. Schmazel

    Thanks for the hard work, aberdeen_angus and kaedejun! Now you guys can move on. šŸ˜€

  7. rubie

    “On the other hand, IRIS had actors who had only/mostly done melodramas before, so watching them was like a repeat performance.”


  8. Alex

    And the point of the Kim So-yeon cameo was? ….The plot background for Iris 2? Anyways I liked Athena better than Iris and to be honest I didn’t watch much of Iris to get high hopes for Athena. Soo Ae is an actress I love to see whether she’s in saguek or rom-com she’s awesome, Lee Ji Ah is an actress who I really didn’t care for but I liked her here. Cha Seung Won is alwaabu assad but Jung Woo Sung annoyed the crap out of me, why I’m not sure but his character could have been awesome but was sorta eh. Overall it was an alright watch.

    • 8.1 Alex

      *always badass

  9. woolly

    I love your ending comment. šŸ™‚

  10. 10 hpn88

    I am the only one who didn’t fully get the kim so yeon cameo. If that is the background of Iris 2, then I might just have to watch.

  11. 11 nauna

    My prayer to the Kdrama Gods:
    If we must have another entry in the Iris franchise, then please, please, pretty please let it star Kim So Yeon!

    Thanks for the recaps kaedujun & aberdeen_angus!

  12. 12 jakebot

    i appreciate your efforts. that said, NTS is literally the dumbest counter-whatever agency in the 1st world. this drama makes swiss cheese look like cheddar. i’ll be honest, i only followed through with this for su ae. thanks again, though

  13. 13 bandaid

    my gawd, it was painful to watch Athena, and i must agree with the recappers: the reason IRIS was so enthralling to watch was because it was the FIRST of its kind. (oh, and Lee Byung Hun, too) it was so unique, and the first korean spy drama. i’ve watched Shiri before (it was so good i had to buy the DVD), but that was a movie, not a series.

    honestly, i really looked forward to Athena during its first few episodes. but as the series progressed, it kinda was painful to watch. almost felt like (since i liked IRIS so much) it was an obligation to finish Athena. i honestly never watch a replay of it, unlike IRIS, which i have a DVD Rip in my hard drive.

    and what’s with the camoes? Jeez. although i really liked seeing Sun Hwa again (i was really rooting for her in IRIS, Seung Hee’s so useless, never really done anything for Hyun Joon haha :P) so is her cameo , like, one of the plot lines that will drive IRIS 2? (i really liked her dialog on the phone with her former commander, you know, the one about her daughter’s name? it sounded very… real, perhaps?)

    IRIS was an 8 for me… (would have been 9 if it wasn’t for that stupid last episode, and that last 5 mins!!), but Athena… i think a 6 is fair enough. (with all the stupid agents running around, spouting really cheesy lines while exchanging fire.. i mean, who taunts a terrorist who’s about to launch a missile? if i’d be Jung Woo, i’d just let my gun do the talking.)

    oh, and finally, i think Siwon’s moment (“noona!”) was the best scene. i really liked that scene. so sad yet so fun to watch. i really think it was his best scene (EVER, and that’s saying something, cause im not even a fan).

    well, i do hope IRIS 2 is far better than IRIS and Athena combined. but then again, i just hope they won’t push through with it. i mean, get over it!! just make a new series and promote it as “from the creators of IRIS and Athena… blah blah blah”, they really shouldn’t push their luck.

  14. 14 Malice

    I want Iris 2.
    I was very disappointed about Athena ><

  15. 15 Dara

    Thanks for your recaps, phew! It’s over.
    Will you be picking up any drama in May? Seems busy month^^

  16. 16 jj

    I made it to episode 16 of IRIS. I made it only to 4 in Athena. Although IRIS wasn’t that great, it did manage to do the suspense thing, plot, and music much better. Watching Athena was like watching a dry, meandering soap

  17. 17 g

    saankyu for the recaps, now I can continue watching from eps 15 :DDD was too afraid to watch due to fear that this might have an IRIS ending šŸ˜› love your style and thanks again !

  18. 18 jojo

    Thanks for the recap Kaedejun. Had already seen it but liked watching from your point of view.

    I agree that Choi Si Won is amazing. I think he’s a natural and he’ll have a fine acting career in addition to SuJu. (But, I’m an E.L.F.)

  19. 19 Goldie

    LOL .. indeed totally agree ..

    I did Thai subtitle for Athena .. so while i did it ..
    the feeling is the same when you watch it twice ..

    however .. I would call this series is ..
    “the Athena; God of the kidnaps” LOL

    really enjoyed this series anyway ^^
    specialy, Son Hyuk .. Oppa Fighting ! Ha ..

    • 19.1 QD

      Agree! Son Hyuk was the main reason I stuck through the series. I enjoyed the OST too. Other than that it was disappointing as it had so much potential. Thanks for the recaps ! Really appreciate the hardwork!

  20. 20 Nancii


    I is an ELF too. so obv quite biased towards SiWon’s acting but i wish he had more scenes!!!!!!!!!!!

    anyhows thanks a lot for sticking with it.

    i stopped at ep 5 or so since Dream High/My princess came along so i’ll pay a visit to Athena once my summer exams are over.

  21. 21 ginnie

    I really appreciate that you stayed on for the entire series. Thank you very much for your effort.

  22. 22 marisa

    Thank you for the recaps!
    I still can’t believe I watched it all, this strange little show was like sparkling water without fizz.

    Missed opportunities galore. Why hire so many great actors when all you ask of them is to stand around and make stoic faces?

    The cinematography, Kim So-yeon’s cameo and the array of fantastic leather jackets were the only plus.

  23. 23 Ginger

    Thanks for recapping! I made it one episode farther in Athena than I did IRIS.

    I thought there was supposed to be an IRIS 2? Maybe I am thinking of the movie.

  24. 24 dramafan88

    i agree with you, choi siwon is amazing! am just gonna watch the last ep for his crying scene.

  25. 25 maria

    Hit me for actually skipping through the episode and just watching what looked interesting. I wasn’t in on the Athena hype anyway and well, yeah. I was here for Son Hyuk haha.

    I really did like that Si Won has finally given us something deep other than the numerous “sunbae”, etc. He was amazing in that scene with Ji Ah.

    What sparked my interest was that scene with Ki Soo. Aww mehn, he looks like he’ll be doing freelance spy work once more! If there was a chance they’ll be doing another spy drama, they just have to bring him in!

  26. 26 Lacus

    Thank you for sticking Athena out to the end and doing the recap. Athena was pretty meh for me. I stuck around for Siwon’s parts. He was great in Athena, but this drama was a serious waste of all the acting talent it had. Jung Woo Sung’s character had me tearing my hair out. Why did they have to make him such an annoyingly lovesick puppy? Cha Seung Won’s character started out great as the evil badass, but when he went psycho (over Soo Ae’s char, no less), it was just EH? I liked Soo Ae’s killer character, until she became a weepy suicidal girl….argh. The attempted suicide was SO out of character. I’m depressed over what I have done, so I’ll just kill myself? Why did she go from kick-ass heroine to a wimpette? Lee Ji Ah’s character seemed to be the one of the brighter agents….and she couldn’t figure out her own FATHER was a traitor? Ah, so frustrating.

    Last of all, my BIGGEST gripe: They gave Siwon’s character Kim Junho a GREAT background story….and never built on it. One minute, he’s traumatized, next minute, he’s kicking ass and taking names.

    Could’ve been an amazing drama if they had less of the Jung Woo/Hye In/Son Hyuk version of Fatal Attraction and told more of the agents and their work. Would’ve been great if it was more episodic.

    All in all, I only stuck around for the great cast. Too bad the writers, director, and producers killed the story.

  27. 27 Jo

    I enjoyed Iris far more than Athena…I didn’t get hooked with Athena until near the middle…Jung Woo was such an awkward character

    almost borderline creepy

    only reason I watched/finished this was for Siwon lol and for Kim Min Jong (sp?) I surprisingly Like him as an actor…very versatile (A Man Called God’s charc vs him in here)

    BTW wth happened with Sun Hwa??!! Geez I was so hoping for some kickass action from her end after her whole family murdered, I hate how they just ended it like that for her….gay

    Oh well not going to bash anymore…it was a decent drama…not all THAT bad

  28. 28 jim

    thanks for the recaps!

    why is it that both Son Hyuk and Jung Woo can walk through buildings and dispatch so many adversaries with a single shot but when facing each other fire dozens of rounds and miss???

  29. 29 TJ Logan

    I hope the Athenans get paid a lot. Dying like flies, living in basements, 24x7x367, looks like no retirement program. Hard life, hard death – whats the payoff?

  30. 30 Jennifer

    AT LAST!!!

    Seriously, all I cared about was KIM KISOO and Kim Joon Ho though more of KISOO. When I read your recap, just scrolled..scrolled and scrolled…and looked for the “KISOO”…then scroll again then I’d read your comments about the episode.

    For my last words, Athena is a big disappointment. I agree with one of the comments here that I didn’t feel attached to the series but if ever I’m going to re-watch this drama again I guess I’ll fast forward it to Kim Min Jong’s scenes.

    IRIS >>> Athena

  31. 31 antonia

    Thanks for recaping this drama.
    i didn’t watch iris and i don’t want to. i watched athena because CSW is in it. Athena is not in my rewatch list but i’m sure i’m gonna watch CHAtena. despite the fact that i like every CSW’s scene (cause he looks soooo hot as a badass and i found his story more interesting) i enjoy Athena very much… it was well filmed and the action scenes are great. My 2 fave scenes? the bathroom fight from episode 1 and the death of Son Hyuk (i cried so much but it was amanzingly acted). the soundtrack was also great… if only the love story between the leads wasn’t so boring i would like Athena much more…

  32. 32 sminut13

    thanks for the recap, i had heard lots of so-so reviews abt athena so i decided to read your last ep recap and was glad to do so so that i didn’t waste time here. truthfully, i wanted to watch this because it has action romance, jung woo sung and soo ae, but reading all the comments has made me take a step back and rethink my decision.
    i too loved ur ending hehehe

  33. 33 George

    I must admit, the last episode made me cry. I never saw the story ending like that.

  34. 34 xseouldreamerx

    Well, Athena could’ve been better. I REALLY enjoyed the series at first, because it was exciting and stuff… but its point got kinda lost. I mean the lovestory between Jung Woo and Hye In was kinda rushed and I hated how Jung Woo got completly crazy over her. That kinda ruined the thing and I guess the writers made it late, so they had to rush it. I didn’t also like how they concentrated their lovestory in some episodes, reforcing it, and then it vanished. The distribuition wasn’t well done. Well, AT LEAST Hye In got to be a better person.
    I don’t know what was my favorite scene, but, if I took scenes that I enjoyed from the drama, I guess I wouldn’t like them SO much. I don’t hate Jung Woo. I just get pissed at his attitude. Still Hye In isn’t better. Gosh, get to do crazy stuff just because the guy saved her? I don’t hate these two, I repeat. Their flaws weren’t well developped and I blame the writers.
    To say good things, this was exciting. I didn’t watch IRIS nor I intend to. So, I guess it was a better view for me? Athena left me like ‘I WANT TO WATCH MORE’. Every episode, there are cliffhangers, so I watched it in 2 days. I have no life, i know.

  35. 35 aria

    son hyuk and jae hee. huhu. really. i am addicted to them right now. and i am late and alone and it is so cold out here. huhu


    not really a fair movie 2 d sightin…bt anywy gv it 2 ma fairest actrs in d movie – Son Hyuk n Jae In

  37. 37 sparklingwind

    I did enjoy Athena but it was not a great drama. There were exciting scenes and stuff but heck the characters’ development was meh and the love story was so underdevelopped. Jungwoo’s character pissed me off so many times, Hye-in’s character was no better, Sonhyuk passed from interesting villain to obsessed villain-in-love and Jaehee was… ARGH! The characters were so interesting at first but then they pissed me off. The series were thrilling enough to keep me watching them but so many flaws! The story had great material (brilliant cast, great soundtrack, excellent sceneries…) but the writers just HAD to screw it all *facepalm*. Anyway, Kim Kisoo and Kim Junho were actually the characters which I liked the most and Jungwoo and Kisoo’s friendship was nice to watch. The action scenes were very good and, I don’t know why, I really enjoyed the series. Anyway, Athena had weak points and so had Iris. Let’s just think about what the series had of strong and capable and everything shall end with unicorns and rainbows. Peace!

  38. 38 Aqee

    “If an IRIS 2 comes out, Iā€™m going to send a missile over to Taewon Entertainment”

    Well..? Hehehe..

  39. 39 kaedejun


    missed. šŸ™

  40. 40 Filly Liandri

    Please allowed me to honestly share my sadness.
    I am soooooo soooooo much dissapointed with the main story (which is what?)
    I’m no capable to measure about the nuclear things, since at the end, the nuclear things itself is still there and “well maintained”. So what’s the point of these characters’ past and mixed love stories?
    I agree to say that the writers of the story to be ask for responsible. especially in the form of the love story.
    What’s wrong with displaying Son Hyuk and Hye In in love?
    Than to follow “old rule” that the “good guy” deserve the love?
    anyhow, was Jung Woo the good guy? Since he left his love without knowing how hard she tried and do her best to find him, only to know that he’s easily move to another girl, aaaaaand in the way of a teenager?
    I just don’t know, what exactly the writers’ wants to share.
    If it’s about how the nuclear and the politic, thten why the plot seems to turn different result just because the “bad-ass leading lady character” falls in love with the “called” good guy?????

    Im just feeling so sad, or mad, or dissapointed or anything..
    i was going through the end with one hope, that in the end, Hye In will become one with Son Hyuk.
    Meh,,, i dislike the Jung Woo Character..

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