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198

Faith: Episode 1

This looks like it’s gonna be a super fun one. The first episode of Faith is assured, beautifully shot, tightly plotted, and FUNNY.

I know “comedy” was one of the descriptors among the many thrown at this drama, but I wasn’t prepared to laugh out loud so much, and in such unexpected moments. It’s a sly kind of humor, the kind that sneaks up on you rather than announcing itself with setup-punchline. I dig it. A lot.

Even so, there’s also a strong fantasy-dramatic line running through it, and I can’t wait to see more of that. Faith cracks me up, but it’s still more of a fusion-fantasy-sageuk-comedic mix than an outright comedy.

And yes, Lee Min-ho is gorgeous. But you know what? I’d watch the hell out of this drama whether or not he was in it.

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Handsome People – “You” [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

We open with a nifty animated sequence—macabre, gritty, and quite compelling—that narrates the tale of Hwata, a legendary healer who could cure any illness he encountered. Animated needles jab into a brain with a satisfying squick, then a scalpel slices open a torso. Of all his talents, Hwata was especially gifted in surgery.

There was a ruler named Jojo who suffered from excruciating headaches, which Hwata healed. Impressed, Jojo proposed to make Hwata his royal physician… so Hwata fled, reluctant to spend his days doctoring just one person.

Jojo sent warriors after him, urging him to return and live a life of wealth and glory. The world would know him as the man who saved Jojo’s life. If he refused, they would kill him.

Hwata merely chuckled and said that the world would remember Jojo as the man who killed Hwata, the man who would save the lives of the world.

It was then that the sun darkened in the sky and the heavens sent down a strong wind. A portal opened up, and Hwata entered it laughing.

We segue into live action as a guard is blown back from the force while the portal pulses with mystical energy. It says something that I’m momentarily disappointed at the switch because the animation was so charming, if eerie.

We’re in the year 1351, near the Yuan-Goryeo border.

An entourage travels in the rain, guarded by warriors on horseback. One guard notices the red light in the sky and wonders, “Hwata?” Seems to be a well-known myth around these parts.

One rider is particularly indifferent to everything—even the suggestion that they’re being followed. This is CHOI YOUNG (Lee Min-ho), and he half-yawns, “I know.”

The royal carriage gets its wheel stuck in a puddle and he just sauuuuunters over like it’s no big deal. So are you the most senior bodyguard, or just the laziest?

One of the younger men zips through town and returns to report bad news. No boat until tomorrow. Choi Young is the one who addresses their royal charge, saying they’ll have to spend the night. Ah, so the most senior AND laziest.

This is the Woodalchi unit, comprised of warriors who guard the king, and Choi Young is its boss. (He’s often called General or Leader and sometimes simply Woodalchi. Choi is the surname, but I don’t anticipate anyone calling him Young-ah anytime soon. Other than me, I mean.)

On they go to an inn, taking it over. The cover story—to maintain the royals’ privacy—is that the travelers are a newlywed couple who are extremely sensitive. They they pay off the innkeeper to kick everyone else out.

The royals are ushered in quietly, and Choi Young settles back with a bottle of liquor. His second-in-command, BAE CHOONG-SEOK, doesn’t see how he can be so cavalier when (1) he knows they’re being followed, (2) he knows the followers are responsible for messing with their boat plans, and (3) the followers are expecting them to retire to this inn, since it’s the only one. So they’re sitting ducks, aren’t they?

Choi Young’s retort: Ya wanna wait in the street with a flag, then? Ha, it must be frustrating for a conscientious guy like Choong-seok to have to work under him.

Choong-seok asks for instructions about guarding the inn. Choi Young lies down already half-asleep and mumbles, “Handle it… really… well.” Ha. At least his No. 2 is competent to take over.

Now we meet KING GONGMIN (Ryu Deok-hwan), who silently works on a charcoal drawing while one of his advisors rants. The man, JO IL-SHIN, is keen on removing that head bodyguard who dares order them to travel in secret, with their faces tucked out of sight. No grand procession to proclaim His Majesty’s glorious return to Goryeo, after being taken away as a child? No pomp and circumstance?

Choi Young interrupts the tirade (yawning, heh) to tell King Gongmin that he’ll be bringing the queen to his room—it’s too difficult to guard multiple entries. He acknowledges that the king and queen aren’t on the best terms, but he handles everything with that unerring matter-of-factness. This is safest. This will be the plan.

The queen makes her entrance. She’s his wife, but I’ll be calling her Princess Noguk per the character description; it’s her name when she was the Yuan princess, married off to the Goryeo crown prince. Immediately the royal spouses tense and eye each other with loaded stares.

Sure enough, late that night shadowy warriors make their move on the inn. They charge into the empty main room—and above them from the rafters, our warriors spray them with an iridescent liquid that spatters their clothing. Effectively, they’ve marked the enemy with giant glow-in-the-dark targets. Like shooting glowing fishies in a barrel.

Our Woodalchi guys encircle them with swords drawn, which appear to glow blue in the moonlight. Ha, is this a way of getting our Goryeo-era lightsaber feud on?

Blue Swords are doing a good job against Green Splatters, but Choi Young tells the king that there are more than expected. He gets the king’s promise not to run away no matter how scared he gets. Choi Young assures, “Then I will be able to protect you.”

Outside, Woodalchi defends against the invaders. Choi Young stands as the last line of defense in the king’s room, waiting.

The defense is breached, and attackers arrive at the king’s door. Time for Choi Young to do his thing. Thank goodness he does it well.

He takes down the initial intruders easily, but more pour in. The king comes close to being struck, but he keeps his promise not to run away, and Choi Young defends him successfully. Even the court ladies fight back, as does the royal physician.

But! Princess Noguk is slashed by a sword before Choi Young can kill her attacker, and she slumps to the ground. Now it’s time for JANG BIN (Philip Lee) to prove he really is the best doctor in the land, and he gets to work. First he asks Choi Young for some “energy”—and Choi Young nods, holding his hand above her body, a mystical force radiating from it.

As that energy pulses into an acupuncture needle in her hand, the camera zooms through her bloodstream and to her heart. A caption tells us he’s slowing her heartbeat. Oh, interesting—it’s both fantasy and medicine. Just like the drama said it’d be.

Jang Bin places another needle, and Choi Young shoots more ki into it, this time to control the bloodflow. (Which begs the question: Are you really the best doctor if all you did was use someone else’s ki-controlling powers to treat her?)

The Woodalchi warriors chase the retreating intruders, intent on capture without killing: they need info. But a straggler collapses already dead, foaming at the mouth—suicide.

Princess Noguk’s condition does not look good, and Jang Bin reports that a major artery was cut into. Sputtering advisor Jo Il-shin goes on about the political ramifications of the Yuan princess dying, especially with the precarious position Goryeo is in vis-a-vis the Yuan powers. But Jang Bin decrees, “Without a divine healer, it is impossible to save her.”

The term for divine healer is a homophone for faith, our drama’s title. It’s also a term that applies to Hwata, the legendary healer of our prologue. Jo Il-shin thinks back to the red sky, and wonders.

King Gongmin says, “If that woman dies, our country dies.” For once Choi Young looks like he’s feeling an emotion—regret and dismay. Gongmin sighs, “As soon as I become king, I ruin the country. I’m quite the great king.”

That won’t do. Choi Young asks where that divine healer can be found, so he can bring him here. Jo Il-shin declares that he resides in heaven—disappointed sighs all around—but that he knows the portal to the skies. Ahh, I geddit! I see where this is going…

The world of this drama appears to be halfway between secular and pagan; the others aren’t exactly hopping to appeal to unseen gods, but they’re not calling Jo Il-shin a crazy man for suggesting it, either.

King Gongmin gives his reluctant assent. Princess Noguk cannot be moved, so Choi Young will move out and leave a number of guards behind: “Because it appears what they want is the queen.”

The king stops Choi Young’s exit to ask what thoughts he’d had throughout the long journey from Yuan to the Goryeo border: “What do you think of me, the king?” Choi Young answers that he thought he was a good king, a fortune to their people.

But the king follows that by asking, “You dislike me, don’t you? From the outset, from before you met me.” He ignores Choi Young’s attempts to brush this aside, asking point-blank why, ordering him to reply honestly.

So Choi Young drops the false smile and says that the previous king had been 14, and dethroned by the Yuan for his youth. Gongmin is 21, also young, and spent his formative years in Yuan territory. Now he’s here to rule the Goryeo kingdom: “The thought that I had to guide such a person here to rule this country made me think what rotten luck our Goryeo people had.”

Instead of growing angry, Gongmin’s eyes tear up and he asks, “They all think that, don’t they?” Aww. Choi Young replies, “You’re the fifth king in eleven years. The people won’t much care.” Oof. It hurts because it’s true.

The king thanks him for his honesty. You get the sense he’s struggling to keep his composure, and Choi Young adds one last remark: “That means I don’t dislike you especially.” Just, you know, the normal amount. And you know, that actually lifts Gongmin’s spirits.

Jo Il-shin leads the king’s entourage to Hwata’s portal, said to be a thousand years old. He’s set up an altar there; as the myth goes, once in 300 years, the portal allows a faithful worshipper passage through.

The portal starts to pulse, kicking up wind, and Choi Young stands guard in front as it starts to open. Jo Il-shin urges the king forward as the best suited to appeal to Hwata, but nobody moves. It’s not exactly an appealing task, jumping into the literal abyss, and the king is rather timid to begin with.

King Gongmin steps forward tentatively, and turns to Choi Young, who understands his fear. Instructing the king to give him the order, he offers himself to go. With a bow, Choi Young heads into the swirling void.

It swallows him, shoots him through, and deposits him at the base of a shrine. Heaven? He looks up at the stone statue and bows.

And… a tourist snaps a photo on her phone. Not heaven then. He jerks at the flash, then makes his way down the hill and tries to make sense of the landscape.

He has arrived in 2012 Seoul, which is all tall buildings and flashing lights. He tries to cross a street but is knocked down as honking cars and speeding motorcycles zoom past. What treachery this?

Stopping for breath at a temple, he hears a singing monk. He tries to get his attention… but the monk is listening to his mp3 player and can’t hear, HA.

Choi Young introduces himself as from “a different land” and asks for help—he’s looking for a divine healer. Haha. How much difference mere context makes; he’s utterly solemn, but the question sounds utterly absurd.

The monk figures out that he’s looking for a doctor, and asks what specialty he requires. Choi Young makes a knife-slash motion at his neck: “This part.” The monk leans in, takes a look, and decides, “Ah! A plastic surgeon!” (Just what, pray tell, are you insinuating is wrong with Lee Min-ho’s neck?)

Choi Young asks intently, “Do you know where they are?” The monk replies, “There are lots of plastic surgeons. This is Kangnam.” HAHAHA. Cheeky, I love it.

Choi Young specifies that an ordinary doctor won’t do—he needs the bestest, divinest doctor around. The monk directs him to a convention at Coex (pffffft) where he can find lots of famous ones, gesturing right across the way.

Choi Young asks for specific instructions on how to get there, but the monk tells him blankly, “You just… go. That’s all.”

“I… just… go?” Light bulb moment. “Ah! I see!” I’m dying laughing here, wondering at all the possibilities. Just what do you see, I wonder?

Choi Young hies himself off in newfound excitement, and the monk answers a call on his cell: “Are they shooting a candid camera here? I would have known if it was a drama.”

Cracks. Me. Up.

Choi Young goes into full warrior mode. Breathes deeply. “I’m… just going.”

And then he walks straight into traffic. OMG. He’s treating this like some kind of test of faith, dodging the speedy death machines with his usual stone face, not even flinching.

Lesson No. 1: Do not be so literal with this man!

Pedestrians snap photos of him, which sends him lurching after them suspiciously. He arrives at the international plastic surgery convention, which thankfully has Chinese characters in its signage that inform him that he’s in the right place.

On the expo floor, he walks past displays of medical equipment, X-rays, and other modern marvels. He finds a lecture hall where one doctor, YOO EUN-SOO (Kim Hee-sun), addresses the gathering. She takes them through a facelift procedure that’s shown onscreen, and hey, that face incision looks a lot like that neck slash.

Choi Young’s arrival causes a stir, and security guards escort him out. He goes quietly, but the disruption puts Eun-soo in a bad mood since he’s distracted everyone from her talk.

She complains about the crazy man afterward to a phone friend, and we learn that Eun-soo’s trying to set up her own practice and is looking for investors.

Security guards demand to know his deal, but Choi Young is distracted with all the CCTV screens, spotting Eun-soo in one frame. He asks totally seriously, “How can I go inside there?” He feels around the wall: “I have to get inside. Please open this up. I have to meet this doctor.”

The guard gets upset when Choi Young shoves him away and growls about pressing charges. Choi Young just slices his nightstick in half, in a hurry to meet the doc.

He heads out and finds her looking at some medical equipment on the expo floor. Without preamble, he asks right off the bat whether she can save a patient with the princess’s injuries.

She ignores the crazy, but he steps in her path and blocks her, just as the security guards corner him with guns drawn.

He draws his sword and presses Eun-soo again—can the patient be saved? She sputters, “H-how would I know? I’d have to see for myself how hurt they were.”

“You have to see for yourself?” This gives Choi Young an idea, and he holds his sword to the guard’s neck. And slashes it. Holy shit, motherfuckin’ crazy! That look of horror? Yeah, that’s on my face too. Repeat Lesson No. 1: Do not be so literal with this man!

Choi Young carries the guard over and tells her that his patient was cut just like this. Can she save him? He says completely seriously, not meaning it as a threat: “If you cannot save him, I will try again with that man.” *Points to other bystander.* HAHA.

Eun-soo gets to work assembling the necessary supplies while the police and SWAT team arrive outside. The police get on the PA and ask for a status update, calling a nearby landline. Choi Young freaks out at the ring and smashes the phone, ha.

Eun-soo concentrates on stitching up the wound, and Choi Young is impressed to feel the man’s pulse still beating. Well, that does it. He starts packing up all her supplies and tells her she’ll have to come with him. He ignores her protests and expects her to obey when he tells her to follow close behind… so naturally she tries to duck off in the other direction.

Next thing we know, he’s dragging her off, all, Why can’t you just do as I say? She’s all, But there are cops everywhere! He says they’ll just break through the front and takes her hand. Um… I’m not sure if he’s better off being told about guns, or not.

In the lobby, their exit is blocked by a line of policemen holding shields. More SWAT officers move into place above, around, behind. But then… he holds out his hand, sparking with ki. Oh hai, I’d forgotten about you! He shoots a wave of energy at them, blowing the officers off their feet and shattering the glass doors.

Then he addresses cowering Eun-soo and apologizes for this next discourtesy. Ha, just this one? He tosses her over his shoulder, grabs a police shield, and takes her back to the portal.

By now she’s crying and begging for her life. He tells her all she has to do is save this one person and she gets to go back home. She’s clearly seen too many movies; she sobs, “You lie! I’ve seen your face! Kidnappers always kill you when you’ve seen their face!”

He makes a sincere pledge on his name as a warrior to return her to her home. They turn to the portal….

Freeze. Rewind!

We jump back ten days prior, to Eun-soo’s trip to a local fortuneteller. Oh, are you asking about your future mate? This is hilarious. She asks for a date and location of where she can meet her man: “But not just any man. One with LOTS of money!”

The fortuneteller starts his reading process, and she squeezes in one last request, “And make him a hunnam!” Hee. (Hunnam is what you call a guy with a warmth and kindness, who’s maybe not as pretty as a kkot-minam.) She keeps chattering, “I’d like it to be sooner than later! I kind of need money…” I love her. She doesn’t want a husband, she wants an investor.

The answer? The heavens will send along a man… whom she met in the past. He advises her to look among her exes for this heaven-sent one.

That has her confused. Who could it be? She thinks back to a man she dated in her intern days, a sunbae who made her write his reports for him. Ha, it’s Ahn Jae-wook! (These two basically carried ’90s dramas between the two of ’em. How cute.) He broke up with her because he met a rich girl whose family would set up a hospital for him. His parting consolation: “That girl is totally uglier than you. Her personality sucks too. But you know, it’s a hospital.” Heh.

Eun-soo’s second ex-boyfriend liked her a lot… and proposed during a plastic surgery consultation. Ha, and then she dated him for three months? He was rich, but yunno, she couldn’t do it—his face was too ugly. Oh lordy, this woman. She’s hysterical.

The fortuneteller points out, “You said you needed a man with money.” She pauses: “Then is it him?”

She clarifies that she doesn’t need this relationship to end in marriage—maybe just an engagement. She can borrow money and make her research project succeed, at which point she has a firm lined up to take her on. Then she can use her earnings to pay back all that money and break the engagement! Win…win?

You know it’s bad when you render the fortuneteller speechless. He adds, “But I don’t think this [current match] will turn out that way.”

He tries another reading. This one foretells of a “very long travel” in store for her next year. That won’t do, and she gives up. As she leaves: “Do you know whether there’s a good tarot reader in this building?”

Goryeo. Back to the past, only we’re seven years prior to our opening timeline. It’s the day that Woodalchi meets their new leader, and it’s a hit to the pride to hear that he’s only 22 years old. Still, he already has an impressive military record.

Ooh, another awesome animated sequence! I love that this one has a different graphic style entirely.

The men relate Choi Young’s accomplishments, and how awesome his swordsmanship skills are. Furthermore, he even shoots lightning from his hands. He’s got a terrible temper, having once beat down someone for waking him up.

Ah, so Choong-seok was the previous boss, and he’s handing over the position to Choi Young. It’s a royal order, so there’s nothing they can do about it.

Dol-bae’s the hotshot who blusters about how the new guy ain’t so great, and how he’ll show him who’s boss when he arrives.

Enter Choi Young. His first question: “You the boss?” Second question: “Where can I go to sleep?”

The men look at him incredulously with WTF expressions on their faces as he lies down and sleeps. For three days, lol.

Dol-bae wants to test the new boss, but young Deok-man holds him back, remembering the rumors. Dol-bae scoffs that those are just stupid stories and starts to approach.

Without changing positions, Choi Young throws a stick at Dol-bae’s face and nails him on the forehead. And sleeps on.

 
COMMENTS

And… that’s it? What a strange place to cut an episode off, although yes, I am definitely hooked for more. Moar!

I was hoping this drama would be good, for so many reasons. I love the writer (Story of a Man rocked my socks, and the legendary Sandglass ain’t too shabby, either), and despite finding 2007’s Legend flawed, I loved the world it created. There are a lot of “fantasy” series in dramaland these days, but Legend had a really cool mix of magic, mysticism, lore, sageuk, politics, and visual effects. Yet even with all that, it had great small moments too, character beats with interesting relationships.

So here we are with a similar aesthetic, only it’s not just Legend Redux. It’s whimsical and visually arresting, in all its multiple forms—the fantasy historical stuff and the various animated sequences. Which are so freakin’ boss I can’t even contain myself. If the drama keeps giving us more of these stylish animated interludes, I will be thrilled. And agog at all the work involved.

The world of Faith is packed with potential, such as the Goryeo-Yuan politics. I don’t know enough about this part of history to be able to tell what’s real and what’s fictionalized (probably most of it?), but true history is more a launchpad for certain characters and conflicts, I think. It’s not the story’s focal point; just the fact that they’re weaving history with all this fantasy goodness is enough to intrigue me.

More than the epic landscape, though, I like what I see in the character details—because who can keep caring about a cool world if it’s populated by people we don’t care about? The king’s frosty relationship with his wife appears to be fraught with lots of baggage and history, which we’ll likely be seeing unfold gradually, in layers. Ryu Deok-hwan plays the young, hesitant king with such wounded vulnerability that I’m already in his corner, rooting for him to find his feet and become the great man I think he’s capable of being. You see the flashes of his potential wisdom and strength, buried beneath the layers of fear and uncertainty. So, so great.

I already find the heroine a hoot, even though she’s mostly been fodder for comedy thus far. I don’t quite know what makes her tick, but because I’m so amused by her shameless, hilarious antics, I’m primed to like her when she takes a more dramatic turn, too.

And Choi Young? The hotness of Lee Min-ho aside (and that’s a very large force to be setting aside), I’m enjoying his character so much, even though you’d think an apathetic hero would be difficult to get behind. He’s so drolly cavalier that his dealings in his time are humorous in an intentional way, and then he takes that serious mien to the future and he’s hilarious in an entirely other way. I guess I just love laughing, and these characters totally make me do that.

Still, there’s so much material for him to show depth as well, and I’m just about giddy to keep watching to see where this show takes us. It may be a wild ride, but it’ll be one amazingly shot, beautifully scored, entertainingly wild ride.

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Pretty awesome so far I'd say. I literally gasped when he cut that he's throat. I was like daaayum. Can't wait for MORE!

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Faith...really need to have faith for this. Loved fighting scenes, they looked great. Sleepy panda, is good side of CY. Think we'll have a lot triangles in drama, but relation between King and CY , Queen and ES is gonna be interesting.
Hmmm scene at fortune teller, was funny and wit but revealing.
When ES called CY Ahjussi..hahahah, her age was in my mind.
If LMH keeps comical elements just in time, think we'll have good drama here.

So far preview for 2nd ep looks better.

Thanks JB for recap!

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Just nitpicking...
but Choi Young actually tells the monk that he is from the "land of earth" 땅의 나라 not 딴 나라...
Choi Young goes through modern Seoul thinking that it is heaven the whole time.

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wow, faith is good. thank you for the recap :D

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I watched it RAW cause I just couldn't wait :) it looks and feels awesome and I'm looking forward to finding out more about CY's back story and seeing all the threads of this story evolve. Loving that this drama has 24 episodes ... !

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Liked this first episode Alot.

A mystery laden story indeed! Don't know how many times I was squealing at how cool it was. And I dig that they speak modern korean (at least what it sounded like to me). Especially I enjoyed the animated sequences and hope they will keep on appearing throughout this whole drama, they were über-cool :P

One thing I'm now a bit worried about though: the Kim-Lee pairing.

At first I was thrilled that they were cast as the main pair (They're both SO pretty! A sparkle pair! :D) , but now... Ok, I know there wasn't yet even a spark of romance budding between them... (instead sheer horror, obligation and gore aplenty, ahem) ...but still their whole first meeting lacked all trace of any kind of inter-personal chemistry, on any level. They were communicating lots, yes, but to me it seemed like there was some kind of an invisible wall between them two, so the communication was just words and nothing more.
I hope this lack of chemistry is only due to the gore (or sheer horror and obligation), otherwise it will be a huge let down for me, as this story is about romance too.

On the basis of only one episode I don't dare to hope for much yet, as I've been so often dissapointed by dramaland with it's brilliant openings that end up in pancake landings as the story progresses (Erhm, check out Cinderella's sister, for instance, for further reference) *sniff*, that I'll let time do the telling for me :). Lots of potential though, and I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that this will fullfill all the expectations placed on it. If this won't, then I'll still have two other dramas to follow: answer me 1997 (which, I think, is threading along strongly) and arang and the magistrate (let's hope that one will be good, too) :))

J.

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And yes: Kim calling Lee ahjussi, cracked me up, had to actually perk my ears 'She REALLY said that??' - yes, she did, many times. :D

J.

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@ Jenny; Haha me too. I don't find her age are wrong for her character, maybe LMH is to young for his. Let's be honest he wasn't first pick for this drama...let wait and see.

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I'm sorry but their first meeting involved him slicing open some guy's jugular and her performing surgery to fix him before he kidnapped her in the midst of a police standoff. If there was a romantic or sexually charged moment during that, I'd be heavily uncomfortable.

It'd be like that scene in Dr. Jin when they did the, "Oops! I tripped and landed on your body--ROMANTIC MOMENT--cue the music." Except they landed next to her brother's exposed brains...awkward. :/

I never want to see something like that outside of a vampire/werewolf story.

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Some couples have it, some don't. Age has nothing to do with it. KHS and LMH just don't have it, imho.

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That's true. Matt Smith and Alex Kingston are almost 20 years apart and their onscreen chemistry is fantastic.

*Please don't mind me casually dropping Doctor Who mentions everywhere I go. lmao

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Heheh, don't mind. I've watched couple of seasons.

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Lesson No. 1: Do not be so literal with this man!

Looking forward to more lessons in the future LOL! Good one, javabeans :)

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WOHOO!! Finally it's out! :D
And LEE MIN HO!!

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This one ticks all my boxes. Mentally sets aside 23 hours of life.

And love the score!

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liked the score too - though I thought it was a bit too "Pirates of the Caribbean" at times

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kakashi-I got the Pirates vibe too

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Thanks for the recap, JB...don't know when I've been so excited about a drama...

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It's going to be hard to get this fantasy sageuk subbed especially the language they are using. I don't care I just am happy LMH is back on tv he looks good and is nailing it in those pictures.Now waiting patientl for the fanwars to begin and an OTP that makes me swoon with laughter.

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Cant wait for the eng sub to be out. Does anyone know which subbers is going to sub this?

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Viki & DramaFever
:)

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yes Dramafever its going to come 2morrow and in viki its stuck at 72 %.....So there is a chance we get to watch 1 and 2 together....

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Along with everyone else here, thank you SO much! Thing is, your excellent recap seems to be more satisfying than waiting for the subs. You. Really. Rock!! Thank you!

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OMG... I was so looking forward to watching this - and I say all the waiting wasn't wasted. I'm already besotted with this drama and can't wait for more!

After watching all 22 episodes of Dr. Jin this one made me feel good in all the right places <333

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LOVE LOVE the 1st episode...actually it had me at the opening animated sequence..I love it casue right away we can tell this is not a regular drama/story. The action sequences were awesome and I hope we get more of it. I'm totally on board this ship, and I agree with JB even if the drama didn't have my hubby LMHOT I will be still be watching.

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LMH's voice and way of talking don't fit his character at all and is just a big turn off.

I guess he isn't that good because a good actor adapts to his character well.

I always thought he is a okay actor who got lucky to have a pretty face.

Didn't like him in any drama I saw him. He just does the same blank face..............

Besides LMH loving everything else of faith.

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I believe that Jojo mentioned in front is actually Cao Cao, the legendary guy in China haha :P

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Yep. The story of the healer and Cao Cao is from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Korean viewers are familiar with how their culture has borrowed from Chinese culture but I find a lot of international viewers are totally oblivious to this important fact. I remember some were outraged when Yi Zhi Mei was 'turned into' a Chinese hero in a mainland production... well, he was Chinese to begin with!

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@Annie Okay, I'm Chinese to begin with, and I'm sick of reading some kind of superiority comments about China and SK cultural race. First off, South Korea isn't borrowing the whole culture. China did tried to make SK their providence, as in colony in Yuan dynasty. So culture is pretty much similar. Because there is cultural exchange. Second, SK never claimed Chinese culture as theirs in the beginning. Their history books still refer to China's cultural background. Third, they merely using Chinese history as background because this gives the drama an excuse.
So South Korea never tries to take Chinese culture and claim as theirs because they never did, but they refer it so it gives more credible source.

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Looks like an 90's kids show.

What have you done to yourselves Song Ji Ah and Kim Jong Hak? Why??? They wrote and directed Eyes of Dawn and Sandglass and now they do this?

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Amen. It looks low budget and tacky.

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Thank god I'm not the only one. I thought I was going crazy. :) Everyone is so full of praise for THIS?

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Low budget? How? I've been struck by the cinematography, frankly. It looks great.

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fugly CGI that looks like the one from that awful "Last Airbender" movie and some other old children movies and the sets and costumes looks also pretty plastic.

I know it is hard for some people to take their eyes away from Lee Min Ho, but please try and you might see what I mean.

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i'm in agreement. unattractive shots and editing. music is great though. lee minho, yet again, is very meh.

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Exactly! It looks like a cheap syndicated show. I was hoping this to be good but even the action scenes were painfully slow. And even though Kim Hee Sun looks great for her age, she looks very 90's...but at least she was more interesting than Lee Min Ho.

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The set design and CGI are atrocious. I've been spoiled by too many Chinese period dramas, I thik.

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What Chinese dramas did you see? Because most of the fantasy chinese dramas I've seen have the most horrible cgi in the world. For example, 轩辕剑之天之痕. Seriously, not only does that have worst plot ever, the cgi looks worse than game. I've played Starcraft, and it's better than this. So compare to Faith, Faith has it way better.

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The (non-CGI related) cinematography is fine and I love the music already, but yeah...the CGI is atrocious, and I'm scratching my head over the editing. WHY would you stick those two character intros at the very end of the episode? It was so jarring, and threw me out of the story completely.

Direction aside, I did find the story interesting, though I agree that Song Ji Na has written better than this. Maybe she's not used to writing comedy? (Please write another thriller soon instead!) Hopefully, the story will become much more cohesive in tone as it goes on, because there is potential for conflict and depth.

On the plus side...at least it's not as bad as Dr. Jin?....(hey, someone has to say it)...

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It pains me that Song Ji Ah has written this, but she is also not at home with thrillers. Story of a Man was some mediocre writing for her, but Faith is disgraceful.

Watch Eyes of Dawn or Sandglass and you will see what I mean. That stuff was 90's, but it just aged like some fine wine.

And if my worst fears will come true, this will be just as bad as Dr. Jin. And you don't even have Lee Beom Soo...

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The opening sequence of the great physician is a famous part of Chinese lores. Although the Koreans didn't mention anything about claiming it to be theirs... You get the picture.

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Cultural appropriation has been the name of the game in East Asia for millennia. Everybody does it, I guess, but many people only hear the Korean or Japanese side of the story due to the strength of these entertainment industries. The mainland industry is churning out some great productions so I hope this state of affairs will change soon.

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Ahn Jae Wook's cameo was daebak! I used to ship him and Kim Hee Sun in the hospital drama Sunflower!!!! Oh the memories~

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Is there any site from where i can download the english subtitles file alone ?!?
And thanks loads for the recap :D !!

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Bows to subbers, thanks for quick turn around so us non Korean speaking drama lovers can get a taste so quickly. Thank you thank you thank you.

Well that was not the most dynamic interesting suck you in first episode of a drama, but it's...different, and that says something with all the cookie cutter plots we see in dramas. I really like detailed explanations that make sense but I appreciate, in a way, that this drama cuts to the chase in the first episode. The portal exists. It just IS. Deal with it.

They had me committed to watch the next episode when General Choi chokeslammed an assassin. Ha Ha! Such a small thing that made me go, okay, cool, and it’s so inconsequential. That said, I found the LMH action scenes choppy and cut up. A little concerned that LMH perhaps did not get to do any major slice and dice training. I don’t think we are going to see any pretty flowing badassery swordmastery scenes from him. Prove me wrong and I'll be happy lol.

I really liked that the Princess ladies in waiting were involved in protecting the Princess. No wilting wallflowers there.

We really did not get to know the characters yet, but we get more from LMH’s acting then we realize at first. I picked up that while General Choi is definitely drop the drama and deal type, I was intrigued that he is immediately concerned for the Princess when she is injured, and he apologies to the Doc for what he is doing when he picks her up. So, he's not a total arrogant misogynistic asshat? Yet or ever? I really did like LMH's acting that is so...resigned. He's going to do a job, he's not excited about it, but it's what he does. Life just is what it is, don't make me chase you or have to answer stupid questions, just deal. Such a military/police persona. Just stay calm and endure. My nickname for him is going to be KCCO (Keep Calm and Chive On) Choi.

I'm not even touching-pun intended- the Hand of Glory yet other than to say dirty thought dirty thoughts about being Digit Dazed.

Not sure about the female lead yet. The whole material girl whiny is funny, for a hot minute but can get old, by like, next episode, so I am hoping the Doc sucks it up and gets some ovular fortitude quick. I"m not really digging the shiny botox/filler look of the actress, and don't take that a slam on the age difference between the actors because I could care less about that, I like to see animation in peoples expressions. That said, as the character appears to be very much a modern material girl, so the plastic look kind of fits the character.

There was a whole lot of pretty going on in the filming but there were some sloppy, sloppy, mistakes which concerns me considering this is the first episode:
1-When the assassin swings by rope from outside through the window into the kings room, when viewed from inside the room the architecture from outside to inside does not match. From inside, the assassin swings through a window that is place logistically where a hallway is, as people had JUST ENTERED the room from that hallway.
2-When a lady in waiting pushes an assassin into the wall, she telegraphs by her look that she’s getting out of the way for another assassin to attack the Princess. Was that sloppy acting or part of the plot?
3-In the aftermath, the person that the healer calls from attending one injured soldier to come take care of his, well, the person telegraphs early that the healer is going to call him because he stops what he is doing and looks at the healer. Not that he looked like he was doing anything to start with.
4-When a Lady in waiting is dabbing around the Princess' wound, the healer takes the the pad from the attendant and places it over the wound as if saying stop, leave it alone. But the attendant simply picks it back up and continues on dabbing.

Drama Powers that Be, please don’t let this drama get sucked into wtfuckeryland.

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She is older but for this role her age are OK, you don't become surgeon and work for years (seems like it) that young (LMH age). For the chemistry, need to seat back.

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mtoh-exactly. I am really hoping that they do have chemistry also!

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Thank you..... love it.

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where can i watch this drama with English subs ? help please !

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Try Viki, it's uploading the fastest to my knowledge. The picture quality is good too. It's not 100 percent subbed but still pretty good. Dramacrazy has it up partially subbed too. Dramafever, still waiting.

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Holy crap! this was the bees knees.

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I'll be way over here in the corner, alone, bravely admitting to all, "This was kind of bad."

Go ahead, throw rocks at me. It won't change my mind.

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Haha...we won't do that. I am curious though -what it was in particular? I liked it, but wasn't completely enamored. Some of the scenes were filmed oddly, and at some points it felt very 'low budget.' Hopefully it gets it's groove and gets better.

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maybe the problem is people who have problems liking things easily? i think so

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Maybe the problem is, that some people just don't care about the quality of things they watch. They just mindlessly watch atrocious things and don't care a bit how stupid it is.

They like to be entertained and that is fine with everyone involved, the trouble starts if those people can't respect the opinions of people that still care about quality. There is nothing wrong with people that dislike this drama, just like there isn't with people that love it. There is no problem, if you don't make it one.

Go to Soompi, if you can't take people disliking some drama that you love. If you think that Faith is perfect, I'm sure that you will find many people there that agree with you.

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@anonymous - re: "Maybe the problem is, that some people just don’t care about the quality of things they watch. They just mindlessly watch atrocious things and don’t care a bit how stupid it is. "

My my, how very pretentious you are, anonymously at that.

I'm sure there are loads of places for you to expound on your theories of Masterpiece Dramas, but you chose to post on a forum for a fantasy-fusion which clearly doesn't take itself seriously. (no where near as pompous as your un-named self)

The show IS flawed, so if you're compelled to list it's shortcomings: do that. Posting your opinion that others who are enjoying it are mindless & stupid (thinly veiled) is petulant and ungracious to the hostesses.

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My pretentiousness is only in response to the pretentiousness of joe. He just assumes assumes that people that don't think same have a problem.

It was supposed to sound over the top.

And really, I think it doesn't really matter that the drama doesn't take itself too serious and if it even the case. It just fails on so many levels, that I am just too lazy to even write it down at the moment. The "doesn't take itself too seriously" excuse has been used for every bad drama that has ever been made.

And I really don't think that bad 90's kids show is what people were going for.

I also don't think that the people running this site are stupid and mindless. Those are some intelligent and talented ladies, but I really don't think, that they are the end of all opinion. While I really think that they are some able critics, they get a little unreasonable when Lee Min Ho gets into the picture. There I said it, you can kill me now.

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@anonymous - Thank you for your thoughtful and measured response.

re: "While I really think that they are some able critics, they get a little unreasonable when Lee Min Ho gets into the picture. There I said it, you can kill me now."

In this I wholeheartedly agree. No brutilizations of any kind will follow ~ ☮ ♥

(another example: I only liked the first 6 episodes of *Moon Embraces...* and felt so much 2-nd hand embarrassment for the rest of the show that I was reduced to reading screen caps only) While at the same time the gushing, on many forums, for the adult leads was approaching DefCon 1.

So ~ I *get* it. cheers to you. Hope you find something you can be engaged in. Arang and the Magistrate, maybe?

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Don't even mention Moon/Sun, I think I lost some IQ points reading all that gushing and a lot more from actually watching it to the end.

And I'm not holding my breath for Arang. The trailers just weren't my thing. Some facial expressions and the whole style of the drama remind me too much of The Legend of Hyang Dan, that I really disliked.

Five Fingers will likely suck, because it has the same writer of Temptation of a Wife. It will be all kinds of crazy, but just not crazy good. Really a waste of an good cast.

But there is still Nice Guy and already airing Reply 1997. Really recommend Reply 1997, that is some well done nostalgia trendy. :)

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i'm going to have to agree with u
it's mediocre at best
i'm not sure if anyone else finds the girls'c haracter extremely annoying.
lee min ho is okay, though city hunter's first episode was way bettter.

i don't think the drama was bad per se, but it just didn't hit 'home'. perhaps the plot will thicken...

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After watching today's eps I will definitely join you in that corner. At least I gave it a chance.

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Looks. Awesome. The pretty doesn't hurt either, of course ;-) Can't wait to watch it! Thanks for the recap :-)

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I can't hide my excitement every time I see posts and pictures regarding Faith. I love it so much. I am so eager to watch it.

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I am so bummed! Why did I not like this? It has so many elements I love: fantasy, costumes, Lee min-ho:p, cool fight scenes, silly monks...
Why did I not like this?? Maybe because I was really not feeling the main female lead. I found her kind of abrasive and annoying. Maybe everything will change when I see the ep with full eng subs. (I watched only 80% subs done and a bunch of her lines were left out). Fingers crossed!!!!!!!

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Thanks, JB. I am on the fence after the first episode. I am drawn to all the characters, especially the heroine. Despite some over- acting by KHS, the plastic surgeon is hilarious. Surprisingly, I am not buying LMH's character yet. Probably a personal preference(Aragon fangirl, here), but I can't get over LMH's prettiness and too soft voice. He strikes more as a flower-boy general than a badass/insouciant general.

Choppy editing in a few places, especially the fighting scenes. The shaky angled shots made me dizzy. The animations are kinda cool, but the shot of the pumping heart is cheesy.

I like that many of these characters have magical powers, but I hope that the writers will define them more and give them some sort of internal logic. So General Choi Young can use his ki/energy to obliterate the police force, and yet he didn't or couldn't use it to zap those assassins before one of them can get to the princess?? O_0

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I have to keep my eyes closed until I can watch these tonight now that they're subbed.

Looks good, can't wait!

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I hope people can look past the mega big names like Kim Sun Hee and Lee Minho and look at Ryu Deok Hwan's acting with a positive mind. That man can act, and he's freaking rocking it in God's Quiz series =)

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FIRST EPISODE SUCKS. I WANT THE 1 HOUR OF MY LIFE BACK. UGH. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME.

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Watching ep1 reminds of QIHM with bits of Dr Jin. I love fantasy dramas.

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I would totally love this drama if it wasn't for Kim Hee Sun's character! What kind of doctor has such shallow motives and is so aloof? I know the writers probably make her like that so that it adds humor to the drama but I personally find it to be very frustrating >_< I'm gonna keep watching and see how it goes. Gonna have to bear with it. Aghhh.

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Same thoughts with you JB as always :D Actually so far I loved everything about this drama. There is not a thing I disliked it. I mean hand-electric power thing was something I didnt expect but also I didnt expect laughing while watching this drama's first episode. Duh :D but I really liked it. Cant wait to watch episode 2. I hope they will upload the eng sub asap! Thank you JB :) always <3 you :) And also Im soooo happy to see LMH on my screen <3 I got exciteeeeed:P

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When he slashes at his neck, the palm of his hand is highlighting his jawline.... and aren't Koreans particular about their 'v-line' jaws? I thought that's what happened to make the monk think plastic surgery.

:)

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LOL! at LMH's sageuk tone *cough* very modern Korean.

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Yeah, because he is handsome. We shud forgive him for his hard work. I know fan-girls will say this. LOL!

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Honestly, the first 1/2, I felt like I was missing something, like the story. Was not feeling it; however, once the Doctor was introduced, the story picked up and got interesting! But, writers, hope you do better with ending the episodes. I was like what?! when it ended. Onto episode 2.

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OMG! Excelent drama! It will be a hit! And LMH!!! One of the best actors of the young generation!

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Cliffhanger academy is NOT a bad idea!!

Love this "drama"?? and on this bus till the end or King-dome come, whatever happens first!

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Just finished watching the first ep, and it's intriguing, so I'll keep on watching - but what I wondered was if anyone knew what drama is featured in the commercial after this (first) episode? A girl disguising as a boy plot are always fun to watch, so if anyone knows what series it is, I'd be very happy for answers! Thanks in advance :)

Oh, brilliant recap! Enjoyed reading it!

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This website should be called DramaSpoiller

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JB, I don’t know how U do that, but watching drama is not enough now, the drama should be supplemented with your recaps and that’s the only way to fall for it. If no recaps, I feel indifferent to the plot or characters. It is true for Faith and was true for HGD and Story of a Man. It’s been quite a while when I was giddy abt a drama without recaps. Started to come here in early 2011. And now my watching list includes mostly the dramas recapped by DB. I am always late to watch, and have a lot to catch up.

Re the 1st ep, CY reminded me of Naruto’s Sasuke with that lightning coming out of his palm, while JGS’ prince from HGD reminded me of Itachi as the character I felt sorry for the most. The animation series looked like the one from Harry Potter (abt Death tale). Ok, I’m starting Faith only now, late as always, but I’ll be able to marathon it and still have the opportunity to make that journey + 23 eps of LeeMinHo are still in store for me! ))

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Hi, I am wondering would you happen to know the name of the song in this first episode where choi yuoung is in front of the cctv trying to get to eun soo?

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Thanks for your recaps! I watch so many dramas and only rely on English subtitles, but sometimes they are real bad subtitles. Your recaps get me through the dramas and actually make me understand whats going on.
I read so many recaps you have from other dramas, and find your websites the best!

Thankyou!

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Lee min ho is funny

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Hahaha you cracked me up !!

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5 stars for this episode

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