Drama Recaps
Shark: Episode 1
by | May 29, 2013 | 82 Comments

Shark, the third installment in what’s being coined as a “revenge trilogy” by writer/director duo Kim Ji-woo and Park Chan-hong (the minds behind Resurrection and The Devil), premiered on KBS this week, taking up the lone premiere mantle against shows well into their respective runs like Gu Family Book, Jang Ok-jung, and… well, pretty much just those two, not counting cable. Dramaland pickings have been a little slim lately.

Premiering to a modest 8.2%, it’s not a show that starts off running, but one that has some engaging stories to share while it walks with you. It starts us off after some things have presumably hit the fan and takes us back to tell us how it all started, and does so with lush cinematography and a promising orchestral score. Everything’s on point and the production feels assured, so watching feels more like a waiting game—we’re presumably not in this for the surprisingly cute romance as much as the revenge, so where’s the beef? (Or has this recent drama lull made me too bloodthirsty?)


BoA – “Between Heaven and Hell” from the OST. [ Download ]

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A boy looks straight into a handheld camera, speaking as if to answer an unheard question: “Sharks.”

From behind the camera, a girl’s voice chimes in to ask him what he means. He answers that sharks don’t have swim bladders, so they have to keep moving in order to live—even when sleeping. Even though that makes them strong, he reveals that he likes sharks because he finds them pitiful: “Because it doesn’t seem as if anyone would like sharks.”

As it turns out, the recording is a memory playing through the mind of HAN YI-SOO (Kim Nam-gil) as he sits in an airplane. Snippets of the recording are intercut with scenes from the present, as though Yi-soo is fulfilling the promise he’d made then, when the girl asked him what he would do if she were to disappear.

“I’d have to find you,” a young Yi-soo replied.

“What if you can’t find me?” she asked.

“I’d find you no matter what.”

As Yi-soo disembarks, we cut to a woman preparing for her wedding. This is JO HAE-WOO (Sohn Ye-jin), whom we can presume to have been the girl holding the camera using scientifically accurate drama logic.

In the present, Hae-woo sends a little wave to her good-natured future husband while surrounded by a gaggle of chattering friends, and he can’t help but chuckle when he catches her yawning from behind her hand. Cute.

Meanwhile, Yi-soo enters the busy wedding hall, keeping his gaze downward as people in suits and hanbok brush past. He seems to recognize all of the faces he sees, but seems to hope that no one will recognize him as he makes his way up, up, and to Hae-woo’s door.

She sees his face through the throng, and her expression turns grave. They stare at each other, neither breaking the other’s gaze, as the young Yi-soo from the recording finally answers her question: How will you find me?

“Because, until the day I die, I will keep looking for you,” Yi-soo had replied, at long last. “Because I won’t even be able to die until I find you.”

In the wedding hall, Hae-woo watches Yi-soo intently until he disappears into the crowd. She follows, even in all her wedding finery, until she stands at the top of a winding staircase while he stands below.

But in the moment before she finds him, we see Yi-soo clenching his fist and holding back tears, his aloof facade melting for the briefest of moments. And then, a flashback: Him holding his dead father, him standing in a phone booth right before a truck careened into it.

Yi-soo uses this memory to steel himself so that he can turn back toward her with the coldest and most detached of expressions, one that stops her dead in her tracks. Words he wants to say to her, or maybe just himself, float through the air as he leaves: Go. Don’t look back. Everything is prepared, and now, the time has come.

Oh, I think I’m going to like this.

Twelve years ago.

We find Yi-soo and Hae-woo as students who find themselves pushed together after running from shady-looking suited thugs. They haven’t formally met, but Yi-soo has had his eye on her—which is maybe why it comes as such a shock when she’s so fearless, especially as she declares that she ran away from home. (He seems to be the more bookish, reserved type.)

She drags him to a street stall for food, and he’s so nervous that he up and leaves her while she eats. But Hae-woo isn’t having it, and calls him out for his (lack of) manners, forcing him to stay until she has to run again, once the suited men find her.

Twelve years later, we rejoin Hae-woo after the wedding ceremony as she downs drinks and entertains guests with her new husband, OH JOON-YOUNG (Ha Suk-jin).

They’re interrupted by their well-meaning but very drunk friend KIM DONG-SOO (Lee Si-yeon) as he congratulates the couple—and in his sorry state, he fondly mentions a name that shouldn’t be mentioned: Han Yi-soo. Ah, so they all knew each other growing up.

Hae-woo heads to the balcony for fresh air, but she’s not alone—Yi-soo is there.

She recognizes him from the wedding, but… she doesn’t recognize him as Yi-soo. He’s a stranger to her, as he introduces himself with a Japanese name: Yoshimura Jun, and a Korean name of Kim Jun. (For ease of use, we’ll just keep calling him Yi-soo.)

Their handshake sends us into another flashback, when Yi-soo had first joined Hae-woo’s class, even though she’d arrived late and uncaring. His seating assignment puts him next to Dong-soo, the friend we’d seen drunk at the wedding, as he explains that he’s also a recent transfer and offers immediate friendship.

He and Hae-woo recognize each other in class, but say nothing.

Later, Dong-soo faces off against a gang of school bullies, and the odds are definitely not in his favor. But it’s Hae-woo who comes to the rescue before Yi-soo even gets the chance, displaying a knack for some serious sass, even when the head bully insults her by bringing up her father’s now infamous public affair with an anchorwoman.

The bully goes to hit her after she hits him, but is stopped by Yi-soo. The three friends are set to square off against the gang, but they’re all (literally) saved by the bell.

When class resumes, Hae-woo is nowhere to be found. And the unknown boy who silently watched the fight now returns to beat up the head bully. So, this is our real class jjang, surprisingly revealed to be a young Joon-young (aka Hae-woo’s future husband).

Dong-soo takes it upon himself to show Yi-soo around, declaring that they’re now friends, and “once we’re friends, dead or alive, we’re still friends. Got it?” D’aww.

Of course, when he mentions being wowed by Hae-woo’s guts, she springs up from the library chair she’d been sleeping in to complain about the noise. Dong-soo tries to restore his honor all, I could’ve taken them on without you, but Hae-woo instead focuses on giving her thanks to Yi-soo for helping her out earlier in the fight before she saunters out.

Yi-soo goes home after school to a lavish mansion with manicured grounds the size of a football field, only it’s not his house—he’s moving in with his father and sister to the servant quarters. The house is tiny and cramped, but his little sister, HAN YI-HYUN (future Nam Bo-ra, whom we met briefly in the present), claims it’s already much bigger than their last one.

Hae-woo is the daughter of the house, but before she goes home she’s met with headlines regarding her father’s affair with an anchorwoman. Her anger is apparent for as much as she tries to tamp it down, even though her dad, JO EUI-SUN (Kim Kyu-chul), is all smiles as he tries to cheer Hae-woo up—it’s her birthday, after all.

She tries to escape to her room, past the woman in the foyer that everyone seems to ignore, until the woman finally starts throwing things at Daddy Jo. It’s Hae-woo’s mother and Daddy Jo’s wife, and she’s not happy to hear about her husband’s affair, no matter how he tries to deny it.

Hae-woo can’t take any more and leaves, though in doing so she steps on glass scattered around from the fight. Yi-soo and his family stand outside the front door, overhearing everything, and it’s in the moment that they decide to leave without introduction that Hae-woo comes storming out.

It’s clear that Hae-woo knows (and seems ashamed that) Yi-soo overheard, and in her rush to leave, she brushes off her family secretary’s pleas to check her foot for glass. Since there’s no stopping her, Yi-soo volunteers to follow Hae-woo and keep an eye out.

He doesn’t make his presence known even as he waits with Hae-woo in silence outside the broadcasting station where the anchorwoman from the headlines works. Hae-woo confronts her the second she emerges, her expression harsh and her tone unyielding even as the anchorwoman denies the story and, in fact, denies ever meeting her father.

Hae-woo knows this is a lie, since Daddy Jo had at least admitted to meeting her. She accuses the anchorwoman of being coward, explaining that love itself isn’t a crime, but cowardly love is, especially when it hurts the people around them.

Her words are biting, so the woman raises her hand to slap Hae-woo… but is stopped by Yi-soo. He drags Hae-woo away, and forces her onto a park bench when he notices her limping.

She’s off in her own world, too busy trying to hold back her tears, so Yi-soo takes off her shoe and bloody sock to see the glass stuck in her foot. At least he calls her out for being an idiot in letting the glass lodge into her foot, because they’ll need to go to a hospital to get it out.

That’s the most he goes toward chastising her, and even that’s said in a gentle, caring tone. He helps her wrap her foot and offers his arm to help her walk, even advising her to walk on her heel so it’ll hurt less. Aww. I like him, and so does she.

She recognizes him as the chauffeur’s son, but notes that his dad is more handsome, and that he has a better personality. Yi-soo agrees. Ha.

She starts to perk up, and tells Yi-soo that it’s her birthday so he’ll remember it for the next year. “But, in this kind of situation, aren’t you supposed to carry me on your back?” she quips.

He offers a small smirk in return. “In your dreams.”

Yi-soo and his father meet with Daddy Jo and Yi-soo’s grandfather, who seems to be much more amicable than her father. It seems like Yi-soo’s father chose to move in with his long-time employers in order to save up money for a house of their own, and Grandpa Jo is all for it. Welcoming, even.

In an effort to make small talk, Grandpa Jo asks Yi-soo what he wants to do in the future. Yi-soo: “I want to earn money.” It doesn’t get much more complicated than that, as he explains that he wants to use the money for his father and sister.

When asked how he’ll earn the money, Yi-soo replies, “I believe there is good money and bad money. I want to earn good money.” Why does it seem like he’s taking a dig at her family with the “bad” money bit?

We see the harsher side of Grandpa Jo later, when he confronts Daddy Jo over the affair and subsequent scandal by threatening not to give him ownership of the hotel if he doesn’t shape up.

Compared to Hae-woo’s home life, Yi-soo’s is idyllic and warm. He’s also a model student comparatively, mostly because he actually goes to class, and it’s a point of contention which comes up between them as he tries to get her to mend her ways.

“You think you’re the most unfortunate person in the world, don’t you?” he accuses her, and it’s true if we go by her reaction. “Only you suffer, and you resent everyone who doesn’t understand your suffering, don’t you?”

Yi-soo wants her to rise above, but Hae-woo gets defensive and spits back, “Stop acting like you’re better.” But by the time she says it, he’s already out the door, unwilling to be her friend until she stops moping. (And the tactic works, since Hae-woo starts showing up to class.

He watches her falling asleep at her studies in the library later, and it takes that one moment for him to start falling in love with her. Joon-young remains a silent observer during some of Yi-soo and Hae-woo’s falling-in-love montages, because no one seems to notice him hanging around. (Also, is Hae-woo a narcoleptic?)

Daddy Jo starts throwing a tantrum over all the time Hae-woo is spending with Yi-soo, especially when his house is on their property. Grandpa Jo manages to keep him in line by dangling the issue of succession in front of him, and declares that because Hae-woo is noticeably happier with Yi-soo, he plans to send them both to study abroad.

Joon-young finally introduces himself to Yi-soo, though the air is tense between them when Yi-soo refuses his offer to join the school gang. “You and Jo Hae-woo are very similar,” Joon-young notes. “You either want to win everything or give up everything.”

He uses a handshake to trip Yi-soo, as a way of establishing his superiority in fighting. But Yi-soo is good at fighting even if he doesn’t like it, and he seems to earn Joon-young’s respect when he manages to trip him in return. Hae-woo’s just happy to see them being friendly, since she knows them both.

She explains Joon-young’s story to Yi-soo—how he was a model student until his brother died in a drunk driving accident, so now Joon-young is the class jjang. She’s known him since childhood because their families are close, which means that Joon-young must be pretty well-off, too.

Hae-woo tells Yi-soo that she’s going to take up drawing again, but that the lessons will make it hard for them to see each other. To make up for it, she claims she’ll tell him about a secret hiding place of hers.

Meanwhile, Daddy Jo isn’t having much luck with the anchorwoman, and she gives him an ultimatum: Either he gets a divorce, or she’s out. He tries to buy her with money, leading to a news headline where she accuses him of sexual harassment (read by a mysterious man we haven’t formally met yet).

The headlines have made Grandpa Jo very angry, and he’s not afraid to tell his worm of a son that he won’t hand the company over to someone as incompetent as him. Daddy Jo fires back, “At least I didn’t take a mother from Hae-woo!” earning him a hard slap from his father. Huh. I wonder what that’s about.

Hae-woo’s mother leaves for Canada once she reads the headlines, even though the family secretary, Mrs. Park, begs her to at least say goodbye to Hae-woo. She doesn’t.

Yi-soo reads the headlines at school and goes looking for Hae-woo, who’s nowhere to be found. Joon-young knows she’s at her hiding place and tells Yi-soo where it is, leading to Yi-soo eventually find her at a lake after he searches through a rural forest.

She wasn’t expecting him to find her, but smiles all the same, noting how she’s been filming the lake over the years, and that it never changes no matter how much everything else does.

She’s hurt by her mother leaving, and Yi-soo’s consolation that she might return is of no use, because she knows deep down that her mother will never come back, and has known it for a long time.

Yi-soo sighs that there are some things in life that nothing can be done about, and adds his wish for her to start realizing that, so she’ll stop letting everything she can’t control wear her down.

Like usual, his words cheer her up, and she decides to film him to commemorate, bringing us back to the memories that started the episode. And yeah, it’s a bit odd that when she asks him, “What do you like most in the world?” clearly hoping he’ll say her name, he instead answers: “Sharks.”

We see the recorded conversation play out in real time, ending with Yi-soo’s declaration that he wouldn’t be able to die unless he found her, which works like a declaration of love.

They get interrupted by a sudden shower, and find shelter beneath a tree. The tension between them becomes real as both of them become aware of each other, even though Yi-soo is much more assured and gentle as he pats her face dry with his handkerchief, never mind the fact that it’s still raining.

And then, he kisses her on the forehead.


It’s not the most dramatic or gripping way to end an episode, but it works. Having watched the first two revenge dramas by this writer/director pair, I’m familiar with their penchant for a more thoughtful and contemplative approach to storytelling, presenting emotional moments as a culmination of all that came before them—and in effect, this method tends to force the audience to sit up and pay a bit of attention to the details. (You won’t be lost if you don’t, but you’ll be rewarded if you do.)

That doesn’t change the fact that this first outing did feel a little plodding, since it only exists to set the table and to keep us looking forward to the grand, twisty, revenge-fueled meal to come. While I’m sure that the young love in bloom was meant to grab us by the heartstrings, I found myself waiting more for the other shoe to drop, since I got the sense that that’s exactly what Shark is waiting for, too—it just has to convince us that what happens to these people, and this couple, matters first. So in order to do that, they’re banking on these two young actors to sell a decently conventional romance, and in that sense, the show does deliver, only just enough. In every other sense, the show delivers plenty.

Even if I wasn’t totally sold on the romance (there’s nothing to not be sold on, really, it’s just nothing to write home about—yet), I am enjoying the characters and the world we’re (slowly) building. On the outside, it doesn’t seem very out of the ordinary—she’s rich and privileged with plenty of pride to go with it, he’s poor, hardworking, and fiercely loyal. His father is humble and kind, hers is a heartless snake, kept in line only by her open-minded grandfather who’ll surely have to shuffle off this mortal coil soon so her dad can wreak havoc unimpeded. You know, the usual.

What’s nice about this show is that “the usual” is presented with a high level of proficiency, in a way that feels thought-out, meaningful, and to the point. Aside from Hae-woo’s father, you don’t get the sense that people are acting in one way just because that’s what the script calls for. It’s a welcome change to see characters break from the mold you’ve taken two seconds to put them in, and I was surprised to see so many characters with genuine flashes of humanity reacting in ways that were unexpected, but which made total sense considering how the character was presented and not how this character type normally behaves in other shows.

For instance, Yi-soo’s juvenile fight with Joon-young. Admittedly, I expected Joon-young to be ruthlessly cruel because he saw Hae-woo first (isn’t that how it goes?)—so I was pleasantly taken aback when Yi-soo proved his worth, and Joon-young responded rationally by acknowledging Yi-soo as an individual worthy of respect. They may not be the best of friends, or even friends at all, and they could very well stab each other in the back later, but the fact that they came to understand each other in the first place is a revelation in and of itself, and that sort of person-to-person contact came to the fore in all of Yi-soo’s relationships, whether with Dong-soo or Hae-woo. The roles may be conventional at first glance, but what roles aren’t? It’s how characters are handled that matters, and whether the dialogue reflects a character’s ability to listen, reason, and react accordingly.

It seems so simple, yet so many dramas forget the listening/reasoning part and skip straight to the reacting, which is what leaves characters feeling like caricatures. Shark is not that kind of drama, and gives off the very reassuring sense that it knows exactly what it is, has plans for what it will become, and that it’ll get us there without asking us to check our brains at the door. All good things in my book, so all that’s left is for Shark to put a little more pep in its step.


82 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kakashi

    We have entered the age of the moustache in KDrama. Discuss.

    • 1.1 Quiet Thought

      As long as Sohn Ye-Jin doesn’t have to wear one, like Ha Ji Won and Gain in ‘The Huntress,’ I don’t much care.

      • 1.1.1 kakashi


      • 1.1.2 Miss H.

        When kakashi went … ‘moustache… /Discuss.’ I choked a little at the very imaginary, but fresh image of a dead catapillar swelling up again. It was all the fault of that moustache in my face thingy while viewing EP01.

        Then Quiet Thought manage to break me out of the ‘Ewwww’ mold with the very, I must say, funny but yet, deadpan rationalising. LOL srsly.

        Thanks guys for the laugh 😀 Also, HeadsNo2!! OMG I didnt know beforehand you would be. Really appreciate you recapping this.

    • 1.2 JK

      I don’t like it very much either on KNJ.

      • 1.2.1 Kiara

        Ikr? Bleh, he looks better without it.

    • 1.3 ilikemangos

      looks like its here to stay for good.

      • 1.3.1 Pirie

        KNG looks MUCH better without the tiny little caterpillar…

  2. ck1Oz

    Thank you for the recap. I wanted to learn of the writers works without endless comparison to the Bad Guy.

    I did NOT watch that drama and quite happy not to or learn about it.

    However everyone kept comparing it to that. I am sure Kim Nam Gil is more that just that guy in BG and what’s that sageuk.

    I actually like ep 1 a lot and really liked the child cast. The young boy has backbone and I liked their childhood connection.

    Was NOT expecting the heroine to be married though. It was a huge shock.

    • 2.1 Lilian

      oh yeah….I didn’t expect the wedding to go smoothly too. I kept thinking she would run off or something so in a way this drama is NOT that makjang! hehe….. which is a plus point for me =)

  3. KnGloves

    Where’s the recap for episode 2? hahah .. LOL. been waiting for it. ^^ thanks!

  4. Mieosa

    YES! i’ve been waiting for this recap!! Thanks for recapping 🙂 gonna go watch Shark now..feels really promising

  5. Quiet Thought

    Man, that kid playing young Sohn Ye-Jin has got her expressions NAILED.

    • 5.1 lyra

      Agree !! She’s acting prowess is much noticeable, stands out even than SYJ 😀

    • 5.2 ilikemangos

      If theres one thing shark did right, its defintely the casting of son ye jins younger counterpart. Really, in some angles they look exactly alike.
      And can you believe she’s 25? She looks pretty young.

      • 5.2.1 lyra

        25??? #cries

      • 5.2.2 Aj

        I had to look her up to make sure there wasn’t some kind of blood relation…

        Great casting job

      • 5.2.3 chulz08

        I’m confused here..who’s 25 son ye jin or her younger counterpart?

        this drama will be added to my drama list 🙂

        • ilikemangos

          Son ye jins counterpart is 25, but son ye jin is only 6 years older than her which would put her at about 31.
          Kim Nam Gil’s younger counterpart, however, is 18.

  6. snow_white

    Thanks for the recap….

    It has been so long since I read recaps by HeadsNo2…..yay for starting a new series… 🙂

  7. news

    It’s finally here! Nobody in dramaland does revenge like this duo. Can’t wait to watch!

    • 7.1 skelly

      Me too – I’m really looking forward to this one

  8. swui

    i thought it was a slow, but assured start…at least i think it makes more sense to have teenagers fall in love than pre pubescent kids…who never got over their first loves.

  9. nickynisa

    been waiting for this drama… hope it’ll exceed expectations.. i find kdramas are very boring nowadays and i only follow Nine.. only one drama.. glad that Shark is airing now..

  10. 10 aznative

    Thanks Heads for the recap. I saw the first episode and was equally pleased with it. Don’t look forward to loosing the young character cast though it has to happen.

    I’ve seen “The Devil” (The Lucifer) but now I’ve decided to watch “Resurrection” (Rebirth) any excuse to watch Uhm Tae-woong. Kim Ji-woo was also screenwriter for “Fermentation Family” which was one my favorites.

    • 10.1 anais

      Resurrection is awesome.

    • 10.2 Abbie

      I’m slowly working my way through The Devil. Shin Min-ah and Uhm Tae-woong together? You bet I’ll watch it. It’s really interesting. I’ve not seen Resurrection, but I may yet watch it because of Uhm Tae-woong.

      I have seen Fermentation Family and loved it! This writer is great!

      • 10.2.1 Aj

        I think Resurrection is one of the best dramas I’ve ever seen. You should see that first.

        Could never finish The Devil but it is clearly well made from a production/execution standpoint.

        • Kiara

          Resurrection was the best out of the 2. Uhm Taewoong was awesome in both I really miss him here.

          • nedenuleyn

            I agree with you. Resurrection is the best among the others. Some people love Devil more but I think that Resurrection is way better. In devil, you don’t sympatise with characters much.
            oh seungha is very cold and a bad person, haein is the classic lead lady who’s always beside her loved one, the only character i felt bad for was kang oh soo. whereas in resurrection, when you look at yoo ganghyung you feel pain in your heart because you know his pain.
            that’s what makes resurrection the best.
            BTW, I agree that it would be a triology with Uhm tae woong but I don’t think that we can call this a triology now.
            How I wish to see him in this with the PD and writer. 🙁

  11. 11 aznative

    “Shark” is also called “Don’t Look Back: The Legend of Orpheus”. Don’t know how closely this drama will follow the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, but I will be prepared with a box of tissues.

  12. 12 Dramafed1782

    OHHHH YAYYYY!!!! Thank you for the recap, was waiting for it! Off to read it….

  13. 13 MariD

    I want to reach into my screen and pull the caterpillar off his face. He is a fairly good looking guy, why does he insist on having a bug on his face…

  14. 14 Kiara

    Heads thank you for the recap:). I enjoyed the writers previous work “The Devil” and especially “Resurrection” with Uhm Tae Woong as the leading man on both.
    I love Kim Nam Gil but I wish UhmForce was heading this too because it doesn’t really feel like a trilogy without him.

    So far I love the young actors performance. No Young Hak, my goodness he’s all grown up and so handsome lol.
    Kyung Soo Jin is really awesome in her first big role. I hardly remember her from TWTWB and Horse Doctor.

    I hope the ratings will rise as the story developed like Resurrection.

  15. 15 Noernov

    I’m already head over heel for the young yi soo…I wanna go back to high school if there’s young yi soo there,hehheehhe 😉

  16. 16 Elizabeth Bennet

    I think the young female actor looks and acts very much like Son Ye jin.

    And I was not really that interested in this drama but the recaps are so nicely written and the song somehow moved me and now I’m totally into this.

  17. 17 Elizabeth Bennet

    Aaaaaand I forgot to mention the moustache.

    I think KNG is a handsome man and I love the way his eyes are so expressive. Moustache is not really my thing but since I’m not going to kiss him anytime soon I’m OK with just looking at it. He can handle the moustache as far as I’m concerned.

  18. 18 kit

    Haven’t watched the first episode, and revenge dramas aren’t really my thing, but this recap was really well written – assured but soft, which is the same tone I felt from the screencaps (so thank you!) and I was really pulled into the storyline. I was trying to remember who was who, but the moment that I read the silent class jjang was her future husband I was like, ooh. I feel like that should’ve been obvious in terms of a love triangle, but I like how the little things can give depth to a character. I don’t think I really know the child actors here, but just uh based off screepcaps (>_>) they seem to sell it.

    Aaaaaand that’s my way of saying: Oh no another drama to start watching.

    • 18.1 kit

      Yelps. I just did a quick search for the child actors, and how unsurprising, of course they all have ridiculous long impressive resumes (I haven’t watched anything properly with them in it though – I’m actually kind of glad, I forget sometimes there aren’t only three child actors that get all the roles). But the thing that surprised me was the girl who plays Haewoo is apparently ’87 to the ’95 Yisoo?

      • 18.1.1 the other kay

        yup she played the dead gf in that winter the wind blows. i was so surprised that she’s playing the kid version in this one. but she actually pulls it off

  19. 19 Sajen

    thanks for the recap, cause while I do intend to watch his one day I’m already watching 5 shows and that’s taxing enough.

  20. 20 KnGloves

    Yi Soo is really so tall .. but has the innocent looks kkkk … well, i like the recap and everything, definitely i look forward watching this drama soon. just hope my schedule allows me to do so … the young Haewoo looks more like Sohn Ye Jin and her acting seems good too.. I wonder who’s gonna stand out well as Haewoo …

  21. 21 KnGloves

    Oh wait, the young Haewoo is just 7 years younger than the old Haewoo in real life? Ohh k-dramaland … i thought at first she was just in her teens. lol

  22. 22 JK

    Thanks for the recaps, HeadsNo2!

    The role reversal between the two young leads was interesting, by which I mean it’s usually the guy who’s portrayed as the brooding young man and the girl the goody two-shoe. But not this time. It certainly adds a depth to character development for our two leads and makes for more interesting storytelling.

    What’s kept me captivated is really Hae Woo. The last I remembered of SYJ was the melodramas Summer Scent and Personal Taste in which she played subdued characters. So I’m really pleasantly surprised that her character portrayal of Hae Woo is a feisty and straightforward one. I’ll be eager to find out the motivations behind Hae Woo’s choice of career (didn’t she want to be an artist?).

    I’m pleasantly (?) surprised to find Hae Woo’s grandpa holding the helms in the family and Hae Woo’s father a true weakling, groveling under sheer pressure. The inclusion of Hae Woo’s grandpa in the story will no doubt complicate the plot which will only make it more fun to follow the story.

    I’ve never quite enjoyed backstory, but I actually managed to plow through the stately flow of it all in this one. If not for my eagerness to learn what the revenge is all about, then it’s only because I found young Yi Soo so good looking! 😛

    • 22.1 ilikemangos

      I give credit to the actor playing Hae Woo’s father because i think of very bad things i want to happen to him everytime hes on screen. Even if we find out grandpa isnt so clean himself, atleast he was level-headed unlike his immature and irrational son. Really though, a man his age and he acts like a teenager.

  23. 23 Faye

    It wasn’t the most action-packed start, for sure, but it kept my attention just the same. Part of it may be that I tend to be attracted to books and shows that start slowly and draw you in, step by step, and that I enjoy good characterization as much as action. But even objectively speaking, I think this was good. It really introduced us well to the main characters — their relationships, strengths, and weaknesses. I feel invested enough to want to see what happened to separate the two protagonists, and where there journey will take them. Looking forward to this drama!

    Just – please, drama goods, no “Bad Guy” ending – pleaaaaasssseee . . .

    • 23.1 Faye

      I meant “drama gOds,” not “goods.”

  24. 24 bad guy

    The revenge duo is back!
    The way the BGM gets cut to finish a previous scene is just one of the many and good/promising examples that this director/production staff is top notch.
    Watching the plot unfold, the audience is like sand slipping through the fingers of the staff building with us their majestic sandcastle from scratch.

  25. 25 marie

    LOOOOVE Resurrection and The Devil ,so I have been waiting for this drama for a long time!

  26. 26 Tinka

    You’re a good writer, HeadsNo2.

    • 26.1 ilikemangos

      dam right she is!

  27. 27 Apple peach

    While watching the drama I kept wondering where I’ve seen young Yi soo since he looks so familiar and I finally linked him to Han hyo joo’s bro in brilliant legacy. Wow! What a change in character, and he does both well. he is really a great actor^^

    • 27.1 LV

      the bro of Han hyo joo in brilliant legacy is Yun Joon Suk.
      Young Yi Soo is No Young Hak…still they look much alike.

      • 27.1.1 mitzy

        Yun Joon Suk also acted well in ‘Cheer Up, Mr. Kim!’ daily drama. he’s talented ^^

  28. 28 owl

    I am so happy with how the backstory is done. In fact I hope the present story can keep up with the momentum of a strong beginning.

    (young) Hae Woo: In this situation aren’t you supposed to carry me on your back?

    (young) Yi Soo: In your dreams *gives adorable smile.*


    • 28.1 TS


  29. 29 pigtookie

    ahhh thanks for the recap! these new shows are welcomed <3

  30. 30 V En Detta

    Thanks for the recap…been stalking dramabeans to see if it was updated 🙂 since I don’t have time to watch, thought y not,at-least, read abt it?! ^_^

  31. 31 jomo

    Thanks for this and your future efforts as well.

    There was a lot to chew on in the episode, and guess at.
    I liked the music after they backed down from the “HEY THIS IS MELO, EVERYONE, LISTEN!”
    Colors are subdued – makes you feel like there is a lot more beneath the surface we can’t see.
    The off-balance feeling is refreshing. Who is what is who is why is did she really marry that guy from the playground?

    I am not a huge revenge fan, but I will be sticking on this one.

  32. 32 ilikemangos

    First two episodes were not exactly thrilling, but at this point we’re still setting up our characters and taking it one step at a time instead of just being thrown into all the action. Usually i find it hard to connect to them in that case, and like you said heads, they become caricatures. Thats a big no-no in revenge thrillers. It starts to lose steam. And for me, sympathy, and eventually, interest.
    This is the first kim nam gil project that i will be following — i heard the guy has a thing for revenge thrillers — so im excited to see what the guy has to offer.
    Son Ye Jin is pretty like always with that “soft” look she usually has to her acting and those eyes that long for something. Her younger counterpart nailed it.
    I noticed that its not your typical melo though. There were some things i picked up on in the first 2 episodes that made Shark look rather promising and not your typical melo. I hope as we move forward to the adult storyline there are more thrills than tears. I want shark to exercise my mind, not bore me to death.
    Here’s to looking forward to something new nowadays in k-dramaland!

    • 32.1 ilikemangos

      And glad to have you back, of course, Heads. 😉

  33. 33 canxi

    *___* Looks good! Read a bit of this and it sounds really cool. I’ve never dove into anything by the creators of this so I am in for something new, here. I’ve been reading lots of crime fiction and such and I feel like this is kind of moving along like one based on what I’ve read so that’s awesome. Will be looking forward to watching this!

  34. 34 Cynthia

    Thanks for the recap!

    Watched this last night over at Viki (lightning subbers!).

    Me likey.

  35. 35 Abbie

    This first episode seemed to be lacking something. I don’t know what, but it didn’t pull me in like revenge dramas usually do. I’m probably in the minority, but I found the past story arc less interesting than the present day. And that’s not because of the writing or the actors. Both are wonderful, but I just didn’t find it as interesting. Maybe once we catch up and see the falling out of the kids, I’ll be more interested. Until then, I’m not.

    Thanks for the recap, HeadsNo2!

  36. 36 beggar1015

    I’ll stick with it because of my man, but like you said this first episode was rather plodding. I kept waiting for something – anything – to happen. I understand there has to be some world building. Yet there also has to be a hook to keep you interested. I’m saying all this without having seen the second episode. Hopefully things will pick up there. If not… well, I’ll still watch it for KNG.

  37. 37 misolee

    the teenager of the heroine looks just like her! Ha Suk Jin’s child actor also looks so similar.

  38. 38 Willow

    Wow, the actress playing the younger Hae Woo resembles Son Ye Jin SO MUCH…or is that just in the screencaps? Anyway, thanks for the recap!

    • 38.1 Miss H.

      Just in the screen caps. And only from some angles.

      I dont find her resembling Son Yejin that much at all, especially after watching the show. Originally thought she looked like Son Yejin alot (in the trailers) but then I realised those were the ‘selected angle’ shots.

  39. 39 wonhwa

    Thanks for recapping this!

  40. 40 TS

    Someone said about the colours being subdued: I think that’s to give an underwater feel.

    I actually don’t like these set-ups from childhood. I’d rather get into the present and flashback as needed. That said, this kid who plays the young Yi-soo has a face, smile and voice to die for, so the set-up’s cool by me.

  41. 41 yoh

    this is kinda unrelated, but i rewatched the classic and i noticed how different son ye jin looks now. i know it’s a old movie but something about her face right now looks kinda off. i think it’s her nose but not too sure…
    she’s still one of my fave actresses & I’m debating whether to watch this drama or not.

    • 41.1 Miss H.

      Actually…I think her nose from The Classic and now = the same. But I cant say the same thing for that nose pre-The Classic days as compared to after/now…. you gotta go watch her even earlier works. Just saying 😛

      That ‘kinda off’ feeling you got is probably a result of her maturing over the years. imo, in a pleasant manner. 🙂

      Anyhow, she’s been my favourite actress in all of SKorea for years now. Quite confident that shes staying my favourite and only.

  42. 42 kles

    Thanks for the recap! I like this – hope you will continue recapping this show! =)))

    I hope the show keeps it up, sometimes the pace drops when it shifts to the adult versions.

  43. 43 Skwonto

    Excellent recap! Thank you! I especially appreciated your comments at the end. The two episodes I’ve seen so far are so well done. Each character and their actions have purpose. Unlike some shows (uh hmmm… Lee Soon Shin), where I’m constantly saying to myself, “what’s the big freaking deal Grandma? Mom? Breadman? etc.” Over and over… Back to shark, I love the suspense and creepiness. I’m hooked. Thanks again.

  44. 44 Skwonto

    Oh, and I love that HeadsNo2 is recapping. Your Dr. Jin recaps were pure quality. Thank you!

  45. 45 Koko

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but why does this feel like Bad Guy redux?

  46. 46 Roshogolla

    I am soooo IMPRESSED by the child actor Yun Joon Suk. I have to say he is better than most of the current child actors in KDrama land. He is very understated yet spot on. I first saw him in Shining Inheritance. His portrayal of the autistic child was superb. Again without being exaggerated. I even thought he might have some autistic symptoms in reality (stupid I know but he is that good).

    But he is terribly underrated. I hope he gets better projects and able to show his true talent.. He is a gem of an actor. His AMAZING acting was enough to elicit an inappropriate noona crush on him.

  47. 47 Mari

    I watched episode one and I love your recap HeadsN02 So far I’m really enjoying it and I loved the interactions between all the characters especially Yi-soo and Hae-woo when I saw the introduction in the beginning and that awful poster I wanted to write it off but glad I gave it a whirl..Looking forward to part 2 😀

  48. 48 Perrie

    I’m having a hard time believing this is the same kid from Shinning Inheritance! He is so handsome and has grown up well:)

  49. 49 Perrie

    It’s also really awesome how everyone looks like their older counter part. It’s nice to see fresh young stars instead of the usual 🙂

  50. 50 Chon

    I like him yeon joon suk
    Hí acting really great

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