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Who Are You: Episode 1

The new melo-thriller Who Are You kicked off today on tvN, and it was surprisingly effective at being chilling. I was expecting a human drama with ghostly and romantic elements in equal order, but tonally the drama is quite deft at building up suspense in creepy moments; there’s little actual violence or gore, but the nervous tension is all in the anticipation.

This is only a one-off first episode review, as we’re unsure yet how the new load of dramas will shake out. For now, I enjoyed the show despite some flaws, found it well-crafted and atmospheric, and am curious to see where the story goes from here.

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

We open in July 2007, late at night aboard a large ship. A man makes his way down a shadowy ship corridor with gun drawn—a cop? Too clean-cut to be a gangster.

…of which there are plenty in the ship’s cargo area. Our cop, LEE HYUNG-JOON (Kim Jae-wook), watches them unpack a shipment, only to have his walkie-talkie squawk and give away his hiding spot. Hyung-joon makes a break for it.

The gangsters chase him through the corridors, while he holds them at bay with his gun, shooting once into the air. Should you really be shooting inside a ship?

Outside, Hyung-joon’s partner YANG SHI-ON (So Yi-hyun) hears the gunshot and starts running toward the ship. She arrives on deck in time to see Hyung-joon in a standoff, his gun raised to an unseen foe. He’s teary-eyed upon recognizing the person—are we dealing with a betrayal here?

Bang! Hyung-joon falls.

Shi-on gasps in horror, but almost immediately is spotted by the gangsters and forced to run. She darts inside the ship, where a blow to the head sends her reeling to the floor.

Shi-on fades from consciousness slowly, recent scenes flashing by in her mind: Waiting outside the ship earlier this night. Hyung-joon kissing her. Leaving with a smile.

Six years later.

Shi-on lies comatose in the hospital, here since that night on the ship. It’s her thirtieth birthday, a nurse notes with pity. She drops a tray and reaches under the bed to retrieve her tools—only to have someone else grab them first.

The nurse looks up to see a ghastly face, upside-down and unblinking. She screams.

(It’s Shi-on reaching down from her bed, looking ghoulish and terrifying.)

The doctors are puzzled at her unexplained awakening, particularly when a battery of tests reveals that all of her vitals are in perfect health. Why? How?

Shi-on has no memory of the night she was injured, which she explains to the officers who press for details of that incident on the ship. After all, she was on stakeout duty with one other detective, and that man ended up dead.

Furthermore, she doesn’t even recognize a photo of Hyung-joon, asking whether that’s the guy who died. Hm. There’s no mention of her not knowing who she is, so I’m assuming it’s partial amnesia we’re talking about.

The cops shoot looks of frustration at each other, but Shi-on is frustrated too, saying that it’s driving her crazy. She addresses the wall of higher-ups watching behind the one-way glass and entreats them to help her if they know anything that might aid her condition.

And then, we jump ahead three more months.

Shi-on is in session with her psychiatrist, who checks in on her condition. She admits she’s sometimes confused and not up to meeting people, which he assures her is normal. Asked whether she has other concerns, Shi-on says haltingly, “I… see them. People. They definitely look like people, but they definitely are not people…”

She describes them as blank-eyed and silent, and most significantly, “I think only I can see them.” The doctor looks concerned, but asks whether she sees any right now. Shi-on takes a look around and answers in the negative.

But now the other doctor (taking notes behind them) smirks mockingly, and his pen-clicking gets louder and more irritating, so Shi-on turns on him and starts to complain. Her doctor looks puzzled… and then Dr. Clicky Pen turns to reveal a gaping head wound. Gack! He’s a ghost!

Dr. Clicky walks over to the window, smiles at her, and falls out. Shi-on gasps, then musters the nerve to peer outside the window. There’s nobody below.

Now she realizes what she’s seen and relaxes. Sort of. On one hand, no dead guy. On the other hand… erratic head visions.

On to our hero, CHA GUN-WOO (Taecyeon), who’s prepping for a day on the job as a cop. Gun-woo role-plays both ends of an imaginary conversation where his team leader compliments him and promises to promote him to special forces, which makes me tempted to guess it’s his first day on the job. Maybe his first job ever.

It’s actually his team leader’s first day, so I suppose his eagerness to impress is understandable. It’s also kinda cute, but mostly secondhand-embarrassing—especially when the self-congratulations get witnessed by a fellow cop. On the upside, Gun-woo is brazen enough to ride out the embarrassment.

It’s this office that Shi-on walks into, taking her place at a desk like she owns it, paying no heed to the the chatty cop who mistakes her for the local crazy woman known for rooting around in the trash. Gun-woo orders her escorted out of the building, and belatedly sees that she’s an officer. Not just any officer, but the new boss he was imagining would shower him with promotions and praise. Ha.

Gun-woo shows her to the bowels of the lost and found center, down in the dark basement and filled wall-to-wall with unclaimed items. He takes a moment to call a sunbae and hiss a complaint about being saddled with the crazy coma lady, then explains the workings of the center: They hold onto the items for a year and a half, after which they’re relinquished to auction.

Shi-on takes a look at random items on the shelf—and out rolls a pen just like Dr. Clicky’s. Gulp. It draws her attention to the nametag on a nearby gym uniform: Dan Oh-reum.

I would say Gun-woo’s attitude is halfway between nervous subordinate and insolent upstart—well, maybe closer to the insolent end. She’s no dummy and calls him out on it over drinks, figuring he was expecting a friendly male boss to play the mentor role; she understands his disappointment in getting saddled with the crazy coma lady.

He gets her permission to speak frankly, then states plainly that he doesn’t like this at all. Shi-on takes it in stride but reminds him pointedly of an old adage: If you cooperate, fate will guide you, but if you don’t cooperate, fate will force you. “Think carefully how you want to accept your fate.” Heh.

Shi-on washes her hands in the bathroom, and as an ajumma enters, the same thought process flits through her mind and ours: Is she a ghost? Is she real? Will she speak?

Then the lights cut out. Eek. This drama is creepier than I’d expected, which is good, but also terrible. I’m such a wuss.

As the lights flicker back on, a woman starts gasping and moaning in a bathroom stall. Shi-on approaches cautiously and calls out, but opens the door to reveal an empty stall. Phew, that’s a relief. Or is it?

The lights cut out again, and a girl walks out of that previously empty stall. ACK. Unseen by Shi-on, double ack.

The lights flick on. Shi-on relaxes. A schoolgirl with a bloody head wound stands behind her.

Shi-on gasps and backs away, but the girl approaches and grabs her arm, which turns bloody at the touch. Screaming, Shi-on fights back and shakes off the girl’s grasp.

Gun-woo bursts into the bathroom and finds her shaking alone. She directs him to check the stall for the injured girl, and he complies with gun drawn, only to find the bathroom empty. Shi-on’s arm is now fine.

Gun-woo dismisses her concerns as the rambling of a potential crackpot and urges her to shake it off and get it together. He’s not even being an ass about it, which is why it sucks so much to be her right now.

Although I’d argue that he’s a little assy behind her back, complaining to his detective sunbae that she’s totally wacko. The senior cop takes a more understanding view—she’s been asleep for six years so naturally there’ll be some adjustment required.

Ha, it turns out Gun-woo isn’t allowed to carry a gun, and Detective Choi scolds him for it. Shi-on walks in on the conversation and demands he turn it over. He grudgingly does… and she finds that it’s a lighter. Pwahaha. So the pretty boy puts on airs befitting his badass dreams, only he’s really just a petty lost-and-found officer.

On to the police auction, officiated by Shi-on. In the midst of rattling off an item description, she realizes the name on a jacket is Dan Oh-reum—the same name on the dead schoolgirl’s uniform. Who now stares at her from the audience.

The sight rattles her badly and Gun-woo has to call her back to herself, at which point Dead Girl disappears.

She makes it through without further issues, but Oh-reum reappears on her walk home, confronting her at every turn. Shi-on runs home in a panic… but who says doors keep ghosts out?

Oh-reum looks more sad than scary, approaching with tear-filled eyes, but it’s still terrifying. Shi-on yells at her to leave her alone and huddles to herself, but when she looks up at the frosted window, words slowly appear to spell out a plea: “Please help me.”

The next morning, Shi-on searches for Oh-reum’s name in the police database and finds that the investigation closed as a suicide. She was supposedly unable to deal with rejection from her boyfriend.

Gun-woo is a bit of a smartass when Shi-on puts him on investigation duty, not inclined to take on the job. So Shi-on dangles the carrot: His dream is to join the violent crimes department, right? Well, she’ll be writing up his performance reports…

Gun-woo convinces himself he’s doing this out of pity for his addled boss, not for the performance review, nuh-uh, and heads to Oh-reum’s school. Meanwhile, Shi-on visits Oh-reum’s grieving mother to ask questions, and learns that the girl couldn’t speak a word.

When Mom steps aside, Oh-reum reappears to lead Shi-on into her old bedroom, which is lined with drawings—Oh-reum was an artist. The clue sends Shi-on to an art academy, where she sees Oh-reum standing on the roof as though to confirm the point.

Oh-reum leads her up the stairs, through the hall, and crashing into a boy student. Shi-on apologizes while he collects his things, then takes a call from Gun-woo, who reports nothing remarkable from his trip to the school. Oh-reum did have a boyfriend, though, named Kyung-min…

And Shi-on notices that the boy she knocked over is named Kyung-min. Ah, led by the ghost.

Kyung-min flatly denies knowing anything or dating Oh-reum, saying he’d never date a mute idiot bitch—how humiliating. He knows nothing about her suicide and calls himself a victim of vicious rumors, thanks to that moron girl. Ah, young love.

Gun-woo meets Shi-on on her way out of the art academy, telling her I told you so at her dead end. But the crowd erupts in screams, and they look up to see someone on the rooftop, ready to jump—not-boyfriend Kyung-min.

He holds a jeweled Hello Kitty pin and steps closer to the ledge, his face tearstained. Our two cops make it to the roof in time to call out to him, and Gun-woo takes the lead by goading Kyung-min to jump already, saying he doesn’t have the guts. Aie, I really hope you know what you’re doing, Wannabe Cop Boy.

Gun-woo prepares handcuffs behind his back, one side locked around his wrist, and acts nonchalant while Shi-on pleads with the kid not to jump.

Kyung-min takes a step off the ledge, and Gun-woo lurches forward in a flash.

The next thing we know, Gun-woo is hanging off the side of the building, one arm grabbing the kid’s wrist, their hands cuffed together.

Kyung-min passes out from shock mid-dangle, so it’s off to the hospital they go. He’s fine, so now the cops wonder what the correlation is. Gun-woo advises her to find a way to make the kid speak, drawing upon his “extensive detective experience” (which is to say, none?) to suggest a profiler to get into his head. Gun-woo’s smug posturing is starting to crack me up, ’cause he talks like he’s the font of all knowledge when I’m thinking he learned all his tips from watching reruns of C.S.I.

That does give Shi-on a tip, though, and she drops in on her own shrink to ask about the mental state of a teenager who’s attempted suicide.

When Kyung-min wakes up, he eventually starts to explain about Oh-reum, whom he met in art class. They were happy dating, but Oh-reum found it difficult to have a relationship with someone who wasn’t disabled. So he decided to help her and referred her to a psychiatrist, and that’s when she started to change.

Frustrated, he sought out her doctor and saw her in session—being molested by her doctor. Gun-woo asks why he didn’t report it, just as Shi-on’s doctor explains that the kid was likely threatened into silence by someone close to him, someone exerting powerful authority. And Kyung-min admits, “That doctor was my uncle.”

(I’ve gotta admit, I really do find Gun-woo’s fleeting eye-roll rather satisfying. I think it might’ve even been subconscious, but I totally feel it: C’mon. Uncle, shmuncle.)

Gun-woo calls Shi-on to report his findings, but she declines the call. Uh, I have a very uneasy feeling about this doctor…

Oh thank goodness, Gun-woo has brains enough to then text her the name of the criminal. Which happens to be the same name gracing our friendly shrink’s nameplate. Ack, I knew I should be suspicious the moment they cast Vampire Prosecutor!

Both Shi-on and Dr. Rapist pretend nothing’s going on while knowing exactly what’s going on. Rapey locks the door, and she nervously asks why. He returns, “Why do you think?”

Annnnnd end episode.

 
COMMENTS

Despite being touted as a story about ghosts, and knowing that ghosts are the realm of horror stories, I didn’t actually expect Who Are You to play with a strong horror element. I definitely didn’t think it would be as funny as the other Who Are You, but I was surprised at the taut, suspenseful vibe. It’s not a bad thing. It reminds me of Hon, actually, though not as heavy on the paranormal.

So tonally, I’m digging the show. There are interesting camera angles and the directing takes an active hand in telling our story, withholding clues or building tense moments, but isn’t so in-your-face as to be distracting. The show is well-shot and I’m looking forward to the reintroduction of the dead third of our love triangle, because I suspect that will tug hearts and wring tears. I worry, in fact, that I might feel for Kim Jae-wook’s character a bit too much and be terribly sorry to see him move on to the hereafter. Why’d he have to diiiiiie?

It’s an interesting choice to make our heroine lose her memories, and while I’m sure the writer knows better than I the reasons for taking that path, I do still wonder whether it was necessary. I like amnesia stories, especially when they’re part of the premise, and I can see how that adds to the conflict when Kim Jae-wook—fine fine, his name is Hyung-joon—comes back and the love of his life is all, Oh, another ghost. Ho-hum. It’s just that amnesia is sooooo all over dramaland right now that you’d almost expect it to be a contagious disease. I have amnesia fatigue.

That said, it’s a nice way to work the I-see-dead-people angle, because it makes our heroine an unreliable narrator. I don’t think her ghost-visions are meant to be doubted by us, but they’ll definitely be a source of doubt to her—once you’ve suffered blunt force trauma to the head and lost your memories, isn’t it the more logical answer to assume it’s injury-related? Plus, it keeps the world around her skeptical, as we see in Gun-woo’s reactions: Sigh, more nonsense from the crazy lady.

Despite not being a huge fan of our two main leads (though I do love Kim Jae-wook), I find them perfectly serviceable here. So Yi-hyun has cornered the market on the wide-eyed look of shock, and it’s not even very annoying. I suspect I will like her much more playing a main character than as a pesky second lead, so there’s also that in her favor.

And Taecyeon—you know, he’s fine. Endearingly cute, even. I have liked him in the past despite disliking his acting (too self-aware and smug), but I think he was cast well here. The adorable cocky smartass works for him, especially when he’s undercutting his own potential smarmimess by embarrassing himself at every turn. It’s the Jo Jung-seok Syndrome. It also works for his relationship with his boss precisely because she is his boss—he’s convinced he’s smarter and sharper and, well, saner than she is, but he’s also a bit of a heo-dang. Plus he’s younger and more junior. The dynamic works for them. And importantly, I suspect it’s the exact opposite of her romance with the dead fiancé, which offers a nice contrast between her past life and her future one.

To voice concerns, I will say that everything about the main case (of the week?) was predictable and not particularly clever. I know that this show will be much more about the relationship developments than the cases, but I expect that the lost-and-found cases and ghost requests will be the mechanism to keep the plot machine moving, and therefore they really ought to be compelling on their own. Like in Dating Agency Cyrano—the episodes with interesting cases were much more fun to watch, even if they were just devices to get our main characters reacting and emoting. Context is, as ever, important.

That’s why we are holding off on making commitments to continuing this show with recaps, particularly with so many new dramas on the horizon. But we’ll watch and observe for now.

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Overall it was okay. I'm just not totally convinced yet. Taecyeon was not too bad, but there were a few moments when his acting was a bit much. But I guess it fits the character.

I am wondering if this is going to turn out to be a 'case of the week' type drama. I am also wondering when Kim Jae-Wook will be back, he is the reason I started watching this in the first place.

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I agree with you, it was just ok. Nothing that made me want to watch more. Taecyeon's character is a turn off on watching the show for me. I don't like to watch people embarrass themselves. We'll see.

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I know what you mean re Taecyeon's character. I'm not a fan of his either, so he's not a draw.

I like this lead actress a lot, though, and Kim Jaewook is just dweamy.

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Gosh I can't wait to watch this!

Though I totally shouldn't have read your recap first....shame on me...but I just couldn't wait!

Thanks for the recap!! :)

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I'm sorry, but WTF. THE SCHOOLGIRL. OMG.
I can't watch this, this is freaky! T__T Thanks for the recap, though, I had a good few screams ahah. ^^;

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LOL Totallyy skipped that part. I tried to put on a brave face but ever since the grudge I just can't do it.

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The doctor one scared me more; it was definitely the sudden shift from normal to eerie tone and quick cuts to the bloody head the second i realized he was probably a ghost.

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it's so damn scary. i confess i didn't even see the schoolgirl because the sounds scared me off. i just turned away...and didn't watch the rest. love taecyeon but unfortunately i won't be able to catch Who Are You anymore!

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you had mention Jo Jung-seok , don't you ?

I quite liked it a nice first impression , Taecyeon will make a nice dork in here , i think we will be missing Kim Jae-wook for a few episodes !

I think i'll be watching it weekly !

Thanks for the recap and your comment are fun to read as alawys !

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ok I like the drama but I hope that taec and main girl act more like cops. And Kim Jae Wook - man I already feel bad for him :( ..... Normally I hope in some alternate universe the second lead gets the main girl but Jae Wook has no chance at all because he is non-existent. why?? drama?? why??

I'm gonna hope for another female ghost to keep him company.

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Yes, whyyyy, drama, whyyyy is he the dead one? I mean, I get it from their prospective: wring. more. tears! But gah!!! No hope for him (or me).

I'm actually usually on Team Male Lead.... but, they don't usually start out this far behind in the win-my-heart race.

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same. here.

I liked the show but it was sort of forgettable. nothing too substantial to keep my interest. but I always watch on till the 2nd episode. usually it gets better (for most dramas anyway)

teehee if I stopped b/c of the first ep I wouldn't have been able to watch half of the dramas I watched till now.

thank you for the re-cap!!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts and impressions on the first episode. I've yet to watch ep one (I was waiting for the subbs to be complete). I will be def checking this out. I'm excited for this new batch of dramas. I look forward to seeing which shows will be recapped.

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I feel like this show will be interesting. =) The premier wasn't bad. Thought I would have to think again about watching it alone at night.

Taecyeon's adorably funny. =D and So Yi Hyun isn't horrible actress. However, I don't like how the writer wrote her character. She's a policewomen. A senior one at that, but she couldn't defend herself at all 6 years ago, and can't defend herself now. She's scared of watching a kid commit suicide. I thought that she would be used to things like this and how to deal with them. Girl, I want some kick ass. Not a wimpy heroine.

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Wow didn't notice this before but now that you mention it, SO TRUUEE

omg she SHOULD know at least basic self defence moves even if she cant beat the baddies up right? all she does is either run away or tremble and scream when someone attacks her =="

and i agree on how she should be able to deal with someone trying to commit suicide as well! if gun woo hadnt done anything it would've just been her screaming from the middle of the roof while the kid jumps off ><

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Even though a lot of people are rushing to the character's defense, I have to agree that she is not being portrayed as somebody who is qualified to be in her position, as nervous as she seems to be, even when ghosts aren't around. Also, the actress is too skinny and frail for this role. You could argue that it's because she's been in a coma, but she was just as frail and skinny looking before the whack on the head that put her to sleep for six years. She was fantastic in Alice, but I'm not buying her as a cop here. If I keep watching, I hope I am proven wrong and she shows more grit.

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I get what you are trying to say but really?? 1 girl against 6 or 7 guys and you expect her not to freak out? No matter how well train a female is she is not going to be able to beat those odds. Here not even the male cop had the odds in his favor.
The suicide, I can't make a comment on. I really have no clue what type of training police receive to deal with this situations. My natural reaction would be to stare in panic, maybe scream for help? Here she at least ran ( extremely quickly may I add) upstairs to try to stop him.

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But I feel like she gets WAAAAY too scared of ghosts. Like srsly she should a little braver than the average female due to her profession. (And its been 3 long months she has been seeing them)

Also, at the end when she was talking to the doctor, she got scared again. I mean he is a human. Her reaction time is slow. Atleast she couldve rushed out of that room but she continued having a scared expression and sitting on that chair.

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I'm hoping she dumps that fresh coffee in creeper's face next ep.

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I'm sorry, but profession has nothing to do with seeing ghosts. Like, brave or not, it's totttaaaaalllllyyyyy isn't a big deal seeing dead people, especially those that look horrifying scary and are bloody, and totttaaaallly not hard to get over.... really?

Even for someone brave, I'm pretty sure seeing the dead, when any sane normal person isn't suppose to be seeing the dead, is horrifying.

And even if she is a cop, knowing that you're in a closed room with a rapist about to rape you... skills or no skills, the shock, fear, and realization overcoming you in one second is pretty darn terrifying.

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@Biscuit +1.

Summed up everything I wanted to say. ^^

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plus, she's pretty sane and calm for someone who keeps seeing ghosts. Most people would be nervous wrecks by the end of three months. She's holding down a team leader job instead. That's amazing.

And ditto everything Biscuit says. I'm sure she'll use her skills, but heck, that's a scary situation. Skills or not, people still get scared.

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Imagine you being able to see ghosts everywhere, no matter what kind of profesion you are persuing... You are seriously going to speak of bravery? It's only natural to fear, because that's something that's not usually normal( seeing ghosts ,that is) And those who died violently ....

Writers are only trying to bring to drama real views of things that they are presenting...If she is to act fearless ,then people would react like.." oh, that's not interesting.." This way, they are building her character,making us want to see what's next for her...
So....

Ofcourse, this is only my opinion, so please dont be offended by my reply

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I totally agree that she will lose against 6-7 guys and is horrified of ghosts. Totally normal stuff, even if you're a super pro police officer.

But she ran towards the gangsters, screamed, and then didn't even get one hit in. ><

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O_O Where did the rest of my comment go?.....here's the rest.

...And she's a higher rank than Taec but was ineffective and scared of a kid jumping off - completely opposite of Taec was.

I think I'm just really annoyed that I havn't seen her do anything that shows she's an effective officer even though she's got the status and the "I'm a badass" attitude. =/

Or maybe I'm spoiled by Hajiwon in King2Hearts. ><

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i see what you mean.
I also wished she was more of a hardass in some of the situations like the suicide attempt, at the end, or whatever happened 6 years ago.
But i'm okay that she's scared shitless of ghosts cause that's normal. The poor girl is probably feeling disorientated all the time. She just woke up from a 6 year coma and realistically she should be in physical therapy not up and about looking like she hasn't aged a day(this is where we suspend logic). Actually, her odds of ever walking again after 6 years should be rather slim. For every day that a person remains in a coma add 1 month of recovery.

If we do the math 6 years ago that would put her at the young age of 24. I'm going to assume she was probably either not yet an experienced police officer or she was still in training. That would probably explain the running away shocked not knowing what to do.

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why is she Taecyeon's boss if she was only in training?

My theory for her "weaker" reactions:

1. She's human & humans have reactions & then overcome them to handle whatever's in front;
2. In the beginning, she was looking for her lover, which got things emotional;
3. She's disoriented from 6 years in a coma and should be getting work re-training, not a work assignment.

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I was kind of hoping it would be creepy, since the soft and fluffy teaser did nothing for me and I deeply suspect the Hong Sisters' version will not be remotely scary. I'll be watching - at least until Kim Jae-wook shows up.

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Haven't seen the show yet, but about Taecyeon, he is naturally a goofy guy. So I was hoping his next drama project was a romantic comedy because he'd be able to be more natural and less trying too hard being emo or something.

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Right. He looked more natural and I assumed it was because the character pertained to his actual personality. He's better sticking around with these kinds of roles because you don't see those wheels turning in his head as much.
Though some would say that's the challenge in acting -- taking on completely different characters and still being able to connect enough that it would translate to the screen.

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yeppp, he can't actually emote but for what he's required to do here, he seems just about adequate.

Still veering a little into overacting territory to compensate for his usual wheels-turning-in-head look, but I think with actors like him the bar is set so low anyway that we'd applaud him for managing to face the right way on camera, while another actor who does better would get ripped to pieces for this level of performance.

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i think people tend to put idol acting under a magnifying glass.... and watch their every movement & expression.

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I thought it was OK, better than what I expected. I liked the way we were introduced directly into the heart of the story.
YSO is definitely the heroine and she's my anchor: I want to know why and how all that crap happened to her (so she could meet her true love, I guess.)
Taecyeon is not bad as a dumb bunny energizer. I guess that Junior bodyguards who later become love interests are trendy. ;)
I suspect I won't care much for the deads of the week, they come they go... Sorry guys.
Lets see if episode 2 will solidify my opinion.

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Ha I get you! - Seo In Gook where art thou?

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So true about the "deads of the week." I think it's the love triangle that will keep me going. I suspect that will be the overarching plot of the series -- finding out who killed her beloved. And already I'm hoping for her and dead fiance to be together forever. I can't see her falling for junior. But will see.

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This looks good. I like that female lead from Alice in Cheongdamdong.

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Me too. She was the only character I liked in that show, and the main reason why I'm interested in this one.

I hope the detectives up their game with the detective work - it really bugs me when the main leads are supposed to be professionals, but they don't have a clue how to do their job (IHYV, anyone?). Sounds like Team Shi-on would've been in trouble if dead schoolgirl hadn't led the way at every turn.

I like my rom-coms mildly scary, so this fits the bill, and I'm definitely looking forward to Master's Sun!

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Four minutes into the show right now, I'd imagine she's just The Girlfriend of the guy who just died. It wouldn't occur to me that she's a cop because then she'd be quite incompetent at her job and just a bit less ballsy than I would expect

She's quite unlucky though. If I got knocked on the head I'd much prefer to hear everyone's naughty thoughts :D than see 'stuff'

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yeah, I like her too. She's never made an impression on me in any of her other shows because the characters she played were so insipid, but this is a role she's really sinking her teeth into, and it's good to watch.

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In Cheongdamdeong Alice, I only liked her in the beginning and end of the show. Otherwise she was a basketcase.

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I was going to watch this one last night but I stopped myself because, um, I'm afraid it was going to be really scary (I'm a bigger wuss than you are, JB)

But I'm gonna check this one soon. During daytime. Haha.

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I really liked the show. So far it's different from the rest - scared the bejeezus out of me. This is the first time watching this actress so prejudices against her are nonexistent.

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This was kind of a middling debut for me. I liked that it took the suspenseful approach, or tried to at least, even if it wasn't really all that suspenseful! I was expecting a bit more angst with the coma/dead boyfriend thing but maybe the show is planning to drop these crumbs along the way of the case-of-the-week path it seems to be taking? I didn't mind both leads here. There's enough interest for me to tune in next week to see where this goes.

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"So Yi-hyun has cornered the market on the wide-eyed look of shock.."

Hahaha I'm dying. That pretty much sums her up.

With this and Master's Sun, I guess we are in for a rather creepy but refreshingly rare drama fix? God knows that after the IHYV finale, we can all use interesting dramas to help us in our LJS withdrawal.

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That was my only issue with her.
The wide-eyed look of shock bothered me a bit this episode and I imagine it will bother me for the rest of the show, unless so yi hyun gets used to seeing ghosts.

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Or unless she uses other facial expressions to convey shock. Is getting wide-eyed the only way to show it? She could use wide-mouthed, or better yet, wide-nostril-ed. HAHAHA. Sorry, just had to laugh at my own joke. It's funnier if you imagine it.

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So far taecyeon is okay. Hahah his self awareness in fact complements this character, lol so totally heodang hahaha. I shall see if ep 2 is as okay though before i decide to put it on my watch list.

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"Maybe his first job ever." haha!

I have never read a recap before an episode, let alone a new kdrama - but I did and I like the potential of this drama.

In anticipation of Jae wook visuals, I watched Antique Bakery last night. So ready for more JW pretty scenes.

JW and No Min Woo remind me of each other - I am so in love with both of them - lean, hot, and pretty.

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Tagging on a couple hours later - I just watched ep 1. I liked it. I am intrigued by the whole ghost thing, and that Shi on (so far) is the only one who can see them. The name tags - on uniforms, desks - as identification works and is clever.

I am rooting for Taecyeon and giving him a wide berth in hopes that he comes through with his acting.

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I like the first episode:)
As you said, it was predictable, but likeable to the point I will also keep watching, especially to see how the ghost boyfriend comes in,

That said, I like the fact that you at least reviewed the first episode. I know it will be hard to continue especially with all these new dramas, but I really appreciate the first episode review so I hope you'll do it again,

Keep up the great job!

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I actually really liked this. I'm a fan of the leads, but I keep wishing they could pull some crazy magic to let her end up with KJW. I'm having terrible flashbacks of 49 days and the scheduler from this show . :( I'm gonna call this one tvN's dead flower boy series.

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Not forgetting Dr Rapey is that cheating douchebag husband in Goddess of Marriage.

That aside, OMG I'm a wuss too but I feel like watching this. Will watching both this and Master's Sun be too much??

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i found that NOT watching this full screen helps.

i got freaked out at the toilet scene =X

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I so love this actor...and he's usually so evil. So...wasn't real surprised when he turned into Dr Rapey.

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The first episode was good, but I didn't get scared that much. I liked the cliffhanger though. Will watch episode 2.

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That was fast. I didn't expect for dramabeans to recap this drama. I'm thinking on how can I be scared if Taecyeon is there? I bet it will be crazy next weeks with all those new drama coming.

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I completely agree about the predictableness of this episode. The case about the teenage girl committing suicide due to rape trauma has been done so many times. I even predicted the doctor to be the boy's relative before he said it. Anyway, not that I'm not liking this show, I'm liking it so far. Still kind of too early to see whether it'll be a great drama so I'll keep tuning in.

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I didn't expect the vibe would be this dark... some scenes are just straight off scaryyyy (okay, i totally can't watch horror movies), so that makes me appreciate Taecyeon's dorky scenes just that much more!

I am totally convinced how Shi-on is just confused as we are: is he/she a ghost? It just feels so real when we are at the same pace as the character.

I really like the first episode so far, but it might be too early to say if they fail to surprise me later.

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Loving the tone! I wasn't expecting such a strong sense of horror at all. I have to say this drama is totally my bag. I think I just found my next addiction! Yay me!

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Haven't watched the ep yet, but it would be hilarious if she freaked out about seeing herself in the mirror - aged six years without her knowing it: "Oh my God!! I've got so many wrinklesss! I'm a total ahjumma!!"

But maybe it's not that kinda drama.

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I was caught off guard with how creepy the tone actually is. Actually, how well it was done. I actually like the director. Some really nice shots in this episode -- all good at building the suspense. I can take it seriously and not make fun of show for trying to be scary when it's not -- cause it is. Not pee your pants scary, but definitely suspenseful. I like that. It'll be nice to watch along side goofy Master's Sun.

Surprisngly, taecyeon was actually okay. I am convinced after this first episode that the boy does best playing characters such as these. His character was likeable and his acting was serviceable -- for now, and only because we've barely scratched the surface with his character.

The chemistry -- meh. But that can change over the course of the show.

Overall, my heart was not in it. But I did want to watch the next episode because visually and tonally, i totally dig.

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I felt much the same as you do - love the tone and visuals, Taecyeon wasn't too bad, and I really like our heroine so far (hope she gets to do some of her own rescuing, too) and am intrigued by the mystery of why Kim Jae-wook ends up dead (this show would be better with more of him), so I'll consider watching along.

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Watched it late at night, and had to cover my face several times because it was so scary. I loved it...

I thought it was different and totally unexpected.

Can't wait to see more of Kim Jae Wook's comeback.

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Whahhh therenis a reason I don't watch horror drama.... The suspense actually different from suspense crime-thriller genre... I'm so scare of ghost.. I don't think I can sleep after watching who are you... Or master sun... I get scared easily....

But what to do? It seems promising. Whahhhh

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ohh ohh ohhh i like much much so yi hyun :)

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I quite liked the first episode but Shi On (as a character) seriously pissed me off. I mean, she was just so SCARED of everything, and the first episode showed her as completely incompetent. Isn't she supposed to be a really awesome female cop who graduated with high grades? Well so far she's been more 'helpless damsel in distress' than half of the normal, female k-drama characters out there. Like seriously, she can't control her expressions, doesn't think her actions through, flails around like a little girl in critical situations and seems to have no knowledge of self defence at all (and I'm talking before AND after the coma).

Sorry for the rant, but if they keep this up just so Taecyeon can rescue her at every turn, then they might as well just make her a normal teacher or hairdresser or something. Then at least I won't be expecting anything from her.

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LOlzz.... you nailed it!!! i was thinking the same thing. I simply could't take her seriously as a cop, its a korean thing i guess, portraying women like that. I was thinking the same thing :D why did they have to make her a cop ?

Neither could i take the lead guy seriously, i mean the even the school kid was a better actor than this guy. I guess they are trying to establish the relationship between the lead characters before they bring in Kim jae wook. Personally cant wait. :)

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The series is good, I like it. It is the first time I have seen Taecyon, like... ever, ( I do not listen to kpop that much) and I do not think he is a handsome guy, He looks goofy and he is tall and all that, but that is it.
But his character is ok and that is what matters.

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Am I the only one that thinks it's odd that someone who just woke up from a 6 year coma, and has at the very least memory loss was made a team leader, sure it's just the lost and found division but still.

I think I said this before but as much as I'm hesitant to admit So Yi-hyun is not a bad actress. While I've never liked her characters that I've seen, the amount of hatred I've felt for them means she must be doing a good job as otherwise I wouldn't have cared so much one way or the other.

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LOL! re: the amnesiac team leader. I guess she has to be an amnesiac for the plot to work but i wish they had made it clear that she ONLY had memory loss about the events leading up to that particular night.

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I TOTALLY LOVE IT!! WAAAAAAH amazing first episode ! Thanks

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I was so interested in watching this show until I read the recaps...if the recaps can scare theshit out of me...I think its a safe bet to avoid watching this....

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That smile of him walking away - it just killed me!! He is HOT!!

I love the vibe and the mood of the first episode - right up my alley!!

I love thrillers, suspense and certainy the supernatural. Poor Shi-On woke up from a 6 years coma and had to deal with the fact that a male cop that she was on a stake out with died and was rather heavily interrogated (and even suspected) for it. And then she suspect (although not quite sure of herself) that she could see "dead people"! So Yi-hyun portrayed the conflicting emotions and uncertainty well and the question that she is asking herself "am I crazyor not?" - i would be if that happened to me. That being said, i also thought that the writer could have done a better job in making her less of a "weak" character but I am sure that once she has accepted her own ability and able to face these "ghosts" head on she will be pretty badass... I will be tuning in as i would like to see the backstory of the OTP.

Thanks for the quick recaps and your thoughts.

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Hey there, woman! Long time no see. So we'll be watching this together?

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Yes! hopefully it will be recapped! I do enjoy the drama so far.

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I don't understand the schedule for this drama. Will it have 2 episodes per week or only one?

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There are 2 episodes every week.

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here is plot twister, Taecyeon's character is actually the bad guy and here is twist on the twist taeycoen's senior detective dude is the bad guy...Taycoen was only the patsy. haha wouldn't that suck balls.

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Argh! This drama so disappointed me at the end of ep 1. I was so into it But now I find myself having to remind myself about why I was liking it.

I love the whole ghost suspense thing. I like the heroine. I loved the whole feminist subtext of this guy having to deal with a woman mentor/boss but a woman who has all the horrible things men hate about women -- seeming irrational and going all intuitional in the face of rational and experience.

But THEN!!!!!! That annoying ending. There are so many things wrong with that ending that I have to carefully parse through if it's just my own icky axe to grind about "coincidences in k-dramas" or if it really feels like a storytelling flaw to me.

Why, oh why, oh why is that psychiatrist THE guilty psychiatrist? It would've been so good for the dead pen-clicker to be the guilty one...but accepting k-drama coincidence, and moving on: I see no reason why Big Bad psychiatrist 1) would be heroine's first case, 2) is even suddenly trying to trap her in his room just because she is questioning him? Does he think she is the only one who knows about this case? C) is inducing fear in heroine? She is frail mentally but she is not stupid. Heck, the secret's out now. Big Bad can't do anything to stop her...and she can always tell him he can't stop her.

I mean...if he's gonna pose any trouble for her by telling folks she is a nut-case and should be taken off the force, it still won't affect his nephew's accusation. Is psychiatrist so irrational and nutty that he can't just wait and plan out his psychiatric defense against supposedly nutty heroine?

Aigoooo! I was sooo mad at the easy EASY EEEEEEEASSSYYY turn this story took! I'll probably keep watching this drama because it's likable enough but I'll have to lower my expectations because the crimes/crime-solving seem as if they are going to be so easy/convenient and the bad guys so easily-unpredictable/predictable. Such a disappointment. I am so hoping I'm wrong about this drama...especially since the viki subbers were so fast.

Thanks for the recap.

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Hi Carole,

You make many valid points and pose interesting questions, especially your question about why the psychiatrist would assume that Shi-on was onto him.

Alas, I had many problems with this episode. Before this show premiered, I had to suspend my disbelief that someone could wake from a six year coma without needing even basic rehabilitation. For the sake of k-dramas, I had to suspend it! lol. I am not too sure what I feel about the female lead. But I hope that she takes a firm stand and puts her junior in his proper place. Gunwoo is a disrespectful bigot, and I agree with your comment about the feminist subtext.

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Hi Peridot:
So true about the quickie recovery. I did have to giggle when the doc says something like, "Stuff like this doesn't usually happen." I thought, "Oh gee, a story about a coma victim seeing ghosts and writer-nim has to cover her/his butt about the quickie recovery.

If she falls in love with this guy, I will really have problems with this. I so don't want him being a shoulder for her to lean on. Just would undermine any hope of feminism in this drama.

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Carole - I hope the show actually addresses Gun-woo's being a sexist *** to Si-on re: the female team leader issue. Thy've done well on other scores, so I have some hope.

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I like the way the heroine handles him so far and she's being very gentle with him without being super-pushy or over-the-top about it. We'll see how far the story allows her to go.

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I felt the same way. I was rolling along, enjoying the drama and the fact that parts of it were sincerely scary and then they veer into the most cliched of all cliches. Yuck. Hopefully the rest of the drama will be better.

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A decent enough first episode; it didn't really grab me, but it might be grower. Will be checking out the 2nd episode.

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I admit, I was mainly in this for Kim Jae-wook, but I do like the tone of it all - creepy as hell.

(and since I've said everything else in replies to other people, here is my final and best takeaway from this episode - Kim Jae-Wook is hotter than hell in that opening sequence. Those cheekbones should be made illegal, and I'm so looking forward to seeing more of him)

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I still think it's sacrilege that Taecyeon is the lead while the talented Kim Jae-wook is playing second fiddle. Has Taecyeon's acting improved for me to give this drama a chance?

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So does the schoolgirl with the head wounds really look a lot like Taemin in that picture or is it just me?

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Is this a replay of some j-drama based on a smart female cop doing investigative work in non-glamourous police job?

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I haven't watched the first episode yet - was waiting for your recap to decide. I think I will now! It's pretty unusual that I watch a Kdrama synchronously from the beginning. Fingers crossed it's worth it.

I haven't seen Taecyon in anything before, so I will only have this to judge him by. However, the recap makes it sound like the drama is trying to play to his "strengths" (such as they are ...), which, when you're stuck with a crappy actor, really seems like the smartest thing to do. You want to draw the idol's fans but hopefully not alienate other viewers.

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Thanks for the recap JB.

I have a soft spot for Taecyon and I like your description of his working the character he's playing, 'The adorable cocky smartass works for him, especially when he’s undercutting his own potential smarmimess by embarrassing himself at every turn.'

Your other comment 'there’s little actual violence or gore, but the nervous tension is all in the anticipation' sealed the deal for me to watch this first episode though I must admit I fastforwarded a bit skipping all the ghost bits. Not too into seeing guts and gore with my breakfast:)

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I've watched episodes 1 and 2, and while not blowing me away it wasn't bad either. It was a pleasant enough way to pass the time. I think I'll continue watching just to find out what happened to the Kim Jae-wook character. As for Taecyeon's acting, he looked a bit lost in some scenes, but he was good in others, so I think his acting is just uneven, and not that he's an irredeemably bad actor.

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Ah! Its creepy, gonna make the husband watch it with me.

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