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Golden Cross: Episode 1

Here was my thought process in the moments before watching Golden Cross’ premiere episode: If you’re bad, it would be a relief. Then I don’t have to worry about having to recap you. Maybe you’ll be bad. You could be bad. Sure your writer wrote Gaksital which I loved, but that was a historical action drama. Oh, she wrote Scales of Providence too, the taut legal thriller? And wait, also Green Rose? Crap. What if you’re good? I bet you’ll be good and THEN WHERE WILL I BE.

Granted I always want a show to be good, but if it can’t be good I’d rather it be terrible so as to save me the angst of figuring out whether to recap it, or how that will happen. Happily-sadly, Golden Cross is good—a really solid, tight, beautifully shot thriller with complex characters and a lead pair I already love. Crap.

With that in mind, this is only a first episode recap—there may or may not be follow-up recaps. Don’t ask me if we’re going to stick with it because I don’t know!

SONG OF THE DAY

Lee Juck – “병” (Disease) [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

We open on a festive atmosphere as a family gathers to see their son being sworn in as a prosecutor. Our hero of the hour (and drama) is KANG DO-YOON (Kim Kang-woo), a good-natured young man from a happy middle-class family. Manning the camera is his bubbly little sister HA-YOON (Seo Min-ji), and she calls together the family for a photo op.

As Do-yoon takes his oath, his family watches happily. But scenes are intercut with the swearing-in, featuring his father looking anxious as he changes the percentages on a report. An efficient series of split-screened snippets shows us the crux of the matter: Dad takes a bribe of some sort, looking sick to his stomach as he does, and then Ha-yoon winds up dead from a blow to the head.

It makes the evening news immediately—not surprising given the juiciness of the story. As the news tells it, a father took a golf club to his daughter’s head and killed her in rage after hearing she had picked up a sponsor. It’s framed as an in-the-heat-of-the-moment murder, but we know better. There’s more to this.

Big bro Do-yoon is out celebrating with his buddies when he gets word and races to the station. Dad is already there in cuffs, head hanging, looking lost. Do-yoon is in disbelief that his father could kill his sister, but all Dad can do is mumble, “I’m sorry.” As the truth sinks in, Do-yoon grabs his father and screams, “Why?!” The million-dollar question.

We get a quick montage with more snippets of activity: A reporter snaps secret photos. A chic woman takes a call. Our heroine takes down a man with a judo flip. All these are unconnected, seemingly, until we pull back and see that we’re looking at a giant wall of television screens. Watching it all is a man whose face remains hidden.

Three months earlier.

We’re in the modest home of the Kang family and it’s Dad’s birthday. Cheery Ha-yoon is the mood-maker, while Do-yoon notices their mother’s dark face and tries to lighten her spirits. Clearly we’ve joined them in the midst of an ongoing issue.

It comes out soon enough: Dad’s good-for-nothing younger brother ran off (yet again) with more of their money, and Mom is especially pissed because she was on the cusp of buying her own business. With Dad set to retire in a few years, she was pinning her hopes on opening her own place to bring in money, and snaps at Dad when he assures them that he’ll take care of them. He fidgets shamefacedly and asks his wife to understand and let it go, but she’s in no mood and storms off. At that Do-yoon can’t contain his own frustration—Dad works at a bank! Can’t he get a loan or fix it somehow?

Do-yoon declares that when he’s a full-fledged prosecutor he’ll put Uncle behind bars, then storms out too. His sister follows him out to soothe his temper, and he really can’t stay mad in the presence of her sweetness. Ha-yoon has him smiling in no time and wheedles him into consenting to her wishes to pursue acting, having been recently discovered on the street.

They make a sibling fist-bump and head inside laughing… and then we pull back and feel the presence of someone else. Watching.

We meet another set of characters at a posh book launch featuring a former financial minister, Kim Jae-gab, who speaks charismatically about South Korea’s economic future. Ex-Minister Kim’s illustrious family is in attendance, which includes his prosecutor granddaughter SEO YI-REH (Lee Shi-young). Yi-reh looks disinterested, while her family rubs elbows with the financial elite.

Yi-reh’s father SEO DONG-HA (Jung Bo-seok) is a director at the Financial Policy Bureau, and he chats with his protégé MICHAEL JANG (Eom Ki-joon), the PAX Korean Branch President. I’m not totally sure what those are but basically: They deal in money, and make lots of it. Michael comes off as a shark, suggesting pleasantly to his old “teacher” that he give up his Hanmin Bank to PAX.

Seo Dong-ha scoffs that the acquisition would be illegal, but Michael only has to name a price—200 billion won—for him to change his tune. Michael says they’ve got a new investor and the sale will happen anyway—it’s just that this way, Seo Dong-ha gets to take a cut.

So Seo Dong-ha sidles over to his father-in-law, ex-Minister Kim, and whispers in his ear. The old man looks over at Michael and trades a nod. The deal is on.

With that, Seo Dong-ha gets to work planning his deal, alongside a lawyer and the head of Hanmin Bank. A Hanmin employee is singled out—Kang Ju-wan, aka our hero’s father, aka the fall guy. He’s strapped for cash, which makes him manipulable, plus he has the requisite background needed. Absolute secrecy is emphasized, as well as speed.

On to Michael Jang, who receives a visit from the posh HONG SA-RA (Han Eun-jung). He’s playing a video game in a fancy-looking game module (you get a bit of an overgrown manchild vibe from him, though he’s also got a ruthless streak), and Sa-ra is the president of the Golden Cross club, though she reports to Michael like a secretary.

The matter at hand: Casting has proceeded with the girl he requested—Kang Ju-wan’s daughter. Ah, so Ha-yoon wasn’t “discovered” on the street; she was targeted. Michael chuckles that she’s just right, though I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mean as an actress; he tells Sa-ra to proceed.

Interestingly, Sa-ra seems to dislike both the plan and Michael, but she doesn’t push too hard.

At Hanmin Bank, our fall guy Kang Ju-wan (aka Dad) is putting in a late night writing up a report. He was given the assignment to evaluate the credit of a company, which is almost fully secured and therefore completely safe. And yet, the order was to devalue its rating. He puzzles over the strangeness of this.

Ha-yoon drops by to deliver snacks, and they have a warm father-daughter exchange as Ha-yoon broaches the topic of her acting hopes again. She’s obviously been working on her family in bits and pieces, and says she wants to make money and treat her parents to nice things. The agency is all ready to set her up and give her company lodgings, but her parents have been the sticking point. Dad finally relents and gives his consent, and Ha-yoon lights up, promising to do a good job.

At the Seo family breakfast table, it’s all business between Yi-reh’s father and grandpa (that’s Seo Dong-ha and ex-Minister Kim) until pouty Mom cuts in. Yi-reh sends a few veiled barbs at her mother, speaking in icy formalities that make me wonder what the tension is—is this a flighty stepmother, perhaps? On the other hand, she clearly adores her father and speaks mostly with him.

On to an art gallery, where it’s Mom’s face (and body) on display on the walls in a photo exhibit. It’s tastefully done, but that’s not the point: Mom is posing nude for her boy-toy lover’s photos. It’s into this gallery that Yi-reh walks, taking in the photos with dismay. She glares at the young artist and storms up to him—he called her here to see the photos. She asks why. “To piss you off,” he smirks.

In comes Mom, who says sarcastically that Yi-reh’s daughterly concern is quite touching. Yi-reh retorts that she’s here because she doesn’t want Dad or Grandpa humiliated—she’s ashamed to have Mom as her biological mother and snaps at her to keep her side activities discreet.

Then Mom storms up to the artist, who spills a string of excuses about just wanting a reason to see her again. But the moment she slaps his face, he orders his friend—the tabloid photographer lurking in the gallery—to take photos and spread them far and wide. “How dare you treat my love like crap?” he demands.

Yi-reh grabs the camera and smashes it on the ground. She thrusts a few bills into the tabloid reporter’s hands—millions of won—and says that should cover his losses. He blusters at her for the offenses he could sue her for, and she just tells him to go ahead.

Mom tells the reporter that she can’t have him spilling all about her to the press, and presses her diamond ring into his hand. The reporter is amazed at the amount of money that just got dropped in his lap.

At work, Dad Kang Ju-wan worries over some bank numbers—specifically, the BIS ratio that determines a bank’s solvency, which is currently in the safe zone. But the orders from up above are to drop the ratio, and Dad doesn’t know how. At least not safely, not logically. I can surmise that Seo Dong-ha is trying to put his safe bank into peril so Michael Jang will buy it at an artificially low price (and put millions into his pocket), but from the outside it looks like lunacy.

Dad has his principles, and he takes up his report without altering a thing. A friend stops him on the way, trying to talk him out of career suicide. But Dad is resolute.

When the bank’s President Kwon sees the numbers, he chuckles at Dad’s stubbornness. He takes a sideways approach, mentioning that Dad recently took a loan against his house because his wife wanted to set up a business. He offers to set up that shop for him, since Dad is a faithful employee who deserves rewarding.

Dad takes President Kwon at his word and thanks him, only to have the president blow up in his face for not getting his message. He reminds him of an incident in the past, which we see in flashback:

June 29, 1998. Seodong Bank. Inside, citizens demonstrate against the bank’s unfair lending practices, while a crowd of riot police wait for their orders. Dad is among the protesters.

The riot police are dispatched, and pandemonium breaks out. Seo Dong-ha and a team of bankers enter the bank, and Dad slips away to grab the bank’s master key. But Seo Dong-ha sees it right away and demands it from him. Dad refuses, pointing out that the higher-ups ruined things for everyone, ordering around their faithful employees and now casting them all out.

Seo Dong-ha argues that this reorganization is the fastest way to revive the economy, and that they’re all feeling the pain together. Dad disagrees, arguing that the execs took bribes and never had to take responsibility for their actions. Why is the company cutting everyone loose but saving the necks of their executives?

Dad is taken down by police and beaten. And as a result of his actions, he was charged with obstruction of justice and destruction of property, and even sent to prison. “Can you endure that nightmare again?” President Kwon asks.

Dad is flabbergasted, wondering why you’d want to tank your own bank. President Kwon explains that a buyer has surfaced, and when Dad calls it “our bank,” he yells, “You’re just staff!” Then he lays on the compliments, saying that Dad works so hard and that’s why he’s being afforded this special opportunity.

Dad gulps. He looks at the gorgeous house the president is offering him and hears his wife’s voice ringing in his ears. He asks for one day to think it over.

Of course, our bad guys know that this means he’ll cave, and Seo Dong-ha swings into motion, taking it as a done deal. He prepares to leave on a business trip and his lawyer makes a call confirming arrangements with Sa-ra, who we now see is also the CEO of SR Entertainment, the agency that scouted Ha-yoon. Uh, why does she have a plane ticket to Hong Kong for Ha-yoon? Ugh, I don’t like where this is going.

In the meantime, Do-yoon helps Ha-yoon move into her new lodgings, which are luxurious and awe-inspiring. She hasn’t signed a contract yet, but will after her upcoming auditions for a drama in China. If she fails, she can’t stay. Ha-yoon worries about failing her audition, while Do-yoon does the annoying oppa thing and teases that she’d better not unpack.

Ha-yoon gets word that she is to leave immediately on her audition, so Do-yoon drives her to the airport. He nags her the whole way there about taking care of herself, and sends her off with worried face. She assures him that everything will work out, and gives him an encouraging fist-bump.

In the airplane, Seo Dong-ha seats himself next to Ha-yoon, who’s friendly and chatty. He seems pleased with her, which I find creepy in the extreme.

But Ha-yoon thinks little of it and arrives in Hong Kong in high spirits, taking everything in with wide eyes.

At home that night, Dad drinks soju while his wife has a frustrating call with the woman whose shop she’s trying to buy, who wants the cash soon. So when she asks Dad if there’s truly nothing he can do, he finds his conflict tearing at him. Do-yoon steps in to ask Dad for a drink, and they head out for a father-son chat.

Do-yoon has looked into a loan for himself and asks Dad to get a loan for the rest. It’s quite a huge sum they require but Do-yoon is frustrated that Dad is saying it’s not possible without even trying, and pushes Dad to do whatever he can to borrow that money. He doesn’t mean illegally, but I’m sure he wouldn’t object to Dad pulling strings or calling in favors, and he seems to eye Dad’s rigid principles as a lack of spine and competence.

In a flash of anger, Dad says fine, he’ll do it and prove he is capable.

Ha-yoon arrives in her luxurious suite and runs around in excitement. Her “manager oppa” calls, but the tone quickly turns dark: She’ll be joined by “the man who’ll make you a star,” and she has to make him happy if she wants to make it. So do whatever he wants. Ugh.

Ha-yoon understands the subtext and grabs her bags to leave, but just then Seo Dong-ha walks in. He grins. Fade to black.

In the morning, Do-yoon arrives at the prosecutor’s office and calls his sister. I love-hate the moment as Yi-reh walks into the same lobby and chats happily with her father—Do-yoon’s worried, she’s cheery. And Yi-reh’s conversation is so mundane and friendly, in contrast to what her father has just done.

On the other end of the call in the Hong Kong hotel room, Seo Dong-ha hangs up the call and goes to Ha-yoon, who is huddled on the bed ignoring her phone, blocking out the world. Seo Dong-ha leaves her with a smile and a “See you later.”

Yi-reh walks into her office with a chipper attitude and has a teasing exchange with her co-workers about her workaholic tendencies, joking about not having a boyfriend. Do-yoon enters the room to say goodbye to them, as he’d been working here during his probationary period; now he’s a trainee and will no longer be reporting here.

It’s cute that Yi-reh is the head prosecutor here and speaks to him in banmal, while Do-yoon is the bright-eyed, bushy-tailed rookie. He promises to survive the training and return here, and Yi-reh promises to buy him coffee if he does. They’re so cute. I want them together already.

…except for the part where your father defiled my sister, that is. Seo Dong-ha returns to Korea in excellent spirits while the background music sings, “Imagine me and you, I do, I think about you day and night…” Oh, did your night of raping give you the warm fuzzies and delusions of romance? (God, the details in this show. Well done but UGH.)

Ha-yoon, on the other hand, walks through the Hong Kong streets feeling devastated.

Seo Dong-ha arrives in a building and uses a black card to gain access to a locked door—the camera lingers on the insignia, bearing a shield with a cross. He joins his father-in-law Minister Kim inside and is instructed to take a meeting with President Harrison (for whom Michael works).

He runs into Sa-ra on his way out, who asks about his recent rip. He says it went well thanks to her and heads out… but looks up in alarm at the last moment. Sa-ra has been joined by a man, and for whatever reason the sight of them rattles him deeply. The elevator doors close on his shock.

Do-yoon tries calling Ha-yoon all day, but his calls go unanswered, amping up his concern. He pulls up to her villa that night just as Ha-yoon is pushed into a van by her “manager.” She resists but is overpowered, and Do-yoon takes off after them. Go go go go gooooo.

Ha-yoon arrives at the Golden Cross building, casting around scared looks while her manager ushers her along. Do-yoon arrives just a few steps behind her and sees them heading up in the elevator, but he can’t gain access tries the doors anxiously, shouting her name.

Ha-yoon is led into the inner rooms to meet with “the CEO.” Which CEO that is, we don’t yet know.

Do-yoon looks around frantically for another way up, finding nothing.

The camera pulls back and once again lands on the multi-screen wall, being watched, as ever, by our man in the shadows.

 
COMMENTS

Right off the bat, what struck me was the exposition of this show—in that it didn’t feel like clunky exposition. A premiere episode is always going to be heavy on the exposition given the volume of information that needs to be conveyed, but there are people who can convey information skillfully, and those who don’t. Golden Cross has a deft hand in doling out information and zooming past beats that are zoomable, cutting to the point of a scene in an efficient way that struck me as very, very promising.

After all: a revenge drama set in the world of finance? We’ve seen it before, and that could go in so many different directions, many of them bad. Done poorly it could be an utter yawn. But done smartly and with sharp execution, suddenly even the most mundane detail can become fraught with tension, and this drama has that skill. That, more than the story itself, has me engaged. Not to sniff at the story itself; it’s just that we’ve barely gotten to it, so that’ll remain to be seen. But once you know you’re in good hands, that trust goes a long way in allowing me to feel invested and sinking into the world.

All that said, all the slick execution in the world couldn’t make up for characters I couldn’t care about, so I’m glad that this is a cast that draws me in. I already love Kim Kang-woo from his previous work, but that was no guarantee I’d love him here; thankfully I find his adoring oppa role both heartwarming and heartbreaking, since we know he’ll soon be undergoing a change. Revenge and bloodlust will do that to a person.

But it’s a lovely way to begin his character’s trajectory, as the nice guy who just wants to have a nice normal life and provide for his family. I feel for the friction with his father, who is a good man caught in between bad men with stronger wills (and bigger pocketbooks) than him, and his greatest virtue (his integrity) is both the reason his family is struggling and the source of his downfall.

I sympathize with Dad for wanting to do the right thing all the time and sticking up for those beliefs, but I also see how that has shaped his children’s worldviews, and probably not in ways Dad intended. Do-yoon is frank about not going into his line of work out of some idealistic conviction, but rather because it’s a good job that’ll bring in good money, and then he can be the provider. You feel like there’s an unspoken end to that sentence: …since Dad isn’t it. And he’s fully willing to jump ship from prosecutor to lawyer if money necessitates it. Ha-yoon, too, is spurred to accepting that ill-fated acting offer more out of the promises of money than for acting itself. It was a little harsh of Do-yoon to go off on his father for not being able to rustle up a 200 million won loan, because lordy is that a lot of money. But seeing his meek father uphold his principles and end up with the short end of the stick has probably made him the man he is today.

So in this sense I like how money in Golden Cross isn’t merely money—that is to say, a goal or a craving or a tool to wield—but symbolic of deeper character moments. The same goes for Yi-reh’s family (and can I say, I really enjoy how monumentally screwed-up it is), where Mom flits around having affairs and throws diamonds around like they’re nothing. Not to mention Evils No. 1 and No. 2., aka Grandpa and Dad, who are obscenely rich already and yet always in search of more.

Which isn’t to say that every money-related aspect of this show is an automatic boon: I have a feeling that the financial maneuverings will be complicated and over my head, inasmuch as I don’t know much about stock markets or financial dealings and frankly have little interest in learning. There will probably be lots of secret meetings with big financial words thrown around that mean little to the average viewer, and talk of credit and acquisitions and insider trading that’ll make my eyes want to cross.

So what has me coming back for more is knowing that despite those plot intricacies, I think the show keeps its eye on what’s important, which is how all this stuff affects our characters on an emotional level. There was a brief stretch that was Do-yoon-less, and I realized as soon as he came back onscreen that having him featured front and center will be crucial to keeping MY interest level high. Once the setup is complete, I do think that will happen.

Golden Cross’ ratings weren’t very high in its first two outings (in the 5% range) so it probably won’t be much of a hit. I’m not surprised, because it’s an intricate show that requires a lot of your attention (no zoning out if you want to follow what’s happening!), and it doesn’t have enough makjang extremes to draw the big audiences. What it does have, though, is careful attention to detail and a lot of interesting characters, with protagonists you want to root for (while understanding that they’re gonna go through quite the bout of emotional turmoil once Yi-reh realizes her beloved Daddy isn’t the man she thought he was). Smart, snappy, and dense—we could do worse.

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I have only watched ep1 so far, but from what have seen gives me mixed feelings about it. For a first episode it seemed a bit heavy.. no a LOT heavy on the makjang, evil guys, greedy wives, and all the usual tropes associated with most dramas that involve money. will watch a couple more episodes, but so far it is not grabbing me anywhere.

Unlike Angel Eyes, I just did not see any truly likable characters, and not sure I am ready for yet another drama where most of the action is by characters that I pretty much hate.

If you feel the need to recap a really good show, try Angel Eyes.

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I should mention that when I watched it was not fully subbed so I may have missed something, since my Korean consists of about 30 words.

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Seems similar to Empire of Gold and although I like Go Soo, I had to FF as there were too much armchair scheming and fighting.

I absolutely second Windsun 33's suggestion for recap on Angel Eyes. A good story and script will help the cast to shine, but not vice versa. I hope that Lee Sang Yoon picked a good show this time as I felt sorry for the entire cast in Goddess of Fire.

I am also watching the new weekend drama dealing with the aftermath of teenage pregnancy. The fresh young stars are doing a fine job and I hope for them to stay many more episodes. Alarm bells.. Was thinking what if my teenage son breaks such news one day ?!

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Instead of Empire of Gold, I find Yi-reh reminding me of the journalist sister in The Chaser - unconvering the truth and going after her own father after realising Dad isn't all that upright.

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lol. i doubt they'll recap Angel Eyes. they already decided that they didn't like the drama when Goo Hyesun was cast. check the announcement article they posted about it. that was one hell of a catty post. i love javabeans and girlfriday but boy was i pretty disappointed to read the cattiness in that post. it was just mean spirited. and the comments section was worse. i mean, i'm no big fan of Goo Hyesun either, but come on. being a little nicer wouldn't hurt. who knows, she may have improved since her last drama and the premiere episodes were fantastic. not to mention Goo Hyesun hasn't even made an appearance. at least wait to see it before judging. sigh. anyways, yeah. Angel Eyes had an amazing premiere and eventhough i'm nervous about Goo Hyesun i'll at least wait before i judge her performance.

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Each to their own. And since this is their blog, they can do whatever they want, write whatever they feel like, and watch whatever they're interested in. You complain of their "judgmental" opinion, yet here you are being judgemental also.

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But shouldn't we cherish & support both?

I like it a lot when the blogs are written with subjective, opinionated (or "catty") observations from the authors. Otherwise, the blogs risk becoming bland news reports, which we can get elsewhere.

At the same time, this blog is open to outside comments. The blog owners made a knowing, conscious choice to open up their writings to praises as well as criticisms or disagreements. In fact, I enjoy reading reactions like the one from "naninoona," which adds something to the marketplace of opinion, but not the comments that merely parrot or repeat what the blog owners so eloquently point out.

Reading naninoona's comment one more time confirms that he/she was not "complaining," as you condemn, but commenting appropriately and expressing suggestions. I trust that the blog owners are cool with it, too.

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Yeah I remember that post, it was a bit...not good. And in response to the people who replie to you, I think it's pretty disingenuous to say that we're not allowed to criticise any of the content here because it's a private blog. DB gets thousands of hits everyday and generates hundreds of comments, I think we've moved quite a bit beyond private blog. The thing about bashing actresses is that it's so lazy and sexist. And the actors always get a pass on DB. Sad.

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I beg to disagree that was a very untrue and a bit harsh.

Sexist. I dont think so. People criticized and JB criticized actors acting just the same as they did with actresess. Kim Hyun Joong, Yunho and many more.

I have been in DB almost 8 years already.

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I guess we will find out very soon who is right - Angel Eyes.EP3 with the adults is posted on Viki already, at about 98% subbed.

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That first paragraph regarding your feelings on this show is enough for me to head out and start picking up this drama. I wasn't interested before but now I am. You may end up recapping, Javabeans....and I will end up losing sleep. Lol.

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thank you for the episode 1 recap JAVABEANS.

i'm was almost certain that i wasn't going to watch this drama because my list of to-watch dramas is pretty extensive.........but then you reminded me that it was written by the writer that wrote Gaksital -.-

i didn't watch episode 1 yet, but now i am certain i should follow it since it piqued JAVABEANS' interest. thanks again, and i will comment/read the recaps once i watch the episode myself.

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My heart was racing a bit when I was reading the recap, guess that's a sign I should start wathcing. Especially when the whole incident of Ha-Young was mentioned, and then Yi-reh talking to her father without a worry. Gah I want to spend most of my time on rom-coms but this seems pretty interesting too.

I do love screwed up families because lets face it, shit will happen alot and it's really entertaining.

Thanks for the recap Javabeans!

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I cant find anywhere to watch the show. I'm so sad. I live in the states. Suggestions?

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On Dramafever April 18th; The first 4 episodes will be available.

Thanks javabeans!

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This is on delayed licensing apparently, and is not out in the US for about a week or two after. I found a partly subbed version on YouTube, but looks like it has been taken down.

A lot of other shows ending in the next week or two, so not going to worry about it too much for now. The overall plot sounds OK, but there have been so many similar type revenge shows lately (like all the med dramas last season) that I am a bit burned out on them. What I saw of the first episode was OK, but it seemed a bit crowded with people busy killing or backstabbing each other.

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javabeans, it seems like you are going to recap it. There is a useless struggle in your tone. to me it looks like you already surrendered. come out of denial now. (If I can get drunks out of a museum, I can get people out of denial, I am sure.
more so cause I don´t think I can actually WATCH another thriller at the moment. I always get so invested that my heart rate skyrockets and I feel dizzy, when the suspense is high.but when it is the writer of Gaksital...uh...

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Crap. Then I must watch this.

Loves Gaksital, and Kim Kang Woo in Story of a Man and my girl Lee Si Young.

Gonna check this out!

BTW, the sister looks a bit like Lee Na Young...

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This sounds so much like my thing that it may just be the drama to pull me back in. I don't mind makjang, and when its done right I love it. The leads are all good and I'm looking forward to that one, recap or not.

And javabeans you are the best! :)

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Thanks for the recap... This drama was not on my watch list but I'll watch it now...
I hope I am not rude but I was hoping that someone reviews Hotel King or Angel Eyes.

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Ugh Jang Bo Seok! Why has he been doing bad Daddy roles so often recently!

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Right? I'm left wondering what about the Bong Young-gyu I loved with all my heart in Can You Hear My Heart?

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Your recap made me stressed just reading it. Might have to give it a miss. Too much suffering.

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I still don't understand how anyone can cast actors or singers off the street. I understand casting for models since the modeling industry is basically all about looks alone which any expert can judge in a second but acting??? Or singing??? Don't you have to see someone act or sing in order to judge whether they have the ability to have a successful career in that area? And I doubt that regular people randomly act or sing in the middle of the street for any reason...

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I badly want to watch this ,but i cant find proper subtitles.The ones i found were fake.

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I want to give this drama a try.interesting. "Angel Eyes" was so good that I cant wait for the next episode. Urgh. Please have a recap for angel eyes.hehe. ;)

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I love angel eyes but let's not let this become another BoC where JB goes crazy from requests. we must save the puppies. :(

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Gaksital is my favorite kdrama so I'm in, especially with KKW starring. I hope you continue the recaps, thanks JB.

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When it comes to revenge-melo-thrillers, I've begun to see that there is a pattern: Good guy gets the beat down (in various ways) by the bad guys, good guy's family is torn apart, good guy seeks revenge for his splintered family, good guy wins. Usually. But, this is the second revenge-melo-thriller I've been interested in this year, after Full Sun, and I've come to this conclusion: NEVER GET YOUR HOPES UP! I won't get my hopes up that Do-yoon will succeed. I won't get my hopes up that the bad guys will all go to prison. I won't get my hopes up that the leads will end up together. And I certainly won't get my hopes up that the hero and/or heroine will be alive at the end. Granted, I haven't finished Full Sun (no spoilers please) since I'm waiting for the recaps (hopefully) but I was already getting bad/worrisome vibes from that show.

The same can't necessarily be said for Golden Cross but, since it is a revenge-melo-thriller, I won't get hopeful until the end of the show. Whether it is recapped or not won't stop me from watching. This was a solid opening hour and I already love the hero, hate the villains, and want the leads together. Is that too much to ask for? Yes? Okay. I won't get my hopes up. I'll just watch and try to keep my heart from falling to pieces.

Thanks for the recap, Javabeans!

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Aahh ! If you end up recapping it, I will read it. :)

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Sounds good and seems like a very solid first episode. I'm interested! Especially with Lee Si Young being a lead, I just love her.

Not here for plucking young women off the street to please men...what a horrible 'business' operation. But they picked the perfect guy to be Yi Reh's dad...Jang Bo Seok always adds an extra layer of creepy to his villainous roles.

Also, can't help but noting how extremely (more) uncomfortable I would feel, given the story line and what the villain does, if Park Shi Hoo was cast as Do Yoon.

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this is the 3rd time i'm seeing the father in recent dramas. Beyond the clouds, Three Days and now Golden Cross. Haven't read the recap, but it seems he's once again a tragic character.

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The younger sister in Golden Cross...I didnt recognize her at first and I finally realized why.....she changed her name from KIM Min-Ji to SEO Min-ji and on top of that got herself another thicker double eyelid surgery.....

I mean yeah, korean actors are hot and all but honestly, I don't care that much for the actors/actresses looks when watching dramas. But when they suddenly change their appearance I can't help but notice >_> My eyes kept focusing on her double eyelid scars while watching the premiere because the surgery went horrible...she was already very pretty before, why did she get it?

Also, can't help but add in...has anyone noticed Lee Da Hae's new nose in Hotel King? I mean I really tried to watch the drama with a positive attitude, but as soon as Lee Dahae showed on screen I GASPED at her new nose...it is soooooooo pointy and awkward whenever they show her side profile....she honestly didnt need a nose job she was already beautiful before..,

I'm really trying to enjoy these new k-drama releases but when the actresses get surgerized so much I get distracted and can't help but focus on that....who else is like that?

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That's a pretty low ratings for the premiere. The ratings have been so low lately for non-sageuk and weekend dramas.

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Angel Eyes is surprisingly good. I usually find Goo Hye Sun unbearable too but she is actually likeable in Angel Eyes. And her love story with Lee Sang Yoon is just so beautiful. Lee Sang Yoon's character is the most perfect guy any girl can ask for. Seriously, his love for her is heartbreaking..

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Just finished the first episode and I am definitely in. If KKW is half as good as he was in Slingshot/Story of Man it will be worth it. But I loved the writing in this. We got so much information in that short hour and, with your recap to clear up a couple items, it came out clear as a bell. The sense of doom hanging over this episode had my heart pounding. I love the look of it too, but for the times they revert to the shaky cam technique and I feel like shooting the cameraman! HATE that with a passion. Still, for me, the combination of the look, feel, and writing are a winner...for now.

As mentioned above, I too am enjoying Angel Eyes and tried mightily to keep an open mind about Ku Hye-Sun going in ...and am glad I did as she seems to be doing fine. She looks lovely. Seems to be a nice enjoyable drama. I'm also loving Wild Chives and Soy Bean Soup (the aforementioned teenage pregnancy drama). Absolutely loving the younger versions of the characters though, so I'm wondering how the transition is going to go!

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Just boring.
I have watch the second eps at dramafire, but the good guys familiy are just to stupid in todays world and has to be the loser. No backup of picturs from cell phone at a cloud services, no beating of blackmail'er after threat has been stop from the father and as a prosecutor is Kang Do-Yoon acting as a child trusting others word. I am starting cheering for the dark side, cause it is a script so bad, that the actors has to be in for the money and nothing more.
Sorry for my no good english.

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I agree with a lot what you said. I just finished the first two episodes on DF, and already I feel like I can predict what is going to happen in the rest of the series. The only real question is whether the lady prosecutor will actually end up going after her dad, and I doubt that - they will give her an out, like him getting killed or something.

But why are the good guys ALWAYS so freeking stupid? And with all the technology out there now - why don't ANY of these guys ever use it? How are these bad guys ALWAYS able to have stuff taken down from the internet - if wanted to send out some secret expose of my favorite chaebol company, I could set up a script that would instantly email all the files to a thousand sites around the world. Yet these guys don't even make USB stick copies, much less cloud backup.

And the newly minted prosecutor guy - the ONLY reason he wants to be a prosecutor is so he can go to the dark side and get rich -WTF? And the stupid dad - he lets his brother steal all the family money, so the family is broke - and his solution is to commit crimes, meanwhile giving his brother a total pass.

I hate to say it, but I feel compelled to watch the next two episodes just to see how many more people can do really really dumb things.

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Just watched the first two episodes and I have to agree also that it was all very clique. It was also frustrating how the scenarios are so unrealistic - I feel like there are so many ways the father and the daughter could have averted what was coming, it's hard to believe they would be that foolish. But then again, all the characters have been set up in such a one dimensional way, what can you expect.
I doubt this drama will do very well. I'm surprised how many commenters are going along with javabean's positive review - sure, she makes the drama sound really sensational but there's not much substance beyond that. I'd watch Angel Eyes over this drama any day.

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I enjoyed Episodes 1 & 2 of Golden Cross. Certain facets of it reminded me of the 2013 Kdramas Incarnation of Money and Empire of Gold.

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Jeong Bo Seok's character gave me chills. Seeing him walking happily and half giggling (with the Turtles's song being palyed) appalled me. "Imagine me and you..." I can't.

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I'm fairly certain I'll never hear that song the same way again, so thanks for the sickening feeling in the pit I'll be dealing with each time I hear this song from hear on out show.

This is only the second time I've seen Jung Bo-seok in a show. The first time was in the second High Kick. He was such a doting, if dopey, dad in that so what a departure for me!

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