Drama Recaps
You’re All Surrounded: Episode 1
by | May 7, 2014 | 131 Comments

Awww, I like it. SBS’s new Wednesday-Thursday drama You’re All Surrounded came out of the gate with a refreshingly fun, well-paced story and a set of endearing characters who already make me care. I wasn’t expecting such a good premiere episode, but in one hour I know my characters, the setup, and the backstory that drives them, and I feel confident about the way the story’s being doled out. It’s a nice mix of comedy, intrigue, and young love, and the cast is just plain delightful.


Heunjeok (Trace) – “시작” (Beginning) [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1: “Teheran-ro, 114th Street, Number 11. Gangnam, Seoul”

In the middle of a normal workday in Gangnam, a car suddenly flies through an intersection—literally airborne—with two thugly tattooed men riding inside.

A few paces behind, a van gives chase, trying to weave through the heavy traffic to catch up to the gangsters. We know this to be our team of cops in the violent crimes unit, but there’s no time for introductions as they bob and weave through oncoming traffic.

Still, their personalities emerge: the leader is impatient, and possibly enjoying the chase a little too much; the first driver is too cautious and nebbishy to get things done right and gets abandoned in the street mid-chase.

The boys in the back row are taciturn and one looks immensely peeved to have to reach for his seatbelt, and the girl in the middle looks terrified and two seconds away from losing her lunch.

That’s the first thing she does when they hop out of the van to continue the chase on foot, while the silent pretty boy stops running to hang his trenchcoat on the nearest pretty lady he sees, pfft.

The only two with their heads in the game are our team leader and the annoyed upstart, who seem to be mostly racing each other, and only chasing criminals as an afterthought. No matter, because when they catch up, two of their teammates have already bungled things up by being taken hostage.

Everyone else freezes, but the brash upstart doesn’t even miss a beat as he marches forward, gun drawn. His teammates scream for him to stop, but he just steadies his aim… BANG. The screen goes black.

We rewind to eleven years ago. A circle of teenagers is gathered in a southern seaside town, where one girl—the badass leader—takes a boy to task for ditching her friend for a Seoul transfer student.

From the crowd, a different boy intervenes in the couple’s defense: “Love changes.” But he’s ineffectual at getting either side to back down, and when the Seoul girl calls the leader a country bumpkin, she launches herself into the air for an epic throwdown.

The boy with the love platitudes is the first to react, and he jumps in front of the Seoul girl and takes the blow in her place. All hell breaks loose, and soon the entire group of surly teens is lined up at the police station. The town is Masan, which tells me everything I need to know about our gangster girl.

The cop taking statements asks for her name, and she tries to give a fake one. But the two-timing boyfriend calls her out and makes her give her real name: it’s UH SOO-SUN (meaning “disorderly or unkempt,” in other words, Hot Mess, later to be played by Go Ara).

She rattles off her address when prompted, which makes the cop’s eyebrows go up. That’s the same address as the cheating boyfriend sitting next to her, and his name is Uh Nam-sun. HA, they’re brother and sister?

Mom and Dad storm into the precinct and Dad goes straight for Soo-sun, knowing that she’s the source of the trouble. He flips her over and leaves her lying on the floor to stew in her embarrassment while he bows in apology to the other parents. She scowls at the platitude boy, who suppresses a laugh.

His name is KIM JI-YONG, and he gets taken home by his mom, who doesn’t think it’s funny to be fighting high school students. Ah, that means he’s in junior high, which explains why he’s pint-sized and wearing a different uniform. He calls it love though—he jumped into the fray to defend the Seoul girl because, “A man should protect the woman he loves.” Hee.

As Soo-sun’s family passes by them in the street, Mom and Dad mention the rumors surrounding Ji-yong’s single mom—that she had an affair with a married man and had him out of wedlock, and they ran away from home.

It appears that everyone in our story is from Masan, because then we meet a bright-eyed eager young detective, SEO PAN-SEOK (Cha Seung-won), whose name means “flagstone,” perhaps to tell us that he’s hard and immovable like stone? These character names are hilariously on-the-nose.

He decides that he’s going to crack the case of the decade by collecting cigarette butts to take DNA samples from, to compare to the evidence they have on a serial killer. He spends the day collecting an entire apartment building’s worth of butts, only to return to the precinct where the serial killer has already been caught.

The grandmother of the victim in a different case comes by to see him, anxious for news on the trial for the suspects involved. He assures her that he has a witness lined up and they’re going to put those bastards away for a long time. Her eyes well up in gratitude and she takes his hand.

He gives the witness a call to make sure she’ll be in court, and it turns out to be Ji-yong’s mom. She promises to meet him at the courthouse.

Ji-yong and his buddy (Hey, it’s Ding-dong!) sneak into the girls’ high school so he can get a peek at his crush.

He finds Soo-sun dancing in the broadcast room instead, oblivious to the outside world, and he shakes his head at her before getting to work. In the girls’ classroom, the TV suddenly plays a performance by 1TYM that gets the whole school squealing.

Ji-yong then calls out his noona crush by name over the PA system and dedicates S’s “I Swear” to her before jumping out the second-story window to avoid getting caught. Cutest tween proposal ever.

He makes his grand exit with the entire student body of girls cheering him on, as he turns back to make heart hands and finger guns at his crush. The only person who isn’t smiling is Soo-sun, who gets blamed for the stunt because she was the only person found in the broadcast studio.

She’s waiting outside the junior high school when he comes out later that day, and she tells him it’s all his fault that she got in trouble for something she didn’t even do, and was forced to miss her idol audition.

He doesn’t scare easily, and points out that her face would’ve kept her from passing anyway. Pwahaha. But then she takes it a step too far and calls him a concubine’s son, and he grows silent and walks away. She realizes her mistake as soon as she says it, and hangs her head.

Ji-yong sits in the schoolyard alone, ego still bruised, when a classmate tries to get his attention by calling him a concubine’s son. This time he answers with a punch to the face, and Mom gets called in to the school to pick him up.

When they arrive home, Mom tenses up at the sight of a man waiting outside. She sends Ji-yong in, and the man leers as the boy passes by. He tells Mom that he came by to get a good look at her son’s face so that if she testifies tomorrow against his boss, he’ll know exactly how to repay her in kind. Shaking, she answers through gritted teeth that she won’t be testifying.

Ji-yong asks Mom about the man and she deflects, wanting to know why he got into another fight. He asks instead if Dad’s really dead, and finally tells her what the other kids call him.

He has no intention of seeking out a man who doesn’t want to be his father, but he thinks he’s old enough to know if his mother was a married man’s mistress. He points out how odd it is to not have any pictures of Dad in the house if he really died, and presses her for an answer. If she does, we don’t get to hear it.

The next morning, detective Pan-seok is waiting at her door. She apologizes and tells him she won’t be testifying, and he pleads with her that she’s their only eyewitness and the only way to get a clear conviction in the murder trial. He asks if she’s been threatened, and Ji-yong overhears her answer yes—they came and threatened her son, so she won’t be testifying and he can’t change her mind. Pan-seok swears that he’ll protect them, and begs her to testify to everything including the threats.

They stop when they see Ji-yong there, and Pan-seok introduces himself to the boy. He leaves the victim’s pictures along with his card, and asks Mom to reconsider one more time.

Later that night Ji-yong sneaks into Mom’s room to look at the crime scene photos, and they show a young girl who was clearly attacked and murdered with brute force. Mom turns over the memory in her head, of the day she saw two men running away from the crime scene holding a bloody envelope, and found the girl lying bruised and battered inside.

Ji-yong hems and haws while Mom offers to make hot cocoa (“What am I a child? …Okay, give it here), and says that testifying is up to her, but he feels bad for the girl who died if no one speaks up on her behalf. Mom decides it’s time to tell him about his father, and admits that she got pregnant before they were able to get married, and his father died early. She says she’s felt sorry his whole life that he had to grow up without a father, but Ji-yong counters that she also had to live without a husband: “I’ll hurry and grow up, and protect you.” Awwwwww.

The next morning, Mom goes to see Pan-seok and tells him that she’ll testify after all. He lights up in gratitude and assures her over and over again that he’ll protect her.

Soo-sun comes out of school that afternoon and curses the rain as she stands there getting soaked. Suddenly a yellow umbrella comes out of nowhere and she whirls around to find Ji-yong smiling back at her.

She bites her lip and asks if he’s trying to make her feel bad, because she doesn’t, not at all, nope. He just says with a smile that his mother isn’t a mistress, but a single mother, and that he’s proud to be her son and isn’t at all ashamed of her.

He tries to give her the umbrella, but she turns it down and then trips over her own laces and winces in embarrassment. He puts the umbrella in her hand and stoops down to tie her shoelaces, saying that he knows a way to tie them so they don’t come undone.

He bends down in the rain and ties her laces so the bow is in the middle, and she awkwardly tries to hold the umbrella over his head so he doesn’t get wet. How could anyone not love this boy?

Mom hears the front door open and goes to greet Ji-yong. But by the look on her face, someone terrifying is at the door.

Ji-yong comes home sometime later and picks up a shiny necklace just outside the front door. He pockets it and heads inside, but stops cold when he sees that their house has been ransacked. He looks cautiously from room to room, and then he sees Mom lying in a pool of blood in her room.

He runs over to her and clutches her in his arms, pleading with her not to die. She opens her eyes, and cries that he’ll save her, and starts dialing emergency. But he doesn’t have the chance to make the call because the killer comes back, perhaps to look for the pendant.

He turns the house upside down looking for something and then comes into the bedroom, where Ji-yong is hiding under the bed. The killer looks everywhere and then reaches to lift the bedspread that’s keeping him concealed…

Mom sees what’s happening and uses her last remaining strength to grab the killer’s feet, and shakes her head sternly when Ji-yong makes a move to help her. He watches helplessly as the killer makes sure to finish the job this time, and Mom cries as she dies to save her son.

As Ji-yong suppresses his cries, he overhears the killer take a call and say that he still hasn’t found the pendant. He adds that because of Detective Seo, he’ll finish the rest of the job cleanly. It’s purposely vague, and can either be interpreted to mean the killer will do a good job to keep Detective Seo from sniffing him out, or Detective Seo will help them clean up this mess.

Once the killer leaves, Ji-yong comes out from under the bed and breaks down as he reaches for Mom’s face.

Soon the house is crawling with cops, and Pan-seok comes out to check on Ji-yong and offers to have him over for the night. But Ji-yong turns to him accusingly and asks if he convinced Mom to change her mind about testifying when she was dead set against it.

“Then you should have protected her like you promised!” It’s a crushing blow to Pan-seok, who can’t argue or defend himself when the kid spits his own promises back at him.

Ji-yong runs off and hides out at school, and then remembers the killer’s phone conversation. He quickly calls Pan-seok and tells him that he knows what the killer is after, and that he can find the necklace in his jacket pocket back at home.

Ji-yong still refuses to tell Pan-seok where he is, but the school bell rings on the hour and Pan-seok hears it, and tells him to stay put at school and he’ll come for him in half an hour.

It turns out he’s actually at the girls’ high school, and Soo-sun happens to be there late as well. She notices him from across the building in the broadcast room, and gets on the PA system to get his attention.

Ji-yong turns around when he hears footsteps approaching from the darkened hallway, and walks toward the sound. But he shrinks back when he recognizes the combat boots headed his way—it’s the killer.

He takes off running, and at the same time, Soo-sun gets on the mic to start in on this long-winded apology to him. It’s a hilariously dissonant scene—her comically out-of-touch apology that devolves into annoyance that he isn’t answering her because he’s surely holding a petty grudge, all while he’s running for his life from a killer.

She even inadvertently helps the killer by tracking his every move from her vantage point, which leads him straight to the science lab where Ji-yong is hiding out. As the killer tries to smash the door in, Ji-yong busts open the locked cabinet and douses the man with something that burns his eyes. Nice.

He’s about to run off when he spots it on the ground: the pendant. Oh noes.

Soo-sun leaves, still unaware of what happened at school that night, though she is wary enough of the suspicious man in black walking toward her that she hides out of sight as he passes. He’s too busy clutching his burned face to notice her, and she sees a distinctive scar behind the killer’s ear.

Ji-yong staggers along the marina and goes over it again in his head. He told Pan-seok about the pendant, and it showed up in the killer’s possession. Pan-seok knew where he was, and the killer came looking for him there.

And now the rest of the killer’s phone conversation paints Detective Seo Pan-seok in a very different light: a dirty cop.

Ji-yong crumples Pan-seok’s card in his hand angrily, and walks ahead.

Present day. Soo-sun takes in glitzy Gangnam in wide-eyed wonder, and then does a double-take when she reaches the Gangnam Police Station—an old, dirty, rundown hovel of a government building that looks like the definition of dreary.

Our nebbishy cop from the opening arrives beside her and recognizes her from his police academy class. He’s JI GOOK (Park Jung-min), though she pretends not to remember him.

She’s a little happier to see PARK TAE-IL (Ahn Jae-hyun) show up next to him, though it seems to be largely for aesthetic reasons. He smiles back at her pleasantly.

She doesn’t see that our hero EUN DAE-GU (Lee Seung-gi) has arrived on her other side, and they exchange discomfited looks. His name means “silver cod,” as in the literal fish, why I don’t know. OH. Puppy becomes Guppy? I just cracked myself up.

The light turns green and Dae-gu leads the way as the foursome Abbey-Road-crosses to the other side.

They line up in police uniform along with the other new recruits, and the entire department is buzzing. Soo-sun guesses that the man standing in front of their line is their team leader, because he looks the most detective-like.

Squad Chief LEE EUNG-DO (Sung Ji-ru) does line up in front of them, but then someone else enters the room—none other than Detective Seo Pan-seok. Dae-gu glares, and when Pan-seok lines up in front of Eung-do, Dae-gu balls up his fists like he’s ready for a fight.

One of the other squad chiefs wonders how they’re supposed to get work done with so many newbies on his team, and Eung-do shuts him up when he says he’s got FOUR rookies assigned to his team.

They all stand at attention when Police Chief Kang enters the room (how much do I love that their precinct is run by a woman?) and she lets the section chief make the welcome address to the new recruits.

They ask Pan-seok to say a few words as the violent crimes unit team leader, so he gets up there and says, “Gangnam is now a disaster zone.” Way to sugarcoat it, boss. He does NOT look happy to take on fresh-faced rookies to make his life harder, and doesn’t really try to hide it.

And then before the inauguration speeches come to a close, one more person walks through the doors. A well-dressed woman click-clacks over to the front of the room in high heels, and introduces herself as KIM SA-KYUNG (Oh Yoon-ah), the new missing persons team leader. (Her name means “between life and death.”)

Pan-seok looks gobsmacked, Eung-do looks worried, and Section Chief Cha smirks at Pan-seok like a happy toad.

After changing out of uniform, Soo-sun cuts through a crowd of female officers milling about swooning over somebody, and opens the door on her three teammates while they’re changing. *whistles* Thanks for the show, boys.

Her jaw drops and she slams the door shut, only to come face-to-face with Pan-seok, who makes her open the door again. Seconds? Don’t mind if I do.

Here’s where we get the formal introductions to our rookie team. Ji Gook says he’s always wanted to live in Gangnam so he applied to everything from the traffic beat to this, and landed here. Well that’s alarming. He talks too much, and Eung-do cuts him off before he can ask his first question.

Soo-sun introduces herself next, and Dae-gu’s eyes twitch when she says she’s from Masan. She admits way too honestly that she came to this department because detectives get paid the highest salary. More sighs from the two veterans.

Tae-il goes next, and says smoothly that he grew up in Seoul and became a detective because it seemed fun. Eung-do nods and says that’s a little better.

Last is Dae-gu, who stands up, says his name (technically the first time we hear it), and then sits back down. Everyone stares. Eung-do tells him he’s supposed to say where he’s from and how he ended up here, but he answers with a clipped, “I don’t want to.” For the first time in the whole meeting, Pan-seok turns his head to look.

Eung-do defers to Pan-seok, calling him hyungnim, and Pan-seok tells them they might as well quit now. He points to Soo-sun and says, “Especially you. I’ve never had a long-haired teammate before.”

She protests that he’s discriminating against her, but he says he was referring to her hair. He tells them he was serious about this precinct being a disaster zone now, and begs them to do nothing. “And don’t kill anyone.”

Dae-gu stares back defiantly, and the intent isn’t lost on Pan-seok, who glares right back and demands, “What’s wrong with your eyeballs?” Dae-gu mutters a swear (akin to “damn” but spoken more like “screw you”) under his breath that makes the whole room gasp.

Pan-seok is two seconds away from blowing his lid when the radio alerts them to a case. He turns on a dime and he’s all business, and Eung-do has to scream at the rookies to get off their asses.

They strap on weapons and team-strut their way through the precinct behind their leader, to the sound of admirers swooning.

And based on the clothes they’re wearing, their first case ever is the one that opened the episode… the one that ends with Dae-gu possibly shooting somebody. Yipes.


Yay, I was hoping for competent, and was pleasantly surprised by how well executed the premiere episode was. It’s the best of economic storytelling, with a quick cold open that doesn’t require character introductions to put you in this world of rookie cops who are in over their heads, a swift backstory that doesn’t stretch beyond an episode but still tells a compelling tale, and then finally character introductions to close the episode out. I liked the backwards setup of withholding our lead characters’ names until the very end, especially given that one of them doesn’t give the answer we expect.

I don’t think it’s a leap to assume that Dae-gu is Ji-yong, otherwise we’ve spent an entire episode on a random dude’s backstory. If it’s true and he’s been harboring revengey thoughts for eleven years and presumably became a detective to get close to Pan-seok, it adds a great edge to the team—now it’s not just four hapless rookies on the job, but the start of one dangerously contentious relationship between team leader and new fish. I’m pretty much going to be making fish jokes for the next ten weeks, if you hadn’t guessed.

My favorite thing about the backstory was how well the tone shifted from funny to sweetly earnest to creepy, all without breaking me out of the narrative. The mystery surrounding Mom’s death and the original murder she witnessed, and Pan-seok’s possibly corrupt, possibly misunderstood (also possibly framed) eager young detective were great larger questions to propel us into the present-day storm that’s brewing between Pan-seok and Dae-gu.

Their connection is crucial, whereas I don’t think Soo-sun needs to be part of Dae-gu’s past necessarily. I’m glad that she’s not some great first love torn away by tragedy (just to be different if at all possible), which made their interactions realistically light and sweet, especially because her character is so fun. Ji-yong’s teenage characterization will go a long way in informing who Dae-gu is now, especially when he’s so surly at the outset—Ji-yong was uncharacteristically mature for his young age, but more importantly he was innocent, and Pan-seok plays an important role in the loss of his innocence that sets the stage for great conflict. A mother’s murder is nothing new in motivating a detective hero, but it’s a classic for a reason, and the fact that it’s possibly also the loss of Pan-seok’s innocence as an idealistic police officer who believes he can change the world? Two great character conflicts for the price of one.


131 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Kitzeekat

    Wow the first episode is sooooo awesome! Lee Seung Gi looks so cool and hot. I wonder which episode puppy will show his million dollar smile 🙂

    • 1.1 Kitzeekat

      Btw thank you for the recap GF! 🙂

    • 1.2 Toya

      Yeah, but was I the only one that cringed at My Chemical Romance’s Black Parade as the ending theme?

      • 1.2.1 Rachel

        No. I cringed too!

      • 1.2.2 Kris

        What?? I love my chemical romance. I was happy when they played it! xD

  2. zappy

    Cha Seung Won …. <3

    • 2.1 secretlyaddicted

      Lee Seung Gi… <3 Puppyyy….. Squeee….

  3. hydramirage

    Excellent first episode! Loved the younger version of Go Ara’s character. Well done.

    • 3.1 coffeenlucia

      the younger version of Seung Gi did well too, IMO. They were both awesome 😀

    • 3.2 Deb

      I prefer her so far. Hopefully Go Ara can retain some of the spunkiness.

    • 3.3 Thea

      Her name is Ji Woo she played young Ok Ryeon on Inspiring Generation. Yes she’s good I love her expression. She gave a good start character for SS.

  4. zappy

    My Wednesday-Thursday reserved time for this guilty pleasure just got a whole lot better =)

  5. Karla

    Awesome! I have been waiting for this show since forever! Thanks for the recap!

  6. Osi

    Thank you for the recap, GF. Awww, me, too, I like it a lot. A lot, that when this episode finished, I was like, huh, it’s finished already? It’s just started. I want more! And Seung Gi as a cop is too hot. I want more!

  7. aceprincess

    Thanks for the recap GF!

    I only read your intro then went straight to comment. Hee.
    I haven’t watched the first ep. so i don’t wan’t to spoil myself. Haha. I’m planning to watch it raw. No English-sub available at the moment. I’ll watch it raw later then i’ll come back here and read your recap. So excited for this. I have been waiting for this to air. 😀 LSG FTW! 😀

    Anyways, your recaps are so much appreciated! More power!

    • 7.1 Cynthia

      The subs are up at Viki. 🙂

      • 7.1.1 aceprincess

        I tried but it is not available in our region. 🙁

        • BadBob

          @aceprincess Two choices. Google IP proxy – there are ways to have your computer appear in another region. I use HotSpot. The other option is a website like dramago or gooddrama. This show and others are up with subs.

          • mia

            well in my country, Msia, Viki is not available. So I watch it at dramacool! Fast streaming though 😉 it will sub only one day. If the drama aired on Wed, u can watch at dramacool with eng sub on thursday. A bit late but its worth waiting! Hv a try!

  8. ty

    Didn’t like it as much as I wanted to, but i’ll still be tuning in for the next episode 😀

  9. Leslie

    Thanks for recap Girl Friday!

    You wrote what I felt but don’t have the skill set to articulate. I’ve only been watching K-Dramas for about 6 months. So far this is my favorite first episode for the reasons you listed. I am already addicted.

    Cha Seung-won and Lee Seung-gi are a match made in bormance heaven. I am looking forward to the conflict between Pan-seok and Dae-gu. I am already invested in the characters and really hope Pan-seok is a good guy.

    Finally, I totally geeked out when I saw Ding-dong.

  10. 10 TP

    Is it just me, or does Kim Ji-yong look like a younger Chun Jung-myung?

  11. 11 lemondoodle

    Nice introduction episode. I actually wasn’t expecting Dae Gu to be that screwed up and for him to have some sort of revenge plan going on, so that’s a welcome twist. The episode really gave great insight into why both guys act like they do now. They both lost a lot in that one case and changed forever. I’m thinking they need joint therapy sessions.

    And yep, really loved that SS wasn’t the first love. I can see her importance later since she knew Ji Yong and what type of person he was. Might help him move on in some way and become the person he was again.

  12. 12 DanyDanyBobany

    I wasn’t expecting the whole background story but I really liked it. The young actors were awesome (Ding Dong! So cute) and I shed a tear or two when the mom died.

    Congratulations to the team behind this drama, they did their job well, because I am already investing in all the characters, even the secondary characters just because i feel they are going to make me laugh.

    Thank you for the recap!

    • 12.1 Carole McDonnell

      Loved the noble mom. Just became her fan from Wang Family.

  13. 13 dumzkeeee

    Finally! I found my drama crack!!! ^_^

    it’s just the first ep, but i’m so into it..hope the show delivers..hehe


  14. 14 theju

    Ahhh! Finally a show to be excited about! Love your comment “Puppy becomes Guppy?” cracked me up.

  15. 15 aida

    Thxxx for the recap….ok so i was really looking forward to this because of Seung Gi Oppa!!! But accually i like the pacing of the story and it seems like a fun and put together story that i wwill deffinitely watch

  16. 16 redfox

    where can I watch? viki version not available in my region, gooddrama doesnt have it yet…

    • 16.1 Just to help

      You can try dramafire.

    • 16.2 redfox

      ah, now it is on gooddrama too, great!

  17. 17 xiadfreaky

    I am sooo looking forward to this drama! I don’t usually live stream a drama but I might this time. *Wink Wink* I love both CSW and LSG. ♥

  18. 18 Allison

    I foresee this being hilarious — Lee Seung-gi playing such a straight character in the over-the-top environment. I think he’ll do it really well. The backstory is super intriguing as well, was not expecting the dirty cop story but I like it. I’m sure the romance will be cute, but I’m really most looking forward to the interactions between Dae-gu and Pan-seok.

  19. 19 Hiba

    Love love love everyone I’ve been waiting for this ahhhh but where can I watch it?

  20. 20 MeLiYasha

    Hehe somehow I knew you would be the one recapping this, GF! 😀 I stopped after reading your first few words tho, will watch the drama first before coming back here. Thanks in advance ^^

  21. 21 Eva

    Just wished I actually could like Lee Seung Gi, but I just don’t. I could barely tolerate him in Shining Inheritance. Sigh.

    • 21.1 zsa

      He improved a lot in King2Hearts…why don’t you try watching that first…it was the first time I felt his acting…different from the usual ones he did…

    • 21.2 whilethemusiclasts

      His acting? I couldn’t get past the first few episodes of Shining Inheritance, not because of Lee Seung-gi, but the story itself. So I don’t quite understand this reaction to him.

      I did watch The King 2 Hearts though and absolutely loved him in it, and the story was very well told. That was my first time watching Lee Seung-gi in a drama all the way through.

      Maybe he’s improved a whole lot from Shining Inheritance?

    • 21.3 lemondoodle

      I’m not going to argue with your opinion, but using freaking BL as a basis for not liking him though lol…………..

    • 21.4 boholanna

      Try watching Noona over Flowers. I didn’t really like Seung Gi but after watching this series my view of him changed and I now understand why he’s popular and well-loved.

      • 21.4.1 Becks

        I’m with you, I hated him (LSG himself) in shining inheritance, though I love Dae Wong in MGIAG.

        But, I started liking him after watching 1N2D (after 10 episodes), and I love him now, but I am absolutely not a gay.

        And every time I see seung gi the actor, he keeps improving. I am glad he’ve chosen a completely different character in YAS.

      • 21.4.2 Becks

        I’m with you, I hated him (LSH himself) in Shining Inheritance, though I loved Dae Wong in MGIAG.

        And I only started liking seunggi after watching 1N2D. Now I love him, and I am absolutely not a gay.

        Every time I see seunggi the actor, I think he keeps improving. And now I can see the different characters of him, the cold Eun Dae Gu.

  22. 22 LSGapprentice

    wow, this drama is awesome!! 🙂 I LIKE THE PHASE of the story, hope this drama will continue to give us the thrill and excitement. WHAT A great sequence to start a drama .

  23. 23 Because of Reasons

    I really, really enjoyed this first episode, more than I expected to. It totally held my attention, and I didn’t even feel the time passing as I was watching; when it was done, I was like, “Wait, it’s been an hour already?”

    Based on the previews and teasers I’ve seen, I was not expecting the tragedy of the back-story and whole revenge element of the drama. It definitely adds an interesting twist to the dynamics. And I was impressed by how the episode managed to shift from light to heavy to back again without it seeming forced or contrived.

    I’ve been looking forward to this show for several weeks now, and the premiere was better than I had hoped for. I’m all in for this one!

  24. 24 Crazyredhairmireu

    That was certainly a heavier start than I anticipated. The opening and promo info did not give me any hints that our hero would have had all that happen to him. I don’t know if i wanted that. I think out of all the new dramas that were aired this week I liked Doctor Stranger the most, which is slightlh disappointing because I had higher hopes for You’re All Surrounded based on the promo material from both shows alone.

  25. 25 crazyahjumma fan

    A good premiere, but not as great as I had hoped. Maybe its the long trailer that SBS dished out earlier, so that I already knew what to expect. Yet despite this, there were a few surprises.

    1) I didn’t expect to cry over Dae Gu’s mum’s death since I knew it would happen, but boy, did I cry. I thought that the writer would simply get the thugs to kill her, but kudos to the writer for getting her killed while protecting her son. It was so heart-wrenching for Daegu to see his mother being strangled and not being able to do anything – knowing that she distracted the killer to save you.

    2) The twist in suspecting Pan Seok was also unexpected. I initially thought that it was too coincidental that they happen to be on the same team.

    3) And I love Daegu’s younger self. He’s so sweet, romantic and heroic. I hope that we can see some of those characteristics later in the drama! Please! Seunggi sweet and romantic, I’ll just faint!

    And I’m so, so glad that there’s no love line between Daegu and Soo Sun in the past. I don’t like her teenage self. Really hope that her adult self will be more endearing.

  26. 26 Mandy

    Seung-gi’s playing a different character in this – unlike my initial assumption, so that’s great. I like how he’s the quiet one who most likely blows his lid when someone pisses him off. The scene when Soo-sun smiles at Tae-il, after which Dae-gu walks in? – it screams love triangle. Although I guess it wouldn’t be a kdrama without one of those.

    I’m not in love with it yet, but I like it. Maybe that’s because I saw most of the scenes in the long preview (which I admit was really stupid of me to watch since I hate spoilers). But I’m looking forward to episode 2 and beyond. Also… I sorta expected the ratings to be higher, but given Three Days wasn’t really stellar, ratings were decent without the previous drama push. And it has loads of time to improve.

    • 26.1 lemondoodle

      I’m not sure what you expected for ratings tbh. 12.3 is great solid number. His last drama GFB premiered to less. So did Empress Ki. So did Heirs. So did Three Days obviously. This is also pretty much the only primetime drama airing other than weekends that has double digits. This is also a childhood flashback episode and like you said, wasn’t coming off a huge lead in the last episode.

      • 26.1.1 Mandy

        I think everyone has different expectations then tbh. I expected higher numbers of around 13-15% because of the cast, director, and writer’s credentials. The competition isn’t huge and SBS owns the time slot for a year now. But you have your expectation and I have mine, so if 12.3 is great ratings for you – fair enough. I think it’s good, but expected higher.

        • jellybean

          was also expecting a higher rating. 12.3 is okay but i believe sbs doesn’t have competition this time that’s why maybe i was expecting a 15.something and up. nevertheless it was a good start and my sbs-biased self is happy to see that sbs is still number 1 in wed-thur primetime this 2014 🙂

        • lemondoodle

          lol okay. It’s not really “great for me”, but reasonable given all the circumstances, toned down presscon, no interviews by the cast and HB didn’t even release stills of the drama lol. If you followed YAAS you’d after the the casting and a few filming shots, there haven’t been much in way of hype building up for the show. Idk. I don’t know what people expected. SBS promoted Heirs for most of the year or something and it barely got 11% against a newbie writer show. That’s to me is below what I expected, this wasn’t really tbh. And A New Leaf is not amazing competition, but it’s well reviewed and acted. But anyway, let’s hope the ratings continue to do well.

  27. 27 KDaddict

    I like Ji Yong’s mom. The actress doesn’t get very big parts, but I’ve liked her in most parts that I’ve seen her in.
    I like the ep as a whole, but think the first 5-10 mins are a bit OTT; I realize that it’s done for comedy, but it also makes it less believable. The car chase could be a bit shorter.
    The boy must be so traumatized! Having to watch his mom die right in front of his eyes, to save his life, while he couldn’t move a muscle! Ay, poor guppy!
    Didn’t think that LSG would be so much of a ‘muscle man’ under his shirt! WoW!
    Looking forward.
    Between this ep and 3rd ep of ANL, the latter is actually really2 funny.

    • 27.1 Kitzeekat

      So rare that puppy shows his body, that every single time/moment that we get a peak is so precious kekeke 😉

  28. 28 Nancy

    My Chemical Romance playing at the end was the biggest surprise of them all 🙂

    A good pilot episode but definitely looking forward to ep 2 with our cast and their antics.

    And it’s really nice to see Cha Seung Won gracing my screen again.

    • 28.1 elainestale

      i completely lost it when it came on HAH.

  29. 29 ana

    Young Soo-sun is only 16 years old! I thought she was much older orz

  30. 30 canxi

    Another one sounds good. The dramas this cycle seem to really be delivering.

    I tried looking up cod to give more insight into Dae Gu’s name and the most interesting thing about them is that they are apex predators. Top of the foodchain, yo.

    • 30.1 girlfriday

      Cool. But yunno, so are lions and tigers. Just sayin’.

      • 30.1.1 canxi

        Hopefully, he’s a slippery fish.

  31. 31 foulou

    Now, we can only hope this doesn’t turn into makjang fest a.k.a. Gu Family Book.

    And please, no My Chemical Romance next time.

    Hopefully we’ll get more out of the other three cops, at least something as deep as Dae Gu’s backstory.

    Really liked the first episode. I was nervous it would be a rom-com and thank goodness it isn’t. Give me action/drama any day.

    Hopefully this does not turn into a procedural drama. Or if it did, I hope they do it well. Really, really well.

    • 31.1 reglest

      *clasping hands over chest* let’s pray!! *wink* @foulou

  32. 32 Beng

    gosh so many new dramas to watch but the my work is getting in between, huhuhu. Will marathon them this weekend =)

    Thanks for the recaps, at least i’m not too behind because of them =)

  33. 33 Metrogeekythinker

    The younger Uh Soo Sun bears resemblance to Han Ji Min, is it only me thinking of that lol…

    • 33.1 whilethemusiclasts

      I totally agree! I was confused at first trying to figure out in what universe would Han Ji-min play a younger Go Ara. But there you have it. They totally do look very similar.

  34. 34 june_rain

    I’ve been anticipating this drama during my drama hiatus these past two months. Thank you, drama, for bringing me back into dramaland. The first episode definitely delivers. I’m looking forward to the next episode.

  35. 35 whilethemusiclasts

    What a great start to a drama.

    First 2 minutes into the episode and I was already alternately laughing and holding on to my heart. Remind me never to get into a car with Cha Seung-won. (Not like that’s ever going to be a possibility, but still.)

    The backstory though! Wow. At first it was cute and breezy and just… fun. And then it got intense. I just had to pause every so often because the tears, omg!

    I’m totally looking forward for more. Yay new drama!

  36. 36 cheekypig

    lovee the pilot eopisode!!! cant wait to watch episode 2 today…
    thank you for the recaps, gf!!

  37. 37 Hmm

    I wonder if they got some influence from the manga You’re Under Arrest.

  38. 38 Rushie

    SBS, Thank you for making my Wed-Thurs again. You already rule Sat-Sun. I really liked the tone of this episode, You’re right girlfriday, the pacing was spot on. I hope the other rookies get a backstory too. Also, I hope Pan-seok is a good cop because I really need him to have a bromance with Dae-gu. Looking forward to episode 2.

  39. 39 Carmelia

    tq GF

    Cha seung won you got the wrong partner this time round . Lee dong wook will make you do more workout !

    I don’t feel the excitement of your young partner, running with no zest . Not macho or tough looking guy.

    No difference, same expressions when acted in shinning inheritance .

    It will not get high ratings and it will not be the talk of seoul.

    • 39.1 megumi

      Well majority of the Korean viewers love Cha Seung Won’s partner more than LDW, i think he made a right choice by partnering up with Seung Gi, most of LSG dramas have high ratings and this one with both of them together will definitely start to pick up pace in the ratings department…also i don’t see how Seung Gi’s acting is bad at all, i guess it depends on how each individual perceives someone to be a bad actor/actress, one can be a bad actor to someone but a good actor to another, LSG is not a great actor but he’s good enough to play leading role in dramas, and as much as i love LDW his acting is not better than LSG’s, plus his dramas since ‘My Girl’ have always failed in the ratings department, it was clear from the start that LSG played a big hand in CSW taking this role, he was very tentative in picking projects since his son’s sexual assault incident,
      the fact that he chose this project says a lot about CSW feels about LSG.

    • 39.2 lemondoodle

      It won’t get high ratings? But it already is. And much higher than LDW’s current and last drama if we want to be petty lol

    • 39.3 Mandy

      I technically know I shouldn’t involve myself in silly talk, but I can’t help it. CSW’s young partner was there for literally 15 min of which he spoke 10 words. If you’re gonna be pre-judging his acting from that of Shining Inheritance, then you should’ve at least posted your comment in the second episode’s thread to make it seem legit.

      And LDW (who I really like) is currently in a weekender (that’s spewing serious makjang). It ought to get higher ratings but hasn’t surpassed YAS’s first episode numbers in 8 tries. So…

    • 39.4 ilikemangos

      Let’s put aside acting preference and appearances for a second.

      Seung Gi and Cha Seung Won would work better together. They have the chemistry. Together, they are comedic gold. (check out their cameo in best love).
      As much as i adore LDW, him next to Cha Seung Won would probably not have the same effect.

  40. 40 DJMuenchen

    Oh those blurred knifes, which seems to be a rule not created equal, as I have seen knifes being used for nefarious purposes in shows without being blurred out before (arang comes to mind) so why blurred out now? Is it the LotR rule where fantastical violence gets a pass? Censorship rules, or organizations like MPAA, ftc ect. will never make sense to me..

    • 40.1 megumi

      They also blurred Baksa’s knife in ‘Heartless City’, i was also surprised because in historical dramas they show swords and knifes without blurring but in modern dramas the are blurring it, i don’t know the reason for censoring the knife but i really wanted to see Baksa’s knife because it looked really cool even with the censor.

    • 40.2 whilethemusiclasts

      This distracted me as well. I mean, I get the why, but I kinda hope they didn’t. It kinda ruined the momentum. Suspension of disbelief gone.

    • 40.3 lemondoodle

      I don’t get why blurred knifes, but guns are fine. Guns are far more dangerous than a knife. I guess most people don’t have guns in SK though.

  41. 41 Dramafan100

    I liked the first episode as well. I have been watching first episodes of lots of dramas and not being able to complete many of them.

    This one I could and I laughed out loud for the first 10-15 minutes. I understood the backstory which is nicely and neatly told and I really like the potential conflict.

    I look forward to this one and Dr. Stranger. Two of my season fav. Very different but entertaining.

  42. 42 anon

    Thanks gf for the recap !!

    “PUPPY becomes GUPPY ”

    HAHA So cute and funny XD

  43. 43 anon

    Thanks for the recap GF!!!

    “puppy becomes guppy”

    HAHAHA so funny and cute. XD

    • 43.1 anon

      oops double comment sorry!!

  44. 44 divyrus

    Okay I swore I shouldn’t click on the recap until I have seen the episode , but GF intro just made me click read more !

    I have skimmed and comments are good, can’t wait to see! Can’t the day end faster ! *sighs about real world work*

  45. 45 Saidatul Wawa

    Cha Seungwon ahjussiiii <3

  46. 46 chhavi

    Seung Gi is really rocking that hair…..
    I can look at him all day.^_^

    • 46.1 SS

      I may be the minority here but I really LOVED his hairstile in 2009 (shining inheritance) or his long hair

    • 46.2 SS

      I may be the minority here but actually I really LOVED his hairstile in 2009 (shining inheritance) or in 2013 his long hair when playing gu family book the most. It would make him suuuuper cute 🙂 hope he make that hairstyle again 🙂

      • 46.2.1 lemondoodle

        I like this hair. Or slightly shorter. I’m glad he’s outgrown crazy perms. Hwan’s hair was crazy, but I liked it too.

  47. 47 Chandler

    Thanks for the recap! Finally I have something to be excited for without reservation! I’m completely and totally STOKED. Already love the characters, the conflict, the hijinks. Everything. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

  48. 48 AnOpinion

    It’ll be weird if LSG is really the boy, because I can’t really imagine GAR being older than him. And I think I’ll give this a miss. It doesn’t sound as interesting as advertised.

    • 48.1 coffeenlucia

      I was wondering that too, since GAR is younger than him by 3 years in real life.

      But this sometimes happens in dramaland– eg Biscuit Teacher Star Candy, where Gong Yoo was older than Gong Hyo Jin in real life but his character was a student whereas her’s was his teacher. 🙂

      But LSG is so shippable with GAR already!!

    • 48.2 megumi

      It’s not that far fetched to be honest, she’s just 3 years younger than LSG in real life, and in the drama she must be about 2 years older than LSG’s character if he indeed is the little boy, anyway dramas do this kind of thing all the time, just like Daniel Choi playing a teacher in School 2013 when he was just 2 or 3 years older then LJS and KWB in real life, plus one of the student in the same drama was 6 years older than Daniel Choi in real life.

      • 48.2.1 lemondoodle

        girls mature quicker than boys too. idk, don’t see anything wrong with it. 2 years isn’t a big deal.

  49. 49 panda

    does Soo Sun know that Eun Dae Gu is Ji Yong?

    • 49.1 zzzz


  50. 50 lulu2050

    this drama is the best i i loved every part of it ! Lee Seung gi did some awesome acting with his eyes in the few minutes he appeared in ! the scene where they first was just epic ! YAAS FIGHTING!!!

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