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The K2: Episode 1

Damn, tvN’s newest bodyguard-action drama The K2 promised us lots of action, and boy did it deliver. Bloody and brutal, the intensity hardly lets up in the opening hour from the first punch to the finishing blow. Just when we get a moment to catch a breath, the acting commands our attention once more.

Each character in this dramaverse has a secret, some found halfway around the world. It’s a complicated web of relationships and messy backstories, and there’s still so much we’ve yet to learn of this world, including the former soldier-for-hire at the center. Looks can be deceiving, but one glare from this mysterious man could kill.

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

A young girl climbs out of her canopy bed to say a prayer and brightens when a light passes by her window. Believing it to be her father, she ventures downstairs to greet him, only to see the front door wide open.

Her eyes fall upon the only moving light inside the dark house peeking through a crack under the door. She approaches with caution, squinting to get a closer look, and the beam flickers off at the sound of her voice.

Calling out to her mother, she opens the door to a horrific sight: Mom lying unconscious on the floor, a spilled bottle of pills, and an open window. But what’s even more treacherous is this: a figure waiting behind the door. That’s so creepy.

Whoever this shadow is, he slowly closes the door, an action followed by a piercing scream.

Some time later, a car pulls up to a monastery in the mountains of Spain, where the girl is left in the care of the nuns who reside there. As she’s led through the grounds, she looks back to the hooded figures who pass by.

Her eyes are filled with sadness, but the next time we see her she’s all grown up. This is GO ANNA (Yoon-ah), who flees the monastery barefoot and in a similar nightgown she wore as a child.

Her feet are caked with dirt by the time she reaches the city and runs through the busy streets in her grimy clothes, constantly looking behind her as if being pursued. Bumping into a pedestrian crossing the street, she bends down to pick up the spilled change. Drivers angrily honk their horns when the light turns green, but she scans her surroundings with fear-filled eyes.

In another part of the city, a bloodied man gasps awake in a room. He checks the time, then painfully slips out of bed, clutching the bandaged wound to his side. We’ll come to know him as KIM JE-HA (Ji Chang-wook), who swigs a drink and takes a drag.

He struggles to his feet and staggers to the window, where he performs a visual sweep of the street below. He gets dressed and sets out into the city, trying to avoid the surveillance cameras while shaking off unwanted attention.

It’s nightfall by the time Anna stumbles into a metro station. Her entry is caught by a pair of men on a stakeout, and one man follows her underground. She runs up to the ticket window to pay her way in and urges the employee to hurry.

Once she has her ticket, Anna dashes past the gate and crashes into someone. It’s Je-ha, and when she apologizes in Korean, he asks in their native tongue if she’s all right. Hardly able to believe her luck in finding a compatriot, she clings to him and desperately pleads for his help.

He tries to shake her off, but she begs him to save her from her oncoming pursuer. Seeing him, Anna runs down to the platform and hides behind a pillar. She shuffles over to remain unseen, but the man hears her sharp intakes of breath and calls her out.

She refuses to “go home” as told, and he grabs her when she tries to make a run for it. But that’s when Je-ha intervenes and orders Anna to leave. She obeys, running over to the next pillar while he deals with her pursuer.

She looks on as Je-ha wrestles the man’s arm and combats the counterattack with a flying kick. He keeps the oncoming punches at bay and lands one good punch into his opponent’s gut. He evades attack, but the man lands a punch to his jaw and runs after Anna.

Je-ha is quick to follow and jumps the benches to stop him. He gets in some jabs and flips over, using the momentum to toss the man onto the ground. He knees his opponent over and over when the latter charges at him, and a few more strikes stuns the man enough for Je-ha to flip him over and strangle him until he passes out.

Checking the man’s pockets confirms that Je-ha has just attacked a cop. He picks up his things while security calls in the disturbance down below.

Anna is waiting for him when he exits the platform, much to his annoyance. She implores him for his help, citing that her father is a great man who will reward him if he can take her to Madrid.

But he isn’t interested in helping her anymore, let alone for a reward, as Anna continues to cry that there are bad men after her. He gives in to her pleas and tells her to leave when a pair of officers draw near. She lingers for a moment before disappearing around the corner.

Je-ha sizes up the officers before swooping in to swiftly disarm the gun and kick down the officers. He returns their swings with a takedown and breaks an arm as a finishing move. But his troubles aren’t over when he clambers up the stairs and sees Anna in the cops’ car.

She immediately cries out to him, and now Je-ha is faced with the same dilemma for the third time tonight. He silently shakes his head no this time and climbs into a taxi. She sobs as the taxi drives off, taking her rescuer with it.

Six months later. Seoul. We find Je-ha at a banner advertising warehouse on a blazing hot day putting the finishing touches on a mural of a beach. He sinks into a ratty armchair with a beer to cool off, and feeds a stray kitten some dried squid before resuming his afternoon nap.

Dusk falls when he gets a call from his boss telling him that a large banner hanging on a side of a tower needs re-tightening due to the strong winds. This is our first glimpse of presidential candidate, Assemblyman JANG SE-JOON, whose poster reads: “I dream of a nice world for children to live in.”

Je-ha is initially barred entry because it’s after hours, but the cleaning lady recognizes him and her mention that “the madam” had put in the work order gets him in. He thanks her in the elevator, and when she worries about his safety on a windy night like tonight, he assures her that he’ll be fine.

After securing himself to the roof, Je-ha climbs over and rappels down the building. As he secures the ties, the camera pans down to a room a couple of stories below, where Se-joon (Jo Sung-ha) arrives and wraps his arms around a half-dressed young woman.

He stops kissing her to tune into a TV interview of his wife CHOI YOO-JIN (Song Yoon-ah), who is told that she was voted most popular among the candidates’ wives. Se-joon watches on as his wife shows modesty towards her wifely duties and gracefully accepts the praise of being a wonderful cook.

He polishes off the glass of wine handed to him, completely oblivious to the fact that it’s been drugged. Down below, a group of masked men charge into the building and beat down the security guards in their path.

As the masked men make their way upstairs, their leader reminds his men to capture the footage they need. Hm, do you mean Se-joon’s infidelity? Speaking of which, Je-ha rappels further down and catches Se-joon and his lover in mid-kiss.

He gets a good look at Se-joon’s face but pays little regard to the intimate session. Se-joon turns away, however, and tells his lover to close the curtains. But that’s when the effects of the drug kick in and he collapses. The woman sends Je-ha a wink, then closes the curtains.

Je-ha sees the kind cleaning lady while securing a corner of the banner. He sees the masked men burst into the office and raps on the window in warning, but the masked man strikes her down anyway.

One of the injured bodyguards sounds the alarm, which automatically locks the door to the suite where Se-joon’s lover had been trying to put herself and an unconscious Se-joon in a compromising position in bed with.

With no way in or out, the masked men try to manually ram their way inside. Je-ha’s attempts to kick his way through the glass are futile, so he pushes off the window with his feet and hurls a pick at the glass to create enough of a crack enabling him to crash his way through.

He unties himself and uses the rope to tangle up one lackey and kicks away another. He rushes to the injured cleaning lady’s side, and withstands a few strikes before getting up and pummeling his attackers.

Je-ha throws a few potted plants at the men while also taking a few hits. But he makes sure that his opponents pay for the slugs they got in with a sweeping kick and powerful flips onto the furniture.

He pins the one responsible for hurting the cleaning lady on a desk, noticing the burn mark on his right wrist. Soon the masked men learn that they’ve got company in the form of JSS agents, so the leader calls retreat.

Je-ha tends to the unconscious cleaning lady with a head injury just as a bodyguard and the JSS arrive. He demands for an ambulance while the suite is unlocked.

Back at the TV studio, the host inquires if Se-joon’s successful political career can be credited to his wealthy in-laws—Yoo-jin is the eldest daughter to the illustrious JB Group, after all.

Yoo-jin takes a beat before answering that question, saying that she feels sorry toward her husband for marrying a woman like her. He would’ve made a fine son-in-law if he’d married someone else, and she lets her voice waver when saying that her late father was against a marital union with a politician.

She remains silent when asked if her marriage to Se-joon was the reason why her family severed ties with her and she gave up her inheritance rights. She wipes away a tear and speaks of the importance of loyalty to the one you love. At the comment that she must’ve loved Se-joon very deeply, Yoo-jin turns to look straight the camera and says, “Yes, and I still respect [him].”

The building is swarmed by the press when Je-ha drives away. Upstairs, Chief Joo of JSS is puzzled at how a man could’ve broken through tempered glass from the outside.

At the same time, the interviewer hones in on more sensitive topic, namely her shares in JB Group she allegedly donated. As far as the host knows, Yoo-jin shares an amicable relationship with the charity’s board of directors—would it be possible that she still owns said shares?

Yoo-jin smiles, and her right-hand woman signals to the crew to go to commercial break. During the break, Yoo-jin turns off her mic and cues the interviewer to do the same. It turns out that the two women are on friendly yet tense terms, and Yoo-jin softly reminds her that she didn’t wish to speak about the JB Group shares.

But the host smiles back that it’s probably better than she touches upon this sore spot than anyone else, which has Yoo-jin gently point out how everyone has a weakness: “Just like the matter regarding your son.”

That topic effectively gets the host to back off, and Yoo-jin smiles, saying that they should just stick to the script.

After the interview, Yoo-jin shows her thanks by gifting an adoring staff member with homemade treats. She tenses when she hears about the latest incident regarding her husband, though isn’t the least surprised that the break-in was likely another politician’s doing.

She outlines the next steps as her chief secretary wipes off her makeup, including how they can keep “that girl” around since they’ll find a use for her later. Observing her own aging face, she’s pleased that the girl is in her late twenties.

Se-joon checks in just then, chuckling over the interview he saw. He trusts that this wife will clean up the mess, but there is one tidbit that bothers him: the banner hanger who got a look at his face.

So Yoo-jin follows up with the head of JSS, her suspicion and disappointment still clear through her soft voice. Je-ha, meanwhile, drives home to pack some essentials, but the sound of tires rolling over the sewer hatch tips him off of the JSS agents’ arrival.

Chief Joo is shocked when he reviews the security footage which captured Je-ha’s face. He beelines for his superior’s office to urgently ask that the agents sent after Je-ha be called back, lest they all end up dead.

His boss laughs at the idea that their elite agents are in danger from a man Chief Joo trained back when he was in the Special Forces. But perhaps this is no laughter matter, as we see the JSS agents entering the building and scanning for Je-ha, who gears up for a fight.

Even though JSS has sent their best men, Chief Joo knows better than to mess with someone like Je-ha, and tells his boss that he’ll come to eat his words.

Back at the factory, one JSS agent comes face to face with Je-ha, who throws him onto a desk and snaps his neck with his foot. Suddenly everything goes dark, and Je-ha emerges with a spray paint gun.

He sprays a pair of agents full in the face, and by the time they retaliate with their tasers, Je-ha is long gone. In their discombobulated state, they accidentally turn on a boombox, and the dramatic operatic music reverberates throughout the building.

The agents outside venture inside where Je-ha is waiting for them. He cracks both of their helmets with his hands, and takes down both men with a powerful punch and flying kick.

He moves on to his next target on the railing, shining a flashlight in his face in greeting. When the tag lands on him, Je-ha shakes it off and charges at the agent. He kicks him off the platform and checks that the agent is still alive.

The music is still playing when Je-ha jumps off to knock down another JSS agent with an aerial takedown. He twists the other agent’s arm and swipes his baton to use it against him. One final kick to the face seals the deal just as the song ends.

A lone JSS agent unable to get in contact with his fellow men heads inside. Je-ha appears from above and swiftly gains possession of his gun and disassembles it. The agent searches for another weapon and grabs a baton, but Je-ha is nowhere to be seen…

…before he reappears wielding a taser gun. After taking care of that last JSS agent, Je-ha heads out, abandoning his phone in his wake. Chief Joo arrives much later, utterly relieved that all the men are still alive.

Se-joon arrives home to find Yoo-jin waiting for him. She has unsettling news, which prompts him to ask if anyone else is causing trouble other than himself. Rising from her chair, she answers, “Your daughter.”

He tugs her towards him so that their faces are inches apart when he breathes, “What about Anna?” Oh, so Anna is your daughter. Yoo-jin: “She ran away again.”

She should have outgrown this behavior by now, Yoo-jin continues, though she wonders if Anna can’t help it as his own flesh and blood. Se-joon seethes and collects himself before warning his wife that should anything happen to Anna, that will also bring about the end to their deal.

Speaking of whom, Anna runs frantically through the streets in Spain, occasionally looking behind her to check for any pursuers. She runs straight into oncoming traffic, which stops just in time.

Anna trembles with fear as her mind flashes back to an earlier memory: her as a young girl handing her mother the bottle of sleeping pills. Caught like a deer in headlights, she utters in Spanish through terrified sobs: “I did not kill.”

 
COMMENTS

Wow, that was an intense episode. I was honestly torn coming into The K2 because while the teasers showed promise, I still had a sense of reluctance with the production credits. Director Kwak Jung-hwan (Chuno, Basketball) and writer Jang Hyuk-rin (Yong-pal, Reset) have put out series that were either lauded or left viewers scratching their heads, so I remained cautiously optimistic, hoping that the show would live up to the hype.

So I’m pleased to find that between the impressive action-heavy sequences, there’s plenty of mystery going on under the surface. We’re thrown into the mess from the start, with Anna hidden away in Spain, Je-ha’s bloodied introduction, and Se-joon and Yoo-jin’s strained marriage, just to name a few. Much of what we’ve seen between these complicated characters is unsaid; their actions speak louder than their words, though any lines of dialogue we do get packs a punch.

Speaking of punches, I do enjoy how raw and intense the fights are—not only does Je-ha deliver some swift and expertly-skilled moves, he’s sometimes on the receiving end of an unexpected swipe. Even then, we can see his fighting prowess shine through, which also highlights the rigorous training Ji Chang-wook underwent for the role. All that hard work has certainly paid off because the end product is not only slick but also fantastic. There’s so much we’ve yet to learn about Je-ha, who keeps to a low profile whenever he can. Still, we can see the hints of sympathy in his character when someone is in danger, be it Anna in Spain or the kind cleaning lady.

Then there’s Anna, who is currently halfway around the world dealing with her own fears. We don’t know how many times she has attempted to escape over the years, or how much of the outside world she knows. Her mind is fixated on the idea of running away to find her powerful father (which makes me wonder how much she knows about him) and the traumatic memory of discovering her mother dead on the floor. As far as we know, the horrors began that night when she was taken from her home, and I’m itching to know the truth behind her mother’s death.

Not only that, I’m intrigued by Yoo-jin, who carries herself with social grace yet can induce fear into nearly anyone with expert precision. My hopes are high for Song Yoon-ah challenging her acting range by portraying a layered and calculated character like Yoo-jin. Watching her makeup being wiped away was like watching the façade of her character fade away to reveal her deeper and darker colors, which we see glimpses of in her rocky and tense marriage to Se-joon.

So now you’ve got my attention The K2. Come at me.

 
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Hello new drama addiction. RIP College Grades. RIP graduation.

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+1

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first 20 minutes was excruciating to watch, I nearly gave up but skip skip the action scenes , ok, some interesting story then Yoona went on her temple run episode again. I don't know but something about Yoona turns me off, I don't want to be mean or anything but it's just so painful to watch her. Maybe if she's not anorexic?
There's this make out session between the Assemblyman and that harlot and was it really necessary to show that, *cringe* in all of the kdramas that we watched for years we want that kind of scene to happen to our main leads not to these side characters but try to imagine JCW and Yoona in that situation, ewwww, *cringe,cringe,cringe* they shouldn't even kiss. Not ever.

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Hey, you only live once, so might as well eh?

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Yes goodbye grades! In Bachelors you were somehow attainable but at Masters level you are just coming in the way of my happiness!

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Hi5 fellow fallen Masters student, let's strive for the ultimate happiness ? .

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Well if you were getting a Masters in Korean or Korean dramas it would be studying right??

I know someone who got sucked into Sailor Moon fandom back in the day and ended up with a Ph.D. in Classical Japanese!!

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Lea, I'm totally in the same boat. ?? If we sacrifice some of our sleep instead sometimes, maybe there's still hope because that will give us time to do homework and go to class. We just have to be strategic and balance it all out ?

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Noo chingu....! Come back! *throws subway footlong to get fallen comrades attention.

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I'm hooked! Lets all enjoy this ride together!

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Same Here. What kind of priorities we set for our future.

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very true, I completely agree

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So glad I got into Kdramas after my graduation. LOL.

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enjoyed the 1st episode

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Heol. Best comment ever. But you should not neglect your studies. I graduated in undergrad while watching many drama and now I'm in graduate school still watching kdrama. ?

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JCW is back!!!!!

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My boy did rather well, didn't he? ?????????

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Oh, he sure did!

*wipes away my tears* I'm just so proud of him...

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I was so excited while watching it,that's my boy....he is back ...so so so proud

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*jumps up and down waving*

He one-upped himself in every department! Action, acting and hotness!!!!!!

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@div hear hear ..I am hoping that I can see his dorky smile in the coming episodes too..one can hope

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should we reactivate the Drool Pool then?
mmm those bulging guns..

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Wiping tears here too.
Poor JCW suffered so much filming those action sequences that he said this would be his last action drama!!! Can you imagine? My heart aches for his pain.

When news came of them leaving to film in Spain on 9/3, I thought it was for a later ep. That footage was for Ep 1, which aired on 9/23. Only a 20 day window. That's crazy!
Don't get hurt, Stay well, JCW!

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Oh please forgive my manners! @gummimochi, congrats on winning the Recap Wars for "The K2." Did you four draw straws to see who would be the lucky recapper, or were weapons involved? ?

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LOL

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@gummimochi

Thank you thank you for your awesome recap!
Reading your recap is just as fun as watching the drama live. The way you described the fighting sequence is just 'daebak'! Action novel worthy.

Now I am waiting impatiently for K2 ep 2 recap.

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*ugly crying * healerites unite! Let's try and break that 11k record,shall we?

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Present and accounted for!!!!

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I just started watching "Healer" & I only have about 6 episodes to go! Sweet mercy I don't think K2 will be like that, but I'm in!

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Cherkell, what are your thoughts on first two episodes?

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Welp, I have some good, bad and indifferent thoughts so far. But it's only been two episodes, and I'll reserve judgment for a few more episodes until it gets its footings.

One thing I can say is: I just don't want any purported love-line shoved down my throat so early in the show. This ain't no fluffy rom-com, that's for sure. Give the characters time to figure out each other and their connections to one another first before even dipping a toe into that cesspool. ?

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Woot woo! It's here! Thanks gummimochi!

The leads are doing fantastically. I can see why Ji Chang-wook says this will be his last action drama (or at least just for a while, I hope). Filming all those intense scenes must have been incredibly exhausting. But boy, did they turn out good. Props to the director as well!

So far, so good! I'm super pumped right now.

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No wonder he looked so exhausted in the press conference

The action was amazing and relentless. It felt like a movie.. The production has gone all out in expenses for the first episode. So beautifully shot

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Yeah, they sure are hitting it out of the ballpark! Those are some hollywood-level action scenes. My favorites were when Je-ha hurled a pick on the glass window and broke in like a boss. So. Damn. Cool.

The camera work could have used a bit of tweaking though. But that's just me.

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I agree the camera work needs a bit of tweaking.

As long as 95% of the focus is on JeHa and his uber awesomeness.

But we understand we don't want JCW to get hurt from exhaustion.

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That was my only reservation about the first 2 eps too. The cameras would shake too much for my liking during the action scenes making it hard to focus

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who was bothered by the shaky cam. I'm still a little reserved on my feelings about the drama but I did only watch the first episode. I will continue to watch though. I'm nothing if not loyal to JCW.

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Thats my favourite part too! Breaking the glass! And loved the other slow mo action too, especially the part where he jumps and does a knee kick etc...Uber cool! Yea now i get it when he said the action scenes were really tiring

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I was thinking the same! While the action scenes looked awesome, I can only imagine how intense and tiring they were for JCW.

On that same note though he does such an amazing job I hope he really doesn't mean he'll never do anything action drama again!

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*prays that JCW only meant it as a joke*

He might change his mind after his military service. He just is too good in action! Too good to stop.

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The action was pretty good though there was a time I feel a bit too pushed. The writing was messy. Too many actions which make the plot was nowhere. Still not catch the 2nd episode though.

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This. I know many people were impressed but this episode disappointed me. We saw some story in between an hour of long action scenes with a lot of unnecessary slow motion. Hope episode 2 is better.

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Same here, there is too many action scenes that i was bored of, i f/f the parts in the company and when they attacked him at his head out.

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I know what you mean, I could actually watch most of it without subs since like 80% of the first half had no words and was all fighting. So when I rewatched it with subs I also ended up f/f those scenes. I soon realized that when they said "Bodyguard Action" at the end of all their trailers, they were not kidding. It really is a lot of action. But I appreciate JCW's effort in producing his best for the visual pleasure of the viewers. I don't know how they're going to be able to continue this level of camera work and choreographed fights through the rest of the series, so maybe it'll tone down?

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That is one of the reasons I didn't want so many action scenes in the beginning because once the drama lands into live shoot they will reduce. That happened with healer too. Though I didn't like the long action scenes, if they have once started it they should have them till the end because those who like such action will get their hopes up for the rest of the show or they should find a balance while showing those scenes. They were three lengthy action scenes in total, I don't think we'll see the same in latter episodes. Neither do I want to but for the viewers who liked them it will be disappointing.

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I know what you mean. My daughter was in another room and she jokingly said, "You are either watching The Omen or a Spanish drama" because all you could hear was the ominous quasi religious music and Spanish words. Fine by me since Spanish is my first language. However, the second episode secured my position in the waiting line for more episodes. Bring it on K2!

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Exactly my thought. I'm quite disappointed but not really surprised, too much action scenes and running scenes with too little story. I ´ve watched the two first episodes and I feel no attachement to the characters.

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This is exactly how I feel...and I feel robbed cause I think the actors/actresses have so much talent to deliver yet not given the chance by the writer. I just found out that this is the same writer for Yongpal, which I also bailed on after three or four episodes or so...sigh....I hope she does (or is it a he?) a better job for K2. There's so much potential!

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I was somehow reminded of Dokko Jin's movie "Fighter" if you know what I mean ?. I hope it gets better for the sake of JCW.

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Action without plot is a long hard watch. I am hoping for more plot too.

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I agree with you Juan. I thought it was too much too. Everyone in the drama is just too intense to the point of overacting. I don't care much for the directing. I hope this won't be the case all throughout the drama because it just gets too exhausting to watch. Although I'm loving JCW moves here, I hope we are given more story than a display of action sequences that tend to be too long.

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Been refreshing the site waiting for the recap! Thanks gummimochi!

This was a pretty great and fast-paced first episode with just enough suspense to keep me riveted, but I'm not 100% sold yet. Still, I'm in it for Ji Chang-wook and, surprisingly, Song Yoo-na, who I absolutely loved here. Lady's gonna kill it in this role, I'm pretty sure.

I haven't watched an action show or movie in a while so I was really engaged in all the fight scenes. Props to Ji Chang-wook for doing his own stunts. But we shouldn't be surprised. He's Ji Chang-wook.

Excited to see more of The K2. Hope it shapes up into an epic show!

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Aaaaaaa.... Dead... Do not revive

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+1 just leave me my heart shattered? from Jin Chang wooks hotness, sexiness, just whatever words come to mind that means good looking male ??????

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No words can describe his hotness ?

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*Ji Chang wook Ji Chang wook! Damn you auto correct don't ruin my fine man's name

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*Revives for second episode*

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@fab walk out from the gutter to watch that ..
That TAN is mind blowing

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Hello @fab @sumee

I knew it I will find you here as soon as recap is on! JCW is back and I am just happy to see him in small screen, i am in tears actually to see this man we loved and adored in Healer again as Kim Je Ha. All the memories of Healer times are coming back ahihihi...

jichangwook is uber hotness and sexy here, deymit! I just love the tanned body it suits him more for the character!

I like ep1 and ep2 so far! It is really action-packed as they promised! I just hope they will sustain this until the end.

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Hi @Rigby! Joining you on the prayer circle, it was a great start; please keep it up show!

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The k2 has one of the best and real action scenes I've ever seen. Props to JCW he's amazing. the 2 Yoonas are doing a great job too, Im Yoona has finally successfully transformed from her girl next door roles

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I kind of was thinking the same thing. Maybe they do have something and that is why that lady is still married to the assemblyman, to hide the truth.

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you are not alone

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It was totally giving out that vibes.

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Yep.

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Oh, definitely. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

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You're not alone.. They totally give lesbian vibes.
I wonder if we ever see lesbian couple portrayed in kdrama.

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I heard Seonam has one.

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Omg!! I was thinking the same thing, too. My radar went off during that make up removal scene. I was like "Does her assistant swing for the other team or is it just my mind playing tricks on me and reading into things too much?!"

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For me it was just opposite. I kept waiting for her to suddenly flip and smack the secretary. She gave me completely psychotic vibes. Maybe the secretary is into s&m :)

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It looks like Yongpal's creepy nurse has morphed into a secretary.

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I felt it too. There was definitely some sort of sexual tension going on between the two. Whether or not intended.

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Definitely felt that vibe though.

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Am glad it was not just me, lol!

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I felt it too! But it just might be this drama's version of the crazy nurse of Yongpal

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Nope, you are not alone my friend.

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i thought i was the only one imagining it lol.. the tension was definitely present

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I'm sorry to JCW, but the kitten completely stole my heart this episode. I feel like I'm cheating, but I can't help it! What happened to it? I want to know.

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Plot twist: He carries the kitten in his backpack.

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LMAO it's his secret weapon

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I hope it is named Keanu!

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You just made a reference to some of my favorite comedians. You get all the gold stars.

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Kitten? What kitten? All I saw were biceps and pecs...

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plot twist: JCW will be the kitten's bodyguard. it is Imaginary Cat 2.0, with guns and lotsa action. :p

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Ji Chang Wook. Man he is hot!

And Yoona is surprisingly good in this drama.

I just hope this drama will not be another Drama like Doctor...

I only managed to watch it up to episode 7 or 6.

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No -- it will be way, way better I promise.

And I never promise anything in a drama.

This should be the only show to get a whopping 8 episode Extention. But then again, JCW will really leave action after that, lol!!!!

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I'm so in!

The story is dark and intriguing. The acting is solid. The production value is top-notch. If future episodes stay the course established by episode 1 (and episode 2), we may have a hit on our hands.

Side note: And god finally we have a Korean drama that handles its scenes set in a foreign country outside Asia with some confidence and tact. Too often Korean drama production teams seem out of their element when depicting cultures outside Korea (I'm looking at you Heirs/Descendants).

Final note: Being the Yoona crazed fan I am, I can't really not comment on how stellar she's doing in her role. Here's to all her doubters who can go suck it. Respectfully of course... ;) And dear god that woman gets ever more beautiful with age. How can someone look so unbelievably gorgeous in a simple, tattered dress. What an angel. Okay done fanboying.

Anyway, the production so far seems to know what it is and how to excel at it.

I for one can't wait for more!

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I'll appreciate Yoona's acting right along with you, I think she's done a terrific job so far. And it's such a different character than what you normally get in a drama, kudos for handling it well. ^^ It's nice to see some fanboying around here when it's normally us ladies squeeing over LJS, SIG etc.

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I haven't seen yoona in anything before so i dont have any preconceived notions about her. But i dont think we saw enough of her to pass judgment. She was mostly running for 90% of her scenes. I'll settle for being cautiously optimistic for now.

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This is my fist time watching her as well and I think she did well. I really hope there is more for her character than running away all the time.

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*first

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LOL! I can't help but laugh when I see references to the massive drama trauma that Heirs has induced in so many people, including myself. And stay away from my Yoona.

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I think it's because the filming in Spain is handled by Spanish production team (you could look at the very end of the episode, where the closing credit appears) so they have better handling on the cast, language, filming locations, etc compared to Heirs.

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I'm fanboying here too. She's amazing and gorgeous!

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Emanresu, i couldnt agree more, the overseas shooting was well done. It could, could almost pass a hollywood movie. Also Ive been to spain before and it didnt look as beautiful then

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My goodness. Ji Chang Wook is so sexy. I like his tanned body in this drama. And yeah, if I was the costume person, I'll just keep giving him nothing but tank tops. He is carrying them well.

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Now that's out of my chest, let's talk about the drama. Overall, I dont find it riveting. It's not as dark as I want it to be. The plots and characterizations are similar to action packed dramas that have come before.

So far, I only care for JCW's character mainly because it is portrayed by JCW. He is intense. Madam is also interesting, but ehhh.

The writing is mehhhh.

Still, will I continue to watch it? Of course, because I want to know if gumimochi's theory about the kitten is true.

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Episode 1 had very little story and way too many long action scenes. It isn't gripping yet and the music is too dramatic that I feel like they are forcing us to consider this moment suspenseful.

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The story telling is meh. If they wanna make an action drama, doesn't mean whole episode will see only running and fighting all the time lol

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While I enjoyed the action and the visual, I found the story-telling lacking and incoherent. Hope that as the story develops, everything will connect better together.
Also the background music does not work for me, it distracts me instead of engaging me to the scenes.

And I dont know if we will ever see JCW smile in this drama, but oh boy I miss your smile?

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Yes, the background music is too loud and distracting to the point that i need to turn off the sound.

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Hey, I just hope JeHa gets to play us some other more appealing classical tracks on his boom box, or will his days of thunder come to an end soon?

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I second his tanned body looks so much better than his pale white skin in Healer. And he's super buffed right now. He would look funny in that sleeveless white shirt in his Healer body before. This is such an upgrade. *swoon faints*

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personally i prefer his healer look- he is too buffed for me here..and the constant oiled up look is not helping lol

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I prefer his healer look as well, but I think his buffed body right now is the best fit for Je Ha role, so I am not complaining at all :).

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But the choir oohs and ahs during the action scenes drove me nuts. Guess I'll just mute it. Loved the fighting sequences but hated her running through the streets. Guess it's a draw. Is it true Warner Bros produced it because something about it just reminded me of a typical American action film.

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No truth to that rumour, which got started when someone (or a group of someones) started making the comparisons to "The Matrix" (which was a Warner Brothers production) due to K2's use of that movie's slice-time photography process we will see used during the first few episodes. HB Entertainment remains the production company for the entire drama.

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I loved those "oohs and ahs" during the fight scenes and other sequences!

I think the dark, desperate classical score gives the drama a certain weight and sense of scale that is very effective.

To each his (or her) own, however. :)

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I'm with you on this one! I did feel like it was out of place a couple of times but generally speaking, I liked the score. I had my headphones on while watching the drama and I was getting chills because it made the scene even more thrilling.

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I like the score, the classical opera music as you said gives it certain weight and grand scale. But sometimes the music is just too overblown that it loses the effectiveness in some parts. To each her own.

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Can you tell me the name of the opera soundtrack used? email me at [email protected]

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Ji Chang-wook kicked butt!

He's so manly????

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I thought the one thing that was overdone was all the fighting scenes. Hope future episodes concentrate more on the plot than just mindless bashing for bashings sake.

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Yeah, I actually fast forwarded some of the action scenes because it became boring (can't believe I use this word in JCW drama! Agh!). Plot please!

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Yeah, I didn't like the use of the choir track in some places. It was distracting and thought a faster more conventional beat would have worked better for the scenes in creating tension and mood

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Intense.

I was holding my breath for the action sequence. It was well done and well executed. JCW must've gone above and beyond for this role. It's like Healer on steroids or something. Though he must've suffered alot for him to decide this to be his last action project.

I like villains like Yoo Jin. Graceful yet seethingly evil. Kinda like Mishil. hehe.

This is very promising.

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Choi Yoo Jin has just become my favorite villain. Elegant and graceful, but cold and calculating. Just like Claire Underwood from House of Cards.

I'm hooked. Yoona as Go Anna, even with little lines, acquitted herself well. She rocks the disheveled look. And, JCW is very mesmerizing in those fight scenes. Acting-wise also, I'd have to say he's one of the best in his age group.

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A couple of thoughts I had while watching this episode

1) Korean men speaking/singing in Spanish is so sexy. I don't even know how many times I rewind the episode to the scene were JCW said "to the airport"
2) The actions scenes were great except the scene were he fights the two cops, the editing was just awkward.
3) I felt like the overused the classical music aspect. I love classical music but I found myself saying classical music again? I guess its just the fact that they used very over dramatic classical music.
4) I found myself wishing I was the kitten XD

To be sincere I had forgotten who the writer of the drama was and when I found that it is apparently the same team of "Yong-Pal" I couldn't help but say "Oh God"
I just hope this is better than that show. Thanks for the recap gummimochi.

Legend says that Yoona is still running in the streets of Spain.

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I agree with your #2. This drama provided some of the best action scenes I've seen in Korean dramas. I was also bothered by the editing of the fight with the 2 officers. It seemed showed a fast forwarded version of the full fight. I absolutely loved the use of stealth against the huge group of guards. I would have been pissed if he somehow managed to defeat them all at once. Instead, he used a Batman-like strategy, used the darkness to his advantage, and took them out 1 or 2 at a time.

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Agree with your number 3. It is overworked to me..

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I think why people didn't like the music because it was overused this episode, like there were hardly any dialogues in the first 20 minutes (or in the whole episode for that matter), only the chorus singing. I think it would be ok if it was given in small doses. Hope, they reduce that in the upcoming episodes.

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Agree with everything. This episode was good and I only have two small comments:
- the non-stop chores, like if we were in a permanent climax...I hope they tone it down later.
- the scenes in Spain; maybe because I am Spanish certain things stood out and felt unrealistic, haha!! Like, c'mon, an injured girl would not run through the streets without someone stopping and helping her...
And the only ones approaching you and giving you flowers in the streets are old gypsy ladies that want your money (they are really dangerous, so run if you see them) :P
Btw, JCW and Yoona's Spanish was faultless; given that sometimes I've seen that Korean actors speak English with a very strong accent, I was a bit surprised. Only a few words but I can tell they worked on it :)

Loved JCW here (who wouldn't? he goes around feeding kitties and saving grannies), anyway I am waiting for less fight and more scenes where he can display his other talents. I also like Yoona a lot, and the villains look interesting, so I am looking forward to the next episode :D

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Haha, that was what I thought too. An injured, frightened girl in a nightgown racing barefoot on busy streets and no one bats an eye?

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Yep, my thoughts exactly: no one bats an eye.

The clerk at the metro station: the girl's clearly in some kind of trouble -> no reaction, just chewing bubble gym and taking her time with the change.

Also, at the metro station: that fight going on and again - no one reacts.

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Oh wow you're Spanish?
Yeah of course drama will be a bit unrealistic to give it more dramatic vibe. The monastery in the mountain and downtown Barcelona seems really far yet she's running and running? With no bag, spare clothes and enough money? Girl, that's some unprepared escape...
I actually want them to speak more lines in Spanish. It looks cool and reminds me of Yoon Si Yoon when he speaks Spanish in PMAI. I actually expect YSY pop up in Barcelona to help Yoona. LOL

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I'm on min 10 of the ep and I have to pause and come here to SCREEEAAAM about the location being Spain!!!
I noticed first the Cataluña flag but when I saw later those streets...it was Barcelona!!! OMG, I didn't know they filmed in Spain!!!

And yes, I'm Spainsh myself too and I found a bit weird the part with the man with the clavel (carnation) but it happen to me weirder things, so I figured it was a argument between lovers and the slender one took the carnation, walked off and stopped the first man he saw, trying to flirt with him to anger/get jealous the bulkier one. Idk, I can imagine the quarrel.

Ahh...amazing. Listening to Spanish in a korean drama. Thinking that JCW has been here!!! Mamma, it's a weird thought lol

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the scenes in Spain; maybe because I am Spanish certain things stood out and felt unrealistic, haha!! Like, c’mon, an injured girl would not run through the streets without someone stopping and helping her…-----> That's exactly how I felt too. I am not Spanish but I am from an Spanish speaking country and I've been to Spain, that sequence of Yoona escaping and then getting to a city in 3 minutes, and then running like a madwoman through the streets is way too much unbelievable, but I'll forgive the drama because the action is great.

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Oh no Yong-Pal :(
I was loving the drama so much and then when I saw the preview of the next episode, i couldn't help but think uuuhhh something reminds me of Yong-Pal and was immediately worried... But I didn't know that it actually is done by the same team.
I am gearing up for disappointment already. I almost put it in my list of most favorite drama after the 1st episode.

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Man. Action packed pilot that propably 60% of episode 1 do not need subs, just JCW kicking everyone's arses. Maybe 20% of Yoona running barefoot and the remaining 20% where other characters do the talking. Pretty great pilot episode for introductions and I can't wait for more!

JCW is back! Yaaaaaas! Also, it's a surprise Yoona could express so much emotion through her eyes.

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I watched this in the early hours in the morning and couldn't really grasp with the plot much but all I could remember was Ji Chang Wook being super hot and beating all the baddies around. Guess that is all that matters though gee. Thanks for the recap gummimochi ! :DDDDD

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I've been waiting for this (and JCW) for so long! I'm just happy I'm going to be able to see him twice a week now.

The Pros
- JCW is killing it with this role (I didn't expect any less, but I feel like he's outdone himself with just this ep alone)!
- Plenty of mysteries that keep you wanting to find out what's going to happen next
- Exciting
- Beautiful cinematography
- Gripping action scenes
- Song Yoon Ah's acting is riveting. Her character is so subtle yet to so powerful, and she does a great job of making things work.

The Cons
- What is up with the intense love for choir music? It makes the drama feel like it's taking itself too seriously. Idk, it ruined the pacing and the mood for me a lot.
- I can't get over the elaborate plot involved just to take a video of Se Joon's infidelity. Seriously? You need an entire SWAT-like team who isn't even subtle when entering the building just to make sure they record successfully? You had to mow down guards and innocent people to infiltrate the building...for a recording? I felt like they had a better chance of winning if they hadn't entered guns ablazing and attempted a more subtle approach. Could've just planted something in the room, idk. I even wondered if they couldn't have just shot a recording from a different building with some high tech gadget. The curtains would've remained wide open if the assemblyman hadn't seen Jeha at the window.
- Too much running
- All in all, I think the plot overcomplicates things that can be presented in a simpler manner just to show more fight scenes or emphasize how dark and badass the show is.

Don't get me wrong though. Despite my misgivings, I did enjoy the episode and I'm intrigued enough to watch the next one. I'm hoping that the way the plot is handled becomes less messy as it goes along because I really, really want this show to be successful.

Also, Yoona is doing a serviceable job considering she was given so little to work with in this first ep (all the running and desperation). I'm looking forward to see how she grows with this project.

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You put my thoughts into words so eloquently!?
They really don't need the whole SWAT-like team just to take a picture. All they need would be just uri Healer?

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I thought that Yoona did a very good job of showing the desperation, and gave a feel for just how long she had been apparently locked away/hidden.

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I agree actually. My misgiving is with how many scenes of her running they included in the first episode. But she portrayed the emotions really well.

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"All in all, I think the plot overcomplicates things that can be presented in a simpler manner just to show more fight scenes or emphasize how dark and badass the show is."

+1

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Lol.. I didn't even think about it.. But now that you mentioned it, all that ruckus and mayhem to take a recording????

But i guess the escort and the room would have been fully veted and scanned by the personnel for hidden gadgets.

Though how much would the recording hold if you people with guns attacking the building. Couldnt they just counter that the pictures were staged and taken forcibly at gunpoint and you have the destroyed building as evidence.

Weak.

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The security team just didn't feel trustworthy to me, so I feel like there would've been a way around the gadget thing if the baddies wanted to go that way. :P I mean, they let Jeha in after getting lectured by granny even though they tried to insist about the ID at first.

"Though how much would the recording hold if you people with guns attacking the building. Couldnt they just counter that the pictures were staged and taken forcibly at gunpoint and you have the destroyed building as evidence."
- Inorite. They have CCTV footage of the masked team coming in and attacking everyone.

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LOL. They could only use small hidden cameras inside the room or probably drone? Hehe. But instead they're going full on SWAT-like team just to catch the infidelity.

The two Yoonas did great job in this drama! Kudos to them.. If tvN had year-end drama awards I would nominate Song Yoon Ah for Daesang and Yoona for Excellence awards.

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he he you summarized everything so well.

One thing is, that the choir music worked on me, at certain situations. But I did feel there were some situations where it didnt fit or that the stakes are not high enough for such dramatic tone. Though I could clearly see a lot of thought and effort went into the background music, I have a feeling they are playing around with it still and we will get the polished version in upcoming weeks!

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I hope so too. I did think the music lent an appropriate air of drama to the story, but they overused it, so it ended up weakening the episode. I would love to see them refine it in the coming weeks.

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+1000

I got way too much Young Pal vibes in this show.

The action scenes are so sleek and stylish, I like it... yet the story behind them is unconvincing, sometimes illogical.

This show manages to pick my curiosity, but fails to convince me that they have satisfying answers/explanation.

I really want to like this show because Ji Chang Wook's performance is way too awesome to be missed, but I just can't get rid my uneasy feeling that this show is going to be such a mess and disappointed me later.

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I'm actually one of those people who didn't know the writer for this drama was the Yongpal writer, but now that you mention it, I do see some similar threads and themes in the writing.

Which basically means we'll keep enjoying the show because of how intriguing it is, haha. Unlike Yongpal, I hope it powers through its second half, though, and that the strengths we see now are amplified and the weaknesses become less obvious.

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You've hit the nail on the head when you say that the show is taking itself more seriously that it should. I think they were trying to go all out on making an impact in the first episode, but I would have appreciated a little subtlety.

I appreciated some of the sans dialogue languid scenes but there were times that I wished the scenes were shorter. Like when the scene of yoona running being intercut with the scenes from the fashion show. They did the intercutting so many times and I was like, yeah we get it.. What next?

Strangely I do not like song yoona's portrayal of her character.. yet. Forgive me this might be harsh, but for me it seems like she has a perpetual sneer on her face.

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ikr i thought the team was there to assassinate the politician but just to take pictures? lame. they even sacrificed an old lady.. for pictures. they're like the truck of doom on steroids

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I can't say I was blown away by this first episode. It was alright, I liked the fighting choreography but not much else. Perhaps because there wasn't much except action.

I love and hate the cinematography. Do I make sense? At times, it's really beautiful. I feel like I am watching a movie, not a drama. I think the problematic parts are in the fight scenes. With so much going on, the last thing I need is the camera shakes.

I am less ambivalent about the music. It's quite terrible to me. What's with the overly dramatic choices? Sometimes, less is more.

Yong Pal writer does really have something for religion or is it specifically Catholicism? Also, the scene where the secretary wiped off Yoo Jin's makeup reminded me of Nurse Hwang. I am not sure if you can call it lesbianism but it's definitely an obsession.

All things said, I am buckling in for the ride. Fully expecting ep 2 to have more storytelling than just action. After all, JCW can't be fighting this much back to back and poor Yoona or rather Anna. I feel like I was watching a 100km ultra-marathon.

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Lol thats what i was thinking. Major religious prevalence in BOTH his/her dramas? I guess they must be a fan

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I am guessing it's got more to do with imparting some moral message. In Yong Pal, I got it. This one remains to be seen or perhaps they just wanted to show the beautiful Spanish cathedral? But, I got distracted by that lady who brought Anna in. I wish I could walk in high heels on cobbles.

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yeah, I find the shaky camera also distracting at some moment,
and yoona looked so worn out running in desperation all the ep 1, but I impressed by the way she runs, it fast and weak enough

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I am telling you the girl can run!

Sure her gait is awkward presumably because she's been locked up and not to mention she's running barefoot. But she's running fast enough to give Usain Bolt a run for his money. Looking at how the sky went from day to night, she must be running for hours and at that pace, I would have collapsed.

Do they have Subway in Spain? Someone on the street could have given her two sandwich slabs for her poor feet.

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Sandwich slabs, ah! I'm laughing so hard here my tummy hurts :D

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She's preparing for marathon race.

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I know! I was riveted by the way she ran! Her acting was actually not bad! Impressed

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Had to comment again because I forgot to mention something.

I'm really excited for this drama as it's very clear from the first two episodes that this production is in experienced, deft hands.

In my eyes, there's a polish to the show that is not often found in many Korean dramas. Never did I feel the constraints of the medium or see the seams of the world.

I think the production especially excels in the setting of its dark tone. It possesses a weight of scale and sense of the epic that lends a certain stature and amount of swagger to the narrative. The grand and perilous score is used to great effect in particular sequences to carry the tone forward. The sequence depicting how Yoona's Anna comes to be held as prisoner as a child comes to mind. That sequence was very effective.

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Immediately after I made my comment I scanned the other comments.

Seems many hate the score or believe it to be overwrought.

So it would seem I'm in the minority in that I'm really digging the dark, epic classical score.

Guess it's different strokes for different folks. (shrugs)

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I love the score as well! The dark, dramatic classical tone brought a certain thematic experience. It's quite unique and really works for me.

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Same here!

As I watching with my Dad, we both commented on how epic the soundtrack is.

I think the dark classical vibe lends quite a unique tone into the show.

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I have no problem with the music score. I love it to the moon and back.

However, I must agree with those who say that it was overused.

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I love it, too! I was clapping my hands by the end of the first episode, and Yoona even impressed me (but admittedly I felt somewhat detached in her pleading but okay I'll let it pass).

I'm just here, intrigued and looking forward to everything.

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Exactly! I'm surprised that people found it off putting..I was so sure that there would be a positive reaction. Or maybe I'm biased to such music.

As for the action, we all know that the first episodes are meant to be dramatic. Maybe that's why it has a lot of action. Story will definitely pick up as the episodes roll in.

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Lovely recap! Thanks!

I am sooooo into this drama. I love the opening credits, I love the cinematography. Of course, we all love JCW! I want to be his T-shirt.

I clapped for Yoona here, you go girl! Although it's too early to say with just a couple of episodes, but Im really liking her acting here.

As for Yoon-ah, liek WHOA major EVIL vibes feel. I'm so scared of her, she feels like 1000x more evil than UF's evil Madam Lee. Scaryyyy!

Exciting times for us! :D :D

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I'm not a fan of this writer, but it seems s/he always write interesting female leads and somehow magically transform mediocre actresses (Kim Tae Hee, Yoona) to perform their roles well.

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I know right! The action scenes were breathtaking! I could watch it again just to figure out how cuts did they take...No wonder JCW was saying that it was hard work filming the action scenes!

And yes, Yoona, I fell in love with her acting here...especially her running, the scene felt so real ...the duck footed running...it was riveting

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I think yoonas performance is pretty good so far! Although im here for ji chang wook hehe

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Just one thing - did anyone else feel that the camera was jerking around too much. I had an actual headache after watching it. Had to sleep it off.

Besides that, i loved every single thing about it.

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K2 will be remembered for yoona's iconic running scenes;

It made some first impression

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