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69

Mystery Queen: Episode 1

Mystery Queen is a humorous, engaging watch with an intelligent heroine yearning to escape from the confines of her ordinary life, even if she has to do it secretly. I’m rooting for her to finally achieve her long-held dreams, even if she has to butt heads with a certain cranky hardboiled detective to do it. I’m looking forward to how this unconventional police procedural develops in the coming weeks!

 
EPISODE 1 RECAP

On a rainy night, a detective ducks into a warehouse where his colleague is waiting for him. We’re not officially introduced to them quite yet, but they’re Detectives LEE DONG-KI (Kim Min-jae) and BAE KWANG-TAE (Ahn Gil-kang). Dong-ki brought a gun, saying kids these days are fearless, but Kwang-tae says that’s overkill. Realizing that each thought the other would call for backup, Dong-ki does it now, but they’re suddenly surrounded by young men in suits. Kwang-tae grabs Dong-ki’s gun, leaving him scrambling for his nightstick.

Kwang-tae aims at the man directly in front of him, who tells his friends that the first one is blank and the next bullet will be real. He points out that he and his friends number more than five. Kwang-tae retorts that five will die then (before Dong-ki whispers loudly that they’re only allowed to fire four shots, haha). Kwang-tae amends that to four deaths, but the hoodlums are undaunted and move closer with their clubs.

Suddenly a voice comes out of the dark, calling for JANG DO-JANG to show his face. It’s Detective HA WAN-SEUNG (Kwon Sang-woo), dragging a man along with him as he descends the stairs, and he suggests they get this over with so they can all go home. Wan-seung grabs a fire extinguisher and attacks while his colleagues begin throwing punches too, and soon it’s a free-for-all.

As the fight rages, a man in a leather coat (Yang Ik-joon) watches from a balcony overlooking the room. A young man approaches him, and the crouching man hands him a pipe, which he uses to hit Wan-seung over the head, knocking him out.

When he comes to, alone on the concrete floor, he looks up to see the man in the leather coat watching him silently. “Jang Do-jang,” he rasps as he struggles to move, blood streaming down his face.

Away from the action, a convenience store owner has reported some thefts, but the pair of uniformed police officers on the case have found no evidence so far. Young officer HONG JOON-OH (Lee Won-geun) studies the CCTV feed intently, and his older colleague tells him to keep looking and leaves, ignoring Joon-oh’s reminder that it’s his first day of work.

Joon-oh wonders how the goods disappeared without being recorded by the surveillance camera, and the owner sarcastically answers that the officer should figure that out. Joon-oh cheerfully corrects her—he’s a lieutenant, actually, and the new head of the local police substation. Surprised, she says he looks like he’s not even thirty, and at his nod, she sighs and bends down to watch the security tapes with him.

A third person pops her head between theirs and says, “Stop!” It’s our heroine, YOO SEOL-OK (Choi Kang-hee), who points at an employee onscreen, saying he looks suspiciously nervous. It’s the owner’s son, and she says defensively that he’s a bit timid. Seol-ok points out that he shows tenseness only when a particular student comes to the store, but the owner tells her to mind her own business.

As the owner rings up her groceries, Seol-ok notices that the student only ever pays with a card, but the owner irritably says that no one uses cash these days. In that case, says Seol-ok, she’ll use her card too, and hands hers over with a little smile—only to have the owner snap that she can’t use her library card to pay.

Joon-oh realizes that this is exactly what the kid in the video did: He “paid” with his library card, allowing the owner’s son to give away merchandise without being detected by the cameras. I’m thinking we have a case of bullying here.

At that moment, the son arrives from school, and his mother instantly starts chasing him with a broom, smacking him as she asks why he did it when she gives him an allowance. He yells at her to stop, adding that he’s going crazy himself.

Seol-ok and Joon-oh approach, the former commenting on the boy’s missing buttons and his ill-fitting shoes. Noticing this for the first time, his mother asks him what he’s done with his running shoes, and Seol-ok suggests that he’s being bullied by another student. The mother feels terrible for not realizing what was going on. Joon-oh offers the services of the police while Seol-ok asks if she can get a discount on her groceries.

At home, Seol-ok prepares breakfast for her mother-in-law, PARK KYUNG-SUK (Park Joon-geum). Kyung-suk asks where her son is, and Seol-ok tells her that he’s stuck at work for a while. Seol-ok’s sister-in-law KIM HO-SOON (Jeon Soo-jin) greets them as she heads to work, skipping breakfast as usual.

Seol-ok sits at the table awkwardly as Kyung-suk tries the food; she instantly makes a face and asks how Seol-ok is going to open a lunchbox business if her cooking is this bad. Ouch. Kyung-suk is off to a seminar, but before she goes she warns Seok-ok not to engage in idle chitchat when she goes to her friend’s store, since that will embarrass her husband.

It turns out that Kyung-suk’s “seminar” is actually playing Go-Stop with her friends, and they certainly have no qualms about indulging in gossip. One asks Kyung-suk if things are okay between her son and daughter-in-law, but another says to stop being silly, as they’re often seen grocery shopping and having tea together. Kyung-suk knows they don’t do that, and becomes disturbed at the other ladies’ description of a tall, young, handsome man. One of the ladies wonders if it might be the new Officer Hong.

Kyung-suk tells her friends that Seol-ok would never go for a police officer when her husband is a prosecutor. Besides, not just anyone can cheat, she scoffs, and Seol-ok is a nobody without money, education, or a good family—no man would ever fall for her. Lordy.

Cut to Seol-ok bustling around her bedroom, humming as she gets ready to meet Joon-oh. She calls her friend KIM KYUNG-MI (Kim Hyun-sook) at the lunchbox store she owns, and asks her to tell her mother-in-law that she went to buy ingredients if she comes by. Kyung-mi warns that Seol-ok won’t be able to fool her sharp-eyed mother-in-law for long, but Seol-ok grins and says she doesn’t care—she’s too excited.

Kyung-suk’s friends warn her not to take this lightly; hasn’t Seol-ok been going out a lot lately? Does she secretly take calls on the balcony? Kyung-suk suddenly recalls her doing just that, as well as running home at strange times of the day, out of breath. She tells her friends that Seol-ok has been going to her friend’s store daily for cooking lessons, but strangely, she never improves. Kyung-suk decides to call Seol-ok to ask where she is, and when she says she’s at the lunchbox store, the ladies head off to verify her story.

Joon-oh tells his subordinates (let’s call them Slacker Cop and Earnest Cop for now) that he’s off to investigate the Bangtan Market locker case. But when Earnest Cop offers to accompany him, Joon-oh politely declines. Earnest Cop watches Joon-oh admiringly as he goes, saying he seems like Sherlock Holmes with all the cases he’s been solving. Slacker Cop dismisses it as luck, and tells Earnest Cop not to suck up just to get promoted.

Kyung-suk and her friends look in through the window of Kyung-mi’s store, and as expected, Seol-ok is absent. They call the station to find out where Joon-oh is, and decide to go to the market and see if the two are together.

At Bangtan Market, Seol-ok examines a wall of lockers, some of which have been ripped open, and Joon-oh soon joins her. Seol-ok says the thief was an amateur, judging from how much time and energy he wasted; a pro would have stolen a key and used it to make a master key. The culprit used something to force the doors open with brute force, going from left to right, getting better at it as he went. Seol-ok posits that he had to stop halfway through because he was startled by the night guards on patrol.

Strangely, however, the thief took no cash or valuables, but only memorial food ingredients like baby formula and ginseng. Joon-oh comes up with the elaborate scenario of a poor young man, desperate to take care of his family but too righteous to steal money. (Hah, as his story becomes more convoluted, we see a vision of the young man with more and more dependent family members.) Seol-ok points out that in that case, he’d need cash the most. Joon-oh wonders if it was kids fooling around, but Seol-ok is certain it’s an adult—a dangerous one.

A little later, Kyung-suk and her friends spy two men near the same lockers who look violent and scary—ha, it’s Wan-seung and Dong-ki. They go back their car, and Wan-seung looks at his reflection in dismay, frowning at the wounds on his handsome face (his words, not mine). Dong-ki helps him put ointment on his stitches, standing just outside a cafe where Seol-ok and Joon-oh discuss security footage of a suspicious-looking man: Wan-seung, standing by the lockers earlier.

They speculate that he’s a gangster, not the boss but a powerful henchman, judging from his rough appearance. Seol-ok suggests that Joon-oh take him in for questioning, but he says they want to wrap this case up at work, as it’s just a petty robbery. But Seol-ok counters that it’s not petty at all—this is a drug case.

She explains that the criminal (hilariously, she’s now imagining Wan-seung ripping open the lockers with the crowbar) must have been looking methodically for something specific, and everything he stole—frying powder for memorial food, baby formula, ginseng—looks like drugs. She thinks it’s a delivery mix-up.

Joon-oh thanks Seol-ok for her help solving difficult cases so far (he addresses her respectfully as “Teacher”), but he tells her that she’s off this time. Seol-ok stresses again that everything stolen was a white powder resembling drugs, and must have been so valuable that of course cash would seem useless in comparison. (How did this dude even graduate from police school? He seems incredibly dim.)

Seol-ok’s theory is that they lost the key and/or contact with the delivery man, causing a secretive drug deal to become a robbery case. Which means it must be related to the gang member that they saw on the security footage, says Joon-oh, finally having a eureka moment.

Just then, Kyung-suk, who is staked out on a bench with her friends next to Joon-oh’s cruiser, calls Seol-ok. She asks her daughter-in-law if she’s still at Kyung-mi’s shop, and when Seol-ok says she is, Kyung-suk says she’ll stop in on the way home. Suddenly seeing the four ladies through the window, Seol-ok drops to the ground and crawls away, just as the ladies turn around and spot Joon-oh.

Seol-ok exits through the back door of the cafe and runs for it while the ladies fuss over Joon-oh until he offers them a ride. Seol-ok is on her way when she sees his cruiser pass by with its lights flashing, all four ladies inside, and she desperately tries to outrun the car. The ladies arrive at the lunchbox shop and Kyung-mi tries various delaying tactics on Kyung-suk, but the older woman soon makes it into the kitchen.

Just as Kyung-suk asks where Seol-ok has gone, she falls in through the door, panting. She crawls behind a counter and then pops up as if she was there all along, grabbing a huge fish and flipping it enthusiastically in a pan. Satisfied, Kyung-suk leaves, and Seol-ok falls to the ground in relief. Kyung-mi walks over and flatly says, “You fried the fish I was planning to use for sashimi.” She yells at Seol-ok to take it out.

Once the store is closed, Seol-ok drinks soju with Kyung-mi, who says crossly that she paid two hundred dollars for that sea bream (which Seol-ok nonchalantly takes bites of). Kyung-mi asks what Kyung-suk’s problem is with her constantly watching Seol-ok, and her friend replies that it’s because Kyung-suk’s son is a prosecutor. However, that status doesn’t come with money; it was Seol-ok who paid for her sister-in-law’s graduate degree. Kyung-mi points out that her husband wouldn’t have become a prosecutor without Seol-ok, who didn’t even get to go to college because of him, and on top of that, she has to deal with Kyung-suk’s condescension.

Still, says Kyung-mi, Seol-ok shouldn’t get divorced. Seol-ok asks if Kyung-mi regrets her own divorce, but Kyung-mi scoffs that she’s completely free, both from her former in-laws and her own family that’s disowned her.

Before Seol-ok leaves, Kyung-mi gives her a parcel that came for her, a study guide for the police exam. Seol-ok excitedly puts the book in a back room which has photos of different criminal cases stuck on the walls, but Kyung-mi is doubtful that Seol-ok will be allowed to become a police officer even if she passes the exam.

Seol-ok studies a picture of a young woman with an older man (herself and her father?), a sad smile on her face. She tells Kyung-mi that this is her last year and asks her to bear with her. On her way home, Seol-ok bumps into Wan-seung as he rushes past her, and he watches her idly as she walks away.

The next day, Joon-oh is in a quiet mood and when he tells the other cops that the locker case is related to drugs, they laugh and tell him not to waste his energy. Seol-ok calls to apologize for disappearing, and he tells her that Bangtan Market is replacing the lockers. People have claimed their things from the top row of the undamaged lockers, but the rest will probably go to lost and found. Seol-ok says excitedly that they can find the culprit, but Kyung-suk suddenly appears, and she has to hang up.

Kyung-suk has a huge pile of blankets for them to wash “together,” but she immediately flops down on the sofa and leaves it to Seol-ok. Seol-ok asks if they need groceries, but Kyung-suk tells her to get to washing while the sun is out. Seol-ok escapes to the bathroom to call Joon-oh back, telling him that if the culprit failed last time, he’ll return to get his package today before it’s moved to lost and found. If he succeeded, however, the accomplice will show, and they can catch him instead.

Seol-ok sneaks away while Kyung-suk sleeps, and Joon-oh prepares to leave the station, grabbing his taser. Earnest Cop asks if Joon-oh is going to Bangtan Market and asks if he can come—he’s curious to know if it’s really a drug case, and he’s already finished rescuing cats for the day.

When Seol-ok arrives at the market, she looks at the top row of lockers and sees one that looks different from the others, but it’s locked. She hides in a nearby photo both and settles down to wait. Soon, a thunderstorm starts, and Wan-seung and Dong-ki arrive. Wan-seung says that Jang Do-jang is sure to show up tonight, but Dong-ki whines that he needs to pee. Wan-seung irritably tells him to just go home, but Dong-ki promises that he’ll wait by the entrance.

Seol-ok is texting Joon-oh to tell him the culprit has appeared when Wan-seung abruptly lifts the curtain of the photo booth, and they both yell. Seol-ok falls off the chair she was crouched on and into his arms, and they end up on the muddy street. She keeps screaming, and he pushes her off him, then runs after her as she flees. Dong-ki comes to see what the commotion is and Wan-seung shouts, “Grab her! She’s the accomplice!”

They chase Seol-ok through the dark alleys until she finds Joon-oh, crying for him to save her. Wan-seung and Dong-ki are surprised to see police, and things get complicated when Joon-oh and Earnest Cop give chase. The detectives take off running, but then Dong-ki says he’ll handle this, and he and Wan-seung stop and wait.

When Joon-oh and Earnest Cop arrive, Dong-ki tells them to calm down as he reaches into his jacket for his ID, but Joon-oh panics and tasers him, and he falls to the ground, stunned.

Angrily, Wan-seung pulls out his own badge and shows it to the officers, yelling that they’ve worked so hard on this case, and now that they’ve shown up in their uniforms, they could’ve ruined the whole operation. He stalks off.

Seol-ok is back by the lockers to retrieve her cellphone, which she dropped earlier. She sees a man in a hood opening one of the lockers and approaches him slowly. She notices his hands, saying they’re scarred—is he a boxer? She observes out loud that he’s opened lockers 46, 47, and 48 with the same key; it must be a master. Perhaps what he’s looking for is in 49? Uh… are you sure this is wise?

Ignoring her, the hooded man opens locker 49 to find five bags of white powder, and he stuffs them in a duffel. As Wan-seung watches from around a corner, the hooded man turns toward Seol-ok, revealing his face—it’s Jang Do-jang. He takes out a knife, and Seol-ok gasps.

She tells him to calm down—didn’t he notice that they fixed the security camera? But when she looks, she sees that it’s broken. He approaches her threateningly, and she finally loses her cool, pleading for mercy. Wan-seung darts out of his hiding place in dismay. The knife slashes, blood spurts onto the lockers, and Seol-ok falls unconscious to the ground, her blouse bloody.

 
COMMENTS

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Mystery Queen based on the teasers, but I was pleased to find that it’s a humorous show with an unusual setup that distinguishes it from the typical police procedural. Dark, intense crime shows are plentiful in dramaland right now, and as great as those can be, this is a refreshing contrast. I hope the show won’t take a left turn into melodrama once the plot gets going in earnest, but I don’t think we have to worry too much about that in a show where the heroine’s name is a play on Sherlock and the hero’s is a play on Watson. I liked that the comedy isn’t over the top, but is instead in small character moments—the dynamic between Wan-seung and his colleagues, for example, or the gag with Kyung-mi’s ruined fish. Choi Kang-hee is great in these wordless comedic moments; the way she was flipping the fish in the pan made me crack up. I also enjoyed the way Seol-ok and Joon-oh’s speculative imaginings of the criminal kept changing in subtly funny ways.

Seol-ok is an interesting character and a surprisingly opaque one; it took nearly the entire episode to get an emotion from her other than the cheerfulness that I suspect she uses as a coping mechanism. And who can blame her, with a mother-in-law who considers her as inadequate for her precious son, orders her around, and constantly belittles her with passive-aggressive comments. (I do like that Park Joon-geum is playing a much more realistic version of a hateful mother-in-law here than she usually does, because let’s be honest, we all know this woman.) Despite Kyung-mi’s advice, possibly brought on by her loneliness, I hope that Seol-ok’s arc in this drama includes divorcing her husband, because as far as I can see, she’s given more than enough to this selfish family already. And it’s kind of adorable that the “affair” Seol-ok is having is with her lifelong dream.

We’ve seen very little of Wan-seung so far, but he seems like a more familiar type: the arrogant, fearless detective who always gets his man and has no patience for dumb civilians who get in his way. I hope there’s more to his character than that, but then it’s Kwon Sang-woo, so I’m sure he’ll be great regardless—and I sure have missed him on my screen. It’ll be fun to watch Seol-ok bring him down a peg. Many pegs. And then they can run around Sherlock-ing together, and hopefully she’ll dump the loser and they’ll start making eyes at each other. I already love their chemistry, and they’ve never even had a conversation!

Lee Won-geun’s character, on the other hand, makes me scratch my head—he seems impossibly naive and dimmer than a penlight, and I’m at a loss to explain how he became lieutenant of even a small substation at his age. Maybe he has hidden depths, but I doubt it, considering Seol-ok had to explain to him what drugs look like. It is kind of cute how respectfully he treats her, and they make an adorable team, but I do hope that Joon-oh’s character is supposed to be comedic, and that all the police in this show aren’t this slow on the uptake. (Earnest Cop and Slacker Cop don’t show much promise either. Maybe this is a low-crime district and they get the bottom of the class?)

This show has potential, and I’m excited to see how it develops. It’s nice to see a brave, smart, quietly confident heroine (even if she shows a worrying lack of concern for her own safety sometimes), because female characters are so often relegated to minor roles in police procedurals. I have a feeling Seol-ok won’t let anyone stop her from being right in the center of the action. Hopefully her knife wound is very minor, and she’ll up again in no time to chase criminals and butt heads with our grumpy hero.

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IT'S AWESOME!!!!

breathof fresh air

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Wow. Had a lot of hopes for this one, but it still managed to blow me away with the first ep! Thanks for the recap, Laica! Look forward to your comments on the show as it progresses.

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the mother-in-law as of now, she is my favorite. Its very rare to get a mother -in-law like her in a korean drama. I hope she stays like that. Pretty please. haha..

It is funny how, the actress who played as the mother-in-law was the one in secret garden and man, she was SCARY in that , and did not even approve of the lead girl, even at the end, who is similar to Seol Ok in a way like has no good background , did not go to college etc.

I loved the show. I watched this show without any kind expectations and Viola! A good premiere. Loving Seol Ok. Interesting and Fresh. She really would become a great detective in real , if she pass the exam. Finally , we get to see female lead, specially a married woman, who is also not a real detective, and is not foolish and idiotic, unlike other female lead characters.

Kwon Sang Woo is a vampire. He seriously does not age, and he looks more and more handsome ,each passing day.

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Ep 1 seemed like a duel between two lady amateur detectives - our lead and the mother in law. Gee, I wonder who will win :)

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yay!!! excited to add something more interesting to my weekly list. this sounds awesome so far! thanks for the recap!

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Won-Geun's character seems quite incompetent for lieutenant as Laica points out. I suspect they did it so that Seol-ok will shine but I hope Officer Joon-oh can offer more to the case rather than being a dumb sounding board. Their dynamic is cute however so I am liking the comedic show so far. I am curious to see how Office Joon-oh's character arc will play out.

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Great first episode, I was entertained and able to follow the storyline. Like the characters as well.

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I like It! Seon Ok is adorable and I missed Lee Wongeun's smile.

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I like Seon Ok too, but that last scene proved to me that while she is excited about mysteries, she has no concept of reality. Her approaching and talking to the culprit shows that she thinks she is inside mystery book, so she doesn't regard the reality and dangers of being at a crime scene. I look forward to see how she grows as a character. I wish she was not married, then we could've had a romantic plot too alongside the mystery.

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I wanted to yell at her for being so obtuse, but I like your "inside a mystery book" thought. Yes, this is all fun and games for her without the harsh reality this person could actually hurt her.

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I think the married aspect is important to the character and the story. Being a married housewife in this society forces her into a box which she is too curious and smart to be fulfilled in. If she was single, she would have become a cop and that would be a completely different story. Half the fun of the story is how quickly she thinks on her feet to circumvent her mother in law's demands and expectations to seek the stimulation of solving a puzzle.

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Love this show so far. I agree that the small moments of humor are so fun compared to some of the over the top slap stick in Strong Woman. The little bit with the MIL's friend stuffing a rice cake in Joon oh's pocket like a stripper tip was too funny.
The director is taking more care than usual crafting some interesting shots. The two scenes shot through the big window of the cafe were composed with interesting action happening out of earshot of the scene's dialogue. It mirrors the paralleling stories in the first episodes of the two leads as their first meeting approaches.
I don't think Joon oh is dim so much as very green. He probably just graduated from the police academy and has no practical experience. Ordinarily the senior patrol officer would probably take the newbie under his wing to give him some street smarts, but the one at this sub station is a total slacker. That he recognized Seoul ok's skills from the get go and is eager to learn from her makes me like him.

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Me too. And that was basically the description of his character. I'm glad he realizes how much he can learn from Seol-ok. That makes him pretty smart to me.

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Oooh, I missed Joon-oh's character description! It makes me like him even more that he's willing to give a woman a chance when he recognizes and ACKNOWLEDGES her skill level. Learn, newbie, learn!

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I'm probably one of the minority, but yes, I'll take this drama over Strong Woman anytime. Perhaps it's because the age of the leads are closer to my own and so the humor come off as more fun (less juvenile). Who knows? I'm just glad I have another series I'm liking enough to live watch.

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Alternate titles game:

Smart Woman Yoo Seol-Ok

You From Another Mystery Novel

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Fated to Capture you
My fair Ahjumma
Lonely shining Detective

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Great funny play on titles you guys! Makes me laugh

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Ahjumma in the Trap

Oh My Sherlock

Mrs Rookie Detective

Weird Veteran, Detective Wan-seung

Protect the Civilian

Investigating Again

Investigating Solo

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Argh! Making it all into one line in the new site messes up our lists :(

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I know, right?

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Ahjumma in the Trap is GOLD

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Ajumma Drawn By Crime
Detectives Over Lunch Boxes
Uncontrollably Curious

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Cops over Inlaws
Radiant Crime Scene
Legend of the Blue Housewife

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Hahaha! Love these :)

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I watched the first episode of this, and I like the unique idea, but I wasn't captured by the first episode, i thought it was just okay. However I think that this drama has potential, and I will watch up to ep 4 at least to see if this is something I will stick with or not.

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The first-one-is-a-blank thing explains why so many cops in other shows can fire warning shots into the ceiling without plaster raining down. But is that really how they do it in Korea? By "Murican" standards, cops would be pretty under-gunned with a 5-shot snub-nose even if they had all 5.

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Gun laws in East Asia are pretty notoriously strict - not just anyone can get one. Thus, the cops don't usually have to worry about criminals having them unless they're really connected to a very serious operation. America is kind of an outlier when it comes to access to firearms.

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Thanks for the cultural info! I've wondered about that before, but would forget once I got to the comments section to ask. I often wonder what American stereotypes are in different parts of the world.

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I love Sherlock themed shows so I am glad I find this show quite delightful! Seol-ok is awesome and I love her excitement for solving crimes. I really hope the show keeps the tone of the first episode throughout the series.

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this is GREAT. the ajumma detective + 4 so refreshing. I am all smiles here.

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Awesome show! I'm in love with it <3

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Happy with positive reviews! LOVIN' it :)

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Looks like i am the only one who didn't like this show although it has some enjoyable parts, but i am still trying to like it so I watched the second episode but i am still not hooked.

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I'm not hooked yet too. Let's continue to see if it will ;)

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The first ep. was better than I expected, but that ending.... it seemed so out of place and unrealistic; she's petrified one minute and suddenly is crazy enough to not only approach the thief but talk to him? What did she expect to happen? It seems like a pretty lazy way story wise for her to come in contact with what will probably be the series' villain.... I'm not walking away from this yet... hopefully the second ep will give more character insight.

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There were some comments about the husband, but I would be happy if we never saw him through the whole drama. He's just at work, and she's doing her thing.

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She seemed more like as if she's been married to her mother-in-law and NOT to her husband. Hahaha.

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I hope there won't be a love line. Why can't female characters have a happy home and do other things?

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Loved it! Finally, a well-written female character. So rare in dramaland.

Ditch the husband Seol - OK!

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Finally a kdrama that has its main characters' names easily remembered ! Sherlock and Watson !!

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Wow I'm feeling like a dummy, that I didn't notice before! I LOVE that she's Sherlock!

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Lee Won-Geun's smile just makes this show even better.

Clarification question: The backroom at the restaurant is that her lair??? If so that's cool. She has so many books and it seems like her comfort place

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I think so. That's her best friend's restaurant anyway. It shows that she always go there n even use it as an excuse for her little detective work !

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When I saw the backroom it seemed so cozy and nice. I wonder what she's studying for though-- prosecutor like her husband? Detective like she clearly wants to be? I'm sure they'll tell us sooner or later.

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Omggg imagine if she studied to be a prosecutor and she faced her husband in court. And the other cops help her look for clues

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I can see that comfort place easily becoming her newly-divorced/freedom from oppressive ex-in-laws home so she can hang with her best friend and solve crimes. Please let this become a thing!

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I liked how they commented on his eye-smile! it is a thing.

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Really enjoying this drama!! I love the investigative style and the lighter, funny side to it. Fun to see Seol Ok make good deductions about the crimes. I kinda feel like I could pretend to be an amateur detective while I'm watching and guess along about the different possible clues to the crime. :)

Haven't seen Lee Won Geun much before~ He is so baby faced and innocent-looking! It was cute seeing him and Seol Ok working together on their local neighborhood cases. Hope his character is better developed though. So far, he was the weakest compared to Wan Seung's and Seol Ok's stories. However, it is still early in the show.

I realized I haven't seen any of the 3 main leads' dramas before, but I'm looking forward to their acting here. ^^

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I enjoyed the show until the very end. What was with that bizarre confrontation with the burglar/drug dealer?? Who the f*ck walks up to a criminal in the act and starts chatting them up that way? Do you wanna die????? Plot wise it was just too weird and stupid for my taste. I don't think I am going to continue watching. I will be monitoring this show through recaps.

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I don't buy that too. Don't she realised how dangerous it could be ! She xpjld have die if not for Watson! No wonder he is pissed off at her meddling into the police investigating. If she would have died, the police involved would have a lot of explaining to do.

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*would have died

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This drama made me think of a wonderfully bizarre British mystery show off of the BBC or something, and it was just what I needed. The characters so far are so overblown but in a way that I've enjoyed! Especially the fact that Officer Hong's clueless, bumbling cop self sees Seol-ok as a teacher. Like someone else mentioned, this drama so far is a breath of fresh air, and the second episode is even better than the first! Thanks for recapping, it was super fun to read your theories and insights~

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This show was a great deal of fun, and obviously not meant to be taken too seriously. It's a nice break from the recent spate of shows which bear a more heavy crime or time-travel-suspense tone. I'm rooting for the youngish ahjumma to remain smart and to continue to out-smart her cartoonish mum-in-law. The real mystery to me, at the moment, is where is the prosecutor husband. It's definitely refreshing that he does not even come into the picture at all, except by reference, in the entire first episode!!! A sign of his nonenity especially in the face of his wife's dazzling perception?

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I love this drama, I think I found my new addiction. I've seen both episodes and am SO hooked! There have been far too many crime/police dramas lately for my liking and they've all been quite dark and heavy. This is a lighter crime drama I think I can get behind! Excited for next week's episodes.

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I loved the first episode. Can't wait to watch more

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Loved this first episode and the set-up so far! Looking forward to how things develop from here and how Seol-ok becomes an integral part of the cop team! Thanks for the recap!

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I'm loving it. I was really excited upon reading the premise because I like reading RomCom novels with as twist of mystery and suspense in it. And I was so in love with the promos and teasers. So I was really anticipating this show. And it delivers!!! Choi Kang Hee is a winner with her eagerness and subtle sharpness. I find her ahjumma-side and detective-side both believable. Watching Kwon Sang-woo is such a joy, although I hope to see more of him in the next episodes. I didn't realize I missed watching him in the screen, till I actually saw him again (and his biceps). I was suprised with how much Lee Won-geun have grown though. I just caught glimpses of him and his crinkly eyes in Sassy Gogo, which was just a mere 2 years ago and look how manly and grown up he looks now. Anyways, I'm really happy with the show.

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oooooooooooh I love whodunits, and this mystery solving ahjumma is adorable! She's smart too. I'm glad the story went right into her solving little crimes and using her deduction skills. I'm sure in future episodes we'll see how she had to put her career aside to settle down, and how, after getting married, she decided to do something she loves! I'm looking forward to that. :) I can't wait for her and Watson to begin solving crimes together. Buddy-cop drama with a twist!

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Okay, I have to admit that I LOVE THIS SHOW from the first episode! I enjoy that the passive-aggressive MIL is too lazy to be any worse. Along with being dated, screeching in-laws are a huge turn-off for me. Seol-ok is adorable, I love her! We haven't seen Prosecutor Hubby yet, have we? I love the way they played out the eommoni gang trolling around town to catch Seol-ok red-handed and totally failing. While I agree that LWG's character is painfully slow on the uptake, I'm glad it's him being that guy; he's too adorable for me to throw my remote into the screen (well, at this point). So far, my April and May are going to keep my TV working overtime!

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Aaaaah!!! I just watched this as a spur of the moment thing,I'm not even halfway done and I already love it!

The heroine is just so adorable! And even though this has the cookie-cutter version of "daughter-in-law" trope in most KDramas, why do i feel like its still different? And Lee Won Geun! You and your eyesmiles..

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So glad to see this drama being reviewed :) I've got so many thoughts...so here goes;

Choi Kang-Hee is an GREAT actress (first saw her in Heart to Heart) and can I say how happy I am with how she chooses her roles - about unique quirky women that display strength in their own ways. But wow did not realize how great she is at physical comedy - that fish frying seen literally had me laughing out loud (I dare say any other actress could not have pulled that scene off that hilariously). Hope she continues to surprise us with her comedic skills

Kwon Sang-woo is a pleasure to look at, and is decent in the acting department...but am I the only one that is thrown off by his strong lisp ? Literally any scene he displays it, throws me off completely and I'm left contemplating why he hasn't had a speech therapist look at it, instead of concentrating on the drama (which by this point is several minutes into his scene) - I constantly have to rewind to where the lisp started to finish watching the scene. Also, sorry, I really don't mean to offend any of his fans, but this is my third project that I've watched with him in it (the others were Love So Divine and Temptation) and it's always so jarring to hear it.

Finally, "Lee Won-geun’s character, on the other hand, makes me scratch my head—he seems impossibly naive and dimmer than a penlight, and I’m at a loss to explain how he became lieutenant..." - this has pretty been my compliant against so many Kdrama cop shows. This type of idiocy is prevalent currently Strong Women Do Bong So and Voice - where literally EVERY other cop is dumber than bunch of rocks except for the main lead(s). I'm a huge crime drama fan both internationally (love British and Belgium's take on the genre) and locally (True Detective, The Killing etc) and this is one aspect of Kdramas where it's logically unrealistic to have ALL the cops act as bumbling idiots. I mean how the heck did they become detectives/promoted if they're that blind. I'm constantly banging my head against the desk while watching cop/crime kdramas.

Even though I have some complaints about this drama, I am enjoying it especially for the the hijinks and mystery aspects. Hopefully, the writers won't write an affair into it - I don't mind the leads getting together, but I'd rather it be after she divorces her husband. I'm kind of wishing, instead that Wan-seung and Seol-ok have a platonic profession relationship and friendship.

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I LOVE THIS PREMIERE EPISODE!!!

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Really enjoyed the first episode! Thank you for the recap :)

Btw, does anyone know the artist behind the BGM when Seol-ok was looking at the a picture of a young woman with an older man (herself and her father?)? It sounds like the same tango song from Al Pacino's movie Scent From a Woman ...

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About the fish though...Lunch box Lady--Soel-ok did you a favor by frying it. Who keeps a $200 sea bream that they intend to use for sashimi UNDER THE COUNTER? People who get health code violations, that's who.

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Love choi kang hee. Fell in love with her in Protect the Boss, then Heart to Heart. This ajumma rocks.

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I put this aside to watch STBDS, and today found this a very pleasant surprise, this drama is great! I've loved Choi Kang Hee since Protect the Boss, and here she is really in the element. Kwon Sang Woo, as usual, always delivers.
I am in for some delightful weekend binges wooo ... !

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(Before any STBDS fans got upset, I don't mean to say STBDS is less delightful, I enjoy that very very very much too... but Mystery Queen is a different sort of fish, and a very yummy one!)

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