Misty: Episodes 1-6 (Open Thread)
mary: We’re trying something new! (Or rather, reviving an old thing and making it new again!) We’re kicking off weekly Open Threads for shows that we absolutely
want need to talk about and dissect with the Dramabeans community, but don’t have time to write complete recaps for.
odilettante: Or for shows where it’s too late to go back and pick up, yet deserve love and attention. While we wish we’d thought of this sooner (*cough*Just Between Lovers*cough*), we’re creating this space to squee, speculate, and generally discuss JTBC’s current Friday-Saturday drama, Misty.
mary: This first post is just to catch up with Episodes 1-6. Next week, we’ll post another Open Thread for Episodes 7-8, and the week after that is for Episodes 9-10, and so on until our angsty power couple reunites in the end or Go Hye-ran runs out of gorgeous pantsuits.
odilettante: GASP. Don’t even think about Hye-ran running out of pantsuits! It’s impossible! I’m pretty sure are three things Hye-ran cares most about: power, passion, and pantsuits. Not necessarily in that order.
mary: We may do this format for other currently airing shows too, depending on how much y’all like it. So let us know in the comments below what you think. Oh, and friendly reminder that the No Spoilers rule still applies here, so if you’re reading this after watching Episodes 7-8, please wait for the next Misty Open Thread to talk about it. Thanks!
odilettante: Now for a quick weecap of the past six episodes, addressing the highlights of what’s happened so far (while hoping that Hye-ran doesn’t question our journalistic integrity).
EPISODES 1-6 WEECAP
Misty is about a top news anchorwoman, GO HYE-RAN (Kim Nam-joo). She’s come from nothing, working hard all her life to win her coveted spot as the main nightly anchor on JBC News Nine. Now, the station keeps trying to fade her out in order to bring in a fresh, younger face, but Hye-ran skillfully takes down her opposition by proving she’s still the best — or at least the most craftily manipulative — and that no one should underestimate her.
Her next goal is to become the spokesperson for the Blue House, and it’ll take her husband’s political connections to make that happen, even though she’s currently estranged from him.
KANG TAE-WOOK (Ji Jin-hee) is the kind of perfect guy born with a silver spoon who has everything handed to him. The son of a Chief Justice, he graduated top in his class and easily got a job with the best prosecution team. But he is also a Man of Integrity, and eventually chooses to become a public defender, taking on impossible-to-win cases in order to help those who are unable to fight against the rich and powerful.
He and Hye-ran still try to keep up appearances as a couple, but at home, they barely speak and tensions are high ever since Hye-ran aborted her baby years ago, because it would conflict with her (then) budding career as news anchor.
As if that wouldn’t make their marriage rocky enough, added to the mix is KEVIN LEE (Go Joon), a famous golf pro who has returned to Korea. Hye-ran, desperate to prove to the network that she’s still the best anchorwoman, youth be damned, promises to snag an interview with the mysterious sports star.
Only she discovers that Kevin is really Lee Jae-young, her old boyfriend from years ago, back when she was young and passionately in love (so passionately that JTBC had to rate some episodes as 19, instead of their usual 15). He’s the man she dumped so she can marry Tae-wook and his political background. Another surprise: that man is now married to one of Hye-ran’s old high school acquaintances, SEO EUN-JOO (Jeon Hye-jin).
Kevin insists that the only journalist he wants to work with is Hye-ran, which means they end up working closely together. More closely than Hye-ran necessarily feels comfortable with. Cautious and cagey, Hye-ran knows Kevin is up to something, but despite her inner struggle, she’s firm that it’s just business between them.
She even sets up her younger rival, HAN JI-WON (Jin Ki-joo), to be caught in a scandal with him. Not that there’s any evidence that Hye-ran is involved — she knows Kevin’s a playboy and Ji-won is attracted to fame and power, so Hye-ran merely exploits their weaknesses for her own gain. The potential for a scandal causes Ji-won to be demoted, effectively removing all of Hye-ran’s problems.
That is, until Hye-ran’s caught in Kevin’s trap. He orchestrates an interview/trip to Thailand and barges in her room, pinning her down and trying to remind her of the chemistry they once shared. Hye-ran fights him off at first before kissing back in a moment of weakness, and unknown to her, Kevin’s lackey captures that moment on camera.
Kevin threatens to share those photos in retaliation for her ruining his image, thanks to her report on the corrupt corporation he’s modeling for. (Conveniently, it’s the same large corporation that Tae-wook is fighting against with one of his poor clients.) Hye-ran grudgingly agrees to meet Kevin. As they sit in Hye-ran’s car together, a heart-broken Tae-wook watches them from afar, realizing his wife lied to him about her involvement with Kevin.
That’s the same night that Kevin is found dead, his car run off the road. Around the same time, Hye-ran’s brooch — the one Tae-wook bought her to celebrate the pregnancy, but that she accepted as a congratulations on her new anchorwoman position — goes missing, only to be discovered in Kevin’s car.
It ties her to Kevin’s death, and DETECTIVE KANG (Ahn Nae-sang) believes that not only was Kevin’s death not an accident, but that Hye-ran was personally involved. Of course, that means her role as the News Nine anchorwoman is suddenly on shaky ground. No one wants a suspected murderer telling them the news.
Like a knight on a white horse, Tae-wook sweeps in to insist that Hye-ran is now his client, invoking her right to remain silent. But Hye-ran speaks for herself and is adamant that she didn’t kill Kevin.
Maybe she didn’t, because suddenly there are so many others on the scene who might have had reasons to get rid of Kevin. Such as his wife, Eun-joo, who despite her cheerful and naive appearance, is fully aware that her husband has been cheating on her ever since they got married.
Plus, Hye-ran met Eun-joo that night, showing her the photos that were taken when Kevin forcefully kissed her. Hye-ran warned Eun-joo that if the photos of Kevin’s sexual assault were leaked to the public, his career would not only be over, but both women would also be ruined. Perhaps Eun-joo, desperate to make sure her unborn child would have a good life, decided to get rid of the problem by getting rid of her husband.
Or perhaps a mysterious man just released from prison (with an equally mysterious connection to Hye-ran) killed Kevin for reasons that are yet unknown.
Or perhaps it was Tae-wook, wanting to protect his wife like he’s promised to do since he asked her to marry him. The list of suspects grows with each episode, but as we learn more about Kevin’s true nature, the real question isn’t “Who killed Kevin?” but rather “Who didn’t want to kill Kevin?”
The truth of what happened that night and the proof of Hye-ran’s innocence could be found on her car’s black box recording. Except it’s disappeared from her car, only to be found later by Eun-joo in her dead husband’s clothing.
But the black box video turns out to be even more damning as it shows Hye-ran and Kevin kissing — and perhaps doing something more, judging by Eun-joo’s reaction. Eun-joo meets with Hye-ran to tell her that she hopes to repay Hye-ran for all the kindness Hye-ran has shown her since her return to Korea. Eun-joo’s words may sound pleasant, but there’s an ominous tension when Tae-wook suddenly joins the two women.
mary: Look, I am here for Go Hye-ran. She’s a very flawed heroine, but she has set rules and principles for navigating the world and she sticks to them. She’s never lost by following her instincts so far. She just seems like someone who’ll always win, y’know? It’s the way she carries herself, like being accused of murder seems like a minor inconvenience.
odilettante: I’ve been ride-or-die for Hye-ran since the first episode. Maybe she didn’t kill Kevin, but if she told me to do it, I would have, without question. So I can’t blame Tae-wook, who knows that Hye-ran isn’t being completely truthful about her and Kevin, for being ready to face all comers to defend his wife’s name.
mary: Yup. I can totally see why Tae-wook stares at his un-filed divorce papers and sleeps in the office for years but chooses to stay and support her ambitions anyway. Even if her half-truths are killing his puppy eyes (and my heart).
odilettante: I also want to mention that, beyond the charisma of its leading actors, Misty has a gorgeous production value. The cinematographer and the lighting director both previously worked on Forest of Secrets, and you can totally tell since there’s a rich cinematic vibe to each scene. Finally, while we’re creating space to discuss this amazing show, I think we should take time to focus on the important questions. Such as, how many pantsuits does Hye-ran own?
mary: Oooh is it question time? Because I want to ask if any beanies know why the show is called Misty.
odilettante: Is there actual meaning behind the title, or is it just one of those “because this English word sounds cool” drama titles? Then there’s the most important question of them all: when will we get another rated 19 episode? C’mon JTBC, you’ve raised our expectations — don’t disappoint us now!