Hundred Million Stars From the Sky: Episode 1
Seo In-gook makes his long awaited return to dramas as Kim Moo-young, a charismatic man who has a powerful effect on the people that he meets, especially the women. Nothing misses his gaze and it’s impossible to guess what he’s thinking. Moo-young romances a rich young woman and irritates her best friend, whose brother happens to be a detective. A murder case has him looking for a very unique suspect who sounds a lot like Moo-young.
EPISODE 1: “My sister is pretty”
A televised interview is underway with a psychiatrist, Yang Jung-mo, as the guest. The image of a young boy in the background of an old medical school photo distracts Dr. Yang and the interviewer asks if he is “the boy of destiny.”
She reminds Dr. Yang that he claimed that the eight-year old changed his life and asks how a child could have such a profound impact on an adult. Dr. Yang explains that the boy’s mysterious eyes piqued his curiosity and eventually he came to believe that they were fated to meet.
The interview is on the television at a crime scene, where the police investigate the possible suicide of a college-aged woman. While the security guard who found her is questioned, the team leader has the television turned off just as the TV interviewer guesses that the young boy would be around thirty-years old now.
In a brewery, a young man who’s about thirty-years old, KIM MOO-YOUNG (Seo In-gook), is informed by his co-worker that it’s time to leave for an event.
As the police team exits the victim’s apartment building, the team leader is unhappy when a car pulls up. One of the younger detectives runs up eagerly, surprised to see one of the senior detectives on his day off.
The senior detective stopped out of curiosity and learns that the case is a probable suicide. The junior detective, Cho-rong, suddenly notices that YOO JIN-KOOK (Park Sung-woong), is nicely dressed and is curious about his plans.
At a business office, Jin-kook’s sister, YOO JIN-KANG (Jung So-min) prepares to leave for an event and grabs the invitation on her way out. Her boss shoves a change of clothes at her and orders her to change before she presents their portfolio to someone at the event.
The driver of the brewery truck explains to Moo-young that they’re on their way to an event hosted by the son of NJ Group’s chairman, in honor of his girlfriend’s birthday. They’re stopped by the same traffic jam that has Jin-kook at a standstill.
Jin-kook tries to mind his own business since it’s his day off but he eventually clears up the fender bender. Jin-kang calls (she pops up as “Just Date Already”) and Jin-kook assures her that he’s on his way. The brewery truck drives by and something about Moo-young’s eyes gets Jin-kook’s attention.
A taxi drops Jin-kang off in front of a sports car with her friend, Baek Seung-ah, inside. It’s Seung-ah’s birthday and the day’s event is a solo art exhibition featuring her work. Seung-ah looks nervous and Jin-kang becomes alarmed when she confesses, “I want to die.” Seung-ah laughs off her comment and before they head inside, she has Jin-kang leave her change of clothes in her car.
The brewery truck arrives and the driver calls to Moo-young to take a look at the sports car. As they carry in the kegs for the event, they overhear some employees gossip about Seung-ah. According to them, she’s just a pretty rich girl playing the part of an artist, with a fancy sports car gifted to her by her boyfriend.
Jin-kang sits close by as Seung-ah meets with the event coordinator. Seung-ah’s upset to hear that her boyfriend arranged for an interview without her permission and immediately calls him. At the same time, Jin-kang gets a call from her boss asking if the portfolio has been handed to Seung-ah’s boyfriend yet. Jin-kang runs out to Seung-ah’s car and fibs that the new clothes fit perfectly while she hurries to change. From the way she reacts to her boss, it’s obvious that Jin-kang doesn’t want to use her friendship with Seung-ah as a business opportunity.
Jin-kang opens the car door and bumps into Moo-young. She apologizes and then asks which beer varieties are available when she realizes that he works for Arts Brewery, disappointed that her favorites aren’t included.
Moo-young asks Jin-kang if the car belongs to her and replies, “I knew it,” when she admits that it doesn’t. When she asks for an explanation, Moo-young bluntly answers, “I didn’t think you were that pretty.” Jin-kang wonders if he knows her but Moo-young confesses that he doesn’t.
Before he walks away, Moo-young comments, “You must have just bought it.” Jin-kang has no idea what he’s talking about as the tags on her new skirt flutter in the breeze. She runs into Jin-kook, who pulls the tags off of her skirt and Jin-kang cringes in embarrassment.
Jin-kook presents Seung-ah with a bouquet of flowers and then takes in her exhibition. He’s impressed and asks, “Did you make all of this?” but Seung-ah can’t answer him. Jin-kang sings Seung-ah’s praises and informs Jin-kook that her boyfriend scheduled fireworks for the evening. Jin-kook is impressed that Seung-ah has a boyfriend and asks if Jin-kang has ever dated. Seung-ah tactfully says that people are supposed to keep their love lives hidden from family members.
Seung-ah’s boyfriend, Jang Woo-sang, arrives and Jin-kook marvels that he’s even better looking in person. He picks up on the tension when Seung-ah walks past Woo-sang and she tells him, “Follow me.”
Moo-young is hidden behind the bar when Seung-ah and Woo-sang walk in and argue about the interview. The featured piece of the exhibition is actually the work of another artist and Seung-ah refuses to take credit for someone else’s work. Woo-sang reminds Seung-ah that she asked for a solo exhibition even though she’s not good enough. Woo-sang explains that the real artist suggested the ruse because she wanted to sell her pieces.
Moo-young emerges from behind the bar and Seung-ah realizes that he overheard her secret. Woo-sang glances at his name tag and then stuffs a $1,000 bill into his pocket and asks, “You know what it means, right? Kim Moo-young?” Woo-sang has to return to work and asks Seung-ah, “You can do it, right?”
Seung-ah is about to follow Woo-sang when Moo-young suggests that she should skip the interview if she really doesn’t want to do it. Seung-ah warns Moo-young to keep his promise but he tears the $1,000 bill into pieces as an answer. Seung-ah wonders what he wants and Moo-young tells her not do the interview.
Moo-young realizes that Seung-ah doesn’t actually have a problem with the interview, she just wants it to look like she was forced into it. Seung-ah asks, “Do I look like an easy mark just because you have something on me?” Moo-young admits, “A little.”
Seung-ah’s eyes fill with tears as she admits that she’s already come this far. Moo-young grabs his gear and turns to tell Seung-ah with a glint in his eyes, “I get it. You don’t want to do the interview, and you won’t have to,” before he leaves. Later, Seung-ah sits alone at the end of a pier as the sun sets, lost in thought.
Seung-ah is late for the interview and as she makes her way through the exhibit, the table that holds the other artist’s piece is knocked over and the large pot falls to the floor. Seung-ah is in shock when Moo-young apologizes and she can’t take her eyes off of him as security escorts him away. It’s at that moment that Jin-kook gets a text from Cho-rong with news that the suicide is now a murder case.
When Jin-kang and Jin-kook order beer, Moo-young (he’s back?) hands her the variety that she asked about earlier. He teases that she doesn’t have to accept it if she doesn’t want it, but she wordlessly accepts the glass and swaps it for the beer her brother is holding before walking away. Moo-young smiles at her sass.
Jin-kang suddenly asks Jin-kook if he thinks she’s ugly, and they have a cute back-and-forth where he jokes with her about how ugly she is. Jin-kang points to Moo-young and tells Jin-kook, “You must be happy to have your dear youngest sister called ugly.” Jin-kook asks if they know him from somewhere else but Jin-kang assures her brother, “I’ve never seen such an annoying punk in my life.”
They remember the fireworks and as they head outside, Jin-kook asks about the portfolio she’s holding. She looks around for Woo-sang, who’s nowhere in sight, so Jin-kang decides that it’s time to enjoy the party.
Seung-ah can’t take her eyes off of Moo-young and when he takes a break, she follows him, just as Woo-sang returns. Seung-ah loses sight of Moo-young but pauses when she senses him close by. He’s hidden in the shadows and when she faces him, Seung-ah asks if he broke the pottery on purpose.
Moo-young explains, “Because you were so pretty,” and he asks if the piece was expensive and if he shouldn’t have done it, but Seung-ah confesses with a smile, “I feel like I could fly.” He urges her to enjoy her party when Woo-sang calls out her name. Seung-ah is about to run away but Moo-young pulls her into his hiding spot just as the fireworks begin.
While the guests enjoy the fireworks, Woo-sang calls Seung-ah’s phone and she’s pleased when Moo-young rejects it.
When Woo-sang gives up, Moo-young takes Seung-ah’s hand and leads her away while the fireworks light up the sky. He takes his bracelet and places it on Seung-ah’s wrist as he explains, “It’s my birthday gift for you.” Moo-young walks away and his gaze suddenly grows dark when he turns around to look at Seung-ah.
The next morning, Jin-kang ignores her alarm even though Jin-kook yells at her to turn it off. On the drive to work, Jin-kook scolds his sister for her laziness and declares that’s why she’s single. She tells him that she’s in a serious relationship but he knows better — she never stays out all night, buys sexy lingerie or takes secret calls.
Jin-kook brags about his detecting abilities but Jin-kang brings him back to reality. She informs him that he’s never been a hard-nosed detective and that she heard from one of his co-workers that his nickname is Manager Yoo because he looks like an average businessman. They cutely continue to bicker until it’s time to part, and they affectionately tell each other to get lost and to have a good day.
At work, Jin-kang gets intercepted by her boss, Ms. Hwang, who can’t wait to hear what Woo-sang thought of their portfolio. The look on Jin-kang’s face tells her that she never gave it to him and Ms. Hwang returns to her office, crestfallen.
Team Leader Lee reviews the murder case with his team. They know that the victim, Jung Mi-yeon, was a dance student on a leave of absence from her university. The fall caused her death and dash cam footage established the time of death. Luminol evidence from her apartment revealed a large blood pool that had been cleaned up.
Jin-kook is conspicuously late and arrives just as Team Leader Lee points out that the victim was hit on the head by a left-handed assailant. He identifies the prime suspect as Choi Sang-hoon, Jung Mi-yeon’s boyfriend, who is expected to match the male DNA found under her nails. The junior detectives report that Choi Sang-hoon’s car was in the parking garage at the time of the murder and that he left for Canada before they could locate him.
After the meeting, the detectives head to the cafeteria where Jin-kook is about to sit by himself until a co-worker joins him. So-jung has questions about the case but Jin-kook wants to know why she told his sister about his nickname.
Jin-kook points to Cho-rong and asks what So-jung thinks of him. She answers that he’s cute but Jin-kook calls him an idiot. So-jung knows that means that Jin-kook really likes Cho-rong and he confesses that he wants to set Cho-rong up with his sister. So-jung wonders if he would like her and Jin-kook suddenly worries that his sister might not be good enough for Cho-rong.
Jin-kang sees a photo of the Arts Brewery staff at her desk and recalls her annoying encounter with Moo-young.
Seung-ah makes a sketch of the bracelet that Moo-young gave her, each bead unique. She looks at a slip of paper with his number and starts to call him but she hesitates.
Moo-young and his co-worker are about to leave to make deliveries when he catches a glimpse of Seung-ah. He invites her to join him and soon Seung-ah is squeezed next to Moo-young in the truck’s cab. The driver introduces himself as Noh Hee-jun and Moo-young explains to Seung-ah that they work together.
Hee-jun has a part-time job at their last stop and Seung-ah helps out when she sees how busy he is. Her bracelet gets caught on a hook behind the bar and breaks, sending the beads flying.
Jin-kook uncharacteristically tags along with Cho-rong when he visits the crime scene, and he questions Cho-rong about his dating history while there. Jin-kook eagerly points out that his sister is pretty but Cho-rong only wants to know why Jin-kook’s at the crime scene. Jin-kook’s attention falls on a snow globe collection and he picks up one with a snowman and tells Cho-rong that his sister loves making snowmen.
Cho-rong reminds Jin-kook not to touch anything, so he returns the snow globe to its spot and then notices a dark residue on his gloves. Upon closer examination, Jin-kook finds dried blood on the base and asks Cho-rong for additional crime scene photos.
Moo-young repairs Seung-ah’s bracelet and returns it to her wrist. Hee-jun thinks they have matching bracelets and then thanks Seung-ah for her help. Moo-young informs her that Hee-jun works three jobs to pay for his tuition at a well-known university. Seung-ah looks thoughtful when Hee-jun confesses that he’s thinking about giving up his studies and Moo-young watches her while she studies Hee-jun.
When Moo-Young walks Seung-ah home, she asks if he thought about her at all. Moo-young reminds her that she has a boyfriend but before Seung-ah can explain about Woo-sang, Moo-young kisses her. When she closes her eyes expectantly, he kisses her again.
Jin-kook studies another photo of the snow globes at the police station just as a detective confirms that Jung Mi-yeon’s boyfriend is left-handed. The team is sure that they’ve caught the murderer when Jin-kook pipes up that the person who cleaned up is right-handed.
Cho-rong checks the crime scene photo and sees that Jin-kook is right. Jin-kook replicates mopping motions to prove his theory but when the other detectives follow suit, Team Manager Lee explodes. Jin-kook ignores his foul mood to bring up the snow globes but Team Manager Lee tosses the photos to the floor and reminds Jin-kook to stick to minor cases.
During a bathroom break, Cho-rong mentions to another detective that he’s actually curious about the snow globes but he’s urged to drop it. The detective confides to Cho-rong that Team Manager Lee will see to it that Jin-kook will be gone in three months, unaware that he’s in one of the stalls.
A smitten Seung-ah colors in the sketch of her bracelet and notices that the beads are in the same original order. She takes a photo of the bracelet next to the sketch as proof and then clutches it when she calls Hee-jun’s university.
Jin-kook checks surveillance video for a scooter theft when Cho-rong texts, “I’m going to die out of curiosity. What about the snow globe?” Soon, they meet for lunch.
Seung-ah produces a stack of $50 bills as she and Moo-young sit in her car by the river. She explains that it’s for Hee-jun’s tuition and asks Moo-young to give it to him but when he reaches for the money, she jerks it away. She releases her grip and the bills flutter in the breeze as Seung-ah calls Moo-young a liar and informs him that there isn’t a student by the name of Noh Hee-jun at Yeongang University.
Moo-young makes a call and tosses his phone to Seung-ah as he gets out of the car. She’s connected to a satellite campus of Yeongang University just as Moo-young jumps into the water.
Over lunch, Jin-kook shows Cho-rong that snow globes display in Jung Mi-yeon’s personal photos match the one at the crime scene. The snow globe that he examined had dried blood, which proves that it was on the floor when she was killed. That suggests that the cabinet was knocked over and the snow globes were replaced in exactly the same order.
Jin-kook points out that whoever cleaned up had to be in a hurry, so why take the time to put them back correctly? He concludes, “One thing for certain is that the culprit is abnormal.”
Seung-ah is in tears when Moo-young returns almost all of the money. She apologizes, “I’m so sorry. I must be out of my mind.” Moo-young sees her tears and is about to search for the rest of the money until Seung-ah pulls him into a hug. He notices that she’s not wearing her bracelet and guesses, “You threw it away because the jerk gave it to you,” but Seung-ah retrieves it from her purse to prove that she still has it.
Seung-ah looks thrilled when Moo-young returns the bracelet to her wrist. She pulls out her phone to show that when Moo-young repaired the bracelet, he managed to put all those beads in the exact same order. Seung-ah wants to know his secret as Moo-young pulls her onto his lap.
Seung-ah happily sighs, “I think my boyfriend is a genius,” and she and Moo-young smile at each other while Jin-kook sits in his car and stares at the photo of the snow globes. He’s convinced that they’re looking for someone who remembers everything that he sees.
While Seung-ah and Moo-young enjoy the view of the river, the smile slowly leaves his eyes until they look empty.
This first episode flew by as we were introduced to Kim Moo-young, a man who is a study in contrasts — charismatic yet subdued, disinterested to the point that he looks bored but aware of everyone and everything in his surroundings, a man with an air of danger who rides in on a white horse to save a damsel in distress. However, it isn’t clear if he’s a hero or a villain. It’s really a delight to see Seo In-guk on screen again but Moo-young is such a disturbing character that I feel torn. It’s a great opportunity for an actor to portray such a complex character but this drama looks as if it could get really dark, and I enjoy a smiling and upbeat Seo In-gook. Even so, Seo In-gook is up to the challenge because he manages to make Moo-young believably magnetic yet distant.
Moo-young is an expert at reading people and situations and manages to capture the attention of Seung-ah, the rich artist who finds herself in a moral dilemma as her work is debuted. Her chaebol boyfriend expects her to pass off the work of a more accomplished artist as her own, because she’s not good enough for a solo exhibit. Seung-ah balks over an interview where she’ll have to take credit for another artist’s work but Moo-young catches on that she doesn’t really have a problem with it, she just wants it to appear as though she did it against her will. Seung-ah has no idea that Moo-young will outplay her when he breaks the other artist’s piece and saves her from publicly having to claim the work as her own.
Suddenly, Seung-ah sees Moo-young as her savior and he manages to win her over completely with one intimate gesture after another. She’s completely under his spell by the time Moo-young takes his bracelet from his wrist and places it on hers in gesture that makes her his. I’m certain that Moo-young’s attention is deliberately meant to win Seung-ah’s affection, but Seo In-gook makes everything seem so casual and natural that I’m not so sure.
Moo-young makes an intentional impression on both Seung-ah and Jin-kang. He wriggles his way into Seung-ah’s heart and gets under Jin-kang’s skin. Moo-young sees to it that they not only think about him, they are bothered by him. I can’t figure out if he’s toying with them for fun or if there’s some other explanation for his actions. One thing is certain, both woman are sure to be affected profoundly by Moo-young, just as Dr. Yang was by “the boy of destiny.” What power that boy must have wielded, to influence the entire career of a doctor when he was still a medical student. The suggestion is that Moo-young is that boy, all grown up, but his eyes aren’t just mysterious, they’re disturbing and Jin-kook has picked up on that. The alternative title to this drama is The Smile Has Left Your Eyes and now that I’ve seen the first episode, I understand why. Moo-young’s eyes have a way of becoming dull and empty as his smile fades, and the question is, are his emotions genuine or manufactured?
Jin-kook is a natural detective, he sees things that no one else does, much like Moo-young. The biggest mystery has to do with the murder of the college student — who killed her and who cleaned up the crime scene? That mystery brings to light the tension among the detectives and the obvious hatred that Team Manager Lee has for Jin-kook. For some reason, Jin-kook has spent his career handling minor cases when he’s obviously capable of so much more. Jin-kook is certain to be the key to solving not only the college student’s murder case, but the mystery that surrounds the fascinating Moo-young.
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