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Crash Landing on You: Episode 2

Our brave heroine has gotten herself in quite a sticky situation, but thankfully, she’s quick and resourceful and soon manages to gain a little bit of control. We learn that the handsome captain has a very big secret, though it’s unclear whether that will help or hinder the plans to get the lost lady home.

 
EPISODE 2 RECAP

Se-ri narrates that at her first birthday party, instead of choosing one of the traditional items intended to represent her future, she had grabbed her father’s hand. Ever since, she had always made the right choices, and had even named her company “Se-ri’s Choice.”

But when she’s stuck inside the DMZ after having chosen not to trust the directions of a North Korean she just met, her luck fails her. After walking all night, she finds herself in a North Korean village. She needs someone on her side, so when Jung-hyuk saves her from being run over by a military vehicle, she plays the damsel in distress.

She’s sure that her simpering is winning him over, while in actuality, Jung-hyuk is pondering whether or not to just kill her, ha. Ultimately he takes her to his house, where he makes her ramyun from scratch. Se-ri is worried that he put something in her food, so she pretends that in South Korea, the guest offers their host the first bite of food in an attempt to get Jung-hyuk to eat it first.

He just gives her that deadpan Do I look like an idiot to you? stare of his, but he agrees that it would be ridiculous to trust a complete stranger in this situation — especially one who tells such an outlandish story about why they’re in the DMZ, lol.

Se-ri tries to convince Jung-hyuk that she’s super famous in South Korea, though she still doesn’t want to tell him her name. She says it’s so he doesn’t look her up online and get a shock, but Jung-hyuk says they don’t even have internet.

She’s positive that everyone back home must be frantic about her disappearance, but in truth, her family is still keeping it out of the media. Her father, Chairman Yoon, wants to hire private professionals and do their own search, although Se-ri’s brothers would prefer she stay gone so that one of them can take over Queens Corp., the family company.

Se-ri tells Jung-hyuk to take good care of her, and that when she gets home she’ll make sure he’s handsomely rewarded. Jung-hyuk just says he’s not interested, ha. Chi-soo, one of Jung-hyuk’s squadron, knocks on Jung-hyuk’s gate to give him the good news that the missing South Korean woman they found is dead. He says there was an accident at Mount Suseok and that one of the deceased was a woman, and he assumes it must have been her.

He’s relieved that they won’t all get in trouble for allowing her to escape even listing the squad’s mistakes in detail — Eun-dong was crying over his mother’s letter, Joo-mok was watching forbidden a South Korean drama, he himself had been drinking, and Jung-hyuk could have caught her but stepped on a land mine. He looks up to see Se-ri leaning casually on the door frame, having heard every word… oops.

They go inside, where Chi-soo and Se-ri bicker over whether or not she’s a spy (it’s hilarious how Se-ri talks to Chi-soo like he’s just a little bit slow). Poor Jung-hyuk just makes a face like the kids are giving him a migraine. HAHA, the rest of the squadron show up to tell Jung-hyuk the “good” news, but Se-ri shocks them by being alive. She figures out right away who is who and what they each did. Joo-mok gets the stink-eye from the others when he gets excited to hear that Se-ri knows the stars of Stairway to Heaven, lol.

Se-ri takes control right away, telling Jung-hyuk and his ducklings to just take her to the spot where she landed, and she’ll get home from there. Chi-soo is all for letting her fry herself on the repaired electric fence, but Jung-hyuk explains that since they concluded their two months of duty, they can’t re-enter the area for a while. Se-ri says there must be another way, and when Chi-soo quips that burying her would be pretty easy, Se-ri offers to introduce him to South Korean-style cursing, ha.

She asks why they haven’t just taken her to the State Security Department they keep mentioning, and from their sheepish expressions, she figures out that they’re scared she’ll tattle on them. Joo-mok says that his uncle makes “boat-to-boat” runs, where boats from different countries meet in international waters, and that his next run is in three days.

Se-ri whines that she has an important shareholder’s meeting, but Jung-hyuk snaps that she’s the one who went the wrong way, so she should be more apologetic about causing them so much trouble. He says he can take her to the SSD right now (awww, all the boys look upset, even Chi-soo), or she can wait three days, but if she stays, she has to do exactly as they say.

He lays out the rules: She can’t leave the house, she can’t spread her South Korean beliefs to any of them, and once she gets home, she’s not allowed to tell anyone what happened here. Se-ri promises that she’ll suffer a convenient bout of amnesia as soon as she returns to South Korea, and Joo-mok (the expert on such things due to his drama-watching) confirms that South Koreans get amnesia all the time, PFFT.

Se-ri’s most outlandish claim is that she’s used to eating meat with at least two meals a day, and Chi-soo accuses her of telling whoppers to trick them. Se-ri pretends to be oh-so-weak since she hasn’t eaten much, batting her eyes at Jung-hyuk for meat.

Back home, Secretary Hong meets with Soo-chan, an insurance salesman he recently introduced to Se-ri. Soo-chan is giddy over having signed a contract with Se-ri’s company, and he even brags that he’s been purposely antagonizing his annoying boss because he’s such a star at work. Secretary Hong informs Soo-chan that Se-ri is missing, and Soo-chan goes white as a sheet. He heads to church to pray for Se-ri’s safe return home, while Hye-ji, who’s also there, prays for the exact opposite, hee.

In the village, the women salt their cabbage harvest to prepare it to be made into kimchi by dipping it into sea water. The senior colonel’s wife and unofficial leader of the village wives, YOUNG-AE (Kim Jung-nan), notes that today is the day handsome Captain Ri Jung-hyuk, a particular favorite of theirs, returns home. The other ladies confirm that they’ve made sure his house is ready and there’s plenty of food stocked.

They’ve even packed meat in the salt crock, and food for side dishes in the kimchi cellar. Se-ri is fascinated, having never seen a kimchi cellar before, but Jung-hyuk shushes her before conversation veers too close to discussion of life in South Korea. Eun-dong is from a much smaller village, and Se-ri is amused that the soldiers consider Jung-hyuk’s cooking over a coal briquette to be “modern.”

They all eat together, and awww, the ducklings keep passing meat to Se-ri… they’re so cute! Jung-hyuk says they have to return to their posts after the meal, and Se-ri is alarmed that she’ll be stuck at the house alone.

Jung-hyuk shows Se-ri his very old phone and tells her that dialing “5” will connect her to his office, impressing upon Se-ri that she can only use it in a dire emergency. She obeys, only calling him when it’s a true emergency such as lack of body wash and shampoo, and her desperate need for a scented candle for her bath, LOL.

Jung-hyuk somehow keeps his temper and explains to Se-ri how to carry hot water into the house from an outdoor cauldron, and how to hang a plastic sheet over the bathtub. It’s a lot of work, but even Se-ri admits to herself that it’s nice, like a private sauna.

Jung-hyuk receives a call that the tomb raiders were killed in the Mount Suseok crash. He drives to the SSD to speak with the senior colonel, and he finds Chul-kang there already. The senior colonel offers Jung-hyuk some contraband Maxim Gold coffee (HAHA, even North Korea loves the stuff), which Jung-hyuk declines.

He says that he wants to investigate the accident that killed the tomb raiders, whether it was intentional and if so, who was behind it. Apparently, this sort of thing has happened several times before. Chul-kang gives Jung-hyuk permission to look into it, and advises Jung-hyuk to visit the Trial Bureau in Pyongyang (the capitol of North Korea) in the morning.

After Jung-hyuk excuses himself, Chul-kang tells the senior colonel that he’s friends with the director of the Trial Bureau. The senior colonel asks if Jung-hyuk is so confident because he’s got someone backing him, but Chul-kang says that his resume doesn’t reflect any family background.

They discuss a new “contract” — after fleecing Se-ri’s younger brother, Se-hyung, of an astronomical amount of money, Gu Seung-joon is now asking for asylum in North Korea. He’s interested in a deal where he pays the government, an in return he’s given a mansion, a full staff, bodyguards, and access to luxuries like golf, hunting, and casinos.

Seung-joon offers to pay double the cost of the most expensive option, but he warns the broker that if anything happens to him while he’s in the country, they won’t be able to get to his money, as it’s all kept in offshore accounts. The broker says that he risks his life for his clients’ protection, and Seung-joon signs the contract.

After dusk, the kids in the village are called home just as the electricity is shut off for the night. Se-ri is worried by the blackout and tries to call Jung-hyuk, but the phone needs electricity to work. She gets scared when she hears a noise outside, and she grabs a vase to use as a weapon if anyone breaks in.

Thankfully, it’s just Jung-hyuk returning home, and when she sees him, Se-ri bursts into tears. Completely befuddled, Jung-hyuk holds out the candle he bought for Se-ri, since she said she needed one. She wails that she wanted a scented candle, then sobs that she’s sorry for flustering him but she’s just upset at the situation.

One of the village wives, WOL-SOOK (Kim Sun-young) asks her husband about a promotion, but he grumbles that it’s up to the senior colonel. He tells her to kiss up to his wife Young-ae more, so Wol-sook heads to Young-ae’s house, where she finds several more village wives with the same idea. HA, one of them is even pedaling a stationary bike in order to power the television.

As her sisters-in-law discuss which of their husbands will get the company now that Se-ri is gone, Se-ri tries to explain how stocks work to Jung-hyuk. She even admits that she once gave a friend a lot of money to invest, and lost it all (hmmm, did she give Seung-joon money, too?).

She cries again, sobbing that she’s even more upset now than when she lost the money. She’s embarrassed to be crying in front of a stranger, so Jung-hyuk puts out the candle and tells Se-ri that it’s okay now since he can’t see her. He’s so sweet.

When she stops crying, he tells her that he’s going to Pyongyang in the morning and that he might not be back before she leaves, but that his men will help her. Se-ri asks his name so she can return the favor one day, but Jung-hyuk says there’s no need. He simply reminds her not to tell anyone about this once she’s home.

Se-ri lights the candle again, and looks through the bag of things Jung-hyuk said he bought for her. It’s full of body wash and shampoo, fancy skin products, and even pretty lingerie, all from South Korea — he’d been to the marketplace and found a lady who sold them, and had bought everything she had.

Jung-hyuk arrives in Pyongyang in the morning. He’s detained as soon as he steps off the train and taken to the Trial Bureau, and he’s informed that instead of doing an investigation, he’s the one being investigated. He’s taken to a cell and sat down in what looks like an electric chair for executions.

The director of the Trial Bureau accuses Jung-hyuk of facilitating the deaths of the grave robbers, who died after he insisted they be sent to the capitol. When Jung-hyuk asks for proof, he’s told that they can make up any crimes they wish. Unconcerned, Jung-hyuk says that the director will be held accountable for what he just said.

Suddenly the general walks in and kicks the director, then has Jung-hyuk sent to his office. He tells the director that Jung-hyuk is the only son of the director of the General Political Bureau (which controls the entire North Korean military)… someone is in biiig trouble.

The director calls Chul-kang in a panic and tells him who Jung-hyuk is related to. Evidently, Jung-hyuk had an older brother who died, so he’s not just Director Ri’s only son, but his only surviving son. Chul-kang knew Jung-hyuk’s older brother MOO-HYUK (cameo by Ha Seok-jin), and now he remembers having met Jung-hyuk once when he was younger.

The soldier ducklings spend the day at Jung-hyuk’s house, ostensibly doing work on his water pump. In reality it’s an excuse to keep an eye on Se-ri, and she and Chi-soo continue their arguing and insults.

Over tea, the colonel asks Jung-hyuk if he wants to investigate the Mount Suseok crash because he thinks it may be related to his brother’s accident. Jung-hyuk lists several similar fatal accidents over the years, all caused by Russian Kamaz trucks, and voices the suspicion that the government may have a secret truck unit. He says there were three Kamaz trucks in the area around the time of the Mount Suseok accident.

The colonel warns Jung-hyuk that if he’s already made up his mind, everything will seem suspicious. His advice is for Jung-hyuk to put the past behind him, but Jung-hyuk doesn’t appear willing to do that.

As Jung-hyuk’s men are leaving his house, they run into Chul-kang, who says he’s running random inspections tonight. Joo-mok is startled into a hiccup attack, and once Chul-kang is gone, Chi-soo calls Jung-hyuk and tells him about the inspection, and the fact that they can’t warn Se-ri because they told her not to answer the house phone.

Jung-hyuk asks the colonel for a favor, and soon he’s zooming through the streets in a fast car with a license plate number indicating a high-ranking official. He’s waved through traffic lights and security stops, heading towards his village as fast as he can go.

Wol-sook is in charge of the inspections, but the most exciting things she uncovers are an illegal South Korean rice cooker (which is given to her to “dispose of”), and a husband cheating on his wife while she’s out of town. When it’s time to check Jung-hyuk’s home, she freshens her lipstick (lol), but Chul-kang is there, and he grows suspicious to see the house lit up when Jung-hyuk is away.

Inside, Se-ri is looking over Jung-hyuk’s extensive library of books, many of which are about music. She finds a flyer from a Swiss music university with a picture of a younger Jung-hyuk on it, and she thinks that he looks awfully familiar.

She hears Wol-sook announce an inspection before letting herself and Chul-kang inside. Chul-kang finds a photo of Jung-hyuk with his older brother, Moo-syuk, confirming that he is the son of General Political Bureau’s Director Ri. There’s nothing in the house to indicate a stowaway, but as they’re leaving, Chul-kang decides to check the kimchi cellar.

He finds Se-ri hiding inside and orders her at gunpoint to step out. The village gathers as Se-ri is led to Chul-kang’s vehicle, and Chul-kang tells her she’s going to the State Security Department for questioning.

But suddenly the crowd parts to allow Jung-hyuk to pull up in his borrowed car, and he approaches Chul-kang, who points his gun at Se-ri’s head. Cool as you please, Jung-hyuk says, “I would appreciate it if you would put away the gun you’re pointing at my fiancee.”

EPILOGUE

After disinheriting her family, Se-ri had gone to Switzerland to seek assisted suicide. She’d cited her reasons for wanting to end her life as depression, panic disorder, eating disorder, and insomnia, but she’d been turned away since she wasn’t physically ill. It was recommended that she spend some time in the beautiful country before returning home, but Se-ri had only sighed that it wouldn’t help, and she had no home to return to.

Still, she had gone walking one day, and had seen people paragliding high above the mountains. As Se-ri watched the lovely, peaceful paragliders, a man had stopped next to her to take in the sight. It was Jung-hyuk, and they had stood there together, marveling at the beauty.

 
COMMENTS

Whoa, I wasn’t expecting Se-ri’s presence in the village to be discovered so soon! Jung-hyuk’s quick-thinking in saying that Se-ri is his fiancee will probably buy them some time, but it’s also bound to complicate things. However, as a viewer, I’m never mad at a fake relationship set-up, and Jung-hyuk and Se-ri have so much potential to be adorable together, I can’t wait to see them forced to act like lovers. I loved the scene where Jung-hyuk brought Se-ri the wrong kind of candle, and even in the middle of her fear and confusion over the situation, she remembered to apologize for not being more gracious about it. That scene said a lot about them both, all of it good.

Before the show started, I couldn’t figure out why a North Korean soldier would feel compelled to hide someone who was in the country accidentally, but now it makes sense… he’s covering his own ass, and those of his squadron. They could get into very serious trouble if it were discovered why Se-ri was able to get past them, and she holds all the cards because she knows the details due to Chi-soo’s big mouth. But despite his annoyance and frustration at the situation, our Jung-hyuk turned out to be quite the thoughtful gentleman!

It was so sweet how he took care of Se-ri even while grumbling about what an inconvenience she is, making her food and even buying her contraband South Korean products to make her feel more comfortable. He doesn’t berate her for being spoiled compared to what he’s used to, nor does he chastise his men for being human and having understandable weaknesses. I also wonder if that little smile when Jung-hyuk first saw Se-ri is because he recognized her from their Swiss encounter. If he remembers her, it would explain why he’s been so patient with her, and why he’s willing to put himself and his men at risk to keep her safe.

I love how the village families are depicted as just… normal families, just with different technological challenges than their South Korean counterparts. I’m no expert on either country, but I think it would have been easy to fall back on stereotypes, yet the people in the village feel so real and relatable. They get married, have kids, go to work, make food, and have and raise children just like people have done for millennia. They love each other, worry about the future, and bicker and make up and take care of each other, which is so familiar and comfortable.

For me, the best thing about Crash Landing on You, and what makes it work so well, is its tendency to poke fun at itself and dramas in general. The South Korean PPL all over North Korea is a hoot… you could almost see that general trying not to laugh as he talked about how delicious Maxim Gold coffee is. Joo-mok being the expert in all things South Korean because he watches dramas hits a little close to home, and it makes me laugh so hard every time he imparts wisdom to the other ducklings that he gets from twenty-year-old dramas. Writer Park Ji-eun is great at this… she inserts great characters and relationships into a world that seems just like, but not quite exactly like, the real one we live in, so that the absurd situations totally work and you fall for the wonderful characters. I don’t see anything to make me believe that Crash Landing will be any different than her other hit dramas.

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Aw, I hate to be the first to comment, esp since I've nothing more to add than what you've said in your review and comments - exactly why I'm loving this drama so far and hope the drama stays this good. Thanks!
Looking forward to reading everyone's comments!

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Very interesting idea. I'm kind of surprised this type of show hasn't been done before. A lot of good acting.

This show does show the sadness and the absurdity of just how sad life has turned out because of Communism.

What's going on in Hong Kong/ China... all sad.

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Thank you very much for the recap!
I really enjoyed the first two episodes of this drama (and, as lots of beanies wrote under the other recap, I didn't expect it)!

Se-ri is a likeable character, she is hilarious with all her calls to Jung-hyuk, but her fear and desperation for the entire situation is also heartbreaking.
Jung-hyuk is very sweet; one of my favorite scenes is when he puts out the candle because Se-ri is embarassed by her crying.

As you wrote, the PPL is fun and brilliant (the serum!).

I like that the show doesn't take itself seriously, even if it could be more deep that it seems now.

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It doesn't take itself too seriously, but it also has the potential for some emotional weight in later episodes without seeming off-key. And I'm with you on the PPL - I kinda like how cheeky it is.

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Its such a weird thing to say that I love the PPL and the fun that their having with it. But here we are it! I remember in ep 1 when they pause on Se-Ri's jumpsuit I died laughing at them taking a moment for PPL as she's fleeing the fields on NK, only for them to close up on it again in this ep and its a PPL for SE-RI's COMPANY! Oh, I love when a drama can laugh at itself.

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What exactly is PPL?

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Product placement

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That makes sense. Thank you! 😊

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In the end we know that Seri's choice was yet again a lucky one like all her life's choices even if for now it looks like the worst of her life!The epilogue did throw un unexpected punch to it as i truly didn't expect something as that...Quite curious about Seri's relationship with her Mother...Gotta say Jung-hyuk was freaking cool when he zoomed past everyone and got to her like that! I freaking adore the ducklings!

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I’m also waiting to see more of Se-ri and her mother. I guess there’s a lot there to be told. She always call her mum when she’s in fear or pain (and who doesn’t?).

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This episode was also fun now to the main point: I don't have great expectations of the story line but i will be pissed off if i don't get a great kiss scene. I am prepared for angst but i need that kiss scene. It's already great in my imagination! Just put it on screen! I am so ready for fiance troupe! Bring it on!

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The owe us a great kiss after breaking our hearts in The Negotiation!

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Geez, just one?! That is not going to be enough.

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True! But you know they shouldn't go overboard with it either like in Her private life, i can't handle it, the sweetness overload. Lol!

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I have a hard time understanding the purpose of the epilogues. The first one was an extended scene that could have easily been put into the actual story timeline. The second was was a jarring detour which totally turns SYJ's independent, confident character inside out. I wonder if the epilogues are reality and the rest a fantasy or vice versa.

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I think it is in tune with the writer's way as her characters are always layered and that there is always more than what we see at first the surface,i think it brings another layer to Se Ri and i'm curious about the backstories and what hides inside vs what we see...Just makes Se Ri and i bet all the other characters we yet to discover more human to me at least...

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Turn out as of Ep.4, all of them have an epilogue, and all of them is pointing to some deeper aspect to the characters, which shock the hell out of us. So stay tune. I don't say more.

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My jaw dropped at that end scene. I wasn't expecting the fake engagement troupe. The epilogue was another shocker. He was in Switzerland? And the simultaneous Woah that came from both of them was just so sweet. Have they been crossing each other's paths all of their lives, but never meeting? It reminds me of Sleepless in Seattle in a way, soulmates destined to meet.

Hyun Bin looks so hot in uniform, and cooking. And he's so strong and silent I want her to kiss him to make him smile.

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You looked great in the epilogue with all the paragliders!

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I aired his parts as best as I could. It wasn't easy, I can tell you that. I dreamt of your cat last night. I said, Hey, do you want to see more of me? It blinked, and curled its tail into a question mark. Then I woke up.

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I asked him and his answer is Duh, yes!

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I'm a sucker for fake-turn-to-real drama trope, even after it has been rehash to death.

As an outsider, the juxtaposition between the south and north korean life is a strong point of interest for me. So far I love what I'm seeing, Ofcourse i would not taking it too seriously, it is a drama afterall, not a documentary.

I found the PPL annoying tho because it really doesnt fit the story telling. In one scene they talked about coal briquette being 'modern' and not long after they have a smuggled rice cooker, looking very obviously top notch of newest type. The stark difference is just too jarring for me.

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I agree. In one scene they don’t even have instant noodles, in another they can smuggle in a high tech rice cook, just too forced.

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I dont think its too far fetched... Jung Hyuk seems to be shown as a person who doesnt break the rules (except for those huge ones that hes breaking, naturally!) so of course he doesn't buy things that are smuggled in. He makes his own ramen from scratch because what other options are there for a rule abider? But on the other hand there are people who are more comfortable with casual rule breaking, so they have an illegal rice cooker. I think it was another way of showing what kind of characters we're dealing with against the backdrop that their living in?

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Yup I agree. You put into words what I felt.

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I disagree with you. Actually if you read a bit more about news, you would know there is a flourishing underground economy in North Korea trading all kinds of stuffs, let alone South Korean stuffs, so having South Korean products selling in North Korea is in fact a reality, so I think the PPL is pretty smart showing this reality.
By the way, according to news (again), the screenwriter Park Ji-eun does have North Korean experts (including those escaped the North) and linguists to help her, and as a person working on news, I found the drama do reflect the real life in North Korea, at least according to what we can read, online or off.

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It's very interesting and helpful to know that. Thank you.

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Loving the second episode as well as the first one. Se Ri is an intelligent and quick thinking woman, and I'm sure the upcoming episodes of them being a fake couple would be so fun to watch.
By the way, did anyone else notice that one of the squad member looks so much like Kim Soo Hyun? KSH from You From Another Star.
I keep seeing KSH in him. Haha.

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Queens Corp., the family company.

Gee, ya think the name might hint that the next boss will be a queen and not a king? In case you couldn't guess or anything ?

----

And do you think evil con-man might run into anybody we know while he's in NK?

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Fake fiancé trope!! I was smiling ear to ear with excitement.

And let me state this. Hyun Bin is so hot in uniform. Phew. Hubba Hubba.

And I love our squad!!!

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Me, too, my face split into a big smile. Lucky for me my face is so flexible and fluid from my daily face exercises. He does that little rub lip with finger thingy. It makes my heart beat so fast and drives me nuts.

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I laugh so much with the squad and their interaction with Se-Ri...
And regarding Huyn Bin... well... hot may not be enough to describe him in uniform!!

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Not only that, Binnie also does dead-pan and straight-face very well. I love that he looks at Seri like she's an alien but he won't laugh or tell her off for her 'drama'.

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"Our brave heroine"

What the....
That is too early to call, and doesn't yet fit what we have seen.

At the moment she is either:
Entirely spoilt and her tough image is just "the Emperor's new clothes"
- or -
She it just lazily written and isn't demonstrating the political prowess that would have made her the one in the family to fear. Her ep01 office meeting wasn't just whining - it was about milking every penny and advantage from any situation.

For the first 20min she was ruthless in self advancement and sharp - and I could see that image. For me, once she gets in the paraglider she has been diminished to a ditz with moments of false bravado. That woman would have been eaten alive in her highly political environment.

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Well, I think she is a very strong woman. If I found myself on the wrong side of the DMZ, I would have broken down crying much sooner than she finally did. And probably would have not been able to outrun an outfit of North Korean soldiers, including one that looks like Hyun Bin. 😂

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She is just plain dumb. Actually no, the show is. The scene where she calls out the other soldiers and threatens them was crigey, her calling ML every five minutes was not fun, it was stupid. The phones are bugged, soldiers are on the tight leash and if you get found you are killed in a day. However, having a shampoo is worthy of getting yourself and your saver killed, right? I don't care if this show is going for a very friendly imaginary of North Korea (actually I do, considering what a touchy subject it is for South Koreans, it shouldn't be directed as all rainbows and happiness. North Korea's main problem isn't outdated equipment), I am mad that requires me to sustain hella lot of disbelief that comes with its name. The epilogue made this show even more shitty. I am all for depicting mental illnesses and suicidal people, but knowing this show, it would come down to a "I need a hug, 'cause I was sad uwu" moment.
The main lead is Hyun Bin and that's a sole reason why I am still watching this Wattpad fanfiction.

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@nerdy
The NK/SK divide didn't make any sense to me until I learnt how severely NK was bombed during 1950-1953. It chilled me to the bone.

Losing +20% of your population and every city in 3 years (America literally ran out of targets to bomb) would scar any country. It is easy to see how the NK/SK divide remains so raw - and why SK is also trapped in a parallel scar.

I always think of how hard these rifts are to overcome. There are no easy outs for either of them and history has shown the world over that they only ever move forward by great courage and diplomacy. Sadly, that is not something the world is finding an over-abundance of at the moment.

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The decision of country divide wasn't belong to Koreans themself, same as with starting the war. It was Cold War rivalry between USSR (and later China) and USA that are responsible for that.

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People are getting killed there, they are brainwashed, no one can leave the country, they have zero contact with the outside world and the totalitarian leader is treated as god. South Koreans know what part of them had become. It's frustrating how much the writer downplays this national tragedy.
At that point, Top Star Yoo Baek is as much about North Korea as that one.

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NK isn’t a plain country. If all the people there were starving how they would have force to threaten Japan, USA, SK, and etc? That’s a military village, they are privileged, as for they won’t starve and will have coal to fight the cold. As for JH, he’s the son of a high, high rank General, of course he’s rich and privileged enough to leave the country, like Kim Jong Un have done so many times, he even had a Brazilian passport. Of course the show isn’t a documentary, but NK is not an usual starving country and that’s why it’s such a difficult problem to solve.

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I hated almost everything about this episode, starting with the trope bingo and ending with them doubling down on the 'lost princess' trope found by the secret prince 'living in anonymity amongst the people'.

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Regarding the Switzerland stuff: Her therapist recommended Dignitas (Swiss non-profit organization) and Seri went there to help. And she saw para-gliders, and from there on she found something that made her feel free again. That being said, yeah the drama hasn't yet told us why she felt this way and etc. Judging by her reaction to the candle in Ep 2, Seri is clearly still going through some things :( Hopefully, we'll get a better understanding of each of the characters later on.

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The way the PPL came in caught me off guard! LOL

Also, NK chaebols are on a different level (you know, drama wise)

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Love it! Although I wasn’t ready for what was revealed about SeRi’s former mental state during the epilogue. Now it will be interesting to see how she became the strong woman that she is.

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My mental state was badly shaken when he snuffed out that candle.

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Oh you poor thing, I hadn’t even thought of that when it happened! That’s normally your job (to blow out candles, of course).

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Drinking Game: Take a shot everytime they employ a familiar trope in the drama.

Different class/country trope: Check
Met before(albeit not when they were kids): Check
Truck of doom (complete with a vampire fangs upgrade): Check
Fake couple trope: Check
Straight-laced ML vs Flighty risk-taking FL trope: Check

I'm going to be plastered by the time this drama ends

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Hahaha! Can you please update this list as the show progresses? Would be excellent reference for a party-game rewatch.

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Lol, I will. I'm sure the drama will give me plenty of material to work with.

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I like that he now comes from privilege too. So, when she’s all like “I’m rich and famous and will reward you,” he’s all “Nah, not interested (because I can basically get away with murder here).” She thinks she’s high and mighty, but he’s got some pretty big aces up his sleeve that he’s been hiding for a very long time. I was thinking, if he’s a captain, in charge of a squadron, how is his background such a mystery to everyone? Maybe we will get that answered soon. I do like how the townspeople do look after each other. I was afraid that they would depict the inspection team as tyrants against their friends in the village. How many people howled with the comments that South Koreans (9 out of 10 of them) suffer from amnesia like it’s an epidemic? That was hilarious.

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I believe he’s there to investigate his brother’s death with he blames to Cheol Chang an the Security Division (or however It’s really called). His qualificantions exceed his destination, but I believe that’s his purpose.

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Ah, the fake relationship upgraded to fake fiancée. This is just *chef’s kiss* the best.

The whole candle scene was so sweet and I loved how you see Jung-Hyuk was paying attention to all of Seri’s requests. The part where he extinguishes the candle so she could cry in peace was swoon worthy, so smooth.

Switching gears, but wow I’m surprised Seri admitting all her mental health issues. I’m wondering how much more the drama will address it considering current events with Kpop idols.

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I feel this drama will end with a tragedy. I don't see a loyal NK military officer defecting and I don't see a rich chaebol heiress staying in NK for long. They will be seperated sooner or later.

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How could you? *CRIES*

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You will need to cameo again to *blow* them closer YY 😉🌬.

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They can live in Switzerland! Rich korean children often come in Switzerland like Kim Jong Un to study.

And we have shampoo, she should be ok :p

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I still think they'll move to Switzerland in the end.

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Hmmm. Maybe. But why really? Before that I think she should somehow return to Korea and reclaim her business, assets and everything she owns from her siblings and their spouses. Maybe another typhoon will hit and sweep her away.

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I wasn't really being serious...

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I feel your pain. I don’t think any of them will move from their country.

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I have been thinking the same thing. I fear we're headed towards a bittersweet ending. I just can't picture a situation where either one would defect.

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I'm curious about their past. Seri had to leave her family and she was in depression like badly... why? Her mother seems to hide things.

Jung-hyuk studied piano but now he's a soldier, did he change his career because of the death of his brother?

I'm super ready for all the tropes of living together and acting as couple! 😍

For once, it will be easy to visit the places they went in Switzerland! Not like Greece in Chocolate, it looks so beautiful :(

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Sounds like a mashup of Graceful Family. Chaebol daughter went abroad and returned for some reason.

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The return of the prodigal son/daughter is a common theme.

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Well, I’m not saying she was not depressed when she went to the clinic, but it seemed to me more like a whim. Something like: I’m super rich, tired of life and I want to get tied of it. And I imagine that’s why in the clinic they told her to go and do some hiking instead of getting her a doctor inmediatly.

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I even like the fact they troll the truck of doom. Even the bad guy the way he sneers it’s so ridiculous. This show from 2 episodes in is coming in as surprise. It’s Super cheesy but somehow it works. I already adore our ducklings especially resident maknae who is k-drama obsessed. (And over decade old k dramas to boot!) Seri is also a hoot the way she interacts with them.

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Thanks @lollypip. That was a good recap of another great episode. I like how this writer makes the improbable appear plausible. I feel that there's not much disbelief to suspend, while I find myself laughing at the lighter moments.

The theme of Seri's choice is very apt. Ultimately how things play out will be because of her choices. She had made the choices in the past that enabled her to do well in business, but now she seems to be making the choices that will probably help her personal growth. In the midst of this, I trust the demons that led to her seeking assisted suicide, will be laid to rest.

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That music book and EPILOGUE, made me wonder if Jung-hyuk's brother is in military while he is studying music in Swiss. He knew other world beside North Korea, so he's not really a military junkies and more open minded captain? He heard that his brother died in suspicious accident so he come back to North Korea and enlist to the military to find out about his brother accident or maybe the murderer.

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Agree!

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I like the easy flow those premiere episodes have, and it feels like the writer put out spoof of old Korean melodramas instead of regular rom-com, taking every trope from them, I wonder if we get amnesia too? After encounter with ToD. I just keep my fingers crossed that this tongue in cheek writing won't fizzle out too fast because it make all this North Korean setting acceptable.

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I liked the first episode but I just love the second. Things are definitely more interesting than the first episode. I am loving both the leads. Jung Hyuk who is the nice and thoughtful male lead, the kind of leads I love to see. Even Se Ri who might act spoiled but there are so many spoilt rich male leads so it's interesting to see a female lead like this. And l can already see that she is going to develop. Her actions are actually understandable, she is used to luxury and she now finds herself in North Korea of all places. And all things considered she has been handling herself quite well. She is flawed and I like that. And I like the...er.. ducklings too especially the dramas watching one. I also like how they have shown the lifestyle of the people too and as not in too stereotypical way, they try to live normal lives the way they can. Of course I understand that there are somethings left to be desired but it's still not as bad as it could have been. But those last parts are just my thoughts and I understand if people disagree with them. It would be interesting to see other people's insights over how things are portrayed.

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I agree that the second episode is even better - doesn't Seri's character remind you of Cheon Song-yi from 'My Love from another Star'? Although I think I'm going to love Seri more.

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I actually do like She Ri better. I felt pretty neutral about my love from another star though.

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*Se Ri
Damn autocorrect.

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Well, I’m having fun with this one.
I’m the king of FF viewer and I didn’t FF almost anything (only the annoying sisters in law part).
What I like about the drama is that all of them are normal people, with normal reactions. Except of course for the “badies” that are so stereotypic. Too much to be true: the sisters in law, the members of the political police.
Jet I believe we will have some nice moments with the fake engagement.
And I’m willing to see more about Jeong Hyeok brother. A big fan of Ha Seok-Jin here!!!

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Hopefully none of you were planning to watch CHUNO after this because Se-ri gave away the ending to the drama-obsessed duckling 😂😂😂

I wonder if @missvictrix is watching this. She’d have a blast with the PPL: rice cookers, instant coffee, underwear, cosmetics, and well, dramas themselves! South Korean products know no boundaries according to this drama. 🙈😂

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@wishfultoki Thanks for tagging me ^^ I cannot WAIT to watch. I have Hyun Bin fever. I've been working like a beast but my little break is upon me and this is at the top of my to-do list!

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I laughed when Se-ri laughed about getting emotionally attached to decade old drama characters. It struck a little close to home! I'm not much different from the cute little North Korean comrade. :)

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The upbeat tone of this drama seems incongruous with the current realities of NK. It is a brave choice by the writer to have the hero be a NK soldier. Does anyone else find shades of DOTS here? (Girl in unfamiliar military surrounding).

My prediction for how this drama will crash land: girl wipes her memory (eternal Sunshine style), guy remembers her and their short lived affair. Both are separated by politics, guy tried for treason, girl thought of as NK spy. In the end, 10/20 years later, both will be influential politicians in their respective countries and sign a peace accord 😅

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I so want to watch that drama....lets write it :D

It's got it all. A little bit of "An Affair to Remember" mixed with "Three Days of Condor"...and if we do it right a smattering of "Dr. Strangelove" for spice.

Your a genius.

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I am definitely waiting until this show has completely aired to watch it and I definitely did not get too impatient and just go ahead and watch episode 2 over a bowl of ramen the other day. (and i definitely did not love it so much and get super annoyed that we have to wait so long for the whole show.) i definitely have more self-control than that.

but since i'm here ;) ...thank you so much @lollypip for the awesome recap and also for putting the epilogue into context ("I also wonder if that little smile when Jung-hyuk first saw Se-ri is because he recognized her from their Swiss encounter"). I didn't realize the epilogue was a moment from the past, and I got really really confused. But I like the idea that they've crossed paths before...maybe even more than once? the montage in the opening credits is a little more intriguing to me now.

and as soon as i start watching this show, i'll let you know what i think about that ;)

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Shopping King Louis at work even in North Korea. He sure was passionate about Maxim Gold...

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OMIGAWD, OMIGAWD . . . There is LITERALLY a "Truck of Doom" in this series! All these years I've been waiting for this to get written into a series. It is not only a Truck of Doom, it is a Russian Kamaz Truck of Doom!

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Paging @sincerelytod!
Your Russian third cousin twice-removed is making a special appearance in CRASH LANDING ON YOU. ;-)

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Many appearances including how to make an even more effective and scary truck of doom.

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Omg episode 3 is a hoot! I just love all the drama tropes references - the drama is so intentionally silly it is hilarious! How many of us identify with ducking kdrama fan? He’s probably me in North Korea. And I’m sorry Hyun bin, but I now definitely noticed that one duckling was Super hot too!!! Who is he? Any names guys?

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@stardust81,
The ducklings are listed in row 2:
http://asianwiki.com/Crash_Landing_on_You.

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I actually know them by their code names, which are very apropos: Mountain Hawk (Captain, obviously), Cuckoo (pfff, loud and sort of stupid), Pigeon (the only guy who ever does things right), and Seagull (drama-obsessed guy). I forget the youngest’s name so I call him Maknae.

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@wishfultoki,

Oooh! I missed "Pigeon." Thank you! ;-)

Here's my cheat sheet, compiled from AsianWiki and DramaWiki, and the subtitles:

4 soldiers under command of NK Army Capt. Ri Jung-hyuk (call sign "Mountain Hawk") in the 5th Company of the Civilian Police Battalion that guards the DMZ.
[Ri's mistake: He stepped on a landmine, which allowed the prisoner to escape]

1. Yang Kyung-won as Master Sgt. Pyo Chi-soo (call sign "Cuckoo") who drank vintage 1950? snake wine on duty (Two-dae in ARTHDAL CHRONICLES).

2. Lee Shin-young as First Lt. Park Kwang-beom (call sign "Pigeon") who committed no infractions because he's competent. (His first role, per AsianWiki.)

3. Yoo Su-bin as tall young soldier Kim Ju-meok, whose militaristic given name means "First" (call sign "Seagull"); he watched STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN at the guard post. (police academy cadet in LIVE; guard post soldier in ALONG WITH THE GODS: THE TWO WORLDS, among other roles).

4. Tang Joon-sang as youngest soldier Geum Eun-dong (no call sign), who deserted his post while reading a letter from Mom as he took a dump in the field; (Lee Seo-jin in A MELODY TO REMEMBER, among other film & drama roles).

I really like the whole lot of them. They remind me of the soldiers in WELCOME TO DONGMAKGOL and JOINT SECURITY AREA. Since CRASH LANDING is a fantasy, I hope they all manage to evade the clutches of the evil Officer Jo.

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@wishfultoki,

I've come to think of the drama king as "Joo-mok Livingston Seagull" so I can associate his call sign with his name. His uncle skippers a fishing boat, so maybe Joo-mok is from an island. I love it that he's a Dae-gil fanboy.

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Thank you for your recap, @lollypip. I got a kick out of the revelations that Captain Ri had trained as a concert pianist in Switzerland, and that his father is a high-ranking official -- which explains how he was able to study overseas. Now I really wonder whether he recognized Se-ri when he found her hanging in the boughs of the tree in the DMZ. -- He whomped up a scrumptious-looking bowl of ramyun from scratch, too. Se-ri was an idiot to refuse it. I wonder if he knows the implication of inviting someone in for a bowl of noodles. Har!

I'm enjoying the show, especially the loony PPL and send-ups of Kdrama tropes. Given how ruthlessly State Security Department officer Jo Kang-chul liquidated the three captured grave robbers and then attempted to frame Captain Ri for it, I'm worried that the villain is ultimately going to cook the geese of uri hero's ducklings. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that CRASH LANDING continues to hew closer to the surreal wackiness of PEGASUS MARKET and WELCOME TO DONGMAKGOL.

Oh Man-seok's character's name is a tip of the hat to one of his earlier productions, the Joseon whodunnit DRAMA SPECIAL SERIES: THE TRUE COLORS OF GANG AND CHEOL. ;-)

Er, I don't mean to be picky, but it seems that text has gotten dropped from the start of paragraph #25, which deals with the arrival of on-the-lam swindler Gu Seung-joon in Shenyang, China and his meeting with his security guard(?) Mr. Oh and North Korean "asylum broker" CEO Cheon. [Immediately following the 11th screencap insert, and beginning with: They discuss a new “contract” — after fleecing Se-ri’s younger brother, Se-hyung, of an astronomical amount of money, Gu Seung-joon is now asking for asylum in North Korea.]

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No, nothing was dropped. Maybe I just phrased it awkwardly? Think of it as two separate sentences:

"They discuss a new 'contract.'

After fleecing Se-ri’s younger brother, Se-hyung, of an astronomical amount of money, Gu Seung-joon is now asking for asylum in North Korea."

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@lollypip,
Thanks for clarifying. "They" seemed to refer back to Chul-kang and the senior colonel in the previous paragraph. It's official: I'm losing it. ;-)

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Actually I WAS referring to Chul-Kang and the senior colonel. Just after Jung-hyuk leaves the office, Chul-kang tells the senior colonel there's a new "contract" and they both look excited. I think they've got fingers in that pie and probably get a percent of each contract like Seung-joon's.

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@lollypip,
I really am losing it. Or it was such a slick transition between scenes that it didn't fully register when the camera cut to Gu Seung-joon discussing his various asylum options. ;-)

I assumed from the start that Lt. Commander Chul-kang and his superior(s) are in on the cross-border grave looting operations -- and routinely double-cross the diggers to maximize their profits as well as rid themselves of incompetent stooges who threaten to cause international incidents. A dollar to doughnuts, they are getting kickbacks from the asylum contracts, too. And they probably get a cut of the proceeds from the international trade in consumer goods such as those sold in the local market. Just like their predecessors who had the monopolies on trade associated with diplomatic missions to China in MY COUNTRY. ;-)

How much do you want to bet that Capt. Ri's hyung stumbled onto one of their operations and was silenced before he could blow the whistle? Or perhaps he simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and knew or suspected nothing about the illegal activities. I'm sure his murder was made to look like an accident so that the masterminds could avoid going up against someone as politically connected as the deceased's high-ranking father.

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Oh I'm 100% convinced that Hyung found something out on Chul-kang, and Chul-kang got rid of him. That's why he was killed by the same ToD as the grave robbers, and it's probably what happened to cause the other ToD "accidents," too.

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hi can anyone help me understand? what is the work of mr cheon and manager oh? i just know they are into illegal activities. and is manager oh a north korean? i've seen the episode wherein he was in south korea helping cheol gang. i'm confused

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@jess,
It's been a while since the series ended, so my memory is a bit fuzzy. Messrs. Cheon and Oh are business associates of crooked NK Army Major Cho Chul-kang. Cheon is the civilian "asylum broker" who works inside North Korea but has contacts in ROK and China. Oh is his colleague who functions as the client's personal concierge / tour guide / Man Friday -- and minion of Major Cho. Or maybe he only acts like a minion in order to keep his head on his shoulders. Initially I thought that Oh was Seung-jung's security guard/road manager, such as actors and idols have to ferry them around to their jobs and appointments. I think he's also there to make sure the client doesn't cause a ruckus that would draw the scrutiny of the authorities. I don't recall all the details, but think that Oh is from DPRK, otherwise he'd stick out like a sore thumb in Pyongyang. I wish I could be more helpful. ;-)

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turns out the se-ri's choice is still the right choice because if she had chosen the other path going to soth korea, she would not been be close to captain ri.

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Help! I don't get the epilogue- what did Switzerland have to do with anything? Someone please explain to me what they both were doing there- is this after the story, they meet on neutral ground? Before the story?? They both happen to be in Switzerland at the same time? Why is she depressed? Help, plz!!!! Thank you!

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@ADJUMMI,
The epilogue is a flashback to when Capt. Ri was a student of piano performance at a music conservatory in Switzerland. While looking through his books and sheet music, Se-ri had found a copy of his application, as well as a program from a concert he performed during the 2008-2009 academic year -- which vaguely rang a bell with her. She herself had gone to Switzerland that same year because it is the home of Dignitas, the assisted-suicide charity. It was not mentioned by name. (Dignitas also figured in the drama SHOULD WE KISS FIRST. More info: http://www.dignitas.ch/.)

During a difficult time in her life, seeing paragliders soaring above the Alps brought Se-ri unexpected joy, and prompted her to go on living. Switzerland is where she obtained her paragliding certification. (Perhaps Jung-hyuk did, too?)

We have to keep watching to learn why Se-ri was in such emotional pain that she seriously considered killing herself. Eps. 3 & 4 fill in a few more blanks. ;-)

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Dear Pak,

Thank you So much for your explanation! Well done! xoxoAdj

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You're most welcome, @ Adjummi. ;-)

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I returned to dramabeans and romantic dramas after a long long break. I watched partners for justice s1 and s2 this year, then CLY hooked me. Healer really set the bar of couple chemistry so high for me and spoiled me that I could barely enjoy any romance dramas. The chemistry of the leads in Crash Landing on You is really my style.

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I can't remember the last time a drama snagged me then lost me so quickly and completely. I really did not like this episode. In fact, I can't think of one thing I like about it.

For a start, nothing about this episode required her to be in North Korea. If she was lost in the forest in South Korea and hiding from the paparazzi or a stalker something, the whole thing would play out the same way.

For all the silly antics she pulled, she could have been in the rustic mountain home of a hermit who turned out to be a secret famous instrument maker; contract marriage and all.

This writer seems to have a thing about powerful women being forced to hide in a man's home because of circumstances outside of their control. But whereas I found Cheon Song-yi's entitled antics funny, there's nothing amusing about a woman in North f'ing Korea phoning up the officer who's risking his life by hiding her and demanding scented candles. It just makes her look extremely stupid.

I get this show is going hard on the 'lost princess' trope and now we discover the man who's hiding is secretly a powerful alien, chaebol prince highly-connected officer. But the fact is, I didn't find any of this funny. Everyone involved could die.

I'm seriously considering dropping it.

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@leetennant

This show keeps feeling very 10yrs ago. I thought it was just the side characters clunky "humour". However, I think your comment..."'lost princess' trope"...nails it.

At its core, the way the show is handling its very premise is what anchors it back so far in time (and not in a good way). I initially thought the drama was fighting between a current drama and a drama from 10yrs ago. Now I realise that it is just 2 versions of a drama from 10 yr ago mashed together and I suspect that is baked in.

...."Everyone involved could die.".....
So this!
Her only hand to bargain with is that the soldiers may die if they don't work with her....forgetting that if that is their deal, the simplest way out for them is if they got rid of her (soldiers guns, remote area full of landmines). Even now when they are playing engaged - she could happen to have an 'accident' (Jeong-Hyeok knows where the mines are buried) and then he only has to play the heartbroken man.

This show keeps making us re-suspend disbelief. That usually only works once or twice, but this often never holds water.

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I am in love with this one. My only regret is not waiting till end of January so I could binge watch

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Obviously because this is a drama for our own entertainment, some things aka North Korean life is a bit heightened to a certain extent. That said, I think the writer thus far has done an excellent job of marrying both the serious and silly side together. I rewatched the episodes with family, and they all enjoyed it. This is definitely one of those dramas that is something you can introduce to your family and they'll find it charming to watch.

I just hope that the show can be as good as it's now going forward (Yes I'm being optimistic :) I came in with expectations for a show that from the teasers seemed Melo (I think as it progresses it might turn that way). Definitely can see this being the next Hallyu drama, if everything goes to plan!! Also this drama wouldn't work without Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin as the main leads. Really adds some star power and gravitas to this show!

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I'm late to this commenting show, but I still wanted to write down my initial thoughts.

Ummm....how does Se-ri manage to keep all her clothes on around Jung-Hyuk with his from-scratch ramen making abilities, his deadpan barbs, and stoic stares??

There's a naughty part of me that wonders if Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin will become a real life couple after this show...THEIR CHEMISTRY IS SO AMAZING!!! I just can't take my eyes off of them.

Also, Chi-soo's bickering with Se-ri is hilarious, but I think we all know that when push comes to shove, he'll be the most loyal and fierce defender of her after Jung-Hyuk.

So, I'd probably say while the romance between Se-ri and Jung-Hyuk isn't terribly believable (if you - like me - want to drive yourself crazy by wanting everything to follow logically from one another)...why would he like a demanding chaebol princess who can't do a thing and it a constant worry to the welfare of him and his ducklings?

But, the Show sells it well by giving us hints about their budding feelings. Se-ri is pleased that Jung-Hyuk sent his ducklings to his home to watch over her, while pretending to work on his water pipe. So, that's kind of cute. The real kicker, though, is when Jung-Hyuk won't even take the contraband SK instant coffee at the SSD, but then buys all of the black market SK beauty products and lingerie (looking away modestly and awkwardly, like a good, pure, NK boy would), which must have cost him a pretty penny. That's really sweet. Be still my heart.

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Hi, do you happen to know the house / building when Se-ri was speaking with a psychiatrist about euthanasia?

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