Happiness: Episode 2
While the virus makes news with more outbreaks, our leads are busy settling into their new apartment complex. Our special ops agent spends some time getting to know her new neighbors until a crisis sends her on another visit to the quarantine site. Meanwhile, our cop grumpily works a case with a new, unwelcome partner.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Soldiers carry out bodies from a homeless shelter as Tae-seok goes inside to investigate. Ji-soo reports that a homeless man was given pneumonia medication. Since the medicine was donated, they didn’t realize it had been recalled.
At SOU headquarters, Seung-young watches a news report about cases of a new infection around the world. He recognizes Tae-seok from the footage of the homeless shelter and worries that things are about to get very bad.
Sae-bom is much more blasé, as usual, and takes the news in stride. Seung-young and Sae-bom have both been getting calls from a reporter, and Seung-young seems tempted. Sae-bom reminds him they signed an NDA.
Sae-bom proudly tells him she’s off duty for six months and is moving out of the dorm into her very own apartment. All she had to do was earn some more points as a newlywed. Seung-young doesn’t look all that surprised that she’s marrying someone for better housing and asks who the guy is.
She says it’s someone she rejected a long time ago. We flash back to her pitching marriage to Yi-hyun who immediately surmised her true goal. Sae-bom tried to convince him it’s because he’s a good catch and makes her case that she’s not so bad either. Yi-hyun clearly wasn’t buying her excuses but shocked her by casually agreeing anyway.
Seung-young congratulates Sae-bom on her sudden marriage, although he understandably looks a little baffled. She notices he keeps rubbing his throat (Is he … thirsty?) and asks if he’s okay. He says he’s fine, but she looks skeptical.
Sae-bom steps aside to take a call from Yi-hyun – they’re moving into their new place today – and Seung-young is gone by the time she comes back. Outside, he meets the reporter who offers good pay for an exclusive. We see in flashback that Seung-young was scratched by Jong-tae’s victim during the incident, but he hid it from Sae-bom. (Now that’s just irresponsible during an outbreak.)
Meanwhile, Jung-kook congratulates Yi-hyun on finally making it happen with Sae-bom, albeit unconventionally. He did a background check on Tae-seok for Yi-hyun and shares that he’s an infectious disease expert. He got licensed through the military and later retired to work for a pharmaceutical company.
Interestingly, Tae-seok went to trial for assaulting the CEO but was found not guilty. He then returned to the military to serve in the Central Disaster Countermeasures Headquarters [CDCH].
In the car, Sae-bom’s conversation with Seung-young weighs heavy on her mind. He’d worried about the man Jong-tae had attacked because no one but Sae-bom has come out of the CDCH alive.
Sae-bom has her first neighbor encounter in the elevator up to her new apartment. Tenant KIM SE-HOON (Han Joon-woo) from unit #1501 eyes her disapprovingly and hands her a mask, asking her to wear it in the building.
His eyes widen at her SOU hoodie, and he freaks out like a fanboy when she says she’s an officer. Se-hoon eagerly asks if she can get him an SOU T-shirt. She finds his request odd but agrees to try.
Yi-hyun is already unpacking when Sae-bom arrives. She’s surprised to see the massive picture of them he blew up for the wall in case a city official stops by to see if they’re truly married. It’s a photo Jung-kook took the day she pushed Yi-hyun off the roof.
Sae-bom approves of the photo – it makes them look like they’ve got a good story behind their relationship. They both chuckle at the image of them standing there looking sullen while Sae-bom is in handcuffs. Heh.
While Yi-hyun continues unpacking and cleaning, Sae-bom goes to pass out the rice cakes Jung-kook’s wife made. She starts with their nearest neighbor #502. A little girl named PARK SEO-YOON (Song Ji-woo) answers the door and accepts the rice cake.
Sae-bom tries to open the stairwell door to the sixth floor, but it won’t budge. Seo-yoon pops around the corner and informs her that the upper floors are for owners who apparently don’t mingle with the renters below.
Seo-yoon watches in awe as Sae-bom kicks the door open, scattering the cinder blocks used to barricade the door. Sae-bom explains it’s a violation of the fire code, so she can report them if they complain.
After parting ways with Seo-yoon, Sae-bom’s next stop is #602. Lawyer GOOK HAE-SUNG (Park Hyung-soo) takes the rice cake but immediately throws it away once he’s inside. He tells his wife SHIN SO-YOON (Jung Woon-sun) you can’t trust food from strangers. She chides him for being overly suspicious, but his days as a public defender showed him people’s evil natures.
In the hall, Sae-bom hears a strange noise coming from inside #601 and jumps when owner PARK MIN-JI (Baek Joo-hee) comes up behind her. Min-ji sighs that she dislikes flour but begrudgingly takes the rice cake. She goes inside without a backward glance.
Her husband OH JOO-HYUNG (Baek Hyun-jin) acts all sweet to Min-ji, offering massages and to fix her a drink, while his mistress is stashed under their bed. Min-ji takes her medication, which looks suspiciously like Next (the recalled pneumonia medication).
Downstairs, Sae-bom is giddy to finally have her own place. She goes through the apartment, throwing out ideas for how to decorate and use the rooms. Yi-hyun pretty much just agrees to whatever she suggests.
Yi-hyun set up both of their beds in the same bedroom but hurriedly says he can change it. Sae-bom approves since they need to be meticulous in looking like a real married couple. As they lie in their beds, she shares that her family had to move into a basement room when she was in high school.
Sae-bom hated being crammed together with no escape from her parents’ constant fighting. She’s always wished for a space all her own, and this is the closest she’s ever gotten, so the world better not go down in flames. With that, she falls asleep. Yi-hyun chuckles and tucks her in.
Sae-bom has a nightmare about her encounter with Jong-tae, but in her dream, her warns that she’ll turn too. She wakes with a start and hears a banging coming from upstairs. It wakes Yi-hyun too, but she tells him not to bother going upstairs to confront the neighbors.
Yi-hyun heads out early the next morning and meets Tae-seok in the lobby. When he grumbles about Tae-seok bothering Sae-bom with these constant blood tests, Tae-seok tells him to stop complaining since he got to marry Sae-bom because of him. HA. Yi-hyun is rankled but can’t really argue.
Tae-seok informs him that news will be released that Next was involved in the homeless shelter murders. The government will announce that all Next medication is being retrieved from the market and illegal sales will be prosecuted severely.
When Tae-seok says they’ll be working this case together, Yi-hyun immediately declines because he’s oh, so busy. Tae-seok smirks when Yi-hyun’s chief calls and forces him to cooperate. I’m sensing potential frenemy fun here.
As the first order of business, Tae-seok tells Yi-hyun he’s to assume Jong-tae’s identity to arrest the dealer. Yi-hyun goes on this spiel about how hard narcotics investigations are because you need money to meet with the big players. Tae-seok heaves a duffel bag full of cash onto the table for expenses and tells Yi-hyun to keep receipts.
Yi-hyun brings up what he learned about Tae-seok’s pharmaceutical ventures, trying to rattle him. It doesn’t work. Tae-seok admits he was never good at creating medications, but he was good at stealing them from other companies. He doesn’t take the bait when Yi-hyun mentions the assault case.
Tae-seok has heard Yi-hyun is known for solving cases logically. Yi-hyun says that his colleagues call him reckless but lucky since he uses unconventional means to get the right answers. With a smile, Tae-seok asks him to take this opportunity to disprove the stereotype that athletes aren’t smart. Gauntlet thrown.
Meanwhile, Sae-bom gets a call from her mom who complains she had to learn about Sae-bom’s new place from Yi-hyun. Sae-bom tells her about being tested for that new virus which is now popularly known as human rabies.
When Sae-bom says she’s quarantining, her mom worries about Yi-hyun living there too, but Sae-bom says they’re fine because they’re in love. Pfft. She feigns a coughing fit and hangs up.
Sae-bom again hears that banging from upstairs and has had enough. She steps out of her apartment to find Seo-yoon slipping a cute hand-written thank you note in her door. Seo-yoon asks if she’s really a police officer and says she wants to be like Sae-bom once she’s healthy.
Sae-bom shares that she was sick for two years and couldn’t even go to school. Now she’s completely fine. She asserts that Seo-yoon is tougher than her and has no need to worry.
Seo-yoon sticks to Sae-bom like glue and follows her upstairs to confront the neighbors in #601. Joo-hyung answers the door and says he was moving furniture in the middle of the night. He apologizes and promises it won’t happen again.
Joo-hyung assumes Seo-yoon is Sae-bom’s daughter and comments on their resemblance before shutting the door. Seo-yoon, who knows seemingly everything about everyone in the building, tells Sae-bom that Joon-hyung stays at home, although he and his wife are both doctors.
Seo-yoon looks super dejected when Sae-bom tries to head off alone, so Sae-bom decides to let her tag along to the building gym. When Sae-bom gives her address to the man at the front, he awkwardly informs her that the gym is only for owners, not renters. Wow.
The well-informed Seo-yoon already knew about this rule but thought Sae-bom might have a trick up her sleeve to resolve it. Sae-bom says that when money is involved, things get complicated. She takes Seo-yoon with her to use the free, outside equipment instead.
Elsewhere, Seung-young is looking worse for the wear and ends up taking a blade to his wrist. He seems to change his mind, though, and tends to the wound. Seung-young calls Sae-bom to tell her the truth about being scratched and ask for her help.
She drives him to the quarantine site and assures him he’ll be fine. He only got scratched, like her, so it’ll be okay. (Don’t think that’s how this works.) The guards let Sae-bom through when she shows her pass, and Ji-soo examines Seung-young once they get inside.
Ji-soo takes off the bandage on Seung-young’s wrist and says this cut doesn’t look like a scratch. Seung-young assures her it is. Wait, what?! He’d better not be doing this for the reporter while hiding his actual infected scratch.
And yep, that’s exactly what he’s doing. While Sae-bom goes off with Ji-soo to get blood taken, Seung-young convinces himself everything will be fine – he’s just making some cash. (This idiot.) With the hand not handcuffed to the chair, he removes his Lecter muzzle.
In the other room, Ji-soo chides Sae-bom for showing up unexpectedly and asks for some warning next time. Despite Ji-soo’s grumpiness, Sae-bom says she’s choosing to be friendly and gifts Ji-soo one of the rice cakes.
Sae-bom asks after the trainee Jong-tae bit since she heard he’s doing poorly. Ji-soo explains that getting bit means definite infection. There’s no way to predict when they’ll get thirsty, and it gets progressively worse. The only thing they can do is slow the deterioration.
She calls Sae-bom lucky and says that, hopefully, Seung-young will also be okay. When they return to the room, Seung-young is gone. He answers Sae-bom’s call and says he has a family, so he can’t die here in secret. He vaguely remarks there’s a way to be safe and make money, and then he hangs up.
Seung-young sneaks around the compound, following some soldiers to the refrigerator trucks they’re using to house the critical patients. He slips inside and stares in horror at the dozens of bodies surrounding him.
One of the soldiers outside notices the open door and closes it, locking Seung-young inside. Seung-young gets a text from the reporter who promises to deposit 100 million won upon receiving the video clip. As Seung-young begins recording, the patients start to awaken.
Meanwhile, Yi-hyun and Tae-seok head inside a warehouse. Tae-seok explains that they need to find who’s distributing Next. When Yi-hyun mentions the worldwide cases of the virus, Tae-seok admits he stole the drug from abroad while working for the pharmaceutical company.
They’re suddenly blinded by headlights from a car parked ahead. A man asks where Jong-tae is. Yi-hyun approaches and starts a fight, easily taking down all three men who hop out of the car.
Yi-hyun asks where the drugs are, and the man stutters they’re in the trunk. When Yi-hyun opens the trunk, a chained Next zombie lunges at him. It’s all Yi-hyun can do to hold him off while Tae-seok pulls out his gun.
He goes to shoot but freezes, recalling a woman in the same condition chained to a hospital bed. Tae-seok pulls himself together and shoots. Yi-hyun is stunned, especially when Tae-seok shoots into the trunk a few more times.
Yi-hyun trains his own gun on Tae-seok and asks what he’s doing. Tae-seok responds he’s ensuring it’s dead. Yi-hyun yells at him for killing someone in front of a cop. “Does he look like a person to you?” Tae-seok asks.
Jung-kook, who was waiting in the car, runs in after hearing the gunshots. He arrives in time to see Tae-seok spray one of the men in the face with a nearby hose before asking about the trunk zombie. The man says he went to collect money and found the guy like that; he’d killed his whole family. He then decided to turn him into his own “guard dog.” Ugh.
Tae-seok gets a call about what’s going on at the quarantine site and rushes over with Yi-hyun. At the site, Sae-bom gets a call from Seung-young. “They’re not human,” he says, and the line goes dead.
When Ji-soo orders the soldiers to open the container, Sae-bom yells, “Don’t!” Thankfully, they only opened it a crack and manage to push the Next zombies back inside. Before the doors shut, Sae-bom sees Seung-young’s eyes go white. He launches himself at the door with a growl.
Oh, Seung-young. I get that money can be a strong motivating factor, and who knows if there was some pressing reason he needed it, but that was incredibly stupid. He knew he was scratched and would actively turn soon, yet he hid it and risked others’ lives. Hopefully, they’ll be able to keep the Next zombies contained. Of course, the ball’s already rolling at this point, so all they can do is try to slow the spread.
We still haven’t gotten to the outbreak in the apartment building that we know is coming, but I actually like that the drama is taking the time to set the stage. When the chaos starts, we’ll already have a lay of the land and some attachment to our characters. Not that the apartment tenants we’ve met so far are particularly endearing (apart from little Seo-yoon). Talk about classism. The owners refuse to share their amenities and actually blocked the stairwell door so the peasants couldn’t travel all willy-nilly to their floors. I’m assuming the snobby owner Min-ji is the one to kick things off with the outbreak since we saw her taking what looked like a Next pill.
I love that Sae-bom and Yi-hyun actually got married for one of those apartments. What are friends for, right? Watching Sae-bom all giddy over her new place was cute. Yi-hyun is content to just go along with whatever she wants, happy to see her excited. He’s playing it cool, but it does seem like he’s still into her and is quite happy about this arrangement.
I wasn’t expecting the begrudging partnership between Yi-hyun and Tae-seok, but I’m enjoying it. Tae-soek clearly has the upper hand and is the more mature of the two, but he seems to find Yi-hyun cute. Yi-hyun is like a little dog that puffs himself up to try to seem big and bad, while Tae-seok is the big dog who watches in amusement. Of course, like all stoic males in dramaland, Tae-seok has trauma. Was that zombified woman chained to the bed his wife? I wonder if he punched the CEO of the pharmaceutical company over something he discovered about Next. Maybe he went back to working for the military specifically because of this drug.
Besides the obvious Next business, there’s a lot of illness in this drama. From the glimpse we got of Sae-bom’s mom, it looked like she was in a care facility. It didn’t look like a normal hospital room, so I’m assuming she has some chronic illness. Could it be related to the illness Sae-bom mentioned having as a child? Maybe that illness has something to do with Sae-bom’s immunity to the zombie virus. And then there’s Seo-yoon who said she’s sick. It’s cute how she’s claimed Sae-bom, but it’s also sad because she’s obviously lonely. I’m curious about her parents and the other renters – she’s the only one we’ve met so far. Given the strong classist divide between the upper and lower floors, I have a feeling things are going to get ugly when the plague hits.