Miraculous Brothers: Episodes 1-2 (First Impressions)
Like a gripping manuscript in the hands of a publisher, Miraculous Brothers wastes no time in dropping us right in the middle of a miraculous and thrilling ride with twists at every turn. A theft, a murder mystery, and an amnesic guy with superpowers? Okay, Show, you have my attention.
Editor’s note: Weekly drama coverage will continue.
Our drama opens with a foot-chase in the middle of an alley on a rainy night. Two men in black are in pursuit of a young man (Bae Hyun-sung), and we notice a strange blue glow emanating from his backpack. He falls after colliding with a passerby, and the fall considerably slows him down. Just as he’s about to burst out onto the road, one of the men reaches out to grab him. But at that moment, lightning strikes, and Mystery Boy (which we’ll call him till his name is revealed) is propelled forward with some superhuman force out of reach. Safe? Not quite. Why? There was an oncoming car, and Mystery Boy gets knocked down by the driver! Talk about an anticlimactic twist.
The driver, YOOK DONG-JOO (Jung Woo), rushes Mystery Boy to the hospital. And while the doctors try to revive him, Dong-joo hears a faint “hyung,” which draws him to Mystery Boy’s bedside. But he can’t tell if the sound is all in his head or if it came from the unconscious kid. Mystery Boy flatlines and is pronounced dead, but Dong-joo hears the “hyung” again, and as he goes up to inspect the body, Mystery Boy’s eyes fly open! *Jaw slackens*
With a shady chase, a questionable backpack, superhuman powers, a
Truck Car of Doom, and a “resurrection” all within the first ten minutes of the show, color me intrigued! The opener sets the pace of the show as a mystery drama with fantasy elements, and tells us what to expect — without fully telling us what to expect, because there’s a whole lot we don’t know about these characters and their background stories.
What we do know is that Dong-joo is an aspiring novelist who works part-time jobs to get by, and he’s burdened by his mom who’s always getting into trouble. Mystery Boy on the other hand is the real question mark here, and the contents of his backpack don’t do anything to demystify him or reveal his identity.
In the backpack, Dong-joo finds odds and ends like an old cassette player (okay?), a curious-looking rock (hmmm), and a manuscript titled The Almighty is Dead with a picture tucked inside the pages (okay, definitely suspicious)! The novelist in Dong-joo is intrigued and as he settles to read the manuscript, we get cutaway scenes of a man (with cigarette butt-like burns on his hands) drowning another man in a car. *Gulps water*
Miraculous Brothers takes fast-paced to a whole new level and before we can say “Jack,” Dong-joo passes off the manuscript as his own to publisher frenemy, LEE MYUNG-SEOK (Lee Ki-woo). The story sucks Myung-seok in, and it’s straight to publication and the bestsellers list! Admittedly, Dong-joo didn’t set out to steal the novel because all he needed was to borrow money from Myung-seok to bail out his mom. But to prove Myung-seok wrong when the haughty publisher taunted him over his nonexistent career as a novelist, a copy of the manuscript exchanged hands and a lie was born.
Who’s going to know Dong-joo stole the manuscript that turned his life around? It’s certainly not Mystery Boy — who is now in a coma. Even after Mystery Boy wakes up two months later, he has no recollection of who he is or anything that happened in his past. So Dong-joo’s secret is safe. For now.
But even if he’s amnesic, Mystery Boy is not your average guy. He has phytokinetic powers, he teleports, and he can stop time! And most importantly, he can hear (and physically feel) when people are in pain and communicate with them in his mind. Basically, he’s like a super-powered empath, and since he can’t remember anything, it’s hard to say if these powers are a post-accident development, or if he’s had them all along.
When Dong-joo witnesses another one of Mystery Boy’s empath episodes, he tries to make sense of what is happening. Dong-joo’s first theory is that Mystery Boy’s empathy doesn’t apply to everyone. His substantiating claim: Mystery Boy hasn’t felt anything from him yet and according to him, “My life has been a textbook example of desperation and pain.” Lol.
And in a fresh batch of desperation, Dong-joo is left speechless when Mystery Boy suddenly asks about his backpack — a panicked Dong-joo wonders how much he remembers. But for now, Mystery Boy just has flashes of himself in the alley chase, and he feels he might remember more if he sees his bag — which has now been stolen from Dong-joo’s house by Cigarette Burn. But Cigarette Burn was kind enough to leave the original manuscript on Dong-joo’s desk with a cryptic message: “Which one is it? The light? Or the darkness? From Kai.” Oh boy!
In the wake of all this, the car (and the man) that Cigarette Burn drowned is discovered, and the man is identified as a film director who went missing after being accused of sexual assault two months ago. This is where detective PARK HYUN-SOO (Park Yoo-rim) of the violent crimes division fully comes into play. We first see her as the detective assigned to Dong-joo and Mystery Boy’s traffic accident case — which is likely to have dredged up unpleasant memories of her colleague’s death at the hands of a Truck of Doom while he was chasing a suspect. And for some reason, the other members of the team are reluctant to work with her — with the exception of LEE BYUNG-MAN (Ahn Nae-sang), a sunbae who specifically requests to partner up with her.
Taped in the mouth of the film director is a piece of wood and a USB with evidence of his sexual assault — meaning the killer intended to expose the sleazy director. Hyun-soo draws a parallel between this case and a two-year-old unsolved case that featured a similar piece of wood in the mouth of the victim alongside evidence of his crime, and it’s starting to look like this is the handiwork of a psychopath with a twisted sense of justice.
Another player joins the game in the person of LEE TAE-MAN (Lee Sung-wook), the chairman of Taekang group. He’s known for drinking and doing drugs, and he’s one of the people the film director met before he was murdered. Tae-man has taken an interest in The Almighty is Dead, and orders an investigation into writer Dong-joo. He also orders his assistant to find a skilled and tight-lipped guy for a certain secret mission, and I wonder what this is all about.
Back to Dong-joo, he gets a call from an unknown number telling him that he has done something dangerous and the novel was not supposed to come out into the world. This call is from Cigarette Burn, and he disapproves of Dong-joo’s edit to the manuscript’s ending. He insists that the ending must change when the second edition of the novel goes into print, because the story must end in his (Cigarette Burn’s) way. As he hangs up, his face is revealed for the first time: Cigarette Burn is KAI (Oh Man-seok). And on this note, we end a fascinating premiere week.
First off, wow! I was expecting a story about humanism, found family, and brotherhood, only to be hit with mystery and intrigue. But I’m not complaining because my expectations aside, this premiere was so, so good, and I was glued to my screen the whole time for fear that I might miss something if I took my eyes away for even a few seconds. A number of questions were raised in these episodes and at the center of them all is: what did Dong-joo unwittingly unleash into the world with the manuscript? It’s one thing to steal, but to steal the brainchild of a psychopath? Oh boy, Dong-joo’s comeuppance will not be fun.
As for the murder investigation underway, aside from the Kai connection, I’m not that curious about the case. (And maybe this is because investigative dramas have been done to death in dramaland). Instead, I’m more curious as to why Mystery Boy was in possession of the manuscript and the role his superpowers will play as the story unfolds. With his amnesia, his powers feel rather frightening to him, and he thinks he’s a monster. And now more than ever, he needs a trusted hand to walk with him as he grows into his powers. This is where Dong-joo comes in, and I can’t wait to see the miraculous brothers team up to solve the mystery behind the manuscript — which is starting to look like a story based on real events. Hopefully, they’ll find answers, and the rest of us will, too.
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