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Crash: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

Jam-packed with zany comedy, heart-pumping action, and a deceitfully despicable villain of the week, Crash kickstarts its vehicular crime-busting journey in style. Though said style comprises offbeat humor and ridiculous wigs — but that’s a bonus, isn’t it?

Editor’s note: Weekly drama coverage is confirmed.
 
EPISODE 1

Crash: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

Right off the bat, we’re introduced to the Traffic Crime Investigation (TCI) unit, a small squad of four specializing in — you guessed it — vehicular crimes. Stuck somewhere in between the criminal division and the traffic division, the TCI is the black sheep that doesn’t quite fit in anywhere. Still, despite being looked down upon by their fellow officers, they fulfill their duties with resilient diligence and a fighting spirit.

At the heart of the team is the gung-ho MIN SO-HEE (Kwak Sun-young), who tricks a car dealer into revealing his scam together with her partner EO HYUN-KYUNG (Moon-hee). Joined by team leader JUNG CHAE-MAN (Heo Sung-tae) — who’s hilariously out of touch with modern pop culture — and gentle giant WOO DONG-KI (Lee Ho-chul), they proceed to take down the illegal dealers in a hilariously action-packed sequence.

Amidst the flying fists, bespectacled insurance investigator CHA YEON-HO (Lee Min-ki) gets caught in the fray, knocked out by So-hee’s mighty punch. Meek and polite, he winds up getting carted back to the police station, where his name card alerts So-hee to her blunder. Yeon-ho isn’t the least bit upset at being treated like a criminal; instead, he gives So-hee a manila envelope containing a serial murder case he’d like her team to investigate.

So-hee doesn’t spare it much thought, but when she loses the kind neighborhood granny to a traffic accident, she runs into Yeon-ho again at the wake. Disappointed by her lack of action, Yeon-ho remarks that she’s just like the others — he’d given the case to three other police stations, to no avail. Chastised, So-hee pores over the case files all night.

That brings us to our case of the week. JUNG HO-GYU (Bae Yoo-ram) is a heartless perpetrator of insurance fraud, who targets elderly women to pay off their relatives with meager sums of settlement money. Exploiting their sympathy with a sob story and guileless puppy eyes, Ho-gyu evades a court case time and time again — then profits from the insurance payout.

All the evidence gathered so far is purely circumstantial, which raises doubt about Ho-gyu’s culpability. If given the benefit of the doubt, maybe he just has awful luck? No way, Chae-man counters. Once bitten, twice shy; had it truly been a tragic accident, Ho-gyu wouldn’t have bought a second vehicle a mere month later, much less rack up four such “accidents.”

While checking out the most recent accident site, So-hee once again bumps into Yeon-ho, who rattles off a spiel of calculations to estimate the car’s velocity. Peering closer at the road, Yeon-ho realizes the location of the yaw marks left by the car’s tires reveal the driver’s intent. The swerve wasn’t to avoid the victim, as would be the case for most accidents — it was to ensure he’d strike her down.

Crash: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

In a lucky coincidence, the used cars dealer that Ho-kyu obtained his vehicles from just so happens to be the same one the team had apprehended. Plying the car dealer into cooperation with delicious food, the team sets a trap for Ho-kyu, outfitting a used car with wiretaps and hidden cameras.

Unfortunately, Ho-kyu catches on to their scheme and sells the car off to a stranger, sending the TCI on a wild goose chase. Elsewhere, an irate Ho-kyu speeds straight towards the used car dealer — only to crash into a bicycle that suddenly cuts into his path. It’s Yeon-ho, who’s now sprawled on the ground with a bruise on his jaw.

All in all, Crash delivers a solidly entertaining premiere with delightfully quirky characters, exhilarating car chases, and little dashes of humor sprinkled between the absurd comedy. (That delivery guy closing the door on his way out, then smoothly opening it again for the TCI team to catch the baddies, LOL!) It’s like Taxi Driver with more legal repercussions and less vigilante vengeance; the signature flair of director Park Joon-woo is evident, and it was fun to spot all the cameos.

The first episode doesn’t particularly make a mark in any one aspect just yet, but it keeps a good pace, introducing us to the ragtag team behind the wheel and laying the groundwork for their future trajectory. Your mileage may vary, but as long as it doesn’t veer too far off the rails with its wacky antics, I think this show has the potential to be a fun joyride.

Crash: Episode 1 (First Impressions)

 

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I didn't watch Taxi Driver, so this episode reminded me of Squad 38.
I have fun with shows like this, but I struggle a little being faithful to them.
I hope I can keep up and enjoy the ride.
I wonder if this will be a team I'll come to care about, since that's the main thing that makes me stick around (Lookout, YAS, Fiery Priest, S38, etc).

I like the FL, but it kinda felt like she's carrying with everything. I don't know what's with her boss. And I didn't get to appreciate the charisma of the other two members of the team. I liked Lee Min Ki's character.

For some reason the scammer was the highlight of the episode for me. He was hilarious. Like Doug Judy from B99. LOL

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I don’t know Korean road or traffic laws but if a guy “accidentally” killed three elderly pedestrians and severely injured another, at minimum it looks like this guy can’t drive and is a safety hazard. Why didn’t they revoke his driver’s license at least??

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And their insurance system actually lets an apparently uninjured at-fault driver get a much bigger payout than the value of his car??? Say what?

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As revealed at the end of the second episode this was based on a real case in 2006-07(18 years ago) and comparing they took liberaties with this case in the episode. Only 3 cases- two old women died and second victim was only injured and the laws and terms were changed to prevent such incidents from re-occuring and loopholes allowing the fraud. What is left out is after each accident the criminal received a probation or manslaughter sentence, had been driving vehicles weren't tied directly to him, continued taking out multiple driving insurance policies together at a time and some insurance plans were such they accomodated license being revoked. There were other details that were substituted for the twist in episode 2 providing a blanket explanation under coverup. Similar to this incident an insurance investigator tipped off the police to the multiple claims fraud, the police investigated and the man was sentenced for fraud based on hard forensic evidence alone.

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Thank you for this very useful info and your explanation. Please come and join us! Don’t be “anonymous”.

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It was really weird. Even if it was an accident, it can be a murder by negligence with a car against a pedestrian. Three times and the Judges think it's ok? No consequence for him?

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I believe he gets bonus points and a voucher for fried chicken for hitting moving targets

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Had a lot of fun with this first episode (and the second one for that matter).

This team is really just a bunch of loveable misfits that are actually pretty good at their job, with the missing link being the ML. Compared to the 2 women, he might not be a good fighter, and apparently isn't able to drive a car, but he's incredibly smart and attentive, which is exactly the type of person this team needs. And I just love this premise.

Hopefully the show keeps this up and doesn't swerve off the road only to crash into a truck of doom.

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this sounds so fun and I love Lee Min-ki.

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If you do jump in on this one it will be great to hear your thoughts on this unusual drama.

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we need this team in Tallinn. Cars rule here, pedestrian is a nothing. we have no rights. Basically the law is on their side. if you get hit, it is your fault bc you were not fast enough. im not religious but I feel like praying every time I step outside. all development is in the name of cars

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OMG, sounds bad!
In the UK, I have the feeling that the pedestrians rule.... to the point where we get zebra crossing right in the middle of a round-about, and when you catch school time, you can get stuck for several minutes in the middle of a round-about waiting for kids to finally be done crossing.

There's also this thing about "apparently" not being allowed to run over cyclists, regardless of how fucking manic they are on the road or the pavement. I'm not quite sure where this sits in the road hierarchy.

I miss my formative years in Germany where everything was so beautifully organised.

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Coming from a country, and a city in particular, which is now renowned worldwide for its notoriously bad traffic and lack of rule-following, this show fascinates me. Like there are *laws* for retaliatory driving? Mind= blown.
But also, it was quite revelatory that South Korea, at least acc to the PSA at the end, seems to have more stringent sentences for traffic offences than it seems to have for crimes against women, for eg.

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beat the lady if you must, but please stop at the red traffic light... Priorities are odd, indeed

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Very apt and poignantly stated. Women’s health, safety and lives are still expendable.

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Same in much of Asia, sadly.

And many cities here are built without sidewalks for pedestrians.

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after I wrote this yesterday I was walking to work and got stuck literally between 3 SUVs around 3 tons each, in a triangle of about 1,5meters. on a pedestrian crossing. they all started cursing me for being there. once they untangled, no one apologised to me. my heart nearly stopped.

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Oh no that sounds scary, I hope you are ok now.

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I am. I feel murderous.

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LOL, I guess my "OK" is when I behave like Wednesday Addams

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I'm imagining a little Red Fox going all "HAIYA!" on those grossly inconsiderate motorists.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the first two episodes. The title in particular had led me to expect more mindless action. In contrast to "Dare to Love Me", I mostly like the humour here.

I'm just surprised that someone who has caused several fatal accidents still has a driving licence. But maybe that explains the Truck of Doom...

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CRASH was a very pleasant surprise.

I think I'll watch this, not AN ATYPICAL FAMILY. This has characters that are much more engaging, there is a sense of humour woven through it, and it held my attention, so that's saying something considering that my other livewatch now is LOVELY RUNNER (I'm catching up fast with the episodes) and DOCTOR SLUMP (Park Hyung-Shik is always first rate in rom-coms).

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I actually giggled my way through the first episode! The Chief wondering what police force BTS was really had me in splits. I liked the action and the car chases were really good.
I hope this comedic tone stays for the whole series, because there's nothing I love more than a funny police procedural. I was hoping Chief Inspector would take up FlexCop's place, but with the more serious route it's gone down, it looks like Crash will do that job for now.
Also, I've liked Kwak Sun Young in her other shows, Behind Every Star and Brainworks- she has a certain je ne c'est quoi that I like in leading ladies. And I really hope Lee Min Ki gets to smile in this series - he didn't do much of that in any of the 3 others I've seen him in- but who can forget that radiance at the end of Behind Your Touch? Not I.

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I thought I was the only one guffawing at the BTS joke ahahhaha!

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He had so many funny moments, I had to rewind to catch the small quips and misunderstandings.

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On another note:

LMK smiling? Heh. He seems to specialise in tsundere characters who rarely, if ever, smile.

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I had fun with this episode and the 2nd episode. Unfortunately it lost most of the funny after the first episode. It still has some laughs, but it wasn't as funny as the first 20 mins or so.

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First episode was a set up. Had its moments. But by the second episode I was really having fun with it.
I love our TCI squad already. Captain Jung is hilarious when he shuts down people with his idioms. The actor is fun to watch.
LMK plays a counter foil to this chaotic bunch.
The humor works for me. It’s no flex cop, but it has its own charm.
The case seemed far fetched. 3 accidents and no one found it suspicious???!

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It's a good surprise to see him playing a nice guy.

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LMK's character is so serious and earnest and particular and offbeat that I can't decide if he's just tsundere or if they deliberately wrote the character with neurodivergent characteristics.

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I thought he might be neurodivergent, too, and I think it would be a fresh take. He seems to be an efficient person who does his job and doesn't waste time with pleasantries. I can't wait to see where it goes!

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So far, so good or at least so interesting. I liked the way scenarios were imagined and I thought the pacing was good. It's intriguing to me how the show has to make a topic like insurance (frauds & scams) and traffic crimes engaging. I liked the PSA type clips at the end of the episode. I wonder if they'll continue that for the duration of the drama.

I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about the captain of the team. Him just switching tables irked me but then I thought about the office/station politics involved and figured he probably thought it was better to just move than cause any more issues but ahh, it's still irksome! Haha

I wonder why the team's space seems to be like a storage container or something. They can't even get an official looking office? Even a small one? But I get that it visually shows just how low on the totem pole they are considered. Almost makes you wonder why anyone would choose such a team to be on.

This is the first time I've seen the actor playing the chief not screaming/yelling or not instantly punchable. Who knows if that will change in the future. This was also my first time seeing the actor playing the culprit in anything other than Taxi Driver. Always interesting to see actors take on villainous roles because sometimes you can tell they're having fun with it.

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Thanks for the recap @solstices This show reminded me of the Dukes of Hazzard with its old style car and epic chase scenes and general silliness whilst still righting the wrongs.
I am sure one of the trailers for this show showed them being relocated to a former nursery school and looking at the dinginess of their current office it would be a step up.

I am looking forward to seeing how they balance the serious case per week and info on traffic law with the fun capers. I hope they get the respect they deserve from the chief and the rival department by the end of the season.

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I forgot to ask was it me or was the theme music ridiculously loud?

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I liked this show more than I expected! I enjoed the cast and the TCI team. So far the main characters are likeable.

That driver/fraudster case got me all riled up though. I think him killing the first old lady should already have his licensed revoked and get jail time. SK laws are very lenient and glad that they had made changes to prevent similar cases. I can't believe he got to repeat it three more times until someone took notice 🤦‍♀️🙅‍♀️

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I loved the first 15 mins or so until everything became serious. I did not enjoy the plot, so a drop from me, but let the drama continue to be good for the others. Thanks @solstices.

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