Some may know that I’m recapping this drama already over at Dramabeans – otherwise the recaps would have shown up here! I wanted to do this one since I recapped Sign, and I was confident about the writer behind this one. Suffice to say, the writer delivered.
*Please note that I briefly summarize episodes 1-2 so there will be spoilers!*
The plot is fairly straightforward – in its usual crime-thriller-twisted way, ha. So Ji Sub is detective Kim Woo Hyun, the head of the cyber-team investigations. Lee Yeon Hee is one of his team members/partner, Yoo Kang Mi. There are hints of a romantic relationship, but what is very clear is that the two of them rely on each other and have a very close understanding of the other. It also makes Woo Hyun less of a cold person as he was described to be before the drama aired.
The first case they get is an up-and-coming actress’ suicide. I like how it’s already drawing parallels to Sign where the death of an idol star drives the entire drama forward. Though there are many other cases on the side each week, it’s because our leads were searching for clues continuously to solve the idol’s death that it tightens the narrative. The suicide is linked to a scandal where the actress supposedly was performing a lot of sexual favors, and had a whole list of “clients” she served. What seems to be a simple suicide turns into a bigger problem because she is seen to be murdered. And on top of that, someone had hacked into her computer and saw her get murdered (via webcam, natch).
The hacker turns out to be the infamous Hades, who is revealed to be Park Ki Young (Daniel Choi) – Woo Hyun’s best friend in college. Ki Young used to be a police officer before he turned rogue, and he was paid by an unknown person to find the file of “clients” that the actress had. Instead, he uploads the video of the actress getting killed in the hopes of drawing out the murderer, whom he suspects is also the person who hired him to find the file.
Things get gnarly when Woo Hyun ends up being on the wrong side of justice – he is actually working with the killer and Ki Young discovers this fact. However Woo Hyun is not completely soulless and so he is almost ready to let Ki Young go instead of killing him too. But an accident at the chemical factory leads to Woo Hyun dying, and Ki Young being misidentified as Woo Hyun. Kang Mi discovers this fact first, and she decides to help Ki Young become Woo Hyun. Through the help of reconstructive surgery and planting the wrong evidence, she helps Ki Young get out of the hospital as Woo Hyun. Two things: 1) this means it’s the end of Daniel Choi’s awesome cameo, and 2) now we have “Face/Off” in our hands.
What makes this drama awesome is that all this happens in the first two episodes, and so we know that for the rest of the series we are basically propelling down the path of “Will he solve the ‘phantom file’ mystery?” and “Will he be found out?” I love the idea that Lee Yeon Hee’s character is now forced to work with the Ki Young-character-but-with-Woo Hyun’s face. She was quite bland when with Woo Hyun, but now she has to be conflicted and have mixed emotions towards Ki Young-Woo Hyun. I am also hoping that So Ji Sub can deliver more because Daniel Choi really sold his role; now So Ji Sub needs to deliver that same intensity plus act very Woo Hyun-ish. Even with two episodes I already can tell that Woo Hyun is the more silent type, while Ki Young is the earnest type. It’s like when the child actor sets a high bar for the older actors in Moon that Embraces the Sun, or when Song Joong Ki raises the intensity bar for Han Suk Gyu.
I’m really not someone who is interested in the actors to have to watch a drama – I watched What’s Up and Peninsula with less vested interest in the actors. This drama is truly just me enjoying the production of it from behind the scenes. However the supporting actors are great, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Uhm Ki Joon will do in his role. I don’t even know what
Conclusion: Totally watching this!