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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Korean drama "Black": Episode one recap and screenshots

 Air Dates: October 14 until December 3rd, 2017 on OCN, two episodes air per week Saturday and Sunday nights at 10:20 pm. This episode's rating: 2.14%.... OCN is a cable network


Song Seung-Heon as Black, before his death was Han Moo-Gang and is now a Grim Reaper
Go Ara as Kang Ha-Ram
Lee El as Yoon Soon-Wan, had gone by the name of Kim Sun-Young
Kim Dong-Joon as Oh Man-Soo

Two other main Grim Reapers

Jo Jae-Yoon as Grim Reaper #007(!)
Lee Kyu-Bok as Grim Reaper #416

Seoul Police Force Squad(Black was a detective until his death)

Kim Won-Hae as Na Kwang-Kyun(Mad Dog)
Jung Suk-Yong as Bong Man-Shik
Lee Chul-Min as Oh So-Tae
Heo Jae-Ho as Park Kwi-Nam

 These recaps are unfortunately going to be long and there are many reasons for that. The main one is that these are long episodes, this first one lasted 85 minutes which is almost the length of a movie. Haven't viewed the second episode yet but that's 76 minutes long, going to be tough keeping up with this series. Plus with those lengths it means so much more happens though least the cast isn't huge.
 Found the first fifty minutes so confusing yet it was an interesting watch and it wasn't until the final scenes where things started to add up. Went in thinking this was a drama revolving around a Grim Reaper named Black, it is but the Reaper part won't be beginning until the next show. Started this recap on Sunday night, no doubt it won't be completed until Monday but least I don't mind these longish recaps if a drama is good and this one has begun promisingly.

 Can't hurt by giving a minor spoiler and will give the full details at the bottom of the recap. Black is a Grim Reaper though he didn't become one until the final minute of the show. Until then he was a detective with the Seoul Police Force and went by the name of Han Moo-Gang. When he comes back to life as a reaper think he'll continue using that name but really have no clue what's going to happen but the recap under this one will have those details.
 The other main character is Ha-Ram who since she was a young girl has the ability to see the 'Shadow of Death'. What that means is that she can see a small black shadow trailing a person when they're going to die soon and can even see most of the death's details. To prevent herself from going crazy Ha-Ram wears sunglasses as often as possible, wearing them blocks her from seeing the shadows and she has a huge collection of them.
 Ha-Ram is currently working at a hamburger joint, she seems like an intelligent woman so no idea why she would be working at a place like that. To date though we haven't learned too much about the main character's pasts, little bit here and there which sometimes makes things even more confusing. At the hamburger joint Ha-Ram had been wearing her sunglasses even though it was night and she was inside.
 Her ex-boyfriend had come in and ordered a meal, by that time Ha-Ram's boss had told her to ditch the glasses. With them off Ha-Ram noticed a shadow and pleads for her ex-boyfriend not to leave or at least wait for a few more minutes. He thinks she's loco and departs, within ten seconds of him leaving the restaurant he gets run over by a truck and Ha-Ram knew that was how he would die.

 Detective Moo-Gang had also been at the restaurant and noticed everything, to him she was a curious loony but he soon forgot all about her. The next day Ha-Ram heads to the airport and boards a plane for.... Finland?! Who knows why she was heading there as it was never mentioned plus where would she get the funds for such a long flight as she still lives in a dump though it was revealed alter on she did make a bit of cash from fortune telling.
 Shortly after she takes her seat Ha-Ram falls asleep with her sunglasses on and they eventually fall to the floor. A little girl across from her picks them up but won't give them back, that could be an omen for Ha-Ram to see a shadow and she does. Not just one she sees but a whole airplane full of shadows and Ha-Ram soon realizes the plane is doomed to have an accident. Like a madwoman she rushes around and screams for the for the plane not to take off but her pleading is not taken seriously and the passengers think she's a lunatic.
 Soon the airport's security team comes on the plane and arrests Ha-Ram, shortly after the plane flies off to it's tragedy. Ha-Ram is taken to the same station Moo-Gang works at, moments after her arrival at the station the news comes on with the sad story of the plane heading to Finland crashing and there were no survivors. Ha-Ram was blaming herself for not saving the passengers but there wasn't much she could do as they all thought she a bit wacko and who wouldn't think that way.

 At the station Moo-Gang noticed Ha-Ram as his office was just down the hall, he soon realizes it's the woman from the hamburger place that had predicted a death. Moo-Gang finds out that she has also predicted the crash of the plane and had been arrested for causing such a scene in the plane. At first Ha-Ram was looking at charges of being a terrorist but it soon came to light that the cause of the crash was a defect in the plane and she was innocent.
 Moo-Gang visits Ha-Ram who is now locked up in a questioning room. There Ha-Ram explains everything about her abilities to him but doesn't know why as there's no way Moo-Gang would believe her. Not sure why but Ha-Ram was released after it was determined the cause of the crash was a defect with the plane, she had still caused a major disturbance on the plane which should have bought her more jail time.
 Moo-Gang ends up giving her a lift home, he finds out where she lives as he'll be making an appearance at her residence later on. Events and details after that plane scene become a bit confusing for a while, some gets cleared up better by the end of this episode but still in a fog about some things. Moo-Gang and his team are working on an older case as they had found a skeleton of a woman's body that had been buried for about a decade. There was no way of identifying her and also there was no one resembling her from any missing person reports from ten years ago.

 Above is Moo-Gang's girlfriend Yoon Soo-Won who is a doctor. From his ongoing case with the woman who was found dead after a decade Moo-Gang has found out some info about Soo-Won. That's not her real name as Kim Sun-Young is, she had plastic surgery we think about ten years ago. This is where the events become hazy as they were from some flashback scenes which didn't last long enough or have many details from the events.
 Moo-Gang is about 35, when he was fifteen he had witnessed a scene where a teen around his age had gotten beaten up by an older person, perhaps her mother? The incident had something to do with a missing tape, another thing that hasn't been explained. The deceased woman that was found had breast implants and by tracing the serial number Moo-Gang was able to locate the doctor that did the surgery. He then found out the name of the dead woman and started to try to piece things together which may have resulted in her death.
 Moo-Gang has come to the conclusion that the teen he saw getting beaten twenty years ago is the same person who killed the found dead woman. Hoping things will be explained better in upcoming shows as we didn't see too much of Moo-Gang's girlfriend. Seems when that teen was about 25 in age she ended up killing the unnamed woman and after that had plastic surgery to protect herself, that killer could be Soo-Won. The pair had a discussion about it at her hospital when Moo-Gang laid out all of his discoveries but she of course denied everything.

 That above situation between Moo-Gang and his girlfriend is the most baffling thing so far, if it's important to the story then hope it'll be cleared up for us in a better way. When Moo-Gang drove
Ha-Ram from the police station she noticed a man on top of a bridge and telling a small crowd he would jump. Moo-Gang said to ignore him as he's done it many times in the past and never follows through with his threat but passing by Ha-Ram noticed a shadow of death encircling him.
 Moo-Gang didn't take her seriously as he can't believe her stories of seeing death shadows. But after dropping her off he passed by the bridge again, to his amazement the man Ji-Dong jumped and of course ended up dying. That's three incidents now where Ha-Ram has predicted death and all of them have come true, Moo-Gang is starting to believe that perhaps she can foretell death.
 He shows up at her rundown apartment later on that evening very drunk, he says they should form a team. With her ability to see death and with him being a detective the pair could save many lives.
Ha-Ram agrees to the pact but the next morning he's so hungover he had forgotten what he had proposed and told Ha-Ram they won't be working as a team.
 Ha-Ram can see all deaths before they will happen but she can only warn certain types of people about it, for instance if someone has a tumor or cancer she's powerless as a warning wouldn't help that person. But she can try to help people from other causes of death such as car accidents, shootings, etc, and by herself she says she'll try to prevent as many deaths as possible. Immediately she notices a middle aged man and can see a shadow behind him, he'll soon be dying at a mall from what Ha-Ram can gather.

  Ha-Ram manages to persuade the man facing death to have a cup of coffee with her. She tries to explain to him what tragedy is awaiting him to no avail, she even offers to pay him a day's salary to stay with her so he won't travel to the mall where he'll meet his fate. Like all of the others Ha-Ram has tried to warn it's of no use, it's not her fault but who is going to believe someone when they say they can predict their death?
 Ha-Ram though manages to create such a disturbance that the man is eventually arrested for assault, he really never hit her but Ha-Ram had pounded her head on a table leg to make it look like he did. But with those actions the man should be safe in a jail and naturally it's the one where Moo-Gang works at. When the pair meet up again Ha-Ram tells him as many details as she can about the impending death of the unnamed man.
 That man travels to a nearby shopping mall where he's taken hostage by a soldier who has illegally left his base. The soldier has a gun pinned to the man's head and is threatening to shoot him, wish they had told us the names of these two people. There was a gunshot but it wasn't from the soldier's gun but instead from a police sniper who had shot at the soldier. However the bullet missed him and ended up in the head of the innocent hostage, that event won't happen if he's kept in jail.

 Ha-Ram didn't know the name of the mall but knew a few other things. One was that the killing would take place at 7:00 pm. The other was that she kept seeing a clock that showed the time of 9:00 pm which left her so confused. Moo-Gang knew what she meant and figured out which mall it was, there was a replica of Big Ben there which always had the same time. It's a big mall though, how are they going to find the soldier before 7:00 pm which is in five hours.
 There was one other clue from Ha-Ram's vision which may help and that's of a bystander she noticed. That bystander seemed so concerned about the soldier and perhaps she knew him. While at the mall of course that woman was spotted by Ha-Ram and she worked at one of the mall's stores. Ha-Ram and Moo-Gang followed her into the shop and were able to get enough details from her to perhaps stop the shooting and hostage situation from happening.
 That woman described her soldier boyfriend to a T for Ha-Ram and that boyfriend also happens to be AWOL from his base. She contacts him and sets up a meeting at a small cafe where Ha-Ram and Moo-Gang are also at. The soldier enters the cafe, once again we have no names and sits talking with his girlfriend but just for a few minutes. Moo-Gang goes up to the soldier and arrests him for being AWOL but more importantly he may have saved the lives of many.

 For now it looks like there will be no tragic incident at the mall but that will be changing, first though another confusing development. Watching and writing this has given me such a headache because of the the baffling events thrown our way, said there weren't that many but looks like I was wrong. Ha-Ram heads back to the station to make a statement about the soldier's arrest, there was also another undisclosed hunt on for a soldier that had committed many acts of sexual assault.
 While at Moo-Gang's desk Ha-Ram has noticed a few pictures on it and the boy in them looks so familiar. That boy was Moo-Gang at a younger age and what a small world it was as Ha-Ram had known him when they were much younger. He's a few years older and had moved away decades ago and it seemed as though they were both best friends.
 Before the final scene at the mall one more detail about Ha-Ram's ability to see a shadow of death. It seems when she sees her vision of someone dying that event has to take place but she hasn't realized it yet. For example when her ex-boyfriend in the beginning was run over by a truck. Had he listened to Ha-Ram and stayed in the restaurant then he would still be alive but some other person instead would be his substitute. So for now it looks like when she wants to save a person from death she can but someone has to die in their place.

 While in Moo-Gang's office there's breaking news which is taking place at the mall she just left. There's a hostage situation with the person now being Moo-Gang! He had returned to the mall to look for an elderly lady woman with dementia, the mother of the man who was the original hostage in
Ha-Ram's vision. There a soldier had captured Moo-Gang and is threatening to kill him with the gun he stole from Moo-Gang.
 The soldier is being framed by a senator for some sexual crimes and wants the senator to reveal the truth, the soldier being AWOL had been hushed up because of what he knew. In exactly the same sequence that Ha-Ram saw in her vision there was a police sniper at the scene who fired his rifle.The soldier once again jerked his head in time and the bullet ended up killing the hostage who this time was Moo-Gang!
 Some things by now were beginning to make sense and hope some did for you too. For instance that detail about someone having to die in one of Ha-Ram's visions, even she hasn't fully realized it yet. We still need many baffling things cleared up such as about Moo-Gang's girlfriend, seemed she had the plastic surgery a decade ago knowing then she would meet Moo-Gang, why and for what purpose? Plus we need to know more about Ha-Ram and Moo-Gang growing up together among other things but there's still one more scene to go in this extremely long episode.

 Perhaps Ha-Ram is starting to realize she can change details of a killing but only for the persons originally involved as there has to be a death. Think right around there was when I was able to figure that bit of info out and we have a thrilling cliffhanger coming up for the second episode.
 Moo-Gang is now lying dead in the morgue, a mysterious man with his face covered has entered. He's checking all of the bodies looking for Moo-Gang when he eventually finds him. This man slowly pulls the covers off of him, to his surprise Moo-Gang is still alive(?) and rises from the the table. While that had been going on Ha-Ram was at home, feeling so guilty about the death she attempted to hang herself and it doesn't appear as though she was successful.
 The show finally ends with Moo-Gang eventually standing up from the cold table and somehow being able to walk. He still has the scar of being shot but other than that seems to be okay. Grim Reapers were supposed to be the main attraction for this drama, none in the first episode but that storyline will be beginning with the next episode.

 That was one long write up, if you made it through the whole post then thanks as I know there were some confusing parts to it but so far that's the way this drama has been. At 85 minutes that's the length of two Japanese episodes, the next one clocks in at 76 minutes and really hope they can cut these down to an hour. Sure many of you have a slew of questions about the events to date and hope the next post can answer them for you and me as it's the recap for episode two which I haven't watched prior to writing this up.