Hero Episode 1 Recap
Romanized title: Hieoro
English title: Hero
Broadcast station: MBC
Broadcast dates: 18 November 2009 – 14 January 2010
Cast: Lee Jun Ki, Yoon So Yi, Uhm Ki Joon, Baek Yoon Shik
Synopsis: Jin Do Hyuk squeaks by with his job as a reporter for a sensationalist magazine until the publication goes bankrupt. To make matters worse, his sister leaves him with her two kids and a ex-con orders him to start his own paper to pursue the truth.
Lee Jun Ki stars as Jin Do Hyuk, sensationalist reporter extraordinaire. He and his fellow workers manage to sneak their way into KARA’s concert in hopes of breaking a big celebrity scandal. Do Hyuk gets stopped by a backup dancer and questioned as to who he was. Do Hyuk replies that he is a bodyguard and he is told to leave. Do Hyuk doesn’t listen and manages to sneak backstage where he can get a good look at the audience. He finds the couple he had been looking for and begins taking pictures. He is noticed by security and chased around backstage.
Even while being chased, Do Hyuk keeps his mind on the mission and a lookout for the couple. So far none of his pictures had turned out worth a darn. He grabs a rope and swings down, snapping away. He finally manages to get a good picture of the couple only to accidentally slam into the backup dancer who questioned him earlier. Do Hyuk is worried about the dancer and finally decides to do CPR. The dancer wakes up and thinks that Do Hyuk is trying to take advantage of her and kicks him in the family jewels. In the melee, the camera with the hard won photos is destroyed.
Do Hyuk is dragged out of the concert in handcuffs. He insists that he has done nothing wrong, he is just a reporter. The backup dancer asks if he was the one who sent the letter to KARA threatening to kidnap them at their concert that night. This shocks Do Hyuk who even more adamantly refuses saying he is a reporter and you can easily verify his identity. The dancer doesn’t listen and Do Hyuk spends the night in jail until his boss finally bails him out the next morning.
The next day, the newspaper staff are all depressed that their much sought after scoop came to nothing. Do Hyuk gets dragged to the office by his ear by the boss who yells at him for having broken their only proper camera. Seeing the other workers sitting around doing nothing, the boss gets angrier and tells them all to get out and look for news. They ask what their boss wants and he says they can bring back anything. One girl asks why they are being ordered around when he hasn’t even paid them in four months. Another worker states that Do Hyuk is the only one who really does any work around the office anyways.
Do Hyuk heads off to the police station to look for leads in any interesting stories. He buys his two most helpful detectives coffees and they spend their time joking and laughing. They tell Do Hyuk that they have a new boss coming in that day so Do Hyuk will want to be careful. The new boss arrives and it is none other than the backup dancer from the concert. Joo Jae In is a neat freak, she tidied up everything on her way to the investigation unit. She cannot stand mess and expects everyone and everything to be orderly and neat. She is most displeased to see Do Hyuk there and he feels the same.
Jae In calls Do Hyuk’s articles and his paper (Monday Seoul) nothing but trash. Do Hyuk says that as long as there are readers interested in those stories, then they aren’t trash and deserve to be written as well. Do Hyuk then demands Jae In apologizes for wrongly accusing him, arresting him, and kicking him in the jewels. Jae In refuses and demands to know why he is there. She tells him to get out infuriating Do Hyuk. Making him even angrier, she tells the other police officers that all cases are to be kept confidential until solved. There goes Do Hyuk’s leads. For revenge, Do Hyuk reveals to the officers that Jae In is the backup dancer in the scandalous picture in the news that morning.
Meanwhile at DAESE Daily Kang Hae Seong is upset that his newspaper printed such a scandalous photo from the KARA concert. He states that their paper is not a gossip magazine like Monday Seoul and actually reports real news. Kang then goes to meet Congressman Park who begs Kang to help him clean up the scandal exposed in Monday Seoul. Kang refuses and walks out. He gets a call from the chairman stating that Jo Yong Deok is getting out of jail. The chairman asks if he will have to take care of it and Kang says that he will take care of his own problems.
We then go to the jail where Jo Yong Deok is being released. Other people are there to greet their family members or released gangsters, but no one is there for Yong Deok, or so he thinks. Only his old lackey who runs deliveries is there for him. Oh, and Do Hyuk, hoping to get an interview with Yong Deok who blatantly ignores Do Hyuk. This does not discourage Do Hyuk, he hopes in his car and follows Yong Deok.
Yong Deok goes to a place to confront Choi Il Doo who has something to do with the reason that Yong Deok went to jail fifteen years ago. Kang who is with Choi calls the police. Do Hyuk helps Yong Deok’s lackey hold him back and keep him away from Choi. Talk about a way to start your new freedom, but attacking someone. Kang begins rapidly snapping pictures and is surprised when he notices Do Hyuk in the background.
Jae In and fellow cops arrive and arrest Yong Deok, his lackey, and a protesting Do Hyuk. Really, why does he need to be arrested? It’s not like he was attacking Choi with Yong Deok. Talk about police discrimination and an abuse of power. Kang asks Jae In if she knows Do Hyuk, she replies he is a reporter with Monday Seoul. This amuses Kang. And how does Kang know Jae In? He interviewed her. How does he know Do Hyuk? They went to high school together. Wow, another drama with a myriad of connections between people.
Do Hyuk, the lackey, and Yong Deok are released. Do Hyuk treats them to a meal and asks for an interview again as he wants to interview Axe gang’s boss. Yong Deok states he is not the boss anymore and leaves. Do Hyuk runs after him and Yong Deok says he doesn’t trust reporters. Do Hyuk gives Yong Deok his contact information in case he changes his mind and agrees to the interview. Yong Deok’s lackey has to leave and Yong Deok is actually kind of helpless on his own as he is not used to the changes that occurred in the past 15 years.
Do Hyuk goes to visit his sister who owns/runs a restaurant/club. She was the one who gave Do Hyuk the concert scoop that he screwed up. She asks Do Hyuk to help out at the restaurant. Do Hyuk refuses at firs but does cave to his eldest sister’s wishes. She gives him money for rent which he refuses (even though he hasn’t paid in over four months). He has his pride and he is marching towards his dream of being a reporter. Meanwhile, Jae In is with her mother looking over the progress of their new store. Jae In is horrified when she learns that her mom plans on selling cookies and baked goods (apparently her mom’s baking sucks).
Jae In goes out to buy groceries and runs into two precocious children. The little girl asks for Monday Seoul and Jae In says that it is trash and that children shouldn’t be reading it. The little girl tells the “ahjumma” to butt out. Jae In is horrified at being called and ahjumma and tries to tell the little girl that she is an adult who knows whats best for the kid so the kid should leave the magazine alone. Jae In ends up bending the magazine, thus being forced to buy it. It turns out that those two kids are actually Do Hyuk’s niece and nephew.
Do Hyuk arrives home to see his niece, nephew, and older sister sitting outside his building eating ice cream. The kids run to their uncle who hugs them happily. He is less than happy to see is elder sister who apparently ran off with some insurance money. The two kids hold on tight to their uncle so that he doesn’t get a hold of their mom. While this is going on, gangsters come to collect Jin Do Hee’s loans. Do Hee makes a run for it leaving Do Hyuk to deal with the gangsters as well as the children (apparently she made Do Hyuk cosigner without his knowledge).
At this moment Yong Deok arrives. He had no where else to go as he can’t go back to the gang and his wife divorced him so he sought Do Hyuk out. Seeing the gangsters shaking down Do Hyuk, he intervenes and kicks some serious gangster butt. Do Hyuk is hoping he is there for an interview, but disappointed to learn he is not. Yong Deok asks to spend the night and Do Hyuk agrees if Yong Deok does the interview, Yong Deok replies that he saved Do Hyuk so Do Hyuk owes him one. Poor guy can’t win today.
Given his meager circumstances, Do Hyuk tells the kids he’s not sure what’s going to happen. Sol, his niece, said that she didn’t expect him to take her and Jung, his nephew in, and says that she is prepared to go to an orphanage. She bids him farewell forever and he breaks down and says that she and Jung can stay with him. He will make sure to take care of them until their mother comes back. Yong Deok is surprised by the meager appearance of the children and how little food Do Hyuk has to share. Yong Deok asks why Jung doesn’t say anything and Do Hyuk replies he doesn’t know, Jung has never spoken. Yong Deok thinks about his wife and daughter. Fifteen years ago he wanted to leave the organization after a last job which apparently went south.
The next morning, Yong Deok asks for breakfast. Do Hyuk asks if that means he’ll do the interview. Yong Deok still refuses and Do Hyuk says they agreed he could have food only if agreed to the interview. Sol then points out that the clothes were mended thus Yong Deok gets to eat. On his way to take the kids to school they run into Jae In (or should I say Jae In literally runs into Do Hyuk) who has just moved into the neighborhood apparently. Do Hyuk is unhappy to hear that Jae In moved into the neighborhood. Jae In asks why a father of two doesn’t get a real job, before Do Hyuk can reply, Sol tells the ahjumma that Do Hyuk is her uncle and not her father. Jae In doesn’t care. Sol says she doesn’t really like the ahjumma and Jae In replies she doesn’t like the kids either which makes Do Hyuk mad because you shouldn’t treat kids that way. This makes Jung start crying which makes Do Hyuk upset. Do Hyuk tells Jae In to take responsibility so she has to take the kids to work with her to watch them while Do Hyuk goes to work.
Do Hyuk and cohorts get to work only to find that the paper has folded and the boss has run away still owing them four months worth of wages. How much more unlucky can Do Hyuk get? Meanwhile, Yong Deok seeks out his wife and daughter. His wife tells him to get out and that neither she nor their daughter wants anything to do with him as he is a piece of trash. Poor Yong Deok. His ex-wife through a newspaper at him that showed pictures from his fight the day before.
Kang invites Jae In out for lunch. As he goes to get the car, Do Hyuk comes to pick up the kids. Do Hyuk is annoyed that Jae In is leaving when she is supposed to be watching the kids. Jae In says the detectives inside are watching them so she doesn’t have to. This annoys Do Hyuk more and he says she has no sense of responsibility. Kang come and tells Jae In to wait in the car while he talks to his old high school classmate. He then tells Do Hyuk that he heard Monday Seoul went bankrupt which Do Hyuk confirms. Kang hands Do Hyuk his business card and Do Hyuk is shocked to see that Kang works for DAESE Daily. Kang tells Do Hyuk to call and Kang will treat him to soju. Patronizing arse.
Do Hyuk takes the kids to the park and sits drinking soju, worrying about the future. Yong Deok comes to see Do Hyuk and agree to the interview, I think to set the story straight for his ex and their daughter. Do Hyuk says as much as he would like to the paper folded. Yong Deok then tells Do Hyul to create his own, shocking Do Hyuk and that where episode one leaves us.
My thoughts: It’s nice to see Lee Jun Ki acting again. I stayed away from this drama because I thought it sounded too cheesy, but after giving Japanese drama Untouchable a try, I figured I would try this one as well. The acting is good, the plot is interesting and I am excited to see what will happen next between our four main characters.
If there are any problems, I must say it would have to be Yong Deok’s inability to function in the modern world. I know he has been locked up for 15 years, but the payphone and bus moments seemed a little too forced. It doesn’t seem logical that a person would do what he did to use them both, but other than that, I really do love this drama. It is also interesting to see Uhm Ki Joon in a serious, straight role as I know him for his comedic performances in dramas, which he is good at. So far, no complaints to his acting.
Yoon So Yi’s Jae In is annoying. She can’t handle children and does abuse her power to get small revenges on Do Hyuk, which is wrong on so many levels. I wonder if I will end up like her? Her character can be amusing, but is not endearing to me at all as of now.