Thorn Flower Episode 1 Recap
I’ve been meaning to watch this drama since it started airing as it has one of my favorite actors—Seo Do Young in it. I finally got around to starting it (after nearly a hundred episodes). This drama promises to be dark and vicious and full of revenge.
**screencaps will be added later**
We open at a large house in the middle of winter where a woman is humming and cleaning up after some festivities. Upstairs there are two young men drinking. They are both fairly wasted. One congratulates the other and stumbles downstairs where they see the woman wiping down a table. We can then see the man’s face and his lustful eyes as he looks down at the cleaning maid.
I know that I shouldn’t laugh during an attempted rape scene and it really wasn’t that funny haha…but at the same time, the way they cut the scenes and put them together and how the two went all over that house was kind of…funny weird and just seemed slightly absurd. Of course second drunk nerd was no help to our lady who begged him to save her, he only held her for his friend, but he was a weakling that she could quickly over power. Drunk b*stard was a bit tougher, but he was drunk so that gave her a slight edge in escaping believe it or not.
So yeah the rich, drunk b*stard stalks our maid throughout the entire house and she does a pretty good job of avoiding him and escaping his grasp on numerous occasions. Then they somehow end up a in a bedroom. She manages to kick him and runs out to the balcony where she blocks the door. Of course, that door is the only way out. So what does the little maid do? She climbs over the edge of the balcony just as drunk b*stard pushes his way out. Suddenly sober and frightened, he holds out his hand and tells her to quickly take it. The little maid looks at his hand and looks down at the snowy ground. Her decision? The ground it is. The drunk stares in shock as blood blossoms around the young woman’s head.
Don’t you love how these dramas start with a period yet to come and we get to rewind to see how we got to the opening sequence?
We then go back a bit to an acting talent search. Jeon Se Mi (Jang Shin Young) has just been named one of the top five contestants! Also named is Kang Ji Min (Sa Hee). The final two are then announced and it is Ji Min and Se Mi! Both sets of parents are happy for their daughters. After the show, the Kang parents who are your typical rich family are chatting up the movie’s producer/director (the talent search is for the leading lady of a joint Hollywood-Korean production). The Jun family wait for the conversation to end and Mr. Jun greets President Kang and his wife. Turns out that Se Mi is the Kang family’s servants’ daughter. Typical. It will be a poor girl, rich girl showdown. You have to love it. Mr. Kang doesn’t recognize his own servants while his wife Mrs. Min can only talk in contempt about how anyone thinks they can become an actor. Again, typical.
We then get to go backstage where Se Mi is surrounded by the other three contestants who didn’t make it. Ji Min approaches her and tells her not to get cocky. Se Mi assures Ji Min that she won’t and that she is honored to have made it as far as she has in the audition program. Se Mi doesn’t believe she can win against the spoilt rich girl. A humble poor girl and an evil, self-important rich girl. Se Mi needs to win and show that wench that money and power aren’t everything. Oh, and let’s add Se Mi’s boyfriend into the mix. He comes in late and is happy to hear that his girl has made the top two. Ji Min watches Yoo Je Joon (Choi Woo Suk) fawn over Se Mi in disgust. Of course, spoilt rich girl wants humble poor girl’s boyfriend!
Se Mi is enjoying new and surprising popularity at college thanks to the audition program. Se Mi goes to meet Je Joon only to learn that he’s busy filming and can’t meet her as planned. He tells her to check the mailbox. What mailbox? Apparently they have a tin box hidden under a stone on campus that they use. Cute. Inside is a locker key. Se Mi goes to the locker and opens the door to find a rose and a large bag. Inside the bag is a beautiful black ball gown. This makes Se Mi happy as she was in need of a dress for the final part of the audition program. She texts her thanks to her boyfriend (who is a student film producer). While she tries on the dress to show him, a group of high school girls enter the bathroom and recognize her from the program. She then has the girls take pictures of her to send to Je Joon thanking him for the gift.
At the same time, Ji Min is also trying on her dress. Funny that the evil girl shall be garbed in white while our leading lady will be swathed in black. Symbolism at its finest. Ji Min’s dress looks more like a wedding dress than anything else. Mrs. Min had very particular orders when having the people make the dress and one order was having gauzy material covering up her daughter’s legs. Ji Min’s response? She asks for scissors and slices off the bottom of her dress as her legs are her best asset. Riiiight.
Meanwhile drunk b*stard is being a…b*stard on the campus basketball court. When another player gets angry at him he is quick to punch the man out and tells him that while that person is the better player, there is no way he can beat Kang Hyuk Min—drunk b*stard—(Kang Kyung Jun). He gets changed and gets a call from mommy Mrs. Min (Cha Hwa Yeon) reminding him about it being daddy dearest’s birthday today (Kim Byung Chun as Kang Joo Chul). She reminds her son about their family dinner and then tells him that she has already bought a present for Mr. Kang in her son’s name and the story will be that he spent all of his part-time earnings to buy his father the gift. Yeesh. Rich people. Hyuk Min thanks his mommy for this and promises to pick up his girlfriend Cheon Soo Ji (Jung Ji Yoon) for the dinner.
Mr. Kang is leaving his office for his special dinner when his assistant hands him documents that urgently need signing. This has Mr. Kang throw a fit and he repeatedly hits the man in the head with the document case. Doesn’t the man know his schedule already? Doesn’t he know he has an important family dinner to go to? Kang then storms out followed by the man. Oh yeah, looks like the entire family be evil. Not surprising.
We then see a woman leading a kindergarten (or some primary school class) when a man wearing a panda head comes in. The kids are immediately taken with the panda. The woman tries to figure out what is going on and it dawns on her that panda man must be Hyuk Min. Panda grabs her and pulls her out of the classroom with children trailing behind begging Mr. Panda not to kidnap their teacher. Awww. Outside, Soo Ji scolds Hyuk Min. He should have waited as she only has an hour left of class and can get in trouble for leaving early. Hyuk Min asserts that he had permission from the director to let her leave early. Still…not the best way to take her out of class.
Se Mi heads home with her prized dress. Jeon (Kang Shin Il) congratulates his daughter on making it to the finals. Enter Mrs. Hong (Kim Chung) with dresses she ran around borrowing for her daughter. Se Mi says it isn’t necessary as she found a dress. They then go into the Kang vacation home where Se Mi shows off her pretty dress with much compliments all around. The mood dampens a bit. They should get out of the Kang home before they return. Jeon assures his wife and daughter that the Kang family have an important dinner so they will not be coming to the vacation home that day. Still…they had better leave. They pack up their things and happily head off to their nearby house.
We then cut to see drunk nerd—Lee Won Suk as Baek Seo Won—in a bathroom fixing his glaring red tie. His father Bae Doo Jin (Ahn Suk Hwan) has instructed his son to arrive at his office at a certain time. Seo Won looks a bit annoyed and pulls of the tie before heading out. His father is giving a grandiose speech to a small gathering of press in his office. The interview finishes and Baek gloats about his son who got top marks and has the top spot in law school Figures that nerdy drunk would be in law school.
Afterward in the Baek car, Baek scolds his son for showing up tieless. Seo Won says he had a tie, but it just didn’t work with his outfit. Regardless, he should have worn one. Baek orders his son to put it on. Out comes the bright tie. When Baek disparages the tie, Seo Won says it was a Christmas gift from his father. He goes to put it away again and Baek orders him to put it on once more. Baek even takes the tie and puts it around his son’s throat almost as if he was tightening a noose. Looks like Seo Won doesn’t like his daddy’s oppression.
The Kangs are all gathered with Ji Min arriving last. Mrs. Min is not happy to see how short her daughter had the dress hemmed. Of course, Kang indulges his pretty princess. Fathers indulging daughters. Shocker. They talk about the audition and how Ji Min is a sure win. Hyuk Min chimes in and says he heard there’s quite the dark horse, but he doesn’t watch the show. Ji Min smirks. He really doesn’t know who her competitor is? The whole family knows. Hyuk Min insists on knowing, but Ji Min taunts him to watch and find out. Kang then reveals in front of Soo Ji that he has agreed to invest 30% for the movie to guarantee his daughter’s win.
Topic then goes around to Seo Won and Hyuk Min wanting to throw him a party to congratulate him on his law school entrance. Mrs. Min and Kang like this idea and they can do a joint celebration for Ji Min’s big win, too. They also talk about getting Seo Won and Ji Min engaged. Of course Seo Won doesn’t want this as she has her eyes on a sunbae from school (Se Mi’s boyfriend Je Joon).
We then cut to a meeting where Mrs. Hyun (Kim Kyung Sook) is bawling out her employees for using Chinese ingredients and chemicals in their new cosmetic line. Their company got as far as they did by being open and honest and providing the best for the customers. If they are so concerned about production costs, then cut down packaging and advertising instead of using subpar ingredients and chemicals. The tirade is interrupted by a call from Mrs. Hyun’s daughter (Hyuk Min’s girlfriend Soo Ji). Soo Ji reminds her mom about the Kang family dinner. Mrs. Hyun promises she is on her way and snaps that they will have a meeting at 10 PM that night. She’s one tough cookie. But she at least seems like she could be a good one. Who knows?
Seo Won finally shows up and Ji Min congratulates him on his success before telling him that she won’t be his girl. Great. The boy looks slightly baffled. He is soon followed by his father and Mrs. Hyun. The three families sit down and toast their happiness and success. This is a revenge drama. They will only get to enjoy happiness and success for so long before our two revenge takers come into play.
This happy scene is then replaced by a more melancholy one with a family holding a memorial service. The matriarch Pa Joo Daek (Kim Ji Young) scolds one member for not bowing. The girl replies that her brother Park Nam Joon (Seo Do Young) did enough bowing for them. Joo Daek then tells her grandson that he is the only one who can do anything for the Park family now. Nam Joon vows to do his best as his grandmother says that her son would never have abandoned his family like that. Nam Joon vows to get the truth. So…did the father supposedly commit suicide? Not too much info yet about what is going on with the Park family.
Se Joon is one his way home when car lights start flashing at him. He has no idea what is going on and is surprised to see Ji Min step out of the car. She tells him she has waited an hour for him and then invites him to a party celebrating her audition win. This shocks him (as the final announcement has yet to be made). We then cut to a dream montage where Se Mi and Se Joon are running through a forest from Ji Min. Why they look so frightened and are running from a crazy looking Ji Min is weird considering it’s not like she has a gun or anything. Anywho, she corners them on a cliff and pushes Se Mi over the edge. Se Mi wakes with a start and pulls out a childhood photo of her and Ji Min.
End episode. I like the previews for episode 2 as it looks like Kang’s bribes did NOT land his daughter top spot.