EPISODE 1: “Teheran-ro, 114th Street, Number 11. Gangnam, Seoul”
I’ve been looking forward to You’re All Surrounded which follows four rookie detectives. The draw for me is Lee Seung Gi, one of my favorite actors, who I loved in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, King 2 Hearts, and Shining Inheritance (aka Brilliant Legacy). I have often found that the first episode of a kdrama can be difficult to get into…but this one worked for me.
We start in the present day in a wild car chase where our four rookie detectives and two bosses/mentors are all in a police mini-van. In the span of the car chase you get a sense of each one of these characters.
We then flashback 11 years where Seo Pan Seok and Eun Dae Koo’s fate became intertwined. Eo Soo Sun also is in the picture 11 years ago. Here’s how:
Eun Dae Koo is being raised by a single mother (because of her single status she is rumored to be a mistress). Mom has witnessed a murder and a young detective Seo Pan Seok wants her to testify as she is the only eye witness to the crime. Mom is threatened NOT to testify and decides to yield to the threats and not testify. Young detective Seo Pan Seok pleads with her to testify even bringing pictures of the slain young girl. Dae Koo asks his mother why she won’t testify.
Dae Koo asks his mother about his father, is he alive or dead? He tells his mother that she is rumored to be a mistress and he must know about his father. Mom clarifies that his father is indeed dead. He died after she became pregnant but before they could marry. Mom apologizes to Dae Koo for not having a father. Dae Koo sweetly notes that she also been without a husband. Dae Koo tells Mom he’ll grow up quickly and protect her.
Mom thinks over testifying and decides to. Mom tells young detective Seo Pan Seok she will testify and he vows to protect her. The next day Dae Koo returns from school and finds a pendant outside the house which he puts in his pocket. When he calls to his Mom entering the home he finds the house in a shambles, someone has thoroughly tossed it.
Dae Koo finds and Mom ALMOST dead on the bedroom floor. He cries and she recognizes him though she is very weak. Dae Koo tells her to hang on, he’ll get help and is dialing 119 (emergency) when he hears the door to the house open and the killer reenters the house.
Dae Koo hides under the bed and the killer wearing black boots enters the bedroom moving things obviously searching for something. Mom and Dae Koo look at each other and he understands NOT to make a sound. As the killer is about to look under the bed, Mom grabs his black boot revealing she is NOT dead and stopping him from looking under the bed. Mom and son stare at each other, knowing that Mom has just sacrificed her last chance at life to save Dae Koo. It is a powerful scene when Dae Koo and Mom lock eyes and she wills him NOT to make a sound. The black booted killer then strangles Mom with a horrified Dae Koo watching. The killer takes a phone call saying he has not found the pendant and leaves.
At the crime scene Dae Koo accuses young detective Pan Seok of NOT protecting his Mom when she decided to testify. He is so upset he runs from the scene to school to hide and grieve. Dae Koo realizes the killer said something about a pendant. He realizes HE picked up the pendant and it is in the jacket he gave young detective Pan Seok. He calls detective Pan Seok and explains the killer’s pendant is in the jacket. Pan Seok asks where he is and says he’ll be there to pick him up soon. Eo Soo Sun happens to be at the school and has a bit of a crush on Dae Koo due to their past encounters.
Dae Koo goes to meet young detective Pan Seok and recognizes the black boots of his Mom’s Killer! He stares disbelievingly. He runs realizing he will be killed by this man. Soo Sun sees Dae Koo in the hallway and talks to him over the loud speaker system identifying where in the building his is, hurting his flight from the killer and aiding the killer’s search for Dae Koo. Soo Sun does NOT realize Dae Koo is being chased and is in danger.
Trapped in the chemistry lab and the killer ready to break the door down, Dae Koo finds some acid and throws it in the killer’s face. The killer falls to the ground and the pendant falls to the ground. Dae Koo is horrified as he totally realizes young detective Pan Seok killed his Mom! He runs for his life. Soo Sun sees young detective Pan Seok clutching his face walking through the hall. She hides seeing his profile and a scar behind his ear. …Great back story!
Back to present day…the four rookies report for duty. Dae Koo is surly and standoffish. Soo Sun is excited and does not recognize Dae Koo. Tae Il is the pretty boy. Ji Kook is the geek. Old detectives Pan Seok and Eung Do will be assigned rookies and are not excited. Dae Koo recognizes Pan Seok. He hasn’t forgotten him in 11 years. He looks like he wants revenge for his mother’s death. Pan Seok does not recognize Dae Koo.
The police chief asks the detective section chief to speak. He notes this is a large rookie influx as 70% of the detective were eliminated due to corruption. The section chief asks team leader Pan Seok to make a statement to the roomful of rookies. His statement is concise “This police station is now a disaster.” The police chief agrees this many new rookies will be challenging and asks team leader Pan Seok to take care of them. Late to the meeting a beautiful woman enters the room, one that Pan Seok obviously has a past with. She introduces herself as Kim Sa Kyung team lead of missing persons. The rookies are divided into teams and paired with 2 experienced detectives. Pan Seok and Eung Do (bosses/mentors) meet with the 4 rookies and ask the rookies to introduce themselves and say why the want to be a detective:
* Ji Gook wanted to be in traffic control but there were no openings so he was transferred this criminal detective unit
* Soo Sun says she needs to go to bed early so patrol cop wouldn’t work and she heard detective make the most money
* Tae Il says he joined because he though it would be interesting
* Dae Koo introduces himself as Dae Goo and sits down. When pressed to say why he wanted to become a detective he declines to say.
Detective Eung Do asks Pan Seok to speak. Pan Seok says those that won’t make it, quit quickly. He points to Soo Sun and says he has never trained a long-haired employee (a girl). Soo Sun protests that is sexist. Pan Seok reiterates the police station is now a disaster area. He tells the recruits please DON’T KILL ANYONE. Dae Koo glares at Pan Seok who asks why is he getting that look? Dae Koo is saved from answering by an emergency call. The rookies are issued weapons (really? guns on day one?) and off they go ready for there first adventure.
Comments: Off to a good start with this first episode. The back story establishing Pan Seok as a dirty cop and the man that murdered Dae Koo’s mother was well done. Nice that Soo Sun was woven into Dae Koo’s past though she doesn’t remember him present day. That adds credence to Pan Seok not remembering Dae Koo. Looking forward to the next episode.