Spies Who Loved Me Episode 1

Present…Wedding shop owner Kang A Reum (Yoo In Na) has her hands full with an upset bride who frets about the press following her and ruining her wedding. A Reum is able to calm her fears, gets the pregnant bride perfectly attired and sends decoy brides that the press following, leaving the real bride able to exit without a horde of press.

A Reum walks back into the shop and thinks “A wedding dress…all women fantasize about a wedding dress. The beauty of the dress is its intrinsic value that signifies transition to a couple. I’m on my second marriage after going through a bad one.” She watches her husband, a diplomat with an ability to make allies. She smiles that he was able to change her mind about giving marriage another chance. She steps outside and calls to her husband, ally and companion, Derek Hyun (Lim Ju Hwan).

As A Reum drives Derek Hyun home, she comments that one of the American diplomats seems more like a CIA operative. Derek Hyun claims diplomates are never obvious. They discuss the wedding of the woman, Sophie, that introduced them via a blind date. A Reum is happy she can gift Sophie with a wedding dress. She notes it will be a big wedding on Jeju Island with many friends from America. A Reum drops Derek Hyun off to pursue his hobby.

Derek Hyun enters the garage with vintage cars. He opens the box with a steering wheel for the car he’s giving A Reum for their 1st anniversary gift. He installs the steering wheel.

Jeon Ji Hoon (Eric) arrives at an eatery and sits next to the only other customer. The customer passes over a flash drive. The chef plays a message from a director of a cybersecurity company. Suddenly they fight over the flash drive. Ji Hoon ends up apprehending the fleeing man. He’s dismayed when he’s ordered to release the industrial spy. Ji Hoon briefs the spy’s cover is an American diplomat. He details the spy’s activities to the American CIA Lead. He’s told an internal investigation will be conducted. Ji Hoon recommends the spy not be allowed to leave Korea. Ji Hoon doesn’t divulge his source and requests the spy be available for questioning on Monday. Ji Hoon states he’ll bring his source. He salutes and leaves.

Ji Hoon arrives at his cover company which houses an Asian Interpol industrial espionage bureau 2, run by Team Lead Ji Hoon. Analyst Kim Young Gu notes his return. The Chief, Kang Tae Ryong (aka the chef), isn’t surprised to learn the American CIA wasn’t entirely grateful. Ji Hoon murmurs he no longer looks like the author he’s supposed to be as he looks at the book’s author’s profile. Another agent, Hwang Seo Ra, videos calls to report status. YG is disappointed when SR hangs up before he can talk to her. He longs to work in the field versus the desk job. Ji Hoon assures him his contribution is key.  Chief Kang asks Ji Hoon when he’ll learn the identity of his source. Ji Hoon’s says he’ll meet his source on Jeju Island this weekend. Chief Kang wishes Ji Hoon well.

Ji Hoon gets settles down for the flight to Jeju Island. In first class, A Reum settles down for the flight.

Flashback…5 years ago…the team tracks a target due to arrive at the same hotel where A Reum arrives at. A man is shown to a room. A Reum is shown to the same room. Ji Hoon watches her show dress designs and moans she was sent to the wrong room. A Reum is offered a contract if she ships the dresses to China. When she steps out of the room, the man transfers her designs from her tablet and declares they’ll start production of the dresses immediately. Ji Hoon realizes what is happening. He hears the man brag the virus he just planted will delete her dress designs so plagiarism cannot be proven. Eric smiles knowing he’s got the evidence to corner the target. He finds A Reum’s enthusiasm for the “good fortune” cute. When he learns the target will arrive at the hotel soon and will need the room, Ji Hoon declares he’ll handle the situation. He convinces his boss to help A Reum and catch the thief.

The team enters the room but the thief runs with the tablet. A Reum is horrified to learn she was being scammed. She follows the thief who runs into Ji Hoon. He trips the man and another agent takes him away. Ji Hoon returns her tablet.  A Reum thanks Ji Hoon for helping her. Unfortunately, the target arrives a bit early. The team is able to slow him down and he meets his contact in the elevator. The team prepares the room. A Reum leaves the room. The men arrive and request the room. The target enters the room and sees signs of recent cleaning. He runs. Ji Hoon takes off after him. They tussle in the laundry room where Ji Hoon prevails.

The next morning Ji Hoon spots A Reum in the lobby and they strike up a conversation. A Reum offers him her business card. Ji Hoon claims he’ll never marry. A Reum is bummed because the wedding dress she brought to the meeting was ripped. Ji Hoon offers to buy the dress for a celibate friend. A Reum is surprised.

Ji Hoon takes A Reum to a church where a nun greets him warmly. The nun tells Ji Hoon they donate wedding dresses to migrant workers that can’t afford the finery. Ji Hoon shows the wedding dress to the nun who exclaims at its beauty. Outside, A Reum tells Ji Hoon she’d never imagined selling one of her dresses to a nun. Ji Hoon claims he doesn’t bring just anyone here. A Reum teases about his pickup line. Ji Hoon admits all the travel he does as a travel writer is grueling. She asks why he does it. Ji Hoon stares at her and murmurs there are magic moments in a trip that make it worth it. They lock eyes and smile.

Later they share a kiss on the beach.

Present…A Reum arrives at the hotel. Peter looks at picture of the bride. Ji Hoon arrives at the hotel.

A Reum hugs the bride Sophie. They head upstairs to try on the wedding dress.

Ji Hoon meets with Director Ban Jin Min of the Asian Interpol industrial espionage bureau. They discuss the unknown source that wants to start a new life.

Sophie says she wants a new life. She murmurs she’s made a mistake. Unseen by A Reum, Sophie rips part of the veil. A Reum admires the dress and thanks Sophie for introducing to her husband. Sophie says A Reum could have married someone better. A Reum counters life can be difficult but the right person earns trust and makes life better. Sophie suggests Derek Hyun may not be the right one. A Reum is aghast to find the rip. She declares she will fix it and removes the veil. A Reum says she’ll attend the bachelorette party after the veil is fixed. She leaves. Sophie stares at her reflection.

DB notes that the source is risking much for Ji Hoon. He tells Ji Hoon to protect his source but not trust completely. He doesn’t want Ji Hoon to make the same mistake twice. DB notes there are smugglers to watch out for.

Ji Hoon arrives at a church. The nun greets him with a smile. He asks if a smuggler is still a problem. She says the smuggler went to Busan last year. A Reum sits on their bench. Ji Hoon wishes the nun well. He looks out over the ground. The nun smiles and says her prayers have been answered. Ji Hoon spots A Reum on their bench. He approaches. He thinks he’s waited for this moment. She thinks I’ve wanted to avoid this moment. She thinks they never should have met. He thinks they never should have met. Ji Hoon sits down. She says she’s there for a wedding. She asks why he’s there. He offers to sign his latest book for her. She counters his signature on the divorce papers was all she wanted. They bicker. Derek Hyun calls making sure all is well. A Reum confirms that. She lies that she’s alone. She says Sophie is a nervous bridge. She promises not to stay out late and call him later.

Derek Hyun enters the security division room.

Ji Hoon confirms her lock pattern on her phone is the same. She snipes that she’d hope he’d matured. Ji Hoon counters he hasn’t changed a bit. He gets a call and says he’ll call back. He wishes her well. A Reum declares she’s going to leave first. Ji Hoon says he’s in a hurry. She tells him not to bother speaking to her again. Ji Hoon can only look at her lips. She strides away.

Ji Hoon learns Jang Dong Boo is at the hotel.  He wants him followed believing he’s looking for his next scam victim.

Instead Peter meets with Jang Dong Boo that suggests he’ll start his own espionage company and Peter should work for him. Peter isn’t interested. Dong Boo details the advantages. He notes that Helmes’ days are numbered. He whispers there is a traitor in the organization. That gets Peter’s attention. Dong Boo says co-agent Harrison is being interrogated by the CIA. Peter sits next to Dong Boo and warns him not to lie. The man states Interpol agents captured Harrison. Next an informant will prove Harrison works for Helmes. Dong Boo says the informant is the scientist Sophie that he’s in love with. Peter can’t believe it. The man says this will free Sophie from Jang Dong Boo’s threats.

Sophie stares at the airline ticket she purchased. She wonders where to hide the flash drive.

Peter doesn’t want to believe Sophie would do this. Dong Boo shares the Sophie has been trying to sell the technology to the highest bidder. He notes he’s in the running for the technology. He says Sophie’s safety won’t last much longer. As Peter leaves, he stabs Dong Boo in the back of the neck.

At the beach, A Reum looks to the sea.

Flashback…A Reum changes her phone lock pattern to match Ji Hoon’s. She teases him about secrets. Ji Hoon says he doesn’t want to marry. A Reum says she doesn’t want to marry either. She loves making wedding dresses for women that are willing to take the challenge of marriage on. She considers the dresses as her wish for good luck for the brides. Ji Hoon suggests they are perfect for each other. He suggests they marry. They kiss.

A Reum wishes things had been different in her first marriage.

Ji Hoon confirms Jang Dong Boo is on the island. Chief Kang calls Ji Hoon to inform him his source may have contacted Jang Dong Boo. The source would make more money from a rival firm versus Interpol. He encourages Ji Hoon to contact Jang Dong Boo. Just then Ji Hoon receives a text from his source inviting him to the bachelorette party, so before meeting the VIP at the wedding, he must meet the bride, then he’ll learn who the VIP is and where the gift is. The dress code is sheriff. Ji Hoon is surprised.

Sophie tells the guards admitting guests to her bachelorette party that a sheriff will arrive and should be admitted. A Reum arrives and puts Sophie’s veil on. She looks for her friend.

Peter sneaks into the building.

Ji Hoon arrives dressed as a sheriff. The guards admit him.

A Reum is told Sophie is in the VIP room.

Ji Hoon looks for the bride.

Outside Sophie sees Peter. He calls to her.

Ji Hoon asks where the bride is. He heads to the VIP room.

Peter tells Sophie her cover is blown. He asks why she betrayed them.

The VIP room has poles where men dressed as sheriffs dance to the appreciative calls of the women. Ji Hoon enters the room. The women seize him and direct him to dance. He does a quick dance and tries to leave the stage but the ladies want more.

Jang Dong Bong tells Sophie he can keep her and the flash drive safe. He declares her life is in danger. Sophie calls a guard and tells him to get rid of this stalker. Jang Dong Bong is shocked. He’s led away.

Ji Hoon gives the ladies more moves. He asks where the bride is.

A Reum wonders who the dancer is. She wonders where the bride is.

Sophie rushes through the room. A Reum takes off after her. Ji Hoon takes off after her.

Sophie heads down the stairs. A Reum heads down the stairs. As she runs after Sophie, a man knocks her down. A sheriff runs past her.

Sophie turns the corner. The first man fires his gun at her.

Fireworks go off. The veil is caught by the breeze. A Reum goes after the veil. She sees the cowboy hat and picks it up. Ji Hoon picks up the veil. They stare at each other.

A Reum’s voiceover “that how we met again. On the island where we fell in love with each other. If karma brought us together the first time, then destiny brought us together the second time.”

We see Ji Hoon has a cut on his upper arm that is bleeding. Blood drips on the veil.

My Thoughts

The One True Pairing (OTP) are Ji Hoon and A Reum. Writer Lee Ji Min pulled no punches in defining the couple to root for. We saw the initial meeting of Ji Hoon and A Reum. We saw them meet 5 years later on Jeju. She’s still irked and intrigued by him. He never stopped caring. But she’s married. Is Derek Hyun not who he says as Sophie implied? Is Sophie still alive?

Kang A Reum (Yoo In Na) isn’t the brightest. Maybe I’d be clueless if my first husband were a spy. Maybe I’d be clueless if my second husband were a spy. She definitely is. Seeing Ji Hoon flooded her with memories of the past. The flashbacks showed a cute relationship.

Jeon Ji Hoon (Eric) still wants A Reum. He’s drawn to her. He isn’t over her. But he’s got a job to do. His relationship interfered with his work once before. No doubt if he pursues A Reum, it will again.

Derek Hyun (Lim Ju Hwan) is mystery at this point. Is he good? Is he evil? Does he sell his corporate espionage services to the highest bidder?

I rank this episode as good, 7 on a 10-point scale.


Asian drama fan. I watch and blog dramas on https://kjtamusings.wordpress.com/.

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Posted in Spies Who Loved Me
2 comments on “Spies Who Loved Me Episode 1
  1. Jane Tilly says:

    We got our introductionthe characters. Yep, Ah Reum is clueless. Fool me once, shame on you … fooled me twice, shame on me. Of course it isn’t the same person fooling her the second time. Ji Hoon seems like a nice guy, but a little secretive. Derek appears to be a good husband, but shady in his work.

    This first episode didn’t particularly grab me, but I’m patient … sometimes it takes a few episodes to become invested in a series.


    • This first episode didn’t particularly grab me, but I’m patient … sometimes it takes a few episodes to become invested in a series.
      Yep, hope it will be a slow build that will be worth it. I have faith in our trio of actors.

      Liked by 1 person

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October 2020

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