L.U.C.A.: The Beginning Episode 1

Men in dark suits pursue a man carrying a baby “I fell into a dreamless sleep, woke with no memories, I don’t know who I am. You are not a monster”. The man drops the baby from a great height. The baby is lit up with energy from all sides.

A man, Ji O (Kim Rae Won), wakes on the concrete floor. “I always wake in an unfamiliar place. Am I on the run?” Injured men are all around him. He looks at his hands and wonders what happened. He stares at the distant city lights. A burned man tries to stab him. Cars with more men arrive. Ji O makes his getaway heading back to the city.

The burned man is taken to medical care. The doctor, Ryu Joong Kwon from the L.U.C.A. Project injects him. He screams and writhes on the table. A woman in a room hears his screams.

Ji O cleans up. He remembers the men attacking him. He was stabbed in the back. Then electric power shoots from him burning the men. He looks at his singed driver’s license.

Flashback…windmill, screams in a room.

Ji O walks the streets aware danger lurks.

1 year later…

Police arrive at a construction site. A dead body has been found. Detective Goo Reum (Lee Da Hee) is already on site and informs Team Lead Choi Jin Hwan a skeleton of a man was found. Team Lead Choi is nonplussed another police agency has a person onsite.

Goo Reum visits the forensic coroner Oh Jong Hwan and asks about the body from the construction site. She asks if the body’s dental records match the ones, she brought from Kang Yong Su. CO asks who Kang Yong Su is. She declines to elaborate stating this investigation is secret. He hesitates helping her without an official request. Her offering of food gets him to examine the records and agree Kang Yong Su could be the body they found.

Goo Reum is taken aback when the elevator doors open to reveal Team Lead Choi and his cohort Detective Kim Yoo Cheol. Team Lead Choi reveals he checked and she’s being transferred from her unit for causing trouble. She tells Team Lead Choi intimidation won’t work with her.

Ji O arrives to pick up waste from labs that use animals and puts it in a refrigerated truck with his coworker. They make multiple pick ups and end at the incinerator where they toss the dead animals in. He cleans the truck as part of his job.

Ji O goes to his apartment and eats the takeout.

Goo Reum looks at the evidence wall and considers. She murmurs everyone on the wall is either dead or missing.

The next morning Goo Reum arrives at her next assignment. Team Lead Choi and Detective Kim work there. Captain Lee introduces Goo Reum to the team. Team Lead Choi and Detective Kim are taken aback.

She attends the team lunch and apologizes to Team Lead Choi and Detective Kim for their initial interactions. Team Lead Choi takes pleasure in teasing her for drinking during lunch as he fills her glass.

Kim Cheol Soo from the L.U.C.A. Project arrives at a church where a ceremony for pregnant women is underway presided over by Hwang Jung A (L.U.C.A. Project). After the ceremony they discuss the body found at the construction site. He assures her no one will point the finger L.U.C.A. Project. He promises progress on the experiments. She points out pregnant women are lining up to offer their babies. If he doesn’t have the breakthrough they need by the next sacrifice, L.U.C.A. Project will be shut down and they will join the team in Sweden. Of course, they’ll kill the staff so no one can talk. She tells him he has until the next sacrifice. She leaves.

Ji O and his partner arrive at the Human Tech (aka L.U.C.A. Project) building. Ji O feels something when he looks at the building. They load the material. Goo Reum arrives and parks. She and Ji O lock eyes as she crosses the parking lot. As he drives away, Ji O asks what they do in that building citing a strange smell. His coworker agree that place smells and he feel strange after they leave.

Goo Reum introduces herself to a research assistant and wants to talk.

Ji O’s coworker notes Human Tech experiment on uncommon animals such as bears and gorillas. He wonders what research is done at Human Tech.

Goo Reum asks if a woman named Kim Ji Sook worked there. The research assistant doesn’t recognize the name. She asks about Kang Yong Su. Unknown person is the response. Goo Reum shares long ago Kang Yong Su received money from Kim Ji Sook. She received the money from Human Tech. The research assistant claims he knows nothing. He points out that many who used to work here, have left the company. Creditors took the records. The man creditor is a private equity fund. He notes everyone’s jobs are in jeopardy. Goo Reum leaves the building.

Inside Human Tech, the research assistant reveals a secret door, with an elevator to the basement. There are cages which all kinds of animals. Doctor Ryu strides down the hall and locks eyes with an agitated ape. He enters the secret lab which is bustling with activity. He’s not happy to learn that his earlier success cannot be duplicated. He takes offense it was a fluke and storms out. In his office Doctor Ryu stares a jar of babies. Mr. Kim arrives for an update. He realizes things aren’t progressing well. He notes there is a team in Sweden doing the same research with better results. Doctor Ryu snaps his success was the baseline everything was built from. Mr. Kim says nothing has gone right since Doctor Ryu’s cohort went missing. The investor is tired of waiting. Mr. Kim gives him one more week to deliver. He leaves.

Goo Reum finds no information about Human Tech online.

The next day the police team conducts a raid. Goo Reum pursues a fleeing man. Ji O’s truck almost runs over a downed Goo Reum. He gets out and starts CPR. Nothing happens. He begins CPR again and directs energy into her heart. She jolts but nothing happens. Ji O repeats the energy. Goo Reum wakes. Ji O helps her to the side of the road. He leaves before Goo Reum can get a good look at him. Her police cohorts arrive.

A man sees the video of Ji O performing CPR on Goo Reum and recognizes him.

Doctor Ryu injects a serum into a man with one furry arm. He tells the man only having one arm isn’t so bad.

Team Lead Choi gives Goo Reum the video of Ji O helping her. He tells her the man works at a waste management company and is on duty now. He gives her money to buy her white knight a drink. He tells her she’s part of the violent crimes team.

Mr. Kim excitedly shows Doctor Ryu the video of Ji O shocking Goo Reum to life. They are excited. Doctor Ryu warns that Ji O isn’t a finished product. Mr. Kim recommends he do something with Ji O including tearing him apart to meet the invest expectations.  Mr. Kim vows to bring Ji O to Doctor Ryu. He warns this is Doctor Ryu’s last chance.

Mr. Kim tells his sidekick to retrieve Ji O.

Mr. Kim takes two men with him. He warns them that Ji O isn’t a normal man.

Flashback…The sidekick fights with Ji O.  An electric charge is immitted. The sidekick’s arm is electrocuted.

Ji O and his coworker chat at the waste management company. Ji O says he doesn’t have a father or mother.

The sidekick and his men arrive at the waste management company. They turn off the CCTV.

Ji O’s coworker suggest he get married. Ji O says he’s destined to be alone. He calls families small gangs. His coworker declares Ji O is like a son. Ji O says he’s like a father. They hear the footsteps of the approaching men. The hairs on Ji O’s arms stand up. He knows something is boing to happen. The men come into the office. Ji O recognizes the sidekick as the man that tried to stab him 1 year earlier in the carnage. The sidekick sneers Ji O should remember him. They hit Ji O’s coworker and drag him out of the office. They pin Ji O to the floor. As they go to administer a shot to knock out Ji O, he locks eyes with his coworker just before he’s thrown into the incinerator. Ji O discharges electricity and zaps the assailants. He flees in his truck. The chase changes to on foot when his truck hits an object. The assailants search the woods. They find Ji O and the chase continues. Ji O falls down a hill and the assailants run past.

Goo Reum arrives at the waste management company. Another coworker is impressed at Ji O’s good deeds. He takes Goo Reum to where Ji O and his coworker work. He’s shocked to see a body in the incinerator.

The assailants realize they’ve lost Ji O. They decide to go to his house.

The violent crimes team arrive at the waste management company. They learn the CCTV were disabled. DC orders the team to Ji O’s house.

Ji O returns to his apartment and packs up his belongings.

The sidekick and his men arrive in the neighborhood.

Ji O exits his apartment.

He senses the three men are waiting around the corner. They charge. He runs.  They chase. Ji O is forced to jump from a rooftop. Hobbling he continues to flee. The other assailants catch up. Ji O gets away. Then the sidekick attacks.

Goo Reum and Detective Kim drive to Ji O’s apartment. They almost hit a fleeing Ji O. They see the sidekick chasing. Goo Reum exits and joins the chase. She loses them.

The sidekick finds a trapped Ji O on the rooftop. He approaches the cornered man.

Goo Reum calls for backup.

The sidekick pulls a knife. He slashes and hits Ji O down. Ji O fights but the sidekick is stronger. The sidekick stabs Ji O in the leg again. He tells Ji O he can’t run now. He tells Ji O he has no choice but to come with him. Ji O asks why the man is doing this to him.

Ji O stands and the men grapple. Ji O looks into the sidekick’s eyes. His arm starts to spark.

Flashback…1 year ago…Ji O and the sidekick grapple. Ji O pens the sidekick against containers. They lock eyes. Ji O’s arm sparks and energy flows from him into the sidekick’s arm.

The sidekick realizes Ji O will disable him when the energy flows. He pushes Ji O off the roof.

Ji O falls.

Goo Reum turns and sees Ji O falling from the rooftop.

The sidekick watches Ji O fall.

Ji O’s eyes spark and energy consumes the area around his body. Windows are blow out in surrounding buildings; cars turn over as energy flips them. Goo Reum stares in shock.

My Thoughts

I am intrigued. Writer Chun Sung Il (Chuno) created a compelling first episode. The cast is concise. The characters are clear. Team Evil are the L.U.C.A. Project consisting of Doctor Ryu, his sidekick, Mr. Kim and the mysterious Hwang Jung. Team Good are the violent crimes unit with Team Lead Choi, Detective Kim, and Goo Reum. Then there’s Ji O, a man created from energy, a man with no past that he can remember. Team Evil wants him. Can Team Good help?

Ji O (Kim Rae Won) couldn’t let Goo Reum die. He used his energy force to spark her heart back to life. Unfortunately, the cell phone video was seen by Mr. Kim, who informed Doctor Ryu he’d bring Ji O back into the L.U.C.A. Project’s clutches. Doctor Ryu called Ji O unfinished. Ji O wasn’t angry or brooding about his powers, he lived a quiet life hoping not to be noticed. It worked until it didn’t. Now he’s fallen from a roof and spawned a circle of energy.

Ha Goo Reum (Lee Da Hee) was saved by Ji O. Just like any good detective in kdramas, she has an evidence wall in her house with pictures and connections she’s been puzzling out for at least a year. Her flashback to an energy spark made me wonder. Does she have a past connection with Team Evil? I like Goo Reum. I like the violent crimes team. Team Good is scrappy.

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 L.U.C.A
8 comments on “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning Episode 1
  1. Snow Flower says:

    So far so good!


  2. Kay says:

    Thanks for the recap! 🙂


  3. Jane Tilly says:

    I’m intrigued, but I’m also grossed out with dead animals, human experimentation, burning people alive and Dr Ryu Joong Kwon’s specimen jars that looked like adult brains and human fetuses.

    They’ve done an excellent job of demonizing Team Bad as blatant killers, who have zero concern for human life and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. I shuddered when Hwang Jung A stated that women were lining up to “sacrifice” their babies. Somehow I think their experiments would not be sanctioned by any accredited human subjects review panel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I shuddered when Hwang Jung A stated that women were lining up to “sacrifice” their babies.
      There has to be serious brainwashing to get pregnant women to give up their babies. Yikes!

      Liked by 1 person

    • DramaDazed says:

      Agree JaneT and kjt. I’m intrigued by the story and a little grossed.

      I did almost laugh at the classic Kdrama “meet-cute”: he runs her over with his truck after she thoughtlessly runs into oncoming traffic, then saves her life with magically electric hands.

      The religious cult leader, mad scientist, scrappy (as kjt says) detective, plus her smart, caring boss, and Kim Rae Wons tender eyes… I will probably scroll through the fights and blood and keep watching, using kjts insights to fill in.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jane Tilly says:

        Yep, I wish it wasn’t so violent. Kim Rae Won’s “tender eyes” make it worth watching 👀.

        Ji O did not hit Goo Reum with his truck … it was another vehicle that hit her. Ji O witnessed the accident and came to help.

        Liked by 1 person

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February 2021

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