Jirisan Episode 1

2018…

Ranger Kang Hyun Jo (Ju Ji Hoon) arrives at the Jiri Mountain National Park ranger station just as the search and rescue alert is sounded for a missing middle school hiker.  Hyun Jo is initially paired with Ranger Jung Goo Young who drives quickly to the designated search area. Rangers repel down the cliffs looking for the missing hiker. Falling rocks knock one ranger out. Ranger Seo Yi Gang (Gianna Jun) daringly repels and saves the ranger dodging falling rocks during the rescue. Yi Gang and Hyun Jo are paired to search on foot for the missing hiker. Complicating matters, an incoming typhoon has rain and lighting pounding the rescue teams.

When Hyun Jo slips, he slides down the hill and comes to rest near the missing hiker’s backpack. They find a picture of a meadow on the mountain they assume the missing hiker aimed to find. Yi Gang declares they have to leave ASAP of the missing hiker is doomed with the incoming weather. Chief Kim refuses the request, noting if they are hurt other rangers will put themselves at risk to find and save them. Yi Gang tells Hyun Jo they have no choice and must abandon the search and return to the ranger station. She strides away. Hyun Jo has a vision of where the missing hiker might be. But a falling tree limb knocks him out.

When he wakes at the ranger station, he finds Yi Gang and shares his belief the missing hiker is alive. She notes nothing can be done on a hunch. She steps out of the office. Hyun Jo looks through the missing hiker’s notebooks. He finds a family picture at a meadow with the boy and his parents. He finds a tally of money earning from a part-time job and money spent on medicine for his grandmother.

Flashback…a bruised boy makes his entry in the notebook as he watches his grandmother sleep. He writes “help me” in the lower corner of the notebook.

Hyun Jo reads the “help me” in the corner of the notebook.

The rangers wonder what to tells the missing hiker’s grandmother who arrived at the ranger station before the storm. Yi Gang assures the crying woman once the storm abates the search will resume.

Yi Gang goes out alone to search. Hyun Jo surprises her by following. They agree if they don’t find the boy together, they will have regrets. They tie themselves together and climb.

Branch Chief Jo watches the storm pound the windows of the ranger station. When other rangers try to go out to search, he stops them. He’s not happy to learn that Yi Gang and Hyun Jo have left to search for the missing hiker. The grandmother shares a text with Branch Chief Jo.

Branch Chief Jo alerts Yi Gang and Hyun Jo that the last text from the missing hiker which showed him at the meadow his parents took him to.

Flashback…the hiker finds the meadow and texts photos to his grandmother with an apology for making her worry. The boy sees he has no cell signal. Then darkness starts to fall.

Branch Chief Jo tells Yi Gang and Hyun Jo that the cell phone of the missing hiker must have run out of battery. He declares they must find the boy. He sends a backup team.

Yi Gang and Hyun Jo split up to cover more ground.

The missing hiker watches his cell phone battery die.


Yi Gang is positive the missing hiker is alive. Hyun Jo recalls Yi Gang’s guidance where the boy might hide. Hyun Jo shares parts of his vision with Yi Gang. She recognizes the location. Hyun Jo convinces her to search there. They repel to the location. They search the rocks and nooks where the boy might be. As Hyun Jo searches, he recognizes items from his vision.  He calls Yi Gang to come over. They spot the missing hiker.

Yi Gang reports the boy has been found but he’s unconscious and cold. The grandmother prays.

Yi Gang and Hyun Jo make their way through the area with the unconscious boy on Hyun Jo’s back. The other team intersects them. Ranger Park takes over carrying the boy on his back. Then Ranger Jung takes over. They rush the boy to the waiting ambulance. The paramedics declares the boy’s vitals are good. They take the boy and Grandmother away.


Ranger Jo reports the boy is well to an exhausted Yi Gang and Hyun Jo, who are lying on the ground. Hyun Jo and Yi Gang see the sunrise over the mountain. Ranger Jo and Park tell Branch Chief Jo that Yi Gang must be passed out somewhere. He radios Yi Gang and Hyun Jo. They turn off their radios to continue to rest.


The next day is bright and sunny at the mountain.  Hyun Jo trains with Yi Gang. He goes until he must take a break. She scolds him to learn everything about the mountain to be the best ranger he can be.  Yi Gang watches a couple hike by them and note the mountain isn’t the best place for a date.


Yi Gang reveals Hyun Jo was the one with the hunch about the boy’s location. He declares the mountain conveyed it to him. The researcher, Kim Sol, declares this is a cultural site due to the historical marker. He offers his card to Hyun Jo and tells him to call whenever a site of interest is found.

Hyun Jo declares historical marker could be as a location to utilize when cell phone signals are weak. Yi Gang asks how he knew about the location. Hyun Jo admits he has visions. She laughs and calls him crazy. They continue their patrol of the area.

2020…

Branch Chief Jo tells the rangers that the search for the missing older hiker has been cancelled. Ranger Jung asks who the new team member is and the arrival timeframe. He tells him the ranger is coming and it’s someone they know. A cab with Yi Gang arrives at the ranger station. She looks at the station. Ranger Jung can’t believe that Yi Gang is returning. He’s not happy. Yi Gang arrives in a wheelchair. She greets Branch Chief Jo and Ranger Jung who leaves with the new ranger, Ranger Lee, in tow.

Yi Gang studies the file about the missing hiker. Branch Chief Jo asks why she’s returned. She suggests a different location to look for the missing man. He asks why she is suggesting that location. She tells him that’s the spot to search.


Ranger Lee and the Ranger Jung discuss a past rescue of his friend. Ranger Jung says they were stranded in a snow storm and the rescue team almost died. Branch Chief Jo calls with the location to search. Ranger Jung and the Ranger Lee arrive at the beautiful falls. They find a backpack and a skull. The name on the backpack is Yang Geun Tak, the missing hiker.


They return to the ranger station with the body of the missing hiker. Ranger Jung stares at Yi Gang. He demands to know how she knew the hiker’s location. Branch Chief Jo wants to know too. Yi Gang admits she saw a historical marker in pictures from recent searchers. She shares that only she and Hyun Jo knew about the historical marker being utilized when cell phone signals were weak. She shows additional photos where the historical marker was an “X” marks the spot of missing hiker’s bodies. She declares someone sent her a signal. Ranger Jung suggests the message was from Hyun Jo. Branch Chief Jo declares Hyun Jo isn’t allowed on the mountain anymore.


In a hospital room, Hyun Jo lies unconscious connected to an oxygen mask.

The camera pans over the mountain…. Yi Gang’s voiceover “someone sent me a signal from up there.” A mysterious person adds to the marker.

Yi Gang declares she returned to find out who sent her the signal.

My Thoughts

Not the expected ending. Writer Kim Eun Hee (Signal which I have not seen) isn’t penning a rescue of the week by rangers on the mountain, as I thought. Granted I do not watch trailers or read articles on upcoming series to minimize spoilers. I expected Hyun Jo’s abilities would be utilized by the ranger team just like other series have leveraged members with special abilities (aka Voice and Sketch). But 2 years after the rescue of the missing boy, Hyun Jo is in a coma and Yi Gang is in a wheelchair. Ranger Jung isn’t happy that she’s back. Branch Chief Jo is surprised by her explanation of a signal. I find that interesting. Director Lee (Mr. Sunshine, Goblin, etc.) used computer-generated imagery (CGI) throughout the search and rescues scenes to heighten the storm and treacherous conditions.

Seo Yi Gang (Gianna Jun) is why I’m watching this series. She’s one of the awesome actresses that I follow and watch their series. Yi Gang started the episode brave, daring and doubting Hyun Jo’s explanation. Yi Gang ended the episode in a wheelchair determined to find out who or what sent her a signal from the mountain.

Kang Hyun Jo (Ju Ji Hoon) is more than he seemed. I last saw this actor in 2015’s Mask. Hyun Jo’s vision and sensitivity made me curious. His end state of coma made me want to know what happened to put him in that state.

I rank this episode as good7 on a 10-point scale.

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

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Posted in Jirisan
5 comments on “Jirisan Episode 1
  1. Jane Tilly says:

    The episode started with a bang 💢 in the teen boy’s rescue. I concur that the episode ending with the leads in a wheelchair and coma was unexpected … and puzzling. There’s a whole lot of ‘splaining what happened in those 2 years and find that more intriguing than Hyun Jo’s visions. I wonder 🤔 if a happy ending is even possible … although I prefer to still hope for a “happy” ending.

    I’ve seen the “Kingdom” series (also starring Ju Ji Hoon) that writer Kim wrote along with “3 Days” and “Signal”. Writer Kim KNOWS action, so between the writer Kim and director Lee, I have great hope for this series.

    When Ju Ji Hoon got out of the taxi at the beginning, I swear I thought he looked like Jung Il Woo … although not so much the rest of the eoisode. I didn’t recognize Gianna Jun at the beginning either, although she looked familiar when she came in on the wheelchair.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I concur that the episode ending with the leads in a wheelchair and coma was unexpected … and puzzling. There’s a whole lot of ‘splaining what happened in those 2 years and find that more intriguing than Hyun Jo’s visions
      Good to know I wasn’t the only viewer taken aback. There is a story in the 2 years but as you note with the end result, it is unlikely to be happy.

      I’ve seen the “Kingdom” series (also starring Ju Ji Hoon) that writer Kim wrote along with “3 Days” and “Signal”. Writer Kim KNOWS action, so between the writer Kim and director Lee, I have great hope for this series
      I haven’t seen any of Writer Kim’s series so she’s a wild card (to me). I have confidence in Director Lee’s based on his past pedigree of series.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. DramaDazed says:

    I know it’s cheating a little but I read this recap to see if I wanted to watch the series, and now I have added it to my list. Like kjt I am a fan of Jun Ji-hyun. (Not enough to watch the Kingdom spinoff though) I did see Signal, (interesting – tie to mountain signal?) so will be expecting a mystical element, something I usually enjoy. I also have seen Princess Hours and Antique (unusual film!) making me intrigued with both leads, plus the writer. See you here later!

    Like

    • I did see Signal, (interesting – tie to mountain signal?) so will be expecting a mystical element, something I usually enjoy. I also have seen Princess Hours and Antique (unusual film!) making me intrigued with both leads, plus the writer. See you here later!
      Great, look forward to your comments alone the way!

      Like

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