Blind – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Crazy Dog

Episode 1 of Blind begins with a bunch of kids rushing through the woods to an abandoned warehouse. They’re concerned about a man called Crazy Dog finding them, who whistles ominously as he walks toward them. Th trouble is, one of their own – Yoon Jae – has fallen. While most rush away, one of the boys stays and grabs Yoon Jae, holding his hand and trying to stay hidden – and still.

Each of the boys are killed, one by one, with the remaining children (Yoon-Jae and his saviour) traumatized and forced to lie still under the floorboards, blood dripping on their faces. Unfortunately, Crazy Dog spots them.

Fast forward to the present and as rain lashes down outside, a girl is followed by a cloaked figure. Unfortunately, it’s right on her birthday and when Ji-Eun awakens, she finds her hands and feet bound. Familiar ominous whistling is followed by strangulation as Ji-Eun is choked out. Unfortunately, the killer also messages her father from her phone, telling him not to wait up.

The date is January 5th 2022, and as her parents receive the message, a nasty surprise is in store for them 10 days later. Her dead body is bagged up and left for an old woman and her dog Snowy to find.

With scars up across her mouth, Joker-esque style, Detective Ryu Sung-Joon arrives at the scene. Well, he rolls down the hill anyway, pretending to be the deceased. Apparently this is his usual style, to try and get in the victim’s mindset but its an oddly slapstick moment that doesn’t quite work, like the noodles being thrown up in episode 1 of Black. Anyway, I digress.

There’s not a single camera around either, although Sung-Joon deduces that the body – given she was standing up – must have been placed meticulously by the killer like some sort of grotesque exhibit.

Ji-Eun is examined, where the body is found to have no scratch marks but bruising on the inside of her arms and knees. The cuts across her mouth are also clean, done in one swipe across her mouth as if she was measured with meticulous detail. The cuts are actually shallow, but it seems a sharp and narrow blade, like a scalpel, was used to make the incisions.

Sung-Joon psychotically pins the examiner against the wall and “practices” pretend swipes on her but it’s an unnerving segment and perhaps a hint at what Sung-Joon may be hiding. Is he the killer?

Sung-Joon heads out with Seok-Gu, examining more of Ji-Eun’s neighbourhood. The cameras are down, the local delivery guy doesn’t appear to have seen her, but a friend does give some clues over what may have happened. It turns out Ji-Eun was at a party at a club that night, where some lunatic threatened her with a knife. It seems this isn’t the man’s first rodeo either, as Sung-Joon walks in on him trying to force another girl (Yu-Na) to drink and threatening her with a knife.

With the guy brought in for questioning, u-Na’s guardian, Eun-Ki, arrives to take the girl home. Now, Eun-Ki is actually Yu-Na’s social worker.

Sung-Joon’s brother, Sung-Hoon, is a judge overseeing all of this. He’s put under fire to try and clean up Sung-Joon’s mess for beating this crook from the club, who now wants to press charges. Sung-Hoon rings his brother, telling him to head home at 6.30pm for a family meeting.

Sung-Joon is clearly the odd one out here, with the attention on Sung-Hoon and how amazing a judge he is. Sung-Joon is spoken to in the third person, like he’s not even there, while he gets very little affection from his mum and dad.

Some of Sung-Hoon’s concerns over his brother’s behaviour stem from seeing his brother as a teen, beating kids up in an alley. He was worried that one day Sung-Joon could end up killing someone.

Sung-Joon goes back to the source, Ji-Eun’s dad Moon-Kang, and learns about someone called Mr Jung. He doesn’t divulge any further but Sung-Joon learns that this is linked to a place called Hope Foods. It makes sense that this culprit, the one skilled with a blade, may well have originated from a butcher’s.

Doing some digging, Sung-Joon learns that the guy’s name is Jung Man Chun. Even better, the police have uncovered dashcam footage from a local delivery driver showing this Man-Chun at the crime scene with a knife up to Ji-Eun’s face.

Man-Chun is found and he ends up fighting with Sung-Joon, until the latter arrests him under suspicion for Ji-Eun’s murder. Interestingly, a black car sporting a couple of shadowy men happen to be watching as Man-Chun is brought in for questioning.

Man-Chun stays silent though, calling Sung-Joon’s bluff and deciding to head to court instead. This would mean a jury trial, which Sung-Hoon decides to approve the request for.

As a result, numerous men and women are selected for the jury, including Sung-Joon’s mum who’s actually a candidate! On the day of the trial, a lottery is called for the actual candidates to be selected. Jo Eun-Ki is among those chosen. Now, the jury don’t make the final decision here but their verdict is taken into consideration for how the court and judges view this case.

Man-Chun is brought in to the courtroom through a chorus of boos, but his statement swings things in an interesting direction. He admits to putting a knife to Ji-Eun’s neck but not to abducting her. Apparently he worked for Ji-Eun’s father, who didn’t pay him over 7 million won owed.

Man-Chun just wanted to scare Ji-Eun but her mother has heard enough, making a massive scene and eventually being taken out of court. Man-Chun sneers and claims he can prove he’s not the killer too. According to his statement, that night there was someone else there alongside him, someone in a car which Ji-Eun approached. That person? Sung-Joon. And guess who Ji-Eun’s father was? Crazy Dog! Oh my!

The Episode Review

The first episode of Blind gets off to a really solid start, sporting a gripping prologue that shows up again at the end for a big twist, sandwiched between an enticing and dark murder. There must be more to this Sung-Joon story than what we’re seeing, and we could well be in for a multiple personality disorder case, or amnesia (a Korean speciality!) especially given the trauma this kid was subjected to.

The reveals at the end are certainly shocking, but it’s clear there’s more going on here than first meets the eye. Whether there will actually be further twists along the way, or this will be working as a sort of cat and mouse chase, with Sung-Joon trying to get away with literal murder, remains to be seen.

Either way though, this first chapter gets off to a very intriguing start and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next. Roll on the next episode!

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