Brain Works – K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Detective vs The Neuroscientist 

Episode 1 of Brain Cooperation starts with the crowd cheering  Jae-won as he plays his guitar on stage with his band. People are enjoying the concert and everyone is hyped up. A woman standing at the edge of the stage looks at him before pressing a button on her phone. Suddenly, Kim Jae-won falls, bringing the event to a halt.  His doctor rushes to the stage and pronounces him dead. His wife runs to his body and starts wailing that she killed him.

In what we believe is a local eatery, you can hear people ordering food and drinks. As Geum Myung -se enjoys his beer, his ex-wife (Yi-na’s mom) calls him, asking for help. When he arrives, he finds Kim Mo-ran in a hot soup after being caught with another man by her lover. She might have a hypersexual brain.

Captain So-jung calls Myung-se, identified to have an altruistic brain, to investigate a murder case. Myung-se is a brilliant Neuroscientific Investigation Team Sergeant; his help is much needed. This role fits him since he studied natural science. At Seobu Police Station, journalists are impatiently waiting to interview Ms Jung for the murder of her husband, Kim Jae -won.

The Subsection Chief offers to take questions from the press, wondering if Kim Jae-won died of a brain haemorrhage or murder. He informs the media that in Korean history, the Seobu police station has formed a special Neuroscientific Investigation Team (NIT) to deal with all cases caused by brain diseases. The Chief wants So-jung and Myung-se to work smart to prove why police need NIT. So-jung  So Jung is the NIT captain and has a shy brain. Although Myung-se and So-jung feel unprepared for this task, Chief gives them no room to back off.

Jung informs NIT that Kim Jae-won had Parkinson’s disease though he was young. The doctor claimed that the illness was progressing faster, and the musician had to put his career to stop. Kim even had brain stimulation surgery. After a successful surgery, Kim could return to his routine. However, playing the guitar became hard for the talented musician though the instrument was everything to him.

Right before his concert, Kim Jae told Jung, “kill me when I’m shining most brightly on stage.” It was always his wish to die while playing the guitar. His dazzling idea was to use a high-frequency bracelet which was prohibited for people with his brain condition. Using an app, Jung was to press the On button while Jae-won was on stage.

Captain So-jung and Sergeant Myung-se opt to go to a Brain Hub at the Korean University Hospital for more experiments. The Hub is famous due to Shin Ha-ru, a remarkable neuroscientist. His brain-computer interface technology moves robots with thoughts alone. With a single call, Ha-ru agrees to help the NIT department to solve the celebrity’s murder case.

Ha-ru has gone to the prison to see his “treasure”, Kang Sung-ha, a prisoner. Tricking him with a medical report, Ha-ru convinces Sung-ha to sign a Post-mortem Brain Donation consent form. However, a fight ensues between Ha-ru and Sung-ha, and Kang destroys the consent form. Ha-ru has an extraordinary brain.

Kang Sung Ha’s brain is addicted to murder, and killing gives him a reason to live. Being in solitary confinement means the only person he can kill is himself, which he did. Ha-ru believes the type of brain someone possesses can be used to predict the future. Sung-ha’s brain donation will help study the biological characteristics of a psychopath’s antisocial acts.

As witty as he is, Dr Ha-ru smuggles Sung-ha’s body to the autopsy lab to harvest the brain. Ostensibly, the brain donation consent form was solely for Dr Ha-ru and not the Hub. What a brilliant yet calculating idea!

But the consent form was fake since Sung-ha had swallowed it back in prison. Forgery is a crime! Although detective Myung-se heard about Ha-ru forging the form, his only evidence is his ears. But is this admissible in a court of law?

Dr Ha-ru claims he discovered the psychopath’s brain, so he wants to study it himself. This marks the beginning of his Psychopathic Brain Rebuilding project.

Myung-se gets home drunk and warns his daughter Myung-se  Yi Na about her boyfriend. But with her teenage brain, Yi Na is adamant and feels her father should let her be.

Even with her shy brain, Captain So-jung gives her boss a perfect report about Kim Jae -won’s case. The autopsy report indicates that DBS electrodes burned, causing cerebral haemorrhage. Therefore, this implicates the wife as the murderer.

A report circulating indicates that a “renowned neuroscientist” forged a brain donation consent form and harvested the brain illegally. In a drunken frenzy, detective Myung-se leaked the forgery information to reporter Moon Yong -jun.

Director Park demands that Dr Ha-ru surrender the consent form because this is controversial. Forgery is a major ethical violation, even if the donor is the most wanted criminal. Ha-ru faces a disciplinary committee and apologizes for hurting the Hub’s reputation. But he convincingly and dazzlingly explains why he went to that extreme.

It’s by breaking the moral strictness that has made the Brain Hub successful. But even with his brilliance, the committee suspends him, which he feels is too harsh. Dr Haru’s act was undoubtedly wrong, but his intentions were good. It might mark a new beginning, but he has always wanted to remain in his country.

Ha-ru makes a shocking move by joining NIT to work with Myung-se. We cannot wait to see what these protagonists will bring to the show!

The Episode Review

It will be entertaining to see how the relationship between Myung-se and Ha-ru will grow. I can’t wait to see how they will solve this case and bring the culprit to justice.

Based on this first episode, we can assume that we will be in for some comedy as well as interesting scientific facts. The writing and performance in this first episode does not disappoint.

Next Episode

You can read our full season review for Brain Works season 1 here!


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