Episode 1 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 3/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 11 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 12 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 13 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 14 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 15 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 16 – | Review Score – 3/5
Brain Works is a comedic science-themed investigative drama that is a thrilling mesh of a kind-hearted detective and a wealthy, overconfident, and egotistical neurosurgeon. It tells their stories in a team-up to solve complicated murder cases involving brain disorders. The amazing chemistry between the leads and their outlook on mental disorders makes the drama an interesting watch despite some messy plots, slow connection of causalities, and a rushed ending.
Shin Ha-ru is a genius, well-renowned neuroscientist with an obsession with the psychopathic brain. He is determined to do anything including disregarding rules and regulations to gather data for his Psychobrain rebuilding project. His arrogance gets him fired from Brain Hub after he illegally obtained a dead inmate’s brain. Seeing no fault in his actions, he blames his misfortunes on the kind-hearted detective Gyeom Myung-se.
A troubling case leads to the interactions between the detective and the doctor. Detective Gyeom goes in search of the famous neuroscientist to help the newly formed neuroscientific investigation team understand the cause of the death of a famous musician. It is in the process that he happens to overhear that Dr Shin Ha-ru faked a consent form and in an angry rant mistakenly reveals the information to a reporter friend.
The news article published after his drunken mistake brings the two worlds together as the now-unemployed neuroscientist offers to volunteer as a consultant for the neuroscientific investigation team. However, he has a hidden agenda, proving that detective Geum Myung-se is a dirty cop, humiliating him, and getting him fired to get his revenge. Will his plans succeed or will he have a change of heart?
The sporadic duo, plus the timid-brained team, lead Captain Seoul and the subsection chief Kim Kil-joong to work together to solve different cases which are intriguing to viewers who might get bored with single storylines. The cases are complex, educational, and enjoyable to watch, as they work as a team to solve the issues, delivering a mix of comedy and drama to portray lightness even in heavy scenes. However, the scientific facts make it difficult to understand the show without first stopping to comprehend the neuro processes and terms in the field of neuroscience.
The different storylines keep the series interesting while the mystery of Shin Ha-ru’s past regarding his parents’ case and the involvement of the people around him – including Dr Park, Dr Hwang and his aunt – keep the audience guessing and glued to their screens. Also, the development in the detective’s personal life, including love drama and the challenges of raising a teenage daughter, adds an extra layer of depth.
Ha-ru’s and the detective’s character experience considerable development throughout the series. They manage to develop their relationship to amazing bromance while entertaining the audience with their unending bickering.
Although it was a welcome change to see Captain Seol transcend her shy brain after the accident, the change adds very little to the development of the storyline. Other characters, including the detective’s ex-wife and the subsection chief, feel redundant and constantly forgotten.
Moreover, the show lags in the reveal of the childhood trauma experienced by Ha-ru and rushes to catch the audience up in the last two episodes. This made the last episodes lack cohesion with the earlier chapters, where backstories are provided amidst solving brain-related murder cases.
Although the series devotes some time in the finale to show what happens to the characters after Don-woo’s death, not enough attention was given to these developments. With all that being said though, Brain Works is a solid show with some glaring flaws, holding it back from being a better watch.
Verdict - 7/10