Call It Love – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Woo-ju’s Revenge Begins

A man walks into an empty office as episode 1 of Call It Love begins. A woman’s voiceover narrates what a poet once said, that if you want to understand, forgive or love someone then observe how they look from behind. The shadow of them will make you understand everything. She then says that understanding someone’s loneliness was, for her, the beginning of love.

The man, Han Dong-jin, walks through the office, making cup noodles for himself. He burns himself on the hot water and spills the noodles.

Sim Woo-ju plays a game of jenga with her close friend Yoon Jun. She has a feeling that something bad is about to happen. A few seconds later she gets a text from someone in the neighbourhood informing her about the death of Sim Chul-min.

Dong-jin is eating alone in a restaurant when Woo-ju and Jun enter and get a table. They order food and soju. Woo-ju makes a bet with Jun. She bets that it will rain the next day even though the weather forecast says there’s only a 10% chance of it. She says that if the sky goes crazy, then she might as well too. When Dong-jin pays his bill, there’s a misunderstanding about who ordered soju and the woman at the counter tells him off. When he leaves, Woo-ju stands up for him.

Woo-ju wakes her older sister Hae-sung and younger brother Ji-gu for breakfast. When they finally come around, Hae-sung slaps Ji-gu over the head and Ji-gu takes unappealing photos of her. As they fight, we see a family portrait on a wall featuring a couple with three children but the father’s face is blocked out.

Dong-jin is on the phone with someone who tells him there’s a problem with the Singapore exhibit. It starts raining. Meanwhile, Woo-ju is stocking shelves at the pharmacy where she works when she sees that it’s raining.  She thinks that the most loyal thing in the world is a sense of foreboding. She laments that even animals can sense catastrophes but humans can’t.

We see flashes of her father sending her off to school with a kiss and later, him walking out of the house with another woman. Someone in a student’s uniform gets hit by a car.

At Dong-jin’s workplace, Best Fair, employees wonder if the company is going to go under. His colleague Baek Soo-hee tells Dong-jin that CEO Shin won the Singapore bid, again. He asks if Sun-woo knows about this.

Elsewhere, Dong-jin’s partner Choi Sun-woo is already confronting CEO Shin about sabotaging them. Shin says that if he and Dong-jin were still working under him then this wouldn’t have happened. Sun-woo asks him if he’s doing all this for revenge. Shin unashamedly admits he is and won’t stop as long as their company is still standing.

Having been inspired by the rain to do something crazy, Woo-ju reaches a funeral parlour in an animal-printed dress and red shoes. She goes up to the woman who stole her father away, Ma Hee-ja, and says she’s using this opportunity to humiliate her.

Back in the past, we see Hee-ja smirking at the family portrait in the house while Chul-min searches for something in the house. When he comes to her side, she switches tracks and pretends to be sorry about making him do this. He comforts her but someone throws a glass vase near their feet — it’s Chul-min’s wife. Outside the house, a young Woo-ju arrives to hear the sound of breaking glass. She sees her father and Hee-ja leave the home together.

At the funeral parlour, Woo-ju drowns herself in soju while her aunts and uncle look disapprovingly. They say that she cut ties with her father years ago which is why they didn’t keep in touch. She asks if the ten million won they borrowed from her mother and never returned was also part of being so considerate.

While Hee-ja keeps trying to call Dong-jin, he is busy trying to meet someone at a bank for a loan. Hae-sung, who works there, tells him the department chief can’t see him at the moment.

Hee-ja tells Woo-ju to leave. Woo-ju insults her, calling her a mistress and a worse one who stole her own friend’s husband. She accuses Hee-ja and her father of running away with their bank account books and jewellery, making the people around them gasp in shock. Hee-ja raises her hand to hit Woo-ju but stops herself.

In the bathroom, Woo-ju stops herself from breaking down and crying. She overhears her aunts talking about how Hee-ja inherited the deed to a house and sold it. Woo-ju demands an explanation from the aunts and then from Hee-ja herself, who is surprised she didn’t already know. She says she and Chul-min were legally married so the house is now hers and she sold it. Ji-gu calls Woo-ju from home and says that there are people who have come to see the house. Woo-ju is furious but Hee-ja tells her to move out by next week.

While Sun-woo plays golf, Dong-jin takes his car and sends him a picture. Sun-woo rushes over. He says he bought the car three months ago, before things went bad with the company. They discuss gathering more funds for the company before Dong-jin leaves to go to the funeral parlour himself.

Woo-ju is leaving the building when someone knocks into her, dropping her purse and its contents on the floor. She sits down to gather them, which is when Jun arrives. He tells her off for coming here but she breaks down and cries, saying that she didn’t want to cry for her father.

Later, Hee-ja tells Dong-jin he didn’t show his face for five years and that it took someone’s death for him to turn up. She tells him she’s sent him the money and that if he was facing trouble he should have come to her first. When he doesn’t let her touch him, she says he’s just like his father and begs him to see her more often.

The three siblings and Yoon Jun pack up the house and order good food to feel better about things. Hae-sung looks at old photographs and smiles. Packed with all their things, a truck takes them away from their home.

Two months later, Dong-jin meets someone about renting a hall for an exhibition, since their company is doing better now. Back in his office, Sun-woo thinks it’s too early for them to host an exhibition but Dong-jin says they have to do this if they want to avoid going in debt again. He’s thinking of organising a camping fair.

At lunch, Sun-woo asks Dong-jin about his love for camping. Hadn’t he stopped going camping ever since his break up with Min-young? Dong-jin says this is only for work so he’s okay with it. When Sun-woo asks why they broke up, Dong-jin doesn’t respond.

At the bank where Hae-sung works, a woman comes up to her. When Hae-sung mentions her husband, the woman gets really angry. Woo-ju runs to the bank and enters to see the woman pulling Hae-sung’s hair and accusing her of stealing her man. Hae-sung claims she didn’t know he was living with another woman. She says she won’t see him again. Woo-ju backs her up.

Outside, Hae-sung stops Woo-ju from burning all her photos with that man. Hae-sung wants to keep the ones she’s looking nice in but promises to cut his face out. Woo-ju tells her to stop having problematic relationships but Hae-sung retorts that she doesn’t want ot be like Woo-ju, who thinks all men are like their father.

Woo-ju isn’t working at the pharmacy anymore. She buys things from a grocery store. When she gets a text from someone named Yuri to buy pantyhose, she ignores it. She puts all the things in the lift when Dong-jin comes and helps her. Sun-woo, who is also there, asks if they know each other. Dong-jin reveals that Woo-ju is the new office part-timer and has been working there for a week.

Kim Yuri, one of the office workers, asks Woo-ju why she didn’t get the pantyhose. Woo-ju says it was because her message was rude. When Yuri complains about this to another co-worker, he says that Woo-ju is doing a good job since Ms. Baek has been giving her work directly.

Hae-sung sings and cries while singing at a karaoke while Jun is forced to watch the spectacle. He tries calling Woo-ju but she is busy following Dong-jin as he leaves work. She follows him to a store where he eats instant noodles.

A flashback shows Woo-ju’s aunt telling her that the money from the house went to Hee-ja’s son. She gives Woo-ju the son’s business card.

Jun and Hae-sung talk about how some students had stolen Hae-sung’s shoes in school and Woo-ju went after them for a whole month to get them back. Of course, she wasn’t going to let Hee-ja take the house so easily.

Woo-ju watches Dong-jin go up to his building’s 9th floor and then begins searching through the mailboxes. A voice behind her says that his apartment is 2701. It’s Dong-jin himself.

The Episode Review

Definitely off to a slow start, episode 1 of Call it Love clearly has strong feelings about exposition. It’s not all bad because we do get a fair understanding of all these various characters, who they are, and the driving force of Woo-ju’s revenge. But it is quite slow and I wouldn’t be surprised if the lingering shots and drawn-out sequences turn a few people off.

The visuals also seem to have had their colour saturation sucked off. Of course, this is to set the mood of our two lonely and lost souls but, like with the speed, doesn’t exactly encourage the viewer to keep watching.

Lee Sung-kyung is definitely the show’s biggest highlight. Despite the above points, she plays the role of a scorned and vengeful daughter very very well. There’s something about the steely look in her eye as she promises to wreak havoc that is absolutely delicious. Needless to say, I’m pumped to see more of her.

Kim Young-kwang makes a decent impression as the resident sad boy but his character hasn’t been given enough time or depth for there to be any stronger opinions. I have to say though, that twist at the end was an intriguing one.

Overall, a mediocre episode that leaves the show’s promise entirely on its lead actress’s shoulders.

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