The Epidemic of Amnesia in South Korean Dramas
Crash Landing On You is shaping up to be an enjoyable and fun drama to watch every weekend. The story is advancing at decent speed and the characters are all very likable. This Korean drama manages to serve up the right balance between the humour around both countries but also showing some seriousness while depicting the differences between the two cultures.
We begin with a flashback of Se-Ri over the years and how she became successful before returning to the present in North Korea where Se-Ri starts flirting, thinking she can get her way with Captain Ri. Unbeknownst to her, he’s actually wondering if he should kill her.
The next day at breakfast, Se-Ri realizes just how difficult her situation is when she sees how North Koreans live. She tells Jeong-Hyeok people will be looking for her as she’s very famous while we see her family doubling their efforts to find her but also making sure news of her disappearance doesn’t reach the media.
Pyo arrives at his Captain’s house and is shocked to see Se-Ri there. They both start arguing about the situation before the rest of the company arrives. Captain Ri gives her some orders to follow, including staying in the house and not speaking to anyone. After clashing some more with the other soldiers and each of them poking fun at the other’s culture, she agrees to the terms and they decide to help her go back to South Korea by sea.
On the shoreline, the women of the village prepare cabbages and discuss Jeong-Hyeok returning from the outpost, while Se-Ri finds out more of their food customs and how much more advanced South Korea is. Before leaving, Captain Ri tells her to use the phone if she needs anything urgently. However, she doesn’t listen and keeps calling him with silly requests. After Ri leaves their office, the two men discuss hiring Seung-Jung as he was responsible for a billion won scheme. We then cut to China where Seung-Jung discusses his future protection by relocating to a remote and expensive house in North Korea.
Meanwhile, Se-Ri feels overwhelmed as the electricity turns off in the evening. Hearing noises, she starts panicking and picks up a vase ready to hit the intruder. However, it turns out to be Jeong-Hyeok bringing her a candle which prompts her to start crying as she requested a scented one.
In South Korea, both sisters-in-law discuss the latest news around Se-Ri’s disappearance and think that their father in law wasn’t serious when he requested Se-Ri take over the business. Back in the North, Se-Ri laments her situation to Captain Ri. He tells her he will be leaving for the capital the next day but that the rest of the company will help her leave on a boat in a couple of days. Going back inside the house, she looks at the bag of things he got for her and it turns out he bought a lot of toiletry and cosmetic products for her from South Korea, which makes her very happy.
As Jeong-Hyeok arrives in the capital, he is soon stopped by soldiers from the investigation division who take him to a torture room to be questioned about the death of the three grave robbers. Suddenly, a General arrives and kicks the man who was interrogating Jeong-Hyeok, screaming and asking him if he knows who he is as he’s the Director’s son for the General Political Bureau. He then later calls Lieutenant Jo and berates him for not know who Captain Ri is.
Later that night, Jeong-Hyeok speaks to General Myeong-Seok about the accident. He wants to find the truck that caused the accident as it’s the same kind which has caused other fatal crashes. After the conversation, Jeong-Heyok receives a call from Pyo who reveals that Lieutenant Jo is about to do house inspections. This prompts him to borrow a car and speed through the street to reach the village.
We then cut to Wol-Suk and two other women performing inspections in the different houses, just as Lieutenant Jo arrives and decides to look at Captain Ri’s house as they see lights inside. They quickly find Se-Ri hiding inside the Kimchi cellar. Colonel Jo escorts her outside and points his gun, just as Jeong-Hyeok arrives and asks what he’s doing.
We then cut to an epilogue where we see Se-Ri visiting an euthanasia clinic in Switzerland where she requests to die due to all the pain she has been experiencing from mental illness. The woman in charge asks her to go and have a look at the scenery first. She complies and as she watches all the paragliders with the beautiful mountains in the backdrop, we see that Jeong-Hyeok was also there and that they have indeed been in the same place before, which is where the episode ends.
Although the episode clocks in at 75 minutes, it really didn’t feel long at all as after just one episode I’m already really enjoying this new drama. The main two characters have really good chemistry together and Se-Ri has great banter with all the soldiers. There were some really funny moments too as the drama makes fun of both countries by letting the characters have little digs at each other; the amnesia trope regarding Korean dramas in particular was quite witty.
The contrast between both countries is really interesting and one that certainly fascinates a lot of people around the world. As both characters will inevitably fall in love, they’re bound to have a lot of issues with their future relationship and it’s set to be quite dramatic and thrilling to watch. The epilogue was a nice touch and certainly offered up an intriguing little twist too. Unlike Melting Me Softly, Crash Landing On You has had a really strong start and promises to bow out 2019 with one of the better Korean dramas of the year.