Dark Hole – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

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The Infection

Episode 1 of Dark Hole begins with a young child called Do-Yoon walking tentatively through an abandoned building. Something is stalking him. Tentacles uncurl angrily and look set to strike…until a gunshot pierces the air. It’s Hwa-Sun and she calls out for the child to hurry over.

The pair flee, rushing away from this maniacal monster. Hwa-Sun encourages this child to stay in the cubicles as she hurries outside to draw the attention away from him. This strange tentacled creature suddenly grabs Hwa Sun and knocks her to the ground. Thankfully, Tae-Han is there to help. He too is stuck in this living nightmare but he fires at the creature and quells the threat. At least for now.

We then jump back a few days prior to this moment. Hwa-Sun mourns the death of her partner, Sung Bum. He happens to be a victim of a particularly nasty serial killer called Soo-Yeon. He happens to be one of the girl’s victims and it seems she’s not done taunting Hwa-Sun yet. There’s another murder on the cards, and investigator Hwa-Sun receives a call to visit the crime scene.

Investigator Hwa-Sun appears at the house, just as a news report in the background details something happening to the sun. Sunspots are causing electrical vehicles to break down, and among those attending an electrical disturbance outside is Tae-Han. He actually helps free a woman from her burning car, as we see him working with comedic sidekick Young-Sik.

Meanwhile, out in the woods a man becomes infected. Black veils cling to both cheeks as he begins hallucinating and raging. Spots line the side of his head as he froths from the mouth and charges into the woods.

Speaking of raging, Hwa Sun receives antagonizing messages from Soo-Yeon on her phone. She calls out the girl and tells Hwa-Sun to come and meet. This prompts Hwa Sun to immediately speed over and confront the girl.

On the way though, that strange man from the woods suddenly appears in front of the car. With blackened eyes and a weapon in hand, his pause is momentary before he suddenly charges forward into the woods.

When he leaves, Hwa Sun continues on her way and finds a phone, strategically placed up on the branches to catch her attention. It turns out it’s not actually Soo-Yeon’s phone, it’s a nurse’s from the local hospital. Soo-Yeon stole it and took off.

Meanwhile, Tae-Han relaxes after a hard day’s work at his house up in the woods. Only, a strange growling noise outside startles him and sends the man out out to investigate.

In the morning, Tae-Han starts working with Young-Sik, who winds up with an upset stomach. As Young-Sik heads out to relieve himself in the woods, he finds fragments of a meteorite; the same thing that the man from the previous night grabbed.

Young-Sik is taken to hospital when Tae-Han finds him in a bad way. He becomes enraged, biting one of the nurses and charging outside. He’s eventually hit by a car but he gets back up, surviving the hit and bolting for the woods again.

Hwa Sun happens to be there too, enquiring about Soo-Yeon, and watches as this man charges outside in a blind rage. This eventually sees both Hwa Sun and Tae-Han hurry off in hot pursuit. Only, there’s a problem.

Hwa-Sun’s investigation sees her stumble upon a large, empty hole that leads down to a bleak nothingness. She stands on the edge and watches as thin wisps of smoke curl around her leg. Hwa-Sun starts to hallucinate, seeing Soo-Yeon directly in front of her. Only, it’s actually Tae-Han. As she looks set to shoot… the episode comes to a close.

The Episode Review

Dark Hole gets off to an intriguing start as this strange alien infection begins, allowing for an uneasy dread to cling to large swathes of the episode.

The early moments here, featuring the strange tentacled monster and hordes of maniacal undead, is a really smart way to start the show and it works to hook you into this world immediately.

As we cut back a few days after that, seeing Hwa Sun and Tae-Han both intertwined together is clever and both have reasons for being in the hospital at the same time.

It seems like this serial killer hunt is going to be showcased around the plague spreading, and in true OCN fashion it promises to have a lot of action and suspenseful scenes to come.

In terms of mood and atmosphere, Dark Hole absolutely nails its aesthetic and that ending promises lots more to come in the weeks to follow.


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