Eve – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Forbidden Fruit

Episode 1 of Eve starts with Han So-Ra visiting the luxurious Apgujeong department store. They’ve been looking forward to her arrival for a while, as this smug woman sits back on the sofa, crossing her arms, a massive media storm arrives.

Chairman Kang Yoon-Kyum gives a big press conference about the good work their company is doing. Only, rumours leak online of him having an affair and a whistle-blower leaking the news to the press. This inevitably gets back to So-Ra too, who reads the articles and realizes this is going to blow up in their faces.

So-Ra’s father, Han Pan-Ro is a chairman too and he rules with an iron fist, even going so far as to torture subordinates that don’t follow his rule. Thanks to a particularly squeamish game of golf, Han eventually throws a bucket of blood over two whistle-blowers and releases his two hounds to pick them apart.

When he finds out at Yoon-Kyum’s affair, he’s livid and demands she sort this out. So-Ra does her best to play damage control but given this news has spread like wildfire, that’s easier said than done.

We then skip back 3 months earlier to find So-Ra and Yoon-Kyum together. So-Ra is cold and business-orientated, with no time for trivial things like helping her daughter Da-Bi potty-train. In fact, she bemoans that their psych training isn’t working. Yoon-Kyum is deeply unhappy, and as he sits in the front row at the fundraiser, his expression reads that he’d rather be anywhere else.

Interestingly, during the night’s big performance, Yoon-kyum immediately finds himself entranced by the dancing of none other than Lee La-El. She’s confident, a beautiful young mother and she can’t take her eyes off Kang while she dances.

There’s some really nice editing here, as the camera cuts back and forth between La-El an Kang, with extreme close-ups of their eyes and wider shots of their faces.

La-El is a member of the “royal” class and her mother has a connection to the Foundation. Of course, So-Ra is immediately suspicious, while La-El has a way of charming those around her, revealing that she’s 28 and only started Tango as a hobby.

Chatting to two of the kindergarten mums, Yeo Ji-Hee and Eun Dam-Ri, La-El learns more about So-Ra. The mums gossip, telling La-El that So-Ra doesn’t have many manners, she’s obnoxious and believes she’s the only one who’s actually upper-class.

When a flower-delivery man shows up with flowers (which happens to be from her husband), she walks past Kang and drops her bracelet on he floor. All of this is very obviously a ruse, as she greets her husband and brings Jin-Wook into the party with her.

When Da-Bi and Bo-Ram (So-Ra and La-El’s children) befriend one another, it allows La-El to get even closer to Kang. So-Ra though is not happy with her daughter befriending someone “beneath them”, although she keeps that quiet.

The focus here then turns to Liyan Academy. The place has clearly had a big injection of cash, with new facilities ranging from a beautiful gym to big classrooms. This beauty is overshadowed by an ugly truth. A truth that La-El has had to bear all these years.

As we see through flashbacks, her family has been through hell thanks to Han’s connections. Han’s men – led by Jang-Cheol whom we learn more about in the next episode – believes Tae-Joon (La-El’s father) to sign a document agreeing to merging his company with LY Group. They even concoct lies to besmirch his name, claiming he’s stolen hardware.

Tae-Joon remains dead-set that he hasn’t, and while he lies in a pool of his own blood, La-El and her mother are forced to watch all of this take place.

Unfortunately, La-El’s father is killed, remaining loyal to the cause to the end and not willing to sign for something he didn’t do. Tae-Joon is quickly cremated and everything is covered up, with La-El’s family kept away from media attention. A family that powerful can obviously bribe judges and it appears that’s what’s happened.

Not only that, but shadowy men show up that night, needing the President’s (La-El’s father’s) seal and demanding L-El sign over her shares too. However, the scuffle ends with La-El falling onto glass and being cut into pieces.

That night, after giving a big, rousing speech about his new book, Eun-Pyeong receives a parcel. Inside, happens to be wads of rolled up notes and an accompanying letter from La-El. “As promised, I’m returning what I received tenfold. Thank you for your kindness, Attorney Seo Eun-Pyeong.”

When he reads the name, we cut back further in the past as we understand La-El’s connection to this lawyer. He worked on her family’s case as a human rights lawyer but since losing, he’s become disillusioned with the law and wants to do something different now. Through it all, La-El is given a new identity with a new name.

La-El means “The one who belongs to God”, and she remains determined to make the LY Group family pay for their crimes tenfold.

This happens to be the day she left and head off to the US, hiding from sight and growing her stature and name, ready to strike the LY Group where it hurts.

La-El’s rage is unwieldy, and this family are going to face her wrath. All of this, from the dancing through to the party and dropping the bracelet, have been done for a specific purpose but this time it’s reframed so we know why La-El is acting this way.

When La-El and her partner are having sex in the dressing room, Kang happens to be watching from the doorway, the pair locking eyes.

The Episode Review

Well that was brilliant! There’s nothing quite like a good revenge drama and Eve looks like it’s going to be an enticing one over the weeks. The first episode sets things up with a simple but effective premise, one that introduces our main characters, sees the despicable actions of LY Group and then adds our Eve and what she’s planning to do.

It’s clear that she’s going to take the group down from the inside out, with Chairman Kang the weak link in all this. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that La-El is the one who leaked the news of the affair but there clearly needs to be much more to it than this to properly take down the chairman and all his cronies.

Jeon Kuk-Hwan is a veteran when it comes to playing the big bad in these sort of shows and this man is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to portraying these roles.

Eve is setting things up nicely for a very intriguing drama to come and if this first episode is any indication, we could be in for a wild rollercoaster ride.

Next Episode

You can check out our full season review for Eve Season 1 here!


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