Flex X Cop – K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

A Third-Generation Chaebol Heir, Jin I-Soo, Helps the Police Solve a Murder Case

Episode I of Flex X Cop introduces us to the main character, Jin I-soo, through a monologue about something that forced him to find a purpose in life. The story jumps back two months earlier to introduce us to a wealthy Chaebol heir, Jin I-soo, as he starts his morning by skipping an important strategy meeting at their company and instead sleeps in.

The next scene introduces Jin I-soo’s family, his father Jin Myeong-chul and Brother Jin Seung-ju, as they head into the morning meeting. I-soo’s father notices his absence during the meeting, and his brother secretly sends him a message asking about his whereabouts. Meanwhile, I-soo is woken up from his slumber by a notification about a case, and he suits up as an elite soldier, takes up his motorcycle, and drives off. His personal assistant calls someone and asks them to prepare the support team. 

I-soo leaves us awe-struck as he joins a team dressed in similar attire, storms a mall, and rescues a damsel in distress. Or is she? At the end of the scene, it looks like the whole thing was a game, as a video game re-enacted in real life and video games, or live-action role-playing, and I-soo’s team wins. He then leaves his assistant with a platinum card and asks him to check the damage in the mall. As his team heads out, one of the cleaners asks if wealthy people always play like that, and we learn that I-soo would risk anything, even his life, just to play. 

Elsewhere, police officer Choi Kyung-jin and Park Jun-young of the Violent Crime Investigation Team 1 chase down a suspected murderer and are soon joined by their team leader, Lee Gang-hyun. She soon arrests the alleged killer and stages a stakeout to arrest his friend, who they think is the real killer. Meanwhile, I-soo rents out a whole club for his team’s after-party and notices that one of them is missing, so he goes out to look for him.

I-soo finds the said man getting high in his car, and he uses his detective persona to intervene and get rid of the drugs. He then reminds the friend that if he does not stop using drugs, he will close his company. Another team member knocks on his window, indicating it is time to leave, so he asks him to bring his motorbike around and find a driver service for the drugged member.

I-soo steps out of the car momentarily to receive his brother’s call, who asks him to make sure he attends a press conference set to happen in nine hours. When he looks back at his friend, he has left the car and harasses someone for a lighter. The man gets spooked when he sees I-soo approaching since he is wearing a police uniform, stabs I-soo’s friend and runs away. 

Meanwhile, Gang-hyun wraps up the stakeout since the man they are waiting for does not appear. On her way to the car, she sees I-soo chasing after the man who stabbed his friend and followed them. I-soo corners the man at a dead end, forcing him to take out his knife. However, I-soo is skilled in mixed martial arts and easily breaks the man’s arm and knocks the knife off his hand. When Gang-hyun shows up, I-soo is standing over the man’s unconscious body, and he arrests I-soo for assault. 

Back at the station, Jun-young informs Gang-hyun that the man she arrested is the youngest son of the Hansu Group, Jin I-soo.  Kyung-jin reaps to his feet since he is a big fan of I-soo. He thinks that I-soo is awesome, while Jun-young and Gang-hyun think he is a freak and an attention seeker. Gang-hyun’s superior orders her to release I-soo, but she insists on holding him for investigation since he was caught in the act of assaulting a bystander and he was drunk. I-soo continues to amaze us since he is the son of the wealthiest family in the country; he has a law degree and stands his own against Gang-hyun.

However, he still spends the night in jail since his friend says that he was not stabbed, which makes Gang-hyun conclude that it was not a self-defense case. Kyung-jin brags to his friends about I-soo’s arrest, and a nosy reporter, Lee Gi-seok, hanging around the police station, overhears the call. 

The following morning, I-soo’s father directs his brother to assign him to an overseas branch since he is a failure and mentions something about winning since he risked everything. He says that a failure should not walk around in that crucial moment, and the family, including Jo Hee-ja, walk out to attend the press conference, and Myeong-chul announces his candidacy for the Mayor of Seoul. However, reporter Gi-seok hampers his bid for election when he confronts I-soo’s father about his son’s arrest, and he heads to the police station after the press conference. 

I-soo seems surprised to see his father for a second but soon composes himself. His father regrets having to bear I-soo as his son and instructs Seung-ju to fire I-soo from the company and pull out their legal team from the case. Henceforth, he only has one son, and I-soo should bear the consequences of his actions. He ended the conversation by telling I-soo that he was nothing without him. Seung-ju promises to help I-soo handle the issue while I-soo insists that he did nothing wrong.

I-soo’s confidence that he did nothing wrong and insisting that Gang-hyun should have got his case right makes her go back to the crime scene to investigate. True to I-soo’s claim, she finds the knife that I-soo mentioned in the interrogation. Upon further investigations, Gang-hyun finds out that the man unconscious in the hospital is a convicted criminal for two robbery cases.

The police chief and Gang-hyun’s senior official deliberate how to handle the aftermath after it is revealed that they arrested I-soo under false allegations and detained him. Fortunately for them, Seung-ju has a solution that can help everyone in this case.

To help maintain the dignity of the police and restore the image of Hansu’s Group chairman, Seung-ju suggests announcing in a press conference that I-soo is an undercover cop who has been working with the police for two months to help them catch the murderer. Gang-hyun is to say at the press conference that the police force especially employs I-soo due to his lawyer’s license.

Gang-hyun has no choice but to follow Seung-jun’s plan since her career and the team’s are on the line. The police chief mentions something about Gang-hyun’s father humiliating the police force. Consequently, Seung-ju convinces I-soo to agree to the new arrangement, and during the press conference, Gang-hyun tramps up the report made by SBC reporter Gi-seok as a false report. 

After his release, I-soo finds his friend Young-hwan waiting at his house to apologise to the police for lying. In his defense, he says that he was afraid that the police would run a drug test, so he did not want to be called into the police station. Young-hwan calls I-soo an annoying punk behind his back while I-soo shows genuine concern for him, even stopping the lift so he can ask if he got treatment for the knife wound. Elsewhere, Kyung-jin is excited to work with I-soo, while the other team members, Jun-young and Gang-hyun, seem convinced that I-soo will not show up at work. 

When I-soo sees his new police uniform on the table, it triggers memories of the accident that killed his mother. The following morning, Seung-ju called a press conference, and he started the speech by saying he wanted to tell the truth about his I-soo case. Meanwhile, Gang-hyun and his team experience an unexpected turn of events when I-soo decides to show up to work and receives a VIP welcome from the police force. At the end of the episode, I-soo and Gang-hyun shake hands as a sign of their promise to work together. 

The Episode Review

The first episode of Flex X Cop lays the groundwork for the interesting police procedural story with a backstory about a dysfunctional Chaebol family and its quest for power. I-soo is an interesting character whose first entry into the scene reminds us of Batman, a wealthy heir who wants to play vigilante when he is not rubbing shoulders with shareholders and the board of directors. However, in I-soo’s case, he is an adrenaline junkie who would rather play cop in an extravagant game rather than attend a strategic meeting at his father’s company. The episode hints at a love-hate relationship between the main characters.

Will they have a romance story as the story progresses? The episode offers subtle clues about a possible familiar experience between I-soo and Gang-hyun about their parents. Was the death of I-soo’s mother an accident? What happened to Gang-hyun’s father? Also, is I-soo’s brother genuine in suggesting that I-soo start working as a police officer, or is there a hidden agenda? Why did he call for a press conference? The episode sufficiently introduces all the characters and leaves us eagerly waiting to see how the plots unfold in the next episodes. 


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You can expect a full season review for Flex X Cop when this season concludes!
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