A man is tied up, bloodied and drowning; Flower Of Evil wastes little time in episode 1 setting the tone and mood for this latest tvN drama. This is a dark, deliciously twisted little murder mystery that puts its murderer front and center for all to see. While there’s not much in the way of action set-pieces, the show more than makes up for that with some smart cut-aways and intriguing foundation-setting for the show ahead.
After this brief flash to the future, we catch up with Ji-Won and Hee-Sung who are very much in love and with a little girl called Eun-Ha. Together, they invite their in-laws over to celebrate Hee-Sung’s 39th birthday. The reception they receive though is frosty, to say the least.
After blowing out the birthday candles, Hee-Sung speaks to his parents about his relationship. They call her dumb for not suspecting anything, especially given she’s a cop, and it soon becomes apparent that Hee-Sung is involved in something dark. He tells them not to worry though as Ji-Won leaves to head up to the station.
A boy was found unconscious with a serious head injury in an apartment block. In Seo is a 12 year old child whose first words were “It Was Dad.”
After hearing from the Father and his side of events, the officers discuss whether Sang-Jin’s guilty or not. Ji-Won is smart though, and backs up his statement about eating dinner with a solid and concise series of events. It seems that the slippers he’s wearing are from the restaurant and may help to back up his alibi.
On the back of this, they interview In-Seo’s Mother who defiantly mentions how nothing is going on in their family. Ji-Won then learns that an insurance policy has been taken out for In-Seo.
That evening, Ho-Joon falls asleep on the job but Ji-Won remains focused on the CCTV footage. Sang-Jin left the scene wearing normal shoes and seemingly excited. Is this really the face of a killer?
At the same time, a reporter called Moo-Jin starts working in a cafe, piecing together bits of evidence from this very same case. He visits Dr Eun-Suk at work regarding Sang-Jin and notices that she smells of alcohol. He seizes his opportunity and takes her phone, hacking in to check the photo album. There, he finds pictures of Sang-Jin and her together and it soon becomes apparent that he was having an affair.
Meanwhile, Hee-Sung drops his girl off at school and heads over to see his Mum. He encourages her sever ties with her daughter-in-law, claiming it to be safer this way. He reminds her she’s unable to keep up the same facade he can and leaves.
Back at the hospital, Ae-Young is in a bad way and after finding a cockroach in her vitamins, speaks to the officers who arrive with new photos. With a child entering the elevator at the same time as In-Seo’s accident, they pursue this lead and ask her who he is. It turns out the boy lives on the 12th floor.
When Moo-Jin arrives at the Metal Works, things quickly go awry. It turns out he knows Hee-Sung’s true identity and his real name is actually Hyun-Soo. As tensions rise between the two, he invites the reporter to have tea with him.
It turns out they grew up on the same neighbourhood together but Moo-Jin is clearly nervous. A murder occurred 18 years ago and eventually the reporter asks the one question that’s been bothering him, especially given the murder weapon was found in his backpack, “Was he involved in that murder?”
After asking if he’s married and details about his job, Hee-Sung smiles. “I guess that means you have flexible hours.” After closing the blinds and turning on music, Hee-Sung makes his move.
Meanwhile, Ji-Won visits little Ji-Hoon, the child from the CCTV footage, and learns the true events of what happened. His dog disappeared down the stairs and started barking at In-Seo. Because the dog bit him one time, In-Seo was afraid and backed up, slipping down the stairs.
Ji-Won heads to the pharmacy and learns the truth about the vitamin pills. With this newfound knowledge, she heads back to the hospital and speaks to In-Seo. He was the one who put the cockroach there as he wanted her to stop taking the pills.
As he talks to Ji-Won about what happened, we cut back in time and see that Sang-Jin was drugging Ae-Young to prevent her from being so suspicious of his affair. With Sang-Jin arrested for his part in all of this, Ji-Won contemplates whether Ae-Young was really that oblivious to what was going on.
Ironically, she then receives a call from Hee-Sung’s Mother severing ties. She tells her to act like they’re dead while Hee-Sung knocks out the reporter in his workshop. When Ji-Won heads back home, Hee-Sung is there and acting normally, laughing and joking with Eun-Ha.
As the camera pans downstairs, we see Hee-Sung has left Moo-Jin in his workshop alone and tied up, which is where the episode ends.
The Episode Review
The first episode of Flower Of Evil sets a very intriguing foundation to build off of. With Ji-Won and Hee-Sung given equal amounts of screen-time, the show bounces tonally between a procedural and an outright crime drama.
So far the show has done an excellent job with its characters and there’s certainly a lot to like with this one. There’s plenty of dark secrets still to be revealed and I’m sure we’ll see that develop over time.
One thing’s for sure though, Flower Of Evil is shaping up to be a decent thriller.