Han River Police – K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Han River Police Team

Episode 1 of Han River Police starts with a hijack scene of Han Ara River Cruise ship. The hijackers manage to capture the ship, holding hostage the passengers and even the captain at the bridge.

A team of soldiers arrives at the scene with a helicopter, and they manage to take control of the situation, taking out all the hijackers. The end of the scene reveals that the hijack is a drill between the Han River Police team acting as hijackers and the Seoul SWAT team.

A SWAT member shoots a police officer, Seargent Han, when he surrenders, which angers him, and they start a fight between the police and the SWAT team. Elsewhere, a protestor arrives at the shore, where government officials and prominent stakeholders are watching the drill. He puts up a banner and is protesting the Han River Development Project. The police later apprehend him. 

Next, Captain Do scolds Sergeant Han Du-jin, Lee Cheon-seok, and Kim Ji-soo for the incident with the team. Sergeant Han is angry that the Captain agreed to let the team play terrorists during the drill. The penalty for the incident is more training hours after work.

Sergeant Han, Cheon-seok, and Ji-soo go on a patrol and a clean-up of the river bank when they notice a yacht driving fast and recklessly on the river. They go on a pursuit, but the yacht does not slow down. Fortunately, it gets caught in a fisherman’s nets in the river and forced to stop.

Sergeant Han boards the yacht and finds Director Go Gi-seok having a party. Cheon-seok gives him a penalty charge for driving recklessly, and Han secretly takes the Yacht keys, leaving him stranded. 

Director Go arrives at a hotel carrying a gift. He waits outside a door where the Seoul Mayor, an assemblyman and Chairman Hwang Man-dae are having a meal. The gifts are untraceable bribes for the government officials to help the Chairman with anti-graft laws. 

The Kyungin River Cruise company plans to add bigger cruise ships, and to sail in the Han River the river bed needs to be grafted. Grafting is illegal, so the Chairman has to bribe officials and the Mayor to approve both this and the Han River Development project. 

Elsewhere, the Han River police team heads off for a training session, which is the punishment they’re handed for their conduct during the drill. Among them is Do Na-hee, who likes Sergeant Han.

The Captain sets up a competition between the two patrol teams, and the winning team is exempt from more training exercises. Sergeant Han and Do Na-hee are competitive, and when it is their turn, Na-hee refuses to swim up, forcing Sergeant Han to help her when she nearly drowns and abandons the competition. As a result, Na-hee’s team win.

The team, including Ji-soo, Na-hee Sergeant Han and Cheon-seok, go for a meal and drinks after work at Han River Moonlight restaurant. The restaurant owners are Park Dong-sik, the man protesting at the beginning of the episode and Yoon Hyo-sun. During the meal, the team mentions someone whose picture is on the wall, Baek Chul, which angers Sergeant Han. 

Sergeant Han and Dong-sik have a conversation outside the restaurant. Dong-sik says that the river grafting interferes with fishing, and he can hardly get any eels. Concerning compensation, Dong-sik says that initially, the Kyungin River Cruise Company offered payment. Still, they changed, wanting him to sell his family land at Palmi Island. 

The next scene introduces Baek-chul and his team, Oh Joong-taek and Goo Nam-gi. They finish digging up the river bed and head back to the office. Joong-taek checks the payment and informs them it is on hold, and they got paid half. They have no more work lined up after, and Baek Chul says he will find work and leave.

Elsewhere, Chairman Hwang is at the opening ceremony for the new river cruise ship, River Ferry. The people aboard the ship first cruise among them Hyo-sun and Na-hee. Elsewhere, Sergent Han, Cheon-seok and Ji-soo relax on duty since there are no incidents. The ship makes its first stop, and Na-hee notices Director Go loading heavy boxes into the ship labeled lobsters. She is angry that they have been at the stop for so long and they are not being told when to start sailing again.

As the Han River team enjoys a meal by the river bank, River Ferry sets sail again, and  Director Go is on the bridge. He tells the Captain to change the cruise route since the scenery is terrible. The Captain disagrees; he is still determining how deep the water is on the side, but Director Go insists, saying that the city spent lots of money digging the riverbed.

The Captain follows his instructions, and soon after, the ship scrapes the river bed. Director Go is impatient and urges the Captain to accelerate the ship and pull it out, which causes it to sink on one side.

Both people and items on board start sliding to the sunken side, and it gets chaotic on board. Na-hee leaps into action. She asks Hyo-sun to call 911 as she starts directing people to safety. Sergeant Hee and his team get the call on the collision, and they rush into action, heading towards the direction of the River Ferry.

The Episode Review

The first episode gives an introduction to the central characters in the series. It’s packed with comedy and action, which is strangely comforting. Chairman Hwang will possibly be our villain.

The Han Police packs a lot of veteran police officers with a newcomer, Ji-soo, who is health conscious but also fits in with the old perfectly, working alongside Sergent Han and Cheon-seok. There might also be some romance story between Sergent Han and Do Na–hee, Hyo-sun and Baek Chul. 

There is a bit of mystery in this episode surrounding the officer who quit the force, Baek Chul, and the lobster boxes Director Go loaded onto the ship during the stop. What grudge does Sergeant Han hold against Baek Chul? What is the Han River Development Project, and why does it entail bribing top government officials? Are there any illegal dealings Chairman Hwang is involved in? The first episode left room for excitement and anticipation for the next episode. 


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