Kokdu: Season of Deity – K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

 The Legend of Kkodu and His Return

Episode 1 of Kokdu: Season of Deity begins with a ceremonial convoy sent to protect Seol Hui, the future bride of an important official in their community. When the convoy reaches the bride, Oh Hyun, one of the soldiers and the bride’s secret lover, head off to find the bride, and they have a little chat.

The woman voices her thoughts about the marriage, which to her is like a funeral. Together, they conspire to run away when the palanquin parade comes to a stop near the Jeodong mountains. He tells her to hide in the cave when the parade stops and promises to come for her.

However she is worried that their families would be slaughtered if they run away, but he pledges that they would be fine as long as no one knows. As they leave for the wedding, a soldier who is loyal to Seol Hui’s future husband gets to know of their escape plan, and he and the other soldiers decide to stop Oh Hyin before that happens. They engage in a fight, but Oh Hyun is overpowered and shot by arrows to death.

Seol Hui sees her lover dead and is devastated, as she is helpless and cannot do anything other than mourn in silence for the man she was to marry. She is later taken to Pilasu’s palace, where her new husband is. Seol Hui is called to the table to drink with her future husband, but she changes her mind and instead, takes a hairpin and stabs Pilasu in the neck. The army general notices her and rushes to apprehend her, but the woman stabs herself in the neck with a hairpin. She falls to the ground and dies.

As the episode progresses, we realize that the story about the Kokdu is being told by an inpatient at the hospital, to Doctor Han Gye Jeol. A woman suddenly shows up and accuses Doctor Han of the murder of her father and even harasses the doctor. Having had enough, Doctor Han figures she has to defend herself or risk having more bruises on her body, courtesy of the unruly woman who harassed her.

Doctor Han is summoned by the hospital director, and the director asks her to apologize to the unruly woman, but Doctor Han refuses. She defends herself and tells the director of the unfortunate situation, and comes clean about the harassment, but the director insists. Turns out the woman who was harassing her, is a key stakeholder in the hospital. Doctor Han is fired from her job because she refuses to apologize to the unruly woman who also does not want to relent, even though it is her fault that her father died.

Doctor Han decides to file a complaint against the woman but the director warns her against taking legal action against the unruly woman. He also warns Doctor Han that it will be difficult for her to land a job in the medical sector since the unruly woman comes from a powerful family in the medical field. He then fires her. Devastated, Doctor Han leaves the hospital.

It is raining outside and she has to wait for the rain to stop. She shouts at the skies and complains about her state. She says it is only fair that she is given money, connections or even a deity to help her with her life. Defeatedly, she runs in the rain and heads home. However, when she reaches the long staircase, she sees a dog, and steps aside, not to run into the dog, but she trips instead. While midair, Doctor Han makes a request to her mother to save her, and like clockwork, a man appears and saves her from falling.

The weather goes back to normal and the blossoming cherries are falling all over. The man walks away, and Doctor Han notices that he dropped a necklace with a ring. This is the same ring described by the patient she was dealing with in the hospital earlier. Doctor Han takes the necklace with her and believes that it is part of her lucky charm. When she reaches home, she shows the ring to her younger brother who does not believe her story.

Doctor Han goes for an interview the next day for a job, fails and then for her second interview, she meets with the Kokdu who is now called Professor Do Jin Woo of Pilseung Medical Centre. In the interview, she is a little too honest and says that she was fired from her previous job, because of a dead patient. She goes on to elaborate that the patient’s family fired her wrongfully and that she is good at her job. Doctor Han thinks that the Kokdu is pretending not to know her and is disappointed by how everything has turned out.

She is on her way home when she receives a call from professor Jin. He asks to meet Doctor Han, who doesn’t say no to the meeting. She is excited to be of use to the hospital and hopes that the meeting with the professor will be fruitful. Sure enough, Professor Jin tells Doctor Han that he can be her link to work at the hospital. He tells her that he is her connection and Doctor Han is thrilled by it. Professor Jin tells her that she will work with him at the hospital since she is hired by him now.

At Pilseung hospital, Doctor Han meets her new director who encourages her to work hard, though she thinks that this is just another way for her to earn extra money because professor Jin got her back at the hospital; he even defends her when the director scolds her.

The Professor invites Doctor Han to a coffee date and she agrees. At the simple date, he asks her why she became a doctor and she tells him that her mother died in a car accident and that she saw her mother get hit and die in front of her. She tells him she was helpless that day since she didn’t have the medical skills to save her mother.

She asks him if he knew her mother since he showed up right when she needed help, but professor Jin denies it. She gives the necklace with the ring back to the professor, but he denies that he saved her. She has more questions. But before she can even ask him, he passes out drunk. She carries him on her back to the nearest bench, and his wallet falls to the ground. She picks it up and sees a photo of his mother and a little baby who she assumes to be professor Jin. She returns the wallet to the professor.

The following morning, the director scolds Doctor Han because professor Jin came to the hospital reeking of alcohol and still performed surgery on his drunk state. The patient professor Jin performs surgery on, Mi Soon, dies of a weak heart at the operating table.

Professor Jin requests Doctor Han to testify to the board and court because she heard the conversation between the directors earlier. He tells her that he hired her so she could testify for him. She is haunted by her excitement and is confused about what to do. Professor Jin takes a walk and sees two grim reapers who say that the professor looks like their sir Kokdu. They pass him and also mention that the season of the Kokdu is about to begin.

At the hospital, Doctor Han makes it her mission to avoid professor Jin. He later comes clean to her and tells her that the patient who died, Jang Mi Soon,  was his biological mother. He asks her to testify. Professor Jin later asks for the necklace back even though he had said that it wasn’t his from the very beginning. Doctor Han leaves, only to come back and accept the professor’s proposal. The professor tells her that he will take responsibility for everything.

Doctor Han is on her way to testify when she receives a call from professor Jin. Suddenly it’s raining pellets like snow and before Doctor Han can do anything, someone falls from the nearest building and lands roughly on a car. The person is professor Jin. He is bleeding too much and she tries to save him, but she fails. There is a sudden snoring while a desperate Doctor Han tries to save professor Jin. Suddenly the snow stops and professor Jin wakes up, healthy and very alive. Doctor Han cries in happiness in his arms, even though he is confused and pushes her away gently.

The Grim Reapers, Oksin and Gaskin, make a show and Professor Jin smiles at them before he begins choking Doctor Han. The professor talks of killing the first humans that he sees and it is later revealed that the person in the professor’s body is not the professor after all but actually the Kokdu!

Oksin and Gaskin tell him they are happy that he is back after 99 years, and they remind him that he is here to be punished. The Kokdu tells them of the misfortunes he has been through in his past lives and they listen to him.

At the hospital, Doctor Han tries to reach Professor Jin (now the Kokdu) to no avail. The episode ends with the Kokdu thinking it’s a beautiful night to kill someone, a reminder that his murderous tendencies are back.

The Episode Review

It is unfortunate that this couple has such a hard destiny that they have to bear with. Hopefully, in this era, they will have a happy ending. We are just in the first episode so it is too early but I enjoyed this first episode. It is a great introduction to the characters and it is great to see the reunion of some of Mr Queen’s cast. Even after two years, they still have great chemistry.

Now that professor Jin is dead and the Grim reaper has possessed his body, things are about to get more interesting. Will Doctor Han notice something is off ? Also, what happens to the case Do Jin was pursuing?

Next Episode

Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!
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