My Sweet Mobster – K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

A series of Misunderstandings

Episode 1 of My Sweet Mobster starts with a flashback to 2013, introducing the mob leader Seo Tae-pyung and his son Seo Ji-hwan. Seo Ji-hwa succeeds his father after defeating a rival gang, Kitty Gang, and then establishes his organisation’s dominance by defeating more gangs before ultimately dissolving the Bulldog Gang and vanishing.

Flash forward to 2023, Seo Ji-hwan is now the CEO of a meat company, Thirsty Deer. While Ji-hwan is at a monastery, his employees, who look like ex-convicts, arrive at a warehouse with rotten meat inside and call Ji-hwan to tell him about the actions of his father’s former right-hand man, Go Yang-hee. Ji-hwan directs them on handling the situation, but they must leave the temple since the call causes a disturbance and the monks are unhappy.

Meanwhile, Go Eun-ha is rushing toward a location while on a call with her friend. Thinking that her friend was in trouble, Eun-ha rushed to the location after the call and did not change her police costume. It turns out that her friend called her to Club Cat, and Eun-ha managed to sneak past the guards.

At the same time, Ji-hwan arrives at Club Cat looking for one of his employees. Jung Yoon-taek. He received a report that Yoon-taek, a drug addict, did not show up to work and might have relapsed, so he went to Club Cat to look for him. Inside the club, Ji-hwan and Eun-ha accidentally meet when Ji-hwan catches her when she is about to fall. Eun-ha scatters some candies when she bumps into a waiter.

Later, Ji-hwan confronts the club manager when he sees one of the employees adding drugs to a whisky bottle, causing the employee to drop the bottle. The club manager starts beating up the employee, and Ji-hwan intervenes. Eun-ha and her friend arrive now, and one of the clubgoers notices her police uniform. He pushes her into the centre, where Ji-hwan tries to help the employee get up.

However, Eun-ha thinks Ji-hwan hurt the employee, so she puts fake handcuffs on him. Suddenly, the police arrive, so Eun-ha and her friend use the distraction to escape. The police think that Ji-hwan is the culprit and drag him outside the club but realise that the handcuffs are fake, so they let him go. 

The following day, we learn that Eun-ha is a content creator for Macaron Soft, and the police uniform was a costume for her latest video. Her boss at the office scolds her since she conveniently forgot to add the product promotion before uploading the video online, saying that the product was too expensive for children. Her boss warns that he will not renew her contract if she continues to defy his orders.

At the same time, Ji-hwa shares breakfast with his men, and one reports about a new drug in the market that Kitty Gang is interested in. The picture of Ji-hwa looks like the children’s candies that Eun-ha had scattered on the floor after their encounter at Club Cat. Therefore, Ji-hwan thinks that she works for Yang-hee. 

Later that day, Eun-ha works part-time when a restaurant catches her attention. She walks towards the restaurant as if in a daze but is brought back to her senses when she sees Ji-hwan exit the same restaurant. Eun-ha remembers their encounter before, so she quickly hides. Ji-hwa stands outside the restaurant and calls out someone, but Eun-ha thinks he is telling her to come out. However, Ji-hwan calls a kid who had stolen money from the restaurant since the owner had left it open.

Eun-ha misunderstands Ji-hwan and thinks he is forcefully taking money from the kid. She smacks his head and runs away. After enjoying his dumplings and small talk with the granny who owns the dumpling shop, Ji-hwa leaves and runs into Eun-ha again.

A drunk takes off her mascot hat, making Ji-hwan recognize her and chase after her. Ji-hwan catches up to Eun-ha and asks about the candy drugs, but she insists they are kids’ candies. Ji-hwan needs proof, so Eun-ha takes him back to the shop, where he witnesses her being fired for causing a mess. 

Eun-ha is frustrated, so she takes a handful of the candies from her bag and puts them in her mouth. Ji-hwa swings into action, forcing her to spit them out since he still thinks they are drugs. The misunderstanding is resolved later at the hospital when they do a test, and Ji-hwan realises Eun-ha is carrying candies and not drugs. 

Later that night, Eun-ha chats with her friend about the incident and about a person named Hyun-woo, whom she has not seen in 23 years. The following day, we are introduced to a public prosecutor named Jang Hyun-woo as he goes to interrogate a former gang leader about an incident at his church.

Hyun-woo believes that people, primarily criminals, cannot change. At the same time, Ji-hwa holds a board meeting to discuss Yoon-taek’s incident. Unlike Hyun-woo, Ji-hwan believes people can change if given a chance. Therefore, the members of Thirsty Deer’s board are all ex-convicts.

After the board meeting, the department heads will stay behind to introduce the new products. These are Man-ho, the Chief of Product Development, and the Chief of Marketing, Hong-ki. Jae-soo, Chief of Customer Relations, the youngest group executive, Dong-hui, and Director General Joo II-young. II-young thinks that the branding of the new product might not work, so they decided to conduct a customer survey at the kids’ festival. At the same time, Eun-ha is her company’s representative at the same festival.

II-young and Ji-hwan attend a meeting with Seung-joon of Yeojin Department Store to discuss a partnership. During the meeting, Seung-joon insults and belittles Ji-hwan’s company for hiring ex-convicts. By the end of the meeting, Ji-hwan surprises Seung-joon by making him realise that Thirsty Deer’s favourite foods are supplied by their company CEO. After the meeting, Ji-hwan has to head to the kids’ festival since Jae-soo got into a fight with a parent for refusing to let his son taste their sausage, saying ex-convicts make it. 

Eun-ha and Ji-hwan come across each other again at the kids’ festival when Ji-hwan watches her host the tasty playtime with the kids. While coming from the restroom, Eun-ha noticed too much flour on the floor, so she got a broom to clean it up. Eun-ha accidentally hurts Ji-hwan with the broom handle, and he falls down the stairs when Eun-ha lets his hand go to hide her face. At the end of the episode, Ji-hwan lies unconscious on the staircase. Eun-ha is in shock, while Ji-hwan’s employees are frantic and unsure what to do next. 

The Episode Review

The first episode of this romantic comedy shows that it might already be in the books as my best comedy K-drama of the year. It starts with the engaging fictional troupe of ex-mafia, and Ji-hwan fits the description perfectly from his gloomy “no-nonsense” attitude to his monochromatic appearance.

On the other hand, Eun-ha is cheerful, lively, and colourful, introducing the perspective of “opposites attract.” The first episode starts with a series of misunderstandings between Ji-hwan and Eun-ha and shows the possibility of Ji-hwan starting to like Eun-ha. There might be a fierce love competition and enmity between Ji-hwan and the prosecutor, Jang Hyun-woo, a man who is possibly Eun-ha’s childhood crush. 

The story is fantastic, and the humour leaves the viewer in stitches. The fact that Ji-hwan’s whole board of directors is made up of ex-convicts gives the story a different perspective and delves into the themes of reforming convicts and their acceptance in society.

However, the cartoon and animation-inspired elements in this episode might be a turn-off for some viewers. Regardless, I think the series is worth watching, and with fewer cartoonish elements but genuine humour, it makes an excellent means of escape. 


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