Not Others – K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Mom versus Daughter

Episode 1 of Not Others starts with a flashback from when Kim Eun-mi and her daughter, Kim Jin-hee, are at the beach. Despite looking the way she did, all the men avoided Eun-mi because of her daughter sitting right next to her. Eun-mi asks Jin-hee to go play but Jin-he claims that she would not do so because she knew that her mother would hand out with strange men once she would go to play.

The mother-daughter duo enjoy the meal together and the episode moves to the present day where the duo is at the beach, sipping beer and eating. Eun-mi asks to go to the club with Jin-hee but the daughter believes that Eun-mi would not even be let in, considering her age. She refuses to go clubbing with her mother and asks her to stop staring at younger men.

That night, Jin-hee spots a woman chasing another, calling her out for kidnapping a child. Jin-hee stops the kidnapper and asks the people on the street to take care of the child. She calls the cops as the mother attacks the kidnapper. Jin-hee pulls the mother away and asks her to calm down as the cops arrive and take care of it. However, she tries to attack Jin-hee. Eun-mi shows up out of nowhere and attacks the mother for trying to hit her daughter.

In the meantime, the child rushes to the kidnapper. The woman shows the injury on the girl’s back and Jin-hee learns that the child was being abused at the hands of her own mum. After leaving the police station, Jin-hee is furious that the cops never really took action about the incident when the kidnapper had reported the assault on the child multiple times.

Jin-hee, who is a cop herself, tells Eun-mi that she has to do something about it and asks Eun-mi how she knew that the mother was the real culprit. She retorts that the woman was neglecting her own child and focused on the kidnapper instead. Eun-mi is more interested in the food while Jin-hee can’t seem to stop thinking about the case.

At the restaurant, Eun-mi talks to Jin-hee about a movie that she’s very interested in watching but Jin-hee tells her that she’s going to be busy. Meanwhile, Jin-hee is frustrated because of the little girl’s case. She gets to work the following day and where she meets her colleague, Tae-kyung, who tells Jin-hee about the upcoming demotions.

Jin-hee learns that she was demoted from being a corporal to appease the media after she had let a candidate pass. She argues that the candidate had merit but her section chief claims that the candidate’s father had a public controversy. The section chief asks Jin-hee to stick it out for a year and come back to their department. She is disheartened but continues to go by her day, helping people in need.

That day, Jin-hee is let go from work and the reporters hound her outside the office. She somehow gets back home after having the worst day ever but finds her mother pleasuring herself in the living room of their house. Eun-mi claims that she had done so because she thought Jin-hee was going to be late but Jin-hee is rather too shocked to speak. She asks her mother to straighten herself up and goes out to have a drink by herself.

Jin-hee laughs at the travesty that was her life and tries to get the image of her mother masturbating out of her head. She asks Tae-kyung to meet her for drinks. Tae-kyung is upset about Jin-hee’s demotion but Jin-hee talks about her mother the who time. Jin-hee is mad about her mother’s nonchalance regarding the incident and tries to discuss it with Tae-kyung, who is too stunned to speak.

Jin-hee complains about how she had to act like a parent to her own mother and wonders if she should get Eun-mi a vibrator. Jin-hee spots a typical mean high school girl on her bus ride back home and recalls how her mother was one of the mean girls too.

Jin-hee recalls how Eun-mi hooked up with a guy from her class and had gotten pregnant while still a high school student. Eun-mi’s male friend had transferred schools so she was left to take responsibility for the child, Jin-hee since then. Jin-hee recalls how they had lived together as roommates for so many years and wonders why her mother was so irresponsible despite her age.

The next morning, Jin-hee gets up to get ready for work but remembers that she was suspended. Eun-mi is nonchalant about their awkward interaction and acts as if everything was normal. Eun-mi tries to get the laundry done and notices that some of her panties were missing. Jin-hee realises that her mother was redoing the laundry and asks her to go to work, claiming she would take care of it.

The two have an argument when Jin-hee’s underpants fly out of the window and land on the head of a man on a bicycle. Jin-hee calls from her window, asking the man to drop off the panties without looking before going about his way. Jin-hee rushes down to pick the item up from the guy, who is none other than, Inspector Eun Jae-won – her senior.

He is not pleased to see Jin-hee and claims that she had not changed a bit. Jin-hee is disappointed when she realises that Jae-won was working in the same police station that she was being transferred to. Eun-mi goes to work at the hospital where she is a physiotherapist and the clients are three elderly women, Gang-sook, Ae-jae and Eun-shi.

The women hound Eun-mi but she opens up the clinic and gets to work. Meanwhile, Jin-hee goes to the police station to confirm if Jae-won worked there and is dismissed to see that he actually did work there. Jin-hee recalls how she had never gotten along with Jae-won since her police university days and dreads going back to working as his subordinate.

Meanwhile, Eun-mi’s clients use their sessions with her for physical as well as mental therapy as they lay the problems of their personal lives on her. Eun-mi’s boss – Dr Park Sang-gu is a frugal man who scolds her for getting liquid soap instead of bar soap for patients and doctors to use at the clinic. He tells Eun-mi that the patients will keep returning if she is friendly to them, asking her to work on her customer service skills.

Jin-hee goes back to the head office to convince her boss to transfer her to a different station. She asks the section chief to do her a favour and is glad when he agrees to change her station to a less popular division. Jin-hee goes home to see that her mother has fallen asleep with a sheet mask on her face. She starts to take it off for Eun-mi but wonders why she cared about her mum so much, leaving her as she was.

The next morning, Eun-mi wakes up yelling, with the dried-out sheet mask stuck to her face. Jin-hee helps her mother peel it off by placing a wet rag on her face. Eun-mi retorts that she’s hurt by how Jin-hee reacted to seeing her masturbate. She admits that she’s old now and can’t easily date men of her age.

Eun-mi tells Jin-hee that she too walked in on Jin-hee pleasuring herself but hasn’t ever said a word. Jin-hee is embarrassed by her actions and treats her mother to a shopping spree later that evening. After looking at vibrators for Eun-mi, the mother-daughter duo go to watch the movie that Eun-mi has been looking forward to.

Eun-mi lets Jin-hee sleep on her shoulder as she enjoys the movie. The next day, Jin-hee goes to work at the new station she’s transferred to – Namchon Police Station. She goes inside and introduces herself but the officers are not pleased to see her. Officer Soo-jin shows Jin-hee to her desk and the night shift officers leave to go home.

Officer Soo-jin introduces herself as the head of management and narrates her duties when Jin-hee points out that the station was rather short-staffed. Inspector Cha Soon-chul claims that two officers from the team were transferred and demoted after a certain someone complained against them.

Soo-jin tells Jin-hee that everyone at the station knew that it was she who had complained against the station for neglecting the child abuse case which had caused two of the officers from the division to be demoted.  tells Jin-hee that her report. That evening, Eun-mi goes to Jin-hee’s room and learns that she’s been demoted from the National Police Agency.

Meanwhile, at the Namchon Police Station, Jin-hee gets handed paperwork instead of being allowed to handle cases. Tae-kyung calls Jin-hee to tell her something about Jae-won but she ends the call when she sees the Namchon Police Station chief walk in.

Only to her surprise, the Namchon Police Station Chief is none other than Jae-won himself. Jin-hee gets up to salute him, leaving him shocked as well. Jae-won meets Jin-he and asks her if she had to say anything to him. Jin-hee gives him a mechanical, rehearsed answer about protecting the residents.

Jae-won warns her to stop causing chaos like she was otherwise infamous for and asks her to stay in her lane, following the orders of her superiors until the time she would work at the station. Jin-hee regrets her decision of being transferred and goes back home from work, trying to distract herself from the mess that was her life.

However, at home, Eun-mi asks Jin-hee about her day at work and asks her to skip no detail. Jin-hee starts to tell her mother about the candidate that she helped pass the examination who was embroiled in a controversy because of his father when Eun-mi interrupts her.

Eun-mi asks if Jin-hee thought of her as a pushover and the mother-daughter duo have an argument. Eun-mi asks Jin-hee to come clean and reveals that she had found her old id card in her bedroom as the episode comes to an end.

The Episode Review

This show really seems very quirky and from the looks of it, the mother-daughter duo are going to be clashing an awful lot. This episode touched on a rather touchy topic about self-pleasure and I cannot help but wonder how the Korean audiences reacted to seeing a mother-daughter duo going shopping for vibrators.

That bit seemed excessive but it looks like society getting bolder and this might be one of the things we can expect from K-dramas now. I love how Jin-hee was left being the mom for Eun-mi who seems like she is lost in her own world to care for her daughter.

However, this one can turn into an emotional drama underneath all the comedy after Eun-mi learns about Jin-hee’s responsibilities and Jin-hee learns about her mother’s sacrifice.


Next Episode

Expect a full-season review once the season ends!


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