Sisyphus: The Myth – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

What’s In The Box Suitcase?!

Episode 1 of Sisyphus: The Myth begins with a strange machine turning on. Seo-Hae and her Father sit together as a host of different soldiers examine various men and women. They give them shots before jumping into this portal, with Dong-Ki telling his daughter to start running when she arrives. If she’s captured, he tells her she needs to pretend she can’t talk and warns Seo-Hae not to trust anyone – especially Han Tae-Sul.

Seo-Hae awakens in Korea, having seemingly jumped back in time. Snatching up some clothes from a washing line, she takes her suitcase and begins walking alongside a train track.

Her bare feet are bloodied, but she continues on until a drone spots her. This alerts numerous soldiers who all ominously happen to be wearing gas-masks. Armed with guns, they begin hunting her down. Eventually they close in on her, as Seo-Hae does her best to try and survive.

We then cut back to a busy plane up in the air as we’re introduced to genius engineer Tae-Sul. The same Tae-Sul we’ve been told not to trust. He’s an expert engineer and even features on the front of Forbes with Quantum & Time. After putting a passenger in his place, Tae-Sul prepares for an uneventful flight.

Unfortunately this is completely shattered when something smashes into the cockpit window and hits the engine. With the plane uncontrollably hurtling to the ground, Tae-Sul scrambles up to the cockpit. Using tape, he patches up the hole in the glass and tries to control the plane before it crashes to the ground. Only, the power leaves the control panel.

Working out they have 3 and a half minutes, Tae-Sul tries to stop the plane from crashing…while simultaneously on the phone to board members from Quantum & Time.

With everything looking grim, Tae-Sul has Seung-Bok record his speech as he decides to hand over his possessions, believing it to be the end of his life. He even gives the safe passcode to his assistant too! Tae-Sul tells him to get rid of all the research data and ends the call.

Time runs out. Tae-Sul straps himself in and prepares for the worst. As brief flashes come into view, Tae-Sul awakens in hospital, surrounded by monitors and in a critical state. A news report confirms that he managed to fix the plane, saving the lives of 261 passengers.

Despite relaxing at home, the board want to get rid of Tae-Sul from the head of the company. Even worse, Tae-Sul is actually taking pills to try and succumb his grief over his brother, Tae-San. Eddie Kim tells him to snap out of this and get therapy, warning that the fate of the company is on the line.

A month passes and Tae-Sul takes his advice and attends therapy but he’s not exactly thrilled about it, especially given his therapist seems to be one of his past flames. Tae-Sul’s issues with Tae-San go way back, as we cut back in time and see this take place.

Tae-San showed up on the eve of a big night for the company, rambling about a suitcase and how they’re not alone in the world. Tae-Sul however, refuses to listen. In fact, he even knocks his brother down to the ground and walks away, allowing security to escort him out the building.

Back in the present, Tae-Sul returns home and sees the bloodied co-pilot waiting for him. He seems to be in shock and asks Tae-Sul if he’s on the Control Bureau’s side. He mentions how it wasn’t a bird that crashed into the plane and hands over a USB stick.

While he leaves, Tae-Sul takes the USB footage, which happens to be camera footage from the flight deck, and plays it on his computer. Here, he sees a suitcase and Tae-San somehow smashing into the front of the plane.

Meanwhile, Seo-Hae shows up in an alleyway and demands food from an indebted man called Jae-Sun. Sun tries to phone the police to report her, as she gorges numerous different food items… including a banana with its skin intact. She even recites the numbers for the lottery before they show up too.

When the news mentions Tae-Sul, she inexplicably glitches out and collapses on the ground. When she awakens, Seo-Hae happens to be in Sun’s room, where she opens up her suitcase to reveal several trinkets and a strange blue orb.

Eventually she convinces Sun to phone Tae-Sul. Only, he’s busy doing some research of his own surrounding the plane. Because of this, he misses another meeting with the board – and Seo Hae’s call.

Tae-Sul is a man possessed, determined to figure out what happened to the plane. He’s wracked with guilt, especially given the last time he spoke to Tae-San he told his brother to leave. These memories haunt him, sending Tae-Sul into a trembling fit of grief when he finds out Tae-San died.

Kang Seo-Hae leaves a message for Tae-Sul in the present, telling him that people are watching and coming for him. She mentions the suitcase and implores him not to open it. Only, as we cut to Tae-Sul out in the field we see him stumble upon that very same suitcase she’s warning him against opening. With a combination lock remembered from his time with Tae-San, Tae-Sul opens up the suitcase.

At the same time, the co-pilot speaks to Reporter Kim on the phone and promises to tell them everything. Before he leaves the car park though, his car has been sabotaged as he turns the key and explodes in a fiery inferno.

The Episode Review

Sisyphus The Myth explodes into action with an absolutely thrilling opening episode. There’s a lot of mystery and intrigue with this one, combining a whole medley of different sci-fi and thriller elements together into one impressive entry in the sci-fi field.

In a way, this show feels quite reminiscent to tvN’s superhero action flick LU.C.A.: The Beginning, although this one has much more mystery and feels a lot bigger in terms of its conspiracy and scope.

The introduction to both main characters is solid too, with Seo-Hae breaking typecast to produce a strong female assassin while rich extraordinaire Tae-Sul has a pretty tragic backstory to balance out his brilliance. I can’t comment on the science behind using duct tape to close up a hole in the cockpit but this entire sequence on the plane is undoubtedly brimming with tension.

The ending leaves the door wide open for the rest of the show too. Given the excitement surrounding this project, so far Sisyphus seems to be living up to expectations but whether JTBC’s latest project can keep that going throughout its 16 episodes remains to be seen.

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