Stealer: The Treasure Keeper – K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Episode 1

Episode 1 of Stealer: The Treasure Keeper kicks off with a middleman trying to close a black market deal over a Maitreya for a group called the Triads.

Their meeting is interrupted when a figure dressed in black rappels down by their window and creates a heart-shaped hole in the glass. The man in black comes through and starts throwing punches and kicks left and right. He sprays one of the thugs with a foul-smelling gas before grabbing the Maitreya and heading to the exit, but his repelling rope is cut.

He jumps backwards out the window, landing on a large, heart-shaped inflatable pillow. He stands up and cockily makes the two-finger love symbol with his hand, sending cartoon hearts to thugs watching from up above.

Cut to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency— a young policewoman, Officer Choi Min-woo, is walking into her new role in the cultural heritage division. She goes into the gym room to find her lower-level officer and new teammate, Officer Shin Chang-hoon.

They get into a car together and start driving. Chang-hoon tells Min-woo that their captain, Captain Jang Tae-in, used to be a drug officer. He got transferred to the cultural heritage team when he discovered a lot of drugs stored in some “fake” artifacts. He started smashing the artifacts, but as it turns out, they were real (and priceless, too), so he got demoted.

They arrive at a TV show that is filming. Contestants are bringing their valuable artifacts, and the hosts tell them how much they are worth. The two officers watch as a young girl and her brother bring an old Joseon tongbo coin that belonged to their deceased grandmother, who raised them. Min-woo looks on with sympathy as the host announces that it is only worth 5 dollars because it is over-circulated and has a small hole in it. The kids sadly leave the stage.

After the show, Captain runs to get some autographs before greeting the officers. He walks with the officers to the car, and they sit inside it to do some surveillance. They see a crook named Bat approaching one of the show’s contestants who has a valuable vase. He tries to persuade the contestant to let him sell his valuable vase. The contestant says no and gets in his truck.

Bat places a tracker on the truck, and a moment later, his accomplice, Thunderbolt, drives in on a motorcycle… but Chang-hoon is ready for him. He launches himself at the guy, throwing Thunderbolt off of his bike. The two fight while Min-woo goes after Bat.

She chases him to the rooftop, where he pulls out a knife, but she twists it and gets him on the ground. Just as she is about to cuff him, he gets away and runs through another building.

Meanwhile, Chang-hoon has successfully fought and arrested his own goon as Min-woo chases Bat to another rooftop, and this time Bat jumps off onto some debris. He is about to get away through a door when Captain opens the door into his face, throwing him backwards. By now, Min-woo has jumped off the roof after him. Captain hands the cuffs over and tells her that she passed the test.

After the arrests, the team is wrapping things up when Captain thanks the contestant with the vase for his work. The vase was fake. It was all a ruse to catch the bad guys.

Min-woo is about to leave when she sees the kids that were on the show. They’re sitting at the bus stop. Min-woo offers to take them to eat black bean noodles. She offers to buy their coin from them for 100 dollars. The girl asks Min-woo if she is buying it out of pity, and Min-woo explains that her parents also died when she was young, so she knows how difficult it is. The kids give Min-woo the coin and accept the money, but Min-woo gives the coin back to them and says to tell her anytime they are hungry.

Meanwhile, the broker for the triads is meeting with another customer, Chairman Yang. Chairman Yang says that he is looking for Joseon tongbo coins. The broker mentions that he met with a man who said he would pay a million dollars for one that has a small hole in it. Chairman Yang asks for that man’s contact number, and the broker gives him a notebook where he wrote it down. Chairman Yang rips out the page with the number on it.

The next day, Min-woo arrives at a monastery, expecting to meet a civil servant named Hwang Dae-myung. She finds him lying down in an adjunct storage building with a blood stain on his shirt. Thinking he might be dead, she places her head near his chest to check for a heartbeat, and he startles awake, scaring her. She asks why he has blood on his shirt, and he says that he spilled kimchi on it. Min-woo tells him to get dressed and meet her outside.

Outside, Min-woo tells him that he has been assigned to help their team retrieve a stolen book, the Jikji Volume One. Dae-myung calls his superior to see if he can be switched to another assignment but has no luck.

The two go to meet the thief, Mr. Choi, and Dae-myung brings him a bottle of wine and expensive sunglasses. Mr. Choi explains that he lost the book and has no idea where it is. Dae-myung tries to bribe him by telling him that if he helps them, he will get 1.5 million dollars and a statue in his honor. Min-woo is having none of it, tells Mr. Choi that he better not sell the book, and threatens him. Mr. Choi gets slightly upset, and they leave.

Min-woo calls Captain and tells him that she won’t work with Dae-myung, and that she will investigate on her own.

At a secret building, a man arrives in a room, with a cloth tied around his eyes. Someone hands him his belongings and Chairman Yang arrives. Meanwhile, a man sneaks into the building’s surveillance room and watches them.

Chairman Yang takes a box out of a safe and shows his guest a Joseon tongbo coin. The coin has a hole in it so Chairman Yang asks to see the other man’s coins too. He opens a compartment in his belt and takes his own coins out to show him. Chairman Yang takes the man’s four coins and places them in his own box just as a lot of men come into the room.

The guy takes out a pen and starts using it to fight until he has taken all the thugs down. The man in the surveillance room watches, looking scared, and then runs away.

Only Chairman Yang is left, and he begs the man not to kill him. Chairman Yang only realizes who this man really is right before the killing blow. He is Huin-dal, a man whom Chairman Yang thought was dead. Huin-dal walks into the surveillance room and realizes someone was there. He takes a note out of his pocket that says, “Joseon tonbgo coins. 1 million dollars.”

At Dae-myung’s office, Dae-myung musters up the energy to meet with Ms. Lee, a woman who likes to make a lot of complaints regarding a previous excavation on her property. She hands him some papers from her lawyer.

Meanwhile, the cultural heritage team is eating at a restaurant and discussing their recent case. Bat talked, and they need to arrest Mr. Choi. Min-woo complains about Dae-myung, and Chang-hoon gets a phone call that someone has turned themselves in.

At the station, the captain interrogates the man who turned himself in. It is, Young-chan, the same man who was in the surveillance room in the secret building. The man asks the captain if he is safe in here and is hesitant to talk.

At Mr. Choi’s house, Mr. Choi is relaxing and drinking wine when he suddenly feels drowsy and lies down.

Meanwhile, the mysterious man in black is lurking in some woods outside. He has a flashback of being given legal papers earlier, as we learn that the disguised super thief is Dae-myung. He stands outside a remote building and confidently says, “Let’s do it.”

Somewhere else, a woman is conducting surveillance on Mr. Choi and wonders if she should have given him a higher dose of sleeping pills. She seems to be working with Dae-myung.

The Episode Review

So far, so good. This first episode of Stealer: The Treasure Keeper pulls you in with its brief moments of comedy and mysterious plot.

It seems like Dae-myung the super thief will eventually meet his match—Huin-dal. If Huin-dal really is a bad guy, then it seems like Huin-dal will be going after the two kids’ coin, and their lives will probably be put in danger, if they haven’t been taken advantage of already.


Next Episode

You can read our full season review for Stealer: A Treasure Hunter here!


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