The Escape of the Seven – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Two-Faced Mother

Episode 1 of The Escape of the Seven starts at a party in Jeju Island and a quick preview of events that unfold after a person is killed and the ensuing wild events where a group of seven manage to survive; then, the episode rewinds to 2018. 

Lee Da-mi leaves her adoptive parent to go live with her birth mother. Da-mi has a heart disease and has had five surgeries in her fifteen years. Her adoptive father says she gets very weak, especially when it rains. Da-mi tries to act strong and eager to leave, but once in the car, her sadness shows. Her adoptive mother breaks down, watching her and her mother drive away.

Da-mi’s mother, Geum La-hui, puts up a pleasant façade when picking up Da-mi from her adoptive parents, but once they arrive in Seoul, her indifference towards Da-mi begins to show. She tells her that she does not like the smell of food in the house, and even though they might be staying together, they will rarely see each other since she stays out until midnight on most nights and goes on business trips. Da-mi likes the new house and her new bedroom. La-hui wants to take Da-mi to visit her grandfather.

The anniversary event of Cherry Entertainment is stormed by bandits in helmets and bats, and they destroy everything at the event, scaring the attendees. The people in helmets are after Jo Su-ji, a new artist signed under Cherry Entertainment. They say they spent millions making her, and Cherry Entertainment just swept in and took her. The thugs sent by Kang Ki-tak stab Cherry Entertainment’s CEO. Kang Ki-tak is arrested.

Yang Jin-mo watches the arrest on television and is pleased. Later, it is revealed that he had paid the gangsters to storm his party and frame Kang Ki-tak’s group when one of the gangsters comes to the hospital demanding payment. 

Elsewhere, as Da-mi unpacks, she remembers her parents and flashes back to when La-hui first visited her at school. Her parents had raised her so well and loved her to the extent that she never knew she was adopted until La-hui showed up. La-hui begs Da-mi to let her be her mother until she goes to college. When Da-mi insists on refusing her, she offers to pay off her parents’ debt, amounting to five hundred thousand dollars, to take care of Da-mi’s hospital bills and surgeries. 

La-hui takes Da-mi to visit her grandfather, Chairman Bang Chil-sung. His girlfriend, Cha Ju-ran, greets them as they wait for Chil-sung to get changed. Possible reasons why La-hui went searching for Da-mi are revealed. Da-mi is the chairman’s granddaughter, and La-hui and Chil-sung might be after the money. La-hui recently received a luxury car and a house from the chairman. La-hui says that she struggled to raise Da-mi alone after the chairman’s son abandoned them, and she had lost her by mistake. 

La-hui and Da-mi appear in front of the chairman. He says that Da-mi is the spitting image of her late father and that her name will no longer be Lee Da-mi but Bang Da-mi. La-hui presents her academic transcripts, and the chairman appreciates that she is intelligent. Ju-ran asks Da-mi what school she will be transferring to, and she says it’s Myeongju Girls’ High School. The chairman gives her 1000 won as spending money. She appreciates it and says she will keep it forever. 

Ju-ran tricks Da-mi when she is making tea for the chairman, which makes him very angry and throws them out of the house. The incident costs La-hui possible investment in her upcoming movie featuring Jo Su-ji, and she flips out at Da-mi. She chases her out of her car and leaves her standing outside.

La-hui rushes to the hospital to see Yang Jin-mo of Cherry Entertainment. She begs him to sign the contract, allowing Su-ji to star in the movie. He tells her to bring him the money and then wait in line. He is unwilling to lower the price; it’s 100,000 dollars per episode. 

La-hui’s vicisouness continues to show. La-hui throws away the food Dam-mi’s mother, Nan-young, packed for her, and she goes nuts about hating the smell of food in the house. When Nan-young calls her, she goes all soft and nice, saying Da-mi got upset because La-hui forgot to put the food in the fridge, and they went bad. She then throws the phone on the table and leaves without caring about Da-mi’s feelings. Nan-young worries about Da-mi since she can tell she is crying. Her husband comforts her, saying she just got emotional. 

The next morning, La-hui puts on a lovely mom face when Da-mi suggests visiting her grandfather after school to make up for making him angry earlier. Da-mi has to go to school alone on the first day since La-hui has business to attend to in the morning.

The next scene introduces Myeongju Girls High School and its student diversity. It has a mesh of potential idol trainees, school bullies, smart kids, and the fans of the popular kids. When Bang Da-mi introduces herself and the school she is from, her classmates google it. They start making fun of her since she came from the countryside. 

Do-hyuk goes back to the hospital to ask for his payment from Jin-mo. However, Jin-mo did not intend to pay him and instead gave his photo taken by the CCTV camera during the Cherry Entertainment job to the police. He was set up, and now the police have issued an arrest warrant. Jin-mo has also paid out all his boys, and they work for him now. The police officers arrive at the hospital and try to apprehend Do-hyuk, but he manages to jump from the third floor and escape the police.

Back at the high school, the students are doing a Mock Exam when Do-mi notices one of them cheating. She tells their teacher, but Wang Yoo-jin eats the paper hidden in her pen. The teacher chases her out of the classroom. Later, the three bullies meet up with their leader, Han Mo-ne. She is a fox in sheep’s clothing, pretending to be friendly to the students while her minions, Ji-a, Yoo-jin, and So-yeon, do all the dirty work. Their next target is Da-mi for ratting them out. While the minions bully her, Mo-ne comes to her rescue and asks to be friends with 

Do-hyuk visits her mother at the salon, and the police are waiting for him. His mother warns him, and he manages to escape when he is helped by his brother, Jae-hyuk, who lures the police away. Elsewhere, Mo-ne still pretends to be friends with Da-mi, and she accompanies her to the library dance practice and even teaches Da-mi to dance and impress her grandfather. She even gives Da-mi a makeover and buys her a beanie for being her friend. 

Jin-mo is released from the hospital, and he goes to a hotel with someone wearing a school uniform, the same beanie Mo-ne bought for Da-mi and wearing Da-mi’s nametag. They go to the hotel’s VIP suite, and Do-hyuk, who has been following them, manages to get into the suite. A fight breaks out, but Jin-mo and the lady manage to escape, but she leaves Da-mi’s nametag, and Do-hyuk finds it.

The chairman agrees to have dinner with La-hui and Da-mi and to discuss the investment plan for La-hui’s movie. Elsewhere, Mo-ne brides a teacher with a  gold bracelet so she can keep the secret of her age. Do-hyuk arrives at the school shouting for Da-mi. He says they saw each other at a hotel while all the girls around her were listening. Mo-ne secretly takes a video and calls the police to report Do-hyuk. 

Later, her minions ask if she is at the Maple Hotel since Ji-a saw her in a sports car with a man. The next scene reveals Mo-ne’s plan and her pretense to be Da-mi’s friend. The police arrest Do-hyuk. Ms. Go Myung-ji asks to see Da-mi. Mo-ne calls Jin-mo to tell him he took care of Do-hyuk and then suddenly starts to have a severe stomach ache.

The chairman and Ju-ran arrive for dinner at Lu-Hui’s home. Da-mi is yet to come since she is still at school. Myung-ji does not listen to her and wants her to confess to being in the sports car with a man. Da-mi gets angry and tells her off, saying she is scared that her secret will be revealed. Myung-ji slaps her and does not let her answer her phone when La-hui calls. 

The chairman waits for Da-mi, who is still being held in school. Mo-ne gives birth in the art room, and Da-mi hears the child cry. Mo-ne asks for her help. The chairman gets furious, waiting for Da-mi, and storms out. He also tears the investment plan made by La-hui, which makes Ju-ran happy. La-hui tries to beg, but she is left out in the rain. La-hui is angry and blames Da-mi. At school, Mo-ne convinces Da-mi to help her hide the baby. No one can know that she gave birth. 

However, some girls get to the art room before Mo-ne can clean up. They almost discover that she just gave birth, so she frames Da-mi. Da-mi is running outside the school, carrying the baby in her arms. Mo-ne takes a video, and the girls see her running away.

She arrives at the park where Mo-ne asks to meet, and she is afraid that the baby is neither breathing nor crying. Mo-ne asks her to keep the secret and pretend like nothing happened. She takes the baby and goes away. Da-mi runs in the rain to get to her mother. She is barely breathing, cold and wet. La-hui starts to beat her up. She tells Da-mi to go to her grandfather and beg her to change his mind. If she does not do so, she should not even think about coming back to her house. The episode ends with Da-mi kneeling outside her mother’s house in the rain. 

The Episode Review

This episode can be described simply in one word as “wild.” So much is happening in this episode that one can barely keep up. There is a brief introduction of the characters, but not enough to really understand them. Everyone seems to be a villain, either after fame, greed, money, or revenge, and someone Da-mi happens to be at the centre of it all. It is one emotionally draining first episode.

The storyline is all over the place and difficult to follow, but it seems this series will have so many elements in place. Especially two-faced, greedy people who abuse love and affection for personal gain in a fight for wealth and riches. People are willing to hurt themselves like Jin-mo did to get their competitors out of the picture. The Escape of the Seven started on a high note, but will it be able to keep the hype in the upcoming episodes? 


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