The Glory – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

 This is No Fairy Tale

Episode 1 of The Glory starts with Moon Dong-eun driving to Semyeong and renting a place at Eden Apartments. She settles in nicely and staples pictures of Park Yeon-jin and others who bullied her on the walls.

She starts picturing Yeon-jin entering her home and not recognizing her. She pictures herself hitting Yeon -jin with the stapler and promising her that she will kill her. She starts narrating what led her to this moment

2004

In 2004, a young Dong-eun made an official report to the police about the bullying she has been receiving in her high school. The police chief, Shin Yeong-jun calls Yeon -jin mother and promises that he will make the case easily go away. Apparently, he and Yeon -jin’s mother are childhood friends and he has even been helping her with her divorce.

Yeong-jun casually asks Yeon -jin to stop bullying her fellow students. The rest of the bullies are picked up by their guardians. A teacher from their school arrives at the police station and acts as Dong-eun legal guardian. He chastises her for going to the police over what he summed up as a “small prank.”

He is not happy that the Vice Principal has already heard about the case. Yeon -jin’s mom is disappointed in her not because she is a bully but because she couldn’t handle Dong-eun.

The next day, Dong-eun gets it even worse when Yeon -jin burns her arm using a hair iron. The group tortures, mock and sexually assaults her. Dong-eun visits the school nurse and asks for some hydrogen peroxide to use on her wounds. The nurse is curious as to why she needs hydrogen peroxide and Dong-eun lies that she wants to clean the blood on her shirt.

The nurse checks Dong-eun’s arms and is shocked by the burn marks. She asks Dong-eun who hurt her but Dong-eun refuses to answer. The nurse volunteers to help her report the case to her teacher but  Yeon-jin (she was also at the school infirmary talking to her mom on the phone) announces her presence and admits she was the one who has been hurting  Dong-eun. A few days later, the nurse quits.

Later,  Dong-eun goes home and finds Yeon -jin and the gang at her place. They got into her home and have already started making themselves comfortable. They are having some drinks and Yeon -jin ransacked the place and found Dong-eun’s piggy bank. She asks Dong-eun to either dance for them or get burned by a hand iron to get her savings back. They end up using the hand iron on her legs.

Dong-eun reaches breaking point and contemplates suicide. She decides to drop out of school and lists her bullies as the reason for her transfer. The Vice Principal has a confrontation with the class homeroom teacher. The teacher calls Dong-eun and insults her for choosing to list the rich kids as her reason. He asks her to come back to school and pick up her stuff.

At the staff office (teacher’s room), Dong-eun stands up for herself and gets on the teacher’s bad side. He slaps her over and over again until the rest of the teachers step in to stop him.  Elsewhere, Dong-eun’s mom (she works at a run-down salon) gets a call about her daughter.

She has a meeting with Yeon -jin’s mom who gives her money as a settlement. She agrees to sign papers citing Dong-eun’s reason for dropping out as maladjustment. Dong-eun finds out about the payout and betrayal the next morning when her mom moves out of their house without telling her.

Dong-eun gets several small-paying jobs to survive and contemplates suicide again. Luckily, she doesn’t go through with her decision and chooses to live. She goes back to school for one last time and promises Yeon -jin that they will meet again. She tells Yeon-jin that she is her dream and leaves.

2006- 2008

Dong-eun uses this time to study from home while also working to support herself. She is able to graduate high school and join a college. She is still driven to get her revenge on Yeon -jin.

2009

Dong-eun joins the Eucheon University of Education and continues to plan her revenge on Yeon -jin

Present Time

Dong-eun makes her first contact with Yeon-jin’s daughter at Ha Ye-sol and tells her about how she knows her mom.  In the meantime, Yeon-jin is working as a weather presenter at a TV station.

 


The Episode Review

I am impressed with Song Hye Kyo in this episode, this is a better performance compared to her last project, Now We Are Breaking Up. Hopefully, this will be consistent throughout the rest of the show.

K-dramas have the worst bullying scenes ever and this show certainly takes it a step further. I don’t blame Dong-eun for wanting her revenge, however, I am not sure she should involve Yeon-jin’s daughter in this.

It was also so heartbreaking and deeply annoying to see the adults ignoring Dong-eun’s plight because of their own selfish reasons. The teacher who slapped her better get what is coming to him in Dong-eun’s revenge plans.

For those who have been bullied, this show can be triggering. Be sure you are mentally prepared before starting this one, but what’s here promises to be quite the dramatic affair.

Next Episode

Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!

 

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