Tomorrow – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Fallen Flower 1

Episode 1 of Tomorrow begins with a grim opening sequence. A suicide pact is settled online, with a group contemplating how to kill themselves. Eventually the four settle on locking themselves inside a car and breathing exhaust fumes. Ultimately this poisons you from the inside out but that’s not going to happen. Not today anyway.

Dressed in a lavish red suit, death angel Gu Ryeon arrives. She hurriedly drives them back into town and hangs them precariously off the edge of a broken bridge. Faced with a very different sort of suicide, all four agree that they want to survive. As they all plead, Gu Ryeon saves them (in an unconventional way at least!) and walks away.

It’s here we’re introduced to Choi Jun-Woong who ends up rejected at numerous establishments as he tries to bag himself an internship at different companies. He’s struggling, unsure whether he can carry on, as he looks out at the water on a large bridge. However, a homeless man shows up beside him and looks set to jump, until Joon-Woong stops the man and pulls him back down.

Quick as a flash, Gu Ryeon jumps in and pulls Jun-Woong off the guy, punching him across the bridge and goading this homeless man to jump. When Jun-Woong gets involved and questions their motives, the man jumps over the bridge anyway… just as Jun-Woong tries to stop him and goes tumbles into the water below himself.

Jun-Woong eventually reawakens to find himself in hospital some time later. Only… he’s not actually alive. Not really anyway. His spirit stands up, where he finds Gu-Ryeon before him. She explains that she’s part of Jumadeung, a crisis management team for grim reapers. Or, death angels as they’re known in this reality.

Now, it turns out the homeless man was actually saved from the bridge incident and is still alive. Jun-Woong is in a coma though, with his fate hanging in the balance. However, the King of Heaven wants to see him.

Jun-Woong finds himself tumbling headfirst down the rabbit hole, traveling ever-deeper into this afterlife world he’s stumbled upon. He’s eventually brought to the absolutely beautiful Jumadeung, where Gu-Ryeon drops him off and hopes they never meet each other again.

With all the angels there working tirelessly, the King of Heaven shows and kindly gives everyone a drink. That includes Jun-Woong too, who calls her ma’am and has no idea who she is. That is, until she suddenly changes into a beautiful white gown. Then the penny drops, and he realizes how much of a big deal she is.

The King of Heaven actually has an important job for Jun-Woong. Either he lies in a coma for three years and waits it out or he can agree to work with the death angels and be back in his body in six months. When Jun-Woong initially refuses, a quick stint in his body, unable to move from this hell, is enough for him to change his mind.

Now, a lot of feathers are being ruffled in the afterlife given Gu-Ryeon has actually been moved from Hell into their department. Sparks fly when the group disagree over whether suicide is the worst thing a human can commit or not.

They’re interrupted by the King showing though, pointing out how high their suicide rate is and how they need to try and stop the RM (Risk Management) team from failing again.

Knowing this, Gu-Ryeon heads out on her next task, which happens to be finding a writer who’s on the verge of suicide. It turns out Jun-Woong is actually going to be part of their team now though, which is part of the deal he struck with the King. Given Gu-Ryeon has been asking for more personnel all this time, it seems like a win/win situation.

As we soon learn, Gu-Ryeon and the team’s job is actually to serve as Grim Reapers that help people. They only save people who are about to give up on their lives, rather than those who are already dead. So together they head in to see Eun-Bi and Hye-Won, two girls who seem to have a connection together.

It’s hidden from view though, prompting Gu-Ryeon to use a memory key to unlock what may be hidden.

This strange translucent key unlocks a whole series of memories, with poor Eun-Bi bullied by kids who leave horrible messages up on the blackboard. This is dangerous stuff, and as this dream world begins to fall apart, Gu-Ryeon and Jun-Woong find themselves on a train carriage, about to meet an untimely demise as the world crumbles around them.


The Episode Review

Tomorrow gets things off to a pretty impressive start, with dizzying cinematography, a nice tone and a simple but effective bit of worldbuilding. There’s touches of Rugal, The Uncanny Counter, Devil Punisher and *checks notes* The Good Place.

All of this combines to create a deliciously hedonistic cocktail of different ideas. It certainly creates something exciting and with a good foundation to build upon for the future.

The comedy is pretty good too and fresh off his role on The King’s Affection, Ro Woon jumps into this sci-fi action thriller and absolutely runs with it.

There is a fair amount of exposition though, as one would expect from an opener like this, but it’s actually laid out nicely across the hour-long run-time, with a suitable cliffhanger at the end.

I do question the inclusion of that epilogue though, which doesn’t add very much substance beyond seeing Gu-Ryeon being scammed, but it works well to alleviate some of the tension I guess, so there is that!

Either way though, Tomorrow looks set to be a promising K-drama and it’s definitely going to be intriguing to see how MBC’s latest show plays out over the weeks.

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