Here Comes The Money
KBS2’s new Wednesday and Thursday night drama Woman Of 9.9 Billion is a far cry from its predecessor occupying the same time-slot. It’s a lot darker and nestles itself in nicely within the thriller and crime series genre. The show has a lot of promise going forward, thanks to its interesting concept and delivers an intriguing first hour, with some tense and dramatic moments throughout.
We begin with a group of men digging up a box full of money and counting it. From here we cut to a married couple who don’t appear to be getting on at all. Seo-Yeon is a hard worker though, holding down multiple jobs and as we cut to the first one, we see she has no respite there either, accused of being a thief while cleaning. Even the man she’s seeing behind her husband’s back, Jae-Hoon, can’t seem to cheer her up.
Jae-Hoon however, heads back to work where his wife Hee-Joo asks him where he’s been, especially given he was spotted in Hotel Sapphire earlier in the day. Seo-Yeon heads home and her husband accuses her of messing with his things. After putting loud music on to mask the sound, he punishes her by dunking her in cold water and throwing her on the balcony in the freezing cold, locking her outside. As he looks at her phone, he spies Hee-Joo calling. He answers and tells her they’re looking forward to the weekend before shutting the lights off and leaving Seo-Yeon outside.
Meanwhile at a Noraebang, Tea-Woo spends his nights playing video games. His father arrives and berates him for it as all he does is laze around, drinking or playing games. It’s here that we find out he used to be a detective and was fired for taking a bribe. As he heads home, his brother Tae-Hyeon surprises him and offers him money to get a new job. However, he refuses and gives him a new watch as a birthday present instead.
Seo-Yeon and her husband drive to the villa where he promises her that once he seals his deal with the director, things will be better for them both. However, Seo-Yeon remains stoic all the way to the villa. After both couples greet each other, the women decide to go for a walk in the woods. Hee-Joo asks her friend if her husband is still struggling with his business and admits to not trusting him. They then come across an abandoned house which used to belong to a couple who killed themselves a while back.
As they head back towards their husbands, Hee-Joo confides in her friend as she believes her husband is having an affair again. She explains she doesn’t know who she is but laughs at the thought that the woman will end up getting dumped eventually. During dinner both couples discuss how they all met and Seo-Yeon mentions that her husband will do well in his business with Jae-Hoon’s help. She then heads to the bathroom which is where Jae-Hoon corners her, asking to meet outside later on. She pushes him away though and joins everyone back in the living room.
Around drinks, things get a little heated when Hee-Joo accuses Seo-Yeon of being jealous of her life. After Seo-Yeon storms out, her husband follows and blames her for his deal not going through, banging her head against the sink and rendering her unconscious. She finally wakes up in the middle of the night and as she heads outside, she is met there by Jae-Hoon. She reveals to him that his wife knows he is cheating but doesn’t know who with. After telling her he’ll protect her, she walks away towards the lake. He catches up though and insists, saying he will do anything for her, including signing the contract with her husband.
Suddenly, they hear an explosion and head out to investigate. In the woods, they find a crashed car and a dead man next to it. We then see that the car contained all the money we saw at the beginning of the episode. She stops him from calling the police as decides to keep the money for herself, believing that this is her chance to finally start her life over. As she starts packing the money away, she follows a trail of blood to a man barely alive. We then see that the man in question is Tae-Hyeon who gives her a set of keys and touches his watch while whispering “my brother” with his final breath.
We then cut to Tae-Woo who gets woken up by a group of men holding him down and punching him. They blindfold him and take him to a deserted field in the middle of nowhere with a dug up shallow grave next to him. One of the men repeatedly asks him where the 10 billion won is.
The first set of episodes for Woman of 9.9 Billion does a good job setting the scene for what’s to come ahead. It introduces us to all the characters and their lives and quickly gets into the swing of things as we see that each of them are keeping some dark secrets. The story is quite intriguing too as we see Seo-Yeon deeply unhappy with her life, and with an abusive husband and an unfulfilling affair. She sees the money as a way out but as we can already see, there will be some strings attached to this lifestyle as the owners will soon come after it.
The next episodes promise to be really interesting, especially around what she’ll do with her newfound fortune and her husband. Will she leave him or will she try to keep a normal life for now to not raise any suspicions? These questions should be answered soon but in the mean time, Woman of 9.9 Billion offers up a decent and tense first hour of drama, one that promises to be quite the enjoyable watch over the weeks.