You Are My Spring – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

Past Trauma

Episode 1 of You Are My Spring begins with a suicide. Blood lines the windshield of a car as a black cat watches this transpire. No guys, the cat didn’t do it, but it’s always depicted as a bad omen so it seems like an important clue!

We’re in December 1994, Seoul next as two kids hide from their father. One of these happens to be Kang Da-Jung who still believes in Santa Claus. When he doesn’t show up at Christmas, she makes an excuse for her sister over why.

Da-Jung dreams of big things though, constantly picking up fairytale books from the market. Given the grim nature of the stories, she eventually settles on one called The Black Cat. The only trouble is, it doesn’t help quell the domestic violence she has to listen to between her parents.

In the end, Da-Jung’s Mother runs away with the kids, unable to endure any more of this abuse. En-route though, Da-Jung notices her Mother sporting bloodied hands.

We then jump forward to December 2020. Da-Jung looks set to move into a new apartment. With rain drumming down, she prepares for a new start. As she does, we cut across to a strange hooded figure who sneaks in that night and commits a murder. Still, that doesn’t seem to phase Da-Jung, who moves her stuff in to her apartment.

There, she meets the others residents including Cheol-Do, Eun-Ha and Young-Do. Together thy share food on the rooftop while Young-Do dissects Da-Jung’s life based on the limited time he spent in her apartment. He’s a psychologist, as it turns out, and incredibly good at reading people.

Young-Do deduces that she’s scared of settling down. Of course, he’s not aware of her past and what’s happened but does come pretty close to her personality. So much so in fact, Da-Jung stares daggers through him before grabbing the guy by the scruff of the neck to stop his analysis.

Downstairs, Da-Jung runs into the man who’s been chasing her for 2 months – Chae Joon. I say chasing, he’s a straight up stalker. Anyway, the pair walk together but Da-Jung continues to dodge his questioning, refusing to date him – at least for now anyway.

At work the next day she eventually takes Chae Joon up on his offer and heads out for dinner. There, he tries to woo her with his smooth words. However, the memories of the past are still prevalent and raw for her – especially those involving a previous ex who got drunk a lot.

Just like Young-Do told her earlier, she’s been subconsciously seeking out men that are similar to her father as a way of working through her pain and trying to change them.

Back at the apartment though, there’s been a water leak. This prompts Young-Do to try and look into the root cause of this. Heading outside he notices Chae-Joon with Da-Jung again. He’s pretty forceful with her and even snatches the tablet out of her hands. Thankfully Young-Do is there to break things up.

When Da-Jung leaves, he calls out Chae-Joon for his attitude. This only sees him square up to this psychologist. Based on this, Young-Do is convinced that he may have antisocial personality disorder.

Now, it’s no coincidence that while this is going on, Jin-bok begins investigating at the Violent Crimes Division. Following the murder, it would seem like Chae-Joon may actually be the culprit.

Back at the apartment, Young-Do catches up with Da-Jung on the rooftop again. He outright asks her not to date Chae-Joon anymore, taking her aback. He hurriedly leaves though after discussing her plant, not elaborating on what he originally said. He doesn’t actually need to though, given Chae-Joon’s car is downstairs. Again.

Looking over the crime scene photos, Young-Do contemplates just what this means and whether Chae-Joon could be responsible. He certainly seems the most likely candidate.¬†Downstairs, he runs into the stalker and tells him not to see Da-Jung anymore. Instead, he ignores Yong-Do and walks toward Da-Jung. That is, until he’s called out for being a sociopath.

The Episode Review

You Are My Spring starts off this new Monday/Tuesday drama with an intriguing love triangle angle and a lot of trauma to unpack from the past. It’s clear there’s a lot more being hidden away that we haven’t seen yet. However, the show does well to introduce Da-Jung, show some of her past trauma and her personality traits.

Likewise, Young-Do is an easy character to root for and his simple but effective arc makes it easy to see just what role he fits in to this. However, there’s also the situation with his ex but it’s too early to see how this slots into the story.

So who committed the murder? It seems likely that Chae-Joon is responsible but we’ll have to wait and see if this actually does hold any weight or not. It could always be a red herring hiding someone else.

The simple but effective introduction to the police officers certainly helps to add some intrigue to this situation, while this blend of light and dark elements helps to make this a deeper show than one may be expecting at first glance.

There’s some gorgeous cinematography here too. The way the scene just folds in on itself is really clever, paving way for some stylish shots late on with the different characters. The ending certainly leaves things on an intriguing note, ready for tomorrow’s follow-up.

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