17 February, 2014

Another Parting: Episode 1 Recap

I've never actually tried recapping before, but I figured that a five episode web series might be a good way to start out. Short and sweet. For those of you who weren't aware, 1theK (the former LOEN Entertainment - I still have no idea why they felt the desperate need to change their name to what I can only conceive is Wonder-K) have produced a web series about two lost souls who meet in the last moments of their lives. Or something to that effect. It starts Seo In Guk as Ahn Young Mo, also known as Hul, and Wang Ji Won as Seo Ha Na. Click on the link to watch [Episode 1].

The scene opens on what I assume is the Dongjak Bridge in Seoul, a bridge that crosses the Han River. Moody music, twilight evening lights and a woman walking forlornly along dragging a brown paper bag. Seo Ha Na. She's depressed and dejected. The next shot pans up over a hospital bed in the neurology department, and we're introduced to a rather comatose Ahn Young Mo - trussed up in tubes and an oxygen mask, lying inert on the bed.

Seo Ha Na walks down a dimly lit hallway with a rather lovely burnt orange filter for the scene. She tears a gun from the brown bag and tries to open a door, but it's locked. With a tear-stained face she cries over and over: Open the door! Inside a woman does her make-up and ignores Ha Na's increasingly frustrated exclamations. I really love the lighting for this scene and the half-open door in the background of the shot with light seeping through. So far, lots of head shots, close-ups (to the as yet unidentified woman applying make-up) and rather moody lighting.

The door slowly opens and Ha Na brings the gun up with her finger ready on the trigger and asks: Why did you do it? The camera pans out and we see a woman who looks quite like Ha Na. Is this herself that she's trying to annihilate? Is this all in her mind? A twin? Someone who looks eerily similar? Well, we don't know who she is or why Ha Na wants to kill her. She answers: You know better than me. Most interesting.

Ha Na drops the gun and slowly sinks down leaning her head against the door frame, sobbing. The scene fades into the sound of hospital machines beeping.

The machine stats monitoring Ahn Young Mo's vitals quickly drop and then flatline as a doctor and nurse rush into his bedroom - only to find the bed empty. Cut to Ahn Young Mo crab-walking across the pedestrian crossing as snow starts to fall. Ah! Seo In Guk, you are so handsome! A hand from a taxi window beckons him over. The taxi pulls into an underground garage, parks, and then all the lights go out. Next minute they come back on to reveal an older woman sitting in the driver's seat. It's Lee Yong Nyeo (the Chinese spirit matchmaker from Master's Sun).

The taxi driver asks if he's feeling dizzy and he answers: A little bit. She eerily mentions how it wasn't easy to borrow a human body for the day, and that this one seems to be quite a nice one. Dang right creepy taxi driver lady! Young Mo smells and then licks his hand, and then glances into the rearview mirror and sees his face change into several other faces. He has such a lovely sad, puppy dog face going on here. She tells him to open the envelop next to him and he does. Inside there's a wrist watch and she tells him the alarm is set for the time he must go back.

He asks about the red capsule in the bottle, and it turns out it some sort of time travelling device that will bring him back (from where we're not sure yet). If he doesn't eat it before the alarm rings, he won't ever be able to return and he'll "be like dust that doesn't belong anywhere." His mission: find the reason why humans cry and he's only got one day to accomplish this. Wait, is someone possessing Young Mo's body? Or is he not human? Or is he heartless and must find out why humans cry? Okay, he's some sort of agent and all the other agents have failed their mission before. Young Mo gives us a lovely pouty look and seems pretty assured he will succeed.

The taxi pulls back out onto the streets of Seoul and she lets him out with some parting advice - humans walk forward, don't walk sideways, forwards is faster. Ah! That explains the crab-walking! He's dressed in a rather dapper looking black suit and flowing coat. He carefully picks up his legs and places one after the other and gingerly starts walking forward. Montage of busy Seoul commences.

We cut to a close-up of a middle-aged woman and then to him staring intently at her. She's like: What are you looking at? And he asks: When do humans cry? in a rather innocent tone of voice. Buddy, that's a complicated question. She's like: What? And proceeds to ask if he wants her to punch him so he cries. He smiles gleefully and says: When you get punched do tears come out? Yeah, this mission is going well. Needless to say he doesn't get any answers from her.

Cut back to the Dongjak bridge at night with a rather beautiful Young Mo walking along asking: Where should I go to find tears? It's cold and blustery and the wind whips his hair around. He certainly looks like he's freezing. Suddenly he stops and we see Ha Na standing next to the bridge balustrade, tears on her cheeks. She closes her eyes and opens them again. Found it! he exclaims.

I really love how the colours are so dark and black in the ending scene. The vibe has certainly darkened from the first time we saw the night time city lights on the bridge. I also like how the episode ending and beginning is neatly bookended with the nighttime bridge, the first part with just Ha Na, but at the end, Young Mo (possessed by some sort of alien agent?). I also really liked the pacing of the episode, the editing seemed clean for the most part, and I really enjoyed the colour choices in filter. I'm certainly curious as to how this all progresses. But let's look just one more time at the beautiful Seo In Guk.

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