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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Legendary Witch Episode 1 & 2 Mini Recap & First Impression

The Legendary Witch: 
Saturday/Sunday. 36 Episodes 
I was strangely interested in The Legendary Witch which frankly surprised me since the description "Four cellmates from a women's prison decides to open a bakery together" really was kinda blah. Luckily, I am hopeful after the first two episode that this is a show with a strong promise. 

The story opens with Moon Soo In's (Ha Ji Hye) first entrance in to her new prison cell. The four women introduces themselves:

  • Moon Soo In, in prison for embezzlement, two year prison term. 
  • Next up is Seo Mi O with a baby by her side. In prison for attempted homicide. Two year prison term as well.
  • It is interesting to note that Soo In and Mi O seemed both surprised to see each other, so the two obviously know each other, but decides to act like strangers. 

  • Self proclaimed the beauty of the prison, Son Poong Geum. In prison for fraud. (She spent most of her time going on about her beauty and status in the prison so she actually didn't say what she was in prison for and for how long. I guessed fraud from her story later on.) 
  • The most senior woman of the group both in term of age and years spent prison, Shim Bok Nyeo. In prison for arson and homicide. Prison term: Life. Bok Nyeo seems confident in her seniority and yet still willing to spare some comforting words to calm Soo In down. 
Set on giving Soo In a taste of prison life, Poong Geum trips Soo In twice sending her falling flat on her face. The second time Soo In takes the fall, she didn't get up, instead her bewildered cellmates finds her unconscious. 

Jumping back in time to another instance when Soo In also fainted, we see that she is a bereaved widow in the middle of her husband's funeral. 

Shocked to lose her husband suddenly in a plane accident, Soo In struggles to function even when her sister in law accuses her of being the cause of her husband's death. As an orphan, Soo In is not accepted by her husband's family and some of the family member even think her existence brought back luck to her husband. 

At the funeral we also meet Mi O who barges in uninvited in order to find Ma Do Jin, her unborn baby's father. Do Jin (Soo In's husband's half brother) obviously has no plans to marry Mi O or be a father, but Mi O's fierce personality also mean she will not just quietly go away. 

Even in the middle of her sorrow, Soo In takes the time to approach Mi O fter she got booted out of the funeral center to tell her "Take care of yourself, and ease her mind so the baby will be healthy."
Through out this whole funeral, the one that is secretly the happiest is Cha Aeng Ran, Do Jin's mother and mistress to President Ma Tae San (Soo In's father in law). With the oldest son out of the way, Aeng Ran is hopeful that her son, Do Jin will have a good chance to inherit the company. 
Things are not going to be easy for Aeng Ran though, since the two daughters of President Ma from his wife will not just sit back and watch the Do Jin, the son of their father's mistress takes all the inheritance. 

Side note: Soo In has been the one to take care of her mother in law who seems to have metal illness and often acts like a small confused child. 
President Ma's two daughters by his wife. Ma Joo Ran and her husband Park Won Jae. These two are probably destined to be the annoying characters of this show. Air headed but with plenty of ambition for money and power. 

Ma Joo Hee, the youngest daughter who leans on the cold side but seems to be a lot more rational than her older sister. Ma Joo Hee has a crush on our hero so she will probably end up being in a love triangle with our two leads. 
Different from her bristly gangster vibe she gave off in the prison, we meet an all smiley and friendly Poong Gum. Except she seems to be a routine scam artist who takes every chance to make a quick buck. 

Poong Gum has a run in with Tak Wool Han, the Ma family driver. Through mistake, Poong Gum thinks Wool Han is actually Do Jin, a director of the Ma company. A fun side note, these two actors actually had a love story in Gloria (family drama from 2010). Except over there it was the "I love you but I will destroy/kill you" kind of relationship so it will be fun to watch them just doing a dorky non-life-threatening kind of relationship. 
Lastly, we meet Bok Nyeo who after 30 years of prison receives a two day temporary outing from the prison. 

Of course, Bok Nyeo meets none other than Poong Geum who poses as a concerned doctor to try to get Bok Nyeo to buy some health drinks. One bottle of the "health drinks" sends Bok Nyeo to the hospital unconscious.  
Carrying Bok Nyeo on her back, Poong Geum realizes she has arrived at the funeral center instead of the emergency room. Standing right outside, Soo In and Mi O helps Poong Geum. Ha, I guess it's fate after all.
The first person (actually, the only person) Bok Nyeo calls once she wakes up in the emergency room is Park Yi Moon, a man who knew her from his old job working at the prison as a group leader. Park Yi Moon obviously cares for Bok Nyeo very much and is supportive of Bok Neyo receiving early release so she can start a new life in the society.

Greatly unsettled by how much the world has changed and depressed to find that the evidence that could prove she was framed for arson and murder of her husband and son gone,  Bok Nyeo decides that she would rather live out the rest of her days in the safety of the prison. 
Holy cow, that was a lot of characters to go through. Anyhow, I have saved the best for last. Our hero Nam Woo Seok returns to Korea with his daughter Nam Byeol. Woo Seok goes to the funeral center in order to support Joo Hee (Soo In's sister in law) and ends up catching Soo In in his arm as she faints... yet again. 
When Soo In comes to, Nam Byeol tells her that she looks a lot like her deceased mom. Preoccupied with thoughts of her husband's funeral, Soo In pushes Nam Byeol aside in her hurry to leave the emergency room. Hearing Nam Byeol's hurt cry after being pushed down, Soo In looks back with a guilty glance but leaves anyway. Furious over how Soo In behaved, Wook Seok complains "What kind of person would do that?!" 
Woo Seok tells Joo Hee that he has decided to move back to Korea to live with his Father-in-law and also to take care of a personal business. 

Woo Seok's personal business is to find out who his birth mother is. A mysterious letter with a picture of him as a little boy and a woman with her face torn off was sent to him. 

Woo Seok goes to a rest home to meet with the orphanage director of the orphanage he grew up in to find out more about his mother but unfortunately he was told the woman he wanted to meet passed away that very morning. Leaving the rest home, Woo Seok misses Soo In who is rushing in to see the same woman Woo Seok was hoping to meet as well. (Soo In was a volunteer at the rest home, and the orphanage director wanted to see her one last time before she died.)
Soo In and Woo Seok ends up on the same beach. Soo In loses her husband's wedding ring in the sea by accident and Woo Seok assuming Soo In is trying to commit suicide stops her from walking further into the ocean.
Disliking each other intensely, Soo In blames Woo Seok for stopping her from getting her husband's ring while Woo Seok think Seo In is a rude woman who doesn't know how to say "thank yous". 
Soo In is summoned home for a big announcement. Everyone including Soo In herself assumes that President Ma is chasing her out of the family now that her husband is gone, but President Ma surprises everyone by telling Soo In that she is the new president of the company. In other words, Soo In has just inherited President Ma's company... the one that the whole family is eyeing. 


Dang, what a messed up family. A lot of messed up relationship too. I feel like we are playing the game of five degrees of relations, except in this show I think two degrees would be sufficient. 

I spent most of episode 1 and 2 being impatient for the back story to be set up, but inadvertently I am pulled in by the characters back story. I have a difficult time with shows that tells the story backwards, even if it's only part of it. We start the show with Soo In in the prison so my mind automatically puts that as the story's starting point, so anything before that point is just set ups to me. And set ups are suppose to very short in my mind. However, the way this story is going I don't think we'll actually starting telling the prison story until episode 5 or even later. Sigh... why are you doing this to me show?! 

I like Han Ji Hye's acting in this so far. Soo In seems kind but weak sort of person but yet when you see her interacting with Woo Seok it's obvious she has a temper. The thing I like about Han Ji Hye is that she can look like the most pitiful creature on earth one second and turns on a dim to become the haughty woman with cold steal in her eyes the next. (I Summon You Gold, 2013 is a good one to see her talent with that... but just be warned, that show takes a dive into the dark abyss in the last half.) 

1 comment:

  1. This particular drama looks really, really heavy on a convoluted plot. Thanks for the recap! I might check it out.