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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pied Piper Episode 1 & 2 First Impression

Drama: Pied Piper (피리부는 사나이)
Airs: Mondays & Tuesdays
Network: tvN
Episodes: 16
Pied Piper Episode 1 & 2 Overview By Ninja 
As an extremely skilled crisis negotiator Joo Sung Chan is paid handsomely to solve some very sticky if not dangerous situation for his clients. However, on his latest high profile case when he was able to saved the maximum hostages with the limited amount of money a corporate president was willing to pay for his employees, Sung Chan counts his effort successful when only one of the hostage was killed during the negotiation. 

Unfortunately, not everyone agreed with Sung Chan's self assessment and the brother of the dead hostage decides to seek revenge. Strapping a bomb on himself, the brother holds Sung Chan's girlfriend hostage and threatens to kill her along with another innocent family. 
Desperately forcing himself to be calm, Sung Chan got the man to at least let a child go free. Taking the child to the police, Sung Chan is immediately detained when the crisis negotiation team decides they are better equipped to handle the angry brother. 

Sneaking away from the police when he gets a call from the bomber (or at least he thought), Sung Chan quickly agrees to publicly admits how corporation greed was the the real reason why he lost a hostage. In the mean time, the head of the police crisis negotiation team is actually making head way with the bomber and is about to convince him to give up peaceful...until the bomb suddenly goes off killing everyone in the room (the child's parents has already been released at this point as well so they weren't killed). 

Dazed as he walks past the sobbing detective (heroine) bending over her dead team leader (also her adopted father) into the decimated room, Sung Chan looks around blindly until his gaze finally focuses on the bloodied face of the woman he was planning to propose to that very day. Before Sung Chan has time to grief though, the all too familiar voice sounds in his ear once again "Do you still think you didn't do anything wrong?". Stunned as he looks at the dead bomber's body, Sung Chan realizes the man he has been talking to the whole time on the phone was never the bomber in the first place and yells "Who are you?!" 
Time jump to a year later:
Already a forlorn department especially after the death of their team leader, our heroine detective Yeo Myung Ha gets very grumpy when she realizes that some stranger has been going around the city posing as someone from the crisis negotiating department and solving cases that should've been their job. 

Proving that the crisis negotiating team might actually be better utilized as the cyber team, Myung Ha's co-worker takes no time in figuring out Sung Chan is their mystery man. Resigned when Myung Ha catches him not just once but twice, Sung Chan tells a Myung Ha the shocking truth that her adoptive father actually was successful in convincing the bomber to let everyone go but some mysterious pipe whistling man had designated the bomb anyway.  
Left with no choice but to take Sung Chan with them when a bank hostage situation comes up, Myung Ha is surprised to realize that Sung Chan is not just some big crook but actually possesses great negotiating skills. 

With Sung Chan's help, Myung Ha is able to fully utilize her own talent in being empathetic and successfully apprehend the bank robber without losing a single hostage. 
As the bank robber is being hauled away by two policemen, the man suddenly turns around to stare at the news anchor on the tv screen and mutters "the pipe playing man." 

So we met this anchor in episode one as the reporter who questioned Sung Chan's claim that one of the hostage died of illness instead of being killed by the kidnappers. This is also the same reporter that filmed Sung Chan's forced self confession to save his girlfriend. The reporter had wanted to air the footage but ended up choosing to get promoted to become an anchorman in exchange for suppressing the news due to pressure from the big corporation that was Sung Chan's client.

Ninja's First Impression
Hmm...I think I like it?? The pacing is great. As always, I am a big fan of whatever character Shin Ha Kyun plays, but the story...is kinda dark for my mood right now. 

The dark subject matter aside, I do think Pied Piper has a lot going for it such as: 

  • The depth given to the main characters thus far. I especially find it interesting that as perceptive as Sung Chan is he seems to be unable to open himself up, including to the girlfriend he almost proposed to.
  • The crisis cases are pretty tense so far. 
  • The mystery of who is setting Sung Chan up?  
  • My absolute favorite part: the heroine beats the hero up constantly...and the fact Sung Chan seems to be getting used to it. 

I do have to mention one minor concern. I am unsure if we are suppose to expect a romance between the two leads later on but the chemistry between them at this point feels more like a teacher with a talented pupil instead of a possible romantic pairing. But then, Shin Ha Kyun's character can always turns on the charm in the blink of an eye so I am sure the chemistry with the heroine will feel plenty natural if the story ends up going that route. 

All in all, a very promising show to check out if you are in the mood for something a bit more tense. 


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