Memories of the Alhambra, Uncategorized

Memories of The Alhambra Episode 1 Recap

Memories of The Alhambra Episode 1 Recap

Barcelona, Spain


At night, Jung Se-Joo (Chanyeol) speaks into a public payphone on a crowded and well-lit street. He says he heard the person (on the other end) is coming to Spain and asks the person to read the e-mail he had sent him/her. Se-Joo is disturbed as he says he doesn’t want to sell ‘it’ to someone but he has to make a decision by tomorrow. He suddenly stops talking and looks around. He is jittery as he tells the person on the other end to meet him at Granada. He asks the person to come to Hostel Bonita. He drops the phone and runs away looking over his shoulder him as if he is being chased.

Se-Joo runs across the road evading the oncoming cars. He staggers into the railway station and runs into the station.

At the payphone, the receiver dangles where he had left it hanging.

The clock on the station says 11:38 pm.

At the payphone, the person on the other end says, “Hello..hello?” but gets no response.

Se Joo looks over his shoulder as he runs beside a stationary train on the platform. He boards the train and slides the door shut just in time as the train departs.


Se-Joo finds his seat and sees that the other passengers are already there. He sits in his seat. One of his co-traveller asks (in English) where he is going. Se Joo replies, “Granada”. The passenger asks him to wake him up if he falls asleep and Se-Joo nods. Se-Joo is still tense as he sits on the berth while the passenger falls asleep. The train travels through the night.


In the morning, an announcement comes through the PA system that Grenada is the next stop. Se-Joo who had fallen asleep wakes up and looks out the window at the sunny day. He wakes the passenger up and tells him in Spanish that Granada station is coming up. The man turns around and continues to sleep. Suddenly, Se-Joo looks out the window. He sees the sky turn dark and cloudy as a lightning strikes.

Se-Joo panics as the lights in his cabin flicker and he slides open the door. He freezes as he looks at someone. The person fires two shots (at Se-Joo) and the bullets hit the train’s rain-splattered window, cracking it. The train continues its journey through the storm.


The sky is clear as the train pulls into the Granada station at 8:00 am. Se-Joo’s co-traveller wakes up and finds no trace of Se-Joo except for his bag. It looks like the scene has been cleaned, as there is no blood splatter on the window (which is intact). The man wonders if Se-Joo had left the bag behind. He walks away leaving behind Se-Joo’s bag on the berth.


The voiceover narrates that this was the last officially known whereabouts of this young man.

Hostel Bonita

In the office, the pamphlet for ‘Romantic Alhambra’ is on the notice board. A news report about the CEO Yoo Jin Woo of the South Korean company ‘J One’ launching the revolutionary smart contact lens (Virtual Reality) is playing. The desk is splayed with currency and some coins. The keys to the rooms are on the key holder.


Jung Hee Joo (Park Shin Hye) sleeps on the couch next to a messy table. The news report says that the product will be launched next year or probably in December. The calling bell sounds and Jung Hee Joo wakes up. She checks the clock and it says 1:15 am. She tries to go back to sleep but sits up as the bell sounds again.

She walks out of her room and answers the door. Yoo Jin-Woo (Hyun Bin) stands outside with his luggage. He wears a warm smile as he asks if there are rooms available.

The voiceover says, “This is where the story begins. When I came to Granada, searching for him as he searched for me.”


Hee Joo brings him into her messy office. He apologises for waking her up and she says it is all right since his flight must have arrived late. He says his flight from Barcelona was delayed. When asked he says he was on a business trip. She looks through her register saying they don’t have guests without registration and he says it was an unplanned trip. He says he will just stay for the night.

Hee Joo says there are the 4 person dormitories and doubles rooms at 20 and 35 Euros respectively. She says it doesn’t include breakfast. He interrupts her and asks if there are any single rooms available. He has a look of disbelief on his face when she says there are no single rooms. She says people who want single rooms stay in hotels. She says there is a single room on the sixth floor and he says he will take it. She warns him that it is on the 6th floor but he says it is fine.


Jin Woo looks up at the winding staircase as he realises there is no elevator. She says it is an old building and it is difficult to install one. She tells him that since he has baggage he should stay at a hotel with an elevator. She offers to give him a list of hotels nearby but Jin-Woo insists on staying here. She asks if he wants a dormitory room on the second floor and he asks if he can take a look at it.


She takes him to the room where the students are sleeping. He finds it repulsive as he sees the mess and clutter in the room. He chooses the sixth floor.

Hee Joo climbs the stairs as Jin Woo struggles to climb with his baggage. Hee Joo offers to help carry his baggage. Jin Woo smiles and refuses. As she walks in front of him, he lifts the suitcase over his shoulder and places it down at the landing. He pants as he looks at the stairs he still has to climb.

They reach the 6th floor and he is visibly tired from all the lifting and climbing. As Hee Joo opens the door, she comments that he seems to treasure his suitcase. He says there is something dangerous in it. Seeing her puzzled look, he says he bought a few handguns in it. She is shocked hearing this and he smiles saying he was just kidding.


He walks into the room as she wears an uneasy look. He stops in his tracks as he finds the room dusty and full of cobwebs. It also has some broken things. Hee Joo apologises as she says the room wasn’t cleaned yesterday. He asks if she is sure if it is only yesterday. Hee Joo is embarrassed as she says this room is hardly used so she forgot to check. She promises to clean it in the morning.


He looks around the dusty room as Hee Joo struggles to open the window which is stuck. She goes over to another window to find out that it is stuck too. She comes over to him and says that he should stay in a hotel. He asks if she expects him to go all the way back down. He refuses saying it would be like a death sentence. She gives him an embarrassed smile and walks out.

As she comes down, her grandmother Oh Young-Sim (Kim Yong rim) asks who is it. Hee Joo says it is a male guest on the 6th floor. She says he makes her uncomfortable. She says he seems wealthy as all his belongings are luxury brands. Her grandmother says they must be knock-offs and not authentic. She adds that a person that wealthy won’t be staying here. Hee Joo agrees and her grandmother asks her to come back to sleep.

In his room, Jin Woo looks around and tries to clean the cobwebs off a window. He throws the broom away and tries to pry open the window but the handle comes off. He tries to fit it back. He is startled seeing a rat running towards him.


The rat runs into a hole in the wall before he can hit it with a broom. Jin-woo plugs the hole with toilet paper. He then cleans the bedside table and finds that there is no trashcan in the room. He throws the tissue in the toilet but the flush doesn’t work. He finds a note on the wall that says, “The water pressure is very low, no toilet paper in the toilet please. If it gets clogged, you will have to use the toilet on the main floor. ” Jin Woo lets out a curse.

Elsewhere, a man (Seo Jung Hoon) walks into a luxurious suite and finds it empty. Jung Hoon wonders what had happened and calls up his boss.

Jin-woo receives the call as he tries to unclog the toilet. He asks his secretary Jung Hoon if he had woken up just now. Jin Woo explains that he is in Granada, Southern Spain. Jung Hoon reminds him that their flight back to Seoul is at 9:00 am and asks why he went to Granada.


Jin Woo says he tried to wake Jung Hoon up because he had to come to Granada but Jung Hoon was heavily drunk. Jin Woo says he had tried to wake him up but Jung Hoon had cursed him. Jin Woo says he had to come to Granada by himself as his useless secretary did nothing for him.

Jung Hoon explains that they were done with everything on their agenda and they had to only board a flight. Jin Woo asks if Jung Hoon was his superior and reprimands him. Jung Hoon apologises. Jin-woo tells Jung Hoon to submit his resignation once he reaches Seoul. Jung Hoon asks if he is joking but Jin Woo smiles as he says he is dead serious and hangs up.

In his room, Jung Hoon is flustered and lets out a curse. He receives a call from Jin Woo and he attends it. Jin Woo orders Jung Hoon to take the earliest flight and to call him once he reaches Granada. Jung Hoon wonders why Jin Woo went to Granada at the middle of the night.

At Hostel Bonita, Jin Woo finally manages to unclog the toilet. He sits on his bed and checks his watch to see that it is ten minutes to two. He tries to charge his phone but the charger doesn’t fit into the old-fashioned sockets. He tries to find another socket in vain.

Jin Woo complains about the dark staircase as he climbs down the 6 storeys. He walks into the dining room. He says he will shut this place down if the socket doesn’t work here as he plugs in the charger. He lets out a sigh of relief as the charger works.


Jin Woo messages Choi Yang Joo asking how long it will take. Yang Joo responds saying it will take half an hour. He walks around the dining room that says breakfast is 6 Euros. He sees the menu and a note saying, “Free Ramen noodles, special bonus for Bonita’s guests. Enjoy.”

Jin Woo makes himself some ramen when a young girl walks in with headphones. He asks her name and she says she is Jung Min Joo (Lee Re). She says she lives here and he asks if the owner of the hostel is her mom. Min Joo says the owner is her sister and she is only 27. Jin-woo smiles and asks her not to tell her that he had said that. Min Joo says she is going to dance here and asks him not to mind her. She says this is the only place to practice dance and her audition is next week.


Jin Woo tries to keep out of her way as she dances around the room while he eats. He then places the dish in the sink and heads out. Min Joo says that everyone has to do their own dishes. He says he will clean them tomorrow but she says he can’t and she continues to dance. Jin Woo washes the dish with a dry smile. He gets a message on his phone. He heads over to the phone and sees the message asking him to check as it is done. He walks out of Hostel Bonita.

Jin Woo walks out into the deserted street. The voiceover says, “Most people come to Granada to visit the Alhambra Palace.” Jin Woo walks a long way and comes to a crowded street. His voiceover continues, “but I came here to see something else. Something more magical than Alhambra”.


He reaches the crossroad at the town square marked by a statue atop a fountain.


He hears a sound and turns around to see the Alhambra fort on fire in the far distance. A cannonball hits a building near Jin Woo and he shields his head from the falling debris. Jin Woo tries to touch the debris but looks upon hearing the sound of horse’s hoofs. He sees a medieval soldier in chainmail riding slowly up the smoke-filled street.

Jin Woo stands still as he watches the knight ride towards him.  The knight is fatally injured as he has 6 arrows piercing his back. Another explosion frightens the horse and it throws the knight off before running away.


Jin-woo notices that none of the people down the street can see the horse as it crosses them. Jin-woo walks towards the dead knight and takes a good look at him.

Jin Woo’s voiceover says, “Magic. I came all the way here to see the magic.”

Jin Woo looks up at the statue. He is shocked when the statue comes to life. It jumps from its pedestal aiming its large curved sword at the ground.


Jin Woo moves away just in time as the sword hits the ground creating a crater. The armed man moves forward and swings his sword at Jin Woo. Jin Woo shields himself with his hand and the sword slashes his hand.

Ji Woo watches in shock as blood drips from the blade. Through his smart contact lenses Jin Woo sees the message:





The warrior disappears and so does all the blood.

Jin Woo smiles in awe at what he had just experienced. He hears Choi Yang Joo’s voice through the earpiece asking what was that. Jin Woo asks if Yang Joo had seen that.

In his office, Yang Joo comments that it is incredible. He says it is the best AR (Augmented Reality) he has ever seen. He says it looked perfect on screen and asks how it felt to be a part of it.

Jin Woo says that it happened very quickly and he thought he would really die.

Yang Joo gets restless saying he also wants to try it out. He asks why the game is centred in Granada and not Seoul.


Jin Woo removes the lens and asks how the lens is. Yang Joo says it is fine and Jin Woo says it is mildly hot. Yang Joo says he doesn’t think the smart lens can keep up with the game. He says this can be launched within a year. He asks if the maker created this all by himself. He wonders if the maker is a genius or a lunatic. Jin Woo says he would want to find this too. He recalls what happened 4 hours ago.

4 hours ago, Barcelona

Jin Woo is asleep in his hotel suite when he gets a phone call from an unknown number. The caller asks if he is Yoo Jin-woo. Jung Se-Ju is on the other end. He says that he met Cha-Hyeong Seok here. He says Jin Woo and Cha are friends.

Jin Woo sits up and says that is true. He asks what this is about. Se-ju says Cha offered him ten billion won. Se-Ju says 10 billion won sounds great but Cha is a bad guy. He says he doesn’t want to sell it to Cha. Se-ju adds that he was going to call Jin Woo first but he read an article that Jin Woo is coming to Barcelona.

Jin Woo interrupts saying that he doesn’t quite understand. He asks what is the purpose of the call and how he got his number. Se-ju asks Jin Woo to read the e-mail he had sent. He says he hates to sell it to that guy but he has to make a decision by tomorrow. He asks to meet at Bonita Hostel in Granada.

Jin Woo asks if he is a programmer and asks him to calm down. He asks Se-ju for his name and to be more specific. He realises that Se-Ju is no longer there. He tries calling back but he gets a busy tone.

Jin Woo lays back on his bed when he remembers the caller mentioning Cha Hyeong Seok and saying he is a bad guy. Jin Woo checks his email. He finds an email titled, “Memories of the Alhambra”.

After going through the email, Jin Woo has a serious expression as he dials a number.

Elsewhere, a man/ detective receives Jin Woo’s call. Jin-woo asks the man if Cha Hyeong Seok is still in Barcelona.


Elsewhere In Barcelona, a man (Cha) travels in a car.

Jin Woo learns that Cha’s official schedule ended two days ago. He requests to know what Cha is doing here. He also asks for information on whom Cha has met and his whereabouts in detail. Jin-woo gives Se-Joo’s email id and asks for a background check as he had met with Cha. The man says it sounds important. Jin Woo says a hundred trillion won is at stake here. He asks the man to hurry as he doesn’t want to lose to Cha. Jin Woo says he is heading to Granada to see for himself.

At present, Ji woo sits on the street near the fountain, as Choi Yang Joo asks why the programmer hasn’t called yet. Jin-woo says he might be on a plane and says he trusts that he wouldn’t have gone to Cha.

Jin Woo wears the lens again and gets up. He says he has nothing to do in the night so he will try to level up before sunrise. He says he is sure to find flaws if he continues playing. He asks where Park Seon ho is. Park Seon ho walks in just then. Jin-woo asks Yang Joo to give him a detailed briefing. He tells him not to tell anyone but Seon ho. He asks Yang Joo to keep monitoring the game.

Yang Joo explains to Seon ho that this AR game will make the rest look like trash.

Jin Woo logs into the game. He sees the message:





Jin-woo Swipes the screen.


The menu closes and a new message pops up:



Jin-woo starts walking as the screen guides him. He follows the guide and comes to stop outside a bar. He walks in and the waiter greets him. The screen directs Jin-woo towards the restroom. He doesn’t respond to the waiter and enters the restroom. The screen says:




Jin Woo searches everywhere and he pulls the towel holder, which moves towards him. He pulls it further and sees it is attached to a chain which is a lever. As he tugs on it, the ceiling opens and a sword floats down. Jin Woo walks slowly towards it.


A message pops up:


Jin Woo takes the sword. The message says:


Jin Woo tells Yang Joo that he can grip it perfectly. Another man who is in the restroom sees Jin-woo swinging his empty hand in thin air and asks what he is doing. He thinks Jin-woo is totally wasted as Jin Woo walks out.

Jin Woo walks out and the waiter shows him a seat. Jin Woo says he isn’t coming back and walks out with the sword (that is visible only to him).

Jin-woo reaches the town square and waits in the same spot where the warrior had landed. He waits in anticipation. The statue comes to life and lands in front of him just as expected.


Jin-woo starts fighting the warrior as Choi and Seon ho watch from their monitor. The warrior defends and Jin Woo falls down.  He gets up to see that the warrior is no longer there. They all try to spot him but both Yang Joo and Seon ho spot the warrior above Jin Woo. They urge him to move but the warrior is too quick as he strikes Jin Woo. The message pops up:




Jin Woo gets up saying he gets the hang of it and says he will try again. The message reads:


This time after a few strikes the rusty iron sword breaks. The message reads:


Yang Joo And Seon ho start laughing in amazement as Jin Woo is critically hit again. Seon ho teases Jin Woo saying he is too slow. Yang Joo says Jin-woo is nearing 40 so physical activities can be a challenge.

Jin Woo asks them to shut it.

Yang says Jin-woo will take more than a year to level up.

Jin Woo logs in for the 4th time and the game starts all over again. He goes to the bar avoiding the waiter again. He retrieves the sword and walks out. The waiter concludes that Jin-woo is coming just to use the restroom.

Hin-woo stands ready to face the warrior. After umpteen number of failed attempts, Jin Woo grows really tired. Yang Ju comments that Jin Woo hasn’t grasped the warrior’s pattern yet. Seon ho asks Jin Woo how many times he will be killed by the same guy. Jin Woo keeps attempting to level up. Yang Joo gets some coffee.

Jin-woo and the warrior are fighting in the corner of the street. Jin-woo bends down to retrieve the sword which has fallen behind a parked car. He turns around to find the warrior missing. Suddenly, the warrior lands on top of the parked car, shattering the glass.


Yang Joo and Seon ho are stunned as they see this. Jin-woo is stumped seeing this too. Yang Joo comments that the game used real-life surroundings. They wonder how it is possible. Jin-woo holds up his sword as the warrior lunges at him critically hitting him again. Jin-woo watches in awe as he is logged out.

A drunk stranger watches both the car (which is intact) and Jin-woo before passing out. Jin-woo smiles in amazement.

The bar is closed and the waiters are cleaning up when Jin-woo knocks on the door. He gives the waiter some money and asks him to keep the bar open for another hour.


Its early morning as few people see Jin-woo lunging at thin air and falling down by himself by the town square. He has improved his skill as the message reads:


Jin-woo manages to strike the warrior and decrease the health by 30. The warrior tries to strike him but Jin-woo defends it. The warrior then jumps up aiming for him and Jin Woo attacks from below. The warrior slumps by the fountain and the message reads:



Back in their office, Seon ho and yang Joo cheer.

Jin Woo stands still as the message appears:




Jin Woo celebrates as Yang Joo and Seon ho cheer. He walks toward the fallen warrior. The warrior disappears and a message pops up:


A key floats up in the water and Jin-woo takes it. The game says:




Jin woo lies beside the fountain as the sword disappears. Yang Joo’s voice comes through the earpiece. He says he can’t find any fault in the game other than it being addictive. Seon ho says if New Word was to snatch it but Jin-woo stops him saying he is low on battery so they will talk later.

Jin woo’s voiceover narrates, “I can picture a future. A future where this has become a worldwide game. Seoul, Beijing, New York and even Paris. Instead of Alhambra being Granada’s main attraction, the city will be known for its magic. The city will become a Mecca for its users. Like how the first store becomes the most famous.”

Jin-woo gets up and removes the earpiece as his voiceover continues, “The thought of losing the game to someone else terrified me.”

Hee Joo rides her red scooter back to Hostel Bonita and she runs into Jin-woo who is returning. She says she will have the 6th floor cleaned first and he acknowledges her in a disinterested way.

Once inside, he is exhausted as he climbs 6 storeys to his room. His voiceover continues, “He asked to meet in Granada and sent me the address of this Hostel saying he occasionally stays here. But will he show up? What if he has already signed a deal with Cha Hyeong Seok.”

Jin-woo tries to charge his phone and realises that the socket isn’t compatible with the charger. He climbs back down.


He comes to the dining room/kitchen. A student is making food and he greets Jin-woo. He asks Jin-woo to watch the dish which it will be done in a minute as he has to go to the toilet. Jin-woo connects the charger and is about to switch off the stove when he receives a call. Jin-woo receives the call on his Bluetooth headset.


The detective is on the other end saying Cha has cancelled all his plans since yesterday. He says he is unable to locate Cha. Jin Woo is upset as he thinks Cha would’ve already signed a contract with the programmer. The man says it isn’t possible and says he did a background check on the sender of the email. He says the programmer’s name is Jung Se-ju and he is a minor aged 17. Just then, the smoke detector sets off an alarm. Jin-woo turns around to see the ramen burnt and the smoke had set off the alarm.

Jin-woo switches the stove off and opens the windows. He walks out of the room.

Hee Joo is counting money in her office when she hears the alarm. She comes out and he informs her that the fire alarm went off just because of a puff of smoke. She says she had put up a sign saying that it is quite sensitive.

Outside, Jin Woo tries to continue the conversation but the signal isn’t strong enough and the call disconnects. He goes back inside.

Hee Joo stands on the table and tries to switch it off with the mop’s handle. Jin Woo disconnects the phone from his charger but the charge is at 2 percent. So he walks back and connects it. He asks her to turn the alarm off. She says she is trying to. He yells saying he can’t hear anything over the phone and she is startled. She asks him to talk outside and he raises his voice saying he can’t do that. He yells at her again before walking to the corner as he talks into the phone.

Hee Joo speaks in a low voice saying it is not her fault as he was the one in the kitchen. She says she came as soon as she heard it and asks why he was yelling at her. The alarm switches off and Jin-woo disconnects the call. He walks towards her and says he is yelling at her because she is the owner of this awful place. He says he can’t stand people who do things by halves. He calls her complacent and lazy.

He shouts saying she has to make the guest’s stay worthwhile. He says she offers ramen, a clogged toilet, room with a rat hole and windows that don’t open. He complains about the hostel having no elevator. He yells saying that he has to come down every time he has to charge the phone. He calls the place a dump. Hee Joo says in a low voice that she had asked him to stay at a hotel.

He walks towards her and says that he is currently working on a trillion won project. He says if he ends up losing this project then it is on her. As he walks away she apologises. She says he is being unreasonable and rude. He asks why he should be polite while she mistreats the guests.  Hee Joo breaks down into tears.


Jin-woo walks out of the room to take the call. He is told that Se-ju is a minor and a contract can’t be signed without the consent of his guardian. The man says that Se-ju’s parents passed away and his sister is the guardian. He says her name is Jung Hee Ju and she runs a Korean Hostel called Hostel Bonita in Granada. He says he will text the address. Jin-woo looks at the sign saying “Welcome to Hostel Bonita”. The man asks him to stop by the hostel first if he is there. He says persuading the sister will be faster as she holds the power anyway. He tells Jin-woo that the sister knows nothing. Jin Woo watches Hee Joo crying as she squats on the table. Jin-woo looks at her and smiles. Hee Joo stares at him.

The voiceover narrates, “And just like that, Hee Ju’s life was also touched by magic. She now has the rights to innovative future technology that will change the world. But like all princesses in the fairy tales, she is unaware of her status, lives in a dump and opened the door to a wolf.”


Image Courtesy- TVN


That was an incredible first episode. It got off to a thrilling start and kept me interested throughout.

It was a delight to see an AR game forming a crux of the story. Every gamer can relate to the scene where Jin-woo attempts a zillion times to clear that level. The part where the game uses real-life surroundings is intriguing and thrilling. The background music when Jin-woo faced the warrior was apt for the scene. It was hilarious when the show depicted how ridiculous Jin Woo looked to the onlookers while he played the game.

Jung Se-Ju was running through the streets as if someone was following him. Considering how the train’s window and the blood splatter mended itself; it looks like Jung Se-ju isn’t dead and might be trapped in the game.

The suspense in the plot looks promising as Jin-woo seems to be competing with his former friend Cha.

‘Memories of the Alhambra’ has beautiful visuals with a gripping screenplay. It also has a good blend of humour. I am looking forward to seeing more of the AR game and what the storyline has in store for us.

-By Soul Sword-

Memories of The Alhambra Episode 2 Recap

Memories of the Alhambra Recap Index

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