Genre- Thriller. Fantasy. Drama
Happiness – episode 1 Recap
Police cars arrive at Seyang High School. The school’s pride and ace baseball player Jung Hi Hyun (Park Hyung-Sik) is perched on the roof. He can’t continue to play baseball due to a bad knee. Yi Hyun refuses to cooperate with the police officer.
Meanwhile, in the classroom, Yoon Sae-Bom (Han Hyo-Joo) sleeps on her desk annoyed that the teacher isn’t allowing them to go home. The teacher states that they cant have students disturbing the already disturbed Yi Hyun. She asks if they can go home if Yo Hyun comes down and he says yes. She excuses herself on the pretext of using the restroom and goes out.
Meanwhile, the officer reaches the roof he tries to talk Yo Hyun into coming down. He says he will try to get Yi Hyun to make a full recovery. He promises to make Yi Hyun a cop if that doesn’t happen Yi Hyun seems disinterested.
Sae Bom runs up the staircase after telling the cops that she is a friend and was called to negotiate. The officer stares at her helplessly as she walks over and sits beside Yi Hyun.
Yi Hyun tells her that he came up here for some air and he doesn’t know which idiot called the police. He says he wants to see how far they will go. Sae Bom asks if baseball is the only thing that he can do. He says yes and he was pretty good at it. He asks if she will be okay if this had happened to her. She says she hasn’t done anything for her whole life and she is okay. She says she was in the hospital for some time and once it is over, it becomes a fond memory.
Yi Hyun is annoyed as he says his future and his life is ruined. He then asks her about her plans. She says till last week she wanted to be a nurse but now she wants to be a civil servant. She says she wants a stable income to live independently. She says she may still change her mind.
Yi Hyun says she is undecided just because she is behind by 2 years. She disagrees saying that the future has many options.
Sae Bom gets up and asks him to take the plunge as he has nothing to lose like her. She holds out her hand and he takes it as he stands up. Sae Bom pushes him over the edge. Yo Hyun falls into the safety cushion that the officers are holding below him.
Sae Bom turns around and tells the horrified officer that she deliberately pushed him onto the cushion below.
Later, a handcuffed Sae Bom runs up to Yi Hyun and asks him to tell the officer that he doesn’t want her arrested. Yi Hyun asks if she wants to be his girlfriend. Sae Bom goes silent.
12 YEARS LATER
SOU recruit Lee Jong Tae is nervous as he gulps down water. Sae Bom is an officer in the Special Operations Unit. Lee Seung-Young and Sae Bom are testing Lee Jong Tae in treating injured personnel. After the training, Sae Bom says she will recruit Jong Tae but will reduce points in TMP (Tactical Medical Practitioner) Lee tells her to go easy on Jong Tae. He recalls the time when Sae Bom was a recruit and she went overboard and cut her superior’s chest open (to save him) during a training session.
Elsewhere at a motel, the employee at the front desk hears thudding noises from above. As he receives a call from one of the guests complaining about the same, he goes up to check. The thuds grow louder as he reaches room 209. He stands outside and warns the guest not to break anything. This time the thudding is more and the employee opens the door with the master key. He yells as a hand grabs him and pulls him inside.
Yi Hyun drives to work listening to the radio. The radio jockey says though the world is different after Covid-19, they are grateful to be outside without masks. She also wishes that her listeners find happiness. He walks up to Officer Kim in his baseball uniform. Kim asks how Yi Hyun plays baseball with that knee. Yi Hyun says he gets paid if he plays as a proxy.
Kim fills Yi Hyun on the case details. He says the neighbours called it in. He says the employee of the motel was murdered. Yi Hyun and Kim walk in to find the employee lying dead in a pool of blood. His body is covered with a blanket. Yi Hyun wonders what the murderer did to the man’s neck. Kim says the culprit stayed in this room and the employee came to check the noise he made. Yi Hyun asks who covered the dead body and Kim is at a loss for words. Kim learns from the neighbours that no one has tampered with the crime scene. Yi Hyun finds a bottle of water by the desk and asks if there is CCTV footage. He is told that the footage didn’t show the suspect leaving. Yi Hyun searches the restroom and the closet. He then goes over and looks underneath the bed. He finds the culprit looking right back at him.
The culprit’s mouth is bloody. He is brought up and Yi Hyun asks him (Sung) if he is the killer. Sung says he has no idea except that he had a dream. Yi Hyun concludes that Sung’s mind was scattered and he covered the dead body with a blanket because he couldn’t look at it. He adds that Sung couldn’t run away because he was covered in blood and the cops were called. Yi Hyun asks what was the murder weapon in the dream. Sung says he just remembers getting thirsty. Yi Hyun pries open the man’s bloody mouth and asks if he bit the employee.
Lee Seung Young and Sae-Bom are at the cafeteria for lunch. She tells him that the Police agency building has been moved to a new building and an apartment complex is coming up. She says 3 apartments (rental units) have been promised to the officers in the police force. She says they will check marital status, evaluations etc before deciding whom to give. She says she is confident because she has excelled in her work.
After Sung is arrested, Kim tells Yi Hyun to play carefully and heads away. Yi Hyun calls up Sae Bom and tells her that Sung had bought pills from SOU’s new recruit Lee Jong Tae. He says he is letting her know because she is training them. Sung had told Yi Hyung that he ate all 4 pills and he was told it is legal. She tells him that it should do (earn points for the rental unit eligibility) if she can uncover the organisation behind it and hangs up. Sae Bom leaves her lunch half-eaten and goes out.
Sae-Bom opens the door to the office room to find 2 officers on top of each other shaking. Seung Young is behind her asking if they dared to do it here. As they walk up closer. She calls up Lee Jeong Tae’s name and the other officer cries for help. Lee Jeong Tae gets up and his eyes are cloudy. His mouth is bloody and the other officer clutches his neck in pain. Jong Tae runs towards Sae Bom who shoots him. He seems unaffected by the shot and lunges at her. She tackles him and Seung Young attacks him too. They pin him down with difficulty. Seung Young helps the other officer out of the room. Sae Bom follows them out but Jong Tae chases after her. She shoots him in the pelvis but he still follows her. She locks the door before he follows her out. Jeong Tae bangs his head against the glass door with a huge thud. He repeatedly bangs his head on the glass and the glass cracks. Sae-Bom tells Seung Young to get the officer treated while she stands guard here.
After they leave, Jeong Tae stops banging his head and falls. She hears Lee Jeong Tae howling in pain and asking her to call for an ambulance. She warns the people giving him first aid not to get bitten and walks away.
Later, Sae Bom calls up Yi Hyun and tells him off for not warning her. Yi Hyun is puzzled and then asks if he tried to bite her. Just then Sae Bom notices a bloody gash on her palm.
Han Tae Seok walks inside with some armed men as Lee Jong Tae is wheeled away. He tells Sae Bom that the man she shot may be having an infectious disease. Yi Hyun asks who is there with her. He takes her phone from her hand and says it is CDCH’s Crisis Management Centre’s Lieutenant Colonel Han Tae Seok. He hangs up says she will call back later. He asks her for her weapon and asks her to cooperate. She hands him her gun and follows him.
Seung Young asks what is going on. Han tells him to keep silent and says he is taking Sae Bom because she may be infected. He says the incident was an accident.
Just then, Yi Hyun calls Sae Bom’s phone and Han attends it. Yi Hyun says he is a corporal from Seyang Police station and asks what is going on. Han says she will be tested for an infectious disease. Yi Hyun says Sae Bom has gotten both doses of vaccine and asks what infection she has to be tested for. Yi Hyun says they arrested a man who came in contact with Lee Jong Tae for murder. Han says he will come over. Yi Hyun asks if the people who have come into contact with the infected have to be quarantined. Han says only if they were bitten or scratched.
Han’s men take custody of Yi Hyun’s suspect. Yi Hyun asks where Sae Bom is and Han says she is somewhere safe.
Sae Bom is taken into a restricted and heavily guarded facility at Wonjong University located beyond the redevelopment area.
Meanwhile, Yi Hyun takes a look at Han’s business card. He points out that Han is working in the private sector despite being a soldier. Han says everyone should work together during a crisis. Han says that this is a virus variant that affects the brain. He says if you are bitten, you either die of blood loss or are infected. He asks Yi Hyun and Kim to sign a secrecy declaration and go ahead with their work.
Yi Hyun says the suspect mentioned he obtained a pill from one of the recruits. Han asks if Yi Hyun has a pill with him. Yi Hyun says he doesn’t and asks if it could be a hallucinatory side effect. Han says it is impossible but it can have some side effects. He asks Yi Hyun to contact him if he finds the pill. Han says he had high hopes for Yi Hyun when he was on the baseball team. Yi Hyun says he can’t run fast anymore.
As Han goes away, Kim says Han must love baseball to know Yo Hyun. Yi Hyun asks if Kim gave the culprit’s hair sample for the drug panel test. Kim confirms it. Yi Hyung asks Kim to track the location of a phone number (Sae Bom) while he tries to find the pills.
Yi Hyun goes back to the motel room and finds a pill after thoroughly searching it. Just then Kim calls up and says that the drug test came back clean. He tells Yi Hyun not to pursue the theory.
Yi Hyun goes over and visits his friend Il Ho. He gives him the tablet and Il Ho jumps away. Yi Hyun says Il Ho got kicked out for consuming drugs but specialises in sports physiology and computers now.
Il Ho takes a look at the pil and says this is not a narcotic. He says the serial number shows that this was made at a pharmaceutical company. He says they can check the drug database to know what it is. Yi Hyun crashes on Il Ho’s bed and tells him to find out the drug’s usage.
At the facility, military doctor Lee Ji Soo examines Sae Bom. Her blood sample is collected and her wound is photographed. Han walks in and she asks him what this place is. He says the infected people should be away from the rest of the people. Sae Bom acts as if she is going to bite Lee Ji-Soo. Ji Soo runs away and Sae Bom says she is just kidding.
As they wait, Han asks her to testify and records her account. She narrates everything as he presses her to be more detailed in her narration. She says Jong Tae’s eyes were cloudy and he behaved like a beast trying to bite her. She adds that he didn’t feel pain though she shot him twice. She asks if this is similar to rabies. He says it is. She says her friend mentioned the possibility of drugs. Han says police officers find it better to blame it on drugs. She says Han blames it on disease. She asks about Jong Tae and Han says he is recuperating miraculously. He says he will prepare a room for her to rest in and says he will give her another phone in the room.
Sae Bom is in a room and she calls up Yi Hyun with the phone provided. She says she is fine but has to stay here till her results are back. Yi Hyun says he informed her mother that she won’t be reachable due to training.
He promises to find the culprit and tells her to rest.
Sae Bom tries to open the door but it is locked from outside. She notices a plaster on the wall and removes it to reveal a bloodstain. She hears a thud on the floor above her. She opens the window and hears a lot of thuds and screeches.
The location is revealed to be Wyoming student dormitories and every room is filled with an infected person banging their heads against the walls.
Han is going through test results for the Lytta virus. The results (SaeBom) are negative with the possibility of having found the first antibody. It mentions that the subject is not infected but has to be observed.
Han checks Sae Boms’s records. It says she graduated 2 years late because of an accident suffered in 2nd grade. It says she is extremely smart with survival skills but being overly curious is a problem.
In the morning, Il Ho locates the drug’s name. He says it is called “NEXT”. Il Ho says it is an oral pneumonia medicine. He says this was made when they were doing anti-viral research for Covid-19. He says it was taken off the market because it had a lot of side effects like addiction, hallucination and mood swings. He also mentions an increase in concentration.
Yi Hyun asks why it didn’t come up in the drugs screening. Il Ho says the government has to declare it illegal for it to be screened. Yi Hyun suspects that the drug is making the people act like they have rabies. Il Ho says it would be chaotic as this pil was widely distributed. He also says that nothing happened all along so why would it now.
Yi Hyun heads back to the Police Station and Kim says he located the phone. He says it is in a low tier university.
Sae-Bom wakes up at 9 am. Ji-Soo comes in to run the test again. Sae-Bom spots Lee Jong Tae in one of the rooms as she is escorted down the corridor. She gives Ji Soo the slip and rushes into Jong Tae’s room. She places the chair under the lock and proceeds towards him. Ji-Soo yells out that it is dangerous.
Sae Bom ignores her warnings and sits before Jong Tae who is in a wheelchair. His mouth is covered with a mask/muzzle. He remembers Sae Bom shooting him but has no memory of biting his colleague. She asks if he went crazy after taking drugs. SHe says his friend who obtained drugs from him is under arrest. She says Jong Tae will get a heavier sentence because he is a cop if found using drugs. She tells him she wants to know if it is due to drugs or an infectious disease.
Lee Jong Tae says he wants water and is thirsty. Ji So yells a warning in alarm.
Jong Tae closes his eyes and Sae Bom moves closer to him saying she isn’t done yet. He looks up with cloudy eyes and jars his teeth at her. He pounces on her and pushes her. Sae Bom manages to push him away but he tries to bite her. The guards run into the room and surround him. They tase him and hold him down like an animal. Sae Bom notices that his heart rate is slower.
After they take Jong Tae away, Sae Bom looks into the CCTV camera and asks Han if he is watching all this. Han is quiet as he watches the feed on his big-screen that has feeds from every room.
Meanwhile, Yi Hyun reaches the facility but he is stopped by soldiers. They say this property is currently used by soldiers as Wonjong University was discredited. Yi Hyun says Han asked him to bring a sample of the drug and they allow him inside.
Sae-Bom storms into Han’s office and confronts him. Han says he wanted to check when Jong Tae felt thirsty. He says the infected people feel insatiable thirst and then water doesn’t quench it. He says even though they return to normal self they feel thirsty again. He says he is trying to figure out the time. Han says Jong Tae recognises his family but he wanted to check what Jong Tae would do if he saw Sae Bom. She says he doesn’t feel pain and his heartbeat was low too. She adds that his wounds heal faster too. He says it would be helpful if they can control it. Han says they are researching this in secret because it isn’t that infectious and will only scare people. When asked about the air conditioning, he says the cold temperature reduces the spread.
Han tells her that she tested negative and she says she isn’t that lucky usually. Han tells her to take a break from work. He also tells her that she may have antibodies. He tells her to give a blood sample once in two weeks. He gives her a temporary pass marked important. She realises she is important to the research and decides to use it to her advantage.
Sae Bom asks him to give her the highest evaluation for this year’s work. She says she wants one of the 3 rental units that is given to the police force. Han says he can do that as her record is pretty good. She takes back her phone and the packed breakfast on the table before taking her leave.
Han asks if she has a boyfriend. Sae Bom says the age gap is too much between them. Han smiles as he says even the best evaluation won’t get her enough points and asks her to get married. She says she will plan soon as she will have to get the apartment. Han says that the world that they know could change because of the current situation. She says it might not change too and worrying won’t change anything.
Sae Bom goes out and asks Ji Soo for her clothes. Ji-Soo says she burnt them. Just then, Yi Hyun walks inside. He runs up to her and holds her asking if she is fine. SaeBom lunges at him as if to bite him. Yo Hyun looks puzzled while Ji Soo jumps up and takes out her baton. Sae Bom says that it is upsetting that Ji Soo doesn’t trust her.
As they leave, Yi Hyun apologises for getting her into this. She asks him why he is here and wonders if he got bitten. He smiles saying that he came here to save her. He tells her to wait outside while he has a chat with Han.
Yi Hyun gives the failed pneumonia cure to Han. He says way too many people have already taken it and it can’t have caused the madness. He says he brought the pill anyways. Han says just because it was fine yesterday doesn’t mean it will be fine today. Yi Hyun watches him for a moment before leaving.
Yi Hyun walks up to Sae Bom. She asks him if he has a girlfriend and he says he doesn’t. She asks if he snores or grinds his teeth when he sleeps and he says he doesn’t. She asks if they can get married. Yi Hyun recalls Sae Bom turning him down when he asked her to be his girlfriend during schooldays. At present, he says he had asked her as a joke that day. Sae Bom says she is serious.
Image Courtesy- TVN
The first episode was interesting and light-hearted at the same time.
It looks like a particular “failed Covid-19 Cure pil” named NEXT causes rabies-like symptoms in the people who have consumed them. It has been taken off the market due to side effects, but some people still consume it as not an illegal drug.
Though the infected people resemble zombies, the series has a different approach to the subject. The drama portrays this as a situation similar to that of a possible pandemic which is interesting to watch. The authorities seem to be aware of the outbreak and are trying to keep the situation under wraps.
Yoon Sae Bom is an interesting character. She is a smart but impulsive Special Operative Unit’s operative. She seems to go to any lengths to get whatever she wants no matter how trivial it is. She has a bold and practical approach to life and situations. Han Hyo-Joo carries the role very well and is refreshing to watch Sae Bom on screen.
Park Hyung-Sik suits the role of Jung Yi Hyun perfeclty. Yi Hyun is a calm and composed Corporal from the Seyang Police station after losing his baseball career due to a knee injury in school. He is determined, observant and quick-witted.
Lieutenant Colonel Han (Jo Woo-Jin) works for CDCH’s Crisis Management Centre. He seems upfront about his work and readily answers all the questions that Sae Bom or Yi Hyun have for him. He seems to acknowledge their opinions. It looks like Lieutenant Han is aiming for a controlled environment for the infected instead of letting them loose on the streets. Despite this, he does look shady as he heads a secret research centre studying the virus variant. He is also underplaying the seriousness of the infection and the number of patients. He is interested in Sae Bom as it looks like the first antibody has been found in her.
Sae Bom and Yi Hyun are contrasts in personality and yet share a good rapport. The series has a serious plotline but the humorous touch makes it even better!
-By Soul Sword-