Stranger Episode 1 Recap

It starts as a foggy night and we see a car going slowly in the road. It’s our lead hero if the series,Hwang si-mok in the driver seat as he listens to the radio. He drives slowly nearby the Tongyeng beach and finds the restriction line is breached. He calls his administrator Mr.Lee and asks him to inform about the incident but he asks him to come soon as the party is about to start. He quietly replies he can’t make it.

He was about to drive into the hotel when he hears ambulance going the other way. He follows them and finds the police and medic swarming in the beach. The spectators gathered around the beach gossip that someone has drowned and they should not have gone swimming in this foggy weather.

Two police officers discuss about the phone tucked in the limited edition shoes and assume he may have gone that way.Si-mok watches their conversation and he sees a guy who confirm it belonged to his friend.  The police found his friends floating in the water and they both were confirmed dead. They are dragged away in the ambulance. Their survivor Kim Hu-jeong (played by Kim Dong-Hwi)  is shocked and he sobs that he was too drunk and passed out. When he woke up, he couldn’t find his friends and called for help. The police record his statement while Si-mok imagines incident from the survivor point.

We get introduced to our lead actress Han Yeo-jin (played by Bae Doo-na)who is surfing in the internet in her phone. She sees a couple post a selfie in the Tongyeng beach. She hears a news about someone from National Police Investigation has leaked case to a civilian, the prosecution was investigating. She tries to speculate who the leak is. Next day,she was driving to work and she hears about the drowning at the Tongyeng beach.She reaches her office(Her designation is senior inspector) and  searches for the photographs of the couple but she couldn’t find any.

Si-mok is getting an earful for not attending his own farewell party. His things were packed by his assistant and he gets a call from Yeo-jin. She enquires about the beach accident as not much details are not available in the news. He explains the beaches were closed from 5.40 and three best friends from middle school took a long trip from Seoul. Only the driver survived as he passed in a couple drinks in the car. When he woke up , he stepped out of the car and saw his friends shoe  and couldn’t find them anywhere.

Si-mok asks why she is curious about the time of the accident. Yeo-jin replies she saw a couple posted a picture near the beach and they removed their photos shortly. She suggests they may have removed the restricted line and not the drunkard students.

Si-mok counters her speculation by suggesting the students may have jumped over the line instead of cutting the rope and asks her when the restriction line was cut and asks her to look further into the issue.She asks if he is taking this case. He replies he is not taking any new cases due to his transfer.

Yeo-jin tries to reach the user who posted the photos through selling of some action figure. She contacts her old colleague and asks if the identity of the user can be found. He says it may take time and they both go through other photos and try to figure out. She explains the drowning incident may not be accident and Chief joins them and trio try to figure out the name of the user. They find he had a girlfriend ,gym membership at Winters hotel and car number 0437.

Meanwhile, Si-mok reaches the beach and inspects the broken restriction line. He finds the restriction line is broken due to a fire from lighter.

Yeo-jin reaches the hotel and gets member information by showing them she works for a special Investigation team and is from HQ. Detective Jang and Yeo-jin wait outside of the house of the user. Yeo-jin has been promoted and  transferred to HQ for two years. They talk about their old times and the Lee Yong-Ho(played by Kang Shin-Hyo)arrives. They ask if about the drowning incident. Seeing his hesitation, Detective Jang takes him to the police station for questioning. Yeo-jin informs this to Si-mok.

Yong-Ho remembers the lighter and throwing the line in the river, but doesn’t say anything to the cops. Si-mok passes his information to Detective Jang. Detective tries to provoke him if he burn the rope using the lighter. He asks for a lawyer and refuses to answer the questions.

Yeo-jin was late to her meeting with Choi Bit(played by Jeon Hye-jin). Her colleagues explain there have been many bad news about police ever since they started to fight with prosecution over investigation rights. Chief Choi asks one of the team member to talk with the reporter who published the articles implicating the police in a wrong way. Yeo-jin reports,

What Hwang Si-mok, prosecutor in charge of the case, said about the late prosecutor Lee Chang-jun in TV, was just an act to protect the image of the colleague and it’s because a deal was made before Prosecutor Lee Chang-jun death.He was cornered so he decided to end his own life asking Prosecutor Hwang to take care of his wife and make him seem a hero in return.So Prosecutor Hwang received info on Hanjo and turned a murderer into a patriotic hero“.

She explains the news is fake as she is one of the concerned parties. Instead of concentrating on prosecution news, she gives a few news of fellow officers helping the citizens in good ways. Chief Choi doesn’t like the idea as it does not have any impact.

The Yong -ho was let go because a senior lawyer  Oh Ju-seon. Det.Jang has send the beach photos to Si-mok. Si-mok asks his assistant to send the photos to Office 303 who are in charge of the case. He instructs the people working on the case to look into the victims if they had smoked and also look about the couple further. He instructs his assistant to update on this case even after he is transferred to Wonju.

Lawyer Je-sun is driving the car and the Yong ho and his girlfriend (played by Jin So -yeon) fight at the back seat. She blames him as he is the one who burned the rope. He blames her as the restriction line ruined their selfie so he removed the line to take the photo. Lawyer take them to meet the surviving friend. If he saw them removing the line, then things will get complicated.He advises them to reach a settlement before the police ask questions.

The couple and the survivor friend had a heated argument. The friend finally declares he did not see them and leaves. The lawyer recorded his statement. The couple is happy as he made a statement without asking for money.

Chief Choi goes to meet Shin Jae-Young(played by Lee Hae-Young). She asks him to do an fake internal investigation on the Director of Intelligence Bureau as leaking of Confidential information. This will give them time to plan a next move without losing to the prosecution. She also asks for another favour to make the prosecutor and police to come to an agreement on the investigation authority. She is confident that she can make both parties agree to the proposal.

Si-mok gets a call from his assistant and he gets to know the case is closed and no one is prosecuted. He goes through the case file and finds it is signed by Kang Won -Chul(played by Park Seung-gun).

COMMENTS

This is why I like this series, they just dive in right into the plot.No recap. 2 years have passed since the death of the prosecutor Lee Chang-jun in exposing the corruption. Si-mok is in transfer to another office while Yeo-jin has been promoted as senior inspector and works in Headquarters.

The interesting part of the opening people are still in their mundane lives handling new cases. This episode shows there will be a huge clash between police and prosecution making our lead characters work in the opposite sides even though they work together well.

It’s interesting the drowning incident is closed as accident. Even though the couple who removed the restriction line will be charged for damaging the public property. Their action might have indirectly led the two students to death, but since they are rich they got away.

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