It’s a brilliant first episode filled with comics and parallel universes and fangirls and fanboys with everything thrown in to make it a spectacular beginning. We meet most of our players, including the one that’s missing and get thrown a murder mystery, a disappearance, a life saving emergency, different universes and a boy searching for a girl in another universe on the other side of the screen. If I don’t make any sense, forgive me. I’m just still reeling from the amazingness that’s W.
The Episode in 10 Moments:
- We meet Kang Chul. He’s an Olympic gold winning air pistol shooter accused of murdering his family
We open in the comic world of “W” with a news report updating Koreans about the Olympics, particularly how Chul, who’s only in the eleventh grade is doing really well and is expected to win a gold medal at the event. We then cut to the Olympics game where an inexperienced Chul is in the lead against the top three pistol shooters in the world. He is doing brilliantly well until out of the blue, he misses his penultimate shot. But, he recovers with the final shot and cinches himself the gold medal to the delight of his father: Yoon who is his coach. We then cut to the Kang household where we see many more medals displayed, courtesy of Chul’s shooting skills. His family’s engrossed in the football game until a pistol shooting visitor shows up to put bullets in the middle of each of their foreheads (damn). Chul is arrested as the suspect (double damn) because the police found his whereabouts unclear at the time of the shooting. Most importantly, the murder weapon, which we notice the same hooded figure who is clearly not as tall or slender as Chul, but who had been the one to kill his family, throw into a dumpster is the very same pistol Chul had used for his Olympic game. It also has Chul’s fingerprints all over it.
2. We meet Cheol Ho, a prosecutor determined to make Chul get the death penalty
Turns out that Chul decided to pursue a career in Computer Science and the conclusion is that he and his father had butted heads about the decision. It seems to be a stance the lead prosecutor of the case: Cheol Ho believes in as while interrogating Chul, he claims the latter had spoken to a friend about wanting to be rid of his father. He’d gone further that Chul had wanted to move out and be on his own and had murdered his family in cold blood because of it (dude, how are you a prosecutor? How is that a valid reason for murder?) and had then come to cry in front of their pictures. He calls Chul a waste of space and Chul can only shed silent tears. His father’s friend (or brother?) comes to visit him in prison, explaining that the Cheol Ho wants to use the notoriety of Chul’s case to gain recognition as a prosecutor and rise to become a politician. And sure enough, in the courtroom, Cheol Ho goes hard, claiming that not only is the crime in itself a horrendous crime that breaks the very laws of society but Chul who is a renowned athlete and an idol for teenagers needs to be used to alert the society to the danger they’re in. His suggestion therefore is that Chul be given the death penalty. Overcome with tears, Chul rushes at Cheol Ho but is brought down by the cops before he can get to him. As he looks up at Cheol Ho with tears in his eyes, demanding how that can be Cheol Ho’s conclusion, Cheol Ho smirks (what a jackass).
3. We meet Yeon Joo. She’s apparently not as accomplished as her father but is a complete fangirl (hehehehehe)
We then cut to the real world, Myungsei University Medical Center to be precise, where Yeon Joo, a medical student is trying to catch a nap and laughing at her colleague: Seok Bum who is being called multiple times by their hard as nails professor: Professor Park. She’s not laughing for long however when she learns that she is the actual person Professor Park’s been looking for. He’s called her ten times already and she practically hyperventilates when she realizes that her phone’s been on silent all this while (hahahahaha). She races all over the hospital, figuring that there must be a patient in need of a cardiologist which is why the Professor’s been searching for her. Upon realizing that there is no such patient at the hospital at the moment, she runs to Professor Park’s office where after lambasting her for her tardiness, he proceeds to mock her because he’s learned that her father is famous webtoon artist: Seong Moo and yet she’s an underachiever. He then proceeds to grill her about her father, so much so that Yeon Joo has to ask why he’s asking her so much questions. Turns out that Professor Park is a huge fan of her father’s webtoon “W”, which is slated to end in a week and he wants her to give him some spoilers (hahahahaha). Apparently he loves the main character: Kang Chul and when Yeon Joo also exclaims that she loves Kang Chul (yeah, the same Kang Chul pistol shooter who is at the moment barely hanging on with a death penalty over his head) as well, they have a high five moment, bonding about their mutual love for the amazing Kang Chul (hahahahaha). Seok Bum enters the room, with a document for Professor Park to sign, but the Professor has other things on his mind, namely that he wants to find out who the real suspect is. Yeon Joo explains that her father isn’t someone given to telling and Seok Bum who’s met Seong Moo before confirms it. Except, Professor Park sweetens the deal by offering to allow her open the chest and close it during surgery and Yeon Joo immediately heads out to source for the information (hahahaha. She just reminded me of intern Christina Yang at the moment. The love for opening chests, not the webtoon fangirl part). When Seok Bum complains about it not being fair, Professor Park dryly suggests that he get himself a cartoonist father (hehehehe).
4. Seong Moo’s disappeared but he’s been planning to kill Kang Chul
Intent on her mission and wondering why she hadn’t known Professor Park was a fan all this while, so she could have made her life much easier, Yeon Joo speed dials Seong Moo. She changes her mind though, having figured that he wouldn’t tell her anything and she calls Soo Bong instead. Except, Soo Bong has some distressing news: Seong Moo has disappeared. Yeon Joo doesn’t believe him at first but when Soo Bong explains that Seong Moo isn’t at any of the bars, nor did he leave with his phone or wallet, she comes rushing over to the house. The house walls are filled with sketches and posters of Chul’s face (hello there good looking) and the occasional framed photograph of Seong Moo and Yeon Joo. But there is no Seong Moo. To make things even more interesting, Soo Bong explains that Seong Moo had never left his room. He’d requested for coffee at past nine at night and when Soo Bong had come with the coffee at ten, Seong Moo wasn’t there. They’d spent all night looking for him and Soo Bong now asks Yeon Joo if they should call the police. Except, Yeon Joo figures they should give it twenty-four hours as she’s sure that her father left to clear his head because he had to deal with saying goodbye to the character he’s been drawing for ten years. Soo Bong shatters that illusion though, and tells Yeon Joo that Seong Moo had gotten tired of Chul and was planning to kill him at the final scene. To make it even worse, Seong Moo’s already drawn the death scene and Soo Bong shows it to Yeon Joo. She’s horrified and wonders why Seong Moo would want to do that. It’s a sentiment that Soo Bong echoes, particularly because fans of the comic would be all up in arms about it, because they’ve been waiting for Chul to get his revenge and him dying is not the way to get said revenge. Yeon Joo then points out that it could be that Seong Moo was conflicted about the decision, but Soo Bong who’d noticed Seong Moo smiling as he drew the scene shoots the idea down. They then conclude that a fanatical fan could have found out about the planned ending and so kidnapped Seong Moo to prevent that from happening. Soo Bong immediately leaves to call the police.
5. Yeon Joo is pulled into Chul’s world
Alone, Yeon Joo searches through Seong Moo’s desk, taking note of his character notes on Chul. Buried beneath the sheets of paper is what looks like a demonic photograph with an inscription on the back that reads: “Rather than being eaten up by him, I will eat him up instead.” As she reads the words, the drawn image on Seong Moo’s screen; the one of Chul bleeding out on the ground, flickers. She makes to walk away but something jerks her still and she reaches behind herself to touch it. By the time she holds her hands up, she finds her hand covered with blood. She turns around, sees the bloody hand holding onto her jacket and before she can compute what she’s seeing, she’s pulled into the screen and wakes up on a rooftop in a strange place. Wondering where she’s at, Yeon Joo makes to move forward only to bump into Chul’s bloody body. She doesn’t recognize him though as she panics and tries to call the ambulance using his phone. But his phone’s not working (or she doesn’t know how to use it), so she rushes down the stairs to what ends up being a kitchen and informs the shocked staff members that someone’s dying on the roof. A waiter follows her and he tries to call an ambulance even as he suggests that she wait as there are surgeons in the hotel as well. Whilst Yeon Joo is trying to work out if there is a Plaza Hotel in Seoul, Chul starts to pant shallow breaths and Yeon Joo realizes that air’s building up in his chest cavity, meaning it’s merely a few moments before he would have a collapsed lung. She tells herself that she has to make a puncture to let the air out but is terrified because she’s never done it before. Except, Chul’s breathing gets worse and she starts to psych herself up that doctors in dramas just do it anyway. The waiter tells her to only do it when she feels confident, but Yeon Joo who’s already told him that she’s not really a talented doctor replies that she can’t afford that luxury because her lack of talent means she’s never confident. When it looks like Chul is merely a breath away from death, she stabs him with the broken piece of the waiter’s pen and Chul shoot straight up, his eyes connecting with hers for a moment before he falls back down, unconscious, leaving Yeon Joo completely stunned.
6. Yeon Joo saves Chul
Turns out that Yeon Joo successfully handled the pneumothorax and as she pats herself on the back as she tells herself that crazy dog (Professor Park) should have seen her at that moment. She is met by the hotel manager, Ho Young who is thankful because he’d heard that had Yeon Joo delayed for a little while longer, Chul would have died and that would mean that murder would have been committed at his hotel. He tells her that she will have to give her statement to the police and asks if she’s one of their guests at the hotel. Yeon Joo tells him that she isn’t which has Ho Young asking her how she’d gotten on the rooftop then. The words have Yeon Joo flashing to how she’d been pulled into her father’s webtoon and even as she shakes her head at the ridiculousness of the thought, the waiter whose pen she’d used and who had called the ambulance comes running to tell Ho Young that the bloody man on the ground is President Kang Chul (Wait, wasn’t he in prison orange the last time we saw him. How did he become the president of a big hotel? When did he become the president of a big hotel?). The hotel manager runs to meet Kang Chul, stunned and even as Yeon Joo wonders at the coincidence of Kang Chul sharing the same name as Kang Chul, the character in her father’s comic, she gets a good look at him, remembers the blood splatter that is eerily similar to what her father had drawn and shakes her head at the impossibility of it all. And then the words “To be continued” are scribbled onto the stairs in glowing letters. Even as she wonders what it is that she’s seeing, she’s transported back to her world.
7. Yeon Joo returns to her world and learns that she was in the world of “W”
Yeon Joo returns to her world and is stunned. She touches the computer screen, wondering what’s wrong. And when Soo Bong enters the room, she asks him if she’s been gone for a long time. He doesn’t know what she’s talking about and when Yeon Joo explains what had transpired, stating that he’d left to call the police, Soo Bong interrupts to say that he had no need to call the police anymore because Seong Moo made his deadline after all, and sent in the comic. He also tells her the good news: Chul survived. Yeon Joo wonders where Seong Moo’s at, and Soo Bong concludes that Seong Moo’s just fine, having figured that the elusive cartoonist only needed to clear his head and figure out how to spare Chul, and so would be back in a bit. He then pulls up the webtoon for Yeon Joo to read where she sees someone who looks exactly like she does, and who says and does everything she’d done to save Chul. As she mutters, that she can’t believe what she’s seeing, Soo Bong tells her that Seong Moo drew a new female character: a doctor and even gave her the name: Yeon Joo. Yeon Joo stares at herself on screen, shocked as she whispers in disbelief that it can’t be.
8. We play catch up with Chul
As Chul speeds along in his snazzy red sports car, Yeon Joo acting as a voiceover gives us his bio, starting from the year he was born to where he works, to the fact that he’s a multimillionaire worth eight hundred million dollars. The voiceover then takes us to the very beginning of his story, to when he’d won the gold medal at the Olympic games, twelve years prior, to his parents getting murdered and to him being the prime suspect who had been sentenced to death in his first trial and then life imprisonment in his second trial. But the Supreme Court had eventually found him not guilty due to the lack of evidence. Except, this hadn’t made life any better for him as he’d come back home, to a house without his family anymore and everywhere he went, people looked at him with contempt, believing him to be a murderer. And after a year of living as an outcast, Chul had decided to commit suicide. As he’d looked down at the water he was about to jump into, he’d flashed back to finding his whole family dead and voiceover Yeon Joo tells us that Kang Chul had never thought that that was how he was going to end his life and had felt mad and empty. He jumped but at the last moment remembered his victory at the Olympic games and the term come-from-behind victory had come to mind. He’d then caught onto the railing and as he’d dragged himself up the bridge, he’d decided to fight rather than kill himself, especially because he knew that he couldn’t get his life back until he’d finds the real suspect. He’d then vowed to catch the person before he dies.
9. Playboy Chul is searching for Yeon Joo
We then return to the present: Chul’s present, where he’s recovering in the hospital. His gorgeous secretary, So Hee makes her appearance and reports to him that they’re still looking for Yeon Joo but she hasn’t been found yet. She continues that she thinks Yeon Joo’s the accomplice because not only does the hospital she claims she’s a doctor at, not exist, but the email and the phone number on the business card she’d left behind had been false. Chul doesn’t believe that she’s an accomplice though as he tells So Hee that his gut instinct tell him that Yeon Joo holds the key to his life. So Hee doesn’t understand what he means by that and even his bestie Do Yoon is surprised to hear him say that. Chul asks that So Hee locate Yeon Joo and So Hee replies that the cops are pulling up a picture of her face based on her description. She chimes that the paramedics all claimed that Yeon Joo’s really beautiful and Chul replies that she’s isn’t actually. But So Hee’s convinced that she is, what with Chul’s whole, she’s the key to his life talk. Chul simply replies that she should tell the police not to make Yeon Joo too beautiful, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to find her (hahahaha), and then adds that Yeon Joo’s the secret to his life and the reason for his existence. So Hee’s convinced that Chul only exists because his parents had sex (hahahahaha) and when Chul reminds her to only speak informally to him when they’re alone, she gives Do Yoon a look, goes all uppity and speaks formally to Chul as she informs him that she will be sure to tell the police that Yeon Joo is not that beautiful (hahaha). She stalks off and Chul dryly states that she’s in a prissy mood. Do Joon blames that on Chul’s talk of Yeon Joo being the key to his life and concludes that she must be really beautiful then. Chul gives an exasperated laugh, calls Yeon Joo’s name and wonders where she is (is that interest I hear in your voice Chul? Is it? Is it?).
10. Yeon Joo figures that there’s something off
Yeon Joo is at the moment right in front of a computer screen staring at the speech bubble where Chul had called her name and asked where she is. She’s completely stunned and Professor Park chooses that exact moment to barge into the office she’s at, wondering why on earth her father would have written her into the comic, especially when someone like her gets to save Kang Chul (hehehehe. He’s just pissed that he didn’t get to save Kang Chul himself). He then scoffs about her being very beautiful and wails that rather than her bringing him spoilers, she ruined the story by having her father write her into the comic. Yeon Joo however doesn’t have time for all that talk and pushes a spluttering Professor Park out of the office, unaware that she’d even dared to put her hands on him (hahahaha). She locks herself into the room, panics about what to do and calls Soo Bong to whom she wails that that’s her actual business card and now Chul is looking for her. Even Soo Bong finds the new storyline weird and doesn’t get why Seong Moo is suddenly concentrating on the new character. But Yeon Joo points out that Seong Moo isn’t the one drawing the comic as it’s taken a life of its own now that Chul’s survived. She tries to explain that there’s an alternate world that exists within “W” but her explanation merely confuses Soo Bong and herself some more and she hangs up to stare at her computer screen. As she looks at Chul’s face, she asks him why he’s looking for her and why she’s the key to his life.
Character I wanted to bitchslap:
No one in this episode.
Headache inducing moment:
None in this episode.
This episode’s an Expresso Martini. Deliciously decadent and rich; rich with interesting and engaging characters and a storyline that is nothing like what I’ve seen before. It combines my love for comics, mangas and webtoons with my fascination with parallel universes and gives me this mix that has everything I love and desire in one packed episode and I’m hooked! Both worlds are so fleshed out and interesting, from Chul and his abilities to the murder mystery of who killed his parents and that sneaky prosecutor that I think knows way more than he’s telling, to delightful Yeon Joo who is a fangirl after my own heart. She’s excitable and sassy and even though she’s yet one more doctor on this recent trend in dramas about doctors, her doctor I can totally get behind because she’s like some of us: not really certain about her skills until she’s thrown into the fire and hopes to survive. It’s interestingly real and I love it. I also love Chul’s brilliant combination of the vulnerable boy who’s grown up to be this playboy who we all know has a hidden depth to him that will be revealed as time goes on. I want that depth to be revealed. I want to know where Seong Moo’s at. And most importantly, I want “W” to keep bringing me this unpredictability that has me hooked onto the drama.