Vampire Detective Episode 1 RECAP & First Impressions

An undercover operation goes horribly wrong and Sang’s love dies in a car explosion in front of his eyes…Fast forward to the present and Sang’s part of a two detective squad just living his life until a street rat comes along pulls them into the underground criminal world of blood laundering and vampires.

[audiotube id=”ER3NSpk3r3s”]  Elementary Opening Song as it seemed like a similar vibe.

THE RECAP

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In the past, three promising police officers are in the usual exercise session. Kang Taewoo wins over Yoon Sang and Jung Yoojin gets up from watching from the side. She asks if he’s alright and we find out that the three are close friends.

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The three get called to the police chief’s office. He seems to reconsider his decision for a little bit. But, then he gets up and tells the three that they are going undercover.

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Except things go wrong. Sang rips the tape from Yoojin’s face. They escape together with Taewoo in a black car. However, as the car gets farther away, Yoojin doesn’t seem to get less worried. She notes that they might get kicked out of the police force for messing up the undercover plan. She stops the car on the grounds that she is not feeling well.

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Then, when Sang goes back to the car for something, Yoojin stops him. Telling him that she’s sorry, she shoots him. The car drives off a little bit… Where it explodes.

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Back in the future, Sang has survived and is a private investigator now. He has difficulty with exercise and he has to take medicine every day but he’s pretty irresponsible with it. His partner Koohyung is like the sweet older brother that frets about Sang’s medicine and even his outfits.

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The two go off to their first paid gig which is to follow a presumably married woman with her younger beau. They get caught taking pictures and drive away as an old colleague from the police call for their help. He buys them lunch for their assistance.

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The case? It’s a locked room murder. The detectives go inside and survey the scene. In Sang’s mind and our screen, the scene plays over. Sang asks if the power had been out at the time of the murder and gets a confirmation. So, then Sang tells his hypothesis… It was likely a friend who wears glasses and smokes. The friend was able to get in without a scuffle because of their relationship and their builds being similar, the fight went on into the bedroom. The fight caused the friend to drop her glasses and, being nearly blind, the murderer couldn’t see the flashlight on the side table nearby. Instead the murderer took out her lighter to look for her glasses. Then, the murderer took the bag with the keys… Wiped her prints and locked the door before tossing the bag back in through the window.

The police officer asks for motive as well. Koohyung tells him that this is it for their free help.

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Their good deed done, Koohyung and Sang go back to Koohyung’s uncle’s place where they are crashing. There, they find a young girl (Lee Seyoung) Gyeolwool. Gyeolwool is already drinking a glass of wine at the place and flippantly answers that she let herself in.

Gyeolwool asks for help. Her boyfriend is acting weird. He always leaves at night and he’s meeting a weird and dangerous woman. Koohyung is ready to kick Gyeolwool out but Gyeolwool mentions that the weird woman had a distinct pendant that Gyeolwool took a picture of.

Sang looks at the picture and it’s the same pendant that Yoojin had been wearing! Just as Koohyung is pulling Gyeolwool out of the house, Sang agrees to take on the case.

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That night, they stake out near the club scene where Gyeolwool’s boyfriend (actually brother) always disappears. The chase goes into a club and the two detectives get separated… Sang follows the the suspect out of the club… And into the kitchen full of gangsters!

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The gang boss is not convinced that Sang randomly walked in. He gets ready to teach Sang a lesson and the boys circle in. But, Koohyung comes to Sang’s rescue with stun guns. They start shooting each of the gang members while asking about Gyeolwool’s brother.

Coincidentally, the brother walks out of the freezer at that moment. He sees Sang and Koohyung and turns off the lights before making a run for it. The detectives and Gyeolwool follow. A few streets down, Sang’s body can’t keep up and he falls to take medicine.

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On the other hand, Koohyung follows the brother into an abandoned alley. The brother drops down and demands to know why the two men are following him. They try to question him but he overpowers the two and it looks like Sang might get seriously hurt when Gyeolwool jumps out of the shadows. The brother sees Gyeolwool and runs off.

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Sang and Koohyung go investigate the brother’s room where they find a bunch of stuff on blood. There’s a picture about the brother’s real girlfriend Yeonju. Gyeolwool confesses that she lied because her brother raised her after their parents passed away and she knows she’s a disappointment to him… She lies that they aren’t related so her brother doesn’t get embarrassed. She also adds that something is really weird and if her brother is on trouble, she wants to help.

Sang warns Gyeolwool no more lies and they are off to help again!

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They find a suspicious transparent card in the brother’s desk so they go back to the bar. They get in by pretending they are from the government’s food and drug department and go straight to the suspicious kitchen where there’s no evidence of any cooking. Sang walks toward the freezer where the brother walked out of… He taps the card and gets in.

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The freezer turns out to be an office. And on the computer? Tons of files… This is no ordinary neighborhood gang. One such file is titled “Helper.” And, the gangsters arrive. Koohyung is ready to go right after he copies all of the files but Sang has found another hidden door. Inside? Blood. All in neat packages and kept cold.

Switch to Gyeolwool’s brother and Eunhae. He looks at their mini fridge and sees that Eunhae has not drank any of the pouches of blood. He tells her that she has to drink in order to survive. But, Eunhae refuses because someone needs to die or get hurt for her to get the blood. Gyeolwool’s brother begs Eunhae to reconsider until he can fix the situation.

Eunhae cries that she wants to end all this and opens the curtains. Gyeolwool’s brother pushes her to the side and gets hit by the sunlight instead. He falls to the ground and writhes in pain…A flashback informs us that he had been caring for Eunhae when she woke up…Transformed and then bit him before she realized what she was doing. In the present, Eunhae falls to the back looking guilty and concerned. Gyeolwool’s brother smiles and tells Eunhae that he will be able to fix this sensitivity to sunlight soon…. so give him just a little more time.

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Back at the club, Koohyung and Sang are cornered by the gang members. Just in time, Gyeolwool arrives with a tank of gas that she tosses on the floor and a lighter. She threatens to burn the place up if they don’t let Koohyung and Sang through. Eventually, they do and Sang tosses the lighter to give them a chance to run… Turns out the gas was actually water and Gyeolwool even had the foresight to slash the tires of the gang members’ cars before going in.

We return to Gyeolwool’s brother and another flashback…Eunhae had been seeing to an emergency patient when the woman transformed and bit her…

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Later, the gang boss apologizes to the mysterious woman who is watching the security footage of the office. He promises to fix everything quietly after getting punched by the woman.

At the same time, the two detectives and Gyeolwool go to a family house where her brother might be hiding…They get followed by the gang boss without knowing it…The two detectives go in first while Gyeolwool waits outside.

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In the house, the brother grabs Koohyung by the neck with a smile of contempt. He chokes Koohyung and demands that Sang empty all of his pockets. Sang does and the brother lets go of Koohyung. Sang demands to know what the files about “Helper” is and the brother freaks out. He tells the two that the detectives put them all in danger with their meddling…all he had promised was to make “new blood” for that woman.

Koohyung asks who that woman is…if the woman is the one with the pendant… The brother begins to explain and Eunhae comes out. She tells the brother that it’s enough. It’s time to stop it all. The brother pulls out a syringe… But then the boss yells out that he has Gyeolwool.

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Sang and Koohyung run out while Gyeolwool’s brother and Eunhae fight. She tells him to let her go as the person who needs to live is him…She gives him the syringe and runs out…

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She attacks the boss and throws Gyeolwool away. Eunhae holds on to the guy’s wrist and forces him to turn around. But, by this time, the sun has gotten to Eunhae and her face is reacting with her skin peeling and her fangs have come out.

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As she holds on the boss, he starts burning as well and he shoots out randomly.

Sang sees that Gyeolwool is unconscious and throws his body over hers to protect her from the random gun shots.

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The gang boss burns up as Gyeolwool’s brother manages to come out. He sees Eunhae turn to him and smile sorrowfully before she fades away. He takes stock of the situation and sees that Sang has been fatally shot because of Gyeolwool.

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The brother smiles sadly and walks over to Sang who seems to be bleeding from his heart or lungs. He shoots Sang with the syringe and we see Sang’s eyes turn yellow…

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His body begins to heal but he’s able to withstand the sun…

The brother tells his sister that he’s sorry before taking off his hood and joining Eunhae. Sang wakes up as Gyeolwool gets up.

MY TWO CENTS / FIRST IMPRESSION

First off, the basics:

Title – Vampire Detective

Channel – OCN

Episodes – 12

Now, on to my impression. What a cute and fun drama! It seemed to me like a combination of JTBC’s Seonam Girls High School Investigators and OCN’s My Beautiful Bride.  To add a little more color, Seonam Girls High School Investigators was a little too fluffy as it followed five high schoolers solving “crimes” involved with the school… But, it was a fun mindless watch nonetheless. In contrast, My Beautiful Bride was clearly gritty and darker. From the first two episodes, it was implied that the Bride might have been kidnapped and forced into an illegal underground full of forced organ donations, etc…

Vampire Detective is just right. The underlying criminal plot of blood launder and maybe even organ laundering gives this series a shadow of gravity.  Yet, the main investigators and Gyeolwool’s interactions grounds the drama right in friendly/fun/comedy/mystery territory.  Koohyung is obviously in the industry of private investigation for money and he cares about his friend Sang.  Gyeolwool is now going to be scarred by the deaths of her brother and his girlfriend whom Gyeolwool seemed to have known and cared about… Yet, she’s a tough street rat and she’s not directly in danger yet.  Hence, we have a motley detective squad, which may be the underdog BUT thanks to the brother’s last present (or curse?), Sang is now equipped to fight the mastermind gang and vampires.  Sang is a vampire that can come out in the sun.

I will need to watch Episode 2 before I fully commit. But I will totally be following this series.  It feels like the perfect show to wind down after a long day of work or school.  There’s mystery and it teases your brain to work to try to solve this puzzle.  Yet, it’s not onerous because the show is written so that it bonks you on the head with each clue in case you’re too braindead to miss it.  It’s like BAM Sang discovered a hidden office. Oof, there’s a computer that’s not password protected because it’s key card protected with all these files you can download… Womp! There’s a freezer full of blood. And, tons of flashbacks to explain things. ^^

To top off the goodies, the acting is strong. None of the characters look awkward in portraying their roles of what is clearly just a detective drama.  They get into it so it makes it more fun for the viewers.  Also, the colors and production is nice on the eyes.

(CC BY-NC-ND) DRAMAFEED 2016.

VAMPIRE DETECTIVE RECAP by DRAMAFEED | Copy & Paste Guidelines – Always put a link back to the source.

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