The Promise – 01

A story of selfish love spurring problems at the next generation. Sprinkle in some makjang but hoping for sympathetic characters.


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It’s 1997. The series starts up with a grumpy but soft truck driver who is driving in the rain. He complains about getting a cake as it’s someone’s birthday. A glance at a picture on his dashboard tells us that he has two daughters and a wife…

He drives on singing happy birthday when all of a sudden he sees a woman slowly walk into his lane. She bends over to pick up a yellow umbrella and he quickly turns the truck to the side. The truck flips over and the woman also falls.

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Rewind to 6 hours before!

One of our twins is blowing out candles in front of her friends…

At the same time the other twin (Nayoung Lee) tells her mother that she wants to leave since the place is so expensive! Her mother ignores her daughter and orders a pizza, a pasta and lemonade. After nagging her mother a little more, the daughter hands over a box which has a fake Cartier watch in gratitude for giving birth to her.

Then the other twin’s mom comes to pick up her daughter and sees Nayoung’s mom. She quickly asks the employee for another exit before taking Nayoung’s twin away… Nayoung runs into a friend of her twin in the bathroom who mistakes her for the twin… She tells her mom who runs to the restaurant and begs them to call if they come back.


Nayoung’s mom (Eunhae Lee) goes back home where her crying is interrupted by a delivery. It’s DNA test results that show 99% NOT A MATCH.  The test subjects? Eunhae’s ex and Yookyung’s daughter Sejin.  Note that this was sent to her anonymously… [Thanks Baldowl for the correction!]


At the same time, a lady smiles in a red dress. Her smile freezes when her mother-in-law (Youngsu Lee) walks in. Even though the young mother-in-law is friendly, the younger woman bites back that she doesn’t care about her father who left her for a young second wife. She goes home where she throws the clothes on the ground and declares that Youngsu has come up in life from being the daughter of a street food vendor.


Eunhae calls the lady in red (Yookyung) out and they get in a fight even on the street. Eunhae tries to pull the wheel aside and the car stops. Eunhae accuses the other woman of taking her man away with a scam (the lie that Sejin was the man’s child). Eunhae threatens to reveal it all since there was no reason for Eunhae to give up on the man in the past.  The other woman responds that her husband has ambition it’s not a simple decision.


Eunhae smiles that she wants to give her daughter a father.  When Yookyung hears that Eunhae never aborted the man’s real biological children as she had promised, she falls to her knees.  She begs Eunhae to cover it up and leave her family alone. But Eunhae leaves noting that Yookyung’s response only gives her courage that her man will return.

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Yookyung loses it and accelerates toward Eunhae on the street. Her car pauses inches from Eunhae and she revs her engine before driving past. Eunhae falls to the ground in shock and focuses on her lost umbrella, which is when the truck from the beginning comes along. Yookyung sees it all from her rear view mirror.


She walks toward Eunhae who has a head injury and then pauses looking at something that fell out of Eunhae’s bag.


Meanwhile, the young romance begins. Nayoung finds the young boy who had come in to find shelter from the rain and stayed to listen to her music outside the church. She asks him for a ride home and offers to shield him from the rain with her umbrella. They do as Nayoung sings. She thanks him and gives him her umbrella. She tells him to return it on Sunday since she’s playing the accompaniment.


The little boy goes to a restaurant where the woman yells at him to clean up. It turns out that he lives with his uncle on mother’s side. He asks his uncle to send him to the orphanage but the uncle refuses to give up his free labor.

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The man that caused this trouble? He’s happily teasing his daughter (Sejin) who is not the best at piano. They walk down when Yookyung comes home. Yookyung hugs him and then tells him to grow old with her and die with her…turns out she took the DNA test report. She burns it as doctors try to revive Eunhae.


Sigh, this episode screams makjang but the storyline held me on the edge of my seat until it was suddenly over. I hope that the tight writing and strong acting continues so that we can happily enjoy this drama until the end!

As for the first episode, I figured the most important things are organizing the subplots that we have seen:

1. Nayoung’s twin? What is going on and why is she being raised by another woman? I assume she is our main character and angel of vengeance.

2. Love triangle between Eunhae, Yookyung and the man. What happened that gives Eunhae the right to accuse Yookyung of using a ruse to get the man? Why did Eunhae lie that she aborted her children?

3. Beginning of our love between Nayoung and the man whom I presume is the main male lead. Also, who is his mother that his aunt resents so much who left the boy to go to another man?

4. Who is the truck driver?  Is the girl in the picture the rich girl who takes Nayoung’s boy away from her?

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