Happiness K-Drama episode 1 starts with Park Hyung Sik who plays Jung Yi Hyun sitting on the ledge of a school building. There are police cars and ambulances on standby. A police detective tries to talk him into coming down while the others are setting up things for him to land safely if he jumps. Han Hyo Joo who plays Yoon Sae Bom watches all this from her classroom. She finds it bothersome that they cannot leave school until Jung Yi Hyun comes down. Surprisingly, she takes it upon herself to do the honors.
Yoon Sae Bom is quick to grab Jung Yi Hyun’s attention. Shockingly enough, she pushes him off the building rather than asking him to come down. It is a striking moment as we learn about Yoon Sae Bom’s personality, where she might do things unconventionally but gets the result nevertheless. Also, she made an impact on Jung Yi Hyun’s mind. Funnily, he asks her to be his girlfriend. Then the drama takes us 12 years later. We see Yoon Sae Bom in tactical gear along with another officer doing a training session for one of her recruits. She is part of the counterterrorism unit. In a small flashback, we see how she is capable of handling situations efficiently.
A hotel receptionist ends up dead after a strange encounter with one of the guests. We see Jung Yi Hyun in a baseball attire but working as a police detective. It looks like he chose a different career but still held on to his roots. Jung Yi Hyun ends up finding the killer who was hiding under the bed. This is odd because the man is covered in blood, but it does not seem like he remembers anything. He only remembers his feeling of thirst and then going crazy after seeing the receptionist. It comes as a shock to both Jung Yi Hyun and his partner when they learn that the murder happened because the man bit the receptionist in a gruesome manner. At present, the man looks compliant and does not act differently.
Yoon Sae Bom gets a call from Jung Yi Hyun, who informs her about the murder case. He lets her know that the killer got drugs from her recruit. Honestly, after that swift leap from the high school scene, it’s nice to know they are still in contact with each other as adults. When Yoon Sae Bom goes to track down her recruit, she witnesses a disturbing scene. The recruit seems to be biting down on another person’s neck. While she faces off with the deranged recruit, she asks her colleague to take away the wounded officer.
The recruit’s eyes look whitened and he almost resembles a zombie trying to bite off another human’s body. Yoon Sae Bom fires away shots trying to slow him down but it does not seem to affect him. After the altercation, suddenly the recruit turns back to his normal state and calls for help. Yoon Sae Bom struggles to make sense of it all. She calls Jung Yi Hyun asking him whether he knew the recruit would become crazy and try to bite people. In the middle of the conversation, Han Tae Seok shows up with his team. He asks Yoon Sae Bom to cooperate so they can test her as she came in contact with an infected person.
They take away the recruit too after situating a plastic mask on his face. It looks like they know what they’re doing. It is always scary when government officials are taking away people and no one even knows what is happening or why. But Yoon Sae Bom seems calm enough to handle any situation she faces. Jung Yi Hyun worries when he gets word that Yoon Sae Bom had to go for testing. He meets with Han Tae Seok, who lets him know that the infection can only spread if someone bites or scratches them. Jung Yi Hyun lets him know that he thinks it could be a drug-related issue.
While Jung Yi Hyun searches for drugs in the hotel room where the receptionist was killed, Yoon Sae Bom undergoes tests to determine if she is infected or not. She seems quite chilled considering the situation she is in. It seems like she is more of a go-with-the-flow type of person. When Jung Yi Hyun has an opportunity to speak with Yoon Sae Bom, he informs her that all of this could be due to drugs. He promises her he will get to the bottom of this. When Jung Yi Hyun finds the drug, he asks his friend to search for information on it.
It gets spooky when we see Yoon Sae Bom at the window and the scene zooms out and we see the whole building in the scene where other infected patients are. Han Tae Seok is looking through Yoon Sae Bom’s results and medical history. He finds out that she did not go to school for two years because of a medical issue. I think this is important to note and something that will connect to everything happening at the current time. Jung Yi Hyun gets to know a pharmaceutical company that made the drug for pneumonia during COVID-19. But it had certain side effects, and the distribution was stopped.
The side effects were hallucinations, addiction, mood swings but it also increased concentration. The drug cannot be traced in a drug test because it is not determined as illegal. Jung Yi Hyun wonders what if really this drug is responsible for people going crazy and biting others. His friends say that would be disastrous as it was widely distributed. Also, the question arises why now? Why the cases have come up now? I wonder what if the cases were hidden from reaching even the police department but now suddenly it got way out of control. Or maybe someone created a new batch of these drugs with some changes so the new ones are the drugs that are affecting people.
Yoon Sae Bom acts impulsively and gets in contact with the recruit she faced off with. She asks him about the drug, but he seems incoherent. But suddenly, he feels thirsty and goes back to the zombie mode we saw before. The guards break into his room to contain him while Yoon Sae Bom checks out the cameras. It seems the whole setting was a test for Han Tae Seok to see how long it takes for the recruit to get thirsty after he sees Yoon Sae Bom.
Until now, we knew that the virus spreads through scratch or bite, that the infected person feels thirsty when they see other humans, and that the infected person goes into an unnatural mode and bites anyone in their vicinity. Getting thirsty and biting people, as a result, means the thing they are after or craving is blood. But why and how? Happiness K-Drama will eventually answer these two questions.
Yoon Sae Bom is allowed to leave as she has tested negative. But she needs to come around for regular blood draws. It seems that they need to monitor her body. It might be the case that she has antibodies. Which again puts her in a scary place, because if she has the antibodies, then what is the back story? What will those who want to manufacture the cure for this new virus do with her? Yoon Sae Bom negotiates evaluation points in return for her cooperation in Happiness K-Drama episode 1. For free apartments, things like evaluation points and marital status are checked. She gets one of them through Han Tae Seok. The other is something she will spring on Jung Yi Hyun.
Jung Yi Hyun comes to the facility with the drug and hands it to Han Tae Seok. He admits that drugs cannot be the cause because so many people have used them and nothing has happened until now. Han Tae Seok says that if something was okay yesterday, it does not mean it has to be okay today. This points towards the drugs being the cause, but maybe it is not that simple. On the other hand, Yoon Sae Bom surprises Jung Yi Hyun with a marriage proposal in Happiness K-Drama episode 1.
Happiness K-Drama episode 1 is such a good start. It immediately makes you want to continue watching the drama. We have a unique dynamic between the leads that will be fun to explore. We have what we can almost call a zombie apocalypse, but with the hope that it is a virus, so the cure must exist. So it will be exciting to be on this journey!
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