I spent most of Episode 1 more confused than anything else, and with SO MANY QUESTIONS. We did get a few answers this hour, although they mostly led to more questions, but hey, it’s premiere week. I’m so glad we jumped into the action instead of having 1000 voiceovers explaining what’s going on. And I submit that the title of this episode should have been “The Question is not Where“.
I’m borrowing Saya’s amazing bullet point format, because she is a revolutionary who has freed us from paragraphs and there’s no going back.
Things I loved:
- DON’T TRUST THE BODYGUARD oh okay I guess he seems trustworthy. I really hope he is trustworthy, because Bong-seonie is super adorable and I want Tae-sul to have at least one person totally on his side (until he meets PSH of course). And the best friend and ex are SUS AS HELL.
- Wait are Tae-sul and Seo-hae going to get married so they can be close to each other without attracting any suspicion? Or will this be a real wedding? I was not expecting this drama to include a contract marriage, but I will never say no to that.
- Tae-sul being able to know instantly exactly what in his humongous mess has been touched by hands other than his own is… extremely relatable. (Is that embarrassing to admit?)
- The cinematography is GORGEOUS, y’all. So many scenes I just want to pause and stare at for a second. I have some issues with world building and/or logic in this show, but in no way do any of them relate to production design.
- With the exception of that weird and slightly cringy song at the end of Episode 1, I’ve been really liking the music. Especially “Stay,” which I’m listening to on repeat as I write this.
- SUNG DONG-IL! I love how he’s instantly recognizable just from his voice. I don’t trust him AT ALL but I’m excited to see more of him! Pretty sure he’s one of the “brokers” the Control Bureau were talking about when they lost Seo-hae and Jae-sun.
- I deeply enjoy that the bad guys are Immigration Control people, because that tracks. I suppose there could be a twist and they’re not who we think they are, but come on, “We didn’t kill you only because you’re rich” is a pretty big giveaway that they’re the baddies.
- I really enjoy how Tae-sul thinks on his feet. That’s one of his defining characteristics, and I don’t care if it’s cliched (Is it? This is not my genre of expertise), I love that he just grabs things from his surroundings and creates simple machines in order to solve his immediate problems. It’s very Apollo 13. And without hesitation—he’s not going to let a small detail like squeamishness get in the way of him grabbing the ashes out of his brother’s urn and testing their DNA. That poor grieving family. I was horrified but I also couldn’t help laughing. (Jo Seung-woo bringing the complex emotions as usual.)
- I’m glad we got to see Seo-hae do more this week, with the caveat that she’s still a cipher—just a deadly cipher. I do appreciate that she needs to be very careful what she says as a time-traveler, but I’d appreciate more of her inner thoughts. I’m guessing we’ll get more of that once she and Tae-sul meet up in Busan.
- Unlike Saya, I didn’t instantly love this one, no matter how excited I was for Jo Seung-woo and Park Shin-hye together, but that last scene in the train station grabbed me viscerally. That eye contact, the moment of recognition, and Seo-hae getting on the train toward whatever future will have them cross paths—I’m in.
(Mundane and momentous) things I’m dying to know more about:
- Why are there cutouts that exactly match the objects in each suitcase? Wouldn’t it be cheaper and more efficient to just pack them in with some clothes so they don’t break? Am I overthinking this and it’s just an aesthetic choice?
- Why are we stripping poor Jae-sun? Can’t she take some (clean) clothes from his hanger two feet away?
- Is the copilot Seo-hae’s dad? Did I recognize him right?
- Is the “quarantine” of people who came in contact with people from the future really because of the danger, or are they just trying to kill everyone who knows anything? (Also that terminology and those visuals are a bit too COVID, no thank you in my post-apocalyptic time travel drama)
- I agree that the Control Bureau aren’t the ones who left that threatening message, so does that mean it was Broker Sung Dong-il?
Speculative theory things:
- This is probably the most obvious theory ever, but I’m pretty sure they’re in a time loop. Which on one hand makes my head hurt and worry they can’t make it make sense (even though my sister pulled a The Ancient One explaining time travel to Bruce Banner and made me a little diagram). But on the other hand, time travel shows never fully make sense so let’s just go along for the ride.
- I initially thought that the time travelers are radioactive because of the method of travel, but now I think it’s because there’s been some huge nuclear disaster in the future. Maybe they’re all dying from nuclear fallout.
- Evidence 1: Seo-hae’s random nosebleed
- Evidence 2: Dad’s statement in Episode 1 that “we all die anyway”
- Evidence 3: nuclear warheads in the opening
- Evidence 4: the poisonous air and lack of fresh fruit in Seo-hae’s world
Random and ridiculous things:
- Seo-hae among the tomatoes gave me Space Sweepers vibes.
- Realism is clearly not on the Top Ten List of what this drama is hoping to achieve, so I’ve recalibrated my expectations on that front. Seo-hae and Jae-sun can obviously fly, and they magically repel and/or outrun the bullets of a hundred men. Logic is optional, and you know what? I’m not mad.
- I do find it hilarious how some details are super scientific though. Like you can actually test someone’s DNA from cremated ashes, which is wild and I had no clue. And changing the lens I’m watching this with in no way means I won’t be making snarky comments throughout. (I’ll mostly just subject my sister to those though, don’t worry. She’s watching with me and is similarly inclined so I feel it only adds to the experience. 😉)
- This is in line with my general approach to time-travel dramas, which as I mentioned above, rarely follow through on all the rules they establish. But I’ve stopped expecting them to—I’m here for the twisty timelines and emotional stakes that come from fake-dead hyungs who were really in the future this whole time, or an unknown bride in your wedding portrait. *grabby hands*