“Healer” First Impressions – Great Beginning!

Ohhh…MAJOR excitment! I was pumped about the new drama “Healer” (puppy is back!) but it’s even better than I’d hoped. Of course, we’re only on the first week and we all know how quickly things can fall apart *coughGreatestMarriagecough* but I’m in and highly recommend everyone check it out. I’m talking major-spy cuteness.


It begins by introducing us to the “Healer” (Ji Chang Wook). He’s alone in his empty warehouse-turned-apartment that’s full of high-tech gadgets and playing a game of tennis against a computerized opponent. He thinks she’s got a nice body but she’s too covered up. Players should be able to modify her clothing with say…a bikini, a white lace maids uniform or a Playboy Bunny outfit. (LOL) He ignores an incoming phone call.


Suddenly the tennis game is shut down and laughter sounds over the system. A voice calls out, asking why Oppa isn’t answering his phone? He huffs, he told her not to interrupt him without permission. She snaps back that she told him not to ignore her calls, they have work. This perks him up, a job? She cons him into thinking it’s a very simple one but we soon see that it’s not. *pauses to stare at shirtless Ji Chang Wook*


The meet was setup at a subway station but when he arrives, our Healer discovers thugs around – a lot of them. No problem, the voice working with him (whom he calls “Ahjumma”) quickly discovers they’re members of SS Guard. They are a private investigation firm that also provides thugs-for-hire and our Healer’s number one rival, Bae Sang-Soo is the owner. He balks at Ahjumma (Kim Min-Kyung) calling them his rival, how can these rookies be compared to a MLB player such as himself? *heh*


Moving to the next scene, we meet rookie tabloid reporter, Chae Young-Shin (Park Min-Young) who scams her way into the apartment of a celebrity in order to get proof that the woman has a man living with her. She tricks the woman, gets inside and snaps pictures of male shoes in the entry but her editor doesn’t think that’s good enough. On her way out, she’s almost run over in the parking garage.


The guy driving is Sang-Soo, the owner of SS Guard. Young-Shin approaches but overhears him yelling at his team for failing and talking about the Healer. She sneaks closer, learns that the guy has photos of the Healer and before he drives away, she snatches the photos out of his convertible. She’s excited, is this the Healer?


We cut to yet another scene that introduces us to Ace reporter, Kim Moon-Ho (Yoo Ji-Tae). He arrives at the scene of an employee protest and the crowd parts, letting him through like he’s Moses. (LOL) After talking to an older woman and hearing her son set himself on fire, he rushes to the hospital. The guy can’t talk but his wife hands Moon-Ho a letter, begging him to report their story.


Back to the subway car, Healer meets the target, Sung-Chul and manages to convince the guy to trust hims. Ahjumma hacks into the subway train controls, allowing our Healer to jump off the train with Sung-Chul. There was one tiny snafu – Ahjumma opened the wrong doors but gets it right in the end. However, the SS Guard thugs manage to pry the doors open and jumps too, giving chase.


A fight happens on the subway tracks but it’s in the dark, so it’s hard to see what’s going on. *grumbles at the camera guy* Our Healer seems to be kicking everyone’s ass and although he gets buried under the biggest thug, he manages to pull both himself and the thug to safety before an oncoming train splatters them. He yells at Ahjumma through his headset, this wasn’t worth it!


We move to a mansion where Kim Moon-Sik (Park Sang-Won) is on a video conference call with 3 other men, discussing how to handle the protest. Blaming the union, they want it known the company had no choice. Moon-Sik says they will announce the company was pressured and backed into a corner. Uh, huh – sounds like corporate BS to me.

Moon-Sik’s assistant brings forward a briefcase, informing him the “item” was confirmed and is in possession. Moon-Sik heard there was an attempted swindle during the transfer? The assistant is reluctant to tell him who but he guesses: Moon-Ho? Wait…aren’t these guys brothers? Are they working against each other for some reason?


The assistant tells him Moon-Ho hired the SS Guard, but our side hired the Healer. The Healer works alone, his identity is unknown and he never asks anything about his clients. Other than the name Healer, nothing else is known about him.

The scene moves again to our Healer, who has managed to bring the Sung-Chul to safety. Sung Chul has another request, Healer relays it to Ahjumma: he wants a plane ticket to the US for his own safety or he won’t give up the item and says if it’s Jae Il Newspaper, it shouldn’t be a problem. Ahhh…now Healer knows who the client is. Sung-Chul doesn’t care, he’s just terrified for his life.


Back at Moon-Sik’s, he gets an email informing him Sung-Chul knows Jae Il Newspaper is involved. He’s not happy about this, it also means that Healer guy knows too, right? He orders there be no mistakes and not one single leak.


At the station, Moon-Ho is preparing for his newscast when the PD, Min-Jae (Woo Hee-Jin) tells him he’s not allowed to say anything about the victim in the hospital nor are they going to air that segment. He gives in, much too easily – which tells me he’s going to find a way to bring it up during his live broadcast. *snicker* I already like this guy.


Moving again to rookie reporter Young-Shin, who is at home with her dad making kimchi. She’s begging him to loan her enough money to hire the Healer for a fake job so she can interview him. LMAO, good luck with that. Dad reminds her of the time, she rushes to turn on the TV and catch Moon-Ho’s news segment. Sure enough, Moon-Ho managed to bring up the guy in the hospital and why he set himself on fire. I knew he’d work it in.


Moon-Ho is Young-Shin’s hero – her dream is to one day be a well-known and respected reporter like him. Although her education is spotty, she didn’t study abroad, and has failed every open recruitment so far, she believes with her determination and grit she can become a cool and sexy reporter like Moon-Ho.


Cutting away yet again, we’re shown a woman staring at photo of herself with a little girl and a group photo of herself, with 4 young men. The group photo appears to be the exact same one that Healer has inside his warehouse apartment. She’s Choi Myung-Hee (Do Ji-Won) and is in a wheelchair, busy setting up a memorial table inside a little girls room. Moon-Sik arrives but freezes when he sees the group photo. The memorial is for Ji Han and her father was Gil Han.


So…Ji Han was her daughter but the father was one of the other young men in the photo? That’s a bit strange but okay, maybe she married Moon-Sik after the bio-father died. Moon-Sik asks where Moon-Ho is? She asks him to call, she’s disappointed. Moon-Sik calls, Moon-Ho knows today is Ji Han’s death anniversary but can’t make it.


Moon-Sik heard he messed up a broadcast, is he in trouble at work? Moon-Ho snarks how amazing it is that word travels so fast. Moon-Sik says not to stress, he’ll keep covering him. Ohhh, them’s probably fighting words. Moon-Ho tells him to take care of Noona, he’s hanging up. Right before he does, Moon-Sik reminds him that he’s always on his side, Moon-Ho angrily yanks the phone plug from his ear. These bros are not friends.

Arriving at home, Moon-Ho gets a call telling him the DNA didn’t match. How many more times are they going to do this, it’s the 3rd attempt already and who is he looking for? He doesn’t answer. Inside his apartment, he talks to SS Guard owner Sang-Soo, who apologizes for failing but the other side has so many people! He’s lying but doesn’t want to admit they were beaten by one man. *kekeke*


Moon-Ho asks if it was the Healer? He tells Sang-Soo he was going to ask for the Healer’s help and hangs up. Pulling out a hidden briefcase, he unlocks it to show it’s full of cassette tapes all labeled “Healer”. MEH? Pulling one out, he reads the date – Nov 9-14, 1980. In voiceover, he says his life is tied to two events, one in 1980 and one in 1992. He pulls out the same group photo we’ve seen twice now.


In a flashback to the year 1980, we see Moon-Ho as a young boy, riding in a truck with a younger Moon-Sik as they listen to an underground radio broadcast. It’s a younger Myung-Hee with Gil-Han, they talk about how many reporters have been fired for going against the government. At a local police station, it seems their signal has been traced and a team heads out to arrest them.

Moon-Sik is signaled when the cops get closer, in the back, Myung-Hee and Gil-Han report that the cops must be on their trail so they’re leaving. In spite of help from another guy on a motorcycle, cops close in on the truck and a chase ensues. They make it out and the whole group goes for drinks. Moon-Ho was asked to take a picture that night, this is the group photo that we’ve seen in 3 different places – Healer has one, Myung-Hee has one and Moon-Ho has one.

Back in the present, Moon-Ho emails the Healer, the samples didn’t match so please continue to search for her. In his warehouse apartment, the Healer prepares to eat while watching leopards on Animal Planet. His dream is to purchase an island and he plans to take one of those leopards with him. (LMAO) Sure…why not.


His lip curls up when he sees Ahjumma is calling but ignoring her doesn’t work since she just hacks into his TV. Ahahaha, poor guy can’t even eat. She reminds him of the case for the missing girl, he complains they’ve already found 3. Ahjumma tells him none matched but they might have found the correct one. She was adopted 20 years ago, everything fits. Healer looks at his deserted island again, he just needs to earn a bit more.

Young-Shin tells us her second dream is to find her biological parents. She loves her adoptive father but she’s curious why her real parents abandoned her and wants to meet them, just once. The next morning, Young-Shin rushes to catch a bus while Healer is given her stats – age, height, weight, etc. Scanning the street, his computerized, super-spy glasses finally zone in on Young-Shin. Following her onto the bus, he stands behind her and catches her as the bus lurches forward.


In voice-over, Young-Shin tells us her adopted Father is a lawyer but he also owns the coffee shop below their home. The criminals her Father has helped hang out at the cafe and over the years, have taught her many useful tricks. She can open a lock using a bobby-pin, open a safe using a stethoscope and has become an expert pickpocket.


On the bus, Healer stands her upright then turns his back and moves away from her. She glances at him curiously and when he sits behind her, she quickly turns around hoping to see his face. Nope, he’s pulled up his hood and lowers his head so she can’t make out his face. However, another skill she learned is a sixth-sense – the ability to know when someone is staring a hole in the back of your head. LMAO!


Flashback to Ahjumma telling Healer to just grab a few strands of her hair, since drawing a vial of blood or getting her saliva would be impossible. Ahaha, she totally likes messing with him. Young-Shin pretends to fall asleep but just as he’s about to grab her hair, she wakes up and puts on a hat.

He follows her off the bus but she’s very aware he’s following her. Ahjumma tells him the girl knows, he admits she caught on quick and finds it annoying. He wishes he could drag her into an alley and draw her blood. Ahjumma thinks she has a toothbrush or hairbrush inside her bag, he should just nab it.


Instead, using calculations in his head, he times out an accident by kicking a can towards a cyclist. The cyclist runs into Young-Shin and they both fall against a fruit display. As she bends over to help pick up fruit, Healer calmly approaches and takes her bag. When she notices it’s gone, she looks up and sees him walking into an alley. He enters a bathroom, dumps the bag but there’s nothing they can use to test DNA.

Suddenly the door flies open behind him, it’s Young-Shin. Calling him a thief, she asks why he took her bag? She’s already called the police and grabbing a mop, bolts it across the door, locking him inside. He pulls the door open with ease, breaking the mop and pulls her inside. Putting his hand over her eyes, he also breaks the mirror so she can’t see him.


He whispers she’ll get hurt if she moves and using her clippers, clips her fingernails. He whispers again for her not to be afraid anymore and leaves. At a river location, he drops the clippings into an envelope just as a woman pulls up on a cycle. He gives her the envelope, she whines she can do more than just deliveries. She places the envelope in a locker and texts someone the number and code.


At the station, Moon-Ho tries hiding from PD Min-Jae but she finds him. Any interviews he’s done with the workers from SunSoo won’t be aired, SunSoo is a major advertiser for their network. She accuses him of being a fame-whore, he’s only listening to the sound of his fans applauding. He tries flirting with her, as her ex-boyfriend but it doesn’t work. He gives the envelope to his assistant, telling him to drop it off with his friend at the lab.


Moon-Ho seems to have a very strange antagonistic relationship with his brother but adores Myung-Hee. Why is he the one searching for her daughter? He also has a hidden camera inside Moon-Sik’s office and sees him discussing getting rid of two people, one of them is the Healer. Ahjumma butts in just as Healer is about to eat again, telling him the girl was a match so the client paid immediately. Now they have a new job – investigate Young-Shin’s life. Was she abused as a child?


Healer dons a hideous Beatles wig with glasses and enters the coffee shop. After placing an order, he sits and watches as Young-Shin and her Father dance and sing to an oldies song. LMAO, hilarious. So that’s a big NO, she was not abused. Next, her job, what does she do? He bumps into her disguised as a jogger and places a tracker inside her bag.


He follows her as she searches for a particular car in an underground parking garage.  Learning she’s a tabloid reporter, Healer is skeptical since she looks more like an amateur car thief. She notices a woman being smacked by a guy inside of a car. As she watches, the woman exits the car but the thug standing guard chases her away.


She sees the guy she’s been stalking since the beginning enter the elevator but can’t get inside without a code. The abused woman shows up behind her to enter the code, she rushes inside and is delighted to see that guy got off on the 9th floor. Entering the elevator with the abused woman, she watches her closely. The woman seems to be in a trance. Young-Shin gets off on the 9th floor.

Healer tells Ahjumma he thinks that girl is playing hooky from work just to stalk some guy, she kinda creeps him out. When he enters the elevator, he notices a purse laying on the floor but pays it no mind. Young-Shin is trying to scam her way into that celebrities apartment again but when Healer arrives in the elevator, she asks if he saw that woman and points to the purse. Hiding his face, he nods no.

Following a hunch, she grabs the purse and heads to the roof, finding the woman standing on the edge. Calling her Unnie, she begs the woman to talk to her. The only thing that works is when Young-Shin begins talking about her parents abandoning her. She explains how many times she was adopted and either sent back or beaten. When she was 7, she thought about killing herself too.


Healer is recording all of this and as Young-Shin finally manages to talk the woman down, he turns everything off and leaves. The footage is sent to Moon-Ho but he only watches part of it before tears fall from his eyes and he shuts it off. In another flashback, we see Moon-Ho was aware of his brothers crush on Myung-Hee, even as a small boy.


The scene suddenly shifts to another crime scene, a guy in a trench coat shows up and it let through the yellow tape. Showing his card to a detective, he’s from the Cyber Police squad. He talks the detective into letting him see the memo found inside the victims pocket, it’s the Healer’s email address. He’s been chasing the Healer for over 5 years.

Ahjumma tells Healer the client is satisfied with everything they’ve sent on Young-Shin and only has one final job: find out what Young-Shin’s dream is. He balks, Ahjumma can do that – don’t girl blog about that stuff or talk about it on SNS? She reminds him this girl doesn’t do those things and offers to set him up on a blind date with Young-Shin, he could just ask her directly. He tells Ahjumma to snap out of it.

Deciding to snoop, he climbs the building, breaks in through her bedroom window and begins searching for a diary or journal. Young-Shin shows the woman she saved to the bathroom. So she brought this woman home to stay with her? Entering her room, she flips on the lights and finds clothes for the woman to change into. Healer drops from the ceiling beams once she leaves. Okay, how the hell did he get up there? Not important.


Ahjumma tells Healer he’s on the wanted list for murder, that guy he saved, Sung-Chul was murdered and they found Healer’s email address on him. OHO, I’m guessing Moon-Sik is setting him up? Healer tells Ahjumma he’s going to stay close to Young-Shin for a while, as he stares at the poster of Moon-Ho along with a photograph of himself in her room. Why does she have a picture of him?


Thoughts

That was an awesome beginning, everything tied together nicely. We have an intriguing back-story, conflict between brothers, adorable cuteness with Ahjumma and the possibility of romance – everything I was hoping for! I also think the music in this drama fits perfectly so kudos to the music PD for the choices being made.

I love the relationship between Healer and his Ahjumma – it’s like James Bond and Miss Moneypenny, Scooby Doo with Shaggy or Gromit from Wallace and Gromit. They disagree and argue but underneath is a current of fondness and caring. We know Healer is alone and likes being alone, hence the desire to buy his own island. I’m waiting to find out why he’s so closed off and watch his reactions as Young-Shin invades his life. *heheh*

So what happened with Myung-Hee and the father of her baby girl? Did Moon-Sik somehow manage to get rid of his competition, marry her and then get rid of the child? That makes him a creepy, obsessive murderer and his own brother seems to know it. Something major must have happened for Moon-Ho to be planting cameras in his brother’s house. If finding the girl and full-filling her dream is Moon-Ho’s goal, it should be no problem since she wants to be just like him.



7 Comments

  • Emmy says:

    Yay! I am so glad someone is blogging about this! I am addicted to this drama already. I think I just have a major soft spot for ji chang wool, and while I am no park min young fan, I think she is great at picking projects. Also these two seem to have great chemistry from the start. I mean, how hot was that fight/ struggle scene in the bathroom!

  • Jules says:

    Thank you for recapping this. I am totally hooked…and I can see the potential for mind blowing storylines, as the set up with the first two episodes is fantastic. There’s nothing I don’t like. I can see the dramatic tension, the mystery, the character development, and the romance unfolding nicely here. Please, please, let it continue in this trajectory and not go spinning into a black hole (I’m looking at you, Doctor Stranger!).

    Thanks again!

  • DBChen says:

    I like how Myung-Hee’s status as a wheelchair user is shown.

    And she’s a middle-aged woman who uses a manual wheelchair, is shown pushing herself, and a younger man flirts with her. I can’t think of any other example like this in the media in any language/culture.

  • Grace says:

    Nicely done ! Thanks 🙂 I’m hooked this early to this drama, I love everything….especially the instrumental background wow!!!! By far Park Min Young is doing a great job here. I love the cafe dance scene wahahahaha. So cute and funny.

    Great job team Healer! Fighting!!!!

  • tasha says:

    I watched this without much expectation and is pleasantly surprised. Cant wait to watch subsequent episodes. Love the moneypenny relationship description..esp when he starts telling Ahjumma off for doing work with pitiance pay.

  • triton823 says:

    My friend i once more agree with your first impression….it has the right combo of rom-com and action at the right %. I agree mj and healers relationship is Wallace and Gromit as wallace gets into trouble and the dog saves the day! Lol.

  • halcron says:

    Thank you so much for the recap!!! Not a fan of the 3 main actors and actress but I like the premise of the plot. Interesting! Hope you will continue to recap for this drama.

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