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Faith (2012) Episode 1 Recap
We open in a beautiful animated sequence that tells the tale of legendary doctor Hwata: long ago, he’d been famous for being able to heal anyone and anything. In time, he’d even healed the King Jojo, who’d been suffering from chronic headaches. Jojo had been so impressed that he demanded Hwata become his personal physician. When Hwata refused, he was chased by guards, who corner him against a stone portal. Just as they were about to kill him, the Heavens opened up and drew Hwata up through a mystical portal.
And in Goryeo time, a caravan travels right through those same mountains where Hwata’s legend still resides. Captain Choi Young (LEE MIN HO) leads the warrior guard Wudalchi as they escort royal carriages, looking as unperturbed as can be. He remains unruffled as the plans go awry:
There are no ships in harbor at this time, which means that they have to take shelter in the one – and only – inn in the town. Absolutely ripe for attack, as second-in-command Bae Chung Seok notes. But Choi Young quips back, “So do we wait for them in an open field then?” The party requisitions the entire inn as Wudalchi guards take up perimeter watch. Choi commands Chung Seok to take care of things really well, and then drapes himself over a bench to sleep.
King Gongmin (RYU DOEK HWAN) quietly accepts the state of affairs, even though his advisor Jo Il Shin rants about the indignity. Choi Young saunters in to give his report – that Wudalchi will do their best to guard the inn, but that the king must share a chamber with the queen in the meantime. He seems to know that the couple aren’t on good terms, but the king agrees.
Later that night, intruders leap into the inn over the roof and through the windows, landing on the main floor. But Wudalchi is prepared, and from a higher balcony spatters the newcomers with a glowing green liquid. So it’s green guys against the glowing blue swords of Wudalchi as fighting breaks out.
But there are more than expected. Choi Young goes to the inner chamber to guard the king, making him promise not to run away. Once the king gives the promise, Choi assures him, “Then I will be able to protect you.”
Eventually more fighters break into the chamber, although Choi is able to fight most of them off. They keep pouring in, and even the queen’s attendants fight back. The king remains where he is, keeping his promise.
Until one attacker gets close enough to slash Queen Noguk on the neck before Choi can finish him off. She faints immediately, blood flowing from the gash beneath her jaw. Doctor Jang Bin (PHILLIP LEE), noted as the best doctor in the land, goes forward, but asks for Choi Young’s help.
And now we see the curious properties of Goryeo in that time, and Choi Young concentrates over the needles that Jang Bin has put into the queen – lightning gathers from his fingers, straight down into the needles and into the body. This effectively slows the heart and blood flow of the queen, keeping her alive – for the moment. Jang Bin tells the king straight up that only heavenly intervention will save her.
This is bad news, as Jo Il Shin frets about; Queen Noguk is a princess of Yuan. Yuan is already looking to conquer Goryeo, and a fatal injury to their queen would be just the reason they need. But he thinks he has a way to find a “heavenly doctor” –the same portal from the legend of Hwata. They all agree that this is what needs to be done.
The king intercepts Choi Young alone in the corridor, hesitantly asking why he dislikes him so much. What does he think of him? Choi tries to make the standard answer of how fortune favors the king, but the king stops him and demands to hear what he really thinks. So Choi replies honestly: the last king died at 14. This one is 21 and has been raised in Yuan…very unfortunate indeed for Goryeo. The king’s eyes are pained as he asks if this is what everyone thinks, and Choi replies that he’s the fifth king in 12 years – no one really cares any more. But he does add that he doesn’t especially dislike the king.
So, trusting that heaven will send them someone, the party goes to the portal, where Jo Il Shin has set up a sort of altar. Energy starts to gather and the wind picks up as a tunnel of blue lightning forms against the portal. The king hesitates, so Choi Young tells him, “Command me to go.”
And he then strides into the portal…and falls out in 2012 Seoul. The flash of a tourist’s camera snaps him out of his daze and he walks forward to meet the full force of the city at nighttime – huge buildings, lights, noise, and the speed of cars and motorbikes. Overwhelmed, he backpedals to a small shrine, and then runs into a monk (who has to unplug himself from an mp3, lol).
He explains that he’s looking to cure someone who needs to stitch up their neck, which the monk interprets as plastic surgery! So he points Choi to the medical conference going on in the building across the road.
Hilariously, Choi asks how to get there, and monk replies blankly, “Just…go there.” So Choi steps straight through traffic, thankfully unharmed, and ends up wandering inside the big building, where there are displays and booths on medical practices.
He wanders into a lecture hall, where Yoo Eun Soo (KIM HEE SUN) is giving a lecture on facelifts, but the cuts on the neck that she’s illustrating ring a bell…
Choi is escorted out by security guards, who demand to know who he is. He’s distracted by the security camera feeds, where he sees Eun Soo wandering around after her lecture, and immediately demands to go there, patting the screen. “I need to get in here. How do you open this?” He deals with the security guard’s club by slicing it with his sword, and strides out of the room.
He manages to find Yoo Eun Soo, and goes right up to her and demands to know whether she can heal a neck wound. She stammers that she’d have to see it first…so he grabs a nearby guard and slashes his neck. “That’s what it’s like. Can you heal him?” OMG. She predictably freaks, but he solemnly tells her that if this guy dies, he’ll just try again on the guy right next to her.
So she grabs supplies from the displays nearby and sets to work suturing the neck wound, while police start to gather around the building. Once finished, Choi is elated to see that the wounded man still has a pulse and that does it. He ties up some supplies, drags Eun Soo behind him (after she first tries to run for it) and comes up against a wall of police officers. Eun Soo ducks for cover, but he raises his hand as lightning blasts out of it, shattering the glass walls and throwing down the policemen.
He lifts Eun Soo onto his shoulder and walks right out, up to the portal. Eun Soo cries and begs for her life, not believing that she’ll ever come back. He kneels and promises, “Upon my life as a Goryeo warrior, if you heal her I will bring you back here.”
Flashback! Ten days ago, Eun Soo had gone to a fortune teller to ask when she’d meet a rich guy. The real reason is she wants one is of course as an investor for her own hospital. She figures she can just break the engagement when the investment is made. Lol.
The fortune teller tells her that she’ll meet someone from the past, and this sets her thinking about her old boyfriends…one who’d left her for a rich girlfriend, and other who was too ugly. The fortune teller adds that he sees “a great travel” ahead, which doesn’t gel with her plans. Disappointed, she leaves.
Another flashback! This time in Goryeo ten years ago. The current Wudalchi had received orders that Chung Soek was to be replaced by a new leader. The guards gossip about the newcomer, who’s very young at 22 but has an impressive set of rumors, as Dol Bae narrates: he can kill enemies three at a time, he leaps high over trees, and his temper is so violent he almost killed a man for waking him up.
In saunters Choi Young, who clocks the boss and asks a question: “So where do I sleep?” And he proceeds to sleep through three days. Dol Bae can’t take it any more and approaches to wake him up, only to get clubbed in the head. And Choi Young sleeps on.
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