Equator Man Episode I Recap

(My Korean isn’t perfect so I might have made a few mistakes. Please overlook and forgive, if any :)!  I also did not understand the episode 100% so there’s many things I am hazy about. Still, I hope to give you an idea about what is happening. Also, putting the screen caps in the middle of the post takes me a long time n I have to move to other work now, so I’m simply attaching it at the end as a gallery. Sorry! All in all, I hope you enjoy the recap!)

At the start of the series we’ve got both our leads wandering around aimlessly but with dark expressions. Sun woo is driving around in a car while Jang Il is simply walking around until he finally arrives at an apartment and buys a gun. Finally he heads over to a posh house, where a man is sitting out on the terrace, enjoying the view. The man doesn’t bat an eyelash when he hears Jang Il approaching and stares ahead while talking to him, commenting on the scenic location and how he likes it here, leading Jang Il to ask if he’s envious.

“Envious? It’s mine.”

He tells Jang Il he told him he would come back and Jang Il takes out the gun and points it at him. The man tells him to go ahead if he really has no fear of losing anything anymore and Jang Il pauses a slight bit before telling him “Goodbye, Chairman” (I didn’t catch the name, why am I so bad with names!!?) and readies to fire but Sun Woo bursts in.

Jang Il tells him he came at the right time but Sun Woo asks him to stop now.

“How you would’ve liked it if Kim Sun Woo was your son.”

Jang Il readies to pull the trigger but Sun Woo interjects and comes between the two. Jang Il holds the gun to Sun Woo’s face who passively stands there and Jang Il’s hand begins to shake.

15 Years Ago…

A student is jumping over the wall. It’s Sun Woo. On the wall behind, its written “Kim Sun Woo Kill”. He watches the words with a smile before heading in to class. Another student is receiving an award in class. It’s Jang Il. Sun Woo walks into class late and takes his seat behind Jang Il. As there’s a test going on in class, three thugs walk in. Sun Woo thinks they’re here for him, but it seems they’ve come for Jang Il. Jang Il is frozen in his seat as Sun Woo watches. They’re here to find out the whereabouts of his father and start dragging him away. Sun Woo thinks for a moment before running off to find them and fights off the thugs. Jang Il dazedly walks away as the fight progresses and returns to class, his heart beating wildly. He throws away the pencil he had broken earlier and takes out a new one. Quickly, he finishes the test while his broken pencil gets crushed under his foot and when Sun Woo walks back in, holds up his test sheet with answers so Sun Woo can copy them and looks back at him for a moment. Sun Woo turns back to his test and fills it out himself, not copying.

Later, as Jang Il walks home, Sun Woo stops him and asks him why he showed his sheet. Jang Il turns back and thanks him for helping out and promises to show all his sheets in the future, that is all he can do but Sun Woo scoffs at that and asks him why he would do that? Jang Il asks him why he had to step in and Sun Woo retorts, “Should I have just watched?” and walks away, telling Jang Il he can do whatever he wants, live or die, he doesn’t care.

At home, Sun Woo’s dad praises him for his good result and Sun Woo tells his dad there’s just someone he wanted to show a better grade, to preserve his self respect. His dad thanks whoever it was and tells Sun Woo to do better next time but Sun Woo tells his father, “Like you, I have a bad brain, so don’t expect too much!” His father tells him he’s wrong, his father has good brains and Sun Woo muses he must’ve gotten the bad brains from his mother then, but his father, a little sadly, tells him not to say that his mother was a very smart person.

“If both of you had a good brain, then whose kid am I?”

His dad tells him to go out with him, they’ll have dinner together but Sun Woo resists, he doesn’t want to until his father teases him up and they head off somewhere together in a car. On the way, Sun Woo catches sight of Jang Il meeting someone and muses it must be his father. Sun Woo’s father tells him not to fight with friends too much but Sun Woo replies that he needs to take care of himself, why is always eating medicines if he’s fine. He threatens his dad lightly, “If you don’t go to the hospital, I won’t go to school.” Although his father promises to go, Sun Woo remarks he always says the same thing.

His father calls someone from a pay phone. His call is attended by the secretary of some high profile chaebol who is currently welcoming guests to some event. It’s the Chairman. He attends the call and Sun Woo’s father begs to meet but the Chairman isn’t too willing to meet until Sun Woo’s father tells him the Chairman has a son from his old engagement. His fiancée had died but the boy lived. The Chairman is surprised and taken aback but tells Sun Woo’s father never to call him again.

Sun Woo is eating at a restaurant where Jang Il and his father are also eating. Jang Il’s father tells him to work hard, he’ll make sure to send Jang Il to university in Seoul but Jang Il tells him he’ll be fine even if he doesn’t go to Seoul. Sun Woo, a table away, smiles. Just then, the thugs come up and start creating a scene. Jang Il promises to pay them back later and one of the gangsters starts pouring soju over his head. His father begs for mercy but they brand his arm with hot iron. Sun Woo sits through the exchange, troubled but passive until he finally breaks a chair over one of the gangsters head.

The fight goes outside where Sun Woo brimming with anger tells the gangsters they’re dead today. Jang Il heads out to help him but his father tries to stop him from getting involved. Breaking away from his Dad, Jang Il runs over to where Sun Woo is getting beat up and starts beating the gangsters himself until Sun Woo stops them. As more gangsters come up, the two take off running.  A while later, they’re still running and being chased but they’re smiling and laughing, bonded now.

Later they sit by the sea, laughing it over.  Jang Il confides in Sun Woo and tells him he’ll become a prosecutor and whatever pain and humiliation his father suffered today, he’ll return it to those gangsters. Sun Woo tells him to say it once he’s a prosecutor and Jang Il vows, “I’ll definitely return it. I don’t want to live like this.” Sun Woo wonders if he really must be like that if he doesn’t want to live like this, as in saying, must you take that road and Jang Il wonders, “You’ve not always been a cool guy, right?” Jang Il vows never to forget this day and become someone with money and strength. He starts to walk away but collapses on the ground ten steps ahead. He wakes up in a hospital bed, Sun Woo sleeping on a couch beside him. He tries to wake Sun Woo up saying, “Hey, Kim Sun Woo, Kim Sun Woo” and finally says, “Sun Woo ya”. Sun Woo wakes up with a start and starts asking him if he’s alright, is it hurting anywhere. Both break into a slight smile.

In class, both smile at each other and Sun Woo asks after his father’s arm. Suddenly the teacher barges in, calling Sun Woo to the office about the fight last night. Jang Il, bothered, goes to the Principal’s office to help Sun Woo. Outside the door, he hears Sun Woo and the principal inside. Sun Woo claims he was alone when he fought. Jang Il walks back. That night, Sun Woo’s father comes to school, begging for leniency and Jang Il turns his face sideways as Sun Woo races past him. Sun Woo’s father is kneeling in front of the principal and promises to kneel until he is forgive, despite Sun Woo’s protests.

As they walk out later, Sun Woo apologizes to his dad. His father points out he’s not one to jump into fights blindly but Sun Woo doesn’t say anything and apologizes, asking his father to believe in him. Tears fill his eyes and Jang Il watches them go from afar. Next day, there’s a notice regarding Sun Woo in the hall. He heads towards a room where Sun Woo is practicing pushups and asks him why he didn’t tell the truth. Sun Woo asks him if he wants to be friends and tells him to become that ‘prosecutor’ and give those people back what they gave him. Angered, Jang Il punches him and tells him not to think of him as a friend, he is different from people like him, ‘aka Sun Woo’.

A teacher walks in as they are fighting and Sun Woo is about to punch Jang Il and asks Jang Il why he’s here. Jang Il tells him he came here to tell Sun Woo he’ll help him with studies. And thereon, Jang Il is appointed as Sun Woo’s teacher. Sun Woo isn’t much eager to learn and Jang Il tells him that truly is what he came to tell him that time and he will do his best to teach him. While Jang Il teaches him studies, Sun Woo teaches him to fight.

The Chairman is out inspecting some place when Jang Il’s father walks up to pay his respects. The Chairman is at a dinner next where he is meeting a man while a family sits on the sidelines. A girl amongst them is looking angry and the Chairman asks to switch to another room but a side glance shows the woman listening in to the meeting.

Sun Woo is running away from someone and happens upon a parking lot where he tries the cars and finds the door to one open and slips inside. The girl walks out and starts beating the car’s windshield with a rock. Inside, Sun Woo watches. She finally sees him when there is a hole and some gangsters come running up asking for her. He motions to her not to tell and she leads the gangsters away. He comes out and takes the rock away from her, hitting the windshield so that it breaks. With a thank you, he walks away. He turns back once and they both look at each other before leaving. The Chairman comes out to find his windshield broken and the girl watches from behind a wall, a smile on her lips. At night, Sun Woo lies alone at night wondering at the strange girl, she didn’t even ask for his name.

The next day, he’s lying asleep in class and Jang Il is working when a kid bursts into class, going on and on about some beautiful girl outside. Grabbing his umbrella, Jang Il heads out for a walk. Outside, the girl joins him under the umbrella, asking him to accompany her since she doesn’t have an umbrella. He’s taken by her. Seems she’s a new student here. Except, he notices her tidy clothes and jewelery and probably that is the reason of his interest.

Later, Sun Woo tells Jang Il he’ll help him go to university in Seoul. He wants to help his dream. Jang Il asks  why he’s fixated on it and Sun Woo tells him, “You have no friend… except me.” He tells Jang Il to remember his words, he’s definitely going to do it. Jang Il watches him walk away.

Jang Il spies the new student working in art studio. He goes to see her in class and compliments her painting. She tells him she’s best at painting. They both chit chat and she hands him a sketch, telling him to look at it later. It’s a sketch of him with his umbrella, smiling. Going home that day, he’s all smiles and Sun Woo wonders if something happened. He promises to tell him later. They run into a person setting up a new shop and Sun Woo and the man recognize each other. The man seems to be a shaman and tells Sun Woo Jang Il has intense eyes. Sun Woo tells Jang Il the person is the father of his old class fellow.

Sun Woo’s father gets his test results back and seems he has little time left in life. He starts writing a letter. Jang Il finds out Sumi is Sun Woo’s old class fellow and daughter of the shaman. That night, he stares at the sketch before crumpling it. Sumi dresses up prettily and waits for Jang Il by the ocean excitedly but he never shows.

When she’s walking home, she runs into Sun Woo who spies her from a shop where he and Jang Il are looking for books. He is happy to see her and wonders how she got so pretty but she gives half hearted responses.  Jang Il walks away when he sees her. Sumi realizes Jang Il must know about her father. Sun Woo’s father is smoking and waiting for Sun Woo when he gets back.

His father tells him he has someone important he must definitely meet but doesn’t specify who. He holds Sun Woo’s hand and tells him it’s the person who will be giving him money now. There’s something he’s wanted to tell Sun Woo when he grew up but doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to. Sun Woo laughs it off but recognizes his father’s grim expression and his father tells him its bad-cancer (I think.)  Sun Woo tells him not to lose hope, he’ll live, there are many who do, he’ll be just like them and asks his father to promise. His father tells him a place and a time and asks him to come there on his birthday but Sun Woo shouts that he won’t go and his father slaps him, telling him it’s the first and last time he will hit him.

“That day, you must come.”

Sun Woo is left shaken and teary as his father drives away and he chases the truck, finally collapsing on the ground.

His father goes to meet the Chairman and calls him “Hyungnim”. He looks at his surroundings and remarks they are pretty. He relates the story of how he found the Chairman’s son. The Chairman is cold as he shrugs it off. Sun Woo’s father tells him he’s dying and wants to do this right before he dies. The Chairman is cold and tells him he won’t accept any excuses. Sun Woo’s father finally gets angry and tells the Chairman that its all for the better, he would rather the child grow up in an orphanage than have him with such a cold man. He’d come to give him a father, but not anymore. The Chairman threatens to find the child but Sun Woo’s father resists and a fight breaks out in which the Chairman strangles Sun Woo’s father until the life drains out of him. He doesn’t realize until later that Jang Il’s father witnessed the fight.

Jang Il invites Sun Woo out to lunch-it’s his birthday after all but Sun Woo declines. He already has an appointment to keep.  He heads over to the place, Jang Il following until he trips over something that hits him in the shoulder. He turns back to see his father hanging from a tree.

The End! See you with Episode 2 tomorrow! I’ll decide whether to continue recapping or not after that or the next few episodes. I’m liking the overall premise and setup, but its a little too dark and unfortunately, nowadays I am in the mood to explore lighter stuff. Still, if you want me to continue, just let me know and we can probably work something out! 😉

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About hitomiakiko

Architect and Aspiring Writer

Posted on March 22, 2012, in Asian Cinema, Entertainment, Korean Cinema, Potpourri, Recaps, Uncategorized, Written Excerpts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Hi Akiko,

    Thank you for the recap!!! I see what you mean… yes, I am also into lighter stuff and often find it difficult to watch the darker dramas and those filled with too much sorrow, suffering and pain (I am an escapist…hehe). I will understand if you decide to drop it later, though I can see there are a lot of requests for you to continue (because you do such a great job!!).

    I agree with everyone that the cinematography is great and the acting is solid from the young actors. A promising start! It would be interesting to see how it develops when Uhm Tae Woong and Lee Jun Hyuk take over. Hopefully, I can bear the angst and anguish and persist with the drama! 🙂

    I am trying to catch up on drama-watching this week (have a bit more time for now) and also on your Korean lessons! :). Thanks!!!

  2. I’m surprised you decided to recap this. (It’s good you decide to recap stuff that other blogs don’t) Nevertheless, thank you. 🙂 This was as well-written like your stories. Equator Man had a very solid opening, which I’m very happy about. I was amazed how they showed a glimpse of the darkness, which we will divulge in as the drama progresses. The pacing, directing and acting were very well done. I was mesmerized by the umbrella scene, the cinematography there was just so nice. I hope this drama will continue with this great start.

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying it, Observantzani! Yes, the cinematorgraphy is really great in this drama and at times, more than the dialogues or anything, I end up focusing on the background and the surroundings… But it’s such a perfect blend! When I started watching it, I was sucked in by the red sky in the very first scene! It was like a depiction of what was going on in the story, the way the character of Jang Il was burning inside! The surroundings show the blend of the characters into reality!

      How far did you get on my story? I hope you’re enjoying it! Do give me feedback on that too, if you can! 😉

      • I agree that scene was just as beautiful. It’s sad how Equator Man has the lowest ratings among the three network dramas. I think people should give this a chance.

        As for your story, I’m still in Chapter 1. I didn’t want to rush it since I know you’re still in the process of writing Chapter 3. I’ll give you feedback as soon as I finish all my back log shows. 😛

  3. thank you for the recapp.. please continue on recapping this drama.. i will be looking forward to it.. (^_^)

  4. thank u. pliz do continue wit te recaps

  5. Thanks for recapping – I’d love it if you continue!

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