Hi guys, firstly I want to apologize for the long hiatus. I will try my best to keep up to date with the drama recaps from now on. As you all probably know, there are a few new dramas premiering this month. I had a tough time deciding between “Faith” and “Arang and the Magistrate”. Both dramas belong in the fantasy/fusion sageuk genre and their pilot episodes look pretty promising. If you asked me a year ago, I would never even consider watching sageuk dramas but now I find them more intriguing than modern dramas. I blame Rooftop Prince and Queen Inhyun’s Man. Plus I’m a sucker for anything that falls under “fantasy”. So,
Final decision: Faith. Reason: Lee Min Ho and time traveling
The episode starts off with a super cool animation sequence featuring ancient Chinese sketches. It tells us about the story of Hwata (華佗), who was an legendary Chinese physician during the Han Dynasty. He was skilled in treating all types of disease but his main expertise was surgery. He was the first to use anesthesia when performing surgeries.
During his time, there was a ruler named Jojo (曹操) who suffered from migraines, which Hwata easily treated with acupuncture. Jojo wanted Hwata to be his personal doctor so Hwata fled, as he did not want to spend the rest of his life treating only one person. Jojo sent an army after Hwata, who threatened him if he refused to return to their ruler. Hwata told them if that was the case, then Jojo would be remembered as the man who killed Hwata, the man who saved him. At that moment, the sky darkened and there was a whirlwind, opening up a portal. Hwata entered it laughing.
It is now the year 1351, at the Yuan border. The leader of our travelers is none other than Choi Young (Lee Min Ho). He is the head of the Woodalchi unit, which consists of royal guards. One of the men, Jo Il Sin (Lee Byung Joon) spots the aurora near the mountains and mutters Hwata’s name. Choi Young is informed that they’re being followed but he doesn’t seem too concerned even though he is aware. Unfortunately, the carriage soon gets stuck in a puddle and they halt to a stop.
One of Choi Young’s guards, Oh Dae Man (Kim Jong Moon) whizzes through town and reports that there will be no boats until tomorrow. Choi Young informs the king that they will have to spend the night. The king agrees despite protests from his advisor, Jo Il Sin.
The guards find an inn and bribe the innkeeper to kick everyone else out. Choi Young prepares to settle with a bottle of liquor while his second in command, Baek Choong Suk (Baek Gwang Doo) voices out his concerns about their mysterious followers. He deduces that those men have intentionally sabotaged their boat plans and force them to spend the night in the only available inn for miles.
“So why did you still come here if you knew?” asks Choongsuk.
“Unless you want to wait outside in the open with a flag,” replies Choi Young.
Choongsuk sighs and asks how they should defend themselves. At this point, Choi Young has already closed his eyes and mumbles, “Just….do….your best.” Haha.
Upstairs, King Gongmin (Ryu Duk Hwan) is sketching while advisor Jo goes on and on about how they should punish Choi Young for asking the king to travel in secret. How dare he? The king should be allowed to wear his royal garments and be accompanied by the whole army. King Gongmin just completely ignores him. Well done.
In the middle of his rant, Choi Young barges in, yawning. Hehe. I love his sass. He informs the king that he will be sending the queen over as it is difficult to guard them separately. Still ranting, advisor Jo gets tasked by Choi Young to guard the window. Meanwhile, Princess Nogook a.k.a. the queen (Park Se Young) enters the room. She and the king pretty much have a stare down, clearly defining the state of their relationship.
Later that night, as expected, the enemy warriors sneak into the inn but Choi Young’s men spray them with a green glow-in-the-dark substance and immediately surround them with their blue lightsabers. Uh…I mean swords that glow in the dark. Lol. The blues seem to be gaining the upper hand but according to Choi Young as he reports to the king, there are many more of them. He asks the king to promise that he will not run away even if he’s scared so that he can protect him. The king nods and Choi Young waits in the room as the last line of defense.
The enemy finally breaches their defense and advance into the king’s room. Cue epic music. Choi Young starts slaying the enemies one by one but he is human after all, and there was an instance when the enemy’s sword came so close to the king. But he didn’t flinch as he kept his promise to Choi Young.
The court ladies and the royal physician, Jang Bin (Lee Philip) also joined in the fight. Unfortunately for the queen, she got struck in the neck. Did anyone else find it suspicious that the court lady guarding the queen, Deo Gi (Kim Soo Yun) purposely left an opening for the enemy to attack the queen? I wouldn’t have noticed it if it weren’t for her suspicious glance while she was holding the enemy down.
Jang Bin rushes to stop the bleeding. He asks to borrow Choi Young’s inner ki. We then see sparks flowing from our hero’s hand into the acupuncture needle. We get a magnified picture of what’s going on inside the body (hey, just like in House) and apparently, his ki is slowing her heartbeat. The second bout of ki is stopping the blood flow. Meanwhile, the royal guards caught up with the enemy, hoping to extract information, only to find them foaming at the mouth.
Advisor Jo is appalled to find Jang Bin treating the wounded guards instead of the queen. He rants on and on about the consequences of the queen dying as she is a Yuan princess and how her death may finally give Yuan an excuse to conquer Goryeo. The king wonders if there’s any hope left and Jang Bin replies that the queen’s major artery has been cut so unless they find a divine healer, there is no way to save her. At the mention of divine healer, advisor Jo recalls the aurora he saw earlier.
The king then says, “If that woman dies, our country also dies.” He asks for Choi Young’s opinion on this but Choi Young merely replies that he doesn’t know politics. King Gongmin comments sarcastically that he is indeed a great king because he wrecks the country as soon as he becomes king. Advisor Jo interrupts and says that he knows where to find a divine healer. Choi Young gets up, all ready to go. But he continues stating that the divine healer is now in heaven. Well that’s not much help now is it? Ah…but he knows the portal to the heavens.
King Gongmin is doubtful that asking the heavens for help will save the queen but there is no other choice. Since the queen cannot be moved, Choi Young splits the guards, leaving more with the queen because he deduces that the enemy is after the queen. The king asks him what he thought of him. Choi Young replies that he is a smart and kind king, a blessing to their people.
“You don’t like me, do you? You’ve disliked me from the beginning before you even met me, right?” asks the king.
He orders Choi Young to answer honestly. So Choi Young replies that the king is too young and has spent most of his life in Yuan. When he thinks about how someone like this will rule Goryeo, he feels that the Goryeo people are really unlucky. The king wonders if all the Goryeo people think alike. Choi Young says that he’s the fifth king in eleven years. He doubts that the people will care much. Ouch. Well at least the king thanks him for his honesty. Perhaps Choi Young feels bad for him because he tells the king that he doesn’t particularly dislike him.
The guards are setting up an altar at the portal, which has opened up. According to legend, the portal only opens once every 300 years. Advisor Jo insists that the king should enter the portal and bring Hwata back. Choongsuk pushes him towards the portal and asks him to go instead since he knows all about it. Hehe. I like this guy. The king exchange glances with Choi Young and his face just cries, “Help me!” Choi Young understands and volunteers to go. The portal swallows him up and we see flashing images as Choi Young is transported through time.
He finds himself at the bottom of a Buddhist statue. Paying his respects, he bows. Suddenly, there’s a flash as a curious bystander snaps a photo of him. Choi Young hurries away.
On his way downhill, he sees the tall skyscrapers and night lights of Seoul before him. He makes his way to the street where loud vehicles are zooming past him.
Choi Young flees to a nearby temple, trying to make sense of it all. He meets a singing monk, who is rocking to his music player. He introduces himself as Choi Young from “land” and asks for the monk’s help to find a divine healer. It’s so hilarious when the monk asks him which specialty he’s looking for, Choi Young points to his neck and the monk assumes he’s looking for a plastic surgeon.
“Do you know where they are?” asks Choi Young.
“There are many plastic surgeons around here. This is Kangnam,” replies the monk.
Hehe. Indeed. Kangnam is the place for the rich and famous. Choi Young is just so cute here. He’s so serious which makes everything he says even funnier. He insists that he’s looking for a divine healer which the monk presumes means the best a.k.a. famous doctor around. So he directs him to the plastic surgery conference at COEX which is just across the street. Remembering his scary encounter earlier, he asks for instructions on how to get across.
“You just go,” replies the monk.
“I…just…go?” Choi Young echoes.
Ding. You can see he just had an epiphany about the whole situation. Lol. Can’t wait to see what this leads to. He thanks the monk and continues on his journey. The monk answers his phone and asks his friend whether they’re filming a candid camera nearby. He would have known if they were filming a drama. Haha.
Choi Young prepares himself and takes a deep breath, muttering, “I’m…just…going.” He walks straight into the incoming traffic and almost gets knocked down a couple of times. Holy crap. This guy is nuts. But in his mind, this place is heaven, so this is probably just God testing his faith. He receives a lot of curious glances and every camera flash sends him into warrior mode. He finally arrives at the conference and thank god it’s international so there are Chinese characters in the signs.
Choi Young enters the exhibition hall for medical equipment and marvels at the sights before him. He eventually makes his way into a lecture hall where Yoo Eun Soo (Kim Hee Sun) is giving a talk on subcutaneous face lift. His presence stirs up the crowd and he’s escorted out by security guards. Eunsoo is pissed because he has distracted everyone from her presentation, which was crucial for her because she’s trying to recruit investors for her clinic.
In the mean time, Choi Young is being interrogated but his eyes are transfixed on the numerous CCTV monitors in the room. He spots Eunsoo on one of the monitors and asks how he can get inside. Eeekk…so adorable! The security guard thinks he’s kidding. He notices the blood on the armor and thinks it is ketchup. Hah.
The stupid guard starts fumbling around with his sword so Choi Young incapacitates him without any effort. Feeling humiliated, the guard tries to fight back with a nightstick but not before he calls the cops. One swipe from the sword slices the nightstick in half and the guards run away in fear.
Choi Young eventually finds her in the exhibition hall. He asks whether she’s capable of saving a patient whose carotid artery has been cut. Eunsoo just thinks that he’s weird and ignores him. At this point, the security guard arrives with reinforcement and the cop pulls a gun on Choi Young while he pulls out his sword. Still as calm as ever, he presses Eunsoo for her answer. Scared out of her wits, Eunsoo replies that she has to see the patient’s wound for herself. You can hear the gears turning in his head. Any guesses to what he’s going to do next?
Without further ado, Choi Young holds the security guard at knife point, or sword point and slashes his neck. Whoa. Slow down there. What just happened? I was honestly swearing during this scene. And yes, I screamed too. The guard faints with a look of horror on his face, probably due to shock because there is surprisingly minimal blood loss from a neck wound. I suppose he did it with such precision that the man’s not dead…yet.
He asks whether Eunsoo can save him. If she doesn’t, he will try again and points to the bystander beside her. Omg. I know he’s from an ancient world of sword fights and warriors but still. Left with no choice, Eunsoo starts gathering the equipment and prepares for surgery. Outside the building, a whole SWAT team has arrived to take out Choi Young. Uh oh…not good~~ I wonder how he’s going to get out of this.
During the surgery, the cops try to establish contact but Choi Young breaks the phone as soon as it started ringing. Eunsoo seems to finish the surgery in no time and you can see Choi Young is very impressed by her skills. After confirming the patient’s alive, Choi Young starts packing up the equipment and asks Eunsoo to go with him. Yeah, that’s gonna be hard because she just saw you cut someone’s neck. Eunsoo tries to slip away, which results in Choi Young grabbing her by the collar and dragging her away.
They come face to face with the SWAT team and what does Choi Young do? Yeap, bust all their asses with his mystical inner ki. Then he carries Eunsoo over his shoulder and grabs one of the police shields on his way out. He brings her to the portal and she is literally begging for her life. Choi Young assures her that she won’t die. He will send her back once she saves the queen.
“You’re a liar! I’ve seen your face. Hostages always die once they’ve seen their kidnappers face. I know that because I’ve seen it in movies,” cries Eunsoo. Lol. It sounds absurd but she does have a good point. Choi Young gives his word as a Goryeo warrior that he will send her back. And as she meets his gaze, the scene freezes. What!? On a side note, how can anyone stand Choi Young’s stare? It’s so intense I would have just melted. ^_^
Anyways, we rewind back to ten days earlier where Eunsoo is consulting a fortune teller about her future husband. She specifies that she wants a loaded husband. She wants to know when and where she can meet him. She adds that it will be even better if he’s good looking. Not only that, she’s in a hurry to meet him because she needs to him to invest in her research. Lol. So I guess she decided that it would be easier to find a rich husband rather than an investor.
The fortune teller tells her that she will meet her man of destiny but he’s a man from her past. In other words, he is one of her exes. Eunsoo thinks back to her intern days when she was dating her senior who turns out to be none other than Ahn Jae Wook! Greatest cameo appearance ever! He dumped her because he found a rich woman who was willing to open up a hospital for him. His final words, “She’s totally uglier than you, she also has a bad temper, but what can I do? It’s a hospital.” =_=
Her second boyfriend really loved her. He was one of her patients who proposed with a diamond ring during the consultation. She broke up with him after 3 months because he was too ugly. Sigh. There is no Mr. Perfect, woman. She doesn’t even want a marriage, just an engagement. Enough to borrow some money which she will return once her research succeeds. Then she will call off the engagement. Oh my lord. This is so hilarious I don’t even know where to start. The fortune teller is speechless. He then tells her that she’s going to someplace far for a year, where she will meet her man of destiny. Frustrated, Eunsoo leaves but not before asking where she can find a good tarot card reader.
The scene jumps to the Goryeo era, seven years before our events in the beginning. Choi Young was just appointed leader of the Woodalchi unit. Deol Bae (Kang Chang Mook )reports to Choongsuk that their new leader is only 22 years old. Despite his young age, they have heard stories about him. Cue cool animation sequence, narrated by Deok Man (Yoon Gyun Sang). He is known for his impressive martial art skills and ridiculously bad temper. It is said whoever disturbs his sleep will face death. Deol Bae thinks that’s all bullshit. He says it’s unfair that Choongsuk didn’t get the post but Choongsuk says they have to follow orders.
Deol Bae is in the midst of demonstrating how he will kick Choi Young’s ass when he just walks in casually. Choongsuk asks for his name but Choi Young just plain ignores him. He then proceeds to sleep for three days. Lol. Can humans even sleep for that long? Maybe all the inner ki needs a lot of recharging. Heh. Deol Bae tries to wake him up, despite protests from Deok Man, and gets a whack from the sleeping Choi Young. Which begs the question, is he really asleep or just pretending? I am pretty sure I saw a slight smirk on his face after that.
Yogi: At first, I was confused why the drama was called Faith. Now it makes sense as faith and divine healer sounds similar in Korean. I loved the animation sequence at the beginning. Obviously, the real Hwata did not end up going through a time portal but the story is a great fusion of history and fantasy. Choi Young being a lazy bump just makes me love him more…hehe he can still kick some major ass when he needs to. Plus his expressions (when he does have them) are so funny because he’s always so serious. He looked so cute when he was staring at Eunsoo’s headlights. On the other hand, Eunsoo is more of a comedy character and her comments always make me laugh. Complete opposites but 100% chemistry. I just love their scenes together. So curious to see what is gonna happen to her once she enters the portal. I do realize this first episode recap is a little bit long so will try to cut it short the next time. Tell us your thoughts and comments below.