Descendants of The Sun Recap: Episode 1

Hoping for a plot that won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth? Military/medical drama “Descendants of the Sun” may be the palate cleanser you’ve been looking for.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Medicine and the military meet heart to heart when Captain Yoo Shi-jin and surgeon Kang Mo-yeon cross paths under the most unlikely of circumstances. Not long after the characters are introduced, it becomes clear that falling in love has never been so easy and simultaneously difficult.

Mo-yeon is a promising doctor working her way up with the goal of professor well within her grasp. Though she has the skill and drive, being at the top of the hospital food chain might require her to question the same ethics that later put her at odds with our leading man.  We’re first introduced to Shi-jin in a stunning opening scene that drops the viewers out of a beautiful night sky and smack in the middle of a war zone. The nail-biting fight scene that follows paints Shi-jin, nicknamed “Big Boss,” and his close friend Sergeant First Class Seo Dae-young, nicknamed “Wolf,” as stone-cold soldiers. However, the hilarious introduction of Kim Ki-bum quickly dispels this image. The pick-pocketing punk, played by Kim Min-seok, is carted off to the hospital after Shi-jin and Dae-young foil Ki-bum’s attempt at theft …

Well, mostly.

After realizing the sharp-tongued thief made off with Dae-young’s cell phone, the duo head to the hospital to retrieve it. But they’re met with plenty of resistance. Needless to say, the two special operatives have had quite a workout by the end of the episode. Dae-young, played by Jin Goo, hides a delightfully dry sense of humor and a warm heart behind a stoic expression. However, that heart might not be warm enough for him to make peace with Yoon Myung-joo, a determined but chilly first lieutenant from his past.

Meanwhile, Mo-yeon tends to an injury Shi-jin sustained in the opening fight scene after she confirms his identity as a soldier and learns that he and Dae-young are not the bullies she assumed they were. The two characters quickly warm to one another, and their shared smiles suggest the shape of things to come.

“Descendants of The Sun” draws viewers in with a classic romance baked using unconventional ingredients. With a talented cast that includes Lee Seung-joon, Jun Soo-jin and SHINee’s Onew, there is no shortage of familiar faces or witty humor. Song Hye-gyo fits the bill of a driven female lead without falling into the trap of a damsel in distress, while Song Joong-ki’s cool, almost understated performance fits the nature of his character and balances incredibly well with his boyish humor.

Some viewers may be a bit put off by the heavy presence of slow motion and love ballads lurking around every other corner, but the story in episode one is quick to redeem itself and will no doubt leave viewers hungry for episode two.

Curious to see for yourself? Find episodes of “Descendants of the Sun” on DramaFever.

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