The Couch Potato : Black (K-Drama,2017) – Mid-run review

Hello! Welcome to my expedition into the popular K-Drama series – Black!

The format on my blog when exploring TV series is called “The Couch Potato” and it’s very simple. I will have an initial post that will be a look into the synopsis, cast etc and possibly lay out my expectations. That intial post will also have the links to all the episode recaps, this mid run review and a final review that is completely spoiler free for anyone looking for just that. The episode recaps detail not just the important facets of an episode but it also has my commentary along with it which is highlighted.

For accessing all the posts associated with this series just click the link here!

Now as you know this is a Mid-run review. The series has 18 episodes and I have just finished episode 9. Which means it’s time to have a wrap up, a comparison with my initial expectations, and possible predictions and expectations for the second half of the series. So let’s dive straight in!

Ha Ram and Han Moo Gang/Black

Now for those who are familiar with this series must already know this is not your typical K-Drama. It’s a complex and intricate web of stories that forms a mystery thriller. So when I talk about the series I think it’s better I divide it into parts!

Han Moo Gang/Joon Oppa/Moo Chan/Black

I know that’s a lot of names and to be honest we are still not clear whether they are the same guy or different characters.

Song Seong Heun plays the titular character

Let’s start with Han Moo Gang. He is a weak willed junior detective who pukes onto discovered bodies and is definitely not the cut for being a detective. But into the first few episodes we see that the facade of being a weak willed detective may as well be a facade as he seems to be having a very detailed and private investigation all on his own with all the secrets hidden in a room protected with a retina scan.

We later come to know that the room has an intricate stretch of clues mostly related to the Mujin building collapse and someone else.

I honestly don’t know who these two are,yet.

We are not sure who is who but these two boys seems to be having some strong connection to what is happening and they are Joon oppa/Han Moo Chan/Han Moo Gang. We know Joon oppa courtesy of Ha Ram as her first love, but also a boy who was inspired to be the detective he is today (as per Ha Ram) due to her father. The other little boy is also with the elder boy at the day that Clara beats up Soo Wan for the tapes and apparently knocks Clara out to her death as per the last flashback we saw.

And finally the only character we are sure of until now. Our Grim Reaper #444 or more commonly referred to as Black. His expedition to find his runaway colleague seem to be going nowhere as he is completely behind the case at hand. Also we feel we know who he is for sure but something tells me we will be in for a rude surprise because if you remember at the start of the episode Black (since he was wearing all black) jumps into a lake and sees a body and asks “is it me?” – so let’s not conclude we know everything about everybody.

Kang Ha Ram

Kang Ha Ram struggles with seeing the shadows of death, or let’s say the grim Reapers but she is trying her best to put it to use while Black is trying his best to make sure the deaths happen as mentioned or The Death squad will be upon him. She is also trying to make a revelation on her father’s murder and looks like she is closing in on that too.

Also it’s been subtely highlighted a grim reaper must never look into the eyes of those in love. Thankfully this drama has not tortured us with too much relationship details, but let’s see why this one detail was mentioned quite particularly.

Man Soo and the company

Man Soo is struggling as an illegitimate heir who is favoured by his father but looks like Man Soo’s father has quite a lot to hide as well and maybe tied to this whole mess up more than we think he is! Man Soo remains as a fan favorite character who may as well be the key to coming to the bottom of all this.

The Whole investigation

Let’s just sum this one up shall we? Because this one has a lot of parts!


The first clue we found is of Clara who seems to be a man who actually underwent sex-transformation surgery. Her most vital moments were threatening Soo Wan for “the tapes” which seems to be related to prostitution amongst minors in the hostess bars around the area. It also looks like the blunt injury to her head that killed her, was by the little boy whose identity we currently know as Han Moo Gang. It also looks like she has some history with Kwang Kyun who is the lead investigator.

Soo Wan

Soo Wan who was initially just Moo Gang’s girlfriend actually has another identity and seems to be a huge part in “the tapes”. She is currently under hostage by fingerless man, a sort of minion of the main villian in this story who goes around killing everyone. Moo Gang does find out about her identity but by then Black comes and doesn’t recollect any of that.

The Freezer Victim

The next murder happens to be a woman, an employee at Man Soo’s company who was arranged and tortured and kept in a freezer where she froze to death. She is Soo Wan’s friend and had informed her that she is going to strike a deal with someone for the tapes but since the tapes are nowhere to be seen she eventually got murdered. There is one lead though which is when she met a man wearing a butterfly watch.

The Butterfly watch

This watch is apparently super vital because such a watch is one of its kind. Or that’s what we beleive. I highly doubt it though due to the number of people that seem to possess it throughout this story! I think as the story moves on this watch might most probably lose its importance and be replaced with some other clue.

The Spider Tattoo guy

The spider tattoo guy is the one who murdered Ha Ram’s father as per her vision and seeing the man at the site of his murder. However we seem to be closing in on that on a Chinese-Korean man who escaped from the mental hospital after brutally killing a staff in charge there. This man also seems to have some role in the flashbacks with Joon Oppa and the little buy as the two were chased and the boys injured one side of this man’s face.

The Mujin tragedy

The Mujin tragedy was a huge shopping complex collapse that happened in Mujin killing many including many school children. Twenty years after this event people are still protesting over this. Sadly it seems to be shrouded in corruption. The man responsible for the construction fakes his own death and escaped. On seeing that the man died, Man Soo’s father who was the insurance company for the shopping complex destroyed the documents stating that as well as in order to not give the compensation amount to the victims. Furthermore these two seem to be involved in the minor prostitution ring with Clara as well. I honestly don’t know what these two did right. Anyway the building man is dead for real now and Man Soo’s father is on his literal deathbed and everything is controlled by Man Soo’s brother who is, let’s say not a nice person and is really angry that Man Soo’s father gave everything to Man Soo as part of his will.

Looks like it wasn’t the building man either but someone else owning the butterfly watch.

The other cases

As part of Ha Ram saving lives there have been some other cases as well – like the sniper who shot Moo Gang who was killed, The two kids who were being sexually attacked by their teacher, the sexual assault of Man Soo’s fried Tiffany amongst others. Sure, Black is trying his best to make sure the people die as they should and Ha Ram wonders how some things in her premonition don’t seem to be happening which is actually because of Black. Black’s prolonged stay as a human seems to be affecting his powers as well and he seems to be developing a sense of justice as well. Now whether these cases are tied to the main story we don’t know but with how this is building up, we can’t deny it many have a connection either!

My expectations?

There’s definitely going to be more drama associated with who is the actual owner of the butterfly watch which is driving me mad! Also in episode 9 we saw Moo Gang’s mother get really worried after seeing someone called “Mujin’s mother” on Moo Gang’s phone and now that everyone seems to be tied to this I am not sure what Moo Gang’s mother has to do with this but we have more to see. It also looks like the couple’s son who lost his hand in the Mujin collapse did reach Moo Gang’s mother, but the parents were informed they were never able to find the body? What exactly happened to him? And let’s not forget that Black seems to be finding his own body too. As much as I want to give my accurate and analysed predictions, I strongly feel that there’s more characters to come, more of the past and the flashbacks to be seen after which will we only have a true grasp of what’s going on! With that noted, let’s dive into the next episodes! You can access the link at the top! And let me know what you feel in the comments!


  1. Lol…I know what you mean about the driving you mad part! I had that same experience when I watched this with constantly trying to guess things and thinking I was on the right track, only to have things move somewhere else an episode later. Trust me…that’s not going to change for the next few episodes either! Have fun watching!😀

    Liked by 1 person

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