The Couch Potato : Search – (K-Drama,2020) – Ep 1 to 5 recap

The range of dramas that have started airing in October are really diverse and now we are at a military style drama based in the DMZ in the Korean peninsula. But some sinister events are about to take place as we are about to find out in this series!

As always my drama deep dives will have synopsis versus expectations, segmented episode recaps, mid run review, penultimate predictions and a spoiler free reviews. All of which you can check out my clicking the link here!

As always my commentray on the episode recaps will be mentioned in bold italics. This is part 1/2 of the episode recaps as the series has 10 episodes totally to be aired!

Episode 1

The episode is set around the year 1997 where a man is on the run from the North Korean military with a box of some sorts. The box seems to be radioactive based on the signs on the box and the radiation seems to be affecting the man driving away with it, leading to him crashing his jeep and escaping.

The next scene is also in the year 1997 and a group of South Korean soldiers are heading out into the DMZ. One of the soldiers have an old camcorder on which they are recording their expedition. However as they get further into the DMZ, their radio signals start getting blocked. Eventually the group continues to move forward and reaches Sector 21 where they see a woman, a North Korean soldier from the looks of it with a baby. The soldiers on seeing her accept her as a defector and take her in. But the North Korean soldiers arrive and say they want the woman back in order to find “someone” – my guesses are its the man who ran away with the radiactive substance. The woman finally says that she will leave her baby in the hands of the SK soldiers and go with them. However the tense environment leads to one of the soldiers starting gunfire – something which should never be done- at the NK soldiers resulting in a shootout. Nearly everyone dies, and prior to this the camera is shown to be kept on the floor as well. So the camera is the missing link or proof in the story – vital evidence. The baby seems to have survived – would he be the person who takes this story forward? Lets find out!

The 1997 incident

We then skip to the present where we meet our protagonist – Sergeant Yong, a military dog handler. His military enlistment is almost about to be over and he’s excited to finally leave. Meanwhile the scene snaps to two soldiers looking for a ball in the wilderness. They don’t have weapons with them and soon enough realise something is amiss. A predator like beast attacks one and kills the soldier. The other one tries to make a run for it, but is attacked and dragged away as well. I guess all that radioactive material has turned him into a predator like zombie over all these years? We haven’t seen the person’s identity yet!

Much to Yong’s displeasure he has been given the task of finding some wild dogs in the area along with his team. They do find the rabid animal but he ends up getting hit by a tranquilizer himself. Once the beast has been caught people from KCST special force arrive and take away the animal.But its then that they get the news that they have a missing soldier situation.

Yong

Son from KCST, Yong and his dog, Leo and several other soldiers enter the DMZ to find the missing soldier. It also looks like Son and Yong were in a relationship but Son had broken up with Yong. We see a tense couple of scenes as they look around the wilderness, but they finally find the soldier, dead and looking like he has been mauled by a wild animal. Son notes the strange pattern on his skin and wonders if it really is the work of an animal.

Yong and Son

As the episode comes to a close, the part is attacked by a group of wild dog who are extremely rabid. Yong’s dog Leo gets agitated which led him to freeing Leo. Leo chases something but straight into an area full of mines. Yong is literally in a pickle as Leo is in trouble and something seems to be approching him and Son from amongst the wilderness. Well, wow, what an exciting intro into the series! The first episode has not given too much away but has left us questioning and wanting to know more for sure!

Episode 2

The episode starts at Leo rushing off into the land mine area with Yong calling him despertaely. But its too late, Leo gets caught in the mines and is killed much to Yong’s surprise and shock. Son also notices that the wild dogs that attacked them looked rabid and wonders if it is indeed Rabies.

The news about this incident is reported to the military head – he seems to be the guy from 1997 who was holding the camcorder. I guess there were survivors that night. He is worried to hear about these strange incidents occuring in Sector 21 of all places. The scene then shifts to an ex-military officer, whose called the “hero of the 1997 sector 21 incident” – he seems to be the man that started the firing if I am not wrong. He proclaims about how the country must change, and how he would be the best leader for that change. It also looks like he lost a leg during that incident in 1997. But something about that incident seems to nagging away at his thoughts.

The politician later meets the camcorder man. It looks like camcorder man stil suffers from anxiety from the trauma from that day and from the flashback thats shown, politician man apparently lost his leg trying to save the camcorder man who was about to land on a mine. The incident in 1997 is key to finding out what happened there, I am really interested to know. Especially about the baby, which the show makers somehow purposefully are not mentioning. The politician then asks the camcorder man to make sure this mess is wrapped up.

The soldier with the anger issues thag later becomes Young’s team leader

Yong is meanwhile taken under investigation for destruction of military property AKA his partner Leo. Considering the feelings he had for Leo he didn’t take this approach nicely and fought back at the investigating officer. Due to his bad conduct he is kept in isolation with another soldier who looks extremel grumpy. Both Yong’s and the grumpy man’s moods rub off against each other and the grumpy man gives him a strong warning – STAY OUT OF HIS WAY. Later that night grumpy man is called by camcorder man and asked to lead the investigation into Sector 21 – as his last chance of redemption and to finally become a Major in the army. He agrees. Something tells me Yong is going to be part of the investigation too. Meanwhile Son and her colleagues are conducting a study to find out about the Rabies virus from the collected samples.

The tour guide lady

We are then introduced to a new character – a woman who seems to be a tour guide of sorts in a DMZ museum. But she is no ordinary woman but has impressive skills of her own as she chases away some goons. She is shown to be living in the village adjoining the DMZ along with her husband and daughter. She sees the soldiers arrive and setting up base under the pretense of finding mines to hide the Sector 21 operation, but she doesn’t believe them. She is ex-military. I’m sure.

Yong unwillingly is placed in a team with a new canine partner – Mac for the Sector 21 mission. He is even more unhappy to know his team leader is none other than the angry soldier he almost had a fight with.

Back at the headquarters Son observes some sounds from the morgue where the body of the attacked soldier is kept. She goes in to see that he has been revived, and is now a beast or zombie of sorts. She is attacked and while hiding she tries to call Yong to warn him, but his team leader asks him to not answer personal phone calls when in the DMZ. The episode ends with the monster like soldier creeping in on Son. I am seriously loving the pace of the drama. Honestly I don’t have a lot of commentary to say like how I usually would have because it just keeps me gripped and hooked for more! If you are reading this, and wondering whether you should watch this, I highly recommend you should!

Episode 3

The episode starts with Son getting brutally thrown around and attacked. Thankfully, her colleagues come in on time and multiple rounds of bullets and a final bullet to the head, finally stops the zombie. Son is worried she may have been infected from the blood that gone on her hand but she was tested and shown to be fine. So I have a question here, they mentioned quite a few times about how they are not understanding the source of the condition and how they may need a lot of time to confirm if it is even Rabies. In that case how did they test so quickly on Son? I guess they didn’t think through here.

Meanwhile Yong meets his team mates for the sector 21 operation. The angry Team leader, a skilled soldier who is somewhat kinder is their assistant team leader, an expert sniper, a drone specialist and finally Yong and his canine partner, Mac. Together they plan a form of attack on the wild animal they are about to hunt, altough Yong feels its something else. Our problems seem to be mounting even more as many animals in the DMZ village seem to be getting killed by some sort of “mystery” predator. Uh oh. Not good. Is this going to be like Train to Busan now?

Unfortunately their operation isn’t that easy, as the drones are not working as the NK side have blocked most of their frequencies and they do not have a clear idea of what to expect from their target.

Meanwhile Son provides information to her superiors and takes the resposibinity of the task to take care of the target at the DMZ.

The next scenes that are shown are Yong getting lost from his main group while following Mac on some scents. Despite the Asst. Team leader begging the team leader to find Yong, he sticks onto getting the target first. Yong accidentally ends up on the NK side and is about to be shot when a mysterioys beast attacks all the NK soldiers. Meanwhile we see another scene where Son arrives at camp and realizes that Yong has already set off on the mission. The episode ends with Yong at crosshairs with something – dangerous and alone as he let Mac run back to the team. Okay the last thing I want is Yong turning into a zombie. Somehow I am sure its Son who is going to be saving the day here.

Episode 4

The episode starts with Sergeant Yoon stuck and about to be attacked by the mutant human monster. Its at that moment that Son comes in and chases him away. His team also joins with him as well as Mac has led them to Yoon. They wonder how to take down the target and plan to drive him towards water as animals infested with Rabies do not like water. They lure the target in but its high speed and agility let it escape unscathed.

Back at the camp everyone wonders how to finish the traget to which Son tells them the answer from experience – it must be shot in the head.

Team leader tasks one of the people he know to find out more about the Assistant team leader as he keeps trying to question his commands. It also looks like Asst team leader is not just a nice guy but has some secrets himself – he seems to be reporting everything about the Sector 21 operation to someone.

We also see more of Yong’s family – his mother and her brother are running a hangover broth restaurant, and they receive a surprise guest – one that makes Yong’s mother a little anxious about her son. It was also told in the earlier parts of the drama that Yong doesn’t know who his father is, and his mother told that he dies in the military. But considering that there is so much mystery shrouding his character, I am ready to bet that he is in fact the baby from Sector 21.

Son is also shown to be having an attachment with the Doctor at the village in the DMZ, she sees him as a fatherly figure and once thought he was her real father, only to find out later he isn’t. The two still have a strong bond though.

It’s also kind of evident that although Yong and Son always mention that they are over, they still have lingering feeling over each other on the flashbacks shown and her reaction when he sings the song they sung together at the karoke on one of their dates.

As Yong and Son go to the village for a checkup for Mac, Son notices Mac staring at one point ahead and sees some dead animals and a broken in entry. I think she doubts that the monster made it to the village but doesn’t tell it to Yong. WHY would you not tell such a thing? It must be shared!

That night as the team heads out for the operation they receive a distrubing news on the radio from Yong’s friend – a strange monster has attacked their base camp, and they are injured. Is this the start of a zombia apocalypse or something? Or are they going to go for a more subtle note?

Episode 5

The troop rushes back to base, but they are too late. Yong’s friend dies in the attack and Yong is mentally affected as he meets with his friend’s family and deals with the pain – he is also boiling with revenge to get back at the target.

Meanwhile the news about the same is proclaimed as an attack by the wild dogs. But the tour guide lady and her husband believe otherwise when they find a piece of miltary uniform and a large canine in the village grounds.

Meanwhile the Team leader meets up with camcorder guy and he is not pleased. He warns him to finish this operation as fast as possible or miss his promotion. Team leader asks him to give some more information on what he is really looking for and the camcorder guy replies that – there is an old camcorder that went missing many years ago. It must be retrieved and given back to me and that is the task for the Team leader. Meanwhile the politician is not happy that their secret operation has now become news with the loss of a soldier and feels camcorder guy is worthless. Its also revealed that camcorder guy was the one who visited Yong’s mom’s restaurant and made her feel uneasy – like something bad is about to happen.

Meanwhile a grandma in the village finds an old camcorder in a ditch and takes it. And its become clear that the zombie has now entered the village and is roaming around in search of prey. Creeps!

Meanwhile after one of the villagers saw a man in military uniform killing the animals they decide to take matters in their own hands. Tourist lady is revealed to be ex-military and had lost one of her team mates as well which caused her a lot of trauma. She plans and assigns the villagers to find the military man who is responsible for killing their animal. At the same time the camcorder ends up in Yong’s hands via a little girl he is acquainted with in the village.

That night the villagers and the soldiers enter the village to find the monster but end up finding each other lost for words and in need for an explanation. Meanwhile Yong realizes the old camcorder has started playing a footage and checks it. Its also revealed that Asst Team leader is the son of the politician, sent in as a spy of his own. Okay, THAT I didn’t expect. My full concentration was on who is the baby that survived Sector 21 in 1997.

And thats a wrap for the episode recaps! Do check out the link at the top for all the associated posts on this series!

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