This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area season 1, episode 1 contains spoilers.
On the off chance that you watched the Spanish version of Money Heist, labeled the original, no part of this story will feel unfamiliar. In any case, K-Drama has a talent for bettering a story with high-production value and an intense script, so I’m intrigued to check whether if they can top this series with a remake. Are you excited? I know I am..
Episode 1 opens up with Tokyo (played by Jun Jong-seo) describing about the unification of the two Koreas by making a Joint Economic Area (JEA). Tokyo was released from the North Korean army, so she pursued her dream in the JEA, believing it would give her a superior life. There’s a feeling of trust as Tokyo heads to the new area. She describes how wealthy a few Koreans got from the unification and how her landlord (and crime boss) left her in a rough place and took advantage of her financially — she gets a distaste for capitalism and starts to despise the “dream.”
Tokyo ends up in a violent altercation with her crime boss, and after a scuffle, she points a gun at him. She shoots him while describing how these men are cheats, so there’s not an obvious explanation she can’t become one. This is an exhilarating beginning to the Korean remake of Money Heist.
Episode 1 then, at that point, moves to “after 1 year.” Tokyo watches a news report on a robbery where one of the criminals was killed. The police are looking for her. The media blame the increased crime due to illegal immigrants brought on by the JEA, angling toward North Korean people. Tokyo holds her gun with her bloody hand as she stands in the rain, considering committing suicide. However at that point, The Professor (played by Yoo Ji-tae) appears with an umbrella and inquires as to whether she is OK. This is her most memorable experience with him. The Professor tells Tokyo about a large-scale heist he is planning and wants her to be part of it. He believes this heist will make them heroes. Tokyo’s head is turned when he references that they will be stealing 4 trillion won.
The Professor leads a meeting with his heist group; he believes that them should talk casually and have nicknames. If you are aware of the original series, these nicknames are named after different cities. Every individual from the heist group brings an interesting arrangement of abilities. The Professor lets them know they will pull off the greatest heist ever, however without harming or killing anybody. He needs open help. The Professor then uncovers the location — the Unified Korea Mint in the JEA.
The series then, at that point, moves five months after the fact at the Unified Korea Mint. It seems to be a normal day for the bank. The vice director, Cho Youngmin (played by Park Myung-hoon), is having an affair with Youn Misun (played by Lee Joobeen). Youn tells the vice director they can’t proceed with their romance and implies that she’s pregnant. Cho calls her a gold digger, and they argue with each other.
Meanwhile, a group of students arrives to tour the bank as part of a study trip, while the heist group plans their first day at the establishment. They block off the security vehicles with bridge barricades, takedown the radios, and kidnap the security men. Two members of the heist team then get into the security uniforms.
Slowly but surely, the heist team takes over the bank, sending bank partners and members of the public into a panic. The Unified Korea Mint’s entryways are shut, and phase 1 of The Professor’s plans are set up.
Berlin (played by Park Hae-soo) explains to the hostages that he’s in charge as he breaks down the rules. Cho Youngmin lets him know that HQ is calling and they will be wondering where they are, so Berlin requests that Youn answer the call and be as calm as possible. Cho has made himself an easy target by getting on the wrong side of Berlin.
The Professor (who isn’t inside the bank) orders the team to open the front door and open fire on the police but wants no one killed or hurt. He states it is crucial for their plan to work. Notwithstanding, Rio (played by Park Jung-woo) ends up shot, and he hits the floor. Notwithstanding, Rio is alright when they get him back inside. With the police aware of the situation at the bank, both Koreas form a task force team to take on the problem; they are worried about what this will look like on an international scale.
Episode 1 then flits to Seon Woojin (played by Kim Yunjin). She’s enjoying her day off with her daughter, but then she’s called about the Mint. She gets stuck in immediately with the task force team as the negotiator. She’s a feisty worker and is prepared to defend herself against her superior, who represents North Korea.
Inside the bank, Berlin lets the hostages that they are caught yet guarantees that they will all get out securely as he gives them similar jumpsuits the heist team is wearing. Seon makes her first phone call to The Professor and introduces herself as the negotiator. She asks if he can release a few hostages as it will not harm his operation. He tells her he will consider it. Seon is curious about The Professor and wonders what his game is.
However at that point, Seon sees an armed police team heading into the bank since they accept the heist is just a team of four people based on information from The Professor. Seon warns that it could be a trap, yet her superior asks that she leave the tent. Seon heads to a bar for a beverage, yet in an early twist, The Professor works behind it, so he serves her; she likewise knows him — they are friends. He anticipated this. The Professor senses that the North Korean side of the task force currently has the upper hand.
As the police group team inside, a youtube video is streaming where the hostages beg the task team to negotiate because they are all wearing the same clothes and fear for their safety. It then, at that point, on the task force team that one of the hostages in the video is the ambassador’s daughter, so the armed police team retreats. Seon is gotten back to the team, similarly as The Professor anticipated. He then calls Berlin and asks if he’d like to start the next part of the plan. Flashbacks show The Professor telling the heist team they plan to print the money. All the notes will be untraceable.
If you are familiar with the original series, this story will give no shocks. In any case, there’s no question that this Korean remake is intriguing, particularly with the political topic of the North and South Korean divisions.