Prison Playbook: Episode 3

Guys, we’ve been sentenced to 16 episodes (which equals way more than 16 hours) of hard drama time, but we’re all in this together. This episode we move from the correction facility and into our permanent cell. We meet our cellmates, which comes with trying to figure out if there is anyone we can trust. Thankfully, we have Je Hyeok and Joon Ho to help us through the murky waters. 

Everyone else is introducing themselves with these recaps, so I guess I should too. I’m Drama Geek and I’ve been an avid drama watcher for about five years and blogging with Drama Kimchi for about a year. I love all things geek related so even though I’m a huge fan of Asian dramas, I still devour a lot of non-Asian shows and movies. I’m also an author and mother of two, wife of one, and sister to six.

Here at Drama Kimchi our recaps are more of a overview of the episode and we usually list out our favorite moments, instead of breaking the episode down scene by scene.

Before I get started with my favorite scenes, I have to comment on the original set up of the series and the cinematography. The opening scenes, where we meet Je Hyeok and establish his popularity as a ball player, then humanize him right away by showing that he’s not always the brightest bulb was brilliant.

The use of the CCTV footage to document his movements the night of his sister’s attack and even coming into the prison helped create the perfect mood. But my favorite thing is the director’s use of the tunnel.  Je Hyeok goes into the tunnel a free man and comes back out a prisoner. The viewer hears the trial and verdict as voice over. It was perfect! One, I think courtroom scenes are boring most of the time. Two, it really gave the viewer this sense of doom that wasn’t interrupted by the courtroom.

Now on to my favorite scenes.

The Great Noodle Heist

Je Hyeok survived being stabbed in the shoulder and hopefully never has to sleep next to that dude again. Because the biggest survival factor in prison, is probably who you end up sleeping next to every night. His new cellmates seem like a bunch of thugs when he enters his new cell, they pull the food delivery guy in and pound on him when their ramen water is cold. I was immediately sad because our Winner cutie, Seung Yoon, is among the new crew, and I didn’t want him to be bad. They’re all very secretive about a  plan that they have cooked up. They need the blueprints to the prison and have to use their secret hammer to carry out the plan. Everything is set up in a way that reeks of a prison break. And they will stop at nothing, even killing someone to get what they want.

In true Reply series fashion, the masterful set up has a hilarious payoff. Our boys aren’t trying to break out, they’re stealing hot water…. from the water heater which has the person’s name they’d been saying they’d kill on the label. Cue chicken (bird?) sounds. Ha. I love that they make these guys seem like cold-blooded killers and they’re just trying to get hot ramen.

Doctor Go to the rescue?

Je Hyeok is assigned to work in the wood shop and we start a theme that I think will run throughout the drama. Je Hyeok is only good at baseball. His finished product barley resembles a chair. LOL. Not all the people from his cell work there with him, only Gobaksa who AsianWiki has labeled Doctor Go so we’ll stick with that.

Doctor Go isn’t happy with the fact that they work at night and don’t get paid for it. So he stays up all night writing out petitions. He wants hot showers every day, and to be paid for their work. It seems that his strategy works and the boys are joyous when are take for hot showers the next day. Everyone starts tossing out things they want Doctor Go to solve for them…. cue the next day when those hot showers disappear. Ha! The petitions had nothing to do with the sudden change, there were officials visiting the facility so they had to make it look like they were taking care of the prisoners better than they were.

Awe, Joon Ho transferred just to take care of his BFF

The outcry for the wages went a little south because the men in charge of the wood shop aren’t happy and to get revenge someone plants a wrench in Doctor Go’s things. Je Hyeok takes the heat for it, and is made to stay behind for “punishment”, but instead the cellmate that runs the shop seemed to want a new bed mate… if you know what I mean.

There is sniffing and butt grabbing, but Joon Ho arrives just in time. I love Je Hyeok’s hidden grin when he sees his bestie. Also, Kyoung Ho may be tiny but he packs a fierce scowl.

Do we have another Taek on our hands?

True to the Reply series our leading man is hard to read in the romance department. The flashbacks give us a little insight that Ji Ho and Je Hyeok were cute as they grew up. He seemed to dote on her while she looked up to him as her oppa. Ji Ho says they broke up because she was the only one that was in love in the relationship, but his sister doesn’t think so.

Her story leads to another super great setup with wonderful comedic payoff. Je Hyeok finished his game and ran to a sick Ji Ho in the middle of the night. He didn’t wake her up, but left the medicine in her apartment. The only proof it was him is his baseball cap that he left  behind. Cut to Je Hyeok getting ready for his next game with a batting helmet on instead of his cap.

The next day he shows up to see Ji Ho and we get a nice steamy kiss. Wow, I’m not sure I’ve seen Krystal have that kind of chemistry with any of her costars. She was cute in Heirs, but she looks really good with Je Hyeok.

How old is that hamburger?

Min Cheol (Taek’s dad!!!), one of Je Hyeok’s cellmates really wants to watch a movie that’s playing on OCN, but the problem is that they only get one channel. He waves a hamburger around and says he’ll give it to anyone that can make it so they can watch the movie.

The white haired guy with a  lisp, Kaiseuteu, concocts these elaborate plans. He makes an antenna to be told that it’s on cable and that won’t help. Then he MacGyvers some fire so he can melt the plastic casing around the channel switcher, only to find that they’ve been soldered. He then resorts to smacking the tv and it actually starts changing channels.

Then we see our Winner Cutie who AsianWiki calls Janbaljang, though I’m not sure if they’ve used that yet, has a remote. He smoozed his way into the directors office and stole his remote.

He happily eats that burger that has been in a draw for who knows how long while the rest of them watch the movie.

I love when they tell us why they’re all in prison  and we find out that Janbaljang is in for stealing bread. At first it seems he just took a loaf, but then he sees a truck full of bread and steals that instead. I’m so glad he’s just a big dork who’s in prison and not a real bad guy.

Oh no! Je Hyeok’s pitching hand!!!

Joon Ho arranges for Je Hyeok to come out and talk and that’s when he lets slip that he had to pull a lot of strings to get transferred. I love these two together and can’t wait for all the bromantic moments.

Joon Ho finds the baseball that Je Hyeok was given permission to have and tosses it at him. It falls to the ground when Je Hyeok can’t grasp it. Joon Ho thinks Je Hyeok is messing around, but when he throws it again, the balls rolls out of his grasp. It looks like that shoulder injury might have caused more damage than they thought. If I’ve learned anything about our main guy, it’s that he’s very determined and deliberate. If he can rehab himself back to the pitching ability he had before, than he will.

My Thoughts:

The fact that this show has already aired makes me feel like I’m at a bit of a disadvantage. The internet already knows all the nicknames and what relationships will be epic bromances. AsianWiki has a huge log of all the characters and most of them haven’t even shown up yet. But I’ll stop whining, and talk about the drama.

I am a huge fan of the director/writer team. I think they are experts at creating a great set of characters that you laugh and cry with,  cheer for them, and you end up feeling like you’re part of the family. We’ve taken out the husband game, which I think will make for a stronger narrative. Though I feel like the lack of women in the drama might counterbalance that. They’re doing a decent job with the few they have in it, but the mothers, sisters, and great female relationships will be sadly missed.

I’m eager to meet the rest of the cast, and anticipate a lot of alliances to come. I can’t wait to see how Je Hyeok navigates the rest of his sentence and his recovery as a baseball player.


Until the Next Roll Call,

Drama Geek of Drama With a Side of Kimchi

Leave a Reply