Today, I bring you something a little different. After AHS:Coven ended, I realised I'd love to start writing episode recaps. I don't watch a lot of TV, but when I do, I tend to stay with the shows because there are various things I like about them - and the more things I like, the more I have to say. But, alas, Coven was too ambitious to start with, so I thought... why not recap White Christmas? It's a Korean drama, not one of the most popular, sadly, and there aren't that many recaps out there, so one more really can't hurt. Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
A series of deaths, including murder and suicide, take place over eight days in a private, elite high school deep in the mountains, with the students cut off from the outside world and in highly volatile and unstable emotional conditions. The drama deals with the question of whether evil is organic or environmental, and the potential for adolescents to be extremely empathetic as well as equally cruel.
And here's what I'd like you to know: I'm going to talk about all the things that I like. I'm going to talk about foreshadowing, costume design, character relationships, camera angles, and whatever else I feel like adding. I will make regular pauses to look at pretty faces, and I will be slightly sarcastic about the whole thing. I will also spoil you, a lot, because I want to do a sort of hindsight recap and discuss the way certain quotes and scenes influence the ending. Conclusion: don't read this recap if you haven't watched THE WHOLE SHOW.
[edit: Read More links aren't working for some reason, so please click here]
Episode one starts with a male voice-over. Welcome to Susin High, an independent private school in the mountains, housing the top 0.1% students in the country. "Like a race horse whose eyes have binders on the sides", students are encouraged to spend all their time with studying (read also: they’re actually forbidden all other activities).
We arrive at Susin on December 24, 3PM. It’s Christmas Eve, and the students are preparing to go home for their annual 8 days of break from hell. (there’s a very good line about the school’s time management in episode 2, I thought it wonderful that the show acknowledged the cruelty of its own setting) But alas, there is an independent thinker, staying behind to spend Christmas break in school.
We accompany Park Mooyul (goody Mooyul from here on, because I like it) as he walks by a wall of framed photographs. These are the honor students, and the school has found it suitable to place a mirror in the last slot, with the vaguely threatening words “next is...” written below. Park Mooyul throws it a wishful look, but ends up distracted by a piece of pink bubble gum stuck to the mirror. He cleans it off, because he is a very good person, and I really like this moment. It works on a worldbuilding level (competition, competition, competition), a character building level (we can tell Mooyul wants that final slot), and a foreshadowing level (watch out for bubble gum in episode 2!).
Mooyul goes into his dorm room, where he reaches into a desk drawer to pull out an ominous black envelope. Inside, there is a poem, and as he reads it, we are given a montage of each line against various school setting we’ll be seeing throughout the show. Here’s the poem, for later reference:
You tainted me, made me pitiful.
You made a monster in the corner.
You silenced me.
You ridiculed my false hopes.
You took the only thing I had and put it around your neck.
I held out my hand and you let go.
You deleted me from your eyes.
Finally, you overtook me.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
After 8 days, walk up the path by the zelkova tree.
Under the clock tower, you will see someone dead.
The night that Jesus was born, I curse you.
It’s a clear threat, and it’s safe to assume this letter is the reason Mooyul stayed behind for Christmas break. We’re not given enough time to think it over, though, because we’re soon interrupted by a voice over the PA system.
With authority figures like these, no wonder Christmas break went to hell as quickly as it did. Even so, Mooyul makes it to the cafeteria, where he walks dramatically (and silently) past a girl in a fancy jacket, and we cut to Handheld Camera Vision.
The cameraman is Yang Kangmo, and he’ll guide us through meeting the rest of the cast.
You’ve met goody Mooyul.
Yoon Eunsung, the only girl in the cast, conveniently the prettiest in the whole school, and owner of several nice jackets. If she looks unfriendly, that’s because she is.
Cameraman Kangmo doesn’t recognise the awkward boy in the uniform, but he gets to read his nametag. Meet rookie Lee Jaekyu, responsible for the male voice-over in the beginning. Also, possibly Satan.
Yoonsu, who is on full-name basis for the whole show, walks in next, giving Kangmo the finger as he asks him to say a few words. We have our punk rock outcast!
Next we have our sharpest man (both in intellectual and sartorial choices), Choi Chihoon. He mostly keeps to himself, because small talk really isn’t his forte.
And last, but arguably not least, Jo Youngjae. Good thing we watch movies, because his smile and clothing choices are enough to tell us... popular asshole coming through.
Oh, right, and meet The Teacher, who we can assume is in a very good mood if his previous announcement is anything to go by. Like the responsible adult he is, he decides to serve wine to the students, and then complain that he’ll be spending the last Christmas of his 20s babysitting seven budding criminals. He doesn’t actually say that, but you and I have searched our hearts and we know it to be true. Yoonsu takes the opportunity to jab at his appearance and tell him he looks a lot older than he is. Jaekyu smiles, telling us that for all his awkward and shy ways, he’s not above making fun of a teacher – already placing him quite high on The Susin Badass Scale.
Meanwhile, the radio’s on, we learn there’s been a massive car crash, and the unfriendly banter continues, as Youngjae explains he didn’t go home because of his stepfather’s tendency to walk in on him while he’s in the shower. No one’s amused, probably because no one can tell whether he means it. Homosexuality Reference #1, Youngjae.
He assures them it’s a joke, and Eunsung jumps on the chance to pick a fight, setting up a pattern we’ll be seeing a lot from here on. I live for these two and their mealtime insults.
Across the table, Yoonsu is busy establishing himself as the resident Cloudcuckoolander, which would be quite endearing if we didn’t know how his story ends. Note the fancy botanical-themed plates, and Jaekyu’s dawning realisation that he is surrounded by homosexuals. Homosexuality Reference #2, Yoonsu.
The Teacher attempts dialogue once again, asking the students whether they’re going to spend their Christmas break studying. Kangmo denies, mentioning the school’s urban legend – it goes somewhere along the lines of “a girl studied on Christmas break back in 1999, she died, and now nobody does it anymore”.
Story time, Youngjae offers to do sound effects. Mooyul is caught staring at Yoonsu, who blows him a kiss. (Homosexuality Reference #3: Yoonsu) Both their reactions are worth a screencap – Mooyul trying to put distance between them, and Yoonsu holding his ground until the other looks away.
We hear the ominous humming of Christmas carols as we learn about the urban legend, and Youngjae is suddenly uninterested in sound effects as his character development starts to unfold – we realise he’s not just a popular asshole with divorced parents, he’s a popular asshole with divorced parents who’s always scared. He’s on edge, and I was a little surprised he didn’t have a heart attack when the alarm rang.
Right, the alarm! As soon as they realise there’s someone at the gate, Team Reaction (goody Mooyul, cameraman Kangmo, rookie Jaekyu, and The Teacher) run outside, while Team Inaction (asshole Youngjae, genius Chihoon, stoic Eunsung, and eccentric Yoonsu) stay behind to... enjoy the wine, I suppose. The first time I watched the show, I thought I’d had it all figured out around here – this is going to be a horror story, with dead people, and ghosts.
Ominous organ music plays, and we get our first good look at the man who isn’t just possibly Satan – he’s most definitely Satan.
The Stranger states he’s been in a car accident nearby, but he’s walked all the way to the school so he doesn’t think he’s in too bad a state. Mooyul calls the emergency number, because he’s a competent, rational protagonist and it’s not his fault that the writers are set on ruining his life. Through the phone he’s told there’s been an accident on the highway, which means paramedics won’t be coming anytime soon – they’ll have to take care of the bloody stranger until they do. When asked about family or friends, The Stranger gives Mooyul a phone number, belonging to yet another stranger called Oh Junghye. Memorise that name, so you can suffer later wishing you’d never heard it.
Meanwhile with Team Inaction, Chihoon lays down some cold hard facts about the veracity of the urban legend, stating it can’t be true because the school only became co-ed in 2001 – there were no girls in Susin in 1999.
Youngjae reacts in a way that suggests he was the only one not aware of the fact. Eunsung laughs probably for the first and last time in the whole series, and Yoonsu giggles because he’s got a death wish. Youngjae throws a napkin at his face. The group is told there’s been a car accident, but no one seems too bothered. That’s Team Inaction for ya.
We cut to Kangmo, who is still outside – it’s safe to assume he never actually went back with the rest of Team Reaction. A snow ball gets thrown to his head, obviously by Youngjae, and they argue about Kangmo’s hearing aid not working if water gets in. Youngjae replies that he’s aware it doesn’t work around magnets, either, which tells me this is a common occurrence, and that Kangmo’s disability is a source of great distress for him, maybe not only, but also because of this guy.
This is an incredibly powerful line. I feel like there’s a lot to say about Kangmo and the way his disability is explored in-universe, but I’m definitely not well-read enough to do it – I have a few thoughts, but I’ll keep them for a later episode.
A very confrontational conversation ensues, and Youngjae half asks half threatens Kangmo to forgive him. We don’t really understand why he’s so worried about being forgiven for what we assume must be only one in a never-ending list of fucked up actions, but then we realise...
...he thinks Kangmo is responsible for sending him a black letter. One of the likes we’ve already seen, only in the hands of protagonist Mooyul.
Backtracking just a little, this scene delivers a whole lot of brilliant lines, and this one describes Youngjae’s character like few others. It’s both indicative of the power he has (or thinks he has) over others, and the fact that he fully believes those he bullies to be at fault for getting hurt. He’s probably a follower of the infamous motto "offense is taken, not given".
Good thing Mooyul is always present to stop fights from getting ugly. Youngjae isn’t too happy to know he’s not the only one hated enough to deserve a black letter – cameraman Kangmo has received one, so has goody Mooyul, and so has rookie Jaekyu. The plot thickens!
Now, we’ve all watched the show, and we all know who’s responsible for the letters. I told a friend once that I’d have to rewatch the whole thing looking only at Jaekyu, and I’m trying hard to do that now – clearly, he doesn’t seem too pleased that his letters are being taken as a joke.
Meanwhile, Chihoon poses in his room as he solves an equation, like only the sharpest men can do, and The Teacher shows The Stranger where he’ll be staying in Susin High. They both walk to the teachers’ dorm, where a barred gate and a security code keep the students out. Apparently, five years before, a former student had set the teacher’s dorm on fire, then jumped off the roof, leaving a suicide note saying their time in Susin had been a nightmare. This show just keeps getting happier and happier.
Aaaaannd it’s morning! We meet our ensemble cast in the lounge, sitting around their black letters scattered on the coffee table. Unsurprisingly, each of the students has received one – but Chihoon has thrown his away, because “he didn’t know what it meant”. He simply stayed behind to pose and solve equations. Jaekyu is, of course, incredibly excited about his magnum opus being treated like trash in Chihoon’s hands.
The idea that the letters may just be a sorry joke pops up once again, and Eunsung proposes a solution – if it’s a joke, if it doesn’t mean anything, they can just tell The Teacher, right?
Of course, she realises there is at least a small measure of truth in the letters, so it may not actually be that simple. The innocent one will tell, she says, and silence ensues. Everyone pockets their letters as The Teacher walks into the lounge, followed by The Stranger.
The Stranger introduces himself as Kim Yohan, a psychologist, and Yoonsu and Youngjae start an impromptu competition to decide which of the two can be more annoying in front of grown-ups. Yoonsu wins with a dream Freud would surely love to get his hands on. “There’s a naked male ghost following me.” Homosexuality Reference #4, Yoonsu.
The above cap was taken solely for Psychologist Yohan's expression.
This whole exchange is seen on a laptop, via security cameras, in a dorm room somewhere, but we don’t get to see who’s watching – and leaving that little detail behind, we join our cast outside to start a snow fight. Even The Teacher plays along, which leads me to assume they really did choose the most incompetent person to babysit these seven. Or did they?
We know Mooyul is an independent thinker, which prompts him to use the distraction to ask Psychologist Yohan a few questions about the letter. He tells him it’s a poem someone he knows has written, and wonders whether a trained professional would be able to infer something about that person’s mental state from their words.
He looks incredibly hopeful, which saddens me. I guess he’s not coping too well with the letter situation. Psychologist Yohan – who humorously confirms “yes, I’m a psychologist... for now” – speaks of depression and aggression, stating the author of the poem needs immediate help.
Noticing his exchange with Psychologist Yohan, Jaekyu latches onto Mooyul as soon as he can, to hear what’s being said about himself. It’s really noticeable, how this is the moment he chooses to take an active role in the group. From here on, Jaekyu will be one of the most valuable players in Team Reaction, and it makes a world of sense – there’s no better way to divert attention than posing as an active hunter for the culprit who is, in fact, yourself. Also, the hunt might just feed the narcissistic side of Jaekyu’s personality. We’ve all heard of attention-seeking criminals feeding off media attention, and it really wouldn’t surprise me that Jaekyu is acting in line with them – the closer he is to the investigation, the more he realises his actions have disturbed his fellow students, the more relevant he’ll feel in the dog-eat-dog world of Susin High.
We cut to Yoonsu next because a) we’ve just mentioned depression, b) he’s played by a half naked model.
Ominous blue pills are ingested, guitars are played, etc etc etc. Episode 1 is also where we learn that Yoonsu should just lock his door if he wants to keep his sanity. Team Reaction pop up and question Yoonsu about his letter and why he’s stayed in school over Christmas break. From here on, everyone will be a suspect, and we start with Yoonsu, because of his somewhat well-known reputation as a mentally unstable rich brat.
So he states he’s stayed in school because “it’s an honor” that someone hates him enough to send him that sort of letter. If someone’s going to die, it’s only polite to be there when it happens... but his stoic stance shatters as Jaekyu touches a statue of the Virgin Mary he keeps by the door. It’s his amulet against the Corner Monster, he says, and the fact that it’s accurately placed is the only reason the Monster hasn’t appeared in the dorms yet.
Eureka Music plays as goody Mooyul starts matching people to poem lines, and Yoonsu elaborates on the identity of the Corner Monster. It’s in every house, his mother has told him so, and one side of its face is blue. Yoonsu has been seeing it since he was five and was kidnapped (uh-oh, that’s the kind of information that will surely come back to bite our heads off) and he’s fully convinced that the letters have been written by it. Mooyul states he’s never seen it, though, which throws Yoonsu vaguely off-balance – if he hasn’t seen it, then why did it write him a letter?
At this point, and after two rewatches, I’m honestly very confused as to whether Yoonsu knew where the poem came from. It’s established in episode 4, I believe, that Chihoon recognised the poem as Jinsoo’s suicide note when he got the letter, so it’s not completely ridiculous that Yoonsu, who isn’t completely unsavvy, may have known it too. We know that he considers Jinsoo and the Monster the same entity (“the Monster likes Eunsung”), so when he states the Monster has written a letter... who is he really referring to?
What Mooyul takes from this conversation is that the “half side of face is blue” thing must mean the Monster has a birthmark, so Team Reaction decide to search the student records next. Jaekyu is easily distracted (no, he’s just smarter than I give him credit for), so he jumps straight to Mooyul’s record.
“If I’d known you were once this cute I would have left you out of my Death Note”, you mean.
He goes on to say it’s curious that Mooyul has pointed out his mother as his role model, because most boys usually pick their fathers. That’s when he realises Mooyul’s mother is dead. Oops.
Their search comes out clean, so Team Reaction turn to the sharpest man in the building to look for answers...
...and they find him exercising in his Skullcandy-TokiDoki headphones. Thinking he might be onto something, Mooyul asks him whether there is anyone with a blue birthmark in Susin, to which Chihoon replies “no”. All’s fine and dandy, until Jaekyu points out that chances are, Chihoon can’t even recognise his own classmates – it’s not like his answer has any actual meaning.
Honestly, I thought this was a very risky thing for Jaekyu to do in front of Chihoon. Even if they all the kids think it, none of them is reckless enough to say it aloud – they don’t want to make themselves “visible” to Chihoon via causing a confrontation with him. When it comes to smart types, it’s probably better to lay low, which is something Jaekyu completely fails to do when it comes to our resident ace.
Chihoon is surprisingly chill about it, though, and recognises that, indeed, if there’s one thing that fits him about the letter, it’s that line. And so the Eureka Music plays, and Mooyul is kept from reaching the conclusion on his own. Woe is him.
Team Reaction + Chihoon then conclude that each line of the poem must fit a particular person, which prompts Mooyul to go speak to Eunsung.
Such smooth pick-up lines. Anyway, Eunsung does remember, and we flashback to her past self (with great bangs) finding notes from a stalker in her locker and running right back to Mooyul for comfort. They're exes! Well, we all knew that.
Mooyul reminds her of one of the letters she’d received from said stalker, one she’d given him unread – Mooyul, like the gentleman he is, published it in the school paper under his name, as if it were a love poem. Though it was a surprisingly reckless thing for Mooyul to do, his goal was to stop the stalker via stating “hey listen, I know all about it, so back off”... and it worked. Eureka Music plays twice, once for Eunsung...
...and once for Mooyul.
I find the phrasing "around your neck" a little awkward, because it gives me mental images of necklaces, collars, and nooses... but maybe that’s exactly what it means. The stalker wanted Eunsung, and wrote her a love letter. Mooyul also wanted Eunsung, and having the letter, decided to flaunt it as if it were his own. Mooyul did end up with Eunsung, but perhaps what he thought would be a necklace was actually nothing more than a noose. I’m really not sorry these two have broken up.
We leave romance central to start an impromptu meeting with Team Reaction plus Youngjae.
Asshole Youngjae can count, and finds it kind of awkward that the 8 sins written in the letter could match 7 people in real life. Kangmo retorts that he’s got enough sins for all of them, which could even out the math, but Youngjae won’t hear it. Mooyul suggests that those present list their connections to everybody else on the list – he’s connected to Eunsung for obvious reasons, Yoonsu because they were classmates on 1st year, and Youngjae because they’re classmates now. Jaekyu connects himself to Chihoon due to being his classmate, but he can’t think of anybody else.
#Kangmo For President Of The Throw Youngjae Under The Bus Club
So Jaekyu admits that yes, Youngjae may have stolen money from him that one time, and then it’s Youngjae’s turn – who according to himself, isn’t connected to anyone but Kangmo, his favorite victim. Trust Kangmo to throw him under the bus again – he mentions Yoonsu, stating “you could buy a building with the money you took from him”, and Youngjae reacts in a way that is, quite frankly, disproportionate if you consider the accusation. After all, he’s just been accused of stealing from Jaekyu, and he’s barely blinked. Only one way to look at this – there’s something between him and Yoonsu he doesn’t want people to know.
He acts like a cornered beast after this, lashing out at whoever’s closest, and it just so happens that said person is Mooyul – who, according to Youngjae, has secrets of his own, or he would have mentioned Chihoon and his inferiority complex towards him.
He also uses classical music references, firmly establishing himself, in my mind at least, as someone with Hidden Depths.
Chihoon overhears most of the conversation, along with his extraordinarily good coat, and I’m jealous. He asks whether anyone’s coming for lunch, and walks away without another word.
Lunch starts with an unfriendly discussion on nicknames, as Youngjae makes sure to address Yoonsu by his school-wide nickname, Angel, and then explain to Psychologist Yohan that he’s called that because his family has donated money and remodeled the dorms in order to get him into Susin. Yoonsu uses the opportunity to foreshadow a thousand things from his favorite hiding spots (the rafters) to his fate in episode eight. If anyone had heard, maybe things would have been different.
Eunsung jumps to defend Yoonsu – or perhaps just attack Younjgae since that’s what she enjoys anyway –, sharing Youngjae’s own flattering nickname, Plague.
Meanwhile the radio’s on again, and we hear about a serial killer who’s still at large. While Chihoon learns how to use chopsticks, Kangmo wonders why someone would choose to kill, and Youngjae replies with a simple “because they’re crazy”.
He goes on to say something most of us have probably said about murderers at one point or another, “but he looked so nice and quiet, why would he do such a thing?”, which sparks Eunsung’s fighting instincts to pick on him again. #Eunsung for Vice President of the Throw Youngjae Under The Bus Club
It’s an incredibly mean exchange, but it’s also morbidly funny in hindsight... because they’re both wrong.
Chihoon asks the difficult questions after finally learning how to use chopsticks, and accidentally jumpstarts the plot. Youngjae whistles because hot damn, a good coat and a basic understanding of the nature/nurture debate, yes hi hello my bedroom’s upstairs.
Now, what Chihoon is talking about is actually a very serious Criminological question – does society have the right to punish those who go against the law? And if so, what should be the rationale behind that punishment? There are usually five possible answers to this question: deterrence (the punishment acts as a threat, so it doesn’t actually have to happen to be effective), retribution (you know this one, eye for an eye...), incapacitation (if you arrest, or kill, or maim someone, you’re keeping them from committing crimes), rehabilitation (the punishment serves the purpose of making the criminal a better person), and restoration (the punishment demands that the criminal return the victim to their pre-crime situation, which isn’t always possible). Chihoon is clearly on the side of incapacitation, also sometimes known as “societal protection”, but he’s also adamant about not making judgments of value concerning people’s criminal actions – because he doesn’t know whether they can actually be blamed for the crimes they’ve committed.
This is, I think, incredibly important for Chihoon’s character development, because someone with this mindset is perfectly equipped to survive this kind of story. It’s irrelevant to him that he helps kill a person in episode 8 – Yoonsu’s suicide is evidence enough that the criminal should have been incapacitated long ago, and it’s likely Chihoon considers himself as capable as any other functioning member of society. It’s not a matter of good and evil for him, it’s a matter of returning to the stable, orderly, daily grin as quickly and effectively as possible. If all it takes is a push off a building, you can be sure he’ll do it.
Mooyul has different ideas, though. He seems to be a supporter of the Classical School of Criminology – he believes human beings are rational, and capable of weighing up the costs and benefits of each and every one of their actions. If they commit them, they should be punished.
Sadly, what Mooyul doesn’t seem to understand is the difference between the objective act of punishing, and the subjective value judgments that may or may not come with that punishment. He’s an emotional dude, and he’s going to have a hard time.
Oh hey, there’s the guy watching the laptop!
After lunch, Yoonsu retreats to his room, where, I assume disturbed by the nickname discussions over lunch, he reaches into a drawer to find a suspicious little box, lined with red velvet, housing three white pills. The ominous sound of illicit drugs plays in the distance, and I conclude the blue ones were probably medically relevant, compared to these.
Eunsung, on the other hand, chooses to visit Psychologist Yohan in the infirmary, complaining of a headache. He gives her medicine, and they bond over past stalkers. Such blatant foreshadowing, it hurts.
Meanwhile, Team Reaction pay Google a visit to find information on a Corner Monster myth, and take a moment to remind us why they suspect Yoonsu to have sent the letters. As they walk out of Mooyul’s room, they hear the sound of something breaking. Notice, also, Team Reaction are outfit-coded, and wearing shirts – because shirts are for People Who Have Their Life Together.
Religious icons can’t save Yoonsu now, the monster’s already inside his room.
Something I’ve always wondered about is the reasoning behind the Monster’s appearances. Yoonsu says he’s been seeing it since he’s 5, but not in school, because of the Virgin Mary. It’s always a child, except that one time in the Fall Festival when it was actually Jinsoo. If the Monster was an actual entity, it would make sense for him to stay away from the Virgin statues, but the Monster doesn’t actually exist outside Yoonsu’s head – meaning the statues are nothing more than a placebo to him, a reassurance that may or may not have stopped working the moment he took the ominous pills in the velvet box.
Eunsung asks the tough questions, a little like Chihoon, and I like to think she wants to know so she can help Psychologist Yohan relive the feeling in episode 8. If Chihoon’s the sharpest, she’s the bluntest, and they’d make a terrifying team
Meanwhile in Yoonsu’s room, Team Reaction find the ominous red velvet pills, and I feel very much like a voyeur – because someone behind the camera is clearly enamored by this guy's face, and they’re going to give him as many vulnerable close-ups as they can.
Team Reaction question Yoonsu about the Monster once again, and we flashback to the Fall Festival the year before, where a blue-faced person we all know (now) to be Kim Jinsoo barged into his room and scared the living daylights out of him, prompting him to beat him with some unidentified long object until he (Yoonsu, not the Monster) passed out. Stay tuned next, for echoes to this scene in episode 2.
What we also learn here is that the Monster, being a real person, dropped his wallet, inside which was a picture of Eunsung. Now, I’d find this a lot more intriguing if he had thought Eunsung was the Monster, but no, he managed to deduct that the wallet belonged to a boy, and the boy had her picture in his wallet because he liked her. Hence the chilling words, "the monster likes Eunsung, it will probably eat her up".
Back in the infirmary, Psychologist Yohan taps his pen against the table as Eunsung nods with empty eyes. It’s probably a testament to my naïveté, but I actually didn’t realise she was being hypnotised until much, much later in the show.
Ominous folk song plays as Eunsung walks outside in the direction of the clock tower, where, remember, we would find someone dead. Team Reaction, alerted by Yoonsu’s words, follow Eunsung into the snow (and nearly run over Kangmo twice), but it’s too late.
My first reaction to this was... ok, seven people, eight counting the teacher, eight days of Christmas break, we’re looking at a slasher series and we’re going to lose one per episode. I can’t believe they killed the only girl first. I was wrong, fortunately, and that trope ended up being skillfully averted.
The episode ends with this shirtless stranger breaking the fourth wall and looking like trouble. Stay tuned, next week, for my never-ending appreciation for his character, Eunsung’s glorious return, and the dramatic reveal of what I actually thought was going on between Youngjae and Yoonsu (exactly no one will be surprised).