The first episode is not what I had expected: a backstory of our hero and heroine, beginning from the teens. Yes, most of Episode 1 is filled with the young counterparts, Noh Young Hak as Ha Dae Chul (Joo Sang Wook plays the adult), and Joo Da Young as Yoo Min Hee (the adult is by Kim Sun Ah). I don’t mean it in a bad way, you know, to have the meet-as-teenagers and first love plotlines, but it’s so…inorganic.
Young Min Hee is apparently love at first sight to young Dae Chul, but the sentiment is not shared mutually. Min Hee scoffs at Dae Chul for being all brawns and no brains, although Dae Chul actually proves her otherwise in adulthood. Dae Chul proves his worth to Min Hee’s Uncle (Kim Won Jong), who runs a boxing ring/academy. Min Hee aspires to be a policewoman who fights injustice, and Uncle worries about a young lady living with nothing but fury, heh.
Dae Chul’s life takes a turn when a random ahjusshi (Park Young Gyu) appears from nowhere, claiming to be his Dad. Dae Chul rejects the notion several times, but Dad is relentless, and he manages to convince and prove to Dae Chul that they are indeed father and son. Dad claims that he was framed as a spy for the North by a Kang Joong Ho (Lee Ki Young), and he was made to be on a run for the past 10 years. Not only was Dad framed, his wife, Im Ji Soo (Jung Ae Ri) was taken by Kang too, and we see that wifey appears to have a loving relationship with Kang.
Dad drills into Dae Chul that they have to team up to take revenge against Kang, who actually is an unscrupulous businessman, as Show reveals subsequently, so I suppose we can believe Dad for now. Dae Cul asks Dad what should he do, since they can’t possibly rush into Kang’s mansion with the knife that Dad hides in his car. Dad tells him the only way is to become a prosecutor, and Dae Chul should believe in himself that he has the brain to study, since Dad was a scientist who came up with the first Korean semi-conductor (or so he says), and the smart DNA is definitely in Dae Chul.
No wonder when Dae Chul and Min Hee meet again in adulthood, he smugly tells her that he passed his civil exam on the second try (since he used to flunk school in the past), and is proud that he’s a prosecutor in the Gangnam District. Min Hee apparently made a bet with him before they went their separate ways in the past, telling him she’ll consider dating him if he really becomes a prosecutor. She remembers it apparently, and kicks herself inwardly about the silly proposition.
Min Hee seems to be disappointed at how Dae Chul has turned out to be, bowing to the rich and letting away criminals who pulled strings. We also see in the beginning of the episode, how Dae Chul flashes unashamedly his prosecutor ID card just to get a discount on his coffee. Little does Min Hee know that it’s all just a facade, as Dae Chul dons his mask (the one he received from Min Hee’s uncle in the past) at night and takes the law in his hands, to punish the criminals he was made to release.
All in all, the first outing has nothing different from all the other similar themed dramas out there (Gaksital, City Hunter), in that revenge is on the hero’s agenda, and they do not tolerate injustice generally. Masked Prosecutor takes a more comedic bent though, and Joo Sang Wook is perfect in the role. I think watching this would be more for watching the chemistry between Joo Sang Wook and Kim Sun Ah, unless the writer comes up with something less generic as the story unfolds.