Season 1 Episode 6
Meet Me in Daegu
In the run up to the Korean War, a young woman named Ji-Ah has a secret that will bring her into the path of Atticus Freeman.
Ji-Ah is looking for love. Unfortunately, she has a hard time bonding with any of the local men around her and her love of American movies doesn’t help. It seems she would rather spend her time watching Judy Garland on the big screen than either working as a nurse or trying to find a match. When she does finally make a match with a local man and takes him home, we discover Ji-Ah’s dark and destructive secret.
As the War begins in her country, communist sympathizers are being rounded up and killed. When Ji-Ah and her fellow nurses are accused of being communists, Atticus is among the soldiers responsible for outing her best friend and taking her off for both torture and death. When an injured Atticus shows up at her hospital, Ji-Ah is determined to make him her next victim. After getting close to him and getting to know him, she discovers something even worse, she discovers that she loves him. A prospect that proves to be more dangerous.
I love the quiet subtlety of this episode. Not only are all the performances fantastic, but the episode does a brilliant job of expanding this world even before bringing Atticus into the story. Jamie Chung is amazing as Ji-Ah. There is so much emotion and depth of character that she conveys not only in her acting, but in subtle looks and expressions throughout the episode. You identify with her pain, her wanting, her confusion and ultimately, her love for Atticus.
I also liked the fact that Atticus is not the pure hero. He has a dark past and that darkness continues to haunt him both emotionally and physically. Jonathan Majors continues to convey a character who is haunted by his choices and the darkness all around him. His blank, expressionless face as he follows the brutal orders of his commander shows the kind of emotional detachment that allows for true evil to take hold. Majors and Chung manage to make the viewer be both hopeful for their love while always knowing the inevitable tragedy of it. Great performances all around.
Meet Me in Daegu brings the story back around to its supernatural elements while expanding its world in poignant and brilliant ways. I love the tone, tenor and pace of this episode immensely and cannot wait to see where this story goes next.