A drama about an aspiring singer following her ambitions after being stranded for fifteen years on an island sounded like a mushy and comedic watch. But Castaway Diva has surprised us with its plot. This is ultimately a story of resilience and fighting your traumas to find your place in the world, with the promise of a background full of comedy and competition. This is how the first episode goes, as seen in the recap.
Why did Jung Ki Ho help Seo Mok Ha?
Seo Mok Ha is a fangirl of Yoo Ran Joo, a popular singer, and all she wants is to be noticed by her so that she can one day go to Seoul and work as a singer with her. She is about to get a call from Ran Joo on a radio show, and Mok Ha is desperately looking for a cell phone. But the only person who has it is Jung Ki Ho, and the more Mok Ha asks him for it, the more he charges to give it to her. He does end up giving her the phone, and Mok Ha gets to talk to Yoo Ran Joo. It is a dream come true for her, and she breaks down in tears over the phone call. But Ki Ho cares for none of it, and as soon as the time is up, he takes away the phone from her. Mok Ha loses the chance to sing along with Ran Joo, and she is furious. What she doesn’t know is that Jung Ki Ho is dealing with some impossible situations at home. His father is extremely abusive, and Ki Ho acts like a loan shark in school and also works part-time at odd jobs so that he can have enough money to leave his father one day. His part-time boss doesn’t know this and tells Ki Ho’s father, Bong Wan, about how hard his son has been working. Since Bong Wan knows what his son must be up to, he beats him black and blue once he gets home. Ki Ho’s mother seems to have run away, and Bong Wan suspects that Ki Ho is in touch with her and plans to join her soon enough. We are not sure if that is the truth, but Ki Ho is resilient and continues collecting money.
The next day, Mok Ha asks for his help to shoot a music video for a fan contest for Ran Joo. She wants to send that in so that Ran Joo notices her and she is able to meet her idol. Only Ki Ho has a camera in the school, and he is also good at editing. When he helps her shoot the video, we think he falls in love with her. He liked that she was a person with no worries, and he wished that he could be like her. Little did he know that the two of them had much more in common than he realized. Just like Ki Ho, Mok Ha was also the victim of an abusive father. When she doesn’t come to school the next day, Ki Ho is worried, and he goes to her house to find that Mok Ha has called the police on her father.
Unfortunately, one of the officers is Bong Wan, and he turns the situation in favor of Mok Ha’s father. Ki Ho is watching it all, and he understands that Mok Ha is also suffering the same way he is. Ki Ho meets her that evening, and she tells him that she was happy when he said that she had no worries because that is how she saw her idol, and the comparison felt good to her. But Mok Ha doesn’t want to send in the video anymore. Ki Ho doesn’t know her reasons, but he sends the video on her behalf. They get the call the next day since Ran Joo likes Mok Ha’s singing, but when Ki Ho takes the phone to her, Mok Ha refuses the offer. It may have seemed odd, but Ki Ho will realize the reason soon enough. When she breaks down in class, Ki Ho understands that when the police did not believe Mok Ha and left her in such a dangerous situation, she had lost any confidence in her plans to protect herself. Mok Ha had started feeling that no matter what she did, her situation wouldn’t change, so she wasn’t even trying anymore. Ki Ho did not want to see her that way, so he takes her aside and tells her that the next time she feels unsafe around her father, she should come to him, and they can run away together. It isn’t long before that situation arises, and Mok Ha finds herself outside Ki Ho’s window.
Does Mok Ha Get Rescued From The Island?
Ki Ho was already prepared and waiting for Mok Ha to show up, and the moment she did, they both left right away. Ki Ho had it all planned out. He knew that they would go to Seoul, where Mok Ha would work with Ran Joo, and Ki Ho would be her manager and work along with her. He calls Roo Jan’s manager and asks him to pick them up at a designated place. Now, both the kids are waiting for the ferry to arrive. Sadly, the big-mouthed man from before ruins their plans once again. He calls Mok Ha’s father and tells him that his daughter is near a ferry.
In the boat, Mok Ha tells Ki Ho that she will take care of both of them since she will be the earning person between them. Ki Ho is flustered, but before he can say anything, he sees Mok Ha’s father. Ki Ho gives her his backpack and tells her that everything she needs will be in it. He has to rush outside to stop Mok Ha’s dad, but even if Ki Ho is left behind, at least Mok Ha can escape. It is impressive how much the boy already loves the girl. As Ki Ho tries to stop Mok Ha’s father, Mok Ha sees that Ki Ho has given her all his money, and he has written down everything for her in a notebook so that she wouldn’t have any trouble at all. Right from the beginning, he was prepared for this sacrifice, and Mok Ha is touched that someone did that for her. As the ferry takes off and an injured Ki Ho is lying unconscious on the docks, Mok Ha sees that her father has made it to the ferry. He tries to convince her to go back home, but a scared Mok Ha jumps off the ship, with her father close behind.
At the end of Castaway Diva Episode 1, we see that people think that Mok Ha and her father have passed away. Ki Ho is devastated, but somehow, he seems to think that there is still a chance of them being alive, and over the years, he keeps waiting. As for Ran Joo and her manager, they have joined hands to form an agency, and Mok Ha was going to be their new talent, but they didn’t find her. As for Mok Ha herself, she is stranded on the island, and she finds that her father’s dead body has washed ashore. She had desperately wished to be far away from him or that he would die, and she had gotten both her wishes in the most unexpected manner. Fifteen years pass, and she has learned to survive on the island in whatever way she can. Luck has finally decided to be kind to her, and a drone finds her on the beach. Whoever was operating the drone would know to look for her and finally rescue her from the island.
This is one of the most impactful first episodes we have seen in a while. We have so many high hopes for Castaway Diva now, because what we were expecting to be a comedy has turned out to reveal a deeply layered emotional drama. If our expectations are let down even in the slightest, we are going to be disproportionately disappointed.