We are rather sure that Castaway Diva is going to be one of the best dramas of the year. There is a lot of sensitivity and sass in the way the characters and their journey have been written, and we have high hopes. Let us look at the recap of the second episode of it.
How is Seo Mok Ha rescued?
Sometimes, all you need to survive in this cruel world is loads of random luck, and this is what the entire world’s population prays for so ardently. We are unclear about Seo Mok Ha’s religion, but she certainly had her prayers answered, maybe by Poseidon (the god of the seas).
Two brothers on the mainland, Bo Geol and Woo Hak, come to the island with a cleaning crew. They want to take the trash out, and Woo Hak is just there so that he can annoy his little brother and be rebellious for the sake of it. He is the one operating the drone that finds Mok Ha. When Mok Ha sees the drone, she understands that a human being must be nearby. True to her suspicions, when Woo Hak comes looking for the drone and finds her, she is ecstatic. After fifteen long years, she is finally being rescued and with some delicious food nonetheless. The first thing that happens is that Mok Ha buys shoes from Bo Geol to replace her torn ones. But Mok Ha keeps the old shoes because they belong to Ki Ho. Woo Hak covers her story for his channel while Mok Ha recovers in a facility while waiting for anyone who may come for her. She tells the media that she survived by eating potatoes and fish, and she has mostly managed on the island by scavenging the trash that washed ashore. We never knew that one man’s trash being another man’s treasure could have such deep meanings.
The fact is that Mok Ha’s story has gained some attention, and Woo Hak is under pressure to find everything related to the girl. That is why he decides to take her to her house on her island, and on the way, he finds that she ran away from home because she was looking to meet the singer, Yoo Ran Joo. Mok Ha doesn’t tell him the whole thing, and this brief piece of information makes it all sound very embarrassing. On the other hand, we are also not liking the insinuation that Mok Ha is a 16-year-old trapped in the body of a 31-year-old. She may not have interacted with anyone for 15 years, but that doesn’t mean that she is still a child. Her skills would definitely need polishing, but this insistence on painting her as an ‘innocent’ is just awkwardly infantilizing.
What has happened to Ki Ho?
The only reason Mok Ha wants to go back to the island is to find out what happened to Ki Ho. She finds that her father’s restaurant has been taken over by others who don’t want to give it back. They simply twisted the law and said that Mok Ha had been missing for years, so she was considered legally dead, and they had a right to take over the place. Woo Hak steps in and corrects their statements, making it clear that Mok Ha could still run the place if she wanted to. But Mok Ha is only there for Ki Ho. She finds that after she disappeared, Ki Ho had been extremely depressed, and one day, he reported his father for domestic violence. This time, there were consequences, and he was fired from his job. Ki Ho had run away again and was nowhere to be found. His father heard that he was in Seoul and had been looking for him since.
Mok Ha goes to Ki Ho’s abandoned house, and she finally tells Woo Hak that she had run away with him because they were escaping from their fathers. It wasn’t a frivolous escapade, but a desperate attempt to fight for their own lives. Mok Ha insists on going to Seoul with Woo Hak because she still wants to try her hand at being a singer. In a way, what Mok Ha is saying makes sense. She needs to justify the last fifteen years of her life with something. If she returned to her old life, what was the point of everything she had gone through? Technically, it would have been better if Mok Ha had fixed her finances before taking a step like that, but that is probably where her ninth-grade sensibilities kicked in. Having no choice, Woo Hak takes her to Seoul and secretly hides her in the rooftop room. Mok Ha wants to see Ran Joo the next day, and Woo Hak is going with her.
Is Woo Hak really Ki Ho?
At first glance, we thought that Bo Geol would be the hero who would save Mok Ha from her troubles. But it turned out to be Woo Hak, who was really by her side. When we first saw him in the episode, we thought we were looking at Ki Ho himself, with the glasses and the coat. But then, even Mok Ha seems to have noticed the similarity. There is a way in which he takes care of her, which reminds her of Ki Ho. Also, just like him, even Woo Hak keeps asking her about what she would do next. It is a normal thing to ask that in conversation, but it has also been years since Mok Ha has spoken to anyone. She also enjoys the way Woo Hak criticizes her, which is very similar to the way Ki Ho used to do. She tells Woo Hak that he is similar in age to Ki Ho and that they have the same manner of speaking. For Mok Ha, it is merely an observation, but for Woo Hak, it seems to ring a bell.
The next day, he takes her to meet Roo Jan, who is currently a washed-up star performing at odd functions. But she doesn’t want to sing at this particular place since she believes that nobody will know her song. Therefore, she gets very drunk to use her state as an excuse while her manager looks for a backup singer. Mok Ha volunteers, and during the end of Castaway Diva episode 2, when Roo Jan is lip-syncing to her own song that Mok Ha is singing, she is reminded of her old days of stardom when people loved seeing her. It is a huge moment that brings tears to her eyes, and after the performance, she embraces Mok Ha, fulfilling the girl’s long-held dream of meeting her idol. Meanwhile, we also come to know that Woo Hak had lost his memories of high school, and the note he had found in Ki Ho’s house said the same thing that their mother used to say to them. Woo Hak suspects that he might be Ki Ho, and he plans on helping Mok Ha as if he is. We know that in the past, Ki Ho was saving money to go to his mother. Maybe after he ran away, he did find her, and in the state he was in, he lost his memories. His new family changed his name to protect him from his father. It is all coming together, and if it is true, then it is beautiful that Woo Hak was the one to find Mok Ha after all these years.
Castaway Diva continues to be an impressive drama. It feels like a while since we found something that we could be so addicted to. It would be interesting to see how Mok Ha realizes her dreams with the skills she developed being alone on an island for fifteen years, because we are sure that the writers will use that as a huge crutch in her journey that is to come.