Perhaps there are no doubts about what we can all expect from Welcome to Samdal-Ri. It is the story of a successful career woman moving to a small sea town after facing a professional setback and falling in love with someone over there. Does this ring a bell? Isn’t it Taylor Swift’s Midnight Rain? Anyway, Shin Hye Sun’s dramas are not to be missed, and Ji Chang Wook must always be stared at, so how could we not check out the first episode of the new drama? It promises to be extremely entertaining, and the cast can always be counted on. Therefore, hopes have been set very high, and there is very little room for error, more so than anything, because this is one in a long line of dramas with a similar concept, so if it has pulled in popular actors and a huge budget, it has to deliver spectacularly. Here is the recap of the first episode.
Were Cho Sam Dal and Cho Yong Pil in a relationship?
They most certainly were, and it has been said, though not talked about in detail. Sam Dal and Yong Pil were childhood friends, and it has been hinted that they were each other’s supporters. Sam Dal turned to Yong Pil whenever she needed support or confidence, and if not for Sam Dal, Yong Pil would probably never do anything adventurous. Sam Dal has always wanted to leave Jeju and make a name for herself in Seoul and in the entire world, but for Yong Pil, Samdal-Ri is his world. Sam Dal left Jeju eighteen years ago, and it looks like she left in tears, fighting with Yong Pil. In the present day, Jin Dal (Sam Dal’s older sister) hints that Yong Pil was her only good relationship, and Ko Mi Ja looks at Yong Pil while thinking about her meeting a decent man. These two are definitely dated, but they avoid each other like the plague now.
How are Yong Pil’s and Sam Dal’s careers going?
Sam Dal is extremely successful, and she has achieved everything that she set out to do. All the big names want to work with her, and she is sought out by international magazines at all times. She is also loved by all of her assistants except one, Bang Eun Ju, and who is the one hell bent on causing trouble for her. Meanwhile, Yong Pil is fantastic at his job. In fact, he is so good that people are annoyed by him. He always protests the findings of the Seoul department on their technicalities, and that leads to him being locked out of important meetings because no one wants to deal with his nitpicking about the weather. However, the Seoul department wants him to join them because of his skills, but he keeps refusing each time. The reason is not his love for Jeju but his reluctance to run into Sam Dal. Even Sam Dal has not returned to Jeju since she left. Either she is also avoiding him, or something has happened with her mother that hasn’t left her a way back home.
Why does Bang Eun Ju hate Sam Dal?
Professional rivalry is just the foundation of why Eun Ju hates Sam Dal. She has been working as Sam Dal’s assistant for four years, and it is whispered that she tries to copy everything that Eun Ju does, down to the kind of shoes she wears. For a particular photoshoot, it was suggested that Sam Dal come up with the concept and Eun Ju could shoot it as her assistant, but Sam Dal refused because she didn’t think her AD was ready for it. Eun Ju stares daggers at her the whole day, and at the end of it, she finally reveals to Sam Dal that she was the one her boyfriend cheated on her with. It turns out that Eun Ju had only gone after the boyfriend in her obsession to have what Sam Dal had. She wanted to be acknowledged as an equal to Sam Dal, and when the latter refused to even acknowledge the girl, Eun Ju was furious. Frankly, Sam Dal wasn’t wrong in not blaming the girl. The girl may have been wrong, but it was her boyfriend who owed loyalty to Sam Dal. However, for Eun Ju, it wasn’t about logic. She simply wanted to show down Sam Dal, and when that didn’t happen, she was furious.
Why does Sam Dal come back to Samdal-Ri?
Eun Ju has proved that she doesn’t think like a normal person. Therefore, her next step in trying to hurt Sam Dal was to try and commit suicide (staged) and then blame Sam Dal as the instigator. She said that Sam Dal had abused her power over her at the workplace, and that had driven her to take such an extreme step. Since there is a lot of scrutiny over workplace harassment, Sam Dal found herself losing all her contracts and work assignments in the blink of an eye. Her trusted contacts, whom she had built up over the last decade and a half and who she had closely worked with, all ditched her in an instant. The Paris Exhibition also canceled their contract with her because of the rumors. Sam Dal saw her work and reputation built over fifteen years turn to dust.
At the end of Welcome to Samdal-Ri episode 1, we see that Sam Dal, Jin Dal, and Hae Dal all return to their mother’s house, and it comes as a shock to Mi Ja and her husband. Mi Ja was already worried for her daughters. Despite their professional success, Mija was stuck on the fact that Sam Dal was unmarried; one of her daughters was a divorcee, and the other was a widower. Therefore, having all of them in her house was something she was not prepared for. However, the reason Sam Dal chose to come back is a little bit more complex. In true K-drama fashion, some of the details of the decision have been omitted and will only be revealed in episode 2. But what strikes us is the lack of a support system that Sam Dal has. When she was feeling down, she could not call a single one of her contacts since none of them were her friends. This is in contrast to Yong Pil, who celebrates every inconsequential victory and disappointment with his friends. However, what struck us was that Sam Dal could not even call her sisters to confide in. Is the family alright? That remains to be seen.
The precap has told us that the second episode will show Sam Dal scrambling to save her career before returning home, where things are equally bad because everyone believes the fake news. She is also going to come face-to-face with Yong Pil, and that is a catastrophe of its own. We just want this drama to be fun and unserious. There is no need for a heavy emotional investment.