Welcome Deprogrammers to our first gathering of the drama club for Save Me! Will our intrepid heroes be able to rescue our heroine from the claws of a nefarious cult? Join Marakeshsparrow, Kate and myself Young Ajummah as we discuss the craziest first week of episodes I’ve ever seen.

Marakeshsparrow: Well I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this drama, tone-wise, though I guess I shouldn’t be surprised--it is about a religious cult after all. But man oh man, this was one heavy first week! So far it’s super serious and pretty devastating. I’m already impressed with the acting and the issues they’re tackling. What did you ladies think?

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Kate: I loved the credits. I thought that they set up a wonderfully creepy atmosphere before the episodes ever started. Visually interesting too. After just completing OCN’s Duel in this same time slot, I was pleased to see this series construct the environment so clearly and quickly, something I don’t think was very successful in Duel for weeks.

Ajummah: OMG where do I start??? I hated everything about this drama within the first few minutes. I can already tell that this can be triggering. Bullying, suicide, it’s all very hard to watch, especially when I have a teen son in my house. With that aside, I’m trying to reserve judgment for characters. I will say that I fussed out Taecyeon on social media because of his decision to not help Sang Mi and her brother. Normally I don’t cry but her brother’s death was heartbreaking.

Right now I side with Dong Chul and am livid that no one has fessed up with what happened. He should NOT be in jail. He needs to be home with his grandmother. Sang Hwan needs to get it together with his priorities. I understand he wants to not embarrass his father but I think his dad might be embarrassed with the fact that he didn’t help someone who CLEARLY needed it.

Marakeshsparrow: Yeah, I can absolutely see how this would be triggering for some viewers and why you’re not liking it so far, Ahjummah. The bullying of Sang Jin was absolutely horrifying. I was so outraged that these people were treating him like that for no apparent reason. What, because he had a bad foot? Because he was quiet and shy? It escalated so quickly and the fact that it ended in suicide was almost too much to bear. I guess they’re trying to break down Sang Mi to a point where she can be brainwashed? (The writers that is). Stil…

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Kate: Sang Jin just sticks out, and that’s all a bully needs. Now that he’s gone, I think it will definitely take the twins’ parents to the point where they are weaker to the brainwashing of the cult. And once they are, poor Sang Mi is kind of at their mercy because she will probably want to do what she can in order to try and make them feel better. At least Sang Mi stood up for her brother as fiercely as she could, even when she had little chance on her own. She showed real backbone. I hope that doesn’t mean that she’s going to have to face too much torture at the hands of bullies, both in school and in the cult. But I think it will.

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Ajummah: I agree Kate. She did well. And she slapped the bejeezus out of that bully. I even flinched with it. I think that now that Sang Jin died, Sang Hwan will feel guilty and therefore go out of his way to help her. But I’m wondering if it’s too little too late. In my eyes I think Sang Mi will stick with Dong Chul since he helped her in her time of need. Plus he’s handsome. How old is he? Wait, not important right now.

What I don’t want is that pery guy with the ajummah perm to get his hands on Sang Mi. I cringed each time he looked/touched her. Between him and the “Father” I don’t know who was more disgusting.

Marakeshsparrow: EVERYONE IN THE CULT WAS PERVIN’ ON HER. WTF. That has me super creeped out and immediately raised alarm bells that these so-called “religious folk” are not all they’re cracked up to be. I’m glad Sang Mi can see through them for the most part. I’m actually wondering if she’ll continue to withstand their advances but be kidnapped or something against her will. Needless to say, I can understand why Sang Hwan did what he did. Does NOT mean I agree with it. I don’t think he realized it was as serious as it actually was. And his dad did tell him to stay out of trouble. And she did also tell them not to help her. But if she then reneged on her words and asked for help, he should have realized it was her last hope. It’s just so plain said.

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Kate: Yes, Sang Mi was facing difficulties on many sides. With “Father” groping her thigh while he prays, and Wan Tae ogling her constantly, telling her brother how lucky he is to have such a pretty sister *barf* and offering her some time to pray privately in the future. Then the bullies, her brother’s despair, her parents’ money troubles. I don’t even want to know what Mrs. Kang is going to do to her when she’s fed up with all the attention Sang Mi is getting. That girl is really holding the weight of the world on her shoulders, and it seems like she’s not used to help, or at least not used to getting any lately. Her mother and father seem to be in denial. Asking for help from Sang Hwan was definitely a last straw.

I will say though, pervy cult attention to Sang Mi was not my first tip off that things are not on the up and up. What are these cult members doing beating up drunks?

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Ajummah: I’m curious. Why did they leave Seoul? Was that mentioned at all in the first episode? I know the father’s friend scammed him out of a bunch of money but I don’t know why they had to move in the first place. Also, it does seem like EVERYONE in this show so far has some eff’d up troubles. Dong Chul has a drunk for a father who told him he shouldn’t have been born *ouch*. Sang Mi and her whole situation. Even Sang Hwan is probably feeling the burden of being the “perfect son” for his politician father. I guess time will tell how bad things are in this town. Because you have to wonder, how much can this cult get away with?

Marakeshsparrow: I was wondering about that too--why they left Seoul. It seems like they left fairly quickly, and everyone seemed so bleak from the get go--I’m thinking they were running away from something. I mean, their dad hadn’t even secured a job and was willing to work for dirt cheap rates, he was that desperate (though I know that came after they were scammed by their “friend” or whatever). I kind of wondered if Sang Jin had dealt with bullying in Seoul as well? Or maybe he’d already been having a hard time? I’m not sure, they really didn’t say. But boy oh boy did they pick the wrong city to move to. Muji County seems to have all sorts of dirty secrets and unhappy people. I’m kind of worried that this drama is just going to get bleaker and bleaker. But if the writers do it well, I’ll at least be along for the ride.

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Kate: I think it was when the wrong people were being arrested and the police wouldn’t listen to the teen witnesses when I decided that right now, none of the adults in this town are present enough to know what is going on under their noses. They’re not all evil, but there’s the drunk dad, Sang Hwan’s mom, who I think is mentally ill, Sang Mi’s parents who are too distracted by their money troubles (I guess?), and the teachers at their school. Man, in that cafeteria and on that rooftop I just kept wondering “Where are the adults?” They’re just not responding. The teens have to figure this out on their own. I’m assuming we’re going to take a time jump to 2017 at some point. Will they be able to survive this corruption that has tainted the adults of Muji?

Marakeshsparrow: I don’t know… I’m concerned.

Ajummah: Same. I guess we’ll just have to find out next week. Hopefully, Dong Chul will be released.

Kate: But will he be cleared?  How will this incident shape them in the coming years?  It's going to be a tense one.

What did you think about the action-packed beginning to our series?  Are you disappointed in Sang Hwan?  Sorry for Sang Mi?  Concerned about the cult's reach and power?  Let us know on the boards.

For more from your Drama Club check out:

Marakeshsparrow: Love in Trouble | Voice | Daebak | Come Back, Mister | Madame Antoine | Cheese in the Trap | More from Marakesh

Kate: Duel | Saimdang: Light’s Diary | Let’s Fight Ghost | Answer Me 1988 |Entertainer| Orange Marmalade| Fall in Love Like a Star

Young Ajummah: @young_ajummah | Young Ajummah | Past Dramaclubs