Home > Itaewon Class: Episode 1 Recap – Part 1

Itaewon Class: Episode 1 Recap – Part 1

Itaewon Class: Episode 1 Recap - Part 1

We are playing catch up on Itaewon Class so we can get to same day recaps! I think we can do it this week!

Caution: Be wary of typos

Shorthand Character Chart: coming up

How we do this: This live recap will be in two parts and we segment each post around every 10 minutes. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later depending on the scene. There will be typos which we have fantasies of fixing once the episode finishes airing. Also, if there is a preview then we will try and translate it. Look for that on a separate post!




We open on a consultation. The shrink asks, what do you do before going to bed? She says, I don’t know. It is a little weird, just in case you think I’m crazy. I hope the world collapses.

The doctor asks, did anything bad happen? 

The woman says, no. I just don’t want to live. I think I’m crazy. I know it is funny for a young person to say this.

Psych – Everyone is bothered by life. When do you think of this?

Yi-seo – All the time. Life is repetitive. Leave and go to a good college and when I’m old enough, try to meet a good man and get married and then work hard and work hard. Everyone knows how to be successful.

Psych – How to be successful? How?

Y-seo – Just work hard. But that is difficult

P – Anything fun? Anything you like?

YS – Just like I told you, I once told my boss…

P – The boss you always talk about, what did your boss ask?

Flashback to Sae-ro-yi (a Korean word for “new again” or “start over” or something like that) telling her to just die then.

Yi-seo starts to laugh in the psychiatrists office. She tells her that she realizes that she has sophomore syndrome (everything is serious). The psychiatrist says that her boss sounds irresponsible. After he told you to die, you thought about it?

YS – Well, that is how you do a consultation.

P – What?

YS – Truthfully, over a drink.

She stands to leave.

P – Are you leaving already?

YS – I have to go back to work.

P – I will stop by sometime.

YS – Yes, please stop by, I will give you some free service.

She hands over some coupons and leaves.

Cut to a cityscape view of Seoul.

VO – Seoul, the capital of Korea. In the middle of that is Yongsan. The hottest keyword inside Yongsan is Itaewon.

The camera scrolls over Itaewon. There is a upper $200,000 premium to get a spot. On this tiny street, you see the world. This is the story of us. We have our own life here with our own principles.



One day at the begining of school…

Three boys kneel on the ground and raise a bucket over their heads as the teacher yells at them about being the last in the school. Saeroyi is one of them. The teacher asks if these three are bothering the others? Because they are troublemakers?

Their life will be parasites on their parents, because they are losers.

VO – I heard that for men, sometimes they have a big sound in their brain.

Saeroyi dumps the water in the bucket all over him and the ground. The teacher yells, are you resisting! Saeroyi apologizes and says he will get new water.

A girl thinks, he is always yelled at by the teacher but never goes to study time. I thought he was a crazy guy. But at the same time, he follows the rules. He has no friends for 3 years, but he does not seem too lonely.

Saeroyi eats by himself in the cafeteria, but he looks perfectly fine with it. The girl keeps looking at him.

VO – I started to like him.

A radio host reads a letter.

Radio – he is moving to a new school next week, should I confess to him or not, that is the question. This story is from a young high school girl.

Cut to the girl looking at Saeyori at his locker.

Radio – I do not know the right answer, but I know what I want to do. Like the friend that you like. Focus on your own heart.

She gathers her courage and walks up to him. She tells him that she heard that he is moving to another school. Her friends as shocked that her three year crush is about to be realized.

She gives him chocolates and tells him to have a good exam for the police exam. But he looks at her and walks off. He did not take it.

Her friends ask what happened? Why didn’t he take it.

She tells them that he did not like sweets. Her friends think he is really crazy, why not just accept it?

VO – That is why I like him

Saeroyi gets off the bus and runs into school. A girl is walking down a flight of stairs when a man grabs her arm and asks for something. This man is a bum.

She grabs her arm away and continues on. Saeroyi sees this and makes sure the old man is okay and then runs after the girl. This girl is Soo-ah. She tells him that this man grabbed her arm so she pulled it back. Then she asks him if he feels good about doing the right thing. Then she calls him an a-hole and leaves.

Cut to the exam where all the hopefuls are running and participating in activities. But Saeroyi’s leg is injured so he is not running around the track well. Even though he scored the highest on the strength exam.

His friend tells him that he cannot quit, or he will fail. So Saeroyi continues running on. The exam judges think he has grit.



Elsewhere, Saeroyi’s father and Kang Min-jung, the director of JangGa, talk pleasantly. He tells her that his son is moving to a new school. She tells him that the chairman’s son goes to that school.

They are the same age so they will both be seniors. Min-jung can’t believe that little boy she knew is preparing for college. Sung-yeol tells her that his sons police exam is today. He is nervous about it.

Min-jung mentions an orphanage that they stopped sponsoring. SY thinks they can’t stop, they are the only company giving them food. Sponsoring is not just about social issues, our business is people. Who has decided this?

The chairman has. She asks if she should appeal to him? SY tells her it is okay. Don’t make him angry. As you said, we are a company.


Saeroyi lays in the grass happily. It looks like he might have passed. His father drives him home and asks about his leg. Saeroyi tells him that he passed the exam.

SY asks if he is okay leaving his friends. Saeroyi is okay with it since he does not have any friends. SY tells him that the chairmans son goes to his school. He hopes he is in the same class as him.

Saeroyi asks if he should be good friends with him? His father says, if you connect. But Saeroyi thinks that he should since he is the chairmans son. His father says, jashik, I know you don’t care about those things. Just be friendly with you classmates. When I saw your class evaluation, it made me a little sad.

Saeroyi asks, so I don’t have social skills?

To me, you are a stubborn guy. Too stubborn is difficult to have a social life.

Well, you said our family motto is “follow our own principles” so what do you what me to do?

I don’t know…*sigh*

Where are we going?

They drive up to the orphanage and help open boxes outside in the yard. Then Oh Soo-ah runs up and happily greats Sung-yeol. But then she sees Saeroyi and asks, is this your son?

SY tells Saeroyi to introduce himself, but he just leaves to hang clothes. She stays with his appa. 

The appa apologizes to Soo-ah. She tells him that she heard about it from the orphanage director. It is not your fault. You need to listen to your company. 

He says that they live close now so he can come often to cook. She asks, really? Actually, I worried more about not eating your meal than the company not sponsoring us. Thank you.

He thanks her for growing up well. 

Your son is different from you.

Yes, he is pretty stubborn and shy.

Not about that, he is handsome.

Maybe he takes after me.

She laughs. 

Later on she helps him hangs clothes to dry and asks him which class he will be in. But he ignores her. She tells him that she wants to be his friend, so cooperate.

he asks why.

She says it is because he is ajushi’s son.

Do you know my father well?

Maybe 5 years. Ajusshi goes to Jangga company and Jangga sponsors us. He is the one taking care of it.

he just flicks the wet clothing at her and hangs it. She is all like wtf? You really don’t have any social skills. Are you an a-hole?

he tells her that helping people in need is not a douchebag thing to do. What is the difference if my appa helped you.

She says she cancels what she told him, I do not think I will be friends with you. She walks off and leaves her pack of laundry for him to do telling him to hang it all since he likes doing good things.

On the way out, Soo-ah says goodbye to appa. he reiterates that his son does not have social skills. She jokes that he should be tougher on him. Then he heads out.



At home, Saeroyi cooks for him and his appa. it is the first da of school. His appa mentions that he did not buy his uniform yet. he will make time to buy it. They make pleasant small chat. Saeroyi says he will wear his old uniform to school and runs out.

He sees Saeroyi as he runs to the bus. He also sees a rich looking kid who wants to give her a ride to school. This kid is the rich kid, Jang Geun-won. She declines and takes the bus.

Saeroyi intentionally misses the bus and walks to school. At school, Saeroyi is introduced to everyone in his class. His class is the same as Soo-ah’s. The teacher tells him to say his future hobbies so he says that he wants to be a policeman. His hobby is listening to music and he likes to run.

The teacher tells him to sit int he empty seat, which is right next to Soo-ah. They both quietly roll their eyes at that.

He sits there uncomfortably, she ignores him.

Then a kid gets pushed into the lockers. This is Ho-jin getting pushed. Jang Geun-won does the pushing and also pours milk all over him. No one in the class interferes.

Saeroyi is about to stop them but Soo-ah stops him and explains who that kid is. the chairman’s son of your fathers company. He is a second generation chaebol. It won’t be too good for you and your dad if he gets angry.

He asks, is that the only reason? Then he goes and stops Guen-son from hitting Ho-jin and asks him if being a second generation chaebol means he can be a thug?

The chaebol keeps bothering the kid and holds him by his hair. Saeroyi tells him to stop. GW steps to him but then the teacher comes back in. GW throws the bullied kid away and tells him they can finish this later.

Saeroyi asks the teacher is he sees what is going on? The teacher does but tells them to stop playing, let’s get ready for class. GW tells SRY to listen to the rules of this school. I am the law.

SRY punches him clear across the face! Then tells him that he is crazy.


His father is working hard as a salesperson for the company. He is giving out samples to people. But then a man tells him to come out.

Cut to SRY getting hit by a rod at school while GW sits comfortably on the principals couch. The chairman comes in so everyone bows to him.

SRY stands as well. The chairman sits and asks what is going on. SRY’s father apologizes for his son. GW asks, how can our employees son hit me? His father tells him, how dare you say that in front of all these people. Then he apologizes for his son. Though he seems really scary.

Dae-hee asks the principal what will happen to SRY? The principal says that he will get kicked out following our rules. And the police will come. Dae-hee tells them that it is just a kids fight. They don’t need the police. And Manger Park and I have known each other for a long time. 

But the school rule is a different story. If we agree that he won’t be kicked out…~. The principal says that if the chairman forgives him then he will make sure that it never happens again.

Chairman Jang Dae-hee tells him to make it so and then tells SY that they are family. But he mentions to SRY, you need to apologize for what you did. If you kneel in front of my son and apologize, then we can finish it like that.

SY starts to ask something but the chairman tells manager Park that his oldest son got hit and he is sitting there now, so it makes me uncomfortable. I am giving you the least difficult thing he can do to make this quiet. What do you think, Park Saeroyi?

SRY – If I did anything wrong, then I should get punished. My father also taught me that.

Chairman – You are a good father, you taught your son well.

SRY – And my father also said that people should follow their own principle. Our classmate was bullied and the teacher ignored it. It was difficult for me to see it, so I stopped him. I hit him because he did not listen. Even though he is a thug, he should not do that in front of the teacher right? I am sorry. I should be punished. But, I cannot apologize to him, because I am not sorry at all to him.

Chairman – Even though you are kicked out if you can’t kneel?

SRY – That is m y principal and my fathers teaching. I also want to live my life like that in the future.

Chairman – It is a tiring situation. You leave me with no choice. Manager Park, what do you think? Why do you not say anything?

SY – He is just a young boy, he does not know how the world works, I do not know why I have this kind of son. He is cool.

His father beams with pride though he is teary eyed.

SY – He said he would follow his principles and be responsible for it. I have nothing to tell you, chairman.

Chairman – You are still young. You have become this uncomfortable with me. Do you think you can come to work?

SY – I will quit

SRY – Appa….*tears*

Chairman – Okay, do it.

SY – thank you so much for all this time.

SY and SRy go out eating afterwards. His father tells him that whatever the reason, violence is not justified. So you should be punished. But he mentions that he also has his own principles as a father, do you drink?

SRY tells him, students don’t drink. His father says he is not a student anymore. So he pours him a drink and tells him to pour his and teaches him how to do it. The right hand covers the label and the left hand supports. Dn’t fill it too much, just halfway. Good job. Let’s have a drink. When you drink, you turn your head a little bit. Good job. How does it taste?

SRY – It is sweet.

His father laughs and says that it means that today was memorable. SRY eats some of the soup and tells him that he is not a student anymore, but he is underage. So can you teach me this?

His father tells him that he learned how to drink from his father. He takes a shot and says it is sweet for him also.

SRY starts to sob a bit and says he is really sorry. 

His father tells him that it is just a memory after time passes. you can graduate high school by taking the exam. I have enough money to open a tiny restaurant. The important thing is that our family motto is following our principle, but I did not live that way. I hope you live your life comfortably, but today you are already living your life like that. You are a proud son to me. You should live your life just like this in the future.

they keep drinking and holding back tears and drinking.


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