**This recap of Café Minamdang Episode 1 contains spoilers**
Trigger Warning: Topics of suicide, murder, rape are a ongoing theme of this show. Please look after yourselves.
The episode opens with Nam Han-Joon (Seo In-Guk) arriving at the office of MK Noble Hotel’s CEO. A big TV Screen allows him to view another room within the hotel. Interviews are currently being held for the position of manager at the hotel’s Jeju branch. A small communication device relays his impression of each potential candidate to the main person conduction the interviews.
Nam is very famous for his accurate psychic abilities and therefor the MK Noble Hotel has enlisted his help in this matter. After several candidates fail to impress, Nam announces that he needs to enter the room for a closer look. Upon entering the interview room, he states that he senses the presence of a spirit following someone in the room.
He then tells the CEO that instead of finding a new manager, they should first rid themselves of a current manager by the last name Ko. Pointing at said manager, Nam tells him that one of the female staff he sexually harassed committed suicide. He knows because her vengeful spirit in her search for justice has attached herself to Manager Ko. Security personnel subsequently detain the manager and take him out of the room.
Nam returns to his office/living quarters, located above a coffeeshop named Café Minamdang. We see him speaking to a young woman, revealed shortly after as the sister of Ko’s recently mentioned victim. Turns out the client Nam was really working for was her. Accepting the job with MK Noble Hotel was just a means to an end.
The following day
In the morning, well before the Café opens its doors, a group of females are already in line waiting to enter. A handsome barista waits inside, ready to prepare their orders.
Meanwhile upstairs, Nam is drinking his morning coffee while waking up his younger sister Nam Hye-Joon (Kang Mi-Na). Hye-Joon is a National Intelligence Service [NIS] Agent and very savvy with computers.
Upon the Café opening, two middle aged man appearing to be a boss and his secretary enter looking slightly lost. The barista takes the boss for his appointment with Shaman Nam.
Turns out the boss cheated on his wife, only to then be conned by his mistress. At the first opportunity, she disappeared with all of his fortune. The client looks on in amazement at Shaman Nam’s divine powers upon the realization that he already knows everything about him.
A flashback shows Han-Joon getting all the info about his newest client and his troubles in advance. With help from Hye-Joon, of course, and Kong Su-Cheol (Kwak Si-Yang), his other team member. Si-Cheol, just like Han-Joon, is a former police officer. He now works as a private detective.
Keeping up the ruse of his Shaman persona, Han-Joon performs a ritual and provides the client with a talisman. He then instructs him to go to the north exit of a certain building, where he will find his ex-mistress.
On location, Detectives Jang Du-Jin (Jeong Man-Sik) and Kim Sang-Hyub (Heo Jae-Ho) join the client. They soon arrest the Ex-mistress, who in fact does exit the indicated building a short time later.
Café Minamdang Episode 1
Upon Detectives Jang and Kim’s return to their desks at the Daeun Police Station, a female police officer awaits them and tries to introduce herself. An anonymous report interrupts the introduction. Mister Ko, previously employed by MK Noble Hotel and now accused of sexual harassment, plans to flee to China.
The three of them rush out to catch Ko, ending up in a foot chase when he tries to get away. It is the female officer that manages to apprehend him, after skillfully fighting off the goons that he hired. A feat noted by the detectives and gaining her their instant respect.
Unbeknownst to police, Han-Joon and his team are watching the whole thing unfold via secret surveillance. In fact, Hye-Joon was the anonymous caller who called in the report while disguising her voice.
Han-Joon is in awe of the female officers impressive fighting skills and expresses that she is just his type: Someone who can protect him.
Café Minamdang Episode 1
Meanwhile, the detectives once again arrive back at their station. A young officer approaches them, introducing himself as Detective Na Gwang-Tae (Jung Ha-Joon), their new team member. Confused at first, Detectives Jang and Kim quickly realize the real identity of the female officer they assumed to be the new rookie member. She is in fact their new team leader, Lieutenant Han Jae-Hui (Oh Yeon-Seo).
Lt. Han Jae-Hui fame of singlehandedly taking town an entire drug cartel, precedes her. She has been nicknamed “The Ghost” due to how she newer lets go of a case she his handed until it is solved.
Her tenacious personality has however also made some superiors within the police force become weary of her. The Chief of Police at the Daeun station therefor instructs Detective Jang to keep a close eye on Lt. Han, least she cause them trouble.
A new day brings with it a new VVIP client named Lee Min-Gyeong to Café Minamdang. Lee is CEO of a mayor conglomerate. Concerned that her husband, Vice Chairman Shin Gyeong-Ho, is about to get in trouble with authorities, she comes seeking Shaman Nam’s divine intervention.
Han-Joon’s team finds out Shin was involved in a intoxicated Hit-and-Run incident, where he ran over a biker and possibly disposed of him. While investigating the site of the accident and nearby areas, the team comes across the victim at a road underpass. Left there for dead by Shin, he miraculously survived but is in bad shape. The team calls an ambulance and also makes a report to police.
Café Minamdang Episode 1
When Lt. Han and the detectives show up to the scene, she is stunned to discover that Nam is someone she is familiar with from the past. A flashback shows a young Han-Joon in martial arts uniform with a genuine smile on his face. The image then changes to him being led away in handcuffs and wearing prisoners attire.
Han-Joon is introduced to her as Shaman Nam, who learned about the Hit-and-Run incident and the victims whereabouts through his psychic abilities. He shows no signs of feeling a sense of familiarity akin to hers.
Jae-Hui is unaware that Han-Joon, after observing her in his earlier video surveillance, is thrilled to meet her in person.
Lt. Han’s team proceeds to start investigating the case.
Afterhours, Jae-Hui goes to Café Minamdang and starts digging through their trash in an attempt to find out more about Shaman Nam. However, one of the Café’s staff discovers her and interrupts her actions. He in turn alerts Han-Joon and the team, who proceed to chase who they label as a crazy stalker. Jae-Hui manages to escape capture due to her athletic skills.
Café Minamdang Episode 1 – END
This episode was so packed with things and I’m here for it, even though it does make for a long recap. Everything happening seems to somehow tie into something significant even if at first it seems like just another minor detail.
Hope you enjoy,