K-Drama Premiere: “Memorist” Dives Into The World Of A Mind-Reader Who Uses His Power To Solve Crimes

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Mysterious, intense and filled with action, Memorist pushes for an adrenaline rush from the very beginning.

With a thrilling crime story and some super powers, the creators of Memorist have managed to pique the interest. Based on the webtoon of the same name, the drama is headlined by Yoo Seung Ho and Lee Se Young.

Premiere Week Rating:


Memorist is about a detective who can read minds of people by simply touching them. Yoo Seung Ho plays Dong Baek, a mind-reader detective who uses his power to solve various crime cases. Aiding Dong Baek is Han Sun Mi, played by Lee Se Young, who is a very competent crime profiler.

Premiere Week Recap

The Mind-reader

Dong Baek is a person with an extraordinary ability to read minds of people through physical contact. After he revealed his powers to the world, he has received massive attention from the media as well as the public. Moving ahead, he chooses to become a police officer and uses his power to catch criminals. However, life is not as easy as it seems since he has been under the continuous scrutiny of the media because of his celebrity-like status.

A video surfaces where Dong Baek is seen beating up a criminal while also forcibly reading his memories. The issue becomes quite big and he is accused of violating human rights by scanning other people’s memories. This results in a disciplinary hearing which happens to be his eighth. Apparently, in the past too, the mind-reader detective has had lost his temper and beaten up suspects while also reading their memories.

In the end, Dong Baek received two months suspension as a punishment. But he is warned that if he breaks rules again, he will be indicted and loses his badge.

A serial murder case

There has been an occurrence of serial murders where women are being killed in a similar pattern. Han Sun Mi, a young crime profiler is interested in handling the case, and seeks permission from Lee Shin Woong (Cho Seong Ha), the Department Head to transfer the case to her department. While the head allows her to do so, he warns her to not let the mind-reader get a whiff about the case.

Meanwhile, Yoon Ye Rim (Kim Ji In), who is a daughter of one of the cleaning ladies at Dong Baek’s station, goes missing while on her way home. Distraught and worried due to not knowing about the whereabouts of her daughter, the girl’s mother goes to Dong Baek seeking his help.

Though he is on suspension, Dong Baek could not ignore the plight of the woman, and decides to investigate the case himself. Using his mind scanning capabilities he finds out that a serial killer is suspected to be the one behind the kidnapping of Ye Rim. Also, one of the victims was found alive, but is currently in a coma.

The other victim and the clawed hammer

As he reaches the hospital, Dong Baek runs into Koo Kyung Tan (Ko Chang Seok), who though is aware of the young detective’s plan, decides to help him. He asks Byun Young Soo (Son Kwang Eop) to let Dong Baek investigate the case. Surprisingly, he gives his permission and Dong Baek scans the memories of Kim Seo Kyung (Choi Seo Ryung), the surviving victim of the serial murder case. In the midst of all the blurry images, he sees a clawed hammer which seems to be the weapon of murder.

While digging deeper into the investigation, Dong Baek finds that Seo Kyung had been working as a female escort. He visits Oh Yeon Tak (Bang Joo Ho), who is Seo Kyung’s agent and whoever is responsible for her state, is her client. However, despite of various clues, the murderer is still faceless as no one has actually seen his face.

The investigation

After finally meeting each other, Dong Baek and Sun Mi have a deal to work together to catch the culprit. He offers to scan the memories of Kim Min Gon (Shin Young Kyu), who has been in touch with Seo Kyung’s client and might hold some clues. But before they proceed further, Dong Baek gets arrested by a prosecutor Woo Seok Do (Yun Gun Woo).

However, Sun Mi deduces that someone from the Seoul Northern District Prosecutors Office has something to do with the case as they tried to halt their investigation process. Meanwhile, Chief Lee Shin Woong shares some confidential documents with Byun Young Soo, and asks him to destroy the documents. Young Soo shows the documents to Sun Mi, which proves that the Chief of Northern District Prosecutors Office was Kim Seo Kyung’s client.

On further investigation, Sun Mi finds a crucial clue about the area where the victims might be held. She decides to search through all the apartments in that area. But her search process is put to a halt due to interventions from Chief Lee, who will not allow her to do so.

It is now already Tuesday, the day when the murderer is scheduled to commit his killings. Sun Mi and Dong Baek must race against time to rescue the victims.

Ye Rim’s chance at escape

Having lost all hopes that she can escape her kidnapper, Ye Rim decides to end her life herself before she gets murdered. As she prepares to hang herself, the rooftop of her room crumbles and she finds a passage to escape. But the kidnapper gets alerted. A wild chase ensues as Ye Rim uses all her might to run. She finally reaches out in the open, but then she notices a person behind her with a hammer in hand.

On another scene, Dong Baek is seen walking towards a place which has the banner of a red pig.

Premiere Week Afterthoughts

Memorist starts strong from the get-go as the main characters begin their chase for the serial killer. The episodes in the premiere have been quite stellar as it balances among suspense, action, horror and humor.

Though the main lead has supernatural powers, it does not make his job any easier, and so far his quest to catch the serial killer has been quite daunting. Also, since the male lead’s power is known to the public, it poses many challenges, which will act as a roadblocks in the future as well. Yoo Seung Ho is extremely adorable as Dong Baek, who occasionally brings humor in the midst of the intense narrative.

Lee Se Young leaves a strong impression as the female lead, Han Sun Mi. She is smart, ambitious, and has a strong sense of justice. The future collaborations between the main leads are much highly anticipated as they pursue the killer. While Han Sun Mi has the brains as well as some authority to take decisions over the investigations, Dong Baek’s power can help in situations when the cases are stuck.

The chase in the last few minutes of the last episode definitely raised heart palpitations. Especially, the ending provokes the audience to raise many questions. Is Yoon Ye Rim going to survive? Has Dong Baek reached the right place? And so on.

Memorist airs every Wednesday and Thursday at 10:50 p.m. KST via tvN.

Images and Video Credits: tvN