Just Bananas About: Week of 1/23/17

It’s the new year and we have a ton of new dramas to check out.  Missing Nine is just one of those new dramas that I was interested in checking out.  And it’s making me feel a little lost.  As in, I could see a lot of the plot and style of the American drama, Lost, in this one.  I’ll admit that I was one of those people who felt disappointed by the finale of Lost and here’s hoping that this one will have a more satisfying conclusion.

The drama begins with Ra Bong Hee (Baek Jin Hee) washing up on shore in China.  She was originally part of the plane filled with artists and staff members of Legend Entertainment but after the plane had crashed, she was the only member found alive after four months.  As news spreads about Bong Hee being found alive, a lot of people have a vested interest in finding out what she knows.

For Bong Hee, this was her first big job and first trip anywhere.  All she wants is to reunite with her mother but the people are desperate to know what happened.  Why are there people who want to control how and what information is made public?  We begin to see the events of the crash and their survival on a deserted island through Bong Hee’s eyes.

Bong Hee was hired to become a coordinator for Seo Joon Oh (Jung Kyung Ho), former leader of an idol group and now a washed up star after his scandal that broke up the band.  He’s spoiled and arrogant and gives Bong Hee a hard time on her first day but Bong Hee ends up on the plane with the other Legend Entertainment people.

Joining Joon Oh and Bong Hee on the plane is Jung Ki Joon (Oh Jung Se), who is Joon Oh’s longtime manager.  Choi Tae Ho (Choi Tae Joon) and Lee Yeol (Park Chan Yeol) were both part of Joon Oh’s band but after they disbanded Tae Ho became an actor while Yeol went solo as a singer-songwriter.  Tae Ho is cold and aloof while Yeol is warm and caring, especially towards Joon Oh.  Ha Ji Ah (Lee Sun Bin) and Yoon So Hee (Ryu Won) are both actresses with the company.  The president of the company, Hwang Jae Gook (Kim Sang Ho), is also on the plane with his secretary and right-hand man, Tae Ho Hang (Tae Hang Ho).

As the plane is in the air, we learn that Tae Ho is secretly seeing Ji Ah.  Ki Joon has feelings for Ji Ah and always looked out for her, even back when he was her manager.

There are clearly feelings of animosity between Tae Ho and Joon Oh.  Back when they were all in the band, Dreamers, they had a writer and producer that worked with them but ended up committing suicide.  It’s hard to say what lead to it but Joon Oh had an argument with him pushing him to work faster and better.

In the present day, Bong Hee is still trying to adjust to returning to her normal life.  There are officials who want to know what happened to the people who were on the plane with her.  There also seem to be some shady men who have their own agenda when it comes to Bong Hee but it’s not exactly clear what they want with her.

The plane encounters some foggy weather and turbulence and one of the engines on the plane starts smoking.  One thing leads to another and it is utter chaos on the plane as the pilot tries desperate to keep it in the air.  Trapped in the bathroom, Bong Hee kicks her way out and tries to crawl out to find out what is going on.  She sees So Hee cowering in a corner near the emergency exit and she tells her that she’ll find out what’s going on.

The plane lands in the water instead in a terrifying crash sequence.  Bong Hee wakes up in the water and uses her diver training from growing up in Jejudo to rescue herself and Joon Oh, the only other person she sees in the water.

Joon Oh wakes up on the island but doesn’t quite believe the gravity of the situation they’re in so he helps himself to the airplane food that Bong Hee has managed to gather.

However, seeing him carelessly eating their rations sets Bong Hee off.

Not knowing what to do, Joon Oh relies on Bong Hee to help build a shelter and survive on the island.  Although he initially viewed Bong Hee as a pushover, he begins to see her in a new light and realizes that he needs her more than she needs him.

One night, the two realize that there is someone else or something on the island.  They are relieved to find Yeol stumbling out of the woods.  He’s broken his arm and the two nurse him back to health to learn that he found himself on a different part of the island after the crash.  He only decided to make his way around the island when he Bong Hee and Joon Oh’s campfire.

Suddenly, Yeol stands up and notices another light in the woods.  Someone else on their plane could have survived.  Yeol and Bong Hee don’t hesitate about looking for them while Joon Oh is reluctant to search at night because it’s dark.  Yeol and Bong Hee go on ahead and notice a fork in the road.  They decide to separate but Bong Hee charges into the woods without a light and gets herself stuck in a bog.  Unable to get unstuck, Bong Hee sinks in further.  Finally, Joon Oh shows up with a torch and reaches out to pull her out.  It’s the first time since they’ve met that he’s done something for someone other than himself.

Back to their search, the three reunite to see someone running towards them in the darkness.  In the present day, Bong Hee is relaying all of this to the therapist working with the officials who are investigating the crash.  He asks who they saw in the woods that night but Bong Hee’s memory appears to be fuzzy.

Also in the present day, we discover that someone else from the plane has been discovered in China.  Yoon Tae Young (Yang Dong Geun), a prosecutor, goes to a morgue in China to confirm that the body they’ve discovered is that of his little sister, Yoon So Hee.

Because Bong Hee is unable to relay what happened next, they scan her brain at the hospital and discover that there is nothing wrong with Bong Hee’s memory as far as they can tell from the medical scans.  In fact, Bong Hee knows that they had encountered Ji Ah that night in the woods.

She had been racing through the woods to find other survivors from the crash but she did not end up being stranded alone.  She ended up with So Hee who wasn’t physically hurt but the crash left her traumatized to the point where she is incapacitated.

Certainly, I think the drama is heightened by the fact that it goes back and forth between what happened on the island and present day.  It’s been awhile since I’ve used the terms flash-forward and flashback and I really think these plot devices were the best thing about Lost’s story unfolded.  I also am intrigued by the costume choices for the nine people on the plane as they are all dressed in white or beige clothes.  It gives the characters an ethereal vibe and I’m wondering if there is a reason behind it.  I also like that the drama’s tone isn’t completely serious.  For those who are resistant to committing to a emotionally heavy drama from the get-go, I think the comical moments provide a nice release as watching dramas are also about entertaining the viewer.  However, I have so many questions that can only be answered by continuing to watch the drama.  What happened to the other people?  How did So Hee die?  Why does Bong Hee feel that she needs to keep her secret?  And how did Bong Hee make it off the island?  What are the real motives behind the investigative commission?  For now, I’m hooked but if they all end up in the “afterlife,” I’m gonna have to hurt somebody.  Show, you’ve been warned.

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