The Silent Sea season 1, episode 1 recap – the opening chapter explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: December 24, 2021
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Netflix K-Drama series The Silent Sea season 1, episode 1


An intriguing, well-produced pilot. The Silent Sea understands its potential from the first minute.

This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series The Silent Sea season 1, episode 1, contains spoilers. 

K-Drama series getting the complete binge treatment is becoming commonplace on Netflix now, and what a statement to bring one out on Christmas Eve. This series has been hyped about for some time, and is there any surprise? With a brilliant cast and a heavy production, this has plenty of potentials.

The Silent Sea season 1, episode 1 recap

Episode 1 begins in space; the crew is in disarray, warning signals blaring. The engines are inoperable, and they are not near the station. Eventually, the camera pans out; their ship is on a moon cliff-edge. The episode then flits to a news report, explaining that water levels are at an all-time low on earth, causing inequalities and unfair regulations. There are protests to distribute water fairly.

The episode then moves to the Environment for Human Survival Research Center. Mr. Kim visits Dr. Song Jian about her Astrobiologist papers. She tells him she’s no longer interested in Astrobiology as there’s “nothing in space.” Mr. Kim explains that Director Choi wants an astrobiologist on a mission, and she has come recommended. He tells her it is on Balhae Center, which raises her interest, and after her meeting, she looks at a memorial box for the deceased Song Wonkyung (her sister).

Han Yunjae, the captain of the mission, introduces himself to Song Jian the following day. They both examine the memorial for a tragic event that happened at the station five years ago. Han Yunjae tells Song Jian to reconsider going to the station. It’s almost like he’s suggesting she should not go. The other crew members then introduce themselves; Gong Soochan, Kim Heesun, co-pilot Eun Jiyoung and team doctor Hong Gayoung.

The team is briefed; they need to go to the moon and retrieve an unknown sample from Belhae Station that was closed due to a radiation leak. They have 24 hours from landing to retrieve it, which could be at three different locations. Song Jian is concerned that they do not know what the sample is, plus it sounds like a suicide mission. Director Choi insists they are non-the-wiser as well regarding what the sample is. Captain Han Yunjae states that this is like any other mission, but Song Jian raises how the outlook looks bleak with a 10% chance of survival.

And so, the crew journey to space and head to the moon. It’s revealed that Mr. Hwang has joined the team too; the only crew member who has visited the station. As the ship scours the moon, we are faced with the same problems from the start of the episode. There’s a problem with the ship’s exterior, and the landing mechanics are at risk. The crew has to take risks to land and brace for impact. When they land, they end up on a cliff edge and need to escape.

The ending

Attempting to escape presents more problems as they accidentally break the atmospheric pressure. Song Jian finds herself hanging on to a harness, nearly falling to her death, but when she lets go, Han Yunjae grabs her hand to save her. The crew manages to get off the ship safely, but their communication systems are destroyed. They will not be able to talk to the team on earth. The crew is over 7 kilometers away from Belhae Station, but that’s the least of their worries; their ship falls down the cliff edge to its destruction. They are astronauts without spacecraft. The captain says they should head to Belhae Station on foot, and a rescue ship will come to get them.

Mr. Hwang is struggling, and Song Jian looks concerned, but the captain tells her to keep walking with him. Mr. Hwang’s condition is unclear, but he was injured during the crash. Mr. Hwang asks the captain for water as he cannot continue walking. He vomits blood, filling up his visor; he tries to say something about the water, like a warning, but he cannot get it out before he dies. Mr. Hwang is dead. There’s shock amongst the crew, but there’s no time to rest; Song Jian looks curious about what Mr. Hwang was about to say.

When they get to the station, there’s a warning about oxygen levels, and the crew is asked to connect to life support systems immediately. They are all struggling to breathe, but they keep moving forward. Eventually, they reach the emergency power controls to get inside the station; the password to turn it on does not initially work, causing brief panic. Finally, the captain manages to unlock the controls and the crew head inside. What lies ahead is uncertain, but what an exhilarating start.

An intriguing, well-produced pilot. The Silent Sea understands its potential from the first minute.

Crew Logs

  • In a flashback, Director Choi gives Song Jian a water pass, so she never has to worry about water again. It appears to be compensation for her sister’s death.

What did you think of the Netflix K-Drama series The Silent Sea season 1, episode 1? Comment below.

You can watch The Silent Sea with a subscription to Netflix. 

Netflix, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
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