A ton of action and a surprising last-minute twist gets Black Knight off to a roaring start despite some clunky storytelling.
This recap contains spoilers for the 2023 Netflix K-Drama Black Knight Season 1 Episode 1.
You can’t have a dystopian sci-fi show without some expository preamble, so let’s just cut to the chase here.
A comet hit the earth. Continents sunk into the sea. The Korean Peninsula is now a desert with a completely polluted atmosphere, survivable only thanks to advances in technology, particularly a gigantic Air Core built to convert oxyanium (which I’m pretty sure is made up) into oxygen.
The survivors — just 1% of the total population — were arranged in a new social order, organized by QR codes, and divided into general, special, and core districts. The lucky ones, anyway. The rest were forced to live a hardscrabble life as refugees, and eventually got sick of it, rebranding themselves as Robin Hood-style “Deliverymen”, stealing and plundering the valuable hoarded resources and redistributing them among those most in need.
Black Knight Season 1 Episode 1 Recap
With these essential details established, the first episode is primarily about introducing the setting, tone, and a couple of core characters through action sequences and a lot of ungainly writing.
Why does Sa-wol want to become a Deliveryman?
For instance, we have Sa-wol, a rebellious refugee — whose friends are named Useless, Dummy, and Dumb-Dumb — with dreams of becoming a Deliveryman like the legendary 5-8. For a refugee, becoming a Deliveryman is an ideal, a way to escape a life of persecution, and 5-8 is particularly admired as a beacon of hope for the immigrant community. There’s no other way for a refugee to get a QR code, and anyone with one who is found to be harboring a refugee is severely punished.
This is bad news for Major Jung Seol-ah, of the Defense Intelligence Command, since she’s personally — and secretly — taking care of Sa-wol, who keeps drawing attention to himself by sneaking out and getting into trouble while “training” as a Deliveryman.
The exact circumstances of how Sa-wol came to be under the care of Seol-ah and her sister Seul-ah aren’t explained here, but he has been staying with them for a decade, and is very close to both, the latter particularly. Seol-ah has been trying to secure Sa-wol a QR code through “official channels”, which it’s implied is a lost cause, suggesting that there’s certainly a degree of effort being made to maintain the status quo.
What is being kept in District A?
And, of course, there are those who benefit from that status quo — namely, the Cheonmyeong Group. Again, there’s little clarity here, but we are able to glean a few things throughout the premiere that suggest the father and son behind this group are very much to up something.
For one thing, there’s the secretive construction of the new District A. 5-8 is led out there by a contact who fails to meet him, and Seol-ah is also out there with some other members of the DIC, looking for answers. Cheonmyeong Group seems to have the power to quell protests, make people disappear, and just operate right under the nose of “official” groups who seem to have no idea whatsoever what they’re doing.
Whatever it is, though, it involves the Air Core, which 5-8 sees being delivered into District A.
Black Knight Season 1 Episode 1 Ending Explained
The premiere of Black Knight ends with a pretty gigantic twist.
After returning home from another ill-advised excursion, this one trying to fight 5-8 while he’s on his way to District A, Seul-ah locks Sa-wol in a room to prevent him from leaving again. While he’s in there, he misses a visit from 5-8, who takes a selfie with Seul-ah.
He’s also locked away when a group of assassins burst in.
It isn’t clear what the assassins want. They pin Seul-ah down and try to inject her with something, implying they’re kidnapping her, but Sa-wol is able to burst out of the room and fight them off, shooting a couple dead. In the crossfire, though, Seul-ah is shot, seemingly fatally, and the episode closes with Sa-wol himself taking a bullet from behind.
You can stream Black Knight Season 1 Episode 1 exclusively on Netflix.
1 thought on “Black Knight Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – What is being kept in District A?”
Loved the first episode!! Stellar ?