Destined with You Season 1 Episode 1 Recap – who is Lee Hong-jo?

By Nathan Sartain
Published: August 23, 2023 (Last updated: August 25, 2023)
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Netflix K-Drama series Destined with You Season 1 Episode 1 Recap


A decent opener sets up plenty of intrigue for the rest of the season.

We recap the Netflix K-Drama series Destined with You Season 1 Episode 1, which contains significant spoilers.

With plenty of moments bound to pique audience curiosity, the opener of Destined with You definitely did a solid job establishing its leading cast.

In the weeks to come, it’ll be interesting to see just how linked Sin-yu (Rowoon) and Hong-jo (Jo Bo-ah) are and what that could mean for the pair in the present.

Destined with You Season 1 Episode 1 Recap

Who is Jang Sin-yu?

After a vague look at a tired Hong-jo being photographed by the man (Jang Sin-yu), she believes to be a “handsome grim reaper” at a cordoned-off shrine, we move to six months ago. There, a construction worker (Park Dae-ho) had fallen from a building site to his death.

Back in the present, the seemingly supernatural-tinged Jang Sin-yu finds himself defending Haum in their trial relating to Dae-ho’s death.

Surprisingly, the defense attorney nimbly uncovers the truth here that the construction worker’s passing was not due to unsafe working conditions but rather a botched plan to get a settlement that would help pay for his son’s cancer treatment.

What is Hong-jo’s first task at City Hall?

Next, Lee Hong-jo gets transferred to the Park Maintenance Team at City Hall, where she is made to work under a boss who has a negative history with Gong Seo-goo. It’s certainly awkward and, at times, tense, though the civil servant continues to go about her business without fuss. Elsewhere, a vlogger (nicknamed Hello) is spooked at the “haunted house” we were introduced to earlier and appears to suffer a fatal fall.

Continuing, the parents of the deceased vlogger come to City Hall with their complaints, wanting the allegedly haunted house demolished.

Hoping to win favor with Seo-goo, Hong-jo exclaims she’ll “handle” the situation, so she is sent on the Mount Onju trail to inspect the area.

Then, we arrive back where we were at the start of the episode when a shocked Hong-jo falls and notices Sin-yu (or, in her mind, the grim reaper) standing over her. But when the civil servant comes to her senses, it’s not the lawyer she sees, but rather her frightened co-worker, Eun-young.

What is Sin-yu’s health condition?

At a funeral, Sin-yu is berated for failing to manage the shrine, which became the site of Hello’s passing, and is firmly requested to leave his law firm. Yet his elderly father tidies the situation up and places trust that his son will figure things out. Meanwhile, Hong-jo is told not to return to the office until she has talked with the shrine’s landlord about it being demolished.

As Hong-jo asks around to find out about Sin-yu, the lawyer discovers abnormalities in the left side of his brain. His doctor informs him that it’s genetic – and unable to be treated – as well as that it could cause things like language impairment and the loss of senses in hands and feet. “You have a time bomb in your head,” Sin-yu is told when it’s requested he reduce stress as a preventative treatment for ischemic stroke.

How does the shrine end up demolished?

When meeting with Sin-yu, the man she once thought was a grim reaper, Hong-jo struggles to get him to budge regarding the demolition of the “haunted” shrine. In fact, the lawyer brings up all the ways he could sue City Hall should they take action, leaving the civil servant at a crossroads.

Later, Sin-yu anxiously gets through a date by preventing the use of his weaker side, and Hong-jo receives gratitude from Jae-kyung, a fellow civil servant she had stopped from being soaked by a protester.

The following day, Hong-jo gets through to Sin-yu and receives the location of the shaman who owns the shrine. And surprisingly, the civil servant quickly gets Eun-wol’s approval to have it demolished.

Frustrated, Sin-yu goes to visit Eun-wol to discuss this and hears something sinister. “The owner of the wooden box showed up,” the shaman says, after talking about how the lawyer “killed” the person whose red hand “caresses” his face but will see his “pain and curses” end.

Destined with You Season 1 Episode 1 Ending Explained

Retrieving the wooden box from the now demolished site, Sin-yu reflects on the idea that Hong-jo could well be the owner Eun-wol was referring to.

Concurrently, the civil servant cries at being isolated from her City Hall colleagues.

To end the episode, Sin-yu finds Hong-jo and asks her to come with him.

What did you think of the Netflix K-Drama series Destined With You Season 1 Episode 1? Comment below.

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