[Drama of the Week] Phantom 2012


Kim Woo Hyun and Park Ki Young are school mates when they were both training to be police enforcers in a police academy. Kim Woo Hyun’s father is a prolific prosecutor himself, making the riding on the tail coat of his father rather a breeze. These two best friends are destined for big things and had all the idealistic notions of how laws should be uphold and how justice should be served. Unfortunately, this idealism stopped short for Park Ki Young when he found out that Woo Hyun’s father is not as noble as the public made him to be. He is in fact one of the many puppets in the prosecution office that the higher ups “management” used to ensure that their dirty little secrets are well concealed and masked. At this discovery, Park Ki Young could not come to terms with this discrepancy and started seeing Woo Hyun’s father from a different light, a coloured lens. He felt that he could never looked at Woo Hyun’s father they way he used to, at the same time, he felt betrayed by a figure that he respected and regarded as his own father. With this, he left the academy. None of these discoveries were told to Woo Hyun.


Park Ki Young became a notorious hacker after that, he was so notorious that he could infiltrate any systems and leave no trace behind. Woo Hyun was in charged of a team of a cyber team and one of his tasks is to catch Hades, the infamous hacker. Of course, this was without the knowledge that Park Ki Young was Hades. Woo Hyun had no idea that he has been initiated in to the larger system of lies and cover up. In one of the assignments, Woo Hyun and Ki Young’s paths crossed again, many years after that fateful day since Ki Young left the academy suddenly. Ki Young at this point in time has accumulated enough evidence to prove that the police is not as clean as they want the public to believe and he is intent in his quest to expose these lies. It is here that these two once best friends became enemies. Woo Hyun was supposed to kill Ki Young but in the process, he, himself was killed and Ki Young was burned beyond recognition.


In the chaos that followed, Ki Young was mistaken to be Woo Hyun and Ki Young was pronounced dead. Also, with the twist of event, Ki Young began to assumed the identity of Woo Hyun. Yoo Gang Mi was the only one who found out about this twisted truth but she was convinced by Ki Young to cover this discovery up and cautioned her that there’s a conspiracy behind all that’s happening. And from then on, she has been his watchdog, prepping him with information of Woo Hyun so that he could play the role well.

Ki Young and the cyber team have been on the tails of Phantom who’s responsible for the murder of a model that got her life entwined with Jo Hyun Min. In the not so far future, Ki Young and Gang Mi found out that the police are involved in other crimes greater than murder itself. Jo Hyun Min was the man behind Phantom. In the quest to catch and persecute Phantom, Kwon Hyuk Joo aka mad cow became suspicion of Ki Young and Gang Mi. He knew something is not right with Woo Hyun and had his police antenna up, he even went out of his way to verify Woo Hyun’s identity with the coroner again. He knew the Woo Hyun that was before him was not the real Woo Hyun. When the truth was unravelled, he was intent on catching Ki Young and putting him behind bar.

As the plot develops, he relented and he was instrumental in fact in ensuring that Ki Young was not exposed. They soon became a team.


This drama is rather intense with tonnes of twist here and there. I am constantly at the edge of my seats while watching this drama. It’s too intense and my heart was racing when they are edging closer and closer to catching Hades aka Ki Young. So Ji Sub as Hades was intense too. So Ji Sub straddles two roles here with polar opposites of personality. Park Ki Young is the happy go lucky with the devil’s may care attitude whilst Woo Hyun is an intense and serious person. Through this drama, we see So Ji Sub is really one cut above others when it comes to acting, his acting and charisma are undeniable. He skill-fully transit from one persona to the other, from a stoic and cold person to someone with playfulness in his eyes. All these subtle expressions are priceless.

Though this drama does not do as well in the rating race, it doesn’t make it a lesser than entertaining drama to watch. It can be quite a melodramatic drama, yes, but it’s also a drama with a lot of thrills if you allowed yourself to be taken into the plot and storylines.

The unexpected turn of event was when Dr Kang was named the betrayal, he was so swift with this work and agenda that he did not even permeate any hints that he was the eye that was planted from the outside. This was simply unexpected, I, at least did not see this one coming. Clever plot.

I had difficulty focusing  on Director Shin without looking at him as Secretary Kim. He was Secretary Kim in The Master’s Sun, also with So Ji Sub. To see him as a villain here is rather hard to process whereas he was this cuddly ahjussi in The Master’s Sun.

What I don’t quite fancy about this drama though is the fake accents; the fake Cantonese accent. At least get someone with proper command of the Cantonese language to do this job. My ears are leaking each time they speak in this fake accent. Please someone!

I was wondering what would happened if Park Ki Young doesn’t come back as Kim Woo Hyun but continued to investigate this case remotely. What are the chances of this plot going anywhere? Since he is Hades and technically he can get a lot of information remotely, what then he needs most is the authority to apprehend and put someone in jail. But, if the crazy cow and Gang Mi can do it for him from the inside, wouldn’t it make things more exciting?

Some of the lines from this drama is beyond lame. I quote one such lame lines in Episode 16. The context of this conversation was in the gym where this young chap having been released from detention is supposed to approach the Director of Cyber Team to plant the seed of suspicion amongst the investigating team of Cyber Team, but really?

Young chap: I am new here. Can you recommend me a good trainer?

Director: All the trainers here are good.

Young Chap: Oh really…..Thank you very much.

This is cliche much!


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