‘Connection’ K-drama Episode 1 Recap & Ending Explained: What Happened To Jang Jae-Kyeong? 

Connection is the new Korean crime thriller series directed by Kim Moon-Kyo. The story is set in the Anhyeon area at a point where drug activity becomes uncontrollable in Seoul and its surroundings. Twenty million dollars worth of drugs are discovered, affecting over twenty thousand people. This new drug is so addictive that people forget what happened to them, some even becoming senseless or dead. In episode one, we see how Anhyeon Police Station detective, Jang Jae-Kyeong, played by Ji Sung, is determined to solve the case and catch the drug dealers known as the Five Spider Gang. Will he succeed? We also meet investigative journalist Oh Yoon-Jin, played by Jeon Mi-Do, who seems to have a connection with the detective. At the end of the first episode, they both find themselves affected by the drug game in one way or another. What happens to them? We’ll find out in the episode 1 explainer of Connection.

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Spoilers Ahead


What happened to Jang Chul Gu? 

When news channels spread the horrible story of how the new drugs were affecting people in Anhyeon, the police and detectives at Anhyeon Police Station went into action to solve the crime and stop the drug dealing once and for all. Their main focus was on the Five Spider Gang, the key dealers in town. Under the leadership of narcotics unit detective Jang Jae-Kyeong, the police managed to arrest all the gang members except one—the main leader, Jang Chul Gu. From the beginning of the series, they kept a close eye on him, believing that catching him would end the drug problem once and for all. One night, they spotted Jang Chul Gu heading to a pork restaurant, and Detective Jang Jae-Kyeong followed him inside. While Jang Chul Gu was busy eating and talking to people, he realized he was being followed and ran for it.

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Detective Jang Jae-Kyeong didn’t lose hope and chased after him. They eventually came face-to-face and got into a physical confrontation. Jang Chul Gu tried to escape, but soon realized he couldn’t and surrendered. The detective could have easily taken him into custody right there, but he wanted to hurt him. Why? Because before this case, the police were after this drug dealer, and Jang Chul Gu had severely injured one of Detective Jang Jae-Kyeong’s junior officers, Myung Ho, right in front of him. This incident deeply affected Jang Jae-Kyeong. Jang Chul Gu had shot Myung Ho in the Achilles tendon, leaving a lasting impact. So to seek revenge, Detective Jang Jae-Kyeong shot Jang Chul Gu in the Achilles tendon as well. This act wasn’t a mistake—it was premeditated revenge. A subordinate police officer witnessed the incident and reported it. Detective Jang Jae-Kyeong was questioned but never shied away from admitting what he did, believing he had a valid reason. Jang Chul Gu was finally arrested, and the police thought the Five Spider Gang’s game was finally over. 


Why did Oh Yoon-Jin want to write a report about the new drug? 

When Jang Jae-Kyeong was in the pork restaurant waiting to catch Jang Chul Gu, he came across Oh Yoon-Jin. The way he looked at her made it seem like he had known her for a long time. Oh Yoon-Jin is an investigative journalist at a local newspaper, but she has taken a break for a while. Why? Because she was caught taking bribes from a wealthy businessman to keep a shady article about his organization out of the papers. Her character shows that in every profession, there are people who operate in morally gray areas. She is here to find the truth and expose it, but she also takes money to hide it from the world when it’s needed.

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Yoon-Jin had been doing this for a long time, and because of that, the businessman had people secretly take pictures of her shady dealings and record her conversations about taking bribes. She felt exposed out in public, even in front of the detective himself. Even though she was fired, she was so good at her job that the newspaper owner and PR people handled the situation properly and wanted her to come back to the office. As she was going to the office, she saw a mother who’d left her small kindergarten-aged child alone on the road. The mother rushed towards the building and pushed Yoon-Jin out of the way so hard that Yoon-Jin’s phone screen got cracked. What was the rush? The mother was desperate to get to a drug hidden in the building’s locker. Yoon-Jin and the little child were scared and shocked to see her in that state. The mother was so humiliated that she ran away from the building and got hit by a bus right in front of her child and Yoon-Jin. Yoon-Jin went to the police station to report the case but realized this couldn’t be just a normal drug—the addiction was clear in the woman’s eyes. She had to find out what it was, so she started questioning the police and even the building security guards. Yoon-Jin believed this news would be huge and would help her get back her respect at the newspaper.


What happened to Jang Jae-Kyeong? 

After catching Jang Chul Gu, Jang Jae-Kyeong got a promotion. Everyone was excited to celebrate, but he returned to his lonely apartment, where he got a surprise visit from an old friend named Park Jun-Seo. Friend or enemy, we don’t yet know, but it’s clear they go way back一to their school days. Twenty years ago, when they started their careers at the police station, Jang Jae-Kyeong and Park Jun-Seo witnessed an attack. Park Jun-Seo was the key witness, but when Jang Jae-Kyeong reported the incident, Park betrayed him by claiming he didn’t see anything, making Jang Jae-Kyeong look like a liar. This incident left a mark on Jang Jae-Kyeong, and it ruined their childhood friendship. So, even though Park came to congratulate him after all these years, Jang Jae-Kyeong told him to leave.

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That night, everyone from the police station went out to celebrate his promotion. But when Jang Jae-Kyeong came home, he was attacked from behind, and he lost his senses. After that, everything was a blur. The next thing he remembered was being injected with something and losing the ability to stand on his own two feet. He woke up at the train station, recalling a message from a “doctor” saying “SOS 1882” and instructing him to wait at the Anhyeon subway for a train to Pilo Station at 7:30 in the morning. On the train, he noticed a woman handing a packet to some guy. He chased after the guy, but he felt really sick, his heart racing and his hands trembling. Even though he caught the guy for a moment, he lost him and passed out again. He realized it was the same yellow drug found at the police station—the one that killed the woman. He had been forcibly injected with it. A video from the “doctor” showed him begging for the drug, and he knew if it got leaked, people would think he was a drug addict. In the meantime, his condition worsened, and he ended up in the hospital. They took a blood test, but he couldn’t afford to be exposed. If they found narcotics in his system, his career would be over. So, he did something desperate—he drank his own blood to destroy the evidence. This created chaos in the hospital, and we see him, with blood on his mouth, crushing the yellow pill under his feet to get rid of the evidence against him before running away from the authorities.

So, even though the Five Spider Gang members were arrested, that didn’t really stop the drug dealing. Is there a chance that Jang Chul Gu is doing this to take revenge against Jang Jae-Kyeong? If not, I think it could also be Park Jun-Seo. At the end of episode one, we see Park Jun-Seo and Jang Jae-Kyeong during their school days in 2005. Here we see Park Jun-Seo messaging Jang Jae-Kyeong to come to room 1882, and he comes running to meet him as if it’s some kind of emergency. This use of 1882 feels significant. Who is behind this? What will happen to Jang Jae-Kyeong? Will he also become addicted to the drug and eventually die? Who knows? We’ll find out in the next episodes of Connection.

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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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