‘Revenant’ Episode 1 Recap And Ending, Explained: What Is Wrong With San-Yeong? 

The horror genre is a beloved one in the K-drama industry. We’ve seen many a successful show about ghosts and monsters such as Let’s Fight Ghost and Sweet Home. Kim Tae-Ri returns to the drama world after her successful Netflix show Twenty-Five Twenty-One which was an emotional watch for anyone who saw it. Now, she commands the screen with a ghostly aura in Revenant to unwind a mystery that will connect her to her past and help solve a years-old ghostly encounter. Her long black hair paired with her pale skin and black outfits only add to the eerieness of Revenant and I’m here for it. Oh Jung-Se does yet another unique role where he plays a stoic professor who can see ghosts and wants to figure out how his mother died many years ago. Together they will embark on a journey to get rid of the evil force that is at play. 


Spoilers Ahead

What Happens In Episode 1?

Revenant Episode 1 begins with Gu San-Yeong standing near a bridge. She is having the urge to jump off because her family savings have all been lost in a voice phishing scam. She decides against it and visits a precinct where the man who stole their money is being taken away. Her mother is there too and tells San-Yeong that their money has already been spent, so nothing has changed. On the other hand, we see a man rush home to a quaint traditional Korean Hanok where his mother is. He opens his room door to his mother screaming about ghosts in the house, but the person that stands ahead of him, is he himself. Gang-Mo realizes he’s doomed and soon after, his mother discovers his body hanging from the ceiling. Gang-Mo was actually San-Yeong’s father, but San-Yeong was told by her mother that he died in a car accident when she was five years old.


In reality, San-Yeong’s parents had been divorced since she was five. Now San-Yeong goes to the funeral with her mother and meets her grandmother for the first time. After paying their respects, her grandmother asks to talk in private and hands over an artefact that is an old Korean hair accessory. San-Yeong is told that that’s what her father left behind for her, but it’s also burnt on one side. When San-Yeong holds it in her hand, she gets a strange vision of a little girl wearing it but doesn’t think much of it. Finally, when she’s about to leave, her mother tells her to leave it behind and begins to panic. She tells San-Yeong that she hates everything in that house and San-Yeong shouldn’t even be touching anything there. Because her mother is ill, San-Yeong throws the box in front of the home for her grandmother to pick up and leaves. 

Hae-Sang is a folklore professor and goes looking for Gang-Mo, who too used to be the same. He reads a note that says “Please take care of my daughter if something were to happen to me”. Hae-Sang is on the lookout for San-Yeong and he has a wall full of information about Gang-Mo. It looks like he might’ve been the only person who believed Hae-Sang saw ghosts, but he tells Gang-Mo’s mother that they never met. She’s not very happy to see him at the funeral especially after he asks a dozen questions about her son and his work. Feeling offended, she tells him to leave and he complies. Fortunately for him, San-Yeong is outside the house, but she doesn’t want to talk to him. Later, he messages her continuously to connect with him but she thinks it’s another case of fraud and ignores him. 


There’s no clear evidence about the phishing case and so the man is let go by the police. He talks on the phone to someone about how he’s free now, but soon there are knocks on his door. He is especially confused when the person on the phone tells him to open the door, but he had previously said he was in a different place. In fear, the man opens the door, and someone pulls him out. All this time, San-Yeong is sleeping in her room, but we see her soul leave her body and head out. Later, the man is found to have committed suicide after having cleaned his account out and tossed all the money over a building. The detectives in charge find a bunch of evidence that points at San-Yoeng, but she was never really at the scene. So how were her fingerprints there?

As usual, the drama world is inventive and so San-Yeong’s spirit can also leave traces of fingerprints and hand marks on bodies. In the meanwhile, San-Yeong meets the professor Hae-Song coincidentally and he calls it destiny. He tells her about his vision of ghosts, and she thinks he’s absolutely crazy. Hae-Song sees a shadow of an evil spirit, a woman with her hair flying everywhere, coming from San-Yeong. Later we find out that his mother was killed by a ghost and the detective in charge is also the one looking at San-Yeong’s voice phishing case. The detective and Hae-Song look to be close friends. He even believes some of what Hae-Sang says and promises him that he will figure out who killed his mother before he dies. 


On the other hand, San-Yeong meets with a friend who has just moved into a new house. She stays over and three boys look into and take videos of their room out of the blue. San-Yeong wakes up and chases them thinking it’s a matter of a hidden camera, but the kids were looking for something else. After reporting the incident to the police, San-Yeong and her friend find one of the boys lying flat in front of a staircase near the house. To their shock the boy is dead and it looks like he fell to his death on the stairs. 

Is San-Yeong The Reason For The Young Boy’s Death? 

San-Yeong suddenly fears that Hae-Song’s words are real. He had told her that people around her will die, if she holds a grudge against them or doesn’t like them, because she’s possessed by an evil spirit, but of course, she hadn’t believed him. She visits him and he asks her to show him pictures of the two people who have died. It’s not San-Yeong’s evil spirit that killed the boy though, it’s another boy. The boys were looking for a kid who had fallen off their school rooftop when they were bullying him. It’s his spirit that’s trying to take revenge on the boys. They keep getting calls from the dead boy’s phone and he used to live in San-Yeong’s friend’s house, that’s why they went there to check if someone was pranking them or trying some other tricks. 


Hae-Sang goes to find the boy’s family, whereas San-Yeong tries to find the other two boys who are still alive and in danger. At the end of Revenant Episode 1, she notices that all of the doors are open in the boy’s house and when she looks at a mirror she sees the dead boy’s ghost in the mirror. 

Doors Are An Entryway Into Another World

Hae-Sang tells San-Yeong that she should be careful with doors because the inside world is different from the outside world. He warns her that she should be sure of who she’s letting in and that’s the main takeaway from Revenant Episode 1. If you open the door, you’re granting entry to the evil spirit. A lot happens in the first episode of Revenant but it never gets tedious or overlong. The beginning of the episode is great and if you scare easily, it’ll take you on a ride. I especially enjoyed Kim Tae-Ri’s performance as always and am looking forward to the rest of the series. With so much happening in the first episode, I wonder if each episode or every couple of episodes will include different cases for San-Yeong and Hae-Sang to solve together, kind of like fighting ghosts. As a fan of the horror genre, I definitely recommend this show after seeing the first episode. If you’re looking for something exhilarating, this one is for you! I give Revenant episode 1, 4 out of 5 stars. 


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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The beginning of the episode is great and if you scare easily, it'll take you on a ride. I especially enjoyed Kim Tae-Ri's performance as always and am looking forward to the rest of the series.'Revenant' Episode 1 Recap And Ending, Explained: What Is Wrong With San-Yeong?