A monk (cameo by Yang Dong-geun) and a girl walk along the shore as he explains to her that there is another world where the gods live. This world is composed of the Water Kingdom, the Sky Kingdom, and the Earth Kingdom. He tells her that gods are sent to Earth to take care of nature and that the kings of the kingdoms are fated to be rulers from birth, adding that the king of the Water Kingdom in particular is given the special power to rule the Realm of the Gods as the emperor. For the new emperor to solidify his throne, he needs to create a royal seal with three god stones that are being kept by the guardian gods who are living in the human realm.
In the Water Kingdom, a high priest (Lee Geung-young) dips his right hand into a basin of reddish water and says that time has come for the Realm of the Gods to welcome a new emperor after 3, 200 years. He meets Ha Baek (Nam Joo-hyuk) and shows him a map marking the location of the god stones. Ha Baek then learns that Bi Ryeom is the guardian god from the Sky Kingdom after confirming that Moo Ra and Joo Dong is the guardian god from the Water Kingdom and the Earth Kingdom, respectively. He needs to collect the stones from these gods before the red water come for the seventh time and to return to ascend to the throne.
The high priest advises Ha Baek to find the descendant (a woman) of the king’s servant who has served the god for generations and hands him a circular badge he can show to the servant so that she can recognize him. He takes it reluctantly and leaves.
Back in the human world, a female psychiatrist is talking to her patient who claims that he receives messages from aliens. Her name is Yoon So-ah (Shin Se-kyung), the servant of the water god who doesn’t know anything about it yet. She looks annoyed dealing with her patient and becomes more upset upon learning through nurse Yoo Sang-yoo (Shin Jae-hoon) of the loan notices she receives from the banks.
Later that day So-ah and Sang-yoo drink together. She shares that she dreams of leaving Korea for Vanuatu after she pays off all of her debt but he suggests that she finds a man and just live here. When he tells her that maybe no men are interested in her, she replies that a second-generation chaebol once gave her a diamond ring. Later, So-ah digs up that ring from the ground under a tree and wishes for money when she sees a shooting star that strangely changes its course twice. A moment later, something falls from above and causes her to fall backward.
A naked Ha Baek then appears in front of her. Although she is unconscious, he tells her that he is borrowing her doctor’s gown for a while and slaps her forehead before leaving. When she wakes up, she panics knowing that her gown’s already gone. She put the diamond ring in the gown’s pocket, so she screams in rage, “You insolent thief!”
Ha Baek reunites with his servant Nam Soo-ri who got separated from him in their journey. Nam Soo-ri is wearing the suit prepared for him so he demands it. The servant then wonders why things seem different compared to his last trip, pointing out that the land around the gate of the god has changed when it’s not supposed to. Ha Baek thinks that they landed in the wrong place and finds out that he lost the map of the stones’ coordinates and his divine powers.
As he tries to test his power in front of a fountain, he sees So-ah again and approaches her to say that she thought wrong about him because he is just borrowing it. But she gets confused and knows nothing about what he is saying. She thinks he is a weirdo and just leaves but Ha Baek declares, ““I am the water god, the next king of the Water Kingdom, the next emperor of the Realms of the God—Ha-baek!” So-ah shakes her head, thinking that he is just a crazy man needing medical attention. Nurse Yoo Sang-yoo butts in and leaves with her.
The next morning, So-ah goes to her clinic only to find out that she has no appointments that day, so she heads off to the bank to settle her loan issues. There she meets CEO Hoo-ye (Im Ju-hwan) when she confronts the banker who keeps her waiting for hours for the approval of her loan extension application. She gets angrier after hearing the banker offering the CEO a 1 % interest for a possible loan when she is forced to take 7 %.
In the afternoon, So-ah meets with the realtor in charge of selling her piece of land nobody wants. She gets dismayed when the realtor suggests lowering the price to half and leaves to visit the land. She arrives and meets again Ha Baek, who decided to meet his human servant supposed to be maintaining the land where the gate of the gods is located. Earlier on Nam Soo-ri asks him how he could awaken So-ah’s knowledge of being the servant knowing that the circular badge is also gone, to which he replies that she would fall for his charms or he could use his last resort. Nam Soo-ri disagrees with him about the last resort for some reason.
So-ah asks them what they are doing on her land, so Ha Baek realizes that she is the servant he is looking for. He approaches her and touches her face thinking that she would fall for his charm, but to no avail. She’s forced to leave the place with him after Nam Soo-ri jumps in front of her car to stop her and pretend that he’s hurt on Ha Baek’s order.
They get lost in the mountain and the car runs out of gas in a place where there is no cell service, so Nam Soo-ri has to leave and buy the gas for them. So-ah and Ha Baek are left in the car, where Ha Baek keeps on talking about him being a water god and Nam Soo-ri being his servant. She thinks that he is really crazy and just treats him as a patient.
When they finally get out of the woods, Ha Baek is driving the car and So-ah is sitting at the back. She remarks that he thought he does not know how to drive. It turns out Ha Baek just learned driving from her earlier and confesses that it is his first time and he does not even know what a driver’s license is. Hence, So-ah orders him to stop the car but he refuses and speeds up instead.
When Ha Baek finally pulls over, So-ah takes the car keys from him, somehow thanks him for his help during the day, and walks away. He then informs her of an agreement between her ancestors and the gods to serve them for all generations, but she just offers to take him to the hospital. She walks away again after he refuses so he walks towards her and kisses her. That is his last resort.
OK, after months of hearing news about this drama I am finally watching it. But honestly I’m not making time for it because I like it so much or I idolize the leading stars; it’s more of a random choice as Circle already ended and I’m looking for a new series to watch.
I did not read the original manhwa from which this drama is based on so I don’t know what exactly to expect. However, I find the premiere just fine and entertaining despite its slow pace. The premise was laid out very well in the first episode, so the viewers must have easily understood the rules of the other world just like I did.
I want to ask questions regarding some aspects of the show and say something on the actors’ performance in the first episode. Nam Joo-hyuk playing the water God is convincing enough but I could still see his teen image in Cheese In The Trap. I can see that he’s trying hard in portraying his role but the more I think about it, the more I want another older actor to become the water god. Someone who can look as possessing with bigger authority and is more believable as a god who descended from the Water Kingdom is much better. Meanwhile, Shin Se-kyung is doing just fine. I saw her in Six Flying Dragons, so I know she’s doing a good job because I cannot see her as the character from that drama anymore. She is definitely So-ah this time — a psychiatrist struggling to settle a lot of debts but is still living in a huge house.
The first episode leaves us with one big question: Why did Ha Baek and Nam Soo-ri arrive at the wrong place on earth? Is it just a simple malfunction of whatever it is in the Water Kingdom? Or is someone behind that incident, hoping for him to lose the map of coordinates on purpose? I actually get a bad feeling from that high priest in the Water Kingdom but of course, nothing is certain as of this time, particularly that only a few of the characters were introduced so far. Someone might have really caused that incident to happen, but the shift in the gravitational force (as mentioned in the news shown on television) could be the perpetrator as well. That news gave me the Faith vibes.
Another question is: Given that the circular badge is not in Ha Baek’s hands, how will he awaken So-ah’s knowledge of her being a servant based on that agreement between her ancestors and the gods? Ha Baek thinks that the kiss would work yet the next episode preview tells us otherwise. So I wonder how she will come to realize that she is a servant and Ha Baek is indeed a water god.
This episode turns out a light one with minimal happenings. I was not really expecting a heavy story development, especially that this is a romantic comedy after all but I think those scenes in the mountain were just unnecessarily long. The next episode preview hints at more events and developments, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for Bride of the Water God to improve in the next episodes to come.