K-Drama Review: Blood Free Episodes 1 to 6 

Great technologies invite great enemies
By: Iffah Salleh
April 30, 2024

The newest sensation from Disney+ Hotstar, ‘Blood Free’ is revolutionising the K-drama landscape by introducing a fresh perspective on themes like synthetic meat consumption. 

The series is set in a futuristic world, where synthetic meat dominates global markets, but a series of crises threatens to unravel everything. The heroine, CEO Yoon Ja Yoo (portrayed by Han Hyo Joo), leads the charge in developing blood-free meat, sparking intense debates about commerce, the environment, and her own safety. 

Alongside her is Woo Chae Woon (played by Jun Ji Hoon), her dedicated bodyguard with a hidden agenda of his own. As secrets unravel and tensions rise, ‘Blood Free’ (BF) promises to deliver a gripping narrative that challenges societal norms and personal motives.

Episodes 1 to 2

The opening of ‘Blood Free’ immediately plunges viewers into a world of stark social commentary, portrayed vividly through AR projections depicting brutal animal hunting. 

Chairwoman Yoon Ja-yoo takes centre stage to praise her company BF, which specialises in lab-grown meat and fur under the slogan “Blood Free”.

Ja-yoo’s speech not only celebrates their achievements but also hints at ambitious expansions into grain and crop cultivation. Amidst the audience is Woo Chae-woon, who experiences a brief traumatic flashback during the event.

The narrative quickly unfolds with a gripping incident where Ja-yoo narrowly escapes harm after a man falls onto her car. Coincidentally like  every K-drama, Chae-woon’s swift response captures Ja-yoo’s attention, leading to a revelation of their intertwined past tied to a traumatic explosion.

Meanwhile, BF faces a cyber threat from the hackers CitizenX, demanding a hefty ransom in Bitcoin. Internal tensions rise as suspicions brew within the core team. Chae-woon steps up as Ja-yoo’s new bodyguard, navigating the complexities of the hacking crisis and internal power struggles.

External threats emerge in the forms of former president Lee Moon-kyu (portrayed by Jeon Guk-hwan) and the cunning prime minister Seonu Jae (played by Lee Hee-joon). The first two episodes masterfully weave political intrigue with personal motives, keeping viewers on edge about the characters’ true allegiances.

Episodes 3 to 4

In episodes 4 and 5 really don’t have much going on, but perhaps more questions arise as the storyline goes forward. It’s sure by now that Chae-woon is on the ex-prime minister’s side to uncover the mastermind behind the explosive history during his time as a soldier.  

The series escalates as Ja-yoo launches a pursuit to unveil the ransomware mastermind’s identity, unearthing a murky past along the way. The tension heightens as suspicions swirl around Shin Gu’s (played by Kim Sang Ho) potential involvement in a colleague’s accident, leading to a confrontation that ends tragically for him, fueling conspiracy theories that cast shadows over Ja-yoo. 

Amidst this turmoil, Chae-woon’s proactive actions yield results in hunting down Shin Gu location but his triumph also sow seeds of doubt in Ja-yoo’s mind, showcasing the delicate balance between trust and caution amidst mounting dangers. 

The introduction of new characters like Kir (played by Sean Richard) and chairman Seonu Geun adds layers of intrigue, presenting offers that test Ja-yoo’s resolve to safeguard BF’s secrets. 

In these episodes, Ja-yoo doubted the experimental trials’ efficacy as the technology was still in its trial phase. Shin-gu took a chance with his then -sick wife, hoping for success, but sadly, it resulted in her death, leaving lingering uncertainties about the treatment’s outcomes.

This uncertainty about cell proliferation without a healthy sample raises concerns about the technology’s sustainability and adds to the ethical debates surrounding it. While this speculation may not provide definitive answers, it adds an intriguing layer to the ongoing narrative and invites exploration into the complexities of advanced medical technologies.

Episodes 5 to 6

Episodes 5 and 6 of Blood Free bring intense developments to the storyline – no, we still don’t know why Shin Gu betrayed the quest and the mastermind that orchestrated the shoot-out incident in the forest. However, in episode 5, the fallout from the forest shootout leaves Chae-Woon severely injured, prompting the BF team to use innovative cultured tissue in his treatment, showing promising results and also miracles! 

Which also led to the Prime Minister Woo-Jae and his father believing BF had succeeded in producing cultured human organs, as they wanted the technology to replace all his father’s organs and become immortal.

Simultaneously, Prime Minister Seon Woo-Jae deals with a police station raid orchestrated by a mastermind targeting Yoon Ja-Yoo, where his father assumed it was his agenda but he strongly declined being the person behind the notion. 

The episode highlighted Chae-Woon’s treatment, revealing complications from a past bomb blast, sparking suspicions about organ transplants and experimental procedures.

Episode 6 explores deeper into BF Group’s founding principles, highlighting Ja-Yoo’s mission to revolutionise organ transplants through BF’s advanced technologies and address ethical concerns. The tension escalates between Chae-Woon and Ho-Seung, another bodyguard of Ja-yoo (played by Kang Ian), leading to a confrontation. 

Meanwhile, Ja-Yoo navigates political intrigue and uncovers clues about Shin-Gu’s past. The episode intertwines personal revelations with complex conspiracies, culminating in Ho-Seung’s tragic demise and Chae-Woon’s arrest, setting the stage for a gripping continuation of the narrative.

Don’t miss the upcoming episodes! Catch the next episode of Blood Free on Wednesday, May 1st, 2024, at 4 p.m. KST, exclusively on Disney+ Hotstar.

What Can We Expect In Following Episodes?

This drama truly brings a fresh perspective to the science fiction genre, diverging from typical themes and keeping viewers engaged with its intriguing plot. Initially, it seems to touch on issues like veganism, power dynamics, and monetary interests, but it quickly reveals itself to be more complex than expected.

As you watch, every moment feels crucial, fearing that any skipped scene might hold vital clues. Despite reaching episode 6, many questions remain unanswered, especially regarding the true intentions of various characters. Initially suspicious of the Prime Minister, his later actions show concern for public welfare, contrasting sharply with his father’s darker motives.

There’s a sense that the Prime Minister may eventually align with the protagonist’s team while also pursuing personal gains. Meanwhile, Chae-Woon’s loyalty to the ex-Prime Minister persists as he delves into the explosive case independently. 

Ja-Yoon grapples with doubts about her team and seeks answers to her colleagues’ betrayal, adding layers of mystery and suspense.

With each episode leaving viewers eager for more, the anticipation for next Wednesday’s instalment grows stronger, promising further twists and revelations in this gripping narrative.

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