by Soso, September 14, 2020

Contributors: Julia and Sophia

*Sidenote: What you will read here is a dialogue between two individuals, hence the quotation marks. Also, don’t read this article unless you have completed the whole drama because it contains major spoilers!*

Let’s introduce ourselves… 

 “Hi! My name is Julia or as ya know me on MyDramaList (Jewel16)... today, my friend Sophia (Soso) and I will be discussing how much we love The Fiery Priest. So this is our second article together. You might know us from the article Romance Is A Bonus Book Doesn’t Just Pertain to Relationships But Friendships As Well.

 “Hey, again! I’m Sophia, also known as Soso on MyDramaList. We’re very excited to write our second article after watching The Fiery Priest. Since we’ve enjoyed this drama a lot, we decided to write another article! I hope you all enjoy it!”

 “Alrighty, so let’s start off with the general gist of the drama. This drama centers around a Catholic priest named Kim Hae-il residing in South Korea. He’s a very charismatic character who has a strong thirst for justice. When a dear friend of his passes away due to unforeseen circumstances, he becomes incredibly involved in solving the case with the help of Goo Dae Young, Park Kyung Sun, and Seo Seung Ah (we’ll have a separate paragraph describing these characters.)” 

“Okay, let’s move on to the characters! So basically, in this drama, you will come across 3 groups of people: the church members, the police crew, and the bad guys (it’ll make sense as to why we categorized it this way when you read further down.) I will be first discussing the church members.”

“Alright, let’s talk about Kim Hae-il, also known as Father Kim or Michael (his Catholic name). He is a priest at a Catholic church in Seoul, but he’s definitely no ordinary priest to put it that way. He is hot-tempered, and he often gets involved in fights. But throughout the drama, you will see that he has a very kind heart and that he would do anything (really ANYTHING) for the ones he loves. He is also very funny, and it never gets boring with him. He definitely breaks stereotypes about priests!”

“If you have a look at his past, you might understand why he is the way he is; as a former NIS agent, he was in a military operation in which he was ordered to use a grenade to kill the enemy. However, he was not told that there were children in the room, and he then unintentionally killed eleven children. That trauma stuck with him for years. After that, he decided to quit his job and started drinking and getting involved in fights very often. One day in winter, he was beaten up so badly that he lied on the street unconsciously. That was when Lee Young-jun (a senior priest) found him there and took him to the cathedral. Ever since that, the two of them were very close, and because of him, Hae-il decided to become a priest himself. However, one day, Father Lee is found dead, and Father Kim starts to investigate on his own with the help of the police.”

“Okay, now I will discuss another church member! Her name is Kim In Kyung, also known as Sister Sarah. She’s a nun in the same church as Kim Hae Il, and they are very close. They have a familial bond, and she’s overall a very wholesome human being. But she also has a past just like Kim Hae-il. This brings me to one of my favorite quotes of the drama: “Even saints have a past, and sinners have a future.” I love this quote so much, and I can apply it to people around me as well as myself. I feel like everyone has gone through something that they’re not proud of. However, that past self should not outweigh their present self. This also brings me to why Soso and I named this article “The Fiery Priest: Reconciliation.” Almost every character in this drama goes through the phase reconciliation either with themselves or with other people.”

“Alrighty, back to the character Sister Sarah. So in her past, she used to be a very infamous gambler who dealt with a lot of bad people. And unfortunately, her brother also started gambling as well and ended up getting killed in the process. Ever since his murder, she hated the gambling practice and decided to set up a new life for herself. She became a nun and learned to love herself and become a better version of herself. She’s dealt with a lot of trauma much like Kim Hae-il.” 

“Last but not least, let’s mention Father Han! He is a very wholesome character, and I loved him so much! He was also a close friend to Hae-il and always ready to help him with his investigations. His secret acting talent turned out to be quite useful, and he got to play different roles (his acting skills were top-notch!). This character definitely surprise us both and not just once. Therefore, we were anxious about him in the last episodes because he was in critical condition. Luckily, he survived and completed the squad again! We were sooo relieved!!!”

“Awesome, so now we’re going to discuss the police crew!! Let’s start off with the hilarious detective Goo Dae Young. Man, I absolutely love this character so much! He just has so much spunk and can make you laugh so easily. I love his character development as well. In the earlier episodes, I could tell he was corrupt and worked with the bad guys in secret. He had no sense of justice and just did as he was told. He covered up crimes that should not have been covered up. But the recurring theme throughout this drama remains strong! He had a dark past as well, and that past influenced the type of detective he was. Back then, he was very close with another detective, and they fought for justice together. But things got messy, and his partner ended up getting beaten to death by the bad guys. Another important thing to note is that his partner believed in the Catholic faith and was holding a cross at the time of his death. And ever since then, detective Goo Dae Young lost his faith in religion and ended up following an unrighteous path in which he no longer cared about doing the right thing. But that all changed when he met Kim Hae-il. Through Father Kim, he learned how important it is to do the right thing despite the risk and to remain fearless no matter what.”

“A very important member of the Gudam district police crew is Seo Seung Ah! She is a badass detective who was ordered to work together with Goo Dae Young. At first, the two of them were not really fond of that, but throughout the drama, you could clearly see the bond they had created. Both were helping Father Kim with his investigations, and it was so much fun to see how they were always there for each other no matter what. Detective Seo was very loyal to everyone, and you could always count on her. She might seem like a little girl, but she’s the complete opposite! She knows how to fight, she is confident, and she would risk her life and not just once. She is definitely a strong character who was always ready to help the people she cared for.”

“And last but not least, let’s talk about the female prosecutor Park Kyung Sun. This is another one of my favorite characters, and I just love how hilarious she is. She’s such a lovable character, and her character development is a beautiful thing. Similar to the other characters, she was corrupt and did not do the right thing because the bad guys were so strong and overpowering. But after meeting Kim Hae Il, she learned to fight for justice and beat the bad guys! She also has an interesting past. Ever since she was young, her father has always been a terrible role model, so she made sure to focus on school and make a life for herself. I find that so inspiring and emotional as well. I can pertain this to my own life in which I also have a terrible father figure, and I have always taught myself to study hard, be successful, and essentially be better than him.”

“Let’s move on to our least favorite group: THE BAD GUYS. I will now present you the worst of them all: Chief prosecutor Kang Seok Tae. Even thinking about this character makes me feel bad. He was responsible for almost every single bad event that took place in Gudam district. He is a reckless, selfish guy who did lots of atrocious things. He was the one to kill Father Lee in the first place, and the worst thing about that is that he didn’t even feel guilty about it. He was only greedy for the money and didn’t give a f*ck about the others. Throughout the whole drama, there was literally zero character development; he kept being a jerk, from the beginning until the very end. His appearance also annoyed me a lot. I can’t even stand looking at his face. Here’s a picture of him (look at it at your own risk)”:

Now, let’s talk about another bad guy… the former NIS agent Kim Min Jae. So let me just say, he’s an absolute monster. He has zero character development and kills people left and right. He’s just a terrible guy who never learns to change. So let’s talk about his past first. He was a former NIS agent with Kim Hae Il. He was the one who ordered Kim Hae Il to throw the grenade at the eleven children and even justified his actions, saying that they were still the enemy despite being little kids. Kim Hae Il absolutely despises this former NIS agent for ordering him to throw the grenade and for other things that he later did in the drama. For example, the former NIS agent beat the priest Han Sung Kyu to the point where he had to be hospitalized. He did this in front of Kim Hae Il, and it was such an agonizing moment.”

“This brings me to the character Kim Hae Il. Ah, I just love him so much. Despite everything, he forgave the NIS agent when he died and asked God to show him mercy. This just goes to show how beautifully strong Kim Hae Il is. He is justice driven and is also willing to forgive those who have wronged him. That’s just so inspirational in a multitude of ways.” 

“Okie dokie, now let’s talk about a bad guy that turned out to be not as bad as he seemed: Jang Ryong! He was Cheol Bom’s assistant and every scene with him in it was pretty much hilarious! A thing worth the mention is definitely his hairstyle. We gave him the nickname “Bob hair guy” for that reason. It was definitely funny and memorable because oh my gosh, he was so extra haha. Even though he belonged to the bad guys, he was still likeable. His relationship with Ssongsak (the guy from Thailand; if you want to get to know him better, please continue reading) was very enjoyable to witness; at first, Ryong would always make fun of him and mock him, but eventually, the two of them became friends, and it was just super adorable to see that.”

“Alrighty, so let’s talk about Hwang Cheol Bum. There are many layers to him, and his character can be seen in a variety of ways. For instance, he is considered one of the bad guys because he followed orders coming from Chief Prosecutor Kang. And Kang showed no mercy to his underlings. When Kang unintentionally killed Lee Young Joon, he ordered Hwang Cheol Bum to take responsibility for what he did. Hwang never wanted to kill Lee Young Joon and was so shocked by what Kang did. However, Kang told him that he would ruin both Hwang and his crew if they did not cover up his crime. Hwang was basically blackmailed and did as he was ordered. I believe that this character has a lot of potential to be a good person; he just ended up hanging out with the wrong crowd.”

“Also worth the mention: Kim Won Hae, aka. Vladimir Kozayev, the head of the Russian Mafia. He was a hilarious character, even though he was only a side character. He was the one who saved the whole squad from suffocating in that safe. Good timing I’d say! In general, I was super surprised to see that there was a Russian district in Seoul! It was also funny to see how they stereotyped Russians as well. As a person who has Russian roots myself and who also knows the language, I was even more into that drama because of that. It’s a detail that made things even more enjoyable. I can remember a scene where Father Kim fought a guy from the Russian Mafia and all of a sudden Hae-il started talking in Russian, and I was sooo surprised! I love it when dramas have details like that!”

“Okie dokie! Time for the supporting characters! Let’s discuss Ssongsak, the Chinese restaurant delivery guy. I LOVE THIS CHARACTER SOOOO MUCH! First of all, I admire his “never give up” mentality and how he constantly wants to improve himself. For example, when the bob hair guy told him to do difficult Korean riddles, Ssongsak had difficulty at first, but he managed to say the riddle perfectly with enough practice. And despite his job as a delivery worker, he always remained humble and never ventured off into the corrupt world. He could have easily become one of Hwang Cheol Bum’s underlings, but he stood his ground and strived for justice. Once he started learning self-defense, he managed to save the bad*ss detective Seo Seung Ah from getting hit by a bad guy. If it wasn’t for his skills, Seo Seng Ah would have been severely injured. Overall, he’s an amazing character, and I just love his strong belief in justice!!”

“The last character I’m going to mention is Oh Yo Han! How could we not mention this funny guy? Actually, we also gave him a nickname: THE BREAD GUY. We did that because in the earlier episodes he was visiting the service at the church but got kicked out by Father Kim for eating bread at church! And basically every time he appeared on screen, he was eating bread. That’s why we named him that way, and I can absolutely relate to him; I love bread as well! He was super close friends with Ssongsak and was also always ready to help out Father Kim. A legendary character!”

(in unison) “Thank you guys so much for reading this far! It means a lot to us!! We’re going to end it with some of our favorite songs from the drama. Feel free to check out the links!”

(in unison) “Also, this is the first drama we have ever watched together, and it was one of the best experiences of our lives. This article is just so special because we spent approximately 20 hours together watching this show. And despite the 9 hour time difference, we always made sure to make time for each other. So thank you, thank you for reading this far and feel free to leave a comment, letting us know what you think!”

“And shoutout to @Jeana for recommending this drama to me!! Love ya!!”

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