Flower of Evil Korean Drama Review

Flower of Evil is a romance crime thriller about an emotionless psychopath (Lee Joon Gi) who changes his identity and tries to leave his dark past behind him that marries a homicide detective (Moon Chae Won) who is trying to uncover the truth about him.

Lee Joon Gi plays Baek Hee Sung. He has a dark past that he has worked hard to hide by becoming the perfect husband and father. His new life is threatened though when his wife takes on a case connected to his past.

Moon Chae Won is Hee Sung’s wife, Cha Ji Won. Her life seems perfect, and she is deeply in in love with Hee Sung. When she starts investigating an old serial murder case, clues begin to point in a direction she never dreamed…towards her husband.

Then we have Kim Moo Jin (Seo Hyun Woo) who is a reporter with a past connection to Hee Sung as well as Do Hae Soo (Jang Hee Jin) who is Hee Sung’s sister. These two had an interesting story and plenty of their own challenges to face.

Now this is the Lee Joon Gi and Moon Chae Won drama that we deserved! I’ve been waiting for this drama for such a long time, and I wasn’t disappointed. This is a crime melo with romance and thrills. It provides us with an engaging story and mystery that has to be solved.

I was initially a bit worried that the drama would would go the episodic route, since the first couple of episodes take a fair amount of time to focus on individual cases. Thankfully, this was just a set up thing as we really get the groundwork laid for our main story and learn about our characters and the dynamic between them. After those first episodes, the main serialized story takes the center focus and holds steady all the way through. Thank goodness!

The story centers around Hee Sung and his mysterious past. Early on, we see evidence of his violent nature and him going to extreme lengths to hide his past. The question posed is if there is more to his story than meets the eye.

Please note: I will be discussing Hee Sung’s character which will include some vague spoilers about him. I will signal when I switch to major spoilers.

Now, I do have shower Lee Joon Gi with praise. Many of you know he’s my bias, and that’s for good reason! I will never cease to be amazed by how much he moves me with his performances, and that was certainly the case here.

He made Hee Sung such a multi-dimensional character that had so many layers to explore. Hee Sung is a complex character, and there is so much more to him than we initially see. He completely broke my heart in two seeing the immense amount of turmoil he had to go through.

Lee Joon Gi puts all of his being into the character, and the pure emotions that come through his eyes are something special. His talent just leaves me breathless. Okay, there’s the customary Lee Joon Gi praise you can always expect from me, hehe. Seriously though, his performance is really something to see.

Now, Ji Won is also more complicated than she appears. She seems to have an almost naive and idealistic personality, but she’s actually very intelligent and good at solving cases. When she finally questions her perfect life and husband, her detective skills lead her to the truth. Moon Chae Won was also absolutely fantastic here and really went all in for this role.

I really enjoyed the sort of cat-and-mouse game that ensued between Hee Sung and Ji Won. Hee Sung goes to great lengths to keep his secrets from Ji Won as she then has to hide her suspicions of him as she investigates. It’s a fun dynamic that I really loved. You should also be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions when it comes to this relationship.

I should also mention Hee Sung and Ji Won’s adorable daughter Eun Ha (Jung Seo Yeon). She was such a delight with all kinds of cuteness as well as giving a really nice performance. I particularly enjoyed the father and daughter relationship that was portrayed. Lee Joon Gi and Jung Seo Yeon had an ease and naturalness between that was great to watch.

Flower of Evil has an interesting mix of genres too. At its heart, it’s a crime melo with romance and thrills. It also has a distinct makjang side to it. Most of the drama stays in crime melo territory, but one aspect of the story was far more dramatic.

I’ll avoid spoiling it, but one key part of the plot was portrayed in such a dramatic and over-the-top way that felt quite different from the rest of the drama. And I loved it! It was so over-the-top that it made me laugh, but I still felt the suspense from it.

Now, this drama does have quite a few convenient plot devices used throughout as well as a few of those moments that don’t really make sense that you just kind of have to go with and not take too seriously. Some questionable police work is sprinkled here and there too. I found these issues to be minor though since everything else was so good, and they didn’t detract from my experience.

SPOILERS BELOW

Watching Hee Sung (who was revealed to be Do Hyun Soo, a suspected murderer and the son of a serial killer) and Ji Won’s relationship play out was heart wrenching. Seeing their idyllic life torn apart was difficult.

As we continued to learn more about Hee Sung, we saw just how misunderstood he was. Hee Sung came from a terrible past and did so much to help those he cared for including his sister as well as his family. It seemed that his psychopathic tendencies came more from conditioning from his father which actually very much went against his true nature. He battled this all of his life.

It was particularly heartbreaking to see Ji Won begin to dislike Hee Sung as she learned who he was. He was unaware of how much she knew and was left very confused as to her suddenly distancing herself from him. That’s where we really see that he truly does love her.

As events unfold, Ji Won is put through the emotional wringer as she investigates Hee Sung, and it was difficult to see. She does eventually begin to see the real Hee Sung though and realizes that she still loves him. We get some incredibly emotional and heart wrenching moments between them as all of the secrets come out. They both fought hard to protect each other and had to face some serious threats.

It was very satisfying to see Hee Sung realize that he did love Ji Won as well as how strongly Ji Won believed in him. Their romance was complicated, thrilling, heart wrenching, and beautiful.

I have to give a shout out to our amazing villain too. Kim Ji Hoon really went all out as the real Baek Hee Sung. He was incredibly creepy and disturbing in the best kind of way. As I hinted at above, his scenes with his parents were very dramatic and over-the-top, and I loved it! He was also such a good match up with Lee Joon Gi in later scenes. Such an entertaining character and a terrific performance!

Now, I was a bit conflicted about the ending. I personally wanted to see Hee Sung get his memory back because all of the growth and personal development he went through was huge. His journey was the core part of the story, so it kind of felt like that was all thrown away.

On the other hand, the amnesia allowed him to get rid of a lot of emotional baggage from his past and cleanly take on his true identity of Hyun Soo. He was then able to fall for Ji Won all over again and reunite with her and their daughter.

Plus, considering he was already having flashes of memory and emotions about his family, I think there is a solid implication that he will fully regain his memories but then be a much more whole person. So while it wasn’t exactly the ending I would have preferred, it still was happy and had promise.

END OF SPOILERS

Flower of Evil was a fantastic watch. The reunion between Lee Joon Gi and Moon Chae Won was everything I could have hoped for and more. These two talented actors wowed me with their amazing performances and wonderful chemistry.

The story was filled with suspense as well as in depth character exploration. There are plenty of surprising plot developments along with some great cliff hangers. The soundtrack also really enhanced the drama. Mystery, heart, and thrills all came together to make for a highly enjoyable ride.

My Rating: 9/10

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Greetings! Iโ€™m Kay, creator and author of Kdrama Kisses. Kdrama Kisses is dedicated to bringing you the latest in kdrama casting news, drama trailers, reviews, and more. Happy drama watching to everyone!
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23 Responses to Flower of Evil Korean Drama Review

  1. MyKDramaticLife says:

    Wow!
    Just wow!
    I also really like this drama inspite its flaws.
    I also enjoy your review of this amazingly-portrayed drama.
    And for your reference, here is my full review of Flower of Evil.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MyKDramaticLife says:

    *Flower of Evil (2020)

    Baek Hee Seong (portrayed by Lee Joon Gi) is a man who hides his identity and past from his wife, Cha Ji Won (portrayed by Moon Chae Won) who is a detective. On the surface, they appear to be a perfect family: a loving couple who has an adorable daughter. Cha Ji Won and her colleagues begin investigating a series of unexplained murders and is confronted with the reality that her seemingly perfect and kind husband may be hiding something from her.
    I think they changed the synopsis. Haha. This was not the plot I read before when the news came up that Lee Joon Ki would be having his new drama, and that made me decide right away that it was going to be fun and engaging drama. That synopsis said that Baek Hee Seong was an emotionless psychopath who hides his dark past from his detective wife. When I read it, I really thought Lee Joon Ki would play a psychopathic killer. But I was wrong. I misunderstood it. Hahaha.
    Flower of Evil sounds unique from the get-go. However, as it goes on, things are less original and though I thought the plot twists are very good, I didn’t think of it as amazing. But! A very big but. The acting, the character development and the overall feels of the show are more than enough reasons to make me want it more episode per episode. So since I wasn’t aware of the ‘really’ actual plot of this drama, I wondered why in only episode 5 or 6, the show already revealed Baek Hee Seong’s true identity to Cha Ji Won. But that was really the essence of the drama. It wants to show to the wife the real identity of the husband, and wife would start chasing his past and unravelling it, but still wants to trust him completely.
    Flower of Evil presented us an undeniable chemistry between Moon Chae Won and Lee Joon Ki, in their reunion drama after the crime drama, Criminal Minds. Why didn’t we see this chemistry before? Well, simply because Criminal Minds is purely crime thriller investigative drama. While Flower of Evil is not just thriller, but also a combination of mystery and romance.
    Lee Joon Ki in Flower of Evil is another phenomenal character in the Dramaland. I’m not really Lee Joon Ki’s fan before until I watched him in here. He has so much emotions in his eyes, and he cries very handsomely too. (only very few actors I tagged as actors who cry beautifully, him along with Yoo Seung Ho. And I’ll think of more also.) Baek Hee Seong (or Do Hyun Su in his past) is a person with mental disease rather than a psychopath. He doesn’t know how to feel emotions, and only learned how to express them by watching tutorial videos of expressing human emotions. My heart ached when I watched it. โ˜น๏ธ I wondered if such person exists in real life. He also lived behind his dead father’s shadow, as he always see him even though he’s dead. It’s scary for me whenever Do Hyun Su sees his dead dad. It’s giving me chills. Now, Do Hyun Su is such an interesting character. At first, I really thought he was once a killer. His courses of action suggested it so, thus making us, its viewer, believed that he was a killer. Such a trickery! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
    Then, Moon Chae Woon is Detective Cha Ji Won. Such a pretty detective. I think this is my most favorite MCW character (hmm.. I only saw her in Criminal Minds and Good Doctor before though) because she’s the most natural in Flower of Evil among the dramas I mentioned. Cha Ji Won is one good character also. I always sympathized with her whenever she cried or bursted out of anger, or whenever she convinced herself of things she wanted to only believe.
    The chemistry of Moon Chae Woon and Lee Joon Ki is very natural and very beautiful. Why haven’t I seen this spark between them in Criminal Minds? (altough I liked Criminal Minds also, despite its being 0% romantic) They really seemed like a real picture-perfect family, with their beautiful and smart kid, Eun Ha, our adorable Eun Ha. I’m now missing our cute little Eun Ha getting all clingy and sweet to her Dad. ๐Ÿ™ Lee Joon Ki as Baek Hee Seong is such a dream dad every wife dreams of.
    This drama also has some great and good supporting actors. Let’s start of with Seo Hyun Woo. He’s Reporter Kim Moo Jin in this drama. Later I realized he was actually part of melodrama Time that I watched before, but I just didn’t recognize and appreciate him in there. In Flower of Evil, he’s one cute and warm guy although sometimes cowardly and indecisive. Despite the good traits he lacked, I just liked Kim Moo Jin overall. His blossoming romance with Do Hae Su, sister of Do Hyun Su (now Baek Hee Seong) is also interesting despite being unelaborate. I also enjoyed an understated bromance between him and Do Hyun Su. Just hoped to have seen more scenes of these two. Speaking of Do Hae Su (portrayed by Jang Hee Jin), although she’s one kind and supposed to be important character, I mostly thought of her as extra and is not actually helpful to her brother, Hyun Su, despite her will of helping. Instead she’s causing more problems which hindered our Hyun Su’s success of plans.
    Then, we have Baek Man Woo and her wife Gong Mi Ja, Baek Hee Seong’s parents. (SPOILER ALERT!) Later on it’s revealed that the two of them (as well as the pretending Baek Hee Seong) were hiding their real selves and were concealing their secrets they wanted to hide from the world. Baek Hee Seong is actually not their real son, Baek Hee Seong. And that the real Hee Seong is lying in bed for many years due to a comatose. And that they’re living in guilt for not being able to protect him. They took care of Hyun Su (after he was being hit by the real Hee Seong’s car and was unconscious) and made him pretend to be their son. It’s something that’s not clear to me why. Nonethless, I still go with it. Later in the drama, the real Baek Hee Seong (portrayed by Kim Ji Hoon) miraculously woke up and got in to the picture and created more chaos to the already complex plot. But I liked it! I just bought the idea once again, despite the lack of clarity of its backstory. Thanks to the wonderful performance of Kim Ji Hoon also, it made into such entertaining plot twist. I also observed inconsistencies along the way. But nevertheless I really didn’t mind them much. I just went along with the flow as how the drama told me to. (SPOILER ENDS)
    The storytelling and overarching story of Flower of Evil is a litte bit confusing and unclear, but the best acting and directing of the show made up for it, that you couldn’t contest more and just like this one beautiful show. I just loved everyone’s acting as they all got invested in their roles, thus making me got invested too to the characters and to the drama in general. I especially really liked our main couple Cha Ji Won and Do Hyu Su and their journey to trusting each other wholeheartedly. It was beautiful, wonderful and very endearing. I’d want to highlight Lee Joon Ki particularly because he just made me cry a river in episode 11. (SPOILER ALERT!) I felt the heavy sighs, the outcry and the struggling pain he suffered in that scene, when finally Cha Ji Won was able to reveal to the fake Baek Hee Seong that she already knew his secret that he’s actually Do Hyun Su, the wanted criminal they were looking for. (SPOILER ENDS) I’ve cried a whole lot for the first time in a long while while watching kdramas. So strange enough because Flower of Evil is generally a suspense thriller. So, around of applause to Lee Joon Ki and to the Production team for creating such a wonderfully-performed and unforgettable story.

    OVERALL RATING: 8.5/10

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      Wow definitely sums up this drama! I’m glad you enjoyed the review too. I also enjoyed reading yours ๐Ÿ™‚ Flower of Evil really was a special drama. Such a good story and amazing character development. Lee Joon Gi and Moon Chae Won were outstanding and had such amazing chemistry. Unlike you, I didn’t like Criminal Minds at all and thought this duo was wasted in it. This drama completely makes up for it though! I loved them so much, and they both got a chance to really shine.

      I actually thought the plot synopsis was pretty good, it’s just that rather than him being a born emotionless psychopath it was more that he was conditioned into one. He thought he had no emotions and was a psychopath and that’s how he acted. It really added a nice layer to the story as we got to see him come to terms with the fact that all of that wasn’t true and to see those emotions poor out. I cried a lot in this one too. It was just so emotional! It looks like we enjoyed this one pretty close to the same, so that makes me happy ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

      • MyKDramaticLife says:

        Well I always enjoy my ‘episodic’ dramas. ๐Ÿ˜Š so with Criminal Minds.
        And yes Flower of Evil is a well-done one.
        Lee Joon Ki here is more than memorable!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          It definitely helps if you enjoy episodic dramas when it comes to Criminal Minds ๐Ÿ™‚

          Yes, Lee Joon Gi was top notch in Flower of Evil and definitely leaves an impression ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Snow Flower says:

    Here is my musical impression of Flower of Evil – an emotional tango full of twists and turns. I composed this piece inspired by the deep love between our husband and wife OTP. Their love was so strong, it bloomed beautifully even though it was sown in lies and deception.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kay says:

      Wow, Snow Flower! Another beautiful composition! It really does capture the many emotional twists and turns as well as the love shared between our OTP. I could see this running in the background to a montage of clips of their journey. Great job! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    Itโ€™s no real surprise to me that you have the review earlier than me haha๐Ÿ˜‚ I saw your post for it this morning, and didnโ€™t yet read it, as I knew I would be watching the last episode this afternoon. And…I did, so now I can safely read your post, which of course I also did๐Ÿ˜€. Iโ€™m going to be honest with you: I really loved this drama a lot, despite some things that were a bit too convenient at times. But I went with that honestly because I really was enjoying myself. The end though? I donโ€™t know…for me it felt out of context with the rest of the series. It was incredibly tense, with some episodes cranking up the tension even more. Episode 15 especially was a nailbiter, and quite honestly I thought I watched the last episode then and there. Iโ€™m not even kidding here. I thought episode 16 would be a kind of making of special kind of thing like we had for instance with Goblin.
    But well…all the build up tension that the show had gathered, was wrapped up with episode 15. The last episode for me at least, just felt out of tone..and well, even though it didnโ€™t ruin the series for me (it was just too good for that), I do have the say it will reflect my overall score for the series. Other than that, you captured the series in a great way, and the performances were absolutely wonderful. Iโ€™m going to write my own post for it this weekend, and expect to publish it probably in a week or so๐Ÿ˜Š Now…itโ€™s off to a new show! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      I’m happy you really enjoyed the series for the most part despite a few things that didn’t work for you ๐Ÿ™‚ It really is a fantastic series. It did have some convenient plot device and a few spots one might roll their eyes, but those things definitely didn’t bother me. I’m pretty good at just going with the flow in shows, hehe.

      I can understand your disappointment with the last episode. I’ve seen quite a few other who were too. I think I’m just pretty accustomed to kdramas frequently having the bulk of the story wrap up in episode 15 and then having episode 16 be more like a prologue. That’s how I viewed this one. All the action comes to a close and then we tie up all of the lose ends. I did have mixed feelings about the actual ending though and would have preferred it to go a bit differently, but even then I could see it in a positive way. Overall, it left me feeling very satisfied. I will be looking forward to your review ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • raistlin0903 says:

        I agree with you: Things like that donโ€™t bother me either. Iโ€™m not one of those people that over analyses shows/movies to find every single detail that maybe has a plothole or whatever๐Ÿ˜Š Sure there were a few mometns like that, but overall I wasnโ€™t bothered bu that at all.
        I know what you mean, there were certainly quite a few K-dramas that had things pretty much wrapped up in the episode before the last one, but I donโ€™t know for some reason in this series it just bothered me a bit more. I think itโ€™s because there was so much tension in nearly every episode, especially in 15, and to have that element not be present in the last episode felt a bit like a letdown.
        But, I did really enjoy the series, and have no regrets watching it whatsoever! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          That’s totally understandable. Even though I’ve come to expect it, there are times where the tonal switch is more glaringly evident, particularly in thriller dramas. I have varying levels of being bothered by it too, but mostly I just tell myself when I start a drama to expect a prologue type last episode. If there isn’t one and it continues the thrills all the way through, then I am pleasantly surprised, hehe ๐Ÿ™‚

          Like

  5. kdramachickblog says:

    I am only a few eps into this one so I didn’t read your spoilers but so far everything you’ve written about this has been spot on (as usual). As you know, it’s not my favorite genre so I’m having to watch only one episode at a time but it’s so good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      This is one that starts out good, but it gets soooo much better as it goes! You have some good stuff to look forward ๐Ÿ™‚ Lots of thrills and so many emotions. I really hope you enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

      • Kate says:

        SPOILERS: So I finally finished watching this over the weekend and although it was a phenomenal drama, it really is not my genre. As you know, I’m more into light and fluffy and this definitely is not that. The villain is so skillful in his portrayal of the psycho killer that he had me shaking in my shoes every time he was on screen. He was so unhinged! I was 120% on board until episode 10 but after that so many of the characters made decisions that drove me up a wall that I seriously considered dropping the drama. Normally, at least in the kdramas I’ve watched, the policing leaves a lot to be desired, but here the police were so competent that it was maddening watching non-police characters doing their own policing! Ugh, and Do Hae Soo, seriously, was there any decision she made where she didn’t make things worse??? Finally, the ending, Do Hyun Soo and Cha Ji Won deserved so much better. After all they had been through, after such good story telling and personal growth to have him get amnesia, really? It felt like a gut punch. All in all I’m glad I watched but now I have some things in my head that I can’t get out of my head and that’s not a good thing. I obviously take this stuff way too seriously which is why I need to stick to light and fluffy ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kay says:

          Haha yeah, Flower of Evil is the complete opposite of light and fluffy ๐Ÿ™‚ I know what you mean about the villain! He definitely leaves a lasing impression. I couldn’t believe my beloved second lead from Flower Boy Next Door grew into this ๐Ÿ˜‚

          Yeah, there was some questionable decision making for sure. That’s kind of on par for this type of drama though, at least more times than not, lol.

          As you saw from the review, I too was a bit disappointed with the direction they went for the ending. I don’t mind the amnesia trope, I just want them to get their memory back before the end! I do think it was hinted at though, so I will tell myself he will recover his memory ๐Ÿ˜‚

          It is good to deviate from our normal watching patterns sometimes, but I do understand about not being thrilled with certain things getting stuck in your head. I don’t watch horror of medical for those reasons. I occasionally make an exception and usually regret it, lol. I have watched some good shows that way though. I’m glad you gave this one a chance and at least enjoyed some of it. I hope you can quickly move on from it though with something more light and fluffy ๐Ÿ™‚

          Like

  6. Inns says:

    The “psycho’ theme is really having their time in this few months, ain’t it? The bad character in this drama is waayy more “villain-like” and I’m totally giving a perfect score to original Hee Sung. A solid drama indeed. It’s a 10 from me, thanking Lee Joon Gi & Director-nim to not give us that pitiful ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kay says:

      That it is! These themes really seem to run in trends in Dramaland. And yes, I loved our villain in this drama. He was so good! As was Lee Joon Gi of course ๐Ÿ™‚ It really was a fantastic drama.

      Like

  7. MyKDramaticLife says:

    And by the way, how was I Wanna Hear Your Song for you? Did you not finish it?

    Liked by 1 person

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