Grid (Season 1), Recap & Ending, Explained: In the constantly evolving world with technological advancements, everyone is focused on the betterment of lives. That desire may come at the cost of some things that we’re used to be a reason for our own destruction. The new sci-fi K-drama tackles a similar issue through its narrative and shows the existence of a phenomenon that determines the existence of humankind. While focusing on time travel elements, it also deals with the issues that grapple with our daily lives and dictate how we choose to live. From opportunism to bureaucracy, the series attempts to introduce such elements and critique the human nature than enables it. Now streaming on Hulu, the first season consists of 10 episodes with consistent thrill and suspense.

Grid (Season 1) Recap

Grid’s Season 1 begins with the events from 2004 when solar winds hit the earth. While it could have cleared two-thirds of mankind, a system called ‘Grid’ shielded the planet and saved the disaster from happening. It stopped the calamity but didn’t eliminate the danger of solar fumes. In 2005, a satellite orbiting around the planet got shattered, leading to several strange events related to power and the internet that reflected the return of the danger. Soon after, it becomes a topic of a global sensation. Luckily Grid manages to keep the conditions in control.

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The person monitoring the system – Choi Sun-Wool (Jang So-Yeon), makes a strange remark at the end of this event – ‘that girl was right.’ Who this girl is, we’ll get to know later. Then the timeline shifts to 2021, where we meet Kim Sae-Ha (Seo Kang-Joon) at a local store buying something. Once he returns to his car, he notices blood on his hand. He goes back to check if something wrong happened there and finds the shop owner’s dead body.

After their arrival, he calls the police and realizes by the CCTV footage that the person he purchased the stuff from was actually a customer to whom the owner had said some nasty things before. Jung Sae-Byeok (Kim Ah-Jung) is one of these officers who came there to investigate, and from her ID, Sae-Ha takes note of her name.

Grid Season 1 Review

The police officers trace the murderer’s location at an abandoned dental clinic where Sae-Byeok follows the murderer – Ma-Nok (Kim Seong-gyoon). But he manages to escape from his window with the help of a rope. The rope thrown at just the right time baffles her. She continues to follow him, finds him under a truck, and when she’s about to arrest him, a hooded figure (Lee Si-young) hits her so hard that she falls to the ground. Sae-Byeok hits the person back and manages to knock off the cap. She gets a glimpse of her long hair. Within a few moments, this person disappears, leaving her even more confused. This person is referred to as ‘the Ghost’ by the authorities.

At his office (which comes under the operations of Grid), Sae-Ha informs Sun-Wool (who is now the head of his secret government department) about this disappearing person. She looks through the report to see her face and gets startled with a sign of recognition. She tries to gain control of the investigation from the police, which doesn’t sit right with Sae-Byeok. She gets a hold of the ghost’s DNA reports based on a hair sample that she finds. The DNA analyst mentioned that a person couldn’t possibly be alive like that since the DNA appear as if it is disjoined. Sae-Ha and his associate Eo-Jin (Mu-Yeol Kim) get hold of this evidence despite her displeasure. Their conversation makes it clear that Eo-Jin and Sae-Byeok have some history.

Meanwhile, at his office, Sae-Ha tries to find more evidence from the records and Sun-Wool’s cabin. He then goes to the Ma-Nok’s place in the hopes of finding something and ends up meeting Sae-Byeok, who had also come there to investigate. At first glance, he assumes her to be the Ghost and realizes her identity soon after. Through the scouring, they sense as if Ma-Nok already knew that the police were coming.

A few signs of the Ghost’s ability to jump through different times are shared through this episode, where we even see her reading a newspaper from 2022, in the year 2021. In the Administrative Bureau, San-Wool informs that Special Investigation Bureau is taking over the case, which displeases her employees. He mentions the importance of finding a connection between the ghost and Ma-Nok. Later, Sae-Ha manages to get into their records and retrieves a floppy that involves the footage of the known appearance of the Ghost.

It’s from 1997, where she magically appears in front of a janitor and puts the glowing disk on the man’s chest, leaving him completely burnt and turned into ashes. Sun-Wool, who was one of the witnesses to this scenario, personally takes the guard’s kid to the hospital. Sae-Ha finds the footage of the Ghost’s appearances in various countries within a span of 10 minutes and shows it to Sae-Byeok. The ghost was the reason why Grid was made possible to save the entire mankind. However, she also brutally killed an innocent person, making them morally conflicted to form an opinion about her. They both try to look for the motive behind this murder.

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Meanwhile, while the undercover bureau agents try to catch Ma-Nok at his place, he manages to run away to a train station and somehow ends up getting caught by the Ghost, who locks him inside a prison in its underground tunnel.

At the noodle shop under Ma-Nok’s place, the shopowner gets killed in the duel between the agents and the murderer. Sae-Byeok, who somehow reaches the scene of the incident, accuses them of using the elderly owner as bait, after which she gets threatened by Sun-Wool to be transferred to another department. Yet, persistent Sae-Byeok takes a leave of absence and keeps up working on the case.

Meanwhile, Ma-Nok tries to break from his prison by cutting the poles outside with something sharp that he finds. He manages to escape, but the moment Ghost returns and finds him missing, she manages to bring him back to the same spot by her ability to shift time. Sae-Byeok theorizes that the Ghost’s strange DNA is a result of her teleportation, which might have caused her to exhaust, but Sae-Ha doesn’t agree.

Later, at a meeting called by a minister, Sae-Ha mentions that the Ghost might have been from the future since the scar caused by her on Sae-Byeok’s arm is conceived by a technology not yet developed. He shares his assumption about Ghost being the founder of the Grid and conveys a strategy to lure her towards them.

Eo-Jin suggests sharing ‘wanted’ posters for the Ghost and the murderer, which doesn’t sit well with Sae-Ha – since it would make people pick up on random strangers in the hope of the big prize. The bureau decides to go with both options. Having seen her on the posters, the Ghost is attacked by two people at the same train station. Sae-Byeok, who happens to be there at the time, manages to scare them away but misses the fact that whom she saved was actually the Ghost.

Sae-Byeok asks the janitor whether there is a secret hideout place in the train station. While she can’t think of one right away, she informs later about the strange sounds she had overheard from the other side of the washrooms – which leads the agent to Ma-Nok. But while she searches for him, he attacks her from the back and strangles her. After their tussle, she manages to knock him down and cuff him.

Meanwhile, Sun-Wool thinks of bringing Ma-Nok from the police station to the administration bureau to effectively use him as bait for bringing in the Ghost. While Sae-Byeok refuses to let her do this, she eventually puts down her guard. When they bring Ma-Nok to the bureau, the Ghost suddenly materializes there and within a few moments of back-and-forth gunfire, she and San-Wool both get wounded by gunshots.

During that time, Sae-Ha manages to get hold of the disk that slips out of Ghost’s hand. The officials find a spherical chip inside the Ghost’s arm, which apparently helps her to teleport. Under the influence of a serum injected into her body, she shares being born in 2091, and that she didn’t come back, but that time doesn’t flow at all. While Sae-Ha is not let into her room, he decides to go there to get the chip in order to bring back those they had lost. Sae-Byeok tries to stop him and ends up tagging along with him. He gets another motive to go there from a clip he receives where the ghost injects something into his mother’s arm. They both rush to the room where the Ghost is being held where he asks what she did to his mother. She mentions that his mother’s already dead. That makes him take an impulsive decision to cut through his own arm, insert the spherical chip into the insertion, and also get hold of the disk and teleport back in time to 1997.

Grid Season 1 Review

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

While until now, he had learned that the Janitor was his adoptive father, he sees an employee with a tag named Kwon Soo-Geun lying unconscious on the floor, who looks like him. He concludes this person to be his biological father. To save him from dying the way in this version of reality, he teleports to the time before the murder and finds the Ghost entering the code for the Grid into the system. He realizes that she didn’t mean to kill his father but wanted an ID card to do her task.

While he accuses her of using his father as a tool for her task, she suddenly starts having a numbing pain. She was about to tell him the code to the Grid, but she disintegrated before doing so. Due to this reason, the program fails. The repercussions become apparent to Sae-Ho when he teleports back to 2021 and sees people walking around in protective clothing to save themselves from sunburn.

He realizes that the threat has been used by several businesses to profit and that he works for one such organization where his biological father founded the solution. In this reality, he finds his mother & father completely healthy and rich, unlike in his own timeline, but Sae-Byeok, having been a victim of the radioactive solar rays, is deaf and has a skin deformity.

Looking at the effects of his decision, he feels guilty for changing the course of time for his gain. So, he gives one last hug to his parents and teleports back to the past. This time, he tries to set up the grid himself and resists his father (Soo-Geun) from stopping him with the same. Listening to their argument, the janitor comes into the room, and to not repeat the same mistake, Sae-Ha tries to teleport with his disc. That’s when, in their tussle, Soo-Geun dies on a metal pole instead of the janitor. No matter how many times Sae-Ha tries to repeat the process, he realizes that one or the other person is going to die. Even if he can travel back in time, he can’t change the past to his ideal vision.

After seeing the gruesome death, the janitor runs out, and Sae-Ha tries to stop him and asks why someone else dies when he lives. When his son rushes to him, the disc in Sae-Ha’s hand accidentally makes contact with his eyes and burns it. He then goes to the time when he saw the Ghost injecting something into his mother’s body.

Now that he finds it a harmless chemical, he realizes she is manipulating him to teleport. He goes to the time when she helped the Ma-Nok and asked for a solution for changing the outcome. She mentions not having one despite traveling through time to map out almost every conceivable angle. After they discuss the morality of their decisions, he witnesses the chase for Ma-Nok. Seeing his disfigured eye, he realizes the kid with the janitor is actually Ma-Nok.

Sae-Ha travels back to the time the janitor and his son were trying to run away. Seeing him materialize out of thin air, both get scared. The Ghost appears right after him, and he finds her slowly disintegrating. Just when Sae-Ha raises his disk on the janitor, the Ghost goes ahead and burns him to death. The reason why he attempts to raise his disk on the janitor is that he has seen a world without the Grid – which is impossible to exist without the Ghost’s existence.

After meeting a younger him and reassuring him about his future, Sae-Ha goes back to the timeline he came from and tells those inside the room about a world without the Grid. He removes the spherical disk from his arm and puts it back into the Ghost’s arm. The authorities trying to break in there decided to put a bomb on the door. When Eo-Jin reaches the door, he gets engulfed in flames. That’s when Sae-Ha holds Sae-Byeok in his arms and saves her by taking her to a different timeline. It is where he finds his mother sober and healthy, which makes him happy – since he had kept a therapy pamphlet on her table on one of his previous trips.

He learns that his father was suspected of killing the janitor and is known for having built the Grid. He realizes this confusion to have occurred due to their striking resemblance. We also find the female janitor from the train station dead in this timeline, discovered by Sae-Byeok. She and Sae-Ha later meet to share their observations and realize that the person they saw in the CCTV footage is not Sae-Ha’s father but, in fact, him. In the bureau, San-Wool gets suspicious of Sae-Ha due to the information shared by Eo-Jin and other employees. Looking at their CCTV footage against the video from 1997, she realizes that Sae-Ha teleported back in time, not his father. She goes to him for a confrontation, and he backfires, asking about his father being used by the bureau according to their convenience.

Sae-Byeok receives a DNA report on the Ghost, concluding it is not disjointed, as said before. But now, instead of showing her connection with Ma-Nok, it shows an ancestral link between the Ghost and her, which baffles her. But she and Ma-Nok apparently share an extremely rare blood group, which links both of them together. Meanwhile, Ma-Nok is brought to the bureau, where he remembers San-Wool and Sae-Ha from his past.

Since he remembers Sae-Ha killing the janitor, he goes on to strangle him. Sae-Ha manages to escape but is taken into custody for further investigation. Later, Sae-Byeok enters the bureau to meet Ma-Nok but gets gunned by the security guards. Eo-Jin manages to stop them from killing her and then informs her about the tight security protocol which would make it impossible for her to enter. Meanwhile, Ma-Nok manages to escape from the bureau, but Sae-Byeok fails to notice him.

Grid (Season 1) Ending Explained

Grid Season 1

Ma-Nok’s escape was in fact bureau’s plan to use him as bait to catch the Ghost. The bureau agents try to catch Ma-Nok, and during that time, a masked man bumps into him and removes the location tracker on him, which makes it impossible for the bureau to track his location. He later comes across Sae-Ha, and due to the painful memories of his father’s death, he attacks Sae-Ha with a bar. Within a few moments, he gets attacked by the agents with a tranquilizer. But by then, Sae-Ha lies dead on the ground. In a flashback scene, we see the conversation between him and the Ghost, who mentions that the world can’t go on as it is and for her to exist if not for the Grid. She also implies the inevitability of his death.

In an alternate timeline, we witness Sae-Byeok witness Ma-Nok running away and following him. She reaches the spot where the agents were looking for him and meets Sae-Ha. He informs her about the bureau’s plan while taking away her earpiece and lapel camera. Meanwhile, the masked man from before appears with a flash of blue light, and then they both teleport to a different time. This time, Ma-Nok attacks her with his wrench, and while he’s about to hit her, the Ghost materializes there and stops the time to stop this attack.

Meanwhile, the scene continues in this timeline, where Ma-Nok misses Sae-Book and hits the back of Sae-Ha’s head, and dies himself by the shot fired by her. The ghost and masked man materialize there at the time. While the agents are informed about the existence of the Ghost, the moment they are about to start firing, the two create two force fields and pause the time. The Ghost telepathically speaks with Sae-Byeok and asks whether she came to save Sae-Ha, and the answer becomes pretty self-evident.

After this devastating sequence, we see Eo-Jin dropping Sae-Byeok off at her house and later having a heartfelt conversation with her. He also learns that he had died in an alternate timeline, and Sae-Ha sacrificed himself to save him. Cut to a year later, where we see Sae-Byeok with her kid. Eo-Jin suddenly drops in and urges her to tag along with her. He even knows her daughter’s name, which surprises her since they hadn’t spoken about the daughter. He mentions that she told him the name, which indicates perhaps Eo-Jin has come there from a different timeline.

While they drive off, the bureau’s buildings get engulfed in flames after a flash of blue light hits them. When the two reach a warehouse, the door opens to show Sae-Ha, and the Ghost comes out, and then all of them enter this place. The ending, like any other episode from the season, ends on a cliffhanger. Besides an effort to save herself (since she is connected to Sae-Byeok through ancestry), there is hardly any more conclusion I can gather from the scene.

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GRID (SEASON 1) CAST: Seo Kang-joon, Kim Ah-jung, Lee Si-young, Kim Mu-yeol, Kim Sung-kyun

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