* This review contains spoilers for Season 2 Episode 1 of Sweet Home
In Season 2 of Sweet Home, the surviving tenants of Green Home Apartment venture out into the monstrous world, seeking a safe haven while confronting new challenges. They encounter other survivors and delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding the outbreak. Meanwhile, Hyun-Su grapples with his dual identity as a human and a monster, facing a difficult choice that will determine the fate of everyone.
The episode begins with an ominous scene in Bamseom, a secret military base with a lab. A transformed human is being contained, and the doctor examining him tells the generals his theory that the disease is the earth’s way of punishing humans. He suggest that humans are a virus and monsters are the vaccine.
We then cut to where the previous season ended. Hyun-Su (Song Kang) being driven away by Ui-Myeong who has possessed Sang-Wook (Lee Jin-Wook). Ui-Myeong hijacked a truck carrying Hyun-su, and the two are pursued by the military.
An intense chase takes place on a bridge, with the military trying to stop the truck, while Hyun-Su and Ui-Myeong fight inside it. Yi-Kyung (Lee Si-Young) secretly joins the military convoy in an effort to rescue Hyun-Su. Despite blowing up the bridge, the military is unable to stop Ui-Myeong from escaping with Hyun-Su.
Yi-Kyung is disappointed that Hyun-Su was taken. She then overhears a conversation between a group of soldiers. She learns that the military wants Hyun-Su taken in alive as he is the last ‘special infectee’, and that they are hoping to use him to find a cure.
A safe place for no one
The remaining Green Home residents are brought to where all survivors are located. The situation looks dire, with soldiers killing a man just because he had a nosebleed, and beating his friend to death when he tries to stop them.
A monster suddenly appears on the scene and the panicked soldiers begin shooting bullets and fire at it, killing numerous survivors in the process. Everyone begins to run away, and the Green Home residents flee to a truck manned by a soldier named Park Chan-Young (Jung Jin-Young). Chan-Young’s superior orders him to drive away, but he goes back for Eun-Yu (Go Min-Si), who picked up a gun from a dead soldier during the chaos.
Chan-Young drives the Green Home residents away. Outside, he is beaten by his superior for hesitating earlier. Eun-Yu then uses the gun to threaten him, telling him that they “need to get somewhere”.
Back at the scene, a group of special forces soldiers arrives, led by Sergeant Tak In-Hwan (Yu Oh-Seong) and Sergeant Kim Yeong-Hu (Kim Mu-Yeol). Sergeant Tak manages to injure the monster, but it escapes after hearing Sergeant Kim’s team blowing up its hiding place. Sergeant Kim finds a baby monster, and uses it to stop and subdue the first monster. The team then kill it.
Sergeant Tak then surprises everyone by sparing and releasing the baby monster. Sergeant Kim challenges him, but Sergeant Tak says that they are only there to kill the monsters that attack them.
Infiltrating the base
Ui-Myeong and Hyun-Su find refuge at a mall, and change into new clothes. Ui-Myeong tells Hyun-Su that he wants to liberate him, and eventually promises that he will stop killing humans for no reason. He convinces Hyun-Su to join him in rescuing the other special infectees, whom he calls ‘neohumans’ from the lab at Bamseom. The two then drive away from the mall.
Elsewhere, Yi-Kyung sneaks into Bamseom after taking a military commander hostage. Inside, she witnesses the scientists conducting a cruel experiment on one of their monster subjects.
At the same time, Ui-Myeong and Hyun-Su attempt to drive into the base. Suddenly, Ui-Myeong is haunted by Sang-Wook’s memories and hallucinations, causing him to crash the car. Hyun-su tries to help a frightened soldier, but is forced to kill him.
Ui-myeong is injured and unable to change bodies. An upset Hyun-Su mocks him and calls him a parasite. He drags Ui-Myeong into Bamseom, despite Ui-Myeong’s warnings that they will be experimented on. Hyun-Su tells him it is one way that he will know he is human.
The episode ends with the military finding them, and shooting Hyun-Su. As they both lay there bleeding, Ui-Myeong tells Hyun-Su to ‘go to hell’.
What we thought of the episode
Sweet Home Season 2 Episode 1 sets a solid foundation for the upcoming season, answering questions left by the finale. The episode also established the humans versus neohumans conflict. Both Song Kang and Lee Jin-Wook give a great portrayal of two characters who are meant to be archenemies, with conflicting views about humanity. Song Kang does an especially good job at showing how his character has matured since the first season.
The episode’s portrayal of the soldiers as more monstrous than the monsters adds a compelling layer to the narrative. It also adds some tension, and makes us worry about Hyun-Su’s fate after his capture.
The episode leaves us with several questions as well. What about Yi-Kyung’s motives for infiltrating Bamseom, and the fate of the Green Home residents? We can’t wait to find out.