‘Flex X Cop’ K-Drama review: Ahn Bo-Hyun and Park Ji-hyun’s police procedural is an engaging watch from start-to-finish

If you’re looking for television that provides solace, the uniform structure of a crime show can be immensely satisfying. Each installment presents a team of endearing detectives tackling new challenges, interwoven with threads of camaraderie, romance, and self-exploration.

The recent finale of Flex X Cop delivers an amusing yet comprehensive look into detective work. The story unfolds with wealthy and entitled Jin I-Soo (portrayed by Ahn Bo-Hyun) being compelled to join the gang crimes division at Gangha Police Station. Balancing high personal stakes as his father campaigns for mayor, he faces the spotlight’s glare. He’s received by the level-headed and shrewd detective Lee Gang-hyun (played by Park Ji-hyun), and an eclectic team including the impressionable Choi Kyung-jin (Kim Shin-bi) and the unmoved Park Jun-young (Kang Sang-jun).

The squad is initially miffed by I-Soo’s presence and his privileged background, resenting their roles as his minders. Yet, I-Soo revels in the thrill of his new endeavor (introduced via a high-stakes simulated hostage situation). His affluent background proves both an asset and a liability to the team – he can leverage his status for investigative insight and mobilize his social media influence in manhunts, but his impulsive nature often leads to trouble, as hilariously demonstrated when he jumps out of a building in pursuit of a suspect.

The initial episodes draw significant attention to I-Soo’s attempt to assimilate into the team, and how his wealth helps them solve crimes involving the elite. Amidst this is a portrait of his rocky relationship with his family. The narrative devotes time to I-Soo’s character, particularly his life beyond the police badge.

The detectives at Gangha police station

The detectives at Gangha police station
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Flex X Cop isn’t merely about lighthearted fun. The drama provides depth to I-Soo, depicting him as more than a stereotype. He navigates the complexities of being a Hansu group’s illegitimate heir and the anguish from his mother’s loss.

Flex X Cop (Korean)

Director: Kim Jae-hong

Cast: Ahn Bo-Hyun, Park Ji-Hyun, Kang Sang-jun, Kim Shin-bi

Episodes: 16

Storyline: A privileged heir is thrown into the throes of the violent crimes division, facing real-time detective work.

The show’s four-detective ensemble explores various cases, deviating from the usual one-case-per-episode structure for a dual episode case analysis. The narrative also delves into two overarching plots – the death of I-Soo’s mother and the wrongful termination of Ganghyun’s father, former head of the criminal division Lee Hyung-jun (Kwon Hae-hyo).

Despite familial tensions, I-soo and his step-brother Seung-ju remain close

Despite familial tensions, I-soo and his step-brother Seung-ju remain close
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

The concluding episodes significantly shift the tone, seamlessly weaving the show’s narrative threads. Flex X Cop commendably avoids dragging plotlines, offering an engaging flow till the end. With a second season planned, the series manages to deliver a complete, satisfying narrative in its current run.

The detectives of Gangha station – I-soo, Gang-hyun, Jun-young, and Kyung-jin – are endearing characters. Ahn Bo-Hyun, in particular, effortlessly portrays the self-assured I-Soo and equally impresses in poignant scenes. As the series evolves, his performance is both vulnerable and compelling.

The atmosphere is subtly charged as we witness the singular female detective at Gangha station come into her own. Her collegial rapport with I-soo, marked by mutual eccentricity, blossoms over time. This burgeoning camaraderie lends itself to a stronger, united team dynamic within the station.

Gang-hyun and I-soo's growing bond is evidenced throughout the series

Gang-hyun and I-soo’s growing bond is evidenced throughout the series

A flirtation with romance is hinted at but ultimately sidestepped in this installment of Flex X Cop, a move that syncs well with the series’ climax. The relationship between I-soo and Ganghyun matures from professional to personal, forming a believable pillar of support for one another. Ji-Hyun and Bo-hyun’s on-screen dynamic radiates compatibility, particularly within their investigative roles.

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In the arena of Korean thrillers and crime dramas like Signal, The Voice, Taxi Driver, and Beyond Evil, Flex X Cop opts for a lighter, more comedic approach in early episodes. Yet, as the narrative delves into the deeper, more personal afflictions of its characters, the show maintains its intrigue and unity. The possibility of a second season brings with it the promise of fresh exploits from our team of four at Gangha station, and we’re strapped in and ready to go.

All episodes of Flex X Cop are available on Disney+

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