MBC’s gritty, intricate thriller The Veil established a fully developed world of conspiracy and corruption. So it’s no surprise that a prequel like Moebius: The Veil (뫼비우스 : 검은 태양) would be just as compelling and warranted. Not to mention just as exciting and action-packed.
Park Ha Sun reprises her role as Seo Soo Yeon. Though she had not gotten the focus she deserved in The Veil, Moebius digs deep into her backstory and lays out the life-changing events that would shape who she becomes in the main series.
A tragic event pushes Soo Yeon to join the National Intelligence Service and she ends up as handler to black agent Chang Chun Woo (Jung Moon Sung) while pursuing Korean-affiliated crime syndicates in China. But unexpected twists slowly drag Soo Yeon into a convoluted web of lies, betrayal and manipulation which she aims to unravel.
However, as she digs deeper, she becomes more and more disillusioned with the NIS. And like we saw in The Veil, her experience is much like many other agents who question the foundation of the organization they have pledged their loyalty to. We were able to see how the job clawed at Han Ji Hyuk (Namgoong Min) in the main series. And here, we see that same emotional and mental toll affecting Soo Yeon and others. Not only from the job itself, but from the way they are treated like mere pawns in a sordid game of corruption and conspiracy to benefit those already in power.
In Moebius, we see Soo Yeon when she is still a passionate and principled intelligence agent. Concerned with maintaining the noble goals of the agency in protecting the homeland and its people. It is a stark contrast to the Soo Yeon that we see in The Veil where she is almost like a jaded, disillusioned salaryman working an office job. Resigned to turning a blind eye to the nefarious movements in the shadows.
In just these two hour-long episodes, we are able to see how a cascade of events darken Soo Yeon’s outlook as well as what shapes the characters we have come to know in the main series. From agent Chang Chun Woo to department chiefs Do Jin Sook (Jang Young Nam) and Kang Pil Ho (Kim Jong Tae). Not to mention the man who we would come to understand would be a love interest for Soo Yeon, Oh Kyung Seok (Hwang Hee).
Many of these events are referenced in The Veil and Moebius offers up a much clearer picture of what transpired. It does so in a way that enhances one’s experience from watching the main series. The peek at these characters’ backstories are absolutely enlightening. And I’d even go so far as to say that watching Moebius first before The Veil would provide a more satisfying and complete experience overall.
Moebius expanding the backstory of several characters from the main series almost serves as a great backdoor pilot for a full prequel series. Partly because of the vivid (though gritty) world that has been so effectively established in both this and The Veil. The possibilities are endless, especially when it comes to secret agent drama and action in addition to the already well-developed and well-introduced characters.
The other part of the potential is this great cast. As Moebius predates Han Ji Hyuk’s relevance to the grander picture that we witnessed in The Veil, all the same characters are here and would provide ample material for another full series.
Jung Moon Sung as Chang Chun Woo left a strong impression in The Veil, but does even more here on Moebius. Again, in providing a much clearer and deeper picture of the characters’ backstories, it is an enlightening and eye-opening experience for anyone who has already enjoyed the main series. Jung Moon Sung delivers an emotional performance that helps to wrap up some potential loose ends while still offering up new questions as well.
Jang Young Nam and Kim Jong Tae too step out of the “Are they or aren’t they” roles from The Veil and offer up a sort of launching pad for what we see of them in that series. And we too learn more about young agent Oh Kyung Seok played by Hwang Hee who becomes one of the more consequential characters.
But this a showcase for Park Ha Sun. Some might have been craving for more of her and Soo Yeon in The Veil. And rightfully so. Moebius definitely shows what Park Ha Sun is capable of. Combining equal parts badass, strength and vulnerability, Park Ha Sun gives us a fuller picture of Soo Yeon in two hours than what was available for her in 14 episodes of the main series. The case is definitely made for a series centered around her character and how she would eventually go from a passionate sense of justice to a passive and resigned sense of futility. It would be a fascinating story to explore. And Park Ha Sun would be a magnetic and captivating lead.
Moebius is able to tell these character-driven stories while effectively speeding through the motions of a typical secret agent/crime syndicate battle royale. It is that mix of explosive, unflinching action and deeper, emotional character-driven stories that made The Veil so compelling. And the same can be said for this prequel spin-off Moebius.