The focus this time is less on the legality and more on the amnesia- though not Seok-joo's, exactly, but rather that of his father, whose medical condition reaches a greater state of debilitation. We get more stories about hopes and dreams from the old days here, as Seok-joo asks Sin-il basic questions, and the older man gives full honest answers. Unsurprisingly, Seok-joo does not like the answers.
I found myself wondering how this situation might have gone down if Seok-joo hadn't got hit with amnesia back in the second episode. One might expect that he would have been more hurt by his conversation with Sin-il if Seok-joo had a very clear idea of what the terrible things that he did actually were. But then, it might be Sin-il's exceptionally calm tone that bothers Seok-joo more than what the man is actually saying. Seok-joo is quite literally talking to a ghost here- that means there's no more chance for a reconciliation.
This limits Seok-joo's ability to do much in regards to the legal case. He's too busy being emotional. And that much is definitely hard to see coming from Seok-joo pre-amnesia. That Seok-joo was too preoccupied with work and legal sociopathy to bother with his father. I could easily see this encounter as having happened years down the line- with the damage Seok-joo has done to his spiritual sense of ethics much more permanent than the current situation, which may yet turn around.
For now, though, the turnaround remains centered around Seon-hee, who's the one actually running the investigation and making decent progress. As usual, the drama's take on legal and corporate ethics is a very cynical one, so she's only able to make it so far. While Seok-joo is a pretty big help at the beginning, it's unclear how much he could do in the future. Even if the breakdown with his father finally gets Seok-joo to turn over "A New Leaf", the practical issues this drama brought up still haven't gone away.
Now, the bad news- aside from Seok-joo, Seon-hee, and Sin-il, there's not really anybody here that can be reasonably called a character. Writer Choi Hee-ra appears to have just given up on doing anything interesting with Ji-yoon at all. We do get a callback to the watch, which is nice, but it really only draws attention to how pointless her character has become. Still, I can accept some plot threads falling by the wayside in exchange for these kinds of plot developments. Although it almost certainly means the drama's going to have a lot of loose ends by the final episode.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "A New Leaf" Episode 13"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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