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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "A New Leaf" Episode 13

2014/06/18 | 883 views | Permalink

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

"A New Leaf" is directed by Park Jae-beom-II, written by Choi Hee-ra and features Kim Myung-min, Park Min-young, Kim Sang-joong and Ahn Sun-young

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