The much dreaded ending of another Choi Ran-I work has come and if I can give "Black" credit for something, that would be persistence in tackling whatever it does choose to tackle until the end. We get more answers than expected in the final episode and some are highly satisfying. Others are confusing and remain as plot holes. Sadly, the ending itself undoes a lot of the good in "Black".
There is one surefire way of making a romantic person dislike romance and Korean drama has certainly found it. There is a reason why stories need focus and development of said focus, and "Black" makes it clear with its handling of it. I have spoken my mind before about the weak romantic subplot of the series, but the messy ending governed by it is just the icing on this disappointing cake.
Before getting to that, I do want to commend some of the dedication to answering questions that the episode reveals. I never saw Soo-dong (Park Doo-shik) as Leo (Kim Jae-young) coming and although the details of it are rushed through, it is an interesting explanation for some of the character's exhibited foresight. We also get our much teased second villain, although it is a very lackluster reveal so late into the series. The crime aspect could have concluded better.
For a series which received an extension, however, it does not wrap up any of its parts very nicely. Joon's death has been expected so early on that the lack of any juicier character connections through it feels like a let down. The crime aspect plucks its villain out of seemingly thin air, leaving us guessing through his own confession. At the end, however, it is the romance which wipes everything else off the drama's slate.
I find this wiping to be quite a cheesy and badly conceived move on behalf of the writer. Aside from the practical cheesiness of Go Ara and Kim Jae-young channeling "Edward Scissorhands" in much worse make up and wigs, the drama essentially goes back on its established supernatural rules, all for the sake of a forced happy romantic ending, which could have been achieved through other means.
The ending essentially creates a new world, effectively erasing everything we have witnessed. Everyone and everything we knew disappears into a new timeline. From a viewer standpoint, this only serves those who have had no further attachment to the series, its story and characters other than seeing a happily dead ever after. So you did it again, Choi Ran-I. "Black" is a great, enjoyable show, but you need a partner to write your final episodes.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
Vasia, also known as Orion or Ori online, is currently doing opinion pieces and database upkeep. She has a love for good TV and a penchant for rambling in written form. Vasia can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Black" Episode 18 Final"
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