With Seol's encouragement at his back, Jeong is finally able to make a sincere effort to not take a scorched earth policy to his enemies. This ends up not being all that helpful. Jeong's icy personality has always been the real problem rather than the way he lashes out, because Jeong has always been pretty good about only lashing out against people who deserve it. So unfortunately this potentially interesting character conflict doesn't have much hope of being resolved, given how this is the penultimate episode and all.
In-ha is another matter though. She's spent the entirity of "Cheese in the Trap" pretty much completely failing to grasp that Jeong just isn't that into her. In-ha's been pretty good about deluding herself into thinking that personal attitude isn't a very big deal. But as the other characters around her demonstrate growth and decide to stop chronically making the same mistakes, In-ha is left to her own devices right when she's expecting a rescue.
That's the overall narrative thrust I'm getting from "Cheese in the Trap" right now. Some people are tremendous jerks who won't change their attitude no matter how much you try to reach out to them, so there's no point in trying. That's a pretty horribly grim worldview, not to mention an ironic one given all the conflict behind the scenes of this drama's production when it comes to some characters (like Jeong) not getting that much of their background fleshed out.
Even here, the macabre story from Jeong's childhood is relevant less because it explains the kind of person Jeong is and more because it delineates the dysfunctional background In-ha was coming from. What makes this background especially dysfunctional is that there's not really any way to meaningful improve. Jeong, In-ha, and every other antagonistic character just ended up resolving to do a better job hiding their true intentions.
Granted, given the diverse backgrounds these people came from, maybe that much is just a sign of the human condition. Eun-taek and Bo-ra are appealing as a couple mainly because they were able to resolve their interpersonal tension by having an actual conversation instead of trying to game each other. That seems to be what Seol and Jeong have been working up to- it's what makes their character arc interesting to watch, while also serving as a reminder about why some characters have little choice except to sow disaster wherever they go.
Review by William Schwartz
"Cheese in the Trap" is directed by Lee Yoon-jeong, written by Go Seon-hee and Kim Nam-hee and features Park Hae-jin, Kim Go-eun, Seo Kang-joon, Lee Sung-kyung, Nam Joo-hyuk, Kim Ki-bang, Park Min-ji and more.
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] "Cheese in the Trap" Episode 15"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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