We open up with a replay of the class presentations. Seol has learned her lesson, and decides that it's better for her to be a cruel jerk than risk everyone's academic prospects on Professor Kang's whims. The gambit works, as far as the classroom is concerned. Unfortunately, such smart strategizing is of less help in Seol's personal life. The same can be said of just about every other character in "Cheese in the Trap", as they take stupid actions based on logical yet flawed premises.
It's surprising how Yeong-gon and Min-soo have been able to upstage In-ha as the true villains of "Cheese in the Trap" when their actions aren't even all that malicious. Yes I know Yeong-gon is a horrible stalker whose actions have gone way, way too far, but I can still see the little spark in his head that's convincing the young man that somehow, some way, screwing around with other people's happiness is going to work out for him too.
With Min-soo the issue may be even worse, because while she's been able to cloak herself in enough pity to gain friends, Min-soo simply can't give up on the unnecessary deceit. Her story arc legitimately makes me feel awkward and uncomfortable, since the apparent perverse moral of this plotline seems to be that we shouldn't be nice to weird people since it's possible they deserve it. But the issue with Min-soo is less that she's sneaky and more that Min-soo's genuinely not all that sure what she wants.
Compare all that to In-ha, whose jerkishness is more a function of how she doesn't really know or care about treating other people in a courteous respectful way. In-ha also suffers from really bad tunnel vision. She can't even process the idea that a person can do a favor for her without actually liking her, for reasons which have nothing to do with her. In-ha seems to thrive on pure spite alone, never even bothering to think her actions through.
How does all this effect Seol and Jeong- the actual main characters of "Cheese in the Trap"? Well, mostly they just try to survive in the midst of ongoing disaster. And the cynical bite is actually pretty well warranted. Jeong may or may not deserve the benefit of the doubt objectively. What is without a doubt is the fact that Seol sees a lot of miserable human behavior this episode, and I can't blame her for being in a less than forgiving mood.
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 9"
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