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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Duel" Episode 12

2017/07/10 | 427 views | Permalink

Laughter turns to tears and pressure as Soo-yeon joins Seong-joon and his brother in a race against time. Deuk-cheon uses his regained position to track the vaccine down and it is not an easy job when its caretaker has passed away. Jo-hye sets her plans in motion while our villains feel the same pressure to find a working cure. At the same time, Mi-rae's past starts surfacing and I have a feeling it holds some surprises.

As history proves, you cannot have a fun day at Subway without a crisis approaching and the one we get is much bigger than I expected. The science of "Duel" has gone out the window enough that a tumor-killing vaccine is just another item in the plot-convenient checklist. Despite being repetitive and designed to draw out the drama, this latest crisis works, because Soo-yeon's (Lee Na-yoon) life has been a priority from episode one.

Deuk-cheon looking at Soo-yeon after receiving bad newsMi-rae speaking with Hye-jin

Speaking of science, I sense another twist coming and as outrageous as it sounds, it is not a stretch in a series about clones. I find it odd that the episode lingers on Ryoo Jeong-sook (Kim Bo-jung) missing a daughter she was living with, as she told Kim  Hye-jin (Kim Nan-hee). Could Mi-rae (Seo Eun-soo) be a clone who has the cure inside her? It feels like too much for a series near its end, but "Duel" does not seem to mind piling on new characters and information.

Regardless of the new, I am glad to see the return of the old. Ahn Jeong-dong's (Joo Suk-tae) case seems more relevant than originally portrayed and this makes me curious as to how it all connects. Jo-hye (Kim Jung-eun) is very predictably eying the Chief Prosecutor's position and her freedom, making her an odd part of the good group with her new partner, Han Yoo-ra (Uhm Soo-jung). I really appreciate the greyness of her character, even if it took so long for the creators to flesh it out.

Jo-hye making a deal with Yoo-raThe Sanyeong villains

Of course greyness is rare in Dramaland and the villains of "Duel" prove it. I was starting to feel just a tad bit invested in Park Seo-jin's (Jo Soo-hyang) love for her father recently. I thought we would perhaps get a villain who is simply trying to save someone they love, much like Deuk-cheon (Jung Jae-young). Sadly the series has opted for the usual evil rich people with no capacity for human bonds and relatable goals.

Even so, I appreciate the shift of the series toward the more personal with some of our characters. Assuming everyone survives, I can see Seong-joon (Yang Se-jong) sticking to mama-duck Deuk-cheon and having new friends in Mi-rae and even Kim Ik-hong (Kim Ki-doo), who I am glad to see being given dimension recently. I like these characters and so I feel an investment now that I did not feel for most of this show.

"Duel" is directed by Lee Jong-jae, written by Kim Yoon-joo and features Jung Jae-young, Kim Jung-eun, Yang Se-jong and Seo Eun-soo.

Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'

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