Our trio of justice gets closer and closer to Nam Kang-myeong, but it is a dangerous approach suspiciously approved and even encouraged by our villains. Tae-won gains the upper hand in his arrangements once more and his plans target our Team Good in a swift and ruthless manner, which the plot sadly employs a problematic approach to achieve.
It looks like the romance is happening in some form, but there is still hope for something decent. It is promising that the writer keeps it centered around the camaraderie formed between the two. I particularly appreciate Moo-yeong's (Namgoong Min) offering of support as a fellow victim of assault. Denying men their moments of fear and weakness or using those as a way of making them attractive to viewers is a toxic habit and so a male hero whose trauma is portrayed honestly sends a great message.
Good relationship building aside, I am disappointed by the sudden stupidity as a plot device overcoming everyone. Moo-yeong I can understand; he has always been a bit obtuse, but Seok-min (Yu Jun-sang) should have expected this from Tae-won (Moon Sung-keun). The latter had people killed for Nam Kang-myeong (Lee Won-jong/Kim Yong-woon) and this means Nam cannot be simply abandoned. So-ra (Uhm Ji-won) too frustratingly buys into a story provided by a man indebted to her corrupt boss, who is suddenly all too eager to help.
If this is a sign of what is to come, I worry about how many such lapses in logic we are in for. It is especially sad in a series which has so far been mostly good about these things and which has featured reasonably intelligent characters in Moo-yeong, Seok-min and So-ra. Aside from this glaring error, there is another thing I notice a potential slip-up in. Nam's appearance in 1996 is too old for him to look as young as his new actor in the present, even with plastic surgery. I do wonder if Lee Won-jong's casting means we are in for a twist, rather than extended flashbacks, however.
As much as I dislike the episodes' major blunder, it does provide more bonding opportunity for the three leads. It provides the harsh lesson that they should really work together and share information if they are going to join forces. It also makes Tae-won more menacing, because he has been walking along the fine line between being the main villain and a sidekick to villains above him and therefore more relevant than him.
These episodes are a case of one step forward and two steps back for me. Dong-sik (Jo Hee-bong) is back to being a sensible mentor. Tae-won takes control and the conflicts between the leads as well as their bad communication make for good drama. At the same time, their contrived individual stupidity and some other details I find lacking lately are things I hope to not see repeated.
Written by: Orion from 'Orion's Ramblings'
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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.
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