While the psychological element was interesting in the initial introduction, in this follow-up episode the concept kind of drags. We're really just looking at the exact same character exploration as last time- Tae-joo schemes and rationalizes to himself about the best way to get revenge on Seo-jin. I rather suspect this is the real reason he's kept Hee-ae around for so long. Tae-joo has to argue this point with her if only to convince himself that he's still on the right track.
Granted, it's becoming increasingly difficult for him to make this point after Seo-jin's initial actions this episode. Yes, this could all just be an elaborate plot to trick Tae-joo into thinking that Seo-jin has reformed and wants to do better when Seo-jin really hasn't changed at all. And technically speaking Seo-jin is at least partially motivated by the desire to bring Tae-joo to justice. All the same, Tae-joo never really brings up that point. For Tae-joo this has always been a personal vendetta. He can't admit now that maybe they've both made mistakes.
The ending sequence with Robin also manages to be reasonably engaging. Essentially, the choice Robin is faced with is whether he's willing to define the core identifying part of his identity for the sake of beating off Seo-jin in the war for their body. As soon as Robin sees the issue framed in those terms, there's not really much he can do. The effect on Tae-joo is particularly noteworthy- his plans fail at this point because they're designed to work under a very simplistic understanding of who Seo-jin and Robin are.
In terms of the love triangle, the pendulum seems to swing back to Robin as far as character sympathy goes. Seo-jin's confession in the earlier portion comes off as, well, brusque. While it's nice that he's coming to terms with his psychological issues, on a basic level Seo-jin is still kind of a jerk. Robin's existential crisis comes off as more interesting if only because we've never seen Robin actually act scared before.
The other characters, well, they still don't have much to do I'm afraid. I'll admit I was somewhat amused at Seung-yeon's little scene in the bathroom. It's like the guy's just really excited to have gotten what he wants even though he's barely put any effort into it. Not his fault the drama has rendered his character mostly irrelevant. So, as a holistic production, "Hyde, Jekyll and I" is still fairly intriniscally flawed. At least the good bits are still enjoyable enough.
Review by William Schwartz
"Hyde, Jekyll and I" is directed by Jo Yeong-gwang, written by Kim Ji-woon-II and features Hyun Bin, Han Ji-min, Sung Joon, Hyeri, Lee Seung-joon, Han Sang-jin, Shin Eun-jung, Lee Duk-hwa and many 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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Hyde, Jekyll and I" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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