After establishing that the last cliffhanger was for real, "Make a Woman Cry" quickly takes the focus off of the rich family and gets back to the more interesting character/situation- Deok-in and her birth mother meeting up with Deok-in's in-laws. It's a situation that slowly moves from awkward to just plain painful. On a basic level Deok-in just can't relate to her birth mother. And her birth mother, too, really doesn't appreciate that this is Deok-in's actual family she's condescending to.
The inevitable blow-ups are less a function of the situation as they are a function of the insecurities felt by Deok-in. She has major self-worth issues right now, and dealing with this rude older woman with a face that might well be Deok-in's given another twenty years is of no help. However well-meaning her birth mother is, Deok-in has limits to what she can seriously tolerate.
And so does Kyeong-cheol. I continue to find Kyeong-cheol a somewhat fascinating character, because even though his position is almost always a sympathetic one, Kyeong-cheol keeps finding ways to make the viewer dislike him by just acting like a huge jerk. I think his behavior at the house was justifiable- there's only so much a man can tolerate when it comes to a person he really didn't want to meet in the first place. But the explanation he gives after the fact was just plain mean and not at all conciliatory.
The contrast with Jin-woo is an odd one. Jin-woo is consistently wrong about almost everything. The whole birth mother idea was his in the first place, but even in the aftermath Jin-woo is able to make Deok-in feel better about the situation by just being kind and understanding. None of this changes the fact that he was wrong, though, and that nobody's really acknowledging that fact. The general dishonesty of the situation with Jin-woo's family is likely to go in a similar direction.
This is how we arrive at the cliffhanger. Kyeong-cheol has to fight between his desire to be a spiteful jerk and the possibility of maybe actually getting what he wants at some point in the distant future. The turnabout is a reasonably interesting one, because character sympathy is dictated almost entirely by personality rather than actual ethical justifications. Ths is probably why patriarch Tae-hwan likes Deok-in a lot more than he does Kyeong-cheol- and I suspect that even if there's another information bomb dropped here, that much isn't really going to change.
Review by William Schwartz
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] "Make a Woman Cry" Episode 17"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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