Last episode's cliffhanger promised a lot of tears- and that's exactly what we get here. Deok-in has a complete breakdown. She loses interest in everything- her social position, her relationships, all of them become absolutely meaningless in light of the new information Deok-in now has about her son's death. There's nothing for the other characters to do except look on awkwardly in silence.
And that was pretty much the position I was in too. Even though we've known this revelation was a long-time coming, personally, I felt like this was stuff I didn't really want to see. The problem with melodrama like this, especially when sustained over an entire episode, is that it gets to feel extremely voyeuristic. There's not really any the story can move on from despair, misery, and humility except with other heartfelt gestures of despair, misery, and humility.
Not that Eun-soo appears capable of processing any of this. She continues to be about as repugnant as possible. While it's true that Jin-woo should not have been keeping this information secret, Eun-soo quite simply enjoys being horrible and vile. I halfway expected Jin-woo to slap Eun-soo before she could finish justifying her actions. Eun-soo's notion of what parenthood should be is sick and twisted, and it's no wonder her son has been drifting apart if this is how the woman actually seriously thinks.
The worst part of this is that Eun-soo knows full well that what she's doing is horrible. Notice how her tone completely changes depending on who she's talking to. Note Hong-ran's reaction during the big family meeting. When Hong-ran and Eun-soo are alone, the tone is giddy as Eun-soo relishes her accomplishments. Yet with other people, Eun-soo completely plays down her role in everything that happened- because she knows that even if Jin-woo won't slap her, the other men in this family will.
As simple potboiler stuff it's easy to see how "Make a Woman Cry" is appealing material. This episode is consistently, extremely intense, and desperate to the point that serious, humble kneeling apologies have definite emotional gravity. All the same, this all works to definitely shift "Make a Woman Cry" away from drama and more into melodrama. This isn't necessarily a bad turnaround- the genres are meant for different purposes after all. But high-pitch melodrama isn't a tone that can be sustained for all that long, and over a dozen episodes yet remain.
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 26"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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