As expected, the cliffhanger simply ends in another lack of confrontation with Jin-han. Don't worry- by the end of the episode serious progress is finally made to actually integrate the Jin-han character with everything else that's happening in the story. I just can't help but be a little annoyed at this point at the extent to which Jin-han doesn't really participate in a story that's pretty much all about him. Particularly since this plot point revolves around the rich family's business decisions.
Incidentally this is one of the reasons why it's so difficult to feel sorry for Eun-soo. At the start her situation seems awful- but later on, her first question to another family member after he meets Jin-han is...well, rather bizarre. Eun-soo seems less concerned that her ex-boyfriend is alive and well so much as she is paranoid that this discovery will somehow impede Eun-soo's ability to progress in the game of life. Eun-soo even openly describes her motivation in these terms.
Compared to that it's pretty easy to sympathize with Tae-hwan, who really just wants to keep everything in the family and the corporate world running smoothly. Now, I've always had trouble empathizing with the rich family storyline- but I've never quite sure whether this is because of Korean cultural differences or what. The storytelling standards just seem a little off. Rich people in American media might be jerks, but I can't recall the last time I saw one who was genuinely as well-meaning as Tae-hwan. Usually they're a lot more two-dimensional.
As for Deok-in, well, she doesn't have all that much to do. At this point Deok-in has two storylines- the issues regarding Kyeong-cheol's illness and possible death, and the awkward romantic situation with Jin-woo. Strictly speaking it's probably for the better that they got divorced. Odd though it may seem the situation would be much weirder if they were still married, because then we might be rooting for Kyeong-cheol to die just to pave way for the main pairing.
"Might" being the operative word here. While I really liked the Deok-in / Jin-woo relationship at the start it's been so wrapped up with tears and sadness for so long that the pairing doesn't hold that much appeal anymore. I'm much more touched by simple scenes like Kyeong-cheol simply interacting with his mother, or observing his younger siblings at home. There's a bittersweet element to all of that which has a lot more heart than the Jin-han plot point- less because Jin-han lacks sincerity and more because Eun-soo keeps muddying it up with grotesque ethical justifications.
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 email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Make a Woman Cry" Episode 32"
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