Never has a phone felt so important outside the context of aggressive product placement. Episode thirteen of "Missing 9" is all about the chase for this piece of mobile evidence. Tae-ho is starting to feel excluded by Do-pal and this only makes him more determined to get the device first. Our heroic duo stealth their way around the increasingly dangerous situation. When the phone contents are finally revealed, someone gets a nasty surprise.
Try as I may to feel some sliver of sympathy for Tae-ho's (Choi Tae-joon) realization, I can only see it as a sadistically cathartic one. I still lament the lost potential of Tae-ho as a more nuanced villain, but this admittedly obvious twist is still satisfactory in terms of his development. Tae-ho has been able to kill so many because he saw each murder as just another part of the first; another necessity for his survival.
Now that the original murder proves to be no murder at all, I fully expect his convenient delusion to come crumbling down. More importantly, this twist nicely illustrates the pitfalls of megalomania. Tae-ho felt like he was always in charge due to his value as a commodity, but having that power stripped from him will be a good wake up call back to the ugly reality of largely his own creation. It is quite late for redemption now, but this poetic justice is still nicely delivered.
Of course there are issues with this whole situation. For one, the logic in Do-pal (Kim Bup-rae) somehow managing to clean a murder scene, vacate the premises and manipulate an entire investigation without his boss knowing is far-fetched. So-hee's (Ryu Won) character also feels like a celeb ex machina by now, having somehow shifted the entire story to the tip of a smartphone. Jae-hyeon's (Yeon Je-wook) death has been pivotal since the start, but this still feels like two separate dramas.
I think this would have been somewhat addressed if the focus were more clearly on the island survivors, rather than the ever expanding cast of allies on either side of crime, but this would mean more character drama in the forefront while the chase for evidence happened elsewhere. It is not something most such stories would choose and so I cannot really chastise the show too much about it.
I do not have much to say about our other characters at this point, since we seem to have largely moved on from their development for the sake of action. We still have the teased mystery of Gi-joon's (Oh Jung-se) doctor career, but I doubt it will be more than a spark for temporary unrelated drama. The story is begging for closure by now and I hope it is good.
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.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Missing 9" Episode 13"
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