After a long run and the shedding of their own share of emotional baggage, Soo-jin and Hye-na must face their greatest obstacle in "Mother - Drama" yet, the judgment and decision of their mothers. Ja-yeong's past and her issues are laid bare for us and others to see, leaving the little girl with more decisions she should be too young to make. Meanwhile, Yeong-sin must find quick solutions for the entirety of her family, which will be deeply affected by this.
Episode nine is a culmination of many relationships, but the mother-daughter bonds involving Ja-yeong (Ko Sung-hee), Soo-jin (Lee Bo-young), Hye-na (Heo Yool) and Yeong-sin (Lee Hye-young-I) are the ones that receive the biggest growth. It makes for an emotionally charged, highly pivotal part of the story, because it pushes these characters to make ultimate choices, and reveal their hearts to one another.
Ja-yeong is a surprise for me. Her mental problems have not been identified clearly enough before, and I wish we had a more gradual introduction to the root of that behavior than the information dump that happens in this episode. Yet hers is such a typical, but also honest trajectory. Having a child for the sake of pleasing or treasuring a partner is more common than we would like to think, as are many reasons aside from informed acceptance of a life-long task. Ja-yeong's declining state is painfully real.
The thing about trauma, however, is that it does not magically heal or magically make everything better for those around someone. Ja-yeong's plight may have tortured her greatly, but Hye-na's reaction to her biological mother's pleading is also not unfair or unwarranted. The child's rejection of the life being halfheartedly given to her is a wonderful scene, and the actresses deliver some amazing performances of very demanding material together.
The same has to be said about Yeong-sin and Soo-jin, as well as Lee Hye-young-I and Lee Bo-young respectively. Yeong-sin's choice might seem overly dramatic and cruel, but her talk with Hye-na, and her likening to the situation as the story of Demeter and Persephone is very telling. Yeong-sin's life withers without Soo-jin, but she has three children to care for, and letting Soo-jin go is the only way she feels she can protect them all.
The problem here is, Yeong-sin falls into the same trap as Soo-jin's biological mother (Nam Gi-ae), the self-sacrificing silencing of her true emotions in hopes of making Soo-jin's departure less painful on her daughter. The love these two characters have for one another is of the purest form, so if I have one wish as a viewer and a person, it would be to see Yeong-sin, Soo-jin and Hye-na resolve the current situation and part with their bonds intact.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Mother - Drama" Episode 9"
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