I'm beginning to think that Hwi-kyeong is the real main character here. The apparent apathy everyone else has toward the murder subplot makes a lot more sense if we look at it from his perspective. Hwi-kyeong has gotten very suspicious of his brother, yet even as his investigations bring him to more unsettling truths, Hwi-Kyeong is hesitant and reluctant to fight out in the open because, again, this is his brother. It's only slowly dawning on Hwi-Kyeong that he may be the only person in a position to stop the man. Consider the conflict this way- Hwi-kyeong is so bothered about all this he's barely even paying attention to Song-I anymore, whereas before that was his only apparent motivation.
This is especially relevant considering the relationship between Song-I and Min-joon hits a high point here. There's relatively little interaction between the two, given that Min-joon has to spend a fair amount of time recovering from a near mortal injury. But Song-I continues her streak of, while still being the same basically aggressive selfish person, effectively subliminating her personality to the somewhat more noble purpose of caring about another human being.
Min-joon is, unfortunately, a bit more difficult to read. I think the trouble in this regard might lie with Kim Soo-hyun's performance. He's been doing subdued and understated this entire time, such that now when it's time for the man to show actual passionate emotions...well, it just falls kind of flat. It occurred to me that this is the first episode I can recall Min-joon actually smiling.
Writing in more forgivable terms, perhaps this sudden smile is itself emblematic of character development, as Min-joon allows himself to be happy rather than rude..? That's hard to tell honestly. There's also a full dream sequence here that gets very specifically human. I can kind of sort of place this development in the broader context of Min-joon's long term desires, except that I can't recall seeing anything that clearly builds up to this.
A comment for my previous review suggested that Min-joon has, over time, been losing his powers because he's been on Earth too long. It's an interesting theory, but rendered problematic by the lack of clear foreshadowing, which I think is why so much of this drama seems to be on troubled ground for me. At least for now "My Love from the Star" has achieved an effective balance between the murder plotline and the romance. The stronger elements of the writing come out a lot better when these two plot threads aren't forced to awkwardly cohabit with one another.
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] "My Love from the Star" Episode 12"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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