We finally get some detail into Gun-woo (played by Jin Goo). Technically he's I-kyeong's love interest and rival, although that's a very misleading way to describe his character. The main obvious reason for this is that I-kyeong is stone cold and mean to everyone. She was like that even in flashback. But Gun-woo is the antithesis to I-kyeong in other ways too. He thinks constructively. Moreso in flashback, obviously. In the present day, though, Gun-woo hates the game more than he does any of the players.
Now, I-kyeong doesn't hate anyone. And that's why her personality is so icy. It's never personal with her, at least in any way that Lee Yo-won is willing to clearly express with her acting. That's not a criticism. I-kyeong's single greatest power is her superhuman poker face. Every time Se-jin thinks she has a good grasp on I-kyeong's homework, I-kyeong always manages to come up with a curveball answer out of nowhere that forces Se-jin to reset her overall logical thinking.
This is one of the ways that I-kyeong is such an effective manager. I-kyeong doesn't expect Se-jin to solve problems the same way that I-kyeong would. That's good. I-kyeong can already solve problems the I-kyeong way. I-kyeong doesn't need a clone- she needs a partner capable of thinking on her feet. While I-kyeong and Se-jin have radically different concepts of friendship, for example, this simply allows for more possible ways to attack difficult puzzles.
So why didn't it work out with Gun-woo, when he, too, represents a separate yet similarly valuable skill set? Well, their relative positions would be one problem. Yet more than that, Gun-woo, in flashback anyway, keeps trying to understand I-kyeong and get under her skin. He does this in the cute romantic comedy way and really, all the Japanese flashback scenes are great because the tone is quite cute, yet I-kyeong is completely out of place there. Even her brief smiles just serve as mere distractions from the woman's ultimate dark destiny.
Lack of full perspective remains a bit of a problem. The fourth episode is a little late to be setting up the fundamentals- honestly, Gun-woo's role in the overall schemes is fairly mechanical. Gun-woo role in flashback is vastly more interesting not necessarily because of his personal relationship with I-kyeong so much as that we finally have a good grasp of his personality. And this begs the question of how he changed.
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.
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