Now that the big mysteries and dramatic revelations have all been cleared up, "Road to the Airport" is left asking the basic question of "now what?". It's easy to forget that, as generally unhelpful as they have been in the role of spouse, Jin-seok and Hye-won are not aware of what's been going on with Do-woo and Soo-ah, even if they have suspicions. Both of them have reason to believe there is hope for reconciliation, even if they are also both badly underestimating the extent to which their generally non-responsive demeanors have poisoned that well.
The main factor causing Do-woo and Soo-ah's bond was a lack of proper spousal support, which brings up interesting ethical questions when it comes to extramarital affairs. Is it really fair to blame Jin-seok and Hye-won when they did not take any proactive behavior to damage their marriages? The overall tone of "Road to the Airport" has been insinuating that it is, but increasingly, as we see Jin-seok and Hye-won outside of the context of marriage...they're not necessarily completely awful and evil.
Mi-jin is the closest thing "Road to the Airport" has to a villain at this point, and even she ultimately receives the sympathetic treatment. The big confrontation between Mi-jin and Soo-ah is all sorts of levels of irony- as the gossip police for her co-workers, Mi-jin has in many ways precipitated this crisis. This is exactly the kind of behavior she would censure lesser employees for, and Mi-jin struggles to admit her failure, especially since Soo-ah too has knowingly been flirting outside the confines of marriage.
And yet even after that scene, Mi-jin does not stop being Soo-ah's friend. This logic is very troubling when applied to Jin-seok and Hye-won because their relationships with their spouses were, at one time any way, certainly of a similar degree of intimacy. That implies forgiveness, and yet there's no way Do-woo and Soo-ah can forgive their spouses while still getting to keep what they really want- each other.
That's what makes "Road to the Airport" such a struggle, is that legitimately good arguments can be made either for the sake of Do-woo and Soo-ah being together or for their going back to their spouses. For Soo-ah in partiular, with a child in the picture, it's hard to gauge how much her happiness should matter if other people she cares about suffer in the process. This is an angle Do-woo has had yet to seriously consider- although soon, he won't have any choice.
Review by William Schwartz
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Road to the Airport" Episode 13"
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