Right away Soo-ah acts impulsively this episode...for the sake of Hyo-eun. This caught me a little off-guard. After last episode I had thought inattention to Hyo-eun was being built up as a potential pratfall to Soo-ah's increasing intimacy with Do-woo but no, apparently Soo-ah is just as self-aware of the obvious life lessons flying around "Road to the Airport" as the rest of us and is capable of making important life decisions accordingly.
What makes this process awkward is that now that Soo-ah has firmly put her daughter first, it's just as easy to criticize decision too as being generally unwise and unfounded. Which really just goes to show that Soo-ah's entire situation in life is too horribly ambiguous for there to be any such thing as a right or a wrong answer. Really, the fact that Soo-ah is suddenly making important life decisions at all is the major change here- up until this point Soo-ah seems to have been moving on inertia.
Do-woo, too, is inspired enough by Soo-ah's mutual support to delve deeper into his investigations of Annie, ultimately discovering a crushing secret about the girl's life. This puts Do-woo's entire understanding of Annie through a new light and weirdly enough, actually manages to be more of a discussion about the hurt involved in emotional love affairs than the actual emotional love affairs seen this episode.
Annie and Hyo-eun both fit into this pattern really of not being all that well understood by their parents. This is the experience of puberty, and for emotionally involved adults like Soo-ah and Do-woo, these kids getting a new life of their own is really a kind of betrayal. This is a crazy, irrational thing to think, yet Soo-ah and Do-woo do so anyway, and questioning these assumptions starts to gnaw at pretty much every assumption they have about the world.
The exception to this is how Soo-ah and Do-woo see each other. With each other, they are emotionally open, especially compared to their spousal relationships. But how much moral ground is really here anyway? Was Hye-won's vicious behavior any less controlling? And are Jin-seok's actions with regards to Mi-jin any less of a betrayal, simply because on the surface level Soo-ah and Do-woo are being motivated by more apparently noble intentions? The personal ethics portrayed in "Road to the Airport" are quite ambiguous, and this is the main source of the drama's cathartic power.
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] "Road to the Airport" Episode 9"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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