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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Scholar Who Walks the Night" Episode 12

2015/08/13 | Permalink

After nearly a full drama of little-to-no actual plot, this episode almost manages to overdo it. The heroes have extended conversations with each other- not just each other even, but one of the villains too, and working together they come up with a plan to finally take on Gwi. Obviously this doesn't work out too great but even so! Finally! Vampire action plots and scheming in the vampire action drama! It's been so long since there's just been a good fight, you know?

The campy elements too make more of an appearance. I can't help but find it humorous how Gwi can consistently be relied upon to kill somebody even when it's not completely necessary. I've written this before, but it's a wonder he even has any allies at all. I can understand the lure of political power but when your boss frequently selects a random underling for arbitrary ritual murder, come on, the job market isn't that bad.

One issue is that the previous episodes have exposed the generally flimsy story structure of "Scholar Who Walks the Night". And this much is pretty difficult to ignore even when the plot is moving forward relatively briskly. The characters are chasing after plot points more than they are making incremental progress. Even the more romantic elements of the drama fall into the same trap, where the Seong-yeol / Yang-seon is progressing mostly just because.

To be clear this isn't an issue with the cast. Lee Joon-gi and Lee Yoo-bi continue to do good work. It's really more a matter of how Yang-seon doesn't actually have that much to do anymore except domestic stuff around the house. That she's any good at this is especially weird, considering that up until now Yang-seon has lived life as a man. Given Yang-seon's status as a main character I was expecting her to be more directly involved in the story. Right now she's just a bystander- a supporting role at best really.

For all these flaws, though, "Scholar Who Walks the Night" has definitely taken a step toward the right direction. A certain level of goofiness and incoherence can be tolerated as long as the drama embraces its concept, and right now, that's exactly what's happening. Hopefully the cliffhanger will allow the drama to move in the same direction- immediate, high-stakes problems that need to be resolved quickly or else everyone is going to be in a world of trouble.

Review by William Schwartz

"Scholar Who Walks the Night" is directed by Lee Seong-joon, written by Jang Hyeon-joo and features Lee Joon-gi, Lee Yoo-bi, Changmin, Lee Soo-hyuk, Kim So-eun, Lee Hyun-woo and more.

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