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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Scholar Who Walks the Night" Episode 19

2015/09/09 | Permalink

The actors in "Scholar Who Walks the Night" are really good sports. No matter how many times they discuss the exact same plot points over and over again, everyone manages to use the same level, serious tone of voice. I always appreciate it when actors are this determined to do justice to source material, regardless of whether or not the source material really deserves it. That much, at least, manages to keep the stakes high going into the final confrontation.

In addition to the super-secret plan which will apparently be kept secret right until the end, two other new plans pop up. Yang-seon's plan is, well, just a good plan and I'm surprised no one has thought of it before. Gwi's plan looks kind of smart on the surface but as usual there's a whole plethora of problems with putting it into actual execution that the villainous vampire doesn't really take into account. Once again Gwi gets snookered the exact same way he got snookered in the past.

Gwi's reaction to all this is interesting enough, though. On a base psychological level Gwi ends up giving us a whole speech about how he has always longed to be hated. Not loved, hated. Which actually does make sense, considering how he's acted this time and how Gwi has consistently been more interested in freaking people out rather than going after a long-term objective. His big accusatory look near the end pretty much just amounts to "exactly how evil do I have to be before you'll hate me too you moron".

It's a great moment, but I do have to emphasize that relatively little happens this episode as "Scholar Who Walks the Night" just goes into setup mode yet again. I'm more forgiving than usual mainly because this is the penultimate episode. There is no possible way for writer Jang Hyeon-joo to skip out on exciting action for the ending- the preview even directly promises us some actual convincing fights that are more about action and less about words.

Until then, we just have to be satisfied with the typical discussion of whether vampires are monsters or humans are monsters or whether monsterism is independent from all that stuff and oh who cares about that is there going to be another kiss this episode? And how long until Seong-yeol changes his clothes anyway? I suppose the bloody collar does add some weak boost to Seong-yeol's usual insistence on how he's unlovable and sad and needs to die. Gwi's occasional mountain of corpses serves about the same purpose come to think of it.

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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